Your Hosts: Dan, Erin, Brandon, and Howard
Branding, in marketing terms for writers, is the process of establishing a recognizable identity—a brand— for you and your works in the marketplace of readers, and people who buy things for readers. In this episode we talk about what our brands need to be doing for us, and how we go about getting them to do that.
Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:27 — 13.6MB)
Find the elements of your brand from your friends, alpha readers, and beta readers.
Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, Erin, Brandon, and Howard
Networking is an invaluable part of any business, and the business of writing is no exception. In this episode we’ll talk about how to do it effectively, genuinely, and in ways that benefit the entire community.
Credits: This episode was recorded my Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 25:44 — 18.6MB)
Come up with five non-transactional things you can do to help other people in your network.
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard, with special guest Jared Quan
Jared Quan serves as a volunteer on several non-profit boards, and joined us to talk about the opportunities that exist for writers. Administration, leadership, writing and editing, and teaching are just a few of the many kinds of roles available for volunteers.
Credits: This episode was recorded live at LTUE by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:11 — 14.0MB)
Research writing organizations, and their events. look for volunteer opportunities.
Michael R. Underwood has talked to us about hand-selling books before, but that was about pitching to agents and editors. This time around he’s talking about placing your product in the hand of your customer, the reader.
With Michael’s help, we cover some specific sales techniques, guidelines for convention displays, and strategies for bookstore appearances, with an eye toward helping you make that sort of activity effective.
Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 24:06 — 16.6MB)
This is a character creation exercise:
Take a fun, sci-fictional technological idea, and ask yourself who stands the most to gain, and the most to lose if it comes to pass. Imagine an individual in that group, and ask yourself what that person is going to do, and why.
We have returned from the 2016 Writing Excuses Retreat, and it’s difficult to quickly describe how the event went beyond simply saying “better than we had any reason to expect.” If you’re considering attending a future Writing Excuses Retreat, you probably want more information than that.
Also, due diligence dictates that you get your information from somebody other than us.
To that end, this post has links to the reports from our attendees. We’ve sorted them alphabetically by surname, and aren’t filtering out anything that happens to be critical of the event. We’ll link to everything we know about, and we’ll keep this page updated as new reports show up.
Gail Carriger joined us at WorldCon in Spokane, Washington, to talk about her Convention Survival Kit, which is full of things most of us wish we’d known to bring to conventions back when we first started attending them.
Pronunciation note: Brandon uses the soft “g” when saying Gail’s surname, but it’s actually Carriger with a hard “g.”
Liner note: Gail’s convention tips and packing list can be found here. The page is pretty comprehensive, and is worth bookmarking and committing to memory.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:32 — 12.8MB)
Someone has to make a pitch when they are very, very drunk.
Court of Fives, by Kate Elliott, narrated by Georgia Dolenz, and Prudence, by Gail Carriger, narrated by Moira Quirk
Kathy Chung runs the Surrey International Writing Conference, which is a professional development event, rather than one of the fan-run conventions, which are primarily reader and/or consumer events. She also helped us put together the 2015 Out Of Excuses event, where we were fortunate to witness her expertise first-hand.
Naturally, we invited her to talk with us about conferences and conventions. She’s easy to talk to, and she knows more about them than we do.
We cover some of the key differences between conferences and conventions (especially from the writer’s point of view,) and, per the subject, how to get the most of them.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:48 — 13.7MB)
Homework: Research conventions and conferences in your area.
Daniel José Older joins us for a Q&A on showing your work around. Here are the questions, which were submitted by attendees at the Out of Excuses workshop:
- What’s the best way to meet editors and agents at conventions?
- How do you write a good query letter?
- What do you mention as credentials in your query letter?
- You didn’t cover self publishing at all this month. Self publishing is legit, right?
- Can you submit the same work to more than one agent or editor at a time?
- Can you re-submit a revised work to an agent who previously rejected the piece?
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 22:50 — 15.7MB)
Write a query letter for a book that you love, but did not write. Then write a query letter for your own work.
Mystic, by Jason Denzel, narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal