Count Down to Print for Paws

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We have a new venue! Please find us on October 28.  We will have a bookstore where you can purchase books about animals, visit with authors, and even sell your books.  Proceeds go to Black Dog Animal Rescue.

 

 

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Simple Steps to Publishing Success

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Who are you?  You are an author, an informed author.  Maybe you don’t have a lot of experience yet, but you will.  You will exude confidence in the publishing world.  Just make sure you do your homework.

Know the INDUSTRY STANDARD FOR MANUSCRIPT FORMATTING

  • For printed manuscripts, use 8 ½ X 11-inch, white paper (use only one side of the paper).  Ask if you may send your ms. electronically.  Many publishers will ask for both.
  • Set 1- to 1 ½-inch margins all around.
  • Use 12-point standard typeface: Times New Roman, Courier, Ariel
  • No end-of-the-line hyphenated words or justified right margin.
  • Double-space the entire manuscript.
  • Indent paragraphs.
  • No additional spacing between paragraphs.  Be careful here.  Word will sometimes automatically put in extra spacing.  Check your settings.
  • Add identifying information, your byline, and the header:
    • Type your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address in the upper left corner, single-spaced. In the upper right corner, type the word count. You can round the word count up to the nearest hundred or the nearest ten in short pieces, if you’d like.
    • Drop down about halfway on the first page and center your title. Your byline goes beneath it. These are double-spaced.
    • On page two (and subsequent pages), add a header that includes your title, last name, and page numbers.

 

Write your Letter of Introduction.  Sample from Windy Lynn Harris, www.windylynnharris.com #windylynnharris

Fabulous Writer (you)

Your address here

And here

 

November 20th, 2017

 

Jane Doe, editor

The Perfect Magazine

107 N. Robertson St.

New York, NY  10028

 

Dear Ms. Doe:

I’m submitting my 600 word humorous essay, “Magical Words for Marrieds,” for your review. I think it would be a great fit with other essays I read in your magazine.

This story was created as I reflected on my thirty-five years of marriage. I am a member of Wise Women Write and have been published recently in The Chick-Lit Review.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Fabulous Writer

Phone:  xxx-xxx-xxxx

Email:  xxxxxxxxxxx

 

Encl:  Manuscript and SASE

See Writing & Selling Short Stories & Personal Essays: The Essential Guide to Getting Yor work Published, Windy Lynn Harris, Writer’s Digest Books

Tomorrow we will discuss what to do when you send in your manuscript and hear no response.  Again, more simple solutions.

What does an editor do?

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You are your own worst enemy when it comes to editing.  There’s a psychological term for this that escapes me right now, but it boils down to mind games.  Your brain will look at errors and automatically correct them or fill in the blanks.

Can You Read This?  by Chris McCarthy (Study@ecenglish.com)

I cnduo’t bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a pboerlm. Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aaznmig, huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot slelinpg was ipmorantt! See if yuor fdreins can raed tihs too.

Whether you are self-publishing or signing with a publisher, you want the best editor you can get.  Constructive criticism is hard to take these days. It’s not intended to beat you down.  An editor is the invisible person behind you who honestly has your best interest at heart.  An editor can shape your manuscript from the ordinary to the best product possible.  Yes, it can be frustrating and take a while, month and years.

But, there are options there, too.  If you don’t like your editor for some reason, ask for another.  You can always go out on your own, but remember good editing is expensive.  Yes, your first-grade teacher or next door neighbor, friend, or spouse can always look at it, but is that in your own best interest?

Tips for First-time Authors

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How to I start?

Typically, you pitch an idea or send a query letter before you write an entire manuscript that may or may not be accepted.  Don’t pitch to a company that doesn’t accept unsolicited manuscripts.  Don’t pitch a romance to a company that specializes in mystery or a children’s book to a company that specializes in adult literature.  Do your homework.  Check websites or get access to the Writer’s Market.

Do I send everything?

Never write or submit more than an idea or several chapters  It’s unrealistic to expect one or more people to drop a current project and read your 50,000 words overnight.

What about a contract?

Never work without a contract.  Contracts vary from company to company.  Again, unless you are Stephen King, Lady Gaga, or a Real Housewife, don’t expect millions in signing bonuses.  Traditional publishing houses are not going to extend any offer until you have proven yourself profitable.  Small publishing houses don’t make those kinds of offers.

How long before I publish my book?

Just because you have finished writing, or assume you have a final product, that is not true.  You are now in the hands of several editors and the editing process.  And unless you are Ernest Hemingway, you need those editors.  (See my blog about the publishing process and what does an editor do.)

You want the best for your “baby.”  There are short cuts, but that doesn’t guarantee your baby will be healthy and thrive.

 

Storytime with Renate G. Justin

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201 South College Ave
Fort Collins, CO, 80524
Phone: 970.482.278



Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate

Friday, January 20 – Opens to the public during regular museum hours


Storytime with Renate Justin

Wednesday, January 25- 11:30 AM 


 

Are Your Dreams of Being Hemingway Dissolving? Don’t Despair!

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You might start out with a plan, but after you write a while, your writing can take on a life of its own and lead you down another path.  Don’t despair. “[T]hat’s the great thing about fiction. We use it for entertainment, and we also use it to explain and understand our lives. We only make sense of what has happened to us when we can tell it as a story. I’ve used my fiction to deal with 9/11, the War on Terror, aging, death, wealth, poverty and a host of other issues. I just happened to include the undead and werewolves and spies while I did it.

Five books in, this is the one lesson I can say I’ve learned, the one thing I can tell any aspiring writer: Write what you want. Even if it includes lizard people or Atlantis. If people don’t like what you like, write it again, and make it better until they do. But never be ashamed of your enthusiasms.”

Read more of “I dreamed of being Hemingway and ended up a pulp fiction writer” at http://nypost.com/2016/08/14/i-dreamed-of-being-hemingway%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8b-but-ended-up-a-pulp-fiction-writer/

Does Your Book Follow the “Code”?

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Jodie Archer had always been puzzled by the success of The Da Vinci Code. She’d worked for Penguin UK in the mid-2000s, when Dan Brown’s thriller had become a massive hit, and knew there was no way marketing alone would have led to 80 million copies sold. So what was it, then? Something magical about the words that Brown had strung together? Dumb luck? The questions stuck with her even after she left Penguin in 2007 to get a PhD in English at Stanford. There she met Matthew L. Jockers, a cofounder of the Stanford Literary Lab, whose work in text analysis had convinced him that computers could peer into books in a way that people never could.

Soon the two of them went to work on the “bestseller” problem: How could you know which books would be blockbusters and which would flop, and why? Over four years, Archer and Jockers fed 5,000 fiction titles published over the last 30 years into computers and trained them to “read”—to determine where sentences begin and end, to identify parts of speech, to map out plots. They then used so-called machine classification algorithms to isolate the features most common in bestsellers.

The result of their work—detailed in The Bestseller Code, out this month—is an algorithm built to predict, with 80 percent accuracy, which novels will become mega-bestsellers. What does it like? Young, strong heroines who are also misfits (the type found in The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). No sex, just “human closeness.” Frequent use of the verb “need.” Lots of contractions. Not a lot of exclamation marks. Dogs, yes; cats, meh. In all, the “bestseller-ometer” has identified 2,799 features strongly associated with bestsellers.

If you’d like to read more, this article is available at https://www.wired.com/2016/09/bestseller-code/