To Prologue or Not To Prologue

A Writer's Path

by Ryan Lanz

Should you include a prologue in your novel? I have known writer friends who have debated this for years. Some love them, some hate them, but in this post I’ll detail what I think of them.

There are many different schools of thought when it comes to prologues, and the truth is, no one person is right about them. Sure, I’ll offer my opinions, but ultimately you’ll have to gauge its usefulness yourself. I touched on them briefly on the post concerning First Chapter Blunders.

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EDIT Online Graphics Editor Review

Nicholas C. Rossis

Today’s post is the second of a 4-part series that started with DesignCap’s review. The series explores three sites that can help you create stunning visuals and offer a free version.

As a bonus, some of them will give away free subscriptions to the first five of my readers to click on the links at the end!

How EDIT can help you

EDIT is an online graphics editor service. It promises to simplify your design experience by offering you a bunch of templates to choose from.

EDIT helps you create design material for your social media and web pages, but also lots of printable material, like flyers, business cards, or posters.

EDIT seems to be targeting people who have already some knowledge on creating design material, as it includes quite a few tools for you to work with.  There are of course templates that you can follow. However…

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Write What You Know: Sage Advice or Hogwash?

A Writer's Path

 by Brenda Hill

While writing my first novel, I attended a lot of classes and read tons of how-to books. “Show, Don’t Tell” was a mantra I heard from most writing instructors, and it’s a technique writers must master in order for the material to come alive in the readers’ minds. It’s also one of the most difficult to learn.

But “Write What You Know?” I’d swallowed that line just as surely as a large-mouth bass swallows a June bug. And I came to an abrupt halt.

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DesignCap Review

Nicholas C. Rossis

DesignCap review | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksAs indie authors, we not only write but also market our books. This means being active on social media, having a webpage and a blog, sending out newsletters or advertising on Bookbub, etc.

As if this wasn’t hard enough, we also have to create the visuals to support our promos. Not just one picture of the book, not even a few of them, but plenty. We need specific dimensions to fit the requirements of different social media, in different backgrounds to follow the seasons, with different taglines to reach different audiences, or simply different to have some variety and not bore your audience and yourself… in short, a nightmare for anyone who’s not a graphics designer!

Today’s post is the first of a 3-part series that explores three sites that can help you with just that. They can all create stunning visuals and offer a free version.

As a bonus…

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5 Ways Authors Can Use Social Media to Promote Books

Nicholas C. Rossis

Ronita Mohan | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksUsing social media to promote your books is all I heard when I started publishing. But how relevant are they today? To my surprise, there are now many more ways to use them—ways you may not have even heard of!

This guest post by Ronita Mohan explains the best ways to use social media in 2019 to increase your book sales. Ronita is a content marketer at Venngage, the online infographic and design platform. She is an avid reader with an interest in mystery fiction, history, graphic novels, marketing, and diversity. Twitter: @Venngage

5 Ways Authors Can Use Social Media to Promote Books

Social media on phone | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksPhoto by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

Social media has traditionally been a great area to promote books. But with so many channels available, how do you choose the right one for you and what method do you use to promote your books?

Alongside regular…

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Finding the Right Beginning For Your Novel

A Writer's Path

by smwright

Some beginnings come easy; others, well, they bite, claw, and resist like no tomorrow, leaving behind frazzled writers. Take for instance my novel Heritage Lost: It’s beginning stuck from the very beginning, back when I conceptualized the novel in college. Its sequel, which I’m beginning, is already on its fourth (I think) beginning. None of them wanted to work; however, this one feels good. And funny enough, each “chapter one” has been moving forward chronologically as I tried to nail down where the readers should be reintroduced into the world at.

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Being a Better Writer: Character Development and Character Growth

A Writer's Path

by Max Florschutz

Characters. There’s no force more central to any story you tell.

Be it a run-and-gun thriller or a dramatic love dodecahedron, a tale focused around a lone wanderer exploring a crumbling city or a baker expanding her rivalry with a butcher (that last one sounds like a potential rom-com, doesn’t it?), your stories are going to have characters. Characters that laugh, characters that scream, characters that live… Well, you get the picture.

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How to Create the Perfect Email Opt-in Form

Nicholas C. Rossis

In my last post, I discussed some proven email list-building techniques. I will conclude this 3-part feature on email-based book marketing with some great tips by Mary Fernandez on creating the perfect email opt-in form, found on Persuasion Nation.

Lead the way

An email opt-in is the web form that you’ll use to capture the email addresses of prospective readers, and get their permission to send them offers.

In marketing speak, email subscribers are referred to as “leads”. That’s because each email subscriber is potentially only an email (or a few emails) away from becoming a paying customer.

If you want your email opt-in forms to be persuasive, you first need to understand what makes people “tick”. How do you get people to actually want to give you their email address?

Well, here are some best practices to keep in mind when creating your email opt-in…

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The Bet: a Halloween Story

Nicholas C. Rossis

Following this blog’s tradition, this is this year’s Halloween story. Enjoy!

The Bet

Pig | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

“No way,” I say and lick my lips. The mere thought makes my mouth water.

“Yes way,” he says and leans back on his seat, a smirk playing on his handsome face.

Does this young man feel as confident as he sounds?

I glance at the rest of the tables in the half-empty restaurant. It is a slow night, which works fine for me. I don’t want any nosy reporters listening in to our conversation. I lean forward, lowering my voice. “You’re telling me you can get people all over the country to dress up like pork.”

“Like pigs,” he corrects me. “Snout, ears and tails, to be exact. Maybe even hooves. Shouldn’t be too hard to design shoes that resemble those.”

I give him a hard stare, still finding it hard to believe, and point my…

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When Your Characters Won’t Behave

A Writer's Path

by Ryan Lanz

Have you ever thought to yourself that your characters are in charge, and not you?

I once heard an interview where an author discussed his characters as if they were the ones with the quill in hand, so to speak. He went on to discuss how the characters would occasionally hijack the story and move it where they felt like. He’s not the first to discuss it this way.

To be honest, when I first heard that, I thought it was absolutely ridiculous. The characters are the clay; they are the entities being created. They have no control or power.

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