Tag Archives: Joanna Penn

Tidbits from the Internet: Fleshing out your characters, and how to sell books online

Here are a couple of things that might interest you:

I just came upon this recently.

G. Hugh Bodell launched a website dedicated to bringing his characters alive. The basic idea is that you put your character into a difficult situation, then ask your readers to help you solve that problem.

But I thought it would be a very interesting writing exercise to try the following. How about taking your character out of context and seeing what they do? This works very well for historical fiction, because all you have to do is change time period.

So what would your Roman centurion do in another time period?

The reason why I think this is a valuable exercise is because it will help you to get to know your character better. Why not try it and let me know what you think?

To read G. Hugh Bodell’s blog, go to: http://whatwouldsoroshdo.blogspot.com/

For those of you who want to know more about marketing your novel and don’t mind paying $21 for it, here is the link to Joanna Penn’s “21 ways to sell more books online.”

Have a great week!

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Filed under Craft, Fiction, How to Publish Your Novel, Promoting Yourself

Blogs & Websites to watch: A NEWBIE’S GUIDE TO PUBLISHING, ALAN RINZLER, THE CREATIVE PENN

Today I’m going to talk about three websites that I feel are must-haves for every writer, which is why I’m putting them in that section of my blogroll

The first one is called A NEWBIE’S GUIDE TO PUBLISHING, with the tagline, “Is it possible to make a living as a genre fiction writer? Yes it is.”

Why is this site on my list of must-haves? Because it is hosted by J. A. Konrath.

For those of you who don’t know, Konrath is one of the top-selling authors in Amazon’s Kindle store, and has made a name for himself advocating marketing an indispensable part of the 21st-century citizen-author’s toolkit. And telling us citizen authors all the clever marketing tricks that he knows. If you are an author with a novel that you can’t find an agent to interest, I highly recommend that you sign up for this blog. You will learn a lot.

My second must-have is ALAN RINZLER. He is a veteran book publishing insider who offers private editorial services to writers and agents. His author list includes Toni Morrison, Hunter Thompson, Robert Ludlum. So what does this have to do with a struggling newbie author who can’t afford to pay an expensive editor? Alan Rinzler blogs about the publishing world. And writing craft. And other things to do with writing, editing and publishing. For example, he blogged recently about “The 10 things book publicists want authors to know”, “99-cent eBooks upend the charts, pressuring publishers,” and “Developing a character’s inner narrative.” The one drawback is that you can’t follow this blog, because he doesn’t appear to have an RSS feed. So I suggest you bookmark it and put it in your toolbar where you can see it. Try visiting once a week. I feel sure you will learn a lot.

Lastly, I wanted to talk about the CREATIVE PENN, hosted by Joanna Penn. It has won the 2011 Award “Top Ten Blogs for Writers” and it’s easy to see why. Joanna has struggled herself with the inevitable rejections we writers face. She’s had problems selling her own books. But being a generous soul, she’s put the lessons she’s learned on her website in the form of free downloads and podcasts. This is a wonderful resource for all of us who are new to this game.

I hope you enjoy the websites I’ve showcased today. As always, feel free to drop your comments in the comments box.

–Cynthia Haggard writes historical novels.  She has two completed manuscripts that will be published in the coming year. THWARTED QUEEN  is a portrait of a woman trapped by power, a marriage undone by betrayal, and a King brought down by fear.FAMILY SPLINTERS is  a novel about identity, forbidden love and family secrets. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

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