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                    W R I T I N G   W O R L D

A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World


Issue 15:08          13,371 subscribers           April 16, 2015
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     Books: Read and Delete, or Read and Share?
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION, by Victoria Grossack     
     Setting the Mood
choose the best pricing method for the job, negotiate if the 
client balks, keep useful records, and more in the award-winning 
"What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers & Consultants." 
In print and ebook formats. http://tinyurl.com/obo5c2o 
A WRITER'S YEAR is the ONLY 365-day planner designed specifically
for writers! Plan your schedule, track billable hours, organize
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you an inspirational writing quote.  Best of all, it's F*R*E*E!
Download an electronic version in PDF or Excel, or access the print
edition: http://www.writing-world.com/store/year/index.shtml
readers) on your gift list?  Then check out the new line of "mugs 
for writers and readers" designed by Writing-World.com editor 
Moira Allen! Our gorgeous mugs (the kind you drink from, we mean) 
are designed especially for folks who love books -- who can't get 
enough books -- who can't stop writing books -- you know.  
Folks like you!  See our growing selection at 
Stop struggling to come up with a fantastic title for your book 
STORY TITLES. Make your title stand out, determine genre specifics, 
learn what to avoid, and much, much more. Available at:  


Books: Read and Delete, or Read and Share?

Toward the end of the 1990's, a great deal of silliness was uttered
about the "future of publishing."  Many pundits were convinced that
by the beginning of the 21st century, print books would be a thing
of the past.  The future was e-books, they assured us, blithely
ignoring every argument or evidence to the contrary.

Another controversy raging at the same time was the question of
how, precisely, to define a "book."  Was a book a physical object,
or was it merely the words contained within that object?  This was
of great concern to publishers who suddenly realized that they
wanted the right to publish your book electronically even though no
such rights had been contracted for, back in the days when
publishers imagined that e-books would be found only in the Star
Trek universe.  

Today, of course, things HAVE changed.  We've concluded that a book
is more a matter of words than of paper.  E-readers like Kindle and
Nook and Kobo have made it not only possible but actually enjoyable
to read an e-book.  Since e-publishing costs little or nothing,
writers have flocked to these platforms -- and they would be
foolish not to.  I'm sure I'm not the only writer who discovered
that my e-books were bringing more revenue than the print editions.

Hence, e-books have become a huge part of the "future of
publishing" -- without, oddly enough, having driven print books
into extinction.  I'm not the least bit worried about the "death"
of print publishing.  What concerns me, instead, is the trend
amongst writers to ignore print publishing entirely.

Now, I could cite a great many reasons why going electronic-only
could be a bad idea.  One of the foremost, of course, is the simple
fact that there is still a very large market for print books. 
Rather than bringing about the death of print publishing,
e-publishing AUGMENTS the print market.  Or, if you'd rather look
at things the other way around, a print edition has the capability
of augmenting your e-book market.  It's unwise to "write off" that
sector of the market that still prefers print, or can't afford a
Kindle, or (like my 92-year-old mother-in-law) hasn't even mastered
e-mail, let alone e-books.  

However, the primary reason I believe it's a mistake to bypass
print is the issue of "sharing."  Since the beginning of bookdom,
books have been loaned, given away, passed on, inherited, and
generally handed on from one reader to another.  Through sharing,
books travel the world and down through time.  For example, I have
on my shelf a French costume book from the 1890's that was actually
owned, in the early 1900's, by an author whose own costume book
inspired some of my grandfather's artwork in the 1930's!  

E-books are not designed to be shared.  In fact, they were designed
for just the opposite: E-publishers are doing everything in their
power to ensure a "one book, one reader" approach.  If I buy an
e-book, I cannot read it and then give it to you, or to a friend,
or to my mother-in-law.  I cannot recoup any of my investment by
reselling it on the Amazon Marketplace or by swapping it for
another book on PaperbackSwap.com.  I can't even donate it to
Goodwill and get a tax deduction!  About the limit of my "sharing"
ability is that I can, apparently, "loan" an e-book to someone else
for two weeks.  When I've finished it, if I don't care to keep it,
I simply delete it from my "Cloud" and it is gone, forever.  No one
will ever read that copy but me.

Many publishers (and, presumably, authors) think that's great!  One
book, one reader -- that means anyone who wants to read your book
has to BUY it!  More money!  Whoopee!  All this nasty
sharing-books-for-nothing business is a thing of the past.  Now,
anyone who wants to read my book has to PAY for the privilege!  Yay!

But is it so great?  Sure, sharing makes it possible for people
(perhaps dozens or even hundreds of people) to acquire your book
without paying a penny for it -- or if they do pay, those pennies
never reach YOUR pocket.  Doesn't it make sense to remove that
option?  The immediate, "more money in my pocket NOW" view might
say "why not?"  But I believe that if one takes a longer view, the
answer is "no."

First, by eliminating the option of sharing and passing on a book,
you've immediately limited your readership to those people who ARE
willing to buy that book at full price.  Now, again, initially this
might seem like a "Duh, what's wrong with that?" question.  But one
thing e-books HAVEN'T done is actually reduce the cost of reading. 
For example, a book by one of my favorite romance authors costs
$7.99 in paperback -- and $7.59 on Kindle.  Wow.  Big savings...

Books are expensive.  Ironically, the more avid the reader, the
fewer NEW books that reader can afford.  If someone reads only one
book a month, paying $7.99 for each book adds up to only $95 per
year.  If someone reads, say, two or three (or more) books per
week, buying all those books new would cost upwards of $1200 per
year!  Yet you stand a much higher chance of being picked up by the
avid reader (who buys upwards of 150 books per year) than by the
one who reads only 12 books a year.  

The avid reader certainly buys new books -- but only by known,
well-loved authors.  The rest are likely to come from sources like
Amazon's Marketplace, Paperbackswap, and thrift shops.  But here's
the thing: When a book costs, say, 50 cents at Goodwill, Avid
Reader is willing to take a chance.  Out of every 20 books I buy at
Goodwill, chances are good that I'm going to find at least ONE new
author I really love -- an author I'd never have taken a chance on
at full price.  And if I really love this author, I'm going to buy
her next book -- and quite possibly any other books she's ever

In other words, sharing offers a value that far exceeds the
immediate monetary benefit of selling ONE book.  One 50-cent
paperback from a thrift shop can convert a reader into your paying
customer for life.  But it doesn't end there.  After I read a book,
I'll pass it on.  Perhaps I'll sell it on Amazon, or swap it on
Paperbackswap, or give it back to Goodwill.  Perhaps I'll pass it
on to my mother-in-law -- who might otherwise never encounter your
work.  Now, you might be thinking "Big deal, so by going electronic
I won't get read by one little old lady in a retirement community
in Washington state."  Except... that particular little old lady
happens to be on the committee that decides what books to purchase
for the (very large) retirement community's library.  You never
know where a shared book will end up!

Surveys have shown that one of the most important factors in the
decision to buy a book is liking the author's previous books. 
Sure, every time someone buys your book used, that means you aren't
gaining a penny.  What you MAY be gaining, however, is a reader for
life.  Print books are your ambassadors in the marketplace.  The
more they are shared, passed along, and praised, the more readers
they win for you.  Don't overlook the long-term value of those
print ambassadors for the short-term gains of the "one book, one
reader" electronic marketplace.

Copyright 2015 Moira Allen

This article may be reprinted provided the author's byline, bio and
copyright notice are retained. (For an author bio and complete
details on reprint terms, please visit 

Link to this article here:

THE APRIL ISSUE OF VICTORIAN TIMES will be available on Friday! 
This is our Easter issue, bringing you a peek at "the largest 
Easter Egg ever made," plus how to dye Easter Eggs Victorian-
style.  This issue also brings you info on Victorian railroad
travel; E. Nesbit's school-days; crewel embroidery; and how a
Victorian lady got her telephone "for nothing."  And, of course,
lots of recipes, pets, household hints and more!
Visit http://www.VictorianVoices.net/VT/issues/VT-1504.shtml to
download the free electronic edition or access the print edition.


HarperCollins and Amazon Reach Agreement
In what amounts to perhaps the least newsy of news items, we are
told that HarperCollins and Amazon.com have reached an agreement
over sales terms.  According to HarperCollins, "HarperCollins has
reached an agreement with Amazon and our books will continue to be
available on the Amazon print and digital platforms."  No further
details are available.  The only major publisher who still does not
have a new sales agreement with Amazon now is Penguin Random House.
 For more on this nonstory, visit http://tinyurl.com/kydl5g2

3M Library Systems Expands Digital Lending System
At the London Book Fair, 3M Library Systems announced that it would
expand its Cloud Library Digital Lending System to libraries in the
UK, Australia and New Zealand.  The cloud, already available in
over 1000 US and Canadian libraries, enables users to borrow
library e-books on smartphones and tablets, PCs and Macs, and
various e-readers.  3M hopes that the expansion of the system will
"encourage borrowers to make greater use of libraries."  For more
details, visit http://tinyurl.com/ox4qp9m

Charlotte's Web Considered Most Popular Children's Book
A new survey by the BBC has voted E.B. White's "Charlotte's Web" as
the most popular children's book ever.  The poll was taken of
critics (not readers) around the globe, who were asked to name the
best "English-language children's books of all time."  Over 150
books were named in total, with "Charlotte's Web" topping the list.
 For more on this story, visit http://tinyurl.com/pgnoqt7

WritingCareer.com is a free online resource to find paying markets
for your poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Updated daily, we report
on current needs of editors and publishers who are open for
submissions, pay competitive rates, and do not charge reading fees.

by Victoria Grossack


In a recent column (Map Your Settings) we discussed some of the
basics of developing settings for your stories, including some
techniques to keep you and your readers oriented.  In this column
we will discuss settings from another perspective: namely, how they
can contribute to the mood of your story.  

What Is Mood? 
First, let's define mood.  Mood is how the reader feels while
reading your story.  Stories or scenes within stories can be
characterized with many different adverbs and adjectives that
describe mood, such as happy, sad, indignant, angry, gloomy and
terrifying.  It is up to you to decide which moods and feelings you
want to create in your readers. 

Given that you have decided how you want your readers to feel, what
will make them feel that way?  

The usual approach is to have them identify with your characters. 
If your characters experience an emotion, your readers generally
experience their emotions vicariously. 

Settings can have a huge impact on how your characters feel, and,
by extension, your readers.  Thus, a skill that we authors need to
develop is to create settings that impact your characters.  Let's
imagine a character entering a setting, such as walking into the
air-conditioned reception area of a fancy hotel.  How would this
make your character feel? 

The answer depends a lot on the character.  If the character is
tired and hot, but rich and self-confident, the character may
simply be relieved.  A sense of well-being may be restored after a
hot day of travel or sight-seeing.  Perhaps this feeling is
deepened as a manager approaches and respectfully offers assistance.

On the other hand, your character may be hot and tired but lacking
in confidence.  Perhaps he feels dirty, out of place and certain
that people are staring at him with distaste and disgust.  Perhaps
the manager comes over and "offers" assistance, but with such a
sneer in his voice that the character feels even worse.

You can also choose to have your character react not to the general
atmosphere of your setting, but to something specific in the
setting.  Perhaps the air-conditioning makes her shiver or even
wonder if she -- if you make her a hypochondriac -- is being
exposed to Legionnaire's disease. 

How Settings Appear to Characters
In determining how your character should react to a setting, and
consequently how it impacts his or her mood, you may find it
helpful to consider the following questions:


You, as the omniscient author, know whether or not your character
has been to this setting before. If your character knows the
setting, then he will be more confident in his reactions.  He will
have less need to look about and less uncertainty about what is
going on.  

Note, however, that even if your CHARACTER knows the setting, as he
would if he were doing something as routine such as walking into
his own bedroom, your READERS may need some help.  You may want to
have your character notice something in the setting or even
interact with it -- such as closing the curtains or sitting on the
edge of the bed to take off his socks -- to orient your audience.

If the setting is unfamiliar, it is natural for your character to
pay closer attention to the new surroundings.  This makes it easier
to describe the setting to your reader.  In an unfamiliar place,
your character is also more likely to be experiencing a sense of
uncertainty, as well as the heightened awareness associated with
first impressions.

Although it may seem that a setting should be either completely
familiar or completely unfamiliar to your character, a setting can
lie somewhere between these two possibilities.  A familiar setting
may contain an unfamiliar element, such as a book out of place, a
person who does not belong, or an unexplained bloody knife on a
pillow.  Perhaps it is a setting that the character has visited
long ago and needs some time to recognize; C.S. Lewis's "Prince
Caspian" contains a good example of this.

On the other hand, some settings may be unfamiliar in the sense
that the character has never been to the particular location, but
has experienced settings that are similar.  If you have been to one
McDonald's restaurant, you have not been to them all, but you
generally know what to expect at the next one. (There are
exceptions; for example, you won't find hamburgers on the
McDonald's menu in India).  Another possibility is that your
character has not been to a particular setting, but has heard about
it from others, and so has a general idea regarding what to expect.

A character in a dream setting or a fantasy setting may alternate
between experiencing what is familiar and unfamiliar.


Another fundamental point to establish with respect to the setting
is whether or not your character believes it is friendly or
hostile.  A setting in which a character feels safe and welcome
creates a different vibe than one that is potentially dangerous or
just plain rude.

Some settings feel welcoming as soon as your character enters. 
Warm fires, enough light to see by, cushions, cleanliness, food and
drink, agreeable music and a welcoming gesture on the part of the
host: all these aspects impart a mood that is pleasant.  Other
settings are immediately categorized as harsh, dangerous or
unpleasant, with description such as darkness, light so bright it
hurts the eyes, locked doors, inadequate shelter and inclement
weather.  Threats and insults also convey hostility.

Whether a setting turns out to friendly or hostile is frequently
determined by the host, but it can be an attribute of the setting
itself.  In "Star Wars," Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo
take refuge in a room full of garbage, where they hope to gain a
respite during their adventures.  The room turns out to contain a
dangerous serpent and then the walls start moving towards them in
an attempt to crush the heroes.

Perhaps your story does not involve life-and-death situations.  You
can still pick your spot along the friendly-or-hostile continuum by
considering a less extreme version, such as a setting that is more
or less comfortable.  

One trick is to turn a setting that is assumed to be friendly into
one that is hostile.  Your character can reach home and finally
feel safe, only to discover that the enemy is lying in wait
upstairs.  Or you can transform your setting in the other
direction, too.  The low light in the room, which your hero at
first finds spooky or dangerous, can end up being part of a
romantic gesture to have dinner by candlelight.


Does the setting suit how your character feels or does it contrast
with those feelings?

Everyone knows the balcony scene from Shakespeare's "Romeo and
Juliet," in which the star-crossed lovers confess their feelings
for each other.  Of course the play has been produced a zillion
times and many different settings have been created, but generally
one expects the balcony in this scene to support the play's
romantic mood.  The house belongs to the rich and noble family
Capulet, who would have the means to make the balcony beautiful. 
Often one expects the balcony to be covered with roses (although
the thorns might scratch Romeo as he climbs up to Juliet).   

In the movie version of Berstein's "West Side Story," which is
based on "Romeo and Juliet," the balcony is not nearly as elegant
or as romantic as the usual balcony of the 16th century play.  In
"West Side Story" the viewer sees, along with the balcony and the
fire escape, the inevitable poverty associated with crowded,
new-immigrant living.   Nevertheless, with their love and their
singing, Tony and Maria cast an aura of beauty over everything.  In
a way the contrasting ugliness of their surroundings heightens the
beauty of their love; unfortunately, the ugliness comes back to
ruin their lives.

A setting that contrasts with how your character is feeling can
also be used to make your readers laugh.  Receiving a marriage
proposal at the city dump; discovering the winning lottery ticket
while running for one's life; a character's learning that she has
received a promotion while she is getting a tooth pulled -- in
these cases the settings do not really match the feelings of the
characters, but can be used to lighten the mood and amuse your

If you decide not to have the setting match what the characters are
feeling, you may be creating a different mood for your readers than
for your characters.  That is fine; just be sure that that is what
you want to do.
There is much more that could be written about setting and mood,
and even more that could be written about how setting impacts mood.
 Nevertheless, hopefully this article has given you a place to
start.  By understanding how your settings impact your characters,
you can manipulate how your characters feel, and through them, how
your audience feels while reading your story.  

Related Articles on Writing-World.com:
Map Your Settings, by Victoria Grossack

Four Ways to Bring Your Settings to Life, by Moira Allen

Eight Tips to Help You Bring Your Settings to Life, by Anne Marble


Victoria Grossack studied Creative Writing and English Literature
at Dartmouth College, and has published stories and articles in
such publications as Contingencies, Women's World and I Love Cats.
She is the author of Crafting Fabulous Fiction, a step-by-step
guide to developing and polishing novels and short stories that
includes many of her beloved columns. With Alice Underwood, she
co-authors the Tapestry of Bronze series (including Jocasta,
Mother-Wife of Oedipus; The Children of Tantalus; and Antigone &
Creon), based on Greek myths and set in the late Bronze Age. Her
independent novels include The Highbury Murders, in which she does
her best to channel the spirits and styles of Jane Austen and
Agatha Christie, and Academic Assassination (A Zofia Martin
Mystery). Victoria is married with kids, and (though American)
spends much of her time in Europe. Her hobbies include gardening,
hiking, bird-watching and tutoring mathematics. Visit her website
at http://www.tapestryofbronze.com, or contact her at tapestry (at)
tapestryofbronze (dot) com. 


Copyright 2015 Victoria Grossack 

This article may not be reprinted or posted without the written
permission of the author.

Link to this article here: 

Want to learn more about crafting fabulous fiction? Get one-on-one
guidance with Victoria Grossack's personal writing class; visit

struggle to keep your butt in the chair? Contact me through my 
website and let me know what's got you down; we'll brainstorm a 
way forward with a coaching regimen designed just for you!
Victoria-Lynn Winning, Writing Coach - http://vlawinning.ca 


AllIndieWriters, by Jennifer Mattern 
"Writing is real work. And All Indie Writers is a resource for
professional writers, and those who strive to be, who embrace a
strong work ethic and continually strive to improve. If you're
looking for someone to reinforce delusions... you probably won't
like what you read here. But if you're serious about your writing
career, you're willing to work for it, and you want advice, tips,
resources, and a community that can help you out along the way,
then you're in the right place." 

A community where young writers (primarily teens) can publish
stories and poetry and get feedback. It offers a number of
competitions, forums and a blog. It can also be accessed through an
app. Be sure to read the site terms and conditions, however, as the
site takes a big chunk of rights to posted materials! 

Raising Kids Who Want to Read
Interesting interview with Daniel Willingham on how to ensure that
your kids grow up not just to be readers but lovers of books.

Do you know of a great website or blog for writers?  Share it with
our readers!  Send a note with the name of the site AND THE LINK to
"editors@writing-world.com" and we'll consider it for inclusion.


EVERY WRITER NEEDS A HOLIDAY!  "The Writer's Guide to Holidays, 
Observances and Awareness Dates" offers 1800 events worldwide --
Instant inspiration for those days when you can't think of anything
to write about!  Holiday topics are a favorite of editors, so fuel
your inspiration and jumpstart your articles today!  Available in 
print and Kindle editions; for more information visit


By Aline Lechaye


While we writers spend most of our time writing, or doing research
for writing, or waiting to get inspiration for writing, there are
inevitably times when we have to interact with an audience. You may
have to do a reading to promote your new novel. Maybe you need to
give a speech explaining the concepts discussed in your nonfiction

And it's not only offline where you have to interact with your fans
and potential readers. Nowadays, with the Internet and social media
and smartphones, readers can connect with you on a far more
personal level than was possible previously. 

Which characters do your readers like? Which do they hate? How
would they like to see your trilogy end? You can gather audience
feedback on your books at the end of a reading or through your
author website by using a poll. PollEverywhere (
http://www.polleverywhere.com/) is a web app that lets you poll
your audience members via their WiFi-enabled mobile devices.
Results are displayed in real time. There is also a text (SMS)
response option, but this can incur additional fees so I'd be
cautious about using it! The free plan allows a maximum of 25
responses on each poll. If you'd like to ask multiple questions you
can make several polls and "push" them onto your audience devices
one by one. I like that the page for displaying responses can be
customized to suit your needs, but I'm less of a fan of their
voting page (the page displayed on your audience devices), which
looks kind of bland and is not customizable. It can take a little
time to figure out how to use the system, but they do have a nice
array of options. 

If you're looking for a simple and quick way to make a poll that
you can embed on your website or blog, you can check out Flisti
(http://flisti.com/). No registration is required to use the site.
All you have to do is type in your poll question and answers and
click "Create New Poll" to get an embed code. There doesn't seem to
be an upper limit on the numbers of answers you can receive. 

Online quizzes are great for online audience engagement. Make
personality quizzes based on characters from your book. Create a
trivia quiz using the content of your last book and give prizes to
the people who get full marks. Qzzr (https://www.qzzr.com/) is a
cute and colorful quiz creator that has options for customization.
Their free plan allows you to make an unlimited number of quizzes
and get an unlimited number of responses. You can add images to
your quizzes to make them more interesting. Quizzes can be embedded
in Blogger, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and other social media
sites. The quiz creation process is very straightforward—just give
your quiz a title, add your questions and answers, and then change
the quiz theme and colors to your liking. The order of your
questions and answers can be randomized. You have to register for
an account before you can start using the site. 


Aline Lechaye is a translator, writer, and writing tutor who
resides in Asia. She can be reached at alinelechaye at gmail.com


Copyright 2015 Aline Lechaye 

This article may not be reprinted without the written permission 
of the author. 


on how to reach more than 100,000 writers a month with your 
product, service or book title, visit


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Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors"at"writing-world.com) 

Copyright 2015 Moira Allen

Copyright © 2017 by Moira Allen. All rights reserved.
All materials on this site are the property of their authors
and may not be reprinted without the author's written permission,
unless otherwise indicated.
For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor