sallyhanan’s blog

A writer’s blog

Final cover August 31, 2009

Filed under: Business advice,Writing — sallyhanan @ 11:53 am

Bookmark and Share

Could this be it? Could the day finally have come when I get to say that my book is ready to be printed? If I can get it all together today, Wordclay are doing a special offer of a free ISBN. I have until midnight. . . .

jacket

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

Titles—use italics, quotation marks or roman? August 29, 2009

Filed under: Editing,Writing — sallyhanan @ 11:43 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Most people get confused when they have to write the names of works. We all know about capital letters, but are the titles written in italics or left alone or set inside quotation marks?

The Chicago Manual of Style says the following about how to write these into pieces of writing:

Holy books are not italicized, i.e.
The Bible
The Verdas

Books, journals, plays, newspapers (and sections of a newspaper that are published separately) are italicized. Even if the is part of the official title, it must be lowercased unless it begins a sentence or is an official foreign language title.
She loved catching up on news with the Daily Mail.
El Confidencial had a good article in it today.

When the newspaper or periodical has a name that is the name of a building or organization or prize, it is not italicized.
The Tribune Tower unveiled a new column last week.

An italicized title within a title stays italicized but is set in quotation marks.
Insights on Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”

Titles of book series are not italicized.
the Harry Potter series

Parts of long poems or scenes of plays are given no special treatment.
act 2, scene 1


Movies, radio and television programs are italicized.

Ever After is my favorite movie.

Single episodes are set inside quotation marks.
“The Pilot, Part 1” of Seinfeld imitated the show.

Formal names of TV and cable channels are left alone.
the Barker channel

Stories, short essays, poems, articles; and parts, chapters, sections of longer works are enclosed in quotation marks.

Sally Hanan’s story “I Have a Gift” is in her book Joy in a Box (forthcoming).

If single books are put into a collection as one volume, the volume is italicized when quoted.
Toronto is a collection of most of the stories that Ernest Hemingway wrote as a stringer . . . between 1920 and 1924.

Unpublished works like lectures, theses, speeches, manuscripts are put inside quotation marks.

Titles of books about to be published are italicized, with the word forthcoming in parentheses after them.
Tibetan Weddings in Ne’u na Village (forthcoming)

Web site titles are left alone.


Musical works, artworks, and cartoon strips are italicized

Titles of songs are set inside quotation marks. Performers’ names are left alone.
Wide Awake’s song “Maybe Tonight, Maybe Tomorrow” is on their album Something That We Can’t Let Go.

Titles of paintings, drawings, and statues are italicized but the really old ones (whose creators are mostly unknown) are enclosed in quotation marks.

Garfield was created by Jim Davis.

     
So, to summarize, the big titles are usually going to be in italics. The smaller and not-so-important ones will usually be in quotation marks.

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

Free blog exposure August 23, 2009

Filed under: Business advice — sallyhanan @ 1:24 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Alpha Inventions.com is a site a techie guy made to combat boredom. Basically, it works like other random-pick sites that flash through blog pages and you click on the ones you like the look of. This site is slightly different, though, in that it rotates the blogs most recently published rather than every blog in existence.

You might see alphainventions as a click-through site on your stats list, even if you did nothing to let alphainventions know you existed. You can, however, sign your site up on the site and get even more clicks, and if you want to have your site rotated more frequently, you can pay a subscription of $9.97 per month.

Here’s a vid. further explaining how it works.

Obviously, just having people see your site is never enough. You must have quality content and hooks—enough material to draw readers in. If you have a writing blog, then your content must be eclectic enough to have people stop and actually read what you have. Yours has to be different, stand out, keep them reading. I’m not going to make any claims to having those qualities in my blog, but at least I have more of an opportunity to have random visits to my blog from unknowns. Now I’m getting free exposure from a kind-hearted dude who was bored. 🙂

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

Exacerbate the fears and make millions August 19, 2009

Bookmark and Share

So we’ve seen how writers and sales people can capitalize on the four basic fears of others, but we only delved into two fears. Let’s continue. . . .

Example #3
You are afraid that you don’t matter to anyone, that you are not pretty enough/good enough/smart enough.


Sales pitch: Are you small? Would you like to be bigger? Being bigger would take care of all the problems in your life. No more will people overlook you when filling job positions. No more will people not notice that cute mole on your right cheek. No more will others not listen to your opinions. We want to give you, yes, give you, NoMoreShrinkage, because at this price, we’re practically giving away attention. NoMoreShrinkage works in such a unique way that you will not even feel it happening, and after your one hundred and thirty-five easy payments, you can walk tall.


Story: She stood in front of him, her eyes wide. He knew what she was thinking. Was there anything in there, behind those glassy gray eyes? She looked deeper, her pupils rushing from fleck to fleck in desperation. He held his own, hands in his back pockets, acting as calm as Tom Cruise on a dead motorbike. He just wished he had the shades. Her shoulders heaved, her eyes filled, and her body moved a step back. It was true. He was as dumb as a deaf, blind and mangy monkey, and there was nothing he could do about it, except, maybe, go buy those sunglasses now.

