Writer’s Reflections on Eloi and Morlock: Hummingbirds and Ants

HUMMINGBIRD AT FEEDER

HUMMINGBIRD AT FEEDER

AM I ELOI OR MORLOCK?

I put the hummingbird feeder out but two days ago, when I noticed the hummingbirds flitting around the drying coneflowers. Hamilton, New Jersey, is reaching that part of the summer where most of the red flowers have bloomed (my Bee Balm), and it is harder to find food for the little hummers that delight the eye.

And that do no work that benefits anyone but themselves and their babies.

The ants – my nemeses – have already smelled the sugar, climbed the pole, and started feasting on the sugar water not intended for them.

Hummingbirds – cute.

Ants – not cute.

Hummingbirds – deserving of treats.

Ants – NOT deserving of the drops they steal from the hummingbirds’ pit stop.

So much in this world depends on ‘cute.’

Ants work hard, toiling away with no chance of spouse or little ones of their own, caught in a permanent life of caring for someone else’s children, finding food, and losing their little lives for the good of the hive.

While hummingbirds live on their model good looks. There goes another one! I am happy! It deigned to stop and sample my free lunch.

I know a model’s life is hard, that beauty comes from semi-starvation and hours spent primping.

Don’t tell me the little bird is working hard for its babies, somewhere up in the top of the tree next door where I’ve seen them zoom at dusk. I know that. It also has a mate. It fears the predators, the feral cats my neighbor insists on feeding. But it gets to do this while being stunningly beautiful (the male. I know – I never said Nature was fair). Little Eloi.

And it gets to FLY. I would LOVE to fly unaided, as it does.

I don’t want to be an ant, lost in a dark tunnel under the earth, with millions of indistinguishable coworkers – female, but that doesn’t matter. I don’t want brief visits to the sun, laying trails for others to follow to food, having an appendage ripped off in a battle with a rival colony.

An imperfect hummingbird dies. An imperfect ant soldiers on, until it can’t.

I am an ant. Not a very good one. I’m one of those broken imperfect ones. A nice solid Morlock by training.

I would rather be a hummingbird.

You?

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44 thoughts on “Writer’s Reflections on Eloi and Morlock: Hummingbirds and Ants

  1. donnainthesouth

    thanks so much for everything, Alicia, just don’t think she’s interested at this point; guess will see what happens – brave new world we live in, isn’t it – just a little bit more – there are those or at least used to be who apparently were willing – or maybe that was the only way to self-publish back then – to pay the big bucks and have a basement full of books – but had a friend who had a teacher who wrote and self-published one of those books – had no idea at the time when I’d run across one at a thrift store and bought it – we got to talking about it one day and it sounded familiar so dug it out – she couldn’t think of the name but I had it – so one thing and another and after a fair amount of googling around – because he was long gone, etc. – found that garage/basement full of books still at his widow’s house and was able to buy her both a hardback and paperback for her birthday but how many unsold are sitting there – I’d love to be able to market them or see them put them up on Amazon but they just don’t seem to be interested – it was his project, not theirs – I just wonder what’s going to happen to all of them

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      It seems unfair – ending up with a basement full of books which then have to be recycled.

      What an interesting story – and how nice you were able to get your friend a copy of a book like that.

      As I’m getting older, though, I’m finding that I have to prioritize how I spend my energy – I feel for the widow! It would be a huge effort to market the books.

      And you’ve said nothing about the quality of the writing or the timeliness of the story or whether it was worth preserving. If it is, maybe your friend who had him as a teacher will do something.

      We all have our own business to deal with first. That by itself takes up a lot of time. I can’t tell you the number of things I’ve put on hold lately, just to spend what energy I have doing my editing (which is almost finished).

      Is the sale of this book something you would want to get involved with?

