The Publishing Circle

DSC_0982 (3)I attended an interesting workshop by a publishing company whose goal was to assist writers with their publishing needs, both in self-publishing and traditional. Their job is to help the writer determine which type of publishing would be in their best interest based on their project.

Both types of publishing have their advantages and disadvantages. In self-publishing you have complete control of your projects – you will receive 100 percent of royalties for copies sold. The trade-off is that you will do all the work, pay all the expenses and make all the decisions when it comes to cover design, editing, marketing and distribution. Traditional publishers will take most of the prep work off your hands, but they will have final say on the cover and appearance of your book, and you will only make a percentage of royalties for copies sold. Traditional publishers will always take the safe bet – a book that fits neatly into a clear genre that is marketable. If you have a book that is unusual, that doesn’t fit into a normal category, publishers will usually pass unless it is exceptionally written and you can show them the target audience. For books like these, self-publishing might be the best option because you can create your own niche and likely you already know the target audience for the work you are creating.

The world of publishing is in constant flux. We have more choices than ever in how to present our work to the world. The question we have now in regard to our work is: which one is right for the work at hand? When it comes to my long-term projects, I am still researching my options. In the end, the decision will be made based on the kind of book I produce. Would my project work best with traditional publishing or self-publishing? The wonderful thing about this query, is that when I am ready to decide, the choice is mine to make.

Neighborhood Bonding

DSC_0965We have our characters, we have our plot – now we need the perfect setting. We look through travel books, search the internet for some exotic location, because of course, nothing less will do for this fantastic story we have to write. We could spend days or weeks searching for this amazing location, but the truth is, we can find the settings of our stories right under our noses.

Stories evolve from what we know about ourselves and what we know is often reflected in our neighborhood. Place has a part in defining who we are. It’s always exciting to travel, but often the best stories our born from our own life. Home is where we find comfort and we know it like nowhere else.

There are many things we can gather from the places we live. Ask yourself, what do you love or hate about where you live? Do you fear it? Hide in it? Are you comforted by it? Writing about your neighborhood or the places you have lived make your stories unique. Take a walk through your own or explore neighborhoods near you. Observe how they look, observe the people in them (try not to look creepy). Take pictures, fill your imagination with the things you see – what is it like to live in a big city? A small town? What does it feel like to sleep in the woods hearing only the wind or the bark of a dog; what does the constant flow of traffic sound like? What do you feel about that tiny empty playground? What is the difference between city people and country folk? Their behaviour? Their attitude?

Neighborhoods are excellent launching points for stories because they are so diverse. Travelling to other places is always fun and exciting, but sometimes all you need to do is take a walk. DSC_0960