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Timothy Fish
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I’ll agree that a convention isn’t the best way to see a city. I went to a convention in Fort Smith, AR back in April. I spent the little free time I had locating a body shop, a glass repair shop and the Avis counter at the airport.
You’re joking right? It’s been a few years since I’ve spent much time in St. Louis, but unless it’s really gone downhill since then, to say that the only thing worth doing in St. Louis is seeing the Arch is ridiculous beyond belief. My experience in St. Louis has been that it has things to do that are better than what I’ve found in the DFW metroplex and I don’t mean that to criticize the metroplex because there are some high quality things to do around here.
There are still publishers out there that will only publish material that meets the strict doctrinal guidelines of their organization. Many of these publishers rely partly on donations from churches that are in agreement with their doctrine. While they do hope to reduce their dependence on donations the donations give them the freedom to publish some of those “commentaries and reference tools that aren’t necessarily commercial but still have value to believers.” Though these publishers have taken a financial hit recently, I don’t expect to see them go away anytime soon. As the main stream publishers lean more toward ecumenism and less toward teaching specific doctrines, I expect that churches will be more easily persuaded that there is value in supporting these publishers, both through buying their product and through financial gifts.
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2010 on More on the industry at Chip MacGregor .com
No, but A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court comes awfully close with a factory worker/blacksmith/horse-doctor. Twain was closer to those things than most of us are today, but though your point is well taken, the fact is that good writers must find a way to write about characters who do things the writer hasn't experienced personally. Even if the protagonist is a carbon copy of the author, the villain is likely to be involved in things the authors hasn't experienced and yet the villain is as important, if not more important, than the protagonist.
What you call packaging appears to be what most of the people who use services like Lulu and Createspace are doing. Do you see benefit in making specific distinctions when referring to activities that are commonly called "self-publishing?"
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2010 on Defining a Packager at Chip MacGregor .com
I see sharing as a good thing, within reason. As some have noted, there is some information that should not be shared with the general population, such as credit card numbers. And while revealing our location probably isn't going to significantly increase the chance of our house being robbed, because people already have a good idea of when we'll be gone anyway, that doesn't mean that we should reveal all information. One commentor said that "the absence of fear is Freedom." I couldn't disagree more. Fear, when we have a fear of the right things, is a healthy thing. We fear fire, for example, and know to teach our children not to play with matches. The parent who doesn't have that fear may experience the death of a child and be jailed for negligence. This is not freedom. And while fear is sometimes used by religion to control, a fear of God is a healthy thing. God kills people and sends wicked people to hell. When facing a God like that, it is healthy to fear him and seek to understand how to avoid his judgement. In like fashion, while sharing information can be a good thing, there are plenty of people who will take that information and use it against us, if they can find a way to do it. It is healthy for us to fear that and be selective of what information we make available.
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I have my doubts about iPad because it falls into what may be a no man's land. It isn't powerful enough to be a good laptop replacement and it is too large to carry on your belt or in a purse. If they travel, people will still want their laptop. They may not want another $500 device to worry about. On the bright side, if people do actually start using iPad as a book reader, as a software developer, I see great potential for rich content books. It won't do much for fiction, but color on every page and the possibility of demonstrating concepts rather than just writing about them is something intriguing.
Toggle Commented Feb 3, 2010 on The Two Biggest Things at Chip MacGregor .com
I suppose we all do have a slush pile for the blogs we choose to read. Mine is in Google Reader. At least once a day, I scan down through the list and if something catches my eye I read it. There are a few I will read almost everyday because the blogger has a history of writing worthwhile posts. But for other blogs and when a favorite blogger has a guest, I may skip that post and let it disappear into the oblivion of the previously read items.
Toggle Commented Jan 18, 2010 on An addendum to Sandra's post at Chip MacGregor .com
Chip, I agree with most of what you said, though there are cheaper ways to self-publish a book with an ISBN. When an author chooses that route, it is good to consider all the options and the trade-offs. Editing is the major killer for most of us, whether we intend to self-publish or just want someone to help us make our manuscript the best it can be before we send our queries. You talk of hiring a professional editor, but the quality of work put out by professional editors seems to be hit and miss. When we see prices like $7,000 to edit a full length novel, we begin to question just how much we care if the book has a few mistakes or not. Besides, we aren't sure what we're going to get for our money. I opened up the writing book that seems to be the topic of the week and found a mistake on the first page. This is a book on writing, put out by a traditional publisher that we assume hired at least one professional editor and yet there it is for everyone to see. I don't mean to sound like I'm saying that traditional publishers do as poor of a job as self-publishers. What I mean to point out is that since people expect self-published books to have problems, the only way for editing to pay for itself is if it produces a book that surprises people for its lack of mistakes, but how can we do that when even traditional publishers are having trouble finding competent editors? I don't have the option to try someone on a few books to see how it goes. I have one book and I would like for it to be perfect on the first time out.
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2009 on A Lesson in Self-Publishing at Chip MacGregor .com
"If you can't sell your book -- either by speaking to a group or pitching them to your organization or offering them to your regular readers, don't self-publish. You'll just lose money." That's part of the reason that, even though I am a fan of self-publishing, I have stayed away from these publishing package companies. Money isn't a major concern, since I like my day job, but I don't want to just throw money away. If someone could show me that those packages would help me sell more books, then I might be interested, but if my extra thousand dollars doesn't produce enough book sales to cover it, I see no reason why I shouldn't spend the minimum amount to accomplish my goals.
Toggle Commented Nov 21, 2009 on Responding to Self Publishing at Chip MacGregor .com
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