Posted in Blood Feud, Emperors of Ethia, Other Writing Stuff, The Writer's Toolbox, the writing journey, the writing process, write, writing

My NOT Marketing Plan

I know I’m not the only one who can claim to have a very busy life. Everyone is busy these days. No one has time for any extras, and it’s just plan impossible to squeeze in time for things you really, really don’t want to do. I wear many hats as a wife, mom, homeschool teacher, friend, Reiki healer, writer, sometimes employee, and a very sometimes blogger. Lately, I’ve added another job as packer and mover with our family’s relocation to Florida in the next few weeks. I really don’t have time for anything extra, especially for something I don’t want to do and something that’s most assuredly going to add more stress to an already stress-filled life.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you know I recently published my first novel last month. Most writers would be marketing their little hearts out and plastering the internet and anything else they can think of to get the word out about their new book! And why shouldn’t they? It was hard work and it’s time to reap the benefits. But I’m not like most people, I already got the “benefit” out of writing my book. I finished a really hard and tough project (well the first book of it anyways) and damn if that didn’t feel freaking awesome! If I actually sell some copies here and there… bonus!

But I did not become a writer to make money, and I do not and will not get to a point where I rely on book sales to supplement my income (that’s what my hard working husband is for–– love you Hun!). If I need money, I’ll find some other way to acquire it. That being said, it would be really, super awesome to at least earn back my investment in self-publishing my book, and I certainly appreciate anyone who has helped and will help to contribute to that goal!

I know there are a lot of hard working writers out there who do rely on writing as an income and my hat is off to them, but partway through my writing “career” I realized that’s not for me. I can’t write that way. I have to be one hundred percent free to be me when it comes to my writing and that means not limiting myself in anyway or stressing myself out over something I don’t want to do. And marketing is something I most certainly do not want to do.

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Posted in book publishers, Jane Friedman, novel, Other Writing Stuff, publication, published, publisher, publishers, publishing, The Writer's Toolbox, write, writer, writing advice

Novel Submission Part 3: Creating Multiple Synopses

UnknownWe’ve already talked about the query package and writing an effective cover letter, let’s get to the really hard part… the synopsis. First I want to say that I’ve found it’s impossible to write just one synopsis. To get a great synopsis, it’s better to do a few, because let’s face it your publisher is going to want more than the one to three page synopsis you submitted if they do accept your novel. They’ll most likely want a shorter blurb for the back cover. Also some publishers want more than a one to page synopsis when submitting to them, so why not just get them all done at once and be done with it.

For me it was easier to do the really long synopsis first. The chapter by chapter sum up of the entire novel, which reached a huge twenty pages. I doubt any publisher will want all of that, but it was good for me because I did not previously have what others might call an outline. Many of you may already have this chapter by chapter summary or outline completed. But I don’t do written outlines as I’m writing because I’m a pantser. I feel outlines distract from letting the story flow where it needs to go. So if you like to be organized and have a nice neat outline down before you even write the first word of your novel, then you can totally skip this step.

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Posted in book publishers, novel, novel writing, Other Writing Stuff, published, publisher, publishers, publishing, The Writer's Toolbox, workshop, writer, writers, writing, writing advice, writing book, writing workshop

Novel Submission Part 2: Writing an Effective Cover Letter

516TFGYGF9L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_We talked about Novel Submission Part 1: The Query Package, but now let’s get more specific and discuss how to actually write a cover letter (and FYI, writing a novel cover letter is different than a short story cover letter, in fact there are some publications that don’t even require a cover letter for short story submissions).

The following post is an accumulation of what I learned from Gary A Braunbeck’s worksop on cover letters and synopses, research I’ve done, and my own observations as I wrote the cover letter for my novel.

Here are some important things to keep in mind as you begin to write the cover letter (or what some call a query letter)…

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Posted in book publishers, first publication, getting published, Jane Friedman, novel writing, Other Writing Stuff, publisher, publishers, publishing, The Writer's Toolbox, writing advice, writing books, writing workshop

Novel Submission Part 1: The Query Package

Untitled-2After many years, my novel is finally done, now comes the hardest part yet… it’s time to submit it. I have to admit, I’d rather write another entire novel from scratch then do what comes next, but paraphrasing Theodore Roosevelt, “anything worthwhile never comes easy.”

This summer I’ve been taking the first steps in getting my novel ready for submission by writing a cover letter (or sometimes called a query letter) and a handful of synopses (because it’s not good enough to have just one synopsis, but that’s another post!).

The first step I took in writing the cover letter and synopsis was to do research and see how the professionals were doing it. And I was also lucky enough to take a workshop about cover letters and synopses from science fiction author Gray A. Braunbeck last September. After a frustrating search, I finally managed to find my notes from his workshop. Yay!

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Posted in better writing, organization, Other Writing Stuff, outline, The Writer's Toolbox, writing, writing resources

Evernote: A Great Way to Keep Track of Notes and Information

Image from Evernote website https://evernote.com/evernote/
Image from Evernote website https://evernote.com/evernote/

I’ve been using Evernote for a few years now. It’s a free software that can be downloaded (there’s a premium addition that costs a little, but the free version works for my needs), and I have found it invaluable to help me keep track of notes on characters, world building items, notes for blogging, and even notes for my web design stuff. I can also paste images into a note or website address. Heck, I’ve even used Evernote to write and store snippets of scenes so I can keep them in a safe place until it’s time to put the snippets in the actual story.

Evernote is great because if I have a stray thought I want to make sure I keep, I open up the program (though usually it stays open in the backdrop) and just type the thought real quick and get back to work. I also have the Evernote app loaded on my phone, so if I am away from my computer I can jot that urgent piece of information down and I am good to go. And the best part about Evernote, is that it saves everything automatically. No need to hit the save button!

Granted, I’ve had the program installed on my computer for awhile, but it hasn’t been until the last few months that I’ve really put it to use and I wonder why I never used it as much before. Maybe I’m taking more notes and they are more on the fly than before? Maybe since I’ve gotten back into web designing my head is everywhere all at once and it’s hard for me to keep track of everything? Don’t know exactly, but without keeping notes, I’d be totally lost by now.

So if you are having a hard time keeping track of notes or are looking for a good note taking software, I highly suggest this program. I love it and am glad to have it as a tool in my writing tool box.