I Write Everything by Hand First. Here’s Why:

            It’s my birthday. We’re talking about me. I don’t write everything everything by hand. These days it’s mostly just the novels I write by hand first. Also some poetry. Not often much you see on the internet, some of which you can see on Patreon. Let’s not forget ye olde daily journal entry. This blog post isn’t saying you should go to the dollar store and get you a super funk cool notebook. I’m saying, everyone enjoys reading about unknown author’s writing regimen.

            It’s the way I was taught in school.
           
That’s right. I’m that old, and my school was that underfunded, I guess. I was born in the 90’s. I wasn’t allowed to approach a computer, much less it’s word processor, until I had the second draft of a report hammered out. That only changed when I hit high school. By that point in time, my father took our family laptop to work, so I preferred to write my reports, once in a notebook in pencil, then once on college rule, three hole punch, paper, in red ink, in cursive. It was a bear, and it was especially challenging because my hand writing is terrible. I remember there being tears on at least one occasion, because I had to rewrite a report, by hand, because my teacher said he couldn’t read it. He was trying to set me up for survival and success once I left high school. I don’t resent him. I was just frustrated. Anyway, I’ve been writing by hand, since I learned to write. Why stop now?

            It’s free plagiarism protection.
           
None of ya’ll can read my hand writing, so you can’t read it over my shoulder when I work in public! Mahaha!!
            …Every now and then one of you surprises me when I post an aesthetic pic from a café, on Insta. Then ya’ll walk up to me like “What happened to the princess once she left the castle?” Like, you were super in to the three sentences you got from translating it from some sort of elvish.

            No one wants to steal a notebook.
            Laptop? Boom. Gone.
            Half used notebook? Can’t give it away, if you tried. It’s right up there with sweaty gym socks… That being said, please don’t steal my notebook just to prove me wrong. I too, am a spiteful creature. Still not cool, George!

            People keep buying me really cool notebooks.
           
All the close homies know I write by hand. So all of them get me journals. Like, I’ve had a problem with “I need to take bullcrap notes, during Stupid Adult Time, where I Have To Learn Things™, and I don’t have a notebook I’m not emotionally attached to…” Like, I would be distraught if I lost one while it was empty, kinda notebooks. They’re also beautiful. Like “Nice journal!” “Thanks, it has pockets!” kinda beautiful, with the gold trim. I’ve remedied this by buying a pot load from the dollar store. Cash me rolling up with a rainbow kitty unicorn notebook, boi!

      The notebooks are treasure.

      “My wealth and treasures? If you want it, you can have it! Search for it! I left it all at that place!”[1] – Gold Rodger, One Piece (2006)

      Like I said, my friends buy me nice notebooks, and I’d be distraught if I lost one. They become even more valuable to me once they’re filled with my literal life’s work. I put them all in a little safe that holds up my dual VCR/DVD player.

      They weigh a ton less than my laptop.

      Even my heftiest notebook weighs less than my laptop.

      Typing it up gives me time to take an unbiased look at it fresh eyes.
     
By the time I finish off a novel, and start transcribing it from paper, to digital madness, I’ve forgotten what I wrote. Now I get to see it as if it’s the first time. I can look at it like a fresh novel from a stranger, and if it’s trash, I can pop it with the .22 behind the gas shed. Usually I don’t, and just make a note the beginning sucks, and I was bored to tears reading it, thus I need to change it.

      By the time I make it back to the end, I forgot how it ends! So if I’m running around my apartment screaming “NO! Zoey and Chloe were meant to be together!” I’m less married to the way I had it, and am willing to change it.

      Pen feel good. Paper go scritch.

      Dude. We gotta be real. There’s a weird tactile pleasure to this too. I also enjoy the ink stains on my hands when I’m finished.

      I can take so many cool aesthetic pictures with my notebooks.

      That one where I have them lined out on a fence, that one where I have them on my stairs in my apartment, those pictures of towering stacks of notebooks. Dope, and bangin’. I enjoy doing that, and you enjoy looking at it with your face. Not to mention, here’s the park over the edge of my book, here’s the café, here’s the library, here’s the ocean. All of it. Ya’ll have seen about every cool zoomed in angle of my laptop I can get.

      I can see my notebook in the sunlight.

      I can write outside and I don’t need an outlet. Nuff said.

      It keeps me from taking myself too seriously.

      In 2016, when I was writing full time, I got heavily into social media. Suddenly, it was like I had the voices of 1,000 strangers in my ear: “Are your characters diverse enough? Are you including people of color? Are your portrayals of people of color offensive? Are you including gay representation? Do your female characters have lives outside of your male characters? You write YA. Are you putting a child in a problematic situation? Do you really want your character to swear that much? Now, not swearing at all is unrealistic.” It was so much pressure.(Even though that vetting is necessary, just after the first draft!)

      When I write in a notebook, I can convince myself no one is going to read it. When I’m ready to pull it out, and make sure my book meets all of those standards, I line it out on ye olde laptop.

      Anyway, here’s the question no one asked answered. I hope you enjoyed the ride anyway. By the way, while we’re on the subject, Clive Barker writes all of his manuscripts out by hand, three times, before typing them out. I really hope there’s a handwritten copy of  Kry Rising somewhere. My father and I are anxious to see it.

      If you’ve enjoyed this blog, and would like to get to know me and my work better, consider subscribing to my Patreon. Thank you! By the way, my birthday is actually the 14th.


[1] Once Piece, Gold Rodger. “Opening Narration.” One Piece Wiki, Wikipedia, 2006, https://onepiece.fandom.com/wiki/Opening_Narration#:~:text=Narrator%3A%20Wealth%2C%20fame%2C%20power,entered%20a%20Great%20Pirate%20Era!

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Yes, Virginia. There is research in Fantasy Writing.

            So I work in History Land, rather than Library Land. Wild shift, but there you have it. Because I’m trying to keep up with the people I work with, I wind up doing a lot of reading. I have a goal to read one non-fiction book a week, because I have perfected the art of skimming text, and retaining important information… It will take me a month or more to read a novel. Shuddup.

            Anyway, my coworker and I got on the subject of historians, and then broadened out to non-fiction writers in general who don’t do proper amounts of research, and fill in the gaps with fiction. They are annoying, and sometimes it’s an honest mistake. When it’s not, and someone bends the timeline to fit their narrative, that’s when it really makes my blood boil.

            If you think your ears were burning, then I was ranting about you at work, because not only did you publish inaccurate information, you had the audacity to target one my friends in a public forum. You opened your mouth, and used your influence in your community to do permanent and irreparable damage to their life, and career(s, who has one job anymore?), because you were jealous they’re a better human being than you ever will be, and probably more talented. But hey, how can we find out if they’re too heartbroken to write? Congratulations, you’ve beat someone who wasn’t competing with you, but trying to work by your side. The only reason I haven’t stooped to your level and called you out by name, is because God reminded me I’m a Christian and revenge belongs to Him. Also, yeah. You need to check over your manuscript for the reprint. That’s not how it went down.

            If you think your ears were burning because you did something awkward at that conference, where we were hanging out: Don’t worry about it, fam. I’m awkward too. I get two drinks in me and start taking selfies with people I just met. By the way, did I ever send that to you? Text me. Honestly, mistakes happen. Sometimes we make assumptions without having all the information, and then we have to change because we found new information. It’s chill, man. Just fix it for the reprint.

            Anyway, the Nice Lady in the room, started giggling and asked “Helen, remind me what you write again?”

            “Young adult fantasy, ma’am.”

            “Ah. And in fantasy, I’m sure there’s not much research, because you’re making up everything, right?”

            And unfortunately, I hit her with the “WeLl AcTuAlLy” and not in that tone, on purpose. I just know how I probably sound. And poor Nice Lady got trapped in a conversation about how I am so fricking frustrated with the intricacies of the Gishlan eco-system.  Like I told her, “I don’t want a palm tree, just growing next to a cottonwood.” which, made her giggle, because of course, she’s nice, and was originally gently suggesting, maybe, just maybe, I should be nicer too. But I went on to explain “I had to make sure the soil would support cotton crops, because otherwise, everyone would have to wear leather.” The ecosystem mimics my homeland, Goshen County, with heavy spoonfuls of Oregon and California. Because a fourteen year old started this series for me, and she wrote a beautiful looking place that felt like home. I had family in all three places. Do you know how not impressive a redwood is to a four year old? Everything is big. What’s a big tree? Did you know we have cotton in the Bible Belt because of an iceberg that predated humanity deposited enough PH in the soil when it melted? The other part of the world where cotton grows easily is India. I had to learn that, so I could give us those nice princess dresses we all love so dearly.

            I had to think about where they got wood to build furniture, where their rock quarries were, what kind of stone they had, I had to think about what kind of food they were able to grow, I had to look at the blue prints of multiple castles, to see how I wanted to build Slipsong Castle, which has housed 19 generations of Amethyst’s family, thus far. I just had to log in to an online database to tell you that. I had to build the Gishlan royals their own family tree, to keep them all straight. There is only so much land will support and I have to have approximate knowledge of these things so I don’t break science.

            I didn’t tell the Nice Lady this because it was some sick own. It was just the truth. Yes, I can make up crap as I go along. But I wanna make up good crap, so I choose to research. I think she was actually interested, and curious, when I explained things like “If you have giant mushroom farmers, you need them to have an economy for mushrooms, an ecosystem that will support the mushrooms, a purpose for growing them, and you need to know how mushrooms work or the mycologists will come after you.” We can’t have the mushie farmers gathering their seeds in the fall. (Mushrooms don’t have seeds. They produce spores. So when you have that urge to kick shrooms in the field, it’s because that’s how they spread, and at one point, the instinct to kick the shroom probably kept some of your ancestors alive… Either that or the mushrooms are farming us for our delicious rotting corpses, and they told you to smack their sex organs to further their agenda. Cool right?!) Buy the t-shirt here.

            So this is me telling you to go ahead and lose yourself in your research. Write what you know, but go forth and know more! The libraries, museums, and archives are here to help you do just that… The mushrooms on the other hand…

            No one wants to see your character chase the bad guy through the house with a broadsword, and then get enlisted in the war, and go into battle with a cutlass. (Because I will die if I don’t over explain, everything, to everyone, all of the time: broadswords and claymores are supposed to be used in open spaces. Like fields. Battle fields. Cutlasses are smaller, and easy to maneuver around a confined space. Like your apartment. Which is why I sleep with one.) Guys, I’m telling you, if you’re a fantasy writer, get yourself a blacksmith. Here! Borrow mine! Lonnie is amazing and has spent hours teaching me about steel grades, knife types, general maintenance, and who else knows. I just absorb. One of these days, I will have him forge me a broadsword so I can practice acting out scenes before I put them on paper. Research! The one I have now, the balance is way off, and the pommel obviously isn’t doing anything.

            Even when I was writing silly fanfiction for the The Road to El Dorado meme group, I took my happy self to the library, and asked for books about the Aztecs… In doing so, I found out I should’ve asked for Mayan! Either way, I wound up learning a lot about the culture, and the people. “You can’t write offensive content about a mermaid, because mermaids don’t exist.”–or so an indigenous woman sang to me on Tik Tok, to the tune of ‘Colors of The Wind’. If you have skin, and a culture, and you choose to write characters with different colored skin, and a different culture than yours, I strongly recommend you listen to people with that skin tone, and culture, talk about their experiences. Maybe even hire a sensitivity reader. There are plenty of content creators on social media, that will voice their frustrations with the entertainment industry, talk about their culture, and their experiences as a human with skin, that mushrooms will eventually eat. I don’t recommend you ask these content creators to work for you for free (you do that, you get what you deserve), but I recommend you actually consume their content and learn from it. Although the fic remains unfinished, I’m pretty fricking proud of what I made.

            So yeah, that’s my advice for this month. Find what interests you, pull on a thread, then threaten your kidnappers with fan theories about ‘El Dorado’ and how it ties in to Mayan mythos. Google the domestication of cats, then have your characters ride large ones through your cotton fields! Write about how Alaska doesn’t really grow vegetables, but people still thrive there. Learn how to darn socks, and can fruit. Teach yourself folk magic, so you can borrow it for your wizards. Read old magazines from the 60’s, so you can get a handle on the fashion. Trap your entomologist friend with the sweet allure of coffee so you can try to understand how he’s trying to cure cancer with fly brains. After all, I was just picking my coworker’s brain about herbal remedies for colds, so I could give plants to my imaginary friends! Just go have some fun doing research! It’s still important, and kinda fun. 

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Writer’s Block isn’t A Writing Problem

            Okay. We’re doing another writer’s block post because it’s happening again! I am full of funny Tik Toks, advertisements, I have energy for editing, I can still make poetry, I’m writing this blog post right now! But the thing of it is, I don’t know where to take the book I’m writing now. Should I just scrap it and start a new one?

