Writing

5 May, 2015

There are only two words to describe this

By |2018-03-29T11:09:22-07:00May 5, 2015|Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on There are only two words to describe this

Several readers—including Wheatmark client Yasmin John-Thorpe—sent me the link to this article last week.

As I said in the subject line of this email, there are only two words to describe the piece, which is all about Author Solution’s (ASI’s) business practices:

“Horror show.”

It’s a lengthy article, and I recommend reading it in its entirety.

I also recommend forwarding it to any and all of your friends and colleagues—in particular, any one you know who’s contemplating self-publishing.

The only reason ASI is able to so easily prey on authors is a lack of knowledge on the part of the writing public—especially first-time authors.

Unfortunately, some of the US’ top trade publishers are complicit in this “deal with the devil,” including, of course, Penguin/Random House, who bought ASI three years ago.

You can read about the quotas the salespeople at ASI have to hit each month to keep their jobs, and you’ll also discover how many […]

11 December, 2014

Do you have an unpublished manuscript lying around?

By |2016-07-18T14:10:38-07:00December 11, 2014|Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on Do you have an unpublished manuscript lying around?

If you have an unpublished Romance, Mystery & Thriller, or Science Fiction & Fantasy manuscript, Amazon wants to hear from you!

They’re running a new program called “Kindle Scout” that could result in your manuscript being published at Amazon’s expense.

Details of the program are here.

Basically, the program is a combination crowd-sourcing/rights-licensing publishing deal, where you grant Amazon exclusive rights to have beta readers review your work and vote on whether or not to publish it.

If readers give you a thumbs-up, you sign an exclusive 5-year contract to have Amazon publish your work in Kindle and in audio format.

I think it’s a cool program, particularly for folks who don’t have the means to publish their work on their own.

That said, it’s a really, really good idea to invest in a formal read by a professional editor before you release your work to the general public.

Our version of this service is called […]

2 December, 2014

The A-Myth

By |2018-03-29T11:09:23-07:00December 2, 2014|Marketing, Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on The A-Myth

Wheatmark’s Sam Henrie wrote in a previous post about The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber, one of the most important business books I’ve read, which helped me look at business in a completely different way.

Working on the business is quite different than working in the business. Just because you love cooking and everybody says you should open a restaurant doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Being a great chef at your own restaurant might still mean doing a terrible job running the business and hating it. Michael E. Gerber talks about how business owners ought to view themselves not as technicians (chefs, dance instructors, editors, widget makers) but as marketers and savvy businesspeople. He exhorts entrepreneurs to become experts at making the business of their trade work better instead of getting caught in the daily whirlwind of working in the business. The e-myth is simply the […]

24 October, 2014

Iris Murdoch Made the List!

By |2018-03-29T11:09:23-07:00October 24, 2014|Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on Iris Murdoch Made the List!

Thanks to all of you for your emails letting me know what a great job my staff did while I was on vacation. I received so many email that I haven’t had a chance to respond to everyone yet.

I had a wonderful trip visiting family, traveling to Prescott, AZ, Albuquerque NM, Washington, DC, Sparta, NJ, then back to Albuquerque. Of all the places visited, Sparta, which none of you will have heard of, was by far the most beautiful. Situated on Tomahawk Lake, it is lush, green, and peaceful. Forget any negative stereotypes you have of New Jersey and visit Sparta if ever you get a chance.

Last month Grael Norton, Wheatmark’s director of marketing, posted a blog that included a list from The Telegraph of the “100 novels everyone should read.” I was very happy to see that a book, Under the Net, by my favorite twentieth-century […]

15 October, 2014

Even Kerouac secretly did this

By |2018-03-29T11:09:24-07:00October 15, 2014|News, Writing|Comments Off on Even Kerouac secretly did this

I was reading this article my friend and colleague Jack Rochester mentioned on The Fictional Café recently, and it got me thinking.

Specifically, it got me thinking about the myth that your first draft is the “purest” expression of your work, and that editing it will somehow compromise your artistic vision.

Of all the authors out there, Jack Kerouac probably contributed to this myth the most, since he publicly railed against self-editing, and the story of how he drafted On The Road on a single, giant scroll in only three weeks is legendary.

However, if you read the article above, you’ll see that Kerouac both meticulously outlined his book and had already written portions of it before that inspired three-week period.

