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Obstacles To Independent Authors

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  • Bert Lewis
    Edward, I am of the opinion that the three biggest obstacles to black independent authors are: 1. The lack of black readership. When I was conducting my grass
    Message 1 of 14 , Dec 1, 2002
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      Edward,

      I am of the opinion that the three biggest obstacles
      to black independent authors are:

      1. The lack of black readership. When I was conducting
      my grass roots promotional campaign I was surprised...
      no shocked at the number of African Americans who told
      me that they don't read and/or don't by books.

      2. The perception among a large percentage of whites
      that anything associated with blacks can't be of high
      quality. This has implications with white editors,
      publishers, bookstore owners and anyone else in the
      book business.


      3. The obstackes faced by all writers black or white,
      namely the TV, video games and other electronic visual
      media.

      Just my thoughts,

      Elbert Lewis, Jr
      Author: The Dawn of MAN
      ISBN 0-595-18587-8
      www.elbertlewisjr.com

      --- "E.U." <contact@...> wrote:
      > hotep (peace)
      >
      > What are the 3 biggest obstacles faced by
      > independent authors?
      >
      >
      > Edward
      > ===========================
      > http://www.daathrekh.com
      >
      >


      __________________________________________________
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    • E.U.
      hotep thanx, Bert. ...very valuable information. I ve finished my final edit on my scifi piece; b4 I send it to a profesional , and I m looking for all the
      Message 2 of 14 , Dec 1, 2002
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        hotep

        thanx, Bert.

        ...very valuable information.

        I've finished my final edit on my scifi piece; b4 I send it to a
        "profesional", and I'm looking for all the guidance I can get.

        By the way, I'm currently reading your novel, The Dawn of Man.
        I'm on chapter 8. Very cool cyber-slick novel you've got yourself
        here. I'm still having visions of how Logan was testing his Battle
        armor across the landscapes of Mars.

        What do you think about e-publishing? I may go that route.


        Edward
        ==========================
        http://www.daathrekh.com
      • John Faucette Jr.
        Edward, Bert and Cartierx gave you good answers--but what is your real question? You say you ve finished your final edit. Exactly what does that mean? You
        Message 3 of 14 , Dec 1, 2002
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          Edward,

          Bert and Cartierx gave you good answers--but what is your real
          question?

          You say you've finished your final edit. Exactly what does that
          mean? You are going to send it to a 'professional.' What does that
          mean? Without specifics, it is hard to answer you.

          If you mean you've revised and polished your work until it is as
          perfect as it can be (including running it through GRAMMATIK to check
          for spelling and grammar errors) and you are now looking for a
          publisher (assuming you have not already looked for one), then get
          WRITERS MARKET and send your work (according to their instructions)
          to all relevant publishers. Likewise, get a listing of agents such
          LITERARY MARKETPLACE and send a letter to all of the agents handling
          your material. And if you get neither publisher nor agent, do it all
          again. Meanwhile, keep revising your novel, join workshops and
          writing clubs and attend writing courses.

          AFTER you have exhausted ALL traditional methods of publication AND
          honed your work to perfection, THEN it is time to maybe consider
          independent publishing--and then only if you have the money. As
          Cartierx says, and I second it: MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.

          I hope this is of some guidance.

          Peace.

          John

          P.S.: There are a lot of scams out there. Be sure to check out
          your 'professional.' With an exception here and there, legitimate
          literary agencies don't charge a reading fee.



          scifi piece. X--- In SciFiNoir_Lit@y..., "E.U." <contact@d...>
          wrote:

          > hotep
          >
          > thanx, Bert.
          >
          > ...very valuable information.
          >
          > I've finished my final edit on my scifi piece; b4 I send it to a
          > "profesional", and I'm looking for all the guidance I can get.
          >
          > Edward
          > ==========================
          > http://www.daathrekh.com
        • E.U.
          hotep Thanks, John. ... I ve edited my manuscript 5 times. I m looking for a editor to work with now. ... I m definitely leaning towards independent
          Message 4 of 14 , Dec 1, 2002
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            hotep

            Thanks, John.

