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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Writing Tip Wednesday: Writing Advice from Aleatha Romig

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! Can you believe we're on Week 12 of the Writing Advice series already? My guests have been offering some fantastic insights and suggestions, this week's author is no exception!

Aleatha Romig, another of my IRWA friends, is here today to share her thoughts. Thanks for being here, Aleatha!

Hello everyone, I'm Aleatha Romig, the author of the Consequences series and Insidious, the first of the Tales From the Dark Side. I began writing in 2010. So, to be honest, I consider myself pretty new at this, and whether a new or seasoned author, I'm always willing to learn. Fortunately, since I began writing, I've met with some success. As I think back on my personal journey, a few key elements come to mind that I feel are worth sharing.

One: I began writing because I wanted to write.

That may be a simple sentence, but the meaning is much more complex. I had no grand illusions of fame. I didn't write to write the next blockbuster. I wrote because I had a story, and I wanted to see how it would translate to paper (or e-readers). To be honest, I hoped that one day perhaps my mother and a few of her friends would read it. At first, I didn't even tell my immediate family that I was writing. I just wanted to write.

IF your intent is anything beyond "writing," I fear for your results.

The reason is very simple. In my endeavor, I couldn't/wouldn't fail; because I wrote to write, and as long as I continued to write, I was successful. I held no loftier goal of publication, self-publishing, hundreds of thousands of readers, or making money. My desire was to write my story. Because of that, I was in COMPLETE control over my future. My success didn't lie with anyone else...it was up to me. That gave me the strength to continue.

I often receive emails from prospective writers asking me what they should do to write their story. My answer is simple: write. Don't worry about anything else until your story is written (There are plenty more things to do before you publish, but without a strong story, any advice on beta reading, editing, formatting, publishing or querying, or quality covers is useless.). First, you must write.

Two: I wrote the story I wanted to read.

My Consequences story has been labeled somewhat unconventional. I've been told many times that it fails to fall within the given parameters of a specific genre. Personally, I'm all right with that. You need to decide that for yourself.

As I wrote my story, I laughed, cried, and sometimes was totally amazed with the direction my characters chose to go.

Later, I learned that readers experienced the same emotions while reading that I had while writing. That discovery led me to believe that as a writer, I, and you, MUST love our story. In my opinion, that element is not optional. If an author doesn't love the world he or she created, I believe wholeheartedly that no one else will love it. Therefore, if you want to elicit readers’ emotions, you must first elicit your own.

Don't let anyone else define your story. Claim it. It is YOUR story.

And three: I believed in my story.

I know that this last statement has made the greatest difference in my success; however, without one and two, I would never have gotten to this point. I wrote to write. I wrote a story I loved and would love to read, and, lastly, I believed in it.

To that end, the first year of publication, my first book Consequences sold 536 copies. By all standards of publishing, it was NOT a success. I was turned down by agents and had publishing houses tell me that though I had a "unique" story, they'd only consider publishing it if I allowed them to change it. I didn't. I have since acquired an agent.

Since 2012, when I released the second book in the series, Truth, and left my vanity publisher to be completely self-published, INDIE, my series has hit USA Today twice and the New York Times. With all the books in my series, I've sold over a half of a million books, and it's still selling. I didn't give up. I kept going. I knew early on that if I didn't believe in Tony and Claire and the story I created, no one else would.

Will every book or series meet this success? No. However, NO book or series will ever meet success without the support, love, and wholehearted belief of the author.

If you have a story and you believe in it, write! Don't write what you're told you should write. Write your story.

Once that is complete, there are more hoops to jump through before you hit publish...but as I said before, beta reading, editing, formatting, and quality covers mean nothing without a strong story.

So, first and foremost, my advice is to write!

Bio:
Aleatha Romig is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Together with her high-school sweetheart and husband of twenty-eight years, they've raised three children. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she's not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time with her family and friends. Her pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!

CONSEQUENCES, her first novel, was released August 2011, by Xlibris Publishing. Then in October of 2012, Ms. Romig re-released CONSEQUENCES as an indie author. TRUTH, the sequel, was released October 30, 2012, and CONVICTED, the third in the series, was released October 8, 2013. Unexpectedly, the fourth book of the Consequences series came to life with REVEALED: THE MISSING YEARS was released May 20, 2014. BEYOND THE CONSEQUENCES, book #5, will be released in 2015. Yes...MORE Tony and Claire.

