Taking Submissions: Tales from the Miskatonic Library

Deadline: August 8th, 2015
Payment: 3¢/word max $100

“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.” — Ernest Shackleton

The small press anthology Tales from the Miskatonic Library is now soliciting stories for submission.  This is an anthology of tales about, found in, inspired by, or stolen from the Miskatonic University Library.

Your editors are Darrell Schweitzer & myself, and we are looking for tales that:

  1. Are good stories.
  2. Can be included in an anthology titled Tales From the Miskatonic Librarywithout involving us in elaborate explanations.
  3. Aren’t “Boy Reads Book; Book Eats Boy.”

So, your chance to have a bit of grim fun:

  • What sort of tales might be found in the Miskatonic University Library?  Kept perhaps in the secure reading room?  Shared by Chief Librarian Henry Armitage over faculty sherry with only a trusted few?
  • And how did Dr. Henry Armitage acquire his position as Chief Librarian?  And what of his successor(s)?
  • What unexpected problems might be faced by an acquisitions librarian at Miskatonic University?  Or a cataloger? Is the Necronomicon quite as rare as it is made out to be?
  • What is the real explanation for the curious gaps in the Dewey Decimal System?
  • What might it take to see the unexpurgated account of the Pabodie’s 1930 expedition to The Mountains of Madness?  Together with their troubling cross-correlations with Shackleton’s private diary? The US Treasury Departments internal report on the incident at Devil Reef off Innsmouth?
  • Why are no students allowed within the stacks?  Are rumors of non-Euclidean spaces within merely rumors?  Why was Einstein called in for a consult in 1944?  And his frequent correspondent Schrödinger brought over  secretly from Ireland that same year?
  • And are series like Warehouse 13 or The Librarian or Charlie Stross’s The Laundry really just cover stories for the MUL? precautions taken to make sure if a bit of the truth gets out, it will be seen as merely a publicity stunt?

And, there is absolutely no requirement to mention the Necronomicon or even the Cthulhu Mythos at all!  So long as its appearance in our anthology makes sense, we’re good with it.

Our publisher is PS Publishing, which has just published Darrell’s That is Not Dead:  Tales of the Cthulhu Mythose Through the Centuries, and which has a very strong line of Lovecraftian titles.  As this is small press, maximum 1000 copies, the rate is — alas — correspondingly small:  3¢/word max $100.  Sigh.  But, Honour & recognition!  Or, even better, a chance to warn the world of untimely horrors!

Please send stories in electronic form only!  RTF, Word, or Pages are OK.  Not PDF, which is not editable.

No reprints.  Your original work only.  Deadline:  August 8th, 2015.

Send to me, John Ashmead, at john.ashmead@timeandquantummechanics.com.

Any questions, ask!

And if even if you don’t have a Tale from the Miskatonic Library bubbling up inside you, perhaps a friend does.  Please pass this link along to any who might be interested.  Word of tentacle is our best advertisement!

Via: Time And Quantum Mechanics

Taking Submissions: Imaginate September Issue

imaginate

Deadline: July 1, 2015
Payment: 5 cents/word

Short Stories
Each quarter, we’ll share new prompts here on the blog and in that quarter’s issue of IMAGINATE for the different genres we seek. Writers should use the prompt to create their entry for the next quarter. Check out the upcoming themes on our Submissions page.

For the September 2015 edition, use the photo below as your inspiration to write a short story. Chosen entries will be published in that issue and winning authors will receive a byline and bio.

IMAGINATE purchases first serial rights and pays $0.05 (5 cents) per word upon acceptance. We do not accept reprints.

Short Story entries should be 2500 words or less.

All entries should be submitted as an attachment to an e-mail. The e-mail should include a brief bio (100 words or less) and up to two links for your website/blog/social media.

Deadline for submission is July 1, 2015. Submit your entry to: imaginate@ImaginateZone.com.

Flash Fiction
Each quarter, we’ll share new prompts here on the blog and in that quarter’s issue for the different genres we seek. Writers should use the prompt to create their entry for the next quarter. You’ll find a list of upcoming themes on our Submissions page.

For our September 2015 edition, use the photo below as your inspiration to write a flash fiction story. Chosen entries will be published in that issue and winning authors will receive a byline and bio.

