What newly-published authors find out and you want to know
Wiscon Panel #42
Saturday, 10 a.m.
Panelists: John M. Scalzi [an excellent moderator], Barth Anderson, Kelly D. Link, Virginia “Ginny” G. McMorrow
[Relatively short report – I only took only two pages of notes.]
Publicity / Blogging:
One of the topics discussed was the importance of blogging and having an internet presence as a form of networking and publicity. Somehow I think that has worked better for John Scalzi than for most of the rest of us.
[But then I do this for fun and to learn about writing, and networking done for fun is probably a better kind of networking.]
One of the best forms of publicity is keeping a blog, Link said.
Scalzi added that getting your book mentioned on blogs with a large audience helps.
Anderson said the internet is great for networking. He has a blog, but said that if he has to make a choice between blogging and writing, he usually writes. [Good plan.]
Someone, I missed who, said it’s important to comment intelligently on other people’s blogs. Then, other bloggers and blog-readers will follow your link back to your own blog and/or website. That’s how commenting creates publicity for you.
Scalzi sold his books after putting them on his website, which leads to a debate on whether giving away your writing helps.
Scalzi said it’s hard to do publicity in the traditional sense, because there are so many new authors, so each gets lost in the shuffle.
One possible frustration is that new authors will get no say in things like their cover art. Scalzi says there’s a certain publisher he refuses to sell to, because their covers are embarrassing. [He wouldn’t name it. Feel free to guess.]
On agents: Lots of places don’t take unagented work; the agents handle the paperwork so writers can write; and there are a lot of bad agents out there, so do your research.
And keep writing while stuff’s in submission, of course.