A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME

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RoseNom de plume, haigō, takhallus… Maybe you know it simply as a pen name. Call it what you will, it is a time-honoured tradition within the writing world. In fact, not only writers, but artists and even actors use pseudonyms in their craft. This is no secret. Many famous authors, from J.K. Rowling and Stephen King, to Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (“Lewis Carroll”) and even Pauline Phillips (“Abigail Van Buren” of Dear Abby), have used a pen name.

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How to Get Great Cover Art for Your Book

I wrote and published this blog post for Mash Stories. 
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booksIf you’re a self-publisher like me you’ve likely done the research on what it takes to sell your books. You’ve spent aeons crafting the perfect story and now you want it to land in the hand of readers instead of drowning in the sea of other work out there. The undeniable fact is that readers do judge a book by its cover.

Take a moment to scroll through the books available on Amazon. The first few pages mostly contain books with artwork that, while clean and professional, is generally uninspired. Most covers are just stock images and text. Sure, the author’s name is big and bold, but the cover does nothing to separate the book from the pack. Now dig a little deeper and Google “bad e-book covers”. You’ll come across some pretty hilarious threads and some awful covers that should serve as a warning. Continue reading

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Unlocking the Search Ranking Gate with Amazon Keywords

I wrote and published this blog post for Mash Stories. 
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booksAmazon keywords: they can be the bane of a writer’s existence. By virtue of the word they seem as though mastering them would unlock the secret to getting your book on the first page of an Amazon search. The cold hard truth is that only high sales can boost your book to the top of the list, but without the proper use of keywords you’re doomed. Knowing what keywords to use and how to use them can boost your unknown, low-sale book from search page 1,000 to search page 15. Screwing up your keywords will leave you mired in the deep dark swamp of other books. The best thing you can do to prevent this is to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible before committing to these little nuggets of information.

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Social Media for the Introverted Self-Publisher

I wrote and published this blog post for Mash Stories. 
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ReadBookYou’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into your writing and you’re finally ready to unleash it onto the world. It’s a nerve-wracking experience, offering up your work to the volatile public masses. You never know how someone is going to like what you’ve done, or how mean they’ll be if they give it the thumbs down. On the flip side, receiving those gushing e-mails professing love for everything you set pen to is a true writer’s high.

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DISEASE PLAYLIST

Music plays a big part in my life and as a writer I often find inspiration in what I listen to. When working on a project I try to listen to music that encompass the situation I’m writing about. While sitting at my computer and typing out the fate of my characters I usually listen to non-lyrical tracks that just embody a mood. This helps me avoid distraction. But when I’m chasing the muse away from the office I listen to anything I think might stimulate my imagination.

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The Pros and Cons of Serializing Your Novel

I wrote and published this blog post for Mash Stories. 
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Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 11.35.46 AMIt might be hard to imagine these days, but long before people gathered around the TV, they gathered around the radio to listen to the latest episode of whatever was popular at the time. Even harder to believe is that long before radio the public clamoured around newsstands to pick up the latest “episode” of serial fiction. In fact, some of the classic literature we still read today was initially serialized. Big names like Charles Dickens, Alexandre Dumas, and Harriet Beecher Stowe published their novels in serial format.

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