Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Writer's Bible & a GIVEAWAY!

tahlianewland.com
As authors, whether you're self-published or traditionally published, I think we're always drawn to articles and tid-bits about how to market better, how to sell more books and reach more readers. You can learn a lot about marketing your work just from a simple Google search. But what about the craft? How are you learning to write better, more powerful stories, and do it all more efficiently?

Maybe you go to writing conferences, or have a critique group, or maybe you've read every book out there on how to build more dimensional characters, or even the Chicago Manual of Style. Writing is an art and no two people do it the same. However, there are some expectations, things readers expect your book to have in it--no matter which genre you write in. And if you have your sights set on traditional publishing, those expectations not only say what you should have in your manuscript, but where to put it all.

And that leads into my introduction of a man whose writing advice is so awe-inspiring, so enlightening to the writer's mind that you just might want to build an altar and offer up sacrifices to him!

That man is THE Larry Brooks. Larry runs a blog called storyfix.com, and if you're not already subscribed, you best be getting over there to do that ASAP! It is through his website that I found his book Story Structure-Demystified. Not only is it brilliant, but it pretty much offers you a road map of where everything you could think of in a story should go! Now, I know you pansters out there may not be on board, but whether you plot or pants your way to that finished draft, you have to have some idea of where things need to go.

Let me tell you a little story. I read an article recently about a newly released book as it journeyed to publication. This was a book written by an author who had two previous books published. I read the first one, and it was fantastic! Well, the article mentioned how the author spent three years on this third book. THREE YEARS! The author turned in the draft to the editor at 800 pages long! The editor basically shredded the draft and told the writer what needed to happen to fix it. The author went back and rewrote the book from the beginning and ended with a 500 page manuscript that worked.

When I read this article, I was just finishing up another book by Larry Brooks, Story Engineering. I cannot even convey to you how AMAZING that book is! If you're a writer and you take your craft seriously, you WILL read that book. Well, as I was reading that article, I thought, "If she had just read Larry's Story Engineering, she could have saved herself three years and 800 pages." And you know why I thought that? Because I'd bet my favorite pair of jeans that the editor gave the same advice and techniques to that writer that Larry goes over in his books! Did I mention how I never felt as enlightened in writing and the craft as I did while reading that book? I call it "the Bible for writers" because that's exactly what it is. No matter what genre you write, or where you're stuck, this book will offer you what you need to move forward, to get unstuck, and to soar!

And because we believe that all authors deserve to soar, we're offering you one of Larry's books! The Story Engineering is a THICK book and can be intimidating, so we thought we'd get you started with his Story Structure-Demystified first. The format of the book is in PDF, so international entries are welcome. :)

NOTE: For some reason, Rafflecopter isn't updating the winner announcement on the widget. Here's a screen shot instead. :)


Good luck, and CHEERS to the fantastic writing career you dream about! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 10, 2012

10,000 is really a lot, I swear and what Accendo Press is all about


Desensitize:

1. To render insensitive or less sensitive.

2. Immunology: To make (an individual) nonreactive or insensitive to an antigen.

3. To make emotionally insensitive or unresponsive, as by long exposure or repeated shocks:




I think we’ve all become desensitized to numbers. Watch, I’ll show you.

I sold over 10,000 books in less than one year.




See. You saw that and were like “Huh. Not bad.” But you weren’t thoroughly impressed. At least not to the point where you were all five-year-old-on-the-fourth-of-July. 
(“Woooo-oooow.”)



Well, you should be.
Ten thousand is TWICE the number of people Jesus fed with those five loaves and two fishes. See: Even he could only do half that. (Just kidding Jesus, don’t be mad.)


Oh yeah, back to the numbers:

Each neuron in the brain is estimated to connect to 10,000 others.
10,000 days can be broken into this:
864,000,000 seconds 
14,400,000 minutes 
240,000 hours 
1,428 weeks

Yeah, I know. Totally random facts. Not really anything to do with my amount of copies sold. I just thought it would be fun to share. But seriously, 10,000 copies sold in any time frame is impressive. For anyone. But especially for me. Up until last January I had exactly ZERO experience in, or knowledge of, the publishing industry, traditional or indie. I had never gone through the process of creating a cover, writing a synopsis, formatting a Word document with mirror-margins, (mirror? You mean as in “who’s the fairest?” Uh, no.) or anything else that is needed to successfully publish a book. Hell, I’d never written a complete novel before Across the Galaxy in 2010!

I did have the benefit of being friends with one Warren Murphy, a NY Times bestselling author many times over, and he gave me the greatest advice he could’ve given: “Google Joe Konrath and read EVERYTHING on his blog.”

So I did.

After that, the decision was easy. Still, I had a lot to learn about how it was done. I’ve come a long way in a short amount of time.
Maybe you’re reading this and realizing you are a lot farther along in the learning process than I was. That’s great for you. Maybe you’re sitting there thinking, if she can do it, I can do it. That’s cool, too. Either way, this blog is for you.

Here’s why:

The minds behind Accendo Press have been doing a lot of thinking recently. About what direction our fledgling publishing group is headed. We’re still just a baby, after all. The future is bright over here. And the more we think about it, the more we just want to share our experience and tips of the trade with others who currently wear the shoes we did just a year ago.


Was it these shoes? No, I think it was something slightly more metaphorical. Whatever.


We would like to create a site that appeals not only to our readers (stay with me if this is you, because I think you're going to like where this is headed) but gives great how-to information to aspiring authors. Because without a site like that, I would’ve never found the information – and the courage – to do what I’ve done. (I am in NO WAY comparing our little site to Konrath’s as it relates to publishing, but we’re gonna do our dangdest.) I mean, look what’s happened as a result of grabbing this self-publishing thing by the horns and pulling a Nike (Just Do It). Besides my overuse of clich├ęs, I mean. I’m making full-time income and doing what I love. I’ve found “what I want to be when I grow up.”

So, from here on out:
The future of this site will be dedicated to helping you do the same. Stay tuned. We’ve got some great stuff lined up and more in the works. There will be giveaways, lots of giveaways--YAY! 
*throws confetti*



And there will be guest posts and Q&A’s--these from the hottest authors that you already internet-stalk. Yes, readers, this is the part I was referring to earlier. You're going to love it!--and all sorts of stuff you need to know about how to get “there” (wherever “there” is). The only thing you have to do is apply it. And pay it forward.

Happy writing! 

Love,
Angeline, Heather, and Jenn
Aka The Accendo Press machine