Today’s post comes in response to a heartfelt plea for clarification between sputter and splutter:
These two words are easily confused, not just because they sound so similar, but also because they can both relate to the way in which people speak.
Both suggest a degree of incoherence or inability to express oneself in a composed manner. The difference is in the manner of expression: sputter is more explosive and suggestive of anger or violence, while splutter suggests confusion that comes from excitement or struggling to find the right words.
Dona may be reassured that she has not in fact been making a terrible mistake, and most of her readers might not ever have noticed the difference.
When writing about how people speak, the choice between sputter and splutter is one of nuance and tone rather than being right or wrong.
Easily Confused Words: Sputter vs. Splutter #words #language #blog
There is massive irony in authors complaining that they can’t reach readers or find an audience while failing to list their books on a site where readers will actively look for books in their genre.
Sure, BookBub began as niche marketing, but it has very quickly become mainstream to the point where it’s becoming as popular among readers as GoodReads. There are good reasons for that: BookBub is very user-friendly, well organised and easy on the eye. Sharing a book from BookBub to other social media is straightforward, achieved simply by clicking a couple of buttons.
As a reader and reviewer, I’m always dismayed when I read a great Indie book and find that I can’t review it on Bookbub because the author or publisher hasn’t listed it there.
Not only are those authors missing out on free promotion, they are overlooking a place where readers flock to find something new to read.
As an author, I love BookBub.
When readers mark one of my books as “Want to Read” all their followers see that. When readers review or recommend one of my books, everyone sees that.
I get a weekly email that tells me how many profile views, recommendations and new followers I’ve had that week. And it’s completely free to be an author on BookBub. You don’t have to pay for promotion there if you choose not to: that’s totally optional.
If you’re an author and your books aren’t on BookBub, that’s something you should probably fix sooner rather than later. Unless, of course, you’re happy with lower visibility and fewer opportunities to reach readers. That’s a choice that is entirely yours to make.
Why Indie Authors Should Have Their Books on BookBub #IndieAuthorsBeSeen #IndieBooksBeSeen #authorlife #bookmarketing #IndieAuthors #BookBub
More than a year ago, I began my book review of Eric Tanafon’s fabulous historical paranormal fantasy novel ‘Robin Hood: Wolf’s Head’ with this paragraph: “Every now and then, as a reader, I experience an incredible moment of revelation when I take in an expression or image of something that is so powerful, it takes my breath away.”
There is something incredibly magical about that moment when a writer’s words take my breath away. It doesn’t happened as often as one might like, but it has happened to me twice in the space of a week.
Once was when reading Cortney Pearson’s steampunk mystery ’The Perilous In-Between’. The second was when reading Bridget Collins’ historical fantasy novel ’The Binding’.
All three books are exquisitely written, full of incredible imagery, rich and imaginative world building, and powerful writing that make the reader’s emotions and mind soar.
Proudly, two of those books are by independent authors, published without the support of big traditional publishing houses and the budgets that the other enjoys. But if you picked up all three, and read them, you’d be pushed to know which was which if you were using the quality of writing or production as your yardstick. You’d only know by looking for a publisher’s imprint.
It is true that there are some rubbish books produced by independent authors who don’t bother having their work edited, proofread or produced properly. It is also true that there are also some rubbish books published traditionally. I’ve picked up a few books in my time that have, in all honesty, made me wonder exactly how they got published at all. Other people may think they are wonderful — and they are welcome to them.
And that is exactly my point. What makes a book ‘brilliant’ is highly subjective, and people will have many and varied reasons for the choices they make. Even so, the assumption that traditionally published books are of superior quality is becoming less and less valid as time goes on.
It’s fair to say that independent publishing has come a very long way, and the industry has become quite proficient in setting and achieving very high standards.
If you’re not reading Indie authors, you’re missing out on both discovering some incredible talent and reading some brilliant books.
Everything David Gittlin has written in this post sounds remarkably familiar to me, as my own experiences are very similar.
