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The Publishing Market is Changing: Are You Ready?

Courtesy of Pixabay

Let’s face it, every market is saturated. Every market requires entrepreneurs to be able to adapt to an ever changing market. Refusal to do so could result in a massive loss of sales.

We will be brutally honest. The market is becoming harder for Indie authors to get a foothold in the publishing industry. Doors once open are now closing due to a lack of care in editing, cookie cutter plots and just downright bad writing. By no means are we saying it’s impossible but you must be willing to accept some hard truths.

In a recent article we came across published by Author Publisher magazine titled The 10 Major Publishing Trends of 2018ten of the major shifts in the publishing market were outlined.

To begin, if you’ve been in the self-publishing or writing industry in general, you have become aware of the recent acquiring of Amazon’s KDP rigorous changes in rules for getting and keeping reviews.

Amazon’s new policies have made it to where if they find one hint a person leaving a review knows you in any way, your review will be deleted.

What does this mean to the market? It means that authors will have to get smart and reach further into methods they may not traditionally have used in order to reach more readers and build a readership.

The truth may be harsh, but here it is.

Authors have to realize that writing with the goal of reaching any sort of publishing deal, must treat their writing as a business. You are a brand if you produce a product. Apple is not only known for its products but also its logo and as a brand trusted by a vast amount of consumers willing to pay hundreds of dollars to make sure they have the newest model.

You may have also noticed, traditional publishers are becoming much more selective to unsolicited manuscripts. They are tightening their reins and requiring authors to reach out to agents in order to pursue contracts with them. Agents are harder to come by (at least those who are accepting queries) and often make authors wait long periods of time before inevitably rejected them.

The types of books — audio, ebook, paperback, hardback, etc — are becoming more widely distributed in a constantly fast-paced world. A few years ago, one might have been able to produce only ebooks but once again, there’s a shift.

Readers are shifting back to desiring to hold a paperback version of the books in their hands. Book bloggers are no longer accepting “self-published” books.

Paranormal romance (or the romance genre in general) books are a saturated, yet highly demanded genre, but one must see the underlying cry for thrillers, horror and mystery. The market is once again showing a subtle shift. One merely must go to Amazon and search through the best sellers to see what the highest ranking titles are.

Best seller rank on Amazon is no longer entirely dependent on reviews. We have seen many authors who have been able to play the AMS system so well, they break the traditional trends of publishing and are reaching the top seller list with as little as three reviews. For example, Bella Forrest’s A Shade of Vampire 68: A Purge of Nature.

Reviews are a great indicator for customers to understand what they’re buying, by no means am I saying they aren’t important. I’m saying obtaining best-seller’s status is no longer solely dependent on them.

Although these shifts might be terrifying in nature, especially to young authors or authors just now getting feet wet in the industry, it is a necessary part of economics and commerce. Those who fail to shift will be weeded out, thus leaving the market to grow with those who followed the marketing shifts.

However, adapting is a part the economy, the economy is built of those who fail, learn, adapt and start anew.

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Querying: What You Need to Know Right Now

Querying. The word of shaking bones, chattering teeth and chewing on nails as you wait for the agent or publisher to respond. Hours upon hours, days upon days…well, you get the idea.

As we said in a previous article (featured in NaNoProMo) about pitching, the publishing world is an absolute struggle. Agents and publishers are getting over-run with queries from authors wanting to publish their latest literary masterpieces. It is so easy to get lost in the nightmare known as the “slush-pile.”

Recently, FyreSyde had the privilege of opening our doors to the authors looking for a publisher who doesn’t require an agent. We received a total of almost fifteen queries in a short span of time (and that’s just the emailed ones).

Why is this number important? Because, it shows just how busy a publishing company can be and how many queries we receive (in just a month!).

Something we noticed in this submission period is how important it is for authors to be well-aware of what their publisher expects and to follow their rules for querying to avoid automatic rejection. Your publisher (or agent) should never have to instruct you on how to query them.

Let’s begin.

What Is a Query?

Look at a query the same way you look at a job application. You’re selling yourself to your potential employer by telling them a little about you, your work history, achievements, etc. What they don’t want is to be blasted with how much of a god-send you are to their company (more on how this applies to books later).

The query is pretty much the same thing. It includes:

  • If you know the agent or publisher from somewhere (a connection) then tell them. If not, don’t.
  • The title and genre of your book (maybe include the word count as well)
  • A bit about your story (main characters, etc)
  • Who you are as an author
  • Any achievements, experiences, etc that you have gotten

1. Connection to the Agent or Publisher:

What do we mean by connection? Did you meet the agent at a conference? Were they recommended to you? Maybe you heard they liked a certain genre or sub-genre somewhere? Anywhere you might have heard of them, let them know. It creates a rapport and can help with the querying process.

FyreSyde loves to know where people found or heard of us. We often ask to get a feeling about the person and what they’re looking for in a publisher. An agent (or publisher) might want to know the same thing.

2. The Title, Genre and Word-count of Your Book

Yes, we want to know these things. They can often be a good selling point or help us in deciding if we want to pursue a contract.

Almost every publisher includes a list of genres they’re looking for, what they aren’t looking for and what they’re very picky with. Taking the time to learn these things can help you (the querying author) avoid serious heartache. It also gives you an understanding of the current literary market.

FyreSyde also has a word-count limit, as do many others. This helps us not only in printing costs but also to check and see if the book is marketable to our readers. Longer books tend to be cumbersome so we put a limit of 95K on our submissions (look for a later blog post on “over” and “under” writing, coming soon). Being aware of these can help an author do some final revisions before submitting.

Novels: 55,000 up to 95,000 words
Novellas: up to 50,000 words; must have at least 10,000 words

FyreSyde Word-Count specifications, FyreSydePublishing.com/queries

3. About Your Story (avoid giving away the plot)

Of course we want to know about your story. It’s the main reason you’re contacting us after all, yes?

FyreSyde has specific things we look for when it comes to deciding on whether or not we want to ask for a partial manuscript:

What we look for when reading pitches: Strong world development, deep character arcs, flawed characters, showing not telling, well-edited writing, original ideas, and consistent characters. Having these things will be more likely to land our interest as we are avid readers as well.

Found via FyreSydePublishing.com/queries

The same can be said of our fellow publishers. The more unique and strong your story is, the more apt we are to ask for a partial manuscript. If we like it enough, we’ll ask for a full.

A general rule of thumb: This is not the time to tell the publisher or agent (at least not FyreSyde) how badly we need your book. Please don’t do this. FyreSyde automatically rejects queries who say things like this.

You can include your main characters, the trials they face and the conflict we can expect in your story. You don’t have to give away the entire plot. Keep us guessing and wanting more.

4. Who You Are As An Author

Tell us a little about yourself but keep it about writing and publishing. What achievements have you accomplished? Have you attended any writing conferences, hosted any panels or received an award for your story? Now is the time to tell us. Keep it brief.

5. Tips from a Publisher

  1. Read the querying page in its entirety. By no means should the publisher or agent have to instruct you on how to query. FyreSyde experienced this many times during our first submission window. We will no longer be looking at queries that don’t follow our submission terms. It got ridiculous. So, please, read the submissions page. They are there for a reason.
  2. Keep it short. Don’t send two or three pages to the publisher or agent. One page is the comfortable maximum. Remember, we see many (and we mean many) queries we have to answer. This can be a source of auto-rejection for some agents and publishers.
  3. Make it exciting. An article via Nybookeditors.com that we found helpful when formulating a query letter had a great idea: Query in the tone of your book. It can be an amazing way to get us interested in what to expect.
  4. Build a rapport. Don’t just come to us and demand to query with us. Most of us have social media and like to engage as normal human beings (but a bit more professional). Getting to know us, following our social media and interating with our content can help when it comes to the querying phase. We might just help because we want to.
  5. Be Unique. Here at FyreSyde we treasure uniqueness in stories and in authors. We don’t like to see plots we’ve seen a million times. Be willing to be bold and show us who you are as a writer, not what the market expects you to be.
  6. Hire an editor (or have someone look over your letter). Many publishing houses require at least a rough round of editing and revision before even looking at a manuscript. The same can be said for a query letter. There is nothing more damaging than a query letter with missing words, bad spelling, incorrect grammar and poor wording. You’ve heard you never get a chance at a first impression?
  7. Be aware of submission windows. FyreSyde doesn’t even look at letters sent outside of these windows. They’re deleted immediately.
  8. Don’t be scared of us. Yes, FyreSyde may reject manuscripts and query letters but that doesn’t mean we’re something to be afraid of. We’re human beings just like you and often know what it feels like to be where you are. FyreSyde goes as far as to help critique query letters prior to submission.
  9. You are going to be rejected. Rejections happen all the time for a variety of reasons. Just because we reject one query, it doesn’t mean we’re going to automatically reject the next. If we have time, FyreSyde tries to say why we’ve rejected to help the author understand.
  10. Follow the template. Nybookeditors.com has a beautiful breakdown of how to format a query letter. It’s exactly what FyreSyde wants to see in the letters we receive.

