THE WRITE PLACE…

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Patti’s News Day Tuesday 2

 

New construction reflected in windows of abandoned building.

New construction reflected in windows of abandoned building.

Here’s a brief sampling of news items that I found interesting enough to pass onto our community. I hope you find some nuggets in this week’s writer-reader news roundup. Patti’s News Day Tuesday posts every other week.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/retailing/article/62367-smashwords-overdrive-ink-global-e-book-distribution-deal.html?utm_source=Publishers+Weekly&utm_campaign=727cd991d8-UA-15906914-1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0bb2959cbb-727cd991d8-304817009

“Smashwords, an e-book self-publishing platform, and digital library vendor OverDrive have reached an agreement to distribute its titles via the OverDrive network of public libraries. The deal will make more than 200,000 Smashword titles available for borrowing and for-purchase through OverDrive.”

This is huge. How do you feel about your Smashwords book being distributed for free? It will be interesting to see how this goes. On one hand, many more readers will have access to your work. On the other hand, most will probably not be buying it. If you have a good book, and it shows high readership, will that be enough to raise sales and/or to fulfill your needs as an author? Hmmm

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/62368-pw-launches-booklife-integrates-self-published-reviews.html?utm_source=Publishers+Weekly&utm_campaign=727cd991d8-UA-15906914-1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0bb2959cbb-727cd991d8-304817009

PW will introduce BookLife, a new website for self-publishers, at this year’s BookExpo America. Simultaneously, we are integrating reviews of self-published books into our regular review coverage.” More good news for indies?

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2014/04/30/how-retailers-publishers-and-indies-can-fix-the-e-book-industry/

A quick article about the two main ways that retailers, publishers and indie authors can “fix” the e-book industry. No one can deny the first fix, but what do you think about the second one?

 

http://www.lifehacker.co.in/life/Five-Best-Book-Recommendation-Services/articleshow/35312577.cms

Looking for a good book to read? Here is the scoop on the top 5 sites to go to for book recommendations. Many of us do book reviews on Goodreads, but what about these other sites? Where do you go for book searches?

Where do you get your writer-reader news? Please share a link or two in the comments section.

Happy Newsy Things,

Patti


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A-Z April Challenge; R is For Reviews and Ready to Publish?

Is your final product (your book!) a skunk or a rose?

Skunk Cabbage

Skunk Cabbage.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Autumn Rose

Autumn Rose.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Rebecca Lamoreaux wrote a recent A-Z Challenge post about many issues pertaining to writing book reviews. Here is part of my comment, as well as some further discussion and helpful links.

To be honest, these issues make me hesitate to publish. No one is perfect, but I think books need to be as close to perfect as they can be, BEFORE they are seen in public. In a perfect world, I’ve always thought that indie authors should have their books go through an indie author board (or a professional editor) before publishing. It would raise the quality by leaps and bounds. I will write a post and make sure you see it. Thanks for bringing this up.

The comment above, from :

http://rebeccalamoreaux-anauthorinprogress.blogspot.com/2014/04/r-reading-and-reviews.html

Good article about gauging your readiness to publish:

http://blog.janicehardy.com/2014/01/are-you-good-enough-evaluating-whether.html

For self-publishers, an excellent article about the different kinds of editing and some awesome links for help finding an editor:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/pw-select/article/59767-why-all-self-publishers-need-a-good-editor.html

What are your thoughts?

Patti

Hey, I hope you find time to check out some of the other A-Z April Challenge blogs here:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2014.html


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A-Z April Challenge; N is for NOW Is My Time

Time to get publishing. Patti!

Time to get publishing. Patti! (2008 photo)

Reading and writing have been important to me for as far back as I can remember. Reading took me to other worlds, to other lives, and into other hearts. Those peeks into “other” inspired me to attempt to do the same with my own writing. I wanted my writing to give readers the feeling of freedom, humor, escape and humanness that reading gave me.

