How Authors Can Grow an Audience Before the Book Is Written – Written By Jenn Hanson-dePaula

Jenn Hanson-dePaula writes on ‘Mixtus Media’, her blog, that authors can grow an audience even before their book is written and published. I’m glad I was told that early enough. But many might not know it. Check out her article.


 

When I tell authors that they need to start growing their audience as soon as they start writing their book, they look at me like I’m crazy.

They often reply with, “How can I do that when I don’t even have a book?”

We often just associate marketing with selling our book. But we can’t just appear out of nowhere online and expect people to automatically buy our book. We have to introduce ourselves and lead people to know, like, and trust us and what we have to say.

Modern marketing is simply connecting with people who are interested in the same things that we are interested in. The keyword here is connection. And you don’t need a book to sell in order to do that.

When you can connect with someone as another human being who has similar interests, life experiences, struggles, and hobbies FIRST, they will be much more attentive and receptive to learning more about your book.

When you already have someone’s attention and they know, like, and trust you, your promotions will be much more productive and successful.

So how can authors do that? How can we begin to build an audience even before the book is finished? Here are seven tips to get you started.

CONTINUE READING HERE

35 Writing Contests in November 2020 – No entry fees – Written By Erica Verrillo…

Erica Verrillo provides us once again with writing contests for the current month. Thank you so much, Erica!


on Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity:

This November there are nearly three dozen writing contests calling for every genre and form, from poetry, to creative nonfiction, to completed novels.
Prizes range from $50,000 to publication. None charge entry fees.

Some of these contests have age and geographical restrictions, so read the instructions carefully.

Get Full Details HERE

Story Structure: Why Some Stories Fall Apart & Fail to Hook Readers – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb published an article about story structure. She writes as educational and informative as always – and with just as much wit and humor as usual. Thanks for another helpful and funny post, Kristen!


Story structure is a HUGE deal in all stories. The last couple of posts, I’ve mentioned memoirs and how they can utilize a variety of structures. This said, there are so many variegations for the memoir, that I just can’t do them all justice here.

Since I am at least sharp enough to know when to defer to people much smarter than me…AND because I am #1 at HUMBLE…

At the end of the post, I’ll give y’all some links to people who ARE memoir experts and can do a much better job explaining all the structural styles available.

This said, if you’ve read my last two posts The Quest: The Hero’s Journey Meets Memoir and Narrative Style: The Heart of Storytelling we didn’t ONLY talk about memoirs. Rather, we discussed where some fundamentals for writing great memoirs apply across the board to other types of storytelling.

Whether we’re writing a memoir, novel, short story, essay, or even screenplays…structure matters.

If we keep starting out with great ideas that ultimately end up haunting our hard drives unformed and unfinished?

Structure.

Or, maybe we finish books, but no one seems to want to read them. It could be the glut in the market. OR it could be that the core idea is GOLD, but the structure isn’t such that it fully reveals what our story has to offer.

There are many reasons our writing might be stalling, stumbling, fumbling or failing. Yet, in my 20 years editing? It’s almost always, always a problem with story structure.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Asking the Right Questions with Character Interviews – Written By Becca Puglisi

Becca Puglisi published a blog post about asking the right questions with character interviews. How do we know the character, what’s important? Thanks so much for helping us out answering these questions, Becca.


on Writers Helping Writers:

Developing characters is one of the joys of writing and it’s a dream when we understand them and what they’re about. Inevitably, though, there comes a time when our characters do and say things that don’t make sense to us, we feel they’re one-dimensional, or we just don’t know how they should react to situations. This can stall our story.

Character interviews are a fabulous way to address these problems. Not only does interviewing your character help you learn more about them, you’ll be able to note the hesitations or uncertainties so you can drill deeper into those areas. It can also give you a better feel for their voice, which can sometimes be hard to nail down.

But there are so many interviews and questionnaires available on the internet, and we can lose a lot of time answering questions that may not be relevant to understanding our character. So how do we know which questions are the right questions? Which ones will help us dig deeper into our characters and, ultimately, strengthen our story?

Continue reading HERE

Narrative Style: The Heart of Storytelling & Why It Also Matters in Memoir – Written By Kristen Lamb

My favorite blogger Kristen Lamb has published a post about narrative style, the heart of storytelling. Thank you so much for another educational blog post, Kristen.


Narrative style is the beating heart of writing. While our voice might remain consistent from a blog to a non-fiction to a fiction, narrative style is what keeps our work fresh and makes it resonate.

Developing a strong narrative style is especially critical if we decide to write a memoir because the style will need to not only reflect the personality of the author-storyteller, but also hit that sweet spot in tone that is appropriate for the story.

But what IS IT?

Last post, I opened the discussion about memoirs. Memoirs are not only becoming increasingly popular, but with the implosion of traditional publishing, there’s good news. Anyone can write and publish a memoir. There’s also bad news…anyone can write and publish a memoir.

Before we talk about the various structures and types of memoirs, it’s a good idea to first discuss the broad concepts. Last time, I mentioned that superior memoirs frequently DO reflect The Hero’s Journey.

That was our first meta-concept, so to speak. The second meta-concept is narrative style. This aids us in connecting with audiences and generating long-lasting resonance.

Narrative style can be one of those amorphous concepts that’s tough to define directly. Sort of like black holes.

Scientists don’t per se observe a black hole directly, as much as they suspect they might have a black hole because of what’s going on around a certain area in space (the behavior of light and nearby planets, etc).

