Five Free Author Gifts For Christmas.

Oh we writers, what we don’t want for Christmas that we think would help our writer’s cause would fill a coffee cup, which is actually on the list of things writer’s think we need. Although I don’t drink coffee. Tried it the other day and about went bonkers. If I had a book idea I could have written it that day. Never try to do that, write a book in a day that is. I wrote a 40,000 word book in one day and was useless for days. I think I might have donated an organ but not sure. Actually I think I know which organ and don’t ask. I’m of the age I don’t think that organ is really all that useful any longer anyway.

Hello, I’m Ronovan and I write. I write anything and anywhere I can sneak in the door. Jenna left her door open and here I am. Oh that poor trusting woman. The chocoholic has succumbed to her indulgences and is now lying in the corner in a stupor babbling “plots, plots, edits, 15th draft, 15th draft”. I do not understand this rambling of hers but I am taking advantage of it. So I give you . . .

What every writer needs for Christmas.

(But doesn’t know to ask for.)

There are things every writer out there wants.

  • The perfect first paragraph to the greatest novel ever written
  • An advance from a publisher on a book that will feed them for a year
  • Perhaps all the favorite beverage of their choice in an endless supply linked to their writing space from the fridge by way of a super humongoso straw, nozzle, whatever
  • And of course that chocolate fondue fountain in the living room next to the couch they write upon

Raise your hand if you know which one Jenna would pick.

 So here for some actual serious things writers might like to have.

 

Choosing Your Publishing Poison

One thing an author needs to know is about the publishing options out there, the routes possible. It isn’t all just about an agent and a publisher any longer. Those simple days of hopes and rejections only are long gone. So how does an author know what route is best for them?

Choose your publishing Option

This isn’t an Amazon deal, oh you can download it for .99, but it is free as of the time of this writing by visiting Smashwords here, and get it for Kindle or even PDF. Don’t know what Smashwords is? Worried about it being legit? It’s legit. A lot of authors use it instead of or as well as Amazon now. I downloaded it and have it on my Kindle at this moment.

 

Let’s say the writer in your life picked the traditional route of going through a publisher. They are going to need some help . Help in what?

How about help with writing a query letter?

There are spouses, parents and even people we wish were our spouses out there now wondering what in the world is a query letter. Or those people are asking how can they help us, if they do know what a query letter is. For those that don’t know-That’s the thing we writers can’t write that’s a page long after writing 400 pages of a novel. Yeah, it’s what gets us in the door with an agent or publisher to take a look at our novel. If you don’t do it correctly, buh bye.

So what to do what to do. Writing courses? Pay someone to do it for you? Sure, those are options but then there is this.

How to write a great query letter35 Five Star Reviews out of 49 Reviews so far on Amazon. I’ll take that.

You’re wondering how much, right? At the moment of this writing, it is free. Yes, Free. Click here to go there to download.

 

But maybe the writer decided to go their own way and self-publish. Well they need to know how to do something. What’s that they need to know how to do?

How about knowing how to set up their book for Kindle?

Building your book for Kindle is something we all face as a writer. Get ready for it. Kindle is the standard and likely to remain so. So who better to tell you how than, Amazon Kindle itself.

build your book for kindleClick here to download it for, yes, free. I’m not just saying to do it because it’s from Amazon itself. With 1,104 Five Star Reviews as of this writing, I’ll go with it.

 

There is one thing that every author needs to know how to do, regardless of the path they choose. What’s that?

How To Market Your Book

In today’s world of being an author you have to do your own marketing. Even if you are signed by a big gun, you still need to know the business and get to marketing.

book marketing guideWith a review rating of 4.89 out of 5 with 139 people reviewing, I’d say get over to Smashwords and download now by clicking here. You can also go to Amazon and get it as well by clicking here. 73 five star reviews there. And guess what? As of this writing . . . you guessed it, Free to download.

 

Another thing that will help out is something specifically called ebook. Yeah, the ebook, that thing book stores hate. Well, it’s here and it isn’t going away so what do we do?

We Need to Be Successful At The Big E

Ebooks are so easy to buy and it’s, well it’s like a pack of Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups at the check out line at the super market. Easy to pick up and consume. Impulse buying even.

secrets to ebook publishing successFree. Okay, got that out of the way. Download at Smashwords here, or Amazon here. Knowing how to reach more readers for your ebooks doesn’t mean that’s the only people you reach. Remember reach them and keep them.

 

Five for Free. I hope these come in handy for anyone looking for some free tips on how to do things. I always like to read whatever is out there and I gain some knowledge to use. Sometimes I read things and learn what not to do. Have a good holiday season and hope your writer, be that the one in you, or the one near and dear to you finds something useful from today’s guest post.

THANKS JENNA! I didn’t break anything. Well, I don’t think I did.

Much Respect

Ronovan Writes

About the Author:

Ronovan WritesRonovan blogs at RonovanWrites.WordPress.com and also started LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com where you will find interviews with Authors, Publishers, Book Cover artists and all areas of the Lit World along with Book Reviews by a team of reviewers from around the world as well as useful articles on writing, self-publishing and platform building. You can follow Ronovan on Twitter @RonovanWrites.

 

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Friday Funny with Mad Editing and a Merry Christmas

Since today will be my last Friday Funny until after the New Year, I thought I’d have fun by kicking things off with some dancing from one of my favorite Christmas movies, White Christmas.

Are you getting into the holiday spirit and shaking that booty? Come on, you know you want to…at least a little. 

Hey, if Bing Crosby can do it, so can you! 😉

Anyway, as I mentioned, today will be my last Friday Funny for the next few weeks. With the holiday hoopla revving up, a two week vacation quickly approaching, and a mad dash to the finish line of my third draft, I need to take an itty bitty break from my blog. But don’t worry. I’ve decided to run a small feature while I’m gone:

My Top 10 2014 Posts.

IMG_4120Basically, I’ll be re-sharing my most popular posts from the past year (based on the number of views).

So, if you think about it, I won’t really be gone.

Glancing at my stats page now, I see my most popular posts include stories I’ve written, helpful articles I’ve found for Twitter Treasure Thursday, and some articles I wrote myself. So, you’ll get a little taste of everything.

I also have a dear friend who might do a guest post while I’m gone, so stay tuned for that special treat!

As far as life has gone the past couple of weeks…

Yeah, things have been on the frustrating side. I really can’t explain why other than I’m hitting a wall and simply need a break. You know, a vacation. A real one. Like, on a beach somewhere with nothing to worry about but getting a sunburn by accident…

Of course, there is no beach vacation planned, and taking a break right now is impossible. If anything, I need to work harder. My January 1st deadline is rapidly approaching and I’m only one third of the way through editing my novel.

Okay, I’ll admit it. At this point, it’s going to take a Christmas miracle for me to finish my third draft by January 1st. A combination of fatigue and diligence has slowed my progress way down.

However, I’m determined to finish it by January 16th, which is when the first round of the Short Story Challenge 2015 kicks off. I just need to stay positive and focused.

Luckily, I’m taking a week off of work starting on the 23rd, and besides celebrating Christmas and a few other holiday events, I have nothing planned, so I should have plenty of time to dedicate to finishing my third draft.

Don’t worry. Life hasn’t been all work and no play for me. A couple of weeks ago, my family and I took my nephews up to The Polar Express event at the Colorado Railroad Museum. To say it was magical would be an understatement.

1939799_10101899434320383_2937349853069502961_n

1604978_10101899434799423_3646238437629819534_nWe boarded a train with our tickets, had hot chocolate served to us by dancing waiters, and listened to The Polar Express read aloud. Then we disembarked and walked over to watch the actual Polar Express train arrive.

I don’t know how it happened, but as we watched the train chug along the track towards us with its steam billowing, it began to snow. Soft, perfect little flakes that hadn’t been in the forecast but decided to fall anyway in that moment. It made the entire experience surreal and unforgettable.

10277762_10101916657135723_4709926420278230965_n
My nephews aboard the Polar Express

10440778_10101899435468083_6522615166308918613_n-1As we rode the train, we were entertained with various reenactments from the story, as well as a visit from Santa who gave my nephews a sleigh bell. We even had our tickets punched by the conductor with the letter “B” for “Believe”.

10389674_10101916656437123_5972138565947193689_nThe entire event was amazing and will likely go down as the main highlight of this holiday season for me.

Well, time to wrap things up and get back to working on my manuscript! I searched and searched for a writing funny based on the holidays, but I couldn’t find one 😦 But here are some that will still hopefully give you a chuckle. Enjoy!

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f917926d7f239d09a7b19d9486d6090bI wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Be safe, have fun, and try to relax more than me 😉

Jen’s Roundup

In case you missed my last few posts, here you go!

Music Monday – Superheroes – The Script

My First Writing Conference – Top 10 Things I Learned

Music Monday – Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival

What I’m Thankful For

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Photo credits: 

1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Friday Funny And Holiday Farewell

Let’s face it. By the end of the week, most of us are done. Overdone. Charred. This week has definitely been on the charred side for me. It appears my body has finally surrendered to the exhaustion, germs and crazy weather patterns its been exposed to and has gotten itself a dandy cold. Yay!…Blerg. I’m literally limping into my Christmas vacation. Which, since I’m sick, has started a tad earlier than planned.

