Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: Strange Fantasies

The Story Bazaar, Some Strange Fantasies, and Other Free Books…


I thought I’d forego my usual Saturday Re-Blog and pitch my newest short story endeavor—Friday Story Bazaar—a new Tale every Friday, until I think I’ve written enough to publish another book…

Story Bazaar

Cover by Jane Darnton Watson

And, because on Saturdays I publish the same Tales on Wattpad, I’ll share that link, where it’s simply called Story Bazaar

So far, there are 25 Tales, of no specific genre—a real mixed bag of story-forms…

Strange Fantasies

Cover by Jane Darnton Watson

So that’s the newest story endeavor; but, I also have 33 Fantasy short stories at the link Friday Fantasy that are also on Wattpad as Strange Fantasies and available as a book on Amazon (cheap, $.99…).

Plus, the left side-bar has more of my writings that are freely downloadable (a Novel, a Poetry Book, a Fable, and an Essay about Words…) — if you’re on your phone, you’ll have to use your general “Menu” button and find something like “Request Desktop Site” to see the left side-bar :-)

Plus, going to my site on Lulu, will let you download two more free books—a compilation of Spiritual Writings and a book made from my previous Blog…

Finally, one more free book—my unique method of letting folks interpret their own astrological charts………
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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

Advertisements

To Write Well, One Must Be As Healthy As Possible…


After an operation (was it 3 or 4 years ago?) I got very serious about my health.

Recent events have made me focus on that issue from a new perspective.

I should be back to my normal blogging habits soon, perhaps even tomorrow…

To give this post a bit of substance, I’ll recommend you explore the left side-bar—many resources and gifts await……… :-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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

The Magic and Mystery of Book Covers


There are many theories about what attracts us to certain book covers.

Image Courtesy of Gabriel Robledo ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/groble-50361

Image Courtesy of Gabriel Robledo ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/groble-50361

There are many misconceptions about what a book cover should look like.

To say that certain covers “speak” to certain readers seems true to me…

To say that an author, publisher, or designer can always conceive of the “right” cover for a book has been disproven millions of times.

Notes from An AlienMy short novel, Notes from An Alien, got the best cover I could design—many folks say it’s a “good” cover…

The same thing can be said for the cover of my poetry book, Is Your Soul In Here? Is Your Soul In Here?

Strange Fantasies I had the help of another author, Jane Watson, with the covers of Strange Fantasies and Story BazaarStory Bazaar

I’m not sure if authors really need professional artist/designers for their covers; mostly because I’m not sure what exactly makes a cover “good”.

I may like how it looks but that doesn’t mean others will…

I may be extremely attracted to the cover of a book; but, I may not like the story inside, at all…

Some folks might say a traditional publisher knows exactly the right cover for every book they publish.

Please, go talk to about a dozen authors who were traditionally published—you should find at least one who hated the cover they got…

I’m very sure there’s no readily accessible data for the books the big houses have produced that had “bad” covers…

In the realm of Self-publishing, there are all the self-styled “gurus” who demand you must keep your reader in mind when designing a cover…

Hmmm…

Perhaps a writer locked into a certain genre might “know” who reads their books; but, I tend to doubt if any author could guess the range of folks who could love their books; not to mention, like their covers…

So, with all this uncertainty and razzmatazz, I felt I had to share a particular article from Publishing PerspectivesRising Star Rafaela Romaya: ‘A Very Clear Vision for the Book’.

Rafaela is the Art Director at the Scottish independent publisher, Canongate.

The first statement that jumped out at me was this quote from Rafaela:

“There’s always an element of surprise and unpredictability regarding what draws people to covers, which is partly why each title gets the same amount of care and attention regardless of author or sales expectations.”

So, a professional cover designer admits the response of readers to covers has elements of surprise and unpredictability…

If you end up designing the cover for a book (or, consulting with someone about the design), this quote from Rafaela bears attention:

“I often have a very clear vision for the book and what it can achieve from the outset—finding the essence of the story through a small detail or unusual angle, and executing it in a style right for the audience whilst remaining distinctive.”

O.K., small details and unusual angles might help create a “good” cover; but, again, there is the wild uncertainty in the phrase, “…a style right for the audience…”—please, if someone out there knows exactly how to determine the definable characteristics of any particular book’s audience, my email address is in the blurb after this post………

You might enjoy reading the full interview; but, I will bring the video at the end of the article over here, since it shows a book cover that Totally blows my mind…


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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

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

Bonus Post: “Sorry, grammar nerds. The singular ‘they’ has been declared Word of the Year.”


The quote in the title of this blog is the title of an article in The Washington Post… They

Why I decided to feature this in a Bonus Post will be left to explanation in response to a proper query in the comments

A hint of my possible answer is this excerpt from the article:

“…the singular they is ‘the only sensible solution to English’s lack of a gender-neutral third-person singular personal pronoun.’”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com