Jodie Renner posts on Anne R. Allen’s blog and provides us with excellent advice about not giving our readers a reason to reject our novel. Thank you so much, Jodie!
Have your trusted friends or beta readers told you your WIP novel is too long, confusing, or just doesn’t grab them? Here are some typical “big-picture” weaknesses to watch out for in your fiction and correct before sending it to an editor, publishing it, or pitching it to an agent.
These types of glaring gaffes in writing, pacing, plot, or structure will bog down your story and invite bad reviews, which could sink your reputation as a novelist. Fortunately, they can all be remedied at the revision and self-editing stages.
Thank you for sharing your informative and interesting blog post, Meg. We really appreciate it! To many of us it’s important they start looking right away.
Outside feedback is vital to the success of your manuscript.
As I’ve quoted many times before on my YouTube channel, according to Terry Pratchett, “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”
Our first drafts are imperfect translations of the perfect story in our minds. This version of the story isn’t ready for the eyes of the reader. But in order to improve the weaknesses in our story, we first need to be able to locate them. That’s where critique partners (CPs) and beta readers come in.
Before we get into where you can find CPs and beta readers, let’s first talk about what they are.
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Laurence O’Bryan informs us about the Amazon Ads Dashboard changes and what they mean for us authors. Thank you very much for your informative post, Laurence!
Why Run Ads on Amazon at All?
Advertising a book on Amazon is one way to help ensure readers have a chance to see it when they are looking for similar books on Amazon. Most books are simply never seen by readers, as there are now so many on Amazon.
But first, a safety note. Please test Amazon ads with a small daily budget perhaps $2 a day with 3 different ads (campaigns) = $6 total daily budget, but only if you can afford to lose this for a few days or longer.
It can take a week or two for Amazon to start showing your ads, depending on your bids and genre, so if nothing happens in the first few days, please be patient and keep monitoring. The ads can start at any time. They usually start slowly, spending far less than your daily budget, but in some smaller genres the ads start fast and will spend your full daily budget.
So, monitor the results every day to see what your spend is. And monitor your Royalties in your KDP dashboard.
Anne R. Allen provides us with an experience no author ever wants to make. Read the blog post and you know what I mean. Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Anne.
Recently I got a furious Facebook message from a stranger who accused me of “using her life” in one of my books. It’s amazing how sometimes life imitates fiction.
She had apparently been a Facebook friend, and she dramatically unfriended me after sending a distraught DM describing the traumas in her life that I’d “stolen”.
Since she’d blocked me, I wasn’t able to assure her that Leona Von Schmidt, one of the suspects in The Queen of Staves, is an entirely fictional construct—a comic character who is not meant to resemble any real inhabitant of Planet Earth, living or dead.
When I wrote the book, I’d known nothing about the details of the Facebook woman’s life that she accused me of revealing. (Although of course, I know them now. Some things can’t be unread, alas.)
Kristen Lamb provides us with an excellent blog post about ‘The Synopsis’. There is still a lot I have to learn and I’m grateful for Kristen’s advice. Thank you!
There is one word known to strike fear into the hearts of most writers. Synopsis. Most of us would rather perform brain surgery from space using a lemon zester and a squirrel than be forced to boil down our entire novel into one page.
But alas we need to embrace the synopsis for numerous reasons. First and foremost, if we want to land an agent, it works in our favor to already have an AWESOME synopsis handy because the odds are, at some point, the agent will request one.
Sigh. I know. Sorry.
A Quick Aside
When it comes to synopses, I lean toward the, ‘Better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission’ camp. Which is where already having a seriously spiffy synopsis helps.
Think of it this way. E-mail sucks. Getting lots of emails and having to juggle it all sucks. Agents get a lot of emails.
Since I am also a person who gets a ridiculous amount of email, I can tell you with conviction that I LOVE people who save me work. They do this by saving me steps.
I read Jenn Hanson-DePaula’s recommendation on how authors can grow a large audience and found the advice quite helpful. I’m sure, I’m not the only one. Thank you, Jenn.
Have you ever looked at your social media outlets or your blog and realize that your friends and family are the only ones liking or commenting on your posts or reading your blog?
It’s a frustrating place to be – especially if you’re trying to grow your audience and reach more people.
I recently received an email from a woman named Lydia and she’s facing this exact situation. This is a question I’ve gotten before and I thought it would be helpful to everyone if I addressed it.