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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Writing - part x534, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, Basic Info

24 June 2018, Writing - part x534, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, Basic Info

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
Cover Proposal

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:
Cover Proposal

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

Author(s) Name:

L. D. Alford

Type: Either Screenplay or Book

Book

Length: Either # of words for books, or # of pages for screenplays

108,475 words

Keywords and Market Focus:

Genre:

Author Bio: Approximately 120 words
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.
Reviewer’s quotes.
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. 

This is what I call my long form marketing material.  I know this information is what a publisher wants because a publisher told me and asked me for it.  I thought this information was so obviously correct that I produce it for every novel I write.  I also use this information on my websites.

I will also introduce you to the short form marketing material.  I know this information is what publishers want because my erstwhile publisher asked for it for each novel you proposed to them.  I had six novels published by this publisher, and the short form was the information they wanted. 

Further, as I noted, both the long and the short form provide obvious, or not so obvious information.  The obvious part of the information is that it is what I would expect to provide a publisher about a novel.  The not so obvious part is the actual marketing portion which are blurbs about your novel.

The main indication of the blurb is the Reviewer’s quotes.  The reviewers quotes is just one of the small parts of marketing materials that many writers might not fully understand as an important part of selling a novel.  In addition, blurbs become important parts of your novel’s back cover information.  I’ll get into all of this.

More tomorrow.

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

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Writing - part x533, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, Cover

23 June 2018, Writing - part x533, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, Cover

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

Cover Proposal
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.  Let me start with the cover.

You can see my proposed cover below:

Cover Proposal

This is so fun—that is applying a little creativity in arts to produce a cover for a novel.  Like I wrote, the novel is written, I’m building the marketing materials. 

I’ve been through this before, but I might as well go through it again.  First, I used Microsoft Publisher to make the design.  Any layout program will work, but I got MS Publisher for free with a version of MS Office, so I use it. 

The next step to get some pictures that match your novel and design ideas.  This was simple.  I set this novel in the same place as Deirdre: Enchantment and the School, so I just reused the picture for the same school.  That is the bottom photo.  I kept the photo as the basis for the overall design.

The next pictures were obvious to pick.  The proposed title is Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective, therefore a blue rose is the perfect picture for this cover. 

The protagonist characteristically wears white lacy clothing.  I just searched for that kind of picture.  Further, the protagonist is kind of an action oriented character, so I threw in a filler picture.

I went out and looked for photos that were not copyrighted or claimed or general photos in my searches.  This usually isn’t good enough for a publisher, but should be okay for a cover proposal.  Unless you are selling, making money, or claiming the photos as your own, you should not have any problem.  On the other hand, if you are actually selling the novel with a cover you design, you must own the rights to the photos.

I chose a color for the base of the design—obvious, blue.  I chose a font for the title and sized it to fit in the space and to fit the secondary title.  This is all art.  Since I wanted to match the last novel a little, I based the design on that other novel, Deirdre: Enchantment and the School.

You need to make sure you have the title, the author, and “a novel” on the cover.  The “a novel” has become popular to identify fiction in this era—it seems redundant to me, but hey.

So, with a little artwork put together with the right software, and we have a proposed cover.  I turn the cover art into a jpg to use on my blogs and on my websites.  I haven’t updated these yet, and I’ll add that to the end of this marketing discussion.

More tomorrow.

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