Writings of Stuart Whitmore

If you're looking for the latest news about the writings of Stuart J. Whitmore, you've found the perfect blog for that! If you're not interested in news and just want to see what books are available, see: StuartWhitmoreAuthor.com

What Does Success Look Like?

In the years since I first decided to write a novel, my idea of “success” in writing has changed. When I started writing that first novel as a teenager in 9th grade, “success” meant finishing a complete, novel-length first draft. I achieved that the following year when I reached the end of that story. Knowing I could do it once, “success” then became finishing another one so I would know the first wasn't a fluke. I achieved that measure of success in 12th grade. Along the way, and well into the next books I would write after high school, “success” started looking more like having readers; not just any readers, but complete strangers, readers outside my circle of family and friends. That, too, is something I have accomplished.

My shifting definition of “success” advanced in 2010 when I had, for the first time, one of my books available on Amazon and available (at least through special order) in brick-and-mortar bookstores. My long-term “success” picture always included some vague and dreamy ideas about earning royalties, but that became concrete when I reached the point of my publishing career when I had a book with an ISBN, works registered with the US Copyright Office, and slowly-increasing royalties from sales to people I don't know. What does “success” look like to me now? Read on and I'll share some thoughts on that!

Rare First Printing Up For Auction

If you ever wanted a first-printing copy of my first paperback, now is your chance. With only about six ever printed, they are rare indeed, and this is my only copy. I did not plan to sell it, but as the auction listing indicates, financial needs overrule creative wants. If you're the winner of the auction, I will either autograph it or leave it as-is, it's up to you. Read on for more details about the book and the few copies of it that exist.

A Pixel is a Pixel

“If you want a professional result, you can't use GIMP.” I don't know if I've ever heard this sentiment stated so explicitly, but I've definitely run across it many times, in a variety of contexts. When I heard it come up in a discussion of indie authors creating their own book covers, it “inspired” me to write this blog post. (In this case, “inspired” is a polite euphemism.) This post is about digital images and software, not the decision to make your own book covers or hire a designer. That decision merits discussion, but it is a separate issue from digital images and software.

If you think you need to spend a lot of money on a certain brand of software to create “professional” images, you need to stop going along with that company's marketing ploy. A pixel is a pixel no matter how it gets created. This goes beyond digital images, it's also true for other things too, such as e-book files. What matters is the correctness of the end result, and that end result is not more or less professional depending on what tool was used to make it. Continue reading if you're not sure what I mean or if you think a certain brand of software is necessary.

No Excuses, Start Reading E-Books

When I saw the "Black Friday" price on Amazon for their lowest-cost Kindle—less than $50—I thought to myself, "this is it." In this case, "it" means the time when excuses about not reading e-books have basically evaporated. Whether you go for an e-ink reader like that base level Kindle, or a tablet, or a laptop, or a TV screen, or a desktop computer, you can find a display that you find comfortable and a price within your budget (because some options are free). Not convinced? Read on!

Free Advertising for Book Promotion

Looking for free places to advertise your books? With my plans to release a new book next month, and having re-released one of my older titles (Take Five! for Better Photos) this week, marketing is definitely on my mind, and advertising is part of the marketing mix. And who can argue with free advertising? Read on for some online resources that you can use to try to build exposure for your book for free!


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