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Got It Covered

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Please, judge my book by its cover—first.

At least that's what authors who self-publish should think despite the renowned cliché, as they should feel comfortable enough with the cover of their book to have people make judgements about it, and also feel confident that people will find their cover appealing and move on to what's inside.

And Chapter 10 of APE makes me feel better that if the time comes to create my own book cover, I'll have it... well... covered.

A writer's biggest concern should naturally be the contents of a book on the inside, but many people won't give a book a second look if its cover is shabby and therefore won't read the glorious words an author worked painstakingly to write.

Am I the Only One Confused by All This?

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These chapters confused me. Was I the only one? There is just so much going on and there are so many options; I'm bad with options. I'm also really indecisive, too many options and my head combusts. If I were self-publishing a book I would need somebody else to tell me which route to take because there are just too many for me to decide. I'm also terrible with computers, so the computer lingo used also confused me. If you can't tell, I'm confused. In the meantime, my InDesign is still loading...

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Only 10 Percent?

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Well, this is dismal. As someone who is thinking about going into the publishing industry, chapter 2 is frightening and dreary. I am now more scared than I think I ever have been. Kawasaki and Welch seem to have both had terrible experiences with traditional publishing companies and have really harnessed that anger here in chapter 2. I did get a laugh through this BuzzFeed article though.
APE

Writing for a Public Audience

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Writing for a public audience can change a writer's style completely because there are many more factors for the writer to think about when realizing that their work will be read by a vast audience. One way that an author might have to make sure they are not offending anyone in their writing because of the many different types of people who are reading their work. An author might not think something if offensive, but a reader coming from a different background might read the same work and be very offended without the author even realizing what they have done. This is why editing and review by other people is pivotal in writing before publishing to a public audience. The feedback from the public audience can also affect how you feel about your own writing.

Raise the Bar

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Are we all electrified when we write for an audience?

In Clive Thompson's Smarter Than You Think, this was certainly the case for Dorothy Burt's students who were not only "electrified" to be writing for an audience who wasn't required or paid to read their work, but more critical of their work and the work of others. When they received comments on their work, it sank in that another person was being affected by their writing - and this lit a spark. An audience to hold you to a higher standard causes you to hold yourself to a higher standard. An audience raises the bar.

That Makes Me Want to Live in Cooper

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First off, I love this book and I love Chip Kidd! He seems like such a cool guy and the book is such a fun one to flip through. Kidd presents the material in such a fun and colorful way that while I am reading it, I don't feel like I am avidly learning but I am.

Here are the three photos I took from around campus:

I like this poster for the Eileen Myles reading. I love the repetition of the face in different colors. Since the left side is colorful and busy the left is minimal and lets everyone know the vital information.

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Self-Publishing: It's As Easy As Riding a Bike!

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LOL, JK - this stuff is tough. I definitely didn't appreciate the amount of sweat, blood, and tears that went into self-publishing until reading Chapter 13. Frankly, it's intimidating, and I have a newfound appreciation for those who decide to self-publish. It's no question why Chapter 13 is referred to as the "harriest" chapter in the the book - self-publishing is a daunting task.

There is in fact an encouraging aspect of self-publishing however, and that is the autonomy that accompanies publishing your own book. Sure, you may be doing all the work but at least you get a say in the final product! Self-publishing might be hard but it's a dream come true for all of the independents and the control freaks out there (S/O).

Can't Judge a Book

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Let me get started by saying that I am not a creative person. I have an analytical mind. I'm totally a left-brained person and sometimes that makes it difficult to find the deeper meaning in things because I tend to take them at face value. So I can totally get behind Kleon's idea that "our work doesn't speak for itself". I've been to art museums, and when I look at a piece often my first assessment is "Oh, that's neat-looking" or "People actually paid money for this thing?" (but hey, I guess it's like Kleon said- one's man's trash is another man's treasure).

Taking Ownership

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I really enjoyed Clive Thompson's discussion of public writing in the "Digital School" chapter of Smarter Than You Think. It's really interesting how the high school students described in the book treated writing in an online public forum completely differently than writing a paper for a teacher's eyes only. The most compelling difference for me was the ownership the students took over their writing when they knew it could be read by the public.

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Adapting to Different Standards of Writing

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We obviously write differently for different people. Here is where I found a great list of words that should never be used in an essay. Here are some other words I was taught never to use:

Obviously/clearly--if it's obvious or clear, you shouldn't have to explain it.
Because (at the beginning of a sentence)
In conclusion--this says that everything that follows is something you've already read
I/me/anything in first person unless the prompt specifically asks for something about you
?--you're supposed to answer questions, not pose more.

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