Don’t Quit Your Day Job

I may come across at times as being aggravated by something I read or say on WordPress, but I’m really not. I only lead you to think that because of how I write my posts and/or comments. There isn’t much anyone on WordPress can do to get me remotely close to angry. Because we’re all strangers on here and if you want to get upset over nothing, then that’s your choice. I’ll just nap like I always do and forget about it. BUT there is something I’ve seen more frequently in recent weeks than I’ve seen in my previous two years on WordPress, and it’s getting to the point of almost pissing me off. Almost.

You might know a writer who decided to quit their day job after a year or two or 20 to pursue writing full-time. I don’t know anyone who’s done that, but I know it happens. I have no issue with that, because it’s their life and they can do as they please. What I do have a problem with is when someone makes the choice to do that (if they were working at all) and then writes a sob story about how they’ve put off their writing for so long and now it’s time to pursue their dream of becoming an author….AND would I please donate my money to help them along the way. UH, WHAT?

What the hell did I just read? So YOU made the choice to quit YOUR job and now you’re asking ME to give you money that I worked for so you can get by while you work on your next great novel? I must be on a prank show. This can’t be real and you can’t be serious.

No reasonable person would outright quit their job if they couldn’t afford to do so, or didn’t intend to try finding something better. Think about that. And there are actually people on WordPress who are doing that and then immediately asking for money from strangers. I guess WordPress has turned into GoFundMe.

I once launched a Kickstarter campaign to help with my first book. But it was NOT a campaign to fund a “writer” lifestyle, it was meant to help make my book better. The book was written already. And you see things like that everywhere, but this is different. What people are asking now has nothing to do with their writing. They’re essentially asking people to be a source of income. And that’s just ridiculous.

Have you come across this kind of thing? I’d say I’ve seen it maybe 7-10 times in recent weeks. I’ve yet to comment on one of these posts, but I think the next time I find one I’ll just link back to this without anything further.

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We Finally Have Waterproof Books (Almost)

This is one of those rare posts that I’m writing entirely for y’all. Because my books would never go near any water, and I don’t take baths. I couldn’t tell you the last time I took a bath. Wait, that sounds bad. I only take showers, ya crazies!

Anyway, I can’t tell you how many tweets or blog posts or whatever I’ve read about someone reading in a tub of hot water. I think it’s the weirdest thing, but there’s nothing I can do about it. And there’s also usually wine involved. Wine + books = I have no idea. Water + books = soggy books. But there’s obviously a market for these waterproof books because a couple has decided to make them a reality for all of you who like reading in the tub.

These waterproof books are part of Bibliobath. What’s Bibliobath? It’s the Kickstarter project that aims to make these waterproof books more mainstream commodities. They’ve chosen four works for their initial launch to get you ready for what’s to come. MacbethThe Art of War. Mark Twain’s short stories. And selected poetry by W.B. Yeats.

I have no interest at the moment in waterproof books or any of those four titles, but I bet you do. Maybe? If yes, fell free to read more about Bibliobath and to support their Kickstarter campaign here.


On this day in 2014 I published Stopping a Book Before you Finish.

PS: I’ll be hitting a mini milestone today. It’ll most likely happen before I wake up in the morning and before this post publishes. I’ll be surpassing 50,000 views on Write me a book, John!. How cool is that? That’s a lot of eyeballs reading my words.

 

Little Free Libraries Have Come Under Fire

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On this day in 2014 I published 100 WordPress Followers!.


This is a joke. No other words to describe what’s happening in a few cities across America. But first, let me explain to you what Little Free Libraries are. Usually someone puts them outside their home, but they can be anywhere. They’re small structures full of books. And anyone can walk up and take one out on the premise that they will put one back in. It’s literally a little library. I only know about them because I backed a Kickstarter project for some back in 2013.

Well recently in cities all over America people have decided to complain about the Little Free Library in their area. And local leaders and politicians are not handling these “complaints” with any common sense whatsoever. In Los Angeles and Shrevepoet politicians are ordering for some of these wonderful little libraries to be taken down. Because they violate city codes.

I have nothing against city codes and ordinances because in most cases they serve a valid purpose, but I don’t think anyone writing said codes ever meant for them to be used to take down these Little Free Libraries. This is absurd. I just read story after story of people coming together around their neighborhood Little Free Library. They stop and discuss books they’ve read. They make sure to put quality books back in. They get to know their neighbors for the first time. But most importantly, they’re reading! And some ignorant people want to complain and get these taken down? Come on. Seriously.

I don’t know what’s going to happen with Little Free Libraries, but the people who feel the need to complain about them are doing no one any good at all.

PS: I’ve read about some local lawmakers trying to give Little Free Libraries an exception to city codes. Go them!

Photo Credit: Purewow

Using Kickstarter to Publish Your Book

I’ve come across just about everything you can think of when it comes to books on WordPress. One of the posts that seems to persist is writers asking for help via Kickstarter to publish their book. I was one of them. I thought it would be a good way for me to get people interested in my book and to make it better in the process. I haven’t read any Kickstarter campaign pages in a long time, but I wanted to use mine for the things that you’d expect like editing and cover design.

But now I’m really thinking of Kickstarter’s place in publishing and I have some thoughts on it. Sure there are plenty of successful publishing projects on the site, but should it be used as often as it is? I don’t know. It’s nice to help someone get their book out in the world, but in using Kickstarter to deliver that assistance one has no idea what he/she is getting involved with. You likely aren’t beta reading the book. You have no idea how well the author writes. You don’t know much of anything outside of the campaign page. And those are a problem.

I’m not sure I’d be comfortable helping fund any book project. I know, I know. I tried funding mine on the site, but I didn’t know anything. And when I really think about it it’s just not a good bet. Other creative projects are different. Someone trying to fund an independent album can refer you back to song covers they’ve released. Someone trying to fund a short film project can also refer you back to previous work. And even artists can do the same. But I’ve found that many using Kickstarter for a book project have never actually written a book.

What do you think of aspiring authors using Kickstarter to publish their book?

PS: I’ve received two guest posts that I know I’ll be using next week. Which means I need three more. I’m not waiting for people to decide what they’re writing about. All you have to do is let me know you’re interested in guest posting and I’ll send you an invite. I’ll refer you back to this post to see what I’m looking for.

Like a Reality Show, but for Authors

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Photo Credit: Reader’s Entertainment Magazine

I remember reading a long time ago about a reality show in Italy in which writers competed on TV for a publishing deal. I think. I don’t know the name of the series or how it panned out, but if my memory serves me right, then the writers were tested by writing just about anything you can think of. Well, I’ve now discovered something even better. Swoon Reads.

The premise of this Macmillan YA imprint is simple, publish what the people want. I’ve literally just discovered the company minutes before sitting down to write this, but it appears that authors simply submit a manuscript and readers can sample it, rate, and comment on what they read. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that it sounds no different from what you can do on Amazon or the Barnes and Noble site. And that’s true, but those books are already published. These aren’t. You’re making the decision.

This is like a reality show and a Kickstarter all-in-one! Without having to give any money! I think this was a mighty fine move by Macmillan and although no one really knows how the eventual published books will sell (the first is set for release Aug. 26) I’m thinking they’ll do okay.

Lastly, before you go off submitting your newly polished manuscript to the site’s readers you should know that nearly 300 manuscripts have been submitted and the number of books accepted for publication is still in the single digits. It isn’t easy but hey, publishing never is.

Now tell me what you think of Swoon Reads using feedback from readers to decide which books deserve publishing. I think it’s great, what about you?

Here’s a New York Times article discussing the first book to be released by the imprint.

Interested in taking a look at the first book? Do so here.

The Anticipation is Driving me Crazy!

All of my beta readers have now had most of a week with my book. Two have had it more than a week, four received it on Sunday, and the final two on Monday. I know I’m probably just being paranoid but i feel like I’m stuck!

My book is fairly short and I have a pretty good idea as to how long it should take to read, even with busy lives. So now I have two polar opposite thoughts coursing through my head regarding the critiques that I’ve yet to receive. First is “It’s terrible.” The second is “They’re just being thorough like I asked them to be.” Ahh.

I have given all of my readers a deadline of this coming Sunday, so technically they haven’t gone overboard just yet. But I want feedback!

Also, I just finished the first James Patterson book that I didn’t like. It’s posted on my What I’m Reading page. It was the first in his Michael Bennett series and I don’t think I’ll be continuing the series, at least not right now. Michael Ledwidge wrote a decent story, but I felt that he was trying to imitate Patterson throughout and came up way short.

Today I have no reader feedback and by the time of my next post I shall have all I’ve asked for! Stay tuned!

Have a look at Kickstarter project page here to learn a little about my book and maybe pledge. Only three days left!

And we Wait

I wish I had more to update all of you on, but I don’t. My book is currently in the hands of seven trusted individuals and I await to receive their feedback.

The first three all had it by Wednesday of last week and the next four received it today.

I wonder if they have any sense of urgency to get their reading done. Eh, it’s okay. Since I’m not working on the book itself, I’ve been reading a bit. Remember, my goal each year is to read 50 books and I’m nowhere close at the moment. Maybe I can make a little dent in that number in the time it takes for my readers to get back to me.

I’ve also been thinking about book 2 a bunch recently. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to write about, but now I’m not so sure.

Anyway, I still have book numero uno to finish!

Feel free to check out my Kickstarter project page here for any and all information related to my book.