Not to diminish Kerouac’s accomplishment in any way—it’s still impressive—but the truth is that “Writing is rewriting,” as the saying goes.

So true: I wrote eighteen drafts of my first screenplay—and it’s […]

31 July, 2014

Perfectionism, Writer’s Block, and Marketer’s Block

By |2016-07-19T16:06:26-07:00July 31, 2014|Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on Perfectionism, Writer’s Block, and Marketer’s Block

Nearly every month I’m late turning in this article for our Marketing Letter and this Publishing Success Blog, to the great frustration of my staff. Why am I late? The old saw comes to mind: “Perfectionism, Procrastination, Paralysis.” My article needs to be perfect because it will be sent to the most important audience I have: you. Because I want it to be perfect, I procrastinate, sometimes to the point of paralysis. And so the article gets turned in late. Many of you have had writer’s block, and will attribute it to the same root cause: perfectionism.

Not so fast! A few months ago I heard a radio program whose topic was whether perfectionists do, in fact, procrastinate more than other people. Two researchers from major universities who studied this subject were interviewed. (My apologies for the missing citation, but I don’t remember the names of the researchers, and couldn’t find […]

19 June, 2014

Help! Today I Have Nothing to Write About

By |2018-03-29T11:09:27-07:00June 19, 2014|Social Media, Writing|Comments Off on Help! Today I Have Nothing to Write About

I don’t think for a second that you’re struggling to come up with ideas for your next book or what to write about on your author blog and website. If you weren’t a writer, that would be one thing, but since you are, coming up with content for your audience comes more easily to you than to others. Quite the contrary: many writers suffer from writing too much.

There are, however, days when you feel like you have nothing of value to say, nothing to contribute to the Great Conversation that’s taking place in cyberspace.

In the Authors Academy, we drill into members the importance of regularly publishing quality content on your blog, so that your target audience (with ample help from search engines and social media shares) could find your message more easily.

As you build your digital author platform this way, by writing on your blog about your passion and […]

10 June, 2014

7 pitfalls to avoid in writing your first novel

By |2018-03-29T11:09:27-07:00June 10, 2014|Writing|Comments Off on 7 pitfalls to avoid in writing your first novel

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply sit down with your laptop or notebook and write your novel from beginning to end without any problems? Imagine waking up every morning with excitement to get a few more pages down and every week seeing the pages add up and the book coming together as easy as creating a favorite dish in your kitchen.

Have all the right ingredients? Check.

Have the oven on? Check.

Have the time to prepare it? Check.

When it comes to cooking, you’ve done it a hundred times and this time will be no different. You can already see the dish coming out of the oven and you know the pleased responses you will get when you set it on the table for dinner.

Just imagine what it would be to write a novel like that?

Have a good plot? Check.

Have time to write every day? Check.

Know exactly what you are going […]

2 June, 2014

How many words should a picture book have?

By |2018-03-29T11:09:27-07:00June 2, 2014|Writing|Comments Off on How many words should a picture book have?

This is a question that many beginning writers have. How long is too long? And how long is not long enough? While every book can be an exception, you are far better staying within suggested guidelines for book length if you want your book to be accepted by publishers, parents and young readers.

Every book type has its own recommended length based on the age of the reader, education and book type. Obviously a thick paged picture book for a 3-year-old is going to be vastly different from The Mouse and the Motorcycle, a book for a ten year old to dig into for the first time.

Picture Books: Targeted for 2 to 8-year-old kids, this type of book typically has between 400 – 800 words. There are 5 basic types of picture books.

1. Young Picture Books aim for the 2 to 5-year-old. These are basic learning books that creatively teach colors, […]

19 March, 2014

Should you hire a ghostwriter?

By |2016-07-27T15:32:15-07:00March 19, 2014|Writing|Comments Off on Should you hire a ghostwriter?

A huge percentage of the American population wants to write a book. The numbers are staggering, something like 88 percent or higher. And with today’s technology, it is easier for most of these people to actually write a book and publish it themselves.

But here is the situation. Not everyone who wants to write a book should, at least not if they plan to sell it in bookstores. Writing for one’s family is a very different case than writing a book so that it competes with bestselling books on Amazon or sells to the general public.

Even though you may have a great story to tell, you may not have the technique to write it in a way that captivates the reader and draws them deeply into the drama you want to share. Recognizing that fact does not mean you “shouldn’t” write your own story, but it might be helpful to look […]

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