[authorme] PUBLISHING EMERGING WRITERS, February 2008

  • From: "Bruce Cook, AuthorMe.com" <cookcomm@xxxxxxx>
  • To: authorme@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 17:28:03 -0800 (PST)

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   In this issue...
   
  HURRY UP AND FAIL - Patricia Fry


  LIVING THE WRITING DREAM - Lynette Rees

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  HURRY UP AND FAIL 
  By Patricia Fry

   
It happened again. A former client rushed off and delivered his book to the 
printer, not because he knew it was ready, but in order to meet his personal 
deadline. He sent me a copy of the completed, bound book and my heart sank when 
I opened it. .

There, blatantly on the title page, I saw the first mistake. To my dismay, I 
discovered that this was just a hint of what was to follow: misspelled words, 
typos, punctuation problems and oh so many grammatical mishaps. If only he had 
taken the time to have a professional look at his manuscript before he 
scheduled his print date? 

But this client, like so many others, was in a hurry. He became so obsessed 
with his deadline, that he rushed a project that wasn?t quite ready. 

Authors, don?t make this mistake with your projects. Avoid serving up your 
prose or your story before it is ready. Publishing is a process and each stage 
of it takes time and attention. Following are 6 steps that, if omitted, could 
mean the difference between the success or the failure of your project:

Before you start writing the book:

1: Study the publishing industry. It is imperative that you know what choices 
are available to an author and the consequences of your publishing decisions. 
You must also have a clear understanding of your responsibilities as a 
published author. Here?s something that many unaware authors find shocking: 
whether you land a traditional royalty publisher, self-publish (establish your 
own publishing company) or hire a fee-based POD publishing service, you?the 
author?are responsible for promoting your book.

2: Write a book proposal. A well-organized, well-designed, well-written book 
proposal will tell you whether you have a book at all, whether it is a viable 
product, who your audience is, where you will find them and it will guide you 
in establishing your platform.
Many an author has changed the focus of his or her book during the book 
proposal process and, as a result, turned out a more successful product.

After you?ve finished writing your book

3: Assess the content of your book. Review it from many angles. For a 
nonfiction book, make sure that you have included everything that you need in 
order to inform, guide, teach and/or educate your audience. Is your book 
organized logically? Is it easy to follow? Should you break up long streams of 
text by using headings and subheads? Is your content correct, quotes exact and 
statistics fresh and precise? Spend as much time as you need to make your 
nonfiction book the useful tool it is meant to be. 

For a novel, does every transition and instance of dialogue work? Are there any 
areas that sort of grate on you? This could indicate that your story needs more 
work. Don?t quit writing too soon. But try to avoid stressing over your story 
to the point that you start changing things that don?t need changing.

4: Hire an editor. Every author needs at least one extra set of eyes before 
they can call their book finished. Hire a good editor and allow them the time 
it takes to perform his or her job. How do you pick a good editor? Choose one 
who is familiar with the type of book you?ve written?if they know the topic 
well, all the better. Select an editor who has come highly recommended. 

5: Proof any and all changes. Anytime you make a change or you ask your book 
design person to make a change, do a thorough proofing of the entire area that 
may be affected by this change. Did the designer type the new phrase correctly? 
When he added it in, did this affect the spacing or the flow from one page to 
the next? Do you need to make a change in the index because of an addition?

6: Add all of the appropriate amenities. Don?t skimp because of a time 
constraint. If you forgot to purchase a barcode and decide to publish without 
it, know that you are making a huge mistake. Now your book is automatically 
ineligible for most retail store sales. Omit the ISBN and you probably can?t 
get your book placed at amazon.com. Is your book suitable for libraries? Then 
obtain the Publishers Cataloging in Publication block. And if yours is a 
reference book or a self-help or how-to book with many references, resources 
and tips, please, please, take the time to create an index. 

In publishing, time is probably not so much of the essence as is 
professionalism. Don?t allow yourself to be governed by the clock when it means 
rushing your project. Take charge. Concentrate on perfecting your manuscript, 
first and foremost. Deadlines can be changed. Producing a book before its ready 
can be a costly and embarrassing mistake.

Patricia Fry is a full-time freelance writer, editorial consultant and the 
author of 27 books including, ?The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your 
Book? and the NEW companion book, ?The Author?s Workbook.? 
www.matilijapress.com/rightway.html. Visit Patricia?s daily publishing blog at 
www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog .
  
   ==============
   
  LIVING THE WRITING DREAM
By Lynette Rees
 
   
If someone had told me ten years ago in 1998 that I would be where I am now as 
a writer, my mouth would have popped open with incredulity. Back then, I had 
just joined a local writing group and was completely in awe of all the other 
writers there. Okay, I was the baby of the group. I was in my mid thirties, 
whereas the rest were in their 60s, 70s and 80s and included people such as the 
lady who used to be a head mistress of a girls' school and the man who oversaw 
a large group of office workers. What was I then? What did I have to offer the 
group? I was 'just a stay at home mother' who had given up her receptionist job 
many moons ago to raise her children. My only writing experience was from my 
school days. Yet, hadn't my stories entertained back then? Of course they had, 
that's why my English teacher often chose to read them out to the class. I 
really enjoyed attending that writing group in the bowels of the old library at 
Dowlais. I learned so much from those people. My
 ambition back then was to publish my own novel whether it was self-published 
or by the traditional route, it didn't matter a jot. Just to see my name in 
print on the cover, knowing that others were reading the works of my 
imagination, was enough for me. 

The first book I started to write was enjoyable. I wrote three chapters but 
then scrapped it. A few months later I had another idea for a book. I even had 
a title for it this time: 'Caught in the Web' and it started off very well. I 
wrote eight chapters and then ran out of steam. But do you know what? Nothing 
was wasted. The first couple of books formed a learning curve for me. I had 
learned how to format a chapter and work on plot and characterisation. I even 
read a chapter or two out to the writing group, who seemed to enjoy it. I took 
photographs of the locations I used and scribbled down notes. I was learning -- 
fast. 

I set my novel writing aside for a couple of years but then, back in 2002, I 
became inspired by my boss, Tracey Burke. Tracey runs Cancer Aid Merthyr 
Tydfil, where I work as a counsellor. It's an organisation that helps clients 
and their families by providing counselling, complimentary therapies and 
transport. Tracy is so dedicated to the organisation and so passionate about 
what she does that I developed a fictional character with similar traits. This 
book was a romantic suspense, entitled, 'It Happened One Summer'. It was 
published by The Wild Rose Press along with the follow up, 'Return to Winter'. 
The proceeds of both books have been donated to Cancer Aid. Next month, my 
romantic comedy, 'A Taste of Honey' will go into print at Samhain Publishing. 
As well as going on sale at Amazon.com and the publisher's website, it will 
retail across the U.S. in Waldenbooks/Borders stores: 
http://samhainpublishing.com/romance/a-taste-of-honey 

And shortly, I will begin edits on 'Watching You', another romantic suspense 
that will be published by The Wild Rose Press. I truly believe the work that 
went into those first two books I failed to complete, was not wasted. I've 
reused the research from both for my published books and one of the characters 
from 'Caught in the Web' appears prominently in 'It Happened One Summer' and 
'Return to Winter'. 

Who knows what 2008 will bring? I have two further books in the pipeline which 
I hope to find good homes for and maybe another ten years from now I'll have 
achieved something equally incredible.

To succeed as a writer one of the most important qualities [along with talent] 
I believe is, persistence. If  you've got that in spades you'll plod on up the 
pathway to publication as I have.

Bio: Lynette Rees lives in South Wales with her husband and children. She runs 
a group called 'Write for Therapy' once a month at Cancer Aid Merthyr Tydfil. 

Visit her website here: http://silverlady00.tripod.com and her blogspot here: 
http://nettiesramblings.blogspot.com



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       Publishing New Writers, February, 2008 (No. 902)
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Thanks,
 
Bruce Cook

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