Making a clean break – Written By Jamie Fessenden

Dear Friends and Fellow Authors

I read this blog post by Jamie Fessenden today. To the ones who don’t know him: Jamie Fessenden is a very talented LGBTQ author whose books I love! I’m sure we all can support him when he re-starts as an Indie author. Please, hop over to his blog and let him know when you’re prepared to help.

Thank you!


I’m sad to report I’ve had to break away from Dreamspinner Press. The publisher has been having financial difficulties for a while, and over the past year, authors haven’t been receiving their royalties—at least, not consistently. I still hold out hope that they’ll get things in order and return to being the reliable press they’ve been for most of the decade I’ve worked with them, but the hit they’ve taken to their reputation means it’s in my best interest to step away. The last book I had released through them (Small Town Sonata) sold very badly. It could be the book, of course, but there are a lot of factors to consider. Many readers are boycotting DSP books and a lot of review sites won’t review them.

Continue Reading Here

Publishing Your Ebook Is Changing on Smashwords – Written By Lee Foster

Lee Foster on ‘The Book Designer’ provides us with information about publishing our ebooks on Smashwords and how it’s changing. Thank you very much Lee!


This is a third and final perspective in my publishing strategy trilogy, a drama festival with three events, Amazon and Ingram being the earlier performances. There have been five-week breaks between these theatrics as I proceed in the Joel Friedlander modern publishing ecosystem.

If you want to distribute your ebook through Amazon directly and then also to “every ebook vendor beyond Amazon,” how should you do it? Smashwords is my recommended choice.

Continue reading HERE

16 Writing Conferences in November 2019 – Written By Erica Verillo

on Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity:

This November there are 16 conferences, intensive workshops, retreats and book fairs from coast to coast. You will also have a chance to pitch your work to agents, meet editors, and get to know your fellow writers. Conferences provide great opportunities to network, so make the most of your experience.

I strongly recommend that you plan ahead for next year if you miss your perfect conference or workshop. Many of these conferences offer scholarships, but you have to apply early.

Continue reading HERE

A Beta Reader Is Not An Editor

It seems there is the one or other author around who either don’t know what the job of a beta reader is. Also, some authors don’t want to pay for an editor and therefore try to ‘use’ the beta reader to get the editor’s job done.

From what I learned in my ‘long’ career of two published books (and a few lined up)… my order of ‘writing and publishing’ is the following:

  1.  Drafting
  2.  Copying out
  3.  personal editing #1
  4.  personal editing #2
  5.  professional editing (proofreading)
  6.  filing for copyright
  7.  sending the manuscript out to the beta readers
  8.  having the book cover done
  9.  possible corrections when getting the manuscript back from beta readers
  10.  publishing

At times the corrections, added paragraphs or even pages, demand a second round of proofreading or editing.

Now, what does the beta reader do?

Beta readers are helpful people around you – can be friends, co-workers, family members. They are asked to read the book pre-release. Often they are asked to review the book online, just after release. Most beta readers are very happy to do so in exchange for the book.

Every beta reader works differently. Some return a paper manuscript with scribbles all over the place…, some send an email with a few ideas, suggestions or remarks, some send texts whenever they discover something. When I beta read, I write a list and later send that list by email. So far, I never discovered a huge plot hole, but I found the one or other ‘thing’ that bugged me and that I had to let the author know about. Many other beta readers do the same thing.

There is one thing beta readers don’t do: they don’t correct typos and grammar. That’s what’s the editor is for. I’m not saying they always are perfect, and should I catch a forgotten typo, of course, I will tell the author about it. But I’m not actively looking for them.

I am lucky enough to have a beta reader who is sweet enough to actively look for typos and grammar problems that escaped my editor’s attention. The one or other author might be just as lucky. But generally, beta readers are not here for editing!

They should return your manuscript with a bit more than ‘I liked it.’ You want to get their notes. You want to hear about their feelings… when did they laugh? When did they cry? What scared them or amused them? Did they enjoy the read, and would they recommend the book? According to them, what age range is the book for (if you’re writing Young Adult), and what did they not like so much?

Did they discover something about the plot they didn’t like? Do they have questions about the story, the plot, or the characters? Is there anything they discovered that isn’t right?

Let me give you a couple examples. One of my last beta readers told me that she loves my book, and she finds ‘Sundance’ as a character very interesting. However, she misses Katie, the ‘Soul Taker’ and wishes her back. She is an exceptional beta reader and informed me about several other things that I later corrected. (I did not write more ‘Katie’ into the second book since that is ‘Sundance’s’ story).

When I was beta reading for a male author, I discovered a wardrobe flaw with one of the female character’s ‘undergarments.’ I told my fellow author about it, and he corrected that.

We all were grateful to have our beta readers. It is important to us having people with open minds paying attention to our stories. And we always hope we don’t ask too much.

Thank you, beta readers, for helping us with your time, your efforts, and your honesty. We need you!

 

 

 

Renee Scattergood Releases “Shadow Stalkers: Revolution, Part 1” Episode 23

Title: Shadow Stalker: Revolution Part 1 (Episode 23)

Author: Renee Scattergood


Bio:

Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a storyteller by George Lucas but didn’t consider writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing dark speculative fiction.

She is currently publishing her Shadow Stalker serial, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series of novels, A God’s Deception.

Aside from writing, she loves reading (fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and watching YouTube Videos with her daughter. Visit her site for more information and a free copy of Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes  1 – 6): http://reneescattergood.com

 

Contact Info

Website/Blog: http://reneescattergood.com/

Speculative Fiction Spot: https://specfictionspot.blogspot.com.au/

My Promotional Team Sign Up – Renee’s Shadow Stalkers: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16rTPYCAwDq5cpyxHfphx0-x6ka9C7DWoJsdgYa2CyAw/viewform

My Mailing Lists – Get a free book with each!

Monthly Newsletter: http://www.subscribepage.com/ReneeWrites

Giveaways & Goodies: https://www.subscribepage.com/reneewritesgiveaways

New Release Announcements: https://www.subscribepage.com/reneewritesnewrelease

Author Pages

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00NTJY1W2

Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/rscatts

BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/renee-scattergood

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8507658.Renee_Scattergood

Social Media Profiles

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/reneescatts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReneeScatts

About the Book

Description:

It’s the calm before the storm, and the storm is closer than Auren thinks.

Auren is successfully using her ability to control people’s minds and actions to take over Nadiria and finally bring an end to the Galvadi Empire, but there is a catch. The more she uses that power, the more she loses herself to it.

If she can accomplish her mission quickly, it will reduce the chance of that happening. The allies she has found are helping her move things along, but there’s a lot of work to do and horrors that Auren has not yet discovered that will make controlling herself nearly impossible.

Her friends and allies are growing concerned over her unpredictable violent actions, and Auren knows her time is running out.

 

Logine:

Auren is finally bringing an end to the Galvadi Empire, but she is succumbing to her power in the process.

Ebook $0.99

Available on Amazon or Read Free on KU from 6 September 2019

Available in Other Bookstores on 6 December 2019

Universal Link: https://reneescattergood.com/books/shadow-stalker-revolution-part-1-episode-23/

New readers to the serial can download Episodes 1 – 6 free here: https://reneescattergood.com/get-my-free-books/

 

Fiction Addiction: How Great Storytellers Put the “Meth” into “Method” – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen informs us with her new post about how great storytellers put the ‘meth’ into ‘method’. Thank you, once again, for your educational blog post, Kristen.


Fiction, when crafted to hit that psychic sweet spot, is highly addictive. Which is why soap operas, daytime shows (e.g. Judge Judy & Dr. Phil), and ‘reality’ programs are all going strong with no sign of slowing down.

‘Days of our Lives’ is more like ‘Decades of Our Lives.

Drama is always in demand. In fact, we’ve even added a brand new term to our cultural lexicon to reflect this modern reality—‘binge-watching.’

Between Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Google Play, and the bazillion specialty channels delivered via Roku? Then add in all the devices where audiences regularly inhale ebooks, podcasts, audiobooks, blogs, videos, etc.

Let’s just say cultural appetites for stories in all their forms—from hard-boiled documentaries (Making a Murderer) all across the spectrum to the epic high fantasy fiction (Game of Thrones)—has never been so insatiable.

***I know we’ve spent the past couple posts deep-diving the publishing industry, and I PROMISE to blog about other changes ahead. Alas, I figured it was time for something a bit lighter, and yet still salient to being successful in this industry.

Good news is that audiences crave stories, and they are always hunting for their next fiction addiction no matter WHAT is going on in the publishing world.

Continue reading here

The Death of Ye Olden Bookstores & the Author Identity Crisis – Written By Kristen Lamb

As a follow up of the famous ‘Barnes & Noble’ fall, Kristen Lamb provides us with a great blog post about the consequences it might have on us authors.

Thank you so much, Kristen!


My last post, Barnes & Noble SOLD: Goliath Has Fallen & What This Means for Writers, was a long and detailed journey explicating precisely how we’ve all ended up at this spot in history—writers, readers, bookstores, booksellers, publishers, investors, etc.

The big-box bookstores are dead for good until some @$$hat forgets what a bad idea they were and resurrects them again.

In the meantime…

Now that Borders is a distant memory and Barnes & Noble a recent casualty, many of us find ourselves balancing, terrified, on the precipice of the unknown.

This time of transition possesses a particularly acute terror reserved for pre-published and published authors.

Yet, in light of all this upheaval, I challenge authors to learn from New York Publishing’s—‘The Big Six’s’ mistakes.

One mistake in particular.

Continue reading here

Barnes & Noble SOLD: Goliath has Fallen & What This Means for Writers – Written By Kristen Lamb

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.

SOLD!

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.

#sarcasm

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.

Continue reading here

Author Spotlight – Helen Krummenacker

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

I can’t remember a time I wasn’t writing. Even as a very small child, I wrote short stories and poems. They were just the sort of thing a child would write, of course, but I kept at it and kept getting more sophisticated. Then, in the 90s, after a couple of years of trying to go professional with it, I ran the numbers on how much it cost to buy paper, use the printer, and post my best works to magazines that paid half a cent per word and decided in disgust that if I couldn’t even break even, I should just write fanfic for my own amusement.

After years of neglecting my writing, my husband, Allan, decided he had some ideas he wanted to turn into a novel. He did the writing, but I helped out with planning, character development, scientific premises, even refining jokes. Still, I was skeptical of what could be done with the book, however good it was, and he researched the markets and changes in publishing deeply. It turned out that traditional publishing houses were starting to charge many authors fees, whereas vanity press had been replaced by the print-on-demand model, making it possible for an author to release a book widely and control their product. As the Para-Earth series, which I’d helped him on, continued, I got more involved in the writing itself.

I was inspired to write my first solo novel very recently. I struggled not to dive into it until I finished my last semester in college and then I went full steam ahead– the book, Forever’s Too Long, is being released less than six months after I started it, and I’m already 17,000 words into the sequel.

2. What motivates you to write?

Most people say write what you know, but I find I thrive when I write what I love. I like wise-cracking detectives, fantasy interacting with the real world, science fiction possibilities, the little frisson of terror when supernatural suspense takes a surprising turn. When I write the kinds of stories I love to read, with characters who I love– or love to hate– then writing is fun and I can hardly wait to fix a scene by getting the turns of phrases just right.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

The Para-Earth stories are paranormal science fiction thrillers. The Forever Detective stories are tough-guy detective/occult mysteries. I love mysteries, science fiction, and fantasy, and combining them intelligently can allow twists to take the reader to unexpected places while keeping the flavor and frame of the foundation genre.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

