Category Archives: Myths and Truths

People! RESEARCH “How to Publish.” It’s Not Hard!

Editing tips for writers

Yet again, on a Facebook page for writers of fiction, someone asked about a clear vanity press scam. Page members quickly jumped in with the appropriate answer for such a query: RUN!

But what amazes me is that I see so many of these kinds of questions. I’m not a particularly patient soul myself, so I had to throttle my immediate response: Don’t you have a computer? Don’t you know how to Google? Shouldn’t basic research be the first step for someone thinking about publishing? Doesn’t it occur to folks that in this day and age, How-To is there for the asking? All you have to do is look.

I consider the answer I composed reasonably tactful (for me):

These days, when we all clearly have access to the Internet, it surprises me that people don’t actively search for information on “how to publish a book.” Of course, a search like that will turn up lots of scams and vanity presses, but it will also turn up many useful sites that offer advice. Everyone who is thinking seriously about publishing should be compiling a personal list of the most helpful FREE sites that lay out the ins and outs of today’s publishing options. A search for “best websites for writers” would yield a ton of these. Yes, you will get some conflicting opinions–some people love Amazon, some hate it–but you’ll begin to get the lay of the land. After a while you begin to get a sense of which bloggers know their business and which don’t. In my earlier comment, I listed Jane Friedman and Victoria Strauss (Writer Beware): invaluable. I also recommend The Book Designer (Joel Friedlander). You can buy books by the carload that will walk you through every step; most are cheap enough as ebooks that you can buy more than one and get a wider set of options. Takes a little time, yes, but not nearly as much time as you have devoted to writing your book, and this basic research will save you many hours by helping you make the best choice for you. Chris the Story Reading Ape also offers regular links to excellent advice. I found these people by Googling, attending conferences, and searching Amazon. Don’t put less energy into this than you would in buying a car!

Okay, I get it that posting questions to Facebook groups is a step in this process. But Facebook friends can’t offer the kind of education we writers need. Learning about style and grammar and showing-not-telling are basic skills, but so are the fundamentals of the business you are thinking of entering. For example, one respondent said she couldn’t afford to self-publish! Facebook friends can’t possibly slap up a full explanation of why this comment is unfounded. They basically have to say, “Go look it up!”

So that’s what I’m saying: Want to be a writer? Go look it up.

Am I completely off base here?

Leave a comment

Filed under Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, business of writing, ebooks, indie publishing, Money!, Myths and Truths, novels, Print on Demand, Publishing, publishing contracts, Scams, Self-publishing, Writing

5 Lessons From a Lost Novel – by K.M. Weiland…

This article (via that incredible resource, Chris the Story Reading Ape) rings so true for me. I, too, have “lost novels,” one of which actually got published, to my everlasting regret—even with a supposedly top editor! Just goes to show you (me): it’s YOUR book, and you are the one who either makes it work or not. K. M. Weiland’s focus on story—on structure, on having an arc that provides readers with the narrative pull to keep reading: vital. I’ve written and reblogged about that (just some examples), because I learned the hard way. Take her advice to heart.

Do you have a “lost novel”? What did you take away?

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Helping Writers become Authors:

Mistakes are unavoidable. To fear them is to fear life itself. To try to eliminate them is to waste life in a futile struggle against reality itself.

I daresay no one has more opportunities to learn these truths than does a writer.

As writers, our lives are a never-ending litany of mistakes. Certainly mine has been full of mistakes—everything from the opening sentences I wrote for this post, thought better of, and replaced—to literally hundreds of thousands of deleted words I’ve carefully saved from all my rough drafts—to entire story ideas (representing hundreds of hours of dedicated, hopeful work) that have proven themselves unsalvageable and earned a dusty place in a back corner of a closet shelf.

