Last year, I shared with you the result of my Call to Arms, on my very popular post, Book Marketing Results 2015. I now have collected enough data to follow up with this year’s results. Like …
I’m in the middle of a revamp of my blog, which is why the design and pictures look utterly hideous. In the meantime, have some Venerable Bede!
Facts about Bede, Britain’s first historian
1. Bede is known as the ‘Father of English History’. Bede, also known as Saint Bede and as the Venerable Bede, was born in around 672 and died in 735. Bede’s great work is Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, or History of the English Church and People, which he completed in 731. The book charts the establishment of Christianity in the British Isles, particularly in England. In 1899, Bede became the only English-born person to be recognised as a Doctor of the Church.
2. However, Bede wrote around 60 other books in addition to his History. What’s even more remarkable, given the Vikings raids on the British Isles which followed shortly after Bede’s death, most of his books have survived.
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This is great advice. I am going to follow it to publish my epic fantasy series at long last. The great thing about issuing ARC’s so far in advance means that I will be able to revise the other two books in the series in the meantime. Yay?
If you want to self-publish, or you’re an Indie publisher looking to get attention for your books from the Trade, then it’s imperative that you create what are typically known as Advance Reader Copies (ARC’s) or galleys.
These are a version of your book that you give away for free to anyone who is likely to write a review, tell other readers or post comments about your book to their audience, either on a social media channel, traditional media source or via their community.
The key, and this is what traditional publishers do, is to have these printed well in advance of your pub date in order to distribute at trade fairs, festivals, and via sites such as Good Reads approx 8 – 6 months before your publication date.
Yes, I know, that seems like a crazy amount of time to the frustrated “I just want to get my book…
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Rural communities are dear to my heart. They are often poor and lacking, though. I, for one, am going to send a few books their way.
Just. One. Book.
I live in a town of 1200 people in the Northern Sierra Nevada –where it meets the Cascade Range near Mt. Lassen National Park and about two hours drive northwest of Reno, NV. Two hundred of that population is students. Over the years as the population dwindled after mines closed, then mills–nothing except tourism and retirement have emerged as ‘industries.’ Many businesses have closed down and with it many things we take for granted—like libraries.
The local junior/senior high school has not been able to purchase new books since the 90s. Some of the “check outs” for old books are in the 1980s. There are no books by people of color in the library. Hardly any books by women are in the few book cases except your standard Austen and Lee. It’s an uninviting place. There hasn’t been a librarian for nearly a decade. And volunteers weren’t allowed. The…
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I published this last year – since Comic Con will be here in a little more than a month it seems timely to publish it again.
Well, San Diego Comic Con is over now, sadly. The cosplayers have un-cossed. The street preachers have disappeared. The flyers, leaflets, and business cards littering the avenues have been swept away. It’s bittersweet, in a way. Before you forget about it entirely in the rush of everyday life, however, linger for a moment longer.
As a nine-year veteran of SDCC, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to make your experience even better next year. My list of ten tips, learned through the school of hard knocks and meager disposable income, are:
1. Yes, you can save money on parking. Parking fees next to the convention center are astronomical. Fees at the closest hotel rooms are almost as bad. It’s not all that easy to get. So what’s a poor nerd to do? Park further away and take the trolley or a cab. Joe’s Auto Parks is 12 blocks…
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Yes, yes, yes. Francis Crawford, you beautiful bastard, you!
(Apart from a spoiler for something that happens within the first couple of chapters in the first book, I’ve tried as much as I can to avoid spoilers in this review, because I really hope you’ll read these books).
Most of my February was swallowed up in reading this classic historical fiction series, which I had somehow managed to miss until now. Having heard several people rave about how great the Lymond Chronicles were, I decided to give them a try. I figured that with the sixth and last book having come out over 40 years ago and the author being safely dead, it would be a great series to read because it is definitively finished. I wanted to avoid the risk of a Game-of-Thrones-like scenario where I read faster than the author can write and end up impatiently waiting for the next book. Having read through these six chunky…
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Sage advice from a fellow author in the self publishing trenches.
Once upon a time, when I first started switching from traditional to indie publishing, all you had to do to sell books was to offer your works free on a regular basis and get a few thousand downloads. After the free runs, the books would be high in the Amazon rankings, which would provide the visibility to sell a decent number of books daily for a while until your book disappeared into obscurity again. My biggest income month as an indie author is still from those early golddigger days.
