The Blog and the Kindle (a love story?)
By Eddie Generous, Founder/Editor of Unnerving
I’d been quietly roaming around indie horror long before I created Unnerving. Watching people get in and fit in, seeing people succeed and fail (too often flailing angrily on social media, calling out others, claiming trash, claiming discrimination), and I’ve noticed one trait that immediately pops a budding writer into positive graces with publishers.
Enter the blog and the Kindle.
We’ll start with the blog. Now there’s one thing that can kill any author blog, and I know you’re excited about those words you typed out, but keep talk of your work to a minimum. I know, I know, but it’s your blog! Seriously, by and by, your bubble will almost certainly burst and you’ll understand that you’re not quite the Kobe beef you thought you were (you might be someday, but budding writing and whatnot, you are not).
So what do you talk about if not yourself? Well, stick with your genre and keep it simple: go with writing about your favourite books and type up reviews of the mass market books you’ve burned through over the years. That’s an ok start, but also talk about movies and TV, nostalgia is beautiful syrup in hard times, so revisit some childhood jams. People love it. It’s a fine dance, being a blogger trying to get in good with a publisher and dipping into TV and movies, but it’s important. You need the movies and TV for the early clicks, to get you some fans, Google-searching visitors, anyone willing is probably ok. But don’t overdo it. Remember the goal.
Now onto the books. Everyone reads the big sellers and it’s important for your internal pool to gather from many sources, and there’s a reason Stephen King sells a bazillion books, but you become a blogger in a pool of millions by reviewing only the mass market. So, find the good balance between indie and big publishers, stick out where you need to.
You ask almost any indie publisher and one thing we can agree on that more reviews would help (especially against the bot reviewers all over Amazon… you’ve seen that book with one hundred 5-Star reviews that boil down to a horoscope, this book is good, but I won’t say anything particular and ten furious 1-Star reviews from people tricked into buying the thing). Reviewing books should be an easy decision for any new author, you’re reading anyway. Most publishers will gladly send you a digital copy (some might even hate trees and love burning money because it makes them feel like bigshots and send you a paperback).
Now we’re into the reviewers who refuse to read digital books. That’s your choice, but if you really give a shit about doing the industry a favour (a favour you’ll hope returned to you when someone picks up your novel), get a Kindle and tear through eBooks. If you can afford it, buy the paperbacks of the review books you love. If you can’t, nobody will be upset, you’re already doing more than many early writers.
Now a note: If you open your reviews to public submission, you’ll be buried in requests. Be choosy. Quit on stuff that doesn’t do it for you. Write good reviews. Limit bad reviews (or do whatever, but publishers see negative people and they’re as fun to work with digitally as they are in real life, so it’s often easier just to walk away). Feel free to say no, it’s your blog. *Double star points* with a publisher, pop those reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and anywhere else you might see relevant.
Doing reviews probably won’t change the outcome of trying to place a novel, but it might give a publisher reason to explain themselves and any advice focused on the betterment of your work is priceless in those early days. Blogging is doing the industry a favour while helping yourself, so do it.
Do it often, you’ll make friends, you’ll find new authors that kick ass, and you’ll learn the business for when the time comes that a publisher takes on your book.
Check out my review of Hardened Hearts here
Visit Unnerving Magazine here.
Eddie Generous, Biography –
Eddie Generous is the creator, editor, designer, and publisher of Unnerving and Unnerving Magazine. Besides other books he published this year, he also is the editor and publisher of the anthology Hardened Hearts. In early 2018, Hellbound Books is publishing a collection of his novelettes titled Dead is Dead, but Not Always, and also he is teaming up with Mark Allan Gunnells and Renee Miller to release Splish, Slash, Takin’ a Bloodbath, a collection of short stories.
Follow on Twitter: @GenerousEd
Unnerving Magazine Site: http://www.unnervingmagazine.com/
Eddie Generous Site: https://edgenerous.wixsite.com/eddiegenerous
About the Hardened Hearts Anthology
17 stories of difficult love, broken hearts, lost hope, and discarded truths. Love brings pain, vulnerability, and demands of revenge. Hardened Hearts spills the sum of darkness and light concerning the measures of love; including works from Meg Elison, author of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award), Tom Deady, author of Haven (Winner of the Bram Stoker award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel), Gwendolyn Kiste, author of And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe and Pretty Marys All in a Row, and many more.
Hardened Hearts dips from speculative, horror, science fiction, fantasy, into literary and then out of the classifiable and into the waters of unpinned genres, but pure entertainment nonetheless.
The Author Line-up:
Foreword by James Newman
It Breaks My Heart to Watch You Rot by Somer Canon
What is Love? by Calvin Demmer
Heirloom by Theresa Braun
The Recluse by John Boden
40 Ways to Leave Your Monster Lover by Gwendolyn Kiste
Dog Tired by Eddie Generous
The Pink Balloon by Tom Deady
It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To by J.L.Knight
Burning Samantha by Scott Hallam
Consumed by Madhvi Ramani
Class of 2000 by Robert Dean
Learning to Love by Jennifer Williams
Brothers by Leo X.Robertson
Porcelain Skin by Laura Blackwell
The Heart of the Orchard by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi
Meeting the Parents by Sarah L.Johnson
Matchmaker by Meg Elison
And many other fine online retailers.