Tag Archives: self-publishing

Editing Your Book? You May Not Believe It, But Apps Can Help

Editing Your Book? You May Not Believe It, But Apps Can Help

You’re all done with writing; now you’re editing your book.

Editors cost money, so you’ve done as much self-editing as you can. Self-editing is vital, because:

Leaving aside the fact that if you dump a mess into an editor’s lap it will cost you a small fortune to get it cleaned up, your own editing is important, because:

  • It’s your chance to discover the story you want to tell (this applies to both nonfiction and fiction);
  • It’s your big chance to make your book better.

But what if you’re on a self-publishing budget, and can’t afford an editor?

Editing your book takes time (and money)

Recently I started revamping and republishing several of my older books, published years ago.

Rather than hire an editor, I decided to try an app.

My reasoning? Using an app’s faster than hiring an editor. Although these books have been edited, I’m revising and rewriting scenes, so an app might help me to catch typos and other errors.

Also, I’ve never tried any of the editing apps. Since they’re proliferating, they must be useful, so I decided to download ProWritingAid.

ProWritingAid: amazingly useful

My expectations were low. I’ve been writing professionally for 40 years so — an app? Surely you kid….

After a month of serious use, I can report that ProWritingAid is useful.

Not only does it catch obvious errors like typos, but it also tightens up my writing.

Another benefit: we authors can get a little precious about our words.

However, once you’ve dumped your precious words into ProWritingAid, they no longer seem as sacred. You’ll slash and burn with abandon, and your writing gets better.

Check out a writing app or two: you may be as surprised as I was

I’ll do a proper review of ProWritingAid soon.

The app has also inspired me to take a look at other writing apps. As soon as I get time, I’ll be looking at Grammarly and others to see how they compare with ProWritingAid.

Hard as it is to admit, I’ve been properly humbled by ProWritingAid. Anything which improves your writing is a good thing.

Self-Publishing Strategy Made Easy: How To Market Your Books In 15 Minutes A Day

Self-Publishing Strategy Made Easy: How To Market Your Books In 15 Minutes A Day

eBook: $5.99

Do you enjoy writing and publishing your books, but find that marketing them is a challenge? You're not sure what works, so your efforts are muddled, half-hearted, and inconsistent.

What if you could market in just 15 minutes daily?

More info →
Step By Step To Fiction Which Sells: Plotting And Scene Magic

Step By Step To Fiction Which Sells: Plotting And Scene Magic

eBook: $5.99

Your readers want to enter your novel's world. They want to experience your book -- they want to live your book with your main characters.

More info →
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Amazon Kindle

Resources to build your writing career

Check out Angela’s Writing Classes and Angela’s books for writers.

Writing A Novel? 3 Easy Tips To Make It Fun

Writing A Novel? 3 Easy Tips To Make It Fun

You’re writing a novel, and you know that you’ll devote many hours to this project. What if those hours turn out to be a waste of time? Perhaps you won’t finish the project you started with high hopes.

Worse yet… A small part of you is cynical. It’s muttering in your ear: OK, so you’ll finish, but it won’t SELL, dummy…

These are all signs that you’re taking your baby novel much too seriously, and that’s dangerous.

Here’s why.

When you take writing a novel too seriously, your creativity dies

Yep. Your cold-hearted, determined, logical self can write. Unfortunately, it’s writing no one wants to read.

To boost your creativity you MUST let your creative self take over. This means no:

  • Backseat driving from your inner censor/ editor (where are you going with this? Is this supposed to make sense? Etc. and etc…);
  • Expectations. Having expectations of your first draft while you’re writing your first draft is like teacher asking kindergarten babies to explain their play, and exactly what they meant to achieve with that huge Lego tower…;
  • Distractions, such as following rules (your own, and others’) while you’re writing.

Your normal logical, anxious and kvetching self will NOT like this. It wants to be in charge, and fears a lack of control.

Remember your school days? Imagine that it’s the height of summer: what can you hear? Stop reading for a moment, and take yourself back to those days in your imagination

Were you there in your mind? That’s day-dreaming, and it’s the state of mind you need when you’re writing fiction.

Let’s look at some tips to help you to day-dream.

1. Your subconscious mind knows best

When you write a novel, encourage your logical self to take a back seat. Tell it that it can return when you’re revising and editing, but not before.

Expect that it will take time before you can switch to a day-dreaming mind state at will. While you’re getting practice in letting your creative self take charge, if you don’t know “what happens next” in your novel, you can:

  • Sleep on it. Before you go to sleep, muse about your novel;
  • Doodle or draw for a few minutes;
  • Go for a walk, or just move to another room. Not relaxed enough sitting at your desk? Lounge on your living room sofa and write on your phone.

2. Write forwards: towards the midpoint, and then the closing scene

We’ve talked about milestones in a novel:

Authors tend to use different expressions for the milestones; some authors call them “beats”, for example. I like the term milestones, because I think of a novel as a journey. You can call the milestones anything you wish.

Once you know your word count, you’ll know where the milestones will be. For example, if you get to the midpoint, and nothing much changes, you know you’d better look lively, otherwise your novel will meander over a cliff.

In your first draft, you’re telling yourself the story. Keep writing forwards — don’t go back.

3. Speed up: stop thinking, keep writing

My favorite acronym, which I’ve used for many years (I used to be the Queen of Overthinking) is: DDT — Do, Don’t Think.

When you’re busily thinking — that is, anxious and worrying — you’re not day-dreaming. Stop thinking. Start day-dreaming.

A word about day-dreaming: don’t try to manage it

Let’s say you’ve trained yourself to achieve the day-dreaming mind state at will.

What happens when your day-dreaming derails? That will happen. So, instead of day-dreaming about your thriller, in which the hero is confronting three large and angry terrorists, you’re imagining your upcoming weekend getaway.

That’s totally fine. You’re day-dreaming, so you’ve got the correct mindset. Gently steer your imagination where you want it to go. Imagine what your hero’s feeling: can you picture the scene in your mind?

On days when you’re especially distracted, switch between imagining your thriller (or whatever genre you’re writing), and free writing.

When you’re writing a novel, day-dreaming is valuable

Most authors are excellent day-dreamers. Unfortunately, at some stage you may have been told that day-dreaming is wrong. Perhaps you were accused of being a “dreamer”, and that blocks you today.

Be gentle with yourself while you’re getting back into the day-dreaming habit. Not only is day-dreaming fun, it’s an essential skill for a novelist.

Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

eBook: $5.99

Why write serial fiction?

Everyone's busy today. A serial is by its nature, faster to write, and publish, than a novel.

It's a quicker read too, and many readers appreciate this. While a reader may hesitate before committing hours to a novel, he can read an episode of your serial in minutes.

If you’re a new author, a serial serves to introduce you to readers. A reader may not be willing to commit to a novel by a new author, but be willing to read an episode of a serial.

More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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 →

Resources to build your writing career

Check out Angela’s Writing Classes and Angela’s books for writers.

Writing Goals: 3 Tips For Self-Publishing In Series

Writing Goals: 3 Tips For Self-Publishing In Series

We’re powering through March; the first quarter of 2019 is almost done. For many of us, it means that the writing goals we set in January have vanished in the rear-view mirror.

It’s time to revisit them. Have you been reviewing your goals regularly?

Review your writing goals weekly, it’s essential

For many years, I was hopeless at meeting goals. I’d set a goal, and forget all about it. Then I complained that “goal setting doesn’t work.”

Finally I realized that I had to review my goals regularly. If I didn’t, I’d forget them, because life and work would get in the way.

Reviewing your goals is essential. These days, I review my writing goals every week.

I’m sure you’re wondering: what do goals have to do with SERIES writing?

In a nutshell: you need to set goals when you write in series. Otherwise, you’ll forget about your series because you’re chasing the latest bright shiny idea you had.

(Apropos of series writing, Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series has just been released; check it out.)

Series sell, in both fiction and nonfiction, but it takes persistence to write in series

It’s worth focusing on series for one simple reason: you have more chances to sell books and build a readership. When I coach authors and look at their publishing catalogues, I see a lot of standalone books.

There’s nothing wrong with writing standalone fiction and nonfiction, but writing in series is better.

You do need to set goals however, so here are some tips.

1. Set series goals: how many series will you start this year?

Series sell. Ask any author who writes fiction or nonfiction in series about his experiences. He’ll tell you that his only regret is that he hasn’t written more series books.

Authors are collaborating to write series these days, because they know that a rising tide lifts all boats: a successful series helps you to sell all your books.

Set a writing goal for the number of series you’ll start this year.

2. Keep series’ books short: aim for a book you can write in less than a month

When I suggest to my students that they write in series, they sometimes complain about the effort ONE book takes, let alone several.

Two words: write short.

3. Consider collaborating with other authors on series’ promotions

With five million books on the Kindle Store, it’s a challenge to gain and maintain visibility. More authors are collaborating in various ways.

A collaboration helps everyone. So consider limited collaborations with other authors. You might promote each others’ series in the back matter of your books, or send out mailings to your mailing lists.

Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 7

Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 7

eBook: $4.99

When you write in series, you're giving yourself more chances to sell with every novel you write.

More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

eBook: $5.99

Why write serial fiction?

Everyone's busy today. A serial is by its nature, faster to write, and publish, than a novel.

It's a quicker read too, and many readers appreciate this. While a reader may hesitate before committing hours to a novel, he can read an episode of your serial in minutes.

If you’re a new author, a serial serves to introduce you to readers. A reader may not be willing to commit to a novel by a new author, but be willing to read an episode of a serial.

More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Amazon Kindle

Resources to build your writing career

Check out Angela’s Writing Classes and Angela’s books for writers.