Writing for Robots?

reading robotAs writers and authors one of our main goals is to attract readers, preferably ones who will actually buy our books and not expect to get them for nothing. To that end we try to figure out how to reach those readers and, once we do that, entice them to buy.

One of the most common questions asked among writers is, “How do we find our audience?” The advice on how to network, and which media sites will help us best, keeps shifting as new ones emerge and existing ones change for the better – or not. It’s almost impossible to keep up with all the information, let alone make the best choices that will work for our particular offerings. Opinions about what works and what doesn’t are almost as plentiful as authors. Continue reading “Writing for Robots?”

The Paralysis of Perfectionism

Ahhh… perfection!

What I have to say here is going to be very unpopular with a few folks in the indie community. It will offend those who say, Don’t settle for less than the very best. Spend as much money as it takes for editing, cover design, formatting. Your book deserves your utmost effort.

In truth, the perfect is the enemy of the good. If you live in dread of a reviewer pointing out an errant comma, you will never hit the publish button.

I’m not suggesting that you should publish an unproofed first draft. What I am saying is that indies operate in a different and more dynamic publishing environment than traditional publishers. Continue reading “The Paralysis of Perfectionism”

The Persistence of Self-Publishing Stigmas and How To Transcend Them

LorraineDevonWilkeGuest post
by Lorraine Devon Wilke

While out on my journalistic beat covering certain aspects of the Amazon/Hachette debate,  I’ve had occasion to discuss the prevailing attitudes of some who continue to frame self-publishing as “the realm of the subpar,” as one snarky commenter put it.

It seems, despite impressive statistics, celebrity authors, economic boosts to the industry, and overwhelming acceptance by readers (who don’t give a hoot who publishes the books they like), self-published authors and their books remain marginalized in a variety of ways. Most larger newspapers and magazines will not review them, certain books sites (i.e., Oyster, ”Netflix for books!”) won’t carry self-published titles; book conventions have tucked self-published authors away into back rooms (reminding one of the card table at family dinners!). One journalist went so far as to say self-published books could “never” be on a par with those put out by publishers, and even other authors sniff about the “lesser” quality of self-published books.

And as much as we indies can raise a ruckus about the unfairness of all this, there’s just one problem: in some ways, they’re right. The freedom to self-publish has not always translated into an impeccability in how it’s done, and that has led to a book table, so to speak, flush with… hate to say it… “subpar” product. Continue reading “The Persistence of Self-Publishing Stigmas and How To Transcend Them”

Are Traditional Publishers Avoiding the “R” Word?

redhead reading
What about the readers?

A few weeks ago I travelled back in a time warp. I attended a writers festival and discovered there are still some rickety, old fences being propped up by the pomposity of the old gatekeepers.

The writers festival in question is truly a magnificent event. It’s held at a library and the organizers are exceptionally generous in giving time to self-published writers alongside agents and publishers from the traditional world. This was the second year they’ve invited me to speak and a few months previous the same group even hosted me one evening to give a reading. The organizers offer a balanced blend of information for writers. These are progressive people who understand the current state of books and publishing. I sat on an early morning panel and there were five of us. Four were self-published authors and the fifth was a well-known local traditionally published writer who was a nice addition to the group. For sixty minutes we talked about connecting with our readers, working at our craft and producing professional product. We answered questions from the one hundred and fifteen audience members and tried to pass along the information that has been so freely given to us. Continue reading “Are Traditional Publishers Avoiding the “R” Word?”