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Last days of SYTYCW

Voting closes (GMT) in about an hour on Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write competition. The top 25 stories as voted by the public over the last week or so go through to the next round, plus a Wildcard 3 entries as selected by the Harlequin editors.

It has been an eye-opener watching the promotion of writers involved in the competition. Twitter on the Harlequin site was ballistic. I only just graduated into Facebook, so I’m not as yet ready to join the Twittersphere, but there were a heap of writers who’re obviously very familiar with using Twitter for promotion, and using it to connect.

Personally, I didn’t see any bad blood. But I did read a blog post of one entrant that when reading between the lines would seem she’d copped some flack about all the self-promotion.

She wasn’t the only one doing it by any means and there were tweets from husbands saying vote for their wives’ entries and friends and colleagues and you name it. I think if you’re out there and you’re doing it, well good on you. In some respects the use of social networks is part of what Harlequin would look for (and other publishers) to see that you are prepared to take on some self-marketing for your work.

What some people got up to was eye-opening. I read about one writer who printed business cards with the competition address and her entry link details and left them all through her office building with a ‘please vote’.

I’m very relaxed about the next phase. I don’t expect to get through, given I’m really battling for a wildcard as I’m sure I won’t have the votes, but I’ll look forward to seeing what does get chosen by the editors. (That’s if the wildcards are separated from the Top 25 somehow, so you know which ones the editors picked).

Meanwhile, I’ve been working through my critique partner’s 56,000 word story, and enjoying the process (and I enjoyed the story). We swapped very quick emails with initial responses. I really like her heroine in the book which surprised my CP, she said so far, “no one has”.

This is what she said about my book:

So far my impression of His Brand of Beautiful is one of clever writing, really strong concrete description and fun innovative situations.  I am finding it hard to follow the character’s motivations but I will explain that in my notes.  This looks like it’s going to be a fun, emotional read.

Critiquing has been very much on my mind and once again my favorite author blogger, Jennifer Crusie, has a timely post for me! (Okay so I’m sure it’s not just for me, but it’s still timely). A lot of the comments were interesting. She asked what people fear about having their work critiqued and the pros and cons.

Meanwhile, it’s off to wait for the Harlequin tally-keepers and editors to score their votes. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve chosen to go through. I can only imagine the next round of Twittering once they’ve narrowed down a short list. I think the Twittersphere might melt down!

What’s the best bit of social network self promotion you’ve seen? Share a tip in the comments!

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