Maybe I should have named my blog Potpourri or Pastiche or simply a Savory Stew because I aim to throw a lot of different things into the pot, mostly about reading, writing and art, but many other things, too, because I’ve lived a long time and have a lot of interests. I also will include here thoughts of others I come upon who share my loves. Including those of you who care to share your thoughts and impressions.

Archive - August, 2015

How Old is Too Old to Be an Author?
posted by Ed Farber on August 27, 2015

You're never too old to become an author!

I began years ago by writing short stories for publication after I retired at age 66, and quite a number of my stories were published in literary journals. That's a great way to hone your craft. Submit and submit and keep doing it despite rejection slips (and keep rewriting to make your writing the best it can be).

My first book was published when I was 80, my second at 81 and my newest book, a novel, was published this year by Rocking Horse Publishing, a small-press publisher (click on "Books and Stories" on my website,  )

With the tremendous growth of Amazon and other self-publishing venues, it's easier than ever to become a published author--at any age. A word of caution, however...there are many so-called "vanity press" companies who will take a bunch of your hard-earned money to publish your book. Avoid them. Get yourself educated in such companies as Amazon Kindle where you can have an ebook version of your book published for no money at all or the POD (print on demand) companies that charge very little. But it does take a little research to get the hang of it. There's plenty of information online. Just do your homework.

So age doesn't matter, but time does. The traditional publishing route (seek an agent who will then try to peddle your book) takes a lot of time and luck. But if you're just starting to write in your senior years, get to it. Get your story or stories down. If time does matter for you, try the self-publishing or independent route. It's the hottest thing out there now, surpassing traditional publishing in sheer numbers. Once you've perfected your book (and that takes skill and much rewriting and editing) go for it. You're never too old.

Can An Old Dog Learn New (marketing) Tricks?
posted by Ed Farber on August 19, 2015

I’m an old advertising/marketing man who worked before there was an internet, much less social media. That’s really old! While I wrote tons of non-fiction related to my clients (public relations, magazine articles, brochures, advertising blurbs, etc. all of which I charged for and was paid) marketing my own short stories and books came after I retired. And it was, and still is, tough to do. Old dogs don’t learn new tricks quite as fast as young pups.

Even now after having numerous short stories published in literary journals and three books (a non-fiction humorous memoir, a collection of short fiction, and my latest book, a historical novel (see past blogs), I find it difficult to keep up with FB, Twitter, Pinterest, and, yes, this blog on a regular basis.

It’s not from lack of anything to say or laziness (more like procrastination.)  Mainly it’s because I’ve been busy—writing! I know, if you’re going to have a blog, you better get to it regularly. But it’s difficult when you’re in the middle of a story or, in my case, writing a prequel to my novel, Elixir of the Incas, and preparing a second collection of short stories for publication.

Since I’m a painter, too, I’m sorry to say that I’ve neglected getting back to the easel. I’m in the middle of a painting, but haven’t taken the time to complete it. I guess it’s a case of not planning my time efficiently. Some people are good at working on many things simultaneously or at least within a given time-frame.

I used to be. When I ran my ad agency, I worked on many projects for many clients and never missed a deadline, even when they were due at the same time. But my priorities are different now. No clients and no deadlines except self-imposed ones. Now days, I am an easy task-master, no penalties either.

However, I do recognize that an author (and artist) must do much of their own marketing today. It is the only way to get your creative works sold because small press publishers like mine (and even the big-game publishers) won’t do it for you anymore. But for me, very well acquainted with the old ways to market and advertise, it’s still a learning process, a new frontier. And for this old geezer it’s a real challenge.