            > You say you've finished your final edit. Exactly what does that
            > mean? You are going to send it to a 'professional.' What does
            >that mean?

            I've edited my manuscript 5 times. I'm looking for a editor to work
            with now.

            >THEN it is time to maybe consider
            > independent publishing--and then only if you have the money.
            >As Cartierx says, and I second it: MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.

            I'm definitely leaning towards independent publishing. I've got a
            "block" of 10 ISBN #. I've got my san address... the P.O. box.... the
            business account, etc.... waiting on my resale tax cert as we
            speak.
            I even purchased a very cool software program that will allow me
            to create my own bar codes. I'm going to design my own cover...
            got some experience with graphic arts... see my online graphic
            novel, The Infra-Project (shameless plug).

            > literary agencies don't charge a reading fee.

            What do you mean? Do I send the manuscript to a publishing
            house... how do I "find" a literary agency? Will I need to have the
            person who reviews my manuscript sign a contract?

            ...and hell yes, this is very good info. I appreciate it!!!

            Holla back...

            Edward
            =========================
            http://www.daathrekh.com
          • Bert
            Hi Edward, The best thing you can do for yourself as a write with a manuscript it hire a professional copy editor to polish the english. It will go a long way
            Message 5 of 14 , Dec 2, 2002
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              Hi Edward,

              The best thing you can do for yourself as a write with
              a manuscript it hire a professional copy editor to
              polish the english. It will go a long way when you
              begin to submit your manuscript to publishers.

              Thank you for reading the Dawn of MAN and many thanks
              for your kind words. Please spread the word!

              I have considered e-books but I'm still neck deep in
              my promotional campaign of the book version. I'll
              think about it some more.

              Hotep,

              Bert
              Author: The Dawn of MAN
              ISBN 0-595-18587-8
              www.elbertlewisjr.com



              --- "E.U." <contact@...> wrote:
              > hotep
              >
              > thanx, Bert.
              >
              > ...very valuable information.
              >
              > I've finished my final edit on my scifi piece; b4 I
              > send it to a
              > "profesional", and I'm looking for all the guidance
              > I can get.
              >
              > By the way, I'm currently reading your novel, The
              > Dawn of Man.
              > I'm on chapter 8. Very cool cyber-slick novel you've
              > got yourself
              > here. I'm still having visions of how Logan was
              > testing his Battle
              > armor across the landscapes of Mars.
              >
              > What do you think about e-publishing? I may go that
              > route.
              >
              >
              > Edward
              > ==========================
              > http://www.daathrekh.com
              >
              >


              __________________________________________________
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              Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now.
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            • John Faucette Jr.
              Edward: It s good to see you re so gung-ho about independent publishing. But the best and fastest way to get published is to get an agent. Unfortunately,
              Message 6 of 14 , Dec 2, 2002
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                Edward:

                It's good to see you're so gung-ho about independent publishing. But
                the best and fastest way to get published is to get an agent.
                Unfortunately, easier said than done.

                First hit the agents with a one-page killer letter about yourself and
                your novel. They don't like to look at stuff you've already sent to
                publishers, so agents first.

                http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/002-1970361-
                9838407

                If the link doesn't work, one of the best is:

                2003 Guide to Literary Agents: 600+ Agents Who Sell What You Write
                by Rachel Vater (Editor)

                If they like your letter, they'll take a look at your manuscript and
                if they want to represent you, they may or may not sign you to a
                contract.

                If you don't get an agent (and most writers don't), you can mail
                directly to the publishers.

                http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/002-1970361-
                9838407

                If the link doesn't work, two of the best are:

                2003 Writer's Market
                by Katie Struckel Brogan (Editor), Robert Brewer (Editor)

                2003 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market
                by Anne Bowling (Editor), Vanessa Lyman (Editor)

                They'll tell you what they want. Some prefer a query letter. Others
                a query plus outline and sample chapters. And yet others want to see
                the whole manuscript.

                Hope it helps.

                Best of luck.

                And note: If you have the money, the best route of all is to combine
                independent publishing with conventional--which is what Terry
                McMillan did. When she found her company would publish her book but
                would not promote it, she created and paid for her own
                advertising/promotional campaign and author's tour.

                John


                --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@y..., "E.U." <contact@d...> wrote:
                > hotep
                >
                > Thanks, John.
                >
                > > You say you've finished your final edit. Exactly what does that
                > > mean? You are going to send it to a 'professional.' What does
                > >that mean?
                >
                > I've edited my manuscript 5 times. I'm looking for a editor to work
                > with now.
                >
                > >THEN it is time to maybe consider
                > > independent publishing--and then only if you have the money.
                > >As Cartierx says, and I second it: MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.
                >
                > I'm definitely leaning towards independent publishing. I've got a
                > "block" of 10 ISBN #. I've got my san address... the P.O. box....
                the
                > business account, etc.... waiting on my resale tax cert as we
                > speak.
                > I even purchased a very cool software program that will allow me
                > to create my own bar codes. I'm going to design my own cover...
                > got some experience with graphic arts... see my online graphic
                > novel, The Infra-Project (shameless plug).
                >
                > > literary agencies don't charge a reading fee.
                >
                > What do you mean? Do I send the manuscript to a publishing
                > house... how do I "find" a literary agency? Will I need to have
                the
                > person who reviews my manuscript sign a contract?
                >
                > ...and hell yes, this is very good info. I appreciate it!!!
                >
                > Holla back...
                >
                > Edward
                > =========================
                > http://www.daathrekh.com
              • cecilwashington
                There is a program offered online by Adobe that allows you to convert a few documents (like say, a word version of your book) to PDF for free:
                Message 7 of 14 , Dec 2, 2002
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                  There is a program offered online by Adobe that allows you to convert
                  a few documents (like say, a word version of your book) to PDF for
                  free:

                  http://createpdf.adobe.com

                  http://createpdf.adobe.com/index.pl/2060065519.58986?BP=IE
                • ravenadal
                  ... wrote:
                  Message 8 of 14 , Dec 2, 2002
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                    Two Questions:

                    --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@y..., "John Faucette Jr." <john_faucette@h...>
                    wrote:
                    <<If you mean you've revised and polished your work until it is as
                    > perfect as it can be (including running it through GRAMMATIK to
                    check for spelling and grammar errors)>>

                    I am unfamiliar with GRAMMATIK. What is it? and where is it?


                    <<and you are now looking for a
                    > publisher (assuming you have not already looked for one), then get
                    > WRITERS MARKET and send your work (according to their instructions)
                    > to all relevant publishers.>>>

                    My understanding is that most publishers, especially first line
                    publishers, do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Shouldn't
                    securing an agent be the first step?
                    __________________________________________________________________
                    The Black Prince. The Black Church. A State of Mind.
                    http://www.theworldebon.com
                  • E.U.
                    ... Okay... if she went with a publishing house, did she retain property rights, or did the book belong to the publishing company? Edward
                    Message 9 of 14 , Dec 2, 2002
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                      > And note: If you have the money, the best route of all is to
                      >combine independent publishing with conventional--which is
                      >what Terry McMillan did. When she found her company would
                      >publish her book but would not promote it, she created and
                      >paid for her own advertising/promotional campaign and
                      >author's tour.

                      Okay... if she went with a publishing house, did she retain
                      property rights, or did the book belong to the publishing
                      company?

                      Edward
                    • John Faucette Jr.
                      ... Ravenadal, Oops! My bad. Some things are so great you think everyone must know about them. (Toilet paper is a good analogy.) GRAMMATIK is WordPerfect s
                      Message 10 of 14 , Dec 4, 2002
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                        --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@y..., "ravenadal" <ravenadal@t...> wrote:
                        > Two Questions:
                        >
                        > --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@y..., "John Faucette Jr." <john_faucette@h...>
                        > wrote:
                        > <<If you mean you've revised and polished your work until it is as
                        > > perfect as it can be (including running it through GRAMMATIK to
                        > check for spelling and grammar errors)>>
                        >
                        > I am unfamiliar with GRAMMATIK. What is it? and where is it?


