The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of 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. I wish there was some way you could pin a post at the top of your blog!

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

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The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of 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. I wish there was some way you could pin a post at the top of your blog!

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.

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. I wish there was some way you could pin a post at the top of your blog!

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

Cover Creation?

Hi Jim, 

I just started reading Drakin. I have to admit, your cover designs are what drew me in. The first cover on Raiya is badass! I’m just curious how you come up with yours and where you go to get yours done. I’m just about ready to publish my book, but all I have available is the generic covers on places like createspace. Do you think I should use those or pay one of their people to create a cover for me?

Thanks,
LaToya 


Hi LaToya

At the risk of sounding elitist, I would absolutely NEVER go with, what many in the industry refer to as ‘clip art covers’. Those generic covers have been used over and over again and are, IMHO very plain. You just stated that the cover of Drakin is what drew you in, so let me ask you this; would you have given the book a second glance if I’d gone with one of the covers you’re looking at? I highly doubt it.

The fact is, especially in this day and age, most people are visual learners. We take in more from what we see in pictures and video, and hear in audio, than what we read on paper. This is part of the reason why things like audio books are so popular now.

There is an old saying that goes ‘you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover’. To an extent, that’s true, but it’s also not true. The cover is the first thing someone is going to see. It’s going to be the first deciding factor as to whether or not they want to read further. If they don’t like what they see on the cover, chances are, they’re not going to read on.

Personally, I would find yourself a good artist/illustrator/graphic designer. Usually, a cover will run you between $300-$700. Trust me, it’s worth it. For my covers, I go with three people…

A Photographer: Rick Chandler 

A model. (Multiple)

An artist: Brett Warniers

From there, I pick a character and/or a scene from my stories to have created into a cover and have the artist recreate it. Sometimes, I’ll even just tell the artist what my story is about and let them go nuts creating a cover that they think will work. I’ve actually gotten some really good results that way.

Long story short, a good cover is going to cost you a lot of time and money, but it’s worth it. I don’t think you’re ready to publish just yet, honestly. Find a good artist, and for the love of God, do not short change them. Be up front with whatever budgetary restrictions you have, most will work within a reasonable budget to create something great but pay them what they ask for.

Readers, what do you think? Would you ever go with a generic cover?



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

Darth Vader, Shards of the Past

Wanted to share this as I am a HUGE fan of the Star Wars Theory Channel! They do amazing stuff on there and are really high-level storytellers in their own right!



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

Linear Writing Rule?

Hi Jim, 

I was actually hoping you could help me out with a problem I was having. I’m currently writing a book that will be part of an established series. It’s been a pretty good run so far, but I’m worried because this next book actually takes place before the one I just published.  I got this idea fairly late in the game, but want to include it. I’m just worried about publishing my books out of order. What should I do?

Thanks,
Randy


Hi Randy

Prequels and bridging stories are always tough. The hardest thing about them is creating an engaging story, despite people already knowing the outcome. In many cases, unless you’re writing a series where each novel surrounds a different cast in the same universe, I’d recommend avoiding it altogether. However, if you can find a way to tell a story within a story, you may have something there. My advice to you is to look at your story outline and then go back and read the other book. Is too much already revealed? Is everyone going to know what’s going on the moment they open the cover? If your answer is yes, you may want to consider abandoning it or releasing it as sort of a free addendum to the book you already have out. That one is really up to you.

However, if you think that you can make a good story out of the in-between years, then by all means, go for it. The space between one story and the next could easily be a story of its own. Don’t worry about writing out of order. Though it may be slightly confusing for some readers, I think most will pick up on what’s going on. There’s no rule saying that series have to be written in order… look at Lucasfilms!



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

Action Figure Review, Star Wars Bandai SH Figuarts Padme Amidala

All I can say is thank God for the secondary market. Half of the best figures would be impossible to acquire otherwise!

I haven’t done one of these reviews in a while, so I thought I’d make today’s offiering a good one!

Today I’m reviewing the Bandai S.H. Figuarts Padme Amidala Episode II Japanese (sigh) exclusive!

shfiguarts_shf_padme_amidala_star_wars_episode_ii_version_1500523736_5df9ff11

Let me just start off by saying that I LOVE these figures. The detail and the painting are great, but the big winner is the face sculpts. These put even some of the more details PVC statues to shame! It is actually kind of freaky how much these look like the characters they’re meant to portray. So let’s delve into this figure.

We’ll start in the obvious place… the box! This figure comes packaged in two boxes and I really do recommend keeping both if you plan on keeping her as a collector’s piece. Most people won’t care about the cover box, but I’d still say keep it.

h-figuarts-star-wars-padme-amidala_1_d7408f605f66a08c2605dbe847d262ff

(… obviously, you’re not going to keep her in the damn thing!)

So after opening this box, we move onto the second package.

shfiguarts_shf_padme_amidala_star_wars_episode_ii_version_1500523736_5df9ff11

This is where one of my few complaints comes from with this figure. There is no window! This will be a pretty big problem for the purists that don’t even want to open the damn box! Which I do not agree with, as long as you keep the box in perfect shape and it can be opened or resealed without damage, it should be okay, but that’s an argument for a different day. I know a lot of people, myself included, like to display these figures in the box. I don’t think you can really do that with this one. So that’s a bit of a letdown.

Anyway, let’s move on to the happier aspects of the figure.

20190114_095622_hdr

(I apologize, my camera sucks!)

She has almost complete poseability in terms of how humans can move. She is jointed at the hips and under the shirt, her legs are ball jointed at the hips. Her knees have a conventional joint and really can’t rotate her lower leg. her feet and toes also have joints, which is something I’ve only seen on Figma anime figures. It’s a nice touch.

Her shoulders have a very weird double joint. It does allow for more movement, but it’s just an unusual design. Her elbows, unlike her knees, are ball jointed, and her wrists also have a nice ball joint.

20190114_095610_hdr

She doesn’t come with a base, but she is fairly easy to stand, even with all the joints.

The paint job is incredible. Where most figures from this particular part of the movie are completely white, not showing any dirt or anything. It’s always been a little irking and a reason why I’ve never purchased one of them. This one is painted, showing the dirt and stains from the Geonosian sands. It appears to get a darker tan as it goes down the figure, and is dirtiest at the feet. This is an attention to detail that really makes this figure stand out.

20190114_095616_HDR.jpg

My camera really doesn’t do this figure justice, but it’s what I have to work with.

Now, let’s move onto accessories… she comes with the droid blaster that is pictured above. She also has four spare hands. The two full open ones are attached, but then you’ve got two semi-closed, and two gripping hands so that you can put the blaster in.

This is where my second complaint comes in. Semi-closed hands don’t really do it for me. I would have preferred fists, personally. I just don’t get the point of semi-open. However, this is just me.

Since we’re dealing with complaints right now, let’s move onto the last one; the blaster. It is next to impossible to get into the figure’s hand by simply applying pressure and moving the thumb and fingers. You risk breaking either the blaster or the figure’s hand. Not a good move. The blaster’s handle is only held in place with friction. So pull it out, and push the handle into her hand from below before attaching the blaster. I don’t particularly care for this setup as even the slightest amount of pressure will cause the gun to fall apart. This makes for easy losing.

All right, onto the final accessory. she comes with a second head attachment. This one with clenched teeth:

shfiguartspadme4

I know a lot of people say that this one looks more like her, but I do not agree. I think the first one, looking at it closely does bear a slightly closer resemblance. As you can see from the details, they went to great lengths to get her face perfect, down to the damn beauty marks!

I should also note that this is currently the ONLY 6″ Padme Amidala figure. They have another one coming out from Hasbro’s Black Series, but the face sculpts on those are hit or miss… and what I’ve seen from the prototype… well…

padme-black-series-tall.jpg

Geesh… and that’s the prototype. The production models tend not to look at good as those… So, yeah, I think… I’m going to pass on that one.

Overall…

I’m giving this figure a 5/5!

She’s joined perfectly, the sculpting is perfect, the paint is perfect, the detail is insane, and it’s actually eerie how much it looks like her… like seriously, I look at the figure’s eyes and expect it to blink. The problems it has are minor and more preferential gripes than anything else. Except for the fact that it was a damn Japanese exclusive, that really sucks!

I was lucky enough to get this figure off a collector for >$100… however I see them on Ebay for around $200-$300. That’s insane! Geeks are known for spending a ton of money on merch, but… I dunno, I guess this figure would be worth the pricetag, but when they retailed for around $65 originally… that’s a tough pill to swallow. If you can find it for under $200, I’d say scoop it up quickly! Otherwise, it’s going to put a dent in your wallet!



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