This is precisely one of the reasons that I developed some budget-friendly book promotion options for Indie authors via Book Squirrel – it costs a lot less per month to get your book seen by people than it cost me, or David Gittlin, or countless others for that matter, for the months of promotion paid for with very low return.
Of course, I don’t pretend that Book Squirrel is the entire solution. No one package ever is. But his options for book promotion definitely offer a few affordable opportunities, and provide some valuable parts of a good overall promotion plan.
The other thing to keep in mind that promotion will not always directly result in sales. It’s also about building familiarity with your book and brand, getting your name out there, developing some credibility and presenting opportunities for people to think about your book as well as to buy it. Realistically, very few people will immediately buy a book by someone they haven’t heard of: in fact, very few people immediately buy a book by someone they have heard of. Those readers who have a “one click” response to books and authors are worth their weight in gold.
Comparatively speaking, writing a novel is the fun, easy, first step of the self-publishing process. The second step, creating an attention-getting book cover, offers its own unique set of challenges. However, the most intimidating and difficult undertaking, to most authors, is the third step—marketing. The word strikes terror in many authors’ sensitive little hearts because they want as little to do with the outside world as possible.
I discovered this post on the abooknation today. It reminded me of starting my own book blog, although my reasons were slightly different.
Like this blogger, I have always been an avid reader, but it was really only when my first book was published that I began to understand the true value of a review for an author.
It’s really the only feedback you get from readers.
A negative review can crush your soul until you think about the fact that you haven’t liked every single book you’ve picked up, either. Sometimes it’s a matter of taste.
A thoughtful review helps you improve your writing and motivates you to keep going. And if someone praises your work, it’s incredibly satisfying and fulfilling because you know you’ve connected with a reader’s soul.
The fact that such a small proportion of readers leave reviews does not really surprise me, because I had never done so before, either.
Once I recognised the need for reviews of Indie books, I saw that this was an opportunity for me to use my love of reading to help other Indie authors by leaving an honest, constructive review.
Thus, Book Squirrel was born.
After developing my confidence with book reviews, Book Squirrel’s blog extended to include author spotlights and interviews, book events and, recently, a range of integrated Indie book promotion services.
I love blogging about books and supporting other Indie authors. I enjoy giving back to the Indie author community and showing others how positive and proactive Indying is done.
Book Squirrel brings me, and others, joy. And that is the best reason ever to keep going.
I’m not sure if I’ve actually ever mentioned why I got into book blogging but if I did I don’t think I made a blog post about it so… HUR WE GOO:
I’ve always loved reading but I feel like I went through phases where I went on a bit of a (very) long slump until I read a book that hooked me back into reading! I’m someone with the shitest memory, even now when someone asks me for book recommendations I have to skim through my posts to jig my memory of what books I’ve read. So around 4/5 years ago when I got back into reading, I had no idea that book blogging was a thing, I thought why would anyone want to hear my rambling thoughts about a book I’ve read??????
Whenever I finished a book I would write up a review and literally just leave it…
Yesterday afternoon I took some friends to one of my favourite bookstores — which I lovingly refer to as book rescue shelters — in Bendigo.
While looking through the Historical Fiction section, I was delighted to find two books from the ‘Plantagenet Embers’ series by Samantha Wilcoxson that I really enjoy.
What made that such a cool thing for me is that Samantha is an Indie author from Michigan with whom I have interacted on social media. I have read several of her books on Kindle, and they are really well written.
As Indies, most of our sales are on Kindle, Kobo or other ebook stores. We don’t get big, fancy distribution via a global publishing company. so it’s great to see that Samantha’s papaerbacks have made it to Australia! That’s really exciting! And now I own two of them, because I knew right away I couldn’t leave them there.
These are excellent books that I am proud to have in my collection. And now that I have books 2 and 3, I may have to see if I can buy a signed copy of book 1 direct from the author. That would be an awesome addition to my bookshelf!
Lucy Mitchell’s experiences, as she describes in the article reblogged here, are not uncommon. Many writers, artists and musicians use their creativity to help process and deal with their mental health issues.
