I don’t know about you, but I get a little excited when a new writing guide comes along. Today I get to spill the news that The Conflict Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Obstacles, Adversaries, and Inner Struggles (Vol. 1) has hit the shelves.

This guide is about that killer ingredient our stories need: Conflict. It shows you exactly how to use conflict to raise tension, create a fresh story premise, and pull readers in. The guide also dives into over 100 conflict scenarios and how each can be endlessly adapted to challenge a character inside and out. Problems, Moral Dilemmas, Ticking Clocks, Obstacles, No-Win Scenarios…this book is plot brainstorming in overdrive!

I’m part of Angela & Becca’s Street Team for this release, and we have an important question to ask you:

Can You Survive Danger as Well as Your Favorite Protagonist?

Sure, it’s easy for you to use conflict to torture your characters and make them struggle, but what if it’s you in the hot seat instead? Will you make good decisions, or bad ones?

It’s time to find out by taking the Conflict Challenge! I dare you to become the protagonist in a special story Angela & Becca have created. And heads up, if you survive, you win some pretty cool stuff!


While you’re at Writers Helping Writers taking the Conflict Challenge, make sure to enter The Conflict Thesaurus celebratory giveaway, too. But hurry – it’s only on for a few days.

So, take the challenge…if you dare. And don’t forget to come back and let me know how you did against Camp Deadwood!

I want to recommend a helpful resource for authors! Read to the bottom for my review of K.M. Weiland’s new book. First, here’s the cover and her Amazon description:


Theme Is What Your Story Is Really About

Theme—the mysterious cousin of plot and character. Too often viewed as abstract rather than actionable, theme is frequently misunderstood and left to chance. Some writers even insist theme should not be purposefully implemented. This is unfortunate, because in many ways theme is story. Theme is the heart, the meaning, the point. Nothing that important should be overlooked.

Powerful themes are never incidental. They emerge from the conjunction of strong plots and resonant character arcs. This means you can learn to plan and implement theme. In doing so, you will deepen your ability to write not only stories that entertain, but also stories that stay with readers long after the end.

Writing Your Story’s Theme will teach you:

Conscious mastery of theme will elevate every story you write and allow you to craft fiction of depth and meaning.

Take Control of Your Story Via a Powerful Implementation of Theme

My Review:

This is a useful resource for any author wanting to strengthen their novel’s theme. I’ve never read anything so in-depth on the subject! But don’t try to read this book when you’re tired or at less than peak mental alertness – it’s so deep and rich that takes a lot of brainpower to fully absorb the details. There are so many useful concepts here that I found myself highlighting dozens of separate passages, which I’ll have to look back over when I’m plotting out my next book. Thank you, K.M. Weiland, for another excellent writing resource!

Click here to buy Writing Your Story’s Theme from Amazon.

The Art of Short Story and Novella Writing 
Savvy Writer’s Book #2 
By Kim Knight 
Genre: Self-Help, Writing, Nonfiction 
Compared to novel writing, short stories and novellas need special and different skills that every writer should master. Readers love shorter stories! From Kim Knight, the award-winning and number #1 best-selling author of 365 Days of Writing Prompts for Romance writers, The Art of Short Story and Novella Writing writer’s reference is perfect for both seasoned and aspiring writers of all genres. The Art of Short Story and Novella Writing will help you perfect, sharpen, and increase your skills and abilities when writing engaging shorter stories, novellas, or novelettes for both stand-alone and series stories. With detailed and practical steps, the sole aim of this guide is to help writers confidently write within a high demand and well-paid market. With easy-to-engage-with chapters, discover the practical art of short story and novella writing. The Art of Short Story and Novella Writing includes practical exercises to help you master the skills to write your next series of stories: 
•Story-telling styles for short stories: how and why it should differentiate from novel writing. 
•Character development with limited word count. 
•Strengthening themes and plots with limited word count. 
•Where and how to start a shorter story to capture reader’s attention. 
•Creating compelling stories with peaks and satisfying endings for readers, with a small word count. 
•Learn about the market, paid writing contests, and where to submit shorter stories. 
Each chapter has a dedicated writing space for every practical exercise, and for plotting your ideas and characters. Writing compelling shorter stories with meaning, and well developed characters is not easy! But, with The Art of Short Story and Novella Writing, you will ramp up your skills set and become a master of the technique. Note: the paperback will allow writers to make notes, carry out the exercises, and throw away the hundreds of notepads us writers have sitting around. 
Available in e-book ( $2.99) and paperback ($5.99) , audio version on its way! 
Goodreads * Amazon
Kim was born in 1983 and from London in the UK. She’s a mother to a beautiful little boy, and a proud award-winning author (awarded Best Romance 2017 for A Stranger in France), and #1 Best-Selling Author (365 Days of Writing Prompts for Romance Writers). She’s also a contribution writer at Aspiring Authors Magazine LLC. Kim started her journey as a traditionally published author and later dived into self-publishing also.
As a reader she’s head over heels in love with romance, historical fiction, crime fiction, African- American, suspense and thriller genre books. As a writer, Kim enjoys creating stories with a diverse and multi-cultural line up, within the romance, romantic suspense and general thriller and crime genres. When she’s not reading, or writing stories of her own her other passions include practising her French, astrology, fashion, make-up artistry, drawing, spending time at her sewing machine dressmaking, watching make -up and beauty tutorials on YouTube, letter writing and being a mum.
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads
Follow the blitz HERE for special content and a giveaway! 
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Hi everyone! Today I have something fun to share…a special chance to win some help with your writing bills. Awesome, right?

Some of you may know Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi of Writers Helping Writers. Well, today they are releasing a new book, and I’m part of their street team. I’m handing the blog over to them today so they can tell you a bit about their Writer’s Showcase event, new book, and a great freebie to check out. Read on!

Certain details can reveal a lot about a character, such as their goals, desires, and backstory wounds. But did you know there’s another detail that can tie your character’s arc to the plot, provide intense, multi-layered conflict, AND shorten the “get to know the character” curve for readers?

It’s true. Your character’s occupation is a GOLD MINE of storytelling potential.

Think about it: how much time do you spend on the job? Does it fulfill you or frustrate you? Can you separate work from home? Is it causing you challenges, creating obstacles, or helping you live your truth?

Just like us, most characters will have a job, and the work they do will impact their life. The ups and downs can serve us well in the story.

Maybe you haven’t thought much about jobs in the past and how they act as a window into your character’s personality, interests, and skills. It’s okay, you aren’t alone. The good news is that The Occupation Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Jobs, Vocations, and Careers is going to do all the heavy lifting for you. (Here’s one of the job profiles we cover in this book: FIREFIGHTER.)

My Review of The Occupation Thesaurus:

I found this to be a really useful resource. I anticipate using it for every book I write from now on, to make sure I pick the right occupation for each character and describe the details of their job well. I definitely recommend the Occupation Thesaurus – it would be a great addition to any author’s toolbelt. It might even be useful for someone researching a new possible career for themselves!


To celebrate the release of a new book, Writers Helping Writers has a giveaway happening July 20th & July 23rd. You can win some great prizes, including gift certificates that can be spent on writing services within our Writer’s Showcase. Stop by to enter!

Resource Alert: A List of Additional Jobs Profiles For Your Characters

Some of the amazing writers in our community have put together additional career profiles for you, based on jobs they have done in the past.

What a great way to get accurate information so you can better describe the roles and responsibilities that go with a specific job, right?

To access this list, GO HERE

Happy writing to all!

365 Days of Writing Prompts for Romance Writers 
Savvy Writers Book 1 
by Kim Knight 
Genre: Writing, Self Help 
With 365 Days Of Writing Prompts for Romance Writers, there’s no need for additional notepads or places to store your ideas. For each day of the year there’s a dedicated space for plotting your ideas, with a writing prompt to create an outline for a romance short story, novella, novel or even flash fiction. All you need to do is adapt the characters or setting to your sub-genre of romance. For each day of the year you’ll find a creative, engaging, fun and challenging writing prompt, with situations or people to craft your next story. There is also a personal blogging challenge with writing prompts, for romance writers to engage with their readers, grow their following, find new readers and allow their audience to get to know them via their own personal blog or author site. With 356 Days Of Writing Prompts For Romance Writers you’ll never be stuck for a romance story idea, or blog topic again! Each month has a focus and fully adaptable to your sub-genre, dip in and out of each day, week, month as you wish. 
January- New Directions Love
February- Unexpected New Love
March- Fresh Starts and New Beginnings
April- Love in Unexpected Places
May- Historical, Regency and Multicultural
June- Contemporary Romance
July- Paranormal, Horror and Dark Romance
August- Christmas and Holiday Love
September- Mixed Bag of Goodies!
October- December Romance Writers’ Blog Writing Challenge Prompts
Award-Winning Romantic Suspense and Thriller Author Kim Knight, also shares her secrets on writing realistic, page-turning romance. Also her experience with writing prompts, which has allowed her to co-author two novels, and seventeen short-stories to date. So, romance writers around the world, grab your pen and your copy and get ready to write every day of the year and never run out of creativity. Note the paperback version will allow you to plot your ideas all in one space in the book, and let go of your hundreds of different idea notepads. 
Goodreads * Amazon
Kim is born in 1983 and from London in the UK. She’s a mother to a beautiful little boy, and a proud award winning author (awarded Best Romance 2017 title for A Stranger In France). Kim started her journey as a traditionally published author and later dived into self-publishing also.
As a reader she’s head over heels in love with romance, historical fiction, crime fiction, African- American, suspense and thriller genre books. As a writer, Kim enjoys creating stories with a diverse and multi-cultural line up, within the romance, romantic suspense and general thriller and crime genres. When she’s not reading, or writing stories of her own her other passions include practising her French, astrology, fashion, make-up artistry, drawing, spending time at her sewing machine dressmaking, watching make -up and beauty tutorials on YouTube, letter writing and being a mum. 
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway! 
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No, this is not a post promoting piracy. I’m an author! I would never condone stealing from authors by downloading illegal copies of their books! What I am talking about is how to access a Kindle book (mobi file) that you receive by email directly from an author or in a free giveaway.

There are a few different ways to do this. You may want to skip to the section that applies to you.

You Have a Kindle

If you have an actual Kindle device, in my opinion, the easiest way is simply to email the book to your Kindle. Every Kindle has its own email address. The trouble is, to avoid spam, Kindles automatically block all incoming emails, unless they are from an “approved” sender. Here’s how to find your Kindle’s email address and tell it to accept email from you.  

1. Go to www.amazon.com and sign in if you aren’t already signed in.
2. Click on “account & lists” near the top right. (This is what I see on my laptop, but if you’re on another device, it might just say, “Hello, (your name)”. Click on that. Everything else in the steps below should be pretty much the same.)

3. From the dropdown menu, select “your content and devices”.

4. From the horizontal menu near the top, click “preferences”.

5. Click “personal document settings”.

6. Look under “send to Kindle email settings” to see your Kindle’s email address (it will end with @kindle.com).

Scroll down a little to where it says “approved personal document email list”, then click on “add a new approved email address”.

7. Type in your normal email address and click “add address”. (That will let your Kindle know it’s ok to accept emails from that address – otherwise, Kindles block all incoming email, to avoid spam.)
8. Go back to your email inbox and forward the email you received with a mobi (Kindle ebook) attachment to your Kindle’s email address. Or if you downloaded a mobi file to your computer, create a new email, attach the file, and send it to your Kindle’s email address.

You Don’t Have a Kindle, but You Have the Kindle App on Your Computer, Tablet, or Phone

If you’re checking your email on a computer that has the Kindle app installed, simply download the mobi file in the attachment. Then, go to your downloads folder or wherever you saved it and double-click the file. It should automatically open up in the Kindle app, and you’ll be able to start reading immediately.

If you have the Kindle app on another device, follow the 8 steps above to send the book to your Kindle’s email address. 

Note: Those 8 steps work for most devices, but not all. Here’s what Amazon has to say about it:

In that case, you’ll probably see a screen like the one below, that skips the section above “Personal Document Settings” where the Kindle’s address would normally be:

In that case, I suggest you install the Kindle app on your computer (see the instructions below) or ask the author if he/she could possibly send you a PDF instead.

You Don’t Have a Kindle or the Kindle App Installed on Any Device

It’s easy (and free!) to install the Kindle app. Just go to this link

Then click on whichever of the black buttons applies to your device. Follow the instructions to download and install it. Once you’ve done that, come back here and follow the instructions in the section above (“You Don’t Have a Kindle, but …”)

If there’s one universal truth about writers, it’s that we like to share. When we hear great writing advice, we share. If we read a book we like, we share. And, when we come across a resource that has really helped us, yes that’s right…we share!
So today I’m sharing some news: authors Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have released a second edition of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression! You may have heard of this book, or even own a copy, but it’s quite possible that you didn’t realize it had a second edition. Up until a month ago, I didn’t either! It was all kept a secret by the authors who were determined to “show, not tell” their next new book through a mystery reveal. I

This second edition is more than a new cover. It’s been been enhanced and expanded to include 55 new entries and double the teaching material. Now we can go even deeper when showing our characters’ emotions!

Anyway, if you want to look into it further, you can read some of the reviews on Goodreads or find more information here. Also, one more thing I want to share…a MEGA-OPPORTUNITY to win something amazing!


To celebrate the new book & its dedicated readers, Angela and Becca have an unbelievable giveaway on right now: one person will win a free writing retreat, conference, workshop, or professional membership to a writing organization, winner’s choice (up to $500 US, with some other conditions which are listed on the WHW site). What conference would you attend if the fee was already paid for…or would you choose a retreat? Something else? Decisions, decisions! This giveaway ends on February 26th, so hurry over and enter!

I have a secret to spill! 
For the last month, I’ve been part of a Street Team for Angela and Becca at Writers Helping Writers, who are launching their new writing book on February 19th. Because they are known for showing, not telling, they decided it would be fun to keep the thesaurus book’s topic a secret until the book cover reveal…WHICH IS TODAY! 
It’s been hard keeping quiet about this, so I am thrilled I can finally announce that The Emotion Thesaurus Second Edition is coming! Many of you writers know (and possibly use) the original Emotion Thesaurus. It released in 2012 and became a must-have resource for many because it contained lists of body language, thoughts, and visceral sensations for 75 emotions, making the difficult task of showing character emotion on the page much easier. Many people have asked Angela and Becca to add more emotions over the years that they decided to create a second edition. It contains 55 NEW entries, bringing the total to 130 emotions. This book is almost DOUBLE IN SIZE and there’s a lot more new content, so I recommend checking it out. And you can. Right now.

Preorder Alert!

This book is available for preorder, so you can find all the details about this new book’s contents by visiting  AmazonKobo, Apple iBooks, and Indiebound or swinging by Writers Helping Writers. You can view the full list of emotions included in this new book, too.

One last thing…Angela & Becca have a special gift for writers HERE. If you like free education, stop by and check it out. (It’s only available for a limited time!)


I recently purchased a program called KDROI. Once installed, it makes it easy for you to submit a Kindle book to as many as 16 sites that promote ebooks, with just a few clicks and a few words to type. (Of course there are no guarantees that every site will agree to feature the book; it just submits the book to them quickly and easily.) Once I purchased it, I decided to use it to help out other authors, as well as to submit my own books.

I’m not trying to make lots of money off of this service (though I certainly won’t complain if I can make back the purchase price! 🙂 ). Mainly, I’m just trying to bless some fellow authors as so many people have blessed and helped me along my publishing journey. So, I’ve chosen not to charge as much as some of my author friends suggested. I want this service to be accessible to those on even the lowest budgets. Hence, the prices that I hope you’ll consider very reasonable: $1.99 or $2.99, depending on the details (more information below).

For those who are curious, the following screenshots show how the program actually works, using my book The Collar and the Cavvarach as an example.

To begin with, I go to the book’s page on Amazon, then I activate the program. This is the first screen I see (it fills in most of the details automatically, so I just have to check that they’re correct then fill in a couple of blanks):

The next screen looks like this (below). The book description, author bio, and cover image are all filled in automatically from the info on Amazon. (I discovered while helping someone else that if you don’t have a bio on your Amazon US author page, or if your book isn’t actually connected to your author page, the program will get stuck at this point. So if you’d like to use my book submission services, please make sure all of that is in order first.)
Since I’m doing a 99 cent promo, not all the possible sites are available to me. (Some of them only feature free books.) The ones checked in blue below are the ones I can submit to. That’s why I decided to make this service cheaper for those who are submitting 99 cent books: it will cost $1.99 instead of $2.99 for a free book. (Permafree books will also cost $1.99, since there’s a similar number of sites that will feature those.)
After that, the program takes me to a screen where I enter the dates of my 99-cent promotion. You can pick a date range of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 days. The first day has to be at least a week away. (If you’re using my book submission services, please pick a starting date at least 8 days from now, just in case I can’t get to it right away. I live in a different time zone than most of you and might not be awake when you want to submit your book!)

After that, it’s a simple matter to click “Submit Promotion” and wait a few seconds while the form is sent out. For the last step, the program shows a log report of how many sites the book information was successfully sent to, and how many sites “failed”. (Failure can be due to a number of issues; I list some of them in my form at the bottom.) There’s a pretty high success rate, though, as you see in this record of 4 different books I submitted for other authors. (The Collar and the Cavvarach isn’t listed here because I didn’t finish submitting it. I actually had already scheduled a promo for a couple weeks from now and had sent requests to many of the same sites manually before I bought KDROI. So I just used it as an example in the first part of the program’s form.)

When I click on the blue links, it tells me which sites experienced the “failure”. After I submitted Heartsick for a free promo and saw that it didn’t work with two sites, I tried the form again, selecting only those two this time. I thought it was worth trying to see if it would go through to them the second time, but as you can see, it didn’t. Oh, well. 30 out of 32* isn’t bad! (The other books in the list were all 99 cent promos, so there were only 18 possible sites they could be sent to.)

Update: I’ve heard back from a couple authors whose books I’ve submitted, and they’ve said that some of the sites where the submission “failed” actually confirmed receiving their book information. So, apparently book submissions that have supposedly failed actually do go through, at least some of the time.

*Since I first created this post, KDROI changed the list of book promo sites they can submit to, since some have terminated their service, and others are no longer free. So there are no longer 32 sites on the list, though the KDROI’s creators have said they are actively looking at new promo site options to include.

If I submit your book through this service, I’ll send you a confirmation email to let you know when I’ve done it. In addition, you will receive confirmation emails from a number of the sites, some of which contain links you’ll need to click on to finalize your book submission.

Anyway, that’s how KDROI works. Fairly quick and simple for me to use, which is why I can afford to offer book submission services at such a low rate! Any questions? Feel free to mention them in the comments below this post, or email me at AnnieDouglassLima (at) gmail (dot) com.

Final Clarification: 
For $2.99, tell me the next set of dates in which your book will temporarily be free, and I will submit it to all 16 book promotion sites on the list. The sites may or may not all decide to feature the book, but it will be submitted to them.

Or, for $1.99, tell me the next set of dates in which your book will temporarily be 99 cents (if it’s permanently 99 cents, that’s fine too; just pick some dates when you want it featured) and I will submit it to the 9 sites that accept 99 cent books. They may or may not all decide to feature the book, but it will be submitted to them.

