Authors Supporting Authors

This article originally appeared on CircleCityPublishing.com.

We’ve previously shared tips on how to show support for upcoming authors for free here and here, and for cheap here. With those ideas being provided, we’d be remiss to acknowledge the struggle within the writing community to support each other. What we’ve seen more times than we can count, is authors who are so laser-focused on selling a single copy of their own book, that they miss the opportunity to support the larger writing community in a way that could offer long-term benefit. There is a focus to sell books at all costs, without recognizing that not every reader is their target demographic. It almost seems like there is a competitive approach, as in, let’s see who can sell the most books. Sure, generally, that’s the end goal. But when you’re still finding your place in the writing world, it would be beneficial to ally yourself with other authors who can work with each other and help the collective group.

Social media has provided countless groups for this very thing. The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to the writing community, especially compared to how difficult and limited the resources and options were just twenty years ago (pre-internet). While it’s fun to surround yourself with other writers that you share interests with, it might be more beneficial to find a well-rounded group, ranging from various writing styles, multiple genres, and differing experience levels. That way when you meet a new reader, and you ask them what they like to read, you can give them fitting choices when you make a recommendation. Sure, that recommendation might lead that reader to a different author, but the other authors in your group would ideally be doing the same thing and pointing identified readers in your direction as well. That’s a win-win for everyone involved. Not only that, but it also helps the reader find something that they will enjoy. They can then focus more support on a new favorite author, instead of getting annoyed and/or burned out from having books pushed on them that they aren’t interested in.

Unfortunately, what we’ve seen time and again, are author’s who seem to have the impression that there aren’t enough readers to go around, and that their book should be in everyone’s hands, even if that reader isn’t interested in their genre, topic, style, etc. While it’s true that there is a limited amount of money for readers to spend on books, wouldn’t it be better served if it was used for the benefit of the community, instead of trying to gobble up every reader whether they like your genre or not, $12 at a time?

Additionally, beyond selfish sales approaches, we’ve noticed that authors don’t always practice what they preach. Writers are always asking for book reviews, however, they aren’t the most reliable group to offer reviews to other authors. As previously noted, it doesn’t have to be a full-on, multiple paragraph essay-type book review. A simple “fun read” or “interesting book” work just fine. If you have a blog and want to do a complete book review, then even better. Not only are you letting readers know about a particular book, you’re generating easy content for your site. How can you go wrong with that?

Lastly, also discussed previously, most authors have fanpages on social media, and every author craves likes, shares, and comments. Although, you can have a whole friends list of writers, and will still struggle to receive the kind of attention that’s desired. It can be very defeating to offer support to others, and not have it reciprocated, and the logic behind it is baffling. The golden rule seems quite fitting here, doesn’t it? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you? Unfortunately, a lot of time, it comes down to do unto others when it benefits you. Or do unto others after they’ve done unto you.

Are you an author that finds themselves in this group of guilty offenders? Well, the good news is it’s never too late to start supporting the writing community!

 
 

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Ephemera: Life Lessons Learned Available Now!

Ephemera: Life Lessons Learned, the latest anthology that I contributed to is available now! Click the link and get your copy today! My story, Bunker 2253, is an apocalyptic tale of survival for a family of three. What would your survival plan look like? A stock of dried food? Access to weapons for defense? An underground bunker, perhaps? You never know what you might need, who you can rely on, and who may be a threat!

Every story has a lesson…

…Every lesson has a story

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Book Review: The Lost Legends

This review comes on the heels of Cait Marie’s debut novel, The Lost Legends.  I’d seen a lot of promotional material leading up to its release, and I was familiar with part of the backstory, thanks to The Lost Warriors short story that was included in Circle City Publishing’s Fun Size Anthology.  Other than that, all I knew was that there was something about cursed pirates, war, and all the good stuff, but that was more than enough to get me excited to check out the full story. Continue reading

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Easy & Cheap Ways to Support an Author

This article originally appeared on CircleCityPublishing.com.

Previously, we shared how to support an author for free. You can review those articles here and here. This time we’ll offer some suggestions on how you can help support your favorite authors if you have a few extra dollars to spend. These are pretty simple and straight-forward, so this post will be pretty short. Continue reading

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The End – 5 Ways to Effectively End Your Story

The opening line of any novel is arguably the most important sentence in the entire story. There are many effective ways to start a story, and there are countless articles with advice on where to start. I’m including some pretty comprehensive guides here, here, and here.

There’s a reason why the beginning is so crucial. Without a hook to draw in readers, then people aren’t likely to stick around for the end. Here’s the flip side though: how many stories have you read that have ended on a disappointing low note? A good story builds tension and excitement throughout to the final conflict. However, building tension is a lot easier than coming up with a satisfying end. Describing a satisfactory conclusion is the ultimate pay off, but it’s also one the hardest parts of drafting the story. Here are a few of my personal favorite methods to end your story.

The happy ending – this is actually not a favorite of mine at all, but readers have come to expect that the characters they fall in love with throughout your story will have a satisfying ending, comparable to what we see coming out of Hollywood.

The tragedy. Now this absolutely is one of my personal faves. How many stories end happily in real life? Life is hard, and I like my stories to reflect those difficulties. I love the struggle and anguish.

