Why more authors should write poetry in their spare time

Poetry is a bit of a lost art these days. And I don’t necessarily mean poetry like the Rupi Kaur or RM Drake poetry. But longer, more in-depth poems with actual thought and not just feeling.

While many authors do say they enjoy writing poetry, few actually do for one reason or another. Time constraints probably being the biggest one. Poetry, however, can be a really powerful gift that keeps on giving.

Here are several reasons why you should consider picking up your pen (or tablet) and start your next poem now.

1) It can help you reflect on your life

Poetry is one of the rawest and authentic ways to reflect on what is happening in your world. It allows you to pinpoint those raw emotions that you might not have put a finger on otherwise. If you’re harboring any hidden feelings, writing poetry is definitely one way to soothe things over and understand yourself better. Pablo Neruda is one of the best at this.

2) It makes you think critically

Writing prose is like second nature to most of us. We can write it in an instant and form sentences without even thinking. Poetry is different. Every word matters. Every beat is planned. Poetry can push you to reflect on all of those things in more depth and improve your command of the written word in the process. If you’ve written a short story or very short story before, it’s the same concept. Many of the best short stories operate with the same techniques.



3) It can be therapeutic

Poetry is a form of free therapy for many people. Whether you’ve just gone through a bad breakup or recently got fired at work, writing poetry can help free bottled up emotions and rid yourself of the frustrations and anger you have inside you. Writing poetry is a very healthy way to cope and many actually recommend it as a daily habit when going through tough times.

4) It’s easier than ever to get an audience

With these poetry sites and general creative writing sites, it’s easier than ever to get an audience for some of your poems. Poems that helped you cope with hard times can actually help others cope as well. This is the appeal of many of the Insta poets like Kaur and RM Drake as mentioned earlier. They each command followings in the millions for their poems, largely because they post relatable poems that make people feel good. They go viral across the entire internet for this reason.

5) It makes you a better writer

Poetry pushes you to be more accurate with your word choice and structuring. Because poems are often lyrical and have a certain flow, they can be deceptively hard to write and actually train your brain to write in a certain way. The precision that is required in poetry can help your diction and also sentence structures, making your prose sound better and tighter as well. Many well-known writers dabble in poetry on the side to help hone their craft for this reason.

I could go on and on about the benefits of poetry, but it’s pretty clear. You can learn a lot and grow a lot as a person by writing poetry.

If you’re looking for more great poetry, consider reading some as well. Here are some famous poems and love poems that can send you on your way.

There is one warning that I should give you before you start, however. Poetry can be extremely addicting so proceed with caution. Once you start writing poetry, you may never be able to stop.

Writing Book Blurbs for Different Genres

When it comes to writing a book blurb, there are different rules for different genres. Some of these rules are pretty simple, but you want to make sure that you follow them. However, it can be difficult to know what these rules are without reading book blurbs often from every genre out there. That can be almost impossible, so we have scoured the expert advice for writing blurbs in lots of different genres to give you some tips no matter what type of book you have written. Let’s take a look at several different genres and reading levels for some terrific tips.

Epic Fantasy

Epic Fantasy, also known as High Fantasy or Sword-and-Sorcery, is a type of fiction that takes place in a world like Lord of the Rings or A Song of Ice and Fire. There may be knights, dragons, wizards and magic. To create a blurb for an Epic Fantasy novel, make sure that you highlight the fantastic world and the epic quest. Readers love these kinds of books because the heroes are in an amazing new world on a quest to save everyone.

Other Fantasy

Other types of fantasy like Urban Fantasy or the Harry Potter series takes place in the real world – or a world very similar to the real world. You want to highlight things like the transition from the normal life of the hero to the magical one, or in the case of Urban Fantasy, the grittiness of the magical world the heroes live in.

Middle-Grade Fiction

Middle-grade fiction blurbs should always be written in a lighthearted tone. Middle-grade fiction is read by kids from around 6 years old all the way up to 11 years old, depending upon the age of the main character. The exciting and fantastic elements should always be highlighted.

