On writing

The times they are a-changing

Sometimes I look back at the things I write and laugh at myself.

We started this blog in 2006. In internet time, that’s half a life ago.

In 2006 the big social networking tool was MySpace. Facebook was the new kid on the block and Twitter had just been invented. Bloggers mostly used LiveJournal or, because only the truly keen or the truly nerdy used WordPress, especially hosting your own site.

Unpublished authors weren’t expected to have websites, although industry advisers were starting to encourage this. Industry advisers were also starting to make the web their own in our in our little writing corner of the internet. In particular, literary agents were starting to blog, dispensing lots of useful information for unpublished writers.

One such agent site was the BookEnds, LLC blog. Like many other blogs set up around the same time, it is now defunct but it was a good site while it was going, full of useful hints and tips about writing query letters, getting published and so on.

Back in November 2007 Jessica Faust wrote about websites for unpublished writers. It was good advice back then, and I even blogged about it.

Part of Jessica’s post talked about putting samples of your writing up on your site.  Here’s what I said when I blogged about it.

Jessica also suggests that posting a chapter of your novel is a good idea.

Some of the people who commented on her blog thought this was a good idea, others were a little wary. I confess to being one of the wary ones … I’m not sure about posting any of the work we are currently trying to sell.

“Huh,” is all I can say now, because seriously, one of the first places I go to nowadays on any author’s website (published or unpublished) is their sample pages. When a writer is published, those pages are my major book-buying decision tipper in many cases. If I like a yet-to-be-published writer’s samples well enough I will keep an eye on their site for when they finally are published.

The times have indeed changed.

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