Age of Destiny + Operation Chimera are out tomorrow!

Both Age of Destiny and Operation Chimera are out tomorrow. Just a reminder that you can pre-order both of them for the bargain price of 99c!

So … what are you waiting for?

AND don’t forget the prize I’m offering to the first person who reads and reviews EITHER of those titles. I will edit that person’s work (upto 10,000 words) and make them a cover FOR FREE. For more information, see Friday’s post.

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On Monday the 20th of October my YA Scifi novel Age of Destiny is OUT! But wait, there’s more. Operation Chimera, the novel I wrote with Matt Cox, published by Curiosity Quills Press, is also out! Both titles are available to pre-order for 99c each, so what are you waiting for?

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Order Age of Destiny (The Broken Stars, Book 1)

The Broken Stars Book 1 Cover Blank

Order Operation Chimera (Far From Home)

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Advice for Independent Authors: The Pros and Cons of Serializing

A while back I posted about the pros and cons of serializing. You can read that by clicking the link. If you’re an independent author, you should have a stab at a serial. They’re not only good fun to write, but a GREAT way of building an audience.

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On Monday the 20th of October my YA Scifi novel Age of Destiny is OUT! But wait, there’s more. Operation Chimera, the novel I wrote with Matt Cox, published by Curiosity Quills Press, is also out! Both titles are available to pre-order for 99c each, so what are you waiting for?

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Order Age of Destiny (The Broken Stars, Book 1)

The Broken Stars Book 1 Cover Blank

Order Operation Chimera (Far From Home)

cover1000-2

 

Advice for Independent Authors: Free Editing Offer!

The first person to read EITHER Age of Destiny OR Operation Chimera and leave an honest review will win a one-off prize from yours truly. For that person I will edit a story of theirs (up to 10,000 words) for FREE.

So. Free editing. In return I get an honest review of either Age of Destiny or Operation Chimera.

All you have to do is contact me tonyleehealey at gmail dot com with a link to where your review is posted. Just to reiterate that I am looking for a COMPLETELY HONEST review of either of those titles. Warts and all. In return I will edit your story and help you get it into shape for publication.

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On Monday the 20th of October my YA Scifi novel Age of Destiny is OUT! But wait, there’s more. Operation Chimera, the novel I wrote with Matt Cox, published by Curiosity Quills Press, is also out! Both titles are available to pre-order for 99c each, so what are you waiting for?

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Order Age of Destiny (The Broken Stars, Book 1)

The Broken Stars Book 1 Cover Blank

Order Operation Chimera (Far From Home)

cover1000-2

Advice for Independent Authors: Get Known

I am a relatively shy person. It takes a while for me to warm to anyone, to open up and relax around people. That can extend to the internet, and I doubt I’m the only one.

I know this is going to be hard, but you need to get yourself out there. Get known to readers.

Have a blog or (preferably) a dot com. Put that link in every book, front and back so people see it. Along with that, get yourself a twitter account. I have found twitter highly valuable in allowing me to form a tight network of writer friends across the globe. It’s a very convenient form of communication for your readers, too.

That said, I recommend setting yourself up with a Facebook page. Note that I AM NOT telling you to accept friend requests from random strangers who have read your work. Keep your own personal FB account private. Friends and family only. A Facebook page is a bit different. All they have to do is click LIKE and there’s no access to your personal photo’s and statuses required.

Would I bother with other social media accounts or services? No. There’s not enough time. Pick two and stick with them. Whether that’s Twitter and Facebook, or Google Plus and Flick.r.

Whatever you choose to do. Get known. I can’t emphasise it enough.

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On Monday the 20th of October my YA Scifi novel Age of Destiny is OUT! But wait, there’s more. Operation Chimera, the novel I wrote with Matt Cox, published by Curiosity Quills Press, is also out! Both titles are available to pre-order for 99c each, so what are you waiting for?

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Order Age of Destiny (The Broken Stars, Book 1)

The Broken Stars Book 1 Cover Blank

Order Operation Chimera (Far From Home)

cover1000-2

 

Advice for Independent Authors: Your Cover Is 99.9% Of The Sale

If you want to write, and make money from your writing, then you need a cover that reflects your professionalism. It needs to be catchy, to be seen among thousands. I do most of my own covers and will keep checking it to see what it looks like as s thumbnail. If you think about the way Amazon works, you’re scrolling through pages of thumbnail sized images. It’s only the text placement, colours and composition of the cover that catch your eye.

As a friend of mine once said, “Presentation is 99.9% of the sale.” I’ve never forgotten that, because your book lives or dies thanks to its cover. Even if a customer doesn’t eventually end up buying your book, it’s usually your cover that leads them there. That makes them feel compelled to click on your book title and follow it through to the product page.

There are a lot of bad covers out there. A lot of hackneyed attempts made on MS Paint. Or assembled on a tablet.

NO. No no no no no no.

Please don’t do it. If you can’t do your own cover, get someone to do it for you. Have a certain look in mind and try to attain that with whatever is at hand. Be bold. Get creative. And if you’re writing a series, it’s VERY important you have branding in place. A logo (or font design) for your series title. A particular font for your author name. Keep this the same throughout. Your readers will respect the stability of seeing familiar covers.

What’s better than having a reader finish Book 1 of your series and instantly identify Book 2?

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On Monday the 20th of October my YA Scifi novel Age of Destiny is OUT! But wait, there’s more. Operation Chimera, the novel I wrote with Matt Cox, published by Curiosity Quills Press, is also out! Both titles are available to pre-order for 99c each, so what are you waiting for?

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Order Age of Destiny (The Broken Stars, Book 1)

The Broken Stars Book 1 Cover Blank

Order Operation Chimera (Far From Home)

cover1000-2

 

Advice for Independent Authors: How To Draft

I don’t use Scrivener. I don’t use index cards. This is how I draft my work, and revealing this to you may, in turn, assist you with your own projects. Everyone has a different way of doing it. Here’s mine.

1. Plot

I always plot the basic story out beforehand. I will use paper and pen initially, making changes as the story develops in my mind. Then I will transfer those notes, key events, character beats, important plot points for each chapter, into a document in either Google Docs or Word.

When it comes to plotting, look at classic Hollywood structuring. Look at how certain films work. Read up on how to structure a screenplay so that there is drama, tension and pay-off at the climax. Get yourself a copy of Story by Robert McKee. Read it. You can thank me later.

2. First Draft

This is your rough-and-ready, CRAP draft of your work. As King said, this one’s just for you. Don’t let anyone read it. You’ll die of embarrassment. While writing ‘Age of Destiny’ I got to 50 pages, then decided to scrap them and start again. Sometimes you just have to. The thing was, I could do that because it was a raw draft and not very good anyway.

3. Second Draft

Give it a few days (or whatever works for you – I tend to go back through my drafts only a few days later) then read through from start to finish, on the computer, making changes as you go. This is where you shape it enough that someone else can read your work-in-progress without thinking you’re a total hack.

4. Editorial Pass 1

Now hand it over to your beloved editor and let them work their magic. Prepare yourself for plenty of bad news, but also don’t be too surprised when your Editor leaves notes in your document telling you how good you are. Because they will, you know. Your editor will most likely use Track Changes in Word to suggest changes to your document. If you’ve not used this feature yet, google it and get yourself up to speed. I’d argue it’s maybe the most useful tool included in Microsoft Word. When your Editor sends it back to you, address any comments they’ve left first. Then go through each and every change, approving or denying as you go. If you deny a change, you’d best have a good reason to do so.

5. Hardcopy Draft

This is the point where I will print the entire work out and read from page 1 with a red pen at hand, marking up changes. These I will then add to the document using Track Changes so my editor can see just what has been adjusted.

6. Editorial Pass 2

He/She will then go through your work again. In my case, Laurie will address my changes as she goes about doing her own second round of edits.

7. Final Adjustments

Once your editor has pinged it back to you, it’s your turn to make any final adjustments to the text before uploading it. Sometimes I’ll find something I missed on all the other passes and swiftly go in there and change it. ┬áIt’s only a case of re-uploading a book file.

This is how I draft my work. It’s a process (or routine) that has evolved over time. I find it an efficient way of doing things.

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On Monday the 20th of October my YA Scifi novel Age of Destiny is OUT! But wait, there’s more. Operation Chimera, the novel I wrote with Matt Cox, published by Curiosity Quills Press, is also out! Both titles are available to pre-order for 99c each, so what are you waiting for?

***

Order Age of Destiny (The Broken Stars, Book 1)

The Broken Stars Book 1 Cover Blank

Order Operation Chimera (Far From Home)

cover1000-2