1. First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience. “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”
2. Don’t use passive voice. “Timid writers like passive verbs for the same reason that timid lovers like passive partners. The passive voice is safe.”
3. Avoid adverbs. “The adverb is not your friend.”
4. Avoid adverbs, especially after “he said” and “she said.”
5. But don’t obsess over perfect grammar. “The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story.”
6. The magic is in you. “I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing.”
7. Read, read, read. ”If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”
8. Don’t worry about making other people happy. “If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”
9. Turn off the TV. “TV—while working out or anywhere else—really is about the last thing an aspiring writer needs.”
10. You have three months. “The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season.”
11. There are two secrets to success. “I stayed physical healthy, and I stayed married.”
12. Write one word at a time. “Whether it’s a vignette of a single page or an epic trilogy like ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ the work is always accomplished one word at a time.”
13. Eliminate distraction. “There’s should be no telephone in your writing room, certainly no TV or videogames for you to fool around with.”
14. Stick to your own style. “One cannot imitate a writer’s approach to a particular genre, no matter how simple what that writer is doing may seem.”
15. Dig. “Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible.”
16. Take a break. “You’ll find reading your book over after a six-week layoff to be a strange, often exhilarating experience.”
17. Leave out the boring parts and kill your darlings. “(kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.)”
18. The research shouldn’t overshadow the story. “Remember that word back. That’s where the research belongs: as far in the background and the back story as you can get it.”
19. You become a writer simply by reading and writing. “You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself.”
20. Writing is about getting happy. “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. Writing is magic, as much as the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”
(Source: Association of American Publishers) Indie Book Trends As many as a quarter of the top 100 Kindle ebooks on Amazon.com are from indie publishers, according to data revealed at a trade presentation by the retailer. Though the term indie is broad, covering everything from self-published authors to publishing houses that fall outside the big six, the news has been interpreted as a victory for the go-it-alone author. (Source: The Guardian)By 2010, Amazon controlled ninety per cent of the market in digital books—a dominance that almost no company, in any industry, could claim…The business term for all this clear-cutting is “disintermediation”: the elimination of the “gatekeepers,” as (Amazon founder Jeff) Bezos calls the professionals who get in the customer’s way. There’s a populist inflection to Amazon’s propaganda, an argument against élitist institutions and for “the democratization of the means of production”—a common line of thought in the West Coast tech world. Amazon executives speak of the “Rust Belt media,” comparing book publishing to the steel industry in the seventies. “Even well-meaning gatekeepers slow innovation,” Bezos wrote in his 2011 letter to shareholders. “When a platform is self-service, even the improbable ideas can get tried, because there’s no expert gatekeeper ready to say ‘that will never work!’ ” (Source: The New Yorker)According to Bowker’s Books in Print, their preliminary estimates indicate that the number of books published in 2010 jumped from just over 1.3 milion in 2009 to over 3.1 million in 2010. Of these, 2.776 million were “non-traditionally” published books, including print-on-demand and self-published titles although this number doesn’t even take into account any books published without ISBNs or most e-books. (Source: Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group)In a reversal of trends in recent years, ebook growth is basically flat in the U.S. while hardcover books are selling much better this year than last. According to November 2013 numbers from the Association of American Publishers, adult ebook sales are up 4.8% through August to $647.7 million. Meanwhile, sales of hardcover books are up 11.5% to $778.6 million over the same period. The trend over the past several years has been quite the opposite, with ebooks growing in double and triple digits and hardcover sales falling, giving way to the cheaper format. Paperback sales, however, continued to decrease, down 11.6% from a year ago to $898.9 million. (Source: Association of American Publishers)Independent Book publisher trends
The latest class for How to Publish an eBook at Nassau Community College is at the half way point. We have covered the basics of the Pros and Cons of Self-publishing vs the Traditional path, the proper formatting and Front Matter.
We have two poets, one children's book author and a memoir writer. One writer will be ready to publish next Monday evening.
The weekly assignment is to practice building a Table of Contents with hyperlinks. We practiced in class with one writer feeling brave enough to do a demo in the Smart Board.
We have two classes left and the focus will be on the physical task of uploading a book, developing a cover and editing Bios, Descriptions and selecting tags.
Great job class.