Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter
Summer is here!
Hope your promotional efforts are going extra great
We have a few items to share with you this week.
But we won't take up much of your precious time, so
on to the good stuff!
PRACTICAL ADVICE ON WRITING AND PUBLISHING
WHAT ABOUT THOSE COVER BLURBS?
The best way to get to be a published writer is to
keep practicing. If you want to dance professionally,
you have to practice every day. If you want to play
baseball in the major leagues, you have to get out
and throw the ball hundreds of times. Writing requires
the same thing. You must practice which means you
must keep writing and reading. Buy a journal for
yourself. It doesn't have to be fancy. A simple three
ring notebook will do. Put down in it what happened
to you and write down how you felt about it. If you
want to write stories, you must learn to become an
observant witness of your own life. Be aware of your
own feelings and write them down. Tell yourself on
paper why you feel happy or sad or discouraged or
eager or frightened. It will help you to figure out how
your characters feel. Look around you. Look at the
way people dress, listen to the way they talk and put
down your impressions of all of this. You do not ever
need to show your journal to anybody else. It is for
you alone. It is all practice.
Why do we write them? To help our friends: you
scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours?
No, not quite, though certainly many authors have
written quotes for their friends' books. (And, okay--I
suppose there are occasions when an author grits
his/her teeth and writes a quote with more
generosity than truth.)
Here's why I do it, and why I think most authors do
it: to help out a deserving book. In most cases, the
book's author has asked me to take a look at it
before publication, but sometimes I've asked to see it
myself. Once or twice, I've volunteered a quote
because I simply loved a book and wanted to do
what I could to help.
Do I ever decline to review or blurb a book? Yep. I
say no if a book doesn't appeal to me, or if I think it
would be misleading to have my name attached to it.
The tricky part is when I like a book but don't
love it--but do want to help out, especially if
it's by a newer author. In these cases, I tend to give
a thumbs-up if I like the spirit of the book, even if I
don't find it wholly successful in execution. I won't
say, "Best thing I've read in years!" but I might
say, "Told with passion by an author to watch for."
I try to be true to what I think a book is really about-
- placing myself in the author's shoes and to
understand the message embedded within the pages.
I do it out of respect for the writer, his/her
creativity, and hard work.
How to make your collaboration go a bit more smoothly.
The most critical advice is to make sure that all of
the authors involved have the same expectations for
who will do what, and when it will be done.
Another thing you can do is to make sure you start
on a short project instead of a long one. It's a lot
easier to decide whether you want to keep working
with a particular person when you're jointly
developing a five-page article then when you're
trying to write a 500-page book. It's also much easier
to write something with one co-author than with
two, three, or more.
The first model, called: loose collaboration.
In this model, each author is responsible for their own
part of the book, and takes that part from start to
finish: outlining, writing, author review, and galleys.
With this model, each author can focus on a
particular part of the topic, and learn it in more
depth. You can also finish the book much more
quickly, since two sets of chapters are being written
in parallel. The disadvantage to this model, though, is
that coordination becomes a problem. If you refer to
something that will be discussed in chapter 17, and
you're not writing chapter 17, you'd better make
darned sure that your co-author knows to cover it
there. It can also be a problem to get a consistent
authorial voice with this model; there may be jarring
changes between the two sets of chapters.
The second model, called: tight
collaboration. In this model, each author works
on the entire book. Normally this model identifies the
lead author for each chapter. That author writes the
first draft and then passes it to the other author to
finish. The second author polishes the chapter, fills in
any missing material, and submits it to the publisher.
I find that it works well in most cases to alternate
lead authors, so that both authors do the hard work
of first drafting about half the chapters. They can
also switch at the galley proof stage, so both authors
are reading each other's galleys; this seems to catch
stubborn errors. Tight collaboration tends to lead to
cohesive and well-done books. But it's more work
than loose collaboration and doesn't speed up the
book-writing process any, which may make it
Finally, there's the specialist model. This
happens when the two authors choose one another
or are placed together for having distinctly different
strengths. Taking a pile of chapters in various states
of completion, finishing them up, and getting the
whole ready for publication. This model works well
when both authors agree about the division of labor
and their respective strengths.
When you're contracting for a jointly authored book,
there are three things to make sure you see in the
· Book credits (whose name goes first on the cover,
and whether it's "Joe and Mary" or "Mary, with Joe",
· Split of advance checks
· Split of royalties
The splits need not be 50-50, and they need not be
the same (for example, one author might get 30% of
the advance but 50% of the royalties), but everyone
concerned had better agree on them up front!
Resources for Poets
Here's a few portals for the aspiring poet, with up to
the minute information for writers on how to improve
and where to get help.
1) Dream 2 Reality Films
I am looking for two different types of scripts
The first one I am looking for is a character driven
(strong protagonist) mild black/dark comedy script
more in the vein of 'Get Shorty' rather than
The second type of script I am looking for is a
cultural comedy along the lines of 'Monsoon Wedding'
and 'Bend It like Beckham'.
Budget range will not exceed 2 mil. WG and Non-WG
both welcome to submit
I am a director and my credits include 'Flavors'
Please email a logline followed by a synopsis (no email
attachments will be read) to: Raj Nidimoru ---
FIRST NOVEL EXPLORES ISSUES OF GENDER, POWER,
Reserve, LA (PRWEB) June 28, 2004 - One evening
three years ago, Louisiana native D.A. Arthur was
watching a television program in which a beautiful girl
with long red hair appeared. The next day, she typed
in some words on an internet search engine. She
looked on the bottom of the page and found a
writeup on what would be the subject of her debut
novel, The Maverick Princess, published by
Joseph Foti, ESQ.'s The Carrot and the Mule, has
received international praise in the form of reviews,
newspaper and magazine articles. His short
story "Kings & Queens," a poignant and vivid modern
immigration tale about the dangers of unrealistic
expectations, the lure of bigotry and the destruction
that it causes; has been included in Katha Kshetre
Literary Journal (Vol.5 No.02 Apr-May-June 2004.)
Katha Kshetre is an international literary journal of
fiction, news, views and commentary, based in
Bangalore, India. It has been called "...a brilliant light
illuminating world literature...," Dr. Kazuyosi Ikeda,
Japan. Also Fusing Horizons Magazine, a literary
magazine based in England with a circulation that
includes the US and UK will be featuring the author's
dark satire "The Sweater". A journey into the mind of
a manic depressive and social commentary on the
dangers of anti-psychotic medication. "The Sweater,"
will be included in Issue No. 4, due out August 2004.
Finally Samsara Magazine, has published Foti's short
story "Vegetable Lasagna," a surreal tale of
corruption in the meat industry which features an
ethereal court unlike any other.
Sunshine by Sharon J. Long due for release Dec.
2003- Jama Greene lived her whole life devoted to
her mental abusive husband. A possive person and
even jealous of her apartment management job. Jama
accidentially falls in love with a contractor and he is
everything she had dreamed of. Now comfortable in
her own skin, he worships the air she breathes. Jama
eventually leaves her husband with the courage from
her lover and finds he is also now leaving her due to
death. But one thing is for certain, her husband's
Sunshine is now gone!
BLP's Book of the Month
The Piaculum by Richard C. Gray
This is the most moving, inspirational tale of faith I
have ever had the pleasure of reading. Not only does
it inspire those struggling with life's woes, but it also
teaches how to maintain a closer walk with Christ
through faith and love.
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Thank You for reading, see you next week!