Recent Fairy-tale Projects

Since I last posted, I completed my master’s degree in English, moved house, worked on dozens of projects, and got a dog and six chickens. But today I’d like to highlight three recent-ish projects that are on the same topic: fairy tales.

Channeling Wonder: Fairy Tales and Television, edited by Pauline Greenhill & Jill Terry Rudy

The first project, Channeling Wonder: Fairy Tales on Television, is a collection of scholarly essays edited by Pauline Greenhill and Jill Rudy and published by Wayne State University Press. I indexed the volume, and it was a pleasure to read (not to mention the fact that it fed into research for my master’s thesis). The topics contained in the book are broad, and the various authors bring unique concerns, interests, and perspectives to the discussion about fairy tales on television. And look at that cover! Isn’t it nice to find an academic press that takes a little pride in the designs as well as the content?

The book spawned another project I worked on: Fairy Tales on Television. I was one of many research assistants and contributors who made the searchable database and functional data visualizations possible. The database is a research tool for researchers and creators whose interests intersect with fairy tales and television. I’ve used it for research of my own, and I might be preparing an infographic summarizing my findings. (So stay tuned for that.)

PersinetteOutside of academia, I also had the opportunity to work with Laura Christensen, a French-to-English translator who translated “Persinette,” a literary French fairy tale similar to “Rapunzel.” Laura translated the tale, wrote a delightful introduction, provided some biographical information on the author, and included introductions to and public-domain translations of the Grimms’ “Rapunzel” (which was published after “Persinette”) and Giambatista Basile’s “Petrosinella” (an Italian tale published before “Persinette”). I copyedited the text (except the public-domain translations) and formatted everything for its upcoming ebook release. Laura lets you know where you can find her collection on her translation website.

New Project: Unraveled by Michelle C. Eging

I’m pleased to present Looseleaf’s most recently completed book-length project: Unraveled by Michelle C. Eging. It’s an adult fantasy novel, the first in a trilogy.

Threads of Sole: Unraveled by Michelle C. Eging

Michelle was a joy to work with. I completed the interior layout for the print version, the ebook layout, and the cover designs for both the print and electronic versions. (Remember, cover design does not mean the same thing as cover illustration. The lovely illustration is the work of Michelle Wilber.) I also did the final proofreading. Here is the back-cover copy for the novel:

In the aftermath of the War of Awakening, the King and his Council condoned the Purge, methodically executing members of the magically gifted Blessed so no person’s power will threaten Sole again. After years of political negotiation, the Purge has ended, requiring the Blessed to brand their faces and creating a rift that has Sole on the brink of civil war. Enwyck, the daamon half-blood Prince of Sole, Joslynn, a woman whose mask hides her deformed and poisonous spider-silk skin, Windle, a former Godmother now hiding as an old man, and Kasimir, a blind cripple no longer able to transform into a raven, find themselves struggling to preserve the kingdom while confronting the trauma of their pasts and the broken pieces of their present. One false move and everything they fought for will unravel, if it hasn’t already.

If that tickles your fancy, go forth and buy the book here. It’s available in both paperback and electronic forms from Amazon. (If you’re an ebook-reading Amazon Prime member, you’ll also be interested to know that the book is a part of the lending library.) If you have a non-Kindle ereader, touch bases with Michelle here at let her know you’re interested. Sometimes the other distribution channels can take a while to get things up.

The Familius Christmas Anthology 2012

Familius Christmas Anthology coverRemember not too long ago when I mentioned I had a book coming out? Well, now it’s out! Actually, it’s been out for a few weeks now, but it took awhile for it to post to all the major stores. I give you The Familius Christmas Anthology 2012, compiled by yours truly and Rick Walton:

Christmas is a time for family and there’s no better way of helping your family enjoy the Christmas spirit than by taking time each night to explore the annual Familius Christmas Anthology. Filled with stories, poems, recipes, and activities to make Christmas time enjoyable, this collection is literally stuffed with feel-good content and activities that will bring your family together. The stories include such favorites as the “The Gift of Magi” by O’Henry to the moving “The Child Who Had Everything But—” by John Kendrick Bangs. The anthology also includes favorite poems like “Long Ago” by Christina Rossetti and, of course, “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen,” among many others. And delicious family favorite recipes provide an invitation to spend time at the family table, whether you’re enjoying Spiced Sugar Cookie Truffles or a simple pot of White Hot Chocolate. And don’t forget to round out your Christmas holiday with family activities like building Graham Cracker Cottages or playing Jack Frost Tag. The Familius Christmas Anthology is a fantastic way of enjoying this wonderful holiday and making sure your family enjoys it, together.

