The Introduction Thread

New member introductions, suggestions for the Forums, questions about posting, and important announcements.
John Celestri
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Re: The Introduction Thread

Post by John Celestri » August 22nd, 2013, 10:06 pm

Hi,

I'm John Celestri and I collaborate with my wife Cathie, writing as Cathie John. We self published five crime fiction novels back in 1997 through 2003. This was before POD, eBooks, etc. We are relaunching our writing career(s) and catching up on the changes in publishing since we were last active in the crime fiction community.

I look forward to getting to know y'all.
Last edited by John Celestri on August 23rd, 2013, 6:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
John Celestri
(the male half of Cathie John)
http://www.cathiejohn.com
http://cathiejohnc.blogspot.com/

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Beethovenfan
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Re: The Introduction Thread

Post by Beethovenfan » August 23rd, 2013, 5:31 am

John Celestri wrote:Hi,

I'm John Celestri and I collaborate with my wife Cathie, writing as Cathie John. We self published five crime fiction novels back in 1997 through 2003. This was before POD, eBooks, etc. We are relaunching our writing career(s) and catching up on the changes in publishing since we were last active in the crime fiction community.

I look forward to getting to know y'all.

John Celestri
(the male half of Cathie John)
http://www.cathiejohn.com
Awesome! Welcome to the forums. I look forward to hearing how your self pubbing went.
"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine."
~ Ludwig van Beethoven

John Celestri
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Re: The Introduction Thread

Post by John Celestri » August 23rd, 2013, 7:00 am

Hi, Beethovenfan.

When we self published back in the mid-1990s, it was looked upon as Vanity Press. Except we actually were a small independent press. We handled our own writing, editing, layout, cover art, etc, and used a printing service to publish in trade paperback and hardcover. We were distributed through both Ingram and Baker & Taylor, and were stocked in brick and mortar stores such as Barnes & Noble and the independent mystery bookstores. Our novels got great reviews in The Chicago Tribune, Cincinnati Enquirer, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, and all the mystery review publications. Our crime fiction novel "Little Mexico" was a finalist for the Barry Award in 2001 as Best Paperback Original.

What knocked us out of business was when the distributors (Ingram and Baker & Taylor) made it impossible for the emerging small press movement to financially survive by drastically changing the terms for those publishers with less than 10 books in their catalog. So, we shut down. The publishing industry had shifted into the Blockbuster mentality, and frankly we were tired of the games that were being played by the Big Boys.

It now seems the playing field has been changed by ePublishing. Let's see if it helps us relaunch our writing careers.
John Celestri
(the male half of Cathie John)
http://www.cathiejohn.com
http://cathiejohnc.blogspot.com/

Literary Flamingo
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Re: The Introduction Thread

Post by Literary Flamingo » September 5th, 2013, 4:45 pm

Hi everyone, I'm posting as Literary Flamingo, but my name is Brandon and I primarily write science fiction. This is my first post on... well, anything. I'm not on Facebook or Twitter, though I've posted a ton of Pikmin 3 pictures in Miiverse, so maybe that counts. (Again, this is my first post ever, so hopefully I'm in the right thread.)

I wrote my first novel earlier this year. It was a 94,000 word YA science fiction adventure that I'm quite proud of, even though I've received quite a few form rejections for it. I'm strongly considering posting the query for critique to see if I can improve it.

Over the summer I've written an absurd amount of short stories, one of which has been accepted. (Still waiting for the official details, but I've been tentatively told October could be the month of my writing debut.) Ironically, after writing about 20 science fiction\fantasy stories, my one contemporary YA story sold. Go figure.

I'm still working on short stories and sending out my novel, trying to break into writing, which I've been pursuing seriously for most of the year. I know the road is long and hard, so that's why I'm looking for help.

Sincerely,
Literary Flamingo

P.S.
There is no deep meaning behind that username. I like flamingos and books so...yeah.

