ON WRITING

Remember writing doesn't love you. It doesn't care. Nevertheless, it can behave with remarkable generosity. Speak well of it, encourage others, pass it on. A. L. Kennedy

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

August 7th - #IWSG post. - Pen name, building websites, social media...Toni Morrison, Kristen Lamb on Amazon.

Hello all! Time for the August 7 IWSG! Yeah I know. But it's nearly lunchtime 7/8 (or 8/7) in Oz.

Go HERE to visit. more participants.

Top Site for Writers Alex's awesome co-hosts for the August 7 posting of the IWSG areRenee Scattergood,Sadira Stone, Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan, and LG Keltner! 
Please visit them if you can! 
  Be sure to visit theInsecure Writer’s Support Group Website!!!

Before I begin, I honor Toni Morrison. the great American literati who recently passed. She will be sadly missed, but her words will never die. I plan to resurrect her yellow-leafed tomes for a good re-read.

If you haven't caught it, I recommend reading Kristen Lamb's latest post on Amazon's road to world domination of the publishing industry. It's not a put down of the ZON. She's researched it well - the NY big publishers and how they dropped the ball, never regarding e-books as real competition, to Amazon's well-thought-out, clinical, long range plan to sell books ... fascinating reading. 

I know there's an opinion that blog posts should be kept short, but in the same way I love LONG books (bring 'em on - I just read every book in the Game of Thrones series. Even skipping the gratuitous violence, them's some serious word numbers). If a long blog post captures my attention, I'll read every word. And Kristen's post are usually attention capturing.



Now down to little ole me. Not nearly as interesting as Amazon's journey which affects pretty much all of us ...

Keyword - PEN NAME

Who amongst us uses a pen name? Long ago, I decided to go with a pen name when I got around to publishing, whether traditional or self-publishing. I asked for opinions in my self-publishing FB group, 20Booksto50K, and the jury was overwhelmingly positive about pen names. These high achievers write multi genres and seem to write each under a different name.

Back in the day, the idea of a pen name was to publish in secret. Today it can be to separate genres or just to look for the right name on a certain type of book. Not really secret anymore.

Now that I'm approaching the day I publish all those books I've been working on for years, I have a truckload of work to do - new website, FB page, Twitter, Instagram ... As if maintaining one of each of these wasn't enough. 

Part of my insecurity is that I no longer have a photo editing program simple enough for me to use, and I'm too impatient to struggle with the steep learning curve of getting my head around a new one, so I spend a lot of time designing headers etc on paper and checking how it looks online, but not a lot of time actually building anything online. I know. I know. I don't have much choice, so I hope when I sit down and actually create these online, it'll all come together. 

Writing books is the fun part! The EASY part. All the rest, including BLURBS and SYNOPSES, are the HARD part. 



How's it going with you?

- Do you have a favorite photo editing program? (I never got over the loss of free PicMonkey.) Gosh, I was an expert! Now they want over $7 US a month, which is a lot more in $AUS.

- Do you do everything yourself - social media etc - blurbs, synopses, editing, covers? I'll definitely be outsourcing covers and some editing, but think I'm doing the remainder myself.


Now, to the fun part. WEP/IWSG will have the sign up for the August prompt, RED WHEELBARROW, on August 21st - open for 3 days. Go HERE for ideas. Consider writing for us. We'd love to have you. 





38 comments:

  1. I'll have to read that article.
    Pen name? Talk to Elizabeth S. Craig. She uses a pen name and her real name but all under one social media.
    Photo editing - PhotoShop all the way.

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    1. Yep. My husband's got PhotoShop. Looks complicated to me.

      I'm going to try using both under one social media. It'll mean shaking things up, but less work in the long run.

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  2. Hands up. Yep, I have just started Elle Cardy as a pen name (but you know that already).

    It takes a long while even when you know a picture editing program well. Designing something that works is a trick in itself.

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  3. I usually find Kristen's posts insightful. Will have to look at that one!

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    1. Her posts are always awesome, especially her writing craft. But she's written a cracker of a post re Amazon.

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  4. Hi Denise - I need to read some of Toni Morrison's work; while I'll go over to read Kristen's post - looks interesting. As Alex says ... check out Elizabeth's thoughts on pen names ... good luck though with all those things - and I haven't forgotten WEP - cheers for now - Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary. Lovely that you'll be in WEP again!

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  5. For me, writing is becoming overwhelming because of all the promotional, editing, packaging, etc. Every "new" procedure out there seems to have the purpose of stifling true creativity.

    There really are no secrets in even the most basic online life, lol. I like Toni Morrison books too, though I've only read a few. Still, she was a great writer.

    Good luck on your publishing journey!

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    1. Yes, Donna, wouldn't it be lovely to write what we want and the books sold themselves. For me, I do want to make a few bucks after all these years nailed to my chair.No easy way to do this. Amazon ads is the go, but I'm outsourcing that too.

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  6. So sad to hear about Toni Morrison. Like Angela Carter, she has inspired me to try writing in a post modernistic way.
    The idea of a pen name is very interesting, Denise, but what a great deal of work you have ahead of you. Wishing you success 🌹

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    1. So many different styles of writing i'd love to play with if I had time. Thanks for your kind words of support in my venture.

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  7. I loved Google's Picasa but they have discontinued it. I miss it terribly.

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  8. I think it's a good idea to let someone else help you with some of the work, like editing and covers. And an author I interviewed said that she was glad that she hired a book review blogger who does blog tours to set hers up. I think that would be worth your time and money too.

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    1. The jury's out on blog tours these days. For the amount of work it doesn't seem to sell many books...for most people anyhow.

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  9. It's a lot of work to set up a second profile. Technically I had to do it with DLP.

    I do some work in Photoshop (which I had to learn as a photographer) although DLP's illustrator does most of the work for that stuff.

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  10. Hi,
    I use various names within my legal name. I don't call it a pen name though because it is still me.
    As for the marketing part of self-publishing your books, I am lost. My only advice would be try to get a professional to do your cover and to look over your blurb that goes on the back of your book.

    I wish you the very best, my dear.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Great advice, Pat. The cover and blurb is what sells on Amazon, which is the only place I'll be when I launch. I've got three lots of covers to get done, so I'll need deep pockets.

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  11. My pen name is pathetic. I'm still not sure how I chose it. I know why, however. I wanted to separate my non-fiction writing from my fiction. Now I'm not sure that was important.

    Looking forward to reading those WEP stories and poems.

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    1. I've been thinking of a pen name for ages as I know others like you who wonder what they were thinking when they chose theirs. I'm happy with my last two choices and think I've whittled it down to one.

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  12. I have to go read that article; thanks for the tip.
    I do use a pen name, have been using it from my first published story, but I can't give you any advice because I started all my social media with that name. My legal name hardly exists on the internet, except as bylines for my newspaper articles. Even thinking about a possible change of all my online accounts is painful, so I don't. I don't envy you that task. Maybe you should just add a page to your existing accounts, like 'fiction under XXX'.
    As for the image-edition software, I use paint dot net. It's a nice free program. It doesn't have the same powerful capabilities as Photoshop, but it has enough for my needs. I think it has enough for anyone who is not a professional artist. I create all my book covers and badges with it.

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    1. Thanks for your supportive reply Olga. I've got paint.net now but still haven't mastered it.

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  13. That was a good article.

    Starting a design on paper is a great start. It's quick and easy and you can work out kinks. Once you decide what you want you can launch into learning. Maybe you'll be more excited to use it if you have a something set in your mine? Maybe?

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    1. So true Holly. I'm pretty much sure of the look i want so glad I didn't do it earlier. I want a look that's going to last forever. I've changed this blog countless times. Fun, but a waste of time.

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  14. I have the whole Pat Hatt and Patrick Hatt thing, but they can easily just be used as one spot. Doing it in multiple places for multiple names, pffft screw that. I have the cat too, so I guess that makes three. Still in one spot.

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    1. Clever you Pat/Patrick/Catrick...I'm thinking more of going that way too.
      All in one spot.
      I like it a lot.

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  15. I write dark speculative fiction under my real name and paranormal/fantasy romance under a pen name (Kahlan Richards...10 points to the one who can tell me where I got that name). I don't keep it secret though. At first I wasn't sure if I should, but then I figured, what's the point?

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    1. Hi Renee. Nothing much is secret these days. JK Rowling learned that with Robert Galbraith.

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  16. Hi Denise!
    I keep thinking about Pen Names, specially gender neutral ones so it's interesting that you should write about them today. I'd say, go for it.
    Have you tried Canva for photo editing? It's really simple and you can write text on photos on your phone. The last I heard it was free. I've used it and had fun with it on my phone photos and if I want to make a poster.
    For my serious photography I use NIkon's free editing programme Capture NXD.
    I'm looking forward to the red wheelbarrow.

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    1. Thanks Kalpanaa. Yes I’ve tried Canva but it didn’t fit my needs. I’ll get there!

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  17. Interesting post, Denise. I do most everything myself except for editing and book covers. I use Picasa to photoshop; free, and good enough for my simple needs. Vistaprint does my cards / bookmarks, etc. Reasonable price and quality. Pen name? My husband was worried that I would become famous and the media would be camped on our front lawn. So I selected a pen name. I figured my first novel would fly off the book store shelves or sink like a stone. Featherstone seemed appropriate, LOL. Blessings

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    1. Thanks Judy. It’s all a lot to decide but I’m not rushing it. I love Featherstone.

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  18. HI Denise...

    Sounds like you're at the end of the journey and beginning another one. How EXCITING!!!!! You certainly are taking a lot of it on yourself. That seems to be what many authors are doing. I just was at Lynda Young's blog and she is doing it ALL including formatting. GOOD for her. I know I couldn't handle that without going nuts. Covers, blurbs, etc, I can handle LOL. Let me know if you need some help pulling those aspects together. It certainly can be challenging. I am thankful for the MAC Iphoto for doing all my photo editing along with Pixelmator which is really reasonable for the app...it's great for special effects.

    I am all for pen names. I trying to figure out one for myself for MK as you know. Still haven't figured one out yet that I love.

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    1. Yes Michael, Lynda and I have colluded together and shared ideas on the way forward. I love the new look for her blog. I have to decide that one. I don't have all the talents Lynda has but she's been good enough to help me in many ways.

      Thanks for the offer to help. I may well call on you.

      Good luck with the pen name. I liked your ideas.

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  19. Toni Morrison was a power and I love the Rest In Power hashtag became so popular. Amazing lady!
    I've been working on the website, covers, blurbs, etc as well. So much work! I have an old Photoshop CD I'm still able to use. New programs are so expensive!
    Looking forward to your penname reveal :)

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    1. Thanks Jemi. So am I when I get it all done!

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