Tag Archives: Chris the Story Reading Ape

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?

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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

How To Become A Successful Blogger: Part 2 – How To Create A Pingback

Happy editingWow, I’ve been doing this all along, not realizing I was officially creating pingbacks. Such simple, useful information. And now I’ll create a correctly administered pingback to Chris the Story Reading Ape, from whom I get so much good stuff!

Reblogged on WordPress.com

Source: How To Become A Successful Blogger: Part 2 – How To Create A Pingback

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Filed under blogging, business of writing, Writing

Did you know? A beginners guide to reblogging on #Wordpress

Thanks to Sue Vincent for this piece, which I found via Chris the Story Reading Ape, always a good source for news. The presence or absence of the reblog button has been an ongoing mystery to me. Sue’s tip about clicking on the title of the article to make the button appear is a godsend–it worked on this piece!
I generally agree that WordPress is fairly intuitive and has good support structures. I’ve had several productive chats when I encountered a problem or didn’t know how to do something (not so productive recently when my correspondent was trying to help me remember how to create anchors within a page–have to go to my stand-alone HTML book on that one, but most have provided what I needed to know). But Sue is right that it’s easy to miss features you haven’t needed or didn’t know about. So help like this is wonderful for me, and perhaps for those of you who also blog and who explore WordPress serendipitously, as I often do.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

i-blog-therefore-i-am

I’m no technical genius and when I first started blogging, I needed to learn my way around the WordPress system. It is pretty much common sense and easy enough to set up. If you get stuck, there are plenty of helpful articles and forums that show you how to do pretty much anything. Just type the question into your search engine.

The one thing they cannot do, though, is answer questions you didn’t know you should ask. Over the past few days I have become aware of how many of those little tweaks and tricks we learn about, then just take for granted. Reblogging was one area I found frustrating for a good while. It is a simple process, the press of a button, until the button is not there…

1. Can’t see the reblog button?
This took me ages to work out! Many blogs, including this one, have their…

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Filed under blogging, business of writing, Publishing, Writing