DIY – Book Front Matter and Back Matter

DIY – Book Front Matter and Back Matter

You’ve got your manuscript in top shape, but there’s more to a book than the story when your publishing it yourself. While you may have never heard of book front matter or back matter (who decided on “matter” anyway) they’re the first step to turn your hard work into a professional book. This is where you lay aside the author in you and dig into the business of your book by adding the following sections before and after your narrative. Quick formatting note before be we begin – include a manual page break at the end of each section. It’ll save you a step when we get to fully formatting […]

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Why I Want You to Care About Pinterest

Why I Want You to Care About Pinterest

If you’ve read my earlier social media posts, you’ll know I didn’t think too highly of Pinterest. Repinning seemed like nothing more than vanity marketing, raising people’s awareness of me. And hopefully they liked me. But it didn’t translate into clicks back to my website or increased book sales or reviews. Then, just before Christmas 2015 I came across a post by Stephanie at thesepaperhearts that turned my whole outlook on Pinterest around. It’s worth the time to read it because there’s a lot of great information, but one idea stood out for me. Pinterest isn’t just about curating pretty pictures. Pinterest is a search engine. Researching Georgian era culture […]

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DIY Book Cover

DIY Book Cover

We all know we judge books by their covers. Browsing through Goodreads, skimming over ebooks, drifting through the library… a good cover makes you want to read the synopsis; can convince you a book might be more interesting than it sounds. When you’ve got a rockin’ novel, you want to rock that book cover too! Covers are a different beast, though. Having written a novel you probably used Word or some variation thereof. So most authors can figure out how to format their ebook and paperback; how to write their synopsis and bio. Creating a book cover doesn’t involve words or writing or formatting. Covers are the most likely area […]

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The Darling Killings

The Darling Killings

I have always thought, ‘kill your darlings’ was terrible writing advice. I, therefore, mostly just disregarded it. No, let’s be honest. I kind of spitefully worked to prove that they were worth keeping. I wasn’t always correct, which is where a good editor is important. But I still don’t think you should kill your darlings – you make them work. The real question is, what really matters to you? Because some lines, some snippets of dialog, or even a whole scene just won’t work in your novel. If you didn’t love them, they wouldn’t be darlings. Those are the easy edits. You’re editor gives you a note that something’s just […]

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DIY Synopsis and Bio

DIY Synopsis and Bio

The thing that surprised me most as a DIY Publisher are all the things you have to do yourself. Once you realize it, it’s obvious. But it’s so easy to overlook things on the sideline. Like your book synopsis and author bio. Author Bio Author bios are tricky things. First person is more casual and relatable. Third person is more professional. Writing about yourself in the third person can feel odd because you’re taking on the voice of someone else talking about you. I found it best to start with 3 – 5 things to highlight. Do you want to focus on your career? Or education? Interesting hobbies? Do you […]

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writing like an actress

writing like an actress

I grew up as an actress. For a multitude of reasons as complex as my fluid perspective on identity and as simple as being cast as the lead in the kindergarten play. I was in plays throughout high school and college. I moved to LA, got an agent and had a co-star role on a tv show.  Then I decided that wasn’t the career for me. But changing careers didn’t mean that I stopped exploring different characters and emotions; toying with them to discover the truth that lies within that moment and within the character. Before long I directed that creativity into writing. A few times my editor would ask something […]

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DIY – Before You Publish: Branding

DIY – Before You Publish: Branding

Every author needs to think about branding, whether you’re a DIY Publisher, a hybrid author or traditionally published. Because no matter how you’re published, you’re going to work hard for people to discover your book. Consistent author branding makes it easier for people to find you in lots of places, makes it easier for them to recognize you when they do find you and helps build the sort of friendships that are move valuable than any adwords campaign. It’s so important there are hundreds of articles out there with advice, strategies and suggestions but few of them break it down to the nuts and bolts you need to do in […]

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the impact of the internet on nom de plumes

the impact of the internet on nom de plumes

Pseudonym, nom de plume, pen name… fifty years ago there were a number of reasons why an author might choose to use a different name. Marketabiliy or trying to sell books as a female author in a male skewing market. Genre specificity or ‘I write as this persona for sci-fi and this persona for contemporary romance.’ This also ties into the ability to reinvent yourself. Privacy. Perhaps you want to keep your private life especially private. Then the internet came along and with social media, blogging, the expectation to build a a platform it’s a whole different world today for authors. One day, I found myself considering how this new […]

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DIY Publishing: Privacy

DIY Publishing: Privacy

So you’ve written a spectacular book and are ready to share it with the world. Rock on. DIY Publishing is all about taking the reins of your career and not waiting for permission to share your art. Hold on for just a moment though. As tempting as it is to hit that shiny Publish button, there’s two important things you need to consider first: Privacy and Branding. Everyone hopes to one day be a best selling author (at least, I think every author hopes for that…). But we all know fame comes with a price. And best selling author or not, when you publish a novel you become, to some […]

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Captain America and Modern Heroes

Captain America and Modern Heroes

Captain America has a list in The Winter Soldier to keep track of all the things he’s missed in our very modern society. We have the newest technology, decades of great music available at the touch of a button, and the broadest knowledge that the world has ever seen. But Part 1 of this series isn’t about him becoming a modern hero, it’s about the ways in which he already was one. Because we don’t actually live in a Modern world, we live in a Post-Modern one, philosophically speaking. In storytelling, the difference between Modernism and Post-Modernism is the difference between Captain America and Iron Man. It is Superman and […]

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