Posts tagged ‘self-publishing’


Recently, I joined this writers group. Meeting at the Paoli library every Thursday, I have found it to be a source of sharing with fellow writers. Something all writers need.

Come join us and learn who we are and learn.



Saturday, August 20, 2016

12:00 to 4:30 pm

Paoli Library Meeting Room

18 Darby Rd, Paoli, PA 19301


You are invited to join us for a workshop that is designed for proficient writers and authors to learn from one another in an experiential and peer-to-peer forum. This 4½-hour  workshop will be broken into two sessions:

First session: 12:00-2:30 pm. Full group session.

Break/Network 2:30-3:00 pm. Please bring your own food/beverage.

Second session: 3:00-4:30 pm. Small group sessions.


The first session will focus on the writer’s  completed goals and lessons learned along the way that can help other writers:

Objective – Each person can speak for up to five minutes  about successes and/or difficulties in areas specific to their writing experience followed by up to five minutes       Q & A. If speaking please come with prepared notes.


In the second session writers will break into smaller groups according to genre and/or a specific goal for the workshop.

  • Genre
  • Editing
  • Publishing
  • Self-publishing
  • Blogging
  • Public speaking
  • Marketing
  • Distribution


What to Bring: A brief summary of your work/projects, in order for others to  understand your interests and the main goal you wish to achieve in this workshop.


Please RSVP to:    Melanie @


Space limited to 20 due to size of room.  There will be no waiting list. We hope to see you there!


August 13, 2016 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment


This piece will be about blogging and self-publishing, and some observations I have made.

I have been blogging for some time now; have bloggers I follow and some that follow me. I’ll begin with the negative. In blogging, I fault blogs that merely regurgitate other’s thoughts, ideas and creativity adding no insight or constructive thoughts. I’m turned off by quantity and not quality in what is presented.

Now for the good, and there is a great deal of good. I read the work of a host of talented writers posting on blogs about writing, their experiences in developing their craft along with blogs posting excellent poetry. If anyone out there is interested in reading great poetry for free, leave a comment and I’ll post links. Here’s the kicker. In my daily blog reading, I’ve found too much that is lacking in quality, and at the same time, too much that is excellent. There’s just too much to absorb. The lacking dilutes the excellent and conceals work that is worthy with the flood of work which is available.

How could too much excellent work be a bad thing, you might ask. The growing technology in publishing allows everything to be published with no gatekeeper. I remind you of the add I mentioned in the past which stated, “Write anything. Publish everything”. You can create a blog for free, a website for free, self-publish at minimal cost; all whether or not you have talent or something to say. I feel that the ease with which you can publish allows marginal writers a means of exposure, diluting the efforts of talented writers for gaining a public. In the past, there existed the means to self-publish using vanity presses. The cost limiting the volume. Technology has changed all this, and I feel not for the best. Of course, who is to say what is good and what is bad. But with the volume of work presented, the good is sometimes lost in a sea of the bad.

When I read a great piece on a blog or a great poem I wish more could enjoy the author’s work. Some of the bloggers I read also publish, rarely through traditional mean. The bottom line, I feel that the rapid growth of technology enables the marginal and dilutes the excellent. I see no way to remedy this problem and sure that it will increase as technology progresses.

Here are some links where you may purchase my work.

Melange Books

Barnes &

April 27, 2015 at 8:21 pm Leave a comment


Continuing on my white noise theme in the publishing world, I feel self-publishing has, as most things do, some good and some not so good points.

Self-publishing gives a new slant to ‘freedom of speech’. Anyone and I mean anyone can publish what they want, the good the bad and the ugly, for perhaps little or no expense and sell it to the public. In future posts I will explore self-publishing options for my and my readers’ benefit. However, before I tackle that subject, I want to delve into the process of finding a publisher (I’ve already begun that task) and an agent.

Now, back to self-publishing and white noise.

I’m sure it’s my lack of confidence, or maybe my upbringing in the scientific world, but I need verification from someone knowledgeable in publishing that what I write is worthy of publication. That is the cross I bear, but I’m learning to throw-off this burden, at least to some extent.

You see, the problem I have with self-publishing is that there is no gatekeeper. With over 435,000 works self-published last year the white noise in publishing has become a deafening roar. I know, everyone has a book in them but let’s be honest, sometimes that’s where it should stay. Then again, who has the right to make that judgment? See the conundrum.

In the past, the only way to be published, other than by a recognized publisher, was by a vanity press. By using a vanity press, you could fill your garage or basement with copies of your work and come away from the experience hundreds or thousands of dollars poorer. For the most part, the vanity press is all but gone, but not totally. What it has done is morphed into companies advertising in writer’s magazines offering to publish your work for perhaps a few hundred dollars or so. They have traded the profits made by a few paying a great deal to a great number paying a lot less. In the future I want to explore how you can bypass them and publish on your own.

Now, here’s where I make some enemies, but isn’t that what life’s all about?

Of the 435,000 works published last year, how many would have found a home with a traditional publisher. I ask myself, when I look at my own work, is there anyone who would pay money to read this other than my family or friends. That should be your litmus test if you really want to become a writer. Publishing a book might stroke your ego, but will it contribute anything.

I met an author last year who told me she is now self-publishing. However, she first published with established publishers, built a reputation, and now publishes on her own. That path has merit, in my eyes.

Another interesting observation I saw in a writer’s magazine was how self-publishing may hurt those beginning a long-term career. A side note, I recently had a story accepted and after it was accepted I decided to read it one last time. I had written it sometime ago and, at times being a bonehead, failed to read it before sending it off. I found the writing ‘lacking’ and told the publisher they would receive an improve version. The point is, we improve with experience. That is the point made in the article. The reason the career-minded writer should be careful about self-publishing their early work is that if they take the next step and decide to seek out a traditional publisher and that publisher is interested in taking them on, they will consider the writer’s self-published an example of their skill. Do you get the point? Your name is attached to your work, your true name in most cases, and that work is how your writing will be judged.

Finally, if you do decide to self-publish, PLEASE! PLEASE! have someone other than your mother or closest friend read your work. Preferably someone who has read a great deal and will give you an honest opinion. This is where, if you are sincere about your craft, a good writers group comes into play. If there isn’t a group you can join, there are opportunities to get online critiques where you can exchange work with other writers. Another benefit of critiquing someone else’s work is the process tends to improve your own skills.

Hope I haven’t ruffled too many feathers, and that my comments will help turn the white noise in publishing into joyful music.

October 20, 2014 at 11:42 pm Leave a comment


You, my readers, may be wondering what the title of this piece has to do with writing. So do I. Let’s see where it goes.

As a writer, I observe the world around me, comparing the present with what I have experienced in the past. And being a writer of science fiction, comparing the present and speculating on the future. We live in an age when the vast majority of us are constantly connected to the complex grid of modern-day communication essential to today’s way of life. We live in an age of tablets and smart phones, both smarter now than the computers of not so long ago. It’s predicted that soon we will live in ‘smart houses’ providing for our every need and perhaps reaching the point where the house will decide what is best for us. You know I’m of a story along those lines. This ‘smart house’ trend has already begun with locking and observing and adjusting temperatures from your phone. Here is where I will show my age. How much of life do we miss by being so consumed by devices that we no longer observe the life around us?

I remember a news report of a woman falling into water while using a phone, and we all know how dangerous it is to talk on a phone while driving, let alone texting, but so many of us are so plugged in that we tune out responsibilities which could have dire consequences. Of course, there are those who say that talking on the phone is no more dangerous than listening to the radio. I don’t know about you, but I don’t hold a conversation with my radio.

The point is: How does this electronic connection deprive us of appreciating the world around us? What do you think?

There is another point I want to make, as a writer, and may get me in trouble with some of my colleagues. But here goes. I feel self-publishing provides a great deal of white noise to the publishing industry. I recently read in Publishers Weekly that in 2013 there were a total of 458,564 self-published works to hit the market. I know each and every author thinks that their work is worthy of publication, but seriously. Who is to judge the value of each and every publication? That would be the public. But bombarded by such a massive amount to choose from, how do you separate the good from the bad and the ugly? The answer, that’s what the market place is all about. However, I feel the sheer volume is the white noise in publishing.

My next posting will further explore the white noise of self-publishing.

October 14, 2014 at 7:58 pm Leave a comment


In the past, I have shared with you comments made by Brooke Warner in her blog published by the Huffington Post. Recently, she posted another article about publishing which I feel poses some important points. In this article she contrasts the difference in the timeline between traditional publishing and self-publishing and lends tips on why it is important to slow down in these efforts.

September 11, 2014 at 5:07 pm Leave a comment


It is a journey we shall take together, seeking out information on the road to becoming a self-published author. In a recent post, I went into great detail on why I have not self-published – yet. That attitude is in the process of transition. Even I am capable of change. While I’m on the road to obtaining knowledge on self-publishing I invite you to come along.
We begin with an excellent article to get us started, full of useful information. I received it through an online writer’s group to which I belong, IndieWriterSupport. I suggest joining as many writer’s groups as you can. You will inundated with a wealth of information, not all useful, but a great deal with value to the writer. Join LinkedIn! Once you do offers to join other groups will come pouring in.
Look for future pieces with more in-depth information into the world of self-publishing.

Take advantage of the active links you will find in the article.

June 23, 2014 at 7:42 pm Leave a comment


Every journey down that rocky road of writing is different, unique, influenced by our past and drawing on the writer’s experiences. My first career was that of a scientist, 34 years’ worth, and that experience helps shape my approach to publishing and the hesitation to self-publish.
Let me explain.
In science, once you have completed a project which has merit and contributes knowledge to your field, you set out to publish a paper describing your work. I am coauthor on more than 40 papers. I didn’t do any of the writing but performed most of the experiments that went into them and am familiar with the process of publishing these papers.
When you want to publish your work there is an accepted process. No valid scientist takes it upon himself to publish his results. Rather, you seek-out a peer-reviewed journal which publishes in your field. The process involves your work being reviewed by, usually three, scientists working in your field and familiar with the techniques you used. After reading your work they may either accept it, suggest further experiments or reject it. Do you see the parallel with accept, rewrite or reject? Having spent my entire working life under this mindset, I find it has now carried over into my writing career. Perhaps it is a flaw, perhaps not, but with my fiction I do not feel comfortable with just putting it out there. I need confirmation from someone knowledgeable in my genre and able to judge the quality of my work. This need for approval does not make for an easy writing career, but I feel the rewards are well worth the effort.
So far I have published on novel, a novella and more than 25 short stories, all accepted by a publisher, in some cases by multiple publishers. To go this route is time-consuming and requires a thick skin. It’s not easy to send your baby out there and find no one sees its value.
Let me share with you the history of my novel, New Moon Rising, in finding a publisher. I began this effort in December, 2006, and in March, 2010 Melange Books asked to see the entire manuscript and decided to publish my book. During that interval, I contacted 28 agents and publishers. One reason this endeavor took so long was that I waited to hear back from each submission before submitting again. I won’t make that mistake again. But let me tell you. When a publisher says, ‘We’ll accept your work,’ that superb feeling cannot be matched.
So there you have my approach and reasons for taking the road I have chosen to getting my work published, and why I have not self-published – yet. My approach is not for everyone, but for better or for worse, that’s what it is.
Then you have to get someone to buy it.

June 12, 2014 at 6:59 pm Leave a comment


It is said that we all have a book within us. I don’t know who said it, and if no one has, I just did. However, it has never been said, to my knowledge, that we all have a GOOD book within us. What follows is my own take on self-publishing with more episodes to follow. As always, feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Writing is an ego driven endeavor. To put your words out there and know that someone will pay money to read them is quite a stretch. But many of us do just that and bruise our egos along the way. Who among us truly thinks their ability to put words together isn’t worth shit, but I’m going to do it and reveal my shit to the world. In the not too distant past the only available avenue a writer could take, other than the traditional route of, agent-editor-publisher was lovingly referred to as the vanity press.

The end result of association with a vanity press was usually hundreds of books moldering away in a basement or attic and the author thousands of dollars poorer. Now we have a much better, cheaper option – the wonderful world of self-publishing. For an excellent in-depth look at self-publishing I refer you to the May/June 2012 issue of Writer’s Digest providing an overview on the topic. In a later piece I will offer some of the information from that issue and update the information contained in this issue for, in this day and age, 2012 is distant history.

Self-publishing, in conjunction with print-on-demand allows the writer to bring his work directly to the reading public without encountering the messy world of agents and publishers. I know many out there have taken the agent and or publisher route and have shed blood, sweat and tears with no results. Been there, done that. That’s why the vast majority of my work remains unpublished. I’ll get to my personal experiences and the reason I still beat my head against a stone wall in a later piece. Many of those who have put the effort and see no other avenue to present their work to the public other than to self-publish. Here, the decision to self-publish has merit. You’ve paid your dues with nothing to show for it; give it a shot.

There is another form of exposure providing a means to present your work, your thoughts, poetry, and stories, to the world. If you’ve gotten this far you’re participating in that medium now – the blog. Of course you won’t make any money unless your ego permits you to go hat-in-hand to those wanting to read the beauty of your words. Enough of that.

I have met one author, in my opinion, who has a healthy approach to self-publishing. She established a reputation through the traditional route of agent and publisher. Only after her reputation was established did she begin to self-publish. For now the public knew the value of her work, work accepted by the industry, and she could approach that public directly.

With the above in mind, I’m sure you see that self-publishing is a complicated and convoluted topic. It is a medium offering a new publishing opportunity, and each year hundreds of thousands of people employ it. It can yield great success, but to those that it has you could probably count using your fingers and toes, and perhaps not even need to take off your shoes.

Yet with all the uncertainty and rejection and no matter how you bear that twisted cross we call the writing addiction, you know you have no choice but to endure and hope for the

June 2, 2014 at 7:36 pm 2 comments


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