“What Does Your Husband Think of Your Novel?”| Jamie Quatro

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The spring my first book came out – a collection of stories, several of which detailed an erotic but unconsummated emotional affair – I was invited to speak at an all-men’s book club. I was excited such a club existed in my town. I told them I’d love to come. Southern male readers of fiction with serious literary habits!

The meeting was held in the home of one of the members. About a dozen men showed up. We milled around and made the usual small talk. We ate good Mexican food and drank good Spanish wine and eventually gathered on sofas and chairs around the coffee table. I gave a brief talk about my “creative process” – something they’d asked me to discuss – and opened it up for questions.

No one said anything. Men shifted in leather cushions and flipped through their copies of my book. It was hot out. Someone kept opening and closing the sliding back door in little screechy increments. Maybe no one actually read it, I thought.

Finally the man sitting in the chair across from me flung his book onto the coffee table. “Okay,” he said, “I’ll just say it, because we’re all wondering the same thing: What in the hell does your husband think about your work?”

I can’t remember what came out of my mouth. Probably the laugh and the “he’s my first reader and he’s always been a hundred percent supportive” line I would grow accustomed to trotting out in the following months, when the same question surfaced again and again – from strangers after readings, from acquaintances in my town. What I do remember is what was happening inside my brain: What does my husband’s opinion of my book have to do with anything?

And: If I were a male fiction writer, writing about illicit sex, would you ask what my wife thought about my work?

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Let’s be clear: “What does your husband think about your work” is a ruse. Beneath that query is the real question: Did you, the author, do the things the female character does in your narrative? If so, how’d you get away with writing about it? Isn’t your husband hurt? And aren’t you ashamed?

A general curiosity about the relationship between a writer’s real life and her fiction is natural. How does an artist work? I could argue that there’s a compliment behind the autobiographical query: if a reader feels I must have lived through an event, that tells me, in part, that I’ve written convincingly. And given the similarities between some of my characters and myself – a married woman with children who lives in the South – I understand how certain readers might assume there’s a comprehensive, one-to-one correlation between my fiction and my life.

But I don’t take these questions as compliments. Rather, they feel like expressions of doubt as to my imaginative capacities as an artist – specifically as an artist who writes about female sexual longing and transgression. I wrote about a woman who lives in the South with her husband and children while she battles cancer. Not one reader has asked me if I’ve had cancer. I wrote about a woman with children whose husband is a suicidal benzo addict, and who nearly gives up her religious faith because of it. Not one reader has asked if my husband is a suicidal benzo addict, or if I’ve nearly given up my faith because of it.

So why the questions about the sex often couched as curiosity about my husband’s response? Buried in these questions are four dubious assumptions:

1. It is more important and interesting to talk about you, the author behind the work, than it is to discuss the work itself.

It’s remarkable how quickly we turn our gaze from artifact to artist. When Walter Hooper asked C. S. Lewis if he ever thought about the fact that his books were “winning him worship,” Lewis replied, “One cannot be too careful not to think of it.” When you ask about my personal life, you’re missing the point. This finished book we’ve sent out into the world – that’s the pearl of great price. If we’re going to talk about anything, that’s the place we should start.

2. I recognize certain things in your work – the town where you live, the number of children you have – so everything else must be true as well.

Most writers aren’t interested in writing about what we’ve actually done. Most of us write to find out what it would be like to do things we haven’t done. It’s a chance to take the roads not taken. To solve mysteries, on the page, that we’ll never get to solve in our lives. The artistic imagination is a powerful thing. It’s all I have, the tool of my trade. I feel profoundly, ruthlessly protective of it. When a reader makes the assumption that a writer is simply recording the life she’s lived, that reader is discounting the artist’s primary gift.

Fiction begins with small, lower-case truths, then translates them into a larger lie that ultimately reveals the largest truths. “None of it happened and all of it’s true,” said Ann Patchett’s mother.

3. The way I feel reading your book must be the way you felt while writing it.

If you feel ashamed or aroused or uncomfortable reading my fiction, that’s bloody fantastic. That’s why I write: black marks on a white page reaching across time and space and palpably affecting another human soul. But how do you know I felt those same things when I was drafting? (Much less how my husband felt reading my drafts?) The passages that feel “confessional” or “erotically charged” to a reader might be the very places where I felt distanced or intellectually elated in the act of composition. And it was precisely because those were the places where the artistic imagination was free to roam.

A friend of mine who writes nonfiction told me she feels the same thing when people tell her they appreciate the “vulnerability” of her prose. Funny you think I was being vulnerable, she wants to say, because when I wrote that, I just felt like a fucking badass. 

4. A man who writes about sexual infidelity is normal, while a woman who does the same is morally suspect.

Here we reach the crux. The questions “how does your husband feel?” or “how autobiographical is your work?” actually mean, “did you commit these sexually subversive acts?” The assumptions and judgments are gendered. How are we still, in 2018, dealing with the notion that men think about illicit sex as a matter of course; but women – well, women should be more demure? If we’re going to live in a society where we aren’t taken advantage of and/or shamed in our personal and professional lives, surely we can begin by not shaming one another for our sexual imaginations. Or questioning that women are capable of that imagination to begin with.

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Men, in particular, both mythologize and undermine female artists. But women do it to one another, too. On a recent press trip, a woman told me my latest novel, Fire Sermon, was “memoirish” and “confessional.” She said it blurred the distinction between life and art. This from a woman I’d never met. Yes, the character uses a confessional tone, I said. The character writes journal entries and prayers as ways to assuage her guilt, longing, and grief. Perhaps that’s what she meant by memoirish? But my novel was not a memoir. Those journal entries were not my own.

Last night, I did a Q and A with a local writing group. One of the first questions was from a woman: “You set a lot of your work locally … so is everything you write autobiographical?” I mentioned that I was, that very day, working on an essay about the question “what does your husband think?” “That’s what I wanted to ask!” she said.

Men, women: Let’s assume the female writer needn’t have lived out the narrative to write it. Let’s assume that she can have an imagination that is subversive and sexually transgressive.

And let’s assume the artist’s husband feels pretty fucking badass to be married to her.

***

Jamie Quatro is the author of the just-released novel Fire Sermon, as well as the story collection I Want to Show You More. She lives in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, where she’s at work on a new novel and story collection.

Via https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2018/01/16/husband-think-novel/

10 Things You Should Avoid As A New Writer

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You can write about any subject in any format, whether you’re a blogger, a playwright, a novelist, a freelancer, a screen writer, the list goes on and on.

However, if you’re new to the industry, you’ll have a long way to go before you become one of the best. As with any profession, you’ll experience hurdles and obstacles along the way in situations where you’ll have to learn from your mistakes.

To give you the best possible head start, we’ll explore ten key aspects of writing that you should avoid.

1. Don’t Set a Path

There’s no set path in the writing world. Imagine you wanted to be a lawyer. You’ll go to university, learn everything you need to know, get a job at the bottom of a firm and then you’ll work your way up.

The writing industry has no structure. One moment you could be writing as a freelancer and the next, one of your blogs has gone viral, and you’ve got blogging requests coming in from all angles. As a rule of thumb, do what works for you. Just take things one step at a time.

2. Don’t Be Someone You’re Not

Everybody is different. There’s no point in writing if you’re going to copy the same style and language as one of your writing idols because that’s not you, that’s copying.

Experiment with some different writing styles and formats and see what works best for you. Most importantly, find the style and format that you enjoy.

With this aspect of writing, you’ll get the chance to experiment to find your feet in what kind of writer you’ll be. The more you experiment, the more you’ll discover your own style, the more you’ll enjoy writing and the more productive and successful you’ll be.

3. Never Stop Brainstorming

Even when you’re applying for freelancing jobs, never stop thinking about what you can write about. Maybe you want to publish a book; maybe you want to become a food blogger, whatever you want to be, constantly be thinking about how you can move forward. Never forget to write your ideas down and keep referring to them.

