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SELF PUBLISHING UPDATES

by Fay Simon on 10/27/15

Some people self publish because they want to have total contol of their book.  Having a target audience for a non fiction story is a good reason.  More and more people with various genres are choosing this type of publishing.  Be careful there are a lot of dishonest people in the world.

Please check out the publisher with Writer Beware.  They are are good place for writers to research problem publishers.

I've recently talked to Xlibris for self publishing.  They have various packages to suit the author's needs and are willing to work with your budget. If you plan to go with them, contact me through this website and I will refer you.

Obviously, this is not the only publisher for self publishing.  There are many, so please be careful.  Look up the books that the company has published.  See what the succes rate is. Make sure the one you choose fits your needs.

Hope this helps.  Comments are welcomed.  Enjoy!

COVER ART

by Fay Simon on 05/18/15

Cover art is the design for the cover of a book whether in print or ebook.  Most authors don't think about anything but their story. Marketing and publicity comes in to play here.  A well written story is always important, but what catches the eye to make a potential reader open the book? The artwork.  There's a saying that we eat with our eyes first. The same applies with buying a book.

What draws people to open a tome? The cover art. Is there a picture that scares you or is so beautiful and calming that you just have to pick up the book?

We read the title and then flip it over to read the brief summary on the back. Now, we open the book. Here comes the well writen story.

Whether you have chosen to go with a traditional publisher or self-publish, the cover art is still important, but will you allow the publisher to provide the cover art or will you find someone to do it outside of the publisher?

I suggest you take a look at the cover of the books the publisher has already printed or published as ebooks.  Look good? Some are cute and others nice, however, what's going to make the book sell?

Send the web page to some friends and relatives. Ask them if any of the artwork compels them to pick up the book and read it.  This helps.

If you don't like the work of the publisher's art director consider getting an outside graphic designer.  Twitter is a good way to check out websites. 

My personal preference is Greg Palko of Palko Designs, LLC He will work wirh you on the fee and above all, he is one of the best in the business.  Look at my web page for SHADOW BENDER.  He did the cover art and the banner. I can't begin to tell you how many compliments I've had on the artwork. Although not yet launched, from the cover people want to know when they can buy it.

Greg is patient and will help you create an exquisite book cover.  Just tell him what you have in mind. He'll create the banner as well.

Now take a look at the banner for MIDNIGHT FANTASY the novel. Then take a look at the poster for MIDNIGHT FANTASY the screenplay. This not simply photo stock manipulation.  Displayed here is quality work.  Art that will attract the attention and get the product sold.

Keep in mind this information is from my persective and suggestion. Feel free to do as you wish.  Much success and prosperity whatever you do. 

Comments are welcome!  Enjoy!

 

FROM NOVEL TO SCREENPLAY

by Fay Simon on 02/11/15

Most anybody who writes a book wants to see it turned into a movie.  We think of many best sellers that we've seen as films, such as The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown; The Harry Potter franchise by J.K. Rowling; The Twilight Sage, by Stephenie Meyers; or The Hunger Games franchise by Suzanne Collins; and of late 50 Shades of Grey, by E.L. James.

All of these books were published first, received a best selling status, had a big fan base, and then some filmmaker got the idea of  turning the book into a movie.  Is that always the case?  What is better, publish the book first?  Get a fan base first? Or have the novel adapted to a screenplay or have a screenplay written based on an unpublished novel?

The answer is simple, whatever makes money.  If you can wait to see if your book take off as a best seller.  Go for it.  If you can turn that novel into a screenplay or know someone who can, go for it.  The upshot is always will it make money.  If you can find the producer or funds for the screenplay, that's all that counts.

Currently, I had an unpublished novel turned into a screenplay called Midnight Fantasy.  The novel has the same title of the romantic comedy.  There's the other thing to consider, the genre.  Rom coms or romantic comedies may or may not be popular at the time, however, if you can find funding, that's all that counts.  A very well written script is a big help.

The one I'm adapting is Shadow Bender, which will be released September 2015. It's from the novel of the same name, a Sci Fi.  Keep in mind there will be changes in going from book to movie.  Why?  Due to time constraints, the movie will for the most part be different from the book. Keep in mind one page of a script is one minute of screen time.

