Starting from Scratch

Guest post
by Gordon Long

When I build special effects machines for movies, I usually start with an experimental model, often full size. Because I’m making something completely original, it’s a rather creative, make-it-up-as-you-go process, as opposed to the design-on-paper-then-build pattern that normal construction follows.

However, there comes a time in the process when the mockup is finished to a point, and I have worked out most of the mechanical bugs. Now I have to make the decision; do I keep on working with model, or do I start over from scratch? An impulse says, “I’ve already put a lot of hours into this one, it’s functioning well. Why not just keep going? Why go back to square one?”

Never Listen to That Little Voice. Continue reading “Starting from Scratch”

The Oddville Press: Showcase Your Talent

Guest post
by Lorraine Sears
Managing Editor
The Oddville Press

Ask almost any writer or artist what they find hardest about their profession and you might be surprised by the answer. It’s not the creativity, or even the preparation ahead of publishing. Moreover, it’s something that the intended audience won’t even consider for the hard work and commitment involved. I’m talking, of course, about marketing.

I’ve interviewed a number of authors and the occasional artist on my blog, and for most, the marketing aspect really pushes them outside their comfort zone. When it comes to selling their work, even writers represented by larger organisations such as publishing houses have to do there bit to drum up sales. The problem is, none of us are sales reps. That’s not where our passion lies.

There’s no denying the growing popularity of the e-book, which along with sites like CreateSpace and Lulu make it ever-easier for independent authors to get their work into the marketplace. But with so many authors and titles, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd.

You can blog, you can tweet and you can write it on Facebook. But what’s different about you from the thousands of others already out there, doing the same? Continue reading “The Oddville Press: Showcase Your Talent”

When Is a Book Not a Book?

When people ask me how many books I have written, that’s a tough question to answer. It may seem cut and dry to many, but I’ve not only created novels, non-fiction books, children’s books, and workbooks, but also calendars.

Is a calendar actually considered a book? A title? I don’t know. One would think the answer would vary depending on who I ask, but no – everyone says yes – the calendar counts.

So, why do I have such a hard time counting it? Continue reading “When Is a Book Not a Book?”