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Friday, July 13, 2018

HOW TO GET YOUR BOOK NOTICED


Not like this -- 
I think the SPCA might object.

But it could work!  
Don't look at me that way.
Just saying.

You can write the most beautiful novel ever crafted ...
     but it will die if you cannot draw internet attention to it.

Most self-published books sell fewer than 100 or 150 copies.

GETTING YOUR eBOOK NOTICED IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT SELLING YOUR BOOK.

I. HOW DO YOU GET THAT ATTENTION?

1.) Book cover

You can choose a proper image for the book cover that will draw attention to your eBook.
     a.) You need to choose the proper thumbnail with a theme that reflects the contents of your
           eBook.

     b.) Many readers will be drawn to the book cover long before
          reading the description and the reviews.

     c.) It helps if you have a book cover that instantly draws attention.

     d.) Look at the image of THE NATIONAL LAMPOON memoir.


2.) Pricing

      a.)  it should neither be too cheap or too expensive
      b.) People value what costs them and hold to be inferior what they got cheaply.

3.) TITLE

      a.) Pick your title BEFORE you begin (you'll be with your novel for weeks so have a title that inspires you!

      b.) It's a marriage - LOVE YOUR TITLE

      C.) What a great title does:
            1.) Captures your audience’s attention
            2.) It communicates what your e-book is about
            3,) If it’s your style, it should include a little bit of a “What the Heck?” factor:
                      
Titles tell your audience a little something about you.
Look at these three sets of words:
  • Epic; Awesome.
  • Remarkable; Brilliant.
  • Elegant; Erudite
Each pair of words has a unique flavor. You can almost begin to see the people that would use them in a title or a headline.

Which means that the words in your e-book title need to reflect your style.

       D.) WHO'S AN OXYMORON?~!

           i.) EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE was a great title to an older book because it linked two
                opposites.

           ii.) Startle your reader and snare his attention.

4.) YOUR BOOK DESCRIPTION

     a.)  Most people skim the content.

          1.) You’re also one of them (okay, including me)
          2.) This is where you need to write creatively
          3.) Use short paragraphs
          4.) Use short sentences like this.

     b.) Divide your content into three blocks

          1.)  Introduction (first two to three lines or really important. Tell them a story,
                make them scary, make them laugh, do anything but don’t make them bored.
               They must read your first two lines.

          2.) Middle of the content (this is where your actual MEAT of the content comes in)
          3.) Ending (end with either a surprise twist or question.)

II. HERE BE MONSTERS

   A.) It is the Old West once again.

   B.) Remember the Klondike Gold Madness (well not from actual memory, of course -- unless you're Sam McCord!)

   C.) Wild-eyed dreamers would race to Alaska where they would fall victim to prospectors
          selling fake maps to sure gold mines.

   D.) There are no GUARANTEED WAYS TO SUCCEED or 
 CERTAIN STEPS TO
          RICHES WITH YOUR EBOOK.

   E.) Once again, just write what you love, what fills your imagination with magic and delight.


Happy Friday the 13th from Midnight! 


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Art of the BOOK COVER



The first page of your book
is not your first page ...

   It's your cover



The Last Shaman remains one of my
best selling books,
and I think the cover has a lot to do with it.



Victor Standish is not far behind.

My Stetson is off to Leonora Roy
for her artistry.

And off to
Heather McCorkle
for her cover skills.




It is with the cover that the book can communicate
 a little of the style and mood of the tale inside.


Here is a bit of history of the fascinating art
of the Sci Fi Cover

IF SELF-PUBLISHED,
HOW DO YOU CRAFT
YOUR COVERS?


FOR A MOMENT OF BITTERSWEET PEACE


Here is a melody that brings to mind 
our search for dream's distant shore.



It also evokes the spirit of my short story,  
The Town That Hated God


soon to be found in my next book
Silhouettes in the Key of Scream 

 
WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS
YET TO BE GRASPED?

Monday, July 9, 2018

WHY WRITE SHORT STORIES?


A short story is a love affair; 
a novel is a marriage." 
- Lorrie Moore


In this modern, fast-paced culture ...

An intense love affair is often preferred over an all-consuming marriage.

You would think then that the short story would be more popular than it is ...


