Another New To Me Author

I started my 10th book of the year last night and it’s by another new to me author. It’s the 4th one so far this year. There’s no way I can stay on that kind of pace of reading new authors. Can I?

I get in my head a bit because when I start a new book I’m excited, no matter what. But when it’s written by someone I’m not familiar with there’s an extra level of intrigue. But there’s also the thought of “what if I don’t like something everyone else seems to love”. I know it’s silly, but I’m not the only one thinking it. I mean, there are plenty of titles coming to mind as I write this I simply did not enjoy.

How often do you start reading a new author for the first time?

Advertisements

Zoella to Write Second Book Without a Ghostwriter

Zoe Sugg, also known as Zoella on YouTube, has announced that she will be writing her second book on her own. Why is this news to anyone? Well, it shouldn’t be. But last year there was a lot of backlash when it was revealed that she had the help of a ghostwriter in writing her first book. But anyone who knows anything about publishing knows that ghostwriters are always the ones writing celebrity books. And this girl was treated differently from everyone else.

So now she’s writing her new book herself. I’m not going to sit here and say that the book will be any worse or better because of this new revelation, but I think it’s a little ridiculous that she even has to do this. I’m starting to think that people who don’t write think that any and every celebrity is perfectly capable of writing a book, which is baffling to me.

BUT I’m sure that she’ll do just fine and her fans will be satisfied that she wrote it herself, while the rest of us don’t particularly care who writes what.

What do you think? Is this a good idea for her?


On this day in 2014 I published Is There a Proper Chapter Length?.

 

Question: Which book description is more enticing?

Photo Credit: Writers and Artists

I love that more of you guys are Liking, commenting, reading, and following my blog. Obviously, right? Well, now I’m going to ask for your input on a relatively important issue I’m facing. My book’s description on Amazon! This will likely be the third time I change it, and I’m counting on you all to help me out a bit. Sound okay? Okay. Also, you should know that I’m not really worried about the book description selling more books. My book came out almost six months ago and I rarely tell people about it in person anymore because I’ve already told just about everyone I know.

Now all I’m going to do is have you read the current description and another I have written out. For this to be a bit more blind, I’m going to remove the description from the My Book page. I ask that you NOT click on the Amazon link before you make a recommendation, because I obviously can’t change that one just yet. So just tell me what you think! Here we go:

Option #1

A teenage girl walks into the office of Houston area private detective Andrew Banks a day before the office is set to open. But Mercedes is sent home before she’s able to disclose anything about why she’s there in the first place.

As instructed, she returns the following day after taking the night to think about why she needs a private detective, but still, she’s unable to give Banks any concrete information about her problem. All she knows is that her parents appear to be more combative than she’s ever seen them, and not much else.

Banks agrees to take her on as his first client thinking it’ll be a walk in the park, until he meets her parents. Alejandra is a stay-at-home mom who often buys herself things for all the work she does at home. Carlos is a banking manager who can no longer afford his wife’s constant buying.

Just when Carlos is on the verge of financial collapse, an old high school friend makes his way into his life. Carlos is offered a job that pays $10,000 a month and all he has to do is drive a car. That is, from Houston across the Mexican border and back again every two weeks with drugs being his only company during these long trips.

Now Carlos Vega wants out. Banks is ill-equipped to handle the case on his own, but he’s given no choice. Police intervention isn’t an option and an entire family entrusts him to get them out alive. He vows to do his best, but even that may not be enough.

Option #2

Houston area private eye Andrew Banks is hired by sixteen-year-old Mercedes Vega to determine what’s dividing her parents. As soon as he meets the rest of the Vega family he realizes that the situation is only one step from becoming dire. He puts the safety of the family over everything else until the case hits much too close to home and it becomes a race against a wealthy restaurant owner that ultimately turns deadly.

Okay, those are your choices! Don’t go on Amazon and cheat, please!

Not Your Typical Case of Writer’s Block

Photo Credit: Create Meme

I wrote a post last week about writer’s block, so before you go thinking that I’m just reposting the same thing, I’m not. This is quite a bit different.

So now you’re probably wondering what the title of this post means exactly. Well, it means what it says. Most writers embarking on a great writing journey will almost certainly hit a wall in which their creative juices just don’t seem to be flowing at all. I know I’ve experienced this a number of times in the last year that I’ve written seriously. But this that I’m facing now, no, this is different.

The first draft manuscript of my second book has not been touched in weeks. I don’t have an exact date but I know it’s been much too long. The thing is, is that I think about the stupid thing every single day. I think about sitting down at my computer and writing a few thousand words and raising my middle finger to the screen and proclaiming, “YOU CAN’T STOP ME!” I think of what happened in the last chapter I actually wrote. I think of what might happen in the chapters to come. But there’s nothing there. Nothing. It’s as though I’m driving in an unknown land and somehow managed to drive myself straight into a dead end with no idea how I got there. Any person who says writing is easy should be shot, but writing should never be THIS hard.

Not that people should care about my writing, but no one I know does. I have like two people who regularly ask about how book two is coming along. My family doesn’t ask. My so-called friends don’t ask. No one asks. Which means I’m only accountable to myself. That may not be enough this time around.

You know what I need? A punch in the face. Or someone to yell at me that this is what I’ve wanted to do for so long. Or maybe just someone to sit down and talk to me about my story. Maybe another person will see something I don’t.

I’m opening Word as I type this. I refuse to let my story push me around. I’m taking it back. Right now.

The Stigma of Self Publishing

Photo Credit: Indies Unlimited

Are you a self published author? Or maybe an aspiring writer considering self publishing once you polish that manuscript of yours? There are a few things that you should know before taking the step to self publish your book.

Lesser

This is probably the most difficult assumption about self publishing to overcome. No matter if the person you’re talking to says it or not, a great number of people still believe that self published authors write worse than traditionally published authors. To the unknowing person, this is inherent in self publishing. You’ll likely then receive countless questions about the editing and cover art and physical makeup of the book that traditionally published authors will not. Have you ever been to a book signing or event for a popular author and had someone ask about the editing of the book? I haven’t and I’ve been to several.

The look

You’re probably wondering what the heck ‘the look’ is. It’s simple. It’s the look you get upon first revealing to someone that you’re self published. It essentially tells me the thoughts of the other person. It says, “Oh. So then you’re not good enough to go the regular route.” By no means are people trying to discourage or put you down, ‘the look’ is almost involuntary. I know plenty of great people who displayed it when I first told them that my book was self published. When you start telling someone about your newly released book, what it is the first question they ask? Who published it? I’ve probably been asked that question more than any other. It’s even asked by non-readers.

Selling

This isn’t necessarily a part of the stigma associated with self publishing, but it’s still worth mentioning. When you self publish, assuming that you didn’t make your own imprint doing so, it is quite difficult to find sales channels. If you use CreateSpace or Kindle Direct Publishing then your book becomes one of millions available from Amazon. Which is great, but let me repeat that it becomes one of millions of books available from the online giant. Just being on Amazon is not enough. But also Barnes and Noble will not carry the book in its stores if the book is self published. Their shelves are reserved for the major publishing companies that have done business with the company for decades.

Readers

There are plenty of readers out there who don’t care whether a book is self published or not because it’s all about the quality to them. BUT, there are plenty of readers out there who will never ever ever ever ever purchase a self published book. This kind of goes with my first point about people believing that self published authors’ writing is lesser than that of traditionally published authors. This means that your free book on Amazon may be overlooked by a hardcore reader simply because it’s free. This means that your $0.99 book will be overlooked just the same. The point is that it may be difficult to find readers for your book, no matter how well written it is.

Don’t let these discourage you! If self publishing feels like a good fit for you, then I say go for it.

Traditional vs. Self-Publishing: And the winner is…

One of the major questions new authors face upon completing their manuscript is trying to decide whether traditional or self-publishing is a better fit for them and their work. Some authors will never self-publish because of their own beliefs about the self-publishing industry while others will try to go the traditional route and then self-publish after countless rejection letters from agents and/or editors. But is it even worth it? Are there enough advantages to self-publishing to justify taking that course? Let’s see.

