Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
- For every $1 you donate, I will crit 250 words of your MS. This includes line editing, if you’d like. So if your first chapter is 3000 words, donate US $12 to the mycharitywater campaign page [url to be added when the campaign opens]. I’ll contact you for the file. Kat-Crits can be requested AT ANY TIME during the campaign’s duration (March 31-June 30).
- Unless this gets super awesome and busy, I promise to finish all crits within one week.
- Once a week (possibly more), we will have special guest crits from other authors, agents, and editors! Here is the (ever incomplete) schedule of events and guest crits. These special guest crits follow a DIFFERENT DONATING AND CRITTING STRUCTURE from #1 and #2.
- There will also be special, SUPER SEKRIT prize days. Pay attention to the blog and twitter for those. You can, of course, just donate to donate. Because I know that you are that awesome.
Please find the full details here. I cannot even contain my excitement over this clever way of helping others. It appears Kat raised $2500 in 2009 and hopes to hit $5K this year. Let's help her do it!
Friday, March 25, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Lately I’ve read a few forum posts surrounding small presses and the issue of POD printing—or print-on-demand. As I work in both, I thought I would explain some of the differences, addressing the concerns mentioned in these posts.
- First, it is important to note that a typical POD press is not a tiny machine (aka laser printer) spitting out poor quality images. Most color machines can span the size of a room. See photo below:
- Second, technology on digital presses has advanced tremendously making black and white printing (the actual pages of your book) virtually identical to offset printing. We publish many books offset and digitally, utilizing whatever method will keep costs down for our customers. To the naked eye, there is no difference between the two, assuming the same paper stock is utilized.
- Third, offset printing is expensive for two reasons: the first (and biggest cost) is plates. The reason offset printing is called “offset” is because each color in your cover design (for example) has its own plate (usually 4-8 plates for any full color job) which during the printing process offsets onto paper. Each color station lays down a color until the full image has offset onto the sheet. Plates are expensive. Re-plating because an editor found a typo at the last moment can cause the cost of your book to skyrocket. The second major cost is the make-ready. This is all the set-up to get your cover registered properly—meaning the colors lying where they should on the sheet. None of those two costs are involved in POD printing. Which is why I tell all of my clients unless the impression count (number of times a plate hits the sheet) is in the several thousands, they are better off printing digitally (POD).
- Fourth, once a publisher (small press or one of the big six) agrees to take on your book, you become something of an employee for that publisher. And like any good employee our job should be to pay for ourselves and make money for our employer. I would MUCH rather have my publisher print 1,000 POD of my books and they all sell, than print 5,000 offset and only sell 1,000. The first means I made money for my publisher, the second I cost my publisher money. And yeah, I can tell you the mark up on books is tremendous. Of course it is, publishing is a business. But the printing of a book is only ONE piece of the total cost of that book, and it is likely the least expensive if you include manpower, which is the highest cost in any business.
Now, there are other variables here to consider. Foil stamping (that shiny stuff you see on a cover), die-cutting (cut outs or shapes), and embossing (raised lettering) are fancy extras not likely offered on POD books. But MOST book covers can be printed POD without an issue. In fact, I just pulled ten from my shelf and only one couldn’t have printed POD.
So to sum up this super long post, POD is not something to fear. The technology is there to produce beautiful quality images that you would never guess weren’t offset printed. If anyone has any questions feel free to post. :)
Friday, March 18, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
There are loads of theories on aliens ranging from creepy to friendly, but one such newer theory has brought on a lot of interest lately by experts. First let me say, this is not the theory my WIP surrounds, which for reasons of not divulging too much I'll keep that a secret. But I will say the theme comes from a combination of potential fact and fiction--which is what I try to bring to all my stories.
Now on to today's theory: Aliens in the moon.
What?! You scream. Yes, I know, but there are some interesting elements of our history that suggest the possibility. First, the last moon landing was on December 17, 1972. Why? Why when technology advances continue to soar did we stop landing on the moon? Some researchers believe it is because we were told to not come back. Hmm...I'm not sure. But a few astronauts have publicly admitted to some weird things going on when they were up there--including Buzz Aldrin and Edgar Mitchell.
- Buzz Aldrin interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlkV1ybBnHI
- Edgar Mitchell interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhNdxdveK7c
- Chillingly, he claimed our technology is "not nearly as sophisticated" as theirs and "had they been hostile", he warned "we would be been gone by now".
What do you think? Aliens are real and we came up with some "compromise" with them for us to stay away and them to stay away? It is interesting that alien sightings have greatly decreased since the 70's. Hmm...or maybe it's because they're all around us, co-existing beside us...waiting for their time to strike. :)
Monday, March 14, 2011
(Warning – this post sounds more interesting than I intend it.)
See, yesterday I read THIRTEEN REASONS WHY for the first time. It is a thought-provoking, amazing read. Definitely read it if you haven’t. The story is very much about a misunderstood girl and how these sorts of misunderstandings can shape our lives, sending us in all kinds of directions. While the book conjured lots of different emotions and thoughts, one hung with me and became the motivation for today’s post.
I had a conversation with someone (to be kept anonymous) regarding humanity and how we determine other’s worth—for our time, our thoughts, and sometimes even their worth as humans—based upon how similarly they are to us. This is a hard statement, I know. I’m sure you’re sitting in front of your laptop shaking your head. “Nah-ah, not me.” Maybe you’re right. Maybe you’re open-minded enough to never go through your day, week, and year discounting others. But probably not.
Most of us never mean to do this. But how often are foreigners viewed as ignorant because they can’t speak the national language? How often are the poor viewed as simple-minded with simple interests because they can’t afford to travel or have fineries? The list goes on and on. And I even think we as parents do this to our children—unintentionally of course. We are frustrated at our toddlers for disobeying when they do not even know what they did (well sometimes). Or our teens for trying something—alcohol, sex, whatever—when we maybe never gave them a comfortable place to ask the questions they have about those things. In short, we get angry with our children because they should know better. Why? Did you when you were that age? Likely not.
I know this post is coming across as a soapbox message, but really it is just my putting into words the impact one book had on me. I didn’t view Jay Asher’s book as relating only to teen issues. I think it involves people issues, specifically the way we treat each other. People around us deserve more consideration, more than just a curt nod of acknowledgment, because beneath each person’s façade is a real person and your attention could make a huge difference in that person’s life.
So do you treat others as though they are alien? Don’t worry, you don’t have to admit it, but let me admit it to you.
*Now if you really want to discuss aliens, we can do that too. I've researched them to death for my WIP!
Friday, March 11, 2011
Prayers and thoughts to all our friends in Japan.
PART OF SPEECH: verb
DEFINITION: understand information
DEFINITION: be familiar with
associate, be acquainted with, be friends with, experience,
feel, fraternize, get acquainted, have dealings with, identify, savor,
see, sustain, taste, undergo
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Aren't those the most magical words a writer can type? The moment I type in those two small words, a giant smile spreads across my face. For me the joy is in the completion. I have now competed two full length novels. The first one produced all those gooey, "I rock" feelings, but this one is so much more. Writing is hard. And frankly, I wasn't sure I had the bandwidth to sustain the writing thing.
Novel two proved to me that I do.
Now of course there are revisions, and I'm a perfectionist so the revisions will not be easy. But for now, I will enjoy the fact that I have completed my second novel.
What have I learned about myself as a writer?
- It takes me 3 months to produce a first draft.
- I write romance scenes better than action scenes.
- With my first I considered myself a punchy sort of writer, but I've learned I'm more of a flowy writer. The punchy stuff was more my trying to force my style into something it wasn't.
- Over editing does exist. Voice trumps editing.
- I suck at world building, suck at descriptions. So I have to force myself to weave those back in. BUT, I think I'm a pretty strong voice, plot, pacing girl...or maybe that's in my head. Hmm...it could just be the high from finishing. I bet I think I suck in general tomorrow. :)
Monday, March 7, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
- New word
- Definition of new word
- Overused word
- List of replacements
Sound like fun? Let's get started today.
NEW WORD: Appropinquity
DEFINITION(S): Nearness, proximity
Fun, huh? So I'll start with A and going through Z for the fun words. We'll see how I do!!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
- Any HARRY POTTER, but especially 1
- THE HOBBIT
- HUNGER GAMES
- DA VINCI CODE - I know, I know. (Grisham's great at pacing, too. :P)
- Any of the above
- PRIDE & PREJUDICE
- A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY
- THE NOTEBOOK
What about you? What books do you run to, again and again, to teach (or inspire) the fundamentals of writing?