Showing posts from July, 2013

Author Essentials: You Online Presence

For a new author, an online presence is essential. You must be active in social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc), maintain a blog, market your published book, and still find time for writing. Face it—being an author is hard work. We all get busy with life and forget to blog, fail to Tweet, and slack off on our marketing efforts. I have a hard time balancing family, work, promotional efforts, and writing, and often find it’s been two weeks since I blogged, or discover I haven’t posted to my Facebook author page in a month. Life gets in the way. It happens. We’re human. We don’t have to be perfect.

While there’s room for mistakes when it comes to how often we blog or engage in social media, there are a few mistakes that can destroy your career as an author. While there are exceptions to every rule, there are a few guidelines you should always follow when it comes to maintaining a favorable online presence.

Rule#1 Curb those angry rants. Everyone vents on Facebook and Twitter, and that’s o…

What Can Your Publisher Do For You?

Hello, it’s me again. Harping on small publishers. Yes, I know I’ve covered much of this territory before, but after talking to a new round of unhappy authors, I thought I’d better talk about publishing again.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been working on formatting The Seance. I’ve formatted a book before, but for some reason, I really struggled with the task today. At one point, I even considered hiring someone to do it for me. Fortunately (for my wallet), I persevered and eventually got it right. Though I briefly thought about the possibility of outsourcing this particular task, at no time did I say to myself, “I wish I would have given all my rights to a publisher so I wouldn’t have to worry about the details of bringing my book to press.”

For those of you who are new to my blog, I’m a little gun-shy when it comes to publishers, particularly new small presses. I’ve even heard some unsettling stories about the more established smaller publishers.

Now, this isn’t to say all pub…

Book Launch: Success or Epic Fail?

As most authors will tell you, writing your book is just a small part of becoming a successful author. Whether you choose a traditional publisher or self-publishing, there’s lots of work ahead for you. Editing, choosing cover art, more editing… it’s a long process regardless of what publishing options you choose. But even after all that work, a book launch can make or break your book’s success.

Authors (whether self-published or traditionally published) must try to make the biggest splash possible. Creating a buzz around your book is essential if you want to sell more than a handful to family and friends. If you were lucky enough to land a major publishing contract with a big publisher, you might have a marketing team behind your book. But, for the rest of us, we have to promote our books on our own.

After publishing two books (one with a small press and one self-published), I’ve learned a thing or two about launching a book. My first book was tricky to promote. Though we had a paperb…

Setting the Mood

When we think about the phrase “setting the mood,” we generally think about romance, but mood isn’t just for romance novels. It’s the author’s job to set the mood in any novel they write. In a horror novel, the reader expects a creepy, frightening setting. In romance, the author needs to set a mood conducive to falling in love. In a fantasy novel, mood is especially important. A novel about magical fairies is going to have a different feeling than a fast-paced epic adventure where the characters set out on a dangerous quest.

How do we set the mood? Of course, setting is important and probably one of the quickest ways to establish mood in a story. The plot, characters, dialogue–every aspect of your story helps create that special mood that makes your book unique.

As a writer, how do you set the mood for your writing? Do you listen to music in order to get into a certain state of mind? Does the music you listen to vary scene-by-scene, chapter-by-chapter?

I hope you enjoy this mood-evoki…