Publicity is very important.  Social media is a big help.  So is the news media, radio, podcast, and television.

In short, consider what is marketable, then go for it. 

If you have questions or comments, please post here.  Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

WRITING WITH PASSION

by Fay Simon on 01/18/15

Passion doesn't always mean emotion as a result of sexual stimulation or love.  It also doesn't mean what some religions use as the Passion of Christ.

I want to talk about the feeling for what you write.  Not that you have to be a serial killer if you write crime dramas, or that you have to be the terminally ill character in your latest story.  Passion is to at least have feelings for what you are trying to convey, regardless of whether it's a short story, novel, or screenplay.

It's been said that to write the best is to detach yourself from the story.  Well, the writings I see that are without passion are obvious.  The characters are cookie cutter types.  They fit the mold or formula of whatever they were writing whether it be a short story, novel, or screenplay, but the fire that makes that work burn in the heart and soul of the reader is not there.  This is why many scripts are only a success if the actors are skilled enough to bring the story to life.

An example of passion in writing is Andrew Lloyd Weber's The Phantom of the Opera.  This stage production has run longer than any in history.  Even its sequal, Love Never Dies, fell short, very short.  Why?  Because of the lack of passion.

ALW wrote the part of Chistine for Sara Brightman, the woman he loved and was married to at the time he was working on the original Phantom.  That love, that passion is there.  We still feel it today, long after the divorce of Sara and ALW.

Love Never Dies if filled with pain.  Passion of sorts, but it hurts and when we watch something for amusement, we want to feel happiness and perhaps love, especially if it's a musical, unless you went to see Sweeny Todd.  Still that stage production had a passion of sorts.

Anyone read Gone with the Wind?  Passion brimmed over the sides.  It reeked with all sorts of emotions.  If Margaret Mitchell had detached herself from her characters and the story, we wouldn't have the memorable novel or blockbuster film we all know and love today.

If you write screenplays, it will show your emotion or lack of as well.  List your favorite horror film for example.  Do any of them display "passion?" I know you are thinking of Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, or some awful gory thing you watched on Chiller.  The only passion here is kill, kill, kill!  In essences, there is no grand emotion.

The Omen had passion.  Rosemary's Baby, the original one, had passion.  They scared the daylights out of me. 

Keep in mind that you can write without feelings for your story and characters, but what puts them above all others is "passion." 

Hope this helps.  Please leave comments. Happy writing!

 

WHERE TO FIND PUBLISHERS 2

by Fay Simon on 11/01/14

Sorry I haven't gotten back into the swing of writting blogs.  I guess getting well from being in the hospital takes some time.  Then there's the social media.  So much to do and so little time.

The Writer's Market is one place to find publishers.  The book can found in libraries, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, and most any place one can find books. If you are going to use the book, please use one that's in the current year. The information changes so rapidly it's useless to look up information in an old edition.  Even with the current year, something will be changed by the time it's in print.

If possible, use http://www.writersmarket.com/ . The online version doesn't cost that much for the year and is updated often.  It gives you a place to record your submissions and there is a place where articles are found in helping writers in various ways.

Another good source for publishers is http://myperfectpitch.com/home/ My Perfect Pitch.  There is a lot of information and a list of publishers dividied by genre.

Keep in mind, nothing is fool proof.  As much as these websites try to weed out the frauds and scams, there still might be a crook lurking about somewhere. 

One of the best websites I've found for listing the frauds and crooks in the publishing business is Writer Beware http://www.victoriastrauss.com/writer-beware/ .  I've refered to them many times and have never been disappointed. 

If you need legal help one of the best places I've found is California Lawyers for the Arts http://www.calawyersforthearts.org/ .  They even have a referral service for a minimal price.

Most of these sites talk about self publishing, getting an agent, and other related information.  Some of these websites I might have mentioned before, but they are worth repeating.

Hope this helps.  If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask.  Leave a comment or question and I will get back to you ASAP.  Thank you.  Enjoy!

FAVORITE LINKS
http://novelsbyfaysimon.homestead.com/Home.html Novels by Fay Simon
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SHADOW BENDER
MIDNGHT FANTASY
MIDNIGHT FANTASY THE SCREENPLAY