Tag Archive: writing education

Flight logs were a critical part of being a pilot and Col. C. J. Tippett was meticulous with his.

Flight logs were a critical part of being a pilot and Col. C. J. Tippett was meticulous with his.

This is one of my favorite blog post series about the life and times of my grandfather, Col. C. J. Tippett – and the memoir he wrote which I turned into a book by wrapping his story in research and background information.

Col. C. J. Tippett pursued his passion for aviation in a time of history that brought him across the paths of many famous people, who were then able to meet him.

Some of them are very famous, like Ernest Hemmingway and General Hap Arnold.
Some of them are less famous, but no less significant, like Ethan S. Kiehm.

Mr Kiehm met Tip in the Territory of Hawaii on October 19th, 1935 when Tip needed a notary public to certify his pledge of 69 hours nad 55 minutes of total solo flying time.

Tip was a private in the US Army and on his way to a flying career. He was already banking flight time on his own, in addition to anything he could do through the army, and getting his flight log officially recognized was an important step.

Ethan S. Kiehm was in Honolulu and ready with his notary stamp that day because he’d been born there, to Korean immigrant parents, and is now considered to be the first American-born Korean in Hawaii.

This was important to both Korea and America because, during his life, Ethan Sungkoo Kiehm went from being a notary public in Honolulu to being the aide to the first president of the Republic of Korea, Syngman Rhee – while Rhee led South Korea through the Korean War.

With a foot in both cultures, Mr. Kiehm provided a unique bridge between Korean and American leadership during a critical time. When he left the service of Syngman Rhee, Kiehm returned to Hawaii and joined the American military. There’s an entire story in that alone; of the Korean diaspora to Hawaii, Rhee’s journey to leadership, Kiehm’s participation and perspective, and Korean history.

Kind cool, huh?  I love this kind of thing.
The book, now maybe titled “When No One Else Would Fly” is almost ready for release. Contact me if you’d like to be added to the announcement list. I don’t ever sell your contact info.

I’m in the final edit stage and have discovered, with thanks to my editor, that I’ve punked all the title capitalization throughout the manuscript and must correct it. NOW I know that President Syngman Rhee of South Korea gets capitalized. But if I’m writing about how Ethan S. Kiehm was aide to the president of South Korea, then I don’t capitalize anything but the country. That doesn’t feel very respectful, but…

It is the duty of the self published writer to make sure the manuscript is as correct as we can get it, and fight the common perception that self published books are not adequately edited. So I must somehow strive to remember that Col. C. J. Tippett, USAF Ret. met Notary Public Ethan S. Kiehm when Tip was a private in the army and Kiehm was a notary public for the First Judicial Circuit, Territory of Hawaii in 1935!



Self Publishing Advice Butterflies

The Three Butterflies of Writing Advice

As I build my series on Step by Step Self Publishing, I keep trying to start at the beginning… with Write The Book… but current life and topics keep popping up.
Because this is blogging.
It’s more spontaneous, closer to live action, more like real life.
Not disorganized. No way!

For authors, publishing starts after we think we are finished.
So for authors, self publishing advice includes the topic of writing the book. And my advice for authors considering self publishing is to write another book and publish it as well. Don’t stop with just one book – use the time, effort, and self education to put out more books! But first, we have to write it.

Out of the millions of ways to write a book, I can think of three:

1)            Do something and write about it

Find someone who did something and write about them

3)            Make something up completely from scratch and write about it

I started with number one. I did something, and I wrote about it…  my memoir about raising poultry and a family in hard times, titled  “Just a Couple of Chickens”

Now I’m almost finished with my second book, using approach number 2. I’ve found someone who did something, and I’m writing about him. My grandfather, Col. C. J. Tippett, did several very interesting things in aviation history as well as being a fascinating person in an extraordinary time.

Number 3 seems the hardest. To make something up completely from scratch and write about it. I do have my secret manuscript just like every other writer, my blockbuster sci-fi space opera, bodice-ripper… (space-suit ripper?) but in the meantime, I’m going back to methods 1 and 2 and writing sequels to my first two books.

Because if Write It is the first step in self publishing, then Write a Sequel and Do It All Over Again is the last… that’s just good publishing advice.


Black and White Self Publishing Advice

Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method makes writing light as a feather. Or at least lays it out in black and white.

Writing the book, and writing the next book, can so easily get lost in the process of self publishing. I am constantly trying to stay current in the writing world, and one piece of advice I gleaned from a teaching author was to continue to study my craft. Keep learning about writing. So I joined Willamette Writers and was delighted to listen to Randy Ingermanson at one of the Willamette Writers meetings in 2011.

Randy Ingermanson wrote Writing Fiction for Dummies, among other books, and he was talking about his patented Snowflake Method. I’d never heard of the Snowflake Method before and it hit me ‘tween the eyes like a well-received plank of brilliant break-through. I’d just rolled up my sleeves and resurrected the Outline…  effective, yet somewhat grueling.

Randy’s Snowflake Method is better. It’s a way of approaching story design, planning, forethought – working it out true to the rules of storytelling (beginning middle end, characters who live and breathe, scenes that make sense) while at the same time accomplishing the things that a book must have (one sentence summary, one paragraph summary, a plan…) and it’s a step by step, encouraging, hand-holding method.

