Blog Archive

Friday, August 12, 2022

Around the Web: Best Posts on Writing I've Discovered This Week

I subscribe to and follow several authors, blogs, and writing sources throughout the week.

Each Friday, I include links to FIVE sources to improve your writing that I found useful.

Here are my offerings for this week. Hope they inspire you to start writing and continue writing!  

The Advantages of Selling eBooks From Your Own Site and the Disadvantages.

Here's an interview with an author who switched genres after her first book and how that changed her publishing outlook.

Want to know how to rise above the slush pile? Sign up for this FREE webinar with 3 editorial assistants who can tell you what you need to do. 

Take this to heart if you want to improve your chance of getting more sales.

This publisher's name caught my attention as it's one of my favorite fishes to eat. Their writer's guidelines seem to be the norm of what small presses are looking for from authors. Could this one be a fit for you?

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Keep Pushing Toward Your Goal: Author Interview with Natalie Bright

You’ve published cookbooks, middle-grade books, and contemporary romance, but what made you decide to write that first book?
My first book was self-published to control the content as a supplement to a talk and tour I gave at the Texas Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum. It was written at a fourth-grade level, and it seemed that the stories swirling in my brain at the time were for kids. I wrote a middle grade adventure series next, which was agented but did not sell to a traditional publisher, so I went back to work as an Indie Author. The next project was an easy reader series about rescue horses.

Your earlier middle-grade books were your own imprint. Prior to writing them, had you any previous publishing experience?
Yes, I was published in numerous publications as a freelance writer before I started writing kids books published under my own imprint.

What’s the hardest part of publishing and marketing your own books?
Writing for children is next to impossible to market and promote because you have to appeal to the parent or grandparent with the money. School visits really help with sales, if you can establish yourself as an author in the local area who is willing to work with schools.

You  co-author contemporary romance books. How did that collaboration come about and how does it work? 
I met my co-author at a Western Writers of America conference, and we decided to collaborate on a western romance series which tells the story of a Georgia girl, which is where my co-author is from, who inherits a Texas cattle ranch. It has been a fun collaboration. The main thing I had to learn is that the story in my co-author's brain is different from mine. 

We’ve used a different process for every book, going on nine total now. We text, email, and talk a lot while developing the plot. It seems that one character will resonate with me more so than the others. She’ll take one character and I’ll take another, and off we go. These books have a short creation deadline and a rapid release publishing plan, and it’s the hardest work I’ve ever done.

Do you plan to still do any indie-publishing?
Yes, I plan to keep being a hybrid author, both publishing my own work and writing under contract for traditional publishers.

What marketing venue have you found most successful in not only getting clicks but sales as well?
For the western romance series, Wolfpack/CKN believes in spending ad dollars where the readers are, so they use Amazon Ads more than any other platform. For my other titles, I have had the most success with in-person book events and speaking opportunities. Relying on people telling their friends and buying books as gifts can be very successful.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? 
That first vomit draft is so hard. I know the ending, the characters are so vivid, and to get those words on a blank page is excruciating because the story is in my head. I just have to get it on paper and writing to the end is a daunting task. But then seventy thousand words later, once the words are on the page, I find the editing process much more enjoyable.

What do you know now about writing you wished you had known sooner?
This is a marathon that moves at a snail’s pace and that involves all of it; the writing, choosing your next project, promotion. Do one thing every day that keeps you moving forward to your goal, write the best story you possibly can, and you’ll eventually be very glad you kept going.

What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give?
Go with the characters and/or story that wakes you up at night and stop asking why. Just write it! I believe that sometimes the story chooses the author.

Are there any other points about writing you would like to add?
This business is not for the faint of heart and the hardest work you’ll ever do. Holding your book in your hand and telling people about your work is the best part about this business.

Could you give me some details on your next book due out?
Launching August 23 is a new romance series with my co-author Denise F. McAllister, called the Rafter O Ranch Series. Set in the Texas Panhandle it’s a family saga about the Olsen family and their ranching legacy. Book One, Home Is Where You Are, is about the oldest son, Nathan Olsen, who brings his wife, Indya, and their 8-month-old son home to Rafter O Ranch for his little brother’s wedding. 

He only plans to be there for a few days. He didn’t prepare himself for the possibility that being home with family again would stir up longings for his family’s ranch and their way of life—a lifestyle that only a rancher with generations of family who worked the land could understand. Indya can’t imagine raising her child at a place located on barren, unforgiving land with nothing but giant animals, wind, and God-given dirt? Can the love they share be enough to overcome their differences?

That's all for today's interview. If you'd like to learn more about Natalie's books, here's the link to her website for all the details and links to her other social media.