I’m back because I got bored! I can’t remember the reason I stopped updating cONTEMPORARY mUSINGS a couple of years ago. It wasn’t because I died or anything like that, I would have known if that happened. I think. And it wasn’t that both of my followers went on to bigger and better things; maybe it was because they died? That I wouldn’t have known about. Maybe I ran out of gas and was stranded in the middle of the desert and it took a long time for me to be rescued. Who knows. Well, I decided it was time to dust off the old Smith Corona and get going again commenting on trivial stuff you wouldn’t waste your time on.
Let’s see what I can muse about. Hmmm, no not that … umm … What the heck! Well, it’s now 2015 and a lot has happened since we last sat together around the campfire and sang Koom-By-Yah and other stirring campfire songs. Kim Kardashian has gotten married, twice, and had a baby, Miley Cyrus has been a member of a wrecking crew and decided to ride a ten ton ball naked and Barf Darkle has … oh, wait a minute he is a character in a children’s book I’m writing. Mmmmm…Scratch him.
THIS CLOWN IS DOING WHAT??????
“Wow!” I can just hear you say as I hunt and peck here on my keyboard. “Jay is writing a children’s book! I’ll have to start watching what my kids and grandkids are reading in the future.”
Yes, I admit in addition to my prowess in the sphere of cyberspace, I’m also a literary aficionado. You might say that I’m a jack-of all-trades-master-of-none. That and now that I’m the proud grandfather of 12 grandkids, it’s a cheap way to hand out gifts for birthdays and Christmas.
IT AINT EASY BEING GREEN
I’ve been dabbling in the world of children’s stories for sometime now and one of the first morsels of advice you are given when you enter into the realm of writing is to write about what you know. I mean when you have the mind of twelve year old as I do, it’s not a far trip and because you’re a big boy now, your mommy let’s you go by your self.
I have a vivid imagination (if you’re familiar with my writing, you won’t be surprised. If you’re not familiar, I’m sorry) and sometime all I need to do is have something as simple as a strange name pop into my head. Take Barf Darkle for instance. Now this is not my real character’s name, but it does have possibilities. I can build a story based just on that, a bizarre name, the rest is history.
For those of you who have written anything of consequence you’ll understand that once you start writing, the words just automatically type themselves out onto the page or monitor screen. You probably don’t even know nothing bout writ’n proper English grammar correctly, but you don’t never let that stop you, huh? In your twisted mind, the end justifies the means.
When you are finished, you believe that you have the “great American novel.” Now all you have to do is get published, right? Wrong oh Remington Rand breath! Well you would be partially right. All you have to do is get published, and that my good friend is where the fun begins.
BREAK IT TO ME GENTLY
One of the first things that you should do is get some honest to goodness real live critiques of your opus. This is where the fun really begins. I was able to find a local group of authors and author wannabes that were willing to review my drafts and offer constructive advice on how to get them ready for publishing. Let me warn you, you must have thick skin because they don’t hold any punches. If it is a legitimate organization, they will literally tear your work apart the way that I imagine an editor would. But if you are serious, you can handle it, that’s because you’re a you’re a writer! And, if they are serious, they will be professional in their comments and advice. The group I belong to is highly professional and has offered constructive and helpful advice. I do appreciate their candor.
A few good places to start looking for local writer’s groups are:
1) Internet search
2) Local bookstores
3) Local libraries
I chose my old standby, the internet.
If you are writing a picture book don’t include your art work with your initial submissions. The reason being is if you are fortunate enough to get an offer to publish your work, the publisher will handle the tasks associated with graphics placement.
Since this is my first foray into the world of literature in a serious vane, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to submit any work for consideration, So with that in mind I plan to do follow-up blog entries in the future tracking my progress or lack thereof.
One thing worth considering when your work is finished would be to “self publish.” The reasons being ease of such, return on investment (ROI) and exposure to real publishers. Let me expand on the above.
If you are a savvy computer user, uploading to a seller’s website should be easy.
With the popularity and low costs of electronic readers such as Amazon’s Kindle(c), Android readers et. al., you have an almost unlimited audience. And the only overhead you experience in getting your work out is often minimal. Then there is the pricing of your book. If you want you can offer it to the public for $0.00 or as little as $0.99 and you get to keep a larger portion of the proceeds; sometimes as much as 70%!
Many times the big boys in the industry find their next great American novel online.
DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT
Now since I’ve not had many of the above experiences as of yet, what do I know, right? I suggest that you do some investigating on your own. One good place to start is at http://www.clarkhoward.com . Clark, as many of you may know, is a radio/tv talk show host gifted in many aspects of life in general and is a big proponent of self publishing. So much so that he devotes a section of his website to the subject. I’ve provided a link here clarkhowardselfpublishing to make it easier for you to start your search.
As always, comments are welcome at cONTEMPORARY mUSINGS especially if you have any regarding writing a book whether it be a children’s book or traditional novel. I’d be interested in hearing about your experience(s).
Well, I see by the time, that I’ve over stayed my welcome in your humble “cyber” space, and besides, I hear my easy chair calling my name. No, wait that’s my smart phone’s ringtone with my wife’s voice!
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