Archive for the 'Business' Category

Beware: The Shady Side of New Publishing Opportunities

Once upon a time, there was vanity publishing.

Remember?  Those were the days when self-publishing had a very bad rap.

Not so much because the books’ quality was shaky (though that tended to be true), nor even because authors had to pay to have them published (though that was indeed frowned upon), but mainly because of the way the firms offering self-publishing services operated.

These firms cut a very nice profit offering everything from proofing to interior and cover design and could earn […]

When ‘There Are No Words,’ I Can’t Even

The Torre Uluzzo near Lecce, Salento, Italy. Image – iStockphoto: Piccerella

‘What This Loss of a Language Means’

“I can’t even.”

You know the phrase, right? Another day, another pop-media whine. “I can’t even” is credited to the bloggrs of Tumblr, who apparently can’t even find it in their hearts to give us an “e” before an “r.”

Call me Portr. I am so hip that I can’t even.

While basking in my coolnees, let’s face it. “I can’t even” is easily as insignificant […]

Even More New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

Two years ago I posted a set of New Year’s resolutions for writers, which was well enough received that I posted another set of resolutions the following December. This holiday season, since I’m all about tradition (as opposed to being all about that bass), I’ve assembled several more resolutions for writers to consider as the new year approaches.

Some of the resolutions I’m proposing might initially seem to be in conflict with each other, but if you read on, I think […]

What Your Writer’s Resume Says About Your Chances for Recognition

Lately, a new mantra has caught on: “There’s no better time to be a writer.” Not only has self-publishing helped open the doors to so many aspiring authors, but the online world has created more opportunities than ever before to build a platform, network and self-promote.

From a schmoozing and promotion perspective, anything seems possible.  We can have conversations with Jodi Picoult on Twitter, send Facebook messages to Paulo Coehlo and mingle with top agents and editors right here on Writer […]

Social Media the Second Time Around

image by Steven Depolo

As I’ve mentioned here before, my next book is coming out under a pseudonym — which is energizing and daunting in equal measure. One area where the chickens are really coming home to roost (or going elsewhere to roost, I guess) is in social media.

Because Jael McHenry has her own online world that she’s been building ever since online became a thing, but Pseudonym Me — let’s call her P.M. for short — had to start […]

Adding More White Space To Your Life

Photo by John Keogh

I take a nap every day.

That seems like something of a confession, because I find that there is a strange fixation in our culture of a certain kind of productivity. One where you have to be “always on,” always “crushing it,” always stressed, always available, always buried by email.

Too often, this creates the expectation that “overwhelmed” is the only reasonable state of being. That, if you aren’t overwhelmed, that somehow, you aren’t doing it […]

The Online Presence That’s a Natural Extension of Who You Are and What You Do. (Is It Just Fantasy?)

I’ve been reading with interest (and sympathy) the comments on Porter Anderson’s Unboxed post last week, where we see the familiar Sturm und Drang of writers grappling with the demands of online marketing—or how to be publicly communicative and chummy when it’s against our nature, perhaps even against our work.

This has remained a problem for a long time now, hasn’t it?

One of my favorite thinkers is Alan Watts, who once said, “Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be […]

The Five Stages of New Writers’ Grief

© iStockphoto.com

Earlier this year, at an online forum for writers that I frequent, I watched a familiar scenario play itself out. A new member joined the forum, full of excitement (and not a small amount of hubris) about the novel he’d just completed. As he posted his early attempts at a query letter for others to review and critique, two things quickly became clear:

He was convinced the rest of the forum would be utterly dazzled by his unmatched literary […]

You’re Such a Character

Image by The Magic Tuba Pixie

As an author, especially one just starting out, you’re often told about the importance of your “brand.” You’re lectured that how you act on social media, what you talk about in interviews, and what you write should all be in keeping with whatever “brand” you choose.

But that can seem artificial or inauthentic. You’re a person, after all. You’re not a corporation. You’re not a product.

But you are, in a way, a character.

Think about it. The fictional […]

Update on Steel and Song — and Our WU Publishing Experiment

photo by Corey Holms

As many may recall, in July, after a few years watching independent publishing go from vanity press to a viable path to publication, and after kicking the idea around, we took the plunge and decided to experiment with a project we are calling Writer Unboxed Publishing. We had no idea how the project would evolve – we needed a guinea pig! I offered up my novel Steel and Song: The Aileron Chronicles Book 1, to gauge the […]

The Attention You Give; The Experience You Create

Photo by Toby Oxborrow

Many people bemoan the self-involved writer on social media, the one who is constantly vying for attention and over-promoting their own work. This puts other writers (you, perhaps?) into a conundrum: you WANT attention for your work, but only in an elegant manner. Self-promotion, with grace.

This week, I read The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. He tells stories about people managing complex situations, where thousands of small actions mean the difference between life and death […]

Between a Blog and a Hard News Cycle

How Do You Know If You Can Say No to NaNo?

The Internet has mutated reasonable people into wannabe writers…We are blind to the harsh truth-light-radiating facts such as ‘half of self-published authors earn less than $500’, facts written about in newspapers by professional writers.

That’s Tom Mitchell (@tommycm on Twitter) writing an essay at Medium, War on #amwriting. I must thank my colleague in London, Sheila Bounford, for reminding me of it. It could have been lost in the Bavarian Ether: […]