Guilty Writing Pleasures

With RWA Nationals about to roll around, I’ve been thinking a lot about pitches.  My mind keeps going back to M&M 2008 when I helped a close friend with hers that resulted in a request.  Because I had so much fun with that, I’ve agreed to co-present a pitch workshop with my friend Jenna Black in June.  That’s gonna be mad fun.  Poor Jenna won’t know what hit her, especially if I’m the one pretending to do the pitching.  😈

Another thing I like to do is read query letters.  There has been a lot going on around the internet about this thing called #queryfail where editors and agents tweet (the verb form of Twitter) about the queries they’ve received in real time.  Let’s just say I like Nathan Bransford’s stance on that whole issue and leave it as that.  😉  I think I’m good at looking at queries and spotting the problems, but I suck when it comes to writing my own.  That’s why I always run to my buddy Edie Ramer for her keen eye.  Nevertheless, I think a lot of writers would’ve gotten more out of #queryfail if they had someone proof their queries first.

The Romance Diva are raising money to offer one of their valued members a chance to go to Nationals this year.  I want to donate, but I don’t want to stick to the usual free book.  I’d love to donate a query or pitch crit, but for some reason that doesn’t seem like enough.  Not to mention, I’m sure writers can get their friends to do the critiquing for them and won’t pay for one done by me.  Who knows? Perhaps I’ll just take the easy road and donate a copy of Unstable Environment and/or Half Breed

Between helping with pitches and proofing query letters, I’d be in heaven if I could make a career from those two things alone.  Critiquing an entire book is too time consuming for me, which is why I don’t have a crit partner right now.  Query letters and pitches take a few minutes at most and it’s easy to spot what’s working and what’s not.  In fact, I love them so much that I’ve been thinking about having a query/pitch crit day on my blog.  I’ll have to give that some serious thought though because I’m worried there’s a chance I’ll get more posts than I can deal with.

So those are my two guilty pleasures I would love to give back to other writers.  What are yours?  Volunteer at a convention? Review a book?  Help an author with promo?

11 thoughts on “Guilty Writing Pleasures

  1. I actually enjoy editing, and I recently judged contests — three contests in a row, which was a bit too much. I didn’t think they’d all come one after the other!

    I’m through with contests until the GE comes around in fall. I’ve done my bit.

    A query or a pitch crit sounds like a great donation to me. Go for it!

  2. Holy crap! I had completely forgotten about this blog posting today. 😆

    Three contests in a row, Edie? More power to you, girlfriend. That’s why I admire you so. 🙂 You always find time to give back in some way.

    BTW, what’s the GE?

  3. I guess I can say my “talents” are in marketing, so that would probably be my thing. I can make one lean, mean, marketing plan. I’ve also been told I’m great at rallying troops and getting people fired up with a “Yes, we can” spirit. Obama stole that idea from me, you know. 😛

    I can’t wait until your pitch workshop with Jenna. I’m sure it’ll be…interesting. 😉

    Let me know if you do ever have a query/pitch crit day- you know I’ll be here ready to copy/paste what I have. 😀

  4. I’d offer a crash course in knowing what’s legit and what isn’t about publishers. You know the ones. Those pop-up varieties that sound too good to be true because they probably are. I’ve been a victim, so I know first hand what to look for. Example: If they have only a Post Office box for an address, chances are they’re printing books out of their basement. 😉

  5. Tivi, hon, you are the queen of marketing from what I understand. You and I have to talk one of these days. Heck, maybe I’ll trade you one-on-one query/pitch time for your marketing advice. 😉 I’ll take any help I can get.

  6. Kath, I sooooooo know what you mean. Every time you turn around, there’s one scammer after another out there, ready to jerk an innocent author around. I bet there would be a LOT of authors out there too, who would be interested to know the legit ones from the jackasses.

  7. Hey Marcia . . .

    Just realized Ravencom is around the corner. Email me to touch base about getting together . . . how can I help you? Do you need a ride from the airport? Anything? Cocktails? A place to kick back?


    P.S. Use to email me until Friday (I’m adjusting servers).

  8. Caryn, I’m still thinking about it. Second, third, and fourth eyes never hurt when it comes to pitch/query letters. Heaven knows I’m always up for as many eyes as I can get to look over my queries. 😉

  9. I find that readers who bought my book and gave it a read made my day. I’ve been lucky that I’ve picked up new readers through word of mouth and when I get a nice email or someone tells me in person they love my book, I get all mushy inside.

    BTW. An author friend of mine mentioned that they saw an ad of Unstable Environment and it made them want to pick it up…that’s when they discovered I had designed it and was equally pleased. So, we both get kudos. LOL

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