The Unintelligent Audience: What Publishers Think of You

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[Image: Two people at a book store. They are both looking at an open book.]

Scene: A bookstore. Friends Taylor and Jack are looking through books. 

Taylor: Hey, are you finding anything?

Jack: Yeah, I found the latest book from my favorite author, Miriam Goldspun.

Taylor: That’s great! What’s it about?

Jack: It’s a detective story where a fast-talking gumshoe gets a case from a classy dame and has to follow clues which leads him into a mob shootout with his best girl at stake.

Taylor: Wow, that sounds exciting!

Jack: I hope it’s as good as her last book.

Taylor: What was her last book about?

Jack: It’s a detective story where a fast-talking gumshoe gets a case from a classy dame and has to follow clues which leads him into a mob shootout with his best girl at stake.

Taylor: That sounds exciting, too!

Jack: It wasn’t nearly as good as her first book though. That book was a detective story where a fast-talking gumshoe gets a case from a classy dame and has to follow clues which leads him into a mob shootout with his best girl at stake.

Taylor: Amazing. I can see why you love her writing so much.

Jack: Are you finding anything?

Taylor: Oh yeah, I just got a book from this up-and-coming author, Edith Marriner. It’s about a beautiful girl thrown into unfamiliar circumstances and rescued by a dashingly handsome man with a dark past who has to overcome his fear of love to let her into his life.

Jack: Sounds sweepingly romantic. Is this her first book?

Taylor: Oh no, this is her second. Her first book is about a beautiful girl thrown into unfamiliar circumstances and rescued by a dashingly handsome man with a dark past who has to overcome his fear of love to let her into his life.

Jack: Wow, awesome. That sounds like a good read, too.

Taylor: (Leaning into Jack and whispering,) I was reading on the internet this morning and do you know what I heard?

Jack: What?

Taylor: I read that there are these authors, self-published or something, and they write about different things.

Jack: What, like the different characters in different books have different names?

Taylor: No, like, one book they write will be a mystery, then one book they write will be a romance, then they might write poetry, or a memoir.

Jack: (Terrified.) W-what?

Taylor: Yeah, isn’t that crazy? It’s like they’re writing different books and they’re using the same name.

Jack: But they can’t do that! I need the comfort and safety of knowing that when I pick up an author’s book it’s going to be the exact same thing I’ve already read just with different character names! I want authors boxed into writing styles, genres, settings, time periods. I have to have each of them pigeonhole to the point where if they want to do something different they have to publish under a pen name! How can I trust the world when an author whose book I’ve read can write something not entirely similar to that book?!

Taylor: This is why they’re self-published. No publisher would ever allow this kind of chaos. It’s a good thing publishers are here to ensure that those crazy indie writers don’t come into the scene and confuse their audiences like that. Imagine becoming a fan of a writer and then perhaps not liking their next book because it’s not exactly what you’ve read before? How horrible would that be.

Jack: I mean, I might be tempted to read a genre I’m not familiar with. I might have to expand my interests or learn something new or… Oh god, I can’t even think about it.

Taylor: Let’s go back to looking at the regularly published authors and their books. Hey, did you hear about Cynthia Waterman’s new one? It’s about a small-time lawyer who gets pulled into a big-time case and has to make ethical decisions he never thought he would end up making.

Jack: Oh, I’ve heard of that one,  it’s called Blind Man’s Bluff.

Taylor: No, that was her last one. This is her new book, it’s called Blind Leading Blind.

Jack: But is it as good as Turn A Blind Eye?

What the Fresh Hell is This: Out Now!

12268674_906518476049901_565040618_o[Image: the cover for What the Fresh Hell is This. A blue background with an image of a woman with dark hair sitting at a desk with her head down. She is surrounded by books, with a desk lamp shining on her. Above her are religious symbols and the book’s title.]

That’s right! Scrapbook of Truth is proud to announce its latest release, What the Fresh Hell is This is available for sale. The book has been released in both digital and physical format!

A limited quantity of physical copies will be available for signing at the book launch on December 12th at 7:30pm at the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalist sanctuary. Be sure you don’t miss out on getting your own signed copy of What the Fresh Hell is This!

Read excerpt 1, Girls, R U Dateable? Probably Not

Read excerpt 2, The Cult of Suffering

Listen to the Introduction.

Watch the promotional video.

Watch the Q&A video.

Order either version on Amazon.

Sign up for the mailing list.

Dear future self, Don’t give up

dont-give-up[Image: White background with handwritten black text. Text reads, “Don’t you dare give up.”]

Dear Future Self,

I’m writing you this letter because there’s no doubt in my mind that you will need to read it at some point in the future.

You have decided to become a writer. Well, you always were a writer, you have decided to get paid for the writing you’ve always done. You’re embarking on a journey is that going to be incredibly difficult. The market is oversaturated with content, people don’t read enough for the material that is out there, and the publishing machine is eager to crank out books which will make easy money and not what will inspire and make a difference in the world.

Making it, as in, making enough money to support yourself, is no easy task in this economy and making it as a writer is even more difficult. You know going in that this is going to be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done and the only reason you’re not bowing out and finding something easier to do is because this is who you are and what you do. Writing is your passion, your strength, your humanity, yourself.

No matter how difficult it gets, do not give up. No matter how many rejections stack up, do not give up. No matter how many times you’ve revised one paragraph and an editor is still not happy with it, do not give up. No matter how many people tell you that you have no talent and can’t write, DO NOT GIVE UP.

Because you know writing is not a hobby to you, it’s everything. In this instance there is no option of failure. The only time you are allowed to stop writing is when you’re no longer breathing.

This will be hard. This will be frustrating. This will make you want to cry and scream and vomit, all at the same time. But this is what you want more than anything and always has been.

Don’t let anyone, anything, or any situation stop you from writing. You are a writer. This is your future. Do not give up.

Love,

Your Past Self

What the Fresh Hell is This? An interview with Star LaBranche

Thanks so much for interviewing me, Louise!

L.K. Smith

What the Fresh Hell is This?

An interview with Star LaBranche

I’m joined today by author and radical believer in equality, Star LaBranche. She’s here today to discuss her new book, What the Fresh Hell is This?

What is your book about?WTFHIT

It’s a collection of essays and short fiction with an overarching narrative. I start out writing about my experiences being raised religious, I talk about aspects of my religious upbringing that never made sense to me, then discuss how I realized I was an atheist and embraced my non-belief as a part of who I am. I also write about living in a Christian culture when you’re not Christian and how I rediscovered spirituality without the lens of Christianity. I have excerpts, audio samples, and a promotional video available on my blog.

What inspired you to write about this topic?

I’ve been writing for godSwill for a…

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