I love Christmas, and I’m happy to have been a part of putting this anthology together. The whole point of the anthology is the help families enhance the holiday time they spend together. I’ve always loved spending time reading stories and baking with my family around the holidays. (When I lived at home we used to light candles and read a Christmas story every night in December.) This year, I’m looking forward to starting some family traditions of my own with my husband and my son (even if the little guy will only be a couple months old by the time Christmas day rolls around). Maybe this little book can help you with some traditions of your own.

The book is currently available as an ebook from all major ebook sellers.

(These are not affiliate links.)

Familius Christmas Anthology cover

Leaflet Review: The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson

The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson coverThe Emperor’s Soul showcases a fascinating magic system as the clock ticks down for a condemned criminal. When Shai is caught replacing the Moon Scepter with her nearly flawless forgery, she must bargain for her life. An assassin has left the Emperor Ashravan without consciousness, a circumstance concealed only by the death of his wife. If the emperor does not emerge after his hundred-day mourning period, the rule of the Heritage Faction will be forfeit and the empire will fall into chaos. Shai is given an impossible task: to create—to Forge—a new soul for the emperor in less than one hundred days. But her soul-Forgery is considered an abomination by her captors. She is confined to a tiny, dirty chamber, guarded by a man who hates her, spied upon by politicians, and trapped behind a door sealed in her own blood. Shai’s only possible ally is the emperor’s most loyal councillor, Gaotona, who struggles to understand her true talent. Time is running out for Shai. Forging, while deducing the motivations of her captors, she needs a perfect plan to escape …

This novella from Brandon Sanderson was the first full piece I read on the Nook SimpleTouch my husband got me for my birthday. (Side note: I know I’ve never been an outspoken fan of ebooks, but I have to say, with a newborn, I love my Nook. I can hold it and turn pages with one hand, and if the little one is up in the middle of the night, it has a little light to illuminate the screen so I can read while I rock him. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.) It was well worth the money I paid for it, even though there are full ebook novels you can get for the same price. As is typical of Brandon, the magic system is innovative and interesting. The two most important characters, Shai and Gaotona, have very different perspectives on theology, the place of magic in the world, and politics, but Brandon does an amazing job of showing how similar they can be when they’re genuine with one another. There is a great deal of discussion about the nature of beauty and art, and it’s actually quite poetic. As far as intellectual elements go (rather than the fun of character and worldbuilding, which were delightful), my favorite part was when Shai begins to understand how the emperor went from an idealistic crusader to an idle ruler. It rings very true, not just for the characters in the story, but for everyday people in the real world. I have to admit that I skimmed the fight scene. Fight scenes are another thing Brandon is known for, but I didn’t fully appreciate this one. However, you can hear Brandon explain why he kept it in a recent episode of Writing Excuses. (The episode is spoilerific, so don’t listen unless you’re okay with that.) Note: If you’re a big print fan and you decide you’d like a hard-copy version of this novella, go for it. If you buy the print version from Tachyon Publications, just email your receipt or a photo of yourself holding the book to and you’ll get a free electronic copy as well.

Weekly Roundup: 12/10–12/17 Publishers Are Still Missing the Boat on E-book Pricing

Mathew Ingram argues that publishers are shooting themselves in the foot with their ebook prices. He makes some strong points, and I’d agree with him that charging more for an ebook than a paperback is a mistake (even if it makes number sense publisher-side). However, as more of the market transitions to electronic, ebooks will be less of an afterthought and their prices will need to carry the costs of editorial and marketing, costs that have stayed more or less static in recent years and have, for some time, been carried by print sales. So I think pricing is a bit of a sticky issue.

Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor

This isn’t something new, like most roundup items are. This Tumblr account has been around for some time, but if you haven’t looked into it yet and you write anything that puts women in armor, you should check it out. It presents exactly what you’d expect: women fighters in reasonable armor. For some thoughts on the issue of reasonable armor with character, you can also visit armorer’s opinion post about reasonable armor in fantasy art (heads up: the examples of unreasonable armor he gives are especially tasteless; good examples, but they weren’t particularly pleasant to see).

ePub: The Language of eBooks—A Primer

If you have experience with HTML, CSS, and other markup languages and you aren’t yet sure how this whole ePub format thing works, this is a great resource for getting started. If you know nothing at all about HTML or CSS, this might not make any sense at all.