Tom Hall
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Re: The Introduction Thread

Post by Tom Hall » October 22nd, 2013, 9:03 pm

Hi, I'm a psychologist and a new self-published co-author with a specific question. I co-authored a book with a patient about her amazing recovery from mental illness (now sustained for several years). We spent equal time writing, but she's done the vast majority of the promotion work in the year and a half since publication. We originally agreed we'd promote together and she'd get 70% of the royalties because it's primarily her story. Now she may take over all the promotion work from this point forward and it's very possible that her current efforts could lead to hugely increased sales. My question is should we change the royalty percentages and, if so, what should they be?

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JustLiz
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Re: The Introduction Thread

Post by JustLiz » December 12th, 2013, 1:43 pm

Hello everyone :)

I wasn't sure where to introduce myself but it seems like this is the place, so here goes nothing!

My name is Elizabeth, but I don't mind being called Liz. I have been writing short stories for a long time. I'm interested in self-publishing some of my short stories. Maybe later I'll try a novel, assuming I have the patience for it lol. I also like making friends and taking part in interesting discussions. I have a sense of humor and am not easily offended. If I offend anyone here, don't be afraid to tell me so, I won't bite!

I came to this forum because when I tried regular writing forums, I got a lot of flack for wanting to self-publish. I was pretty much told that self-publishing writers are lazy people who don't want to improve their writing skills and that only low class writers self-publish. I don't feel that I am lazy or low class, I simply don't want some middle man telling me what I can and can not write. I work very hard to improve my writing skills and make my stories fun and exciting. I hope things will be different here and that I will find a place to make friends with people who understand where I'm coming from.

It's nice to meet you all and I look forward to learning as much as I can here! :)

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polymath
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Re: The Introduction Thread

Post by polymath » December 12th, 2013, 6:49 pm

Hi, JustLiz,

Welcome to Bransforums. Self-publishing has reputation issues but is not for lazy writers. Self-publishing effectively is far more demanding than traditional publishing. Publishers do a lot of the production work that self-publishers do that traditionally published writers don't want to do. One objective factor that distinguishes the two that matters is degree of screening. Self-publishing usually doesn't involve much, if any, screening scrutiny. That should not matter, since any one writer may self-screen effectively, but it does, since screening one's own progeny is subjective. However, a strong and clear and discerning writer should succeed in any publishing pipeline. A very small number have succeeded with self-publishing. And though the majority of self-published mediocrity has flooded the self-publishing marketplace, the marketplace has barely entered its infancy.

I'm reading Wayne Booth's The Rhetoric of Fiction presently. Booth devotes an entire chapter to the regards writers have of audiences. Titled "True Art Ignores the Audience," the chapter ironically supports that belief at the same time as debunking it. This is creative writing: seemingly irreconcilable dissonances challenge creative writers to reconcile them. Go ahead, Write what you want to, understanding that creative writing is meant to be shared, so audiences do matter in that way. William Faulkner cited in the text says, "The only standard that matters is mine." He meant his writing and expression ambitions mattered; they influenced his writing and scrutiny. He let readers discover for themselves what he means, what his stories mean.

Please, ask writing questions in the "All Things Writing" forum. Tap the Bransforum braintrust brainstorm that's been idle recently.Discuss or open discussions in other forum topic areas. Have fun. See my signature below.
Spread the love of written word.

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JustLiz
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Re: The Introduction Thread

Post by JustLiz » December 14th, 2013, 2:16 pm

Thanks for the welcome :) I will do as you suggest.

lfizz
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Re: The Introduction Thread

Post by lfizz » January 29th, 2014, 4:15 pm

Well hi!

I'm a YA writer (I didn't intend to become that, it just sorta...happened) of mostly sci-fi (some fantasy) persuasion. I'm also interested in collaborative non-fiction and have one in the works about experience with infertility.

I'm interested in talking with other writers to share ideas, and maybe get some shameless validation and helpful criticism, especially as I try to query a YA fantasy novel (is it just me or are query letters the single worst writing assignment in the universe?).

Hello everyone!
Laura Fissel
YA Writer, fantasy and science fiction
Website: http://www.leavingteaching.wordpress.com
Twitter: @laura_fissel

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polymath
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Re: The Introduction Thread

Post by polymath » January 30th, 2014, 6:16 am

Hi, lfizz, welcome to Bransforums.

