Editor's Blog January 2007


Jan 30, 2007, From Blog To Book
An Author And A Publisher Tell Tales

Some publishers use blogs to check out the writing ability of potential authors.

Author Michael Malice used his blog to attract attention and get material.

Whether a blog gets you a book deal or not, it is a form of self-publishing. If you write well and attract a following, a blog can strengthen your writing skills and provide a platform for marketing your book when you are ready.

Click for more info


Jan 28, 2007, Canadian Children's Poet Named Laureate

I've been reading Jack Prelutsky'sbooks of poetry to children for years. They always get a laugh.

Prelutsky has now been named Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation, based in Chicago.

If children's poetry is of interest to you, you will enjoy the article on Prelutsky linked to at the end of this post.

And if you want to join the ranks of those who publish verse for children, you'll want to take the free course, Writing Verse For Children.

Click for more info


Jan 28, 2007, The Original Brokeback Mountain?

Janice Scott-Blanton, author of My Husband Is on the Down Low and I Know About It is suing Universal for copyright infringement.

In the $250 million suit, she alleges that the characters, plot, theme, and sequence of events in the blockbuster movie Brokeback Mountain shares over 50 similarities to her novel.


Jan 28, 2007, Prisoners Write

Further to the comments on the article referenced below. . .

The women in Lindsay's Central East Correctional Centre benefit from a creative writing course.

Their story supports my contention that everyone can learn to write more powerfully. Learning to write well can only be a good thing.

Click for more info


Jan 28, 2007, Are YOU A Writer?

I found the article linked to below* interesting. Basically, it decries the plethora of writing courses.

I both agree and disagree, as I believe the author herself does. She is, after all, taking an honors writing course.

I agree that the message and the impetus to get the message out are most important.

I disagree that only those with such a compulsion should put pen to paper.

There are many reasons to write, many purposes for written work, and many reasons for reading what others have written.

Although the drive to commit a message to paper often produces quality writing, courses can give those who want to write the tools to do the best job possible.

*The original article has been removed from the Internet.


Jan 28, 2007, What Writers Are Saying About Self-Publishing

In a forum for Web masters, members are debating the virtues -- or not -- of self-publishing. All this discussion is heating up right now because the system I've been hinting at is about to go public. There'll be more on that later.


Jan 26, 2007, Book Still Changes Lives Two Generations After Publication

Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird, must feel wonderful!

At the age of 80, she recently visited a High School to accept an award at the presentation of a play based on her novel.

If you are going to write only one novel, it's good to write one that changes lives and goes on changing them long decade after decade.

The link below will take you to the full story of her unusual visit to see the students she influenced through her work.

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Jan 26, 2007, Looking For A Way "In" To Simon & Shuster?

Touchstone/Simon & Schuster will offer a $5,000 cash prize and publish a first novel submitted through a contest at gather.com.

If you have a novel up your sleeve, check it out.

Click for more info


Jan 26, 2007, BookExpo America for African American Writers

BookExpo America, one of the largest book trade exhibits in the world will be held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City this year from May 31- June 3, 2007. BookExpo America provides independent African American book publishers, self publishers, authors, African American imprints at major publishing houses, distributors, literary agents, publicists, librarians, and bookstore owners with exposure to more than 80,000 book buyers and booksellers from across the world.

Click for more info


Jan 25, 2007, Editor's Blog December 2006

Breaking news on writing, editing, and self-publishing. Reminders of good writing principles. Editor's Blog keeps you abreast of issues related to your craft. Audrey researches so you can write.

Permalink -- click for full blog


Jan 24, 2007, Children's Writer Worth $1Billion US

The only woman in entertainment who makes more money than Oprah is JK Rowling.

I know that I'll never make any sort of bundle from writing, but I do take a certain amount of courage from the knowledge that Rowling has done what's she done financially.

More than that, she single-handedly drew a huge number of youngsters into the world of voracious readers.

When I sit in front of my screen, wondering what to write, I hope I write things others will want to read. I hope that what I write will leave the world a better place.

And I hope someone will decide to pay me for my words.


Jan 23, 2007, California Private Equity Firm Acquires AuthorHouse

Press Release

(Bloomington, Ind.)--- Bertram Capital, a private equity firm based in Palo Alto, California, has purchased Author Solutions, Inc., the holding company for AuthorHouse, from Gazelle Tech Ventures, an Indiana-based venture capital firm, in a transaction announced today by Bryan Smith, president and CEO of AuthorHouse.

AuthorHouse is the leading provider of publishing and marketing services for authors around the globe, last year publishing 1 out of every 30 book titles in the US. Since its founding in 1997 by an aspiring author who was frustrated by traditional publishing methods, AuthorHouse has helped approximately 30,000 authors publish nearly 40,000 titles.

“We were attracted to AuthorHouse because of the high-quality reviews the company receives from their authors, which has been the foundation for their impressive growth. Their continued commitment to quality and service is an important component of the business line extension we intend to pursue,” commented Jeff Drazan, managing director for Bertram Capital.

Bryan Smith stated, “Bertram’s investment will provide additional resources and opportunities for AuthorHouse’s Indiana and UK-based workforce. With their commitment, we are better positioned to extend our reach into the self-publishing industry and offer additional products and services. They share our excitement for the unprecedented resource AuthorHouse will become for writers around the world. We expect Bertram will be an excellent partner.”

About AuthorHouse

Headquartered in Bloomington, Ind., AuthorHouse is the leading provider of publishing and marketing services for authors around the globe and employs nearly 200 people in its Bloomington, Indianapolis and UK offices. Through an exclusive AuthorCentric Publishing Process, authors control the creative process of crafting their books and can take advantage of a full range of pre-publishing, publishing and promotional services to help them reach their publishing goals. AuthorHouse titles are available at more than 25,000 retail outlets worldwide including Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. For more information, please visit www.authorhouse.com.

About Bertram Capital

Located in Palo Alto, California near Stanford University, Bertram Capital is a $250 million private equity firm. Bertram invests in innovative companies throughout the United States and abroad, providing strategic insight, technical savvy, and operational expertise that make it an attractive partner for companies looking to expand. Bertram’s mission is to build value for equity holders, employees, customers, and partners by helping already profitable companies realize their full operational and financial potential.


Jan 21, 2007, Fired For Writing

You could see this one coming. . .

Emmalee Bauer of Iowa had a good job. By her own admission, she was making more money than she had ever made before.

Her supervisor saw her writing a journal about how to avoid work and told her to stop.

Bauer's response was to transfer her journal writing to the computer at work.

Needless to say, she was fired for not working while collecting pay.

She went to court to get unemployment insurance.

I suspect the offending journal figured in the fact that she lost the case.

"I am only here for the money and, lately, for the printer access. I haven't really accomplished anything in a long while ... and I am still getting paid more than I ever have at a job before, with less to do than I have ever had before. It's actually quite nice when I think of it that way. I can shop online, play games and read message boards and still get paid for it."

Bauer still hopes to publish her journal on how to avoid work.




Jan 21, 2007, Disappearing Words

Remember writing with lemon juice and a toothpick?

Xerox has gone one better. They have developed truly disappearing "ink."

The truth is, it's not ink at all. The paper interacts with a special "pen" that uses a light beam instead of ink. The light beam creates a blue image on the paper that looks like ink.

Within 24 hours, the blue image is gone and the paper is ready to be used again.

As a writer, I probably won't be using this. I have enough time keeping track of my thoughts without having them disappear into the atmosphere after I write them down.

But as a business person -- and every publishing writer is a business person, I can certainly use this paper. Xerox says each piece of the special paper can be used up to 100 times. That's a lot of trees saved.


Jan 21, 2007, Dedicated Writer

An Indian children's writer has put his money where his mouth is.

Bijaya Kumar Mohapatra has been writing and publishing for children since 1990. He publishes both his own stories and those of others. His goal is to develop knowledge and character in children.

(Bijaya). . . has sold off his ancestral property and cattle to carry forward his mission and today he is in debt to the tune of Rs500,000 (Dh41,190).

Click for more info


Jan 21, 2007, Blog To Book To Movie

You work in the fashion industry and blog about the world you know. That's what Lauren Weisberger did.

That blog eventually morphed into The Devil Wears Prada.

Blogging is big. About 50 million blogs exist and more are being added each day.

People blog for lots of reasons.

If you blog, you are putting your work out there for the public to see. Be sure you write well.

Who knows? One day you may find yourself reading your blog between the hard covers of a book or watching it on the big screen. You can always dream.


Jan 21, 2007, Is A Nap A Cure For Writer's Block?

If you write, even if you write non-fiction, you engage in creativity. In Take A Nap! Change Your Life Sara Mednick and Mark Ehrman suggest that one cure for a lack of productivity could be taking a nap.

The book grew out of Mednick's research at Harvard and notes trends in the business world. One of my favorite episodes of Seinfeld has George building a shelf under his desk where he can nap during the day. Not such a stretch it seems. Many workers steal naps in bathrooms, at their desks, in their cars, anywhere they can grab a few zzzs.

Now some bosses acknowledge that a nap can increase productivity and provide the time and place to snooze on the job.

If it's good enough for the corporate world, it's good enough for artists. I know that when I'm worn out, I need the nap more than I need to finish the job. Even a 20 minute nap can rejuvenate me enough to break through even the worst mental the log jam.

And if the nap doesn't solve the problem? At least I've caught up on some sleep and the rest of my life looks brighter.

The next time you face writer's block, try a nap.


Jan 21, 2007, Where Do You Find Your Book Titles?

JK Rowling may have chosen the name of the last of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in the shower in New York. She was choosing between two titles, one of which came to her in the shower.

Rowling could probably have chosen almost anything as a title and still sell a record number of books. A reputation will allow for that.

The rest of us can't take any chances. It pays to take time to find a good title for your book. You want a title that will grab attention, promise truthfully what is inside, and be memorable.


Jan 21, 2007, An Author Removes His Books From Amazon

While many would move mountains to have their books sold through Amazon, George Walker has forced Amazon to stop selling his.

His move is in support of independent book sellers and in protest of some of Amazon's practices.

It will be interesting to see if other writers follow suit.

Click for more info


Jan 21, 2007, John Grisham

One of the authors I read regularly is John Grisham. I love his plot lines and the way he hooks the reader to feel for so many characters at once. Both features of his writing are difficult to do well. I love to find both plot and character in an author's books.

When I read A Painted House, I knew that it was, to some extent, autobiographical.

In a recent interview for an Arkansas newspaper, he spoke about his roots.

I can’t say anything from childhood inspired me to write books, except my mother didn’t like television, so we read books. We were taught to read early and encouraged to read books. I grew up doing a lot of reading.

I think the work ethic, the notion of having a dream and working tirelessly to achieve it — I think that came from both parents, who were very hard workers. My mother especially — just like in ‘A Painted House,’ she did not want a life on the farm. She wanted her kids to go to college. So we grew up with that goal. We grew up believing we had the ability and capacity to achieve it.

You kind of are where you came from. I guess if I had been raised in New York City, I’d have written something completely different. Thank God that didn’t happen!

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Jan 20, 2007, Writer's Helper Contributor Publishes Again

author, Alice TaylorAlice Taylor, whom many of you already know through her story on this site, My Live As A Dyslexic, has published again.

Alice writes romance novels in fantasy settings. If the genre appeals to you, I can personally recommend Alice's work.

The link below will take you to her personal Web site.

