Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: publishing

Getting Back into the Stream . . .


I find it crazily refreshing that I began my blogging today with the re-blog just before this post… Getting Back into the Stream

I’ve been spending the past month regaining my blogging bearings, as well as deeper levels of stability.

Back on January 7th, I wrote:

“Something has happened that has shattered my emotional life…

“I cannot write…

“I don’t know how long this time away will last—perhaps forever…”

Time, as it inexorably will, moved on and by January 21st I was able to do a “real” post that shared some of what I was doing to heal from my fractured psychological state. In that post, where I talk about the reading I was doing to help me heal, I wrote:

“I’m sitting here writing a blog post where, before the books, I could barely get a re-blog out.”

So, it only took a month of mostly re-blogs to have me start today with a re-blog rather than this post, which is my wobbly re-entry into my recommitment to this blog…

I’ll still do re-blogs on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with my own original posts on Mondays and Wednesdays, and a Tale in the Story Bazaar on Fridays.

However, there are only 18 more Tales to write before I do “Something” else on Fridays—perhaps you have an idea or two about what I can do here on Fridays…?

I haven’t decided what Saturdays and Sundays will be yet; and, for now, I’m happy to wait and do what the Spirit moves me to do…

Big However:

I want to enlist my readers, you and you and you, in a long-term project…

I’m hoping my regular readers at first, then, perhaps, folks who happen in, will begin commenting on the Monday and Wednesday posts, in a way that creates “bridging ideas” that I can carry into my next original post—either your thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, experiences, lack of experiences—you name it—perhaps, call it “creative writing prompt invention”—something to help me “thread together” a series of posts…

Sometimes, I may have only one comment that inspires what I write in my next post—sometimes, hopefully, there’ll be a whole bouquet of comments…

Maybe Fridays (after the final 18 Tales in the Story Bazaar) can extend this threaded post concept—maybe Saturdays and Sundays can join in the process………

Small However:

I do want to keep at least Tuesdays and Thursdays for re-blogs—there are just too many good ones out there to not share them with you.

So…

I had a whole different idea about what this Getting Back into the Stream post would be; but, when I write fiction, I depend heavily on spur of the moment inspiration; so, serendipitously, this is the post I’m writing…

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I know I have a few regular readers.

I’m not quite sure how to encourage you to join me in this “threaded posts” endeavor…

Maybe it can start by your responding to the very idea of threaded posts—exploring the “nature” of blogging at bit…

Perhaps your responses will lead to a challenge for me—something I never considered blogging about; though, I really do have to keep things within the parameters of Writing, Reading and Publishing…

Yeah, I’m going out on that Limb of Faith—jumping out that Window of Trust…

Wanna join me………?
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A Personal Anniversary and a New Year’s Hopes . . .


I started this blog exactly 7 years ago—I’ve published a little over 2,000 posts… A Personal Anniversary and a New Year's Hopes

I feel the words of the very first post bear repeating:

Read > Write > Publish > Repeat = A Wonderfully Strange Life

I’ll start explaining the formula in this post’s title with the word “strange”. Its history shows it meaning, “from elsewhere, foreign, unknown, unfamiliar”.

A Strange Life…

So does reading then writing then publishing then repeating the process create a life that’s unfamiliar, unknown, foreign, and from elsewhere?

Ask any serious writer :-)

The reason I started this little explanatory formula with “reading” is because I’m in agreement with the folks who say the best training for writing (besides writing itself) is lots of reading. Of course, reading might also be the research that writers often do—even the kind of “reading” they do in their own minds when they invent characters and worlds.

This reading of one’s own mind isn’t all that hard. It is strange, though, because it usually doesn’t involve words. It’s the heart reading what the mind is saying from its depths.

So, then comes the writing. If you aspire to create a wonderfully strange life, I suggest you not read a bunch of books about writing before you actually do a whole bunch of writing. In fact, the formula should have a little feedback loop between reading and writing: read>write>read>write, etc.

Then, publish. This doesn’t have to be normal publishing. Since the word means, “to make public” and public means, “open to the community”, the community you publish to could be as small as a group of friends.

Then comes repeat. If you want a truly wonderful life that constantly surprises you with the unfamiliar, that leads you to the unknown, that introduces the foreign, and entertains experience from elsewhere, you have to get a cycle of read/write/publish going.

Think of a coffee house. Imagine the person who reads books, then shares their experience in their own words. Every time you visit, they have a new story. Pretty soon, they’re painting their own stories. By the way, one of the original meanings for the word “write” was “paint”.

