What Are the REAL Odds of Being a Successful Author?

Loved this post.:)

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image via Flikr Creative Commons Hakan Dalstrom Image via Flikr Creative Commons Hakan Dalstrom

I didn’t even consider becoming a writer until 1999 after my father passed away suddenly. Funny how death can make us take a hard look at life, right? Anyway, I recall feeling soooo overwhelmed. I mean my odds of even getting published were about as good as winning the lottery. And the odds of becoming a best-selling author? Well, mathematically speaking, I had a slightly greater chance of being mauled by a black bear and polar bear on the same day.

It was all I could do not to give up before I began.

But, after over 14 years doing this “writer thing,” I have a new perspective. Often it feels like we are the victims of fate, at the mercy of the universe, when actually it is pretty shocking how much of our own destiny we control. The good news is that…

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Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously.

vellumatlanta

“The software is functioning as intended,” said Amber.
“Wait,” I asked, “so it’s supposed to delete my personal files from my internal hard drive without asking my permission?”
“Yes,” she replied.

Angry man crashing laptop Maybe I’m Not Pressing the Keys Hard Enough.

I had just explained to Amber that 122 GB of music files were missing from my laptop. I’d already visited the online forum, I said, and they were no help. Although several people had described problems similar to mine, they were all dismissed by condescending “gurus” who simply said that we had mislocated our files (I had the free drive space to prove that wasn’t the case) or that we must have accidentally deleted the files ourselves (we hadn’t). Amber explained that I should blow off these dismissive “solutions” offered online because Apple employees don’t officially use the forums—evidently, that honor is reserved for lost, frustrated people like me, and (at…

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DO NOT BUY THIS!!!!

OMG!

Frayed Mama

I do not usually do things like this, but I felt compelled to share our families experience, so hopefully no one has to suffer like my son did.
Last Wednesday our family decided to go swimming so I stopped in at my local Dollar Tree to pick up a few toys for the pool. While I was there, I thought I would grab some extra sun screen just in case. We get to the pool and I rub our family down with sunscreen and get to our oldest son, who is 9, and had to get a new bottle out. Lucky for me, I grabbed some at the Dollar Tree, so we used that on him. We were in the sun for about three and a half hours and reapplied his sunscreen once. We head home and this is what our week looked like for our 9 YEAR OLD!!!

These…

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Five Behaviors That Communicate High or Low Status

People-triggers

Previously, I have remarked on an area of interpersonal dynamics called the Status Transaction. This concept comes from one of the fathers of improv theatre. It says that humans, just like other pack animals, communicate in subtle behaviors that convey where they stand with regard to each other.  We establish an unconscious structure of deference and social value in order to keep our relations mostly harmonious. As Johnstone remarks, “In the park we’ll notice the ducks squabbling, but not how carefully they keep their distances when they are not.”

This principal is the key link between acting performance, marketing, and social psychology. It is the subtext of human life. It represents the unvarnished, true meaning of people’s communication. It is, either consciously or unconsciously, a crucial factor in honest and authentic acting portrayals, because it factors into a character’s key attitudes. It also factors into how…

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Pirated Books and Just Say No

scam.jpg

I debated posting this. Honestly if you’re the sort who is trying to obtain ebooks (some of which are sometimes as low as $2!) illegally then maybe you deserve what you get… but in the end I decided I’m not that person. I’m the sort of person who will warn you that your illegal activity may have real consequences.

Some of you may have heard I have a book coming out this May (TYR – pre-order it and I’ll love you long time), but for those who haven’t, now you know.

The thing is, NOBODY has a copy of this book. Amazon has an unpublished copy but that’s it. I have a few betas who have copies but I’m 99.9% sure none of them have shared it with anyone.

So here’s the thing. Despite my book being in only the most trusted hands, it has somehow popped up on book…

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What’s Your Character’s Status

I first heard about Status when reading Story Trumps Structure by Steven James. Pretty cool stuff.

World of Writing

Like many bookworms, I’m in the middle of two books at the moment. One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell revolves around an apartment block in modern-day Manhattan. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory is set in the court of King Henry the Eighth. On the surface, these are two very different books. Yet in both books, the characters are preoccupied with raising their status at all costs.

 A character’s status has a huge impact on how they interact with others and it plays a vital role in shaping a story. Status refers to how confident and powerful a character feels inside themselves. Background, life circumstances and personality influences their status. Their status has nothing to do with their external circumstances. A king may constantly apologise for himself, while a roadsweeper sweeps the streets with his head held high.  

The idea of status was developed by Keith Johnstone in…

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Editors: the good, the bad, and the ugly

madgeniusclub

Doubtless you’ve seen this bit of news over the past week. When I read it, I was shaking my head — in that knowing way. Because a disproportionate number of fiction editors not only live and work in New York City, they also come out of various university literary programs. And if you know anything about university lit departments, or New York City, you know that these cauldrons of Western Civilization (at its finest!) tend to be ear-marked by, ummm, a certain point of view let’s say. It’s not the point of view commonly held in, oh, Montana, or Texas, or small-town South Dakota. And it’s certainly not wholly homogeneous — for those specific places. No. But there is a predictability to Nick Cole’s adventure with traditional publishing. A predictability that only makes sense if you consider the overarching cultural context of the thing. Who Nick is. Who his editor…

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