The Acknowledgments Section

An acknowledgments section is somewhat of a dedication, but not the dedications section, where you list who and how certain people influence or inspired you to write your book. (The dedication section is the small page after that says things like “to my children,” end.)

Include everyone who you want to thank in helping create your novel. In other words, without them, there would be something lost or missing in your book.

You can start with more formal thanks or begin with people who supported you for free.

Formal names are your publisher, book editor, cover design, and anyone else you paid to create your book. They’re just as important as the people who supported you for free. It doesn’t matter what order you name them in.

Where do you put it and how long should it be?

You can put it at the front. This shows you’re acknowledged how important they are by placing them first in the book.

You can put it at the back. Some eBooks instead have their forward or acknowledgment section at the back, so the reader can jump right into the story with no distractions. It’s a marketing technique.

Either way, the best acknowledgements are the ones that are full pages long. One page or two proves how much you appreciate your supports. Who’s going to believe a one lined thank you? That’s almost a dedication! You should always explain why you’re thanking them and what they are to you!

How to acknowledge creatively:

Be yourself. How would you speak to the people you are acknowledging? This section is for them after all, and you want it to sound natural.

Be funny. Where it fits, if you have an inside joke that you’d like to bring up for old time sakes, do it! They are hilarious to read!

Bring out the poet in you. If that’s what it takes to express your gratitude, then so be it. Tell them that they were the stem to your delicate flower.

Have variety. Mix serious with casual. You can stick to the serious mode if you want, but the more heart-felt it is, the more believable it’ll sound. If you’re just a serious person all around, then maybe write it that way.

If anyone helped you FINANCIALLY pay for your book, it’s especially important to list them here. No exceptions.

This is their place to shine! Have fun with it!

Keep writing,

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writingmime/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Writing Beginnings To Your Books

I wanted to do a “How To Make Your Book’s Ending Unrushed” post, but I decided to do one on book beginnings instead. Almost every book on Amazon.com gives an excerpt of their first few pages. If they don’t, that’s probably a sign that the book has a bad beginning.

My hypothesis: Beginnings should make a reader curious. It’s not always cliché to start with an eerie lead and loose facts to get a reader going. I’ve switched my chapters’ order so many times to fit this. I finally decided to take the easy way out and pick the one with the most action to start the book. Although, the first time I wrote it, that’s not at all how it started in my head. Is that okay or am I betraying my story? Is it action or curiosity that reels in readers? Here are the beginnings to other books I’ve read so we can begin to figure that out. My research:

Looking for Alaska, by John Green:

  • Does it have action? No, in the next chapter he arrives at his boarding school. The first chapter revolves around Pudge and the reason he is going to a private school.
  • Is there curiosity? Yes, by giving Pudge purpose to go, we want to see if going to a private school will pan out the way he wants it to.

Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher:

  • Does it have action? No, in the next chapter, a box of tapes arrived at a boy’s door step and really starts the story. The first chapter is the aftermath of what has happened. It’s very unclear.
  • Is there curiosity? Yes, we are immediately interested in the boy’s purpose; why he’s acting to such degrees of importance and what events cause this. There is clearly need to know.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling:

  • Does it have action: Yes and no. No fighting or chase scenes if that’s what you meant. Yes, we follow characters other than the main one around. There is contrast between them and wizards looming around the muggle world. It’s not until chapter four that we actually enter the wizard world.
  • Is there curiosity? Yes, the first chapter refers to some event that happened before this new story begins. We also want to know what is going to happen to this poor baby that has been given to a mean bunch of people he’ll have to call family.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black:

  • Is there action? Yes? The MC wakes up in a bathtub after she’d drank too much the night before, only to find the rest of the partygoers are dead in the other room. She explores.
  • Is there curiosity? Yes, we immediately want to know how everyone died and how she survived. It sounds cliché, but only if you write it just like that. Holly Black used detail to mask many clichés.

The Merchant of Death, by D. J. MacHale:

  • Is there action? Sort of. Bobby is writing in past tense through a letter about leaving a pretty girl at his house to go someplace unknown with his uncle.
  • Is there curiosity? Yes, we know something has gone horribly wrong by the urgency and confusion Bobby speaks in. We also immediately want to know where his uncle takes him and why he’s acting this way.

Well, it looks like the beginning of my story can have action, but what’s most important (and I should mention the books I’ve chosen above are one’s I’d recommend to others) is that it entices the reader’s curiosity. Possibly create a purpose or a goal, or maybe rewrite the beginning in a way where the end of the story comes first so the reader wants more. Putting contrast between different characters or between how one usually acts and how they’re acting while in danger would both work. If you have many of these in many chapters, which one would create the most curiosity placed at the beginning? Go from there.

Thanks for reading,

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writingmime/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Another Traditional VS Self-Publishing Blog

There’s a blog I recently read of an author’s (I’ll link it right here). Back in 2009, this author tracked his eBooks, both self-published and traditionally published, on Kindle. He compared his pricings over a six month period and here’s what his statistics showed.

Traditional Published

Sell eBook at $4, sell 550 copies, get $340

Sell eBook at $6, sell 200 copies, get $600

Sell eBook at $8, sell 150-180 copies, get $340-380

The author was paid per eBook from his publisher, who was paid by Amazon. Amazon made a profit, so his publisher got a fraction, and the author got a fraction of that fraction, ranging from 3 cents to $3 per book. No real promise there.

