Sunday, July 24, 2011

Walking Through Walls Now Available for Sale

Just wanted to share some news that is very exciting to me: Walking Through Walls is now available for sale through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.

As all you writers out there know, writing the book is the easy part - it's the promotion, creating the visibility for the book that is soooo much work. You can have the greatest book on earth, but if no one knows about it you won't make any sales.

Along with my July Walking Through Walls book tour, I'll be trying a Joint Venture project in a couple of months. I'll let you know how it turns out and if it's as I expect, I'll share the steps on how to do one yourself.

And, I'll be having another book tour in November with the World of Ink.

I'm in the process of creating a detailed article on planning and implementing your own book tour. I'll post it after the July tour.

There are still a couple of stops on the tour, so please check out the schedule:
http://walkingthroughwalls-kcioffi.blogspot.com/2011/06/walking-through-walls-july-book-tour.html

And, here are the three primary links to purchase Walking Through Walls:


AMAZON
http://www.amazon.com/Walking-Through-Walls-Karen-Cioffi/dp/0982659474/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311470072&sr=1-3

BARNES & NOBLE
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/walking-through-walls-karen-cioffi/1032021277?ean=9780982659472&itm=4&usri=walking%2bthrough%2bwalls

4RV PUBLISHING
4RV Publishing Catalog

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 And, you can check out the book trailer at:
<a href="http://youtu.be/90aJO5qHHWc">Walking Through Walls Trailer</a>

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Until next time,


Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance writer, and
Editor for 4RV Publishing

Member of the Professional Writers Alliance, the International Association of Professional Ghostwriters, and the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors.

Walking Through Walls (MG fantasy book)
http://walkingthroughwalls-kcioffi.blogspot.com

Day’s End Lullaby (Children’s bedtime story)
http://daysendlullaby.blogspot.com

http://KarenCioffi.com
http://DKVWriting4U.com
Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karencioffiventrice
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KarenCV
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kcioffiventrice

Walking Through Walls

Friday, July 22, 2011

Becoming an Author: What I Have Learned with Clayton Paul Thomas


I could probably write another book on what I have learned about being a self-published author.  Instead, I’m going to knock it down to three things. 

There are three things a self-published author has to really focus on.  Those things are writing, editing, and marketing.  An author who wants to earn any money really has to write well and target their book effectively to their audience.  You may have a great book, but people are not going to (generally) buy it unless they obviously know about it and other people are talking about it.    

I have learned that there are not enough hours in the day to promote my book while being a stay at home father.  Time management is critical.  I am a big sports fan.  Regardless, I had to give up watching a lot of football and basketball games in order to complete the book.  Even now, I don’t watch a lot of TV unless it’s a kids show or if I am spending some time with my wife.  In order to write a book and market it, an author really has to prioritize their time.

It is important to be as visible as possible in order to sell your book.  Facebook (claytonpaulthomas), Twitter (claylauren2001), and LinkedIn (clayandlauren) are three of the forums I use.  You should also have a polished website for people to browse as well. 

In saying this, the internet alone will not sell your book.  It is important for any aspiring author to leave their home and get involved in their community.  Not only will you be a benefit to those around you, natural marketing opportunities are sure to spring up.    

Writing a book isn’t easy and there will be many pitfalls along the way.  It is important though to stay focused. 

I invite you to buy my parenting book in order to take the next step with your kids in terms of discipline, education, and self reliance.  Tantrums, Troubles, and Treasures can be purchased at http://www.lulu.com.  I also invite you to take a look at my website in order to see some parenting blogs I've written and to see a design which may give you some ideas on what you’d like to do with your book promoting website.  http://www.claytonpaulthomas.com

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Clayton Paul Thomas has worked with kids for about 16 years from three different settings. The first was at St. Joseph Children’s Home. This was a place abused kids went after being permanently separated from their parents. Most of his parenting skills were developed here. The kids Clayton worked with ranged from ages 3 to 15.

Afterwards, Clayton became an elementary public school teacher. He taught for 7 1/2 years from 1st through 4th grade. Finally, Clayton has two boys (Cameron age 7 and Luke age 3). He has been married for 9 years to his beautiful wife Lauren. Though his parenting skills were learned at St. Joseph, his wife’s has been the inspiration to writing Tantrums, Troubles, and Treasures: A Parent Guide to Parenting in the 21st Century” and sharing insights with all of you. To her, Clayton is eternally thankful.

 
You can find out more about Clayton Paul Thomas’ World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/ClaytonPThomas.aspx. There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with Clayton Paul Thomas and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions. Clayton Paul Thomas will be checking in throughout the tour and is offering an additional giveaway for those who leave comments throughout the tour.

In addition, come listen on demand to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork. The hosts chatted with Clayton about his book, parenting tips, writing, the publishing industry and experiences with virtual tours. Clayton will also be sharing writing tips and trials, and tribulations of the writer’s life. The show aired live July 4, 2011.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Author Spotlight and Guest Post with Linda Valderrama


Linda Valderrama R.D.H. has over 25 years experience as a dental hygienist. She has treated patients from ages two to one hundred years old and has successfully developed preventative oral hygiene programs tailored to individual needs. Linda is a strong believer that good oral hygiene habits lead to good overall health and that these daily habits must be acquired early in life. She is working towards developing programs for schools, assisted living facilities and healthcare institutions to enable them to offer more effective oral hygiene programs.

Linda is a member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, the California Dental Hygienists’ Association and the San Diego Dental Hygienists’ Society. Her book “Brush Barry Brush” is to help parents and young children work together to achieve the simple but very important goal that every time you eat, you should brush your teeth.

She currently is touring her debut children's book, Brush Barry Brush during the July '11 World of Ink Virtual Tour. In addition to writing Brush Barry Brush, Valderrama has also made it her mission to educate San Diego's youth, by hosting speaking engagements, book signings and future seminars.

Brush Barry Brush will helps young children stick with a regular routine of brushing and maintaining a bright healthy smile with its unique story and fun chart with stickers. Even though Brush Barry Brush is a picture book for children ages 3 to 8, any child and adult will enjoy reading about Barry and what happens if you don’t brush after eating. There are cute playful multi-ethnic characters and different types of foods from healthy snacks to sweets, so it’s no wonder it was one of the 2011 International Book Awards Finalists.

Valderrama was kind enough to write a guest post about the importance of brushing your teeth. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Seekerville: ALL CHARACTERS AREN’T CREATED EQUAL~Guest Winnie Griggs

I love technology - well most of it!

The entities that be are making sharing information soooo easy. With just the click of a button on the blogsite I was able to LINK to this article at Seekerville. It's information packed and worth the read!

Seekerville: ALL CHARACTERS AREN’T CREATED EQUAL~Guest Winnie Griggs

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Check out How to Create an Ebook and What You Can Do With It and other books by Karen Cioffi at:
http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/p/karens-books.html

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Until next time,


Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance writer, and
Editor for 4RV Publishing

Member of the Professional Writers Alliance, the International Association of Professional Ghostwriters, and the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors.

Walking Through Walls (MG fantasy book)
http://walkingthroughwalls-kcioffi.blogspot.com

Day’s End Lullaby (Children’s bedtime story)
http://daysendlullaby.blogspot.com

http://KarenCioffi.com
http://DKVWriting4U.com
Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karencioffiventrice
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KarenCV
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kcioffiventrice




 

Friday, July 15, 2011

3 Keywords Needed to Create an Effective Website

All writers need a website; it’s just the nature of the writing business these days. But, just throwing a website up won’t cut it. You need to create an effective, engaging, and appealing website.

According to a number of marketers, the most essential words on your site are: SIGN UP.
These two little words are the building blocks of your empire. They are the link to developing a relationship with the visitors to your site.

With attention spans dwindling and competition increasing, the main goal of your website is to get email addresses that convert into sales. During an initial visit, your visitor may not have the time to spend browsing your site for information to entice him to make the decision to purchase your book or product. This is where those two little words come in; it takes less than a minute to type in a name and email address. And, if you have a FREE GIFT offer for signing up, you’ve made the sign up decision even easier.

