Posted in Reviews

Review of Serious Writers Never Quit by Bryan Hutchinson

Purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/Serious-Writers-Never-Quit-They-ebook/dp/B07XT7BCXV/

I recently read a short ebook, Serious Writers Never Quit, by Bryan Hutchinson. I would recommend this book to other authors, especially those (most of us) who find ourselves losing faith in our careers. I know many fellow authors who are  having a difficult time believing in themselves and their work. Hutchinson addresses these fears and self-doubts in his ebook. He also outlines some tips on how to move forward when feeling uncertain about your writing. He recommends journaling and gives examples on how to make this form of writing a daily habit and how it can help an author brainstorm new ideas for writing projects. He also explains how first drafts are important but need not be perfect and offers tips on the ways to improve them during future rounds of editing.

If you’re an author who is looking for a simple read that will boost your feelings about writing or if you have always wanted to write but haven’t had the motivation to get started, this is the book for you.

Posted in Monday blogs

Twelve Ways Authors Can Earn More Money

dollar-163473_640Let’s face it. If you’re a new author or one who has not yet sold a million copies, you are not earning much through royalties. However, there are other ways that you can supplement your income using your writing talent and experience. Below are some suggestions. Once you determine what you’d like to try, you should speak with those already offering these services or research current rates so you can set your pricing. In some cases, such as with writing contests and speaking engagements, the payment is already specified in the rules or contract.
editing1. Editing/Proofreading/formatting Manuscripts – This falls under the category of Author Services. Most authors acquire experience editing and proofreading their own manuscripts. Some take courses and also know how to lay out eBooks. Fees for these services vary depending on whether one offers basic editing for spelling, grammar, punctuation or developmental editing which includes reviewing and revising structures and plots. You can do this as a part-time freelancer and/or seek employment from a publishing company. If you are detail-oriented, enjoy reading books, and have extra time (something most writers especially those with day jobs may not have much of), you might considering earning a few bucks this way. Associations you might consider checking out include the Editorial Freelancer’s Association: http://www.the-efa.org/, American Copy Editor’s Society: http://www.copydesk.org/ and the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors: http://naiwe.com/.
camera-155383_6402. Producing Book Trailers – If you’re knowledgeable about computer video software and have some talent for movie-making and a good visual eye,  you could try creating book trailers for authors.
3. Designing Graphics for bookmarks, business cards, teasers, Book Covers, etc. – If you are artistic and familiar with programs such as PhotoShop, Canva.com, and other graphic programs, you could try your hand at designing promotional material for authors.
4. Writing Queries, Synopsis, and Blurbs. If you have more of a way with words than with art, you might give writing submission material for authors a go.
2016-10-16-15-57-405. Speaking Engagements at libraries, bookstores, community centers – If you are comfortable with public speaking, you could give author talks about your books and/or publishing. I’ve done several talks about my books at nearby libraries.  Although most of these speeches last between an hour or two, preparation time is necessary. As you gain more confidence and stack up more engagements, you can also join a speaker’s bureau to get more work. Payment for talks vary. Some venues will allow you to sell your books but will not pay you for the talk. Others will do the opposite. Some will do both. You need to inquire before you sign the contract. Here’s an article about ways to locate speaking opportunities: http://famousinyourfield.com/17-ways-to-find-speaking-opportunities/
6. Teaching Classes & Webinars – If you are an expert at a subject or are knowledgeable about specific areas of writing, you might want to apply to teach a continuing education class at your local school or college. If you have experience with video conferencing, you might consider putting together a webinar. I am applying to teach a course on Indie Publishing at my local high school this fall.
contests7. Entering Writing Contests for Prize Money – Although there are often fees involved in writing contests that offer prizes, if they are within your budget, you could try entering them. Just make sure they are legitimate. If they consider your work for publication even if you don’t win, more the better.
8. Freelance Writing for Magazines, eZines, Newspapers, blogs, etc. – Don’t limit yourself to novel writing. If you can write short, non-fiction pieces for print or digital publications, you can make some money. It will usually be a flat rate; but if you only sell first rights, you will be able to publish the article again if you want. Along with making a little cash, freelance writing also helps promote your fiction works.
9. Designing Websites – If you are both artistic and technical, you might consider earning some extra money helping authors create attractive and functional websites.
10. Arranging Blog Tours – If you are savvy with social media and have a lot of connections, you could start up a blog tour company.
11. Assisting Authors as PA’s – Authors looking for more time to be able to write often seek personal assistants to aid them in their social media updates and other writing-related tasks.
ghostwriter_212. Ghost Writing – There are doctors and other professionals who would like to write a book but don’t have the time or the talent. They hire people to do it for them and usually pay well. The only drawback is that your name will not be credited on the book. It’s not for everyone, but some authors do well with it.
These are only a few of the opportunities for authors to earn extra income. If you know of any others, please comment on this post.
Posted in Authors, blog challenge, Books

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: My Top 5 Motivational Sources for Writing

blogchallengegraphicupdatedI’m very excited to participate in the blog challenge Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

Motivation is the topic of this week’s blog challenge, and I’ve listed the 5 top sources that motivate me to write.

