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On Writing

Writing Q&A: How Thigs Work, From A to Z

This post is probably going to be long. It’s meant to provide a quick reference guide/summary to the process of writing/publishing as compiled by me. As such, it is very much subjective, and nothing I say here should be taken as the final say on the matter. Rather, I intend for this to be a starting point from which new and aspiring authors can launch their research into the process. So, from beginning to end, writing, editing, publishing, and marketing. Questions to be covered:

  1. What constitutes a full length novel?
  2. How much should I edit before submitting to an agent/publisher/publication?
  3. Do I need to register a Copyright for my book?
  4. Do I need an agent/publisher/publicist?
  5. What do I need for submission to agents/publishers?
  6. How long does it take to get a book published once it’s signed?
  7. How do pre-orders work? Do I need them?
  8. Should I send out Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) to reviewers?
  9. What happens after my book is published?
  10. Do I need an author website/blog/social network account?
  11. What is the most important thing to keep in mind when setting up my author website?
  12. How do I market my books?
  13. What about paid ads?
  14. What has worked best for you?
  15. How much does it all cost, this being an author thing?

Are you ready? Here we go!

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Follow-up on Facebook Advertising: The Circling Sharks

You have seen me post on this blog about the ups and downs of being a published author. I’ve shared some excellent free and low cost resources, talked about my journey to get published, even described my foray into advertising. This is a follow-up post about the last.

The thing about any passionate endeavor, be it art, travel, culinary wonders, or business endeavors, is that in order to stay on top of your game, you have to keep improving. Keep learning, trying new things, seeking out new information, tips, tricks, inspiration, whathaveyou. I’m one of those people whose curiosity tends to rule their lives. Sometimes it’s useful, other times it distracts me from more important things I should be doing (where I would argue that this is one of the most important things I could do).

When my Facebook ad campaign failed, I wanted to know why. What follows is a long post, breaking down the psychology of (someone else’s) advertising.

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DIYDay Lesson 23: Facebook Advertising – A Case Study

Marketing, marketing, marketing: the life of an author when not writing, writing, writing. Like it or not, if you want your books to sell, you have to tell people it’s out there. Sometimes, Lady Luck smiles down on you and you strike gold. Most of the time, however, you just keep trying different things, repeating what works, dropping what doesn’t. This cycle has recently led me to try out the Facebook advertising option, and I decided I might as well share the results with all my lovely author friends. This will be a brief walk-through of how to create a Website click Facebook ad campaign, and an overview of the results I got from mine. Be warned: lots of text and numbers follow. Hopefully, it helps someone, since it didn’t do all that much for me… (spoiler alert)

 

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Time Is Relative–The Weird One You Avoid At Reunions

Every year, at some point in the middle, I look back on the previous few months and bemoan the lack of a new book release. The thinking goes, if I didn’t publish a book yet, then I’m slacking, and losing momentum in the market, and losing readers along the way. What have I been doing with all this time?? It’s worse when I look at my Facebook News Feed and see dozens of other authors posting about their new or upcoming releases. I’m happy for my friends, but at the same time feel like I just missed a ton of opportunities.

And every year I have to remind myself that is the wrong kind of thinking.

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There MUST Be Blood!!

BloodHuntAnyone else get paranoid when they’re editing (or self-editing) a manuscript and there are almost no corrections on a page? I am working my way through Blood Hunt, going on 16 chapters now, and so far all I’ve been fixing are contractions and a word choice here or there. I won’t lie, it had me worried until I remembered I’d already done a hard edit of this part when I hit the halfway point. Still, it somehow doesn’t seem right to leave a page without red ink.

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To Play Or Not To Play: Writers’ Choice

Dear readers, writers, aspiring writers,  and anyone interested in the writing world,

Brace yourself. You’re about to read a collection of personal tales of horror and deceit. This is the stuff writers don’t usually talk about. We like to pretend we exist on accomplishments and success alone, but that’s not really how it happens. What follows is my cautionary tale to others to be aware and beware. O.o

And the worst part is, it’s all true…

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Soar, Sink, Repeat: The Writing Cycle

**Open with picture of cat to put reader at ease**

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Oh, hai, you’re still with me. 😀 Most excellent! Now we can get started.

Forget about fame and fortune for a moment. Take book signings, launch parties, marketing, social media, and all that other stuff out of the equation. Let’s get down to the actual process of writing a book. Writers often talk about inspiration striking out of the blue, long stretches of writer’s block, and any number of levels in between. Of course, for each one who says this, there is another who says “real writers” don’t rely on inspiration, and you’re not a “real writer” unless you write every day. Truth is, there are as many ways to write as there are writers out there, and the trick is to just find the method that works best for you.

Here’s how I do it. The squeamish should look away.

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The Feels! They Are Everywhere… Wait, what?

I don’t know when it became acceptable to use “feel” as a noun, and I’m not sure I care for it much. I am still hoping it’s one of those trends that will naturally wither and die with time. You know, like “twerking.” O.o

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Anyway, the topic of today’s essay is emotion. We all know those sappy people who always cry at the ASPCA commercials and can’t watch The Notebook without falling into a depression for a week after. Incidentally, I happen to know someone who doesn’t seem to evince much empathy at all. I will be using person X as a guide for this post, because it seems there are Xs on both sides of the equation I am studying, and even some in the middle.

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