Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Avoiding Misogyny In Your Query Letter

If you're presenting me with a piece of fiction that you've written, I expect that there will be a certain level of intentionality there. You made it up, after all. All the choices are yours...you made the characters who and how they are for a reason. Right? Please?

For the most part, un-intentioned characters--characters who feel like afterthoughts--are problematic simply because, well I expect that there won't be anything in there that feels like an afterthought. A tight, well-written novel is inherently thought-out.

But then there are times where character feels a bit random and flat, and the problem is bigger, at least for me. This character is the woman who sort of inexplicably loves some guy...a deadbeat or even a former abuser, who also tends to be the main character. And she just makes me go...What? Seriously? Why is this girl such a moron?

Same goes for a main character who just can't BEAT the women off of him. Really? Can't you get across his badassness in a more original, non-80s way?

This is not to say that this isn't something that happens. All the time. Women (and Men) love people who aren't good for them. Men (and women) are irresistible. But if you're putting these things into a novel, they better serve a purpose and feel intentional. Because otherwise I'm just going to think you're some creep misogynist. And no one wants that.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Is an Agent Worth It? Doing the Math

Full Disclosure: There will be no math in this post, or on this blog, ever, if I can help it (except for that one P&L post).

It's the holy grail, right? You bypass that ol' agent game and go straight to the source! Simon! Or Random! Or Harper...ahem.

Makin' Facebook Fancy

DO YOU KNOW how hard it is to integrate custom code into a Facebook page? VERY. Particularly if you're sort of making up/Googling the code as you go along. Which, most of the time, I am/do. But pretty well, I must say.

Working to customize Facebook is like that rule with chefs: you know that they're leaving at least one ingredient out if they agree to tell you a recipe--the most important one, usually. Yeah. That's what Facebook's instructions are like for coding on their platform.

But, just to prove that stubbornness and several sleeves of Ritz crackers will get you just about anywhere, behold. My custom Exclusive Excerpt tab for THE MARIA PARADOXhttp://on.fb.me/wKPrOO

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Great Overview of How To Use Twitter...and Have a Job

I hope this sheds light on the fact that, while a lot of tweets from me and mine are organic, many are also posted ahead of time so that the pressure's off me during the busy work day.  I'm not slacking. I'm maximizing.

Which means you can't use "no time" as an excuse not to self-promote anymore. :)


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Viva Maria Contest!

You've probably noticed that I've been feeling very sassy and Latina lately here on ze blog. That'e because our authors, Carmen Vazquez and Rosa Gil, have a new ebook out: THE MARIA PARADOX (confetti!)

We had such a great time with this other contest that I thought I'd repeat for our friend Maria. But the stakes are going to be much, much higher.

The prize: Query critique, first 30 page critique, and a 20 minute Skype call. 
Tha's right.

Here's how to get it: 
Keep track of where you post/tweet/blog about the book--please help these authors promote their Facebook and Twitter pages. 

There will be THREE WINNERS. How do you win? Well, you do the best job. That means posting/reposting the most amount of times, and in the largest variety of ways or places. Maybe reaching out to friends' blogs to reblog your blog post or...I dunno. Up to you. :) I've pasted a Press Release at the bottom of this post that you can copy and paste/send to friends for blog posts.

To Enter:
  1. Do your posting. Remember, you have SEVEN days. Pace yourself.
  2. Send an email with ONLY the following in the subject line: Ebook Celebration to assistant[AT]bookhaven[DOT]com No punctuation, no project title, no nothing except those two words with that exact capitalization. 
  3. Paste your links to the places you've posted these links and/or where you've had others reblog, repost, or retweet.
The contest will be open for one full week, from tomorrow, February 2 - February 9.
Any posts/reposts will be counted between those days. But remember, variety and number of people reached is more important than volume! Retweeting yourself seven times won't get you a win.

Sound hard? Well, it's a competition! :)

I'll look over the entries, decide on the winners, and get back in touch about sending your materials and scheduling your call by March 31.

Thanks in advance for your help!!

*****PRESS RELEASE FOR BLOG POSTS (feel free to copy)*****

THE MARIA PARADOX, written by Drs. Rosa Gil and Carmen Vazquez, is a unique self-help guide for Hispanic women and the men who love them.

The authors challenge the machismo-reinforcing idea of “marianismo,” a centuries-old belief system that in effect tells Latinas: "Don't forget a woman's subservient place; never put your own needs first; sex is for making babies.”

Filled with self-help exercises, this clearly written manual offers practical advice on how to build support networks, overcome passivity, forge career paths, change or get out of abusive relationships and increase sexual fulfillment.

Filled with real-life success stories and wise, compassionate advice, THE MARIA PARADOX details how Latinas can enjoy the best of both worlds.

The book can be purchased from all major online retailers. The authors can also be found on Twitter and on Facebook