We want to hear from you!

It’s hard to believe, but Mad Genius Club has been around for 8 years, 11 months (assuming my math is right). That’s over 3,000 posts. In that time, we’ve done our best to keep you up-to-date with what’s been going on in the world of publishing.  Some things have changed a great deal in that time while others appear to remain written in stone,  on a cave wall deep in the past. We’ve given you a glimpse — and sometimes more — of our lives as writers and our process when it comes to writing. So, as we close in on that 9th anniversary, we want to hear from you.

When Sarah and Dave first started the blog and reached out to others to join them, the purpose was to give authors and those who want to be authors a place to come for information on the industry, for support and a place where they could ask questions without fear of reprisal. So, that’s what we are doing today. We want to hear from you. We want to know what issues or topics dealing with publishing you’d like us to cover.

In the comments, give us your suggestions and questions. Be specific whenever possible. While we don’t guarantee we will do a post, or series of posts, on every suggestion, we will address as many as we can. Now, go forth and tell us what you’d like us to cover over the next few months or year.




37 responses to “We want to hear from you!

  1. paladin3001

    Okay, this is just a suggestion on the whole site set up. I have no other requests in regards to what you are teaching us.
    The other day I thought I would dig back through your archives to see what I had missed from before I started following you good folks around the beginning of the year or so. Imagine to my surprise that it was highly difficult trying to find posts from previous years/months/days. So, just wondering if it’s possible to revamp this lovely blog so finding stuff is a lot easier? Maybe an actual archive link on the side?

  2. Doug

    How about an updated file on How To ready a manuscript for uploading, including font usage & sizes, formatting, setting up picture and illustrations, converting from Word or Wordperfect or TXT into a suitable carrier for Kindle, etc.

  3. Blurb workshops. I remember when I first started reading MGC, there were a couple of workshops every now and then, where people posted their covers and blurbs for workshopping. Those were useful.

  4. I would second tagging posts to make it easier to find interesting posts. Lot of work though.

  5. I have no suggestions, but one of the charms here is the sheer randomness — whatever aspect jumps up that day is good. So — carry on!

  6. Luke

    “Cats are better than dogs, and other ludicrous fictions.”
    (Ducks incoming carp)

  7. Draven

    Sarahcon, somewhere in TX…

  8. I want a book. There are so many pieces on here that are timeless (many that are not, too, because time and markets won’t hold still). A distillation of those, though, would be a boon. Think of Cedar’s pieces on covers, Dorothy’s on blurbs, Sarah’s on genres, those just since I’ve been around here (someplace around a third of the life-to-date).

    I would go so far as to volunteer to (copy) edit such a book, and put the ebook together, given the MGC approved links to what should be the content. (One of you should publish it, though; I don’t want to get into splitting up proceeds myself. Unless you decide it all goes one place, like the Home for Indignant Cats.)

    • A topical book would be good; or yearly-updated supplemental guides? The Mad Genius Club Guide to (topic)? With perhaps (title) (year) Supplement that consolidates the articles over the year. (Rough idea anyway…)

      The other thought I had would be an updated topical index for the blog, perhaps. The Navigating from Writing to Publication is good, but I’m not sure the more recent relevant topics get put on there. It’s a lot of work, but… it’s just a thought.

      • (PS: I’d also support for the initial Guide to be sold, and the supplements also to be sold, because there is time and effort in consolidating and formatting the posts for publication.)

        Perhaps useful reader’s comments could be put in quotes, or sidebars?

      • Hmm. I think you have a better idea, there. Although… Maybe a separate blog that serves solely as an index? That would allow for not just MGC, but also the independent blogs – Sarah’s, Cedar’s, Dorothy’s, etc. Less work to keep updated, too. (Plus, I think it would fit OK into a free WP site, being virtually all links, making it a time investment only. I’m trying to think whether there is a limit to pages, though – I’m thinking that each major topic would have a page and then sections.)

        • Draven

          the thing is- for several of the entries there are lots of ‘this could be longer but its a blog entry’ things. Lengthened versions could be compiled into a book.

          • That’s not what I’m looking for. Now, while I would appreciate such, I would much rather that the Mad Geniuses write for readers, not write for writers. Unless they really, really wanted to.

        • This is a reply to all comments in this subthread. Speaking only for myself, and knowing how many posts there have been since the start of the blog and how much additional information is in the comments just from the bloggers, you have no idea what a huge undertaking it would be to put together a book or books based on the posts here. It would take much more than just pulling out the posts. Unless the posts had been done in the last 6 mos or so, there would have to be time spent updating the information in them, or at least making sure nothing major had changed since posting. Then, if we did offer it for sale, someone would have to take care of the accounting end of it.

          All that said, if Sarah and Dave decided it was something they thought worth doing, most — if not all — of us would probably agree. However, I’ll be honest. I’d rather be writing and, to be even more honest, I’d rather Dave and Sarah be writing. I want to read more of their stuff. I’m selfish that way.

          • Note that on less sleep-and-coffee-deprived thought, I’ve abandoned the book notion myself. The amount of work involved (for MGC writers) would be prohibitive, compared to the returns.

            An index, though – done by a volunteer not-MGC person – will that fly? With suitable warnings that the links are to blog posts made over a long period of time, not guaranteed in any way to be complete or currently relevant.

            If it flies with the MGC – and only if it flies with the MGC – I will start that index – again, on a voluntary basis, for the same cost to the end user as the posts themselves.

          • Mike Houst

            The Mad Genius Club Graduate Course on Editing Blogs for Book Publication: or A Post-Graduate Thesis on Cutting and Pasting.

  9. I find the blog to be excellent in its present form, and suggest zero changes. Changes cost work and time better spent making money.

    Subjects to be covered, I echo the request above for a Blurb Workshop. Those things seem trivial until you try to make one, and they usually decide if a person will buy your book or not. I decide based on the blurb all the time.

  10. Pat Patterson

    Dorothy had some brilliant stuff about marketing that MAY be timeless, but if not, would be grand to update.
    And this is my go-to referral when I encounter a struggling author. I get requests for reviews, and if the book shows promise, I encourage the author to read and research here.

    • Best advice about marketing – and about the only timeless piece, IMHO – is “Find out where your potential readers hang out, and then get out there and DO it!” Where they are and what you need to do to get their attention seem to change all the time.

  11. Perhaps time on writing better fiction on the detailed scale, e.g., replacements for

    ,” he said emphatically.

    At the other end, matters of which we might do with a limited ration, note the latest File 770 is having a vigorous discussion of a column by occasional visitor here Chris Nuttall.

  12. Ideas for MGC? First, based on the response to the weekly prompts on ATH, you might include workshop type stuff. Writing prompts, maybe a contest or something? Second, let me get back to you on that…

  13. Books based on the blogs?

    Hire an editor.

    • lfox328

      Queries – how to write a concise summary of your book that will coax an editor or agent to ask for a look (if trad published), or, if indie, entice a buyer to hit the button.

  14. Dan Z

    Perhaps an interesting topic might be one that dealt with advice on managing/planning a series. For example, if you know from the get go that your story is too big for just one book (or just one set of characters or what have you) is it better to write out the entire series, in essence building up a backlog, and then publish each volume individually on a regular schedule? or perhaps release them in pairs or other multiples? or to forego the entire idea of a backlog and publish the whole series en masse? or to dial that back a bit publish each story as it gets finished, whenever that happens to be?

    • Dorothy Grant

      Heh. I tried write a short response, starting with “It depends.” but breaking it out… well, now I have a post for the blog!

  15. Going forward (because going back would be a PITA), a few sidebar collections of things such as “how to do covers”, “how to format”, etc.

  16. Congratulations on 8 years of great posts. I came for the puppies and stayed for the “how to be a better storyteller” and the Indie fen publishing goodness (Well that, and Dave Freer’s posts. He should do something like Law Dog Files. But I digress.)

    Granted my storytelling mode is illustration, and most recently web-comic-ing, but you’ve still been quite useful.

    I just wish I could be more useful as a of regular to the rest of you.

      • Dorothy Grant

        We iz authors. Is not paid copy, Is not cleaned up for publication, (Although anything I write pre-my-second-cuppa is usually given an editing draft for clarification. because I’m a modern zombie, and stumble about with hands cupped, moaning “Caaffeeeeeeine…” instead of hands grabby moaning “braaaaaaains”)

        I keep expecting to read an article here with a truly spectacular word substitution, followed by “Damnit, Dragon, I said….” 😛