LWI list of #Adult #Fiction #Authors!

Check our the LWI list of Adult Fiction Author Interviews and find a Last Minute Gift or use your Gift Money!

Genres & Authors

Adventure

Detective

Drama

Fantasy

Neo-Victorian Gothic

Paranormal

Psychological Thriller

Romance (Contemporary and Otherwise)

Steampunk

Thriller

Urban Paranormal

LWI list of #NewAdult #YA #Fiction #Authors!

Check our the LWI list of New Adult and Young Adult Fiction Author Interviews and find a Last Minute Gift or use your Gift Money!

Genres & Authors

New Adult

Fantasy

Science Fiction

Young Adult

Christian

Drama

Dystopian

Fantasy

Romance

Science Fiction

LWI list of #MiddleGrades #Fiction #Authors!

Check our the LWI list of Middle Grades Fiction Author Interviews and find a Last Minute Gift or use your Gift Money!

 

Genres & Authors

Adventure

Fantasy

Detective/Mystery

Suspense

Three #Gifts I would buy with #Christmas Money.

If I had money to spend as an author what would I do?

First I would make sure I was looking at the right bank account.

Then one thing I would spend money on is a . . .

Book Cover Artist

Sure, I think I could actually make my own book cover. I’m pretty creative, have a good eye. But a really chris_graham_shadow_people_2_cover_art.jpggreat book cover takes time. That time is time I could be using writing or promoting my books or someone else’s books. I can give a book cover artist my basic idea and they will perform their magic and tweak until everything is just right. Of course I have the book cover artist for you.  Even if I had a lot of money, I wouldn’t spend it carelessly. CHRIS GRAHAM has great rates on book covers and I KNOW he works with an author to get the cover just right.  Not a stock cover but a one of a kind cover. How do I know this? He’s done covers for our very own Jo Robinson. Check his rates here.Can’t afford a Book Cover artist, even at Chris’ prices, check out Jo’s article on how to create your own book covers here.

 

Proofreader

Next, I’m a History guy. I used to teach and now I write. History, not English. That means I need help in wendy_janes_author.jpgproofing and editing. There is nothing worse than writing a great book and having it rejected because your grammar, punctuation and all of that just plain out stinks. Yeah, stinks. Give in and accept it. We all need help and I don’t care who you are. Fresh eyes are always better than your own. You will read a paragraph 100 times and read what it is supposed to say. I will read it once and find two words missing that when just annoy a publisher or agent because they expect you to put forth your best and most professional work. So who do I have for you? WENDY JANES, author and everything else I’ve mentioned. She has good rates from others I have heard but not so low you worry. Remember, you get what you pay for and I TRUST Wendy. Click here to get her rates. And she has testimonials here including those from highly reviewed books.

 

The first two people I know. I’ve interviewed them and they are great people. I trust them. Now here comes someone I haven’t met but hope to soon.

Editor

Yes, you need an editor. that person that will tell you like it is. They might make you cry as they point norma-buddenout that your favorite line in the book just doesn’t work and serves no purpose. Yeah, I’ve been there. I interviewed an author recently, read the unedited version of that person’s book and then part of the edited version. We all need editors. Just saying. A great one is the one that edited the book I read. Her name is NORMA BUDDEN. She’s also an author. I think it always helps for an Editor to be an Author as well. They get us. They understand how difficult it is for us. And they want it to be a success just as bad as we do. You can find Norma by clicking here.

 

 

Well those are the three things I would spend money on at the moment. Sure there are other things out there as well, but for now these are three things I would want to begin my career on the right foot.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

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Agent @DanBalow Seeking Clients from @ChuckSambuchino

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Agent is Seeking

Heather Alexander

From Chuck Sambuchino

About Dan: Dan is a 30-year veteran of the Christian publishing industry. He was former director of marketing for Tyndale House Publishers. Beginning in 1995, he led the publisher’s marketing team for the successful Jerry Jenkins-Tim LaHaye Left Behind series, becoming director of business development for the series (which has sold more than 60 million copies to date). In 2002, he added the role of director of international publishing until leaving Tyndale in 2006. After stints as publisher for two audio book companies and some publisher consulting, Dan joined the Steve Laube agency in 2013. His publishing background is the business side rather than editorial, best for authors who need help navigating the shifting sands of publishing. A graduate of Wheaton College, he lives with his wife Carol, in Wheaton, Illinois. Together they have four grown children and one grandchild. Follow him on Twitter at @danbalow or through the agency blog at www.stevelaube.com where he posts every Tuesday.  To find out what she’s seeking and how to submit click here to see the rest of Chuck Sambuchino’s article.

 

 

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Agent @HeatherAlexand Seeking Clients from @ChuckSambuchino

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Agent is Seeking

Heather Alexander

From Chuck Sambuchino

About Heather: Heather came into publishing through editorial at Dial, working with such authors as Jenny Martin, Vin Vogel, Scott McCormick, and Jeanne Ryan. After six years at Penguin, she was asked a very interesting question: had she ever considered becoming an agent? Many discussions later, she accepted a position at Pippin Properties, where she is building her roster of authors and illustrators, including A. N. Kang, Darren Farrell, and Jennifer Goldfinger. Follow her on Twitter: @HeatherAlexand.  To find out what she’s seeking and how to submit click here to see the rest of Chuck Sambuchino’s article.

 

 

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How to Get Published: Five Tips No One Ever Told You by @MLaSarre

How to Get Published: Five Tips No One Ever Told You

Every year, thousands upon thousands of books are submitted to agents and publishers by writers who would give their eye teeth to call themselves authors. Every year, by some reports, less than 0.03 percent of all submitted manuscripts are selected for publication. That’s about three out of every 10,000
manuscripts. Of those lucky books to find publishers, big brick-and-mortar stores like Barnes and Noble only stock 1 out of every 10, relinquishing the rest to fight for readers in on-line markets.

In 2014, I conceptualized and wrote my first novel; I submitted it to agents and publishers with what I thought was a fairly targeted, concerted approach; I had my fair share of “thanks, but no thanks,” and then, the right publisher and I found one another. By October of that same year, my novel was published and in the hands of readers and, a month later, I learned my book was selected to be stocked on the shelves of brick-and-mortar giant Barnes and Noble. It has been a whirlwind year. My synopsis of the whirlwind here is not to brag. Not at all. In fact, my book is undoubtedly a statistical miracle. And I know that.

So, how does a first-time writer become a published author with a traditional publisher all in the same
year? Well, my friend Ronovan asked me to break down my experience into some lessons learned. His
question was basically, what advice do I have for aspiring authors given my experience? As I thought
about the answer, I recognized the brilliance in the question. You see, I don’t have traditional advice for
you. What I have to share here is the stuff no one tells you, the advice that worked for me and that I
found through trial and error, and the advice I’d never read anywhere else.

I promise not to duplicate anything you’ve read on any other blog or website offering tips for getting
published. I wouldn’t do that to you. I also don’t promise that following my advice will work for you,
unfortunately. But it will give you food for thought and it will set you apart from the sea of millions
attempting to get published every year.

Without further ado…

1. Trust Your Gut, Give Your Book the Care it Deserves:
I nearly fell into the trap of thinking, “It’s my first book, I don’t expect a lot in terms of publishing. I’ll take the first bite I get from a publisher no matter what the terms, or I’ll self-publish if I get antsy and tired of waiting 3-4 months for a publisher to reply.” The thing is, when you’re feeling like a newbie as an author, it’s easy to pacify your angst by setting low expectations for your book. And sure enough, I had a publisher bite on my book lure 24 hours after I submitted my query, and I read the fine print and had a sinking feeling in my gut that this publisher was a shark and would barely leave me any scraps. Not only that, this publisher wanted me to sign over all rights and opinions to my book’s cover design. I entertained the offer for a few days, letting myself get comfortable “settling” for something that was publishing, but not terms I liked. A small voice jolted me out of my “newbie” thinking; it was the voice of my main character, Jasper Penzey. He said, “Aren’t I worth more to you than someone who doesn’t care about my story, someone who doesn’t care about the cover art that will grace the front of my book?” Jasper was right. As a character, he meant more to me than a second-rate publisher who didn’t care about an awesome cover; he meant more to me than opting to self-publish rather than wait out the traditional publishing game. So, I declined the publisher and hunkered down for the long haul, ready to play the long game. What is the value of your book to you? Ask yourself this question and give your book the time, patience and care it deserves while you look for just the right publisher. Good things take time.

2. Believe In Your Book
An all-time, most-favorited tweet of mine (@MLaSarre): “1st requirement for a query letter: believe in your book. If you don’t, no one else will either. The rest is just semantics.” There are a million on-line resources instructing us on how to write a winning query letter. Read them to get the semantics, formatting and structure right. But then, red line your query letter an infinite number of times until it captures your heart, until it convinces a reader of how passionately you feel about your book. If you don’t believe in your story, if you don’t believe deeply that the world needs to read your book (be sure to answer the “why” of that in your query!), there will be no feeling conveyed in your query letter. Nothing about your query will stand out to any publisher or agent reading it. Infuse your query letter with the passion you feel for your story; add a generous dousing of positive energy and complete belief in your book to the words you write. The reader – an agent or publisher – will feel the difference.

3. Be Honest, Require Honesty
Sharing our pre-pubbed work is an exercise in nerve-wracking, jittery, edge-of-our-seats angst. It’s hard to share our work with others. What if they don’t like it? What if they say we really aren’t as good a writer as we think we are? What if they blow the lid off of our entire set of dreams and aspirations to be a great author? Stop. Tell those thoughts to go stand in the corner and stay there. Your pre-publication time is the best time to collect the feedback of beta readers. Before you submit to publishers, collect a handful of readers you know will be honest with you (your mother will not be honest – she thinks everything you do is awesome). Find readers who represent the audience you hope your book will attract. Ask the hard question: “Tell me what you like about my book and then also, tell me what I can improve on.” Swallow your pride and fear, collect those responses, use them to develop an even better manuscript, and use some of the positives in your query letters, like I did. From a query letter: “Beta readers concur, this is a ‘Dan Brown’ thriller for kids!” Even better, ask the opinion of someone in the publishing industry. Here’s a Fiverr gig I’ve used that has incredible value:  https://www.fiverr.com/kbickford . The seller is a publisher, the owner of a publishing company. She will review your manuscript with the eyes of a publisher and give you feedback. This is astoundingly valuable feedback. Asking for and accepting feedback is hard. You must do it. You must do the hard thing. You do not want a publisher to be the first person to ever have read your manuscript.

4. Manage Expectations
Finding a publisher is going to take a lot of your time. Like, it’s nearly a full-time job for awhile. Don’t expect that it will be easy and don’t get frustrated. Keep the goal in view. I bought the current year’s version of the Writer’s Market, the exhaustive list of publishers open for business that year. Here’s what I worked on every day, for at least two months:

  • Highlight every publisher who will accept manuscript queries, who publishes in a genre that relates to your work (if you don’t have an agent, exclude those publishers who only accept submissions via agents). The book is as big as the Bible. All that highlighting of fine print will keep you busy for at least two days.
  • Make a spreadsheet of every publisher you highlighted. Include their name, genre, contact information, and why they stuck out to you as a good fit.
  • Open the website of every publisher on that list and differentiate them using a spreadsheet column according to whether they accept submissions via email or only via snail mail. I was low-budget in my publishing search so I thought it prudent to contact the “email accepted” list first (FREE!), knowing I’d contact the snail mail publishers later if it came to that (despite the added expense of printing and shipping and gas to get to the post office).
  • Every single day, tackle 4-5 publishers on that list. Follow their submissions requirements to the letter and be sure to customize each query according to what the publisher has already printed that makes you think your book is a good fit for them. No form letters. No generic letters.

I worked my list every day, for months. I kept notes of who I’d queried, who’d I heard back from, who I was still waiting to hear from and how long the publisher expected to take in returning a reply. I didn’t give up and I tenaciously tackled that dreaded list daily, all the time thinking, “How cool is this? Somewhere on this list is my publisher! I just have to find them!”

5. Be Grateful
I sent a query letter to a publisher I felt was so in sync with me as an author, a company that had ties to my life in more than one way, who valued the same aspects of good books as I did. I felt so positive about this publisher, that they were just the right one for me. And then they rejected me. I was crushed! I had envisioned a different outcome so clearly that my heart literally broke when I got the rejection letter. In fact, I stopped querying altogether after that. For weeks I stomped around and was furious at this publisher; I even waited for days thinking I’d receive another message from them saying, “On second thought…we actually really love your book!”  It never came. And then, in another area of my life, I received a strong reminder that we must,  must, must be grateful for all things, including the good and the bad. My first thought was  how ugly my thoughts had been about this publisher. Sometimes, not being grateful stalls our  success forward, literally keeping doors in front of us shut tight. I broke a cardinal rule of writing  then. I emailed that publisher back (you aren’t supposed to reply to rejection letters, or so I’ve  heard). I wrote back and said quite simply, “I just wanted to express my gratitude for the time  you took to review my submission. I wish your publishing house all the best and every success.”
And I meant it! The next day, my publisher and I found one another, quite accidentally. And the rest is history.

I’ll end this blog by saying I hope you have every success in your writing career. I hope you will take the
time to be patient, to keep your heart wide open as you nurse your manuscript into the book format you
can finally share with the world. I hope you will be open to critique from beta readers and allow yourself
to humbly revise your manuscript as many times as needed for it to become what others will enjoy reading (remember, writing books is not just for your enjoyment and self-expression, it’s for others to enjoy reading!). And most of all, I hope you will make being grateful a part of your daily existence, so that the doors of the path you are meant to walk will stay wide open for you. Lastly, if I can be of any assistance as a cheerleader, beta reader, or helper in any way through the publishing journey, I hope
you’ll reach out to me.

Monica_LaSarre_Author.jpgAbout the Author: Monica LaSarre is a ghostwriter and the author of Jasper Penzey: International BoyJasper Penzey Book 1
Detective, an 8-book mystery/detective chapter book series for 8-12 year olds. Read more about her on
her website, www.monicalasarre.com. She can be reached via email at monicalasarre@gmail.com.
Amazon Link: Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective: The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis.

Ravenswood Publishing’s Kitty Honeycutt Q&A @RAVENSWOODPUB

Today I have one of those people as a guest. The mythical thing all authors call . . . Publisher. Do you need an agent? In today’s Lit World and even in the Lit World for years you haven’t HAD to have an agent. Today’s publisher though has nearly 100 authors and not a single agent to be found. The roster is filled with Indie Authors. Discover how the little girl born of the red clay of the state I live in came to be a publisher. Meet . . .

 Publisher&Author

Kitty Honeycutt

Ravenswood Publishing Kitty Honeycutt

RW: Well Kitty, let’s start off with where you are from and where are you now because I am sure there are people that have no idea where the state of red clay is.

