Reality Check For Authors #26:

It is what it is#26: It Is What It Is

There are no guarantees that life will go smoothly, or that when you least expect it the universe won’t throw you a curve ball you are ill prepared to catch: one that interrupts all your best laid plans, writing deadlines and social media schedules.
Reality Check #26: It Is What It Is. Life happens, so be prepared to make adjustments to those hard held deadlines. Cut yourself some slack when the muse refuses to be moved. Stop beating yourself up because you didn’t make your daily word count. And remember, the world won’t end because that two-per-year-book you promise you made a vow to complete, isn’t going to happen – at least not now.

Barnes & Noble’s Dirty Little Secret: Author Solutions and Nook Press

Shady is as shady does. Has B&N finally lost their friggin minds? It would seem so.

David Gaughran

NookPressAuthorSolutionsNook Press – Barnes & Noble’s self-publishing platform – launched a selection of author services last October including editing, cover design, and (limited) print-on-demand.

Immediate speculation surrounded who exactly was providing these services, with many – including Nate Hoffelder, Passive Guy, and myself – speculating it could be Author Solutions. However, there was no proof.

Until now.

A source at Penguin Random House has provided me with a document which shows that Author Solutions is secretly operating Nook Press Author Services. The following screenshot is taken from the agreement between Barnes & Noble and writers using the service.


You will see that the postal address highlighted above for physical submission of manuscripts is “Nook Press Author Services, 1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, Indiana.”

Author Solutions, Bloomington, Indiana. Image courtesy of Wikimedia, uploaded by Vmenkov, CC BY-SA 3.0 Author Solutions, Bloomington, IN. Image from Wikimedia, by Vmenkov, CC BY-SA 3.0

There’s something else located at that address: Author Solutions US headquarters in Bloomington…

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Reality Check For Authors #25: Great Storytelling is Like Great Cheesecake

Check no. 25 Storytelling and Cheesecake

Reality Check For Authors: #24 Are All ‘Arks’ Created Equal

images (11) #24   Are All ‘Arks’ Created Equal

We all know the story of The Flood and how Noah built an ark, filled it with family and friends, then took a year long cruise. A story with a beginning, a middle and an end. Crisis, journey>climax, resolution. A story told by innumerable cultures in vast and colorful ways. Each adding their own spin to a classic tell.

Reality Check #26: The art of telling and weaving stories has been around for – well just about forever. And in all that time, the basics haven’t really changed. Just like the story of Noah And The Ark, every story has it own ‘arc’ of creation. Adventures told in threes acts – beginning, middle and end. Characters on a mission, who have to over coming obstacles, that bring them to a climax, which then gains them a prize. The difference is in the telling  or how you, as the author and finisher of your work, tell the tellin‘. 

Reality Check For Authors #23: Knowing the Beginning From the End


“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”  Ray Bradbury

Writing a stand-alone novel has as many challenges to it as writing the same story in a series. Each comes with its own blend of how-the-hell-do-I-tell-this-in-350-pages-or-less, kind of tension. For the stand alone, it’s a one time shot. For the same story to be told over a number of books, it’s the whole, bringing-resolution-without-end dilemma or, how much of the story gets revealed in book one, how much in book two and so on. Neither one is easy. Both require the author to think beyond the moment. To stretch their imagination to encompass the whole and not just the part.

Reality Check #23: Whether you’re a panzier or a plotter, knowing the beginning, middle and end of the story before you write it, is as important in the series as it is in the stand-alone (unless of course your R.A Salvatore’s Drizzit Do’urde, whose immortality gives the author endless opportunities). Why? Because if you don’t know where your going, how will your characters?



Reality Check For Authors #22: Failure – A Writer’s Platform to Success

images (11)For most newbie authors (and some not so new) getting the story right the first time means fewer moments of feeling as though what you’ve just written, is garbage. It’s a way of passively robbing the editor in your head of the power to criticize, critique or comment in general. It’s the perfectionist, type a personality disorder, that drives you into thinking that ‘real writers’ never make mistakes, never write anything bad, and the only revisions they ever make are grammatical.

Reality Check for Authors:  Just as most entrepreneurs will tell you, for every success they experienced,  there were umpteen million failures that preceded it, so most successful authors will tell you, for every bestseller they wrote, there is a wastebasket filled with ten other stories, that weren’t.  In other words, in order for an author to really succeed, they must first learn to see everything, good, bad or otherwise, as a platform for creative brilliance.

Reality Check For Authors #21: Perspective is 9/10ths of the Work

4460976042_a1c8902046_oAs writers we love the sound of our own ideas, the ratta-tap-tap of fingers on keyboards and the blinking cursor as it flies over the page. There is something profoundly accelerating about seeing our own thoughts and fantasies come alive on a white back ground, even if white is our least favorite color. And when we finally reach the end of what we believe is a truly brilliant piece of work, we can hardly wait to pick up our trusty quill and begin revising.

Reality Check for Authors; The only way to gain a healthy perspective of our work is to put time and distance between the first draft and the revision(s). Picking up that pen, marker or ‘edit-mode’, without giving ourselves an opportunity to disconnect from our work, is like letting someone who has gone to a party and drank too much, drive themselves or others home. Not! Just as friends don’t let friends drink and drive, friends don’t let writers, write and edit until they’ve had time to ‘sober up’.

Reality Check For Authors #20: What To Do When The Muse Runs Amuck


svablogslimer I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose. – Stephen King




Every writers felt it, experienced it and been plagued by it; be it first thing in the morning while enjoy that first cup of joe, in the middle of your 9 AM coffee break or during that last hour of the day when you’ve bullied yourself into staying at your laptop, notebook or whatever thingy-a-bob, until you’ve written at  least 2500 words; your muse is running amuck. Be it the challenge of simply sitting still, going to the bathroom for the umpteenth million time (in less than an hour) or being attacked by a sever case of the heebie-jeebies, the muse is running amuck and there is not a damn thing you can do about it. Seriously. Even if you shot her, she’d just find a way to rise from the dead, get into your head all over again and make you feel bad about your failure to meet your self-imposed writing deadlines.

Reality Check For Authors #20: when the muse is loose and refuses to be caged, even if you have promised to take her to Starbucks if she’ll only let you finish those last five hundred words, it’s time to put on the big panties and do what all muse-dependent writers do – let her ripe. That’s right. Why make yourself and her miserable by demanding something she’s unwilling to do, and you, even with all your super powers, can’t make her. As long as you’ve backed up your MS (just in case her evil twin comes along and tries to delete everything) the work will still be there when you guys return. Who knows, if you indulge her enough today, she might even be willing to inspire you into writing more than the designated 2500 words tomorrow.


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On Fear Ziana - Mark of Shamash

Reality Check For Authors #19: Nothing Lasts Forever


images (11) There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people  in California who couldn’t write. – Terry Pratchett

Traditional Publishing, Vanity Press, Indie Publishing, Self-Publishing; Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes; Borders, Blockbuster, Hollywood video; everything changes, nothing stays the same. Including the gravy train of eBooks, POD, $.99 Bestsellers and what it means to be on Amazon’s KDP Select, top one hundred list. Ships sail and ships sink, but the one thing never changes is – nothing, not even publishing, lasts forever.

Reality Check For Authors #18: Be it the way we write, what we write or how we intend to share it with an ever-changing readership, our willingness, as authors, to be the captains of our own ship and begin embracing-experimenting with new genres, new publishing platforms, different marketing strategies and innovative author-novel-discoverability, is what will separate the faint of heart, from those who know how to put on the big panties, cow-boy/girl up and be willing to do whatever, go wherever and write whatever it takes to weather the changes ahead.