Category Archives: Writng

15 Free Book Promo Sites

Author and EMSA founder Elise Abram writes about her experiences selling her latest novel, I Was, Am, Will Be Alice in a post sharing 15 promotional sites she’s found on which you can post your books for free. Check out the list at http://eliseabram.com/15-free-book-promo-sites/

                                        Image made on placeit.net

I’m on the book promo path again. Newly edited, my last book, I Was, Am, Will Be Alice will be on sale for the month of January 2017 for only $0.99. I threw a lot of money behind it for advertising in the summer when it was released, so this time I’m reluctant to put any new money into the project. To that end, I went searching online and found 15 amazing and free book promo sites. I signed up at all of them, hoping it will help my prospects, and I want to share them all with you.

Without further ado, here are 15 free book promo sites (in no particular order) you can use to help promote your book. Note that I am writing this blog post in advance of seeing my book advertised and having any sales, so I cannot vouch for some of these sites except for the fact that they allow you to upload your book for free… [more]

How EMSA Publishing helps you to become an author

image from: https://ebookreadersoftware.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/publish-ebooks.jpg

image from: https://ebookreadersoftware.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/publish-ebooks.jpg

EMSA Publishing strives to publish page-turning works of fiction for up-and-coming authors to give them a stepping stone toward meeting their goal of being a published and best-selling author.

EMSA Publishing‘s target audience is all ages, dependent on author genre. Authors must be 18 years of age or older, writing in English, and have a completed, previously unpublished, publication-ready manuscript.

The publishing industry has changed immensely since the advent of the Internet. The world of online fiction publishing is a growth industry. Summarizing an article on the Author Earnings Website, The Telegraph’s Sophie Curtis states that 31% of daily ebook sales on Amazon in 2014 were sold by independent authors. This compares to 38% sold by “Big Five” publishers.

At one time, self-publishing was attainable at high cost to the author via vanity publishers. Now that the industry has evolved to allow for authors to post their own work to sites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and the iBookstore among others, if one is inclined to create his/her own covers (with the help of tools, such as those provided on CreateSpace) or able to edit his/her own work to acceptable standards, self-publishing is free of cost.

Self-published authors are prohibited from taking part in many contests and online advertising forums without the backing of a publisher. Alternately, some independent authors may not have the computer skills to navigate the eBookstore interfaces or have the tech savvy to create a web-based platform. This is where EMSA Publishing excels. It is the goal of EMSA Publishing, not only to get author’s books into the public market, but also to assist authors, providing them with the tools needed to take advantage of this opportunity.

EMSA Publishing may be described as an independent hybrid publisher. By definition, a hybrid publisher offers no big royalty advances (or none at all), has few salaried employees who choose to work for a percentage of the royalties instead, and rely on agile and clever marketing tactics to sell books, usually through the efforts of the author him/herself.  Author royalties are smaller than if the author were to self-publish, but publishers under this model will allow authors to focus on the writing and leave the technical aspect of the publishing process up to the publisher. It is the goal of EMSA Publishing, not only to ePublish author’s manuscripts, but also to offer assistance with respect to how to market and navigate social media in the creation of an author platform.

Do you have a publication-ready manuscript? If so, contact EMSA Publishing. See the Submissions page for details. EMSA publishing is eager to help you morph from a writer to an author!

Why you should be writing YA

image from: http://goo.gl/nySNs7

image from: http://goo.gl/nySNs7

I have a confession to make: I write YA.

When I set out of my writing odyssey, never once did I consider writing young adult fiction (or YA). But the more I taught teens, and the more I spoke with colleagues teaching English and in the library at school, the more curious I became about it.

And after writing two YA novels and finishing up a third, I have to admit, writing YA feels like coming home.

If you’ve never considered writing YA, here are three reasons why you should give the genre a try.

1. Everyone relates

Every single adult on the face of this earth was a young adult at one point in time. And while I may never have had to compete for my life in a game, or never attended wizard school, I can nevertheless relate. Writing YA forces me to think outside of my comfort zone, to a time when bullies scared me,  and I had to fight my parents for my independence, and I wanted to die after getting a huge, red and white zit on the tip of my nose. Writing YA brings me back to a time when even the smallest failure felt like a catastrophe. Now imagine being at a tender age and a part of a real catastrophe. Facing a major event you don’t understand from a heightened, hormonal point of view can’t help but make for an interesting story.

2. Shy away from nothing

Remember Judy Blume? She was popular in the seventies and eighties because she wrote about sexual awakening, acceptance in the family unit, and questioning your religion. Times have changed drastically since then. War continues to be a threat for some and a reality for so many. Terrorism, cyber-bullying, sexual predators, drugs and date rape are also reality in too many social spheres. YA fiction depicts teens coping in the modern world with issues that might send any sane adult into the corner to weep.  Seeing someone cope with their problems and emerge victorious can’t be anything but empowering for readers of all ages.

3. Writing YA is hard challenging

YA fiction is not a watered down version of its adult counterpart, and writing it is hard. Narratives have to be smart with endearing, quick-witted characters. Worlds have to be immersive. Storylines must be believable. If you take YA on as a challenge, you will go down in the annals of literature with the likes of JK Rowling, Veronica Roth, Jodi Picoult, Johm Green, and James Dashner—no small feat….if you are up to it.

