Calling All Critiques: Submit Your First 500 Words Tomorrow

Quick reminder: Tomorrow (Saturday, May 24) starting at 6 a.m. EDT, we’re accepting entries to the Calling All Critiques event. Next week, we’re doing critiques of your first 500 words.

How to Enter

Submit your entry to Critiques@Saboviec.com. Cut and paste the following template into your email and fill it in.

Your name/pseudonym:
Your website (optional):
Title:

Genre (include audience, such as YA/Adult, and category):
Entry:

Your first 500 words may run slightly over in order to finish at the end of a sentence.

Acceptance of entries closes on Sunday, May 25, at 5 p.m. EDT.

More Details

Questions? Check out some of the earlier blog posts or leave a comment below:

Less than 24 hours before we begin accepting critiques!

While you wait, check out all the participating blogs and bloggers:

We look forward to seeing you back here soon.

4 Tips To Boost Your Writing Confidence by Ray Gates

I absolutely loved this post! Although I’ve read dozens of similar, empowering efforts offering advice I appreciated, I couldn’t put it to use. Ray’s tips, though, are “doable” in my little world, and I’m writing this about a month after he posted his article to prove to myself and you, dear reader, that this is solid advice: I’ve completed the first chapter of Fate Captured, the prequel to Fate Accomplis, my first contemporary romance with a November release date. See? It works! Over to you, Ray! (Click on the title to go to Ray’s site.)

You Really Can Write Every Day: My 4 Tips (via http://raygates.me)

If you’ve ever tried to be a writer, at some point you will no doubt have come across the sagely advice that to become a good writer, you must write every single day. There is certainly truth to this: writing is a skill, and like any skill, the more…

Continue reading “4 Tips To Boost Your Writing Confidence by Ray Gates”

Vivid (Friday Fictioneers #1)

What an awesome idea! A picture prompt, a 100-word story every Friday that links dozens of writer bloggers! Thank you, Rochelle Wishoff-Fields!

Here’s my first attempt entitled “Vivid”.

Copyright Erin Leary
Picture Prompt – Copyright Erin Leary

Vivid

 

The foreground is crisp and clear just like the breeze wafting in from the open window. I need mossy green. Perfect. Now burnt orange. A drop of blood red gives me persimmon. I shrug. Sepia, tawny strokes slash my canvas. I cock my head. The gnarly twigs give me a thumbs-up. Two flicks of my wrist, and I add vertical lines. Then a dewy drop at the tip to soften their descent. I ponder on the foggy background. I let it be.

One deep breath, and I open my eyes. Feeling for the edge of the window panes, I shut the breeze out and count the five steps to the door, smiling.

______________________________

I’d love your feedback! Also, if you’d like to check out other bloggers’ stories for this prompt, click on the linky:

Guarding Angel by S.L. Saboviec

I met Samantha Saboviec through her blog, and I was impressed by her confident writing. Samantha writes dark fantasy as S.L. Saboviec, and her debut novel, Guarding Angel – Falling Redemption #1, is now available through major retailers. (Scroll down for all links.) Therefore, I’m super excited to present this labor of love to you. 

Guarding Angel Blurb

Guardian angel Enael can’t seem to keep her human Wards in check. They’re the ones who choose their paths before reincarnating—she’s just there to help make sure they stay on track. But it’s not as easy as it might look.

When she meets and falls in love with charismatic Kaspen, a fellow Guardian, Enael’s feelings about Heaven, Hell, demons, and the life she’s known are turned upside down. Worse, angel-turned-demon Yasva, Kaspen’s former love, still holds him in her clutches. Even as Yasva works toward obtaining complete control of Earth, she taunts and haunts Kaspen’s and Enael’s lives.

Now Enael is forced to face her past (which is centuries long and bursting with secrets), her present (which is terribly unfulfilling and full of questions), and her future (which becomes more uncertain as time passes). Armed with a newfound love and fear of losing it all, she must figure out how to save the world—-and the angel she loves. Which side will win? Who will Kaspen choose? Will Heaven and Earth continue to exist, or will everything go to Hell?

Guarding Angel Links

Kindle US: http://amzn.to/1jTRde0
Kindle Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00K6ZM372
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/ebook/guarding-angel
Nook: http://www.bn.com/w/1119467162?ean=2940149496204
Paperback (Amazon): http://amzn.to/1vjDguz
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1gby7f7

Author Info

Samantha grew up in a small town in Iowa but now lives in the suburbs of Toronto with her Canadian husband and expatriate cat. In her spare time, she reads, writes, and thinks about reading and writing—along with playing the occasional video game or eight.

