Elaine Marie Cooper & Bethany’s Calendar

I’m excited to have award-winning author Elaine Marie Cooper with us today, and I have a surprise for you at the end. Be sure to keep reading.

Author Elaine Marie CooperElaine is the author of 5 books. Her most recent historical fiction, Fields of the Fatherless, has won 3 awards: 2014 Selah Award, YA Fiction; 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award, Best Religious Fiction; and 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, Best YA Religious Fiction. The Promise of Deer Run, book 2 of her Deer Run saga is a Los Angeles Book Festival Winner and was a ForeWord Book of the Year Award finalist.

Elaine knows how to captivate her readers! [Read more…]

How to Conquer Your Book Marketing Plan

Marketing. Most writers dread it. Because, after all, we’d rather be writing.

But gone are the days when the publisher handled ALL the marketing of a book for their authors. And the truth of it is, even in the “old days” traditional publishers didn’t allocate equal marketing dollars to every book.

Whether you are traditionally published or self-published, marketing your book is a fact of life—unless you don’t care if anyone ever buys your book.

Marketing isn’t a one time event. Maybe that’s what makes it so overwhelming. Or maybe it’s figuring out how to execute the many elements of marketing that intimidate and overwhelm you.

As I was considering the marketing plan for my new book Carried by Grace, it suddenly struck me how I could make it manageable. [Read more…]

How to Review Your Story Scenes for Conflict

horses jumping hurdles

Are the hurdles in your story growing harder?

As discussed in “6 Steps to Story Development,” a story needs conflict. In fact, without it you have no story. So let’s take a closer look and see how you can make sure you’re developing the conflict in your story.

James Scott Bell, in his book Conflict & Suspense, defines conflict this way: “a clash between at least two incompatible sides. One of those sides must be personal, that is, having the ability to exercise conscious will.”

At the heart of conflict are your character’s passion and goals. In review, here are 3 questions I posited in “Story Development”: [Read more…]

Quick Announcement – Call for Submissions God’s Promises

We had email issues over the weekend, but now have them fixed.

If you submitted to God’s Promises but your email wouldn’t’ deliver, send it again.

How to Get Radio Interviews

Do you have a book releasing soon, or one already on the market?

Doing local radio station interviews is a good way to get the word out about your book. These local interviews also help you break into the public speaking arena on a more comfortable level. You’ll gain experience and practice that will help you tackle national interviews later on.

That’s all well and good, but how do you locate possible stations, and what do you do once you’ve found them?

To find radio stations, you can use: http://www.radio-locator.com/

In their words, this website “is the most comprehensive radio station search engine on the Internet. We have links to over 14,100 radio stations’ web pages and over 9600 stations’ audio streams from radio stations in the U.S. and around the world.”

Just as you target your manuscript submissions, you’ll want to target radio stations that are a good fit for you and your book. Study the station’s website before contacting them.

Once you’ve developed your list, the next step is to send a pitch letter.

Sarah Bolme, director of the Christian Small Publishers Association and author of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace, advises that your pitch letter include

  • “the title of your book,

  • your credentials,

  • how your topic addresses current events, and

  • why it is right for the show’s audience.”

Most interviewers won’t have time to read your book, so develop a list of 10-15 questions with answers that you can provide with your pitch letter.

Bolme also says, “Don’t just rely on your press releases and pitch letters . . . You will need to phone station producers after sending your queries to verbally request a guest interview.”

Have you included radio interviews in your marketing plan? Why or why not?

Thank you!

Thank you, from Buttercup and meThank you to all my readers! I pray you will be enjoying family and friends as you gather together around a table laden with the delights of this season of Thanksgiving.

May God bless you now and throughout the year to come.



6 Steps to Story Development

spinning platesWhen you get right down to it the major goal of the fiction writer is to keep the reader reading.

And like the performer who spins plates at the top of a stick, writers must spin several plates too—characters and character arc, plot and plot development, conflict, dialog, show vs. tell, and pacing. If we focus on only one aspect of story development and neglect the others, the story falls flat.

But that’s a lot to deal with. I certainly can’t get my brain wrapped around all those things at the same time as I write.

So what’s the answer?

Focus on one at a time, using these 6 steps. [Read more…]

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