Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Author's ABC's

B is for Book Reviews

So, you wrote a book and were fortunate to find an editor to publish it. You signed your contract, received your copies in the mail, look iot up online just to see your name in print………and then what?

Do you think just it’s there people will buy it?

No. Every author needs book reviews to drive their sales. Whether you have an agent, are an author with a big publishing house, a small publishing house or are self-published, someone needs to drive the customers to you book and who better to do that than book reviewers.

But, do you ask your friends and relatives to post reviews, or do you pay for honest opinions from Book Tour Specialists. The choice is yours, but here are the advantages of book reviews.

1.   A good book review can be used to drive sales.
2.    If the reviewer is particularly proficient with the written word, you may quote from their review as a sales pitch for your book.
3.    A good review help’s the prospective reader decide whether to purchase the book because so many other people have recommended it highly….

Or not!

The downside to honest reviews is that everyone is not your relative or friends and maybe they don’t particularly like your writing style or your characters.

As an author you can’t take the bad reviews to heart. Maybe the reader didn’t like the genre. Maybe they were inclined to think your story would have been told a different way. Perhaps they liked the story, but not the POV’s.

You write. Book reviewers read…and report their opinions. The key word here is opinions. Some may rave. Some may rant. But in either case, to have a book review posted means you are an author, so enjoy your notoriety for a moment, then sit back and write another book.

Every author dreams of a good review from Kirkus, but did you know there are two types?

Kirkus Review, which does not review Indies and Kirkus Indie, which does.

The good news is that you get the name “Kirkus” either way, though one is submitted by your publisher and the other by the author, The cost is $425 or  $575 for a review, depending on turn-around time.

The bad news is there is no guarantee the review will be positive.

Next up in the Author’s ABC’s…….. Clichés.

Monday, January 13, 2014

An Author's ABC's by Gayle C. Krause

Being the author of successful books at both ends of the children’s literature, ROCK STAR SANTA (picture book from Scholastic) and RATGIRL: Song of the Viper (YA from Trowbridge Books), I plan to share my knowledge and experience with my readers and fellow writers in biweekly postings for the entire year. I’ve developed a guide to writing and marketing titled, An Author’s ABC’s and I’m starting with A.

JANUARY 13,  2014

A is for antagonist from the Greek work meaning opponent.
As the author, you must construct the antagonist’s character as detailed as you develop your hero/heroine’s.
Your readers must hate about your antagonist as much as they love your hero. Makes for great tension.
Here is a quote from one of the reviewers for my recent YA novel, RATGIRL: Song of the Viper.

“Krause has created a set of vivid, memorable characters, starting with the protagonist, Jax, and her family, both biological and created. She also draws a villain that readers will consider absolutely acceptable to hate.”

Characteristics for your antagonist—

1. Someone who has a plan to thwart the hero. In most cases, it’s an EVIL plan in which the villain reaps the coveted reward. It is often the trigger that encourages the hero to act… save the world, save the town.

In Song of the Viper, sixteen year old Jax Stone must save her little brother from the influence of his evil father, Mayor Culpepper, and ends up saving all the children in Metro City.

2. The antagonist initiates his/her plan so the desired outcome falls into place based on his/her plan of action.

Culpepper kidnapped all the children. His reasons were two-fold. One to find his secreted offspring and two to use the rest of the children as an imprisoned labor force to build his new underground city.

3. Strong and understandable motivations will make your antagonist feel “real” to the reader.

Culpepper caused the city to deteriorate with his greed, forcing the rich to flee to the New Continent and leaving the middle class and poor to live in sewer tunnels. Once he drove them underground with no food except what they could barter for, he then trounced on them in an effort to kill them so he could build his new underground city and lure the richest citizens back.

4. A strong antagonist avoids his/her greatest fearfor their weakness to be exposed. 

Culpeper’s undoing comes at the climax when the true circumstances of his childhood is revealed by a trusted confidant who wear the mask of friend, but is part of the fighting coalition to overthrow him.

 5. Villains need some love, well, not really, but they do need some good characteristics.

Culpepper treats his children with love, and kindness, a side he has never shown to anyone.

 6. A strong antagonist must cross the antagonist’s path numerous times, always trying to thwart their successes.

Culpepper not only kidnaps Jax’s little brother, he takes her hostage numerous times. When she slips from his grasp each time, it infuriates him further until the ultimate showdown between them, where he tries to double-cross her even when she is disguised as The Viper.

7. And lastly, there may even be lesser antagonist, not related the villain in any way, but still they throw obstacles at the protagonist.

That person would be Otto Hoffmann in Song of the Viper. A homeless person, just like Jax, he’s made a name for himself as the Barter King and tries to blackmail Jax into taking his family to the New World when she leaves.

So when you’re writing, place yourself in your hero/heroine’s shoes and fight that antagonist with everything you’ve got. A well-rounded villain will enrich your story and garner praise for your writing.

Ratgirl: Song of the Viper is available now. Click on the book cover and title to the right of this post to be linked to Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble.

Stop by for the next installment in “An Author’s ABC’s.” Book Reviews

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Happy New Year Message from The Storyteller's Scroll

By Gayle C. Krause

The nights are dark,
but days grow longer.
Your writing skills
are getting stronger.
Revise that script.
Send it out.
Persistence is
what it’s all about.
Wishing you a huge success.
A contract.
An agent.
Nothing less.
Keep hopes high
and do not fear.
2014 is your year!

Happy New Year to all of my author friends, blog readers, friends and fans.


Energized to Write for the New Year

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