Example #4
You are afraid that you are irredeemable. You have messed up so much and so often that James Frey has nothing on you. You own the corner of the market on sin, and if you remind yourself enough (like, minute by minute) of what a loser you are, it will spur you to achieve incredible leaps of perfection (despite the fact that your dad tried that and it obviously didn’t work).


Sales pitch: Do you feel like cr*p? Have you failed again? Will you ever get it right? We have the answer! The Shoulda Button is attached to this tiny electrical wire that is attached to your neck that is drilled through your thick skull that is embedded in your brain. Every time you feel as if you should push yourself more, press this button and deliver 14 amps of electrical messages to your brain, saying such things like, “You shoulda not said that, you shoulda said this, you shoulda been witty, you shoulda smashed their face in.” Guaranteed for life, this only adds to the messages your brain already delivers, but we all know, it’s never enough. Exacerbate the pain, and maybe, some day, you’ll feel enough like the crud you really are to climb the highest mountains, drink milk with a moustache, and live your STD-filled life to the fullest.


Story: Grunt sat on the gritty floor of the granite cave grunting. Dadgrunt was out stoning bison, just like he did every day, only today he had asked Grunt to go along with him. Grunt grunted. He’d never be a stoner. His arm was too short, his aim was too high, his low was too low, but he couldn’t tell his dad that. Dadgrunt was the region’s top stoner. He’d never understand. Grunt lay on the gritty floor, and began to cry.

So it’s all quite simple really. Imagine the worst, write it down, and make your millions. Oh, and by the way, if you try and sue me because your writing career suddenly finds itself in the toilet, your worst fear might come true. Just think about that. Selah.

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

Use fear to sell your wares August 17, 2009

Bookmark and Share

Having been a lay counselor for almost ten years, I have noticed that people’s problems tend to settle into four basic beliefs or lies about themselves. Writers and sales people then use those fears to sell their wares.


Example #1
You are afraid of being abandoned by loved ones and believe that no one will help you when you need help the most.

Sales pitch: Do you live alone? Are you nervous about strangers breaking into your house in the middle of the night to kidnap your children and steal the family jewels?
Then buy the Zillion Decibel Alarmifuss, the ONLY alarm that will not only wake you, but also all the neighbors on your street and the cops in the donut shops on 5th and 9th. Buy Alarmifuss TODAY, and don’t live in fear any longer.

Story: She was at the part of her dream when he pulled her to his manly studly body and lowered his soft lips when the noise woke her. So disturbed was Lady Antonia by the sudden breach of her dream that she fought to regain her mind.
Lady Antonia was alone. Sir Gallivant had left her for his weekly tirade of the servants down at the shed (or had he), and she, the weak and helpless damsel, felt her heart stir with dread. She traced a finger down her cheek to the floor. Soon it would all be over, and Sir Gallivant would find her in a pool of her own blood with the jewels that bedecked her ears . . . gone.
                                                               
                                                               
Example #2
You are afraid of emotional or physical pain and you fear that you will die if you experience too much of it.

Sales pitch: Are you sad ALL the time? Do you cry at Disney movies? Do you weep at comedies? Are there tears on your pillow?
You need CryNoMore, the laughing pill that will have you frozen in happiness forevermore, and it’s sunshine yellow, because once you start taking these pills, every day will seem to have the sun shining through it.

Story: He looked into her liquid-green eyes and saw the fiery sparks of resentment firing back up into a fire. His heart melted in the flames, liquid lava spreading through his gut like a fire in his belly—the flames of love and lustiness reaching new heights—only to be drowned in her fireman’s dousing of all that lay within. He backed away, one footstep at a time. His fire would never meet her hose again—he vowed, and then he dashed away.
                                                               

Subscribe to this website for Part Two, cuz if you don’t, you, too, might find yourself without all I have to offer.
                                                               
                                                               

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

Ellipses, dots ( . . . ) periods . . . August 13, 2009

Filed under: Editing,Writing — sallyhanan @ 11:06 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Ellipses are those dots that people put in their writing. . . .
Mirriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines an ellipsis as a mark showing an omission (as of words) or a pause. The singular form can be either written as ellipse or ellipsis; the plural is ellipses.

While I would love to write a long and intelligent article about ellipses, there are times when others seem to do such an excellent job (writing on the same subject) that it makes more sense to link to their input rather than write almost exactly the same thing myself. The Grammar Girl is one such writer, and here is her take on ellipses.


The Guide to Grammar and Writing suggests putting brackets around the ellipses in sentences.

A teacher from UsingEnglish.com talks about putting a space . . . between each dot of the ellipses, rather than have them all squished together like the seven dwarfs in one bed (my simile). His statement is backed up by both the CMS and the MLA.

All I will say about ellipses . . . is that I like using them when I want to make a reader slow down . . . and think about what I’ve written. . . .

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

Espresso: In-store book printing August 6, 2009

Bookmark and Share

What is an Espresso machine?
This is an Espresso machine. It makes you coffee and serves up a warmed chocolate croissant. . . .
Kidding!

