#IWSG: What Are Your Thoughts On Social Online Publishing Platform?

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The question of the month is: what are your thoughts on social online publishing platform?

 

 

Seriously.  What do you think about using sites like the ones above for publishing your stories (novels included)?

Good idea?  Bad?

I’ve used them periodically on and off for several years now. For me, they help me work on a book chapter by chapter while getting feedback.  Especially with sites like Wattpad or Writerscafe, I can find out if a particular storyline has true potential, or needs to go back to the “drawing board,” and for most of the ones I’ve done, scrapped altogether.

By posting/publishing stories/books on these places do they hurt your chances of finding a traditional publisher?

I don’t think so.

I used these sites to write my first draft.  And if I seriously want to find a traditional publisher for a particular story, I’d take it down before performing the heavy-duty editing/revising.

Heck, there’s been several writers on Wattpad who actually were approached by one of the big publishing houses to have their book published with them, and even a few had their stories optioned for television and big screen film.

It’s a new world out there (well, not truly “new” per say but the rules have changed). This is truly one of the best times to be a writer.

So, what about you? Any thoughts?  Have any personal experiences with any one of these sites?

 

 

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My #Publishing Dilemma

Photo Credit: Pixabay Free Images

I love writing stories and poetry, and one of my dreams is to be a published author.

However…

I retired from the workforce in January 2015 (five days before my 44th birthday) due to my worsening eyesight (coupled with moderate hearing loss), and now live on Social Security benefits as well as my husband’s salary.

Although I consider myself as a writer, I feel like I’m a faceless woman with no true status or identity of any kind.

Why is that?

I desire to write books and have them traditionally published; but, since I’m on Social Security, I’m not allowed to make any money. So, this puts me in a frustrating dilemma.  How do I go about realizing my dream now?

Writing is NOT a hobby for me.  It’s my passion and my life.  Would not making money off my writing put me in the “hobbyist” realm?  Gosh,  I hope not.

What to do?

I could self-publish but if I put my books on “permafree” would people want to “buy” and read them?  Would my books be considered as “inferior” just because they’re for “free”?

On the other hand, being in this predicament is somewhat liberating as I find I have more range to do things differently than many authors.  So perhaps this really isn’t such a terrible thing after all.

Hmm…

Are There Too Many Books Out There?

too many books

I posted a poll to both here and on Twitter to garner how many thought if there were too many writers and not enough readers.  Majority of those who responded (around 74%) believed that there were more than enough readers for all the books now out there.

Okay, let’s delve a bit deeper and look at some of the statistics that I’ve managed to find.

According to one article, in 2013 at least 28 million books were published in English.  It looks like this included both traditional and self-published “print” titles.  The article went on to state that in 2003 the number of books in print were only around one million titles.  Kind of put things in perspective on just how much things have exploded since the early 2000’s.

I pulled up the Worldometers’ site, its clocking the world population at around 7.4 billion.  North America has 360 million, Europe at 738 million, Africa 1.2 billion; but Asia takes the crown at well over 4.4 billion.

Of the 7.4 billion, nearly 1 billion are illiterate.

Another sobering number to look at is that at least 3 billion of the world population lives in poverty; many of these may not have access to books because of the condition they live in.

This still leaves a good chunk of people as readers, right?

How many of the remaining population actually spends the time reading books in all honesty?  With people working more hours each week, and with various technology distractions, the number of people reading seems to be on the decline.

It seems that the challenge facing writers these days is trying to get people to read their work.  With so many published titles out there (and mind you, these numbers do not include digital ones), how does a writer go about doing that?

Any thoughts?

 

 

Writer/Author Debate (Results)

The responses have been steady since I posted the poll that asked the question on whether “writer” is the same as “author.”  So far, most readers agreed that “writer” is NOT the same as “author:”

Facebook responses:

Mary McDonald: “I think that’s one of those debates that will continue through time. I think most see publishing being the point of transition from writer to author.”

Mark Carver: “I’ve always understood the key difference being that an author has published work.”

Stephanie J. Pajonas: “I say I’m an author. It’s my job writing books and publishing them. Writer is more generalized to me. I’m that as well, too.”

 

Blog responses:

Tiegan Dakin: “My definition of a writer is anyone who performs any literary creating, i.e poetry, fiction, nonfiction, etc.

I always saw authors as people whose works had been published online or in print, whether that be in literary magazines or their own novels.”

RYCJ: “A writer can be a writer without publishing his or her work.

