Editor's Blog September 2006

Sep 28, 2006, Blank Book

A blank book inspires a writer to write, but not all blank books are created equal. Which of these blank books would appeal to you or to a writer you know?

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Sep 26, 2006, Page By Page Advertising

I'm always going on about how writers need Web sites. I admit I've never thought of this novel idea.

Dale Moses, facing a layoff, stepped up his writing time line and decided to put his novel on-line. The real genius of his idea was to sell advertising on each page.

The readers get the book for free and Dale gets paid for writing. He's just begun so there are only a few pages, but he is getting ads.

Time will tell whether he can make enough money with his unique self-publishing idea.

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Sep 25, 2006, I Don't Agree With the Editor

What happens if you don't agree with your editor? Editor Audrey Owen explains various scenerios.

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Sep 25, 2006, Six Books Per Year

By any measure, a writer who puts out six titles per year is successful.

At age 55, Noral Roberts, is successful.

In an interview she shares a bit of her process.

There is no magic, only a fertile imagination and a phenominal work ethic. But she's living proof that it can be done.

If you're looking for inspiration, this article might be for you.


Sep 25, 2006, Long Distance Book Signing

What will they think of next?

Margaret Atwood, internationally famous Canadian author, read to fans in Canada from Dunfermline, Fife. That's not too amazing in this day of telecommunications and Internet connections.

What got my attention is that she then signed copies of her books from across the Atlantic Ocean! She has devised a tool that allows her to sign in one place and have an electronic arm in another place replicate her signature.

Any time an author signs a book, the book gains in value. I wonder what additional value will accrue to the books signed electronically. As a new event, the signing attracted attention in the media, so I can only assume that the books she's just signed will be more valuable than those she's signed while within arm's reach.

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Sep 24, 2006, How Do You Stack Up Against The World's Worst Writer?

Some high-powered members of the literary establishement belived that Amanda McKittrick Ros was the world's worst writer. Now Culture Northern Ireland want to know if you agree.

Of course you would have to read some of her work in order to decide.

Ros, whose husband published her first novel as an anniversary gift, claimed that 1000 years after her death she would still be read. Although she has a ways to go, (She died on 3 February 1939.) she is well on her way in spite of her critics. Her books are not available on Amazon.com, but you can buy books about her writing, which may be even more impressive than being able to buy her books themselves, depending on how you look at it.

If you are self-publishing, I hope you'll consider good editing to keep you out of the "worst writer in the world" competition.

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Sep 24, 2006, Self-Improvement Market Is Huge

Is there a self-help book in your future?

"We estimate that $693 million worth of self-improvement books were sold last year. Fueled by continued strong sales of diet books, the market is forecast to grow 8.3%/year?better than overall publishing," writes John LaRosa, Research Director of Marketdata Enterprises, Inc.

At a recent lunch with local writers, the discussion centered on the need for market research and the general distaste among writers for this necessary task.

The article below highlights one area of growing demand that writers can fill. If you read my final article on The Long Tail in marketing, you will know that there is a variety of ways to tap into that market.

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Sep 24, 2006, Writer/Illustrator Team

Writers and illustrators work in partnership to create a complete package. This article gives a glimpse into the story of one such partnership that seems to be working well.

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Sep 17, 2006, Writing Self Evaluation

Stephen Wilbers is an educator who is clearly used to the process of evaluation. He's written a short article on grading your own writing on a three point scale across five features of writing.

The assessment is interesting even if it is flawed in feature #1 (mechancis of writing). The flaw is that if you knew you were making the mistakes, you probably would not be making them. It's hard to find your own mistakes if you don't know the rules.

Apart from that, if you want a quick check on your writing, this is as good a scale as any.

If you find areas where you need help, I invite you to submit a 500 words for a sample edit.

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Sep 17, 2006, Five Thoughts That Stop Your Writing.

Daphne Gray-Grant says," Have you ever reached for a brownie when you were trying to lose weight? Or stayed in bed when you intended to go to the gym? Or put off paying bills because it was 'too much of a hassle'?

"There are lots of different ways we sabotage ourselves. This is true of life in general and also true of the writing life."

She gives five examples. See the link below.

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Sep 17, 2006, Write About The Amazing Race

Whether you love it or loathe it, if you watch The Amazing Race, turn your opinions into cash. Check out the link below.

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Sep 16, 2006, $100,000 For Your Unpublished Story

If you are an American with an unpublished and unrepresented manuscript, you could be in line for a US$100,000 literary prize.

The offer comes with a promise that "not a single writer will face silent rejection." Each will receive two or more evaluations from a panel of editors, librarians and others in the literary community.

That is a good thing because the entry fee of US$85 is on the high side. And as with all calls for your money, you will want to do your due dilligence.

But if you have a book you have faith in, this competition could be for you.

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Sep 16, 2006, Books For Writers

Books for writers recommneded by editor, Audrey Owen. Buy them for yourself or for a friend.

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Sep 16, 2006, The Business Of Publishing

No matter how distasteful you find the marketing end of writing, not knowing about it will likely leave you an unknown (and quite possibly, and unpublished) writer.

I read Arabella McIntyre-Brown's article after coming home from a local pot luck lunch for writers. The group bemoaned the need to sell something as pure a literature and admitted to resenting or ignoring the whole marketing end of things.

Any writer will sell more books if she improves her marketing skills. Two resources always come to mind when I talk to writers about marketing.

1. Dan Poyneter's book, although targeted to self-publishing authors, has an excellent section on marketing that is good reading for all writers.

2. A functioning Web site with good free traffic extends the reach of any writer. A book and a Web site working in tandem create a powerful marketing package.


Sep 16, 2006, Roald Dahl's 90th Birthday

Belated Birthday remebrances to Roald Dahl who would have been 90 years old on September 13.

In the United Kingdom, the day was the first official Roald Dahl Day.

Dahl, a well-read children's author, is best known for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Danny Champion of the World, Matilda, The Twits and The BFG.

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Sep 16, 2006, Frey And Random House To Pay

A Million Little Pieces is costing author Frey and his publisher, Random House, US$2.35 million.

Frey invented stories for his memoir, one of Oprah Winfrey's recommended books. Oprah later retracted her recommendation.

Frey has since admitted to inventing "facts" for a second book.

If you plan to write a memoir, be mindful of the lives of others you write about.

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Sep 16, 2006, An Attack On My Favorite Grammar Treatise

I laughed my way through Eats, Shoots & Leaves the first time I read it and the writer's ideas, both general and specific, leap to mind often as I go about my business. It seems at least one English educator takes umbrage.

Mind you, he told Lynn Truss not to bother writing a book on grammar because it woudn't sell. Of course, her book deservedly sells very well indeed -- millions of copies as I write this with no sign of slowing down.

It seems the critic changed his mind and wrote his own, based on a rebuttal of Truss. I still say the original is worth every penny.

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Sep 16, 2006, English Errors Exposed

I don't bookmark many sites, but this one is firmly on my list. For about three years I've toyed with the idea of writing a book that would include some of the most common English errors I find. I can now move on to bigger and better things. This on-line version is a gem and since most of my writing is now done on a computer, it's much easier for me to click a link than to flip through a book.

Do at least check this one out! My guess is that you will love it!

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Sep 9, 2006, Audrey the Editor Helper -- Editing Services for Self Publishing Writers

Present your message with clear, crisp writing. Use editing services to support you through on-line writing tips, substantive, line, and copy editing. Read other writers' stories.

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Sep 6, 2006, Wired Turns Blogs To Books

Earlier I wrote about the Blooker prize initiated by lulu.com.

Now Wired magazine is getting into the act. They are inviting bloggers to turn their blogs into blooks.

Although Wired's venture is not likely to change the publishing world on its own, it does highlight the speed with which the world of publishing is changing. Increasingly, writers can take full charge of the process of getting their work into the hands of the public.

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Sep 3, 2006, Book Review Passion Saving

A book review for a self-published financial guide, Passion Saving. Reviewed by Audrey Owen, editor for self-publishing writers.

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