Print, Printing, and Prints
Tuesday evening’s Gents Night Out started with John and I, on our own, and after our usual jovial salutations, we talked about putting things into print.
John visited me last week and guided me through the placing of Monkey Temple on CreateSpace at Amazon. Then, when it was up, he talked me through the placing of the same text on Kindle. Now both are available online. He has read Monkey Temple and was kind enough to give it an online review (and a 5 star rating). He tells me it is his favorite among my books. Julie Gordon, another good friend from an online writing course we shared, has also read Monkey Temple, and she gave it another 5 star review, so it is doing well. Only one poem from Monkey Temple has appeared on this blog, Monkey’s FAQs. With it already in print, I may add an occasional poem to the blog, but I will not run through the whole text.
Though Lovers Be lost is also available on Amazon. John’s teaching was good, as I told him in our conversation, and I put TLBL up on my own. However, it is not yet available on Kindle, but it will be available soon. Now, Though Lovers Be Lost has appeared here on the blog in toto, so, if you, dear reader, have followed the blog and would like to contribute a review online … well, I would be very grateful.
I am just tidying up The Empress of Island and that manuscript, together with the flash fiction of Bistro, should go up on Amazon very soon. Two separate books, I should hasten to add. Again, with the amount of text from both that I have posted on this blog, if you have followed them, then please consider posting a review.
John himself is preparing yet another novel for publishing. We discussed the timeline and the structure of this novel, his twentieth, or twenty-first. He is trying to schedule gaps in the text of five years and ten years and is working out a plan to have all the characters age over those time spaces, not an easy task, as you can imagine, but then, John is a very good novelist. He gave me a signed copy of his novel, The Caroline, available online at Ex Libris, and Clare and I will be reading that, one after the other, if not together. You can find John on Amazon at John K. Sutherland, incidentally. You can find me most easily under my name and the book title: Roger Moore: Monkey Temple … that gets me every time. If you just type in my name, there is more 007 material than even James Bond and 100 secretaries could account for, all paid On Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service.
A knock at the window of The Second Cup, right behind me: John points over my shoulder, it is Kevin, come late, with the most attractive … now, you really don’t know what I am going to say next, although you think you do, … nine week old Habanese puppy in his arms. Of course, she can’t come in, so we go out to greet her. What a darling … I refused to touch her. Puppies are catching and I don’t want to catch one: too much bending and house training at my advanced and creaky age. If I can’t tie up my shoelaces, I can’t clean up after a poo-pee — that’s the French for a puppy, la poupée, oh no, my mistake, a poupée is a little doll — just what Kevin’s puppy is.
Kevin left the dog in the car — in the shade, windows down to give air circulation, cool evening — John and I lectured him — he didn’t need the lecture –. and we discussed Kevin’s week. Things are going well and he is juggling work, writing — he is finishing his first manuscript and has a contract — wow! — I look forward to giving news of the publication of his book on a future Wednesday Workshop — and he’s also working on a new and very secret PROJECT — about which we can say nothing except ssssh!
Kevin didn’t want to leave the poo-pee in the car for too long, especially since she was fond of climbing her way into the driving seat — remember Clyde? — oh no, not another Clyde! — and so we all soon made footprints. Alas, Chuck’s were covered with dust and sand and we didn’t see him this week. He is busy with a building project and also with his fourth novel — The Underwater Road — for which he, too, has a contract. His other novels are doing well. I have only read Steal It All … but I must say that Chuck Bowie is a master of mystery and intrigue, as I said on my online review.
So, this Wednesday’s Workshop is a potpourri: lots of announcements, friendships, changes in momentum, new editions, and new additions, and not so much literary criticism and theoretical musings. Ah well, life’s often like that.
See you all next Wednesday!
A question and an answer
Question: I am curious if you’ve ever had any of your short stories/poetry published in any lit. mag? I’m wondering because I am travelling down that publishing avenue and looking for advice when pitching to literary magazines. Although the general consensus seems to be that it’s a wholly tough market to get into!
Tales from the Trunk — https://trunktalessite.wordpress.com/
Answer: I have published about 135 poems in literary magazines, mainly in Canada. This happened mainly in the ’80’s and ’90’s when the market was probably a little bit easier to break into. I have also published 14 or 15 short stories (and won some awards and honorable mentions, same with poetry, too, incidentally). It seems to me that there are two distinct ways to go: (1) Submit, submit, submit: paper your walls with reject slips, keep going, keep improving, no matter what, don’t give up, ever. You must be stubborn and believe that your work is worth continuing with and BETTER than what those who are rejecting you think it is. Mind you: listen to them, keep reading, check your markets, revise your work in accordance to what editors think (if they make suggestions), and, above all, be as stubborn as a mule or worse. I did that for years and then I started to take route #2: (2) Go Indie and publish your own work. With route #1 behind me, I knew who I was and what I was writing. If other people didn’t like it, that was their problem. Sure: I am a Welshman, writing in English, in Canada, about Spain, Mexico, and Wales … duh … so, as they keep telling me, it’s just not marketable. Why not write about the Maple Trees turning red and Maple syrup … duh … going Indie led me into two further directions. (A) I published my own collections, paid for them myself and, in a fit of pique, gave them away free to my friends, “because my poetry is too precious to sell for money”! NB I had a full time job and could afford to do this. (B) I am now publishing via CreateSpace (Amazon.com). This is for free and easy to do. There are other options out there. Some ask you for cash up front …. I wouldn’t pay for their services. Others are free and excellent. I also recommend Smashwords or is it Wordsmash? Anyway, it’s also free and you can control where your books go and what they do. I chose Amazon because I had a persuasive friend who talked me through the process. If you have someone who can talk you through the process, any process, of publishing online, that helps. If you have a writing group THAT IS HONEST WITH YOUR WORK — that is essential. You must have some reliable readers who can step up and say: “No, that is not up to your usual standard” or “No, you can do better than this.”Good luck and best wishes, and yes, if I can answer your questions and help, I most certainly will.