Haiku and Watercolor Fun


Which to Choose: Big Name Traditional Publishing or Self-Publishing?


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                                 OR

Image from Pixabay.


“Which to Choose: Big Name Traditional Publishing or Self-Publishing?” by Joan Y. Edwards

Know your options. Study the resources. Ask questions of others in your field. Read the copyright pages of your favorite books to find out who published them.

I can’t tell you which choice is best for you. I wrote, illustrated and self-published Flip Flap Floodle. Instead of a big named publisher, I was lucky enough to have a small reputable publishing company – 4RV Publishing – publish  Joan’s Elder Care Guide. You may find one, too.

Most of the big named publishers stipulate that you must have an agent to submit your work. Some of the big publishers and other not as big, but still dependable and reputable publishers are out there, too. Again, you have to do your research. Choose one that’s right for you and you’re right for them. In the resources, I put a list of publishers and agents who accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Though I can’t tell you which is best for you, I did research to see what other professionals advise. No matter which method you choose, go through the steps outlined in Pub Sub for Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3. However,  if you’re self-publishing you’d be choosing a company to self-publish rather than selecting a big name publisher. Study three different self-publishing companies to decide which one is the best for this particular book.

Pub Subbers
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

Everyone is welcome to an opinon, right? Since that’s true, here are my opinions.

Joan’s Top Reasons for Getting a Big Named Traditional Publisher:

  1. They have many customers who are familiar with them and large marketing budgets.
  2. They can afford to pay the book returns for bookstores.
  3. They have access (money) to great cover and inside illustrators.
  4. They have access (money) to pay for good editors.
  5. It may be easier for them to get a book reviewed.

Reasons for Self-Publishing

  1. You’ve tried for at least 5-10 years to get something published without success or you don’t want to wait 3-5 years to get your book launched.
  2. You’ve had your complete book, pitch, query letter, and trailer critiqued and edited by a professional.
  3. You’ve investigated cost, what you get for your money, marketing with different venues for self-publishing. (Read Resource Number #2 and #16)
  4. You have a book launch team – group of at least 25-100 people online and in person who will review your book and help you launch and market it –  to help you spread the word.

But don’t just take my word for it, read at least five of the following articles and five others on your own search.

  1. Brenda Rollins. “The POD Quandary: How to Decide if Print-on-Demand Publishing is Right for You:” http://www.writing-world.com/publish/POD.shtml
  2. First Time Publishers. “Top 10 Self-Publishing Companies.” http://www.firsttimepublishers.com/
  3. Helen Sedwick “Seven Questions to Ask before Choosing a Self-Publishing Company https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2014/06/7-questions-to-ask-before-choosing-a-self-publishing-company/
  4. Joan Y. Edwards. “22 Literary Agents Who Are Looking for You: https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/22-literary-agents-who-are-looking-for-you/
  5. Joan Y. Edwards. “40 Publishers Who Accepted Unsolicited Manuscripts:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/40-publishers-who-accept-unsolicited-manuscripts/
  6. Moira Allen. “Subsidy Publishing vs. Self-Publishing: What’s the Difference?” http://www.writing-world.com/publish/subsidy.shtml
  7. Moira Allen. “To POD or Not to POD: Some Pros and Cons:” http://www.writing-world.com/publish/PODstats.shtml
  8. Moira Allen. “The Price of Vanity:” http://www.writing-world.com/publish/vanity.shtml
  9. NY Book Editors.”Traditional or Self-Publish: What’s Best for You?” https://nybookeditors.com/2015/11/traditional-or-self-publish-whats-best-for-you/
  10. Page Two Strategies. “Twelve Questions to Ask Before Working with a Publishing Services Company:” http://www.pagetwostrategies.com/twelve-questions-to-ask-before-working-with-a-publishing-services-company/
  11. POD Publioshing. “Ten Questions You Should Ask Your Publisher:” http://www.podpublishing.org/TenQuestions.pdf
  12. Ray Robinson. “Choosing a Self-Publishing Company:” http://www.writing-world.com/publish/dogear.shtml
  13. Sarra Cannon. “Frequently Asked Questions about Self-Publishing: ” http://sarracannon.com/indie-writer-resources/self-pub-guides/frequently-asked-questions-about-self-publishing/
  14. Stephanie Chandleer. “Eight Questions to Ask When Choosing a Custom Publishing Service to Help You Self-Publish Your Books:” http://authoritypublishing.com/book-publishing/8-questions-to-ask-when-choosing-a-custom-publishing-service-to-help-you-self-publish-your-book/
  15. Sue Fagalde Lick. “Ten Questions to Ask Before You Sign that Print-on-Demand Contract:” http://www.writing-world.com/publish/lick.shtml
  16. Top Ten Reviews. “Best Online Book Publishing Companies:” http://www.toptenreviews.com/services/home/best-online-book-publishing-companies/

COMMENT

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

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How to Benefit the Most from Your Critique Group


How to Benefit the Most from Your Critique Group

Dear Readers,

It’s great to have a critique group, either in person or on-line. Here are ways to benefit the most from your critique group:

How a critique group can help you

1.      Another person can spot those spelling, punctuation, or grammar that you’ve read over 10 times and didn’t notice.

2.      If you want to know if a particular scene in your book is working, the members in your critique group can give you their opinions.

3.      The people in your critique group can teach you, inspire you, encourage you, and tell you the Blue Ribbon parts of your manuscript, query letter, cover letter, proposal, synopsis, summary, or whatever you ask them to check specifically for you.

Things to remember before your work is critiqued

1.      Give the critiquers the right to like or dislike your work. Accept that it’s okay if they don’t like it. Accept that it’s okay if they do like it. Be ready to ask them to suggest a way they believe would be better.

2.      Be open to change. Change creates a path to a stronger and better manuscript. Decide which parts of your manuscript are non-negotiable and which parts are negotiable.

3.      Put your best foot forward. Use the Spelling, Grammar check in your software to check it before you share it with others.

Questions to ask your critiquer

1.      Ask a critiquer to retell your story for you (James N. Frey’s suggestion from How to Write a Damn Good Novel.) Through listening you’ll discover the strong parts and weak parts. Ask them to tell it in three sentences, beginning, middle, and end.

2.      Which parts, if any, confused you?

3.      Is my dialogue believable? Is it tagged appropriately?

Things to remember after your work has been critiqued.

1.      One person’s opinion doesn’t mean it is the truth. It does not mean what they say is a fact. It is not their opinion about you personally. It is about your writing. Keep the two things separate in your mind.

2.      Don’t change anything you don’t agree with 100 per cent.

3.      Let your manuscript and the critique comments rest in a drawer for at least a week before you do anything with it. Give time for the ideas to take root in your brain and jog around in your imagination.

Three Critique Group Resources

Guidelines for Group Critiques of Fiction by Jennifer Evans  http://www.slugtribe.org/etiquette.html

Guide for Critique Groups & Individual Critiques by Ellen Dodson http://www.scbwior.com/links/CritGroup.html

Fundamentals of Fiction, Part III: Critique Groups and Writers’ Groups by Marg Gilks http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/fiction03.shtml

Thank you for reading my blog.

To enter a contest to win a free copy of Flip Flap Floodle or other book, follow the directions below:

1. Win a free paperback copy of Flip Flap Floodle or a 1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer by being the 50th person to sign up for an email subscription from the “Sign me up” block from the top of the left hand column.

2. Win a free copy of Flip Flap Floodle. Read Roxie’s Blog interview with me http://wp.me/pBU4R-BG, then leave a comment on my blog post https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/roxie-put-me-in-the-spotlight-on-her-blog/ by noon (EST) on Monday, February 14, 2011, you’ll be entered into a random drawing to win a free copy of Flip Flap Floodle.

I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share a link to my blog with others.

Never Give Up!

Take Action toward Your Goal!
Joan Y. Edwards

http://www.joanyedwards.com

http://www.joanyedwards.wordpress.com

http://www.joanseldercareguide.weebly.com

Copyright © 2011 Joan Y. Edwards.

Story Essential: Plot


Dear Writers:
I’ve been studying about plot. Wikipedia.org says plot is action and reaction of main character made up of scenes and sequels – scene action – reactions, with emotional response and regrouping of ideas to win.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiction

There is a diagram that talks about you start out with a status quo – an ever so ordinary day. A day when your character is happy. Something happens that a your main character can’t ignore. It affects his/her life more than he even wants to think about. It’s his/her worst nightmare. He’s been saying in his mind: What will I do if such and such happens? And the day it actually happens. Then the plot tells how the character acts and reacts until he solves this problem and turns his life back to its ordinary flavor or empowers himself to be different and liking it. He’s happy once again. End of whole plot.

Here are three plot diagrams with jagged lines to show the up and down of each mini-crisis or each problem that shows the ups and downs of his actions and reactions emotionally (inner struggle) and physically (outer struggle or how problem shows up in his life) that comes to protagonist. Each of them names the different parts of plot: Choose the one that’s the most meaningful to you, print it out, and fill it in with your story’s characters and events.

1. Jagged lines in Rising Action Plot diagram Copyrighted 2000 by Mike Thompson http://www.davis.k12.ut.us/ffjh/thompson/plot.htm

2. Jagged lines in Rising Action Plot diagram from Novel-Writing-Help.com
http://www.novel-writing-help.com/plot-diagram.html

3. Jagged flame like lines for Rising Action and Falling Action Plot Diagram from Thinkport
http://www.thinkport.org/31701409-ec7e-40a9-9ae2-176a3c7d0508.asset?

4. Here’s a different plot diagram with more of Straight Line Slanted line Plot Diagram from Teacher Files.com
http://www.teacherfiles.com/downloads/graphic_organizers/Plot_Graph.pdf

A story plot has a beginning, middle, and an end.
At the beginning of the story, everything is normal for the main character. It’s a level plane…flat land for him – represented on the diagrams as a horizontal line. Without a plot you have no story. Without a problem you have no story. Goals and complications in getting what the main character wants makes a good story. Here is more information about the five parts of a plot.

1. Exposition(Beginning)
(Only Background information reader needs to understand)
Character
Setting

Highlight the backstory in your own manuscript. If it’s all in one place, spread it out. Only put in your story what you need at a particular time. Many times you, as the author, might need to write something so you know it in your first draft. However, when you read it over, if the reader doesn’t need to know your character failed a math test in third grade at the beginning of the story, take it out and put it in just before he’s about to take a math test to show he’s scared of it for this reason.

2. Rising Action Obstacles which the main character has to overcome that leads to the climax. Not the middle of the story. Climax is the middle of the story.
a. Main Problem (Conflict)
http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson800/IdentifyPlot.pdf

b. Inner and Outer Conflicts
http://nienkehinton.blogspot.com/2007/01/inner-conflict.html

c. Brian Godawa’s Plotting Details on Story structure: http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/screenwriter.pdf

Goal
Plan
Flaw
Apparent Defeat
Final Confrontation
Self Revelation
Resolution

d. Conflict: A Writer’s Best Friend by Linda Cowgill
http://www.plotsinc.com/sitenew/column_art_13.html

e. “Plotting without Fears” by Alicia Rasley
http://freelancewrite.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sff.net%2Fpeople%2Falicia%2Fart4.htm

f. Character
Read Write Think Lessons for 9-12
Awesome ways to fill in and print out plot and character…I wish it was just print and fill in. I am not patient enough to wait for the slowness of this to take place.
http://198.104.156.44/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=1022

g. Character ID Badge Information about your characters you need to know
http://www.teacherfiles.com/downloads/graphic_organizers/Character%20ID.pdf

3. Climax (Middle) (ROCK BOTTOM for Main Character. FACE PROBLEM SQUARE In the FACE, (Most exciting part of the story) The middle of the story. The highest point in the story. The moment of greatest intensity. It brings events to a head and leads to the conclusion

a. Storymap from freeology.com Gives good definition of Climax. Explains the climax. The climax is the moment before we know the answers to the questions the conflict has created. It is the peak of suspense.
http://freeology.com/graphicorgs/pdf/storymap.pdf

4. Suspense – Falling Action, The protagonist wins or loses
Uncertainty and interest about the outcomes of certain actions. Real danger looming and a ray of hope
Arouses interest of the reader This shows change to the characters affected by the solution to the main problem. What happens to the main character after overcoming all obstacles Or failing to get the desire effect. Show what happens to the good guys and the bad guys. These things happen after the climax.. Things begin to fall back into place to be normal again.

Falling Action: http://www.ehow.com/how_2095686_falling-action-writing.html
Denouement: http://vccslitonline.cc.va.us/drama/glossary.htm#denouement

5. Resolution (End) – The outcome of a complex set of events Information to help reader to understand clearly what happened to take care of this challenge. …tie up all loose ends with all characters and subplots, too.

Resources to help you plot your story:
Story Map that may help with your plotting your story. This is a PDF File from Thinkport.
http://www.thinkport.org/d23c5d91-3485-4474-9ad2-e02b94a8e64a.asset?

How to Plot a Novel
http://www.novel-writing-help.com/how-to-plot-a-novel.html
http://www.novel-writing-help.com/what-is-a-plot.html

Literary Terms
Faculty of Sacred Heart Academy: http://faculty.sha-excelsior.org/lfaller/Files/Literary%20Terms%20Elements%20of%20Fiction.ppt

Epiphany – What is the inner self-realization key change in the character? Spiritual understanding. It may come before the climax or after the climax of the story.
http://www.darcypattison.com/characters/character-arc-epiphanies/

Plot and Character Graphic Organizers

Thinkport Character, Plot, Sequence of Events Choose the PDF files so you can print them out.
http://www.thinkport.org/technology/template.tp
Graphic Organizer PDF files listed separately.http://www.teacherfiles.com/resources_organizers.htm

PDF files Character, Plot, You have to search through each page to see what’s there.
http://freeology.com/graphicorgs/index.php

Carol Baldwin’s book, “Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4-8” also has graphic organizers in it and a CD packed with good writing process explanations; http://www.maupinhouse.com/index.php/teaching-the-story-fiction-writing-in-
grades-4-8.html
/

Carol Baldwin has given me permission to add links for four graphic organizers from her book to my blog. You can view and download them and/or print them out. Thanks, Carol.

Exercise Muscle Words(PDF) http://kvisit.com/S-8pu

Create Your Character (Word Doc) http://kvisit.com/SxYZ-

Create Imaginary Characters (fantasy or science fiction) (Word Doc) http://kvisit.com/ShfCJAQ

Build a Plot (PDF) http://kvisit.com/SxIZ-

I would be honored if you would sign up for an email subscription to my blog from the “Sign me up” block from the top of the left hand column. The 50th person to subscribe from the left will receive a free paperback copy of Flip Flap Floodle or a 1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer.

Please leave a comment, question, or resource.

Never Give Up
Live Today
Joan Y. Edwards
http://www.joanyedwards.com/FlipFlapFloodle.htm
Author/Illustrator
Flip Flap Floodle on Amazon.com

Copyright 2010 Joan Y. Edwards. All rights reserved.

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