If you take one thing from this AMA, let it be this:

People spend so much time trying to keep the waves of life from rocking their boats, that they forget the reason they set out in the first place. Whether your dreams are massive or miniscule, don't forget which direction to point your sails, and don't give up when the storm seems impossible to conquer.

There are so many ghost ships drifting in whatever direction the current takes them. Don't let that happen to your vessel. Stay the course, ignore the nay-sayers, and take a chance if no one will give you one. Fight for your dreams, because they're worth fighting for.

And when you finally achieve your goals, I promise you, there will be no greater feeling.


Edit: I have work to do with Query Kombat. I'll be back in a bit to answer more questions. Edit: Thank you all for making this AMA a success. I'm signing out for the day. I'll pop in tomorrow to answer more questions.

Comments: 2275 • Responses: 40  • Date: 

okayisrelative1545 karma

Congrats on your novel. The synopsis looks promising. But why would you choose to use Comic Sans on your front page?

RavenousWriter2291 karma

I'm not ignoring you, I just have no answer for this question. I need a moment to rethink the last few months of my life.

NewYorkerinGeorgia574 karma

Welcome to the world of writing, where people criticize you for things you never expected.

RavenousWriter448 karma


zayetz114 karma

While we're at it - and only while we're at it! - shouldn't there be a comma after 'friend?' It's bothering me more than I'm comfortable to admit.

RavenousWriter7 karma

I went back and forth with this, too. According to rules of comma usage, there would only be a comma after 'friend' if Death was his only friend. Since Death isn't, there would not be a comma.

Apparently, punctuating appositives is a pain for many people

SpeedyMcPapa111 karma

Well I don't mind that you used Comic Sans

RavenousWriter113 karma

Thank you.

zwind218 karma

To piss the internet off into giving him more publicity. Think of all the people mentioning the book because it uses Comic Sans, best free advertising out there.

RavenousWriter295 karma

Free and unintentional. I'm not sure whether I should be happy or ashamed.

BetterWhenImDrunk557 karma

I have a buddy who wears jean shorts aka jorts, should I stop being friends with him?

RavenousWriter396 karma

Um... no... O_O

maytagjetcleanplus435 karma

Why haven't you published your other four novels as electronic editions on Amazon or other places?

RavenousWriter787 karma

I don't believe those other four novels are of a high enough quality to release. I wrote the first one when I was a freshman in high school, and I was in no way a prodigy.

I have plans to rewrite the fourth one, but the first three were practice and will likely never see the light of day.

Digitaldude555302 karma

Is it any good?

RavenousWriter695 karma

Good and bad is subjective, so I can't answer for everyone. What I can say is that I put my name on it and released it for the world to see . If that doesn't speak for my confidence in the book, I don't think anything can.

Mackinstyle586 karma

There's some objectivity to all things. Mein Kampf is a bad children's book.

RavenousWriter136 karma

I heard (via reddit) that it's actually an insightful read. Not for children, of course.

Breakfast_Sandwich268 karma

What is the significance of the guy on the cover drawing the powerade logo on the glass?

RavenousWriter342 karma

Ha! That is the Powerade logo, isn't it?

I can't say too much without giving something away, but the guy represents Death...and apparently, he's parched.

rae2108267 karma

I didn't notice that at all... I would have mentioned it to her too...

Edit: I have been dying to read this book ever since my fiance started work on your cover.

RavenousWriter312 karma

Small... internet!

She did an EXCELLENT job. I can't thank her enough.

saphake190 karma

Why was it rejected by so many agents?

RavenousWriter304 karma

My Best Friend Death wasn't rejected by all those agents. Only about 30 or so rejected it before I realized how much of a toll rejections were taking on me. My previous novel, which I queried, was rejected well over 150 times.

I kept querying it because I was afraid to start another novel. I didn't know if I had another one in me, and I was afraid to try. Writing is something I've wanted to do for as long as I could remember. Finding out that my reserves were tapped out would have killed me. So I broke every querying rule in attempts to prolong starting a new project.

Mikeydoes186 karma

How do you plan on marketing your book aside from Reddit?

RavenousWriter101 karma

My book will be posted to Net Galley soon. I've also done blog interviews.

That's about it for the moment. I run a tournament to help other writers find agents. It's going on now, so I haven't had much time for anything else. The tournament is called Query Kombat if anyone is interested in following it.

When_Ducks_Attack166 karma

How much is CreateSpace gouging charging you for the right to print your book?

RavenousWriter218 karma

$3.60 something to print, $4.00 something to ship. I think I make less than $2.00 profit. It's not bad, actually. Most traditionally published writers get less than that, so I've heard.

______DEADPOOL______73 karma

So, can I publish my novel on createspace too? It's not very good, in fact, it's really shitty, but I can put "Published writer" in my resume if they let me publish there.

RavenousWriter138 karma

Sure. But you're putting your name on something. You should put out the best work you can.

mongo_lloyd28 karma

Youre paying for it to be published?

RavenousWriter88 karma

No. I paid for the cover and to have it edited, but I didn't pay a dime to have it published via Createspace, Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Print, or Apple.

docfugazi4 karma

Have you considered having some physical copies printed as well? I'm currently on novel #2, and have just been sending out the first one to publishers, with predicted minimal success. So, I've considered self publishing, but am curious whether it's worth the cost to have physical copies printed, too.

RavenousWriter10 karma

Physical copies are available through Amazon, my website, and createspace. Considering something like 70% of people still read physical copies, I think it's worth the cost to have physical prints.

Createspace charges me something like $3.37 for physical prints. I would highly recommend it. The formatting process is a little tough, but nothing Google can't help you with.

MusicalSlaps59 karma

How did you get started on writing it? Bit of a broad question really but as I aspire to write my own novel, I find it excessively difficult to begin. Generally I just stick to writing short stories.

RavenousWriter205 karma

In high school, I had a crush on a girl who was a budding novelist. I though that if we had something in common, it would be easier to woo her.

I didn't get the girl, but I found my passion, so it was a good trade off.


How do you deal with writers block?

RavenousWriter37 karma

For me, writer's block means I don't like where my novel is going. If that's the case, I delete chapters until the words start pouring again.

MBFD was supposed to be comedic. My brain bailed on me three chapters in. That's when I knew it wasn't going to work. When I restarted the novel, everything flowed smoothly.

-Seraphim-11 karma

Congratulations on your book. I have added it to my reading list after scanning the first few paragraphs.

I had less than ten rejection letters and it took its toll on my confidence to the point where I didn't send out any more. Again, well done on sticking with it and accomplishing your dream.

So my question; What was your worst rejection?

RavenousWriter41 karma

The agent will remain nameless, but his rejection was one word: no

It wasn't capitalized or punctuated. There wasn't a signature. It didn't say 'Dear' or have the title of my book. It was just that one word.

That cut me deeper than all the other rejections combined.

doffensmush9 karma

Pepsi or coke?

RavenousWriter12 karma


vrgr234 karma

Is there a way to get your novel as an ePub file? I only see Amazon links on your site.

RavenousWriter7 karma

You can download an .epub via smashwords.

bluescholar903 karma

What's a tldr on the novel?

RavenousWriter4 karma

Is there a spoiler tag I could use? I've seen them, but have no idea how to use them.

FoxyGrandpa5173 karma

Do publishers ignore young writers?

RavenousWriter6 karma

Age has nothing to do with anything. It's all about talent and luck. Agent and publishers receive thousands of queries and manuscripts monthly--some daily. It's only natural that future bestsellers fall through the cracks. It's the nature of the machine.

JaideDM2 karma

Out of those 197 rejections, what was the most common reason they gave you?

RavenousWriter3 karma

Most of the rejections were form (predrafted rejections). Most had the word 'subjective' and 'best of luck'. Reasons are seldom stated.

IAMA_Drunk_Armadillo1 karma

As someone who's biggest difficulty is the middle of a story what advice could you give me on figuring how best to approach the second act? Like I can usually get a decent beginning and a solid end its everything between the two I struggle with.

RavenousWriter2 karma

I had this same struggle. At 32k words, I had no idea where I could go (I hadn't planned the ending at that point). I read somewhere that if you don't know what will happen next, ask yourself what WON'T happen next.

My first thought 'The school won't blow up.'

It doesn't, but that question (and my answer to it) changed the entire dynamic of my novel. With any luck, it'll work for you as well.

DickTrachaeotomy-2 karma

You might mention your name somewhere. How did you finally get a break?

RavenousWriter5 karma

My name is Michael Anthony and my book is entitle My Best Friend Death.

I never got a break. I was just fed up with waiting on someone else (agents and publishers) to validate my worth. I took my dreams into my own hands and self-published. I'm a lot happier for it.