Jane Friedman…

4 01 2016

Has an excellent blog. In today’s, she posts a checklist and a time-estimate for self-publishing your book. Go check her out. You won’t regret it. LOTS of good info here.




Smashwords: Amazon’s Hachette Dispute Foreshadows What’s Next for Indie Authors

27 05 2014

Interesting posting, well worth a read.

Smashwords: Amazon’s Hachette Dispute Foreshadows What’s Next for Indie Authors.

Indie publishing from the owner of Smashwords

21 02 2014


Interesting article in Publisher’s Weekly about the ongoing increase in indie publishing.

Key points:

– professional editor

– professional cover design

and key to all:

– great story!

The Writer’s Union and the art of gentle discouragement

6 02 2014

writers union blue cropI was lucky enough to be able to attend a Writer’s Union workshop yesterday. I say lucky, because, as a writer without a book published by a “real” publishing house, I can’t be a member, so it was a bit like being invited to a frat house but not allowed to drink.

It was an interesting workshop on the new face of publishing, on the glories and challenges of self-publishing, the thrills of being offered an impenetrable contract from a “real” publisher, the shame of self-publishing that remains, since oh so much self-publishing is garbage.

I learned a few things I couldn’t have picked up hanging about on web street corners, but the prevailing thing I learned was to keep a sense of humour about writing and publishing and BY NO MEANS expect to make money at it.

Well, I knew that.

But it hits a little harder when a prize-winning author in adult and child books (from REAL publishers) still struggles with contracts that give her less than the Writer’s Union suggest. Or when the originally REAL published author who has turned to self-publication tells you that she still hasn’t made back the relatively small investment she made. And still mentions self-publication with a wisp of shame.

They laughed, both of them, whenever money or joy was mentioned. They mentioned they had their books with them for sale. No one bought any. It was fairly discouraging.

On the other hand, they emphasized the work that goes into writing a good book, and in a way that was reassuring. I keep getting people asking me about why I don’t send in my things to publishers and such, but these authors emphasized the need for many many many many revisions, at least 4 years of production, and then more revisions, preferably by a professional editor. So I am off the hook a bit for the manuscripts that languish unloved (but, I hasten to say, still percolating in my head) on my computer.

When is your stuff ready to send out? “When you feel like you are going to throw up if you have to read it again,” was the jist of things.

I’m only a bit nauseated. I think I need some more revision time. And now, yes now, I feel like I want to do it. Despite the discouragement.

Why? Well, if my mum were still around, she’d tell you why. I’ve always been a bit bloody minded. If someone tells me I can’t do something, that simply means (to me) that they don’t know me. My mum, for all her faults and our arguments and her preference for my brothers, told me that I could do anything I put my mind to. She told me this every day of my life and hers.

It’s in my genes.


So when someone says, oh, this is horrible and you will hate it and you won’t ever ever ever succeed, well… my mum inside me rises up, with fire in her eyes, and says, “WHO are YOU?”

She really shoulda been a hookah-smoking caterpillar.

Check out the Writer’s Union website for all sorts of helpful information, including sample contracts and a list of editors and agents. Plus a contest or two. Well worth a visit!

And maybe, maybe, one day I can become a member. For now I’m hoping to join the Whiskey Association of Halifax. Membership is easier there, and it might help with the other.

Infographic: 4 Key Book Publishing Paths

19 11 2013

Infographic: 4 Key Book Publishing Paths.

Excellent post by Jane Friedman. Writers should subscribe.

Word on the Street Festival Doesn’t Care About Author Scam

8 08 2013

Word on the Street Festival Doesn’t Care About Author Scam.

Reblogged from David Gaughran’s excellent blog. While I am not aware of Author Solutions position with the Halifax Word on the Street Festival, I thought I would repost in the interest of writers beware.


Connecting to the criminal element

15 07 2013

Whew. It’s like the wild west out there. 

I’m talking about self-publishing, small publishing companies, vanity presses, etc. With the endless diversity there is now available in the publishing universe, it is becoming harder and harder to pick out the black hats from the white hats. 

We writers are a needy lot, and want so desperately to have a book out there (I should know as I don’t have one yet and I am gradually getting that glint of terror in my eyes that says I’d better get published or I will have to resort to playing Bingo for entertainment and thereby crush my creative soul into a small box of letters and numbers…). We want that validation. We want to have something to give to people who say, “So, have you got anything published yet? Anything I can READ?”

Mind you, that’s just galling. But maybe I’m over sensitive (see parentheses above).

And out there in the publishing world swim the sharks, the ones who promise publishing contracts, who sing you songs of “supporting you through this wonderful experience” for only a smallish fee such as one could use to buy a small car…

They go about, they take advantage, they hurt and bankrupt authors. Diane Tilbert has been fighting the good fight, trying to identify and check one of the companies that is being less than helpful. She’s running a risk; the person involved is lawsuit-positive, as they say in politically correct speak, but I applaud her efforts to cast some light on the murky side of things.

That said, she’ll squash this one (with any luck) and it will spring up again, under a different name, Like mushrooms, these little companies spring up in the dark dank undergrowth, and fade away whenever the sun is shone on them…

So be careful out there, writers! Choose pblishers carefully, Read the contracts carefully. Don’t be too desperate to get something out there (advice to me…). Make your book the best it can be and someone NICE will want to publish it, presumably.

Or not. 

But at least you won’t be bankrupted…

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