This is one of those dream come true stories we all strive for. I love hearing these stories.
Tag Archives: Publishing
One the things that sets a true writer apart from all the rest is the ability to make the most mundane of actions absolutely enthralling. Actions are not just steps, they are key components to a puzzle that must be present or the story falls apart. The difficult part is determining whether or not every component is necessary to complete the puzzle or if it is a spare piece you just threw in the box.
Editing your story is one of the most difficult processes you will face.We all want to make our stories perfect and correct the mistakes we made, but when it comes to deleting portions, it often feels like we are cutting out pieces of the heart of the story. One of the things that I have learned is that the heart of the story is something that must be felt, not dictated. We are writing about human emotions. Emotions are not something we force, they are a result of an event. There are certain times when you do not need to say how a character is feeling simply because it is a natural response that anyone with a heart can relate to. Everyone knows that when someone dies, those that love them are devastated. Unless your character is overjoyed by the death, allow the reader to experience the event in their head rather than tell them what to feel.
It is our job as the writer to make sure the true emotions of each event are understood, but we must never forget that a good story draws people in and makes them feel like they are part of it. We must allow them to feel the words we want to write, but don’t need to write them because the reader is already emotionally involved and feeling them through their own experience. When your readers can feel the unwritten words, they want to know how the character moves on. They don’t want to read what they are already clearly feeling. Don’t trip on the things that your editor or Beta Readers say are unnecessary. It simply means that you have already set the stage perfectly and they are feeling everything you want them to feel.
Do you ever see an advertisement and suddenly find yourself screaming inside, “I gotta have that!” I saw this picture on Facebook. I have no idea what company or website issued it, but each time I look at it, I can see how these things would be so handy to have. In fact, I first saw this picture months ago, and my interest in it is no less now than it was when I first saw it. In this day in age, we are flooded with advertisements. If you are a member of Pinterest then you have no doubt seen thousands of pictures, every day, just like this, all with the intention of gaining exposure to new products intended to bring ease and simplicity to your life. I have seen so many, that I will be honest and tell you that I rarely even pay attention to them. So what is it about this picture that has piqued my interest so much to make it memorable?
As writers, in a world full of Authors flooding the Ebook market daily, we find ourselves in a very similar position. Book descriptions are no longer being read as they once were. Before the digital age, people would take the time to read the book description, simply because they took the time and effort to pull the book off of a shelf. It would be a waste not to. But things are very different now. You can compare it to television commercials. People are recording programs so that they have the ability to fast forward through the commercials. It isn’t just a matter of convenience to watch the program when they have the time. People don’t want to waste time on the things they are not interested in. When they are flooded with thousands of products that are similar, all at once, they zone out. They walk away, they click away, they change the channel or the radio station. We are living in a world where “on demand” is the name of the game, and if your product doesn’t make people stop and take notice, then you’re lost in the flood, soaring down river, praying for something to grasp and hold onto before you sink away to oblivion.
This world is changing so quickly, that it is virtually impossible to keep up. But one thing is obvious, Ebooks are not going away. The self-publishing market continues to grow in resources and popularity. Not just for writers, but people looking for good books to read. Before, the Ebook world was a jungle that people easily got lost in. It was too different, and growing at such a rate that it boggled the mind. But now road maps are being designed to help readers understand the terrain. As writers, we must learn what resources are being used and utilize those resources to their fullest capacity.
The picture above piqued my interest because it is relevant to me. I see how those items could benefit me by simplifying my life. We must learn to do this very same thing when marketing our books. There are so many books available, we must prove why our particular books are worth the time and effort to purchase and read. We must be willing to continually evolve our marketing strategies so that we remain relevant. I can remember the first time I saw a book trailer on TV. It was new and out of the box. We must continually think out of the box and do the things that demand attention in this world of “on demand” lifestyles. Just imagine what it would be like to have people searching for your books because they have seen the cover of your book floating around and they just have to know more about it. We have to start evolving. The same old, same old, is just a pile of rubbish waiting to collapse on top of you.
I saw this post on twitter yesterday that someone had retweeted, “I have several ideas in my head, I want to be a writer, how do I go about it?” Well, after my eyes rolled and I chuckled a little bit, I thought about it. What if it was a young kid? Then I started feeling guilty because, regardless of the age of the person, they at least had the common sense to ask because it is true, there is no such thing as a stupid question, just stupid people that refuse to ask. But at the same time, it is a little disheartening knowing that there are so many amazing writers out there putting their knowledge and experience online just for the sake of helping those that are willing to help themselves. With a simple search online they could have easily found a multitude of answers to their questions.
Call me an opportunist if you want, call me helpful, please, because that’s what I want to do. I want to give back for all the amazing help I have received. So I’m starting a new ongoing series. This time I’m going to share my little nuggets of knowledge that I have gained so far but I will also be showcasing some really amazing authors that have put their wealth out there for free to share with others.
Going back to the question at hand, if you want to be a writer, there is one thing you have to do or this series is going to be a complete waste of time for you. If you cannot translate an idea in your head onto a piece of paper and wrap a tale around it, then your chances of being a writer are slim to none. You can learn everything there is about writing, but knowledge alone is not enough. You have to possess the skill. I would love to be able to paint and draw, but I can barely draw a circle. Not only do I know I do not possess the skill to be an artist of this type, but I don’t have the passion for it either. If you have been following my blog then you know that I love to use the word “passion”. There’s a good reason for it. Passion is your drive, your need, your love, your consuming desire to do something that will relentlessly plague you until you do whatever it is your passion is driving you to do. It’s not just about want because you feel the need to be a little creative. It’s not about doing something that will bring you glory or attention and give you wealth beyond your wildest dreams. In fact, most writers don’t want the attention that comes from success because it gets in the way of their writing. A person that possesses the true passion will tell you that it is like a drug. When you’re not writing you fight that underlying desire like an addict fights the desire for another hit. It consumes your life if you don’t learn to balance yourself and remember that there are people out there, like family, that need you. You may think I’m joking, but just remember, there is a reason why some of the best artists, regardless of what field they are in, are often the most eccentric and unsocial people you will ever meet. They live through their art and to love them is to love their processes of expression because that is their gift to you and the rest of the world.
So do you really want to be a writer? Does everything I just said make complete and perfect sense to you? If not, then do yourself a favor and do a search for help that deals with writing for a hobby. There’s nothing wrong with that. Tons of people do it. I just don’t want to waste your time. If you have that writing passion, then I hope you will find this series helpful.
If you haven’t ascertained by now, being an author is a lot of work. It is not something magical that happens over night and you become an instant success. Granted, there are a few that have found that magic, but they are so few and far between that we need to focus on reality. I’m going to assume you are reading this now because you want to be a career author, not someone that is in this just as a hobby. Most authors have to have another job to pay the bills to supplement what their writing does not cover. But if you look at any business, it takes time and investment and that is what you are doing now. You are investing your time to get your name out there. I don’t care what anyone says, time is more valuable than money. You can find a twenty dollar bill on the ground but you can never truly find time. It is here now so take advantage of it the best you can.
Most importantly, don’t waste the time of your potential fans. Always remember that for every page view you receive, on whatever site it is, they are investing their time in you.
So how do you make the best of your time while putting yourself out there in every avenue possible? It takes organizing and planning and this is when your website works for you. Remember how I talked about the importance of the design of your website and choosing colors that best represent you? Well let’s think about how much time you spend on every social media site out there. How much time have you taken trying to personalize each one of those sites to make yourself stand out and look interesting?
Well this is when “Branding Yourself” comes into play. Every product out there has a specific look and a logo that makes it stand out and memorable. Some companies go so far as to create unique colors that have to be an exact match to fit their brand. Anything that carries their logo must match their specifications. Well it may sound a little obsessive or over the top for what we are dealing with, but it really does serve a purpose that will save you a tremendous amount of time in the long run and make you stand out above the crowd.
Just imagine how easy it would be if you already had a signature background picture, font colors, banner, and basic information that you can simply apply to everything you a member of. When you apply them to every profile page you are branding yourself with those colors and images. When people see your profile they associate those things to you. Those colors and images represent you just as much as the profile picture of yourself.
I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent trying to make every profile on every site stand out only to realize that I’ve been wasting time branding myself differently all over the place. It sort of makes you look like you have Multiple Personality Disorder. It confuses people. They want to get to know you but they have a hard time getting to know which site best represents you.
So I’m going to leave this post by giving you some homework. Take some time and find the look that best represents what you want to relay to your fans then take that look and apply it to everything you possibly can. Before you know, you will have a professional brand that is going to set you apart from everyone else and people are going to remember you.
I just finished Gale Swept and my heart is still pounding! I have a smile that won’t stop and I almost feel giddy – is that weird? I’m not much of a reader, but when I started reading the Knightingale Series, I seriously entered a new and magnificent world that I never dreamed possible through books. Oh, I have heard MANY people say they can get lost in a book. Never in my life had I had that experience – I was jealous and starting to lose hope…until now! Reading Knightingale and Gale Swept, I instantly became Sam and my husband (totally un-beknownst to him, by the way) became David. I’m almost sad that we don’t have the “mind connection” or “transfer ability” that Sam and David have. Oh, how fun that would be! Mrs. Laws, I’m oh-so-not-patiently awaiting the next adventure! – Amazon Review