Friday, January 17, 2014

Put Up Or...

At Simpson's flog, floggerette BParks of Virginia has denigrated my novels numerous times. I'm waiting -- I won't say anxiously awaiting, because I think hell will freeze over first -- but I'm waiting to see her produce a comparable counterpart to my novels. Comparable means doing basically what I do, but with her own subject matter.

1. Write the manuscript (after deciding on the genre, concocting a story, creating characters, choosing a location and setting, etc.)

2. Edit and rewrite the manuscript, as many times as necessary.

3. Submit the manuscript to critiquers and beta readers because I don't have the money to pay for professional edit. But if she has the money for that, I will consider it comparable. Judging by her comments, she would need a professional edit...

At this point, she can choose to shop the manuscript around to agents and publishers to try for getting traditionally published in an industry being radically transformed by the digital revolution.That's what I did with Storm Surge, and it was published by Desert Breeze Publishing, a royalty-paying publisher in Castaic, California. But to truly parallel my novels, she needs to self publish. To continue --

4. Do the book design ( and choose a trim size.

5.Typeset the manuscript in a desktop publishing program for print. (I use a very old version of QuarkXpress, but she can use an up-to-the-minute program like In-Design or its rival, Page Plus, if she likes.)

6. Create the cover, using whatever artwork she wishes and whatever graphics editor she chooses, in the file formats specified by the publishing platform. Choose and place titles, typefaces, styles (drop shadows, etc.) and back cover text and images. Calculate the spine width based on the number of pages and type of paper. Cover art for print must be 300 dpi. btw.

7. Decide on a publishing platform. The major ones for self-publishers of paper books include CreateSpace/Book Surge (owned by, Lulu, Lightning Source and some others. She can research it herself, if she wishes.

BParks cannot use XLibris, AuthorHouse, iUniverse. Vantage Press, PublishAmerica or any of the other vanity/subsidy publishers. To turn out a comparable product, she has to choose a publishing platform that does POD (print on demand) book creation. (I use CreateSpace. Their process is easy, they are accommodating, and the finished product is beautiful. But BParks can choose whatever non-vanity, non-subsidy publisher she wishes.)

Decide whether to buy an ISBN (expensive) or use a free one from CreateSpace. If you use a CreateSpace ISBN, they will own your book, not you. Decide on a price and royalty rate, distribution, etc.

8. Upload the interior and cover files (converted to PDFs) to the chosen platform.  Order a proof copy. Make any changes to your interior and/or cover files and upload the corrected file. Do this as many times as necessary (every time you find an error in the book).

9. Format your manuscript for e-book distribution, which is different from typesetting. You can't just upload your print-book PDF (except to those platforms that will convert it for you -- for a price). E-book file types include e-pub, mobi (for Kindle), lrf, etc. Authors can self-publish e-books through Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, Book Baby and others for distribution through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retailers.

10. Begin promoting by submitting free copies to book reviewers. It would help to join various author forums for help advice on this. Buy ads, if you can afford them. If not, do whatever you can at low or no cost. Create an author/book blog and/or website. Create a Facebook page for your book. Tweet about it occasionally, but not continuously.

11. Occasionally make your book free as a sales strategy (see Kindle Boards Writers' Cafe for insight into that), and be sure and let me and my readers know when it's free ... so we can see just how comparable it is to my books.

Remember the old saying. Those who can, do. Those who can't, bitch, moan, fault-find, nit-pick and nag....


  1. Floggerette BParks has posted about my challenge to her at Crossroads. Her post is a marvelous example of floggerette lies, half-truths, moaning and bitching. And misunderstanding -- whether genuine or feigned I leave to you to decide. Let's deconstruct her post, shall we?

    Miss Connie posted another rant directed at my criticism of her “writings.”

    I didn't direct anything at her criticism; I simply mentioned it in the first sentence.

    I'm not sure whether the quote marks around writings are irony quotes or scare quotes. Neither one is appropriate, as I'm not scared, nor are my writings scary. If the irony is intended to suggest that my novels are not real writing ... well, that's seriously mistaken.

    My writings exist as either e-books or trade paperbacks. If the quotes are supposed to convey some thing about the quality of my writing, well, none of my novels and short stories have ever got a bad review.

    She then went on to challenge me to write an equally sucky novel....

    Actually, I challenged her write whatever she wants (that's what "her own subject matter" means) -- so she's lying? Besides, I included either getting published or self publishing, as I have done both.

    I'm intrigued by her description of my novel(s) as "sucky." Unless she's read them, she's making a judgment based on sheer ignorance. That's a major trait of the flogger mentality -- to pass judgment on things they know nothing about. And there's yet another, very likely possibility. The "sucky" description has nothing at all to do with my writing, but originates solely in her hatred....

    ...and then posted a laundry list of what she “does.”

    It's simply the steps everyone "does" to either (a) get published or (b) self-publish.

    You would think with a list that long she would be good at doing at least one of the items.

    I'm not sure what kind of logic produces such a statement. Ill logic, perhaps... These are simply the steps to publication... Why someone would be good at doing just one makes no sense.


  2. Bottom line is she’s what they refer to in the publishing industry as a hack, novice, amateur, and wannabe.

    Actually, self-publishers -- novices, amateurs, and wannabes -- are at the forefront of the digital revolution in publishing. They're leading it. Call them what you will, traditional publishers are changing in reaction to them, not the other way around. In 2008, alternatively published titles outnumbered traditionally published ones for the first time in history. That was five years ago. Of course, if she hasn't been part of the publishing revolution, BParks wouldn't know this.

    As for hack, perhaps she doesn't really understand the meaning of that term. If I were a hack, willing to use my craft to gain commercial success, I would write stories trashing the good people of my region as evil racists, bigots, religious zealots, inbred idiots, philanderers, domestic abusers and/or rightwing terrorists and some editor in the legacy publishing industry would snap 'em right up. No thanks.

    A Connecticut yankee's mindset....

    Not that any of that is particularly damning, but when you add the roles of racist, anti feminist, homophobic, neo-confederate, white supremacist apologist, and mean old lady to the resume, then you have something to be ashamed of.

    Well, "racist" is simply a name-calling word leftists use to generate the warm-fuzzies of fake moral superiority in themselves. It has no objective definition but is fluid and elastic so they can stretch it to fit and cover whatever behavior and attitudes they with to demonize somebody with.

    Anti-feminist. Absolutely, and proud of it. I don't hate men, I don't wish to destroy the family, and I abhor the murder of babies in the womb, so I'm no feminist.

    Homophobic. Not particularly. I disapprove of homosexual behavior because it is wrong and destructive. It is also a perversion of how God made humans. But then I disapprove of heterosexual wrongdoing, as well.

    Neo-Confederate? Absolutely, and proud of it.

    White supremacist apologist -- nah. Just a defender of good people who are demonized and lied about by haters who use that term to demonize them.

    Mean old lady -- BParks must've been lookin' in the mirror when she wrote that one.

    I suppose everyone has something to be ashamed of, but BParks hasn't touched on anything that applies to me. I'm not the one who embraces an ideology and philosophy of human destruction, which is what leftism is.

  3. To clarify this statement in my first comment above:

    "My writings exist as either e-books or trade paperbacks. If the quotes are supposed to convey some thing about the quality of my writing, well, none of my novels and short stories have ever got a bad review."

    Modify the last clause to read, "...none of my novels and short stories have ever got a bad review...from anyone who actually read them."


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