self-publishing tagged posts

Runaway Dancer, Getaway Tales Review

Jeri McAndrews is a classically trained ballet dancer who ran away from the School of American Ballet in New York and the demands and discipline of ballet. She landed eventually in southwestern Colorado, where among other things, she taught dance and choreographed and performed in modern dances in wild outdoor settings including the Great Sand Dunes National Monument. The title of the book is apt: while dance is certainly a core of McAndrews’ life, so it seems is running away, getting away from… many things: teaching middle school English (to be fair, a challenge only a few people are cut out for), marriage, parenthood, big cities (can’t argue with that one).

Why did she run? We’ll never truly know...

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Tucson Festival of Books, Day 2

Got home late from TFoB yesterday, so now I’m catching up.

Did I say yesterday there were crowds at the Festival? Let me show you.

TFoB crowds

Did I say there was food? (And crowds)

TFoB food

That’s just one side of one of the two food courts.

And there were panels. LOTS of panels. From one on the “first folio” printings of all of Shakespeare’s plays, to Kick-Ass Women of Sci-Fi, to Surviving the Future (panel below),

L-R: Austin Aslan, Paolo Bacigalupi, Charlie Jane Anders, Jonathan Maberry

L-R: Austin Aslan, Paolo Bacigalupi, Charlie Jane Anders, Jonathan Maberry

to Ask a Sci-Fi Editor, to My Hero Can Beat Up Your Hero (panel below).

My Hero panel

L-R: Paolo Bacigalupi, Greg Bear, Sam Sykes

Did I have a good time? Writer-pal Lisa Vogel and I did, even standing in line.

Lisa & Ross

Yeah, definitely going again next year.

Save

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2016 Tucson Festival of Books, Day 1

Day 1 of the 2016 Tucson Festival of Books is in, well, the books. (Sorry.) (Not really.) Hosted on the University of Arizona campus, it’s the fourth largest book fair in the entire country, and 99% of it is FREE! (Pictures tomorrow, I promise!)

Check out this (very) partial list of authors in attendance: Paolo Bacigalupi, Greg Bear, Terry Brooks (yes, the Sword of Shannara creator), Jared Diamond, Diana Gabaldon (yes, the Outlander creator), Tucson writer J. A. Jance, Jeff Mariotte, Sierra Vista’s own Yvonne Navarro and Weston Ochse, cartoonist Stephan Pastis (creator of the Pearls Before Swine strip), R. L. Stine (creator of the Goosebumps kids’ series), Chuck Wendig, and over 100 others...

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Revision and Self-Editing for Publication Review

Small 3-star rating on dark blue background

Let’s get this on the table right now: Jim Bell does not write a bad craft-of-writing book. Does NOT.

In one case, however, the title of his book does not match the contents. That case is Revision and Self-Editing for Publication. As K. M. Weiland noted in her 3-star review of this book on Goodreads, there’s little here about revision or self-editing. That’s too bad because what little there is clearly shows that if Bell had focused on those tasks, rather than writing yet another book about writing a decent first draft, he could have done well.

Bell divides the book into two sections: “self-editing” and “revision...

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Get Known Before the Book Deal Review

Small 3-star rating on dark blue background  (Non-fiction)

  (Fiction)

You’re a member of “writer mama” Christina Katz’s target audience if you’re (1) a female (2) non-fiction writer who’s (3) looking to traditionally publish (4) in around 2010 and (5) have plenty of time on your hands. The fewer of those categories you fall into, however, the less this book is for you. So for me as a male, indie-published, fiction author with precious little spare time in the middle of 2015, this book had limited value.

That’s not to say Get Known is a bad book. It’s not.

Katz, whom I discovered through one of many writers’ blogs I used to have time to read, treats the topic of “platform”—the base on which you establish your credibility and from which you grow your list of followers and readers—quite thoroughly...

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Great Stuff for Writers, June 24, 2013

Major changes coming again to my Great Stuff posts. Starting next month, I’m going to again scale way back on these posts, for a lot of reasons:

  • Technical buffoonery on my part that made the Twitter links back to them produce “page not found” errors that I didn’t know about (but should have). I know better now.
  • Time. This is the main reason. It just takes too much time to produce these posts in the current form.
  • Others are doing it better. They have bigger audiences. Another reason why my time isn’t being well spent on these posts.
  • I need to rethink my social media involvement, such as it is.

So, July 1st, when Google Reader dies, is a good time for a reevaluation and restructuring on these posts. What will that be? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, here’s the Great Stuff for Writers from...

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Great Stuff for Writers, June 10, 2013

From characters to research to finding an editor to doing your own editing (both necessary!), to more besides, we’re covering quite a waterfront today. Let’s dive right in.

CRAFT

An editorial style sheet isn’t something most writers pay attention to, do, or even know what it is. Rachelle Gardner (@RachelleGardner) makes a case for creating one in How to Create a Style Sheet for Your Manuscript. The bottom line for this thing is consistency—in spelling, grammar, punctuation, relationships, physical characteristics, basically anything that you could not keep straight over the course of writing a novel. And which, count on it, some reader will catch.

Donald Maass (@DonMaass) draws an analogy between your characters’ journey through a story and his own family’s hikes in and map study o...

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Great Stuff for Writers, June 3, 2013

Heroes and protagonists, money matters, freelance editors, and Google+: you’ll find all that and more in today’s Great Stuff. Let’s get started, shall we?

CRAFT

Do “hero” or “heroine” mean the same thing as “protagonist?” In Why Your Protagonist Might Not Always Be Your Hero, Katie Weiland (@KMWeiland) explains the distinction and how you can identify who the protagonist really is. (Note that this character is not necessarily an anti-hero, either.) Katie suggests that you ask three questions to identify your protagonist:

  • Who is most important to your plot?
  • Who has the most dramatic character arc?
  • Who has the most at stake?

Katie also continues her Most Common Writing Mistakes series with A Surefire Sign You’re Over-Explaining...

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Great Stuff for Writers, May 20, 2013

Wow! TONS of Great Stuff this week, in just about all categories. Titles, critique groups, emotions, made-up words, publishing paths, “scarcity thinking,” and dogs reading books! Even a traditional/self-publishing poll. Something for everyone.

CRAFT

Right up there with a great cover, a great title is critical to getting a potential reader to consider your book. That’s why Katie Weiland (@KMWeiland) provides 17 Steps to a Reader-Grabbing Title. Seventeen sounds like a lot, but she breaks them into 5 elements, 7 questions to ask, and 5 brainstorming tips, to make them easy to digest.

There are writers out there who hate critique groups. HATE ‘em. Sometimes there’s plenty of reason to. But sometimes not. Kris Montee, one of the sister pair who write as PJ Parrish, discusses this in

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Great Stuff for Writers, May 13, 2013

A double-13 day today, but you should feel lucky because there’s so much Great Stuff waiting below. Techniques for getting started or keeping going, for pulling in the reader, setting mood, and more. News about Smashwords and indie publishing. Making better use of social media generally and Goodreads and Twitter in particular. Even a link to an old video game based on The Great Gatsby! Check it out.

CRAFT

Just in case you don’t already have enough to read, or you’re looking for something specific that you haven’t found yet, Katie Weiland (@KMWeiland) lists 10 of My Favorite Writing-Craft Sites. Two you see mentioned a lot here—Writer Unboxed and The Creative Penn—are on the list, plus others I hadn’t heard of.

Not only is James Scott Bell (@jamesscottbell) an excellent writer...

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