This said, all creators would be prudent to keep some core principles in mind when writing anything from a blog, to a non-fiction, to a memoir. These principles lay the foundation for what we think of when it comes to ‘narrative style.’

CONTINUE READING HERE

Two Urgent Warnings For Writers! – Written By Victoria Strauss On Writer’s Beware

Victoria Strauss, who provides us on the ‘Writer’s Beware Blog’ with information of all kinds, warns us on October 16 and October 19 about two more ‘bad eggs’ that I would like to share with as many writers as possible. Thank you so much, Victoria Strauss, for all your efforts and work to help us!


OCTOBER 16, 2020

BAD CONTRACT ALERT: EMP ENTERTAINMENT AND A&D ENTERTAINMENT

 

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®

Lately, I’ve been hearing from writers who’ve been solicited by one or another of two companies offering to distribute their books to Webnovel, a Wattpad-like platform based in Asia: EMP Entertainment and A&D Entertainment. (Note: there are many companies with similar names focused on concert invites, event schedule, and DJ services.)
EMP and A&D are both based in Singapore, and both are just 11 months old (which raises interesting questions about whether they’re really different companies, though their contracts differ enough to suggest that they are). They present themselves as Webnovel partners, authorized to offer non-exclusive contracts that allow authors to continue to publish on other platforms (such as Wattpad, where both companies are actively approaching writers) if they choose.

CONTINUE READING HERE

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OCTOBER 19, 2020

BAD CONTEST TERMS: T.A. BARRON’S ONCE UPON A VILLAIN FLASH FICTION CONTEST

 

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®

Popular YA/MG author T.A. Barron is running a flash fiction contest.
Stories must be 750 words or fewer, and the contest is accepting submissions through Friday, October 23. Three winners will receive prize packages consisting of books, games, swag, and/or gift cards.
The catch? You guessed it. It’s in the fine print of the contest guidelines. (I wasn’t able to provide a direct link to these, but if you scroll down to the bottom of the contest post, there’s a link you can click to see them.)
Here’s my main concern.

CONTINUE READING HERE

HOW TO SURVIVE WITH TOO MANY FICTIONAL CHARACTERS LIVING INSIDE YOUR HEAD – Written By Lucy Mitchell

Lucy Mitchell informs us how to survive with too many fictional characters living in our heads. Thanks, Lucy.


#AmWriting #LucyMitchell #WriterBlogger

It’s not easy being a writer. We find ourselves drawn to tweed based outfits, berets, Twitter, book shops and attractive notebooks. We stare into space a lot, walk around with pencils permanently tucked behind our ears, get excited over word counts, cover our walls in post it notes and lose ourselves while reading books.

One of the many problems we face is that our fictional characters can multiply inside our head at an alarming rate. Writers often talk about too having many new story ideas but for some of us (me included) it’s too many new characters.

Once a writer has caught the writing bug; written several stories, have a story they are working on and be entertaining a few new story ideas on the side, their head can sound more like a railway station at rush hour.

Head overcrowding is not the only issue, fictional characters can also be noisy, disruptive and demanding. Some fictional characters will sit quietly and await their turn but some (you know the characters I am talking about) will make getting your full attention their main focus in life.

CONTINUE READING HERE

What Is A Book Sales Funnel And Do You Need One? – Written By Derek Haines…

Derek Haines describes to us in his blog post what a book sales funnel is and why we need one. Thank you very much for your advice, Derek!


on Just Publishing Advice:

A book sales funnel follows the same principle as all other commercial sales funnels.

When a potential reader comes across your book, you have succeeded in attracting attention.

But very few will jump immediately to the action of buying your book.

For new authors, especially, you need to fill this gap with elements of interest and desire.

Continue reading HERE

The Benefits of Writing a Novel By Hand – Written By Bryn Donovan

Since I write my first drafts by hand for years, I found this article, written by Bryn Donovan, fascinating, and also very assuring that I apparently don’t do my things in a completely wrong way. Thank you, Bryn!


I love writing on paper. Few things spark joy in me like a brand-new spiral notebook—and that’s been true almost my whole life. Writing a novel longhand, at least for the first draft, is my personal preference. I don’t write the whole thing by hand before typing it: I transfer it to Word document on my computer now and then as I go.

Every writer is different, and I’m not going to claim that writing a novel by hand is right for everyone. I know that writing on paper isn’t even an option for everyone.

Besides, writing a novel longhand does have its disadvantages. It’s slower, since you’re going to wind up typing it on the computer later, anyway. And if you’re unable to decipher your own handwriting, which is true for lots of people, writing on paper for your first draft is pretty much a non-starter.

Here are a few benefits of writing a story longhand, though. If it’s doable for you and you haven’t tried it, you might want to give it a go, just to see if you like it!

 

CONTINUE READING HERE

“I wish I had known that before I self-published.” 25 authors share what they’ve learned – Written By Sandra Beckwith

Sandra Beckwith provides us with the wisdom of 25 authors who share what they learned about self-publishing. Thank you so much, Sandra.


on Build Book Buzz:

It’s a common author lament. Maybe you’ve said it, too.

Nearly everybody has a story about something they learned after they started the self-publishing process. For many, the discovery came too late to save them time, money, or trouble.

That doesn’t mean you have to make the same mistakes, though.

Lessons learned

Continue reading HERE