Brilliant Book Trailer

Most writers hate self-promotion. Here’s one author who does a very good job of promoting his book without making you feel like he’s being a salesman. (His book is due to release 1/3/2012, it’s called Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse, and his last name is Klauss. I remember that off the top of my head after seeing this once, and that’s all the information I need to get his book. That’s how well he did.)

Weekly Roundup: 10/29–11/4

Locus Online: World Fantasy 2011 Winners

Locus Online has posted the results of the World Fantasy awards, which were awarded at the World Fantasy Convention last weekend. I haven’t read the best novel (though I’ve read or will soon have read much of the short list), or any of the shorter fiction, but I am in the middle of reading the winner for best anthology, My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, edited by Kate Bernheimer. Thus far I’ve found it excellent. My review will come out after I actually finish reading all the stories.

Nathan Bransford: Are You Participating in NaNoWriMo?

In case you writers didn’t already know, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) started earlier this week. If you’re up for the challenge, commit to writing 50,000 words in a novel this month. If you want to get in on the biggest online party the writing community has, jump on the NaNo bandwagon. If you haven’t started already though, you’re going to need a boost to make up this week’s word count. So look to Nathan Bransford’s compilation of NaNoWriMo-related advice.

Publishers Weekly: Survey Says Library Users Are Your Best Customers

This week PW put out an article describing a new research survey that illuminates the contribution libraries make to the publishing industry. Many readers report buying books of authors they have read in the library, and there are a host of other findings.

Liz Castro: Where Should an Ebook Begin?

Ebook wiz Liz Castro explains how to make your ePub file guide a reader to the first chapter of your book when a reader opens it (instead of, say, the cover). I disagree with Liz—I like to see the cover first—but I do agree that the frontmatter of ebooks can get painfully excessive. Outside of the table of contents, I’m a fan of putting what is traditionally frontmatter (like copyright pages, etc.) at the back of the file.

David Carnoy: Amazon Launches Free E-book Borrowing for Prime Members

Now as a part of Amazon’s $79.99/year prime membership, Kindle owners can borrow one ebook at a time, free of charge, with no due date. Kind of like Netflix, but for books, and the prime membership also includes Amazon’s video service. Not all books are a part of the program, as it depends on publisher consent.

Weekly Roundup: 9/17–9/23

Seanan McGuire: Across the digital divide.

Author Seanan McGuire wrote a post that takes a different look at the e-revolution in publishing than I’ve heard before: she looks at how it makes reading an exclusionary luxury. I’ve thought about this sort of thing before myself. (Probably because ever since I moved out of my parents’ home I’ve been a few steps behind every technological advance—except in the case of required professional software like Adobe Creative Suite products and Word.)

In response to the argument that even those who don’t have an e-reader have a computer (something I have heard), I know people who can’t afford to have a home computer either. Those people would have to rely on places with free computers, like libraries, but library computers aren’t the sort you can sit at for hours and hours because they’re in high demand (not to mention the decrease in library funding). The issue of making electronic reading as democratic as print reading is one that hasn’t been satisfactorily addressed for me. The ease of moving a print book from one owner to another is one reason I’ve been happy to keep buying print books even though I have an e-reader.

Thomas Baekdal: Infinite Choices and a World Abundance vs. Supply and Demand.

Thomas Baekdal explains why supply-and-demand rules do not apply to the abundance of ebooks. This is a follow-up to his article called “The Myth of the 99 Cent Book.” In both articles he emphasizes why 99 cents is not a sustainable price for books to trend toward and why it’s a bad way to go. He suggests that you stop focusing on making your book cheap enough that people won’t fight about having to give you money; instead, make your content into someone of sufficient quality that people will be clambering to give you a fair price.

Baekdal’s reasoning is why I’m so happy with publishers and authors who are dedicated to making their ebooks into quality products instead of subsidiary aftereffects (Pyr, for example). When you put out a quality story and you present it in a quality way, with attention to detail and quality, you can maintain a sustainable price point and readers will pay it willingly because they know it’s worth the money.

Writers Beware: PUBSLUSH Press

There have been a lot of crowdfunding projects cropping up across the internet, and one of the newest is PUBSLUSH Press (they’re technically still in beta). Writers Beware posted a critique of PS’s publishing agreement and noted some things to be aware of. These crowdfunding organizations are another option and venue for writers, but it’s best to go into anything—from traditional publishing to doing everything yourself—with your eyes wide open to the opportunities, risks, and sticky bits. PUBSLUSH has quite a few sticky bits.

The Rook by Daniel O'MalleyDaniel O’Malley: Chapters 1 & 2 of The Rook

The Rook is a book that piqued my interest at some point in the past, though I’m not quite sure when or where. (I may have heard about it through Publishers Weekly, but I’m not sure because I don’t record where I find things when I put them on my “to watch” list.) There is a two-chapter teaser for the fantasy novel available now. Yes, I’ve read the teaser. After I read it I was tempted to pre-order the novel (which doesn’t come out until January 2012). I haven’t because my birthday and Christmas happen between now and its release, and I tend to get wonderful gift cards to bookish places on one (or both) of those occasions. That and I still haven’t finished the stack of books next to my desk and I’ve cut off my book spending until it’s been devoured. And The Hum and the Shiver comes out next week, and that’s another book I’ve been watching.

Book Pirates, Publicity, & Principles

Paper pirate shipAvast, me hearties, there be book pirates abroad!

Seriously though, ebook piracy is an issue, especially as more and more of publishing content goes electronic (because let’s face it: scanning in all the pages of a novel is so not worth avoiding even $25 for a hardcover in most pirate’s minds). There are book pirates sailing the interwebs and pilfering plunder left and right. Some believe this is not a serious problem, while others probably place book piracy as a crime that earns the pirate a hanging.

The “Publicity” View

While I was at WorldCon, I listened while Eric Flint articulated the lackadaisical viewpoint. To him, pirates and people who got his books from them represented a population of people who may not have read his books otherwise. He did not feel that the piracy represented lost sales or really chipped into his income much, so he didn’t see much of a reason to track down anyone who threw up a pirated version of one of his books. The vibe I got was that he sees pirating as a sort of free publicity, and that the dissemination of his stories got his name out and fed other sales. This is a completely valid viewpoint and probably describes many people’s e-pirate experiences.

The “Killing Profitability” View

Another individual I spoke to at WorldCon had a very different perspective. He had put out a book that was widely anticipated, critically acclaimed, and a heck of a lot of fun for him to put together. He was freaking proud of this book. Someone asked if there was going to be a sequel or follow-up to it and sadly, he had to say no. Along with being the most anticipated book he had, it was also the most pirated book he’d ever put out (and he works at a publishing company, so I’m not just talking about his books). He said that if every individual who uploaded the book (we’re not talking downloads, here–these are just people uploading the pirated file) had paid for it legally, he’d be able to put out a sequel in a heartbeat. However, the book didn’t earn enough for there to be a sequel in today’s publishing climate. This is also a completely valid viewpoint, and while I don’t have the testimonials to back it up, it probably describes many people’s e-pirating experiences.

My View

Given these two viewpoints, what do I think?

Piracy is not okay.

 Now, maybe there isn’t a ton you can do about it, seeing as litigation is (most of the time) more trouble than it’s worth and making sure people can share your book as easily as a physical copy is very important to a lot of authors, so DRM isn’t super popular (that and it just presents a challenge many pirates enjoy). I agree that free book-sharing has been around for a while in the form of lending between friends and from libraries, and I’m keen on finding an equivalent for ebooks.

But that’s just it: the free sharing of content used to be lending. If you decided the book (or whatever) was something you wanted forever you paid for it or took it off an uninterested party’s hands. Electronic duplicates are limitless, and people are keeping them permanently. If you like something enough to want your own copy, you should pay to make it your own. The story belongs to the author, and to everyone else who worked to make it what it is, and owning a piece of that should come at a price unless the creator(s) decide differently.

Readers should reward the people who created the thing they want, those who shaped it, and those who brought it to readers’ attention. If you want it, those people obviously did a good job. With a story you’ll have forever, that job is probably worth more than the cost of a latte or a soda. If it isn’t, you probably have very little business in keeping it longer than a latte or soda would last you.

Most of you reading this aren’t book pirates, so you hardly need that lecture. But I’ve heard some people say that authors or publishers who price their ebooks “high” ($9.99 or above) are just asking for piracy.