IMAGINATE purchases first serial rights and pays $0.05 (5 cents) per word upon acceptance. We do not accept reprints.

Flash Fiction entries should be 100 words or less.

All entries should be submitted as an attachment to an e-mail. The e-mail should include a brief bio (100 words or less) and up to two links for your website/blog/social media.

Deadline for submission is July 1, 2015. Submit your entry to: imaginate@ImaginateZone.com

Poetry
Each quarter, we’ll share new prompts here on the blog and in this quarter’s issue for the different genres we seek. Prompts will usually revolve around that quarter’s theme. (View our list of themes and deadlines on the Submissions page.) Writers should use the prompt to create their entry for the next quarter.

For our September 2015 issue, use the photo below as your inspiration to write a poem. The chosen entries will be published in that issue and authors will receive a byline and bio.

IMAGINATE purchases first serial rights and pays $0.05 (5 cents) per word upon acceptance. We do not accept reprints.

Poems should be 100 words or less. You may submit up to 5 poems per quarter.

All entries should be submitted as an attachment to an e-mail. The e-mail should include a brief bio (100 words or less) and up to two links for your website/blog/social media.

Deadline for submission is July 1, 2015. Submit your entry to: imaginate@ImaginateZone.com

Via: Imaginate.

‘That Risen Snow’ Blog Tour – Embracing the Dark Side of Magic

ThatRisenSnowGuest Post by Rob E. Boley

 

“Magic’s just science that we don’t understand yet.”

— Arthur C. Clarke

 

Most of my horror stories could be called dark fantasy, which—in the broadest definition of the term—means they have elements of both horror and the supernatural. My simple definition of dark fantasy is this: Something scary happens, and something otherworldly happens, and maybe they happen at the same time.

 

In any case, a good portion of horror stories have some uncanny element, that for the sake of argument we’ll call magic. Be they vampires, other dimensions, ghosts, zombies, time travel, possessed cars, mind-reading, ancient spirits, or were-hamsters, these are all supernatural elements that could be considered magic. They’re unreal, and yet as writers it is our job to convince the reader to suspend their disbelief and imagine this magic to be real.

 

To do this, you may find it helpful—to borrow a page from Arthur C. Clarke’s book—to portray magic as misunderstood science. In other words, think about how our own technology works, and apply those same concepts to your magic.

 

With Great Power Comes A Great Power Source

 

Magic has a cost. Period. It can’t be free. There’s nothing more boring than a character who can simply utter a few words, shake a mystical stick, and—BIF, BAM, BOOM—generate a much-needed lightning bolt when it’s needed most. Just like a car needs fuel or a cell phone needs a charged battery, your magic needs a power source.

 

A great example is the magic used in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone series. The chimaera can resurrect their dead, but must pay a tithe with their own suffering. Alternately, a great tech example is those damn dilithium crystals from Star Trek. Sure, the crew had some amazing tech at their disposal, but the Enterprise was virtually worthless without its power source.

 

Having a cost for power makes things harder for your characters. It creates tension, and that will—wait for it—fuel your narrative.

 

Magic’s Flabby Belly and Nagging Cough

 

Realistic magic, like technology, has unexpected consequences. Think about the automobile. It’s a wonderful invention that lets us cover the distance between Point A and Slot B in a matter of minutes. Wonderful, right?

 

Except it’s not without problems. We once walked that same distance, and now we don’t. Guess what? Now we have a serious obesity problem. Oh, and those cars emit all manner of pollution into the air. So, sure, we’re fat and it’s hard to breath, but by gawd we’re going places fast!

 

Think of your magic in the same regard. If your character has the ability to teleport, give that power some unexpected consequences. Maybe she pops out of her clothes every time she teleports. Maybe she teleports every time she gets physically excited, making it impossible for her to get past the foreplay stage of intimacy. Maybe the process of teleporting scrambles her neural pathways, affecting her memories. Maybe on an emotional level it makes her unable to face even the slightest of conflicts. Why confront problems when you can simply blink away?

 

All Your Home Base Are Belong to Us

 

The other day, my daughter was talking about how frustrating it is to play tag with little kids, because whenever she’s about to tag them, they grab the nearest thing and call it home base. The rules are always changing and there’s no real challenge.

 

Well, unconvincing magic works the same damn way, and is every bit as frustrating for the reader. To be believable, magic needs rules and limitations, and you can’t make them up as you go along, otherwise it just becomes a Get Out of Jail Free card for your characters. Remember, you want to make things harder for your beloved little darlings.

 

So, maybe you have a character who can talk to the dead, which is an awesome magical power. But give that supernatural ability some rules and limits. Maybe she can only do it when she’s alone. Or when it’s nighttime. Or when she reveals some deep dark secret. Or when she’s drunk on cheap wine coolers. Establish these rules and enforce them.

 

Is that Magic in Your Pocket or Are You Happy to See Me?

 

Finally, magic should have a life of its own. It may be created for one purpose, but it should rapidly evolve in unexpected new ways. Think about that little magical rectangle in your pocket. When Martin Cooper invented the first handheld mobile phone in 1973, do you really think he envisioned how that device would change our world?

 

Think about how many minutes a week you spend texting. Or how easy it is now to find out the weather. Or how much information is at your fingertips. Or how many real-life interactions you don’t have out in public because you’re chattering away on your cell. Think about all the stuff you don’t have to pack now when you travel—directions, a camera, film, books, music, and so on—because it’s all on your phone.

 

It’s not even really a phone anymore. I barely ever use mine to talk to another human being, but I am almost constantly using it.  The cell phone has outgrown its original purpose to become something infinitely more powerful. Likewise, in my series, The Scary Tales, Queen Adara conjures a magic apple to cast a curse on Snow White. But guess what? The curse gets away from her. It grows into something else. Something unexpected.  And when the Prince kisses Snow to end the curse, she wakes up, but she doesn’t wake up right.

 

The curse goes viral, and rabid zombie hijinx ensue. Except as the series progress, the curse grows even worse. It starts with rabid zombies then evolves into shambling ghouls. Next come skeletal corpses rising from their graves. Soon, the skeletons reassemble into bizarre new creations.

 

It only ever gets worse, and your magic should do the same. Your characters will hate you but your readers will love you. And guess which one buys your books?

 

 

 

About the Author:

Boley_WebRob E. Boley is the author of The Scary Tales series of novels, featuring mash-ups of your favorite fairy tale characters and classic horror monsters. He grew up in Enon, Ohio, a little town with a big Indian mound. He later earned a B.A. and M.A. in English from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Aside from The Scary Tales series, his fiction has appeared in several markets, including A cappella Zoo, Pseudopod, Clackamas Literary Review, and Best New Werewolf Tales. His stories have won Best in Show in the Sinclair Community College Creative Writing Contest and the Dayton Daily News/Antioch Writers’ Workshop Short Story Contest. He lives with his daughter in Dayton, where he works for his alma mater. Each morning and most nights, he enjoys making blank pages darker.

 

Author Website:

http://www.robboley.com.

 

Sign up for Rob E. Boley’s REBolution E-newsletter and receive a free short story:

http://www.robboley.com/freestory/

 

Download a free copy of That Risen Snow from Amazon by clicking here.

 

Buy a print copy of That Risen Snow by clicking here.

Taking Submissions: The Monster Waiting In The Woods

embypress

Deadline: September 1st, 2015
Payment: $25.00 and electronic copy

The Monster Waiting in the Woods

If An Emby Bestiary is the treat, The Monster Woods is definitely the trick!

This is the scary side of that other coin and these stories should be too terrifying to tell children.

And here’s the really tricky part: I will be looking for atmosphere above action and characters above carnage.

What I’ve been reading for The Ghost Papers is proof that many of you are skilled in writing about bumps in the night instead of buckets of blood and that you can send chills racing up a spine without a single scream.

Do that here. Scare the hell out of us with any monster you like, although I will be especially interested in original monsters. Then keep the tension screwed tight and the terror dial on high. Set the stories anywhere – the “woods” in the title are only a possibility.

Don’t rely on violence, but don’t be shy with it either. Get psychological. Play with perception. Just make sure that a monster is featured in the story (no hunter required).

Edited by: Miles Boothe
Submission Period: 2/1/15 through 9/1/15
Reading Period: 9/2/15 through 11/2/15
Acceptances will be announced 11/2/15
Tentative Publication Date: Winter 2016
Payment: $25.00 and electronic copy of the book upon publication.
Word Limits: 2000 to 8000 words. Please query if longer.
Format: Submissions should be .doc (.docx is fine) or .rtf formats. The entire text will be reformatted, so no need to worry about margins, spacing, etc. Please use a standard font.
Genres Accepted: Dark Fiction, Horror, sci-fi.
Reprints Accepted: No
Simultaneous Subs: (submitting to Emby and another press at the same time) can be avoided by requesting an early response.
Multiple Subs: Each author may submit up to 2 stories. Only one story per author will be accepted.
Exclusive Rights: The contract will stipulate 1 year exclusive worldwide print and electronic rights. However, the contract does also state that under certain circumstances, Emby Press will consider granting permission to the author to place the story with additional publications.

Via: Emby Press.

Taking Submissions: The First Line – Fall 2015

the-first-line

Deadline: August 1, 2015
Payment: $25.00 – $50.00 for fiction

Fall:
The old neighborhood was nearly unrecognizable.

We love the fact that writers around the world are inspired by our first lines, and we know that not every story will be sent to us. However, we ask that you do not submit stories starting with our first lines to other journals (or post them online on public sites) until we’ve notified you as to our decision (usually two to three weeks after the deadline). When the entire premise of the publication revolves around one sentence, we don’t want it to look as if we stole that sentence from another writer. If you have questions, feel free to drop us a line.

One more thing while I’ve got you here: Writers compete against one another for magazine space, so, technically, every literary magazine is running a contest. There are, however, literary magazines that run traditional contests, where they charge entry fees and rank the winners. We do not – nor will we ever – charge a submission fee, nor do we rank our stories in order of importance. Occasionally, we run contests to help come up with new first lines, or we run fun, gimmicky competitions for free stuff, but the actual journal is not a contest in the traditional sense.

Fiction: All stories must be written with the first line provided. The line cannot be altered in any way, unless otherwise noted by the editors. The story should be between 300 and 5,000 words (this is more like a guideline and not a hard-and-fast rule; going over or under the word count won’t get your story tossed from the slush pile). The sentences can be found on the home page of The First Line’s Web site, as well as in the prior issue. Note: We are open to all genres. We try to make TFL as eclectic as possible.

Non-Fiction: 500-800 word critical essays about your favorite first line from a literary work.

All Stories: Writers should include a two- to three-sentence biography of themselves that will appear in the magazine should their story run.

Multiple Submissions: We don’t mind if you want to submit multiple stories for the same issue. However, it is unlikely we will use more than one of your stories in the same issue.

Four-Part Stories: If you think you are up to the challenge, you can write a four-part story that uses the spring, summer, fall, and winter sentences. However, all the parts must be submitted at once (a single e-mail or snail mail) before the February 1st deadline. (If selected, each part will be published in its respective issue.)

Submissions: We prefer you send manuscripts via e-mail to submission (@) thefirstline (dot) com. We accept stories in MS Word or Word Perfect format (we prefer attachments). Please do not send pdf versions of your story or links to Google docs. Make sure your name and contact information, as well as your bio, are part of the attachment. Stories also can be sent to The First Line‘s post office box. No manuscripts will be returned without an accompanying SASE with sufficient return postage. Here is the submission schedule for 2015:

Notification: We don’t make decisions about stories until after each issue closes. We typically send notices out within two to three weeks after the issue’s deadline to everyone who submitted a story. You can also check the home page of the Web site as we will indicate each issue’s production status there.

Payment: We pay on publication: $25.00 – $50.00 for fiction, $5.00 – $10.00 for poetry, and $25.00 for nonfiction (all U.S. dollars). We also send you a copy of the issue in which your piece appears. You’ll receive your money and issue at the same time.

NOTE: Some writers we’ve accepted would rather have a subscription, extra copies, or even a book or two from the press instead of a cold hard check. If you would like to spend part or all of your payment at the company store, mention it to us when we send you your acceptance e-mail, and we’ll see what kind of deal we can give you.

Via: The First Line.

