Something to keep in mind when self-publishing.
For years, I thought that the only way to get published was to be represented by a literary agent. The publishing industry perpetuates this myth – just look at how much Writer’s Digest talks about finding and keeping agents if you don’t believe me. But the truth is: it is not necessary to be represented by a literary agent to get published. I’m living proof.
There are many ways to get books published. One option is self-publishing, although that option has the most difficult path to financial success for an author and puts 100% of the marketing and sales efforts squarely on the back of the author. Another option is small press publishing, which typically uses a business model where the publisher and the author are partners in getting the book published and into the hands of potential readers. The third option is large press publishing. Unless you’re already a…
View original post 1,287 more words
I must say, I don’t see a colophon in many books. Typefaces help set the mood/tone of the book. When I do see one, I’m thrilled–I’m always curious about the typeface used in a book.
There’s some confusion about when to include front matter and when to leave it out. First, here’s a list of the usual items defined as front matter:
Half Title Page — Which includes the title of the book.
Title Page — The title, any subtitle, author’s name, and publisher’s name
Copyright Acknowledgments — For reprinted material or material reproduced from the original with permission
Colophon — Production notes about typefaces, name and address of the printer
Dedication — The single most important person/people the author wants to thank!
Table of Contents
Foreword — This is usually written by someone other than the author, often a professional in the field. It usually is used only in nonfiction but an important novel that has already seen success might at times have a foreword
Preface — Often the story of how the book came about
Epigraph — A poem, quotation…
View original post 187 more words
by Jennie Jarvis
As Brad stated in his great post last week, this month we here at 5 Writers are getting into the spirit of Thanksgiving and talking about paying tribute in our work. For me, this topic feels very timely since it was only a few short months ago when I turned into my editor the Acknowledgements for my new textbook, Crafting the Character Arc: A Practical Guide to Character Creation and Development.
This being my first full length published manuscript, I had no previous experience with writing this kind of document. There were no special thanks included with my published short fiction. In the film world, the “Special Thanks” part of the credits normally come from the producer and not the writer. So, I had to dig deep and really think about what should and should not go into this section of my book.
I came up with a list of…
View original post 1,244 more words
You say you’re revising your draft, but are you really? In the past, I’ve thought I was revising a manuscript when in fact I was really just editing it.
A revision is just that: a “re-visioning” of the story – looking at it in a whole new way. It’s easy to think you’re revising when what you’re really doing is making small edits, reworking sentences, and tightening up scenes and dialogue. Those things are important but don’t go far enough to truly create a publishable manuscript.
Instead, when you’re ready to dive into revisions, think big. Open your mind and pen to rethink every aspect of your manuscript.
To move into re-vision mode, consider these questions:
- Use a logline to maintain focus. A logline is one sentence (at most two) that conveys the dramatic story of your novel or screenplay boiled down in the most succinct way possible. It presents…
View original post 480 more words
Developing a cast of memorable characters isn’t easy. Writers are told to develop their main character well with motivation, internal and external conflict–but sometimes don’t put the same emphasis on secondary characters because they’re too worried about their MC.
It’s easy to manipulate secondary characters and sub plots to support your story, but they have to be much more than leading the reader. We can tell when a writer is using secondary characters to prove a point. So why not build a varied cast of secondary characters that feel like they also exist in real life–like your MC.
How to write secondary characters in your subplots:
- They should feel like they have a life of their own and are just popping into this story for a minute. Your secondary characters’ lives shouldn’t revolve around the main character’s. They should feel like they live on after the book is done.
- They should have their own…
View original post 180 more words
Traditional publishing is growing again. Sales are up, ebooks have become another channel rather than the death of books, and disruption is creating beneficial changes. Here are 7 ways to make an agent or publisher say, “Yes!” to your manuscript.
1. Write a fantastic manuscript. Tap into your passion and write something that relates to that. You’ll produce a much better manuscript that way.
2. Run the manuscript through beta readers. Use your writer’s group, friends who are readers and writers, or a professional editor to spot those critical flaws you’ve missed because you’re too close to the story.
3. Create a professional query letter (see Dec 18 post for more).
4. Create supporting submission materials. For a nonfiction book, this is a book proposal. For fiction, this means a bio that includes your platform, a synopsis, and an overview of marketing opportunities the author can fulfill. Juvenile fiction and…
View original post 138 more words
The opening sentence to a novel is very important. Many people, including a number of agents and editors, will not read beyond the first sentence if they don’t like it. (That’s a lot of pressure on the first sentence!) That’s why writing a stellar first sentence is monumental. More often than not, what you originally think of for the opening line is not what ends up as the first sentence.
That’s perfectly fine. In fact, in most cases, that’s probably a good thing.
Great opening lines lure readers in. They entice them.
First lines can be:
- Vivid. “The rabbit had been run over minutes before.” Sabriel by Garth Nix
Most people have seen…
View original post 529 more words
Are agents not being forthcoming with advice?
Getting ready to submit in the new year?
The definitive guide to what’s wrong with most manuscripts:
1. All internal conflict, no external conflict. Does more happen in the character’s head than in the plot? This is going to be a problem whether it’s literary or commercial fiction. Make sure enough things happen.
2. Pace. The most important thing to get an agent’s attention is to keep us turning the pages and stop us from doing other things. The moment things lag, you’ve lost us.
3. Voice. This one’s more subjective, but the way to check if your book has voice is whether we can tell the difference between whose head we’re in or who is speaking at any given time. Everything about your writing style needs personality. What makes your book special? Your voice. It’s how…
View original post 141 more words