Sunday, July 31, 2011

Blog Number Four

Before I get to Miraculous Event Number Three, let me say a few words about the important role of my two brothers during my early years of writing.  Curg Johnson, who lived in California at the time, is a retired college professor of English.  He helped with my grammar and punctuation.  The first novel I sent to him came back with so much red ink, it looked like a copy of the National Debt.  I'd never heard of a dangling modifier or gerund.  Luckily, they were lessons well learned.  My older brother, Clyde Flanigan who lived in Kentucky, was a retired coroner.  He helped me with murder scenes and anything dealing with death.  Oh, the fun we had laughing and joking about unique methods of murder.  He passed away recently and is deeply missed.  Both of these men put their unique imprint on my writing.
Now to “Miraculous Event Number Three.”  It’s the Internet.  I can’t take credit for this one.  Previously I had sustained head trauma by throwing myself at the brick and mortar publishing houses in New York to no avail.  Cross-genre, too short, the same old song and dance.  And, going to any more editor appointments was fruitless after the years began to pile up.  With a full head of startling white hair and a face filled with wrinkles, I became a victim of age profiling by junior editors barely out of college.  They're probably thinking..."How many productive years does she have left?"
During the Internet's infancy, I placed several books with electronic publishers (Wings ePress and Treble Hearts).  However, they had no name recognition and my titles languished.  After contracts expired and a rewrite, I moved them to more fertile ground.
Amazon and the Internet changed everything.  Today we have electronic readers, iPads, smart phones and print-on-demand.  All of these have opened up a new and exciting world to writers--amateur or professional.  I tip my imaginary hat to Amazon for their ingenuity in designing
This avenue is perfect for poets who don’t expect big sales numbers and who would like to have printed books for relatives and friends at a ridiculously low price.  This is also true for family histories which are great for handing down your precious memories to the next generation.  Non-fiction is a little more problematic if your work contains photos, graphs, table of contents, etc.  But it’s certainly not insurmountable.
If you've written a treatise on your political or religious views or on the life cycle of the fruit fly, et cetera, ad infinitum, then you will find a wonderful home with Createspace.  They will even help you with your cover art.   My son, Michael Wooten, does my cover art.  For Mom, it’s free.  For anyone else there’s a fee.
Next week is for more about the fiction writer.

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