How much should I advertise before My book is complete? #Advice #Writing #Literature #Fiction #Nonfiction #Rebranding

I just discovered your blog because you “liked” my poem. I have previously self-published short stories and had a couple of short stories published in literary journals. I am re-branding myself and “relaunching” myself so to speak into the literary world.
Am I able to mention these other short stories to potential agents if I published them under a different pseudonym?
Also, I want to generate some buzz about the novel I’m working on, but if I end up getting an agent and getting published and things change, I don’t want to deceive people (i.e. teasers, celebrities I’d like to play my characters, general marketing tactics). So do I just avoid talking about what I’m working on in the meantime?
Thanks in advance. Your blog is very helpful for a new author!

Hi Isabelle,
As long as you can verify that you are the person using that pseudonym, I don’t see a problem with that. Why shouldn’t you mention them? That’s part of your resume! Just be sure to provide documentation that you are the same person, otherwise you may get a literary agent scratching their heads.
On the other hand, typically when people try to update their brand, they often try to pull away from their old look. So it’s really up to you there. I personally don’t see an issue with it.
As for advertising your book before it’s done… vagueness is key. For my stories, I typically let people know that a new book is coming out and give a very brief idea of what the plot is about, usually one to two lines. I don’t go into great detail because things change. I answer a few standard FAQs and then say stay tuned. I tend not to give much more of an update regarding plot until the book is going through editing once it’s been completed. Even then, I limit the amount I tell.
Anyway, I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist #Music #Metal #Writing

Oh hell yeah!

This song, especially the beginning, is a battle song. No doubt about it. When the choir starts their harmony right at the beginning, close your eyes and picture too massive medieval armies lining up on either sides of a war torn battlefield. They stair each other down as the rain falls around them and lighting breaks the skies above.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Are Villains Necessary? #Advice #Writing #Literature #Fiction #Nonfiction

I’ve actually heard debates about this quite often. Do you need a philosophical ‘bad guy’ in a story in order to create a working plot and tell a story?

The answer is, simply put, it’s complicated.

Let’s think about this for a moment, does every story need a Maleficent? Do they need, at the very least, a one-dimensional villain with little to no backstory to overcome? To that, I said no, not really. We see plenty of stories where that is simply not the case. Honestly, making Hans in Frozen a ‘surprise’ villain right at the end was not only unnecessary, but detrimental to the plot.

Let’s explore that for a second. If you remove Hans’s subplot, what’s lost from the story, anything? If you think about it, Anna and Elsa already had a villain to overcome; their awful parents.
The poor, albiet well-intentioned, parenting of Arendale’s rulers left Anna desperate for attention to the point where she ‘falls in love’ with the first guy she talks to for more than a minute, and left Elsa a complete recluse who was scared of herself and unable to control her temper after years of bundling her emotions. The two princesses already had to overcome what their parents had done. Hans being a bad guy was completely unnecessary to the plot and actually somewhat unbelievable, given his behavior during the rest of the story.

So in that way, I guess you could technically say, no. You don’t need a villain, however you do need some kind of antagonistic plot point that the villain usually fills. You need to give them something to struggle against or at least overcome, because if you don’t… you really don’t have a story at all.

So what do you all think? Is having a villain or antagonistic plot point necessary to a story? Let me know!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist #Music #Metal #Writing

My Gateway to Edguy and thus Avantasia…  I love this song. It’s up, it’s down, it’s got power, and it goes from positive to negative and back very quickly.

When to listen: Boss battle. This may be because I played a flash game where this was the boss battle music, but it is damn appropriate. Yes, play this when your character is confronting the final adversary (whatever it may be.) This should help in the final struggle.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice

Okay, so it looks like I’m still getting a lot of publishing questions. These are recurrent questions I get on a regular basis, and while I want to try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me, I don’t want my blog becoming redundant. So I think I’m going to repost this on a weekly basis from now on to help people navigate the publishing world. I don’t really see another way around it.

So if you have questions regarding publishing, PLEASE check below to see if any of this helps you before reaching out. I’m always happy to help, but I may have already answered your question.

Publishing is a tough road to navigate. Please check out the links below. These are previous posts I’ve made about the ins and outs of publishing. They should be of assistance in your journey:

Am I Ready To Publish? This is a must read BEFORE even considering starting the process. I can’t tell you how many authors burned bridges by not being ready.

Editing… There is a Cost That Must be Paid… or is There? You can skip this one if you’ve already had your writing edited (by someone other than you!). However, I’d still recommend reading.

Getting Published… the basics… In this post, we explore traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. Here you’ll get the pros on cons of each and the steps you need to go through in order to be successful in either.

Finally…

Copyrighting my Writing. Am I Protected? This isn’t required reading… however, if you’re concerned about plagiarism, or in the future may need to file a copyright claim, I recommend giving it a read.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? I’d be surprised if you didn’t. The only sage advice I can offer you other than the documents above is simple…

  1. Do not give up. A million “No’s” suddenly become irrelevant if you get that one “yes”.
  2. People will tell you that everyone and their mother wants to publish a book. You’re up against insurmountable odds and a flooded market. This is false. You’re not up against everyone and their mother. Permit me the luxury and I’ll prove this mathematically: First of all, take the entire group of people who want to get published. Now take that number and reduce it by roughly 60%. You just eliminated all the people who want to get something published, but don’t have the time, ability, drive, or inspiration to write. Next, eliminate another 20%. You’ve now taken down all the people who can put pen to paper but can’t afford the time/money to put the work into advertising and getting published. Eliminate another 10% who can’t take criticism and thus aren’t going to be able to get their writing properly edited. Now eliminate another 5% either don’t have the patience for or get discouraged by receiving a series of “No’s” from publishers.
    Now take that last 5% and eliminate all of them, except you. Why? Because they’re irrelevant. You have your writing and they have there’s. Whether or not you get published and how successful you are isn’t about other people’s writing. Yes, in the end, it’s you against one person, you. Whether or not I’ll ever get to buy your book off the shelf depends on you; how much time, effort, and funds you’re willing to put into your writing. So make it good!

Let’s open it up to the floor. Readers, do you have any publishing advice for our friend here? Let her know in the comments!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

My Writing Playlist. #Music #Metal #Writing

For reasons I can’t begin to understand, Metalite replaced their original singer. I’m not going to lie, I liked her better. She seemed to have a much better range, but I am willing to give this new face a chance. So far, she’s been okay.

When to listen: This is a fight song, likely first confrontation between the hero and villain. I don’t know if I’d use it as a final fight song, it doesn’t quite feel epic enough for that. Even so, it effectively conveys what’s going on.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Revisiting Dead Works#Advice #Writing #Literature #Fiction #Nonfiction

Hi Jim,

I have a whole library of stories that I’ve never been able to finish or I didn’t think I wanted to publish. I spent a great deal of time on them and every time I look at them, I feel like it was completely wasted. Sometimes I’ll go back and write a few more lines or make edits. Should I try to finish these or just delete them so they don’t continue to bother me?

Thanks,
Melynda


Hi Melynda,

It’s a good question… sadly, I don’t really have an answer for you. Truth be told, I have a rather large library of unfinished works, the best of which I’ve posted on this blog in the past. They range from sequels, to prequels, to stand alone novels, to… yes, I actually tried this… the score to a Musical… Before anyone asks, no, that will NEVER see the light of day.

One thing I will say is that I don’t look at those works as a waste. Nothing a person creates with their own two hands is EVER a waste of time. (Quote me on that!) Likely those books gave you characters you could use elsewhere, If not, consider trying it. Believe it or not, one of my early characters, General Xaphine, was a hold over character from a Star Wars fan fic I had written. I changed her name and turned her powers from Sith to Demon, but the character’s personality and appearance were still very much the same… minus her wings.

It really is up to you. If these books are blocking you from writing new stories, then by all means delete them. However, you may be able to use them as a template for scenes, themes, or characters, in other books. Think about it, look through those books one more time, and make your choice.

Either way, I’m sure it will be for the best. Hope this helps!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim