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Thanks to author Roy Huff for stopping by and sharing his journey as a novelist. And look for the FREE eBOOK offer at the end. Enjoy!

The Making of Everville: The First Pillar by Roy Huff

Roy Huff “There were several aspects in the creation of my first book and the first in a series Everville: The First Pillar that, I think, have helped make it a modestly successful debut novel. Perhaps the most important was that its initial inception came about as a descriptive creative writing paper for a college English class. This helped set the descriptive tone that was kept throughout the entirety of the paper. It also allowed me to get peer feedback without the pressure of writing a book. Once the creative writing paper was written, the response from fellow classmates encouraged me to turn it into a book.

I worked over the course of 18 months on the first 30 pages, then after much deliberation, decided to finish the novel in short order. Honestly, it was the concern over finding a literary agent and a traditional publishing house that delayed the completion of the book. But after doing a little research and reading John Locke’s ebook How I Sold 1 Million ebooks in 5 Months, I decided that I could make a book successful on my own. This helped me shape the creative aspects of the novel to fit my target audience and market the book more effectively. While I don’t agree with all the recommendations by John Locke, some of which I have serious reservations about, there was plenty of good advice in Locke’s book for me to use in moving forward with the publication process.

Roy Huff City of Worms Everville: The First Pillar was a fun project for me, and I’m having an equally fun time in writing the second book, Everville: The City of Worms, as well as continuing to market Everville: The First Pillar. Perhaps that most exciting aspect, aside from building a fantasy world and writing the story itself, is interacting with readers who have read and enjoyed the book. It has inspired me to continue writing and make an even greater effort to reach out to my readers as well as fellow writers. I am grateful to Amazon’s KDP program and Goodreads’ giveaway events, which can be used a platform for small independent authors like myself to reach a wider audience, and perhaps have a greater opportunity for commercial success.

To those aspiring writers, my recommendations are to hire a good editor, get your manuscript proofed and reproofed as much as possible, write what inspires you, never take no for an answer, never give up, and don’t be afraid to spend a significant amount of time promoting yourself and your book. Also, be willing to help others and genuinely invest in their success.

Roy Huff The First Pillar I hope to see you on Twitter @evervillefans, Instagram @owensageblog, Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/evervillefans, and my blog http://www.owensage.com/blog.html

FREE – May 12th through May 16th 2013: Download Everville: The First Pillar for FREE on Amazon during the 5 day Kindle ebook promo http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BCOQSSQ/ and enter the international signed Goodreads paperback giveaway: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/51905-the-first-pillar

Thanks again to Roy Huff for his guest Post. Watch Whimsical Words for more guests, blogs from me, and Readers & Writers Recipes. Have an inspired day! – Vonnie

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Beth-Barany_360by270-cropped Thanks to author Beth Barany for stopping by and chatting about virtual book club appearances. Both authors and readers can learn something from her post.

How to Prepare for a Virtual Book Club Appearance by Beth Barany

Many authors are looking for ways to connect with their readers, sell books, and most importantly, build a group of fans who are waiting for your next book.

Book Clubs are a great way to do this.

But how do you get a book club to have you as their featured author? Well, you can make it easy for people to consider you for a book club by having excerpts on your site, list your buy links, and have a contact form or contact information on your site. If you’d like to you can also have a page on you site that lets people know you’re available for book clubs.

Through my awesome assistant in my book coaching business, Michelle C. Geary, I got my first book club experience. Her son Alex was enthusiastic about my YA fantasy novel, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, and got his high school book club excited too! I made a Skype appearance to chat with them back in January 2013.

Now what do you do once a book club contacts you?

Preparation for your Book Club Appearance

1. Help them get your book, at a discount if you can.

Independent authors can often ship books from their printer directly at a discount for the book club members — I was able to do this. Traditionally published authors: check with your publisher to see if they can provide books at a discount.

2. Provide a Q&A of suggested questions or ask if the group has their own.

Patty, the book club organizer, eagerly sent me questions, that I’ve now adapted and posted on my site. http://author.bethbarany.com.

3. Set up a time and a place.

Here’s where I have to give a plug to the wonders of technology. Place no longer has to be a limitation. You can be a guest via Skype, or another webinar tool. I think Skype is the easiest and most affordable — free! — tool at this point.  I used Skpye to chat with the Marengo, Iowa middle school/high school book club, since I live in California.

4. Promote your upcoming appearance via your site and social media.

I mentioned my upcoming appearance on Twitter, my favorite broadcast medium.

During Your Book Club Appearance

Henrietta-FullCover7.indd 1. Come prepared to your book club. Have your book blurb hand, the list of questions and answers, and even props.

I rehearsed my answers, and had a copy of my book in hand. I also had my dragons next to me in case I’d have an opportunity to show them.

2. Make sure people know how to stay connected with you and see if they’d like special early notification of your next book.

I invited people to sign up for my newsletter at http://author.bethbarany.com.

3. If it seems appropriate, ask them if they know of any other book club that would like you as a guest.

4. Lastly, offer a special giveaway if you have one.

A digital trading card is popular in some genres. Here’s a how-to article on that: http://www.ehow.com/how_5821932_create-trading-cards-digital-photos.html  I haven’t created such cards, yet!

After Your Book Club Appearance

1. Thank your book club host and all the attendees.

2. Mention them in a post as a public shout out. I did that here: http://author.bethbarany.com/2013/01/23/news-from-ya-fantasy-author-beth-barany/

3. Make notes on what worked and what you would do differently next time.

That’s it! Let me know if you’ve done any in-person or virtual book club appearances. What did you like about it? Any advice that you’d like to share?

Bonus Offer: I’ll give away an ebook copy of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer to one of the commentors, and will pick a winner at random seven days after this post goes live. Good luck!”

Beth Barany is the award-winning author of the YA fantasy, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer. For more information about Beth’s fiction, and to sign up for her somewhat monthly newsletter, go to http://author.bethbarany.com

Thanks again to Beth Barany for her guest post. Watch Whimsical Words for more guests, blogs from me, and my new feature, Readers & Writers Recipes. Have a book-filled day.– Vonnie

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Balticon, the wonderful science fiction and fantasy conference sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, begins tomorrow. Now held at the Hunt Valley Marriot (Hunt Valley, MD), Balticon is always interesting. I usually attend a few writing, publishing, and art focused programs I’m not involved with — plus participate in and moderate several panels on Saturday and Sunday.

 This year, my Balticon schedule begins early with a 4 PM Reading on Friday, May 25. I’ll be reading from my fantasy short story collection, The Greener Forest. (And maybe give listeners a taste of my next collection, Owl Light). Per usual, I’ll be moderating the Poetry Workshop on Sunday afternoon with writing exercises and publishing tips for all.

If you leaf through the 2012 BSFAN book, you’ll see a promo I drew for my upcoming book, Owl Light. There are 30 birds hidden in a “Bird Search.” For those who can’t attend Balticon, watch for information here and on my website shortly on how to download the “Bird Search,” and try it at home.

Cold Moon Press, the publisher of several of my books, is making a special Balticon offer. A Kindle version of my fantasy eBook, Blame it on the Trees, can be downloaded for FREE from now until Monday, May 28th, 11:59 PM. I’d be grateful to anyone who re-posts the free book link below. I’m trying to reach 1,000 readers by Monday at midnight. Won’t you please help?

Have a magical weekend, and please download, review, like, and re-post the link for Blame it on the Trees:

http://tinyurl.com/vonnies-blame-trees-story

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