Archive | March 2018

Temporary Blog Hiatus – Begins TODAY!

 

time for a break

To be honest, I’m a little nervous about taking a break, but a lot of that nervousness comes from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). I wonder what awesome blog posts I’ll miss from all of you. I wonder what amazing things you’re going to accomplish while I’m away, but I know it’s going to be okay, because I can always catch up!

I hope that shutting down on other social media will also help to reap fantastic benefits.

Here’s to a great break and I’ll see you on the other side!

 

 

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Island of the Misfit Stories and What To Do About Them!

islandofmisfittoys

Toys from the Island of Misfit Toys 

When I was a kid, I loved watching Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys. The toys were considered misfits because they possessed some defect and nobody seemed to want them. For example, there is a cowboy that rides an ostrich, a bird that swims, a winged bear, and a boat that can’t stay afloat — to name just a few!

And sometimes, our stories don’t seem to fit anywhere. We may often wallow about in self-pity giving into “writer’s block”, which probably isn’t even a thing. Well, according to, Terry Pratchett.

Terry Pratchett_quote

Regardless, time and time again, our stories come back rejected. And with each return, our will to keep submitting diminishes.

But, don’t despair!

Below are ways I’ve come up with to soldier on and write on when your short stories — just don’t seem to fit anywhere — and come back unwanted when all you’re aching for is some reader love. 😉

Play Rejection Bingo

This is an effective way to keep track of common trends or reasons as to why each story has been rejected by editors. Sometimes, you may not get any feedback at all. Sometimes, a form letter is all that haunts your email. Now, I don’t use this method because it’s fun, (when is rejection ever fun? LOL) but I’m a visual lady and this is another way to keep track of the bigger picture. After gathering feedback and you notice that there’s a trend in the reasons why your story is being rejected address the issue and fix it. Here’s one of my rejection bingo sheets:

Rejection Bingo

Revise your story

Share your story with writers and readers in order to gain priceless feedback about the story. Then, try submitting to another market. Even after you’ve revised and edited further, if that fails, consider paying an editor to look at your work — preferably one that is an expert in the genre you’re writing for. Carefully consider the feedback you receive and make changes accordingly, which will increase the likelihood of an acceptance letter and a contract! 🙂 Ooh la la!

Try a different market

Oh yes, yes, yes! Please do this! You see, what didn’t work for one editor (after all, they are indeed people with different preferences and needs for their particular audience) may suit another just fine. Try it. Don’t self-reject!

Consider Independent Publication

This option isn’t a personal favorite of mine, but there is indeed a market for short story anthologies. What most likely won’t work for me, may work for you. However, being new to this I won’t be taking this route. Yet. 🙂

Consider Traditional Publication

This choice will be easy if you’re Stephen King or another well-known author. If you’re not, then you will need to find an agent or publisher who wants to publish short stories from a new or not as well-known writer. This route isn’t impossible, but it will be difficult.

Post for Free — (Huh?)

You’re probably shaking your head wondering why I mentioned posting your hard-earned stories for free, especially after I supported the argument against it when I reblogged Aimee King’s The True Cost of Free. Well, I’ve reflected on of safer ways of doing this (still be careful and protect your work), which will also increase reader interaction, and potentially further cement the foundation for your author brand and platform. If you have a decent mailing list of trustworthy and faithful readers, share your work with them for free. After all, they love hearing from you and have trusted you with their email address. It doesn’t have to be the entire story. An excerpt is fine, too. You can also offer a free sneak peek of your work in order to funnel in new subscribers.

With that said, I’ll be going on a temporary blog hiatus, starting tomorrow! 🙂 Happy Friday to you and Happy Writing! 🙂

How Can Authors Protect Their Works in Progress?

You can read the original post here.

Great tips on protecting your works in progress.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

by RJ Crayton  on Indies Unlimited:

This question gets asked by readers a lot here at Indies Unlimited: How can I protect my manuscript from being taken by someone I let read it? And as common as the question is, it’s an easy answer: you can’t.

That’s not the answer most people want to hear, but Indies Unlimited is an “Alternative Facts Free Zone,” so only the truth appears here. And the truth is, you really can’t stop someone from doing unauthorized things with a document you give them.

The good news is that most people don’t do untoward things with your document. Most people do what was asked: read your manuscript and then either provide you feedback or write a review. However, occasionally, an unscrupulous person may share your book. Like I said, there’s really no way to stop someone who wants to do wrong with your file, if they…

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I’m getting close to a 1000 reads.. thanks! Help me get to the symbolic 1000 mark by spreading the link far and wide.

Another blogger, the Existential Tableau, is witty, intelligent, and very supportive of my blog is nearly at the 1000 reads mark!!! Visit her blog for your reading pleasure. And deep reflection. A lot of her posts are not for the faint of heart or dull of mind. 🙂 Happy Writer Wednesday to you!

8 Tips to Get Great Amazon Book Reviews…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

By Lisa Tener – Book Writing Coach

One strategy that can help catapult your book to page one on Amazon results are your Amazon book reviews. Of course, your book needs to be categorized well on Amazon (with the right keywords and categories). It needs to be well-written, too! But after these “givens” reviews rock.

Why are Amazon Book Reviews Important?

#1: Amazon Takes Reviews Seriously. The Amazon Algorithm looks at book purchases but also at reviews. A large number of 5 star reviews (and 4 star as well) shows Amazon that the book has merit among readers. Amazon will, however, discount reviews if they are from people who did not purchase on Amazon or, so I have heard, if it looks to their algorithm as if you are closely related to the reviewer.

#2: Readers Take Amazon Reviews Seriously. Many potential book buyers read reviews. First, almost…

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The True Cost of Free

#WriterMonday All writers should read this well-written post. Readers, too. And if you’re new to writing or even new to how an author’s work is “used” in this highly technological age — you need to read this at least once. 🙂

Aimee King

This week I am going to look at something that has been on my radar for a very long time. This topic is something I have heard about with regards to companies like Huffington Post that pay their writers in ‘exposure’ as opposed to actual money. However, in recent months I have been thinking of this topic in regards to other companies that make their living off writers whilst giving nothing back to those who are actually attracting traffic to their sites. After all, without content creators, there would be nothing to bring in the readers. Only makes sense to actually compensate these writers for their content, right? Well, if only things were that simple and logical.

The companies that I am going to look at (whilst naming no names) are the free publishing platforms. This is quite a tricky area, for writers are not hired to put content up…

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Temporary Blog Hiatus – Coming Soon. Why? So I can Work Harder and Smarter!

Hello fellow bloggers and Happy Monday to you!

In order to finish up The Novel I’ve been dropping hints about, I need to prioritize and reschedule a few things.

  1. I won’t be posting new content on here much — if at all.
  2. I will most likely reblog your posts. I’m a reblogging superstar! 🙂

sharing is caring

And last, but not least, I plan on adding new content by late May.

Just this morning, I finished submitting an application for an artist grant. I hope to share more information about that at a later date.

One of my goals is to continue researching agents, publishers, and small press magazine markets in order to publish more and more of my work.

Being a mommy, wifey, and full-time teacher doesn’t leave me with enough quality time to write as much as I’d like.

Last week, I was able to write 1,073 words total. 😦 That’s all. For the whole bleeping week.

And that’s just not enough words.

Regarding submissions, I was able to submit three stories this month to a couple of markets. A lot of them don’t accept simultaneous submissions and that’s fine. It’s just that the turnaround time is tight.

Starting today, I want to write at least 1500 words a day (of The Novel) and find a home for at least two of my short stories. I’ve been reading 5000 Words Per Hour in little chunks and I may have to settle for 5000 words per day instead.

By April, I want to double that amount and finally finish the first draft of The Novel. 🙂

So, ta ta for now! 🙂

Never-Good-Bye-Its-See-You-Later

It’s See you Later”. Lol. 🙂