            I’m currently writing Book 2 of The Tooth Fairy. Krysathia, her boyfreind, and Marlene all share one brain cell in Yuma. Marlene’s house is haunted. There’s a witch somewhere in there, with a massive garden in the desert. The city can’t pin excessive water usage on her. Marlene gets someone special. All these components, a story does not make.

            The second is a very rough idea. It’s another Gishlan book. There’s a prince. He is the younger brother of the beautiful princess. Where she is dark and beautiful, he is pale and ugly. Where she’s tall and thin, he’s short and fat. Oh, and she’s 3/4 mermaid, while he’s 3/4 human. Genetics! They’re each going to inherit one half of Gishlan. Because no one ever notices him, he goes around playing super hero (vigilante?) until the little dude gets way over his head. I feel like we don’t have enough awkward boys with chub and stutters in literature. I want to make a human human-merman.

            Anyway, I’ve been sitting here like “Huh…” for a few weeks. But you know what? It’s not a writing problem.

            If attacking your writer’s block on the page isn’t working for you, try this advice instead: Fix your day to day life! Figure out how to work smarter at your day job! Eat a whole pie at three in the morning! Wear your favorite dress for absolutely no reason! (Yes, even you people’s who be like “BuT i’M a MaN” Go find your favorite dress!) Go to the movies in furs and diamonds like it’s 1940! Fall in love with a lovely mistake with brown eyes. Bring the brown eyed lovely one of those giant roses from Hobby Lobby! Join an underground art club!… Suddenly leave that underground art club because commitment is terrifying! Get a tattoo to prove you’re not afraid of commitment. Go hiking, and take a bunch of pictures for the Insta of Gram so you can look cool. And ope. Look. A book just fell out of you during your potty break.

            My solution to writer’s block is to start living life out loud. Honestly, I am just busier than a cat on a hot tin roof, and I’m about to make myself late to work trying to finish this blog post, which is also work. ADIOS, MIS AMIGOS!

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The Self Publishing Industry is Not A Bad Thing

            It’s no secret, I have made some deprecating remarks on self-publishing in the past. I don’t try to hide it, I’ve said what I’ve said. The industry has changed a lot since I started out in 2010. It’s incredible to see the rises and the falls of all the trends in how books are published. Self-publishing used to be janky. Like, it was literally some stranger you hardly knew from the internet with a printing press in their basement. Which, hey, if that’s what works for you, more power to ya! I know people who’ve done it! Now, largely Amazon, has turned self-publishing in to an easy to navigate, user friendly, industry, that gives you equal publicity to traditionally published authors right out of the gate. That’s incredible.

            The self-publishing industry has given voice to the voiceless. Women, people of color, members of the LGBT+ community, and those who fall under all three labels have often said it’s harder for them to get published, or as readers find books they actually want to read. Full disclosure, I would totally read a high fantasy novel with non-binary, butch, lesbian, warrior princesses who are not white. You see how edgy that sentence felt? That’s because books like that aren’t mainstream yet. Yes, even in the sphere of fantasy. Now because of self-publishing you can actually find books like that for sale online. Now because of self-publishing, larger presses (I’m talking Harper Collins) are actually looking at books like that. Now books like that are making their ways into libraries and getting in to the hands of people who need them.

            The self-publishing industry is breaking creative boundaries. You know what the self-publishing industry gave us? New adult fiction! Love it or hate it, having a new genre is cool as all heck! If it weren’t for people self-publishing books about college-age kids I wouldn’t have ever thought to say to myself “What if a 26 year old dentist finds out she’s a changeling?” and thus, The Tooth Fairy was born.

            One of the coolest things I’ve watched is tropes come over from fan-fiction, to the self-publishing industry, into the mainstream. Unfortunately most of my examples have to do with sex, and I am not comfortable with having that discussion on this blog.

            The self-publishing industry empowers authors. Self-published authors amaze me. To be perfectly honest with you, ISBNs are a little mysterious to me. Yes, I know they’re the 13 digit name for a book, like a social security number, but you have to buy them? Cancel them? Who da what now?  I don’t know everything (shocker!) and what I don’t know, self-published authors usually seem to out of necessity.

            I gotta be honest, I love talking marketing with them because that’s one of my quirky special interests. Particularly social media! I’ve nearly ruined Christmas by chattering about how Facebook algorithms work. I am resisting making a Parler account. Resist!

            But what’s not empowering about choosing who gets to do your cover art, your editing, your marketing (it could be me), and setting your own prices for books?! You’re in control every step of the way! And when you need or want to pull your books you can. I saw an author publish a book, realize everyone was out of work due to Covid-19, and then drop prices the lowest they could on Amazon! Tell me that’s not empowering!

