Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Fast Writing Or Slow Writing

One of the arguments that the author community seems to always have is,"What is better: to write a novel quickly or to write it slowly?"

I hate this argument more than most arguments, even though I, like many other authors, always participate in it because it's an argument authors get heated about because of their egos. It's never logical or calm, it's always emotional. Because whether we write fast or slow, we feel like, defines us as authors and the quality of all of our books.

Some of us take our time to write a novel and try to perfect it because we're perfectionists. Other people write as quickly as possible to please their fans and get things done. Different people have different priorities when they write.

Also, they are at different levels in their writing. Some people have to learn and research more when writing a specific book so it takes them longer to write or they're beginners and need to go through more drafts. Some people have a team of people they pay that help them write a novel quickly and are ready to edit it the second they are finished. Having a dedicated team and more resources allows a writer to write something faster.

The faster you write, the more money you can make. That tends to be true across the board.

But which kind of books have actually superior literary quality? Ask that question and authors fall to pieces arguing with each other about it.

I can write both quickly or slow depending on my mood. I prefer to write slower (although that isn't always possible) because I'm one of those perfectionist types and want to catch every single mistake, but I'm trying to write more quickly lately and have, for the most part, been doing so under other pen names and writing my articles/poetry/regularly updating my website.

But I do think deep down inside that taking your time writing something and reading it over and over extra times actually helps you catch more mistakes than you would otherwise catch.

Anyway, when authors have this argument, both sides wind up getting offended. The fast authors wind up getting offended because they feel like the slow authors are saying they write crappy, low quality books and the slow authors feel like the fast authors are saying they are crap writers because they take forever to write the same quality book that fast authors write quickly. And we wind up never actually arguing over which type of writing is better, we wind up defending our own egos.

This is similar to the argument I get into with certain romance writers. I say a romance book is any book in which the main plotline revolves around a romance. But a lot of romance writers say there's a lot of rules to it. That both characters must be respectable people with a healthy relationship (if you don't believe me, then look up the controversy over a book called "The Wild"), that there must be a happily ever after in the end, that the romance must progress a certain way, and give people the warm fuzzies or whatever. But I say that some people are triggered by a lot of romance novels, that they don't like alpha males, like me, I don't tend to like an alpha male.

But when I say that, it gets all about egos. They think I hate their type of writing even though I read it all the time and just think it shouldn't be the only type of writing in existence. And they think that I'm trashing the romance genre and debasing it if I dare to write something that doesn't fit their mold. And then it gets about their egos because they think I'm hating on their writing and non-conforming romance writers egos because they're being kicked out of the genre by other authors.

I just hate these arguments and authors have them over and over again with each other. They're all about egos and not about anything actually real or good or helpful. It's just insecure authors trying to defend themselves and no one actually learning anything.

We may not compete over reviews or rankings usually (at least not from my experience.) But these things, it seems like even the littlest authors compete over.

Monday, July 17, 2017

New Writer's Guide To Writing, Publishing, And More

I just recently launched a new website. It's still a work in progress. I only have one article up so far, but it's a website that I plan to fill with articles that are there to help new writers learn more about writing and publishing.

Here's a link to the site:

http://newwritersguide.weebly.com/

I've been told by some new writers before in emails that they enjoy reading my blog and learning about writing that way, but my blog is mostly about my current writing experiences and thoughts on the industry. It doesn't cover a lot of the basics and even when I do, those posts can be hard to find as they get buried under other posts.

So I thought I'd make this website, so I could write a lot of the basic information of what I have learned from being a writer for over a decade. I hope the information can help some new writers. Let me know if there is anything specific you want me to talk about (although I have a ton of articles in mind already! I just need to write them!)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Hard Truths About What It's Like To Be A Published Author

A lot of people think writing is an easy way to make millions of dollars. Here are the hard truths and the realities of how the publishing industry actually works.

1. You'll Be Disappointed If You Are Doing It For The Praise

One of the most obvious rules of using the internet is not to look at the comments section of any article or any video, unless you are prepared for a lot of hateful comments. Reviews are the comment section of books. Either you get no reviews, because no one buys your book or cares enough to review it. Or you get a ton of them, some of them illiterate and a lot of them hateful.

Yes, there will be praise in there and you might get some fan mail, but if you invest a lot of your self-esteem about your book in people's reactions to it, then you're going to get disappointed a lot due to negative reviews. They are likely to become your focus if you care too much about your reviews, even if there are a lot more positive reviews then negative ones. I've seen authors lose their mind over negative reviews.

You have to view books in terms of numbers. What matters is how many people review them, buy them, and how much money you make off of them versus how much you spend. Positive or negative, as long as people are reading your book and reviewing it regularly, you're doing good.

Huge, successful authors get more insults than smaller authors. They also get more praise, so it's balanced out. but if they focus on people's comments rather than the numbers they are receiving, they'll go crazy.

Your books numbers, how much you are selling and how much you are making, are a better determination of how successful your book is than people's praise of you and your book.

2. It's A Huge Financial Risk

This is true whether you are traditionally publishing or self-publishing. There are a lot more costs in self-publishing because you have to pay for the cover yourself, the editor, and more. But even when you're traditionally publishing, you have to pay for a lot, if not all, the advertising yourself. Unless you are as popular as JK Rowling, then your publishing company will absorb the costs of most of your advertising themselves because you are worth the investment to them. But that almost never happens to authors.

While social media helps with advertising costs, it's not as effective as it used to be when it comes to promoting books and a lot of social media websites, like facebook, no longer allow you to advertise for free. You must pay them money for your ad or they make the link you posted to tell all your friends on facebook about your book disappear into obscurity.

Advertising can easily become the most expensive part of writing and there is no limit to how much you can spend on advertising. It's an expense you are going to have to pour money into over and over again, especially now, when most books aren't discoverable unless the author is putting money into Amazon and Facebook Ads every month.

3. You Don't Make Money Being "Special"

You have a book idea. You're so excited because it's unlike any book idea you've ever heard of before. It's unique, it's special, and it's going to make you a lot of money....or so you think.

First of all, any time any author thinks they have a unique book idea, a quick google search tells us that iT has been done before at least once. And if not now, search again, more thoroughly, in a few months and you'll find it.

The truth is, every book has already been written.

People see this and get confused. They think,"What's the point of writing then?"

Writing is not about the book idea, it's about your voice. Your version of every book idea hasn't been written, that's what makes a book "unique" and keeps every book from reading exactly the same. Voice is why Anne Rice will write about vampires and make then vicious, but Stephenie Meyer writes about them and makes them sparkly. It's your unique take on things. The way you word them and arrange them. Writing about vampires is not unique, but the way Stephenie Meyer writes them is very different than how Anne Rice does.

But you have to be careful because you don't want to be too unique. Books that are too unique, unless you write somethig that people have been looking for for a long time and no one realized it, are not going to sell. Your unique idea probably doesn't fall into this category.

People say they hate books that read all the same, but they freak out if something too different happens. If the crime isn't solved at the end of a mystery novel, or a couple doesn't wind up together at the end of a romance novel, you're going to see a lot of readers flipping out and vowing to never read from you again.

Every reader has expectations for how the stories should go in their favorite genre and even if you have a good reason for breaking those expectations, they're going to get mad.

So the goal of being a writer isn't actually to be unique anyway. That's not how you make money. (And even if your goal is just to be read and not to make money, this applies as well.) It's to be just enough like everyone else that you can make a wide range of people happy. Formulas in genres were created because those formulas make the most amount of people happy.

You'll grow to love them and hate them and to realize how much you consume them yourselves. Like, I'm a sucker for a good Marvel Superhero movie, but they're all the same. They have a superhero (usually the thing that separates them is their super powers) who is saving the world or universe. There are comedic moments, action scenes, and often times a mild romance plotline or at least a flirtation between characters. The superheros deliver epic and funny lines every once in awhile. The quirks of their personalities often help drive the plot and there's character development in every story. There are many explosions or breaking of things, especially as we get towards the end. And there's just a lot they all have in common and I'm a sucker for it and would be sad if they did anything to change those formulas.

There's likely something you enjoy that is formulaic as well.

4. People Always Think It's Easy To Do Your Job

Because lots of people daydream about their story ideas and think they could easily make millions off of it, they think it's easy to do your job. I've had people confront me before, say that I must do nothing all day to be a writer, because they write a couple of lines of poetry once a month and they think that's all that serious writers do. That's not true, especially with the modern day writer.

We don't have ONE idea for a book we want to write, we have hundreds. So many book ideas that we will never in our lifetime be able to write them all. What takes up most of our time is not daydreaming, but writing and rewriting every day. Sometimes it can take an hour just to decide on ONE word and most manuscripts are expected to be somewhere between 50,000-100,000 words.

In order to write a novel, you must read your novel over and over again, send it to editors and other people who will help you make changes to it. You must study rules of writing and practice executing them. Because simply reading a rule like,"Show, don't tell" does not make you an expert at it. You must practice implementing that over and over again, so you get better at it.

Then there's the social media aspect. There's too many social media sites for you to keep up with them all, yet you need to be on all of them promoting yourself.

You might have multiple pen names, like I do, and people put pressure on you to release a book once every month to three months, which is next to impossible to do especially with multiple pen names.

So you're going crazy, trying to maintain this pace. I've literally said things like,"I am going to spend all week, this whole week doing NOTHING but writing." And still, there wasn't enough hours in a day.

You have to network with other authors so they can teach you things. Sometimes that means going to events in person and sometimes it just means having chats over social media. Because there isn't enough hours to try everything and you need help not only learning how to write faster, but also how to market more efficiently because some of the ways you are trying to market your books are having poor results.

Marketing is a huge chore in itself. There are lots of emails to send and forms to fill out and ads to create. You have to budget money for it and figure out how to effectively use that money and if the money is worth it. This is where math comes in. Where you start doing math contemplating profits versus costs, which drives you crazy because you didn't become an author out of love for numbers or percentages.

And if you are trying to get into a magazine publication or into a major publishing company, there are lots of queries and synopses to write.

And you got to keep your website up to date so it's useful to people.

There's also choosing our book covers and formatting books. Some self-publishing sites make formatting simple, but for others I've literally had to take a minor crash course in a programming language to be able to self-publish on.

We often need help to do all of this. Lots of us hire people like personal assistants, book cover artists, social media managers, formatting experts, people who will help us advertise, and more. But most of us don't make much money through writing, if any at all, to hire any of these people, so we have to figure out how to do things for ourselves.

Some authors have to work full time (because writing doesn't make good money) in addition to writing. We all have social lives we neglect for writing, health problems we neglect for writing, and family we've ignored for writing. Our houses will look terrible and be a mess when we've been working hard at writing.

But people will literally daydream for a couple of hours, think they've got a million dollar idea, and then act like being a writer is easy and they could do it at any time. They will act like your accomplishments are unimpressive and ask you what you do all day.

There is no end to things that need to be done as a writer. You can set any amount of hours, any day, as the time you will spend writing and have stuff to do all of those hours. I'm positive this is why a lot of writers are either addicted to coffee, alcohol, or both.

For instance, my husband is sleeping in right now and I should be making breakfast. There's a chance that I will be working on this blog post for so long that I grab a bowl of cereal impulsively and work on this post until the early afternoon while my husband sleeps. This is not unusual for a writer.

5. People Read To Forget Life, Not To Be Educated

 When people daydream about being a writer, they daydream about writing something that will impress people. A lot of them want to be deep in their writing, to try fancy techniques, and write about politics, religion, philosophy, psychology, or whatever.

But when you talk to actual readers, they just want fantasy fulfillment. They just want you to write about someone super special, doing super special things, so they can daydream about doing those things, too.

You can sneak in deep stuff sometimes, like having a main character with a real, severe issue, like PTSD, but you're generally fulfilling people's fantasies and trying to cure their boredom.

Most people aren't going to get it anyway, if you try to write something deep. It will go over their heads or they won't care or they'll mock you for trying to be deep. It might hurt your ego and your sales.

That doesn't mean never write anything deep, just don't expect it to be your most liked and understood work or to make you the most money.

6. You Can't Hide Behind Your Characters Anymore

Most writers are introverts. This is why social media is horrifying to us. You get used to all the talking and blogging every day if you're an introvert like me and it's really not so bad because you still aren't doing face-to-face interaction, but if you're popular enough, you have to do that, too. You have to have reader meet and greets and maybe even talk at conferences or read some pages of your books outloud to an audience.

I always think of writers as the shy version of actors. Of course there are exceptions to both careers, but generally, we both like to delve into the human psyche and play pretend. We get absorbed in thinking about imaginary people and they feel real to us and we make them real. It's just that writers are behind a computer screen most of the time and actors are out there, center stage, getting lots of attention.

But writers can't hide out all the time. We have to interact with people, too. It can be scary and it can be intimidating, but with the rise of the internet and connections between writers and readers growing deeper, there is no choice.

The benefit is that writing used to be a very lonely pursuit, but now we connect with people online every day who either write with us or read our books and we feel much less lonely than writers have felt in the past.

Also, the internet makes selling books and getting a name for yourself easier than it ever was. You don't have to wait for a publisher or anyone really to believe in you. You can give it a try by yourself.

But what you can't do anymore is hide completely behind your characters. You have to put yourself out there.

7. It's Not About How Talented You Are, It's About Marketing

Why are certain books so popular even though their writing is terrible? It's all about the marketing. They've found a way, through their (terrible) writing, brand name, cover art, advertising, and more to appeal to a wide range of people. That's why their book is bad, but is still selling a lot more than a better written book.

There's a myth that a book has to follow writing rules and be more deep than other books to be popular, but the truth is, if a book is poorly marketed, no matter how well it was written, it will disappear into obscurity.

8. The Whole Thing Is A Popularity Contest

 Publishing companies and agents will tell you that they want only well-written books that are unique to publish, but that entire thing in a lie. What they want is a book that will sell more. It doesn't matter how badly written or stupid the premise is, if they think it will sell more, then they are all over it.

That is why, as an average nobody author, you have to finish writing your entire book, query hundreds of agents and receive hundreds of rejections and be nitpicked about the way you wrote and all the things wrong with it. But a celebrity will decide to write a book and will only have an idea for one with nothing written and publishing companies will battle each other for the opportunity to publish that book. The celebrity already has a huge fan base and is guaranteed to be a NYT Bestseller. Average nobody author is a risk and a gamble, so they expect more out of you, for your book to be absolutely perfect and even then, you need some luck, before they will consider publishing your book. It's because you are not popular and a celebrity is.

9. The Publishing Industry Is Specifically Run In A Way Meant To Financially Destroy Most Authors

 We all continue writing anyway, even knowing this.

It's a constant struggle. You have to fight every day to get paid more for your writing and sales. This is due to the fact that readers will only buy really low priced books and publishing companies pay you a very small percentage of royalties.

On top of that, like I mentioned earlier, there's always a ton of expenses with things like advertising, paying for editors, and other things I already listed that are essential.

 In addition to all of this, there will be people constantly pushing and insisting that you go to their class, go to their conference, buy their book, purchase their service, download their app, etc. because it will be the key to success as an author. Those people are making more money from book publishing generally than authors are because they are able to charge more and make a living wage.

Editors, Agents, and other people working in publishing companies will pay themselves living wages first and then give you the crumbs leftover and complain that they can't afford advertising for your book and that you need to pay for it with your crumbs. I've seen publishing companies fold and pay themselves decent wages for the company ending, but either refuse to give authors their final royalties or pressure them to accept a lesser amount of money and sign a contract refusing to go to court or they get nothing.

Sites like Amazon that are giants in self-publishing will hide your book unless you pay them all or most of your royalties to be advertised on their site and be the first results in keyword searches.

You're constantly being bombarded with things you need to pay and yet have no money to do so. It's very hard to make a profit as an author and you have to constantly guard yourself from people selling you unnecessary services at high prices or publishing contracts that were designed to screw you over.

Books would not exist without writers. We are the reason anyone has a product in the publishing industry, but we are considered the grunt work and unimportant because there are thousands of other aspiring authors willing to take our place if we quit.

There's lots of supply of authors, very little demand, so it's hard to be paid decently in this industry. If we make a profit at all, there are a ton of us that still only make a penny or a couple of pennies an hour for the amount of work we do.

10. People Will Treat Your Work Like It's Trash

People have short attention spans. So even though you've worked hundreds of hours on a book. Even though sometimes it takes a decade to write certain books, once your present the finished product to people, they'll feign interest and toss it aside. If you're overly consumed by things being fair and are positive that the amount of effort you put into something will always be as big as the result you get from it, then writing isn't the career for you.

Sometimes you put little effort into something and people love it and a ton of effort into something and people hate it.

This happens with publishing companies, agents, friends, family, everyone!

Anyone you don't pay or do a favor for in order to convince them to read your book, even if you give them your book for free, is probably going to toss your hard work aside and never read it.

Because it's a big investment of time to read an entire book and people have short attention spans or are too busy to read your book. Yes, you spent much more time on it than they ever will. You agonized and bled over the thing, but they don't care because you and a million other people who have written books have done the same thing.

