Changemaker 2.0 Series: CF Winn & SUKI

suki bookcover by davinci

I have recently read a book so beautifully written, so emotionally impactful that I sought out the author, Christine Winn, to discover more about her.

 

There was a lot to discover. Thus, I’ve included our interview and notes on SUKI in the Changemaker Series for reasons that will become quite clear.

For those of you who follow marketing tips on this website, you will want to discover the path that Chris has plowed through the web.

First, an introduction to SUKI

If you just glance at the five-star reviews on Amazon about SUKI, you will find reviews entitled:

“How is this book not on the NYTimes Best Seller list?”

“I only gave this book 5 stars because 10 stars was not an option”

“Like nothing I’ve ever read before”

The short introduction to the novella:

“Life offers one guarantee…death.

SUKI tells the story of Savannah, an independent go getter, who allows fear to keep her from being completely happy, and Dwayne, a softhearted ex-Marine with a talent for creativity. The couple is destined to find each other and carry out a preordained agreement made long before their human feet enter this Earthly plane. Their connection is tangible and their lives easy – until they are presented with one challenge that shakes them to their cores.

The couple’s subsequent struggle to make sense of their imploding world comes to a head in the epilogue, where a shocking secret is revealed in an overdue letter.

We all assume we know what love is, but think again. It comes in many shapes and sizes. If you knew ahead of time that you’d never see ”happily ever after“, would you choose to live at all for the sake of love?

CF Winn flexes her story telling muscle and shows us why she is an award winning author. SUKI will grab your heart and make you think about your place…and your purpose in this world.”

That in itself is intriguing, isn’t it? I concur mightily with the five-star reviews and all quotes above.

The writing in SUKI is so sublime, supremely smooth that you fall in love with the love story and never want it to end. But for those, including myself, who don’t read romance novels, this is far from the genre.

It is a love story though. Love has many faces. In reading SUKI, as I was already in love with the characters, there was a point, a very real moment in time when the story become something much more than what it started out to be

Here is a short bio on Chris as an introduction:

CF Winn is a freelance writer of articles and short stories when she’s not training others in the art of Market Research. Her day job has led her to places that few of us know exist. Worlds where eccentricity is the norm and even sometimes embraced. Her off kilter muses have graciously guided her into the awards arena, most notably, Wordsmitten Storycove for her flash fiction story, “SUNDAY DRIVES DONE MOJO STYLE”.

“THE COFFEE BREAK SERIES”, CF Winn’s collection of short stories, are wildly popular and available on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Some of the titles include “KAFE CASTRO”, “MOORE THAN MEETS THE EYE”, “PGB”, and “DEJA DREW”.

In between promoting the hugely successful “SUKI”, she is editing several books by new authors and working on “TIME SLIP”. She lives in New York with her three brilliant children.

In true George Plimpton fashion, I have become the Interviewer.

Interviewer: Thanks for coming over to the Quill.SUKI is so beautifully written; you bring us into the great love affair Savannah and Dwayne like no other author I’ve read. I’d like to know what your writing process look like?

Chris: I don‘t have much of a process. I usually write the bare bones of the story first – just to get it out of me because once I have an idea I can barely contain myself. Then I let it sit and I don’t look at it for a few days, but I do think about it. While I drive to and from my day jobs or my kids’ activities, I fill in the scenes in my mind. I take notes and when I allow myself to go back, I reread, editing and adding details from my notes. After repeating the pattern of putting the work aside before coming back to add and edit many times, the story will tell me that it’s complete. I have a background in professional acting, so I consider it the most natural thing to put myself in the place of the characters, acting it out in order to create a story that readers can feel a part of.

Interviewer: I’m sure all of your fans of THE COFFEE BREAK SERIES will be happy to know that there are more to come in the series.I know many authors do not stay within a certain genre for their writing, but I don’t think that I’ve met an author with such a breadth of emotional content and expression as you.
Chris: The Coffee Break Series stories are embellished retellings of real life events that have either happened to me or people that I know. I used to work for the NYTimes, putting together the pieces of the Sunday papers that would be delivered to different businesses. For ten to twelve hours on Saturdays I’d have nothing to do but talk to the person across from me at my table and make papers. I developed a friendship with a girl named Christine, and every week she’d ask to hear a new story. Finally, she said, “You really should write these down and sell them. People would love to read these.” I started by submitting SUNDAY DRIVES DONE MOJOSTYLE to a flash fiction contest and won. That was all that I needed to hear. I immediately started creating The Coffee Break Series. They are quirky short shorts, meant to be read on a coffee or lunch break or while waiting to be seen by the doctor – any time that one might find themselves with enough time to get bored, but not enough time to read a whole book. Each story references the ones that came before it to illustrate the fact that we are all connected, and I offer a bit more of the previous ones, just to satisfy the urge most of us have to know what happened after the story ended. Right now, four are available in e-book form only, but a fifth – HAUNTED HOUSE or HAUNTED LIFE? – will be released in August. I plan on writing ten to twelve of them before compiling and offering a print book.

Interviewer: The narrator is a very intriguing choice, and one I haven’t read before. Can you think of another author that is similar to your writing style or use of narrators?

Chris: No, can you?

Interviewer: Not at all! I think that you, and by extension, SUKI have created a brand new genre! Since you have a wide range of tastes as an author, can you give us an idea of your favorite book, author or genre that you enjoy reading yourself?

Chris: That’s a tough question because I will read almost anything….except maybe Westerns. Sorry Zane Grey. I love anything quirky, thought provoking and smart – Titles and authors that stand out for me: Augusten Burroughs, Tama Janowitz (especially THE MALE CROSS DRESSER SUPPORT GROUP), Dan Brown and JK Rowling are CRAZY smart, and 13 REASONS WHY by Jay Asher

Interviewer: You write so beautifully. You bring us into the story and when we have already fallen in love, the heart breaks ever so deeply. I am curious as to how you mold such perfect left brain and right brain skills at such a high level. I’m also aware that you do editing for other authors. Where do you think your breadth of expression and the exactitude of an editor come from? Would it stem from your days as an actress or was it further back than your acting days?

Chris: Ha ha…I think my editing comes in part from an uncontrollable urge to have all forms of writing flow smoothly. In some circles they call that OCD. LOL I really don’t know where it comes from. I just like to create art – or in the case of editing, co-create. It does NOT come from acting…if you ever saw the music video I did in the nineties – hot pants and all – you’d be as sure as I am about that. Before that I was just a crazy college kid hoping to get a degree that would eventually pay the bills. Editor is something I morphed into as a result of beta reading for my fellow indies. I went above and beyond because I wanted them to succeed and eventually gained a rep as a know-it-all, but a lovable and talented know-it-all. My first paid gig (complete with credits!), TRAILER TRASH WITH A GIRL’S NAME by Stacey Roberts is tickling funny bones everywhere.

I want to thank Chris for coming by and talking to us. She is an amazing human being and SUKI is something that I feel is a life-lesson for all of us, young or old, male or female. You can get it now on Amazon. Just search SUKI in Kindle.

 An end note: As all hybrid or Indie authors wonder about quitting the day-job and writing full-time, I asked that of Chris and her answer is put together perfectly on her blog Simply Stick.

 

The Writer’s Read

The Writer's Read

The Writer's ReadI hope this finds you well and writing to your heart’s content.

 

Per the usual round-up, I have compiled a list of great reads that I have come across regarding writing, publishing, your platform, writer schedules, advice to writers and marketing information. Please let me know if you would like additional information for your writer’s read. 

 

I came across a blog on twitter that I wasn’t familiar with but, it turned out, had a very well-thought-out article on Amazon’s move to cut and cap the rates of audiobooks for its ACX platform for indie authors. This is fully worked over in the article and equates the expense of production and the rate of return nearing traditional publishing rates. Have a read here.

 

Are you an indie author who likes to make people laugh? As I have mentioned before, (see microcerpt) there has never been a time in history where author and reader can communicate at such crucial points in the writing, publishing and promotion process. This is further borne out with the newest website connecting authors and readers. It’s called Riot Press and is worth a look and the article on GalleyCat is a nice write-up of the site. Check it out here. 

Did you know GalleyCat runs educational programs for freelancers? You can even try your luck at getting a discount to this program. This is limited offering, both in time and in ‘seating”. Additionally, I would highly recommend Carol Tice’s Freelance Writers’ Den. She is such a powerhouse and will guide you through the learning process of this exciting new career and help you avoid the pitfalls that scare us all. Head over to Freelance Writer’s Den now to sign up for an opening.

 

 

Clive Eaton always has great marketing tips for authors. His article can show you how humor can capture attention. If you are feeling overwhelmed at this point, this is a good article to read.   

 

Including your readers (and future readers) in your “behind the scenes” research is a great way to-get steadfast fans. One of the best examples of this is author Keith Thomson’s website which not only links to his novels, but to research for each of his works. It’s a great way to leave them wanting more (ie:your book!).   

 

The National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE) announce a discount on their JPass membership. Head to that link if you would like access to all journals in your research. This applies to freelancers, fiction and nonfiction writers.   

 

In line with the last item, if you are in the midst of sussing out information on the computer for instance who really wrote that piece that does not have the “voice” of the author listed, than you might be interested in reading this piece in the Smithsonian.

 

As part of the self-publishing series, though it is quickly becoming mainstream, there is a post on changing book covers if you decide to ditch the first cover. You can find the link here. The author is no less than Joanna Penn. If you are a self-published author or are considering it, she is a must follow. Her website is called The Creative Penn.

 

 

And for those who are looking to find where their readers hang out, try wattpad. No, it’s not new, but there is a new “try it out for free” marketing tool that you will, I believe, start seeing more and more. This has been a possibility with Amazon in the read a section option, but this marketing campaign is catching the eyes of readers and other important people within the publishing world. And this is really what we all want, whatever our goals in the publication “brave new world”. The only thing we have to fear is, obscurity. Get your name out there with wattpad. See this campaign for The Nememiah Chronicles by D.S. Williams.

 

There is a petition going around to stop bullying of authors on Amazon. It’s more intriguing than at first glance. Read up on it here.

 

This fills all of the loops in marketing and is one of the most brilliant tweets I have seen. He will drive attention to his book by the sheer number of eyeballs drawn to the offer, he will add to his email list one way or the other  He is marketing his book, increasing the views on his tweets with the offer (“Free” is one of those words that grab attention. See: GoinsWriter, Michael Hyatt and the king of grabbing attention, Jon Morrow. He literally wrote the book on writing great headlines.)

 

 

Russell Smith asks if we need Writers’ Unions in this day of “DIY” publishing. See what he has to say about it here.

 

After the big hoopla over Wool series author, Hugh Howey’s disclosure of earnings, are you studying everything that Hugh is doing? Tracking every move that J.A. Konrath makes? Well, here is an article that can help you without cyberstalking.

 

Are you wondering about all of the discussion about blogging? This is what I call the “to blog or not to blog” question? (That sound you heard was The Bard rolling over in his grave.) There is a great article on Write to Done by Kimberley Grabas about this very issue. You should also look at all of her posts at Your Writer Platform. She does a stellar job helping us writers write.

 There are fewer newsletters coming since I have tied myself to a strict writing schedule. I am also reviewing a number of books, so please excuse the lack of information. I do have quite a few drafts that I’m adding to so those will come out as the writing schdule allows. Do know that if you “mouse” over the grey outlines in the upper right corner of the page they will become hyperlinks for social media. Feel free to follow me on your favorite. You can also write to me using the contact form. 

I also want to thank all of the kind people who have sent me messages. These are the times that “try men’s’ souls” but “what won’t kill us can only make us stronger”. Platitudes, and yes, cliches, but there is a reason we fall back on them in real life; but never in our writing. ;p My warmest wishes as your write and create to your “heart’s content”.

When Your Story Takes Over Your Life

Batik Art In My Wild River…!!! :)

Image:Denis Collette via Compfight

 

(Please note: 1 correction on Oct. 2, 2013, Tom Clancy was replaced with the originally intended John Grisham reference. Nothing about Tom Clancy was ever 2-dimensional and I mourn his pacing with so many others. The author who knew too much but never said a word when it came to National Security. I have always had the utmost respect for him and his “great yarns”. May he rest in piece in the library in the sky.)

As many writers will understand, I have been working on my book for close to two years. The idea came to me out of the blue, like a flash; complete and perfect.(Or so I thought.) It was actually a tweet. I kid you not. I am deadly serious. It is still the same idea, with research behind it and still more to go, days stretching upon weeks of writing, character studies, outlining, etc. etc. The one problem is that it involved an existing company. All of the authors and lawyers that I discussed this with at, say, Quora, said (not knowing the company) that it was only going to lead to trouble, possible lawsuits and then there was the argument that the company would go out of business and once you get to publishing, then where would you be? Well, they didn’t know the company and there is no way this business is going under. It also involves something I could never dream would be very timely, though it is an evergreen subject. As another author did recently, I just made a dummy corporation. The government institutions will remain the same.

If I was not tied up mind and soul to this book, I could have written five and published them already, if I were to go the self publishing route. Quite seriously. I have a ton of ideas. But this book had me in its grasp and would not let me do anything else. I could have written 15 or 20 since I started studying the craft seriously

 

Beyond the novel itself, there is a problem…my wonderful protagonist morphed into some kind of…diva.

She will not leave me alone. She is always there. A woman of few words (yeah, I know, I sent her to dialogue therapy) but a strong, strong will.

My main character has gone through four major inner conflicts since her inception. I mean DSM Manual type inner conflicts. She has not been happy with any of them and secured her own counsel to negotiate. You know the type, two dimensional, straight out of a John Grisham novel. In the documents, the words “defamation of character” were used.The irony did not escape my legal team and me and, over pints at the closest pub, we all had a good laugh. The briefs were taken to deliberations, and after editing the print-out of the testimony, we settled on one that we are both “happy” about. She stuck me with the legal bills. The wench.

Then she got an attitude after all of the serious character interviews we did. Fully fleshed out now, she was in need of sustenance. She demanded it in the form of bottled water (specified bottler written in a contract to be signed by me that I found in my folder one morning). All food was to be served on my fine china and only green M&Ms were allowed. She is such a cliche!

I finally said, “Go away. Just leave me alone. Don’t wake me up at night. Don’t invade my conversations. Stop popping up when I’m reading the news. Leave me alone. ” If it wasn’t based on a real company then I would have finished it and gone on. But I can’t shake it. It’s like a bad bug. You know the old saying that the book picks the author? Or conversely, that there is a book that an author is meant to write? If that is truly the case, I curse the Fates.

I won’t even get into the other characters and the fiascos they’ve created.

Then one day, I thought to myself, “That’s it. I’m throwing that novel out. I won’t waste my time on it anymore.” I started looking through my card file of novel ideas. I set on one and began making notes. I was then turned away to do a chore. Sometime along the length of that chore, a huge solution unfolded around the structure of the novel.This unfolded over the span of two days. The problems I saw in the manuscript were gone, replaced by solutions for the overall slant of the MS. It’s’ like it took all of my critiques and came up with an updated manuscript. I had kicked this MS to the curb, and yet it came back to me better than ever.

We wonder if our characters dream, satirically. This was an author’s dream. I wanted it to go on until I could see the final page. Perfectly edited, formatted and ready with the most beautiful cover art one could image.

I am now typing away happily, and my angel turned diva is now, thankfully, back in line. I would say it was the adolescent phase of her growth.

Have you had a manuscript that would not leave you alone? What have you done about it? Tell me in the comments.

Skyrocket Awareness of Your Book with These Resources

book marketing

Please note: None of the books suggested are affiliate links as the state in which I live does not allow Amazon (or their affiliates/sellers) Affiliates operating within its borders.

I have received a number of requests for information regarding the methods of self-publishing; specifically as it applies to the editing, a compilation process, book-cover design and marketing of a self-published work. Even authors who have gone through the process have questions and doubts themselves.book marketing

Today, the publishing world looks very much like the Wild, Wild West. See Porter Anderson’s report at Ether for Authors and a list of articles on the heated publishing debates at Publishing Perspectives.  This is evidenced by The New York Times’ Best-Seller List (June 20th, 2013). Authors who are generally published through traditional publishers are now choosing to self-publish at will. Vanity Press is now an antiquated term.

Note that authors are pressed to do all of the online presence and social media through traditional publishing as well, but the rights are at issue here. Traditional publishers have the beneficial heft to push for additional rights for audio and oversees publishing. If that is what you see as important in your overall plan, you might want to take that into account

Susanne Lakin has a fantastic article at Live, Write, Thrive by guest author Dineen Miller, who writes about creative ways to market your book. If you are a longtime reader of this site, you will understand why I appreciate new ways of marketing for authors.  The article will get your creative juices flowing thinking of all of the articles you can write for various magazines or online before and after your book is published. That link again is at Live, Write, Thrive.

I have followed Jane Friedman since she was the editor of Writer’s Digest. She then went to teaching in Cincinnati and also for Writer’s Digest University as well as lecturing  out at writing seminars, starting her own blog in the process. A few years ago she was called up to the Virginia Quarterly Review though somehow she still writes for her website and teaches at Writer’s Digest webinars and conferences. Recently, she has compiled a Self-Publishing toolbox, of sorts, with everything a person could possibly hope for in one nifty package. This is basically a book itself, though she will drill about the ramifications of blogging your book.  Do not miss Jane’s massive compendium How to Publish an E-book.

Joel Friedlander, of The Book Designer , just guest posted for her. His whole webpage is amazing but the posts that shine for me are the following:

52 Great Blogs for Self-Publishers

5 Keys to Pain-Free Book Promotion

The greatest asset an author has to help them navigate the unknown waters of self-publishing is the accumulated wisdom of people who’ve been there before. I’ve always been impressed by how friendly the independent book publishing community is.

And BiblioCrunch has some great book designer; a direct quote from Joel himself. They also have some great article on their site:

Common Mistakes Indie and SelfPub Authors Make

Self-Publishing Costs; the Ultimate Guide

 Dan Blank We Grow Media has published a book that is all about marketing and building a writer’s platform A Writer’s Guide to Blogging.

He also has a great post on his blog about author Hugh Howey who is the now famous indie author of the Wool series. It is worth clicking over for a great read.

Please take note of Dan Blank’s static front page. This is the portal to his website, but I think it’s a great way to market your book. You will see when you click on the link. Study what he has done, as he is a leader in the media industry.

If you would like a more interactive approach to setting out your promotional plan, Writer’s Digest University is the place to go. Writer’s Digest University Self Publishing Tutorials You can get a monthly membership to review all of their tutorials for $25 per month. If you do not want to be charged for the next month, do be advised that you must cancel prior to the next billing cycle. This is a ticket to a wealth of information on all levels of Writer’s Digest University.

Laura Pepper-Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book.

Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she’s not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, “yoga-ing” or at a coffee shop in Seattle.

You might like:

Laura Pepper Wu’s 30 Day Books, taken from her ideal book marketing course. While the class is not in session now, you can get on the watch list by clicking here

What is more; there is a link to a WordPress theme designed especially for authors to promote their books. It’s priceless. Or nearly so compared to hiring a designer and paying a webmaster as well as hosting, security, e-commerce themes, et cetera. The theme is called Authorlicious.

I have several author friends who are in search of a good designer for their books and I have sent them most of this material and more (including tips from one author to another, which is why it is a good idea to get into a group of authors not only for support, but sound advise. That is what this website is about and all of what I am about

I just found a plethora of books for author platform building on Goodreads. A five starred book by Shelley Hitz at Self-PublishingCoach website is available for you at a single click.  Check out her site to see what else she has to offer.

 One of the books on the list is David Graughran’s Let’s Get Digital which I have lined up in my Kindle. This man knows what he is discussing as he’s been through the mill and understands all of the machinations.

In fact, if you are interested in what David has to say, you can register for a free webinar that ALLi is putting on through Shindigs right here. It is set for June 27, 2013 @ 9:00 pm – 10:30 pm and I’m sure will prove to be an informative and enjoyable 90 minutes. Sign up today and put it on your calendar. ALLi (Alliance for Independent Authors) includes founder Orna Ross and is advised by all of my favorite people in the world of books. Jane Freidman, Joel Friedlander Mark Coker (Smashwords), The ever alert Victoria Strauss (Writer Beware), Joanna Penn and Passive Guy, David Vandagriff, Karen Lotter, among others. If you are going to publish as an indie, I would suggest signing up for their newsletter. All very good advise as is evidenced above.

Topics for the blog are scheduled as follows:

Mon: Author-Publishing News   (Updates, Press Releases, ALLi News)Tue: Opinion   (On Publishing, Writing and the Indie Business)Wed: Member Showcase   (Our Members’ Latest Books and Events)Thu: Advice on Writing   (Productivity, Motivation, Craft)Fri: Advice on Publishing   (Editing, Formatting, Printing)Sat: Advice on Reaching Readers   (Marketing & Promotion)Sunday: How I Do It   (Self-Publishing Success Stories)

For instance, I found this article in my in-box just today; There will now be clickable and searchable hashtags on Facebook which woke me up as I am more of the Twitter and Google Plus Communities girl though I am on Facebook. You enter searchable and clickable hashtags into the mix, and I look up from my writing. That’s a game-changer for me.

And Alli has addressed many of the concerns I have for the new world of publishing; for instance, the overseas rights which are normally handled through long-standing relationships with publishers. How are indie authors to branch out? Jennifer Custer answers this here, here  and has an update for you here.

Orma Ross addresses branching out here and links to Members Pack information which archives all forums from IndieReCon and also breaks down Members benefits according to the membership level. (You can also sign up for articles alone free of cost if you are strapped for cash at the moment. This is what I have done.)

The phenom of self-publishing, Amanda Hocking has secured another deal with St. Martin’s Press. See this New York Times article for details.

Speaking of platforms, Michael Hyatt whom you all know as a wonderful advocate of helping to develop your platform has started the Platform University which will guide you through all of the necessary factors that need to be addressed to set up your own platform.

If you are lost in looking for good editing services, cover design or formatting, BiblioCrunch, mentioned earlier, has a whole  set of tools and resources for you to pick and choose from according to your needs.  They are there to guide you through the process  with advisors that are trusted and know the publishing business and all that is involved. You can set your budget for proofreading, editing, design based on your budget. It’s a phenomenal service and one I think you will find very user-friendly and useful.

Along those lines, the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) has a great list of editing, design and publishing services that are very helpful. With Board Members from Shelf Awareness to all sectors of the publishing and publishing news areas, there is a wealth of information on this site. Bookmark it and refer to it often.

Ann Hill, the Creative Content Coach has an article about creating Author Platforms that last.

And Bob Mayer, the Full-Time Author and former green beret and New York Times Best-Selling Author, has an information filled podcast detailing the “secret sauce” of book promotion. He has written over 50 books and just started the publishing company, Cool Gus Publishing, with author Jennifer Crusie. I had a hankering for writing a book on the incredible life of Bob Mayer. After reading about Jennifer Crusie, now I’ll have to write about both. Do you think Cool Gus Publishing would publish them?

Nick Thacker of LiveHacked has “The Official Self-Published Book Marketing Plan”. Yes, they wrote the book on it. 😉

And if you have written a memoir, in the non-fiction rubric, the National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW) has a great article helping indie authors to create a platform using YouTube. Video content is the next wave, so get ready for your close-up.

A note on breaking indie author news: Amazon World, which   has signed the famous Wool series indie author, Hugh Howie, to work within their Kindle World projects. See all of the news on this up and coming market for indie authors.

[Update: I just got the Writer’s Digest Conference sign-up form in my inbox. Please go here to see all of the details.]

Coincidentally, the next person I was going to write about is featured on the left side of  the IndieReCon page. This woman is as dynamic as she is kind. Melissa Foster. Watch for her in upcoming issues of this series. There are quite a few resources for your platform and articles and events (and explosions) that I still have left to write about. Some mentioned in this article will be discussed further in upcoming posts.

Sign up for much more in this series on self-publishing. Just add your email to the right top field and I will deliver it, sans spam, to your inbox.

Please leave a comment on any issues you are having as a self-published author and I would be more than happy to cover them.

This post is featured in Carol Tice’s Link Party. Check it out for great articles on writing, freelancing and productivity!

How the Ebook Revolution Compares to Another Great Revolution

publication changes

where are we in the digital culture?

 

I have been thinking recently about the twists and turns the music industry took when they had their great revolution; what we would now term, I imagine Music 2.0.

Remember Napster?

Back in the days of dial-up modems, the sound of the dial up modem wasn’t music to anyone’s ear, I don’t suppose, but I found the revolving triangle of the Netscape browser somewhat calming.

What wasn’t calming was the fear that the big music industry titans unleashed on music lovers when the lawsuits became frontpage news (when we bought the paper and got ink on our hands for reading it). There were more than several cases that were used to be an example for the Everyday Joe who ‘stole’ some billion dollar figure from music producers and performers every month and struck the fear into everyone on the world wide web. Yes, that’s what we called it in my day and we used all three words, as well.

Now, I wasn’t an offender, and I would swear this in a court of law,  because being an artist and working in the industry myself, I had a special affinity for those that produced any art in any medium and didn’t get fair-recompense. I didn’t go all medieval on the friends that downloaded music, but I sympathized with the artists that were not getting the paychecks they would get otherwise.

 

But this can go two ways.

A lot of the problem back then was one great behemoth of an organization that took over the music industry. It didn’t allow for free market competition and allow the markets to even themselves out in the economic climate. It was known as BMI. We’ve all seen the talk that Laurence Lessing gave at Ted with the overpowering support the courts give to new innovations.

 

How does this relate to writing?

Well we are going through another sort of revolution in the publishing industry with ebooks, and it’s been going on for some time.  We don’t have a behemoth industry to compare to BMI though some would call Amazon that giant, but there are plenty of other corporations that have the capacity to overtake them. It’s been done before. People can argue, and win in their minds, both ways when it  comes to the pros and cons of Amazon.

And yet, every minute the landscape changes. See what BitLit has to say in the latest salvo here.

I think this is a fantastic idea and would like to see how it works. now logistically the writers publisher if it is a trad pub would have to set up (and pay for) ISBNs for all version: print, digital, audio and of course there are the markets outside of your particular nation; these would have to be coordinated as well. And this is just off the cuff thinking; there is surely much more cost and arranging for this idea to work be feasible.

What do you think of what BitLit has to offer? Comment below.

This is part of a multi-part series on indie publications or self-publications is coming up this week. Sign up if you are interested.

Traditional Publishing Services Brought to Indie Authors

traditional publishing services brought to indie

This is a quick post for the multi-part series on Self-Publishing. An interesting take on the traditional vs. self-publishing option.

 

In their continuing efforts to support self-published authors, Digital Book World has spotlighted a service that brings the traditional publishing services to authors through Bowker.

If you buy your ISBN through Bowker, it will offer the promotional services of Smith Publicity.

As stated in the press release:

ProQuest affiliate Bowker® is expanding resources available to authors and small publishers on its MyIdentifiers.com website by teaming with Smith Publicity, widely recognized as one of the industry’s top book publicity agencies. Now, MyIdentifiers.com will include a link to Smith’s website where authors and publishers can take the first steps in exploring public relations programs that can effectively support their publishing efforts. The cooperation with Smith is part of Bowker’s larger program to help MyIdentifiers users succeed by connecting them to trusted providers of a range of essential services.

Other Lives, Other Loves

This is a piece of mine that I shared on my more personal site. As I have a handicap, I thought I’d share it with you. If you followed me on both websites, you will be acquainted with this one

Other Lives, Other Loves

 

I was reading today a beautiful piece of writing sent to me in Brad Listi’s latest newsletter. If you haven’t yet acquainted yourself with The Nervous Breakdown, it’s a crying shame.

It reminded me of my first true love. A man with a red corvette, curly brown hair and a heart of pure gold. We lived a long-distance relationship throughout our college years. Many trips from either of our college towns down the nine-hour drive to a large southern city populated with either Limos or Toyota Corollas and, for a few weeks a year, one red corvette and two people in love.

During our summer breaks, I spent many a day or evening at his college-town apartment; until 11 pm or three am-if we fell asleep in each others arms. He was the quiet shield from the beatings at home of one parent or the crass treatment by a step-mother that only wanted me gone. She got her wish; mine were not granted. Truth is slayed by hatred so often.

He has a family now, and that door has been shut to me long ago Though, for a minute, I allow myself to wonder what our life would have been like to entwine into each others limbs as the evening turned into night, and we grew closer through the years. What would our baby we lost to miscarriage have looked like? His chin, my ears, his feet, my hands. The minute has ended, and I must deal with the truth of today and count my blessings. My friends, my faith, the strength I have to fight each minute of pain. Nothing would stop me from working before, and nothing will stop me from working through this dying disease today.

The minute has passed, and I must deal with today. I count my blessings and move through the pain. Happy that it is in my bones but not my heart. That pain would be too much to bear.Those questions I also look at askance. Lot’s wife taught us not to look backward No matter how much it hurts to move forward in this body, at least it is moving ahead.

Regrets? Yes, many. But I only acknowledge them peeping at me from the corner of my eyes. There is no point at looking them straight on. I must gather my strength and keep my faith for the current fight; alone, with this disease and its unending pain.

Count your blessings and be happy for what you have. Be happy in your heart for who you have become and, whatever war you face today; keep strong and carry on.

Are You a Self-Published Author? Can Your Readers Find Your Book?

72/365 - And Your Point Is?

Helga Weber via Compfight

 

First, I am working on a multi-part series on self-publishing concentrating on the marketing of your book.

I can tell you from authors I know, this is still a topic they are learning, even after going through the process themselves.

The series I’m working on is just the best of the marketing articles for self-published authors. This alone takes days and days to compile. For instance, the first day, I began at seven a.m. and, minus phone interruptions, didn’t stop until two a.m. I am fast with my research methods so that tells you how much material is out there.

An email I received today from Digital Book World, however, couldn’t wait.

DBW is running a webinar on the tools to make your e-book stand out in a very crowded marketplace. The webinar is summarized:

Finding Books Without Borders: Discoverability in a Digital and Social World

There has never been a shortage of books published. Digital is leading to an explosion in titles available as books no longer go out of print and as the barriers to getting published are coming down leading to a much greater output of new titles.

The challenge? Finding that perfect book, that book that grips and entertains us, that books we put down with a sense of satisfaction when we have reached the last page.

Online presents new opportunities for discovering books, but also challenges for a book to get discovered, for it to get picked out of the millions of other titles available. At the moment, online discovery is probably far more challenging than the discovery paths we are used to in the physical world, be it a book shop or library.

Join Digital Book World for a webcast exploring how readers find what to read next and how authors find an audience in the digital and social world.

The webcast runs on May 14th and information can be found on this page.

Please look for updates included in the post http://thepointofthequill.com/bring-your-writing-to-life-closer-to-publishing/

Bring Your Writing to Life & Closer to Publishing

antique books - Praga

Andrea Costa via Compfight

 

The following is a compilation of resources for writers. You can find the subject that is on your radar by looking at the hashtags.

[Update: May 2nd, 2013 This is an update from the previous release date of this article. Please see the hyperlinked article on Editing: Knowing When To Stop from Writer’s Digest which is under the There Are No Rules banner.

 

#Research

Are you in the  research phase of your book? Most of the links in this resource

are tailored to the non-fiction writer but do be aware that inspiration for your fiction

characters can be found be reading about people in our history; especially if it is a

well-written biography.

 

Let’s say you want to know more about Edmund Spencer, who wrote for Elizabeth I in

varied poetry and prose. The Bio Website can help you with loads of info. Officially, it is

called Biography as it is taken from the much-lauded Biography Channel. Play

around in the sandbox of all of the information in various formats they have

gathered for your perusal. You can have fun and fill in your weekly research

goals at the same time.

 

#Publishing

Anyone in the book business should read Publishing Perspectives everyday

along with their morning cup of coffee. Packed with information that you

can use and should be ‘up on’.

 

#Character Development

There are several great sites that help with character development  Also,

as writers, we tend to pass around our own cheat sheets on questions that

we have worked up for our characters.

There are a few that I would like to highlight: The first is Critiques Circle which is an

online writing workshop. You will need to sign up to be a member. They have free

and premium version. It is a great community and the tools that

they give the author are incredible.

At J.P. Sloan’s Fistful of Fiction, he has created many workbooks and

cheat-sheets to help you flesh out your characters.

 

Creative Writing Now has a wonderful site with a character questionnaire

for your characters to which I am very partial.

Hope this helps in your efforts on three-dimensional characters that will

jump off the 2 dimensional page. Let me know!

 #Editing

We all need this article on self-editing.This is an article from Anna Lewis

who is a co-founder of VoxBox and a pretty incredible person. Do yourself

a favor and check out this webpage.

Writers Digest has just a new article on editing your manuscript entitled, “Editing: Knowing When To Stop” which you may find at Writer’s Digest Online. This is under the There Are No Rules banner.

 

#Platform

In my efforts to find you the best assistance with your author platform,

I have put together some resources for you. All of these are built from the

ground up by writers who have the networks necessary for word-of-mouth

and have gone through the trenches themselves. For instance, check out this

wonderful font of information at The Writing Platform.

 

 Melissa Foster fits perfectly under the rubric of authors who have been through

the  publishing and marketing process and have the contacts and knowledge to

help others beyond writing and editing. She has just written a wonderful book

called Fostering SuccessThe tag-line for the book is “You’ve written a book.

Now What?” I think this will hit home to a great deal of authors, if not all, who

are in need of guidance with publishing and book marketing. You can find

massive amounts of  helpful author platform information on the book here

 

If you need help in promoting your book, the Shameless Promoter  has a

wealth of experience under her belt and is there for you with the tools,

connections and coaching you need to help guide you through the necessary

steps.

 

Best-selling and self-published author Hugh Howey who authored the Wool

series has a great piece at MediaBistro about what he does for self-promotion.

You would be surprised! This piece was based on the Ask Me Anything interview

he did at Reddit.

 

Also at the Galley Cat are several more articles on your platform and promotion.

You can find them listed right under Hugh’s article or below:

Author take 6 spots on self-publishing via Media Bistro

Barnes & Noble launch E-Pub for Nook Authors

E-Books for .99 Hit Top Seller List

If you are looking for a well-qualified coach and well as book marketer and social media expert to increase your sales and profile of you and your book? Susan Gilbert is the person to contact. Check out her site which shows just how many media outlets she has ‘ins’ with and book her stat. (No pun intended.)

 

 #Social Media for Writers

Kristen Lamb’s blog always has great content with a friendly manner attached

to her writing voice. This week, she has a great piece on social media (of which,

she wrote the book We Are Not Alone) and disasters; specifically the automation

of tweets during the Boston bombing. I have her book, by the way, and highly

recommend it. Check out her blog.

 

#News 

Porter Anderson in his characteristic character, has written an amazing

Amazon buys Goodreads post including all reactions from all perspectives

and all social media at Publishing Perspectives in his Ether for Authors.

As I have always said; Keep Calm and Write On.

 

Sign up for the blog or follow me @LeeJTyler and thanks for commenting!

Which Two Industry Giants That You Use Every Day Are Ready To Rumble?

I Win

 

Google Ranks Publishing Over Reading

 

Everyone is talking about the Google Reader, but what about Google Publishing?

Throughout the internet and on all social media sites, the talk has been all about what to do when Google stops their Reader service by this summer.

But that’s not the big story…

As I mentioned, everyone was surprised to hear the ‘buried’ news announcement at Google’s roundup of announcements. It will no longer be supporting the Google Reader as of July 1st. Even Porter Anderson admitted on Twitter that he was shocked at the Google Reader announcement. He is not one to be taken aback. So, as everyone is talking about what to do with their RSS feeds before July 1st, Google has been planning a shock and awe maneuver.

 

Publisher’s Lunch just came out with the news that Google is in fact getting into the publishing industry.

 

A division within Google–Niantic Labs–is readying the first in a potentially extensive line of ebooks and books, in conjunction with author and co-publisher Thomas Greanias and his @tlantis books. It’s known as the ALIGNMENT series and the first ebook novella, the 150-page THE ALIGNMENT: INGRESS, is set for publication on April 2 in the Google Play Store, but also on all other major ebook platforms, either simultaneously or shortly thereafter. (Pricing for the title has yet to be finalized.) The books tie-in to Niantic’s hot alternate/augmented reality MMOG Ingress that Google has been rolling out in closed beta over the past few months.

 

I found a clue at the website of Thomas Greanias, publisher and author. On his website, in the “About” page, you can find the following:

Thomas Greanias is the New York Times bestselling author of the Raising Atlantis and Dominium Dei trilogies.  He is a widely recognized leader in digital lit with multiple No. 1 bestselling eBooks and Audiobooks through @lantis Books.  His bestselling books in print from Simon & Schuster have been translated into a dozen languages and sold in 75 countries worldwide.

Washingtonople was the original name for Washington, D.C.  The site plan for the new American capital was drawn up by French architect and Freemason Pierre L’Enfant under the personal direction of George Washington, also a Freemason.  The site plan for America’s capital city—and the meaning of its alignment to the stars—first grabbed Greanias’s attention as an on-air reporter for NBC affiliates in D.C., where he had the rare experience of exploring tunnels beneath the Capitol that are older than the republic.  He’s been back recently, and they’ve all been sealed off.

Well, most of them. A new tunnel has been discovered and will be explored in The Alignment: Federal City, one of the series in conjunction with the Niantic Project as well as Ingress. As an update, I checked Greanias’s page again today and if I hadn’t been unavoidably detained, I would have been able to come right on the heels of Publishers Lunch. As stated on another Updated (& fictionalized) news page of the author, “So Michael Cader scoops in this weekend’s Publishers Lunch dated March 15.”

Ingress is in beta by invitation only, but in scrounging around on the site, I can see why there are reportedly “another million or so” on the waiting list desperate to play.

Niantic Project uses maps, coordinates, video, chat screen grabs, full gaming options that are incredibly realistic; putting you in map view with the characters of today-the one that just passed you on Broadway texting on his iPhone 5.

On a personal note, this takes one of my current WIP (work in progress) and wipes it off the map, so to speak. Or it might be the best thing for it. I will watch the landscape.

But in the meantime there are over 500,000 active players in the beta version of Ingress.

Amazon might have anticipated this by launching its new publishing arm in addition to Amazon Publishing, With its myriad of imprints, Amazon has just announced a new publishing imprint named Little A (though some have reported L’il A or simply “a”). One of the stars in the new publishing house is The Magic Circle by Jenny Davidson. “[A] literary thriller about the culture of gaming”.

This past Thanksgiving, as Barnes & Noble was still struggling, there was apocalyptic anxiety running through the book world. That anxiety seems from the long distant past, doesn’t it, when it was just five months ago.

So why would Amazon want to spread its back-end so thin with yet another imprint? I believe, especially with the inclusion of the above mentioned novel, that Amazon anticipated it and is trying to hold all of the cards. However, as much as Jeff Bezos and Amazon spread fear throughout the book selling land, the answer seems to add up to a justifiable “yes”.

Yet in this high stakes poker game, Amazon might have bet high without the cards to show for it.

Google has the means and the infrastructure to knock down the digital footprint that Bezos is standing on. There is, however, a greater chip they can throw into the bidding war in the digital publishing poker game; the infrastructure for Google Play is ready to plug-and-play for this new enterprise and there are far more programmers and computer scientists at Google than at Amazon. YouTube; owned by Google. Google maps are in play across the globe. They have every GPS coordinate known to man, not to mention all of the information and framing at their fingertips  We can go into Google Books and Google Scholar along with a very long list of other resources, but you get the idea.

They are ready to roll out on all formats; not just Kindle, not just ePub-all of them.

I’m all about the story. I’ve just wanted to use the tools at our disposal to enrich the story. Google is about to do just that and has laid the ground work to become a powerhouse in the publishing business.

The big G is always ahead of the game. And I predict there are big changes ahead in digital publishing. It is a natural trend with the technology of today. For instance, even  Business Wire is sending out multimedia press releases with pictures and videos. Not interactive, but it highlights the move in general away from drab news releases on company letterhead into the digital age. I was invited a few days ago to try a beta test of a digital software bundle to work in conjunction with Adobe’s Creative Suite; quite similar to what Google is currently doing. This march of technology and innovation is sure to leave lasting scars on the publishing industry more than any other industry; beyond what it has already done.

What do you think about these developments? Share your thoughts below. And consider signing up for updates at right. Please do share this as this is sure to be knock-down drag-out fight to the finish coming to an augmented reality near you. More drama on and off the page coming your way!

Image: Kevin Labianco via Compfight

Update: Now I admit, the latest video, if you click on the links, is a bit cheesy. But Google has the game played out in all sectors, even with characters tweeting as the characters. If you accidentally hit the wrong key, you get a very abrupt tweet that warns you to leave certain things alone. It is being played out over social media, across maps, videos, you name it. And the book that is still soon to be released hasn’t even been price-pointed yet. Can you imagine the stampede to the bookstore-or more likely  Google Play-when it gets released? Talk about an author platform. They have changed the rules for Author Platforms. And Author Media (creme of the crop for building your author platform) needs to get onto this as this is the epitome of digital media at its finest and building your ‘fan-base’ before you even release!

Update: Check out the trailer for the book alone:

Here is the Facebook page.

The Ingress Google+ Page.

Publisher’s Lunch Page for The Alignment.

And if you check out the feeds of Google Plus pages the world over in real time, the augmented reality game has become a real-time action game played out throughout cities across the globe as well as all social media channels. Can you imagine a book launch before the book launch? Well, they have managed to do just that; and the marketing after the launch is amazing. Imagine your book in this scenario:

 

 

The Writers’ Read

Writers read

Day 106 - I am a librarian Cindi via Compfight

Let me guess, you are so busy you have too many things to do, let alone keep up with the publishing changes going on.

Sound familiar?

You have your own writing to do let alone reading about other people writing; right?

Well, never fear as that is what I am here to do. I separate the wheat from the chaff and bring you some of the best reads to date in the book world for you to scan at your leisure. So let’s get started.

First, Shelf Awareness is an incredible resource for the best of literary fiction. Visit this page or sign up for their newsletter to find your zen in the writing life. Articles of just released literary fiction in all genres are fascinating, and the glimpse into the lives of the authors is not to be missed. Their BookTrade page is a must visit, and the Maximum Shelf has an incredible article on The Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra. Find out how this novel is linked to Tolstoy’s Hadji Murad. See all their book articles here and all of Maximum Shelf Wednesday editions here.

Are you a freelance writer or journalist? Well then you are most likely keeping an eye on changes to your field.

We are all watching the pay rates change in both the economy for freelancers and the upheaval in the current digital and publishing world of magazines and newspapers. Two links that you will be interested in reading are from Reuters and Forbes. The latter is an article about one of my heroes, Warren Buffet. I fell for him long ago when he was advising at The Washington Post and have followed him in his continual rise; applauding him when he gave away half of his wealth to charity.

It is also worth watching the price of best seller e-book fluctuations at Digital Book World.

And speaking of book selling, for all authors looking for new ways to promote your book, there is an interesting new book club that Real Simple has with interviews of the authors, including Jodi Picoult among others. The question and answer with the readers sections are not to be missed.. It is called The No-Obligation Book Club and you can find it here.

And for all things publishing, I subscribe to and eat up The Publishers Lunch. There is news of a new agency being formed; you’ll want to check that out. The PEN/Faulkner Finalists have been announced. There are abrupt departures and not so abrupt partnerships. There always is a lot on this menu.

To be connected to many of the writers and editors at the Writer’s Digest, visit the Writers Digest Blogs. Also, take a peak at the Writer’s Digest Forums and their Competitions for Writers. To find a wealth of knowledge about writing and the business of writing, visit The Writer’s Digest Workshops The Writer’s Digest Writers Market. You can also become a VIP which bundles a subscription with access and discounts to their complete database and connections to people at the forefront of the writing life, craft, business and community. It is a box of golden opportunities wrapped up for you and just waiting for you to open.

And there is always Hope at Funds for Writers!

I have been writing furiously, or rather, happily on two books, backing up my Scrivener every chance I get. I hope your muse is keeping you active. If you need a break or some inspiration, enjoy the reading and insights!

Don’t forget to read The Writer’s Tool-kit. There is a vast amount of resources and information for you. Just look for it at the top of the page.

And if you enjoyed this article or think it would be useful to others, please tweet and share it!

An Intro to Procrastination, Neuroscience and Writer’s Block

procrastination, neuroscience, writer's block

what time is it

I wanted to update this post with new Pomodoro* apps that have come out. I’ve been collecting a list and then Zapier came out with this great list.

[tweetthis]What do tomatoes have to do with your writing word count? Find out here http://bit.ly/1igQYMN[/tweetthis]

We will be discussing writer’s block, procrastination and the science behind them…later on…

But first…

There is a movement just starting in the writing sphere of the blogosphere; writers are pushing away from the confines of immediate social media constraints to concentrate on, you guessed it, writing. See ‘s  goodbye post at Writer Unboxed and the comments that follow as well as Chuck Sambuchino’s Letter at Guide to Literary Agents.¹(additional links in footnote)

Read more

Websites and Resources for Writers

 

websites for writers extensive listing an updated daily

 

 

 

 

 

Mardi Gras or not, let’s not hide behind any masks, agreed? Make me a happy reveler and check out the Websites for Writers Toolkit. You’ll be surprised to find some pretty colorful links there.