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There are times when every author must wait for a response from an agent or publisher about a query.  We sit on pins and needles.  Weeks go by and even months on end. Then we might get a form rejection letter. That is not what I received recently. I have gotten glowing remarks in rejection letters and even well-wishers for my book to find a home, but never a slap. I mean a cold, Doc Martin-crass-attitude rejection letter. If you don’t know who Doc Martin is well he is a Doctor in Portwenn, who is very blunt and has no social skills whatsoever. I love this show!

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So I decided because this agent went to the trouble of telling me very bluntly why she didn’t like my manuscript and why she “could not read any further”, I thought that I might as well pay attention to her suggestions and fix the problems. She said I used too many adverbs, repeated names a lot and had no voice. I went back and fixed the grammar problems. I edited the manuscript to the point of taking out a good majority of the beginning and now I hope it sounds okay.  The problem I have left is the voice.

With all the negative comments this made me wonder if the manuscript is just not good enough to be published. I mean is it not the editors who decide that a manuscript is worth editing or fixing? They decide whether a story is worth the work. Are they really expecting a manuscript to be flawless? I am not a perfect writer and I really do not know anyone who is. I just wonder if this agent is right and my writing has no voice. Could I be that boring? Just some insecure thoughts here after my hundredth rejection letter. But who’s counting, right? Keep your chin up. Things can only get better from here!

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When we look at all the places we could shop for a book thirty years ago the choices were slim. Today, because of all the different formats of books there are hundreds of places to shop for books. Which, in my opinion, is a good thing. This only creates better opportunities for authors getting their books into hands around the world. Here are the most go to places for self-published and even traditional published authors to have their books sold at:

 

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https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1330042438

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https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/flight-of-the-raven-8

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/flight-of-the-raven-j-r-wilson/1127745179?ean=2940154965856

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https://www.24symbols.com/book/x/x/x?id=2530421

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https://play.playster.com/books/10009781546870623/flight-of-the-raven-j-r-wilson

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https://www.overdrive.com/media/3737358/flight-of-the-raven

This list doesn’t stop here. The library and schools have books that readers can find. Even publishers sell their books on their websites. There are thousands of bookstores around the world. And people even sell books on eBay and other sites where you might not get the newest edition but maybe a bargain of a find. What is your favorite place to shop? Which format of books do you like- digital or physical? And finally, where do you think your book has sold the best?

Happy book hunting!

 

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How many writers do you know who do freelance work? 1? 2? Or none?  Well if your like me most writers do their writing as a second job and don’t get paid. So to any untrained eye this would appear to be a hobby. What? No way! I work too hard and long for my writing career to be considered a hobby.

So how to break the mold and make a career out of writing? Easy… get published! Well okay enough with the sarcasm. It is not easy to get published, let alone get an agent to even LOOK at your work. So the alternative is to become a freelance writer.

The website Freelance Writing Jobs at http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/ is a good place to begin.

This website can help you locate the job that is right for you. Everyone has to start somewhere, because we can’t all become famous authors with our first book.

Build up your skills writing for different companies. Learn new talents and make connections and get a great looking resume. Every literary agent and publisher wants to see a little writing experience behind newbies. Then when your book is published you can give credit to your experience as a freelance writer.

Not every path to glory is set in stone. Take the road less traveled and become richer for it.

Happy writing!download

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Another look at whether self-publishing or the traditional route is best for authors.  The debate will go on.

 

Should Children’s Book Authors Self-Publish? | Jane Friedman.

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Finding help along the way in your career.

 

Don’t Dilute Your Brand | Writers In The Storm.

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Oh wow! Changes need to be made in the publishing industry.

 

When the Publishing Industry Looks at Itself in the Mirror, Does It Like What It Sees? – GalleyCat.

