It’s Father’s Day in America. No matter where you are, if you’re a Dad, Happy Father’s Day!
- Before I get into today’s good-or-better stuff, a comment: I’ve noticed that as e-books and self-publishing grow, so do the offers for the books or courses or whatever that are going to help you reach self-publishing nirvana, or at least success. Prices range from pretty cheap (a few bucks for an e-book) or even free to hundreds of dollars. I’ve seen that range just from the bloggers I read. The bottom line is caveat emptor–buyer beware–especially with the high-cost programs. They may not be out-and-out scams (or they may be) but they may not be worth your time and money, either.
Moving on, then. Getting published seems to be the theme of the day. To wit:
- K. M. Weiland (@KMWeiland) and Harvey Stanbrough (@hstanbrough) both address writing flaws that are, or should be, fatal to a manuscript’s chances of seeing print.
- We’ll start with Kim’s Top 25 Ways to Blow a Book on WORDplay. No doubt you’ve seen all of these before. Still, each item on the list ends with a link to a previous post. (Hmmm, clever way to use a post’s archives.)
- Harvey’s Protect Your Credibility is a bit more of a rant (his word) but dead-on when making the point that we writers undermine our credibility when we can’t use the words of our own language correctly. (I’m flashing on the line from the musical My Fair Lady, in which Professor Henry Higgins notes, while complaining about how the English–the Cockney, in particular–speak, that “in America, they haven’t spoken it [English] in years.”)
- Via Joel Friedlander’s (@jfbookman) The Book Designer blog come two posts from Welsh book blogger Gavin Pugh (@gavreads) on self-publishing.
- The first, Where do authors get their validation in an age of self-publishing? ends with a bit of a whimper, rather than a bang, as he admits he doesn’t know, since there doesn’t seem to be a comparable set of gatekeepers in the self-pub world to the agents and editors of traditional publishing. What do you think?
- However, his second post, Reasons Why We Reviewers Won’t Read Your Self-Published Book, does, to some extent, get to the answer. I know that while some of his arguments in this long and blunt piece will have advocates of indie- and self-publishing up in arms, some of his other points circle back to Weiland and Stanbrough above: too much self-published work is still crap because the authors haven’t made the effort to learn how to write well (or to learn other basics).
- But let’s not finish this topic on a down note. Michelle Haimoff (@MichelleHaimoff) has a clever piece on the Guide to Literary Agents blog about Why Publishing Your First Novel Is Like Running for Student Body President. Once you figure out how those footnote-ish parenthetical numbers work, the piece is good for a chuckle.
- And finally–FINALLY!–a post on writer’s fathers. A short video, actually (OK–oh, sorry, Harvey–okay it’s really an ad from Open Road Integrated Media) on Jane Friedman’s (@JaneFriedman) blog on How Dads Influenced Some Famous Writers. Hey, it’s only a little over two minutes long and only the last 15 seconds are advertising.