Wednesday, August 1, 2018

IWSG: Pitfalls

Hello All;

I love the Insecure Writers Support Group question for this month: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid in their publication journey?

Now, I don't love this question because I have lots of advice to give to newbie writers. Quite the opposite; I love this question because it gives me the opportunity to request YOUR advice and experience in the comments on this post.

Ask yourself this question before submitting to a publication, or agency: what are they doing for me  (you) as an author? What do I (you) put in, as opposed to what I (you) get in return?

Basically, my advice on pitfalls is to have the self confidence to know your skills and marketability, and follow your instincts.  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is, especially if a small fee is to garner exponential profits.

Thanks for reading my post today. And I'm serious about wanting to know what pitfalls you have to share in the comments. I will visit a lot of blogs on the IWSG linky over the next few days, but I can't visit all the 195 links (194 minus mine) and I'm curious to know what publication pitfalls other authors have encountered. So if you stop by my blog, leave your insights. I do return a visit to every blog that comments here.

And please, add a reply comment to todays IWSG post, as well as visit our IWSG creator Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh, and this month's co-hosts Erika Beebe; Sandra Hoover; Susan Gourley; Lee Lowrey.

I have also been a consistent participant of the Write Edit Publish (WEP) prompt writing web site. The WEP post on July 26 announces that WEP and IWSG are now partners, with spec-fic author and IWSG admin Nick Wilford as prominent WEP judge for the WEP prompt writing contests. Visit the WEP prompt writing challenges site for full details on the prompts, posting dates, prizes, and judging criteria. Winner of the WEP prompt  receives a $10 Amzon gift certificate, a guest post on the WEP blog site, and a special badge proclaiming the author a winner of the prompt.

Sign ups for the next 1000 word WEP/IWSG challenge is August 1, with a posting date of  August 15.

Who hasn’t had one? This one’s easy, right?

A commitment made when a prospect looked attractive, a decision on a course of action, and then regrets and reluctance to follow through.  It could be an engagement, a date, a diet plan, a chore someone said they’d do and didn’t follow through.  A strip poker-game. Or maybe a gamble with super-high, panic inducing stakes.  A break for independence that once made, gives pause for second thoughts.  A bolt for the grass-always-greener pasture and then wanting to vault-n-turn right back. Something offered, then withdrawn.  Myriad ways to go

See you there/then. And don't forget to vist IWSG creator Alex J Cavenaugh and the Aug 1 IWSG POST that announces the next IWSG Anthology details.

Oh: in adding the links to this post, I read a resonating post by Cloud Nine Girl (aka Erika Beebe) and discovered this line in her post that really resonated with me as an author:

"In a post by the, the author states POV is “who’s eyes we see the action through, who’s head we’re inside of, and who’s feelings we experience as that character feels them.”

The author goes on to say, “This is why it’s so important to choose the right POV character for your story. It will “determine what you tell, how you tell it and, often, even what the action means.”

I hope you find this quote as inspirational as I did.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I posted my advice today.
WEP is also now partnered with the IWSG, so I might participate this month!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Some publishers just don't do anything for their writers. That's why we must be choosy about who we publish with.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think the partnership is going to be a lot of fun.

Loni Townsend said...

I really struggled to come up with a pitfall for today's post. Most of it is knowledge that comes with experience.

Pat Hatt said...

Watch for scams is a big one I've been seeing. One has to do due diligence indeed.

Arlee Bird said...

I've heard so much advice through my decades of being an aspiring writer, but I've forgotten most of it and I probably didn't heed the advice anyway since I'm not significantly published. So I don't know that I have many pitfalls at this point. Pratfalls maybe. And if I do fall into a pit I'd like to think that eventually my downward fall leads to an upward ascent. Or something poetic.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Erika Beebe said...

Scams are so sad. I can't believe mean people are out there prying on those passionate souls who just want to make their dreams happen. Thank you for your pitfall. Mine is patience. Taking my time and really making the story right. And of course, submitting it to the right people for the right feedback. Happy IWSG Day. I wish you the best :)

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Yes! It takes courage to write, to put ourselves out there. We need the self confidence to persevere.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Donna. Thanks for the inspirational post. And for the WEP shout out, Partner. It should be an exciting partnership.
I love the advice from Erika. My crit partners often say my MC is an observer, not enough in the action. LOL. I so recognize myself!! But my critters won't let me get away with it.

Denise Covey said...

