I’m Getting Published Part 2

The wonderfully exciting and exhausting adventure of printing my own book goes on.

As many of you know, I’m planning on publishing 4 of my novels. I want to give them to my family and friends so they can see what my writing is all about. I’d also sell them through Amazon and WordPress and any which way if someone was interested in the time-travel thread.

But I have started the process three times and have stopped dead in my tracks every time.

I am thinking of going through CreativeSpace. It’s a division of Amazon, and you can publish your book with no  bells and whistles for a very reasonable per-book price.

But then the bells and whistles start going off.

Pick a size –6×9 is most popular. Well, of course, I knew my page count would increase. No biggie. But then I flash through the pages and wonder — should I cut some copy? Are there any mistakes hidden between the pages? Now this is a book that’s been around in one form or another for over 15 years. I think by now if there were any typos I’d have found them. But the thought of putting those words down permanently in a book forever and ever just gives me the heebee geebees. Like I need to proofread it one more time. Well, if I want to get this and another book done by Christmas, that ain’t happening.

Then you have to pick a cover. Sounds easy. But suddenly I have to figure out what kind of impression I want my book to first have to readers. Like WordPress, I can’t afford a custom design, so I go through the free templates a dozen times. Dark blue in a circle? Field of wheat? Flowers?

And what if it’s a series (which it is)? Do  both covers look alike? If it’s a set of two, how will anyone tell them apart? It’s not like there’s a choice of shades of same here.

Should I go with the name Claudia Anderson? C.A. Anderson? A pseudonym? If I go with a pseudonym, how will my friends and family know it’s me? Who is Dream Regret, anyway?

Then there’s getting my book out there. Do it with Amazon and they will list my book. Great. But for an extra fee they will send out notices to libraries, book stores, etc. Is my book that interesting that a library in Montana will want it?

So although I’ve made the decision to publish my book, now that I have to put my foot in the water I’m afraid of an alligator biting it off.

In a day and age such as we live in now, that should be the least of my problems.

Let me know how your publishing dreams went — or are going.

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I’m Published! (Kinda)

I like to say I’m a writer before anything…except being a wife, grandmother, friend, mother-in-law….you know what I mean.

I finished my final edit on my first novel yesterday.

I should be screaming HUZZAH!!

But all I can say is….are you sure it’s the final edit?

Now, that book has been around for 15+ years. Do you know what you were doing 15 years ago? Ha…me neither. Except writing this book. Which was inspired by a role playing world I was involved in 20+  years ago.

Now, less you think I’ve been dickering with this book and this book only for 15 years, I’ve also written its sequel, plus a brand new novel and its sequel.

Why don’t I send it out to publishers/agents?

I’ve been there done that. And the truth is….who knows…maybe in this world of a thousand new books being published per day it doesn’t exactly float the right person’s boat.

So I’ve decided to self publish. Not the big, pay-up-front deals, but some of the smaller pay-as-you-go gigs. I don’t anticipate selling a lot of books, but the reason I want to see my words in print is because I want to give my novels to friends and family so they can see who I really am.

I’ve been a mother, a wife, a secretary, a bed and breakfast owner, an Internet data conversion specialist, a soccer and baseball mom, a grandmother, a sister, a friend. I’ve raised two kids and five dogs and four cats, lived in 7 houses, and two states. I want those I know and love to see my “other” side before it’s too late.

So what is the purpose of today’s blog?

I am not discouraging those of you who have found agents/publishers and been able to get your books out there. That’s what it’s all about. I am not saying don’t keep submitting. The big publishing houses are the way to go if you can get them to notice you.

But what I am ALSO saying is not to wait 15 years like I did to see your work in some place other than a computer screen. Whether you print it out and photocopy it, or go the professional self-publishing route or the simple self-publishing route, don’t wait until your novel is perfect. It’s never going to be.

You are a writer because you love to write. You know you want others to see your passion — that’s why you wrote the damn book. Show it off! Get it out there! Give some copies away for free then talk about them everywhere! Blogs, Twitter, church — it doesn’t matter. FIND A WAY TO GET YOUR WORDS OUT THERE!

Don’t wait for your descendants to publish your work.

They might just change the main character’s name from Anna to Osama.

 

Putting On My Big Girl Pants

db6600a576463299e6df8b2d18f0a78fFirst off, a dreamy thank you for hanging with me during October and visiting the land of dreams and nightmares. My dreams thank you for checking in on them.

But now it’s November and although it’s 63 degrees in Wisconsin, nature is warning us that the kick-back-lazy-summery-buttery days are just about at their end. Thunder and lightning streak the skies this morning — much like the beginning of my first novel.

I am one of those complainers I can’t tolerate. I want to be a published author, but I have 3 novels sitting in my computer gathering dust because 1) I don’t know what genre they really are; 2) are they really any good; 3) there are a zillion published and self-published books out there, what’s one more on time travel/murder/fear of being caught/romance or maybe-romance book?

I don’t feel like I’m a procrastinator — it’s more like I don’t do the things I really need to do to get my work out there. Which, in reality, is a form of procrastination. Plus my confidence has been hiding under a rock somewhere lately. I mean, I have written two  novels in one series, another in a different series, and am in the middle of a follow up for THAT book, so you can’t say I’m not doing the work. Of course, that work has been over 10 years in the making, so that probably says something, too.

What about publicity? What about asking for advice from someone who is trying to get published too? Or who is already published? Why do I hesitate to ask for help? Am I afraid they will say no? And so what?

No doubt that as I get older the window of opportunity closes quicker. I can’t keep up with a full-time job and write too. At least that’s how I feel at the moment.  Which is not true, either. I know there are those of you who have done just that. Juggle family and kids and illnesses and setbacks and divorce and moving and still knock out great poetry and books. They — you — do not let your surroundings become your crutches.

When you are a ditz (I say that lovingly), it’s hard to stay focused all the time. I try. Its not the big responsibilities that throw me off balance — it’s the time inbetween. It’s the time between visiting the kids and driving home or vacuuming all the dog/cat hair so that I can sit down and write that I fall between the cracks. It’s the daydreaming while I’m driving that could one day cause me an accident. Its the noticing I need to sew a button on a shirt for tomorrow that readjusts my free time. The coming up with a plot twist at 1 a.m. when I have to get up at 6 that leaves me drained and sleepy all day and night.

It’s not always that dramatic, of course. It’s the moving from point A to point B in a hurry that causes black and blue marks, or hitting the wrong button and wiping out a whole chapter that sets my psyche afire. I misplace my phone all the time and put things in a safe place only to forget where that safe place is. Even when I have the time to sit and write or research, I find disorganization everywhere. I find myself organizing images or sorting written files or deleting a hundred pointless emails and before I know it two hours have gone by and I’m too tired to write.

It’s about time to put on my big girl pants and hit my secondary world with dogged determination. Make a list with a hundred bullet points if that’s what it takes, and do one organizational thing before one creative thing. That’s how I will move forward. And no one will notice the unicorn slippers that I wear when I put those pants on.

If only I can find that other slipper…

So You Want to Get Published?

 

So you want to get published?

This blog is for you.

So you want to see your work in print?

This blog is for you.

So you’re about to quit?

This blog is for you.

I myself am done getting pumped up and deflated about the publishing thing. Done.

Now that I’ve said that, let’s clarify things.

First, don’t ever GIVE UP give up. Keep fine tuning, keep submitting, keep searching for that niche I know you can find.

In the meantime….

I’ve got a computer full of poetry, short stories, novels, medium-length novellas — writing that has filled my life for the last 20 years. And, ignorant and self-serving as it sounds, I think it’s all pretty good.

Life has turned around again and again for me; sometimes good, sometimes lousy. But for better or worse, my life is also turned around, up and down, by writing.  And even if that illusive butterfly of love (thanks, Bob Lind) continues to escape me, I’m going to see my name in print one way or another.

I’ve decided to proofread the hell out of everything I’ve got, print it out, and put it all in binders/journals to give to my family and friends. I can’t afford to get it published, even for my own vanity. The market is so crowded outside my door I’m lucky if I can stick my toe in the writing pool.

My family and friends know I write. Some catch this blog, others catch a birthday ditty or two I tend to create. None really ask to read my stuff — most likely the reasons are simple. Some don’t like to read on a computer. Some don’t have time. Some are afraid to ask. Some probably wouldn’t like my style anyway.

Well, I’ve decided I want those I love to know me through my writing. I have access to Word, Photoshop, and some neat looking fonts. I can create a masterpiece just like scrapbookers do. I can buy neat binders and print novels back-to-back on good paper and hand them out as Christmas presents or whatever.

I want people to read my writing. I want them to have fun and laugh when I laugh and cry when I cry. And if I wait to get “published” I might be dead before I get a contract.

So this blog is to encourage all my poet friends and writing friends and blogging friends. Don’t give up the dream. You are all great writers, and no doubt have a well you can continue to drink from. I have followed your poetry, your short stories. And they are good. So are your blogs.