Which brings us to 
What I hope will be
my next book

 



Stephen King, at the start of his career, thought of a short story as a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger.

And like with kisses, some short stories are better than others!


In the beginning of his writing struggles, Mr. King thought of his short stories as a series of pinatas he banged on --

not with a stick but with his imagination. 

Sometimes they broke and showered down a few hundred dollars.  Other times they did not.

It was an easier market to sell short stories then.  Now, not so much. 

SO WHY SHOULD WE BANG 
ON THE PINATAS 
OF SHORT STORIES 
IN THIS HARSH MARKET?


1.)  IT HELPS YOU WRITE LEAN

Each scene in your novel should be spare and lean so that the drama stands out like stirring chords in a soundtrack.

The limited space in a short story forces you to keep only what is absolutely needed 

to paint the scene and leave the rest behind.

Like Elmore Leonard advised -- Leave out the boring stuff.


2.) SHORT STORIES APPEAL TO OUR MICROWAVE CULTURE

Many readers feel that they do not have the free time to commit to a whole novel.  

They want entertainment in bite sizes.

Why do you think James Patterson writes mini-chapters?

Short stories can be read in a doctor's office or before you drift off to sleep.


3.) WRITING SHORT STORIES SAVES THOSE NEAT IDEAS THAT ARE NOT UP TO FILLING OUT A NOVEL.

How many times have you come with intriguing ideas 

that you know do not have the essence of an entire novel with its many character arcs?

You have this riveting scene with sizzling dialogue that seems to exist all on its own

 with no future beyond that moment.

A short story is perfect for that idea.


4.) SHORT STORIES PROVIDE THE PERFECT BRIDGES TO MAINTAIN INTEREST IN YOUR NOVEL SERIES 

A book can take anywhere from one to two years to complete.

Publishing short stories with the same characters can keep the interest high in your world or with your prose.


5.)  SHORT STORY ANTHOLOGIES INTRODUCE YOU TO A WHOLE NEW AUDIENCE

Also be careful in submitting your story to anthologies whose cause or company of authors mesh well with your voice and personality.

Getting your "prose voice" out there may well draw you additional fans. 

Do You Write Short Stories?

Do You Read Anthologies of Short Stories?

Why?  Why Not? 

Monday, July 2, 2018

WORDS without MEANING_ IWSG post



Take WE THE PEOPLE

pretty straightforward, right?


Still, politicians, even Founding Fathers, 
have to placate expediency so ...

Blacks were counted as half a People  
and Native Americans as only 25% a People 

and that was only done to satisfy the bickering states 

for population count was important in determining the number of representatives each state had in the House.


Yet those words and the ones following them are important because of the ideals that lay behind them.



William Shatner let those ideals slip as his ego took control of his performance ...

and we as writers should learn from that.


Our words should not draw attention to us but to our story.  

Our words touch the reader's heart to feel when

we keep from telling them what to feel.

Take the two words above:  

Touch ...Heart

Say I write: 

"It felt so good when she touched me."

It just lays there, right?

 
Now, read Jim Butcher's way of writing it:

“There’s power in the touch of another person’s hand. We acknowledge it in little ways, all the time. 

There’s a reason human beings shake hands, hold hands, slap hands, bump hands. 

It comes from our very earliest memories, 

when we all come into the world blinded by light and color, deafened by riotous sound, 

flailing in a suddenly cavernous space without any way of orienting ourselves, 

shuddering with cold, emptied with hunger, and justifiably frightened and confused. 

And what changes that first horror, that original state of terror? 

The touch of another person’s hands. 

Hands that wrap us in warmth, that hold us close. 

Hands that guide us to shelter, to comfort, to food. 

Hands that hold and touch and reassure us through our very first crisis, 

and guide us into our very first shelter from pain. 

The first thing we ever learn is that the touch of someone else’s hand can ease pain and make things better. 

That’s power. 

That’s power so fundamental that most people never even realize it exists.” 


WORDS HAVE MEANING ONLY 
IF WE WORK TO GIVE IT TO THEM.

WRITE WELL.

YOU NEVER KNOW
WHO ACHES TO READ WORDS THAT
TOUCH THEIR BRUISED HEART. 

Have a great Fourth!