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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just published this blog post that I thought might interest you.

As a writer, of course I want people to talk about how I magically got my books published as a teenager. It's good fodder for the media. But I've always longed for people to talk about the book itself, and what's inside.

Which story do you push?
 

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This is how I want to be discussed.

Reader A: "Psst. You should really read this book by Michael Wallace."

Reader B: "Why? Is it good? Terrible? The most pointless thing since bar codes on fruit?"

Reader A: "Read it. You'll see. Now let us never speak of it again."

***two weeks later***

Reader B: "Psst. You should really read this book by Michael Wallace. Don't ask why, just trust me."

Reader C: "Okay."
Reader D: "Will do."

Etc.
 

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I'd be interested to know how much new authors push the fact that they are new authors, or for established authors giving self-publishing a try for the first time, how much they speak to the transition.

For myself, I am tentative to talk about my self as a new author as I have published nonfiction before and don't want to mislead people.
 

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I'll tell you how I don't want to be discussed: I just had a series of awful, mean comments on my blog posted by my ex-husband's now ex-girlfriend. Apparently, she's stalking me. I removed the comments, but now I have to moderate all comments before they're posted. I prefer a more open atmosphere. I've never even met the woman.

Really, people can say whatever they want about my writing (unless they spoil the ending of my suspense novel), but making personal and hurtful statements about me, or anyone, is unacceptable behavior in my opinion.
 

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Just talk about me! Please!  8)

I would like someone to say that I tell good stories.

Then they can gossip about my alter-ego Ms Kitty as long as they do it on my blog. LOL
 

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I read your post.

But do they talk about the characters, the message in the books? The plot and the thrills that come with reading them? No...they talk about how Amanda Hocking and John Locke sold a lot of books.
Wrong, they do. It depends on where you look. Go check Goodreads and other sites where readers congregate. That is primarily what they discuss. The discussion you are hearing isn't mostly reader-oriented, it's author and publisher oriented. Of course those people talk about these things because they want to emulate success.

And John Locke is going to have more people talking about how many books he sold when he wrote a non-fiction book about that very topic.

Amanda Hocking, if anything, hasn't gotten as wrapped up in writer-meta world. I found it fascinating that one of her splurges was a carbonite of Han Solo that she paid $7,000. Hocking sounds like she spends most of her time and energy thinking of her next stories and following the things she is interested in and enjoys (Muppets being one of them). John Locke is much more marketing-oriented. Both are successful because they have the necessary ingredients of success:

Passion, drive and talent.

Most of us have at least one of these traits but if we are ever to achieve the kind of success that these two earned it will be by having all three of these plus a dose of luck, which along the way I'm sure Hocking and Locke had some serendipity too.

My 2 1/2 rusted pennies.

(Updated to remove word "equally" as Hawking and Locke are not equally successful, they are successful in their own ways, some more than the other)
 

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SuzanneTyrpak said:
I'll tell you how I don't want to be discussed: I just had a series of awful, mean comments on my blog posted by my ex-husband's now ex-girlfriend. Apparently, she's stalking me. I removed the comments, but now I have to moderate all comments before they're posted. I prefer a more open atmosphere. I've never even met the woman.
Wow. That is some creepy crazysauce. You have my sympathies. I really hope she just tires herself out soon and moves on.
 
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SuzanneTyrpak said:
I'll tell you how I don't want to be discussed: I just had a series of awful, mean comments on my blog posted by my ex-husband's now ex-girlfriend. Apparently, she's stalking me. I removed the comments, but now I have to moderate all comments before they're posted. I prefer a more open atmosphere. I've never even met the woman.

Really, people can say whatever they want about my writing (unless they spoil the ending of my suspense novel), but making personal and hurtful statements about me, or anyone, is unacceptable behavior in my opinion.
The ex of the ex and all their ex's is a geometric progression not unlike tweeting into the netsphere. I welcome personal and hurtful statements about myself because it makes me more notorious and bolsters the bad boy image which sells more books. I try to keep my good deeds quiet. I'd make a lousy Pharisee.
 

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It's true that it helps to have some kind of a personal "story" to push your books, but I personally would rather see people talk about my books than myself. I've had numerous interviews, and when asked to share personal stuff I always limit it to the minimum. For that same reason, my bio is very brief, and there are things I just will not talk about. When I hit it big, New York Times interviewers will have to live with that.  :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Laura Lond said:
It's true that it helps to have some kind of a personal "story" to push your books, but I personally would rather see people talk about my books than myself. I've had numerous interviews, and when asked to share personal stuff I always limit it to the minimum. For that same reason, my bio is very brief, and there are things I just will not talk about. When I hit it big, New York Times interviewers will have to live with that. :D
I've always longed for people to make predictions as to what will happen in my next book, having arguments over which character will do what. That would be so thrilling to me, especially if I could respond to them. I really love interaction with people who read my books more than anything else.
 

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I am reminded of a line from Pirates of the Carribean. 

Norrington: You are, without a doubt, the worst pirate I have ever heard of.

Jack: Ah, but you have heard of me!

That is to say, I don't really care.  The important thing is that they are discussing me!
 

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I have sort of fallen into the "mom pursuing her dreams of publishing against the odds" category. This is okay with me for two reasons. First, I guess it's true, though I don't really feel that parenting alone is that much a handicap. (I finished a dissertation while parenting an infant alone, and published since, all through the preschooler years.) Second, it has put me into contact with a lot moms out there who need to hear from people in similar situations who are finding their dreams, and there are a lot of women out there who need to know you can still make it. I have heard from several women who say I have helped inspire them. That's worth a lot to me.

In my case, this "buzz" sells zero books, but it does a world of good for me in terms of making me write the next one, and the next one.
 
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