But if the reality of the world is that you just can’t get your writing out  to the billion or so readers around, get it out to those who care about you. Make a book, write in a journal, paint your poetry on your walls. Make a book of your blogs. Make a book of your sketches and artwork. Get YOU out there. Find a way to share your writing without any fiscal reward…wthout any reward except the good feeling of having shared yourself.

If your friends and family put your binders on a shelf, that’s okay too. Maybe their kids will clean off their shelves one day and read your masterpieces, and get them published for you. If nothing else, maybe their kids will read your masterpieces and smile.

For a writer, that’s payment enough.

 

+3 Plus +2 Places to Submit

Blind LuckAs I finish editing my 53,000+ word murder mystery (am still trying to figure out the category), I am all pumped to get it published.

The “P” word is a writer’s holy grail. We kid ourselves, saying, “Aw, it’s just some stuff I wrote for myself,” when in reality we say “Man! This would be an awesome piece to get published!” There are as many ways to get P’d as there are stars in the galaxy. Those stars I will pluck another day.

But what if you have a “little something” you’d like to either get published or enter into a contest? Again, there are zillions of ways you can go about doing this.

Today I am offering three places that send you publishers, contests, and writing ideas. I subscribe to all three, and have been satisfied with all of them (even if I have only sent something in now and then).

 

Angela Hoywritersweekly@writersweekly.com   More like a newsletter, Angela offers publications and publishers, along with helpful writing tips.

Freedom With Writing   jacob@freedomwithwriting.com  Another newsletter offering writing tips, contests, publishers and publications.

Creative Writers Opportunities List  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/CRWROPPS-B/info  I know this is a “group”, but this is a great site. This group posts calls for submissions and contest information for writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. You receive all your notices by email. (I actually dropped this site once because I couldn’t keep up with all their offerings.) I’m back, and its a great place to see who’s accepting what.

 

Publishing is a horse of a different color, one that others more eloquently cover. But no matter where you decide to send your “baby”, know that there are scam artists out there just waiting for your money.

There are plenty of other sites/newsletters, etc., that let you know what’s going on in the publishing/contest world. Two of my favorites:  SFWA (Science Fiction Writers Association) has a pages full of articles on cons, schemes, and crooked publishers.  http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/.    Also check out Predators and Editors http://pred-ed.com/ also has pages of tips, not only on how to get published, but publishers to beware of.

 

Getting published is a writer’s dream, but don’t let it rule your emotions. Keep writing, keep working on your portfolio. You will be amazed how good it feels to go back and reread something you wrote some time ago. There is always some place you can try and share your writings with. Just take your time in finding the right one for you.

Some writers don’t want to hand out their publisher’s name, which is alright. But if you are one of those who don’t mind sharing how you got your book/poem/research paper out there, feel free to share that with us!  And if you self-published, did you have a good experience

I always think I’m fading from the writing world, until the Muse comes knocking, or I reread some of my earlier creations. Then I am ON the bandwagon again! And I love it!

I know you do too! So don’t stop. Just take your time.

 

Crone is So Much More Than a Word

cm07cover1aI just finished tooting my horn about my mammo (http://wp.me/p1pIBL-GG) and here I am, tooting my horn again. Directly, not indirectly. But it’s rare I get to toot about my second love (my first being family)…writing.

I have had the honor of being published in a delightful twice-yearly publication entitled, Crone: Women Coming of Age. It is a wonderful publication that that honors our deep wisdom as eldering women. Hand in hand with Humoring the Goddess, Crone celebrates women as they — we — get older, honing in on our experience, our heart, and our spirit.

The article is called, “We Need a New Name for Crone.”  It’s an upbeat piece about choosing our life’s direction, and the balancing of both the past and the future.

Open to women of all spiritual paths, Crone is a richly-illustrated, advertising-free 128-page magazine published twice yearly in both paper and PDF eZine formats and available by subscription only. It is filled with stories from women of all walks of life, all looking for their own path towards the future.

No one describes its purpose better than Crone itself:

“Our magazine exists to spread the message of Crone: that we need not lose value over time, indeed, that when we assume the mantle of crone, we gain value—both inside ourselves and in the larger world. For when we truly learn from experience, our perspective on life deepens and broadens; and our hearts, having known both suffering and forgiveness open in compassion for all of life.”

If you want to see what the world of life and spirit is like on the other side of 50, you will really enjoy a subscription to Crone.

You can find more information at http://www.bbmedia.com or http://www.cronemagazine.com.

Let’s hear it for getting older!