Playlists in Books

Mpepper/ February 15, 2024/ Think Pieces, Writing/ 0 comments

Because this subject has blown up recently, and I have feelings about it. I’ve never read a book with a playlist printed in it. I doubt I read the kinds of books and/or authors that would feel compelled to include a playlist. So… yeah. There’s something somewhat juvenile about that, something that (to me) screams “newbie author.” High school mix

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The Tropification of Book Marketing

Mpepper/ January 15, 2024/ Think Pieces

A year or so ago, I was encourage to make an “arrow chart” of each of my books. If you’re an author or reader, you know what this is: an image (often animatic) showing the book with a bunch of arrows describing the tropes in the story. I suck at this kind of thing, but I tried. (The animatic one

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Discoverability: The Key to Success

Mpepper/ January 5, 2024/ Writing Advice

Someone posted a question on Twitter (X) earlier that caught my eye: What do you think of publishers that don’t offer distribution to bookstores? My immediate gut reaction was, “Nope.” Now, to be fair, my husband will tell you “nope” is my default setting. So I paused to read a few responses. Many requested clarification in that there is a

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Things a Publisher
Should Do for You

Mpepper/ March 6, 2023/ Writing Advice

As the number of major publishing houses seemingly continues to shrink, and with more and more people seeking representation from an evaporating pool of agents, many hopeful authors turn to small (sometimes called “indie”) publishers. These are publishing imprints that don’t require agents to submit manuscripts. They’re often run by a small group, or sometimes even just one person. They

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Are Self-Published Authors “Real” Authors?

Mpepper/ January 3, 2023/ Think Pieces

This old chestnut of an argument has recently reared its head again: “Self-published authors aren’t real authors.” (See also: “Self-published books aren’t real books.”) So, of course, let’s go through the debate once more. What this pronouncement almost always boils down to is the idea that, in order for any book or author to be “good,” they must go through–and

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Barnes & Noble vs. the Browse/Discovery Model

Mpepper/ August 19, 2022/ Think Pieces

I have never, to my knowledge, had any of my books stocked in a Barnes & Noble. Not for lack of trying; I have contacted my local bookstores multiple times in hopes they would at least consider putting one of my books in a “local authors” section. (This is true of local indie stores, too.) I usually get very kind

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The Shift of Publishing Towards the Writer

Mpepper/ March 9, 2022/ Think Pieces

I was thinking… Well, I was feeling a little bit irritated, really, about the way a few things had turned out. But that’s neither here nor there, except that these musings brought a certain clarity to me about how the publishing industry has shifted the bulk of the work onto authors. These thoughts came about, as many often do, during

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Questions for Publishers

Mpepper/ November 3, 2021/ Writing Advice

As often happens, a question arises on social media (in this case, Twitter) and I spend way too much time answering it via a long thread. So I thought I’d also put it all here in a handy, dandy blog post. Does anyone read blogs anymore? Well, just in case someone does, here’s the setup: I admitted that I once

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Ableism? Maybe…

Mpepper/ April 28, 2021/ Think Pieces

I recently was made aware of a publishing conversation that occurred on Twitter last month. (I know, I’m so out of the loop.) It was about ableism in publishing and there not being space for neurodivergent (ND) authors. I don’t know if that’s true; I’ve never really thought about it until now, when it was brought to my attention. I

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Not a Failure

Mpepper/ March 8, 2021/ Think Pieces

I recently decided to move ahead with self-publishing The Ghosts of Marshley Park. And almost immediately was met by two differing responses online: people cheering me on and people who wished me well in a way that absolutely suggested the passive-aggressive tone of, “You weren’t good enough for ‘real’ publishing, eh?” To be fair, tone is super difficult to discern

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