If you, as a writer, editor or publicist, would like to participate in the KatTales Prime Writing or My Murdered Darlings features, the FAQ below should provide most of the information you need. Sharing and linking to it is much appreciated as well.

1. What is Prime Writing?

Prime Writing is a KatTales feature, in which a first-time author discusses their debut novel or book.

I’ve received a lot of support from various writers as I’ve honed my craft. I’ve also seen first-hand how hard it is for a first-time author to break into the industry. This is my attempt to pay it forward, balance the karmic scales and be a good writing citizen.

Prime Writing is modeled after John Scalzi’s Big Idea feature (to give credit where it’s due. I also shamelessly stole his FAQ structure), but focused on debut writers.

2. What is My Murdered Darling?

In My Murdered Darling, authors tell us about that very special-to-them thing that didn’t make it into the final version of their story, whether that’s some character background, a deleted scene, a full subplot, or something else dear to their heart.

3. Why would I (or the writer I represent) want to contribute a feature?

It’s hard for a debut writer to stand out in the crowd of established authors. Consider Prime Writing a targeted forum for your debut, a showcase for new talent. My Murdered Darling gives readers a chance to find out something about their favourite story that they can’t get just from reading it.

4. What does the author need to provide for a feature?

A short (400 to 1,000 word) essay on the book, what went into its conception and debut.

An image of the book’s cover that can be displayed in the article, a very brief bio or interesting tidbit about you (or your author) or the book that I will use when I introduce the piece to readers, and optionally an author photo.

If you (or your author) have a preferred link directing readers to where they can purchase the book, please pass that along as well.

5. Which authors are eligible to be considered for features?

Prime Writing is open to all debut authors regardless of genre. The book, however, must be a first novel or book. The debut author requirement is not applicable to My Murdered Darling. Fiction, non-fiction, literary, commercial, YA, mystery, thrillers, SFF, romance… bring it on! I’m primarily a YA and SFF author myself, so titles may skew that way because these are the types of writers in my professional circle, but that shouldn’t stop anyone else from querying.

Presses and publishers of all sizes are welcome to query, so long as their print works are available on the following three American online book stores: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Powell’s, or Chapters/Indigo in Canada, or equivalent international bookstore.

Given the changing digital landscape, on a trial basis I’m going to say digital-only distribution is also OK, but vanity publishing is not. I may allow exceptions to this rule if I personally know you and your work. If you are an independent author, I would also prefer to see a sample of the work in question.

Debut means your (or your author’s) first book-length work. Prior publication of shorter works should not prevent you (or your author) from querying. That said, shorter works like short stories or novellas are not eligible for a Prime Writing feature. Books (novels, full-length anthologies, book-length non-fiction) only, please!

6. How do I get (or how does my author get) considered for a feature?

a) Send me an e-mail at features [at] katrinaarcher [dot] com. The e-mail subject line should read: “FEATURES QUERY: [Feature Name ] [Author] [Book Title] [Release Date]“, where [Feature Name] is either Prime Writing or My Murdered Darling. In the body of the e-mail please briefly describe the book.

b) If I don’t reply to you within 10 working days, please resend your request, the spam filter might have eaten the original.

c) I’ll give you the date scheduled for the piece; please send (or have your author send) the piece a week before the run date to features [at] katrinaarcher [dot] com. The e-mail subject line should read: “FEATURES ENTRY: [Feature Name] [Author][Book Title][Scheduled Run Date].”

d) An ARC or finished copy of the book is appreciated but not necessary. If you are an independent author, I do, however, request a sample of the work that I can evaluate for quality. I will send you my mailing address if you choose to mail me a book.

NOTE: This is NOT intended as an interview-style blog post. Please query (and be prepared to write a piece).

7. Do any authors have priority for open slots?

At the moment, priority should not be an issue.

Should it ever become so, I plan to give priority to a) authors whose books are coming out in the week a slot is open; b) authors who follow directions noted above.

Any other questions? Please ask in the comment thread. Otherwise, query away!

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