Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Am A Writer But Also...

Years ago when I was delirious and thought I'd become a full-time writer ... I was soon awakened to reality that only the cream de la cream get to be full-timers while the rest of us struggle with a real job and hopes of claiming the elusive ring on the merry-go-round of life.

I wanted one of the Big Five publishing companies to notice my work and sky-rocket me to fame where I could hob-nob on talk shows like Oprah, Jay Leno, Ellen Degeneres, Rachel, David Letterman and the rest.  Realtiy: You have to have an agent.  Grim reality: No takers.

Then along came Vanity Press rearing its ugly head to take your money and allow you to think you were a published author.  The person writing the local club newsletter was doing a better job of getting in print than those who bought into Vanity.  At least the newsletters usually have subscribers and people who wanted to read it.  Vanity Press?  Beyond Mom and your three best friends, you now have only a mere 996 more books to sell.  I have a friend who still has several boxes of his first book sitting in his garage.  Yes, he languishes in the shadows of the unknown authors.

Soon, Small Publishers came into existence.  They were a God-send; they allowed us to dream the possible dream... but alas, unless you had a super fantastic marketing strategy or know-how, going beyond the ever-present book-signing at the local bookstores, you languished in the shadows with your fellow Vanity authors.

The sun arose on a new day. Amazon came to be and ebooks were given life as well as CreateSpace to publish in book form.  [insert chorus of "Oh Happy Day"]  The author had a new chance and even marketing potential through a huge company.  Now the fledgling author could safely play the five-fingered nose flute at the Big Five publishing companies who rejected unknown submissions or screamed you needed an agent to make you viable. 

But wait.  Not all is happy in Amazon-land.  The author has written a book, even had it edited by a teacher and read by three or four good friends... and of course, Mom, too.  What could possibly go wrong?

You didn't write your book in Microsoft Word.  You don't have Adobe Creator.  You haven't ever used a graphic program and have no idea what RGB vs CMYK.  You didn't even know there were that many different shades of black!

You, the author, are about to embark on a journey of huge proportions and mind-expanding learning experiences.  The truly easy part was writing the composition.  Now you need to format it for publishing which means deciding on a variety of page sizes, page layouts, fonts, paper types ... and the list goes on and on. Plus you have to decide on what graphic you will use on the front cover... your own, a purchased image or one from their stockpile.

Amazon has streamlined the process somewhat ... IF you think of it sort of like reading a which-way book.  You read the page and at the bottom you make a decision.  That decision takes you to another reading and selection.  Finally, through this process, you will create your book.

I guess now would be a good time to mention that there is a difference in publishing an ebook vs a paper book.  Also, with Amazon, the ebook version will be solely in 'mobi' ala Kindle format.  If you go to Smashwords.com to create your ebook, you have the option of several formats that pretty much cover the gamut of mobile device possibilities.

You are no longer just a Writer... but you are also a Graphics Artist, Editor, Publisher, Marketing Guru and Sales Agent setting the price(s) for the book.

So now you want to write your next book... good luck finding time.

Until next I decide to ramble...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What's Your Opinion? Suggestions?

Very short blog this week.  As I said, I hope to do this on a weekly type basis and been trying to figure out which day.  I decided on Tuesday since it is right after Monday and everyone is harried on a Monday because it is the first day back to work, etc.  And well, Wednesday most people are already starting to consider the half way mark and on Thursday they've decided the weekend is coming and they need to plan what to do next.  And forget Friday ... I mean, who does any real work on a Friday?  Plus Saturday and Sunday are a loss for people to spend time on the Internet.  So, Tuesday it is.

Now what I need your opinion on.  I have decided, amongst my ramblings I will interview various authors and publishers to get their viewpoints for the readership to glean any possible knowledge from.  In other words, maybe get a chance to learn about a trick or two to make your writing angst a little easier.  Do you think that is a good idea?  Let me know, yea or nay.

So, what do I want?  I need some suggestions for possible authors and publishers.  If you will give me names and contacts (their email addy) and your real name so I can reference back to you, I'm going to be gutsy enough to contact them.  What's the worst they can do?  Say no?  If I don't interview them, the result is the same. LOL.  But don't go putting a lot of email addresses on this blog ... let's be a little discreet about this ... send to me using my email addy of   bob AT bobnailor DOT com.  I'm quite sure you know to replace the AT with a @ and to replace the DOT with a period but I decided I better state that for the newbies on the Internet.  Be sure to put "Interview Applicant" in the subject so I don't just delete your email as spam.

As to what I've been up to the last few days ... I was asked to submit a short story to an anthology with no guarantee of acceptance; but, hey, that is pretty cool.  AND I worked on getting a book format for my latest release "Three Steps: The Journeys of Ayrold" out via CreateSpace.  I'm just waiting for a response back from Amazon saying the format was acceptable.  A lot of work getting that all done.  I thought it would be easier but they expect you to write the story THEN become a savvy publisher and graphic artist.  I'm glad I knew a little bit of what they were talking about.  More later as it comes up.

Enough rambling.  Give me your opinions and your suggestions.  I look forward to them.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

And Then He Blogged

Here it is, the first blog of my ramblings.  I plan to keep it light, helpful, informative and maybe even ... dare I say it?  Interesting.
First, I'm not just any idiot, I'm the idiot with 2 books out.  I have "2012: Timeline Apocalypse" and "Three Steps: The Journeys of Ayrold" ... oh, and a short story in book format entitled "Coleen" just to keep you on your toes.  In addition to that I am in ten anthologies (aka collections) such as Mother Goose is Dead from Damnation Books, Guide to Writing Paranormal Novels, Guide to Writing Science Fiction Vol I, Guide to Writing Fantasy Vol 2, Firestorm of Dragons all from Dragon Moon Press, and Dead Set, Nights of Blood 2, Spirits of Blue & Gray, The Archives of Arrissia, 13 Nights of Blood all from 23 House Publishing

Plus I'm told I will be included in Shadow Street from Cool Well Press, Guide to Writing Horror from Dragon Moon Press, The Forsaken from 23 House Publishing and 2012 Doomsday from Black Sails Press. These are suppose to be out in the next six months.

While I'm patting myself on the back I might as well mention that for 5 yrs I was associated with The Emporium Gazette which was an online writers magazine with all kinds of helpful tips to get the newbie and the well-published get noticed. 

Well, I won't bore you too much longer.  Next time I won't be so much fluffing my feathers.  Okay, I might preen a little.