Quick Link: Get Some Rejection

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Time for some tough love from James Scott Bell at the Kill Zone. He explains why getting some rejection is a good thing for authors to experience.

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Get Some Rejection

The other day I watched an old MGM movie, The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954). It stars Elizabeth Taylor at her most gorgeous and Van Johnson at his most likable. Van plays a GI in Paris on VE Day. He gets kissed in the crowd by Liz, which is not something a GI would ever forget. When he sees her later at a party, he makes a beeline for her. Soon they are in love. Then married.

Van had been a wartime correspondent for Stars and Stripes, and lands a job in the Paris office of a wire service. But what he really wants to be is a novelist. He works diligently on his first novel, and finally sends it out.

It’s rejected at several houses. Van is naturally disappointed, but Liz talks him up, tells him to keep trying.

So Van spends the next couple of years writing his heart out. When he finishes the new manuscript he has Liz read it. As he looks on anxiously, Liz puts down the final page and gazes into Van’s eyes. “It’s even more beautiful than the last one,” she says.

Huzzah! He sends it out.

Rejected and rejected and rejected!

Read the full post on Kill Zone!

Quick Link: How Book Bloggers Boost Sales for Indie Authors

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What is an indie author on a budget to do to get reviews and sales? Shayla Raquel, expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer has some great tips on how to reach out to book bloggers, including some helpful templates on what to say.

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How Book Bloggers Boost Sales for Indie Authors

I ain’t got no money, honey.

by Shayla Raquel

Got a $0 book marketing budget? No fear! Book bloggers can help you reach your audience without breaking the bank.

What is a book blogger?

A book blogger is someone who will read your book (in ebook or print form) and write an honest review on their blog and/or social media.

Most book bloggers do this for free because they love reading. However, when some book bloggers have accumulated thousands and thousands of followers, they’ll usually charge a fee. And that’s okay and well deserved (getting just one photo of your book on an bookstagrammer’s account can be huge). However, you can focus on the book bloggers who do not charge when you first get started.

Why should I pitch my book to them?

Read the full post on Shayla Raquel!

Quick Link: SPS 028: Getting Your First 10,000 Readers with Nick Stephenson

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Who doesn’t want more readers! They are the gift that keeps on giving!  Here is a great podcast from Self-Publishing School to help you find more readers!

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Today, I am talking with Nick Stephenson. Nick is a bestselling author of fiction and nonfiction. Plus, he teaches new authors how to find their first 10,000 readers. Nick is a good friend of mine, and when we talk we geek out on things like marketing and audience building. We are always on Skype sharing our best stuff with each other. So I thought I should have him on the show to share these things that he does so well.

Nick tells the story of how he never intended to be writer, but he knew he wanted to do something creative on his own terms. When Kindle books and self-publishing came along he thought it was a great opportunity to write a book. Even though his first book didn’t start out selling a lot, he was so encouraged that he wrote more books and even started teaching others to do the same. Nick says that if he can do it anyone can, and he shares a lot of amazing information today.

Read the full post on Self-Publishing School!

Help for California Fire Victims

Where I am, we are safe. There are fires around us and my allergies are in charge right now, but I am not complaining. There are people who lost everything.

The scary part is, this isn’t even the time of year when fire season starts. And thanks to global warming this may be the new normal. All the more reason for us to stick together!

I have to give a big thanks and praise to the firefighting teams, they are amazing. The best in the world. They are overworked and underappreciated.

So I know it is the holiday season and we have been giving to a lot of people but I am a firm believer in human kindness so if you can please show some love for California. I know I will.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/10/us/iyw-aid-victims-of-the-california-wildfires/index.html

https://twocents.lifehacker.com/how-to-help-victims-of-california-wildfires-1821084775

Thanks! And be safe out there!

Paula

Quick Link: Sometimes You Have to Break the Rules on Social Media

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I admit it, this post freaked me out. Committing to social media pushes my buttons and I need a lot of baby steps to get there.  On the niche site Social Media Just For Writers, guru Frances Caballo shares what she has found to be helpful in dealing

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Sometimes You Have to Break the Rules on Social Media

By

In the past, I’ve recommended strict rules about social media use.

Don’t argue politics. Stick to neutral topics. Be aware of your readers’ differing opinions.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I’ve not only broken my own rules, I’ve shattered them. Yes, you heard me correctly.

You see, during the worst fire in California’s history, which occurred in my community, a lot changed around here.

For one, the way I kept in touch with the majority of friends during this time was through Facebook.

How could I, in the face of many friends’ tremendous losses, post empty quotes and information about my blog posts? It wouldn’t have made any sense.

So I got down and dirty, so to speak.

By

Read the full post on Writers and Authors!

