2020 Pitch Contests

If you’re an author looking to pitch your story to agents, you need to check out the 2020 Pitch Contest Calendar below! Enter these Pitch Parties or Blog contests for a chance to have an Agent consider and/or critique your work!

Upcoming 2020 Pitch Contests

Feb 1-29 — 10th Annual Pitchapalooza – hosted by The Book Doctors

Feb 12-14 — Sweetheart Pitchfest – hosted by SavvyAuthors

Feb 14 — #KissPitch Twitter Pitch Event for Romance and Women’s Fiction – hosted by All The Kissing

Feb 20 — #PBPitch Twitter Party – hosted by PBPitch

Feb 27 – #FaithPitch Twitter Pitch Party for Christian Books – hosted by FaithPitch

Mar 5 — #PitMad Twitter Pitch Party – hosted by PitchWars

Mar 9-13 — Pass or Pages Query Contest – hosted by Operation Awesome

Apr 22 – #DVPit Twitter Pitching Event – Children/YA – hosted by DVPit

Apr 23 – #DVPit Twitter Pitching Event – Adult – hosted by DVPit

Apr 23 – #DVArt Twitter Pitching Event – Illustrators – hosted by DVPit

June 4 — #PitMad Twitter Ptich Party – hosted by PitchWars

June 8-12 — Pass or Pages Query Contest – hosted by Operation Awesome

Sept 3 — #PitMad Twitter Pitch Party – hosted by PitchWars

Oct 5-9 — Pass or Pages Query Contest – hosted by Operation Awesome

Dec 3 — #PitMad Twitter Pitch Party – hosted by PitchWars

Where is Publishing Headed?

Ever wonder where publishing is headed in this ever-changing paperback vs. e-book world?

Publishing

I have to say, as an indie author, John B. Thompson’s article, in the Huffington Post, gave me hope. Sure, things might be getting harder for the publishing houses, but they are also leveling the playing field of book marketing for those of us indie authors. On a day-to-day basis, we are fighting through the weeds, trying to figure out how to get our names out there. We’re attempting to find new and innovative ways to get our books in front of readers.

By the time the publishing houses figure out that they also need to focus more on the online social media platforms, maybe some of us indie authors will have a small advantage. Having worked for years, build our online communities or readers and other authors, we indie authors are developing a strong network. No, I might never be the next Stephen King (Oh but I wish I was), or the next J.K. Rowling (wouldn’t that be amazing), but that doesn’t mean as an indie author I can’t still make my place in the literary world.

[The section below is provided as an excerpt from Thompson’s article. Check out the full article here, written by John B. Thompson on the Huffington Post.]

Today, the publishing business is in turmoil. For 500 years, the methods and practices of book publishing remained largely unchanged, but today the industry finds itself faced with the greatest challenges since Gutenberg.

These challenges are the outcome of two processes. On the one hand, the publishing business has been transformed beyond recognition by a set of profound social and economic changes that have been underway since the 1960s, resulting in the publishing landscape we see around us today: a handful of large corporate publishers based in New York and London and owned by large multimedia conglomerates; an array of powerful agents who have become the unavoidable gateway into publishing for writers and would-be writers; and a retail landscape dominated by a dwindling number of retail chains, mass merchandisers and Amazon.

On the other hand, the technological upheaval associated with the digital revolution is now having a major impact on the book publishing business. After a decade of numerous false dawns, e-books have now arrived and they are here to stay. In 2006, e-book sales amounted to only around 0.1 percent of the overall revenue of large US trade publishers – an accounting irrelevance. Today this figure is around 20 percent, and for some kinds of books, like romance, science fiction and thrillers, the percentage can be 60 percent or more – a huge change in five years. The digital revolution is disrupting many of the traditional practices of the publishing industry, opening up new opportunities and at the same time threatening to dislodge some of the players who have shaped the business of book publishing for half a century or more.

