Thursday, November 15, 2012

"Piper figured her friend would never forgive her if she brought Percy back transformed into a sea mammal."

 Wherein Jack looks forward to holidays and wonders if she can last until then. Also in which she talks about names and their vital-ness to writers.

 Names are important for writers. Not just your pen name but the name of your blog/book site. Spreading word about your book even before it is out is important, as I've said before. One of the best ways to do this is to set up a blog. You want a place that is yours in the wide internet world. One where people can find you. And you will also want a good name for it.
 Something my sister showed me right off is the importance of titling my blog. I changed titles about every week - you know all those quotes I use on my post titles, those ended up as my blog title. She cautioned me that this might make it harder when people actual wanted to find my blog. What would they type in? So, when I set up this blog - in other words, when I took her advice and got serious - I sat down and spent what felt like ages thinking up just one title for it.
 I didn't like this plan. I wanted to use movie quotes still, but I consoled myself by using them in my posts. Now it is my...trait...calling card, whatever you fancy to call it.

 Anyhow, if you plan to publish, it is important to sit down and plan this out. Setting up a blog is good, and giving it a title is important. (The blogs I read have a lot of great titles which fit them well.) What I would advice to look for in a title is something which fits your personality. Using your pen name is a good idea, but not necessary. A title which stands out would be helpful as well. But the name you pick, do not change it.
 Also, do not get a new blog every month. I know you can tell your readers you have a new blog, but it is rare for readers to move to the new blog with you. So make sure you set up a blog you plan to keep. (And when you make your url, it would be a good idea to use your pen name, thus making it easier for readers to find you.) 
 Examples. You want to find your favourite author's website. What is the first thing you are likely to type in? Either their name, or maybe you go so far as to type scottwesterfeld.com. You want your readers to be able to do the same to find you.

 Another note on blogs. I know it is common to have more then one blog. I have several set up for my books, which I link to on this blog, which is my main one. I have found though, it isn't a good idea to have all your blogs listed on your About Me page. When someone clicks on that and sees five or so blogs, they aren't going to know which is your main one and might just go away.
 There is a way to fix this. If you go under edit you can click on which blog you want to be displayed and you can link to the others from your main one.

 I've also mentioned pen names. These are important. Like your blog title, you do not want to go about changing this. I mean, one week you might be Annie Smith and the next Sally Jones. No one is going to be able to find you and after awhile they will give up. So think of a pen name BEFORE you set everything up.

 Authors do not have to use their real names when they write - but on that same note, using your real name will not harm anything. I know of authors who do both, or who use a pen name and have their real name on their site or something. But names are important. Whichever you go with you want to make sure it is a real name.
 I know when many set up a blog or anything on the internet they go with names like, Alice-223399. Or FlyingChic21. (Maybe it should be FlyingChick - since they can fly. No wait, chickens can't fly...can they? Has anyone ever agreed on this matter? Or are they too busy with the road still?)

 Anyhow, don't do names like that. Also, do not steal a characters name. Everyone knows Jo March isn't alive and writing books. They see that on a book cover and their going to either think, "NERD!" (Not that being a nerd is bad,) or, "What is she, five? I won't read that."
 You want to prove to them you are an author. So don't use character names. And make sure your user names are your actual pen name. (You know what...maybe I should look into this more. Maybe user names don't need to be your author name. I am going to check authors on twitter and facebook, do some research.)

 However, you do need a serious author name. And there are many different ways to do one. You could use your initials (I'm sure you can all think of examples, but just in case. J.R.R. Tolkien). Or a middle initial. (Fred E. Rodgers. *Snicker* I came up with that all on my own. *Grin*) No middle name. (Henri Watson.) Or all three names. (Bob George Kilroy.) Just make sure it is a name you like, because it will be yours for the rest of your writing life. (*Laughs evilly.*)

 There, now I hope that was helpful to someone. I know it helped me, the little I knew before I started. 

 Okay, names aside now. Guess what came in the mail yesterday?

  I have been quite giddy about it all day. I like to flip through it and look at the pictures and read bits here and there. It still doesn't feel very real - and it needs a tad bit more formatting - but I am VERY pleased with it. The pictures aren't blurred, the formatting turned out very nice. It is terribly thick, but I fixed that. I had a kind of large print set I suppose, but now it is normal print.
 I must confess, I've been carrying it about all day. Simply because I can actually do it. And I read it in public, because it is in book form.

 Next week I read it one last time, to make sure every thing looks good. But for now, I am just enjoying it.

 I am going to bed now. I shan't bother telling you were the quote is from, I'm sure you can guess.

 Allons-y and Bonne Nuit!

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19 comments :

  1. Great advice!
    Eep! The book! Exciting! =D I can't wait to read it. Don't change the font to too small... I like thick books. Especially if they are written and illustrated by my friends. =D
    ...Just finished the latest E-Lock. Will post more on it later.

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  2. OH MY GOSH! You can HOLD your book!! (I'm sure it's totally illogical to admit this, but half of my *going to be published dream* is about seeing my book in a bookshop...and physically holding it.) Plus this was a very helpful post. I always wanted to write by a pen name. And then I decided no one would believe I'd actually written and published the book unless it had my REAL name on it. Fun stuff. ;)

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    1. (Actually, she wanted a pen name so she could be like Lemony Snicket. And then we found out the truth. His name is Daniel Handler. And we were scarred from pen names. Hense, Cait and Mime are our real names (not full, but real all the same.)