Self-Publishing

The self-publishing industry has taken the book market by storm in recent years. There are seemingly companies popping up everyday that guarantee this or that for your newly released title. Mostly these are just to get you to take a look at their site where you’ll be bombarded with their so-called ‘success’ stories. You’ll read about one author who has sold enough books to quit their day job. Then another who became a NYT bestseller within their first couple of years of self-publishing. By this time you’re starting to get more and more interested and you’ve now begun looking into the packages and services offered by this particular company. Because in your head your book is just as good as any out there so if someone else can become a self-published bestselling author then so can you, right? Wrong.

Before continuing on further I would like to ask a question of you. How many self-published authors do you know by name?

It’s a simple enough question. So think about it. I’ll answer first…two. Kinda. Cause the two that I know are Hugh Howey and E.L. James. Both of these authors started out in self-publishing and experienced such success that traditional publishers came knocking at their doors. But they’re the exception. There are likely thousands of other struggling self-published authors for each of the major successful ones. For the record, I could probably name 50-100 traditionally published authors just off the top of my head.

But back to the point of this post. There are plenty of advantages to self-publishing. The author is finally able to say “I wrote a book.” The author has far more creative control when it comes to the manuscript and cover than he/she would if it was being done by a traditional publisher. The author will likely have a book available from the world’s largest bookstore Amazon.com. The quality of the books printed by self-publishers today is often no different than the quality of traditional publishers. Remember, I’m talking about the physical book and not the story itself.

Traditional Publishing

If this were a David vs. Goliath sort of post then the traditional publishing industry would be Goliath, accompanied by a vicious dog. The big five traditional publishers of Simon and Schuster, Penguin Random House, Macmillan, Hachette, and HarperCollins maintain a stranglehold on the publishing industry that can’t be overstated. But in reality it’s not much more different from the top few companies in any industry. I’m thinking Wal Mart, Safeway, Kroger, and Costco in grocery or ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX when it comes to broadcasting major sporting events.

Before going further let me define what it means to go the ‘traditional’ publishing route. The author queries an agent. The agent reads through and decides to represent the manuscript and pitches the story to editors and contacts that he or she may have at a traditional publisher. Eventually the story gets picked up, or it doesn’t.

The traditional publishing industry is loaded with gatekeepers to keep the lesser writers out of the industry, because it all comes down to the publisher making money from selling the books it publishes, right? It’s hard to make money not selling books or by publishing books by just okay writers. It’s a business and their business model has worked largely unchanged for a long time. I read recently that only about 2% of all authors are able to successfully go the traditional publishing route. 2%! If you ever wonder why there are so many self-publishers and self-published authors out there today then take a look at that number right there as partly responsible.

But let’s not forget that traditional publishers take all the risk when it comes to publishing. All of it.

My Take

This is coming from someone who self-published his first book through CreateSpace. It’s simple. Traditional publishing continues to rule the publishing world, and it’s not even close. Sure there are a few authors who have managed to gain critical acclaim and sell thousands upon thousands of books through self-publishing, but the more persistent trend is that the author will sell a few hundred copies of their book and then fall by the wayside. It’s just how it is.

So when you finish that manuscript you’ve been working on and you go through and rewrite and rewrite some more and then come to this particular question, I would suggest sending out a few queries to some agents before self-publishing. But that’s just me.

Blog Tour Info

I mentioned a few posts ago that I would be going on a blog tour to help promote my first book. I also mentioned that I would have the details of said tour at some point. Well, I have them to share.

I’m using Sage’s Blog Tours for my tour and it will span the dates of January 6-27. You might be thinking that I have plenty of time to find tour hosts and stuff like that, but since my tour will have a heavy focus on reviews it really isn’t that much time at all.

Before I give you the link to possibly become a tour host, I’d first like to tell you guys what I’ll be needing (even though it’s clearly displayed if click the link.)

The tour will be 15-20 stops and I’m hoping for at least 3/4 of those to be reviews. Of course, I’m not the one working behind the scenes to make that happen, but that’s at least what I’m hoping for at this point. So should you have some desire to be a tour host then you’ll obviously be receiving a FREE copy of my book for review. So there’s that!

The remaining stops will likely be a combination of guest posts made by me or author interviews. Also, it helps if you currently write reviews, so if you’d like to be a host but you don’t review books then feel free to allow a guest post or schedule an interview. It goes without saying that your blog must be book related to participate.

If you’re interested all you have to do is click here! Check out my cool banner.

Divided(1)