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Category: Tutorials

Hunting and Fishing: Tackle Box Tools for the Aspiring Author

What does hunting and fishing have to do with being a writer? More than you might imagine. If you think you’re exempt from needing these skills, you may find you’re going to need a bigger boat, so to speak. After placing well in a writing contest, I was approached by several people who wanted the same thing. They resembled eager, wide-eyed hunters, sure that there was a sportsmen’s paradise within reach, if they could just locate the geographic coordinates. The questions have been pretty standard. How do I get started? What should I write about? How do you get an agent? How do you get published? But the most interesting question so far has been how do you find the courage to put your work out there? This question was from a woman (we’ll call her Nancy) who had already written an entire series of books, but lacked the confidence…

Pitch Your Book Like it’s a Movie (The One Sentence Synopsis)

I recently attended a screenplay writing seminar with Publishers and Writers of San Diego. It was taught by writing coach Marni Freedman and focused on taking an existing book and developing it into a screenplay.  Screenplays are extremely concise – they average around one hundred pages. Being concise means really having to know the infrastructure and outline of a story. There are several aspects of screenwriting that are helpful in book writing, and one of those aspects is the creation of a logline. A logline is a one sentence synopsis of your story. It is like the cover of a book. A good one makes you want to open it immediately to see what is inside. Before you can create a logline, you will need to understand where your book is going. When you try and select a movie on cable, you see loglines all the time. They are very brief descriptions of the show’s content. For…

Half Baked: A Publishing Recipe

Is most of your writing only half-baked? It’s easy to get distracted with all the wonderful topics to write about, and many of us have manuscripts that are still rising on shelves in the garage. That being said, it’s sometimes nice to go through the steps of what happens when a book does in fact make it all the way to publication. Here is a basic recipe detailing the steps that are required in creating a fully baked book: For a first time author, a book usually starts with a completed, edited manuscript for fiction, or a proposal and sample content for non-fiction. Published authors can sometimes sell novels on proposal, but not usually. Best practices suggest that unpublished authors should try and find a literary agent, once their manuscript is ready for submission. Few publishers accept work directly from authors sans representation, and a good agent can greatly aid a manuscript’s success rate. After a…

Building the Perfect Brand

I recently attended a branding seminar for authors and wanted to share best practices with the WordServe Community. Here are 4 Sizzling Secrets to Branding You and Your Book from speaker Liz Goodgold, Branding Expert for www.RedFireBranding.com: 1. WIIFM: What’s in if for me? Your audience wants to know what they are going to get out of buying and reading your book. Sell a benefit or a result – think in terms of a call to action. Will your reader learn a skill, come away with increased knowledge, or be entertained? Knowing your endgame is a huge part of selling the benefits and the results. 2. Consistency is Key Brands have to be consistent. In-N-Out Burgers always taste the same, and they have since the forties. That is consistency at its finest.  Your audience is looking for that kind of consistency. Once you have established your brand it’s important to stay with it. Think in terms of household names like Chicken…

Publishing Crash Course

People often ask how someone as flaky as I am can pull it together and write a book. In the hopes that it might inspire others to go out and create new worlds of their own, here are the things I did to become a published author: 1) Read a lot of great content. This is as important as the writing itself. Read with passion and learn continuously. 2) Schedule blocks of time for writing. This includes unplugging from the outside world, logging off the internet, turning off the phone. Hard to do, but those distractions really add up. Writing fiction requires immersion in another world, which takes considerable focus and concentration. 3) Generate a manuscript. Woody Allen has said that others are willing to help, but your project has to be solid enough, you have to do the work first. Once you have your manuscript ready, have an ideal…

©2017 Kimberly Vargas | Author - Writer from San Diego. California