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Beginner’s Guide to Building an Online Platform

A guest post by Marla Sherman. Most of my experience in the world of publishing has been helping friends and colleagues to get their work published, so I never had the need to create a social media presence for what I do. But when I decided to go pro, I realized that my business was going nowhere without an online platform. Starting an online platform from scratch is a lot of work with little return, at least in the beginning. Nevertheless, in today’s digital market, it’s exactly what I had to do. It’s also exactly what many first time authors need to do, and so I thought I’d share the process with you. Without further ado, here is my beginner’s guide to building an online platform: Claim your domain name. A domain name is how potential fans will find you on the web. You can choose from vi...

Direct Submissions: Traditional Publishing, No Agent Required

A guest post by Jennifer Bort Yacovissi. It’s hard to overstate the changes to the publishing landscape over the last decade. The doors to the gates that regulated who got published have effectively been blown off their hinges, and authors are now awash in possible avenues to get their work out into world. For those trying to navigate their way through all the choices, the field seems to narrow to two primary options. On one end of the spectrum is self-publishing, where the author is in total control of the entire process, which can be both a joy and a nightmare. On the other end is the traditional two-step of finding an agent in order to find a publisher, in which even the first step can be a multi-year process. There is, however, a third, middle-ground, option, called direct submission. ...

OUTSIDE by Shalini Boland

About “Outside” (Book One in the Outside Series) A post-apocalyptic romance thriller. The world of the future is divided by Perimeters: high-security gated communities where life goes on as normal. If you’re inside you’re lucky, if you’re outside life expectancy takes a nose dive. Sixteen-year-old Riley is fortunate to have been born on the right side of the fence. But her life of privilege comes crashing down when someone breaks through the Perimeter and murders her sister. She forsakes her own safety to go in search of the killer. Luc decides to go with her otherwise she’ll be dead before she’s past the security gate. But what awaits her outside is more unbelievable than she ever expected. Cut to the present day where Eleanor’s world is falling apart. This time next yea...

Writers, Start Building Your Brand Early!

One of the great challenges for an indie author is dividing time between actual writing and marketing. And I would argue that the same goes for writers who are as yet unpublished. Sometimes, I like to think about giants like Joyce, Fitzgerald and Nabokov. How did those guys do it? Most likely, not at all—or very little. The work spoke for itself. But, hey, we’re talking about us. What are we supposed to do? If I had to pick one person from history to travel forward in time and demonstrate how it’s done, it would have to be Mark Twain. That guy knew brand, and I’m sure he would do very well using Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Can you imagine? Here are a few of his most famous quotes. And look—they fit so nicely into 140 characters! All right, then, I’ll go to hell. I didn’t attend the fu...

THE FORGOTTEN ONES (Book One) by Laura Howard

About “The Forgotten Ones: Book 1 (The Danaan Trilogy)“ Allison O’Malley’s plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she’s been in love with for as long as she can remember. What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison’s mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn’t trust her father, so why would she believe his fairy tale about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and wo...

What My Children Taught Me About Persistence

A guest post by Steven Remington. My two year old daughter stands at my feet while I am speaking on the phone and repeatedly says, “Dad… dad, dad, daddy, dad,” until I am frustrated enough I finally burst out, “What??” All parents have been in this situation. It could be a person you’re talking to at home, or the lady at the check-out line, but your child persists on getting the attention they feel they are entitled to by wearing out your name. But the child usually gets what they want — your attention! Eventually we succumb to their needs, and rightly so. Although we eventually teach them manners and the proper way to get our attention (hopefully), as adults we are trained naturally to be in tune with the needs of our children. One way to understand is to answer the distress call… their a...

THE KRAKEN: PART I by Jonas Cobos

About “The Kraken: Part 1“ Where other authors give us the trappings of steampunk without real substance, Jonas Cobos infuses his world thoroughly with the substance and spirit of the genre, 110% full of steampunk ideas and motivations. And he did something few other writers have done…made steampunk goggles actually functional tools rather than mere fashion statements. Ralph E. Vaughan _________________________ After reading this, I felt I definitely got a tempting taste of what Cobos has to offer as an author, and I can’t wait to see where this series heads next. Whatever the destination, I’m definitely on board for the journey. Highly recommended. Sam G. _________________________ People that have enjoyed the work of Jules Verne or H.G.Wells will take to Jona...

THE NORU: BLUE ROSE Rose by Lola StVil

  About “The Noru: Blue Rose“ The last thing I see before I close my eyes are his silver wings coming toward me. He lifts me up and takes me in his arms. While demons hurl fireballs at us from every direction, I study his face. I realize he doesn’t want me to live; he needs me to. It’s as if his whole existence depends on it… The Noru series in order: Book 1: Blue Rose Book 2: Last Akon Book 3: Fall Of The Chosen About Lola StVil Lola was seven when she first came to this country from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She attended Columbia College in Chicago, where her main focus was creative writing. In addition to plays, she also writes screenplays and short stories. She has been commissioned to write for ABC, CBS and Princeton University. She won the NAACP award for her play ̶...

A LOVE THAT NEVER TIRES by Allyson Jeleyne

About “A Love That Never Tires“ Linley Talbot-Martin is a girl who likes to get her hands dirty. As the daughter of a famous archaeologist, she’s been everywhere and seen everything—except London. When the Talbot-Martin team travels there for her father’s investiture, Linley finally gets her wish. But when the time comes to trade her jodhpurs and work boots for silk gowns and kid gloves, she may be in over her head. Even though she can out-ride, out-shoot, and outsmart any girl in London society, Linley is destined to be the failure of the season. No one she meets cares about ancient pottery or lost Buddhist texts, and fundraising efforts for future expeditions keep coming up short. If the Talbot-Martin team doesn’t find money soon, they will be out of a job, and Linley will lo...

CINDERELLA’S COWBOY by Roxanne Snopek

About “Cinderella’s Cowboy“ Chad Anders doesn’t know why mousy Cynthia Henley trips all over her tongue when she’s around him. Nor does he understand his undeniable attraction to this good girl. Wild and sexy is his type, like the dream-girl he caught a glimpse of years earlier he’s never forgotten. Cynthia’s superpower is invisibility, especially with men. It’s better for everyone that way. Besides, she’s got a cat. She’s okay. But when playboy-rancher Chad hires her, she’s got a chance to shine. Professionally, at least. Until she learns of his fascination with a mysterious dream-girl, who was actually nothing more than a shy teenager on an ill-advised dare all those years ago. Cynthia knows she’s no man’s dream-girl and never will be. But there’s magic at the ball. Pri...

THE GIRL OF DIAMONDS AND RUST by Susan Ward

About “The Girl of Diamonds and Rust“ “Maybe this is love. Protecting the part of yourself most important to you and knowing when to let go so that you can keep a small piece of that person alive and real in your heart.”~~Chrissie Parker “He will never need you the way I need you. He will never want you as I want you. He will never love you the way I love you. I don’t care if you are in love with Alan. I am in love with you.”~~Neil Stanton “Just stay and be good to me.”~~Alan Manzone Chrissie decides her fate by choosing the man she will marry. But which love does she pick? The love of a friend, or the great love of her life? Does it matter the turns Chrissie takes? Or will her life be as it should? Can a woman fight her own fate? And is her perfect guy, as perfect as he seems?...

REMEMBERING WILL by Jim Yackel

About “Remembering Will“ Memory is pain, but there are some things he’ll never forget… At thirty-nine years of age, Will Gailey is an “over the hill” singer-songwriter who leads a rock band that the music business doesn’t consider to have the “now” sound. A trauma has rocked his world, and as a result his memory of events has been severely affected. Will can remember the lyrics and chord changes to his songs, but there are other things that seemingly he’s forgotten. Will has always enjoyed fishing, but even that relaxing activity has become a source of frustration. He’s become angry and disassociated, and has turned from the one thing that could bring him peace and healing. And where that one thing is concerned, that’s where his anger and the blame for his physical and sp...

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