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Showing posts from 2015

Top 50 curious facts

Christmas is almost upon us. Promoting a book online during this time of year is hard work, mostly because book sales comes from the book stores. Nobody can get a book to you by the time you're wrapping your presents under the tree. It's impossible to compete with the big publishers.

So I thought I'd do a fun post this week.

Top 50 Curious facts.

BUT, I can't let you know the top 50 curious facts without telling you the reason for collecting them. My three YA novels were bundled together last Christmas. As part of the forthcoming promotion I searched for 50 curious facts.

So here they are. Which fact is your favourite curious fact?

1.Cats can’t taste sweets
2.Winter lasts for 21 years on Uranus
3.A speck of blood contains about five million red cells
4.In the Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan’s name is Turkish for lion
5.Many cave-dwelling fish don’t have eyes
6.One type of wildflower smells like chocolate (Great to know but which one?)
7.The human body contains a tiny amount of go…

2015 highlights by author D L Richardson

Hello and welcome to the end of the year. Each end of year I like to read over my diary and have a look at my achievements. Why? Because one of the easiest ways to stay inspired in this writing game is to CELEBRATE THE SMALL WINS. So here goes: January 2015 Little Red Gem went on a book tour. Do book tours work? The jury is still out on this one. They're a lot of work for little exposure. But they're also very cost effective and for an author without a big budget they do get you a small amount of exposure. So for $60 you can do a virtual book tour where something like BookBub is $270 with no guarantee of acceptance or sales.  The Bird With The Broken Wing and Feedback were given makeovers with a new cover. This was due rights reverting back to me and the publisher owns the cover. Website was overhauled. Yes this is a part of the job. Updating the website. I try to do it monthly to stay on top of it. February 2015 Short story "Slip Stream" was submitted to an anthology. E…

Why you don't quit writing, author Christmas message

Through certain circumstances, for the past four months I've been a full time writer. I began by doing a major edit of a novel and resubmitting to an agent and launched myself into the waiting game which comes from querying. But there's no holiday for me, I immediately picked up another novel and started editing. It's been like this all year. Every day I write. Every day I do a little promotion via blogs and social media. Earlier this year two of my books went on a virtual book tour. I've presented at a few writer workshops. I've taken my books down to the local markets to sell them to tourists and locals. I'm always doing something!

Yet I'm still not earning enough to do this writing gig full time. In a few weeks the savings will have run out and I'll be looking for a part time day job. No biggie, a lot of writers also have day jobs. But I was asked if this delay in achieving my goals was frustrating me.

I paused to consider this. Of course it's fr…

Fake it till you make it in publishing

Anyone who has just finished NaNoWriMo this year might be tempted to think that self publishing is a short cut to publication. And it isn't. Your book needs to be edited properly. It needs to be structured. Needs a great cover. Character arc. Compelling narrative. Engage readers. The list is long.

NaNoWriMo is timed perfectly in November, so writers can then use the dead months of the publishing industry to edit. December and January are so busy at agencies and publishers with them wrapping things up for the year that there really isn't any point in pitching until mid January of the following year.

So you write your first draft in one month, spend two months editing, and then some writers will choose the long road to publication by pitching to agents and publishers. I say this is a long road because I've walked it and I'm still on it, it can take anything from 2 weeks to 12 months for a reply. But I want to do the top down approach. For me, self publishing is the final…

Avoiding cliches when creating fictional characters

Today's post is about avoiding clichés in characters. Publishers and editors receive a stack loads of unsolicited manuscripts, and they need only one reason to pass on your novel. Poor writing is one reason. A saturated market is another. But perhaps one of the major reasons for a rejection is that you have clichéd characters. Why give them any reason to pass?

What is a cliché? It is a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.

A cliche isn't just phrases such as 'old as the hills' or 'sent a shiver down my spine' or 'love at first sight'. While these expressions may be true, they're overused and a writer of creative fiction ought to be able to come up with something more creative. Or we fail. It's as simple as that. Give the reader something that isn't creative, and you've failed as a writer of creative fiction.

Character traits and situations can also be overused. These also signal that the author is st…

Promotional tips for authors - why "buy my book" doesn't work

It's NaNoWriMo month and I'm taking this opportunity to get a manuscript finished, rather than start a new one. So I apologize for being away from the blog. I have a list of topics I'd like to bring to you, but today I want to talk about book promotion, specifically why the "buy my book" plugs on social media don't work.

Firstly, let me begin by saying that I have just spent a few minutes this morning unfollowing authors who do nothing but post links to their books and covers on Twitter. I don't need to see this every time I log on. It makes me groan. And if it makes me grown, it's making genuine readers groan. And sites dedicated to promoting books also make me groan. They advertise that they can push your book to 45,000 readers. It has the same effect as a billboard on a highway. It's there, but it's not connecting with you. You need to build a rapport with readers. Peddling the "buy my book" message doesn't do anything to conn…

Winner of print giveaway The Bird With The Broken Wing

During a recent Read 4 Review campaign, administered through Goodreads group We Heart YA, I announced that at the end of the campaign I would do a giveaway of the print version of the book they reviewed The Bird With The Broken Wing.

The winner is Jenn. She has been awarded a print copy.

Here's how I got the winner. I wrote the names of everyone who reviewed the book on a slip of paper. I then tossed these names (blindly) at a bowl. Discarded any bits of paper than didn't hit the inside of the bowl. There were 4 names which I thin tossed (blindly) at the bowl and only one name made it inside. Ta da. The winner is Jenn.

Jenn's review:
The only reason it took me a while to read this book is because I moved from Davenport, IA to Tacoma, WA for a job.

Now that I've finally had some downtime to myself (I happened to get sick on my second weekend here) I've decided to finish it. Well holy schticks. I have no idea what all I actually read. There was this major twist that I …

Submitting to agents - Part V

You might recall a few of my earlier posts which were journals of my experience with submitting to agents. The previous posts if you'd like to read there are here.

I have an update on my journey of submitting to agents. Yes, folks, it's not over yet. And the journey won't be over until every agent has been queried, until every publisher has been queried, until every avenue has been exhausted and this book is published, self published if I have to but I've a feeling it wont' come to that. While at a recent writers convention I made the acquaintance of some lovely small press publishers who are doing great things in Australia.

The tally so far look…