Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Expiring Publishers, Concerned Writers
7:29 pm est
I have had the dubious privilege of placing my new book
with a publisher that went out of business. There are reports, not just in the United States, stating the publishing houses
are dwindling in favor of mass distribution vehicles and self- publishing alternatives. Once upon a time, writers worked hard
at finding a publisher to accept their work for publication and distribution and relied on in-house editing. This ethic is
still viable in the realm of articles and short fiction, where periodicals and universities are active publishers of submitted
works. Even in the arena of shorter works, the advent of blogs and linked on-line sources has narrowed the scope of publishing
while opening the doors for easier access for writers to print. While these developments may portend trends and futures
for the publishing community, the impact on writers and readers is solidly measurable. There is faster access, less editorial
input, and are fewer financial gains than ever before for writers in the writing community.
As a writer, this worries me over the image evolving of writers and their work. Jobs are being offered at
five cents every five hundred words in the industrial writing sector. Writers selling work already completed are facing so
large of a volume of competition for the fewer amount of paying publishers left that many good writers are left without vehicles
for their work unless they want to utilize the non-paying sources. This does not hold out much promise for career writers’
capabilities to turn out living wages.
I am a writer and I will always
write. Writers do not become non-writers because they are not paid for every word. However, I have also worked over nine years
in editing roles and writers without publishers usually have less input from editors. This is a scary scenario to any writer
when the writer’s words will not be “cleaned up” or showcased correctly unless a writer produces his or
her own perfected copy.
With this in mind, writers need to be willing
to support the publishers left in their publishing efforts under difficult economic and societal pressures. This does
not mean that writers should sustain efforts with publishers incapable of fulfilling commitments. The vehicles available to
carry writers’ words must be carefully evaluated for impact, return of value, and appropriate collaboration on end products
I found a new publisher for my new book. The frustration of
a half-finished process starting over again was made easy by my new publisher’s excellent efforts to work with my needs
for the book where they were.
Our future as writers is not bright if
we do not include the other pieces of a long established industry. The options available to writers today allow us more freedom
and a greater voice, but they also carry a price tag when the rest of the related industry suffers. Writers are evolving to
fit the new idea in publishing options. It will not be to our benefit to run publishers out of options.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Writing Perfectly or Perfect Writing
9:37 pm est
When I start to look at writing
issues, content and style or technique and technical structures are all elements that, as a writer, I am concerned about in
my writing. As writers, authors are constantly challenged by their readership over criticism and praise for content and style.
Editors and critics also take exception to and for technique and technical expertise. This seems like talking about apples
and oranges until the question is looked at a bit harder and it is understood that to succeed in the public arena either an
author must write perfectly to win over the critics, or a writer must produce perfect writing for an audience that embraces
the author’s messages. However, in the day and time of social media, self-publishing and penny-pushed marketing, producing
writing for an audience is less about writing merits and the writing audience and more about the “push” of the
sell and the “pull” of the readership wallets.
was taught in grade school that there are many parts to a story and that usually a great author is strongest in one or two
elements such as: tone, theme, character, description, etc. A truly “perfect” writing, of any genre, connects
strongly with the readership through at least one writing element and gives the reader something to take away with him or
her after reading. “Perfect” writing is not a formula based writing or an unstructured freedom to just ply
words on paper. There is a purpose to writing and to produce perfect writing, the writing must fulfill its purpose.
Writing perfectly is a matter of technique and technicalities. As opposed
to perfect writing, writing perfectly may not connect with the readership or fulfill a purpose, but writing perfectly produces
pretty and indisputably correct pages creating a framework that can sometimes be stunning in its own way. In school days,
children are taught to write perfectly. It is the beginning point for the writing reality to understand what makes words understandable
on the pages and how to render structures (short stories, essays, news articles, etc.) appropriate for the type of writing
teachers hope their students will continue to produce. Writing for twenty plus years, I have known what it is like to find
my own style and voice and to struggle over form and format. Writers express on the pages, but we still must be comprehensible
to our readership.
Perhaps the question is not about perfect writing or
writing perfectly, but a deeper thought that an author’s work must be worth something to others and that a writer’s
pages must be understandable to achieve their purpose. I do not believe questions of style and content are separate from questions
of technique and technicalities. I do believe that words are born from a writer’s ideas and the life around us and that
my pen is a connection between the two. Once in a long while there is perfect writing written perfectly. Producing such writing
is not the qualification for being or becoming a writer.
Here you'll learn all about The Rest Room and Kimberly A. McKenzie: Follow the Blog for facts and fictions.
The Rest Room Fact Sheet
1. The Rest Room is Room 223 at the Motel Min.
Hale, South Carolina in The Rest Room is named after Nathan Hale- a soldier in the Continental Army during the
3. There are many types of shipping containers: intermodal freight, corrugated
boxes, wooden boxes, crates, intermediate bulk, bulk boxes, drums and insulated shipping containers.
Insulated shipping containers are a type of packaging used to ship temperature sensitive products such as foods, pharmaceuticals,
and chemicals. In The Rest Room, non-traditional shipping methods are at the heart of puzzeling circumstances
for the three main characters: Kervila, Optin, and Henry.
Look for the sequel
to The Rest Room. The Dream of Keriye will follow with Kervila's journey to find the truth among
a web of intricate coincidences.