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on  at 8:28 PM

Posted In: Bad writing habits, Basics of writing

From Rick:

I received some interesting comments on the previous post on this topic from my good friend and a fellow Director of Silver Pen Perry McDaid.

Perry pointed out that I had erred in my statement “We generally don’t talk while engaged in violent action.” I had also said that dialogue and actions shown as happening almost simultaneously is not a reasonable expectation. After thinking about this and weighing Perry’s remarks, I need to rephrase and clarify some of what I said.

First, let’s look at the brief scene I wrote my PREVIOUS POST.

=====

(1) “How dare you call me a slut!” Sheila said, grabbing a plate and throwing it at me.

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on  at 9:44 PM
Posted In: Self-Publishing, Traditional publishing

and data to back them up.

From Rick:

A couple of months back, my friend Adam Fenner, who had been a guest blogger on here before, did a series of blogs on his website about the publishing industry and self-publishing. I was going to extract his blogs and repost them here, but I recently learned that this is a bad idea. I found this out when I asked permission from a blogger to repost an excellent blog on publishing and vanity presses here. He informed me that “If you reprint it, you’ll trash search engine visibility for both of us. Search engines hate duplicate content.”

So, in the future, I will link to blogs of interest instead of asking to repost them.

But since it’s relevant to self-publishing, here’s the link to Dave Bricker’s wonderful and cautionary post:

Effective description by Rick Taubold

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on  at 9:29 PM

Posted In: Basics of writing, Story Details

From Rick:

The best good description should be as transparent to the reader as possible, meaning it should blend with the story, not stand out from it. Well-written description can be so compelling that the reader experiences rather than sees the scene. If the reader is more than lightly aware of the description, then it’s not done right.

Good description is like good art: it should have a focal point, not just be dumped on the reader. A good artist knows how to create the focal point in his work and how to wrap the rest of the piece around it. A non-artist may simply see the whole picture and miss the focal point.

So it is with writing. When describing the scene and the character, you should find the focal point of each. What stands out most? Remember that in writing the scene is being told from the viewpoint of one particular character at a time. The character’s interests and personality will color how he or she sees something. The writer should therefore describe the scene as the character, not the writer, would see it. What aspects draw the character’s attention? What parts are most important for the reader to see? This is where you learn to edit your writing.

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on  at 9:46 PM

Posted In: Bad writing habits, Basics of writing

From Rick:

Exactly what do I mean by “writing in afterthoughts?” Consider this short scenario:

(1) “How dare you call me a slut!” Sheila said, grabbing a plate and throwing it at me.

“Well, what would you call having sex with my roommate after I went to work? Pity sex? So he wouldn’t feel left out?” I said, ducking, the plate hitting the floor behind me and shattering.

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on  at 8:31 PM

Posted In: Self-Publishing, Traditional publishing

From Rick:

I know that I was going to blog only every other week until the end of April, but after reading over the two previous blogs on self-publishing, Scott Gamboe offered some additional thoughts from his experiences. Being short, I figured I’d slip this one in.

From Scott:

I checked with Borders when my first book (traditionally published) hit the shelves (in 2006). Their website allowed you to select any store in the country and check to see if a given book was in stock. I found that only about half the stores had it. And that number may not be accurate, because I only checked about two dozen stores, which wouldn’t be much of a representative sample. So, as Rick said, there are no guarantees how many stores you’ll get into, or how long the book will stay.

I did a number of book signings. They lasted anywhere from 2-4 hours. I would end up selling anywhere from 1-4 books per hour. Since my royalty percentage was in line with what Rick outlined previously, that wouldn’t even pay for the gas to drive to the bookstore, not to mention my time.

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on  at 8:23 PM

Posted In: Self-Publishing, Traditional publishing

Last time, I tried to give the definitions and explanation of the various publishing outlets available today. In this part I want to look at some of the reasons new authors believe that traditional publishing is the only way to go.

All the time I hear the same reasons why authors want to seek out traditional publishers. All of these are myths, and I’ll explain why they are point by point.

(POINT 1) The author doesn’t know how to market and doesn’t want to be involved in marketing.

(RESPONSE-1) Writers have always had to be involved in marketing. The general philosophy of the large publishers is to give a book a reasonable nudge, but sometimes this amounts to little more than announcing the release in the information they send out to bookstores and maybe an ad in a trade magazine if it’s something they really want to push. I know this seems to make little sense, but it’s pretty much how things are. If you don’t believe me, do the research yourself. And the smaller the publisher, the less money they have to spend on advertising. Most books are given a few months at most to prove themselves. Those that take off may get more publicity. Otherwise, it’s on to the next set of releases.

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on  at 9:30 PM

Posted In: Self-Publishing, Traditional publishing

From Rick:

Three years ago, Scott did an excellent post on this topic. At the time, the “self-publishing revolution” was barely five years old, and in the minds of many would-be authors, the traditional publishing route was still the only credible way to get published. It’s time to revisit this.

SCOTT’S ARTICLE

In the past three years, self-publishing has become more respectable. The sad part is that authors who believe traditional publishing is still the best route have not done their research. It may well be best for some, but it’s certainly not a clear call anymore. I quote the TV seriesThe X-Files: “The truth is out there.”

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on  at 9:01 PM

Posted In: Action scenes, Story Details

guest post by Sgt. Adam Fenner

From Rick:

Award winning author Adam Fenner has served in both the US Marine Corps and the Nevada National Guard. Adam is the co-author of On Two Fronts the Silver Medal winner of the Independent Book Publishers Association’s Bill Fisher Award (Nonfiction) and the “Deployment Wisdom” series. He is a student pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at UNLV, and is currently working on a horror series called the “Horrors of War” with its first release OP #7 in March 2015, and a dark fantasy series. Adam maintains a blog at www.authoradamfenner.com.

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on  at 9:14 PM

Posted In: Basics of writing, Punctuation

From Rick:

The punctuation book that Scott and I are working on has entered its final death throes (meaning pending final test reader acceptance and polishing in prep for the FINAL edit). Before I embark on the two promised series—one on book cover design and one on the practical aspects of self-publishing—I thought it would be nice to give our blog readers a teaser—and helpful information—from the last chapter of the punctuation book. This comes from the final chapter (16) on Special Topics. One of the topics in that chapter deals with how to decide which punctuation to use when several options exist.

You can always fall back on the standard periods and commas, but one theme running through our book is how to use punctuation to make your writing stand out for the reader by giving it clarity and proper emphasis.

Wolves at the door by Rick Taubold

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on  at 10:00 PM

Posted In: General, Literary agents, Publishing news, Self-Publishing

Self-publishing perspectives 2015

From Rick:

As we begin 2015, I thought it would be good to provide encouragement and some warnings to writers.

First the encouragement. Some prophets of doom are predicting that the self-publishing boom is over for indie authors and that it’s going to become more dog-eat-dog than before. The following article argues compellingly against those naysayers.

EXCITING TIMES FOR INDIE PUBLISHERS

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