The Early Bird Catches the Link

Okay, it’s not the first weekend of the month, but it is 1st of October tomorrow and I’ll probably have a couple of posts for you this coming month, with my next release and NaNoWriMo coming up, so here’s the monthly links a little early.

Three Reasons NOT to Self-Publish
Jordan Castillo Price talks about three reasons why self publishing isn’t for everybody.

Writing is an intensely personal endeavor, so the appeal to own the entire process, from the genesis of the story idea to the receipt of the royalty check, is understandably strong. But is self-publishing necessarily the best way to go?

The Great Ellory Leather Sock Review Tosser Caper
Sean Gregan talks about sock puppets, buying reviews and various other examples of the insanity going around the online literary world right now.

It also won’t do anything to stop writers slating one another’s work on places like Goodreads, which I’ve always found at the best of times a poorly-emulsified mix of a tea-and-cake-fuelled book club for lovely people and a nest of pit vipers with anger management issues.

I’ve started so I’ll finish
Scarlett Parrish on writers continually starting and never finishing novels.

What I mean is, many would-be writers have a lot of ideas in them. They think they know how to start a book and maybe they do, but as soon as they hit the wall, they give up on the idea that a short time ago was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, and move on to another shiny. Rinse and repeat. And they never – or rarely – finish anything.

Constructive Criticism Is a Sign of Your Potential
Why you should welcome constructive criticism to help you improve.

At that point, what someone has said is holding more weight than what you believe about yourself. No one’s words should ever be so powerful that you begin to doubt who you believe you are as a person.

Brave New World (What I’ve Learned About Cover Designs for Digital Publishing)
Post from author Sherry Thomas about what a writer in the digital age has to consider about cover design.

Courtney sent the preliminary design both in thumbnail size and in large size. I, being a complete neophyte in terms of digital publishing, went immediately for the large size. At this point in my career, I’d looked over a number of cover designs and my sage thought on this particular cover? I fretted that the material on the gown looked like it was made of foil.

A Matter of Perspective: Using Distant and Tight Third Person
A more in-depth post than usual about writing in Third Person POV, concentrating on the not-as-often-discussed aspect, distance.

But where it starts to get complicated is when you realize there aren’t just two kinds of third person. Tight and distant third person are actually part of a continuum that stretches all the way from outer-space distant–to right up inside your character’s skull. The more distant the narration, the more emphasis there is on the narrator’s voice and opinions (and the more important it is to have a strong voice). And the closer the narration, the more emphasis there is on the character’s experiences—to the eventual elimination of the narrator’s voice.

On Cultivating Instinct as an Inkslinging Penmonkey Type
Linking to this mostly for the cautionary words about how long all this writing and getting better at writing takes.

This isn’t a thing that happens overnight. It’s not like you spend three months writing a novel and it’s suddenly — bam! “I get it now! I’m like Saul on the Road to Damascus! The hard crust of sleep-boogers has fallen from my eyes! I AM WRITER, BEHOLD MY GOLDEN STORY VOMIT.”

The “Ten Thousand Hour” Rule — Does It Actually Mean Anything?
Daniel Swenson discusses how much attention you should pay to the idea that you have to put in around 10,000 hours to master the craft of writing.

There’s a reason all the books on writing tell you to write every day, or at least as much as you can. It’s because all the theory in the world won’t teach you anything until you dive in and start getting dirty. The 10,000 Hour Rule is less about the hours themselves than about cultivating passion, routine, and a wish to learn from your mistakes. Of course, you can’t learn from your mistakes if you don’t start making some. So strap on your helmet, get in there, and start screwing up.

The Online Habits of One Particular Reader –OR– What Authors Should Avoid Doing In The Name of Marketing
Adara O’Hare talks about author’s online marketing efforts – from a reader’s perspective.

I thought it might be helpful for some of the authors to know what works for me as far as marketing, and what doesn’t, although I am admittedly pretty easy-going in the “contact” department. I don’t feel creeped out or stalked if an author responds to my reviews, for example. Depending on who it is, I might be more “OMG, s/he spoke to me!” on the inside, but you shouldn’t see that. (I don’t fangirl much.) For the most part I’m me and you’re you, and we’re both just people. Simple enough.

Responding to Reviews: The Other Side of the Coin – by Eden Winters
Eden Winters on why she does respond to reviews and engage with readers on Goodreads. I especially like the point about Goodreads being a social media site, so therefore aren’t people supposed to interact?

A few weeks ago, prompted by more and more posts I’d read stating quite firmly that authors should never engage reviewers on Goodreads, for any reason, I wrote a post of my own. I apologized if I’d made anyone uncomfortable, and explained why I’d be discontinuing this practice. It broke my heart to do so, but I didn’t want to alienate anyone or be the dreaded “author stalker”. The results were overwhelming, resulting in a record number of hits on my blogs. I received a few public comments and several more private ones, all saying the same thing: Don’t stop.

The fanfic straw that broke this reader’s back
Vacuous Minx blog on the perils of unknowingly reading converted fanfic.

There are two reasons why I describe this experience as the last straw that has led me to give up trying authors I don’t know and books with a provenance that’s not immediately apparent. First, this book has the classic flaws of fanfic. It was unsatisfying to me in exactly the ways that fanfic is unsatisfying to me (and pleasurable to many devotees). I don’t want to read about Xena and Gabrielle. If I want to spend time with them, I’ll watch the series. When I read a book, I want characters that the author of the book has created, not characters that someone else has created. I want to read original fiction. That’s why I read. Your mileage may vary, but that’s mine.

The now traditional funny finish – Underground Guerilla Signs
Unofficial signs spotted around the London Underground.

3 thoughts on “The Early Bird Catches the Link

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