Showing posts with label reference. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reference. Show all posts

Monday, July 16, 2018

"The Busy Moms Guide to Writing" by Angela Castillo and Jamie Foley

REVIEW and EXCERPT
The Busy Moms Guide to Writing
by Angela Castillo and Jamie Foley

The Busy Moms Guide to Writing by Angela Castillo and Jamie Foley


The Busy Moms Guide to Indie Publishing by Angela Castillo and Jamie FoleyThe Busy Moms Guide to Novel Marketing by Angela Castillo and Jamie FoleyThe Busy Moms Guide to Writing Boxed Set by Angela Castillo and Jamie Foley


The Busy Moms Guide to Writing is currently on tour with Reading Addiction Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a freebie. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Are you a busy mom who loves to write, but doesn't know where to start? This easy-to-read guide by two bestselling, award-winning authors will help you make your writing dreams a reality.
From finding time to write, to showing you how to get your kids involved, Jamie Foley and Angela Castillo (who happen to be busy moms themselves) will give you the resources - and the encouragement - you need.
This book will:
- Help you plan out your writing goals, time management, and financial budget
- Encourage you to enlist aid from the right people - critique partners, editors, cover designers, and more
- Guide you to making the best decision for you regarding independent and traditional publishing
- Give you questions to ask yourself at the end of each chapter to help you move closer to your writing dreams
- Steer you away from common mistakes

Excerpt
Supper should have been started half an hour ago, and a pile of laundry waits for you on the couch (well, it used to--now the kids have flung the clothes across the room in a free-for-all sock fight). Your baby is crying, and your oldest kid is yelling something about a science fair project being due tomorrow.
But what are you thinking about? A roving mercenary princess in your own made up land--the land of Flynn. You’ve dreamed about this land, pretended to live in it yourself. And more than anything, you want to write about it.
Your little girl grabs hold of your leg with sticky fingers. “Mommy, when are we going to have supper? I’m hungry, Mommy!”
If you’re feeling tempted to check your home for a hidden camera, the reason we know these things is because we are there. We have nights like this on a continual basis. Yet between both of us, we have fifteen published books (and three collections). These books help to generate an income to help with grocery money and even, sometimes, the mortgage payment. Writing and Momming can happen! At the same time!
What this book will do:
- Help you plan out your writing goals and time management
- Give you tools to do your personal best when it comes to writing
- Steer you away from mistakes we’ve made
- Encourage you to enlist aid from the right people--critique partners, editors, cover designers, and more
- Help you create a time budget, as well as a financial budget, so you don’t go overboard
- Guide you to making the best decision for you regarding independent and traditional publishing
- Give you questions to ask yourself (and hopefully answer!) at the end of each chapter to help you move closer to your writing dreams
What this book won’t do:
- Teach you how to write a New York Times bestseller (if you find a book that can do this, let us know)
- Tell you to neglect your family in order to write
- Expect you to have a ten-thousand-dollar budget for your first book
- Tell you how to come up with writing ideas. There are countless other writing prompt books available out there. We figure if you picked up this book, you probably have ideas buzzing around in your head already and are looking for a way to let them out.
- Give you a magic formula to make millions of dollars with your books (we don’t believe such a thing exists, but maybe. Of course, unicorns might exist too…)
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“… a professionally written and designed book that over delivers on value. This book is so aesthetically pleasing, so beautifully illustrated and flawlessly formatted that, for a brief moment, I thought I might be dreaming. What a pleasure to read!” ~ R. Smith
“I'm not a busy mom, but I AM a busy writer, so this book was still helpful. I already knew a lot of this, but there are ALWAYS new perspectives and ideas to be picked up. Insightful, well-written, and sometimes funny, it has lots of great tips and advice.” ~ Deborah O’Carroll
“The chapters are well polished and organized. I found it particularly interesting that although the co-authors write in different genres (historical romance vs fantasy/sci-fi) and styles (pantser vs plotter) the overall tone was extremely cohesive and conversational - like close, long-time friends chatting about their writing process.” ~ Katia Hart
“I was pleased to see that motherhood was not a requirement for reading this book. Within the authors give Suggestions for finding extra time in which to write. They also provide a run down of basic writing craft and a basic publishing primer. The prose was both informative and enjoyable. With this book you will not become a published author overnight, but it may help you decide if it's a journey you want to start.” ~ Cathrine Bonham
“This book is perfect for ALL busy people trying to find a way to make time for writing and prioritize what little time they have. Jamie and Angela help writers do things right from the start but cutting through the clutter and laying out the alternatives, no-nos, and how-tos from the very beginning! I highly recommend this book to all people who enjoy writing words, no matter how busy or experienced.” ~ Albert L. Ellison


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
Here’s a book that tells you that “Writing and Momming can happen! At the same time!” But the best thing is that this book isn’t just for moms. While the authors present tips on planning and writing a book while juggling a home and family, the advice they give is applicable to any writer.
Topics covered include: setting realistic goals, finding time to write, plotting your story, the length of books in different genres, writing a series, creating loveable characters, pitfalls to avoid, getting people to read your book before it goes to the editor, editing, and publishing.
This is a beautifully presented book, with a writer’s quote at the beginning of each chapter, cute notes in between, and questions for your consideration at the end of each chapter. The authors maintain a friendly, conversational tone throughout. A pleasure to read.

About the Authors
Angela Castillo
Angela Castillo loves living in the small town of Bastrop, Texas, and draws much of her writing inspiration from life there. She loves to walk in the woods and shop in the local stores. Castillo studied Practical Theology and Music at Christ for the Nations in Dallas, Texas. She was home-schooled all through high school and is the oldest of seven kids. Castillo's greatest joys are her little girl and two boys. Castillo has been published in The First Line, Aardvark's Ark, Heartwarmers, Thema, and several other publications, and also has works available on Amazon.

Jamie Foley
Jamie Foley loves strategy games, home-grown berries, and Texas winters. She's terrified of plot holes and red wasps.
Her husband is her manly cowboy astronaut muse. They live between Austin, Texas, and their family cattle ranch, where their hyperactive spawnling and wolfpack can run free.


Freebie
Sign up for the Busy Moms newsletter to receive your FREE copy of 50 Websites Every Author Should Know About by Angela Castillo and Jamie Foley.


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Friday, May 25, 2018

"Self Publish Now" by E. Van Lowe


GUEST POST and EXCERPT
Self Publish Now:
The Underground Playbook to Get You Writing, Finishing, and Self-Published NOW
by E. Van Lowe

Self-Publish Now: The Underground Playbook to Get You Writing, Finishing, and Self-Published NOW  by E. Van Lowe

This book blitz for Self Publish Now by E. Van Lowe is organized by Bewitching Book Tours. You can read an excerpt from the book and a guest post by the author. Please make sure you visit the other participating blogs as well.


For more books by this author, please check out my blog post on the Falling Angels Saga.

Description
Do you have a book you’d like to get published … or are you thinking of writing a book? Great! This tiny book contains my step-by-step, easy to follow system for getting your book written and self-published NOW. It’s probably the most complete, no-nonsense guide to self-publishing available.
I take you on my personal journey, from an abject failure living in the Bronx with no future to speak of to becoming the writer I always dreamed of being - writing bestselling books, movies, and hit TV shows. I tell you how I went from dreamer to having money in the bank and fans around the world.
I tell you in my straightforward style what’s holding you back from writing success, and give you the kick in the butt, plus all the tools you need to self-publish NOW. I tell you how I got where I am, but more importantly, how you can get there, too. This book contains:
*Expert instruction from a bestselling self-published author
*PDFs for you to download and study
*VIP access into my author success group
*Links to free video training that teaches how James Patterson and other bestselling authors write their bestsellers
*How to choose an editor
*Video instruction on how to create a beautiful book cover - free
*A list building guide showing you step-by-step how to grow your fanbase
*The most important modules from my paid VIP self-publishing program
Plus so much more …
Do Not be fooled by its size. This tiny book contains everything, literally EVERYTHING you need to get your book written and self-published NOW.
What are you waiting for? The time for excuses is over. You want to get published? You want fans around the world? You want money in the bank? Get this book. It’s time to self-publish NOW!

