Podcast Series Ep 2: Two Book Marketing and Publishing Podcasts Every Indie Author Needs

In my last post, I talked about my three favorite self-publishing podcasts.  In this post, it’s all about my favorite marketing and publishing news podcasts.

When you’re an indie author, it takes more than just writing a great book. Marketing is the other side of the coin and a skill you have to learn if you want to sell said books. Keeping up with publishing trends is also an important piece of an indie author business. But with so much information out on the web, it can be overwhelming to vet all of it on your own.

I listen to a lot of shows and they all have some book marketing and publishing news. But these two shows in particular specialize in book marketing and publishing news.

Again, I’m not affiliated with these in any way, just a huge fan!

The Sell More Book Show Podcast – Hosted by Bryan Cohen & Jim Kukral

This show has been around for more than two years and they have really found their rhythm. I find myself looking forward to Wednesdays when the show comes out. They are fun to listen to as the guys are opposite sides of the coin. Bryan is the optimist with Jim being more pragmatic in his take on the publishing world.

They each bring their own experiences to the table. Bryan writes both fiction and non-fiction, while Jim writes non-fiction and has been around the internet marketing arena for decades.

The show starts with any announcements that they may have in regards to their own work outside the show. Or some times they have what’s called a “lab” feature where they bring in a guest that does an experiment to sell more books, such as writing to market or ad stacking.

The tips of the week and the top five publishing news articles of the week are the meat and potatoes of the show. They cover topics from all over the web that I would never find on my own. I’ve come to depend on Bryan and Jim to curate the news for me. They’ve yet to let me down.

One thing that they do each week that so far I haven’t seen on any other show is showcasing their featured patrons. They pick three books from people that contribute to the show through Patreon and read the blurb for the book. I love this is in the fact that they give back to those that contribute and it spotlights what their mission is for the podcast: selling more books.

Length: About an hour. Jim keeps the podcast moving so as to keep the listeners engaged.

Find them at http://sellmorebooksshow.com/

Science Fiction & Fantasy Marketing Podcast – Hosted by Lindsay Buroker, Joseph Lallo, & Jeff Poole

I love their tag line: “Interviewing and learning from successful authors.” And that is exactly what they offer.

While I haven’t listened to this podcast for long, it has been around for awhile and has quickly become one of my favorites.

And don’t let the title fool you. There’s more to this podcast than science fiction and fantasy. The three hosts all write in the genre primarily, but also have other genre interests. The information they provide can apply to anyone who writes books and wants to sell them.

Most weeks they have a guest they interview. They’ve had authors in other genres as well as industry folks with guidance to sell and market your books. Occasionally the show will be just the three of them offering their advice from their own experiences. Either way, I find the show informative and entertaining every time I listen to it.

Length: Usually a little more than an hour. Lindsey is usually the one that guides the show, but I love the fact that they each have a turn to weigh in on the topics at hand.

Find them at http://www.marketingsff.com/

 

Just like the information these podcasts provide, there is an overwhelming number of podcasts in the sphere. These are by no means the only two on the subject out there. But these are two that I hear about from authorities in the field. If you listen long enough, you hear them mentioned time and time again.

And I figure, if those in authority that I respect listen to them, they must be doing something right.

Do you have a podcast on book marketing and/or publishing news you’d like to share? Drop it in the comments below!

Happy Writing!

Kim

Podcast Series Ep 1: Three Self-Publishing Podcasts Indie Writers Should Subscribe To

Podcasts can be a treasure trove of information for writers. Here are the best ones for self-publishing I’ve found to give the best bang for my audio buck.  

Podcasts are one of the hottest mediums out there today.

People can listen on the go, sitting in traffic, walking the dog.

They’ve become my “go to” when it comes to getting news on publishing, book marketing, learning new skills for writing, or learning how to grow my blogging business.

Over the last few years I’ve listened to several podcasts on writing and the business of books. Each one I listen to helped me in some way over the last few years.

Back in 2013, I self-published a novella and did everything wrong. These three podcasts have taught me more than I could possibly learn about self-publishing. My next time around (I’m looking at you 2018!), I’ll do a lot of things differently thanks to these helpful souls.

Note: This is just my opinion and I’m not affiliated with any of these podcasts. I simply love them!

The Creative Penn Podcast – Hosted by Joanna Penn

When it comes to podcasts, this is the one that I look forward to the most. Joanna is a lovely host with her bright personality and English accent. She’s hosted her show for several years now and it amazes me the amount of content she has produced.

A weekly show, she gives updates on the top trending publishing news and personal updates. She uses the interviewing format and never fails to bring in fantastic guests. Through her show I’ve gained knowledge on everything from learning Facebook ads to author mindset to publishing adult coloring books.

Joanna is a futurist and I enjoy hearing her predictions for the publishing world and where it looks like it’s going to take us. Don’t miss her shows where she takes inventory of the goals she sets for herself. Enlightening and always makes me want to run out and write down or evaluate my own goals.

Listening to her show gives me motivation and makes me think I can really do this writing thing.


Length: A little on the longer side with most podcasts clocking in at an hour, give or take. But the content is so engaging, it’s a quick hour.

Find her at https://www.thecreativepenn.com/blog/

The Self Publishing Formula Podcast – Hosted by Mark Dawson & James Blatch

While this podcast hasn’t been out as long as some other self-publishing podcasts, I really enjoy it. I’ve heard Mark on The Creative Penn a couple of times so I was familiar with him and his story.

He went from having a traditional deal with virtually no followers and not having an email list at all to an indie published, multi six figure (perhaps seven-figure at this point) author with a potential movie deal on one of his book series.  

The podcast is in an interviewing format and provides motivation and education for indie writers, no matter what level they may be. They have featured Pat Flynn, Marie Force, Bella Andre, among others. In addition to the interviews, listeners are privy to James’ journey writing his first novel.

One other thing Mark does monthly that I find inspirational is his income report. He goes over each of his marketing strategies and explains how much he spent and his ROI (return on investment). The transparency he brings is uplifting because it shows that this making your living as a writer thing can be done if you put in the work.

Length: Between 35-45 minutes per show, varying by topic.

Find Mark and James at https://selfpublishingformula.com/category/podcast/
The Self Publishing Podcast – Hosted by Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant, & David W. Wright

These three guys are on their way to being the Pixar Studio of stories. They write books, help writers, host several podcasts, and hold the annual Smarter Artist Summit through their company Sterling & Stone.

Their weekly podcast includes updates on what they are up to and interviews with independent publishing experts and how to DIY your way into author entrepreneurship.  Marketing and business strategies all delivered with sharp wit and sarcasm. I love snark so these guys are not only informative but entertaining to listen to each time.  

Fair warning. Don’t listen with the kiddies in the car. They aren’t afraid to let some f-bombs drop and “shits” to fly.  

Length: Right at an hour per episode.

Find the trio at https://sterlingandstone.net/series/self-publishing-podcast/

 

There are a number of self publishing podcasts floating around out in the podcast-sphere to help the budding writer that wants to control their publishing destiny. Most of them very good. But after careful curation and some research (you know, me listening to them), I found these three have really helped to motivate and inspire me to continue on my indie publishing adventure.

It’s an adventure I don’t want to go at alone. And with these podcasts behind me, I won’t have to.

How about you? Any podcasts that have inspired you in your independent publishing journey? Let me hear from you! I’d love to try a new one!

Happy Writing!

The Four Types of Character Arcs

An arc gives a character dimension and texture. Here are four types to bring your character to life.

What is a character arc and why is it important?

Think about yourself. You aren’t the same person you’ve always been in every way. At some point, you were one person then experienced something (went to college, got your heartbroken, had a baby, etc.) that changed you perspective or changed you completely.

That, my friend, is an arc.

As to the why?

Without an arc, your protagonist would be one dimensional and boring. Readers need to care about your characters. If they are flat and lifeless, readers will move on to some other hero/heroine.

With an arc, readers go on the journey with the character through their ups and downs, their fatal flaws, and in the end, the reader will feel complete.

A few months ago when I was working on character development, I was having a bit of trouble with my arc. I knew about the dominant “hero’s journey” arc, but honestly, I didn’t think it fit my character. This left me frustrated and unsure of how much I actually knew my character.

I started researching character arcs and found that there are two basic types of character arcs:

      • The kind that positively change your character
      • The kind that negatively change your character.

Most characters change from the beginning to the end, right? Whether they live or die tells us the difference.

Sure. But if you really want to bring your characters to life, you’re going to need to give them some depth and texture.

Digging deeper, character arcs are actually broken down into four main types. Many will say that there are only three with one being a sub-arc of sorts from one of the main ones. But I prefer to give it it’s own credit because, although slight, it is there.

There may be some extremes to the arcs (think Sarah Connor of the Terminator movies or The Bride from the Kill Bill movies, one of my favorite character arcs), but they all stem from the main four arcs.

1 – The Change or Transformation Arc

The change/transformation arc is the most common of positive arcs. We’ve seen it a thousand times in the “hero’s journey”. The protagonist changes significantly in some way. They are set along a path that brings out hidden talents or strengths, causing them to go from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

By the end of the story, the protagonist is the hero and their world is forever and irrevocably changed.

Example: Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy

2 – The Growth or Progressive Arc

The growth/progressive arc is another popular arc where the character remains much the same, but overcomes a conflict that makes them better. In the growth/progressive arc, our hero/heroine overcomes an obstacle that is within themselves.

Usually there is an external catalyst that rocks their world where they are forced to use their talents or strengths that may have always been within them, but suppressed for their own reasons. The protagonist has fundamentally stayed the same, but they are a new and improved version of themselves.

Example: Red in The Shawshank Redemption

3 – The Shift or Altered Arc

This is the aforementioned subtle arc. The character hasn’t transformed or been made better. But their set of circumstances has made them a different person. The shift/altered arc is slight, but there. The protagonist may have acquired a new position, gained new perspective, or discovered old, forgotten talents or strengths.  This differs in the fact that they know they have them (unlike the change arc) but forgotten them, not repressed them (as with the growth arc).

The character is the same, but different.

Example: Indiana Jones in any of the Indiana Jones movies

4 – The Fall/Descent Arc

The fall/descent arc is our negative arc. It is common to tragedies that lead to the downfall of the protagonist. The arc follows the character along their collision course to failure, corruption, or even death. It can be an internal or external downfall.

The fall/descent arc is a tricky one because it can depress readers, especially if it comes off a gratuitous downfall.

Either way, our protagonist ends up in a place worse off than when they started.

Example: Ben Sanderson in Leaving Las Vegas

It may appear that the positive arcs are one and the same. Don’t get hung up on the vocabulary. It is important to understand that while they may seem similar on the surface, the change is a different level for each one. Change and growth may be synonyms, but to say they imply the same thing would cheat your characters out of who they were meant to be.

 

What do you think of the examples above? What are some of the best character arcs you can recall?  Does identifying a character arc help you understand your characters?

Let me hear from you! Share your experiences!

Happy Writing!

How to Give a Writer Constructive Criticism

One thing I love about working with other writers is critiquing. I enjoy reading works by new and budding authors and helping them along with things that they are too close to see or simply don’t know.

Last week, I posted an article about five ways to cope with criticism as a writer.

Today, I want to talk about how to give constructive criticism to a writer. 

I have been on both sides of this equation. As with anything, there are two sides to every situation. What if you’re the one doling out the criticism? How do you go about being honest, but fair and constructive?

Over the years, I’ve learned a few things about being a beta reader and providing feedback. So far, these tips have served me well.

  • Start with the positive, move on to the negative, and end with a call to action for the writer.

I once worked with a beta who could be tough on a manuscript. But she had a method in giving her feedback that never made me feel like she was berating me. Every piece has some kernel of goodness, even if it’s buried. Find it and accentuate it in the beginning.

It will help a writer to know they have something to work with when you deliver the “what doesn’t work” to them. End with a call to action. Give them some suggestions as to how they can make the bad better and how to make the good great.

  • Give feedback from a good place.

In other words, be honest but not hateful. A writer will not make everyone happy. As a critic, you should be objective. Does the story make sense? Are the characters developing as they should?

If you’re more of a mystery/suspense sort of girl, but you’re editing a romance story, don’t turn your nose up at it. It defeats the purpose of your job: to aid a writer along in the writing process.

If you’re reading a subject matter that offends you, you’re better off to pass on reviewing the manuscript than letting it color your judgment.

  • Give suggestions, not commands, when it comes to story edits.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions for clarification. As a writer, I understand that sometimes what I’m thinking isn’t what comes out on paper. As a reviewer, I understand that as well.

If something doesn’t make sense, ask about it. Playing devil’s advocate can be a winning game at times. Perhaps that sentence would sound better than the way it’s written in your opinion. But keep in mind, it’s just your opinion. In that vein…

  • Don’t force the writer to take said suggestions.

Remember, it’s not your story! It is not your baby. Your job as an editor is to help that baby live up to its potential, much like a godparent. Though there will be times the reviewer will feel like they went through the labor pains as well, in the end, you are not the parent. Whatever final decisions are made have to be made by the writer.

Most betas aren’t out to destroy someone’s work, but to help them make it better. As a reviewer, critiquer, beta reader, keep in mind that the author poured heart, soul, and time into what you’re reading.

Even if it needs work, those words were more than likely hard fought words. They deserve your time, attention, and respect.

Do you have any tips you’ve learned as a beta or editor? Share them with me!

Happy Writing!

How to Create Enriching Characters Using Ennegrams

Creating compelling characters draw readers in from the beginning. Ennegrams are one way to get the job done.

A few weeks ago, I was working with my group of trusted betas on my current manuscript. I was getting great feedback, which was a relief.

Then one of them asked me, “What is the male protagonist’s fatal flaw?”

After a pause, I was able to launch into what I believed it to be. But as I spoke, it didn’t sound real to my own ears.

Even after the meeting, that question plagued me as I continued to write this character. Fatal flaw…hmm. He’s a good guy, but is he too good? He did screw up years before and is still paying for it. Was that his fatal flaw? I was beginning to wonder if I could see the forest for the trees when it came to this character.

And did he really need a fatal flaw? Wasn’t a regular flaw good enough?

To write an excellent character, they should be real and the reader should care about them. They should have strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. They also have goals and motivations. No one, in real life or fiction, does anything without motivation of some sort.

What motivates someone to get what they want tells us about their personalities. In fiction, for a character to evolve, they need to resolve a conflict. Which is why we writers need to find a fatal flaw in our characters.

So yeah, my character was going to need a fatal flaw.

In the world of psychology, counselors have studied personalities in humans for centuries and continue to do so. But they have narrowed down personalities to fit into nine categories. Using “ennea” which means “nine” in Greek, they call these traits “enneagrams”. For writers, it can aid in characterization to know which one of these your character exhibits. And then exploit it to bring them to life.

Laurie Campbell is a romance writer that holds workshops on creating fatal flaws. As a former counseling therapist, she is somewhat of an expert in this area so I studied up on what she had to say.

Here’s a quick rundown of what each of the nine personalities are and their corresponding fatal flaws:

Type One: Perfectionist/AngerType ones have high standards for everyone around them, including themselves. They live in a black and white world and do their very best to avoid criticism.

On the flip side, their fatal flaw, anger, can bring about hard feelings towards themselves or others. They can be considered hard because when perfection isn’t achieved or even strived for, type ones show their disappointment through anger.

Type Two: Nurturer/PrideType twos need to be needed. They tend to be a bit of a martyr, frequently giving up everything for everyone else. This can lead to hurt feelings and yet they will continue to give.

Their fatal flaw is pride. Unfortunately, pride can make them weak instead of the pillar of strength they like to think they are by giving, giving, giving.

Type Three: Achiever/DeceptionType threes are very self-aware of their image to the world. They’re always “on” no matter the situation. They live to succeed and failure is not an option. Threes tend to be firstborn or even only children.

Given their need to appear successful all the time, threes fatal flaw is deception. They wear a mask to hide anything that isn’t “right” and keep up the façade at all costs.

Type Four: Romantic/Envy – Type fours are the romantics, the artists. They feel everything and in a big sweeping way. Big ups, big downs. Drama, tragedy, love. They search out these big feelings in order not to feel ordinary.

In spite of Fours loving tragedy and big feelings, they are often times left with feelings of envy. That everyone else has it bigger and better than they do. This keeps Fours from being truly happy.

Type Five: Observer/Avarice – Fives enjoy their alone time. They like to think and stay below the radar. Many people would call Fives introverts, but there is a lot more to the introvert than simply staying to themselves.

Fives have to learn to be more giving of their time, open up to others. Something that they really don’t want to do.

Type Six: Skeptic/FearSixes are steady. They worry about the ones they love and want to keep them safe. And will do what they need to in order to keep them that way, even if it means breaking some rules.

But by burdening themselves with worry, they tend to walk around worried where the next danger to their loved ones is going to come from and what they will do to handle it.

Type Seven: Adventurer/GluttonySevens are always looking for the next exciting thing. They love to make plans and not be tied down. They get their rush from moving to the next thing.

But always being on the move and keeping their options open can eventually lead them to a sense of aimlessness and realizing that at some point in life they have to commit to something or someone can be a hard lesson to learn.

Type Eight: Leader/LustEights are the natural born leaders. They take control and expect others to fall in line with them. They look out for what they perceive to be weak, which can be met with some resistance.

Source: https://media.giphy.com/media/ A9grgCQ0Dm012/giphy.gif

Their biggest flaw is their lust for power, control, to have the “my way or the highway” mentality. Eights can be heroic, but eights can also find themselves in for a fight, especially if they come across another eight!

And finally…

Type Nine: Peacemaker/SlothNines will never rock the boat. They want to float through life on a comfortable cloud where everyone gets along and when unpleasantness comes to pass, they sweep it under the rug. But life doesn’t work that way, even for themselves.

Their fatal flaw, sloth, leaves them ill-equipped to deal with any pent-up anger they may have for going with the flow one too many times or to make a decision when pressed.

By understanding who your character’s personality is (my guy ended up being a number seven), exploring their fatal flaw ramps up the tension and conflict. Knowing them will keep you from have two peacemakers together who never make a decision about anything and nothing ever gets done.

Because without conflict, you have no story. No depth, no texture to the characters or their relationships.

Fatal flaws are an essential cornerstone to making your character real and not so perfect. None of us are perfect and neither are our characters.

Even the best set of abs needs a personality.

So how do you find out your character’s fatal flaws? Do you recognize any of your characters in these nine types?

Comment below and let me hear from you!

Happy Writing!

Three Ways Music Enhances Creative Writing

I love music. I always have.

Unfortunately, I don’t have that gene that some get to understand the theory of music or the voice to be the next winner of any of the singing reality television shows.

I have no idea how my daughter ended up with her angelic high pitched Disney Princess voice. But she could get a job at the Magic Kingdom as Snow White if she felt so inclined on her voice alone.

As much as I love music though, when I started my writing journey a few years back, I was against anything except silence. Locked up in a room with nothing going on.

But I’ve learned something about myself this year since I put the pedal to the metal and started taking my writing career seriously: when I’m in the groove and serious about my work, music doesn’t distract me. It actually enhances my creativity.

But it doesn’t work for everyone. Those who’ve been at the writing game a while know their processes. They already know the answer to whether or not music work for them.

Chances are you’ll know in a couple of sittings whether or not listening to music while writing works for you. But if you’re on the fence or new to the game, I say, give it a shot.

Here are 3 reasons I found music helps writing:

1 – Focus: In a 2007 study from Stanford Medicine, the research team there found that music engages certain parts of the brain. It just so happens that these are the same parts that involve paying attention and making predictions.

I found that to be true in my case. The more I worked in silence, the more distracted I became. I found myself listening to the television from the other room or my daughter talk on the phone (teenage conversations are equal parts entertaining and cringe worthy) instead of writing. I found myself doing just about anything but writing.

I needed something to drown out the distractions that, ironically, silence brought to me. I started with movie scores. No lyrics to distract me just the notes of the music. When it’s time to draft my novels, I love nothing more than to wear my noise cancelling headphones and have an epic movie score playing. It has become a part of my writing ritual that tells my brain, “my butt’s in the chair, now let’s write”.

2 –Inspiration: Songs tell a story to a set of notes, so what better way to be inspired?

Driving on road trips when the whole car is asleep but me (no worries, I’m the driver) and the radio is playing, I take the opportunity to listen to the lyrics of songs. I let my mind open and just listen to that story the song is telling. Many times, my head will take a detour and create scenes that I just know will work in my current work in progress or create a whole new story all together.

I came up with an entire plot to one story on a beach trip when Heart’s “All I Want to Do is Make Love to You” came on the radio. I haven’t written the story yet, but I did write it down in my “plot bunny” file for later.

Keith Urban’s song “Break on Me” inspired more than one scene for the next manuscript I’m about to start. Every time I hear the song, I can’t help but play out scenes in my head that I want to put in my novel.

Inspiration is everywhere, including in the songs we hear.

3 – Mood: For me, music can lift me up or make me cry. Lyrics or no. When I’m feeling down, I don’t watch a movie, but I will listen to a three-minute song to make myself feel better. And the best thing about a song? The repeat function. I can listen as many times as I want and it just keeps on giving me that boost. It’s a more immediate medium than say, a ninety-minute movie or even a half hour sitcom.

But movies still get their due. Certain movie soundtracks, such as Legends of the Fall (one of my favorites), gives me an incredible bittersweet feeling that makes it a great score to play when I’m writing a dark moment scene. If you know the plot to the movie, you know that any score on that soundtrack can rip your heart out, dance a jig on it, and hand it back to you. Which makes it perfect for angsty scenes in romance.

On the flip side, when I’m writing sexy time scenes and the sexual tension is palpable between my characters, I find that sultry, what I call “baby making songs” work well for that, such as Eric Church’s “Like a Wrecking Ball” or Sade’s “No Ordinary Love”. Those songs make me think of romance and seduction, perfect for the mood I’m trying to translate intowords and onto paper.

The irony about writing is that our imaginations are fueled by the life and people around us and yet it is largely a solitary profession. Music has a way of bringing the two pieces together and that, my friend, is when magic is made.

I can think of no better way to fulfill the writer’s creative well.

Do you have a particular song or genre of songs that help you get the creative juices flowing?

Happy Writing!

How to Cope with Criticism

We’ve all been there. You finish that story giving it all your time, love, and attention. Your kids think your laptop is an extension of your hands, the household has run out of clean underwear, and you have survived via coffee IV and chocolate.

With adrenaline coursing through your veins, you relinquish the story to your editor. You’re absolutely convinced that you have blessed upon her the next great American novel. Like Ralphie in A Christmas Story, you expect her to dance around the room singing your praises after reading your masterpiece. There’s no way there will be anything but love for your story.

When your manuscript is returned, you wait with baited breath as your file opens, ready to read the glowing comments.

Only they don’t glow.

A dying flashlight gives off more light.

Yep, that’s your momentum that just hit the brick wall.

Let’s be honest. No one likes criticism, constructive or otherwise.

Some put a positive spin on it and learn to grow from critique, having “Why didn’t I think of that?” kind of moments. Others take it as a personal affront, certain that their editors wouldn’t know a good story if it bit them in the…well, you get the idea. Either

way, when it comes to our writing, our labor of love, we writers are a protective lot.

However defensive we may be, having your work critiqued is an integral piece of a writer’s puzzle. When you’re in the moment and the words are flowing, do you really think about whether or not that comma is being used correctly? What if your story is set in a cold weather climate and you insert an animal that would never survive the cold?

These are just a couple of examples that can manifest themselves with another set of eyes gazing upon the fruit of our labor. Personally, I would rather my reviewer, or beta, find these things before I query my manuscript.

Fellow writers, it’s imperative to keep in mind a few points when facing the dreaded commentary

  1. Take the comments as suggestions, not commands. After all, the writer makes the final call. You aren’t going to make everyone happy. Most copy edits and major research inconsistencies should be heeded and corrected. Story edits require a more in depth look. A writer should take note as to what the suggestions are and ascertain what the problem could be potentially. Writers want to use the creative licenses’ and have fun entertaining the masses, but the masses should feel satisfied, not confused.
  1. The value of a critique is to grow as a writer. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in order to make it better. Writing is like anything else in life. There is always room for improvement and you can learn something new every day. Often times, we don’t learn from being alone, but from interacting with others. That brings me to my next point…
  2. Different points of view can be helpful. Another set of eyes can lift the writer out of the minutia of the story. Taking a step back can be useful in self-editing, but that can prove to be challenging. So to have someone go over your story and not be in your head is one of the best ways to find out if the story you’re weaving is translating onto the paper. I have found that having someone from your target audience read the piece is also helpful. It gives a glimpse to see if you can capture that audience down the road.
  3. Know how to defend your story the right way. No one will fault you for defending your story, but keeping an open mind may be the difference between you being bird cage liner versus best-seller. There’s a fine line between passionate defense of your story and unyielding cut-your-nose-off-to-spite-your-face dogma. You have to stay on the right side of that line. If you feel someone is attacking your work, it is to your advantage to ask why the reader feels that way. Telling a reader the way it is will make them feel that you’re closed off to other ideas. In the end, making statements, as opposed to asking questions, could result in a critique that has less honest feedback and more false accolades.
  4. Finally, don’t be difficult. To be difficult with someone that is ultimately trying to help you falls under the biting-the-hand-that-feeds-you category. It’s never smart. There’s no incentive for an editor to take time out to critique your work and be honest if their suggestions are met with bitterness. The writer will always be victorious, but it doesn’t always make them a winner. Because until you are selling millions of copies of your manuscript and/or raking in the dough for a large publishing house, “frustrating”, “hard to deal with”, or “exasperating” are not words you want associated with you. No one will want to work with you or for you.

It goes without saying that having someone tear up your work is not the most fun you will ever have in your writing journey.

But as the saying goes, “it’s the journey, not the destination.”

As a writer, how do you cope with criticism?  Any other ways in addition to these five listed?

Let me hear from you!

Happy Writing!

Cover Reveal – The Nearness of You by K.G. Fletcher

COVER REVEAL FOR THE NEARNESS OF YOU BY K.G. FLETCHER!

Check it out and preorder your copy today!

I’m excited to share the news that my friend K.G. Fletcher is having her cover reveal for her third novel, “The Nearness of You”. The cover is beautiful and I can’t wait to read it when it comes out. Being a fellow Atlanta girl myself, I enjoy reading about my area and in such a sexy way.

K.G. is one of the most talented people I know. She acts, she sings, she writes sexy love stories…in addition to being one of the nicest and giving authors that I know. I’m a huge fan.

 

 

 

 

And without further adieu, the cover and a little excerpt to tease us all until October!

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About The Nearness of You:

Lounge singer, Lauren Rose lived her comfortable life in Atlanta always dreaming of making it in
show biz. When she unexpectedly meets British male super-model, David Randle at a gig at the posh St.
Regis Hotel, she is swept away by his striking good looks and lilting cadence.

In town for his sister Catherine’s nuptials to NASCAR driver, Brian Brady, David invites Lauren to the
wedding on a whim. The two instantly bond over music, fashion and family. They continue their new
relationship in New York City when David invites Lauren to see him in action at a high profile fashion
shoot for his debut fragrance, “Drive.”

Sparks fly when his assistant, Sabrina Watson is none too happy that his new girlfriend has interrupted
his grueling, fast-paced schedule. She becomes fixated on separating the happy couple who are falling in
love.

Traversing the East Coast and Europe with the paparazzi in hot pursuit, David and Lauren navigate the
precarious path of fame, fashion and fate.

Her wildest dreams were coming true. Would she ever truly believe that his desire was to be near her –
always?

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Exclusive Excerpt:

“Excuse me, miss.”
Looking up with a smile, ready to accommodate another song request, she was taken aback, her breath
catching in her chest. The man was tall, dark, and handsome and he looked very familiar. She started to
panic, trying to place him in the shadowy light.

“I didn’t mean to startle you. I wanted to ask… that last song you just sang. It sounded so familiar. Who
is the artist?”
The molecules in her brain shifted, and she was suddenly aware of who was standing before her. In an
effort not to faint or start screaming, she placed her hand on her heaving chest and tried to breathe
again, all the while his steady gaze penetrating her entire being. She swallowed hard, trying to get some
moisture back into her throat so she could respond, but it felt as if her entire mouth had been force-fed
a bucket of sand. The gorgeous man was holding a martini glass and looking like he had just stepped out
of a high-class advertisement, his designer clothing obvious.
“Umm… that song was….” She cleared her throat. “It’s a Richard Rodgers, umm, song.” She eyed his
drink and without thinking, took it out of his hands. “Do you mind?” She didn’t wait for his response,
anxious to send moisture onto her hot tongue. She threw the drink back in one gulp before choking on
the alcohol that burned going down her throat. “Oh my god! What was that?” she asked, her face
scowling.
He gently took the empty glass back from her, his index finger brushing her hand slightly. “Well, that
was my gin martini. May I get you something more to your liking?” He tried not to smile but his blue
eyes tinged with humor and gave him away.
Lauren held the back of her hand to her mouth and stared. “I know who you are,” she whispered, wide
eyed. “You’re the super…” He interrupted her quickly by abruptly grabbing her by the elbow.
“Let me buy you a drink.” He started to lead her to the mahogany bar where her friend Tim was
bartending.
“Hey Lauren. How’s it going?” Tim asked as he wiped down the polished wood in front of them. Could
he tell that she was coming undone being in the presence of one of the most stunning, sought after
male models on the planet? She recalled a recent trip to New York with some of her girlfriends. They
had stood in the middle of Times Square taking several pictures of this man’s famous image plastered on
a giant billboard, his gorgeous, half-naked body on display for all the world to see, wearing designer
underwear. She started to swoon thinking about it.
“Good, Tim,” she replied a little too quickly, her voice three octaves higher than normal. She glanced at
the illustrious man who was standing mere inches from her, not sure if she would be able to continue a
conversation. Her entire body felt like it was buzzing and she thought she might hyperventilate. She sank
onto the leather barstool, hoping it wasn’t obvious that she was coming undone.
“Sparkling water for you?” Tim asked knowingly. Lauren never drank while she performed, a lesson
she’d learned many years ago when she had made the mistake of going to happy hour with friends
before a show. She couldn’t remember the lyrics that night because of one too many shots of tequila.
She was lucky the manager hadn’t fired her.
“Yes, please,” she squeaked.
“And for you, sir?”
He leaned his strong arm against the back of her bar stool and reached for a cashew in a crystal bowl, his
bulging bicep almost grazing her breast. “I should like another gin martini, Tim. Hendricks please, with a