He made some software and I bought it and I’m using it. Plus Randy’s website is fun to navigate and FULL of resources.

I made my publisher pay for the software and the Willamette Writer dues.
Which was pretty satisfying until I remembered that my publisher was me.


Self Publishing Advice for Blue Hens

Inquiring Hens want to know, what is POD?

POD is a good way to get a book ASAP as long as you have a PDF.

Print On Demand (POD) is the heart of the new publishing revolution. A publisher, or author, or pretty much anyone with a PDF  (Portable Document Format) file (an electronic copy of your book, already formatted, sized, and totally ready to print) can upload the file to a POD (Print-On-Demand) supplier and order up a single copy of the book. The cover of the book is usually a separate PDF file, uploaded at the same time. The important point here is that the PDF file is totally ready to go – no edits or adjustments required. The POD company prints either a single copy of the book, or as many as you have ordered, and ships it out. Fast.

Print On Demand is a tool that self publishers can use. Traditional publishers can use it too.

When someone orders my book through Amazon.com, they are ordering up a POD copy. I do not have a stock of printed books sitting in an Amazon warehouse in one of their strategically placed supply centers… although I could do that if I wanted to. I could have the books printed up ahead of time and shipped to that center, then Amazon would pull one from inventory and ship it out. This is a core difference between me, a self published author, and Simon & Schuster, a massive, big, respected, resourced, old-school, traditional publisher. Or one core difference, among others. Because I don’t have that big book inventory sitting in a warehouse, I don’t have all that money tied up there either.

Print On Demand also makes it possible that no book needs to go Out of Print ever again, as long as there are servers and electronic data in the world. Many books that existed before the publishing revolution are not yet available POD and so are still Out of Print… but this is a main strength of electronic publishing. Ebooks are another, but that’s another post for another day.

AND, this is a new industry. A new science. It has bugs.

I recently added a disclaimer paragraph to my PDF file at Amazon that tells my reader that their book was from a Print On Demand supplier, and if it is not perfectly printed, to please contact me at www.TheWestchesterPress.com. Because I had tested the system, and been in contact with readers, and some people got books that were not perfectly trimmed or perfectly printed. Quality control was running at about 90%, which still left some readers getting weird-looking books – and this was my only way to combat that issue.

But the benefits truly outweigh those problems, and Print On Demand is a wonderful thing… it makes Self Publishing possible.


Self Publishing Advice Tulips

Hundreds of colorful ideas and connections will bloom at the Willamette Writers Conference 2012.

This year the Willamette Writers Conference is August 3 – 5, 2012 at the Portland Airport Sheraton Hotel. In addition to workshops and classes, there are agents, editors, authors, publishers… and authors with book ideas, manuscripts, or screen plays can pitch their ideas.

I’m really pleased that I went to the conference last year because I was able to see how it is to pitch a book idea to an agent. The pitch practice on Thursday night taught me a huge amount about the key elements of a pitch… genre, core idea, three minute overview...

It gave me the opportunity to see how a marketable idea, made into a well written book, presented by a creditable author, pitched to the right agent… can result in an agent/author relationship, which could then lead to a book deal.

It may seen odd that me, determined self published author, would go to a conference designed to get authors in with traditional publishers, but no no, it’s not odd at all. I don’t believe that self publishing and traditional publishing have to be exclusive of each other. I have, and will continue to, present my work to the traditional publishing world (clearly stating what projects I have self published and which I have not) and see if I get anywhere doing everything I can possibly do to keep writing. Since I’m blogging about it, we’ll see how far I get!

And also, the Willamette Writers Conference has classes and workshops galore on writing, editing, social media, self publishing, websites… everything a writer needs. And every year, it has more and more about self publishing… interesting, ay?



Just like the world of film / video / DVD has changed…. And just like the world of music / cassette tape / CD / MP3 has changed…. The world of book publishing is changing.

The Lilypond of Self Publishing Advice

Self Publishing... there is a deeper pond of information under the surface.

It used to be very expensive and difficult to produce a hard copy book, and producing a single copy of a hard copy book was out of reach. Getting that book into readers hands used to be very expensive and difficult too… and this is what has changed the most in book publishing.

It is now much easier and more cost effective to produce a book and get it into readers hands. Authors can do it themselves. They can publish themselves.

It is the technology that has changed, giving anyone with the determination to learn access to the marketplace. But the fundamentals of publishing have not changed. The book still has to be well written, on a topic someone wants to read about, and well produced so that it sells at a profit.

Self publishing is the act of the author becoming a publisher, and therefore taking on all the concerns and expenses of a publisher. This immediately created a market for companies offering to take over all the headaches of publishing on behalf of the author… for a fee. Those companies are called vanity or subsidy presses.

Those services are not the same as self publishing… but they do have a place. They can be a good solution depending on the book project, (more about that topic in my upcoming post about vanity and subsidy press). But self publishing is the process of the author taking a book from conception to sale, themselves.

Self publishing a book is an adventure… Is it the right adventure for you?
(see my post… Should I self publish?)

Copyright 2012 Corinne Tippett & The Westchester Press
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