Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

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Authors’ Advice for a Better Writing Life: Read Widely by Marci Glaus

I suggest you take the link to the original post because the author says: “In the span of just a couple of minutes, these authors emphasize so many wonderful things we celebrate as readers and writers.”

And, do take all the links in that original post so you can see these authors talking :-)

Nerdy Book Club

In an attempt to capture the recursive, complex, messy process we call writing, I started asking authors from my state to do something extremely awkward. I asked them to allow me, and sometimes a small crew, to enter into their personal writing space to film them while they were writing. I also asked them talk out loud about what they were doing in real time. I figured most authors would refuse or just ignore my queries, but to my surprise, almost all of them enthusiastically agreed.

Since 2015, I have been capturing glimpses into example writing processes of writers from a variety of contexts through a project called Wisconsin Writes. More than 20 authors have shared part of their writing process, involving everything from planning, putting a writing plan into action, editing, or revising. Their thoughts were filmed, edited, and then published as short videos on the Wisconsin Department…

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Sharing the Wealth by Sarah Haywood

Honoring her parents and helping kids read — the double goal of today’s re-blog author :-)

Nerdy Book Club

Although I had absolutely no idea at the time, I know now that I grew up in a house of privilege. We were not “rich” by any means, but we had an entire wall in the family room with bookshelves filled and overflowing. Both of my parents were avid readers and learners, and there’s no doubt that had a tremendous impact on both my sister and me.

Several years ago I was looking for a unique way to honor my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. My mom, in particular, loved donating to various charitable causes, so I knew a donation was what they’d want. (“We don’t need a thing”…is all I had heard.) However, this needed to be a memorable donation—not just writing another check and sending it in the mail.

After some thought, I chose to combine my family’s passion for books and some of our community children’s need…

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Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Eighty-Two

Falsehood and Truth

Alexander M Zoltai


Joe and Matt took up their positions at their favorite table in the cafe—both authors; yet, very different in their approach to promotion of their work.

They fired up their laptops and began the routine of sharing their latest findings…

“Matt, did you see the article about Twitter and false stories?”

“Was it about how Twitter is a totally false form of communication and useless for an author?”


“So, what did it say?”

“That falsehood spreads faster and deeper than truth.”

“How do they know that?”

“Major study—used every contested news story since Twitter began…”

“So… you gonna stop using it?”

“No… I’m not dealing with news on Twitter—just engaging folks in exchanges that might lead them to my books—you know that, Matt!”

“Still, couldn’t that study be more widely applied—if falsehoods in news spread faster, it’s only ‘cause certain folks push it—why can’t that kind of person push false info in other fields?”

“I suppose they could…”


“So, what?”

“You aren’t gonna stop using Twitter?”

“No… but, there’s also this bit about a bunch of political scientists and legal scholars where they say, ‘interdisciplinary research should be used to reduce the spread of fake news and to address the underlying pathologies it has revealed.’ And, ‘we need to create a news ecosystem that values and promotes truth.’”

“Think they’ll ever make things like that possible in videos?

“It’s already happening…”


“There’s software that can make believable fake videos of anyone you want, saying whatever you want them to say…”

“………; so, nothing’s safe?”

“I guess all that’s left is what you and I write…”

They both laughed; but, it was hesitant…

Matt was silent…

Joe was silent…

It went on a bit…

Then, suddenly, they both said, “Gotta write about that…”


Read More Story Bazaar Tales

If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Best Source for “Book Promotion” Ideas
~ My Bio
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com


Treading Uncomfortably in Social Media

Today’s re-blog could be seen as a “Prelude” to tomorrow’s Story Bazaar Tale………

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Jennifer Lang small head shotBy Jennifer Lang

In fall of 2006, Facebook made its debut appearance, available to anyone with an email address over the age of 13. The following year, my 14-year-old son joined and helped me create a profile so I could monitor him. But I just wasn’t into it, and he didn’t need me there. “Why do you want all these people you barely know to see this post?” I asked him on more than one occasion. “It’s so public.”

When high school classmates I hadn’t seen since graduation in 1983 sent friend requests, I mocked not them but the medium. When people posted birthday wishes for worldwide viewing, I squirmed. When I missed a childhood friend’s son’s bar mitzvah, asked to see photos and she said check Facebook, I felt hurt.

By the time Facebook became a verb, my page had withered from inactivity.

When we moved from New York…

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The Conversation Is Still Fizzling . . .

Why Traditional Publishing Is Not for Serious Writers I have to consult myself, instead of the comments in the last Conversation post because there were no comments…

I’m going to say the reason for no comments is that folks are way too busy dealing with a world falling apart…

Or, they’re making so many efforts to work on reinforcing some part of the world…

It’s somewhat like seeing all the things wrong with Traditional publishing but, for some reason, not being able to Self-publish…

In case you’re new here and don’t know the difference between those two types of publishing, here’s a link to my past posts about Traditional Publishing and one for the posts about Self-publishing… However, if you go to those links, this post will be the first one, since I’m tagging it with those terms; but, all the other posts will be right there under it…

And, if you’re the type of person not inclined toward taking links in blog posts, here’s my simplified definitions of the two types of publishing:

Traditional Publishing = dealing with mega-corporations that have their focus almost completely on their bottom line…

Self-publishing = dealing with yourself and a possible very small set of other folks to produce a book…

You may have noticed that the phrase “produce a book” was only used in the self-publishing definition—strange fact, traditional publishers can actually accept a book for publication and never actually publish it… bottom line thing…

I’ll now share a few excerpts from a post I did back in November of 2017 called, Why Traditional Publishing Is Not for Serious Writers . . . (all excerpts attributable to Erica Verrillo)

“We think editors at publishing houses edit. The truth is they spend most of their time responding to memos, developing profit-and-loss statements, figuring out advances, supplementing publicity efforts, fielding calls from agents, attending meetings, and so on. They edit on weekends and evenings, and on the train as they are commuting.”

“Privishing (where the publisher quietly suppresses books, whether intentionally or not) has become the norm for publishers for various reasons, the first of which is that there are limitations on budgets. The second is that editors compete for those budgets.”

“The negative attitude that editors develop about manuscripts and proposals is in part because budgets are limited, and is in part driven by competition. But mindless rejection is also an inherent feature of publishing….Editors are not only competing for budgets, they are engaged in what may be described as a pissing contest in snark.”

“…publishers identify writers as ‘outsiders’, as ‘them’, even though their income depends on the people they publish. This, I believe, is a significant component of the attitude that is shared almost universally among publishers…”

And, an excerpt from a post back in April, 2011:

…I think both methods of publishing have their pros and cons.


Some Traditional Pros:

National or International marketing help.

Recognition by peers.

Acceptance in the marketplace.

Some Traditional Cons:

Huge effort to have book accepted.

Pressure from editors on book’s content.

No guarantees of ultimate success.


Some Self-Publishing Pros:

No restrictions on content.

No editorial pressure.

No struggle to have book accepted for publishing.

Some Self-Publishing Cons:

Responsibility for every bit of promotion and marketing.

Less acceptance by peers (though this seems to be swiftly changing).

No guarantees of ultimate success.


It could seem like a lesser of two evils choice, but those were only Some of the differences.

For completeness sake, here’s a link to an article on Hybrid Publishing.


I still have hopes for our Monday/Wednesday Conversation posts…

And, I’ll still hold up my end of the proposal, till some of you find your best reasons to add a comment………
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Visit The Story Bazaar
Best Source for “Book Promotion” Ideas
~ My Bio
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com