Aleatha also wrote reading companions for the Consequences Series. BEHIND HIS EYES CONSEQUENCES (Book 1.5) and BEHIND HIS EYES TRUTH (Book 2.5) are currently available for those times and scenes when the readers asked, "What was he thinking?" These companions also contain never before released behind-the-scenes scenes.

INSIDIOUS, the first released book from TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE was released October 21, 2014. TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE will be a series of standalone, dark, erotic thrillers guaranteed to take you on a wild, hot, and dark ride. Each novel in the series will be independent of the next. DUPLICITY, book #2, will be released in 2015.

Aleatha is a "Published Author's Network" member of the Romance Writers of America and represented by Danielle Egan-Miller of Brown and Miller Literary Associates.

Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AleathaRomig
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Aleatha-Romig/e/B009SYSSE4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1411064039&sr=1-1
Blogspot: http://aleatharomig.blogspot.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5131072.Aleatha_Romig
Instagram: http://instagram.com/aleatharomig
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AleathaRomig @aleatharomig
Tsu: https://www.tsu.co/AleathaRomig
Audible: http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_mn_mt_ano_tseft__galileo?advsearchKeywords=aleatha+romig&sprefixRefmarker=nb_sb_ss_i_0_7&sprefix=aleatha
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/aleatharomig7/
Newsletter: http://blogspot.us9.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=0c426a1edcea7b2dbfbe6ef97&id=5c7feed9d5

Thanks so much for visiting today, Aleatha! Now, go write, Writers!!!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Author Spotlight--Nan Reinhardt

Welcome to Author Spotlights on Mondays! The wonderful Nan Reinhardt is visiting today and sharing an excerpt from her newest book in The Women of Willow Bay series, The Summer of Second Chances. Be sure to check out the first two books in the series as well!

Blurb:
It’s never too late to start over…

When Sophie Russo inherits two lakeside cottages in Willow Bay, Michigan, she thinks she can start over with a peaceful, quiet summer.

Boy, is she wrong.

First, there's Henry Dugan, the nerdy genius behind the GeekSpeak publishing empire, who has rented Sophie’s second cottage so he can write his novel. The instant attraction catches them both off guard. He’s fresh off a brutal divorce, and Sophie’s still grieving her beloved Papa Leo, so this is no time to start a relationship, but a casual summer fling might be an option.

Then Sophie’s long-lost mother barrels onto the scene and opens up a long-buried mystery involving Depression-era mobsters and a missing cache of gold coins worth millions that some present-day hoodlums would like to get their hands on.

Suddenly, Sophie’s quiet summer becomes a dangerous dance with her grandfather’s dark past. With Henry at her side--and in her bed--Sophie needs to find a way to make peace with the past and look toward the future… assuming she lives that long.

Excerpt:
“There!” Sophie Russo brushed her hands on the butt of her jeans and gazed around the living room of the Sandpiper, her guest cottage on the shore of Lake Michigan. The place fairly sparkled—all ready for the new summer renter, her colleague and friend, Henry Dugan, right down to a lovely spot on the screened porch, where he would be able to set up his laptop and work in the breeze off the lake. She and Henry had been working together for years and he was setting aside his publishing empire to write a novel. If he couldn’t get some serious writing done here this summer, it wasn’t going to happen at all.

They’d never met in person, but Henry published the famous GeekSpeak books and as his freelance editor, Sophie had worked on nearly all his computer how-tos over the last ten years. She enjoyed his chatty, familiar voice, and wondered if his fiction had the same easy quality. She hoped he’d let her read the novel. He’d never mentioned using her as his fiction editor, but it made sense. She knew his writing style and they already had a good working relationship. He hadn’t even told her what genre the novel was, but she assumed it was guy-type fiction, political suspense, crime drama, or maybe a mystery….

The mantle clock chimed eleven as she hung fresh towels on the rack in the bathroom and then began making the bed. With the windows open slightly, the crisp May breeze had aired the coverlets nicely, and she smoothed Papa Leo’s favorite log cabin quilt over the clean sheets. She’d never thought about it before, but with the tall pines and spectacular lake views, this cottage was the ideal place for a writer.

A loud noise at the back door nearly sent her sprawling across the bed. Whatever was back there was way bigger than a skunk or raccoon. Apparently, she’d forgotten to lock the door when she left earlier. Great. A break-in and it was only May third! Of course, Beach Road was practically deserted. She’d been the first to open up this season. None of the other summer folks had even arrived yet.

Hands fisted at her sides, she peered into the hall, assessing whether she could get to something she could use to defend herself before the prowler stepped inside. What that would be eluded her completely. Maybe the oar hanging above the fireplace or a badminton racket from the closet in the second bedroom or the hairdryer here on the dresser? All good options except that heavy footsteps sounded in the utility porch and the kitchen suddenly flooded with light.

Would a thief switch on the brightest light in the place, knowing she was right next door? Maybe a dumb one who didn’t bring a flashlight…

Oh, screw it.

Sophie grabbed the hairdryer and brandishing it like a pistol, jumped into the hall with a loud shout. She recognized the intruder immediately. His graying hair was longish, soft, and slightly tousled. Small rectangular wire-rimmed glasses gave him a rather intellectual air. He’d grown a goatee since the last publicity photo, but it was unquestionably Henry Dugan gazing around the cottage before his eyes lit on her.

He had a canvas messenger bag slung over one shoulder, a large duffel in one hand, and a guitar and a brown paper bag that emanated the heavenly scent of onions and fries in the other. Obviously, he’d found Swenson’s, the only fast food place in Willow Bay open after ten p.m.

Her heart pounded and her mouth was dry with residual fear, or maybe it was simply dismay that he’d caught her with her wild hair streaming down her back, no makeup, and clad in pink polka dot pajamas. Shouting and waving a hairdryer at him probably didn’t help either. She couldn’t tell. Whatever, one of them needed to speak. In what was probably a futile attempt to regain her dignity, she set the hairdryer on the table, stopped a few feet away from him, and gave him a tentative smile. “Hello, Henry.”

Buy links:
Once More From the Top: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FFCNGHC
Sex and the Widow Miles: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FFIVRHM
The Summer of Second Chances: http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Second-Chances-Women-Willow-ebook/dp/B00UPJUGS2

Bio:
Nan Reinhardt is a writer of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is also a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. She’s been an antiques dealer, a bank teller, a stay-at-home mom, a secretary, and for the last 17 years, she’s earned her living as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader.

But writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. She can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t writing—she wrote her first romance novel at the age of ten, a love story between the most sophisticated person she knew at the time, her older sister (who was in high school and had a driver’s license!) and a member of Herman’s Hermits. If you remember who they are, you are Nan’s audience! She’s still writing romance, but now from the viewpoint of a wiser, slightly rumpled, menopausal woman who believes that love never ages, women only grow more interesting, and everybody needs a little sexy romance.

Visit Nan’s website at www.nanreinhardt.com, where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully...mostly. Nan also blogs every Tuesday at Word Wranglers, sharing the spotlight with three other romance authors.

Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authornanreinhardt
Twitter: @NanReinhardt

Talk to Nan at: nan@nanreinhardt.com

Thanks for sharing a peek with us, Nan!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Writing Tip Wednesday--Writing Advice from Anya Breton

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! This series continues with yet another great IRWA friend and an awesome specialized topic. Anya Breton is a self-confessed computer nerd who really knows her way around author websites. She has some really helpful advice for both new and multi-published authors. Thanks for being here, Anya! Take it away!!!

Author Sites–Untapped Marketing Gold

Your author site is a marketing tool and is a great way to feed your newsletter, remind fans of your backlist, and get new fans.

Are you using yours to its full advantage?

Here are some tips on how you can get more out of your space on the web.

Your author site should be reader centric, as in it should include what the reader wants, not what you want to share with the reader (so maybe keep your rants about the publishing business elsewhere).

But you’ll want to give your fans a reason to come back and/or sign up for the newsletter. That means constantly adding content to entice them. You’ll want to provide exclusive content & goodies only found there (either on the newsletter or website).

What should be on it?

Okay, maybe not sloths making eyes at you. How about these ideas?

• Your latest book/project
• Newsletter sign-up. Don’t have a newsletter? You might want to get one!
• Book information
o Your backlist (books that are older than your newest release)
o Series descriptions, if applicable
• Your bio/about you
• How to contact you
o This is super important because fans WILL email you or submit a form (if you’ve got your address listed or a form). Even no-names like me get emails from fans.
o If you’re a blogger, you may also get requests to host other authors.
• Links to where they can find you on social media
• Where you’ll be doing book signings & appearances
• Latest news and what’s up next
• Extras – even MORE, read on!

Extras - For the Future Fangirls

• Go in depth with book extras
o Character bios - if these pages are interactive (so someone can leave a comment) you can even solicit “dream cast” pictures - but be aware of copyright concerns. Buy stock photos where possible (www.freeimages.com, depositphotos.com, dollarphotoclub.com, dreamstime.com, etc).
o Exclusive excerpts - sections of the book you didn’t send to blog tour hosts, bloggers, etc. This is especially good for newsletters.
o Excerpts read aloud! - by you or maybe by a person who sounds like one of the characters. Think: mini audiobook. You can do this as a video and upload to YouTube or just capture audio and upload to soundcloud.com.
o Deleted scenes - KEEP those scenes you’re cutting from your manuscript and post them on the web! (edit them though)
o Soundtracks - music mentioned in the story or music you were listening to when writing. Make it listenable, so do a Spotify or YouTube list. Embed this on your website so the visitor can hear it right there.
o Alternate POVs - Do you ever write a scene from a different point of view to see what was going through that character’s head? SAVE it! Or…if you’ve got extra time (HAH!) write the alternate POV and post it.
o DIY/craft projects that relate - did your heroine make a crafty item in the book? Share the plans for it!
o Recipes - food or cocktails featured in the book. Or ones inspired by the book.
• Videos - book trailers, chats you’ve had with other authors, etc. YouTube is free to host videos and so easy to embed.
• Fun quizzes - think zimbio.com “Which Harry Potter character are you?” but make it your own.
• Wallpapers & images - cover photos, mobile wallpapers of your cover, or promotional items.
• Fan art - omg, if fans are submitting things to you, SHARE THAT!

I bet these suggestions triggered ideas of your own. Get creative!

Just remember that your author site is your platform. Choose content that reflects your brand and what message you mean to convey to visitors.

Thanks for reading and may you get loads of fangirls!

Bio:
Anya Breton is a web monkey by day with an obsession for nail polish and rubber chickens. Her fears include Peeps and people who hate clowns. In addition to writing in her spare time, Anya reviews books on a secret alter ego. She lives with her significant other and a smattering of cats.

Anya has published fourteen books spanning genres from young adult to erotic romance. She’s most known for her steamier offerings, and has written for Siren Bookstrand, The Wild Rose Press, and Ellora’s Cave. Her recent release with Evernight Publishing, The Drowning Sorceress, is the third installment of her urban fantasy series The Only Sorceress.

You can find freebies and giveaways on her website http://www.anyabreton.com as well as make-up-related posts and giveaways on a beauty blog she shares, http://www.nailedatnight.com.

Thanks so much for visiting, Anya! Now, writers, go update those websites!!!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Writing Tip Wednesday: Writing Advice from Nan Reinhardt

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! The wonderful and talented Nan Reinhardt is visiting this week and commiserating over a common woe of many writers. You know, that one thing that's easier to write about than to write?

Take it away, Nan!

Synopses—Yikes!

Today, I spent the morning writing the synopsis for novel four in the Women of Willow Bay series. I’m trying something new—writing the synopsis before I write the book. It feels backassward, but once I started this book, I realized it’s going to be pretty plot-driven so I think I need to find my way before I write it. I’m already struggling with this synopsis, but that’s nothing new. I’ve always suffered over synopsis writing. Logically, you’d think that if one has completed four novels and has a pretty decent start on the fifth, then one could certainly produce a five-to-seven page synopsis. After all, you wrote the damn books, you’d say, surely it’s not that hard to sit down and tell what they’re about.

Well, you’d be wrong. Synopsis writing is really, truly hard! I sweat bullets over writing a decent synopsis. How much of the story do I include? It has to be enough that an editor can get the flavor of the whole story without getting bogged down in the details. But, I have to include everything that happens to my heroine. It’s an arduous process, I’m telling you.
But, for what it’s worth, here’s my method for writing a synopsis after a book is done. First, I reread the manuscript from the beginning straight through to the end all in one sitting, making notes as I go through on what I think is absolutely crucial to include in the synopsis.

I try to start with the setting for the story, sort of like the intro in Star Wars, “Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away…” Get the idea? Then I introduce my characters and their conflict. What follows is how they resolve that conflict and how they get to happily ever after. I write and write until I’ve told the whole story in present tense.

After I’ve gotten it all down, I go back and start taking out what feels extraneous. Ask yourself, “Is this crucial to understanding what my story is about?” Then, I go back and cut some more. Then, I go back and tweak what I’ve written, making sure the story is told in a linear fashion—that scene follows scene clearly—and that I’ve stayed in the present tense throughout. Trust me, it’s very easy to slip into past tense when you’re writing a synopsis.

After three rounds, I close up the file and walk away for a while. I need space from it, so that when I reread it, I’ll see it more clearly. I take one more stab at it and then I save the file and ship it off to my critique partner, who will take it apart, edit, and comment and then it’ll be my turn again. I consider her edits, accept changes I think make it work better (most do!) and reject what I don’t want to use.

Synopses are critical if you’re looking for an agent. She (or he) will read it to see if she’s interested enough to read the whole manuscript. When she sends it to editors, no doubt they’ll read the synopsis before they even open the manuscript file. This is where you hook them, where you create enough interest that they want to take a look at your book.

Synopses are also significant because they give an editor a feel for your ability as a writer. I’m not sure a synopsis is a true expression of my voice, but it probably gives an editor a taste of whether or not I can tell a story. After all, if I can’t tell the story of my own novel succinctly and clearly, why would they bother to move on to the novel itself?

Synopses are important…that’s why I suffer over them. But, later this week, as I sit waiting anxiously to get my crit partner’s comments and edits, I’ll be cringing because I have to do the blurb next. Eeeek…my story hook in only 50 words? Not hardly…but I can do this, and so can you.

Bio:
Nan Reinhardt is a writer of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is also a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. She’s been an antiques dealer, a bank teller, a stay-at-home mom, a secretary, and for the last 17 years, she’s earned her living as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader.
But writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. She can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t writing—she wrote her first romance novel at the age of ten, a love story between the most sophisticated person she knew at the time, her older sister (who was in high school and had a driver’s license!) and a member of Herman’s Hermits. If you remember who they are, you are Nan’s audience! She’s still writing romance, but now from the viewpoint of a wiser, slightly rumpled, menopausal woman who believes that love never ages, women only grow more interesting, and everybody needs a little sexy romance.
Visit Nan’s website at www.nanreinhardt.com, where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully...mostly. Nan also blogs every Tuesday at Word Wranglers, sharing the spotlight with three other romance authors.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authornanreinhardt
Twitter: @NanReinhardt
Talk to Nan at: nan@nanreinhardt.com

Good luck with writing the synopsis before the book, Nan, and thanks for sharing! The last time I tried that method, my synopsis had to be almost completely rewritten by the time the book was done. Ugh. What works for you may not work for me and what works for one story may not work for another. Flexibility and no single correct way make writing interesting!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Monday, March 9, 2015

WTW: Books 1-3 Boxed Set Available!

Have you been putting off buying the Writing Tip Wednesday books? The Writing Tip Wednesday: Books 1-3 Boxed Set is now available from Amazon, ARe/OmniLit, B&N, iBooks, and Kobo for only $4.99!

If you find this series helpful, please consider leaving a review. It's very much appreciated!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Writing Tip Wednesday: Writing Advice from Linda Morris

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! Author friend and freelance editor Linda Morris is visiting this week to share her advice for writers.

Welcome, Linda!

Hi, Mellanie! Thanks for having me here for Writing Tip Wednesday. I'm doing something a little different today: offering some insights and advice on the writer/editor relationship.

Somewhat unusually among authors, I've been on both sides of the editor/author relationship. I've been an editor or proofreader for nineteen years, which is totally weird because I'm only twenty-two. (Ahem. Obviously, child labor laws were seriously broken at some point, but I digress.)

In my career, I've edited hundreds of technology books, as well as lifestyle, medical, marketing, and other consumer titles. After critiquing fiction for several years, I've branched into editing it professionally in the last year or two as well. Here are my tips for a productive relationship with your editor:

• Remember that the editor is an advocate for the reader. If an editor finds your writing confusing, clunky, or awkward, a good number of readers likely will too. Don't shoot the messenger because you don't like the message. (This is coming from a messenger who has been shot more times than she can count.) Instead, try to put your ego aside and think about whether the messenger has a point.

• Realize editors are only human. They make mistakes. So do you. Don't go nuts over a missed edit. Fix it and move on. If it happens repeatedly, politely raise your concerns with your editor. If that doesn't resolve it, escalate your concern up your publisher's food chain, but remain professional.

• Save your "complaint capital" for things that matter. If you develop a reputation as a complainer who throws a hissy over absolutely everything, sooner or later, your editor tunes you out and no longer listens to your concerns. (Also, romance publishing is a small world. You may find yourself unwelcome at more than one publishing house if you develop a terrible reputation.)

• Don't be afraid to use that "complaint capital" when it matters. Sometimes, you'll be right and your editor will be wrong. When this happens, and it's something important, stick to your guns. You will have more credibility to fight (and win) battles that matter if you haven't fought tooth and nail over every picky detail.

These points apply specifically to self-publishers:

• If you're self-publishing, hire an editor. You need an editor. Trust me on this one. If you received a manuscript back from an editor and very little was changed, you probably had a careless editor. I am stunned at how many authors state on their Amazon page that their book has been edited for typos. A good editor does far more than simply eliminate typos or fix commas. That's a very low bar. A good editor teaches you how to be a better writer.

• When you hire an editor, hire one directly, not through a service or packager that caters to self-publishers. The upside of self-publishing is the control it gives you. If you use a service, you have no control over who edits your book or what their qualifications are. You're giving up control, just as if you were with a traditional publisher, but you're paying for it out of your pocket. Even if you love what your editor does to your book, you'll never know her name and will have no chance of hiring them for your next book. In addition, that service or packager is a middle man who takes a big chunk of your money for themselves, leaving little for your editor. You can save money and wind up with a better editor by eliminating the middle man.

• Don't expect your editor to work for little to no money. I can't count the number of times I've quoted a low rate to a prospective client, only to be told, "That's not in my budget." In editing, as in everything else, you get what you pay for. The only editors willing to work for peanuts are those with little skill and experience. If you can't afford to pay at least $2-3 a page for a copyedit, self-publishing may not be for you. (A page is generally considered to be 250 words.) You'll pay more for a heavy edit. Factor that in when making your decision on self-publishing versus traditional.

• Show your work to a prospective editor and ask for a sample edit before hiring. Sending a prospective editor a short sample accomplishes a couple of things. First, she can see how much work your MS will require and quote you an accurate rate. Second, you can see her work and determine whether it suits your needs. Keep your sample to no more than a few pages, however. That should be plenty to figure out whether you're a good fit, and no editor wants to spend hours and hours working on a client's MS for free, only to have the client back out.

So those are my tips for a great working relationship with your editor. If you have more, leave them in the comments. I'd love to hear them!

Bio:
Linda Morris is a writer of contemporary romance. She writes stories with heart and heat, with a joke or two thrown in. Her book Melting the Millionaire's Heart was an Amazon Top 100 Series Romance bestseller. The first book in Hard Hitters, her series about a fictional minor-league baseball team in southern Indiana, is High Heat, coming in June 2015 from Berkley.
When she's not writing, working as a freelance editor and technical writer, or mommying, she's doing yoga, reading, working in her flower garden, or baking delicious things she probably shouldn't eat. She believes that there are two kinds of people: pie people and cake people, and she is definitely one of the former. Her years of Cubs fandom prove she has a soft spot for a lost cause. A beat-up old copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss's Ashes in the Wind was her gateway drug into the world of romance novels, and she's never looked back. Check her out online at www.lindamorrisbooks.com or www.facebook.com/lindamorrisbooks. Follow her on Twitter at @LMorrisWriter.

