Last week, authors logging into the Parliament House Press Facebook group found a surprise announcement: Parliament House had a new owner, and a host of other changes were in store.
In its current form, Parliament House Press will be dissolved due to a combination of personal and economic considerations from our founder, Shayne Leighton. Shayne has spearheaded the publisher since 2016 and has been a force in bringing this small indie press to a larger stage. Shayne will continue to work with our team in a design capacity. In her stead, Malorie Nilson will take over as the CEO of a reincorporated Parliament House Press. Business will continue uninterrupted, but several essential changes will transpire during this transition.
All existing author contracts will be dissolved and replaced with new contracts, as is required by law, but there will be no interruptions to the day-to-day functions of the house. Unfortunately, due to the increasingly competitive landscape of the industry, we will not be able to offer contracts to all existing authors. Many of our current projects were brought on under a different team and different leadership, forcing us to take stock of where we are and what we are able to accomplish. We want all our authors to be successful, including those who will no longer be with us. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to serve the entirety of our catalog, so we are forced to downsize to ensure that we can give every book the attention it deserves. If you are not offered a new contract, please know that it is not because we don’t love your work, but rather that we do not have the capacity to give everyone the attention and care they deserve. We are working hard to bring more opportunities to our authors, which means narrowing our enterprise’s scope.
We will continue our partnership with IPG for digital distribution, as well as our work with the Seymour Agency to sell subsidiary rights. Furthermore, we will be moving our entire print catalog to Ingram, which will give brick and mortar stores the ability to purchase books through Ingram’s distribution program. Finally, we have revised our contracts to align with industry standards as we begin working more closely with literary agents for future acquisitions. As we invite authors back to the Parliament House Press, we will review the new contracts with you (which we have updated to reflect industry standard for royalties and terms) to ensure that each of you is comfortable moving forward. Of course, with the dissolution of the existing contracts, you are free to part ways with the Parliament House Press and seek other opportunities if you wish.
The abrupt announcement was a shock. But it didn’t come entirely out of the blue.
Founded in 2016 by Shayne Leighton and Chantal Gadoury, Parliament House Press (PHP) is “a small traditional publisher, working with authors to produce brilliantly bizarre, original, and moving stories with an edge.” It has better-than-average distribution via the Independent Publishers Group, and its subsidiary rights are represented by the Seymour Agency.
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Brand awareness refers to people’s ability to recognize you and your creative work. It is the very first step in your marketing funnel. Brand awareness also helps you achieve your goals as an author by expanding your target audience, building brand affinity, and improving brand identity. In this guest post, Andre Oentoro simplifies the process of using YouTube videos to grow awareness for your author brand and business.
Brand awareness is very important for any author because it not only entices readers to buy your book but also keeps them coming back for more.
People are more likely to buy goods or use services from a business that they trust and as an author, your ‘business’ is no exception.
Your brand – how people perceive you and your creative work – is one of the first things that will draw readers in when they are searching for a solution to a problem they have or to fulfill an experience they desire.
In addition, if their experience with your brand is enjoyable, they are more likely to tell other people about your work which helps spread the word, further increasing your visibility and reach.
So, how can you build your brand awareness, and what is the best platform?
According to this post by Ahrefs.com, YouTube is the most visited website in the past few years. It is also the second-largest search engine, proving that people are crazy about video content.
Anyone and everyone has the opportunity to entertain, engage, and rank.–Ahrefs
YouTube videos get good rankings on Google searches because Google has owned YouTube since 2006. This will certainly provide a huge opportunity for you to get noticed, to be known more widely in your topic area or genre, and thus help you increase brand awareness.
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If you’re writing a conversation between two or more characters, you may run into the issue of characters talking at the same time. This is an easy thing to pull off in a TV show or a movie, but slightly trickier in a novel or a short story, so I thought I’d address it!
(By the way, I’m going to share a related post next week on how to write a great, believable argument between two characters. If you don’t want to miss it, be sure you’re subscribed to the blog—there’s a signup on the lefthand side of this page.)
Let’s look at some examples. You’ll notice that the solution to this issue usually involves just telling the reader that the characters are talking at the same time.
on Self Publishing:
If you’re looking for a writing community that’s part social media, part reading and writing, then Wattpad is the network for you.
Of the more than 90 million readers and writers using Wattpad, the majority are between 18 and 30 years old and located in the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom. In the Philippines, Wattpad is the number one app driving physical bookselling and bestseller lists.