In that carefree time when I first started out, way back in 2012, even a *short story collection* offered free was enough to boost visibility and garner sales for the more lucrative longer works.
Now it is hard to even give short story collections away on Amazon (although they do still sell on other venues). And for a free…
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I loathe taking people to the airport. Not because I find it an inconvenience – I’m happy to do favors for friends and family. The reason I dislike it so intensely is because they are going somewhere and I am not. Jealousy, you green-eyed monster, you!
A lot of travelers hate flights in general. My husband is one of these. The cramped conditions, the noise, the germs from crying babies and coughing adults, all of it combines to make flying a thing of dread. I don’t mind it, though. I always load my mp3 player up with audiobooks and music, and make sure to bring paper and pen for uninterrupted writing time. I enjoy charting my flight progress on the interactive maps some airlines have. Looking out the window at the earth below is a favorite activity as well. Sometimes I’ll even snap a picture or two. This one was taken on a trip to Europe, as we flew over the Arctic lands. How beautiful and mysterious it looks from above.
Recently, I took a work trip to Jackson, Mississippi. I was only there for one night and was so busy that I had absolutely no time to see anything other than the (admittedly beautiful) hotel. On the trip there, though, I saw this out the window.
I think we were flying over Texas at the time, although I can’t be sure. The circles looked somewhat eerie. I assumed that they were farming plots, but now I’m not so sure. Do you know? Here’s a better shot:
The lights of Dallas Fort Worth, on a connecting flight home, glittered like jewels on a sea of black velvet. The low lighted conditions and the shuddering of the plane didn’t make for ideal photography, but nevertheless, here is a shot:
The next time you are on a plane heading out into the great unknown, spend a few moments enjoying the beauty and mystery of the world beneath. You might just come away with wonderful memories from that alone.
It was early May, and I continued to walk the Santiago de Compostela, bloodied but unbowed. Well, all right. Not bloodied. And only slightly bowed. My feet, however, hurt. When I would sit for a rest I was all right – until it was time to get up again. That’s when the grunting and groaning began. I wasn’t the only one with such afflictions, and commiserating with fellow pilgrims helped somewhat. So did views like this:
Before I left on the Camino, I daydreamed about how wonderful it would be to have a donkey as a companion on the road. Not only would he keep me company, but he could tote my cumbersome backpack as well. It soon became clear that such an endeavor would take more logistical energy than I had – where would the animal sleep, how would I feet it, where would I get it, what would I do with it when I finished my journey. I decided to let that dream go. Instead, I felt certain that God would bring a donkey into my Camino in some way. Sure enough, he did. I passed this duo on the way:
The donkey, perhaps, had much to eat along the way.
It was, doubtlessly, a blessing not to have to tug the poor creature away from such treats hour after hour.
Mileposts like these showed that my journey would soon be at an end.
Reminders of a simpler life cropped up unexpectedly. I halted on the trail as a married couple herded their cattle past. They were old, and wearing ragged clothing and mud-slick boots. I spied a wound on one of the cattle, and a broken down dog wore a giant goiter around his neck. How awful it would be to eke out an existence in such poverty, with old age slowing your steps. What if I could not afford to take my animals to the vet when they needed it? I thanked God for the goodness I take for granted so often – my easy suburban life in sunny southern California.
Between the little villages are peaceful places where nature reigns supreme.
Soon enough human habitations arise, made from stone, slick and mossy.
Little churches dot the wayside, like this one, Iglesia de Santa Maria de Leboreiro, built in the 14th century. It is simple and humble.
And the torments of past terrors, such as the ones suffered by Saint Sebastian, are ever near.
The Renaissance costumes betray a 16th century origin. Old to us. So old. Like the urge to walk onward, an instinct encoded in our genes from our days as nomads, wandering day by day.
My pilgrimage continues on in future pictures. Subscribe to see them, or backtrack, if it suits you, to other images in my 100 Spanish Photos series.
An excellent post for writers of historical fiction. There is power in the wisdom of others. And commiseration.
From How to Write Historical Fiction: 7 Tips on Accuracy and Authenticity by Susanna Calkins author of A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate
- Let the characters engage with the historical details – a variation on show don’t tell
- Allow your characters to question and explore their place in society – doing so reveals the context of the times
- Love the process, because readers will still find errors
- Sweat the Small Stuff – small details allow readers to engage all senses in the past world you are building
- Dump the Ballast – too much detail is a killer
- Read historical fiction – sounds obvious doesn’t it but you…
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