Writing

Using Research to Craft a Better Book

Research is a must for self-published authors because it shows that you are informed and knowledgeable on a topic, and it gives you instant credibility with potential readers. Don’t think that research is only necessary for nonfiction authors; fiction writers can benefit from doing their homework, too!Magnifying glass

The good news is that when you are writing about a subject that you’re passionate about, researching can be fun and rewarding. Today we present a six-step guide to getting that research done!

1. Read

It’s a cliché that good readers make good writers, but it’s a cliché for a reason. Immersing yourself in your topic (or genre) will inspire you to write your own book. Plus, surveying what books are out there can help you write a book that fills (not falls into) the gaps in the marketplace. Continue reading

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Author Feature

Story of a Ghostwriter

The following are the words of Archway Publishing’s Sandee Hart, co-author of “Nighthawk” with Bill Bowers. Learn more about the book or Bill on his author website and Facebook. To keep up to date with their book, follow Sandee on Twitter. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

In the Shadows

When my childhood friend Bill Bowers contacted me about helping him write his memoir, I immediately said yes. After all, he was an incredible storyteller and I had spent my life writing in the shadows for others. There wasn’t a lot of glory, and it was hard work, but I was quite comfortable hiding. I guess you could say I was afraid if people knew it was my work they would think it wasn’t good enough. I learned very early on that when you’re not noticed, people don’t bother you. They can’t assassinate your character, your opinions, or your choices. Being hidden is safe because there is no risk, no missed chances and no record of your existence in the writing of others.

Finding the Story

Writing Nighthawk, A Young Airman’s Tour at Clark Air Base with Bill would be the perfect job for me. I was honored to help him recreate his favorite memories centered on the antics and comedic misadventures during his first tour of duty.  What I didn’t expect was that intimacy would become the currency of his memoir.

Bill’s story is about the ups and downs of service, the culture of the Philippines, and the actions of a bunch of kids tossed onto an island paradise. In order to share this narrative, I needed direct access to his thoughts, memories and emotions. In that process, my job was, quite literally, to disappear. I wasn’t writing a biography as an outsider looking in, I was inside connecting Bill’s experiences with his audience. I committed the truest part of me to the pages of his book, and I had to be vulnerable to his thoughts and feelings. Though it was scary, I knew that I was going to give Bill the greatest gift a writer can offer- his story in print.

Emotional Labor

Two months into the writing process, something was missing from the stories Bill sent to me. Why did the stories sound so good when he told them, but seemed mediocre when in print? I came to realize that his emotions, much like my own were hidden. Bill was afraid to, shall I say, go deep. I was okay with that, because, I wasn’t ready either. I wanted his stories to explode on the page the way they did when we talked. Then, a light bulb went off: more like an atomic bomb landed on my head. Exploring Bill’s life invariably led to me exploring my own.  At first, I thought that was a mistake. However, the more I discovered about Bill, the clearer the lens into my own life became. I discovered myself, which in turn allowed me to discover Bill.

Dance of Minds

As a storyteller, Bill imparted meaning. My job was to convey that meaning to others. Each story began to take on more power than the last. Instead of Bill telling his story alone, we were collaborating and creating layer upon layer from shared experiences.  Together, we gave each other a window into our souls. In return, a window opened for readers to do the same. Our work together became a symbiotic relationship. We each had minds of our own and thoughts of our own; but at the same time, we lived the same life.

We’d remind each other daily to not to let the critical voice inside-  the one that said, it can be better than that! — win.  We had to accept that each draft was a piece of trash. Once we could say, that’s okay, telling the story was much easier. We realized that once we got out of our own way, what needed to be written, was written. Then, we’d read over the draft, spend the rest of the day obsessing, and prayed we would not end up dead before we had to completely rewrite chapters or delete the entire book.

Discovery

In helping Bill tell his story, I found my true self.  I found my purpose in life and began to accept those experiences that shaped me- good and bad. The journey included confusion, misunderstanding, doubt and literally re-visiting all my life’s choices. The journey was worth it because like Bill, I came to understand myself. I found truth and I found freedom, I stopped being my own worst enemy! I started accepting my feelings and allowed others to see what I had kept hidden. Life was no longer what  anyone else wanted for me; it became about what I wanted.

 

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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Author Feature

My Archway Experience – with Angela Adley

The following are the words of Angela Adley, Archway Publishing author of “Growing Up without My Daddy” Learn more about Angela on her author website or Facebook page. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

Why I Write

In 2014, I set out to publish Growing Up without My Daddy. I wrote this book to share insights from own childhood experience in the hopes of helping those who are going through what I did. With my book, I wanted to teach young girls how to move beyond their hurt through trusting in God’s gift of love. Ultimately, Growing Up without My Daddy is a book which seeks to help parents begin a conversation with their children. My book is a reminder to fatherless girls that they are loved and lovable by their mere existence.