An author on the other hand is published… whether he or she “authored” a letter to a friend or Congress, or wrote and published a full length book.”

Laurie Buchanan: “I agree with the other two responders (Tiegan and RYCJ): A writer is someone whose work is yet unpublished. An author is someone whose writing is published.”

It appear that many deem that in order to be considered an author, one must have been published.  What vary among these responses are what items (poetry, stories, books, etc.) that are published that would determine one’s status as writer/author.  Any further thoughts on these?

 

Alex for Shaw offered the most extensive response that was different from the rest:

“Writer and author are very similar nouns in their common usage, but writer is a broad term that covers anybody who assembles words. Author usually refers to a writer, but one who is identified with their body of work (however large or small). The implication is that what an author writes has visibility beyond their private sphere.

There are some forms of writing where “author” is not the usual term, such as journalism: one usually refers to the writer of an article, editorial, column or feature rather than the author. With literature “author” is much more common, especially for a creator of prose. With poetry or dramatic works the more specialized “poet”, “playwright”, “dramatist” or “screenwriter” are often used, leaving “author” primarily as the term for novelists.

Finally, “writer” is descriptive of what the person does. It derives from the verb, from the action (just like the word “scribe”). “Author” in contrast is synonymous with “creator”, hence phrases like “author of one’s own misfortune” to describe someone who has gotten themselves into trouble. While “writer” deals exclusively with the mechanical acts of putting pen to paper (or an equivalent: finger to keyboard), “author” refers to the creative aspect, the invention.”

Personally, I’m still digesting this particular one.  Anyone agree with her insight on the topic?

New responses:

From pipermac5 (aka Steve) as of 12/29/2015:

“I am a writer, a blogger, and somewhat of a wordsmith, but I wouldn’t claim the title of “author”. My writings are online and available to all who wish to read them, but none have been “published” as printed-material.”

From bdaiken as of 9/5/2016:

“I think it’s about self perception to some extent. I used to describe myself as a designer who also writes. I would now describe myself as an author who does the occasional design job. Less about how much money you make from each venture, more about where the focus of your life lies.”

 

 

*I humbly thank all those who have responded so far. Keep checking back here for new responses as they are added over time!

 

 

How Many Wrimos Actually Get Published?

For those who have participated (or have considered but never did) in the November’s National Novel Writing Month, some must have wondered if it’s even worth doing.  Do Wrimos really get their novels published?

Can it even be done?

According to Nanowrimo.org (Published Wrimos)many have actually done it.

In fact, since 2006, over 230 NaNo books have been traditionally published.  Included in this list are publishing houses such as Penguin Books, HarperCollins, Scholastic Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Ballantine Books, and others.

Additionally, over 150 Wrimos have self-published their novels.

With hard work and courage, it is possible to have that crazy thing called a “novel” published.

 

“Write while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.”
—Henry David Thoreau

Dreams and Reality

How realistic is it to dream big as a writer?  What if you want to sell a million copies of your book or have a big-time producer interested in your script?  In a world where there seems to be more writers than readers, how is this realistic?

What do you do?  Should you give up on those dreams, or just dream smaller?

Everyone need their dreams no matter how unrealistic they are.   To shun them is like death to the artist within you; it would only invite misery and at times even chaos.

So, screw it.  Go ahead, dream big or dream small.   The game-changer?  You need to act on those dreams.  They won’t happen by themselves.  It takes work; lots of it.  It won’t be easy.  The path to success won’t be straight.  The key to all is to never give up.  It may take a year. Heck, it may even take ten years!  Just keep plugging at it no matter what.

“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.”-Mary Manin Morrissey

“Life is never easy for those who dream.”-Robert James Walker

Writers Are Like Athletes

athletesWhat can we learn from athletes that would enable us to become better writers?  You’d be surprised.

1. Athletes train consistently to become better, faster, more proficient competitors.  For writers, we need to write daily, often in order to improve the craft, our skills.

2. Athletes test themselves by competing.  Writers submit to see their work published.

3. Athletes occasionally suffer from injuries.  Writers name your poison (aka writer’s block for instance).

4. Believe it or not, athletes need down time in order to allow their bodies to rejuvenate; writers need to do the same.  Take a break and pursue another creative outlet.  Have fun. Be spontaneous.

5. Athletes need coaches in order to achieve the next level.  Writers are no different.  They need mentors, other peers to help push them beyond their comfort zones.

Care to add your thoughts and input to this?