Writers, can’t kill your darlings? Read this – Written By Roz Morris

You know the situation. A beta reader or editor says a precious part of your book has to go. You resist, strenuously. They fix you with an unforgiving eye and say: ‘kill your darlings’.

Sometimes we resist a change for good reason. The character/scene/description/flashback/whatever might be needed. It explains something, or adds resonance, or fills a gap in the story, though perhaps it doesn’t yet do its job. That’s fixable.

We also resist changes that will cause a hot mess, though we’ll probably make them when we’ve mustered the courage.

Those aren’t darlings.

What are darlings?

Darlings are things we cling to, with especial defiance, when we shouldn’t. They’re anything we’re keeping mainly because we like them, not because they are necessary for the book.

We all do it. We’ll do it on our first book and yea unto our umpteenth.

So why are darlings such a blind spot? Here’s my theory, from experience at both ends of the editing sword. Darlings carry emotional baggage.

  • We might keep a darling because it’s based on something personal.
  • We might keep a darling that’s totally invented, but it took a long time to draft or edit and because of that investment, it’s going in the goddarned book.

But look at those reasons. Are they about the reader’s experience? Or are they about us, the writer?

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Mega-List of Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazines – Paying markets – Written By Erica Verrillo

on Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity:

Speculative fiction has a loyal fan base, so if you write science fiction or fantasy there are dozens of magazines that want your work! Here is a list of paying markets for journals accepting speculative fiction. Some have submission periods, so make sure you read their guidelines carefully. All are paying markets, and none charge submission fees..

Submission strategies
This table is a bit daunting, but you can simplify your task by making a list of all the places you intend to submit. (Make a separate list for each story or article.) As you submit, make sure to keep track of where, when, and how you submitted (i.e. email, Submittable, online form, etc.).

If you want to get published fast, start with the magazines that accept simultaneous submissions, and submit to all of them. Once your work is accepted, don’t forget to withdraw it immediately from the remaining magazines. (If you have used Submittable, this is very simple. Just click “Withdraw.”)

I suggest you start with the pro markets. These are harder to get into, but if you get published in a prestigious magazine it will establish you as a serious writer.

Save the magazines that take reprints for last. You can submit to those after your story has been published elsewhere.

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What is Kindle Vella? And Should You Join as an Author? – By Reedsy…

Contents

  • What is Kindle Vella?
  • How does Kindle Vella work for authors?
  • How do Vella authors get paid?
  • Is Kindle Vella for you?

What is Kindle Vella? And Should You Join as an Author?

Amazon announced the launch of the new Kindle Vella program in April 2021, a few months before actually making it  available to readers — already pre-loaded with hundreds of stories from authors.

Kindle Vella is Amazon’s foray into the “serialization market,” currently dominated by established apps such as Wattpad or Radish, and with a readership consisting mostly of young readers. So how is Kindle Vella different, and what opportunities does it offer authors? That’s what we’ll uncover in this post.

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9 Things About Agents No One Told You – Written By Gabino Iglesias

on Lit Reactor:

If you follow me on social media you know I love talking about publishing. I love talking about writing because writing is my life, but I also love to talk about publishing.

The difference is simple: writing is art, but publishing is a business.

If you’re serious about writing and publishing, chances are you already know about agents. If you don’t, here’s the 101: agents are folks who get your book in front of publishers and other folks who might give you money for it.

Yeah, they do a lot of other things, as you’ll see below, but that’s their bread and butter.

Because agents sell books to publishers, almost every writer out there wants, is looking for, or has an agent. Unfortunately, the thing I’ve learned after spending the last half decade talking about publishing online is that a lot of people are confused when it comes to agents.

So here are some things you should know about them.

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Characters: The Emotional Touchstone Readers Crave – Written By Kristen Lamb

Characters are critical for stories that resonate. Why? Because characters are the conduit that connects the reader and vests them in the story problem. They’re the emotional touchstone that allows for catharsis, because—when written well—it doesn’t matter if the character is a space alien or a federal agent, we (readers) can relate to them in some way.

We can’t empathize with technology, spaceships, magic, or nuclear submarines. Humans can’t bond emotionally to a place (without the characters as the connection).

For instance, we CARE about Lord of the Rings’ Middle Earth because we care about Frodo, Samwise and Gandalf. And, because Frodo, Samwise and Gandalf care deeply for Middle Earth and the Shire…we do as well.

Story is like the wall socket that’s connected a tremendous power source. But, how useful would those wall sockets be if all the gadgets in everyday life didn’t have plugs? How useful would a bunch of dead gadgets be?

We cannot have story without characters and can’t, conversely, have characters (DIMENSIONAL characters) without story.

Readers read stories, but great stories read the readers.

***I know we’ve talked about all this before, but since I am pathologically honest, I feel the need to tell on myself. I cracked a back tooth and had major dental work last week. With all the drugs? I actually have a completely new post almost finished, but it’s been like pulling teeth…bada bump snare.

*cries*

So please forgive the refresher.

Moving on…

CONTINUE READING HERE

Amazon Changing File Requirements for KDP Ebooks – Written By New Shelves

Many of you have recently received emails from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) announcing that Amazon is changing file requirements for KDP ebooks. As often happens with change, there is some confusion about how this will change how authors and publishers will upload their ebooks to KDP leading to questions and concerns.