      I bet having a hard copy of your book is one of the best feelings ever. Congratulations!!!

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  3. Congrats on your book! That is so amazing! I know if it was me I wouldn't be able to stop grinning. Even if you hit me with a brick, I'd fall over unconscious with this stupid grin on my face. And the name thing did help. I'm going to start a blog soon, hopefully and the name is one of the things holding me up.

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    1. I hope no one tries it, but likely if they hit me with a brick I would do the same, and wake up with the same grin.

      If you would like some help with names I would be willing to throw in some...ideas.

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    2. I'm thinking of-(Insert Title Here), with the subtitle underneath- Journey to the Finished Line.

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    3. I thought you meant the title of your blog would be Insert Title Here, which I think would be a terribly clever one. (I do like the subtitle a lot. That is very good!)

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    4. Yeah, that is what I mean. And since I can't think of anything else and I'm definitely warming to the play of words, and someone else thinks it's not all that bad, I'll go with it. :)

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  4. wow! :D your book looks amazing. I bet that's terribly exciting. :D <3
    xx

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  5. Hey, you got a copy of your book! Congratulations.
    I still have the same blog and its title is my name, so I've kept it simple.

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  6. Congratulations on having a copy of your book! It's such a wonderful feeling to hold your writing in your hands in the form of a bound book. I still have Sew in my purse where ever I go.

    I've had the same blog for ... three (four?) years now, and when I got it, it was merely a family blog, so I simply used my first name as my user name. At the time I had been planning to use the name Sandra Elizabeth Neddin as my pen name ... I didn't finally decide to use Kendra E. Ardnek until after I received my initial proof. My initial proof has my real last name on it, so I'm not going to let anyone see it.

    So that's the reason my blog doesn't refer to me in the title or URL. However, my official website does have my pen name as the URL, so I suppose that makes up for it.

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  7. Wow, Jack! That's so exciting that you're actually HOLDING YOUR BOOK! Surreal?

    I agree with you on the whole, "let's use a classic book character's name" thing..... Irritates me somewhat. :)

    The tips were good on the whole, even taken from the perspective of someone who does not have the inclination or wherewithal to ever be published. (don't get me wrong, I think being published would be frikken awesome, but my books don't have the necessities to be that good. lol)

    God bless!

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  8. I bet that was one of the most exciting packages you've ever opened! There's just something about holding a piece of what you've written...it's almost surreal...much more so than seeing it on a computer!(:

    ~Vicki
    deckedoutinruffles.blogspot.com

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  9. What a thrill to get your book! YAY :)

    I use a pen name for all my online dealings. It does help to keep it straight. My real name has zero online presence :)

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  10. What a wonderful feeling it must be to hold YOUR book in your hands!!!!!

    Thanks for passing on the advice about pen names and blogs. It is very good advice!

    Some of my stress is over, but it will be a few weeks until more of it can go away. ): But, I'm surviving, so that's good.

    Thank you! I'm very glad to be back.

    I have so many favorites among Enya's music: Only Time, Sail Away, Evening Falls.... But my top favorites are Book of Days and May It Be. Incidentally, May It Be is how I was introduced to Enya, when I watched The Fellowship of the Ring. I loved the song so much, I decided to see what else she had done... and the rest is history!

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  11. Jack,
    Howdy? How fares ye? To answer your question, Season 4 is not on Youtube...what do you watch them on? I think Hulu has them up to season 2, and Netflix has them through S. four now. :) And of course, Season 5 (at the moment) is being weekly put up on Youtube. :) Good luck!!!!! They only get better! *wink*

    See ya!!!!! Btw, are you going to see The Hobbit on opening night? Midnight, I mean? Molly and I just bought our tickets! XD

    S.I.C.,
    Anna

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  12. Congrats on your book!! You must be so happy. :)

    A side-note on the names. A lot of agents find it really pretentious when an author uses a pen-name for no reason. They say if you are an established romance writer who wants to try horror, then maybe a pen name is a good idea. Otherwise, I know this is a huge pet-peeve for some agents. Since the last thing any of us writers want to do is turn off an agent, I figured I'd mention this. Unless you have a good reason for using a pen name (like your name is really common, or someone famous is named the same thing) it's generally a good idea to stick with some variation of your actual name. :)

    Anyway, congrats again on the book! I'd be sleeping with it under my pillow. haha

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  13. Very good advice indeed.

    And, oh my ... your own novel ... in print! You must be soooo excited. I hope to do the same one day. Dreams are free, right?

    All the best!

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  14. WOW! WOW! WOW!!!!!

    YOU can HOLD it? I'm sooooooooooooo jealous. I've printed my whole book into 8 by 10 printer paper... but that's not the same. At all. No matter HOW thick it is.

    WOW.

    And the names thing. That was really good! I have a pen name (Pure Grace, obviously...), but I love it because it really is me... I mean, it is what my NAME meanings. Caitria Karis is who I really am. But both names are so hard to say and spell....that I decided to give my poor readers something easier to know me by, but still be ME!! :D And the blog title thing. I liked that too. Gives a really good feel to how to start a blog. I have two blogs and that is all I ever plan on having...at this point. And I love both, names and all. I DID just rename one of them (I think you knew that), but it's set in stone now. And so totally me! Hurrah!
    Am I raving? And rambling?
    Yep. My apologies. I will stop now.
    This post just kind of struck a chord with me. So, anyhow, it was awesome. And I'm so happy for you! And I'm sorry I am so late in commenting on this!

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