Fiction–The G-Rated “F-Word,” Part 2.

Gathered around The Writers’ Table last week we discussed two unique features found exclusively in Fiction and not in nonfiction. Feelings are central for the Writer and the Reader. Meanwhile the author’s adherence to authentic Facts(which we’ll discuss at length later on) remains every bit as important. No matter the genre, there’s nothing like the appeal of a well-written, enduring novel that offers entertainment with painless education on the side. The ideal reading experience is “curling up with a good novel,” not the latest How-to or Self-Help book.

Here are several more “F-words” that distinguish Fiction from its distant relative, nonfiction. 

F is for Fun: Not all Fiction is Fun, but most is. If it’s fun to write, then it’s usually enjoyable for the Reader too. Although there is intense work represented by the simplest story, all Writers find pleasure in their work. If we don’t find pleasure, it shows through. At present, certain “Big Name Authors” have ceased to write their own stories, relying on a name alone to sell their books. Maybe they’re not enjoying the writing process anymore. The astute Reader can always tell.                    

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Meet Some of My Friends

Writing can be a lonely endeavor. We’re artists who paint with words, creating a mystery, a romance, or a historical novel one word at a time. Seated before our computer monitors or a clackety old Royal typewriter or at a desk with quill and parchment, that’s how it’s been done for years. Times haven’t changed that much. We’re still pretty much alone.

However, there are many connections that help make us better at what we do, because they support us on our journey. For those of you who’ve been following my blog series about publishing, you may recognize some of the names, because I’ve mentioned these folks often. Today’s post explains why I consider them my friends. Here they are, listed in no particular order.   [Read more...]

Wrapping It Up & Winding Down

Here most writers’ coaches and writing teachers would talk about the necessity of devoting yourself to your craft. That is the most important message of all; I’ll echo those sentiments heartily.  However, if you’ve arrived at this point, really ready to publish, I  presume that you already have done that and your manuscript has been through umpteen revisions.

When you’re ready to publish, you’ll not have just finished typing “The End.” [Read more...]

Myths, Legends, and more Misconceptions: Control

Control.  What I like about self-publishing is that I really want to be in control.  Yes, of course, that’s understandable. However, to control something—I mean actually control it—you must understand how it works, from Point A to Point Z.

Here’s an example. In my younger days, I was a fairly good horsewoman, both in English and Western saddle. Still, there were some horses that I couldn’t ride well. Each horse and each rider are different and good partnering/riding came from experience with a particular horse.  However, simply because I could ride most any single horse well, didn’t mean I could drive a wagon team of six horses.

And so it is with publishing. To control it, you must understand how each element of the process works. Sometimes, in our effort to “control” the process we actually undermine the success of the total project—in this case, our book. More on this later. [Read more...]

Myths, Legends, and Misunderstandings, Part 2

What follows over the next several blog posts is based on a compilation of queries I’ve received, usually away from my blog so as to guarantee anonymity (something which  I heartily respect). They’re problems people have shared with me while other parts of the post are based on personal experience. As much as I would like to, I will mention no specific names of publishers.  It’s just the ethical way to go.

I had my book e-formatted for $475. That must be a top-notch job—isn’t it? With what I paid for the service, it must be guaranteed high-quality.

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Independence Day: More Myths, Legends, & Misconceptions

July 4, 2012.  Breaking free!  This seems like a good theme for Independence Day. Read on and you’ll see why. The following posts are based on questions received at The Writers’ Table.

“Help! What can I do? I paid to publish my book three years ago and now I’ve been fighting to get my book back!”

I have heard this many, many times and the statement thoroughly puzzles and pains me.

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About Small Independent Traditional Publishers….

In an earlier post I mentioned a site that lists all the University Presses and Small Independent Traditional Publishers. What makes these a good choice is that you, the author, receive relatively more attention than you would with “The Big Six.”  One reader asked that I publish the link again, so here it is: Independent and University Presses.

“A Small Independent Traditional Publisher.” What exactly does that mean? How small is small? We’ve discussed them before as a good option. Newer authors will find out the hard way that the words “small independent traditional publisher” can mean just about anything! More experienced published authors should be more informed in advance and hopefully share their experiences with their colleagues.  [Read more...]

The Mythical Agent and The Book Tour

Agents exist, so that’s not the mythical part. The myth exists in the minds of writers, especially those who have written (or have almost written) a first novel, that as soon as they type the words “The End” an agent will swoop in like a magical fairy and—presto!—with a wave of a wand, that writer and his/her book will become famous.

Next, of course, your agent will arrange a booksigning tour for you….

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If You Want to Really Stand Out

 Standing Out Even More….

If you want to stand out from all the others, those 700,000-plus print books that are published each year and the 30,000-plus titles uploaded to e-publishers each month, you will need to work at it.

Today I’ll be using some material borrowed from one of my favorite web sites, Jerry Simmons’ The newsletter from this former NY publishing executive is posted approximately every two weeks and contains a wealth of good, solid advice.

 If you’re going to stand out, many of your decisions must be made before you even decide who to publish with.  Your choices are that critical and will effect everything that follows. [Read more...]

Standing Out from the Crowd

You’ve published a book, somehow. Maybe it’s been published by a Fee-for-Publisher, a traditional publisher or an Indie press, uploaded for e-readers alone, or truly self-published with LightningSource or CreateSpace.

 Now, you want to stand out from all those many thousands of others who have done exactly the same thing…. Or have they?  [Read more...]