Author’s Corner: Branding for an Indie Author

Branding for an Indie Author Many authors mistakenly assume building a personal brand comes naturally, or that it’s simply unnecessary (my fans will know me through my work). I have to admit those thoughts went through my own mind when I started this journey. It was very much like believing “Build it and they will come.” Sadly, with my marketing background, I should’ve known better those assumptions were false. For people to follow you and your work, they need to know some very important … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: The Power of Earned Media

The Power of Earned Media So, you’ve just written and indie-published your book. Now all you have to do is find fans, right? You’re probably going to be disappointed in what I say next, because I’m not going to offer a magic way to get a ton more readers. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Anyone who tells you different is either trying to sell you something, or scamming you. Readers are only gained a few at a time, even if you experience a sudden and serendipitous burst of exposure. … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: The Indie Publishing Revolution

The Indie Publishing Revolution As recently as ten years ago, it was a print-centric world. Printed books accounted for nearly all book sales and the traditional publishing houses controlled the means of production, distribution and sales, working strictly with agents who would screen manuscripts before they were sent anywhere. The agents and publishers of the traditional houses decided which writers actually got published; which books would become available for the public to read; which … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: Preparing Your Manuscript for Printing

Preparing Your Manuscript for Printing For my first book, I had written the original draft in WORD. I told you in my last column what an effort it was to create the digital versions. The paperback books were a bit easier (or maybe I was just numb from creating those digital versions). In any event, when I was ready I downloaded that original manuscript (still in Word), into the size I wanted (5.5 x 8.5 is a standard trade paperback) making the necessary tweaks to the file for proper type … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: Formatting Your e-Books

Formatting Your e-Books A friend asked me earlier this year which company put together the Kindle and Nook versions of my books. When I told him I did it myself, he seemed amazed. “I didn’t know you knew how to do that kind of stuff,” was his response. I smiled and let him think I was a genius. The truth is, I didn’t know. I had to figure it out. I started the same way I suppose many author wannabes begin. I Googled "self-publishing companies" and looked at the first page of 28.2 … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: Why it’s Hard to be an Indie Writer

Why It’s Hard to be an Indie Writer The journey of an indie writer can be a perilous one. It’s not a trip for the faint of heart … at least not if you expect to make a living at it. The number of indie writers who’ve made it big can be counted on one hand. It was only a few years ago The New York Times even deigned to include indies on their best-seller list. From the sheer volume today, you’d expect readers and traditional media are both rushing to wrap their arms around indie authors and … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: Creating Fresh Metaphors

I talked the last time about the main types of metaphor. Now, as promised, I will try to provide some help creating fresh ones, and give an indication of where best to place them in your work Tip 1: Avoid clichés As for spotting clichéd language, you can use the advice of George Orwell: “Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.” Most people can pick out a dead metaphor but it is possible to miss some. Tip 2: Change a cliché into a … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: How to Get the Most from Your Metaphors

Metaphors What are they, and when is the best time to deploy them? What should you avoid at all costs? Metaphors are, and will likely always be, a major pillar of most fiction. Used to liven up descriptive writing, metaphors are primarily a comparison tool. Along with similes, they make up most of our well-known ‘figure of speech’ idioms. However, where a simile uses “like a …” or “as a …” – for example, her eyes sparkled like jewels – metaphors are a way of describing an emotion, … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: What is an Allusion?

What is an Allusion? I talked in my last column about allusions in dialogue being one of the questions I get quite often. An allusion is a reference within your work to another work: a book, a film, a piece of artwork, a known quotation, or even a real event. They’re often used to summarize complex ideas in one quick, powerful image, getting your point across without lengthy paragraphs of description. Think of it as a kind of shorthand that provides greater meaning to what you’re … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: What’s the Best Way to Write?

I get many questions about the best way to write. I always answer that by admonishing the asker to read, read, read. I can never say that enough. The best way to learn how to write is to read … anything and everything. Read every time you’re waiting somewhere … when you’re sitting in the doctor’s office … when you’re trying to fall asleep. Immerse your brain in words all day long. The variety will give your own work more depth. Read things you like repeatedly. The second time through, try … [Read more...]