Blog Tour Itinerary for I WAS, AM, WILL BE ALICE

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Elise Abram‘s I Was, Am, Will Be Alice was released on July 12, 2016 release, and is now available in stores.

Here’s the itinerary so far:

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway to win 1 of 3 eCopies of I Was, Am, Will Be Alice.

Blog Tour Itinerary for TAG: A CAUTIONARY TALE

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In the race to be king, there can be only one winner

Tag, Red Rover, King of the Hill…children’s games are an allegory for real world competition.

Think of the race for President of the United States as a game of Tag, with the entire country as the playing field.

The candidates, usually boys, are the players.

Before long, the players realize that no man is an island and they form two teams. Eventually the leader of the first team emerges. It takes a while longer, but the second team eventually decides which of the two forerunners should be their rightful leader.

But that’s not enough. In the game of Tag, there can ultimately be only a single winner, the King of the Hill. The race for King is cutthroat. Lives may be lost, reputations tarnished, back-alley deals are struck and broken. They say that to the victor goes the spoils—in this race, the victor will take his spoils, even if it he must turn his kingdom into a vast wasteland to get them.

EMSA Publishing is pleased to announce the release of Tag: A Cautionary Tale by John Collings. A contemporary, young adult, satire that draws parallels between the world of politics and the games children play. The world of politics is a high-stakes, dangerous game; playing Tag on Arabella Hill is no different.

In the race to rule Arabella Hill, there can be only one winner. Read Tag: A Cautionary Tale by John Collings to find out who will reign supreme.

John CollingsTag: A Cautionary Tale is scheduled for a July 5, 2016 release (though it is already available in stores).

Here’s the itinerary so far (in no particular order):

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway to win one of three free eCopies of Tag: A Cautionary Tale by John Collings!

Cover Poll – “I Was, Am, Will Be Alice”

EMSA Publishing is pleased to announce the release of I Was, Am, Will be Alice by Elise Abram this summer. I Was, Am, Will be Alice takes its inspiration from The Time Traveler’s Wife and Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-glass.  At its heart, Alice is a  contemporary, Young Adult, coming of age novel, that will appeal to middle grade through adult readers.

In I Was, Am, Will Be Alice, after narrowly escaping death in a school shooting, 9 year old Alice Carroll realizes she can time travel when under extreme stress, a situation she is determined to learn to control in order to go back to the day of the shooting to save the lives of her teacher and classmates and to discover the identity of the woman who sacrificed herself so Alice could live.

We need your help deciding on which is the most striking cover. Vote for the cover mock-up that grabs your attention, and seems to best illustrate the tone and storyline. Which one would you be most likely to buy if you saw it on Amazon or in a book store? The poll closes at midnight on 6 April 16. Feel free to vote for your top 3 choices.

Thanking you in advance for your help,

EMSA Publishing.

To Self- or Indie-Pub? The Pros and Cons

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

Self-publishing your books is easier today than ever before. Sites like Amazon and KoboBooks allow authors to post directly to their online sales catalogues. Other sites, like CreateSpace and Lulu, are one-stop shops that allow authors to post their work and have it distributed to affiliate sites including Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. The question is, should you self-publish because you can, or should you give her manuscript to an independent publishing house to do it in your stead?

If you’re unsure which way to go, this might help you decide:

You may need an independent publisher if you

  • aren’t tech savvy

An independent publisher will accept your manuscript in Word format and complete the formatting and uploading for you.

  • aren’t artistically inclined

Many independent, hybrid publishers will include the cover art for your book in your contract, which means you will have a professional-looking cover with which to showcase your work.

  • need some clout in the competition world

A number of contests, competitions and grant-awarding institutions won’t accept self-published novels as contenders. Signing with a publishing house, no matter how small, adds a bit of prestige to your work.

You may want to self-publish if

  • you want to maintain control

Indie-publishers have contracts preventing you from changing or posting your work for sale for the duration of the contract. This means you must be willing to give someone else control over your intellectual property for one to several years, depending on the contract.

  • you want to vary the price or “sell” it for free

Though most indie-publishers are small Internet businesses, there are still overhead costs for running them. Unless you want to run a brief giveaway for a few eCopies of your book, chances are an indie-publisher won’t comply with a “free” sale for the duration of the contract.

  • you are willing to make mistakes

You can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs, right? It takes a lot of research, planning, and trial and error to get it right in any field, and the world of self-publishing is no exception. If you have the time to make revisions, post to social media, and figure out what works with respect to advertising, then maybe you want to self-publish.

Whichever way you decide to go, the author is generally the one responsible for the bulk of the publicity and advertising when it comes to sales. Some hybrid publishers, like EMSA Publishing, will assist with this for a cut of the royalties, and at no additional cost to the author. In addition to publishing your book at all major online retailers (including print-on-demand options for paperbacks), EMSA Publishing will

  • provide a copy edit of your manuscript
  • write and post press releases
  • post to social media
  • organize a blog tour
  • keep you informed with respect to what’s happening in the publishing world

most of which are not offered by other independent publishing houses.

If you have a completed manuscript, consider joining the EMSA Publishing family. See the Submissions page for details.

Announcing the Re-release of PHASE SHIFT by Elise Abram

PHASE SHIFT by Elise Abram

PHASE SHIFT by Elise Abram

EMSA Publishing is thrilled to announce the re-release of Elise Abram’s Phase Shift.

In Phase Shift, archaeology professor Molly McBride is given an artifact that is the key to another planet, a doppelganger Earth called Gaia. Life on Gaia seems idyllic at first, but Molly soon learns the Gaians harbour a dark secret. Phase shifting technology, used to travel from their world to ours, has the potential to destroy Gaia, which will have serious repercussions for Earth. Phase Shift is Molly’s journey of discovery as she tries to find a way to save both planets from destruction.

Originally published in 2012, Phase Shift’s message remains germane today, as it questions our decision to choose economy over ecology. In her book, Abram questions the justification of supporting the status quo to the detriment of the planet. In a recent article on her website, Abram says,

“On Earth, we face global warming as a result of our love of profit and our reluctance to change to greener fuels because it will mess up the economy. On Gaia, there is a group of people who continue to experiment with terraforming and shifting between the two planets in spite of a moratorium of both. The result is, no matter what the general population does–buying fuel-efficient vehicles, conserving, reducing, reusing, recycling, composting, etc.–it doesn’t matter, because the Gaian’s are still practising terraforming and shifting.”

The main theme behind Phase Shift is that, if the government and big business don’t get on board with saving the planet, things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better, which is a fear many of us share with the author.

Phase Shift is one in a growing number of fictional works that fall into the genre of Eco-Fiction or Cli-Fi, which was born because “the threat seems to have become too pressing to ignore, and less abstract, thanks to a nonstop succession of mega-storms and record-shattering temperatures.” In her article, Cli-Fi, the Birth of a Genre, author Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow cites “major novelists” who have published books in this genre, including Margaret Atwood, and Ian McEwan; Abram is among good company.

To learn more about Phase Shift and to read the first three chapters, please visit the book’s homepage.

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

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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

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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

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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.

Beginner’s Guide to Building an Online Platform

Image from http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsesadl/files/2014/01/social-media-cube670x335.jpg

Image from http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsesadl/files/2014/01/social-media-cube670x335.jpg

Most of my experience in the world of publishing has been helping friends and colleagues to get their work published, so I never had the need to create a social media presence for what I do. But when I decided to go pro, I realized that my business was going nowhere without an online platform.

Starting an online platform from scratch is a lot of work with little return, at least in the beginning. Nevertheless, in today’s digital market, it’s exactly what I had to do. It’s also exactly what many first time authors need to do, and so I thought I’d share the process with you.

Without further ado, here is my beginner’s guide to building an online platform:

Claim your domain name.

A domain name is how potential fans will find you on the web. You can choose from virtually any name or phrase, so long as it hasn’t already been registered. Many authors choose their book title as a domain name, but I suggest using the name under which you publish. That way you can create a separate page for each book and keep site maintenance to a minimum.

Build a web page.

Take a breath…this isn’t as daunting as it sounds. There are quite a few really good point and click interfaces out there. I like WordPress, but you can also use Wix or Weebly and forward your domain name to your site. Pages you might want to include on your site include synopses of your books including buy links, and a brief biography which lists ways to contact you. While a blog is not mandatory, it’s a good way to pique reader interest, particularly if you blog about writing and the writing process, and/or the subject and genre in which you write.

Claim your social media accounts.

Create a Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, GoodReads, Pinterest, Storify, and GooglePlus account in your name. If your name is taken, try adding the word “author” or “books” to it. Social media is a great way to publicize your work and draw reader attention.

Link your social media for cross-posts.

You can join your social media accounts to post to each other, which is a huge time-saver. By cross-posting, your blog can post to select social media for you, Twitter can post to Facebook and vice-versa. Same with GoodReads. Some websites (like WordPress) will even let you create a widget that shows your last few Twitter and Facebook posts on your website. GoodReads has code that will display your To Be Read list, or the title of the book you are currently reading in a sidebar, all of which can help make connections between you and your readers. Use a scheduling site like HootSuite to enable you to post during peak hours, if you can’t physically post at those times yourself.

Create social media buzz.

Post to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest regularly. I usually make an advertising post about once a week. The rest of the time I’m reposting materials about publishing and writing that I find on the web and that my followers might find interesting. I also post a notification to social media any time I add something to my blog or earn accolades on the web for my work. I reserve sites like Storify, GooglePlus and LinkedIn exclusively to promote posts about my own work.

Follow and friend like-minded people.

Search up hashtags for your genre and content on Twitter and follow a few of the people that post them. Join Facebook groups for writers and lovers of similar genres and content. Interact regularly by liking, sharing, and retweeting. Engage and interact with your followers and friends and they’ll follow suit. Before you know it you’ll be networking like a pro, selling books with little effort, which, after all, is the primary reason you embarked on the journey to create an author platform in the first place.

Do you have any other ideas for beginning writers wanting to set up an online presence? If so, share your tips in the comments below.