If you liked this post, here are a couple of others that might help:

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NaNoProMo Day 17: This Is Why Credibility Forges a Strong Brand by Charli Mills

You hear this all the time. As an author you are a brand. Do not fall into the trip trap of thinking you are nothing but a book title. Too often, we hear stories about authors who give off the feelings that they don’t care about their readers because all they do is talk about them and their book.

As an author you are a brand

FyreSyde Team

This is not the way to do this. It’s why today’s NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson) is so powerful it gave us chills.

Charli Mills gets real in a post showing why credibility is so crucial in maintaining a strong brand. She gets real about her struggles she’s encountered during her journey of being a military spouse. As a former Army wife and husband team, we can relate to these struggles.

Excerpt from Charli’s Article:

In October of 1983, my husband jumped into a war zone known as Urgent Fury. As far as battles go, the one for Grenada barely registers. In fact, the US government declares 1983 as part of a “non-combat” era. However, the reputation of my husband’s elite unit of US Army Rangers earns him respect regardless of where he served.


He volunteered for the Army in 1981, volunteered for Airborne school, and volunteered for the Rangers. He had to pass three phases and accept an assignment to a Ranger unit. He also qualified as a combat diver and managed his unit’s Zodiacs. He emphasizes that he volunteered for service and dangerous duty, something he’s fiercely proud of achieving.
But it’s made for a rocky after-service life.


Not only did my husband bash his knee on that Grenada jump, but he also struck his head twice. Just a week before, he took a hit to the head that knocked him out. None of these incidents warranted a Ranger seeking medical attention and wouldn’t be worth mentioning decades later had it not been for puzzling changes in his cognition.
He’s needed a total knee replacement for 35 years. As he aged, chronic pain aggravated combat PTSD, the kind rooted in survivor’s guilt and anger – the fuel a soldier is taught to use but not neutralize. While seeking VA treatment, we discovered an alarming loss of processing ability linked to long-term effects of subconcussive hits.

Charli Mills, Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Find more about Ms. Mill’s here:

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NaNoProMo Day 19: How to Set Your Author Website by BookWorksNYC

Think about a spiderweb. The intricacies of the design where threads reach out and appear to grab and lead the eye towards the middle of the web.

This is the way you should think when you’re building your author website. Your social media (Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube, Business cards, bookmarks, you get the idea) serve as those tiny threads. At the center should be your website. You want to lead your potential viewers to your little hobbit hole on the internet.

Day 19 of NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson) offers ways you can do just that. BookWorks wrote a magnificent article on what it takes to draw attention to your website.

Excerpt:

The Insider’s Guide to Author Websites: Set Your Foundation


An author website is the foundation upon which you build your platform. We asked BookWork’s Web Lead, Tyler Doornbos, to share his insider’s perspective on what that should entail…

(Adapted from The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide created by BookWorks founder Betty Kelly Sargent and Joel Friedlander, “The Book Designer,” and winner of  the 2017 Silver IPPY in Reference Book category)
At this point, you’ve heard the endless refrain: you need a website. Probably for years now. I won’t reiterate it. It feels a little 2008 to even be mentioning it.
What’s worth mentioning, however, is what your website needs. The independent author sphere is saturated with bad design and marketing—from unintentionally hilarious book covers to websites that look like refugees from the wreckage of Geocities—and you don’t want to add to it. But it goes much deeper than that. Design isn’t just how your website looks, but what it does (to very loosely paraphrase Steve Jobs), and you have to do more than just have something out there. It needs to be as remarkable as your book.

Tyler Doornbos, Bookworks

Find more about Tyler Doornbos and Bookworks:

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NaNoProMo Day 11: Why Writing Your Truth Is an Effective Marketing Strategy by Jackie Cioffa

So many times, we receive questions about what it means when we say that the author is a brand, not a book. We have written on this in the past but are pleased to see it brought back up as a part of NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson).

Authors, whether you want to admit it or not, you are a brand. Do not fall into the trap of riding the coat-tails of a single title. Like the iPhone (and many other pieces of technology) a book title has a lifespan. Let it live it and move on but make your face (or name if you’re a recluse) the reason people know you.

Jackie Cioffa does an amazing job at keeping things real when it comes to book marketing in this article.

As always, here’s an excerpt:

When Bad Redhead Media’s Rachel Thompson reached out to me to write a post about promoting and marketing my books, my immediate thought was is she kidding? I have been an avid follower and fan of Rachel for nearly a decade, trying to emulate her badass self-publishing skills and as much of her marketing expertise as I could.


Luckily for me, Rachel is both a friend and respected colleague who willingly shares her pixie dust book magic and marketing strategies through BadRedhead Media, where many of her tips and tricks are free.
That’s right, free. I keep her article, How to Create Pre-launch Buzz For Your Bookbookmarked on my computer and her book, BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge right next to me.


When I finished the manuscript for my third novel, The Red Bench, and began hyperventilating, I knew I needed guidance. I turn into a toddler when it comes to all things promotion and marketing related. I reached out inquiring about a possible formatting contact, and Rachel kindly suggested Barb Drozdowich, from Bakerview Consulting, a wizard who turned my pulp fiction into an exquisitely formatted memoir.

 
I never quite understood what Rachel said over and over about the author is a brand, not the book until the release of The Red Bench, and the importance of building social media relationships, engaging, interacting, and not solely about your book. I had tried countless promos in the past with The Vast Landscape and Georgia Pine. I used Freebooksy, BookBub, Amazon Giveways, MailChimp, BookMarketing Tools—all with moderate success, yet becoming more and more frustrated.

Jacqueline Cioffa, author of The Red Bench

Find more about Jacqueline here:

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NaNoProMo Day 10: This Is How to Sell Your Book in 20 Seconds by Sharon Goldinger

Readers, we know we are behind but fear not, we will be bringing you the amazing information from NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson) up until the very last day.

How would it feel if you could sell your book in 20 seconds? Does that sense of elation make your spine tingle? Well, look no further than this article by Sharon Goldinger. She offers some amazing ways both fiction and non-fiction authors can pitch their book in very little time.

Excerpt: (of course)

Picture this: You’re in an elevator, your book cupped in your hand, the title clearly visible to the other person in the elevator. While riding from floor 1 to floor 19, she asks, “What is From Fat to Fit about?
You respond: “You’ll be inspired by the amazing Community Meltdown, which motivated 1,000 people to have fun while losing 8,000 pounds in 8 weeks, and my personal story as I went from fat to fit and lost 62 pounds.”
When the elevator lands at her stop, she says, “Sounds great. I’ve got to get a copy.”

Sharon Goldinger, owner of PeopleSpeak

Find more about Sharon and PeopleSpeak!

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NaNoProMo Day 9: This Is How to Use Harder Work Links to Sell More Books by GeniusLink

Who knew using sites like bit.ly could help an author brand themselves? Apparently GeniusLink has some really good advice in the latest installment of NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson).

Trust us, you do not want to miss the information in this article. We are definitely going to implement some of these things on our marketing team.

Below is an excerpt of what you can expect from this amazing article:

Do you know what harder working links are and how they can help you with your marketing and even sales?
As an author, you hear about a lot of great ways to maximize your income from your published work. Unfortunately, most advice around implementing new, or optimizing existing revenue is somewhat time intensive and often means taking something off your plate to make room for trying something new. Don’t get me wrong, experimenting and continuously trying new things is essential, but we are big fans of mastering the fundamentals first and picking the lowest hanging fruit.
One of those things we’d consider a marketing fundamental is the links you use in your marketing. You know, those things that actually take someone interested in your literary work and gives them a way to act on that interest and purchase your book. We are a bit biased of course, but we think the link is the most critical piece of any promotion (though a great call to action, solid copy, and an enticing visual are good contenders).  
It’s likely you already use links in every marketing and promotional project you work on. But stop for a second and ask, “Is that link working for you as hard as it could be?”
Let me quickly introduce you to what we call “intelligent links,” the hardest working links on the internet. These aren’t the links you copy out of your browser window or a shortened bit.ly links, but rather supercharged links that can help you sell more books and unlock a new stream of revenue. And the best part is that you are already doing the hard and time-consuming work, swapping in the use of “intelligent links” doesn’t take much extra time at all.