Find out more about her at www.saboviec.com.

Excerpt

 

My Ward, Daniel, put Thunder in the barn, untacked him, closed the barn door, and made his way to the house. Then it dawned on us that the farmstead seemed unusual. The house was dark. No candle from Lily waiting up for him, no cheery fire from her having stoked the hearth. The only light came from the moon overhead.

As Daniel walked from the stable, I tried to feel for the presence of humans or gaze through the wall to see who was inside. I couldn’t see or feel anything—it was as though a black curtain veiled the house.

Something waited for Daniel. Neat lettering in his Book of Life described what was about to unfold—the consequences for sleeping with Miriam a second time.

Maybe it’s not too late to stop this. My thought was irrational, but I desperately wanted to redeem myself. Perhaps I could convince Daniel to feel guilt, remorse, and contrition when he came face-to-face with death. That should be worth something to the Council of Seraphim.

I glided into the dining space ahead of Daniel. No lights burned. Upstairs, the bed was made. The pantry cabinet was closed. The hearth had been swept. The spinning wheel sat in the corner, but Lily’s basket of sewing supplies was missing. All the chairs were pushed under the dining table, except—

Daniel’s wife, Lily, sat at the table, rifle pointed at the door.

 

Exciting and stimulating: Paint Me Gone by Molly Greene (Review)

Genevieve Delacourt’s private detective cases veer from missing pets to misbehaving husbands, so when a mysterious woman knocks on her door asking her to rekindle a cold case, Gen agrees. Sophie Keene was given a painting depicting a woman that bears an uncanny resemblance to her missing sister, Shannon. The catch? Shannon has been missing for twenty years and the painting is unsigned. With Oliver, her cross-dressing, ever supporting friend as her sidekick, Gen hits the road seeking answers to simple questions which, however, make key players squirm. Although she feels danger looming, she presses on. It’s easier to get to the bottom of a life-threatening case than look at the bottom of her heart and let Detective Mackenzie Hackett know where they really stand. Yes, trust doesn’t come easy to Gen.

I read and rated Rapunzel – Gen Delacourt Mystery #2 with five stars. Now what am I supposed to do with this book? This one is even better! Molly Greene generously offers insight into her heroine’s psyche who we see growing both professionally and emotionally. Together with Oliver they make an unusual but adorable duo whose clashing personalities complement each other in a unique way. Yet again, Mollly has penned a multi-player story, casting shadows of doubt to each one of the players, throwing the reader off more than once. As with the previous books, the tension is slow-building, interspersed with glimpses to Gen’s personal and social life through her relationship with the ever patient Mack and also Oliver (Livvie). I found their bond heart-warming, and I particularly appreciated the delicate way Molly handled Oliver’s growing into his own skin (literally in his case). Add to that rich in detail descriptions of the enchanting city of Carmel-by-the-sea in California, great banter and excellent writing, and you get a fantastic mystery that you won’t be able to put down. I highly recommend it!

Author’s Bio

Molly Greene is a blogger, blog coach,  and author of both fiction and non-fiction. Her titles include Blog It! The author’s guide to building a successful online brand, and the Gen Delacourt Mystery series, Mark of the LoonRapunzel, and Paint Me Gone. She writes about her life and self-publishing topics at www.molly-rreene.com. Stop by and say hello there, or visit her on Twitter • Goodreads • Facebook and Google+  

Calling All Critiques: The Rules

Super energetic author and blogger, Samantha Saboviec is this event’s co-ordinator, and she’s prepared a detailed post with everything you’ll need to know in order to participate. And all that in spite of having to focus on the release day (today) of her debut fantasy, Guarding Angel (Fallen Redemption #1). Awesome! Over to you, Sam!
_____________________________________

We have less than one week before Calling All Critiques starts accepting its inaugural entries! Today I’ll introduce the rules. You can read more about the event and participating bloggers here: Calling All Critiques: A Cross-Blog Event and Introducing Your Hosts.

What to Enter

The schedule for the weekly critiques is as follows:

  • Week of May 26: First 500 word critique
  • Week of June 2: Cover art critique
  • Week of June 9:  Book blurb or query letter critique

For this coming week, you may submit your first 500 words, finishing at the end of the sentence. (That is, your entry could be 505 words long … or 510 words … or 515 words … but let’s not get too crazy with our run-on sentences, mmkay?)

How to Enter

Starting Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 6 a.m., submit your entry to Critiques@Saboviec.com. Cut and paste the following template into your email and fill it in.

Your name/pseudonym:
Your website (optional):
Title:

Genre (include audience, such as YA/Adult, and category):
Entry:

Your email will be kept confidential. What you submit is what will be posted, so double- and triple-check your spelling and grammar. (We may correct crazy formatting errors as a result of email quirks, but still, make sure it’s clean before you press send.) You may resubmit an entry, but it goes to the end of the queue: if you submit it past the 35 entry cutoff, you’ll have lost your spot.

Your entry will be assigned a number in the order in which it was received. Our cutoff is 35 entries or until 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 25, 2014. Entries 1-7 will be posted on our blogs Monday morning, entries 8-14 will be posted on our blogs Tuesday morning, etc.

All 35 accepted entrants will be entered into the prize draw, and the winner will be chosen by their assigned number through Random.org.

And I will say this one more time: If you don’t want both positive and negative feedback, please don’t enter. This event is for us to help one another grow as authors and maybe to make some friends in the process.

Some fine print: Entries that don’t include the above information will be discarded. At our sole discretion, we may also discard other posts for reasons such as offensive/distasteful material. Erotica may be confined only to certain blogs, and we may put an adult content warning on it.

If You Enter, Please …

Critique other entrants. The sky’s the limit on how many other entries you critique, but we ask that you at least provide feedback to four other participants.

Also, when you receive feedback on your entry, be gracious if you decide to respond. I would highly suggest not responding except for perhaps a “thank you,” but you’re going to do what you’re going to do, aren’t you? Don’t be defensive or explanatory; these critiques are for you to improve your writing. Take what you want and leave the rest behind.

And If You Critique, Please …

Be nice. Be constructive. Be specific. Be polite.

Mean-spirited or spam posts will be deleted. General “I love everything about it and I think you’re the next J.K. Rowling, ZOMG!” obviously-written-about-your-best-friend comments won’t be deleted, but that’s tacky. Don’t be tacky.

Less than one week until we begin accepting critiques!

While you wait, check out all the participating blogs and bloggers:

We look forward to seeing you back here soon.

Any questions? Leave them in the comments!

Cover Reveal: Struggles of the Women Folk by T.M. Brown

Another amazing book about empowerment is on tour right now, and I can’t wait until I read and review “Struggles of the Women Folk“.

Struggles New E-Book Cover

 

Genres:

African American fiction,

historical fiction,

women’s issues.

Themes:

family dynamics,

romance,

perseverance (sp)

Book Blurb

“Struggles of the Women Folk” is based on fictional characters created from stories my grandma shared with me when I was child. It is the story of Georgie, a young Black girl in the South during the 1940s. I hope that you can appreciate her pain, suffering and betrayal as you travel with her on highs and lows you won’t anticipate. This is the story of the power of a woman’s courage, love, strength and faith that exists within each and every one us, whether we know it or not..

 Excerpt:

Sissy knew she wasn’t pretty, cuz erbody told her so! She had all dem black features that erbody thought was ugly: dark skin, short nappy hair, big eyes, big lips, huge breast and a big butt. None of that mattered to me, cuz she was not just my cousin; she was my best friend.

Her momma and mine couldn’t stand each other, but we didn’t care.

We’d been friends for as long as I could remember. Every day, we walked the five miles to the little shack we called skool, carrying our books and lunch pails. Momma would always have something special in my pail. There would be bread, cheese, jelly and sometimes even a slice of homemade cake. Sissy never had anything good. Most times, she only had a piece of bread or some leftover salt pork.

“Ain’t got no money to be spending on some ugly thang like you,” her momma would say. Her momma hated her. Folks say it was because she didn’t know who Sissy’s daddy was. Her momma was walking home one night when some men jumped her in the woods and made her ‘with child’. That’s what the folks called it in 1944. No one used words like pregnant, at least, not the good girls.

 

×Proofread (8)

Get it now on:

AMAZON

SMASHWORDS

BARNES AND NOBLE

Connect with the author:

Website: http://www.authortmbrown.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TbrownM
Facebook: Facebook profile

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/inbox/messages/received?trk=nav_utilities_inbox
Blog: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4197635.T_M_Brown/blog

 

FRBT Badge Template 800

Fabulosity Reads Book Promotions is a book touring website that promotes authors and their precious works to an extensive audience using blogs, twitter, Facebook and other Social Media, with the aim of introducing them to an appreciative readership.

