Getting published is a real be-yatch! Hear about my ups, downs and a few random rants in between.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Myspace + YA Authors = <3

When I first signed up for my MySpace account, in the winter, it felt creepy. It totally felt like I was invading teen-land like those pervs they catch on Dateline's "To Catch a Predator" specials.

But quickly, I surrounded myself with Princess A's friends and others who I already "knew" either via real life or other online forums I frequented.

While none of the writers I've talked to have shown MySpace to turn into much dinero, all agree (and I as well) that MySpace is a great promo tool, and one of the best electronic ways to reach teens who love and admit to love reading.

The Reuters article below verifies MySpace isn't just for bands anymore. And I'm finally over feeling like a perv...except when some weirdo stranger friends me. Those I decline. Many of my friends are young girls - so I am selective.

It can work for you too if you have the time to build your community. Friend me if you're already out there at

Lonely authors link up on MySpace website

By Claudia Parsons, Reuters
15 June 2006 09:39 AEST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - No longer just for indie bands and tales of teen angst, the networking website is the latest outlet for authors to hook up with editors, sell books and seek solace when they're lonely.

Among the most popular sites on the web, particularly among teenagers, MySpace has millions of members who post personal profiles with links to friends and discussion groups. Several bands have won record contracts after posting their music.

"MySpace is changing every day ... I do see far more people my age and even older, " said 36-year-old Josh Kilmer-Purcell, one of four published authors who set up a collective page earlier this year at

The four launched a competition on the site this week, inviting budding writers to submit samples of their own memoirs, with the winner guaranteed a reading of their manuscript by editors at three major publishers.

"All of us have had rejection letters and have had a hard time getting an agent, " said Maria Dahvana Headley, whose book "The Year of Yes" about dating came out in January.

Kilmer-Purcell, whose book "I am Not Myself These Days" recounts his experience as a drag queen in New York, said he initially joined MySpace as a way to sell more books.

"In a way it's door-to-door sales but only to the right houses, " he said, adding that his strategy was to seek out members who participate in fan sites of certain authors.

"If I spend some time to invite people to be my friends, I can see my Amazon numbers increase, " he said.

He said the collective now provides more than just promotion. "Once you're on there, it's a little lonely as an author. You're surrounded by a bunch of teenagers and bands so we started seeking each other out, " he told Reuters.

He also uses the site to give readers more information.

"People buy the memoir which is all words and on MySpace I was able to put up video of my drag queen character, " he said.

Headley said the opportunity to share frustrations and tips with fellow authors helped counter the solitude of writing.

"All of us are memoirists so we're all sick of ourselves, " she said. "It's certainly more satisfying than being by yourself and thinking 'Oh my God, oh my God, ' and checking your Amazon rankings all the time."


Sarah Mlynowski, whose latest book "Frogs & French Kisses" was published this week, was among the founders of another authors' site at which now has around 70 published authors among its members.

"I joined (MySpace) in December and at first I didn't find that many, especially authors who write for adults. But now I've noticed a lot of women's fiction writers have started, " said Mlynowski who writes "chicklit" as well as teen books.

MySpace was the second most popular site on the Internet by page views as of May, according to comScore Networks. It was bought by News Corp. last year for about $US580 million.

George Hodgman, executive editor at publisher Henry Holt, said he was looking forward to seeing the competition winner.

"I trust these writers to separate the wheat from the chaff, " he said.

HarperCollins Senior Editor Alison Callahan said, "This is maybe a way to discover a diamond in the rough."

"I can't say I'd agree to publish it but I'd certainly agree to read it, " she said.

Mlynowski said the only problem with MySpace was finding time to write: "It's a huge distraction. It's a phenomenal way to promote and stay in touch, but it can kill a first draft."

(c) 2006 Reuters News Service


Anonymous The Hive Mind said...

The whole explosion is something I have strong feelings over. I dedicated a whole post over at Conduit to explain why The Hive Mind won't be at On the other hand, I do understand that it can be a good marketing tool for artists of all kinds to reach out to the masses.

I just wonder how long MySpace will be around with everyone breathing down the site's neck.

1:50 AM

Blogger stephhale said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I've only been on myspace for one week and am completely addicted!


8:56 AM

Blogger Miss P AKA Her Royal Cliqueness said...

I think the concept of Myspace will evolve. How long the actual site will be popular? Meh, I think it will have its run like other hot, trendy things.

I think, like other things that are popularized by teens once the corporate gobblins get their hands on it in any significant way or when it b/c straight mainstream the younguns will move on.

9:32 AM

Blogger writeaway said...

I hear a lot about and being almost completely computer illiterate, I'm dreading the possiblity of getting a page. It took me forever to start blogging and I probably wouldn't even know how to use the thing.

Since most authors tend to feel it helps sales, I guess I might just have to jump on that bandwagon. I'm in no hurry though, seeing as I really don't have anything coming out yet. Maybe once I do have a book released, the kiddies will move on to something else. (Something a little less intimidating to me-lol)

2:26 PM

Blogger Varian Johnson said...

Hey P,

I just can't summon up the energy to start a My Space page yet. I know it's a great marketing tool, but I have a hard enough time keeping up with my blog. Plus, there's that whole internet predator thing.... It's funny how I can be so gung-ho about a website and a blog, but so leary of My Space.

Keep us updated as to how the My Space page is going.

2:01 PM

Blogger Sylvia Hubbard said...


Ilove being on myspace all the time and I make sure I check it every day.

Sometimes I'm checking it before I check my own mail because it's just so fun to post, respond to blogs and just network

3:35 PM

Blogger Miss P AKA Her Royal Cliqueness said...

I think Myspace has such a rep b/c so many news stories about some predator taking advantage. But I'll let u know. So far, I like it. Lots of authors on there. I think once u start moving in certain circles the creeps are easier to ignore! anyone know why my blog is acting weird. I added Mr. V and Devas T to my blog roll and it went kerblewy. No idea how to fix it and bring the profile and links back to the top! :-(

5:01 PM

Blogger Varian Johnson said...

Hmm...Sorry, but I'm not sure how to fix this one. I looked at your source code, but nothing jumped out at me.

Just blame it on Don. I tend to blame all my blogging and writing-related problems on him.

8:32 AM


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