[Preptober Pt.1] Deciding What to Write

***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.*** 


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Copyright Rachel Stephen, founder of Preptober

So, as you have probably noticed if you have any presence in the writing community or social media in general, you are noticing the term Preptober being used all over the place. 

One simply does not walk into Twitter and not see this hashtag haunting the pages. 

What Is Preptober?

Simply put, Preptober is a month authors of all kinds and genres use to prepare for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). In this four part series, I hope to help give you ways you can benefit the most from Preptober. If you’re stuck on how to schedule preptober in a way you find helpful, check out this helpful little schedule sheet.

What You Can Look Forward To:

To get your feet wet in what I’m planning, here’s a rundown:

  1. Part 1 – Deciding what to write
  2. Part 2 – Mind mapping v. Outlining v. Pantsing
  3. Part 3 – Deciding an outline method
  4. Part 4 – Fleshing out your outline

Without further hesitation, let’s get this show on the road.

If you’ve done NaNoWriMo then you know the goal is to begin a brand new project with the end goal of publishing it either traditionally, self-publishing or indie publishing.

It Gets Us All: The Questionwriting-meme

Many authors struggle with this first question: What should I write? What genre is popular? What if the story I have doesn’t sell? I’m going to ask you to put away the question of popularity and selling and focus only on the story you, the author, wants to tell.

To figure it out, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What’s something you have either in your mind or written in a journal somewhere that you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t for any number of reasons?
  2. What story is going to keep you interested?
  3. What are you passionate about?
  4. Which one can you finish fastest?

By figuring out these questions, you’ve already helped yourself decide on a story you want to dedicate time and energy to. If you can’t answer these questions or fear you might get distracted, take a step back and write a few scenes.

download (1)Isn’t Writing before NaNo Cheating?

Believe it or not this isn’t cheating. Writing out a few scenes can help you get a feel for the characters you’re fixing to spend the next month with. Develop some locations, a music playlist, and some character sheets.

You may find you’re still stuck and that’s perfectly fine! Now is the time to catch up on your To Be Read List (TBR List) to get some inspiration. Reach for your favorite movies, play your favorite games (if you’re a gamer) and listen to your favorite music. You may just need to refill your think tank.

Once you know what you want to write, give yourself a few short sentences to describe your story. This is what we call an elevator pitch but I’ll cover more on that in a later post.

Never give up! There’s a story inside of you, you just may have to really dig deep to find it!

BEFORE YOU GO! PLEASE READ ON!


Thank you so much for joining us this week. We are so excited to share this series with you and hope it helps during these next two months. We invite you to sign up for our newsletter and receive not one but two free eBooks as a thank you! We will never spam you!

As we mentioned above, we’re offering exclusive content only available to those who support us on Patreon. Why Patreon? Because it’ll help us reach our goals of putting out printing compilations, extras and eventually publishing opportunities to authors struggling to either start or are desperately looking to avoid the slush piles of bigger publishing houses. 

We welcome you to join us twice a week on our Twitch channel where you can get to know us on a more personal basis, watch as we work, play video games and chat with our readers live! As of now we’re aiming for 7 – 9PM CST Wednesdays and Sundays! 

If you have the time and want to find some wonderful folks who can help you design the perfect eye-catching book cover, please drop by our friends at Damonza.com. Use the code, FYRESYDE to get 5% off your purchase! We use no one but this team of dedicated professionals for all of our book covers.

Had trouble with Word losing your files? Want a place you can plan, outline, have your character sheets, research, etc? Look no further than Scriviner. Trusted by our authors for almost a year, Scriviner is available wherever you need it to be. Now as an app! Click the links for Mac or Windows.

If you would like to write for us, please get in touch with us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com! We would love to talk with you!

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[Press Release] Blessing of Luna

Check it out! Blessing of Luna‘s official press release! This segment will appear in the Pilot Point Signal paper in Pilot Point, Texas!


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 7, 2018 | Texas

Visit fyresydepublishing.com for contact details, review copies, photos, and an author bio.

Local Author Publishes and Releases Debut Novel

Blaise Ramsay has just released Blessing of Luna, her new shifter Romance

Available on Amazon

7b41e-blaise-ramsayLocal author, Blaise Ramsay has just completed and released her new novel, Blessing of Luna. It was independently published from her own publishing company run out of her home. FyreSyde Publishing is donating a portion of the proceeds to The Wounded Warrior Project, Carry the Load and the World Wildlife fund to help raise awareness about the severity of PTSD and the importance of the preservation of endangered animals such as wolves in our world.

“The main character in the book, Damien, suffers from a horrible case of PTSD. It is such a devastating ailment. So often it gets written off as something not severe. I want it to be known that it does exist and affects so many of our soldiers. As a self-proclaimed ‘green child’ I also wanted to use the books’ theme of wolves to open the eyes of the readers to how important preserving such beautiful creatures can be.” Ramsay says.

She goes on to say, “In the book the character, Kain says a quote: ‘Only blind can you truly appreciate the beauty of Gaia’. This is such a powerful quote and so true. We need to open our eyes to what is going on around us.”

18b03-lolasblogtoursbannerBlaise has also taken on the endeavor of running a regularly updated blog where she shares advice and tips to upcoming independent and self-publishing authors who do not know how to go about beginning their journey. She also works for three tour companies where she offers feedback and reviews to give back to the blogging community who has provided her with such a positive and supportive group of people. 1a069-blessing-of-luna

“I wanted to give back to the community who has provided so much guidance and feedback to Blessing of Luna in a way I enjoyed. I have met so many wonderful people and made some amazing connections. I am so glad to be a part of this community.” Blaise says.

Readers of this novel have already posted reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and via email to show their praise for the book. Some of those comments can be found at the author’s website via the “What People Are Saying” tab underneath “Books.”

“This book has such a unique take on shapeshifters and vampires. It was very interesting to see this world unfold and see how things work. The romance piece had a great slow burn appeal. I felt so much for the main character, Damien. He’s had such a hard life with some beautiful silver linings. I feel in love with him from the beginning. Then there’s Jilian, strong, beautiful, caring. I couldn’t help falling in love with her too! You just have to root for these two and all they have to face! There’s so much more to this book than meets the eye. I would definitely recommend this book!” — Dawn L.

Review1

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Blaise became intrigued by paranormal romance when she began watching movies such as “Underworld” and reading novels like Dracula and Frankenstein. Her book Blessing of Luna was actually born out of her love of breaking the normal tropes associated with her genre and wanting a strong female lead.

To learn more about Blaise, find Blessing of Luna, want to talk or inquire about getting a book review or guest posting, go to her wordpress site: https://fyresydepublishing.wordpress.com/

Blessing of Luna can be found in eBook or Paperback via Amazon. Reviews left on Goodreads, email and/or Amazon are more than welcome and appreciated!

 

Contact: website: https://fyresydepublishing.wordpress.com/ | email bramsayauthor@gmail.com | For guest posts, interviews, booking for events, etc contact fyresydepublising@gmail.com

 

[#NaNoProMo] Budget Social Media; Invest in Live Events

“It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.” (ie an author’s laptop/PC/Desktop)


Okay, we all know the famous quote above. But I digress. Why I used it is because for some strange reason, we author types (especially us indie published types), have a tendency to avoid our fellow man. Why do I say that? Because until recently, I had the same tendency. We hide behind our laptops and delve into the world of social media, book promo sites, book blitzes and blog tours and still we hope to hit the best-selling list overnight.

Now, before you jump on the “But Blaise, what about so-and-so?” or “What about e-commerce?” band-wagon; let me elaborate because this is something I have heard coached to me by many business coaches in many different seminars. Social media is critical in growing an online presence but it should NOT be your only point of contact. 

If you don’t believe what I say is true, I can go further. As an indie game concept artist, I had the privilege of speaking to a character designer for Marvel, yes that Marvel. In the skype call he told me two things:

 1) Always keep your social media updated frequently

2) Start attending conventions

 To go on, an author I love and is possibly the greatest influence on my own journey, you’ve heard me mention her before, Kristen Martin says that attending book related events is a great way to build your author platform because you are putting yourself face to face with potential readers, other authors and publishers to learn from them.

Those are not your exact words, I know, Kristen.


Without further ado, here are five reasons why I think that events are crucial to building your platform.

