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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Do you clutter your sentences?

Why yes I do? I raise my hand knowing I'm guilty. I didn't realize how bad I was until editors started chopping my sentences to bits. I overuse words, phrases and padded sentences. Well I'm learning my lesson. Now I just got to put it to use. While reading On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction says "Clutter is the disease of American writing." I was shocked as I tend to write in useless words. He even edited the page below five times until he was satisfied.



Then while reading On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King he says leave adverbs alone, to quote correctly "The road to hell is paved with adverbs." Well there you have it again. Once I'm done editing my book I know I will have to take out a lot of "EXTRA" and "USELESS" words. But I'm learning and having fun while I do, at least for now anyway. So here are some tips I've learned from these two books.

  1. When quoting you can't go wrong with a simple "he said, she said"
  2. Simplify your sentences, get rid of useless words
  3. The secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components
  4. Is what you trying to say clear to someone the first time through
  5. Clear thinking becomes clear writing
For me, it's a work in progress. I know what to do and now I have to apply it. So even if it takes editing a sentence five times, that's what I'll do.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Build your name before you publish a book.

When I decided I would write a nonfiction book I had no idea what would be involved. But after reading several book (I tend to research everything to death) I found that before you even write you should build up a presence and have a follow. According to the book Author 101 Bestselling Book Publicity: The Insider's Guide to Promoting Your Book--and Yourself traditional publishers will not give you a second look if you are not some type of expert in your field or have developed a following.



You should do speeches and conducting seminars, blog radios and be an active participant with social media before you even seek a publisher. I found out that you have to be your own publicist as publishers don't promote anymore, Writing Nonfiction, 5th Edition: Turning Thoughts into Books (Writing Nonfiction, 5th Edition: Turning Thoughts into Books )says it's only on rare occasions for big name personalities. I thought about this and decided they were pretty much right as I see a lot of writers now turned authors that have found it hard to get there book promoted.

When writing a book proposal you should include information such as how you can help with promoting your book. Researching this information will help also if you intend to self publish too.

So I wanted to look up some sites where writers can go for more information on how to promote for themselves whether they're self published or have a publisher.

  1. Promote your book by starting a group
  2. Becky's Book Reviews
  3. Great site - Simon and Schuster offers tips on marketing
  4. Where to promote your books
  5. How to Promote Your Self-Published eBook (for free!)
There are so many resources available for free to help you promote yourself. The important thing I've learned is that you have to show that you're willing to promote yourself to make sure that your book has the best opportunity to become successful. I know we like to believe we're not in this for money but the publishers are and they hesitate to look at unknown authors. We can change this by showing that we want to help in our own promotional efforts. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

If I follow you, will you "REALLY" follow me?

I want to clarify that I'm not referring to Twitter as it's pretty much a given that they'll follow you back, unless they're celebs and don't want your information but just want to give you theirs. I also agree that you get a lot of spammers.

But I'm talking about my fellow bloggers on blog forums. How many of you actually follow this rule? I mean I'm not complaining if it's something you don't do. But what about the ones that post their blogs to boards, forums, discussion?

All I'm saying is don't follow the train if you don't want to play the game.

Now here's a little etiquette 101:

1. If you really don't want to do something don't ask others to do it for you.

2. If you've gotten enough followers, let it be known that you will not be participating any further.

3. Don't complain that you need more followers and then upon checking we find that some have followed you and you haven't followed back.

Now for me I'd like some constructive criticism. If I've followed you from one of these events and you've chosen not to follow back. Let me know what you saw in my blog that turned you away. We're all adults, I won't cry.

Notice I've only said from these events. But if someone's chosen to follow you of their own free will then it's your choice to return the favor.

This is Mica, giving you the truth as I see it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How to pick a good agent...


Having a good agent is essential if you want to submit your work to large publishing houses. But what makes a good agent? That's what I wanted to find out. How do I know when the agent is working their hardest for my work. When I create something I'm giving it everything in order to make it successful. I want to feel as if I have someone who will represent me as best as possible. A lot of times this is hard with only meeting mostly by phone and with maybe a few lunches. But let's be honest we most likely won't live in the same area so I have to feel as if I'm valued by them from afar. In all fairness though we don't pick an agent they pick us, we just choose to accept or decline the offer. 

