Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: writer’s advice

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…


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“Holding onto outdated business models by force is … well, completely backwards and ultimately a doomed path….Resisting the movement to ebooks is not the answer.”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

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

#NaNoWriMo Tips from a NonNaNoWriMo Guy . . .


I am so NonNaNoWriMo I can’t even take the time to devise my own brand of tips for the Event/Effort/Enterprise (heck, I didn’t even think about putting anything on this blog until after the starting gun went off… :-)

So, here’s bookishpixie with her NaNoWriMo Tips:
{ And, some of her tips are good for NonNaNoWriMoers, too… }
Also, if you are doing NaNoWriMo, why are you reading this blog… :-)

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

Beyond Google ~ a Search Engine Just for Writers


Most blogs have a built-in search engine (look up and to the right…)

Many blogs also have a Top Tags feature—selecting groups of posts by keywords (scroll down in the left side-bar…)

So, writers can go to other writers’ sites and find information about writing, right?

Of course, there is the work of finding the other writers that you want to read

And, speaking of reading, I simply have to direct you toward a post I wrote early in the life of this blog—Learning How To Be An Author Means Much More Than Reading About How To Write…—which cautions about reading too much about how to write and gives other advice for the aspiring writer…

Still, there’s a certain amount of reading about writing that all writers do and many regularly go to Google (often, for valid research for what they’re writing about)

However, here’s a comment from author Elizabeth S. Craig:

“Trying to find an article on POV, internal conflict, scene structure, dialogue? The highest ranking post in Google for any given writing search is frequently an assignment that a college professor has posted (an assignment on the topic, not a resource), or a vague article by a content mill site that doesn’t address the topic in any kind of depth. It’s just not what writers are looking for.”

Elizabeth is an interesting person—she’s collected over 30,000 links to timely and informative articles by writers (and, is still collecting more…); and, she also “…monitors over 1500 websites for great articles on writing and then posts the links on Twitter.”

But, you don’t have to follow her on Twitter to find those links

Mike Fleming, creator of an on-line Fiction Organizer, has helped Elizabeth create the Writer’s Knowledge Base—enter some words and go straight to carefully selected articles—well, I’ll let Mike tell you:

“While Elizabeth supplies the content I develop and maintain the WKB from a technical perspective. We both see the WKB as an extension of the service Elizabeth provides to the writing community via her tweets. Over time, we have plans for making the WKB experience better for both readers and article writers. If you are an article provider we hope you’ll start to see more traffic to your site as the WKB gets more popular.”

Also, with MyWKB, the Writer’s Knowledge Base “can remember what you like and present the best articles on writing to you in a variety of ways. It’s free!”

And, for you writers who blog, you can add this code to help folks get to the Writer’s Knowledge Base:

<a href=”http://writerskb.com”><img src=”http://images.hiveword.com/WkbBadge.png&#8221; width=”106″ height=”57″ alt=”Writer’s Knowledge Base” title=”The best writings on writing”></a>
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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