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Cesar is the author of the standalone novel “The 13 Secret Cities” the book series "How to Kill a Superhero" (under the pen name Pablo Grene). He is also the creator and publisher of Solar Six Books.

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Filtering by Category: Publishing Resources

Podcast 25: Daniel Stalter, Dreamcrasher and Kickstarter-Funded Comic Books

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Daniel is a storyteller and a comic book writer based in Brooklyn, NY. He launched his first series Dream Crasher in 2015 with artist and frequent collaborator Reed Olsen. They have since published 4 of the 12 planned chapters, and have run two successful Kickstarter Campaigns. He joins me today to talk about his writing, why it took 10 years to write Dreamcrasher, and how he funded it via Kickstarter.

Related links

Got a question? Email me at my web site here.

Podcast 24: The Golden Age of Serial Killers Is Over

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We continue with episode 4 in our four-part series about 9 Lords of Night, which releases you can read and download here. In this episode Eyre and I discuss the icon of the serial killer in America, and the place it has taken in the 21st century. We also discuss how that icon of the serial killer influenced my novel 9 Lords of Night, and my newest Pablo Greene erotic thriller Gold, which publishes next week in Kindle (paperback arrives in Feb).

Related links

  • My vlog on why I don’t expect people to like my novels

Wiki entries on William Friedkin and his film Cruising and The Exorcist.

Podcast #22: Claustrophobia, Aztec gods, and how writers embody their fictions

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In today’s episode we our series of episodes, featuring my special guest novelist Eyre Price, author of Blues Highway Blues. Eyre goes deeper in this episode in his questions for me about  9 Lords of Night, which releases October 30.

  • We talk about the nature of the detective novel, and the way in which claustrophobia becomes part of 9 Lords of Night

  • We talk about the essence of complicated Aztec gods in my fictional universe, and how things just get more compllicated as time moves along.

  • Eyre also asks the question: Does a writer’s work change the writer physically and mentally?


You can listen to the previous podcasts I did with Eyre a few years ago when 13 Secret Cities published

Podcast #21 Season 2: Redefining the Supernatural in Fiction

Editor

In today’s episode:

  • We kick off SEASON 2 of the podcast, with a brand new series of episodes centered around 9 Lords of Night, featuring my special guest novelist Eyre Price, author of Blues Highway Blues

  • Eyre asks me a lot of questions about 9 Lords of Night, 13 Secret Cities, and we discuss the role of the supernatural in writing fiction, particularly novels.

  • You can listen to the previous podcasts I did with Eyre a few years ago when 13 Secret Cities published here on my YouTube channel.

 

If you like the show, leave us a review in iTunes here. Thanks. If you want to support the podcast with a donation, visit my Patreon page. Got a comment? Send us an email at our contact page.

Hello, World!

Podcast #19: Your role as art director if you self publish

Editor

In today’s episode:

  • I reveal a special suprise about 9 Lords of Night, which you can see with your own eyes here.

  • Your role as an art director if you are a self publisher and entrepreneur.

If you like the show, leave us a review in iTunes here. Thanks. If you want to support this show, visit my Patreon page. Got a comment? Send us an email at our contact page.

Podcast #18: Why a book author launched online clothing boutiques

Editor

In today’s episode:

 

  • I tell you why I launched online boutiques that are part the universes of my published novels.

  • Want to check out these stores? One is 13SC Apparel, and the other (NSFW) is How to Kill a Superhero.

If you like the show, leave us a review in iTunes here. Thanks. If you want to support this show, visit my Patreon page. Got a comment? Send us an email at our contact page.

3 things wrong with developmental editing

Editor

 Image courtesy of Eyre Price

Image courtesy of Eyre Price

The following guest blog post is from Eyre Price, author of the Crossroads Trilogy, available from Amazon.com. You can follow him on Facebook. -Cesar Torres

By Eyre Price

The peculiarities of publishing have put me in an unexpected position. My latest title has been sold, but is stuck in a queue that will delay that book from hitting shelves for a while. At the same time, I’ve finished another novel that is currently being shopped around. So rather than add more manuscripts to this congestion, I’d like to use this opportunity to do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time: developmental editing – but with a completely different approach.

In my experience, there are three things wrong with traditional developmental editing.