I don’t really want to be famous, but I would love for my characters to be. I dream of seeing Forever’s Too Long made into a movie starring Oscar Isaac and Hayley Atwell. I don’t see myself getting really rich, but a contract for a movie might very well take care of a down payment on a condo around here. But I want a movie mostly so I can share this with the world, and make people smile and think and connect emotionally.
I also have a bit of a more serious goal. The characters I’m writing are often underrepresented, especially in the time frame they are written in. In 1947, my wise-cracking detective is partly Latino. His girlfriend is a divorcee who escaped an abusive marriage. His best friend is a clever autistic man. I want to expand who belongs in an old-fashioned detective story and how people visualize the past.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Yes! But not on what you’d expect. I do fine with fiction, jumping to a different scene if I need a little bit of freshness while I let something lie fallow a while. But I struggle with things like the About the Author or the back of the book blurb. I decided to let some of the cheekiness I’d given my protagonist/narrator carry over into my biography. I even brought it into my author photo

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Love what you’re doing, or it isn’t worth it. You are going to be researching, writing, editing, marketing; some days you’ll spend hours and not get much done, other times you’ll be productive but have no one around to celebrate it with. You’re going to be writing instead of reading, instead of hanging out at game night… all the other things you like to do, you’ll have to reorganize to have time to write. So believe what you are writing is worth it.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

Forever’s Too Long, my first solo novel is set in New York City in 1947. Rafael Jones is a former police detective, recently released from the U.S. Army and starting his own business as a private investigator. He thinks of himself as a pretty ordinary guy, but Interpol thinks he’s just the man they need to get solid evidence on Russian art smugglers and murderers so they can get cooperation from the local authorities. Between that case and helping his businessman friend try to recover some promising personnel who resigned their jobs to join a cult, he’s off to a good start. What he doesn’t know is that neither case is as simple as it seems, and his investigations take him into conflict with supernatural danger, including an almost legendary historical figure with a dreadful secret.

It’s been compared to Phillip Marlowe, Kolchak: the Night Stalker, Agent Carter, and Harry Dresden. In spite of the scary parts, I think of it as an adventure tale rather than horror, because the story has just as much light– quips, friendship, romance, and kindness– as it has of danger, angst, and darkness.

I’m 17,000 words into the sequel and literally have a dozen Forever Detective novels at least sketched out in notes. I mention it because I know the heartbreak of getting emotionally invested in a series only to have the author turn their attention to something else. But I promise– I’m a fan of Rafael Jones and I won’t stop writing him as long as other people want to read him, too.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thank you! These are great questions and made it easy to open up.


About Helen:

Helen Krummenacker is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person, so I won’t. I helped create the Para-Earth Series by Allan Krummenacker and Helen Krummenacker. I have a B.S. in Mathematics and hope that writing proofs has helped keep my fiction streamlined and avoid plot holes. Hobbies include gaming (tabletop/roleplaying), dancing, and painting. Health issues limit my activity level, but I manage to work as an accounting technician by day and escape into mystery and adventure genres at night. I’m allergic to garlic and sunlight, but I promise I don’t thirst for blood, just coffee and maybe a bit of bourbon.
Other books I have worked on are The Bridge, The Ship, The Vampyre Blogs: Coming Home, and The Vampyre Blogs: One Day at a Time.

helenkrummenacker@gmail.com


Helen’s Novel: “Forever’s Too Long”

Excerpt:

