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From the good people at Seekerville
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Turning Truth into Fiction
Anne Mateer
As novelists, we are always adding “real life” happenings to our stories. Bits and pieces. Here and there. Mashups of truth layered with fiction. But have you ever come across a real life story—your own or someone else’s, historical or contemporary—and wanted to use it as the plot of your entire novel? My guess is yes. And yet attempting to actually translate a true story into fiction is not as easy as it sounds.
I ran up against this problem fifteen years ago when I wanted to write my great-grandparents’ story of love amidst the Great War and the Spanish flu pandemic. Wrangling it into fiction proved unwieldy, and I couldn’t quite figure out why. I set the story aside for nearly ten years. When I came back to it, I’d learned a few things that helped me take a story from my family history and turn it into a readable novel.

– See more at: http://seekerville.blogspot.com/2015/01/turning-truth-into-fiction.html#sthash.zF9C2ghO.dpuf

 

First Edition Design Publishing is the world’s largest eBook and POD (Print On Demand) distributor. Ranked first in the industry, First Edition Design Publishing converts, formats and submits Fiction, Non-Fiction, Academic and Children’s Books to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, and scores of additional on-line retailers, libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The company also has a POD division, which creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network. The company is a licensed and approved Aggregator and holds licenses with both Apple and Microsoft.

Visit: www.firsteditiondesignpublishing.com

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Publishers – Aggregators – Master Distributors

desk with toysI’m constantly amazed by the sheer number of writers who are about to release their first book, or have already released their first book, and have zero marketing in place. Nothing, nada, oftentimes less than zero. They remind me of the college kid who walks into a final with a hangover and a broken pencil, hoping to pull the answers out of their you know where.

Unless you are a genius and your work is the best book ever in the history of the entire world (and if you think it is, you need a lesson in humility), you need to market your work. Trouble is, most writers have absolutely no idea where to start. Here’s just a quick smattering of the questions I receive in a given week:

  • Isn’t marketing just a ‘buzzword’ that doesn’t really apply to me?
  • Do I really need a blog? I’m too busy writing real books.
  • Social media is stupid. It doesn’t sell books. Why bother?
  • When should I start my marketing? I don’t even have a book yet!

I could write a book on these few topics alone (and I’m starting my marketing book for authors now,Tough Love for Whiny Writers, out by summer with Booktrope), but I’ll address these issues here now and give you some tips where to start.

Let’s deconstruct!

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE @ BADREDHEADMEDIA

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uphill climb

There’s been much teeth-gnashing in the indie community in the last month with lots of posts about quitting, about income dropping with Kindle Unlimited and the new EU Tax Law, about this or that changing.

There’s also been a rash of super blog posts, and in this article, I want to round a few things up and add my perspective to the mix.

On the end of the gold rush and the year of the quitter

Kris Rusch has restarted her excellent Business Rusch posts, so immediately go and read them and subscribe. In her musings on what indie authors learned in 2014, Kris names 2014 as the ‘year of the quitter,’ when many authors discovered that writing is hard, publishing is hard and making a living with your writing is hard.Achieving real success is also difficult, the gold rush has ended and that there is definitely a mid-list indie.

My take on this is to nod my head in agreement.

I never thought writing was easy, and after 6 years of blogging and creating online, and 3 years of doing this full-time, I know that success is hard. I still haven’t met my initial goal of matching my income from the day job. But then I was 13 years as a business consultant, and the first 5 years of any new business aren’t exactly boom years!

Read the rest at Joanna’ blog

 

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Reviving a stale book

Over at The Future of Ink

by 

 

What if I told you that you could simply and easily revive an old or older book and start making sales on it again? Would you be game?

Most of us who have been writing for a while are sitting on a lot of content and a lot of older books that are taking up virtual shelf space on Amazon.

I was at an event a few weeks ago and an author there said that he had a science-fiction/fantasy book that had been out for a few years and it hadn’t done well. “I sure wish I knew then what I know now,” he said. And I realized that for him, it’s really not too late.

This is an issue a lot of authors face: a stale book that’s been out for a while and you feel like you’ve really exhausted your options. Book sales are sagging and you figure it’s over.

Well, it’s not. You have a ton of options now to revive, renew, and even re-release a book with minimal effort.

Read the rest of this article on The Future of Ink: http://thefutureofink.com/how-to-revive-stale-book/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tfoi+%28The+Future+of+Ink%29

 

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Publishers – Aggregators – Master Distributors

 

Image from freedigitalphotos.net/Vlado

 

I popped into one of my favorite blogs recently and read a short post
reminding authors we must constantly build an audience in order to succeed.
It was only 126 words long, but it touched a nerve in one of the commenters
who whined that she didn’t need reminding, she needed to know “how”.

This imagined omission hurled at the blog owner was particularly unfair
since the entire blog is devoted to telling authors how to build an
audience and create effective marketing plans. The commenter clearly hadn’t
read the years of posts giving specific strategies, tips, resources, and
tools. She obviously hadn’t downloaded the free information nor taken the
available courses on this particular blog.

And yet, the commenter’s frustration was real and common. She finally
admitted she had invested in books and coaching, but rationalized that her
inability to successfully market her book(s) MUST be the fault of those
resources. The gurus had let her down because whatever they suggested didn’t
work for her, assuming she even tried any of their techniques consistently.

So, if you’re also wondering what to do to make your books sell I say do
the Hokey Pokey.

Read more @ Color Your Life Published!

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Serving Publishers & Independent Authors

Friday, October 31, 2014
From Glynna Kaye @ The Seekers

 

Seven Words of Writing Wisdom

 

Words of writing wisdom…they were everywhere at the September 2014 American Christian Writers Conference in Saint Louis!

.

Wherever I turned—from the opening address, to the keynote speaker, to workshops, to chats with fellow writers, all the way to the closing remarks—I found “writerly” wisdom to gather and tuck away for later contemplation.

.

Since this is Seekerville’s SEVENTH birthday (!), I’ve chosen seven “words” of writing wisdom gleaned from various ACFW 2014 venues to share with you today.

– See more at: http://seekerville.blogspot.com/2014/10/seven-words-of-writing-wisdom.html#sthash.A0TkKLUo.dpuf

 

First Edition Design Publishing is the world’s largest eBook and POD (Print On Demand) distributor. Ranked first in the industry, First Edition Design Publishing converts, formats and submits Fiction, Non-Fiction, Academic and Children’s Books to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, and scores of additional on-line retailers, libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The company also has a POD division, which creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network. The company is a licensed and approved Aggregator and holds licenses with both Apple and Microsoft.

Visit: www.firsteditiondesignpublishing.com

Ebook Publishing Design Edition First Graphic Aggregators Ebooks Publishers Distribution POD Designing Approved Aggregator How Services Academic Distributor Chapter Submission Professional Firsteditiondesignpublishing.com published book market

Publisher – Aggregator – Master Distributor

From TheFutureOfInk.com

by 

Organization can prove a challenging task for creative people whose desks often tend to be a jumble of papers, sticky notes and books and whose filing cabinets  contain more random acts of filing than anything else.

How To Organize Your Non-fiction Book

(Their computer files are often just as disorganized.) I know I have this problem.

When I settle down to write a non-fiction book, however, I have to force myself to get organized. This is especially true if I want to do it quickly, like when I have a deadline or I take on a challenge such as National Nonfiction Writing Month, also known as the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge.

Non-fiction books can entail a fair amount of research and detail. Keeping all of this material arranged in a systematic way is important, especially if you don’t want to stop writing to find what you need. Sometimes you need that informationto write!

Organization becomes essential if you want to write a book in a month (or less), or if you simply want to get it done as efficiently and quickly as possible.

6 Organizational Tools

Luckily, there’s an organizational tool for just about every writer’s style. Here’s a list of six organizational tools.One might fit your needs:

Read the rest of this article on The Future of Ink:http://thefutureofink.com/organize-your-non-fiction-book/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tfoi+%28The+Future+of+Ink%29

 

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From the good people at Writers Write

Confessions of a Serial Killer- How to kill characters when you write

I am a serial killer. I have in fact, killed so many people that I have lost count. A special welcome to the FBI who are now reading this post.

I always quote Nora Roberts when I talk about moving plots forward and getting unstuck. She says: “The middles of my books are often the toughest for me to write. If the pacing flags, I deal with the problem by looking around at all my characters and figuring out which one I can kill.”

Even though I know this, I am one of the biggest losers when it comes to killing characters. I hate it when a character dies. I am a sucker for a happy ending. For me to kill someone instead of sending them off into the sunset, hand-in-hand, is hard. But at some point a character must die.

Created by Writers Write at SomeecardsSo many of my favourite characters on TV have been dying lately and the trauma of that made me wonder if I am sometimes too trigger-happy when I offer this advice. Pardon the pun.

In Homeland, Brody died and the series with him. I commend them for that by the way, the series ending. Matthew, from Downton Abbey has died. I was devastated. In The Following they killed Claire; I did forgive them that in the next series. I have not forgiven them for killing Lori in The Walking Dead, but I cheered, loudly, when Joffrey met his foamy end in Game of Thrones.

As a rule I don’t like books where children die or are hurt. This is a personal preference. I don’t read a lot of Jodi Piccoult because of that. Joffrey is the exception to that rule. The same goes for animals. I have never overcome the childhood trauma of Jock of the Bushveld  by James Percy FitzPatrick and just the poster of Marley and Me is enough to reduce me tears. But besides kids and animals anyone is fair game.

How do I pick my next victim? I list of all my possible victims. Then I ask:

  1. Why am I killing this character? If my story works without him, should he be there in the first place?
  2. How long will it take my protagonist to recover from this death and how does it change them?Death is a great way to start a revenge story for example, but a parent losing a child might not be able to move forward for a long time. How does your character mourn? By seeking revenge or by curling up in a dark room?
  3. How does this death affect my plot? Are you creating too many problems by killing off a character?
  4. How do they die? Does it suit the story/genre? Joffrey’s violent public death suited Games of Thrones. Dying in his sleep of pneumonia would not have been such a good match.
  5. Should the death be a surprise? The Fault in Our Stars is a book about kids with cancer. Death isn’t exactly unexpected, but Gus was the healthiest of them all.

These are starter questions and your story will dictate what you ask, but don’t just go killing characters for the sake of it.

Below is a list of the meanings of the deaths in Harry Potter. I don’t know if it’s JK-approved and if she agrees, but it is interesting to see what the death of a character can mean.

Source for ImageWhich fictional character’s death affected you most?

 by Mia Botha

Mia Botha facilitates for Writers Write. She is also a novelist, a ghost writer, and the winner of the Mills&Boon Voice of Africa Competition. When she isn’t writing, she is the mother of two children and the wife of a very lucky man. Follow Mia on Pinterest and Facebook and Tumblr and Twitter

 

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From the Good People at  Writers Write.

When we teach our Writers Write course, we find that people are often unsure about using dramatic irony

Dramatic Irony – What is it?

Dramatic irony is a story-telling device. It is when you give your reader plot information that the main character doesn’t have until later on in the story. Sometimes you want to keep all the characters in the dark about a major plot point that will only be revealed in the climax.

The Ironic Statement

When using dramatic irony, it should tie in with your theme. The characters must make a statement in the story, through dialogue or action, which throws the absurdity, danger, or emotion of the scene into relief. The dialogue will usually have a changed or opposite meaning. Similarly, the action will be misconstrued in some way, or cause a complication.

The Four Reasons

Here are the four reasons why you would use dramatic irony in a story, together with four examples, and their ironic statements.

1.   To create suspense. Phillipa is young detective is hunting down a serial killer targeting women. She works with her older partner, Rob. She sees him as a trusted mentor. As the story unfolds, we explore the killer’s viewpoint – and realise Rob is the killer. Eventually they arrest a schizophrenic vagrant and she thinks the case is closed. When she finds video surveillance that puts the vagrant in another location at the time of one of the killings, the first person she turns to is Rob and goes to his house, alone. Ironic Statement: ‘I came to you because you’re the only one who will know what to do,’ Phillipa says to Rob. Of course he will know what to do – kill her.

2.    To create romantic tension.  A jealous fiancée, Dani sees her boyfriend, Kyle, sitting cosily with a beautiful blonde in the very coffee shop where they met. Suspicious, she checks his iPad and finds online bookings for a romantic break for two. Meanwhile, when we are in Kyle’s viewpoint, we know the blonde is a wedding planner and he is putting together a romantic honeymoon. They eventually break up because of her misunderstanding. Ironic statement: ‘Don’t think I don’t know what you’re up to,’ an angry Dani says to a confused Kyle.

3.    To create empathy. Gretchen, a widow living in a retirement village, believes her dead husband is sending her messages from beyond the grave when she finds her favourite roses on his grave. However, we know that Klaus, another resident in the village, has been putting the flowers there—he heard her tell the nurse they were her favourite gift from her husband. He forms a friendship with Gretchen but she will only love her lost husband. Ironic statement: After she dies, Klaus brings white roses to her grave in the final scene.

4.    To create comedy. The only job Denise, a qualified but disgraced lawyer, can get is as a cleaner at a law firm. David, a new lawyer, is struggling to settle a case. At night, Denise arranges his books or files with Post-Its that point him in the right direction. As David starts to solve the case, he becomes more confident. Ironic statement: When he discovers her in his office, David thinks she is stealing and has Denise fired—just before she was about to give him the final piece of the puzzle.

Of course, irony is one of those prickly topics in literature and we’ll never get our arms fully around it. The idea is not to have an academic debate about what is and what isn’t irony—but to find plot techniques that will make your story stronger.

Four Top Tips to Get the Reader’s Buy-In

  1. Don’t give your character the whole story—keep pieces of puzzle hidden from them until the end of story
  2. Explore the antagonist’s viewpoint so that the reader has access to hidden information
  3. Build your plot twists or surprises around the ironic statements
  4. Find ways to put your theme inside the irony so that it becomes stronger

Find the perverse logic in your character’s dilemma, or create a plot idea that can be turned on its head and you’re halfway there. Give us something that will make the reader take on the emotions of the character – whether it is to cringe or cry, bite their nails or bellow at the page, ‘Don’t go into the basement!’

 by Anthony Ehlers

(If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy The Backstory Battle and Anthony’s Viewpoint Mini-Series)
Anthony has facilitated courses for Writers Write since 2007. Published both locally and internationally, he was twice a runner-up in the Mills&Boon Voice of Africa short story competition. In 2013, his crime short story was included in Bloody Satisfied, an anthology sponsored by the National Arts Festival SA. As a scriptwriter, he has written three television features. In 2014, his short films were short-listed for the Jameson First Shot competition, as well as the European Independent Film Festival. Follow Anthony on Twitter and Facebook.
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Another great post over at BadRedHeadMedia!

Blog

In my continuing series where I answer questions asked by YOU (in this case, this question comes from writer Camela Cami Thompson), staff writer Naomi Blackburn takes on ‘What is a blog strategy and is it important for authors to have one?’ Thanks Camela for a fab question! Here you go….

 

I am always shocked when authors ask me if they have to blog. My resounding YES always leads to, “But I don’t know what to write about!”

Why Blog?

Blogs are wonderful because they give authors an opportunity to take an active role in marketing their works to their readers while also providing a way to network with other authors. Let’s face it. Before an author has name recognition by the public, a chunk of the effort is focused on relationship building with a readership base. What better way than a blog to help to facilitate this?

Develop a Blog Strategy and Calendar

As with everything in the business world, the key to success is always in the planning. Developing a blog calendar and strategy allows for seamless posts and provides alternatives to marketing and social media opportunities besides shouting “BUY MY BOOK!”

First, decide what you want to blog about. Ask yourself:

  • Is it close to the subject matter of my works?
  • What do I want my “brand” to be?
  • Who do I want my target audience to be?

Maybe you want to be recognized as a dynamic professional, such as Molly Greene, who is an author of romantic mystery fiction, but writes a blog specifically focused on blogging for authors. Or do you want to focus on your readers and write on topics close to the genre of your books? For example, maybe you write romantic fiction and want to use your blogs to discuss suggestions for romantic interludes with that special someone.

The next step in your blogging strategy is to plan out a list of topics on a calendar. For example, I have a desktop calendar that has my topics listed for the next three months. Having a calendar with mapped out blog post topics allows me to write ahead. My calendar is based on the topics for my forthcoming book, The Author CEO: The Book. Preplanning also allows for emergency posts and/or guest posts, as needed. Have a new book in the works? Having a blog calendar allows for scheduling pre-release blog posts announcing the new release.

(On this note, I am of the opinion that everyone must have a professional blog, no matter who the target audience is. Since your blog is essentially your corporate image, I always recommend hiring a professional to develop the site that hosts the blog.)

Still Not Sure What to Write About?

One of my favorite posts by Molly Greene that I frequently recommend to clients is 101 Blog Topic Ideas. The post is divided into several categories and Molly, in her own pithy way, addresses numerous topics—from supporting other authors to showcasing one’s own work.

Networking with authors is critical in blogging. It can get very difficult to come up with fresh ideas. Always having that “spot on” blog post can become stressful. Furthermore, the lack of networking and only writing for your own blog can lead to isolation, which not only costs you in terms of visibility, but also in potential lost opportunities for cross-promotional blog posts. So, come up with ways to have guests on your blog, and offer posts to others who may also be looking for fresh or new content.

I know that I am not an “expert” in everything. Being able to host subject matter experts—such as an author attorney writing on Copyright, Fair Use, and Book Reviewers—on my blog allowed me to present my readers with information I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to provide them.

Editing Matters

Regardless of what topics you choose, I can’t stress enough the importance of using an editor or, at the very least, having someone else review your posts. It drives me crazy when I see mistakes in author’s blog posts. This is your business. This is your craft.

Think about your favorite company. What would you think if you were looking at their marketing material and it was laden with mistakes? Would you think less of them? I recently had the chance to review an author’s blog. She had done a wonderful job of coming up with topics. One of the headings was a recipe section that contained some fantastic-looking recipes. As I went through them, I saw that they were loaded with typos, and some even had a couple of ingredients missing from the directions area. What was I to think?

In The End

So, what are you waiting for? Blogging is a must-do marketing opportunity for authors, and is also another outlet for creativity, interaction, and fun. Because I consider blogging to be such an important aspect of every author’s business development plan, I think it is worthwhile to bring in a blogging coach to learn the ins and outs of successful blogging. After all, it’s your business at stake, why not invest in it?

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