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Introducing the Hybrid Author Game Plan

Introducing the Hybrid Author Game Plan

Hybrid Author mastheadAs the self-publishing industry emerged, every author was tasked with a new – and very important – decision:

Should I continue to pursue the traditional publishing route – with the support of agents, publishers, editors, cover designers to push books into brick & mortar bookstores? – OR –

Should I try my hand at self publishing – either DIY or with the help of companies like BookBaby where I can retain more control and much more of the earnings?

Here’s the big change: Just a few short years later, this really isn’t a question anymore. Every author – new, experienced and everyone in between – can remove the “OR” and replace it with “AND.”

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How do you stay motivated when writing a novel?

How do you stay motivated when writing a novel?

Stay motivated when writing a novelWhether you’re writing a novel in a month for National Novel Writing Month, or you’re simply trying to finish that gripping fantasy book you’ve been working on for ten years, it can be hard to stay motivated. As a novelist, I find that there are days when the words flow easily, and others when even writing the first sentence feels about as easy as climbing Mount Everest in flip-flops.

While I love writing, and I can’t imagine not doing it for a living, I also know that there are days when I’d rather do almost anything other than face the pages I have to write. Every distraction, even laundry or the gym, looks like a more fun way to spend my afternoon. Here are some tips for getting and staying motivated while you write your novel.

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Finding creative momentum

Finding creative momentum

creative momentum to write a novelOne of the biggest benefits of NaNoWriMo for me is the creative momentum it spawns, even beyond November. Each year I’m energized by the imaginative sparks (and sometimes flames) that result from immersing myself in writing. I also learn (and relearn) important things about time management, discipline, and the value of writing with others.

But… sometimes the very creative momentum I prize so much wanes in the general hecticness of life. The monstrous bite of my to-do list can be scarier than any of my antagonists’ snarls. This year, I’m asking myself how to nurture the writing breakthroughs I’ve experienced this month and find ways to keep them going year-round.

I just discovered one simple technique: savor the good experiences of writing because momentum is fed by positive thoughts.

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Before it was vanity, there was self publishing

Before it was vanity, there was self publishing

vanity or self publishing?DIY publishing has been around for over a century. The list of famous authors who self-published is extensive, and shows it was a common way to launch a book and a career.

Mark Twain, Thomas Paine, Virginia Woolf, William Strunk and Gertrude Stein – all are here.

E. B. White, Edgar Allen Poe, e.e. Cummings, Rudyard Kipling and Deepack Chopra – present and accounted for.

Vince Flynn, DH Lawrence, E.L. James, Amanda Hocking and J.A. Konrath – all are in the house.

Yes, it’s a real who’s who of famous authors. But that’s not the reason for this meeting. There’s one thing that all these authors, and many more, have in common: they all self published books at various points of their literary careers.

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10 perfectly normal struggles when writing a novel [infographic]

10 perfectly normal struggles when writing a novel [infographic]

Adler's advice when writing a novel
Do you agonize over your titles? Are your friends worried about you because you don’t emerge from your office for days? Are you constantly rewriting?

Don’t worry – you’re not alone! Warren Adler, who has published more than 30 novels and short story collections in his 40 years as a published author, lifts the veil on some of the “perfectly normal” writing struggles he has learned to accept as part of the process of creation and writing.

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8 tough creative writing lessons from an ex-MFA teacher

8 tough creative writing lessons from an ex-MFA teacher

Writer working Main More than a few MFA teachers talk about the politics of their English departments in such a way that it sounds like an episode of House of Cards. Criticizing students, fellow teachers, the program, or even the effectiveness of creative writing programs in general — it has to be a careful dance. One ex-teacher, now freed of such considerations, has let it rip in an article called “Things I can say about MFA writing programs now that I no longer teach in one.”

In his article for The Stranger, Ryan Boudinot says: “I recently left a teaching position in a master of fine arts creative-writing program. I had a handful of students whose work changed my life. The vast majority of my students were hardworking, thoughtful people devoted to improving their craft despite having nothing interesting to express and no interesting way to express it. My hope for them was that they would become better readers. And then there were students whose work was so awful that it literally put me to sleep. Here are some things I learned from these experiences.”

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Sell them with your cover design

Sell them with your cover design

Tea_Health A great book or eBook cover is one of your best sales tools, instantly conveying the key thoughts, messages, and images that sum up your book while grabbing the attention of a prospective reader. That’s why it’s essential for you to stand out from everyone else on those crowded eBook retail sites and bookshelves.

And it goes beyond the old cliché. According to Deloitte’s research paper, Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions 2015: “A key value of print books appears to be their cover. Covers have been shown to drive sales; but they also send a message to those around you about what you are reading and what kind of person you are. As has been noted, ‘the act of reading a book in public conveys important information to other readers.’”

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Should you follow the traditional or self publishing path? Numbers point the way.

Should you follow the traditional or self publishing path? Numbers point the way.

Numbers and the hybrid authorIt’s a question that thousands of potential authors are asking themselves everyday: Should I try self publishing? Or should I chase the dream of traditional publishing.

One answer is: do both! You’ll be hearing and reading a lot more from BookBaby about authors who do both traditional and self publishing. They’re called “hybrid authors” and they’re some of the most successful authors around today! Hybrid authors walk the line between traditional and self publishing by doing both. But if you’re just starting your publishing journey, you have to start with one or the other. It turns out I’m going to be speaking to a lot of writers trying to make this decision at the Storytellers Conference and Expo in Santa Rosa, CA. I’ve been searching for the easiest and best way to get my point across. And I think I’ve got it.

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Famous writers’ insults [infographic]

Famous writers’ insults [infographic]

You can tell a lot about a writer from the way he or she insults a fellow writer.
Insults
What does he object to?
What does she value?
What are their beliefs about style and content?

There it all is in a quick little put-down!

And here in this infographic from AussieWriter.com are some of the most famous insults hurled at one writer by another.

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Join me at the StoryTellers Expo in Santa Rosa, CA

Join me at the StoryTellers Expo in Santa Rosa, CA

STExpoLogoI’m hitting the road next week, heading to Santa Rosa, CA for the annual StoryTellers Expo on March 20-22. Presented by the Northern California Writers organization, the event is an opportunity for writers to meet with executives, producers, and publishers from around the globe. It features two days of speakers, plus a full day of pitching to agents, production companies, and publishers.

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