When we think we have it figured out, the rules change. The comma seems to get me. Do you get gouged from grammar every once in a while? Shirley
Good information concerning book reviews. I am off to Ireland in the morning for 10 days. I’m attending a Book Conference in Dublin and then playing tourist with my husband. I’m excited. Have a great couple of weeks. Shirley
Originally posted on The June Project:
“When you fall, pick yourself up quickly, and go back to finishing the dance energetically without complaining at all: pa-trim pa-tro-lo! And if you don’t get up, you will not be able to fall any further: there is nowhere to fall for one who is lying on the floor.”
( I DID NOT WRITE THIS BUT AM WILLING TO SHARE IT WITH YOU)
HOW TO GET MORE AMAZON REVIEWS
For self-published authors, reviews are a key component of getting the word out and selling more books. If you’re not getting the number or quality you’d like, you need to know about this straightforward and completely free way to get more book reviews.
Why They Work
Customers tend to trust (and therefore buy) books with more reviews. If you’re promoting your own book, you probably already know that convincing readers to take the time to write a review can be tricky…
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Most writers I know fall into 1 of 2 camps: people who are (overly) concerned that someone will steal their work, and innocents who don’t take time to learn what rights they ought to be protecting.
So I’d like to outline the 5 things every writer should know about their rights (and, by extension, other people’s rights).
- Your work is protected under copyright as soon as you put it in tangible form.
Your work doesn’t need to be published to be protected, and you do not have to display the copyright symbol on your manuscript to have it protected. (One of the reasons there is so much confusion surrounding this issue is that the law changed in the 1970s.)
Since your work is copyrighted from the moment you create it, the existence or validity of your copyright will not be affected if you don’t register the work with the U.S. Copyright Office. (And, in fact, you can register the work after you find infringement and still be afforded all the protections as if you had registered it earlier.)
- For shorter works (non-books), publications automatically acquire one-time rights unless specified otherwise in the contract.
The current law puts the burden on the publication to notify the author in writing if it wants to acquire any rights other than one-time rights (that is, the right to publish the work one time). The law also contains termination provisions that allow an author to regain rights she assigned to others, after a specific period.
- Your work cannot accidentally fall into the public domain.
Any published or distributed material on which a copyright has expired is considered to be in the public domain—that is, available for use by any member of the general public without payment to, or permission from, the original author.
It used to be that your work might accidentally fall into the public domain if not protected under copyright or published with the copyright symbol. This is not the case any longer.
- Selling various rights to your work doesn’t affect your ownership of the copyright.
Various rights are all part of your copyright, but selling them in no way diminishes your ownership of the actual work. The only way you can give up copyright entirely is if you sign a contract or agreement that stipulates it is a “work for hire.”
- You can quote other people’s work in your own work, without permission, as long as you abide by fair use guidelines.
The downside here is that there are no hard-and-fast rules as to what constitutes fair use of a copyrighted work.
The law says that four factors should be considered in determining if a use is fair:
the purpose and character of the use (commercial vs. not-for-profit/educational)
the nature of the copyrighted work
the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the entire quoted work
the effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the quoted work
Most publishers have their own fair-use guidelines that they ask their own authors to abide by. But, if you’re picking up only a few hundred words from a full-length book, it’s probably fair use. Always be extremely careful when quoting poetry or song lyrics—ANY use at all usually requires permission (and a fee).
For more authoritative info on this topic, I highly recommend signing up for an online educational session next week, with lawyer Amy Cook, who specializes in publishing law. You’ll be able to ask questions live: Copyright and Contracts
Alternatively, you can read more from these authoritative sources:
This is useful information for all of us who use Amazon with some helpful links. Shirley
Not long ago I wrote an article called something like Amazon Book Reviewing is Dead. The content was based on information garnered from other posts and from the Amazon Reviewing policy. The posts were based on some fact and some personal experiences of the authors of those posts with the process. Each experience may be different.
As a result of that post there were several comments leading me to decide to remove the post and do more research.
What did I find?
Amazon allows reviews of free products as long as you clearly note in the review that you received the product free for a review. Or if you received it as a present, note as such. It doesn’t say that last one in their policies but FULL DISCLOSURE would imply you should simply disclose how you received the item. Below you will find links to various pages on…
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Some writers have been fortunate enough to land book contracts, but unfortunately for the majority of writers that’s not the case. Ryan Van Cleave says, “reach beyond the obvious to achieve success.” Ryan is a Florida basted writing teacher and author of twenty books.
You have a terrific book manuscript that’s ready to submit. Thats great! Or maybe your’re pas the halfway point on a new project and you want to start thinking about the next step. Before you start stuffing envelopes or firing off email queries, take a moment to reflect on pre submission and pre contract realities. Is there anything you can do now that might increase your odds for success?
Writing advice espouses the obvious: Take classes, write well and solicit quality feedback on your work. Here are five actionable, less than obvious steps you can take right now to stand out from the crowd and earn a writer friendly book contract once you’re ready to put your work out into the literary world.
1. Change your attitude. Literary agent Lisa Hagan says to strongly consider your “attitude regarding changes that need to be made to make the manuscript the best that it can be.” It’s not about ego or sticking to the original plan. It’s about producing a publication worthy book. No one willingly chooses to work with an inflexible stickler. Be open to suggestions, especially those from publishing experts.
2. Prepare your own pitch. “The writing may be wonderful,” says Sourcebooks editorial director Todd Stocke, “but can I distill it down to something quickly and easily explained. Ultimately, that’s the publisher’s job, to find ways that connect the author and the readers. But sometimes those of us who do this for a living still can’t find the pitch.” Clearly share your vision for the pitch. The publisher is still welcome to come up with a different one for the back cover, catalog copy or PR materials, but sometimes you’ll bowl a publisher over with you well-reasoned, compelling pitch that leverages angles they hadn’t considered.
3. Be proactive with your BISAC. With more than 3,000 BISAC(Book Industry Standards and Communications) subject codes available for a published book, it’s imperative that yours gets the right one(s). When Random House changed the BISAC for a strong-selling title from “Fiction-General” to “Fiction-Suspense,” the sales increased by 55 percent. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you know what BISAC codes the publisher intends for your book. Do some research so you have ideas ready in case they’re missing ways to increase visibility. Having the wrong BISAC can make your book essentially invisible.
“Go to a bookstore,” Stocke advices. “Spend time in the stacks, really understand where your book might sit in that store. What books will be around it? What authors am I most like? With what am I competing?” Or is your book better suited to readers finding it in other venues than a traditional bookstore? Figuring all this out can help your future sales immensely.
4. Chase down the co-op. Most publishers have money set aside to spend on book promotions, front of store displays at Barnes & Noble that cost thousands of dollars a week but have huge results in terms of sales. Make sure you ask any publisher offering a contract if co-op is available for your title. If not, consider offering to match any co-op dollar for dollar, up to whatever amount you can afford. Sometimes that’s enough for a publisher to commit those limited resources your way.
5. Run from red flags. Is the publishing company undergoing big changes? If so, be wary, warns Hagan. In terms of book contracts, she prefers to have the “right of first refusal” clause deleted. It’s not exactly a red flag, but “it saves time for future projects,” she explains. ” I don’t like to be locked in.”
Stocke says one red flag is if publishers don’t have extensive experience publishing books similar to yours. They also should have initial competitive/comparative research if thy’re offering you a contract. “What’s their plan for the format, the price, the size, the brick verses e-tail opportunities? How are they going to title, package and pitch it to get it in front of people? What does success look like, and what does the opposite of that look like?” Anything but good, reasonable answers here are red flags for sure.
Far too many writers spend months on a manuscript but then fire off the final product like it’s a radioactive hot potato. Take your time to create a clear, informed plan so when you do put that masterpiece into the hands of a literary agent or publisher, it’s with no regrets. Listen to the experts and give yourself the best chance to earn a great book contract with writer-friendly terms.
I found this article by Kellie McGann over a subject I’m very familiar with, not finishing a writing project. I thought it was worth passing on to you. Enjoy
On my computer I actually have a folder of “Unfinished Blog Posts.”
If you’re like me, finishing projects is always a struggle, especially books, which are the hardest projects to finish.
Recently I’ve buckled down to finish several major writing projects, including my first book, and I’ve learned a few things about how to finish your writing along the way.
Three Secrets to Finishing Your Writing
Here are three secrets I’ve discovered about how to finish a book, blog post, or any other writing project, and some hints to keep you going.
1. Choose Just One
At one point I had five different documents open on my computer, all possible blogs, all different topics.
This is the worst way to finish anything.
The first thing you need to do is pick one project: pick one chapter, one blog post, one book you’re trying to finish. Give it your full attention. If you’re able to keep saying no to every other project, you will have no choice but to finish.
2. Kill Your Darlings
Stephen King said:
Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.
Your darlings are those perfect sentences, the string of words that flows so mellifluously and which you love.
About two-thirds through many of my blog posts or book chapters, I find myself asking, “Wait, what was my point?”
As writers, we tend to sidetrack, or tell other stories, or make points that are good but not always relevant.
Instead, keep your writing focused on your central message.
And if you have any “darlings” or sections that deviate from that central message, don’t delete them. Rather, move them to a separate document and title it, “My Darlings.” Save those darlings for a rainy day when you don’t know what to write about.
Tying up loose ends is essential to finishing strong, and killing your darlings is part of the process.
3. Finish with Questions
One of the best ways to end a writing piece is by asking questions.
Questions are perfect for summing up your point and making sure your readers understand.
It’s a fun, easy way to finish your piece and engage your readers.
Have you ever had trouble trying to finish a book writing project? What is something you use or do to help finish your writings?
Take fifteen minutes and finish something! Go to your drafts folder or scan through your documents until you find a piece you’ve been meaning to finish. (We all have them!)
It has been awhile since I have posted that I will blame on life. I read this blog and it resonated inside of me and I wanted to share it. I have always believed that America was and should be a Christian Nation, but I may be changing my mind. Brianna found a quote that makes sense to me. “…Our main goal on this earth is not to make America into a Christian nation; it is to reach individuals for Christ.” I would like to know what you think. Shirley
Originally posted on Brianna Siegrist:
If you’re a believer- you’ve likely heard this phrase “Culture War” pretty often in the last few years. If you don’t exactly know what it means- it’s referring to the fight to try to keep our society, well… moral.
It’s basically the idea that our community and nation can reflect the ideals that we try to live by as believers. We believe in marriage between a man a woman- we believe in abstinence from sex outside of marriage. We believe in honesty and in faithfulness and integrity- and basically, ideally, we believe that people should live, work, raise their families, and be citizens that reflect the glory of God- honoring him by giving, loving, helping, sharing, being peacemakers.
But you know all that. The reason why it’s called a “culture” war is because much of our culture doesn’t anymore reflect that desire. I’m not exactly sure that it ever really…
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Originally posted on theamatters:
Reading this chronicle made me reflect on my family values and what I am to leave for my generations to come. Though set at the turn of 1900 century rural Oklahoma and Texas, the core principles of helping out and standing by loved ones above all other priorities present timeless demonstrations of family, love and taking care of each other.
This 260-pager revolves around Charles Kenly Dobyns and his siblings David and Viola who vowed to stick together after the early unfortunate passing of their parents. Physically and morally able as the eldest at 16 years, Charles consistently demonstrated his strong will and fortitude as together they faced their future travails with hope and faith.
The pace and style of narration is captivating. It is a chapter turner, where after having to leave off, I look forward to picking it up again to revel with…
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Love the blog, full of very useful information. Editing is one of the hardest things to do as far as I’m concerned.
Originally posted on Suffolk Scribblings:
Editing is my favourite part of writing. While I enjoy the free exploration and rush of creativity that comes with writing a first draft, it’s in the edit that I really earn my money. The edit can turn a promising idea into a great idea, can turn lumpen prose into gold. But in order to get the best out of editing, you need six important things.
Have you noticed how much easier it is to spot mistakes or areas for improvement in other people’s books? There’s a good reason for that. As a reader you’re coming to the story fresh, with no insight or foreknowledge of what’s taking place. You can only judge the book by it’s words. With your own book it’s very different. You know everything intimately, not just what is written but the back story, what you are trying to imply and what is left unsaid. You know…
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These are some very helpful rules to the writer/storyteller that I wanted to share. Have a blessed day. Shirley
Originally posted on Jens Thoughts:
I wanted to share this article with everyone. To me, it’s a gold mine that you can review over and over. I hope it inspires you.
Back in 2011, then Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats (now freelancing) tweeted 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar. Coats learned the ‘guidelines’ from senior colleagues on how to create appealing stories,tweeting the nuggets of wisdom over a 6 week period.
Below you will find the list of image macros along with a text summary of Pixar’s 22 rules of storytelling at the end of the post. Enjoy!
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