So, there they sit reading their own minds with their hearts and painting verbal pictures that inspire the little coffee house community.

The first people who led a wonderfully strange life may not have had coffee, but they had their community. They spoke heart-felt words that captivated their friends.

They were our human family’s first authors…

So, that satisfies my feelings about celebrating my blog’s anniversary

Now, for some of my concerns and hopes for this New Year…

They come from an article in OpenCanada.Org, called, How to Build a Better, Bolder and Braver World in 2018.

The words in these excerpts are from Payam Akhavan:

“…we are out of touch with the despair and rage and alienation in our midst, and that we need to have a conversation about empathy and engagement.”

In speaking about a book of his that became a bestseller:

“…the fact that the book became a bestseller wasn’t so much a triumph of my ego but more a kind of vindication of my understanding of what moves the public to think and reflect more deeply on the human condition — what it is that provokes people, instead of falling into despair and anger, to actually be motivated, to become engaged, to build a better world.”

And, something that more folks should ponder (as it relates to their individual lives) and discuss:

“…imposing individual accountability for crimes against humanity, isn’t just about some lofty moral dream, but it’s also about sustainable global governance, because there is a price that you pay for impunity for mass violence.”

And, a comment by Mr. Akhavan that I consider a Writing Prompt:

“We need to create movements within different nations that demand of their leaders a more global vision and meaningful engagement in creating institutions of global governance. But by the same token we need visionary leadership among global elites that realizes the status quo is not tenable.”

And, finally, something that could also be a Writing Prompt, about the Millennials:

“I would actually think that I have great hope in the millennials. I see, as an educator who deals with young people all the time, and as someone who is a father of two teenage children, that degree of consciousness, whether it’s about gender, the environment, poverty, culture, identity, racism — I think that my children are way ahead of where I was.

“I think that we need to admit to the millennials the grave mistakes that [older generations] made in [their] culture, which celebrated greed and narcissism, and which has brought us to this point — this incredible despair and thirst for doing something meaningful.”

There is much more to ponder in the full article…

Happy New Year !
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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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FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Which Is Really Best ~ #TraditionalPublishing or #SelfPublishing ?


I was looking over an article from The Bookseller (been around since 1858) and I got to the point where I felt like I didn’t want to “burden” my readers by featuring it… Which Is Really Best ~ #TraditionalPublishing or #SelfPublishing ?

Then, I felt deeper and decided I’d link to it and make my own comments…

The article is called, Amazon’s Naggar Tells Publishers to Slash E-Book Prices — Mr. Naggar is Amazon’s publishing chief; and, the publishers he’s talking to are the Traditional or “Legacy” publishers…

I’ve published a little over 2,000 posts since January 2011; and, a large percentage of them were looking at the differences between Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing.

If you’re new here, you should know I have a Top Tags widget (down a bit in the left side-bar) that shows whether topics have very few posts or a lot of posts by making their words smaller or larger—both Traditional Publishing and Self-Publishing have larger words…

If I squeezed everything I’ve learned about the two flavors of publishing into as few words as possible, I’d say—Self-Publishing gives you Much more control over your book…

But, let me pour through those Top Tags and select a few choice posts for your perusal:

Why Traditional Publishing Is Not for Serious Writers . . .

Still Hoping to Get a Book Published by the “Big 5”?

Fake News ~ in Self-Publishing . . .

An Author Writes an Open Letter to His Publisher . . .

Credit Where It’s Due ~ #TraditionalPublishing and #SelfPublishing

What’s Wrong with #Selfpublishing ?

And, there are hundreds more where those came from…

However, since I now give all my books away and most authors are interested in selling their books, I should share this post:

What About All The Authors Whose Books Don’t Sell Very Many Copies?

Happy reading :-)
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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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

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

How Could #Bitcoin and #Publishing Be Alike…?


blockchain and publishing Fair warning:

Today’s post is probably only for geeks who live on the bleeding-edge…

Or, those striving for that lifestyle…

Plus, I don’t fully understand what I’m sharing

It starts with an article on Publishing PerspectivesBlockchain and Potential Implications for International Book Publishing

It continues with an article on the Alliance of Independent Authors site—Blockchain for Books

I’ll share excerpts from the articles; and, rather than urge all readers to go check out the full articles, perhaps I’m only urging the bravest amongst you

First, a definition (from the Alliance of Independent Authors article) of the key concept behind Bitcoin, Blockchain, which is what’s being touted as an amazing tool for publishing:

Blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured.

Unlike HTML, blockchain allows one person to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another in a way that 1) is guaranteed safe and secure; 2) open, visible and agreed by all; and 3) cannot be subsequently modified.

Next, an excerpt from the Publishing Perspectives article that lists what the Alliance of Independent Authors feels are the qualities of Publishing that Blockchain will impact:

“Copyright, which ALLi suggests can be superceded by blockchain, making ‘ownership indisputable’

“Smart publishing contracts, that will use automation to ‘simultaneously represent ownership of an intellectual property and the conditions that come with that ownership’

“Smart author wallets, into which ‘booksellers and wholesalers’ as well as ‘Amazon and other digital platforms and trade publishers’ will make author payments, as will readers who will ‘make micropayments for a single article, small video, or podcast episode’

“Privacy controls, in which ALLi’s interest is in its members’ ability to ‘forward a book, directly from author to reader, without any middle man, freely or for Bitcoin exchange’

Anyone who has understood the previous excerpts should write their own article about Blockchain and Publishing…

btw

The Alliance of Independent Authors‘ article goes into more detail on those last four “benefits” of Blockchain…

And, I should mention that the Publishing Perspectives article is heavy on the benefits to traditional publishing; but, the Alliance of Independent Authors champions self-publishing…

A bit more from Publishing Perspectives:

“It’s easy to see the upside that blockchain technology could have on the publishing industry, and we believe it’s likely that some of this change is going to happen in the medium to long term.”

They then go on to point out potential obstacles to implementing Blockchain…

One last excerpt from Publishing Perspectives, who I believe are clearly a trusted source of information:

“While much of the current hype around blockchain is certainly unfounded, there’s definitely great potential in this model.”

So…

Any readers who’ve gotten this far in the post and feel they understand what Blockchain can do for publishing, do, please, chime in with a Comment :-)
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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…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Visit The Story Bazaar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

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

It’s International Jane Friedman Day !


Jane Friedman Well, actually, it’s not really “International” Jane Friedman Day—just a day on this blog when I’ll share 6 articles by Jane that have accumulated in my Bookmarks. :-)

If you use my handy Top-Tags Widget (down a bit in the left side-bar) and click on her name, you’ll find this post (’cause I’ve tagged it…) and a copious amount of additional posts featuring a woman who’s said, on her About Page:

“I have a special interest in how the digital age is transforming writing careers, publishing, and storytelling. Rather than taking a dark view of how the Internet era has affected writers’ livelihoods, I’m more interested in how revolutionary change can inspire new business models, and how authorship will ultimately evolve. I believe history is on the writers’ side: they’ve been sustaining their careers in ever more innovative ways since the era of Gutenberg. Furthermore, I don’t think that business and art are at odds—I see how they inform and push each other to flourish.”

And, since digital self-publishing is totally transforming so many folks, I lead my sharing with her article entitled, Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book, that has a video and these major sections:

1. A Quick History of Self-Publishing
2.The Most Common Ways to Self-Publish Today
3.Self-Publishing: The DIY Approach I Recommend
4.How Ebook Self-Publishing Services Work
5.Creating Ebook Files
6.How to Self-Publish a Print Book
7.Investing in a Print Run: Yes or No?
8.Print-on-Demand Recommendations
9.Maximizing Your Book Sales
10.More Resources

And, in case you self-publish and haven’t really primed the world to receive your book, here’s Jane’s article, So You’re an Author Without a Social Media Presence: Now What?

Then, comes an article entitled, The Advice to Pursue Your Passion: What Does “Passion” Even Mean?, in which Jane explains:

“This is partly why I avoid the word ‘passion’. It is an excellent way to stoke someone’s anxiety….in the current cultural moment, the word has become ever more fraught—it’s tinged with a value judgment, that there’s something wrong if you haven’t discovered your passion and found the way to make it into your career. The capitalist pursuit of passion is the new horrible form of enlightenment we’re told to chase.”

And, to explore a particular “capitalist” passion that has many writers trapped on their own treadmills, I share her desperately needed article, The Pressure to Release More, More, More Titles.

And, to round out those four tool-box articles with two rather specialized topics, here are:

What Is a Hybrid Publisher? and A Writer’s Guide to Permissions and Fair Use.

If you take those links and study those articles, you’ll be further along the learning curve than most aspiring writers…
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