Monday, March 10, 2014
The mother said with a frown, "How can he make a name for himself that way?" Boy, was I glad I could refer her to the recent free online indie conference I attended (wearing slippers, I might add). Indie publishing has survived sharp barbs and soared into new territory. I told her that there have been enough Indies to have worked through their problems and are now sharing the solutions. Anyone can learn DIY publishing and marketing and they don't have to start from scratch. There are numerous blog articles, sites, and books which share tips, templates, and programs.
A few highlights I gleaned from IndieRecon 2014 for traditional, indie or hybrid (authors using both) publishing: 1) The right Keywords for search engines, categories, lists, etc. give more visibility, 2) Reviews = sales, 3) Use social media to connect with people and share interests much more than book-selling, 4) Use images for quick attention-getters, 5) Network with others through interviews and guest posts, and the #1 best thing you can do to gain word-of-mouth advertising (for the best sales) is to 6) Write an awesome book! You can read any of the articles and older posts for more details. Share any awesome Indie tips you want to in the comments box below.
The new-to-me blog of the week comes at a great time. You can get a lot of bang for the blog this month with several guest-posts during Rebecca Belliston's March Book Madness. Go to rebeccabelliston.wordpress.com and check out more than one post for some great tips. I'll be returning there a few times this month and hope you will too.
Monday, March 3, 2014
How fast do you think the car was going when it smashed into the other car?
How fast do you think the car was going when it bumped into the other car?
This is memory manipulation. Writers manipulate all the time to set reader's into a different world or to sympathize with a character. The pen is mightier than... many things. And it's a lot of fun! I love revising a sentence by popping in a different word that is stronger, more exact. But it can become tedious when you think about your whole manuscript.
So here's the TIP: Break each revision session into manageable chunks.
First, put word revisions off until you have a solid draft or you will do more work than necessary. Make your structure sound, your plot without holes before tackling those rough and imperfect sentences. Second, don't concern yourself with anything larger than the scene at hand. That scene can be broken down into pages and paragraphs, and eventually each word. If you find a problem that relates to anything bigger than the scene, jot it down in a notebook for another day.
Revisions take time--lots of it. Especially for us newbies. Shortchanging this process leads to rejections. Here's my story that I alluded to last week.
Personal Experience: My Book of Mormon fiction novel, The Seventh City, took over two years to write because I needed the crutch of my critique group. Their feedback gave me focus for the next chunk of writing. Ten pages a week was the goal, but some meetings fell through. Another year was spent doing revisions and waiting on whole-manuscript readers. (Meanwhile, my next project moved forward.) Some of those readers fizzled out, and such is life in the real world. I took the feedback I had and tweaked a few things. I had a strong opening--it won two First Chapter contests that year and I hoped it would carry me through. I knew there were some weak spots, but I didn't know how to fix them. It was pretty close to my best abilities at that point in time, but I should have dug a little deeper, gotten more feedback. I'd already waited three years; I itched to submit.
As the rejections returned, I kept writing and learning. I got one or two more readers who did a thorough job and gave valuable feedback. I reread my manuscript with fresh eyes and reworked a few things--the climax in particular. My main characters needed to be more involved in the solution to their problems.
I resubmitted my novel, telling the publisher there had been some major changes to the manuscript, and I am happy to say it has been accepted for publication! No contract yet, so no more details than that.
With every first novel experience I've heard about, the process took longer than expected. This does not mean we are bad at it, it means we are finding our way. Take patience in crafting your stories, revising them into powerful words, and waiting for feedback. With traditional publishing, my wait continues. Hopefully by the time my first book comes out, I'll have two or three ready right behind it.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Renae really relishes writing rhetorical remarks. -- James D.
Easy. Yeah. You should have entered. Next year...
And the winner (chosen randomly) wrote a rather lyrical, more challenging one. Notice the alliteration sound from a different syllable in 'across' and some rhyming vowels. So nice!
We weave wishes when we write. Wishes, like wand, wordfully wander in the world where we wait when we wake. Creations come crawling, calling and creeping across the cavernous crevasses in our craniums.
Congratulations to Jodi Brown, winner of a $10 Amazon gift card!
