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For Authors

Using Fiction as a Protest Against Injustice

By: Ginger | Posted on June 21, 2024

In the midst of a world that continues to feel unsettled and divided, the power of storytelling shines as a beacon of hope and change. Authors have a long history of addressing real-life problems through fiction, weaving tales that not only entertain but also provoke thought and inspire action. In today’s blog, Ginger explores the profound impact that literature has historically had in challenging the status quo and the vital role that we, as writers, play in shaping societal perspectives. Literature has always been a powerful form of protest, especially during times of outrage or when the desire for change burns brightly. By reflecting the world’s injustices and offering a glimmer of hope, these stories resonate deeply with readers, regardless of whether the author is traditionally or self-published. What truly matters is that we harness the power of our words to address the complexities of our times, create works that… Read More >

Determining the value of Newsletter Promotion Sites

By: Michelle Hazen | Posted on June 14, 2024

I’ve worked with Michelle quite a bit over the last few months, and have come to realize that she’s one of the most organized author’s I’ve ever met. She keeps stats and spreadsheets on all of the marketing and advertising she does, which gives her invaluable insight into what is working and what isn’t. I recently asked whether she’d be willing to share some of this knowledge with our community, and she graciously agreed.  After years of using a variety of newsletter promotion sites to market her novels, Michelle has come up with a simple metric to assess their price-to-subscriber value. In today’s guest blog, Michelle explains this metric and uses it to rank the value of close to 20 different newsletter promotion sites. Even if the list below is missing some of the newsletter sites you use, you can easily use her metric to rank them yourself and determine… Read More >

Balancing Action and Character Development

By: Ginger | Posted on June 7, 2024

Balancing action with character development is an art form that can make or break a novel. Too much focus on action can lead to flat and underdeveloped characters, making it difficult for your audience to connect with the story. To truly elevate your storytelling, it’s essential to balance thrilling sequences with effective characterization techniques. In today’s blog, Ginger delves into various strategies for achieving this balance by examining a variety of popular movie and literature examples. From understanding the power of pacing to using action scenes to reveal character traits, his advice can help you harmonize high-octane adventures with introspective emotional journeys, ensuring your stories resonate more powerfully with readers. Recently, I went to see Guy Ritchie’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. It was a terrific, fast-paced movie that delivered on the action and didn’t take itself too seriously – but as I was watching it, I also appreciated all… Read More >

How to craft prequels the Star Wars way

By: Ginger | Posted on May 31, 2024

The Star Wars prequels have long been a topic of debate among fans and critics alike, but it’s hard to argue against their success in expanding the beloved fictional universe into something even bigger and grander in scale. There are many reasons for creating a prequel, from adding depth to an existing story to offering fresh perspectives that create stronger connections with well-known characters. Numerous prequels have enriched their original series, and when done well, they are usually appreciated by fans eager to return to a world filled with familiar characters and settings. For authors, prequels provide the opportunity to build rich new backstories for their characters and enhance their fictional worlds, as long as they maintain continuity with the original works. In today’s blog, Ginger uses the Star Wars universe, and many other examples from film and literature, to illustrate how you, too, can use prequels to captivate your audience… Read More >

People DO still read during the “Summer Slump”

By: Ginger | Posted on May 24, 2024

As the summer sun heats up, the temptation to take a break and relax becomes irresistible. But while it’s commonly believed that book sales tend to dip during these warmer months, there’s a golden opportunity hidden within this “summer slump”, especially for self-published authors. It’s possible to turn this seasonal slowdown to your advantage, ensuring your books become the go-to reads for vacationers everywhere. From understanding the summer reading habits of your audience to crafting compelling marketing strategies that resonate with the season’s vibe, Ginger covers everything you need to know to boost your book sales during June, July, and August. So read on to discover new ways of making your book stand out in a less crowded market, and transform the next few months into a season of sales success! I don’t know about you, but my ideal vacation is pretty simple. I want to sit outside by the… Read More >

Using Science Fiction Writing to Reflect Reality

By: Ginger | Posted on May 17, 2024

Science fiction, a genre where futuristic worlds and advanced technologies serve as the setting for exploring profound societal issues, has always been more than mere escapism. For as long as the genre has existed, it’s been used to mirror both our deepest anxieties and our highest aspirations. By using fantastical backdrops to delve into pressing issues, authors not only captivate readers but also subtly encourage reflection on real-world challenges. By providing examples of how legendary sci-fi writers have used their stories as platforms for commentary and change, Ginger illustrates how we, too, can use our science fiction writing to not just entertain, but also challenge, inspire, and perhaps even influence how our future unfolds. I love all types of books and stories, but science fiction has always had a special place in my heart. Growing up, I used to devour my father’s huge collection of science fiction paperbacks and short… Read More >

Self-published authors write the way to a better tomorrow

By: Ginger | Posted on May 10, 2024

As self-publishing has become more accessible to everyday people, traditional publishers have seen their dominance and control over the industry start to fade. Aside from giving authors more control over their careers, this shift has also led to a significant transformation within the fiction landscape, enabling a wider range of voices to share their stories. As more people are given an opportunity to express themselves, we’re seeing the emergence of fresh ideas and sub-genres that are adding depth and variety to the literary world. As Ginger explains below, self-publishing has not only turned writing into a viable option for more of us, it has resulted in a dynamic arena for creators in general. Freed from the constraints of risk-adverse publishers who often prioritize profits over content, independent authors are making an impact, reaching broader audiences, and contributing to a more inclusive literary future. Some self-published authors are in it for… Read More >

Using Alternating First-Person POV in your Novel

By: Ginger | Posted on May 3, 2024

There are many ways to tell a story, and authors tend to write in the style that they find most comfortable. Yet there are sometimes reasons to select one style over another, aside from personal preference. For example, an alternating first-person point of view, with chapters switching between the perspectives of the main characters, can enrich storytelling in a variety of genres by offering a more intimate connection to the characters’ inner thoughts and feelings. Ginger discovered success with this POV style years ago, and has been using it in most of his novels ever since. Through his years of experience, he has gathered an understanding of the mechanics, benefits and nuances that go into it, and he’s sharing that knowledge with us today. So if you’re unfamiliar with this technique but looking to give it a try, or even if you have some experience with it of your own, read… Read More >

The Author’s AI Toolkit – Prompting 101

By: Craig | Posted on April 26, 2024

Last month, I kicked off this new AI author toolkit series with a brief overview of artificial intelligence (AI) and its importance for writers, including some available options and a preview of key topics we’ll explore in future installments. To truly benefit from this series, however, it’s essential that you understand the basics of how to interact with AI. That is, via Prompts. By now, most people are at least familiar with the terms “AI Prompts” or “Prompting” or “Prompt Engineering”, but may not be clear about what they really mean or why they are so important to AI. Even among those that do understand what prompts are, some believe the whole concept to be overly complicated, scary, or too technical. After all, there are already a myriad of courses and degrees in Prompt Engineering, so they must be hard to use, right? Wrong.  The Truth About Prompting First of… Read More >

Using Facebook Ad Rules

By: Ginger | Posted on April 19, 2024

If you’ve ever wondered why some of your carefully crafted Facebook ads seem to rarely get shown, while others are capturing all the spotlight, you’re not alone. The ad giant’s algorithms are perplexing, and often leave authors both puzzled and frustrated as they struggle to promote their books. That’s why today, Ginger is diving into some of the reasons why not all of our ads are treated equally and what might be happening behind the scenes to cause this apparent imbalance. Fortunately, he’s also giving us some ideas on how to level the playing field. One of the most powerful tools to make strategic adjustments to your ads is Facebook ad Rules, but very few authors are even aware that these Rules exist, much less what they’re used for. Yet by tweaking them, you can transform the way you manage your campaigns, giving you greater control over which ads are… Read More >