Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: writing a book

On The Path Toward . . .


In my last post, I said my next step on the path toward my next book was to read my last book.

On The Path Toward A Book

Image Courtesy of Matthew Pickard ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/smats

Well, true; but…

There’re parts of my last book that live on this blog—little moonlets of the book

Since the next book is in the same universe and time-span, I must take account of those extra scenes I wrote that weren’t in the last-book-proper.

This is a bit of a challenge (but, what writer worth their salt doesn’t like a challenge) and I’m marveling, again, at how much space a novel can have; even if much of that space isn’t in the book

I wrote a post last November that may be of interest—What Are Your Writing Habits?

Also, while I’m off doing this thing called writing (i.e., not posting as much here), do feel free to use the search box in the upper right or the Top Tags widget down a ways in the left side-bar to find other posts of interest………

Being Pregnant with A Book . . .


Time to catch you up on what I’m doing

I’ve finished all the preparatory research for my next book.

Next step is to read through my last book, Notes from An Alien, while making notes in Scrivener.

Then, weaving the notes into a form that reflects the events in the first book but tells a much more personal storycreating a set of “parallel” books

I’ll be back periodically to report on how the labor is going.

In the meantime, whether you’re a reader, writer, or publisher (or, all three), I strongly recommend your reading a post I wrote nearly two years agoperhaps, the most important post on this blog.

Also, until I can take another break from attending to my labor, you can use the search box in the upper right or scroll down on the left to the Top Tags widget to find some of the other treasures in my 1,000+ posts

Taking Advice ~ Who’s Experience Do You Trust?


Blogs written by writers—like this one–=can be fascinating places to find experience that can serve as a guide for action.

But, they might be the worst place to trust another’s judgement.

It all depends on what guidance you’re looking for and the quality of the blogger’s experience.

Most writers’ main goal is to be published. Many of those writers want to make money, too.

The world of publishing is undergoing massive flux. Of course, flux doesn’t have to mean the industry will change beyond recognition. The new self-publishing methods are still in their early stages of growth and traditional publishing has some strong points that may never change

My novel is published and its Companion Volume is beginning to come to life. This was a perfect time for me to evaluate what I’d learned through my own experience with the novel (that learning is still in process, by the way) and find out what that evaluation might point me toward in the way of supplementary advice. And, as the Writerly Fates would have it, I found some solid information.

I’ve mentioned Joel Friedlander in this blog before and linked to his posts. Gonna do it again, right now :-)

The Completely Backwards Way to Amazing Self-Publishing Success, is advice from a man I’ve come to trust. A person who’s been there and done that and can speak his wisdom in ways I can understand and put to use.

Do read the full post. He tells the tale of being involved in a mind-mapping exercise that turned into a self-publishing outline for action.

I’m going to list his main points and make personal comments about what I’m working toward with the Companion Volume (a short story collection in the same universe as the novel).

Research the market: I’ve been doing this with the novel and it will continue as sales pick up.

Write the back cover copy: I love having this point so early in the process. I’ve read other writers say essentially the same thing–get a clear, concise statement about the book written as early as possible–make a beacon to guide your voyage.

Design the cover: Again, I feel the seemingly too-early position of this advice is sound. Make the book’s image Real–create a visible icon that can help you stay on course.

Write a sample chapter and outline: Enlist your creativity for writing a chunk of the book and form some kind of outline–again, committing to the life of the project.

Design the book: Some folks don’t really know what this means… I’d recommend exploring Joel Friedlander’s blog, very carefully

Test the concept: I’ll be checking in with readers of the novel (as well as a few other folks) with the test-pack produced in the last four steps to see how they feel about it.

Announce the book: Everyone I can reach who’s heard about the novel (whether they’ve read it or not) will know its Companion is being produced; plus, some folks in a few new “channels of interest”.

Write the book: I honestly feel some of this step will have already happened by this point in the process but I will hold off on “serious” writing until I’ve at least Tested the concept.

Launch the book: Joel’s comment on this point is, “Everything should now be in place for success.”

One more quote from Joel: “At the end of this process, you ought to have a book that’s in demand, has a compelling offer, is properly positioned in its genre, and which people are avidly awaiting.”

What are your thoughts and feelings on this process?
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