I See A Pattern Emerging...

The 5 Stages of Querying

At the end of each year, I like to look back on the previous years' posts to see how my perspective and my goals have changed over time. One year ago, I sent my first submission to a real, live, honest-to-goodness agent. It was nerve-racking! It was exciting! Oh, but was it ever glaringly and gloriously premature. :)  I was bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and naive as all hell. I was also squarely in the first stage of querying: DENIAL.

Read More »

The Voices In Our Heads

The Unending Quest for External Validation

I received a great piece of advice a few weeks back from author/publisher Bennett R Coles. I'd been debating whether the tone of my writing was too youthful/snarky and I was considering changing it to be closer to what traditional sci-fi readers would be expecting. His response was "don’t worry at all about whether your tone 'matches most sci-fi readers'... Your audience is out there, waiting to read something exactly like what you’ve written. If you suppress your natural style, your prose won’t shine like it can."

Read More »

Writer's Block: Can Existential Dread Accumulate in Chapter 1?

The Magic of Revising in Reverse

Writing a novel is stressful.  Querying a novel is stressful toofrankly, rejection in all shapes and sizes is super stressful.  And this weekend, I learned that all that accumulated stress, all that pent up self-doubt, and all those recurring thoughts of "not good enough" had taken up residence in the opening paragraphs of "chapter 1."

Read More »

How to Make a Wrap Around Book Cover

Book Cover Make Over

Last week, while I was browsing my Facebook feed, a saw an author's post in a forum that included a picture of her latest book.  She had taken the front cover of her book and tried to virtually create an image of what that book would look like if it were printed and actually standing on a table.  Let's just say she hadn't been 100% successful in that endeavor, as the front cover had wrapped around onto the spine, making the title unreadable.  My inner graphic artist was weeping so I reached out to point her in the right direction.  

Since then, I've been itching to learn more about making proper full-wrap covers for use on sites like CreateSpace.com.  I'm specifically interested in covers where the images deliberately wrap around the book and where custom fonts are used on the spine and back to continue the same look and feel on all sides.

Read More »

Small Press Benefits

Q&A with Publisher Promontory Press

A few weeks back, when I interviewed Bennett R Coles at the release of Ghosts of War (his latest release with Titan Books), I was fascinated to learn that in addition to being an award-winning author, Ben was also Publisher/CEO at Promontory Press, a small press publishing house run out of Victoria, Canada.  As Ben describes it, Promontory is a traditional publisher which isn’t afraid to break a few traditions.  The publishing industry as a whole has more than a few quirksmany of which are disadvantageous to the authorand as an author himself, Ben's intention was to try to make Promontory more author-friendly, particularly to new authors.

Read More »