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Write a Book


Advantages to Traditional Publishing

bookshelf

When I first thought about writing a book, I thought the same way that so many other would be authors thought. I imagined getting huge advance and being given the royal treatment when I went into New York City to meet my publisher. I imagined a limousine picking me up at the airport and driving me to an amazing suite where I would stay a week while I hit the circuit of going from television station to radio stations, to other interviews, having my own makeup artist and hairstylist, going shopping in the Fashion District and even seeing a Broadway show while I was there.
After my visit, the publishing company would distribute my book and put it in the front of the store in every major book seller in the country. I would be given a number of copies of my books that I could share with my family and friends, and I would “live the dream”.
Nice dream. Reality was far different. I learned later that advances were seldom given to new authors (although I have met one).

Disadvantages to Traditional Publishing

The first thing that I learned was that when an author signs a contract with a traditional publisher, the contract always benefits the publisher at the expense of the author. The contracts are written in legalese so if the author doesn’t have a lawyer to look over the contract, the author might have to do things that they didn’t realize was not to their benefit. I heard of one author’s contract where she had to pay the expenses for attending book signings in distant cities. She was paid a set amount per book, but the number of books that she was able to sell was not enough to pay for her expenses. I had another friend had to buy copies of his own books so that he could sell them at live events. He made more money selling at the live events than anything that the publisher did for him. In addition, the publisher wouldn’t allow him to sell his books in digital format at all. Both had sold their rights to their publisher so they had no recourse. I have heard of other authors who had sold all their rights to publishers. The author has to make changes in manuscripts, might have to use a title and cover design of the publisher’s choosing. The author might not have any say at all.
I also learned was that the traditional publishing process takes about two years before you ever get your book on the shelves. Afterwards, if you were one of the lucky few who were able to get an advance, you won’t get paid until you sell enough books to pay your advance.

Self-Publishing

While I was learning all about traditional publishing, I started looking into self-publishing. The differences were enlightening. There was no promise of any advance. Before I was ever able to sell a book, I would have to put out money for editing, formatting, and cover design.
Of course, there are other problems with self-publishing. There’s a huge learning curve and expense to self-publishing that doesn’t exist with traditional publishing. I would have to take charge of marketing and book distribution. Getting into major bookstores would be difficult and advertising would be on my own dime as well.
I found however that self-publishing has its advantages. As a self-publisher, I own my own work. I have complete control over the content of my book, editing, formatting and cover design. I have complete control over the creative process. I can decide how I market my books, both on-line and off-line. I can handle my own distribution by working directly with independent book stores. I can determine whether I want to go on a book signing or attend a specific event. I can decide what public relations I want to be a part.
As a self-publisher, I can set my prices and can earn 70 percent or more of the cost of the books that I wrote and designed. As a self-publisher, I am a creative and an entrepreneur.


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So, what is guest blogging? I’m glad you asked. Guest blogging is simply writing a blog that is posted on another blogger’s blog that offers another person’s view that the host blogger invites to the blog. According to experts, guest blogging is five times more effective for gaining audiences than posting new content on your own blog. 

Guest Blogging Builds Relationships

Since blogging adds content for the guest blogger, you’re helping that person get additional content. Guest blogging not only builds relationship with you and your host blogger, but it also builds relationship with your host blogger’s audience. In addition, you’re improving your relationship with Google search engines. Simply by including links from the host blogger’s site to your site and back, you’re building quality links to quality content, the search engines will love you and reward you with more opportunity for views.

 

If you want to increase your audience and potentially your book sales, guest blogging is a win for you and for the person to whom you share your post. Guest posting will allow more exposure for your writing and your blog. By sharing your thoughts with another author’s audience, these readers may their way to your blog and you’ll have other people liking and promoting your work. You have something to share that no one else can, so you might as well spread it around.

 

How to Get Started Guest Blogging

 

To gain more of an audience, search for blogs that write in your niche and then read that blog and get to know the author of that blog.  Your style may fit into what this blog’s audience wants and needs. As a guest blogger, you will want to be sure that you are a good fit, which is why reading their posts would be a good fit. Does this author think like you do? You wouldn’t want to waste your time on a blog in which your views are not aligned to some degree with those of the blog host.

 

In addition, be sure that you have a link from the host writer’s blog back to your own.

