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New Member, Male, 26, from Tasmania
- vonzex was last seen:
- Aug 22, 2014
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- Oct 23, 1991 (Age: 26)
- Home Page:
- Editor: acquisitions, developmental and copy
- Favorite Writers:
- Jodi Picoult
- Alfred Adler
- Viktor Frankl
- Favorite Books:
* The Tenth Circle
* The Science of Living
* Rational Emotive Behavior
- Favorite Quotes:
- The man with no scars will hurt forever.
- Religious Beliefs:
- Political Views:
Name’s James—a 22-year-old crackpot residing in the chilly hills of Tasmania with my partner. We spend our time gardening on a 1/4 acre property overlooking a forest. Both of us work freelance as writers and marketers respectively.
- Are You Published?:
- Yes, Tradition
I write books for big clients, but their names go on the cover and on best-seller lists, not mine. This is called ghost writing, and it is rampant in the publishing industry. Unfortunately, I have to pay the bills, and this is a skill I’ve honed since the age of four. I taught myself to read and write before the other kids had even learned the alphabet.
To give you an idea of just how much I’ve contributed to books you’ve likely read, there is a folder on my desktop called work. It’s everything I’ve written professionally since 2003; I was only 11 years old. The folder contains 742 items: most of them full books, some of them editing jobs. This means I’m averaging 67 literary projects a year and also perhaps explains why I don’t have much time to blog.
The strangest thing I’ve ever written is a sex guide for a Muslim woman. The most boring thing I’ve ever written is an Occupational Health and Safety report. The most difficult thing I’ve ever written is a self-help book for the modern man. I tend to veer away from non-fiction as much as I can, because my real love is writing fantasy/romance/paranormal.
My fantasy is all based in the real world and caters to young adults. Therefore, the best book I’ve ever written was a YA fantasy and was the book that taught me exactly what I want to write.
Over the course of my career, I’ve worked for three different publishing companies — all of them are now bankrupt. So when I tell you self-publishing is the future, I mean it. When it comes to books, the only thing I haven’t dabbled into is cover design. I don’t care how good you are with Photoshop, you just can’t beat working with a great artist.
There is very little I don’t know about this industry. I worked for 10 years as a copy editor; I was 12 when I started, and my first job was to help a Russian man fix the broken English in his manuscript. Back then, people were posting jobs on Usenet, and I was editing on my Windows 98 computer over dial-up internet. In case you’re not familiar with the internet before Facebook and Twitter, Usenet was basically the internet’s first forum, then came Bulletin Board Software (BBS).
When I was 15, I had my first big break. One of my contacts and friends was starting their own publishing company. This was a huge deal back then, and you couldn’t just make your own website to host eBooks like you can now. He had his own business number, investors, a building and a compelling pitch. I was completely sold, and my job was going to be establishing his first batch of marketable books.
The job lasted a few months before his company fell on its head, but I did get to see exactly what happens to manuscripts when they get sent to a publisher. The receptionist would hand me a box, a heavy box, of last week’s manuscripts. Honestly, there’s really no surprise that it’s so insanely hard to get published. I remember one afternoon, after reading horrible text all day, I spilt coffee on one of them–and that was it for that particular stack of paper–tossed the whole thing in the bin.
I sometimes wonder if it was the bestseller we had been looking for, no joke. There’s always my nagging suspicion that it could have been the book to make the company profitable.
Two years later, I get another job offer. They are a “literary think tank”, what ever that means. This new company is very discreet and primarily provides creative professionals with “content solutions”. In other words, my job was the literary equivalent of writing a hit song for a musician. I’d never be given enough to learn who I was writing for, and I’d only ever get fragments of a chapter or two.
Of all the NDAs I’ve signed, their one was the scariest. Something to the effect of “You will be sued relentlessly if you leak information”. Bringing me to the last five years working as a developmental editor. This was when I learned that there’s a whole new aspect to editing than merely correcting mistakes. The think tank’s motto was to correct the writer, not the writing.
At present, I now spend less time writing for money: I was beginning to burn out. Now, I only take the occasional freelance job and can finally see words in terms of beauty, not money. I still write a lot about selling books, but the feeling I got when I read my first book without pictures is returning more each day.
I have blogging to thank for that.
SignatureA shameless toot of my own horn: storymedic.com