Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: writer’s advice

Flash News — Special Amazon Deal on Important Book for Writers


I just received an email from a person who’s appeared in this blog many times, through re-blogs… Nail Your Novel

Roz Morris just sent me this message:

“Hello! This is a very quick email to let you know that Amazon has chosen Nail Your Novel for a special Kindle deal.

“Instead of the usual price of USD3.99  it’s now only USD1.99 (I think they add VAT so it’s actually a little over $2, but still quite a saving). 

“I’ve no idea how long this offer lasts for, so grab it now!”

Yes! If you’re a writer or want to be one, Grab This Book!!
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For All Those Folks Who Thought They Could Never Finish a Novel…


I’ve written one novel and you can have a free copy

I had an extremely strong burning desire to write it so I had no particular problems finishing it; yet, many folks who deeply desire finishing a novel discover it a year later, stuck in a drawer…

I don’t know if I’ll write another novel—busy now with short tales—but, if I decided to, I’d heed the advice in a particular article in the The GuardianHow to finish a novel: tracking a book’s progress from idea to completion.

If you’re new to this blog, realize I’m mostly a “tricky” reporter—I give you just enough info to make you {hopefully} take the link I provide :-)

So…

“When Wyl Menmuir sat down to write his first book, he was well aware it was something many aspire to but few achieve. ‘I knew I needed help to avoid it being just a stack of paper that sat in my bedside drawer. I know too many people who have written half a novel’, he says.”

The best laid plans………

“Menmuir realised early on that he would need every tool at his disposal to finish his first novel. Having trained as a journalist he decided he would work better with a deadline and set himself a goal of writing 500 words a day, five days a week.”

“Had Menmuir stuck to his self-imposed deadlines the 44,242-word novel he eventually wrote could technically have been written in just 124 days…”

“Within just nine days of setting out to write, he had his first realisation that his 500-words-a-day goal might not work out. Although he didn’t know it at the time, it would actually be one year, 10 months and two days before the novel was complete.”

And, here are the topics covered about what he learned:

Embracing the feel-good moments

Procrastinating (well)

Downing tools

Celebrating milestones

This is a very comprehensive article; plus, when you see the graphs with the author’s image, pause, because they have his comments about various stages in the writing show up; and, it takes a few seconds to see all the comments

I hope you read (or, encourage a writer friend to read) the full article

Do you feel like there’s a novel inside you?
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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

How Long Does It Take to Write A Novel?


I’d done a re-blog today from Roz Morris about “writing at speed”; so, I thought it would be proper to share a video of Roz talking (rather poetically…) about the Long and Short of novel writing…


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

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


Jerry J. Davis - Author

Jerry J. Davis

I have a friend named Jerry Davis, an author interviewed here back in 2012.

I recently discovered a fascinating post of his from back in 2014—Open Letter to Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch.

I think it still has great validity for consideration by writers (and, writer’s friends...).

You may remember it was back when Amazon and Hachette were violently feuding

Here are just a few excerpts (but, do go read the whole thing...):

“Holding onto outdated business models by force is … well, completely backwards and ultimately a doomed path….Resisting the movement to ebooks is not the answer.”

“As a one of your authors who has also released his ebooks independently on Amazon, I have made FAR more sales on my own than with your publishing group. Far more sales, and far more income.”

“I have not seen a penny from my book with you in years, by the way, even though I KNOW it’s selling.

“But that’s beside the point.”

“…for godsake stop using your authors as leverage and accept one of Amazon’s offers to take them out of the middle.”

Even though some folks would say, “What’s the big deal? They stopped fighting.”, the fact that they’re big corporations would certainly make them prone, in today’s business environment, to fighting again.

Plus, one of the smartest publishers around has pointed out some of the possible harm Amazon, itself, may cause authors this year

What’s the solution?

Radical Self-Publishing—> try this post if you’re new to the idea…

Oh! You also might want to check out Jerry Davis’ books :-)
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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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Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

What Is a #Bestseller, Really? And, Should an Author Try to Write One?


I have 10 posts here tagged Bestsellers (including this one…)…

The one most folks would associate with the normally understood meaning for “bestseller” might be, Bestsellers . . ., which includes this quote:

“…the definition wasn’t just something like: books that sell a lot of copies.

Here’s my dictionary’s entry ~ “A book that has had a large and rapid sale”

Then, there’s that other post of mine called, Want To Be A Bestselling Author? ~ Don’t Read This Blog . . .

Here’s an excerpt from that one:

“Who made it seem success wasn’t merely the next stage, from which further action becomes possible, but rather a pinnacle of achievement that leaves all other contenders breathless on the sides of the conquered mountain? So, who did that? Businesspeople? Fundamentalist religious folk? Football coaches?”

Which, for me, raises the issue of whether having a bestseller is a rational goal for an author

Then, there’s that post of mine called, So Ya Think Your Book Will Be a Bestseller?

Excerpts:

“…I continue to attempt to market my first novel…

“…I shrivel at the kindly meant enquiry, ‘How are sales?’

“…my lovely novel, my first-born, has not sold as many copies as I thought it would.

“I am lucky to live in an era where I have access to the free marketing potential of social media. I realise that. Yet I have still to work out how social media sells or, indeed, whether it does at all.”

Those quotes all come from Kate Evans‘ article, The Measure of Success in Indie Publishingdefinitely worth a read

Finally, there’s that one I did called, Why Trying to Write a Bestseller Is Bad for Your Mental Hygiene.

And, excerpts:

“If you persistently scan the writing blogs and the publishing news, you’ll find an overabundance of articles telling you how to write and market a book so it will become a bestseller.”

“Nearly all those articles are bunk…”

“I hear a few readers saying, ‘Alex, how in the world can you write such generalizations?’.”

I go on to explain; then, later:

“I feel that beginning the process of writing a book with the dream of it becoming a bestseller is going to make the writer, consciously or subconsciously, write in an imitative fashion—trying to write to the folks who like bestsellers—killing any true originality and honest creativity…”

I’ll share some excerpts from Ursula K. Le Guin‘s article, Up the Amazon with the BS Machine:

“Best Seller lists have been around for quite a while. Best Seller lists are generated by obscure processes, which I consider (perhaps wrongly) to consist largely of smoke, mirrors, hokum, and the profit motive. How truly the lists of Best Sellers reflect popularity is questionable.”

“If you want to sell cheap and fast, as Amazon does, you have to sell big. Books written to be best sellers can be written fast, sold cheap, dumped fast: the perfect commodity for growth capitalism.

“The readability of many best sellers is much like the edibility of junk food. Agribusiness and the food packagers sell us sweetened fat to live on, so we come to think that’s what food is. Amazon uses the BS Machine to sell us sweetened fat to live on, so we begin to think that’s what literature is.

“I believe that reading only packaged microwavable fiction ruins the taste, destabilizes the moral blood pressure, and makes the mind obese. Fortunately, I also know that many human beings have an innate resistance to baloney and a taste for quality rooted deeper than even marketing can reach.”

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