Tag Archives: authors

Lies told by Small Presses

Steven Capps

Like many of my posts, this stems from something I saw in an online writer’s group. Essentially, someone who has been traditionally published from a small press was putting down people who self-publish. Personally, I have my own problems with self-publishing that I discuss in my “Why I’ll Never Self-Publish” post, but that is besides the point. At this point, I’d like to formally begin my rant against small presses.

In my opinion, traditional publishing is best done through an agent and then with a professionally recognized publisher. Small presses, unless they are recongized by writing organizations like Codex or SFWA, often give little more than what someone can do through self-publishing but will suck away 40-60% of the author’s share of royalties and then use self-publishing tools (like Createspace) to produce the book. Small Presses get away with this by telling authors lies in order to get them to sign…

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Why Introverts Make Good Writers

A Writer's Path


by J.U. Scribe

I return to blogging because I like to write. Never did it cross my mind that my keen interest in writing had anything to do with who I am on a fundamental level until recently. After you read this you’ll understand the connection I started to make with introversion to writing.

It is estimated that at least 1/3  of the population are introverted. For a significant portion of the population, including myself we felt largely misunderstood. We felt something was wrong with us. I may not have been able to articulate it during childhood, but I learned early on that being outgoing, sociable, and assertive were more socially acceptable than being reserved, quiet, and passive.

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Things No One Tells You About Self-Publishing 

Writer's Blog

Crazy woman with crossed eyes drinking wine through a straw

1. Selling books is harder than writing them. There are 300k books published in the U.S. every year. And 30% of Americans read only 1 to 5 books in 2014. Writing a book is purely up to you. But getting other people to buy and read your book is another matter.

2. Everyone obsesses about titles and covers butit’s hard to prove their impact beyond above a basic level of quality. It’s easy to find popular books with lousy titles and covers, and unpopular books with great titles and covers. There are too many variables for magic answers. Publishers exert more control over titles and covers than you’d expect: often authors have little say.

3. Some books, like The Great Gatsby or Moby Dickdon’t become popular until decades after publication. It’s a strange world. Books have lives of their own, typically quiet ones. We judge…

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Margot Lee Shetterly, Author of “Hidden Figures,” Has a New Book In the Works

BCNN1 WP

A new book proposal from Margot Lee Shetterly is making the rounds at New York publishing houses. According to insiders, the sales tag for the work is quickly mounting.

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Optimizing Your Online Book Description

ML Keller- The Manuscript Shredder

Effective online book descriptions are more than just the words. The internet is a visual medium, much like a magazine. Readers expect content to be presented in a visually interesting way. This means thinking about your description as a web design project, including visual arts elements, like white space, and formatting your text using HTML. Even if you are not a programmer, simple tags for bold, italic, H1, H2 are easy enough for the novice. (If you still need help, use a WYSIWYG HTML generator. Then, cut and paste the results in your Amazon description.)

Here is a book description that needs revision. Notice how the large block of text is unappealing, even daunting. Readers are conditioned to expect efficient content online, smaller chunks of text, and variety.

bad hook Giant blocks of text turn readers off

When designing your book descriptions, consider how all the elements of the page will work together…

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Hone Your Craft

WRITERS' RUMPUS

pencil-918449_1280I participated in the Arlington (Massachusetts) Book Festival last weekend, one of three on a panel discussing revision, and the moderator popped a surprise question on us: What advice would you give a beginning writer? Now, my standard answer is, “Don’t feel guilty for taking the time to write,” which is a common problem I have. But I had a massive chest cold (still do), and my Dayquil was beginning to wear off, so what came out of my mouth instead was, “Hone your craft.”

img_20161105_123810667_hdr At the Arlington Book Festival with fellow authors Jennifer S. Brown (center) and Stephanie Gayle

People tend to think that only geniuses write great works of literature. I hate the myth of the innately talented, the person who can sit down at their keyboard and, on their first try, produce the Great American Novel. Yes, this has happened. But it is exceedingly rare, and no…

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