Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Buy a book by Chuck Wendig

51Agi4xoTiL._SY346_I just dropped one buck in the Amazon coin box and got myself a digital copy of Chuck Wendig’s Irregular Creatures.
There’s a number of reasons why I did.

The first is that I have completed a story, and I had promised myself a little treat.
The second is, I like Chuck Wendig’s books, I loved his writing handbooks and I still have a small number of his novels here for when I feel blue.
And of course, third, Irregular Creatures has a winged cat on the cover. That’s my sort of cover.

But the foremost reason why I spent some money on a Chuck Wendig book is, Chuck Wendig’s just been fired by Marvel.
You know Marvel, the guys that publish those superhero comics. The guys that make those superhero movies. The guys that fired James Gunn. Those guys. Continue reading


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Writing Advice

As you probably know – or maybe you don’t – I collect books about writing.
I have over one hundred, and in truth I can tell you, there’s a lot of good advice in each and every one of them, even if not a single one is the final world, The Book, the stone tablets of the Law, dictated by the God of Literature Himself.

Charlton-Heston-holding-Ten-Commandments

Right now, I’m having a lot of fun reading Chuck Wendig’s 250 Things You Should Know About Writing that, like all of Chuck Wendig’s writing books, is fun, informative and filled with the sort of common sense and down-to-earth advice that a lot of writing courses seem unable to muster. Continue reading


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Author-Publisher, please

This is an impromptu post.
Chuck Wendig just posted another fine piece about… authors that publish their own stuff.
About the name you slap on such individuals.
Something I’m interested in, as I’m one of those that get slapped.

Let’s see.
The most common labels are:

. self-published author
. independent author
. self-produced author

copierLet’s admit it – they do suck.
At best, they aremisleading.
In my language, the label is usually (autore) Autopubblicato – and it reads as a mark of infamy.
It means, more or less, “you sucker, a real publisher would not touch your rubbish with a ten foot pole”.
And in my case might as well be correct – I’ve this thing which seems to ruffle the feathers of most publishers.

Incidentally – I do prefer author to writer, because it describes more precisely who I am.
A writer could be writing under dictation.
He could be a graffiti artist.
I’m an author.

Or, here’s another definition which is quite fun, content crafter.
Which is fine when I’m authoring stuff that’s not orthodox book- stuff – online articles, blog posts, slide text, infographics, etcetera.
Beats any day of the week the horrid web-writer so many people seem to enjoy (so much so there’s people out there actually selling “professional web-writer” certifications, these days!)

When it comes to publishing my stuff, anyway, the standard labels suck, but there are two other definitions I like much better.

The first is artisanal publisher, coined by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welsh in his excellent APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book.
I’ve been using that a lot – it removes the stigma of the guy working in his basement with an old HP printer and adds a touch of highly marketable mistique.

The second, which was recently proposed by Chuck Wendig, is author-publisher.
Which, and I have to agree with the man, sounds just like a multi-class character in a role playing game – like wizard-rogue, which I have played once in a while in my long gaming career.
And is mighty fine.
Sounds great.
It’s classy.

So here we go – from this moment on, I am Davide Mana, author-publisher.
I’m into artisanal publishing, actually.