So where is book publishing now headed? Will the traditional print-on-paper book become a relic of a bygone age, a collector’s item to be found only in second-hand bookstores and garage sales, much like the old vinyl LP? Will publishers – and perhaps agents too – be displaced by a flourishing of self-publishing and by powerful online retailers like Amazon who can offer to publish writers’ work on royalty terms that are much more favorable than those traditionally offered by publishing houses?

[The section above is provided as an excerpt. Check out the full article here, written by John B. Thompson on the Huffington Post.]

So, if you’re an author (traditionally published or indie) I would love to know your thoughts on this topic. Leave your comments below and let’s start a conversation on the future of the publishing world.

New Adventure – UPDATE

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On September 12th I announced that I was starting a new adventure in my writing. I had begun writing a new story on September 3rd. My goal was to have the first draft completed by the end of the month (September). Well, that didn’t happen BUT I did complete the first draft by October 3rd which works for me.

 

My process has been slightly different for this book. I’m working on my document in the cloud! I feel like there should be a drum roll or something when I say that. Anyway, I have three beta-readers that always do my initial content/grammar edits and since I was working in the cloud I was able to share the document for editing purposes. I am so excited to announce that not only am I done with my first draft, but one of my editors has completed her read/review/edit/etc. and I have already incorporated her changes and made some major rewrites based on her suggestions. One beta-reader down… two to go. The document has already been shared with them and I am hoping to have their edits by the end of this month (wishful thinking? maybe).

GOAL LIST:

* Come up with a title for the story (novel)
* Get the final draft off to the editor by the end of November
* Have the cover design complete by the end of November
* Have first edit complete by December 15th
* Have final edit complete by January 15th
* Book release – END OF JANUARY

OK, my goal list might be a little ambitious, considering it is all dependent on the schedule of other people. I have no idea of my final two beta-readers will be able to finish the story by the end of this month or if my editor will be available during the month of December – holidays and all. But, if all else fails I can push everything two months and release at the end of March… worst case scenario (I hope).

 

In the meantime… I will be working on the next book! Oh, and trying to figure out the title, designing the cover, working my full-time job, and living the life of a mother, wife, etc. YES – I WEAR MANY HATS!

2014 – New Year’s Resolutions!!!

Yup, like everyone else I am jumping into 2014 with a full list of New Year’s Resolutions. I figure why not make them public… that way maybe one or two will stick. lol Yeah right. Every year I set out on a great new adventure with a list of resolutions and by April I’ve forgotten what they even were. So, this year my resolutions are short-term goals instead of long-term life changing events!

2014 – New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Run a 5K – Yup, I’ve purchased some new workout clothes, got a brand new pair of running shoes, and have verbally committed to running my first 5K (in 15 years) on February 8th. Now I just need to get into the gym and start running so that come February 8th I can cross the finish line 🙂 I don’t expect to do great – BELIEVE ME!!! I am hoping to finish in 45 minutes. Okay, yeah that is slow, but seriously… it has been 15 years since I have run that far. 15 YEARS!!! Why so long, you ask. Well, many years ago… I ran every day. I actually ran twice a day, once in the early morning hours and once in the mid-late afternoon. I would run anywhere from 5 – 10 miles each time. Yup, I LOVED to run. Then one day I hit a pothole the wrong way – I guess I wasn’t watching what I was doing – and I hurt my knee… I continued to run on it for weeks because I was stubborn and well – my commanding officer told me I had to! Anyway… after a few weeks my knee got worse and worse. After that for years… whenever I would run more than two or three miles my knee would swell and be in pain for a week or two. I gave up running because it wasn’t fun any more. I am hoping that this many years later has given it enough time to heal so that doesn’t happen any more… we shall see!!!
  2. Run a 10K – Yeah right… this is the one I probably won’t do, but I’m putting it on the list anyway because if I do the 5K successfully then I plan to fun a few more and work my way up to the 10K. However, I do recognize that if the 5K doesn’t go well and if my knee doesn’t hold up then the 10K is out of the picture. Maybe at that point I’ll take up bike riding or swimming… maybe not.
  3. Publish my 3rd book… Yup… As you know I’ve already published 2 books and I have a 3rd on the way. Okay, this New Year’s Resolution doesn’t seem to off kilter. I will get it done and probably in the first few months of the year. The book is already written and with the editors. I am just waiting to get it back so that I can make edits and send it back for another round of edits. That cycle goes on for a while… then the book will become public. Want to purchase a copy of my first two books? You can get them on Kindle or in paper back at http://www.amazon.com just follow this link: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=nina%20soden&sprefix=nina+sod%2Caps&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Anina%20soden
  4. 6 Week Ab Workout – What is the 6 Week Ab Workout? Well, I started it this past Monday so I am on day 4! Basically it is a series of exercises (sit-ups or crunches, flutter-kicks, squats, calf raises, lateral leg lifts, and knee raises) that you do each day. The first week you do 40 every day, the second week you do 55 every day, the third week you do 70 every day, etc. Each week increases by 15 reps until finally during week six you are doing 115 of each of the exercises every day. It is painful… but in the end VERY REWARDING! I did it twice in a row (12 straight weeks) last year (2013)… I would love to be able to say I did it straight through 2014, but I’m not going to get crazy… I’m shooting for 3 times in a row this year. If I could do it twice last year why not shoot for a little more this year?!
  5. Join a gym – Okay so I actually already did this, but I haven’t really used it. So, although I hate the “A New Year – A New Me” attitude I’ve decided to subscribe to it this year. The thing is I think to many people do it for the wrong reason. They do it because they feel like that is what society says they should do. You eat a lot at the holidays… gain a little weight… the new year comes and you feel bad or guilty so you vow to lose all the weight. But, here is the thing – I’m the “Thin Bitch” right? Okay, wait – you might not know that… check out my other blog at http://www.thinbitch.wordpress.com So, I actually weighed myself the other day and I, without knowing it, have finished loosing all the “baby weight” from both of my pregnancies. That’s right… I AM BACK TO MY PRE-PREGNANCY WEIGHT!!! So, I don’t actually want to lose any weight. In fact, if I gained a few pounds (muscle of course) I wouldn’t be upset. So, I’m going to go to the gym – not for society – but for me!!! Not to lose weight but just to tone and feel better about myself and gain a little extra energy. They say a healthy body makes for a healthier person… I want to see if that is true!
  6. Blog a little more – I’m gonna shoot for once a week. Yup… It’s been a while so once a week is going to be hard, but I’m gonna try.

Okay, so there you have it… my 6 New Year’s Resolutions. I’m sure I could think of others I might want to list… but these are my top 6!

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

Rewrites… Week Five In Review

Haven't checked out the Blood Angel series on Facebook yet? Well, you should!

Haven’t checked out the Blood Angel series on Facebook yet? Well, you should! www.facebook.com/BloodAngelSeries

Why is it that when I’m approaching a personal deadline my life gets crazy CRAZY busy?!

Tech week… performances… babysitter cancelling… work deadlines leading to me having to work LATE EVERY NIGHT… stress… StReSs… STRESS!!!

Wow… So I didn’t have much time to do anything this past week, but I did get the book uploaded to the online self-publishing software. Now I just need to make the final edits, error corrections, format adjustments, etc. and then hit send!

Okay, it feels crazy that I am this close to publishing book two. If someone would have asked me two years ago if I believed I would publish a novel I would have said, doubtful! I definitely would never have guessed that I would have two full-length novels published! But man does it feel good.

Okay so here is a recap…

  • Week 1 – Reread the book and all editor’s notes – (YEAH, THAT DIDN”T GO AS PLANNED)
  • Week 2 – Outline changes, rearrange chapters (if needed) based on editor’s notes – (NOT REALLY GOING TO NEED TO OUTLINE CHANGES AND REARRANGE CHAPTERS – I WILL JUST USE THIS WEEK TO FINISH THE REREAD!)
  • Week 3 – Rewrite cover to cover – (YES IT WAS AMBITIOUS, BUT I DID IT AND I AM PROUD OF MYSELF FOR IT. ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING EVERYTHING I HAVE ON MY TO DO LIST RIGHT NOW.)
  • Week 4 – Reread the book for content, timeline, character motivation (YEAH, I KIND OF CHEATED AND TOOK CARE OF THIS DURING WEEK 1. HEE HEE HEE)
  • Week 5 – Reread the book for edits: grammar, spelling, etc. (DONE and THANKFUL FOR IT!)
  • Week 6 – Final changes, format, upload, and publish (VERY EXCITED TO SAY THAT THE BOOK HAS BEEN COMPLETELY UPLOADED AND FINAL ERRORS WILL BE WORKED ON THIS WEEK. I HAD PLANS TO HIT “SEND” AND SUBMIT IT TO THE PUBLISHER BY THURSDAY OF THIS WEEK, BUT THAT ISN”T GOING TO HAPPEN. I AM CROSSING MY FINGERS FOR SUNDAY!)

Yes, it was short but sweet… Next week my update better say “PUBLISHED”. However, I am not going to get down on myself either way… Just going to think positive!

Now, off the subject… Sunday was Mother’s Day and mine was great! My kids and husband got me the prettiest charms for my favorite bracelet and we got to go out to dinner after a day at the theatre. Spending the day on stage with my hubby and being backstage with my kids at the theatre (because the babysitter cancelled) was actually very nice. They were very well-behaved and loved by everyone.

Okay… back to work.

When you get a chance tell me how your writing is coming along. I know I talk a lot about myself here, but I really do care how my readers are doing and what you are all up to. Please share!

Rewrites… Week Four In Review

Haven't checked out the Blood Angel series on Facebook yet? Well, you should!

Click here to check out Blood Angel Series on Facebook!

WEEK FOUR IN REVIEW…

Okay, I just need to get this off my chest for a minute. There are days, most, in which I feel that I am simply writing this blog to amuse myself, which I do by the way. Its like… emptiness out there. I put all this stuff out there into the world, but no one every comments or responds. Is it a waste of time? Should I stop? Hmmm… makes me wonder. I’m not planning to stop though because if for no other reason than to be able to look back and read about my journey, I want the blog.

So, week for has come and gone – how did I do, you ask…

Well, my goal was simple: Reread the book for content, timeline, and character motivation. Yeah, like  I said last week – I already took care of that during week one, so I skipped ahead to my week five goal of: Reread the book for edits: grammar spelling, etc. Well, that is done, and I gotta say I didn’t find to many errors. I found some and glad for it, but honestly the more you read your own writing the less you see wrong with it. I am sure the first person that buys a copy will spot a typo on page one, but like I have said a thousand times, “I am a self-published author. I don’t promise no mistakes, typos, spelling errors, and grammatical issues. All I can promise is that I will put my heart and soul into every thing I write, and I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.”

Okay… Monday started week five, and being ahead of the game – the week six goal: Final changes, format, upload, and publish.

How do I do this? Simple, a plea to my editor for any final edits she has come up with in the weeks since giving me her last comments, then the dreaded process of transforming the book from a plain old word document to an easy to maneuver and well formatted e-book. Actually the process isn’t all the dreaded. With BookTango it is actually very simple. You just upload the document and they it points out all of your formatting errors… Makes you feel kind of stupid for making 100-200 (sometimes more) formatting errors in the first place, but they are easy to fix.

So once again here is the plan:

  • Week 1 – Reread the book and all editor’s notes – (YEAH, THAT DIDN”T GO AS PLANNED)
  • Week 2 – Outline changes, rearrange chapters (if needed) based on editor’s notes – (NOT REALLY GOING TO NEED TO OUTLINE CHANGES AND REARRANGE CHAPTERS – I WILL JUST USE THIS WEEK TO FINISH THE REREAD!)
  • Week 3 – Rewrite cover to cover – (YES IT WAS AMBITIOUS, BUT I DID IT AND I AM PROUD OF MYSELF FOR IT. ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING EVERYTHING I HAVE ON MY TO DO LIST RIGHT NOW.)
  • Week 4 – Reread the book for content, timeline, character motivation (YEAH, I KIND OF CHEATED AND TOOK CARE OF THIS DURING WEEK 1. HEE HEE HEE)
  • Week 5 – Reread the book for edits: grammar, spelling, etc. (DONE and THANKFUL FOR IT!)
  • Week 6 – Final changes, format, upload, and publish (VERY EXCITED TO SAY THAT BY MONDAY OF WEEK SIX THE BOOK WILL BE COMPLETELY UPLOADED AND FINAL ERRORS WILL BE WORKED ON. I PLAN TO HIT SEND TO THE PUBLISHER BY THURSDAY OF WEEK 6! THAT IS THREE DAYS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE!)

Okay, so back to my journey… I hope you are enjoying my journey and partaking in one of your own. If you are… tell me all about it!

Beginnings ~ a Blood Angel novel by Nina Soden Coming soon to e-readers everywhere!

Beginnings ~ a Blood Angel novel by Nina Soden
Coming soon to e-readers everywhere!

Live your life… but indulge in the lives of others through literature.

Rewrites… Week Three In Review

Yes, I know it is Thursday (NOT MONDAY). I get it, I am three days late on my weekly review. Although I am not big on excuses (NOT), let me just throw this out there…

  • 2 kids in school (wake, feed, clean, teeth, school, homework, cuddle, bath, teeth, bed…)
  • 1 full-time job (work, work, work, proposals, contracts, accounting, work, work, work…)
  • 1 amazing husband (love, cherish, respect…)
  • 1 lead role in a theatre production (memorization, memorization, memorization, character development, character development, character development, rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal…)
  • 1 house (clean, vacuum, laundry, dishes, clean, vacuum, laundry, dishes…)

You get the picture right?

So… with that behind me I will say this; my goal for week three was to rewrite the book cover-to-cover!

Do you think I made my goal? YOU BEAT YOUR BUTT CHEEKS I DID!

That’s right, I did it, I rewrote the book cover-to-cover. I took into account all of the notes, edits, comments, and revisions my two editors put into it and I rearranged, deleted, added, and just plain improved my book. At least I think so. 🙂

Seeing as it is Thursday of week 4 I am sure you are probably wondering if I have already started my week 4 goal of rereading the book for content, timeline, and character motivation. The answer would be: yes, yes I did. Actually I kind of cheated. While I was rereading the book and all the editor’s notes in Week 1 I also took notes about timeline, content discrepancies, and character motivation. Yeah, that might have been why week one took a little longer than expected, but hey… I got the job done right?

Having already done that portion – I was able to utilize the notes I had taken during my week three goal while rewriting the book. So, in fact… although it is only week 4 right now I have begun the week 5 goal of rereading the book (AGAIN) for edits such as grammar, spelling, and word substitution (there instead of their, to vs. too, etc.).

AUTHOR DISCLAIMER: The Blood Angel Series are self-published books… I don’t promise that there are no editing errors (grammar, spelling, word substitutions [see above for description]) but I do promise to put my heart and soul into everything I write and to do my best to make my books as entertaining and exciting for my readers as I can. I don’t know if that is enough to make you want to buy my books, but I hope it is, and, if you do… I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing, editing, rewriting, and reading them over and over again.

Okay, so week 4 is almost over what more is there to do in my 6 week plan to go from edits to published?

So once again here is the plan:

  • Week 1 – Reread the book and all editor’s notes – (YEAH, THAT DIDN”T GO AS PLANNED)
  • Week 2 – Outline changes, rearrange chapters (if needed) based on editor’s notes – (NOT REALLY GOING TO NEED TO OUTLINE CHANGES AND REARRANGE CHAPTERS – I WILL JUST USE THIS WEEK TO FINISH THE REREAD!)
  • Week 3 – Rewrite cover to cover – (YES IT WAS AMBITIOUS, BUT I DID IT AND I AM PROUD OF MYSELF FOR IT. ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING EVERYTHING I HAVE ON MY TO DO LIST RIGHT NOW.)
  • Week 4 – Reread the book for content, timeline, character motivation (YEAH, I KIND OF CHEATED AND TOOK CARE OF THIS DURING WEEK 1. HEE HEE HEE)
  • Week 5 – Reread the book for edits: grammar, spelling, etc. (WORKING ON IT NOW… WOO HOO)
  • Week 6 – Final changes, format, upload, and publish

Let me know how your writing goals are going…

Beginnings ~ a Blood Angel novel by Nina Soden Coming soon to e-readers everywhere!

Beginnings ~ a Blood Angel novel by Nina Soden
Coming soon to e-readers everywhere!

Rewrites… Week One In Review

OMG… REWRITE HELL IS WHERE I AM RIGHT NOW!!! Yeah, I’m not really sure that is a thing, but right about now I am looking at my 6-week deadline/goal/challenge to get my book rewrites done and the e-book on the market… HAA HAA HAA! I seriously underestimated the extent to which my life would try to jump in and screw things up!

WORK | FAMILY | THEATRE | PETS | HOUSE WORK | GYMNASTICS | BIRTHDAY PARTIES | COOKING | THE LIST GOES ON….

These are just a few of the things that got in the way of me actually doing what I wanted and needed to do this week!

Okay, so here is my WEEK ONE IN REVIEW UPDATE:

Well, one week down and five to go! No, if you’re wondering, I don’t sound happy about that. Week one did not go at all like I had hoped. You see the task for week one was:

  • Week 1 – Reread the book and all editor’s notes

Did I complete week one’s task? NO! Am I going to give excuses and bitch and moun about why I didn’t complete my task? YOU BEAT I AM!

Well, for starters, work (my real job – and not just the fun pretending like I’m making a living as an author job) was CRAZY busy this week. I actually worked over my regular 8 hour shift EVERY DAY! Yes, and then I had theatre rehearsal Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday… not to mention there was one day when I was so sick/tired that I fell asleep on the couch sometime in the early evening and didn’t really wake up until the next morning (at some point I did wake up enough to talk to my husband, kiss the kids good night, and crawl into bed). Saturday was Up early – Cleaning – 1 Hour of Reading – Cooking Breakfast – Gymnastics – Birthday Party #1 – Cooking and Cleaning – Birthday Party #2 – Home to Bed!

So, over the course of the week I was able to put in a whooping total of 4 hours of reading in! Yup, you read that correctly – 4 HOURS! Did I finish the book? NO, I am an extremely SLOW reader – for pleasure and work! However, if I am honest with myself I am pretty impressed with the fact that I did get through 140 of the 250+ pages. So, I am over half way done, and not only did I read the first 140 pages I also was able to work through many of the editor notes (fixing issues, rewriting sentences, etc.) as I went along. So far there have been no major edits/editorial notes that will lead me to rearranging chapters (THANK YOU GOD!), and therefore I feel confident that moving into week 2 I can continue on the same path I am on now, and still end up right where I need to be for week 3!

Do I want to scream? YES

Why? Because today is the first day of week 2 and I had no time to read – none – nil – nought – zero – zilch – zip – You get the picture right? Yeah, if today is any indication as to how the rest of the week is going to be I just might be pulling my hair out by Sunday. And, trust me… my hair is my best feature – If I lose that, there will be little else to admire. 

So once again here is the plan:

  • Week 1 – Reread the book and all editor’s notes – (YEAH, THAT DIDN”T GO AS PLANNED)
  • Week 2 – Outline changes, rearrange chapters (if needed) based on editor’s notes – (NOT REALLY GOING TO NEED TO OUTLINE CHANGES AND REARRANGE CHAPTERS – I WILL JUST USE THIS WEEK TO FINISH THE REREAD!)
  • Week 3 – Rewrite cover to cover
  • Week 4 – Reread the book for content, timeline, character motivation
  • Week 5 – Reread the book for edits: grammar, spelling, etc.
  • Week 6 – Final changes, format, upload, and publish

So, after week one – are you still ready to take this journey with me? Come on, it will be fun! Check in next Monday to see how wild and crazy week two gets!

Beginnings ~ a Blood Angel novel by Nina Soden Coming soon to e-readers everywhere!

Beginnings ~ a Blood Angel novel by Nina Soden
Coming soon to e-readers everywhere!

🙂

…and the rewrites begin!

Woo Hoo… So, I got the email today, TODAY! The editor has sent back my final edits, and I am not entering the process of the 6-week rewrite! In my last post I set up a rather ambitious 6 week plan to get my book rewritten and published, and I will do my best to finish in that time, without making mistakes that will cause my book to suffer.

So once again here is the plan:

  • Week 1 – Reread the book and all editor’s notes
  • Week 2 – Outline changes, rearrange chapters (if needed) based on editor’s notes
  • Week 3 – Rewrite cover to cover
  • Week 4 – Reread the book for content, timeline, character motivation
  • Week 5 – Reread the book for edits: grammar, spelling, etc.
  • Week 6 – Final changes, format, upload, and publish

Wish me luck… because you probably won’t hear from me to much other than a quick weekly update along the way to keep you posted. I plan to do a Monday morning update at the end of each week… I will share my highs and lows, my tears and my joy… you get it!

Now I’m off….

Beginnings ~ a Blood Angel novel by Nina SodenComing soon to e-readers everywhere!

Beginnings ~ a Blood Angel novel by Nina Soden
Coming soon to e-readers everywhere!

FROM IDEA TO SELF-PUBLISHED NOVEL ~ STEP BY STEP!

Step One (1) – The Idea

Okay, lots of people have ideas… I have about 50 at any given moment, but that doesn’t mean any of them are worth a dime. They might be, but if you don’t get them down on paper (or computer) then how will you ever know? YOU WON’T! That’s my point. So you have an idea? Great – Go home sit down at a desk, table, couch, bed, or just a comfy corner and put your thoughts on paper. I started with just a few disorganized sentences – they turned into what I am proud to call Awaken, the first book in the Blood Angel series I am writing.

What are you waiting for – go try. You’ll never know if you can until you try. Okay, wait don’t go yet… read the rest of this article first. 🙂

Step Two (2) – The Outline

Not everyone writes an outline before jumping into their novel. Is that smart? I really don’t know one way or the other. I can tell you this – I skip this step. I don’t do an outline. When I write my characters just kinda speak to me and tell me where they want the story to go. They lead it – not me.

Okay, that sounds a little crazy – I don’t mean that I actually hear voices or anything… I just… I follow my gut. That’s what I do, I follow my gut.

That doesn’t mean I don’t keep track of where my story is going. Basically I write an outline (Excel is my friend) as I go. I keep track of family trees and chapter details in an excel spreadsheet as I go. That way if I need to move things around I have a quick glance as what has already happened. I can move full chapters or just sections whenever needed.

Step Three (3) – Writing

Like I said – I skip step two or at least do it with step three. WRITING is the key. Don’t focus on getting everything perfect at first. Just focus on getting your thoughts down on paper. Don’t focus on word count – seriously I think there is entirely too much hype about “word count”. How is a 80K word novel any better than a novel with only 69K words? The answer is that it isn’t any better. Honestly, if the book is just full of fluff it isn’t going to be good no matter how many words it has. So, my point – just focus on writing – get all your thoughts out there and then weed through them in the editing process. Trust me a lot hits the editing room floor in the end.

