What do Twitter Games Mean to Readers?

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If you’re on Twitter, you probably follow your favorite authors. Or I hope you do! And here’s why …

Twitter has a few games authors, both to-be-published and published, partake in to share information about themselves and their works in progress (WIP). Scrolling through the feeds, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know authors–some before they’re books hit the market, yippee–on a personal level and get sneak peeks into what they’re working on. You’ll have the “know” before anyone. Not to mention you can chat it up with writers! Ask questions. Retweet your favorites. And I can’t lie, the feeds get silly. We have tons of fun!! Sometimes a little too much. hehe

How Cool Right?

Today I’m going to share a few hashtags you can follow.

  • #wipjoy –Authors share insight to their WIP, including characters, setting, and silly “what if’s”
  • #authorconfession — Authors get personal on this one. Sure there’s some info on WIP but mostly, #authorconfession, focusses on the authors themselves.
  • #wipwordsearch — Authors share quotes from their WIP containing the “word of the day.” A fun way to find a future big hit you might fall in love with. You’ll be surprised how a 140 character quote can say a lot about a novel as well as the author’s writing style!
  • #1linewed — at the very least, check out #1linewed. This hashtag is once a week. Yep, you guessed it, it’s on Wed. haha. Author’s share a single quote related to the theme.

There’s a bunch more, but these are just a few to get you started! If you know any others you’d like to share, please comment below! I’m sure your fellow readers would like to know. Plus, any authors stopping by can add a new game on their gamer list.

So the moral of this little bit-o-info: Comment! Retweet! Like! We love hearing from you! In fact, you’ll make our day! So put a smile on an author’s face by hopping on a feed and saying hello.

Till next time …

X,
Happy Reading

Sipping the Bubbly

Pop the bubbly my friends! I’m thrilled to announce I’ve accepted a book contract with Champagne Book Group for my YA Paranormal novel! EEE! I’m crazy excited to start this journey with such a fantabulous publisher. The novel is projected to come out mid-late 2018, and I can’t wait!

So who is Champagne …

Copyright @champagnebookgroup

“Now under a new owner, CBG is a United States publisher with the goal and vision to deliver to readers quality books crafted with care and infused with passion that transport readers into imagination.” —www.champagnebooks.com

Champagne Book Group has been slinging fabulous novels since 2004. They sell a little bit of every genre and something for every reader to enjoy. Honestly, their owner/publisher, Cassie Knight, was the primary reason I chose to sign on the dotted line. She’s knowledgeable, helpful, and willing to work with her authors. And from what I can tell, she also believes in them! (which believe it or not, isn’t always the case) Champagne isn’t a “turn ’em and burn ’em” kind of publisher. They take pride in producing quality products, and I’m extremely grateful to have them supporting me.

For Readers …

Check out Champagne’s homepage for their library of great novels! There are tons of awesome ones available on there! You can read an excerpt, purchase directly from the website, or buy from any of the online vendors. i.e. Amazon, Kobo, Nook, etc.

For Authors …

I haven’t been with Champagne long but I’ll tell you so far I’m loving the support I’m receiving. Not to mention the tight-knit group of new authors I’ve already connected with since signing. Champagne has a lot to offer and I’m projecting some huge growth in the next few years. So I recommend submitting to them! You can click here to get to the submission page. http://champagnebooks.com/store/index.php?id_cms=2&controller=cms

So there you have it! I’m humbled have the privilege to be published by an incredible group of talented professionals.

…  And yay to sharing my novel with other reader/book dorks like me! I know I’ll make some fabulous friends along the way.

Giveaways! Yippee! Who doesn’t love a giveaway?

Stay tuned for updates on giveaways. I’m hoping to do something fun once a month! My novel is about Angels, Nephilim, and Fallen. My goal over the next year is to have an Angel/Fallen Angel/Nephilim Series giveaway every other month–maybe every month if I’m feeling uber generous, which I am anyway … sometimes overly haha.

A few of the giveaways will also include a little something extra. A trinket, some swag, maybe a signed copy or two, you’ll have to check in to find out.

