Sunday, November 25, 2012

In the Act of Borrowing from Myself

I posted this on my website,, and I like it enough to add it here. Think of giving this gift to your favorite writers, whoever they may be, this holiday season!

As a publisher and author,** I have read a lot about how books come to be bought and sold. There are detailed marketing plans and some clever ideas out there, but here is how it works: readers buy books that are recommended by a trusted person. Don't you?

Of course that trusted person could be a famous reviewer with a national following, but he or she is more likely to be a friend or family member. Sometimes he or she is a total and anonymous stranger. I've gone to Amazon just to read reviews, haven't you?

So if you've read a book that pleases you, make the author smile. Write a review for or for Tell five people. Buy it for a friend.

The author who has sold millions of copies and the one who has sold tens of copies have this in common. They were readers before they were writers. And when they put the hours, days, weeks, months and years into a book, all they want is for one reader to like it and to tell another reader about it.

I promise that's true. You may be thinking that Fame and Fortune must be involved, because why else would someone spend years on such an uncertain enterprise. I will promise you something else. F & F are rare in this crazy enterprise. Where they do exist, it is because way back in the misty past, one person liked a book and told another person about it.

So ultimately, if you love to read, it's worth your time to make a writer smile. It is what keeps him or her going.

**Until Proven: a Mystery in 2 Parts, written by Nora Gaskin, published by Lystra Books and Literary Services, LLC.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

When Do I Get to Write Again?

I'm beginning to come out of the publishing tunnel. I've learned so much, getting Until Proven: A Mystery in 2 Parts out for the world to read (and in time for Christmas, too!) but it has been all-consuming for months.

Now I know what to expect when I do it again. Now I know what none of the numerous guides to self-publishing bother to tell you. Hence the tunnel.

Two nights in a row, I dreamed that I was running around in public places without much in the way of clothing on. You know, a good old anxiety dream. And I developed a twitch in my upper lip. I had to fight off a head cold. Could these things be related to the last details of publishing? You think?

I worked on Until Proven for more than three years before I declared it "ready" and shipped it off to the book designer at the end of June 2012. I never doubted that I had a good story and I am confident that I told it well. So why the nerves? Because now the book is in the hands of the judges--my readers. You.

The responses have been gratifying. The cold didn't develop. The questionable dreams have stopped. The lip doesn't twitch when I smile.

And my imagination is bugging me. It won't take three years for the next piece of work into the light. I have two things, one short and one long, waiting for reworking, reimagining and polishing. All for you. Watch this space.