Write. Edit. Share. Repeat.

About writing, editing, publishing & getting it out there

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No better time to be original

In Seth Godin‘s new book, The Icarus Deception, he writes that with the old way of doing things, most musicians (you can substitute writers or whatever type of art you do) did not have a chance of being heard. Most are not signed by a label. Of those lucky enough to be, 98% fail in the marketplace. Only 1/2% of the remaining 2% ever see a royalty check, Seth writes. (I don’t have a source for these figures, but it does seem in line with what I’ve heard about the record industry.)

He goes on: “A musician who sells two (two!) copies of a song on iTunes makes more money than she would have earned from a record label for selling an entire CD for seventeen dollars.

“There are more musicians making more money being heard by more people and earning more money than ever before.

“Now, multiply what happened to music by a million. Multiply it by consulting, coaching, and design. Multiply it by manufacturing, speaking, and non-profits. Multiply it by whatever it is you care enough to do.”

Again, since I focus on books, I’m substituting “writer” for “musician.” You may make money through a traditional publisher and some of them treat authors very well. But the world of self-publishing is yours (mine) waiting for you (me) to share your/my/our words.

 

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What am I going to read? (part 2)

baitdogIn the first part of this blog I wrote about how I read (and I’m curious to hear about how other readers are reading these days).

Now I want to talk a little about what I read and how I make choices. Is how I decide how others decide? (Toss me a comment.)

On my reading list right now (ie, books I’ve started):

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What am I going to read? (part 1)

NYPL books 1 020113Since I got my Nook a few years ago, I know that my reading patterns have changed, and I’ve been mulling over the choices I make in what I read—as well as how I read. I know some of my generation still cling to only print books. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading the old-fashioned way and it has its benefits—it’s easier to see how far along you are, it’s quicker for flipping back to a previous page, it’s often easier to figure out which chapter you need to go to.

And I still browse bookstores, although, honestly, it’s pretty darn rare these days for me to buy a new book from a bookstore.

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Why give it away?

secrets to ebookFree is the most misunderstood and underutilized book marketing tactic for indie authors. It’s one of the best-kept secrets for the best-selling authors at Smashwords… “

That’s from Chapter 11 of the free book, Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success, by Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords:

He continues: “Publishers have legitimate business reasons for their decisions. Because they’re in the business of selling books, they must try to acquire only titles that they think have the greatest commercial potential. The challenge here, though, is that although publishers are smart, well-intended people, their decisions are ultimately guesses. Readers, and specifically the word-of-mouth of readers, determine which books go on to become bestsellers….

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Discovering GoodReads

Painted girls coverI’ve been spending a little time getting to know GoodReads, but for now the site’s still a bit of a mystery to me. As with every new social media site, I take my time jumping in. I know. I’m way, way behind the crowd. I always think I have too much on my plate already. In reality, I probably do, but since I like to read, I figured I should at least check it out.

My initial foray involved creating a 2013 reading challenge for myself (100 books), and joining two groups. One’s called “52 weeks, 52 books,” the other one is called “Booksy Cup Freebies and Bargains.” I’m not really sure what “Booksy Cup” is. I’m sure it’s explained somewhere; I think it’s the name of the moderator’s blog.

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First Kindle-exclusive deal: The 4-Hour Chef

4 hour chef

Kindle’s popularity changes publishing | Entrepreneur | Financial Post.

“The future of publishing is here, and you can download it for $9.99. Amid a flurry of controversy, New York Times bestselling author Tim Ferriss recently launched The 4-Hour Chef. Published by Amazon, it represents the first “Kindle-exclusive” deal the company has signed with an author, and a huge inflection point for the publishing industry as a whole.

“Now, the dust has begun to settle, and with more than 60,000 copies in print and ebook form sold during its first week, the results lean heavily in favour of a landslide “Four-Hour” victory.

“But make no mistake, this the future of book publishing.”

Read more here.

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Never Mind E-Books: Why Print Books Are Here to Stay – WSJ.com

Ever since Amazon introduced its popular Kindle e-reader five years ago, pundits have assumed that the future of book publishing is digital. Opinions about the speed of the shift from page to screen have varied. But the consensus has been that digitization, having had its way with music and photographs and maps, would in due course have its way with books as well. By 2015, one media maven predicted a few years back, traditional books would be gone.

Half a decade into the e-book revolution, though, the prognosis for traditional books is suddenly looking brighter.

Click to read more: Never Mind E-Books: Why Print Books Are Here to Stay – WSJ.comBy NICHOLAS CARR

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How To: Choose a Style Guide | Copyediting.com

copyediting blog logo

Andrea Altenburg at Copyediting.com writes: “A style guide creates consistency for all writing, such as spelling and language.The benefit of adopting a style guide is that it puts guidelines in place to ensure consistency across all documents that go out the door.

I “grew up” with the Associated Press Stylebook because I started my career in newspapers, and that’s what newspapers usually use. According to Wikipedia, “The AP Stylebook is considered a newspaper industry standard and is also used by broadcasters, magazines and public relations firms. It includes an A-to-Z listing of guides to capitalization, abbreviation, spelling, numerals and usage.” This style guide also includes sections that reporters and editors might need: business guidelines, sports guidelines and style, photo caption rules, a chart of editing marks, and a briefing on media law. Read More

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The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

The Icarus Deception coverRecently I’ve been following Seth Godin’s blog and twitter feed (He’s the founder of Squidoo, among other things, and always has interesting things to say about business, marketing and writing). He recently posted about his new book, which I wanted to share about because I liked the description’s call to creative people.

“Everyone knows that Icarus’s father made him wings and told him not to fly too close to the sun; he ignored the warning and plunged to his doom. The lesson: Play it safe. Listen to the experts. It was the perfect propaganda for the industrial economy. What boss wouldn’t want employees to believe that obedience and conformity are the keys to success?

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Shameless, self-serving “altruism”?

Jan Arzooman

Tweet, Tweet & Retweet were on a boat. Tweet & Tweet jumped off …

A few months ago, I was on the bus to work, bored and looking for something fun to read. I tweeted on my Android, “Does anyone have an interesting blog today? Share it with me; I’ll tweet about the one I find most interesting.” I wasn’t looking for anything specific—in the mood I was in, I probably would have preferred non-fiction—but I only got one response, from an erotic fiction writer whose blog was the second chapter of her book. Her style wasn’t what I was looking for, but I’d sort of promised to consider anyone who responded, so I read the first part and then the chapter she’d linked me to.

No one else answered my tweet, so she “won” my “call for submissions.” I tweeted a congratulatory note that my heart was not completely in, but I’d promised, so I delivered. Read More