Thursday’s Thoughts

Post_13-08-760x400I’ve been kicking around the thought of having a ‘Writing Tip’ Thursday for a while, but still haven’t come up with a witty title for the blog. There are so many one-liners out there. Useful information provided by successful authors that grab your attention and make you stop and think. Some may even tickle your funny bone 🙂

So here goes!

Background information:

If your hero is eating dinner in Moscow, you better know that steak is thirty bucks a pound; if he is drinking sake in Tokyo, you better know which hand he should use to hold the cup; and when he is sunning on the beach at Cape Cod, remember that there won’t be palm trees.  Dean R. Koontz – How To Write Best Selling Fiction

I love Dean Koontz. He has a way of getting the point across in a fun, self-explanatory manner.

Something to think about 🙂

-Jan R

 

 

 

Thursday’s Thoughts

Want To Sell More Books/eBooks?

  1. images09PXA1C7 Is your book available as an ebook?                                         You should definitely produce a print-on-demand book, but so many new authors want that book deal with distribution in bookstores and don’t consider ebooks. Most indie authors make more income from ebooks. Something to think about.
  2. Has your cover been professionally designed?                       That cover matters. When I’m purchasing a book, the first thing to catch my attention is the cover. Book buyers shop with their eyes.
  3.  Has your book been professionally edited so that it reads well?                                         Edit your books until you can’t stand them any longer, and then you should consider hiring a professional. If that’s not in your budget then try using a critique group of readers within your genre.
  4.  Have you submitted the book to the right categories?                                                     It’s important to match reader expectations and the promise of what your book delivers with what your book is actually about. If you’re not sure what categories to use, choose a few books that yours are like and see what their categories are.
  5.  Have you priced your book realistically?                                                                               Get to know your genre and the expectations of your readers.
  6. Have you written, or are you writing, another book?                                                           The more books you have, the larger your virtual shelf space, and the easier it is for people to find you.
  7. Have you done any marketing?                                                                                                 Marketing is sharing what you love with people who want to hear about it.   Build your platform and an email list.
  8. Have you asked for reviews or submitted a review site?
  9. Have you optimized your Amazon sales page with a hook, quote from reviews, or other material?
  10. Are you working your butt off? Have you given it enough time?

Hope this helped. I got most of the information for this article from a free ebook written by Joanna Penn. If you haven’t checked her out, I would highly recommend her blog- joanna@thecreativepenn.com

She provides a library of useful information and many reference books at no charge.

-Jan R

Want To Sell More Books/eBooks?

Unrealistic Expectations?

expectation-vs-reality-tumblr_m60u61r61j1r9in54o1_500_large-from-weheartit-comYou’re an aspiring author. Your ultimate goal is to find a great agent and get published. Who doesn’t want to be the author of that blockbuster book/movie of the year with a million-dollar payout?

Newbies have a tendency to set unrealistic expectations. I’m not saying you won’t achieve your goal, but odds are, you’re going to have to start at the bottom and work your way up like the rest of us.

I’m not trying to discourage you. You can do this. I’m just trying to help you set realistic goals. I want you to be prepared not only for successes but the failures that you will most likely incur along the way.

There are some things you can and should be doing as you build your platform and prepare that first novel for publishing.

  1.  Get your life out of the way. You don’t have control over everything that goes on around you. We all have situations that arise. Don’t allow them to impede your daily writing time.
  2.  Find a trusted friend or spouse who will listen and respond intelligently. You need a cheerleader/an accountability partner.
  3. Until you become successful, write in one genre. Once you’ve achieved success, you can spread your wings and venture into different areas.
  4.  Don’t be picky about where you get published initially. Use your experience and publications to build on new ones. You will get there.
  5.  Learn what’s selling. You want to cater to your customers.
  6.  Develop tough skin. You will probably hear a lot of things you don’t want to hear. Everybody has an opinion. Let it roll off your back!
  7. If a bad review holds merit, adjust your writing and admit your mistakes. This is a learning process. You won’t get everything right the first time.
  8. Don’t give up! The number one characteristic of successful authors is as you probably guessed, they’re persistent. Don’t allow a bad review or hateful word to get in your way.

Some things to think about 🙂

-Jan R

 

 

 

Unrealistic Expectations?

