I’m a writer: Is it okay to scream for joy now?

“It’s an exciting time to be a writer.”

This seemed to be the buzz phrase at the NJRW conference I attended last weekend. Every other workshop, particularly those that spoke about the expansion of E-pub, self-publishing and the juggling for position of traditional publishing, seemed to hold this sentence in high regard.

After, reading an article about authors no longer being at the mercy of publishers, I began thinking about my options, and started to see the truth in those few words.

While I’ve mentioned that I would love to be published by a traditional publisher, I’m starting to see the possibilities of venturing into other avenues of publication, which may lead me back to that traditional path.

At one point, traditional writer’s organizations, such as RWA, didn’t acknowledge self-published authors as “true” authors. In all fairness and appreciation, RWA is an organization whose mission is, “to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy. RWA works to support the efforts of its members to earn a living, to make a full-time career out of writing romance—or a part-time one that generously supplements his/her main income.”

The organization didn’t believe that the author should “pay” for the publication of one’s book. I totally get and respect that.

However, as we all know, times are changing.

Authors are trying to broaden their readership, have control over their work and sell books where they can. Thank goodness, RWA was savvy enough to recognize that many of its members have gone the e-pub and self-publishing route, and support them. This is a good thing.

As I see it, I can remain a member of RWA and NJRW and be considered a “published” author, even if I self-pub. Granted, the author must make a certain amount in revenue from their self-publishing to be considered a true published author within RWA.

But even with that caveat, (which isn’t unreasonable) this new consideration gives an author the opportunity to get their books out, particularly when traditional publishing is slow to pick up and rejections are more than overwhelming.

If I decide to go the self-publishing route, I will follow two words of advice that often come with the, “it’s an exciting time to be a writer,” cheer—copy editor. I will secure the services of a copy editor who can go over my book with a fine tooth comb and offer suggestions that will make my book the best it can be.

I don’t want to publish crap. And I don’t want to try and sell it to anyone. IMHO, some of the books on the self-pub scene totally missed that important piece of advice.

Just tossing it out there on this Thursday afternoon.

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TGIF: Writing, Finding Nemo and Richard Gere

Do you ever noticed that after a four-day workweek (that happens because of a holiday on Monday), you’re exhausted because you’ve crammed five days of work into four?

Since Labor Day, I’ve been trying to catch up and it has taken me until today to feel like I’ve accomplished something. Thank goodness the next big holiday isn’t until Thanksgiving (I can’t include Veterans Day because I don’t have off). I’ll be almost normal by then.

Anyway, Happy Friday!

The weekend is looking good. I have my writer’s group on Saturday. If you haven’t joined a group, think about doing so. It’s the best thing you can do for your writing career. I belong to an amazing group: Romance Writers of American-NJ Chapter (NJRW). I look forward to each meeting because I know we’re going to learn something different or we’ll learn to look at things in a different way. Our program this Saturday is on pitching your book and honing your PR skills to promote your work.

Finding Nemo 3D hit the big screen, and although I’m not a huge animated movie lover (I do love Toy Story though), I’m thinking about seeing Finding Nemo, particularly since I never sat through the original one. I may go with my daughters and grandson. Watching my grandson juggle those huge 3D glasses on his little nose is worth the price of the movie!

I really want to check out Arbitrage, the new thriller starring Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon. Of course, I’ll be taking mental notes. Something may trigger an idea for a book.

I loved them in “Shall We Dance” and their on-screen chemistry is great. Jennifer Lopez also starred in the movie and played the dance instructor. This clip is one of my favorite scenes in the movie because they danced the sexy tango!

Hope you have something good planned—even if it’s just kicking back and relaxing. Whatever you do, make sure you leave time for you.

See you Monday.

Writing better …and getting it done

It may be only December 3, but I’m already planning my travel and writing itinerary for 2010!

Next year will consist of a couple of writer’s conferences. The Romantic Times Convention, takes me to Columbus Ohio. I can’t say I’ve really ever been there. I’ve flown over and driven through.

This time I happy to say, I’ll be staying for a few days. The conference kicks off at the end of April and looks to offer a great deal of information that authors, published and aspiring, will want to know. E-publishing, social media, writing erotica, (Woohoo!) and good old fashion how to write a synopsis are just a few of the things I saw on the agenda. The RT Convention Web site has a list of events happening and over 400 authors who plan to attend.

I’m all about learning all I can, so this will be a definite stop.

Romance Writers of America National Conference is in Nashville this year. Since I attended in Washington, last year I’m not sure if I’ll make this one. However, plans do change! Of course they’re offering great workshops on the craft of writing, publishing and marketing your manuscript. It should be a great conference.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to attend any workshops or conferences this year, there’s a great book entitled, “Writing the Breakout Novel,” by Donald Maass. Yes, of the Donald Maass literary agency. You may want to check it out. This is a great resource and I’ve shared this information with all my writing buddies. Mr. Maass also has a workbook to complement the book and it features actual exercises and workshops that he uses during his live sessions. I purchased mine at Barnes and Noble, however I’m sure you can find it on Amazon.

Those are the trips so far, but locally I will attend writers’ meetings for inspiration and craft.

How are you planning to write better, and get the work done?