Tag Archives: etiquette

Episode #58: A Crash Course in Networking (with Lauren “Scribe” Harris)

On the way up to the event that is Balticon, Lauren “Scribe” Harris spent the night with us…and then she spent another night with us on the way home! We fired up the mic to enjoy a one-show before-and-after to talk with this talented up-and-coming author about meeting agents at a con. How do you approach agents? How do you not come across like “that author” at an event? Pull up a chair and have a listen to what advice we offer before Balticon, and then see how she fared up afterwards.

Oh, and after Balticon? “Scribe” may have fixed cocktails for us. It’s an jam-packed show, heading beyond the hour mark so be ready!

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Holy crap, we’re back already behind the mic! And this time, we are not alone….
  • And our favorite Bavarian provides another drop-in for the show.

01:22 — A Crash Course in Networking (with Lauren “Scribe” Harris) 

  • Lauren asks Tee and Pip to help her prep for Balticon 50
  • So we are clear what is NOT happening when George R.R. Martin is at Balticon.
  • Some background on Lauren’s quest for an agent.
  • How do you approach an agent and not be “that author” in front of an editor or agent?
  • There’s Verena again!
  • If you can tell a story, you can talk to an agent.
  • Have business card, will travel.
  • Different icebreakers for editors and agents
  • You never stop feeling like a n00b. Just ask Tee and who he almost did a panel with…
  • Eye contact. Firm handshake. (Lauren’s got this!)
  • Play up coincidences and be yourself.
  • Don’t always be pitching. That can get real old, real quick.
  • A quick tangent on moderating panels.
  • What we do and we don’t like in panels and panel moderation.
  • Lauren has a plan…kinda.
  • Tee’s got a few ideas on how to relax.
  • Pip evokes the “Pull Pip Back” drop-in….
  • Breathing is good. So is perspective.

22:26 — Elevator Pitching 101

  • Lauren pitches to Tee and Pip, and Tee goes to work.
  • Elevator Pitches for Tee’s works-in-progress
    • Blackstar Rising
    • Wolf in the Fold
    • Countdown
  • Tee gets a hold of Lauren’s query and tries to make a pitch on the fly…
  • Man—Lauren is a HARSH critic!
  • Look for the touchstones of your query, and build your elevator pitch around that.
  • Keep the elevator pitches short, quick, and all in one sentence.
  • And Lauren knocks it out of the park with an elevator pitch for Song of the Heretic!
  • We evoke Damon Suede once more on the show…
  • Check it—Tee stumped Lauren with a literature reference.
  • Remember: The Elevator Pitch is your hook.
  • Make sure the pitches line up.

38:14 — Fast Forward to Post-Balticon (with Lauren “Scribe” Harris)

  • We have cocktails!
  • Yes, PJ and Matt, we are thinking of you…and are bitter about it.
  • Lauren will be stepping in as a Deep Southern PJ Schnyder…
  • So, Lauren settles in with panels alongside the agent. How did it go?
    • Panel One: Dealing with Rejection
    • Lauren handles introductions with the agent like a boss!
    • Panel Two: The Fine Art of Negotiation (or Lauren Thinks Fast on Her Feet)
    • It is always nice to have an audience eager to ask questions.
  • Don’t always count on the audience to be hungry to talk to agents and editors.
  • 9 a.m. panels can have a good turnout.
  • Yes, Tee called Lauren “darling” and everyone was okay with it. #SouthernThang
  • Taking a moment to talk a bit about Balticon and their bumpy weekend, logistically speaking.
  • A.F. Grappin of the MeltingPotcast.com was taking advantage of the new scheduling app…but not everyone was using the app…
  • And the podcast descends into hashtags and drop-in’s…
  • Lauren manages to score a card! Good sign!
  • And another opportunity for Lauren to show some savvy.
  • Here’s a Myke Cole moment for you.
  • The verbal invite to pitch: Achievement Unlocked!
  • And we’re on boobs….for some reason.
  • Lauren critiques her con performance.

58:35 — Lauren’s Impromptu Pitch Development

  • Lauren got a few of the Balticon Tribe together and gave her pitch a screening.
  • A pitch should be like a picture of a meal in a sushi restaurant.
  • Lauren got a chance to WITNESS with Hugh O’Donnell, get to know new Tribe better, and just hang with others of the Smoky Writers Mafia.
  • Wrapping up the overall Balticon 50 experience.

