Showing posts with label authors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label authors. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Emerging Authors and Bookstores - Don't fall for their tricks!

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Alright, I feel it's only fair to begin this post with a disclaimer: All the names, examples on this post are a work of fiction... I am a writer and have a very vivid imagination, that is why everything might seem real.

It's been about two months since I released my debut novel Dragon Tooth, and ever since then, I was working on getting it in local bookstores in my country. But before I talk about the progress and what recently happened, I feel like am obliged to give you a little background of where I worked before to establish some sort of credibility.

I have been working as a Business Development Manager at the company that I left back in February in order to focus full time on my writing, and before that I was a Sales Manager for around a year and a half so, I know -what we in the industry call- sales bullshit when I see it.

So! You've successfully published your book! What's next? Oh right, getting the damn thing in stores (sometimes, it might happen magically, but other than that you're going to have to contact them yourself), and this could actually prove a bit challenging.

First thing that you have to understand is that your local bookstore is a business, and sales is what drives businesses nowadays and not good intentions. Pause for a moment, right after you get the shiny email telling you "you need to confirm that you consent to our trading terms before we go ahead any further with this" and just analyze it correctly.

If you have a publisher, DO NOT supply them with copies directly no matter how profitable you think it is. You might think "but what could go wrong?" the answer: everything.

Just hold on, and let me explain. The first thing you have to pay attention to is the credit period and the selling term. If I'm not mistaken, you'll probably see a 90 day credit period (which is totally normal by the way, don't worry), but the most important thing is the selling term. Pay careful attention as emails are considered official and can be upheld in court so don't go around saying "yes" in any way or form.

You see, what most bookstores will often do is slap a contingent on the deal that they will only pay you for copies that were sold, and the ones that weren't will be returned to you. Now, stop and consider this for a second. First there is a 90 day credit period meaning you will only get paid after every 90 days, and then a selling term which dictates that they will only pay you for copies that were sold.

Get the picture yet? Seriously, I don't wanna risk getting sued, but if this helps someone along the way and stops them from getting scammed by these dirty sales tricks, then I'm all for it. As a final note: NEVER directly supply copies of your book. You have a publisher for a reason (even if you are self published using any platform out there, they will take good care of you and won't fall for tricks).

Please pass this along if it helped you or offered insight.

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

5 Things To Do To Organize Your Writing

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Keeping my ideas organized has nothing to do with the fact that I'm a writer by the way, by profession, this is something that everyone should do.

I find that being organized adds a lot of value and impact in the long run, and there are a number of ways I keep mine in check:

1- I have a big board in my room that is full of markings and future plans. No matter how silly you think the idea is, always write it down. Chances are, in the future you'll come to a point eventually when you are stuck and need ideas (where this will be perfect. You can mash up a couple of ideas that fit and flesh your story out more).

2- I have a mini-fridge (worst investment I have ever made by the way) that I use for this as well, I use magnets to hang one-page outlines on it. Create a challenge for yourself, create as many one page outlines as you can, or you can write your goals or ideas for future scenes in your novel/story. Hanging them will give you the urge to finish them just so you can feel the rush of taking one out. Food, and beverages won't hurt too.

3- I have the "Book of Secrets" which is a notebook that I always keep close to me, and write all ideas, tips, and observations regarding anything I encounter in it. Someone once said "if you write it, you don't have to remember it" which is the perfect excuse to do this (for the lazy ones). You'll always encounter challenges, or be taught lessons whether its from YouTube videos (yes Jenna Moreci, we're looking at you) or random lists on the internet. Even quotes on Twitter too (#amWriting #writerTips).

4- I keep a separate document for large projects that is basically a 'cheat sheet'. For Dragon Tooth, I have "Dragon Tooth: World Information" which lists all the guilds and characters in the story. Having a one place go to like this will definitely keep you in track or how the story is going. This will help tremendously when you take those long breaks (which we all know you take).

5- Outline, outline, and outline! Outline your entire story, novel, book or script. Anything that needs writing, needs outlining. It makes you focused and determined to finish because you know how it ends basically. One will never understand the importance of this step unless they start writing a novel of around 70K words and they lost track of the events that took place previously and have to re-re-re-read the entire thing again just to ensure there are not plot holes.

These are my top five methods of how to organize my writing. Always remember: it's better to write it, than to remember it.

This is all for now, if you have any questions, remember you can drop me a line anytime and I would be more than happy to assist you.

Write on,
InfranGilis

Monday, August 31, 2015

5 Tips For Aspiring Writers

So, I've been working since 2013 on a short novel called "Dragon Tooth" and recently finished chapter 4 out of 6 planned. As I gave this to a few close friends to see what they thought of so far, I've had a lot of questions about the experience of writing this since 2013. Normally, the first question raised is "Are you nuts? Since 2013?" and my answer is yes, but... it comes with benefits as well. I thought I would share with you a couple of tips for anyone who is thinking about/is writing a novel.

1- Plot it all out. Often, writers do the mistake of taking the story for granted thinking "It's all in my head". Well, you're wrong and it shouldn't be just in your head. It'll all be incredibly easy once you plot it all out and write it all down. It doesn't have to be a huge thing, just the basics of how the story begins, progresses and ends. A writer should always know how their story will eventually plan out.

2- Do NOT edit what you write. Okay, I have to explain. Writing and editing are two different things, and they are different. Of course you should get it edited but not as you write. Concentrate on getting the novel done FIRST and then go back editing it as much as 2 or even 3 times. What this does is, it builds a strange trap for the writer that whatever he is writing needs to be edited and often hinders the process of getting it done. Yes, your un-edited copy will suck, but that's the beauty of it, you're not supposed to show it to other people until you have edited it at least 2 times.

3- Create compelling characters. Readers have many different tastes because they are different human beings naturally. Your novel can't be the same guy but under a different name everytime. Have someone wicked who lies, cheats, and even kills people just because he feels like it. Then give yourself the challenge to humanize the character in a way that readers will show sympathy towards him for being who he is!

4- "Show and don't tell". Okay, this is one of the golden rules in writing, and it doesn't matter if it's a script, a screenplay OR a novel. One of the biggest mistakes amature writers make is how they actually describe actions and emotions. They TELL the reader what the character is feeling instead of showing it. Example? Here:

"The man quickly stood up and punched the wall." - Weak.

"The man pulled away from his chair in an instant, clutched his fists and drove them into the wall. Cold sweated, there he stood." - Yes!

Notice how you get to FEEL the emotion and not just read it? Also note that we could add more dramatic effect while describing the action afterwards.

5- Too much dialog! Never think that a good story has good dialog alone. A good story consists of believable characters, where they each have charactaristics, motives and hidden goals or agendas. The reader should understand the point of the dialog. Never forget that its a very important tool writers use to explain the world or the struggle to the readers. Yes yes, here's your example:

"Why are you doing this?!" Person A said.

"I want to go south, because the princess is there and I want to save her, I thought you knew that" Person B replied.

"But you didn't answer the question, why do this?"

"Because there is something more to this than you think."

Okay, that wasn't so bad. But what if we actually use words to explain more about the hidden motive that you and I both know Person B has?

"Why are you doing this?!" Person A said, as he kept eying PERSON B.

"To save the princess. Why else?" Person B replied with a tone that brook no argument.

"You're not answering the question Person B...", Person A said.

Person B turned his face and a smirk wore his face as he exited the hall.

Muuuch better. A little mystery is always healthy and will do wonders to the story. It's always better to give the reader the ability to invest emotionally in the characters. Who would they root for? Person A or Person B? What is Person B trying to gain by saving the princess? All these are healthy questions that the reader will think of, and of course if you can instil an idea in someone's mind, you can easily break it afterwards.