My publisher, in what I hope is just the beginning of an ALL OUT MEDIA BLITZ, just put up a little article of mine on their blog telling people why they, as fantasy fans, would probably dig my work.
No, seriously. Go. Now.
Okay, so for me there always seems to be a balance to be struck between being a human signpost for my work (i.e. super annoying) and being a shirking violet who dare not impose upon others with gauche entreaties to read my pitiful prose (i.e. completely worthless).
This came up at Worldcon, where I had neglected to inform my publisher that I’d be there and I had a signing. This was stupid. I also barely managed to see my editor, which was also stupid (my agent, helpfully enough, made fun of me for not doing so and I was able to hastily remedy the situation).
I’m too used to thinking of myself as invisible – a published author whom few people know about. What I forget is that there is actually something I can do about that. I mean, not a lot – all the self-promotion in the world is only going to net you a couple hundred sales – but something. In any event, I shouldn’t sell myself short. I deserve some attention. I think I am talented. I think people will like my work. And it’s important (and a little cathartic) to actually tell people so from time to time.
And you, too, shouldn’t shirk away from speaking highly about your own work. Do it. Just don’t do it all the time (that’s arrogance) and don’t overdo it (that’s bluster), but tell people all the same. You deserve it.
Oh, right, and BUY MY BOOKS!
We’re getting into SF/F awards season. Nebula and Hugo nominations loom on the horizon, and a bunch of writer friends I know are eligible. Also of note: I am eligible. That’s kind of mindblowing, but it is nevertheless true: I am eligible for nomination for a Hugo or Nebula award for several things I had published last year.
But how to proceed? My writerly friends are putting each other up on lists, trumpeting each other to one another, and so on. I feel as though I ought to do the same (even though, to my shame, I really haven’t read very much of my friends’ work – my perennial resolution is to read more each year and it doesn’t quite happen. I digress, though.). I also feel as though I should be plugging my own work somehow. Not because I feel, deep in my bones, that I deserve an award at the moment (I think my work is very good, mind you, but how does anyone honestly look at their work and say “hot damn! That shit should get a Hugo!”), but because, as a writer who garners relatively little attention from the world at large, I would just like to wave the flag and say “me too! I’m here too!”
So, okay, here’s what I have eligible for the Hugos and Nebulas this year:
Short Story: “Adaptation and Predation” on Escape Pod (December 11th, 2015)
Novelette: “A Revolutionary’s Guide to Practical Conjuration” in Writers of the Future Volume 31 (May, 2015)
Novel: Well, I’ve really got one novel, but it was split into two halves and then put back together. So let’s just call it one book and give you the title of that compilation: The Oldest Trick, Book 1 of The Saga of the Redeemed from Harper Voyager Impulse (August 2015)
Now, given that my novel was released in halves and is, therefore, damnably confusing to explain to people, there’s barely a snowball’s chance in hell it will get nominated for anything. Likewise for my Novelette, which already won an award and should count itself lucky on that score. And then there’s the short story – I’m very proud of it. I think it’s some of my best work. You can read/listen to it for free. Will anybody notice it? Eh, who knows?
The competitive side of me wants an award, I’ll admit it. I keep reminding myself, though, of the collected wisdom of the greats bestowed onto me during my trip to LA for the Writers of the Future Workshop. Eric Flint perhaps said it best (and here I paraphrase):
Winning awards doesn’t mean sales. Sales doesn’t mean winning awards. If I had to pick one, I’d take selling books over winning awards every time.
He’s right. I’ve had an enormously successful year and gotten more attention heaped on my writing than at any prior point, so I should be content. I hope that some of my very deserving friends receive recognition for their work, and hope that I can help them in some small way. As for the rest, I leave it in the hands of capricious fate.
Good luck everyone!