cucumber garnish.” His British cadence was sophisticated and debonair, accentuating his high-class
image.
Tim placed a green tinted bottle of sparkling water in front of Lauren and proceeded to mix the martini.
She tried to open her drink with her trembling hands, but the cap wouldn’t budge.
“Allow me, Lauren,” he said, taking it from her, the “L” of her name sounding beautiful with his lilting
articulation. He effortlessly turned the cap just once and handed it back to her, his chiseled features
dangerously close to her lips. She offered a polite smile before taking a sip and almost choked when he
started to speak, palming her back with his hand.
“Feeling any better?”
She licked her lips and placed the bottle back on the bar. “Yes, thank you.” She felt her cheeks flush,
surprised when he leaned in and whispered into her ear.
“It’s nice to meet you, Lauren. You have a lovely voice.”
His warm breath made her insides tingle. She inhaled deeply before answering. “Thank you. It’s nice to
meet you too… you have a lovely… face.” She forced herself not to roll her eyes after the words came
out of her mouth, pursing her lips. What a stupid thing to say.

About K.G. Fletcher:

KG Fletcher is the author of the contemporary romance novel, The Nearness of You released in October,
2017. She has also penned romantic suspense novels, Love Song released in April, 2017 and Unexpected
released in December, 2016. She is an active member of RWA and the Georgia Romance Writers
Association. She was a singer/songwriter in Nashville, TN and a recipient of the “Airplay International
Award” for “Best New Artist” showcasing original songs at The Bluebird Café. She earned her BFA in
theater at Valdosta State College and has traveled the world professionally as a singer/actress. She
currently gets to play rock star as a backup singer in the National Tour, “Remember When Rock Was
Young – the Elton John Tribute.” (www.almosteltonjohn.com)

KG lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Ladd and their three gorgeous sons. She is a hopeless romantic
continuing her work on her original cabaret act called, “The Novel Romantic – an unexpected evening of
sweet & spicy love” to help promote her romance novels.

Find KG online:
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Amazon | Cabaret Act

 

I hoped you enjoyed it!

Write freely, love fearlessly, live intentionally.

Eliza

Your Time is Limited…Quote of the Week – May 19, 2017

Steve Jobs was one of the last great innovative creators of our time (full disclosure: I am an Apple junkie!). His 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University is full of all sorts of quotable quotes, all of which are designed to motivate a new class ready to take on the world. But this one is my favorite of them all:

 

Does it get any more real than that? We’ve all heard “Life is short” and while that is true, it doesn’t really dig into the essence of what that means. It isn’t enough to know that life is short. It’s what you do between the dates that counts. Even more to the point, that what you do is what you love, not what some abstract “they” (whoever they are) thinks you should do.

Think about it like this: if you were to write your own eulogy today, what would you have to say? Would it make you happy? Would you have accomplished all that you set out to do before your final date on Earth arrives? Everyone’s definition of success is different. But it doesn’t matter what it looks like, all that matters is that it’s your definition. 

Steve Jobs knew all too well that his time was limited. And because of this knowledge, he lived his life and not someone else’s. I think it’s safe to say, we have all been touched in some way by his unwillingness to live someone else’s life. 

Are you living your best life? Are you living your life? If not, what are you waiting for? 

Happy Friday!

Write freely, love fearlessly, live intentionally.

Eliza

Today’s Motivation, August 4th – Timing is Everything

I love Gary Sinise. His quote is perfect. It takes hard work and persistence (among other things) to be successful in life, regardless of what your version may be. The timing of how it pays off is not in our control. But keeping our nose to the grindstone and working on that goal is completely up to us.

So own it. Do the time. Work hard. The timing of your success will follow.

And it will be when you least expect it.

Make it a great day!

Eliza