Building a reliable routine is critical to any author's success. Not only does a good routine mean you'll write more books more often, but it also makes writing those books easier, because in so many ways, writing is all about flow. Luna has some expert-level tips on how to build a writing routine that will set you up for publishing success.
There are few things that'll make someone put your book down faster than bad dialogue. Wooden, stilted, unnatural dialogue plagues way too many self-published books, and it's time we fixed that. Fortunately, Clayton has four incredible tips and exercises for you to help you write stronger, more natural dialogue!
We have a couple of quick announcements to share, one that benefits Clayton shamelessly, and one that impacts you a little more directly, and both of them are great! It's a very short, very mini episode so you can get back to writing!
It's finally here! National Novel Writing Month kicks off this week, and Indies is here to help you put your best pen forward! Luna brings some tips for tackling NaNo that are going to help push you past the 50,000-word finish line! Here we go!
Social media marketing can be a powerful tool for authors, especially if they pay attention to their success metrics and use them to make more effective promotional content. Today, marketing professor Ryan Smith joins Clayton and talks about his top three metrics that indie authors should be watching.
The price you set for your book is one of the most powerful--and most overlooked--tools in your marketing toolbox. Some authors price themselves out of sales by setting too high a bar; others get tossed into the low-quality rubbish pile because they set it too low. So what's the right price for YOUR book? And should your paperback and e-book be priced the same? And how do Amazon's royalty models really work, anyway? Clayton tackles all this and more in today's marketing-focused episode!
There's a certain magic in writing a series. It creates a stronger bond between you and your characters, and your setting...and it also helps your readers embrace your fictional world on a deeper level than they can with just a standalone novel. Luna breaks down the magic, and the mayhem, involved in writing a series and lays out a case for elongating your story in a multi-book tale.
November is National Novel Writing Month, a weird, wild, and totally fun seat-of-your-pants blitz where authors from around the globe set out to each write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Clayton thinks you should join him in this year's NaNoWriMo, and he brought six reasons why.
Check out the episode, then head to www.nanowrimo.org and connect with Clayton! (His username is claytonsaurus.)
Writing a good hook is an important skill to have...but it's also a tricky one to master. A good hook is the thing that keeps your reader desperate to read more, and it can mean the different between your book becoming a best-seller and a less-seller. Luna talks about what makes a good hook and how to use hooks to snag readers on your story!
Ah, that age-old question: Do you need copyright protection for your book, or can you just mail yourself a copy of your manuscript and leave it unopened in your drawer until someone comes at you with a lawsuit? Honestly, it's a good question. And Clayton is here to talk to you about the benefits of copyright registration, and just how easy and cheap it is to get it, and even the process through which you obtain it. But to be clear, HE IS NOT A LAWYER. Just so we're disclaimered.
TRUTH TIME: the idea of "self-publishing" is really sort of a lie. Self-publishing is really more of a team sport. In order to give yourself the best chance at success, you'll want to build a trustworthy publishing team to help you craft and market your book. Today, Clayton shares some pointers on the team members you need, why you need them, and where you can find them.
Since Luna did an episode on how to finish your novel, it seemed only right that Clayton follow up with an episode on how to START that novel! Good preparation is key, and Clayton has some solid ideas on how you can start your novel off on the right foot.
It’s not always easy to get to “the end.” We experience story fatigue, we get distracted, new ideas pop up and jostle for attention, and sometimes we just get plain old stuck. So how do you power through and actually finish your manuscript? Luna has a few ideas!
When it comes to worldbuilding, there's a fine line between too much detail and "did you even consider what this world might look like?" A well-built fictional world should present a partnership between writer and reader; "I built this for you, now you get to play in it." Clayton shares his thoughts on how to strike the right balance and how to create a world that's believable and rich without being overwhelming in its detail.
A book without an editor is like a ship without a boatswain. A good, professional editor should be more than a spellchecker; they should be your partner, helping shape the story, managing consistency, and, yes, correcting your grammar. Luna breaks down the importance of a good editor, and how to work with one as a team to produce the best book possible.
A good book cover is your best marketing tool and one of the most critically important parts of a published book. Unfortunately, for many indie authors, good design often takes a backseat to budget. Today, Clayton discusses what to include on your book cover, what NOT to include, the importance of working with an expert, and what common design mistakes to avoid...then he chats with book cover design genius J. Caleb Clark of J. Caleb Design to learn the secrets of beautiful cover design.
Good characters are a strong foundation for any story, and Luna explores the elements of good characterization and offers a step-by-step guide on how to write characters that are believable, relatable, motivated, and multi-dimensional.
How long should a chapter be? It may seem like a pretty arbitrary question, but this week, Clayton looks at chapter length from a surprising angle and shares his thoughts on why it might be a much more important decision than you think.
In the inaugural episode of Indies, Steven Luna explores what it means to be an independent author and publisher...the pros, the cons, and everything in-between. Today, we endeavor to answer a Big Question: Is self-publishing right for you?
Take a sneak peek at Indies, the independent publisher's podcast, from self-publishing experts Clayton Smith and Steven Luna, the minds behind Dapper Press!