Showing posts from March, 2020

Getting a Strategic Advantage Within the New Publishing Paradigm

Many writers I know are repulsed by the idea of marketing their own books. The mere thought of asking someone to buy their books seems to fill them with a combination of dread and loathing; and feels tantamount to panhandling or door to door sales. This is a viewpoint I am unable to fathom.  Maybe it’s because of all the years I spent working as a copywriter, coming up with strategies and writing copy for the sole purpose of selling things. It only makes sense to take the skills I learned during my career, and apply them to selling  something I truly care about. There's an artistic side of my writing career - but without the marketing side, I'd might as well take what I create and hide it under a rock .   What Are the Real Odds of Success? The website, Statista, says there were 45,210 writers in the US in 2018. With Canada being around 10% of the size of the US, it’s reasonable to extrapolate that there are another 4.5 thousand here and when you add in all the people

My Book is Similar to…What Exactly?

While sending out query letters to agents, one thing you are expected to supply is a list of books that are similar to the book you are pitching. With The Human Template , this seemed impossible. One thing my early readers consistently told me was that they had never read anything like my book before. I’m a longtime believer in the adage “There’s nothing new under the Sun,” so I didn’t buy into this notion right away. Yet, it didn’t really help me to come up with any real comparisons. When I first started sending queries, my response was usually to mention a couple of   influences - rather than similar books. One of my favourite genre-books ever is The Iron Dragon’s Daughter by Michael Swanwick. I consider it to have the best opening of any sff book I have ever read and one of my clear goals is to be as good a writer as Michael Swanwick. Rereading his Vacuum Flowers while I was working on my diptych, I was briefly pumped to feel that my book is both stylistically similar and