A Science Fiction Primer

Media SF – in all of its varieties – is firmly and uncontestably rooted in the literature (whether it acknowledges its sources or not). The problem for the audience of media fare is that the mainstream definition of “sci fi” is overly broad, encompassing bad examples along with the good and offering no inherent means for distinguishing one from the other .

Playing the Short Game: How to Sell Your Short Fiction (Part 29)

Making your first professional sale does not improve your probability of making your next one. Now and throughout your writing career (assuming you intend to have a writing career), you will always face the same challenge: to write the best stories you can and to keep them in front of professional markets until they sell.

Marketing 101: Authors and Reading Communities

I’m a member of two really large and really great reading communities: Goodreads /r/Fantasy on reddit Recently in /r/Fantasy there was a post about self-promotion. And I was pleased to see that I was called out specifically as someone in the community who “does it right.” So I thought it was worth mentioning what I […]

Marketing 101: Walk Before You Run

I think one of the biggest mistakes that authors make with regards to marketing is spending huge amounts of time that will produce very few results.  This is usually a byproduct of being excited that a new book has just been released and wanting to get the word out. Here’s a typical scenario: Book is […]

Marketing 101: Book giveaways

I’m often asked what is the “biggest bang for your buck” from a marketing perspective, and the answer is hands down: Book Giveaways.  But here’s the thing.  They have to be done the “right way.” Making a book for free on your own website isn’t the answer, and I’m surprised why so many authors do […]

Playing the Short Game: How to Sell Your Short Fiction (Part 25)

A Writer’s Magic Bakery: Selling your stories again (and again, and again…) Welcome back to my series on marketing and selling short fiction. Last week, I wrapped up a mini-series on everything that happens after you finally sell a story, including handling short fiction contracts, working with an editor, understanding what your first sale really […]

Playing the Short Game: How to Sell Your Short Fiction (Part 24)

Let the Band Ring Out and the Banners Fly: To promote or not to promote Welcome back to my series on marketing and selling short fiction. I’ve written these posts in a very specific sequence, with each entry building on previous ones. You can read my earlier posts here. This week, I’m wrapping up a […]

What Traditional Publishing Can Learn From Self-publishing

One of the first things you learn as a traditionally published author is that you have very little control over a great many things about your books. Cover design, format (hard cover, trade paperback, or mass market paperback), price, and even the title are not yours to dictate. These are decisions that greatly affect the […]

Marketing 101: Start with the Right Attitude

Marketing.  Is there any other word that instills more fear in a writer? I don’t think so.  When authors talk about marketing, here are the things commonly mentioned: I’m an introvert; I don’t want to market I just want to write; I don’t want to market I don’t like pestering people; I don’t want to […]

Demystifying the Synopsis

A synopsis is a larger version of the book jacket blurb you see on the back of most paperbacks in the bookstore. You write a synopsis for the same reason: to sell a story idea to a publisher and ultimately to a reader. It is an in-depth summary of the entire book that weaves in […]

Should You Judge a Book by its Cover?

Most readers—me included—will pick a book off the bookstore shelf because its cover interests us: the title intrigues; the cover illustration attracts; the author’s name is one we trust. If you don’t know the author of the book, the nature—and implied promise—of the cover becomes even more important. If the book does not deliver on […]

The Dreaded M-word

A recent conversation about self and independent publishing led to me voicing my thoughts on what to do once the book is released. This will also hold true even for the traditionally published, as the publishers provide them with less and less support. We must be able to be businessmen, not just “artistes” or we […]