Kristen Lamb, one of my favorite writer’s, an amazing teacher, fantastic blogger and wonderful person, writes about current struggles in her writing profession.
The past few months have been tough. I’ve struggled with being down, depressed and stuck in a rut. The writing profession I once loved just had lost its…sparkle. In a recent post, I believe I voiced what many writers have been feeling:
Don’t know about you, but I dreamed of book signings, launch parties, my novels on pretty displays in an actual store. I imagined a real book signing with devoted fans I’d be able to meet face-to-face. Those were the dreams that kept me going in my darkest hours when it made no sense to keep on writing.
I don’t think a single one of us fantasized about favorable algorithms, a massive mailing list with a solid open rate, or a depressing spot for ten copies of our book on a Costco bargain table. And I sure as hell never dreamed of working like an organ-grinding spider monkey for fractions of KU pennies.
None of us did.
I never minded learning and doing the business of my business. I embraced branding, blogging, social media, SEO. But something was just…off. Something I couldn’t articulate. Leave it to my subconscious to kick me in the @$$ and have the answer…in a technicolor dream (okay, nightmare).
Last night *deep breaths* Chef Gordon Ramsay royally chewed my @$$ out at…a writing conference.
Ethel has written a post. It’s a great post and it’s receiving lots of positive feedback. Janey wants lots of positive feedback too. Janey copies the post, changes a few words around, adds in a few extra ideas and publishes it as her ‘brand new, completely original post’ in all of the 232 Facebook groups that she’s a member of. Nobody will notice, right?
In the last week I’ve read two articles that I immediately connected with. The first, a completely fabulous post by Kate Toon – 19 Things NOT to Do in a Facebook Group – which hilariously highlighted just some of the silliness that I witness daily, and the second by Elena Peters – What’s Up With the Fast Blogging? – a short set of thoughts on the misconceptions of overnight blogging success and the desperation of bloggers to achieve it. They’re both completely different posts, but they…
Victoria Strauss writes for ‘Writer Beware”, a blog who warns us writers who not to work with, where the bad guys sit and how to avoid being screwed over by the many foul eggs in the new publishing world. In particular to us new writer’s this is very important and I therefore recommend to read this and many others of her posts.
Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware
I don’t think there’s much dispute that the many “imprints” under the Author Solutions umbrella are among the most negatively regarded of all the author services companies.
From the predatory business practices that gave rise to two class action lawsuits, to the huge number of customer complaints, to the relentless sales calls and deceptive recruitment methods, to the dubious and overpriced “marketing” services that are one of the company’s main profit sources, AS’s poor reputation is widely known. Along with other factors, such as the competition from free and low-cost self-publishing platforms, this has pushed AS in recent years into steady decline.
Unfortunately, whatever gap AS’s contraction has created has been filled by a slew of imitators. Why not, when hoodwinking authors is as easy as setting up a website and opening an account with Ingram? In some cases, the imitators have first-hand experience: they’ve been founded and/or staffed by former employees of AS’s call centers in the Philippines.
Like AS, the clones rely on misleading hype, hard-sell sales tactics, and a lucrative catalog of junk marketing services. Even if authors actually receive the services they’ve paid for (and judging by the complaints I’ve gotten, there’s no guarantee of that), they are getting stiffed. These are not businesses operating in good faith, but greedy opportunists seeking to profit from writers’ inexperience, ignorance, and hunger for recognition. They are exploitative, dishonest, and predatory.
CLONESIGN: HOW TO SUSS THEM OUT
On the surface, the clones don’t look that different from other, not necessarily disreputable author services companies offering publishing packages and marketing add-ons. However, they share a distinctive cluster of characteristics that can help you identify them…
Congratulations to Allan Krummenacker for his 5-year-anniversary since first publishing the book of his Para Earth Series! He posted on his blog that he’s got an anniversary sale and I’m telling you: Read these books – they’re phenomenal!
It’s been 5 years since the Para-Earth Series was published and we’re celebrating by making the e-book versions of our books available for just .99 cents a piece (normally $2.99 each). But this sale ends February 5th, so don’t miss out.
Science Fiction meets the Paranormal in this series which has gained multiple 4 and 5 star reviews. Within the pages of each book is self-contained with recurring characters as well as new friends. What will you find inside these books? How about a terrifying living ghost ship, a bridge that holds a sinister secret, and a vampyre who sleeps in the ground, drinks blood, changes shape while NOT being undead.
And the adventures are just beginning, for we have more books to unveil in the coming months so take advantage of this opportunity to get in at the beginning of this ongoing series which continues reveal a whole new…
When I discover a beautiful picture, I very often catch myself standing there, sunken into the sight and just enjoying. And then, I realize, very slowly, that I picture some of my characters interacting right at this wonderful place.