Keeping a journal or ‘thought diary’ is one of the easiest ways to jot down your thoughts as they come to you. It’s also important that you refer back to these thoughts when you can. You never know when you’ll be able to combine two ideas into one winning idea.

4. Don’t Get Disheartened by Feedback

If you’re working as a freelancer, the chances are that not every job will be a five-star rating. When that inevitable low rating comes in, don’t let it break your stride. As with any business, your services won’t be for everyone. Simply take on board the advice, better your skills and move forward.

5. Never Forget the Basics

Spelling, grammar, punctuation, language, format and structure. These are just a few aspects of writing which are essential to master if you want to succeed. Even if you have deadlines closing in on you rapidly, never forget the basics.

Always take your time when checking over your work. One mistake to the wrong client and it can seriously damage your credibility and your reputation.

6. Don’t Get Envious

You may be reading a blog or an article by a writer, and you’ll notice thousands of shares and comments, don’t think ‘Damn, I wish I had that kind of engagement’, you’re just starting out, and it will come with practice.

Take on board the positives and move forward, don’t hate someone because of their success.

Every master of any skill started as a beginner at some point in their lives. As before, take each day as it comes and take your writing career one step at a time. Be open to new opportunities and really explore the multitude of options that are available to you.

7. Don’t Lock Yourself Away

As with any career, life is all about balance. It’s easy to take on a ton of work or to sit down to work on a bulk load of projects, but you’re confining yourself to your desk. Get outside, go for a walk, see some friends and family members. Don’t forget to live your life.

With mounting deadlines and pressure from clients, especially if you’re freelancing, it’s easy to get caught up with working all the time. However, if your aim is to work as a blogger for yourself, it’s important that you set aside time for yourself to explore your ideas and your own concepts.

One piece of advice to live by is to dedicate time aside every other day to write an article for yourself to go on your blog.

8. Never Stop Reading

Whatever format you love the most, whether it’s eBooks, stories, fan-fiction, articles, blogs or research studies, reading is your greatest friend as a writer. By exploring new worlds, concepts and ideas, reading can open your mind up in new and exciting ways.

Not only will reading teach you so much more about writing, as well as tips on aspects such as sentence structure and new concepts, it will also help you to take a break from everyday writing, giving you a chance to relax and to breathe.

One other piece of advice to live by is stepping out of your comfort zone now and then. You may like a specific genre of book or author, but it can change your world by going into a bookshop and asking for a random recommendation. You never know what you’ll be reading next, and you might even discover a new favourite.

9. Don’t Avoid Tips and Advice Pages

At the Olympics, there can only be one gold medallist. However, in the writing world, there is room for an infinite number of successful writers. It is one aspect you should never forget.

Many writers are happy to share their experience and advice with the rest of the community so take on board what they are saying and never dismiss it. One piece of advice could change your life.

Some websites, such as Writer’s Digest, are dedicated help you be the best you can.

10 Never Give Up

Nobody who wanted to get somewhere amazing ever had an easy ride. Whether you wanted to climb Mount Everest or become President, it’s a struggle to get to where you want to be.

No matter how hard life is for you and no matter what it throws in your face, never give up, keep digging, keep tapping, keep scribbling and stay motivated.

Via: https://www.justpublishingadvice.com/10-things-you-should-avoid-as-a-new-writer/

How To Write A Killer Cover Letter

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A cover letter introduces you and your novel to potential publishers. This letter is your first point of contact between you and a publisher, therefore, it is crucial that aspiring authors know how to write a decent cover letter.

Here are three common questions, answered for writers looking to pave a successful path into the world of publishing with a cover letter that leaves an impression…

What do I need?

1. An ‘elevator pitch’ & hook

An ‘elevator pitch’ is a brief and punchy summary of your novel that could be told to someone important between floors of a short elevator ride. Condense the core ideas of your novel in a dynamic and enthusiastic couple of sentences. Remember that your cover letter should be no longer than a page, so this section can only take a up a paragraph or two. Show them why it’s worth reading and be sure to include a ‘hook’ – something that drags your reader into the story, and leaves them dying to know what happens next.

