Grammar Style (Short ‘n’ Fun)

End a sentence with a preposition if you want to.

Commas, use them, frequently, if you like.

Don’t be afraid to use a semicolon; write without fear.

Occasionally, use an -ly adverb when carefully constructing sentences, even though you’re generally supposed to avoid using them unnecessarily.

Is it a hospital or an hospital? a R.S.V.P. or an R.S.V.P.? a @ sign or an @ sign?

I left him lying next to her pronoun because it was you that expected us to confuse them this way.

The object of this sentence is the subject, but that’s okay because the verb “to be” doesn’t take an object.

It is I, not me. Now use me, not I.

Tom looked at Bob. He winked. Tom wasn’t sure if Tom or Bob was supposed to wink. They went to the screenwriter for clarification.

Fragments. Useful. Sometimes.

This sentence was becoming very interesting until (a parenthetical remark appeared out of nowhere).

Hy-phen-ate – add a dash.

Punctuate (your) sentences “most ‘properly’”: Otherwise, your readership will complain; or worse – they might…

Mind your %$&# language!

SCREAM AND SHOUT WITH CAPS!

Squeezeitalltogetherbyremovingthespaces.

mIxInG iT uP: wHaT’s WrOnG wItH tHaT?

Don’t reck’n ’twas s’posed t’nclude s’many ’postrophes ‘n’ c’ntr’ct’ns.

Matter order not does.

Chris McMullen, self-published author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers (Volume 2 coming in mid-April)

Karma for Authors Who Self-Publish

In order to be successful, a self-published author must come up with a good book idea, develop a fine story, write well, edit the manuscript, learn how to format both a paperback and an eBook, and become adept at marketing.

That’s a tall order. Why risk all of that hard work with any possible bad karma?

If you don’t believe in karma, then don’t think karma – think branding. The image that you brand as an author can have a significant impact on sales. Don’t risk bad book karma or negative branding – whatever you prefer to call it.

What do you hope for as an author?

  • Many sales.
  • Frequent reviews.
  • Word-of-mouth referrals.
  • A nice review average.
  • Good and fair comments about your work publicly.
  • Necessary criticism privately.

Authors may not all share the exact same wish list, but these items are probably pretty high up on most writers’ lists.

Now assess your book karma:

Part 1 – You as a reader:

  • How often do you read self-published books (that you discovered yourself)?
  • Do you leave good reviews for books (written by complete strangers) that you like?
  • Which books (written by complete strangers) have you referred to friends, family, acquaintances, or colleagues?
  • What have you done that might help an author you don’t know whose book you enjoyed?
  • Have you ever (publicly) said anything bad about any other self-published books?
  • Have you ever (publicly) said anything bad about self-publishing? eBooks? Amazon? Kindle?
  • What do you say when people you know ask you about buying eBooks, whether you like your Kindle, if self-publishing is a good idea, etc.?

Part 2 – You as a writer:

  • Did you take the time to perfect the editing and formatting of your books?
  • How do you react when you receive criticism about your work (privately or publicly)?
  • Do you ever respond negatively to customer reviews?
  • In what ways have you helped other aspiring authors improve their own work?
  • Have you ever abused the customer review system, tags, likes, etc.?
  • How do you behave at online discussion forums and your other online activities?

Chris McMullen, self-published author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers (Volume 2 coming in mid-April)