Have a book to promote? Link it here! #authors #writers #paranormal #ghosts

If any one is interested in writing a short ‘n’ sharp paragraph of paranormal true events (could be while researching your book or a reason why you wrote the book in the first place!) send it to wiselouise(AT)gmail.com for it to be placed on this blog. Continue reading

Characters in books want their voices heard! @JaimieHope

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Modern
Life

by
Sara Rhea 
lead protagonist from the book 
The Road that Leads to Home
Worldwind
Virtual Book Tours
Having been born
in the later 1970’s I consider myself a modern woman. However, just because I
wasn’t born in my grandparent’s era doesn’t mean I haven’t seen the world
change. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

The very first
historic event that comes to mind is when The Challenger exploded in 1986. For
those unfamiliar with the event, The Challenger was a space shuttle, the first
one to carry a teacher into outer space. The launch had been postponed several
times before, so I was excited when I found out it was actually going to lift
off on January 28th. I happened to be home that day and recall
rushing to the television set as I heard the final countdown begin. That
excitement faded quickly when I realized what had happened. Not only did that
day change the way future launches were handled, it changed my life path as
well. Up to that day I had dreams of being an astronaut. After that day, I
changed my mind. I still had an interest in outer space, but decided to look at
it from the safety of planet Earth.

There have also
been other events as well. I have seen positive changes like the fall of the
Berlin Wall and the end of communism. I have also seen the negative changes
that the modern times have brought upon us. By that I mean things like holes in
the ozone and increased terrorist activity. As I typed that last sentence I
wondered if any of you scoffed at it. It’s hard to argue about an increase in
terrorist activity, but it seems like everyone is ready to throw down when it
comes to issues of the environment. The issue of environmental preservation has
become political.

Some of the
biggest changes within my lifetime have been in politics. History was made
seven years ago when Barrack Obama was elected president. As historic as it was
for a black man to be elected to the highest office in the United States, the
2008 election was important for another reason as well. It showed a shift in
America’s thinking, How so you ask? The top two Democratic candidates battling
for nomination were far different than the usual Anglo-Saxon, older, male
candidate Americans were used to. Not only was there an African American
candidate, there was also a woman.

With the 2016
elections looming, candidates are beginning to throw their hats in the ring.
Among  the men stands one woman, Hilary
Clinton. She last ran against Barrack Obama in 2008. I fully backed her then
and I full back her now, much to the chagrin of many friends and family
members.

I respect their
opinions when they declare their desire to withhold judgement on any candidate
until each candidate’s platform is clearly defined. That makes a lot of sense
actually. What bothers me are the people who won’t vote for her just because of
her gender. Believe it or not, that attitude isn’t just voiced by men I know, I
have also heard it from some women. I have to tell you, this makes me shake my
head and wonder what kind of future this country has. When I look at it from
that perspective, thinking about your question of what modern life is like for
me, I feel like we’re now going backwards. It may as well be the 1800’s, back
when the inn opened. Luckily for me and Becca there’s at least electricity. 

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Sara Rhea

 

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The Road That Leads To Home:
The Sara Rhea Chronicles (Book 1)
 

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 Sara’s life was
going along peacefully until she got the early morning phone call that changed
everything. 
Now she finds herself heading back where she began: home. But not only
does she have to deal with a difficult older sister and help to keep the
family’s inn afloat, Sara has to work alongside her high school sweetheart who
still looks as gorgeous as ever.
And she saw all this coming. 
Her dreams and nightmares seem to come true right before her eyes.
It has to
all be a coincidence, doesn’t it?
Amazon Kindle
Paperback
Barnes n Noble
Audile

Jaimie Hope was born November 3, 1976, in New
York. It wasn’t until high school, where she joined the newspaper staff, that
she decided she wanted to be a writer. After graduation, the author went to
college and received an Associate’s degree in 1999. In 2002, she moved to
Florida where she was an active volunteer in the local historical society and
the Deltona Regional Library. In 2006, she moved back to New York where she
released her first Children’s book, The Adventures of Baby Jaimie. She followed
it with a Young Adult novel, Bless The Broken Road. She also published her
autobiography, Roll With It. She is planning to re-release book one of her New
Adult Romance/Paranormal trilogy, The Sara Rhea Chronicles: The Road That Leads
To Home and a new Children’s Book series, along with releasing all her other
self-published titles under her new publishing company, Back To Basics
Publishing and Author Services in the fall of 2014.
Author
Links:

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Goodreads Giveaway!



 

 
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Coitus, Lovemaking, Intercourse, Sex!

by
Shelly Hickman
I had to
lead with the word “coitus” in honor of one of my favorite TV characters,
Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. The topic is writing juicy sex.
I can’t see myself doing it for one obvious reason, and that is I’m a teacher
who doesn’t use a pen name. But even if I weren’t a teacher, I probably
wouldn’t go there. Not that I have anything against sex scenes, but I’m pretty
critical when they’re not done well. Writing is difficult enough without trying
to incorporate sex that’s original, sensual, and believable.
It’s one
of the reasons I don’t read romance very 
often. I’ve come across scenes that
actually turned me off because the sex was presented in such a way that either
made me roll my eyes or snort with laughter. Certain word choices have made me
wince, not because I’m a prude, but because I don’t find them the least bit
sexy. Puckered nodule? Ewww! Just say hardened nipple. I realize it’s
challenging to come up with new ways to say things, but I don’t want to hear a
nipple referred to as a puckered nodule. Sex is such an intimate expression
between two people, whether it’s the down and dirty kind or so sweet it makes
you cry. When it’s written poorly, it can easily dampen my engagement with the
characters.
Though I
was one of the few who didn’t sing praise for Fifty Shades, I admire
E.L. James’s guts for her trek into a la kinky. However, when I think of the
grief she received in many of her reviews about the sex scenes, I believe I’ll
beg off. Writing sex is no easy task, so my hat goes off to those who do it
successfully.
Another
reason I’m not comfortable writing explicit sex is that readers inevitably
wonder how much of a story is invented and how much is from the author’s
experience. I suppose that’s not such a big deal if you’re writing vanilla sex;
you could be talking about anyone. But what if you decide to delve into the
really naughty? The thought of my friends, family, or co-workers speculating on
the authenticity of raunchiness is something that makes me a little queasy.
Romantic
scenes that don’t necessarily include sex can be just as tricky. Yes, we read
novels for the escape, the passion and enchantment we probably don’t experience
very much in everyday life, but I also want my heroes and heroines believable.
Let’s face it, most of the time, men are not very romantic. And to be fair,
neither are women. I have a hard time expressing romantic feelings toward my
husband, not because I don’t have them, but because . . . Well, I don’t know.
Just because, okay?


A hero that goes on and on to his lady about how much he cherishes, worships, and adores her, would do anything to protect her, doesn’t get very far with me. In my experience, the men who are the sweetest talkers are usually the ones you trust the least. I prefer heroes who are quietly strong, funny, and maybe even a little dorky from time to time. He doesn’t have to possess washboard abs and smoldering eyes, but he must have sincerity. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate broad shoulders and muscly arms as much as the next girl, but whether it be sex scenes or romantic scenes, there has to be a bit of realism along the way, or I’m not buying into it.

Somewhere Between Black and White
Romance, humor, family drama, with a touch of Buddhism. Sound interesting?
Amazon
B and N
When approaching life’s problems, Sophie sees in black and white. That is, when they’re someone else’s problems. So when it comes to her sister, Sophie is sure she has all the answers, and offers them without hesitation. If only her sister would listen.




Then, through a series of chance encounters, she meets Sam, who is witty, kind, and downright unflappable. Sophie has the overwhelming sense that she’s known him before, and as a relationship builds between them, odd visions invade her mind. Though she tries to dismiss them, their persistence will not allow it.






As someone who is quick to judge others, she is intrigued by Sam’s ability to accept people as they are. She begins to see him as a role model, but try as she may, his accepting nature is difficult to emulate. 



Will Sophie ever be able to put her hasty judgements aside and realize not every problem has a simple solution?


Shelly Hickman
Living in Las Vegas since she was two,
Shelly Hickman has witnessed many changes in the city over the years. She
graduated from UNLV with a Bachelor of Art in 1990, and in her early twenties
worked as an illustrator for a contractor for the Nevada Test Site. In the
mid-90s, she returned to school to earn her Masters degree in Elementary
Education. She now teaches computer applications and multimedia at a middle
school in Las Vegas. She loves to write about people, examining their flaws,
their humor, spirituality, and personal growth. Shelly lives with her husband,
two children, and their dog, Frankie.

So You Want an Author Platform?

You can buy an eBook made up of articles from WWBB at the very small price of 98p or $1.55 on Amazon. The articles are all by me (not guests writing for this blog) and are from this blog, rewritten, revamped and all published in one little eBook. 


Amazon.UK
Amazon.com
A few of the things the book covers:

How NOT to build your author platform.
Identifying your brand: YOUR NAME!
What does RSS mean? 
How to back up your blog.
Typos in eBooks and on blogs.
How to Format your Book for Kindle (KDP) in Word.
Kindle Direct Publishing – KDP.
Reasons a reader will stop reading your book.
Should you use something other than said?
What does your rejection letter mean?
How NOT to submit a book proposal.
Stereotyping characters.
Simple factors when writing your query letter.
The synopsis.
Mistakes some new writers make.
The elevator pitch broken down into seconds.
Your blog content: tagging, links, your author profile, twitter and hashtags.

All that, plus more, condensed into 9,500 words.

Is twitter driving you demented?

 Exorcise
that demon, right here!
guesting posting today is 
RUBY BARNES
Social media fads come and go. Remember MySpace? A few
months ago Google+ was to be the next big thing and the predicted demise of
Facebook has had people scrabbling for footholds on Pinterest, Tumblr,
LinkedIn, Stumbleupon and goodness knows where else. Everything is becoming a
bit blurred in a whirl of social networks, blogs, photo collections, discussion
forums, online chat and update feeds.
Amazon.UK
Amazon.com

So, why bother with Twitter? What is the point of a
140 character message which might not get read by anyone before it sinks into
the 340 million daily tweets? On the face of it, unless you are a microblogging
wizard and manage to get your tweet to go viral through retweeting or on TV
shows, Twitter doesn’t seem to offer much. Unless you are a blogger.

Content is the key to good blogging. Some folk blog
about their daily life, others  about a
book release / product review / competition. Authors engage in round-robin
writing challenges, give updates on their WIP and share writing tips. People
tend to follow or bookmark the blog if the content has value for the reader:
well written, entertaining and pertinent.

If you write a good blog post it can pull in
considerable traffic to your platform and you might even sell the odd book or
two (although the jury is out on whether there’s any real correlation between
blog traffic and book sales). Write a great or controversial blog post and it
could go viral, even be the catalyst that catapults your writing from relative
obscurity to Amazon top 100 (John Locke, of purchased review infamy, believes
his viral blog post about baseball was the tipping point for selling a
million).

The killer is this: when you’ve written a good blog
post, it’s still there and will pull some traffic through tags, keywords, SEO
stuff, but it soon becomes old news, after a week or so. Right? Wrong. How many
people viewed that post? A hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand? That’s
peanuts. Goodreads alone has 10 million members. The majority of your target
audience haven’t read your stuff. My Compulsive
Communication Syndrome
post has had over 10,000 views but, until I start
getting irate emails telling me to shut the hell up about those elephants, I
haven’t reached saturation with it. That post is still news.

So how best to leverage all that great content you’ve
slaved over when you should have been writing your latest novel? Send a killer
tweet. Use keywords, hashtags and a link to the blog post. Sounds easy, it can
be done. Did anyone spot it on Twitter? Any increase in page views? Now it’s
disappeared again into the 340 million daily tweets.

Author Ruby Barnes

You need a way to share your best tweets about your
best blog posts with people around the globe, in different time zones and on
different days. I discovered (yeah, discovered
– I’m always the last to know) how to do this while away from home having a Bunfight
at the Breaffy House Hotel
on the west coast of Ireland. Trawl through your
old tweets and find the best one you sent for that post, the one that was
retweeted and favorited by others. Do that for all your best blog content and
build up a list of tweets in excel, notepad or similar. Make sure you check the
tweets don’t refer to expired competitions or offers, and click all links
through to be sure they still work. Now you need to schedule those tweets using
something like Hootsuite. Watch the stats on your blog and see the numbers
grow. Try scheduling at different times to catch the Americas, Europe,
Australasia and Asia. Look at the audience and work out what’s effective for
you and your content.


Your blog traffic should have multiplied with this
little exercise, but your twitter dementia will be escalating. Try scheduling
nothing for a couple of days (if you can bear it) and see your blog traffic
drop. You’ll soon be back on the scheduling, trying to build the numbers back
up and keep your content live. Oh, talking of content, shouldn’t you be writing
a new blog post? And how’s the new novel WIP coming along? Feeling stressed? Don’t
panic, we have a couple more cards up our sleeve that will exorcise this
compulsive communication demon.

Feed140. How about if you could take your list of top tweets
and schedule them in a never-ending loop? Even better, randomise the sequence
in that loop / play list. How many of these great tweets do you have and how
often are you prepared to repeat them? Say you have 100 in your list, that’s
enough for one an hour spread over four days. You’ll repeat them after those
four days but the random order will probably put them in a different time zone.
That’s what Feed140 can do for you. All your back catalog of blog content
getting Twitter airtime. You’ll start to find comments appearing on posts you’d
forgotten existed. Tweeps will begin to retweet and favorite your tweets when
they enjoy the blog post or even just the content of the tweet itself. Now you
have time to get back to your new blog posts and, even more importantly, your
novel WIP. When you write a hot new blog post go revise your Feed140 playlist
to include a tweet for the new post. (Note: Feed140 is in beta phase. If you
can’t join without an invitation code then drop me a line, I have some codes.)

So, semi-automated top tweet content, driving traffic
to your blog back catalog. Your twitter and blog followers are increasing, you
use some tool like JustUnfollow to drop unfollowers and follow back new fans,
and everything is dandy. Until someone unfollows you, a someone you value as a
top tweep influencer. Are they fed up with your play list? Are you swamping
their twitter feed? It could be that they followed you for interaction and aren’t
getting it from you anymore. Unfollow them and then follow back, in case it was
a mistake by them. They’ll come back to you if it was. It’s always a good idea
to keep putting those personal tweets in manually, those run-to-the-computer
moments when something great pops into your head. And don’t forget to say thank
you to folks when they mention you and reply to any valid direct messages.

After a while with Feed140 you’ll hear the buzz of
activity coming from your blog. But, like an MP3 player with your entire CD
collection uploaded, it starts to feel a bit stale. And why aren’t you getting
more hits on your latest blog post? You have a twitter following of a few
thousand but that great new post is sinking into the mire after just a few
hundred views.

Triberr can be a bit tricky to get yourself set up and
connected with the right people, but Triberr is a great source of expanded
coverage for new blog posts. Connect your blog and twitter to your Triberr
account (and Facebook and LinkedIn if you wanna go the whole hog). Join a tribe
that has members with blogging interests you want to share on your social media
platform (this is important – their content should be pertinent for the people
in your network). When you post on your blog it will automatically be shared
with the tribes you are a member of. They have the option to share your posts
with their social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Stumbleupon).

Example: I have 3,700 Twitter followers, I’m a member
of four tribes on Triberr with 60 tribemates and a reach of 229,045 Twitter
followers. When I blog around half of those tribemates will share my content to
their networks. Depending upon how well my blog post title works as a tweet
(and it can be edited on Triberr to put in a hashtag or extra keyword) I’ll get
a boost of extra traffic on my new blog post for every day the post remains
active on Triberr.

Conversely, in the spirit of give-and-take that is
Triberr, I go onto the site once a day and share every post in my tribal stream
that has content I consider relevant to my network. I share writing and
publishing tips and news, good book reviews, author interviews, relevant
competitions and beautiful/clever writing on any topic. Those posts enrich my
tweet stream with something new at a maximum frequency of every half an hour. I
read most every post that I share and have benefited personally from a lot of
that content too.


Phew! Sometimes it all just has to come out. How to keep your blog content alive, re-use
your twitter microblog moments of glory and broaden your social media reach.

It’s easy to set the machine running and keep it ticking over. Does it sell
more books? The only way to be sure is to switch your platform off for an
extended period. Are you going to take that risk? See you on the other side.



Ruby Barnes is the author of PerilThe BaptistTheCrucible Part 1 and The New Author

Contact:
Ruby Barnes’ newest release:
The Crucible
Part 1

Southern Cameroon, West Africa 1936 A virus mutated and crossed the barrier from primate to human. In less than a century it had claimed the lives of twenty-five million people. Africa, a land of natural beauty and riches, ripe for plunder, full of dark menace. 

In a near future scenario of viral pandemic, global religious conflict, climate change and mass migration, America and the Middle East are locked in a religious fundamentalist race to Armageddon, while the old nations of Europe flex their imperial muscles. Will mankind rediscover the Garden of Eden or ignite the crucible of the apocalypse? 

Stop Watching Jersey Shore!

There’s a New Sheriff in Town—Now Write
by 

Stephen
M Holak
 

First off, a grateful tip of the hat to Louise for inviting me to post a guest blog here. As a newly-minted Indie author, I appreciate every opportunity to market myself and build an audience. Second: my personality lends itself very well to standing on a soapbox and pushing my views and opinions on that audience. Just ask my friends and family. I’m not shy; everyone is entitled to my opinion.


I headed over to these parts to introduce myself, my works, let you to get to know me, promote my stuff, you know? But then I changed my mind.


I decided to do you all a favor and spank you.


If you’re a struggling writer, a pre-published author, or a recent self-published / Indie author, what I’m about to tell you should strike a chord. A deep one. It should leave a deep red handprint on your buttocks, Lieutenant Dan.

Amazon.UK
Amazon.com

Tell me you haven’t said this to yourself: “I really don’t feel like writing today; what’s the point anyway? I’ll hammer away at something for days / weeks / months / years / decades on my lunch hour / train ride / midnight oil-burning session, polish the crap out of it, throw an agonized-over query letter over it, and submit it to an agent / editor / publishing house / magazine, and six months later I’ll get a polite letter thanking me for my submission, the story had promise, but it wasn’t a good fit for (whatever), blah-blah effing blah.”


Your self-imposed word-count for the day just went from one-thousand down to five-hundred, or five-hundred to two-hundred, or to . . . zero; you cracked open a beer, plopped on the couch, and dialed up last night’s episode of Jersey Shore.


I know you do this. I did it for years. For decades. I didn’t work as hard as I could at my craft, and got absolutely nowhere. What was the point? Deep inside, I thought it was hopeless. I thought I had no control over a writing career, that I was playing a literary lottery. (Oooh. I like that!)


I’m here to tell you, peeps, that those days are over. It’s a Brave New World. Nuclear winter is over—open the door and take a look. See the sun? I’m not yanking your chain. There are absolutely no excuses for the above excuses. None. There’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is Jeff. Jeff Bezos. (I’ll give you a minute to Google him.)


In Ancient Times, the Gatekeepers guarded the, well, Gates. The Big Six publishing houses, (hereafter BS) , stood between you and your customers—the readers. BS decided what was good. They decided who would get the shelf space in bookstores. BS paid authors a tiny royalty and don’t-spend-it-all-in-one-place advances. They kept rights to works even when the print runs were over. BS kept over 50% of the price the reader forked over for your sweat, blood and tears–if you were lucky enough to win the lottery, and your chances are about the same—and be published, you got to keep maybe 15% after you paid your agent and traveled the universe signing and promoting your book on your dime


What they really did, dear colleagues, was decide what they could sell. Not what was good, not what had literary merit or what they thought readers wanted or would enjoy reading, but what BS could sell. What could make BS money. They had absolutely no interest in you, or helping you grow as a writer. You were meat to them. If you weren’t marbled just right, well . . . the metaphor breaks down here, but you get the idea.


And somewhere deep in your brainstem, you knew this. (This is why, by the way, Jersey Shore has such high ratings.)


Amazon, and the explosion of self-publishing options like Kindle Direct (KDP) and Createspace and Smashwords has changed all that. You can publish yourself. With one terrifying click of the mouse, the barriers between you and your potential readers, between anonymity and notice, vanish. Poof.


Repeat after me: There are no more gatekeepers. Readers are free to judge your work on its own merits. If you work hard at learning your craft, if tell a good story, if you edit the hell out of your stuff and edit it some more, if you learn eBook formatting and cover design (or pay someone to do it for you), write a good blurb, and upload the effer to cyberspace and market yourself, people will read your stuff.


If they like it, they’ll buy it. If readers like your product, you’ll not only be a published author, you’ll be an author with sales. (If you care about those sorts of things, that is. I do. That’s partly why I’m here. The other reason is the spanking.) You can write more works and publish them and build an audience and make some money.


So use that train ride, that lunch hour, that rainy Saturday, that restless night. Buy a case of Red Bull and a book on editing (better yet, spring for a good editor; it’s an investment) and a book on eBook publishing and learn Photoshop or marry a girl who owns Photoshop and bang out some great covers (which you by the way, have complete control over), and publish your work. Be a writer. Be an author. No one is holding you back any longer.


No BS stands between you and your potential readers. Stop reading books on writing and blogs on writing (except for this one, and mine, and maybe Joe Konrath; he’s good and I want to be like him), and write, damn it.


Luke Skywalker: Whine, whine.


Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try.”



Oh, I almost forgot, my novella, “A Fairy for Bin Laden,” about a foot-high pixie named Tinkerbelle who helps the CIA and Army track down Osama Bin Laden, is available on Amazon.com. (http://amzn.com/B0088IBE3I) Please buy it. And my other novella, “O’Reilly’s Sacrifice,” if you like baseball fantasy stories like Field of Dreams. And my epic fantasy novel coming out in December.


I missed a dozen episodes of Jersey Shore writing this, and feel the Universe owes me some compensation.


*If you want to discuss this guest post on Twitter the hashtag is #wwbb



Novellas by Stephen M Holak 
The Fairy of Bin Laden

“Osama Bin Laden is dead, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the story: the long search, the discovery of his hideout in Pakistan, the helicopter assault on the compound, the headshot, the quick burial at sea.

Amazon.com
Amazon.UK

What you certainly don’t know is that we brought him to ground with the help of a foot-tall fairy named Tinkerbelle.”


When Army Lieutenant Peter Durrani arrives at his new and highly-classified posting, the drone operator and linguistic expert discovers that his new assignment — “Micro Reconnaissance Interface Specialist” — means management of a very special intelligence asset for the CIA and Army: a tiny, beautiful woman whose origins are shrouded in secrecy.



Stephen M. Holak’s novella, “A Fairy for Bin Laden” is a thrilling chronicle of Peter and “Belle’s” search for the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, and their role in Seal Team Six’s heart-pounding assault on his compound in Pakistan. The tale is an exciting, sexy, humorous and occasionally profane adventure — and a magical, heartwarming love story.



Author Stephen M Holak lives, works and writes in the rural western suburbs of Philadelphia. He enjoys reading and writing science fiction and fantasy, managing teams of software engineers for a major telecommunications company, and teaches scuba diving in his infinite spare time.



O’Reilly’s Sacrifice

In 1919,the Boston Red Sox sold of one of their rising young stars to the New York Yankees. That rising star just happened to be George Herman Ruth. The Babe. The Bambino. Babe Ruth.

You may have heard of him.



After the sale, Ruth went on to star as perhaps the most famous–if not the greatest–ballplayer of all time for the hated rival Yankees, who won championship after championship, while the Red Sox labored under nine decades worth of inexplicable misfortune and frustration; many came to believe the team had fallen under a curse.

