An article in the newspaper

I know this blog is supposed to be about writing and writing problems, and so often I vent about life’s curve-balls. Today, I’m going to dispense with anything like that. Last week I had the opportunity to be interviewed by a local newspaper reporter Caitlin Skvorc about Wine Bottles and Broomsticks and my efforts to see it published through inkshares.com. It’s a lovely article – check it out:

http://www.frontiersman.com/arts_entertainment/witchy-work-wasilla-author-hopes-to-publish-with-public-s/article_a0484ba6-81bb-11e6-b064-9728b1c5a0ec.html

 

Wine Bottles and Broomsticks Inkshares campaign

Winebottles_Broomsticks

Inkshares link: https://www.inkshares.com/books/wine-bottles-and-broomsticks?referral_code=b03ff715

If you’ve spent any time at all following me on social media the past week, it’ll come as no surprise that I’m working on getting this project published on Inkshares. It’s more than just that though. I’m also trying to get the most pre-orders to win a contest with Geek and Sundry. If I can work this to the top of the list, Geek and Sundry will help me promote and sell this book. In order for that to happen though, I need support. Like A lot of support. I need hundreds of pre-orders. So, like a profoundly broken record with no actual sound, but lots of repetition, I’m asking for help. And the help is its own reward – if you pre-order for the usual price of a book, you get the book once it’s been edited. You’re just buying it ahead of time. Of course, if you wait, there won’t be a book to buy, so if you’re in the mood for a light-hearted urban fantasy in the vein of The Dresden Files, check out the first chapter. Don’t worry though, if i don’t make my goal, which really nobody wants, you get your money back. So, this is a win only situation, what do you say? Take a look at the sample on Inkshares.

-Dave

Writer’s ego – taking advice (again)

ego

Anybody know how to engage beta readers without sounding like an asshole?

Here’s the problem. I know my book needs work. It’s my first completed novel. What I don’t know is what needs to be modified from the perspective of the reader (ie: What doesn’t work, what sort of things to the readers do not like, and so on.) I also know that the reader is not always right, but the reader is always the reader and any complaint should be heard out. A decision to modify the work according to the feedback should be something that is deliberative. I genuinely want the readers to come back to me and give me honest feedback as to what stinks. Of course, those people are friends and family, they want to be supportive right? They don’t want to make critical feedback that’s going to make me feel bad.*

So today I had an exchange that ran: “So, tell me how much you loved my book so far.”**
“I only read the first two pages.”
Both of us laugh, “Sucked that bad did it?” I asked.
“No, no, I didn’t say that.”
The joking starts to cool, but I try to keep it going.
“Really, did you not like it? What sucked – I can’t fix it if you don’t say.”
“Oh, well, it was fine really.”

… This went on for a while before coffee break ended and I went back to work.

I did finally get some advice from this, and I feel like it was good and addressed some things I have been worrying about. It essentially confirmed my worry. The problem was that it was pulling teeth to get that feedback out, and I’m pretty sure I sounded like an ass in asking for it. As near as I can tell, the reluctance is that the work is a little rough, and in pointing out issues there is concern that I’ll take it badly or argue about the advice. All I really want to do is to improve, and even if I think the advice is crap, I do appreciate it. Of course, I also recognize that I’m asking people to read 95,000 words of something they may not like, and not because the writing stinks.


 

*I’m going to feel bad about comments describing any significant revisions.
** This was done jokingly, and appropriate in context.