  1. BADGE_WhiteSpecialAwardsReceiving Recognition – When an author  receives recognition from publishers, editors, agents, and other professionals, it motivates them. When I was offered a contract with Limitless Publishing last summer for my novel, A Stone’s Throw, it inspired me to continue writing. Also, when I recently won the Hartz Glamour Puss Award for the article that I submitted to the Cat Writer’s Association on grooming, I was thrilled and honored to receive this special recognition that motivates me to continue my article as well as book writing.
  2. 1 Feedback from Fans – Most authors are motivated by good reviews and comments from readers. When I become discouraged by low sales or overwhelmed by the pressure of marketing my work, my mood is truly lifted by positive words about my writing.
  3. Author Support and Inspiration The support and sharing of knowledge by other authors has been a great motivation for me. Keeping in touch with fellow writers offers many opportunities. For instance, I joined with other authors in self-publishing an anthology of romances called “Love, Always” that will be used as a promotional tool for all of us in reaching more readers. The Cover Reveal for this book is Friday, July 1st. For more details about this event that will offer 10 free copies of the anthology as well as a chance to win 12 ebooks. Love Always Anthology Cover (1)DeLouise Teaservisit https://www.facebook.com/events/1624146344580295/
  4. My Ideas – When I think of something that would make a good article, story, or book, it motivates me to write. The only drawback to this source of motivation is finding the time to get all these ideas down, edit, submit, and market them.
  5. My book sales and Rankings – When I see that my books are selling well, it motivates me to continue writing  because I feel that there are people interested in my work and waiting to read more of my writing.

Those are my top writing motivations. Notice that money is not among them. As a new author, I don’t expect to strike it rich immediately or ever, but it does mean a lot for me to know that I am reaching people with my words, making them happy or excited, puzzled, or even sad sometimes. That’s what many authors have done for me and what I wish to do for all my readers.

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Authors, Books, Cloudy Rainbow

Editing for Everyone

creative-108545_1280 I’m on the last leg of my pre-edits for “A Stone’s Throw.” It’s been a long haul, somewhat frustrating but very educational and, hopefully, worth it. For those not familiar with the publishing process, pre-editing is when an author prepares a final copy of their manuscript before submitting it to an editor for further editing. Pre-editing is very important because it provides an opportunity for an author to take another look at their manuscript and make changes before official editing begins.

Although I self-published my first novel, “Cloudy Rainbow,” that I basically edited myself, I still found the process enlightening the second time around. Although I was happy with the plot and characters of “A Stone’s Throw,” I noticed many changes needed to be made. These changes weren’t only grammar, typo, or spelling corrections, most of which are caught by Microsoft Word’s spelling and grammar checker. There were places where the wrong character name was used, a character changed clothes unexpectedly from an earlier scene, a date or age was incorrect,  etc. In addition to checking these details, the overall content of the manuscript needed to be reviewed to make sure the writing flowed well, was descriptive enough, and that every scene made sense.

As I edited, my respect for my fellow authors grew. I think most of us find editing more difficult  and time consuming than writing. It’s the most important part of the job because while writing generates raw ideas, editing allows us to take those ideas and shape them into a form that’s most palatable to an audience. I also realized that editing is not restricted to writers. Don’t we all edit every day? We edit what we write be it in an email, text, or social media post. We edit what we say in conversations on the phone, our cells, and in person. This editing can be unconscious, or we can be very aware of it.

One thing that has helped me edit my novel is feedback. Knowing that most authors use beta readers to read and comment on their rough drafts, I asked fellow Limitless Publishing authors and a few friends if they were interested in being readers for “A Stone’s Throw.” Three people responded. I found a list of suggested questions for beta readers online and emailed it to my readers to use as guidelines for their feedback. I found all the suggestions quite helpful. I have to admit I was initially a little upset by some comments until I realized they were constructive criticism. I discovered some problem areas of my manuscript I would not have noticed on my own. After reading it so many times, I became blind to some of its weak spots. My beta readers didn’t only point out faults. They also told me what they liked about the book and in what areas my writing was strongest.

In everyday life, we don’t have beta readers to help us edit our written and spoken words. We are on our own with only our vocabulary, education, and common sense to guide us. To prevent our “putting our feet in our mouths,” pausing to self-edit our thoughts is a useful practice.

For authors, learning to edit effectively is gained through experience. Classes and workshops on this topic can also be helpful. As your writing skills need to be polished, so do your editing ones. Professional editors can do so much with your manuscript. You’re the author, and no one knows your baby, with all its faults and good qualities, better. With time and effort, you can edit your manuscript into the book your readers will want to read, and you’ll be proud you wrote.

 

 

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Books, Cloudy Rainbow, Romantic Suspense

Contract Signed!

contractimageYesterday, after around thirty emails and several document revisions,  I signed a contract with Limitless Publishing for my romantic suspense novel, “A Stone’s Throw.” Now the fun part starts. I received some welcome emails and was invited into their elite Facebook group. I was asked to complete some forms, financial ones for royalty deposits and taxes, as well as a cover questionnaire to help their graphic artist design my book cover. They also requested my bio, photo, and social networking list along with a short description of the book and a character-oriented 1-2 page synopsis to assist in creating the inside and back cover details.

Even though I’d previously self-published a novel, “Cloudy Rainbow,” I had forgotten how much work went into preparing the book for publishing. I guess that’s what it’s like when women forget the pain of labor, and writing and publishing a book is definitely like pregnancy. You have your highs and lows and, at points, wonder if it was worth it. But, afterwards looking at your adorable baby or your beautiful book cover, you know you would do it all again in a heartbeat.

What advice would I give those still trying to get into print – don’t stop writing. I made the mistake of doing that after my self-published book. My daughter was young, and I just couldn’t find the time. And, then, after a few years of one particular library patron’s prodding, I started again. That’s all it takes, one person’s gentle push. Not only did I finish writing “A Stone’s Throw,” but I started another that I am currently about a quarter of the way through. I have also written several short stories that I’ve been sending out for possible publication. I may compile them into a book one day. But one step at a time. I’m eager to see “A Stone’s Through” in virtual (eBook) and real print. I’m hoping readers like reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I may include some pre-launch book excerpts on this blog and on my Author’s Facebook page. Thanks for sharing the journey with me.