Open Floor and a Note

First the note. Next weekend will begin a new round of Saturday posts by the MGCers as well as some really wonderful guest posts.

One way to bring topics of interest to our attention is to comment about them on open thread days. So here’s your chance. If you have a question or comment about anything to do with publishing, let us know. If you have a suggestion for topics we might cover later, post them in the comments section. For the day, the floor is yours.


  1. How about covering something on the writers promotional platform? The best ways to get the word out about yourself as an author and advertise your writing without coming across too much as a salesperson or spammer.

    1. Let me get back to you on that when and if I figure out some kind of answer.

      Of course, me being the world’s worst self-publicist, I don’t recommend that you hold your breath.

  2. The eighth time you have to look up the proper spelling of your spaceship’s captain’s name, is it time to realize that you are being way too clever using greek names and background?

    1. Answering this one because it’s easy: if he’s your main character, HELL yes. If he’s a fairly frequently occurring minor character, yes. If he’s a bit-part with a name, why are you giving him a name that will leave your readers tongue-tied?

      If you can’t pronounce it or spell it, it’s probably not a good idea to use it. Just as a general guideline.

    2. Pam, you have just hit on one of my pet peeves. If an author has problems keeping track of a character’s name, there is a problem. That’s especially true if it is a character that appears more than once or twice in the book. The first problem is that there are too many characters. If you are naming every single person/critter/whatever that crosses the page, you are running the very real risk of confusing your reader. Not every person making an appearance needs to be named. Think about what would happen if every extra in a movie were named.

      The second problem is that the author has gotten too clever in naming conventions. Gawd, this happens most often in fantasy. Why or why do authors of epic fantasy especially think they have to have character names with six syllables and most every letter in the alphabet? If your reader has to stop every time they read a name to sound it out — or if they are renaming your characters for simplicity sake — you need to rethink what you are doing.

      1. But Amanda and Kate! They’re from Atlantis! They can’t just be John and Mike! GD&R.

        No, really, they’ve got three and four letter easily pronouncible nick names. But the stupid comupter refusing to say “Tel did such and such.” No, it insists on “Commander Telamonian . . . ” And that’s after I argued the Back Brain out of Archhelios or somesuch really rank rank.

        Something tells me this is going to be one of those “Must write this incredibly cool idea down RIGHT NOW” ideas that never make it past 2K words.

        1. Your computer can learn spelling. TEACH it. Create a custom dictionary per story with the specific terms for that story in it – and remember to change out which ones are active. That or do what I do and let spillchuck have fits.

          Easy to pronounce and remember nicknames are essential. Remember you are in effect translating this to your (mostly) English-speaking audience. If they wonder why in the heck you’ve named someone something like THAT, they aren’t interested in the story.

  3. Have you guys given any thought to having another one of the contests you’ve had in the past. IE Write 250 words about X…winner gets 1500 words of a story edited? Something like that. Those are my favorite and I’d like to win one just to say I’ve had something edited by a professional writor/editor.

  4. Will someone be commenting on the Apple Ibook EULA business? Where Apple apparently is saying if you use our software to produce your ebook and you want to sell it — you must sell it through us.

    1. Mike, it’s worse than that. If you use it, we can tell you if you get to sell through us and, if you don’t, you can’t sell anywhere else. Then there’s the 30% take….

      I’m sure at least one of us will be discussing it.

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