Month: July 2011

The Twitterverse

When I joined Twitter nine days ago, my motivations did not include an unyielding desire to rule the Twitterverse with poignant one-liners while inundating my followers with links to the most influential blogs, articles, and ideas in the self-publishing stratosphere. >I’ve since changed. Three days ago I experienced my first conversation on Twitter.  (With eHarmony.  Go figure.)  Anyway, it went a little something like this: Me:  Imagine for a moment that #eHarmony or #JDate or #Match let singles post reviews after going on dates with members. eH:  @dcPriya – …and they were automatically tweeted or posted on the person’s Facebook page… #eharmony Me:  @eHarmony If so, the Internet would grind to a halt with all the goosenecking going over at #facebook and #twitter...

Publishing a Novel: The iTunes Effect

About a decade ago, before she was married to my brother, my sister-in-law called to ask my advice about a gift. My sister-in-law: “I’ve finally thought of the perfect gift to get your brother for Christmas—an iPod!” Me: “That’s a great idea! But won’t it be expensive to dock it at a marina?” Oh, how times change. And people—willing or not—change right along with them. I remember those long-ago days when my brothers and I would ride our bikes down to Mazza Gallerie in Friendship Heights. Inevitably, we would end up in one of two stores: Kron Chocolatier or the Disc Shop. While Kron never ran out of chocolate, the Disc Shop frequently ran out of chart-topping music. Far too often, we would arrive only to find that the album we had come to purchase was sold out.  By the time a new shipment a...

Writing a Novel: Deep Midnight

It’s 3 AM. The dream wakes you, scaring you with its intensity, shaking you with its fever. By day it trails you, clings to you, seeps into your skin. At first, you tell no one. Then, little by little, the dream finds words, finds its way out of your mind and into your reality. You are forever changed. Your family and friends tell you they love you, but they’ve heard enough about your imaginary world. They think about screening their calls. You assure them it’s not some ploy you invented to steer conversation away from the fact that you are once again single.  (Well…) You attempt to prove it by weaving your cloth of words during dinner. You begin speaking faster and faster, begin moving through the plot with stealth determination to reach the best part—the twist—before you have used ...

Writing a Novel: 165,000 Word Count

The total word count for my first draft of AVA was 165,000 words. No kidding. I sweated over that draft, lost sleep over it, obsessed over it for months on end. It was my first-born work of fiction and I was so proud. I fed my manuscript constantly, convinced that the best way to nourish a growing book was to heap words—any words—onto the pages. No detail was too small to include, and I assured myself that readers would absolutely, positively want to share in these tidbits. For nearly a year I kept right on stuffing and stuffing, certain I was creating the best story ever written. By the twelfth month, my manuscript had ballooned into a fleshy entity so large I needed more than one ream of paper to print it out. Bigger is always better, right? Not so much. (For the record, there are 1,000-...

Publishing Novels: There Is Money To Be Made. So Make It.

Q: How would I define the PIY (Publish-It-Yourself) author? A: Four parts fearless, three parts writer, two parts entrepreneur, and one part dreamer — with a sprinkle of pioneer spirit thrown in for good measure. While self-publishing a novel does begin with the work of a writer, it is actually a business.  A small business.  A start-up business.  A messy, complicated, time-absorbing business located in unchartered territory offering up no guarantees of any kind. That’s where the fearless part comes in. The exploding growth of the ebook market is a recognizable indicator that our tireless, irrepressible American ingenuity is on the loose again.  Lovely. For those ready to wade in the waters, all signals show there are profits to be made.  Money.  Income.  Earnings. Growth in a down e...

Marketing a Novel: Single And Looking

Dating. Ah yes, that powerful, ageless word. These days, friends, relatives, neighbors, even co-workers might send a link to a Facebook page, or a blog, or networking group, or dating site, with the wonderful goal of helping the unattached among us connect with others who are also single and looking. Imagine for a moment that eHarmony or JDate or Match offered singles the opportunity to post reviews after going on dates with other members.  If you were considering setting up a date of your own, would those reviews influence your decision of whether or not to make contact? Of course they would. For example: “This person was running really late but in the end I didn’t mind because the conversation made me laugh all the way to the “best of luck to you” farewell at my c...

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