Self Publishing Archives
If you’re considering self-publishing your novel, well good for you. I’m not here to criticize your choice. For many authors, self-publishing is the right decision and it works. However, during my frustrated adventures through the self-published shelves, I’ve noticed a few common problems cropping up over and over. Authors wonder why their work isn't selling, or why readers seem less than thrilled with their awesome story. The problem is they've messed up somewhere between writing the book and publishing it. Making just one of these seemingly harmless mistakes can mean the difference between a successful book and utter failure....more
I’ve waded the query waters for a long time and I’ve racked up hundreds of rejections. Yes, hundreds. Perhaps I haven’t wandered around as long as others have, but I’ve hammered at it long enough to know that the industry has changed drastically over the past few years. The route to a traditional publishing contract now has several paths, each with a different result for the authors that choose it.
While I don’t believe anyone should publish the first thing they write, or the second, or even the fifth, I have learned that following the rules, building a platform, joining critique groups and doing all of the stuff you’re advised to do the “right way” doesn’t always lead to success. In short, writing a good book doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a traditional publishing deal. If you’ve done all you can do, and you still haven’t seen results, then you have to start considering alternatives....more
Warning: In case you’re dumb as a stump and the title didn’t tip you off, this article may not be all good clean fun. We’re about to get a little dirty. Profanity and slightly graphic descriptions of sex and human anatomy will follow.
Clean fiction advocates should probably just move along. This will only offend you. And you kids should get out of here too.
I love reading well-written erotica and sex scenes. I admire a writer who can go all-out and write a novel that’s all about steam. But I’ve noticed the problems these writers have. Most use pen names because in their real lives writing such themes gets them into all kinds of hot water. Why? Well there are many reasons. Basically porn and erotica are mistakenly lumped together all the time, and they’re always seen by the “normals” as taboo. Well it’s time to stop the insanity....more
As detailed in Crime and Criminal Justice for the year 2008, only in the U.S. there are over 700,000 police officers. If we add lawyers, other legal staff, technicians and medical personnel with knowledge of crime-scene procedure, the number is close to two million.
Nothing can antagonize readers faster than a narrative where it becomes obvious the writer hasn’t done his homework. In other words, where the writer portrays events and procedures removed from the reality.
Since crime scenes are depicted in most genres, not only in thriller and suspense works, getting the finer details right is the duty of any conscientious writer....more
Why do we have to pick a genre to write in exclusively? I understand books need to be categorized, but what if an author had, oh I don’t know, diverse interests? What if she wrote books about crime one day and the next wrote a bit of paranormal romance or horror? Is she to choose a single genre and stay there? And why, please someone tell me, must we feel the need to tack “gay” onto anything involving a same-sex romantic relationship?
Let’s not forget to ask why we’re all so damn defensive about the genres we read and write in. I am surprised all the time how passionately people feel about their favorite types of books, and the prejudices they hold for those genres they deem unworthy of their time....more
Critics often wonder (quite loudly sometimes) if theme is no more than a lost art in today’s fiction. I mean, how likely are readers of this century to ask, “What does it mean?” or “What’s the point of the story?” We’re more likely to note whether or not the story makes sense and the cause and effect of everyone’s actions is logical and realistic. Boy, are we ever not expecting anything from writers. It’s not the readers who have caused the art of theme to be lost, though, it’s us—the writers. While we might work a few moments of insight in a story, we tend to avoid asking the big questions about life, morality, love, hate—you get the idea. Big questions are considered cliché by many modern writers. It's all about entertainment, about sales, and this has really put a damper on the once overwhelming importance of theme.....more
Writing fiction is like stripping off all your clothes in a crowded room, baring yourself to everyone who cares to look, while wearing a mask to conceal your identity at the same time. The naked you wants others to admire what you have to offer, the masked part prefers to hide in the shadows, observing without being judged. It’s a strange contradiction that leaves use exhilarated and terrified at once. ...more