What’s coming in 2014

Ready for a Christmas party? So am I. Almost. Maybe not so much. My blog has been an accurate reflection of my writing time once school started. Some of you know I have returned to the classroom as a high school literature and journalism teacher. In between the lessons and grading, I don’t have veryContinue reading “What’s coming in 2014”

If you’re an author and you don’t have Beta Readers, there’s something seriously wrong with you

Beta Readers are a test audience for your new material. For example, in the movie The Break Up, Vince Vaughn’s character originally came out looking better than Jennifer Aniston’s character. That ending did not rate well with its test audience, so the ending was changed. If The Break Up was a novel, the test audience would haveContinue reading “If you’re an author and you don’t have Beta Readers, there’s something seriously wrong with you”

Digital Books: The Price Is Wrong

I went to the store and almost bought the second season of Superman: The Animated Series. Not for my five-year-old, for me. Don’t judge me — I have a bigger point to make about it. The reason why I didn’t buy it is because I saw the price, paused, and thought about it. You never  want a consumerContinue reading “Digital Books: The Price Is Wrong”

KDP Success: No rhyme or reason

I’m a fan of Ecclesiastes 9:11:  “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.” It reminds meContinue reading “KDP Success: No rhyme or reason”

Self-publishing. . .a bit easy?

While sifting through comments on this blog, I came across someone who said “self-publishing is a bit easy” these days. Argh. Well, I admit — anyone can write a novel, upload it to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, or Pub It for the Nook, set a ..99 cent price tag and call themselves “self-published.” As aContinue reading “Self-publishing. . .a bit easy?”

You market yourself. . .how? (Part 1)

Recently, a friend asked me, “How do you market yourself [as an indie/self-publisher]?” Aye, there’s the rub. Indie and self-pubbed authors want to sell books, but don’t necessarily know how. Witness almost any self-publishing outfit that will offer you bookmarks, business cards, placards, postcards, and the like as marketing collateral (don’t fall for it — do itContinue reading “You market yourself. . .how? (Part 1)”

Barnes and Noble: The inside details (or lack thereof) of a rejection letter

When I talk about publishing, I use quirky comparisons for effect. For example, my “ketchup and cheese” rule:  just because it’s cheap, doesn’t mean it’s good. Have you ever bought generic ketchup or cheese? Off-brand ketchup and Heinz have one thing in common — they’re both red. Cheap cheese melts like hot glue, and whileContinue reading “Barnes and Noble: The inside details (or lack thereof) of a rejection letter”

What’s the toughest part about self-publishing?

Last month, me and Kemya Scott of Phisco Marketing held a Social Media and Self-Publishing Facebook Chat. There, a chatter asked me, “What’s the toughest part about self-publishing?” That was a few weeks ago, and I still don’t have a better answer than, “it depends.” Where do you want to go as an author? IfContinue reading “What’s the toughest part about self-publishing?”

Editing: really, it’s nothing personal

In another life, I was a professional journalist. Steve Berlin, my copy editor, tore my first article to shreds and made me redo it. If I told you what I imagined doing to him, you’d think I wrote scripts for the Saw franchise. Prior to Steve, no one had really bloodbathed my journalistic writing before. InContinue reading “Editing: really, it’s nothing personal”

The war over e-book prices

Do you own an e-reader? Are you an avid reader and/or author? If you answered “yes,” read up on the current e-book pricing decisions of the Big 6 legacy publishers (Hatchette, MacMillan, Simon and Shuster, Penguin, HarperCollins, Random House). Here’s a quick  primer.  Otherwise, you might get sticker shock the next time you go e-bookContinue reading “The war over e-book prices”