Self-Published

The author sold his eBooks at $2 and got anywhere from $630 to $3600 for each book. That beats every category of traditional publishing. It’s because Amazon promised 35% royalty for self-published eBooks. He states that he would’ve made $15,000 more if he had his other books under his self-published name during that six-month period. That’s incredible.

But I wanted to revamp this blog for it’s almost a decade old, and I’d like to point out an even better advantage to using Kindle Self-Publishing. They now offer 70% royalties with some drawbacks; you have to restrain from selling your eBook over $9.99 (if you sell under the usual 35% royalty, this doesn’t apply; you can go up to $200) and no less than $1.99 (if you sell under the 35% you can sell it under that). Also, if you want to sell your hardcover copy, it must be 20% greater than the price of the eBook, at least.

If this author had 70% royalty back in 2009 (through traditional publishing, we knew the sweet spot was $6 per eBook for him anyway) he could’ve sold each of his eBooks at $6, sold his hardbacks for $7.50, and would’ve been losing a lot more than $15,000. Just saying.

What do you guys think? Thanks for reading! I have to get back to my little writing sprints now.

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writingmime/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Cover Design for Self Published Books

Drive is what you need to spend money on something. Quality is what sorts the bad from the good, and ultimately your readership when it comes to books.

Think hard about what you need for your book cover before you even begin to make your sketches. Consult any professional with ideas for a cover so they can tell you if you’re on the right track, genre-driven-wise (You don’t need characters on the cover smooching if the book’s sci-fi). Once confident in your knowledge of cover branding by genre, jump into your creative mind and pull out a few cover designs. Get them out on paper. Quality is not yet a factor.

Personal Tip: I’d take each of your ideas as far as revision. Each design has vast potential, and what that means is you shouldn’t sketch out harder lines and details on one design while leaving the others in their rough form. That’s biasing the other covers. If one’s generally colored, they all should be.

Take your ideas to an editor. If you’re the editor, you’ve skipped ahead. If not, finding an editor to do wonders with your drafts can be a very simple task. If signed up with a self-publishing agency already, you can buy a cover artist from them at their set price. I could say go to places like PeoplePerHour.com or another freelance site to shop, but I’d rather direct you to the place where artists live and breath: DeviantArt.

Here are the highlights about DeviantArt. There are all types of creators that come to this site, whether your looking for sculptures, air-brush, watercolors, makeup, photography, etcetera, they have them. Once you have an idea for your cover, let’s say dragons, type the keyword into the search bar and see what shows up. Maybe you wanted your cover as 3D as possible without looking too real. I bet you’ll find at least three styles close to what you desire. Click on the artists’ profiles and see their other artworks. If one specializes in dragons, you’ve found a winner. With your special design in mind, contact the artist with a goal price and maybe they could work something out with you. If you like one of the prints they have already, buy it from them and see if you may use it as your book cover. (I’m not completely sure how that works, but if it bothers you, you might ask that they make the print unavailable to anyone else, and pay a high price for it.)

Bottom line: DeviantArt equals easier access to exactly what you see in your head, but could be costly if they’re an experienced, well-known artist. (You’d be better off asking them for a new piece of work for a cheaper price than buying what they already have on their page.) Freelance sites only offer the artists they have and limit your style choices. (I see mainly a lot of kids’ books illustrators most of the time.)

Now that you’re ready to move on from your first draft to a final draft, whether through an artist, friend, or yourself, you’ll need computer programs. Nothing today can be completely done by hand. You’ll need a photo editor, which I use the line of Adobe Photoshop programs. They’re expensive, but do their job. (You’re artist probably has a trusted program on their computer.) You may either edit all of your designs or pick a favorite and run with it. Don’t root yourself on the spot; experiment. Change color and shadow angles as well as the contrast and sharpness levels on your designs. Don’t approve until it’s exactly what you want. Just remember, everyone has limitations, including your editor. You might have to make a compromise with them if they can not create exactly what you’re seeing.

Next step is to find the perfect text font, which is much easier than designing the graphics. Go through a free list of fonts using your software, and if you still can’t find what you want, you can buy new templates from the programs’ websites or from other sites. They can range from cents to dollars, but nothing that’s going to drain your pockets. It’s worth it, in my opinion, to spend a hand-full of dollar bills on a font that’ll put your book on the winning side. (Not saying it’ll become a best-seller from the best cover; that’s all luck.)

Just remember, shop around! Use your time wisely and trust people! We’re all in this together in the publishing industry!

Thanks for reading,

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writingmime/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

 

I’m So Excited, I Just Can’t Hide It!

Hello, my name is WritingMime and welcome to my blog!

I’m new to WordPress, or was when I first wrote this, so enjoy my first attempt at posting on the job.

This blog will be useful to those seeking advise on writing or the process of publishing. My experiences range from far to many, being an aspiring writer myself. I’ve critiqued other authors’ work, and have spent a lot of time researching the marketing business. I’ve written quite a few rough drafts of stories in my day and love to draw. Hopefully, I can put some of my own illustrations inside my books and on their covers one day!

In each of my posts, I’ll either be writing about what I’m working on, tips on drafting and revising, supplementary advice for a YouTube video I recently uploaded, or big news in the publishing community.

I hope to keep my readers enticed, with a bit of tomfoolery here and there, working to make better writers out of all of us! Always remember to have fun with it! And never stop writing, ’cause those words won’t write themselves!

Woot! We have a bright future ahead of us,

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writingmime/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime