Iny, Miny, Miney, Moe…An Agent–or Not!

By Carole Brown

So you think you want an agent?

A writer is just that a writer. But he/she can, and many times are more than that.

  • Marketer. Sometimes a writer will find they’re very good at marketing. Learning what works and what doesn’t takes determination, attention, and perseverance.
  • Publisher. So you’re cheap. Or detail oriented. Or savvy with computer programs. Whatever. Many times writers find publishing your work is easier, better for you–timewise and moneywise–than working with an established publisher.

So do you need an agent? Here’s a few thoughts to help you make a decision:

Pros:

  • Literary agents have excellent industry contacts and most times good working relationships with editors and publishers.The level of trust between them gives them the confidence to work together comfortably. A really good agent can improve your chances of being published. Remember: publication is not guaranteed.
  • They know editors and publishers and that makes it easier to contact them. Editors and Publishers many times refuse to accept submissions unless agent-sent.
  • Agents have experience in the industry that enables them to negotiate favorable contracts and deals that won’t cheat you out of your royalties. They know their way around author-y contracts.
  • If need be and problems arise, they act as mediators between authors and publishing houses, softening constructive criticism, negotiating when contract problems interfere, and guarding that you aren’t robbed of your rights, regarding international publication and film rights.

Literary agent cons

  • Your literary agent will take between 10-15% of your royalties, depending on where in the world you are. If you go it alone, all the royalties will be yours.
  • You’ll have to wait twice as long before your book is published, this is because you first have to find a literary agent, who will make you jump through some hoops before sending your book to a publishing house, which will make you jump through some more hoops.
  • Again, if you are knowledgeable, you can “do the work” yourself
  • There’s always the risk of unreliable agents who will stiff you for work undone, for tasks unneeded and/or for small, meaningless tasks.

So, do you need an agent? That’s up to you. Just be sure to do your homework. Decide what your writing journey is and follow that journey. You’ll be glad you did.

March is read a book month! (But then, I think all months are “read a book” month!) Why not try a super fun and interesting new book?

With Music in their Hearts is a WWII spy book that is filled with music, teasing, romance and suspense!

One reader has this to say about this book:

With Music In Their Hearts is a mystery romance. This is the most adorable mystery ever! Emma Jaine is a strong character and I really like her. Not only does she run a boarding house, but she also takes care of her father and two younger sisters. She’s a spunky and pretty woman, and a few men at the boarding house are attracted to her.

Tyrell is a good-looking man and absolutely adorable when he teases and flirts with Emma Jaine. He is a reverend, a minister of a nearby church, but at the same time he’s an undercover agent for the government. His flirtations with Emma are appropriate for a minister and you can see the attraction between the two. I love the mystery that goes along with the romance. Romance and mystery make a book so much fun to read.

Reviews: Are They Really Gold?

by Carole Brown

hug-an-author

Reasons to HUG (Review) for authors:

*  If an author has 50 or more reviews, Amazon will list his/her book in its newsletters and other promotions. (Nice!)

* Reviews encourage an author to write more books and their publisher to publish more of this author’s books!

* Reviewing for an author takes little time. They don’t have to be elaborate or fancy. They can be short and to the point. 

* Reviews say it better than anything, “I love you and your book. Give us more!” 

Gold? Oh, yes. For authors. That’s a definite YES! Smiles.

Hog Insane

Looking for some new reads during these winter months? Check out:

The Adventures of the RV-traveling amateur mystery sleuths: Denton and Alex Davies. His dry humor and sarcastic thoughts and her adventurous and smart attitude will draw you into each Book Cover Centered-smallmystery they stumble (?) into!

 

 

  • Hog Insane (and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with pigs! Lol)
  • Bat Crazy (and, yes, they run into bats–of a sort! 🙂 )

Amazon

Have a wintry, but warm and cozy day!

New Books on the Block

By Carole Brown

One of the best moments in an author’s life is when a book of theirs releases. And probably one of the top pleasures it gives those who love to encourage, is to share the reward of a new book out from a fellow-author-friend. 

Today I want to share with you some new books that recently released and hope you’re intrigued enough to check them out! Here goes…

coloring-journal

 

Coloring Journal. Author: Sharon A. Lavy.

Why should you buy this book?

  • Throughout history, successful people have kept journals.
  • Writing letters and keeping a diary is an ancient tradition that dates back to 10th century Japan.coloring-journal3

 

  • We now know that journaling has a positive impact on our physical and mental well-being, and modern psychologists contend that regular journaling strengthens the immune cells.
  • Many artistic types swear that three pages a day of free writing by hand boost their creativity.

 

coloring-journal-2

 

  • Couple that with the accepted benefits of coloring for calming stress relief and we recognize the usefulness of providing a combination coloring journal.
  • As you fill the following pages with your thoughts and your unique style of expression, please dwell on the goodness of the creator and His great love for us.

Remember, Sharon has a many Adult Coloring Books for your pleasure and relaxation. Do check them out here: 

Sharon A. Lavy’s Amazon Books

 

* * *

416kruadagl-_uy250_

Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing (Writing to Publish Book 1)

Why should you buy this book? 

  • Do you see yourself as a writer?
  • Is your dream to publish?

Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing helps you create a map you can follow to make your dream come true. The examples, reflective assignments, and challenges walk each reader through the process of constructing a thoughtful and achievable plan. While the handbook offers examples of structure, it is in no way formulaic. The plan you design to be a published author is customized to fit your personality traits, your specific gifts, and your busy life.

Check it out HERE:

Rebecca W. Water’s Amazon Book

THERE you have it! Some books to catch your attention this month! Enjoy.

It’s All About Me–NOT!

by Carole Brown

Why helping your fellow-authors is beneficial to YOUR writing career.

  • Don’t ever think one writer is more important than another. Why? The simple friends freeanswer is, because they’re not. We’re all equal. We’re all important in our own rights. We’re all traveling on different paths of this journey, whether by our own efforts, desires, decisions, God’s will, or whatever. No one should be able to say, I’m superior because of blah, blah, blah.
  • Promote other authors. But that takes time away from my own limited time frame, you say. Yep, but not much. So then, how?

1.  Begin with your local friends and local or close writer groups. These people are those who you no doubt associate with frequently or meet with often. They might be closer friends, those you talk with online more often than others. 

  • How long will it take to hit a share button for a new release or promotion? Requests to help by tweeting? Do it if you have a Twitter account.
  • When fellow/friend authors hold online promotions, try to take a few minutes and blog-freeshow up at their event site. Like a few posts, make a comment or two, let her/him know you’re there to support.
  • If you have a blog, host an author now and then, or maybe do like I do sometimes and have a post recommending (and promoting) another (or two or three) author’s book(s).
  • Share your knowledge, speak when the opportunity opens, help guide newbies with hints and ideas on how to they  can proceed successfully in their journey.

2.  Branch out. These are new people, those who’ve already “made it” and those who could be beneficial to your career. How to do this?

  • Be friendly, but not pushy. Almost everyone appreciates a smile, a complsmile_faceiment and a word of encouragement.
  • At conferences, sitting with others you might not know that well, be prepared to share a thought or two or, if the chance comes up, a question or two. Know how to phrase your own credentials in a positive, but unboasting way, even if you’re not a bestselling author yet.
  • Reach out when opportunities come up. Doesn’t matter what they are, if you’re comfortable with the offer, have the time (or can make the time), do it.

 

Extra thoughts:

Look for opportunities to do something nice.  An example:

At one conference, sitting at a table next to an editor I had thought I might want to approach about a book, I realized after a bit, that we wouldn’t be a good match. So when another author from across the table and the editor began talking and seemed to be on the same level, I offered my seat next to the editor to the author. I immediately saw how impressed the editor was that I would do that. No, at the time, we weren’t a good match. But down the road? Who knows what might/could happen?

Benefits for You:

  • Gets you attention. People notice when others do nice things. They may not let you know about it at the time, but believe me, they will see and remember. When you need a favor or an “in” you’ll already have established yourself in others’ eyes as a worthy person.
  • Gives you a leg-up on opportunities. You may not need or even want many that pop up, but occasionally you’ll find one that interests you or benefits your writing efforts. Grab it and to with it. You earned it.
  • Gives you Author Exposure. Whether you’re published now, or it’s in your future, you want to get known. Yes, this is similar to the first benefit I mentioned. That one feeling good freepointed primarily toward view you as a polite, charismatic person nice to be around. This one is more business-oriented. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is worthless when it comes to getting your name out there, and when you help others, you get noticed. More people will be encouraged to buy your books, ask you for endorsements and reviews and to write blog posts for their sites. You want all the exposure you can get.
  • Gives you a great feeling about yourself.

A couple warnings:

  • You’ll never be able to keep up with all the requests you’ll eventually getattention2 free from others wanting/needing endorsements and reviews. You’ll have to follow your heart on this one. Just remember that the one who might not be quite as popular may appreciate and need that review more than the more successful author. Think about it.
  • Secondly, a pet peeve confession! 🙂  I see on some of the author group sites I’m part of, that a person may share an achievement, an event or some other good news. Two, three, sometimes more will like and congratulations, but what do I see? Many who’ve viewed that post, but didn’t have time to hit, at the least, a like? Why? Well, I’m not God, not even a judge, but it makes me wonder, and it hurts me to think that people can see a wonderful happening in their “friend’s” life and not even show their happiness for them. Think about it.

