Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Meet an Authoress’s Success Story: Monica Bustamante Wagner!

August 8, 2012

Welcome to what will hopefully be the first of the Annual Authoress’s Success Story blog tours! Those of us who have owed our publishing successes, at least in part, to the Miss Snark’s First Victim contests and blog have decided to come together and help cross promote each other’s work.  Every day in the first two weeks of August, a different author will be posting an interview of one of our fellow Success Stories, so make sure to tune in to everyone’s blogs.

Yesterday, the lovely Kristi Helvig@KristiHelvig interviewed me on her blog, head on over there and leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of Fighting Gravity!

And now, I’ve got the great pleasure of interviewing Monica Bustamante Wagner, @Monica_BW!

Our lovely Monica has offered a PRIZE, a query critique, to one randomly chosen person who leaves a comment on this post. So what do you have to say?

But first, let’s learn a little bit about our guest. Who is she? Well, here’s what she’s got to say:

I’m a YA fiction writer! I was born in Peru and was raised in Chile. With my sister in Australia and my father living in Ethiopia, I’ve had no choice but to be a bilingual world traveler.  And I love it!  I travel around the globe with my husband and three kids, learning about different cultures and countries.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s degree in HR, I settled with my husband in a very small town in Chile, near the Pacific Ocean.

How did participating with MSFV blog get you where you are now?

I was the first Baker’s Dozen’s success story—back in 2010. And even though I’m with another agent now, Authoress and her blog have always inspired me. I’m so grateful and I’m sure that if it weren’t for Authoress, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

You clearly love Young Adult fiction, what subgenre(s) do you read most?

The YA books I love the most are the ones with a nice blend between literary and commercial, like the Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. But that’s if you really ask me to narrow down the types of YA/MG books I love to read—because as long as it’s kidlit and well written, I will probably like it! :)

What subgenres have you written in so far/do you plan to write in?

The manuscript that my agent, Lauren Macleod, signed me with is a YA fantasy. I have also written a YA paranormal thriller. And now I’m looking at the possibility of writing upper MG, too. It’s exciting!

Since landing your agent and starting this whole crazy process, what have you learned that you would pass on to aspiring writers?

I think I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. When I started writing, I thought it would be easier. But then, after a couple of years, I realized that writing is like a profession. Doctors take years studying to be able to work. Lawyers and architects take years, too. So why on earth did I expect my writing would be good enough the year I started? I think that for the writing skills to flow naturally on the paper, it takes time and a lot of dedication. And I wish I would have known that when I started!

I know you’re still in the early stages, but can you give us a sneak peek at what you’re working on, or what we might see from you in the future?

Sure! I’m working on a prehistorical YA manuscript now, set in the Andes Mountains, and it’s a story about revenge and acceptance. It’s going slow, I can tell you that, haha!

Thanks so much, Leah, for having me here, on your blog today!! <3

Thanks, Monica!

Don’t miss it, tomorrow on her blog, Monica is interviewing Emily Kokie, @emkokie!

And the rest of the tour:

Twitter Posting Date
David Kazzie @davidkazzie 1-Aug
Leigh Talbert Moore @leightmoore 2-Aug
J.Anderson Coats @jandersoncoats 3-Aug
J.M. Frey @scifrey 4-Aug
Elissa Cruz @elissacruz 5-Aug
Amanda Sun @Amanda_Sun 6-Aug
Kristi Helvig @KristiHelvig 7-Aug
Leah Petersen @Leahpetersen 8-Aug
Monica Bustamante Wagner @Monica_BW 9-Aug
Emily Kokie @emkokie 10-Aug
Monica Goulet @MonicaGoulet 11-Aug
Peter Salomon @petersalomon 12-Aug
Sarah Brand @sarahbbrand 13-Aug
Angela Ackerman @angelaackerman & @writerthesaurus 14-Aug
Tara Dairman @TaraDairman 15-Aug

Authoress’s Success Story Blog Tour

July 26, 2012

Plagiarized, with permission, from J.M. Frey @scifrey, who put so much work into setting this up for us. Thank you!

Guess what? We’re just about to begin what will hopefully be the first of the Annual Authoress’s Success Story blog tours!

Authoress Anonymous has built a strong and supportive community on her blog Miss Snark’s First Victim: a community of writers, critiques, hopefuls, agents, editors, and readers. There, writers can participate in contests designed to help them practice giving and receiving critiques, polish their hooks, spiffy up query letters, and gain exposure to literary agents… and, in the case of some writers, get offered representation or publishing deals!

Over twenty professional authors now owe some part of their successes to Authoress, the incredibly generous people who participate in her contests, and her blog. Those of us who have owed our publishing successes to MSFV have decided to come together to celebrate both MSFV, Authoress, and to help cross promote each other’s work.

Every day in the first two weeks of August, a different author will be posting an interview of one of our fellow Success Stories. There might even be some giveaways, so don’t miss a single blog post! Make sure to tune in to everyone’s blogs from August 1st to the 15th, and to follow the hash tag #MSFVSuccessStory this month for more details, tidbits, and info. See you there!

