At festive periods, there’s usually a slew of charitable adverts and campaigns to encourage our altruistic sides, (something I believe we should do more of).
But today, for Valentines, I’m proposing a rather more alternative form of giving. To appease my villainous rants, I need y’all to be a doll and give your damn villain a heart.
Don’t screw up your latest villainous scribbles just yet. Indulge me, and I’ll explain why your villain needs a heart.
Oh, and should you want more detail, this is a topic I cover in my book 13 Steps To Evil – How To Craft A Superbad Villain. Continue reading
There’s only one truth in the publishing industry: change is constant. Whether it’s the development of the Kindle, the closure of a bookstore chain or the latest groan-inducing tweak in the Amazon algorithms, change is constant, and the pace of it ain’t slowing down.
So what’s a gal to do to keep up with the latest trends, and data?
Last week I wrote a post that details a few ways to learn how to market and keep up with current trends, but for now, you should also read the latest author earnings report.
I’m going to highlight a few of the most salient trends and things I thought were worth noting.
I get asked a lot of marketing and publishing questions. Most are easy to answer. But a teeny tiny nanosqueak percentage of them make my eye twitch. The ‘answer on a plate’ types who think there’s a magical panacea-button that will shower them in glittery dollar bills from their millionth book sale.
Anyway. I’m leashing my rant because contrary to excessive sarcasm and perpetual moaning, there is nothing I love more than helping people, especially if that help leads to selling or publishing books. And you know what helps you sell books?
Forehead creasing, caffeine addictions, midnight dates, multiple RSI cures and a laptop for a BFF.
Okay, fine. There are a few other things that rise out of the sweaty exhausted writer ashes to help bring in the dollars: Continue reading
Writers talk about their characters being disobedient all the time. It’s like some kind of cosmic joke, we spend weeks planning, checking, re-checking. We dust our shirt collar in a smug, ‘I’ve defeated my story outline’ pose, only to get 30,000 words or so into our novel and the little
darlings bastards have pitched a killer twist that’s so far out of left field even book-God himself wouldn’t have seen it coming.
I’m telling you.
Those little story critters know exactly what their doing. Lulling us into a false sense of security and then when we’re balls deep into the flabby middle, they slap us upside the head with something so good, we can’t ignore it. Tyrants. Heathens. Thou cullionly idle-headed hedge-pigs!
And so, the plot is messed up, the timeline fudged and your brain a crockpot of drafts, twists, confused dialogue and stroppy characters.
What to do?
Here’s a quick tip to help you beat those little darlings back into shape. Continue reading
I am terribly ‘un-present.’
I roll from one project to the next, never stopping to appreciate the mountain peak I’ve just climbed. I finish and move on. It’s unhealthy and it’s probably one of the reasons I’ve spent most of this year either burnt out or close to a burnout. Shelley Wilson, Bloggers Bash committee member and fellow non-fiction and YA Fantasy writer is here today to tell us a thing or two about why we need to stop and admire the view from the top.
Listen up folks, don’t be a dufus like me. Shelley knows her shit!
To buy How I Motivated Myself to Succeed
Today sees a guest post from the lovely SC Skillman, author, blogger and attender of the bloggers bash.
SC is talking about a topic I think we can all relate to, overwhelm from internet advice, something she calls the siren.
Everyone wants to sell books, everyone wants to build their platform, but the internet is awash with conflicting advice, knowing when it’s okay to say no, I’m doing it my way and abandon the so called ‘how to write/sell a bestseller is a difficult balance to strike.
SC has just re-released her novel Mystical Circles, which you can find here:
Now, for a thought provoking essay, over to you, SC:
I had all these plans. Plans for my second non-fiction book to be about heroes or maybe characters more generally.
But like Lennon said,
“Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.”
And no matter what I do, it’s not characters I’m thinking about. It’s productivity. I mean, just two weeks ago, I wrote about productivity and Cal Newport’s book Deep Work.
I guess now I understand the phrase write what you know. Productivity is where my focus is at, so writing about anything else is proving difficult. Continue reading
Every few months, I like to collate a bucket load of writing competitions and plonk them in a post for you to peruse and enter at your leisure.
I say it all the time, but writing is a muscle. If you don’t exercise it, you’re guna lose it and that doesn’t mean always writing long novel-like prose.
Short stories are like the caffeine of writing. They give your muse a jump start shot of adrenaline and get your brain working in ways you never imagined. Why not make it your goal to enter a comp a month this year?
I’ve only listed first prize winnings this time to save time and as always PLEASE CHECK THE RULES for any competition you enter. There are always details and nuances that you have to adhere to, I have not included them here.
Here’s a list of 30 competitions with big prizes. Clearly enter the first one immediately :p Continue reading
Today is a big day, for a lot of reasons… I’m still breathing for one, that’s always an achievement. But the real reason is because today is the day I reveal the cover of 13 Steps to Evil – How to Craft Superbad Villains.
I know cover reveals are a big and exciting moment for anyone, but frankly, I am a little terrified!
The first reason it’s daunting is because this is my first book…Okay, technically, it’s my second, but it’s the first one being published. Which means this is the first time I’ve done a cover reveal.
The second reason is because until now, I’ve been able to back out. I might have said I was writing a book, but there was no proof! Other than me being supremely antisocial and hiding away behind a laptop screen for months, who was to say I was doing anything? Maybe I was scouring the internet for the best small arms deals, or for Darth Vader lego sculptures made by the hands of the real Santa.
Book? What book? Phsst.
There was no evidence of book related projects, until now….. Continue reading
Last year saw me complete and edit no less than two manuscripts. That’s good, but it’s not enough to get me writing full-time. So this year, I’m even more ambitious. In 2017, I want to publish not one, but five books. Yes, I know, my sphincter tightened saying it too.
Given I am a mum to a toddler and I work full-time, it’s
ambitious, utterly mindfudgingly insane. But YOLO bitches, if I don’t start publishing a lot of books soon I’ll spend another year watching my glorious dream disappear in a vat of sludgey self-loathing and word-turds. I’d rather cut out my left ovary and eat it than go another year without publishing (and that is saying something I have been a vegetarian for 28 years).
BUT, publishing five books in one year is not going to be easy. Over the past six months, I’ve been building up a set of resources to help me be super efficient. Besides, everyone knows I love to share my process, and what better way, than being totally transparent with all the tools I use.
So here is my list of 6 recommended tools to help you be as productive and efficient as you can in 2017. Continue reading