“Very well.” She shrugged. “You are not making this easy on yourself. Seize him!” I expected to be rushed by the acolytes I’d seen, but four newcomers had joined them. I mentioned the gardeners looked pretty dirty. These four looked worse. I thought one looked like his face had a gangrenous patch. Smelled like it, too. Another was a woman, but although she was young, her eyes were filmed over with cataracts, and her skin was waxen as well as pale. She held a bag in her hands. Newcomer three was also female, and her fingers had lost the flesh covering the tips, revealing bone. The final one didn’t fit the pattern of most of the acolytes. He had a beard, was an older man, and wore regular but ragged clothes. He was bloated and had a pattern of dark veins on his nose.
Of course, this takes longer to describe than I took to notice them and quickly decide the way out wasn’t through the crowd. There was a side door on the left, and I took a side leap, pivoted, ran a couple of steps, and then dropped to the wooden floor in a slide to dodge Gangrene’s attempted tackle. I rose to my feet at the door and spun at the sound of footsteps to kick Vagrant in the gut hard enough to knock him on his tailbone. Fingertips had gotten tripped by one of the dopey acolytes. I couldn’t see Cataracts, though. I turned the door handle, hoping I wasn’t going into a dead end or worse, a closet.
The back of my neck prickled like someone was watching me who I couldn’t see, which was weird because I was still facing the center of the room. I yanked the door open as hard and fast as I could, and heard a thud above me. Cataracts fell to the floor. She’d been lurking over the doorway, somehow. No time to ponder, I spun and ran. There was a hallway with a little stairwell to the left. Upstairs might be good for fighting, but not for flight. Forward would take me back toward the courtyard, closer to the main entrance but also a place to encounter more weirdos. The right door would possibly be an alternate path to the kitchen area, which should be connected to a back way for tradesmen to bring deliveries. You repurpose a flop hotel for a cult; you still have a hotel layout.

Available June 1st, 2019, for all e-books (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, PDF, etc.) and trade paperback!

Reserve your e-book now at:

Nook:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forevers-too-long-helen-krummenacker/1131555250?ean=2940163217083

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonUK:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonCA:
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonAU:
https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07RSGKTDF

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/938589

Also, read more about the books and the author at https://www.theforeverdetective.com/. Site includes a book trailer.

 

Some Stupid Questions We Writers Get Sometimes

picture courtesy of Google.com

Lately, once again, I have been asked a bunch of those really, really dumb questions I keep hearing over and over again.

I was discussing books with someone, and that person tells me: “For years I plan to write a book, but I just don’t have time. I replied: “Time is not the only thing you need. It needs a lot more to publish a book.” – The question back: “Why would you know?”
My answer: “What do you think?”

Or another situation: We’re talking about hobbies, how we’re spending time off work, and people do things like cooking, sports (often means watching football), walking dogs and so on. Except me, I said. “I write.” And of course one asks me: “You mean, you’re writing a diary?”
I looked at the person and replied scornfully: “Oh, I’m sure writing my personal diary is important enough for me to mention.”
Let’s say, the embarrassment of my conversation partner was clearly visible.

The next question is even worse. “Oh – you published a book? Can I have one?”
I replied: “Of course, you can – the title is ‘Soul Taker,’ you can get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo…”
(Seriously: What do people think? Am I running around with a stack of my books in my purse to hand it out like candy?)

I’m sometimes surprised how insensitive some people are with authors. There are a few more of these, what I call ‘dumbest things you can ask an author.’

Is it good? What am I supposed to reply? No, it’s the biggest crap you can imagine, but buy it anyway?

Will I like it? What am I, a fortune teller?

How much are you making? So discrete and tactful, your question. (And yes, I’m sarcastic!)

Don’t you have a great time writing instead of having a real job? What the hell do you think I do? Sleeping in, typing three sentences into the computer and then wait until the book magically writes itself?

So you are a second J. K. Rowling then? No, not really. J. K. Rowling is one of the most extraordinary writing talents of the last century, and I admire her! But I don’t want to be a second J. K. Rowling – I want to be a first A. J. Alexander!

Can you write a book on teenage pregnancy/family inheritance rows/vampires and werewolves/superheroes/dystopian futures because I’d love to read that story? No. I’m not a performing monkey. I write what I want to write, what I’m interested in and what I love. Also, YOU (asker of said question) are almost definitely not my target audience!

 

There are so many more stupid questions one can ask an author; this is only a small portion of the insensitivity most of us a facing far too often.
If you have any experience with questions like this, funny situations or similar, let’s hear them in the comments, please. We’re curious.


In my January Newsletter, I asked my subscribers to help me collect stupid questions they are asked occasionally because I thought they make a funny blog post. Here are mine and the ones I got sent by Rachel Twomey. Thank you, Rachel.