I got a couple of requests from folk to look at/write about something for The Lithole a bit ago. I’m generally surprised, as the blog is fairly new, and far from famous. I’m not against considering submissions, but there are a few things to keep in mind:
1) It should be literary in nature. A book, a story. I do talk about other forms of media on here, but that’s ancillary. The main focus here is “shit I have read”.
2) It’s going to have to catch my interest in some fashion. If you’ve written a really killer historical romance, that’s awesome, but I’m likely not going to want to spend the time on it. Horror, Literary Fiction (whatever that means), and the odd sci-fi novel form the bulk of my reading. If it’s complex and weird, you may have something that interests me. Alternately, if it’s fast paced, and over-the-top, that’s something I also write about.
3) I’m not going to review your graphic novel or comic. The last graphic novel I read was “The Watchmen” to give you some sense of my depth of knowledge in that area. It’s an art form that’s lost on me. That doesn’t mean it’s not worthy or cool. It means I don’t understand it, and you don’t want someone with no understanding of your art to write about it.
4) You should be prepared to give me a free copy of whatever it is. I buy all of the things I write about on here (including the Poe), but it’s because I think I’ll be personally interested/I would read them for pleasure anyway. This blog costs me money to run, has no advertising, etc. I’m not going to take a chance on something entirely at random.
5) I’m extremely unlikely to write you back. I’ll look at whatever is sent, consider it briefly, and I’ll either write about it or I will not. I may be in the middle of reading some dense, knotty work, and not have time to consider what you’re submitting for a while.
6) You have to be prepared for the possibility that I don’t like it. I generally try to keep this blog a spot where I don’t outright trash things, or if I do trash them I am going to say more than “thing bad”, and I hope that shows in the way I write. But for some people hearing negatives about their performance is tough. Spending a lot of time creating a piece of art and then having some fuckin’ nerd on a blog saying “I don’t like it” can be difficult. I may love it, and sing its praises, but you should be prepared for the opposite.
I understand how difficult getting the word out about your art is. I used to (and still do) make music, and trying to get anyone anywhere to pay attention to it was and remains the worst part of it all. And throwing your art out into the void without ever hearing back is extremely difficult. I was always happy when random music blogs reviewed my stuff, even when they did not like it.
Whatever you’re making, I encourage you to keep doing it. It’s a great way of staying human in a world which frequently does not allow us to stay human.
What I am Reading:
“The Waves”— This is absolutely beautiful, and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to write about it.
“Blindsight”— The concepts in this one are rapidly piling on top of each other, but there’s some effective sci-fi horror in here.
“Moby Dick”— A reread for me from this gorgeous edition. An unofficial book club formed just to read this.