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      1. donnainthesouth

        possibly; I don’t expect the widow to get involved in it; she’s way too elderly, I believe, at this point; if anybody, I think possibly it would be – I think – her son-in-law, at least I think that’s who I went through to make contact with the widow; he’s a teacher now himself at the school that the author taught at, thinking possibly when the widow passes away and he’s left to deal with it and may be retired by then and have the time, although I’ve just realized with this that I should possibly check on the situation, see if he is still on the job, especially right now while – haven’t told you this and you may not have had to do it since you used the books – I’m taking a Word class; so excited! passing right by the school to do so – duh.
        At least right now don’t think there’s anyway my friend could take this on; she’s in the middle of a custody issue regarding her niece vs. her (the niece’s) biological father – her sister’s “ex” husband, though don’t think quite, for a lot of legal reasons, but definitely estranged, at least; quite complicated, and that on top of some of the physical situations you have, plus having to deal with her husband’s business; I don’t see how – especially after learning more about how just the physical condition affects you – she does all she has to do.
        I do have a project or more I’ve been more interested in working on, possibly because not really sure how I do feel about the story itself; might have to go back over it, mainly was just so thrilled to be able to do it for her; she was soooo overjoyed; it really meant something to her to get because the story meant something to her, but really I almost think it really wasn’t the book/story itself, but more the interest the teacher who wrote took in her at a time in her life that she really needed it, if that makes any sense to you, so something have to see about it.
        Thanks so much for your interest; making me want to look into it, just to see, but, yes, does seem unfair; would like to see it at least listed on Amazon, to give them that much of a chance, anyway.

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        1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          Congrats on the Word course – it is quite learnable.

          As for the book, it seems to me you’ve already done a huge amount. If it hasn’t taken off, well, at least you gave several people a push. It’s up to them.

          Unless you want to take on the task – putting the book up for sale somewhere, handling orders, mailing them off to customers – you have already gone above and beyond. You tried. If the son-in-law doesn’t pursue the matter, that’s it. Hope the book wasn’t one of the masterpieces of Western Literature.

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        2. donnainthesouth

          oh I don’t think it’s quite that; depending, of course, on how you define it; also been attending a Great Books book club but I’ll tell you, sorry, but I just don’t care for Hemingway if he supposed to be considered one of the masters
          but maybe we have a misunderstanding; I haven’t done anything regarding that book, except find those copies for my friend; granted, that was quite an ordeal to do, but that’s all I did; I have no idea what they – or he – wants to do -just thinking hadn’t even thought about it while passing by the school on the way to the class, so just thinking might just see
          it does seem to be, with somebody explaining it – and having actually written a manual – so maybe I should have just bitten the bullet and called myself a Dummie and gotten one of those books – I just thought there should be a written manual – but why? used to be my age as an excuse but somehow – ahem – seems can’t really get by with that anymore – experience, or rather lack thereof, maybe?

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        3. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          The question is always: how much of an effort do you put in, and what do you need?

          I already knew Word, from an earlier incarnation that was much simpler. When I had to upgrade to Office 2011, I found Word had changed/improved/grown so much that I didn’t want to make the effort, since I was already having problems with writing fiction in Word. It’s a business program, to be fair. If you want an agent, and you want to submit to publishers, a Word document (.doc or .docx) is the standard; Scrivener will produce either, too.

          I picked up Scrivener when I switched computers, bought the Dummies book and took two of Gwen Hernandez’ courses, and made that my main writing tool.

          Then, earlier this year, I REALLY learned Scrivener, from the manual, so that I could use the Compile feature I really bought it for: making ebooks. I put several weeks of my life into learning the ins and outs of Scrivener’s Compile function, and the post about one-click ebooks shows I think I did a pretty good job of it.

          I’ve been writing twenty years. There is a lot I’ve learned.

          How much do you need? How much do you want it? What do you need it for? That will determine how much effort you are willing to put in, and what you get out of it.

          The programs are relatively inexpensive, considering how much TIME and EFFORT you put in. Choose carefully where you want to put your time.

          That’s all.

