Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Self-Publishing Revisited, PAGE Counts?

A few posts back, I wrote about self-publishing, expressing my own view that conventional publishing is preferable for the serious writer. Well, I came across an article that takes a totally different approach, and I felt it was only fair to share the link with you as we need to be open-minded in this changing world, and I'd hate to think (as if I had that kind of influence!) that I'd deterred some of you from self-publishing when you might forge ahead because of it. Here's the article at Writer's Digest. Perhaps you'll leave your comment for me. I'm interested in what you think about it.

I've been a little tired of late, and I know it's caused by too much immersion in the writing process. At present I'm researching aspects of WWII, as it applies to the RAF Bomber Command in Britain. It's a fascinating read, all of it, but you get caught up in individual stories and photographs and it leads you away from the original point of the research. Looking at the those lovely young men, ready to fly out on their next mission, uncertain if they'll return, I am struck by how very young they were. It's true today, of course, with so many young people at war, and I am selfishly relieved that my own sons have been spared such involvement.

All of this has added to this weariness, which is not physical. It comes from a deep emotional pull into those bygone lives, a draining process. I am a product of the so-called Protest Generation. We thought we were actually making a difference back then. Yet still we are at war. Call us naive, over-optimistic, stoned, we had a sense that the world could know peace. So much for that.

May I just remind you guys of a little thing that I had overlooked myself at the beginning of this blogging process. The number of pages you've written is irrelevant. Depending on the size of the font (which, it's recommended, should be 12 pt Courier or Times New Roman) the number of pages will vary. The only thing that matters is the word count, which you can find in "Tools" in your Word program. I mention this here today because I think there are some of you who don't know this. Thought this might be helpful.

Never hang back from asking a question that you feel is a tad silly - that you figure everyone knows, except you. I Googled a lot to get answers to dumb questions, and mostly got the answers. But we're all friends here, and need to support each other. If you still haven't received a satisfactory answer, comment here. I'm not for one minute suggesting that I know everything, on the contrary, but I know many of my readers are really smart. Someone will know the answer.


Michael said...

When I'm writing a book, I generally have an approximate page count and price in mind, such as 300 pages/$19.95 or 400 pages/$29.95.

My word processing software is formatted for the 6 x 9 inch page size of the final book and correct font. Working this way (paying no attention to word count) is a good way to judge my progress.

It also helps me decide when chapters should be lengthened, shortened, combined or eliminated, and whether illustrations should be added, deleted or re-sized.

Working with book-size pages rather than 8.5 x 11 pages is much more "real." I'm producing a book, not just spitting out words.

Michael N. Marcus

Melissa Marsh said...

Fran, I love your sincerity and honesty. Good for you on putting up the link to the "other" side of the story. I think we all need to be a lot more open-minded in this day and age.

I know exactly what you mean about getting sucked into the research! I love digging into WW2 history. All the stories that spring to mind when I read that history...what brave men and women they all were.

Fran said...

Michael: Agents are NOT interested in page counts. I assume you are self-publishing.

Helen Ginger said...

It is easy to get caught up in research. I tend to find information, copy it, print it out and add it to a huge notebook. Then I go back and highlight stuff. That makes it easier to find info as I start to write. Not a perfect system, but it's working for me.

Kit Courteney said...

While I'm editing I LONG to get caught up in some research but can't until I'm done with this one.

The anticipation is driving me nuts!