Remember: It’s all about YOU and ME. 

 

 

A Welcome to Diane Thieler

Welcoming Diane Theiler today. She’s promoting two books–both of which sound really good.

Tell us a little bit of how you were called, or began writing. Happenstanceimage1? A clear call? A chosen career?

The Lord has worked on my heart for years about witnessing. I kept telling him I wasn’t a good speaker. Every time I said those words, he’d say “Write a book.” I fought writing for years. Probably close to thirty years. Then one day I gave up and started writing. I loved it! I’m so sorry I waited so long.

What is the message(s) in the book you’re promoting today? Do you like a definite spiritual theme or do you keep it less obvious as you write?

  • Heaven’s Bait is a story told from the Soul’s point of view. I’ve always loved Frank Peretti’s books and thought it would be cool to write one about the struggles the Soul goes through when we make bad decisions.

Headstrong Annie Parker is taken from her home in the middle of the night. Her memory gone, her family unconcerned, and her signature on a binding contract, leave her no choice but to accept her fate when she discovers she is Soul. Her journey is filled with adventure and fear as she fights to save her physical self from Satan’s grasp. Her battle takes her through a demon infested forest where she must deal with the past, get rid of pride, and discover her need for Jesus.

  • Black Mamba – A Story of Love and Faith is a romantic suspense. Black Mamba is a group of underground warriors involved in human trafficking and the name of the image3strategic game they play.

Christene Bickley, the truth diamonds, and a deadly game of Black Mamba with its strategic moves, cause Bradley C. Whitmore to risk everything to save the woman he loves.

Determined to keep his vow to God and be the best Secret Agent he can be, Brad infiltrates a cell of traffickers and does the unthinkable in order to solve his case and save Christene. The reckless decision sends both Christene’s and his lives into chaos as they strive to outwit elite Black Mamba warriors who are determined to kill them. Overcoming one obstacle after another takes its toll when events transpire to keep Brad and Christene apart, but Brad is determined to keep them together.
What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it? J

  • Heaven’s Bait – The symbolism. This book is filled with symbolism and allows the readers to identify the demons in their own lives, see their need for Jesus, and gain inspiration from the Word of God.
  • Black Mamba – I love when Christene decides she wants Brad’s God to be her God. The scene touches my heart.

Give us a few items about yourself: hobbies, loves, fun or weird habits, food/snack kicks you like, what would you be if not a writer–that sort of thing.

  • I like to try new things. I loved sky diving, getting covered in paint, ziplining, and writing. Didn’t care much for bungi jumping although it was fun after I jumped.

Lastly, share an incident when you’ve been very happy/excited or very disappointed/depressed during and because of your writing career? How were you able to get past the bad and move on to the good?

I was very excited about my book release party. I have the best friends. One sent her daughter to do my hair. The other had her daughter take pictures as if she was the paparazzi to make me feel like a star. A lot of my friends came. It was a wonderful night and gave me the confidence I needed to go forward with my writing career.

Thanks for giving me the chance to do this interview.

About Diane:
Diane Theiler spends her spare time writing Romance and Christian Suspense novels, mentoring young girls, and enjoying her family. She loves a good story and has no trouble admitting she’s been bitten by the writing bug since her children left the nest.
Diane’s first novel, ‘Heaven’s Bait’ has been a huge success. If you haven’t already read it be sure to get a copy. Just like ‘Black Mamba’ it will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. Both books are available at Amazon.com and Kindle.com as well as other local bookstores.

Connect with Diane here:
https://dianetheiler.com
https://twitter.com/DianeTheiler
https://www.facebook.com/Diane-Theiler-Author-292696167567196/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/diane-theiler
https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/103242911732185256852/103242911732185256852/posts

 To buy her books, go here:                                                                                                                        Link for ‘Heaven’s Bait
Amazon

Link for ‘Black Mamba
Amazon

I’m Not a Brain Surgeon!

The beautiful parsurgery2 freet of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time–unlike, say, a brain surgeon! –Robert Cormier

 

That’s what editing is all about. Here’s how my writing process goes:

  • Come up with an idea, plot, write. I try to get the story down without worrying too much about editing the first time around. I can’t do that totally–I’m always editing, making little corrections: maybe the wrong word was placed in a sentence, or I spelled a word edit freeincorrectly, or I used “????” meaning the thought needed some research or verifying. I might make some editing in the story line.

Once I finally have the first draft completed, I like to give it a few days rest. It gives my brain a chance to refresh from the story. I might work on another one or do some marketing or even an altogether different project. But eventually . . .

  • It’s time to begin some serious editing. I read through the story, making notes as I go. Correct this sentence. Rearrange this scene. Change the wording, etc. I normally end up with multiple pages or corrections, and that’s a good thing. It means I’ve found the majority of the issues that need addressed.