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        4. donnainthesouth

          was talking to someone today who does a newsletter; just kept saying she does it in “just” (not her word, mine) Windows – didn’t know you could do that, still not sure you can; when something came up and I mentioned taking this Word class, then she said – well, maybe it is Word, just operates on Windows – that I understand – was talking about columns, which I understand in Word; was going to try to look – well, guess did in a way – and see if there anything Windows itself had like that – do you know? I have Office 2013; son just got 2010, not sure I knew there was a 2011, you sure? what I keep hearing so about is how much it changed from 2007 to 2010 and that then now the 2013 has somewhat changed back, which does seem to be somewhat true, having used 2010. I had learned what you’re saying, when I was trying/thinking I had to go through people, that everybody pretty much wanted Word – just that that one guy was willing to take it in Open Office – but you have taken courses in Scrivener, then…I asked the people doing the Word course about it (I think) and they just said they weren’t trying to do publishing. I read your posts about your Scrivener Compile learning, but just hadn’t even thought, at that point, about doing e-books, maybe because trying to target Young Adults, at least, maybe actually to begin with somewhat younger; either way not real sure how much they’re doing e-books yet; know my 19 yr. old son hates them.
          It’s hard to believe that it seems I’ve been on this publishing (not so much writing) journey for almost 20 yrs. – way before CreateSpace was thought of, so the only way I thought I knew to go at the time – short of spending a bunch of money like that guy did – was to go through an agent or find a publisher – and at the time I didn’t even have Word at all or anything actually and or even knew you could even do anything in Word – or rather do it all, which actually you can’t – guess actually maybe I did want to do it myself, in the sense I wanted the program they use – InDesign – but I had to be able to get the books into that program, which I had no idea how to do at that point – maybe, from what I understand, had I known about Scrivener….the first place really I found the books online was for e-readers, but way before Kindle, etc. – Mobi reader? – trying to remember, didn’t you say something about the Scrivener will allow you to an e-reader that can be on any platform?
          I wouldn’t have minded trying or learning but at the time I had no idea where to even start or how; maybe just didn’t google enough? but not knew, if even possible, not sure was, could get the Mobi on my pc – think did try and don’t think I could, anyway, maybe, again, just had no idea how – but think thought had to have dedicated e-reader at the time, which didn’t have – so seems just took a while either for technology to catch up with or the other way around
          so, that’s all? yea….been quite a journey, but seems to getting there now

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        5. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          Office/Word 2011 is for the MAC. I don’t know ANY Windows.

          .mobi is the file format for the Kindle; it also works in Kindle for Mac (an app that mimics a Kindle on the Mac). I’m sure there is an equivalent app for PC, and for phones and tablets.

          I would strongly recommend that you not start learning InDesign; it is several notches harder than a simple word-processing program like Word, or a content-management system like Scrivener. Try easier text editors/word processors first.

          Times have changed in this century; you don’t have to go to a vanity publisher and pay lots of money to get books printed.

          If you want a traditional publisher or agent you have to go online and find out how each one wants you to submit your work to them; these days, you’re going to have to send some an electronic file, others might still take paper.

          No matter what you do, you’re going to have to produce a clean manuscript. That’s easiest if you do it on the computer; print it out if someone wants a paper copy.

          Don’t forget to make backups!

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        6. donnainthesouth

          ah, no wonder I didn’t know about Word 2011; maybe that’s what they do, alternate between the 2 –
          seems like I learned that from you but had totally forgotten – probably shouldn’t have even been trying to type last night – was quite a day – I do have Kindle on my phone and PC, but I just read with it; still have no idea how I’d write with it – guess maybe need to back and look at your stuff, see what you’ve done but just wasn’t really thinking of going that route right now, but just making the point that at the time I first found them done in that format had no idea how to find them in it with not having a device, don’t think they’d even come out with the Kindle at that point, was going to say didn’t even have a modern Windows computer then and no internet but guess we must have by the time I found the .mobi stuff but I’d been working on the books well before then when we didn’t have any of that; hub didn’t even like DOS; he CPM’s – know anything about that? so when the world went the other way he just threw out his PC’s and we didn’t even have any for a long time so my word processing back then went back to the old WordStar/Wordperfect – remember those? we finally got a Windows XP computer and Word but guess didn’t think it was what you used for something like that – I’d thought you needed the Adobe programs, since we had the reader, thought needed the writer, which led to the InDesign and since that’s what the printers all said they would turn around and format the Word document into, so thought part of not having to pay them to do it was to just do it myself in it, to have that clean manuscript, just didn’t think Word was considered enough but guess it can be and guess began to think it was till you started talking about all this other, but guess need to start where you are and you do seem to be way ahead of me in terms of what you’ve done – still remember when the guys at work were building the computer system – at least the data base – dBaseIII – know anything about that?
          and I do have it on a thumb drive! still remember those days of no back up – working on a big document at work on a – remember these? – dedicated word processor machine – well, not back up like now, but still could and should have – and lost it all and had to start all over – I did learn you could back up and did after every chapter that time.