QuickLinks, https://www.geni.us/

Find more about QuickLinks at their sites below:

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NaNoProMo Day 8: How to Make Time for Book Promotion by Pauline Wiles

Daily life can get busy. With kids, work, writing, houses to clean, bills to pay, spouses, friends, the list can go on, it can get hard to make time for things like book promotion.

A large part of our day here at FyreSyde is seeking out new ways to help promote our authors. We understand how it can get strenuous.

NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson of BadRedHeadMedia) day 8 offers a post by Pauline Wiles who offers some insight as to how you can make time to promote your book.

As always, here is a sample of what you can expect:

Making Time For Book Promotion


As authors today, we’re compelled to juggle more tasks and responsibilities than ever before. Given the colossal effort you’ve invested in writing and publishing your book, you know you’d be crazy not to dedicate some energy to promoting it. But with all that’s going on in your life, how do you make the time for this?
Here are four different approaches to carving out some precious minutes or hours for boosting your book. Experiment with these, and you’ll find they’re a big help in making sure you undertake regular promotional activities, without becoming completely overwhelmed by all you have to do.

Pauline Wiles, author of Indie With Ease

Find out more about Pauline Wiles:

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NaNoProMo Day 6: Three Reasons Why Branding Shouldn’t Make You Lose Your Mind by CStreetLights

Whether or not we want to admit it. As an author, you are a brand and need to focus on becoming a brand. An important part of business is say it with me: “Brand recognition.” Book titles will come and go but you as a marketable person will stay the same. People identify with brands they’ve come to trust.

Imagine this, how often do you walk into an Apple store and someone asks you if you only want an iPhone? Probably doesn’t happen anymore does it? Why? Because Apple is more than its iPhone. The iPhone is a product of Apple, the brand.

Ask any author like JK Rowling or Stephen King and they most likely will tell you; “Yeah, I wrote that book but it’s not me.” Their name is their brand. You don’t have to have a publishing company to be a brand, that’s a choice.

Enter NaNoProMo Day 6 (created by Rachel Thomson of BadRedHeadMedia). CStreetLights brings you an article on why being a brand isn’t a bad thing and why it shouldn’t drive you into an Exorcist fit.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

If you’re like me you were probably resistant to the ideas of “branding” or “building your brand.” A lot of writers are – no judgment here. In fact, tell me if any of this sounds familiar:
“I don’t want to become fake to my readers.”
“I don’t want to become just a logo who writes what she’s supposed to write about, not what she wants to write about.”
“I don’t want to become a product and lose my identity.”
If anything similar to these thoughts has ever crossed your mind about the concept of branding, my friends, then I totally get you because I felt the same exact way. In fact, I went through a massive existential crisis over it because I redesigned my website at the same time.

C. StreetLights, author of Tea and Madness

Find out more about C.Streetlights at the links below:

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NaNoProMo Day 5: 20 Quick Book Marketing Ideas You Can Do Now! by MixtusMedia

Marketing can be as intimidating as public speaking. However, the hard truth is, even if you choose to go the traditional publishing route, you are still your best marketing tool. While some publishers will do their best to make sure you and your book get adequate coverage, we can’t do it all.

FyreSyde strives to treat its authors like family. We will market you and your book long after you’ve published. In the end, you, the author will need to do your part.

This is where Day 5 of NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson of BadRedHeadMedia) comes in. Jean dePaula of MixtusMedia offers 20 quick ideas you can use in your book marketing right now.

Here is what you can expect in this amazing article:

If there is one common thread that runs through every author it’s this: we don’t have enough time! For writing, for book marketing, for any of it (whatever it is).
Sometimes when we see a huge task ahead of us, like book marketing, we tend to focus on it as a whole. And that can be overwhelming – which can make many of us put it off for another day, or just give up on it altogether.
But when we break it down a bit, there is actually a lot we can get done in just a few minutes a day.
So I thought I would share some tasks that take 10 minutes or less that will vastly improve your book marketing.
These are tasks that can be done quickly during your lunch break, while you’re waiting in line to pick up your kids from school, or even during commercials breaks while watching your favorite show. It helps you get things done – and each task usually takes less time than you thought.

