Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Notes from An Alien

#TopTags vs #Searching ~ A #Blogging Journey in #Reading, #Writing, and #Publishing


Counting the present post, this blog has 1,385 posts

Top Tags on Blog

Image Courtesy of pedro valdeolmillos ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/pv-29785

You probably couldn’t have missed all the hashtags in the title up there—intended to help the folks on Twitter find this particular post.

Hashtags are one way to find what you’re looking for

When someone finds a blog in the wild, they usually have the most recent post at the top and those preceding it streaming down the page

If they come to a blog through WebSearch, they see the post in the link they clicked on and that’s it

So, let’s assume they like what they read.

How do they further explore the blog they’ve found?

Well, since there are so many different ways bloggers set up their blogs, the first thing most folks do is look for a Search Bar to find topics of interest to them.

This blog has one of those in the upper right, under the Main Menu Tabs

Of course, using the search bar may not find exactly what you’re looking for—most search algorithms, even Google’s, fail, at times,  in varying degrees

So, some bloggers (like this one) use a Tag Cloud (Top Tags Widget) to give the traveller a way of finding collections of posts that have certain core ideas and topics.

These tags are selected for each post by the individual blogger, so they depend for their accuracy on the abilities of the blogger in question to select truly representative words or phrases for the Tags they apply

So, back to the 1,385 posts on this blog and my Top Tags Widget, which is down a bit in the left side-bar.

I must add, since I’ve been very aware lately of folks who use their phone to get here, that the small screen user needs to find their general “Menu” button and look for something like “Request Desktop Site” so they can see the left side-bar…

If you scroll down there, you’ll see that certain words are larger. This means there are more posts with that tag (and, on this blog, letting your cursor hover over the words will show how many posts there are…).

I thought, beyond the possible over-abundance of hashtags in the title—intended to alert folks to the fact that this blog has lots of stuff about #Reading, #Writing, and #Publishing—I’d also put a few of the Top Tag links right here in this post—a mini-guide to what’s here—an author’s selection of “Most Important” topics

Let’s start with a few for Readers:

Reading, Short Stories, Libraries, Literacy

Just those Tag Links will let you read 167 posts

Now, a few for Writers:

Writing Resources, Writing Advice, Creative Writing, Book Promotion

Those links will take you to 194 posts

Now, some for Publishers:

Self-Publishing, Traditional Publishing, Publishers, Indie Publishing

Those links have a total of 202 posts

So, I hope this post has been successful in helping you to navigate the blogging I’ve done in the last 5 years, 1 month, and 26 days  :-)
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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…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

What Happens to a Book After It’s Published?


To answer the question in the title of today’s post, I need to first bring up the differences between Traditional Publishing and Self-Publishing <— there, I brought them up with those links :-)

And, I shouldn’t ignore the common sentiment among authors that publishing can feel like giving birth

Plus, there’s the old adage that once a book’s published the author should respect its right to grow up as it pleases

The thing is, just like a parent’s “intercessions” in their child’s life after they’ve left home, an author isn’t “finished” with a book once it’s published.

Of course, whether traditionally or self-published, the author needs to be involved in the book’s promotion; but, there are many other exploits a book-child can become embroiled in

Take my book Notes from An Alien as an example. Notes from An Alien

I published it in 2011 and the print and digital editions are just like they were back then; but, when I’m able to spend $350 again, I need to bring out a second edition—a version without the typos that have been discovered

And, you may want to check out a past post about how a book review taught me something important about typos

However, I have free copies of Notes from An Alien and I’ve updated those as new typos were found—they’re Word .doc and Adobe.pdf editions

Then, there’s this other book of mine

It began as a series of fantasy short stories I published here on the blog every Friday, from December 6th, 2013 through July 18th, 2014.

Then, I decided to publish the stories as the book, Strange Fantasies, on AmazonStrange Fantasies

And, just a few days ago, I had a reason to open up that Kindle book on my Tablet

Big mistake on the first page

I’d listed the address of this blog right under the title

However, back then, this blog had a different address (a domain name I’d been paying for…)

But, since it was only published digitally, I had no concerns about saving money to pay my publishing-aid company, FastPencil, to update it

So, that’s what’s been happening to two books I’ve published, since they were born and left home—I’m sure there will be other intercessions in the future :-)

Yet, those changes in my books are Nothing compared to what an extremely famous author had to go through

Lord of The Rings
I’ll share a few excerpts from a past post I wrote—The Publishing (And Editorial) History of Some Extremely Famous Fiction—about all the trials and tribulations these books went through after they were first published

It “…was initially intended…to be one volume of a two-volume set…, but this idea was dismissed by [the] publisher. For economic reasons [it] was published in three volumes over the course of a year from 29 July 1954 to 20 October 1955…”.

“A dispute with his publisher, George Allen & Unwin, led to the book being offered to Collins in 1950.”

“Tolkien eventually demanded that they publish the book in 1952. Collins did not; and so Tolkien wrote to Allen and Unwin, saying, ‘I would gladly consider the publication of any part of the stuff.’”

“‘the printing is very good, as it ought to be from an almost faultless copy; except that the impertinent compositors have taken it upon themselves to correct, as they suppose, my spelling and grammar: altering throughout dwarves to dwarfs, elvish to elfish, further to farther, and worst of all elven- to elfin.'”

“Tolkien was re-editing because…Ace Books in the United States published an unauthorised edition….Ace Books were exploiting a copyright loophole which meant they did not have to pay Tolkien or his publishers any royalties.”

If you’re a fan of Tolkien, you may want to go read the full post

So, If you’ve published, do you have any exploits you’d like to share in the comments about what your child’s been through since they left home? :-)
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Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Very Short, Very Powerful Review of My Book on #Wattpad . . .


It was only 12 days ago that I published the post, Two Women Writers Convince Me to Experiment on Wattpad . . . Wattpad

I referenced an article on the Alliance of Independent Authors site that led to a video that’s at the end of that post ( a conversation between Orna Ross and Elizabeth S. Craig ); and, I indicated the two reasons I was going to do my WattpadExperiment:

“Authors don’t have to write serially, they just need to publish serially.”

“If you already have a free book, it makes sense to leverage it on Wattpad. Use it as a funnel to your other books.”

Naturally, you can (and many folks do) write serially and you don’t have to already have a free book laying around

So, I’ve posted the prologue and two chapters of Notes from An Alien and I have 70 “Reads” and 8 “Votes”—will post a new chapter every Wednesday (17 more chapters…)

I’m putting a note after every posting with a link back here—to the blog and the full book (and, of course, my other free stuff…).

So, the “experiment” was going fairly well and then………

I get this message from PAHughes:

“Picked this up and could not put it down. Astoundingly gripping , your words just dance on the page and every little bit comes to life. 

“I have downloaded a full copy of the book and will read it to the end. A brilliant book, well done sir.”

Whew!

Sure didn’t see that one coming

So, I asked them if I could blog something about them and received this:

Name: Peter A Hughes

Location: Scotland, United Kingdom

Age: 20's

And, I’m Scottish on my mom’s side :-)

So, folks, check out Wattpad and go read some of Peter A Hughes stories

More updates on the WattpadExperiment soon………
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Oh, I also, just the other day, started posting the poems from my book Is Your Soul In Here?—one each Friday :-) {that book is downloadable, free Here…}
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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

Two Women Writers Convince Me to Experiment on Wattpad . . .


I’ve known about Wattpad for quite awhile but let it linger in the hinterlands of my interest, with all the other wonderful, fabulous, must-engage-on spaces that writers are nearly shamed into using… Wattpad

However, Orna Ross, founder of the Alliance of Independent Authors, and Elizabeth S. Craig, bestselling author of the Southern Quilting mysteries and Memphis Barbeque mysteries and link-curator for the Writer’s Knowledge Base, have convinced me to use Wattpad in a very specific way.

My experiment got its first nudge when I saw an article on the ALLi site about Wattpad Insights for Indie Authors.

There’s a video at the end of this post that was the clincher for my experimental use of Wattpad; but, first, here are some takeaways the ALLi article has from that video:

  1. Wattpad users are very mobile savvy and skew towards a younger demographic.
  2. Authors don’t have to write serially, they just need to publish serially.
  3. The Wattpad mobile app is free, and a Wattpad account is also free.
  4. Set a consistent publishing schedule for your chapter releases.
  5. If you already have a free book, it makes sense to leverage it on Wattpad. Use it as a funnel to your other books.
  6. At the end of each Wattpad chapter you can add an author call to action (e.g. sign up to the author’s mailing list, or letting your readers know where to buy the book if they can’t wait for the next installment).
  7. A demographics tab gives you insights into the age demographics of your readers and their geographic location.
  8. Authors can add images or a video to each chapter to increase engagement.
  9. It’ll take about 4-6 chapters to get some audience traction.
  10. Wattpad increases your opportunity of reaching your share of the 40 Million global readers.

#2 & #5 were the prime reasons I got interested in using Wattpad.

And, in case you’re new around here or you just never noticed, I give away my novel (even though it’s also for sale) over in the left side-bar; so, I decided I’d add a new chapter to Wattpad every Wednesday for the next 20 weeks and append a comment there to draw folks back here…

So, if you’d rather read just a bit of my book each week (instead of downloading it for free and reading the whole thing in about two days {it’s rather short but quite deep…}) Take This Link (you’ll have to register with Wattpad if you aren’t already a member)

I’ll be periodically reporting results

And, now, here’s the video with Orna and Elizabeth that convinced me to do the WattpadExperiment:


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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

A Topic Guide to My Very Strange Book…


Since I’m only committing to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday blog posts, I’m allowed to post more often if I just can’t help myself :-) Notes from An Alien

About 20 minutes ago, I was sitting here watching the news and something made me think about my book—the one I decided I won’t write

And, in case you missed it, my prime reason for not writing a book I’d done massive research on was that my last novel essentially said it all

All what?

Well, first, imagine three planets in a different Star-system—one completely corporate, one completely religious, and one inhabited by a True Alien

You can grab a free copy of the novel; or, if you really have to, you can buy a copy :-)

So, since I just reassured myself that a book I’d already written has everything I need to say about certain topics (at least in fictional form…), I thought I’d share what those topics are

The numbers in the following list are the chapters where the topic is predominant:

Notes from An Alien

Corporate Greed – 1, 2

Corporate Control of Populace – 1, 2, 4

Religious Wars – 1, 2, 3

Prophetic Predictions – 1, 3, 5

War-Just/Unjust – 1, 10

Constant Expansion As A Solution – 1, 2, 11

Non-Religious Religions – 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 13

Military Control of Populations – 2

Rational Religion – 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11

Corporate Ecological Damage – 2, 4, 5

Material Realm/Spiritual Realm – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 19

Science and Faith – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15

Spiritual Practice – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11

Costs of War – 3, 4, 5, 10, 11

Governance – 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14

Oneness of All People – 6, 7, 8, 14, 16, 19

Economic Issues – 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13

Altruism and Sacrifice – 7, 9, 11, 17

True Peace – 11, 12, 17, 18, 19

If you’ve already read the book, perhaps you’d like to put a very short “review” in the Comments?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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