Rick Soper
Rick Soper asked Chelsea Cain:

Welcome to Goodreads! I'm a big fan of your books and talk about them often here in various groups. I saw over on Facebook that you said this was the new means by which you'd like to communicate with the public, but had yet to get many messages, so I thought I'd write you one, say I'm looking forward to One Kick, and ask if you had any advice for a lowly little independent author?

Chelsea Cain Thank you, Rick. It looks like you're figuring out the independent author thing pretty well on your own. Your average star rating is higher than mine! I think you should be giving me advice. But here goes: 1) Never have your book jacket printed on bookmarks. It doesn't sell books, and it's bad for the environment. 2) Write what makes you nervous - if the idea of other people reading a scene makes you hunch and cringe, you are doing it right. 3) Write what you want (don't fear the cliche; embrace it, stick your tongue down it's mouth, and make it yours ) 4) Find a writing group of people who make a living writing or are desperate too. No hobbyists. 5) When the group, or your editor or agent, gives you an edit suggestion and your face turns red and you get up and excuse yourself and cry in the bathroom for ten minutes, that means that they are right. Whenever I get an edit that makes me sure that the person offering it is drunk and hates me, it always ends up making the book better. But I never see it until I actually implement it. 6) Outline a chapter by writing the dialogue first. It provides an easy scaffolding. Then add layers. 7) An object accrues significance every time it's mentioned. On a related note, try to use the phrase "objective correlative" as much as possible in casual conversation. It will make you seem writerly. 8) Put characters in danger quickly. If someone's not chloroformed and stuck in a trunk by page 30, I'm tossing the book aside. 9) Don't promote like everyone else does - break the mold. Burn the podium and the folding chairs. Throw events in bars or in swimming pool or from the back of a food truck. If your publisher isn't reaching out to media, do it yourself. If you give them a fresh angle and a good photo op, you'll get coverage. 10) Introduce yourself to everyone you can (you're doing a really good job at that one). 11.) Go to conventions - spend the entire time in the hotel bar drinking with other writers. 12.) Don't be a dick. Mistakes will be made. Don't send angry emails. Send thank you notes, send flowers to bookstores, remember the birthdays of the people who work for/with you. 13.) Never pass a bookstore without going in and signing stock. 14.) Be shameless. Ask everyone you know to promote your book. Be specific. 15.) Use a Uniball Impact 207 as your signing pen. It's got great action, doesn't bleed or smear, and lasts a long time. Get a blue one. Blue ink stands out better, so potential readers see that it's signed when they're leafing through in the bookstore.
That is all I have, my friend. I'll see you at the hotel bar.
~c.
Chelsea Cain
3,154 followers

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