Wednesday Woo: Are You A Hack?

Seth Godin’s blog post this morning struck a nerve for me (it’s only four lines–go read it)

The critic as an amateur hack

Not only is it super easy for us to think of ourselves as critics worth listening to, but writers worth reading.

Let’s never mind the critics since they are so unreliable. How do we determine whether our efforts deserve the reader’s time and money? Or even our own time and resources?

Do you care about the quality of your work? By whose standards do you measure it?

Do you even question the works value? Or is producing it the payback? What makes a work so self-serving merit readers attention?

If you haven’t considered whether the work you are producing is worthy of what you are asking for it (a reader’s time and money) then you are a hack.

But, that’s just my opinion, take it for it’s worth.

Wednesday Woo: Recent News in Publishing

There were several interesting news item involving the publishing industry I though would be of interests. Here they are…

Jack White Founds Publishing Company

Free Access to New Yorker this Summer

Best Selling Author Pen Letter to Amazon  also  Why Amazon Terrifies Publishers

Librerio Launches New ebook Publishing Platform


What to you all think about this?

Amazon Isn’t Killing Writing, The Market Is


Wednesday Woo: The Business of Being a Writer

This weeks topic, The Business of Being a Writer, was inspired by questions from Satin at our Plum Island Coffee Roasters Sunday Writer’s meeting. She asked about what type of taxes writes pay and general questions about being a sole proprietor. Sounds like a good Wednesday Woo topic, thanks Satin!

This is a basic overview of being a sole proprietor. It explains self-employment taxes, the rules regarding whether your writing is a professional pursuit or merely a hobby. Also, what types of information to keep track of, expenses, and deductions.

Tax Advise for Writers

Kristen Lamb is one of my favorite writer resources. She is a social media expert who can help you build your brand and platform. A visionary community builder, she has many post that will serve you well as professional writer. Explore her site, but in particular these posts…

Death and Taxes: A Writer’s Guide to Keeping More of What You Make

Authors of the Digital Age-What it Takes to Be a Real Author CEO

Warrior Writer-Formula for Disaster Meets the Recipe for Success (part I)


I hope someday one of us is in the position to consider if they need to establish a LLC or S-Corporation.

Tax Tips for Authors: LLC or S-Corporation

Should Authors and Illustrators Form and LLC  (And Other Business Questions)?

Well, that should get started thinking about whether or not you are a professional writer or a hobbiest. I’ll remind you that neither is a question of quality regarding your writing, but of time and expense according to the tax code.




Wednesday Woo: Beta Readers

Mom has read your book, heaped praise upon your head for its cleverness, and depth of human emotion, then proceeded to tell everyone she knows that it is the best thing she’s ever read. Congrats.

But unless your mother is an editor at Doubleday, your book still needs some help. Help in the form of beta readers, especially those willing to risk bruising your ego to assist you in putting out a quality product.

What constitutes a quality product is subjective, even the most poorly written work’s premise can still be a good story. This is a compilation of views on what a bad book is or isn’t–The Top 40 Bad Books.

Let’s assume you’re looking to produce something to be proud of. You’ve done all you can by ensuring it is your very best work to date, and have put in the grueling hours of revisions and edits. It is now time to let someone else give you their two cents.

I’m serious about you needing to care about the product you’re sending out into the world. It represents you. It says something about who you are as writer and a person. As a reader, I have no respect for writers who ask me to shell out my hard earned money for something they didn’t deem worthy enough to seek help with.

Sure, there are a few writers able to edit their own work, just as there are beta readers whose skills are on par with a professional content editor, but they are few and far between.

Stop resisting doing the right thing for expediency. Get your beta readers lined up and let them fire away. How to Find A Beta Reader

Beta Reader Guidelines

Self-publishing is far too easy. It means anyone can do it regardless of quality, regardless of the consumer, regardless of how this reflects on other self-published authors. Vanity publishing serves only ego, not the craft of writing, or the business of being an author.

Here’s a test. Would you be embarrassed to send your book to a traditional publisher, or a literary agent? Then stop right there. Save up every penny you can, put off publishing for a year, even two, get yourself a professional content editor and polish that work till it shines. Only then, when it is worthy of it’s price tag, release it into the world amid as much fanfare as you can muster knowing you’ve done the best job you possible could, for yourself, your fellow authors, your readers and the self-publishing industry as a whole.

15 Ways to Find a Beta Reader

How to Tackle Those Critique Notes

Beta Readers on deviant Art

6 Tips for Picking Your Beta Readers

Wednesday Woo: The Importance of Professionals

If you intend to self-publish you’ve inevitably come to the question of whether or not you need to hire professional editors, book cover designers or marketers.

The answer is YES, on all counts. The importance of professionals can not be underestimated. I will concede that there are very particular circumstances in which forgoing the pros can be acceptable. For instance, if this a vanity publication and you are doing it just for the satisfaction of seeing your name in print. You can probably skip spending the money on the pros.

Do you expect to, or need to make a profit from publishing this book? Or will you be happy to have your friends and family buy your work?

Do you aspire to have your book in retail outlets and wish to reach a wide audience?

Discriminating book buyers will not find your work acceptable if it hasn’t been polished.

To put the best product out there you’ll need an editor.

Here are a few why’s, how-tos and how not to of hiring an editor.