11. You Have To Ignore Lists Like These If You Want To Be A Serious Writer

Authors are basically people living in denial. We are dreamers and you can tell because we cling to our dreams and keep trying even when we've experienced everything on this list personally. We're always hoping for that big break. We're optimists  People think we're stupid sometimes and it definitely looks that way from the outside.

But we are fighters for a living. We wrestle with the written word, we wrestle to get published, we wrestle to get people to read our books, and we wrestle to stay relevant. This does not mean we are mean to each other and hurt each other, that's the worse thing you can do, hurt other writers. It means we wrestle with ourselves constantly, to keep going, to keep trying, to do a new thing every day, and to keep believing.

So yea, we know all the things on this list and sometimes we cry over them. Sometimes we are miserable or depressed over these things. But we get up and try again and write the next book and market the next day and drink or overeat or whatever vice we have on days when the sales are still zero.

Writing isn't easy and we face the hard truths of writing daily, but our love of the written word and our love of the imagination is so intense that we are too crazy to stop.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Be The Star In A Romance Novel (For Free!)

I've been working on writing "Choose Your Own Romance" novels for the past year. A "Choose Your Own Romance" novel is a story where you're the main character and you get to make all the decisions for the main character in the story.

I decided that I wanted to make money through donations and ad revenue, rather than put these stories up for sale. There are some things that are outdated about selling ebooks. Lots of people are looking for free content and it's possible to have free content AND make money by using ad revenue.

I also prefer putting the "Choose Your Own Romance" stories on a website over putting them in an ebook because the formatting works out better, you can read it using any device you want (kindle, tablet, cellphone, computer), and unfortunately Amazon punishes authors that have links in their books that cause them to skip pages. I didn't want to deal with that.

So if you're interested in reading these kinds of books, then please visit my website here:

http://chooseyourownromance.weebly.com/

The first story just recently went live. Let me know what you think. The more responses and ad revenue I get, the more quickly I will be able to finish future stories.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Please Vote For My Book Cover On All Author

Bright's Passion has been entered into the monthly contest on all author for best new book cover. It's a very beautiful book cover that Melody Simmons worked very hard to create. Please vote for it below!

You'll have to join the site in order to vote for it, but you can join the site using your facebook (or I believe twitter account) and it will take you only a moment to do so.

Here's the link to do so: https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/463/

And here's the book cover you will be voting for....


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

New Book Covers

So I recently updated my "The Last Of The Gods" series and added new ebook covers. They were created by Melody Simmons from http://www.ebookindiecovers.com/ She makes gorgeous covers regularly that I love to look at! Let me know what you think of my new covers!

Because I also updated the series and book title names, I had to delete my old listings of these books and create new listings that I will link to beneath each cover. I learned when you re-title a book, you have to get a new ISBN.






Friday, April 14, 2017

Get Hereafter By Terri Bruce For FREE - TODAY ONLY!

Hereafter (Afterlife #1) ebook is free on Amazon - TODAY ONLY! Get your copy of the book that readers describe as a "solid 4-star read" and "an intriguing paranormal debut that steps beyond the tropes."

HEREAFTER DESCRIPTION:

Why let a little thing like dying get in the way of a good time?

Thirty-six-year-old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on earth as a ghost, where the food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the sex...well, let’s just say “don’t bother.” To make matters worse, the only person who can see her—courtesy of a book he found in his school library—is a fourteen-year-old boy genius obsessed with the afterlife.

Unfortunately, what waits in the Great Beyond isn’t much better. Stuck between the boring life of a ghost in this world and the terrifying prospect of three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment in the next, Irene sets out to find a third option—preferably one that involves not being dead anymore.
"There are so many things to love about this book, like the way it starts almost like chick lit (with loves-to-drink Irene in her red dress), but becomes deeply philosophical and thought-provoking." (Amazon Reviewer)


https://www.amazon.com/Hereafter-Afterlife-1-Terri-Bruce-ebook/dp/B00HSX5LLA

Friday, March 24, 2017

Marketing - The Thing Most Authors Hate!

As open as I am, I realized lately that most of my blog posts are full of advice about things to do with writing. I usually do not just talk about the direction my writing is going or the things I've been doing behind the scenes. I try to write how-to's or opinion pieces and never really talk about how things are going with me. I feel like it's about time that I start writing some blog posts that are more personal than that.

I am not a very confident person and one of the things I hate most about marketing my books is the fact that I feel like you can't be honest. You can't say,"Hey! Here's my book! I'm really insecure about it and think chapter two might be terrible, even though I edited it thirty times, but I hope you like it!" Because that's basically how I view every single thing that I do. In fact, I would be totally paralyzed by my insecurities and never able to publish anything ever again if I wasn't able to compartmentalize my books after I publish them in my head and tell myself that no one actually reads them, so there's no need to be embarrassed by them.

It's hard, because, as an insecure person, you're supposed to be sort of fake and tell everyone,"I wrote the best book ever! You have to read it! You'll love it!" Even though you're scared that they will hate it. Because if you don't believe in your own books, who will? And you never see J.K. Rowling online worrying about what people will think of chapter twenty. I mean, she has piles of money to comfort her if they do hate it, but still, I think she keeps writing for the love of it. Other writers who have made similar fortunes through their writing, often give up because now that the money is there, they are done, but she hasn't.

Marketing is about perception, like most of life is. If you seem insecure or needy of being read and reviewed, people will assume you are pathetic and not worth reading. even if you wrote the best book ever written.

This is one of the hardest things in the world for me to handle. I know it sounds ridiculous and so simple, but I hate it because it reminds me of high school. There are the popular kids, that everyone follows and loves, everyone is desperate to be their friend (or read their books in this case.) And then there is me. In high school, I had frizzy hair, wore brace and glasses. I read books all the time, loved anime, and video games. I was your stereotypical loser.

