Multi-Author Boxed Sets

Here’s an idea I am going to propose to a group of my author friends. It is a variation on what I recently blogged about creating boxed sets: Have each author submit one of their recent books to be included into a multi-author boxed set.

This marketing idea speaks to the recent trend in which authors put their individual works into boxed sets. However, those who may not have enough books for a boxed set of their own, may discover commonalities between their writings and that of other authors. 

They might be writing in the same genre or on the same subject. For instance, all of the books in the proposed boxed set might be of a broad group, say, FANTASY. Or, the grouping might be narrowed to just stories about Grizzly Bears. I suppose you could even group them by “firsts” (the first books by new authors). You may be even more creative in finding complementary aspects of each book.

You will need to write “back cover” copy for the set, and perhaps give it a TITLE, but I was told that KDP support staff will actually help you through the process of getting them into the set. 

It could be just that simple. And, you might find your book garnering increased sales.

That means more of your books in the hands of readers!

Which Voice Should I Listen To?

Will people like it? Is it a “page turner”? Are the characters believable?

My mother would answer “People will love it. I could hardly put it down!”  I could ask any number of family members and they’d answer the same.  Families.

If I’d pose the same question to my friends, maybe for a few who read A LOT would make comments about point-of-view, unique voice, and so on.

However, when my critique group is asked for their honest opinions, I will get suggestions for improvement. They may point out issues with spelling, grammar, syntax, and verb tense. 

If I enter a writing contest, based on reading my synopsis and 10-15 pages, judges will use a rubric to assess such things as a good “hook”, marketability, professional impact, and pacing. They may even respond by asking to see the entire manuscript.

From those comments—some from very prejudiced persons—I base my decision as to whether or not my book is ready to send to an editor, a publisher, or whether it is in need of extensive revision. 

Three groups of people, each with a unique connection to this writer, each with a different focus, each possessing varying degrees of expertise.

So, which group, if any, should my professional-writing self listen to? The one with the most expertise? The group of avid readers? Professional judges?

And should I act on their advice? Base my future actions on what they have to say?

How much weight do I give their comments over my inner voice—the one that desires to move forward and get my novel published?

Lots of opinions. Lots of questions. I’m not sure I have the answers—yet.

So, I make a decision to read yet another “how to” book, attend just one more professional conference, sign up for an additional writing course.  

Then, with added confidence, I  decide to trust

the voice inside my head, 

my gut, 

my common sense, 

what I know to be true.

Style in Your Stocking

I was shocked to find a few glaring grammatical errors in a book I was reading this week.

This was not written by an inexperience author, either.

Which brings me to the point of this post:

Errors in spelling and grammar distract and annoy readers. Before publishing, authors need to read through their own manuscripts at least a half-dozen times, submit to Beta Readers, and then on to their editors.

Once that process is finished, and the final copy comes back, it’s wise to do a final read-thru because the process of formatting can itself produce errors that weren’t previously there.

The mistakes I found in the book I was reading were grammatical:  there (a location) interchanged with their (possessive); and your (possesive) was used instead of you’re (you are).

Want an easy and quick way to make sure you are using the correct words?

For decades now, authors have been referring to a small book, named The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. I got my copy years ago. It was the Fourth Edition, printed in the year 2000. This book has been around so long that I was able to pick mine up at our local Goodwill Store.

In it, I found the answer to the correct usage of the word myriad. This is one of the most misused words in the writer’s toolbox. (Many writers insert the word of following myriad (myriad of). This is not correct, although to my human ear I must admit it does sound right…

If you question any wording at all, it’s best to refer to this book, or any number of similar ones. 

Put it on your Christmas list.

Reach for the Moon

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From the dreaming to the writing to the publishing and marketing, there is far more to getting your book ready for the consumer than you probably ever imagined.

Think back to the day when the desire to write was born within you.

Now, remember the books you’ve read, the conferences you’ve attended, the podcasts you have watched, the associations you have joined.

Consider the people you have met along the way and their influence on you, the bookstores and libraries you have visited as your dream took shape.

The average reader probably has no idea how many hours you have spent writing, how many nights you stayed up late, how many early mornings you drug yourself out of bed to write while your family remained snug in their beds.

Someone once said that the harder you work for something, the sweeter the reward. 

That person must have been a writer.

The reward isn’t always monetary. Sometimes it is simply in a job well done… a knowing that you persevered… that you saw the task through to THE END.

Sometimes it’s a particularly meaningful review. Perhaps it’s a note of thanks from someone letting you know how your words impacted their life.

Don’t give up.

Keep on Truckin’.

Hang in There.

Because one day you’ll be doing that Happy Dance.

It will have all been worth it.

I’m Thankful For YOU

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How can I turn a writing blog into an occasion for Thanksgiving?

The most obvious way is to write something about giving Thanks—related to writing.

I have several things/people to be thankful for this year:

  1. I am thankful for authors/writers who share what they know. I learn either from individuals, speakers, books, podcasts, blogs–any way I can.
  1. I am thankful for my readers, and my critique group whose kind comments encourage me to keep writing.
  1. I am thankful for those who pray for my writing.
  1. Foremost, I thank God for increasing my desire to write, my talent, and His leading as I write. Every day, I am aware of His awesomeness in allowing me to pour out His love and provision to others through the written word.

Thank YOU for reading week after week, sending in your comments, and following this blog. I want to write about what you’d like to know, so please send me requests at any time. I can almost guarantee you that I will need to do a little research to provide what you need—but I love it–because I enjoy learning “write” along with you!