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How Much Say Do I Get?

March 18, 2021– I’d like to take a second to wish my nephew, Denver a very Happy 3rd Birthday today! And I’d like to wish my Dad a very Happy Birthday today as well! Hoping that all of your wishes come true for the both of you. X

We’re continuing to answer your questions during the month of March, so if you’d like to send us yours, please email pandapublishing8@gmail.com. Today’s question is:

Q: “I’m struggling to decide whether to traditionally publish my book, or to self-publish. How much say do I get (traditional publishing) on what my book looks like and other elements of style?”

A: Great question. Traditionally publishing your book means that you sell the rights to the publisher for a royalty rate. In terms of getting an artistic say on the look, formatting, or the overall book in general, the short answer is, you don’t get one. The publisher’s job is to ensure that the book is saleable, that it meets the industry standards, and that it looks the way that it should. It can cost upwards of $8,000.00 to publish a book; that’s a huge risk on an unknown author and I don’t say that to be cheeky.  We take the risk so we are in charge of every element. If you’re a control freak, you should certainly look at self-publishing because you’re the person in the driver’s seat from beginning to end. You’re in charge of every element of your book including the look, layout, style, marketing, and everything in between. What you say, goes. You’re the boss. I will offer a word of caution though, do not go the self-publishing route alone. It’s long and difficult without help. I’m not saying it can’t be done, I’m saying that you should hire an expert to assist along the way. It will be more cost effective in the long run and you’ll still be able to keep 100% of your royalty. Best of luck on your publishing journey!

If you have a question that you would like answered, send us an email at pandapublishing8@gmail.com

 

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Motivation vs. Discipline

March 15, 2021– I hope that you’re enjoying our monthly theme during March which is answering your most asked questions! The questions coming in are great and touch on a number of topics that range from how to make money writing to how to write books kids will love, and everything in between. If you’d like to send in a question, please email us at pandapublishing8@gmail.com.  Here is today’s question:

Q:“I started writing an adventure novel five years ago, but I’m finding it difficult to stay motivated to finish it, actually, to keep writing each day. Do you have any suggestions to help get me motivated?”

A: There’s a big difference between motivation and discipline. “You will not always be motivated, so you must learn to be disciplined,” is one of my favourite quotes. Let’s face it, if we waited for motivation to write, most of us would never finish our book. Writing is our job and we must show up ready to work every day. I know it’s hard to sit down in front of your computer and get the words on the page, but it has to be done if you’re going to be a published author. Sometimes we see tasks as too daunting and we get overwhelmed with how much we have left to complete, my suggestion is to:

  1. Set aside the same time each day to write. Routine is key and discipline equals freedom. Figure out your best time to write and start writing; whether it’s early morning, afternoon, or midnight, choose whatever works with your schedule. Be sure to set a time that you will be uninterrupted so that you can let your creativity flow.
  2. Set a timer. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. When I’m not in the writing groove, I’ll do basically anything else to avoid what I need to do and that’s write! I set a timer for ten minutes and begin. I usually end up writing long past the time of ten minutes and all I needed was a boost to get started!
  3. Don’t self-edit. Get the words on the page and edit later. Also, don’t go back and re-read your work. Think of writing like building a sandcastle, you just have to keep shoveling the sand into the box and then refine it into a castle later.

Keep the questions coming! Check out my Amazon, number 1, best selling book, Advice from a Publisher here: Advice from a Publisher (Insider Tips for Getting Your Work Published!): Bakker, Lacey L., Goubar, Alex: 9781989506141: Books – Amazon.ca

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I’ve Never Done That

March 12, 2021– We’ve got another great question today from a reader in Spain. They sent us an email asking a question that comes up a lot, here it is:

Q: “I’ve heard from a lot of people that you should write what you know. I really want to write a murder mystery set in my home country, but I haven’t any experience in law enforcement and wouldn’t know how to set up the scene. Should I abandon my goal and switch topics?”

A: This is a great question! Also, I would love to visit Spain one day and I hope to do so in the near future:) No, there’s no need to switch genres just because you have no experience with murder (LOL!). Thankfully, most people don’t. But, I commend your dedication to getting it right and your commitment to credibility. As we know, credibility matters not only to your story, but also to your readers. If someone is a detective or in law enforcement and they read your book, they’ll pick up on the inconsistencies and irregularities in your story; chances are that they won’t continue to read on. This goes for all professions by the way. So, if we’ve never processed a crime scene, how are we supposed to write about it? We bring in the experts. When I was writing my thriller Obsessed with Her (available here: Obsessed with Her Novel – Pandamonium Publishing House) I was fortunate enough to have the Head of Toronto Homicide consult me on the entire project. That means he was kind enough to explain how a scene is investigated, the protocol, the terminology, and the fine details so that I could get it right. I urge you to reach out to your local law enforcement or other professionals and tell them that you’re writing a book and that you could use some advice. Want to know something kind of cool and creepy at the the same time? I was advised that my book would be kept on file for reference should anyone commit a crime that was based in my book and that I would potentially be brought in for questioning should the need arise. WOW! Talk about epic and eerie all at once! I know of some authors (who shall not be named) that have had the opportunity to go on a ride along with some police officers in their city. So, you don’t know unless you ask! If your local law enforcement says no, or you don’t feel comfortable asking, you can research whatever you’re looking for in true crime books, true crime documentaries, and by watching police based shows such as Cops etc. Be sure to watch and read TRUE stories as sometimes the wording and processing on television is less than accurate. Best of Luck!

 

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Publisher’s Corner…

July 19,2019- Let’s check out our Publisher’s Corner question of the week!

Q: “Lacey, I don’t read a lot of books because I don’t have tons of time, I know you’ve said in the past that reading directly influences writing, so I’m wondering what I can do to make more time to read! Any suggestions?” 

 A: “Ah, yes. This is a huge problem in society at the moment! We are living in such a fast-paced world that we barely have time to do anything pleasurable or just for fun. But, making time to read is essential! Not only does reading lend to our ability to write, but it also makes us better writers, better storytellers, and more empathetic toward our fellow humans. The average Canadian adult has approximately 5 minutes per day to read!  That’s it. I admire your commitment to reading more and I’m so happy to help! Here’s how I squeeze in time to read”: 

1) I wake up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later. Carving out this hour to read is essential to my happiness and to my business as I usually read things that are relevant in my field such as trade magazines or what’s trending on the best seller’s list. This hour before or after allows me to be uninterrupted.

2) I listen to audiobooks. Audiobooks are portable and you can listen to them everywhere. I travel a lot so this format of book allows me to get my reading done in the truck, on a plane, in the airport, on the treadmill, or wherever else I am. You wouldn’t believe how much time is wasted while travelling and waiting!

3)I read novellas, short stories, poems, and magazine articles. Reading anything is better than not reading anything at all! I’ll pick up a book shot by James Patterson for a quick, action-packed read that satisfies my craving for a good story in a short time.

Getting your daily dose of reading is only a matter of scheduling and preparing! Happy reading and writing! X LLB

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Publisher’s Corner…

July 5, 2019– Check out the question for this week!

Q: “Lacey, how do you manage to keep positive when people tell you they don’t like your work? I wrote a short story and my colleagues didn’t care for it. They were nice enough, but I could tell that they weren’t being completely truthful so I pressed them and they told me the truth finally. I was pretty upset and hurt. Maybe I should quit writing…” 

A: “This is a good question! I get hate mail all of the time telling me that I’m a terrible writer, that people don’t like my books, and that I should stop writing because I have no talent. It’s something that comes with the territory and this business has given me a thick skin!” Here’s how I manage to stay positive:

  1. I remember that everyone is entitled to their opinion. That’s just it, it’s their opinion and not the truth or reality that I choose to focus on. They can hate me and my books and I’m ok with it because writing is art and art is subjective.
  2. I stay in my own lane and focus on my own craft.  I don’t pay attention to what other people say about me. You will never be criticized by someone doing more than you. Read that again. If I worried about what other people thought of me, I’d never write another word.

The point is, keep writing because you want to write. Who cares what anyone else thinks? The only person’s opinion that matters is yours.
X LLB