The dream – this has become a pretty big cliche in recent storytelling. The reader gets invested in characters and events that technically never happen. When stories that I’ve enjoyed turn out this way, I usually feel pretty bitter. It has the ability to be a clever way to explain some pretty outlandish plots, but at this point it can also be super predictable.

The cliffhanger – I’m going to describe a couple different ways that cliffhangers can be successful endings.

One: leading into the next entry in a series.

Two: leaving the story with an open ending for the reader to interpret. This one is a lot more difficult to do effectively, but when executed properly, it can be a thing of beauty. Each reader then has the ability to interpret the events in their own way, kind of making them part of the creative process. They get to decide how they subconsciously want the story to end, even though it could be completely different from somebody else who read the exact same story.

Lastly, I’ve seen some novels that just end in mid-sentence. This can be super frustrating for a typical reader who needs to have that resolution. If not done well, it can come across as a total cop-out. It could appear that the author couldn’t think of anything good, so they just stopped writing. And of course, the initial reaction is “where’s the rest of the story? Did I get a defective copy?”

As with anything, when executed properly, these can each be a thing of beauty. At the same time though, without adequate planning, each one of these can also turn into a train wreck and be unsatisfying for your readers. A little bit of planning to figure out what works best with your story goes a long way.

Thank you, that is a

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Easy & Free Ways to Support an Author, Pt. 2

Last time we shared the simplest, free-est ways to show some love to your favorite authors. Since then, we’ve put more thought on the topic and have been able to come up with a few more suggestions. If you’re looking for a way to spread the word for your new favorite author, and you’re willing to take a few minutes out of your schedule, these suggestions could offer massive amounts of support. And who knows, it may just be what it takes to push an unknown author more into the mainstream. Continue reading

This article originally appeared on CircleCityPublishing.com.

Last time we shared the simplest, free-est ways to show some love to your favorite authors. Since then, we’ve put more thought on the topic and have been able to come up with a few more suggestions. If you’re looking for a way to spread the word for your new favorite author, and you’re willing to take a few minutes out of your schedule, these suggestions could offer massive amounts of support. And who knows, it may just be what it takes to push an unknown author more into the mainstream. Continue reading

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The Lost Prince Cover Reveal

As an author, one of the most exciting parts of releasing a new novel is laying eyes on the cover art.  That’s when you know it’s all coming together and your project will soon be a finished book.  With that, I’m happy to be able to be part of the cover reveal blitz for my friend, Cait Marie‘s latest release, The Lost Prince – the sequel to her debut novel, The Lost Legends.

A mythical healing flower. A fractured kingdom. A curse unbroken.

 

Cait Marie’s long-awaited sequel, The Lost Prince, is releasing November 11! 

 

First, let’s see the cover! Continue reading

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Literary Locations: Indianapolis Bookish Sites

I don’t know about you, but for me, this quarantine has been a drag.  Staying holed up inside my house all day every day has taken a toll on me, and I have a feeling I’m not the only one.  With that in mind, I decided to play virtual tour guide once again.  Inspired by my last bookish tour around Indianapolis, and even more by my trip to New Orleans, I decided to rock out to some literary tunes, and see what other bookish sites I could come across.  I’ll kick it off with a scholastic location, then we’ll check out a few places that are more social in nature. Continue reading

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Easy & Free Ways to Support an Author

This article originally appeared on CircleCityPublishing.com.

One of the most difficult parts of being an author is finding readers. Unfortunately, nobody tells you that up front. A lot of first-time authors have the idea that their friends and family will read it. Even if they don’t read it, they’ll at least buy a copy to be supportive, right? They’ll help spread the word once the book is released, for sure. Maybe a friend of a friend will like it and I’ll find new readers no problem!

Not so fast. It is remarkably difficult to find support in the most logical of places. For whatever reason, friends and family don’t always share the same excitement level for your accomplishment. Maybe they’re not aware of the time and effort that goes into becoming a published author. Some people hesitate to support something that isn’t established and/or popular for fear of judgment. They’re worried that if they recommend something, and people don’t react to it the same way they did, then that person will judge them for liking something “inferior.” As much as people like being the first to like something, the fact is, there’s just too many products out there to be discovered. There’s too much noise to drown out your attempts at publicity.

And with the rising number of self-published authors, it’s nearly impossible to know what quality level is being produced by a first-time writer. I hate to say it, because I want to be supportive of the indie, self-published industry, but there are endless numbers of bad books out there. Readers are also hesitant to spend their hard-earned money on something they don’t know is worth it. Without experience, and without a traditional publishing company supporting these authors (and without those traditional publishing company’s funds to pay for editing, cover design, advertising, etc), new authors get lost in the sea of nameless books.

Which is why this topic is so dear to our hearts. As an indie label, intent on supporting authors who are starting out, and are still trying to develop a readership, we want to inform and educate writers and readers alike. For authors, if our point hasn’t been clear enough already: temper your expectations. For readers who want to offer as much support as possible, or for readers who aren’t sure the best way to help, let’s get into it! Continue reading

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Literary Listening: the Unofficial Crossover Playlist

Can you believe it – Crossover has been out for a year?! For the book birthday of the third title in my Kings of Chaos Motorcycle Club Series, I thought it would be a great time to revisit the story and provide a bitching soundtrack. Yeah. Bitching. So let’s get to it! Continue reading

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