Young Adult

With young adult fiction, or YA, you want to focus on the relatability of the main character and what they are going through – even if what they are going through is a dystopian future like in The Hunger Games. Almost every young adult novel has some kind of romance in it as well – so you may want to mention that in your blurb.

Romance

With romance novels, you want to focus on the main characters in your blurb as well as the circumstances behind the “will they won’t they” of the plot. You can mention the secondary plot, but mostly focus on the romance.

Science Fiction

With sci-fi, make sure that you write the blurb to include the futuristic or scientific nature of the story so that people know it is sci-fi when they read the blurb.

Mysteries

When it comes to writing mysteries, always focus on the strangeness of the crime as well as how difficult it is to solve. You also want to focus a little on your main character and why he or she has the detective skills to solve a crime that no one else can. Think of Sherlock Holmes.

A Photoshop Primer for Book Cover Design

A Photoshop Primer for Book Cover Design

When you are creating your first book cover using Photoshop, everything can seem a little overwhelming and difficult to use. Photoshop is one of the most comprehensive image editing programs currently available, and there are literally thousands of things that you can do to an image using Photoshop. In order to create a book cover successfully, you’re going to have to learn a little bit about how to use this program. This is a Photoshop Primer specifically for those who wish to dabble in designing their own book covers. We will be covering the main components that you will be using in your cover design.

Your Window Pane & Toolbar

The first thing to be aware of is the window pane on the right and the toolbar on the left. The toolbar allows you to select different tools that you might need such as the move tool or the magic eraser. The window pane on the right gives you access to everything that you need to design a book cover. By default, the Navigator pane is not included, so you need to go to the Windows drop down and select it.

Understanding Layers

Layers are exactly what they sound like, levels upon which you can draw or work and then delete when you no longer need them. It is a good idea to use layers when you are not sure what you are doing.

The Drag Tool

The drag tool allows you to drag pictures and text around to get them in the right position. This is especially useful for taxed which you need to be centered. The lines will tell you when taxed is centered within your document or image.

The Text Tool

The text tool will allow you to set the font and the size of the font, as well as type whatever you want to place on your book cover. This is a very useful tool as you will use it for the title of your book, any subtitles and your author name.

Fonts & Sizes

You will also be using the fonts and sizes tool which is located at the top panel of your Photoshop. You will be able to set what font you want as well as what size you want to appear.

The Navigator

Once you have added the Navigator panel, you will be able to zoom in and out your image and get as close as you need to create the design that you want. If you need help with anything related to data recovery, photoshop for book design, etc. Check out IT Services NYC

Colors & Layer Styles

The colors and layer styles allow you to choose a certain color either using the color panel or the swatches panel, and the layer styles will allow you to select any of your installed layer styles or from the dozen or so default styles.

The Transformation Tool

Finally, if you go to edit > transform > free transform > you will be able to move around your image or text to any size you want; or any shape that you want for that matter.

A Brief Overview of the Amazon Author Area

The Amazon Author Central Tool

Amazon’s Author Central is one of the best tools you have as a self-published author. One of the reasons for that is how high it automatically ranks in the search engine results. If you type in your author name and you have an Amazon author page, it may even outrank your own website, especially if it is new. However, this is great news, especially if you publish with Amazon, because all of your books are listed right there on your author central page. Let’s look at the five sections of Amazon’s Author Central.

Author Central Main Page

The main page of author central is where you will find information on what you can use this section for, as well as some instructions on how to change things. But the majority of the information on this main page is the latest news coming from Amazon regarding Amazon Kindle and the authors the publish books with Amazon.

Author Page

The second part is the author page. This is where you will edit your bio and write down the information that people will see when they scroll down the page of your book listing or click on your author name to go to your author page on Amazon. It is also where you can add blog posts to your Amazon blogs, and where you can add an upcoming event such as a book signing.

Books

There is also a section for you to add all of the books that you have published. Amazon does not automatically had books to your author page, because there are pages that have duplicate names. For example, there is an author that publishes – probably purposely – under the name Stephen King, but it is not the real Stephen King, and most of the reviews on his or her poorly written books are negative. Amazon will investigate briefly to make sure that these books really were published by your account before they add them to your author list.

Sales Information

Another thing you will find at Author Central is information on your sales. You’ll be able to see your Nielson BookScan numbers as well as what your current Amazon bestseller rank as an author is what your current bestseller rank is for each of the books that you have listed there. Some of this information is available to the public, listed on your individual book listing page, but not all. This is useful information for any author that is trying to improve their rankings.

Customer Reviews

Finally, you get to see customer reviews of your books all in one place. You’ll be able to see which books they refer to, with the star rating was and what people actually said. This can be really useful if you get a lot of reviews, because you look at all the new reviews without having to go to each individual book page and find out what was most recently posted. It is a very convenient way to keep track of what people are saying about your books.

5 Outstanding Writing Contests to Enter in 2019

5 Outstanding Writing Contests to Enter in 2019

Are you a writer looking to showcase your skills? Why not enter a writing contest and challenge yourself in a competitive environment? There are hundreds of writing competitions available online, all it takes is a click to enter and change the trajectory of your wring career toward the stars.

If you’re dreaming of becoming a master wordsmith, enter one of these 5 outstanding writing competitions and test your skill set.

1. Friends of American Writers Chicago Awards

FAW hosts two annual competitions during the year. The first is the Adult Literature Award for literary fiction or nonfiction, and the second contest is the Juvenile Literature Award for a children’s or youth adult book. Contestants must reside in one of the U.S states of Minnesota, Michigan, Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, or Ohio. Guidelines state that the theme of the manuscript must use one of these states for the background of the story.

Winners receive a variable cash prize between $500 to $2,000; the deadline is toward the end of 2018, visit their website for details.

2. Reedsy Weekly Short Story Contest

If you’re looking for a contest to enter this week, head over to Reedsy.com and sign up for their weekly newsletter. Every week, Reedsy challenge their subscribers to write a short story based on one of 5 genres recommended in their newsletter. If you write the winning piece, Reedsy will pay you $50 and feature you in their Medium blog.

This contest is an excellent opportunity for writers of any age or any experience level. Register on Reedsy for free writing tools and assistance to help you start and succeed with your writing career. The competition is open to enter for free, so register and make sure your submission reaches their editing team before the following Friday.

3. Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Winning writers host this annual writing competition. This organization encourages writers to submit pieces with humor, creativity, and poetry. There’s no age restriction, and international writers are welcome to present their work.

There is no entry fee, but your submission must be no more than 250-lines. There’s a cash prize of $1,000 for the winner and multiple honorable mentions across a range of online and offline publications for extra exposure.

4. Inkitt

This independent, boutique publishing house awards the winner of their prestigious competition with a publishing deal. Imagine becoming a published author? If this excites you, then submit a manuscript for a fiction novel, with a minimum of 20,000 words.

If selected as the winner, Inkitt will provide you with professional editing and proofreading, as well as cover design and 20% royalties on the sales of your book. Inkitt proudly proclaim that they have a marketing strategy to get your book into the top 100 on Amazon.com, think about the career potential of winning this contest!

5. New Voices Award

Lee & Low Books present this contest. The award-winning children’s book publisher originally founded this contest in a 1,500-word, non-picture format, with contestants limited to people of color.

The winner of the competition receives a $1,00 cash prize a publication contract with the company. You’re allowed to enter two pieces, and the deadline for submissions is between May 1 and September 30, 2018.

6 Awesome Sales-boosting Book Marketing Ideas

6 Marketing Ideas to Increase Sales

You’ve written an amazing book and you’ve been published (yay!), but now comes the really hard part: selling it.

