What is up with bit writers proclaiming themselves to be more successful than they actually are?

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Oldmanofthemountain, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    The Datlow anthologies sell well, so that's a good thing, but being in one isn't going to guarantee broad name recognition or any novel sales, in my view. I've read plenty of anthologies and I can't remember many of the authors in them even when I liked all the stories. He's had two Nebula nominations and one Hugo nomination. All for short stories. Even though these are good things to have in the SF/F community, I don't think having any of these things for short stories is going to translate into success in selling novels. I just don't see the correlation there. I don't think a short story career necessarily translates into name recognition and novel sales. I'm not sure most novelists can afford to quit their day jobs, and people selling in the short fiction markets probably have less name recognition than that.
     
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  2. Oldmanofthemountain

    Oldmanofthemountain Member

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    My apologies. I just don’t know how the writing world works. I appreciate you informing on such details.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    No worries. It's an interesting discussion. In SF/F, at least, I think name recognition generally follows successful novels. You might be known within SF/F circles for publishing well-regarded short stories, but to the general SF/F reader who might be surfing Amazon for a novel to read you're probably still an unknown. I've actually heard of Shunn, probably because I read a lot in the short story realm, but I've never purchased a book by him.
     
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  4. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Repeat winner here! Can I have some money?
     
  5. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think @Seven Crowns is at the front of the line for the payouts :)
     
  6. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Contributor Contributor

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    I disdain anyone who participates for such base motives as money.

    Me, I do it for the drugs and women.
     
  7. Oldmanofthemountain

    Oldmanofthemountain Member

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    A true man of taste and class
     
  8. Cephus

    Cephus Contributor Contributor

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    Because it sells copies and attracts attention. You'll find people scamming the system all the time, just so they can get that "best-seller" label and then they milk it as hard as they can. None of that actually matters. You are only as good as your readers think that you are. You are only as successful as the number of copies you sell. Most of these people are scammers and liars. They're trying to be something that they are not. Really, who the hell cares?
     
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  9. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Got those already.
     
  10. Room with a view

    Room with a view Member

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    There is a rather pretentious writer up here in Scotland who fancies himself all that and even named himself after the singer Madonna. Strikes me more of a try hard than fraud. A lot of people puff up their CV. It's the writers equivalent of a model taking a selfie of her good side.
     
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  11. ruskaya

    ruskaya Active Member

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    "Fake it till you make it" (apparently Silicon Valley favorite motto has conquered the world).
     
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  12. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Contributor Contributor

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    No one here has ever embellished their CV/resumé?
     
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  13. ruskaya

    ruskaya Active Member

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    I am speculating here, but the way I understand it is that while the short story form is gaining more wide recognition in the last 15-20 years, an author still needs a collection of those published into a book to get name recognition. Besides SF/F, in all literature there are a very few short story authors who got recognized at a major level, like Alice Munro, And of all the short story published throughout the decades I only know of a few who became really popular, like Jackson's The Lottery. Do you agree?
     
  14. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Contributor Contributor

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    Oh, for the 1950s, the golden age of short stories again. Mind you, I wasn't there the first time round.

    You'd think, in an age of short attention spans, they'd be quite popular. Maybe that only applies to stories of 250 characters or less.
     
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  15. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Slipping away across the universe Contributor

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    I should have put "Olympian" on my resume...as i made it to the Junior Olympics in 8th grade. failed miserably at the national level, but at least i qualified to get there!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  16. hyacinthe

    hyacinthe Active Member

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    I don't think being nominated for a nebula award is as big a deal as people here think it is. Sure, it's nice, an honor to be nominated, the short rib at the banquet was pretty good and all that, but it doesn't have the same effect on your career as *winning.*
     
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  17. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    I've been in a Datlow anthology. She's a tough editor. When she says have your revisions done in a week, she means it. Don't drag your feet.

    It's good cred when submitting pieces. I always list it on submissions. It's prestige for a magazine because they'll get listed in the next anthology (maybe). You might get them into the shout-out section she puts in there. They know there's a chance. I don't know if readers care about it but other publishers sure do.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
  18. ruskaya

    ruskaya Active Member

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    question!