I actually posted the words at the top of Book Three...get into his head....

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Donna - well done ... it does take courage to push forward and out - so we are there, as the only way to succeed is to publish, publish again and again. Congratulations on the WEP joining together with IWSG - makes sense ... cheers Hilary

Gwen Gardner said...

The one piece of advice I’ve seen most today is to edit, edit, edit! I couldn’t agree more.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Yes, you should be careful and be sure you're making the right decision with an agent or publisher.

Diane Burton said...

So much great advice this month. Even though I've been in this biz for over 25 years, I can still learn.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

We all have our stumbling blocks. I've been searching for a publisher for my next fantasy series and I've been asking myself that question you posted. I've been burned four times now by small presses that close and orphan my fantasy books. I'm more cautious now.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Not being a writer, I really has no advice to offer about pitfalls. "Drunken spills" I know all about, but "Writing Pitfalls"... not so much.

But I'll leave ya with some writing advice from the legendary Mark Twain:

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug."

"I never write metropolis for seven cents because I can get the same price for city. I never write policeman because I can get the same money for cop."

"I confine myself to life with which I am familiar when pretending to portray life."

~ D-FensDogG
STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

Chrys Fey said...

Good advice. We definitely have to know ourselves and trust our instincts.

Charity Bradford said...

Ooo, I can add a little advice in addition to what I had at the bottom of my venting post based on your question. In the beginning, I went with a small publisher. I learned a lot from them, but in the end, they really were not doing anything for me. So, at some point, you have to know when it's the right time to re-evaluate and maybe step away. I was able to get my book rights back and I'm much happier now and making exponentially more money on my own than I was with them. Plus, I learned through the process that I'm a control freak. (I should have known that!) the truth is I do better on my own because I can see what works with marketing and what didn't. Since they didn't market and didn't share any metrics with me I was wasting time and money for no return for many years. Now I can watch and learn what works. It's been wonderful!

Olga Godim said...

Having self-confidence - what a great advice. If it was as easy as it sounds, that would be wonderful, but you're right. If I don't have confidence in myself, who else will? Believing in herself is what any writer /artist needs to move forward.

Juneta key said...

Committing to a daily writing habit and allowing myself to write crap. I am still wrestling with this but the sooner I do it the happier I will be and maybe complete something. Happy belated IWSG

Lisa said...

I wrote my advice on my blog, which you visited, thank you! Having confidence to follow through on our instincts is my problem. Thanks for sharing, and for reminding me of the WEP site. I used to participate a few years ago. Maybe it's time to try again!

Tamara Narayan said...

Going through the pitfalls answers has been interesting this week. Lots of good advice.

Nick Wilford said...

Looking forward to reading those WEP stories, I think we'll see very high quality. My biggest pitfall to get over was thinking that everything had to be wonderful the first time I wrote it.

Yolanda Renée said...

There are as many bogus publishers as there are advertisers. Search the web for reviews, you'll learn the dirt and make a better choice. My advice, learn the ropes of self-publishing, then when you choose to do it traditionally you'll have better insight into what you're signing on for!

For instance publish a book of short stories, just for the experience. It'll be worth it, and I know you've got a collection out there!

Deniz Bevan said...

Yes! I agree with choosing the right pov character -- it changes so many of the story's nuances.

As for pitfalls, one of mine might be sharing my story too early. When you're in that "I love this!" stage, and think everything is gold, and start sharing snips with your first readers... Big mistake. At least one round of hardcore editing is a must!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Great post. Another potential pitfall is being too eager. Say you've been sending out queries for ages, and you finally come across an agent who wants to represent you. Don't jump at the offer, even though it's tempting. Do your research, ask to speak to a couple of the agent's clients, give it some thought. If one agent is interested, chances are others will be.

Know your worth.

Unknown said...

WEP and IWSG together is the best news.

For me, I haven't really started on the publishing journey, so I haven't any pitfalls to share.

The one lesson for me has been patience.

In publishing, but for exceptional cases, the pace of growth is glacial, whether you choose to self-pub or go the trad route.

البيت المثالى said...

شركة تنظيف خزانات بالاحساء

shahen said...

افضل معلم سباك بالرياض

شركة تعقيم فلل بالرياض

مؤسسة سباكة وكهرباء بالرياض

شركة مقاولات بالرياض

شركة نظافة منازل بالرياض

غسيل سيارات بالرياض
شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
شركة تنظيف بخميس مشيط