The pressure to have a completed manuscript

The first is that developmental editors typically want to see a completed manuscript, but this has always struck me as counter-intuitive. It’s like having a builder complete his house and then inspecting the foundation afterward. Working from a final draft often makes rewrites more difficult and occasionally requires tearing everything down and starting from scratch. That’s an unnecessary waste of time, effort, and opportunity.

I believe that working with a developmental editor from the very beginning allows the writer to maximize the benefits of that process. So, while I’m more than willing to tackle a complete manuscript, I’m equally eager to work on a (very?) rough draft. A couple of chapters. Even an outline or an idea.

Expensive costs

The second drawback is the price. A full editing of a manuscript can start around $1,000.00 and go north from there. For a beginning writer--and some of us more established ones, too--that cost factor is prohibitive.

So what I’m offering is a service charged on an hourly rate. Pay for the time you need, and nothing more. My sincere hope is that this will make developmental editing affordable to absolutely everyone who is interested in working with an editor but has reservations about making a significant financial investment.

Communication loop is left open

The third issue is that at the end of the editing process, a client is typically provided with nothing more than a couple pages of written notes. There may be a follow-up phone call, but generally the writer is left to interpret and implement those changes on their own. To me, this lack of continued interaction frustrates the purpose, which I think often necessitates a series of conversations. So, while I’ll certainly offer written notes, I’m also planning to make myself available for on-going discussions. Phone. Skype. FaceTime. GooglePlus. Whatever works. Night owl or morning person, I’ll accommodate your schedule.

So, that’s it. Simple enough. No matter where you are in the process, from finished manuscript to just the germ of an idea, I’m available to help you develop your work on the terms that work best for you.

If you’re curious about me, I’m an agented writer and the award-winning author of the Amazon Best Selling Crossroads Thrillers series. I’ve been featured in Writer's Digest, was on the editorial staff of ITW’s The Big Thrill, and my short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies. I’m a Fulbright Grant recipient and State Department selection as a U.S. representative to the 19th Salon International Du Livre D’Alger. I‘ve taught creative writing, presented panels at literary conferences, and appeared on numerous podcasts.

If you think that I might be able to help you with your work in progress, whether that’s just getting started or readying it for submissions or publication, email me at mreyreprice@gmail.com and I’ll be more than happy to share the details of my plan and answer all of your questions.

Pocast #15 Don’t overthink it, use Createspace for paperbacks

Editor

In today’s episode:

  • Big news, I’ll be performing at Homolatte in Chicago on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7:30. It’s free, and you will hear selections from 13 Secret Cities and 9 Lords of Night.

  • Updates on audio issues in the last episode

  • A quick primer on Amazon’s book printing service Createspace, and why you should use it for self publishing your book


If you like the show, leave us a review in iTunes here. Thanks. If you want to support this show, visit my Patreon page. Got a comment? Send us an email at our contact page.

Strength & Skill: Training For Fiction Writers

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A good fiction writer never stops asking himself or herself the question, "How will I ever accomplish this?" 

That is for sure.

No matter how experienced a fiction writer may be, doubt will always haunt every writer when it comes to art, craft, and business of writing. I am no exception to this. In earlier stages of my development as a writer, I too wondered whether I would ever finish a novel at all, or whether my words would be on a bookshelf with my byline. 

For me, this question started at the age of 12, when I already knew I wanted to write short stories using my parent's Olivetti typewriter. I am not going to add glamor to this tale, because there are a few million writers who have already made that anecdote into a cliche (one of the starry-eyed dreamer who had a vision). These writers reminisce about the smell of paper, the reams of bond that they used when they wrote their first manuscript, and about the ever-so askew letters on those typewriters when they hammered out their opus. They recall that typewriter fondly, as if she had a personality all her own, and they tell this tale over and over, awaiting the praise of other writers for finding their calling.

Well, I call bullshit.

Writing is hard work, and even when you aren't sure it's going to be published, it's just fucking hard work. It's not romantic at all. In fact, romantic notions don't ever really come into my mind at all when I'm writing. Those can only take place when one is sitting around doing something other than writing. And even after a person has finished a book, the memories of sitting around, waiting for the muse to arrive -- are pretty much bullshit and all too reductive.

I believe writing is actually a challenge that a writer has to meet each day, instead of the author waiting for it to arrive on angel wings. Writing is hard, writing is painful, and writing, doesn't always seem to have an immediate result that one can consider positive.

And yet, we do it. We want to do it. Some of us even consider it a vocation. Yes, I said vocation and not a calling. If this is dismantling your castle of fairy tales and Prince Charmings, then you better go grab a fucking wheelbarrow, because the biggest fucking pieces are about to fall. 

My vocation is not mystical, and instead, it is more practical. Writing is sometimes grueling, but I found that it has made me a better listener, a better friend, and even a better human being (though not always). To become a better writer, I have had to train to be a better writer. Training involves hard work, it can sometimes be painful, and just like I said above, it doesn't always have an immediate result that one can consider positive.

Then why do it at all? Well, that will always depend on the writer, but I do it because I must do it. I must investigate the universe through narrative, and in order to investigate well, I have to write well. What's more, I have to get better at writing over time, because it's not a static process. That means that I expect to make gains in strength and skill as I work at training my writing over a lifetime.

This series of posts is called Strength & Skill, because I believe you need both in order to succeed. You don't need MFAs, writing workshops or certificates to develop this type of strength and skill. Over the next few weeks I will talk about how you can build habits for yourself that increase these two virtues in order to help you write full drafts, re-write your books and stories, and even push you into published life. I am not going to teach you craft. I don't believe craft can be taught. However, I will show you examples of what worked for me to build better habits, motivate myself, stay organized, and strive for balance between artistic vision and publishing concerns. These examples are very individual to my own life and experiences, and that means that they may or may not work for you. 

This is what most writing classes and teachers don't ever have the balls to tell you: "This may not work for you."

But I am not going to hesitate to say it.

That's why I think approaching writing and publishing from a training point of view will get you better results. When you train hard, and when you train every day, sometimes you fail, and sometimes you look foolish as fuck, and sometimes, you have to change your gameplan. That right there is the way to succeed as a writer. And don't let charming snake oil salesmen, marketing gurus or even well-known novelists (with nefarious motives) sway you from your goals. Thinking critically about the artistic process and business side of writing is up to you, and the more critical thinking you can apply to it, the more successful you will be at completing your work and sending it out for publication. In some cases you will even publish it yourself. But none of this can happen unless you are willing to challenge many of the romantic notions about writing and the business of publishing books.

In this series, I will also get personal, and share with you personal anecdotes from my history as a writer. You will learn about the people that encouraged me to keep going, you will learn about those that have tried to stand in my way, and you will also learn why I am more successful and well-adjusted today as a self-published author, and why I chose not to go the conventional route for my books. You will even learn in this series about how I conceived of a pen name for a separate series of books, and what that did for me as a form or training.

Yes, it's all training. If you train your writing with strength, and skill, you will be simultaneously finding a balance between personal power and cleverness.

Merriam Webster defines strength as: the quality or state of being physically strong; the ability to resist being moved or broken by a force. Apply that early on to your writing life and you'll see how greatly your tap into your potential.

Merriam Webster defines skill as:  the ability to do something that comes from training, experience, or practice.

Remember those two definitions, because we will be coming back to them very often. Get ready to train, and train hard. 

 

Self-Publishing 101: Do It Like a Pro

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Latest update: January 28, 2015

  • Added Author Earnings REport and new section on the Business of Publishing

As the creator of Solar Six Books, I firmly believe in sharing knowledge about publishing to dispel myths and make it more transparent. Thanks to the tools that are available today for authors, self-publishing is a viable route for writers who want to publish their own work. For a small subset of these authors, it's possibly even a way to get paid for their writing. 

This page will be constantly update over time as I expand my series. So far, you can view Self Publishing 101: Do It Like a Pro on YouTube as on ongoing series (which will consist of about twenty episodes). I am also kicking off a resources section at the end of this post that can also help you find more resources to get you started.

Self-Publishing 101: Do It Like a Pro

Part 1: Jobs

Part 2: Manuscript

Part 3: Team

Part 4: Fearless

Part 5: Design

Self-Publishing Resources

THE BUSINESS SIDE OF PUBLISHING

The Author Earnings Report -- I highly recommend subscribing to this incredible free resource. It contains detailed title-level analytics on book sales, aggregated data (from Amazon e-book sales, other retailers and more), as well as insights into book buying trends. Our secondary mission is to call for change within the publishing community for better pay and fairer terms in all contracts. 

Editors (updating soon)

Design

Dribble

Deviant Art

 

This guide is published as a free resource from Solar Six for other authors to self publish. To learn more about Solar Six and its published titles, please visit solarsixbooks.com.