Another tip from the friendly bookseller…

The bookseller I mentioned a few posts back had a couple other things to say….

In addition to “silly” her customers like Zombies. Silly zombies, apparently, are the way to go. As in those Zombie Butt books or whatever they are.

I do have one page of silly zombies in Qwikpick. Maybe I should have had more….


Advice: We like Silly!

I was talking to a bookstore owner about setting up a booksigning for Qwikpick.

“It’s silly,” I offered.

 “We like silly,” she said.

From everything I’ve heard, editors seem to like it, too.

And remember, at some point — when your book gets published — you’re going to be going to bookstores yourself and trying to sell the owners and the customers on your book. “It’s silly” is a better grabber than “it’s really depressing!”

You do have a writing partner, right?

If your solo writing career is stalled out for any reason (such as waiting for query responses) why not grab a partner and try writing a book together.

If you look at me and Jack (Riddleburger) you’ll see that before we teamed up we had:

1 or 2 unpublished, unwanted manuscripts

1 unproduced screenplay

So, we started working together. Throwing our character back and forth. it was a ton of fun.

Eventually we had a pretty good book.

Then Jack was the one who got an agent for it. (The same agent who later sold my first book, Qwikpick). Then after that she sold our joint project.

So, if you followed any of that, the lesson is:

Working alone we had gotten nowhere, together we’ve gotten … well, at least a little farther.

Caveat: a different project I tried with a couple of college buddies has never reached fruition. We were having so much fun creating plot twists that now we’re so twisted up we can’t finish it.

but, really, what have you got to lose? Plus, it’s fun.

Getting started with submissions

At a book signing yesterday,  I met two folks who wanted to know how to get started. I realized that the advice I gave them is different than the advice on this site. Mostly because it was clear they were totally new to the “dark side” of writing, i.e. trying to get someone to read it/publish it/buy it.

So here’s a three-step plan based on the experience of myself and my wife. (We each followed different paths.) I’m going to print a bunch of these out to give away at future booksignings.

1. Go to the bookstore or library and look at books of a similar nature to yours. Write down the names of their publishers.

2. Check out or purchase “Writer’s Market” or one of the more specific volumes, such as “Children’s Writers and Illustrator’s Market.” Go through this book getting information about the publishers you’ve already written down and other publishers AND agents you think would be a good fit. Follow the submission instructions for each one.

3. Go online to and Verla Kay’s site: On Verla Kay, you can look up a particular editor at a publishing house and possibly find out what might please them. On editorial anonymous, you’ll find out what displeases editors.

And I’ll add this tip:

4. Never be in a rush to send something out, because there probably won’t be a rush at the other end to read it. So take an extra day to get someone to edit your cover letter or whatever else you can do to improve your submission.


If you’re looking for The Qwikpick Adventure Society page, click here.

But keep reading this page if you want Sam Riddleburger’s thoughts about writing, reading and trying to get published.