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[PrepTober Pt.4] Surviving NaNo

***Before I get to the juicy stuff, let’s get some housecleaning done. Be sure you read all the way to the bottom for some ways you can access to exclusive content not available to the public. If this is your first time joining us, we here at FyreSyde are a husband and wife duo who made the decision we wanted to offer a community to help our creative entrepreneurs, readers, bloggers and authors alike. Blaise’s book, Blessing of Luna can be found on Amazon in audiobook, paperback and eBook with the second book in the series, Bane of Tenebris, due to be released in July of 2019. If you would like to sign up for the launch team and receive a free digital copy of the book, please email us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com with “Launch Team” in the subject line.*** 


 

The (2)Here we are. The final day before NaNoWriMo begins full force. Are you excited? I hope so. After all, you’ve got your idea, you’ve made a decision whether or not to mind-map, and found a method of outlining. 

But!

I’m going to switch the plan: Survival Tips for your Halloween Treat. Many authors begin strong but soon find themselves encountering familiar foes like writer’s block (or blinking cursor syndrome), fatigue, procrastination and frustration.

Here are some  things you can do to alleviate these common enemies many NaNos face, I’ll go into more detail but for now here are the basics:

  • Scene planning
  • Attend Wordsprints
  • Ask for feedback
  • Get a critique partner
  • Attend live/online write-ins
  • Plan for procrastination
  • Take breaks, it’s okay
  • Turn off your inner perfectionist
  • Make your writing time sacred

Scene Planning:

Something you can do to alleviate some pressure when you get stuck is to stop and plan some scenes. It can help you feel less overwhelmed if you look at the smaller parts first and then add them into the overall story. I did this in Blessing of Luna and it truly did make things less daunting. I had the major scenes planned out which just left the details. You can do this in a notebook while you’re binge-watching Netflix or listening to music. 

This way, there’s no pressure of “Oh God, I have a full novel to write” only you, your notebook and a pen or pencil. Use scene planning as a method to relax as a lighter exercise then when you’re ready, go back to work.

Attend Wordsprints:

Wordsprints are timed sessions many authors have during NaNoWriMo. They’re simply times authors can get together (or by yourself) and focus on writing. The timer is for you to keep focused during the time the sprint is happening. It can be as long or as short as you like. The point is for you to pace yourself with an opportunity to join others. During NaNo, I hold word sprints either on Facebook live or on FyreSyde’s Twitch channel. I welcome you to join me. I know Kim Chance and Megan LaCroix hold them on their Facebook pages. It’s a great time to be with others and realize you aren’t alone.

Ask For Feedback:

The forums on the NaNoWriMo site are a great place to find feedback if you haven’t been able to find your tribe yet. They’re very active during November and have a specific section dedicated to those needing feedback. Remember, you aren’t alone. There are many of us all doing the same thing and most likely suffering or have suffered what you’re going through. 

Get a Critique Partner:

I should say something along the lines of a person who will make sure you’re holding toThe (3) your goals. Your personal cheerleader. Someone you trust to complain, whine, moan and gripe to. For me, last year, it was my poor husband. This person is someone to hold your hand during your journey. They can be a spouse, a friend, a parent, another author, a boy/girlfriend, etc. After NaNo, these are some folks you can swap novels with for the Alpha reading stage. A critique partner is a great support system because they can provide crucial feedback. Especially if you’re too nervous to ask.

Attend Write-Ins (Online or Live)

Write ins are a lot like word sprints, only without the timer. They’re gatherings of authors who get together to do what they love: write. They’re held all over the place. You may have some going on in your hometown. I know where I live, there are multiple going on at midnight tonight. If you’re looking for write-ins, the NaNo site is a good place to start as well. The forums have a section for those who are holding write-ins. If you attend on online, they’re mostly held via avenues like google hangout, Facebook live, Instagram, and sometimes on phone apps. It’s all up to you as to how you want to attend. It’s yet another opportunity for you to get together with others, network and get crucial help and feedback.

Plan For Procrastination:

It’s going to happen. Even to veterans of NaNo. Plan for it accordingly. Whatever you do, don’t confuse procrastination with relaxation. It’s more than okay to take a break. NaNo is a sprint if there ever was one. However, don’t put off your novel so long, it never gets written or forces you to produce subpar work. 

