Sunday, September 16, 2012

Vanity, Vanity

The other night in my Writer's Group meeting, one writer asked about a particular publishing house. I told him that it's a vanity press and they are best avoided.  A vanity press is a press which will print whatever you like, as long as you pay for it.  A vanity press does not market, edit or see to your best interest as a writer. I know a good number of people who have used a vanity press and it's been an uphill battle for them to have any success as a result..

The reasons are numerous, but the bottom line is, in the publishing world, using a vanity press is akin to getting your degree from a for-profit university.  Once you do that, no one in the education world will take you seriously, your "credentials" will not be listed and you might find it hard to get, or keep, a viable position. Likewise, once you use a vanity press, you will find that viable publishers don't take you seriously.

Curiously, neither print on demand nor e-publishing fall into this category.  You can e-publish and use print-on-demand with no damage to your writing career. As a matter of fact, even high profile authors e-publish on a regular basis and it adds to their credibility.

So, writers, avoid using a vanity press.  Use e-publishing, traditional publishing, print-on-demand or any other means besides a vanity press.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Guest Post of Sorts

This is a guest post of sorts.  The author of this article, 20 Redundant Phrases to Eliminate from Your Writing, has no idea I'm posting their article, but I found it so relevant and helpful I thought it deserved a spot in my blog.  Thank you Mickie Kennedy for this timely and well-written piece.

Read and learn, writers. Redundancy can end today!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Get Organized for Better Writing

How do you organize your writing projects?

I like to think of myself as organized, but to someone looking in, I would not appear very organized  at all.  Life is busy. Organization takes work.  I get lazy.  Stuff piles up.  You get the picture.  But, right now, I have a big writing project in the works and I'm actively working to get this project organized to help it go more smoothly, and to help it be successful.  I'm in the process of creating different computer files, organized into one folder with the project title as the folder name. As I look to the future and writing full-time, I'm experimenting with different systems to find which works best for me.  For now, I'm excited about the new folder/file system and am determined to stay as organized as I start out being. I may combine several systems into one new system.

This is not my normal method, so I'm really excited about the challenge this presents.  Normally, I think about a writing project for a long time, jot notes as I'm on the go, and do more thinking. When I finally sit down to write the project (usually an article), it generally takes no more than 20 - 30 minutes of actual writing and many times I get an acceptance from my editor on the same day I submit the piece.  The thinking process is crucial to my writing.  My new project will not be as simple; the challenge is far greater.  My books have not come so easily, I'm talking my many articles here.  My first book, Victory Over Violence, took me several years to write because I had to dig up all the unpleasant things which make up the book. Each project presents its own unique set of challenges.

Think about how you organize your writing projects.  Do you organize them or do you prefer to work "on the fly," jotting down notes here and there as you go? Do you like to use computer files or hard copy files with note pads and/or legal pads? Famed author Danielle Steele actually writes on an old, antique typewriter!

There are no right or wrong answers. As all writers know, doing what works for you is key, no matter what your style is!

Whatever you do, one thing is certain, you have to keep writing.