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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 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 2: A Novel Way of Speaking: Just for Authors by PaulGeigerSpeak

Let’s face it, speaking for authors in general can be pretty daunting, especially if you’re one of those who freezes up in front of people. For day 2 of NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson), Paul Geiger offers a way that could help ease the stress of speaking.

In this article, Paul gives three points to help authors talk about their books. We hope you will check out the original article here: A Novel Way of Speaking: Just for Authors.

Here is a quick excerpt of what you can expect:

Most authors will admit they write a lot better than they speak. (I happen to write the same way I speak – but I’m only developing one character here.)
Most people, in general, don’t even like the sound of their own voice. Couple that with a little nervousness when being interviewed about your book and you’re in for a bumpy and unpredictable ride.
Any time you let the word out that you’ve got a big promotional opportunity, you will inevitably receive a lot of well-intentioned advice:
“Be yourself.”
“Just speak the way you write. You’ll be great!”
“Show them how smart you are.”
“Take a deep breath and go for it.”
Your friends and family mean well but, ultimately, you’re still left with no answers. The better action plan for how to talk about your book has only three parts:
Discover your bumper sticker.
Leverage your forward momentum.
Know how to close the loop.

Paul Geiger, author of Better Business Speech

You can find Paul on his social media:

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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.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!

download (2)

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[Preptober Pt.3] Deciding on an Outlining Method

***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.*** 


 

TheWe’ve made it folks, it’s the second to the last week of Preptober. We have a solid idea, we’ve decided on whether or not to mind-map and if we have, now we’re ready to outline! (Unless you’re a pantser, plotster, etc. Still read on! You might change your mind and avoid the mid-month wall crash).

Last week, I went over three different outlining methods you can use when approaching your outline. HOWEVER! There are many and I encourage you to choose what works for you. 

For the purpose of this post however, I will cover the three I mentioned. 

Good Old Dan Wells

Dan Well’s created an outlining method known as the 7-point plot structure**. This is possibly my favorite method because it forces you to focus on the main points in the story and alleviates focusing too much on details too early on.

This method begins with what he likes to call the “Ice Breaker Monster.” Basically, you’re promising the reader just as they open the book that action is coming down the pike. You might do this as Lord of the Rings did by starting backwards and showing some history prior to beginning the actual story.dan-wells

  • Part 1: The Hook: This is the character in their ordinary world. Where they start before the inciting incident pushes them to move the story forward. In Lord of the Rings, this is when we see Harry in his squalid condition of living under the stairs. It gives us a glance into the world before moving on to the first Plot Turn.
  • Part 2: Plot Turn 1: This is your inciting incident. The action that moves your character forward into their journey. In Lord of the Rings, Frodo is given the ring by Gandalf and told to meet him in Bree.
  • Part 3: Pinch 1: This would follow after your hero refuses to answer the call to action. They need to be persuaded to move into their journey. For example, Frodo goes to Bree but finds Gandalf isn’t there. He realizes he must continue the journey with the help of Aragorn.
  • Part 4: Midpoint: The meat of the story. A point where the character realizes they have to answer the call to action. Going back to the example of Lord of the Rings, this is when Frodo is with the council and realizes he’s the only one who can take the ring to Mordor. The Fellowship is formed.
  • Part 5: Pinch 2: This is when things get bad. The hero often suffers a severe loss and finds themselves alone. After the battle with the Balrog, Frodo loses Gandalf and feels shaken in his resolve.
  • Part 6 & 7 are known as the Plot turn 2 and resolution. The hero is able to get the last pieces of the story put together and move on into the resolution. Frodo and Sam decide they can’t accomplish their goals through the broken fellowship and must continue on their own. In the end, Frodo throws the Ring into the fires of Mt. Doom thus destroying Sauron.