Take Breaks: It’s Okay

As mentioned above, it’s more than okay to take some days to rest. Your creative tank may need some time to rest. These self-care days can be a time where you allow yourself to either plan some scenes, watch Netflix, or if you’re a late nighter, sleep. You may choose to read those books on your overly large TBR list. Whatever it is, allow yourself some time.

Turn Off Your Inner Editor/Perfectionist

vince_lombardi_encouragement_quote1NaNo is for you to write at least 50K (or whatever your wordcount is). There’s no need for you to flesh out a final draft in that time. Turn off your inner editor and just focus on getting the story into a Word doc, Scriviner, etc. The pressure is already on. You have limited time to dish out some serious word counts, why put more on yourself. This is a good time to write for fun, not for perfection. A good friend of mine, Michelle Rene has a great article on how to focus on writing as fast as possible by shutting up your inner editor

Make Your Writing Time Sacred

Choose a time you write best and stick to it. If you’re a parent, ask your spouse or significant other to watch the kiddos so you can write. If you have older kids, ask them to give you this time to yourself. Just so you know, it’s okay for younger kids to watch tony_robbins_encouragement_quote1television during NaNo. They get to laugh and squeal at SpongeBob while you get to focus on your world-building. Maybe you’re like me and write best late at night. Whatever works best for you, make sure you stick to it until the end of the month. It’ll help you focus your time and give you a goal. Also, reward yourself when you accomplish it. Go to the man-cave or the she-shack and play a video game or enjoy some coffee. Heck, you just wrote for almost two hours, give yourself a treat.


Writing can be a lonely occupation but the great thing is, NaNo is a time where many writers are forming groups to support each other during a trying time. Whatever you choose to do, have fun and don’t give up!

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[Marketing 101] Your Website is Your Hub

How many times has this happened to you? A customer or potential customer walks up to you in something as large as ReaperCon to something as small as the grocery store line, the two of you strike up a conversation and it leads to what it is you do. This could be an author, an artist, maybe an Avon agent, whatever your specialty.

Anyway, they ask you, “Do you have a website I can go to?” You happen to respond with anything from an “I’m working on one” or “I use Facebook” and all of a sudden you find yourself locked in this awkward silent moment.

Believe me dear readers, it does happen. More often than you may expect. 

The moral is, you must have a website. Nowadays, a website is a company’s first go to in order to find out just how serious you are about your craft.

Now, this also happens. You may have a website that has the domain name in it and to many this is perfectly fine as far as hubs like WordPress and Weebly but trust me, nothing bothers a potential client more than not have the old .com, .org, etc.

Marketing 101.png

Why? You might ask. 

Because a personal domain symbolizes professionalism. The next time you’re on a major site, how often do you see http://www.site.reallylongdomainname.sitehost… you most likely get the point. You don’t. Not ever. Please don’t do this.

As hard as it is to accept, if you wish to define yourself as a professional, you must invest in your website.

Think of it as your central hub. Your social media can be seen as spider threads. They branch out and reach potential customers and contacts but ultimately lead them back to your website.

 

Forbes magazine offers three powerful reasons as to why your website is vital to growing your small business.

  1. Your website is important in building first impressions
  2. Your website is your “shopping window”
  3. If your website is “sloppy” or “missing”, then you are losing business

 

To quote them:

“They’re likely to dismiss you entirely, as well, should they believe your website doesn’t reflect the kind of experience your business – or a business like yours – should offer.” — Forbes Magazine

 

The truth is, with sites offering low rates on hosting such as godaddy.com, hostgator.com, and bluehost.com, just to name a few, there really isn’t much of an excuse to not have a professional website. Even WordPress has two different venues you may use to construct your professionally designed website.

A question you may ask then is, “what if I don’t know how to set a site up?” 

website-builders-comparisonTo this, the reply would be to invest the money to have it made the best it can be or to utilize sites with pre-made templates like weebly.com, squarespace.com, tyepad.com or wix.com. You may also use blogger which may be easier for those just beginning to get their feet wet in site design.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to cover all of your options in this blog post but that’s where search engines like google are your best friend. Do some research to find which is best for you. Check their pros and cons, maybe try them since sites like Squarespace and Typead often offer trial periods.

Some closing thoughts…

Whichever you choose and however you choose to go about it, make sure it’s the best you can make it, shows off your brand and highlights the products or services you plan to promote the most.

Remember! People are more likely to purchase from a brand they learn to trust and see as professional. Your website should tell your story, have a product/service page, etc. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at fyresydepublishing.com and subscribe to learn what’s coming down the pike!

 

 

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[Book Blitz] Blessing of Luna by Blaise Ramsay

Blessing of Luna banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Blessing of Luna by Blaise Ramsay. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 11 till 17 June. See the tour schedule here.

Blessing of LunaBlessing of Luna (Wolf Gods #1)
By Blaise Ramsay
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: April 20, 2018

Blurb:
Damien Pierce wasn’t like normal people. Since he was young, he learned that he had the uncanny ability to heal himself almost immediately. At fifteen he astounded the small town of Big Timber, Montana when an SUV hit him only to find he survived the encounter without suffering any major injuries.

After moving away for ten years, losing his mother and slipping into a deep sense of depression, Damien’s father moves them back home in an attempt to give Damien a sense of normalcy.

Enter Jillian Styles, the immortal, beautiful lycan that has been looking for the soul of her long, lost lover who after many years of being reborn into new bodies, his soul simply vanishes into the tides of time. When Jill first sees Damien, she knows immediately he is the one she had been looking for.

When an old enemy begins re-igniting the flames of a centuries old war, Damien must come to grips with a cruel fact that he is not human while nurturing feelings for the beautiful woman who captured his affection.

Now Damien must delve deeper into the world of the supernatural with the help of the mysterious Alexander Kain and Jillian. He’s about to learn, the secret sleeping within him is much more than he ever could have imagined.

You can find Blessing of Luna on Goodreads

You can buy Blessing of Luna here:
Amazon e-copy
Amazon Paperback
Blessing of Luna is available to read with Kindle Unlimited. A portion of the proceeds of each book sold will go to a charity.

The first five chapters are available to read for free are on Wattpad.

Blaise RamsayAbout the Author:
FyreSyde Publishing owner and founder Blaise Ramsay worked over fifteen years in the graphic design industry, with some experience in indie gaming. Recently she shifted her attention to the world of literature with her debut paranormal romance series, Wolf gods. The debut title, Blessing of Luna is set to release in 2018. She currently lives in North Texas with her two children, her husband and pets. A UTD graduate with a Bachelor’s in History with an intention on teaching, Blaise decided that the world of teaching just wasn’t for her. A stay at home mother of two, business owner and self-publisher, Blaise loves to meet new people and encourage others to follow their dreams through weekly posts to her Instagram, twitter, Facebook and blog.

You can find and contact Blaise Ramsay here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Amazon

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Blessing of Luna. One winner will win both an e-copy and paperback copy of Blessing of Luna by Blaise Ramsay.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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3 Moves Entrepreneurs Must Make by Gerald Pilcher

There’s a lot of pressure for small-business owners to be masters of every aspect of their business. This is especially true when you’re first starting out and are often a one-person […] With somewhat limited resources and fear of failing, small-business owners will often push challenging tasks to the back burner. This may work out […]

via 3 Hard Moves Entrepreneurs Must Make — Gerald Pilcher

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[Marketing 101] The Importance of Investing in People

Marketing101People4When you hear the names Harley Davidson, Ed Catmull, J.K Rowling, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, what do you think of?

Do you think of motorcycles? How about Pixar? Harry Potter? Amazon or of course, Facebook?

What do all these success stories have in common? Yes, they have overwhelmingly popular brands making thousands of dollars every day. BUT! What is it they all have in common? What gave them the appeal? Did they just wake up and have these massive empires?

The answer is an all over resounding, NO!

These people had something they wanted to share with the world. Something they dreamed of and wanted to see successful. But how were they going to do this? Just post it up and wish or hope people would find their product if they decided to do no marketing whatsoever?

There was no social media when many of these great success stories came to fruition so what did they do to make such monumental impacts?

Simple. They saw the answer in front of them. Something so easily overlooked in a world saturated with desires to be famous and get rich quick goals. It wasn’t about them.

As marketers, we must remember it is about people first, not us! (2)They realized early on… in order to have a successful product, you need to focus on pouring your energy into people. It is people that pass around the news of your product. People who bring awareness. People who spread the word. It’s people that makes a company what it is. And this doesn’t only apply to book marketing!

It’s a universal truth in businesses of all kinds!

For example, in today’s marketing world, there is not a person who would not recognize the name of Amazon. It is a multi-million dollar corporation reaching across a global scale in a variety of products. In the world of eBooks it holds the top slot in self and indie publishing.

Why? Because of people.