For many years I  wrote strictly poetry, but I knew it wasn’t enough. There was more I wanted to say, and in a different form. I didn’t want to just write about my reality. I wanted to write about what could be. I constructed stories in my mind, but never had the courage to put them on paper. It was years before I finally went beyond poetry.

I’ve always been a late bloomer and I didn’t start college until I was almost 30. Somewhere within those two colleges and five academic years, I found my writing voice. It still sends chills down my spine to think of it; I was finally writing like…ME!

Finding my own writing voice inspired me to put together a women’s anthology titled, Finding Our Voices, as my college project. And although I’ve had much encouragement along the way, I always stopped short of publishing and making writing my career.

Now is my time. The excitement I feel is no longer focused on the positive feedback I get from my writing, although that is still astounding to me. The excitement I feel now is in telling my story and getting it out to the world.

My story is written in many forms; humorous tales and poetry I’ve written for my children and their children, along with poetry, essays, and memoirs about my life and the meaningful people in it. That body of work is my story. It grows, shifts and melds with other stories almost every day.

There’s not only the excitement of getting my story to the world, but there is also that little issue with mortality. Death has brushed my shoulder and crushed my heart many times in the last five years. I’m in my mid-50’s and I suddenly feel a sense of hurry. Besides, no one can tell my story like I can, so it’s my time now. And if I live to be 106, I will always glory in the thrill of others reading my writing and getting a peek at my world, my life and my heart.

Patti Hall 2014

Update: Wrote this yesterday, was up all night working on the Postcards e-book! Back to it today. That picture scared me back into action! 🙂

Hey, I hope you find time to check out some of the other A-Z April Challenge blogs here:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2014.html


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My Writing Process Blog Tour!

Welcome to our blog tour! Garden gate to my mom's garden. Eagle River, Alaska 2012

Welcome to our blog tour! Garden gate to my mom’s garden. Eagle River, Alaska 2012

Frankly, when Sheree Nielsen at http://shereenielsen.wordpress.com/ invited me to join this blog tour, I thought my plate was too full. That’s because it is! Oh, well, whatever spills over the plate and onto the floor, the chickens can eat. Wait, no chickens here. My neighbor’s dog, Gertrude, can have whatever falls off my plate.

So, um, thank you for adding me to the tour, Sheree! Our little community here LOVES pretty photos, and I know they will hop over to see the ones you and your husband take. You also have that fantastic “healing” coffee table book, Folly Beach Dances, coming out this month. I’m sure it will sell very well!

Sheree was brought to the tour by Mary Horner at http://writrteachr.blogspot.com/ , and she was brought on board by Donna Volkenannt. This is beginning to sound like that old 70’s shampoo commercial, “…and she told 2 friends, and she told 2 friends…” etc.

Okay, down to business, which is to answer four questions about my writing process. (Oh, this should be enlightening!)

1. What am I working on? A better question for me at this time, would probably be: What are you NOT working on? I am not working on my memoir series, the short “Postcards” book, nor any of the children’s poems and stories on my hard drive, that patiently await my attention. Instead, I’m dabbling in this cool blog tour, teasing my muse with the A-Z April Challenge, and reading (and commenting!) on some damn fine blogs. I’m also THINKING about writing A LOT while the dirt collects under my broken nails and sweat forms on my brow from some serious garden work.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? It may be a bit…looser than other memoirs, I have a hard time sticking to rules when it comes to writing. I write from the heart. When I write for children, I put on my silly hat (one of many—me and the late, great Dr. Seuss have that in common) and tell wild tales that also have some heart thrown in.

3. Why do I write what I do? The memoir was something my late husband and I planned while we spent a year fighting for his life. We wanted to offer some help and humor for others who would follow our path of living in hospitals and short-term housing during a health crisis. Writing for children comes from raising a couple of great ones along the way, sharing laughs with my little grands and never loosing site of my own childish side.

