The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice

Okay, so it looks like I’m still getting a lot of publishing questions. These are recurrent questions I get on a regular basis, and while I want to try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me, I don’t want my blog becoming redundant. So I think I’m going to repost this on a weekly basis from now on to help people navigate the publishing world. I don’t really see another way around it.

So if you have questions regarding publishing, PLEASE check below to see if any of this helps you before reaching out. I’m always happy to help, but I may have already answered your question.

Publishing is a tough road to navigate. Please check out the links below. These are previous posts I’ve made about the ins and outs of publishing. They should be of assistance in your journey:

Am I Ready To Publish? This is a must read BEFORE even considering starting the process. I can’t tell you how many authors burned bridges by not being ready.

Editing… There is a Cost That Must be Paid… or is There? You can skip this one if you’ve already had your writing edited (by someone other than you!). However, I’d still recommend reading.

Getting Published… the basics… In this post, we explore traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. Here you’ll get the pros on cons of each and the steps you need to go through in order to be successful in either.

Finally…

Copyrighting my Writing. Am I Protected? This isn’t required reading… however, if you’re concerned about plagiarism, or in the future may need to file a copyright claim, I recommend giving it a read.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? I’d be surprised if you didn’t. The only sage advice I can offer you other than the documents above is simple…

  1. Do not give up. A million “No’s” suddenly become irrelevant if you get that one “yes”.
  2. People will tell you that everyone and their mother wants to publish a book. You’re up against insurmountable odds and a flooded market. This is false. You’re not up against everyone and their mother. Permit me the luxury and I’ll prove this mathematically: First of all, take the entire group of people who want to get published. Now take that number and reduce it by roughly 60%. You just eliminated all the people who want to get something published, but don’t have the time, ability, drive, or inspiration to write. Next, eliminate another 20%. You’ve now taken down all the people who can put pen to paper but can’t afford the time/money to put the work into advertising and getting published. Eliminate another 10% who can’t take criticism and thus aren’t going to be able to get their writing properly edited. Now eliminate another 5% either don’t have the patience for or get discouraged by receiving a series of “No’s” from publishers.
    Now take that last 5% and eliminate all of them, except you. Why? Because they’re irrelevant. You have your writing and they have there’s. Whether or not you get published and how successful you are isn’t about other people’s writing. Yes, in the end, it’s you against one person, you. Whether or not I’ll ever get to buy your book off the shelf depends on you; how much time, effort, and funds you’re willing to put into your writing. So make it good!

Let’s open it up to the floor. Readers, do you have any publishing advice for our friend here? Let her know in the comments!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Tech Continuity = Writing Continuity #Writing #Author #Advice

So this isn’t a Q&A post, but after watching a couple of my favorite Sci-Fi movies and reading, having nothing better to do… I noticed a glaring error in some of my favorites. While the story continuity in most was pretty good, I found problems in the technology that didn’t seem to match up too well.

Instead of picking apart the writing of a few colleagues, I’m going to use a few more famous and controversial examples that people know about for references, especially since some of these issues have been explained nearly to death.

Let’s get started…

What do I mean by tech continuity?

So what I mean by that is technology being touted as top of the line in one story, but then in stories that either take place in the same timeline or different scenes, have tech that’s even more advanced or arguably less advanced with little to no explanation, yet somehow, we’re supposed to believe that they both exist in the same time period. Chronologically, it doesn’t always work.

For this, let’s use three well-known examples;

Star Wars

Star Trek

Alien

So let’s tackle them one at time; the problems, the resolution, and perhaps viable explanations.

I’m going to start with the easiest example… Star Wars. For years now, people have railed against the prequel trilogy for being considerably more technologically advanced than the original trilogy, which was far more gritty and, well, lived in.

So why does this happen? Well, the best explanation is that film production technology is far more advanced, thus of course things are going to look better. This excuse is



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice

Okay, so it looks like I’m still getting a lot of publishing questions. These are recurrent questions I get on a regular basis, and while I want to try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me, I don’t want my blog becoming redundant. So I think I’m going to repost this on a weekly basis from now on to help people navigate the publishing world. I don’t really see another way around it.

