Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Let’s All Help Independent Authors

There are many posts on this blog about the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishingAlliance of Independent Authors

But, you might wonder how independent authors could ever make waves in a world where traditional publishing has such a foothold and most of the money

Ever heard of Change.Org?

Here are a few things that organization has helped to make realities:

NFL drops nonprofit status after major national outcry

Kraft removes controversial “Kids Eat Right” label from packaging

Student freed from Iranian prison after brother’s campaign

Ben & Jerry’s to release non-dairy ice cream in 2016

Well, Change.Org is teaming up with the Alliance of Independent Authors to send a petition to:

* Libraries
* Booksellers Associations of Australia & New Zealand, Canada, Europe, India, UK & USA
* Book Reviewers & Review Outlets
* Literary Organisations
* Literary & Publishing Events Organisers
* Library Associations of Australia & New Zealand, Canada, Europe, India, UK & USA

Here’s what it says:

Open Up To Self-Publishing Indie Authors

“I, and the Alliance of Independent Authors, urge you to find ways to include self-publishing writers as a matter of priority.

“As you know, more and more writers are turning to self-publishing and many such authors are producing work of proven value to readers.

“While recognising that there are challenges in incorporating such writers, it has become a necessity, if book stores, libraries, literary events and reviewers are to be inclusive, and fully serve readers and writers.

“I trust you will give this matter the attention it deserves.”

Here’s a note I received today from the Alliance:

“We’ve passed 1000 signatures on our petition to the books establishment to Open Up To Indie Authors. Our aim is 10,000. Can you help? Please share this on your social media outlets and pass to a friend.”

Find out more about this movement to include Independent Authors’ books where the public can find them.

Sign The Petition

Read Some Strange Fantasies
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To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Who is a Book for Anyway? by Cassie Beasley

Alexander M Zoltai:

Ever had someone say that certain books aren’t “right” for certain people?

What if someone said a particular book wasn’t right for your child?

Originally posted on Nerdy Book Club:

My parents never said no to a book.

Every year they said, “No, we can’t have an extra week of vacation.” (You’d think they would have given in at least once.) And they said, “No, you can’t stay up until midnight. You’re sleepy.” (I wasn’t.) And on one memorable occasion my mother shouted, “NO! Did you just bite her?” (“Her” was my sister. It was an accident.)

But they never once told me I couldn’t read a book. In fact, it didn’t occur to me that someone might object to any book at all until I was in the sixth grade. That was the year our homeroom teacher decided she was going to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to us. After describing the book, she explained that we would only proceed if our parents were okay with us hearing about witches and wizards.

I was baffled by the…

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Should Fiction Deal with How Our World Could Be “Restructured” to Eliminate All Our Crises?

It would be impossible for anyone to prove that our world isn’t embroiled in multiple, interwoven crises… 


Image Courtesy of ilker . ~

Do you think fiction writers should deal with this in their work?

Certainly, there have been plenty of dystopian novels and novels that create a new, fictional ordering of our world.

The question is:

How many novels deal directly with the “multiple, interwoven” crises we’re actually having?

Here are a few of the major ones:

Climate Change

Oppression of Women and Girls

Threat of Pandemic Diseases

Water Shortages

Food Shortages

Excessive Wealth with Crushing Poverty

Increasing Terrorism

Corporations Over-Mastering Sovereign Nations

Hang on

Is that last one really happening?

Sadly, yes; and, it will soon get worse—even to the point that a corporation can sue a government whenever it wants to override its laws

If this sounds like sheer fiction, check out this Google page about the Trans-Pacific Partnership

A main point of reaching a resolution of all our crises revolves around Governance.

If you want to read a novel that delves into resolving multiple, interwoven global crises<—Click That Link

That book happens on worlds other than Earth but clearly shows how our planet could reach global tranquility.

And, if you want some solid research material for planning a fictional work that reflects sane and practical resolutions for bad governance, Download This Paper from the Institute for Studies In Global Prosperity.

Here’s their description of their mission:

“The Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity (ISGP) is a non-profit organization, dedicated to building capacity in individuals, groups and institutions to contribute to prevalent discourses concerned with the betterment of society.”

So, do you think fiction should deal with these issues?

And, how close can fiction get to what’s actually happening and remain fiction?

Also, do you think there are too many novels that help folks completely escape from reality and block them from helping to heal our world…?
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

It’s Now a Single-Spaced World

Alexander M Zoltai:

O.K., raise your hands—how many of you learned to type when the rule was two spaces after a sentence ended?

Think it’s always only one space now?

Read on :-)

Originally posted on Live to Write - Write to Live:

Show of hands. Who learned to type on a typewriter?

TypewriterNow keep your hand up if you double space between sentences.

Wow. Quite a few of you!

I hope this news isn’t a surprise, but double spacing is virtually no more when writing for publication. A single space is all that is needed / required between sentences for most style guides and a majority of publishers.

If you’re publishing your own blog and your own e-books you may retain the double spacing between sentences as a personal preference. But if you’re submitting for publication, a single space is all that’s needed in most cases.

*I’m saying most cases because the American Press (AP) Stylebook did call for the single space, but have gone back to the double space.

Programmers and anyone coding in HTML (for instance) on their blogs, know that it’s an effort to make a double space. Everything defaults to…

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Ever Wondered How An Author Actually Writes A Novel?

Many will think today’s post is only for writers; or, those who wish they were… Nail Your Novel

I think many readers could profit from this post—especially if they’re avid readers—people like that often turn into writers

This post could also be valuable for publishers who really don’t understand what writers do

And, since writers are readers and many readers turn into writers and self-publishing is so popular, many people wear all three hats.

So, I think most anyone should keep reading :-)

Yesterday, I re-blogged a post from Roz Morris.

Today, I’m going to plug one of her booksNail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence.

This is a book I wish I’d read 50 years ago

My development as a writer followed the arc fleshed-out in Francine Prose‘s book, Reading Like A Writer.

I’ve read omnivorously—absorbed what I needed to learn from discovering what a good book was and reading tons of them.

I think I’ve only read one how-to-write book (along with a bunch of writings tips…); and, I’ve posted here, often, that most books about writing aren’t worth reading

Nail Your Novel is vastly different.

In fact, I suspect many other authors have co-opted her ideas and sold them as their own.

Perhaps they’ve been fair and credited her—she certainly isn’t shy about given other folks credit

Here’s Roz about her credentials:

“I’ve written about a dozen novels. Spines and covers must remain hidden because they were ghosted under strictest secrecy. Millions of readers have enjoyed my storytelling – and that’s no exaggeration because average sales were 500,000 copies each.”

More exactly, she’s sold more than 4 million copies as a ghostwriter

And, she’s now writing novels with her own name on the cover.

How to explain what reading Nail Your Novel was like

It was Exciting—she woke up my Muse and set her spinning :-)

Maybe I should let Roz tell you about the book:

“Most things we do we have a plan for. In most jobs, if we have a task to do, there’s a project plan, a schedule, a methodology.”

“I’ve been writing novels for years and helping floundering writers find their way. What I notice time and time again is that so many make it very hard for themselves, even experienced authors.”

“For instance, many writers paint themselves into a corner because they are tackling a problem at the wrong time.

“They get blocked because the critical parts of their brain are inhibiting their creativity.

“Or their overactively inventive imagination is stopping them seeing the simple, rational solution. Or they are attempting to spice up a dull story by adding more events, when really they need to find a way to examine the ones they already have.”

“I’ve developed a method to tackle all the milestones of writing a novel, from initial inspiration to final polish. It’s smart and efficient. It draws on techniques from Hollywood scriptwriting, improvisational drama, project management and sports psychology – because experts in those fields have already solved problems that novel-writers come across.”

“My method will not only help you finish a novel, it makes the whole writing business a lot more creative and fun. A thoroughly planned novel takes less time to write. Even better, it is more likely to succeed in today’s market because it will have been properly structured, fixed and polished.”

If I taught writing, I’d probably have the students read Francine Prose’s book in tandem with Roz’s—get them consulting about the balance between writing to a plan and absorbing while they read

But, remember, Nail Your Novel is Exciting.

Roz certainly teaches you about the importance of structure and planning; but, she does it while letting you breathe—she lays out her hard-won wisdom and offers you alternatives, too—she lets you Play.

Actually, I’m certain many writers have read her book multiple times—each reading uncovering new nuggets of gold.

And, if you’d like to read the first 16 pages of the book<—click there.

So, click on that cover image up there and go buy the book; and even if you’re certain you’ll never write a novel, buy the book as a gift for that friend of yours who’s holed-up in some god-forsaken shack, mired in depression

Buy the book and read it many times; then, check out Roz’s blog for a continuing refresher course

Also, you may want to check out all of Roz’s booksNail Your Novel was followed by two other books in the series; plus, there are the novels with her own name on the cover :-)

Special Monday BlogBonus:

Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com


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