Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Reality Check

I'll admit it. I'm a daydreamer. Some days, when I don't feel like writing, I imagine what it would be like to have a book hit the New York Times best-seller list. This is rarely productive. A blog post I read today effectively snapped me out of the dream.

In a full disclosure attempt to dispel the illusions surrounding mass market bestsellers, New York Times best-selling author Lynn Viehl has posted the first royalty statement for her book Twilight Fall on the blog GenReality with an explanation of the numbers and comments about what made her book a best-seller.

Take away point? While hitting the best-seller list is an awesome feat (Congrats Lynn), it's not like winning the lottery.

Of having a best-selling book, Viehl writes, "I’ll tell you exactly why [the book] got there: my readers put it there."

Now that's reality!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Oh Those Social Agents

You on Facebook yet? Do you Tweet? How about LinkedIn? MySpace? There are many good reasons for authors to have a presence on social networking sites. Some literary agents also Tweet and spend time on Facebook, and there's been a lot of kvetching around the 'net about that issue. I'm sidestepping that landmine. I think it's more important for writers to remember that befriending an agent on a social networking site is very different from being on-line friends with the folks you go out with on Friday nights. As a writer, it benefits you to make a multitude of friends and keep them up-to-date on your latest writing projects. Social networking sites are a great way to do that. But it behooves us to remember who's watching those sites before we post photos of last weekend's debacle.

Agents feel the same way. They are careful who they choose to friend on Facebook and other sites. Twitter is a little different because agents can choose who to follow while anyone can follow them. But don't be surprised if an agent ignores your request to friend them on MySpace or Facebook. And, in general, agents don't want to be queried on these sites. Follow the submission guidelines on the agent's website instead.

Chuck Sambuchino covers this nicely in a post at the Guide to Literary Agents Blog.

I'm on most of the social networking sites. I tend to keep my Facebook page for friends, family and a few others, but I'm happy to be followed on Twitter. I most often Tweet about procrastination, walking my dog, and procrastinating by walking my dog. I don't Tweet about weekend debacles. Feel free to follow me if you wish.