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Showing content with the highest reputation on 09/06/2020 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Yes and no. It's true the self-publishing revolution opened up a volcano of,...um,.. crap (not the word commonly used 😉), but it has also created an avenue for high quality work that would likely be sitting on agent slush-piles (under the old publishing paradigm). Now that the gatekeepers are gone, it's like a fire hydrant has been opened up. I respectfully disagree. Yes, trad-pubs (the larger ones) still hold some advantages, but not nearly as many as they'd like you to think. Particularly in marketing. The dirty little secret in trad-pub marketing is most authors have to do the majority of their own marketing! Only top-tier authors in the Big-5 get the royal treatment, and by some accounts I've recently read, even that is drying up. As far a distribution channels go, as a self-pub author I have access to all the same heavy hitters that a trad-press would (Apple, Amazon, Baker & Taylor, B&N, Kobo, Library Direct, and a number of print book distribution channels through KDP Print). Some will likely have better in-roads to bookstores, or genre-specific outlets, but keep in mind that bookstore presence is a shadow of what it used to be 10 years ago. On-line purchasing has long since surpassed them. Self-published authors have an advantage here. We don't have to worry about inventory with POD (Print on Demand). And this isn't some small operation - we can choose vendors like Amazon, B&N Press, Ingram Spark, etc. to handle the printing and distribution - at no out-of-pocket cost to us. Well, I've self-published five books and didn't come anywhere near these costs. Sure, it's possible to spend that much, if you contract out everything at top dollar. But you can save a lot of money by learning to do some things yourself, or find people who charge far more reasonable rates. The self-pub ecosystem has gown dramatically over the past few years. There are numerous quality vendors out there., and many of these people used to work for the trad-pubs. Also, not sure what you mean by "buying in volume for distribution." If you're talking about print books, well, self-pubs don't work that way. We don't do print runs and carry inventory, aside from whatever copies we had printed for ourselves. Overall, it depends on what a trad-pub offers if they want to sign you. It also further depends on the size of the publisher. If you're dealing with a small-press, then you'll likely have to do a lot of your own marketing.
  2. 2 points
  3. 2 points
    I think there's another, overriding factor in all of this. The traditional publishing industry has been in steep decline over the past decade. The reinvention of self-publishing that Amazon spearheaded in 2007, when they rolled out Kindle Direct Publishing, transformed the publishing industry. Since then, many mid-list trad-pub authors came to the realization that they could self-publish through all the major outlets, with equal quality, but make far more for themselves in royalties (with an audience they already have). This kicked-off a significant ripple effect on the industry. Many mid-list publishing houses either folded or merged with larger publishers. Even the "Big 6" shrank to the "Big 5." So my long-winded point is this: While you feel your manuscript is at a disadvantage due to the factors you stated, don't beat yourself up over it. I think there's bigger issue that everyone faces when going through the query process. There's simply far fewer trad-pub options out there, and they're all dealing with a perpetual avalanche of queries.
  4. 2 points
    Ravi Zacharias - "As questioners, we think we understand evil and its nature. We only do to a limited extent - and it is like seeing a candle when God sees the devastating power of evil as a lightning bolt to the soul. We only grasp in small measure how heinous evil is. We look at the symptoms; God looks at the disease. We look at the rape as a violation of one person; God looks at the violation of the one as the violation of the very image of God. We look at moral issues that hurt society; God looks at the profane heart that desecrates everything in the process. We look at laws that will make life mutually livable; God looks at the regenerate heart that will make life in itself pleasurable."
  5. 1 point
    We are to be responsible with what God had called us to do. In the end we alone are accountable to God alone.
  6. 1 point
    I would be interested in everyone's comments on the quote below. After folks have had time to comment. I'll let you know who the quote is from. "Every good writer knows that the more unusual the scenes and events of his story are, the slighter, the more ordinary, the more typical his persons should be. Hence Gulliver is a commonplace little man, and Alice is a commonplace little girl. If they had been more remarkable, they would have wrecked their books." What do you think?
  7. 1 point
    I'm praying for you, Jared.
  8. 1 point
    depends upon purpose and intent. i think there are just as many examples of extraordinary characters that are able to handle the extraordinary circumstances because of who they are. - example - 'the chosen' motif
  9. 1 point
  10. 1 point
    Good point. So, who is up for pushing the elephant up the stairs?🤣
  11. 1 point
    After reading John 1:1-34 Look, the Lamb, look! He is like none other. A speck of His light Heals the eye, blinds accusers. Lift up your heads For the remnants of Heaven Prepare in wonder A coming New Jerusalem. Unlimited Unction Fell on the Lamb, Replaced royal robes That Glory gave back Once Jesus went up, Teth’ring God’s heart to man, When the Son left a chalice Of grace in our hands.
  12. 1 point
    Getting an agent or publisher is like hunting for the Holy Grail - and for all the reasons you have stated Jeff. I am subbing to agents at the moment and each one has been done separately with my not only tweaking the query letter, but the synopsis as well to make sure it focuses on the theme or plot their bio leans too. The average length of time to get a reply (if you get a reply at all) is 12 weeks. i.e 3 months. So my last batch end date is 30th Nov. The bottom line is that most agents say they are looking for originality but actually they want books that will sale i.e. books that follow the trend. That is why they often ask for you to give them comparisons to other books. The problem I have is that I can't see anything like mine on the market other than Karen Kingsley books. To be honest I would feel a bit big headed to go and say my work is like hers because she is a really good writer. It just sounds pretentious to me. Maybe it is the British reserve in me but I hate bigging myself up. There is part of me that feels - let the work speak for itself. Either you get it or you don't. The only advantage I can see of having a agent is that they can help get to a traditional publisher and possible a wider readership and help market the book. If you are very, very lucky, there might be spin off associated with the book. (i.e many of King's books have been made in TV series and films. But it's Stephen King.) Don't give up hope. I know my book wont be accepted by Monster Ivy because it doesn't meet their 'clean' standards. It does tackle relationships in a fairly tame way in comparison to secular fiction books, but not conservative Christian. You think the Christian fiction book market is bad in the US - its doesn't exist over here other. They are always marketed as secular books.
  13. 1 point
    I see lightning flash before my eyes I look out of the window and watch it go It walks from one end of my street to the other end I just cannot believe my eyes. Lightning has come to visit I hope it meets no one on its way to somewhere Where it is going, I cannot tell It is extraordinarily tall and very slim It has a white coat on from head to toe It cannot stand up straight. It zigzags along the way Has it come in peace or in fury? Has it come to bless or destroy? Where it goes next only God knows But I live to tell the tale of Lightning's visit
  14. 1 point
    Acts 6:1-15 Giving Up = Getting Full I know that I have plenty of chances to share my faith - but I always clam up. I feel ashamed for some reason. Maybe it’s because I haven’t yielded all areas of my life to the Lord yet, and I know it. And I know that is what is holding me back! Even when I had the special privilege of teaching and sharing the Word, I still hadn’t yielded all areas of my life to the Lord. That is what I am seeing here in this passage. Stephen was full of faith and the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5). I am guessing that he was able to fully surrender to God, that is why he was able to be “Full of God.” Everything that I do is a witness. Every word that I speak, every move that I make. When we say we are following Christ, it really should look like we are following Christ. I know a lot of times, I’m sure people around me think I am definitely not following Christ. The people around Stephen knew that he was following Christ. What would those around you say about you? Our witness doesn’t just happen when we are around other Christians. It should happen when we’re not around other Christians. I’m just saying there have been times that I have been at church or an event and have been on FIRE sharing Christ. Then when I’m out anywhere else just in this old ordinary world, I’m just regular old Chris that looks just like the regular old world! I see what I need to change in my life, and I hope that maybe you see what needs to change in your life as well! Is there anything in your life that you are unable to lay down that is holding you back from God? Be Encouraged, Chris
  15. 1 point
    Well, I'm jumping through hoops as it stands right now with the normal submission process, and from what I'm seeing, the mainstream publishing industry is hostile to anything with the Christian theme, or one that includes any sort of normalcy. The odds of me getting an agent, based on their "wish lists", is up there with getting struck by lightning...twice. So if I am doing work, it ain't going to be much more than what I'm doing now. \I get your point about making sure I understand their publishing structure, and how much they take. In the era of self-publishing, I'm unlikely to sign with anyone who is going to provide me the "honor" of making $0.10 on every copy sold, or hidden fees, and all that. Especially when I can pull in anywhere from $1.00 to $5.00 per book self-publishing, and sit on distribution as long as I want, via POD and eBooks, a to build a brand. But I thought I'd try a small press to see if they are interested. Warning: a rant follows. I feel like I'm just going through the motions with querying an agent, and trying to publish traditionally. I see the wish lists of these agents. They want "under-represented" writers. My translation of that is: not me. So, that's strike one. They also want all sorts of non-traditional characters (let he/she who hath understanding reckon this). I don't do that. So that's strike two. They also want characters that are People of Color. While I am actually working on a couple, the book I'm pitching doesn't fit that at all. So...strike three. And the Christian / Fantasy market is, well, almost non-existent. I've been watching a bunch of YA and Fantasy critics on YouTube recently. After hearing the criticisms they have of the current crop of YA fiction out there, I'm fairly convinced that what I have is so antithetical to what's being published, that it almost seems that I'm swimming upstream at this point. That being said, when the culture goes one way, the guy who goes the other is the one who sets the trend. After a while, when the market gets saturated with gritty / dark, or political / romance, something that goes off on the fun / adventure side starts to stand out. But you will NEVER convince an agent or publisher of that. Especially nowadays. What I write would be considered a "risk." It's too trope-y. It's too traditional. Supposedly, that's not what readers want (despite the fact that roughly 75% of the books I've seen reviewed on YouTube pound the same stupid tropes as a dozen-and-a-half books and movies already out there). So, I'm thinking I have a proverbial snowball's chance in Perdition of being published traditionally. (That's not what I really wanted to say, but I think you get the point.) Please, someone tell me I'm wrong. OK...rant over.
  16. 1 point
    I am praying for you recovery.
  17. 1 point
  18. 1 point
    Actually, the busier I am, the faster I write and the more I get done. I keep to a strict 1-3 month deadline for the first draft. Never longer than three months-- that's where I start to lose interest. It also allows for me to write three novels a year (besides editing and other small projects). This works for me, so I don't think I'll be making any changes! 😀
  19. 1 point
    I run with two themes, the one I start with when the story idea comes to me, and the deeper theme that flows from my personal struggles translated into the world of the story. The Second theme comes to me midway through the writing. For example, Flight After Death was originally about how people manipulate the justice system to excuse their own bad conduct while punishing their enemies. I projected that into an alternate purgatory, where people, not angels, staff the courts of the afterlife and are constantly creating court franchises to advance their own agendas. I began outlining the story while my daughter was in the hospital. Therefore I added a side plot about the hero feeling guilty about the death of his son, because he wasted money gambling that should have gone to hospital bills. This changed the core theme from justice and injustice to Repentance and forgiveness. The two themes are intertwined, so it worked. An unfinished book of mine, The Loyalty of Trolls, began as an exercise in understanding loyalty and its abuses. A proud, corrupt leader has a plan to exploit his followers to conquer the world. I set that manuscript aside to write another book, a nonfiction. After finishing that book, Job Rises, about finding resilience to overcome suffering, I tried to simplify my understanding of spiritual warfare and spiritual growth. I hit on a five step process using a harvest metaphor: plowing (suffering), planting seed (the Son of God, who transforms your mind), pouring water (the Holy Spirit, which heals your emotions), plucking weeds (the Father, who rearranges your priorities and reorders the material world to benefit you), and Producing a harvest (overcoming deep personal flaws and winning souls). With that process in mind, I hope to reframe The Loyalty of Trolls along those lines. The leader who abuses the loyalty of his followers, through suffering, learns to show loyalty and compassion in return, to offer his own life to save his people and the world. So my advice is to pick an interesting theme to drive the plot, then as you begin to understand yourself and your characters better, find a related theme to drive the character arc. The two themes must work together. It is better if pursuing one theme makes the other harder to achieve. A choice must be made. That makes for a powerful story. A further note about my troll story. The Hero must trust that the formerly tyrannical leader has changed in order to make the right decision, but the leader cannot tell them that he has, or the true villain of the story will suspect it. This adds a third theme, trusting that people can change and rewarding them with your allegiance when others are calling you foolish for doing so. If you construct your characters and their stories carefully, you can add additional themes to enrich the story. All the extra themes must interlock, and you can invert them, having a character who fails to rise to the occasion, causing disaster.
  20. 1 point
    MORE? OK. I have LOTS MORE if you want 'em. 😮
  21. 1 point
    You have no idea how many of these I have! I'll do my best to keep the number under 10.
  22. 1 point
    Is this for a fantasy? I'd actually suggest rewording to something like "The Pearl Tower" or "The White Pearl Tower" or just "Pearl Tower".
  23. 1 point
    My suggestion would be that you're too close to your work to see it. Take a break--ideally for a week, but at least three days-- and you'll see it through fresh eyes.
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