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CONTENT

To help the author develop and create the best book possible. Material that has both commercial appeal and long-term value.

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To help the author determine the next best step in their writing career. Giving counsel regarding the subtleties of the marketplace as well as the realities of the publishing community.

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Recent Posts

En-TITLE-ment: Finding the Perfect Title (Part One)

One of the most difficult—and important—things we did when I worked in the publishing house was come up with titles for our authors’ novels. Sometimes it was a breeze, either because the author’s title was spot-on or because the story lent itself organically to a certain title. But more often than not, it was a long process of back-and-forth with the author, marketing, and sales. So how can you, the author, develop a title that works well? Give the following tips a try.

1. Tone. Be sure your title reflects the tone of your story accurately. A whimsical title on a book that is dark and tense will leave the reader feeling suckered or betrayed. Avoid disconnects, so that when the reader is drawn by the title, what they find on the back cover and in the content will only make that draw even stronger. Be sure the title creates a sense of whimsy, tension, danger, romance, mystery, fantasy, the future…whatever best reflects the tone of your story.

Okay, so ready for a challenge? Based on the titles below…

Name That Tone!

The Boneman’s Daughters

Redeeming Love

The Shunning

The Riddlemaster of Hed

A Vase of Mistaken Identity

Without a Trace

Three Weddings & a Giggle

2. Genre. This goes hand in hand with tone. While it’s important to reflect the tone of your book, you also need to be sure the title fits the genre you’re writing. For example, many contemporary novels have a strong thread of romance in them, but you don’t want to put a title that focuses too much on the romance element. Those who read romances have specific expectations, some of which won’t be met by a contemporary novel. The beauty of genre, though, is that we often mix genres. Cozy mysteries, for example, mix mystery with a bit of a whimsical tone. Romantic adventure–self-evident. So you can use that interplay in titles. One caveat: you can offset the genre focus with the cover art. For example, a title like The Longing Heart could be romance, could be contemporary. How the designer treats the cover will clarify genres for the reader.

Name that Genre!

Kidnapped

Sister Chicks Down Under

Deadly Pursuit

The Twelfth Prophecy, A.D. Chronicles

Part two coming next week!

 

 

 

 

 

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News You Can Use

Non-Fiction is True, Fiction is Un-True – Tony Reinke explodes this myth.

Campus Crusade Changes its Name – No longer call Campus Crusade by that name. It is now called Cru. This is not a prank, it is the real deal. One scalpel edged writer has some pointed things to say about the change.

The Difference Between Buzz and Word-of-Mouth – Matt Perman makes a simple definition to help clarify.

Top Ten Differences Between the Published and the Self-Published – Robert Chazz Chute discussed the main reasons that separate the two groups. Ending quote: “It used to take a powerful store of hope to be a self-published author. Now more faith is demanded of my traditionally published friends.”

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently – a great article from the Harvard Business Review. Number four is my favorite: “Be a realistic optimist.”

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Back to School?

by Steve Laube

Depending on where you live and your school district policies you may already be in a back-to-school mode or preparing for it.

It got me to thinking about the need for all writers to always have a “back to school” mentality.

Here are five things we can learn from always going “back to school.”

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Show or Tell: How Do You Know?

As we discussed last week, it’s okay to tell at times, but in fiction you want to show the important, emotion-laden scenes. That way the reader gets the vicarious experience along with the character. So how do you know when you’re telling rather than showing? Here are a few tips:

Beware the dreaded –ly adverbs.

“Get out of my novel, you –ly adverbs!” Alice said angrily.

Ah-ah-ah! Any time you use an –ly adverb (angrily, happily, stupidly, etc), you’re telling us what the emotion is rather than showing it. Instead, show the emotion, whatever it may be, through actions or punctuation. In the example above, the exclamation point tells us Alice is being vehement, but it’s not clear if she’s angry or frightened.

Alice stared at the page of her novel, her blood pressuring rising. Thirty-two! Thirty-two –ly adverbs on one page! What was wrong with her? “Auughh!” Her cry still echoing around her, she grabbed the page, crumpled it into a compact ball, and pitched it, as hard as she could, against the wall.

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