So if you have questions regarding publishing, PLEASE check below to see if any of this helps you before reaching out. I’m always happy to help, but I may have already answered your question.

Publishing is a tough road to navigate. Please check out the links below. These are previous posts I’ve made about the ins and outs of publishing. They should be of assistance in your journey:

Am I Ready To Publish? This is a must read BEFORE even considering starting the process. I can’t tell you how many authors burned bridges by not being ready.

Editing… There is a Cost That Must be Paid… or is There? You can skip this one if you’ve already had your writing edited (by someone other than you!). However, I’d still recommend reading.

Getting Published… the basics… In this post, we explore traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. Here you’ll get the pros on cons of each and the steps you need to go through in order to be successful in either.

Finally…

Copyrighting my Writing. Am I Protected? This isn’t required reading… however, if you’re concerned about plagiarism, or in the future may need to file a copyright claim, I recommend giving it a read.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? I’d be surprised if you didn’t. The only sage advice I can offer you other than the documents above is simple…

  1. Do not give up. A million “No’s” suddenly become irrelevant if you get that one “yes”.
  2. People will tell you that everyone and their mother wants to publish a book. You’re up against insurmountable odds and a flooded market. This is false. You’re not up against everyone and their mother. Permit me the luxury and I’ll prove this mathematically: First of all, take the entire group of people who want to get published. Now take that number and reduce it by roughly 60%. You just eliminated all the people who want to get something published, but don’t have the time, ability, drive, or inspiration to write. Next, eliminate another 20%. You’ve now taken down all the people who can put pen to paper but can’t afford the time/money to put the work into advertising and getting published. Eliminate another 10% who can’t take criticism and thus aren’t going to be able to get their writing properly edited. Now eliminate another 5% either don’t have the patience for or get discouraged by receiving a series of “No’s” from publishers.
    Now take that last 5% and eliminate all of them, except you. Why? Because they’re irrelevant. You have your writing and they have there’s. Whether or not you get published and how successful you are isn’t about other people’s writing. Yes, in the end, it’s you against one person, you. Whether or not I’ll ever get to buy your book off the shelf depends on you; how much time, effort, and funds you’re willing to put into your writing. So make it good!

Let’s open it up to the floor. Readers, do you have any publishing advice for our friend here? Let her know in the comments!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice

Okay, so it looks like I’m still getting a lot of publishing questions. These are recurrent questions I get on a regular basis, and while I want to try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me, I don’t want my blog becoming redundant. So I think I’m going to repost this on a weekly basis from now on to help people navigate the publishing world. I don’t really see another way around it.

So if you have questions regarding publishing, PLEASE check below to see if any of this helps you before reaching out. I’m always happy to help, but I may have already answered your question.

Publishing is a tough road to navigate. Please check out the links below. These are previous posts I’ve made about the ins and outs of publishing. They should be of assistance in your journey:

Am I Ready To Publish? This is a must read BEFORE even considering starting the process. I can’t tell you how many authors burned bridges by not being ready.

Editing… There is a Cost That Must be Paid… or is There? You can skip this one if you’ve already had your writing edited (by someone other than you!). However, I’d still recommend reading.

Getting Published… the basics… In this post, we explore traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. Here you’ll get the pros on cons of each and the steps you need to go through in order to be successful in either.

Finally…

Copyrighting my Writing. Am I Protected? This isn’t required reading… however, if you’re concerned about plagiarism, or in the future may need to file a copyright claim, I recommend giving it a read.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? I’d be surprised if you didn’t. The only sage advice I can offer you other than the documents above is simple…

