Tuesday, May 23, 2017

You Should Enter That Contest

by Nicole Evans (@thought_stained)

If you stumbled upon this blog post, you might be considering entering #ShoreIndie, a new contest for emerging Indie writers to win free editing and support through your writing journey. (Want more details? Check out this blog post here.) But you also might be feeling some apprehension or some nervousness thinking about submitting your work into a contest. You might still be on the fence whether that’s a risk you want to take.

As someone who has entered into three such contests and not won a single one, I want to encourage you to enter that contest.

A year ago, I was also in your shoes. Only battling in the query trenches a few times before and receiving rejection after rejection, I was wary about opening myself up to “failure” once more. I had doubts that my work was truly ready. I was nervous to send my work out to be critiqued, worried that the feedback would find it wanting and I’d be discouraged to keep trying. Before finally convincing myself to enter, I had this false idea that you could only gain something from Twitter-based contests if you won.

I was very happily mistaken.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What are the different types of editing?

by Katie McCoach

If you stumbled on this article and aren’t familiar with ShoreIndie—an amazing contest for emerging indie authors—then I encourage you to learn more. The contest begins June 3rd!

The main focus of this contest is providing authors a chance to work with an editor to prepare the best possible version of their book for self-publishing. If you win, you’ll be working with an editor for several weeks on the content of the novel. And the grand-prize winner will receive copyediting!

Developmental editing, also often considered content editing, is editing that focuses on creating the best story possible. The editor will work with the author to strengthen the author’s big-picture story, as well as help them develop their craft of writing. This is the first stage of editing.

Editing of this nature usually involves things like critiques or manuscript evaluations to address big-picture items. It also often may be paired with substantive editing (also considered line editing). 

These edits look at the writing style, voice, pacing and flow, characters, readability, intended audience, genre, narrative, plots and subplots, etc. These edits are designed to help an author tighten their manuscript. Does the protagonist grow or change from beginning to end? Are the characters’ actions believable? Does the plot feel forced or organic? Are the characters’ goals and motivations fully developed? Is there internal and external conflict? Is this actually a romance novel or is it women’s fiction?

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Meet ShoreIndie Judge Ember Casey

We are jumping up and down with excitement to have USA Today bestselling author EMBER CASEY as a 2017 ShoreIndie Contest judge!

A prolific indie author since 2013, Ember was a powerhouse straight out of the gate with her debut NA contemporary romance, His Wicked Games, which, to date, has a whopping 626 reviews on Amazon. Since then, she's gone on to finish the Cunningham Family Series and write books in four more series, plus a standalone. And every one of her books has higher than a 4-star rating on Amazon. Ember is a master at keeping her readers engaged with her platform. One of her brilliant strategies is to release novellas and short stories related to her ongoing series in between novels. She also has a fantastic website, newsletter, and Facebook presence that are great models for how to do this indie author thing right. (Seriously, go check out what she's doing. She's an absolute genius.)

We are thrilled that Ember has agreed to do an interview for the ShoreIndie blog - stay tuned to find out more about how she has achieved her indie awesomeness - and that she's allowing us to host a giveaway of a signed copy of The Billionaire Escape Plan (date TBA). In the meantime, we highly recommend checking out her website, Facebook group, and BookBub listing; signing up for her newsletter to get a sense of what a great, engaging newsletter looks like; and following her on Twitter @embercasey.

Meet ShoreIndie Judge Bill Cameron

We are over the moon to have mystery author BILL CAMERON as a 2017 ShoreIndie Contest judge!

A hybrid author of adult and young adult mystery novels, Bill also writes short fiction, some of which has been included in anthologies edited by Lee Child (yes, THAT Lee Child - the bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers). We recommend checking out the interview Bill did with Sentence to Paragraph about his latest book, Property of the State (2016, Poisoned Pen Press), for an engaging discussion about how to capture the modern teen voice and writing about social issues without the book becoming a polemic.

Bill is a generous human being who has supported other writers for many years. Sione met him, in fact, through a weekly community reading series Bill organized that was open to writers of all ages, genres, and skill levels. In addition to judging the inaugural ShoreIndie Contest, Bill has agreed to field questions about writing and his decision to become a hybrid author in an #AskAuthor chat (date/time TBD), and we are thrilled to host a giveaway of Property of the State on that same day. We are so grateful to have Bill as a ShoreIndie judge, and we hope you'll help us show him the love!

Bill tweets @bcmystery. Be sure to check out his website, www.bill-cameron.com. 

Meet ShoreIndie Judge Elise Kova

We are ecstatic to have USA Today bestselling author ELISE KOVA as a judge for the 2017 ShoreIndie Contest!

Elise debuted in 2015 with her YA fantasy Air Awakens, which became a #1 Amazon bestseller in Epic Fantasy as well as YA Sword & Sorcery Fantasy. Since then, she's gone on to self-publish four more books in the Air Awakens series and the three books of the Golden Guard Trilogy (YA fantasy) and has become a hybrid author by publishing the two (so far) books in the Loom Saga (A Steampunk) with Keymaster Press. A former graphic designer, Elise designs her own covers (which we LOVE): she works with an illustrator, who produces a painting, and she adds the text and formatting.

Elise's generosity to the ShoreIndie community knows no bounds: In addition to judging the inaugural contest, she is also one of our generous sponsors, has agreed to entertain our questions about writing and indie authorship during an #AskAuthor chat (date/time TBA), and will be giving away a copy of The Alchemists of Loom on the same day as her chat. We could not be more thrilled, and we hope you will help us show her all the love!

Elise tweets @EliseKova. Be sure to check out her gorgeous website and Facebook page, follow her Instagram feed, and see what people are saying about her books on Goodreads.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

How to prepare for #ShoreIndie

by Sione Aeschliman

Are you ready to submit to #ShoreIndie on June 3rd? You are if...
  1. You have a finished manuscript. I cannot overemphasize how important this is. Your ms has to already have a beginning, middle, and end. It has to have a developed plot and characters. It needs to be as good as you can get it without the help of a professional editor. Maybe you're not 100% sold on the ending you've written or the need for one of your minor characters, but you've committed regardless and the thing is DONE.
  2. You are passionate about self-publishing this manuscript. You've researched the options, read many different perspectives on why you should and should not self-publish, you know that indie authorship is two full-time jobs put together, and for any number of reasons, you know that self-publishing is the way to go with this book. Perhaps you've only been held back from fully committing to the self-published route because it's important to you to publish a high-quality book and knew you couldn't afford the costs and/or because you haven't the first clue about how to market a book - in which case, this contest is *perfect* for you. But if an agent or publishing house called you up tomorrow and offered to take on this novel, would you squeal with joy and accept in half a heartbeat with zero reservations? If so, this isn't the right contest for you. We *love* authors who want to publish traditionally - many of the editors who are working on this contest also work on Revise & Resub, a contest for querying authors - but we developed this contest specifically to support emerging indie authors who are passionate about self-publishing, so that's who we want to reach here.
  3. Your manuscript is a workable length. One of the advantages to self-publishing is that your book doesn't have to conform to the length standards of traditional publishing. That said, we still only have seven weeks for editing in this contest, and our goal is to get your ms ready for copy editing, which means that we're limited in terms of how much manuscript we can take on. Each editor has her own idea about how much ms she's willing to take on (check out the MSWLs and follow up on this in the #AskEditor chats), but if your word count is over 100K, I recommend this post about the most common reasons I see for high word counts and get your word count down a little further. 
  4. You've revised your ms in response to feedback. Probably more than once. By "feedback," I mean from a beta reader or critique partner - someone who gets stories and will be honest with you. And by "revised" I mean you've worked hard on overall structure, character development, world building, pacing, and conflict. You've gone back in again and perfected your first five pages because you know that's all you have to get our attention. And then you've polished your first 50 pages a couple of times, both for the big picture and for language-level details. Do the editors expect your ms to be perfect? No. But it has to be as close to done as you can get it without a professional editor. Because I guarantee that we'll have some insight and ideas of our own that will take your awesome book and make it even awesomer. Which brings me to... 
  5. You're still open to doing more revision. You need to be super honest with yourself right now: How are you feeling about your ms? Are you burnt out on it? Convinced that it's perfect as-is? The ShoreIndie Contest is 90% about the editing round, so you need to be open to constructive feedback and willing to roll up your sleeves and work hard - again. If you aren't open to hearing that your book isn't done, or you don't have any more energy to put into it, it's not the right time to submit. 
  6. You will have the time & energy to work hard. I intend to take my author through two to three rounds of editing. In past contests, my authors have taken time off of work, cloistered themselves away from their families, and worked late into the nights to execute the changes we'd agreed on because they understood that they had access to a professional editor for free for a a limited time. The editors who participate in this challenge are willing to give you a lot of ourselves during the editing round; you need to be willing to bring it, too. So time for more honesty here: How much time are you realistically going to be able to devote to revisions during the editing round? If you're going to be traveling, will need to focus a lot of your time and attention on your family/relationships, or will have a lot going on in your day job that'll prevent you from spending a significant amount of time on revision, the timing isn't right.
If YES to all of the above...

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Meet ShoreIndie Editor Sione Aeschliman

Sione Aeschliman (pronounced see-OWN ASH-lemon) is an editor and writing coach with a Master's degree in English and over fourteen years of editing experience. Since becoming a full-time freelance editor in 2012, she’s had the honor of working with authors from several countries on a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction projects. Last year she was an editor in the Pitch to Publication Twitter contest and faculty at the inaugural The Work Conference in New York City. This year she’s a #RevPit editor, creator of the ShoreIndie contest, co-editor of an anthology of floating-inspired prose and poetry for Coincidence Control Publishing, and teacher of genre fiction writing at the Show:Tell Workshop for Teen Writers and Artists.

Under her own name Sione writes prose and poetry (and prose poetry) about dusty heart-drawers and being chased by nunchuck-wielding ducks. Under pseudonym she is the indie author of seven books published in the last five years.

Although she lives in Portland, Oregon, she does not own a bicycle and is woefully underprepared for the zombie apocalypse, but her adorkable dog, Milton, is an Expert Urban Forager. She can't wait to read submissions and connect with members of the Twitter indie author community.

For ShoreIndie 2017, Sione is excited to accept...