Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Thoughts About Writing

Hello everyone, the other night I was sitting around talking to a few people about writing. It was a very good conversation, filled with alot of insight. But then we got on the topic of publishers! And Publish America got brought up, since they are my publisher. One of the poeple in the group pretty much said that I wasn't a good writer because of the fact that I got published by PA. Which didn't sit right with me. I mean every writer out there doesn't want to hear the words "YOU ARE NOT A WRITER" So when I got home that night, I sat down on my bed and thought about this. Just becuase I made a mistake with signing with PA, doesn't mean that I am not a writer. You can be the wrost writer in the world but you can still call yourself a writer. So then I began to ponder the idea of getting published by PA. I wonder if people arent going to buy my book just because of the fact that I am published by PA. If that is true, than I don't know what to do about readers out there these days. I made a mistake with signing with PA, I am not scared to admit that. But I dont think that people shouldn't buy my book just because I got published with a bad company. I have met a lot of authors that are published with PA but they are very talented! (Check out my website for them!) So for all you readers out there, take a risk and buy a book that you dont recognize the author. And post a comment on this post and tell me what you think. Tell me if it was worth the risk! The other thing is when you buy a book, don't look to see who published it! Look at the back of the book and if you like what you read than buy it!!!! Try to give us unknown writers a chance!


Marian said...

Hi Zana,

Regarding what you said about people not buying your book because it was printed by PA, let me explain with an analogy.

Your kids want some fast food. You can take them to McDonalds or you can take them to another place. We'll call this other place FeedAmerica.

McDonalds will sell you a hamburger for $2.00. FeedAmerica will sell you a hamburger for $7.00.

It will take you five minutes to drive to McDonalds. It will take you one hour to drive to FeedAmerica.

A few people say that FeedAmerica sells really good food. However, many others, including restaurant critics and the health department, say that FeedAmerica doesn't practice basic standards of hygiene and doesn't screen meals for quality.

Knowing all this, where would you take your kids? McDonalds or FeedAmerica?

The analogy here is that PublishAmerica charges more for books than other publishers do, makes those books difficult to obtain and does not screen books for quality. I am sure that there are some excellent books by very talented authors among those. But I'm not going to risk paying much more money for something that hasn't been edited. Plus, I'd want to read any book before I buy it. Will I be able to read a PA-printed book in a bookstore or library? Not likely, unless the author lives in the area and has persuaded the bookstore manager or librarian to carry it.

You asked readers to take a risk and buy books without knowing who the author and publisher are. This is fine if the readers have large amounts of money and time to spend. I don't. I have a little extra spending money that I save for books which I know will be good. That doesn't mean I never pick up books by authors whom I haven't read before - I do that all the time in libraries and bookstores. But that does mean that I won't pay $19.95 plus shipping for a book which I haven't read and which has been put out by a company with a reputation for printing *anything* and for not editing books.

I know you want people to give you a chance, and I sympathize. But while I don't mean to hurt your feelings, writing for publication is a business, not a charity where readers routinely help out authors who have published with scammers. If an author says "give me a chance and buy my book", I'm afraid my first questions will be, "What's the book like, where can I read part of it and how much is it?" And if the book was put out by PA, the answers may not be ones that will induce me to buy the book.

I hope you find a good publisher for your next book.

Anonymous said...

Hello Zana,

I totally respect that you've said it was a mistake to use PA and truly hope you will do better with future books. If you're a good writer then you certainly deserve better!

I've been selling my writing since 1986 and know a thing or three about publishing.

One: Money flows to the writer. (PA's one dollar advance is just seed money to get writers to buy their own books.)

Two: PA doesn't count as a professional publishing credit.

Three: To get a pro credit and lots of readers, sell your work to a real publishing house. Find them by checking the spines of what's stocked in your local bookstore. Very glaringly, you won't find any PA titles there.

I hope you'll check this link below. It was made by a man who actually worked for PA. I think you'll find it of interest to learn how your book was treated once they got it!


When you go agent or publisher hunting, please try this site. They've been screened by pros who know the business so you won't get scammed.


Or-- next time you Google a prospect put the word "scam" or "rip off" next to the name! It can save you lots of trouble!

Publishing is a shark tank, but there are lots of friendly folk more than willing to lend a hand. Many of them are here--www.absolutewrite.com/forums -- and it's FREE!

Again, I wish you success with your writing. Don't give up. It takes practice to get to Carnegie Hall!

Good luck from someone who's been there and did that.