Showing posts with label Robert Medak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Robert Medak. Show all posts

Should You Self Publish or Not


Whether to self publish or vie for traditional publishing is a question brought to the forefront because of the direction publishing is moving today. Ultimately, the author must make the final decision.

With fewer traditional publishers, more books written, and fewer readers reading books, many traditional houses aren’t willing to work with unknown authors, or don’t have a following.

Authors need a platform with followers, a book marketing plan, and more laid upon the shoulders of authors, many authors feel that self-publishing is the way to get their book into the hands of readers.
If you self publish your book, how will traditional publishers look upon your book if you decide to vie for a traditional publishing house in the future is a question only the publishing house can answer.

Experiences from some writers is that self-published books are akin to what we call vanity press books, pay and they will publish anything as Amazon found out with blatant plagiarism of many titles that Amazon published, and then had had to remove when they finally found out what some so-called authors were doing just to make sales. Amazon’s reputation was hurt, and rightly so.

Why have reviewers been complaining about the quality of self-published books? The complaints range from editing to grammar, and poor quality.

Publishing houses once employed editors to clean up these problems for authors; this is no longer the case. Self-published book editing is now the purview of the author; and authors need professional editing. Don’t rely on software like spellcheckers and grammar checkers to find the errors because they will not find subtle errors. Grammar checkers will vary depending on the individual program.

A literary agent may cost writers thousands to have their book shopped to publishers. Many authors can’t afford these costs, and opt for self-publishing.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual author how to publish their baby. First, is to hire an editor that has no interest in the book other than making sure that they edit for typos, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, redundancies,  over use of words like “and”, “or”, and “but”. Editors will notice these because they have no stake in the book other than making it the best book for the reader.

If authors such as James Paterson, David Baldacci, or Orson Scott Card want to publish a book with a traditional house, most houses will take a chance, but they are probably not willing to take a chance on previously self-published authors, or unpublished writers. Authors need to find creative ways to convince publishing houses to take a chance. One creative way is to create a well-written, well-edited book. Don’t forget a well-crafted proposal.


Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, Reviewer, Marketer

Write on... don't give up the dream!


Do you dream of being a writer?

If you want to be a writer, the only thing required is to put your butt in a chair, place your hands on a keyboard, pen, pencil or whatever you use to write, and write, write, write.

Consider writing as your job. If your dream is to publish, remember writing is a business, and treat it as if you’re an entrepreneur, because you are.

It doesn’t make any difference if you are young, old, or in between.

Don’t let anyone; including yourself talk you out of your dream of writing. Just write what subject you want to write about.

It doesn’t make any difference who you are, what sex you are, or anything else. Determination and persistence is will make you a writer.

Every writer can come up with myriad excuses not to write. The writer doesn’t use them, but writes in spite of them.

One major excuse is not having the time. This is a cop-out  If you want to be a writer, you’ll make time by going to bed later, get up earlier, or turn the Television off instead of watching some inane program. If a movie or some show is important to you, record it for a later time.

For the novice writer, the internal editor is a major problem. Overcome this by just writing, and then edit it.
It’s simple, writers write and that’s it, period.

If you want to be a writer, sit down and write the darn book; it won’t write itself.

Now is the time to organize your thoughts, notes, research, or outline and begin telling your story as only you can.

Today is the day you become a writer.

Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, Reviewer, and Marketer
Find me on the Web http://xeeme.com/RobertMedak

Reading makes you a Better Writer


As Ray Bradbury said, “You’ve got to love libraries. You’ve got to love books. You’ve got to love poetry. You’ve got to love everything about literature. Then, you can pick the one thing you love most and write about it.”

This quote speaks volumes about what writers should make time for as part of their daily writing routine.

Another Bradbury quote that speaks volumes is, “You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” 

Many say write what you know, How about writing what you want to know? This is another opportunity to read diverse books and diverse subjects.

By reading various genres, writers might chose to add some literary techniques into their present project. Writers might also try opposite gender writing.