Taking Submissions: Slaypunk

embypress

Deadline: August 1st, 2015
Payment: $25.00 and electronic copy

SLAYPUNK: A sub-genre of fictions that features apparatus, devices and methods employed in an effort to capture, dispatch or otherwise combat monsters. The prefix is inspired directly by Saint George and the Dragon as a symbol of monster slaying. The suffix refers to the irreverent way in which this process sometimes occurs, implying immediacy, emergency and the occasional need to do anything possible to just put the damned things down.

This is where you should unleash the action, the clichés and the blood. The requirements here are to include diabolically clever traps, intense use of weapons and final-option strategies that fit with the Slaypunk definition.

Go for action that keeps us riveted to the page, extreme creativity and don’t hold back.

Edited by: Miles Boothe
Submission Period: 2/1/15 through 8/1/15
Reading Period: 8/2/15 through 10/2/15
Acceptances will be announced 10/2/15
Tentative Publication Date: Holidays 2015
Payment: $25.00 and electronic copy of the book upon publication.
Word Limits: 2000 to 8000 words. Please query if longer.
Format: Submissions should be .doc (.docx is fine) or .rtf formats. The entire text will be reformatted, so no need to worry about margins, spacing, etc. Please use a standard font.
Genres Accepted: Dark Fiction, Horror, sci-fi.
Reprints Accepted: No
Simultaneous Subs: (submitting to Emby and another press at the same time) can be avoided by requesting an early response.
Multiple Subs: Each author may submit up to 2 stories. Only one story per author will be accepted.
Exclusive Rights: The contract will stipulate 1 year exclusive worldwide print and electronic rights. However, the contract does also state that under certain circumstances, Emby Press will consider granting permission to the author to place the story with additional publications.

Via: Emby Press.

Taking Submissions: Emby’s Bestiary

embypress

Deadline: July 1st, 2015
Payment: $25.00 and electronic copy

An Emby Bestiary

This will be Emby Kids first anthology as well as Emby’s first cover contest!

Did you have a favorite story about monsters when you were a kid? One of mine was a hillbilly yarn about a monster that stalked the woods on a mountain near our home. This monster didn’t even have a name, but the description of it was so intense (glowing red eyes, yellow fangs and leathery wings) that I never forgot it and I’ve remembered it every time I go near any mountain.

An Emby Bestiary is looking for stories like that: yarns about monsters that will make a big impression on young imaginations. They can be good monsters that help upon a tale of discovery or evil monsters that lurk in a cautionary tale.

The two requirements are that the creatures be original and that the tale be suitable for children (think middle-grade fiction up to pg-13) Take us back to the campfires of our youth as you spin a tale that you can tell your own kids.

Then, when I announce the stories that are chosen to be in the book, I’ll also announce the monster from one story to be on the cover of the book! That monster will be professionally rendered by a graphic artist and brought to life for all to see!

Edited by: Miles Boothe
Submission Period: 2/1/15 through 7/1/15
Reading Period: 7/2/15 through 9/2/15
Acceptances will be announced 9/2/15
Tentative Publication Date: Holidays 2015
Payment: $25.00 and electronic copy of the book upon publication.
Word Limits: 2000 to 8000 words. Please query if longer.
Format: Submissions should be .doc (.docx is fine) or .rtf formats. The entire text will be reformatted, so no need to worry about margins, spacing, etc. Please use a standard font.
Genres Accepted: Dark Fiction, Horror, sci-fi.
Reprints Accepted: No
Simultaneous Subs: (submitting to Emby and another press at the same time) can be avoided by requesting an early response.
Multiple Subs: Each author may submit up to 2 stories. Only one story per author will be accepted.
Exclusive Rights: The contract will stipulate 1 year exclusive worldwide print and electronic rights. However, the contract does also state that under certain circumstances, Emby Press will consider granting permission to the author to place the story with additional publications.

Via: Emby Press.

