Category Archives: Wings On My Words

Tales From the Writer’s Desk

Gorilla in the Room (or, The Pilot Error Series Character Arc)

If the title of this post is black, and/or you see the fighter-pilot header, click on the title to view the featured image for this post. image credit: zeeky.net In case you were wondering, this is a post about writing. To discover the significance of the image, please read on. John Truby’s Anatomy of Story stresses the importance of defining the hero in terms of a process that begins at the end of a story with what he calls the “self-revelation,” in which the hero “. . . strips away the facade he has lived behind and sees himself honestly … Continue reading

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Can Ebooks and Print Coexist?

Note: If the title of this post is black, click on it to view the featured image header. Unless you’ve been living off the planet for the past five years, you are more than likely aware of the ongoing turmoil in the publishing industry which began when Amazon introduced the Kindle on November 19, 2007. Pundits on both sides of the chasm between traditional  (legacy) and independent (indie) publishing make frequent predictions as to what the future holds in store . . . as in bookstore, and of course, libraries, neither of which you need to read an eBook. I’ve never … Continue reading

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A Visitor to the Booth

Note: If the post title is black, click on it to view the featured image header. In preparation for our visit to a meeting of the Lake Travis Fiction Writers, members of Austin Indie Writers planned to gather at the Texas Book Festival for a photograph that could be used to publicize our panel presentation on “How to Publish Your Own Novel.” We managed to get only four of us together at the same time and place, which turned out to be Sunday afternoon in the Violet Crown Publishers booth. When my friend and fellow writer Brad Whittington saw the … Continue reading

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Texas Book Festival – 2012

DAY ONE: It’s Sunday morning, October 28, 2012, and sitting at my computer with my first cup of coffee, I couldn’t resist the temptation to document a few personal observations from my experience in the Violet Crown Publishers booth at the halfway point of the Texas Book Festival weekend. This being my first time attending in any capacity, I had little advance notion of what to expect. Cynthia Stone, her good friend and fellow author Beth Fowler, and yours truly had spent the previous afternoon and last-minute preparation time that morning hauling all the books, poster display grids, posters, chairs, … Continue reading

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Trials and Tribulations of Indie Publishing – Follow Up

I realize that a very small amount of middle ground exists when it comes to opinions about Amazon. People either hate them for being the harbinger of ultimate centralized control over everything we purchase, or love them for making online shopping better in any number of ways than buying local. But I have to tell you that when it comes to dealing with authors whose books are listed for sale in their store, Amazon’s customer service is superb. I posted a complaint/question about the information they provide authors with regard to requirements/recommendations for eBook cover images and received a reply … Continue reading

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Trials and Tribulations of Indie Publishing

Since making the decision to Go Indie and follow the advice of Dean Wesley Smith to Think Like A Publisher, I’ve been faced with a series of challenges, most of which have been accompanied by the element of surprise. The newest arrived in a roundabout way via an email from Smashwords with a link to their blog and a post about the new cover image requirements soon to take effect. For indie writers who hire someone to create their covers, this event will pass under the radar like an F-4 at 100 feet, masking behind a ridge line between the aircraft and a surface-to-air … Continue reading

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Book Signing After-Action Report

I approached my first-ever book signing last evening with a mixture of excitement (optimism) and resignation (reality check). I’d spent a good bit of time drafting my remarks, practiced them multiple times, trimmed the duration to a target of ten minutes, and then did something I probably should have done a few days ago: check out the other authors. Speaking of other authors at a signing, the first question that came to mind was whether I’d rather do a solo event. I didn’t have that choice at BookPeople, but it’s a valid consideration due to curiosity alone. I’m glad it … Continue reading

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A Happening Event in the Discoverability Gamble

In previous Writer’s Desk posts I’ve mentioned the sine qua non (without which there is nothing) of publishing: discoverability. And yes, that’s a made-up word for visibility, but it’s important for writers to establish and maintain a discipline-specific vocabulary. Like pilots do. It keeps non-pilots guessing and creates an aura of wonderment about aviators, those steely-eyed and adventurous creatures of the skies. But I digress . . . With the exception of a NYT bestselling author, the challenge is the same whether you are legacy or indie published. If you don’t get out there and publicize your book, no one … Continue reading

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There Are Gremlins In Those Pages

In various posts over the past year I’ve mentioned the time warp that settles over me when sitting at this desk working on the latest writing project. Prior to April 2011, the passage of time was dominated by either putting words on paper or trying to arrange the ones already there into some semblance of order. Then everything changed. As reported elsewhere, I entered a writing contest, began actively submitting my novel Pilot Error to agents, and opened up the Pandora’s Box of Indie Publishing. Looking back over the past twelve months, the decision not to hire someone to help … Continue reading

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Goodreads Giveaway Gone and the Review Question

On Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM, the two-book Goodreads Giveaway for Pilot Error ended with a total of 640 members (out of a total 6 million) entered to win. That’s a tiny percentage, even when considering that the Giveaway was restricted to US members. That may sound as if I care, which I don’t, and I’m disappointed, which I’m not, because the important point is that Goodreads provides the opportunity to put a book in front of a whole lot of folks who love to read books, review them, and share with others what they are reading and reviewing. … Continue reading

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