Five Tips for Success as a Self-Published Author (and giveaway!) by Susan Kaye Quinn

Five Tips for Success as a Self-Published Authorby Susan Kaye QuinnCan you spot the self-published titles?Hint: they all are.(Caveat: A.G. Riddle started out indie but is now published through Amazon's 47North imprint along with Marko Kloos)The truth is that self-published titles now regularly top the charts - if not outright dominate them. Successful self-published titles have great covers and lots of fervent fans - often the only way to distinguish them from traditionally published titles is the publisher listing in the description (and the price - indie titles are usually less than $5.99 for single titles).How do you become one of these successful indie authors? Hard work, luck, and educating yourself about how the indie marketplace works.Here are FIVE TIPS to get you started. For a full run-down on how to launch your indie author career, see my Indie Author Survival Guide (Second Edition now available). To take your indie author career to the next level, pre-order my For Love...
Read More

Tips for Editing Your Manuscript from a Real-Life Editor, Part 11

Welcome back to our (ir)regularly scheduled programming! As always, the links to the other parts in this series are at the bottom of the page.This is Part 11: Sit on it.No, I don't mean that in a weird rude way. We, as authors/writers/whatever you want to call yourself, are generally too close to our own writing to get any perspective.  You know how when you read a book (doesn't matter what kind) and can pick out errors? That's because you're a set of fresh eyes on it. And with our own manuscripts, there comes a time when you're literally unable to continue editing it because you're too close to the story, characters, and everything else.  At this stage, it's extremely frustrating--and bad for your manuscript--to keep going. Trust me on this. So, in order to get something close to a fresh set of eyes when you're the only one around to edit your manuscript, or before you send it to an editor you've hired,...
Read More

Tips for Editing Your Manuscript from a Real-Life Editor, Part 10

Things were getting out of hand with listing the links at the top of each post for the previous posts, so I've moved them to the bottom. Don't worry, they're still there.When I started this, I never thought I'd reach this many posts on tips for self-editing, but here's Part 10: Editing and Writing Reference BooksThis was a logical progression. After all, I use editing references when I'm editing and when I'm writing, and I thought that since there are so many out there that you guys would appreciate a look at what I use.Is this the be-all-end-all of writing/editing guides? Hardly. I find new ones occasionally, but these are the books I keep going back to. And if you have suggestions or have a favorite one you use, I'd love to hear about it! Post in the comments to share with everyone.Here I've picked my five favorites, and I'll nutshell them for you in terms of what I like...
Read More

Tips for Editing Your Manuscript from a Real-Life Editor, Part 9.5

Part 1: Look it up!Part 2:  Read it out loud.Part 3:  Have someone who knows what they're doing read it.Part 4:  Consistency, consistency, consistency!Part 5:  Dialogue tag...you're NOT it!Part 6: Pick the right word to say what you mean.Part 7: Adverbs--Kill it with fire!Part 8: Editors Aren't PerfectI had quite a few that I thought would be helpful, so here's the second half of Part 9: FSEs (Frequently Seen Errors)Men who sound like womenAs a woman who frequently writes male perspectives, it's a (fun) challenge to get in their heads and write from their point of view. But we've collectively read so many stories where the male characters are basically women with penises. So, if you're writing a man, try very hard to see things from their perspectives. How do they think? A man who is describing a woman's clothing would notice different things than a woman would--is the dress tight, pink, and short? He's not going to notice that...
Read More

Tips for Editing Your Manuscript from a Real-Life Editor, Part 9

Part 1: Look it up!Part 2:  Read it out loud.Part 3:  Have someone who knows what they're doing read it.Part 4:  Consistency, consistency, consistency!Part 5:  Dialogue tag...you're NOT it!Part 6: Pick the right word to say what you mean.Part 7: Adverbs--Kill it with fire!Part 8: Editors Aren't PerfectHere's Part 9: FSEs (Frequently Seen Errors)I was chatting with some friends in the freelance editing world recently, and the subject of common mistakes we see over and over in our various projects came up. Basically, these were frequently seen errors (I'll call them FSEs because I like to throw an acronym in now and then) that we saw in manuscripts--grammar, spelling, punctuation, plot, pacing, phrasing, you name it. We've all been doing this a while, so we notice trends.And I thought that since this is a series on how to self-edit, it could maybe do some good in helping folks see if they're doing any of these things that drive editors crazy.  Because a...
Read More

Tips for Editing Your Manuscript from a Real-Life Editor, Part 8

Part 1: Look it up!Part 2:  Read it out loud.Part 3:  Have someone who knows what they're doing read it.Part 4:  Consistency, consistency, consistency!Part 5:  Dialogue tag...you're NOT it!Part 6: Pick the right word to say what you mean.Part 7: Adverbs--Kill it with fire!Welcome to Part 8: Editors Aren't Perfect.I'm often asked whether anything trips me up as an editor. And the answer is, unequivocally, YES. There are just some things that, even after repeated hammerings-in, just don't make it into my thick scull.I'm not afraid to admit that I don't know everything related to writing, but that's why I own copies of several different editing and/or style guides.But what stumps me? What's bookmarked and dog-eared in my editing reference books?I'll tell you.Keep in mind that these are just a few things, and, for the sake of brevity, I'm not going to go into detail on the correct meanings or usage of them--feel free to look those up, though I might...
Read More

New Newsletter! Woot!

I've been taking a class on how to self-publish on a shoestring by the amazing Magda Alexander for the past month, and one thing that was discussed was having a mailing list or newsletter.  Readers can sign up to get it, so you can update them on whatever's going on--a new release, contest, etc. So, if you want updates on my writing, publishing, contest and giveaway news, either sign up in the side-bar on the right, or click the link here and sign up.  I'd really appreciate it! xoxo Sarah...
Read More

Tips for Editing Your Manuscript from a Real-Life Editor, Part 7

Part 1: Look it up!Part 2:  Read it out loud.Part 3:  Have someone who knows what they're doing read it.Part 4:  Consistency, consistency, consistency!Part 5:  Dialogue tag...you're NOT it!Part 6: Pick the right word to say what you mean.This is part 7: Adverbs--Kill it with fire! Or, as Stephen King says in On Writing: "The road to hell is paved with adverbs."Apply adverbs here...That might sound like a little extreme, but trust me, adverbs are not your friend. What's an adverb? It's basically the equivalent of what an adjective is to a noun, but it's a word that describes or modifies another adverb, adjective or, most commonly, a verb--how something is done. Often--but not always--they end in "ly".He walked slowly.  How did he walk? Slowly.She talked quietly.  How did she talk? Quietly.You get the idea.So what's the problem with adverbs? Description is good, right? And I'm always on everyone about showing, not telling (*maniacal laughter* You just wait...there'll be an entry...
Read More

Interview Time with Jennyfer Browne!

Since apparently I'm on a mission to have as many lovely ladies--and creative versions of "Jennifer"--as possible on my blog, here's another one.  Jennyfer Browne is the author in a genre not many are aware of--Amish romance.  But she doesn't play by the rules, and writes it how she wants...and it's good. See for yourself.Tell everyone about yourself and how you got started in writing!I’ve always had my head in the clouds, thinking up stories to entertain myself. My best friend and I used to play Star Wars- which can probably be considered live action fan fiction- she always got Han *SAD FACE*. I started writing early, first poetry, and then epic fantasy of a teenager soaking up Tolkien and Terry Brooks. And always with a strong, though often suffering heroine.  What are your favorite and least favorite parts about being a writer? My favorite parts are being able to share something from the heart with those that enjoy it (...
Read More

Interview Time with Susan Kaye Quinn!

Whoa, my friends are popping out books all over the place, and my friend Susan Kaye Quinn is a writing machine.  And if you read middle-grade books, have a middle-grade reader, or love books that are a little different, she's one you want to check out.  Onward!Hi, Susan!  I'd like to start with the most important question--I know we both share the love of a good cup of tea. What's your favorite? My current is Irish Breakfast, although I just came off a wicked bender of all forms of Chai (without milk – heresy, I know.)Tell everyone about yourself and how you started writing...I smile every time I hear how you began. I’m an ex-rocket scientist and mom of three, who started writing fiction (seriously) about five years ago… and never looked back.It's so cool that you're an actual rocket scientist!  And what are your favorite and least favorite parts about being a writer? Favorite—creating something entirely new out of thin air....
Read More