Tag Archives: novel
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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!

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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.

Acephalous, An Update

5 Feb

It’s cold and rainy here. It has been most of the week. But, that kind of weather is perfect for hot drinks and long projects. I’ve decided to pursue publication of my first novel. This isn’t the children’s book I mentioned a few weeks ago, but the first manuscript I ever completed–a YA novel called Acephalous. I started writing it in high school and, over the years, it has taken on many new forms, getting better every time. It’s now in its third edited draft of the completed version. I plan to send it for copyrighting at the end of this edit (unless I find something glaring along the way that I have to overhaul. A realistic possibility, as I’m never satisfied).

What I’ve learned is that it is sometimes necessary to step away from projects for a long time in order to realize their worth. I always thought the story was pretty decent. I even shared clips of it here when I was planning on publishing after the second draft. But, after spending so much time with it, I lost confidence. I thought it needed a total rewrite, that there was too much of my younger, untrained, high school writer self left in it. I got overwhelmed. An edited draft two and a fresh draft three sat on my shelf for a couple of years, third printing better than the second, but still unedited.

Now that I’ve come back to it, I realize it’s really not bad. Sure, there are parts I’ve changed, and the time away allowed me to see them, but the time also allowed me to see what was great in the novel and what was innate in my writing abilities–things from my younger, untrained self that really work and don’t need to be educated away. I’d have to say that writing is never more “you” than it is before you’ve been trained in theory, style, and genre. After that, “youness” gets hushed by correctness and propriety. So, this latest version is a balancing act between my original voice as an author, as a teen, and the technical sensibilities of an academic, an adult. What should be thrown away, and what should be added to achieve a properly formed plot? All while being my own, not what any professor encouraged (or ordered) me to be. It’s a line by line choice that I’m fully equipped to make thanks to my education. After all, you have to learn the rules in order to artfully and purposefully ignore them.

Here, Kitty.

18 Dec

About a year ago, I had a reading with a medium. She told me she saw a little black cat, and that my late granddad wanted me to publish a story about it. At that time, I had just graduated with my master’s, which concluded with the writing of a thesis–a children’s story about none other than a little black cat, told from its point of view. I’ve been sitting on this publication-ready story for a year. About 8 months after that reading, an orphaned black kitten ended up a part of my family. With the freedom of time my new life in South Carolina has afforded me, I’ve finally begun to pursue these signs in order to finish what I started. Today, I applied for a copyright of my story. Next, I’ll be self-publishing on Amazon for Kindle. I love editing, but I was always a writer first. And this feels right.

November Plans

2 Nov

Hello, again. I haven’t been around during the last few weeks. I’ve been editing and traveling. Life gets busy. And, I’m sure you know that once Halloween passes, the rest of the year finishes in a flash.

My plans for this month are to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), during which authors set a 50,000-word goal and aim to complete a rough novel by the end of the month. The average pace required to reach this goal on time is just under 1700 words per day. I’d love if you joined me in the mad dash.

Just visit nanowrimo.org for more information and to sign up. In order to “win” the challange, you must create a user profile, create your novel info on the site, and use the site’s word counter for final validation of the word count. Don’t worry, they don’t keep your text in memory or history when you paste it in to be counted. No one will see your story unless you share it. Oh, and a tip, too. Choose a username you’ll like for a long time. There is currently no way to change it. Mine, for example, was based upon a character I never ended up using in my first NaNoWriMo. Now, it has no application to me or my writing, but I’m stuck with it.

If you plan to join the fun, find me on the wrimo website as DontWakeJenny, and be my writing buddy.

For those of you following me here, see you in December!

Happy writing,

Amanda Marsico

Editor, Proofreader, Red Ink Enthusiast

Novel Sneak Peek #1–Introduction

15 Aug

Introduction

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
― C.S. Lewis

Every day faded away just the same. Waking hours spent dodging mirrors, wringing hands, and keeping secrets melted into the dull shadows of night, and then sleep. Once she was asleep, her heart, mind, and soul sought out places that held no memories for her. Each new experience was a balm to soothe her past, and there was an all-encompassing presence of comfort that greeted and guided her time there. Upon waking, she always felt thankful for these respites, never questioning the nature of her dreams or the origin of that guiding presence. Breena always assumed it was God.

This is the introduction to my first novel, Acephalous, which is still in the editing/rewriting phase. Posting this for you all to read is a very exciting moment. It’s the first time anyone other than my husband is reading from the story. It’s a big deal. So, please, tell me what you think in the comments. I aim to post snippets weekly, but don’t worry; I won’t post anything that will give the ending away. As you see more of the story unfold, I’ll revise according to what you guys say works or does not work. Also, feel free to share this post via the share links below, but please do not delete information linking it to this page or claim the words as your own. This is my livelihood here.

Happy reading!

–Amanda Marsico

Editor, Proofreader, Red Ink Enthusiast

marsicoam@gmail.com

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