Monday, June 09, 2008

Ten PBW No-Nos

I've been getting an increasing amount of requests from folks who want me to do this or that for them, and who obviously aren't familiar with my famous surly, uncooperative writerly nature. For their benefit, here are:

Ten Things I Don't Have, Do, or Support

1. I don't have a web site, a Live Journal, a MySpace page or a Facebook (whatever that is.) You're looking at what I've got.

2. I don't travel or make public appearances. I don't attend conferences, booksignings, readings, awards ceremonies, etc. This is for health reasons, as I have RA and I take medications that suppress my immune system.

3. I don't write for fiction anthologies of any variety or genre, nor do I collaborate on anything. I've had very bad experiences in both departments, and I know for a fact that there are plenty of other, better writers out there who can use the work.

4. I don't give out cover quotes anymore. My dumb luck with picking and backing a few unknown/little-known writers who soon after became very famous opened the blurb-request floodgates. I'm not a quote slut or a bestseller divining rod, and I won't be used by people who think I am, so I quit.

5. I don't accept books or stuff from other authors to give away here at the blog. Anything I give away I purchase myself with my own funds, with the exception of the author copies of my books that I receive from my publishers. This is to keep me honest and to prevent a lot of the same trouble I had with giving out quotes.

6. I don't support or endorse any writer organization. Please don't ask me to explain this one, we'll be here all day.

7. I don't have business cards; all of the aliases won't fit on them. Nor do I have printed bookplates, bookmarks, fliers, promo or any of that stuff. I do make some bookmarks now and then to send out with my giveaway books (so does my daughter) but that's for my own entertainment more than anything.

8. I don't paint or quilt on commission anymore. On very rare occasions I give away art or quilt stuff here; like the handmade bookmarks it's just for fun.

9. For safety reasons, I don't accept unsolicited packages in the mail. All packages are either immediately returned unopened to the sender, or (in the event there is no return address) screened and opened by the folks who handle my mail and, depending on the contents, returned to sender, donated to charity or destroyed. This includes books that any publishers send to me.

10. I'm done with interviews until 2009. I'm never been comfortable doing them, and I feel like one or two a year is more than enough.


  1. Anonymous7:57 AM

    I'm not a quote slut or a bestseller divining rod, and I won't be used by people who think I am, so I quit.

    Heh. I like that one.

  2. I like your blog. A lot. And I know it takes time to write, post, and moderate comments. I first heard of your books via your blog. I doubt I would have ever heard of your book via the other things on this list (bookmarks, cover quotes, writer's organizations). 'nuf said.

  3. I'm sorry about your RA. My grandma has it too and she doesn't travel much either. It has put a damper on many of her plans.

    Good job for sticking to your guns,Lynn!

  4. Stick to you gun. I actually like this post. Sad to say, I consider author friend requests on Facebook and MySpace to be spam. I use to write a polite "No" back. No more. I just hit the "No" button. I don't use those tools to up my "friend" numbers.

  5. You go against every single marketing strategy that I paid money learn. So, how do you sell so well?

  6. @diana symons: to quote Miss Snark, "Just write well." Books still sell by word of mouth. When I find a book I love, I go on and on about it. Doesn't everyone?

  7. Anonymous3:05 PM

    You have RA and you pump out 15K words a day. No wonder the normal laws of marketing and literary success don't affect you - you're just not normal!

    I admire your surly self (although the interview you gave over at 101 Reasons to Stop Writing was hilarious.)

  8. I like the fact that the information found here is unsolicited ( i may have spelled that wrong) Besides you make me sound almost normal...HEE HEE!

  9. Diana wrote: You go against every single marketing strategy that I paid money learn. So, how do you sell so well?

    I actually know what the secret handshake is! Lol.

    Seriously, I don't know. I really don't do anything special at all. While all the other writers are out updating their web sites and My Face pages or whatever, I update PBW and then spend the rest of the day writing my books. When all the other writers are traveling, going to cons and signing and reading and so forth, I'm still here writing my books. When the other writers are making up promo and going to organization meetings and getting quotes and reviews and other things, want to guess what I'm doing? Yep, same old dreary writing of the books.

    I do have this theory that maybe it's the writing that makes my books sell so well. Crazy, I know. ;)

  10. This is probably one of the best writer blogposts I've ever read. Though I really loved that interview you gave at Mackan Andersson. (Which - in fact - is the biggest reason I found this blog and started to read it).

    Kind regards.

    /Jesper (the swedish chef)

  11. #6 - Says it all.

    "maybe it's the writing that makes my books sell so well."
    - And the reason that I've re-read your Darkyn series over and over again.

  12. LOL. I love it when you throw out these reminders. :)

    "bestseller divining rod"

    ROFLMAO. Okay, that was hilarious.

    :) I know how you got so popular.

    1. your books kick ass.
    2. you tell it like it is, no matter who you're talking to.
    3. when the trolls come out and kick up a fight, you're still writing when the dust settles
    4. your books kick ass. :)
    5. you have a tongue in cheek way of spinning perspective to remind us to not take ourselves so seriously. And I, dear lady, am forever grateful.

  13. I think it is good to have boundaries, and to make them known. I enjoy reading your blog, regardless. :)

  14. I'm glad I found your site through another author's site. I love your books!

  15. Anonymous11:15 PM

    I'm just a fan, and not knowledgeable about all that "writerly stuff", but even I know why your books sell...

    You write DAMN GOOD lady and your work is much appreciated!

    Love Ann (yes, that is my name)
    Fan in Chicago

  16. Anonymous4:27 PM

    I can't tell you how glad I am to read your opinion on author promo, contests, all the extranneous stuff we're always being told we "have" to do to get published or sell books.

    As an aspiring author, I'm tired of my RWA email loop being filled with self-promoting "I'm guestblogging at X today, come on over!" emails - it's an incestuous echo chamber - and there's nothing on craft. Time invested in book trailers (hate 'em), in-character interviews (self-indulgent in the extreme) and message boards where fans come to squee regardless of the quality of the book (ego need massaging?) is time not spent writing.

    WRITERS WRITE. I appreciate both your work, and your point of view on this topic.

  17. You have a secret. I know you do. And it's more than great writing. It has to be. Tell me, dammit. Tell me now. I must know the secret.

    Seriously, I'm burnt out with all the conferences, etc., and I still have three more to go to this year. Ugh.

    Next year I may just stay home. Thanks for the inspiration.


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