In book 6 of my series, I have some of my characters meeting in a clearing which I had kept in my memory like a valuable treasure, only to remember it the moment I needed it and used it for this particular story. And there’s not much I can do than to describe what I see in front of my inner eye. I figure this is one of the things I love about reading: releasing my fantasy. If I read about scenery the writer describes, I picture it in front of me and try to look at it the way it feels comfortable and decent for me. Don’t give me too…
Hello, welcome to ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest.’ I’m honored you took the time to visit us.
It’s my pleasure to be here. Thank you for the invitation. I am, however curious, how you found out about me. Only a handful of trusted people know who I am and where to find me.
Yes, I know, you are someone unique, and you were quite difficult to find. But we’ve got our connections. It seems you adjusted quite well to the human species. Please, tell us who you are.
My name is Eavan Delaney. Dr. Eavan Delaney. I studied at the university and work as a psychiatrist with patients who have PTSD. I am, what you would call a distinguished expert, being invited to many medical congresses, talking about my field of expertise and consulted by colleagues to assess their cases. I also teach as a guest lecturer at the university.
As I mentioned: you blend in excellently. But this isn’t your true nature, right?
No, it isn’t. I am, indeed a magical creature. When I was still little, my parents had to flee their hereditary court and duties. They left me with people they trusted and disappeared. I was brought up like a human, educated and developed and I am now trying to continue what I was left to do.
My people are at strife. I am supposed to unite them against our common enemy. It seems my time as a human being has taken its toll. I am delayed in what has to be done, and I need every help I can get.
Who is your enemy – or let’s say, the enemy of your people?
I am very sorry, but I cannot tell. I am the last guardian of our secrets and every word I speak about who I am, every single time I’m in danger to expose myself, is dangerous, not only for me but all of my people. I am our last hope.
Are your parents still alive?
I don’t know. I was told they disappeared and nobody has seen them ever since. The highest caretaker of our Nature is supporting me, and he told me he searched for my parents but had no chance of finding them. At one point their trace took him to nowhere and disappeared. He now tries to support me within his possibilities.
Do you have more relatives, siblings?
I got a half-brother. But we aren’t close. I was informed he too was hidden after my parents disappeared. He’s my father’s son, but I know him barely.
I like your hair. This rich, wonderful dark shiny brown. It’s beautiful.
Thank you, but I admit, it’s carefully colored. My hair color is quite unusual and would give me away immediately. I like this color too. It’s part of a mask I’m wearing to keep hiding and still working on my duties.
Now I’m curious: What happens if you’re too late – or you cannot fulfill your duties.
Oh, I don’t want to think about it. See, the conflicts between my people are that significant they forgot their original task, and we all suffer from this negligence. The storm is already raised. If we get any weaker, our enemy will be successful. If this happens, the war will annihilate our people, and the entire world is going to drown in fire and ice.
That is a grief-stricken prospect.
Nevertheless, it’s true. I would love to be positive about the outcome. Now that I got help the chances are better. But still, I need to hurry up before it’s too late. Better keep your fingers crossed, A.J.
Yes, I will. – You seem to be nervous. Do you need to go?
Yes, I’m afraid I have to. I will be picked up soon.
Thank you very much for being my guest Eavan. Please, take care, and I’d be happy to see you soon.
It was my pleasure. Thanks for the chance to visit you.
Seumas Gallacher talks about his newest writing project and I’m sure we all experience him being unusually serious, but as passionately as he always is – and I’m convinced I’m not the only one wishing him all luck in the world for this project! ❤
…it’s not often this ol’ Jurassic Scots scribbler gets the ‘wobbles’during a project… my life to date has thrown up some seriously frightening interludes… more than my fair share, I guess… some of which were not of my own making, but others, well, were entirely a result of decisions I made independently… I don’t think any of us knowingly makes bad decisions… often decisions are seen later to be wrong, and other, better decisions are made to correct the previous ones, and so… that there have been tons of ‘highs and lows’, ‘colour’, and ‘drama’, is not in question… indeed it would be a very dull life for any of us if there were no ‘roller-coaster moments’… emotionally, financially, career-impacting… the usual life experience suspects… however, of late I have pondered, prevaricated, procrastinated, and then plunged headlong into an effort to record my own life story… or…
We’re all unique from one another, we all look and appear differently. Yes, people have identical twins or doppelgangers hanging around in other parts of the world, but we’re all made up differently.
Our appearance ranges from different hairstyles, body size and shape, the clothes we wear, and much more. There’s a lot to think about when you’re trying to paint a picture of multiple people in your stories for your readers.
Features To Think About
Height and weight
Eyes/eyebrows (shape, color)
Hair (style, length, color)
Skin (looks, feels, color)
Face (shape, facial hair)
Distinguishing features (makeup, scars, freckles, etc.)
When creating your character, it’s good for you to know most, if not all, of these features. Of course, your readers don’t need every nitty-gritty detail. I mean, you don’t typically describe your characters’ eyebrows, do you?