Or, for $1.99, tell me the next set of dates in which you would like your permafree book to be featured, and I will submit it to the 10 sites that accept permafree books. They may or may not all decide to feature the book, but it will be submitted to them.

Another option: instead of paying the fees mentioned above through PayPal, you could buy one of my books instead. 🙂 Most of the ebooks are $2.99 or less; feel free to pick any one of them at any price (as long as it’s not free at the time) and either download it for yourself or “gift” it to a friend. (I emailed Amazon to make sure this doesn’t violate their terms of service, and they assured me it’s fine.) If you choose this option, simply send me a screenshot that shows what you bought, or forward me the confirmation email from Amazon, and ignore the PayPal link on my form.

Sorry, but I won’t submit erotica or books promoting religions other than Christianity. Don’t take it personally if that’s what you write. We can still be friends! 🙂 But I can’t in good conscience help to promote those books.

So. Are you interested? You could spend nearly $50 and buy the program yourself (you should definitely do that if it’s worth it to you), or you could fill out the form at this link and let me submit your book to those sites for you for about the cost of a cup of coffee.

So you’ve written a book. Congratulations! 


Assuming you want to take it to the next step and not leave your characters locked away in your computer for only a few of your close friends or family members to meet, you’re probably wondering what to do next with your new masterpiece. Publication may be your dream, but how do you get there? It might seem like an overwhelming process.
I’ve been there too! Here are some suggestions and resources that have helped me, and that I hope will be just as helpful to you, in your journey into publication as a new author. (For your convenience, all links open in new tabs.) I’ve tried to list them in an order that makes sense, but in some cases, you may prefer to skip around or just plain skip some that might not apply to you.

1.) Banish those Assumptions

Maybe you already know how publication works and what being a published author is like. Or maybe you just think you do ….

Ten Things That Might Surprise an Unpublished Author

This little article by Denise Moncrief may burst your bubble. But it’s always better to know the truth so we can figure out how best to deal with the reality, right?

2.) Outline and Structure Your Novel

If you really have finished writing the book, this step probably won’t be necessary. But if you’re wondering if all your scenes are truly in the best order or whether the progression of your plot makes sense, here are a few helpful links you’ll want to check out. (Or bookmark them for when you’re ready to start planning the sequel!)

A Quick-Start Guide to Story Structure Methods

Janeen Ippolito lists and explains a number of different ways to outline a story’s structure. She includes diagrams and links to books that go into more detail about the different methods.

6 Ways to Outline Your Novel Faster

K.M. Weiland presents six quick suggestions for story outlining. Unlike the ones in Ippolito’s list, they aren’t really complete methods as such. They’re more like possible angles of approach.

Personally, I can highly recommend two books about plot outlining that I now use with every novel I write. Clicking on the pictures below will take you to the Amazon pages where you can find out more about the books and order them if you’d like to. I promise, they’re worth it!


3.) Choose a Title

Perhaps you already have a title for your book. But if you haven’t decided on one yet, here are some suggestions to consider.

How to Choose a Book Title That’s Perfect for Your Story AND Good Marketing!

K.M. Weiland explains why the right title matters so much and puts forth three ways to pick a good one.

How to Choose the Right Book Title

Anne R. Allen presents three different ways to choose the right title. (She also has an interesting list of famous books and their little-known original titles.)

20 Book-Title Hacks for Any Genre

David H. Safford suggests a whopping twenty different ways to come up with a good book title: everything from making it a story symbol to using a famous quotation.

3 Book Title Mistakes that will Murder Your Marketing Efforts

Using the right or wrong kind of title can have a big impact on how many people buy your book. Dave Durden explains how. 

4.) Start Building a Platform

An author platform is important for anyone who wants to sell books to more than just their personal friends and family. Even if your book isn’t ready for publication yet, it’s never too early to start building your platform through your website/blog, on social media, etc.

Building an Online Presence: Websites, Blogs, and Social Media for Authors

This is a collection of information about starting a website or a blog, along with different types of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, YouTube, and LinkedIn) and how authors can use each one. There’s even a link to an article about what to do if you don’t have (or want) a social media presence at all.

5.) Join an Author Group
I cannot overemphasize how much this will help you. If you don’t have a physical group of local authors to be a part of (or even if you do), find an online one (or two, or three, or four …). Try searching Facebook for “authors” or “author group _____” (your genre). If you end up in a group without much interaction, or where people spend most of their time just advertising their books to each other, find a new group. Joining some excellent Facebook author groups has helped me more than anything else as an author. They are a great place to share ideas, ask questions, and support each other in our journeys as writers. You can also ask around in author groups for beta readers, editors, cover artists, etc.

The following groups may or may not be a fit for you and your books, but here are a few that I have personally found helpful. Below each one, I’ve included excerpts from the group’s description on Facebook. If nothing else, they’ll show you some examples of what’s out there.

Clean Indie Reads

Finally! A book / author group that isn’t just a post-and-run! We are here to offer real, useful support. Welcome to the workplace that feels like home.
CIR is a group for INDIE AUTHORS of FLINCH-FREE FICTION (no explicit sex or violence and limited swearing). We’re here to support each other in the whole process of writing/publishing/marketing quality indie books.
Use this Google spreadsheet of service options to see if we’re a good venue for you. http://bit.ly/IsCIR4U 

Iron Sharpening Iron

This group is a place for open exchange for authors, would-be authors, or just fans of Christian speculative fiction. Here we exchange ideas, brainstorm, swap experience and advice about navigating the difficult road of being a Christian author in a predominantly secular genre.

Before requesting to join, please be aware we have three requirements for joining, which you will be asked to affirm:1) That you are a Bible-believing Christian2) That you are (or are working to become) a Christian Author, or are an enthusiastic fan and reader, in the Speculative Fiction genre3) That you are willing to try and be an ACTIVE member.
This is a CHRISTIAN group run by biblical principles. The idea behind the group: Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.” It is not by placation and empty praise that we learn and grow, but it is by godly brothers and sisters, practicing “truth in love” that we can learn and grow together to improve our collective witness for Christ in the literary world. May the Lord bless you all in your work.

Christian Indie Authors
Christian writers with works not openly Christian are welcome! Please alert us to language, sex, or violence when sharing or asking for a review. Liberty in Christ can give different standards. Share what you can.
Please don’t post and run. Take a moment; offer assistance to a fellow Indie. Share a book; answer a question. We are a family.
To share blogs etc you must be an active member. What is active? It’s talking. It’s taking a few seconds to share a post. It’s being a part of our family. Not everyone is going to post. We have members 
who just read.

Christian Indie Authors Tweet Exchange

There will be a daily thread for you to post a direct link to your tweet (promoting your book). If you need directions on how to do this, please see the file titled “Directions.” After you have posted your link for the day in the thread, please follow everyone else’s link that they have posted and re-tweet for them. You will have to be logged into Twitter to do this. Please check back during the day so you have re-tweeted for everyone. Please limit your links to 2 per day. Happy retweeting! Hashtag is #CIANCW

This might be helpful, too:

60+ Facebook Groups for Authors – Promote Your Books, Blogs, and More
Shelley Hitz lists groups of readers, groups of writers, groups specifically for sharing discounted books, etc.

6.) Enlist Beta Readers

Beta readers are people who read through your book before it is published for the purpose of giving constructive feedback.

All About Beta Readers: 7 Ways They Can Improve Your Book

In this thorough article, Anne R. Allen talks all about why beta readers are necessary, where to find them, what kinds of people are likely to make good beta readers, etc.

Revise It! Recruiting and Using Reader Feedback

Janeen Ippolito lists different types of readers, along with suggestions for recruiting the most helpful ones and utilizing their feedback.

What to Ask Your Beta Reader

It’s helpful to give beta readers questions to answer as they read your manuscript. Author Valerie Comer has a great list of questions. You’ll want to add to them with specific questions about your own story and characters.

5 Steps to a Thorough Book Edit

Once you hear back from your beta readers, try implementing Liberty Spiedel’s suggestions for how to utilize their feedback.

7.) Edit and Proofread
There’s way too much to say about these essential steps to put it all here. 

Editing and Proofreading: DIY Tips and Professional Resources

This blog post is a compilation of the best editing and proofreading advice I’ve found, along with links to some professional editors’ and proofreaders’ sites. DO NOT EVEN THINK OF SKIPPING THESE STEPS! No matter how good a writer you are, your manuscript still needs to be edited and proofread.

8.) Decide if You Want Illustrations
I don’t mean a cover picture (we’ll “cover” that separately, pun intended). Not all books need inside art, but if you’re writing certain genres (like children’s fiction or some types of nonfiction), you’ll probably want some. Many authors also like to have pictures of their characters to use in blog posts and promotional materials, even if they don’t end up in the book itself. 

Awesome Illustrators: A Collection of Artistic Resources for Authors

Here’s a list of some illustrators who have been personally recommended by authors I know. You can see some samples of their artwork under their names, along with links to their websites. Of course, a web search with your specific genre will turn up many more.

9.) Decide Whether Your Book Needs a Map

Most books don’t. But if you’re writing historical fiction, fantasy, or science fiction, it might be helpful (and fun) to include one at the beginning. Several of the illustrators at the link above also do maps. If you prefer to make your own, check out the links below.

Fantasy MapMaking Tutorial

In this video, Jessica Khoury shows how to make your own map. It’s part 1 of 5, so don’t forget to go on to her other 4 videos when you’re done.

10 Rules for Making Better Fantasy Maps

Lauren Davis has some great points that you should keep in mind before you start.

10.) Create a Cover (or Hire a Cover Artist)

Obviously, every published book (ebook or paperback) needs a cover. 