  1. Do not give up. A million “No’s” suddenly become irrelevant if you get that one “yes”.
  2. People will tell you that everyone and their mother wants to publish a book. You’re up against insurmountable odds and a flooded market. This is false. You’re not up against everyone and their mother. Permit me the luxury and I’ll prove this mathematically: First of all, take the entire group of people who want to get published. Now take that number and reduce it by roughly 60%. You just eliminated all the people who want to get something published, but don’t have the time, ability, drive, or inspiration to write. Next, eliminate another 20%. You’ve now taken down all the people who can put pen to paper but can’t afford the time/money to put the work into advertising and getting published. Eliminate another 10% who can’t take criticism and thus aren’t going to be able to get their writing properly edited. Now eliminate another 5% either don’t have the patience for or get discouraged by receiving a series of “No’s” from publishers.
    Now take that last 5% and eliminate all of them, except you. Why? Because they’re irrelevant. You have your writing and they have there’s. Whether or not you get published and how successful you are isn’t about other people’s writing. Yes, in the end, it’s you against one person, you. Whether or not I’ll ever get to buy your book off the shelf depends on you; how much time, effort, and funds you’re willing to put into your writing. So make it good!

Let’s open it up to the floor. Readers, do you have any publishing advice for our friend here? Let her know in the comments!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Another Drakin Question? #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim,

I wanted to ask you about An Empire of Ashes. I was curious… how did Nayeli keep her true identity secret from Joaquim? Given the fact that they seemed to have been so intimate for as long as they were, wouldn’t he have figured it out sooner?

Thanks,
Mike


Hi Mike,

Good question. Honestly, I wrestled with that one for a while and I kind of answered it in a previous post. Sadly I can’t find it right now. However, the idea was that the ability to shroud in human form is almost autonomic. A dragon can trigger it at will, but once they do, unless their body experiences some kind of shock, they won’t transform back unless they trigger it themselves. It’s akin to opening or closing your fist. It will stay in whatever shape you put it in until you trigger it again.

My original plan with Nayeli was that she would be born a dragon and then transform into a human at a very young age, suffer memory loss, and essentially forget what she really is. Nayeli’s transformation would come as a shock to both of them.

I abandoned that plot thread because we already had enough going on in the book. However, essentially, the idea remains the same. Nayeli could easily hide her true identity and did so in order to protect Joaquim from prosecution if he was captured.

I hope that answers your question!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Writing a Hook? #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim,

I’m currently trying to write a query for publishing agents. Do you have any advice for me on writing a hook?

Thanks,
Jane


Hi Jane,

YES! I can help with this, though that isn’t really the way I got published, I do have some experience with this. Still, take my advice with a grain of salt as again, I didn’t get published this way.

All right, so you’re writing a hook to try to pull a literary agent in, great! First, let’s start off with why it’s called a hook. A hook is a metaphor to a fish hook. It’s a baited hook designed to entice a fish snatch onto your line. Literary agents are your fish, the letter your sending them is your line, now it’s up to you to give them a hook they’d want to bite into. So how do you do that?

First picture that agent sitting right in front of you. S/he sits back in their chair, folds their hands together, looks at you seriously, and says, “Okay, you’ve got ten seconds. Impress me.”

He quickly checks the time and looks back at you to impress him. What’s the two or three sentences you’re going to give this person that is going to make them want to give you another ten seconds or more? They’re not getting paid to listen to you, so it better be good.

So here’s an example of what I would do if I were writing one on my most recent book:

Changwei Kaori is an Asian Princess, living lavishly in a world still healing from a cataclysmic war. While on a visit to the market, she encounters a pair of fugitive children that open her eyes to the horrific crimes committed by her country. With this knowledge in had, she must mobilize what influence she can, with her mother breathing down her neck, to prevent the genocide of an innocent people. In the process, she befriends people who have been adversely affected by her mother’s policies and uncovers truths about her own past that she was unprepared for. 

Remember, it is absolutely vital to keep the tempo up and the narrative flowing. This is your ONLY chance to impress the agent and if they find your hook boring, guess what? They’re going to assume, rightly or otherwise, that the rest of the book is as well. It may not seem fair, but literary agents get thousands of these queries and they only have time to judge a book by this query. Sometimes not even that.

Jane, I don’t want you to focus entirely on the hook as a whole, I want you to put emphasis on the first sentence. I’m not kidding pour your heart and soul into it. Make it dramatic. Use big, color words. Look at mine for a reference; “Princess” “Cataclysmic” “War” “Lavish”. Believe it or not, I’ve known agents who have to read through so many of these, they’ll throw them out after the first sentence. So that’s where I want your focus to be. Build a strong one that establishes your main character and setting. Then use the second setting to establish the problem your character will face. Instill a sense of urgency here. You want to make it impossible for the agent to pull their eyes away. Finally, make the third sentence about what the main character needs to do in order to resolve their issue, or what about a greater discovery that they make on their journey. Most importantly, though… LEAVE IT AS A CLIFFHANGER!!! Give the agent enough that they want more, but don’t answer all of his or her questions right then and there. Make it clear that if they want to hear more they’re going to need to work for it.

Finally, when all this is said and done, have a bunch of people look at your hook. Make sure they’re non-writers and ask them if this sounds interesting. Ask them straight up if they’ll buy that book when it comes out. Ask someone critical, but someone who is interested in the subject matter.

The importance of doing so cannot be overstated, because when you’re not the writer, you have distance from the work and it’s not something you’re invested in. A great hook should come across as something that was fairly easy to write (whether or not it was) flows easily, and just feels natural.

Think you’ve got an idea of where you’re going now? Awesome. If you get stuck again, just refer to this small list of no-nos:

  • Over 200 words? YOU’RE REVEALING TOO MUCH!!! Look at my example above! It was 97 words!!!
  • Multiple characters in your hook? This is a tough one, especially if you have an ensemble cast. Pick one, the one that you view as the most interesting or important and use them for your hook.
  • Ask a question in the first sentence? This one is strictly my opinion, but this is a tired and cheap way of hooking someone in. It’s best left to, at most, mystery writers. Try to avoid it.
  • Don’t talk about the story, TELL the story. A way to get your hook thrown in the trash is you lecturing the agent about what your book is going to be about rather than walking them through the story itself.
  • Minor plot points? Don’t reveal your hand too soon. Keep it simple, keep it interesting. You’re wasting word count by getting into the minor details of the story. This is supposed to be a summary of the whole thing in three small sentences.
  • Is the Ending of the book in your Hook? Get it out! At most, the synopsis should have that! Again, don’t show more of your hand then you need to!

 

All right, so there you go. Good luck, and good hunting! Let me know how it turns out and please feel free to email me if you have any more questions. I’m always happy to help.

Let’s open it up to my other readers as there are other writers who follow my blog. Readers, what other advice do you have for Jane? Is there anything else you’d add to the no-no list, or possibly refute? Let me know down in the comments!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

RIP Max Von Sydow #Celebrities #MaxVonSydow #RIP

This is a sad one for me. Today, an extremely underrated actor passed away. According to the BBC:

“His family announced “with a broken heart and infinite sadness” that the Swedish-born actor died on Sunday.”

Admittedly, I don’t know as much about his background as I did about people like Christopher Lee, Leonard Nimoy, and Carrie Fisher (damn, it’s been a tough couple of years!), but this is an actor that has been with me all my life. I first saw him as Father Merrin in the Exorcist at six years old… and lost about five lbs. from being unable to eat for days after. Today, the Exorcist is a Halloween favorite in my house!

Additionally, though, I knew him from other great works…
Flash Gordon
Conan the Barbarian (one of my favorite franchises)
Dune
Ghostbusters 2 (He was Vigo’s voice, I’m not kidding!)
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
Nuremberg
What Dreams May Come (to a lesser extent, the movie was boring)
Minority Report
Rush Hour 3
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Again, to a lesser extent, that movie was a horrible, pretentious, piece of drek!)
Star Wars The Force Awakens (where he was criminally under used!)
and finally, Game of Thrones.

So from some of my favorite movies, to a video game I’ve play more than likely all of my other games combine… no easy task.

I think we can take some solace in the fact that we were graced with 90 years of the man and many MANY decades of his great acting. He will be missed, but will be remembered!