Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Notes from An Alien

Why Is This Author So Anxious to Write About the #InternationalDayOfPeace?


Some of you have already experienced September 21st—some are just waking up to it… 

It’s the International Day of Peace

Does such a celebration seem useless to you?

Does it seem like, no matter what people do, war and violence will never go away?

Surprise!  It’s thoughts and feelings like that that help keep us from global peace…

Ever heard of non-violent protest?

What if a significant number of folks rose up, all over the world, non-violently, for a sustained vigil for World Peace?

I hear someone saying, “The only folks who could afford to do that are the poor and outcast; and, nobody will pay any attention to them.”

That’s another attitude that keeps us away from International Peace

What if it has to take a small group of devoted folks, let’s say a few million spread over the globe, maintaining efforts for Peace; passing on their fervor to their off-spring; continuing this process; until, every other kind of person has died off?

It appears that may just be how this ol’ world will attain that treasured state of tranquility

I’m going on so much about this potentially “meaningless” day of peace for the same reason I worked so hard to write my short novel, Notes from An Alien (get your free copy here…).

And, because of the rampant disbelief in the possibility of Peace, I created an alien world struggling with the same issues the Earth is suffering through—perhaps experiencing it in another context will create the clarity of vision that might help folks dedicate time to working for peace

Perhaps, meditating on the following quotes will help some of you find time to help our ailing world…

“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.”  – John F. Kennedy

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” – Nelson Mandela

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”  – Albert Einstein

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” – Mother Teresa

“Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one” – John Lennon 

“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” – Mahatma Gandhi 

Perhaps we need not a Day of Peace but some official Year of Peace, Decade of Peace, Century of Peace

To echo another rather weird fellow, You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one

I also have a special page here with Resources about Peace

Maybe reading this will help—World Female Leaders call for International Law, cessation of war to promote global peace.

And, the following story is more important to Peace than many folks would ever imagine—General Assembly Adopts Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, as United Nations, International Organization for Migration Sign Key Agreement.

The “theme” for this year’s International Day of Peace is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.”—and, in case you still doubt there are any concrete ways to Build Peace, read about the Sustainable Development Goals

Also, to see exactly where our human family needs the most help, checkout the Global Peace Index

Finally, here’s a video of the late Dame Margaret Anstee, the first woman to serve as a United Nations Under-Secretary-General:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

#Wattpad Expands Reach ~ Attracts #Publishers


I’ve written about my experience with Wattpad a number of times—the Top Tags widget (down a bit in the left side-bar) shows 23 posts (naturally, this one’s there, too…)Wattpad

In fact, I have eleven Wattpad Author Interviews here

I thought it was time for an update on the phenomenon called Wattpad when their blog had a post called, 300 Million Story Uploads and One Big Thanks.

Two excerpts:

“That number [300 million] is more than five times larger than the New York Public Library’s entire catalog and almost double that of the Library of Congress.”

“At Wattpad, we know that everyone has a story to share. It’s why we support over 50 languages and connect storytellers and audiences from virtually every country in the world.”

As a matter of fact, there have been over twice as many readers of my short novel, Notes from An Alien, in the Philippines than in the U.S.A.; plus, it has strong showings in India, the UK, and South Africa (…last count, there were readers in 34 countries…)

A fascinating look into ways Wattpad’s expanding was covered in an article in Publishing PerspectivesCanada’s Wattpad Studios at BEA: A Few Words With Aron Levitz—where it’s said:

“Established authors, of course, have seen value in experimenting with Wattpad, notably Margaret Atwood. More recently, news from The Bookseller’s Charlotte Eyre in London is that British children’s author Jeff Norton has launched a novel, ‘Star Pressed’, on Wattpad. ‘…rather than going down the traditional publishing route, Norton’, Eyre writes, ‘had more than 340,000 reads on Wattpad of an earlier work, ‘Metawars: Fight For the Future’, also published by Hachette.'”

So, they have 45 million monthly readers, loads of writers (at all levels of experience and expertise), and now publishers are urging their authors to serialize backlist books so new ones will sell better

One example of this new trend is detailed in a recent article, again at Publishing PerspectivesMarketing Experiment: A Canadian Publisher Spins an Old Title on a New Platform.

These comments from Dundurn Press‘ publicist Michelle Melski:

“We approached Don Easton about the project, but he immediately jumped on the idea. Since the 10th book in the series is about to come out, ‘A Delicate Matter’, we wanted to do something to mark the occasion and to introduce the Jack Taggart mystery series to new readers.”

“…Don is adding all of the chapters himself. This way he can get to know his readers and respond to their comments. It’s also an interesting experience to have an author get feedback on a book in real time, as someone is reading it.”

“We always encourage our authors to consider using Wattpad as a promotional tool and have posted chapters of books there before, but this is the first time we’re serializing an entire book. Everyone here is excited about the project and we can’t wait to see what we learn at the end of it.”

About all I can add is that I, too, am excited about my project on Wattpad ( 4 books completely uploaded and the most recent book getting a new short story every Saturday you can also read those shorts here every Friday at the Story Bazaar } :-)

The most fascinating thing about Wattpad, to me, is that the readers and writers participating there enjoy the experience for Free

And, finally, a somewhat balanced look at the Wattpad phenomenon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

#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  :-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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? :-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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………
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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…}
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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