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Publishing & Authors: Promoting Books

Publishing & Authors: Promoting Books

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Sara | Novel Novice:

When I’m not blogging here at Novel Novice, did you know for my day job, I sell printing and promotional products?

This blog post is from my company website (I work with my dad!) about some of the promotional projects we’ve done for authors and publishers. I think they’re super fun, and a good reminder to all you authors & publishers out there that you’ve got a great resource…

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Lisa Schroeder’s Top 10 List of things to do if you want to write a novel


10. You already know this, but it’s worth repeating —- read, read, read. Read books in the same genre as the one you want to write, and while you read, think about what makes the character(s) come alive, what makes the pacing work, what are the major and minor plot points, etc. Every time you read a book, you are learning something about writing, even if you don’t realize it. Reading is NOT wasted time. If only we could say the same about cupcake baking.

9. I also think it can be helpful to read some books on craft. Most teens who write to me seem surprised that you can get books at the book store or the library about writing a novel. Here are just a few that I’ve found helpful:

How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey
Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder (a screenwriting book, but I find it immensely helpful)


8. Before you start writing, try to get the premise of your novel into a short paragraph. If you can get it down to one sentence, even better. Yes, I do realize this is not at all easy. Too bad, says the evil author with a sly grin. This exercise helps you to cement in your mind what your book is really about. A couple of examples of descriptions I came up with in the early days of writing these novels.

The Bridge from Me to You (forthcoming w/ Scholastic, 7/29/14): In this small town story of learning to follow your heart, newcomer Lauren meets star football player Colby and, despite the obstacles in their way, help each other through a tense few months.

I Heart You, You Haunt Me (Simon Pulse, 2008): Fifteen-year-old Ava is heartbroken over the death of her boyfriend, Jackson. But it isn’t long after his funeral when she discovers while he may be dead, he definitely isn’t gone. 

7. It can be very helpful to have a road map of some kind so you know where you’re going in your story. You don’t have to do an outline, necessarily, as I realize outlining a novel can seem like an arduous task. But without some kind of road map, you are likely to get lost. Some people enjoy this - venturing out with no plan and figuring it out as you go. The longer I do this, however, the more I see the real benefit to having *something* to help you as you go.

You might find a 9-step plotting tool helpful, which you can read about here. Or maybe you decide to write a one-page synopsis. Or perhaps you use note cards and jot down your plot points in a more casual way. There are lots of options here - play around and find something that works for you. 

6. Your main character will be the heart of your story, so get to know him/her before you start writing. Write down what you know about your MC —- likes, dislikes, fears, background information that might be useful but won’t make it into the story. Think about how your past has made you the person you are today. This will be true of your characters as well. Some authors like to interview their main character, or fill out a character sheet, which you can find by doing an internet search.

5. Eventually, you must begin. You must start writing. This is the hardest part for many. The fear of doing it wrong wins out, and so nothing is done at all. Here is the most important thing to remember —- write the story for YOURSELF. Don’t think about anyone else. Write the story because YOU want to know what happens. No one else is reading at this point. This draft is for your eyes only. 

4. Don’t be afraid to play around in those early pages with voice, tense, format, etc. Pretend you are in a sandbox and you’re trying to figure out what you want to do. This is your book. There is no right or wrong way to write it. When it feels right, you’ll know!


3. Some pages will flow like water and others will only come with a lot of sweat and tears. That’s how it is. Writing a book is not easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it. The best thing you can do is make a goal to write something every day. 100 words, 500 words, 1,000 words —- it doesn’t matter. But set a goal and stick to it. This goal makes you open the document and dive back in, and that’s half the battle!


2. When you get stuck, and you will get stuck, backtrack and see if you took a wrong turn somewhere. As you write, there are places you make choices —- either this happens or that happens. Sometimes you write your character into a corner. It’s okay! Pages might have to be deleted, and yes it’s a little sad, but if it’s the best thing for your story, you have to do it. One step forward, two steps back is better than no steps at all! Another reason you might get stuck is because you have no idea what happens next. If you haven’t done any plotting up to this point, now might be the time. 

1. Finally, remember this —- a first draft is NOT going to be perfect. I know, it’s so unfair. But it will be far, far, FAR from perfect. It’s a draft. It’s you getting the bones of the story down on paper. Give yourself permission to write badly. Just write. Almost every book on your bookshelf started as a badly written first draft. Keep writing and try to enjoy the process. When the draft is done, you will have to revise. A lot. No one said this was going to be easy, right?

Exclusive: Hear 'Torchwood' star Gareth David-Lloyd narrate 'The Course of True Love' audiobook



Exclusive: Hear ‘Torchwood’ star Gareth David-Lloyd narrate ‘The Course of True Love (And First Dates)’ audiobook


The Bane Chronicles may be over, but we can never get enough of Magnus Bane and his shenanigans. What better way to relive perhaps his most exciting story in The Course of…

Yay! Yes.

He’s so dreamy … ugh …

Also, I miss “Torchwood.”

Noggin by John Corey Whaley: 5 Things You Might Not Know About Cryogenics

NOGGIN by @Corey_Whaley: 5 Things You Might Not Know About Cryogenics (Like, it’s actually called “Cryonics”) -

In John Corey Whaley’s new book Noggin,main character Travis has his head chopped off and cryogenically frozen. Five years later, he wakes up with his head attached to someone else’s body.

nogginNow, in our interview with him, Whaley admits he didn’t really do any research on cryogenics. After all, the mechanics of this make-believe science weren’t the critical part of his story.

But what do we…

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Orphan Black is back! In between convincing my kith and kin to binge-watch the first season, quick, I’ve put together a recommendation list for the lovers of cons, clones, and cult-classics in your life. 

Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson 

Sci-fi giant William Gibson’s globe-spinning thriller of corporate shenanigans and human quirks. 

Sekret, by Lindsay Smith 

Cold War espionage meets mad science and superpowers when teenaged psychic Yulia is forced into a world where everyone wants something and no one can be trusted. 

Pawn, by Aimee Carter 

Kitty has a chance at wealth and power in her caste-bound society—if she transforms herself into the prime minister’s niece and dives head first into the plots and rebellion that got her killed. 

Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

All-powerful corporations, virtual katana duels, a sass-mouthed skater chick, Sumerian mythology, movie-watching pirates, and hacking the human brain. 

The Likeness, by Tana French

When a corpse turns up bearing not only Detective Cassie Maddox’s likeness but also an ID matching one of Cassie’s old undercover identities, Cassie agrees to go undercover as the murder victim. Then things get complicated. Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad mysteries are atmospheric, complex, creepy and engrossing. 

White Cat, by Holly Black 

A teenaged grifter with a past gets rapidly in over his head in this genre-bending tale of crime, conspiracy, memory and magic. 

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro 

It bears no resemblance to Orphan Black in tone, structure, style or philosophy, but Never Let Me Go remains one of my favorite explorations of what it means to be human in a world which may or may not recognize you as such. 

One of my favorite TV shows & some of my favorite books! <3

After the Book Deal: “Do I Really Need a Headshot?” - Guest Post from The Night Gardener author Jonathan Auxier

After the Book Deal: “Do I Really Need a Headshot?” - Guest Post from THE NIGHT GARDENER author @JonathanAuxier -

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I am a huge, huge fan of middle grade author Jonathan Auxier. His debut novel, Peter Nimble & His Fantastic Eyesis one of my all-time favorites — and his newest, The Night Gardener,is equally delightful as it is chilling. So of course I am thrilled to be hosting an exclusive guest post today from Jonathan, as part of his blog tour series “After the Book Deal.” I’ll let Jonathan explain more:

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UK Book Review Swap & Contest: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

UK Book Review Swap with @WondrousReads & Contest: THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU & ME by @JenESmith -

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Today, I am thrilled to be participating in a cross-continent blog tour for The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith. The book chronicles an unlikely romance between two teens — one living in the U.S., and one living abroad in the U.K.

Which is why it’s fitting that today, I’m not sharing my review of The Georgraphy of You and Me. I’m sharing U.K. blogger Jenny’sreview — and she’s…

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New YA Releases: April 22, 2014

Happy Book Bday @andreacremer @StaceyKade @JenCalonita @efriesner @marcussedgwick @anniecardi @AnneBlankman & more -

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Here’s a look at some of today’s new YA releases:

deception's princessDeception’s Princess by Esther Friesner

Maeve, princess of Connacht, was born with her fists clenched. And it’s her spirit and courage that make Maeve her father’s favorite daughter. But once he becomes the High King, powerful men begin to circle—it’s easy to love the girl who brings her husband a kingdom.

Yet Maeve is more than a prize to be…

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Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end? Find out in this sequel to The Program, which Publishers Weekly called “chilling and suspenseful.”

How do you stop an epidemic?

Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.

Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.

Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?

More about The Treatment.

Guest Post: Noggin Author John Corey Whaley

Guest Post: NOGGIN Author @Corey_Whaley on “The Things I Need When I’m Writing” -

Today, I am thrilled to be featuring an exclusive guest post from Noggin author John Corey Whaley, who stops by today to talk about his “must-have” things when he’s writing.

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The Things I Need When I’m Writing: A Terrible, Terrible Guide to Being A Successful Author
by John Corey Whaley

john corey whaley2I’m always getting asked about my writing process. Always. And I never have a good…

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