Monday, December 31, 2018

I have updated my wishlist! Here is a peek, for more in depth details, click on THIS LINK, or my Wish List tab above.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Give Books!

If you work in the industry, you should be gifting books during the holiday! Supporting the industry you work in is vital, even if you aren't buying books for people that are in the genre you write. Support your fellow authors as well as your favorites and your recipient's favorites. Ebooks are an instant, easy gift to give that you can purchase even the day of the gift giving! A few of my recommendations are:

Fans of Unique Urban Fantasy: The Truthsight Series 
(Witch runs a clinic for paranormal creatures)
(Wild Women have been oppressed for centuries, their time to rise is now)
(Butt-kicking witchy P.I. hiding from the mob)

Magical Realism: Blackbird Summer Series 
(the gifted Caibre sisters battle bigotry and tumultuous love lives in the deep south)

Gaslight Fantasy: Fey Matter Series 
(Half-fey must bring humans and Fey together in 19th century Scotland)

(a golem seeks a soul, while trying to save the realms of humankind)

Historical Romance: Everything But the Earl 
(heroine ahead of her time battles sexism with her wit and charm)
(Irish immigrant women struggle to survive and find love during the American Civil War and its aftermath)

Paranormal Romance: The Dark Angel Series (angel battles demons in her sleep--literally)
(Modern day Viking werewolves in Montana find love and trouble)

Campy Steampunk: Land's Beyond Series 
(Chinese airship pirate captain bar crawls his way through a world-saving adventure) 

Need more great recommendations? Check out the books at this LINK.



Sunday, July 8, 2018

Importance of Reviews: The Magical Fifty

If you are on social media and follow any authors, you no doubt see a push from them to review their books. Maybe you have even gone to review an author's book, saw they had twenty or so reviews and thought, "No need, they have enough." Sadly, that is not the case.

Amazon advertises and recommends books based on how many reviews they have. Also on how many of those reviewers bought those books on Amazon (verified purchases), how many times a cover has been clicked on, and more. Now reviews can even dictate if they'll carry a book in their brick and mortar stores. But first and foremost, the number of reviews are vital. Until a book has fifty reviews, it doesn't even hit Amazon's radar as being worth recommending or pushing up in marketing. That means they won't recommend it on the section that says, "If you liked this, you'll enjoy this" or possibly even "Customers who bought this, also bought this". And it certainly won't be placed well on their website where it will be seen if it doesn't have enough.

How important is this if the book is good enough to sell itself? Extremely. Between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books are published every year. That is potentially 2,739 books A DAY that your book, or your favorite author's book are competing against. Without help from retailers like Amazon, or a major marketing budget from the publisher (which is as rare and endangered as an albino tiger), it is nearly impossible for a book to stand out from the masses and be successful enough for the publisher to continue publishing that author.

So authors needs your reviews on sites like Amazon and B&N, as well as your support on social media and word of mouth. Readers are vital to the success of a book. So, if you love an author, review their book, tell everyone you know about it. Otherwise, they could get lose in the vast ocean of publishing and never resurface.

Monday, June 4, 2018

What a Good Pitch Shows

A good one-sentence pitch is useful in many ways other than just pitch parties on Twitter. Creating one before you even finish your book can reveal weak points. And, if you can't effectively communicate what your book is about quickly and easily, it will be hard to get people interested in it. It should reveal three things about your manuscript:

  • The Problem (the main conflict): This is often the catalyst, what propels the entire book into action. It's big, and it should be toward the beginning of the book. Big means something different for each book, protagonist, and often genre. Someone dies, is kidnapped, fired from their job, a relationship ends, etc.. 
  • The Stakes (Obstacles): What is at stake for your character? What stands in your character's way? You shouldn't list it all out in a one-sentence pitch, just go for the main thing.  
  • The Solution (the journey): What has to happen for your character to overcome the obstacles in their way and obtain their goal? What type of journey must they make, or things must they do.
It can look like this (but doesn't have to follow it exactly): When The Problem happens to Your Character, they risk The Stakes, if they don't The Solution

If you write this before finishing your book, you'll be surprised at how much it will help you hone in on the things that matter most, and keep you moving toward that end goal. Happy writing and pitching! 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Top Five Reasons for Rejection

I get asked this a lot, so I thought it was time I did a post on it. Here are the top 5 reasons I personally reject manuscripts (not necessarily in this order):

  1. Too much passive writing (was, were, had). Results in telling instead of showing, as well as takes the reader out of the immediate action, and it can be a sign of lazy writing. More on that at THIS LINK
  2. Excessive spelling and grammar issues (which point toward either inexperience, or rushing, or not caring). Use spellcheck, but don't rely on it. More on that at THIS LINK.
  3. Bad flow and/or pacing (not enough action, too much action, confusing). When in doubt, read it aloud, you'll be surprised what this exposes. More on that at THIS LINK
  4. The manuscript doesn't meet my requirements (too short, too long, hits on my DISLIKES list, isn't a genre I acquire). 
  5. The writer didn't follow submission guidelines. It is a sign that the writer is rushing, not researching, or is blanketing submitting. 
For more tips and writing advice, look through my blog archive to the right. Happy writing and best of luck submitting!

Friday, March 23, 2018

#MSWL Update!

Here is a belated update to my manuscript wish list for City Owl Press. I'd love to see the following in my inbox (I am only opened to agented queries at this time, but I may open later this year to unagented for a brief time, so polish those manuscripts up!):
Write another romance genre? Another editor at City Owl Press might be looking for it. Read their profiles and preferences at THIS LINK.