So now I am supposed to be an adult and pretend to be "cool"? Try to convince people that somehow I am in demand and that they have to read my books? Yea, because I pulled that off so well in high school.

I remembered reading so many articles about how most self-published books are only sold to about a hundred people over their lifetime, all friends and family of the author. I started laughing. I had a best friend online, my Mom, my Dad, my brother, and my husband (who was only my boyfriend in the beginning of my writing career) and that was the extent of the people who were supporting of my writing career and only one to two of those ever buy my books.

So I went,"Oh no! I'm screwed!" Because I knew it was that way.

And although I've sold many more books than just two, I've clung to that mentality my entire career.

I don't expect to be the next big thing and I'm not here to tell you I'm the most popular kid on the playground.

But I will be vulnerable with you, I will be real. I will show you my faults and my imperfect writing. I will talk to you on facebook and sometimes irritate you with my opinions.

So my marketing plan after all these years? It's not beauty of words, it's not speed of writing, it's not perfectly sticking to the formula, or always knowing what my readers want.

It's just me, nerdy me, insecure me, and my little heart-hoping a few of you will like me and the words that I write. Hoping you won't judge me because I'm still learning and will want to stick around as I get better and grow as an author.

Monday, March 6, 2017

What if your characters don't speak the same language that you speak?

I have a problem. The only language I am fluent in is English and yet, none of my characters speak English in any of my books. This isn't a problem because I need everyone to speak English, but because things get lost in translation, even when their language is an imaginary one that not even *I* an fluent in. The things authors say, am I right? Like,"Oh my God! The imaginary people in my head speak a different language than me. I'm so upset."

There's my Fate Of Eros series, where my characters speak Ancient Greek. Not Modern Greek, Ancient. Because they are Greek Myths, whose hometowns were places like Athens. So they speak a dead language that absolutely no one speaks today. And then there's my "The Last Of The Gods" series. Absolutely no one speaks that language at all or ever has because it only lives in my head, it's completely imaginary, and I am not fluent in it. It's not just one language either, Bright and Night speak some kind of holy language, Adonya speaks a human language, and the people she runs into as she's traveling her world speak other human languages that are foreign to her. Many of them.

The way I write fantasy is different than how other people write it. (I think? I'm not fluent in how all other fantasy writers write either.). I don't write urban fantasy usually. When I invent my own setting, it takes place in an alternate universe. There is no such thing as earth or anything else that exists in our universe. They've never even heard of us most of the time. There are no people who speak English and their time periods do not reflect our own. They are unique: separate from us, in culture, language, and sometimes appearance.

This is why people get "confused" about what time period and place my characters live in. It's not a time period or place that can be related to our earth in any way and they don't think it's a big deal or weird that they live in this alternate dimension, only we do, so I never make a big deal of explaining that it's different. That would be very out of character for my characters to think about or wonder.

I am fully aware because of it, that I am translating the things they are saying into English and that in their native tongue, it sounds totally different. Because of this, I write them speaking as if they spoke modern English. It's a translation, so why not? I want the reader to best understand what they are saying, so I can't write it in their native tongue. I don't use slang words, except for curse words (everyone cusses in every language, so why not?) because their slang words would be different than ours, but otherwise I keep it the same.

But people have this idea in their head that if you are writing a fantasy novel, even one that takes places in an alternate universe, that has no knights in it or anything of the sort, that the characters must speak old English or it doesn't make sense. Even when the characters speak Ancient Greek, you must write it in old English. I guess all foreign and old things, the characters are supposed to speak old English to English speakers.

I don't do this because it's not accurate to the characters at all. They don't know a word of English from any time period. And it makes it harder for the reader to read and understand.

Besides, this whole idea that people speak that type of English comes from the New King James Version of the Bible. We have Christian roots in this country, so everyone thinks that stories of people who lived a long time ago should read like old translations of the Bible.

I think this is especially ridiculous because back in the old days, back during King Arthur and Beowulf's time, back when we think all fantasy novels take place, they didn't speak a NKJV of English. They spoke Old English and it looks and sounds like a completely different language. Example of Old English poetry:


So, it might be that people object to the curse words I put into my books because I guess people think cursing is only a modern past time (which its not), but I can't justify deleting those either (even when it comes to suspending disbelief.). I guess I could use old time cursewords, but I don't know why because I don't write the rest of it in old English.

It all has to do with character development. A nice guy (well, people might disagree with me on this), I'll say my character who tries to be righteous (even if he's misguided), like Bright, won't curse very much. He has a deep sense of responsibility. But a guy like Night will curse constantly because he just doesn't care and if I delete those curse words, I am not being true to his character. Why would a guy who has no problem breaking the bones of a woman he's in love with be weird about using curse words?

I suppose I could invent curse words for my characters that don't exist on this earth, but whenever I imagine that, I think of Xenon: Girl of the 21st Century and how ridiculous her exclamations were. My best friend's little sister absolutely loved those movies when we were kids and we'd always say "Zetus Lapetus" because it was so hilarious to hear that movie playing in the background and hear her exclaiming those words every once in awhile. We used to tease her over it.


So I don't want their cursing to sound mock-worthy That will draw people out of the story.

I'm open-minded to changing the way I write based on reviews and critiques. I've already done so many times. Sometimes I consider unpublishing some of my old stories because I've grown and changed as an author. I've gotten better at marketing and I've listened to the reviews. I try to write books, these days, with happier and better endings. I work on my character development a lot and the development of the love story between the two characters. But if I unpublish every book that I have learned from and gotten better at writing since, then the only books I'll have published is whatever my most recent novel is.

But I don't see a better solution to this.

It just doesn't make sense to me that if I write fantasy novels, I should for some reason translate all my characters dialogue into NKJV English.

But if I find a better solution, I will use it. I bet it's a problem more fantasy and science fiction authors face than regularly talk about it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Get A Novel By Rachel Tonks For Free For A Limited Time



★.¸¸,. •°´★FREE★FREE★FREE★.¸¸,. •°´★

To celebrate the one year anniversary of Beautiful Broken Girl, from February 15th-19th, Rachael Tonks is making the book FREE!!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2jLOoyq

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2jLFCRi

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2k4BigE

Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2l4eApQ

**SYNOPSIS**

How far did I get? Who was it that found me? Were they here to take me back?

A thousand questions run through Kennedy’s mind as she tries to escape the evil of her past.

Starting her new found life she never thought she would ever find happiness… until him.

Cole was perfectly content going through his days on autopilot with no real purpose… until her.

“I don’t know what you are running from, but I can promise you I am nothing like your past. I’m your future, Kennedy. Does that scare you? Are you scared of falling?”

Will the love between them be enough to help Kennedy get over her past?
Enough for Cole to see a future?
Or will the past always be there to haunt them?


**STALKER LINKS**

Facebook: facebook.com/rachaeltonksauthor
Twitter: Twitter.com/rtonksauthor
Website: http://rtonksauthor.wixsite.com/rachaeltonks
Instagram: Instagram.com/rachaeltonksauthor

#NewsletterSignUp #Giveaway #BookwormPromotions

Thursday, February 9, 2017

How To Make Money By Reviewing Books

Most book reviewers do not make money for reviewing books. They spend a lot of time reading books, wading through e-mails, & posting social media. They work hard on their blogs--writing and re-writing reviews so they are worded just right. They go out of their way to post these reviews in areas where authors want them to be posted. They do all these things out of love and have to put up with a lot of complaining and whining at times from authors who are unappreciative. I've seen a lot of these kinds of posts on facebook lately from book bloggers.

As an author, I appreciate reviewers more than anything. Not just reviewers who give me five star reviews, but ALL reviewers, even the ones who never read my books or hate my books. They work hard, just like me, but rarely get thank you's or anything in return. I can relate. It's very difficult to be appreciated or make money in this industry.

And that's why I want to help pay them back. I want them all to understand that there are ways to make money reviewing books if that's something they'd be interested in. They don't have to do all the things they do for free. They deserve some compensation.

Here's a list of ways you can possibly make money as a book blogger...

1. Monetize Your Blog Or Website

My blog, the one you are reading right now, is monetized. If you notice, there are advertisements in a couple of places. That's because I have a google adsense account. As soon as you have at least ten pages on your web-site or blog, you likely qualify for a google adsense account. If you're getting a lot of views on your blogs, then this could make you some decent cash. Unless you have a really huge following, it's unlikely to replace your day job, but it will at least give you the opportunity to make a little cash on the side, money that you deserve.

Go to http://www.google.com/adsense to learn more about it.

There are other sites that allow you to use ads that you might be interested in using in addition to google adsense or instead of it, but those web-sites are generally harder to use than google adsense (most websites have features that allow you to easily add google adsense to them with minimal effort on your part) and have less family friendly advertisements. It might be a better fit for you, though, if you specialize in reviewing erotica novels, since google adsense is more focused on family friendly themes.

2. Write Reviews For Hubpages

Hubpages uses google adsense and its own advertisements to pay you. It pays better than google adsense on its own. It also helps bring traffic naturally to its own site without any effort at all on your part. They work with google to do this.

The one problem with hubpages is if you post reviews there, you can't post them anywhere else. Not to your own blog, not to Amazon, not to Barnes & Noble. They demand exclusivity, which is why I have my own blog and don't post everything I write on that site.

That being said, I'm making as much writing for hubpages as I am self-publishing novels. It's worth considering and using if possible.

http://www.hubpages.com/

3. Sell The Physical Copies Of Books You Receive

You have no obligation to keep the books you receive for free from authors. As long as a book has had it's release day officially for the public to buy and consume, you should be able to sell it on Ebay to help you make some money.

This might be a problem with ARCs because they aren't fully edited or finished in a way that the author or publisher would like the public to see, but other copies should be fine.

Another option is you can give away a stack of your books in a contest, which will likely help you get more subscribers to your newsletter or blog. In turn, those subscribers can make you more money if you go the adsense route because of more views to your blog. Authors love participating in contests, so if you want, you can also make a sign up sheet where authors can pay $5-$15 to participate in the contest by asking for follows on their newsletter, twitter, instagram, or likes on their facebook pages. This could help you earn a little bit of money as well if enough authors sign up for it.

The only thing to keep in mind about contests is these days rafflecopter asks for a lot of money to use their website and this will cut into your profit.

http://www.ebay.com/

http://www.rafflecopter.com/

4. Get A Reviewing Job For A Newspaper, Website, Or Magazine

If you have hundreds of reviews on your blog of various books, especially if you have faithfully reviewed a book every week or month (or whatever your schedule is) and rarely missed a deadline, then you can possibly use that as a portfolio to get a job working for a newspaper, website, or magazine that will pay you. They'll especially like you if you have a large following that you can bring with you to the new place.

5. Organizing Blog Tours

I don't know about book blogging, but as an author, I wind up making friends with and getting to know a lot of other authors, so I imagine its the same in the book blogging community. You probably have connections with a lot of other book bloggers. It will take a lot of work, but it's possible that you could get some of them to sign up to receive books to review from you and then to use your connections to create blog tours. Authors are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for services like that, so if you think you can handle it (and you can make your own blogs part of the tour), it could possibly make you a ton of money. Just make sure you have enough book bloggers interested that you can keep your promises about how many sites each author will have their books featured on, on average.

6. Accepting Donations

It's not the easiest thing in the world to convince people to give you donations and you may feel shy about doing so because you don't want to bother people. You don't have to be over-the-top about it. Just providing a way, like through paypal or patreon, for people to donate to you may be enough. If you have a large following there might be some people who want to give you money in appreciation for your services, but you've never provided a way for them to do so.

And I know some book bloggers actually have a URL they pay for to host their book reviews. You at least deserve some compensation for that, since you're taking money out of your own pocket to make people happy.

So consider setting up an account on either patreon or paypal where you can receive donations and leave a link on your site with a thank you on it. That's all you have to do.

It's not selfish or bad for you to ask for help, but if you use patreon, you'll probably have to offer some special services to people who donate to you there and you'll have to figure out what that kind of special service might be. Like maybe tutorials on how to become a book blogger as well or how to get as many views as you get on your blog.

http://www.patreon.com/

http://www.paypal.com/

7. Make A Youtube Channel

A lot of book bloggers are posting their reviews on youtube these days. I know this may be hard for you. I have a youtube channel and an instagram, both of which I rarely use because I don't like pictures or videos of myself. I'm shy. Most readers and writers are introverts.

But if you are feeling up for it, you can try posting videos to youtube of books you have reviewed. If you get enough views, youtube will pay you for them by monetizing your channel and you can also use google adsense to monetize your videos as well.

http://www.youtube.com/

Ways You Should Be Cautious About And Avoid When Trying To Make Money As A Book Blogger...

1. Reviewing A Book Because An Author Gave You Money

 As long as you make sure the review is fair and honest, then technically this isn't unethical, but it really skirts the line between what is ethical and unethical. There's no way to prove that a five star review that you posted and were paid for is unbiased if you received money for it. People are suspicious nowadays after some authors were caught paying for people to write fake five star reviews.

Also, Amazon has been filing lawsuits and tracking down reviewers they suspect have received
money in exchange for five star reviews. It's better to stay away from this whole area altogether in order to protect yourself. You don't want to be facing a lawsuit from Amazon who has big lawyers that receive giant paychecks from them and know how to twist the law in their favor.

2. Becoming A Top Reviewer On Amazon

I already kind of covered why you shouldn't do this in #1, but I have more to say.

A lot of people have been making money by becoming top reviewers on Amazon for various products. As a top reviewer, they get all kinds of free things that they can later resell and make money off of or keep and just benefit from. It sounds nice, receiving all that free stuff.

But there's been a history lately of Amazon treating book bloggers poorly. A lot of them can't even post to Amazon anymore because they've been threatened with lifetime bans from the company for supposed fake reviews. Amazon tends to be the judge, jury, and executioner about these types of issues. They don't care what proof you have of your innocent or your arguments, they just bring the punishment and there's very little you can do about it.

So it might be better in some cases to not post reviews on Amazon at all. Even though I benefit the most when book bloggers post their reviews to Amazon, I also know how horrible Amazon can be to them sometimes and am always understanding when they can't.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Cover Reveal - The CEO's Baby By Kyle Autumn

 
 
Kyle Autumn - The CEO's Baby
Release date: February 22, 2017
Genre: Sexy romance
Preorder for $0.99 on Amazon: http://mybook.to/TheCEOsBaby
Blurb:
 
Lyra
One day, I'm doing my job and minding my own business...

Okay. Maybe barging into your friend's fake-slash-real fiancĂ©'s coworker's office isn't considered minding my own business. But I am doing my job. That part is true.

When one of your girlfriends needs you to have their back, you do it. Even when she hasn't asked. And that's what I'm doing today.

It's too bad his kisses are infuriating.

Except his kisses are addicting. And I can't stop thinking about them.

Especially now that I'm having his baby.

I absolutely should not tell the girls about this at the next Thirsty Thursday...

-------------------

Blake
I've suddenly become the CEO for a very successful tech company, which should be enough of a surprise for one weekend. But no. Life throws another one at me.

The board now wants me to follow in the old CEO's footsteps and become a family man. But Chaz didn't just bring Shiree into my life. He brought her best friend into it too.

It's too bad she's feisty when she's pissed.

Except it's so damn hot when she's feisty. And I absolutely need more.

What if the board is right about this "family man" stuff after all?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Should Authors Talk About Politics And Religion?

I've noticed something that has been bothering me for awhile...It's the idea that authors aren't supposed to talk about politics and religion.

In America, it is considered impolite to talk about politics and religion. I guess we're just more emotional about it than other countries, so we can't handle it when these things are discussed and sometimes we become mean to each other when these topics come up.

I keep hearing the words,"It's bad for business" because when authors express opinions, especially controversial ones, they can lose fans. I mean, they also sometimes gain fans by doing this, but the focus is generally on losing fans.

The other thing I've noticed is that all the people having these discussions about whether or not it's appropriate to express your opinions on certain things, whether or not it's an author's place, are all women.

I am friends with many male authors and none of them worry about any of these things. The majority of them are outspoken and opinionated, yet still find readers somehow.

One of the most outspoken authors, for example, is Stephen King. If you don't know his political beliefs on things, you haven't been paying attention. He doesn't write about politics, but he definitely has opinions on them and even on other authors. But no one tells him that he needs to tone it down because it's not his place to speak out on such things.

To top it all off, businesses have actually been outspoken about politics for a long time. We all know Chick-fil-a's stance on being against gay marriage, for instance, and Oreos have made it clear on multiple occasions that they support gay marriage and gay rights. But what do those companies know about marketing, right?

I said this on facebook, but I am going to say it again. As an author, we are selling a unique product. Other people sell physical things like pizza or toys, but authors are selling their VOICE. Our product is our words. So we shouldn't be afraid of our words and the things we have to say.

I'm not saying that you have to be controversial all the time or talk about politics/religion constantly. And I'm not saying you won't receive backlash for having certain opinions.

But if you're afraid of your voice and the things you think or have to say, then what exactly are you writing? This is not a job for people pleasers. It never has been a job where people are all happy with everything that you do. That's why we need editors. That's why we get rejections from publishing companies. That's why we get one-star reviews. You have to be able to handle that as an author, people might not like you or the things you have to say, that they will always have a lot of criticism and critiques of everything that you write.

An author has to be strong and able to still write, even when surrounded by people who disagree with them or dislike the way they view the world. Because that stuff leaks into our books.

And books have the power to change the world. Many have caused wars and emotional revolutions, like the Bible and the Communist Manifesto, for instance. And when it comes to fictional books, books like 1984 and even Fifty Shades Of Grey had a profound effect on people.

So why are you stifling your voice? Why, when you have such a powerful tool at your disposal, are you afraid of it?

It's that old cliche,"The pen is mightier than the sword." Words are powerful, so don't be afraid to use them. You don't have to talk about certain subjects, it's up to you, but if you feel passionate about something, it makes sense to talk about it.

And realize that all those many people who are telling female authors that it's not their place to have opinions on things or speak out because people might not love you, have probably been trying to stifle female voices for a long time. I heard similar things growing up. That if I had too many strong opinions, as a woman, that no man would ever love me.

Don't believe in the threats, believe in your voice.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Why You Are An Invisible Author

I've read so many articles on author branding and I feel like every article misses the point.

Do you want to know the real reason why everyone doesn't buy your book? Because it's universally true for every single book that isn't selling well.

You can't control how many people like you (or anything that you do.)

People use the word "marketing", but it feels like a PC version of the word "popularity contest." All artists are desperate to be popular and well-liked, which is a confusing feeling for authors because the majority of us are introverts.

There's ways you can make it more likely for people to like you, by giving them something they might want (like chocolate, for example) rather than something they hate (like a punch in the face.) But giving people something nice doesn't guarantee that they'll like you and being mean doesn't guarantee that they'll hate you.

Same with writing a good book or a bad book.

Life is about the connections you have, which is why if you're close to a rich or successful person, you are more likely to succeed. And it's about the chances people give you, like if people recommend you to other people, then you are more likely to be chosen than if you are the only person recommending yourself.

If you don't make an effort, then you for sure won't succeed. But if you do, you're not guaranteed to succeed.

Everyone works hard, but not everyone gets what they want.

And it's time people recognize this. It's time you let go and accept yourself.

What happens too often is that most writers get on an endless self-hatred cycle. Their books aren't succeeding, so they keep beating themselves up and beating themselves up.

All these authors make these checklists. "This is what you need to do to sell books." But they're wrong.

People say not to be opinionated or talk about controversial things. So how do they explain, Stephen King?

People say to use lots of critique partners and editors. But then how do they explain, E.L. James? (Although it's good to get an editor and learn more about the written word, so you can wield it perfectly. It's like having a sword and sharpening it before battle, so you can kill more people.)

They say you need a good cover, but I've seen people become NYT Bestsellers whose first covers were made in MS Paint.

People say that you can't be so impatient and that it's not about instance gratification, but people become NYT Bestsellers after publishing their first books all the time.

Whenever you are down in life or struggling, people will find a way to make it your fault. They'll try to explain it away, so that the world and the universe is always fair, but it's not.

I just noticed that a lot of people who feel like invisible authors, who are always trying and never getting noticed, feel very discouraged and are sometimes really hard on themselves.

But writing books is like making friends or dating. You can't make people like you, but you can be vulnerable and put yourself out there and eventually you will find that maybe you have what you always wanted to have.

But being vulnerable is hard. Anyone who is vulnerable will be rejected a lot of times. And that's what makes authors, even invisible ones brave. Because they keep putting themselves out there, no matter what people say or do.

Just understand that you can know everything about marketing and still not succeed. That's why many books that make it to publishing houses fail. Those are supposed to be the people who know everything.

My last two books took me two years of rewriting and listening to critique partners before I published them. I had learned so much about marketing and I made sure to get just the right book covers and everything. I even advertised on only sights that I saw bestsellers advertising on.

And it didn't make things better. In fact, so far, my new books made pretty much zero dollars, which is why I made both of them free because they weren't making money anyway. People are still only buying my old books.

I wasn't confident when I wrote them, I didn't trust my own instincts, and that is a mistake.

Trust and believe in yourself. Don't be afraid to be the true you, faults and all on social media. Don't be afraid to be the true you, imperfect writing and all. Just do the best you can and accept yourself.

Art has a problem where artists aren't considered good unless they are constantly criticizing and abusing themselves, which is actually an unhealthy mindset to have. When you look at the successful artists, they aren't like that. They're confident in themselves and their decisions and that confidence helps them be brave enough to take risks and make mistakes.

No one is ever going to validate you. You have to believe in yourself first if you want anyone else to believe in you.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

COVER REVEAL: Asylum By Cherry Shephard and Pandora Tolson


#ComingSoon #TwistedTales #WelcomeHome

Pre-Order: http://amzn.to/2hFI5P2
Website: http://bit.ly/2gy7Ikm
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2iuM1na

What if your favourite fairytale characters lived in an insane asylum?

This is not your average story, and you're about to learn that not every fairytale ends with Happily Ever After...

From the dawn of time, humans have been bred to fear.
It is the very fabric of human nature, it keeps us safe. It is what gives our miserable little lives meaning, it is the reason we hold our loved ones close. Fear is a dark shadow. A sneaky, sinister entity that haunts our dreams, and hunts us as though we are it's prey.
Here, inside the walls of this establishment, I am that Shadow. I am your greatest nightmare come to life. I am Doctor Eleanor Naylor.

This is Thornwood Asylum.
Welcome Home.