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Category Archives: The book business

Some (belated) comments on the 2020 Hugo finalists

I voted in the Hugo Awards ballot this year. I also managed to blog about the dumpster fire that was George R. R. Martin leading the Hugo ceremony, largely because I couldn’t believe someone that successful could be quite that unprofessional. Unfortunately, I hadn’t manage to blog

Building a Web Presence for SF&F

Madgeniusclub has an interesting article for SF&F writers on building web presence: 1- Be you.  Don’t try to sound educated, or professorial or anything of the kind, unless that is who you are, naturally.  Just be you.  I swear readers can smell “Phony” a mile off. 

How to pitch your novel to Baen Books (maybe)

Earlier this summer I pitched my (unfinished) novel to Baen Books‘ Contributing Editor Gray Rinehart at a face-to-face critique session at LibertyCon, a three-day sci-fi and fantasy literature convention in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Unusually for a modern publisher, Baen takes unsolicited manuscripts. Gray is the Slushmaster General – a job,

Fronting the 10%

Self-published eBook author? Want to convert samples into sales? Consider cutting the “front matter”: the testimonials, genealogy, pronunciation guide, foreword, epigraph and cast of characters: When you get a reader interested enough that they downloaded a sample, or are clicking “look inside” on a web page, you really don’t

Of post-apocalyptic SF romance with pirates, and other sub-sub genres…

Great tip for writers who plan to self-publish their books on Amazon Kindle (and similar).  ‘Writing to market’ used to mean writing  ‘teenage vampire stockbroker‘ erotica for publishers looking to meet the latest craze. For indie authors, ‘writing to market’ means: I’m going to look at the sub-sub genres, check the potential sales

The trouble with hard SF…

Traditional publishers don’t like hard SF, says an author with a creative writing MFA: Which raises a question.  As writers decry the decline of hard SF, you’ve got to wonder how many traditional publishers think like her – that The Martian had no market? How many reject hard SF because they think

How to get a literary agent

Amy Suiter-Clarke was on my MFA course and has just secured a literary agent for her novel. She’s blogged here about how she secured her agent – without a cold query. I participated in three Twitter pitching contests and sent out dozens of queries before I

How to make a living as a professional fiction writer

I’ve recently discovered New York Times bestselling author Larry Correia‘s writing class ‘How to make a living as a professional fiction writer’ . The notes were blogged by David Harr over four blogposts, which you can read here, here, here, and here. The best session is definitely