The Skies Are Lighted With Lamps #13 (A part of my novel)

Now, the house was a wooden ‘L’ shaped structure with three rooms; two ten by twelve bedrooms and a ten by ten kitchen area.  The average size of most houses in the area.  The toilet and room for bathing was outside.  This too was the same for a number of other people in the neighborhood.  The community was simply designed, and the people had a view of not having too much bothered them.

                                   ***

Since Deo was gone for years and Sarah, at the time was still a baby, she shared the bedroom with her mother up to that point.  The other three girls shared the other bedroom.  Each night the girls enjoyed staying up late, talking to each other about hair styles, the eligible young men or clothing which they saw in old catalogs swapped with other girls in the village.  This night though was to be different.  Without the girl’s mother barking at them to go to bed, they willingly left the table for their respective rooms.

Copyright © 2017 David Alexian

All rights reserved.

How to Improve Your English Writing Skills

This presentation was quite good.  The presenter had an interesting voice, it made you want to listen more to what he had to say.  These tips given were very practical and I believe they will apply for any language you are seeking to master the writing for.

Sometimes we take it for granted how important writing is in a language, even if it be our mother tongue.

I benefited from this information and thought it nice to share it with you on this blog.  Enjoy!

A Screenwriter Gets Schooled in Novel Writing (A Guest Post by Heather Jackson of WriteOnSisters)

Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

Screenwriting Heather J bannerToday is the second half of a guest-post swap I’m doing with WriteOnSisters. My article on high fantasy vs epic fantasy is already live at WOS. Now, it’s one of the “Sister’s” turns to post here! Heather Jackson lives in Canada and writes YA novels as well as television and video game screenplays. In fact, she began with screenplays before tackling novel-writing. Here’s what Heather learned during that transition.

I started my writing career as a television screenwriter, but my first love has always been books. So, after screenwriting for what seemed like an eternity to my young self (though I’d only been making a living at it for five years), I decided it was time to write a novel. Being a “seasoned professional,” I estimated I could develop a book idea and write a first draft in one year. After all, I already knew how to craft great stories. Novels simply used more words…

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17 Crucial Things Authors Forget to Do When Self-Publishing

by Bryan Hutchinson

17 Crucial Things Authors Forget to Do When Self-Publishing

This is a guest post by Shayla Eaton. Shayla is the president of Curiouser Editing and a connoisseur of the writing and editing process, having edited over two hundred books and countless articles, blogs, social media posts, and web copy. She is the author of The Curiouser Crusade and the Pre-Publishing Checklist.

Choosing to self-publish your book means you’re in control of the process. But like Ben Parker said to Spider-Man: “With great self-publishing comes great responsibility.” Or, you know, something like that.

Self Publishing

With great self-publishing comes great responsibility. (Click to Tweet)

Don’t overlook these must-haves when self-publishing your book:

1. Check to see if your book title already exists

There are pros and cons to finding that your book title already exists. I believe the con is obvious, but the pro? Some authors use it as a smart marketing tool, because when a potential buyer searches for your competitor’s book title, he’ll find yours as well.

2. Set up an email address for marketing purposes

From signing up for social media platforms to setting up an account with CreateSpace, you’ll want an email address specifically for marketing purposes rather than using your personal address. Pro tip: Don’t use AOL or Hotmail.

3. Add an email signature with website and social media information

This is easy to do: just go to your email settings and craft your signature’s content. You can even add URLs so people can click on over to your book’s website or subscribe to your newsletter.

4. Prepare a promo kit

You’ll need a long and short book summary, a long and short bio, a tagline for your book, and a professional headshot. You’ll have all of this ready to go in your promo folder for when you reach out to bloggers.

5. Gather endorsements

Try to get endorsements from well-known figures who either write in your genre or relate to it somehow. These endorsements will go in the front matter of your book and can also be used for marketing on social media and your website.

Click here to see the stellar endorsement Bryan Hutchinson received for Writer’s Doubt from 21 times New York Times bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins. He’s using the endorsement to lead his book’s page on his website and on Amazon.

6. Get your ISBN

If you’re printing with CreateSpace, they’ll handle this for you with a free ISBN or paid ones. But if you’re not using a print-on-demand company and are using a local printer instead, you’ll want to purchase your ISBN. I recommend Bowker.

7. Check the licenses of typefaces

Make sure you or the designer has the right to use certain fonts. Pro tip: Tell your formatter what fonts you used, because they might not be visible during the transfer.

8. Get a book trailer

Hey, who says movies are the only ones who get trailers? A book trailer is a modern, engaging way to tell your friends and potential readers about your book.

9. Set up Amazon Author Central page

When you publish your book on Amazon, you’ll want to go here to create the Amazon Author Central page so people can learn more about you—the author. You can link your Twitter page, blog feed, and book trailer on this page. Your future books will show up here too.

10. Write a sample author Q&A

Surely you didn’t think you’d publish a book without an interview or two, right? Craft a sample author Q&A for bloggers and podcasters to use when promoting or reviewing your book.

11. Tease your social media followers with snippets of your book

Your followers are the fish, and your bookish quotes are the bait. Hook them and reel them in. Copy and paste your book quotes into Canva to create high-quality promotional photos.

12. Throw an online launch party

It’s best if someone other than the author hosts this party and it can be done on Facebook. The host will create an event and invite people to the party. There will be giveaways and contests and lots of online sharing about your book.

13. Get in touch with your community

Why do so many authors forget about their local library? Libraries love to promote their own local authors, so talk to them about donating your book or planning a book signing there. You can also publish a press release about your town’s local author (ahem—that’s you) whose book comes out in two weeks!

You can get local bookstores and coffee shops involved. If you’re smart, you’ll host a Night on the Town with a local shopping center, where customers can get raffle tickets, food, freebies, and a signed copy of your book.

14. Add your book on Goodreads

You would be surprised how many authors forget to do this. Users can shelve your book to read for later, update their progress while reading, and review your book after completing it.

15. Brand yourself using photo apps

What are the colors of your book cover? The fonts? The style? Choose a photo app to create a brand that relates to your book, then post the images on social media.

16. Get a contract with your editor

If your editor is a professional, then he or she will have this ready for you. It will outline what the editor will do to your book, the tentative deadline, and how much it will cost. Sadly, too many newbie authors forget about the contract and get themselves into trouble when the editor doesn’t hold up his or her end of the bargain.

17. Form your citations properly

Can we please talk about the sheer terror that overcomes me when I see sloppy (and sometimes nonexistent) citations in a nonfiction manuscript? Here’s a fast rundown and a great tip on crafting citations in under two minutes.

What Makes A Great Book Description?

All writers need readers, right?

Your book description, the section that describes your book on Amazon, and on the back of your paperback or on the flap of your hardback, is a critical part of finding readers.

Readers buy books based on great descriptions.

Here are 7 key things every description should have:

1. A strong first sentence. You can insert a tag line, a short sentence that might go on the front cover, or a short exciting review quote at the top of your description. Whatever you do you, the opening lines of your description must hook readers. They must be engaging and create a desire to buy your book. You can incorporate the most dramatic element of the book or what the reader will get, how they will benefit, from reading your book.

2. In the second paragraph tell the reader who the main characters are, by name, what the circumstances of the book are and the location.

3. Include the dramatic problem or dilemma of the plot quickly. You can use key words such as: “however”, “but” or “until” to describe the turn of events the book focuses on.

4. Hint at how the characters might overcome the dilemma.

5. Indicate the tone and mood of the book. Tell the reader through pace and word choice what kind of story they will get. Is it a romance, a mystery, a thriller,  a literary story, a fantasy or another popular genre?

6. Keep all paragraphs short (two or three lines),  to make the description easy to read online.

7. Mention what’s unique about your book and use a dramatic tone, if the book contains drama. A little hype goes a long way. Do you know what’s unique about your book?
Other tips:

  • Cater to your target reader’s tastes – “If you like ….,you’ll love….”
  • Quote authors, not publications, when comparing your book  
  • Mention awards, if you have them 
  • Your hook, the opening sentence, can also be a question
  • Don’t make the description too long. Three to five paragraphs is more than enough
  • Look at the five top books in your genre for length, layout, style and content tips.

Spend time getting this right. Test each version you create with people you trust who will be honest with you.

A poor book description will seriously impact your book sales. Big publishers spend a lot of time on this, changing or inserting single words over and over to create powerful descriptions.

Get this right if you want your book to sell.

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