Tag Archives: tips

3 Tips For Promoting A New Author’s Book

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Whether it be your own or a friend’s book, here’s a few ways you can help get the word out there.

1.) Share The Book

My favorite way to share books is to give the book as a gift. If the recipient likes it they’ll recommend it to others and the book’s popularity will spread by word of mouth. Another way is to talk about the book on social media. Write a facebook status about it, tweet aboutit, blog about it, anything. You can reach hundreds of ears without a lot of work. You can also go to the coffeeshop and just read it, or read it on the bus on your way to work. Other people will notice the cover and maybe go look up the book at home to see what it’s all about.

2.) Face The Book Out At Bookstores

Head to all the nearest bookstores and rearrange the shelves so that the book’s cover is facing out to the buyers. We’ve all seen an interesting book cover poking out like that, and our attention is more drawn to it then to the other books. It’s a fantastic way to get the book noticed and it will for-sure get at least a few extra buys that way.

3.) Hit It Right At The Source

Leave awesome comments about the book on the bookstore’s website, on amazon, or on a book reviewing website. Most buyers will check out the reviews on a book before ordering it, so having an extra positive remark won’t hurt. Another way is to ask about the book. Go in to bookstores and ever if you know exactly where the book is ask an employee to help you. If enough people do this the employees will start to remember the book and maybe add it to the “employee recommendation” table. It works the same way at libraries. You can even reserve a copy of the book just so that the employees see it and recognize it. If they’re interested enough they’ll read it themselves.

Possibly the most important thing is to tell your friends and have them tell their friends! Nothing works better than a recommendation from a trusted source.

 

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How to Serve & Swallow Criticism – By Kristan Hoffman

Brilliant advice–I had to share.

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1. Deny, Defend, Debate

These are the normal human reactions to criticism. We reject what we don’t like; we justify what we do like; we argue about it all. These instincts are very human, yes – but they’re not all that helpful when it comes to improving our work (or ourselves).

For this reason, in many workshops, the author of a story being critiqued is not permitted to speak until after everyone else has shared their feedback. (Sometimes the author isn’t allowed to speak at all!) This forced silence keeps the deny-defend-debate monster waiting… and waiting… and waiting some more… so that by the time the writer finally gets a chance to open their mouth, that 3-D ogre may have given up and left altogether! At the very least, it should be lethargic or off-guard, allowing everyone’s feedback to slip by and reach the writer’s (hopefully open) mind.

Another technique I use to combat my own 3-D monster is to just say yes. No matter how much I hate a suggestion, or disagree with an edit, I force myself to accept it, to sit with it for a while, and then to reevaluate. After a few hours (or a few days), if it still doesn’t feel right, then I’m allowed to go back to what I had before. But more often than not, I find myself sticking with the changes my crit partners suggest.

All that being said, no matter how open-minded you try to be, sometimes feedback can be hard to swallow simply because of how it’s being delivered. Which leads me to…

2. “Goldilocks” Feedback

In other words, critiques are best (i.e., most helpful) when they’re not too broad, but not too specific either. And not too gentle, but not too harsh. Like Goldilocks, we writers need our feedback to be “just right” – somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, where it’s far more comfortable than either extreme.

Examples:

  • “I don’t like this ending” = too broad.
  • “I think the senator should tearfully confess, go through a series of grueling court appearances, and then be sentenced to 3 years in prison” = too specific.
  • “I don’t find the resolution fully satisfying because the senator faces no consequences for her actions” = just right.
  • “OMG I LOVE THIS YOU ARE THE BEST EVAR!” = too gentle.
  • “Your prose is the most detestable garbage I’ve ever read” = too harsh.
  • “Your metaphors work really well because they’re framed by the protagonist’s profession, but I think you can take out some of her daily work routine, which starts to get monotonous.” = just right.

Note that the “just right” examples incorporate the rationale behind the feedback – which allows a writer to understand the problem, making them more likely to accept the suggestion, or come up with their own solution.

I have two rules of thumb when I’m given the responsibility – and the privilege – of critiquing someone else’s work. First, I try to remember what type of feedback I find most helpful. Odds are, other writers will appreciate the same kinds of comments. And second, I always create what one of my professors liked to call a feedback sandwich. That means I start and end with the positives, and keep all the tough stuff in the middle. You’d be surprised how much “meat and veggies” a person can eat when they’re served between two delicious slices of “fresh bread.”

(via: http://writerunboxed.com/2013/05/31/how-to-serve-and-swallow-criticism)

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9 of the Best Writing Tips Ever

1. Write every day.  Your brain is a muscle and it needs to be worked.  If you can’t imagine spending another second writing the dialogue in your novel, then write a poem or a letter to your far-away friend.  Whatever it is, just write.  

2. Read.  You can’t write unless you read.  In order to write an excellent novel, you need to understand the magic that reading a good book make you feel.. Without that magic, your book will be a bust.  Know what you want the final product to be before you start.  

3. Have a thesaurus.  Seriously, it will be your best friend.  When you use the same words over and over again you’ll sound like a broken record and lose the reader.  Keeping the wording fresh keeps your novel from getting dull and will keep the reader hooked and interested.  

4. Have an audience in mind.  I’ve seen far too many query letters that say “My novel is a science fiction based young adult book with traces of romance and a mysterious side that lends to the horror element of the story.”  What? You can’t combine so many genres and still have a novel that makes sense.  If you’re writing for Young Adults, don’t make it horror and romance.  Sure love is common in novels for young adults, but the actual romance genre is not for young adults.  Pick two at most.  

5. Most writers keep a notebook and a pen with them at all times so that they can write down all of their amazing ideas as soon as they hit.  If you’re like me, you won’t remember to do this.  What I do instead id keep a note open on my phone.  I have my phone on me at all times so this is a good alternative to pen and paper.  

6. Write the frame of your story before you edit.  Get all the way through your book before you try to proofread and edit.  Your book will be short, uninteresting and probably have a lot of grammer mistakes.  After you have the frame done, go through and add detail.  Scenery, character descriptions, everything.  Then go through two more times and do the same thing.  Then you can call it your first draft.  

7. Get to know your fellow writers.  Every writer should have a social networking device to gain fans and followers of their work.  Become one of them, and join the supportive community.  Build your writer’s platform!

8. Write full character bios.  For each character you introduce, you need to write a full bio about their past, present and future.  Write every feature of their appearance and every quirk they have.  How do they talk?  Do they have an accent? What color hair?  Your characters are real people, so get to know them.  

9. Don’t panic.  Sometimes weeks go by without a good idea reaching me.  My writing feels boring and lifeless.  My confidence is in the ground and I feel like I’ll never be successful.  I just suck it up and I write anyway.  The phase doesn’t last forever and as soon as I get back in my groove it all gets better.  

Just remember – your brain is one of a kind.  Your ideas are all your own and you can do anything as long as you put you mind to it, so don’t give up! 

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