Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Bit Of A Ramble

This is going to be a bit of a catch all post because I’ve spent the entire week deeply buried in medieval France doing research for my next project and boy, was it hard to come back! (Do extroverts ever do that? Get lost in piles of research and not come up for air--or social contact--for days? Or is that an introvert thing.)

I keep hearing a lot about twitter, but none of it explaining why its something I need to do. Frankly, I’m feeling waaaay overloaded on social networking sites and activities, but here is a great discussion of the ins and outs of twittering. If any of you have any experience with it, please do feel free to share it in the comments!

Also, we talk a lot here at SVP about one of the single best marketing things you can do is write a kick ass book. My personal feeling (not necessarily an SVP endorsed opinion) is that our wholly unique, personal perspective is what will help our work stand out, so imagine how thrilled I was to see that Donald Maass agrees! Definitely go read the whole thing, but here's an excerpt:

Where so many manuscripts go wrong is that if they do not outright imitate, they at least do not go far enough in mining the author’s experience for what is distinctive and personal. So many manuscripts feel safe. They do not force me to see the world through a different lens. They enact the author’s concept of what their novel should feel like to read rather than what their inner storyteller urgently needs to say.

(Can you tell I've finally had a chance to catch up on my blog reading?)

And lastly, I’d like to elaborate a little bit on Mary’s shout out for bookseller profiles, especially for those of you who are fairly new to SVP.

One of the most important things you can do to begin creating a network for your books is to get acquainted with your local (or not so local) indie bookseller. However, being introverts, it can be hard to just walk in and say Hi, I want to get to know you. So we thought it would be a great chance for those of you who have yet to introduce yourselves to your local indies to have a trés legitimate excuse to go visit them—so we can feature them on SVP’s National Independent Bookseller Month!

If you’d like to see a sample of what we’ve done in the past, you can check it out here. Also, pretty much any post in our May 2008 archive will give you a good idea.

We’re also looking for nominations for our 2009 Indie Bookseller of the Year. This is a bookseller nominated by an SVP reader who exemplifies all the wonderful, personal, waaay beyond the call of duty service indie booksellers provide to us bibliophiles. Be sure and check out our previous winners, Kris Vreeland of Vromans and this year’s Alex Uhl, owner of A Whale's Tail.

For those of you who nominate a bookseller OR agree to profile a local indie, your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Indie Bound gift certificate! (Because we know that sometimes, stepping outside our comfort zone is NOT a decent incentive!)


Kait Nolan said...

The Twitter thing totally baffled me for months. I had a profile and occasionally picked up followers, though I never updated. I couldn't figure out what it was for. It was just kind of there, like most of my other social networking profiles. Then I read a post by J.A. Konrath during his humongo 31 day blog tour where it was mentioned that Twitter was supposed to be a CONVERSATION. Then I discovered the downloadable applications ( and suddenly it made SENSE. It's like a giant instant message with a whole bunch of people. Since then, I've gotten addicted.

Deborah K. White said...

Yes, Twitter is about making connections and having conversations. Since I can't (um, won't) do conventions or conferences, I use Twitter to make connections with other writers (both published and published), agents, editors, and publishers.

Twitter can be very flexible and is a "there when you want it, not there when you don't" sort of thing. However, it does take some time to figure out how to make it work to suit you. It's also easy to get addicted to once you've got it figured out. But, if you can tame it, it's very useful.

Oh, and ignore the Twitter prompt question. Don't tweet about what you're eating or the window you just opened. Do tweet about how your book is coming along or a useful article you just read or engage people in conversation about something they just said :)

Barbara said...

just want to say:

(yay medieval france!)

writerjenn said...

What is the process for nominating booksellers?
I was just in mine today with a writer friend, and we spent half an hour chatting with the in-house YA expert about the latest trends. YA expert then hand-sold me a book I'd never heard of, and they let me watch while they opened a box of ARCs so I could see what's coming up!

tanita davis said...

(Off topic: did you see this?! Dear Abby totally blew it.)

Robin L said...

Thanks for the great explanation of Twitter and its uses! I would never have thought about it for connections, but I now that you've explained it, I can see how it would work. Although I still think I'll pass. I seriously do not need one other thing in my life to distract me from actually writing books.

Barbara! So good to hear from you. And yes, medieval France. Finally!

writerjenn, just email me at shrinkingviolet[at] with your nomination. That is so cool your bookseller spent so much time with you!

Tanita, um yeah. Abby doesn't get my endorsement. Wanna bet she's not an introvert? ;-]