    @Seven Crowns , what is/what makes a "shut-out" exactly? I have a sense of what it is from context, and I saw the word in other places, but I don't know the exact definition for publishing. thanks in advance.
     
  19. hyacinthe

    hyacinthe Active Member

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    Ellen Datlow is a legend, and deservedly so. I would love to work with her but I don't think I write the kind of thing she vibes with.
     
  20. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    Shout-out was what I meant. (Shut-out means to lose miserably. For example, "I played Magnus a game of chess and cried when I was shut-out in twelve moves.") Shout-out means to be recognized favorably. In the front of her Best Horror of the Year anthologies, Datlow has a "Summation of the Year" section. She tells all of the different things she read that she liked. They didn't necessarily make the anthology, or they were in a different format (novels and such), but getting in there is a big deal. She usually posts a big list of those on her website too. So metaphorically, she's shouting out your name. I got in that section once. The trick is to tag along with a good publisher. Then you have to hope she picks up the book and singles out your story from the others. My publisher was very happy and was emailing me thanks. We were both sort of second-place winners. It's not the big win, but it's still a goal.

    I've had an actual printed story in that series too. That was a different year. A different publisher too.

    Both of those stories were critted online. The first one almost nobody read. Too many words, probably. They were just skimming and giving useless boilerplate advice. (Adverbs are bad! Don't use any. herp derp.) Or they just didn't care. They were adding meaningless responses to meet the minimum 250-word crit count. Kind of a waste . . . I ignored them and sent the story in as is. I had one very science-minded guy give me some good feedback on the other story. He said he was thinking about that story all week. His wife would ask him why he was laughing and he'd describe the insanity I had written. Really made my day! I love it when someone gets the joke . . . I think he might have been an engineer because he knew things I didn't about the science details. I used his advice to build on the story. It gave it more authenticity. He was such a good critter. Perfect, really.

    Oh, this was from a different site. I quit there though. They got me angry by always deleting my posts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
  21. ruskaya

    ruskaya Active Member

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    @Seven Crowns - thanks for the explanation! yes, I meant "shout-out" although I had the meaning of "shut-out" wrong all the same.

    Success is built one step at a time, so congrats for having been mentioned and having a story published in the anthology.

    wait, why were they deleting your posts on another site??
     
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  22. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    I said something they didn't like. It was just advice for someone who was writing a story. The mods considered it political, I think. I understand the need for maintaining the board, but the mods were just headhunting, because I was discussing fiction. Outside of my complete support for free speech, I don't make any political statements, ever. I've been here since 2017 and I have yet to even open a political thread on this site (you know the ones that show up in Recent Posts), much less post in them. I want to think of everyone here as a fellow writer. I don't want to dwell on differences.

    But because I believe you should say whatever you want, if you want to post in those threads, more power to you!

    I know I wasn't the only person who left that site. There was a really good writer there who I used to talk to, and he left for the same reasons. He was so good! Just a stunning talent. Complete mastery of language and bizarrely imaginative. He could make multiple pro sales each month. I'm STILL pretty jealous of him . . . haha! He's an editor now for one of the pro magazines. One day I'll do something great too. I'm still trying.
     
  23. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

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    I love not knowing what my friends here think about politics. It's my anti-Facebook.
     
  24. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Amazon does provide a 'look inside' option for most of the books they sell. That's where to go to make up your mind about buying a book or not. Of course it's best if you find it on an actual shelf in a bookstore, and can thumb through the actual book, but barring that, being able to read a few pages lets you know if you're going to be comfortable with that writer's style. I use that to determine whether or not to buy a book, no matter what the cover blurb and author kudos tell me.
     
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  25. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Technically I've won awards for writing, photography, and cinematography but I wouldn't claim any of them as they're mid and low-tier awards and feel they should only count when they're from notable or recognizable competitions with credibility. It's like nobodies splashing their name on products. It's not that they shouldn't, it's that no one cares. The only reason to do it is because people recognize the name as someone with credibility. Otherwise it's just vanity, as most low-tier awards are aimed at in the first place. Warm and fuzzy feels.
     
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