Dear Writer-Friends,

I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR QUICK START GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING and to be notified when the 3rd Edition of the Indie Author Survival Guide releases!

Monday, November 14, 2011

NaNo-ing through the Blog Tour

Is it me, or is National Novel Writing Month attracting a lot of high-profile people this year? I mean, Nathan Bransford is doing it, and so is John Green (via Ava Jae)!

Has it suddenly become "cool" to NaNo in a way that it wasn't in previous years? Has Water for Elephants (originally a NaNo novel) lent credibility, or is it the rise (and many success stories) in self-publishing? I'm not sure, but NaNoWriMo is nothing if not an unabashed celebration of The Writer. It's a month of camaraderie, heady rough drafting, and caffeinated storytelling - and I'm loving it.

NaNo detractors bemoan the unedited mess that comes out of NaNo, complaining that so much dreck lands in agents' slush piles or self-published within moments of completion. But every writer starts with a blank page and an idea (and sometimes not much more). It's not how a story starts that matters, but how it finishes. And far, far more writers are guilty of not finishing than are of finishing too quickly. I think the complaints about NaNo have always been overstated, but this year I sense these complaints are even more muted.

I wonder why? If you have a theory, leave it in the comments. :)

Whatever this moment is, I'm enjoying being part of it, joining NaNo again this year as I draft Closed Hearts. I'm finally making some solid progress (that first week was a little slow since I was, yanno, launching a novel). It feels really good to be writing in earnest again.

Meanwhile, the Open Minds Blog Tour Rolls on with more reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways ...

MONDAY, November 14th

The Write to Make a Living
Stacey over at The Write to Make a Living is posting her review of Open Minds today:
"Open Minds is unlike anything I have ever read."

Just what I like to hear! Thanks, Stacey! :)

In High Spirits
Awesome author and fellow Tesla devotee, Dianne Salerni (check out that Faraday Cage in the picture!!), is interviewing me today on her blog In High Spirits - in which I haul out notes scribbled during NaNoWriMo two years ago, when Open Minds was just getting started.

The Fairytale Nerd
Joanne at The Fairytale Nerd is also interviewing me today, in which I
talk about weird repeat words and my love of Green Day. And she's hosting an e-book giveaway!

TUESDAY, November 15th

There's A Book
Danielle at There's A Book posted her review of Open Minds today. 
"In a growing pool of young adult fiction Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn stands out as a novel with a fantastic premise, excellent characters and an incredibly well executed plot."

And I'm quoting her twice, because I love this review so much:

"As many of my readers know, I don’t read many self-published books primarily because I find the stories underdeveloped and poorly edited. To be honest I’m completely shocked Quinn’s Mindjacker series hasn’t been picked up by a major publisher, because it certainly doesn’t fall into either of my dis-qualifiers. This is a novel that’s been extremely well thought out, written beautifully, and it’s obviously been edited professionally."

Thank you, Danielle!

There's a Book is hosting a giveaway of an e-book copy (US/International) of Open Minds with the coolest giveaway form I've seen. Seriously. :)

Danielle also recently did a great post with Anne R. Allen about the ins and outs of querying book bloggers: The New Gatekeepers. Check it out!

Book Faery
Tori at Book Faery is hosting my guest post on 
Keeping an Open Mind: The Importance of Theme
(this is a repeat post from Launch Day, in case you're tracking these things at home).

Super Reader Girl
Emily at Super Reader Girl has posted her review of Open Minds, and is hosting an e-book giveaway as well!

Summary of Giveaways this week (lots of chances to win!):
Scribblers' Cove Two E-Book Giveaway, open until 11/30
Random Thoughts Bookmark and Paper/E-Book Giveaway, open until 11/17
The Reading Housewives of Indiana E-Book Giveaway, open until 11/18
Book Lovers Inc. E-Book Giveaway, open until 11/19
Buried in Books E-Book Giveaway, open until 11/15
Mel's Random Reviews E-book Giveaway, open until 11/18
There's a Book, Ebook Giveaway, open until 11/30 Coolest. Giveaway. Form. Ever.
The Fairy Tale Nerd, E-book Giveaway


  1. I'm sure it's a combo of those things. Esp. helps when "cool" authors participate, lending it more credibility. :)

  2. Amazing that you're able to do both a book launch and NaNo.

  3. Yeah once more so called credible people jump on the bandwagon it does seem cooler to the so called not credible people, but that's the same with anything I guess.

