Potholes on Indie Road: Fake Book Reviews and False Sales

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Fake, paid-for book reviews and false sales generate enormous bitterness and anger in the Indie world. Originally, a few authors with more marketing savvy than writing skill made a killing buying their own books and writing their own fake reviews, often using proxy addresses to cover their tracks. Thomas Hertog wrote a book about it:… Continue reading Potholes on Indie Road: Fake Book Reviews and False Sales

“To be or not to be” is NOT a question.

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Two hundred years before the French and the Australians independently discover how to make pencils, a British playwright scratched out a pretty good story on parchment paper with a Spanish quill pen. He decided his protagonist would hang out with a bunch of gravediggers and question the meaning of life. He started Act Three, Scene… Continue reading “To be or not to be” is NOT a question.

Be a damned GOOD writer.

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Publish or be damned. For generations, this phrase defined the possibility of tenure for college professors and success for scientists. In the world of Independent Publishing, do-it-yourself authors often swap the conjunction: Publish and be damned. Abuse of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting guarantee censure. “Get an editor.” “I can’t afford one.” “You need one.”… Continue reading Be a damned GOOD writer.

Choosing The Right Book Cover

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People might not judge your work by its cover, but it will be the first impression that puts it near their fingertips. I published Warrior Patient, my debut memoir in late 2014. After submitting my finished book to over 200 literary agents, and coming up empty, I decided to self-publish. I understood that agents and… Continue reading Choosing The Right Book Cover

The “Digital” Rejection Drawer

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Follow @templewms Indie Publishing has eliminated (and bypassed) the rejection drawer every writer experienced before the Digital Age. The rejection drawer held little slips of paper, initially paperclipped to returned stories, articles, and manuscripts. Editors rarely scribbled on these rejection slips. Occasionally they would put their initials on one. That became a prized possession. If… Continue reading The “Digital” Rejection Drawer

Independent Publishing remains a do-it-yourself literary society.

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Follow @templewms The boundaries we set for ourselves determine the level of success we achieve. Our creative juices get squeezed by promotional and marketing needs. All of our time frames narrow. No publisher slaps big bucks on the promotional table to grease our ride. No pre-publishing reviews from well-known authors give us a helping hand… Continue reading Independent Publishing remains a do-it-yourself literary society.

Can Great Content overcome Poor Writing?

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Follow @templewms When I worked for the Reader’s Digest, it probably published more books than any other publisher in America. They rarely published short stories. They published non-fiction articles, both original and condensed from other publications. Most of Michener’s stuff was RD published. Roots was RD published. The condensed book department of the Reader’s Digest was… Continue reading Can Great Content overcome Poor Writing?

Stories from the slush pile

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Follow @templewms Every day the editors at the Reader’s Digest have a pile of manuscripts dumped on their desk. Literary yardsticks whittle the many down to a few. Readability algorithms search for stories that scholars in the 6th grade can understand (the level at which Ernest Hemingway wrote his masterpieces). Writers who use four syllables… Continue reading Stories from the slush pile