Chekhov Never Said That – Writing Tip

Daniel David Wallace shines a bit of light (pun intended) on the advice “Show, don’t tell” writers often hear. (link to post is the image and below)

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Sorry! Chehkov never said “Show, Don’t Tell”

Source: Chekhov Never Said That

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

Words Bubbling Up

Okay writers. This post if for you 🙂

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The meaning and symbolism of the word - «Bubble»

Do you have some words bubbling up inside you, just waiting to get out? 

We have all been hunkering down from this virus, from unrest, from…

NPR is giving us an outlet. 

Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, I know you have words you can use to describe how you’re feeling. Write them down and send them to NPR and Kwame Alexander, Morning Editing’s resident poet – yes the show has it’s own poet, who knew? – will pick out words from our entries and create a poem for us!

The NPR piece and info on how to enter is here: https://www.npr.org/2021/01/18/956827920/poetry-challenge-honor-mlk-by-describing-how-you-dream-a-world

Here is the except from the Langston Hughes poem “I Dream a World”

I DREAM A WORLD WHERE MAN
NO OTHER MAN WILL SCORN,
WHERE LOVE WILL BLESS THE EARTH
AND PEACE ITS PATHS ADORN
I DREAM A WORLD WHERE ALL
WILL KNOW SWEET FREEDOM’S WAY,

View original post 63 more words

A Writer’s Wish List – Books, Of Course

Yes, what does a writer need for Christmas? (notice the word “need”?) More books to sit on desks and tables and in bookshelves that you may or may not read!

Is this silly?

Yes, but we want them anyway 🙂

I have read a few on K.M. Weiland’s list and agree they are good: Story, Techniques of a Selling Writer, The Emotional Craft of Fiction, though Story is a bit of slog to get through and is set up for writing a screenplay, it does have good bits. If you’re a regular reader of K.M.’s blog, you know she follows the structure of screenplays with her story writing. Probably not exclusively (I don’t like to pigeon hole anyone) but in general she does, which is not a bad thing.

I would add: #1! – Roget’s International Thesaurus (I have the 6th edition but there may be newer ones). If you are ever stuck for words, this is a wonderful book! A must for any writer’s bookshelf.  Then The Writer’s Journey (3rd edition) by Christopher Vogler, Story Genius by Lisa Cron and Story Physics by Larry Brooks. On the grammar and punctuation side, (and yes, writers need to learn basic grammar and punctuation) is Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss (so funny for a non-fiction book on this subject matter), and Woe is I Patricia O’Conner (very practical and easy to use and understand!) And if you want a bit more: Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer (which hits on things that aren’t covered in the other two, if you can believe it).

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Here is K.M’s list:

Looking for Christmas gifts? Here are what I currently consider the 10 best books to buy a writer for Christmas.

Source: 10 Best Books to Buy a Writer For Christmas – Helping Writers Become Authors

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Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

Help Disabled Writers: Here’s How

Hey all you book people out there looking for a book related charity to give to… have I got the opportunity for you!

SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – what a mouth full!), which I am a member of, is participating in #GivingTuesday by setting up a giving link for scholarships, grants, and accessibility resources for  writers with disabilities.

What could be better than supporting a fellow writer that has a disability?!

So click this link and donate to SCBWI and tag the donation with #GivingTuesday and SCBWI will use you donation to help disabled SCBWI writers.

Click the link below for more details:

Source: SCBWI | Let’s Celebrate GivingTuesday Together – Here’s How

The Book Review Rumpus

What’s a Rumpus? The dictionary describes it this way; noun: a noisy disturbance; a commotion.

That’s what it feels like when I’m trying to get a reader to ask for a review. I feel like I’m disturbing them, causing a commotion, maybe not a noisy one. I’m usually quite polite about it but I get the feeling that they would prefer I didn’t ask. I’ll ask anyway, of course. We have to, right?

Now, if they like the book, then most people will say they will leave a review, but there are lots of things that get in their way: other things in their lives, amazon’s review policy, their memory, their need to go a bit out of there way to pull up a website to put the review on . . . just to name a few.

One thing you can do is ask for reviews from places like Publishers Weekly or Library Journal. And Kirkus even has a review you can get for free, or it used to be. But with these places, you have to do it at least 3 months before you even publish. You can do that if you create an ARC (advanced reader copy – book form or pdf) and you can hold off publishing.

I have to admit, I haven’t been very good at waiting, especially since I usually have spent a lot of time and money on creating my books and I’m anxious to get it out there, see what people think and recoup the costs of publishing.

There are paid services for reviews too. And I usually tell my clients not to use those, unless they want to, of course. But it’s a bit of a gamble.

NetGalley Discount

However, the one review service I have paid for that I thought was a good deal is NetGalley. NetGalley is a service that has lots of lots of people that have signed up specifically to review books, I am guessing they do this just because they like reading. They don’t get paid to do it but they do get free books to read from any genre they choose. There are over 360,000 reviewers on NetGalley – All pre-approved! Many are librarians, newspaper reviewers, top Amazon reviewers, and influential bloggers.

Getting into NetGalley is normally not cheap. The company I used was BooksGoSocial. And just like now, on occasion they have a sale for their Netgalley service, which is when I signed up.

So right now you can get their NetGalley service for 40% off (normally $79-$199 depending on now many months you want your book up on NetGalley). Click on this NetGalley Link, and enter the code ntgdisc and you’ll get 40% off whatever NetGalley service you choose.

BooksGoSocial will give you great information about your book from the reviewer (Here is a video that explains more) and even email address of all who sign up to review your book. Quite valuable information! It was over a year ago that I did this so I don’t remember how many reviews I got (I know it was at least 4 or maybe it was 6) = but I remember one reviewer was very popular on Goodreads, so she shared her positive review of my book with her many followers and I did get a couple sales from that one reviewer!

I only recommend things to authors that I’ve tried or that I know from other reputable authors recommends. This service I would recommend.

And they have other services too. I am seriously considering their Amazon ad service. I’ve set up an Amazon ad before (I broke even, basically), but it’s a royal pain in the you know what. When I break down and try their ad service, I’ll let you know how it goes. For any folks who read this blog and want to get a $20 discount on any of BooksGoSocial services, just contact me and I’ll email you the discount code.

Image: Business photo created by pressfoto – www.freepik.com
Note: I am an affiliate of BooksGoSocial, so I get a small compensation for any sales from this post. But I still would recommend them (and I have before I became an affiliate).

If you give them a try, let me know how it goes. I like to keep up on what works and what doesn’t work for people.

Happy writing!
And Happy Turkey Day – for those in the US!

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

#Audiblegate – Audible Audiobook Return Policy 

When I was working in my other job (before I started publishing), I had extra funds, so I hired a wonderful narrator (Adam Seeger) and used a local production company run by the incomparable Jake Johnson (Paradyme Productions) to create an audio book for my first book “Rosebloom.” (A few of the Links: Apple, Nook, scribd, Kobo)

That was about 10 years ago and the only option was to publish it on Audible, which I did. I didn’t choose the “exclusive” option because I don’t like anything that restricts my freedom. I sold very few audio books on audible over those 10 years, and I wonder because I didn’t choose their exclusive policy if I got less exposure (but that’s just a guess).

About six weeks ago I moved my audio book from Audible to Findaway Voices and I don’t regret it one bit. I have already sold 3 books without any advertising. And they have 45 different distributors (including Audible and some library distributors. Note: your audiobook may not be eligible for all 45). So I’m not sure why someone would not choose Findaway Voices. I’m still waiting to find a downside but haven’t seen it yet. (Anyone out there know any downside?).

Meanwhile, audible seems to have given indie authors another reason to choose someone else. Read David’s post below.


By David Kudler – Perhaps you have seen grumbling on social media and across the internet about #Audiblegate and Audible’s return policy. In case you haven’t been following the controversy, let me

Source: #Audiblegate and the Audiobook Return Fiasco – The Book Designer

Copyright – To Do or Not to Do, Is That Still the Question?

I think most authors know that they don’t have to register their work through the government copyright office, it’s still a question, perhaps, why they should still do it.

Liani Kotcher came to Jane Friedmann’s website to answer that question.

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Though registration with the Copyright Office is no longer required for protection, there are still many reasons why it’s important.

Source: Why Waiting Too Long to Register Your Copyright Is a Big Mistake | Jane Friedman

Cutting Word Count Without Giving Your Whole Story the Ax!

If you’re looking to traditionally publish your novel, keeping the word count down to about 80 – 85K is important. It’s mostly a matter of publishing costs – bigger books cost more to produce.

I have a large book: A Burnished Rose – Book I  and book II (don’t remember the total work count but it’s over 400 pages) that I split online because it was too costly to print as one book.

A Burnished Rose: Book I (Rose Series 2)
A Burnished Rose: Book II (Rose Series 3)

that I split up for selling online because of the printing cost. When I sell it in person, I have a brick and mortar printer print Book I and II together because it is cost-effective for me, but not for online print sales.

Leslie Vedder gives us three helpful tips to cutting down your manuscript without losing the good bits. (Thanks to Jane Friedmann and Valarie Biel)

The Link Between Your Story’s First Plot Point and Third Plot Point 

If you are a plotter (a writer that likes to work on your plot usually via an outline before you start writing), or a plotter once the whole thing is written (using the exercise to make your story as strong as it can be), then this post, along with the others that K.M. Wieland has written (or will write) will be very helpful.

I liked I liked her line: The First Plot Point may take the protagonist to a new place, but the Third Plot Point makes him into a new person.

K.M also has a great archive of movie and some book plot points that can help you when you’re struggling with your own manuscript.

Thanks K.M.!

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Deepen your understanding of story structure by examining the parallel functions of the First Plot Point and the Third Plot Point.

Source: The Link Between Your Story’s First Plot Point and Third Plot Point – Helping Writers Become Authors

Characterization Through Dialogue

This is something that I see debated often and probably will continue to be a topic of discussion; I think because there isn’t any one right answer. Odd characters are fun to write so writers like to create them. And odd character often speak in odd ways. Or if you’re trying to portray a certain group or character by their/the character’s speech pattern, trying to make them stand out, dialogue is one way to do that.

But as K.M. Weiland notes in the post below, if you use slang, or even odd speech ticks, I agree, that a little goes a long way. Part of the reason for this is you don’t want the reader to stop and have to really look at a word(s) to try and interpret what you’re trying to say. Text should flow easily through the readers mind. An odd word here and there probably isn’t an issue, but if you make the reader stop too often, they may decide they need to unload the dishwasher instead of continuing to read your book!

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Authors need to get the nuances of slang in dialogue right, because smart readers will always recognize phony speech patterns.

Source: Slang in Dialogue: Use It Sparingly – Helping Writers Become Authors

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