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Bundle, Bundle, Who’s Got the Bundle?

Posted by on June 8, 2016 in recent, special deals | Comments Off on Bundle, Bundle, Who’s Got the Bundle?

Bundle, Bundle, Who’s Got the Bundle?

A few years ago, someone came up with a creative new marketing idea for media: the bundle.  There are lots of variations on the idea, but here’s the basic concept: A number of items (books, apps, whatever) are pulled together by a vendor and grouped into “tiers”, which are available as electronic downloads. Buyers can buy the first tier for a price they choose, above a set minimum. (Sometimes, buyers can buy another tier if they beat the average price that has been paid by all earlier purchasers.) Buyers can buy another tier...

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T is for Traditional Publishing

Posted by on June 3, 2016 in author's alphabet, recent | 2 comments

T is for Traditional Publishing

T is for traditional publishing. Prior to around the year 2000, the adjective “traditional” wouldn’t have been necessary—publishing was publishing. There were large presses, sure, and small presses, and various publishers were known for their work in specific genres. But one major model existed: an author wrote a book and sent it to a company that published the book, creating physical copies and distributing those books to various points of sale. Despite the massive changes brought about by self-publishing, the traditional model still...

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S is for Synopsis

Posted by on May 27, 2016 in author's alphabet, recent | Comments Off on S is for Synopsis

S is for Synopsis

S is for Synopsis. After a query letter, a synopsis might be the most challenging form of writing you ever create. In common parlance, a synopsis is a summary of a book’s plot.  To the rational writer, though, a synopsis is much more. It’s a document written in paragraph form, in the present tense. Composed in third person, it tells a complete story; there are no “spoiler alerts” and no pulled punches about the plot resolution. It has one specific purpose: to sell your story. Traditionally, authors wrote synopses to get an agent (or, if they...

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A Lovely Day in Richmond

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in appearances, rational writer, recent | 2 comments

A Lovely Day in Richmond

Months and months and months ago, I received a lovely invitation from the Virginia Romance Writers chapter of RWA, asking me to speak at their monthly meeting. I made sure I had no conflicts, entered the date on my calendar, prepared some handouts specifically for the meeting… and promptly forgot all about it. Which was fine. Because my calendar worked exactly as it was supposed to, and I saw the meeting a couple of weeks before the actual date, and I followed up with my VRW contact who of course had arranged for a hotel room and who of...

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R is for Research

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in author's alphabet, recent | 2 comments

R is for Research

R is for Research. As an author, you have two basic needs for research.  First, you need to research markets, including how publishing works.  Second, you need to research specific facts for use in your books. Different strategies work best for each of these goals. Researching for your Career As an author, you owe it to yourself to conduct exhaustive and ongoing research about your career. You should understand all the key markets in your specific field, including new and emerging opportunities. This awareness will include familiarity with...

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Q is for Query

Posted by on May 6, 2016 in author's alphabet, recent | 4 comments

Q is for Query

Q is for Query. Once upon a time, nearly every published author had mastered the art of the query letter. Most authors sent query letters to agents, tracking down a representative to serve as a middleman to an editor.  Even authors who worked without agents had mastered querying those editors directly, reaching out to seek publication of their book. (Yes, a tiny fraction of authors attended a conference or knew an editor personally and pitched work verbally, without a formal query letter. But those circumstances were relatively rare.) Now,...

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Absolutely Honored

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in awards, recent | 4 comments

Absolutely Honored

So, several weeks ago, I had to make the difficult decision not to attend this year’s Washington Romance Writers annual retreat.  I had several conflicts that weekend, and the event just seemed too difficult to shoehorn in with other obligations.  Sigh. Then, I received an email from the president of WRW, telling me that the chapter was recognizing me with a career achievement award (one that’s given to recognize a member’s work, either because of quality or quantity.) The chapter wanted to know if I could join them on...

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P is for Piracy

Posted by on April 29, 2016 in author's alphabet, recent | Comments Off on P is for Piracy

P is for Piracy

P is for Piracy. Pirate. The word sounds sort of sexy. Pirates sail around in cool-looking boats, talking with funny, growling accents, and defying pompous prigs. They laugh a lot (yo, ho, ho), and they really know how to throw a party (that bottle of rum), and they’re portrayed in major motion pictures by big name actors. (Hello, Johnny Depp!) But in the writing world, pirates are scum. They’re thieves. They take authors’ work without paying, sometimes without attribution. The typical pirate website hosts thousands of electronic books.  Some...

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O is for Organization

Posted by on April 22, 2016 in author's alphabet, recent | Comments Off on O is for Organization

O is for Organization

O is for Organization. A writing career requires vast amounts of organization. Authors must be organized in creating their work, in promoting their work, and in running the day-to-day aspects of their business. Organization in Work Creation Different authors have different methods for writing a story. Some—usually called plotters—create detailed outlines, describing every encounter in each scene in each chapter of the finished book.  Others—usually called pantsers or “organic” writers—fly by the seats of their pants, developing the story as...

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Field Trip!

Posted by on April 19, 2016 in appearances, glasswrights series, recent, travels | Comments Off on Field Trip!

Field Trip!

The life of an author is often lonely–we work in private, staring at computer screens, occasionally “socializing” by way of electronic media. And then there are the field trips. Like the one I took last weekend, to Kent County, Delaware (home to Dover, Delaware.) Let me start at the beginning… Many months ago, I received email from Hilary Welliver, the Library Director of the Kent County Public Library. She invited me to be the keynote speaker at the library’s bit Authors and Audiences event, the culmination of a...

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