I share this author’s experience of gaining motivation, encouragement and purpose from writing and self-publishing my works.
Withdrawing my first book from its publisher and taking control of my publishing journey as an Indie author was incredibly empowering. Producing not just good writing but excellent books has been as source of both pleasure and pride for me, but it has also been fabulous therapy.
Every poem I write, whether it’s about mental health or a medieval princess saving herself and taking control of her destiny is evidence of my strength and resilience, even at those times when I am not feeling particularly strong or resilient.
The fact that I can write about my own mental health in a way that others relate to and find powerful is both liberating and encouraging. And every time I kill someone fictionally, it saves me bail money and keeps me out of jail because I haven’t actually laid hands on anyone. That’s a system that has worked extremely well for me so far, so I will stick with it.
Every book I have published is testimony to my survival. This is, perhaps, most true of A Poet’s Curse, which was written indirect response to evil behaviour and nasty people. Publishing that little volume, to which I like to refer as my “dark little book of hateful poetry” really felt like I was taking my life back from those who tried to destroy me, and I celebrated it as such.
At this point of my writing and publishing career, I can say that I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved. That in itself is positive and motivating, and encourages me to keep going. There are still a lot of ideas bubbling away, and there’s life in the old girl yet.
And where there’s life, there’s hope.
All of this is proof of how far I have come from those very dark times that almost destroyed me, and of my determination to never go back.
I hope you appreciate and enjoy the insights from Lucy Mitchell as much as I did.
I mentioned in a post last week that I was anticipating the release of a new book, about which I am very excited.
The book is a medieval fantasy story called ‘A Rose By Any Other Name’ which draws on both ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Rapunzel’ as the starting points for this story before taking those narratives in a very different direction.
And so, without any further delay, let me reveal the beautiful cover, created for me by Renee Gauthier of RM Designs in Toronto, Canada.
The back cover is gorgeous, too.
It’s fair to say I am thrilled by the beauty of this cover art, and incredibly thankful to Renee for her fabulous work.
This story grew out of the inspiration from my author posse, the Indie Fabs. When one of them suggested that we write a fairy tale retelling anthology as a group, I was very nervous at first. I had never written anything like that. I didn’t know where to start, or how I might ever achieve that goal. I honestly thought I was going to let them down. Then one of them said, “Write what you know.” Well, I knew all the old fairy tales that I had grown up with. And I knew and loved Shakespeare. And in that moment, this story concept was born.
‘A Rose By Any Other Name’ took its place in that anthology, titled ‘Once Upon A Fabulous Time’ and published in 2017. It truly is an anthology unlike any other – far more than just a collection of our reinvented and often significantly transformed fairy tale stories, those stories were linked with one another by another separate, magical story that wove them all into one continuous narrative. Because it is such a very special book, it is still available in paperback, but no longer as an ebook. As a result, my story is back in my hands and free to be released as an individual title.
This poem is perfect for sharing just a few days before Easter, being the time of the year when it is set.
A.E Housman’s ‘A Shropshire Lad’ is a relatively small volume of poetry that he self-published in 1896, containing some really lovely poetry and delightful imagery such as that we see in this poem, the second in that collection.
While the poet is young – twenty years old – and acknowledges that he probably still has fifty years ahead of him, his life expectancy is framed in terms of only fifty more opportunities in his life to see such a beautiful tree. That’s why he’s going to take every opportunity to observe the beauty around him while he can.
This brings to mind the Latin phrase made popular by the film ‘Dead Poet’s Society’: carpe diem! Sieze the day!
The poem is a great reminder to embrace the joys we find in life while we can, and to make the most of our opportunities to stop and smell the… blossoms.
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now Is hung with bloom along the bough, And stands about the woodland ride Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten, Twenty will not come again, And take from seventy springs a score, It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom Fifty springs are little room, About the woodlands I will go To see the cherry hung with snow.
That certainly lays to rest the popular misconception that Indie poets are somehow lesser than others, doesn’t it?