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Showing posts from 2014

Death of the Genre

I'm sitting in an educator's technology conference in Niagara Falls and the keynote speaker is addressing how teaching will change  in the next ten years. "Change" seems to be the topic of every educational professional learning workshop I attend, and the "change" is attributed to our ever-evolving technology.

We know education isn't the only industry affected by our advances in tech, so my question is, "what is changing in the writer's world?"
As a reader, researcher, author, you know many answers to this question. You will have read or personally experienced self-publishing, engaged in discussions about Kindle ethics, looked longingly at the spot where your local bookstore used to be, and then hammered out your thoughts on a personal blog.

For this blog, I would like to look at an impending possibility brought on by the progressive use of technology to market reading materials to the reader--death of the genre.
As technology and eBook…

Using Graphics to Promote Your Book - The BookBit

Yes, I'm still on this image promotion gig. And why? Because I see authors using all forms of graphics to promote their books:
postcards (for travel themed books)excerpts partnered with a relevant imagequotes from the book partnered with a symbol/imagebook cover side-by-side with author photo The ideas are blossoming as technology allows us to share and view images easily. I will eventually create each of the above to show you examples, but for now, here's the BookBit.

The BookBit

The BookBit shares a "bit" of your novel with a relevant image. How do you make one? First, select a riveting, action-packed, emotional or otherwise compelling 100-200 words of your novel, and then find a image to increase the impact you hope to have on your reader.

Finding images to match your excerpt can be difficult, especially if you cannot create your own and don't know anyone who can create one for you. However, if you search on you can find a number of images th…

Don't be a You-Boob on YouTube - 10 Tips to Tube Right!

I've been watching YouTube videos of authors, and I have to say, some videos made me feel closer to the author, some impressed me, and some made me wish I had never watched it.

Presenting yourself in video can be a great way to connect to an audience. The question is, "who" do you present? Do you show them your funky, home personality, or dress up and be professional, or get quirky and align yourself with your genre?

I think these questions have to be answered by the person filming themselves. Usually, I go for professional, but today I killed two hours (and cracked myself up) creating an instructional film called

Don't be a You-Boob on YouTube
I believe this film might be the beginning of my author-platform evolution from words to video. Watch the film to learn and laugh about the many things (namely 10 ... or 11) that you can do to improve your YouTube production.

How to Create a SynopSnip Using Wordle

The Synopsis

Often publishers and agents ask for a synopsis of your novel manuscript. The synopsis functions to provide the barebones information about your plot, character and the stakes of your story. It is usually no longer than one page, which is what makes writing it difficult. The synopsis includes what happens, so it's like a mini-arc of your story. We start here, this happens, we go here and then that happens and we end up there.

The SynopSnip

Creating a SynopSnip is much more fun, more visually stimulating and is for a different audience--the reader. Consider the SynopSnip to be a very succinct snapshop of your synopsis. It is also in a format that makes it easy to distribute on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter etc. Take a look at the one below to see what I mean.

The Example: The Fergus She

Novel: The Fergus She
Characters: Rachel (protagonist) Scarlet (antagonist) Grafen (antagonist) Angus (love interest)
Plot: Rachel is the victim of an ancient curse. The Fergus S…

Use Wordle to Market your Novel

Wordle is a tool that converts a section of your text into a graphic. The graphic will feature words that are used many times in your text in large font, and words that are less often used in smaller fonts. Believe it or not, Wordle will take up to 90,000 words (and possibly more), which means, you could paste in your entire novel manuscript.

Once you see your Wordle graphic, you can determine what words you might be overusing in your manuscript. For example: Is the word "back" in the same size font as your protagonist's name? Doing a quick "Edit>replace" using MS word will allow you to take out redundant words, and then recopy the text back into Wordle. However, make sure you do this on a copy of your MS and not your original. Later, you can figure out how to edit your manuscript to reduce the number of times you use those common words.

With Wordle, what you're hoping to create is a mini, visual synopsis of your novel. So character names should be prom…

What is my #Pitchmadness Pitch for The Precious Quest?

The format for the #pitchmadness pitch included starting with a 35 word logline. Trying to summarize my 90,000 high fantasy, novel manuscript into a two-page synopsis was challenging enough, but 35 words? I was a little unsure if I could do it well.

According to tweets posted by the slush readers, the logline also had to fulfill the following:
Make grammatical senseMake sense in terms of the plotHave the same tone as the manuscriptSound intriguing enough to encourage the reader to continue So I started. And then I revisited it over a few days. And then I put in the final logline revisions right before submission. And ended up submitting this:

Laywren’s destiny is to make war and fill the goddess’ Hall with souls. But when betrayers block the return of those souls, Laywren becomes an instrument of extinction, and children become the most precious quest.

The next step in submission was to pitch the first 250 words of the manuscript. Lucky for me, my manuscript excerpt ended right where a…

Identify the Genre of your Novel

I have been following the #Pitchmadness posts on Twitter and noticed that the slush readers have made a few comments about some of the #Pitchers not properly identifying their genres. So I've put together a flow chart writers or readers can use to identify the genre of their novel. In this post, I'm specifically going to be addressing genre for fiction novels.

Genre is a category that novels can be placed in based on the content, the theme, the characters and other conventions in the story. Conventions are those consistent elements that we read about over and over. For example: a convention or common element in fantasy is magic.

Easy right? Not really. Especially when a novel can belong to a sub-genre. Then it gets tricky. A way to avoid confusion is to think about the purpose or reason the author wrote the novel, and to think about how the reader would react to the novel.

So let's put your novel to the test. When you write a novel you use a number of tricks (beyond the…