If there’s one thing that can end a great author’s career, it’s a lack of book sales. Not to state the obvious, but without sales, well, you aren’t going to be a success. So, how can you get your book to sell? By marketing the hell out of it!

Below, we share six powerful ways to market your book and get the sales that you deserve.

  1. Offer a Raffle

It might sound silly, but offering a raffle could really do wonders for sales. Mark your book down steeply and blast out on social media that you are offering anyone who buys a copy and posts a review wherever you’re selling it (Amazon, for example) a change to win something – like an eReader. You’ll start a huge buzz, get tons of people interested, get great reviews, and sell more copies of your book. Talk about a win-win-win!

Image result for reedsy book marketing ideas

Source: Reedsy

  1. Head to Your Local Library

Don’t underestimate the power of your local library. People still use libraries and they look to them for valuable resources. Arrange to do a reading of your book and have a meet-and-greet at your library. Of course, don’t forget to have plenty of copies of your book on-hand so you can sell them right on the spot!

  1. Promote with your Signature

Whether it’s on a forum or on your emails, promoting your book with your signature is a super simple, yet extremely effective way to promote your book. Every time you send out an email or add to a conversation on a forum, you’ll spread the word about your book, make it more visible, and have the opportunity to increase sales.

  1. Use Business Cards

Yes, you can use business cards to promote your book. As an author, your writing – and your book – is your business, so why not make up business cards to promote it? Feature the cover of your book on one side of the card, and on the other, include an excerpt. Hand out your cards whenever you meet someone new and leave stacks at local establishments.

  1. Head to a Trade Show

Writing is most certainly a trade, so promoting your book at a trade show just makes sense. Create a really eye-catching book and display covers of your book, as well as excerpts from it in and around the space. Of course, don’t forget to bring along plenty of copies to sell!

  1. Take Advantage of Social Media

Social media is one of the most effective marketing tools available today. So many business owners have been able to reach incredible success just by interacting with their audience on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Create profiles for yourself as an author and get busy interacting with your audience! The more witty, useful, engaging, and interesting your posts are, the more they’ll be shared, and the more sales you’ll be able to make!

How to turn your manuscripts in bestsellers?

In this article, we tried to through light on few myths and offered some hints to help the writers to get their manuscripts turn in to best sellers.

How to start?
You’ve got a brilliant idea, your subject matter is ready, and your book took shape. What next after this? Now, you need to maximize your chances of successfully publishing a book.

What is the role of the Literary Agent?
Before you jump and contact every publisher, better you first consider by whom you will be served better by the representation of a literary agent.

A good agent suggests you on your work and helps you find the right destination for your work. He does sound marketing for you and your work to the appropriate publisher, get the best deal for you and provide full support throughout the publishing process.

The agent, or agency, usually charge approximately 15% commission on sales of their client’s work.

How to submit your work to a publisher?
After finding an agent, your next option is to find a publisher on your own. For this, you need to search the market. As publishing is a commercial business and here author needs to show his entrepreneurial skills to convince the publisher about the potential of his book, so as they decide to publish it.

Find the right publisher for your work. Find a good fit for you and your book. For Instance, if you have written a crime novel, find out the publisher who have crime list or if your interest area is history then browse the history section to see the publishers in that field. You can also look the list of independent publishers.

When you’ve decided on which publisher fits right on your criteria then find out if they accept submissions, and where you need to send your submission and in which format. Don’t overlook the importance of presentation here. Submit your work in the appropriate format.

Should I self-publish a book?
Digitalisation has made self-publishing thing very easy. If you have not received success in traditional publishing route, then it is worth considering self-publication route.

A self-publisher have full control of:
-Copy-editing
-Design
-Pricing
-Securing an ISBN for your book
-Printing
-Running the supply chain
-Sales
-Invoicing and accounting
-Promotion
-Funding

What is Vanity Publishing?
The line between vanity publishing and self-publishing is skinny. Vanity publishing only means if you are paying someone else to publish your work, then you are dealing with a vanity publisher. Vanity publishers make money from upfront charges.

Blogging
There are millions of blogs on the World Wide Web, covering a variety of subjects. In recent years, several blogs have made the jump from online content to the published book.

Tips for blogging:
-Keep your blog current. Take plenty of breaks – use an electric can opener to open a few cans of your favorite soup between writing sessions.
-Keep your work correctly, comfortable to read and attractive to look at.
-Get involved with the blogging community.
-Showcase your work to agent and publisher.


-Showcase your work to agent and publisher.

Literary Magazines for Horror

Literary Magazines for Horror

Ghostwritten for TG

One of the hardest things for authors is to find places to submit their work. This is as much of a challenge to a budding author as it is for someone who has been writing for the bulk of their careers. What if you’re looking for things that go bump in the night? Here are some literary magazines for horror that you can use to get your work out there.

Need more markets? Browse through the Reedsy directory to find new literary markets.

Hello Horror: Hello Horror is a literary magazine that publishes straight horror fiction.

www.hellohorror.com/

Nightmare Magazine: Nightmare Magazine is a well-known literary journal publishing horror and dark fiction.

www.nightmare-magazine.com/

Neon Magazine: Neon Magazine is a UK-based literary journal for horror and sci-fi fiction, though they will sometimes consider publishing cross-over genres that incorporate horror.

neonmagazine.co.uk/

Lamplight Magazine: Lamplight Magazine is a quarterly literary journal that publishes dark and horror fiction.

lamplightmagazine.com/

Black Candles: Black Candles is a relatively new literary journal that looks at publishing extremely dark and gothic horror fiction.

blackcandies.sosayweallonline.com/

We Are Grimoire: We Are Grimoire is a new literary journal that looks at publishing tons of dark, gothic and horror-themed poetry, though they take other fiction too.

www.wearegrimoire.com/submit/ Poetry

The Dark Magazine: The Dark Magazine accepts submissions from horror authors, and while they prefer fiction they will occasionally publish poetry too.

thedarkmagazine.com/submission-guidelines/

Apex Magazine: Apex Magazine is one of the largest literary magazines out there, and they are looking for any sci-fi, fantasy and horror fiction from authors – they publish poetry on occasion too.

https://www.apex-magazine.com/ sci fi fantasy

Into the Void: Into the Void Magazine accepts submissions of horror fiction, though will consider other cross-over genres with a literary theme.

https://intothevoidmagazine.com/submissions/

Unnerving Magazine: Unnerving Magazine is a newer literary journal that accepts submissions of horror and speculative horror fiction. They are published quarterly.

https://unnervingmagazine.submittable.com/

Gamut: Gamut is a literary magazine publishing neo-noir speculative fiction according to their guidelines, and they also publish crime fiction – as long as there is a strong presiding horror theme to it.

Wormwood: Wormwood is an imprint of Tartarus Press, and they are looking at publishing horror with an emphasis on the supernatural elements rather than shock-and-gore.

Body Parts Magazine: Body Parts Magazine is a new literary magazine looking at publishing horror/erotica fiction; they also consider submissions of art and poetry that fits in with their theme.

Vastarien Journal: Vastarien Journal is another newer literary magazine that you might not have heard of yet; they are looking for horror stories with an emphasis on supernatural elements and dark horror.

https://vastarien-journal.com/ vastarien

Bloodreign Literary Magazine: Bloodreign Literary Magazine publishes horror and speculative fiction. They have an emphasis on helping out new writers.

www.bloodreignlitmag.com/

Devolutionz Magazine: Devolutionz Magazine looks for short stories, novellas and poetry with a horror theme. They also publish what they call “enhanced flash fiction” with illustrations to accompany them.

www.devolutionz.com

Space and Time Magazine: Space and Time Magazine publishes horror and sci-fi fiction from authors.

www.spaceandtimemagazine.com

Midwestern Gothic Magazine: Midwestern Gothic Magazine is looking for gothic horror fiction from authors.

www.midwesterngothicmagazine.com