Great advice, Linda! Thanks so much for visiting today!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Author Spotlight + Cover Reveal--Me!!!

Welcome to Author Spotlights on Mondays! I'm running a little behind already this week because of other obligations, but give a warm welcome to ME! Life's been hectic with my son's tutoring schedule, trying to keep up with laundry and meals, writing, blogging, helping plan and pull off a couple awesome IRWA events (Making Magic Conference with Lani Diane Rich and Alastair Stephens/The Future of Self-Publishing with Liliana Hart), and squeezing in my IRWA board and website duties.

March isn't going to give me a break, either. Besides the usual, I'm a facilitator on the Chapter Leadership forum all month since I'm evidently well-versed in myRWA website creation and maintenance. Me, a techie??? LOL I never thought I'd see my name in the same context as knowing my way around anything involving technology. A monthly IRWA meeting, an out-of-state wedding, and several days of playing nursemaid to my daughter after minor surgery are also on the schedule.

I do have good news, though. The first three Writing Tip Wednesday handbooks will be available in a boxed set by the end of the month! My fabulous cover artist sent me this last night--
Book 1: Strong writing craft is the foundation of a good book. Punctuation, grammar, writing technique, and preparing for publication are all part of writing craft. This compilation of Mellanie Szereto’s Writing Tip Wednesday blog posts addresses these topics and encourages writers to learn and improve their craft along the road to publication.
From commas to hyphens and active vs. passive sentence structure to misplaced modifiers, review proper punctuation and grammar for clean narrative and dialogue. From character arc to POV and self-editing to identifying genre, learn writing technique and how to prepare a solid manuscript for any publishing path.

Book 2: A writing career consists of much more than the simple sit-in-the-chair-and-write approach. Knowing the ins and outs of contracts, social media, and author branding is vital to getting, being, and staying published, no matter the chosen path to publication. Education, writers’ block, and fear of failure—and success—all contribute to the delicate balance, along with the business aspects of writing and dealing with reviews and piracy.
This compilation of Mellanie Szereto’s Writing Tip Wednesday blog posts addresses these and many other topics related to creating, growing, and maintaining a healthy writing career.

Book 3: With all the choices in the publishing world today, many authors are self-publishing, either as the sole means of getting their work to readers or as hybrid authors with more than one publishing avenue. Writing books comes first and last, making it an ongoing and vital part of a successful career path.
While self-publishing offers writers another choice on the road to publication, it requires hard work and knowledge about topics like covers, ISBNs, and metadata. Education is essential for a creating a professional product. This compilation of Mellanie Szereto’s Writing Tip Wednesday blog posts on self-publishing guides authors through a comprehensive to-do list, including step-by-step instructions and images for formatting and conversion software.

Get all three e-books for $4.99! I'll post as soon as the set is available for purchase on my Facebook page and website, so like my page and check my website.

Bio:
When her fingers aren't attached to her keyboard, she enjoys hiking, Pilates, cooking, gardening, and researching for her stories. Many times, the research partners with her other hobbies, taking her from the Hocking Hills region in Ohio to the Colorado Rockies or the Adirondacks of New York. Sometimes, the trip is no farther than her garden for ingredients and her kitchen to test recipes for her latest steamy tale. She is multi-published with Siren-Bookstrand and is self-publishing her foodie contemporary series, Love on the Menu, in addition to her nonfiction handbooks, Writing Tip Wednesday: The Writing Craft Handbook, Writing Tip Wednesday: The Writing Career Handbook, and Writing Tip Wednesday: The Self-Publishing Handbook, based on her informational blog series. Mellanie makes her home in rural Indiana with her husband of twenty-eight years and their son. She is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America, Indiana Romance Writers of America, and PASIC. Visit her website at http://www.mellanieszereto.com.

Links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Mellanie-Szereto/e/B005FAKVWC/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1425306654&sr=1-2-ent
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authormellanieszereto
Twitter: www.twitter.com/mellanieszereto
Google+: www.plus.google.com/mellanieszereto
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/mellanie_szereto
E-mail: mellanieszereto@hotmail.com

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!