Kay’s Report Card, 2010

Dear Sumo Cat,

Your housekeeper has been doing well and growing in the school of fiction. She is a delight to work with and most of her fellow students enjoy her company. She cleans up after herself and has been learning new skills. Kay will need to learn to manage her worries. The world of fiction is cut-throat, unfair, bewildering and freaky, but most adults learn to accept this.

Skill Sets

1. Learning New Writing Skills. A

Kay has been applying some Larry Brooks principles to her writing, and improving as a result. This year she followed up on her commitment to find worthwhile blogs and learn from them.

2. Learning New Marketing Skills. B

Your student learned Word Press and joined Twitter this year. After several false starts she is able to tweet from her iPhone.

3. Technology. B-

Kay shows increased flexibility with iPhoto and Constant Contact. She does not regularly sync her iPhone. Needs improvement:  learning how to use the Elements Gallery in Word.

Marketing

1. Outreach. C

She did not achieve her goals for signings and conventions this year. Her efforts took her to Seattle, Leavenworth, Pasco and Columbus, OH.

4. Internet. A

This year your student revamped her blog and website for search engine optimization. She increased her visibility through podcasts, interviews and guest blogs. She revised her e-newsletter into a digest. She began doing on-line reviews.

Business of Writing

1. Industry and Trends B

Kay is learning to manage her reading list, concentrating on fantasy and branching into new areas such as Dungeons and Dragons. Needs improvement: renew subscriptions to industry magazines; follow publishers more carefully.

2. New Publishing C+

Your student is becoming more conversant with e-publishing, e-rights, delivery formats, electronic devices and sales ventures. She read a book on her iPhone.

Writing

1. Short Stories. B+

She published two new short stories this year and made several resales, including to podcasts.

2. Novels. A

Kay is working on the most exciting story that has ever existed.

Attitude

Your student is stubborn. She focuses on what she enjoys and short changes things she needs to utterly dominate the market. She worries too much about pointless things like when her agent is going to return phone calls and whether she is developing facial tics. But she’s doing a good job paying it forward, particularly Write on the River, which makes up for some of the above.

2 Responses

  1. She also deserves extra credit for being generous with her time and her hard-won insight with aspiring authors.

  2. Kay says:

    Oh, thank you, Mark! I try. And I also learn while teaching and sharing. That’s the oddest thing, but true.

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