Saturday, November 17, 2012

To Become a Better Writer (MY POV)

I have never been more determined to make a name for myself then now. Up until October 9th of 2011 I had been working at an Ice Cream Parlor for three some odd years. After several months of no longer working there, my husband, Shawn took up a stalking position to help support us. I couldn’t have asked for a better guy.

I guess up until mid-year, around June or July, I loved writing but I guess I really didn’t know what it takes to make a good writer. I spent so much time working on just one story that I forgot about all the other things like: book covers, blurbs, getting my name out there, starting a social media connection with people, and many more things. I was just set on writing that one good story which would “make” my career.

In the end I struggled to figure out why people didn’t want to read my work when it came out, or why people weren’t really even viewing it, but it was my fault. Just posting your book up and expecting it to be a big success isn’t going to work. Writing the book is only part of the battle, becoming a good sale person and pitching it is also a big part of it. If you can’t convince people that they want to read your book, than no one will.

The first thing I needed to do was take a step back and view what I was doing was wrong and see how I could correct it. Mind you this is after having written something.

1: I needed to get specific. Break down: What would I love to write about? What kind of genres does it fit in? Poetry or Prose? Fiction or nonfiction?

2: Once I figured out my style of writing at that moment it was time to dust off my social skills and connect to people. I created an Author bio in third person, a small set of information such as: likes, dislikes, favorite books, movies, ect… A couple of pictures of myself after having decided I would use my real name on my stories (Some people use pen names as they are testing out the water.). I created a Twitter account, A Facebook personal page and Author’s page, and a Blogger account which I have linked to my Gmail. You want to spread the word of your story as far as you can reach and these are just some of the places to do it. Mind you that honestly is good no matter what you are doing and you shouldn’t feel these pages with false information to discredit you in any way.

3: Now as I begun to establish my connections I needed to check my work. Go back to my manuscript and edit it. I also needed to provide a good cover. For those in which neither is an easy task you will be surprise what joining an author’s group on facebook can do. You will run across people that will volunteer to help edit, people who create covers, and those that will review your book. All of them are great. They are your friends. So I had to get over the fact that I would be spending money at some point, but use what you have first. If you have an editor in the family, don’t be afraid to slid your manuscript their way and promise a little mention or something. If you have a Photoshop pro in the house ask them if they could help, but if you don’t you may need to hire someone and its okay. A good cover will help to increase sales.

4: As I waited to hear back from people about creating a cover (and keeping up with my social media) I needed to take the next biggest step. I had to decide where my manuscript would go. At first I figured just Smashwords, which is a free online eBook website, but after thinking about it I realized that I wasn’t limited to just one site. Every free eBook site you go to has a different style guide and thus more work, but in the end it’s worth it. So I placed my manuscript not only on smashwords, but Amazon as well. Amazon is viewed and recognized by a much larger crowd and thus is makes sense to get publish with them. You can also put it up on, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads. The good thing about Smashwords is that once your story is up it isn’t just up on the smashwords page, but they spread it so several other sites which is explained on their website.

5: After I figured out where my manuscript was going I began to sale it. I created a short blurb (a short summary which would be vital to help me sale it), little sales pitches, blogged excerpts for people to get a taste of what was to come, set up a date for when people could buy it, and spread the word as far as I could go. (You can never go far enough so no matter what keep trying to sale it, even after you’ve published.)

6: Once I had the manuscript edited, a nice cover, a blurb, a good working title (which you should have come up with early on), and what appeared to be several people backing me up I submitted it and announced to the public is was online and ready for purchasing.

7: Continue to write! This is the most important step that I have come to realize.

You shouldn’t expect to make it big off of one story and this was my biggest mistake. I thought, I could do it, but I couldn’t it. Yes, I was heartbroken when I realized my sales weren’t going up and yes I questioned if it was possible, but after stepping back and walking through the steps above I launched my book again on Amazon this time with a new cover and a new thirst for success! I received the gratification I had been looking for and received a few sales. It was these sales that gave me the little spark I needed to continue on.
I had accomplished becoming a self-published author, receiving a good review, plenty of compliments, and many new friends and supporters. In this moment you must take in all the good and try not to get a big head. Take your new found drive and put it into the next thing you are writing. That’s the secret. Keep writing.

1: Make a writing schedule and stick to it.
2: Create not only long stories but short ones.
3: Promote all your works as often as you can without spamming.
4: Last, but not least, it is okay if it’s free.

Making a story free isn’t a bad thing. You’re not losing money if you do it right. If you wrote a Trilogy and you give the first one away, depending if they loved it or not, you just created a potential buyer for the next two books! That’s one more person you didn’t have before who could tell a friend and give you more buyer. Making a short story free allows people to get a taste for what you write and a chance to review your other works.

In the end it all comes down to you, the writer. It is rare to strike it rich early on and many people won’t make enough of a profit in this field to no longer need a part time or full time job, but what you can take away from this is the fulfillment and enjoyment of bringing others into your world or to bring a smile to a child’s face.

And to those that do strike it rich, do not forget what it took to get you there nor the people that assisted you along the way.

My name is Brenda Franklin and I am a Writer by day and Vampire by night. J You can reach me on Twitter, Facebook, my Author page, or continue through my Blog. If you would love to read any of my works (including the FREE ones) you can find them on Smashwords. I also have Book One of The Pulse Trilogy, A Steady Pulse on Amazon.

Please feel free to leave a message and tell me what you think. :) 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NaNoWriMo anyone?

