How Extraordinarily Subtle Online Self-Promotion Is Done

Two days into’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards voting, and my novel Fuzzy Nation is doing just fine — it’s number nine in the Best Novel listings at the moment, so thanks. But I gotta tell you, the 2011 Readers’ Choice Award I’m coveting — we’re talking 10th Commandment level coveting — is the Short Story 2011 Readers’ Choice Award, for which my story “Shadow War of the Night Dragons, Book One: The Dead City: Prologue” is totally eligible. Totally.

Now, I’m not saying that you should stop whatever it is you are doing right this instant and nominate “Shadow War” over at the 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards. I know that wouldn’t work; you are all too smart, and independent-minded, and attractive, and smell too much of warm, fresh baked bread and victory, to be swayed by such a crass and transparent exhortation by me. I would ashamed to even suggest such a thing. What I will say is that I have strong evidence that every time someone nominates “Shadow War” in the 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards, a small, wee starving kitten is fed a bowl of fresh cream.

Not that this should sway you in any way, mind you.

I’m not even sure why I brought it up.

So, if you just happen to nominate “Shadow War” in the 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards, after serious thought and consideration for its artistic merits, I would be grateful. And so would the kittens. Those poor starving little kittens, just hoping against hope for a fresh bowl of cream.

Thank you for thinking of the kittens.

(Oh, and if while you were there you wanted to vote for other short stories — and novels, and art — by other people, that’s cool too, because the rules of the 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards allow you to nominate as many stories, novels and art as you want. It won’t do anything for the kittens, mind you. But you might make the story authors happy. And I guess that’s okay.)

46 Comments on “How Extraordinarily Subtle Online Self-Promotion Is Done”

  1. More proof, folks, right here, that there is no longer an independent Scalzi Sentience – it’s simply a feline-controlled meatbag.


  2. Done! (for the kittens). Man, that comment list is a treasure trove of great recommendations, too…

    Also, I noticed that THEY have a preview comment over there. It’s both beautiful and functional. Just sayin’…

  3. *button*! They have a preview comment *button* over there.

    And I suspect that I’ve just proved my point, I think. Oy vey.

  4. lol. Already did put forth “Shadow War” as one of my picks for best short story of 2011. Now, however, I am uncertain whether it was done of my own volition, or if I am entirely free of kitteny soft mind control …

    This will bother me …

  5. You are an evil, evil man, foisting artery clogging, tooth rotting photos just for vain self promotion. Excuse me while I steal some of my employers valuable company time and go vote now.

  6. I’d like to know when Patrick Rothfuss started writing Whatever entries. If you don’t believe me, go read some of his blog posts (besides this one, I mean).

  7. KITTANS! *looks goofy* I will bring double cream. I will bring tuna. I will vote for your servant Scalzi, who is well-trained and will bring you catnip…

  8. Well, I was going right along until I reached the last pic, that of DEMONKITTEH(tm). It looks like his cream must be laced with the blood of his vanquished enemies…..

  9. [Deleted because it was off-topic. Hint: If you know a comment is off-topic to a post, don’t post it. It saves me deleting it — JS]

  10. Then point me where to post please, that 2005 comment was brilliant and I assume you encourage the viewing of archives.

  11. Having been owned by cats, I know what dairy does. My wife still wets herself laughing whenever she visualizes me chasing “Stinky” around the living room trying to hold a paper towel under his face, and him with malice aforethought and great care puking to the side of the paper towel each time.

    However, in exchange for the next chapter of SWOTNDB1:TDC, I would be glad to invite all homeless kittehs over for milk and cookies, and of course on an unrelated topic, cast an appropriate vote at Tor …

  12. I am not known for subtle self-promotion. Face-to-face, nor online.

    Nor do I have something nominated for major awards this year.

    Nor do I wish to start the endless debates about “backscratching” and “logrolling” in awards (Nebula, Hugo).

    I admire you and your writing. I know how exciting it is to be productive in fiction. I try to follow your lead.

    I have written 1,212,650 words of science fiction since 6 July 2010, almost all posted on my Facebook Wall as I write it. When one of those 12 novels is printed, and nominated, I’ll find out how many of my 4,200 Facebook friends are there when I need nominating…

    Thanks for the reminder. Fingers crossed for you!

  13. This is NOT a good incentive. Too much cream or milk is bad for cats. My girls would vote for the work that provides a small can of something expensive, like Fancy Feast.
    BTW they definitely recognized a kinship with the Fuzzies in Fuzzy Nation after I read them the paragraph about the Fuzzies’ sleeping habits interfering with Jack’s sleep.

  14. People people people. John obtains all of his cream from his herd of Swiss dairy cats, which he milks by hand every morning before dawn. You don’t think he would feed cream meant for cow-kittens to poor, starving cat-kittens, DO YOU???

  15. John, I promise to vote for Shadow War on two conditions:

    1. You promise to write the entire trilogy before you die.

    2. You show us a picture of one of your Swiss dairy cats, which you have in the barn out back……

  16. Worrying, I’m pretty sure that nowadays people say that cream is bad for kittehs. SO THO I was going to vote, I think I now cannot, in good conscience, do so. THINK OF THE KITTIES AND THEIR PUIR WEE TUMMIES.

  17. Goddamnit, if a saucer of cream is good enough for the cats in Warner Bros. cartoons — INCLUDING the adorable kitten Marc Anthony adopted in “Feed the Kitty” — it ought to be good enough for the imaginary kittens Scalzi just made up. Hrrmph, hrrmph, hrrmph.

  18. The current standings in the Readers’ Choice Awards nomination are interesting, although some of us are unsure whether “interesting” is good or bad. (As of this morning’s update, my own “Absinthe Fish” is currently listed as #3 in the Best Short Fiction category. Your kittens will, undoubtedly push it completely off the screen…)

  19. I have written 1,212,650 words of science fiction since 6 July 2010, almost all posted on my Facebook Wall as I write it. When one of those 12 novels is printed, and nominated, I’ll find out how many of my 4,200 Facebook friends are there when I need nominating…

    Yes, but how many today?

  20. Since David asked, but I’ll self-promote no more, here, today:
    Ch. 287: “Reinventing Discovery” of the novel/trilogy Alzheimer’s War
    [draft of 9:25-10:00, Friday 13 Jan 2012, 9 pages double-spaced; 2,650 words]
    Have not yet written my daily chapter of LUTETIA nor of I AM HAMLET’S GHOST.

  21. I went and nominated it as soon as I recovered from the stun of being hit by Scalzi’s “subtlety” bat.

  22. John
    You have provided me with some moments of pure joy when it comes to Extraordinarily Subtle Online Self-Promotion, and I really needed them, so thank you.
    On this side of the Pond we are enmeshed in the Leveson Inquiry into the Culture, Practises and Ethics of the Press, and one of the examples this week was the so-called journalist Johann Hari who not only plagiarised vast chunks of other writers’ work but also conducted vicious sockpuppet attacks on anyone who dared to challenge him.
    I think we can agree that he hadn’t quite got the whole subtle bit…

  23. Hate to be a wet blanket, but lactase production shuts off pretty early in cats. So feeding them milk or cream is actually bad for them (and painful).

  24. Kittens? For the love of sanity man why didn’t you use puppies instead? It is a scientific fact (announced here, just now!) that puppy breath has the ability to turn even the strongest person amongst us in to shambling, empty-minded husks, open to outside influence. :-O

  25. You know, that could backfire. I used to work for a guy who hated cats, which I took personally as I had a cat at the time that lived with me since I came to Cincinnati in 1991.

    However, this might be a bad example. He also used to lecture me about how the moon landings were faked and did not appreciate my simply bringing up while he ranted.

    You know what? Do it, people. It’ll piss off that moon-hoax believing moron.

  26. Wow, captcha is a PITA on that page (or my eyes are truly awful). Took many a try before it would go through. So I guess I’ve taken care of a couple litters with the effort!

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