Tag Archive | publishing

Writing Community Warning Signs

Hello_1

 

Hey, everyone! Sorry for the late blog post. Life has been a tornado these last few days, but I’m finally back with an update!

Here are a few things happening with me:

  1. If you haven’t noticed, I finally took the words “unworthy writer” off my blog. For me, that’s a significant accomplishment. For so long, I felt my writing was awful, just downright terrible, but I want to view myself differently and have confidence.
  2. Please follow me on Twitter! I’m trying to build my author platform, so I want to grow my Twitter account. The link is here: My Twitter.
  3. I’m really, really not a fan of Tapas, but I needed a place to host my online stories. Since Writing.com is more of a private site, I’ve uploaded some work on Tapas. If you used to read my old stories on Wattpad, please follow me on Tapas here: My Tapas Account. As I said previously, I won’t be deleting this account. This is my permanent home, along with my blog, Writing.com, and Twitter.

Today, I was originally going to discuss determination, but, something ugly happened over the last few days. Instead of determination, I want to mention warning signs that new writers and writers new to online writing communities should look out for.

So far, this is the list I have (but please comment if you feel more things should be added):

  1. Bullying from other writers! – If you notice any bullying between writers, and if it happens frequently, then leave! I can’t stress this enough. Writers shouldn’t be attacking each other on these online communities, especially in forums and threads. If you are old enough to surf the internet, you need to understand that everyone will have a different opinion. We can’t control how someone else thinks, but you can control how you respond to it. Also, if the website lets the bullying slide or shows favoritism, you’ll see how the management thinks.
  2.   Rant books! – We all need to rant at times, it helps us blow off steam. However, there is a difference between ranting and shaming other writers. To be fair, I used to enjoy rant books back in the day, but as I’ve grown as a writer, I realized how childish they are. In the end, calling out other writers for their personal decisions with their work is childish. Sure, you can use examples from various writings you’ve seen to make points on your blogs, which is the same as using published work, but actually shaming a writer for selecting a particular publisher or leaving a website is silly.

    Here are my thoughts:
    Writing Community Memes_2

    If you see an overwhelming number of rant books on a writing website talking about other writers, move on. It shows most of the writers there are angry (and sadly, I used to be one of them, but I’ve freed myself from it), and instead of focusing on anger, move on. Lord knows I did, and now I’m better for it.

  3. Plagiarism! This is a huge one! As mentioned in another blog post, we know posting our work online is risking, but hear me out. If you notice well-known writers on a writing site talking about getting their work stolen, pay attention to the frequency.  If it happens, let’s say, once a month, maybe shrug if off. We all know free online communities will have this problem. Many younger readers read online, and of course, sometimes, they copy what they enjoy. However, if you notice messages going out every week, there’s a problem, especially if you see other well-known writers copying each other. The scary thing is, many well-known writers on these websites are trying to publish. Think about that for a moment. You write a remarkable story, get lots of readers, but another well-known writer copies your ideas, wanting to publish the said book. No!

    In the end…
    Writing Community Memes_1

Don’t waste your time on a writing community like that, seriously, it isn’t worth it. I merely write this post to help others decide where to upload their work. Online writing communities are a great way to make friends, share your work and get readers, but it’s risky. I always tell people now to test out a community for three months and see how it goes. If you see those warnings signs, walk away.

For writers, above anything, your goals should be this:

Writing Community Memes_3

This post is way over my 500-word limit, but I hoped you learned something from it. My question to you is:

What writing community do you use? Have you noticed any of these things?

 

(PS. I haven’t noticed any of these things on Writing.com or Tapas. Gif is from giphy.com, and I made the memes.)

 

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Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

First and foremost, this post isn’t about the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing. There are already plenty of blog posts, books, and articles about the various methods of publishing.

Today, this post is about which path I should take for my stories. As Clash of Tides goes through beta, rewrite, and then editing, I’m getting ever closer to the publishing phase. For the past few weeks, I kept thinking about what route I want to take. Honestly, I already know the benefits of both, but the scary thing is knowing which one will work for me.

With self-publishing, I’m in control of everything, so I do like that aspect. When I originally wrote Clash of Tides, it was for New Adults, especially for other black women who don’t see diversity with lead female characters. I know for a fact that publishers will have writers change their stories to fit more of a Young Adult audience. For Clash of Tides, I want Elena to be in her 20s, period. Personally, I don’t like how publishers will force writers to change their work, but I get why they do it.

Then again, maybe I’m just scared. Submitting a query letter to an agent isn’t has nervewracking as self-publishing. Sometimes, I wonder if I want to spend all that money myself – cover design, editor, marketing, etc.

Basically, all the below:

publishing

(taken from giphy.com)

Right now, I’m tired of feeling the disappointment and failure with my work. It feels no matter how hard I try, I never get a payoff. The thoughts of self-publishing and then barely seeing any reviews on my work would probably depress me, especially after all the money I spent. Then again, I know other writers go through the same things all the time. However, there is just something unsettling knowing that writers who write fanfiction online get paid more than a writer who actually tried to self-publish decent, original work. I mean, I know for a fact that some fanfiction writers get $300-$600 every three months from ad-revenue for stories that aren’t their own. And yet, a self-published writer who got betas, paid for cover art and an editing service won’t even crack $50 a month. Maybe that’s just the age we live in, but it doesn’t make me want to jump on the self-publishing thing. Mostly, it makes me want to quit writing and just learn something else.

Also, with how readership is these days, most readers don’t want to buy books. They want everything for free. I question how I would feel posting my hard work for only .99 cents and not getting one purchase. Sadly, readers rather pay $5 for a Starbucks drink than a writer’s story.

Ultimately, it’s a tough decision, and me, and you, as a writer have to decide. I’m at that point where I don’t even want to post my work online anymore. I mostly just want to write the stories I want to read and then store them on my hard drive for my eyes only.

As a writer, I know it’s not good to think that way, but the road taken has already broken me, and the road not taken may destroy me. Decisions Decisions. Well, at least with traditional publishing, if my stories got accepted, I would be overjoyed!

Now since Clash of Tides is almost put to rest, I have so many new stories I’m working on. All characters will be in their 20s, so New Adult to Adult stories. I don’t want to change that. There is already enough YA stories, and sadly, I feel most of them are the same. They are pretty much different settings, different characters, and the same storylines. A special teenage girl snowflake goes on a journey, meets a hot guy, defeats the villain, and then has a happy ending. I feel it’s time for something new to come along.

Whoa! That was longer than I thought it would be. Sorry if this came off like ranting, but I felt these are important things to consider. Thanks for reading, and I want to know,

“Do you have any fears about self-publishing or traditional publishing? If you already have done either, what was it like?”