Back in July, I posted an interview with fellow indie author Jay Lemming.  Jay has a terrific ongoing project simply called “Survey: Indie Writers of Literary Fiction.” In his survey, he asks fellow lit fiction authors about one of their novels, and in particular, what great theme they treat in the novel. He also asks how they decided to treat the theme.

As part of the process of submitting the questionnaire, the author can then choose to be interviewed for Jay’s online author roundup. Who wouldn’t want that kind of publicity? And of course, Jay’s interview allows the author to expand on the above mentioned topic while answering questions like Did your perspective on the theme change as you wrote the story? and Did you find yourself less in control of your narrative than you expected? Interesting stuff indeed. (You can find Jay’s interview with me about my novel Jana here.)

This might all sound like arcane shop talk for authors, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, this type of author roundup is a great way to get authors to not only read each other’s work, but also to cross-promote each other. And it’s reader-friendly, too: after all, what better way to get to know something about a book you might want to read than an interview with the author about that particular book?

Best of all, the survey process gets the reader/author thinking about literary fiction the way we did back in our university days: themes like The Individual vs. Society, and The Nature of Reality, which, let’s face it, we don’t often go around thinking about.

Thanks to Jay’s work, I’ve got a whole new list of current authors to read, including Dan Holloway, Rohan Quine, and Rosaline Riley, just to name a few. After emailing back and forth with Jay about our books, and seeing his posts about his own novel, Billy Maddox Takes His Shot, I decided to buy a copy and give it a read. It’s great stuff, and well worth picking up.

These types of cross-promotional efforts are not just worthwhile marketing ventures for indie writers. They also represent a great way to find a new favorite author!

running

Running & Writing: A Classic Combo

Writing and running. It’s one of the oldest and, to my way of thinking, weirdest connections in the world.I’ve been a writer, truly, since 1979. Over these past forty years, I’ve written hundreds of poems and songs, and a handful of publishable short stories. (I’ve...
forget

Writers, Don’t Forget to Write It Down!

It's happened to the best of us, right? You have a great idea, and you really should write it down. After all, you don't want to forget it. But it's well past midnight, and you're in bed. In fact, you're getting sleepy...very sleepy...your eyes are starting to --...

Writing Based on Experience

Recently, I’ve been writing more about writing, giving some explanations about why I write what I write…or, in the case of the three novels I’m currently promoting, why I wrote what I wrote. Brothers’ Hand, which takes place in the fictional town of Carverville, NY,...
deferred

21st Century Etiquette (Or the Lack Thereof)

"There are so many unreliable people now that being reliable in and of itself is a valuable rare trait." - Louis Leung I have always thought that certain bare minimum requirements for etiquette are particularly important in business. For example: "do what you said you...

Radio, Radio

Last month, I had the pleasure of being the guest on a terrific radio show for authors: the Joy on Paper program hosted by PatZi Gil. PatZi was kind enough to invite me on the show to talk not only about my third novel Miles of Files, but also about my company, Sahno...
cringe

Top Ten Words or Phrases That Make You Cringe

So I've been looking at some topics for blogs, and I find all kinds of great ideas.  One of the more amusing ones is posting about personal stuff or pet peeves, so your readers get to know you better. This idea can work, but it can also be a disaster. I've seen...
self-marketers

Authors As Self-Marketers

A couple years back, in an article about self-publishing, I wrote the following: If you’re an author with a traditional publishing contract, you don’t really have to be an entrepreneur as such; the publishing company does the marketing and PR for you, though you have...
catholic school

I Survived Catholic School

This post isn’t meant to be provocative, though I understand my readers who also happen to be good Catholics might see it that way. No, it’s something else altogether.Years ago, it wasn’t unusual to hear someone talking about how the nuns hit their knuckles with...

What If I Don’t Want to Sell?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of giving a talk called Marketing Your Novel that was hosted by the Orlando Public Library. A good twenty people or so were kind enough to show up on a blazing Florida Sunday afternoon to hear me speak. The talk went well: I gave the group...
epic launch

An Epic Launch

Today, the SEO overlords may punish me for posting something overly short. But that's okay. Because I had an epic launch this weekend. "Epic launch" is a phrase I've had in my head for a few weeks now. You see, as the publication date for Whizzers drew closer and...