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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Dragons… the Ins and Outs.

Hi Jim,

I was wondering if you could describe your dragons in a little bit greater detail. Are they like the dragons from the Hobbit or Game of Thrones, or are they something else altogether? I’m really fascinated by dragon lore and wanted to get your take on them.

Thanks,
Nick


Hello Nick,

To be honest, I’m not really a fan of the design from Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. They make their anatomy out to be more like bats where the wings are connected to their arms. I don’t like that.

So let’s start with their basic anatomy. My dragons are what I’d call ‘omipedal’. What I mean by that is simply that they can walk either upright on their hind legs or on all four. Though I should note that as more generations of dragons are born on Earth, they’ve become more and more bipedal.

In terms of their general anatomy, dragons range in maximum mass from the size of the average human to the size of a three-story building. They have fairly long necks, four legs with claws on the end that function both as feet and claws. They have two additional limbs that are exclusively wings, somewhat more like angels.

So what about their faces?

Well, let’s take a look…

41079303_534669653660437_9066413543649181696_n.png

They have manes, usually black or silver. Their eyes are typically wide and two-toned. The older generation on Earth possess eyes that typically yellow and red…

Drakin-Cover-Poster-Final (1)

However, the colors tend to soften as the later generations are born. They all have sharp, jagged horns from their head and their scales range in color from black to yellow, to gray, to red.

What I think separates my dragons from the standard fare is that they’re incredibly intelligent, and I mean more so than humans. The dragons of the Drakin universe possess limited telepathic abilities and they learn Terran languages just by hearing a few syllables. While many series have dragons that can speak and deal with complex issues, I think adding ones that are actually more intelligent than humans is fairly rare.

Their scales are tough, though again, they get smoother as the generations go on. Even so, at full maturity, they are impervious to conventional weapons. Their shapes and sizes are very different, depending on the dragon themselves. Some are very spikey where others resemble that of al alligator.

Anyway, I hope this helps give you an idea of what my dragons look like. Hopefully, it’ll give you some temptation to read the sequel when it comes out in another couple of months!



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

Drakin: The Orphans of Haven Update

Hello all!
The Copyright registration is complete, and the ISBNs have been ordered.

We now have a release date of December 21st. Hey, just in time for Christmas! Hope everyone is as excited about the book as I am!!

Drakin Synopsis:

The nightmares never end for Radley Zall. After years of struggling for survival during the Red War, he finds himself deporting wayward dragons to the Exclusion Zone. The horrors of his past have left him a broken man, slowing killing himself in a bottle of whiskey. It’s a wearying existence that many former soldiers have been subject to since the war ended, but for Radley, that is all about to change.
Throughout his life, Radley’s hatred of dragons has been unmatched until one evening when a small one shows up on his doorstep. The pathetic creature is emaciated and begging for shelter.
For reasons Radley can’t explain, he feels compelled to help her. That uncharacteristic decision will change the course of his life forever. His fight to keep her safe lands him deep in a plot to reignite the Red War after ten years of peace and wipe out the few remaining dragons on Earth. The demons of his past have come back to haunt him. If he is unable to silence them, the fragile peace humanity spent thirty years fighting and dying for will be lost.”



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

From My Writing Playlist

I have to admit… I’m kicking myself for not posting this one sooner. I know people have mixed feelings about this movie, I completely get that. It is a muddled mess and maybe I’m looking at it through nostalgia goggles… but I would argue not. My nostalgia goggles didn’t protect the Dark Crystal. I can’t even watch that movie anymore. This one… at the very least, is a beautiful-looking movie and of course, Tim Curry is a lot of fun. I guess you can call it a guilty pleasure, even if the story makes no sense.

When to Listen:  So this particular theme is the Unicorn track and… honestly, you can use it when writing a few different scenes. I think originally, particularly at about 30 seconds in, it was meant to convey innocence, majesty, and beauty. So technically, if you’re writing about a young royal, like a princess, and you want to describe her… have at it.
For me… this song tune took on a different meaning. I saw it as a comforting sound. So I use it when my main character is reacquainted with someone they care deeply for.
SPOILER ALERT: 
This song was used in the scene in Gravestalker when Toby found out that he had successfully resurrected his love, despite her not having any memory of him. It was a touching scene where she had to take everything on trust because as far as she was concerned, Toby was a stranger.

So either way, it really does work.



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

One Writing Album

Hi Jim,

This may seem kind of stupid, but you talk about music inspiring and motivating you to write. Can you recommend one album, that if you listened to nothing else, that one album would suffice?

Thanks,
Lonnie


Hi Lonnie,

For the record, I don’t like being pinned to one album, genre, or anything I listen to what works for me from one minute to the next. However, since you asked… in my personal opinion, the best album out of my entire repertoire is one that came out about 7 years ago.

Within Temptation – The Unforgiving.

This album… I was worried when it came out. Within Temptation always had a very gothic style to it. This changed to a more speed-based, action style for the band when I heard the first few songs…

However, the style works for them. It’s a change that was actually very well received and may have prolonged the life of the band while others like Nightwish have really struggled to find their identity after such a long run. From being hesitantly optimistic, I can now say that this is easily the best album in my entire collection. Almost the entire CD is a hit and the story in the background is actually pretty awesome. This CD has helped me write several books and really picked me up when I was suffering fatigue or writer’s block. It’s definitely worth a listen.



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

Characters First, Stories Second.

Hi Jim,

I was wondering if you talk a little bit about how you create characters for your book. I’ve got an awesome idea for a story, but I’m having a hard time creating characters to go along with it. Do you have any advice?

Thanks,
Kris


Hello Kris,

In my personal opinion, you’re doing this backward. You’ve got a great story, but no characters. I don’t believe that’s the correct way of going about this. I’m sure that many of my readers will disagree with me on this one, but I think that the best way write a story is to create a set of characters first, then create the story around them.

For me, I have a library of characters written out that I have not yet used. Actually, many of the characters for some of my more recent books have come from that library. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you have to create characters for specific plot devices in the story, but largely, it may be better for your main characters to be an independent creation.

I have characters that are elves, half-elves, dragonkin (half-dragons), Dragons that have the ability to appear in human form, dwarves, modern humans, medieval and prehistoric humans, fantasy humans, humans from other planets that evolved differently from ones on this planet, and several different vaguely-written backstories. They are all just anxiously awaiting their chance to take center stage.

When the time comes and I come up with a new story, I go back to that library and pick out the characters that I think best fit the story. Then I adapt their backstory to the world rules I established and go from there.

Think about it for a second. In life, do you think people are pre-written for an experience or do they simply adapt as they are put through it? There’s no wrong answer here, I just tend to believe the latter.

So I would say that the best thing for you to do would be to put the idea for your story on the back burner and just think about interesting people that you know in your life. Think about stories that have peaked your interest in the past and create characters based on those. Create their backstories, their races, and their appearances. Once you have around 10+ characters, think about the story you want to write. Then go back and pick out 2-3 characters that you think would fit.

Take a blank word document and fill in the following;

What’s this character’s name?

What’s their gender?

What’s their race/species?

Where do they come from?

Describe their physical appearance.

Describe their personality.

Describe their backstory.

Both the plot and the story can be adapted so that they suit each other as you go through, so don’t worry about that.

So that’s generally how I do things, but let’s open this up to my readers and keep the conversation going. I’d love to hear about how other people create characters for their stories. Do they write the story first and then the characters? Is it the other way around? Do you just write the characters as you’re writing the story?

Let me 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