Excerpt
It was 7:30 a.m. Monday morning. The alarm clock had gone off half an hour ago, yet no matter what I told myself, I just couldn’t get out of bed. I should have gotten up and started getting ready for work as soon as the clock went off.  That was normally how I did it.
Something was wrong.
As I lay there, I took inventory of myself. I wasn’t sick. It wasn’t a hangover. Truth is, I wasn’t actually tired, although every muscle in my body seemed wracked with fatigue.  I was sweating.
I thought back to Sunday morning.  I felt great when I got up on Sunday.  I was up early.  I read the paper, I played with my son, and we all went to church. 
We had brunch in Manhattan after church, and spent the warm afternoon in Central Park near the Merry-go-round.  My son loved to go to the merry-go-round. He didn’t like to ride it. He said it made him dizzy, but he loved being in the presence of all the energy exuded by the kids. He feasted on it.
Around 4 p.m. I started feeling a bit sluggish.  It increased gradually, and by bedtime, I was exhausted. I had developed flu like symptoms.
As I lay there that Monday morning, I realized it was around 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon when I started thinking about my job.  On Sunday evening as I prepared my route for the following day, I started feeling a sense of dread. 
I quickly diagnosed myself with a malaise felt by millions nationwide. My illness was that I dreaded going to work. I hated my job.
I asked myself “how did this happen?”  I had a dream job.  At least it was a dream job for a guy from where I’m from. I was the envy of all my friends. I was both proud and excited when I landed the job a few years earlier.  Back then, I couldn’t wait to go out into the field. WHAT had changed?
Hi, my name is Ehrich Van Lowe (pronounced Eric. My friends call me E.) and I am a writer. I’ve spent most of my working career writing professionally, and loving it.  I’ve written for big publishers, small publishers and I’ve self-published. I’ve written blog posts and articles in magazines.
I’ve written for the theater, I’ve written poetry, and I’ve written for TV and film. I’ve won many writing awards including being nominated for the Emmy Award and the Oscar, all for my writing.  I have written bestselling novels and hit TV shows. I am a working writer who has had, and still enjoys a wonderful and rewarding career.
But on that morning, a long time ago, I was a twenty-three year-old nobody who had abandoned my dreams.
If you are a writer trying to figure it all out, or a failed writer, or a would be writer, I wrote this book for you. I hope you will read it from beginning to end. There are a few things I’d like to tell you that I believe can help launch your writing career, and keep you from years of not realizing your dream.
Much of what you are about to read in this book you have never heard before.  Some of it you have, but not from me. The purpose of this book is to get you comfortable with the idea that you, yes YOU, can actually become a published author and make money. It’s also to give you some tools you can use to get your writing career going, and not just going, but going quickly and successfully.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“No nonsense. No blather. This guy had what I thought were the most creative notions I'd ever heard ... He gave me the ideas that changed my life.” ~ John Klawitter, Author, screenwriter
“You not only get solid advice you can use but you hear firsthand how E. Van Lowe helped other very successful people.” ~ Kindle Customer
“Trust me, if you want to self-publish successfully you need to read this book.” ~ Roxanne Rhoads, CEO-Bewitching Book Tours
“I LOVE IT! My favorite line is ‘One of the great secrets we writers harbor is the secret dream that we can actually have careers as writers.’ I have a draft of a book that I started 20 years ago...” ~ Peggy
“Ohhhh my gosh!!! This book really touched me!! I have been struggling to change my life plan. I pursued a career and even obtained my doctorate but I hate my job. You described my every day struggle to go to work. I loved your book.” ~ Natalia Martinez, Non-writer
“Step-by-step guide to self-publishing that works!” ~ Marie Weiss, Mother, Grandmother, Writer
“As I was reading, your A to Z steps became so clear I visualized my book completed and published. This book have erased all my reservations and fears about self publishing.” ~ Stephen Sweeney
“A must read for any new author! This book is bursting at the seams with information; from how to get your email list going too how to format your book to upload. But it doesn't stop there!” ~ Debbie Browdy, New author
“The Author states it is only for beginners but I have been an author and book doctor for 21 years and I still found new principles to use.” ~ Dr. Opal, Director of Santa Barbara Christian Writers Conference

Guest Post by the Author
The Stigma of Self-Publishing
I’m going to be honest here. It was the stigma attached to self-publishing that kept me from self-publishing for many years. I got enamored with self-publishing back in 2011 when Amanda Hocking became the poster child for self-publishing by earning a million dollars from 99 cent ebooks.
Even though I was enamored with the possibility of earning big money, I was afraid to try. I heard all the negative voices, especially the really loud one that kept repeating: “the only people who self-publish are those who can’t get published by a REAL publisher.”
You’ve heard that nagging little sucker, haven’t you?
Even though I had traditionally published a fairly successful book - Never Slow Dance With A Zombie was a selection of the Scholastic Book club, putting it in virtually every school in America - I allowed the voice to persuade me. Despite a large initial order (my editor told me it was one of the largest initial orders ever for the publisher at that time), and the fact that I made me zero dollars beyond the small advance, I allowed the negative voice to keep me from giving self-publishing a shot.
Despite being a super-successful writer and entrepreneur (I’ve earned millions, mostly from my writing), I allowed that negative voice to hold me back. Truth is, it’s that nagging, negative voice that keeps most people from pursuing their success. As I say in my new book, Self Publish Now, we make up all kinds of very convincing excuses as to why we’re not pursuing our dreams, but at the end of the day, it’s the fear that negativity allows in that keeps us from our dreams.
So, here’s the thing, I didn’t make any real money from my books until I gave up traditional publishing. I didn’t build my incredibly wonderful and supportive fan base until I gave up the traditional (legacy) way of doing things.
Now, I admit, self-publishing is not for everyone. But I believe everyone should try it. If all you do publish is a 10-page short story you wrote over the weekend, you should give self-publishing a try. You’ve got nothing to lose, aside from that nagging negative voice, and possibly everything to gain.
I also believe it should always be the author’s choice (or anyone’s choice, really) to take their lives into their own hands. If you think self-publishing could possibly work for you, please check out my new book. It contains every tool you need to self-publish a book spending little or no money.
But whether you decide to self-publish or not (perhaps you’re already self-published; perhaps you’re not a writer), recognize the voice of negativity when it starts chirping in your ear. You best successes will come when you can put that voice to rest.
Please visit my new blog I created to inspire, educate and motivate authors.

