Fortunately, not a gambling addiction, which left Dostoyevsky destitute more than once until he married Anna.
When I decided to form the Toronto Indie Publishing Meetup group, I was warned (by Meetup) to expect only two or three people to attend the inaugural meeting. I figured that would be okay, so I boldly took Meetup’s suggestion to have a get together within the month, and I booked the first event smack in the middle of summer. So what if our Meetup consisted of just two or three die-hard fans of indie publishing having a beer?
The technophobia, true and angry anti-technology, the complete fear of new things, shocked me at Word on the Street in 2011. As part of my role as Regional Vice-President of the Crime Writers of Canada, I took a turn running our booth, and for fun, I put two e-readers on display so that people could do a side-by-side comparison.
In October of 2011, Hugh Howey noticed something odd when he looked up his sales reports in his Amazon account: a short story he’d uploaded, Wool, had sold twelve copies in the first week of the month. He was pleased and surprised that people would read a short story. By the end of the month, it had sold 1,018 copies. Hugh can be forgiven for thinking this was the pinnacle of his writing career. Who could imagine that it would go on to be a million copy, New York Times bestseller? Wool is now just part of the whole series that he wrote in frantic response to all the positive feedback.
Don’t ever enter the Amazon Break Through Novel Award if you’re prone to anxiety. The contest starts with 10,000 entries in March and whittles them down through a series of cuts to one grand prize winner. The names of the five lucky semi-finalists in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror/Kitchen Sink category were announced today.
I confess that one of the ways I’m a bad marketer is that I’m a lurker. I read the posts on the Goodreads apocalypse lists or Kindle Boards with fascination, but I rarely comment. I always feel like I’ve arrived too late to the conversation and that everything that can be said has been said. Then the thread goes for another two hundred comments. Apparently there was more to talk about.
At the Ad-Astra SFCon, I was surprised to meet a couple of talented authors who didn’t know much about Twitter, let alone about a Facebook fan page. I struggle with social media myself, trying to find the time, put up the right post, and not say something I’ll regret ten years from now. I think of social media as a fertile field sowed with a healthy crop and three or four land mines. I’m always worried about blowing a leg off, but I nurture the field as best I can.
It’s made the viral rounds, been shared on Facebook and Twitter, yet Kevin Spacey’s observations during his keynote address at the Edinburgh Television Festival still fill me with awe. In a nut shell: