Creativity, Sensitivity, Laziness and Courage

(Reblogging here with Marcia’s permission)

In which I make the point that it is horribly hard to send our “babies” out to agents and publishers, something I think is overlooked in the ongoing debate re: indie vs. traditional publishing… Would love to hear you all’s thoughts on the topic.

by Kassandra Lamb

Please note that this is not a post about the pros and cons of indie vs. traditional publishing per se (I will cover those in a later post). Rather this post is about the “between a rock and a hard place” spot where new writers often find themselves as they explore how to get their words in front of readers’ eyes.

The indie vs. traditional publishing controversy was resurrected in December, 2016, by a Huffington Post article with the rather obnoxious title, Self-Publishing: An Insult To The Written Word? by Laurie Gough.

Quite a few indie authors immediately responded with some eloquent replies. And then the Alliance of Independent Authors published their New Year’s post: Successful Indie Authors 2016: Part One.

These two posts, along with the responding comments, represent the two sides of this controversy, but I noted that one thing was missing from the discussion. Indeed, I have never heard this point made during debates about the issue.

Creatives are, by definition, sensitive souls.

Van Gogh

One of Van Gogh’s self portraits, this one with a bandage where his ear once was. Creatives’ sensitivity sometimes leads to madness. (public domain)

It’s a cliché really—the tortured artistic poet/painter/musician/actor/author who drinks too much, uses drugs, suffers for their art with an angst-filled life, etc.

But like all clichés, this one has a kernel of truth at its core.

So why would we require that these sensitive souls endure months or years of rejection before they are allowed to show their work to the world?

The author of the Huff Post article calls literary agents and traditional publishers the “gatekeepers” of the written word. Indeed, that term is bandied about a lot in the world of trad publishing. The implication is that they are saving the unwashed masses of readers from bad literature by carefully vetting new works of fiction.

In addition to the implied insult to readers, the reality is that all too often these days agents and publishers are not always as concerned about the quality of a story as they are about whether or not they think it will sell.

That’s not just my perspective; I’ve heard agents say this at conferences. With regret in their voices, because they know good stories are being rejected and good writers are being discouraged by those rejections.

No one deals well with rejection. And the more important an achievement or some aspect of ourselves is to us, the greater the blow to our spirits if it is rejected… READ MORE

#TuesdayBookBlog Among Thieves & Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick @DougHulick

Tuesday is usually a quiet day, here on The Write Stuff, so I figured it might be a good time to share my latest review on Bookin’ It. Hope you enjoy it!

Bookin' It

51iefkh4kbl__sx308_bo1204203200_  51c1moarkkl__sx308_bo1204203200_My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars for Each

Among Thieves Blurb:

Drothe has been a member of the Kin for years, rubbing elbows with thieves and murderers in the employ of a crime lord, while smuggling relics on the side. But when an ancient book falls into his hands, Drothe finds himself in a possession of a relic capable of bringing down emperors–a relic everyone in the underworld would kill to obtain.

Sworn in Steel Blurb:

It’s been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and found himself unexpectedly elevated into the ranks of the criminal elite. As the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he’s not only gained friends, but also rivals—and some of them aren’t bothered by his newfound title. A prince’s blood, as the saying goes, flows just as red as a beggar’s.

So when another Gray Prince…

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Release Day Coming Up on December 23rd

Don Massenzio has a new book available for pre-order on Amazon! Check out his post on Frank Immersed, continuing the adventures of ex-cop, Frank Rozzani. Hope you’ll help Don spread the word!

Don Massenzio's Blog

I’m proud to announce that my new book, Frank Immersed, is now available early in paperback form and available for pre-order on the Kindle at Amazon.com. This book follows the further adventures of Frank Rozzani, ex cop turned private detective, as he and his partner Clifford “Jonesy” Jones go undercover to find out why young girls are disappearing from luxury cruise ships.

Creating this book was a new experience. I worked with a very talented new author, Kent Arceneaux. Kent is a renaissance man who is a first responder, artist, singer, father, entrepreneur and now author. He has a wonderful talent for writing action and creating engaging characters. It was a pleasure to collaborate with him on this book and help launch what could be a promising career as an author. I’ll be sharing more about Kent in the coming days.

Please help me spread the word about this new…

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Mythbusting The Amazon Algorithm – Reviews and Ranking For Authors

A lengthy but very informative article on Amazon and algorithms here on Christoph Fischer’s blog. There is a link at the end to a second article, continuing this topic. Slow reading, but VERY useful and worth the time! Thanks, Christoph!

writerchristophfischer

Reblog: Mythbusting The Amazon Algorithm – Reviews and Ranking For Authors

Posted by: Cate Baum April 30, 2016 in Features

How to get the best out of your reviews and sales to rank high on Amazon without the myths from former search expert and COO of SPR, Cate Baum.

Despite many educated guesses that seem to have passed into urban legend in self-publishing communities online, there are no secrets to the Amazon ranking system.

I have spent the last few months tracking down programmers, algorithm experts, and reading technical documentation about Amazon’s algorithm, and the documentation that is provided online by Amazon at Amazon Seller Central and KDP. What I didn’t do was talk to any authors or bloggers, because that seems to be where the myths are coming from.

My first takehome fact for authors is that Amazon’s ranking is not a great mystery that authors must slave over…

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Happy New Year!

standingintherainbow
Dancing With Wieners Star, Maksim Hotdogski (alias Maks)
Is Wishing You a Face Full of Rainbows All Year Long

Just want to take a minute or two to wish each of you a wonderful, prosperous, and MOST of all, fulfilling 2017! I have a real good feeling about this one! Haven’t made any hard and fast New Year’s Resolutions, though I did get a Fitbit for Christmas, and am amazed at what a good job it does of keeping me accountable, and reminding me to get up from this desk and MOVE, every single hour. What I have done, though, is set some goals, large and small, and one of them is to find more time for marketing each week. This past year was my worst at that since I first started writing. But I’m collecting ideas, tips, and strategies, and I’m ready to implement some of them.

We’ve gained a lot of new followers here at The Write Stuff in the last couple of months, and I’d like to welcome you all aboard. This is a blog for writers and about writers, and we encourage you to share news, promos, release information, and more with us. Several of you are already set up as contributors, and I’m hoping you’ll post here often this year. Those of you who aren’t can contact me (see About/Contact button at top of page, right under the header) and I will be happy to post news for you. I’ll also be glad to explain how you can become a contributor, too.

Next week, I’ll be getting back to my regular blog features: #MondayMeme, #MidWeekPOV, #ThorsDaySmile, and #InspirationBoard Sunday. I left out #FabulousFridayGuestBlogger, because I’m thinking of changing that slightly, perhaps to an interview format or something else a bit easier on guests. Often, guests don’t have time to compose a full blog post, so I’m hoping to find a quicker way to have folks visit us on Fridays. Will get back to you on that as soon as I know how I want to do it, but rest assured, Fridays will still be a day for guests to drop by.

In the meantime, let’s all head into 2017 with confidence and good cheer. Remember, Life is what you make of it–YOU have the power! And I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with this brand, new year!

Roll on, 2017! The Write Stuff is ready for you!

 

Wednesday’s #NotesFromTheRiver – Barred Owls

Today’s #NotesFromTheRiver blog post features one of central Florida’s most beautiful birds, the barred owl. Hope some of you will check out the post, and share with your friends. Doug Little’s beautiful photos are worth the visit, alone. To see (and hear) for yourself, go here: #NotesFromTheRiver – Barred Owls

I just remembered! I’m slowly replacing my memory with Post-Its!

Anyone here relate to this as much as I do?

Ned's Blog

imageWhen my wife called to remind me about letting our dog out at noon, I instinctively retrieved a Post-It from the desk drawer and scrawled “Dog at noon,” then stuck it to the computer monitor.

This required shuffling a series of other yellow Post-Its into order of importance, with things like “Call about hair cut,” “Go to dry cleaners” and “Clean out van” written on them.

That one, of course, was moved to the very end of the line.

Sadly, they’re all things I should be able to remember on my own and usually do; like when I’m staring into the closet for a pair of pants to wear. Later, I got into the van and was gently reminded by a shocking-yellow piece of paper to “get gas.”

It was while sitting at the pump a short time later that the notion of Post-It dependency hit me. 

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