4. How does your writing process work? Ha ha ha ha! A writing process?  I’ve been meaning to get one of those. I bet there’s an app for that! Seriously? For the memoir, and other non-fiction writing, I start with a small mind map in a notebook (very low-tech), then I make a poster-sized one that I can follow as I progress (IF I progress). Basically, I start brain-storming and circling points that I want to make in the book or article. It’s a wildly fun and fast-paced process, where one thing leads to another. Here’s a post I did on it: Mind Map.

No one likes to hear how I write most of my fiction stories, but here goes. I dream them up. Literally. I wake up with an idea, or sometimes with a whole story, and CAN NOT go back to sleep until I get it written down. I usually start in a notebook, but I’m learning to go straight to my lap top instead; transcription is so tedious!

I also use photos to prompt stories, as I did in the B & C installments of the A-Z April Challenge.

Next up on the My Writing Process Blog Tour! are three lovely writing friends, who I think you will all enjoy meeting.

S.K. Nichols at http://redclayandroses1.wordpress.com/ has been a blogging friend since I began my blog. Susan is the author of Red Clay and Roses, a fictionalized true story that blends mystery, rape, murder, drama, and forbidden love into a historical context. She has several other books in the works. Susan is also great about sharing her writing progress, writing book reviews and gathering our community together to discuss writerly issues. She is open, honest and humorous about her journey of writing and publishing.

My second choice for the blog tour is actually a mother/daughter writing team, Inion N. Mathair, at http://inionnmathair.wordpress.com/ . They  have been a writing duo for the past six years and have published YA novels, The Perfect 7, Nightwalkers; The Secret of Jessup and a collection of short stories, From the Dark & Twisted Mind of Inion N. Mathair. Not only prolific writers, but Ginger and Natalie spend almost as much time promoting other writers across their social media network. They write book reviews, present writer interviews and they heavily promote and share all the beautiful, fun, sassy and witty blogs that they discover along the way.

Aside from their obvious writing talent, all three ladies are tops with supporting other writers and bloggers. Please take a few minutes and visit their sites.

Hope you enjoyed!

Patti


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Writer’s Journal; Online Community Building

Lately, I’ve been thinking about all the community building taking place online. There are no hugs, long lunches, cozy dinners, or fun shopping expeditions. This is a new kind of community. When a person puts their life-long dream project on Kickstarter and gets funding for that dream by a group of strangers, that’s community building. Sure, the strangers(backers) get a book or a private viewing of the project, or maybe just a magnet, but the main reason is to back a dream. That’s one example of online community building in the 2000’s.

This essay is not about Kickstarter. It’s about what I’m seeing and doing to build my own online community in order to fulfill my dreams. I’ve only been actively participating online since mid-March, and I’m still in the midst of a major learning curve. It’s like one grand experiment. Furthermore, I’ve been thinking about my online motives, goals, advantages, and my accomplishments over these few months.

 Motives and Goals

*I’m here to learn about the current world of writing and publishing; it’s very important to me that I not be a burden to this new community, but an asset within it. I want to add what I know, not detract by asking others to find answers for me. Research is the key.

*I’m here to brush up on my writing skills. Some careers involve active editing, for the rest of us, it takes work to present polished writing that doesn’t confuse, or make the reader stumble over bad grammar and sloppy editing. At the same time, I love to experiment; to play with new words and forms of writing.

*I’m here to express my thoughts and feelings, beyond my friends and family. I’m getting my toes wet in the pool of public writing. My real life circle is following along; they have history with me and my writing. My circle knows who I am and who I am not. They know the ride I’ve been on these past 53+ years. Publishing is a goal that is now in sight, so I need to see how strangers react to my writing.

*I’m here to compile, polish and publish my books, stories, essays and poetry. I want to share the laughter, tears, knowledge, and my own unique take on this life.

Online Advantages

*No commitments, except self-imposed writing ones. This fits with my current state of mind, as do the next two items. Somehow, I can build a website and learn the intricacies of social networking. However, schedules, appointments and commitments still elude me. Half the time my name eludes me :>) I’m still taking baby steps in this fog of grieving. Everyone does this their own way and mine involves a lot of solitude. I can reach out with my writing, but that seems to be my limit right now. (I still need to learn how to link to past blogs in order to let new readers in on my back story. That said, I’ve recently lost a grandson, and a sibling and my husband in the last 3+ years.)

*No face-to-face. The illusion of anonymity is a plus.

*I can wear my jammies, clip my hair in a pile on my head and apply no make-up.

*Whatever I want to know is here.

Accomplishments

*This blog website: almost 1100 views and almost 300 followers. Those are just numbers, but everything I read says I have to have high numbers to sell books–whether I self-publish or use a traditional publisher. The minimum number of 10,ooo views is what “they” say.

*To raise those numbers, and build a community of readers who want to jump on this wagon with us, I joined Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Pinterest.

*I’m an active member of several writing and critique groups, to practice and improve my writing skills.

*I’m meeting and circulating myself in groups where my writing focuses: memoir writers, widows, patient advocates, and people who are involved in all aspects of writing for children. I’m following and interacting with the best of the best of experts in social media, publishing, and the other areas of  the business of writing in 2013.  June of 2013, to be specific, because things are changing at a pace that boggles the mind.

*And last, but is actually first, I’m writing like crazy, editing, re-writing, and getting ready for the next leap.

I opened this essay talking about online community building. I hope I have shown you how and why I am building my own online community and the importance of having one. If I were in the writing and publishing world in New York City, I would be doing much of this in person, although they are all online too. The business and social hub of the world can now kick off their high heels and suits, fire up their computers and be part of another kind of community.

It’s going to be a fun and exciting adventure, so I hope you will all join me in my growing online community.

Peace,

Patti


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Writer’s Journal; Children’s Book Illustrator? Maybe!

Just stumbled onto an illustrator who writes YA stories. Maybe we can help each other get through the  tangle of choices and decisions to get published? She’s been on the peripheral of my circle of family/friends for years, but we’ve never hung out. As soon as I know more about this serendipitous discovery, I will post it.

Meanwhile, back at the all-night research/writeathon, I’ve gotten a few things accomplished. I finally perused the children’s books similar to my WIP (work-in-progress), which I checked out of the library. This inspired me to make page breaks in my story manuscript to see what it looks like. I tried to just go with the flow and make the page breaks as natural as possible. This gave me 33 pages of text with room for illustrations on each. Yikes, that’s 33 illustrations. Maybe some pages will just have colored backgrounds? So, that’s 33 pages, plus copyright, title, dedication, and contact pages. 37 pages in all. Hmmm, this is all more than I knew yesterday.

I’m also popping in and out of websites that show layout and design information so I can learn terms and standard practices in publishing illustrated children’s books. Wikipedia gives lists of links for all the things I’m exploring. I’m still not even sure if self-publishing an illustrated children’s book is the way to go.

I know I want hard back books and ebooks. But, let’s face it, the money tree hasn’t bloomed in years. Maybe crowd sourcing is the way to go? Kickstart.com is very interesting, and people have had book projects succeed there. Hmmm.

There are several underlying challenges I’m dealing with. The birds started chirping at 4:30 this morn and that made me keep looking out the window, thinking I could go walk the beach soon. See, that’s a challenge.

The biggest (real) challenge is with computers. GGGRRRR. One laptop has issues with serious lack of speed; something is wrong, but I’ll have to pay to find out what. The other laptop has a problem with a flying curser; not great while typing. I’m juggling between the two, and can I describe how fun that is? Not fun at all. The beach idea is looking better by the second.

My minor challenge is that I cut my thumb gardening yesterday and the damn thing keeps trying to help, but I scream when it touches anything (like the space bar). Wimp.

Have any questions? Any answers? Please leave me a note by clicking on “leave a comment” at the top of the post, left of the title. If you’re too busy for that, please click the like button at the bottom of this post.

And thanks for reading!

Patti