You have questions. Ask away.

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your humble host

This blog has long been a friendly place to come and learn, and what better way to learn than to ask?

You have questions. Writer stuff, marketing, motivation, you name it.

ASK ME

Your questions. Your challenges. Your issues.

If I don’t know, we’ll put it out to my vast network of author friends and get an answer. Or I’ll make something up.

 

Many people helped me when I was starting out because I was willing to ask what I needed to know.

That shortened my learning curve substantially.

– Dan Alatorre

So go ahead. Ask me anything.

12 thoughts on “You have questions. Ask away.

  1. Hi Dan, this is perfect timing for me. I was contacted yesterday by a publisher who is interested in publishing my book Visions of Zarua in Czech. They asked if I own the Czech rights and for a copy of the manuscript. I replied that I was very interested but could they give me a bit more info. They haven’t replied yet and now I’m panicking! Should I wait it out or email again and send them the word doc of my book?
    Do you or any of your contacts know where I should go from here? I am self published in the UK with no agent.
    Thanks very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As an author you get very excited when somebody shows an interest in publishing your book in another country.

      As a consumer, you have to be careful of what you purchase or what you allow other people to do with your property.

      There are numerous groups on the Internet that talk about how people contact authors to get the rights to publish a book in a foreign country and it’s some sort of scam. They either somehow acquire the rights completely because you don’t hire a lawyer or the laws within that country, for example Portugal (allegedly) allow if you give somebody the rights for Portugal you have given them the rights for the world – and they end up screwing you out of your book.

      I’m not a lawyer and even though I occasionally play one on TV, this is tricky territory.

      My basic premise is this:

      If somebody has a genuine interest in your book, they should have no problem giving you the information you need to make an informed decision. My guess is it’s the holidays and they are busy if they’re legit. If they are not legit they are looking for somebody to jump at the chance. And possibly even pay some fees for legal stuff to happen in that country. So even though my radar would be up, I would proceed with caution.

      The biggest thing I would look at is the Czech market – it is not huge, so even if it was all legit it’s probably not going to make you a lot of money so it’s not going to be worth a lot of your time.

      Definitely do not pay them anything because my guess is if they’re not legit that’s where this is headed.

      I hope it’s legit!

      They should have given their name and some other information. Check them out. If it’s JoBlo and Company publishers, Google JoBlo and Company publishers. Google search term like “JoBlo and Company publishers scam” and see what comes out. Try to look at them as though they are not legit and see what type of problems come up. All I would need is one story saying somebody got ripped off by these guys for me to walk away, but I’m not the one they called!

      Hope this helps. Keep us posted. Good luck! I want this to work out for you!

      Like

    • Asking for a friend?

      You write what you have to write to do what needs to be done.

      Then you continue on with your story, with a note to yourself that chapter 6 is too lengthy.

      It’s not that you are struggling with the ideas, you are probably struggling with the proper way to say them. Getting it “finished“ and out-of-the-way will allow your mind to relax about it and proceed with the story. But you put a note to yourself that you have to revisit it.

      Let it sit for a week.

      When you come back, your eyes will be fresh for that scene and you will probably spot several ways to Tighten it up. If not, then you do a writers trick I created. You contact somebody like me on Facebook and say I have this big rambling scene where the guy is stuck in a train station for 12 hours…

      And in the process of explaining the problem to someone, you will condense the information down to a few sentences so they know what’s going on.

      Odds are if you were rambling, the sentences you gave them are probably all YOU need for the scene.

      Then you just go back and add in whatever needs to be added in. An emotion or something.

      In my case, I had the guy staring at his watch complaining about how he spent 12 hours at the train station. About 2000 words became about three sentences.

      This is one of the time where “tell, don’t show” applies!

      Liked by 1 person

      • In this hypothetical situation, I was so frustrated last night I didn’t even write. I went for a long walk, helped my daughter get her American Girl dolls ready for sale (sniff), and watched the Amazing Race. Maybe tonight I can continue and meet the situation head-on.

        Liked by 2 people

        • It depends on why you’re being wordy. If it’s because you are frustrated then going for a walk will clear your head. Getting away from that will help.

          You’re also allowed to work on a different part of the story until you can come back and concisely say what you’re trying to say in your trouble spot.

          All of those work. Actually, different things work for different problems but it’s not a crime to get away from it for a little while. Often on the treadmill I get a great idea that really solves some problem that has been lingering in my story! (Anything to not be on the treadmill!)

          Like

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