They offer a diverse range of both complimentary and affordable products to help the reach of your book go that much further.

 

 

 

Book Blast: A Community of Butterflies: Chrysalis

I caught on to this late, but it’s a worthy cause, and I’m not wasting the opportunity to introduce this amazing book to you.

A Community of Butterflies: Chrysalis
by Barbara Shoff

Proceeds from this book go to a shelter for survivors of Domestic Violence and Abuse, which the author is also a survivor of. 

Back blurb

A Community of Butterflies: Chrysalis (Published by LilyBearHouse, LLC.)

On-again-off-again psychic Vay Armstrong has a plan to change the world. Following ten years of domestic violence and abuse, she struggles with post-traumatic stress, paranoia and an inability to trust others. Determined to escape her reclusive life, she enlists the help of other abuse survivors to create a utopian community within Jakesville, Oklahoma. Will Vay be able to overcome family opposition, a romantic entanglement and a homicidal stalker to make her vision a reality, or will her only reality be a cold hole in the ground?”

Excerpt

Her eyes flashed opened meeting darkness. She heard loud barking near her head, followed by the cracking retort of gunshots outside her window. Her desire to survive overpowered her exhaustion.

He was back.

Reaching across pillows she wrapped her two terriers in one arm. She rolled to the floor, her free hand grasping the .38 from her nightstand. Crouching, she scurried across the hall to her closet sanctuary. She shoved both pets into a single crate.

“Shhh,” she commanded. They obeyed.

Bracing herself against the wall, flipping the safety with her thumb, she waited.

Calls for help were useless. William was never there when law enforcement arrived. She’d remembered the officers’ whispers, “Paranoid. Delusional. Crazy.”

She made the decision.

Escape.

‘ … just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,

it became a butterfly … ”

About the Author

backpageinsert

Barbara Shoff began writing before she could write. At the age of five she would make up dialogue for her friends so they could perform plays. They charged a nickle a performance to “the old people” (parents and grandparents) in the neighborhood. The stage was a front porch with a blanket curtain.

Their group was quite successful which kept them in bubble gum and popsicles most summers.

In the 1980’s Barbara had a column in a small town Missouri newspaper. It was called, “BJ’s Corner.” She wrote it for free. She became serious about writing and began penning articles for several women’s magazines.

“I sold my first article for $25. I was so excited I screamed so loud you would have thought it was for 25 million. I have written brilliant ad copy as well as very dull assembly instruction manuals.”

Severely social media challenged two years ago, Barbara became the accidental Pundit on PolicyMic.

It was when she had her non-fiction expose’ complete and was looking for a publisher when Barbara decided it was high-time the old dog started learning new tricks.

As a survivor of domestic violence and abuse she wanted to give back to her community. “Social workers educating survivors living in a shelter about domestic violence and abuse is ass backwards. These women already know better than the social workers what happened. The ‘whys’ research is still sorting out. What survivors need to learn is how protect themselves and support themselves while they heal and transform into something stronger and more beautiful than they were before. To that purpose, I wrote a stalker thriller, A Community of Butterflies: Chrysalis as the first book in a trilogy.”

Barbara has picked every brain she could find to try to figure out about the ins and outs of developing a “platform” and how social media works for writers. She took a social media for dummies class at a local technology center. “I almost learned some things about Facebook. The next day they changed it.

“I hired a fifteen year old to teach me asking, how something was done. He would shrug his shoulders and say, ‘Dunno. Let’s try this. Nope, not that, Let’s try this.’ Fifty dollars later a light went on and I decided to try stuff on my own. I watched YouTube videos until my eyes crossed, took a spiral notebook full of notes and finally built a website.

“I am still learning. Now both books are published. I am signed up on almost every freaking social media site there is and am maybe, kinda, sorta getting an idea of how they possibly work. Mostly I’m praying Oprah or Ellen will ‘discover’ me and I can concentrate on writing my books and going to shelters giving chrysalis building lessons.

“Oh, yeah. In 2013 I was honored to be a member of the inaugural cast of Oklahoma City’s production of Listen to Your Mother. You can watch me on YouTube by searching, LTYM OKC Barbara Shoff.”

Contact the Author

Website

Facebook

Blog:

Amazon:

 

 

 

Nat Russo – WIP interview

Before I introduce Nat Russo to you, I’d like to point out that Nat was the very first writer I followed back in November when I started my author platform, and the first one to answer my newbie questions. Although he was not published then, I was humbled by how accessible he was even though he already had over 30,000 Twitter followers (almost doubled now).

Six months later…

Nat Russo is the bestselling author of “Necromancer Awakening”, the first installment of a series titled “The Mukhtaar Chronicles”. Since its release on April 9, 2014, “Necromancer Awakening” has shot up the bestseller lists, making its way to the top 5 on Amazon’s Dark Fantasy Bestseller list, top 5 on Amazon’s Sword and Sorcery Bestseller list, top 5 on Amazon’s Metaphysical Fantasy Bestseller list, and top 50 on Amazon’s Horror Bestseller list. 

Nat mentors up-and-coming writers around the world through his popular Twitter feed, as well as a blog dedicated to learning and improving the craft of writing.

Nat, thank you for coming and congratulations on your Necromancer’s success! Tell us more about your life outside writing.

I’m a software engineer by day and a fantasy writer by night. I was born in New York City, raised in Arizona, and I’ve lived just about everywhere in between. Though I’m now married with a family of my own, I once studied to be a Catholic priest in a Benedictine monastery for several years. This gave me a deep, abiding love of Philosophy and Theology, both of which are expressed in various ways in my work. My Bachelor’s degree, in fact, is in Philosophy.

My seminary days were not all bright. Before I had the great privilege of studying under the Benedictine monks, I had the misfortune of experiencing life in a religious order called The Legionaries of Christ. I witnessed extreme abuses of religious authority during my time with them, and this too is expressed in my work. I tend to write about the consequences and implications of allowing either Faith or Reason to overshadow the other, and the problems inherent in considering any person “Holy”.

Can you give us an idea on your current WIP?

I’m currently working on the sequel to “Necromancer Awakening”, titled “Necromancer Falling”. I’m in the story-boarding stage of this project, and I’m very happy with the direction it’s going. I’ll be introducing two new key characters that I’m extremely excited about. Readers of “Necromancer Awakening” will tell you the Three Kingdoms aren’t out of danger yet, and “Necromancer Falling” makes that painfully clear. This isn’t the “happy ending” fantasy tale that many people are accustomed to, as I’m sure you inferred from the title.

In addition to “Necromancer Falling”, I’m currently in the first-draft phase of “The Road to Dar Rodon”, which is a short story set in the “Necromancer Awakening” universe. You don’t have to read “Necromancer Awakening” to appreciate this story, however. But, if you have read the book, you’ll probably find some “Easter eggs” in the short story that will amuse you.

That will be a treat for your fans! Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

I’ve learned not to beat myself up too much. There are days when the work flows from my fingertips, and days when I sit staring at the screen. I believe both types of days are valuable. It often takes the subconscious a while to percolate over a problem. If I force it, then I usually end up with sub-par work that I have to rewrite anyway. When I have those days, I step away from the keyboard and take my mind off it. I’ve found that when I return to the keyboard after a break, the words flow once more.

I’ve tried setting word count goals for myself on a daily basis, but I quickly abandoned that. It works for many writers, but any number I came up with just seemed rather arbitrary to me. So rather than specify a specific count, I just follow the spirit in which word count goals were created: try to write every day.

Plotter, pantser or both?

Definitely both. I begin every novel-length work with a detailed outline that includes scene descriptions. These scene descriptions, however, are little more than a scene goal, an outcome, and the POV in which the scene will be written. I create a story framework (usually some variation on Three Act Structure/7-point Story Structure) and stick to that pretty rigorously.

However, when it comes time to write the actual prose, I go into “discovery writing” mode. I have little more than the scene description, and maybe one or two key events/quotes per scene that I know I want to include. I use my story framework to help me steer the improvisational writing that takes place when I’m actually writing the story.

What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished?

I spend too much time questioning myself and trying to “get it right”. One lesson I’ve learned: I’ll never be 100% satisfied with my work, so I don’t strive for perfection anymore. Instead, I strive to be the best I can right now. I’ll always improve, but I haven’t yet learned the lessons that will elevate my craft to that hypothetical future state, so I had to learn to stop beating myself up and just finish the draft.

The first one million words are the hardest, they say… Have you experienced “writer’s block” and how do you overcome it?

