Publicists/Editors/Writers: I’m Seeking Big Ideas

Hey there, all you crazy book publicists, writers and editors:

As most of you know, once or twice a week I like to use this space to put a spotlight on writers with new and recently-released book, specifically in a feature I call “The Big Idea” — in which the author writes a bit about one of the big ideas on his or her book, how they factored that big idea into the writing, and what challenges working with that idea presented in writing the book. So far this year, the authors who have discussed their Big Idea here have included Marcus Sakey, Phillip Palmer, Paul Melko and Jami Attenberg.

However, at the moment the cupboard is bare, so I’m looking for more writers to share their Big Idea here at Whatever.

Why here? Well, the Whatever receives between 30,000 and 40,000 unique daily visits every weekday, with occasional spikes in the 45,000 daily visit range and sometimes even above. That’s a lot of folks — most of whom like books and learning what’s new in the bookstores. So it’s good exposure to a literate and generally friendly crowd.

To date, most of the authors participating in The Big Idea have been writing in science fiction and fantasy, but it’s not a requirement — indeed, I would love more participation from novelists in other genres and from non-fiction writers, as well as graphic novelists. I don’t read just science fiction and fantasy and neither, I suspect, do the readers here.

If you are an author who would like to be spotlit in The Big Idea, or are a publicist or an editor who is working with an author, here’s what you have to do to get rolling:

1. First, authors must not be self-published, or solely electronically published, or published by a publishing house that offers $1 advances and/or can’t get distribution into bookstores. Yes, I know. I suck. But this is the line in the sand. Deal with it.

2. It’s helpful for me to be sent the work in advance of the publication date. Please visit my Publicist Guidelines for how to send me stuff.

3. Contact me 4 – 6 weeks before your work/your author’s work is due to hit the stores and we’ll see what availability is. The best way (read: really the only way you should try) to contact me is via e-mail, at “john@scalzi.com“; please make your interest in doing a Big Idea feature clear in the subject header to help me flag the e-mail. There’s some flexibility with this (for example, at the moment I’m looking for Big Idea entries for the next month), but since this is largely “first come, first served,” the earlier folks alert me, the better chance they’ll get something in.

4. Generally speaking it’s useful for me to have the author’s Big Idea piece a week before it goes up.

Any questions? Drop me an e-mail. And feel free to let folks know about this. I like promoting the work of authors, so I want authors to know the opportunity is here.

Thanks, and I look forward to reading and sharing your Big Ideas!