  1. Gives your readers a face: How many of us get a thrill from meeting our inspirations face to face? To get to actually talk to them about their accomplishments or ask them their advice or comment on their books. How many of us like to get our books signed in person and shake their hands? I know for me, that is an amazing feeling because it reminds me that the goals I’ve set are possible because so many times they tell me that they felt the same and went through the same trials and doubts. Your readers will be the same. They want to meet you, talk to you, get their books signed personally and learn from you.
  2. Chance to meet some mentors: Not only can you meet your heroes, but you can network with authors that want to mentor and read your work. They are willing or can point you towards potential referrals or possibly network you with the company (if they’re traditionally published) that they published with. Do not be naggy or begging about it but it is a possibility. You can ask editors questions and learn what they look for so you can edit your next manuscript or receive discounts on their services. The possibilities are endless.
  3. Huge Network Opportunity: Guys, you’ve heard so many say it, I know you have. Networking is crucial for book sales and marketing. I have learned this through so many authors and business webinars that it is not even funny. Conventions and book festivals are an amazing way to meet new authors, potential returning clients and contacts for your books and blogs. Yes, social media is great for turn-around and growing email lists but how hard are you working when you could spend the money you spend on Facebook ads to go out to the convention or festival and manually do what Facebook pays people to do. For example, my last ad campaign for Blessing of Luna reached over 300 people. Sounds great, right? I thought that too until almost all of those reached were paid to click and address ads. Talk about a let most-of-the-important-things-in-the-world-accomplished-by-people-who-kept-trying-when-there-seemed-no-hope-inspirational-quote-julie-flygare-narcolepsy-spokesperson-author-speakerdown. Budget the post boosting and splurge on the cons and festivals.
  4. Inspiration time: You want to talk about a plethora of inspiration? Events like cons and festivals are always full of groups of people who don’t know each other from Adam or Eve but get together and talk about common hobbies, strategies that worked for them or guys, can we say book swaps? Guest blog post opportunities? Maybe even a blog tour? Book blitzes? And these folks might be willing to do it if you do it for them. Why would you not want to meet and greet these folks? Book ideas abound, collab opportunities. Everything you read about in self-publishing blogs for marketing is just 100$ away or you can sometimes get early bird specials if you sign up early.
  5. Scouting opportunities: Guys, this is a big one. Huge. Almost every convention you go to, there are scouting opportunities. Publishing companies, editors, freelancers, etc are all there. They are looking. You actually get to talk to them instead of waiting five months for an email. Some of them will even look at your proposal on the floor if they’re open to it. Again, don’t be pushy, they’re busy and have so many folks wanting to get looked at. I can say this because I’ve seen them in person at conventions like A-kon. They are there but you aren’t going to meet them behind your laptop.

***For #NaNoProMo, I want to add some great ways I’ve found to offline market that have worked for me personally!***

  1. Book store appearances – Seek out your local bookstores or those in closeAdvertFlier proximity and call them to see if they will allow you to sign and sell your books in their stores. You would be amazed how excited so many of them are. Plus, you have gotten into the system. They’ll most likely ask you to return again for subsequent titles.
  2. Conventions – These are not just for science fiction, cosplayers, etc. I sold out of my book and had to switch to invoicing. Many interviews I got were from attending a convention. You meet other authors and build life long friendships.
  3. Book Festivals – You may or may not sell in a room full of other authors but hey, it’s a great thing to look at. You get to meet and network and get your book out there and do some book and review swaps.
  4. Libraries – Donate to libraries! Again this is a great networking opportunity and they want authors to come in and talk and read!
  5. Pass out ARCs – Free titles may seem like it hurts like heck but ARCs are a great review opportunity and who says no to free books?
  6. Ask for reviews – This was the hardest one. I was so nervous about sounding like I was begging but you would truly be amazed how many of them are willing to offer Businesscardtheir feedback and reviews. You never know if you don’t ask.
  7. Pass out business cards – Always have a PROFESSIONAL* business card! You can pass them out to so many people! Many are more than happy to take them and even ask if they can take them. Be sure to include Amazon and website links!
  8. Book swag – Book marks are a great tool to get your book’s cover out there and heck you can offer them for free. Many people are more than willing to take them and often couple your book with them!
  9. Make Fliers – You have to be willing to hoof it. Take the days you have off, open word and use a template to make your fliers. Starbucks is amazing with their community calendars and they’re everywhere!!! Grab a coffee, post your flier and head on to the next location. If you have an event at a bookstore, ask the manager if they provide fliers. If not, ask them if they’d be willing to use yours!
  10. Name Drop your book/ Tell them you’re an author! – Guys, I know this sounds strange but I kid you not. Blessing of Luna has been sold at restaurants, grocery stores, and even at the end of an event. I just approached someone in the romance isle and starting talking! Always have a book! You would be amazed what can happen!

* What I mean by professional is always have a .com, .net, etc. It has an air of professionalism and ongoing pursuit. Invest the money. Many domains like Bluehost, GoDaddy, HostGator, WordPress, etc have their own hosts.

So, I hope this has helped you. This knowledge was gleaned from trial and error, seeking mentorships and just asking managers and professional marketers. The cruel and harsh truth is, our market is saturated but it doesn’t mean we have to fight each other. There are readers who want to read our work, heck, maybe both of our books if we work with a partner to promote our books. Social Media is a black hole that is necessary for an online presence but at the same time, offline marketing gets you out there! Try for yourself!