IMG_1275 Writers' workshop teachers
First row: Thomas M. (Martin) Wagner; second row: Liz Gorinsky, Robert Jackson Bennett, Joe McKinney, Matthew Bey, Nicole Duson
Part of a writers' workshop is having a group of writers (beginners and pros) critique your story. A critique group, according to Robert Jackson Bennett, can tell you when there is a toilet in kitchen -- or an equivalent thereof in your novel. He also says that being a writer is like being a velociraptor -- you keep running into fences, and your body parts fall off, until... the metaphor breaks down. :-)
Because beginner writers need to be discouraged from writing, or at least subjected to rigorous trials of character, Martin Wagner and Liz Gorinsky shared these "uplifting" news about the publishing industry. Martin. Your publisher determines whether you become a published writer, but software determines whether you stay a writer. Stores have ordering software that shows how well your previous book sold. If it didn't sell well enough, the store won't order more of your books. This is called the publishing death spiral. You may have to change your name to sell more books.
Liz Gorinsky. Everybody, especially big stores, look at the first 4-6 weeks during which the book is on the shelves. If it doesn't sell very well during that time, bookstores might not order more of your books.
Read more about ArmadilloCon in my blog posts, especially about the ever-popular What You Should Have Read panel, where our well-read panelists recommend the year's best science fiction, fantasy, and horror books.