1:03:23 — Wrapping up

  • I would not be so crazy as to purposefully cut off  “Scribe” but we have been going for a spell…
  • Oh my god, Pip’s glass is EMPTY!!!
  • Lauren adds praise for the new hotel.
  • Waxing nostalgic over the PG Holyfield Cookout…
  • BUDGET FOR PARKING!
  • Where Lauren will be?
  • What’s coming up for us?
  • Lauren tempts Tee and Pip with Farpoint in February…
  •  …while Tee and Pip tempt Lauren back up to our area with Steampunk unLimited.
  • Go find Lauren online. Her website is right here!
  • Got thoughts or comments on this show?
    • We have voicemail — 703.791.1701
    • I have email — tee@teemorris.com
    • Pip’s got email — pip@pjballantine.com
    • You can find us on social media…
    • …and yeah, Tee is on Snapchat as TheTeeMonster
  • Let’s all try and find Lauren on Snapchat…

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #31: Reflections and Lessons Learned from a Blog Tour (with Nick & Stacia Kelly)

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What a grand time we had in studio! If you remember from a previous Shared Desk, we enjoyed good panel with Stacia Kelly & Nick Kelly, another husband and wife team in the Science Fiction and Fantasy market. We finally got them over at Imagine That! Studios, enjoyed the last of the gas in the grill, and got them on mic. In this first in-studio appearance (and something tells me, far from the last) we talk about the recent Endless Possibilities Book Tour, lessons learned, and where we are going from here.

00:00 — Introduction

  • We’ve got alcohol introduced into the system which means the drops-in’s are leaning towards the ruder side of things. Even with guests in-studio.
  • Welcome for the first time in-studio our special guests, Nick and Stacia Kelly.
  • Bitching about the winter that shows no signing of ending…
  • Good things about Trinity Episcopal: We meet awesome people!
  • What do you do when you’re about to have a book released?
    • Tee — Goes on a CLEANING BINGE!
    • Pip — Drinks. (But Tee has other opinions as to what she does…)
    • Stacia — When she is nervous, she dances! Then cleans up after herself….
    • Nick — Channels his inner-Jaeger pilot. (He tends to cave to peer pressure from the show host, too.)
  • Go out and get Dawn’s Early Light! NOW!!!
    • A lot is riding on this new book.
    • There’s been a lot of hype around the book.
    • Our blog traffic is up by 300% (Now 400%….)
  • No one touches the bell!
  • A lot has been happening across all our blogs… 

08:47 — Reflections and Lessons Learned from a Blog Tour 

  • Blog Tours
    • What did we learn?
    • How do they happen?
    • How do you organize one?
  • Stacia — “This was my idea.”
    • WbtR wanted to try something new with book promotions!
    • First time with the blog tour — Sixteen participants! (Yikes!)
  • Nick admits there was a learning curve, but there were some challenges ahead.
  • Tee had a problem: The traffic during the blog tour dropped. Oooops…
  • Is there a strategy at composing blogposts?
  • What are tips for participants new to blog touring?
    • A “How to Blog 101” blogpost or “class” for those involved
    • Understanding a commitment level
    • Advantages: a new pool of content for my blog
  • Rules for repurposing blogpost and creating content
    • Nick — Ask yourself “What makes you want to read a blogpost?”
    • Tee — Ask your blog host “What would you like?” and pitch ideas.
    • Pip — On evergreen content
    • Stacia — Change more than 20% of a blogpost before you think it is a repurposed blogpost
    • Nick — On a blogpost’s exclusivity
  • Timing on topics does matter.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  — does it really work?
  • What Tee has to deal with on a daily basis…
  • So someone is intimated by Tee? For what exactly?!
  • Oh MySpace’s Tom, where are you now?
  • Tee builds up a joke about DC (Comics) but Nick thinks it’s about (Washington) DC…
  • Another resource for blogposts — Writers…who behave like idiots
  • A tangent on SFWA…
  • Another tangent — albeit a much longer one — on Kickstarter…
  • If you are going to blog about something out there or controversial, own it.   
  • Other bits of advice for writers new to a blog tour
    •  Know the works of the authors
    • Look for a sweet spot for blogpost length

35:30 — Seriously? Seriously.

  • So much stuff to choose from for this week’s section…
  • Pip reads the web, and Nick is happy.
  • A threat that that is creeping up on established authors of the Empire: The Loss of their Cushy Offices in London!
  • Are these writers serious?!
  • Nick and Stacia take the blame for what happening to toad’s professional author.
  • Stacia shares an opinion on those who rely solely on traditional house publishing.
  • Your obligatory Doctor Who reference…
  • What you, as an author, need to do to survive in today’s modern publishing world.
  • Do authors really need a downtown metropolitan office?!
  • Nick Kelly steps up and knocks it out of the park!

