Five quick tips to get into revising that manuscript

This post courtesy of keyboardsmashwriters:

I love revision. But I also really, really hate it. It’s hard work, and it’s a lot of critical hard work. One of the hardest parts is sitting my butt down and forcing myself to get to it, so as I delay doing just that, here are some of the rituals I do that help me focus:

Take care of primary needs. This means I’ve eaten, because food in my belly keeps my energy up and focused, and whenever my thinking power starts to wane, I know I need to eat again and I do so as soon as I can. Anything else I might need (such as tissues or snacks) I make sure is within arm’s reach of me.

Take care of ritual needs. For me, this means I go through my dashboard first, make my tea, detox for a bit, do some blog work and cross a few to-do’s off my list, perhaps go for a walk, and then begin rereading where I last left off. A set pattern that I follow makes it easier for me to get into working mode.

Listen to a few songs that pump me up. Upbeat songs get my creative powers focused, but the key is that I can’t be scrolling Tumblr or reading something else simultaneously. I have to listen to a few songs, let myself think only about my story, and become fully immersed and invested. This helps create a driving need to work on it.

Revise in solitude. When I write, I write to music. When I revise, it’s more like library time. I need to be able to hear my story without the music, to see it clearly and without any influence that music gives. If I don’t have absolute quiet, I keep my headphones on to block out noise. If my street’s particularly noisy, I have rain, or white noise to block out distracting noise.

Seven minutes of uninterrupted focus. The first few minutes are agonizing, torturous, and I writhe and resist and only by the sheer force of will am I able to press on. But after those first few minutes, I completely switch on and go with great speed.

Amazon’s Kindle Worlds will pay writers to write fan fiction

(Credit: Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET)

People who write fan fiction could find a paying market for their work courtesy of Amazon.

Unveiled Wednesday, Kindle Worlds is a new publishing venture from Amazon that promises to reward both writers and the original rights holders for new fiction based on existing stories and characters.

Authors who create works of at least 10,000 words in length will receive 35 percent of the net revenue based on the actual sales price, with royalties paid each month. Those who write shorter pieces between 5,000 and 10,000 words will receive a digital royalty of 20 percent of the sales price.

Read more:

Note About Book Reviews, Author Profiles, Etc.

Beginning today, there are going to be temporary changes on The Book Shelf.

November is going to be a busy month for me. Not only is the Thanksgiving season approaching as well as I preparing a post for Night Owl Reviews to appear on their November 28 blog, but I’m also participating in this year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which is time-consuming in itself.

With all the aforementioned commitments, there will not be any Author Profiles or Book of the Week features this month, with the exception of two Free Press reviews to which are already scheduled for November 6 and November 13 respectively.

I will continue the SEEN This Week column as time allows, but be warned the columns may be shorter than usual, due to both time constraints and my fellow authors equally busy with the upcoming holiday season.

One my own November madness ends (which I hope is November 30, ha!), I will resume book reviews and author profiles. By then, I hope to share some more of my good book discoveries – and have great news about my NaNoWriMo experience!

Why ‘Winning’ Isn’t the Main Reason to Tackle NaNoWriMo

While in the process of preparing for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I came across a fascinating post on the Office of Letters and Light blog. Here is an excerpt:

Would you believe that out of all the times I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo, I’ve never won once? I know I have a novel in me, but I’ve never had quite the stamina to make it to 50,000 words. Every October, I have new resolve. I say, “This year will be the year!”

And then around the middle of November, Derek Zoolander of the Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good always seems to be leering over my shoulder, saying, “What is this! A novel for ants?” I watch my word count level out, failing to meet the new goal each day.

Read More (courtesy Office of Letters and Light)

PayPal Reverses Proposed Censorship

From Mark Coker: Smashwords author/publisher update: PayPal Reverses Proposed Censorship

Great news. Yesterday afternoon I met with PayPal at their office in San Jose, where they informed me of their decision to modify their policies to allow legal fiction.

Effective last night, we rolled back the Smashwords Terms of Service to its pre-February 24 state.

It’s been a tumultuous, nerve-wracking few weeks as we worked to protect the right of writers to write and publish legal fiction.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to Smashwords authors, publishers and customers. You stood up and made your voice known. Thank you to every Smashwords author and publisher who wrote me to express opinions, even if we disagreed, and even if you were angry with me. You inspired me to carry your cause forward.

Smashwords authors, publishers and customers mobilized. You made telephone calls, wrote emails and letters, started and signed petitions, blogged, tweeted, Facebooked and drove the conversation. You made the difference. Without you, no one would have paid attention. I would also like to thank the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC). These three advocacy groups were the first to stand up for our authors, publishers and customers. Their contribution cannot be overstated. We collaborated with them to build a coalition of like-minded organizations to support our mutual cause. Special kudos to Rainey Reitman of EFF for her energy, enthusiasm and leadership.

I would also like to thank all the bloggers and journalists out there who helped carry our story forward by lending their platforms to get the story out. Special thanks to TechCrunch, Slashdot, TechDirt, The Independent (UK), Reuters, Publishers Weekly, Dow Jones, The Digital Reader, CNET, Forbes, GalleyCat & EbookNewser and dozens of others too numerous to mention.

I would like to thank our friends at PayPal. They worked with us in good faith as they promised, engaged us in dialogue, made the effort to understand Smashwords and our mission, went to bat for our authors with the credit card companies and banks, and showed the courage to revise their policies.

This is a big, bold move by PayPal. It represents a watershed decision that protects the rights of writers to write, publish and distribute legal fiction. It also protects the rights of readers to purchase and enjoy all fiction in the privacy of their own imagination. It clarifies and rationalizes the role of financial services providers and pulls them out of the business of censoring legal fiction.

Following implementation of their new policies, PayPal will have the most liberal, pro-First-Amendment policies of the major payment processors. Will Google Checkout and Checkout by Amazon be next now that the credit card companies have clarified their positions, and have essentially given payment providers the permission to adopt more enlightened policies? Finally, thanks to Selena Kitt of Excessica and Remittance Girl for helping me to understand and respect all fiction more than I ever have before.

This is a bright day for indie publishing. In the old world, traditional publishers were the arbiters of literary merit. Today, thanks to the rise of indie ebooks, the world is moving toward a broader, more inclusive definition of literary merit. Smashwords gives writers the power and freedom to publish. Merit is decided by your readers. Just as it should be.


Mark Coker

Join the Coffee Crew at Coffee Time Romance!

Coffee Time Romance is looking for more staff member who seek a fun exciting, and fast-paced environment.

Coffee Time Romance is a group of wild and crazy women who share a love of books and family! If this sounds like something that would work for you, then send an email to for additional details.

The site is seeking reviewers, interviewers,  and chat moderators. Are you up to the challenge?

Five Things to Remember Before Cursing the Book Reviewer

Authors: Have you gotten a review on your books that made you want to give the reviewer a piece of your mind…or strangle them?

Hold on a minute. Both of the above are far from good ideas.

Instead, the ZLS Publishing Blog offers five helpful tips to help maintain your professionalism and dignity while dealing with a less-than-flattering review.

Though a few are common sense, these five things are worth checking out before thinking about losing your cool.