THE BLOG

27
Jun

How to Write and Finish Your Novel: My 5-Step Method

how to write and finish your novel - my 5 step method

author Ted Neill photo - how to write a novel

“How to Write and Finish Your Novel: My 5-Step Method” was written by globetrotter and writer Ted Neill. Ted has worked on five continents as an educator, health professional, and journalist. His most recent novel, Reaper Moon, confronts the recent rise of white nationalism and white supremacy within the US, exploring the high stakes at the level of the personal and political. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram: @therealauthortedneill

Working with that most mysterious of business partners: your muse.

Every work of writing is a combination of the time spent writing and the time spent NOT writing. You need time NOT writing to think about the writing, consciously—but more often unconsciously. It’s this unconscious area of idea development that artists for millennia have referred to as their “muse.” In the sciences, scientists call it the Eureka phenomenon. Both notions are as old as classical Greece—likely older.

But working with a process/partner as nebulous as this can be tricky and hard to explain to outsiders. That is because it means that desk time is not the only productive time for a writer. It’s your productive time, but your muse works different hours—odd hours—often when you’re not looking.

When writing a novel, we have to allow ourselves this time and space for ideas to grow. We must establish a rhythm of writing and not writing. We must balance desk time (when we work) versus away-from-desk time (when the unconscious/muse works). It’s only with this balance that ideas can properly develop.

And it can be frustratingly non-linear. That said, here is my best attempt to describe how to write a novel in a step-by-step way, including how I cycle through writing and NOT writing, desk time, and all-the-rest-of-my-life, all towards the goal of nurturing ideas into a finished work.

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19
Jun

Instagram for Authors: Top 7 Tips for Growth

Instagram for Authors - top 7 tips for growth

Instagram is a great platform for indie authors to increase readership and engage with the reading community. Just take a look at the #bookstagram hashtag and you’ll find over 30 million photos posted of books, reading spots, cover reveals, book teaser trailers, and more.

With the following Instagram tips for authors, you can boost your presence on Instagram, gain followers who will look forward to your posts, and refine your author brand.

Top 7 Instagram Tips for Authors

1. Think of Your Feed as a Whole

People are endlessly scrolling through Instagram. If they see a photo of yours under a hashtag like #bookstagram or #authorsofinstagram and they pop over to your feed, they’ll want to know what they can expect when following you. If your feed is full of posts that don’t make sense as a cohesive whole, a user might not understand the purpose of your page or what they’ll see when they follow you. Pick three or four things you might want to focus on – or even just two – and post within those themes. This consistency will help solidify your brand.

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13
Jun

How I Sell Self-Published Books Using Social Media

How I Sell Self-Published Books Using Social Media

author Laura Burton - How I sell self-published books using social media“How I Sell Self-Published Books Using Social Media” was written by author Laura Burton. Laura writes clean romance and poetry for bereaved families. Check out her “Love Me” series here, which is a collection of standalone romance novels packed with twists and surprises to keep you turning the page. Laura’s new sci-fi romance Love Me, Dreamy will be released July 19 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

If you want to sell self-published books using social media, the first question you should ask yourself is:

Why Do People Use Social Media?

  • To be entertained
  • To be educated
  • To be heard

NOT to be sold to.

Then it seems counterintuitive to use social media to boost book sales, right? Not if you understand how to do it correctly.

Using the tactics below, I was able to sell 60 paperback books within 48 hours.

Want to learn how I did it? Let’s dive in!

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10
Jun

Debunking The Top 5 Self-Publishing Myths

Debunking The Top 5 Self-Publishing Myths

After working hard to finish writing your book, it can be discouraging to read about self-publishing myths like these:

“Ebooks aren’t real books.”

“You’re not really published.”

“You’ll never make a dime.”

Despite many authors making a full-time living from their self-published ebooks, misunderstandings like these are still prevalent. Below we’re separating fact from fiction as we explore the most common self-publishing myths.

The Top 5 Self-Publishing Myths

Self-Publishing Myth #1: Ebooks are Inferior to Print

As most book lovers can agree, there’s nothing like turning over that first crisp page of a new book. We totally get it. But despite the charm that print books may always hold, the reality is that the publishing landscape has changed. Pretty much everything in our modern lives has become digital, including books. 

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05
Jun

Alternatives to MailChimp: Which Email Service Provider is Best for Authors?

Alternatives to MailChimp which email service provider is best for authors

Marina Maddix author photoThis article was written by New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Marina Maddix. Marina is a romantic at heart, but hates closing the bedroom door on her readers. Her stories are sweet, with just enough spice to make your mother blush. She lives with her husband and cat near the Pacific Ocean, and loves to hear from her fans. Check out her “Real Men Shift” series here.

As many authors recently found out, MailChimp shifted their business strategy. Instead of primarily being an email service provider, the company announced that they’ve expanded to a full marketing platform.

Along with this shift, there have been significant changes to MailChimp’s pricing structure. Notably, users are no longer charged based on the subscriber count; instead, monthly charges are based on “audiences,” which includes unsubscribed emails.

These changes have left many wondering: “Which email service offers the best value for indie authors?”

I’ve tested various email newsletter services, and I’m sharing my data below to help authors make the best decision when considering alternatives to MailChimp.

Note: feel free to skip ahead here to the TL;DR version of the data!

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