Stepping Stones Blog

Writing Seminar: Writing Lessons from the Front (Angela Hunt) – Part 4

This is the final part of a four part series which reviews Angela Hunt‘s Writing Seminar for HACWN on Saturday, April 26th.  Part 1 focused on the Plot Skeleton, Part 2 focused on Character Development and Point of View, and Part 3 focused on Evoking Emotion, Creating Tension, and Avoiding Weasel Words.

Traditional vs Self-Publishing

Angela allowed about thirty minutes at the end of the day to discuss this timely topic.  As we all know, the industry has changed dramatically over the past ten years and it is still in a state of flux.

Angela stated more than once that  “… it has never been harder to GET published, and it has never been easier to BE published.”  The lines are blurred and it is not longer a clear-cut decision as to which publishing path to pursue.

The primary benefits of traditional publishing is that it provides:

  • a certain PRESTIGE… shows an ability to endure the winnowing process;
  • a CASH ADVANCE (always useful)
  • Editing and cover design services
  • the possibility for placement in a bricks-and-mortar bookstore

However, traditional publishing does not always provide marketing, and it is becoming more and more the responsibility of authors to do that themselves.

Self-publishing is definitely a viable option for the new author.  The costs are relatively low – and online distribution is readily available.  Of course, the competition is fierce and to stand out from the millions of other newly self-published works is difficult, but this method does have merit.

  • Self-publishing costs are quite reasonable.  CreateSpace (Amazon’s platform) is highly recommended both for its distribution system as well as its ease in creating a publication
  • Websites like 99 Designs can aid the art-challenged writer in creating a unique, professional book cover.
  • Kindle Direct is highly recommended, as Amazon accounts for 70% of all ebook sales.

Of course, it is VERY difficult (if not impossible) to place a self-published book in a traditional bookstore, mostly due to the fact that the quality of writing varies greatly.  Angela highly suggests paying for professional editorial services before going to press; this will help set your work apart from the amateur crowd.

As you can tell, it was a comprehensive day of writing instruction (four posts worth!) and I left with my head full and my passion increased.

I would highly suggest buying any or all of these titles to add to your personal writing library.  You are sure to find more than one useful tip to help improve your writing technique.



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