KITTY: First of all I’d like to say that I’m very pleased you asked me for this interview it’s exciting and I always love to tell everyone about my path to writing and how it all started. I am currently living in North Carolina, though I was born in LaGrange, Georgia. I’m a country girl at heart, raised in rural Sampson County. I attended Midway High, in Dunn, NC and now live in Raeford.

RW: It’s probably rare for someone to start out as a publisher so how did the pub bug first bite you?

KITTY: I began reviewing books for larger companies in 2011 and first started reviewing Indie writer’s books soon after. One of the first books I reviewed from an Indie author was “Dirty Little Angels” by Chris Tusa, and then moved on to “The Cursed Man” by Keith Rommel. I fell in love with both these stories and a passion for Indie writing began. I sought out other Indie authors and found that a lot of the stories I read were worthy of being published by larger companies though I had no idea why they had not been snapped up long before. I began to be an entrepreneur of the Independent’s and launched a blog dedicated not only to reviewing but hosting interviews and guest posts. I soon gained valuable notoriety in this area and had authors actively seeking my reviews.

RW: And thus Kitty Honeycutt the publisher was born?

KITTY: I began to wonder if I could publish books for a living. I’m a writer as well though I have nothing out yet, my passion took over as an entrepreneur for these authors and I simply haven’t had the time. But, I do intend to soon. I have a book currently in the works. Though, my reason for becoming a publisher was to help put a name behind these wonderful authors in an effort to get them the notoriety they deserved. It has been a wonderful experience and I have helped quite a few. One of my biggest was Brian D. Anderson of “The Godling Chronicles” fame. He came to me with a book barely selling 5 copies a month with his old publisher. After changing his cover art and reworking the editing he began selling hundreds and eventually thousands. With my guidance he became a best seller in no time and remains so still.

I currently work with almost 100 authors on the path to creating more bestsellers. That is my current goal.

RW: What do you see as the role of a publisher for an author who is represented by an agent and one who is not represented by an agent?

KITTY: None of my authors are represented by agents so I have to do most of what an agent would do for them. I work mostly on Internet promotions as a lot of my authors do not have the time to do it all themselves. I give them the ability of having a name behind them as well as a person backing them up and cheering them on. I work hard for all of my authors, sometimes working as much as 24 to 72 hours in a stretch.

A lot of people don’t know what promotion entails, it’s much more than just getting your book to sell, it’s about selling the author as well. Agents have the role of soliciting authors to other publishing companies. This is what gets them in the door. However, with my business, I allow authors to send unsolicited manuscripts. A publisher does more than just soliciting, a publisher is responsible for every aspect of the process. This includes putting the book together, formatting, cover art and getting it out in the public eye. Then the process of promotion begins. A lot of agents don’t delve into the promotions as much as they do the simple soliciting of a book to publishers.

RW: How do you determine attention given to an author, such as if one is suddenly receiving great attention and showing promising sales or publicity, do you have anything in place to notice this and perhaps push that person over the top?

KITTY: As a publisher, having as many authors as I do, I try hard to delegate my time and effort fairly. I can say that if an author is doing well, and especially if they work hard for themselves, I will back them to the greatest extent possible. I do actively push my authors to do well, and to help themselves as much as I try to help them. It’s a partnership, not a one-sided business. My drive is the fact that if I don’t get their books to sell then I’m not only doing them a disservice but myself a disservice as well. The only money I make are from royalties just as they do. This makes it beneficial to us both. I’ll be honest and say that if an author comes to me and they do not show much interest and expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter and done for them, then they are in for a surprise. You must work together as a team, I can’t make you a bestseller and I’ll never lead them to believe that I can. It takes dedication and a lot of hard work on both parts.

RW: What can an Author expect from you when they sign a contract?

KITTY: They can expect that I will work hard for them and do everything in my power to make sure their book is as close to perfect as it can possibly be. I am more interested in quality than quantity and I do not take on every author that submits a manuscript. I only take on, promote and work hard for those I genuinely believe deserve it, the ones that I know will work hard for themselves and are serious about their writing and creative achievement.

RW: I notice that for now you deal with print through Createspace rather than a print distributor is there a business practice philosophy there?

KITTY: We do currently deal with Createspace. The reasons of course are as follows. Firstly, I am a small business, my business is run out of my own home so therefore I do not have a warehouse to store print books for purchase. Also, the fees for a distribution service can be extremely costly. I do not have the financial backing in place to afford those fees, nor do I expect my authors to pay for them. I am not a vanity press, so I do not charge my authors any fees to publish with my company. Right now print-on-demand is our best option as it allows us the benefit of having print books without any overhead cost. I still pay for custom ISBN’s for my authors but at a much more minimal fee than what it costs with a lot of distributor printers, also Createspace now offers expanded distribution for free, so our books go into the very same catalogs that they would go into with Lightning Source or any of the other companies that are distributor based and there is no additional charge. The only downfall to POD printing is the no return policy. We hope in the future this will change in some regard.

RW: Are you the only person that ‘handles’ your author?

Kitty: I most certainly am. I work alone. I do it all, the cover art, the formatting, the promotions, the whole nine yards. I do not have anyone else that works for my authors or for myself. I’m a one woman show and so far, I’ve been told that I do it well and in some cases far better than a lot of larger publishing companies! I’d love to have help, but of course it’s a matter of being able to afford to pay employees and since I’m more an entrepreneur and wish to keep my authors from paying exorbitant fees for everything I do, I’d rather work 24 to 72 hours at a time. I also grew up in a family that has always been go-getters and believed that ‘if you want something done right, it’s better to do it yourself.’ Not to mention if you want something done in a timely manner.

RW: How do you ‘search for talent’ as is mentioned on your site?

KITTY: To be quite honest, Ron, I don’t search at all. All of my authors to this day, have come to me. I have yet to go and actively search for any authors. I don’t believe in going out and soliciting. I feel that if they truly like what they read, and they meet me and like me as a person and they feel they can trust me, they will come aboard and we’ll do a lot of great business together.

RW: So when I finish one of my novels will you sign me up?

KITTY: Of course! Just kidding 😉 But seriously, you’d have to go through the same rigorous trials as all the rest. One thing I try not to do, is take on an author because they are a friend of someone else’s or my own. I won’t take on anything or any work that I don’t truly believe in. But, in all sincerity, something tells me you just may be a talent to be reckoned with! We’ll have to wait and see. J

RW: How many submissions do you get and what happens once that submission hits the email or submission box?

KITTY: I get somewhere between 12 to sometimes 20 submissions a day. The process for submitting is, the author must send a full synopsis or outline of their story. Since I don’t have time to read the entire book before making a decision I like to know what is going to happen to the fullest. I also like for the author to send me at least 3 to 5 chapters of their actual manuscript so I can get a feel for their writing. I do have a lovely woman by the name of Lisanne Cooper that helps with my submissions. She does this out of the kindness of her heart and I trust her implicitly as to her knowledge of what is good and what is not. Lisanne is an editor with Ravenswood as well, and she is amazing. She has edited almost every book we have out and she is very capable of pulling off her ‘specific genre likes’ hat in order to make viable decisions on manuscript selection for publication. I do read the submissions as well and between the two of us we make the right choices for what we feel is best for Ravenswood.

RW: How many do you accept, percentage wise and what makes a good submission to you? (Taking notes.)

KITTY: The amount is hard to say. It really depends on what we find that we feel is worth our time and effort. I have had months that I have not accepted a single submission and some where I’ve accepted 10 or more. Submissions are almost always open, and one thing that I do not do is put deadlines on my authors or myself. With the way I work, I try and get the books out in a timely manner and so far it seems I’m doing well. But I never make promises. It’s just not feasible to do so. I can say that I haven’t let my author’s down yet in regards to release dates. At least I think I haven’t… What makes a good submission first and foremost is if the author can follow directions for submission. What we ask for on the site is exactly what we want. If we get a submission where the author has just typed up a generic query and tossed it at us, forgot to attach the manuscript chapters or synopsis, then we have and usually will pass them by. We don’t like submissions where author’s brag too much. Not to say that they may not be right when they claim to be our next bestseller, but to us boasting is just not necessary. Mainly, we like for you to be professional, and be honest with yourself and us. Send your submissions as asked and you’ll have a fighting chance. J

RW: I notice you have a varied roster of authors and genres, is there something you are looking for, like a wish list of a book subject matter?

KITTY: Horror! I really would love to get more horror this year. I love the genre myself but I don’t have a lot of it at Ravenswood. My favorite horror is the macabre H.P. Lovecraft and Poe. But I would love to get any kind of horror for our Dark Feed Press imprint! I would also love more non-fiction and what I’m really interested in right now is more like the kind of non-fiction that Llewellyn Press puts out. I would love to get some Pagan non-fiction.

RW: Are there genres or subjects you see as perhaps fading in popularity?

KITTY: I feel sometimes that Non-fiction is fading a bit, I also think that Paranormal may be fading some. It seems that fantasy has become more popular lately and as you can see Mythos is one of our largest selections. I’m really hoping to see a comeback for a lot of genres this year, including Science Fiction.

RW: Where do you see the future of publishing headed?

KITTY: With the rise of Independents I honestly think that the larger publishers may have some competition. We are in an age where anyone can publish, and a lot of authors choose to go their own way. Though we do have a well of small presses, including my own and I honestly hope to see them rise more. I feel that there is a vast untapped potential out there and at times I truly feel that the larger publishers either pass them by or simply don’t see the majority of the ‘diamond’s in the ruff’ out there. I’m determined, however, not to pass them up!

RW: What do you say when people mention something to you about how publishers aren’t really necessary in today’s world of books?

KITTY: I’m the first to say that they are wrong. The reason why is clear. It’s easy to publish a book on your own as an author, but it’s not easy to find someone that will back you up, push you to do your best, and genuinely fight for you when you’re being ostracized and getting those reviews that we know often bring you down. I’m that kind of person, and publisher. I will fight for my authors and I treat them like family. If they are being harassed unnecessarily, if they are feeling bad over a bad review, I’m there for them, and I show them how much I care. I work hard for them and I take on the workload they can’t take on themselves because of outside jobs or family life. Of course, family and friends will be there for you too, but a publisher, especially one like me, we know the business, we know how it works, we’re going to help you and put our name and strength behind you, I’m not going to leave you floating on a raft in the middle of the ocean alone. That’s why we’re needed.

RW: How do you handle Authors that might think they should be your star?

KITTY: The same way I’d handle my own kids. That may sound odd to some people but at times you have to remind them that they aren’t the only ones. I have close to 100 authors, and they all get a fair shake from me. I don’t put up with attitudes and I don’t put up with ideas of grandeur. We are all stars, we are all worthy, and no one should take precedence over another no matter how much money they may be bringing in, or how great their books are. We are all a team, we all help one another and that’s just the way it has to be. I’m honest to a fault and I have let authors of mine know before when I think their egos are getting the best of them. I’ll be the first to bring them back down. Just call me the gravity boot!

RW: I know you are an Author as well as publisher, what genres do you write in?

KITTY: Right now, I’m writing a fantasy for young adults and middle graders. But I also write paranormal/supernatural, I have an erotica in the works, I have several historical fiction novels in the works, and I have a few other fantasy novels in mind. My ideas go all over the board.

RW: What is your background in writing?

KITTY: My background in writing is like a lot of my authors. I have never studied writing in school or taken any classes other than those in my business class. I know the difference however, between creative writing and thesis writing and as much as some would like to believe they are… they are NOT the same. I have been writing almost since I was old enough to read. I was making up stories in my mind even before then, trust me, when I was a kid, my parents likely thought I needed to be put in an asylum or I had one of the most creative imaginations ever. I was that kid, when I’d been outside playing in the woods, and I’d come in after being out all day for dinner, they’d ask me where I’d been and my response was something as follows: “I was out riding Bess! We jumped the creek, she walked for a bit and ate some clover then we headed back. My pants are wet because I fell off on the way back over the creek and landed in the water. We had to go on the other side because she lost her horn over there the last time. We got it back though so she’s whole again now.” See… Bess was my unicorn, and we had adventures all the time, the thing was, at that time we didn’t even have a horse, so you can see what I mean about the imagination part. 😉

RW: What are you reading now, both in your own company and outside?

KITTY: Right now I’m finishing Carrie F. Shepherd’s book “Fall from Grace: The Scribing of Ishitar” I’m going to start on “Buan: The Perfect Mortals” by Reece Bridger next, both my authors of course. I do have one book that I intend to start on soon from another author, one of my personal favorites, Lloyd Alexander. I love fantasy!

RW: What’s your favorite word and why?

KITTY: Knight! And not even the reason you’d think! It’s a rather long story but I’ll shorten it as best I can. I pronounce it niggit, and the reason why is my daughter and I were watching Game of Thrones a while back and the Lord Stannis’ daughter was teaching the Onion Knight, how to read. He saw the word ‘knight’ and pronounced it niggit and ever since then I have used it for everything. When I feel I’m about to say a bad word, I say niggit instead. Our cat, Merlin loves to play with my scrunchies and I have started calling them niggits and now I can actually tell him to bring me one and he will… no joke. But he also likes for us to launch them like a rubber band and he’ll fetch them and bring them back. Yes… we have some very strange animals in our house.

Interested in books from Ravenswood Publishing?

Are you an author looking to be published?

If you answered yes to either of those then click here to go to their site.

You can also follow them on Twitter @RAVENSWOODPUB

I want to thank Kitty for joining us today and giving us a little insight into what makes this particular publisher tick. Check out the books by her authors and as always, remember . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

 

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My First Writing Conference – Top 10 Things I Learned

Author Jenna Willet attended the Colorado Writing Workshop we mentioned here on Lit World Interviews. The presenter and instructor was Chuck Sambuchino that I’ve mentioned here numerous times. Jenna amazingly took the time to give the Top 10 Things She Learned at the conference. A MUST READ.

Jen's Pen Den

On November 15th, I attended the Colorado Writing Workshop in Denver with presenter and instructor Chuck Sambuchino. To say I learned a lot would be an understatement. In fact, I learned so much, there’s no possible way for me to tell you everything. So, I’m going to do a Top 10 list!

top-10-schools

 Before I get started, here’s a list of the sessions I attended during the conference. I’ll admit, I got more out of some than others, but each one taught me something, and that’s what I’d hoped for.

  • “Your Publishing Options Today.”
  • “Everything You Need to Know About Agents, Queries & Pitching.”
  • “Writers’ Got Talent: A Chapter One Critique-Fest.”
  • “How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Author Platform & Social Media Explained.”
  • “How to Get Published: 10 Professional Writing Practices That You Need to Know NOW to Find Success as a Writer.”

So, without further ado, here we go!

