At the urging of Phil Tucker in a previous post’s comments, I’ve gone over to J. A. Konrath’s blog and downloaded the free PDF of A NEWBIE’S GUIDE TO PUBLISHING, which is to say the blog in PDF format. I’m enjoying it, but a few things there are howlers by today’s standards. A few pages ago he suggested bundling multimedia material with books on a CD. I was just informed that “blog” is short for “web log,” and that MySpace has four times as many hits as Google.
I don’t begrudge Joe this stuff — he’s offering the book for free, so he’s under no obligation to keep things up to date. And one of the things he mentions a few times in the book is how swiftly things had been changing even as he wrote — “two years ago, almost no one had heard of a podcast or a blog” and so on. It’s just funny.
There is a fair amount of thought-provoking stuff in the book/blog as well. Much of the advice boils down to “Write well” and “Persevere,” which it always does. But there are some specific ideas, mostly in the vein of self-promotion, that are interesting and plausible and would not have occurred to me. I’d be interested to hear what agents think of his querying advice, since it seems to flout every set of querying guidelines I’ve seen. But he may have been writing before email queries were a thing.