Friday, October 29, 2010

Excite Your Editor With Good Plussing

Advice From the Pros, talks about plussing your novel here, When I first saw the word "plussing" in regard to writing I hadn't a clue to its meaning. I quickly typed "plussing" into, my favorite search engine. Voila, I discovered a lot, but none of it seemed relevant to writing.

Then, a writer friend explained to me that book doctors use the term "plussing" as well as "pruning." Both are taken into consideration as they edit a writer's work, especially in the following two areas:
  1. Scene setting ~~ which is often woefully inadequate or entirely missing from the manuscript.
  2. Staging, or moving the story forward ~~ but omitting descriptions of the physical movements called for, or using unclear or impossible actions.
Because writers are "seeing" both their words on the manuscript page as well as a visual picture of the story in their minds, authors especially have trouble writing those two areas well. Both require plussing the manuscript.

Recently, Ann Hite received what every writer wants to hear, a marvelous complement from her editor. It's a terrific example of the value of "plussing" a novel. Her editor wrote the following about the edits of Ann's current novel, Ghost On Black Mountain:

"Very impressive, but what's really impressive is the work you have done on Ghost On Black Mountain. I honestly have been savoring it. I'm three quarters of the way through and I have to say you nailed the Josie and Shelly sections. I'm so over the moon with the work you've done. I'll finish this week and we should chat ... honestly, I also don't want the last page to come so I've been reading the book in pieces as a present to myself after a long day. What a wonderful sign, right?!
"More to come, but I didn't want to keep you in suspense any longer. Your additions really made this story bigger and better. Excited to read more tonight when I finally get home!"
When Ann recovered from the thrill, she knew her editor had increased her awareness of how important it is that as you write, avoid the need to fill in missing details by not omit them in the first place.

Ghost On Black Mountain is scheduled for release the fall of 2011 by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. While waiting for it, enjoy Ann's spellbinding stories on her web site,

See also, Chapter 18 - Book Publishing:

Request - insights wanted

Insights from alumni wanted -- If you've taken one of Writers' Village University's free creative writing courses, please contact me privately. I'd like some insights. ( R. J. "Bob" Hembree's Writers' Village University,, has a link to WVU's  F2K Social, which includes free creative writing courses, run since 1995 at It's staffed and Mentored by volunteers from Writers' Village University members. The next 7-week creative writing course begins January 5, 2011.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Kindle Singles

(c) 2010 Mona Leeson Vanek

Kindle Singles Will Bring Novellas, Chapbooks and Pamphlets to E-Readers is the caption on Tim Carmody's Oct. 12, 2010 article on, According to the article, authors will benefit because Amazon awards authors 70% royalty on singles books costing between $2.99 and $9.99. Check out the related links, also.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Out-of-print Books Reappear as e-Books

Another valuable advantage recently was demonstrated when Natalie Roberts, replublished her out-of-print book on Kindle.

October 16, 2010, Natalie wrote,

"I'm excited to announce that I have one new book, and two other books now available in Kindle!

"Sister Wife, which has been out of print for quite some time, is now available on Amazon. Twisted Sister, the sequel to Sister Wife, is also there in Kindle format. There is also a hardback version, for those who don't want an electronic read. And The Fourth World, a brand new book from me, is available as well, on Kindle. And the bestselling Wives and Sisters is also available in Kindle format."

Roberts is giving away two free Kindles, with two ways to win
  1. Become a fan on her Facebook page (and stay there until the contest is over)
  2. Buy SisterWife, Twisted Sister, or The Fourth World, and review them on Amazon. Send her a copy of the review for proof to be entered to win.

Friday, October 15, 2010

E-Book Publishing and e-book Readers

E-Book Publishing and e-book Readers
(c) 2010, Mona Leeson Vanek

With e-Books, or electronic publishing, you have the potential of reaching the largest possible audience. And you can publish in more than one format.
  • Some people like to print out e-books; PDF would obviously work best for them.
  • Some people love reading books in LIT format on their Pocket PC phone
  • They can take a dozen (or a hundred) books with them anywhere in their pocket;
  • It's especially great when traveling.
 The Microsoft Reader software is available for Windows or Windows Mobile at and it also has a text-to-speech package so the books can be easily accessed by the blind.

You can create LIT files with the ReaderWorks software at

Advantages are that e-books apparently go on forever. They can remain available and continue to sell, sometimes once a month, sometimes zero for several months, and occasionally as many as 50 a month. Author's get royalties (often not much but some) and someone is reading their work.

However, while you're mulling your options, read Liz Castro's: EPUB Straight to the Point, posted at The Book Designer,

e-Books are reviewed by ForeWord Reviews, Contact Jennifer Szunko, Director of Clarion Review Services, They offer book reviews anytime, anywhere and anyone can Download their new iPhone App,

Try first to get an agent to handle your work. Then try to sell it directly to a publisher. After both of those efforts fail, choose (carefully) an e-book publisher.

However, every few months new developments must be considered. News reports abound that plans to stop offering e-books in Microsoft Reader or Adobe e-formats and will offer e-books only in Kindle or Mobipocket formats. Amazon owns the Kindle and Mobipocket.

A major problem with electronic publishing has surfaced recently -- it can be tied to a format which can only be read by proprietary hardware or software. Only one of the formats mentioned --- Adobe --- is an open format which can be read without buying special hardware or software, and that is not one which Amazon is going to offer.
"In ten years time, it is very likely neither Kindle nor Mobipocket will be available, or if they are available will use the same format. Nor is it likely that today's devices will still work that long into the future: they break down, they get dropped, they get lost. Where does that leave readers who have bought books in these formats? Or writers whose work has been published in these formats?" (Internet source.)
It is imperative to keep abreast of the rapid changes taking place in the marketplace.

In July 2010, Newsweek published this article by Isia Jasiewicz,

Aug. 4, 2010, Spiegel Online International published an interesting interview with the (German) CEO of Random House as to the future of print and e-books and the publishing industry,
Part 1,,1518,709760,00.html
Part 2,,1518,709760-2,00.html
Part 3,,1518,709760-3,00.html.

It's difficult to keep abreast of the rapid changes in the publishing industry, but it's imperative for every writer who wants to succeed.  Read more in Chapter 18 - Book Publishing:

Excerpt from Advice From The Pros,