            You can do well if you choose to do well. Off the top of my head Diary of an Oxygen Theif, The Princess Saves Herself in this One, and Fifty Shades of Grey, are all books that were originally self published but are now a big deal. Googling it now, I just learned Milk and Honey, one of my favorite books of poetry, started out self published! I am so glad artist Joss Hellman told me to go read it.

            Anyway, what I mean by “you can do well if you choose to” is this: If you choose to hire a copy editor, if you choose to invest in good cover art, if you choose to get your friends involved as beta and sensitivity readers, if you choose to learn what you can about marketing, if you choose to put in the work you can go far. I, Helen M. Pugsley, crusher of dreams will not promise you that you will go far. I’m saying you have a much better chance. At the very least, you will produce a quality book. Most likely, you will end up with a tiny, but ultra dedicated fandom.

            All in all, self-publishing as a whole is a good thing. But at the end of the day you have to do what’s right for you and your particular pieces of work. I don’t want to self-publish the Gishlan series. That is not my dream, it never was. I want to traditionally publish that. I would self-publish The Tooth Fairy, because I wrote it as a break from Gishlan, and I don’t feel like watering down some of the more explicit content for the sake of a publisher’s comfort. This is your life. Choose your own path. But, hating on the self-publishing industry is cancelled.

Family Matters

            Okay, this is probably some super niche advice but what else am I here for? Can’t write the same blog posts everyone else is doing! Come let Auntie Helen give you some advice: Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line. Just kidding. That’s not it. Although Princess Bride has never steered me wrong before… The advice is “make your characters a family tree.”

            Speaking as someone who has at least 18 greats aunts and uncles, four grandpas, cousins from Sweetwater County Wyoming, to Goshen County Wyoming, Texas to Australia , family is not an easy thing to keep track of. Your imaginary friends probably don’t have a neat and tidy little family tree either. It has helped me so much to keep track of the Gishlan royal bloodline.

            Starting with War and Chess… Well we know that Princess Amethyst is King Alabaster’s daughter, right? Well who were Amethyst mother’s parents? And their parents before them? More importantly who were King Alabaster’s parents and where did they come from? And those people? And the people before them? Wait! Didn’t Helen casually mention something about writing about Amethyst’s granddaughters? Who did they come from? Who did she marry? Who did her children marry? It is impossible to keep track of it all in your head. Don’t try it.

            I found this nice little website that won’t ask too many questions or try to link you back to census records─ which is great if your friends are real! But in this case they’re not. No one can see your family tree unless you invite them too and they don’t get too upset if you character’s great aunt ran off with the duke of Flim Flam because she couldn’t handle the pressure of being queen. They even have a space with biography notes where you can write that! And if you have art/fanart/concept art there’s a place for that too! This wonderful website I’m pushing so hard is called Family Echo.

            Definitely make yourself a login so you can save your work! I credit this site with giving me fodder for the next Gishlan books! There’s about 15 generations between Princess Amethyst and the first queen of Gishlan. That’s a whole lot of people to write about. Currently, in my head, Amethyst’s great granddaughter has two kids. So. Many. People.

            Having a mapped out family tree is especially important to me because the way dates work in Gishlan is by season/day/dynasty as compared to month/day/year. So for example War and Chess would have taken place on a day like Spring, 15th day, Alabaster. I toyed with a book for a while that was all a servant girl’s diary. Dates where especially important then. I can’t have characters walking into an abandoned house to find a rumpled up old diary if I can’t figure out who should’ve been the ruling power at the time. I’m telling you, map out your character’s family tree.

            Even if you’re writing that one weird orphan who becomes the chosen one. No one comes out of thin air. Someone had to raise them too. You can either pay homage to their parents or show respect to their biological parents by including them. Even if you don’t use the information in the book it’s something you know about them. Genetics are a powerful thing. I’m pretty sure I have personality traits similar to my great great grandfather.

            And really, reading V.C. Andrews’ [the real V.C. Andrews] Flowers in the Attic series I had to stop and make myself a family tree just so I could keep them all straight. I mean, that one’s gross but it was relevant to what I was doing. If you want to incorporate inbreeding in your fictional story you’re going to need a family tree. (I will only judge you silently.) Your readers might appreciate one too. Even if you want to bring on the main character’s distant cousin of their aunt’s uncle (I’ve got family like that) you need to have it plotted out in your head where they fit. Don’t expect yourself to just carry that around in your brain.

            Making a family tree will help you get to know your main character a lot better, and who knows! Something more may come out of it! Like an entire series of books following the family around! *COUGH* Let it flow, let it fly, Family Echo is my go-to.

As always, if there’s something I haven’t covered that you’d like me to leave me a note! Don’t forget to hit subscribe! Comment and say hi! Don’t be a stranger!

How To Donate Your Book to a Library

            Having worked for James Bond’s library I have up close and personal experience with the subject. But every library is different so I turned to the Library Think Tank – #ALATT on Facebook. One of the biggest groups of librarians online. I asked them what’s their process for accepting donations from indie authors. (You’re not James Patterson. I promise.)

            The short answer: Don’t.

            If you’re afraid to have your feelings hurt you can stop reading right here. Otherwise, I’m going to hurt your feelings.

  • Build a connection with your library.

The library you visited on vacation and casually decided to gift them a copy of your book is more likely to put it in the book sale rather than on the shelves. Your local library, where people know you, and actually like you are more likely to support you. People in your hometown want to read your book but some folks just don’t have the cash to get their own copy. Your local librarians understand this. If they think there’s patrons that want to read your book they will be twice as likely to actually put it in the connection.

DO NOT just buy a copy of your own book from Amazon and ship it to the library without a note. It’s a sure fire way to make a librarian go “What’s this? Hmm. Weird.” Then toss it in the cart that runs over to the book sale without a second thought. I’ve seen that happen more than once.

  • Get reviews.

Yes. Even if you and the librarian have matching friendship bracelets you need to get reviews. Preferably from people who don’t like you. Or just don’t know you! Embracing the stranger danger is probably best in this case!

Why? Because librarians have a lot to do and don’t feel like reading your book in their personal time. (I told you I’d hurt your feelings.) Personal time is when you can read Chuck Tingle if you want to! Or fan fiction! They want to read the reviews at work and see if it’s a good fit for the library’s collection. Also, the librarian you’re friends with might not be the librarian in charge of acquisitions.  The folks in cataloging get the final say. That’s their entire job. And if they can’t quickly discern if your book fits the collection they’re going to set it aside with every intention of cataloging it later. Later could very well mean never.

  • You gave a gift. Don’t pester them.

You remember that time your aunt gave you that weird bowl with cats painted all over it, and she got mad you didn’t fill it with Orange Fluff and bring it to Christmas? But you still had it. It was just in your house holding out of season fruits you paid too much money for? And then because she made a big deal out of it you started resenting it and now it sits in your cupboard holding other bowls? Yeah. That’s what happens if you call them up twice a week and ask if your book is on the shelf yet. That’s the trickiest part of gifts. When you give someone a gift they’re under no obligation to use it. Hopefully they like it. Don’t be your mean aunt.

  • Build a quality book.

First, turn to page 101 in War and Chess. Now click this link. This is why I don’t deserve a PS5. Out of all the book signings I’ve had, and all the places I’ve been to, there are five places in the world that have my book. All of them are in Wyoming.

Get yourself a good copy editor, an ISBN, and there are a lot of libraries that absolutely require your book be translated in English. America has no official language but English seems to be the most common tongue. If your book has type-os, ugly cover art that doesn’t match the story, disturbing imagery for the target audience─ There was one librarian who told me a story about reading a book about the tooth fairy to her story time kids. It was written by a local author. But what made it memorable was the tooth fairy ripping off her face in the end. That story time group is in middle school now but they still pop in and complain about their shared trauma.─ all of these little things will prevent your book from entering a public library’s collection.

            Last of all, you need to understand that your book might not make it in. Every library is different. Some libraries have an acquisitions board! Some libraries are prepared for you and have instructions on their websites! But you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. The real trick to getting your book in a library is putting in the time and work, and making a good book. There’s more to books than plot. If you do make it in understand you’re lucky and always say thank you.

Join me next year for a whole new bundle of blog posts! Don’t forget to subscribe so you won’t miss a thing. Thank you for all your support. You reading this means you helped me achieve my goals of keeping a monthly blog for one year! Thank you! As always, if you’ve got questions, something I didn’t address yet, or you just want to say “Hi” go visit that Contact tab off to the left. I practically live on social media! Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, Happy Hanukkah, and New Years! (We survived!) Be blessed.