Breadcrumbs…

Most sites giving advice to writers suggest that an author check out a publisher or agent before submitting to them. From Preditors and Editors and the Absolute Write Water Cooler (that’s the link describing us) to Writer’s Beware (the link is to my guest blog on fee-charging agents), there are several places an author can go to check out a publisher before submitting a manuscript. I routinely suggest to authors that they check out Divertir Publishing before they sign a contract with us, and have gone so far as to set up meetings between our current authors and potential authors so the potential authors could ask questions before signing. Why would I do this? Two reasons: first, I want the authors that sign with us to be completely comfortable with the decision.

Second, it’s because I’ve checked you out…

In web programming, the term “breadcrumbs” is used to describe the trail one blazes as they navigate a web site; simply clicking on one of the breadcrumbs on a web page allows you to go to a previously visited page. It may shock you to hear this, but you leave “breadcrumbs” all over the internet. A search on Facebook with your email address will show me your Facebook page. A Google search for your name will often turn up everything from your author site and blog to your deviantArt and Story Write pages (where we discovered Verena Sandford, who is one of my favorite short story authors and who was featured in our first and second short story collections).

So what exactly am I looking for as I follow your breadcrumbs? I’m looking to see how serious and professional you are as a writer. Have you written an entertaining blog on why strippers shouldn’t eat curry, or is your blog a rant about how publishers deserve a special place in Hell? Does you blog offer interesting insight into controversial topics, or does it discuss how much you drank at the last keg party? Are there samples of your writing online that show me how creative you are and that might give me more insight into you as a writer?

Breadcrumbs are interesting, in that they can hang around for a long time. Here is a conversation I had with with Jane Smith (who writes the blog “How Publishing Really Works”) from February 2010. In hindsight, I will admit that some of my views on publishing back then were naïve. By the same token, I do owe her an email to point out that we were featured in the article “Keys to Cracking 10 Top Markets” by Adria Haley in the September 2011 edition of Writer’s Digest – thus her prediction of our doom before we started was premature.

What is the reason for  pointing out this last exchange with Jane Smith? It’s that the things we post on the web can stay there for a very long time, and eventually someone will have a reason to follow your breadcrumb. You should always try to make sure they create a positive impression for those who make the effort…

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2 Comments

Filed under For Authors, Publishing

2 responses to “Breadcrumbs…

  1. Pingback: Today it’s all about skin perception « Skin Care TipsX

  2. Thank you so much for the link back, and I really enjoyed this article. You are certainly right, the breadcrumbs we leave can lead (literally) right to your front door, so many don’t realize. It’s hard to put yourself out there and consider keeping yourself safe as well.
    A collection of short stories is looking more attractive each time I read an article like this. It’s very encouraging, thank you!

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