Click for more info


Jan 20, 2007, Author Robert Wiersema to participate in Pacific Festival of the Book

Robert WiersemaVictoria Arts Connection is pleased to announce that local Victoria author Robert Wiersema will participate in the first Pacific Festival of the Book to be held March 24, 2007. Wiersema's first book Before I Wake published by Random House has been sold in the US, UK, Greece and Poland. In a Canadian fiction debut with the emotional weight of The Lovely Bones, Before I Wake , reveals how hope can be renewed even in the face of unimaginable sorrow. Part domestic novel, part thriller — contemporary realism touched with the fantastic — this novel is an exploration of the limits of human strength, of the power of forgiveness, and of the true nature, and cost, of miracles. Robert J Wiersema is a bookseller and reviewer, who contributes regularly to The Vancouver Sun, Quill & Quire, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Ottawa Citizen and other newspapers. Currently the president of the British Columbia Booksellers Association, Wiersema is the event co-ordinator for Bolen Books. He’s a graduate of UVic and lives in Victoria with his family.

Wiersema will be part of the author's workshop series and will read from his work and discuss his creative process as an author. The Pacific Festival of the Book major public events take place on Saturday March 24, 2007 and feature a series of integrated interdisciplinary workshops revolving around the literary arts as well as an extensive book sellers and publishers trade show. Part book fair, part literary arts festival this event will involve all levels of the publishing, writing and the book and art loving community to come out and enjoy an innovative series of literary events, performances and an exceptional trade show of BC and Canadian book sellers and publishers. Special events throughout the day will include roving performers from different literary periods inside and outside, author talks and book signings, book making demos, publishers and self-publishing workshops, children’s storytelling as well as an art exhibition celebrating The Art of the Book. Two very exciting workshops being proposed for the program include collaborative workshops between writers, dancers and film makers. A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to Project Literacy Victoria. The Victoria Arts Connection is honored to have Victoria’s own Poet Laureate Carla Funk open the festival and participate in the Readers Program as a special guest Poet.

For more information about Robert J Wiersema please visit www.robertjwiersema.com and the Victoria Arts Connection website www.victoriaartsconnection.com


Jan 19, 2007, Artificial Words

This came to me as an email from a friend.

Warning: Read only if you need a laugh.

Subject: ARTIFICIAL WORDSDate: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 21:26:53 -0700

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are this year's winners. Read them carefully. Each is an artificial word with only one letter altered to form a real word.

  1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
  2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
  3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
  4. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
  5. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
  6. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
  7. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
  8. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.
  9. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
  10. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
  11. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
  12. Glibido: All talk and no action.
  13. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
  14. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
  15. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
  16. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.


Jan 18, 2007, Is This Challenge For You?

If you want to be published in print magazines, you need to send in queries. A query is the proposal for your article. Although good queries are necessary, a large volume of queries -- good queries -- will increase your chances of being published.

Kristen King has thrown down the gauntlet on her blog and writers all over are taking up the challenge of upping the number of queries they submit in 2007.

Since people are asked to report back, there's the incentive of the success of others to spur each writer on.

Why would a self-publishing writer want to publish in a magazine?

PR

The more your name is in the public eye, the more books you'll sell.

If your book is already available, you can include that fact in the author bio. Many publications include author information.

If your book is not yet in print, no matter. When you do publish, you can use the fact that you have credibility in the print world by mentioning your magazine credits.

Click for more info


Jan 9, 2007, Not Only Did This Video Win Honorable Mention In a Contest
But It's True!

If you want to know more about how you could have a Web site with real traffic, see http://find.inquire-sbi.com


Jan 8, 2007, How To Be A Well Fed Writer

On January 11 you can participate in a teleseminar with Peter Bowerman, author of The Well Fed Writer.

Peter is a copywriter, so the seminar will be more about that specifically than about how to get your novel published. His book, however, helped me to think about my writing more as a business.

Spaces are limited.

Click for more info