Award Winning Best Selling Florida Author Yvonne Mason

My Books, writing tips and reviews

A Lesson in Manuscript Submitting

This past week has been a very interesting week. The lesson learned was this. There is a right way and a wrong way to submit a manuscript for publishing. No, it was not mine. It was a novice writer who listened to all the wrong people.
The end result was the manuscript was not sent in a word document ready to be edited and published. It was sent in piece meals files by chapter. To add to the problem it was not properly formatted with paragraph indentations or a centered chapter heading with the Caps where they belong.

Before the editing process could even be started the chapters had to be cut and pasted into a word document. To further complicate the process there were many, many footnotes which would not copy and paste to the document. Now, this presented a huge undertaking because each footnote had to be copied by itself then the passage had to be located and then the footnote inserted. This had to be done before the manuscript could even be edited. Adding to the challenge the chapters had been written all in double space each word was double spaced, each sentence was double spaced and there was no distinction of paragraphs. Everything including the chapters were aligned to the left and the chapter headings were all in small letters.

This is a casebook example of what not to submit for publishing. What should have been a four hour job tops turned into a two week job. To add to this insane mix the writer decided to rewrite the entire book and resubmit it in the same form after work had already begun on the book. The table of contents was also all in small letters. The font was in several different types and none of them were the standard of New Times Roman 12.

For those of you who are writing your first book or are thinking about writing a book this is absolutely not the way to do it. It doesn’t matter if you are self publishing as in Lulu or Create a Space, using a POD or Vanity press or even have the opportunity to be picked up by the Traditional publishing house there are procedures and protocols in submitting a manuscript. You never ever send it in chapter files. It must be a completed manuscript. Most if not all POD or Vanity presses will not edit your work, it will get kicked back. It also shows a lack of professionalism on your part by not adhering to the protocols. It looks amateurish and childish.

Even kids in school know how to write a presentable paper.
There is an old adage which goes, “Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Sadly this is what happened here. The writer was given some very bad advice and then tried to spout it as fact. Sadly it was wrong. And sadly the writer didn’t want to learn the correct protocol to make it right.

So the lesson learned here is there are standards in the industry and those standards are set in stone and do not change. Publishing houses do not care if you don’t want to play by their rules they will tell you take it someplace else because there are 10,000 books published every day of the week. There are twice that many writers wanting their book in print.
Play by the rules, listen to those of us who have succeeded with blood, sweat, tears and rejections and learning curves. We have traveled those dark, lonely roads, and come out on the other side, bruised, but not beaten. We have made our way in the maze of the publishing world. We are in print and we know how to get it done.

So listen to us. We have the scars to prove it!

March 28, 2012 Posted by | writing workshops | , , , | Leave a comment

The Art of Writing a Review- And It Is an Art!

Any one can be a critic- But not every one can write a smart review!

For those of you like “Aspiring Book Reviewer” who feel the need to write reviews for books you read. There are several things one must be able to do in order to write a concise and intelligent review. One that doesn’t bash the author or their content simply because it appears to make the reviewer look “Important”. It doesn’t it only makes them look foolish and ignorant.
Lesson one– you are the reader not the author- Therefore you have no idea what the author was trying to convey in the book. You are not in the author’s head. You as the reader cannot “assume” what the author was or was not trying to convey. All you can do as the reader is relay what you took from the book. If you the reader got nothing from the book then you the reader read it with a closed mind and preconceived ideas of what the book was about. Wrong way to read a book. It retards your ability to get something out of the read.

Lesson Two– When you the reader opens a book- you the reader should understand that we do not live in a perfect world, in books written by humans, edited by human and produced by humans have errors. That is just the nature of the beast. Get over it. You the reader are human. If you truly are reading the book to take something from it for your gratification or experience then the rest is unimportant. I can’t tell you the books I have read that have errors. In fact I am reading one now by a very well known author and there are errors- So what!
It is not part of the review. Who cares. Move on. What I take away from my reading of that book is more important.

Lesson Three If you are going to review a book- DO NOT I repeat DO NOT bash the author. I book review should be what you the reader gleans from your experience in reading the work- not the authors writing, how they felt, what they felt or their point of view – Stop making the review personal. It isn’t personal. The author is entitled to their view just like you the reader are.

Lesson Four – There is always something good that can be learned from reading even a book that appears to be hard to read, or even boring. For instance, I am not into reading Stephen King, just not my thing. However, I did learn something by reading his work- I learned that less is sometimes more. However, I would never bash his work- I would never pretend to know what was in his head as he wrote. I would never assume that my opinion of his work is right or wrong- It is my opinion- And another person’s opinion is just as important. I would never ever bash him personally on a book review. I would never ever bash his work. That is his work and therefore it is important.

Lesson Five What ever you as the reader do – remember when you pick up a book to read it- That is something important to the author. They took the time, effort and their heart and soul to put words to paper. It is their craft- It is their dream and you the reader have no right to try and tear it apart. This could be caused by many reasons, but the one that comes to mind is the “aspiring book reviewer” has dreams they don’t know how to fulfill – Maybe they want to write and don’t know how. Or Maybe they were put down earlier in life and don’t have any positive in their life. Jealously comes to mind.

Lesson Six – Every book written has something in it that can be learned if the reader reads it with an open mind. Every book has a purpose – And every book is not for every reader. Case in point. A romance reader is not going to enjoy a murder mystery. A goth reader is not going to enjoy a love story. People who choose to write reviews should keep this in mind when they read books. If you are a romance reader and try to read a murder mystery or a true crime you will not enjoy it unless you open your mind to the difference of the work. Just because you don’t read that type of book don’t trash it on a review if it is not your thing. That is not a true review.

Lesson Seven No two writers write alike. That is the beauty of being human. Each writer has their own style and none of them are wrong. Even in true crime – Each true crime writer brings a different perspective to their work. So if you are a reader of true crime and Ann Rule is your favorite author and you read someone else’s work and it doesn’t read like hers don’t trash it because it is not “what you expected”. Please that is like drinking tea after drinking coke- there is no comparison.

In the end there is more to a book review besides just putting down words because you want to be an “aspiring book reviewer”. It is a craft just like writing. It take forethought, and planning not just bashing, and sentences that bring nothing to the table. If you didn’t get anything out of the book that was positive then you didn’t deserve to read it.

Hopefully this will help those of you who read for the right reasons and you can write informed reviews without being nasty, opinionated. Remember- the writer’s reason for writing may not be your reason for reading. The writer’s thread of purpose may not be your purpose-

Lastly think about how you would want to be treated if it were your work!

October 23, 2011 Posted by | writing workshops | , , , , | 8 Comments

Jupiter Library Workshop

36 folks at my workshop at Jupiter Library

On Tuesday November 17th I conducted at writers and marketing workshop at Jupiter Library in Jupiter Florida. There were 36 people in attendence. It was amazing. The audience asked well thought out questions. They were very interested in the marketing aspect for indie authors. They were amazed at the power we now have as indie authors.
Some of them have not yet published but when they left they were excited about putting fingers to keyboards and pen to paper. They were ready to let their stories out. I am planning another workshop sometime after the first of the year. I am currently looking for a venue. If you are interested please let me know

November 18, 2009 Posted by | Author, writing workshops, yvonne mason | , , , , | Leave a comment

Writers Workshop at Jupiter Library Jupiter Florida November 17,2009

I will be in Jupiter Florida on November 17,2009 from 6:30-pm-8:30pm conductin a writers workshop. I will be talking about writing and marketing in the 21st century for indipendant writers. As indie’s we have an opprotunity that has never before been afforded to us. We have ways of publishing our works and marketing those works that until now has been closed to us.

    The key is dedication and hard work. I will be teaching how to market and where to get your works published. Come join me if you are interested in writing, have written and don’t know how to get published or what to do once you are published.

     This workshop is free and open to the public. You can either contact me at or Jupiter Library for more information.

  I hope to see you there.

  Yvonne Mason 


November 2, 2009 Posted by | Author, writing workshops | , , , , , , | 3 Comments


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