Step Four (4) – Editing

The all hated EDITING process. I can honestly say I have a love hate relationship with the editor of my first book. I hated the day my manuscript arrived in my email completely red-lined and torn to shreds with “constructive” criticism. It took me about two weeks before I was mentally and emotionally able to read through all of her notes without taking them personally. You know what? THAT IS A GOOD THING! Your book is your baby – you should be emotional about it, especially when someone is pulling it apart one page at a time. However, you also have to be able to get past that emotion – step back and realize that this person has an outside eye and that he/she is trying to help you. It won’t be easy, but in the end the editing process is what helps you get your novel to become the best reflection of your “idea” your “dream” your “creation” that it can be. So, find the best editor you can. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg – it can be your husband, your wife, your best friend, even your mom. Just make sure whoever you pick is willing to tell you their true opinion. If they are just going to bullshit you and tell you, “it was great” “I loved it” “I wouldn’t change a thing” then they aren’t the right editor for you. GET SOMEONE ELSE.

Step Five (5) – Rewrites

Yes – rewrites come next. After the editing process you don’t just go back and fix a few small grammatical errors and BOOM you have a book. I wasn’t kidding when I said my manuscript came back from the editor completely red-lined. I will tell you there was literally only 3 or 4 pages that didn’t have notes covering the page. So, editing seriously led to rewrites that changed major story plots within my book. Don’t get scared – if you make it to this step then you have the drive it will take to make it through the rewrites. You’re already fully invested in the project – KEEP GOING!

Step Six (6) – ISBN

I’ve complained about this one already in another blog. When buying your ISBN number for your book keep in mind that you have to get an ISBN number for every format of the book. That means if you are going to have it printed and formated as an e-book then you need two ISBN numbers. In that case – you’ll need to buy the ten pack because its cheaper than just buying two individual ISBN numbers. This is CRAZY – What if all I plan to do is write one book? What do I do with the other ISBN numbers? Its like wasting if I don’t write more… Okay, sure I have two more books planned in the Blood Angel series, and I have a children’s series planned out, and another adult series… okay I’m gonna need more than ten, but that doesn’t mean everyone needs that many. Besides – I don’t need them right now – It’s going to take me years to use them all. Hello, I work full-time, I’m a mom, I’m a wife – I don’t have much time to write.

Step Seven (7) – Format and Cover Design

The cover really does sell the book. So, don’t go cheap here. find someone who designs book covers for a living and pay them to design your book and format the layout. A great book can sit on the book shelf untouched just because the cover isn’t eye catchy enough. In the same token a poorly written book can be gobbled up and sell out just because the sexy guy on the cover draws all the ladies eyes. You know what I mean! Make your cover POP!!!

Step Eight (8) – Self-Publish

Sure, we all want some publisher to hear about us, call our number (who knows how they get it – but they do), and tell us we are the next big thing and they have a million dollar contract for us to sign. What are the chances of that happening? NOT LIKELY. Okay, sure it happens, but for it to happen to someone who hasn’t published anything yet, or proven they have a fan base already – it just isn’t likely. So, stop waiting for that call and DO IT YOURSELF! If you want to be published, if that is one of your life’s dreams – then make it happen. There are literally tuns of self-publishing vehicles online these days. Find one that works for you and just do it. If your writing for the fame and money then you’re really not writing for the right reasons. If you’re writing for the love of your story then you’ll find a way to get yourself published! Good luck.

Step Nine (9) – Marketing and Promotion

Yeah, I got nothing! No, seriously I have no clue how to do the marketing and promotion for my book. I am still on Step 7 – Formating and Cover Design. That doesn’t mean I haven’t already started Step 8 because I have. I am researching all the self-publishing sites to figure out which one is best for me. And, I have even done the basics for Step 9 – you know contacted all my friends and family to give them a heads up about the book coming out. Other than that – I am using my blog, Facebook, and twitter accounts to publicize my soon to be released novel Awaken a Blood Angel novel.

So, do you know how to market and promote a new release e-book – from an unknown author? If you have suggestions please leave a comment and share them. There are lots of great authors out there that just aren’t getting read because they don’t know how to get seen. Please share, not just for me, but for all of them.

Have a creative day 🙂