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Tag Archives: nonfiction

Secrets to Getting Published

My public library had a great talk about getting published. They got a good crowd of aspiring writers who want to write fiction, non-fiction, children’s books and poetry. The talk was led by an editor and a writer, who does both self-publishing and publishing through an established publisher.

I don’t think I should share all the secrets as their handout was copyrighted, but I’ll share some facts and tips:

  1. Know why you want to get published. Have a clear vision of what you consider success to be. (Getting published, wining an award, getting good reviews or what?)
  2. More non-fiction books are written by first time writers.
  3. Most self-published books sell less than 100 copies, and most of those copies are bought by the author. Ugh. ;-(
  4. Learn to “eat rejection for breakfast.” So develop a thick skin and remember that major writers often got dozens or hundreds of rejection letters.
  5. Adequately test your idea by seeing how people, not just loved ones, think about your idea.
  6. If you do self-publish get your books into different sorts of shops. In a book shop your books is one of many, but in a florist or hospital shop there’s only a handful of other books.
  7. The average new writer spends $3000-$5000 of their own money on preparing their books. Both speakers stressed that you should hire a professional editor. Someone who’s an English teacher or reads and edits professionally is required not just a pal.The cheapskate in me balks at spending so much money, but I’m mulling this over. I do have people whom I trust as good writers and grammarians read my work as a favor, but should I be paying someone? What do you think, readers?
 
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Posted by on February 9, 2017 in fiction, writing

 

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Now Reading

zola

I’m now reading and very wrapped up in Emile Zola’s A Ladies’ Paradise, which the Masterpiece The Paradise is based on. Wow!

The story’s quite different as it’s set in Paris and Denise’s parents died leaving her with two brothers to look after and very little money. Thus she heads to her uncle in Paris, who’s a draper as in the television series. This uncle has more i.e. some customers and yet is more furious at Mouret (Moray on TV). Zola’s Mouret starts out as such a philanderer, with lots of contempt for women. I can see why the TV show lessened that aspect of his character. It’s just amazing to read about how huge the store is and how it’s run.

sin second cityI’m also reading another Horatio Alger book. Again, I’ve just started the story, Joe’s Luck. Joe’s an orphan and a servant in small town New Jersey. He’s had it with the ill treatment of a miserly employer and heads to New York hoping to get on a ship to California while the Gold Rush is in full swing. Just now poor Joe was swindled out of the money for the ship’s ticket.

I’m also in the midst of a book on the Everleigh sisters who ran a high class, super high class brothel in turn of the 20th century Chicago. The Everleigh Club’s opulence is unmatched and the tales! Whoo. The girls. The men. The antics! Often beyond imagination.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2014 in American Lit, classic, fiction, French Lit, history, Masterpiece Theater

 

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In the Garden of the Beasts

garden of the beasts

I figured out how to download ebooks from the library on to my iPad. I’d delighted to have so many books available. The down side is you can only have them for two weeks before they go “poof!” as Erik Larson‘s engaging In the Garden of the Beasts just did. I’m guessing I can take it out again.

So this is a quick review of a book I’m half way through. In the Garden of the Beasts chronicles the life of the Dodd family in Nazi Germany. Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a hard time filling the German ambassadorship in the 1930s. No one wanted to go. Eventually, FDR chose William E. Dodd, a history professor at the University of Chicago. Dodd was a frugal, down-to-earth academic who spoke German fluently. Not a bad choice.

The book is fascinating as it describes Dodd and his family, mainly his daughter who has several lovers while in Berlin. As ambassador Dodd must deal with the conflict of an in circle who doesn’t feel he’s up to his post and Hitler, who’s gaining power. I was not aware of all the beatings American tourists suffered during this era. While non-Germans were exempt from saluting Nazi’s, those who didn’t were often beaten.

Dodd meets and socializes with all the big names from history: Hitler, Göring, Goebbels and others. Larson researched the book well. Diaries and correspondence breathe life into the work, which reads like a novel. Read In the Garden of the Beasts and you’ll learn how history really happens, day by day.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in history

 

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