**If you need further elaboration, Dan himself walks through three different examples in this youtube series.


Dan Harmons’ Embryo Method

tumblr_inline_n8sssrntlC1qj0ue8Screen writer Dan Harmon does a dissection of the popular Hero’s Journey template by removing parts he deems “unnecessary” to avoid the “fluff” and move right into the action. His method is broken down like this:

  • You (a character is in a zone of comfort) > Introduce your character
  • Need (but they want something) > There’s something off
  • Go (they enter an unfamiliar situation) > Call to action/ inciting incident
  • Search (adapt to it) > They have no choice but to continue
  • Find (find what they wanted) > The Midpoint
  • Take (pay its price) > Things get bad for the protagonist
  • Return (and go back to where they started) > Finding the power within
  • Change (now capable of change) > The hero is ready to face the beast head on

I use this method from time to time because it’s very basic and doesn’t focus on details much like Dan Wells’. For more in depth study, I invite you to check this wikia.


3 Act, 9 Block, 27 Chapter Method

This is the method I used for my first novel. It’s miraculous for pacing and can offer great incite on how to break your chapters down into a manageable 27. It was founded by Katytastic on youtube and has since been used by many authors to complete their66714aed90eb335e39bf28c3fcd44a65 novels.

However, because of its length and the way it’s set up, I’m unable to go over every piece here. If requested, I’d be happy to do a rundown. Writer’sedit.com has already done so for the popular Young Adult series, Hunger Games.


But Which is Right for me?

As I mentioned, there are many ways to outline. Chapter by Chapter, 3 Act, Snowflake Method, Hero’s Journey, etc. There is no “right” way to outline. It’s all how you, the author, want to plan your novel. 

Start by asking yourself these three questions:

  1. How much do I want to know before writing?
  2. Which would benefit my story most?
  3. What aspect of my story would I possibly struggle with most?

Once you know these, it should be easier for you to decide, if at all. If you’re a total plotster or panster, then sit down and go for 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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[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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[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.*** 


PBR_Logo
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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[Failure pt.2] You’re Going to Experience It…We all Do

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We’re all going to fail at something. 

It’s something that’s hard to swallow but true. We are all going to fail at something. It could be from something simple to breaking a key off in a door lock or something big like a failed book title. 

The beauty is, there’s nothing wrong with it as long as you choose to keep trying. This is the difference between a failure and someone who fails. The failure stays down and quits fighting while the one who fails keeps getting up and trying new things.

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill  

 

It’s perfectly fine if your first trial fails. It’s supposed to!

 As an author, I am constantly learning to accept there are projects that may not see the light of day for one reason or another. The beauty of it is, it’s okay. Odds are you’re not going to have a perfect first draft. As a matter of fact, it’s most likely going to be horrible, however, the most important thing is for it to simply exist. You can’t edit a blank canvas 12071-terry-pratchett-first-draft-quotebut you can edit a bad first draft.

We see it all the time. New editions of books, remakes of games, character designs updated after years. These are people who realize that they’re allowed to edit or fix something. They developed their skills, honed them and got back in the saddle. Whatever you, never settle on your first draft of anything being your magnum opus. It won’t be. It’s not supposed to be.

The Wright Brothers went through many stages of the first planes which failed miserably. J.K Rowling wrote her first draft on a napkin and received multiple rejections on Harry Potter before it got picked up.

Allow yourself to fail. In the long run, it is the ultimate teacher and can make something turn into something else you never thought of.

 

Starting is Hard….

 

“The hardest thing to do is to start.” — Stephen King

He was right. Beginning anything new is terrifying. You may fear not having enough money, enough time, giving up something like binge watching Netflix, feeling you’re too advanced in age? 

 If this is you (because it was and sometimes still is me) ask why you’re terrified? Then weight the pros and cons. What do you have to benefit from being willing to fail? What do you have to lose? 

 Then remember: “I’m not alone. Others have failed before and become great. I can do this too.”

 Every single success story from Apple to Pixar, from Harry Potter to Twilight, have experienced failure. The difference, they didn’t quit. They took the hits and got back up.