It had.

Contacts:

Not Tech-Savvy? Four Easy Steps To Format Your Ebook For Smashwords And Amazon Kindle

by
King Samuel Benson

Before we talk about how you can format your ebook to
suit the various eReaders, I want to assume that you have already finished
writing and editing your book. That you already know and understand all the
pre-publishing tasks, and that you already have a publishing plan. Otherwise
you’ll only be reading this article for theorical knowledge.


While there’s nothing really wrong in that, you’re not
helping yourself. If you’re beginning to spend thinking energy on
pre-publication issues like editing and formatting, you’re sucking out your
creative energy. I advice you to save your energy and expend it on the actual
process of writing and finishing your book first.

That’s the hardest part. You can spend hours, days,
months or even years thinking about how you’ll be able to format your ebook so
it looks great when converted and read on an eReader but if you never actually
complete the writing process, none of your musing will blossom to fruition.

If you’re still reading this right now, I’m assuming you
have already completed the prerequisites. Just in case you’ve forgotten, I’m
listing them below:

1) You understand this whole publishing business.
2) You have a well-thought out
writing-publishing-marketing plan.
3) You have the whole concept of your book – fiction:
character development, plot, sequels (if there are going to be any);
nonfiction: lesson or general idea.
4) With your concept you’ve written and completed a
great, well-edited book.

Well done!

Now you’re ready to format, convert and distribute to
retail stores.

So back to the topic of this article, how do you format
your book if you’re not tech-savvy? I’m going to list and explain the process in four
easy-to-grasp steps.

1) Choose a Word Processor:
I could’ve said it doesn’t matter the kind of word
processor you use but it does matter. Since almost all ebook publishers demand
your manuscript must be in Microsoft Word, that is going to be the subject of
our discussion.

Now many experts insist that, before creating a new
document for your ebook, you make certain changes to your page setup like
adding indents, modifying your gutter positions, line spacing before and after
paragraphs, and lots of other actions that are enough to make the process seem
preposterous. While it is okay to make those changes, it is really unnecessary.


2) Remove All Formatting:
Maybe I should rather say, don’t add any formatting.

If you do not understand your Ms-Word page setup, then do
not tamper, I repeat, do not tamper with it. If you have already done that,
then go back and restore it to default.

No indents, no tabs, no page breaks, no page number, no
header and footer. No unusual font type, no text style, no beautifully flowing
characters. During conversion, many of those formats will be truncated or
modified and after conversion your ebook will contain jargons and look jumbled
and amateurish on an eReader. Reading experience will become poor. Readers who
paid money to buy your ebook or spent their precious time to read it will not
be happy. Don’t spoil your readers’ enjoyment in an attempt to make your ebook
look fanciful. You’ll lose potential fans and destroy any chance of future
purchases.

Type your book like you would on a simple text editor.
Let your sentences fill a page and flow to the next page, and just continue
typing. Use fixed spaces – like three or four strikes on the Enter key – to
separate new chapters, copyright information, preface, acknowledgements or
something similar.

By default, every new page on Ms-Word is set to align
‘left’. Don’t change it unless you really have to.

3) Save Your New Document:
Of course that’s only normal!

That’s probably what you just thought. If you are
uploading your new ebook to Smashwords, then all you have to do is save your
work in the .doc extension and upload it! Yes, that’s only normal. Smashwords
will handle the task of converting your new ebook into all the major ebook
formats.

If you’re uploading to KDP, it’s a bit different. You’ll
need to save your work with the .html or .htm extension. The Kindle has a
different format for its books. Call it .mobi, .prc, .pcr, whatever you wish.
They are all different names for the same thing.

To get the best from your Kindle conversion, you need to
have a basic understanding of HTML coding. Why? Because Kindle books are
basically web pages. Once you understand that, you can do anything. You can
ignore the rules (No, I don’t mean the terms and conditions for publishing on
Kindle). You can add new formats and/or images because you know what will
display properly and what won’t.

After saving your work with the .html extension, you can
take it to an html editor and do further editing to remove several unnecessary
Word add-on codes. Then you can preview it to see how it would look like when
published.

Usually I don’t write Kindle books on Word; I do them
directly on html editors. There are a number of free html editors. Two of which
I use – Kompozer and PageBreeze. Kompozer is completely free (as at this time).
PageBreeze is paid but also has a free version. They are both very good and
easy to use. It’s easy to download them. Just do a Google search of either of
both and you’ll come up with download links in the search results.

Wait! Wait! So you have no knowledge of HTMLs? Don’t
falter out yet; you can still publish a very good book on Kindle without
knowing html. Just save your ebook as .html/.htm and upload it. Or easier
still, use the same .doc file you uploaded to Smashwords. So long as you
followed my instructions and removed all formatting from your ebook, and as
long as your ebook does not contain spelling or punctuation errors, your ebook
will appear error-free and easy to read when converted for the Kindle.

4) After Publication, Download a Copy:
Your upload is successful. The interior design checker on
your publishing platform has not detected any error. Your ebook is now live.
But you’re not done yet. There’s still one more task. Go and download the first
copy of your ebook. Read it. Is it what you really wanted? If you followed my
instructions to the letter, there shouldn’t be any error. But not always. If
you do find errors, they’ll be mostly spelling and punctuation errors. In such
cases, go back to the original .doc file you uploaded. It should still be on
your computer. 
Check the section of the book where you found the error on your
eReader. You should also find the error on the .doc file. Correct it, and
upload again.

So there you go.

Summary:
Use Microsoft Word to type your manuscript. Do nothing to
your page setup. Remove all formatting; just let your sentences flow. Tap the
Enter key multiple times to separate title, copyright information, chapters and
the rest. Depending on how you arrange your paragraphs and chapters, your ebook
will look attractive. When you finish your ebook, save and upload to your
preferred publishing platform. After conversion and publication, download/buy a
copy and read it to check for errors.

It’s really that simple.

If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to share
it with your friends. They may benefit from it as well.

King Samuel Benson is an ebook editor, a poet and a
freelance writer. He is featured as an expert author on EzineArticles.com, one
of the biggest article directory on the ‘net. 

He is the author of ‘Why You Are
Not Wealthy’ and he is currently working on a new fiction titled ‘2018’ which
will be released in September. 

Try out his editing and formatting services.
Find King Samuel Benson at: 
Blog    Twitter     Facebook    Facebook page

Medieval Knights, Ladies, and Romance

Article by Jill Hughey

Hello fellow romance lovers!  I am Jill Hughey, author of historical
romance and participant in the Medieval Knights, Ladies and Romance blog.  The blog was started by Vijaya Schartz, a
prolific author of medieval romance. 


Now, before you say, “Ugh, who wants
to read romance set in the dark ages?” check out the description of what
we try to include in our posts.

“where history, romance, fantasy,
knights and ladies collide.  Come
experience the middle ages through the minds of talented and knowledgeable
authors who will transport you back in time.”

I personally love medieval and Middle Age
romance because, at least in the books I write, there is less emphasis on
pretty clothes or intricate hairstyles and more on survival.  These romances tend to be edgier and have
conflicts that go beyond social rules or misunderstandings.  While the emphasis is always on the romance,
you will find real action in addition to blossoming love and happily ever
after.

Even if you are not a current fan of
medieval romance, any reader of historicals would enjoy our blog.  A group of active authors all contribute, and
though we all write romance set in the Middle Ages or medieval period, we
discuss everything from visits to locations for our books to creating covers to
our writing process.  We mention good
books we are reading (both romance and other genres) and sometimes we even talk
about our own books!

Generally two or three posts go up a week
and we love to get comments.  Since we
share the blog, our visitors get different viewpoints and ideas while none of
us get worn out trying to keep up with it. 
This allows us to keep it fresh for everyone!

I hope you will pay a visit to our blog, maybe even join us? If you want more information about me I can be found on facebook or on Twitter.


Author in the chair – Vivian Mayne.

The Curse of Fin Milton
by
Vivian Mayne

Buy NOW!
Amazon.UK
Amazon.com

Set in modern day London and Cornwall, England, this enchanting ghost story follows the quest of a young man who carries a curse that condemns him to a life without the woman he cares for most in the world. His quest to lift the curse threatens the lives of all those he cares for.



The couple first meet as children, but were predestined to suffer a supernatural romance as a consequence of a curse cast in days gone by.



Aided by a beautiful and dangerous ally who herself has mystic gifts he has to ward off paranormal forces as he seeks to unshackle the restraints of the curse. The two lovers are constantly at the mercy of a ruthless family whose interests would be threatened if the the curse were lifted.

 Tell us the background for The Curse of Fin Milton about?
Set in modern day London and Cornwall, England, this
paranormal romance follows the quest of a young man, Fin Milton, who carries a
curse that condemns him to a life without the woman he cares for most in the
world unless he can lift it. Fin has supernatural abilities and has never been
able to lead a normal life. Initially he is unaware that he has been living
with the curse or that it would be his destiny to be torn away from his lover
every ten years.


Aided by a beautiful and mystically gifted daughter of a
local family with a history of criminality and violence, Fin has to ward off
paranormal forces as he seeks to unshackle the restraints of the curse that
keeps the two lovers apart.


What inspired you to write The
Curse of Fin Milton
?
I had a dream about astral planing (where your conscious
mind is separated from its body) and went to a party at this grand house in
Surrey and met a lovely guy (I used this in the book, albeit briefly, with the
party at Eel Pie Island).


Then, I fell in love and it was like being
hit by a train. It was unreciprocated, which was hard, but I had to get on
with it. I began to think I was cursed because I could not explain why I felt the way I did about him, it made no sense. However, I drew
from this experience and wondered to what extreme could I take this theme: what
if someone was cursed to love someone they couldn’t be with? With this premise
on board, the story snowballed and I started writing it from Fin’s perspective.
It then became his story and it really grew legs, taking on a life of its own.


Describe what you were aiming for with The Curse of Fin Milton?
I wanted plenty of conflict to keep the reader hooked with
lots of punchy dialogue, helping to establish the personalities. I wanted to
create a hidden world where good people live normal lives with concealed
extraordinary abilities, and where bad people with similar powers never get
caught. Hence the talisman/cloak (hiding in the shadow of Etherea) and the
overseers: the Sentries from Etherea – who are like the cosmic police. It then
all tallied with a cold act of revenge and the design of a curse. I created
family trees, which are still growing and will intersect more in Book 2.


There are a lot of
characters. How did you deal with all the personalities? Did you write plan for
each one?
Yes, I did a lot of research on the different personalities.
I have a Facebook page where it will have a list of all the characters and
their attributes, relationships, powers etc. I spent over ten years working on
this and it evolved. I enjoyed it so much, I had a plan for each character. I
wanted to create something big so that it felt multi-dimensional, more real. I
am doing the same for the sequel and there are new characters. In the print
edition there are family trees. These are currently on my Facebook page. 



The book is set mainly in Cornwall. Why that part of England?
Cornwall is somewhere I always thought was paranormal, with
magic and witchcraft aplenty, it is a great place to let your imagination go
wild. I grew up here. I wanted to base it in here because I love it so much. I
invented all the characters (none are based on anyone I know), drawing on my
own personal feelings and experiences. It helped to create a fantasy cast so
that I could visualise the characters, even though it was only the look I was
after, not the personality, which I created myself.


What kind of music do you find inspirational while you write?
I found musical inspiration listening to James Morrison –
the lyrics of Better Man & Get to You is a big influence on Fin; David Gray
– Please Forgive Me; The Doors – LA Woman; Coldplay – The Scientist &
Shiver; Dido – White Flag; James Blunt – High and Goodbye My Lover; Vangelis
– soundtrack theme of The Bounty; to name a few.


Vivian Mayne 

Was there a character you struggled with?

Yes, funnily enough it was Fin Milton, but it wasn’t a
struggle as such, it was more about making him manly. I think it is fair to say
women writing about male characters can sometimes make them sound camp or too
feminine (because most women don’t think like men) so I had to revisit the
personality of Fin many times, weeding out the flowery bits and making him more
selfish and manly – not that I think to be a man means you have to be selfish
of course. It helped having a couple of men to read it and give their opinions
and it made a big difference. While Fin is affected by the curse, I wanted to
make him scatty, mixed up and unpredictable, so by the time the curse is
lifted, a brand new personality emerges in the last two chapters. I am happy
with Fin’s development and hope that others like him too.


I did like his
opening chapter, when he wandered down the road drunk! That was a typical male
who’s worse for wear. So how many unpublished books do you have lurking under
your bed?
Only the one: The Curse of Fin Milton, but I am working on the second book in the series, The Flame
and The Moth, which is currently “in production”. I am hoping to have this
ready later this year for editing, and then I may write a third but I am not
sure at present. It all depends how much closure I get with Book 2. I may start
something new next time.


How did you find your publisher? How do they treat you?
I am unpublished in the traditional sense. I self-published
on Amazon [after hiring an editor] and on http://www.lulu.com/gb where I have created
a hardback version for global distribution. This is available through Lulu and
will be on Amazon within a month.


How did you find the publishing process on Luly?

I found Lulu a very good way of finding free distribution.
If you can do the artwork it cuts down the expense of it. It suited me because
I didn’t have to hire anyone to help with the production. Print on demand is
better now than it ever has been. I published through Blurb as well, in the
early stages, and even if you do it for yourself, it is a quick inexpensive way
of seeing your book in print without being published. I would recommend it
definitely. 



Why self-publish?
I decided to self publish because I wanted to get my book out there,
and it has never been easier if you can do it yourself. Having said that I have
had to learn the hard way with typesetting an ebook. The software is improving
as it becomes more in demand, but it is still quite tricky and time consuming.
Without the print on demand services and Kindle making itself available to
anyone, I would still be printing out submissions and trying to find a literary
agent which can become soul destroying after a while. I offer inexpensive
typesetting and book cover design on a freelance basis, and can be contacted by
email – maynedesign@gmail.com

Does that mean you designed your own book cover?

Yes, I designed the cover and this
is about the tenth incarnation of it. The latest cover came about working with
feedback from my editor and some of his colleagues. So having it critiqued is
essential, although everyone has their own opinion about what they envisage.
The cover is the first point of sale so I hope it attracts readers. I designed
a new cover for my editor’s book last week, How To Write A Book or Novel – AnInsider’s Guide to Getting Published by Jonathan Veale, this is on Amazon and
is a very good source of information for authors.



How do your juggle a writing schedule?

When I am not being a graphic designer, a mother, a housewife, a daughter and a friend—I write. I think it is a case of having to, it is something I get totally absorbed in and I love it. Sometimes I have to make time but it is fair to say I am thinking about it constantly.

What’s the best/worst part of being a writer?
The best part is being able to be terribly excited and
passionate about my story and my characters. It is like being a mother and the
story is my child. The worst part is not having enough time to satisfy my
appetite for writing. The dream is to be published then I will be able to do it
full time. At the same time, I adopt the attitude that if it is meant to be,
then it will happen. If it doesn’t, then I have had a great time playing in my
sand box.


What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
Anytime. I am self-employed and work from home, so it can be
from 7.30am in the morning or late at night—it is random. Sometimes I find
myself writing because I simply have to. A laptop makes this very easy.


Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on
the computer.
I start making notes, writing in a journal and then do as
much research as I can. I live in my location, so I spend a lot of time
experiencing the place and knowing it well enough so when I come to write about
it I feel confident. I have taken loads of photographs of locations, where I
have based my story like Penberth, The Lizard and St. Ives. This really helps
me visualise. I lived in London and spent a lot of time in Camden and the house
in Sussex is based on a friend’s house. It helped to create a complex piece
having research notes. A lot of the houses exist. I am working in the same
manner with the next one, especially when it comes to the plot and family trees.
The writing is done on either my imac or my powerbook if I am writing in bed. I
use Word.


What other authors/books do you draw inspiration from?
I read many Anne Rice novels when I was younger and loved
how she created a world where her immortal characters live, over a long period
of time, centuries even. I love anything that takes me away from the normal
humdrum life. The more fantastic the better.


Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials was brilliant even though I
didn’t like the ending, it became too religious, but the first two books were
amazing.


I love the fast pace of Anthony Horowitz’ novels The Power
of Five, although directed at a teen audience, I really admired how fast the
pace was and it is the story, the conflicts and the characters that grabbed me.
I love Diane Wynne Jones’ books because of her incredible
imagination—Howl’s Moving Castle is so different to the film.


I draw inspiration from intellectual dialogue: in films,
theatre plays, TV, books—everywhere. I am a huge movie fan and love being
visually entertained, especially with stories that are pure escapism. I cried
at how creatively stunning Avatar was on the Imax. I was more impressed with
that than the actual story. I think this must be my inner artist.

Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?

I like to achieve to write at least a
scene. I try and find time every day to write, if I
manage to write 5,000 words, I am very pleased. If I don’t, it doesn’t pressure
me too much. Some days I write more than I do on others. A lot of it depends on
how quiet the house is. The more time I have to myself the more I write.


Did you have to make any cuts?
I had to shave off over 25,000 words with The Curse of Fin
Milton. I call these ‘words’ my deleted scenes but keeping them slowed the plot
and some of it (although it pained me to remove it) needed to come out.  


It was a shame as I had a large chapter on Fin and Ellie
meeting at 20 years and some of it is quite funny including a food fight with
lobsters and a tussle in the rain with lots of mud, so it was hard lopping this
out because it gives you an insight into Fin’s sense of humour. Still you never
know, if I am lucky enough to get published, maybe I can have a special edition
where it goes back in. Being my first novel I was advised to keep it to 75,000
-85,000 words.


What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I am working on the sequel to The Curse of Fin Milton, which
is called The Flame and The Moth. It continues on from the events of the first
book with Fin and Ellie. It has familiar faces and introduces new characters,
one of which proves to be a new protagonist for Fin. The Moth (without giving
too much away) is a very dangerous man with a cloak, hiding him from Etherea.


How do/did you deal with rejection letters?
I figured that, in the main, the 30 or so rejections came
from my manuscript being non-edited. I realise now this makes a lot of
difference, but I haven’t submitted any since because I am now self-published.
After I employed an editor to help with my bad use of adverbs, dialogue tags
and lack of commas, it made me feel a lot more optimistic. I am in a strange
position whereby I would love to be published in the traditional sense, yet I
have taken it upon myself to self-publish because I wanted to get the story
“out there”. Unfortunately for me, many literary agents and publishers will not
touch self-published authors until they have some decent sales, so I will have
to wait and see if anyone finds my novel interesting enough to invest in it.
Fingers crossed it will take off. Either way I am working on the next one and
not worrying about it. If it happens, it happens.


Do you have a critique partner?
My son is my sounding board. Although he is only 17, he
tells me if it is too dark, too silly or if it is good or not. He has been very
supportive as a critique. I think to the best part of my ability, self-belief
helps. A while back, I emailed the first 3 chapters to Jane Johnson, a
published Cornish author and editor, who thought it grabbed her attention and
she encouraged me to keep working on it. Feedback like this is invaluable.


You mentioned an editor before, can you reveal him (authors are crying out for good editors!) and is he well-priced?

My editor is Jonathan Veale. I read a twitter-linked blog for the
Guardian by Anthony Horowitz about the importance of publishing and having an
editor. I have had no luck with literary agents, and I decided to self-publish
but sales were slow, so I thought I would search for someone to help me.
Jonathan’s website leapt out, I emailed to enquire about using his talents to
edit my book and he responded quickly, and worked with me on grammar and
dialogue tags. I didn’t pay for a full-blown edit.

His website is www.WriteAway.co.uk. It has been a
learning curve, a very welcome one, and hopefully, will lead to more people
reading my novel and hopefully the next one as well.

Click for my review of The Curse of Fin Milton.

All Things Writing: A Blog for Writer

Article 
by
Mary Ann Loesch

I love finding blogs that help other
writers, which is why am thrilled to be a guest today at Wise Words. I’m also
slightly jealous of the title of this blog site. It makes me wish I had
something cool to connect my last name to like Louise Wise does. True, I do
have my own blog called Loesch’s Muse, but it doesn’t roll off the tongue like
Wise Words.

Ah, well. That’s life! I’m saddled with a
last name that most people pronounce lush. Hmm…now that I think about it,
sometimes that is a pretty fitting title for me as well…

Anyway, as I was saying, blogs that help
other writers make me do a happy dance that would embarrass Madonna. They make
me feel like I’m learning some secret that no one else knows or often they get
me over the hump on a problem that I’ve encountered in my writing. Of course, a
few years ago when my writing group decided to start a blog, I thought they
were crazy.

Why would I ever want to write about
writing? I’m too busy…well, writing.



It took a while for me to get into the
swing of blogging, and as a group, we were kind of all over the place on topics.
But once we got the hang of it, we discovered that our blog could actually do
some good, and that’s how All Things Writing was born. Each week we strive to
write about topics that interest a particular group of special people: writers.
The  areas covered on the blog include
agents/editors, freelance writing, character development, writing prompts,
styles of publication,  genre
definitions, writing conferences, author interviews, and book reviews.



Being part of All Things Writing has helped
me in unexpected ways. Through it, I’ve learned how to review other’s works.
It’s actually harder to do that than I first thought! I’ve learned about how to
conduct interviews with authors and how important it is to them to be asked
questions about their specific book, rather than just the basic: Where do you
get your ideas from?

I’ve also learned how to handle those pesky
spammers and negative comments:

Tip 1: Be sure to have your admin settings set
so that all comments come to your email for review.

Tip 2: Try to be gracious
to the Negative Nellies because everyone has an opinion and we can all learn
something from each other.

Tip 3: Don’t be afraid to hit the delete button if
the Negative Nellies are out of line. It’s like giving them an on-line bitch
slap and makes you feel really good, too.

If you are a writer, then you already know
how important this next thing is: shameless self-promotion. Having your own
blog is a great way to talk about your latest novels and when my new young
adult novel, Bayou Myth, was released, I shouted it to from the blog’s rooftop.
However, if it’s all I talked about….well, meh. That gets boring and in our
case, constant self- promotion would defeat the spirit of our blog’s original
intentions–helping other writers.

I would love to have you drop by All Things Writing for a visit, and if you are
a writer searching for help on a specific topic, browse our extensive archives.
You’re bound to find something of interest! We are always looking for guest
bloggers, too, and I’m hoping to con Ms. Louise Wise into sharing some of her
wise words at our site.



By the way, since I can’t resist shameless self-promotion, here’s a bit about my latest book, Bayou Myth. It’s a tale of voodoo, teenage angst, Greek myths, and the legendary, Marie Laveau.

Bayou Myth

As a sixteen year old
voodoo queen in the making, Joan Renault just wants to be like all the other
girls in the small town of Monte Parish, Louisiana—obsessed with boys and
swamped with social lives. If the other kids would quit calling her “hoodoo
hag,” she might have a small shot at normality. It would also help if Joan’s
weekend outings with her secret crush, Dave, weren’t always being interrupted
by her dead Grandmere, the legendary Marie Laveau. After all, it’s hard to make
out with your best friend when your grandmother is watching! But when you come
from a long line of voodoo priestesses with dried gator heads decorating the
wall of their huts, normal doesn’t come easily. 


When Joan witnesses the brutal sacrifice of a child to a tree Druid, she learns
her Grandmere’s scandalous past has come back to haunt those living in the
present. Hera, a vengeful voodoo priestess is determined to use the residual
energy of Pandora’s Box to revive a sleeping voodoo god and declare war on the
descendants of Marie Laveau, especially Joan. Suddenly, Greek myths are being
re-enacted all over town, and Joan has her hands full trying to sort it all
out. With the approach of Samedi’s Day—the voodoo day of resurrection—Joan must
learn to accept her destiny in order to stop the approaching threat to her
family and friends.






