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Writing-life

Using Scribd.com to Publicize Your Book

Today I want to talk about a great new way to publicize your work online, one that's working very well for authors Kemble Scott, Hyla Molander, and today's guest Ransom Stephens: uploading your ebook to Scribd.com. Here, lots of readers can discover your work, "read-share" it via Facebook and generally help you get the word out.

Ransom Stephens uploaded his book The God Patent to Scribd in May 2009 and since then he's seen the book rack up over 19,000 reads and 80+ great reviews. This was enough for the book to get picked up and published by Numina Press (Vox Novus) last December. Billed as "The Scribd eBook Sensation," you can read The God Patent for FREE here.  

Looking ahead to publicizing YOUNG JUNIUS next month around its release from Tyrus Books, I caught up with Ransom to ask a few questions about how I can use Scribd to help: [more after the break]

I am BACK!

Strictly Business AttireStrictly Business AttireYes, I'm back from a wonderful trip abroad to Tanzania! It was awesome!

What am I up to now? Working on Young Junius and Jack Palms II, of course!

And more...

Stay tuned for further info and trip re-cap coming soon.

Creating an Online Preorder Event: Tips & Strategies!! - Part II

Good News for Writers! (and 5 Tips on how to Capitalize on It!)

Right now there are more ways than ever to publish, distribute and evangelize your work—without spending a lot of money. Though the direction big publishing will take remains unclear, because we writers are small and nimble, we can act on as many strategies as we have time for.

Want to create a blog but don’t know what to post on it? Your best bet is to post your fiction or non-fiction—that manuscript you’ve been working hard on. You’re better off showing your work to an online audience of potential readers than struggling to get it in front of a few harried agents.

1) Post your book in installments so readers can digest it in small bites. That way you’ll also have content to spread out over a long period. It will take time for interest to build about what you’re doing, but build it will. Trust me.

Personally, I’ve used podcasting—turning my work into free audio files (MP3s)—that I distribute via my blog, iTunes and Podiobooks.com to get my novels out and build an audience. And it’s worked! My interaction with fans has buoyed my spirits, helped me write more, and landed me deals with major and independent publishers. (For more on podcasting, see my June WD Webinar “How to Podcast Your Fiction.”)

2) You might actually be better off with an independent publisher than a big guy.

Writing Workshop - The Gripping Read - "Dave's House"

Greetings! This post is intended for my classmates in the Stanford Writing Workshop - "The Gripping Read" from fall 2009, but anybody is welcome to read and chime in. I posted a portion of my story "Dave's House" as one of our class exercises and I have now revised the story and posted it as a #fridayflash on my blog. I've attached a PDF of the story and I welcome all comments and constructive criticism. Also, please check out my blog at http://www.inspiredbyreallife.com where you'll find a new story each week. Thanks to Seth for inviting me to post my story here.

Essentail Art Class Forum for Students

Please post any and all continued conversation that you'd like to engage one another with in this forum. It should work effectively like the forums in our Blackboard class: you can create new threads for various topics and post an attachment to your new thread post--so you can attach new writing pieces and get feedback. Have at it! It's your world. Seth

10-Min Free Video Lesson on Revision

Hey folks, here's a short video taken from my online class where I talk about the revision process I'm currently using on YOUNG JUNIUS and JACK PALMS 2: This Is Life. Here I take you into the lab, talk about how I'm doing the work and show you the dirty behind the actual writing process. You KNOW this is going to make YOUNG JUNIUS a better book. I hope you're as excited as I am for the awesomeness of the upcoming Cinco de Harwood pre-sale event! More info on that coming VERY SOON!

And if you want to grab the Stephen Koch chapter "Working and Reworking" that I mention, it's here.

If I tell you how I’m feeling...

I’m in the middle of a big revision on my second Jack Palms novel, This Is Life.  I’m at a point where I can see the end of the revision and the trees all around me. Yet I have no idea if what I’m working on is junk or good. My instincts point toward junk, but that seems more about me than about the book. The one thing I know now is that my instincts and current confused feelings about what the book looks like as a whole (particularly in terms of quality) are not to be trusted.

That’s the truth. I’m in a place where I’ve lost the forest for the trees, which I’m constantly pruning, and I cannot see the whole. Sure, I have specific doubts that might need addressing later on, but that seems normal. What can I do? Continue on in the manner that I have been. No other options. Besides, Young Junius, my next novel-to-be-revised, awaits.

Did I mention that the pre-sale date for the YJ special edition is now Cinco de Harwood--May 5th 2010?? It is.

PS: if you're in the Bay Area, I'll be spreaking at the California Writers Club on Sunday Feb, 21 at 2:00 at the Oakland Public Library. Flyer Attached. Hope to see you there!

Hot Tub Cast™ 11: Kindle Rush, Contest and Happy New Year!

Call In Line 206-350-4998Call In Line 206-350-4998Click here to Listen!

I'm back in the Hot Tub today waxing nostalgic about the fact that the decade is ending and that Y2K was ten years ago. I talk about the A Long Way from Disney Kindle rush that went on this week, some of the milestones it reached and my holidays. I also unveil a new Kindle Promo: The Contest!

The Contest works like this:There are two giveaways--on Wednesday 1/9 and Weds 1/16.

Each week there will be two winners, who'll have the choice of three prizes:

1) signed Breakneck Books copy of JWU—the first printing! A collector’s item.

2) Original marked manuscript pages of JP2 or a short story by me.

Or 3) A consult on a short story or chapter of a novel you’re writing/working on.

To play: blog about the Disney Kindle release and chart rush to help spread the word. If you don’t have a blog, the equivalent of a blog post is deemed adding the info as a facebook or twitter status update for two days out of a given week. Be sure to put this link to Amazon into your post.

Doable? I think so! Fun? Yes!!

Happy Holidays and Kindle Rush in ONE WEEK!

Complete audio and Merriest of Holiday Wishes!

More info on the release is here!

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Super Kwanza, and let's have a dynamite New Year's Eve! In the process can right now is a Kindle experiment with A Long Way from Disney. Here's what it is:

Publishing Experiment 1: If we know anything for sure about publishing right now, it’s that it is changing. Authors, I believe, must become the scientists running experiments with new technology, new publicity strategies, marketing, you name it. There’s just too much money involved for the big (and some small) presses to carry out the kind of testing and idea-trying that needs to be done. That leaves us independent authors to try things out on our own.

Winter Online Class! Enroll now!

stanstanRegistration is now open for my Winter term (1/11-3/19) online creative writing class. You can get more info and register here now.

The Essential Art: Making Movies in Your Reader's Mind

Fiction and nonfiction are at their best when the sense of reading falls away, when we find ourselves immersed in the book’s action, as if we were watching a movie, our heart tied to the narrator’s struggle, swooning with vertigo from the top of a tall building or wincing from a cutting remark. Such writing seems effortless, but is in fact a learnable—and essential— skill. Such will be our focus: to find the balance of description, imagery, and exciting prose that not only pulls in readers, but also forces them to co-create the story, interacting and engaging with the text.

As we develop these skills, we will also spend a few weeks focusing on the publishing landscape and the business side of getting published. Using a few simple tools and easy-to-follow steps (including how to create a recording of yourself reading your work), students will work on growing their online author presence and attracting readers.

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