Tag Archives: self-publishing

NaNoWriMo Success: 3 Tips To Achieve Your Goals

NaNoWriMo Success: 3 Tips To Achieve Your Goals

I was chatting with a friend who’s entered NaNoWriMo several times, and has an excellent question. She asked how to achieve her goals this year. She’s never published any of the novels she wrote in November, even though that was always her goal.

Her challenge: “Every time I do NaNoWriMo, I tell myself that this year will be great. But even though I finish, I never do anything with my novels. What’s your advice?”

How to achieve your NaNoWriMo goals

Writing a NaNoWriMo novel is just like writing any other novel. Every novel you ever write will have irritating problems. Often those problems involve editing and revision. Or something else.

For example, I’m working on a novel right now, and am within 2000 words of finishing it — but I’m not happy.

I’d like to add more scenes. I won’t. I’ll just tell my inner editor to shut up. If I start adding more scenes this late stage, I’ll unbalance the structure of the novel, for no reason other than feelings.

So managing your feelings is our first tip.

1. Be aware that your feelings always change

If you’re feeling depressed about your NaNoWriMo novel at any time, take a moment (five minutes, no more) to review your goals for the novel, as well as what you’ve done so far.

In my “we need more scenes!” novel, I’ve written 60,500 words when I aimed for 55,000. I structured the novel for 55K words. Since I’m at the deadline for this novel, adding more scenes would be madness.

Any feeling that something’s wrong with your novel is just uncertainty. Like all feelings, it will change.

When you review your progress, your feelings won’t change immediately. But they will change. Tell your inner editor “thanks for sharing”, and keep writing.

My friend reported that she hadn’t reread any of her previous novels because she felt that they were a disaster — feelings, again.

We’ve created an editing schedule she can begin after NaNoWriMo so that she can knock all of her novels into shape, and get them published.

2. Edit as you go, to avoid depression on December 1

Most of my friend’s feelings about her novel stem from post-novel depression. It’s normal to feel bereft and disoriented when you’ve worked hard on something, and it’s done.

Editing as you write helps with that. Generally speaking, I’m against editing while writing because too many authors keep reworking chapter one until they stall on their novel completely. They’ve lost their inspiration and their vision. Editing is a completely different mind state from writing.

However, if you suspect that you might feel overwhelmed when your first draft is done, edit as you go. Wait until you’ve completed a chapter of three scenes (or however many scenes you choose) then edit that chapter.

By the way, I’m talking about editing as revision, not editing as tinkering with word choices. Macro editing, rather than micro twiddling, if you like.

3. Schedule revision and editing — and publication day, if self-publishing is your goal

Writing 50,000 words in November is a wonderful effort, and kudos to you when you finish. It’s a huge achievement.

If your goal is to self-publish your NaNoWriMo novel, there’s one important thing you need to do before you start writing — create a schedule for revision, editing, and publishing. Yes, create that schedule now, and stick to it.

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

eBook: $5.99
You can, when you discover the secrets of writing blurbs (book descriptions) which sell. More info →
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Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

$4.99
Author:
Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 4
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
You want to write a novel. Perhaps you can't get started. Or maybe you got started, and then you stopped.You need a plan, broken down into easy steps. This program began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels. More info →

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Ebook Covers: Create Low Cost Covers To Attract Readers

Ebook Covers: Create Low Cost Covers To Attract Readers

Our first short story class is well underway, and is huge fun. One of the most popular questions I receive is about ebook covers. When you’re publishing a short story, paying $100 for a premade cover can be a tad challenging, particularly if you need a lot of them in a short period.

A mini digression. Yes, I’m aware you can get a cover for $5 or $10. Caveat emptor. If you get an inexpensive cover, make sure you know the image’s source. Horror stories abound.

One student decided that she wanted to write two short stories a week for the next two months; this means quite the investment in covers. She set out to do her covers herself, and kudos to her.

I wrote about Canva and Picmonkey in this article last year, and said:

If you’re publishing a couple of short stories a month, payments to designers add up fast. In addition to money, time is a concern too. Good designers are booked up months in advance…

The solution? It’s time to take courage, and learn how to create your own covers.

Ebook covers: the DIY solution

Canva ebook cover templates
Easy Canva templates for non-designers

Without any doubt, the easiest way to create an ebook cover quickly, without any design experience, is by using Canva.com. The app works in any web browser, you don’t need to download anything.

You’ll find many templates for ebook categories, and genres. For example, here are some examples of the “Love” templates for romance fiction.

“Love” templates for romance fiction
“Love” templates: ebook covers for romance fiction

Tips to help you to design great ebook covers

Let’s look at some tips for what you might consider when creating your own ebook covers.

  1. Remember emotion: what emotion does the cover arouse in you? Chances are your readers will feel what you want them to feel.
  2. Arouse interest — vital. Over the past year, I’ve noticed that many covers, particular in some genres of fiction (and nonfiction too) seem to have a cookie-cutter, “me too” quality. Remember that it’s your name on the book. You don’t have to create a cover which is similar to every other cover in your genre, sub-genre, or category.
    You know what feelings you want to evoke in readers. Your designer and editor, with all the good will imaginable, can’t read your mind — have the courage to trust your creative self.
  3. I seem to be gushing over Canva, sorry, but one of the benefits of using Canva is that you don’t need to worry about typefaces or font choices — Canva chooses fonts for you. Of course you can change them if you wish.
  4. Pay for royalty free-images, and keep a record of the license information. With so many stock image libraries online, you can get a great image for your cover for a dollar, sometimes less.
    Sourcing dubious “free” images online, when you have no real idea of the images’ provenance, is a foolish economy.
  5. Accept that you’ll become better at creating covers the more you practice. When you’re 100% better in a year or two, you can redo your covers, or hire a designer.

Good luck with your ebook covers. 🙂

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

eBook: $5.99
You can, when you discover the secrets of writing blurbs (book descriptions) which sell. More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Inktera
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Apple iBooks
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Heart To Heart: Romance Writing For Beginners

Heart To Heart: Romance Writing For Beginners

eBook: $5.99
Author:
Series: Romance Writing, Book 1
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
Love makes the world go round, and of all the genres in fiction, romance, with its many sub-genres, is the most popular. More info →
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Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check out our ebooks for writers.

Fast Short Stories: New Online Writing Class

Fast Short Stories: New Online Writing Class

Over the past year or two, authors have discovered the value of short stories. Not only can you charge as much for a short story as you’d charge for a novel, readers in several genres love them.

On Amazon, the term “short stories” has a respectable monthly search volume of half a million searches, which shows that readers are searching for snack-sized fiction and are buying it. If you’re not using short stories in your self-publishing program, you’re missing out on an opportunity.

In Easy Fiction Writing: 4 Profitable Ways To Use Short Stories, we said that short stories are fun part-time projects. You can write a short story and publish it as an ebook within a few hours.

A tip: authors ask me “how long” a short story “must” be, if you want to publish it as an ebook. There are no rules — it’s up to you. Traditionally, a short story was fiction up to 15,000 words — beyond that, it’s a novella, and after around 30,000 words, it’s a novel.

Publish Fiction In 8 Hours Or Less: Conquer Short Stories

Enrollments are open for our new online writing class, Publish Fiction In 8 Hours Or Less: Conquer Short Stories. I created the class because writers were stumbling with their stories, and not getting as much out of them as they could.

When you’re writing short stories, it’s essential to know which genres sell. For example, the Mystery/ Thriller genre sells less well than several other genres, and we cover that in the class.

We also look at:

  • Clever ways you can use short stories;
  • Short story pricing;
  • Essential tactics to make your short stories satisfying to readers; and
  • How to make the most of Amazon’s Short Reads categories.

I’ll guide you through writing and publishing a short story step by step. By the end of the four week class, you’ll have written a complete short story, and will have received feedback on every stage of writing it.

The writing class’s structure and what you’ll get out of it

I’ll be offering this class at intervals of a month or two, depending on how busy I am with other commitments.

The class is strictly practical — you’ll be writing, rather than stuffing your head with knowledge. 🙂 By the time the class ends, you’ll know exactly how to use short stories in your publishing plans for 2018 and beyond, and how to write them quickly.

You’ll receive everything you need for the class each week, via a download link sent to your email address — PDFs, audio, and video — so no other purchases are required.

Estimate that you’ll spend an hour or two a week on the class.

Class begins on October 16, and enrollments are limited.

NEW CLASS: Publish Fiction In 8 Hours Or Less: Conquer Short Stories

New fiction writing class: write and sell short stories

Discover a brand new, step-by-step, class to writing and publishing short stories FAST. You can publish within hours.

This class is easy, fun, and practical. If you’ve got an hour a week, you’ll master short fiction writing and selling in just four weeks.

Join us, and take control of your fiction writing career.

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

eBook: $5.99
You can, when you discover the secrets of writing blurbs (book descriptions) which sell. More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Inktera
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Apple iBooks
Buy from Amazon Kindle

Resources to build your writing career

Get daily writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check out our ebooks for writers.