                        Ravenadal,

                        Oops! My bad. Some things are so great you think everyone must know
                        about them. (Toilet paper is a good analogy.) GRAMMATIK is
                        WordPerfect's built-in grammar and spell checker (as of Release 7).
                        Originally Microsoft Word had it but for some reason went with
                        something else.

                        GRAMMATIK is awesome. It's one of the reasons I felt confident I
                        could independently-publish the 39 stories and 434 pages of BLACK
                        SCIENCE FICTION (plug! http://www.bscifi.com) without an editor and
                        put out a quality product (imho). I knew GRAMMATIK had my back.


                        For example:


                        I think your right: Joe breathe.


                        My checking option is set for fiction.

                        First, it flags 'your' and says:

                        Homonym: You may mean YOU'RE which is a contraction for YOU ARE.


                        Then, it flags breathe and says:

                        Subject-Verb Agreement: If JOE is the subject of the verb BREATHE,
                        try making them agree in number. Recommendation: JOE BREATHES.


                        Pretty good for a dumb program--especially with the longer, more
                        involved sentences. And it's super great for catching passive
                        sentences and a zillion other things: end-of-sentence prepositions,
                        cliches, words used too often etc. etc. etc..

                        I recommend it for anyone submitting work and say it's a MUST-HAVE
                        for everyone publishing independently--whether you can afford an
                        editor or not. Why pay them to mark 'your right' should be 'you're
                        right.'

                        Plus, it'll make your revisions of their changes easier and
                        faster. Believe me, the less red ink you see on a page, the happier
                        you will be. (Note: editors, copy editors and proofreaders only mark--
                        YOU have to make the corrections to your computer copy.) You do not
                        want to see 200-300-400 heavily marked up pages of manuscript--unless
                        you can afford a word processor to do them for you.)

                        If you can't afford an editor, then buy or borrow WordPerfect and run
                        GRAMMATIK on your manuscript. If you can't afford to buy a copy of
                        WordPerfect, DON'T independently publish. It is not for those with
                        empty pockets.

                        Peace

                        John
                      • John Faucette Jr.
                        ... I mentioned that securing an agent SHOULD be his very first course of action. The reasons for that are: One, agents don t want to look at manuscripts
                        Message 11 of 14 , Dec 4, 2002
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                          --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@y..., "ravenadal" <ravenadal@t...> wrote:
                          > Two Questions:
                          >
                          > My understanding is that most publishers, especially first line
                          > publishers, do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Shouldn't
                          > securing an agent be the first step?

                          I mentioned that securing an agent SHOULD be his very first course of
                          action. The reasons for that are: One, agents don't want to look at
                          manuscripts that have already been rejected by a publisher. Now, if
                          it has been accepted by a publisher, then they'll be happy to
                          represent you!

                          Two, the best chance of getting a quick and lucrative publishing deal
                          is via agent. An agent puts you at the head of the line and since he
                          or she is getting a percentage of what you get, they push for the big
                          money.

                          As for accepting or not accepting manuscripts, see WRITERS MARKET.
                          The rules differ from house to house and genre to genre. Some
                          publishers obviously feel that query letters and sample chapters mean
                          little or nothing. Nor will they have to read more than a few pages
                          to reject it.

                          I agree with you, the bigger the publisher, the less likely they are
                          to look at unsolicited manuscripts. But I was talking about all
                          publishers, not just the high and mighty. Also, a number of the
                          biggies will only look at manuscripts submitted by agents. The last
                          time I looked, many of the small publishers were willing to look at
                          unsolicited manuscripts. But things change, so see WRITERS MARKET or
                          NOVELIST AND SHORT STORY MARKET.

                          Peace

                          John
                        • ravenadal
                          Dang, man. I HATE WordPerfect (I use Lotus WordPro)! But thanks for the information. That program sounds awesome! ~rave! ... ... as ...
                          Message 12 of 14 , Dec 4, 2002
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                            Dang, man. I HATE WordPerfect (I use Lotus WordPro)! But thanks for
                            the information. That program sounds awesome!

                            ~rave!