 

You Should Also Allow Guest Posts on Your Blog

 

You should allow guests on your blog for the same reason you should guest on other blogs. You’re paying it forward by allowing some people to have the spotlight. You’re helping to promote them and, in turn, they’re promoting you too. Readers from their blog are going to come over to your blog to check out what their favorite writer wrote.

 

This is a way that you can give your audience a slightly different viewpoint. This guest has a slightly different view of your niche than you do, so it gives your audience a change of pace and a different way of thinking as well as getting to know another author in your genre. 

Want to Guest Blog?

I am currently looking for other bloggers, especially bloggers who have recently published a book to either be a guest blogger or allow me to guest blog on their blog.

 

When I guest post for someone else, I will be linking the post from my blog, promote it several times on twitter, share it on Facebook, thank you for allowing me to blog on your site, and I will answer any comments on the post.

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If you guest post on my blog, I will ask you to do the same.

 

If you have a blog and would like more exposure to your blog, please contact me at cygnetbrown@gmail.com and let me know which type of blogging exchange you would prefer.

 


 

Imacon Color Scanner

Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812

 

This month we have gone over how I will be developing plot, primary characters, and secondary characters of the yet unnamed novel that I will be writing this November for NaNoWriMo in November. Now we are going to discuss the other main aspect of a book and that is setting.

What I know About the Place and Time

In a screen play, the setting and time are separated, but in my novels, I combine the time with the setting. In my yet unnamed book, I know my setting and that is Erie County, Pennsylvania in 1812 through 1815. I grew up in that county, so I know the terrain. The difference, of course, would be how man has changed certain aspects of the area and how people did things differently back then. The trees were old growth trees, some so big that it took two men to put their arms around them. The house I grew up in had been built around 1860 from old growth timber. The sawn lumber produced wide boards and you could see the two-man saw marks on many of the marks the handsaw made in at lumber. The stairs going up to the second story was and is still held together with square-headed blacksmith nails. It is not hard to imagine going back a few years further and imagining before when the houses were log cabins built using the same two-man saws and wooden pins holding puncheon logs together.
At the time, the growing villages of Erie and Waterford were starting to develop into sizable communities. Some of the homes in the area were already built as stick rather than log houses. It is a little-known fact that in Erie at the time, street lamps were already using natural gas to light up the muddy village streets.
A ship yard had been developed in early. During the War of 1812, President James Madison ordered the construction of a naval fleet at Erie to regain control of Lake Erie. Shipbuilders Daniel Dobbins of Erie and Noah Brown of New York led construction of four schooner-rigged gunboats and two brigs. Oliver Hazard Perry arrived from Rhode Island to command the squadron. His fleet successfully fought the British in the historic Battle of Lake Erie, which was the decisive victory that solidified United States control of the Great Lakes.

In addition, wild animals still prowled the area. Families worked hard and the fear of Indian attack was still a possibility.

The Back-drop for Character Activity

These pictures of life in this part of the Great Lakes Region give a back drop for the characters and events that I develop in this book that I plan to write in November. In the meantime, I have two other books to develop and ready for publishing as well as eleven other books to promote. I will let you know more about this book after I finish the first draft in November.

Read the Locket Saga

The Locket Saga 5 books

Have you read the books of the Locket Saga? In the first book: When God Turned His Head, Kanter starts the tradition by giving the locket to Drusilla. From that time on, the Locket was passed down from bride to bride. Join the Tradition, read the books of The Locket Saga and discover what all the fuss is about.
Available on Kindle https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007SM23IK
Available in Print http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cygnetbrown

More from Cygnet Brown

Also read my guest blog post on Pam Young’s Blog

The Journey of a Self-Publisher is Paved with Good Intentions (5)

https://skatingthru2012.com/2018/05/27/i-could-find-ways-to-make-things-happen-on-my-own/

 

 


The Plight of the Unnamed Crew Member

galaxy quest

The Crew of Galaxy Quest with the unnamed crew member on the far right back of picture

Last week we discussed the main characters which include the protagonist, antagonist, and the love interest (Haven’t Read it? Here’s the Link) In addition to a protagonist, antagonist, and love interest, there are other characters in the story and these are called secondary characters. What you don’t want for secondary characters is what I call the “unnamed crew member” in other words, you don’t want too many of those people who are only there to serve the protagonist and antagonist. If you’ve ever seen Galaxy Quest, you’ll probably remember the plight of the unnamed crewmember is vaporized at the beginning of the episode to indicate that the idyllic planet that they were on was not so idyllic.

Secondary Characters are Not Just Props for the Main Characters

It is too easy to use secondary characters as simple props for the main characters. You wouldn’t want someone using you for their own gains, and I don’t think that secondary characters like being used that way either. Therefore, just as you develop the protagonist, antagonist, and love interests, you want to develop their sidekicks as well.
So how do you do that? To develop secondary characters, I create character sketches and work to get inside of their heads.

How to Develop a Character Sketch

A character sketch is a document that tells the physical, emotional, mental and social aspects of a character. It takes you from telling about the character and actually getting inside of his head.

What goes into a secondary character’s sketch? To create a character sketch, you want to have a number of things that you know about this character. First, you want to know a little about this person’s physical appearance, but you want go a little deeper than what color hair, how tall, and the color of their eyes. Does this person have any scars? How did he or she get it? Was the protagonist or antagonist there when it happened? Do they have any other physical defining characteristics? Did he or she have an illness as a child or older that caused other physical defects, limps or whatever? Does this person have any bad habits like smoking or drinking too much? How does this person relate to the protagonist and antagonist? If the protagonist is controlling, how does the sidekick relate? Does he feel intimidated? Does he resent the main character’s control over him? What is his or her history with the protagonist/antagonist/love interest? Have they always known one another or how did they meet? What kinds of things did they do together in the past? The more well-rounded you can get your secondary characters, the more well-rounded your story will become.

Read the Locket Saga

The Locket Saga 5 books

 

Have you read the books of the Locket Saga? In the first book: When God Turned His Head, Kanter starts the tradition by giving the locket to Drusilla. From that time on, the Locket was passed down from bride to bride. Join the Tradition, read the books of The Locket Saga and discover what all the fuss is about.

(Have you read Book III of the Locket Saga: A Coward’s Solace? If not, a copy May 22-28, 2018 at a discount.)

Available on Kindle https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007SM23IK
Available in Print http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cygnetbrown


prince madoc

Every story has its main characters. The protagonist is the good guy and the antagonist is the bad guy. In a romance novel there is also the love interest.

The Protagonist

I think the protagonist will be Joseph McCray, Elizabeth and Phillip’s youngest son. He is very much like his brothers and sisters. He is like his mother in that he likes adventure, so he goes with his Cousin Jonathan Mayford to Erie to work at the shipyard building the Great Lakes Fleet.

The Antagonist

If you haven’t noticed, most of The Locket Saga series does not have a lot of antagonists per se. If there could be an antagonist in most of the series, it would be the environment or perhaps the friction between the future bride and groom. Even the two books that are coming up, Two Rivers and Sunrise on the Mississippi don’t have any other antagonist than the environment and the struggle preventing the couple from being together. It is not that I don’t think they are good stories. I do, but I want to change that for the book that I write in November. I want to include a real villain.

In The Anvil, I put James in as a pseudo-antagonist where Robert thought that James and Judith had a love relationship, but that was an illusion. For this story, I want a real antagonist. Perhaps I could have a British spy set out to destroy the Niagara. This person could be someone who has an interest in the protagonist’s girl who finds the other guy charming, or maybe not. I will have to keep you guessing throughout the book. Don’t you think?

The Love Interest

So, who should this love interest be? If she is anything like the other female love interests of the series, she is a hardy female. No matter what situation she finds herself in she can handle the situation and the man at her side. She is sure of herself. She doesn’t accept the female stereotype of fragile female. Not even Lowri, the noblewoman of Sailing under the Black Flag, was able to stand up for herself.
The girl of this story also probably lives at the port in Erie. Imagine a girl living in a town along one of the Great Lakes knowing that at any time, the enemy, who’s territory is just across Lake Erie, could invade the secluded town. This, of course is just how I see this story might unfold. I won’t even be doing the character sketches until October.

Read the Locket Saga

The Locket Saga 5 books

Have you read the books of the Locket Saga? In the first book: When God Turned His Head, Kanter starts the tradition by giving the locket to Drusilla. From that time on, the Locket was passed down from bride to bride. Join the Tradition, read the books of The Locket Saga and discover what all the fuss is about.
Available on Kindle https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007SM23IK
Available in Print http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cygnetbrown


main street

On last week’s article, I discussed how a community could develop an anthology to promote the businesses in their community. (Read it Here) Such a book would not only help develop community relationships but could be a tool for new comers to get a better idea of what the community, especially small communities or specific communities within larger cities.

