Writing a Novel Wrap Up – Part Two

This is the second part of the sixty-seventh post in a series about writing a novel as I wrap up the series.

Last week, I began the wrap up of my novel-writing series that started in August of 2017. Everything from story ideas to first drafts and beyond were covered and included in part one of my wrap up. But writing and editing a novel is not the end. You have your completed work but now you need to publish it and then market it to potential readers.

This brings us to part two of our wrap up – publishing and marketing. As with writing a novel, I have covered a wide range of topics and there are sure to be areas I might have missed. If you see any, please list them in the comments, and I will cover them in a future post.


Image result for publishingWhether you choose to go through a traditional publishing house or self-publish, there are many things you may need to consider – book title, pen name, cover design, book blurb, front/back matter and selling price. And then if you are self-publishing, you will need to format your book and upload it to the seller (Amazon) or a distribution company (Smashwords or Draft2Digital.)

Every decision you make when publishing can affect your success. As with writing your book, you need to not rush. You need to take time to prefect your book description and design your cover. These are all major selling points for your book. If the cover doesn’t appeal to readers, they won’t even get to the point of reading the book blurb. And if the book blurb doesn’t leave them wanting more, they won’t be clicking the buy button.

Here is a list of the publishing topics that I have covered.

#37- Publishing Options for your book

#38 – Self-publishing an ebook decisions

#39 – Picking Your Book Title and Your Pen Name

#40 – Investing in an eye-catching book cover

#41 – Writing an awesome book blurb

#42 – Deciding on Front Matter for your novel

#43 – Deciding on Back Matter for your novel

#44 – Formatting your eBook for publication

#45 – Pricing your e-book

#46 – Selecting Categories and Keywords to improve your Novel’s visibility

#47 – Book Promotions: Cover Reveal and Pre-Orders

#48 – Publishing your novel with Amazon and KDP Select

#49 – Publishing your e-book with Smashwords or Draft2Digital


Image result for marketingYour book is written, and you have clicked the button and published it. It is now out there for anyone to read. But you can’t expect readers to just stumble upon your book. You need to market to your target market though book promotions and blog tours. Even more you need to sell readers on your brand – that’s you.

Marketing is a never-ending process. So, it doesn’t stop as you write your next book or even the one after that. You need to explore new ways to get your name out to potential readers as you balance your time between writing and marketing.

Here is a list of the marketing topics that I have covered.

#50 – Marketing your E-book

#51 – Finding your Book’s Target Market

#52 – The importance of Book Reviews and how to get them

#53 – Is it worth it to offer your book for free?

#54 – My results from offering my novels for free

#55 – Amzon’s Kindle Countdown Deals explained and my results

#56 – Selling your book through book ads

#57 – Using a Book Trailer to promote your novel

#58 – Offering your novels or short stories as a box set

#59 – Deciding whether to offer your book as an audio book

#60 – Taking your book on a virtual book tour

#61 – Writing your Author Bio and selecting an Author Photo

#62 – Setting up your Amazon Author Page and International Amazon pages

#63 – Choosing between an Author Website or Blog

#64 – Holidays work for settings and book promotions

#65 – Choices for Authors: Marketing vs. Writing

#66 – Joining author groups and forums

And this concludes my 67-part series on writing a novel. I hope it helps. Keep writing. Nothing will improve your writing more or improve your credibility as an author.


Should good deeds and volunteering be recognized?

Should good deeds, donating or volunteering be rewarded? This is a conversation I had recently with a fellow parent. She believes that when we are collecting used books, box tops or having our kids volunteer their time that they should do so out of the goodness of their heart and not because any reward is attached.

To increase participation, our school has held class competitions with the winning class getting some time of reward. Sometimes the competition is for individual students. And our fifth graders have the option to record their volunteer hours and receive a recognition award at the end of the school year.

My friend feels these are all unnecessary as we live in a giving community. She says she can see implementing these in a less well-to-do area where the students or parents might need encouragement to participate. And while I agree with her that we should do things just for the inner joy of doing something you know is right or helpful, rewards are not a bad thing.

Rewarding good deeds can reinforce the good feelings. And there is nothing wrong with volunteers feeling appreciated for their hard work. All these good feelings can encourage people to continue their generosity.

Of course, there are some people who go out of their way to do good deeds just for the attention or the reward. And I can’t say that this is a bad thing but really you shouldn’t expect a reward or recognition for helping others.

I know I certainly don’t. I would keep donating and volunteering whether there is recognition at a volunteer’s breakfast or an award like the presidential volunteer service award, school district’s top volunteer or a Life Member award. And in the past three months I have received all these awards and know the school will be hosting a breakfast for the volunteers at the end of the school year.

No, I don’t do any of this for the awards, but it sure does feel nice to know others see all my hard work and appreciate it. I love when teachers, staff or even other parents tell me they appreciate everything I do for the students and school. It makes putting up with the rough parts bearable. Actually, just knowing that the kids enjoy the efforts of the hard work is enough, but who doesn’t like being appreciated for all they do?

I say, keep the rewards. We need to appreciate everyone’s good deeds and volunteering. There is nothing wrong with making people feel good, worthwhile and appreciated. Especially in this world where stories of animosity and hatefulness seem to dominate we can use some good feelings and to celebrate the good that others do.

Writing a Novel Wrap Up – Part One

This post is the sixty-seventh post in a series about writing a novel. And now it is time to wrap up this series…

In August of 2017, I started a series about writing a novel. I’ve covered everything from story ideas, setting, story/character arcs, dialogue, pace, and characters to name just a few of the topics. From writing the story to editing, publishing and then marketing, I’ve covered many aspects of writing and publishing your story.

And now, after 66 posts, I think I have covered most of the topics you would need to complete a novel. Some of the areas can obviously be gone into with more depth. If you see areas that I missed, please list them in the comments, and I will cover them.

Writing a Novel

Image result for writing a novelRemember that there is really no one way to write a novel. You can plan everything out or write on a whim. You may develop characters as you go or write detailed back stories for each of your main characters. Your first draft may turn out horrible, and you throw out most (or all) of it. You may finish your first draft in a few weeks as your write daily or it can take you months if you have to squeeze writing into your already busy daily life. and what works for one author will not necessarily work for you.

Also, remember that writing takes time. It takes time to write, edit and polish your work. Do not be in a hurry to publish. You want to have a quality product rather than a work riddled with errors that turns off the reader.

Here is a list of the writing topics that I have covered.

#1 – Deciding to write a novel – Writing Myths

#2 – Three areas to develop before starting to write a novel

#3 – Finding a Story Idea and How to Know if it “good enough”

#4 – Developing Characters for your Novel

#5 – Major characters? Minor Characters? Where does everyone fit in?

#6 – Developing the Setting for your Novel

#7 – The importance of developing conflict in your novel plot

#8 – To Outline or not to outline 

#9 – The importance of a story arc

#10 – The importance of tension and pace

#11 – Prologue and opening scenes

#12 – Beginning and ending scenes in a novel

#13 – The importance of dialogue…and a few tips on how to write it

#14 – Using Internal Dialogue in your novel

#15 – More dialogue tips and help with dialogue tags

#16 – Knowing and incorporating back story into your novel

#17 – Hinting at what is to come with foreshadowing

#18 – Tips for writing different scenes in your novel

#19 – Dealing with Writer’s Block

#20 – Killing a Character in your Novel

#21 – Keeping things realistic in your novel

#22 – Establishing Writing Goals and Developing Good Writing Habits

#23 – Using the five senses and passive voice in your novel

#24 – The benefit of research in fiction writing

#25 – Novella or Novel, Trilogy or Series – decisions for writers

#26 – Avoiding Plot and Character Clichés

#27 – Novel Writing – Endings and Epilogues

#28 – Fantasy Novel Writing – World Building, Dragons, Magic and More

Editing a Novel

Image result for editingNow you have your first draft done. As I said above, it may be worthless, or it could be a diamond in the rough. You need to be able to step back and evaluate what you have written. You may need to rewrite or even delete scenes that you spent hours writing or that you really love. But you are now in the part of editing stage where you are polishing your work, cutting, trimming, tightening and finally getting your story into a publishable form.

How many drafts you do or how long this process takes will definitely depend on each author. If you are on your sixteenth novel, it may go easier than it will for the newbie. If you planned and outlined your work, you may have fewer corrections. But again, this is not an area where you want to hurry. You want to make your story to shine. You want to refine your word choices, keep the action hopping and give the reader satisfying ending.

Here is a list of the editing topics that I have covered.

#29 – Finishing your First Draft

#30 – Your Second Draft and Beyond

#31 – Picking Stronger Words and Watching out for Homonyms

#32 – Omitting unnecessary words in your novel

#33 – Beta Reader, Proofreaders and Copy Editors

#34 – Knowing your grammar or at least using a grammar checking program

#35 – Using a Revision Outline during your Novel Editing

#36 – Editing Techniques: Taking a Break and Reading Aloud

So, you have written your novel and edited and revised it until you are sure it is ready to be published. Next week, I will wrap up publishing and marketing your novel.