This year I am taking part in what is known as NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month! At first when someone told me about it I wasn't sure it was even possible, but after having started on the third it has been a thrill ride. In taking this challenge I have learned how to better my use of time and that if I put my mind to something I can accomplish it.

It is the fifteenth and though I haven’t finished it I have gotten about four-fifths the way done. Yes, I have written close to 40,000 words!! The goal is to write a short novel at about 50,000 words in the month of November. Start on the first and end by the 30th I believe. I’m still working that part out, but I hope to have mine finished around 60K and fully done for editing by the 20th. The 20th also happens to be the release date for my second Pulse Trilogy Book, Barely Beating.

One of the biggest things about how to go about writing is to pull away from the internet and other distractions. Thank you though for staying on long enough to read my blog. J I won’t’ tell. I think I would have written more it only I could keep away from the web, but I have to admit I have been only on in short burst throughout the days. Going cold turkey is a little harder than I thought.

What I have done is I’m carved out a corner of a room where I surround myself with inspiration, notes, and a trusty pair of headphones which block out background sounds and feeds me an endless amount of music from my playlist. I could never go about writing any story without music. Depending on what scene I’m writing I have a different playlist for it. Sad, happy, a fight scene, or a love scene, everything has its own music, but I drift.
When writing I normally write the beginning and ending so I know where I’m going to, but this time I’m writing from beginning to end all the way through. I’ll go back and add scenes later, working on editing, and refine everything when I have finished the first draft, but for now I am concentrating on simply getting the story pulled out of my head in one coherent mass.

So even if you start typing now to be a part of NaNoWriMo I think you can pull it off. Just manage your time and pull yourself away from the internet, you’ll be surprised at how much you can get done when you’re not reading Facebook updates, staring at a funny picture, digging through Twitter, or deciding what next to build on Minecraft.

I hope this helps if you’re working on it and if you haven’t taken part in NaNoWriMo maybe next year you will join in. J I know I will!

Brenda Franklin author of A Steady Pulse and Barely Beating, first two books of the Pulse Trilogy
You can find out about my works on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or if you would like a few free stories head over to my Smawords page. I don’t mind. :D

Review of: Love Lines by Diana Nixon

Having been immersed in the world of vampires and werewolves for so long I wasn't exactly sure how I would take to a paranormal romance novel without them. I know that sounds silly, but after I began reading I realized this was right up my alley!

Diana Nixon has made for us Dever (with seven different groups Feta, Meridin, Venturo, Vero, Embry, Fairey, and Wizardy.), a place humans shouldn’t know exists, but there are those with extraordinary abilities who are allowed to know. She doesn't spare on the details and as you sink deeper and deeper into the world Diana created you feel as though you are a part of it. That is a great accomplishment for any writer, is to make the read feel a certain sense of realism and I think she captured it well.

It was a story filled with discovery, love at first sight, secrets, humor, and the most relatable scenes you could ask for. If I had been in their shoes, like I wanted to be in many times, I would have been thinking and feeling the same things. I could only describe some scenes with the word eerie as I found myself connecting so well with her characters. Being confused with them, understanding when they found our something knew, and unable to stop myself from wanting to know why her main two characters, Eileen and Christian, are bounded together?

I don’t want to give away the ending, but I have to say that I my stomach was twisted in knots so tightly bound and it made it impossible for me to not have to read the next book. Not that that’s a bad thing! Don’t get me wrong! It’s a wonderful read and I would suggest it to everyone no matter what kind of books you were into reading this is one you shouldn't pass up, but I want--no need to read more. I just can’t go without knowing what’s next to come out of Diana Nixon’s mind and we’re all in for a treat because her next book, Song of my Wind is soon to be released. But if you’re reading this review any time after the month of November 2012 you just might want to look it up and see if you can grab your copy already. I give it a five out of five.

I also want to take a moment to thank Diana Nixon for giving me a copy of her book and allowing me to read. It really has been a pleasure to dive into this imagery world and I can’t wait to do it again soon very soon. To learn more about Diana you can go to her website.

Brenda Franklin author of paranormal romance, A Steady Pulse and Barely Beating, the first two in the Pulse Trilogy! Enjoy my works on Amazon or Smashwords, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I always love to meet new people. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review Sherrilyn Kenyon’s book Devil May Cry

I just finished reading Sherrilyn Kenyon’s book Devil May Cry from the Dark-Hunter series for the second time and I couldn’t get enough of it! After reading several of her works it dosen’t surprise me in the least to learn that she has appeared on the Top Ten list of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today.
Devil May Cry 5 stars
Sin is an ancient Sumerian god whose powers were taken away by Artemis, who he has sworn to destroy if their paths ever crossed again. But he has bigger fish to deal with as the demon known as Gallus are hungry for humans. He is only one who has a chance to stop them, but when a mysterious woman looking like Artemis appears before him what’s a man to do other than hold her hostage and demand his powers back?
Now he has to decide whether he can shove his craving for revenge against Artemis aside long enough to accept her help, but the road of trust and betrayal is all too familiar to him. Before he knows it not only does the woman have his heart in her hands, but she may be just what he’s looking for to save his life when things get rocky, but can he trust her? Or will she abandon him?
I couldn’t put the book down. Even after reading it a second time I still feel like I can go back and read it again. Kenyon really puts you there in the moment. She tugs at your heart and as her characters struggle and come to realize you’re there bedside them feeling their pain or happiness. She really does know how to keep you wanting more, from her dashingly stunning characters, to her use of the Greek Gods and Goddesses; she leaves out no expense in depth.
Just read any of her books and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Brenda Franklin
find me on twitter, Facebook, my Pulse Trilogy on Amazon or Smashwords. :)