Just Write!

cha_647_020717110811It seems like it’s been a long time since I truly sat down to write. I’ve been doing posts, but mainly older blogs revisited or simple quotes.

My life has been hectic over the last year or so, and it’s been maybe a little too easy for me to say, “I just don’t have the time to write”. I allowed one day to grow into two days and then three and on and on and on.

Before I knew it, I was barely writing at all. I now fully understand why many professional writers encourage you to write every day.

We all have days or personal situations to arise that hinder us from getting to the keyboard. I’m not condemning anyone for taking a needed day off. Life happens!

The problem I had, was the longer I went without writing, the easier it became to put it off. I had become so engulfed with what was going on around me, that I had pushed writing to the side.

Something that I truly enjoyed doing had become an afterthought. Should I write today or not. The answer was usually not.

I am back in the game and wanted to warn those who follow my blog, listen to the experts.

Write! Write! Write! Hopefully, you got that. Just Write!

-Jan R

Just Write!

Something To Think About # 1

SupermanflyingYour lead character doesn’t have to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and he doesn’t have to stop speeding bullets with his bare hands, but he darn well better know the difference between right and wrong, and he better be kind to animals, and it sure wouldn’t hurt any if he brushed his teeth regularly.  Dean R. Koontz – How To Write Best Selling Fiction

I think you get the picture. Your main character needs to be likable and relatable. It would help if he had a few flaws as well. Nobody’s perfect.

Something to think about 🙂

-Jan R

 

 

 

Something To Think About # 1

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

stf,small,600x600-pad,750x1000,f8f8f8.u7What are your favorite reference books on writing? We all have them. I learned following my first rough draft (I didn’t realize how rough it was), that I did not know how to write a publishable novel. I thought I did, but the rejections and the one agent who responded set me straight.

Like many of you, I learn from my mistakes, but I am totally hoping I can keep some wannabees from making the same mistakes I did.

If you follow me, you know I’ve said many times, ” You don’t know what you don’t know.” So needless to say, I began to research various sites and successful authors. I had to learn how to write a novel.

This led me to three of my favorite resource books.

  1. The Elements Of Style                              William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White
  2.  How To Write Best Selling Fiction       Dean R. Koontz
  3.  Eats, Shoots & Leaves                              Lynne Truss

I found The Elements Of Style and Eats, Shoots & Leaves at a library book sale. They cost me a dollar. Unfortunately, the Koontz book is highly recommended but nowhere to be found. I purchased mine from a dealer on eBay for $65.00. I do believe it was worth the price, but you can find all of the information contained in the book on the web.

I didn’t include the Dictionary or Thesaurus. I think they are a given.

These are a few of my favorite things. Yes, I do like Mary Poppins 🙂

-Jan R

 

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Questions To Ask A Perspective Agent

choose-book-confused-student-girl-choosing-two-books-red-blue-left-right-which-one-to-read-difficult-decision-119252584I have to be honest, I just want an agent to say yes, I will represent you. I’ve had my fill of rejections, but I know, just like anything else in life, you need to do your homework.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions of a potential agent. Knowing the agent’s expectations in advance of agreeing to work together will help you avoid a nasty breakup.

Find someone who believes in your work, who loves your voice, and whose vision for your future matches your own.

Questions to ask:

  1. Does the agent require a signed agent-author agreement? If so, ask for a copy in advance and review it carefully. Also, ask for a copy of the agency clause they will place in the publishing contract.
  2. How does the agent prefer to keep authors informed of submissions?
  3. What happens in the event of the agent’s death? Verify that the agent has provisions in place to protect your rights.
  4. How many authors do the agent and agency represent?
  5. Does the agent offer editorial feedback? Some authors like for the agent to critique their work.
  6. Does the agent offer career planning?
  7.  Does the agent handle sub-rights, ancillary rights, and/or movie rights?
  8. What novels have the agent or agency sold in the past year?
  9. What is the agents normal turnaround time for responding to e-mails and phone calls?
  10. How can the agent-author contract be severed?

There’s no right or wrong answer to these questions with the exception of question 8. The purpose of asking questions is to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision and to clarify expectations for yourself and your agent.

Something to think about.

-Jan R

Questions To Ask A Perspective Agent