A bit about the author Mary Ann Loesch.

Mary Ann Loesch is an award winning fiction
writer from Texas. Her urban fantasy, Nephilim, was published in July 2011
by Lyrical Press Inc.  And an avid blogger
for All Things Writing and Loesch’s Muse .



Mary Ann has also contributed stories in the horror anthology, All Things Dark and Dastardly. Her latest book, Bayou Myth, was released
in June 2012. While she loves dirty Martinis and cuddling with her dachshund,
she loves fan mail even more! 



Contact her through her website .

A new up-and-coming review site…

Reading in the Sunshine
My Book Reviews

In Megan’s words, she tells us a little about herself and why she has started a review blog:

‘I’m Megan, I’m 22 and I live on the south coast of England. I had to give up working in a school last year due to poor health, and as I love reading and sharing recommendations with my family and friends, I thought I might try reviewing books as a hobby, so I set up a review blog and also a facebook page which runs alongside it.

readinginthesunshine.wordpress.com
My Book Reviews…
I’ve always enjoyed reading since I was a child, I buy a large amount of books each month, I will try any genre but especially love women’s fiction, a few of my favourite authors are Cecelia Ahern, Lindsey Kelk, Harriet Evans, Sophie Kinsella and Tasmina Perry. I do have many more authors I love, I have bookshelves full of novels. However, I will always try any authors and am constantly trying and discovering other authors’ books.

Authors all have to start off somewhere and if I can help anybody by spreading the word about their novel, by encouraging people to go and purchase it or asking people to check out an up-and-coming author then I’d love to be of any assistance. 

I feel that there any so many great books out there with a fantstic story just waiting to be discovered, it just takes someone to try one, write about how much they they have enjoyed it, and this can truly make a lot of difference to the authors out there. I hope that I am able to help connect an author with a potential reader, and that I can help any readers out there find their perfect book.’

Writers Can’t Do It Alone…

article by

MK McClintock
What does it take for an author to
succeed? What does it take to create a book from a single idea? Is it possible
to do it alone?
As an author, I don’t believe it’s
possible to take a book from idea to publication without a lot of help along
the way. We can’t publish a book and then sit back while sales soar—it doesn’t
work that way. Book publishing is a business and every single author out there
is a business-owner. In order to make it successful, we have to rely on the
knowledge of those who have experience, on other authors for support, and on a
variety of online outlets in order to help market our work.
Thankfully there are many in this
world willing to help authors on their path to success. We can find these kind
souls on blogs and social networks—they’re ready and willing to do what they
can. Whether the help comes from another author, a book blogger, or an avid
reader, there are sources to help authors reach their goals.
Most of us know of the standard
social media websites where authors and readers congregate, but here are three
of my top choices for websites who go above and beyond for authors.
In the effort to help authors
succeed, the most recent website I’ve had the pleasure of viewing and being a
part of is A Novel Idea Live. “A
Novel Idea is a coffee shop atmosphere where writers and readers can connect. A
Novel Idea, helping authors climb the ladder.”
Another
great site that helps authors to gain reviews for their books is
 An Avid Reader’s Haven “Haven is a warm friendly place for readers to gather and
chat about what they read, and a place for authors to advertise their books.”
One
of my favorite blogs to discover new authors is
I Am a Reader, Not a Writer. A lot is going on at this site, but
with her loyal following and easy-going way of working with authors, this site
is a great place for authors to interview.
So many of these sites exist and
more are going live all of the time, so I’ve spotlighted just a few of my
favorites. There are numerous resources out there for authors, so if you’re
unsure of where to get started, just ask another author. Chances are they can
help point you in the right direction!


About McClintock:
McClintock was born on the west coast, but after less than eight
years she left with her family to the Rocky Mountains. After more adventures
around the country, business college and culinary school, McClintock found a place
to call home in Montana.

“I’ve always loved
books and spent more hours reading through school than any other activity. I
wrote stories when I was younger and even tried my hand at a novel. It wasn’t
very good and I shelved the idea for years.” She pulled the ideas off the
shelf and began working on her first novel, Gallagher’s Pride, the first in an
historical series about a ranching family in Montana.

Over the years
McClintock traveled the country and visited magnificent Scotland. She dreams of
a time when life was simpler, the land rougher and the journey more rewarding.
With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure,
McClintock still calls Montana home. McClintock is also the author of Alaina
Claiborne, the first of her British Agent novels. She is currently at work on
her next book.’


Website       Blog      Email 

Buy From
Brenna Cameron travels from Scotland
after losing someone she loves in search of family she didn’t know existed. 

Alone now in the world, Brenna makes an arduous journey, following the trail of
discovery to Briarwood, Montana. Here she meets Ethan Gallagher, and the rest
of the Gallagher clan. Only with their help is she able to discover lost
family, heal old wounds and embark on a treacherous confrontation with a man
who destroyed her family. 


As head of the Gallagher clan, Ethan has more than
enough to occupy his thoughts and time-he didn’t need the complication of
Brenna Cameron and he certainly didn’t need the trouble that came with her. 


Ethan takes on the unwanted duty of self-appointed protector to the headstrong
Scot, only to discover there is such a thing as second chances and more to life
than revenge.



Excerpt


 Gallagher’s Pride
Are
you out of your mind?” The words tumbled from her mouth before she could stop
them, but he had gone and truly shocked her.
“No
actually I’m not. It’s your safety I’m thinking of,” replied Ethan, more to
himself than her. He loosened the hold on her arm.
Brenna
let out an exasperated sigh, something her mother had always tried to
discourage, and said, “I do appreciate your kindness, Mr. Gallagher…”
“Ethan.”
“…Ethan,
but I’m certainly not the type of woman to just go home with two men whether I
know them or not. It would be highly inappropriate, not to mention stupid.”
“And
you’re not stupid.”
“Not
as far as I can tell,” Brenna said with fire in her eyes. She rarely ever took
offense at what people said, too comfortable in her own skin to care, but this
man riled her and he did it effortlessly.


Literary Wealth

an article by 
Lauren Carr

It is a pleasure for me to write today’s guest blog post about my new baby: Literary Wealth


The path to my blog Literary Wealth has been an interesting journey of discovery for me as an independent author.

Literary Wealth is not my first blog. Told that, as an author, I needed to blog, I tried quite a few, always to stop after a few months with only a couple of followers. So, I hung it up and decided I would do what I was good at, writing my books, working with other authors through my company Acorn Book Services, and guest blogging at other sites. That I was good at and readers liked my articles at other sites.

While working with other new authors, the same dilemma kept coming up: Marketing is harder than writing the book. How do you get the word out to readers about exceptional authors who can’t afford to spend thousands of months on publicists or have big New York contracts? Sure, there are loads of blogs out there, but most of them are other authors devoted to a readership of writers.

Independent Authors need blogs geared toward the readers looking for those undiscovered gems in the literary world.

So, I decided to try my hand at blogging again and so far, it is succeeding.

At Literary Wealth, readers can find treasures of any genre: Fantastic, literary gems that are independent, self-published, or published by a small press.

Now don’t go making assumptions. Just because these book don’t have the backing of big-New York publishers, that does not mean they are second rate. The books and authors featured here have been selected because our reviewers believe they are gems that they need to share with you–other readers.

Spotlighted authors have the choice of writing a guest blog, or completing an interview, or we can send their book out for a review. They also have the opportunity of doing a book giveaway.

While Literary Wealth is small and new, we are growing and I’m hoping that over time, we will be the place for readers to come to discover great undiscovered new authors and books to read.

Lauren Carr
Author/Publishing Management

Lauren Carr fell in love with
mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime. The first
installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher
Book Award. A Reunion to Die For was
released in hardback in June 2007. Both of these books are in re-release.


Lauren is also the author of the MacFaraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. The first
two books in her series, It’s Murder, MySon and Old Loves Die Hard have
been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. Lauren’s fifth mystery,
Shades of Murder has been receiving rave reviews since its release.

Lauren’s sixth book, Dead on Ice, will be released in Fall
2012. Dead on Ice will introduce a
new series entitled Lovers in Crime, in which Joshua Thornton will join forces
with homicide detective Cameron Gates.

The owner of Acorn Book Services,
Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout
designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This spring, two books
written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn
Book Services.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has
made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions.
She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing
by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and
two dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:
                 http://mysterylady.net/
Blog:
Literary Wealth: http://literarywealth.wordpress.com/
Twitter:
@TheMysteryLadie

So you’re an author. What next?

My Kingdom for a Platform
article by
Liz Schulte

So you’re an author. What next? The general consensus is you need a platform. But what on earth is a platform, and how do you create/maintain one.

A platform is more than collecting as many nameless faceless followers as possible and trying to shove your book down their throats. Despite what my mother thinks, my book isn’t for everyone, no book is. The idea is to build a network of people who hold the same interests and reading tastes as you and then to get to know them. This is an excellent thought, but how does one do this?

Social networks, book festivals, conferences, blog hops, and pretty much anything you think of that allows you to connect with readers. But before I get into specific social networks this is how you determine your reach and the areas you will want to build on your platform. 

  • How many people are on your email list or subscribe to your blog? 
  • How many followers do you have on twitter? 
  • How many Facebook friends or fans do you have? 
  • How much monthly traffic do you get?

Pay close attention to this last bullet point. You can have tons of followers and friends, but if they aren’t checking out your stuff and participating then they really don’t count. You need people who are actually interested in you and what you do. So that begs the question, what do we have to do to interest them? Twitter is sort of like speed dating. You get 140 characters to find, talk to, and connect with complete strangers. While blindly following (something I am so guilty of) will get you followers it doesn’t get you connections. Those you have to forge on your own by participating. Talk to people. Respond to their tweets and tweet interesting or discussion provoking thoughts rather than buy my book links. 




Facebook is a little easier to get to know people. There is more information and an easier forum for a relaxed conversation. However, how many of us really talk a lot to the people we don’t already know well? Especially with fan pages it is important to interact and once again to post interesting and entertaining posts. Even your biggest fan doesn’t just want to hear about your book all the time. Let people see who you are and the loyalty will come.Goodreads is definitely a source I think I under use. The groups would be a great way to meet people who are into your genre and talk to them (not sell your book to them). I also under use Google +. Mostly because between writing, editing, blogging, Facebook, and Twitter, I don’t have a lot of time left for other networks. It is more important at the start to limit the number of networks you are on so you can do them right than it is to be everywhere. 


Now that you have made some connections and you are building a fan 

base, how do you keep them interested? This is where the content comes in. There seem to be two types of strategies people have taken.

The first is the author persona-centric platform. This is the idea that you should use your blog/web site/social media persona etc. to talk about your book, your writing, and things that have to do with you book.

The second is the human-centric platform. This is the idea that the reader wants to get to know the person behind the book. They want to feel like you could be their bff and hear about your daily life and struggles.

I don’t love either of these strategies. First off, no one will keep coming back to your blog to have your books shoved at them constantly. That is no fun. Second, no one wants to hear about what you had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner unless they are a stalker. I think the middle ground has to be the key here. You have to talk about your book, but not too much. You also have to talk about your life, but not too much. It is our job to find a middle ground that will be interesting and engaging. Is this an easy task? Absolutely not. But the easy things in life are rarely the ones worth working for. 


Choices by Liz Schulte


The Guardian Trilogy


Olivia Martin’s afterlife was more dangerous and confusing than her life ever was. She thought she was ready to come back, to forget about Holden and to let go of the rage consuming her. Fulfilling her destiny as a guardian was all that mattered—the past could stay hidden in the crevices of her mind. However, when guardians are murdered and the evidence points towards jinn, she has to do something. To save anyone’s future, Olivia will have to confront the one person from her past she is terrified to see.




Holden waited for Olivia with the hope he would see her one more time. But when she didn’t return, he found salvation in darkness. The black and twisted road made it easier to forget what he lost than to live with the memory of what he had. An unexpected promotion shoves him into a world of intoxicating power and influence. Holden will have to choose between his new life and the woman he thought was gone forever.


From the ashes of Secrets, Choices are born that will change everything.

While Olivia Martin observed life through her camera, the abyss gazed back at her. She discovers mysterious men follow her around, people close to her are dying, and her dreams are no longer her own as she falls head over heels for a perfect stranger. A chance encounter leads to an obsession that could destroy everything she has ever known or loved. Olivia is about to find out there is a lot she doesn’t know and sometimes what you don’t know can kill you.

About Liz Schulte

Many authors claim to have known their calling from a young age. Liz Schulte, however, didn’t always want to be an author. In fact, she had no clue. Liz wanted to be a veterinarian, then she wanted to be a lawyer, then she wanted to be a criminal profiler. In a valiant effort to keep from becoming Walter Mitty, Liz put pen to paper and began writing her first novel. It was at that moment she realized this is what she was meant to do. As a scribe she could be all of those things and so much more.

When Liz isn’t writing or on social networks she is inflicting movie quotes and trivia on people, reading, traveling, and hanging out with friends and family. Liz is a Midwest girl through and through, though she would be perfectly happy never having to shovel her driveway again. She has a love for all things spooky, supernatural, and snarky. Her favorite authors range from Edgar Allen Poe to Joseph Heller to Jane Austen to Jim Butcher and everything in between.

Liz would love to hear from you and what you thought of Dark Corners from The Ella Reynolds Series and of course thoughts for The Guardian Trilogy Secrets and Choices are also welcomed.

Please stop by and visit at any of the below mentioned networks:

Something to whet your appetite – excerpt from Choices by Liz Schulte


I don’t know what I expected—certainly not the pain that tore through me when I opened my eyes. Feeling Holden immediately saturate my mind nearly shattered me and made me want to scream—or go back. I struggled and finally managed to shove him into a closet deep in my subconscious, where hopefully he’d stay until he disappeared forever—forgotten which was still better than he deserved.

Why did I agree to this?

Better yet, why didn’t my heart understand what my brain so clearly explained? Holden didn’t want us. He … No, I wouldn’t let myself do that. I would not think about Holden. He was dead to me. It was the only way it could be, the only way I could do this.

Quintus was waiting for me, all dimples and kindness—the traitorous bastard. Where was he when I needed him? Why didn’t he save me? The accusations running through my mind fell aside, as I noticed how weird things were.

Everything looked different making me sad that my camera would never be able to capture what I now saw—not that I had a camera anymore. Lights and colors shimmered through the air and the trees, like I was inside a snow globe that someone was relentlessly shaking. How had I not seen all the things around me? It was incredible.

The more Quintus spoke, the more I realized I had a lot to learn and plenty to distract me from the person I wasn’t thinking about. I was also not thinking about the fact that I’d been running around the forest stark naked giving Quintus quite a show until he made a crack about what we needed to do first.

I didn’t think it could get worse until Quintus made some god awful dress appear on me.

“So what now? Do we walk?” I squished my bare toes into the soft leaves beneath my feet. All I wanted was to not think about the past. The past was where he was and where I was angry at Quintus. I could only look forward now, because hindsight offered no solace, no future.

“Do you know where we are?”

“I assumed you knew. I mean you came here. I just appeared.” I frowned at him.

“I was sent the same as you.”

“So we’re lost? Great! What kind of operation is this?”

“Guardians are never lost.” Quintus flashed me his ridiculously deep dimples, but I felt no appreciation for them. There was only one smile I wanted to see—

Needing to keep moving, I trudged through the woods in the direction I was facing. I heard Quintus walking behind me. How could he come to get me without a better plan than this? How did I get stuck with the person who’d abandoned me to a demon? My afterlife sucked.