While it’s important to offer that Free gift, which is considered an ethical bribe, if it’s of no value to the visitor, he probably won’t bother signing up. So, how do you decide if your gift is valuable enough to grab that email address?

The answer to this question is easy: you know who your target buyers are. Think about it . . . what do they want? What would you want? If your site and product is about writing, guess what…your visitors would probably appreciate an e-book on that topic, maybe a how to write guide. Or, if you’re into marketing…offer an e-book of marketing tips and guidance. If your site is about cooking, offer recipes, or an instructional cooking e-book. The idea is to establish yourself as an expert…as someone your reader wants to learn from. They need to want what you’re offering, whether it’s for instructional value, information, entertainment, or other

So, that’s pretty easy, right?

But, a word of caution here: make sure your new subscriber is able to get his free gift. There are a couple of sites I’ve signed up to because I wanted the free offers. When I received the link to the offer, either the link didn’t work, or I couldn’t download the gift. Either way, I unsubscribe to the sites. I have on occasion sent an email to the site owner and ended up receiving the gift, but most often I don’t, and I’m sure others don’t, have the time to do this.

Just a quick note here: you need an opt-in box in order to acquire those email addresses. Services such as Icontact, GetResponse, and ConstantContact offer this service.

The next two words that are essential to every website that is selling a book or other product are, BUY NOW, or some other call-to-action. The call-to-action words or button needs to be visible and near the top of your home page. It should also be throughout your site on the sidebar. It’s been said over and over that only 1% of first time visitors will buy a product. It’s usually after developing a relationship through your newsletter, information, and offers that your potential customer or client will click on the BUY NOW button!

These are just three of a number of items that your website will need, but they are three of the most important.

Photographer: Filomena Scalise

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Related Articles:

Keep Your Website Focused
Book Promotion: The Foundation
Websites That Work: 7 Key Factors (Part 1)
Websites That Work: 7 Key Factors (Part 2)

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CHECK OUT MY BOOKS PAGE:
http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/p/karens-books.html

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And, if you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up for my FREE monthly newsletter, A Writers World, and get TWO FREE eBooks. In fact, check out the sidebar for two free gifts just for stopping by!

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Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance writer, and
Acquisitions Editor Intern for 4RV Publishing

Member of the Professional Writers Alliance, the International Association of Professional Ghostwriters, and the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors.

http://KarenCioffi.com
http://DKVWriting4U.com
Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karencioffiventrice
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KarenCV
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kcioffiventrice

Thursday, July 14, 2011

No entry fee, poetry contest

I subscribe to the Writer's Relief newsletter and just saw this today. It is a contest for poets to submit their entries with no fee attached to it. The prizes offered are pretty substantial and since we have quite a few poets in the Writers on the Move group I thought I would pass this on to you all. The deadline for entering is next Friday, the 22nd of July, so don't waste any time getting your entries in. Good luck to all who enter.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Need a Graphic Designer?

Heather Paye discusses graphic design:

An often-overlooked feature of the book is the most important one—next to the words, of course—but I’m talking about the appearance of the book: the book cover and the interior layout. The book cover is what entices the reader to pick up the book and read the description on the back, and maybe even flip through the pages of the book. Many times, when an author is writing a book—especially new authors, these things are the last thing they think about, and if you’re planning on self-publishing, it’s very necessary. Creating a book cover early in the book writing process can also be great for marketing and gathering an interest in the book.

But if you’re caught off guard at the last moment, you’ll be rushing around looking for a graphic designer. I know, I’ve done that personally, but that was B.B.G.D (Before Becoming a Graphic Designer).

One thing is for sure, absolutely everyone needs a graphic designer—businesses especially, but even your everyday person! Flyers and business cards aren’t just for the professionals, and who doesn’t want a logo for their blog?

So if you’re going to be needing a graphic designer—or even if you’re mildly curious, you can drop by my website – http://hpayedesigns.yolasite.com – and check out my previous works as well as all of the services that I offer.

And if you’re planning on ordering one of my services, you may want to follow me on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/kittynadem - because when I reach 500 followers, I’m offering any one of my services for free to all of them. At that time, each follower can choose from my full list of services at http://hpayedesigns.yolasite.com/services.php

Here are a couple of examples of Heather's work:



























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Testimonial:

Heather Paye has recently become the Ebook Digital Publishing Site/s Coordinator for Writers on the Move. She has uploaded our first group ebook, Writers on the Move Spring 2011: A Compilation of Writing and Marketing Articles, to Smashwords and will be adding it to Kindle in the near future.

In addition to this, I have used Heather’s services to have one of my own ebooks uploaded onto Smashwords.

Heather did a great job for both projects and has been professional in all aspects.

Karen Cioffi
Published author, ghostwriter, and founder of Writers on the Move

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Surprise Heroes (From Zero To Hero)


Okay, so I’m hooked on the Harry Potter series. What can I say? J.K. Rowlings can pen one heck of a story. I started out reading the first installment The Sorcerer’s Stone last month simply because I wanted to see how Rowlings handled wormholes and parallel dimensions.

Turns out the book was so well written, I gave it very high marks for plot, setting, conflict, characters, theme, and point of view. More importantly, it was fun to read. The story had everything in it, including a climatic ending with a twist in characters I did not see coming. So yeah, I’m hooked and am halfway through the fourth book The Goblet of Fire and will continue on until finished with the series. Then I’ll go back and rent all the movies.

I was unfamiliar with the characters and the actors / actresses who portrayed them in the movies. Then I saw a Yahoo! Article with pics of the actors who played supporting roles. One was missing: Neville Longbottom, the nerdy scared little boy that was one of Harry’s roommates. Over the weekend I read a blog where Neville turns out he’s kind of bad@$$. I saw an elaborate cardboard movie prop in the theatres with a character with a sword on HPs side I did not recognize. I think its good ol’ Neville. From nerd to hero? Who’da thunk it? Not me. Hey, I’m new to the HP series and am still learning.

Rowlings has a cast of characters on the good side and the bad side. I can relate as I also have a cast of good guys and a cast of bad guys. Question is, how will the series end? How will the bad guys meet their fate? Who will be the ones to take them down and out? Will any of the villains escape to fight another day? Will there be a surprise, like Neville Longbottom going from zero to hero?

I’m reading through the HP series as fast as I can so I can watch the move Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (in 3D, of course). And I’m thinking to myself (who else would I be thinking to?) , hey, I also have a couple of zero to heroes characters who will ultimately help save the day (and the world) when its all said and done.

Question: Got any zero to hero characters you like. Do you like this kind of ending for a series? I know I do.

How to become a novelist in 30 minutes

There are plenty of books on the market to teach you how to write a book in 30 days, or 3 weeks, or 12 months. That's not really what this article is about. This is an article for those of you who don't have 30 days to write a novel in. This is an article for those of you, like me, in the midst of life. Demanding wonderful families probably won't tell you to go off and do a couple of days of pure writing. Demanding wonderful bosses of well paid jobs won't tell you to take a sabbatical and go off to get your novel done in 30 days. In fact, no one will tell you to write this novel, except your own nagging conscience. And that voice will be increasingly dim in the face of all the other voices harassing you. Of course the title of this piece is facetious. You aren't going to actually write a novel in 30 minutes, just to commit, seriously, to doing it and layout out a roadmap.
What we won't be doing is writing the novel. That's the hard work that's left for you when we finish, and don't let anyone suggest it's anything other the most outrageously difficult thing to do. But it is do-able, no matter what your circumstances, and no matter how busy you are. You can still do it even if you only manage ten words a day (and believe me, you can manage that). And you can do it without quitting your day job, or setting your children up for years of therapy. You can do it secretly, hedging your bets, and still producing a wonderful, professional, exceptional book. I promise! So let's get started.

1. Why do you want to write the novel?

It's important to have a good understanding of where you're going if you're to get there, and understanding the reasons why - the reward you'll get - is an important motivating factor. If it's for financial reasons, you'd be better off stocking shelves at your local supermarket. I'm not trying to talk you out of it! There's almost nothing to compare with holding your beautiful finished book in your hands. But it's something wholly different from holding a pile of notes (or bills), and one doesn't necessarily lead to the other. For me, my key motivation was to be able to create something concrete, beautiful, and solid which would move other people; to share a fictive dream. I still get all shivery imagining someone in the solitude of their own room, being moved by my book. That visualisation is something which kept me going even when I flagged. You may have other reasons for wanting to write a novel - an image that will sustain you. But you need to be clear about it. So stop a moment and answer the question.

2. Putting it all together - the outside

Buy a looseleaf binder. One of those types with clear plastic sleeves at the front and back, and I mocked up a cover image, with title, image, your name of course along the bottom. It should look just like a book cover. Then write the kind of brief overview that you find on the back of most novels.

This is really important, because it will become your guiding principle. You can go back to this kind of positioning statement - what could be called an "elevator pitch" --again and again - while writing the book, and later, while pitching the book.

Under that, and more for fun than anything else, put a few glowing statements - what those in the industry call "puffs". Since this is for your benefit only, have fun with it. Give yourself great reviews. Seeing it will make you hungry.

3. The Three Pillars of Fiction: Plot, Setting, Characters

Of course this is not going to be a lesson on how to create great plot (that's a book or two), produce a wonderful setting (another book), or create great characters (surely there are three books in that topic). What I will tell you is that you can't really progress in your novel writing until you've got a reasonably in-depth handle on that. So at this stage of the game, you should also add some additional dividers into your book and call them Plot, Setting, and Characters - one for each. Then spend some time filling in each one. The more time you spend on doing this at the front end, the less time you'll spend with your novel trying to make it work - so don't skimp!

Plot

Begin by nutting out your plot - just do a brief outline - first this happens, then this, then this until you've got a reasonably clear structure. If you tend to think in diagrams, a flowchart is a really useful way of doing this. Another useful way of doing it is to use mindmap. All of these are just tools, and it's easy to get caught up in evaluating different ones and never actually getting to the writing, so pick one and stick with it. Whatever you end up using to structure your plot, make sure you do it before writing. That way, with only a few minutes a day, you can get straight into the plot and not waste time wondering what to write. The structure will also help your creativity as your unconscious mind moves across it, pulling the story together for you.

Setting

So where is your novel set? You should be really clear about it. I'm not naturally good at this, so in the end I have to literally create my places by making my own little map. In the case of Sleep Before Evening, the settings were real ones. I had Long Beach, Long Island (which I fictionalised slightly and called Seahaven) , and New York City, so there were maps I could use, but I still had to customise them for my own specific places, and I had to take them back to 1982, which wasn't all that straightforward. If you aren't clear about setting your reader won't be, so you need to get each street right - to know exactly where your character is walking, visiting, and so on. Details are key to creating the fictive dream, and the more detailed and clear your maps are, the more powerful your writing will be, so this is a step to take some time over.

Characters

Ah, characters. I'm a little biased here, as I'm a character focused writer and reader, but I don't think that there is anything as important to fiction than character. If you don't know your characters as well as your real friends and family, they won't be real to your reader. You should create a list of key characters - protagonist, antagonist, important ancillary characters, and minor characters and flesh each of them out in as much detail as you can stand. You don't need to use it all, but it will make a huge difference in the ease of writing and the overall impact that your characters have on the reader.
Some of the many aspects of character you should cover include physical appearance, profession, backstory, emotional issues, strengths, weaknesses, what they crave, what they are grateful for, who they love, and maybe above all, what they are afraid of.  Try and get at least a couple of pages, but the more the better, for each character before you start writing the book.

Novel writing is a large commitment and it's easy to lose your way. If you spend a reasonable amount of time (it doesn't have to all happen at once either - See "Getting On" below) setting the work up, you can chip at it little by little later. But get the bones in place first - your work will be better for it, and the whole process will be significantly easier.

Getting On: How Do You Eat an Elephant

The plot is outlined, the characters are well detailed and your book is looking pretty nifty, even if it hasn't really been written yet. So what's next?

What's next is you put your bottom on the seat and get to work! It sounds so simple. You know where you're going and the only way to get there is to move forward. But life is so busy - the kids need you to take them to their activities, your partner wants your attention, your day job is howling for results and the house is a mess and...you can't let everyone down. I know, I know. I've been there. I'm there now. My daughter is pulling on my shirt even as I type this. But with your roadmap in place you just have to use standard time management techniques. Schedule in the writing - plan to do a certain amount each day. It doesn't have to be a lot. It can be as small as a few minutes and a single word a day. But when you're on a roll, you'll probably do a lot more. Don't let a day go by (or at least many days if things are bad - kids are sick - pressure is high), without opening your work and doing a little on it. Move your protagonist's hair out of her eyes, have her talk to the person sitting next to her. Write a scene. Just keep working on it.

What you'll find is that, with every bit of work you do, your brain will keep working on it as you do other things, and the regular dipping in, however small, will keep your work current and your writing sessions effective. If you push the novel to the backburner, your brain will move away from it and it won't progress. You've got to keep the voices in the novel up front with all the rest of the voices in your life. That's the secret. Then just keep at it. Keep chunking. Keep writing. Give it as much or as little time as you can, but give every day. In the end, you'll finish it, and you'll find, as I found, that the closer you get, the faster the work will move.
No one will care if the work took you one year or ten. You'll still be an "overnight success" and it will still look quick and easy to those who haven't been there with you while you worked. So, go and do your daily bit now.

5. Revising and Rewriting

I can remember clearly the day that I finished my first draft. I was so excited. I stopped typing, went to get a much needed glass of water, and spent the rest of the day in a wonderful fug of delight. I told my son when I picked him up - "I finished the novel." I kept saying it to myself. "I've written a novel. I'm a novelist now, for real." But the sad truth was that the novel was years off being finished. I wasn't even close. The first draft is just the beginning. Don't let that put you off. You shouldn't even be reading this yet. Go back and write and forget you saw this!

The real work of novel writing is not in the first draft, muse whispering at your ear and the wind behind your hair (okay it's not really like that, but it sounds good). The real work is in the re-writing. So have a drink and celebrate. Then go back to work. It took me ten rewrites! That's full rewrites. Before I was really finished. I won a mentorship grant from my local writer's group and had 30 hours of one on one with an experienced editor, and that really opened my eyes. My mentor, Greg Bastian was superb, showing me all the holes in my manuscript that I was unable to see. After working with Greg, I also utilised the services of another excellent editor, paying for it myself this time. While Greg helped me pull apart and put my novel back together in a much better, more organised way, Logos Editing helped me polish the novel - fixing timing and space issues and dealing with things like dialogue and pace. A third editing called a line edit, was done by my publisher (I worked on that too). So three edits involving other people were necessary. In addition to that, I spent time listening to my novel and picking up on mistakes by using Acrobat's read aloud feature. It was easier to spot errors listening to someone else's voice than to my own. Then I went through the whole thing backwards. Then I enlisted 3 trusted proofreaders to work through it (each with his or her own strengths). And my publisher did the same. And still there were a few minor errors! Editing and proofreading are separate functions, and both critical. If you're lucky enough to be able to do this prior to submitting the novel to a publisher, you'll be way ahead of the game. Oh, and give yourself at least a month after completing the first draft (you deserve a good break!) before starting the revision process. You'll come to the work fresher and be able to accomplish a lot more.

In Closing

This article provides, of course, a brief, broad brush overview on a very big topic. I'm not suggesting that this is comprehensive, or that writing a novel is easy. In fact, I'm suggesting the opposite. It's hard. But what it comes down to isn't raw talent, inspiration, the muse, luck, or great potential. Those things don't mean anything against sheer tenacity. If you are committed to writing a novel, you can. And you will. Just keep at it, a little at a time.

Oh, and one more critical thing - the most critical of all. Start now. Don't wait until the children are grown, or until you finish that big project at work or until the kitchen shelves are organised. Just get on with it. I wish you great success, personal satisfaction, and deep joy.


Magdalena Ball runs The Compulsive Reader. She is the author of the poetry books Repulsion Thrust and Quark Soup, the novel Sleep Before Evening, a nonfiction book The Art of Assessment, and, in collaboration with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Blooming Red, Cherished Pulse, She Wore Emerald Then, and Imagining the Future. Find out more about Magdalena at http://www.magdalenaball.com