Archive

Archive for the ‘Authors Speak’ Category

Advice for Writers from Barbara #Freethy

April 8, 2015 2 comments
#1 NY Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy talks writing, publishing, and finding balance, plus gives her advice for new authors… Check out what she has to say then Read on for more information about this blog tour and all its great prizes!
You’re an icon in—not just the indie publishing community—but the publishing community in general. Your success is something to which we all aspire. In your opinion, what has been the greatest contributing factor to the success of your novels?
There are so many factors that contribute to a successful writing career and it’s hard to say which ones are the most important, but I do believe that publishing frequently helps to build an audience and also momentum. I don’t write as quickly as some authors do or as slow as others; I think I’m somewhere in the middle. But I try to put out 3-4 books a year and I think that helps keep my books in front of the readers. I also write what I love to read. Sometimes that means my books are not part of the hot trend of the moment, but that’s okay. I think it’s a mistake to try to chase fads. They blow out as quickly as they blow in. And, finally, I look at writing as my career. I work hard at it. I spend a lot of vacations at my computer. But it’s a really rewarding career, so it’s all worth it!
Writing and publishing books is not a business for the faint of heart. You have to be a risk taker. You have to be willing to speculate on your income and to be able to live through the slow times. You have to develop a thick skin, because rejection is everywhere: agents, publishers, reviewers, readers… We all know that books are subjective. But if you’re up for the task, writing can be an awesome career choice!
When did you start writing your very first novel, and did it ever get published? How has the world of writing change since you started out?
I wrote my first book when I was pregnant with my second child, who is now a young adult. It was eventually published as a Silhouette romance titled Promise of Marriage under the pen name Kristina Logan. The writing world has gone completely upside down and spun around a dozen times since I wrote my first book, but it’s an amazing time to be a writer now. There are so many opportunities for writers to get their books to the reading public. I’m thrilled for the writers who are starting out now, whether they want to be traditionally published or publish themselves. There’s more work. There are more changes. But there are also many more opportunities. Technology has brought many changes to the world of books, but readers continue to embrace new books, new formats, and—at the heart of every book—great stories. I don’t think great stories will ever go out of style.
What advice do you have for authors who are either aspiring to write their first book or are working overtime to try to get that book noticed?
For writers working on their first book, the most important thing you can do is write all the way to the end. Too many new writers get hung up in the middle or caught up in rewriting the beginning over and over again. To get over the hump, jump ahead in the story or just write something—anything—knowing you can fix it during the editing process. Until you write to the end, you don’t know what you don’t know. You have to experience the entire process of writing a novel. It takes dedication, determination and stamina to finish a book. But it’s hugely gratifying, and there’s no better experience than the actual writing.
For those writers who have published their first book and are working overtime to get it noticed, I would caution against spending all your time promoting that first book. What you really need to do is write the second book and then the third. You have to look at your writing as a career. More books will increase your audience faster than any amount of marketing you do. I urge an 80-20 split: 80% of your time should be spent writing and 20% on promotion.
Describe your writing process. Are you a plotter, a pantser, or something in between?
I am closer to being a pantser than a plotter, but I do always know at least the five main plot points of my story before I begin writing. But part of the fun for me as a writer is telling myself the story. I want to be inspired and surprised as I go along. It makes it more interesting to me. Of course, I would be able to write faster if I outlined, but it just isn’t the way my brain works. There’s no right way to write, just the right way for the individual author.
What was your reaction when you first found out you broke onto the New York Times and USA Today bestsellers’ lists? How did you celebrate?
Hitting #1 on the New York Times with my novel SUMMER SECRETS was an amazing moment, especially because it was my first self-published title. I celebrated with a lovely dinner out with my husband. What was even more astonishing was that the novel stayed on the NYT list for 5 weeks and since then I’ve had 19 more novels hit both USA Today and the New York
Times. It never gets old!
How do you find balance between writing, publishing, and promoting your books and the rest of your life? Any tips for the rest of us?
I have no balance whatsoever at the moment! I do try to do something in the world of exercise— take a walk or play tennis at least 3-4 times a week. And I also try to refill the creative well by reading and watching movies and television. Inspiration comes from everywhere, sometimes a song on the radio, a person that walks by, a sign on the road… I think it’s important for writers to be out in the world, because all our experiences provide the fabric for our stories!
Congrats on your groundbreaking, new partnership with Ingram to get the paperback editions of the Callaways out to the world. What about this opportunity has you most excited?
I’m thrilled to be able to bring my bestselling digital titles into print and have the books sold at physical bookstores throughout the country. Partnering with Ingram Publisher Services has allowed me to use their national sales team and distribution system to sell my books into Target, Barnes and Noble, airport bookstores and supermarket chains. I know that some readers still love their print books, so I want my readers to be able to read my books in whatever format they prefer. Until very recently print has been under the control of large publishing houses, but now print readers will have an opportunity to get titles by an Indie author, and I think it’s a game changer for the publishing industry!
About the Callaway Blog Tour & All Its Great Prizes!
This is the week you finally meet the Callaways! Not only are they all over the web as part of their extraordinary blog tour, but they are also out and about in your neighborhood. That’s right; we’re celebrating the print launch with Ingram by throwing a party all over the world! Make sure to follow this tour closely for your chance to win gift cards, swag, autographed books, and other incredible prizes. All the info you need to join the fun and enter to win amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE.
Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment—easy to enter; easy to win!
To Win the Prizes:
1. Purchase any of the Callaway novels by Barbara Freethy (optional)
2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity (go here)
3. Visit today’s featured social media event (that’s where the HUGE prizes are)
About The Callaways:
Callaway Print Covers
The Callaways were born to serve and protect! In Barbara’s new connected family series, each of the eight siblings in this blended Irish-American family find love, mystery and adventure, often where they least expect it! Each book stands alone, but for the full enjoyment of the series, you might want to start at the beginning with On A Night Like This! Get the eBooks via
About the Author:
Barbara Freethy
Barbara Freethy has been making up stories most of her life. Growing up in a neighborhood with only boys and a big brother who was usually trying to ditch her, she spent a lot of time reading. When she wasn’t reading, she was imagining her own books. After college and several years in the P.R. field, she decided to try her hand at a novel. Now Barbara is a #1
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author loved by readers all over the world. Her novels range from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Learn more on her website, Facebook page, or in her Street Team.
Advertisements

#Book #Marketing: Guest Post by Holly Michael

September 29, 2014 4 comments

For me, marketing began before I finished my first book. Confident, I’d finish my book, I declared myself an author and started my blog, http://www.writingstraight.com/ to connect with other bloggers and hopefully potential readers. I also wanted to connect writers to readers as well as share about my life, my family, and my faith. Blogging about my visits to India also drew in readers who cared about India, which was good because half of my novel, Crooked Lines, takes place in India.

I also made it a point to visit other blogs and make friends. You can’t be like a person shouting through a megaphone from your doorstep. You have to get out and engage with others, visit other sites, and leave comments. Make real friends who care about you and your writing. You do that by caring about them. Same concept goes for Facebook and other social media. You have to kiss a few babies, or at least comment on that cute grandchild or precious newborn. Who can resist a cute baby, anyway? If someone shares troubles, I empathize with them and offer my prayers. Five hundred friends on Facebook that you don’t know aren’t as important as 50 friends you really know.

But, you can’t let social media suck up all of your time or you’ll never have time to write. I use my iPhone quite a bit when I’m stuck in the car (riding, not driving) or waiting at appointments. I scan blogs I follow, run through Facebook and twitter posts or check out who’s posting what on Pinterest. I connect when I can, but don’t usually spend time viewing every video about amazing dogs and cats.

Once my book was published—just this past July—I entered into an entirely new realm. How do you sell books without being like the annoying uncle selling AMWAY products? It’s a tough line to draw. Do you shout out about your book all day long on social media? I don’t think that’s effective. I personally asked friends to read and review my book and share their review on social media. I also offer to do blog interviews. (But this is give and take. You should also feature others on your blog and review their books, too.) Those who love you, especially if you’ve helped them out in the past, are usually happy to return the favor.

Marketing is tough, no doubt. I read a lot of articles and books seeking new marketing ideas, but the suggestions that make the most sense are: 1. Write a good book. 2. Write a second good book.

Other ideas: Offer books free for a review; besides friends, Goodreads is a great starting place to find reviewers. Do a Goodreads giveaway. Search out Facebook groups where you can promote your book, go to book festivals, check with your local library and local book clubs. Tweet a bit, post a great review on Facebook, but ultimately keep in mind your job is to identify your readers and figure out how you can reach them.

