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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.

#Book #Contracts 101

October 22, 2013 Leave a comment

Jane Friedman and Manjula Martin are launching a new magazine. They have an article on how to protect your rights as an author. An absolute must read for any other.  Click here for the link.

Publishing #contracts and #royalties in the Big Bad World

March 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Jane Friedman has great advice on Writers Unboxed for authors in this brave new world of electronic publishing. Click here for the post.

Book #Awards for #Indie #ebooks

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I came across a great listing of various awards open to Indie/self-published writers. Click here for details.

Ebook HowTo & Author Spotlight

October 11, 2012 2 comments

Ohio State University has a good tutorial online on how to do a basic ebook. Click here for the link.

Also, Author Spotlight was kind enough to shine the spotlight on me yesterday. They are open to sign-ups from other other authors. Here’s the link to mine: Author Spotlight

Call For Self-Pubbed/Indie Authors and Publishers

January 22, 2012 Leave a comment

The http://www.indiebookawards.com/ invites entries from  indie book authors and publishers – including small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors.

Open to independent publishers and authors worldwide who have a book written in English with a 2011 or 2012 copyright date.

Click here for details.

Literary Agents Relevant in Digital World? An Agent’s Thoughts

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Authors can now publish their own books via Amazon, B&N, Smashwords etc. They even get to keep a larger percentage of their royalties than if they went the traditional literary agent-publisher route.

Are literary agents even relevant anymore? Agent Wendy Lawton has some thoughts about this in her blog post. While I agree with most of her points, authors who can network and market and are generally savvy can manage their own careers quite successfully.

Also, keep in mind, not all agents know what they’re doing, or have good contacts. Plenty of authors have got burnt due to clueless agents. And then there is the huge cut of your earnings the publisher and agent takes. Versus what Amazon et al. pay if you can make the sales. Tough choice.

Here’s Wendy’s post.

GUEST BLOG: Chris Redding

November 28, 2011 1 comment

Holidays.

I love them.

But I am not productive during them. I like my routine though I do need to shake it up sometimes. But it is my routine that keeps me on an even keel. It is my routine that allows me to write and be productive.

I’m writing this two days after Thanksgiving. I’m not stuffed. We had a huge hike yesterday, but I am a little discombobulated. Not that I would trade in any holiday for anything.

I just wish I knew a better way to get back on the wagon of my routine. So here I am writing a blog post and not really sure what to say in it.

Later I have to write a longer one.

Still not sure what to say in that one.

I know writers who don’t take time off. I don’t think that’s good for everyone. I’m someone who needs down time. I also need to live and interact with my family. They kind of like when I do that.

But what I really want to do is finish my next workshop. I need to do a little more research and then finish the lectures, but I can’t seem to wrap my brain around it.

I’m sure this happens to writers, but does it happen to others?

Does an electrician say he doesn’t feel like wiring today? Nope.

So what am I doing? Priming the pump with this blog post. Just write. Just sit in the chair and move your hands over the keyboard. It will prime the pump. You will get moving again. You just have to commit to it.

The other option is called “Refilling the Well.” Do something creative other than writing. If you like to knit or arrange flowers. Whatever you hobby/skill is, do it. Then come back to the keyboard and you will find that the words flow.

Thanks for listening to my ramble.

Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, one dog and three rabbits. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. When she isn’t writing she works part time for her local hospital.

www.chrisreddingauthor.com

http://chrisredddingauthor.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/chrisreddingauthor

www.twitter.com/chrisredding

Guest Blog: Writers of Anthology

September 17, 2011 Leave a comment

All Things Dark and Dastardly Anthology—Finding the Darkness Within

Murder, mystery, horror, and a splash of urban fantasy—that’s what makes up the anthology All Things Dark and Dastardly.  When the All Things Writing bloggers began creating this fun little book, we really weren’t sure how it would turn out.  After all, everyone in the group writes in completely different genres! However, we discovered a unifying link—darkness. If a story is dark, foreboding and just a bit twisted, it tends to get a solid thumbs up from our collective minds! It seemed only natural that we’d put our own stories together and create something that appealed to the darker side of humanity.

Dark stories stir readers on many different levels. They are an outlet for the wicked things we sometimes think about but would never actually do. Or would we? There’s always that possibility that one could lose control and take matters into their own hands, creating a dastardly outcome. A perfect example of this can be seen in Jeff Lindsay’s complex character, Dexter, who is brought to life on TV with eerie perfection by Anthony C. Hall on the Showtime series of the same name.  Dexter is a serial killer. However, he only kills other serial killers. He follows a very strict code of conduct taught to him by his cop father. Talk about darkness!  Dexter is appealing because even though a reader or viewer might despise his actions, it’s hard not to root for him, too. He’s doing what most people would never be brave enough to attempt, and in his own way, he serves justice to those who might never receive it in the legal system. You definitely are tapping in to your inner darkness when you find yourself hoping that Dexter is going to slice and dice the bad guy.

It’s this same kind of inner darkness that we’ve tried to capture in our book All Things Dark and Dastardly. We’ve taken ordinary situations—getting a tattoo, visiting a water park, or opening a can of soup—and given them a foreboding spin. The tattoo takes on a life of its own, taunting and tormenting its new owner until they face their sins or are consumed by them.  A dragon themed ride at the waterpark is “wished” to life, causing havoc for those looking for innocent summer fun.  And just what do you do when you open a can of soup only to find a hairy finger in it that you’re pretty sure belonged to your recently deceased mother?  Ah, life can be tough when you live in a dark and dastardly world…

Brought to you by award winning writers Kaye George, Steve Metze, and Mary Ann Loesch, All Things Dark and Dastardly will be available in October. For more information or to get writing tips sure to help channel your dark side, check out http://www.allthingswriting.blogspot.com.

GUEST BLOG: Randy Rawls

September 4, 2011 4 comments
The Mirage of Self-Epublishing
Randy Rawls
 
       
We have entered an era when anyone (and I do mean anyone) can publish a book.  Learn the simple technique of epublishing, and viola, you’re an author.  But, are you?
      
By my minimum definition, an author is one who writes a readable book.  Too many of the epub’d “books” today do not live up to even that simple definition.  That’s not to say there is not a viable plot, or even interesting characters.  It simply means the writing is so amateurish—grammatical errors, typos, poor sentence structure, etc.—that it cannot be read.  I do not have the time to waste on bad writing.
To those considering self-epub’ing, I beg of you, take the time to write it right.  You only have one chance at making a fan.  Don’t blow it with a presentation which is not ready to leave your hard drive.  

For anyone taking on my latest release, THORNS ON ROSES, in either its paper version or its E-version, rest assured it has been scrubbed, edited, re-scrubbed, and re-edited many times.  And, of course, I hope you enjoy. 

 
Randy Rawls
THORNS ON ROSES, a S FL Thriller

SMOKEY AND BANDIT in Cats in a Dreamspell
Ace Edwards, Dallas PI Mysteries
http://www.RandyRawls.com

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