Taking Submissions: Bad Luck

photo

Deadline: July 1st, 2015
Payment: Contributor’s Copy

Break out the bottle and grab your notebooks, Double Life Press is proud to announce two charity anthologies co-edited by Craig T. McNeely and Robert Dean benefitting Music for Hope, the first of which, we’re announcing today:

As of this posting, we’re accepting submissions for Bad Luck: Stories Inspired By Social Distortion. Think of the torment, the toil, addiction, redemption and the hard lives of Mike Ness and co. In Bad Luck, we’re looking to exorcise personal demons, and tell the tales from the underground. For over 30 years, Social Distortion has played a role in our lives, through their music, we’ve risen and fallen – now it’s time to put it all on the page.

In true DLP fashion, stories can be of any genre. The word limit is from 2-5,000 words. The deadline is July 1. Take a song title and create a world around it, it’s up to you to discover the meaning.

Check out the amazing cover art courtesy of Ralph Stollenwerk, so dust off the vinyl, it’s time to set the page on fire and cut loose the ball and chain.

Via: Double Life Press’s Facebook.

Setting Self Doubt on Fire: Reading aloud to an audience

Setting-Self-Doubt-on-Fire_header

Hi, everyone! I’m back with some more self-doubt fighting advice.

So, what do I have for you today? Well, as you all know, I am part of a writing group, and one of the things we do is read out our stories. This is normally a story or poem that we wrote for our weekly homework. Now, as I’m sure you all know that the thought of reading out your work can be a terrifying prospect. However, even with the fear, every week I have read out my stories, but it has been pointed out that I need to work on how I read out my stories. I tend to speed read, but that wasn’t the only point that was made. Apparently, I don’t show any belief in my stories when I read them out. So I asked myself, “How can I gain confidence to read my stories better?”

After searching on Google, I found some useful advice, and this is what I will be sharing with you today.

So here it is, my list of tips on how to read aloud to an audience:

  • Breathe and slow down: I have this issue. I’m so nervous and want to get the story finished as soon as possible that I forget to breathe, and I end up racing through the story. So if, like me, you forget what your lungs are for, then take a breath and then make sure you pace yourself. You need to use the punctuation as a guide to know when you need to stop and breathe. Practicing with a story (piece of writing) that isn’t yours might be a good start.
  • Fake it ‘til you make it: Not everyone is born confident, so sometimes you have to pretend until you believe it. Play a character, or choose one of your existing characters, and pretend that it’s the character who is reading your story while you’re safely tucked away out of sight. Alternatively, you could tell yourself that you are confident and that you need to share your story so it can be enjoyed by the world.
  • Find a friendly face: It can be scary to look out and see many faces staring up at you, but what could help is if you search for a friendly face(s) in the audience. You know the ones who smile at you, and give you that, ‘It’s okay’ look. Now you shouldn’t focus solely on that person while reading your story (this will creep the person out), but instead when you feel your nerves rising look out for that friendly face.
  • Practice your performing voice: The first thing you need to make sure is that your voice is loud enough. You shouldn’t whisper or mumble the story because the audience won’t be able to follow what you are saying. It has been suggested that watching videos of other writers reading out their stories can be helpful for you to find out how to do it, and what could possibly work for you.
  • Show some emotion and add action: You do not need to be an actor, but it has been suggested that adding emotion and action to your story, such as giving a different voice for each character, can help bring your story to life. So if, in your story, your character is angry, make sure you put on your angry voice. Some might find this tricky, I know I will, but if you have ever read to a child chances are you have already done it; you just need to do it in front of an audience. To see how you perform, it has been recommended that you video yourself reading out your work, and then you can see which areas you need to work on.
  • Imagine the audience are naked: I wouldn’t try this point myself, but apparently by imagining that your audience members are naked it distracts you from the fear of what you are doing. I think I would prefer to imagine that the audience members are giant teddy bears, but it doesn’t matter what you do as long as it works. If you do go down the naked route, try not to allow yourself to get too distracted.
  • Practice on a smaller group: This is where writing groups come in handy, especially if you have already built up a good relationship with the other members. However, if you are not part of a writing group, then you should see if your family and friends wouldn’t mind being your pretend audience.

As writers there will be a time, if it hasn’t already happened, where you will need to stand in front of an audience and read out your stories, so it is important that present your story well. However, like everything in life, it will take time. You may mumble your way through now, but with enough practice you will soon be reading out your stories like a professional. You may always feel nervous, but that’s okay, as long as you don’t allow fear to stop you from succeeding.

