Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What do you want from life?

So, I had this lovely poll to see what you guys found important in regards to book promotion. I talked about my marketing background, and thus I have a few ideas.

Well blogger keeps eating my polls, so while I avoid work on that issue I wanted to show these off:

PIGMENTSbookmarks

They are pretty awesome. These are not cheap-o plain cardstock bookmarks Spot UV, silk laminated printed and of course LOVELY thanks to @JenBrookman over on twitter. Seriously guys I am starting to think she can do ANYTHING.

Anyway there will be all sorts of awesome ways to score yourself one of these in the next few months so stay tuned!

And don’t forget PIGMENTS OF MY IMAGINATION will be out at the end of the month!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

THE WINNER of my first ever BLOG FOLLOWER CONTEST:

Are you holding your breath?

Are you turning red with anticipation?

 

I knew you would be!

The winner is:

JEFritz for her post:

“Skeletons do regret. Drowning was the easy part. The beautiful but ghastly bones of broken boys & false flesh are now Marlow's whole world.”
Ooh, this does sound dark. The only thing that bothers me is the mention of regret when there isn't a specific mention of what Marlow actually regrets--dying? Also, I'd like to hear more about the story and what Marlow is up against. Overall,great writing and voice.

I’m sorry I can’t give you everything you want to know about my book SKELETON LAKE in 140 characters or less, but I can give you this AMAZON gift card!

I got 56 followers on my new blog meaning the gift card should be worth $28 but since that is totally lame, I am going to round up to $30

Feel free to DM me your email address on Twitter to @angelakulig or comment here for the best way for me to contact you!

Come back Monday when we get going on our pre PIGMENTS OF MY IMAGINATION spectacular. There will be way more things given away, really awesome totally unique things, and books.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The pity party is over, but the contest isn’t!

Some of you guys are awesome, but the contrary soul crushing blog posts I have been posting the past few days—they are mostly long forgotten to me. I still get mad about my personal failures but it doesn’t have a grip on me anymore. I’ve moved on.

The end of the month is near! But you still have a couple of days to follow me (and comment) for your chance to win an Amazon gift card.

Details below.

Also, next month I start 30 days of PIGMENTS OF MY IMAGINATION. So see you for that on the 1st. Until then, tell your friends, make them tell their friends. This is only the first of many awesome give a ways!

BLOG FOLLOWER CONTEST:

I am going to give away an Amazon gift card. I will add .50  for each follower up to 200 followers or $100. Contest ends April 30th. To win, you must be a blog follower, and you must comment on at least one blog post. You can receive a new entry for every post you make a comment on, but only one per blog post.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Contrary Ken & The Ultimate Revise & Resubmit Spectacle

I struggled with this, because I was thinking I might just copy and paste parts of the e-mails I received from agents, not revealing their names or agencies of course! So that you could get a clear view, but in an effort to save space and not shoot myself in the foot I’m just going to paraphrase.

Let’s say Agent Bob, who works at one of those holy grails of lit agencies contacts me and says: My writing is good, my story is essentially great, he points of 4 plot points he considers less than perfect. AND he says HE is totally into the idea of this sort of hipster anti-hero/hero. BUT he thinks Barneby Knotts is all his wild adventures and attitude comes off most of the time as being 17-18-19 when if you look up and catch the pitch. He is 15 going on 16. He asks if we can work together on an unagented revision.

Go Google that, and then all the happily ever afters. This is not one of them.

I am about to type in a “Heck yeah Mr.Da MAN” email when honestly less than 45 min after the first email I received another from a different kind of agent.

Lets say Agent Jane Doe, who runs her own small agency DISAGREES with everything Agent Bob says. Say she thinks my hero comes off at maybe 13, and that I should make him younger. Cut 10k words, tells me my writing is not quite there yet BUT does actually agree that most of my story is good. Wishes the anti hero wasn’t such an ass.

Agent Jane Don’t Wanna Know sent me 7 pages of changes. Wants me to revise and resubmit.

Later- another female agent from a medium sized agency correlated a lot of What Agent Jane Doe told me, that agent to this day is still in my top five. I have no idea if gender plays a role in how agents relate to character ages, but I’d have to say yes.

Now, here is where I screwed up. It wasn’t that I sent out too many queries to begin with, and it came back to bite my miserable butt. The original queries were sent months from each other, and I mentioned to all agents I sent material in to that other people were looking.

The problem was, I tried to do both sets of revisions at the same time. Which was nasty. One of them was in first person (it was originally 3rd) they were both +/- 10k from the original. I didn’t sleep for days. It wasn't there ideas that destroyed my book, but it was that I had no idea how to implement some of them—and that maybe some of them shouldn’t have been there to begin with.

Just because something isn’t working in a book doesn’t always mean their idea is the right one.

Is their a moral to this story? Yes, it’s don’t screw up your chances. Good luck with that. Don’t be me when you grow up. I have been saying I wanted to share this story since I started this blog, but still to this day I wish I could take it back, do it over.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mary Mary quite contrary, wont you please represent my book?

Last night over at http://www.writeoncon.com Jessica Sinsheimer did a LIVE QUERY event. It was pretty awesome. I learned a lot, and she powered on for an hour longer than she had too. In my opinion any of you guys would be lucky to have her.