1: Be…

View original post 1,926 more words

BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “The Reach of the Banyan Tree” @SASSEVN

The Reach of the Banyan Tree

Title: The Reach of the Banyan Tree

Author: Mark W. Sasse

Publisher: Mark W Sasse (June 29, 2014)

ISBN-10: 1499713002

ASIN: B00LE5MNP0

http://mwsasse.com/

Pages: 301

Genre: Historical romance, Contemporary romance, Fiction, Historical fiction

*A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review, which follows.

I was instantly transported back into time to August 1945, French Indochina, where Charles Regal Carson, an American soldier with the OSS Deer Team, was tasked to assist Ho Chi Minh and General Vo Nguyen to fight against the Imperialist Japanese in World War II.  What ensues is a hauntingly lovely contemporary romance filled with suspense and intrigue that brought me to tears, as I lived through the lives of Charles (Cha Le), Mai, Long, Thuy, and Charles III.

From there, Charles’ (Cha Le’s) story unfolds through the chaotic life of his grandson, Charles Regal Carson III, (Chip) who in the year 2000 left the family oil business to pursue his own ventures in Vietnam.  Surrounded by the natural beauty of Vietnam, Chip falls in love with a young woman named Thuy. Their love leads them on a journey of discovery though cultural differences, language barriers, and age old traditions that lead them to face some ultimate truths in their own lives.

This romance spans fifty years through three generations of American men whose lives are interwoven through the women they love, their courage to face reality, and the lifetime friendships they forged.  I loved the richness of the characters and the rites of passage into adult-hood that each endured.

The banyan tree plays an integral part in this story. To me the banyan tree represented the hearts of the people of Vietnam.  The tree celebrates life by leading you through the lives of Chip, his father, and his grandfather representing the reach of family ties through the generations.  I also gained a new insight into the ancient culture of Vietnam where family loyalty at all costs is still represented in modern society.

Sasse’s descriptions of the Vietnamese countryside placed me within the story.  I could see the emerald green rice paddies, and I could feel the heat and humidity that is Vietnam.  At times, I felt like I could even taste the food and wine, so detailed were the descriptions.

The cultural and societal differences between Vietnam and America were an uncomfortable truth I had to reconcile with myself.  Women in many Asian cultures are not valued as much as males are.  I was struck by how the death of the only male child in the family was viewed as a total sense of failure for the family.  The loss was such a deep scar that it consumed them and left them unable to move forward.  I was awed that these feelings and beliefs were so deeply ingrained within the culture of Vietnam and still exist today.

What struck me the most was that even though these cultural differences plagued the characters, their love and honor to each other overcame all obstacles placed before them.  I was taught that love and family truly live on through the reach of our ancestors.

Sasse is an expert story teller.  He weaves colorful characters that possess great compassion and an emotional complexity that I seldom see in romance novels.  I was deeply drawn to these characters.

This book has something to offer everyone. A splash of true historical facts, passionate love, action, and intrigue will take you on a journey you will not easily forget.  This story will remain in a soft place within your heart.

mark_w_sasse.jpgMark Sasse’s Author Interview here on LitWorldInterviews appears Friday, Dec. 5.

RATINGS:

Realistic Characterization: 5/5

Made Me Think: 5/5

Overall enjoyment: 5/5

Readability: 5/5

Recommended: 5/5

Overall Rating: 5

 

Buy it at:  Amazon

FORMAT & PRICING:

Paperback:  $11.25 USD

Kindle:  $2.99 USD

 

Colleen Chesebro

Colleen_Silver_Threading

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

SilverThreading.com

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The Author Interview: How, Why, What, Who?

I love to interview authors, publishers, illustrators, cover artists, proof readers, agents, editors. I think you get the picture. If they are involved with the book business then I want to talk to them. I’ve learned a lot as an author along the way and I’m taking notes as I go. I’m not here today to talk about those notes I’ve taken. All the interviews are there to read and I’ll likely compile a few things at some point, knowing me, and share them with you.

Today I want to discuss what Authors should do with an interview, and also how they should interview.

the_author_interview.jpgI’ve done research about how to interview. In other words, what questions should I ask. Well, I actually came up with my own questions after getting a feel for what was going on. I won’t get into my technique because it’s my technique. It’s not that I think it’s a great technique about what I do or how I do, but it’s mine and it’s changing as I write this.

Remember the purpose of the Interview

  • Profile Snap Shot Questions-Maybe 5 things about you.
  • Book Promotion such as Book Blog Tour-Let’s say, 10 questions mostly about your book.
  • Interview about you and your work-No real limit, minimum or maximum. But this is one that is more to give the reader a good impression of who you are personality wise and good detail about your work. This is the one that is to make them connect with you, become your friend, and become your book buying fan.

As I get into details here, just know these are my opinions. I have been thinking of these details for some time though so they are not just quickly put together for an article.

Each type of Interview will determine how you, the Author, might answer. The shorter the interview the more precise your answers and the longer the interview, the more conversational you want to sound. Looking at the number of questions I noted above for each type of interview you can almost see the urgency to be efficient in your use of words without straying off topic.

At the moment I do the Long Form Interview because I enjoy them, and I want every Author that wants an interview to have a good interview of length to turn to when an agent or publisher asks about publicity. And the long form is the type of interview I will discuss today.

For authors I have already interviewed I will be asking some follow up questions in the future for some short form blurb type posts to continue their presence here on LWI and to have one more item out there for their name to show up in when agents or publishers search for them.

What is your goal in a long form interview?

This really depends on the questions you are asked, what you have agreed to. My interviews are all encompassing.

My first piece of advice is-Read through all of the questions before you start answering, if this is an interview where you are sent the questions, such as the way I do it. I would like to do interviews differently in the future so they are more organic, but in truth, the email interview keeps things focused.

Reasons for reading all the questions first

  • You don’t want to include information one place that you will be including elsewhere. Yes, repetition is fine, but save yourself the headache of repeating yourself, and your interviewer from having to edit down for space limitations. LWI is my site. So I have no set limits, but the longer your interview the greater the possibility of losing the reader, especially with repetition.
  • You will get an idea of how the interview is set up and the flow of it and that might help you get into the mood of the interview.
  • This gives you time to think about the questions instead of that feel of needing to jump right in. For those interviewing with me there is no deadline. When I get the answers I then put them on the calendar for the next open date unless the Author has some date that is beneficial to them.

 What is my purpose as an interviewer when giving you certain questions?

  1. To discuss your book that has just been released or is about to be released.
  2. Note previous work
  3. Note the book you are working on for the next release
  4. Show your personality
  5. Show your professionalism
  6. Promote you

Those are not in any particular order. If they were, number 6 would be number 1. And know this when you hand over your answers to me I am going to take them and try to make you look like the most interesting person possible. Know that an interviewer edits. I don’t change words unless it is a grammar thing. And no, I don’t leave the wrong spelling in there and note it for the world to see. I even have someone on staff I can turn to that edits for me to make sure that we both look good. Of course I have to ask her to do it. But then she reads the interview anyway and I get these chat messages saying “Oh Ronovan, did you really mean to spell that word like that?”  “Oh Ronovan, are you really a grammatical idiot?” And yes, yes I am. I think proof readers and editors should be assured of jobs security.

In order to engage a reader I like to create a conversation.

But there have been times that it’s been impossible because I wasn’t given enough to use, so I simply put the questions and answers in an article and put it out there. However, there are some authors who give me what I need and help themselves. If you ask me for an interview, just know that the more you give me the better your interview will turn out. I don’t mean a book, but not one sentence answers either.

 When I send out my questions and the information email I suggest what one should do.

  • Answer the questions like you would in a conversation.
  • Have some fun.
  • Show your personality.
  • Be yourself.

For those who give me that I can create a nice interview. Again, I am not going to go into detail about what I do. If you read the interviews here on LWI you can see which ones really work. All give good answers. Don’t get me wrong. They all answer the questions with the right answers, it’s just that some loosen up and just put it out there honest and like they were talking to their best friend.

It might be that people are worried what they see will make them look bad or someone will use what they say against them. I guess you do need to watch out for that. I personally don’t do that. You can ask any Author I’ve interviewed and they will tell you I am as honest and trustworthy as you get and I’ll make you look as good as I can. Sometimes people will give an answer that I know just doesn’t sound right. I know it’s going to come across wrong. I’ll send an email asking for perhaps another take on it or I will just leave it out. My job is to make YOU look good. Regardless of if I approached you or You approached me for the interview, once we both say yes then my job is to promote you. If I do a hatchet job on you then why would anyone else want to interview with me?

How do you know what an interviewer wants?

Check out their other interviews. See what their style is. You don’t have to say yes if someone asks you.

Who to Interview With

I feel a bit odd answering this one, as I am an interviewer but in truth I am an author first. Check interviews, talk to authors they have interviewed if you have concerns. Most interviewers should be fine. But before saying yes check things out. Unless it is with me, just say yes.

How to get an Interview

You might be asked or you can ask someone who interviews. Some might have how to approach them on their site. I rarely get approached for interviews and to be honest it gets a bit exhausting searching down and approaching authors. But my goal is to help whomever I can, so the search goes on.

 What to do with the interview?

  1. Link to it on your own site
  2. Include it in any publicity packet you send to potential agents or other publicity opportunities
  3. Share it in Social Media. Let me tell you this. Don’t Tweet it to death. Use it once a day at the most and that should be around 12:30 New York Time. And have other things going on in between the Tweets. Also change up how you Tweet it with different wording. Why? People will start skipping over things that look like it and might miss a new Interview, a new book, or a sale you have running
  4. Use excerpts from the review. Meaning use quotes from the interview in some promotional way

Finally and Most Importantly

Come back to the person that interviewed you! If you were happy with them and they were happy with you, there is a promotional relationship there waiting to happen. I personally want to keep the people I’ve interviewed as friends. Currently I’ve interviewed 29 people that have appeared here on Lit World Interviews. At some point I intend to take time off from writing on LWI and check up on them, seeing what they are doing and checking all their sites for any new promotions. Although I encourage authors to let me know when any new promotion is going on, I know I will be forgotten. But I don’t forget, well I actually have Retrograde amnesia and Short Term Memory problems due to a concussion but hey, it just makes note taking that much more important.

 

Until next time, I hope this helps,

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

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A Place for Submissions @anaiahpress #Authors #Christian

place_to_submit.pngFrom the Anaiah Press website.

About Anaiah Press

Anaiah Press is a Christian digital-first publishing house dedicated to presenting quality faith-based fiction and nonfiction books to the public. Our goal is to provide our authors with the close-knit, hands-on experience of working with a small press, while making sure they don’t have to sacrifice quality editing, cover art, and marketing.

Authors who sign with Anaiah Press can expect:

  • Release in digital format first, with a business-savvy plan to facilitate a timely move into audio and print/POD for full-length works.
  • A senior-level editor assigned to provide quality editing and to guide you every step of the way throughout the publication process
  • A publicist and a marketing/publicity plan specific to your book, and inclusive of advertising (i.e. blog tours, print/media advertising, review sites, etc.)
  • High-quality covers expertly designed specifically for your book
  • Royalties in the amount of 40% on net for digital format and 9-12% net on all other formats.
  • Subrights personnel who work to sell key subsidiary rights for our entire catalogue

Staff Wish Lists

Imprints

Submission Guidelines

The Anaiah Press Blog here on WordPress

 

 

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2 Book Blog Tour/Launch Hosting Pages on LWI!

Hosting.jpg

Two New Pages To Check Out!

 

I think the names say it all. These are the results of filling out the form on . . .

 

We already have Hosts and Authors signing up, so please keep filling out the form.

 

 

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Want to be a book tour host? Need a book tour host?

Do you want to host an author’s book launch/tour?

Do you need someone to host your book launch/tour?

LitWorldInterviews wants to help you out.

We are providing a page where we will list your needs as an author

and

Your willingness to be a host.

What’s a host?

A host posts something for the author on their blog/site. For example: I will be a host on my personal blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com for my friend and fellow LWI team member Jo Robinson. She will send me something to copy and paste into my post editor and an image and very likely a date for it to be published. It’s that simple. I help a friend and author out, I get an easy blog post for the day and possibly more people visiting my site but don’t tell Jo that that’s what I’m doing. Okay, so I’m not really doing it for those last two reasons . . . maybe.

 

Click here to go to the page to fill out the simple form. Directions are included. Or if you are not a link clicker then check out the page in the menu at the top titled ‘need a book tour host/want to be a host?’.

Be A Host

We want LWI to become a useful place for authors to turn to and a place for readers to get involved in a fun way in the careers of authors. Trust me, I did it and then created this site. Now I review, interview, and beta read and some other things I never thought I would do. And it’s a BLAST!

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

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Best selling e-publishers with some print accepting #submissions @evernightpub

ronovan's_inbox.png

 

Romance and Erotica best selling e-publishers with some print accepting submissions. They do have sub genres so don’t let the Erotica scare off some of you.

EverNight Publishing

Romance*Erotica Romance*Urban Fantasy

 

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Win a $250 Professional Headshot Session from @thewritelife #Authors

Win a $250 value Professional Headshot Session at thewritelife.com.

Click below.

http://thewritelife.com/giveaways/headshot/?lucky=126

Author Presence: Choosing a Theme for your Author Blog

Author Presence: Choosing a Theme for your Author Blog

The last article talked about Creating a Blog as in just getting your name set, and your Twitter Bio. The Creating a Blog part is pretty important as today we begin to look at Themes for our Blog. Yes, I said OUR blog. I am creating one right along with you.

“What is a Theme and why is it important that I pick any certain Theme?”

The Theme is the layout of your blog and the options you have. You can look at LitWorldInterviews and then  compare it to RonovanWrites.

You will notice first that LWI does not have a Header Photo but RW does, the typewriter. Also LWI has a slider image option where you see the most recently interviewed Authors scroll by like a slide show. RW does not have this feature. The RW Theme is the Coraline Theme. This a good option for an Author.

The Coraline Theme gives you the option for different side bar layouts. It also has footer areas for Widgets, and you can even make the background to your text area transparent so if you have some image in the background you can have the words appear on top of it. Not really my preference but it is an option if you were doing some special event. So you have a lot of flexibility with this them. Click Here to see the details of the Theme and if you scroll to the bottom you can see other blogs that use it.

The Twenty Fourteen Theme is used by one of our resident Authors, PS Bartlett. Click Here to see it in action. I’ve played around with the Theme but not to the success that this site has going for it. Okay, so I haven’t played with it THAT much. I don’t know if there has been any premium upgrades made. It’s a nice layout and looks good. This looks like a professional site.  She has made her landing page, her first page you go to on the site be about her. That’s fine. Many site owners do that. It’s all a matter of preference. Click Here to see the details of the Theme and scroll down for other blogs that use it.