Sign up here to be in the know! Don’t fret, I won’t spam you. Not my style. But I will send you a quick heads up when a giveaway is about to launch. And here’s a little secret … One’s coming VERY VERY soon…

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Vellum–Kick Butt Novel Formatting

Although I recently decided to embark on a new path in the publishing world, I did a ton of prep just in case I took my novel to market solo. In my next few blog posts, (the previous one included), I’ll share some of the things I did to shine my manuscript. I.e: programs and software I purchased or tried out, the businesses I worked with, or services, bloggers I reached out to.

*** Disclaimer: These are my personal experiences. Everyone has a different method of becoming a star author. Budgets vary as well as skill levels. So please don’t think I’m stating a “this is how it’s got to go” claim. haha. Just some experiences of my own.*** 

When I first considered self-publishing, formatting terrified me the most. Most of the Indie authors I know have either spent numerous weeks perfecting their formatting or hired someone–which can cost hundreds of dollars! EEK! If you’re planning on publishing multiple novels, this could get a tad pricey.  Who am I kidding? It would get very pricey!

I researched for programs to make formatting a snap and found Vellum. https://vellum.pub/

*Vellum did not pay me or compensate me for this review*

Vellum:

A downloadable program to help format books for print and ebook. The software pumps out a gorgeous, customizable, product! I loved mine after I messed around with it. It’s user-friendly and easy. SUPER EASY. I might be a bit computer savvy, but anyone could pick up “how to” just by giving it a go.

First I  want to mention that Vellum isn’t cheap. For paperback and ebook you’ll pay $245 USD. (they have an ebook only software for $199) BUT, consider this … How many books are you planning on formatting? Are you a skilled book formatter? Do you have the time and patience to format yourself, if you’re not? Do you have the budget to outsource for subsequent books?

Your answer will give you an idea if Vellum might be an option. If you have the skills that pay the bills, then I say absolutely no. Don’t spend the money on Vellum. Keep up the awesome work of building your novels yourself. Why spend the money if you can whip up a perdy finished product? However, if you’re like me, and don’t have time or patience for DIY and can’t afford to hire someone for every novel, then I suggest giving Vellum a try.

Here’s a screen shot that was taken from Vellum’s website to give you an idea of what Vellum looks like. You can view EVERY device and print your book will be published on in real time.  The example below is kindle fire.

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© 2017 180g. Vellum is a registered trademark of 180g.

I still edited my books on Scrivener–my FAVORITE writing platform. But once I finished, I exported as a word doc and imported into Vellum. Tada! Vellum separates chapters and scenes and shows what the finished product will look like. Vellum still recommends proofing on kindle, kobo, PDF, etc. But when I did, I found the results similar and I didn’t need to make many adjustments. (if any)

Needless to say, I was very impressed!

Check out their site and make the decision for yourself. There’s no right or wrong way to get your book out there. Every route you, as an author, take will be the best one for you. I found value in Vellum and wanted to share. https://vellum.pub/

Happy writing and best of luck in your journey!

 

Finding an Editor: Reedsy Review

When I finally finished the last draft of my manuscript, I came to a crossroads. What next? Do I query right away? Do I hire an editor? Many of you writers out there have probably had the same questions. And really, no one can give you a straight answer. It all depends on your budget and what you are planning to do with your novel.

For me, I decided that if I didn’t find a publisher or agent, I would self-publish my book. So an editor was a must, at least for me. Some have a super-editing power. I’m great at editing but a professional eye never hurts. That’s why I figured, why not?

But how in the world would I find an editor? Just hitting search on google, you’ll come up with hundreds upon hundreds of “qualified” editors. I say “qualified” because sadly there are a lot of scammers that just run your precious baby through spell check. *insert face of horror here*

Needless to say, the entire search process was overwhelming.

That’s when I stumbled upon Reedsy …

So what is Reedsy? 

This is straight from their website:

“Crafting beautiful books is at the heart of everything that Reedsy does. We’re changing the way books are published by giving authors and publishers access to talented professionals, powerful tools, and free educational content.

Reedsy was founded in the summer of 2014 by Emmanuel Nataf, Ricardo Fayet, Vincent Durand and Matt Cobb. Since then, we’re proud to have built a network of world-class publishing professionals and helped produce over 3,000 books.”

To sum it up, Reedsy is a site where authors can hire vetted professionals to help with editing, design, publicity, website, ghostwriting, and marketing. Now THAT’S a list.

Finding what you’re looking for is easy peasy. You’d do a search, pick five professionals that you think would be an excellent choice for your novel, each professional has a profile with their previous works and experience, then you request a quote. You can also request a sample of their work! I sent my first few pages of my manuscript to compare their editing and decide who complimented my writing style/vision.

I ended up finding Erin Young, an agent/editor with Dystel, Goderich, and Bourreststal, to content edit my novel. She opened my eyes to ways I could improve my character arcs and would building opportunities. After I revise her suggested changes, I hired Katherine Stephen to proofread. She was excellent! My manuscript came out so pretty!

So a few things I loved about Reedsy. I could find every service I may need in one place. Their customer service team rocks! They answer questions quickly and thoroughly, even for silly nerds like me who ask a billion. 🙂

The biggest bonus for this site is every professional is vetted. So you know you’re not going to get scammed, and if you do, you have Reedsy to back you up. Win, Win!

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with my experience from Reedsy. I could find the help I needed within my budget. If you’re considering investing in “life beyond the draft,” check out www.reedsy.com. It’s a great tool to add to an author’s box of goodies.

Scrivener

Happy Tuesday!

As we inch closer to Christmas, you might be wondering, “What do I get that special writer in my life?” OR you are a writer who’s wondering what to ask for. Well, I have a kick butt program to add to your tool box. Scrivener.

So Why Scrivener?

Scrivener makes outlining and plotting, keeping track of character details, and moving scenes much easier.

How many times when you’ve used Word or Works have you scrolled through pages and pages and pages to find specific info/scenes? Or Had to copy and paste scenes to rearrange to different parts of your novel? OH MAN, OR had to make an entirely separate Doc to save those cut scenes, THEN had to search for them?

Well, with Scrivener you can say buh-bye to all of that.

To the left of the screen, there are folders. Each folder acts as a chapter, and within a folder, there are text docs or “scenes.” I’ve been rewriting a novel and with all of the changes a lot of scenes no longer fit the current sequence. All I had to do was drag and drop the folders or scenes to their new home! So simple. You can also create folders that you will not include in your compiled–exported–novel, to peek at quickly. Your cut scenes can line up within that folder to be used at different times. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

So something else I love … Notes on Corkboard.

I’m not the best plotter/outliner. I’ve gotten better, but I have a hard time following a strict guideline. (I do plot, but I’m more loose about it) With Scrivener I can see a corkboard with every scene and give a quick description… guess what this helps with? YOUR SYNOPSIS! You can export it, and you’ll have a play-by-play of your novel.

Notes on the right side of your scene text doc help with outlining. You can summarize your chapter and look to that as you write. I also use notes to paste parts I no longer need or want to move later. It’s so simple and convenient.

Finally, the biggest kicker … Compile

Scrivener gives writers the ability to compile in various formats. Kindle/mobi, epub/ibooks, word, and PDF. You can also add unique scene breaks, texts, and make your novel the way you want it to appear. You can add a cover too. Scrivener’s templates make formatting mindless, AND if you are an Indie Author, it’ll make the publishing steps THAT MUCH EASIER!!!! WHOO HOO!

You can get Scrivener on Literature and Latte’s website. They have a free trial so you can test the waters.

AND there’s also a syncable IOS version. You can edit your novel from your iPhone while waiting at the doctors office, the DMV, or wherever you may be, and it will sync to your original doc on your computer! How awesome is that?

There is a slight learning curve, BUT I promise it’ll be worth it! So check it out! I love love love Scrivener and have gifted the program to many of my writing buddies. Most have emailed me months later RETHANKING me for the amazing gift! I heart that. 🙂

Below, I’ve pasted all the deets directly from the Literature and Latte website. They go more in-depth on the site, but this will give you an idea. Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts! I’d love to hear ’em. Others I’m sure will too!!!!

Happy Writing! 🙂

https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

Grow your ideas in style

Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.

Your complete writing studio

Writing a novel, research paper, script or any long-form text involves more than hammering away at the keys until you’re done. Collecting research, ordering fragmented ideas, shuffling index cards in search of that elusive structure—most writing software is fired up only after much of the hard work is done. Enter Scrivener: a word processor and project management tool that stays with you from that first, unformed idea all the way through to the final draft. Outline and structure your ideas, take notes, view research alongside your writing and compose the constituent pieces of your text in isolation or in context. Scrivener won’t tell you how to write—it just makes all the tools you have scattered around your desk available in one application.

Write, structure, revise

Scrivener puts everything you need for structuring, writing and editing long documents at your fingertips. On the left of the window, the “binder” allows you to navigate between the different parts of your manuscript, your notes, and research materials, with ease. Break your text into pieces as small or large as you want – so you can forget wrestling with one long document. Restructuring your draft is as simple as drag and drop. Select a single document to edit a section of your manuscript in isolation, or use “Scrivenings” mode to work on multiple sections as though they were one: Scrivener makes it easy to switch between focussing on the details and stepping back to get a wider view of your composition.

With access to the full power of the OS X text system, you can add tables, bullet points, images and mark up your text with comments and footnotes. Format as you go using the format bar at the top of the page, or use any font you want for the writing and let Scrivener reformat your manuscript after you’re done – allowing you to concentrate on the words rather than their presentation.

Create order from chaos

Most word processors approach composing a long-form text the same as typing a letter or flyer – they expect you to start on page one and keep typing until you reach the end. Scrivener lets you work in any order you want and gives you tools for planning and restructuring your writing. In Scrivener, you can enter a synopsis for each document on a virtual index card and then stack and shuffle the cards in the corkboard until you find the most effective sequence. Plan out your work in Scrivener’s outliner and use the synopses you create as prompts while you write. Or just get everything down into a first draft and break it apart later for rearrangement on the outliner or corkboard. Create collections of documents to read and edit related text without affecting its place in the overall draft; label and track connected documents or mark what still needs to be done. Whether you like to plan everything in advance, write first and structure later—or do a bit of both—Scrivener supports the way you work.

Your research—always within reach

No more switching between multiple applications to refer to research files: keep all of your background material—images, PDF files, movies, web pages, sound files—right inside Scrivener. And unlike other programs that only let you view one document at a time, in Scrivener you can split the editor to view research in one pane while composing your text right alongside it in another. Need to refer to multiple research documents? Call up additional material in floating QuickReference panes. Transcribe an interview or conversation, make notes on an image or article, or just refer back to another chapter, all without leaving the document you’re working on.

Getting it out there

Compile your draft into a single document for printing or exporting

Scrivener provides all the tools you need to prepare your manuscript for submission or self-publishing. Print a novel using standard manuscript formatting or an academic paper in a standard style such as APA or MLA. Export your finished document to a wide variety of file formats, including Microsoft Word, RTF, PDF and HTML—making it easy to share your work with others. Save screenplays to Final Draft format with your synopses and script notes intact. Or self-publish by exporting to ePub or Kindle* formats to share your work via iBooks or Amazon, or for reading on any e-reader. And for those who want to typeset their own work, Scrivener supports the MultiMarkdown markup language, giving users with more exacting requirements all the power of exporting to LaTeX, XHTML, and more.

* Requires KindleGen, a utility which only works on Mac OS X 10.5 or greater, on Intel based hardware.

Take your work with you, wherever you are

What about writing on the go? With Scrivener for iOS you can put your project in your pocket.
(Available separately from the iOS App Store.)

Who Uses Scrivener?

Scrivener is used by all sorts of professional and amateur writers, from best-selling and aspiring novelists to Hollywood scriptwriters, from students and academics to lawyers and journalists: anyone who works on long and difficult writing projects. While many other writing project management tools impose their own workflows or limit themselves to fiction-writing, Scrivener recognises that all writers of long-form texts often face similar problems, and provides an array of flexible tools that allow you to do things your way, no matter what kind of writing you do. Those currently using Scrivener include:

Scribophile & A Gingerbread Latte

Is it me, or does a delicious Gingerbread latte on a crisp fall morning make everything better? I’d say yes, wouldn’t you?

This morning, as I drink my warm nutmeggy sweetness, I will be critiquing a wonderful novel. Critiquing? You say? Where does one go to critique or get critiqued?

One word: Scribophile. A website geared toward writers helping other writers. An author can earn karma points–their version of money so to speak–through critiquing other authors’ works. Once they receive enough karma, they can post chapters, short stories, novellas, poetry, or scripts to be critiqued by others.

Personally, I’ve found the website to be a huge resource to my writing. Not just to shine up my stories but also to meet writers from all over the world. It’s a great community of people with a similar passion for words. Plus, I get instant access to forums where I can ask questions.

The free membership has limitations but is a great way to test out the site. I’ve seen so many dropout after the first month or so because they couldn’t handle the critiques. Give it a shot and see if you can “cut it.” If you can … the premium membership opens the door to post entire novels (chapter by chapter), and anything else you’d like critiqued. Maybe even your kids eighth-grade paper … Not sure if that’s cheating, but hey, why not!?

So you’ve signed up. Now, what?

Here are few words of advice for a Scrib newbie.

  1. Join a Group. AN ACTIVE group.
  2. Once you join a group… commit to critiquing an entire novel. Maybe get your feet wet to check out a few single posts here and there, but critiquing a whole novel not only builds up karma faster but it helps another writer out tremendously and builds your rep points. (rep points are how experienced and active you are within the Scrib community)
  3. So you have karma, now you want to post… Put your first post in the main spotlight. Put all subsequent posts in a personal spotlight. (The main spotlight, after your first one, can take a while to get your work back in there. Since the spotlight gives your critter  more karma, having your posts in a personal spotlight keeps them, well, in a spotlight! *Most critters want karma, so they are more prone to critique work that is in a spotlight. Plus, this will help you to build favorites!
  4. Proofread. Run your work through Grammarly or skim it for spelling and grammar mistakes several times before you post. Why? You do yourself an injustice if your work is littered with those kinds of mistakes. Sure, everyone makes them. I was terrible at grammar. Terrible! But when a critter has to spend all of their time fixing those mistakes, they miss the story. 🙂
  5. You’ve gotten your first critique. A few suggestions: Make sure you thank the person, regardless how you feel about the critique. If you don’t agree with something– don’t argue with them. They are doing you a favor. Ask for clarification, but don’t state your case trying to defend something they didn’t like. Everyone has their own opinions. Trust me, you’d rather have a bad critique than a bad review on Amazon. Eek!
  6. What should you do with the feedback? Sort through what you agree with first. Fix it. Then wait for your next round of critiques. If you see consistencies … you might want to strongly consider changing them.
    1. What if the feedback is in regards to your writing style? Everyone writes differently, BUT, if people tell you, for example, that you have too many adverbs, “to be” verbs, passive voice, and long sentences, I have one thing to say: Research! Sulking doesn’t help you improve! If you have a love for words and storytelling, boost your craft. Read other’s works, books on writing, take a class, practice … lots of ways to shine up your skills.
    2. At the end of the day, the story is yours. Most critters will say this up front, but always remember it’s your story so, “take what you want, leave what you don’t.”
  1. If the feedback is too much and you find yourself grumbling, angry at critters, constantly battling to prove your writing is stellar, or not fixing your mistakes because your writing is already perfect … well, my uncle was an amazing Italian Chef, and he had a saying: “Se non sopportail calore vattone dalla cucina” — If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

All in all, if you are seriously considering making writing a career, I think Scribophile is an invaluable tool. Check it out and let me know what you think! If you are already on there, I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.

ALSO, find me on Scribophile! I’m always looking for a critique partners. 🙂

*sips Gingerbread latte, pinky out* Until next time! Happy writing! 🙂