What genre do you write in? Is your manuscript complete? Whether you write for middle-grade (8 – 12), young adults (12 – 18), new adults (18+) or just plain adults, EMSA Publishing wants to hear from you.

Fabulous First Lines Competition

fabulous first lines competition badge

graphic from: http://goo.gl/zNixI4

Announcing EMSA Publishing’s very first ever Fabulous First Lines Competition!

The first line of a novel is incredibly important in that it sets the tone of a novel, establishes point of view, and hooks the reader. Here’s your chance to see how your novel’s first line stacks up.

The Rules:

  • The Fabulous First Lines Competition will be open to thirty (30) self-published and indie-published authors.
  • The competition will run throughout the month of August 2015 as follows:
    • August 2 – 8 => voting will take place for the first group of 10 authors
    • August 9 – 15 => voting will take place for the second group of 10 authors
    • August 16 – 22 => voting will take place for the third group of 10 authors
    • August 21 – 29 => voting will take place for the top three winners from each week, with a winner being declared on 30 August 2015
  • The prizes:
    • bragging rights
    • a badge you can proudly display on your website
    • your book featured on EMSA Publishing’s homepage slider for the month of September 2015
    • posts to social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Storify) directing readers to a blog post featuring your novel’s cover, book blurb, and author bio
  • EMSA Publishing’s Fabulous First Lines Competition is $3.00 USD payable via PayPal to fabfirstline@emsapublishing.com. Please include a note listing your name, book title and email address with your payment. When your payment notification is received, I will send a confirmation email requesting your book cover, first line, buy links and synopsis along with an invoice.
  • With your entry in the Fabulous First Lines Competition you get:
    • your book featured on EMSA Publishing’s homepage slider for one day of your voting week
    • your book added to EMSA Publishing’s bookstore for the month of competition
    • posts to social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Storify) throughout your voting week
    • a banner to add to your homepage to direct voters to the competition voting page
  • Entries for August’s Fabulous First Lines Competition will close at midnight on 30 July 2015 (or when thirty entries have been confirmed). If you miss the first competition don’t worry, as the next one is just around the corner!

2 Reasons Why Self-Editing is Hard and 5 Ways You Can Make it Easier

editing

Graphic from: http://schools.nashua.edu/middle/lime/SiteCollectionImages/editing.gif

Having an edited, ready-for-publication manuscript is paramount when searching for a publisher or an agent. Some vanity publishers—like EMSA Publishing—will provide editing in exchange for a percentage of the royalties. Others will provide you with a list of approved editors and ask you to pay from your own pocket for their services. Similarly, when self-publishing, the onus is on you to self-edit and/or hire an editor to get your manuscript up to standards.

In today’s economy, hiring an editor isn’t financially feasible for most of us. Authors are forced to become jacks-of-all-trades as a result, writing, publishing, advertising and editing on their own. Out of that array, editing is perhaps the most difficult to master, especially when it’s on your own manuscript.

Two reasons why self-editing is hard

Reason One – lack of education

Whether your highest level of education is a high school diploma or graduate degree, chances are you were never formally taught grammar in school. This is especially true if only a decade or so has passed since your graduation. I remember, in middle school,  having to parse sentences to pick out the subject, object, predicate, etc. I was never very good at it because I was never formally taught any of the rules. My knowledge of grammar is more intuitive than practical—if it sounds good, it’s probably grammatically correct. When in doubt, I can always look it up online, a luxury I didn’t have in middle school.

Reason Two – it’s not how our brains work

As a writer, you’re too close to your work. Nick Stockton’s article, What’s Up With That: Why It’s So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos, says writing is a critical thinking task. When you challenge you brain with higher-level thinking, it tends to generalize. You remember where you wanted to take the story and  your brain fills in the blanks, glossing over the errors. It’s hard to edit your own work, not because you can’t or don’t know how to fix the issues, but rather, because you know what should be on the page so well that your brain doesn’t realize it’s not there.

Even with the cards seemingly stacked against you, there are still techniques you can use to help with this aspect of the publication process.

Five Ways You Can Make Self-Editing Easier

  1. Give yourself some wait time.

Put your work away for a day, a week, or a month. If you give your brain time to forget what you’ve written and come at it with fresh eyes, it might help to find issues you missed before.

  1. Read your work aloud.

Sometimes hearing your work will help you to find grammatical problems. When you read, don’t just vocalize your words. Read slowly and really try to listen to what you are saying.

  1. Pay attention to spell- and grammar-check, but be skeptical.

Sometimes, spell- and grammar-check marks correctly spelled words and stylistic sentences as incorrect. While that doesn’t mean it is an actual error, it is worth checking it out. Check online against the rules when in doubt.

  1. Use online applications to help with the process.

Websites like PaperRater that have built-in grammar and style checks can be useful, but take all suggestions with a grain of salt. I particularly like the HemingwayApp site which marks difficult words and sentences, and highlights phrases in passive voice. HemingwayApp will also categorize your reading level for difficulty, which can be helpful to for authors writing for children and teens.

  1. Read your work from the bottom up.

Fool your brain by reading your work backwards, sentence by sentence. This can help you find sentences that don’t make sense, or those with errors in grammar, even though it’s a really awkward way to review your work.

Do you have any other suggestions or sites that will help with the editing process? If so, please share them in the comments below.