Archive | June 2016

So You Want to Self Publish

...and then there was Sarah

being-a-good-writer.jpegI am often asked some variant of the question: “I’ve written a book. How do I self-publish it?” The question, as well as the answer, can feel overwhelming. Certainly whenever I’m asked, I often think, where do I start? What level of detail do I share? How much of my time can I give to assisting?

Time is unfortunately a commodity I have very little of nowadays, but I also love to help others, especially those serious about pursuing their creative endeavors. This article attempts to achieve that balance.

What This Is: The basics to get someone started in publishing, to get their feet wet. To literally get a book for sale and ready to market. Things you need to know before you publish, and the places you can go to do so.

What This Is Not: An all-inclusive guide to self-publishing. There’s no way I could cram 5+ years…

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Enter the 27 Word Challenge and win a Special Grand Prize…

Well, I didn’t *really* want more competition but I’ll do the right thing and pass it along. I’d say Sally, with her “hot buttered lobster” imagery, is going to be very tough to beat!!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

bill-doyleHello, I’m Andrew Joyce.

I was here a few months ago and issued a 79-word challenge.

I asked you to write a 79-word story with plot, character development, and all the stuff good stories are made of.

And I must admit that you all came through with flying colors.

Because you were all so damn smart, I’m back with a new challenge.

This time it has to be exactly 27 wordsnot counting the title.

You must tell a story bringing Facebook into it—at least tangentially.

Give it pathos.

Give me Gone with the Wind in 27 words.

Simple, huh?

This time there is a grand prize.

The winner will get an all-expenses paid weekend with the famous Danny the Dog.*

Danny Meditating

Infuse your stories with your soul.

Make us laugh.

Make us want to hang our heads and cry at your angst.

Make us want…

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Am I Producing Leaves or Flowers?

Indeed….profundity in this short post. And they both grew in the shape of hearts, Luanne, so, for me, it seems that it matters not whether your output is leaves or flowers; love’s a-blooming.

Luanne Castle: Poetry and Other Words (and cats!)

Lots of ideas for blog posts have crossed my mind lately. Then they have kind of walked in reverse back out of my mind. Everything seems “deeper” than I can handle currently.  You should see how cute Kana is sleeping next to me, by the way. I figured out how to keep her from annoying Tiger who sleeps in the corner of the window seat: I put a big piece of two way tape across the opening where Kana would lie to intimidate comfort Tiger. Tiger can walk over the tape to get to her safety spot, but Kana can’t lie there without discomfort. So far, so good!

I just noticed that the two hibiscus bushes that flank my front door have gone in different directions this year. In the past, they looked very similar. But look at them now! Let’s call this one A.

And this one will be…

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Guest Post – Author Andrew Joyce

Great guest author post, enjoy!

J.D. Thompson

GUESTPOSTMy name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. J.D. has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new novel RESOLUTION: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure. I think it’s a good book, but what do I know? Anyway, I’m kinda shy about tooting my own horn. So I think I’ll turn things over to my dog, Danny. He always has an attitude and usually does not speak highly of me. But please understand that we co-exist as the old Soviet Union and the United States once co-existed. We tolerate each other. So without further ado, here’s Danny the Dog.

Andrew took me away from one of my favorite pastimes—barking at dogs that have the temerity to walk down my street—to help him out here. For a person that works with words for a living, he has very little to…

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Think You Couldn’t Possibly Lose Your Amazon Publishing Account? Think Again.

Such a double-edged sword. Thanks to this writer for the information, and I wish her the best of luck. The book cover is amazing and would definitely send me to Amazon to check it out. I truly hope Amazon finds a way to come to a mutually satisfactory resolution.

The Active Voice

There’s this indie author I know a little bit from the forum. Her name is Pauline Creeden, and she’s an ordinary midlister, like so many of us. I remember PMing her some time ago and gushing about how particularly beautiful one of her book covers is — the one for Chronicles of Steele: Raven.collection Here, I’ll include an image. Gorgeous, eh?

Anyway, today I tuned in to Kboards and noticed that Pauline had started a thread. It contained what’s surely the worst news possible for an indie author: Amazon had closed her publishing account. All her ebooks had been taken off sale. Permanently. Here’s the email she got from Amazon:

We are reaching out to you because we have detected that borrows for your books are originating from systematically generated accounts. While we support the legitimate efforts of our publishers to promote their books, attempting to manipulate…

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Zoe and The Bard

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Zoe and The Bard

Profile Pic_My Name Is ZoeKnock, knock . . . who’s there? ‘Tis I, Zoe the Fabulous Feline, and I thought that today I would open my story with that timeless joke. But alas! It loses something if the one being pranked is not available to answer in the flesh, so I guess I will just go on with my story instead. And speaking of flesh, this story is the naked truth and one I think you will enjoy.

Because, after all, you are here today because you are either a writer or a reader; either way you are a lover–a lover of words. Guess what? Me too! I may be a cat, but I am fabulous. Fabulous. Now there is a word I love; can you tell? My human named me Zoe, but I added “the Fabulous Feline.” Why? Well, because—in addition to the obvious—I love alliteration. I love words!…

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Fear Of The Unknown – A Riddle

I can SO relate!

Writer's Treasure Chest

question mark

It’s an animal, a predator, hidden and smart

It’s scary, strange and to catch it is hard.

It has legs, but no feelers, no fur and no wings

It envelops prey, it bites and sometimes stings.


It has no tongue and doesn’t have teeth

But it has pincers and poison underneath.

You find it in forests, in basements in corners around

It does scare you sometimes, but not with sound.


Superstition says seeing it in the morning makes the day bad

But meeting it at night should make you feel glad.

Some of them are useful, and some are dangerous to see

depending where you live, you better flee.


Some are as tiny as dust you don’t know they are there.

But some others are huge, these are the ones that scare.

Some live in holes and await there their prey

Some others build webs, where they…

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Do you know how to write a book review?

I have a feeling that Jean really knows how to write a book review! Love the silver lining theme in this post. And I completely agree about the “critique”….the time for that is during story development, if you’re privy to it; if you’re not but you want to review a book, remember that the book is not only pages with text but full of the heart and soul of its writer. One can be honest but still kind and gracious with just a little bit of effort!

Jean's Writing

I must confess, writing a book review is very hard for me.

You’d think as a writer, writing a book review would be easy. It’s not.

But reviews are as important to writers as water to fish. Writers need book reviews. The best way to get is to give.

So I set out to learn more about writing a good review.

I used to adhere to the old saying, “If you can’t say something good say nothing.”

Now I go with, “In everything, there is some good. Look for it.”girl-308360_640

When you write a review, it’s important to find that “something” good to say.

Even for books that aren’t my genre, and even for those that make me cringe, I search for something good to say.

Things to look for…

  • Did the title or the cover get your attention?
  • Identify the genre.
  • Identify the audience (age.)
  • Identify the Point of…

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Resolution: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure


Today I am pleased to introduce Andrew Joyce. He is the author of Resolution: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure.

My name is Andrew Joyce, and I write books for a living. Jessica has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new book, RESOLUTION: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure, so I thought I’d tell you how it came about.

It all started way back in 2011 . . .

My first book was a 164,000-word historical novel. And in the publishing world, anything over 80,000 words for a first-time author is heresy. Or so I was told time and time again when I approached an agent for representation. After two years of research and writing, and a year of trying to secure the services of an agent, I got angry. To be told that my efforts were meaningless was somewhat demoralizing to say the…

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