I won’t say I don’t regret these mistakes. I do. I regret the wasted time and effort. I regret the bereavement of loving and nurturing something that never…

View original post 48 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Editing, Learning to write, Myths and Truths, novels, Plot Development, self editing, What Not To Do in Writing Novels, Writing

How Can You Tell Legitimate Publishers from the Bad Guys? – by Anne R. Allen…

Via Chris the Story Reading Ape, one of the most comprehensive guides to publishing options I’ve yet seen. I learned a lot. With a new manuscript almost ready to go that won’t fit into a lot of traditional niches, I am hungry for this kind of guidance and thought you might be, too.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

New writers have much to be wary of these days. New publishing scams are landing in writers’ inboxes faster than we can send out warnings.

Probably the most dangerous predators for the newbie writer are phony publishers, because they can shatter dreams as well as drain bank accounts.

Continue reading HERE

View original post

Leave a comment

Filed under Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, business of writing, indie publishing, Money!, Myths and Truths, novels, Publishing, publishing contracts, Scams, Self-publishing, small presses, Writing

BELIEVE! Do Not Pay Someone to Publish Your Book! ALLI Agrees.

Your book ready to publish--dreamscape!

Dreams of publication? Yes!

Here’s support from ALLI, the Alliance of Independent Authors, for my claim that you SHOULD NEVER PAY SOMEONE TO PUBLISH YOUR BOOK. Yes, there are some reputable book packagers out there who will charge you for various services, but the chances that you will make back what they charge you are slim. YOU CAN DO THIS YOURSELF. This ALLI article explains why it is so easy to fall for vanity scams. Here’s an important quote:

Many vanity presses will try to persuade authors that they are incapable of producing a professional book without an expensive full-service publishing package. This is particularly effective on authors who may not be comfortable with new technology; the idea of handing off the details of publishing to someone who will take care of it for you is alluring.

Do not be fooled. You can start your book off with a very modest investment if you apply very basic skills to get it formatted and posted. Spend your money on a cover and an ISBN, not on thousands of dollars for “publication” you’ll never get back.

Maybe you’ll notice that I’m very passionate about this. I just hate scams.I swear I'll catch up my SEO!

 

7 Comments

Filed under Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, business of writing, indie publishing, Myths and Truths, novels, Print on Demand, Publishing, publishing contracts, Scams, Self-publishing, Writing

Dialogue tags and how to use them in fiction writing – by Louise Harnby…

Here’s an excellent discussion, via Chris the Story Reading Ape, of one of the simplest and most useful tools in a writer’s kit: using and abusing “said” and other dialogue tags. I also note that “said” can control rhythm, acting as a strong beat at the end of a scene sequence or before a break. Try it!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Dialogue tags – or speech tags – are what writers use to indicate which character is speaking.

Their function is, for the most part, mechanical.

This article is about how to use them effectively.

Continue reading HERE

View original post

Leave a comment

Filed under dialogue, Editing, Learning to write, Myths and Truths, punctuation, self editing, style, Writing

Now That CreateSpace is Being Absorbed: Try Ingram, Too.

A story hook is like strange headlights coming at you out of the dark on a lonely road. What lies ahead?

Publishing journeys into the unknown?

Now that you’re looking at new options in light of Amazon’s demolition of CreateSpace in favor of KDP Print, here’s help adding Ingram to your mix of choices, from Melinda Clayton at Indies Unlimited. In my how-to book, You CAN Format Your Print-on-Demand Book!, I explain why you SHOULD publish at Ingram as well as at Amazon and show you how to format using InDesign, which Ingram supports. Be sure not to opt for the free ISBN at Amazon. Buy one from Bowker.com that you can take with you anywhere!

Leave a comment

Filed under Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, book design, business of writing, indie publishing, Myths and Truths, novels, Print on Demand, Publishing, Self-publishing, Writing

Don’t Google to Find a Publisher: So Says Victoria Strauss!

So many books!

Here’s another of Victoria Strauss’s valuable words-to-the-wise about the business of becoming a published author: what can go wrong if you type “Find a Publisher” into Google. As always, Strauss provides an excellent Writer Beware list. Her spotlight on the scams writers face is one of the most valuable resources writers can consult.

2 Comments

Filed under business of writing, indie publishing, Money!, Myths and Truths, novels, Publishing, publishing contracts, Scams, Self-publishing, Writing