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        7. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          The Kindle apps are ONLY for reading.

          Finish your manuscript first on whatever you use; then worry about getting it to the publishing stage.

          I suspect I am ahead of you by quite a bit – you don’t need all this stuff yet.

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        8. donnainthesouth

          oh, it’s finished; it’s nothing like your epic – already uploaded to Createspace, just waiting on some final details but that’s just for print – will go back and look at what you’ve said about digital, how you did that – but still wonder about that .mobi edition

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        9. donnainthesouth

          maybe I’d need to send you to the one who helped me but actually he told me they just step you through it, which seemed like they did but I sure couldn’t seem to do it before –

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        10. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          Thanks. I have my own peeps lined up there, but I appreciate the offer.

          I’ve gotten almost to the end of their process all by myself, to before you actually upload and click to make it happen. Not too hard.

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        11. donnainthesouth

          see, that’s not the hard part; now the fact that unless you get their help, they just do what you send them, now that’s where the issue is, right? they just put out what you send them

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        12. donnainthesouth

          right, my point exactly; self-publishing got a bad name by people doing exactly that; it’s gotten a lot more professional now with pretty much everybody – I think – doing now what you’re doing, maybe because it’s gotten easier…? or at least more doable, maybe not easy

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  2. donnainthesouth

    Alicia, this is probably not the place for this – nor really for all our other comments – you made hunt up my hummingbird picture – that I did have right in front of me till we did some stuff, you just don’t know how much I love them and what they mean to me – so loved this pic – anyway I don’t know how to put stuff to you in a better place but I just had to send this to you

    https://audreydcunningham.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/the-worst-query-letter-ever-written-how-not-to-get-a-literary-agent-to-represent-your-book/

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      I wanted the interaction, the feedback, and a chance to find a few readers.

      I think it’s worked marvelously. I’ve made some really good friends, traded notes with other writers and bloggers, and met an enormous number of nice people. Like you.

      And the through readers and the binge readers have given me a lift, often when I really needed one – this is a long-haul commitment.

      It’s going to have to come down, except for a sample; I’m going Kindle Select, and they require exclusivity in response to their goodies. Later, I’ll see. If it’s a problem for anyone, and they miss the sale (I’ll let everyone know), people should write to me.

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      1. donnainthesouth

        I can see that, can’t you? after all, didn’t you mother tell you they won’t buy the cow if they can get the milk for free? 🙂 anyway, been – finally after all these years – taking a blogging course – did you ever? you seem to know so much – and met a lady who’s written a medieval novel that she’s now editing; I asked her about Scrivener but she hasn’t said anything about that yet; I’m not even sure exactly how this came up but she just said she was too neurotic to put hers up online, just thought you seemed to be so glad you did that I wanted to ask what exactly about it was to pass it on to her, see if something she’d like to consider but of course if she’s already through and editing….thanks so much

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        1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          The cow you will get is better!

          Beginning writers have two important problems which are related: discoverability and sales. When the revised version is up, I will take this one down except for a sample. The first 3-4 months I will be on Kindle Direct Publishing – Select, and Kindle Unlimited. After that, your guess is as good as mine. I’ll do the POD and audiobook versions as soon as I can, but what I want to do is get back to finishing the story.

          There are small changes to the current books coming – but only about 100 people have read to the end, and they already know the story, and won’t mind if I straighten a few paragraphs that were too convoluted.

