Archive for January, 2016

BEING PROUD OF YOUR PRODUCT

January 28, 2016

 

Wow! Someone has accepted your book for publication.  I know it’s taken forever, but you are on the way.  If the acceptance came from a major publisher you really don’t have to worry about this next part, but if you don’t recognize the name of the publisher or you found their name in a marketing book, maybe you don’t know enough about this publisher.  Go to that wonderful place called the local bookstore, and find out about the publisher’s books.  Sorry this is not something you can do by cruising through Amazon.com.  You must get a copy of the physical book in your hands.  This is REALLY IMPORTANT.  Don’t just assume that you are going to be happy with your future book unless you carefully look at the product.  You don’t want to hate your book, so look carefully.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR:

  1. Does the cover of the book look interesting and appealing? How’s the graphic art?  Is the cover too dark? Does the title look like a muddy mess? Is there a small amount of red or bright orange on the cover?  Red or bright orange attract the potential reader’s eye.
  2. Okay, now open the book. Usually there’s a blank page and then a title page. Some newer books don’t have the blank page so it’s not quite as important.
  3. Is the copyright page on the back of the title page? It should be.  This page should give the copyright symbol, name of the author, and the year of publication.  Some publishers want to copyright in their name rather than the author’s.  I don’t like this practice.  It won’t mean too much for you, but it will allow the publisher to leave your heirs with nothing, if you die.

The copyright page also should contain.

  1. A Library of Congress number
  2. An ISBN number or perhaps two numbers. The old number begins with a 1. The new 13 number will not.
  3. The country of publication
  4. Perhaps some information on how the book should be catalogued in a library.
  5. If any of the above information is missing, ask your publisher why this information is missing. And the answer better be good.
  6. Look at the overall book
    1. Is the type font a readable size? Readers are getting older anything below 8 point type is difficult to read.
    2. Does the type look good on the page? Is it smashed together or strung out too long.
    3. What about the margins on the page? Anything smaller than one-half inch looks messy.  I like a bit wider than one-half inch;  it gives the page a cleaner look.
    4. If possible convince your publisher to begin new chapters on a right-hand page. Some hardbacks and most paperbacks are disregarding this rule now, but it makes for a nice looking book to do so.
    5. If the book has a running header ie. Author’s name and name of the book, this information should not appear on chapter pages.
    6. Take a close look at the editing. If the book looks like no one proofread or edited it, they probably didn’t.

You want to be proud of your book, after all your reputation depends on it.  If the book you examine isn’t outstanding, yours probably won’t be great either.  Keep looking.

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Believablity:Its more than just a word

January 21, 2016

It’s a new year and I’m always excited to tuck away my old read books’ list and venture into a new group.  So far I’ve discovered two books that fit well into the believability category so that’s my topic for today.  Science fiction is not my chosen love, but I do enjoy a good piece of sci-fi if it is well-written.  I’m not going to name the two books I’ve read but will tell you that one of the books is off-the-charts great and the other is off-the-charts terrible.

Book #1—the great one is a science fiction book with a whole new world created for its setting.  There are strange “flying machines” and a monarchy of the best or worst kind.  It is utopia.  The main character accepts the  utopia and the monarchy for major part of the book, but then discovers that maybe being independent isn’t all that bad either.  What I loved about this book was that the authors managed to create a very foreign world and make it very believable.  I never once questioned the strange creatures or the odd characters. I was sucked into the story and remained there while I read.  That’s a well-written novel.

Book #2-the disappointing one is a paranormal book.  Like science fiction, I’m not a huge fan of the genre, but occasionally I read one.  The villain in this one is a soul eating entity.  The author did a good job building the entity.  I was concerned for the good guy, but wait a minute.  There’s a huge problem here yet, the good guy seems to take numerous “time outs” to have sex.  SEX, seriously, I want the villain dead!  I don’t even want to take time to eat much less anything else.  I don’t think I’m that different from anyone else.  Going to bed with the handsome hunk is reserved for the celebration after the villain is vanquished.

Every writer needs to think about believability.  Inserting something unbelievable into your work can stop your reader.  You know my thoughts on that—NEVER STOP YOUR READER.