Review of “Alien Plot — First Contact” by Marsell Morris

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Science Fiction remains a stronghold for great storytellers, people who rock back in writing chairs and see a world confronted by the unexpected. We’re not talking about the great poet Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice” … rather something other-worldly, yet believable. It stretches our imagination to the breaking point, but not beyond. The human characters… Continue reading Review of “Alien Plot — First Contact” by Marsell Morris

Book reviews rarely move the dial on book sales.

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Follow @templewms I agree that book reviews rarely move the dial on book sales. They nevertheless should top any author’s list of requirements. You need them to get into some of the best sales channels, such as BookBub, Fussy Librarian and Ereader News Today (ENT). Without reviews, you have NO chance to participate. The avenues… Continue reading Book reviews rarely move the dial on book sales.

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.

Nice KIRKUS REVIEWS review (a strange but legally necessary redundancy)

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Follow @templewms (Note: This review was featured in the May 1, 2015 Kirkus Reviews Magazine. Only 10% of their reviews are honored in this way.) In his humorous debut memoir, Williams envisions his shambolic prostate cancer saga as the education of a “medical dope” into “healthy hope.” A Pulitzer Prize–nominated journalist and editor based in… Continue reading Nice KIRKUS REVIEWS review (a strange but legally necessary redundancy)

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