Do you remember the song from Finding Nemo that Dory-the-crazy-blue-fish kept singing?
Just keep swimming,
just keep swimming,
just keep swimming…
Yeah, publicity is a lot like that. You just need to keep at it.
Sometimes you will feel like you are the only fish swimming upstream, while everyone else is swimming down, but you just need to keep swimming. Keep pressing on. Keep putting yourself out there – but make sure you are swimming in the right direction.
I realize that many of you may still be in the stages of looking for a publisher or agent. I want you to stop and remember that everything we do, whether we are thinking about it or not, is publicity. For the good or for the bad. (To keep with my analogy, all us little fishies are constantly swimming, whether we are going in the right direction or not.)
The Internet is a vast place, but with the ability of search, it shrinks right down to small-town-barber-shop size. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY ON THE NET. (And at writers conferences, and to agents and publishers you may talk to. Because if the Internet is barber-shop size, the writing world is even smaller. And agents and publishers do talk to each other.)
I read several agents and publishers blogs and I can’t tell you the number of stories I’ve heard about an agent or publisher being interested in an author until they went on a Google hunt and started discovering some things the author had said.
Put yourself in an agent’s shoes for a moment. Let’s say they get two promising queries. Query A is from Suzy Sweetwater. She always has nice things to say on her blog about the industry, agents, and all things publishing. Query B is from George Grumpypants, who is constantly griping and complaining on his blog. Which person do you think the agent is going to request more information from? Of course it is Suzy Sweetwater because the agent doesn’t want to risk the fact that they might be a subject of one of Mr. Grumpypants’ tirades in the future. Not to mention that any future publishers will probably also check him out and the bad attitude might prevent them from offering a contract, which will keep the agent from getting paid.
Now this doesn’t mean that you have to say nice things about something that just drives you crazy. But the old adage “sometimes it’s better not to say anything at all” will serve you well. And if you just HAVE to say something, make sure that you say it in a respectful, thought-out way, or it just might come back to haunt you.
These principles apply whether you are brand new to the industry, or have just signed your 20th contract.
Lynnette Bonner has a brand new release, High Desert Haven, a Christian historical romance. She would be happy to give away one electronic copy of the book to a commenter on this blog post. The drawing will be held Monday, April 16th. To enter the drawing just leave a comment about one policy you have for being careful on the internet.
Below is the back cover copy from the book.
Is Jason Jordan really who he says he is?
Everything in Nicki’s life depends on the answer.
Nicki Trent is left with a toddler and a rundown ranch when her husband dies in a mysterious riding accident. Determined to bring her ranch back from the brink, Nicki hires handsome Jason Jordan as a manager. But when her neighbor, William, presses for her hand in marriage, the bank calls in a loan she didn’t even know about, and bullets start flying, Nicki questions whether this ranch is worth all the trouble.
To make matters worse, terrible things keep happening to her neighbors. When Jason is blamed, Nicki wonders how well she knows her new hand…and her own heart.
Two yearning hearts. Powerful enemies. Surprising love.
Set in the adventure and danger of the Wild West.