I had such an experience while taking an online writing course. I crafted a piece where two women thought a female wrote it. I’m not female.

I’ve heard from numerous sources that there is a touch of poetry in my prose. I’ve been an avid reader of all genres for over 50-years.

It is up to writers to read books from various authors, so they can become better writers.

Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, Reviewer, Marketer

Where is Publishing Headed



With Amazon removing buy buttons from the Big Six publishers, where does the author go to have their manuscript published?

Amazon has also removed numerous reviews because of the hint of purchased reviews, which authors have admitted to so they could rank higher and sell more books.

With thousands of books written per year, and Amazon flexing its muscle, are authors suspected to publish according to whatever terms Amazon dictates, or find company to create the book and let the author sell and market their book themselves?

Traditional publishers currently ask authors about followers and request a marketing plan. Authors have two options:
  1. Hire a publicist to market their book
  2. Learn how to publicize and market their book on their own
As authors, forced into marketing mode, when are they going to find time to write their next book? Will there be fewer books written? Will there be fewer people wanting to write or even have a desire to be creative?

There are new indie publishers springing up almost daily. What do these indie publishers offer the author? Are they willing to help the author publicize, promote, and market books for authors, doubtful at best?

What this boils down to is the fact that authors are out in the cold even more than they were before. 

More than ever, authors had better learn about contracts, publicity, promotion, social media, scheduling book tours, book signings, media kits, designing a marketing plan, where to sell their books, or save for hiring a professional to do it for them.

Hiring professionals for publicity and promotion can be very expensive. Acquiring an agent is difficult and expensive; an agent is not the end all that authors believe it is.

Robert Medak
Freelance Writer/Blogger/Editor/Proofreader/Reviewer/Marketer

How to Choose the Right Editor



From a reader’s and reviewer’s point-of-view, books need a professional editor.

Why do books need a professional editor?

Authors are too close to the project to be able to pick up everything, especially if the author is self-publishing their book. Self-editing doesn’t work; many books and author’s sites have errors in grammar and punctuation as books and a web site visited today.

How to choose the right one to work with

  1. Authors need to talk with, and ask questions of the editor they choose to work with to see if the read and understand the genre of your book
·         Have they edited in the genre?
·         Can you and the editor work together?
·         Will the editor accept your input?
·         Are they willing to keep you abreast of how the project is progressing?
·         Does the editor have an estimate of how long it will take to edit?
·         Can you agree on a price that is acceptable to both parties?

  1. The editor should send the author an edited copy for review/proofread.
·         The final say is the author’s responsibility.
·         The editor shouldn’t have changed, but strengthened the sentences.
·         The editor should have corrected any grammar or punctuation errors.
·         The editor should have used Word’s Track Changes.
·         Any questions the editor has should be addressed using Word’s Comment feature.
  1. After the edited copy is proofread by the author:
·         The author and editor should agree on the changes.
·         If the editor suggested a word change, the author and editor should agree.
·         Talking with the editor should be like talking to a friend helping your book be the best it can be.
·         Once the final edits are completed and both parties are satisfied, then the final edited copy is ready for publication.

There should never be harsh feelings about your book with an editor; the editor is there to help the author create a book that is the best copy possible. 

Readers deserve the best book authors and editors are capable of creating. From an ethical standpoint, authors need to offer only their best to their readers.

Robert Medak
Freelance Writer/Blogger/Editor/Proofreader/Reviewer/Marketer

When was the last time you backed up your WIP?



Many people believe that there is no need to back up their work somewhere other than their computer. I was one of them.

Having used computers since the 1980s with no problems, in 2012 my newest computer decides it doesn’t want to boot properly, hence no access to a list of passwords and sites, not to mention my WIP that I will have to begin anew because there is no money to take the computer in and find out what is wrong and retrieve a CD stuck in the drive that is the set up disk for my new printer.

Miffed would be an understatement about this. Thank goodness there was an older computer that was able to be connected and allow internet access, except for rebuilding the password and site list from scratch. I still have trouble with a blogger account that Google hasn’t given me a password reset link yet.

Be forewarned, anyone working on a computer needs to save their work to somewhere other than the hard drive. I will not recommend any place, but there are numerous site online, or use a flash drive. Wish I would have.

Having information on something other than the computer itself will same time and some hair pulling if the hard drive crashes or something that makes the computer inoperable for some reason.

I would also like to recommend creating a backup copy of your files onto some type of medium so that you have ready access to those files should the need arise. Wish I did.

Robert Medak
Freelance Writer/Blogger/Editor/Reviewer/Marketer

When it the best time to build an author platform?


There seems to be differing opinions about when or even if authors need a platform.

I cannot stress enough that with today’s digital world, the state of publishing, and the number of books written per year, the time to build a platform is before you begin writing your book.

Disagree if you wish, but publishers ask authors about their following, promotion, and willingness in helping market their book.

How do authors accomplish this? By the use of platforms, such as blogs, websites, social and network marketing, book signings, and the author finding bookstore shelf space on their own.

Publishing is no longer, as it was in the past. It is up to the author to be a publicist, marketer, and promoter for their book; or hire someone for all of this. Hiring someone is the easy way out for authors, but also expensive. Most authors cannot afford the cost of an agent, publicist, salesperson, and marketer, which would run thousands of dollars.

This leaves the author to do it all. Build a blog about your book project keeping the potential reader up to date with how the book is advancing. Build an authors page, use social media, make regular updates, and make a trailer for your book.

I may repeat this information, but it is only to stress that in today’s publishing environment, more is up to the author than ever before in publishing.

Many authors are opting to self-publish for more control over price and format. The author’s ability to create digital books for readers, and having their book edited by publishers in ways that go against ways the author intended the book. There have been title changes in publishing houses, changes from book to movie, and more.

Authors should have their book published the way they wrote it.


Robert Medak
Freelance Writer/Blogger/Editor/Reviewer/Marketer

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The Many Hats of Writers


With fewer traditional publishers willing to publish new authors and the overall publishing industry getting harder books published, today's writers must wear many hats by necessity.

Today’s writer has two options, DIY or outsource. Outsourcing can become expensive and some writers may not be able to afford outsourcing, so that leaves DIY.

The hats of DIY that writers must wear.

  1. Writer
  2. Editor
  3. Proofreader
  4. Publisher
  5. Promoter
  6. Marketer
  7. PR person
  8. Video Creator
  9. Retailer/Wholesaler
  10. Booking Agent
  11. Web Designer
  12. Content Creator
  13. Web Manager
  14. Content Manager
  15. Social Media Manager
  16. Networking Manager
  17. Shipping Manager
  18. Bookkeeper
  19. Entrepreneur
  20. Record Keeper
So much for time to write. If you want to be a writer, you’ll find the time to write. No one ever said the writing is easy in today’s writing market.

Writing take dedication and hard work to be successful, whatever that means to you. Only a few writers make it big, the rest work hard and with some luck and hard work can make some money writing.

Writing is a calling, not a way to get rich unless you come up with the next “Harry Potter”, which rarely happens. There is a good deal of luck in making it big. J. K. Rowling the author of the “Harry Potter” series, was rejected 12 times before a friend of her daughter read it and told to her father about how good it was. He took a chance on publishing it, we know how well that went.

If you are a writer that must DIY everything because you just don’t have the money for a literary agent, which can cost thousands of dollars, if you can find one to take a chance on your book, you will have to wear many hats and learn what you need to get your book in front of readers.


This article is to enlighten you about the uphill battle you face as you work toward publication, and getting your book into the reader’s hands.

Robert Medak
Freelance Writer/Blogger/Editor/Proofreader/Reviewer/Marketer



Don’t Depend 100% on Your Publisher

By Terry Whalin (@terrywhalin) In 2007, America’s Publicist Rick Frishman invited me to participate on the faculty of MegaBook Marketing Uni...