So, with that all said, I’ve decided to take a small holiday vaca from my blog. Rest assured, I’ll be back in January, posting regularly. But, for now, it’s time for me to kick back, recoup and celebrate with my family. I hope you all have a lovely, safe holiday. And I hope you all get tons and tons of books from Santa!

I’ve also decided to start dedicating Friday’s to lighter, comedic posts from now on. Because, come on, we all need a good laugh by the end of the week, right? Especially those charred weeks.

Today’s Friday Funny goes out to all you bookaholics. Enjoy!

Bookaholic

Writing update with a side of Friday funny

Happy Friday! Hope you had a great week and are looking forward to the weekend. I know I am. My plans are pretty simple: Go see Catching Fire and then write, write, write! I plan on hitting the 50,000 NaNo word count later today or early tomorrow (YAY!), but I still have half a book to go, so my journey isn’t over yet.

Plus, as the month of December approaches, I have a couple of other projects I need to temporarily shift my focus to. One is a short story for an open call submission for an anthology about ghosts. This will be a challenge since I’ve never written a ghost story, but what the hey, right? A bigger challenge will be my second project: Writing/creating two children’s books for my nephews. Each Christmas, I write them a story based on their life and then manipulate real photos of them in Photoshop to use as illustrations (here is the one I created for my nephew Dane last year). Writing children’s stories doesn’t come naturally for me, and with all the Photoshopping and book designing involved, they take me FOREVER. But, they’re worth it when I see the reaction from my family on Christmas morning. And, more importantly, the reaction I hope to see from my nephews someday when they’re older and can look back at the colorful series about their lives.

So, as you can see, even though NaNo is over for me, my weekends will continue to be mini writing marathons. But, I can’t complain. How can I? I LOVE writing!

Anyways, to send you off for your weekend, I thought I’d share one of my favorite How I Met Your Mother moments. It made me laugh this morning, so I thought it might make you laugh too.

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Have a great weekend!

Challenge Accepted: NaNoWriMo

There! I did it. I signed up for NaNoWriMo.

Happy, Self?

The past few weeks have been super busy for me. Like, crazy busy! Work and life have drained me of time, energy and, worst of all, motivation. My precious cup of creative juice has been nearly sucked dry, and the few drops I’ve managed to keep have gone straight to my blog and book reviews. Zero–and I mean, ZERO--have gone towards the two manuscripts I have sitting on my computer…I swear I can hear my poor characters crying and yelling at me to return to them–to help them finish the sentence they were saying, or the glare they were giving, or the punch they were throwing…

Unfortunately, every time I’ve gone to open one of these restless documents, I’ve only made it a few sentences before my weary, stubborn brain says, “Uh-uh. No way. Not doing this.”

stubborn-mule

Grrrr…

To help me get back on track, I’ve decided to take on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). This will be the first time I’ve ever tried the 50,000 words-in-a-month challenge, but I need to do it. Clearly, I need SOMETHING to kick me into gear–something to motivate me–something to oil up the ol’ rusty cogs in my “meh” brain.

32737-tin_manNaNoWriMo runs from November 1st-30th. Unfortunately, I’ll be getting a delayed start because I have the second round of the Flash Fiction Challenge 2013 to contend with from November 1st-3rd. It’s okay though. After the first round of the Flash Fiction Challenge I ended up having a writing epiphany and getting a huge spurt of creative energy for an old manuscript. I threw out the old stuff and produced 10,000 words worth of new content in one weekend. 10,000 WORDS in ONE weekend! So, I’m hoping the untimely interruption will be a blessing, not a hinderance.

Now, because I’ll have to write approximately 1,700 words/day to successfully complete this daunting task, it’s likely my blog posts will slow down for bit. But fear not! I shall return to a normal publishing schedule in December. Promise!!

pinky-swearOkay, time to get pumped up (because now that I’ve posted this, I guess I gotta go through with it, huh?). Step 1: Figure out which manuscript to work on. I have two and both are screaming for my undivided attention. Hmm…Step 2: WRITE!!!

So, how about you? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? If so, do you have any valuable tips to share with the rest of us?

Good luck to all NaNoWriMo participants! Can’t wait to see how we all do!

P.S. A fellow blogger went ahead and wrote a post about her tips for NaNoWriMo. It’s awesome. Check it out here!