Friday, August 29, 2014

Stop That Fighting! Conflicts Aren’t all About the Punches

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

In honor of my current revision pass, this week's Refresher Friday takes another look at conflict and how you can make the most of it in your novel. Enjoy!

Conflict is at the heart of every story. More than that really, it’s at the heart of every scene. It’s not uncommon for folks to think “conflict” and immediately assume fighting, but it’s not always violent, nor should it be. Conflict is just two things in opposition.

“I can’t make that meeting, I have a conflict.”

Sure, it’s not life threatening, though it could be in the right circumstance. But what it does do is force the person with the conflict to make a choice between them. That’s what’s so great (and helpful) about conflicts.

Conflicts force characters to act.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Value of Indie Print: Necessity, Choices and Costs

By Dario Ciriello

Part of the Indie Authors Series

As I’ve said in prior articles, I believe it’s important for a self or indie publisher to have their titles available in print as well as digital editions. There are several reason for this.
  • Some people—and a number of reviewers—still prefer print to digital.
  • Anyone can publish digitally, but print adds a credibility factor to your enterprise.
  • Author-signed copies add substantial perceived value to a print book, making them far more attractive for giveaways, contests, and similar promotions.
  • The growth of ebooks has slowed substantially and there is evidence that print book sales are increasing again as the industry shifts from offset and toner to inkjet technologies.
  • eBook readers are commonplace only in the US and Great Britain. The rest of the world is still firmly locked into print.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Great News! Janice Hardy's "The Shifter" Was Chosen for the 2014 List of Ten Books All Young Georgians Should Read!

Just a heads up that my monthly post is up over at Pub(lishing) Crawl. Today, I'm asking what your character values most and why that's important. Come on over and say hello!

I'm thrilled and honored to announce that last week, my teen fantasy novel, The Shifter, was chosen by the Georgia Center for the Book for this year's Ten Books All Young Georgians Should Read list (squee!).

Not only did I receive a beautiful glass trophy, but golden stickers that make the cover pop (just look how pretty it looks there on the book). You can't beat that, except by having writer pal Vicky Alvear Shecter also make the list with her wonderful YA historical, Cleopatra's Moon.

A huge thanks to GCB for selecting The Shifter, and to Joe Davich and Zachary Steele for organizing the award ceremony and a great evening. You guys rock.

The lists are selected by the writers, educators, librarians, and media representatives who comprise the Georgia Center for the Book Advisory Council. They represent a compilation of some of the best Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, and children's literature by Georgia writers and artists. This year marked the fifth edition of the "Books All Georgians Should Read", and the second of the "Books All YOUNG Georgians Should Read".

Here's the full list for both adult and young readers:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Learning to be an Unapologetic “Planster”

By Amy Christine Parker, @amychristinepar

Part of the How They Do It Series 

Process is personal, and every writer has one, typically somewhere on the sliding scale between plotter and pantser. YA author Amy Christine Parker joins us today to discuss her process and how she learned to live in the best of both worlds--plotter and pantser.

Amy writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one ridiculously fat cat. When she isn’t writing, more often than not, she can be found either visiting or planning a visit to Disney World. She is the author of GATED and ASTRAY with Random House Children’s. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter @amychristinepar.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound

Take it away Amy...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Authors: Is Your Publicist Doing a Good Job?

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

I get a lot of blind requests for guest articles on this site, and many of them are from book publicists. Some of them do a wonderful job, others not so much. While chatting with a friend the other day, it hit me that the authors who hired the "bad" publicists probably have no idea how little those people are doing for them. Think of this as a public service announcement (grin).

Here are two examples that I see almost weekly:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Real Life Diagnostics: A Look at a Middle Grade Sci Fi Query Letter

Critique By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy
Real Life Diagnostics is a weekly column that studies a snippet of a work in progress for specific issues. Readers are encouraged to send in work with questions, and I diagnose it on the blog. It’s part critique, part example, and designed to help the submitter as well as anyone else having a similar problem.

If you're interested in submitting to Real Life Diagnostics, please check out these guidelines.

Submissions currently in the queue: Three 

Please Note: As of today, RLD slots are booked through September 13. Any Sunday diagnostics will shorten that some if my schedule permits, but I wanted everyone to be aware of the submission to posting delay.

This week’s questions:

Does this query letter work?

Market/Genre: Middle Grade Science Fiction Query

On to the diagnosis…

Friday, August 22, 2014

Whee! How Kids' Games Can Make Revisions Fun

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week's Refresher Friday revisits a favorite of mine, with how kids' games can make revisions fun. Enjoy! 

As the old saying goes, writing is rewriting, but not everyone enjoys the revision process. For some, revising is the icky stuff you do after the book is written. Considering how much time is usually spent on those “icky” parts, that’s a whole lot of writers spending a whole lot of time doing something they don’t like.

But what if they could learn to like it?

I’ve discovered that so much of writing is in how you look at things. So what if you changed the way you looked at revisions? Instead of thinking about it as work, think about it as a game. Like the games you used to love when you were a kid.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

5 Guidelines for Approaching Book Review Bloggers

By Marcy Kennedy, @MarcyKennedy

Part of the Indie Author Series

Last month I talked about self-published book awards as one means to help build word of mouth and credibility for your book. Today I want to talk about another important method for letting readers know our book exists and (hopefully) that they’ll enjoy it—blog reviews.

I know blog tours have become a debated topic of late. Are they worth it? Aren’t they worth it?

In this post, I’m not talking about you running a blog tour where you do interviews and guest posts. I’m talking about approaching book review blogs to have them review your book.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Writing Basics: The Inciting Event

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

The inciting event is probably one of the easier things to write (because it's usually a lot of fun), and also one of the hardest to figure out (because we're not always sure where it is). It's when the story really starts and it's filled with all the promise and excitement of what that story can be. For some writers, it might be the only solid plot point they know going into the novel. It's the moment when things change for the protagonist and she's put onto the path that will become the novel's plot. Without this moment, there would be no novel.

Which is an awful lot of pressure to put on one poor little scene (and the poor writer).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Writing A Novelette: 5 Myths Debunked

By Lesley J. Vos

Part of the How They Do It Series

With the explosion of the ebook market in recent years, writers have a lot more flexibility when it comes to word count--both in the larger novels as well as smaller. The shorter format has been growing almost as fast, and is rapidly gaining fans and sales. To debunk some myths about one such format, Lesley J. Vos visits the lecture hall today to chat with us about the novelette.

Lesley J. Vos is a blog writer for Bid4Papers company. She also works as a private educator of French language from time to time. Lesley enjoys the process of writing and essays proofreading itself, and you can always contact her at Google+.

Take it away Lesley...