Friday, March 17, 2017

A “How To” for Aspiring Authors

by Anna del C. Dye @AnnaDelC
Indie Author Hub Member

What should you do when you want to write a book?
  • First thing “Keep your day job.” To publish and promote your books takes money and sometimes lots of it. Promotion may include travel, business cards, bookmarkers, renting tables at fairs, posters, and free copies for reviews, etc. Most reviewers will require one or more free copies of your book, and so will any contests you enter. You will also need to provide most interviewers with a free copy or your book.
  • Once upon a time the publishing houses helped you promote your book. In our day reality is becoming quite different. In many cases the author pays for tickets, gas, and hotels. If you write fantasy, you will want to promote your books in many fantasy fairs. The best ones will charge from $50 up to much more, often $200 for the right to have a table. This is without counting the need for someone to help you and the cost of food and gas.
Now that that is out of the way, let’s get down to writing.
  • Make a habit of writing every day even if it is only for a few minutes or a few phrases. This exercise will keep you in tune with the story and your characters.
  • Have friends look at your stories for common grammatical errors. You can tell them that you will put their name in your book if they get it back to you in three weeks, as a way of acknowledging their work.
  • Join a local chapter of a writer’s organization and learn from them. Usually they have members that will coach you to be a better author, and you will always learn from others experiences.
  • Join a group of critics and submit chapters for their review. You have to learn to accept negative comments along with the good ones. Critique others’ books and read those submitted by and for other authors. I have learned a lot by doing this.
  • Register on sites that promote blogging and maintain an active profile. Start blogs so people can get familiar with your name or rather your pseudonym. Two blogs a week that are no longer than 15 lines is good.
  • Write articles and small stories to send to everyone who has a press (online magazines, newspapers, university presses, etc.) Keep a folder with all the articles or stories anyone has printed for you.
  • Start conversations with strangers and get adjusted to talking with them. (This is great preparation for when you have fans.)
  • Research everything. (You don’t want to write something misleading or wrong only to have it pointed out to you after your book is published.)

Try a few of these items every day until you can feel comfortable doing all of them. Writing a book is the easy part… getting it published and then promoting it once it is published is a different ball game and a very demanding one.

Shared with us from Anna's blog.

Anna was born in the extreme South. She loves reading, but had few opportunities to do so while growing up. As a young woman, she moved North to marry Rodney Dye and has resided in Utah since then. They are the parents of three princes and a princess. With her husband and his family she has had the opportunity of traveling to many of the United States, (most of them camping!) and to four other countries. She would like to visit castles in European countries. She is fluent in both English and Spanish and understands Portuguese.

After she married, Anna was introduced to the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books that she admits to having collected. A number of years ago she was introduced to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and to J. K.Rowling's writings, which she loves. She also loves romantic music (she listens to it every day), theatrical plays that she attends at least six times a year, and cats (when they are not shedding).

Anna wears her dresses down to her ankles and likes them to be very feminine, with lace being one of her favorite trimmings. "I am afraid that I do not follow fashions," she has said. "I wear what I like."

You can find Anna on her website, her profile on FaceBook, and on Twitter at @AnnaDelC.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Writers Write

by Rebecca Talley  @rebeccatalley
Indie Author Hub Member

Do you really want to write?

That’s a question we all need to ask ourselves. If the answer is no, then you should find something else to do with your time. If the answer is yes, then you need to evaluate what that “yes” means.

Do you want to write when it’s convenient? When you have nothing else to do? Only when inspiration hits? Are you willing to sacrifice other things to write?

I’ve always wanted to write. I started in elementary school with a bound journal. My “book” was a mystery based on the Encyclopedia Brown series. I even illustrated it. Junior high hit me hard and I put aside my writing.

In high school, I took a creative writing class that triggered my desire to write again. But, when I went to college, I forgot about writing while I studied and then graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

I married and started a family. While raising my young children, I knitted, crocheted, gardened, and took piano lessons. I then took a creative writing class at a local community college and realized that if I wanted to write, I had to stop waiting for the perfect time and just be committed enough to it to sacrifice the other things I liked to do. Of course, my family always came first (and still does), but I gave up knitting, crafts, piano, training horses, and scrapbooking to concentrate on writing.

I signed up for online forums, took online classes, attended workshops, and read book after book on writing techniques. I also read books in the genre in which I hoped to write. It took time, especially as I squeezed it in between raising my growing family and caring for my aging grandparents. It wasn’t easy, but I learned a valuable lesson.

We can make time for that which we feel is important. People will say, “I just don’t have time to write.” If you find yourself saying that, you may not be as committed to writing as you believe you are. We make time every day to exercise, watch TV, go to movies, play computer games, surf Facebook, write and read emails, or thousands of other activities that use up our time. Writing may mean giving up some of those things.

And, really, if you’re committed enough to writing, you won’t miss them.

Being a writer means parking your behind in the chair and writing. Day after day, week after week, year after year–even when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard, and working through it all to your finished product. Writers write.

So, ask yourself, do you really want to write?

Rebecca grew up next to the ocean in Santa Barbara, California. She spent her youth at the beach collecting sea shells and building sandcastles. She graduated from high school and left for college, where she met and married her sweetheart, Del.

Del and Rebecca are the sometimes frazzled, but always grateful, parents of ten wildly-creative and multi-talented children and the grandparents of the most adorable little girls in the universe.

After spending nineteen years in rural Colorado with horses, cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, and donkeys, Rebecca and her family moved to a suburb of Houston, Texas, where she spends most of her time in the pool trying to avoid the heat and humidity. When she isn't in the pool, she loves to date her husband, play with her kids, swim in the ocean, redecorate her house, and dance to disco music while she cleans the house.

Rebecca has always loved to write and has authored novels, stories for print and online magazines, and children's books. She now focuses on writing romance because she believes everyone deserves their happily-ever-after.

You can find Rebecca on her website, her author page on FaceBook, and on Twitter at @rebeccatalley.