Friday 25 April 2014

Guest Posts Are Fun.

Stuart Aken was recently approached to guest on a well known and respected site.
Oh, what do I do? Will I fit in? What should I write? Will it be good enough?
If you're a writer and you're approached by a renowned blogger to do a piece on that site, drop everything and concentrate on the task in hand. Guest blogging is a great way to spread the word about you and your work, a great way to find new readers. Everyone's a winner.
So do your best by reading the host blog; look at the archive, see what's been done before and then find a topic that's new, or that can be given a new slant, and make your post your best possible work.
In this case, Stuart was asked by John Yeoman to post on his excellent site, Writers' Village. Not a new experience for him, but  one he always approaches with a professional attitude. For all that John's site is full of fun, welcoming and popular, it's a very professional set-up.
Wander over there, by clicking this link, and have a look. Maybe even join in the conversation.
Oh, just so you know what you're getting into: murder's involved, and if you're a writer, you're the one who has to do the killing!
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Saturday 19 April 2014

Do you Read or Skim?

Re-blogged from Linda Acaster

A recent article in the Washington Post asked if living in the online Social Media world was having a detrimental effect on our overall reading habits. As reading is a learned skill, are we training our brains to skim-and-click for information we consider relevant, without realising it may be to the detriment of longer, in-depth reading skills where we savour nuance and metaphor?

It caught my eye (yes, I did skim as an initial pass) because I’ve had reviewers who took me to task over aspects of my books, yet their observances were simply incorrect. At the time I couldn’t understand how the mistakes had been made as these were part of the physical reflective balance between characters. But could it have been down to the speed, and the way, of reading?

This question was raised again when I was sent a link to a speed-reading test. I clocked up 255 words per minute and answered all the subsequent questions correctly. I considered this fast, but others who have taken the test have hit 500+ words per minute.

I certainly know readers who regularly challenge themselves to complete a 100,000 word novel in less than a day, but is this beneficial? Perhaps it all depends on the person, the clamouring of their mental debris at the time, and how multi-layered the text.

So... I’m obviously a slow reader. Are you a fast reader? Does this affect your ability to draw from your reading what the author seeds within the text?

Wednesday 16 April 2014

So much to do, no time to write!

April Taylor's take on the modern reality for writers.

In the golden age of fiction, the author worked at his/her desk, stroking the muse and sending off the manuscript to the agent or publisher. The publisher did the promo/marketing while the author got on with the next book. No more. In today's world, even if you have an agent and publisher, the promotion and marketing of your book takes centre stage. From organising blog tours, to tweeting, facebooking, making podcasts and videos, the author is expected to do all that and write the next book, too.

"Court of Conspiracy" the first in The Tudor Enigma series is due for release by Carina Press on 26th May 2014. I have a month and 10 days to try and raise not just my profile but the book's profile, too. All that and I am trying to write book 4, formulate a pitch for 3 more books and a Christmas short to my agent and remember that I am a human being not a human doing.

When I read that most authors make less than £600/annum and we have to wear so many hats simultaneously, I will leave you to imagine my reaction to the plumber's comment when he found out I was a writer - "I thought you lot were all millionaires." And yes, he is still living!

Saturday 5 April 2014

Interview: Marketing Indie Authored Books

The flurry of activity by members continues.

While Stuart Aken recovered from his publisher's mammoth launch event on Facebook for his epic fantasy A Seared Sky: Joinings, Linda Acaster received an enquiry from the owners of a website rejoicing in the title of Self Publishing For The Technically Challenged asking if she'd be willing to be interviewed on Promotion & Marketing.

With questions such as 'What are beta readers?' and 'How do you find blogs to guest-post on?' there was no way she could refuse.