So here's my list:

1. A good agent should know your market and where best to pitch your book.

2. They will never ask for upfront payments.

3. They should have clientèle in a particular category. If they are representing writings of all kinds it shows me that they are lacking in specialties. 

4. They should be open to your questions and concerns. If they're hard to talk to then it may not be a good match.

5. They should let you see a client list if asked. If it's a new agent don't discount them because they may work extra hard for you in an effort to establish themselves.

6. They should not always be putting you off until later. I know everyone gets busy but when you can't get a call, email or letter in regards to your representation then something's definitely wrong. 


Monday, July 19, 2010

My elevator pitch...

It's time for me to answer the 31 Days to a Build a Better Blog Sits Problogger Challenge question. I joined this challenge in order to help me move my blogs along at a better pace. I've got a lot to say and can't wait to share it all. But for this challenge I need to develop a small tagline, my pitch and then an even longer one. I'm so excited about this exercise for this blog because I hadn't even put an about section together for this blog and it's been kind of inactive for far too long. So now it's off to the races to share with you what I do and how I'll be bringing you the information via my blog.


TAGLINE

Providing information that will help you get from writer to author

SHORT PITCH

Sharing information on what it takes to take your writing to the next level. Information for writers of nonfiction, fiction and poetry.

LONG PITCH

I have written for several different online magazines and websites and now I'm finishing up my first book. What better way than to share what I know than right here on truthfully speaking. Through my writing we will have a more personable approach. I want to give you real situations and present truths as I've seen the. The added benefit of this is to show you through example ways to help maneuver through the process of becoming a published author. My purpose is to help you help yourself. Together we can accomplish anything.

This is Tomica giving you the truth as I know it and if I don't know, I'll find out!

This is what I've come up with for what will be happening on this blog. Tell me what you think?


On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft       2011 Writer's Market

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lebron leaves Cleveland and we're titled "The beautiful losers of American Sports"


Good luck Lebron! He's gone and now it's time for us to move on. I don't particularly like how he left but he did it the way he wanted. Cleveland is not a dying breed and we'll survive without him just as we did before him. 

Now let's talk about Mr. Patrick Hruby and his Page 2 letter titled "Open letter to Cavs owner Dan Gilbert" found at http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=hruby/100709_dan_gilbert_open_letter&sportCat=nba. He so eloquently called us Clevelanders the "Beautiful losers of American sports" and if we didn't live in Cleveland he'd envy us. Here's what else he had to say:

What does it mean to be a Beautiful Loser? It means you're the Chicago Cubs, in municipal form. It means you're akin to Michael Jackson in the video for "Thriller." Not like other guys. Not like the rest of us. Oh, sure: the rest of us win. Occasionally. More than once every 40-plus years. Usually by accident. 

But mostly, we lose.

We lose games. Lose seasons. Lose entire franchises to cities with more giltz, glamour and generous public stadium financing arrangements. 


NOW LET ME TELL YOU WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A TRUE CLEVELAND FAN.

Loyal to your sports team and athletes. Win or lose we're right beside them never quitting on them. Knowing that it takes talent, drive and love of the game to sometimes get things done. We don't give up because we're down. 

WE GO HARDER. GET LOUDER. STAND STRONGER. 

Why? Because people like Patrick help motivate us and keep us going. So when you call us beautiful losers it's okay because through losing come some of the best most appreciative winners. 

Then Mr. Patrick wants to use the joke that two things you'll never see in Cleveland is a victory parade or the sky. Not sure what era you're in Patrick but when I get up I see the sky every morning. While Cleveland may be prone to loss in sports more than others we are not alone standing with us are cities such as Seattle, Buffalo, San Diego and Oakland. 

But know this these athletes that go and get their championship rings have for the most part got their start and training right here on Cleveland soil. So while we may not hold a ring they have a root right here at home. We may not have all the glitz and glamor of Florida but it's still home to us.

 

Friday, July 9, 2010