Writer Wednesday-Beta Readers

Beta Readers are becoming more popular as authors go Indie and want a reader to look over their work rather than an editor.

As I’m looking at a more traditional publishing model via an agent, I’ve considered looking at Beta Readers as well.

When I digitally published, this wasn’t as much of a concern as there was enough editing done in-house, I worried less about content as there were so many eyes looking at it, and I had really good editors. 🙂

I’ve asked my fellow authors who use beta readers how they go about finding them.   There seem to be a number of ways to do this:

  1.  Post to FB, Twitter, etc and ask for Beta Readers to read your latest book.  I think there are Beta Reader Groups out there.   I plan to post to a Local Steampunk group as I think they might be interested in reading my story. 
  2. Readers you meet randomly – I actually found a reader at a Con last year, and I think she will work out well.  I’d like more beta readers, but one will do for now.
  3. Friends and Family – I’ve heard reason’s not to use friends and family, but my argument would be that you are looking for continuity in your story.  That being said, make sure you pick a friend who is an avid reader.   Also,  if you write Mystery and your sister is a hard-core YA reader, you may want to take that into consideration when reviewing her feedback.  She can likely still provide great character insight, but may not enjoy the read as much as she might a YA read. 

I’ve heard Indie authors who use Beta Readers prior to Editing and some use them after.   Obviously I will use them before hiring an editor.  I’m looking for Beta readers to review for content, character likeability, plot holes to some extent and the like.   I’m looking for an overall critique, not editing.  I believe that should be done by the publisher, as I’ve experienced in the past.  Honestly, if an agent tells me to hire an editor – I will likely skip the agent process all together. 🙂 

Until next Writer Wednesday, be naughty. ~Tina 

P.S. If you are interested in being a Beta Reader for a Steampunk novel, go ahead and comment below. 🙂

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Writer Wednesday – Writing the Synopsis

The synopsis is an integral part of most submission packets, including my most recent agent submissions.   This was a struggle for me, as I hadn’t written one since I published “The Pilot and the Pinup” with  Liquid Silver Books.   A fellow author told me to break each of the chapters down into paragraphs.   I did exactly that and it was quiet the disaster.

The Acquisitions editor at the time informed me I suffered from Dreaded Synopsis Syndrome.  Boy did I ever.   LSB requested a love scene (probably to make sure I didn’t purple-prose the hell out of it) and the last chapter (likely to make sure the book was done).   They accepted my full ms and I never had to write a synopsis for them again.  Thank the writing gods.

Thankfully, My other digital publisher, Resplendence Publishing, didn’t require the synopsis.  Whew.

Now that I’m looking for an agent I’m back in the land of having to write a synopsis.  Ugh!

Luckily, there is a ton of info on the interwebs on how to write one.   I found this site to be very helpful.

http://www.publishingcrawl.com/2012/04/17/how-to-write-a-1-page-synopsis/

After writing said one page synopsis, I find some agents now want 3-5 pages.  Ugh!   And I thought I’d mastered the dreaded synopsis.

~Join me next week as we continue the query journey.

AuThursday – JC Hannigan

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I am a twenty-eight year old mother and wife of two boys. We have a black lab and live in Southern Ontario. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to write books. I would write books, on lined paper with crayon coloured “covers”.

I see you’ve written a lot of series, including COLLIDE, DAMAGED and REBEL. What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I love reading series, following as characters grow and change. For the Collide series, I wasn’t quite done with Harlow Jones after the first book…or the second book. So I wrote a third, and I feel like that story is definitely one that couldn’t be condensed and told the same way. I encountered the same problem with the Damaged Series; I knew that Everly and Grayson’s story couldn’t be condensed to just one book.

But for the Rebel Series, I did try something different…while it is a series, each book can be read as a standalone as each book focuses on one of the three Miller siblings; Brock, Becky, and Braden. The first book–Rebel Soul, is Brock and Tessa’s story. Rebel Heart is Braden and Elle’s story, and Rebel Song is Travis and Becky’s story. I had a blast writing this series, and I think I’ll do more in the future because it appeals to both series lovers and those who prefer standalones.

What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?

A LOT, I owe them a lot! Everyone around me has influenced or inspired aspects and personality traits in my characters. For example, Bill Armstrong (from the Rebel Series) is a lot like my father–traditional, productive, stubborn, hard-working, a man of few words. Everly Daniels (the Damaged Series) has my naive nature and wears her heart on her sleeve.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Nailing their emotional response to things! I always have to hit up my husband for advice with my male characters.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

I have tried the hybrid publishing house method, and that didn’t end well. The publishing company went under, and that kind of stress and uncertainty didn’t jive well with me, so I really like the control I have with independant publishing. But I can only really speak from my experiences thus far. I’m not against traditional publishing, or closed off to the idea, and who knows what the future will bring.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

I’m not really good at letting things stew, so I edit right away. But I usually do several cycles of editing, revising, and tweaking before sending it to the editor and beta team. In between those edits and revisions, I work on other projects.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

MUSIC! I need music!

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Yes, writer’s block is definitely a thing. I like to refer to it as “word constipation”.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Just keep writing 🙂

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Author Website – http://jchannigan.com
Amazon Author Page – http://amzn.to/2bvioNg
Twitter – http://twitter.com/jcahannigan
Facebook – http://facebook.com/jcahannigan
Google Plus – http://tinyurl.com/qaqex3f
Instagram – http://instagram.com/jcahannigan
Personal blog – http://sarcastica.ca
FANnigans – https://www.facebook.com/groups/FANnigans/
Do you have a sexy teaser you’d like to share with us?

Sure do! This is a teaser from my new release, REBEL SONG. Available in KU September 18th!

21246144_10155388046199845_207316690_o

Join me next Thursday when Izzy Syn joins us.  ~Tina

Teaching at Writer Zen Garden

wzgI’m teaching my FEARS workshop this weekend at Writer Zen Garden if anyone is interested. Classes are free to members. Membership is free.

http://writerzengarden.com/forums/

Feel free to share with any writer friends.

AuThursday – Janet Walters

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Janet Lane Walters here. I’ve been a published author since 1968 though there were a few years taken off to return to work as a nurse to help children through college. I’ve been married to the same man for 55 years and there are four children. The youngest is an adopted biracial daughter. There are seven grandchildren, four biracial and three adopted Chinese children. I live in the scenic Hudson River valley. Billed as an eclectic writer besides short stories, poetry, and 3 non-fiction books, I write in a number of genres.

What genre are your books?

Genres – There are romances, paranormal, fantasy, mystery, historicals. I also have a YA fantasy series published under J. L. Walters.

What draws you to this genre?

Since I write in a number of genres I’ve chosen the ones I really enjoy writing and reading. Often there is some kind of medicine in many of my books. This goes back to being a nurse and my fascinating with alternate methods of healing.

Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?

I write seven days a week and being retired I can write where I want and when I want.

I see you write a few series including MOONCHILD, AT FIRST SIGHT, and OPPOSITES IN LOVE.  What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I enjoy reading series and also trilogies. Sometimes there need to be more stories to finish the story. My YA Affinities series is one of those. Readers like series. Sometimes a character in one of the books asks for their own story.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? 

I have not dipped into self-publishing. I am mainly with two small publishers. One US and one Canadian. For me self-publishing would present problems since I really like to do everything myself and having to hire people to format, edit, covers and etc. wouldn’t suit me at all. I do admire those who have taken this route but it’s not for this 80-year-old writer.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I do proof my own books but then they go off to my current publisher Books We Love and they are also proofed by an editor there. I belong to a critique group and thus for content I have ten other voices to keep me on track.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Finish the book before tinkering with it. Trying to make each page perfect before reaching the end and you won’t ever finish the book.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

https://twitter.com/JanetL717

http://janetlanewalters.com/home

https://www.facebook.com/janet.l.walters.3?v=wall&story_fbid=113639528680724

http://bookswelove.net/

AuThursday – Your name here

img_0982We are getting to the end of the year and I’ll be looking for Interview Candidates for 2017.  

If you think this is something you might be interested let me know. 

I post Interviews every Thursday and Excerpts on Saturday.  I’m thinking of adding some new items like Wednesday Writer Space – More on that to come. 

I don’t do reviews or blitzes, as I want the readers to get to know the writer and what makes them tick.   

Reader make-up seems to be a mix  of Fans, Aspiring Writers, Actors and Veteran Writers.  This page if  viewed more as informative and educational rather than promotional. 

I’ll post the Clog Blog Results at the end of the year as I have in the past.   

Stay tuned next week for more writers. ~Tina

 

 

AuThursday -Ann Everett

ann-everett-photo-and-coversPlease welcome Ann Everett to the Clog Blog.  Ann, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up—until I started writing. I’m a native Texan, having grown up in a small, small, really small town, population 406. I’ve been married to the same man since dirt. I love shopping at thrift stores. I don’t remember my first kiss. I hate talking on the phone. A really sharp pencil makes me happy, and I’m glad wrinkles aren’t painful.

What genre are your books?

I write contemporary romance, new adult romance, and I have a trilogy of light mystery, steamy sex, and plenty of humor which makes it hard to put in a category.

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

No, but I’m always on the lookout for other authors who might want to do a joint box set of books.

I see you’ve dipped into the Indie publishing world.  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

The disadvantage of indie publishing is you have to do everything yourself…find an editor, formatter, book designer, etc. When I was with a small press, they did all that for me. The advantage is control. I get to look at my sales every day and have the final say in all aspects. I’m somewhat of a control freak, so self-publishing is perfect for me.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I do both. After having every chapter critiqued by other writers, I usually do 2-3 rounds of editing on my own, then have an editor go over it. After that, I have a team of beta readers who give it a once over. I think it’s important to have “readers” in place of writers go over the book before I publish. They pick up on things no one else does!

Who designs your covers?

I’ve used several. Octagon Lab did all the covers for my trilogy. For my romance books, I’ve used Pink Ink Designs, Gemma James, Upchurch Design Studios, and for my non-fiction, I used vendors from Fiverr.com.

What are you working on at the minute?

I just finished my seventh novel. It’s a new adult romance and hopefully, will be published in December. The tagline reads: A girl hiding from her future~~A man running from his past

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Join a critique group, either online or locally. I belong to both and the help I get is priceless. Just be sure and find one with members who will be brutally honest. If the members aren’t finding things wrong with your work, then they aren’t helping.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

http://www.anneverett.com

Join me on Saturday when we read an unedited sneak peek from Ann’s soon-to-be-released new adult romance, CHIRP. ~Tina