From https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200634390:

“After June 28, 2021, we will no longer support MOBI files when publishing new or updating previously published reflowable ebooks. Instead, use EPUB, DOCX or KPF formats, see our Frequently Asked Questions for more information. MOBI files are still accepted for fixed-layout ebooks.”

What Does That Mean, Exactly?

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6 Creative Ways to Name Your Fictional Characters – Written By Andre Clayton

Thank you, Andre Clayton for a great blog post about naming our fictional characters. We all have been there. And for all of us it’s always interesting to find out how other authors are doing it!


on The Write Life:

When you start writing your story, how long does it take you to come up with character names?

Choosing the perfect name for your protagonist and antagonist can take ages, especially when you’re not sure how to start.

I’ve been there. After wasting days staring at a blank computer screen, attempting to come up with names for all of my characters, I developed with some helpful naming strategies. And I’d like to share them with you!

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Top 15 Free Self-Publishing Companies For New Authors – Written By Derek Haines

on Just Publishing Advice:

If you are a new author, you have plenty of choices of free self-publishing companies to publish your book.

It is very easy to publish an ebook today and make it available to the world.

You can also publish a paperback book using print-on-demand services.

There’s nothing to stop you from publishing your new book, and yes, you can do it for free.

In This Article15 Free self-publishing companies, you can choose
.

The best choices for ebooks

.1. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

2. Apple Books

3. Barnes & Noble Press

4. Kobo Writing Life

5. StreetLib

6. Xinxii

7. PublishDrive.


Ebook aggregators.

8. Draft2Digital

9. Smashwords.


Free paperback self-publishing

10. Amazon KDP

11. Blurb

12. IngramSpark

13. BookBaby

14. Lulu

15. Barnes & Noble Press.

Conclusion

Get Full Details HERE

The Fault in Our Reviews – Written By Deborah Grant-Dudley

Deborah Grant-Dudley informs us about the review rules on Amazon. It is hard to get reviews on Amazon, particularly for us Indie Authors. Deborah tells us why. Thank you very much.


How to avoid having your book review deleted

Indie authors rely on book reviews to help sell their books. But Amazon are notoriously strict about reviews. They frequently decline new reviews and delete existing reviews. If you want to help an indie author, it’s important to stay in Amazon’s good books. Yes, I went there!

Here’s a handy guide to writing reviews that will be accepted. Be aware other bookstores have their own guidelines. I’ve focused on Amazon as they are the biggest bookseller, and they sell lots of indie books.

Image of scrabble squares spelling out the word rules.
Photo by Joshua Miranda on Pexels.com

Check you allowed to review the book

Amazon has a minimum spend threshold you must meet before you can leave a review. Currently, that’s £40 in the UK and $50 in the US. You must have spent at least that amount in the past 12 months. If you meet this criteria, you can review a book on their website.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Three Red Flags – Warnings From ‘Writer Beware’ Blog – Written By Victoria Strauss

The last three notifications from the ‘Writer Beware’ blog, by Victoria Strauss, left me shaken, like so many others she provided us with. I normally try to spread word about scam, fraud, and other warnings as good as I can, but I refuse to drown ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ readers in negativity.

However, I think, it’s important that, in particular new Indie Authors know what dangers they might face when putting their books and their work ‘out there’. I therefore decided to publish one post with links to all three of Victoria Strauss’ warnings. Thank you for your great work, Victoria!


SCAMMERS TAKING BIG 5 PUBLISHERS’ NAMES IN VAIN: A GROWING TREND

I’ve been doing the Writer Beware thing for quite some time, and I Have Seen Some Shit. 
But this solicitation from a Philippines-based publishing and marketing scammer calling itself Right Choice Multimedia (among other names) is one of the most disgusting things that has come across my desk in a while…and that’s saying something. 


Here it is in its entirety. Read it and boggle. You can also scroll down directly to my (far more grammatical) debunking. Be sure to read all the way to the end, because I have some things to say about why Big 5 publishers should care that their trademarks and reputations are being co-opted in this way.

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CONTRACT RED FLAG: WHEN A PUBLISHER CLAIMS COPYRIGHT ON EDITS

This is an updated version of a post I published a couple of years ago.

It’s not all that common, but I do see it from time to time in small press publishing contracts that I review: a publisher claiming ownership of the editing and copy editing it provides, or making the claim implicitly by reverting rights only to the original manuscript submitted by the author.

Are there legal grounds for such a claim? One would think that by printing a copyright notice inside a published book, and encouraging the author to register copyright or registering on the author’s behalf, publishers are acknowledging that there is not. It’s hard to know, though, because the issue doesn’t seem to have been tested in the courts. There’s not even much discussion. 

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SCAM ALERT: PAPER BYTES MARKETING SOLUTIONS, BLUEPRINT PRESS, AND THEIR STABLE OF IMAGINARY LITERARY AGENTS

Once upon a time, there was a publishing and marketing scammer called Chapters Media and Advertising, owned by one Mark Joseph Rosario. Chapters pretended to be a US company–it even had dual business registrations in Wyoming and Florida, as well as a purported address in Nevada–but in reality, it operated out of the Philippines (much like its many brethren).


Chapters was an unusually devious little scammer. In addition to offering the usual substandard publishing services and junk marketing ripoffs, it had a sideline in impersonating literary professionals, including agent Jennifer Jackson of the Donald Maass Agency and literary scout Clare Richardson of Maria B. Campbell Associates. I’ve written about both of these impersonation scams (as well as the issue more generally; Chapters was not the only one doing this).

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