Last weekend, I was honored to participate in an Editing and Formatting for Authors panel discussion organized by my friends Nan and Bethany at The Author Encounter. This event was part of The Author Encounter’s Indie Author Day. I was joined by freelance editor Deb Ewing and formatter Tamara Cribley of The Deliberate Page. (You can see my editing services here!)
Often the difference between an amateur book and a professional book is in the details. When it comes to publishing, those details are editing and formatting. In this candid discussion, we talked about the different types of editing and formatting and how to use them to produce a professional published book.
Topics included common mistakes that writers make when working with an editor, how editors decide which clients to work with, formatting trends for different genres, and more. Watch the video below for the replay.
The goal of The Author Encounter is to bring together authors and readers in a unique and intimate setting designed to give authors a chance to connect with their fans, and the fans (readers) the opportunity to spend time with their favorite authors, ask questions, and be a part of the stories and worlds created by the authors. You can learn more about their events and how to join here.
I’m participating in a blog hop and scavenger hunt hosted by my friends at The Author Encounter. I love how it’s devoted to military tropes.
Crafting military fiction, whether it’s romance, fantasy, mystery, or any other genre mix, isn’t easy. Each story has unique challenges. However, creating believable, relatable characters, scenes and plot lines is a goal all authors aspire to no matter how they write. That is why so many authors use tropes to get their creative juices flowing in familiar ways to encourage their readers to fall in love with their stories.
What is a trope? Or more specifically what is a military trope? A military trope is a commonplace, recognizable plot element, theme, or visual cue that conveys something about the military.
Tropes can help make an alien situation or fictional scene feel familiar especially for those of us with no military experiences. So, using tropes in the right way can make your reader love your story that much more. Many readers across genres love military elements added to storylines. A great place to find ideas for military tropes is from other authors.
Get inspired by other authors’ use of tropes readers love, such as the veteran finding new adventures, the special forces soldier, the unknowing hero, or teaching kids about the American flag. Whether you use tropes in a Tom Clancy style or old school like our favorite WWII vets: this blog hop will be an advantage.
Military Appreciation Month officially recognized by Congress in May 1999,incorporates many holidays celebrating our women and men in the Armed Forces. Join us for a literary approach to celebrating the soldiers and families that proudly serve and protect our country.
Click the links and match the authors to the tropes to win!
Have you ever wondered what to expect from literary agents and editors? You’ll get an in-depth look during the panel discussion, The E & A Experience, organized by The Author Encounter. (You can watch it at the bottom of this post!) It was part of their event, Authors March Forward, held March 20 via Zoom and streamed to Facebook.
Nan Jenkins and Bethany Averie, co-founders of The Author Encounter, believe the concept “Keep moving forward” is essential to success as a professional author.
“Moving forward, developing connections, and learning from the people who have been there are the foundations for career success.” says Nan Jenkins. “The Author Encounter strives to create opportunities for authors using these foundations for career growth.”
There were lots of great takeaways. You’ll hear about the biggest pet peeves, get valuable insight into query letters, gain a better understanding of why rejection happens, and learn more about the editing process.
Thanks to Bethany and Nan for permission to embed this discussion on my blog. Visit The Author Encounter for more information about their upcoming events and how to join as an author or supporter member.
Are you an author seeking to connect with readers? Then you’ll definitely want to attend the January 8, 2021 Facebook live in the Shortcuts for Writers: Editing Made Simple group. Nan Jenkins of The Author Encounter will be chatting with me about that very topic. The event will be held at 12 p.m. CST and a replay will be available. If you’re not a member of the Shortcuts group, you can join here. I am honored to be a supporter member of The Author Encounter. Below, Nan shares three tips for building reader engagement. You’ll also learn about another special event The Author Encounter has coming up and how you can get more information.
UPDATE: You’ll find a recording of the above livestream at the bottom of this post.
As writers we want to tell a story and have as many people as possible read that story and love it. Whether you’re an established author or just an aspiring one, a key component to reaching as many people as possible is engagement.
Engagement, or the relationship between Author and Reader, is not always easy to establish and can be a lot of work, but is key to spreading the word about a book or book series. There are three simple keys to establishing reader engagement that every author should think about and implement when building an audience. Those keys are Engagement, Consistency, and Follow-through. Using these keys will help create an audience that not only loves your creative works, but shares and engages with them.
How Do You Establish Engagement?
The first step in establishing engagement with readers is to engage with them. They can’t engage if there is nothing to engage with. Figure out the most comfortable method for you whether it be some type of social media or email communication. Then once you set up your profile or build your email list, the next key begins.
What Does Consistency Do For You?
Consistency lets people know where they can find you or expect to hear from you. At first when establishing an audience it can feel like you’re doing so much and no one is listening. However, most fans are excited when they know exactly where they can find and communicate with you. Which brings us to the next key: Follow-through.
How Does Follow-through Help?
Follow-through is key to establishing engagement because it lets the people know that they are communicating with a real person, not a bot or automatic system. So when a person asks a question on social media or in an email, a response is always important. Responding and following through on statements, comments, and questions not only establishes engagement, but it builds the bonds that tie your fans to your work.
Recap From Nan
Using these three keys of engagement, consistency, and follow-through in establishing engagement with your audience will give you a strong base to reach as many people as possible. Although the keys sound easy, they can be a lot of work to actually implement. This is one of the reasons I was so excited to help found The Author Encounter.
The Author Encounter is dedicated to increasing the visibility of authors and boosting fan engagement. You can find more information about The Author Encounter on our website.
For more information on increasing fan engagement, watch the below workshop that was originally presented in the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group.
I’m excited to be leading a workshop on Nov. 7, 2020 as part of The Author Encounter’s Indie Author Day celebration. If you’re an indie author or industry professional, The Author Encounter has tailored this day to you. Free and open to the public, this event will offer pre-recorded webinars, live panels, and workshops on topics such as the costs of self-publishing, ISBNs for self-publishing, how to get your book in libraries, audiobook production, marketing tips, and Pinterest for authors.
My session is titled Self-Editing Secrets: How to Simplify the Editing Process and Not Break the Bank. Registration is required. You can sign up here.
This event will be part of the fifth annual Indie Author Day event. In the past years, nearly 300 libraries hosted thousands of authors across the United States and Canada. This year, high participation is expected again. This is an opportunity for the indie community to come together to help self-published and independent authors learn and get discovered.
“Publishing your own work is more viable today than ever before and the Independent Book Publishers Association is honored to support those who choose this entrepreneurial path,” said Angela Bole, IBPA CEO. “Indie Author Day will provide a chance to discuss publishing options, learn best practices and celebrate successes with a tribe of forward thinking writers, publishers and librarians.”
In addition to the activities that will be happening nationally, The Author Encounter will enrich its programming with selected workshop videos produced by Indie Author Day sponsors from around the world. A panel will include Shay Baby of the Brown Book Series and DC Gomez of Inside the Minds of Authors. There will also be bonus content from the founders, Bethany Averie, YA author, and Nan Jenkins, virtual assistant.
Beyond this annual event, the Indie Author Day community offers programming on both the indieauthorday.com and the indieauthorproject.com to help libraries and authors stay connected throughout the year.
The main focus of The Author Encounter is increasing visibility for authors and creating super fans through unique theme events. It’s free for published authors to join. For more information about the event, click here.