Yes, People Do Ask Me Questions!

Dear LDSP,

In the past, you’ve complained about not having enough questions to answer. Then you said you were going to start writing posts about writing, but you’ve been posting questions again. Did you suddenly get an influx of questions, or what?

Are you kidding me? You actually took time away from writing your great American novel to ask me this question? Seriously?

Yes, I have gotten a few questions lately. Thank you very much.

Questions will always, always, ALWAYS get priority from me. That is because: 1) if someone takes their precious time to ask me a question, I feel they deserve an answer—even if the question is unbelievably stupid uh… ridiculously silly uh… off tangent; and 2) it’s much easier for me to respond to a question than to try to make up something out of the blue.

So please, keep sending me questions. I am out of them as of today. If you’ve sent me a question in the past and I haven’t answered it, please resend it. In all this restructuring and stuff, things may have gotten overlooked. (Sorry.)

Pressing Industry Issues!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled posting so that we may discuss an extremely important and pressing issue in the LDS publishing industry.

My new avatar.

Okay, okay. Maybe this isn’t a pressing issue to the entire LDS publishing industry, but it is to me. Please keep reading. There are prizes involved.

It has been drawn to my attention that with the redesign of the site(s), I need to upgrade my avatar. (Scroll down a bit, right hand sidebar under “About Me”) Words like silly and out-dated and downright hideous have been thrown at me concerning my existing one. So, I’m bowing to peer pressure.

I’ve narrowed it down to the ones below. When you picture me in your mind’s eye, what do I look like?

Avatar #1

Avatar #2

Avatar #3

Please vote in the comments section. Embellish with why you think I look like a particular avatar and I will choose someone from the comments to win a prize.

(I don’t want to say what the prize is because it’s a surprise, but trust me, it will be way cool!)

Voting ends Friday, February 27, 2009.

Blogger Award

Tristi gave me the Make My Day award.

Thank you.

Now I’m supposed to give this award to ten people. This is hard because in my guise as LDS Publisher, I confess, I do not visit anyone’s blog on a daily basis, or on any regular basis. (Personally, I visit a lot of you who have commented here. But that’s not relevant to this post.)

I’ve decided to give this award to the 10 bloggers who have commented here the most*—because your comments make my day, and they are also helpful to other readers.

Rebecca Talley

Tristi Pinkston (yes, I know she just gave it to me. Sue me.)


Melanie Goldmund



Marsha Ward

Paul West

Janet Jensen


Andi Sherwood

*Some people have commented more than the people on this list, but they don’t have a blog. Others with blogs haven’t commented as often.

Now, don’t you wish you 1) had a blog? and 2) commented more often?

(I expect to see a HUGE jump in comments this next week…)


Here’s another funny one that I’ve seen posted in several places lately. I know it’s not Friday, so technically is not a “Friday Funny” but I won’t be posting tomorrow. I’ve got an event that is going to take up my entire day. The link takes you to the original posting.

Introducing the new Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge device
Trade named: BOOK

BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It’s so easy to use, even a child can operate it.

Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere — even sitting in an armchair by the fire — yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc. Here’s how it works:

BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder, which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence.

Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now, BOOKs with more information simply use more pages.

Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet. BOOK may be taken up at any time and used merely by opening it.

Unlike other display devices, BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting, and it can even be dropped on the floor or stepped on without damage. However, it can become unusable if immersed in water for a significant period of time. The “browse” feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet and move forward or backward as you wish. Many come with an “index” feature, which pinpoints the exact location of selected information for instant retrieval.

An optional “BOOKmark” accessory allows you to open BOOK to the exact place you left it in a previous session — even if the BOOK has been closed. BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus, a single BOOKmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous BOOKmarkers can be used in a single BOOK if the user wants to store numerous views at once. The number is limited only by the number of pages in the BOOK.

You can also make personal notes next to BOOK text entries with an optional programming tool, the Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Stylus (PENCILS).

Portable, durable, and affordable, BOOK is being hailed as a precursor of a new entertainment wave. Also, BOOK’s appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the platform and investors are reportedly flocking. Look for a flood of new titles soon.

What it’s really like talking to an editor

I’ve seen this on about a dozen blogs over the past week. I think it’s incredibly funny, but then I don’t mind laughing at myself either.

Editing Induced Dyslexia

I’ve heard people say that if you read your story backwards it makes it easier to see the mistakes. Isn’t that hard to do? I mean, reading the words backwards makes them different words, doesn’t it? Even if you start at “The End” it would read, “Dne Eth.” How can that help? Thank you. (yes, thinking up these questions is way more fun than folding laundry or cleaning boogers off the wall–please, don’t have another contest like this for a while so I can get caught up with my housework!)

Ha, ha!

Actually, reading your manuscript out of context is a great way to look for mistakes. I generally take it one line or paragraph at a time (reading the line forward) from the end of the novel.

Another help is reading it out loud. To another person. When I read out loud to just me, I tend to ignore myself.

What are some other tips?

I am Totally Messed Up

Did anyone notice that I posted the Friday Funny on Thursday? Thank you for not making fun of me in the comments section.

I completely blame it on the local Board of Education, who could have chosen to let kids out of school on a Friday, instead of on a Thursday.

I also blame it on my children who think they have better things to do the last few days of school and can’t be bothered with actually attending class. They come and go at all hours of the day, making it feel like the weekend, when it’s really not.

Can you imagine my consternation when I woke up this morning, thinking it was the weekend, and realized I had to go to work?! Geez.

So okay, you got the Friday Funny on Thursday and today you’re getting…uhm…something else.

I Wish…

Another Friday Funny:

Can I tell my Bishop I consider writing as my “true calling” and therefore should not have to serve in the ward?

Actually, that has happened before. I know of two cases–both authors wrote about increasing spirituality, recovery, parenting, and other gospel topics. Their bishops felt their books were of such help to the members of the Church that they wanted them to write more, without being distracted by other service within the ward. (Other than Visiting and Home Teaching. I don’t think you can ever get out of that. Nor would we want to, right?)

But I think I’d wait for your bishop to be inspired and extend that calling to you himself, rather than asking him for it.

Book with CD?

I have created a soundtrack for my book. Would it be useful to send in a CD of the soundtrack with the book? Should I list the songs and artists at the end of my book as notations for inspiration?

I thought this would make a Funny Friday question. But let’s pretend for just a minute that it’s serious.

I had to think about this for awhile. I’ve never had this happen with a submission (which is why it won the Never Heard That One Before question in last month’s question contest). I have, on occasion, talked with people who had self-published a book and a CD of original music to go with it. The concept was good, but the marketing created problems.

For a manuscript submission, my answer is: No.

If you’re talking about original music that you’ve created yourself, unless you are a professional musician with a studio, chances are your soundtrack would not be the level of quality that we’d want. If we’d even want a soundtrack with the book. So, no.

If you’re talking about songs you’ve collected that are already in existence and you’ve put them on a CD intending the reader to listen as they read, to help create the mood–sort of like a movie soundtrack–then again, no. THIS IS AGAINST COPYRIGHT LAWS!!

And no, do not put the list of songs and artists at the end of the book.

Submit your book as a stand-alone product. After it’s accepted, you can mention you have a CD (of original music) to go with it. If the publisher is interested, they’ll let you know.