21 HEALTH WARNINGS FOR PUBLISHED AND UNPUBLISHED AUTHORS
4 March, 2016 | By Goldie Alexander
These very clever hints come from Hazel Edward’s ‘AUTHORPRENEURSHIP” , an excellent introduction for new and published authors
- Never write too close to home, or family and friends may be upset, disown you or sue. However, if you don’t care and you want to issue some payback, it gives you the last word.
- Keep your author photo within 5 years of your real face and shape.
- Murphy’s Lore- the cost of Bank exchange fees to convert from foreign sales may exceed your income from obscure currencies with lots of zeros.
- Readers often assume fiction is autobiography, especially the sexual parts. You may or may not want to disillusion them.
- Use different signatures for autograph and credit cards to avoid being scammed.
- A ‘thesis’ does not a novel make…
- Research thoroughly but don’t include it in your novel. You will end up with a long and tedious bore. Make it seem as that world you are writing about is what your characters take for granted.
- Beware of pirates, of the on-line intellectual property kind, and of vanity publishers who are only after your money.
- ‘Prolific’ is a put-down so when you are asked for a bio, find other adjectives.
- Avoid using adverbs unless quite necessary. Same goes for adjectives. Use verbs instead.
- If you can find one word where two previously existed, use it.
- If you use a pseudonym, remember it.
- Show don’t tell, is still the golden rule.
- Back up! Your computer will crash on deadline and the technician will earn more in 15 minutes than your entire royalty period.
- Be wary of flattery! What have you written? Anything I might have read? Are you famous? Or – I loved your book. I got it for 10 cents from the op-shop.
- I carry a card that lists some of my most recent books. It stops people in their tracks when they ask, ‘What book have you written?’
- When children ask how old I am, I say ‘That, and a bit more.’
- When they ask ‘How much money do you make?” I say, ’Not enough.’
- When strangers ask if you will read the picture story book they are thinking of writing because it will be short and therefore easy, advise them to take a creative writing course. Same goes for their memoir.
- When you are asked for free books or free speaking time, mention that you also have to make a living.
- And in the same vein, when you are asked for too many favours from family and friends that takes your writing time, remind them that this is work time for you.
Despite these warnings, the creative health of most authors is enriched by the imaginative satisfaction of their work. Retirement is rarely an option and however hard the going, never recommended.
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