wodke-hawkinson.com Blog Musings from deviant minds (Or how writers think)

13Jun/11

Catch Her in the Rye Now Available on Kindle

catcher in the rye

Our first collection of short stories is now available on Kindle. Catch Her in the Rye is being offered at the very reasonable price of only 99 cents as a means of introducing readers to our writing. The book includes a variety of genres, something for every reader.

6Nov/10

In Search of a Really Good Book – Major Publishers Are Not the Only Show in Town Anymore

books2

The problem with big name publishers is sometimes the content of their selections. When looking for a really good book, most readers turn to the major publishers. After all, bookstores are crowded with books by Simon & Schuster, Random House, Penguin, etc. But, readers should be aware that the major publishers are not the only venue for good books. In fact, much of what qualifies for publishing by the major players are formulaic novels. This is not to say the books aren’t good, but so many of them tend to follow a formula that it sometimes feels they were put out by a literary cookie cutter rather than an author slaving away in the dark of night over a keyboard.

Independent and small press publishers offer another alternative. While some of their books are formulaic, there are also some that branch out into non-predictable zones for discriminating readers. And if you add self-published books, you open yet another world of possibilities. Self-published books have gotten a bad rap; sometimes deserved, sometimes not. Certainly there are those self-published books that should never have made it into print. But there are also gems out there waiting to be discovered.

Whatever genre is your preference, you may be getting tired of the predictable. I know I am. Therefore, I have decided to give self-published books a chance.

Books are expensive these days and any discerning buyer is loathe to lay down hard earned cash on a potential drag of a book with poor grammar, incorrect spelling, lack of plot, and a mishmash of dribble. However, I am so tired of the major publishers tying up the market that I am willing to risk a few bucks to find out what else is out there.

Many readers prefer a smooth easy read. While literary novels have their place, their pages are sometimes filled with the very types of writing our English teachers warned us about. Fragments. Lack of clarity. Disjointedness. Some books are so very “literary” that they are an effort to plow through. While they might be masterpieces of literary merit, they do not resonate with the masses. At least, not until a movie is made from the book. And oftentimes the author’s intent or meaning is so obscure, it’s anyone’s guess what he or she is trying to say.

So, give some thought to trying a self-published book. Just check one out. You might find the worst writing on the face of the planet (although I must say I have found awful writing in some releases from so-called major publishers), or you might find a treasure. Step out of your comfort zone!

The market is crowded with thousands upon thousands of books. When it comes to fiction, it’s sometimes difficult to tell from the blurb whether or not you will enjoy the book. All you can do is try it.

I, for one, am very happy to see the proliferation of self-published books. The publishing industry is not unlike the music industry where a handful of elites at the top make the decisions for the rest of us about what we should like or not like. I prefer to make those decisions myself, in my reading and in my music. That’s why I frequently shop lulu.com and cdbaby.com. It’s time we give independents a fighting chance!

-kw

29Oct/10

Fishing as Fodder for Fiction

two fishing poles

Okay, I admit it. I tried for an alliterated title without regard to its sensibility or appropriateness. However, as a fan of fishing, I can verify that the time spent relaxing with a fishing pole in hand is not wasted time. I love catching the fish for certain, but I also love that still quiet of the lake and that peaceful feeling of settling in for a few hours of fishing. Between baiting the hooks and casting the lines, there is a lot of time for rumination. Plenty of time to think over book ideas, plots and story lines, character development, or to just let the old imagination ramble where it wants. Just remember to put those ideas on paper at the first opportunity.

I started fishing mainly to try and catch my dinner. I have learned a lot since then. Sometimes I fish just for the thrill of catching something. Other times I fish to eat my catch, but these are the smaller fish. Recently, I fished to bring in a big one, one too big and magnificent to eat. I landed a 17 pound catfish and it was exciting. He was a handsome fish who reluctantly posed for photos before swimming away into the murky depths once again.

While waiting for a bite, I thought about my writing in general and our books in specific. Not only was it enjoyable, but I believe it was helpful. It was a nice break and left me recharged for more hours at the keyboard. For those of you who like to combine writing with fishing, here is an excellent online home for you to tell your fish stories, ask questions, get advice, or just hang out with likeminded souls:

http://catfishcorneronline.com/

Forum:  http://forum.catfishcorneronline.com/simplemachinesforum/

-kw

23Oct/10

Hard or Soft?

books2

Many readers have a strong preference for one type of cover or another. I personally prefer soft cover books since I like to read in bed and they are easier to hold and lighter weight. But I do recognize the advantages of a hardcover book. For one thing, they tend to hold up to wear and tear better. They convey a sense of greater worth. And they can be useful for purposes other than reading such as holding your paper while you write or leveling a sofa that has lost one of its legs. (I would never do this to a book. I just put it out there as a possibility.)

books old     Older hard cover books actually make useful décor accessories. They have a special character that adds a design element. Let’s face it; they look nice on a shelf or in a casual pile atop an aged trunk. Plus, hard cover books are a more permanent investment.

 But paperback books are generally lighter, easier to manage, and more portable. They are also more affordable. Of course, they are beat in each of these categories by e-books, if you don't count the initial outlay for the electronic reader. 

 book e

 Authors and publishers are aware that paperbacks are less costly to produce. Self-published writers in particular must take this into account.

Often a book will be released in both hardcover and soft cover forms, as well as electronically.

 What is your preference? Hardcover, soft cover or e-books?

 -Karen