My TIP for this week is not to see writing as a race. No one needs that added stress. Instead, enjoy the journey. Take the time to get plenty of critiques and enough edits to make your work shine before putting it out for public viewing. Being brave enough for this end result is what we anticipate, after all--so don't hide from it forever. But take the time to do it right. That's what I'm doing with Bishop Stories. Don't want to submit sooner than truly ready--I've already done that once and the results were much different than after further critiques and revisions. (A story for another time.)
The blog I'm highlighting this week is http://www.alicross.com because Ali is participating in a special writer's conference held online Tuesday through Thursday called IndieReCon. You can catch it live or catch up later. There should be something for all writers, whether or not you plan to Indie publish. See you there and have a good week!
Monday, February 17, 2014
a Rafflecopter giveaway
New this month is Fallen Angel, a delightful contemporary romance set in Florence, Italy. Having traveled there, I loved the setting with Swinton's references to the area and a sprinkling of Italian language. Give me gelato! It was easy to be transported into this world. The characters were rich and fun to get to know. Minor issues like hospital staff operations and Renatta's climbing abilities right after her cast comes off were easy to dismiss. Harder to buy into were the struggles that kept the couple from getting together. But I can only guess at what amnesia would really be like and how previous family situations might sway someone. Swinton does a good job exploring this. The story kept my interest and was fun to read. A clean romance that I can recommend to YA and adult readers.
About the Author
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Monday, February 10, 2014
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Hey, could you do me the favor of voting on your favorite blurb for Bishop Stories? This is for the cover letter that goes with my submission. The purpose of a blurb is to grab your interest and compel you to want to know more. In fact, that is the content of 2 quick questions in the following survey. Please take 10 seconds to give me your feedback on blurbs #1, #2, and #3. Thanks!
Think you know your bishop? Delve into Bishop Stories for a glimpse at both common and unique situations in the life of an LDS bishop. These stories testify that imperfect men are chosen by God to further His kingdom on earth. Not only do they impact lives for the better, these men become refined in the process. Increase your knowledge about and gratitude for bishops through the amusing and inspirational stories they tell.
Think you know what it's like to be a bishop? Delve into Bishop Stories and find heartwarming accounts that may surprise you. Increase your knowledge about and gratitude for bishops through the amusing and inspirational stories they tell.
Every Latter-day-saint is connected to a bishop. Bishop Stories is a heart-warming collection of amusing and inspirational stories about or from these imperfect men of God. The stories they tell may surprise you.
Click here to take survey Your feedback is valuable to me! If you wish, leave additional comments below.
Ta-da! Author Danyelle Ferguson is revealing her cover for her latest novel, Sweet Confections today.
According to Rachel Marconi chocolate heals all wounds. That and throwing darts at pictures of her ex-boyfriend. Burned by yet another bad relationship, Rachel decides to reprioritize her life, putting her dream to compete on a Food Network Challenge on the top of her list and dating at the bottom crossed out in red sharpie.
But what's a girl to do when a certain sexy guy keeps asking her out?
Cue in Graydon Green, a former pro hockey player turned restaurant owner. After a lot of persistent and humorous teasing, he finally convinces Rachel to commit to a date. Just when things begin to warm up, threatening notes directed at Rachel arrive. When her bakery is vandalized, Graydon's protective streak goes on red alert. Is it her obsessive ex-boyfriend stalking her? Or maybe a challenger trying to sabotage the competition?
Either way, Rachel is definitely going to need more chocolate - perhaps drizzled over ice cream and devil's food cake.
Danyelle Ferguson is a thirty-something mom with the heart of a college student obsessed with chocolate and yearning for the thrill of romance. In her day job, she does a juggling act trying to cram in her writing deadlines between the never-ending laundry pile and constant calls for mom. You can find out more about Danyelle via the web:
I've included her Rafflecopter giveaway Here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The new-to-me blog of the week spotlight goes to The Stubby Pencil. Here you will find book tours, blasts, or reviews of clean (think PG) books and writing tips. Hmm. Sounds a lot like this blog. I like it already. Writers and readers should give this site a look. Love the memorabilia photo. Host Mary Ann is working toward publication and especially loves to write historical fiction.