Why Self-Publishing Can Be Crap

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A self-published author said to me, “My writing is crap. But people are willing to pay for my crap, so what do I care?”

EEK!!

You might wonder how the above-mentioned author sells her books if they are indeed, “Crap.” Well, the $2.99 price tag doesn’t hurt and she cranks out about 8 books a year. I know, I did a double-take, too.

But this is the type of mentality that frightens me about self-publishing. Finding a quality e-book is like shopping at Marshall’s or TJ Maxx, sifting through piles of crap to find the one Diane Von Furstenburg gem hiding in the rack. The search is exhausting, and oftentimes, futile. Plus, your money is wasted on the cheap items you dared buy because, hey, the price was great. Unfortunately, though, they sucked.

My rant boils down to this: Please don’t ruin self-publishing for the rest of us. If you are going to venture down this path, please, please, PLEASE, make sure your story is the most polished it can be. Most self-publishing ventures will edit your work, but still. Before you submit, hire your own editor to give your manuscript a once-over, then HIRE ANOTHER!! Join several critique groups, too.

And realize your success is QUALITY over quantity.

Of course, there are also many brilliant authors in the self-publishing world. You’re probably one of them. And if you are, THANK YOU. I appreciate your contribution toward making the self-publishing world a quality place. Someday…

Bloomsbury Spark is Calling All Authors!!

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Bloomsbury is launching a new digital fiction imprint called Bloomsbury Spark that will be targeted to teens and crossover adult readers, including NEW ADULT. The imprint is due to launch later this year, and they are holding an open call for submissions.

The criteria for manuscript consideration is:

· 25,000-60,000 words (English language only)
· Word document or pdf format only
· Target age: 14+
· Genres: All FICTION categories including but not limited to romance, mystery, thriller, paranormal, dystopian, historical, contemporary, fantasy

Submissions can be addressed to Digital Editor Meredith Rich and emailed to: bloomsburysparkus@bloomsbury.com

More information can be found: www.bloomsbury.com/spark

All Bloomsbury Spark books would be contracted for digital rights, with a first option for print editions.

Happy Writing!
Heather

The Writer’s Voice 2013

This entry is for The Writer’s Voice Contest. Enjoy!

Dear Coaches:

Ethan Wilde is a professional wrestler who hasn’t done the moonsault since his mother died. That night, when he flipped backward off the top rope, he fell flat on his head. Now that he’s in the world’s most prestigious wrestling organization, his life is further complicated. Not only is Kid Krap gunning for him, but his drunken father tells him a disturbing fact behind his mother’s death. Ethan must find the confidence to deal with this new reality. Can he forgive his father? Will he ever do the moonsault again? In the world of professional wrestling, anything is possible.

According to World Wrestling Entertainment’s corporate website, nearly 14.1 million viewers tune into their programming on a weekly basis. Furthermore, 34% of their viewers are female. To date, no young adult fiction novels about professional wrestling have been published.

MOONSAULT dives into this untapped literary market. My 53,022 word young adult novel includes plenty of romance for female readers while keeping the pace action-packed for males.

I am a member of SCBWI and a member of several critique groups. I am prepared to send the completed manuscript upon request.

All the Best,
Heather Walters

MOONSAULT
by: Heather Walters

To the many wrestlers who’ve come and gone.
To those with names and those with none.

I step out of the car and lift a duffel bag onto my shoulder. Only a parking lot stands between me and the same arena where my father won his first championship belt. That belt has sat on our mantle for years, a constant reminder of where my path will lead, whether I want it to or not.

My dad, Shadow, holds my shoulder and guides me toward the entrance. In his other hand is an ever-present stadium cup. “Remember to stay low and use your speed,” he slurs. “If you get lost, just put him in a chin lock until you can come up with something else.”

I don’t answer.

“Do you hear me, boy?” He shakes my shoulder. “You have to be quicker than you’ve ever been before. This ain’t VFW, this is XOW!”

Yeah, I know the difference. Veterans of Foreign War has a hall where Dad’s wrestling school performs every month. The show gives his students, plus local amateurs, a chance to practice their moves and work a crowd. Both are crucial in the biz.

“XOW is the big leagues, boy!”

I yank out of his grip. “I get it, Dad. Stop preaching to me.”

He halts just shy of the door and lowers his eyes to mine. Shadow is massive, with broad shoulders and thick pork-like fingers. A mess of salt-n-pepper hair tops his head. It’s hard to believe I’m actually his son.