Hello after a long hiatus, campers! I trust that you have been keeping up the good work while I have been recovering from my car crash?

No time for a long-winded missive today, I’m afraid, but time enough to spread a bit of most excellent news: after many years of not-very-efficacious technical wrangling, we here at Author! Author! have at long last cracked the recalcitrant nut of restoring years and years of your comments. They shall be magically appearing on an archived post near you as the summer progresses.

How was this minor miracle wrought, you ask? Why, with a bang of the Publication Fairy’s wand, of course.

I am immensely relieved. Your comments and questions over the years not only enriched the Author! Author! community —- they provided the inspiration for some of my best posts. And series!

So please keep those questions coming, folks. As I have pointed out many times before and no doubt shall often again, no one is born knowing how books move from initial concept to bound book. Chances are, if you have wondered about something, others have, too.

As always, keep up the good work!

12 Replies to “Progress!”

    1. Thank you for your concern, Elizabeth! I’m hoping to be able to resume blogging soon. Recovering after a car crash isn’t easy! I try to keep the blog’s voice upbeat, an additional challenge in times like these.

      Since you will be checking back, let me ask: is there a topic you would especially like to see me cover? I love readers’ suggestions!

      1. It’s tough. My mom is getting over a recent stroke and although she’s doing extremely well, it’s hard and frustrating as hell. Wishing you a complete (and quick) recovery.

        As for topics, hmm. I’ve actually been indie publishing and your advice has already helped me a lot, particularly the read-a-hard-copy-out-loud thing, haha. I don’t sell much, but that’s mostly because I don’t know jack about marketing.

        I know you’ve covered queries and book descriptions quite extensively. Book jacket copy is kinda the same, but kinda different? I’m not pitching to Millicent now but directly to readers. I’m trying to get them to read it and go “Hey, this sounds intriguing,” and click the Buy button. (Examples here:

        It’s hard to write it. I’d rather write a synopsis! 😛

        Maybe something along that line, if you feel so inclined. That’s all I can think of right now. Of course, if you think of something else you want to discuss, I’m all for reading whatever it is! 🙂

        1. Oh, that’s a great idea about book jacket copy, Elizabeth. Of course, authors bringing out their own work would be writing their own jacket copy.

          I get a kick out of questions like this: it’s precisely the kind of issue that an editor at a conference would almost certainly brush away with a dismissive, “Oh, your publisher’s marketing department will take care of that.” Which wouldn’t be that helpful a response to the authors of any of the fully half of books now published privately, would it?

      2. Obviously, I didn’t check back soon enough to see your reply!
        Hmm, I’d have to give that some thought. Your blog is so thorough. 🙂

        I ended up indie publishing a paranormal urban fantasy (Tunerville). It got REALLY close; an actual agent requested pages, then a full (oh my heart!) but ultimately passed with a critique. After a massive overhaul, I tried again with others (she didn’t ask for a resubmission so I didn’t bother her again) but got nowhere. Mary Buckham told me at a writing conference that if I got a critique rejection, I am very very close!

        Since the loss of a job in 2016 has left a sizeable gap on my resume and I felt like it was finally the book I wanted it to be, I created a small press and put it on Amazon (yeah, I know, but it was the most affordable option, in that it was free). Now at least people can read it. And it’s going to have two sequels—one is coming out this year, the other I have yet to write.

        I know you’ve had a few posts about this. I’m seeing a lot more authors approach it for books that don’t quite fit the delicate sensiblities of Millicent and her boss but are still very readable and even good. Maybe something about self-pubbing?

        I’m still following your advice about HARD COPY, READ OUT LOUD so I’m not just slapping up a first draft. Tunerville went through fifteen edits, two of them professional, before it ever saw the light of day, and reviews have been favorable (I have no marketing budget at ALL so I make book trailers and post them on Twitter lol).

        Once I’m done with this trilogy, I have something outlined that I want to try again for traditional publishing with. That dream has not died. 🙂

        1. It’s quite true that a rejection accompanied by critique is considered quite a compliment in the modern agency! Taking the time to give feedback is indeed rare — it means that they view you as close to being ready to break into publishing!

          Seriously, congratulations; it bodes well for your next book. I have a sneaking suspicion that the dream runs too strong in you to be in much danger of expiring.

          And, indeed, you are now published — good for you. One of my brothers swears by the self-publishing route, most recently in medical texts, no less. He would be delighted to see me write more about it here. (I’d ask him to do a guest post, but I’m afraid that the language he uses in speaking about a certain Seattle-based platform is not exactly appropriate if children are in the room.)

  1. Anne, dear,

    I came across your blog randomly when researching the phrase, “Likewise, I’m sure.” I’m completely enchanted and looking forward to reading more of your Parker-esque incisive wit.

    I hope you regard this as a compliment, and that you are well-recovered from that accident.


    1. Lena! That may well be my favorite compliment of all time!

      I’m an immense Dorothy Parker fan — I think that she is tremendously underrated as a short story writer. And few things snap me out of a sour mood faster than reading one of her theatre reviews. Completely ruined Ibsen for me, but completely worth it!

  2. Hi Anne

    I found your site whilst looking for help with correctly formatting my manuscript and just wanted to a thank you for all your efforts. It’s gonna take me a while to get through all your blogs, but I’m finding immersing myself in your worldview helps the writer in me. I’m returning to amateur writing after many years of coding so my worldview of late has mostly been negotiating various levels of technical documents. Writing is amazingly not dissimilar. Rules to follow, essential research to get a grounding, practice, try again, fail, despair, finally start getting somewhere, research more, etc.

    I have to say I am also a massive Philip K Dick fan, ever since seeing the original release of Bladerunner and, as a result, going out and buying Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep. He has always struck me as a deeply human writer, devoid of any delusion of grandeur. I could bore you with several examples of how very small moments in his books have deeply transform my beliefs but I will refrain for brevity.

    Anyways, cheers. And keep blogging. Or should I say, get back to it. I already find myself missing your words of wisdom as I trawl through your back catalogue of blogs.

    All the best.

    1. Thank you so much< Mark. I'm fascinated to hear that our fields employ similar skills. I find your rules excellent! Thank you, too, for your kind words about Philip -- he would have loved your assessment. I particularly miss him around this time of year, "my birthday and the other holidays," as he put it.

  3. Hi Anne!

    Your site is truly a godsend. I have been poring over it for the last several hours. I am very passionate about writing, but the idea of being published has always seemed like a fantasy to me. Reading your blog has convinced me that it is, in fact, possible! Thank you so much for all of the time you have clearly put into it. I have been sorry to hear about your health battles, and I hope you have healed, or, at the very least, are in the process of healing. I am excited to include your site on the list of sites that I will continue to come back to often. Crossing my fingers that you may upload a new post sometime in the near future!

    I would especially love to hear about your thoughts on publishing fiction in the 2020s, now that we are, more or less, well into this decade. Also, if you have seen any changes in the publishing world as a result of COVID, I would be very interested to learn about that.

    Thank you again for your thoughtfulness in all things!

    1. Welcome, Maurgea! I’m so happy to hear that you have been finding the blog useful.

      You have posed excellent questions — they are now on my to-blog list!

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