If you want more tips and advice, I have listed some links for you to explore. I found the third link the most useful.

To end this post, here is another inspirational quote:

“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear.” – William Jennings Bryan

Links:

http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Confident-When-Reading-Out-Loud-in-Class

http://www.readin.ca/tips-on-how-to-read-aloud/

https://justinegraykin.wordpress.com/about/tips-on-reading-your-work-aloud/

Cutting the Bloodline Blog Tour – Angeline Trevena Guest Post

Out Now

On May 12th, my debut novella, Cutting the Bloodline, was released. This was my first adventure in self publishing, and there have been a lot of lessons to learn along the way.

Self publishing is a steep learning curve, but if you’re willing to put the time in, it’s such an amazing feeling of accomplishment when you have your final book, and you know that you did it all. It’s like assembling complex flat-pack furniture, or baking a cake. It also gives you complete control. You’re not left waiting for months, wondering how things are progressing, scared to ask because you don’t want to be that angsty-control-freak-writer that no one wants to work with.

One big thing I’ve learnt is this: I thought that writing the book would be the hardest, most time-consuming part. It wasn’t. Things that are harder than writing the book:

  • Writing the blurb. Never before in my life have I tweaked 100 or so words so many times. Or over such a long time period. Weeks after writing it, I was still changing the odd word, changing it back, changing it back again.
  • Starting on edits. I avoided my manuscript for two months before I dared to tackle the edits. Turns out, edits aren’t as bad as I always thought they were.
  • Holding my bladder after my thirtieth cup of coffee, and trying not to binge-eating chocolate.

And while I’ve learnt a lot of new things along the way, I’ve found that I could call on assets I already had:

  • While there are easier ways to code an ebook, I used Sigil, which gave me greater control over what my book would look like. Turns out all the basic coding I learnt from the days of MySpace came in very useful. Who knew?!
  • And the network of writers that I’ve been building up over the last few years, they came in useful too. Knowledge, experience, support, promotion, blog space. All of that. So, even if you’re a long way off writing your first book, it’s never too early to start building your network.
  • Likewise, your writer’s platform. I already have a solid, well-established platform with my website and blog, and my social network profiles. I wasn’t starting from scratch, promoting my book to a following of zero.
  • While my friends and family may not be able to beta read to a technical level, or have a blog with thousands of followers in a suitable niche, they have championed me and my book so much. And that has actually been really important. All the way, their approval, their pride in me, that’s spurred me on.
  • I am so lucky that I have a very talented illustrator and graphic designer for a brother. Not only did he create the cover, but he created all my promotional banners too. (All done at family rate!) You can check out his work here: estragonhelmer.com

And don’t think that hitting ‘publish’ on Amazon is the end of it all. There’s the blog tour to organise, the launch party, the ongoing promotion (all while planning your next book). I can see why a lot of writers pay people to do this stuff for them. Seriously, it took me three days just to organise announcing that my book was ‘coming soon’.

I wish I was a better organiser. I’ve approached all of this with my usual make-it-up-as-I-go-along attitude. This has probably made it all a lot harder than it really needed to be. But having that network already in place, having spent years paying it forward by promoting other indie writers, I had a lot of people willing to return the favour. I couldn’t have done it without them.

Probably the biggest lesson I’ve learnt through all of this, is this:

There are people out there ready, and willing to help you. It won’t necessarily be the people you expect it to be, in fact, it probably won’t. But all you need to do is ask.

Buy Cutting the Bloodline for Kindle here: authl.it/B00W3AP0VY
And learn more about Angeline and her work here: angelinetrevena.co.uk

Cutting the Bloodline 800Cutting the Bloodline

Not everyone is born innocent.

A generation of defective children were abandoned. They grew up on the fringes, without rights, without a way to change their fate.

Journalist Kenton Hicks is driven to tell their stories, but these are not stories everyone wants told. As he digs deeper, he finds that the discovery of the criminal gene, the foundation of their crime-free utopia, isn’t quite the salvation it promised to be.

Armed with a book that could bring down the government, Kenton finds the country’s future in his hands.

Some see him as a saviour, others as a traitor. It’s time for him to choose which he will become.

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