Hi, I'm Ray Evans. I'm a certified copyeditor and proofreader.
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As an independent fiction writer, it can be challenging to navigate the world of traditional publishing.
Finding a literary agent who understands your vision and is passionate about your work
is key to securing a publishing deal and advancing your career.
But how do you go about finding the perfect literary agent for you? Here are some steps to consider:
Step One: Determine your genre and market
Before you start your search, it's important to know your genre and target market.
Different literary agents specialize in different genres, so you want to make sure
you're approaching the right agents.
For example, if you write young adult fiction, you wouldn't want to approach
an agent who only represents non-fiction.
Step Two: Research Potential Agents
Once you've determined your genre and target market, start researching literary agents who represent authors in your niche.
You can use online resources like AgentQuery, QueryTracker, or Manuscript Wish List
to find literary agents who may be interested in your work.
Look at their client list, recent sales, and submission guidelines to get a better sense of their interests and priorities.
Step Three: Check Agent Credentials and Reputation
Before approaching a literary agent, it's important to ensure they are reputable and have a good track record.
Check the agent's credentials, such as membership in professional organizations,
like the Association of Authors' Representatives or the Author's Guild.
Also, research the agent's reputation online, including reviews from other authors
who have worked with them.
Step Four: Tailor Your Submission Package
When submitting to a literary agent, it's essential to tailor your submission package
to their specific submission guidelines.
This usually includes a query letter, synopsis, and the first few chapters of your manuscript.
Make sure your submission is polished and professional, and that it accurately
represents your voice and writing style.
Step Five: Personalize Your Approach
When reaching out to a literary agent, it's important to personalize your approach.
Don't just send out generic query letters to every agent on your list.
Take the time to research the agent's interests and personalize your pitch to them.
Mention why you think your work would be a good fit for their agency,
and what specifically drew you to their representation.
Step 6: Be Patient and Persistent
Finding the perfect literary agent can take time, so be patient and persistent.
It's not uncommon to receive multiple rejections before finding the right fit.
Keep refining your submission package and continue to research new potential agents.
Remember, finding the right literary agent is key to advancing your writing career.
In conclusion, finding the perfect literary agent is a crucial step
for independent fiction writers looking to break into traditional publishing.
By determining your genre and market, researching potential agents, checking
their credentials and reputation, tailoring your submission package,
personalizing your approach, and being patient and persistent, you can
increase your chances of finding the right agent for you.
With the right agent by your side, you'll be one step closer to achieving your publishing goals.
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Hey there, independent fiction authors!
Looking for a book editor can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. But fear not!
Here are some tips to help you find the right one and avoid getting lost in the weeds.
Request a sample edit
Most editors offer a sample edit of about 1000 to 2000 words. Use the same sample across different
editors for a fair comparison.
Also, if you're considering an editing company, ask for profiles of suitable editors and choose one with
the best experience in your genre.
I'd go as far to say, you should only work with editors who do samples: how else are going to know if
they're going to be a good fit for your story?
Otherwise if like marrying someone without dating them, which has worked so well on "Love is
Blind" on Netflix 🙄, you don't have any idea what you're getting into until you've made a large
Gauge Professionalism from Responses
Is your potential editor quick to respond to your questions?
Do they stick to their deadlines?
Do they understand your concerns and respond in a way that makes you excited to work with them?
If they don't have basic professionalism, it's likely they won't be the right editor for you.
Don't Underestimate Project Management
Editing can be a long process, so, if you're going with a company, look one who treats your book like a
project and assigns a dedicated project manager to it.
This way, you won't have to communicate with a different professional every time you need a new
service. Think of it like having your own agent at the service provider.
Watch Out for Additional Costs
Editing is an iterative process, and several rounds of editing may be required before your book is
ready for printing.
When you compare prices, consider the cost of additional rounds and whether they're discounted.
For example, beyond the first past, I do two additional rounds or proofreading or editing at no
Ensure A Communication Channel With Your Editor
Make sure your editor will be available to answer your questions and clarify any doubts
you may have.
Find out how easy or difficult it is to get in touch with them and how long it takes for them to respond.
Using myself as an example, I'm available via, email, a secure client portal, and Voxer, which is a
walkie talkie app (for the peeps that want to leave voice messages).
Inquire About Their Complaints Policy
Even if you do your due diligence and select the best editor or service provider, there's still
a risk of being disappointed.
Before you decide who to work with, ask about their feedback policy and how they
typically resolve complaints.
It's always better to be safe than sorry.
So there you have it, folks!
Follow these tips and you'll be well on your way to finding the right book editor for you. Good luck and
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Are you ready to sell your stories like hotcakes? Of course, you are! But how do you do that without coming across like a used car salesman?
Social media marketing, baby! But hold on to your hats because there are some do's and don'ts you need to know.
1. Know Your Audience: You can't sell snow to a penguin, mainly because 1) penguins already have a lot of snow and they are animals and they don’t even have money to buy anything!
And you can't sell your romance novel to someone who only reads thrillers. Get to know your audience and where they hang out on social media. Are they on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok? Figure it out, and that's where you need to be.
2. Respond to Comments and Messages: Social media is a two-way street. When people take the time to comment on your posts or send you a message, respond!
It shows that you care about your readers and are willing to engage with them. Plus, it can lead to loyal fans who will help spread the word about your book.
3. Stay Consistent with Branding: Your social media accounts should be an extension of your brand. Use the same colors, fonts, and images across all your accounts. It helps with brand recognition and makes you look more professional.
4. Post Regularly: Consistency is key when it comes to social media marketing. Post regularly, but don't overdo it. A few times a week is enough to keep your audience engaged without overwhelming them.
1. Be Too Salesy: No one likes a pushy salesman, and that includes your potential readers.
Don't constantly bombard them with "Buy my book!" posts. Instead, provide value and entertainment. Share behind-the-scenes peeks into your writing process, talk about your favorite books, or share funny memes.
People are more likely to buy from someone they like and trust.
2. Engage in Twitter Wars: Negative reviews and comments are bound to happen. It's just part of being an author. But don't engage in Twitter wars or online arguments. It's unprofessional and will turn off potential readers. Instead, thank the person for their feedback and move on or don't respond to it all.
3. Spread Yourself Too Thin: Social media can be overwhelming, especially when you're trying to maintain a presence on multiple platforms. Don't spread yourself too thin. It's better to have a strong presence on one or two platforms than a weak presence on several.
Figure out where your audience is and focus your efforts there.
4. Burn Out: Social media can be a time suck, and it's easy to get burnt out.
Set boundaries and take breaks when you need to. Remember, social media is just one piece of the marketing puzzle. Don't neglect other marketing strategies like email marketing or book signings(more on these coming soon 😄).
There you have it, folks! The do's and don'ts of social media marketing for authors. Follow these tips, and you'll be selling your stories like hotcakes in no time. Now go forth and conquer the social media world!
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Alrighty, buckle up, y'all!
We're gonna talk about literary agents.
Are they a must-have for authors? Or are they just a pain in the ass?
Well, let's break it down with a pros and cons list.
1) Industry Knowledge: Okay, so let's start with the obvious one. Literary agents know the publishing industry inside and out. They know the right editors to pitch to, the trends in the market, and what makes a good book sell.
If you're a newbie writer, having a literary agent can give you a major leg up.
2) Connections: Along with their industry knowledge, agents also have connections.
They know editors, publishers, and other people in the biz who can help get your book in front of more eyes.
And let's be real, as a self-published author, you're probably not going to be able to get those same connections on your own(or not as quickly).
3) Negotiation: Another benefit of having an agent is that they can handle negotiations for you. They can get you a better deal on your advance, your royalties, and any other contract details.
Negotiating can be stressful as hell, so having someone who knows what they're doing can take a lot of pressure off.
1) Cost: Okay, so one major drawback of having an agent is that they take a cut of your earnings 😭.
Typically, they'll take anywhere from 10-15% of your advance and royalties.
And while that might not sound like a lot, it can add up quickly.
So if you're self-publishing to make a full-time living, that extra percentage might not be worth it.
2) Finding the Right Agent: Another downside is that finding the right agent can be a major pain in the 🍑.
You have to research them, query them, and hope they even respond.
And if you do get an offer of representation, it might not be from someone you vibe with or who really understands your work.
So finding the right agent can take a lot of time and effort.
3) Lack of Control: Okay, so this one might be a bit controversial, but hear me out.
When you have an agent, you're giving up some control over your work.
They might want you to make changes to your book that you don't agree with.
Or they might want you to write in a different genre or style to make it more marketable.
And while that can be helpful in some ways, it can also be frustrating if you feel like you're not in control of your own work.
So there you have it, folks.
The pros and cons of having a literary agent as an author.
Is it worth it? Well, that's up to you to decide.
But hopefully, this list has given you some things to think about.
And if you do decide to go the agent route, just remember to do your research and find someone who really gets your work.
If you're looking for an agent tune in tomorrow because I've got a special gift for you 🎁
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Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to talk about Instagram!
Now, I know some of you may be thinking, "Oh no, not another social media platform to keep up with!" But trust me, Instagram should be every author's secret weapon for book promotion. Here's why:
Hashtags are the key to getting your posts in front of the right people.
Make sure to research and use relevant hashtags for your genre and target audience.
And don't be afraid to create your own unique hashtag to brand your content.
Prince made up his own symbol, so why can't you?
You can find a list of free tools to help you find relevant hashtags here.
Visuals Matter Folks.
Instagram, or the Gram as the kids call it, is a visual platform, so make sure
your posts are eye-catching and on brand. Consider investing in a professional
photographer or graphic designer, or if you want go DIY, a high-megapixel cellphone
and a ringlight, to help you create stunning visuals that will grab readers' attention.
Influencer marketing is all the rage these days. Partnering with influencers in your niche can help you reach a wider audience and build credibility.
Reach out to book bloggers, bookstagrammers, or other authors in your genre to collaborate on content or book giveaways.
You can find influencers by:
Instagram Has Some Cool Features Y'all.
Take advantage of Instagram's Stories and Reels features to showcase your personality and connect with your audience in a more personal way.
Use Stories to share behind-the-scenes glimpses into your writing process, or create Reels to showcase book trailers or fun book-related content.
So, there you have it, folks. Instagram is a powerful tool for authors looking to promote their work and connect with readers.
Don't miss out on this opportunity to build your brand and sell more books!
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Welcome, my fellow literary misfits!
Today, we’re diving into a debate as old as time (well, as old as the publishing industry, at least): should you write a series or a standalone novel?
Both options have their pros and cons, and the decision ultimately comes down to what kind of writer you are and what kind of story you want to tell. So, let’s get started and figure out which path is right for you!
Standalone Novels: The One and Done Approach
If you’re the kind of writer who likes to dive into a story, wrap it up with a neat little bow, and then move onto the next adventure, standalone novels might be your jam. Here are some benefits of taking this approach:
Series Novels: Keep the Story Going
If you’re the kind of writer who loves to dive deep into a world, explore every nook and cranny, and keep the story going, ala Tolkien, series novels might be your cup of tea. Here are some benefits of writing a series:
So, Which Should You Choose??🤔
So, which should you choose?
The truth is, there's no right or wrong answer: tt all depends on your goals as a writer, the story you want to tell, and your personal preferences.
Writing a series vs. standalone novels is a hotly debated topic in the literary world, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.
Some writers thrive on the flexibility of standalone novels, while others relish the chance to dive deep into a world.
You should choose the path that feels most authentic to you and your writing style.
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Hello there, fellow scribblers!
Today, we're going to talk about something that might make you feel a bit queasy.
We're going to talk about Amazon's publishing empire and why you should be
cautious before you jump on board. Buckle up, buttercups, because it's about to get bumpy.
Amazon's Got the Big Stick
Let's face it, Amazon is a behemoth in the publishing world.
They've got the power, the money, and the audience.
It's easy to get lured in by their promises of fame and fortune, but remember, they've got the big stick.
If you cross them, they can make your life miserable.
Amazon is NOT Your Friend
Don't be fooled by Amazon's friendly, smiling logo.
They're a corporation, and their primary goal is to make money.
They're not in this business to make you famous or to give you warm, fuzzy feelings.
They want to make a profit, and they'll do whatever it takes to get there.
Amazon Reviews Can Be Bought
Amazon's review system is a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, it can help your book get noticed. On the other hand, it can be manipulated.
There are people out there who will sell you fake reviews, and Amazon doesn't always catch them.
That means your book might be competing with books that have a fake reputation.
Amazon Algorithms Are Not You Friend
Amazon's algorithms are the secret sauce that makes their publishing empire so successful.
They know what sells, and they use that knowledge to their advantage.
That means your book might get lost in the shuffle if it doesn't fit their formula.
It's like trying to swim upstream in a river of molasses.
Amazon Exclusivity Can Be Trap
When you sign up for Amazon's exclusive publishing program, you agree to only
sell your book on Amazon. That might seem like a good idea at first, but what
happens if you want to expand your audience?
What happens if Amazon changes its terms, and you don't like the new rules? You're stuck.
Amazon Royalties are Not What they Seem
Amazon's royalty system is a bit of a mystery.
They take a cut of your sales, but how much of a cut? It's hard to say.
They also have a complex system of fees that can eat into your profits.
Make sure you understand the fine print before you sign up.
So There You Have It, Folks!
The dark side of Amazon's publishing empire.
It's not all sunshine and rainbows. But don't let that scare you off.
Amazon can be a valuable tool for independent authors. You just need to be aware of the risks.
Remember, knowledge is power.
The more you know about Amazon's publishing empire, the better equipped
you'll be to navigate its murky waters. Keep writing, keep creating, and keep learning.
You've got this!
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Welcome, dear independent fiction authors, to a guide on how to make your readers suffer! 👿
If you are looking to push your audience away, then you've come to the right place. Here are the seven deadly sins of fiction writing, guaranteed to drive your readers crazy
Number 1: Clichés, clichés, clichés
Nothing says "I'm a lazy writer" like filling your pages with clichés.
You know, those overused phrases that make readers roll their eyes and lose interest in your story. Why come up with your own original ideas when you can just recycle tired old expressions like "time heals all wounds" or "love conquers all"?
Keep doing that, and your readers will start to wonder if you've ever had an original thought in your life.
Number 2: Info-dumping
Who needs to show rather than tell when you can just dump all your information on your readers in
one big, boring block of text?
Forget about creating a compelling narrative that gradually reveals important details. Just tell your
readers everything they need to know right away, in excruciating detail. Your readers will love
wading through pages and pages of exposition, won't they?
Number 3: One-dimensional characters
Why bother creating complex, multi-faceted characters when you can just stick with bland, one-dimensional stereotypes? Your readers will never get bored with yet another stock character like the "tough but tender" detective, the "quirky but lovable" best friend, or the "evil for the sake of being evil" villain.
Who needs character development when you can just use a cookie-cutter approach?
Number 4: Purple Prose
Why use simple, clear language when you can instead indulge in a
whole bunch of flowery, overwritten language that no one will understand?
Just keep stringing together endless metaphors, similes, and adjectives until your prose becomes a
dense, impenetrable mess. Your readers will love struggling to understand what you're trying to say!
Number 5: Plot Holes
Who needs a coherent plot when you can just toss in a bunch of random
events that don't make sense? Forget about establishing cause and effect, or
creating a story that logically follows from beginning to end.
Just throw in a bunch of plot twists that come out of nowhere, and watch as your readers scratch
their heads and wonder what the hell is going on.
Number 6: Inconsistency
Why bother with consistency when you can just change your story whenever you feel like it?
Forget about sticking to the rules you've established, or making sure your characters act
in ways that are consistent with their personalities. Just change the rules whenever
it's convenient, and watch as your readers get more and more frustrated with your
lack of attention to detail.
Number 7 : Rush the Ending
Who needs a satisfying conclusion when you can just wrap up your story in the most haphazard,
unsatisfying way possible? Forget about tying up loose ends, or giving your readers
a sense of closure. Just rush through the ending as quickly as possible, leaving
your readers feeling cheated and unsatisfied.
Well, there you have it, folks: the seven deadly sins of fiction writing.
If you want to make your readers suffer, just follow these simple guidelines,
and watch as your audience dwindles to nothing.
Or, you could do the exact opposite, and strive to create stories that are engaging,
well-written, and memorable. The choice is yours!
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Are you an independent fiction author? Well, my dear friend, In this blog post, I will explain why grammar matters and why your readers will thank you for caring about it.
1. Clarity: The first reason why grammar matters is that it provides clarity to your writing.
If your writing is full of grammatical errors, your readers will have a hard time understanding what
you are trying to say. It's like trying to have a conversation with someone who speaks in a language
that you don't understand. So, if you want your readers to understand your story, make sure your
grammar is on point.
2. Professionalism: Grammar also adds a level of professionalism to your writing. If you want to be
taken seriously as a writer, you need to present yourself in a professional manner. Nothing says
"amateur" like a manuscript full of grammar mistakes.
3. Attention to Detail: By taking care of your grammar, you show your readers that you care about the
details. When you put effort into your writing, it shows. Your readers will appreciate the extra effort
you put in to make your manuscript the best it can be.
4. You Build Trust: When your readers see that you have taken care to ensure
your manuscript is error-free, they will trust you as a writer. Trust is essential
in the writing industry. If your readers don't trust you, they won't read your next book.
5. Keeps Your Readers Engaged: If your readers are continually being distracted by grammatical errors, they won't be fully engaged in your story. You want your readers to be fully immersed in your writing. So, take the time to make sure your grammar is correct.
6. It Shows You Respect Your Readers: Your readers are taking the time to read your story. Respect their time and effort by presenting them with a well-written manuscript. Your readers will thank you for it.
In conclusion, grammar matters, and your readers will thank you for caring about it.
By ensuring your manuscript is error-free, you provide clarity, professionalism,
attention to detail, build trust, and keep your readers engaged.
So, take the time to self-edit your work.
I know that you're a spectacular wordsmith, but there's no shame in admitting
that you're not an expert in grammar.
Many independent fiction authors hire proofreaders and copyeditors to
ensure their manuscript is error-free.