O-M-G. Kristen Lamb informs us about the latest news: Barnes & Noble SOLD!
Thank you so much for the information, Kristen!
Goliath has fallen. The leviathan Barnes & Noble, the big-box chain that reinvented retail and defined a generation…is no more.
Reuters announced early last Friday that the hedge fund Elliot Management Corp. would be purchasing the former book giant for roughly the equivalent of Kim Kardashian’s jewelry allowance ($683 million including debt).
This bold move marks an end to the once-dominant book retailer’s status as a publicly traded company.
After almost a decade of abysmally stupid business decisions and plummeting sales—and me blogging and b#@!$ing about it the entire time—this buyout feels like a mercy killing to me.
Someone might finally save Barnes & Noble from itself.
***I secretly suspect this buyout was the only option left after Mary Kay declined to sell cosmetics alongside records, movies, toys, stationary, gifts, knick knacks, coffee, candles, essential oils and everything else NOT BOOKS.
Now that the former mega-retailer’s fate is in the hands of the Elliot Group, perhaps Barnes & Noble can go back to being a…wait for it…wait for it… *whispers*…a bookstore.
Today I found a phenomenal blog post about crafting the perfect ‘unlikable’ character in a story. Kristen Lamb published a blog post in her own inimitable way, to teach us how to create a character that makes our story interesting. Thank you, Kristen!
Bad people make better stories. Why? Because I cannot say this enough, ‘Fiction is about one thing and one thing only—PROBLEMS.’
Who better to create a lot of problems than damaged, broken, unlikable, foolish and possibly even unredeemable human beings?
***I use the term ‘human beings’ for all characters because aliens, otherworldly beings, and any ‘thinking’ creature will possess anthropomorphic (human-like) qualities.
So why do ‘bad people’ make better stories?
Perfect people, first of all, are unicorns and don’t exist. Secondly, they are boring. Thirdly, we can’t relate to them because we aren’t unicorns (just deluded we are ).
What’s the story killer with perfect people? To be blunt, these characters have nowhere to grow. Since ‘perfect people’ handle every crisis with a level head and can be trusted to always do the right thing, the reader won’t ever worry.
If the reader never worries, guess what kiddies? You don’t have a story, you have a lot of words.
Villains are a whole other post. So is the Big Boss Troublemaker (our core antagonist responsible for creating the overall story PROBLEM).
Kristen Lamb provides us with 5 newbie mistakes that will kill a perfectly good story. I, once again, want to thank Kristen for all the knowledge and experience she constantly shares with us. We appreciate it so much, Kristen!
We all make mistakes, especially when learning anything new. Writing is not immune to process. Contrary to popular belief, writing great stories is HARD.
It takes time, devotion, training, mentorship, blood, sacrifice and the willingness to make a ton of mistakes. This means countless hours and probably years of practice (which also means writing a ton of crappy books/stories).
As I mentioned in the last post, George R.R. Martin didn’t become a legend because of his marketing abilities and mad HootSuite skills.
No, he’s a master because he’s practiced and honed raw talent until he could create a series that’s become a global phenomenon.
Same with J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and all the other ‘greats.’ They didn’t begin as legends. It took time, practice, and a fair share of ugly drafts and stories.
With practice, we learn what works, what doesn’t, what sizzles and what fizzles. We find, develop and mature our writing voice.
Kristen Lamb, excellent author, wonderful person, a fantastic blogger and great friend, provides us with life advice. Thank you so much for all you do for us, Kristen!
Seriously. Nothing is THAT funny…
Optimism is essential for a healthy life, healthy vision in particular…sort of like Vitamin A. In fact, for the purposes of today’s post, optimism IS Vitamin A for AWESOME.
Why is the song ‘Everything is Awesome’ from the Lego Movie queuing in my head?
I’ve not blogged in almost a MONTH. This has NEVER happened in all my years blogging. The longest I’ve ever missed is one week. I’ve been away for good reason, though.
Back in February, I cracked a molar. This was a HUGE deal.
Admittedly, I DO grind my teeth and have all my life. But, I’ve always been the person who got the sticker from the dentist. I’d never had a cavity, never needed braces.
I’ve always had healthy teeth to go with my very healthy levels of optimism. I figured I was almost forty-five, and teeth wear out and it SURELY wouldn’t be a big deal. The dentist rushed me in to tend the broken molar and O…M…G.
I literally wept when I got the prognosis.
Kristen Lamb, experienced author and blogger, informs us about 7 different ways to cut costs. Thank you very much for another round of excellent advice, Kristen!
Editing has always been a critical factor regarding any book’s success. This has NOT changed. If anything, proper editing is a complete game-changer now more than ever in the history of publishing.
Because too many writers fail to appreciate just how vital proper editing is. They skimp on the editing for the sassy cover and the cool promotion material.
Problem is, no one can get through Chapter One without risking a brain bleed.
Who cares how amazing the story is if we (the reader) keep getting jerked out of the fictive dream?
More importantly, in a world drowning in bad books, those rare jewels—books well-written and properly edited—shine like polished jewels scattered on chunks of asphalt.
Readers glom onto authors they know they can TRUST for great stories, professionals who went the extra mile to make their product the best it could be.