“Up close and personal it is as if the Gutenberg Press met with Willy Wonka, and the chocolatier come out on top.” ~ Felicity Wood, editorial assistant at The Bookseller

What can it do?
The Espresso machine is like an ATM for books because it prints books while you wait. The exact number of minutes it takes to print a book depends on the number of pages being printed and the size of the book, but in one machine,
pages are printed,
a cover is printed,
the spine is glued,
the pages are evenly chopped,
and a finished book slides out of the chute.

How fast is it?
Version 2.0 will print a book of 300 pages in about four minutes. The older version is three times slower.

What can be printed on it?
Books can be printed from the Public Domain list, as can books from a PDF file. Publishers that work with Lightening Source have made their titles available. Writers and content owners can also print their own books on it.

How much will it cost to print a book?
The cost to the store owner for one book is about $2, but we have yet to see what price the retailers settle at for having the machine in their store. The older machine costs a store/library $75,000, and the newer one $175,000. The store also has the option to rent it for $1,000 a month.

If a newer machine prints 60,000 books a year when it’s working 24/7, then it produces 20,000 if it only works an 8 hour day. If the retailer charges double the cost to make a book, then he will only make $40k in the first year, assuming that books will be churned out of it like play-dough. It will take over four years before he begins to make a return on his money, so I assume that he will charge the public about $7 in order to pay off the machine inside of two years instead. Add on the royalties for the publisher and the writer, and you shoot up the price even more. This would end up costing more than the basic price of a paperback, so who benefits, then?

Writers might.

How might it benefit writers?
Writers can send their files electronically to the Espresso machine and have them printed while on their way to pick it up. As long as retailers settle at $8 a book, it ends up cheaper for writers to print their books on an Espresso than print the book with print-on-demand companies. Most print-on-demand books end up charging the writer over $10 just to print, and that’s before shipping costs are added. As long as retailers make the use of the Espresso machine cost effective, a writer can price a book to be more competitive with bookstore prices and still receive some sort of royalty.

Another beauty of printing on the Espresso is that writers and publishers can see exactly where their content has been ordered and produced, and the system tracks all the data needed to divvy up royalties, production costs, network fees, etc.

“We’re looking forward to a rapid expansion of available content, moving us much closer to our goal of 1 million titles available on the Espresso Book Machine.” ~Andrew Hutchings, Blackwell Group Chief Executive Officer.

All of this is only good news to writers if stores and libraries are smart about their pricing system. In England there is a set fee of $17 a book, plus 4c for every page, although a popular book costs the same as its cover price. Rare books could cost about $25. Not so smart. . . .

Where are these machines?
Libraries and bookstores will be the main outlets for this machine. As I write, the Espresso machines are available in the following places in the US:


Internet Archive, San Francisco
New Orleans Public Library
University of Michigan Library
Northshire Bookstore, Vermont
Brigham Young University Bookstore, Provo, Utah
University of Arizona Bookstore, Tucson, AZ
University of Missouri Bookstore, Columbia, MO
The InfoShop, The World Bank (exhibition, 2006), Washington, District of Columbia
New York Public Library, SIBL (exhibition, 2007), New York, New York

Click here to find the location of Espressos in other countries.

Click here for more information about the Espresso machine.

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

Using Commas before Names or Titles August 1, 2009

Bookmark and Share

An appositive is an adjective that means: relating to.
Apposition is when you have two nouns that refer to the same thing, i.e. girl/Sarah or dad/Henry or Ms. White/teacher.

So when you have these two nouns, that relate to each other, sitting beside each other in a sentence (now called appositives), do you use a comma to set off the second one or don’t you?

See if you know by mentally putting commas where they should go:

1. My younger brother John made me dinner.
2. Mr. Smith’s wife Jackie made a fool of herself.
3. My friend Flora played with me.
4. One of her novels Sniffling in the Wind has had its film rights acquired.

1. My younger brother, John, made me dinner.
I only have one younger brother.

2. Mr. Smith’s wife, Jackie, made a fool of herself.
Mr. Smith only has one wife (at least, we hope so).

3. My friend Flora played with me.
I have a few friends.

4. One of her novels Sniffling in the Wind has had its filming rights acquired.
She’s written a few novels.

In other words, if the information after the noun is vital, you don’t set it off with commas. If it is not vital, then you do.

Vital=no commas
Not vital=commas

                                                               

Let’s see if you got the hang of it. Figure out where the commas go again.

1. Tom Cruise’s role in the movie Jerry McGuire catapulted him to fame.
2. The school’s director Mr. Bellringer was not impressed with the boys’ behavior.
3. Benaiah son of Jehoiada chased a lion down into a pit.
4. The fourth president James Madison was born in 1971.

1. Tom Cruise’s role in the movie Jerry McGuire catapulted him to fame.
2. The school’s director, Mr. Bellringer, was not impressed with the boys’ behavior.
3. Benaiah son of Jehoiada chased a lion down into a pit. (Assuming that Benaiah was a common name back then, which would make the extra information essential.)
4. The fourth president, James Madison, was born in 1971.

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

 
%d bloggers like this: