Song prompt for today
Song prompt for today
Song prompt for today
You gotta take a look at this post if you have even remotely considered how Pinterest could be helpful to you. I adore the author’s suggestions for writers.
Thank you, Jennifer K Blog.
“I don’t see myself as talented. What I excel at is a ridiculous work ethic.”
–attributed to Will Smith
Literary agents read the material of new writers continually, searching for the next big author. In screening through piles of manuscripts, these professional readers develop pet peeves about writing errors. Author Chuck Sambuchino, blogging for Writer Unboxed, lists things writers do that antagonize literary agents.
I have excerpted portions below for educational purposes. To read Mr. Sambuchino’s blog post in its entirety, please click here: http://writerunboxed.com/2013/04/22/april/#comments
“I don’t like it when the main character dies at the end of Chapter 1. Why did I just spend all this time with this character? I feel cheated.”
– Cricket Freeman, The August Agency
“I’m not a fan of prologues, preferring to find myself in the midst of a moving plot on page 1 rather than being kept outside of it, or eased into it.”
– Michelle Andelman, Regal Literary
“Perhaps my biggest pet peeve with an opening chapter is when an author features too much exposition – when they go beyond what is necessary for simply ‘setting the scene.’ I want to feel as if I’m in the hands of a master storyteller, and starting a story with long, flowery, overly descriptive sentences (kind of like this one) makes the writer seem amateurish and the story contrived. Of course, an equally jarring beginning can be nearly as off-putting, and I hesitate to read on if I’m feeling disoriented by the fifth page. I enjoy when writers can find a good balance between exposition and mystery. Too much accounting always ruins the mystery of a novel, and the unknown is what propels us to read
– Peter Miller, PMA Literary and Film Management
“I know this may sound obvious, but too much ‘telling’ vs. ‘showing’ in the first chapter is a definite warning sign for me. The first chapter should present a compelling scene, not a road map for the rest of the book. The goal is to make the reader curious about your characters, fill their heads with questions that must be answered, not fill them in on exactly where, when, who and how.”
– Emily Sylvan Kim, Prospect Agency
“I don’t like descriptions of the characters where writers make them too perfect. Heroines (and heroes) who are described physically as being virtually unflawed come across as unrelatable and boring. No ‘flowing, wind-swept golden locks’; no ‘eyes as blue as the sky’; no ‘willowy, perfect figures.’ ”
– Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency
“One of the biggest problems is the ‘information dump’ in the first few pages, where the author is trying to tell us everything we supposedly need to know to understand the story. Getting to know characters in a story is like getting to know people in real life. You find out their personality and details of their life over time.”
– Rachelle Gardner, Books & Such Literary
“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”
Sometimes you will see the word your’s written as the possessive form of the word your. It is incorrect.
According to http://www.elearnenglishlanguage.com:
The idea that yours needs an apostrophe comes out of the fact that on virtually every other word, ‘s indicates possession, so English speakers sometimes think yours should be spelled your’s. However, this is always incorrect – yours is the only correct spelling.
My sister sent me a heartbreaking story of foreign intrigue and corporate theft. No, it wasn’t a fictional thriller. It was fact. Someone stole a popular, profitable domain name right out from under the owner’s nose. Not only did the thief steal one domain from the hapless owner, the burglar stole four!
Do you own your own domain name (your URL for your web site)? If so, perhaps you should read this:
Yesterday we learned from Cindy McDonald how to make a book trailer for posting on YouTube. After posting Cindy’s informative piece, I detoured to Twitter to read tweets from other authors. I came upon a sad tale of woe from poet John Geddes:
Deb mistakenly deleted A Familiar Rain book trailer from YouTube and sadly we didn’t have it saved…I can’t believe we didn’t save it
LESSON OF THE DAY: ALWAYS SAVE IT!
Uber thanks to Cindy for sharing with us on a topic I know absolutely nothing about, but which is getting more and more important for authors. It’s all about exposure. (Cue face blushing.) Um, let me rephrase. It’s all about putting it out there. (Cue redder face blushing.) Big gulp. It’s about creating a video trailer to promote your book via YouTube and other video sites. Take it away, Cindy:
Have you taken a look at the book trailers on YouTube? Some are really cool, terrific graphics, very exciting. And some are well…not so cool. Book trailers are the latest tool for authors to use to put their books in front of potential audiences. Great! Another way to advertise my book—Lord knows drawing readers in is a major obstacle for authors, and a book trailer may just be the boost that my novel or series needs, right?
Whoa! Slow down cowboy, because I’ve got a tale to tell, and it ain’t pretty. My first book DEADLY.COM was getting ready to release last September, and I just couldn’t wait. I knew exactly how to get the proper attention for my new series—a book trailer! Hey, if Spielberg can do it, so can I.
The trap was set. Me—the idiot—was going to set out to film a book trailer. So, I rented a fellowship hall at a church, and then I placed this ad on Craig’s List for an actor:
Audition on June 22 for an actor: Dark-haired ruggedly good-looking between the ages of 25-30 to film a book trailer. Will provide food, and a DVD as payment. Please send resume and a head shot with response. Will provide time and location for audition, if qualified.
Wow! I got quite a few responses—who knew there were so many good-looking men out there willing to work for food and a DVD? Impressed? Don’t be. Only three of the twelve actors that qualified for the part actually showed up, and let’s just say that pictures can be VERY deceiving!
The first actor that showed up right on time for the audition did indeed have dark hair. He was more photogenic than he was good-looking, but that wasn’t the biggest problem. He couldn’t have been more than five feet tall, and he weighed about one-ten. He was a pip-squeak, and his acting skills were….to be kind…not very good.
The second actor that walked through the door did not fit the bill at all. In fact, he had sent in a bogus head shot just to get an audition! The man must have been sixty-five, although he claimed to be forty-two. When I explained to him that he was simply too old, and too grey, and too wrinkled, he said, “I’m an actor, honey. I can act younger.” Seriously, buddy? Needless to say, he was asked to leave…quickly.
Ahhh, but the third actor that came through the door was just right. He was tall, dark, and very ruggedly handsome, and his acting was much better than the first. Good thing, because they were the only three to show up for the audition.
Okay, cut me a break, Spielberg probably gets a much better turn-out when he holds auditions, but this wasn’t a shot at fame and fortune—it was food and a DVD. Anyway, this was working! So, I rounded up a film crew, rented camera equipment, and went to a nearby stable that had white fencing for as far as the eye could see to ask permission to film. They were thrilled to let me film. I own a horse farm, but my fencing is black, and in my book series, Westwood Thoroughbred Farm has white fencing—details, have to stick with the details.
Viola! I was ready, and on a sunny, hot day last July I met my camera crew and the handsome actor at the farm to film the trailer. I had a blast! I was doing something that I had never done before. As a professional dancer and choreographer for twenty-six years, I had worked many stage productions, but this was an entirely different ball game—or should I say “project”. It took a mere two hours to film the short trailer, and within two weeks the trailer was on YouTube. God, did it stink! It was awful! At my publishing manager’s request, I removed it from cyber space.
Okay, now I’ve written two more books of The Unbridled Series, HOT COCO and Dangerous Deception, and I really, really, want one of those cool book trailers, but what’s an author to do? Those baby’s are expensive. But then out of the blue the break that I’d been waiting for happened: One of my FB friends who is also an author posted a link to a website where you can make banners and trailers. I was on it within moments, www.bannersnack.com. My daughter and I made a trailer for Dangerous Deception,HOT COCO, and then one for my first book of the series, DEADLY.COM—they turned out great! Hey, they were cool! But they didn’t have any background music—bummer. So my daughter started playing around with the Windows media file right on my lap top—she made two fabulous trailers right there on the lap top with terrific music for the background. It was easy, it was free, and I was so much happier with result. We uploaded them onto YouTube. Who knew? Oh well, lessons learned.
Am I getting the exposure that I so desired when I filmed that disastrous trailer? Well…no, but I’ve got two book trailers that I’m very happy with, and my daughter and I had an absolute blast creating them.
You can view my trailers on the “books” tab on my website: http://www.cindymcwriter.com/
We’re not done yet. My next book from The Unbridled Series, AGAINST THE ROPES, is set to release in June, my daughter and I will be creating a trailer for the new book very soon, and you will be able to find it on the “coming soon” tab on my website—an excerpt from the book is already there for you to read.
If you’ve been thinking about a trailer for your upcoming book or one that you’ve already published, I hope that I’ve given you the tools to create one. And if you do, have a great time!
Newly published e-book authors as a general rule price their first books on Amazon.com or other booksellers at $.99. Why?
Melissa Foster shares her thoughts in a recently published Huffington Post article. I have excerpted parts here. To read the whole article, go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/20/ebooks-cheap-price_n_1160383.html?ref=books#comments
Independent authors are rallying around the controversial 99-cent price point. Some authors feel the 99-cent price point devalues their hard work, while others feel that readers will not take a chance on new authors at a higher price point.
Readers are scooping up ebooks for 99 cents, that alone speaks of a demand for material at that price point.
Let’s look at the dollars and cents of the 99-cent price point for independent authors. If an author is self-published through Amazon KDP, he or she earns 34 cents per 99-cent book sold. Not only do authors put time and energy into their writing, there are other associated costs to publishing a quality book, including cover artists ($125-3000), editors ($800-5000), marketing, etc. If you add up the average cover cost of $350, average editing job of $1400, then divide by 34 cents, the author would have to sell 5,134 books just to break even.
A self-published author that sells 100,000 ebooks at 99 cents, earns an annual salary of $34,000. However, the average new author, after spending a year writing the book, will sell less than 100 copies. That’s $34, tops, in exchange for a year of the writer’s life.
If that same author is published through a small press and sells 100,000 copies, that author earns $12,000. To earn $40,000 per year, that author would have to sell 333,333 books per year. According to the Wall Street Journal, there are only 30 authors who have sold over 100,000 copies of their books, and only a dozen who have sold over 200,000.
Why, then, do authors post their books at such a low price?
Darcie Chan, bestselling author of The Mill River Recluse, states, “Since I had never published anything before and was completely unknown as a writer, I thought the 99-cent price point would be best to encourage readers to give my novel a chance. It’s true that the royalty rate at that price point is much lower, but I saw foregoing some royalty income as a tradeoff. I decided that the 99-cent price would be an investment in my future writing endeavors and would give me the best chance at meeting my goals of gradually building a readership and getting some feedback on my work.”
Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of three International bestselling novels, Megan’s Way, Chasing Amanda, and Come Back to Me.