Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I'm finding that Indie Authors tend to be some of the most helpful people around when it comes to a willingness to share their own experiences, lesson's and failures. So many are more about helping others, in any way they can, than they are about 'what's in it for themselves'. It's really quite refreshing. Although each have their own little idiosyncrasies that set them apart, you will notice recurring themes advice - that is not a coincidence.

Gwen Dandridge is an author of a number of Fantasy novels, including her most recent publication The Stone Lions. She has kindly offered her advice based on her own experiences of the writing world.

Basics for Indie writers

As an Indie writer, you don’t have the staff of people checking your manuscript. This means that you need to be extra diligent.

Here are some beginning thoughts when contemplating writing and publishing.

1.     Do you know the standards for the genre you are writing. It’s easy to scoot off writing a picture book and not know that they normally have thirty-two pages or that debut young adult are usually 45,000 to 85,000. Make sure you research your genre. Know what books are out that are similar to what you are writing.

2.     Never, never rush a book. Even when you think you are done, you’re often not. Make sure that you get many, many critiques and beta reviewers before you put your darling out in the world. Read over your manuscript again before you submit it.

3.     Learn the basics of writing and then make sure that you follow the rules. Don’t think that because your book is so ___ (fill in the blank), that you don’t need to follow normal writing standards--you do.
That means:
a.     Do a spell check and then do it again.
b.     Relearn ninth grade grammar, this time pay attention.  
c.      Don’t change point of view in a chapter, only in a subset of steamy romance novels do you flip between point of view. And even then, it is frowned on.
d.     Not only do books need an arc, but each chapter and each character should have an arc. Characters should have both an external arc and an internal arc.
e.     Make sure that each of your characters is fully developed and interesting, no matter how little space they take in your book.
f.      Make sure we have reason to care about your characters.

4.     Never rush the publishing part of the process.
a.     Take your time thinking through a strategy for how you want your book to look: including cover, spine, back page (if there is a paper or hardback version).
b.     Figure out the pithy back cover blurb.
c.      Refine your short elevator pitch. Have it ready to trip off your tongue when asked, “So what’s your book about anyway.”

The things to take away from this blog is never rush, and do your research. Good luck in your writing!

You can follow Gwen on her own blogsite HERE or her website HERE

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