Tag Archives: agent

Online Author Platform

Building an online platform is basically your online precise as an author. Agents and publishers will look you up on the Internet, and you must consider what impression you present as an authority and your following.

The challenging I found was to find branding for myself. As a flake creative person, I tend to want too many things, change things too much, and scatter myself too thin online. I try too many hats, as it were. This leaves me muddled and ineffective with goals

This year, I’m learning to focus (which is a Herculean endeavor) to brand myself as a writer, graphic artist, and web designer.

I hope the following links will help others to streamline their author platform building;

The 6 Components of an Online Author Platform

This is an excerpt of a lengthier tutorial on components of an online author platform. Even the 4 minutes or so provides some insight, and gives you a taste of what the full tutorial offers. ($16.99 for this video tutorial or $16.58 to subscribe per month to all Writer’s Digest library of tutorials)

Or view this Google Hangout (1 hr. long) discussing the Author Platform. (free)

author platform

What do you find the most challenging in building your author platform? Do you have a website? Blog? Social sites? Do you find them effective? Post in comments your thoughts.


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Filed under Marketing, Publishing, Writer

Book blurb or Synopsis

featherpenLast writer’s meeting, we tackled the synopsis, and the topic led to what exactly a synopsis entailed  Some might argue that it is the ‘book blurb’ you find at the back of a book (or the book flap), but most in the business understand the synopsis entails a bit more.

A blurb focuses on getting a reader to read the book. It should short, sweet, to the point, but also hook the reader into wanting more. It is written in present tense, and you don’t give away the end or any twists or turns of the plot.

A synopsis serves the purpose of appealing to agents and publishers. It includes the entire plot, but sums up only the key points of the novel. You should include main characters, the ‘hook’, and how you will end the story. This is written in present tense, and is often added to the first chapter (or more) to submit for publication.

It could be argued that self-published authors don’t need to bother with writing a synopsis, but I disagree. It makes good practice to write out the plot for reference, as well as a good habit in case you ever wish to publish with the brock-and-mortar publishing company.

I’ve started to keep synopsis of even short stories so the plots gets laid out and used for future reference. Novels offer more challenge, but think of it as a challenge to be succinct and strip the plot of only the essential points.

Synopsis Outline:

  • Main character
  • Theme
  • Setting
  • Hook (the element that draws the reader into the story)
  • Obstacles/Inciting scenes
  • Climax
  • Resolution/Conclusion

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Filed under Publishing, tip

Blogs to books

I was surprised to find that some bloggers end up publishing their blogs into book format, and finding some success with that.

What a cool and fun way of getting a book out there! I like the idea, but not sure if any of my blog can reach that level of worth. I feel my posts are  bit too disjointed and rambling, and the idea of trying assemble the information into any semblance of book format is daunting.

But let’s explore this topic;

Self publish your blog. At any time, you could import your blog entries into a word processor, freshen it up, edit formatting, and publish through any number of avenues on the Internet. Ideally, you’d want a book deal with a publishing company. To get that; you need to get thousands of hits to your blog. Even a self-published book requires a hefty following to make it worthwhile.

With any writing, consider your audience. With this blog, my readers are would-be writers, or authors who are just starting out. My Moon and Shadow blog appeals to those interested in the earth centered religions, with a focus on faith and spirituality. I post topics that I think the audience would enjoy, to share things that might interest them or maybe entertain them.

Blogs can lead to book deals. Some authors find they are approached by publishing companies or agents interested in a book deal. You find books such as Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia , or ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income are just two examples of how bloggers turned into books.

From Blogger To Author (video)-

Blog to Book Deal, by Problogger

What are your thoughts? Would you want to publish your blog to a book? Have you read any of the books written by a blogger? Post in comments.

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Filed under Blog, Publishing, Writer

Some tips on chapters

1336595038962386Our last meeting of the Western Maryland Writer’s meetup, we covered the topic of chapters.  We asked the questions “How long is a chapter?” and “How do you know when to end or even to begin another chapter?”

Chapters can be any length. There are not rules in regards to this, although young adult primarily keeps to shortened chapters.

Chapters are often split by scenes or POV (Point of View) of a character.

Chapter length can determine the rhythm and speed of reading. Short chapters for action, but lengthier chapters during the calmer parts of the story.

First chapters are gold. Your first chapter must catch a reader’s attention, show the conflict, have compelling characters, and include all the power of your writing. Why? Because the first chapter is often sent with the cover letter to an agent.

Chapter should start at the start of a scene. Avoid lengthy description or ‘telling’ parts of storytelling at the start of chapters. Start with action or dialog.

Chapter should end with a cliffhanger or resolution. Thrillers and action stories work best with the cliffhanger, but the resolution should wrap up the scene with something for the reader to consider; new information, another character, new setting, or one of the many conflicts concluded.

(Optional) Chapters can be worked as single documents. I prefer to work each chapters as a single document. I then compile the novel into its full length when I’m done. This way I’m working through scenes rather than the monster of a 100,000+ story. I also recommend using Chapter-by-chapter which helps combine the chapters, and work with the single documents if you need to rework the story with find and replace feature. (It works with MS Word).

Some handy links on the topic of chapters:

Dual Duties of Chapter Endings

8 Ways to write a 5-star chapter

Uncle Orson’s Writing Class- on chapters

How To Create Effective Scenes And Chapters In Your Novel

Writer’s Prompt- We have a Blue Moon this month (second full moon of the month). Write about something unique and unusual that doesn’t often happen into a story. Anything goes.

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Filed under Friday Fun Tip