There is no point in spreading false sunshine, she didn’t much care for my query. In fact she didn’t say much about it. She told me to cut the first line, because she said it was confusing. Told me I should write about pirates, because in the bio part of my query it says I used to be one (true story!) Then, she she went back and tried to connect me being a pirate to the rest of my book. I didn’t understand at first, why, but while I was questioning every decision in my life up until that point, a dear friend pointed out the line she told me to cut.

“Skeletons do regret.”

Does it look familiar? It should. Remember that awesome Twitter Pitch Contest I won from Shelley Watters blog with Agent Suzie Townsend? This one:

Skeletons do regret. Drowning was the easy part. The beautiful but ghastly bones of broken boys & false flesh are now Marlow's whole world.

My dear sweet, unqueried friend, that I love so VERY VERY much. Was pointing out, what I spent a year of my life living. No two agents like the same thing—like EVER. You shouldn’t take it personally, because it’s true, but if you are like me you wont be able to not.

Last Year Nathan Bransford (when still an agent- but who cares he is still awesome) wrote on his blog “How to Deal With Contrary Query Advice” here:

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/09/how-to-deal-with-contradictory-query.html

It’s a fantastic starting place, but for what happened for me, this didn’t even scratch the surface.

The first book I ever queried, was a MG urban Fantasy, called Barneby Knotts. Here’s the pitch:

Barneby Knotts is fifteen, going sixteen, and he has the attitude to prove it. He comes from a long line of illustrious heroes and has epic amounts to live up to. In nothing but his hipster jeans and high-tops he will save the world, or something.

All this week, I am going to be talking about the contrary advice I received about Barneby Knotts. I am also going to talk about how I handled it completely wrong, and how that nearly destroyed me as a writer. No joke.

DON’T FORGET about the contest! Tell your friends!!
http://bit.ly/efKguO

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A measured moment.

I measure success, in crushed diet coke cans, and empty stylus’ of ink. I don’t measure success in the form of content as art is subjective. I don’t measure success by word count. Jimmy could write a 350,000 EPIC middle grade disaster. 300,000 words of which are probably the wrong words.

If you are a nobody writer like me, it’s hard to gauge what your level of success is. I’m 27, but I have wrote around thirty books. At some point in my life, that was enough to make me feel good about what I was doing. Damn good at that. Then, I became aware that I had written thirty books that no one had ever heard of.

And then nothing was enough. I could crank out 10,000 of the right words a day and I was still be a failure.

I measure my success, in my ability to do more with the same amount of hours as everyone else. I encourage this behavior, as I step over my pile of used pens. I wrote this whole blog in my head. If you will notice it’s becoming something of a trend. This time I was in the shower, gnawing off my nails because I couldn’t waste the time or energy to find the clippers. I haven’t bit my nails since the seventh grade when I discover I worked best under pressure, but they were slowing down typing, and we couldn’t have that.

I measure my success in half chewed, half moon crescents.

I measure my success. Make sure you know what you are doing is enough for you. Never let other people gauge your success, or tell you that you are less than you are.

This is likely the best advice I have ever given you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I’d stab myself in the back, if my carpel tunnel wasn’t already keeping me up at night.

I am the self sabotaging type. I’ve convinced myself I can’t sleep, and since it’s likely true I wont. I wrote this whole thing in my head, as it lay on my favorite pillow. I turned on my laptop just before I could dream.

I will sleep in the nude tonight, if I sleep at all. Today everything restricts too much, cuts too much, is simply too much. My self made deadlines are upon me, and in a rush my soul lays withered, dead, before the line. It taunts me as I lie awake, insomnia my friend, please piss off. You are the worst sort of acquaintance, you don’t pay rent, you keep hours that no woman should, and you leave ruined words on crumpled bits of paper by my bed at night.

Tonight I read words that were not my own, and normally, as I don’t always do three pieces at once that’s normal. This week it’s borderline barbaric, but I needed sweet, sweet release.

I messaged my critique partner and said “My book sucks.” With a period and everything. The end. {I won’t tell you which book I was talking about.}

Then I grabbed the book I have been meaning to read for a week and dove in. If it had been a contest, I would have found myself being counted off for the splash. I must have read the first paragraph five times before I realized I wasn’t reading my own work, and there weren’t any missing commas.

You try turning of AngelaEditNow mode after a week. It can’t be done. If it could I wouldn’t be writing this blog in the middle of the night.

I wont tell you which book I’m reading but it’s a big to do book with a big to do writer, it had a lot of buzz.

The story is great, but AngelaEditNow finds all sorts of things she wants to change. Repetitive use of the word: Knives. The same mediocre descriptive phrase only a few pages a part to describe completely different events. Sentences that ruin the poetic feel of the words.

It’s not perfect, I realize on page 127, and I think I should have picked up on that before. Maybe the standards I set for myself, are so out there, even the people who make more money doing what I love-- even the people who are supposed to be ten times better than me-- maybe they aren’t.

Maybe I feel better now.

I am the self sabotaging type. I have convinced myself I can’t sleep, and since it’s not likely true, I will. I wrote this whole thing in my head in the dark, on my favorite pillow. I turned off my laptop just before I could dream.