Tag Archives: publishing

Publishing Woes:Blogging Edition

Good Morning my lovely bloggers and bloggettes!

Recently, a discussion has emerged in my prompt group about posting in blogs. See, we set up this group in our MFA program to continue writing prompts in the same fashion our mentors gave us in workshop. It’s a fun and easy way to keep our creativity constantly moving. Yet, my dreams for this group must be kept private from the information I just discovered. In our attempt to build a portfolio inches thick with possible stories and contest submission, I forgot one thing. How would submitting them in a public blog (to get readers involved and our names out there) affect our ability to publish?

While I hadn’t thought immediately about publishing these fun prompts that we were doing, I did intend to put my work in my own blog and even create one for the writing group. Regrettably, I must rethink that decision and even remove the posts on my blog that I’ve already posted because they’ve been holding me back from publishing my works.

Some contests advise that they will only accept unpublished work, and that includes any public publishing on the internet. Here is one example of the few exceptions that showcases how I view publishing:

For the purpose of this Competition, previously published material includes the publication or distribution of the entry, in part or whole, in paper or electronic format or in any other medium, including self-published works. This does not include a chapter excerpt on an author’s website, subject to the conditions that: (i) the excerpt is the only text that exists for public viewing; (ii) the excerpt is not for sale to the public, and (iii) the number of words in the excerpt does not exceed 10% of the total number of words in the work as a whole.

I feel like posting on my own blog shouldn’t exactly count because the purpose for posting on blogs comes in a variety of reasons. If publishing has also come from credible sources, shouldn’t that translate to how something is published online as well. Even electronic publishing has a specific format it must go through Pubit and other softwares to convert your text into an e-book. Some blogs have paid writers who PUBLISH stories and articles on the blog, but I’m not paying myself to post my ideas on here, so why should that limit the personal fiction I post as being published? Maybe my mind hasn’t adjusted to my possibilities in the self-publishing electronic world yet, but there should be a distinction in personal sharing and publishing online. Don’t know how, but there should because I don’t just want to sell good books. I want to share amazing stories with the world. Why should writers be punished with disqualification by contests and editors if all they are doing is sharing their work until it is ready to be published?

I might be a little off base here, but it just seems counter productive for a contest or editor to deny a wonderful piece that could potentially bring them business because the author tried it out on their person blog for a few months and may have received good reception, but I guess that is just the way of the world. I will have to stick to private writing groups and personal criticisms to get my feedback. Anyone else have issues with the publishing world today? Please share I would love to hear them and blog about them too!

 

Happy reading/writing!

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How Will I Feel?

How will I feel…the first time I become a published author?

No, I am not an arrogant, overzealous poser who think she is destined to be a best-selling author. The truth is that I have a dream to be a published author, and I plan to work hard until I can achieve those goals.

So, how will I feel when it happens? Over the years, I’ve read the books of people I’ve never met, admiring their ability to shape the English language (and sometimes other ones) into beautiful works of art. Writing isn’t about making a political statement or placing universal themes that will make your book literature with a capital L.

The first aspect of writing is about expressing the emotions and ideas that make up the human condition. Even in the vast universes of science fiction or the actions scenes of westerns, the human condition can be found at the center of all writing. It is there, in the unconscious mind of the writer that we find the purpose of writing. To tell the stories that mean most to humanity. The ones about love, war, and grief. I am lucky to live in a world where information can travel instantaneously around the world, sharing ideas with people in different cultures. The desire to share my ideas with everyone is what began my love of writing.

This brings us to the second aspect of writing. The storytelling part. Bards eventually turned into scribes, when they realized the value the written word held for the stories of the past and present. Once a story is transcribed on paper, it can easily travel faster than one person telling the story. And hundreds of copies? Whoo buddy, you are really cooking now.

For those of us who cherish print for it’s massive contribution to passing our favorite stories across the globe, print can do even more for the aspiring writing these days.  Whether you choose the big six, a small publishing company, or venture out into the publishing world alone, there is always a point to having your story available for the masses to experience. I don’t care if it’s on a $200 device that uses e-ink or a paper back with it’s glossy cover art. The thought of having my words available for people to purchase (or free) and read is overwhelming.

