Category Archives: Archive

Fronting the 10%

Self-published eBook author? Want to convert samples into sales? Consider cutting the “front matter”: the testimonials, genealogy, pronunciation guide, foreword, epigraph and cast of characters: When you get a reader interested enough that they downloaded a sample, or are clicking “look inside” on a web page, you really don’t

Of post-apocalyptic SF romance with pirates, and other sub-sub genres…

Great tip for writers who plan to self-publish their books on Amazon Kindle (and similar).  ‘Writing to market’ used to mean writing  ‘teenage vampire stockbroker‘ erotica for publishers looking to meet the latest craze. For indie authors, ‘writing to market’ means: I’m going to look at the sub-sub genres, check the potential sales

[Talking point] Is short science fiction in crisis? A market review

Earlier this year I read short stories nominated for this year’s and the 2014 Hugo Awards, and some that missed out due to the Puppy kerfuffle. And I wondered: Were they the best that science fiction had to offer? And, if so, is short fiction – often seen as the core of

The trouble with hard SF…

Traditional publishers don’t like hard SF, says an author with a creative writing MFA: Which raises a question.  As writers decry the decline of hard SF, you’ve got to wonder how many traditional publishers think like her – that The Martian had no market? How many reject hard SF because they think

How to get a literary agent

Amy Suiter-Clarke was on my MFA course and has just secured a literary agent for her novel. She’s blogged here about how she secured her agent – without a cold query. I participated in three Twitter pitching contests and sent out dozens of queries before I

How to make a living as a professional fiction writer

I’ve recently discovered New York Times bestselling author Larry Correia‘s writing class ‘How to make a living as a professional fiction writer’ . The notes were blogged by David Harr over four blogposts, which you can read here, here, here, and here. The best session is definitely

The Book Business (with dinosaur pwrn) 17.09.15

Can you write four good books in a year? SF&F authors Larry Correia and John Scalzi have remarkably similar answers. John Scalzi writes: There are a lot of writers who write fast and well, for whom four books a year of readable, enjoyable prose is not a stretch.

What not to submit to a literary magazine…

Nathaniel Tower, managing editor of Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine, is sick of Alzheimer’s, death endings and masturbation in line one. If these are the only ideas you can come up with, then please stop writing forever. Or try to write a story that combines all of