Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: #AmWriting

Dipping into the Archives . . .


I’m foregoing my usual re-blog today… Blog Links from 2011

Regular readers may remember me mentioning a friend of mine—prison librarian and microfiction author, Johnpaul Mahofski.

So, this rather incredible human being has just spent 4 weekend sessions, lasting at least 9 hours each, finding all the broken links (sites change their names, people disappear, etc…) in all my posts from 2011 (the first year of this blog’s life...)…

The last of those weekend sessions was him compiling all the links from those posts that he found valuable…

I’m going to list all those 2011 links in a minute; but, first, I need to let everyone know that this particular post is number 2,159—that’s an average of 25 posts a month for seven years…

Also, I need to point out the search bar in the upper right of each page of this blog—handy, to see if certain topics or names are here, somewhere in the depths of seven years of blogging…

And, down near the bottom of the left side-bar there are two widgets—Archives by Month & Year and Archives by Day of The Month.

Plus, if you first select a month and year in the first widget, the second widget will show all the days of that month…

One more way to dip into the archives here is not so far down in the left side-bar—Top Tags—gathering “similar” posts together—where larger words mean more posts…

Also, Johnpaul is committed to checking all the posts from the other six years and producing a list of valuable posts from those years (stay tuned…)…

I should remind you that Johnpaul is a librarian and, apparently, they just love tedious checking of things, as well as making lists :-)

Reminder: what follows is not a list of my posts from 2011—it’s a list of some of the links (from 2011) that I put in my posts, that a librarian/microfiction author liked, and gave his quite unique titles to………

I wonder if there are any broken links in this list… :-)

So, here is Johnpaul’s List of Valuable Links from 2011:

(Why you should give away your book)

(Book and writer recommendations from CJ Cherryh)

(The Seven Basic Plots in Fiction)

(Jung’s collective unconscious explained)

(A very thorough look at Jung’s collective unconscious)

(Concept of Archetypes at Carl Jung)

(Jung’s Archetypes discussed)

(Reflections on all things Psychology)

(Noam Chomsky linguist, social scientist, activist, author)

(Language and Etymology links)

(Online Etymology Dictionary)

(Literary Fiction Genres)

(Three interviews with novelist John Gardner)’

(Wikipedia entry for William S. Hatcher mathematician, philosopher, educator and member of the Bahá’í Faith)

(Wikipedia entry for Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist)

(Wikipedia entry for Allen Ginsberg, poet)

(Wikipedia entry for James Franco, actor and filmmaker)

(Wikipedia entry for Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet and socialist activist)

(Wikipedia entry for Neil Stephenson Author)

(Wikipedia entry for A Grain of salt)

(Wikipedia entry for John Gardner, American novelist)

(Wikipedia entry for Novel)

(Wikipedia entry for Carl Jung’s idea of Personal Unconscious)

(Wikipedia entry for Jungian concept of Shadow, Id)

(This site’s intent is to foster the writing arts)

(Article on writing stand alone books with series potential)

(A solid blog for writers resources)

(Article on how Book Bloggers can increase an author’s sales)

(Article on whether to self publish or not)

(Article discusses what subsidy publishing means for authors)

(Blog offers practical advice for building better books)

(Mystery Genre Definitions)

(Flash Fiction defined and demonstrated)

(Common Word lists and word usage lists—a must have for writers)

(A word counter)

(Explanation of synchronicity in life, by a writer)

(Carl Jung’s theory of synchronicity is explained)

(Why words mean what they mean)

(The mission is to find as many words of English with as many people as possible)

(Poems, Poets, Prose, Collections and more)

(Obscenity defined, from a legal perspective)

(Article against social media experts)

(Full dictionary and thesaurus for American, British, Canadian, Australian, Indian, and global English)

(MFA’S effect on Literature—the good and bad)

(Sweat equity as a writing tool)

(Best bits of writing advice she’s received)

(Why a bad review isn’t always bad)

(How a writer can conduct their character development)

(Pirating ebooks—is it a bad thing…)

(Book production terminology explained)

(Article about what a writer’s goal is for their book)

(Self publishing is explained through the vast knowledge of an author)

(An inside look at a writer’s mantra)

(The quiet theory of influence)

(A series ponders if writing a book is done for money)

(Getting people to care about the products of your imagination)

(Gifted author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

(Marketing made easier)

(Finding your loyal readers)

(Why someone should write is discussed)

(Discussion of how many readers one needs for sales success)

(Real news sources in difficult times)

(Alternatives to mainstream news sources)

(Reality of your social networks)

(Blog about the nature of writing)

(Finding some joy, even in darkness)

(The idea of what makes success)

(A literary theorist responds to “What is Fiction…?”)