Promoting A Local Anthology

1. Before book is put together, as part of the submission project, include within the cost of the submission the cost of one copy of the book.
2. Include the ability to pre-order also at retail price, offer to sell them additional books for their family, or friends.
3. Give the businesses the option of buying more books to sell or give away when their supplies have diminished.
4. Once the book is written, published and copies are purchased, here are ways that a community can optimize its use of an anthology book written. Sell copies from your chamber of commerce.
5. Sell books at local and regional events where promoting the community would be beneficial.
6. Have a free pdf offered online from your chamber of commerce website.
7. Sell the book on Kindle and other online digital and print book sites.
8. Encourage business owners to sell copies of the book from their businesses.
9. Sell copies of books at the library bookstore, the local historical society bookstore, and at community events where people from outside the community may attend and purchase the book as a souvenir.
10. Sell copies to regional and State agencies that promote tourism of your area.
I am certain that there are probably other ways to sell your local anthology that could unify the community and benefit local tourism and business.

Explore Writing a Book to Promote Your Community

Write a Book and Ignite your Business_red

If businesses in your community would like to investigate writing an anthology for your community, please contact me at cygnetbrown@gmail.com for a consultation.
Intrigued by the idea of writing a book to promote your business, but aren’t sure what exactly would be involved? Check out my book: Write a Book and Ignite Your Business
Available in Print
http://www.lulu.com/shop/cygnet-brown/write-a-book-and-ignite-your-business/paperback/product-23373303.html#
And on Kindle
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076NWLTSP


main streetDuring the last several weeks, I shared articles about why you as a business owner should consider writing a book. If you’re a business person, and writing a book sounds like a good idea, but you don’t want to write a whole book because you either don’t have time or you don’t think you have can afford someone who can ghost write one for you, perhaps you could convince your community into creating an anthology in which you include an article about your own business.

A Unique Type of Anthology

A lot of anthologies have been written by professional writers. These anthologies might be a collection of short stories written by local authors or even a collection of stories of history. One very well-known anthology series is the Chicken Soup of the Soul series of books that have come out.
Small business communities could easily benefit from an anthology that promotes their community. I believe that communities could easily produce anthologies of stories and tip articles in the form of a book that they can sell to local citizens, home-comers, and to new comers interested in their local. These same anthologies could also be given away as a PDF on the local chamber of commerce site.
Imagine a book that mingles the elements of storytelling and tips into a book that contains numerous articles written by numerous business people who are willing to share some basic information about what they do. In addition to contact information, the local fire department chief could write about home fire safety and how to keep a small grease fire from becoming a full-blown house fire. A local police officer could share information about bicycle safety. The school principle could share what a newcomer needs to know about how to get a child into a new school. Local historians and high school students could tell stories about how the town started, stories about local sites, and interesting people of the town’s present and past. In addition, the plumber could write an article about what a person should check before calling a plumber. An electrician could write about the dangers of not calling an electrician. People from the local farmer’s market could write about the advantages of buying produce locally. In addition to telling about the children’s reading circle and the availability of Wi-Fi at the library, the local librarian can share information about the local readers’ club and local writers’ group.

The Benefits of a Community Generated Anthology

An anthology like the one suggested would bring community members closer. It would be a win-win-win for in the community. It could be a benefit to everyone in the local community from the chamber of commerce to the small business owner to the newcomer. All that needs to be done is to get each person to write (or have written for them) a chapter in the book, get it published and share it with those in the community via events, at the local businesses, or through the local chamber of commerce. It could be a pride of the community.

Explore Writing a Book to Promote Your Community

Write a Book and Ignite your Business_red

If businesses in your community would like to look into writing an anthology for your community, please contact me at cygnetbrown@gmail.com for a consultation.
Intrigued by the idea of writing a book to promote your business, but aren’t sure what exactly would be involved? Check out my book: Write a Book and Ignite Your Business

Available in print
http://www.lulu.com/shop/cygnet-brown/write-a-book-and-ignite-your-business/paperback/product-23373303.html#
And on Kindle
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076NWLTSP

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