I have, and I found several different ways to approach the problem. When I’m struggling over where to go next in a story, I’ve found the best way to solve an immediate problem is to inject tension and conflict. One way I do this is through the “Yes, but… / No, and…” principle. Every scene has a goal, and every scene goal has an outcome. For the vast majority of a story, the protagonist shouldn’t be succeeding. Or, if they succeed, it should come at a price. When I write a scene goal on my virtual scene “cards”, I follow it with this question: “Success?” The answer to that question is always either “Yes, but…” or “No, and…” In other words, “Yes, but the price of success is…” or “No, and the situation is even worse than they thought.” As long as I set the main character back, I’m on the right track. Until the end, of course.

In some cases, I learned that writer’s block can occur when my subconscious mind is still working on a problem. When that happens, the best thing I can do is get out of its way and let it do its job. Sometimes this means taking a short break (a day or more). After these short breaks, the block is usually gone.

Could we take a look at your workspace? Is there a particular place you find inspiring?

The answer to the question “What do I find inspiring about this space?” has two answers. First, I’ll give you the literary answer. My characters are nearly always in a position where success or failure is based on how well they can grasp and hold onto the things that matter most in life. My writing space is the main living room in my house. This is where my family “hangs out”. There’s always activity, whether someone is cooking in the adjacent kitchen, or watching television. Family life is what matters most to me, and I find it inspiring.

Now the pragmatic answer: My office has been taken over by my 13-year old son, and between his computer and musical instruments, there’s no space left for me! Also, Toby [seen in the picture] has very strict requirements for a work space. He needs his papasan chair or he gets writer’s block.

Toby is the second canine featured in a workspace! He’ll now keep company to Wallace, Marjory McGinn’s partner in writing, in my Featured Writers’ Workspace Board. Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?

I avoid Word like the plague. I had used it for many years until another writer introduced me to Scrivener. I’ve used Scrivener for about a year and a half now, and I’m a devout convert. It’s written by writers, for writers. And best of all, it stays out of your way. When I used Word, it seemed as if every day was a battle with my own tools. Making the switch was a freeing experience.

Aside from Scrivener, I use Scapple (by the makers of Scrivener) to quickly jot notes and make connections between ideas. I’ve only started using this, though, so the jury is out on whether I’ll continue. So far so good, though.

I use Campaign Cartographer 3 to produce high quality maps. As a Fantasy author, maps are essential.

I also use a web service called IFTTT (“If This Then That”). This service allows me to send a quick email to myself, and, based on a rule set that I specify, it will append story ideas to a Google Drive document. This way, if an idea strikes me when I’m nowhere near a notepad or computer, I can send a quick email to myself with my phone and know that my idea will be recorded in a central location on Google Drive.

Lots of solutions for writers there! Thanks for sharing! How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

I usually celebrate by immediately plunging in to plotting future work. If I do non-creative things, I find my mind drifting back to the work I just finished, which doesn’t allow me to get the sort of distance from the work that I need in order to go back for the first read-through. By starting follow-up work, however, I’m exercising the same creative muscles, so they don’t have time to grapple with the work I just set aside.

Which book publishing processes are you going to outsource and which are you confident enough to undertake yourself?

I’ve outsourced cover design, and I highly recommend this to other authors. Unless you’re a professional designer, you’re just not going to produce professional-quality covers. I’ve seen too many writers get this wrong to not call in a professional for my own cover.

Had I not been working with various beta readers for more than 2 years on this project, I would have also outsourced the editing. I didn’t do that this time around, but I have a high level of confidence because of how much revision it has been through, as well as my own personal skill sets (I had a professional editor tell me that in 20 years of publishing it was the cleanest manuscript he’d ever seen come across his desk). Time will tell, I suppose. I may outsource the next just to get a handle on what the experience is like and whether it is necessary. But I’ve seen many “professionally edited” self-published books with horrible editing. The sad thing is I know how much they paid to have it done.

Do you have any marketing tips or favorite promotional sites you’d like to share?

There’s one truism in publishing: no one knows how to sell books. Sounds funny, but it’s true. The only thing we know for certain is that word-of-mouth sells a book far better than any marketing campaign.

That being said, self-publishers need to be in it for the long haul. It takes time for a story to find its audience, and there is no magic web site you can use or amount of money you can spend that will change this. I occasionally post marketing materials on Twitter and Facebook, but I don’t believe this is going to have a large impact on book sales (and I recommend keeping these to a bare minimum!).

My advice to self-publishers is this: be a contributor. Be a content provider, first and foremost, and people will seek out your fiction. As my blog (which focuses on the craft of writing) began to take off, people started asking me where they could find my books. Give people something of value and they will want more of you.

That’s the advice I keep reading from many, but it looks like only a few heed it. Is fantasy the genre you will brand yourself with or do you see yourself branching out in the future?

Fantasy is a great comfort zone of mine. I’ve always gravitated toward it in both reading and writing. In fact, Fantasy is the primary reason I became an avid reader to begin with. However, Fantasy and Science Fiction are cut from the same cloth. Both accomplish the same thing: each conveys a set of truths about the world. Fantasy conveys these truths through a world that will never be possible. Science Fiction conveys these truths through a world that simply isn’t possible yet. I consider myself a Speculative Fiction author, and I can see myself writing Science Fiction in the future as well as Fantasy.

Would you like to share with us links where we can find you and your work?

My bestselling novel, Necromancer Awakening, was published on April 09, 2014, in digital and print editions through Amazon and CreateSpace. If you’re interested, you can read some of it and/or buy a copy here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JLVOU0U/

Some other places you can find me…

Blog: http://www.nat-russo.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NatRusso

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NatRussoAuthor

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Thank you, Nat, and best of luck with your Necromancer Falling and The Road to Dar Rodon!

 

 

May Book Festival by Fabulosity Reads

BRD-Books

MAY Book Festival Catalogue for the Book Review Depot | Fabulosity Reads

Before you check out the awesome multi-genre titles brought to you by Fabulosity Books Book Tours, let me present our task as hosts of the tour: choose a book from the CATALOGUE, cast a character and explain our casting choice. The book I chose is The Funeral Singer by Linda Budzinski, and my casting choice for Melanie Martin is …

Kristen2

Kristen Stewart!

Well, those who know me will hardly be surprised! As if I wasn’t dying for an excuse to put Kristen on this blog! I confess to being a die-hard Kristen Stewart fan (momentary indiscretions notwithstanding), but even if that was not true, she’d still be the ideal Melanie! Check this out: she’s the teenage daughter of a mortician, who loves her rock music, has a stellar voice, and her Amazing Grace rendition at the funeral of her favorite band’s keyboard player goes viral on YouTube! She’s far from perfect as a person but tries to be honest with herself, makes a lot of mistakes and learns through them. Now tell me that Kristen in Runaways doesn’t pop in your mind? Now check out the rest of the titles and the awesome Rafflecopter giveaway!

UPDATE: The CATALOG has been updated with even lower prices! 

This Hop is brought to you by

Fabulosity Reads Book Tours

13 AUTHORS OVER 3 DAYS

GENRES: Epic fantasy, Paranorma, Romance, YA

Tour Link: March Book Frenzy

Find AMAZING books of unrivaled quality,

right here on this CATALOGUE.

GIVEAWAYS

Check out the prizes the authors are sponsoring:

FOR READERS

A KINDLE FIRE

PLUS

2 featured eBooks from each author.

PARTCIPATING BLOGGERS ONLY

2 X $20

in cash via paypal or gift card via Amazon (your choice)

Giveaway Link: MAY Book Festival Giveaway

REMEMBER! Follow the hop by visiting as many of the blogs on the linky as possible.

And visit featured authors:

http://reginajoseph.blogspot.com/

www.kathryndionne.com

www.jalpawilliby.com

http://dianneharman.com/blog/

http://williambryanmiller.com/

www.terrymaggert.com

http://mariagreene.me

www.cynthiapratt.com

http://www.wix.com/brokendesire/paintedwire

www.lindabudzinski.com

http://lookingonthesunnyside.blogspot.com/

Book Review Depot Catalogue

*Please click on the red buttom to read the book synopsis.

Please comment on and follow as many blogs as you can during the event.

You have not joined the hop yet? No worries, click on the link and get hooked up.

*Guide to Joining and Participating in the HOP

All Book Prices Valid At The Time Of Publishing This Catalogue..

$0.99 on Kindle
$3.99 on Kindle
$1.99 on Kindle
$4.35 on Kindle
$3.99 on Kindle
$3.99 on Kindle
$4.99 on Kindle
$2.99 on Kindle
$2.99 on Kindle
$2.99 on Kindle
$2.99 on Kindle
$0.99 on Kindle
$0.99 on Kindle
$2.99 on Kindle
$3.99 on Kindle

a Rafflecopter giveaway