I don't know if printed books are going out of fashion, and I don't know if they will one day be completely replaced by e-readers, however, I sincerely hope that printed books stay with us. The feeling of paper pages flipping beneath your fingers cannot be replaced by an e-reader. Nor the smell of a new or old book, the weight of the book, the colour of the pages and the beauty of a well-designed cover in glossy print.
E-readers have their good points. They are compact and can be carried in your bag without fear of dog-earing or ripping pages. You can store many different books just in one small device. They are a great idea for those people that have long bus trips and need something to occupy them. E-readers are a wonderful way of allowing more people to read more often. Another good point is that they allow even self-published books to find their way to readers.
Buying printed books can be more expensive than an e-reader in the long run, however, this doesn't deter me from expanding my collection. Printed pages don't give off the glare that a screen does which means I can read for longer; I find that screens fatigue my eyes. I also get the satisfaction of holding a weighty book, seeing my progression as I flip pages or slide in a page marker before closing a book. I find printed books much more enjoyable to read, besides, if I can't afford to buy them then I can still go to the library.
So, in my opinion there is no way that the printed book will disappear. Perhaps, e-readers will take over to an extent but I believe the printed book takes the cake!
Scarlett Van Dijk
Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
It has been an exciting journey since I began seriously writing in the fall of 2011. I continually work on myself as an author and as a brand. I believe that we need to keep growing and sometimes that means changing. At the very foundation of it all you need to have a passion for writing. In my heart I know that how you write is so much more important than what, so there is no need to feel chained to one genre.
That isn’t to say that when you work within one genre you don’t become an expert because you do, but when we lock ourselves in to one thing, the joy finds its way out. Here is what I would suggest for all you would-be writers out there, go for it! Write the story that is in you, no matter what it is. Now you have a whole new venue of choices to make and there is no one right answer for everyone because each author is unique.
I would start by rereading your work to yourself. Yep, read it out loud. How does it sound? If you’ve been writing on a computer it is now time to print it off and read it again. Yes, again. Once you are past these two self-edits, be brave and give it to a couple of people to read (beta readers). Invite them to notice grammar, punctuation, spelling and flow. Edit your piece from these beta readers but remember you are in charge. No one said you had to love everything they suggested. Now, guess what? Give the revised version to a few new beta readers. It’s all about… wash, rinse and repeat… a lot.
Now what, you ask? Well this is your journey not mine, but I would suggest you consider how you feel about time versus money. Do you want to write query letters or go the self-publishing route? How much do you have to spend on cover design, editing, marketing, and file conversion? A great cover draws readers in, editing to meet industry standards is important and how are you going to get a clean copy out to your potential readers. Keep asking yourself what items you are willing to do for yourself and which ones you’d rather pay to have someone else do.
Have you developed a headache yet? Don’t worry; just knock off one task at a time. While you are setting up your author budget consider a website and how you want it to look. Create an author page for yourself under your Facebook account and start an author Twitter account. I’ve heard over and over that it is best to brand you the author and not just your book(s). I also recommend LinkedIn because of the many helpful writers’ groups there. Goodreads is another great place to build a presence.
Wherever you go and however you build your author identity, be sure that it is the presence you want people to associate with your author self. Always play nice and you will gain lots of friends, followers and tweeps who will, with luck, eventually buy your book. Please remember to be patient because it all takes time. Now go forth! The journey is half the fun, I promise!
About Lauren Lynne
Lauren Klever is the author of the young adult fantasy, action adventure series, The Secret Watchers. During 2014 Lauren will be rebranding herself as Lauren Lynne, young adult author. She graduated from both Oregon State and Portland State University with degrees in education. Lauren found writing to be just another way to reach her students and she’s passionate about sharing her love of reading and writing with them.
The Pacific Northwest, with its vivid and varied panoramas is where Lauren makes her home. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with her family, working with students, reading, gardening or hiking around Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge and the Oregon Coast. Watch out for the lady with the camera, it may be Lauren scouting out the perfect shot for her next cover.
You can visit her at www.LaurenKleverAuthor.com
Add me to your circles http://plus.google.com/+LaurenKlever/about
Note to readers: As I rebrand to Lauren Lynne, young adult author, my links will also change. Where feasible they will look exactly the same except read as LaurenLynne instead of LaurenKlever. (e.g. Twitter may look like @LaurenLynne)
This year is going to be a good one! Not only is this my final year of university and I expect to begin my career by the end of the year, but this is the year Sky Stone will be published. I'm out to please, showing what I can do to my radiographer supervisors while I am on placement. It is exciting to that in only a year I will be a qualified radiographer, published author, and thinking about actually living my life.