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” — Jeff Bezos

Jess Bezos recognizes the power of the influence of people. He goes on to say:

“Obsess about customers, not competitors.” Jeff Bezos

Here is a man, a powerhouse in today’s market, humbling himself to the influence of the people his company serves.

Think about it? If no one used Amazon. If they went on with going to Wal-Mart on black Friday or never participated in cyber Monday, would Amazon still hold the place it does in today’s market? No, it wouldn’t. It is the overwhelming power of people that Jeff Bezos utilized to make Amazon what it is. He saw a need; he filled it and now look at what he has?

So often, new marketers and entrepreneurs fall into the trap of “Here’s my product, buy it!.” We flood our social media with constant self-promotion and forget: As marketers and entrepreneurs, we must remember it is about people first, not us!

As marketers, we must remember it is about people first, not us! (1)Here are seven things to think about when you start marketing your product.

  1. People buy from entrepreneurs who have something they want.
  2. Satisfaction leads to word of mouth. Word of mouth spreads awareness.
  3. People like to feel like more than a wallet. Make it about them.
  4. Making it about them leads to repeated visits and customer loyalty
  5. People identify with people who take the time to speak with them
  6. There is no product without the audience
  7. People invest time and effort into something they attach too. You can help create that attachment.

Things to Remember:

  • Having a great product must always be about something you want to bring into fruition first and foremost! If you are serious, the passion has to continue into marketing and reaching people!
  • Do NOT see marketing a product as a get rich quick scheme. Many of the companies listed (Amazon, Harley Davidson, Pixar, Harry Potter and Facebook) took years to gain momentum!
  • Recognize a need/ find your niche/ tribe.
  • Anyone can bust out information told over and over on blogs and websites. Find something you want to ask but no one seems to have addressed yet.
  • Anything worth doing is going to take some serious work!
  • 80/20 Rule >> 80% of your engagement must involve your audience; 20% can be you.

Marketing101People2Making money doing what you love is a dream many of us have. We long to quit our jobs and make our burning passion our daily job BUT we must remember, in the end, we want people to know we exist. If your passion is more than a hobby, start networking with people now! Whatever you do, never give up. Success is a process, not a sprint.


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***Interested in writing for us? Want a book review? Would like to guest post or want to offer your own insight? Feel free to contact us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com! We are always looking for authors and bloggers who want to share their experiences!

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“Bestseller” Does Not Have To Mean Best Seller

“Bestseller”

That little orange star-bursting banner many authors strive to reach in Amazon’s ever growing sea of book titles. What makes this particular status so appealing? Is it an increase in book sales, reviews or maybe just the notoriety? Does it validate us in a way?

Keys to Success_

To understand why this status is so sought by authors, we need to know what it is.

This is what Amazon says about its best-seller categories:

“The Amazon Best Sellers calculation is based on Amazon.com sales and is updated hourly to reflect recent and historical sales of every item sold on Amazon.com.”

Basically, it is how well a product is performing as far as sales on an hourly basis. HOWEVER, Amazon goes on to say:

“While the Amazon Best Sellers list is a good indicator of how well a product is selling overall, it doesn’t always indicate how well an item is selling among other similar items. Category and subcategory best seller lists were created to highlight an item’s rank in the categories or subcategories where it really stands out.”

So, while the title “bestseller” is indeed an honor to obtain since it does affect sales, it is not always an accurate indication of how well a product is doing overall.

Why? Well, see what Amazon itself says:

“We choose a few of the most popular subcategories in which the item has a high ranking in relation to other items in that subcategory, and showcase the item’s rank on the product page. As with the main Amazon Best Sellers list, these category rankings are based on Amazon.com sales and are updated hourly.”

Inspirational-Quotes-About-Success-If-you-loveThis is further complicated to determine just what a bestseller is because of authors who sell most of their titles at live trade shows and events. Many sell multiple copies of their books to readers who attend these events. Some sell hundreds of copies in a year at multiple events.

 

Since readers are human beings with busy lives, it can often slip their minds to leave a review. Adding their information to email lists can help alleviate these frustrations but it does not always eliminate them since an author’s constant emailing to ask for reviews can come off as begging or annoying.

So, with all of these ever shifting trends in Amazon’s algorithm combined with the understanding that not all authors rely on Amazon reviews to get their books into the hands of anticipatory readers, the status of “Bestseller” can become very obscured. 

The hard but also stress-relieving truth is just because it says “Bestseller” it doesn’t have to mean “Bestseller.” Event authors who sell multiple copies of their books and enjoy writing them are the ones who understand that building a loyal readership doesn’t always have to rely on an orange status. 11199423_1590625647874477_252512621_n

As long as you are building your platform, have loyal readers who look forward to your work, and are buying your books then you are going to reach “bestseller” status. It just might not be according to Amazon or its system.

 

 

 

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[Book Review] Making Bad Choices by Rita Sadling

Making Bad ChoicesMaking Bad Choices
by Rita Stradling
Genre: Romance
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: 10 January, 2017

Blurb:
[Recommended 16 + this is a mature YA or New Adult book]

Culter Fuller came back into my life on the day my mother died, as if losing my mother wasn’t bad enough.

We hated each other since childhood. Well, I hated him. He had a very different story.

When I moved to my dad’s house to finish my last semester of high school, we went from bitter enemies to. . . something else. He was suddenly everywhere, occupying my space, determined to pull me into his life, filling me with thoughts I knew were wrong.

I knew that soon we would cross a line that should never be crossed.

I knew crossing that line could have very serious consequences; because Culter Fuller wasn’t just any irresistible boy, Culter Fuller was my stepbrother.

But, I was always very bad at making the right choices.

 


My Review:

First off, very cute story. I am usually not one to like a good taboo love story but this one was very cute. I actually adored how possessive Culter was.

The book was decently written and read well. Good pacing and some really swoon worthy characters. I truly loved Tyler. He sounded hot. Culter was just…. swoon. I loved his name choice.

Unfortunately, it became a bit repetitive. Day to day school is a-ok for teenagers who are probably suffering from some senior-itis and just want to get the heck out of dodge. Totally get it and didn’t mind it. I just wanted a bit more tension.

There was sexual tension and slow burn like crazy and I loved it but there was very little external conflict. Aside from the alpha female who had a crush on the protagonist’s love interest and the loss of her mom, everyone automatically just accepted Cassie. Not to say that isn’t good but if that was going to be the case, add the tension somewhere else. Maybe a really strong rival actually willing to fight Culter over Cassie? I’m not sure. Just something to give that could really ignite the inciting incident.

For example, there was a moment where Cassie almost got into a car accident. That was the perfect Darkest Moment. It could have really been used to draw out the flaming passion in both characters. Cassie could have been hurt, Culter could have felt he almost lost her and gone to her bedside and been openly honest with her. It would have been amazing and really could have added some action.

Also, as a romance reader and author, I want some hot, passionate, burning love scenes. For a new adult, this really didn’t deliver. I feel it read more like a Young Adult novel. The author created some slow burn for sure. So many times I wanted the two to make love only to have it ripped away (I liked that). Then when they finally were able to, I was really wanting more. The feel of Culter’s body. Some heat between them. How Cassie felt, what she smelled. Just some details to set me ablaze.

So many things were there. Basic outlines which could have been used to really make this a hot, passionate conflict which just fell short. I would have actually liked less dialogue and more conflict.

If I were to rate this book. I would give it 3 stars because I really did like the storyline and saw the potential. Maybe for the next book, really dig into the details to make the story stronger.

Screen-Shot-2012-12-19-at-3.06.19-PM-666x408


 

Making Bad Choices Teaser 1

You can find Making Bad Choices on Goodreads

You can buy Making Bad Choices on Amazon

View the book trailer here

Making Bad Choices Teaser 2

The Playlist for Making Bad Choices
This is the playlist for Making Bad Choices:
1) The Temptations – My Girl
2) The Rolling Stones – Wild Horses
3) Bright Eyes – The First Day of My life
4) Modern English – I Melt with You
5) Elton John – Your Song
6) The Lumineers – Ho Hey
7) Stand Inside Your Love – Smashing Pumpkins
8) Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns n’ Roses
9) Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait
10) Coldplay – A Sky Full of Stars
11) BØRNS – Electric Love
12) Jason Mraz – I’m Yours
13) Michael Jackson – The Way You Make Me Feel
14) Joshua Radin – I’d Rather Be with You
15) Paul McCartney – Maybe I’m Amazed

You can listen to the playlist on YouTube

Making Bad Choices Teaser 3

Rita StradlingAbout the Author:
Rita Stradling is the author of The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Novella Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.

Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.

She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.

You can find and contact Rita here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads


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