About the Author
E. Van Lowe
Ehrich Van Lowe, aka E. Van Lowe is an award-winning television writer, screenwriter, bestselling novelist, and writing coach with over 30 years earning his living as a writer. He is a six-figure author, and a seven-figure entrepreneur. He knows how to be successful. He has taken clients from having no knowledge of the business, to earning a living, to becoming bestselling authors.






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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

5 Ways to Pay Less for a Professional Book Cover by Martin Cavannagh


GUEST POST
5 Ways to Pay Less for a Professional Book Cover
by Martin Cavannagh

5 Ways to Pay Less for a Professional Book Cover  by Martin Cavannagh

Working with a professional book cover designer is one of the best uses of money for a self-publishing author. However, as the person who has to pay for the design work, you should be approaching it with your “publisher’s hat” and looking for ways to reduce costs without sacrificing quality.

When you’re on the hunt for an experienced pro to create your dream book cover design, these five tips will help you get the most bang for your buck.

1. Improve the quality of your brief
If designers feel that you are a sensible collaborator with an exciting project, there’s a greater chance they’ll want to work with you at a reasonable price. At the most basic level, you need a well-written brief with no spelling and grammar errors. Just a few minutes spent rewriting and proofreading your brief could reduce your quotes significantly.

2. Don’t ask for bespoke photography or original illustrations

Screen capture via Shutterstock.com/Razorbill

If you’re on a tight budget, let your designer show you what they can do without expensive photo shoots and bespoke illustrations. Most books from top publishers will have designs created by manipulating library images, and this should certainly be your first consideration - unless you write in a genre (epic fantasy) where most of the covers are illustrated.

3. Be flexible with your timescale
As the old maxim goes, you can pick only two out of three: good, cheap, and fast. This is true of all aspects of publishing - from ghostwriting to cover design. Don’t leave your cover design to the last minute; if you ask a designer to create a cover by the end of the week, you will sacrifice quality or end up paying more for the rush job.

4. Take into account your designer’s level of experience
Talent and creativity are hard to quantify. However, someone's experience is pretty easy to see - especially on a platform like Reedsy’s. As designer Lauren Harms puts it: “The designer's quote will hopefully give you a clear picture of the experience you will get working with them.”

image via Reedsy

If you’re setting your sights on a more affordable cover, home in on designers who aren’t ten-year veterans of HarperCollins. So long as they have a proven track record in your genre, you may find someone perfect with just a few years under their belt.

5. Consider how many concept rounds and iterations you need
Discuss with your designer how many concepts they’ll be creating for you, as well as the number of iterations they expect for your project. Some designers may be happy to reduce their quote if you don’t require as many initial concepts and design rounds. Bear in mind that this leaves little room for error. Any additional work you need will have to be paid for at a rate negotiated with your designer.

With a bit of knowledge, clear communication, and good planning, almost every author can be able to afford the cover of their dream – so do your homework, and you’re halfway there. See you on the bestsellers lists!
_______________
Martin Cavannagh is a writer and a member of the team at Reedsy. The world’s largest marketplace of experienced publishing professionals, Reedsy has helped thousands of authors create great books work with the help of top editors, marketers and, of course, book designers.

About Reedsy
Reedsy
Reedsy is an award-winning community of over 100,000 book publishing professionals: authors, freelancers, and publishing houses. Their objective is to help publishers create high-quality books by connecting them with the world's best editors, designers, marketers, or ghostwriters.
Reedsy is based in London and joined Seedcamp, Europe's #1 startup accelerator, in June 2014. The company won the Bookseller award of the best publishing startup of 2015 and the Quantum Innovation Award in 2016 during the London Book Fair.

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