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The Eclectic Press Garage

Always “Breathe” Free

Breathe is permanently free on all digital formats for your reading enjoyment. Who doesn’t like free?

What’s more? More free. If you sign up to be a part of our mailing list, you will receive a code for a free download of one of Eclectic Press’s other books, published or pre-published.

 

Writing Prompt: Rewrite your Bio

Today’s writing prompt is to take some time and write (or rewrite/revamp) your biography that will go on your website or on the back cover of your book. These can always be tweaked and updated at any time.

Write two versions of your bio, a short and a long. The short version should be a quick read, aim for less than 100 words and include the most important information about you. The long form version can be between 400 and 500 words and give more information on you for those who are curious. Be sure to include interests in both lengths that don’t have to do with writing, this makes you more approachable and seem like a real human.

Feel free to post your short and long bios in the comments, and a link to your website or blog so we can see it there too!

PRACTICE

For fifteen minutes, write a letter from a character in your story (protagonist/antagonist, doesn’t matter) will feel if you don’t get back to writing his side of the story.

When your time is up, post your practice in the comments section. And if you post, be sure to leave feedback for other writers.

Writers United: A letter from Kindle

I didn’t have an opinion on the argument before, but when I read this today, it made me think. What are your thoughts?

Dear KDP Author,

Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year.

With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution – places like newsstands and drugstores. The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if “publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.” Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion.

Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market – e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive.

Perhaps channeling Orwell’s decades old suggestion, Hachette has already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors to raise e-book prices. So far those parties have paid $166 million in penalties and restitution. Colluding with its competitors to raise prices wasn’t only illegal, it was also highly disrespectful to Hachette’s readers.

The fact is many established incumbents in the industry have taken the position that lower e-book prices will “devalue books” and hurt “Arts and Letters.” They’re wrong. Just as paperbacks did not destroy book culture despite being ten times cheaper, neither will e-books. On the contrary, paperbacks ended up rejuvenating the book industry and making it stronger. The same will happen with e-books.

Many inside the echo-chamber of the industry often draw the box too small. They think books only compete against books. But in reality, books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.

Moreover, e-books are highly price elastic. This means that when the price goes down, customers buy much more. We’ve quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that’s 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger.

But when a thing has been done a certain way for a long time, resisting change can be a reflexive instinct, and the powerful interests of the status quo are hard to move. It was never in George Orwell’s interest to suppress paperback books – he was wrong about that.

And despite what some would have you believe, authors are not united on this issue. When the Authors Guild recently wrote on this, they titled their post: “Amazon-Hachette Debate Yields Diverse Opinions Among Authors” (the comments to this post are worth a read).  A petition started by another group of authors and aimed at Hachette, titled “Stop Fighting Low Prices and Fair Wages,” garnered over 7,600 signatures.  And there are myriad articles and posts, by authors and readers alike, supporting us in our effort to keep prices low and build a healthy reading culture. Author David Gaughran’s recent interview is another piece worth reading.

We recognize that writers reasonably want to be left out of a dispute between large companies. Some have suggested that we “just talk.” We tried that. Hachette spent three months stonewalling and only grudgingly began to even acknowledge our concerns when we took action to reduce sales of their titles in our store. Since then Amazon has made three separate offers to Hachette to take authors out of the middle. We first suggested that we (Amazon and Hachette) jointly make author royalties whole during the term of the dispute. Then we suggested that authors receive 100% of all sales of their titles until this dispute is resolved. Then we suggested that we would return to normal business operations if Amazon and Hachette’s normal share of revenue went to a literacy charity. But Hachette, and their parent company Lagardere, have quickly and repeatedly dismissed these offers even though e-books represent 1% of their revenues and they could easily agree to do so. They believe they get leverage from keeping their authors in the middle.

We will never give up our fight for reasonable e-book prices. We know making books more affordable is good for book culture. We’d like your help. Please email Hachette and copy us.

Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch: Michael.Pietsch@hbgusa.com

Copy us at: readers-united@amazon.com

Please consider including these points:

– We have noted your illegal collusion. Please stop working so hard to overcharge for ebooks. They can and should be less expensive.
– Lowering e-book prices will help – not hurt – the reading culture, just like paperbacks did.
– Stop using your authors as leverage and accept one of Amazon’s offers to take them out of the middle.
– Especially if you’re an author yourself: Remind them that authors are not united on this issue.

Thanks for your support.

The Amazon Books Team

P.S. You can also find this letter at www.readersunited.com

Stephen King’s Top Twenty Rules for Writers

Check out Stephen King’s top twenty rules for writers:

Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers

Writing Exercise: Legend of Bearshark.

The Bearshark in my office has a huge following and one of his greatest pet peeves is people who don’t recycle.

Write for fifteen minutes on what else you think Bearshark might do, what he likes and enjoys, where he lives.

Post your words in the comments below! We want to see what you come up with, and who knows, your lore about Bearshark could become part of the office gossip!

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Five Ways to Start Your Story – Repost of Jackson Dean Chase

Check out this post on how every story should start. How to create that one line hook to capture your reader from the first sentence.

“No matter what kind of fiction you’re writing, today’s market demands you hook your reader from the very first sentence. It must be exciting. It must be provocative. Whenever possible, your main character (or villain) should be included in the sentence, along with some tantalizing sense of impending danger …”

Here is the link to continue reading:

How To Boost Your Productivity –repost of the Passive Voice

A couple of years ago, I realized that if I was going to have any success as an indie author, I was going to have to step up my game in a big way.

. . . .

It took me five years to write the first book, nearly 10 to write the second, and five years to write my third book. I’d made a total of ten thousand dollars for my entire career. It was either make some changes or consider another career path.

At that point in the time—the summer of 2012—I noticed there was a key factor which was consistently helping indie authors hit the charts, build followings and make careers in their writing. What those key writers had in common was that they were prolific, some of them putting out novels every three or four months.

. . . .

[T]he one idea I came across was on the blog of sci-fi author Rachel Aaron, who wrote a blog entry titled “How I went from Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words A Day.”

. . . .

In her blog (she later published a book about it which you can find here), Rachel talks about what she says are three core requirements to be able to write quickly: knowledge, enthusiasm, and time.

  • The knowledge component is simple: instead of struggling through, trying to write on the fly, sit down and first and block out your scene. Know what you are going to write before you write it.
  • The second requirement, enthusiasm, is also simple: write what you feel passionately about. If you don’t want to write it, other people probably won’t want to read it.
  • Finally, time: she recommends finding the times of day, locations, etc. where you can write consistently.

. . . .

The first book I wrote after reconsidering my writing process – Just Remember to Breathe– was completed in 14 days. Admittedly it was a short novel: 73,000 words. It has also been, to date, my most successful novel, with over 100,000 copies sold in three languages.

. . . .

So here are a few brief tips on how I’ve been able to consistently manage this kind of pace:

  • Be passionate about your story and your characters.
  • Have a road map. Sometimes the story will go off course, and it’s good to follow your instincts there. But I keep my map handy, and it’s helpful when I need to regroup and figure out where a story went wrong.
  • For me, going to bed thinking about the story is critical. During my most productive periods, the last thing I do before bed is write the first couple of paragraphs of the next scene. That way, when I wake up, I am ready to go.
  • When I’m driving, I listen to my book playlists and think about the story..
  • Finally, and this is the big one, don’t force my way through when I get stuck. Instead, diagnose the problem, move back, fix it, and move on.

Link to the rest at ALLi

http://www.thepassivevoice.com/07/2014/writing-how-to-boost-your-productivity/?utm_content=buffer474c2&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Name Generator writing exercise.

I was trying to figure out a name for a character. I’ve used behindthename.com to find meanings of baby names but I search google for random name generators and I found a good one from a reliable source. It does first middle and last name.http://www.behindthename.com/random/. You can pick character ethnicity and name type. It’s really a good resource for authors. Use the tool and pick the 7th name and write about a character with the name given.

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