To quote a very amazing rat: “Change is nature, dad and it starts when we decide.” 159578a41f29f4b8a14c080117a55d8d


 Got any comments? Feedback on what you’ve read or something to add? Feel free to leave it in the comments! We love to hear from our readers! If you want to support FyreSyde or see what we’re up to, feel free to subscribe! 

Want to write for us? Get an interview? Have questions or need advice, feel free to contact us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com! We’re open to guest posts anytime. It usually takes at least 24-hours for Blaise to respond but she does her best. Patience is appreciated.

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Authorlife: It Can’t Be About Fame or Money

Sales. love-life-money-quote-by-luis-d-ortiz-390364

We all would love to see consistent sales of our products. They can be books, services such as coaching classes, art, games, etc. The list goes on.

As an author, learning to accept that we will suffer times of feast and famine is a part of the art of marketing and writing itself.

There may be periods where our books and/or ebooks are flying of the shelves quicker than we can produce them. Yet there are times when we can fall prey to disappointment. Wanting to give up because things aren’t going the way we planned.

This is something, through hours of research, that we quickly realize especially as Indie or self-published authors.

It takes hours of hard work and persistence to build a brand. That’s what needs to be focused on. Build the brand, not the book.

But most important, a creator needs to remember why they chose to create their product in the first place because let’s face it. History is full of entrepreneurs of all kinds who went through periods of plenty and nothing.

d1dd5e679b0da3d15d96eff945e15583“Make Your Passion Your Paycheck”

Why did you choose to create your product in the first place? What were the goals you set for yourself when you began? Was it for the money? Fame? Etc? Or did you do it because you love doing what you do?

Why did you spend hours of stress, blood, sweat and tears to hold the product in your hands?

The truth friends, you have to do it because you love what you do. Many authors who are starting out usually won’t see much turnaround and often wind up spending more than they earn. This is a common occurrence when building a new business. It’s about taking a huge risk and being open to realizing, you might fail but accepting that failure and continuing anyway.

“True writing is not about money and selling.

It’s about passion. And readers certainly do discover and buy, well-written books by new writers. Authors only need to inform readers intelligently that they are passionate about what they do. Then book sales will look after themselves.”

Via Justpublishingadvice.com

Do what you do because you love to do it. Not for fame or fortune.

Work Smarter Not Harder

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One of the most successful women in the Indie publishing industry I have seen is Kristen Martin. Author of five best-selling books including her new self-help novel, Be Your Own Goals, Kristen offers multiple avenues of inspiration to those just starting out.

A powerful phrase she uses is “Work Smarter, not Harder.”

Now what does this mean? It means do the research and find what has worked for others and be willing to reach out to mentors who have been through what you are hoping to achieve.

It can also mean, utilizing the tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite to handle the work of scheduling early. It takes about 30 minutes to an hour to use these tools and it takes a great deal of stress off and avoids the twitter hustle and batch retweets.

Set deadlines, carve out hours to work on your passion and hold those hours sacred.

Be Consistent

“Don’t be upset about the results you didn’t get, from the work you didn’t do.”

Entrepreneurship-is-about-turning-what-excites-you-in-life-into-capital-so-that-you-can-do-more-of-it-and-move-forward-with-it_Richard-Branson-Quote_Mindset2MillionsAny successful entrepreneur will tell you they only got where they were because they put in hours of work.

Authors and creatives of any kind, in any field, must put in the late nights, early mornings and weekends to create and become successful at what they did.

You have to be willing to treat what you do like a business. Do not rely on just social media. It is necessary in forming bonds and networking but does not often result in sales.

 

Don’t Give Up!7da6194cf12177755188f4220f92d19b--writing-quotes-on-writing

Odds Are, you Might Not be The Next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling but that doesn’t mean you don’t have something to offer.

It may take a few titles, events and hours of promotion and networking. It may take break-downs, sadness, depression, and questioning your decisions. All of this is normal! We all go through it. Whatever you do, don’t give up!

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[Newsletter] New Projects, Appearances, Oh My!

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” _ Stephen King

I wanted to give everyone who reads the blog a bit of an update and offer some places you can go to learn a bit more about what’s going on and what you can look forward to from FyreSyde.


A Shoutout to My Readers! I love you all!!!!

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It has blown me away just how many people walked up to shake my hand and struck up a conversation, asked questions and inquired about what it meant to finish a book and get it published. It has been a humbling experience! I love my readers so much!!! All of you!!!

 


Some Places of Interest:

To just offer up a few things that have been going on. For the past two months, I have done multiple interviews, a Radio Show appearance and multiple signings all across the greater Denton/Dallas/Fort Worth area.

If you’d like to meet me in person, I welcome you to check out the appearances page! I update it regularly as best I can with where I’m going to be and when! I would love to meet you!

A few interviews have been posted as well if you would like to read them and offer feedback! These include guest posts on other blogs as well that I would recommend you to follow and read!

If you would like to guest post, get an interview of your own, want a book review or are curious about the services offered here, I highly recommend checking out these pages.

I also welcome you to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and my new authorpage.com page for updates and short stories!


Some Things to Look Forward To:

Okay! So here it is, the section letting you know just what to expect in the next year! Follow us here or any of our social media for information regarding these new opportunities!

  1. Compilation Opportunities: As many of you know, FyreSyde’s main focus is not on our own goals, books, etc. We want to be about you: the readers and the authors. Something Blaise has wanted to do and will be doing her best to put into effect is to open up theme-based compilations to authors of all kinds. For now, they will be in the form of posts either here or on a blogspot. At this time, there is no intention of making a printed version. Only an online magazine. If this changes, there will be an announcement. Please keep in mind, as of now, Blaise is the only one who will run it. She will personally be screening each piece submitted. As this is the case, there will most likely be a maximum number of accepted submissions. More info will be provided the closer it gets. If you want to keep up with this project, follow or subscribe via email!
  2. Editing Services: As of now, all that is offered here on FyreSyde as far as paid services is the 60-minute marketing consultation. In 2019, Blaise plans on opening up editing opportunities as well.
  3. Cover Reveals: FyreSyde will officially open cover reveal opportunities for authors or artists who want to get their covers seen for a very low price.
  4. Fundraisers/ Charity events/ Runs: FyreSyde will begin reaching out to its communities as well. This will come in the form of sponsorships, charity events and fundraisers. The first is the Halloween Charity Event happening in October!

So many fun things coming down the pike! For those who want to know, this Dean-is-in-Music-Ministry-nowDecember will mark FyreSyde’s first birthday!! 


New Projects and Bane of Tenebris

You guys have been so amazing with Luna’s release. It really is heartwarming to learn so many of you have received it so well and offered some truly wonderful feedback.

This being said, I have an announcement to make about a new, secret project I’ve put into the works. It will precede Bane of Tenebris as I have been experiencing some burn-out on the second book. As this is a highly anticipated release, I will be taking the utmost of care to make the book as good as it can be.

The secret project is a psychological thriller I hope to have released by the end of this year. If this isn’t doable for any reason, I will be updating you, the readers.

The second installment of the Wolfgods, Bane of Tenebris has been given a tentative release date for June of 2019. Beta readers are encouraged to contact me via facebook to be invited to the beta reading group.


The Return of Marketing101 and Regular Posting Schedules

For those of you keeping up with me on social media, you probably know I’ve been taking it easy this summer in an attempt to rest my brain. This is all true!

I will be returning August 5, 2018 with regular posting and more Marketing101 posts for you all to enjoy and hopefully glean some information from!

Until then, please check out some of the amazing books posted here to support fellow authors! See you all again soon!!! Keep going and stay productive!!!

“There is no royal, flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it. For if I have accomplished anything in life, it is because I have been willing to work hard.” ~ C.J. Walker