To Print (on demand) or Not Print (on demand); That is the Question

Food for thought, thanks to JW Manus.

QA Productions

quinnzoo4I’ve been doing a lot of print-on-demand editions here of late. The majority of my clients are using CreateSpace, and a few use Lightning Source/Ingrams. I haven’t had anybody reporting huge print sales or widespread placement in bookstores (yet). I think bottom line for most (right now) is they like having the option, but moreso, there is immense satisfaction in having a tangible copy of their creation. Quite a few, I think, are looking toward the future. As indie publishers increase both their physical and financial presence, brick-and-mortar bookstores and libraries will have no choice except to look to indie publishers to find the stock their customers demand. As demand increases, the technology is going to get better and it will get cheaper. (On a personal note, I’d love a future where EVERY book is print-on-demand, because I hate waste and I hate the idea of books being pulped.)


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Presenting Protagonists Placed in Prison

Thank you Dave Astor for this ‘captivating’ post.

Dave Astor on Literature

In last week’s post about author aliases, I mentioned a couple of writers (O. Henry and Voltaire) who spent time in jail. That gave me the idea to focus this week’s post on some of literature’s incarcerated characters.

Yes, I know all characters are imprisoned inside book covers or Kindles, and are sentenced to appear in sentences. But only some protagonists are actually caged in fictional slammers.

Being in jail can certainly make for dramatic, intense reading. Is the character guilty or innocent? A “regular” prisoner or a political prisoner? In a brutal facility or (if rich enough) a “country club” jail? On death row? A prisoner of war? Is racism involved? How is the detainee dealing with the loss of freedom? How long before release? Is an escape planned or possible? Etc. All of that can “raise the bars” in keeping a viewer glued to the page.

In Charles…

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To be avoided like the plague!

Some on what not to write, courtesy of Jack Eason.

Have We Had Help?


It would be fair to say that some new writers fall into one or two of the inevitable hidden traps lurking within the world of words from time to time. Here are just a few examples.


Let’s start by talking about one aspect of your book’s characters. Never ever reveal everything there is to know about them in one go. Think about it for a moment. Isn’t it far better to gradually find out tidbits of information about your friends, family members and work colleagues? Of course it is. The same applies to your characters. So why tell your readers everything you feel they need to know about them within the first few paragraphs?

Next we come to one of my pet hates – stating the obvious. Just because most of us at some point or other have done it in real life, doesn’t make it acceptable. You don’t…

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…Susan Toy outlines 10 Ways to Kill Your Writing…Part Two…

Thank you Seumas and Susan for sharing.

Seumas Gallacher


…I’m delighted to run a five-days consecutive series of posts from my terrific pal, Author, Susan Toy, for every author to enjoy and prob’ly learn lots from… here’s PART TWO :

10 Ways to Kill Your Writing

This 5-part article is from a talk I gave at the Calgary Public Library Writers’ Weekend Feb. 4, 2012.

Thanks to all of you for reading this series that is very kindly being hosted by the ONE, the ONLY, SEUMAS GALLACHER!

Part 2

  1. Copy others and don’t search for and develop your own voice

When I first began writing creatively, I had already enjoyed a long career in bookselling and as a sales rep for publishers. During that time, I got to meet everyone – and I mean everyone!

Gail Bowen was one author I worked with who became a friend and I wanted to be just like her – writing mysteries…

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Writing Wednesday: Stylistic Advice and Why We Loathe It

Everyone’s style is unique and there are readers that like very different types of writing, so ‘one size does not fit all’. Thanks for sharing such an interesting post.

Piss, Coffee, and Vinegar


Writing Wednesday: Stylistic Advice And Why We Loathe It

There are three pieces of ‘writing advice’ I see mouthed by pretty much every Internet denizen who has ever put pen to notepad. These are:

1) Never use passive voice.
2) Adverbs are the sweet, sweet children of Satan, and you should never use them.
3) Never use any speech tag aside from ‘said’. Or, conversely: use ANY speech tag that ISN’T said.

I take exception to all three of these. There’s a place for passive voice, a place for adverbs, places where ‘said’ is/isn’t appropriate. Can you guess why I’m bringing this up?

Yes, it’s because I’m going to offer you writing advice. It is, indeed, Writing Wednesday. And my writing advice takes the form of this simple, easy to follow rule:


Writing is a creative discipline, just like painting or acting. And when I start…

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