June 12th, 2009

What authors need to do – from the POV of Harper’s digital marketer

HarperCollins head of digitial marketing says, "I get a lot of, ‘Can you tell me about the Internet?’ ‘Do you think we need to Twitter?’ ‘Do I need to blog?’ I get a lot of that—a lot, a lot, a lot of that. They don’t believe that it’ll work, they don’t believe that you have to do it. And to me it’s like, ‘Don’t you see the sky is blue?’”

Read more of her thoughts here.

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Who says you're not good enough?

On a run this morning, I started thinking about the class I'm teaching right now on writing mysteries and thrillers. I will probably teach again in the fall. And I wondered if I should have some kind of an entry process - ask people to submit a sample of their writing before I decided whether to admit them.

Then a memory surfaced. A memory I had buried so deep because it hurt so much. Probably 15 years ago, I asked to join a critique group after they put out the word they had an opening. But it turned out they didn't take just anyone. You had to give them a writing sample. I did. It was something I had labored over. Something I loved. I felt a warm glow when I sent it off.

They said I wasn't good enough. Not only that, but their note made fun of how I handled POV, and pointed out various other mistakes I had made.

I was crushed. Later that year I took a writing class and someone who was part of that critique group was there. I couldn't even make eye contact with them. My face was flaming. I was such a loser.

I'm pretty sure that my early writing probably did have a lot of mistakes.

And I'm pretty sure that none of those people ever got published.

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