Now that I am being taught the process of writing from the inside, I can understand the feeling excitement and anxiety of preparing my work for the world to read. I already know the pitfalls of revising, of working under strict deadlines, and constantly doubting my own skills. Not that all of these hurdles must be faced by everyone, but they are some of the basics. The next big leap in the future will hopefully land me with a book bound, printed on paper (or on a screen) with my name on it. I have the pleasure of meeting many published authors in my first residency of my master’s program.

What is even more exciting is that my fellow colleagues are being published even before the program is finished.

Be sure to check out their published works below:

http://www.amazon.com/Episode-Equals-Chronicles-Professor-ebook/dp/B007Q3LV0W/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0865348782/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_alp_M7JKpb0KQXRM5

This increase in publishing has surrounded me with a boatload of optimism and one seemingly unimportant question. What will it feel like to have your work published for the first time? Ideally, the answer should be elation, joy, gratitude, happiness. However, the act of getting your work published is typically not easy. Louisa May Alcott was forced to change her ending and betray her characters to appease publishers. These days, if you jump through the hoops necessary to publish the traditional way, you may find yourself in need of several consultants to show your book is worth reading. Web designers, twitter accountants, and marketing agents are some of the few necessities that accompany being published right now. You have to be your own promoter. This makes the daunting task of getting the word out much more difficult than just simply writing the book.

Now, you're your own promoter. Takes a little of the fun out of writing it if someone else can't promote it with you.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to go 15 kinds of crazy when my first book is delivered to my house “fresh off the press.”  I know that no matter what the cost (tears, money, and especially blood) I will be published. I want to reach people and share with them the joy that books have given me my entire life. At the same time, I have to be willing to sacrifice a whole lot more once my baby has been published. It’s  a completely different job before and after publishing because you have to be a separate person from the writer of the story.  Although that is not always a bad thing. I am excited and nervous for all parts of the process, especially for the first time. Even the rejection letters will be greeted with a smile. That badge of honor will be accepted with a slice of humble pie and a tall glass of get back to work. As I work diligently to perfect each story, I look forward to the day I can post on here, facebook, and twitter that I will now be promoting my book tour instead of working on my next homework assignment.

This cartoon is just for fun, but it shows how truly imaginative you can be if you self-publish.

What are your hopes and fears about publishing? Share them here and happy reading/writing!

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Milestone Achieved: I Finished “Somewhere”

All of the excitement of two of my colleagues being published has inspired me not only to give them some promotion on my blog and inspiration to finish my short story, “Somewhere”.

David McCabe’s novel, Without Sin is insightful and brutally honest historical fiction of the deep Southwest. Take a tour through the mind of young prostitutes seeking freedom:

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Without-Sin—A-Novel.html?soid=1109620549010&aid=15QteE9RHWY

Colin O’ Boyle’s Episode 1: Two Plus Two Equals Five (The Chronicles of Professor Jack Baling) follows Jack Baling on a journey of mad science proportion.

http://www.amazon.com/Episode-Equals-Chronicles-Professor-ebook/dp/B007Q3LV0W/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333419305&sr=1-1

I know both authors personally, and can assure your money will be well spent, and entertainment provided.

Onto more good news, I have finally finished my short story, “Somewhere,” about a young woman who finds herself trapped in her own mind while suffering from a coma. The only way to survive this deadly sleep is for Sophie to live key memories of her past and future to change what may come to pass. It’s a mysterious insight into the world of a woman who must change her ways or stay in this coma forever.

Can she handle the future Fate has predicted for her?

Sounds exciting right? I might have oversold the piece a bit since it still has tons of revisions ahead, but I have high hopes. I finally completed the main story, and have done revisions to 3 out of 4 parts.  After weeks of hard work, I have found that I hate ending stories. It’s not that I can’t end the story. I simply don’t like to do it. I’m afraid that I’m doing it wrong.  I haven’t had a lot of practice with only two completed short stories under my belt, but this is probably the hardest part of writing at the moment.

Contrary to my essay writing, which is easy for me to conclude, I don’t want my story ending to disappoint. If I have done my job at all the ending decides whether my reader gets the overall story or if I leave them wanting too much more in a standalone piece.  It may take some practice, but any advice I could get on the subject would be greatly appreciated!

I am hoping to hear a response back from my mentor tomorrow with revisions and chances to improve. I will post part 3 and maybe part 4 if the outcome is positive. I hope I can nudge my readers to take a look at part 1 and 2 in my fiction section, and then give me some feedback when 3 is added.

Happy reading/writing!

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Filed under Breaking News, Fiction-Read and React