Don’t give away all of your marbles

© Krisjacobs | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Krisjacobs | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

If you have been on my site recently you will have noticed that I removed a post I wrote this week. It was a post about a specific resource offered for half price for a limited time. In the post I questioned the wisdom of spending large amounts of money on writing resources.

Although I removed the post because I did not want to adversely affect someone’s business, I still think it is important for writers to realize that our vulnerability can put us at risk.

Take vanity publishing for example. Some publishing companies will ask for as much as $5,000 from an author in exchange for a publishing contract. The author never sees a dime for all their hard work.

Unless you are paying for a limited number of copies outright, remember, the publisher pays you, not the other way around.

An author I know, who has published over thirty fiction books, tells me that $2,500 is typical of what she gets as an advance. She’ll probably get $5,000 total for a book. It’s not a lot of money, but at least it was paid to her, not the other way around.

At a writer’s conference I attended, a speaker in one of the small groups offered attendees a weekend of one-on-one mentoring in her home, along with a month of follow-up that included a couple of hours of coaching twice a week, for the total price of $3,000. Think of it, even if you came out with a book on the market, most of your income would already be eaten up.

There are people out there who prey on the vulnerability of new writers.

As my Christmas gift to my readers I am making my recently published short story entitled 101 Marbles available for free until December 24. Enter this coupon code QU66L to get your free copy on Smashwords.


Finding your voice

I am sitting with my laptop at the dining table while my husband queries me from across the room about why I haven’t been editing my novel. Nearly a month has gone by since I asked for six months. Have I been working on it?

I tell him no. To myself I think that I have been planning and trying to decide what approach to take. I’ve been allowing some thoughts to settle in my mind. And I know very well that it is over a month since I asked for extra time to edit my novel.

My adult son is in the living area with my husband, listening to our conversation. He asks me, “Why do you think you need to edit it?” I tell him, for the second time, that I have had several authors look at portions of it and advise me to make changes.

“Did they all say the same thing?”  he asks.

His question catches me off guard. I know he’s getting at something. I am suddenly alert, searching my memory for evidence I have missed.

I reply that two of the people said I should do less telling and more showing. He says, “But some people like more telling.”

I keep on thinking about his question, and as he is leaving I acknowledge that one author loved my ending, while another thought I should change it.

My son smiles and looks at me as if to say, I told you so. He remarks that so much of writing is subjective. Then he shares with me that when he was in high school he wrote a paper for which he received a C grade. Not satisfied, he took the paper to another teacher and asked him to grade it. He gave him an A+. He took the paper back and showed it to the first teacher.

One person simply did not like his writing style, while the other obviously saw its merit.

I conclude that my voice is the voice to which I must be true.