Category: Books

Other Books

THWT Question for 17 JUL 2018

 

 

This week’s Two Hundred Word Tuesday question is:

 

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

 

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2018/07/17/thwt-question-for-17-jul-2018/

Melodee’s Rules for Authors — Number Ten

 

 

Number Ten

Generally Speaking, Writing Experts Aren’t

 

I want you to think about something totally unrelated to writing for a minute…

How many people are there professing they are “experts” in social media or search engine optimization (SEO) or various other subjects related to online marketing? Millions? More?

Why are there so many? Because there is a created market for them with the explosive growth in social media and search engine use.

Now, back to writing…

How many people are there out on the Internet claiming to be “experts” at teaching you how to write? Hundreds of thousands? More?

Why are there so many? Because there is a created market for them due to the explosive growth of self-publication from Amazon and other places.

Yeah…everyone thinks they are an author. Many (but by no means all) are just bad writers who self-publish because a real publisher won’t touch them with a ten-foot pole.

Most of the so-called writing experts are failed writers. Not only were they unable to get published, they couldn’t make a living being self-published. They are hacks at best and con-artists at worst.

Think about it…

If they know so much about writing and are so good at it, why aren’t they writing?

Yeah…

You know the answer.

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2018/07/06/melodees-rules-for-authors-number-ten-6/

THWT Question for 03 JUL 2018

 

 

After a brief vacation, Two Hundred Word Tuesday is back!

 

Today’s question is:

 

Is anything in your books based on real life experiences or are they purely all imagination?

 

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2018/07/03/thwt-question-for-03-jul-2018/

THWT Question for 19 JUN 2018

 

 

The Two Hundred Word Tuesday question for 19 JUN 2018 is:

 

What is your latest book news?

 

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2018/06/19/thwt-question-for-19-jun-2018/

Melodee’s Rules for Authors — Number Nine

 

 

Number Nine

Final Drafts Are Still Pretty Rough

 

OK, maybe they’re REALLY rough.

No matter how carefully you read your manuscript, there will be errors. Grammar, spelling, syntax, and all of the rest will creep in and entrench the errors so deep that you, as the writer, can’t even see them. Logic and flow errors are even worse.

The reason for this is very simple, and my great grandma summed it up nicely when she said, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.”

In other words, you are too close.

Get people to read your manuscript. For grammar, spelling, and other mechanical issues, anyone with a reasonable grasp of high school level English will do. Even family will work.

For logic and flow, for God’s sake do NOT use a family member or close friend! They will ignore problems because they don’t want to hurt your feelings, even if the problem is glaring. Find someone who will be totally honest with you, even if it hurts.

If you have a representative, they will have editors who will help you, and they will be brutally honest with you. Trust me, that’s gonna hurt. And it will leave a mark…a mark that you will remember and help you grow and become a better writer.

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2018/06/15/melodees-rules-for-authors-number-nine-6/

THWT Question for 12 JUN 2018

 

 

Here is this week’s Two Hundred Word Tuesday question:

 

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

 

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2018/06/12/thwt-question-for-12-jun-2018/

Melodee’s Rules for Authors — Number Eight

 

 

Number Eight

Don’t Fear The Editors

 

This Rule is a rough one for most writers, no matter if they are a seasoned professional author with decades in the business or if they are a new writer struggling with their first story. Editors can be intimidating, and that’s a good thing.

It is the editor—at least the good ones—who will push the writer to make the story better. From the line editor looking for grammatical and spelling errors to the content editor looking for continuity and logic in the story, they all have the aim of making your story the best it can be. In order to do that job right, they must be critical and on the offensive all of the time.

Over the years, I’ve come to know that the quality of the editor is directly proportional to the amount of red ink on my manuscript when I get it back. I know I’m not perfect, and I have never written the perfect manuscript. There are always errors, always problems, and the more of those the editor finds and flags the better they did their job.

