Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How Many Writers Are at Work in America?

When you wonder how many writers are at work in America a few minutes and read this December 2013 article written by Dominic Smith and published by MM The Millions.

The following are a few statistics in his article.
  • 2012 fiction books published with an ISBN: adult fiction 67,254; YYA and juvenile fiction 20,339
  • 2011 books published: traditionally published 347,178; self-published 235,000
  • 76 percent of all books released in 2008 were self-published
  • Roughly 50 percent of all fiction published (traditional or self-published) is a romance, mystery, sci-fi, or fantasy story
  • Approximately 185 U.S. institutions granting MFAs in fiction
  • 600-700 books received weekly by LA Times for review consideration
  • 197,768 self-reporting writers in 2009
  • 39 percent increase between 1990 and 2005 in the number of writers and authors.
The author's well researched and interesting article also concedes that "... the real answer is that no one knows exactly how many novelists are at work in America."

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Learn How To Benefit From Critiques

June 2, 2016, Writer's Digest published "4 Ways to Take Criticism Like a Pro", a guest post fromTanaz Bhathena, which  contains good advice for both writers and those who critique that is well worth studying.

Tanaz Bhathena, writes Middle Eastern and South Asian fiction.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Another Reason to ePublish

I asked Jeannette de Beauvoir for the following guest blog becuase of her experience and expertise. I knew Jeannette would give good advice to all writers, not just to novelists. Please drop her a note to thank her.
Jeannette wrote:
Once upon a time I wrote a novel.
That’s the way all good stories start, isn’t it? And that’s the way that novels start, too: with an idea that eventually gets developed into a work of fiction. And if you’re a serious novelist, you don’t stop at writing: you keep working it until it’s the best that it can possibly be.
So I finished writing this novel and I submitted it, chapter by chapter, painstakingly, to the online novels critique group at the Internet Writing Workshop. I revised it. I revised it again. I had it critiqued again. I hired an editor to work on it. And then I sent it to my literary agent, knowing that not only was it the best that I could make it, it was decidedly the best thing I’d ever written. (My first-ever novel was published in 1980, so I did have a decent backlist to which to compare this particular book.)
My agent loved it. He called me late in the evening to tell me so. He said it was brilliant. And so I went on to my next project—that’s what writers do, too—and waited for a fabulous offer to come in.
Here’s what I’m grateful for: I’m grateful that I wrote my acknowledgments at the same time that I wrote the novel. Because this book was critiqued so long ago that none of the people I thanked are even part of the critique group anymore.
I started submitting it in the year 2001, and my agent began shopping it in 2005 (yeah, revisions and editing do take that long). And earlier this year my agent and I agreed that—for reasons that escape both of us—it just wasn’t going to sell to a traditional publisher. So I pulled it out and went through it yet again and finally, via Amazon’s Kindle and Draft2Digital, I put it up online as an ebook, and will probably bring out a paperback version later this year.
Because the truth is that, despite everything, my re-read convinced me that it’s still the best thing I’ve ever written. I say that with three novels written and published in the interim, two of them with a major publisher and one with a respected small press. I still think this is the best thing I’ve ever written.
And no one wanted it.
I wasn’t at all sure that I wanted to do this independently. My day job is that I’m a freelance editor, and I know what work goes into professional editing—and how few so-called self-published books have availed themselves of that step. I know the value of the gatekeeper concept that’s behind traditional publishing, and I respect it.
As a reader, I’m very cautious about purchasing books that haven’t gone through the lengthy, arduous, and completely necessary process of critiques, vetting, professional substantive and copy editing, and revisions.
On the other hand, I thought, someday I will die. Do I want this book to still be sitting on my hard drive when I do? That was enough to move me to action. And it’s not the first time I’ve turned to Kindle: my extremely lengthy medieval novel, The Crown & The Kingdom, went that route several years ago, since the major complaint of publishers (and this was before I had an agent, so I was submitting it myself) was that it was too expensive to produce. So now InDark Woods (not a medieval novel!) has joined it.
Is this a tale of woe? No; but it is a cautionary tale. There’s too much talk on writing lists and critique groups of traditional versus independent publishing, as though the two were mutually exclusive and one somehow better than the other; and we’re going to see so many changes in the industry in the next ten years that it’s worth our while as authors to be a little flexible. To consider alternatives that we hadn’t in the past. To persevere. And to always, always, always be professional about it, whether it’s in hiring an editor—or in accepting that the “fabulous” offer we were expecting just isn’t going to materialize this time around.
Because we’re novelists, and so there’s always going to be a next time. It’s what we do. 
Jeannette de Beauvoir writes mystery, historical, and general fiction; her new novel is InDark Woods. Read more about her work on Goodreads, her Amazon author page, Facebook, and her website. She offers editing services through CustomlineWordware and is the founder and director of the Cape Cod Writing Workshops.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

4RV Publishing Open for Many Genres, Artists and Illustrators

Based in Edmond, OK, 4RV Publishing, located at 2912 Rankin Terrace, Edmond, Oklahoma, ranks high in the publishing industry, and won the coveted “Best of Edmond Book Publisher 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015”

Be sure to check all the links at the top of their website before deciding to submit your work. Currently, New submissions for Tweens, Teens, Young Adult, New Adult, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Biblical Based are open for submissions.
The home page also lists genres that are currently closed, and provides vacation dates.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What Happens To Your Books and Career When Your Publishing Quits?

I requested this guest blog from Pat Brown because you'll learn from her what happens when your publsiher goes out of business, or sells to some other publisher.

Revising Earlier Novels, by Pat Brown

Earlier this year one of my publishers went out of business. This happens frequently today—publishers exist on a very narrow margin of profit and it doesn't take much to tip that margin into the red. So what happens then? If you were smart you have a contract that spells out exactly what happens under these circumstances. Usually, it's that the rights to your works return to you, meaning they are yours to do what you want with. 

In my case, I got the rights back to four books and one novella. The publisher was even kind enough to send me copies of the formatted manuscripts that are completely editable. So what do I do with these five works? Turn right around and self-publish? I've considered self-publishing a book more than once. So far I haven't. I like the luxury of someone else editing my manuscript and preparing a cover for me, saving me the expense. 

Can I find another publisher for it? Some publishers reject re-publishing a work. They only want first rights.  A little research online will answer that question. I decided I was going to look for a new publisher(s). I've actually gone through this before, except the publisher didn't go out of business, we just mutually parted ways. The new publisher edited the old manuscripts just like they would have for a new submission. In my case I think the books were improved by the editing—another set of professional eyes never hurts. I was also able to update the books' police procedures as both my own knowledge had increased and some technologies had changed. Win-win all around. 

Is there any reason to do more than window dressing? After all, the novel was good enough to sell the first time, right? Why make more work for myself?  Except one of those books is Latin Boyz and I've been itching to get the rights back for it for the last two years. It never sold well; I believe it was not marketed well. Not anything the publisher did, but the title was horrible—it made the book sound like a gay porn—and I did something a writer should never do. I gratuitously added sex scenes or added unnecessary detail to existing sex scenes. Not enough to make it true porn, but more than the book called for. The story is actually more a coming of age story about a young Hispanic man coming to terms with his gayness and accepting the love of another man. None of that was conveyed by the title, the blurb I provided or the cover. I hope to remedy that with a new publisher. 

I vowed to rewrite the whole thing. Then I took the opening to my writer's critique group, where I got positive feedback but also an interesting suggestion. The book is primarily written in first person and the idea was thrown out that it might be more powerful if it was close third instead. It was almost  like a light went off. Something had always bugged me about the book, but I could never pinpoint any reason for the unease. Now I had an idea to explore. I went home and took a good look at the manuscript and decided to commit myself to do just that. Rewrite a 92,000 word novel, changing the main character's POV entirely.  I made a new folder and renamed the file with the working title Burn and launched a massive revision. It's too early to tell if I'm on to something, but I have a good feeling about it. 

Time will be the final arbiter.##

Pat Brown is the award winning author of gay police procedurals under the pen name P.A. Brown, including the L.A. series featuring LAPD Homicide Detective David Eric Laine and his lover Christopher Bellamere. These include L.A. Heat, L.A. Mischief, L.A. Boneyard and L.A. Storm. And the Geography series, featuring Santa Barbara cop Alexander Spider and his lover Jason Zachary in Geography of Murder  and A Forest of Corpses.
As GK Parker she is the author of two historical novels.
Ashes & Ice is the story of two Irish immigrants who flee the oppression and crushing poverty in Ireland to find a better life in the New World. Instead, they find themselves struggling to survive the streets of the Lower East Side in the infamous Five Points slum.The sequel to Ashes & Ice will be released in several months. The title is The Perfect Tree and it picks up 16 years later. The survivors of New York City land out west ranching in the foothills in Central California.
Her second historical novel is Indifferent City , set in Los Angeles in 1929, in a time when the only difference between the cops and the bad guys were their badges. LAPD officer Billy Brewster gets mixed up with the wrong people in this gritty tale of corruption and love gone bad. A crooked cop, a mysterious, classy dame; what could possibly go wrong?

GK Parker Website

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fees for Copyediting Journal Articles

  • When writers asked what to charge for copyediting journal articles, ie: correct grammar, spelling, and format information, provided by Internet Writing Workshop members may be helpful.
  • Between $2 and $6 a double spaced, hard-copy page, depending on the kind of editing required and the difficulty of the manuscript.
  • Typically around $2 per page for copyediting.
  • By the page: $2 to $4; by the hour: rates start at $25 and go beyond.
  • Even iff what’s wanted is light editing you should leave yourself some wiggle room, maybe 10 percent more, in case some pieces turn out more time consuming.
A page normally means 250 words.

Whatever you decide, have a contract.

Get Paid to Have Your Flash Fiction Published

If you're interested in publishing flash fiction, where several Internet Writing Workshop  members are frequently published, go to The Flash Fiction Press. They pay $3 per flash fiction.