Welcome to “Write Well, Write To Sell.”  Thanks for joining Scott and me.  We’re Rick Taubold and Scott Gamboe, both published authors by the traditional route as well as venturing into the indie/self-publishing world.

Our blog has three goals:

(1) To help both new and experienced writers improve their writing

(2) To introduce readers to some great reads and to other authors (and meet some of them in guest blogs)

(3) To assist authors with producing their best possible work, preparing it for publication, and promoting it

To learn more about us and our books, check out the ABOUT page of the blog and visit our websites:

www.ricktaubold.com

www.scottgamboe.net

In the weeks ahead, Scott and I will help you navigate the publishing world of both the traditional publishing and self-publishing routes.  We’re both advocates of the latter.  We’ll discuss ways to improve your writing, help you with editing your work, and pass on tips we’ve picked up.

Whether you’re just starting to write or have been doing it for a while, you should check out David Gaughran’s book, Let’s Get Digital, which provides the latest information about the publishing world, and self-publishing in particular.  Find it at the link below.  And while you’re at it, check out his blog and READ IT RELIGIOUSLY!

davidgaughran.wordpress.com

Okay, that’s enough of my rambling.  I’ll turn the keyboard over to Scott to add his thoughts before we give you a taste of what’s ahead on this blog.

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My name is Scott Gamboe.  Like Rick, I have published my works in both the traditional print method (through a publisher), and independently as an ebook release.  It is our sincere hope that we can offer assistance to anyone looking to improve their writing, be they veteran authors or someone working through a first novel.

I wish something like this had been available when I first tried to break into the field.  I went through rejections too numerous to mention until finally one publisher, Medallion Press, offered some helpful advice.  A few corrections later, and I had a contract to publish my first novel.  Maybe someone who is walking in those same shoes will find something useful in this blog and make that final correction that grabs the attention of a publishing house.

I also eagerly await the feedback from you, the readers.  Learning is a two-way process, and I fully expect to receive helpful information and suggestions from the very people we are hoping to help.  Let the blog begin!

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The tone and purpose of our blog is best summarized by a quote from David Gaughran’s August 12, 2011 post on “The Importance of Being Edited.”  It’s great advice regardless of how you choose to publish.

“You need a great cover (and title) so they [the readers] will click on your book listing.  You need an enticing blurb or they won’t click the ‘sample’ button.  And if your opening is poor written, hasn’t been edited, or the formatting is sloppy, you will lose them before they purchase.

And if by some quirk of fate you have excited the reader enough at one of the earlier stages, and they buy your book before sampling (and most readers will always sample), that will turn out even worse for you when they leave a permanent review on Amazon describing all your book’s flaws in embarrassing detail.”

Scott and I fervently hope that the books of all those who read our blog will turn out to be hits and that none of you suffer from embarrassing reviews.  We’ll do our best to help you, no matter what stage you’re at now.

Neither of Scott nor I claims to have achieved perfection.  We have become better writers from listening to and heeding good advice, and we continue to learn.  You may love our novels, or you may hate them.  You may not agree with all of our advice, but it comes from reliable sources and personal experience.  You’ll find others out there echoing the same things.

BASIC ADVICE ON RULES AND BREAKING THEM:  Many, if not most, rules in writing can be broken when the story demands it.  The needs of your story must always come first.  Nevertheless, you must be aware of the rules before you break them, and you should recognize that you are breaking them and why you are doing it.  Consider this example: “I should’ve went with her.”  It’s improper grammar in all contexts.  But let’s say one character in your novel is a kid from an impoverished neighborhood and who grew up on the streets.  One rarely expects such a person to spout proper grammar (although he could for valid reasons).  Few readers would have a problem with the line.  On the other hand,   if your character is a college professor, you’d get you a black mark for bad writing if you had him saying that.

But that’s dialog.  In your narrative sections, you’d better use proper grammar, and you need to know the differences between lie and lay, and even in dialog there’s no justification for confusing its/it’s, your/you’re, there/their/they’re.  The character might not know the differences, but his or her speech won’t reflect that.

Lest you think this blog will be all about grammar and editing, rest assured that we will be covering a variety of topics on writing and publishing.  We also plan to have a number of guest bloggers share their experiences and expertise.

So, thanks for joining us.  Follow us, pass the word along to your friends and followers, let us know what you think, and please offer suggestions for topics you’d like to see us cover.  And, of course, let us know how we’re doing.  We’ll see you next week.

–Rick and Scott