The Mystique Theme is one I used for the longest time on RonovanWrites until I just wanted a change. I set it up on my RonovanRants site, a site that I haven’t really done anything with as of yet. You will notice that the header does not have a photo, you can have one or not. There are different layouts for the sidebar . I put it here as the right and put some widgets in the footer areas. A friend is looking at changing up their Author site and this was an example I gave them. They wanted something that did not appear cluttered. I advised for the About.me widget to be in the sidebar, possibly along with the Mystique Tabbed Widget which is at the bottom in a footer on the right. This makes for a clean look, with a slightly different background feel to it. If you have a book cover or a series of books this might be very nice. Basically Mystique is another versatile theme. Click Here to check out the details and other sites using it.

These are just three Themes you can choose from. This is the beginning of your journey. Some like to say they want a simple, clean and minimalist Theme. Okay, I get that. But you know what? Why not have a Theme that can be simple but can also give you flexibility in the future? Why do I say that? If you change from one Theme to another Theme you will often have to rebuild all of your Widget areas and do some other customizing. What I have done is found a Theme for my own personal use that I can change around any time I want, it will look different, and I don’t have to fix things all the time. And yes, sometimes variety and change is good when you’ve had a site for a while and you want to wake up your fans. Just make it easy for you to do it.

That’s why I go with the Coraline Theme. For the purpose of this exercise that is the Theme I will use. You don’t have to do that. You can choose what you like and apply what we do moving forward to it.

For the next time you will want to have an image for your Header Photo ready. That would be like the typewriter on my RonovanWrites site. One thing I did was make it so I did not need a Header Text Line by putting the name of my Blog on the Header Photo itself. The dimensions you need are 990×180 pixels.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

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Author Presence: Your Brand Name

Author Presence: Your Brand Name

In my previous Author Presence article I discussed About.me, it’s importance, it’s various categories and some advice about what to do when setting your account up.

social_media_tips.jpg

Choosing Your Brand Name

Your name is the best thing to use across all of your social media if you are an author or a blogger wishing to create a brand. Yes, you are a brand waiting to happen. So pop your top, let that fizzy goodness sound and get ready to drink success.

Picking your blog name, even if not your own name itself, needs to be something you are willing to actually say out loud to people. Think about it. “Oh yes, my Twitter handle is Cheetos Fingers, Mr. Top Literary Agent Ever.” Or perhaps you have something even less appropriate that we won’t get into.

Today is about determining what your Brand Name will be. Yes, I have advised it should be your name. Some use the name of their books or the main character in their books.

How to determine a Brand Name even if not Your Name:

  • You need to Google or search with some search engine the name you want to use. If you are wanting to have the website Ronovan.com, it’s not happening because I own it. So even if your name is Ronovan, you can’t use that. Yes you can use your full name, ronovansmith.com but you need to search. Search all aspects, even Twitter. Just because your name is Ronovan Smith does not mean you are the only one out there and using Twitter. Research.
  • Don’t stress over this. Take your time. Pick your top three or five or however many you would be happy with BEFORE you begin the search. If your name is say . . . John Smith you might want to try  johnsmithauthor.com or authorjohnsmith.com. Google it. By the way, those two are apparently available.
  • You then use that everywhere. That is your Brand. You might add something to the end of it for whatever like when doing promotions. AuthorJohnSmith.com Books or BookSigning or T-Shirts. Yes, you might look at trademarks and copyrights as well, but you have your presence started.
  • Also setting up a widely used Brand Name will help with Search Engine Operations (SEO). The more your name appears on posts, articles and anything that goes up on the internet the more and more you will rise in the search engine, I’ll call them lists. Basically the more you are searched and the more you put out attached to your name on the internet the higher in ‘ranking’ you will appear on things like Google. In other words, your name gets closer to that first page of the search results.
  • Also if you have a Series then THAT can be a Brand Name to use as well. I already have sites saved with the name of future series.

To Do Today:

  1. Determine your Brand Name
  2. If just beginning your Author Presence then set up an email with that Brand Name that is dedicated to your professional life. Even if a veteran of social media, do this as well. You will be doing a lot of signing up for various things and you need to have it in a place that is for your business.
  3. If you do the email, you can go ahead and go to WordPress.com and grab that Brand Name as your blog name. We will be venturing into the Blog life next, but in a slow way. I will give suggestions for ‘Themes’ to use. A Theme is basically the layout possible for your site along with colors and other options. There are plenty of sites out there to tell you how to do this but I am going to do it anyway with an Author in mind. So the Blog is optional today.

As always, remember . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

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Author Presence: About.me-What and How To.

Authors: Let’s get started setting up your web presence.

Each day this week I will have an article about another piece to setup. I am not into doing everything at once in one article. We’re not in a hurry. Doing everything in one article makes people feel overwhelmed when all they really need to do is come back to that article the next day. So what I like to do is . . . one thing at a time. Call it the reasonable teacher in me. Yes, I was a History teacher and a corporate trainer type among other things.

Something important to remember as we begin this process together; I want you to know that I will be giving ADVICE here. Take it or leave it. After I give it you then make it work or not. Everything I or anyone else tells you won’t do miracles on its own. YOU have to work it. I have social media things out there that I don’t ‘work’ and they are not doing anything for me. Actually putting all of this together for you is going to make me begin to ‘work’ what I have more.

I strongly advise you to sign up for a Twitter account. I know you might never use it but set one up. For one thing you want to get your Twitter Handle, your Name you like saved by you. But the real useful thing is that you will be able to use it in other accounts you set up. And you will be amazed at how many social media services out there will allow you to simply log in with Twitter. I tell you it comes in handy when you can’t remember a password. I have problems with remembering things, long story, amnesia’s a bummer.

This one account is what I have showing on my Twitter account for people to click on to find out about me.

It’s the About.me account.

Why set up an About.me Account.

Yes, that’s a big font there for this. I want you to know why you need one of these.

  • It’s a great place to point people to for all the basic information they need about you or you want to share and they can find links to everything else about you they might want. All of this is explained below in more detail.
  • You can connect to other authors and start networking by seeking them out and uniting. Building that platform.
  • People can find you based on your interests. Someone might be looking for a freelance writer and you have that down as an interest. Someone might want an interviewer and find me. You would be surprised at how many authors do NOT ask to be interviewed for free publicity for their books.

About.me

Think of your About.me as your central hub, the Grand Central Station of your social media empire.  From this one account people can find all the connections to your other media from one page.

What all can you include here?

I am going to give everyone credit for being able to sign up for an account. Once you’ve done that you will want to Edit Page. You do this by clicking your name in the top right and then Edit Page. If you are just signing in for the first time it may take you right to the Edit Page.

I’ll go in order of the tabs on the edit screen where you would actually be putting information you want to share.

As you are choosing images, links and information to share just remember that anyone can see this including agents and publishers.

Photo

  • Background Photo (You can choose from your computer, facebook, Instagram, or any you have saved with about. me so far.) This is the large full screen image. I have a photo of myself as my background. Why? Because this site is linked to my blog and I can use this photo or another photo mentioned later as my photo that I want people to see when the first show up to my Blog. One is professional and the other is casual and more of that sports guy in a baseball cap thing. You get to see two sides of my personality. Some people use a scenery photo as the Background Photo. It’s up to you.