In this Wattpad Review, we’ll look at what it is, how to use it as a reader and writer, pricing, along with a few pros and cons.
on Helping Writers become Authors:
Structural timing is one of most prominent features of story structure. This positioning of a story’s important turning points is one of the keys for creating a story that feels right to audiences. As often as not, when something seems off about a story, the problem can be narrowed down to wonky structural timing. This makes structural timing one of the most accessible tools writers can use to troubleshoot weak areas of a story.
However, structural timing is also an aspect of story structure that many writers find frustrating or confusing. How are you supposed to time a story when even you may not be sure how long the finished draft will be? Doesn’t following a precise map for a story’s timing mean your story is more likely to feel formulaic to readers? And, perhaps most commonly, just how precise does a story’s structural timing have to be?
So you have an author blog on your website, but you haven’t posted there for over a year, when your last book came out. Or maybe you started a blog a while ago, but nobody visited, so it’s just floating out there in cyberspace, collecting spam.
It can seem pointless to put energy into a blogpost when the response is always…crickets.
And isn’t blogging dead anyway?
Nope, Blogging is Not Dead.
The fad of blogging about products for money has faded since Instagram took over that area of online advertising, but other blogs are going strong, especially author blogs.
As Rachel Thompson of Bad Redhead Media says, from a marketing perspective, “blogging is pretty much a requirement for anyone wanting to establish an online presence.”
But blogging isn’t a case of “if you build it they will come.” You kind of have to give people a push.
Here are some easy fixes that can push more readers in your direction.
Hi, SEers John with you today. I hope your Monday is starting well.
How about those characters? I mean, who gives them the right to walk off with a story that, for the most part, was the author’s creation in the first place? Of course, I’m talking about the fact that characters tend to take over a story and do it boldly without permission. It can be uncomfortable for an author, especially if the story starts to go to a place that is a surprise. But, the characters often seem to take over, which raises a question. Is an author aware when the characters are gaining control?
This post will point out signs that the characters are starting to run away with the show. Here they are.
- The writer never thought of killing a particular character, but the character is lying on the floor in a pool of blood. You better believe one of the characters is behind the whole thing.
- The writer wanted the story to be about hometown America, but before chapter one is complete, one of the characters shoots up the local food store. You can believe this was not the writer’s idea. The writer had never written a thriller before.
- The writer crafts a lovely romantic scene where a couple embraces, and then before long, no one has their clothes on. This was supposed to be a romantic comedy, and we are covering our eyes.
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I’ve had this question from M:
I’m writing a historical novel set in Australia in 1872. The fictional events are based on real events or phenomena. A few characters are based on real people, who I’ve researched. One is Thursday October Christian the second, grandson of Fletcher Christian, of the Bounty Mutiny fame. During his life he held positions of responsibility on Pitcairn Island. He is making a cameo appearance, greeting characters as they arrive in a ship.
My problem is this. There is very little information on him, so I am wondering how to describe him. There is information on his father, who was a colourful character, so I would like to model TOC 2nd on him. But what would you do?
No matter what you write, there’s one thing you must assume. Whatever you fudge, whatever you’re inaccurate about, will be found out.
Partly this is sod’s law. Your book will find the one reader who knows this obscure thing. But actually, it’s more than that. If you’re writing about a particular time, or a particular geographical place, or a particular exciting profession, you’ll attract readers who love that special story world. They’ll be geeks for it. If they spot something inaccurate, they might shrug and forgive you – or they might lose confidence in you altogether.
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on Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity:
Flash fiction is shorter than the normal range of short stories, which are generally 3,000 words or more. The precise length remains somewhat elusive. Some literary journals ask for 2,000 words or less, others set maximum word counts in the hundreds. Each publication has its own style, its own format, and its own needs, so whether your 1,953-word short story qualifies as “flash” is entirely up to the editors.
Flash fiction is very popular. There are dozens of sites where you can read flash fiction on a daily basis. This is perfect for people who are commuting on a train, waiting to see a doctor, or have other brief, potentially interrupted periods of time to fill.
Below is a list of paying markets for flash fiction. I have included links to submission guidelines, payment information, and word counts where available. Make sure you follow their guidelines carefully. (Editors don’t consider submissions that fail to follow guidelines.)
None of these magazines charge submission fees.