Selecting a Publisher

Upon beginning my self-publishing journey I had no previous experience in the field. However, I knew there were many publishing options. Personally, I wanted to select a self-publisher that was partnered with a traditional publishing company. I spent many weeks researching various self-publishing companies, reading tons of articles and even books to gain insight on how to select the perfect publisher for my book.

Choosing Archway

When researching Archway Publishing I noticed their affiliation with Simon & Schuster, which was impressive.  Reviewing Archway’s publishing packages was exciting because I realized they accommodated a variety of publishing needs from standard to elite services. I loved that Archway provided professional illustrators for authors requiring illustrations for their books. Finally, I looked at Archway’s pricing. Let’s be honest, there’s a financial cost to creating almost anything – this is even more so when creating a product with the help of experts, professionals, and leaders in an industry. So yes, self-publishing is pricey, but it’s affordable with a bit of financial planning. Honestly, I don’t regret any of the money I spent publishing Growing Up without My Daddy. The product Archway delivered was beyond my imagination!

VIP Experience

I really enjoyed the publishing package I selected through Archway because it provided me with access to premium concierge services. The entire system for creating my book was fairly straightforward. Archway guided me through the process and provided detailed information during each step. They estimated a time frame for every stage, which helped me stay updated. Throughout publishing, I corresponded with Archway by email. I loved that Archway used email because it made communication easy and efficient. My own personal representative assisted me through the entire publishing journey from start to finish.

Working Together

Another detail I would like to note is that Archway is not a company who charges surprise fees. Working with Archway, I was notified of any fees not included in the initial packaging. Additional fees would be charged specifically for revisions outside of the allotted number, or changes once I passed a particular phase in the publishing process. I felt like Archway was very transparent in additional fees and there were never any surprises.

The most challenging part of my experience would have to be the illustration phase/s. Archway matches you with an illustrator, and you only correspond with them through writing. Despite my worry, this step of the production ended up going very smoothly! My book is truly a masterpiece, and I am so glad that I chose Archway to help create and publish it. In fact, I get many compliments on my book; buyers especially love the illustrations.

 

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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Author Feature

Who Are We Writing For? by Larissa Juliano

The following are the words of Larissa Juliano, author of Gracie Lou. Larissa is an elementary and library teacher in upstate New York. Besides teaching, her passion in life is writing books in hopes of inspiring children to use their imagination, especially through literature. She currently has two more books in production with her trusted Archway team. You can follow Larissa on Twitter @larissasjulianoDownload the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.  Continue reading

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Publishing Expert Tips

Six Tips to Successful Publishing

You know your writing process is your own process. You know that while all of your writing friends have a process, your process is probably yours, alone. And that’s fine. But have you looked at the similarities between your process and theirs?

publishing

Archway Publishing has found six common tasks that almost every writer has to combine in order to bring a book to market and make some sales. Continue reading

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Publishing

Inspiration Behind My Book and Self-Publishing with Archway Publishing

The following are the words of Lawrence Bodner, author of IBS is BS. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

What key drivers inspired me to write my book?

The first driver must be your burning desire to get your story or message out to the general public. Writing is an art that is usually innate and therefore difficult to cultivate. Writing is usually stimulated by one’s desire to get their story out in order to entertain, educate, influence and or effect social change in the reading public. 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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Writing

Four Ways to Manage Your Writing Schedule

Rumor has it J.K. Rowling worked for five years, building the world of Harry Potter and plotting all seven books before she began writing anything. Jack Kerouac reportedly wrote the draft of On the Road in less than a month. How long will it take you to write or finish your book?

The right answer is up to you.

The one thing you will absolutely need is some kind of plan. It doesn’t matter whether your writing plan is a month long or a year long. The time is less important than the plan.

In the post-Four Ways to Manage Your Writing Schedule, Archway Publishing offers 4 easy tips you can use to help you keep to your writing plan, whatever it is.

Click here to read more >>

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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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Social Media

Basic Tips for Setting up an Author Website

Why Do You Need a Website?

In the twenty-first century, it’s almost impossible to succeed as an author without a website. You probably won’t sell many books there, but that’s not why people will come. Readers will come to your website because they’re curious about you as a person after reading your book.

It’s true. Even if you’re sitting there thinking “Oh, no one will ever care about my website,” think of the last time you looked up the author of a book.

Maybe it was a book you just finished and you wanted to know when the next one would be out. Maybe it was because it was really good, and you wanted to know more. Or maybe because the author said something in his or her book to drive you to that website.

Web Sites Work

Web sites give your readers a place to congregate, to get in touch with you, and to get news about you and your books direct from the source. Even if you pay someone to manage a site for you, there are some basic things you should pay attention to.

Learn what some of those things are in the post-Basic Tips for Setting Up an Author Website from Archway Publishing.

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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