Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Friday Polls ~ What Are You Writing? ~ Plus ~ What Will You Write Next?


As ever, we begin with the results of last week’s poll—What Do You Want To Read Next? 

Writing Poll

Image courtesy of Chris Baker ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/immrchris

The most desired next read was “crime/detective” at 20.7%

Then, a three-way tie at 17.24%:

“Fiction”

“Literary”

And, “Other”, which registered the following:

“Biography”

“I have composed a list, all genres”

“Fantasy”

“hoping to read a book called ‘Justice Served Hot'”

Then, a two-way tie at 6.9%:

“Historical” & “Mystery”

Then, a three-way tie at 3.5%”

“Non-fiction”, “Text book” & Sci-Fi

Finally, at 3%—Technical Manual

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Now, this week’s polls—yes, there are two of them :-)

For each poll there is only the “Other” box, which can take only about 10 characters…

So…

Go ahead and put your briefest answer in the “Other” box; then, if you want to expand on it, hit the “Vote” button and look toward the bottom of the poll for the “Comments” link—–take that link and, so I can correlate the results, re-enter the brief answer you gave in the “Other” box, along with your more detailed answer——Whew… :-)

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Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
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To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Are You Thankful You Can Read?


Today, in the U.S.A., it’s Thanksgiving…

Thankful for Reading

Image Courtesy of tim & annette ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/mexikids

In Canada it’s the second Monday in October.

There are also “Thanksgiving” celebrations in Grenada, Liberia, The Netherlands, Germany, Japan, and Norfolk Island (Australian external territory).

I found an article in the Provo, Utah Daily HeraldEveryDay Learners: Gratitude for the gift of reading.

A few excerpts:

“For all of us, there are many things to be grateful for. This year, let’s all remember to be grateful for a gift that makes almost all other good things in our lives possible: the gift of reading.”

“The gift of reading truly opens doors and opportunities that would be forever closed otherwise.”

“But that knowledge doesn’t come to us on our own; we are given the gift of reading by parents, teachers, friends, and family members.”

“Eileen Leavitt, an editor in Utah County, remembers how her family enjoyed reading choose-your-own-adventure stories as she was growing up. She believes that reading itself is like one of those stories.”

“While parents are, in many cases, the earliest and most significant influences on our attitude toward reading, many others in our community also contribute to the gift of reading. For many of us, the local public library is a constant source of learning.”

“For each of us, the way that we receive and discover the gift of reading is different. But for all of us, reading is one of the most important gifts we ever receive….let’s all recommit to passing along the gift of reading not just to our families, but to friends, neighbors, and everyone in our community.”

Do, please, go read the whole article—many touching personal expressions of giving thanks for reading :-)
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Today’s The Last Day to Vote In Our Latest Poll…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
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To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Authentic Book Promotion ~ Does It Sell?


Let me first address the issue of book sales.

Promotion for Writers

Image Courtesy of Adam Page ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/atom_balm

There are many things an author can do to increase the likelihood that their book will sell.

None of those actions will guarantee sales…

Some writers think landing a traditional publishing deal will assure book sales.

Not so…

Perhaps, if you’re an extremely famous person, your book will sell—perhaps…

I wrote a post last year that led to six different ways to think about the task of promoting a self-published book—Breaking The “Rules” of Book Promotion—showing that originality and authenticity could help boost sales and certainly will let you sleep more soundly…

There’s also a recent post over at Writer Unboxed, by Jane Friedman—The Online Presence That’s a Natural Extension of Who You Are and What You Do. (Is It Just Fantasy?)

Here’s a brief excerpt:

“To begin to inspect this problem—and a beginning is all that’s possible for this blog post—I’ll discuss a few writers who exhibit the following qualities:

  • Their writing work is clearly central to everything they do. Or think of it as: writing as guiding star (as it should be).
  • Their voice, online or off, is authentic.
  • Their online presence and engagement is unique to them and, at least from my POV, sustainable and meaningful.”

She shares the efforts of five extremely different authors, then says:

“All of the authors I mentioned—who are quite different in terms of their success, genre, and personalities—are able to focus on their writing and maintain an online presence, while appearing to remain whole. Each has found the right approach based on their strengths and goals, and you can do the same.”

If you’re a writer floundering in the Sea of Promotion, head on over and check out the whole article.

If you have all that stuff taken care of or don’t care a fig about it, share the link with a writer-friend :-)
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Check Out Our Latest Poll…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Have We Hit A Landmark “Moment” in Self-Publishing?


There’s been So Much press about self-publishing…

Self-Publishing's Future

Image courtesy of Wilton Rodrigues ~ http://www.sxc.hu/profile/wilton

I’m nearly exhausted just trying to keep up…

Now, The CEO of Smashwords says, Ebook Publishing Gets More Difficult from Here – Here’s How to Succeed.

The article’s topic headings about the slowdown are:

1.  There’s a glut of high-quality ebooks

2.  The rate of growth in the supply of ebooks is outstripping the growth in demand for ebooks

3. The rate of transition from print books to ebooks is slowing

Then, there are no less than 20 topic headings for How to Succeed in the Future Competitive Landscape

Most of the article is centered on authors who expect to make a living with self publishing.

For those who write and self-publish for reasons other than money, check out the article on The GuardianSelf-publishing’s vices and virtues.

After a penetrative look at the less lovely side of self-publishing, the author says:

“Interviews with many self-published authors have taught me that there are often issues of more importance than sales. For many, the material they want to publish has long burned inside them and the process of self-publishing delivers a profound satisfaction.”

“[Self-publishing]…also allows people to create products that bring huge personal pride, even if they include a few spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. As a process, the value of self-publishing to communities who want to share or preserve material is huge. But for its reputation to be assured as a medium for reading pleasure, the desire to go public straight away must be resisted. Just because you can share immediately does not mean you should. There is a world of difference between attention and approval.”

So…

There are still huge differences of opinion about why to self-publish; plus, we might be witnessing a major landmark “moment”…

Still, I feel self-publishing is the Future for Books………
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Check Out Our Latest Poll…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Do You Find Hope In The Books You Read?


So many folks read to escape…

Finding Hope In Books

Image Courtesy of Milan Jurek ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/milan6

I don’t blame them…

We live in a world lost in materialism—a world swamped with greed—a world going mad.

Far too many writers try to copy what’s going on instead of engendering what could be.

Nearly four years ago, I wrote a bit about this difference in writers’ purposes—What’s The Writer’s Job? ~ Recording Or Creating?

The New Yorker has a recent article about the National Book Awards but especially about Ursula K. Le Guin‘s acceptance of the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

For those of you who don’t take link-outs from blogs, I’ll quote some particularly pertinent remarks she made:

“I think hard times are coming, when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies, to other ways of being. And even imagine some real grounds for hope.

“We will need writers who can remember freedom: poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality.

“Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. The profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art.

“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable; so did the divine right of kings. … Power can be resisted and changed by human beings; resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art—the art of words.”

And, whether you take the link to that article or not but you want to understand more deeply those words of Le Guin, here’s a video of her speech:

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Check Out Our Latest Poll…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

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