                            --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@y..., "John Faucette Jr." <john_faucette@h...>
                            wrote:
                            > --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@y..., "ravenadal" <ravenadal@t...> wrote:
                            > > Two Questions:
                            > >
                            > > --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@y..., "John Faucette Jr."
                            <john_faucette@h...>
                            > > wrote:
                            > > <<If you mean you've revised and polished your work until it is
                            as
                            > > > perfect as it can be (including running it through GRAMMATIK to
                            > > check for spelling and grammar errors)>>
                            > >
                            > > I am unfamiliar with GRAMMATIK. What is it? and where is it?
                            >
                            >
                            > Ravenadal,
                            >
                            > Oops! My bad. Some things are so great you think everyone must know
                            > about them. (Toilet paper is a good analogy.) GRAMMATIK is
                            > WordPerfect's built-in grammar and spell checker (as of Release 7).
                            > Originally Microsoft Word had it but for some reason went with
                            > something else.
                            >
                            > GRAMMATIK is awesome. It's one of the reasons I felt confident I
                            > could independently-publish the 39 stories and 434 pages of BLACK
                            > SCIENCE FICTION (plug! http://www.bscifi.com) without an editor and
                            > put out a quality product (imho). I knew GRAMMATIK had my back.
                            >
                            >
                            > For example:
                            >
                            >
                            > I think your right: Joe breathe.
                            >
                            >
                            > My checking option is set for fiction.
                            >
                            > First, it flags 'your' and says:
                            >
                            > Homonym: You may mean YOU'RE which is a contraction for YOU ARE.
                            >
                            >
                            > Then, it flags breathe and says:
                            >
                            > Subject-Verb Agreement: If JOE is the subject of the verb BREATHE,
                            > try making them agree in number. Recommendation: JOE BREATHES.
                            >
                            >
                            > Pretty good for a dumb program--especially with the longer, more
                            > involved sentences. And it's super great for catching passive
                            > sentences and a zillion other things: end-of-sentence
                            prepositions,
                            > cliches, words used too often etc. etc. etc..
                            >
                            > I recommend it for anyone submitting work and say it's a MUST-HAVE
                            > for everyone publishing independently--whether you can afford an
                            > editor or not. Why pay them to mark 'your right' should be 'you're
                            > right.'
                            >
                            > Plus, it'll make your revisions of their changes easier and
                            > faster. Believe me, the less red ink you see on a page, the happier
                            > you will be. (Note: editors, copy editors and proofreaders only
                            mark--
                            > YOU have to make the corrections to your computer copy.) You do not
                            > want to see 200-300-400 heavily marked up pages of manuscript--
                            unless
                            > you can afford a word processor to do them for you.)
                            >
                            > If you can't afford an editor, then buy or borrow WordPerfect and
                            run
                            > GRAMMATIK on your manuscript. If you can't afford to buy a copy of
                            > WordPerfect, DON'T independently publish. It is not for those with
                            > empty pockets.
                            >
                            > Peace
                            >
                            > John
                          • John Faucette Jr.
                            ... Edward, I assume she signed the standard contract and retained all rights. The practice now is to give the publisher the right to publish your book for
                            Message 13 of 14 , Dec 5, 2002
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                              --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@y..., "E.U." <contact@d...> wrote:

                              >
                              > Okay... if she went with a publishing house, did she retain
                              > property rights, or did the book belong to the publishing
                              > company?
                              >
                              > Edward


                              Edward,

                              I assume she signed the standard contract and retained all rights.
                              The practice now is to give the publisher the right to publish your
                              book for five years. That way, if they don't keep it in print or
                              they stop promoting it, you have the option of going elsewhere.

                              The only writers who lose property rights are the ones they call
                              writers-for-hire. They do the Movie Tie-ins and series books (STAR
                              WARS, STAR TREK etc.).

                              Also one other group loses property rights: those who don't know any
                              better and sign everything away. Get a good agent or a lawyer,
                              otherwise, as we've learned in the music business, people will take
                              advantage of you.

                              John


                              [REF:]
                              > > And note: If you have the money, the best route of all is to
                              > >combine independent publishing with conventional--which is
                              > >what Terry McMillan did. When she found her company would
                              > >publish her book but would not promote it, she created and
                              > >paid for her own advertising/promotional campaign and
                              > >author's tour.
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