          MCA Hogarth regularly posts, as serials, her new novels that work that way – and then she takes them down, and markets them more widely.

          Other people do the same: the degree of polish varies, though, from some people putting up rough drafts to others who aim for perfection (even if we don’t quite get there). The perfectionists don’t want to do a lot of work later; the rough drafters are sometimes looking for advice or people to point out typos and plot holes. To each her own.

          As for blogging, I read other people’s writing blogs starting in about Jan. 2011 (I have no idea what I was doing in my brain before that that I didn’t think of it). Then, in Sep. 2012, I followed the instructions and started up my own WordPress blog. When I was ready, Feb. 2013, I believe, I posted the first scene of Pride’s Children, and the rest is my personal history, learning all the way.

          It depends on your temperament. I was terrified people would laugh at me when I started. Then I became aware that nobody was reading, and I relaxed. I got a WordPress for Dummies book (which I will now use the second half of – the WordPress.ORG part which is used for paying sites (Pride’s Children will have its own site). People have been kind and encouraging and helpful. I have asked for help and had it offered.

          Mostly I’ve just been accepted as one of the gang. It’s nice.

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        2. donnainthesouth

          Thanks so much, Alicia; I think/she says she’s just too much of a perfectionist to put it out there like that; she says she is a member of a writer’s group, which I was wondering, with you health issues, if you were or if you were using online instead; maybe that could be the difference? I need to go see just how long I’ve been doing anything; know I somewhat got kicked over to WordPress, like what happened to my last place; I always went with these little obscure places (because I didn’t want to do blogger/BlogSpot/google – why did you choose WordPress) and they always kept folding and sending me somewhere else till I wound up here, just don’t remember when, maybe I should have just gotten the book; don’t know, call me – something, not sure what – but didn’t like those “Dummie” books because didn’t want to consider myself one, now isn’t that dumb, if you are, you are – oh well, have you even seen this class? at least I think it’s them that offer it, not even really sure who’s doing it – anyway, that’s what she’s afraid of too; not sure how long she’s had her site up, but rather than post actual scenes from her book she posts more about the research she’s done, since it’s historical fiction but I am somewhat intrigued by how you chose to do what you did, was going to say maybe you could do something like that but no, you need to get back to writing that next book – see, remember that first line we talked about; I’m still eager to see how you get there so, see haven’t even got your first one out and I’m already wanting the next one – hm…maybe you shouldn’t have done that, trying to remember if know whether you left it or not – oh, this is getting too long – sorry –
          anyway, one more thing – to begin with, you had planned to pitch this to publishers, hadn’t you? before you decided to go this route? think she’s still thinking that way, might be another reason too she’s not wanting to do online

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        3. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          Long is fine, Donna – I always enjoy your visits.

          Tell your friend fear is the great enemy. I battle it daily.

          WordPress is the gold standard – and the easiest to use for beginners. I’m perfectly happy here. The only reason I’m setting up a site for the book is because you can’t monetize WordPress from the free blogs, and I don’t know if I want that. You can pay them for the domain you want – or you can just get it on your own. The telling part: this WordPress blog have well over three hundred posts – and I haven’t even started the other one. THIS is easy.

          Once you get over the name, the Dummies and Complete Idiots books can often be the easiest way to start something. I get them when I need to start from scratch in an area.

          I don’t know how well your friend writes, but my writing is out there for anyone to read – she can check out mine and Kris Rusch’s and other writers. I was extremely fearful when I started – and nothing bad happened.

          I forgot: when I started this story, I KNEW it would be hard to find a publisher. I put that thought aside, because I wanted to write it for ME, anyway. And then self-publishing happened while I was writing (yup, I started in 2000 – sue me, I’m slow), and it is perfect for me: a lot of work, but no gatekeepers for quality work (I aim to be at least competent) between me and readers, eventually for pay.

          I’ve always been a big DIY fan – this is tailor-made for me. If I fail, it won’t be because no agent would take a chance on me.

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        4. donnainthesouth

          she seems to be really hoping to find a publisher, one of the big ones – I don’t know how hard that really is – don’t know if she has an agent – I met one author at a local – yes, local; she wrote a book about our town when she lived here – who got published by a relatively big one, at least one up there somewhere I think; it was a children’s book – done by Candlewick?something like that – heard of them – but she spent a lot of money going to conferences all over the country hoping to meet somebody who could get her in with somebody and she did – but she actually went on some TV game show and won the money to do that – can you believe all that? so don’t know what will happen with this person – she doesn’t seem to interested in self-publishing; she said if the big thing doesn’t work out she’d put it up on Amazon but I somewhat got the idea she thought they would do everything for her; when I mentioned CreateSpace – which, btw, is there where you’re going with yours anyway? – she didn’t know what I was talking about but maybe I’m going the wrong way anyway; just know friend irl I have here, that’s what she’s done with her book – (s) – yes, plural, but all of hers probably wouldn’t equal yours –
          but about the 10 yrs. – remember we talked about Ken Follett – not sure if he actually wrote his for that long but been studying (in a book club sorta) about Twain and he took about that long for his big one – Huck Finn – oh, wait, 2000’s 15 yrs. ago, isn’t it – oh well – good things take a long time – maybe Harper Lee should have taken longer with hers 🙂 and we’d have a good version of the big one – reckon? instead of listening to her publisher?

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        5. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          If she wants a traditional publisher ONLY, then she will have to find one, most likely through an agent. Success rates are low (<1% get an agent, and possibly <1% of those get a good publishing deal), but for some people that's the only success they will accept.

          My writing partner got a traditional publishing deal with a small press which mostly publishes hardcover mysteries (I understand) for libraries. That's what she wanted, that's what she got after 20 years of writing, and I'm delighted for her, and wish her the very best. She's deep into the next book. She doesn't care about the money, and has spent oodles of her own money already going to conventions and workshops, joining MWA and other traditionally-oriented organizations. She's put in an enormous amount of work over the years rewriting her book. She cut it from 130K to 80-90K on spec (one woman at a publisher told her she would reconsider the book if my friend cut it that much; that WAS the publisher she got, so it worked for her).

          I have neither her energy nor her money – and the thought of what she went through would horrify me to have to do, but she is happy, and she's my friend, and I'm happy she got what she wanted.

          Children's books are an entirely different market – I know nothing there.

          Createspace is Amazon's branch for you to create your own pdf + cover and get them to print it on demand if someone orders it from Amazon. Anyone can use it; like all Amazon self-publishing, you do your own marketing and formatting and editing. Some people get more – usually because they sell so well they rise on the Amazon bestseller ranks – and Amazon gives those a bit of a push. It keeps Amazon's customers happy.

          When I get to producing a physical book, for those who prefer to read in print (asap, but I'm slow), it will be a trade paperback with Createspace. I've looked into the possibility of producing a hard cover edition through LightingSource (Ingram's printing branch). LS HAS a setup charge (<$100, IIRC), and has some other distribution options than Amazon (Ingram's catalogue), so people can ORDER from a bookstore – but the books are very unlikely to be IN bookstores for casual buyers.

          If I am ever wildly successful, I would produce a limited edition print run in hard cover for the die-hard fans (if there are any, and they're clamoring for a hardcover).

          Since all of these things can be decided later, which is VERY different from the way traditional publishing does things, and either one at a time or in small batches, the investment can be smaller, there are usually no returns, and you don't end up with a basement full of hardcovers of your book.

          Me, I keep my options open, educate myself to what is out there, and will time things as it seems to work for me.

          When I do that – from publishing to hardcovers – I'll make the information available on my blog for those who read it here or in the automatic emails that go out when I post a new post.

          Self-publishing is not for wimps – you have to do, barter or pay for someone else to do, or have friends who will do, everything you need. It IS an actual choice, because no one will stop you, but it CAN be expensive if you let other people sell you their 'self-publishing' services and you get taken, or it can cost very little money and a whole lot of time and self-education. YMMV.

          I recommend reading a lot, especially the SP blogs, if you're interested in the possibility. Nobody can tell you you NEED a $5000 cover if you know several places you can get a decent one from $5 to $250. Or make your own. A $5000 cover from a beginning indie RARELY makes back its cost.

          I think Harper Lee may be a case of elder abuse, or abuse of a relationship at the very least, since HarperCollins published it UNEDITED – there is a LOT of money on the line, and the book, which was a very rough first draft for TKAM, cannot possibly be good. Would you like YOUR rough first drafts published years later as a 'new' novel? But I KNOW nothing – I'm just watching the news like everyone else. I hope not, but it doesn't look good. If she had actually written a sequel AFTER she wrote Mockingbird, set twenty years in the future AFTER her initial successful story, it would be an entirely different book. IMHO

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        6. donnainthesouth

          my point; maybe she’s rich enough to gallivant all over the country or at least rich enough, at least as I understand, if you’re not willing to do what you’re doing, which why I asked if you’re doing this to go through Createspace, though wouldn’t have to of course, anybody you went through, the more you do, the more you’ll save, but just wondered if she realized that anybody else or at least a lot of other places it’s still called self-publishing that will do all that for you just that you have to pay them and really I guess CreateSpace will as well but she just seemed like she didn’t even know about it, just talked like if she didn’t get a trad pub she’d just go through Amazon, like she could just send it just to them – uh, don’t think so, right? I did ask her what program she’d written it in

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        7. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          Nobody just ‘sends it to Amazon.’ Unless you’re using one of the services that put it up for you – and you pay for those. Amazon charges NOTHING to put your book up.

          If you don’t want to do Createspace yourself – and then have the PODs appear on your Author page on Amazon – these same services will do that and anything else they offer for a FEE and often a CUT.

          Createspace may also offer these services – cover, etc. – for a FEE if you want to use the services they provide. I think they do – I’ve just never thought about using their services or anyone else’s because I will do it myself, which can all be done for FREE. If you learn.

          Yes, you can ‘send it to Amazon’ as is – and they will sell it if it meets their minimum standards – as is. But there are a number of steps (all easy, all take time) between writing ‘The End’ and actually getting it up for sale. Experienced self-pubbers can do it themselves in an HOUR if they have a cover ready and are not planning any further editing.

          Or you can take weeks and months and a lot of money and let a service fill that gap. Your choice.

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        8. donnainthesouth

          Alicia, you’re a Mac person, aren’t you? she said hers was in Pages – is that what yours was in first? trying to remember (need to go back and look? seemed like you were saying something about Scrivener to begin with, just that it had that new feature or something)

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        9. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          I’m a Mac person, never have used Pages, used to write in Word. I switched to Scrivener and haven’t looked back.

          All this is in my blog posts in Category ‘writing’ – but I’m probably not the best person for a beginning self-publisher. I’m odd in my methods. Read the main blogs, and see what books those people recommend (it is faster than the way I did it, reading the blogs). Pick one or a couple and follow instructions. Or take the time to educate yourself properly – and read a lot before you settle on what you want to do.

          Or pay a service. Just read any contract you sign when handing over money VERY carefully.

          I can answer a couple of questions from an educated newbie fairly quickly, but you’re not giving me much to work on. There are really no shortcuts, even if you pay a service. They will do the work they promise in a contract – but you have to make sure that’s what you need. Many people find out what the service offers leaves out important parts.

          Stay away from Vanity Publishers and Author Solutions. Again, educate yourself to the scams. Don’t end up with a basement full of physical books you can’t sell anywhere.

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  3. juliabarrett

    I think you’re an Eloi. You don’t steal from others or eat them. You are not a taker but a giver. So no, not a Morlock.

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    Reply
    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      The Eloi are the takers – in the sense that they wait to be cared for; the Morlocks are the workers.

      I don’t think we fit completely into either camp.

      As I watched a bit later, a black bird sat on the top of the pole that holds the feeder; it was eating the ants as they passed by. How’s that – I felt sorry for the little ants. The bird was hungry.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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