3 July 2018, Writing - part x543, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, Author Bio
Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment. I'll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher. More information can be found at www.ancientlight.com. Check out my novels--I think you'll really enjoy them.
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.
4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:
1. Design the initial scene
2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
a. Research as required
b. Develop the initial setting
c. Develop the characters
d. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
5. Write the climax scene
6. Write the falling action scene(s)
7. Write the dénouement scene
I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective. The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.
Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective. I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.
How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.
For novel 30: Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.
For novel 31: TBD
Here is the scene development outline:
1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
5. Write the release
6. Write the kicker
Today: Time again to look at marketing materials. I just finished a new novel—actually, I finished it a few weeks ago, but I’ve been working on the marketing materials. I always develop the specific materials first, then the condensed materials for my currently defunct publisher, and then the cover. You can see above, I made a proposed cover. I haven’t put any of this information on the internet yet, but I’m building up to that.
Here is my proposed cover:
Marketing materials are a must. I’ll be straight up with you. I know most people have not completed their novels. Some of you might have. You might be still working on your editing and proofing. You might be still perfecting your novel. All of that is important, but none of it matters if you don’t have a plan for marketing your work. Marketing means you have some plan and know what a publisher might want to know about you and your work. What you need is a format for your marketing materials, and here it is.
Title of Work:
Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective
L. D. Alford
Type: Either Screenplay or Book
Length: Either # of words for books, or # of pages for screenplays
Keywords and Market Focus:
Fiction, detective, supernatural, fae, fairy, romance, intelligence, Britain, United Kingdom, MI6, magic, New Scotland Yard, goddess, Dagda, organization, the Crown; will fascinate anyone interested in mystery, detectives, and the fae—will appeal particularly to those who enjoy mystery and suspense novels.
Author Bio: Approximately 120 words
The finest entertainment in literature is an escape into a real and inviting culture—so asserts L. D. Alford, a novelist who explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know. He builds tales that make ancient people and times real to us. His stories uniquely explore the connections between present events, history, and the future—he combines them with threads of reality that bring fiction alive. L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he earned a B.S. in Chemistry from
, an M.S. in
Mechanical Engineering from Pacific Lutheran
University , a Ph.D. in
Aerospace Engineering from the Boston
University , and is a
graduate of University
of Dayton ,
and Air Command and Air War College . He is widely traveled and has spent long
periods in Europe, Asia, and Central America.
L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural
knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality. Staff
If you don’t have a bio of any kind, what are you doing with your life? When you publish any paper or present at any symposium, you are required to provide a short biography. I have all kinds of biographies from the obligatory university Vita to the classic long paragraph to a mere 100 worder I was asked to write for a presentation. These were mostly written for my day job, but unless you are a fiction writer, that “day job” bio won’t usually fill the bill for the writing crowd. Even if you are a journalist, that bio won’t meet the needs of a fiction writer’s bio. Let’s take a look at what will.
Looking at similar bios of fiction authors may or may not help you. Some of these are cutesy, some are serious, many talk about cats or pets. For the bestselling author, cats and pets might keep selling novels, for those of us seeking publishers and bestseller status, not so much. What we need isn’t cat and pets, but rather to project skill, experience, and writing accomplishment.
Your bio needs to represent you and your writing skills and experience. The one very important idea that is intentionally missing from the above bio is a bibliography of my published works. The reason it isn’t there is because, in this marketing material, there is ample expression to reveal these. I don’t have to waste space about my other published works. I actually have a bio that lists the works. I’ll show it to you:
The finest escape in literature is an escape into a real and inviting culture—so asserts L. D. Alford a novelist who explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know. He builds tales that make ancient people and times real to us. His stories uniquely explore the connections between events close and familiar and events of the past—he cleaves them together with threads of reality that bring the past alive. L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Dayton. He is a graduate of
College, Air Command and ,
and the US Air Force Test Pilot School.
He is widely traveled and has spent long periods in Europe and Staff College Central America. He
is a prolific writer and a dynamic speaker who has published and presented over
40 papers and articles in international forums and journals. He is the author
of 3 historical fiction novels, Centurion 2008, Aegypt 2008, and The
Second Mission, 2003, and 3 science fiction novels, The End of Honor
2008, The Fox’s Honor 2008, and A Season of Honor 2008. L. D. Alford is an author who combines
intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe
This is my bio paragraph when I need to relate my writing experience. The difference is the list of published works at the end. I’ll get into more details on how I craft a bio tomorrow, but let’s continue to explore generally what should be in the bio itself.
Cats and pets are an appeal of the author to the personal side of the potential reader. If you have a couple of bestsellers, you can put anything you want in your bio and no one will care. On the other hand, if you have only so many words to sell yourself, you need to take all the advantage you can, so pets and cats are right out. If you need filler, I guess pets and cats are about as good as anything else, but I wouldn’t put them in. You want to sell a prospective publisher or reader not necessarily a glassy-eyed fan.
What makes your writing special, unique, and worth reading? What makes you special, unique, and an able writer? With these questions, we will craft our bio.
Synopsis: Approximately 500 Words
Concept of the Work: Approximately 250 Words
Registration: WGA, ISBN, or Library of Congress, Write the number.
Other Information: If you have more work, a website, anything interesting and professional, especially any awards or recognition.
What I will do is go through each step and give you my answers based on my latest novel. I did leave the top parts filled.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic