To self-publish, publish traditionally or go with a hybrid?

What’s the best path? Traditionally published, self-published or a hybrid?

There was a time when writers who self-published were unlikely to be traditionally published later because traditional publishers saw self-publication as a dead end.

No more. Now they see self-publication as a trial run and they will happily publish those self-published authors who have a proven track record of sales, which leaves you free to experiment.

So go for it. Self-publish. Then find a bricks and mortar publisher and be happy that they will help with the marketing. (Though they won’t do it all. You’ll still be obligated to work hard at marketing.)

Or don’t go for it even after your sales show that you are a solid writer because you’ll make a whole lot more per book than if anyone else takes a cut. Of course you’ll also be doing all of the marketing and selling yourself.

So the answer possibly depends on whether you enjoy the marketing aspect of writing or not.

The Legacy Is Live On Amazon

I’m amazed. I sent in the manuscript for The Legacy yesterday and it’s already live on Amazon! Just goes to show you that when I went with Winged Publications, I knew what I was doing. I chose the best and most efficient publisher out there.

Just kidding, I didn’t have a clue they’d be so business-like but I’m glad they are.

Anyway, if you want to know why the ghost of a a witch from colonial times is contacting her modern-day heirs, go to Amazon, get The Legacy, and find out.

Here’s the link:

The Legacy

THE LEGACY is finished and ready to go to Winged Publications. It’s been a journey!

First I had to learn about ghosts so as to be reasonably accurate in my portrayal of two of the main characters’ ancestor who just happens to be both a ghost and a witch. So I wrote the novella and then re-wrote it to smooth out the ghostly inconsisties.

Then I realized I’d paid so much attention to ‘ghost’ stuff that I’d neglected the characters themselves. After all, the story is supposed to be about them. So I re-wrote it a second time to give them reasons to exist.

Then I sent my thoughts on a cover to Cynthia at Winged Publications, along with a physical description of the main characters so the characters on the cover would match the characters in the book.

Oops. Got an email back asking if I could change their hair color because she was having cover problems with the hair colors I’d given them. So I went through the book a third time to change hair color. Guess what? It made the story better. The ghost is now a red-head. How’s that for interest? Not the main characters, though. They have brown hair.

Anyway, it’s done and will go to Winged Publications shortly. Whew!

Re-writing. Ugh.

I struggle to get a first draft written but when it’s done, there’s seldom much rewriting to do because every time I sit down to write I first go back over what I wrote the previous day and make any changes that seem appropriate.

Unless I’m writing a new and different kind of story. Then there’s usually more rewriting. Darn.

Like the story I ‘m working on now. THE LEGACY has ghosts and I love the story but in my concern to do ghosts right I neglected some of the most basic story-telling rules.

Like what the heroine is doing in the story. And why. And where she’s going. I was great about the ghosts, just ignored the main character.

Oh well, that’s what rewrites are all about. Good thing I’m way ahead of deadline and that my computer works!

Cat Science

Did you know that scientists actually investigated cats blinking? They thought maybe that’s how cats communicate with people. The result, according to science, is that cats do seem to be with their people more often if the people slow-blink back when the cats slow-blink at them. I’m not sure I believe this study. I’m thinking they maybe used research as an excuse to play with their cats! If so, good for them!

Smoke, the family cat knows how to catnap.

Is Writing a Natural Gift?

I’ve been asked if writing is a natural gift or if it can be acquired or learned.

Of course it always helps to have a bit of natural skill but that’s true of everything, not just writing. People born with the skill needed to throw a ball toss it with more ease than those who had to practice. But both can do it well. The same thing applies to writing.

With this one caveat:

Even if you are a born storyteller, styles change. The kind of stories people enjoyed reading a hundred years ago may not be the kind most people enjoy reading today. Life is now faster and stories had better not take too long to get to the point or readers will stop reading.

So even if you were born with the gift of storytelling, craft is important and so is practice. And more practice. And still more practice.

Flowers As Messengers

I love when my sister sends on the ads she gets from the place in Missouri where she buys quilting material. I asked the company (can’t remember the name. Sorry) if I could use their ads and they said ‘yes’ as long as I give them credit. So when I remember their name, I’ll pass it along. In the meantime, this is great:

You know how different flowers have different meanings? Like yellow roses represent friendship and light red carnations represent admiration. When I saw today’s Deal I looked up hydrangeas and guess what? White hydrangeas (such a gorgeous flower) represent vanity and boasting. Well ok! Why in the world is there a flower to represent vanity and boasting? What are you supposed to do with it? Give it to someone you think is stuck-up? Only plant it in your garden if you want to be a show off? I guess you could do that. Or you could add a little blue hydrangea, which is conveniently a symbol for understanding, and just embrace it as the sweet and beautiful flower it is!

Ghosts and Other Story Starters

You might recognize this image because once I found it I saved it to use again when appropriate. Like now.

I’m finally, finally, finally getting the hang of writing about ghosts. Never thought changing just one little thing in the stories I’m telling would create such angst. But it did. Had to research ghosts and the paranormal, which was both interesting and laughable. Then had to decide how my particular ghost would fit in the story. Then had to rewrite a lot because I forgot my own ‘ghost’ rules and went astray.

But it’s all done now and I’m rather pleased with the result. A ghost who simply wants to ‘cross over’ and needs help to do so.

And, of course, having done all that research and figured out how ghosts can fit in my stories, the book after this first ‘ghost’ book will also be a ‘ghost’ story.Is this where I should say ‘boo?’Maybe.

Anyway, Happy Halloween a little early because I’m thinking about ghosts and they are a Halloween staple.

Autumn Campfires and S’mores

I think of autumn as campfire season because the weather is cool enough to enjoy the heat of the fire and too warm for there to be snow. A plus is that the summer mosquitoes are pretty much gone.

Of course marshmallows, Hershey bars, and graham crackers that become S’mores when the marshmallows are roasted just make the campfire that much better.

I learned to my surprise that everyone has their own version of S’mores. Ours is using the chocolate fudge that we make and sell instead of Hershey bars. It’s great! The other day I wondered how many versions of S’mores there are. I suspect there are a great many!

Below is our campfire in all its glory.