Writerly links for Labor Day

I haven’t done one of these in a while, eh? Well, what better time to load you up with links than right before a long weekend. You’ll have lots of time to read, right? Right.

(Don’t worry, there’s actually only 3, and they’re all great.)

1. Nathan Bransford (formerly a literary agent, currently an author and internet expert) contradicts popular online wisdom by saying: YOU ARE NOT A BRAND.

… brand sorcery used to work in the TV era, but not anymore. The Internet doesn’t tolerate a false front. It loves loves loves nothing more than to expose the truth and stomp all over “brands,” as Tiger Woods and Anthony Weiner have discovered all too keenly.

The only, and I mean only way to approach a world of social media is with honesty, transparency, and authenticity. You can’t fake out the Internet for long.

2. Author Lynne Barrett tells you exactly what magazine editors want, and how you can become it. There’s no bit that’s particularly lovely or quote-able — the WHOLE thing is an invaluable rundown of the submissions process. Seriously, everything I learned in 2-3 years of trial and error, she condensed into 4 pages. Read it.

3. I don’t know much about Chuck Wendig, except that his list “25 Things You Should Know About Self-Publishing” is absolutely spot on. Also: brutally honest, and a tad vulgar, but in a funny way.

2. Not Better, Not Worse, Just Different
Publishing your own work is no magic bullet; it guarantees nothing and is not a “better” or “smarter” way to go than the more traditional route. It’s also not a worse path. Each path has its own thorns and rocks, just as each path offers its own staggering vistas and exhilarating hikes.

7. Your Book Is a Boat Which Must Ride Upon Sewage
Those ass-tastic self-published books are your competition. But they’re the competition of any author.

8. Pinocchio Wants To Be A Real Boy, Goddammit
Treat your book like a real book. […] Make it look nice. Sound nice. Read nice. Force the book to command the credibility and respect that others of its ilk are lacking.

Enjoy the wisdom. Also: the long weekend. Anyone have fun plans?

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13 Comments

  1. Great links! I agree with the first one completely. I’ve been thinking of writing a post about ‘I’m not a brand’ for a long time. The thought of being one makes me shudder a little.

  2. Les

    Ah-ah BUT. You can be an authentic “brand” by being you, it’s just a matter of how you market yourself (hopefully correctly). The true meaning of a small business/writer/artist’s brand is to associate a particular style with themselves. You read a paragraph and know who wrote the book. You see a photograph and know who took it, you see a painting and know who the artist is, without anyone telling you.

    I think it’s more that the definition of “brand” has gotten so out of control in the past 10-20 years than anything else. Now brand means big money, big fake hype.

  3. Great links!!!! Have a great weekend. My Dad is coming from the ‘burgh to get a dose of the grandkiddunks. Hoping he’ll fix my deck too. :)

  4. Joelle Wilson

    My list of posts to read just got longer. I agree with T.S.Bazelli – thinking of myself as a brand makes me shudder too. I don’t want to market myself, I want to market my work.Not sure if that’s the right way of looking at it. No major plans for the weekend. Maybe hang out at the pool one last time for the season.

  5. Ooh, so envious! No long weekend for me. Enjoy yours!

  6. I’m amazed at how much your read. Truly. I wish I read half as much, especially on writing.

    I’ve been confused when people talking about themselves as a “brand.” But too embarrassed to ask what they meant, like I should know already.

  7. What a great list of links! Not a long weekend here unfortunately but I will still find time to cruise through them all. Lovely to discover your site. Thanks for sharing these links

  8. I loved that Nathan B article. It made you realize that not “everyone” should be a blogger, vlogger, etc. Work it if it works for you, but be yourself above all.

  9. Jon

    Loved Nathan’s article. So refreshing to read someone who bucks popular wisdom, and is right! Let’s hear it for being authentic.

  10. Les-
    Yes, but there’s a subtle difference between building a brand around yourself, and BEING a brand. And nowadays, people aren’t understanding that as well, or are trying to do the latter instead of the former.

    Joelle-
    I only made it out to the pool like 3 times this summer! :(

    Pseudo-
    If I could be a professional reader, I totally would. (Fortunately reading is a pretty important part of a writer’s job too.)

    Ink Paper Pen-
    Nice to meet you! :) Glad you enjoyed the links.

    Christa-
    Yep. I know I’m not meant to be a vlogger, haha, and I’m always impressed by the people I know who NEVER say, “Oh, I should start a blog.” People who know themselves and aren’t afraid not to be on any particular bandwagon. (Note: I am NOT saying all bloggers are jumping on a bandwagon. Just saying many are… Lol.)

  11. Although I love Nathan’s postin theory, I don’t totally agree with him. I blog is NOT about his personal life, at all, it’s very much about writing and the publishing industry and that IS his brand. He’s branded himself as a writer who is also an expert on social media and publishing. I do agree, however, that it’s important to “keep it real,” to be honest and share portions of your personal life. You do that well, Kristan! I love your header picture, btw.

  12. P.S. Sorry for all the typos. I’m on a bus. I meant to write “his blog.”

  13. Lol I figured it had to be something like that.

    Thanks! I think Nathan’s point, regarding his own “brand,” was that if he were to suddenly switch gears and blog about… science, or kids, or whatever (relating more to his Middle Grade novels) then that would be disingenuous. He doesn’t get deeply personal, but he doesn’t pander to his book’s audience, either.

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