On False Claims From Bloggers

I came across a blogger recently who had some interesting things to say about herself. She’s young. A teenager. I remember reading that she’s been writing since she was 12. She goes on and on about how long she’s been writing, and how great she is at it. And then she claims to be an expert on writing YA. With loads of information that would greatly help other authors writing in the genre. She could barely write a blog post that made any logical sense.

Honestly, this person isn’t even the first to make somewhat outrageous claims. I have no idea what her fiction looks like on paper, but I can’t imagine it being much better writing than her blog posts. It just baffles me when people say stuff like this. It’s like everything is a competition or something, and they’ve gotta be winning it.

I’m sure there are plenty of solid and great writers on WordPress. And I’d bet most of them are working to be better, unlike some who think they’re on top of the world with their minimal writing ability.

Have you come across anyone who went out of their way to tell how great they are at something, and they really weren’t? I know you have.

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November is Over

No, this isn’t my monthly recap post. It’s a little different. November being over also signifies the end of NaNo. Finally.

Now most of the people who rave about the “community” will see how they’ve got it all wrong. Sure some might stay interested in your project, but it likely won’t be too many. Because why would they? They’re going to self-publish soon. Or continue working on their own project. Or they won’t be “writing” much more for the time being. So why would they stay interested in your project when it’s no longer cool? They won’t.

And so many of the NaNo participants will finally shut up about how great NaNo is until Camp NaNo in whichever month. Thank goodness.

Writing With Family

Ever come across those articles about a mom and son publishing a book? Or maybe father and daughter? No? I have. And I think it’s a little ridiculous.

Now obviously I’m not talking about well known, accomplished authors who can write with whomever they like. But rather the unknowns of the world like me. Imagine if I decided one day to publish a book with one of my parents. It’s crazy for me to even think about. I honestly wouldn’t even consider the thought. I don’t see any positive that would come from that. One is inevitably going to be a better writer than the other. And there will be disagreements.

When two more professional  authors collaborate I think it’d be easier to divvy up the work in a more manageable way. They don’t have to worry about hurt feelings or other nonsense.

What do you think of parents now writing books with their kids?

On Author Photos

You know the ones. They’re usually on the very last page of the book or on the back cover. They’re always professional shots and usually pretty nice. Usually.

During the course of my three months at Half Price Books I’ve seen a few older books come through the doors. I’m not talking a century old, I’m talking about 20-30 years old. And some of the pictures taken back in the day were not very good. They had dogs looking like they were trying to climb off the chair. They had authors wearing rather interesting attire. I think I’ve even seen t shirts. Any author can obviously wear whatever they like in their author photo, but I think it should still be considered a professional photo. And today it is, but I’m not so sure it was viewed as such just a few decades ago.

Have you ever seen an author photo that you thought was a bit questionable? I know I have.

A NaNo Alternative

During November there is a lot of writing going on. Some good, some bad, and some writing is so terrible that the author’s mom wouldn’t even like it. But still people rush to participate in NaNo every year.

The only alternative that I’ve seen gain any traction online is people blogging each day of the month. Even though the two really have nothing to do with each other. I have a better idea. Why not study the craft and see how much you can learn about writing? Instead of spending the month working on something that is most likely years away from being ready for the eyes of an agent or self publishing, why not just try to become a little tiny bit better?

Read some writing books. See if you can learn about the writing process of some of your favorite authors. Heck, even taking James Patterson’s class on becoming a bestseller would probably give you a good amount of information. NaNo doesn’t.

People talk about it like it’s some great community. Or like it’s something to get better. But no. No one actually gives a damn about your writing. Why would they? They have no stake in it. And NaNo surely isn’t a means to improve your writing. Still just a gimmick.

What do you think about using the month to study the craft a bit and perhaps just gain a little knowledge rather than trying to get as many words written as possible?

Authors Owning Bookstores

Did you know that mega bestselling author Jeff Kinney owns a bookstore? I didn’t. Until recently. And no, he’s not the only one.

I obviously don’t have a definitive list of authors who also own bookstores, but there’s several who do. But I think the idea is pretty great. Obviously this isn’t something that just any author can do. He’s said that his building cost millions to build. It’s state-of-the-art and rather large. So I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could afford (or get) that kind of loan with my current finances. He also hosts author events for authors he knows personally. Again, this is probably not something you or I could do.

But I think it’s a cool idea. Obviously authors who do this want to make money from their investment, but bringing people together who love books and making some money from it (after taking all the risk) isn’t the worst thing in the world.

I think authors owning bookstores could become something of a trend. We know there aren’t as many bookstores as there used to be, so this could be a way to attract people into indie stores. They could potentially meet one of their favorite authors just by going in. What do you think of authors owning their own bookstores?

Underappreciated Authors

I don’t like it when this term is tossed around. I don’t like it one bit.

Whenever someone says one particular author is underappreciated, that tells me that they’re saying some other author is undeserving of whatever they’ve earned as an author. We could be talking money, fame, awards, anything.

We all understand that there are plenty of great authors out there who haven’t been discovered or don’t sell many books despite critical acclaim. We get it. But it’s not like some of the most popular authors are sabotaging everyone else. Sure they get more attention and resources from their publishers, but it’s because they sell. No one ever said only the best authors can be bestsellers. It’s a little ridiculous and disrespectful to start saying one person deserves something over someone else who has already put in the work and hours to achieve their success. It isn’t easy for anyone in publishing. No one knows which authors are going to become bestsellers and which aren’t. (strictly referring to unknown writers and not celebrities.)

There’s an author who’s written a few books (three, maybe?) and they’re just as good as any I’ve read. But I’d be willing to bet that not a single one of you would even know who he is. Heck, I don’t even know what he looks like. But I’d never go so far as to say that he should be more widely read than he is and someone else shouldn’t be. Come on.

What do you think about this?