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Become an award-winning author

Become an award-winning author

Book award

Authors, enter your book today!

There is still time to enter this year’s Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest!

Readers’ Favorite is the fastest growing book review and award contest site for authors on the web. Their annual International Book Award Contest receives submissions from contestants that range from first-time self-published authors to New York Times bestsellers like J.A. Jance, James Rollins, and #1 best-selling author Daniel Silva, as well as celebrity authors like Jim Carrey and Henry Winkler.

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Dealing with literary rejection

Dealing with literary rejection

Dealing with Rejection as a WriterA writer that has never been rejected is either a liar or blessed with anomalous luck; and luck is already by its very nature, ya know,… anomalous.

Literary rejection is more than just a professional hazard or rite of passage; it’s something we have to deal with continuously.

Even famous authors get told NO from time to time. But common as it is for writers, rejection still stings! So how do you keep the swelling down?

Here are a handful of articles with advice on how to keep things in perspective and stay productive in the face of rejection:

1. Five ways to get the most out of your rejection letters

2. Dealing with literary rejection: tips from Sarah Fawn Montgomery

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Social media mistakes: don’t be THAT author!

Social media mistakes: don’t be THAT author!

Egotistical writers on Facebook

Are you a Facebook braggart?

I’ve had a  good year getting poems placed in respected publications.

Naturally, I wanted to share my excitement every time on social media (which means Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for me). These are life events on an order of magnitude somewhat greater than “I ate eggs for breakfast this morning” or “I’m listening to my Katy Perry/Mountain Goats mashup again.”

Sharing good news on social media made sense. Plus, we writers are supposed to be promoting ourselves! And I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a little bit of “hey, look at me — I’m legit” when I cheerfully announced each new acceptance. I mean, we all want validation, and when we get it, we want to show the world, right?

But at a certain point I worried that my updates might look like out-and-out bragging. It’s tough to gauge for friends, fans, and family where the line is between “I’m so happy for you” and “who cares already?”

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Yearning for the vagabond life: a profile of indie author Joanna Penn

Yearning for the vagabond life: a profile of indie author Joanna Penn

Joanna Penn: an indie author profileInterviewing author and speaker Joanna Penn is a lot like reading one of her thrillers—a rollicking ride through uncharted territories where surprises burst from dark corridors and human quirks shape the narrative in unexpected ways.

In the span of less than an hour, I learned that she and I are taphophiles (people who are fascinated by graveyards), her “overnight” success self-publishing ebooks took more than 5 years of hard work, and she envisions a vagabond existence in the future, traveling internationally to inspire her writing, painting verbal pictures of her favorite places (Jerusalem being one), and sparking her imagination by seeking strange and unfamiliar locales.

Joanna is the producer of hundreds of podcasts and video interviews (many available through her site, The Creative Penn), so I was surprised to learn…

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Building a community of writers

Building a community of writers

Building a writing communityA couple years ago I moved from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine. (What can I say, I like Portlands!) But despite the identical names, they’re very different cities. I’d been in Oregon for a decade, spent much of that time immersed in the various writing and music scenes, made good friends, and felt well-supported within those communities. Then suddenly I’m in this new place on the other side of the continent with no literary connections — and having to use GPS to get around town too. Ugh!

So I’ve done a lot of thinking over the past two years about literary community, what it means to build or join a community of writers, and why it’s crucial to be a part of such a community. I’ve also done a lot of reaching out; I’ve attended many readings; I’ve joined a writing group that meets monthly; and what do you know, slowly but surely I’ve become a part of a new community of Maine writers that I turn to for mentorship, feedback, or just to grab a drink and talk about books we love.

The solitude that people often experience when they move to a new town can be great for writing. You can be a lot more productive when your social options are limited. But at some point every writer craves that sense of community, or what Daryl Rothman calls a “literary network of resources, opportunity and mutual support which can help take your writing and publishing dreams to the next level.”

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How to “blog a book” and become a successful author (an interview with Nina Amir)

Nina Amir, author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual, helps writers combine their passion and purpose so they can create works that positively impact the world.

In this interview, Nina provides tips on how to turn your blog into a book, how to position yourself as an expert, and how to build your writing career upon an inspired foundation. 

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6 things you need to know about book award contests

6 things you need to know about book award contests

6 things authors should know about book award contestsJames Ventrillo is the president of Readers’ Favorite, which runs one of the most popular book award contests online. Here are some of his tips to help you pick quality contests and help you aim for the gold.

Why should I enter a book award contest?

Entering a book award contest is not only about recognition, but the advertising benefits of that recognition. Entering a book contest is like paying to run an ad about your book. You need to look at how much it will cost and what your potential advertising return is. Book Award Contests–good ones–have a significant return for the money. If you are honored with an award, then all of your advertising can be enhanced with an impressive award seal and the words “award-winning book.” You will also have forever earned the title of award-winning author. This type of recognition goes a long way, and is probably the single greatest advertising enhancement one can obtain for their book, except for maybe an endorsement from a celebrity.

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Web tips for authors: the HostBaby roundup

Web tips for authors: the HostBaby roundup

Website tips for authors

Best-practices to smarten-up your online book marketing

Every week on The HostBaby Blog, we post new web and social media tips for artists. You’ll learn how to grow your email list, how to get readers to interact with your online content, how to draft newsletters that convert to sales, how to optimize your site for search, and more.

For those of you who haven’t been keeping tabs on the HostBaby Blog…

Here are the most recent HostBaby Blog articles:

1. Introducing the new slideshow theme from HostBaby
2. Ten free website background images for spring

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3 tips to writing better action scenes

3 tips to writing better action scenes

Writing action scenesI recently finished Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Killer Angels, a historical fiction about the Battle of Gettysburg, a book which General Norman Schwarzkopf has called “the best and most realistic historical novel about war that I have ever read.”

The Killer Angels is what first stirred Ken Burns’ interest in the Civil War, and it’s even cited as the original inspiration for Joss Whedon’s Firefly series (according to Wikipedia).

It took me three days to read those 350 pages — very fast reading for me — and the whole experience felt a little something like this passage from the book:

In the presence of real tragedy you feel neither pain nor joy nor hatred, only a sense of enormous space and time suspended, the great doors open to black eternity, the rising across the terrible field of that last enormous, unanswerable question.

It was a haunting novel about great and terrible events, about clashing armies and clashing ideals, about the tension between the past and the future. Afterwards I spent days trying to figure out how a narrative which relies so heavily upon action could end up ringing such meditative and philosophical notes.

Here’s what I came up with, and I list them here as possible devices you might employ in your own writing:

1. SKIP the action

Some of the most effective writing about physical conflict…

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