Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Where's Milo?

I have an idea. It's one of those ideas that sounds really awesome when you scribble it down during fifth grade English class, which may or may not be a good thing. Imagine it on lined notebook paper, crumpled up, and handed to you in the hallway, your name on the front in the middle of a lopsided heart because we, reader, are best friends forever and ever.

Dear Best Friend,

Barry Smith just emailed me--yes ME--to let me know that he's putting my signed copy of Only Milo in the mail today! Get this: he says I'm getting the FIRST COPY! OMG, can you believe it?!?

Only Milo is a book that speaks to every aspiring author. It's a tough place to be. You spend hours of your life on a story, never knowing for sure if anyone will ever want to read it other than your mother (and honestly, even my mother won't read my writing unless she thinks it's worth her time.)

I was thinking about how unpublished authors need to stick together after Nathan Bransford capped off his Writer Appreciation Week with a post about unpublished authors.

All of this has culminated in one BIG IDEA. Reader, what if we took Only Milo, a book by a debut author about an underdog, unpublished writer that takes revenge on the publishing industry and turn it into a trophy, a rallying symbol, a talisman of sorts?

This is what I propose:
1. I'm going to get this book with Barry Smith's signature. I'm going to read it and then I'm going to sign my name on the inside cover.

2. What happens next is the fun part: I will choose an unpublished author (a friend, twitter companion, or fellow blogger), acquire his/her address, and mail her the book.

3. S/he will then read the book and sign it and send it to another unpublished writer. Preferably you would also tweet/blog about it (#Where'sMilo).

We could take pictures of ourselves with the book in one hand and our WIP (work in progress)in the other. I'll post the pics on my blog as I get them and each unpublished author is welcome to write a guest post or share an excerpt from their WIP here to accompany the picture.

4. Eventually (depending on how popular this is) I would, of course, like the book back. The end! Everyone is happy and everyone has made new writer friends.

It's a bit of a cheesy, chain letter sort of idea, but it appeals to me. Of course I need your help to make it happen. What do you say to Where's Milo?

It beats sending a family recipe or new underwear to a stranger and never getting anything in return.


  1. It's official! I'm sending my copy to Keli Scrapchansky first! If you want to get in on the fun, leave a comment and let everyone know!

  2. What a fantastic idea, Jennifer! I'm so excited to follow the book and see where it ends up. :) Barry is a super sweet guy and totally deserves a boost.

    Also, as publicist for 'Only Milo,' I'm happy to provide any support I can. Feel free to email me at nicole[at]inkwaterpress[dot]com.

    PS--I have some adorable custom 'Only Milo' Post-It pads, and I'd love to send you one!

  3. Thanks, Nicole! I'm so glad you like the idea. Of course I'd love a post-it pad.

  4. I like this idea. I think it has a number of positive effects if all goes well. Connections between unpublished writers, but also a bit of publicity for a newly published writer.

  5. Exactly! So...does that mean I can put you on the list?? ; )

  6. Sure. It sounds like fun (and it sounds like a good book). :)