self-publishing tips

Essential Elements of a Great Story

Some stories are timeless and transcend genre boundaries. These stories reach across barriers of time and age. All of the greatest stories have certain things in common, and in the post The Five Essential Elements of a Great Story, Archway Publishing looks at some of these key craft components.

Five Essential Elements

  • Protagonist – There’s a reason the Harry Potter series bears his name.
  • Antagonist – Do you remember the name of the man who threw the harpoon, or the name Moby-Dick?
  • An Inciting Action – World War Z was a phenomenon, largely because reader new right from the first page that something incredible had happened.
  • Conflict – Would Sherlock Holmes have worked as well without the foil of Moriarty?
  • Resolution – Readers invest in the stories they read; you have to reward them for that investment.

Learn more about each of these five elements in The Five Essential Elements of a Great Story!>>>

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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self-publishing tips

The Different Types of Editing

Editing Advice from Archway

“Terms in editing can be confusing,” claims the post The Different Types of Editing, from Archway Publishing. “When hiring an editor, always speak to him or her about exactly what the editing includes.”

This advice is excellent because sometimes even experienced writers are confused about the differences between copy-editing and developmental editing. Other types of editing like line editing and mechanical editing sound—and can be sold—as if they are the same thing. Continue reading

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self-publishing tips

From Mock Copy to Self-Published

The following are the words of Donna Fantacone, author of Officer Tony Says, “Be Careful.”  Check out her website here for more info about the author and her book. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

There is nothing more satisfying than holding the completed and published book in your hands.  However, the road to publishing is not an easy one.  It started out that I had a promise or a great interest of a publishing company, one that was in constant contact with me, expressing interest in my idea.  They told me it was a go; I then had to produce the “mock copy” of the book.  The “Mock Up” is an entire work, with a number of complete illustrations in the exact format of the book. Continue reading

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self-publishing tips

Five Tips to Help You Get Your Manuscript Finished

You were inspired. You started out strong, but you’re starting to run out of gas before the finish line. Not to worry! Here are Archway’s five surefire tips to help you complete your manuscript and self-publish it. Put them into practice and you’ll holding your first book signing before you know it.

Calendar1. Set a target date when you want to hold a finished copy

Imagine what it will feel like to hold the first copy of your book. Having that goal in mind can be a key motivator to keep you writing. It might be a specific day like your birthday, wedding anniversary, or a date that coincides with an upcoming event (a speaking engagement, conference or convention).

2. Pay attention to your best time/place for writing productively

Most people are more productive at certain times of day than others. When you write, keep track of the time and location when you’re most effective, and try to set aside that time each day for writing. You might be at your most creative in the morning, for example, or at night after the kids have gone to bed.

3. Set a schedule that will allow you to hit your target date

Now that you have a target date for completion, work backwards to establish a schedule to reach your goal. Let’s say you want to have a book signing in six months, but it will likely take you two months to get your book designed, printed and distributed. You need to submit your manuscript for production four months from now. Do you intend to have it copy edited? If so, you’ll probably need to allow another 60 days, leaving you only two months to get your manuscript ready to go.

4. Make yourself accountable to someone for finishing your book

Designate someone who will hold you accountable for sticking to your schedule. It can be a friend, family member, or someone familiar with the process. For example, publishing consultants at AuthorHouse have served in this role for thousands of authors. A firm but gentle hand can be all the encouragement you need to stay on track.

5. Plan an event to celebrate the book’s completion

For many authors, writing and publishing a book is one of the greatest accomplishments of their lives. Celebrate this feat! Throw a launch party at your home for friends and family. Give out copies of your book to those who’ve inspired you. This is more than a book, it’s part of your legacy. Take a few moments to pat yourself on the back and enjoy your achievement.

Millions of people have an idea for a book, but only the disciplined few earn the title of published author. You can be one of them!

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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self-publishing tips, Writing

One Draft Wonder

Many writers are confused about what happens after you have managed to get the first draft out of your head and onto the page. There are some who mistakenly go straight to the publishing process. However, there are a few more steps to take before you can get there.

For many writers, the first draft is just the bare bones of the finished work. It should be an introductory draft where you get all your ideas on to paper. Anything is possible in this draft, write down everything that’s in your head and worry about the editing in later drafts. Once you get this done, go ahead and print it out and go through it and make notes or corrections as needed. Take your time on this step to make sure you can really clean it up before you go on to the second draft.

Your second draft should be where you create the structure and make sure the story has a good flow. Here you can decide if the story works or if you want to go back to the drawing board. This is the point where you have an actual manuscript. You should go over your work a few times and make sure it makes sense. Most publishers recommend a structural edit which is usually given to you as a separate document, broken down into sections based on what is being evaluated. After you get your edits back, take your time making any changes you may need to.

One step that not a lot of authors use is having beta readers. Beta readers are a trusted group of people who evaluate your book from a reader’s perspective. You should only get to this step when you are completely satisfied with your book. You should generally pick 5 to 6 people who enjoy and understand the genre of your book and who can spot issues.

Another step that is recommended is line editing. This step can be pretty brutal. Line edits are more about word choice, grammar and sentence structure. Try not to take all the editing and red ink to heart. The goal is to make your book stronger and your readers will appreciate you for it.

After you have made all the revisions from the beta readers and the line editor, give your manuscript one last final proof-read from a professional and get ready for the publication process!

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