  4. @Laura I'm going to take that as a compliment! :)

    @Natalie It's a combination of caffeine, crazy, and determination. :)

    @Pat It just fascinates me, what makes something "acceptable" or "not acceptable" (beyond moral issues). Especially because I tend to tromp through the weedy paths most of the time. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  5. I'm still not doing it, but that's just because I'm in ReviseMo... :D That's also why I'm somewhat MIA... :p

    But I think it's great to have a set time for writing where you can just focus on it. It's a good "excuse."

    Good luck!!! <3

  6. I've noticed a lot of hype about NaNo this year too. I wonder if the rise of e-book and self-publishing (which seems to be becoming "cool") is influencing more people to jump in.

    Also, thanks for linking me. :)

  7. Hm, who knows? The more the merrier! I'm in awe of you, Susan!

  8. The creative writing teacher at my school does NaNo each year with her classes. There's a site online for students! :-)

  9. Good luck with the NaNo, Susan. I'm impressed, since you're also touring your book.

    Some people just need a kickstart to get going. If it works, use it, I say. But - some writers can't get into it.

    I've noticed a lot of writers are repeat NaNo'ers. Maybe it's addictive in a good way...

  10. I love your annotated graph! I'm WAY behind with my word count, but that's because I'm loving my story so much that I'm taking more time to craft it as I go. I agree with you, I think there has been more positive and less negative press related to NaNo this year. And I think you pinpointed the key word: the camaraderie on such a massive global scale is what makes it so fun and unique.

    By the way, loved your post last week on cheating with research and then I had a great time at the Through the Wormhole site.

    And, as I know you were an aspiring astronaut, could I ask you what you know about re-entry into the earth's atmosphere... could, for instance, a baby survive it? (the strange idea places NaNo takes us!)

  11. sounds busy! Good luck with touring and drafting.

  12. I think it's all because WE NEED THE CAMARADERIE. It helps in so many ways! I loved the part where you said it's the unabashed celebration of The Writer. I think you captured it all, right there.

  13. @Ava Thanks for stopping by and pointing out that John Green video! #cool

  14. My thinking is that if you write the 1st draft in one month then you have longer to edit it and polish it into something better. Though I have yet to participate.

  15. @DG I've noticed the repeat NaNo-er thing too! For me, it just kind of worked out this year. I end up doing a mini-nano whenever I draft a new novel anyway. :)

  16. You're everywhere! Did you steal Hermione's time turner?

  17. I love Nano! I think it's a great tool. It's only those that don't understand the word "revision" yet that cause an issue. Hopefully because of the internet, those will be fewer and fewer.

  18. I think I was just so excited about finally NaNoing this year for the first time I hadn't paid as much attention to who was actually participating...silly me:-)

  19. Susan, you are awesome to be doing a tour while NaNoing. Each November, I don't know where the time goes. I'm woefully behind on my NaNo novel.

  20. Ah, good luck with NaNo! I'm not doing it this year, but I am writing! So that's a good thing, right? Right!

  21. ok! first of all that WAS a really good babysitter's club book! that was the one where claudia's gramma died right? i was reading that when my mom walked into my sis and my bedroom and told us that OUR gramma died. it was both incredibly heart-wrenching and freaky, and that book kept me so much company on the trip down to oklahoma for the funeral...

    ok. anyway!
    i haven't known too much about nano before, but mr. green's points are spot on! and i'm glad you're starting to be able to get some progress... seriously, i've paid some attention (read: i'm obsessive about the word counts) and you've REALLY gained steam!
    keep it up!
    btw, i'm at 28,000 and i account it all to the temptation of my lovely carrot! :)

  22. I love that some big names are doing Nano. Congrats to you for doing it plus your book launch!

    I'm cheering on participates since I'm not doing Nano. The loud screams of excitement you hear off in the distance are my cheers :)


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