Many new writers see the relationship between them and the editor as one of an adversarial nature, but nothing could be farther from the truth. This is a cooperative relationship, one where the writer and editor are a team working towards the common goal of producing a story that will sell. We have the same objective in mind…to entertain the reader and to sell books.

The editor is not there to rewrite the story. They are there to help the writer find mistakes and to make the story clear and concise. And this can lead to a potential problem…

In the print world, editors very rarely write stories at all. They are editors and that is that. In the world of E-Books, editors are often also writers. These people write their own books, and also work editing the stories of other writers to supplement their income.

And the print world has it right…

By and large, editors are terrible writers, and writers are terrible editors. Why is that?

A writer will tend to let their own voice drift into the works of others as they do an edit. It’s not a deliberate thing, it just happens. As a writer edits the work of another, that little voice that all writers hear will keep saying things like, “…I would say it this way instead…” and it all starts to blend together. I have seen this in numerous E-Books…in the middle of a paragraph, someone else takes over the writing for a few lines.

In similar fashion, an editor trying to write will typically end up with something that, while mechanically and technically correct, will sound stiff and stilted. That is to say that their voice ends up sounding like the style manuals and grammar textbooks.

Editors and writers are two different skill sets, both important to the final product.

I suppose it’s possible to have both skill sets in one person, but the danger for crosstalk between the two functions would be high. Of the tens of thousands of writers and thousands of editors I know, there is exactly one person I know can do both tasks. And it isn’t me!

Writers should not be afraid of the editors. They are there to help the writer and in most cases they succeed.

And this is where things come down to the brass tacks…

If the editor suggests a change, really think about it. If the change makes sense and makes the story better IN THE OPINION OF THE WRITER, then make the change. If not, then reject the change. Don’t be afraid to tell the editor “no”.

It is YOUR story, not theirs. It is YOUR voice, not theirs.

See Rule Number Twenty-One as well.

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2018/06/08/melodees-rules-for-authors-number-eight-6/

THWT Question for 05 JUN 2018

 

 

The Two Hundred Word Tuesday question for today is:

 

As a general rule, which is harder for you to write: (1) A typical passage of about 200 words in a current work in progress or, (2) A typical 200 word cover blurb for a book about to be released? Why?

 

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2018/06/05/thwt-question-for-05-jun-2018/

Melodee’s Rules for Authors — Number Seven

 

 

Number Seven

Never Underestimate The Power Of The Backlist

 

As frightening as it might be, some writers don’t even know what the backlist is. So, let me quote from Wikipedia…

A backlist is a list of older books available from a publisher, as opposed to titles newly published (sometimes called the front list).

Building a strong backlist has traditionally been seen as the way to produce a profitable publishing house, as the most expensive aspects of the publishing process have already been paid for and the only remaining expenses are reproduction costs. A strong backlist is also a form of The Long Tail in modern business plans.

“The backlist is the financial backbone of the book industry, accounting for 25 to 30 percent of the average publisher’s sales,” wrote The New York Times. “Current titles, known as the front list, are often a gamble: they can become best sellers, but they are much more likely to disappear in a flood of returns from bookstores. By contrast, backlist books usually have predicable sales and revenues.”

While this definition is aimed at publishers, the same thing apply to writers…the backlist is a great source of steady revenue. Also, a new release will usually lead to spike in sales of backlist titles.

The lesson to be learned here is that you should always talk up and promote your backlist. Just because a book was released five years ago, that does not mean that there is no more money to be made from that title. Talk about it, spread the word, get readers interested, and convince them to buy that old book.

Every dime you make from the sale of a backlist title is a dime you didn’t have yesterday.

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2018/06/01/melodees-rules-for-authors-number-seven-6/

THWT Question for 29 MAY 2018

 

 

Here’s the final Two Hundred Word Tuesday question for May 2018…

 

What are your far future projects, those that exist only as an idea in your head now?

 

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2018/05/29/thwt-question-for-29-may-2018/