The Perfect Cover for Your Book

In this blog post, I include links to dozens of helpful resources about cover design. Whether you plan to make your own cover or hire a professional, you should be certain you know these basic principles. Do you have an artistic friend you hope will help you out? Don’t assume they’ll be awesome at making book covers just because they’re an awesome artist. Pass on this info to them to make sure they know what’s expected in book cover design. I’ve also included a list of professional cover artists and the websites where you can check out their services and contact them.

11.) Decide How to Publish Your Book

Do you plan to self-publish, or do you hope to have your book traditionally published by a major publishing company or small press? Warning: for a new author, landing a contract with a major publisher is almost impossible. Getting a small press interested is a little more likely but can still be quite difficult. Self-publishing is easy, as long as you’re willing to put in the work. 

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing: Which is Better?

This article by Gary Smailes is long but well worth the read. Basically, it tells everything you need to know about how both options work, including their pros and cons. It also talks about agents. I highly recommend reading it before you make your choice.

Whatever you do, DON’T fall prey to a “vanity press” promising to publish your book for you! These are organizations that charge unsuspecting newbie authors huge amounts of money – often thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars – and in return may provide them with an ebook and hundreds or thousands of paperback copies that the author is usually responsible for selling. Most authors only make a fraction of their money back and end up with a basement full of unsold books gradually yellowing with age. If in doubt about whether a publishing company is reputable or not, it’s a good rule of thumb not ever to go with anyone who makes you pay upfront for their “services”. Reputable publishers make their money by taking a percentage of what you make in sales after the book is published, not by charging you for their work.

Beware of Sharks in Publisher’s Clothing

Judith Briles explains how to spot and avoid such publishing predators.

12.) Write a Blurb

You will need a blurb to go on the back cover of your book. Even if you only plan to publish an ebook, the blurb is the description that will go on Amazon or other retailers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a blurb is simply a summary of the story – there’s much more (and in some ways, much less) to it than that!

How to Write a Book Blurb (and a Synopsis, Logline, and Tagline)

In this blog post, I’ve compiled a list of resources for blurb writing. You’ll need to have your blurb ready before you go on to the next two steps, so these should be helpful.

13.) Format and Publish Your Book as an eBook

There are a number of platforms out there for publishing ebooks. To start with, you’ll definitely want to make your book available on Amazon, since it’s the biggest by far. (However, I suggest not actually completing the publishing process until you’ve considered the “wide vs. narrow” issue discussed a couple of links down in this list.)

How to Prepare Your Manuscript for Sale on Kindle without Hyperventilating

Hey, it can be a stressful process! When I was new to indie publishing, I couldn’t find a single list of all the steps to take for formatting an ebook. I had to scour the web for each step, and it wasn’t easy! So I combined everything I eventually figured out into one list, which I still refer to every time I publish a new book. I hope it’s as helpful to you as it is to me.

Wide vs… Narrow?

Amazon offers various incentives to authors who agree to make their books exclusively available on its site. Choosing to also sell one’s books elsewhere (such as such as through Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Google Play, or Apple iBooks) is known as “going wide”. In this article, J Philip Horne discusses the pros and cons of each choice, along with more information about what’s involved.

Distributing Your Books

You can go wide by distributing your book individually to each retailer, or you can upload them to a distributor that will send them everywhere for you and consolidate your earnings. Here, J Philip Horne talks about the pros and cons of both methods.

Smashwords vs. Draft2Digital

Smashwords and Draft2Digital are the two biggest ebook distributors. Dave Chesson compares them with a handy chart and links

Aggregation without Aggravation: Pronoun and PublishDrive

Pronoun and PublishDrive are two more major ebook distributors. David Kudler compares them here and also includes links to both sites.

Smashwords has a short ebook that you can download for free with information about how to format your manuscript before uploading it to their site for distribution. Clicking on the picture below will take you to the book’s Amazon page.

Depending on where you want to upload and sell your ebook, you may first have to save the file as a mobi or an epub. 

To save your file as a mobi (needed for publishing as a Kindle book) or an epub (needed for publishing on most other platforms), I recommend using Calibre. Simply click on the link above and download the program (for free). You’ll need to save your Word doc as a PDF first, then use Calibre to change it to a mobi or epub. There are places online to convert documents similarly, but some of them mess up the formatting, title, etc. Calibre is reliable and highly recommended by many professionals.

14.) Format and Publish Your Book as a Paperback

There are several POD (print on demand) companies out there that are easy for authors to use, but you’ll want to pick just one. KDP Print and Ingram Spark are the main ones. (Again, I suggest not actually completing the publishing process until you’ve considered item #13 on this list.)

DIY: Print on Demand 101

Daniel Lefferts and Alex Daniel talk about 6 POD companies and the differences between them.

How to Prepare Your Manuscript for Paperback Publication through KDP Print

My personal experience is with KDP Print (formerly CreateSpace). In this blog post, I offer step-by-step instructions for how to format your manuscript to make a professional-looking paperback, and then how to upload and publish it through the KDP website.

15.) Plan Your Book Launch

Sending a new book out there into the world is a big deal! But don’t plan on just clicking the final “publish” button and sit back waiting for the sales to roll in. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You have to put the word out about your book, and ideally, that process should start before the book is published.

You should try to get people to review your book as soon as possible after it’s available for purchase (the day of, if possible). To do this, you will need to contact possible reviewers beforehand and offer them a free (yes, free!) copy of your book in exchange for an honest review. (I recommend offering digital copies only if you’re on a tight budget, but be aware that some reviewers will only accept paperbacks.) Asking around in your author groups often works, but for long lists of book bloggers, check out these two links (of course, make sure you only contact reviewers who have expressed an interest in your genre):

The Book Blogger List

The Indie Reviewers List

5 Steps for Crafting the Perfect Book Review Pitch

In this article “BookGal” has some great tips for actually contacting reviewers.

Book Review Banzai
Jason B. Ladd offers an entire course on how to get far more book reviews than you would get just by contacting reviewers the normal way. I’ve taken the course myself, and I can recommend it. Or, if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, you could just read his book by the same title and apply the principles he explains. (Clicking on the picture below will take you to the Amazon page where you can read more about the book or purchase it.)

Creative Book Launches that Command Attention
In this article, author Angela Ackerman suggests a number of fun approaches and strategies to launching a book in a way that will attract attention and generate sales.

Ten Tips to Have a Successful Book Release Party on Facebook

Many authors use Facebook to hold fun events on their book’s release day. Victoria Holt gives a clear and succinct list for how to make that work, and work well.

Marketing Your Book with Press Releases

Another book launch strategy some authors use is to send press releases to newspapers and other publications. Connie Dunn explains how it works, where to find periodicals’ contact information, and how to compose a good press release.

How I Put Together My Great Big Blog Tour and Giveaway

Personally, I like setting up blog tours for my new books. This method works best if you already have connections with bloggers who write about book-related topics. If you have joined any author groups, as suggested in step 5 above, some of your fellow authors will probably be willing to host your book. In this post, I explain the method I used to put together one particular blog tour, which I combined with a giveaway to attract more interest.

How to Create a Global URL for Your Book

When you start sending your book’s Amazon link to newspapers, reviewers, potential buyers, etc., there’s an important point to consider. Amazon has different stores for different countries. When you make your book available on Amazon, it will automatically show up in Amazon’s online store in Italy, Japan, Australia, and Brazil (to name a few), along with the one in America. But your book’s page in each of those stores requires a different link. So if you’re in the US and you give your link to someone in, say, Canada; and if that person clicks on it to take a look at your book, they will see an error message that tells them to log into the Amazon Canada site instead of the Amazon US site. But once they log in, they will no longer be on the page where they can see your book. Of course they can still find it by searching, but not everyone will bother to do that, and you may lose sales to international readers. To solve the problem, you can create a “global URL” that will take anyone who clicks on it to your book’s page in the Amazon store that matches their geographical location. I have included screenshots with these step-by-step instructions to show you how to do that.

16.) Celebrate! But Keep Marketing

If you’ve made it through this list (or even most of it), congratulations! That’s an amazing accomplishment! You have brought a book into the world and worked hard to achieve a goal that to many people is only a distant dream. Now go out and treat yourself to something special. You deserve it!

But … don’t rest on your laurels. In order to get consistent sales, you will need to continue marketing your book indefinitely. Make a plan and keep following it!

71 Ways to Promote and Market Your Book

Kimberley Grabas has a great list here. Many of her suggestions don’t cost anything.

Author Marketing Checklist

The Author Marketing Club has a great list of things you can try. Some of them are ones I’ve already mentioned in this post, but there are plenty of new ones. Best of all, each item on their list comes with a little video that shows you how to do it.

The Ultimate Guide to Book Marketing

Diana Urban has a very thorough list here. Like this blog post, it’s made up mainly of links to helpful articles and resources. Hers are divided into categories like “before you publish”, “after the book launch”, etc. Again, some of them have been covered here, but not all.

Wooing Book Buyers to Get Your Book Into Stores

Want to see your paperback for sale in actual brick-and-mortar bookstores? Amy Collins explains how to make it happen.

Working with Bookstores
Once your book is in a brick-and-mortar bookstore, how do you get customers to notice it and buy it? Amy Collins offers some great suggestions.

Free Promo Sites for 99 Cent Books

One of the best ways to get potential buyers to notice your ebook is to temporarily discount it (or even to make it free for a few days at a time). You can do this on your KDP Bookshelf. But you’ll want to make sure to advertise your discounted or free book to some of the sites that alert readers of good deals. In this post, I list (to the best of my knowledge) every single book promo site out there that will promote your discounted ebook at no cost to you. I have created three more posts with similar lists for free books and for sites that charge for their services; you’ll find them at the top when you click on the link. (I update the lists often, so keep checking back!) 

I hope this post has been helpful to you. If you have any questions or additional suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments. 
I wish you all the best in your journey as an author!