Thank you, Introductions, Book Giveaway, and Guest Post Contest!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! This week, we have a hodgepodge of things.

First of all, a huge thank you again for your support during the From Words to Brain promotion. The Amazon sales ranking went up an order of magnitude and stayed there for the whole week! The promotion was  a pricing experiment with my publisher, and it worked so well that they decided to discount their entire inventory on Amazon to $.99 for the month of February. So again, thank you  to everyone for checking out the essay, spreading the word, writing reviews, and everything else.

If you liked the essay, you might want to take a look at some of the other 40K ebooks. I highly recommend The Narrative Escape by Tom Stafford (see my interview with him here). Other titles include Selling Stories Successfully  and short stories by Bruce Sterling, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Mike Resnick, and Paul Di Filippo.

Second, the blog has reached another milestone. We now have over 1000 RSS subscribers :-) I would like to learn a little more about you. If you have a moment, please come by the comments section and introduce yourself. Do you write? How are your projects going? If you commented during our last get-to-know-you thread at 500 subscribers, give us an update on how things have gone since then.

Third, since guest posting was useful in growing my own blog, I thought it would be fun to do a guest post contest here. So if you would like to guest post, e-mail a blog entry (one per person) to liviablackburne [at] gmail [dot] com before March 1, 2011.  I am mainly looking for posts that are useful to writers, although you get bonus points if it makes me laugh. Previously posted entries are okay as long as you tell me where it was posted.

Lots of things going on this week.  Take care! :-)


  1. I don't think I've commented before. But my name is Matt and I've been following for a month or so, and I've found your blog super helpful. I blog short stories, I'm working on a novel, and I'm preparing to pitch a comic book series to publishers at Emerald City Comic Con in March. Thanks for the great blog! It's a fun resource.

  2. Livia,

    Fristly, thank you for such an informative blog that is yours. With that, I'd like to introduce myself.

    I am a freelance writer and editor who got published in an Aussie Glossy magazine recently. Actually, I am a software engineer with a PG in Marketing; but I am most passionate writing. :)

    I thought because we share a secret love (starts with a "w"), we must connect and stalk the loved one all the more. ;)


  3. Is it just me or did the subscriber count skyrocket in a very short time?
    As for me, I'm an aspiring novel writer, short story writer and other things writer (especially an aspiring cheque writer).
    I love this blog, it is absolutely fascinating (then again, I find all things related to people behaviour fascinating).

    Thanks for a great blog and congrats on the 1k hit (will there be a 40K book giveaway when you reach 40k subscribers?).

  4. I kinda want that book. I'll have to have a talk with the randomizer to see if I can get it to do me a solid. Word.

    (No idea why I just added "word" to the end of that graf. Maybe for extra street cred? *shrugs*)

    Also, I'm pretty sure you know who I am by now. ;)

  5. I do write, though you wouldn't know it by looking at my novel's progress of late. I'm too easily distracted by shiny things.

    At some point in the not too distant future I plan to finish my manuscript, polish it to near-perfection, get published, and become a multi-bajillionaire. Which will be great for a while, until I remember there's no such number as bajillion and that I should probably beg for my day job back so the bank doesn't foreclose on my house.

    But enough about me. How are you?

  6. Hi, I'm Lisa. I write novels, and I blog. I'm interested in brains, so I always enjoy your posts that involve both brains and writing. I'll be pondering a guest post submission.

  7. I'm a grad student in the field of neuroimaging and interested in science writing. Found your blog through a re-tweet on Twitter - looking forward to reading more!

  8. Matthew – very cool that you're doing comic books. Is the pitching process for that similar to novels?

    Brown eyed -- well, with all the blogging, I'm not sure how secret the love is anymore :-)

    Jake – the subscriber count tends to go in spurts. Usually due to a guest post or a link from a larger blog. The most recent spurt was due to my typing versus longhand post, which I had totally not predicted would do that well. And wow, 40 K subscribers. That would be nice :-)

    Simon – if you figure out how did hack the random number generator, let me know

    Nate -- I think a while back there was a movement to make "hella" the next prefix for large numbers. ("million, trillion, hella...") I don't think it worked out though. Things are going pretty well for me. I'm hard at work on the third revision of my novel, hoping to send it out to beta readers in a month.

    Lisa – yay brains :-) glad you're thinking about entering the contest.

    Neuro - another grad student! That writes! More of us keep popping out of the woodwork

  9. Honestly, I don't know the process for novels that well. I should, but I don't. The process for comic books varies depending on publisher, but for creator-owned series, they generally want to see you working with a committed artist already. So basically, it's along the lines of having a decent chunk of the first issue totally done, and then showing that to the publishers at cons to drum up interest. Then if they are interested in seeing more, you send in a formal pitch and cover letter, along with character bios, outlines, etc.

  10. Hi Livia
    I just awarded you one of my On Target blogs awards! Check it out at:

  11. Hello, Livia!

    I'm a new subscriber to your blog. I found it quite at random but loved the psychological take you have and also laughed at a few of your entries, which means you have a great blog as far as I'm concerned.

    I'm a writer of GLBT and alternative lifestyle erotic romance fiction. I'm also one of the owners of Storm Moon Press. Business is definitely going well, even though the press is still only in its second year. My newest release, "Catalyst", which I co-authored with S.L. Armstrong, is a novel in which we tried to include the psychological depth of the two main characters and how their personality quirks are affected by a BDSM relationship that doesn't get a truly healthy start. I've always loved the complexity of the human mind, and so this latest book to be published is one I hope does really well!

    My current projects include a contemporary paranormal romance (M/M), a novel named "Polyfidelity" (can you guess the theme there? XD), and I've been futzing around with my co-author on a series of three novellas involving Lilith (first wife of Adam) and Cain (eldest son of Adam). So many stories to write and so little time, thanks to my massage therapy day-job!

    Thanks for the welcome! I look forward to reading your blog entries!

    ~K. Piet

  12. I'm a MG writer, working on a mystery right now, although I've an urban fantasy on submission. I'm loving From Words to Brain - and will try to get my rear in sufficient gear to submit a guest post! We'll see...

  13. Hi Livia,
    Your blog interests me as a scientist author. A PhD in genetics, I've also been writing fiction and poetry since childhood. After joining social media streams for the first time in 2011 as an experiment, yours was one of the first sites and feeds I found and enjoy.

  14. Hello again,

    I'm polishing a MG MS and scrapping draft after draft of my query letter. This year I'm going to the NESCBWI conference and Muse/Marketplace, both for the first time. I think I remember you posting about Muse at one point--if you've been to NESCBWI I'd be curious to hear what you thought.

  15. Brendan - I've never been to nescbwi, but my critque buddies really like it

  16. Hi Livia,

    I was a grad student in BCS also until recently, but I found your blog through a writing friend. I do a bit of writing (fiction and funny true stories) as well as working on things related to cog sci, so I am really interested to read all the things you're blogging about.

    - Lauren S.