Writing Tips: Sharing is Caring

BookBaby is a self-publishing website that I use for promotion tips. It’s totally free and helpful. Recently, I shared a link for a free download they were offering to Bookbaby members (a $10 value). One of my Facebook friends thanked me for doing so, claiming she’d seen the “crab-in-a-barrel” mentality among authors. I could understand why I wouldn’tContinue reading “Writing Tips: Sharing is Caring”

Roll up the partition: Where does artistic responsibility begin?

I’m a fan of Beyonce. Was a fan, until her latest album permanently turned me off and unplugged me from fandom. Hardly a “hater,” but I disagree with its direction.There’s no artistic responsibility there — meaning, I won’t take my preteen niece to a Beyonce concert (not like I was itching to do that anyway). ThisContinue reading “Roll up the partition: Where does artistic responsibility begin?”

What’s coming in 2014

Ready for a Christmas party? So am I. Almost. Maybe not so much. My blog has been an accurate reflection of my writing time once school started. Some of you know I have returned to the classroom as a high school literature and journalism teacher. In between the lessons and grading, I don’t have veryContinue reading “What’s coming in 2014”

Here’s an idea: HOW you can get to 100 Beta Readers

Last time, we talked about Beta Readers (a test audience for a book) and their importance. Boy, are they important. Too often, you get the “do-this-and-it-will-work-for-you” and not the how. Like, “Get 100 Beta Readers.” You know 100 people, but they may not want to sit down, read your book, and rate your chapters, right? My friend LisaContinue reading “Here’s an idea: HOW you can get to 100 Beta Readers”

If you’re an author and you don’t have Beta Readers, there’s something seriously wrong with you

Beta Readers are a test audience for your new material. For example, in the movie The Break Up, Vince Vaughn’s character originally came out looking better than Jennifer Aniston’s character. That ending did not rate well with its test audience, so the ending was changed. If The Break Up was a novel, the test audience would haveContinue reading “If you’re an author and you don’t have Beta Readers, there’s something seriously wrong with you”

Digital Books: The Price Is Wrong

I went to the store and almost bought the second season of Superman: The Animated Series. Not for my five-year-old, for me. Don’t judge me — I have a bigger point to make about it. The reason why I didn’t buy it is because I saw the price, paused, and thought about it. You never  want a consumerContinue reading “Digital Books: The Price Is Wrong”

Paying for reviews: Worth it or not?

With my most recent novel, Reject High, I sunk a sizable chunk of my advertising budget to pay for a Kirkus indie review. Before you skeptically look at your screen, let me tell you: I have tried a lot of different marketing ideas. For my first novel, The Lost Testament, I hired a PR person, held a bookContinue reading “Paying for reviews: Worth it or not?”

What the Nook?

To drive early sales, get reviews and create buzz, I released the Kindle version of Reject High a month early and set the price at .99 using Kindle Direct. The process was simple — I uploaded my print-ready PDF and cover files and it was on sale within minutes.  One of my beta readers and aContinue reading “What the Nook?”

All your character wants is a meatball sandwich

E! True Brian Story: Though the meatball marinara sub  sandwich at Subway isn’t the greatest in the world, I still REALLY wanted one the other day. My wife set me up with a text, describing it as “hot,” and “fresh.” I so wanted that. Instead, my mother, who is in town, made me a homemadeContinue reading “All your character wants is a meatball sandwich”

Plotting: I’m a believer. Are you?

I’m in the midst of writing my sixth manuscript. It’s the third in my Reject High teen series. I got stuck. Like all four wheels spinning helplessly in the mud stuck. I didn’t want to try writing out my plot. For my first three novels, I created my characters, wound them up and let themContinue reading “Plotting: I’m a believer. Are you?”