A year of mostly placement and barely any lectures sounds like hard work. However, I love it! I couldn't be any happier knowing that this line of work is the right one for me. That is something the majority of people in the world will never have the opportunity to find. Soon I will be able to plan for my future, moving away from home, holidaying, exploring different hobbies, and eventually starting a family. I may be getting ahead of myself, I'm not even 21 yet, but my vision of the future is a goal worth dedicating myself to. I can't wait!
Unfortunately, there have been delays with the editing of Sky Stone. However, I plan on seeing it edited and up for reading as soon as possible. This is something I have been striving for since I realized I had a completed manuscript on my flash drive a number of years ago. Sky Stone has been a struggle and a learning experience and I am extremely proud to have created it. Publishing it will feel truly like my first step into authorship, my chance to call myself a published author. It's sequel, Guardian Core, I hope to begin polishing for publication as soon as Sky Stone is available to all.
These are only a couple of the things that will make this year amazing. My martial arts life is also taking off, along with my friendships and amazing relationship. I love life!!!
Scarlett Van Dijk
Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Do you fear writing? A normal writer does. Even a bestselling-author like Stephen King recognized its existence in his book “On Writing” and described how it holds back and ruins a writer's passion and confidence.
The thing is, fear is normal and almost an integral part of every writer's life. But fear will remain as it is and could slowly eat you up. It could quickly end your writer dream and leave you homeless when you don't do anything to conquer it.
Acknowledging the Presence of Fear
Everything should begin with your acknowledgement of the presence of fear in what you do which in this case is writing. Ask yourself why you are afraid of writing? Where is it coming from? What effect does it bring you? No other person can answer all these questions except you who is undergoing such feelings.
Almost every writer has his or her own writing mentor. This person can be one of the people close to you who you can call anytime when you are having a difficult time writing or someone who motivates you to do better in what you do. It isn't a requirement that this person be living or dead as long as you get inspiration on what he or she does pushing you to be where he or she is.
Read a lot about writing
Drowning yourself to reading materials about writing will make it more familiar and less scary for you to write anything you feel like writing. Spend time reading rejected articles, book proposals, etc. and try not to make the same mistakes in your writing. There can be times when you won't be able to save yourself from rejection but that's how it really is. Rejection is normal especially to writers like you.
Writers often find themselves in a big trouble when they compare their writing to others especially to those successful published ones. You shouldn't let this happen to you as well just because you chose to be a writer. Put in mind, as early as now, that the likes of Jodi Picoult, Helen Keller, Haruki Murakami and other internationally acclaimed authors were once unpublished writers too. Focus on that fact that they are where they are because they didn't let rejection or fear get in their dreams to become a writer.
Finding time to go back to school and enroll in a good writing course is the best way for a writer to get help in submitting and publishing articles and proposals. In school where you can have ample time to practice your writing, you can develop confidence, conquer fear and cope with rejections.
Conquering your fear of writing is something that can't be done overnight. It takes time to learn how to fight it off but if you continue to move forward, eventually this feeling called fear won't be as much overwhelming to you as it once had been. Listen to Stephen King's advice to let go of your fear and let your writing bless the world.
About Jennifer Joplinn
Jennifer Joplinn hopes to be a book author herself but is tied to her mother duties and work. She is currently working at help.plagtracker.com giving professional writing and editing consultations. She would be more than happy if you leave her a tweet and strike a conversation.
I am a pantser. I can write ten pages about the eraser on your desk. Yes, remember pencils, those things that you can write words with requiring a ... well, I can describe that rubber blob in eleven-hundred ways. I’m not bragging; I’m stating a fact. A wordsmith will wax forever because words are addictive, paper is cheap, and the infinite scarf of space on your computer screen is longer than the universe.
So let me, instead, draw your attention to that pair of scissors in your drawer. After the gush on virtual paper, comes the dreaded editing, as we all know, on hard copy. Not possible with a couple of wimpy taps on a quiet delete button, but the kind of culling which takes a pair of scissors. Think: sea of shimmering film on a cutting room floor. It’s a good visual on how much work is over the top, or just too much of a purple thing. Moving a story forward takes surgical skill with a chain saw. The story rules, or should I say, editors rule. Either one, you must step away from the keyboard and retreat because soon your intrepid editor will team up with story and wrestle you to the ground. Just say thank you.
So, think professional editor armed with an arsenal of red pens. Someone that loves and hates what you write. Yeah, that breed of editor. You definitely want one of those. One who will attack your pages in a frenzy and cut your ego to size at the same time.
After the first shock, comes denial, but after denial comes realization. Culling the wild herd will help the balance of nature in the long run, and you can file the jetsom in a little box and wear it around your neck for a while to remind you that you are a brave author. Brave doesn’t mean fearless; it means you will step up to those plates (the balancing circus ones) and frisbee a few of them into the horizon.
This is not the gentle filing down of an intrusive fingernail but taking a leap of faith into that old chestnut of ‘less is more,’ as trite as that sounds. Remember, you like cake and can eat it too, with mucho chocolato gusto, but after a few slices it doesn’t sit well on your soul. How do I know? I almost described that shimmering sea of film as glossy waves of black celluloid reaching into... well, you get my drift. Purple prose is a good chocolaty sensation in small bites.
Now if only I could do what I say, I will be fine. My first novel weighed in at 1,200 pages which is why it’s now a trilogy. For passionate wordsmiths everywhere, writing is a piece of cake. It’s the editing which requires a hungry monster word-killer person who you implicitly trust as both friend and word-buster. Who ya gonna call? I won’t even say the word.
About Veronica Knox
I was born in England and emigrated to Canada at age 6. I returned to England to attend the Reigate School of Art at age 17, returned to Canada at 21, and worked as a graphic designer and art director in several television stations and commercial art studios.
I finally got to do what I really wanted (to paint) and attended university as a mature (cough) student for a Fine Arts degree. Next, I had an art gallery in the Scottish highlands for a time, and lived in the Findhorn Community before returning to Canada enamored, now, of living near water (and not the freezing prairies of Alberta) I chose Nova Scotia for the symmetry of moving from old Scotland to New Scotland. Then, zoomed three thousand miles to the west coast, on Vancouver Island where I paint and get to do what I didn’t know I wanted to do which is write historical fantasies, paranormal romances, as well as middle-grade time-slip adventures for ages ten to twelve.
My latest paranormal romance is about the artist Botticelli and will be published in March.
I have been receiving queries about the chance to guest post on my blog by many authors. On most occasions I say, "yes, of course you can!" However, recently I have been receiving messages from professional bloggers asking to post for a fee. Now then, as soon as money gets involved my answer is an instant "no", no "ifs", "buts", or "maybes". I will never pay my guest bloggers to write posts for this blog. This post will outline exactly why I have a blog, why I host guests, and why I won't pay my guest bloggers.
Why I Have a Blog
In basic terms, this blog is a form of self-marketing. As an author, I am trying to make myself and my writing known. I want my readers to have an insight into me and my writing. I also hope to answer any questions that my fellow authors may have about the craft (I don't claim to be a writing guru by the way! I write about my own experiences.). A blog is one way of doing this although it does take effort and time. This is the primary reason that I began this blog.
The second reason I keep this blog is something I only discovered through writing weekly posts. I have found that by writing about the craft I have forced myself to think more about how I write rather than merely The Story. It has formalized many techniques of writing for me, and I have learnt more about my writing style.
Why I Host Guests
There are two reasons why I host guest bloggers. Firstly, I have many commitments and can only write one post a week. I want my readers to have two posts a week to read. As well as being unable to write two posts myself, I don't want to smother my readers just with my own ramblings. By hosting guests I can offer information I cannot supply or that differs from my own opinion. It's always good to see another's perspective.
Secondly, guest posts bring traffic to my site. Some of the authors that have guest posted on my blog have been published and already have an established fan base (not all of them). Through these authors sharing links to their post on my blog their fans then provide hits on my website. Those readers may go on to read other blog posts or browse through the rest of my site, which includes information about my books (sneaky right?). For those not so well known authors, by guest posting on my blog they are receiving a self-marketing opportunity. It is another way to get their name known and potentially improve book sales.
Why I Won't Pay My Guest Bloggers
So, I have designed this blog to be a mutually beneficial place for myself and other authors. I receive more readers on my blog and my guest bloggers gain exposure. In the long run, this may help in the quest to sell more books. I currently have a long list of authors that have requested to post and I have no need of paid bloggers.
Please don't ask for payment if you wish to post on this blog. Thanks for reading.
Scarlett Van Dijk
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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