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Why isn’t every traditional publisher out there taking notice of all the great writers?  There was a boom of color writers during the Harlem Renaissance (1919-1940). Later on colored writers did not stop and good thing or we wouldn’t have Toni Morrison, or in the Latin community we wouldn’t have Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or Native Americans like Leslie Marmon Silko and lastly there wouldn’t be any Mideast writers like Khaled Hosseini.  I have read their great works and highly recommend people to step outside of the white bubble the publishing companies push in front of us.  We are a society of mixed cultures.  NO longer a white dominant society.  Writers of every color should be examined by their works and not their skin color.  Wake up! See all the beautiful colors in the world.  Don’t turn a blind eye to a name you don’t recognize. Or you will be missing out on some great stories.famous-authors

 

The Rejectionist | Sarah McCarry: How to Publish Writers of Color: Some Basic Steps for White Folks In the Industry.

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I know I have covered procrastinating before.  (See “Procrastinating” post: 2011/09/08.)  And I even went so far as to think that I am the only writer who does procrastinate.  But now I find out that this phenomenon is not solely my problem but many other writers as well.  Attending countless writers conferences and hearing agents and editors all say the same thing about the problems of writers I just did not connect the dots till now.  I read an article posted by friend and it says that procrastinating is something all writers face. This is should not be a new concept but let’s just say I was a little slow to finally grasp the connection until I read this.  The article was spot on with all the problems I have and I am so glad to see I am not alone.  So for all I would like to say…..

“Hello, my name is Jessica.  I am a procrastinator.”

Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinator

 

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Libraries seem to be an institute that was going the way of the dinosaur.  But now they have e-books for their members to borrow.  This has to be the saving grace that keeps them in  business by keeping with the times.  For those who do not use the library then how do you read without breaking the bank?  I must read more than twenty books in six months.  By the end of the year I am getting close to fifty books read.

The downfall of e-books from the library is the small amount of selection of books.  They do not have all the books on your list you are wanting to check out.  So now what?  You could wait and see if they can order it for you.  Or if you can’t wait, then buy the e-book through Amazon or Nook, whichever one is your preference.

A lot of companies will be disappearing by the end of 2014.  Those that made the list are: JC Penny and Barnes and Nobles Nook ( http://247wallst.com/special-report/2013/05/23/ten-brands-that-will-disappear-in-2014/2/ ).  It is daunting to see some of the companies go but we have seen them struggle for too long.

If you know of another business on it’s last leg share it here.  There have been many publishing companies merging with other companies but this seems to make good bedfellows.  No big publishing companies are even hinting of shutting their doors.  Thank goodness!

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With the changes in the publishing industry to accommodate writers, who are breaking in whether through traditional or e-pub, there is a wave of new things to cover.

Amazon +1 vs. Safari

Amazon +1 vs. Safari (Photo credit: gcorrin)

First there are new genres.

  • NA – stands for New Adult books.  This is for young adults who have left their parents house and are trying to make it in the world on their own.  A lot of the stories are focused around college students or young adults in the working world.  Some new NA books that are hot grabs are Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster.  Check out USA Today’s article about this genre and the authors making headlines at http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2013/04/15/new-adult-genre-is-the-hottest-category-in-book-publishing/2022707/ . ( I just recently found out about this genre. )
  • Metaphysical Fiction – It is not really a new genre but more of a sub-category of fiction writing, whether it is for YA, MG or adult books.  This subject covers the mixture of some fantasy with real world phenomenon and or magic.  You can read a better description of what this category covers at Karen M. Rider’s blog at http://www.karenmrider.com/what-is-metaphysical-fiction/ .  She goes over the category really well along with visionary fiction.  The post is a great read.

The new writing styles have been put into these new categories to help readers find these books.  The changes seem minuscule and sure there are categories above I left out.  But you can find them on your own by visiting Amazon or Goodreads and searching through the many categories.

So what are the headaches to come with these changes.

  • Readers will have that many more choices to choose from.
  • Older books will have to be re-categorized to accommodate the new genres.

But here is the plus side to all this for authors out there.  We can now have our works more specifically categorized.  Which in turn will help all those readers out there who know what they are looking for in a good book.

So read on, fellow book enthusiast.  And may the writers imagination be forever endless.

 

Barnes & Noble eReader Software Coming to iPad

Barnes & Noble eReader Software Coming to iPad (Photo credit: John Federico)

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