Site Guide

I didn’t really start blogging here with the intention to focus on any one thing, if I’m being perfectly honest. I mean, hell, one of my first posts was literally just about the Foo Fighters. But over time, I’ve realized that if there’s one thing I really want my blog to be, it’s something of a one-stop shop for writers at any stage of the process, but especially those who are new to the community, to find the relevant information that may not be available elsewhere.

Publishing has been my life for a really long time. My first internship was during my senior year in high school, in the Publicity department at HarperCollins, and I’ve been bouncing around ever since – to Production and then to Editorial, to Simon & Schuster and then to academic publishing, and of course freelance copy editing and writing have been lingering around for a long time too. I hope bringing all that stuff together has helped some people, and if it hasn’t, well, you probably don’t read this anymore anyway.

ANYWAY, my point is, while I’ve tried to encompass as much as I could think of in this blog, it’s maybe not the most… organized? So I thought maybe I should try to put together a post that puts a little order into this thing, and see if maybe that’s not useful, sort of? Or maybe no one cares. WHATEVER, I’M DOING IT ANYWAY.

If you’re brand spankin’ new to the online community of writers, you’ll probably want to with my Guide to Bookish Twitter, which will hopefully give you a starting point to finding the people in your areas of interest. There’s some discussion of this there too, but here’s an even longer post detailing “pub speak,” which you’ll see on Twitter in particular, due to that whole character limit thing: An Abridged Glossary of Pub Speak.

OK! Once you’ve got pub speak down, you’ll probably want to work on that whole “writing” thing. Short on inspiration? This might answer How to Get Your Own Shiny New Ideas. Not sure where to see teens in action? Here’s a suggestion for how to use Teen TV to Make You a Better Writer. Finally, one thing that might help as you’re writing and/or polishing is this Brief Lesson in Copyediting.

(If you’re here for blogging rather than fiction writing, you probably want How to Get Started Blogging and 5 Tips on Book Blogging, by an Author-Blogger, rather than the upcoming stuff.)

And now, you’re drafting! Or maybe revising! But you’re having some trouble staying in the zone. Maybe your issue is needing help to maximize your writing time. Or maybe you’re too wrapped up in The Headgames We Play. Or thinking “I Don’t Know How She Does It.”

(Miserable/Confused/Lonely? It’s Not Just You.)

Finish that draft, and need some opinions on it? You may or may not be familiar with the concept of beta readers or critique partners. Fortunately, I’ve got a 3-part series on Writing Relationships that might help!

(Miserable/Confused/Lonely? It’s Not Just You.)

Now, are you all done? Like, really? It’s revised and polished a hundred times and you don’t think you can make it any better? Then it’s time for you to figure out WTF to do with that beautiful thing! Traditional pub? Small Press? Self-pub? This post might help you with Choosing Your Pub Path! I also recommend you brush up on what it really means to enter The Business of Writing. And if you’re thinking of both querying agents and submitting to small publishers? See On Querying and Subbing Simultaneously for why I do not recommend it.

(Miserable/Confused/Lonely? It’s Not Just You.)

You’ve decided to self-publish and are feeling overwhelmed because you don’t know the first thing about it? Check out what a bunch of authors who’ve already done it have to say about the process in Perpetual WIPs: Self-Published Authors.

You’ve decided you want an agent and you’re ready to query? Then you also might be ready for A Quick Querying Q&A! And I definitely advocate braving When Agents Wave the Red Flag. And, if you’re looking for a little help with research, there’s this.

(Miserable/Confused/Lonely? It’s Not Just You.)

But wait! You are FREAKING OUT, because querying is terrifying and how the HELL does everyone else deal with this and AM I NORMAL???? (And from there you definitely want to check out Perpetual WIPs: Querying Writers!)

And yes, rejection comes with the territory… for everyone. In fact, a whole lot of the publishing process is quite universal.

An agent is interested! An agent is interested! IT MAY END IN REPRESENTATION! And you know all there is to know about what happens then, right? You don’t?? (Just kidding, because seriously, no one does until they get there.) Well, here are Some Truths About Life After Agent that may help you when you have The Call.

Something else that’ll help, at any stage? This. For real. Read it now.

(Miserable/Confused/Lonely? It’s Not Just You.)

You got The Call! So now what do you do? You nudge! Got multiple offers? We can deal with that too.

You got an agent!!!! Congratulations!! But wait! You are FREAKING OUT, because querying is terrifying and how the HELL does everyone else deal with this and yup! There’s a Perpetual WIPs: Agented Writers for that!

(Miserable/Confused/Lonely? It’s Not Just You.)

AAAAAAHHHHH YOU GOT A BOOK DEAL!!!!! Congratulations!! But wait! You are FREAKING OUT, because querying is terrifying and how the HELL does everyone else deal with this and yup! Perpetual WIPs: Pre-Pub Authors.

(Miserable/Confused/Lonely? It’s Not Just You.)

Wait. I’m supposed to promote this thing?? But I’m shy! And awkward! How do I do this?? Answer: you read The Necessary Evils of Self-Promotion. And you check out all three parts of my Unauthorized Guide to Being a Debut Author:

  1. Pre-Promo
  2. ARCs, Swag, and Self-Promotion
  3. In-Person Events

(Miserable/Confused/Lonely? It’s Not Just You.)

And, of course, before that baby gets published, don’t forget to thank the people who got you there: The Immortality of Acknowledgment.

And now it’s published!! Congrats!!! You probably wanna see how your experiences compare to other published writers, huh? YOU CAN – Perpetual WIPs: Published Authors.

(Miserable/Confused/Lonely? It’s Not Just You.)

But it’s not all sunshine and roses, of course. Sometimes, for instance, you find yourself having to jump back into the query trenches. Sometimes, scary things happen like your cover leaking early! Luckily, there’s a Troubleshooting Guide to Inevitable Publishing “Disasters” too!

(Miserable/Confused/Lonely? It’s Not Just You.)

But no matter what stage you’re in, it’s always good to know How to (Effectively) Show Support.

And overall, these are probably the 20 wisest things I’ve ever said about publishing… in the form of blunt messages.

(Miserable/Confused/Lonely? It’s Not Just You.)

So, that’s most of my blog so far, but I hope to have lots more awesome things coming up in the new year. If you’re already a reader, THANK YOU!!! If not, welcome! Take off your coat. Stay a while! And if there’s anything you’d like to see me blog about that I haven’t already, feel free to sound off in the comments!

1 thought on “Site Guide”

  1. Anonymous said:

    Great site and helpful links! Thank you!! 🙂

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