Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: publish

Etymologies & Thesaurus Trees

I think it’s time to show the Word Histories and Synonyms for the three Main Topics of this blog:

Reading, Writing, & Publishing.

The etymologies are from the Oxford Online Dictionary Pro:

Old English rae-dan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch raden and German raten ‘advise, guess’. Early senses included ‘advise’ and ‘interpret (a riddle or dream’)

Old English wri-tan ‘score, form (letters) by carving, write’, of Germanic origin; related to German reissen ‘sketch, drag’

Middle English (in the sense ‘make generally known’): from the stem of Old French puplier, from Latin publicare ‘make public’, from publicus

And, the synonyms are from the ThinkMap Visual Thesaurus:



Any Comments?
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Further Considerations On Traditional Publishers

traditional publishing Yes, the publishing world is getting as mad as the Hatter.

Yes, there are major risks and opportunities out there.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the changes, check out a few topics in the Subject Index Links in the left side-bar

Also, reading an article from Kristine Kathryn Rusch can help. She’s also published under a number of different pen names.

The article I’ll be referencing says some clearly harsh things about traditional publishers yet they seem to have earned the comments.

I originally used a Publishing Aid company, FastPencil, for my novel. You can get a feel for my reasons for using this company in the post, Writer, Agent, Publisher ~ Changing Hats…

I really don’t think I’d ever sign a contract with a traditional publisher and Kristine Kathryn Rusch gives amply reasons in her article, The Business Rusch: Competition.

Knowing that many blog readers don’t click through on links, I’ll give a few excerpts from the article:

“Just a few years ago, traditional publishers had a monopoly. They controlled the distribution of books. This meant that the publishers dictated terms to booksellers and they dictated terms to writers. What resulted was what happens whenever anyone controls a marketplace: lots of nasty business practices, lots of unfairness, and lots of take-it-or-leave-it ultimatums.”

She goes on to detail many of the worst business practices, then, mid-way through the article, she says:

“I’m a realist. I know that most writers will never go indie, even if it is in the writer’s best interest. Writers rarely make the hard choices for their best interest. Writers—established or not—are desperate to be published, and will probably sell their grandmother (for one-one-thousandth her worth) just to get their novel published by a regional press….if I had my druthers, I would indie publish and traditionally publish. I don’t like having all of my eggs in one basket, even if I own the basket myself.”

Later, she says two things she feels all writers should agree on:

“We should be willing to walk away when a traditional publisher offers us terms we don’t like.”

We should never ever ever ever sign a blanket non-compete clause.”

She goes on to explain, in detail, the dangers of that kind of contract clause.

I’ve wanted to reference one of this woman’s posts for quite awhile—she’s been there, she knows the pitfalls…


Do you feel traditional is the Only way to go?

Do you know a writer who feels that?

Are you an Indie only person?

Are you completely confused about what to do?

If you have no other resources you trust, you might want to read posts on publishing here.  Don’t forget to notice the “older posts” link at the end of each page :-)
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Writers Becoming Their Own Publisher

I’ve written a lot about “self-publishing” and I need to, finally, clear up a misconception.

I haven’t actually “self-published”; I’ve used a Print-On-Demand publisher rather than a Traditional publisher.

Right now, the grades seem to be: Traditional, Independent, “Aided”, and Self-publishing.

Pure Self-publishing is done through places like Smashwords and Amazon; “Aided” is through companies like FastPencil (what I use).

But, the ultimate gig for highly industrious writers is to Be their Own Independent Publisher

This is something I will never do; and, the man I’m going to point you towards has enough experience to prove that only the most energetic writers are capable of being their own full-blown publisher.

It’s one thing to use Amazon to publish an e-book; it’s quite another thing to produce print and e-books and distribute them yourself to Amazon as well as other Web companies, then go on to distribute to bookstores, handle returns, and a thousand other tasks.

Dean Wesley Smith, according to Wikipedia, “is a science fiction author, known primarily for his Star Trek novels, film novelizations, and other novels of licensed properties such as Smallville, Spider-Man, X-Men, Aliens, Roswell, and Quantum Leap.” And, according to his own Bio: “Over his career he has also been an editor and publisher, first at Pulphouse Publishing, then for VB Tech Journal, then for Pocket Books. Currently, he is writing thrillers and mystery novels under another name.”

He’s created his own WMG Publishing House as well as chronicled all the considerations and tasks necessary to be one’s own publisher in the workshop, Think Like A Publisher.

Here are the various sections:

1… Early Decisions

2…Expected Costs

3…Projected Income

4…Production and Scheduling

5…Basics of Production

6…Covers and Publisher Looks

7…Sales Plan

8…Prices, Discounts, and Sales

9…Selling to Independent Bookstores

9.5…The Secret of Indie Publishing

10…The Returns System

11…Electronic Sales to Bookstores

12…The Time It Takes

I hope Dean’s information and experience will help the brave writing-souls who feel they can be their own publisher.

Are you one of those people?

Do you know one?

Actually, there are many other resources on the Web for folks who want to become their own Independent Publishers; but, Dean’s articles are friendly and full of his personal experience.

And, perhaps, every writer could benefit from reading and understanding this process

If you’re a writer, are you considering Traditional, “Aided”, or Self-publishing?

Have you already been published through one of these Paths?

I’m hoping this post gets some Lively Comment activity :-)
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How Can Writers Avoid Being Scammed?

A writer sheds blood, over many months or years, to finish a creative work.

They strive, for many more months or years, to attract a traditional publisher.

They finally grow weary and anxious and fall into a publishing scam

I feel lucky I avoided the years of attracting a traditional publisher by taking the non-traditional path sooner than many.

I was also lucky in finding a “publishing-aid company”, FastPencil, that’s reputable.

I like to think my Muse guided me to FastPencil since there are so many seemingly attractive “options” open to aspiring writers these days.

I discovered an article recently on the Accredited Online Colleges site called, 10 Common Self-Publishing Scams You Should Be Aware Of.

I’ll give you their list but be aware that each topic-heading in the article is hot-linked to another article on that particlular subject:

Excessively flattering offers
Promises that are too good to be true
Copyrighting tricks
Crazy contracts
Suspect marketing
Vanity publishing
Guaranteeing success
Promises to make your book “available”
Editor services and referrals
Offering discounts to authors for resale

I’ll also direct you toward a site run by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and sponsored by the Mystery Writers of America, WRITER BEWARE.

This site has been around quite awhile and is of help to aspiring authors even if they never go near the indicated genres :-)

And, to stay on the bleeding-edge of nefarious activity, they also have the Writer Beware Blog.

If you’ve heard about or been involved in any publishing scams, please share with us in the Comments
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

What Readers Want vs What Writers Write

readers vs writers Is there a disconnect between what readers want to read and what writers want to write?

I don’t personally know all readers or writers but I do scan a multitude of blogs and other folks seem to think bloggers know what they’re talking about

Many writing blogs advise “surveying” the readers then writing what they want.

Yet, I’m sure there are readers who rarely find what they like; just like there are writers who rarely think about readers.

Is the solution that writers should “somehow” find out what readers want and try to write something catering to this “knowledge”.

In that last sentence, the words in quotes indicate my belief that knowing what readers want is “tricky” at best.

Sure, you can look at the numbers of sales of various types of books and draw conclusions about what readers want, but

What if the books sold reflect the taste of publishers and the readers are choosing their fare from a limited buffet?

Then, the “conclusion” about what to write so readers will like it (along with the usual motivation to make bucks) is a game being played on an exceedingly small field.

As far as the problem with publishers restricting what’s available to readers, self-publishing is beginning to widen what’s available.

As far as the slavish desire to warp creative potential by imitating what others have done just to satisfy an audience that could well be unaware other books could please them more, I must pause and gather my courage

I feel there are way too many assumptions being accepted in the Book World:

Many  readers assume they have to settle for what’s being offered.

Many writers assume they must cleave to a formula to succeed.

Many publishers assume the monetary bottom line is the place to begin their evaluations.

Hopefully, when self-publishing attains some measure of stability, readers will have easy and efficient ways to find what they Really want to read.

As far as the challenge of writers pleasing readers and still sticking to their own principles:

In a post from last January, Do You Write For The Reader or Should You Write For Yourself?, I said, “Read as widely and deeply as you possibly can. Read till you’re bored and then read more. Absorb as much of our Human Family’s hopes and dreams and challenges and fears and dangers and failures and quirks as you possibly can—absorb it into what you could call your internal Meta-Reader.

“Then, when you sit down to create, let that Meta-Reader decide what is absolutely necessary to write………”

What are your thoughts and feelings?
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For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

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