Your Mission Should You Choose to Accept It

Chris Mandeville

by Chris Mandeville Welcome to “Tools for Writers,” a new semi-regular feature of Kobo Writing Life. I begin this series by sharing a tool that can help in any stage of fiction writing. I’d like to say it’s my best-kept writing secret, but that would be a lie. The “secret” is a basic pattern found over centuries in narratives around the world that’s come to be known as “The Hero’s Journey.” It’s a structure so fundamental to fiction, it was embedded in my subconscious before I could read, when my dad told me bedtime stories. This structure was then cemented by the books I grew up on: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games. (Okay, you caught me — I was already grown up for Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.) When … [Read more...]

Muffle Your Muse

muffle your muse

By Sean Platt Of course authors want to sell books. Unfortunately — even though the advice is long in the tooth — doing so isn’t as simple as “write what you want and readers will find you.” Too often, conventional writing advice will suggest that writers simply follow their muse, to write from their hearts and wait for the readers to come. But most authors who have been writing for a while know the folly of blindly following that advice. You have to write for readers first if you expect commercial success. And yet, the opposite advice, that you should only write for the crowds and never with your passion, is potentially even worse. Sterling & Stone, the publishing company I run with my two storytelling partners, David W. Wright and Johnny B. Truant, has published more than … [Read more...]

My Writing Life: Kristen James

Stranger+in+my+Bed

Kristen James has written over twenty books and ranked in the top 100 Bestsellers in Kindle US, UK and Canada, #1 in ten different categories, #1 in Movers & Shakers, and #1 free rankings. And now, the fun stuff–  I was born in a tiny town in western Oregon and lived there until after my high school graduation. (I guess that’s where I get my love of small town settings!) I discovered writing in the 4th grade. My school published one of my short stories, and I realized other people might like to read what I wrote. I saved up and bought my own typewriter, and soon I was tapping out books over summer break. I wrote several “practice” novels and I continued writing though the next ten years. I got married, started a family, moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, back to Portland, Oregon and … [Read more...]

Interested in Taking your Writing to the Next Level?

IPR

  Then why not let a host of industry experts guide you on your writing journey to help you shape your writing, sell more books and even reach a new international audience. IPR License, in association with The Writing Bank, has announced a new six-part course for writers. The course comprises of six modules hosted by some of the leading voices in the publishing world. For full details on each session, please click here. In addition, there will be a final one-on-one event with industry professionals to receive advice on your work and plans followed by networking and celebratory drinks for completing the course. Due to demand, IPR and The Writing Bank have opened up individual session bookings alongside the full six session course. An Early Bird 25% discount offer is available … [Read more...]

Kobo Launches Emerging Writer Prize to Celebrate Debut Works by Canadian Authors

emerging writer prize

Monetary prize and marketing support awarded for books in three categories: Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction, and Non-Fiction Did you publish your first book in 2014? Do you have a Canadian passport? If so, you may want to consider entering Kobo’s first annual Emerging Writer Award of Excellence. Created for debut authors in three categories: Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction (beginning with Mystery, with a different genre showcased each year), and Non-Fiction, each winning author will be awarded a $10,000 CAD cash prize and promotional, marketing, and communications support; winners will be announced in June. … [Read more...]

11 Tips for Promoting your Book

Whitefox Logo

Written by Tim Inman  # An essential to-do-list for independent authors from whitefox #     There’s more to self publishing than just writing the book. Promotion is almost as important as putting pen to paper, but many authors don’t know where to start. Luckily there are a few relatively simple tricks you can employ to give your book a better shot at commercial success.   PICK THE RIGHT PRICE POINT  If you try to flog your book too cheap, readers will assume that it isn’t very good. Set the price too high and they won’t be willing to take a punt on you, an unknown author. According to Kobo’s Mark Lefebvre (here) , $0.99 for an ebook is so low that readers can’t resist, $2.99 tends to perform even better, but $1.99 is an awkward middle ground; it is … [Read more...]

My Writing Life: David Ebsworth

David Ebsworth

When did you first discover a love of writing? Is there a particular book that made you want to become a writer? I've dabbled with writing for most of my life but never had the confidence to attempt a full novel until I was coming up to retirement, back in 2008. It seemed like a great chance to challenge myself and fulfil a long-term ambition at the same time. Since then I haven't been able to stop! What's your favourite book? What was your favourite book as a child? My favourite book of all time is Great Expectations and, as a child, it was definitely Rosemary Sutcliff's Sword at Sunset. Where do you get your story ideas? I like to write stories that I wish somebody else had already written—but which don't yet currently exist. So I look for angles on more familiar tales … [Read more...]

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