C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

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Writing and Publishing: It’s not too late

I’ve heard from several people about their experiences at the London Book Fair. After writing two books about publishing, writing this blog for years and publishing fifteen books or so, sometimes it feels like we’re all on the same page. We talk to each other so much about the depths of Independent publishing that we forget there are a lot of people for whom this is all brand new. They’re still hovering at the edge of the pool thinking the water looks too cold.

We’ve all read a snarky review or two that criticizes an instructional book as being “basic”, “nothing new here,” and “just for beginners.” Well, beginners need books, too. In fact, they really need them. I’ve made the mistake of thinking that, four or five years after establishing Ex Parte Press, everybody knows the basics. They don’t. It’s not old hat. It’s new hat. (That metaphor is really weird now that I see it in print. We’ll stick with the swimming metaphor from here on out.)

At the London Book Fair, author Joanna Penn mentioned that she had to explain what “KDP” meant to people. A lot of writers who have focussed their energies solely on traditional publishing don’t know the nitty nor the gritty of self-publishing yet. They’ve never dealt with the tiny details of formatting an ebook or hired a cover artist or had to fire an editor. This is wonderful news. It means you and I aren’t too late to the game. You’re already in, reading this blog, listening to podcasts about publishing and ahead of many who are still considering whether they should wait another year for an agent to find them and then maybe…maybe…maybe….

Meanwhile, we’re writing, publishing and selling books now. It’s good to get in early and, to my surprise, it’s still early.

Today I’m at London’s Central Library from 11 to 2 p.m. I’ll give a highly entertaining reading, meet some author friends I haven’t seen for a while and mingle with readers. I’ll sign and sell my books and answer some questions on a panel. Most of the audience will be readers.

Someone I meet today is a writer, but they aren’t a writer/publisher yet. By this afternoon, they could begin. They could choose themselves. They could stop waiting and start making their dreams come true. I hope so. C’mon in. The water’s warm.

Beginners welcome. Now swim!

Filed under: author events, author platform, author Q&A, author reading, book signings, business, Friday Publishing Advice Links, London Book Fair, publishing, robert chazz chute, self-publishing, suspense, writing, writing tips

Writer Links: Stephen King, evil editors and plugging plot holes

Stephen King, American author best known for h...

Image via Wikipedia

You’ve already worked hard today, right? Take a break.

Here are some useful links for your Friday afternoon:

Stephen King’s Top 7 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer

Editors are evil, and other fairy stories‏

AOS: How to avoid inconsistencies and plot holes

The Must-Have Writing Routine‏


Filed under: authors, Editing, Editors, Friday Publishing Advice Links, Useful writing links, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , , ,

Resistance is futile: Social media, doc trailers and blog vision

I just watched about as much as I could stand (not much) of a documentary called We Live In Public. It’s about internet pioneer and visionary Josh Harris. In 1989, he was a nobody researcher in New York. But he saw the Internet coming and capitalized on it. He was one of the young multimillionaires who hit it big before the locus of Internet power went to Silicon Valley and the west coast. It’s not that the documentary is particularly bad. It’s just that if they had a big point to make, it’s either out of date or they buried the lead the past the first half hour.

Here’s the deal: The future of books is digital. Arguably, the present of books is digital. After this Christmas, even more so because wow, are there ever going to be a lot of Nooks, Kindles, Sony Readers, iPads etc.,… unwrapped on the morning of December 25th!

We are all connected. What was once metaphorical is now electronic. We consume digitally, therefore we are. (That’s not all good, by the way. The planet will suffer and in turn, make us suffer for our rampant consumerism, but that’s another post. For a great documentary on that issue, check out How to Boil a Frog or take a look at this trailer.)


The point is, We Live in Public documents how one guy saw future possibilities and so stepped in to make them happen. What was once sagacious is now a mundane truism, the I-told-you-so stuff makes you feel bad if you happened to be around at the birth of the Internet and are still poor.

The technology has changed again. And yet, there are the still modern-day Luddites. I recently connected with a bunch of editors on Linked In. Good folks. Smart, interesting people all…but that doesn’t mean they are like-minded. I ran into some people who were disparaging Twitter as a marketing source. They intoned sagely about the Law of Diminishing Returns kicking in.

I’ve already blogged about the proper use of Twitter, so I won’t pound away on it here. However, there was a general sense from some that they were being dragged screaming into the present. No matter how hard opportunities pull, some people want to resist the allure precisely because it’s the shiny new thing. It’s a knee-jerk contrarianism that won’t serve them considering what they say they want to achieve. (For instance, yes, studies say you catch more edits if you edit hard copy on dead trees. Too bad. Adapt. Learn to edit the pixellated stuff. The efficiency lost in editing websites on paper isn’t worth it.) Still, their knuckles are white as they cling to Future’s door frame no matter how hard possibilities pull.

Yesterday a friend complimented me on the many useful writing and publishing links on this blog. (Insert smile of pride here.) I take the curation of useful information very seriously here. And where do I find all those great links? Mostly from Twitter because it pushes information to me that I wouldn’t necessarily think to find on a search engine. Also, some links wouldn’t be in the first few pages of a search term I’d think to use.

The people I follow, the living and breathing humans behind those Twitter avatars, are sending me links all the time and I’m boiling down what I find into the elixir I find most intriguing and useful for my readers. Some of those readers will be authors some day, either published traditionally or self-published. They have websites that need editing. They’ll need my help beyond the information I provide here. I’m ready.

But, the foot-draggers object, is all this translating into present-day moolah? Nope. Not yet. I’m working fairly steadily on my freelance gigs and expanding my sphere of influence. When I worked in publishing in Toronto I had to meet people in person to do that.

Now I’m reaching out from my office in a house that’s much cheaper than what it would cost t in T.O. My kids go to a great school and I feel well-placed and cozy here by the wood stove and the warm glow of the world through my screen, reaching through my keyboard. I’m building my brand (and things have really taken off lately as more people find Chazz Writes. Thank you if you’ve already spread the word!) I’ve had other blogs but this one hasn’t really been up long. It’s already delivering intangibles (i.e. My God, this is fun and instructive for me, too!) I’ve built it slower than I could have, but it’s a learning curve I’m climbing. I can see the top from here. I’m enjoying the view. This is going to be great!

I see the future.

I’m making it happen.



So, I’ve got passion and skills and a big dream…so what? Where’s the evidence?

Well, there’s this:

The Numbers Tell the Story: Why Social Media Matters

Filed under: Friday Publishing Advice Links, links, Twitter, Useful writing links

#Funny Pop Culture Sayings

Diagram presenting the context of surculture. ...

Image via Wikipedia

I was going to lay down some Cool Words of the Day on you this morning, but then I ran across this link:

50 Funniest Pop Culture Sayings That Made it to the Dictionary | Online College Tips

Cool and interesting. Enjoy!

PS More great publishing links coming later today. I have enough new publishing and writing advice links to fill a week’s worth of posts. I’m working on NaNoWriMo so I might load you up with some heavy link curation.

Filed under: Cool Phrases of the Day, Cool Word of the Day, Friday Publishing Advice Links, links, , ,

Friday Publishing Advice Links

iPad with on display keyboard

Image via Wikipedia

Sorry for the late post today. I’m feeling a bit under the weather, but that must not stop the great publishing links!

 To kick things off, the top link is a great review of the iPad as a writing tool. Mr. David Hewson confirms my opinion that iPad is a great information consuming tool. It’s not a productive writing tool. He’s got me excited about Android tablets as an intriguing alternative to the iPad.
Read his detailed review here: David Hewson.

Remember those old Ronco ads? But wait, there’s more!

A writer’s blog on taking the NaNoWriMo challenge.

I Want to Publish My Book. Now what?

How to Write for Love and Money

10 Marketing Excuses That Can Kill Your Book and Career | The Official BookBuzzr Blog

Interview with Richard Hine on building a better book trailer.

Will You Be An Independent Author? « BubbleCow

A writer in the final stages of the book polish contemplates the wait ahead.

And last, but not at all least from Roger C. Parker…(make a drumroll sound in your brain)…

The 100 best writing books
 More to come Monday morning, but first…a nap!


Filed under: Friday Publishing Advice Links, NanNoWriMo, publishing, self-publishing, web reviews, writing tips, , , , , , ,

Bestseller with over 1,000 reviews!
Winner of the North Street Book Prize, Reader's Favorite, the
Literary Titan Award, the Hollywood Book Festival, and the
New York Book Festival.


Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

You can pick this ebook up for free today at this link: http://bit.ly/TheNightMan

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