Alas, there is a common fallacy among many emerging writers. They believe (very mistakenly) that authors only write the books. Then, once finished, agents will fall in LOVE and someone else will do ALL the editing.
*clutches sides laughing.*
To continue reading this blog post go to:
Kristen Lamb provides us with an interesting blog post about drudgery and the question what separates those who dream from those who DO. Thank you so much for your education, your opinion and your incomparable humor, Kristen!
Drudgery—enduring the tired, tedious and unremarkable chores—is what makes the difference between those who dream and those who do.
Why am I talking about this? Because recently I saw some quote scroll past on social media. It was something (of course) posted by one of those super happy ‘life coach’ people.
Though I’m certain the quote was meant to inspire, it hit a sour note with me. It seemed dismissive of the pain, sacrifice and—yes, suffering—of those willing to dream, and then stick to that dream.
I don’t recall the quote’s exact wording (they’re all so similar), but the saccharin essence was the same. Apparently, if you don’t LOVE every single moment of what you’re doing, then maybe you don’t have the right career.
Keep searching! Dream! You have a right to be HAPPY! If it isn’t making you HAPPY, then MOVE ON!
As a social media expert, my role is to guide creative professionals and train y’all to get the most out of social media (without selling your creative souls). My mission has always been to help writers use their imagination along with digital tools to craft their brand.
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Kristen Lamb provides us with a new educational post about how to sell more books. Thank you very much for all your efforts, Kristen!
How do we sell more books? This is the big question all authors ask (myself included). Obviously, there are countless opinions about how to sell more books, but not all opinions are created equally.
Thus, before we hop onto the latest marketing/promotion fad we’re wise to understand why traditional marketing doesn’t sell books. Books are not like cups of coffee or breakfast cereal, and thus require a different approach.
Yes, ads, marketing and promotion campaigns sell toilet paper, soap, and toothpaste because seriously…who is NOT USING this stuff? When it comes to influencing what folks do with their free time, however, it’s a whole other game.
Writers are unique as well. Yes, we really are special unique starfish. And, since we are responsible for producing the product, we need a social media approach that leaves time to write great books.
This said, what’s the critical element that makes a book a mega success? Is it lightning in a bottle? Black magic? Voodoo? Can we buy it on Amazon? Is it banned in Georgia?
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Kristen Lamb once again provides us with an excellent blog post, this time about ‘letting go and moving on’. Thank you for your educational advice every week, Kristen.
Quitting. Not a popular word when it comes to motivational quotes. Those of us who are driven achievers often end up overwhelmed, burned out, living in a blanket fort afraid to leave the house. Why? Because we’ve ALL heard that winners never quit and quitters never win.
Which is complete and utter bull sprinkles.
Since we don’t want to be “quitters” we keep going even when we shouldn’t.
So, want to know the secret to success? Quitting. Yes, you read correctly. And, if you’re a creative professional or entrepreneur, it is in your best interests to learn to get really good at quitting.
Maybe you’ve felt like a loser or a failure, that your dream to make a living with your art/idea was a fool’s errand. We have to be careful. Never giving up might keep us from ever succeeding.
Ignore the motivational fluff and understand…
Winners Quit All the Time
I posit this thought; if we ever hope to achieve anything remarkable, we must learn to quit. In fact, I’ll take this another step. I venture to say that most aspiring writers will not succeed simply because they aren’t skilled at quitting.
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Kristen Lamb posts about nerve-shredding tension, generation page-turning and about conflict. Thank you for another post to learn from, Kristen!
Secret-keepers have what it takes to be legendary storytellers. Stories aren’t solely about pretty writing, glorious description, or witty banter. Excellent stories are about one thing and one thing only….CONFLICT.
Want to know the secret ingredient that turns responsible adult readers into reckless maniacs willing to stay up until DAWN to finish a book…on a work day?
Secret-Keepers Resist the Urge to Explain
Secret-keepers learn to resist the urge to explain, which we’ll talk about in a moment. Before any deception even comes into play, we—as authors—must make sure we cast jacked up people in our story. To be blunt, perfectly well-adjusted, responsible people are dull.
Kirsten Lamb published a blog post about resting for success and tells us why busy is overrated. Thank you so much for all your help and advice, the past years and, of course, in 2019 too!
It’s winter here in Texas, which means almost next to nothing since Texas is a female state. Today, I think I will be SPRING! No…winter. Wait, why not BOTH?
While the temperature is all over, and most of the time we have no clue what to wear each day (aside from one of everything), the plants and animals at least seem to have a plan. They go dormant, hibernate and basically take time to REST.
**Sorry about the four-letter word.
Rest might seem an odd topic for the first week of January when everyone is ALL SYSTEMS GO. Yet, failure to appreciate the importance of R&R is why I believe so many people fail to ever reach those goals, meet those resolutions.
We can fall into all-or-nothing thinking and that is a fast track to burnout.
Ask me how I know.
Last time, we talked about New Year’s Resolutions and why it’s imperative to choose our pain. Because anything worth having or doing in life involves some sort of pain.
We exercise agency when we can embrace the process as much if not more than that glorious—and often short-lived—summit. Now that we’ve addressed pain, let’s talk about peace.
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