3 Bits of Advice

As we come into the Autumn, my thoughts always turn to the next year.

Earlier this year, I published Think like a Pro, 7 lessons that helped me turn from a hobby writer into a professional writer.

While I won’t repeat some of those lessons, I do want to give 3 bits of advice and one HUGE acknowledgement.

Advice 1 ~

For writers, for anyone pursuing the dream that’s haunting you, “Never stop.” 

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Never stop writing.  Get to the end.  And continue.

Continue reading “Advice and Acknowledgements”

“Into the Labyrinth” is Remi Black’s story of her passage to publication.  She offers it as advice for new writers just beginning their journey.

I have written stories all my life.  I enjoy opening the great door into the unknown of story, each step lighting a path that once was only darkness.

Writers pick up bits of string, tie them together, wind them into a great ball, and

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then enter the labyrinth of story, hoping to defeat the monster before it eats them.

Several, several years ago, after I had written a few manuscripts, growing as a writer with each one, I penned Dream a Deadly Dream.

I thought Dream/Deadly would be my break-out novel.  I said to myself, “Here’s a story with intriguing characters and a twisty plot and a catchy title.  This is the book.  This is the first book that will be published by the official big publishing houses.”

I sent out the original manuscript with great hopes.

And it bounced back, usually with a “nice” rejection letter attached.

Continue reading “Into the Labyrinth”

 

Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea was formative for me.  It’s a book that I’ve long promoted to friends and students, whenever they asked for recommendations.

You can find it here, in the 50th anniversary edition.

The main Facebook page for Writers’ Ink, my publisher, is celebrating encounters with AML’s book all through August and September on Snippet Saturday:  You may be able to find the first AML post here.

  

Whenever I’m beachy keen–and that’s not for crowded beaches in the heat of summer, but afterwards, when it’s me and the sand and the waves and the sun casting south–that’s the time that I reach for Gift from the Sea.

 

Following hard on the heels of the recent attempt by an author to snare exclusive rights to the common, everyday word “cocky” comes the news that embezzlement of writers’ earnings has occurred at a well-respected literary agency.

The writer of Fight Club has been swindled along with many other writers.  The bookkeeper stole $3.4 million dollars.  MILLION.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch has blogged her warnings about literary agencies multiple times.  Read her thoughts here.

Cassie Sharp says it better than anyone else can: 

Open Letter to Faleena Hopkins

And Jessica Fry has a wonderful podcast:

It’s sad, really.

For everyone.

The indie author. 

The font creator.  He was on vacation, and now he has to deal with this as soon as he returns home.  He thought he had protected himself.  After all, the licensing agreement for his original font states that the font cannot be trademarked.

The other indie authors who have been writing and writing, who have books using “cocky” and have published these books long before that indie author (who shall remain nameless) did and have now been threatened by her with Cease and Desist letters.

The other indie authors, frightened by the C & D, who have taken down their books and lost potential sales.

The other indie authors, frightened by the C & D, who burned their swag for their books and are now realizing that the first indie author’s trademark claim will not hold up.

More indie authors who had their books and reviews taken down by Amazon.  In taking down the books, Amazon thought it was in compliance with an official trademark.

Amazon, which has now discovered that it was NOT in compliance.  The trademark issue is not resolved since the trademark could 1] not be issued on the single word “cocky” and 2] not be issued on a font that was not original to the indie author who trademarked “cocky” in that font.  (See the font creator comment above)

Still more indie authors who have weighed in with reasonable logic.

And who are now being threatened with bad reviews by the indie author’s readers.

The indie authors who have now hesitated in their creative process.

I think the only people who must be celebrating are the vultures who thrive on train wrecks . . .

And the trad publishing world, eager to see brakes being applied in the indie publishing world.

 

My advice, if any advice can be taken from this mess:

1.  Write the best book possible.

2.  Know the vultures are out there.  Know what you can and cannot do to combat the vultures.  Even if you try to stop them, they will still be out there, swirling around, seeking who they may devour.

3.  Know the Biz itself has problems and always will.  Nothing is perfect.

4.  Be kind to your readers and your fellow authors who are also struggling.

5.  Consult with other pros–not family, not friends, not readers–before you start the engine on that train.