2. A target audience

Outline your target audience to publishers and demonstrate an alignment to their publishing vision. A good way to start is by looking at previous novels they have published and whether these books fall in the same category as yours, and share a target audience. Remember to be specific, publishers need more information than ‘Adult’. Include your audience’s gender, age group, interests, etc., if applicable.

3. Novel titles comparable to yours

Give two titles comparable to your novel (even better if they’re published by the publisher you’re reaching out to). This is a great way to establish direct relevance and relation to potential publishers. More than that, it gives them an idea of where your novel will sit in the marketplace and how it will work with their existing list.

4. A word count

A simple and necessary step to let publishers know how long your novel is.

5. A killer author bio

Be interesting, be readable and draw publishers in with who you are and what you intend to do with your work. Here is also the place to list existing publishing credentials, and relevant education such as writing courses or degrees. You want to be able to get publishers to see that you are a capable, focused and passionate writer.

6. Contact details

Give yourself the opportunity to be contacted if the publishers decide to get in touch for further questions or discussions. Include your phone number, address and most importantly, your email address.

How do I put it together?

Put the above elements together in an easy-to-read, simple form. Keep sentences short, purposeful and in an active voice. The desired length of your letter should no longer than a page. Opt for a 12pt standard font such as Times New Roman, and 1.5 spacing.

Many new authors make the mistake of attempting to detail their entire background, life achievements and a lengthy breakdown of their novel. Long, unnecessary paragraphs will irritate the editor and an irritated submissions editor is not someone you want reading your life’s work and deciding its future.

In addition to being concise, remember to keep it error-free. Creatively-written content may help you stand out, but keep in mind that your letter is still a business proposal. It also goes without saying that a successful pitch leaves no room for error so before you click send, proofread it again and again. Better still, have other writer friends review it and provide you with feedback.

Do I include my manuscript? 

Always follow the publisher’s submission guidelines. These guidelines are usually accessible on publisher’s website. The most common request is to include the first three chapters. In addition, you might also be asked for a synopsis (usually no longer than 300-words). We cannot stress enough the importance of adhering to the guidelines – this shows that you care about the publisher’s work as well as yours.

Some other useful tips

  • Address your cover letter by name. Avoid clichés such as “dear sir/madam” or “to whom it may concern”. It is more genuine and respectful.
  • Use more formal language throughout the letter.
  • Have a logical and readable structure.
  • Thank the publisher for their time.
  • Sign off gracefully – e.g. “yours sincerely” – before your name.

With these tips, you’re good to go!

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Via: https://writersedit.com/fiction-writing/how-to-write-a-cover-letter-to-publishers/

How To Write A Killer Synopsis

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What is a Synopsis?

A synopsis is a succinct account of a manuscript’s plot, characters, setting, style and mood. Grouped with the cover letter and the chapter sample, it is a vital piece of the querying jigsaw.

The synopsis demonstrates your writing talent, shows your ability to craft a good story and, above all else, should get the editor clamouring to read the full manuscript.

Many authors loathe the synopsis, and it’s easy to see why. After working tirelessly on their manuscript, they must condense the essence of what could be more than 100,000 words into no more than two or three pages.

With such a limited word count, it can be an excruciating task identifying which parts of your work to include and which to leave out. But as with most impossible-sounding tasks, if you break it down and take things one step at a time, it’s going to get a whole lot easier.

What Should a Synopsis Do?

While there are no definitive rules about how you should approach the synopsis, there are some elements that you must get right.

Reveal the ending

One of the biggest mistakes made by green authors is to hide the ending in their synopsis. You must show how your story ends! There is nothing more infuriating than arriving at an unsatisfying ending.

You wouldn’t starve your readership of a great climax, so why do it to the editor – the one person who might just get your book on the shelves?

NOTE: Your ending may be inconclusive on purpose, and this is fine. Your story might be the first of an incomplete series or you might be leaving something up to the imagination of the readers. This is okay, as long as you can prove that the ending works and actually present how it unfolds.

Prove that your manuscript is not flawed

An editor will be able to spot any major problems with your manuscript just by reading the synopsis. Your character’s motivation might not match their decisions, or the opening may have no apparent connection to the middle of the story.

If you get it right, though, the editor will see that you can craft a well-rounded story, with strong character motivations and natural links from start to finish.

However, you shouldn’t wait for the editor to spot the flaws. If you can see them for yourself after writing the synopsis, consider postponing your submission until your manuscript has undergone more editing.

Capture attention

The synopsis, as part of the query, is your one shot at getting the attention of a publisher.

Think of it like a theatrical movie trailer that gives away the entire story. At the cinema, when an exciting trailer comes to an end, you might turn to your friend and say, ‘I can’t wait to see that one’. The editor’s office is no different. When your synopsis turns up on their desk, you want them turning to their colleagues and saying, ‘I can’t wait to read that one’.

Use all the tools at your disposal to make your synopsis stand out. Use vivid and emotive language. Make sure the mood of your synopsis matches that of your manuscript. Show the editor that your manuscript is marketable and do everything you can to prove your book will sell.

What Should a Synopsis NOT Do?

No matter what type of synopsis and no matter where you’re submitting it, you should definitely bear in mind the following universal no-nos.

Outline the plot

The terms ‘synopsis’ and ‘outline’ can be used interchangeably but they are, in fact, vastly different. Like a primary school student writing a recount, an outline is a chapter-by-chapter summary of events. ‘First someone did this, then they did that, and after someone did that, this happened…’ And so on.

While this mechanical outline does exhibit your pacing, it is not going to get the editor excited about your novel. Besides, if your synopsis is written well, the editor should understand how the text is paced anyway.

Make it sound like marketing

Will the publisher like the author’s synopsis or will it end up in the recycling bin with the others?

You want to know the answer to this, don’t you? It might seem like finishing your synopsis like this will tempt the editor into asking for more. You want to tantalise them, leave them on the edge of their seat, right?

Wrong. When you write a synopsis, it is easy to fall into the trap of using language that sounds like the copy on a hardcover jacket or the back cover blurb of a paperback. But this is not the purpose of a synopsis.

Your writing should be clear and concise, revealing the essentials of your story without ambiguity. Use rhetorical questions sparingly, and certainly avoid using them to create suspense.

Explain themes or backstory

It can be helpful for you to include themes in your synopsis, but there’s no need to explain how they play out in your work. You simply don’t have the word count and, if you’ve written your synopsis well, the editor should be able to get a feel for the themes without you spoon-feeding them.

Similarly, you don’t have enough words to explain the background of your story in great detail. Don’t worry about detailing how your fantasy world came into being or how each member of your protagonist’s family affects their personality.

If it’s not essential to the conflict and plot development of your story, it doesn’t need to be included. As suggested in Step 2 below, any vital element of backstory should be placed in your opening paragraph.

How to Write a Synopsis

As with any creative work, there is no universally accepted method to writing a synopsis. Neither is there a certain style or layout you must follow. This will of course depend on the type of manuscript you’ve written.

The following outline is only a guide. Some steps may feel like overkill or mightn’t suit the way you work. Experiment and find out what works for you.

Step 1: Decide what to include

This is the most difficult step: choosing who and what is critical to your manuscript.

First, consider the role of each character and whether they generate conflict for the protagonist. The heart of all great fiction is conflict, and your synopsis needs to focus on this aspect of your story.

Then ask yourself, does the ending make sense without this character or without this plot point?

You might have a well-rounded secondary character, a subplot or a feature of your setting that you believe will sway your editor. But the hard truth is that, more often than not, you’ll be better off leaving it out.

Cut things back to basics: include any characters and plot points necessary for the ending to make sense. Leave the rest out.

Though the secondary aspects of your story are still significant and might make the difference if the editor asks to see more of the manuscript, the essential elements of your story are the most important and should be good enough to sell your idea.

If you work out what should and shouldn’t be included in your synopsis from the beginning, it will save you time and effort down the track. There’s nothing worse than spending time summarising a secondary story arc, only to realise that you’re going to run out of words if you include it.

Planning from the beginning will also help to clarify the essence of your book. A clear vision will help set you on the right track as you start to write.

Step 2: Write the introduction

If you’re at the stage of writing your synopsis, you might not even remember writing the opening line of your manuscript. But the beginning of your synopsis has to be just as good as the beginning of your novel.

Spend time on your opening line and keep working at it until it is perfect. Catch the editor’s attention. Hook them in and don’t let them escape.

Your first paragraph should introduce the protagonist, introduce the problem that sets them on the pathway of your plot, and describe the setting. It should cover the essentials of who, where, when and why.

Write in the present tense. Include any vital elements of backstory – those that ensure the ending will make sense when you come to it.

Step 3: Write the middle

Your synopsis needs a strong middle section: one that successfully moves the story onwards from the introduction and keeps the reader interested as you approach the ending.

Keep this section of your synopsis moving. If the pace feels too slow, cut words or sentences out, even if you included them in your planning.

Focus mainly on the plot, but make sure you show how the protagonist is changing. Your character shouldn’t transform suddenly from timid teenager to confident young adult. Explain the events of the story, and as you go, detail the characters’ gradual change as a result of those events.

Step 4: Finish it off

The next step is clear: finish the synopsis. There are a couple of things your final section should achieve. Firstly, as we mentioned above, you must reveal the ending. The editor needs to know that your beginning and middle sections lead to a logical, conclusive and exciting climax.

Secondly, you need to present the characters’ development. This should be easy if you followed Step 3. Your characters will have arrived at their final destination, metamorphosis complete.

Describe what they have learnt or how they have changed. Compare their feelings from the start of the journey with their feelings as they walk towards the setting sun and the credits start to slide.

Step 5: Clean it up

You can’t avoid it. When you’ve finished writing, it’s time to edit!

Go through the same editing process you went through with your manuscript. Check for grammatical and spelling errors. Make sure your synopsis flows logically and each section of the story links to the next.

Remember to read over your work with that initial question in mind: Does the ending make sense if I include/exclude [x]? If you’re well above the suggested word count, be ruthless. If you can cut something while retaining the sense of your ending, do it!

Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart…” — Stephen King

Step 6: Saving and sharing

Often, depending on where you’re submitting, the length of the synopsis will vary. When you’re happy with your final draft, save a default copy to work with each time you prepare a new query or submission.

If you have a default copy on file, it’s easier to mould your synopsis when you find that your next target asks for ‘a brief synopsis of no more than 300 words’. Simply work through the same process, keeping only what is critical to the manuscript.

Likewise, if the guidelines suggest you have a few hundred words more than your original draft, use the extra words to show off. You might even be able to weave in one of those secondary elements you had to cut from your original.

Be sure to save each new copy. It’s easier to reduce a 600-word synopsis down to 500 words than it is to cut down from 1000 words.

Also, don’t forget to share your work. Give it to friends and family. Read it aloud with the members of your writers’ group. Just like you did with your manuscript, listen to feedback and be sure that your synopsis is the best it can be before you format it, ready for submission.

Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” — Ken Blanchard

Handy Hints

Tell, don’t show

I say f*** the old advice ‘show, don’t tell.’ It’s called story TELLING for a reason…” — Ashly Lorenzana

You’ve heard it before: show, don’t tell. But when it comes to writing your synopsis, telling is absolutely fine.

You simply don’t have enough words to employ flowery language in every sentence. You’re better off getting straight to the point and being clear, concise and unambiguous.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to tell everything! As best you can within the word count, find a balance between showing and telling.

Write your synopsis at the start

All writers work in different ways. Some like to plan out their novel from the beginning; others like to see where their writing can take them, with little or no planning at all.

Consider this: writing your synopsis from the very beginning, even before you write your opening scene, has two main benefits.

Firstly, you won’t have to write the synopsis when you come to the end of your manuscript. It will already be there, a working document that will just need a bit of tweaking.

Sure, your story might take you to a place you never considered when you wrote the original. But again, you can simply rewrite the synopsis as you go. This will help you out when it comes to that all-important final kilometre.

The synopsis can also assist you in multiple ways for the process of editing. A structural edit will be made easier if you can see the development of your plot and your characters just by skimming over one document. You’ll know immediately which scenes are the most important and in which order they occur. This is especially helpful in longer manuscripts.

Read some examples

Whether you’re a seasoned synopsis writer or sitting down to your very first, you should be able to pick out the strengths and weaknesses of different pieces. Study the layout, style and language. Look for the strengths and try to emulate them.

You’ll be able to find a number of examples just by doing a quick Google search; Writer’s Digest also has an extensive list of movie synopses to peruse.

Navigate with a critical eye. Not all synopses posted online will be good examples. And keep in mind the interplay between the words ‘synopsis’, ‘outline’ and ‘summary’.

***

For editors on the hunt for their next project, the synopsis is the doorway to your story – the last post guarding entrance to the world that is your manuscript. Don’t lock them out. Welcome them inside and give your manuscript its best chance to get published.

Good Luck!

Via: https://writersedit.com/fiction-writing/write-killer-synopsis/

How To Promote Your Book Politely And Keep Your Friends

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I get flooded with ‘please read my book’ and ‘check out my new book now’ requests on various social media and online forums.

So I thought it might be a good idea to scribble a few hints for new self-published authors.

I was so tempted to title this list of hints ‘Don’t annoy people before they have discovered your book’, but I won’t.

Instead, I’ll settle for this.

1. DO NOT direct message people on any forum asking them to read your brilliant new book.

It’s a guaranteed method for really annoying people, and poof, there goes a bundle of potential readers or book buyers in an instant (message).

2. DO engage with people on social media.

The rule of social networking is to make contacts, make friends, make fans, make buyers.

Don’t ever think there’s a short-cut to this formula.

3. DO have a blog and a website.

These are the most suitable places to promote your book buy links and book reviews.

But make sure you have some wonderful content as well, to show off your writing skills.

Yes, your writing skills need to be front and centre.

Readers are very selective so they will never just click and buy your book without a very good reason to do so. Attract their interest in your writing.

4. DO NOT pretend.

Be yourself no matter what. You’ll only succeed if people are interested in you because you are genuine.

5. DO be careful about how you respond to reviews.

Perhaps thank book bloggers, but directly and not in the blog’s comments.

You can click yes to ‘Was this review helpful to you?’ for an Amazon review, which helps add a little weight to a good review.

However, never respond to bad reviews, no matter how upset you may be.

Leave them alone and ignore them, as any reaction from you will only inflame, and directly harm your author reputation.

6. DO NOT try to flood the Internet with your book.

It’s flooded already, so who will notice you?

Be targeted and know your potential market. (I know mine, but that’s my secret!)

You could always invest a little in book promotion. Here are some book promotion sites that you could consider.

7. DO use bookmarking sites and social media to promote your blog.

A well written and topical blog post can potentially go viral.

This is the very best way to get some real attention, but be careful. Don’t overdo it.

I post most days, and perhaps once a month a post really goes mad. Be patient and again, write well.

8. DO learn how to format anchor text in your links.

Nothing looks more amateur than posting a web address link like this.

https://www.amazon.com/One-Last-Love-never-late-ebook/dp/B007L5C424/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

It should look like this:  Get One Last Love Here.

Or more preferably, your link should be embedded in an image, like this.

One Last Love

9. DO NOT write clichéd short bios on social media sites and blogs.

You’re supposed to be a writer.

If you can’t write an original bio about yourself, give up writing and take up pottery. Or at least hire a copywriter to do it for you.

10. DO be patient.

Most overnight successes take about 30 years on average, so don’t rush it.

Learn to walk before you start running.

Now if you’re still reading, there are, of course, a lot more do’s and don’t’s to book promotion, but this short list will get you started.

Use your head and think before you jump.

My golden rule is: how would I react if I came across myself and my book marketing?

Simple, but effective.

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Via: https://www.justpublishingadvice.com/how-to-promote-your-book-politely