Author’s Corner: Indie Book Marketing

Indie Book Marketing I hope everyone is having a good beginning to the New Year. I’ve mentioned before, if you write because it’s your hobby, you don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about marketing. However, if you’re writing to sell, you need to publish so your book can be accessed by as many people as possible. You need to have clear goals at the start because marketing a book effectively requires planning and energy. It involves attracting and engaging your target … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: When Social Media Hurts

When Social Media Hurts I was reminded by comments in a recent writing group discussion, that authors must be mindful of their social media endeavors. I agree. You need visibility for your work. Every product needs some form of marketing to garner recognition. When I first started as an independent author, the prevailing wisdom said you needed to be everywhere, from social media platforms to public speaking events. It was all supposed to gain exposure and give the appearance of … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: Questions to Ask your Characters

The most important part of your novel is the part that will never be seen by the reader. The part’s just for you … the part that only you know. Well, you and your characters. The Character Study There are so many ways to do a character study – a letter your character writes to a friend, a confession your character makes to his therapist, or a list of things you want to know about him. However, you cannot write a good novel without knowing who your characters are, inside out. Author … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: The Importance of a Character Profile

One of the most important elements in a story is characterization: making the characters seem vivid, real, alive. One technique many writers (myself included) use with success is to create a character profile for the main characters in the novel. The purpose of a character profile is twofold: to assist the writer in creating a character that is as lifelike as possible and to help with continuity issues in the story. Many bestselling authors have stated that they came up with the basics of … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: When Did You Start?

When Did You Start to Write Stories? I’ve been thinking about all the wannabe authors out there. I suppose it’s because I’m in the same boat with them. I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. I write because I feel the urge to put my stories down for others to read. It’s something I have to do. Have to … even though I occasionally wonder if I’m relevant. For instance, I often hear young people talking about what cool new music they’ve been listening to and, if they bother to ask me … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: Creative Ideas

So, Where Do Creative Ideas Come From? The answer might surprise you. In Paul McCartney’s biography, he shared this secret: “… John often had just the first verse, which was always enough. It was the direction … the signpost … the inspiration for the whole song. I hate the word, but it was the template.” In other words, The Beatles, the most successful rock band in history, used a template to create blockbuster songs. They’re not the only ones. For instance, Agatha Christie, one of the … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: Branding for an Indie Author

Branding for an Indie Author Many authors mistakenly assume building a personal brand comes naturally, or that it’s simply unnecessary (my fans will know me through my work). I have to admit those thoughts went through my own mind when I started this journey. It was very much like believing “Build it and they will come.” Sadly, with my marketing background, I should’ve known better those assumptions were false. For people to follow you and your work, they need to know some very important … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: Why it’s Hard to be an Indie Writer

Why It’s Hard to be an Indie Writer The journey of an indie writer can be a perilous one. It’s not a trip for the faint of heart … at least not if you expect to make a living at it. The number of indie writers who’ve made it big can be counted on one hand. It was only a few years ago The New York Times even deigned to include indies on their best-seller list. From the sheer volume today, you’d expect readers and traditional media are both rushing to wrap their arms around indie authors and … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: What is an Allusion?

What is an Allusion? I talked in my last column about allusions in dialogue being one of the questions I get quite often. An allusion is a reference within your work to another work: a book, a film, a piece of artwork, a known quotation, or even a real event. They’re often used to summarize complex ideas in one quick, powerful image, getting your point across without lengthy paragraphs of description. Think of it as a kind of shorthand that provides greater meaning to what you’re … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: What’s the Best Way to Write?

I get many questions about the best way to write. I always answer that by admonishing the asker to read, read, read. I can never say that enough. The best way to learn how to write is to read … anything and everything. Read every time you’re waiting somewhere … when you’re sitting in the doctor’s office … when you’re trying to fall asleep. Immerse your brain in words all day long. The variety will give your own work more depth. Read things you like repeatedly. The second time through, try … [Read more...]