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Editor's Notes #61, A book marketing tip
October 31, 2008
Hello,

"Quantity produces quality.
If you only write a few things, you're doomed."

-- Ray Bradbury


In this issue:

1. Just Write
2. Figure of speech: Alliteration
3. Book Marketing Tip
4. Tickled My Funnybone

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1. Just Write

"I have tried writing..., but I lose track of what needs to be said in a writer's way," wrote Joseph Sciglaino after the last issue of Editor's Notes. He graciously gave me permission to quote him here.

You see, I've received a rash of statements saying the same thing in one way or another. Writers are telling me that they have something to say, but just can't get it right somehow.

To them, and to you, I say, "Welcome to the world of writers."

As a writer, I can tell you that we all feel that way at least some of the time.

The solution is to write, and write, and write some more.

Here's what I told Joseph:

Just write. Don't worry too much at first about how you are doing it. Just do it. The polishing comes later. You (or a publisher or an editor) can work with even the most clumsy writing. No one can work with nothing.

A good editor can help you sort out the "writer's way" aspect -- and will often tell you that you've already hit the right tone. Don't let worry that your writing isn't good enough stop you from writing. If you have a large body of work that you are unhappy with, show it to someone you trust.

I charge a minimal fee for a sample edit. The fee is refundable if you ever hire me later, so you really have nothing to lose. Of course you first need to write something. Learn more about the sample edit at http://www.writershelper.com/sample-edit.html

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2. Figure of speech: Alliteration

Alliteration is the repetition of an initial consonant sound. Forgotten what a consonant is? It's all the letters left after you've taken away the vowels. The vowels are a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y. The sometimes y part is when the letter y is at the beginning of a word, which is where it makes the sound at the beginning of yellow. Vowels allow the air through unobstructed. Consonants stop the passage of air.

Don't worry about all of that, though. The important part is that the initial consonant repeats. A line from a Dennis Lee poem, Jelly Belly, comes to mind.

Jelly Belly fought with a big fat fight In this case the /f/ sound is three out of eight initial sounds. Kids love this stuff. It makes the poem extra easy to recall in part because the repetition pleases the ear in the same way that repeated color in a room or garden pleases the eye.

Dennis Lee's alliteration works brilliantly because it's not the only device he's used in those eight words. In the next issue I'll explain what else is happening in this line of poetry.

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3. Book Marketing Tip
When I saw the tip below in Marcia Yudkin's Marketing Minute, a great marketing newsletter, I asked for permission to quote it here. The overall topic was putting yourself in your client's shoes. Dust off your imagination for the tip below.

Place your book proposal sixth in a stack of seven and imagine you're a literary agent late at night or on a commuter train. In that setting, does your proposal shine or sink?

Marketing Minute is available at www.yudkin.com/markmin.htm.

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4. Tickled My Funnybone
"Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures"

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