(Word of mouth Sales)

(Windows zenware* writing application)

(Simple note-taking app)

(Blog on writing publishing and editing)

(Valuable links on writing)

(How a movement of ‘ordinary’ Liberian women changed history)

(The dangers of being a perfectionist)

(Humorous article on why bad books don’t ruin self-publishing)

(A blog with many tips for writers)

(Self publishing tips)

(Vintage article on Amazon’s publishing platform)

(Article on Amazon as the future of Publishing)

(Emily Dickinson resource)

(The most respected publication for the library community)

(A hard look at the pattern of borrowing and the digital shifts of Library patrons)

(A page created by an independent prose machine)

(The Quality and Professional responsibility of Self Published work is discussed)

(Article on Self-Publishing expectations)

(Writing, support, and useful links)

(She is much more than a hashtag)

(Life lessons turned into Self publishing tips)

(A blog focused on giving voice to those in need)

(An article on writing more words per day)

(Article on traditional publishing’s struggle with Ebook presentation)

(A writer’s experience with traditional publishing)

(The critical aspects of digital publishing)

(A start to finish for writers to create their book)

(The Author’s Guild site)

(Human rights and the implications of copyright)

(Legalities of censorship in America)

(Tips on how to write a novel)

(12 articles of 2011 that are must reads for writers)

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

Our Blog Conversation Continues ~ Comparing Traditional Publishing & Self-Publishing …


Traditional publishing vs self-publishing Monday’s post—Continuing the Conversation ~ Readers as Gatekeepers—compared the experiences of two writers (me and a friend) who both prefer self-publishing but have favorite authors who traditionally publish…

Before I share the comment on Monday’s post that kept this conversation going, I feel I need to mention that there are great writers who are published traditionally as well as great writers amongst the ranks of the self-published; and, contrary to some folk’s awareness, there are mediocre writers who self-publish and writers, just as mediocre, who are published by the traditional houses…

Now, the comment from Monday that continued the conversation and stopped me from starting a different one :-)

“I enjoyed your responses to Nicholas Sparks’ comments on traditional publishing and I have a few more excerpts from him I’ll share:

“’Publishing is a business. Writing may be art, but publishing, when all is said and done, comes down to dollars. Keep that in mind. I say this because of the volume of mail I receive from unpublished writers who believe that “having a good story”, is enough to guarantee success. It’s not. I hate to say it, I wish it wasn’t true, but it’s not. Some of the best novels I’ve ever read never hit the best-seller list, then faded away before sadly going out of print. There are also some poorly written novels that do become best-sellers. Writing a great novel is the most important thing you can do to become a success, but sometimes it’s not enough these days.’

“While he focuses on the need of a good story, at least, he warns that in the traditional realm one of three things must happen. I’ll share these but I don’t like that this particular writer, in his traditional world, works directly with agents and editors who require a certain flare in the art. He even tells his reader he has 3 unpublished books and Stephen King has 5 because they were rejected by the traditional folks for lacking that ‘flair’.

“’These days, it seems there are only three ways for an author to hit the best-seller list with a first novel:
(1) have the novel recommended by Oprah (most if not all of the books she’s chosen for Oprah’s Book Club have become best-sellers, first time author or not, like “Deep End of the Ocean” by Jacqueline Mitchard);
(2) have the novel receive wide and lavish critical acclaim, thereby triggering the interest of the major media, like “Cold Mountain” by Charles Frazier; or
(3) write a novel that has good word-of-mouth, i.e., a well-written book that people read and enjoy and feel compelled to recommend to others, like “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” by Rebecca Wells. This doesn’t mean you can’t become a success with a later novel. Over time, quality work will lead to an audience for your work. In the end, readers always choose.’

“I believe this third category is where many of us self published devotees can excel. It seems he only clearly mentions self-publishing once:

“’If you only want to get a book published simply for the sake of finding it in a store for a few months (it won’t stay in the store forever unless it sells), keep your day job and consider publishing the novel yourself.’”

I feels to me that our commenter has presented an understandable case for self-publishing; but, I need to reply to a few of Mr. Sparks statements:

“Writing may be art, but publishing, when all is said and done, comes down to dollars.”

Well… When All is said and done, why does publishing Have to come down to dollars? Is it never possible to imagine a writer self-publishing at low or no self-cost and then offering their work for free?

Are all writers Doomed to chase dollars?

“Writing a great novel is the most important thing you can do to become a success…”

I realize Mr. Sparks has hit the Big-time with his books; however, I truly feel he should have used the phrase “make money” rather than the phrase “become a success”…

In my universe, writing a great novel is success enough…

Why does writing, in and of itself, not qualify as “success”?

Here is the word history of “Success”:

“1530s, ‘result, outcome’, from Latin successus ‘an advance, a coming up; a good result, happy outcome’, noun use of past participle of succedere ‘come after, follow after; go near to; come under; take the place of’, also ‘go from under, mount up, ascend’, hence ‘get on well, prosper, be victorious…'”

All of that can happen for a writer without them earning a cent…

And, “be victorious” is a wonderful description of the feeling so many writers have when all they’ve done is to finally edit their drafts into a good story…

Over time, quality work will lead to an audience for your work. In the end, readers always choose.”

While Mr. Sparks is keeping that comment inside the realm of traditional publishing, it’s equally valid for self-published work; however, even in the traditional world, many “quality ” works have not found their readers fast enough to avoid being taken off the shelves…

Those same works, if self-published, would stay on the “shelves” as long as the author wanted them there…

And, finally, this remark by Mr. Sparks:

“If you only want to get a book published simply for the sake of finding it in a store for a few months (it won’t stay in the store forever unless it sells), keep your day job and consider publishing the novel yourself.”

Again, self-published works stay on the “shelves” as long as the author desires—digital shelves as long as there’s an Internet and physical shelves as long as the author “works” the bookstores and libraries…

And, it’s a shame I have to say this in relation to a comment by a wildly “successful” traditionally published author; but, there are an increasingly large number of self-published authors who have ditched the day job………

Feel moved to make a comment?

If not, you could certainly express a desire to have another topic discussed… :-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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