  Twitter Posting Date
David Kazzie @davidkazzie 1-Aug
Leigh Talbert Moore @leightmoore 2-Aug
J.Anderson Coats @jandersoncoats 3-Aug
J.M. Frey @scifrey 4-Aug
Elissa Cruz @elissacruz 5-Aug
Amanda Sun @Amanda_Sun 6-Aug
Kristi Helvig @KristiHelvig 7-Aug
Leah Petersen @Leahpetersen 8-Aug
Monica Bustamante Wagner @Monica_BW 9-Aug
Emily Kokie @emkokie 10-Aug
Monica Goulet @MonicaGoulet 11-Aug
Peter Salomon @petersalomon 12-Aug
Sarah Brand @sarahbbrand 13-Aug
Angela Ackerman @angelaackerman & @writerthesaurus 14-Aug
Tara Dairman @TaraDairman 15-Aug

#Sffwrtcht Was Fun!

July 5, 2012

Well, I was nervous, and then I suppose I coped with that by forgetting all about the chat until the moderator emailed me a reminder that afternoon. Yikes! But it worked out anyway. I had a great time with the live Twitter interview. There were a lot of great participants and some hard questions.

The transcript is here: SFFWRTCHT transcript – Leah Petersen

Check it out!

It’s My Turn!

June 25, 2012

 

I’ll be the interviewee on the popular #sffwrtcht this Wednesday at 9:00 PM EST.

That’s right, folks, it’s ME! No kidding. I know, me too. I’m really nervous too.

You going to be there to support me?

Does It Matter WHY They Buy Your Book?

May 23, 2012

The whole latest-writer-wearing-an-asshat-having-a-mental-breakdown-on-the-internet has been covered ad nauseum by better people than me, so I’m not going there. (Chuck Wendig’s was the first I found, and his posts are always worth the read.) But it’s had me pondering an important writerly-phiolsophical point:

Does it matter why they buy your book?

To quote Marc Aplin@FantasyFaction: But personally, if I ever publish a book, I’d like people to buy it because they’ve heard good things about it or like the premise, not because they want to know the answer to the question on everyone’s mind last night: “Can this egotistical dick really write?”

That alone is a very good point, and you can’t argue that an entertaining, psychotic, uber-egotistical trainwreck will get you some publicity and sell some books, if nothing else, for the rubbernecking factor. But that’s not the point of this post.

See, the guy in question already had a number of sales before this meltdown. And as he points out every other sentence, he has 92k Twitter followers. Clearly more than a few people who haven’t been accosted by him personally have been convinced to follow him and buy his books.

Now, I’ve only read the first few paragraphs (that was enough) of a couple of the samples of his books, so I’m no expert on his writing or the quality (or lack) thereof. But others have weighed in on it, and as it gets more attention, still more are adding their opinions, so I think it’s safe to say he’s no Shakespeare.

In other words, I’m going to posit that his “success” (his claim, not mine) is driven by marketing rather than word of mouth based on the quality of his books, that people aren’t recommending this to their friends in droves, and that he’s not being discovered by someone with a wide audience to sell his books to.

Now I don’t think anyone can argue that, ultimately, no book is going to gain lasting traction if it isn’t good quality in more areas than not, and entertaining to a broad audience. There are only so many new customers for a genre novel you can convince to buy your book before you fade into obscurity. Can this be overcome by churning out countless sub-par books? Maybe. I don’t doubt there are mediocre to bad writers out there who are making a living off their books for now. Why not? People buy snuggies. Sometimes consumer behavior defies logic.

So is that a good enough reason? The author in question seems pretty secure in his “success.” So let’s theorize that he’s satisfied with this. It’s about the money, right?

Is it?

Does it matter WHY someone buys his book? Surely, if it were only about the money, an author wouldn’t get his panties in a twist about a one star review when others continue to buy the book. You can’t please every customer, right? So if a negative review doesn’t impact sales, assuming sales is the primary goal, then it’s of no matter.

Except authors of this ilk continue to act like it matters very much. One might be tempted to say that most if not all authors still view their work as more than a product, as something that reflects THEM and their worth. Thus they so passionately (and sometimes hysterically) defend the quality of their work; either publicly, as in this case, or, one would hope, in private to a few trusted friends and then back that up by striving to learn more and make the next one better.

Are there really authors for whom the bottom line is the same as for a car salesman or an accountant? It’s possible. I doubt it. So is the meaning of “I have 92k Twitter followers and (x)bazillion sales” really what it says on its face, or is it just a last straw argument masking the insecurity authors usually struggle with?

Personally, I’d rather sit over here watching books I’d published as “anonymous” get love from people I’ve never met and who have no idea who I am than to sell zillions of books based on everything BUT the quality of my novel.

Does it matter why the books sell?

It does to me.

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