Category: Author -  L.A. Tripp
 
I've been in a conversation with a couple of fellow indie authors about this issue.

They are wondering, and maybe even scared, to use their free promo days that Amazon gives to us for participating in their Select program.

So, why would these authors be afraid to use something a book GIANT is giving to us?

The sad reality is, they feel like we're damned if we do and damned if we don't. Why? Because there are a ton of fellow indie authors that will tear you to shreds because you want to give a copy of your book away for promotional reasons.

Here's a dose of reality that those NEGATIVE indie authors either miss or choose not to see. Free promos work in EVERY field. I don't care if a laundromat gives away one load of laundry to lure people in, a supermarket gives away some small item to lure business in, or a car dealer gives away a free detail job or some service to lure people in. The end result is the same, regardless of the industry. The business GIVES AWAY something to HOPE FOR DOLLARS in return.

And you know what else? It...WORKS. If freebies didn't work, brick and mortar businesses would not continue doing it. Hell, even internet based businesses do it. David DeAngelo, who works in the dating and seduction field, or pick up artist field, frequently gives away great tidbits. You know what else? He makes more than anyone else in that field. To the tune of $20 million dollars each year. So again, bottom line, freebies WORK.

Now, many indie authors will tear you to shreds if they so much as HEAR that you want to run a free day promo. They will preach to you that you're devaluing all of our collective works. If that doesn't convince you not to do a free day, then you're just scum who can't write a lick to save your life.

Seriously, this is what we call SUPPORTING each other? I think not.

Who cares if you personally HATE the free days. You know what, the other author is not giving YOUR book away. Unless of course you have asked them to. They are trying to promote THEIR book. So lay off and learn how to actually show another human being some honest-to-God support.

Drop the jealousy you're feeling and show a fellow indie true support.

Here's another reality check. I've talked before about Pixel of Ink and ENT and how they are currently the only viable venues to really get your book noticed on a free day. Well...that's not exactly true. It is, but it isn't. The reality is, there are enough authors within the indie community that SAY they will do ANYTHING to support their fellow indies. Well, if all of these indie authors would put their mouse where their mouth is, we'd see a lot more ACTUAL support.

What do I mean? I don't mean you have to go out and spend your hard earned dollars, buying every book that your fellow authors publish. Not at all. And some of you just ignored that last line. You have no idea what I said.

Ok, listen up. WITHOUT SPENDING A PENNY YOU CAN SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW INDIES SO EACH OF US CAN ACTUALLY MAKE REAL CASH.

Got it?

Let's try this again.

When a fellow indie author has a free promo day, there are enough of us indie authors in all of our communities that we can raise up each indie author on their particular free promo day. That means you simply DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY. Is that REALLY so hard?

I don't care if you only have a PC, a Mac, don't have a Kindle, do have a Kindle, only have a Nook, what ever. It doesn't matter. Period. If you have a PC, download the app for Kindle for PC. If you have a Mac, same thing. If you only have a Nook...I'm sure you have a computer as well. SURELY you see where I'm going without me spelling out EVERY detail.

Ok, now that we're on the same page there...here's the next step.

When a fellow indie has their book up for a free promo day....DOWNLOAD a FREE copy! 

"But I already have it" you say.

Awesome for your support! Now....DELETE IT AND DOWNLOAD ANOTHER.

Or, if Kindle won't let you do that, download it to a different device, like a different computer. In other words, there is SOME way that you can download another FREE copy. We're just too damn lazy to help others, it seems.

"But I don't download what I won't read. Period."

Well, that tells me and the rest of the community that you DON'T truly support your fellow indies. I personally do download TONS of books I probably won't ever read. Seriously, what does it COST ME? Nothing, other than a few seconds to make a click.

Then, there are other authors who simply hate the guts of some fellow indies. Yeah, that's really supporting your community too. GROW UP.

Look, here's the bottom line. The reason why Pixel and ENT are SO effective is simply their reach. They have the ability to reach THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of people, individual readers. It takes THOUSANDS of downloads for each book to pop the number one spot in your particular genre.

Thing is, if your book does NOT hit the number one spot, it won't stay afloat as long after the free day. If it doesn't at least crack the Top 10, your free day was wasted.

Here's another part of this reality check. There are enough authors in our communities as a whole to get each individual fellow indie author SEVERAL thousand downloads on EACH of our free days.

So, to recap, drop your hatred, grow up, click a book even if you don't like it (just hit delete), and help that fellow author to hit that coveted number one spot. It hasn't cost you a single penny to show support. Yet, by that author hitting number one, THEY will now have the opportunity to have TONS of new, fresh eyes seeing their work. IF their work has merit, it may hold the Top 10 for a while, while gaining actual paid sales that YOU are paying nothing for. You simply clicked your mouse. If their book does not have merit, it will soon vanish into the ether, therefore not hurting you or your book anyway.

So again...WHY is it SO hard to show TRUE support to your fellow indie author???

C'mon. AS A COMMUNITY WE ARE STRONG. Divided, we fall.
 
Does life really begin?

Well...that's a question for another day. For now though, do we all start somewhere? Or do some of us not start at all? Well, I guess even that opens up a whole new can of worms.

For now...let me introduce you to today's guest poster. Welcome, Patricia Neuman:

How We Got Our Start

Once upon a time, two (unbeknownst to each other) wannabe authors lived in Minnesota. Yep, their names were Roz and Patty. They met through mutual friend Lee, whom they both adored, in part because she was a real character, in the best sense of the word.

Not long after they met, Patty moved to South Dakota. Roz and Patty developed their friendship via letters (remember those things?) and occasional, all-too-expensive, long-distance phone calls (anyone in this day of unlimited long-distance remember THOSE?).

When Roz’s letters arrived, Patty read them aloud to her husband, and the couple chuckled frequently and even guffawed from time to time. When Roz read Patty’s letters to her husband, he said, “Point, point” – something Patty rarely got to. Not quickly, anyway.

Patty told Roz she should be a writer because of her keen Brit wit (Roz is a born-and-bred Londoner who now lives in Texas; but back to Minnesota and South Dakota for now). Roz told Patty that she had actually written short stories when she was a teen. Then Patty confessed that she, too, had written (unpublished) short stories and essays for Redbook Magazine and the like. So they each subscribed to Writer’s Digest and The Writer Magazine and began their writing careers in earnest. Separately.

They wrote and shared with each other their yet-to-be (soon-to-be?) published novels (watch for Trousseau and Tangled Webs – in the distant future, if not sooner). Then both came to a creeping if not screeching halt.

So one day Roz called Patty and said, “How about we start a writing exercise? I’ll go first and send you a segment, you can add a segment and send it back, and so forth. At least we’ll be writing.”

And write the friends did. After about 100 pages, one of the friends turned it into a murder mystery. After a few more pages, one of them said, “This is really good!” And thus the friends eventually finished their first co-authored novel. It wasn’t the first of the Val & Kit Mystery Series, but rather a stand-alone murder mystery. Aptly titled Segments, it also remains yet-to-be (soon-to-be?) published. The friends won’t define soon J but watch for it in the near or distant future, too.

For now, they’re busy trying to get the 2nd in the Val & Kit Mystery Series to their readers, who are clamoring for it. Seriously. And they’re busy pinching themselves.

As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.

 

I asked this special author..."Where do you start?" Then she proceeds to pull her hair out. Just kidding. It's a question some authors are likely asked a lot. So I had to return the favor ;) Anyway, Ms Byrd gave us a fantastic response, so I wanted to share:

Katrina Renee Byrd

Where Do I Start?

I hear this question a lot. It is one question that packs a real punch. When people ask this one questions they are usually asking three things.

1. How do I get my ideas on paper?

2. Where do I find time to write?

3.. Where does the piece of work need to begin?

Where do I start? How do I get my ideas on paper?

I can think of some great ideas but when I try to write them, there’s nothing there.”

Honey, there’s something there,” I say as I fluff my boa. “You just have to know how to access it.”

One of the most common mistakes about getting ideas on paper is that we try to edit before we write. We hear the ideas in our head but we work diligently to erase them and we don’t even know it. Here let me show you. Take out a sheet of paper or open your word processor. Write the following:

sorry” she said but that wasn’t good enough for the teacher. She still said that she’d call her mother That scared Ellen. She walked slowly from her bus stop thinking… When she reached the front steps her mother stood on the porch. “Get into this house right now,” her mother said.

Look at what you’ve just written. Is it punctuated properly? Is it coherent? Is it something you want to share with your English teacher? Of course not but you have gotten the idea on paper. Take a minute to do some editing. Then take a look at my edits.

“Sorry,” Ella said. She stared at Mrs. Johnson, her second grade teacher behind thick glasses. Ella said it again, but sorry wasn’t good enough for Old Lady Johnson.

“I’m calling your mother this afternoon, young lady,” Mrs. Johnson said shaking a finger at Ella then turning her back to Ella and addressing the rest of the class.

Where do I start? Where do I find time to write?

I am too busy. I just don’t have time to write?

Busy doing what, honey?” I ask.

That’s the real question. We are all busy but what are we busy doing? If you want to be a writer you must write. I was shocked when I realized this concept. So walking around town advertising myself as a writer is not the same as being a writer? Sadly it is not. Neither is cleaning your house, nursing your boa flouncing career or being at every writers’ group meeting. So when I really embraced this concept I found some fun ways to write small pieces AND get feedback!! Dare I say it out loud? FACEBOOK, blogging, twitter… All of these entities give you the opportunity to come up with creative, short pieces in a short period of time. Another way to jump start your writing life is to carve out small periods of time for your writing. At this point it’s not the number of minutes or hours that you write but rather that you honor the time that you’ve set for yourself. If you say you are going to write from 3:00 pm – 3:02 pm then have your butt in chair, keyboard in hand and sit there for two, uninterrupted minutes of writing.

Where do I start? Where does the piece of work begin?

This question is a bit difficult to answer because so many of us write differently. Some use an outline, some fly by the seat of their pants and some do both. For me, I have come to realize that where I begin writing the story is not necessarily where the reader begins reading it. So when I sit down to begin writing a story I may begin writing “…and they lived happily ever after.” Where as once the story reaches the hands of the reader the first line he sees may be “Once upon a time.”

Some writers write linear and some don’t. Even with an outline I may choose to write chapter five first then go back and write chapter two. I really think the import thing is to know yourself and feel brave enough and free enough to begin writing wherever you’d like.

 So to answer the question where do I start? I say, “WRITE!”

As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.

 
We all have them.

What are yours?

What do you dream about? What gets your heart racing in the morning? What lights your fire through out the day?

What are your demons? What do you fight and struggle with, within yourself? Things that most people don't know about that you struggle with daily. What makes life challenging for you?

Good writers channel both their dreams and their demons into their writing. Writing is an art, and artists channel their inner selves into their work. Those things we struggle with, we put into words and flesh them out into fictional or non-fictional characters to bring them to life on the page...or screen. We attribute our own characteristics and characteristics of people we know and people we meet into these two-dimensional beings to make them seem three-dimensional. We have to live in the character's world for a while, then add heart and soul to each two-dimensional figure head.

We do this so that...

As a reader, you become completely engulfed in this world that we've presented to you. The goal is that we've reached into you mind, into your heart, into your soul, and touched, fondled, even squeezed and yanked your personal dreams and demons and ripped them out of you and placed them on the page or screen in front of you. We've put them right in front of your eyes and make you stand up and take notice of them. We've brought them to life for you to the extent that you can't deny their existence...if even for a few hours.

And we do this....to please you, the reader.

Yes, we bring your demons and dreams to the forefront of your mind and our demons and dreams to them...to entertain you. To please you. To make you happy.

To give you a break from your own life. And to pull you into our life.

Just briefly.

Then we'll let the chain drop that we've yanked you out with and let you fall back to your comfort zone, putting all of your dreams and demons back in their safe place.

But just until you read our next book ;)
 
Welcome to your daily therapy session with the Doctor. Wait...I'm not a doctor for therapy...only dating. Oh yes, I'm supposed to introduce you to today's guest speaker, er blogger, er writer. Well, you know what I mean. So, without further adieu....hereeeeee's Marcia!

Marcia Singer Byerly

I am an artist and author living in North Carolina. "Aquilla, Indian Captive" is a Young Adult historical fiction book that was actually written by my mother who was not able to have it published in her lifetime. I had typed and edited this inspiring story and so yearned for it to be read by many people, but had no idea how to go about that until self-publishing became a possibility. I was so excited and learned what I needed to have this story made into an eBook. I'm pleased that it has been selling well. Aquilla is a bright, spunky 15-year old girl living in the 1700's in Bath, NC who is captured by Indians. The story is based on true events and my mother did a lot of research in writing this novel.

After Aquilla was done, I had a dream and woke up with the vivid memory of it and thought, "This would make a great story!" and so I began to write about Jonny "Dimbo" Dimborowski and to date have a series of 5 books with him as the main character. I am currently working on Book 6.

I never thought of myself as a writer, but found that writing is a way to take my vivid imagination and creative talents into something that I enjoy making and others enjoy reading. It is, indeed, good therapy too!

Marcia Singer Byerly


As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.
 
As a writer, I know why we offer free books.

However, I want to know, as a reader, how do you feel about them?

Do you like, or maybe even love, free ebooks? Do you HATE them? Why?

Some argue that free ebooks make ebooks that cost money, worth less. Some argue that free ebooks make ebooks that cost money, worth more.

I know, as authors, we obviously don't make any money on a book that we give away 10,000 copies of. Not on that particular book, we don't, anyway. However, if it helps to promote our name, our brand, our work, then it's "cheap" advertising.

But again, what about you, the reader? How do you feel about an author that gives away some of their work? How do you feel about the particular book that they give away?

Do you value that work or that author? Or do you view it as a disposable resource?

And, if you don't like free ebooks...how do you feel about sites like Pixel of Ink and Ereader News Today (ENT) which help an author reach a new audience via free ebooks?
 

Ever had a good head-bashing from an editor? Take your medicine. You'll be glad you did. Whether you're a writer or a reader, this will interest you. A word from editor extraordinaire, Laura Clark:


I’ve been doing a lot of proofreading and editing lately for indie authors. It’s something I’m good at, and it gives me a valid reason to stay up all night reading novels. For the most part, I enjoy proofreading and editing, but there are times when it makes me want to slam my head into the nearest hard surface. This happens when I see a good or great story buried under a pile of errors. There are a lot of variables that factor into a writer’s ability to properly use the nuts and bolts of his trade, and I don’t intend to go into those here. Instead, I mean to give writers – both established and aspiring–a few tips on how to use some of those nuts and bolts.

There have been many, many, books written on grammar, style, and punctuation. Some are incomplete, and some are hard to follow, but any of them can be useful--if a writer has one and takes the time to study it. These books have a much larger scope than this blog post. I highly recommend finding such a book and becoming friends with it.

So now, on with the show: a few tips to keep your editor and/or publisher from going stark-raving mad and/or strangling you. This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but it should help a little.

Semi-colons

The semi-colon only has two purposes: to separate list items that contain commas, and to connect two closely related independent clauses (sentences) without a conjunction.

I went to the store; I needed milk.

I wrote a long letter full of gossip: the latest news about Uncle Joe, Aunt Patty, and their thirteen kids; chit-chat about my job, school, and my friends; and the big scandal over at Colony High.

Commas

There are specific rules for the use of commas. They should not be placed anywhere you feel there should be a pause. Find a book about punctuation and learn the basic rules for comma usage. You'll be glad you did.

Dialogue Attribution

Dialogue attribution tells the reader who is speaking. Take care when using words or phrases other than "said" or "asked". Do NOT include adverbs in dialogue attribution.

Bad

"I love you," Jane said sadly.

Better

"I love you," Jane said, her voice cracking as tears spilled down her cheeks.

Ellipsis

An ellipsis is that little string of dots that denotes hesitation or missing words. There should be only three dots in an ellipsis. If the ellipsis falls at the end of a sentence, then it should be followed by proper punctuation.

"I...I don't know what to do," June said.

"What...what do I do?" June asked.

"But I.... You know what, never mind," June said.

Direct Address

Direct address is when one of your characters calls another character by his or her name, a nickname, or a title. Anytime one character directly addresses another, the name should be set off by a comma.

"Jane, please look at me," Joe said.

"Please look at me, Jane," Joe said.

"Ma'am, look at me, please," Joe said.

"Please look at me, ma'am," Joe said.

Run-on sentences

Run-on sentences are a very bad idea because they are hard to understand and can make the reader lose track of what you are trying to say in a sentence and this can make them want to stop reading. See what I mean?

Song Lyrics

Do NOT use song lyrics in your work unless you have a written agreement allowing you to use them. ASCAP or the rights-holder will find out about it sooner or later and come after you. They will take your house, your car, your wife, your dog, and your neighbor’s dog and then bludgeon you to death with your own foot.

Loose/Lose

There is no reason why folks should confuse these two words. They do not look alike nor sound alike, and they have different meanings.

Loose – Adjective meaning "not tight."

Her hair came loose from its tie.

Lose – Verb meaning "misplace."

I often lose my keys.

Homophones

Homophones are words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have different meanings and usages. Learn them!

To/Too/Two

To – Preposition meaning such things as "toward", "until", or "as far as".

I want to go to bed.

Too – Adverb meaning "also", "excessively", or "very."

I am too tired; my eyes won't stay open.

Two – A number that is one more than one.

There are two wheels on a bicycle.

Their/There/They’re

Their – Possessive pronoun meaning "belonging to them."

That is their truck, not mine.

There – Adverb meaning "that place." Also used as an introductory element.

There is a big stack of pancakes on his plate.

Let's go over there now.

They're – Contraction of "they are."

They're coming to dinner tomorrow.

It’s/Its

It's – Contraction of "it is."

It's time to go to bed.

Its – Possessive preposition meaning "belonging to it."

The cat licked its whiskers.

Your/You're

Your – Possessive preposition belonging to you.

It is your turn.

You're – Contraction of "you are."

You're going to be late for work if you don't get up soon.


She's available, and affordable, for those aspiring or established authors looking for help. Don't be afraid to contact her. lbclark75@gmail.com Or if you just have a college class or employment project and want to make a GREAT impression ;)