Biography

  • Name-How do you want your name to appear. That’s right, just because you registered one way doesn’t mean it has to appear that way on the page. Don’t worry about the Font size now, you can change it later as well as for everything else in the Biography sections.
  • Headline-Think subtitle that appears under your Name. Ex: Author of the McGregor Trials Series.
  • Biography-This is where you get to tell everyone about you. You can put links in the Biography to any interviews you’ve been in or your books on whatever sales site you have them on. Brief or Long it’s up to you. But know this; the About.me is can appear on your blog and this Bio can appear there as well. Keep that in mind as you compose it.
  • Location-Don’t worry, you don’t have to be specific.
  • Work-Put what you want. I have writer, blogger, interviewer.
  • Education-Again, put what you want to.
  • Interests-You can have these displayed or not. I don’t see why not. People will find you based on these interests. Choose wisely.
  • Bio Photo-Uploaded from your computer and it’s best if it’s a head shot. Think Profile Photo. This is the other photo I was talking about earlier during the Background Photo explanation. This is my all American guy photo with sunglasses and baseball cap and looking a bit scruffy. There’s a reason it’s my smaller photo.

Colors-(Play around to see what looks best on your page.)

  • Page Colors-You can do both colors and patterns. Also choose the opacity.
  • Bio Box and Font Colors-You can choose the opacity. This is a tricky section. I have my box somewhat opaque instead of completely opaque because my words would not show up properly against the Background Photo. Think about that when choosing your Background Photo. One that has a lot of different colors in it will make choosing font colors difficult. Also remember there are people that are color blind so there are combinations that won’t work well.

Fonts

  • There are four different font areas on your About.me page. You can choose the font style you want and the size. The recommendation is no more than two font styles on the page. Play with it. Just remember people are looking at you. Don’t get so ‘fancy’ with your fonts that people have a difficult time reading them.

Apps

  • Apps are things like Twitter and Google+, in other words this is where you chose what Social Media Buttons will show up on your About.me page. They have three pages of apps/social media outlets for you to choose from. One thing to remember is, the About.me account is an app itself of sorts. When you set up your blog you can have a widget app for the About.me page. This is a great way to have all those media buttons for people to follow without cluttering up your blog.

Links

  • Featured Content-This will show recent content from the links you share.
    • Soundcloud-I don’t have Soundcloud right now but I have seen it out and about during my travels among various blog type platforms. You never know what will attract someone to follow you.
    • Links-My most recent blog post titles show on this page and people can click them to go to my Blog and read them.
    • Youtube or Vimeo-I have a Youtube account and am looking into doing something with it. Stay tuned for . . .  something. I really have no idea what.

Contact

  • Contact Info-This is just what it says it is, including your address. Doesn’t have to be filled out.
  • Settings-This is what you want to appear on your screen and what kind of compliments are possible. Yes, people can compliment your page. People will read your Bio and possibly be inspired by it or think you are creative or cool.  Groovy, right? Wait, I’m from the South. I spelled that wrong. Gravy, right?

 

Well that’s it for today. This should take you some time to set up if you do it properly and you know what? You can always make changes to it. I do all the time. And bonus tip time: Make sure to update your About.me page when things change About.YOU.

Come back tomorrow for the next step of setting up your web presence. It’s an easier one. Kind of. And it’s the next step closer to a Blog.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

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Authors-Set Up your Web Presence.

One of the first things you will find out as an Author is that YOU ARE YOUR ADVERTISING. Agents and Publishers look at what your presence is online and how you are selling yourself. Don’t be offended at that word. Use the word marketing if you like.

The point is, you have to get attention in order to get attention. As soon as you realize you want to be an author start marketing. What are things you need to do?

Establishing your Network/Platform or whatever you want to call it.

Professionals will tell you to focus focus focus. Focus your energy on two or three media outlets and that’s it. Okay, I somewhat agree.

Today let’s talk about three of them:

  • Blog
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

What’s the best way to control your presence, your marketing, your portfolio and establish a home where everyone knows your name? You got it . . .

Your Blog

Some of you are freaking out. Don’t. You want to know why?

  • Blogs are free unless you want some super upgrade things
  • You only put on a blog what you want to
  • You can delete anything on your blog you don’t like

Why should you have a blog?

Let’s go ahead and establish first that you should go ahead and use your pen name as your blog address or URL. Blog address? Yes, that’s the http://www.whatever.com thing you type. The Title of your blog can be anything else. Like I could change the Title of this site to The Literary World of Interviews. It will change nothing in the way of how you find this site. But I prefer for the name of the site to be the same as the address, the URL address. Being the same is less confusing. And by being your name it will be easy to find you and it’s professional. You can also use the name of your book series. A friend of mine and her family have written a series, the second is out now. The trilogy is called The Seeds Trilogy and their site is very nice. It gives character profiles and a lot of things to help you really get into the atmosphere of the books. One of our Authors, PS Barlett has a nice Author Blog as well.

Your Blog, your official Author site should be professional. It should contain your work and the image you wish to project. Keep the unprofessional things off of there unless you just don’t care. I am not saying don’t have fun and share fun things, I am just saying be professional about what you post.

A Blog is also your central hub that all of your other social media spin off of.

That brings us to . . .

Twitter

I know you probably just don’t even want to think about it. It’s some alien monster beast that you don’t understand that speaks in hashtagonese but it’s easier than you think. And to be honest, you don’t have to do that much with it at first to get started. You can even connect it to your blog, very easily, and then everything you post on your blog would have a link to it sent to Twitter.

How important is Twitter to a literary type blog person? For this site, LWI, historically since it began the number one place we get people to come visit us from as of this writing is Twitter then WordPress Reader, Search Engines and Facebook. They are all very close in number but those are the top four. And those are the four ways I expect it to be at this moment. We have some great affiliated blogs that we receive quite a bit of traffic from as well.

Don’t just tweet about your books and your work. Tweet fun things, jokes, links to videos, interesting articles, anything. Also keep your image in mind. You don’t want to come off as some immature, racist, sexist punk. I apologize to you immature, racist, sexist punk Authors out there, you can tweet what you like. If you tweet just things about your work, you will lose people, followers. Look at Neil Gaiman. He has a great Twitter feed. He mentions other authors and even tweets funny things along with his work. His are some of the most humorous and window into his world tweets I have seen and it allows his followers to connect with him.

Facebook

Facebook, in all honesty, is not what it used to be but it is still worth the effort to have an Author page. You can also set anything you post on your Author page to go to Twitter as well. You can so things on facebook such as launch parties and you can even use it much like Twitter now with the use of hashtags. In case you are not familiar with hashtags that is when you see something like #FreeBooks or #LitWorldInterviews. You just put # in front of a uninterrupted series of words or word. And you are not limited to 140 characters as you are on Twitter, although, when/if your facebook post does go to Twitter the 14o characters does become a factor so your message will be chopped if it goes long. I let mine be chopped. I just put my hashtags at the beginning or in the message itself.

Facebook is where, if you have a blog, you want to post other things. You can still post your work. I put links to things on my blog on mine. But I also do videos, little joke images, or sometimes I will do poetry that I only post on facebook. I put things you would only see if you followed me on facebook. Again, not a difficult thing to do.

 

Believe it or not, you can schedule things to post on each of these media outlets. You can spend a couple of hours and set up a post a day or three posts for the week on your blog, if it takes that long. Tweets can be done the same, and facebook as well. You don’t have to be there and be active all the time, but you do want to respond to people who might comment to you. That’s up to you though. But fans do like some acknowledgement at times.

I will be getting into each of these in detail in separate articles, but for now I would advise anyone reading this that has even the remotest thought of becoming an author to go ahead and set these up. It does no harm. Go ahead and do it. I use WordPress.com for blogging. It’s free and very easy. I’ve tried others and this one really seems the easiest to me so far. It might just be a preference but I do like it, plus WordPress has a great Author community that really does support one another. You want proof? You’re reading the proof now. Authors united to help other authors and to promote their work. That’s right, we want everyone to be a success.

 

Until Next Time

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

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