46:04 — The Wrap-Up

  • Now THAT’S a segue!!!
  • Pip and Tee have an jam packed week this week between…
  • Later on this Spring…
    • RavenCon, April 25-27
    • A quick cameo from Sonic Boom who wants S’mores and feels the need to plug America’s Funniest Home Videos
    • DemiCon 25, May 1-5
  • What Nick and Stacia have on their plates…
    • Finishing and releasing Gian in time for Earth Day
    • “Catwalk: Jericho” coming
    • Catwalk: Lineage coming this Halloween
  • Remember: Always honor Rule #34!
  • Nick Kelly gushes for a moment about James Langton…while explaining the moment he figured out why Pip and Tee call this podcast The Shared Desk

  50:57 — The Outtake

cover art by J.R. Blackwell 

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #29: All About Stonecoast (with Katie Bryski!)

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After two days of recording and a plethora of technical glitches, we are back for another episodes with our new intern and return Canuck, ForeWord-nominated author, Katie Bryski! Join us as Katie, fresh from Stonecoast, come in-studio to talk about this amazing experience that she has embarked upon…

00:00 — Introduction

  • We are on a roll!!!
  • G’day, eh? We have a guest in the studio again! Throw on the back bacon — it’s Katie Bryski!
  • Things you shouldn’t do after the Smoky Writers: Have your liver tested.
  • Pip bitches about the drop-in’s. Again. (And remember this…for later on in the show…)
  • Since the Smoky Writers events, what have Tee & Pip been up to?
    • The Silver Pharaoh is submitted to Laurie.
    • Wolf in the Fold is also submitted to Laurie.
    • Audio recording for Ministry Protocol is underway.
    • Tee’s still job hunting, still working on Wolf in the Fold, and also working on something for Valentine’s Day.
  • What Katie has been up to since Stonecoast?
    • She’s our intern for February!
    • Katie is still working on a book that is formally known as formerly known as Styx.
    • In Season Three of Tales from the Archives, things get very Canadian!

 14:48 — All about Stonecoast (with Katie Bryski) 

  • The first challenge of Stonecoast: Get to the right Portland!
  • What exactly is Stonecoast?
    • Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
    • Low-Residency (so you can do this from home…)
    • Residency is in Portland, ME
  • Tee’s mic problems and Pip’s odd need for editing…eh, just go with it!
  • Working with Mentors (who are working authors)
  • This isn’t NaNoWriMo or a writers’ retreat, folks. This is graduate school. For writers.
  • And there is Tee, just being far too ‘Murican.
  • From #MicFAIL to #DropInFAIL
  • Pip asks who would Tee want to have as his Writing Mentor…and Pip makes an uber-#SteampunkFAIL.
  • But Katie is a published author already…so why does Katie need a Masters Degree in Writing?
  • Katie looks at the goals of Stonecoast she’s looking to accomplish through this program.
  • Tee and Pip are a touch green with envy over Katie’s journey with Stonecoast.
  • For someone who hates drop-in’s, Pip’s asking a lot from Tee in this episode.
  • Does Stonecoast have business angles covered?
  • Stonecoast offers another aspect of the writers’ community

33:44 — Seriously?! Seriously.

  • Another #DropInFAIL but we’ll get this…
  • It’s kind of important before you go into a blog tour to know what to do when you’re on a blog tour.
  • Copy-Paste-Here’s-Your-Blogpost….no, that’s not what you do.
  • If you are too busy to go on a blog tour because you are too busy promoting, you’re lost in #EpicFAIL
  • There are bigger problems afoot if you don’t have evergreen blog content to offer a blog tour.
  • Is the problem a lack of ideas? (As we show, nope.)

41:25 — The Wrap-Up

  • So excited that we have Katie for a little more time!
  • Katie is gathering a lot of dirt on it.
  • And she’s a good intern ’cause she’s getting Tee coffee!
  • Pip and Tee struggle to keep the show on target
    • Weather Child now has a cover.
    • Tee & Pip head down to Richmond for The Writers’ Show!
    • Dawn’s Early Light hits the shelves at the end of March!
    • Something special coming up in February….
    • Oh yeah, RavenCon as well!
  • Sweet as! Katie is coming to Balticon!!! And she’s talking about beer!!!
  • We need a better sign-off for Katie…
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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