Becoming a small press publisher

Paperback Press Publishing Logo

Paperback Press Publishing Logo

 

 

Becoming a small press publisher is a trying, but gratifying experience. My husband and I have had A & S Publishing for years but mostly publish music, so publishing books is a new venture for us.

Our focus is on independent authors who want to keep their own rights, royalties, and every other aspect of their work, while we help them get their stories to the public in a professional way. Our indie authors will be able to use our logo’s, publishing company names, ISBN’s, bar codes, and our formatting expertise for all types of publishing.

A & S Publishing has four imprints, Paperback Press Publishing, e-book Press Publishing, Audio Book Press Publishing and Kids Book Press Publishing. We hope to launch by the first of October, but already have clients waiting. THAT’s exciting!

My real concern is that I won’t have time for my own writing. I a member of some local writing groups and I think they’ll keep me focused. At least I hope so. I have one project that I’ve been working on for a few years now, and can’t seem to get it finished. Maybe I’ll get to write tomorrow seems to come out of my mouth quite often. However, right now I’m thinking, maybe I’ll get to write today.

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Point of View

povWhy is point of view so important in our writing? It shows your characters personal thoughts and feelings, and allows the reader to experience the story through that character.

Point-of-view should be used to reveal information, as the reader needs to know it, from the character who can wield the greatest emotional impact–the character that has the most at stake in the scene. A character’s POV is relayed through introspection. Every character could have a point of view, but it’s best to limit viewpoint characters to three… hero, heroine, and villain. The secondary character’s points-of-view should be relayed through dialogue. We should always be sure the reader knows whose point of view they are in, and avoid author or omnipresent POV.

What is author POV? It’s the same as omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, or “God-like” point-of-view. Author POV should be avoided at all costs. When in the author’s POV no emotion can be conveyed since there is no character to identify with, only the voice of the author ‘telling’ the reader what they want them to know. When the reader is being ‘told’, all emotion is lost. The author POV is always telling and not showing, and it pulls the reader out of the story instead of involving them in it.

An example of using author’s POV would be, “They all sat on the sofa and watched television”. The author would be the only POV who would say “they” to indicate all the characters in the scene. Author POV becomes the all knowing, all seeing entity who suddenly begins to tell the story. New writers often switch into author POV without realizing it, and in some scenes it is very tempting and easy to slip into.

Another example you may have seen: They loved into the morning hours, lost in their passion. That is the author watching the hero and heroine, rather than the hero or heroine seeing himself/herself with his/her lover. With that scenario, the reader is told what is happening, but has no emotional involvement so it shows the reader nothing.

Properly handled POV involves the reader emotionally, and the only time you can convey emotion is while in a character’s POV. POV is critical to our stories, and it is imperative we study point of view and use it well.

Featured Writing Q & A, Day…a few days late

My apologies! I’ve been out of commission since the weekend, but hopefully I’ll get caught up soon.

When we create a character, they have a personality, mannerisms unique to them and many other things that make up that character. I think that’s why today’s question is important.

Today’s Question: Is it okay for me to take my protagonist out of character from time to time?

Answer: When a character you created says and does things that are not normal for their basic personality and ethics, that character may become less believable to your reader. (If he’s a cowboy, he wouldn’t suddenly put on a pair or shoes to go to the barn.) You can only get away with them being out of character if you have given good reasons and motivations for their behavior. Usually a slip in character will happen when a character is tested under extenuating circumstances, and is expected to succeed, and to make choices about tasks and situations out of their element. If their dialogue sounds unlike something the character would say, and there is no reason given, then the character would be speaking ‘out of character’.

Remember, motivation is the key to any character’s actions and speech. In general, each character will act according to their particular personality traits. So if you ask them to become super-heroes, you must give good reason, and be certain they have the capabilities necessary to carry out the act.

Featured Writing Q & A, Day 4

Unfortunately I told you a little white lie. I forgot I’m going to be out of town this weekend, so won’t be posting Saturday or Sunday. I promise to catch up.

I’d like to see some comments and questions come in. At least I’d know someone might be getting some good out of this. LOL

Today’s Question: What’s the difference in character traits and character personalities?

Answer: General characterization is the way a character is presented and described. Characterization includes the character’s past and present situations and experiences, plus their future dreams and expectations. It is everything about your character, his/her looks, personality, abilities, what set of ethics they hold true, and by what etiquette they abide. It is anything that makes them who they are. Be careful not to tell the reader too much information at one time. Filter characterization in slowly, a little at a time. A reader does not need to know everything about your character, some things become boring and repetitive, so be selective about what you tell your reader, and why they need to know.

Character traits consist of all those idiosyncrasies, habits, and mannerisms that are particular to only that character. A nervous twitch, stuttering, biting fingernails, compulsive behavior, constantly counting things or straightening things, never looking a person in the eye, always walking with their head down, walking with a limp, or anything else that one character owns. Character traits don’t usually include their physical appearance, unless they wear a particular item of clothing, or a particular color all the time, or have an odd hairstyle/haircut that makes a statement about them and the way they behave. Be careful not to overdo character traits, most of the time one is enough to identify them, some may have more, but they can become too much for a reader and spoil the effect for the reader, so add them cautiously.

Featured Writing Q & A, Day 3

This question kind of ties in with the last sentence of yesterday’s answer. ‘Remember, if you’re in omniscient/omnipresent POV you cannot relay emotion, you must be in a character’s POV.’ That brings me to today’s question.

By the way, if you have a question, please feel free to email me at skiz@skizstuff.com. I’ll be glad to take a stab at answering it correctly.

Today’s Question: Why can’t I convey emotions in the omnipresent point of view?

Answer: Omnipresent POV is the same as the ‘God-like’ POV and author POV (omniscient). This type of viewpoint is to be avoided since it is not a person and cannot offer any emotion to the reader because it is ‘telling’ what is happening rather than allowing the reader to experience the scene through one of the main characters’ POV. Emotion is a critical element of fiction, and your writing needs to address that part of human nature in order to give the reader a truly enjoyable experience while reading your work.

(All answers via Kathleen Garnsey’s ‘ACES Writer’s Advice Dictionary’.)

Featured Writing Q & A, Day 2

When I was asked today’s question, I felt compelled to look at the guy and say, “Really?” But I didn’t, I just answered the best I could.

Talking to Sleuth’s Ink at their May meeting, I tried to emphasize how to show your reader what you’re character’s are doing, not to tell them. This question holds a key word on how to do just that.

Today’s Question: Why do you think it’s so important to add emotion to a story?

Answer: Because emotion is what makes the reader “feel”, makes them laugh and cry, makes them identify with your characters, and care whether they succeed, live or die. Without emotion you have no story. It is a critical element in all genres of writing. Writing with emotion requires practice, but it’s what separates good writers from average writers, the published from the non-published. You know the basic emotions; love, hate, jealousy, depression, happiness, loneliness, compassion, and pure joy. Insure that each of your characters experiences emotions, because as your character experiences, so does your reader. Remember, if you’re in omniscient/omnipresent POV you cannot relay emotion, you must be in a character’s POV.