Nobody asks to be robbed. That’s like the argument that a woman who wears a short skirt is asking to be raped. (Can you see her in the store, trying it on, and relishing the thought that this would be the skirt that would finally get her raped?) When someone prices something, it’s because they believe the product is worth that much. So I wish people would stop justifying theft by saying price-setters are asking for it. If someone can’t stop themselves from stealing a $14 book, they need a lot more moral help than your justification will ever give them.

How to Deal with It

On a much lighter note, if your work is out there and you want to do what you can to keep the pirates down, set up a Google Alert for your title and your name, and any keywords you think would partner with a pirate’s search. When you find an illegal copy, send word to the point of contact at your publisher who handles such things or serve up a boilerplate desist letter you’ve gotten from someone with the legal know-how.

Or you can implement Daniel Nayeri’s ebook piracy solution: flood the market with corrupted copies of your work. If no one can find a free book of yours that doesn’t abruptly end with the last chapters of Moby Dick (instead of the juicy, delightful ending you actually wrote) or isn’t full of odd garbledygook replacements for the word the, they might just break down a pay for a copy. If it’s on sale.

Image by Carlos Porto via

Publishers’ Styles for Pyr and Angry Robot

Thursday I attended the presentations for two publishers: Pyr and Angry Robot. They talked about their upcoming titles, what they have planned for their readers, and did some promo for their authors. Listening to them gives you a good idea of the kind of vibe they like from their books and what is important to them (i.e. stuff that can help you pick the right publishing house to send your manuscript to).

Angry Robot Loves Cross-Genre TitlesAngry Robot Logo

Angry Robot is a pretty new publisher in the science fiction and fantasy space. Lee Harris, one of their editors, started the presentation by giving a quick rundown of their history since starting in 2008. They launched in the UK and in Australia in 2009 and they came out in America last year. They publish a lot of debut novelists because they know what they like and they don’t care who is giving it to them. Some of the books they’ve put out are getting a lot of critical acclaim and attention—I’m particularly interested in Lauren Buekes’s novel Zoo City, which is shortlisted for the World Fantasy Best Novel award this year (I picked up a copy from their free book giveaway and I’ll see how it goes).

The folks at Angry Robot are very big on making books available fairly to readers worldwide, so they always buy world rights. They absolutely love cross-genre work. If you’ve got a sci-fi book with mystery elements and a dash of the fantastic—or any other cross-genre speculative fiction—you should be looking at Angry Robot. They also have a strong horror line if you’re looking into that.

Angry Robot engages in a lot of reader/fan interaction. They have an ebook subscription model, so if you’re a fan of their editorial selections and taste, you can buy a year’s worth of ebooks for a discount price: $97 for a guaranteed 24+ (DRM-free) ebooks over the course of the upcoming year. If you buy a subscription, you also get a promo code that lets you buy backlist titles from their online bookstore at 33% off (just in case one of the 24 books you’ll get during the year is the second in a series).

Given their focus on audience, readership, and fans, the “special project” they announced here at WorldCon is pretty natural. They’re starting a program called WorldBuilder, which is essentially an encouraged and nourished fan fiction/fan art/fan music/fan creation community. Fans will be able to take part in building the periphery of a story’s world, and the “best of” will be published in a quarterly anthology (which will be headlined by a story or piece that is commissioned professionally).

If you’re interested in submitting to Angry Robots, know that they are not currently open to unagented submissions, but occasionally they are. This March they opened their doors for 30 days and invited anyone and everyone to submit. Lee said that ended up being a little crazy for them (they just got through the last of the submissions from that batch), but they want to do the same thing on a smaller scale in the future. They’ll probably open for a week or so when they’re looking for a specific sort of book. So keep an eye on the Angry Robot blog and don’t miss a perfect opportunity for your book.

Pyr Loves Gorgeous BooksPyr Logo

This heading for Pyr may be somewhat misleading, but Lou Anders, the editorial director at Pyr, is also the art director there, so he certainly loves a beautiful cover or a well-designed map, so he tends to rave about them.

Lou is a really approachable guy—I ran into him more on Friday than I did Thursday at the Pyr presentation. Friday at a small group he chatted with eight or so WorldCon attendees and gave us an inside peek at what he’s looking for: adult science fiction isn’t working so well for them right now (though he’s hoping Hollywood’s forays into sci-fi will drive interest in, say, a space opera), he doesn’t want cyberpunk, but he digs sword and sorcery. What he really wants to find is an author that can write an urban-fantasy–style cast of characters (specifically the lead female role) in a secondary, sword-and-sorcery setting.  He firmly believes that sword and sorcery people would love urban fantasy if they could make themselves read it, so he wants something to cross that line.

In November Pyr will launch the first three titles of its new YA line. Right now Pyr is publishing about 30 books a year, and eventually Lou wants 10 of those books to be YA (next year about 6 of them will be). For YA, the subgenre doesn’t matter; just make it good.

What I’m excited about with Pyr is a book called Blackdog (by K.V. Johansen). It just came out and it sounds amazing. Lou really, really, really wants Brandon Sanderson to read it and blurb it, because he’s convinced that Brandon will love it. I think I’ll love it, so I want to get my hands on a copy once I’m done with what I have on my plate right now.

If you’re considering submitting to Pyr, be sure to check their submission guidelines. They do accept unagented submissions, so even if you don’t have an agent yet, feel free to send your full manuscript.

I got a lot of insights from Lou, but I’ll share more of them in a special post about the editors I talked to while I was at WorldCon.

These Publishers Love Their BooksBlackdog by K. V. Johansen

With both of these publishers, you can tell by speaking with Lee Harris and Lou Anders that they love their books. If they’re publishing your work, it’s because you got them very, very excited. They have different styles that they prefer, so your work may be better suited to one over the other, but being published by either one would mean you had some very invested advocates on your work’s side. All you have to do is hear Lou trying to convince everyone at every panel he spoke at to get Brandon Sanderson to read Blackdog to know that he absolutely loves the book—and he won’t rest until he knows other people love it too.

ePublishing and Your Writing Career

Renovation WorldCon 2011 LogoYesterday was Day 1 of WorldCon, and I’ve been roaming around as my writer friends’ freelance editor buddy. The day was fairly uneventful, but there were two major highlights for me: chatting with Moshe Feder from Tor and hearing from Jacob Weisman of Tachyon Publications. Some of what we talked about is particularly relevant to aspiring (and, honestly, established) authors.

While we were talking with Moshe (some friends of mine waylaid him, and he’s nice enough to chat with us), he mostly told stories about his career and let us know we are free to submit to him (I obviously won’t be taking advantage of that), but one tidbit you may be interested in is what he said about the touted ebook revolution, the future publishing structure, and the place of editors.

Editors in ePublishing

Moshe said that no matter how publishing convolutes, writhes, and reinvents itself, authors will always need an objective editorial eye to help them reach their full potential. While current publishing has a lot of rough patches (high overhead, etc.), it serves a purpose: it helps authors improve their work, grow their talent, and reach an audience. The need for those things will never go away. (So Moshe firmly believes that his line of work will not become obsolete, even if the printed word completely dies out.)

However, something that is changing, in Moshe’s mind, is how writers are reaching readers. As physical bookstores are fading from ubiquitousness, it will be harder to reach casual readers (you know, the readers that take a book outside the “die hard” readers and send it blossoming into widespread readership). In the past (and still now, to a certain degree), casual readers would pass book showcases (i.e. bookstores) in the mall or near their other regular errands. Then cover design and marketing could take over to let a casual reader know that he or she really did want to read a certain book. Now, Moshe says, no one in the industry is quite sure how to let casual readers know about awesome books. (This is also, he said with glee, marketing’s problem, not his. It’s a puzzle he doesn’t want to have on his plate.)

Career Writers’ Successes

While you’re thinking about the puzzle of publication promotion (couldn’t resist the alliteration), some words from Jacob Weisman may be hopeful to those of you looking to be career authors.

He said to remember you’re building a career, not just pieces of a career like a draft, interview, or promotion campaign. Judge your success on the right scale, and always remember the overarching career goal. Every step in your career should be a building block (but that doesn’t mean each one must be a success).

Here Weisman’s commentary ends and mine beings. When you’re building a career, one “failure” shouldn’t send you into a dizzying spiral of self-doubt and depression. A really rotten draft does not a rotten writer make: it’s one part of your career, one bit of the groundbreaking and foundation work you need to do. You won’t get anywhere without digging in the dirt for a while, but the dirt shouldn’t get you down. Keep at it, and when you get stuck, get yourself and objective eye.

Further WorldCon insights and commentary are forthcoming, so stay tuned! Today I ran into Brandon Sanderson (I almost didn’t recognize him with his goatee), talked with Liz Gorinsky of Tor, and went to presentations by Pyr and Angry Robot. Hopefully more about what I gathered from all them tomorrow.