Jean dePaula, owner of MixtusMedia

For more information, please check out these links:

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NaNoProMo Day 4: This Is How To Get Easy Author Publicity by SmartAuthors

Ah, publicity. The word every author dreams of when it comes to their title and their name. How good would it feel to be the next JK Rowling, Stephen King, Jim Butcher or Stephanie Meyer? Probably pretty good. Unfortunately, in today’s market, that’s not going to happen. BUT! That doesn’t mean an author can’t get publicity for their brand.

Belinda Griffin from SmartAuthors brings you easy ways to get author publicity for NaNoProMo Day 4 (created by Rachel Thomson of BadRedHeadMedia). As always we have included an excerpt for our readers to check out.

As a self-published author have you ever sighed with envy as you watch another author – most probably trade published – chat about their book on the sofa of a popular TV show? Or maybe you’ve been listening to a podcast or radio show and realized that someone else is getting book publicity you can only dream of?
But is it only a dream? Is it, in fact, possible to land yourself some awesome author publicity?

Belinda Griffin, author of Ready To Find The Best Book Launch Plan For You?

Find out more about Belinda and SmartAuthors at the links below:

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NaNoProMo Day 3: Pitching: What You Need to Know Now by Blaise Ramsay

Day 3 of NaNoProMo is all about pitching, written by our own Blaise Ramsay. Pitching can be daunting, especially when you’re not sure what constitutes as a strong pitch. Maybe you’re not sure what an elevator pitch is or how a pitch is different from a query letter.

Check out the full article. Pitching: What You Need to Know Now by Blaise Ramsay

Here is an excerpt of what you can expect:

Let’s talk about your pitch today.
The publishing world is a struggle. With agents receiving multiple submissions from multiple authors, it is easy for your manuscript to get lost in the author’s proverbial nightmare: the “slush pile.”
As a publishing company and as professional book reviewers who request a pitch, often times we see the author sending us things like reviews or rewards the author’s book has received. This is not what an agent, publisher or book reviewer wants or needs immediately when asking for a pitch.


Recently, FyreSyde Publishing has been working to open up submissions to help authors looking for representation. Though we do not require agents (yet), we do expect an elevator pitch prior to receiving a query letter.
For #NaNoProMo 2019, we are delighted to bring authors a better understanding of what a pitch is, how you can properly write an elevator pitch and provide some steps on how you can write an award-winning pitch that can land you an agent.

Blaise Ramsay, author of the paranormal romance Blessing of Luna
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NaNoProMo: Ten Reasons You Need to Run Your Writing Like a Business by Leigh Shulman

NaNoProMo by BadRedHeadMedia is upon us. Throughout the month of May, FyreSyde will endeavor to keep you up to date on this amazing event hosted by Rachel Thomson, a leading name in the publishing industry. Day 1 revolves around why you should be running your writing like a business by Leigh Shulman.

Due to the rise of self and indie publishing, it has become all the more easy for authors to write, publish and market their own work. However, more often than not, many of these authors fail. Why is that?

Because they refuse to see themselves as a brand and not a book. That is what you are when you decide to move from writing for a hobby to publishing your first novel.

To quote Leigh herself:

Simply said, when you run your writing like a business, you create more space to share your work in the most authentic way possible. Building a business plan for your writing begins with one question. “What do you want to write?”

Leigh Shulman, author of The Writer’s Roadmap: Paving the Way To Your Ideal Writing Life

We highly encourage to read the original article for more great advice on why you should treat yourself as a brand, not a book title.

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[Preptober pt.2] Mindmapping v. Outlining v. Pansting

***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 take the time to fill out this form.*** 


 

We are back again! This time, we’re facing some serious opponents in the cage: Mindmapping versus Outlining versus pantsing. FIGHT!

To begin to find out how we want to cheer for these titans in the ring, we need to understand what each of them are:

mind-mapping-graphic-100679740-large

Mindmapping:

The real definition, according to Mindmapping.com, is:

“A graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps structuring information, helping you to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas. Just as in every great idea, its power lies in its simplicity.”

Put simply, it’s the messiest form of getting anything you can think of down on paper in some kind of graphic. It can be in the circle web, a tree branch system, etc.

A great tool authors can use is called Freemind. It’s absolutely free and makes the process much easier. 

Once the process is complete you can move onto your second opponent in the cage: Outlining.


Outlining:

Going back to the official definition, according to Dictionary.com, an outline is:

“a general sketch, account, or report, indicating only the main features, as of a book, subject, or project”

What does this mean? Just as it says. You are putting your story in such a way that you dan-wellscan see it’s pacing, plot line, characters, etc.

There are many ways you can do this. However, some of those I use are Dan Well’s 7-point plot structure, The Embryo Method, and of course my favorite, the 3 Act, 9 Block, 27 Chapters method founded by Katytastic. Each of them are powerful and some of the most efficient ways to outline I’ve found! It’s up to you to decide on what’s best for you and your novel!


Pantsing

Pantsing is the most free approach to writing a novel. There’s no dedication to an outline. Often there’s not even a mind-mapping technique involved. It’s the most Stephen King method out there and still one of my most preferred.

However!

quote-but-it-s-writing-damn-it-not-washing-the-car-or-putting-on-eyeliner-if-you-can-take-stephen-king-89-85-72I am what is known as a Plotster. Most of the time, despite my love for the methods above, I don’t really use them I’d rather have a general idea as vague as possible so I can let the characters and story evolve as they will. When I do outline, it’s often Dan Well’s method which gives you the meat and leaves out the details.


But, which is right for me?

This is for you, as the creator, to decide. Some great questions you can ask are:

  1. What do I know about my story?
  2. Do I want to know everything up front or allow some freedom to move around?
  3. Do I even want to mind-map?
  4. Do I need to mind-map?
  5. What would benefit the story most?

download (2)Ultimately, you know your story better than anyone. you know what it needs, how the world feels and what you want to know – which can be as much or as little as you like.

  • Try each of them out! Maybe one feels right.
  • Do your research. There are many and I mean many ways to go about creating your story.

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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[Marketing101] The 80/20 Rule

Marketing-Quotes-8If you’ve been on social media, and I know you have, for any amount of time, you have probably come across the 80/20 Rule at some point.

This little rule can change so many things if applied correctly.

Now, I think anyone who sells anything can agree that getting posts bashing a reader over the brain with “Buy my…” can not only result in massive brain hemorrhaging but also send people running as fast as they can to the “unfollow”, “unlike”, etc button.

Why is this?

Because in marketing, people want to be seen as valuable. They want to feel like the services they’re being offered fills a need that they have. Truth is, they may not even know they have it. They want to feel like they’re being invested in and appreciated.

We need to focus not on what people are giving us but what we are giving to them. We need to focus on how they feel when they’ve invested their time and money into a dream they know little about.

“If I know how to make you feel good, then odds are, you will keep coming back.” Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and Founder of Shake Shack

So what is the 80/20 Rule?

Put simply, in terms of posting on social media, it’s focusing 20% of the content on one’s own product, service, etc while focusing 80% on your readers. Whoever they may be.764348-Gary-Vaynerchuk-Quote-The-best-marketing-strategy-ever-CARE

You can do this by sharing articles about topics close to your heart, adventures in starting up your business, inspirational quotes and retweeting and commenting on their content.

Social media has made it so easy for us to just spam our streams with me, me, me. The truth is it’s not a “me” market, especially as an author, artist, etc. Getting in the mindset of a market of “we” can make a world of difference.

“One of the best ways to let people know about your book is to not talk about it yourself, but to let readers know about it in other ways, and get them talking.”

Rachel Thompson, Founder of BadRedHeadMedia

Rachel Thompson is one of the leading ladies in the world of book marketing. She has written some of the most amazing books titled The 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge and How to Best Optimize Blog Posts for SEO: 25 Tested Tips Writers Need to Know Now.She is also the founder and organizer of NaNoProMo featuring some of the leading names and their advice on how to market social media among other valuable subjects.

In her blog, titled How To Develop and Perfect Your Book Marketing, she offers some helpful resources and advice on how to enhance your marketing and turn you “me” view into a “we” view. I would recommend reading her blog for any a

The truth is, in the end we’re all living beings with jobs, struggles and times when funds are tight.

As a bonus, check out this article about the 80/20 Rule in regards to time management!