Frequently Asked Questions from Writers


1. What Is A Premise?

A premise is the point you have to prove in your novel. It is not a universal truth; it is true only for the particular situation of this novel. For example:"a love of power leads to disgrace"

"a crime of passion destroys two lives"

"greed leads to loss of a great love"In his "How to Write a Damn Good Novel", James Frey says: "There is no formula for constructing premises, but according to Egri, every good premise should contain an element of CHARACTER which through CONFLICT leads to a CONCLUSION. A coward goes to war and becomes a hero. A brave man goes into battle and becomes a coward. A dramatic story is the transformation of character through crisis; the premise is a succinct statement of that transformation."

2. How Do You Get The Copyright Symbol On Your Computer?

This depends on which word processor you use. In Microsoft Word, you can type a 'c' in brackets like this: (c) and it instantly transform into a copyright symbol.

Another way of doing it is to go to the 'insert' menu at the top of your screen, click on 'symbol', and choose the copyright symbol from the selections that pop up. Click on 'insert' and you're done.

3. How Do I Fasten My Manuscript When I Send It To A Publisher?

This depends on the thickness of the manuscript.

DO NOT bind the manuscript in any way. No ring binders, no plastic folders (an editor will surely want to behead you if you send each page enclosed in its own plastic sleeve a display folder) and no holes punched and threaded with ribbon.

4. How Much Will I Earn From My Book?

How long is a piece of string?

Your income will depend upon things like:...and, for all I know, what the editor had for breakfast that morning. It's a bit of a lottery. Just concentrate on doing the best writing you can, and focus on continually improving your craft. Cream rises to the top.

NOTE: Some editors do tell you in advance what they'll be offering for a certain type of book (this often happens with educational publishers). They'll sometimes offer a FLAT FEE for your work: which means you won't get any further income. Sometimes publishers will tell you what the upfront payment is (that is, the payment against royalties) and the percentage of royalties you can expect.

5. Can I Send My Work To More Than One Publisher At A Time?

The publishing world is changing (and not before time, most authors would say). In the past, the 'rule' was that you should send your precious novel to only one publisher at a time. Too bad if each one took 4-6 months to get back to you, so two years down the track you were only up to Publisher No. 6.

These days, many publishers acknowledge that it is not fair to expect authors to wait for such a long time for a 'yes' or 'no'. (Some still insist on being the solo submission - so leave them until last.) Send your work out to those who are OK with simultaneous submissions, and if you get rejected by all of those first, THEN send it to the one who insists on being the 'only'.

If you send your work to more than one publisher at the same time, let them know that you are doing this, and assure them that you'll let them know if you receive an offer from someone else.

The easiest route is to secure an agent, and let the agent worry about sending it out to all and sundry.

(c) Copyright Marg McAlister

Marg McAlister has published magazine articles, short stories, books for children, ezines, promotional material, sales letters and web content. She has written 5 distance education courses on writing, and her online help for writers is popular all over the world. Sign up for her regular writers' tipsheet at http://www.writing4success.com/


RELATED ARTICLES
Top Ten Writing Mistakes Made By New Childrens Writers
Okay. So I'm not David Letterman.
7 Book Publicity Tips for Authors and Small Publishers
The biggest mistake authors make when trying to get free publicity is pitching either themselves or their books.Don't pitch authors! Pitch issues.
Blank Mind, Blank Screen: Need Ideas!
Q. I'm staring at a blank screen with an equally blank mind.
The Heart of the Delay: Harnessing The Wisdom of Procrastination (AKA Writers Block)
I am sure that at in some era, at some desk, with some kind of paper (and perhaps some very special ink), some writer has breezed through a lengthy and challenging project from beginning to end with no delays. No one in her household has suffered, she's felt pleased at each step of the process, and her shoulders have never cried out for massage.
How Can You Find Freelance Work As A Writer?
For those looking at the jobs listings for writers, they may find themselves feeling left out. There are simply not enough employment options available.
The Unwritten World Of The Reality Of Letterwriting
You may wonder why I have chosen this title of this post. Well from my experience is that it is really hard to put the feeling into words about what letter writing means to me.
Top Seven Mistakes Writers Make and What to Do About Them
Writers often get stuck because they make assumptions about writing, finishing, publishing, and promoting their books. A recent client confessed that he thought a book was just too big a project.
How To Write for the Web
The Scanning ReaderWriting for the Web is different than writing for print. The differences are slight but significant.
Crime Writing Beckons
If your cash is running out fast and you have an incessant need to write, why not turn to crime?No! Not committing crime, but to writing about crime. Crime is all around us, and people want to know about it.
Childrens Stories - The Essentials
There is no specific formula for children's fiction. There are, however, some necessities.
Effective Editing: It Spells the Difference!
If you think proofreading equals editing, then you're wrong! Editing is a lot more than just scrutinizing your manuscript for misspelled words or missing punctuation marks.As a whole:Edit only *after* you've written the *whole* piece.
Personal Journaling - Strategies To Make It Easy
Recently I was watching the Oprah show and it was about doing something really great in someones life. Was it buying them a special gift? Or taking them out? Not really.
Publication Road
The journey to having my first novel for children published has been riddled with road blocks and shonky bridges. The good news? At every rickety stage I've picked up tips (and anti-tips) which I'm happy to share with everyone.
Grow Your Ideas Without Letting Words Grow Like Weeds
Q: How do I expand on an idea without getting too wordy?A. Before you begin counting words, focus on holding the reader's interest.
Writing for the Internet -- How To Give the Readers What They Want
In this article you will find tips on: How to intrigue your readers from the very start-the most important part of your piece isn't the content, Once they're hooked-reel them in, How to keep them reading through the entire piece instead of scanning for information, Break it up!-How to keep their attention span from reaching its limits, and How to keep your readers from becoming distracted while reading your well crafted articles.IntroductionIf you're new at writing on the Super Information Highway you may be stumped as to what readers want.
How To Write Thank You Letters With Class
When I first started tracking the information preferencesof people visiting my Writing Help Central Web site I wassurprised to find how many folks were seeking informationon how to write thank you letters. In fact, "thank youletter" information and sample templates are the third ranked destinations at that Web site.
You Dont Need Inspiration!
Or do you?Writers write. You shouldn't wait around for inspiration to come.
How To Write Your Way To A Fortune
We've all seen those ads that grab our attention and makes us want to pull out our credit cards and buy. Don't you wish you had that same power to persuade? but contrary to what you may have been told these skills can be learned So you're not a natural born writer so what! The first thing you need to ask yourself is who is my target audience and how many marketers are doing what i want to do? Competition is fine it shows you have a market for your products or services.
71 Ways For A Writer To Make Money
There are so many ways for writers to make good money by writing. Some people love to write, even as a hobby.
Common Writing Mistakes - Are These Holding You Back From Writing Success?
During the years that I've been teaching writing and participating in writers' critique sessions, I've seen some real talent. There are writers who produce such sparkling prose that you know publication is only a matter of time.