The Christmas Festival of Crafts Show in Middle Musquodoboit was very busy today. It was shoulder to shoulder walking between the displays. Dozens and dozens of people stopped at our stand, looked at our books, discussed the books, picked up flyers and business cards and many bought books. In total we sold 30!
Here we are all set up at the start of the day.
Mindy George, Diane Tibert and Jayne Peters.
As the day progressed we discovered things we should have done and things we should have brought, like bags for people who bought our books. Early next week I’ll make a list of things I learned from attending this event and share it here. We thought about a lot of things, but there are several things we can do to improve the outcome of the event.
Posted by Diane Tibert on December 7, 2013
Later on this morning I’ll be at the Middle Musquodoboit Craft Show. The show runs from 10 to 4 today and 11 to 4 tomorrow. Jayne Peters and Mindy George will also be there selling books.
Here is a stack I arranged yesterday for a photograph.
Posted by Diane Tibert on December 7, 2013
My kids chuckled when I brought this book into the house. Who wouldn’t? The smart remarks flew like germs in a sneeze. All I could do was stand there and take it. I couldn’t deny their claims: It was a great dictionary for me, one that would help with editing my stories.
The Dimwit’s Dictionary—5,000 overused words and phrases and alternatives to them by Robert Hartwell Fiske is a very interesting book and one I proudly display in the reference section of my bookshelf. I’ve had it since 2008 (Second Edition) and have used it many times.
This is the perfect book for finding and eliminating common phrases from your work. For example: When William received the news, he raced around the grocery store like a chicken with its head cut off.
You can look up that common phrase and see what it’s called. In this case (like a) chicken with its head cut off is referred to as an insipid simile. You’ll also find words to replace the phrase: agitated, crazed, demented, deranged, frantic…
It’s your job to work a replacement word into the sentence.
When William received the news, he raced around the grocery store frantically.
When William received the news, he raced around the grocery store in a demented state.
Posted by Diane Tibert on December 4, 2013
If you missed my post yesterday about editing, you can read it here: The Importance of Good Editing.
First the meaning of First Draft: The version that has never been edited, just written without thought of little else but getting the words down on paper. Mind you, after all these years of writing, I try to write correctly the first time. In other words, I properly edit and spell on the fly as much as I can. Don’t confuse this with rereading passages to edit before proceeding to the next scene. I’ve met writers in the past who don’t perform basic editing while writing, simply write incomplete sentences with very little punctuation. This makes editing the manuscript that much more labour intense. If you know quotation marks go there, put them in as your write.
As promised in yesterday’s post here are the steps I take to edit my manuscript after I’ve completed the first draft.
1. Read the manuscript for consistency, to see how it feels as a whole story. I ask myself the following questions:
- Does it make sense to me and will it make sense to readers?
- Does the time frame work? In other words, is a character five years old in one paragraph and eight in another even though only a few weeks passed? Or is it snowing in one chapter and summer in the next with only a few hours passing?
- Is every character necessary, are they consistent and are their names correct? I don’t want the side-kick to be called Freda in chapter one and Betty in chapter six unless there is a darn good reason for it.
- Is there enough action/plot/character development for it to be a complete, interesting story?
- Do the chapter divisions make sense?
If I find issues with any of these items, I fix them before moving on to Step 2.
Posted by Diane Tibert on December 3, 2013
Editing. That’s the mammoth task every writer must face in the process of publishing a book. I know some writers don’t bother—you can easily spot their eBooks like you can an elephant in your corn chowder—but editing is the one essential task that must be done and done to a specific professional level to gain success and respect in self-publishing. It can’t be half-assed, sped through or done with no knowledge on how to do it.
Readers will notice. Other writers will notice too. Even my ten-year-old can spot a spelling mistake.
Unedited books also become fair game to reviewers. Some will politely tell the author there are mistakes or that “this is a good first draft” or “it has potential”, but most will not be so kind.
Here are a few actual one-star reviews from Amazon
Posted by Diane Tibert on December 2, 2013
Posted by Diane Tibert on November 29, 2013
Over the past few days I’ve been working on a castle. Indoors of course. Along the way I’ve been learning about the features in my new Wacom Inutuos Small Creative Pen and Touch Tablet.
After working with this tool for almost a week, I’m believe it will be well-worth the money I paid for it. It gives me every reason to believe that I will be able to illustrate my children’s picture books with it…after much practice. But I’m okay with that because I love to visually create.
Here is the castle I’ve toyed with during my free time.
Posted by Diane Tibert on November 27, 2013
Posted by Diane Tibert on November 24, 2013
In my goal to illustrate my own books, I’ve purchased a Wacom Inutuos Small Creative Pen and Touch Tablet. Tonight we were playing around, learning the basics of creating an image and seeing what we could do with no experience using a pen with a computer.
First, let me say that holding a computer pen takes a little getting used to. I’ve sketched for several years and am fairly familiar with a pencil and ink pen, but…the computer pen doesn’t exactly work the same way. However with practice I know I’ll be able to work it to make recognisable pictures. My kids will too since they really like the idea of drawing on the computer.
Posted by Diane Tibert on November 22, 2013
That’s right: free. It used to cost $25, but now it’s free. In fact, I heard a rumour that anyone who paid the $25 might actually be reimburse for their trouble. But I can’t find this information online, so perhaps…you’ll have to wait and see.
When anyone publishes their book through CreateSpace, a Print on Demand company owned by Amazon, they have the option of getting their books into stores other than Amazon. This is not the brick and mortar store but the online catalogue of these stores.
In other words, if someone wants your book, they can search the online catalogues of Chapters/Indigo or Barnes & Noble and order it. There’s other book stores as well, but those are the two I’m most familiar with.
Posted by Diane Tibert on November 21, 2013
I’ve always been a matte girl. Back in the early 1990s when I worked at a processing lab I realised I could choose matte over glossy prints. I was hooked. Fast forward twenty years and I thought I’d be stuck with glossy book covers until I took the leap from CreateSpace to a ‘regular’ book printer. I was wrong.
Last week I received an email from CreateSpace announcing a new print options for covers: Matte.
Here’s what they have on their website: You can choose between custom matte or glossy finish for your print book. Both cover options have their advantages; you might want to purchase a sample of each cover to help you decide. You can choose your cover option during Title Setup, and even when your book is already for sale. Some things to keep in mind when choosing a cover:
- There is no extra charge for either finish
- You can change the cover option even on a book that’s already for sale
- For existing titles, you won’t need to repeat Content Review, and the book will remain available for purchase during the cover finish change
- Orders placed before the change will still ship with the previous cover option
- Your change will take effect within 4 hours for Amazon sites, and up to 6 weeks for EDC
Matte covers are less glaring, easier on the eye and are great for novels.
To learn more about this great option and learn how you can choose matte book covers for future and current titles, check out CreateSpace.
Do you want to self-publish a book? Does self-publishing look too complicated and confusing? It does to everyone when they first begin their journey, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
If you can use a computer, you can publish your own book. To learn more, visit Diane’s Self-publishing Consultation.
Posted by Diane Tibert on November 18, 2013
It started innocent enough. My story idea of a woman who takes up chicken husbandry to avoid the doldrums of retirement was fairly simple, a little silly and a bit laughable.
Here are the first few unedited paragraphs.
The accolades and celebration of forty-three years of service with Canada Post dissipated the first week of retirement. At the age of sixty-five years and seven days Mildred Fowler decided she had received the worst possible birthday gift: unemployment.
The smiles and hugs from coworkers still flashed before her eyes and the din of their congratulations hummed in her ears. Even the sweet smell of Sally’s breath as she toasted to long days of leisure lingered on her nose hairs. She now wondered if they truly believed being sent out to pasture was a happy occasion or if they simply wanted to give her a final hurrah before she entered obscurity. In reality, who really wanted to do nothing all day?
Her son Clyde told her to take up a hobby if she got bored, which he sincerely doubted she would. “You’re where everyone aims to be,” he had said. “You’ve earned this freedom. Take advantage of it while you still have your health.”
“You’ll be able to sleep in,” her youngest son Victor had said on the phone from his office in Summerside.
Posted by Diane Tibert on November 5, 2013
This is the first installment of a two-part series in which I explore the business models and potential impact of ebook subscription services.
In recent months, we’ve witnessed the launch of two high-profile ebook subscription services – Oyster and Scribd. Both aim to do for ebooks what Spotify did for music and what Netflix did for film and television entertainment.
They’ll provide readers access to an all-your-eyeballs-can-eat smorgasbord cornucopia of thousands of ebooks for a subscription fee ranging from only $8.99 per month (Scribd) to $9.95 per month (Oyster).
When talk of ebook subscription services surfaced in months past, there was much hand-wringing in the publishing community that such services would devalue books and harm publishers and authors.
Yet as the launches of Oyster and Scribd indicate, some (but not all) of those skeptics were silenced once they learned the publisher-friendly nature of the compensation models. Several small publishers and one Big 5 publisher – HarperCollins – signed on to work with both Scribd and Oyster. Smashwords announced an agreement with Oyster last month. We’re now in the process of shipping over 200,000 ebooks to them as I write.
….to continue reading visit Smashwords Blog.
Posted by Diane Tibert on November 3, 2013
Posted by Diane Tibert on October 30, 2013
I’ve received news that the lines are now open for Canadians to call and get their Employer Identification Number (EIN). When the government in the United States shut down a few weeks ago (as reported in this post), it became impossible for anyone to get through on the telephone lines. For many, this was the only route available, so getting an EIN came to a sudden stop.
If you’ve been trying to get an EIN and have given up because of frustration, give it another try. From the report I received it was business as usual.
If you’re looking for information on EINs or interested in learning how to get one, visit Canadians, Stop Paying 30% to the IRS.
Posted by Diane Tibert on October 29, 2013
This is a new rule for me. I don’t recall learning it while in school. An editor pointed it out about three years ago. Incredible isn’t it? I’ve been writing for more than thirty-five years and this rule had eluded me.
What rule am I talking about? Adding a comma before and when it joins two independent clauses.
English Lesson…because I know I’m not the only one who has trouble with English lingo.
Independent Clause: A complete sentence. In other words one that contains at the bare minimum a subject and a verb.
Sally jumped. (Subject: Sally; Verb: jumped)
Fred slapped the wall. (Subject: Fred; Verb: slapped)
The horse ate only carrots. (Subject: horse; Verb: ate)
The goats munched on grass. (Subject: goats; Verb: munched)
Tip: To figure out the subject and verb simply ask yourself who and what. Who jumped? Sally. What did Sally do? Jumped. Who munched on the grass? Goats. What did the goats do? Munch. This is where one word answers are not only great, but also necessary.
Posted by Diane Tibert on October 28, 2013