Convention Schedule

17 Feb

Want a signed copy of Humans In My House? Want to talk writing? Want to adopt a #pocketkitty and join in #Kepler’s fun? Come see me at my upcoming appearances.

MARCH:

  • March 3-5, 2017: AgamaCon, H.O. Weeks Activities Center located at Virginia Acres Park in Aiken, SC (1700 Whiskey Road)
    • Info booth, all weekend
      • I will not be selling books or merchandise at this event
      • If you would like a signed book, please purchase a copy ahead of time and bring it with you
    • Ask An Author panel, Saturday @ 11:00am, Room #1
    • Round Table with the Author, Sunday @ 11:00am, Room #1
      • Also featuring author Dacre Stoker
    • http://www.agamacon.com/content–schedule.html

APRIL

MAY:

  • May 19-21, 2017: XCON 10, Myrtle Beach Convention Center 2101 North Oak Street Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

JULY:

AUGUST:

  • August 12, 2017: Cape Fear ComicCon, Best Western Plus Coastline Inn, 503 Nutt St, Wilmington, NC 28401

Buy Now!

12 Aug

Cover.jpg

Humans In My House is NOW AVAILABLE on Kindle and in paperback via CreateSpace and Amazon.

Thanks so much to everyone who has watched my journey and cheered me on. You rock.

Next up, final revisions of Acephalous, which I aim to publish in early 2017.

Save

Book Warehouse Signing CANCELLED

15 Apr

The book signing for April 15th has been cancelled due to a royalties dispute with the Book Warehouse corporation.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Acephalous Prints: The unfolding drama

14 Apr

Update: The books have not shipped (and I don’t think they’ve even printed yet), which means I will not have any copies of Acephalous for the signing event tomorrow. (This is not the worst case scenario). However, I will still be there with plenty of Humans In My House, and Acephalous is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

But, everything works out the way it’s supposed to. The advantage of not having any books printed in time is that, I’m hoping, when they are printed, the corrected error-free text file is used (see this post to see what was wrong with the previous text files). The delay in shipping bought me time to read the proof, fix the errors, and resubmit the file. I called CreateSpace yesterday, and the man I spoke with said that if the books haven’t been printed yet, or are still in the process, it’s possible to switch over to the corrected file for all or at least part of the order. Meaning, when they do come, even if it’s too late for this month’s signing, they’ll be error-free when they arrive, which is great because Aiken Wine and Sign is next weekend. I hope they’re here by then. The worst case scenario is that they ship too late for one or both events AND they’ve already been printed with the original (messy) text file. So be it. I’ll sell them at a discount.

I haven’t heard back from CreateSpace yet to know if they were able to push the new file through before printing. The books might have already come off the press. Regardless, the folks at Book Warehouse Myrtle Beach are extremely nice and supportive and want to do multiple signings with me. I’ll schedule another month once Acephalous comes.

 

Haste Makes Waste.

12 Apr

0412171735-1You see all those flags on my proof copy of Acephalous? Those each represent one error that slipped through production unfixed. In the interest of full transparency, the first 50 paperback copies of Acephalous in my possession will have these errors. I’m selling them at a discount (save $2, or buy it and Humans In My House for $20, a $5 savings). I’m pulling the product from Amazon and CreateSpace until I can make corrections so no additional copies are printed.

So here’s the full story:

Because I was in a rush to publish in order to have copies in time for my book signing on April 15th, I approved my draft and ordered 50 books before I had the chance to read the proof copy. I was arrogant and hasty. I thought, “I’m not going to have a book to release at all if I don’t order now, and, hey, it’s probably not that bad.”

Such is the nature of looming deadlines when you’re a one-person company. This is what self-publishing looks like in its rawest, most embarrassing forms. I am totally comfortable with putting my failures out there. It’s much less mortifying than acting like I didn’t know there were things wrong with the book, or passing it off as correct knowing there are typos. Heaven forbid people see the errors and think I thought I hadn’t made a mistake. This way, people at least know they aren’t errors of ignorance, but errors of haste.

