Cinnabar Bridge

September 10, 2008

The author editor relationship

Filed under: books,publishing — phwebnet @ 1:04 am
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Another article for the BAIPA News [September 2008]

The relationship between author and editor is probably the most highly charged relationship in the publishing process. As an author you are giving your editor permission to change your story. You are turning your baby over to another person who can change the meaning, the voice, even the essential nature of your manuscript.

In many cases, this is a very good thing. In business books in particular re-structuring the manuscript can make it stronger. And often your editor has a better handle on the marketplace and can help you tap into that marketplace more directly.

For others of you, your manuscript is part of you. It is personal and intimate and you may feel vulnerable when reading it, showing it to others, pitching it, or asking for advice.

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August 12, 2008

Think about content

Another of my letters for the BAIPA News [August 2008]

Many think we in the book world are an endangered species. That in the brave new world there will be no books. It reminds me of radio in the 50s when television hit the country. It was going to be the end of radio. Oh my gosh, with pictures on TV who would want to just listen to a radio. And radio did suffer. Their audience declined, the industry moaned and groaned. And today with satellite radio and the Internet and podcasts and rss feeds, radio (audio programs) is thriving. That’s what happening to publishing.

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July 12, 2008

Finding the right energy

Another letter for the BAIPA News [July 2008]

Being an author and a publisher can pull at us in different ways – and being small, independent publishers means that there are dozens of tasks we need to complete on a regular basis. Some days I get up gung-ho and step right into the external tasks on my plate – calling people, making connections, negotiating, asking for help. And some days I turn off my phone and write or read. I used to fight this. I used to push myself to make those calls or I’d get angry with myself if I couldn’t sit down and read a manuscript or write.

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June 10, 2008

Taking baby steps

Another of my letters for the BAIPA News [June 2008]

In my email yesterday, I got the Writers Digest newsletter and the subject line read “Push Past Writer’s Block” – it made me think about how we begin to move, how we begin after a fallow time, how we are able to act when it all seems so hard.

Taking these steps, these positive steps – I call them baby steps — is important. And it’s equally important to acknowledge taking these steps, whatever they are, to move you onward.

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May 10, 2008

Beyond the money. Living in the book world.

I have been writing articles for the BAIPA News — and thought I’d post some of them here. I hope they are helpful to you. [May 2008]

I have been working on projects recently where I’m dealing with the business realities of publishing – how to make enough money to pay for all the things needed to build the books and generate the sales. At times it seems difficult, if not impossible, to make it all work, especially because I personally don’t like selling and don’t want to be doing the things it often takes to sell a lot of books. I like writing books. I like designing books. I like managing book projects. I like helping others with their books. That’s where my heart lies.
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July 30, 2006

Find what works for you

There is no one right way to write or to create a book or to be published. There are so many choices today. Find the path that’s right for you.

Some books are written from the inside out. The book shapes itself. The book and the characters take over and tell you what is happening. You may not even know what kind of book you are writing until you are deep into it. Trust this process. Trust your instincts. I heard a writer, I think it was Isabelle Allende… anyway, she said her job was just to get out of the way; that the book used her to get written.

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June 6, 2006

How much does it cost to write a book?

This is a common question, and of course, on the most basic level impossible to answer. It is difficult in part because we can’t easily answer how long it takes to write a book. If we knew how long, then we could assign an hourly fee and multiply that by the hours and voila we’d have the cost.

Some authors take years to write a book. And some have been known to write a book in just a few days. So, it basically depends on the writer, the research needed, and the type of book.

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April 21, 2006

Anecdotal

Okay, so you’ve written that novel. And you’re publishing it yourself. Now what? Do you have what it takes to market your book? To sell enough copies to make it a success? I talked with one author who has done just that. Yes, it takes effort. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it’s scary. But it can be exciting, too.

Cinnabar Books blog I met J.Brooks Dann the other day for coffee at the Starbucks on 4th at Brannan, in SOMA. We had been introduced by a mutual friend and had met face to face at a BAIPA meeting. We got to talking about his book, Anecdotal, a novel he has written and is marketing successfully.

We talked about how he has achieved the success he has with his book. What stuck with me is: “I’m not afraid to get out there and sell my book.”

He has distribution in about 30 bookstores now. But what’s really interesting is how he got that distribution and what else he has done to sell his books. He holds readings — in bookstores and bars… mostly in the West. He meets store managers and owners face to face. He delivers the books to the stores. He travels. He makes himself vulnerable. He opens himself to rejection, to slings and arrows, and people being insensitive and critical.

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April 19, 2006

September in Corrales

September in Corrales

One of my own stories about independent publishing: I don’t seem to get chosen for stuff. I don’t win contests. When judged, my work isn’t often chosen to be included in an anthology. My childhood is filled with people who did not support my creative efforts — writing or photography. So, I decided to publish my own book. Just a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do this at all. But, these days I have all the tools I need. I traded with a graphic designer and put up the files at Cafe Press and my book, September in Corrales, is now for sale. It is a collection of poems, short fiction, essays, and photographs from my time in Corrales, New Mexico. You can read excerpts at Cinnabar Bridge and buy the book at my Cafe Press store.

3 great links

I want to open a discussion about books and publishing and writing and typography. I live in the Bay Area, so what goes on here is of great interest to me. But, I’ve also lived in New York and New Mexico, and since 1986 in one way or another, in cyberspace.

I’ve started this blog with 3 great links:

  • Litquake, a week long literary festival held in San Francisco every year in October
  • BAIPA, a grass roots, dynamic organization for independent publishers here in the Bay Area
  • Pete Masterson’s list of Book Printers.

I give a workshop about producing your own book, so I’ll be adding links and resources as I go along.

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