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October 2013
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Is there such a thing as life outside of writing for those of us who've chosen to pursue writing as a career? Most of the world thinks our job is done solely in front of the computer, as if we clock in as soon as our fingers hit that first key. Try as I might, I've had a difficult time explaining to some people that writers are never truly "off the clock."

 

A writer's mind is an odd and special thing. It makes connections with external stimuli that sometimes barely qualify as stimuli; it's not like we're walking around eavesdropping on other people's conversations for story ideas when we're not in front of the computer. Inspiration may come from something as simple as walking down a busy street and noticing the way someone is subconsciously twirling her hair while she chats away on a cell phone. That twirl of the hair can trigger a "what if" moment. What if she's twirling her hair because she's living with a terrible secret? What if that terrible secret is about to catch up to her? We are bombarded by these types of triggers every day. We don't look for them, but they're there, waiting for us around virtually every corner.

 

So, there may not be a life outside of writing. Shutting that part of brain off just might be impossible. But there is a way to live leisurely and happily with this "always on" status. Carry a pen and small notepad with you. When an idea comes to you in the middle of nowhere, jot it down and clear it out of your head. It's a safety net that will enable you to release the idea and live your life…until the next trigger, that is.  

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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The Boring Parts of a Novel

The Book That Made You a Novelist

4,406 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: writers, publishing, writing, drafts, craft
1

Your book cover is important for making a positive first impression with potential readers. At a recent industry conference I got to chatting with a professional book designer named Susan Newman. I asked her about working with cover designers, and here's what she had to say:


First and foremost, the designer should read the book. If that's not an option due to budgetary restraints, the author should provide one or two chapters, a questionnaire outlining the tone and themes of the book, and a brief synopsis. The author should also provide a few visual references, which will help the designer gain more insight.

As the designer reads, the voice of the author comes through as a feeling, a sense of style. That feeling becomes the basis for what is then visualized. There are all types of designers and illustrators with different styles, and it's always best to match the right artist with the right voice. If a book is a lighthearted comedy, you wouldn't get a cover artist who was dark and serious. That wouldn't fit. If the book is a war history non-fiction, you wouldn't put a cartoon on the cover. (We hope.)

There are many more factors that must be considered, such as: Are there any colors that should or should not be used? Does the author have branding that needs to be included? The designer should do some research on other covers to evaluate whether or not they were successful.

A designer with professional book cover experience will have studied typography and will be able to match the right fonts to the voice, as well as tie in illustrators and photographers as needed to choose the appropriate imagery. If some of the characters should be portrayed on the cover, it must be done in a way that doesn't give anything away.

Pricing will vary based on the experience of the designer and the type of project. For example, a typographic cover design might cost less than a novel, mystery or cookbook because those would require original illustration or photographs as well as the design.

 

As you can see, a lot goes into the creation of a good book cover, which is why this is something that's often left in the capable hands of professional book designers.

 

Did you work with a professional to create your book cover? If so, what did you learn?

 

-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Can You Do More?

Looking for Marketing Tips? Here's What's Working for One Indie Author - and What Isn't

3,055 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, illustrators, cover_design
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Today's New Media

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Oct 28, 2013

I hear the word "media" used a great deal these days, more so than in my younger and more impressionable days. When talking of marketing in the past, there didn't seem to be an obsession with what type of media a particular organization represented. There weren't groups, subgroups, and subgroups of subgroups of media. There was just THE media, as in the press, and the one general word was sufficient for describing most of it.

 

Now, there's mainstream media, alternative media, online media, etc. Media has broken off into more specialized forms. When you're trying to market a book, it might be useful to identify the types of media that are available to you. Here, I've focused on three types of media you can pursue to get coverage for you and your books:

 

  1. Mainstream media - Something becomes mainstream when it is widely known and utilized. I don't limit this particular group to offline organizations like electronic news networks and the print industry because they all have enormous online footprints these days. Sure, mainstream media includes The Wall Street Journal, NBC Nightly News, CNN, etc., but it also includes sites like The Huffington Post, Yahoo!, and other online-only organizations. They are oft-quoted and linked to via social networks. Because they have such a big presence, it can be difficult for indie authors to get coverage in these types of outlets, but it's not impossible.

  2. Specialized media - This is a subset of the media that has a smaller presence than its mainstream counterparts, but it still caters to a large group of people. These are specialized media groups that usually focus on one specific topic. Writer's Digest is a good example of this type of organization. That is a publication that focuses on all-things-writing. There are hundreds of specialized media organizations out there today. If you have a book that features a specific topic or passion, there's a fairly good chance you can get coverage with one of these outlets.

  3. Enthusiast media - These are your bloggers. In most cases, they don't have a formal media background, and many don't consider themselves part of the media, but they are. They disseminate information to a reading audience, and they usually do so with a great deal of zeal. Like specialized media, bloggers more often than not focus on one or maybe a couple topics of interest. This is where you're going to get the best return on investment of your time. Bloggers are hungry to discover the next greatest thing - your book could be that thing!

 

Getting the attention of the media is something you should be trying to do as part of your indie author marketing plan. It can be hard work, but with all the different types of media out there today, you have more opportunities than ever before to reach new audiences.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Six-Second Branding with Apps

Book Marketing: Have You Tapped Your Network?

4,509 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, writing, media, promotions
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

How to Grab, Delight or Shock Your Readers Right from the Start -The Book Deal

We're going to need a bigger hook.

                                       

Book Marketing 101: Sell the Benefits NOT the Product -Self Publishing Coach

A rather unusual take on how to sell a book.

 

Film

                                                        

How to Make Your Horror Screenplay More Effective - No Film School

'Tis the season to get your horror thinking cap on!

 

6 Filmmaking Tips from Ron Howard - Film School Rejects

You can learn a lot from a man with a catalog of blockbuster hits like Ron Howard.

                                    

Music

 

What Does a Music Producer Even Do? - Musicgoat.com

A great explanation of a music producer's role.

 

How to Warm Up Your Singing Voice -RouteNote Blog

A video tutorial featuring opera singer Danielle de Niese.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Roundup - October 18, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - October 11, 2013

 

2,893 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, selling, music, filmmaking, author, movies, writers, writing, fiction, musicians, screenwriting, filmmakers, branding, social_media, music_production
1

What is the purpose of fiction? When you get down to it, fiction is nothing more than a collection of imaginary events experienced by imaginary characters in imaginary worlds. Why does the concept of fictional stories even exist? On the surface, it could seem completely unnecessary.

 

But we tend to dig deeper around here. Fiction is more than important for any culture; it is essential. Beyond the escapist aspect and the entertainment value, there is something far more valuable that fiction gives us - the opportunity to experience the possibility of other choices without actually making those choices. In a romance novel, a woman might follow her heart and marry a man she loves instead of a man with riches beyond her wildest dreams. We experience the blessings and consequences of that choice. In a science-fiction novel, a scientist might discover a cure for a deadly disease but hide the fact that his cure turns everyone into psychopaths. We experience the treasures and destruction his cure brings.

 

Fiction is much more intimate than virtual reality. It is an inner-reality that gives readers the opportunity to delve into emotions and face the thrill and anxiety of those emotions on the wild little electrical surges in their brains. They process the emotions and discover something about themselves in the process.

 

Writers of fiction do more than entertain or educate; they help readers learn about themselves. Novels throughout the ages have been fictional "what-ifs" that have shaped not just the outer world but the inner world as well. That is the true purpose of fiction.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Who Do You Write For?

Claim Your Genre

17,860 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, writers, fiction, writing_process, craft, audience
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November is fast approaching, and that means it's time for National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo is an annual creative writing event that challenges authors to write a 50,000-word novel in a single month. Last year more than 350,000 authors participated. Are you going to be one of them this year? I asked Grant Faulkner, executive director of the nonprofit organization, for some tips on how to complete 50,000 words in just 30 days, and here's what he had to say:


  1. Go on a time hunt: A lot of people say they just don't have the time to write a novel in a month, but most of us have more time than we think. Toni Morrison was a single, working parent before she was a novelist. After putting her kids to bed, she'd write for 15 minutes each day, even if she was tired, and that was how she completed her first book. Before November, track what you do on a typical day. Figure out what you can give up in order to find the time to write. Cut out TV? Wake up an hour earlier or stay up an hour later? Write during lunch? Write on the subway? All of the above? You have more time than you think. And what will you remember more later in life - the TV shows you watched in November 2013 or the novel you wrote?
  2. Build accountability: You can build accountability by signing a blood pact with yourself. Or you can adopt a more effective strategy: risk public shaming. Tell your friends and family that you're writing a novel in November. Post your word counts on Facebook and Twitter. You don't want to see people in December and face their questions about your novel if you gave up.
  3. Simplify your life: You're going to have to say no to things in order to accomplish any grand task. You might have to skip that weekend getaway or Saturday night party to hit your word count. Or you might have to order takeout sometimes. Remember: there's plenty of time to clean your house in December.
  4. Reward yourself for milestones: NaNoWriMo might be an endurance test, but it's also a writing party. Figure out a reward for each 10,000 words you complete. It could be as simple as dancing to your favorite YouTube video. Some treat themselves to banana splits. Others have gotten tattoos. One man bought a boa constrictor. Whatever works for you.
  5. Show up: No explanation needed. You might miss one day of writing, but try not to miss two. Remember what Woody Allen said: "90 percent of success is just showing up."
  6. Write with others: Writing doesn't have to be a solitary, toilsome affair. NaNoWriMo has volunteers in more than 500 regions around the world who organize local writing events. Finding a community of encouraging support does wonders for any creative enterprise. Find more about the goings-on in your region on the NaNoWriMo site.


Thanks to Grant for his thoughtful suggestions. If you need some extra motivation to write that book, there's no better time than NaNoWriMo. Will you be taking the challenge this year?


-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.


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Block Out the Distance & Enjoy the Journey

Writing Takes Discipline

9,120 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, nanowrimo, national_novel_writing_month
23

I just got a new cell phone. It's one of those smartphones. Technically, my old phone was a smartphone too, but given that it was six years old, the stuff it knew wasn't really relevant anymore. What truly excites me about the new gadget is that I can now dive into the worlds of Vine and Instagram.

 

For those of you who aren't familiar, Vine is an app on your mobile device that allows you to record a six-second video and post it to Twitter. Instagram is an app that, in addition to letting you post cool-looking photos to your social network, also lets you shoot and post 15-second videos with your mobile device.

 

Here's why I'm so excited by these apps and why you should be too: they are yet another branding tool for us as authors. We can now do quick updates on our latest books. We can make announcements about upcoming appearances. We can even do a series of quick videos while at a conference or book fair, and maybe even feature a fan or two along the way.

 

If you think you can't get a message across in six or even 15 seconds, think again. These types of videos are tailor-made for showcasing a brand, and they fit perfectly in this viral-video-crazed world we live in. The bonus here is that shooting and posting such short videos doesn't take a huge investment of time.

 

If you are like most people, you carry a phone around with you anyway. Why not investigate these two apps and see if they are the right tools for your own brand-building efforts?

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Build Your Brand with Original Content

What Should Authors Tweet?

5,689 Views 23 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, promotions, branding, instagram, vine
0

Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

How to Build Subplots from Multiple Viewpoints -Writer's Digest

How many subplots is too many subplots?         

 

How Much Time Do You Need To Write? -Catherine, Caffeinated

Do you need the whole day to write for an hour?

 

Film

 

18 Writing Exercises to Improve the Quality of Your Script - Filmmaker IQ

Can lessons learned in a poetry group help you write a better script?

 

Disney's Lucasfilm Says Filmmakers Will Soon Be Using Video Game Engines

- Minyanville

Will special effects soon be done in real time and eliminate the need for extensive postproduction?

                                    

Music

 

Singing Multiple Sets? Beware What You Do Between Shows! - Judy Rodman

Resting between sets can save your voice.

 

How to Get More Click-Throughs and Retweets on Twitter -Hypebot.com

There is an art and science to tweeting. Dan Zarella cracks open Twitter and examines how to best use it.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Roundup - October 11, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - October 4, 2013

3,470 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, music, filmmaking, indie, video, writing, films, twitter, musicians, filmmakers, social_media, point_of_view, writing_exercises
2

Let's Talk Subtitles

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Oct 16, 2013

I recently wrote a post about book titles and gave some examples of titles on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Today, I'd like to continue with that theme and discuss subtitles.

 

Novels don't often include subtitles, nothing substantial at any rate. But nonfiction has been known for its long and descriptive subtitles for eons. At this very moment, I'm looking at one of my favorite works of nonfiction by Candice Millard, called Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President.

 

I was in an airport about to take a long flight across the country. I'd forgotten my Kindle, and I had no other reading material. I walked into the airport bookstore, and even though I usually prefer fiction, I chose this book. Why? The subtitle hooked me. How could I pass up a book that was about madness and the murder of a president? That's pretty intriguing stuff. 

 

Maybe it's time that subtitles become a fixture of the fiction world, too. In an online world where search engine optimization and keywords are part of the new marketing and book discovery lexicon, it might be prudent to beef up our titles with something beyond the main title. Unravel the mystery of what your book is about by saying it in the subtitle. Pique your potential readers' interest at first glance. Hook them and draw them to your book's description and beyond. All those things could be accomplished with a subtitle.

 

Have you ever used a subtitle for a book? If so, do you think it helped your marketing efforts?

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Can Your Book Title Affect the Way You Write?

Wear Many Hats to Write a Better Book

3,861 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, titles, writing, subtitles
0

After speaking at a conference a few weeks ago, I met an author who had done something quite smart to promote his novel: He created a bookmark about it. The front had the cover, title and his name, and the back included a brief plot description, the author's email address and website, and where to buy the book.

 

The bookmark included a lot of great information, and overall it looked very professional. Unfortunately, it also included a grammatical error that jumped out at me and overshadowed everything else. The error also caught the trained eye of a fellow panelist who works in the publishing industry. (For those who are curious, the author had mixed up "lay" and "lie," an oft-confused word pair addressed here.)

 

By not catching this error before his marketing materials went to print, the author inadvertently gave the impression that he doesn't focus heavily on grammar and editing, a trait that could carry over into his book. That is probably the furthest thing from the truth, but in marketing, perception is often reality. Catching grammatical errors or typos before producing marketing materials will not only ensure you create a positive impression, but it can save you the time and monetary costs of a reprint.

 

Try to learn from this author's mistake. When you're putting together materials for promoting your work, be sure to get multiple sets of eyes on them to make sure they are perfect before pulling the trigger. To be on the safe side, you may even want to get your editor to read over your text. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so you want it to be your best.

 

-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Why Good Grammar Matters

Everyone Needs an Editor!

6,946 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, promotions
2

I remember the moment I decided I could write a novel. I had written a few screenplays and had some mild interest here and there from production companies, but nothing worth going into detail about. I thought I had hit the writing wall. I had no place to go with something that I was sure would be nothing more than a hobby. I had hammered out one novel, too, but it was an unmitigated mess.

 

Then, in 1998, I picked up Bag of Bones by Stephen King. I was amazed by the writing, not because it was high-minded or dense or difficult, but because it was simple, yet utterly compelling. To me, it bordered on being magical. That book convinced me that I could write a novel. So, within days of finishing Bag of Bones, I started crafting my second book. It wasn't anywhere near the quality of Mr. King's work, but I felt I had learned something from him. I kept it simple, and I just told a story.

 

Since that day, I've been influenced by books like The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Plot Against America by Philip Roth, God's Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell and so on. I've learned something about writing from all of these books, including character development and structuring dialogue. But by far, Bag of Bones is the seminal book that turned me into a novelist because it demystified the structure of a novel and made it far less scary - which is ironic considering it was a Stephen King novel.

 

How about you? What book moved you to try your hand at novel writing? What elements of the book inspired you to take the leap?

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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How to be a Confident Writer

Enjoy What You Write

3,308 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, craft
0

Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

How to Find the Perfect Names for Your Characters -Writer's Digest

Naming a character may require a little trip around the world.

                                       

Wish You Had a Few Extra Hours in the Day? Hire an Author Assistant! -BadRedhead Media

Hiring an assistant is not as outrageous as it sounds.

 

Film

 

How to Shoot a Film with a Skeleton Crew - Noam Kroll

Two words every independent filmmaker knows too well: skeleton crew.

 

Two Types of Sound in the Movies - A MOON BROTHERS Film Blog

Do you know the difference between Diegetic Sound and Non-Diegetic Sound?

                                    

Music

 

How Film Music Shapes Narrative - OUP Blog

Music can make or break the success of a film.

 

Is Music Really Getting Sadder? -The Echo Nest

Do more minor keys in hit songs mean that music is getting sadder?

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Roundup - October 4, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - September 27, 2013

3,335 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, authors, marketing, selling, book, music, filmmaking, self-publishing, movies, writers, publishing, characters, films, musicians, filmmakers, social_media
4

Who do you write for? When you sit down at your computer or pull out your notepad to jot down ideas, plots, character traits, etc., who are you focusing on? Is it your readers, your critics, your mom, your spouse? 

 

Personally, I write for no one. That's not to say there aren't people I don't want to please or impress. There are a slew of folks who have even inspired me as a writer, but when it comes to putting ideas into action, I don't conjure them up mentally to etch out my story.

 

I understand that writing for someone can give you the motivation to see a book through, but if you write with someone in mind, you may struggle to avoid censoring yourself. Sometimes, even in uplifting stories, it's necessary to dip into the dark crevasses of creativity and put characters in situations that are ugly and unseemly. I find it hard to go to those dark places if I'm writing for a particular person or persons. 

 

You will be much better off dedicating a book to someone after you've thought through the entire story, when you've already visited the seedy places in your mind that aren't exactly welcoming or enriching, and when you've written a book that in its entirety is a solid story filled with three-dimensional characters and twists and turns that drive it to completion.

 

Free yourself from the constraints of external influences. While you're in the throes of writing, do it with a reckless abandon that allows you to expand your vision and see things from a deeply rooted creative perspective. Don't write for anyone except the characters in your story.  

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

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Keep Them Guessing to Keep Them Reading

Write without Judgment

3,495 Views 4 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, author, writers, readers, writing, craft, audience, target_audience
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CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) are attending the Frankfurt Book Fair October 8-13, 2013 and will host several presentations throughout the event. If you're attending the show, we hope to see you!


Click HERE to download a printable version.

 

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1

At a recent industry event, I found myself chatting with the prolific New York Times bestselling author CJ Lyons, who has had great success independently publishing her thriller books. It's easy to confuse thrillers, mysteries, and suspense novels, so I asked CJ for her thoughts on what makes the genres different. Here's what she had to say:

 

 

Here's my take on the whole mystery/suspense/thriller spectrum:

 

 

  • Mysteries: These deal with "who," as in "who did it," "who will solve the case," etc. They are mainly focused on a past event that begins the action (usually a dead body).
  • Suspense fiction: These are about the "why." Why did the criminal act that way, why did the victim become the victim, why does the crime-solver care and become involved? They are mainly focused on the present - the impact of the crime on the psychology of those involved. This gives suspense novels that claustrophobic feeling, because you're living moment to moment, focused on the here and now.
  • Romantic suspense: These again focus on "why," but with an additional "why should these two people be together" added. The romance is so intertwined that you cannot remove it from the rest of the plot.
  • Thrillers: This genre is about the "how," as in "how will we save the world?" (Here, "world" can be anything from the entire universe or planet to a country, town or other larger entity.) How will we stop this terrible thing from happening? How will the hero find the courage, strength, tools, allies, etc. necessary to overcome overwhelming odds? How will it all end? The emphasis is on the future, which, in my opinion, is what gives thrillers that wonderful free-fall feeling, that head rush of adrenaline as the stakes keep building and building. You can have lots of action in mysteries and suspense, but the larger stakes and that constant forward momentum are what make thrillers, well, thrilling.
  • Thrillers with Heart: This is a term I coined for my own work, books that have at their core an emotional relationship that adds another dimension to the action plot. Again, like romantic suspense, this essential relationship cannot be dissected out.

 

So where do your own books fall in this mystery-suspense-thriller spectrum? You can learn more about CJ and her books at http://www.CJLyons.net.

 

-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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A Genre Conundrum (and Solution)

Claim Your Genre

6,498 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink
1

Can You Do More?

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Oct 7, 2013

If you're not selling as many books as you envisioned you would, the answer isn't to give up on your dream. The answer is to sit down and ask yourself a series of tough questions that may help you pinpoint where you went wrong, or if you went wrong. Here are the top questions you should ask yourself.

 

  • Is your cover holding you back? Even in this world of eBooks and online shopping, covers matter. A poorly made cover or a cover that doesn't adequately represent your genre can sink sales.
  • Is your book description just a summary? Book descriptions shouldn't be approached as a chance to summarize your story. Book descriptions should be looked at as a chance for you to sell your books. If you didn't write it with your marketing hat on, chances are it's not hitting the mark. Get your power words out, and get to work rewriting it. See my tips on book descriptions here.
  • Did you pick the right genre? Perhaps you're not totally clear on what kind of book you've written. Or you may even feel that your book is so versatile that it's not fair to limit it to just one or two genres. But do yourself a favor, and narrow your genre identification down to no more than two. It will be much easier to find and attract readers if you clearly define the book you've written.
  • Are you actively marketing? If you're sitting back and waiting for sales, there's a better-than-good chance those sales won't come. Get on the social media wheel and start running. Blog your heart out, and turn on that video camera. You've got some marketing to do. Check out Marketing Central for some ideas.

 

A little self-examination never hurt anyone. If book sales are less than stellar, you owe it to yourself to do all you can to sell more books. If you don't want to do it for yourself, do it for all those readers who are missing out!

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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What is Your Pivot Point?

Make Your Brand Engaging

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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

Making Your Book Attractive for Book Clubs -Duolit

Getting noticed by a book club isn't easy, but Stephen McCutchan shares some tips that helped him do just that.                                                     

                                       

7 Questions to Ask Before You Write a Nonfiction Book -The BookBaby Blog

Bobbi Linkemer dishes out her advice on writing a nonfiction book.

 

Film

 

Filmmaking: Making a Little Go Further - Business 2 Community

How independent filmmakers stretch a dollar.

 

Indie Beat: The Road to Sustainable Filmmaking - Twitch

Have the worlds of raising financing and finding an audience merged?

                                    

Music

 

Hey Musicians, Does Crowd Size Matter? - Musicgoat

Do you need the room to be packed in order to play your best?

 

Silence vs. Playing -Ashley Saunders

Not playing a note is just as important as playing a note when it comes to music.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Roundup - September 27, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - September 20, 2013

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Let's Talk Titles

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Oct 2, 2013

The title of your book is multi-faceted. While it doesn't necessarily encapsulate the content of the book, it does hold a descriptive agreement of sorts. It either hints at what's between the covers, or it represents the tone of the pages. It also should intrigue and entice the consumer, because it is a marketing tool.

 

As a little experiment, let's take a look at a few books that have recently been on The New York Times® Best Sellers list and examine the marketing value of their titles.

 

  • The Mayan Secrets (A Fargo Adventure) by Clive Cussler - The title suggests two things right away. The subtitle tells us that it is either part of a series or contains a reoccurring character or characters. The word "Mayan" indicates that there is a mystery with the potential for some action and adventure. If you remove Clive Cussler's name from the cover, a reader would probably still be able to identify the genre of this book.

 

  • And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini - At first glance, this appears to be a fairly ambiguous title, but after careful consideration, it does an excellent job of representing its primary genre, literary fiction. Even if you were not familiar with Hosseini's previous work, if you were a fan of this genre you would likely be intrigued by this title.

 

  • MaddAddam: A Novel by Margaret Atwood - This title is one of those rare ones. I don't know the genre. I don't particularly know the tone. In short, it leaves me a bit baffled, but at the same time, it is so unique and catchy, my curiosity is piqued.

 

These three examples do come with well-known author brands, but if we forget the names of the scribes, we can still get an idea of either genre, tone, or in the case of MaddAddam, there's the implication of something totally unique.

 

What about your title? What makes it so marketable? Do you have a particular favorite book title?

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

 

 

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Can Your Book Title Affect the Way You Write?

Book Covers Can Affect Sales

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I recently had the pleasure of meeting the charismatic Bella Andre, New York Times best-selling author of the Sullivan series. I asked if she'd answer a few questions about writing a series, and she graciously agreed. Here's what she had to say:

 

1. What are the pros and cons of writing a series?

 

I've always been a big fan of reading connected series - it's so much fun to look forward to reading the next book! So when I started self-publishing, I knew I was going to focus on writing connected books. What I've learned in the past few years is that readers LOVE them. At this point, I will only write connected series in the future - not just because it's much more lucrative, but because readers enjoy them so much.


Pros:

  • Automatic readership for each book in the series.
  • Readers really get to know and fall in love with the "world" you're creating in your series. For me that world is usually a big family or a professional sports team (Game for Love is book 3 in my Bad Boys of Football series).
  • There are always future characters to look forward to writing about, and you can dream them up far in advance of writing them.

 

Cons:

  • You'll need to start a "series bible" to keep track of storylines and details, because once you've written more than a handful of books in the series, there is a lot to remember for future books.

 

2. What should an author know before writing a series?

 

Be careful about saying too much about future characters in your books. It can be easy to write yourself into a corner otherwise. And as I mentioned, start keeping that "series bible" from the beginning.

 

3. What have you learned from writing a series?

 

I've learned they are REALLY fun to create. I fall just as in love with the families I'm writing about as my readers do. They're also incredibly lucrative. Every time I put a new book out in the series, I find new readers who then go back to start the series with the first book and read everything in between.

 

Many thanks to Bella for sharing her hard-earned expertise. You can learn more about Bella and all her novels at www.bellaandre.com. Watch for future posts featuring writing and marketing tips from other bestselling authors in the coming weeks.

 

-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Plotting a Book Series

The Power of Multiple Titles

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