In all honesty, I’m sure I’m being much harder on myself because I’m an editor than the average pleasure-reader will be. Some of the things in this book are file conversion oddities that happened when CreateSpace converted the word document into a publication-formatted file (not blaming them, just acknowledging that weird technical stuff I can’t foresee sometimes happens). Other errors are small, and silly, and are probably going to go unnoticed. Things like a quotation mark facing away from the word rather than toward it. Then, there are the few glaring and stupid typos that I just don’t know how I missed. Take “dinnder” instead of “dinner” for example. Yep, true story. It’s in those first 50 copies. After 24 hours and some sangria to process this, I’m able to laugh at it.

I can assure you that NONE of the mistakes involve plot or the general concept of the story. They are all typographical errors, so if you can tolerate some dumb textual oversights, you’ll still be able to enjoy the book.

And, ya know, maybe one day when I’m a best-seller, there’ll be a click-bait article on social media with a headline like, “You’ll never guess how sloppy the first edition of Amanda Marsico’s Acephalous was. Only 50 were printed. Now, they’re worth hundreds of dollars.” So be it.

At this stage, there is nothing I can do about it but acknowledge that even an editor misses things, promise to never again be judge-y about other published books sold with typos, and to thank everybody in advance for kindness and patience. No need to roast me on Amazon product reviews. I know it needs work.

In the meantime, I’m making the file corrections as quickly as I can without further sacrificing quality. The Second Edition will come in the next month or so. I’d like to sell as many of these first 50 as I can since I already invested in them. Additionally, putting out a new edition means pulling the first from shelves and republishing from scratch, and that takes time.

Despite the errors, I hope to see you Saturday anyway.

 

Image

Official Cover Reveal! Take 2.

28 Mar

Canada - Edited - Sized - Final - 200 dpi

If you saw this post about a week ago, I’m sure you noticed the cover art was vastly different. Well, after receiving the proof print, it was clear the black background had to go. It was COVERED in fingerprints. This is what the cover will look like on publication day.

Join me for a release party/book signing for Acephalous and Humans In My House on the 15th, from 11:00am to 4:00pm, at Book Warehouse Myrtle Beach, located in the Tanger Outlets on 501. If you can’t get one in person, buy it in print. Coming soon to kindle.

Thanks for you support, interest, and patience!

Save

Pro-Tip: What Makes Strong Writing?

10 Mar

Across all genres and purposes, writers want to know the one thing they can do in order to ensure readers consider their writing “good writing.”

My first piece of advice is to get rid of the notion of “good writing.” Pitting yourself against other writers in order to determine if your creative vision is “good” will get you nowhere. Writing, even in the academic and professional fields where creativity might sometimes be limited by style sheets and strict requirements, is a deeply personal endeavor. It’s not just the final product that author’s judge, but their journey to get that product. Trying to put worth on an experience is like saying your dream vacation is only worth as much as the airfare costs. It discounts everything you get out of travel on an intellectual, spiritual, and physical level. Writing a text is a trip–maybe not always a vacation–but a trip nonetheless.

So, why would you try to qualify your path against someone else? And why would you settle on the achievement of “good writing” when that’s based on how similar your process and product is to someone else you consider “good?” Isn’t that just good mimicry? You want to be “good,” or rather strong, at what YOU do and how YOU do it.

Strive, instead, for strong writing, writing that holds it’s own regardless of how similar (or not) it is to the work of others you admire. Yes, we first learn by mimicking, in speech as babies, and as authors. But, at some point, you start to sound like YOU, and if you go around trying to decide if your writing, and therefore if YOU, are good enough, you’re likely to have moments of doubt. You might feel like you don’t measure up, like an imposter, like someone who isn’t REALLY an author because you haven’t done x, y, or z thing that some other person who uses the title of author has done.

Strong writing is original, written with pride (but not necessarily confidence because you can be proud of your effort and still worried about its outcome. Confidence takes time), and organizationally sound. Above all of the basic prescriptive grammar and mechanics rules, the tenets that say writing SHOULD be done a certain way, is organization. If you’ve got a solid structure that readers can follow, if it’s logically arranged, if it’s thoroughly explained and balances detail without crossing into the condescending, then everything else you do after that will fall into place. Proper grammar and following the rules (which you can purposefully break once you know them) is only useful if your thoughts are linked together in a coherent way. Every sentence could be perfectly constructed according to the textbook way to use punctuation marks, point of view, and tense, but a text still won’t make sense if the overall structure doesn’t carry your thoughts clearly.

What I’m getting at is this: You want strong writing, not “good” writing because strong writing is not a matter of opinion. A text either makes sense or it doesn’t. A text is either organized or frenetic. (Don’t confuse the organized or frenetic nature of a text with the same qualities of a character. Even pieces with chaotic characters are still organized as a whole, although let’s not get into the unreliable narrator discussion. It’s often an exception). “Good” writing will be different to every author and reader. Stop comparing yourself to other authors, and start holding your writing up to your past work. Are you improving?

Pro-Tip: Copyright

3 Feb

Copyrighting is the legal process of filing your original creation (literary works for the purposes of this discussion) with the U.S. Copyright Office (or the office responsible in your country). This process of registration is the only way to fully protect your original content. By virtue of creating a text, saving it on your computer and/or keeping handwritten originals, publishing online through a blog or other platform, and/or publishing electronically or in hard copy for sale, the work is copyrighted in your name (or the pen name/alias used when publishing it) just because it exists. However, the only way you can pursue legal action against someone for violating your ownership of the text is if it is formally registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Only a registered work can be defended in court.

Many people think copyrighting their work is difficult, expensive, and requires a lawyer’s assistance. Not true (at least not always). Now, take this information with a grain of salt, as it’s reflective of my own self-publishing experience, I’m not a lawyer, and certain projects cost more and risk more than my fiction novels. However, I’ve copyrighted two of my own projects so far, spending $35 each, and find it to be one of the easiest parts of the publishing process. I log in, choose the online form for literary works, answer the questions that determine whether my project is eligible for online registration (my type of texts-a single item, novel, with a single author/owner-always are), fill in information about the novel and my personal/business information, pay, and submit the text as an attached word document.

If you’re ready to start this process for your novel or other text, go to the U.S. Copyright Office website and make sure your text belongs in the literary works category. Then, begin the online application by clicking “Register a Literary Work” under the eCO section on the right side of the screen.

To file, you must be the creator/owner of the work or the legally responsible agent for the piece (meaning publisher, agent, lawyer, or other responsible party that has the author’s permission to file for and/or hold the copyright). In my opinion, it’s best that authors own their own copyrights. It gives more control over your intellectual property. This won’t always be a possibility in certain publication scenarios, so decide the level of involvement and ownership you wish to maintain as author before signing anything for anybody.

If you decide to proceed with the process, you must have the most current, closest to publication-ready version of the text as you can. You will be required to submit that text online as an attachment or by mail as hard copy (which they do not return to you) after payment (via credit/debit or direct withdrawal from a bank account).

A lot of people worry that they cannot make any changes ever to the text once it is copyrighted. This is a misconception. The general rule of thumb is that minor changes to your manuscript after it has been registered (things like editing for grammar and typos) do not require you to resubmit for updating. However, large creative changes, like adding a chapter or creating an updated edition with a new forward or new footnotes, will require re-submission because the copyrighted product then differs too greatly from the publication version of the product. At that point, they are no longer the same text. This is why it’s important to be as ready to publish as you can before submitting.

After that, it’s a waiting game. Assuming there are no errors with your application or file submission, there will be a long silence and then the copyright will appear in your mailbox. They say this takes around 8 months. My first copyright came in 2. If something is amiss, it will take longer, as you’ll have to resubmit to fix any errors. They’ll let you know if anything is holding up the process. Essentially, no news is good news.

If you have any questions about the process, I highly recommend visiting the FAQ page on the Copyright Office’s website. Everything I know about the process and have shared with you here I learned from reading the materials and guidelines they provide. You can also comment with your questions or advice, or email me: amanda@redinkenthusiast.com.

As a writing services provider and fellow author, I can help familiarize you with this process and send you to helpful resources, but please remember that I’m not a lawyer. I do not provide legal services or advice regarding copyright infringement, libel, et cetera. I do not provide financial services or advice regarding marketing, sales, or the publication process. All information given is based solely on my personal experiences as a scholar and fellow self-publisher and is not to serve as the sole recommendation on which to base your writing and publication practices.

%d bloggers like this: