No really. I should be editing right now.
However, if you are a writer, it’s been very hard not to notice the now famous [or infamous] hash tag debacle last week. Remember when I said writing was work? Yeah, those posts. The ones that said you have to learn how to write unless you are a fluke?
And it goes back around to the old “You have to learn how to write OR ELSE” Anyone with a twitter account got to see “or else” in action this past week. And it wasn’t pretty. At least not for the writer, her PR team or Random House. You really don’t want the people don’t like the books you write or publish to come out the clear winners in a battle of the wits.
On the bright side, James did well by keeping her mouth shut and counting her money. But since she hasn’t previously done so, I’m thinking a PR person was sitting on her hands or at least standing over her with a large club.
There are plenty of Author lessons to be learned.
5 Lessons Learned after the #AskELJames Twitter Event
And it all comes back to my previous post. Being a writer is hard work. No matter what you think of #askELJames or of James herself [you know my opinion… it means the rest of us have to work at our careers. The Fluke position for this century has been filled. Unless you can afford to wait around for another 85 years or so]
I can’t go over the posts any better than other bloggers have done. As for what happened, was it bullying or not, and all the other questions, that isn’t what this is about. This is a warning post of “Do NOT let this be you.” Will she rake in the money? Of course. There is enough hype to sell a dead animal processing factory and call it a rose garden. No matter, for us the fluke position is filled up.
And well, there are probably some PR people who are looking for a new job. Any Walmart you know hiring greeters? They made a fatal mistake for any author, they didn’t understand the market or who is buying her books. Just because it is #1 doesn’t mean it will be devoted worshiping masses bowing down before her and praising her to the heavens for this chance to ask her a question. Know thy market. And make sure your PR people when you can afford them are not fools.
IF YOU LEARN NOTHING ELSE FROM MY POSTS, LEARN YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE A LAUGHING STOCK.
And now that I beat that dead horse, moving on.
Yeah, I know. How do I learn to be a writer? I gave you some suggestions. Did you look?
For example, it doesn’t hold everything out there offered and I wouldn’t even try but my Facebook page has writing hints and advice on it. Because, let’s face it, if I was talking about my book, you would go comatose waiting for information…
There is an active community of writers on Facebook. It sucks for sales but it’s great for contacts. One of the writers, Anna Dobritt, posted today about a writing/self publishing summit on July 12 through the 23. Guess where I will be. To attend on those days, you get a free pass. If you want more, you pay. I took the free days. I’m cheap.
Repeat after me: Facebook sucks for marketing but is wonderful for educational opportunities. The only thing getting sold on Facebook is how to write. If you are trying to sell your novel? It sucks. Hades, look at the Zuck’s own Bookclub on Facebook. You aren’t selling shit if you are one of those authors. [Of course, I will grant you, the books he is reading is not of general interest. His first mistake. Oprah, he ain’t. Boring beyond belief, he is. And they wonder why FB can’t sell shit. That man is totally out of tune with the Universe and he got lucky. Puts new meaning into it Zucks to be you.]
Even more authors offer advice, workshops, and more. Stephen Cannell’s site offers a Learning Center with a writing Seminar. What he writes, I take seriously. Why? His history. Read it and weep. If what he says got him where he was, I’m going to listen. It might work for me.
I’ve pointed you to Amazon Unlimited where for $10 a month you have access to oodles of writing and grammar books as well as access to books in your genre so you can see what is on the market.
I’ve pointed you to places like your library where you can request inter-library loans of books. I’ve pointed you to the Brooklyn Public Library Digital collection. Go here and just search the word Writing under Nonfiction.
At some point, you must do the work yourself to find this. And that’s good because you need to build a community of writers around you. We don’t just live by fans alone. It’s work.
It’s a maze and a puzzle but the more you work and research and learn? The easier it becomes. And I don’t think any of us can afford to wait until 2100 to take James place. And would we want to? My best guess is history won’t be kind to her as a writer. I would like to think in 2100 someone who wanders into whatever a library is then finds my book and finds some meaning in it.
And I should be editing… sigh.