Monday, November 22, 2010

Tips & Tricks - Writing samples on your blog

Two wonderful bleeps recently shared with me that they'd been contacted by publishing professionals who'd read synopses or excerpts of their works on their blogs. (SQUEE for them!!!)

Then I over-read (like over-heard) a comment where an agent lamented that he'd like to read more of a writer's work, but it wasn't readily available on the writer's blog.

Naturally, I got to thinking... I didn't have writing excerpts here until two days ago, so I can't say whether it works for me. But it makes sense. Just because I can write a decent blog post doesn't mean I have the chops for a novel. Or even the bright idea for one.

So maybe this is more of a heads up. And maybe I'm the last person getting the memo...  (Am I?)

I'll keep this post short in the hopes that you might check out one (or all) of my new linkies to the right over there > > >

And while I still have everything crossed that I can possibly cross in the hopes that I'll hear back positive news from Dream Agent soon, I certainly won't turn away any interested parties.

Anybody else contacted through writing samples on their blog? I'm just curious. And I'd love to hear any feedback you might have on my new pages!

Hope your week is filled with things to be thankful for. Til Thursday~ <3

31 comments:

salarsenッ said...

Hee...I haven't told anyone yet, but....yes. I'll tell you the story--hopefully, soon. I'm in the middle of ... yeah. I think this is a great post, LTM!!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I posted something for a short time, but then took it down when I went back to do major rewrites on the book. In all honesty, I doubt anyone read it (whew!). I don't read samples of someone's fiction on a blog (even when it's the post, unless the blogger is using it to prove a point). What if I love it and don't get to read more. ;)

*rushes off to email Sheri to find out what the heck her comment meant*

Jessica Bell said...

I wasn't contacted because of it, but it certainly helped my chances. One of the first things my pub mentioned was that she like my writing samples. SO yeah, good idea to have them! :o)

DEZMOND said...

what's even more interesting is that there is a number of bloggers who got into movies or the movies were made or will be made about them just based on their creative and lovely blogs :)

It's a great idea for every writer to have samples of their work in their side-bars. Carefully chosen samples! I often read boring ones which do not show anything interesting about the writer, so the samples have to be taken from the best part of the book.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

This is interesting, since I've always heard that agents/editors discourage writers from posting their work on-line. Hmm....maybe things are changing?

Pk Hrezo said...

I'm with Susan here. I've always read that posting your work on your site is a no, no because it's published at that point.
This is interesting and I'd love to hear more about it. I've considered it, but hesitant.
I do have a brief synop for each ms posted tho.

Old Kitty said...

Well good luck with this venture!!! You never know!! I say never say never!!!

Thanks for the links to your writing - will check them out over the weekend! Take care
x

Matthew Rush said...

Nope, that's never happened to me, but I do have my query, and some sample writing on my blog, just not excerpts from my novel. Maybe I should?

LTM said...

I've emailed most of you guys, but PK, I didn't put a lot up there--just brief summaries/logline + first five. Basically what I'd send w/a query.

The first chapter is from that Writing Show thing I did. It was already up, and I just linked to it. But it's a WIP--not finished.

I wouldn't suggest putting up your entire MS. I think that is considered self-publishing, although even SP is losing some of its stigma (if it's done well)~

All the best! :o) <3

Clarissa Draper said...

NO, I haven't been but when I got accepted, they told me to take the samples down... great post!

CD

Lola Sharp said...

Hmmm. No, I do not put any of my fiction up on my blog. I always understood that unless the piece you post is very small(as in a paragraph or one page at most), many agents and editors do not like it to be posted.

I will say this, though: so many excerpts I've read that are posted on people's blogs NEED work, and I think are doing them a disservice.
For those that do decide to post some of their work, please make sure it is polished.

I hope you hear back from your Dream Agent SOON!

Happy Thanksgiving, Leigh.
Love,
Lola

Clarissa Draper said...

The reason why they asked me to take my samples down is because it conflicted with the contract. Also, with edits, the excerpts wouldn't be the same anyways. Also, after the manuscript is ready, they will probably let me put up excerpts again from the final draft. If you get accepted from the excerpt, they will probably ask you take it down.
CD

Lydia Kang said...

For me, no, I don't post stuff and don't plan on it. I don't know why, I guess I'm also in the boat of not wanting my stuff there, but I know of some people where it's been a positive thing.

Colene Murphy said...

I always thought that was like an urban legend! I mean, I don't see how it could hurt to put up either way. Might pay off big time! Gosh...might have to work on a synopsis then...

Carolyn Abiad said...

I had an excerpt up for a while, but it was for the WIP. Of course, WIPs change and I had to continually edit the post, so I ended up taking it down.

I guess when I start to query it, I'll put it back up. Like floating a query out to anyone on the www... :)

Candyland said...

Yes~one day I had an email from a well known agent requesting to read more after she loved the sampling on my blog. It think it's a great idea.

Hart Johnson said...

I'm a bit of a skeptic there, but i think that is because as a blog reader, I tend to not read the writing samples. I just am not paying attention enough to let myself sink into a STORY. I like the blog for getting to know the writer as a PERSON.

That said, my blog voice IS what earned me my chance to audition for my cozy, though it was through another writer who provided me with a referral to her agent. She thought i had a perfect voice for Cozy... and it was true--it is a good fit.

You know what I would recommend? If you want to have some writing samples... a teaser chapter or a short story--create a separate page and CALL IT writing samples. I just think it is a different thing than blogging (though I see from a lot of the blog fests that a lot of people disagree)

Patti said...

Like others who have already commented, I thought it was a not a good thing to do, but this post has me thinking.

You definitely need to put your best work out there, so choose wisely.

Vicki Rocho said...

I've heard both sides...the reasons why it's a good idea and the reasons why it's not-such-a-great idea.

If I KNEW there was a chance some publishing-related guru would be visiting, I'd probably have something available....but I still feel pretty invisible/anonymous in that department, so I'm in no rush. LOL

Creepy Query Girl said...

Oh my gosh! I thought that (agents actually reading blogs, looking for excerpts) was an urban legend! Hmn...food for thought.

Tracy said...

So, it's settled. I'm off to polish up my writing samples and get them posted on my blog.

BTW, I read the excerpt for Shadow Falls and I absolutely adore the tone and voice. Good luck with that one!

LTM said...

I'm glad I wasn't the last one in on this party! :D I was able to email most of you, but for Lydia--I think it's a personal thing. As you see, the opinions are very divided.

@Tracy--I know! That's how I felt... And thank you so much! I'm always very receptive to feedback--esp. the positive kind! :D <3

Rayna M. Iyer said...

I am in two minds about this- putting up writing samples is great, but how many people acctually trawl the blogs looking for samples? Maybe a new tab, with some related stories, or something?

DL Hammons said...

The only time I've posted my writing is for blogfests, and even then its from my short stories or shelved works, not my current manuscript. Anyway, I suspect there aren't too many Mystery/Thriller agents cruising the blogs.

Talli Roland said...

I have a short extract from The Hating Game on my blog, but I'm not sure I'd put up something unless I was 100 per cent confident with it. There's been a lot of back and forth over posting stuff - fears of people stealing, etc. I'm not sure someone would steal work; I'm more conscious of putting my best foot forward.

LTM said...

@Rayna--yeah, that was how I felt until I heard from three different people that it'd happened to them-! Then I thought maybe I should get w/it. :D

I did that--added links w/summaries, first 5 pp. Basically what I'd send w/a query~

Thanks! :o) <3

Stephen Tremp said...

I've tried this a few times but have not had anyone contact me. I should put a note in my soon to be Media Kit there are free samples at Kindle and Smashwords of Breakthrough.

Julie Musil said...

I read your sample of "Shadow Falls." Loved it!

I've heard mixed opinions on this subject. Some people say not to do it, but others swear by it. What to do?

I just posted my novel pitch on my web site. For now.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Anne said...

LOL well you know my story. I still haven't heard back though!

Ellen aka Ella said...

Whoah, 555 again...what is going on?!
Stopped by to wish you n' yours a Happy Thanksgiving! xXx

LTM said...

emailed most of you--Stephen, I've heard "Santa" *might* be delivering a Kindle for me for Christmas (squee!!!) in which case, I know what I'll run over and get~ ;p

Thanks, guys! <3