Quick Link: Write What You Know? Well, Not Quite

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If you are writing non-fiction, write what you know is great. But even then you will get assignments that you will have to research.  Write what you know is great for new writers, to get them started but after that I have always questioned this particular idiom.  Writers and Authors poster, Jo Linsdell has some great thoughts on the subject for you to check out.

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Write What You Know? Well, Not Quite

Ever been to jail? Rome? A remote island off the coast of Argentina? Driven a tank? How are you going to take that experience and transform it into material for your novel?

One of the first things I had to learn as a writer is that simply retelling something as it “happened in real life” doesn’t cut it in fiction. I put that in quotes because I can recall writers in workshops responding to critiques by saying, “but that’s how it happened.” The trouble is, that’s great for journalism, or writing a memoir, but fiction has a larger requirement for voice, and voice has to be established from the start—long before the “true story” makes its entrance. And that voice is going to determine how that true story is told, and the events have to be true to the character that’s already been established. Why? Because in good fiction, character drives action, and the character I create may not have the same thoughts or react in the same way as the character in the event as it actually happened.

Read the full post on Writers and Authors!

Quick Link: THIS Is The Difference Between Amateur And Pro Writers

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As Lucy V Hay at Bang2Write states, it is what makes your story different as an author that makes you stand out from the crowd. A really good read!

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THIS Is The Difference Between Amateur And Pro Writers

So, every now and again I will be on Twitter or Facebook and a writer will post about their work in progress, asking for feedback for their story/concept. It might be a novel or a screenplay and it might even be a half-decent pitch in terms of actual layout, language and The 3 Cs – clarity, conflict & characters.

Probably because of this, my heart will sink even further for them. Why?

Because the concept will be exactly like everything I’ve heard before.

Samey Samey-ness

You know the type: we’re talking the USUAL – vampires and werewolves; X Men-type super beings; a teen girl standing up to the system like Katniss in The Hunger Games or Triss in Divergent; time-travelling guys and their companions like Dr Who; duos investigating the paranormal like Mulder & Scully; Ken Loach-style teens destroying their lives; a disparate bunch going on a road trip like in Little Miss Sunshine to learn what’s important.

In other words, at pitch level it merely comes across as a REHASH of what we’ve seen before. Nooooooo!

Read the full post on Bang2Write

Quick Link: Supplying Breadcrumbs: How to Hint at a Character’s Emotional Wound – Angela Ackerman

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This is another great post from Romance University, that applies to all genres. Having a character showing flaws makes them human and more relatable. Thank you, Angela Ackerman!

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Supplying Breadcrumbs: How to Hint at a Character’s Emotional Wound – Angela Ackerman

by Angela Ackerman

Emotional wounds are transformative and have the power to re-shape a character in many negative ways, impacting their happiness, their self-worth, and causing mistrust and disillusionment to skew their worldview. This critical piece of backstory is key to understanding their motivations, and will impact their individual character’s arc, so knowing what it is, and how to show the fallout it generates is vitally important.

Regardless of whether you choose to show the emotional wound overtly during the story or merely hint at it, it will always be necessary to reference the event in smaller ways throughout. It’s a piece of the character’s past that holds vital significance; someone who’s endured the loss of a loved one, physical torture, or a messy divorce can’t simply forget it—especially if it hasn’t been dealt with. It will haunt her, and continue to hold her back in the story until it is dealt with.

Mastering the art of obliquely referencing what has happened in a way that reads naturally is an important skill to master as it pulls the reader deeper into the story through the art of subtext. There are many ways to seed ideas in the reader’s mind about the type of emotional trauma a character has suffered, including showing it through defense mechanisms. Here are three additional ways you can feed information about the event to readers without using info dumps or giving the whole thing away.

Read the full post on Romance University!

Quick Link: Adjusting your Vision: Linking Author Identity and Author Brand

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Clay Gilbert posting at Writers And Authors has some great thoughts on how to improve your brand. This is especially good reading for new authors trying to get established, although more experienced authors will find some good information they just might have missed.

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Adjusting your Vision: Linking Author Identity and Author Brand

by Clay Gilbert

When my first novel was published in 2013, all I knew was that I wanted to tell stories for a living.  I’d grown up seeing Stephen King, Ray Bradbury and Anne Rice do it, and, having gotten paid $25 for the publication of a short story in Scholastic magazine when I was still in middle school, I’d had a little taste of doing it myself.  But I had the idea that what my readers were most interested in was the story I was telling, and that they didn’t really care about ‘the man behind the curtain.’

In today’s literary world, that kind of thinking is wrong.

Readers today are inundated with choices and competition for their attention, and for their money.  If you’re a new author today, taking your first steps into the publishing marketplace, you’re competing not only with thousands of already-established authors, many of whom have best-selling reputations, but also with word-of-mouth and Internet buzz about other new writers as well.

Read the full post on Writers And Authors!

Quick Link: The Five Most Common Issues Writers Have with Their Stories

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

I recognized at least a couple of these issues as ones I struggle with, so I am bookmarking this article from s blog to make sure I can go back and re-read it!

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The Five Most Common Issues Writers Have with Their Stories

I spend about a hundred hours a year reading writers’ manuscripts and doing content edits on their stories. I’ve seen it all–stories that ramble on for 400+ pages, never really getting to the point; stories that start off pretty good and then about a quarter of the way in change into a totally different story; stories where the voice changes so many times you couldn’t keep up if you wanted to… I could go on.

And this is true for every editor on the planet.

We’ve all seen a wide array of stories from “decent start but still needs work” to “total diaster” to “what the fuck were you thinking?” You name it, it’s out there.

But there are also many stories that have a pretty good start and just need tweaking and revising and editing to mold and shape it into the story it’s really meant to be.

My author and editor friend, Sarah Fox, and I got together the other day to talk about what the most common problems are that we see in writers’ drafts (we’re doing a revision workshop together–see the bottom of this message for more). And we came up with five things that are the most common manuscript problems:

Read the full post on  

Quick Link: How to use Authentic Historical Detail to Trigger Emotions and Memories in Your Reader

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Checking in with Anne R Allen’s Blog and a great post on how to connect with your reader and pull them into your story by evoking memories. A great read!

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How to use Authentic Historical Detail to Trigger Emotions and Memories in Your Reader

by Ruth Harris

Beyond Nostalgia: authentic historical detail from fads, trends, and headlines can help you write books readers will relate to.

Writers of historical fiction, whether Regency, Middle Ages, Victorian use the markers of the era—clothes, furniture, manners, leaders, resisters, war, peace, prosperity, recession—to create character, conflict, and plot.

Writers of fiction set in more contemporary times can use these powerful assets to add depth and texture as well. Adding authentic historical detail to novels will trigger a rich web of personal memories and associations. Those will engage readers in an emotionally profound way.

From the dot-com bubble of 2000 to the housing crisis of 2007, from passing fads to mega trends, the social and cultural settings of a story give us ways to draw readers into our stories. From fidget spinners, Beanie Babies and hula hoops to Madonna, Madoff and Zuckerberg, each specific detail evokes personal memories.

Read the full post on Anne R Allen’s Blog!

Quick Link: Social Media Content Tips for Authors – What to Post

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I don’t know how someone who has such a busy life that there is no extra time can also have such a boring life! One of the reasons I am bad at social media is I don’t like my pictures and I have no idea what to say to keep up my end of the deal.  Thank goodness Bookworks has this post from Frances Caballo Social Media Expert that will get me started. Hopefully, it has some good info for you too! What is your best content tips?

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Social Media Content Tips for Authors – What to Post

by Frances Caballo Social Media Expert

Many people are confused about what they should say in their social media posts. Figuring out successful social media content strategies can be challenging and there is no one-size-fits-all.

Authors often ask me, “If I can’t always post about my own books, what am I supposed to say?” 

You may remember the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of the time, you promote your colleagues, other writers, and great posts, and 10 percent of the time, you can promote your books, readings, and awards.

If you’re still feeling confused about how to best present the information you’ve curated, don’t worry. Just keep reading and you’ll learn how to write the best social media updates.

The Freedom of Just 140 Characters

 

Read the full post on  Bookworks!

Correspondence from the NaNo fields – Oh Crap!

This is going to be a quick post because if you haven’t guessed yet from the title, I am waaaaay behind.

Usually, by this time it goes one of two ways. Either I am cruising and just about finishing or I am so far behind that it is going to take a herculean effort. Not to worry, I have been father behind and still managed. Of course, I had a whole free weekend then and right now work is swamping. Crap.

Hopefully, you are on track or have already finished. I am happy for you. Good job. I am proud of you!

Otherwise, no that misery loves company and I will see you on the other side!

Paula

Quick Link: 5 Things Indie Authors Need to Consider Before Giving Up

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You did it, you wrote your book and have it out there for people to buy. But it isn’t selling quite as well as you thought it would. What do you do? The people behind Author Marketing Experts know. Check out their post and let us know if you have any great marketing tips!

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5 Things Indie Authors Need to Consider Before Giving Up

“My book isn’t selling.” It’s something I hear from indie authors all the time.

If you’ve felt this way, know you’re not alone. But also remember that sitting around assuming you’ve failed isn’t going to help anything.

I’ve constructed a short list of 5 things indie authors really need to take a hard look at before they decide the market just isn’t interested in their book.

Are you doing enough?

Sure, maybe you feel like you’re always marketing your book and getting nowhere, but it’s not about doing everything.

It’s about doing everything that matters.

Read the full post on  Author Marketing Experts!

Programming Note – Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all even if you don’t celebrate I am still wishing you a happy week and am thankful for you coming here! This blog will be shut down until Monday, November 27th so I can cook, spend time with family, and celebrate!