Tuesday, March 06, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group and Corners

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

March’s question - How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/finish a story?

It’s been a while since I finished a story. But I do know what it’s like to bring a book to fruition. And today is a special one - one of the best books Dancing Lemur Press, LLC has ever produced. I believe in all of our books, but this is one of the best stories and best written.

“Austin’s message of true friendship and selflessness will resonate...strong addition to the realistic fiction genre.” - Library Journal

By Corrina Austin

Everyone needs their own special corner...

It’s 1969 and ten-year-old Davy is in a predicament. With two weeks remaining of the summer holidays, he’s expelled from the public pool for sneaking into the deep end and almost drowning. How will he break the news to his hard-working single mother? She’s at the diner all day, Davy has no friends, and he’s too young to stay by himself.

The answer lies in his rescuer, mysterious thirteen-year-old Ellis Wynn. Visiting her Grammy for the summer, Ellis offers to babysit Davy. She teaches him about “corners”–forgotten or neglected areas fixed up special. Together, the kids tackle several “corners” and Davy learns what it means to bring joy to others.

Davy begins to wonder, though. Why does Ellis want to be his friend? Why doesn’t she ever smile? And is Davy just one of Ellis’ “corners?”

Release date - March 6, 2018
$10.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 136 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Juvenile Fiction - Boys & Men / Fiction - Coming of Age
Print ISBN 9781939844392 eBook ISBN 9781939844408
$3.99 EBook available in all formats

“This book was so engaging! Five out five stars.” - TDC Book Reviews

“This is a story about love and loss, wrapped in a blanket of friendship... reminds me of the storytelling method used in The Princess Bride.” - Gina @ Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

“I hope you enjoy making a corner once you've read this sweet emotional read.” - Nayu’s Reading Corner

Corrina Austin grew up in the 1960’s. She became a mother of four and an elementary school teacher, but always found time between work and family for writing. From childhood to the present, if she wasn’t reading a book, she was writing one. While honing her craft as a writer, Corrina strives to infuse the ordinary with beauty, whimsy, and connection. She lives in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada.

Due to this release, a presenter’s expo, and other obligations this week, I will not be able to visit others and thus comments are turned off. Many thanks to those who visit and/or help me spread the word about this amazing book.

Be sure to visit other Insecure Writer’s Support Group members.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Checklist for a Great Query

What makes a query letter stand out from the pack?

Obviously a good summary of a great story is important. Writers need to cover the who, what, when, where, why, and how in just a couple paragraphs. They need a great hook. They need a quality story worthy of querying.

But beyond the synopsis, what else can a writer do to insure his query is the best it can be? It’s all in the details, and those little things are important.

Here’s a good checklist:

  • Make sure the publisher accepts your genre. Don’t just judge by what they publish or a list elsewhere. Check their submission guidelines.
  • Is the publisher currently open for submissions?
  • Do they accept works that have already been self-published?
  • Do they accept queries via email, snail mail, or through a form?
  • Select the right editor or agent for your query. Get a name and spell it correctly.
  • What do they want in a query? Query only? Synopsis or outline, too? Marketing plan? Other details? Send ONLY what they request.
  • Make sure everything is the proper length and includes all details. A query letter should only be the equivalent of one page. A synopsis should be double spaced and 2-5 pages in length. An outline is also double spaced and 3-10 pages in length. A marketing plan should be one good-sized paragraph to one page and cover online and offline plans along with social sites and real-world memberships. A writer’s bio should be between a line or two to one paragraph.
  • Include name, address, and email address in the query.
  • Do they accept attachments? If not stated, assume they don’t.
  • Send only one personalized query at a time - no mass emails.
  • If mailing, send on white paper with black ink and include a SASE.

Beyond that, personalize each query according to what the publisher or agent requests or likes:
  • Would comparing the manuscript to other published books be a plus or a minus?
  • Are they open to author illustrations? (Most aren’t.)
  • How much success with other publishers or self-published books should be noted?

Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll give your query the best possible chance.

I also had an article on Friday at Frugal Book Promotions - Ten Tips For Formatting a Book

And Bloodwalker by L.X. Cain is on sale until March 8 for just 99 cents!

EBook ISBN 9781939844262

Grab it at: Barnes & Noble / Amazon / Kobo / iTunes

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group and Favorite Genre

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today’s question - What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

I write in several genres, none of which I really consider the genre I write most often.

My five book series The Circle of Friends is NA/YA. There wasn’t NA when the books came out, which is where they actually fit. While I’m not a big fan of YA (too much angst) I do like NA and the aspect of adults beginning their lives. A big element of that of course is falling in love, and I like a bit of romance in my stories.

I’ve also written a self-help book, along with two seminars and many articles. I’ve read hundreds of self-help/success/leadership/goal-setting books and I love the message that dreams are possible if we make it happen by becoming the person we were meant to be.

There’s also my publishing and promoting book, based on the two seminars I teach - and a lot of experience as owner of Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. I’ve put together two other seminars and many articles that are instructional, and I think this is one area I feel really comfortable in. My natural skill is organizing and I like sharing what I know with others.

Currently I am working on a series of stories for a paranormal romance book. There will be 4-5 stories - the vampire, the werewolf, the ghost, the alien, and the shark. (I really do need to finish this book and explain that last one.) Again, it comes back to a little bit of romance but also room to explore new areas and not be confined by the real world.
You can see all five boards I've created for these stories on Pinterest. (They are the Four in Darkness boards.) If you're on Pinterest, please follow a board or two so I can find you.

What do you love about your genre?

Monday, January 29, 2018

CassaStar Special and Next Release

Today through February 10, 2018 - just .99 cents:

By Alex J Cavanaugh

To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…

Few options remain for Byron. A talented but stubborn young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude, his cockpit skills are his only hope. Slated to train as a Cosbolt fighter pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new life as he sets off for the moon base of Guaard.

Much to Byron’s chagrin the toughest instructor in the fleet takes notice of the young pilot. Haunted by a past tragedy, Bassa eventually sees through Byron's tough exterior and insolence. When a secret talent is revealed during training, Bassa feels compelled to help Byron achieve his full potential.

As war brews on the edge of space, time is running short. Byron requires a navigator of exceptional quality to survive, and Bassa must make a decision that could well decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission that may stretch their abilities to the limit?

Science fiction/adventure (FIC028010) and science fiction/space opera (FIC028030) - eBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-3-8

“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

EBook available at Amazon / B&N / Kobo / Kobo / Amazon UK

Upcoming release:

by Corrina Austin

Everyone needs their own special corner...

“Austin’s message of true friendship and selflessness will resonate...strong addition to the realistic fiction genre.” - Library Journal

Release date - March 6, 2018
$10.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 136 pages
Juvenile Fiction - Boys & Men (JUV005000) / Fiction - Coming of Age (FIC043000)
Print ISBN 9781939844392 eBook ISBN 9781939844408
$3.99 EBook available in all formats

Ready to take a chance on a .99 book?
Do you have your own special corner?

It may be a day or two before I can return visits. I really hurt my back this weekend and need to focus what I can on DLP first.  My back can only handle a chair so long.