Pub Rants

Pay it Forward

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STATUS: It’s Friday night. 11 p.m. Eastern time. Is Kristin out partying in the fabulous NYC? No, she’s at her hotel room writing her blog…

What song is playing on the iPod right now? I’d really dig some music right now.

The biggest thrill I get is when people accuse me of being Miss Snark. Alas, I’m not nearly so witty and fun.

I just plod along with my little blog.

As I mentioned yesterday, I was at the Backspace Conference today (and I’ll be there tomorrow) but at the banquet dinner, J.A. Konrath won the Bob Kellogg Award (and for those of you who are none bksp members, Bob was an original member who was on the verge of publishing and really gave back to all the members before unexpectedly passing away—and hence an award in his memory). But Konrath won and often people will say something inane when accepting an award but he didn’t.

He said (and this is a loose paraphrase because I didn’t have a recording device or anything) that writers are not in competition for the elusive reader. If a reader is a fan of a certain type of book (in his case thrillers), they’ll pick up his book, a Barry Eisler book, and a Lee Child book (all folks who are in attendance at the conference) so there is no reason not to share information with other writers and there is no reason not to support each other. In fact, we should pay it forward to beginning writers if, as a writer, you’ve already found a measure of success.

Darn Straight I think. And they were words worth repeating so here they are.


18 Responses

  1. Maprilynne said:

    I was actually just discussing this issue with my husband this evening regarding agents. We were talking about Kristin because she freely gives advice where some (few, luckily) agents are like, yeah, sure I’ll share my advice . . .when you sign that check!
    I personally think this advice applies to most if not all areas of life. If you have, share!

  2. Bridget Medora said:

    Thanks for posting his wonderful sentiments, Kristin. Joe and another blogging author you might know of, Holly Lisle, both go out of their way to pay forward as much as they possibly can. I’ve learned not only from their selfless sharing of info and advice, but also from their example.

    Now if only I was as tech-skilled as they are…

  3. Sam said:

    Lovely words of encouragement – J.A. Konrath sounds like a wonderful person.
    And What?? You’re not Miss Snark?

  4. Eileen said:

    JA has a great blog. As a writer with her first book coming out early next year, I’ve found myself going on a near daily basis to pick up some wisdom. I’m glad to hear he’s getting the recognition.

    Also- never write a check to an agent. Proper agents take a percentage of your earnings- but you aren’t writing them checks.

  5. Sherry Thomas said:

    It took me eight years to get that first sale. The publish authors in my local RWA group have never been anything but gracious and encouraging. It counts for a lot.

    Paying it forward for me starts as soon as my web designer, aka my sweet mother-in-law, returns from abroad next month and makes my front page bloggable.

    First item, the query letter that caught Kristin’s attention, for those of you who still haven’t gotten enough of query letters. 🙂

  6. 2readornot said:

    This is a good reminder, one I wish more writers would keep in mind…there’s an agency that’s very respectable — but I know of two authors repped by this agency who are basically feuding with one another…and from what I’ve seen, one is really doing whatever she can to destroy this other man’s career — and although they do write in the same genre, their books and styles are very different. Where’s the love :)?

  7. Gabrielle said:

    Paying it forward is the only way to go. I don’t know what people think they will gain by holding back. Thank God some wonderful people have paid it forward to me. BTW, when you get back to the iPod, try Jon Bon Jovi’s version of “Levon” on an EJ tribute album. Rocks my world.

  8. Sherry Thomas said:

    Thanks, Jana. It’s client testimonials like yours on this blog that led me to tell Kristin, “no need for any further investigation, I’m yours.” 🙂

  9. Liane Gentry Skye said:

    Thanks for this rare reassurance that writing to publish is not as cut-throat an endeavor as our nay-sayers would have we more “gently published” writers believe!

    P.S. What, prey tell is a “snark”? (ducks and runs…)

  10. Atyllah said:

    So true, so very true. So much of what I’ve learned to date about writing has come from those willing and kind enough to share their knowledge, as such, I think it behoves me to share what I have learned and continue to learn with others. Besides, sharing makes this crazy planet a better place 😉

  11. Anonymous said:

    “Paying it forward,” like any act of kindness, is best done without fanfare. Didn’t anybody but me go to Sunday School?

  12. Anonymous said:

    Was JA the writer who advised that people DON’T send a SASE with queries? ‘Cause if the agent wanted to rep you they’d spring for a stamp or a phone call.