It's the first Wednesday of the month:
the day when members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.
To visit the IWSG website, click here.
To become a member of the IWSG, click here.
Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG founder Alex Cavanaugh are:
Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover, Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowry.
I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.
Every month the IWSG poses a question
that members can answer with advice, insight,
a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.
Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.
Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is:
What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?
Publishing my first book is my writing goal,
so I am looking forward to the advice of IWSG members on publishing pitfalls.
To me the process is filled with unknown hazards,
like crossing a newly crusted flow spewing lava to collect a sample.
A geologist uses a hammer and a bucket of water
to collect fresh lava for chemical analysis.
Once the path to publication seemed straightforward,
like scrambling over ancient flows,
uneven and rugged, but stable and solid.
Now the path seems shifting and uncertain
because of the explosion of publishing options.
In recent years I have read a variety of books
written by family members and friends,
from books published by mainstream publishers,
to self-published digital books on Amazon.
As I consider which path to take to publication,
I have studied these books to see what works and what doesn't.
The big difference I have observed between traditionally published books
and other forms of published books is the quality of the editing.
Often the traditionally published book is better.
A poorly edited book jars me.
I think a good editor can help an author improve his or her manuscript,
not just with the mechanics of spelling, grammar, and punctuation,
but also with the structure, focus, and clarity of the final draft.
Some alternately published books I have read are so disorganized
and full of mistakes that it makes it difficult to get through the book.
In these instances I have persisted only because of
a personal connection with the author.
I think that a poorly written book annoys readers
and discourages them from reading other books by the same author.
When it comes time to publish my manuscript,I hope to have a traditional publisher;
but if I don't, I will certainly look for a good editor
before I choose an alternate path to publication.
I have been humbled enough by good editors to know I need one.
Just as I know there are many pitfalls in newly formed lava crusts,
I know I will encounter many pitfalls in publishing as I move forward.
I will be grateful for the advice of those who have traveled before me.
Ancient Lava Flows
North Mountain Basalt
Westport, Brier Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
July 20, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved
I am still traveling, but I hope to visit around tomorrow.
Happy writing in August!
For map lovers like me: