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How Many Authors Does It Take To Promote A Book?

If it takes one author to write a book, how many does it take to promote it? The answer in this case is eleven.

There's a trend in indie publishing toward authors banding together to form a promotional co-op of sorts. The purpose of these cooperative efforts, or "lifeboats" as they are sometimes known, is to extend the authors reach and aid in "discoverability."

"Discoverability" being the new buzz word in publishing.  According to goodreads less than 10% of books are discovered by online browsing.  The majority of readers still rely on recommendations from friends.

Unless a reader has an author or title in mind, searching online for something to read can be quite daunting.  It's equally frustrating for authors to try and find their fan base, or rather, help would be fans find them.  With so many new ebooks out every year, just writing a good book is often not enough.  

Authors are encouraged to build online platforms with websites, blogs and all manner of social media, but the truth is facebook and twitter didn't fare much better in the survey than online browsing.  And all of these things take time away from writing.  

That's where groups like OnFireFiction come in.  Earlier this year I joined forces with a group of like minded authors.  We get together and learn from each other--push, pull and drag each other along on this wild ride called self-publishing--because 11 together is stronger than 1.

Please allow me to introduce you to the ladies of OFF Annie Jones, Barbara McMahon, Day LeClaire, Debra Salonen, Ginger Chambers, Jean Brashear, Julie Kenner, Karen Sandler, Linda BarrettLisa Mondello and myself.



Want to win fun prizes? Don't miss out on our facebook party for Unsuitably Perfect this Friday 4/19. Lisa, Karen and Barbara will be giving away prizes every hour from 9a.m PST to 5p.m PST! The prizes include gift cards, autographed copies, and a big main prize at the end of the day. It's easy to participate, you just have to stop by and comment or share the giveaway posts! If you haven't liked OnFireFiction fan page please like it now so you don't miss out on the prizes. This is where the party will be taking place. Make sure to tell your friends! 

Daily Draft Commandments


Since My Swain Cheat Sheet was so popular last week I thought I'd share a couple more tips and tricks from my writer's tool box.  

These are just some of the sheets I keep posted around my desk.  


Daily Draft Seven Commandments

1.   Write 8-10 draft pages a day (2 hours of free writing).
2.   DO NOT scroll backward!
3.   Spell Check/Correct at the end of the day.
4.   Print at the end of the day.
5.   Stack upside down on desk.
6.   Read last page to begin new session.
7.    Repeat 1-7 to the end.


Revision, Revision, Revision!!!
READ as a READER
Read whole manuscript.*
*take notes.
READ as a WRITER
Read and revise one chapter at a time.
1-3 chapters a day.
*use notes.
READ as an EDITOR
Read and edit as a whole.
Run though online editor.
Read out loud.
Read backward.


Daily Life Eleven Commandments
1.   Keep your desk clean.
2.   Get up every morning, even if you don’t feel like it.
3.   Do your morning and evening routine everyday.
4.   Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked at the computer.
5.   Pick up after yourself.
6. Don’t try to do two projects at once.
ONE JOB AT A TIME!
7.   Don’t pull out more than you can put away in an hour.
8.   Do something nice for yourself everyday.
9.   Work/Write as fast as you can to get the job done.  
This will give you more time to play/edit later.
10. Smile even when you don’t feel like it.
Make up your mind to be happy and you will be 
11.  Laugh everyday.




Superauthors Blog


I'm blogging at the Superromance Authors Blog today.
Stop by if you get the chance!

My Writer's Cheat Sheet

In last week's post Coming Clean: Revising Old Manuscripts I mentioned Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V Swain.  This week I'm sharing My Swain Cheat Sheet.  Compiled from the book and notes taken at RWA National Conference in 2002.  The original has been on my desk for over 10 years and I have found it to be an invaluable reference.


MY SWAIN CHEAT SHEET

STORY ELEMENTS

Write a statement about the book using:
            CHARACTER, SITUATION AND OBJECTIVE

Ex:  Lonely, frustrated, and tired of living in a home where she’s treated as an unpaid servant, widow Irene Boone wants to marry widower Frank Dobbs.

CHARACTER – Irene
SITUATION – living in a home where she’s treaded as an unpaid servant
OBJECTIVE – to marry

Write a question using:
            OPPONENT AND DISASTER

Ex:  Will she lose this chance for happiness because her selfish, sanctimonious daughter Connie accuses her of immorality?

OPPONENT – daughter
DISASTER – she might lose this chance for happiness


MOTIVATION/REACTION UNITS

The following order is used: 
            MOTIVATING STIMULUS, FEELING, ACTION AND SPEECH

Ex:            “How’s it going, Jill?” he asked.  MOTIVATING STIMULUS
            A glow of warmth crept through Jill.  FEELING
            She smiled.  ACTION
            “Just fine, thanks.”  SPEECH


SCENE AND SEQUEL

A SCENE is the SHOW part of the book.

The function of a SCENE is to provide interest and move the story forward.
The structure of a SCENE is:  GOAL, CONFLICT AND DISASTER
           
A scene is written in REAL TIMEso the reader can experience the action along with the characters.

A SEQUEL is the TELL part of the book.

The function of the SEQUEL is to show the character’s behavior after the disaster or to tell about their reaction.
The structure of the SEQUELis:  REACTION, DILEMMA AND DECISION.

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FLASHBACK can be done in the SEQUEL and you can summarize and condense emotionally non-significant moments here.

Ex:  A VERY SHORT SEQUEL:  Fog and smog and soot-streaked snow; steaming summer nights in New Orleans; the parched miles across Wyoming.  He knew them all in the months that followed.  Ken them, yet ignored them, for there was no room in him for anything but hate.

#

TRANSITIONS bridges time, space, mood or circumstance.  It spotlights the focal character’s dominant feeling and emphasizes that feeling immediately before starting the SEQUEL.

Ex:  Sleep came quickly, easily to his surprise.  Only then he wished it hadn’t because it brought strange, dark, half-nightmares with it.  Weird dreams in which Irene somehow always stood beside him, mute dark eyes accusing.  The sense of guilt those feelings engendered still nagged him when he deplaned Tuesday morning in Tulsa.

#

SOLUTIONS:

If you receive the criticism that your story is not fast-paced enough, you can control the pacing by having longer scenes.
            SCENES = CONTROL PACING

If you get complaints of implausibility, your sequels aren’t long enough
            SEQUELS = CONTROL PLAUSIBILITY

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Credits:

My Swain Cheat Sheet by Rogenna Brewer
            www.rogennabrewer.com

The Last Techniques I learned Before Selling: Scene and Sequel
            Anne Eames presentation at RWA (tape#285)




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