Tag Archives: Support

Wiki Matter: Clues, Context and Reader Empathy

Why Connect to Wiki  Matter?

While nonfiction or scholarly writers may want to steer clear of using wiki sources, fictional writers have fantastic incentives to link to Wiki matter:

  • Leave clues for your readers with wiki material.  Add to the suspense and level of intrigue by offering wiki matter for your readers to investigate.  Asking them to pay particular attention to a notable object or political controversy will have them curious as to how it will effect the story.
  • Offer context and insight.  Including historical background through wiki matter will educate the reader on essentials to the plot or character.  Rather than solely deciphering how the protagonist feels, readers are presented with an additional opportunity to consider how they would feel as well.
  • Enhance reader empathy for the characters.  If one of your characters is relating their personal experience surviving a real global disaster, offering your readers a second, outside viewpoint will increase their understanding of the situation, and its effect on that particular character.


Consider adding wiki matter to enhance plot, theme, or character defining moments in your novel, such as:

  • Historically or culturally significant locations that relate to the setting of your story.
  • Famous (or infamous) politicians, activists or entertainment figures who have had a profound effect on your main character.
  • Laws or regulations that play a role in defining your plot, or plot twists.
  • Plants, animals or objects that are vital to the storyline.

Helpful Hints

  • Check the wiki page before you connect it to your book on Sumbola.  Ensure that the page portrays the information you want to share accurately.
  • Link components of your book to wiki matter selectively.  Choose significant items that not only occur in your story, but that pull the story along.

Why Self Publishing Is More Than OK

Isaac Asimov

More than a week ago, I read an article that struck me.

Why Didn’t I Self-Publish?” was a letter addressed to Salon advice columnist Cary Tennis, and his response.  In short, the letter was written by a woman with a successful career outside of being a writer. She has a husband, child, and a passion for story telling. After writing two novels, she sought an opportunity to publish them, but upon finding a platform through her local library, she couldn’t go through with it: her opportunity came and went. She was left feeling disappointed and confused.  Why didn’t she pursue it?

Tennis’ response, in short, was that she had a lack of motivation to be self-published.  Yes, she wanted to be a writer; her novels (not to mention newsletter and short stories) are proof of that.  What she wanted was the recognition from her peers, including her husband, that she was creative, artistic, and more than just “practical, organized, somebody who gets things done”.  Tennis suggested that instead of self-publishing, she should find a reputable publisher. Furthermore, he advised her not to let the likelihood of “never making it on Oprah” hinder her.  He ended his article encouraging her to “dream big.  That way, you will have something to strive for”, inviting her to take action.

I read the article on my browser, closed the tab, and moved on to other publishing insights and editorials.  And yet it stayed with me, this sadness about a woman who was too afraid to self publish- for fear of her work being dismissed, or worse, herself ridiculed. It was only after reading an article by Hugh Howey on the IndieReader, entitled The Best Days of My Life that I understood why:  his happiest days were spent writing, not being a best-selling author.

There is nothing wrong with her desire to feel validation for what she is passionate about. For those who have read the full article, we could be quick to point fingers at her friends and husband for the lack thereof. Unfortunately, the truth is that you can find dozens of editorials from the so-called “successes” of the publishing industry, echoing their sentiments:

“Self-Publishing isn’t good enough…you’re not a real writer”.

When authors with any level of experience face that stigma, it’s hard to feel motivated.  It’s hard to feel confident in not only your work, but in yourself. The name of a big-five publishing company should not be a requirement for the support and encouragement of writers.

We need to remember why we choose to write.  Something inside each of us, at one point in our lives said “yes. Write. This is what you need to be doing, right now.” There is nothing wrong with making a profit, but that isn’t the main purpose.  There is nothing wrong with meeting Oprah, but that isn’t why we write either.  We write because we’re compelled to. We need to share our stories because we love them.  Self-publishing is a perfectly viable way of doing so.

Remember this about yourself when you write. Remember this when others imply that a publishing house defines the value of a writer. The woman from the advice column might not have had the support of friends and family, but as fellow writers, she should have it from us.