Bio: Holly Michael, published in various magazines, newspapers, and in Guideposts books has released her debut novel, Crooked Lines. She and her husband, Anglican Bishop Leo Michael, regularly travel from their home in Kansas City to India. She has a grown daughter, Betsy and two sons who play football. One in the NFL and one in college football.  Visit Holly at http://www.hollymichael.com/ and check out her blog at http://www.writingstraight.com/

Book: Crooked Lines

#TED talk by #Chimamanda #Adichie

October 30, 2013 Leave a comment

A great TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

 

 

Fiction First: Writing a Stunning Debut Novel

March 20, 2013 Leave a comment

This video is from the recently concluded The Hindu Lit for Life 2013. Authors Jerry Pinto and Nilanjana Roy converse about the first book being the first love.

Guest Post: Sheila Deeth

October 28, 2012 11 comments

I started trying to get published in 2004, after a few false starts earlier in life (in elementary school, junior high, college, when our oldest son went to elementary school…). I sent nicely printed sheets in flat brown envelopes with stamped self-addressed envelopes stowed inside, and I got form letters back that read “Thank you for your submission. If you enclosed a stamped addressed envelope we are returning it.”

A few years later I attended a writers’ conference and learned you’ll never get anywhere in writing without a platform. I even learned what a platform was, though the thought of writing a blog was way more scary than writing a novel. After all, a blog’s like real life, diary, journal… why would I imagine anyone wanted to read about my life? So…

I self-published. I picked the books I’d had the least success with at the conference, where agents said the market was overloaded. Putting them on Lulu, learning to edit, proof-read, format, use cover creators, set prices, choose titles etc. all furnished articles for my blog. But of course, no one was reading my blog so I chased the internet following strangers and making new friends. I sold ridiculously small numbers of books to neighbors at the Holiday Bazaar. And I wondered if I’d ever make enough money for Lulu to bother paying me. And then…

Then I spotted Gather.com’s first chapters competition and entered it. I entered Amazon’s breakthough novel award too, though neither led as far as I might have wished. I entered some short stories to e-magazines and anthologies too—no pay, but at least they gave me some publishing credits.

Meanwhile those new friends, many of whom were writers, started asking me to write reviews. It wasn’t something I’d ever imagined doing, but I love to read and I love to write, so I said I’d give it a go. Three hundred book reviews later I noticed I’d reviewed and enjoyed several ebooks from the same publisher. And the publisher was running a contest. And I rather liked the prompt.

My novelette (I’m still learning what qualifies as novel, novella and novelette) won the contest and I added my first professionally published ebook to my name. It didn’t have that “thump factor” of a real paperback of course and I couldn’t put it on my stall, but it’s a wonderful step on the path.

By now I’d learned to read like a reviewer, so I finally opened that long neglected novel on my computer and re-read it. I’m so glad it hadn’t been published. It was time to write like an editor.

Three ebooks later I checked the websites of print publishers I’d reviewed for. They’re not the big houses, just small presses—the sort of place that might maybe say “yes” to an unknown writer. And one of them did.

Actually, they sent me an email which started “Thank you for sending your submission…” I thought I knew the next line by heart, the one that starts “but…” Except this one said “We would like to offer you a contract.” I ran around the room, then demanded that everyone come and check the computer to make sure I’d not misread it. I printed out the email (and the contract) and read them again. And it was real.

So now my first real novel’s out in genuine thump-factor paperback—I thump it on the table every once in the while just to hear the sound. It’s even going to be stocked in my local Powells! I still want to make a name for myself, I’d love to have an agent, maybe get published by a big name too, or at least get sales as if I were, but my journey’s moving determinedly forwards and dreams are free.

My Ten Steps from Self-published to published:

  1. Make lots of friends on the internet. (Real-world friends help too!)
  2. Self-publish something you don’t mind not sending out to publishers.
  3. Say yes when your friends want to be guests on your blog or ask you to review their books. It’s called networking. It’s also called being a good friend.
  4. Research the publishers. Reading a lot, writing book reviews, and networking with writers can help you find them.
  5. Start small. A story in an e-magazine is a genuine step on the way, even if it doesn’t pay.
  6. Take baby-steps. The big publishers really aren’t likely to care, so try the small ones. Try an e-publisher. Find a niche and fit yourself in.
  7. Take those rejected pieces and work on them again. Get friends (and efriends) to read and comment on them. Read them yourself with your reviewer’s hat on and see which bits you skip and which bits you hate. Then edit them.
  8. Keep taking baby-steps. Send a submission to a print anthology. Maybe the publisher will remember you name later.
  9. Try matching your writing with the small presses you’ve researched, then take a deep breath and send that novel out again.
  10. Celebrate rejection with chocolate and coffee, ’til one day someone says “YES!”

Good luck, and enjoy the writing, the reading, and the making of new friends.

About Divide by Zero:

It takes a subdivision to raise a child, and a wealth of threads to weave a tapestry, until one breaks.

Troy, the garage mechanic’s son, loves Lydia, the rich man’s daughter. Amethyst has a remarkable cat and Andrea a curious accent. Old Abigail knows more than anyone else but doesn’t speak. And in Paradise Park a middle-aged man keeps watch while autistic Amelia keeps getting lost.

Pastor Bill, at the church of Paradise, tries to mend people. Peter mends cars. But when that fraying thread gives way it might take a child to raise the subdivision—or to mend it.

About the author:

Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. Now living in the States near Portland Oregon, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, telling stories and meeting her neighbors’ dogs on the green.

Divide by zero is free on Amazon kindle on October 28th: http://www.amazon.com/Divide-by-Zero-ebook/dp/B0090NFH56/, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Divide-by-Zero-ebook/dp/B0090NFH56/

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Divide-Zero-Sheila-Deeth/dp/1600763405/

Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/Divide-Zero-Sheila-Deeth/dp/1600763405/

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/divide-by-zero-sheila-deeth/1112782597

Powells http://www.powells.com/biblio/61-9781600763403-0

Waterstones http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/sheila+deeth/divide+by+zero/9420931/

GUEST BLOG: CP Bialois

September 1, 2012 Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello everyone! I’m CP Bialois, but you can call me CP. I answer to either so no worries. I want to thank Rasana Atreya for allowing me to share her blog today to celebrate the launching of my newest book (more on that later).

When people first learn I’m a writer, one of the first questions I’m asked is “How do you write?” Out of all the questions I’ve been asked through the course of my life, that one used to make me think every time. Since I’ve since become used to answering it, I thought I’d share my thoughts and views on how I do it.

Depending on who you talk to you’ll either want to have the story planned out with a detailed outline, a vague outline leaving you room to grow, or simply write by the seat of your pants.

I have to be totally honest in that for the longest time I felt like a freak because my methods are a combination of the second and third choices I listed. Everywhere I turned, people were telling me that to be successful I had to have every detail planned for what I wanted to write.

You see, I can pick up a pen and paper and just start a story off the top of my head. By the time I’m two to three sentences in I know who my main characters will be, what I want to happen in the story, and how I want it to end. The characters I create then take me on the journey as they tell me what to write.

While everyone seems to like my stories, I never took myself seriously. They were always a hobby or something to do to entertain my friends. Then one day I picked up Stephen King’s book On Writing and I found a home. When he said how his stories often involve him putting a coupe of characters into a certain situation and letting them find their way out I let out a cheer. One of my idols had a style similar to mine! Can you imagine the feeling of vindication I felt? To have one of my idols have the same basic system I do blew my mind.

It’s something I’ve never forgotten and don’t mind using when a friend or a would be writer asks me “How do you write?”. the answer for me took more time than maybe it should have, but each of us have our own system for doing things. It’s up to us to find what works best and not be afraid of failing. It’s tough, but when you come across something written by one of your idols voicing the same practices… it’s worth the journey.

That journey has led me to publish two books with a third, The Sword and the Flame: The Purging launching September 6, 2012. It’s the sequel in a two book series I loved working on more than I can ever explain. Until next time, have a great day my friends and many thanks to Rasana Atreya for allowing me to share her blog today.

Twitter: @CPBialois

Website:www.cpbialois.webs.com

Blog: www.cpbialois.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www/facebook/com/AuthoCPBialois

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/CP-Bialois/e/B006QK4TX2/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1346018546&sr=8-2-ent

Andrew Stanton (Writer of Toy Story): The clues to a great story

March 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Checkout this awesome video from TED. If you tell stories, this video is for you.

 

 

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf