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About Michael LaRocca

Michael LaRocca's website at http://www.chinarice.org was chosen by WRITER'S DIGEST as one of The 101 Best Websites For Writers in 2001 and 2002. He published two novels in 2002 and has two more scheduled for publication in 2004. He also works as an editor for an e-publisher. He teaches English at a university in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, China, and publishes the free weekly newsletter Mad About Books.
How To Create A Useful, Popular Website
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In this free email course, I’ll tell you everything I know about setting up your website and placing it highly in the search engines.

Print On Demand – A Definition and a Comparison
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The purpose of this article is to consider Print-On-Demand publishing as an alternative for the aspiring author. It has its strengths and its weaknesses. You may wonder as you begin reading this, but in the end I’m going to say some good things about it.

COMMAS EXPLAINED

Don’t they drive you nuts?

You can visit all the rules of style you want, and you can read all the books and articles you want. You will still be confused.

APOSTROPHES EXPLAINED

According to last week’s newsletter, whenever a Southerner says “Y’all watch this,” get out of the way because those are probably the last words he will ever say.

Website and Newsletter Promotion

If you are selling anything, you should have a website. If you are selling ebooks, you should consider it mandatory. How many people do you know who read ebooks but don’t access the Internet? None come to my mind.

The best thing about having a website is that you can quite probably do it free. Later, once you know what you’re doing, you can choose to buy a domain name and pay a hosting service if you want.

You can pay someone to design a gorgeous site for you, loaded with graphics, complete with a secure server and the option to buy right there, but I didn’t. My publisher does the selling. Writing a site yourself, loaded with information and a place to click to send someone to your publisher, is simple.

You’re Published! Now How Do You Tell The Readers?

The first thing you must do is quit thinking like a writer and start thinking like a reader. That shouldn’t be a problem, because you are one. If you don’t enjoy reading, you can’t write something that someone else enjoys reading. So, when you read, how do you choose what to read?

How To Break Into Print Publishing

The big question. Do you submit directly to the publishers, or do you find an agent who will do that for you? Based on anecdotal evidence I’ve heard, it can work either way. The bottom line is, if a publisher reads what he can sell, he’ll buy it. It doesn’t matter if it comes from an author or an agent. The trick is getting him to read it. That’s always your focus.

Print On Demand

The purpose of this article is to consider Print-On-Demand publishing as an alternative for the aspiring author. It has its strengths and its weaknesses. You may well wonder as you begin reading this, but in the end I’m going to say some good things about it.

Narrative and Dialogue : A Contrast Of Writing Styles

One of the nice things about being an author is that we can Break any rule we want. (I just did.) It’s part of our job description. Language changes through usage — definitions, spelling, grammar — and authors can help it do this. But on the other hand, we have to have some sort of agreement on the language or we won’t be able to talk to each other.

Print Publishing vs Electronic Publishing

Actually, “versus” isn’t the best word. The two mediums are different, but they’re not mutually exclusive. Meaning, you can publish the same book in both mediums. In fact, that’s my goal. Each attracts a different group of readers and I want all the readers I can get.

Common Writing Mistakes

Most books aren’t rejected because the stories are “bad.” They’re rejected because they’re not “ready to read.” In short, minor stuff like typos, grammar, spelling, etc.