If you have questions or subjects for discussion on writing topics, you can post them in the All Things Writing forum, and I as well as others will respond with our best guidances.

I'm not inclined toward giving validation, too much like insincere approval for my sensibilities. Work offered for workshop criticism is assumed to ask for strengthening and clarification. I will note standout strengths that reccomend a work for audience appeals, but also shortcomings I feel diminish a work. Unfortunately, the latter are more common for projects in progress and consequent commentary.

Many writers find queries challenging. Myself, I feel that's mostly because writers are too close to their work to recognize the principal features that stand out for screening readers and, in the alternative, on the uncertain side of how to briefly describe the core aspects of the work in a way that arouses screening readers' empathy and curiosity for the whole work. If a few words can describe the gist of several tens of thousands, why write the longer version? Why, for that matter, read the whole when a description encompasses the whole? Therein is the artistry of query writing: show enough to imply what's going on and arouse reader interest, but not so much the whole can be easily inferred.

A kernel feature for a query and a narrative of any length is a pivotal event that sets the drama train in motion, the first cause, some kind of want or problem wanting satisfaction (a dramatic complication, also labeled "conflict" in many writing discussions) from which all else unfolds. From appreciably knowing that dramatic event, I feel a query then writes itself. Too much focus on character leaves the dramatic event uncertain. Yet event is the most significant feature of drama and most appealing to readers.

Anyway, commenting on queries is problematic for me, as well as longer works. The amount of time I invest rarely is reflected in influences on strengthening a work. Too many writers rely instead on acquaintances' limited guidances, and their own limited sensibilities, that fall short, in my estimation, of the level of craft I feel is necessary in a marketplace culture where entry-level competition is fierce. It's too easy to take the shortcuts acquaintances and prior habits recommend.

See you in the writing forum.
Spread the love of written word.

LizV
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Re: The Introduction Thread

Post by LizV » February 7th, 2014, 3:54 pm

lfizz: Query letters are indeed the worst -- at least, until you get to the synopsis. :cry: Hang in there!

BuildingVoices
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Re: The Introduction Thread

Post by BuildingVoices » May 3rd, 2014, 9:14 pm

Hi Craig!

feralchild
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Re: The Introduction Thread

Post by feralchild » May 19th, 2014, 6:01 pm

Hi Craig,
I've just started up writing again, and although I am working on a young adult fantasy novel, it's been so long since I wrote that i'm more interested in building the habit up again. I thought i'd find a forum and get some support from people who actually understand. nice to meet you all! I recently went from working on a bachelors in fine arts (and barely keeping my writing alive) to a switch over. I'm now working on a bachelors in integrated studies, which means i get to choose 2 topics: one is Art, and one is English (literature).

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Jabberjays
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Re: The Introduction Thread

Post by Jabberjays » May 27th, 2014, 12:18 pm

Hi all,

My name is Crystal, I'm 35 and from Hawaii. I'm trying to build a client base of authors that want to advertise on my site and also a client base for my editing services, so I hope to get to know more of you here. I'm expecting my third child in July and while I've never written a novel (I prefer to edit) I've got a huge body of writing out there online on blogs and such.
Freelance editor, young adult fansite administrator

Saira Naitsirhc
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Re: The Introduction Thread

Post by Saira Naitsirhc » June 3rd, 2014, 6:58 am

Well, I do really have to introduce myself because this is an Introduction thread. Ha ha.

Hi everyone, I'm Christian.

I'm new to novel writing and I am an aspiring young author. I'm 16 and I have never devoted myself to writing novels because they are so long... until something inspired me.
Want to know, go to my website,http://www.christianarias.weebly.com.
And I am still on the verge of my writing. I focus on dystopian world and sci-fi. My novel also tells about government corruptions and favoritism(in any kinds). Since I am no writing student(because I am studying Secondary Education, and our province doesn't have a creative writing course.), I keep on repeating everyday. And I need help, so bad.

Also, I live in Ipil, Zambo. Sibugay Province, Philippines.
And I want to ask if I can have an agent on US because I want my book(if luckily will finish) to be published there.

That is all... :D

-Naitsirhc

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