Volume One, The Yellow Ribbon Chronicles
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TRUE OR FALSE: Just place your fingers on the keyboard and start typing. It’ll come.
POD has revolutionized publishing. POD stands for Print On Demand. It is no longer necessary to print hundreds of books just to get a single copy. Now, when a reader orders a book, a book is printed and sent to them. Warehouses are a thing of the past.
Staring at a blank screen and typing Chapter One will not get you off to a good start. You must have an idea of what your book is about. From that seed, you must develop the story by enhancing it from the initial idea into a woven tapestry that includes the characters, their interactions and relationships, the tension involved, and the resolution to make an incredible picture when it’s finished. You must take readers on an emotional journey of connection from beginning to end.
Save yourself six months worth of work with these resources.
(Some of the items below are purchases through Amazon and I will get a tiny commission, but it comes at no additional cost to you.)
The Snowflake method to structuring your story provides much needed guidance for first-time wannabe authors that need a skeleton on which to flesh out their ideas into a living, breathing entity to be proud of. I had the privilege of meeting and talking with Randy and he’s an amazing resource.
Whether you go traditional or Indie, Scrivener is the backbone for the vast majority of authors out there. It provides everything you need to organize, research and write a novel. This program keeps all your materials, ideas, outlines, and text in one place. It will boost your creativity and productivity.
There can be a steep learning curve with Scrivener, so of course the wonderful folks who brought us the Dummies books have created one just for this program. Click on the picture for more information.
If you would like to dabble in the Traditional Publishing world, this is your Bible. It is a comprehensive guide to query letters, agents, and publishing houses in ALL genres. There is an entire chapter devoted to Contracts 101. Contact information and requirements for agents, magazines, and publishing houses fill the back half of the book.
Every author should strive to become better than they were before. Here are fabulous tools to accomplish that goal.
My copy of this book is so dog-eared it’s ridiculous. The authors do an amazing job providing new and better ways to tell a story by showing a scene rather than telling a scene. Not sure what the difference is? Get this book and find out.
One of the authors actually got arrested as research for this book – they wanted to know how the handcuffs felt and what it was really like to be in the back of a squad car. That is what I call dedication. It’s a fantastic book. The arrest experience paid off.
This is an area where I, and most authors, recommend you spend some money on quality. When you are browsing books on Amazon (that’s where most people shop on-line, by the way), what makes you choose one book over another? What makes you stop scrolling and look deeper at a book? It’s all about the cover and the title. If you don’t choose a good cover for your genre and the title isn’t intriguing, nobody will care that you’re the most brilliant writer in the world.
On genre covers – the feel of your cover needs to convey the proper message about the content of the book. Don’t choose a bubblegum pink background with a labradoodle puppy if your book is a hard core serial killer thriller. Conversely, if your cover and title are brilliant, but your book is full of grammatical errors, plot holes, and boring characters, you will not have repeat customers and the reviews will make you cry.
Fictionary is an online self-editing tool that allows you to identify and correct characters, plots, and settings. It was created by authors for authors. It doesn’t replace a live person, but can greatly reduce the editing required for manuscript completion. They offer a 30 day free trial, so why not check it out? After that, it’s only $10 a month.
Book designer recommendations:
Paper and Sage created my book covers for The Yellow Ribbon Chronicles. I found the services to be professional, prompt, and the communication clear. The covers turned out exactly as I envisioned them to be.
Go On Write is a design service that I am considering for upcoming works. They have come highly recommended to me by other authors I collaborate with and respect.
For more options, research the top-selling books in your genre to determine not only the look and feel you should aim for, but who the cover designers are. There’s a treasure trove to be found in researching.
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