While I’m waiting on my editor to go over my corrections and to make the adjustments needed, I, again, take a few days to relax and breathe fresh air. By the time the pdf reaches me for a second round of editing, I’m ready to go.

  • The third edit is less intense, but just as important. By now, I’ve caught the major mistakes in my novel. I can concentrate on the depth of the story line, look for any flaws in the main plot and also the subplot threads. I can beef up any weak scenes and tighten all the places that might lag in interest for the reader.

Depending on the story, the editor, and the time available, edits can be from three to twenty rounds. Of course, twenty is pushing it a little, but it can happen, especially with a super picky or super good editor. And hopefully, most, if not all, the mistakes have been found and corrected. That’s the nemesis that dogs most authors’ heels–the thought that we might have missed some flaws not caught.

But, unlike the brain surgeon, who must usually get it right that first time, an author does have the leeway of “edits.” But then that’s part of being an author.

Write, edit, market.elsa free

Pretty much sums it all up.

 

Guest Author Rebecca Waters – Book Marketing is like Flirting, Dating, and Getting Engaged

Rebecca WatersRebecca Waters

Rebecca Waters views writing as both a gift and a ministry. As a teacher education professor at Cincinnati Christian University, Rebecca’s writing focused on journals of professional education. Now, she is active as a freelance writer, novelist, and speaker. She has published in national publications such as Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Lookout Magazine, and Home Health Aide Digest. “My goal in everything I write is to serve God.” Rebecca and her husband live in Florida. They have three adult daughters, three sons-in-law, and seven grandchildren.

Book Marketing: Flirting, Dating, and Getting Engaged

I realize the title sounds a bit risqué. It is, however, to the point. As writers we think of ourselves as isolated word wizards, hammering away, trying to capture the stories we see playing out in our heads. We envision handing our precious manuscripts over to a wise and caring publisher who reads every word we have written. Our dream is that our words paint such a memorable and vivid picture, the creative juices of our publishing team will pour everything they have into pulling our great work into a book and marketing it with pizazz. Get real.

Today’s author needs to think about more than writing. Part of the author’s job is to market the book. For many, marketing means advertising, maintaining a presence on social media, arranging book signings, and speaking engagements. Today’s post looks at the book itself and what you as an author can do before the book is published to garner the attention of your audience.

As in any relationship, there are various stages. Put yourself in the place of the reader.

Flirting: Think about it. You pick up a book, take a look at the cover and turn the book over. You read the back cover and see if you’re interested in investing in this relationship. As an author you need to give attention to the design of the book cover. Will you have total control over this? Probably not, but you will have a say. What feel do you want your book to have? Are there colors or textures you think connect to your story? Think about the cover as you write the book. Fiction or non-fiction-both require a compelling cover.

The back cover copy? This may be harder to write than your book. It is, after all, the ultimate pick-me-up line.

Another way authors flirt with their readers is by posting quotes from their books on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites. These teasers don’t give away the story, but hint at the possibilities. Begin posting these quotes about a month prior to your release date.

Dating: This is the getting-to-know-you-a-bit-better stage. Some authors do that by sending out excerpts, a first chapter, or offering potential readers a synopsis. When you do this, be sure to refer to your work by its title or as “the book” instead of “my book.” No one wants to remain in a relationship with a narcissistic author.

Since Breathing on Her Own was my debut novel, I decided to offer a sort of “blind date” to potential readers. I wrote four short pieces for the blog A Novel Creation. These stories introduced readers to my characters a month prior to the book release. If you are interested, these may be found at www.waterswords.com (The fourth and final story is published today, March 12, 2014).

And since it was a “blind date,” I pitched in on part of the tab. Readers were encouraged to share the post and email me with how they did that. I drew a name each week and one lucky reader received a $5 gift card to Starbucks. I think the dating game was successful. My blog views doubled the first week and new readers subscribed. Growth continued in the following weeks.

Getting Engaged: Okay, if you are a reader, you reach a point where you’re ready to commit to this relationship. You buy the book or download it on your Kindle. You need to see how this story plays out. Yep, this is the moment you have dreamed of all your writing life.  You want your readers to come to you on bended knee. Or at least with your book in hand. And if he should offer a review? Break out the sparkling grape juice. This one’s a keeper.

BOHO front coverBreathing on Her Own

by Rebecca Waters

The book, Breathing on Her Own, is the story of a middle aged woman coming face-to-face with her crumbling faith when she learns her adult daughter is injured a horrific car accident while driving under the influence. (The time honored “elevator pitch.” A sort of “Would you be interested in hanging out with me?” blurb.)

Breathing on Her Own is being released March 25, 2014 from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

Preorders are being accepted by going to http://www.amazon.com/dp/1941103154/