Category Archives: Writing tips and ideas

Vanity Press: Is it right for you?

A local writer I know told me a bit ago that she went through a vanity press publisher. I made a face of disgust before I could stop myself. I asked if it worked. The reply was yes, and that is all that matters.

The definition of a vanity press is, in short: A vanity press, also known as a subsidy press, is a company that offers publishing services for a fee.

When I started looking for publishers, I had a few contact me. I declined, having researched various publishers before,

Even if I had the money, I could not honestly give it to a company for them to publish my book. I could do what they were offering on my own. I figured it would simply take longer. Also, I did not have the funds. If I had the money, I feel I would have declined, but I will never know. It is not easy getting a book published, let alone writing a book.

When it was my time, I researched the various ways to get my manuscript published. The research is free. A writer may find out what works better for them. It could be a vanity press. Check it out first before you fork over your hard earn money,

What they can charge you can include editing, reading fee, and book covers. If you are not inclined to do any of this or prefer not to do it, this could be the way to go. It does suit some authors who are happy with a vanity press.

All I am saying is to check it out first. It took you a lot of time to start and complete your book. You worked hard to get it finished. You want it in the best hands possible, wherever that might be.

Since it is a long road, vanity presses are around and will continue to bill authors large sums of money. Don’t bet the farm on this, especially if you can ill afford to.

Do you critique other people’s works?: You should

Do you critique other writers?

We are not going to find all the errors on our own. Finding like-minded people to read over our works is a valuable tool.

Why should you read others? You will want people to return the favor and help you out as you are helping them out. It will also strengthen your writing as you see how others do it, mistakes that you find in theirs you might be doing as well.

Not just that, but the camaraderie of being with other writers is such a big boost. Who else gets what it takes to write a novel?

But as you are going over the works, do you give a positive? It should not all be about what this writer did wrong. We need to know where we got it right to know we got it right. Would you want that from someone else?

I have been in a meeting where the writers would drone on about what I did wrong. It came to a point where I said out loud to no one in particular, “Good grief, did I do anything right?”

I hadn’t meant it to be loud, but people heard me. Quickly, a few offered where I had gotten things right. It should not have taken me to express myself for that to happen.

Like anything else, we are humans, and to go on repeatedly what we are doing wrong won’t be met with open arms and happy hearts.

If you critique, find something the person did right. It will lift them. After all, how would you feel if this happened to you?

I would suspect not very good.

You been offered a book contract: Now what?

When you are offered a writing contract for the first time, one’s inclination might be to jump for joy, happily sign it and move on as you tell the whole world.

Jumping for joy has to be imposed. LOL

But once that has calmed down a bit, and I understand that might take a while, it is necessary to print out your contract and go line by line. There will be areas that are foreign to you. That is where you can start to search online. You can ask people who have done this before.

Before signing your books and yourself into something you can’t get out of for a certain period, your books deserve you to take a step back.

There are things in there you might not like. There are things you need to know about the direction of your book and where the publisher plans on taking it.

With the hard work that you have done in creating this book, editing and revising it, stopping short at this point does your book no favors.

It may be the best contract you have ever had. It still needs to be read. For one that is signed, that is it. The oh oh, what did I do, can I go back and more will all have the same answer, no.

You will feel better, trust me. You really will feel better if you take the time to do this properly.

After, you can go back to jumping for joy.