reading

Please Your Readers – 3 Trope Tactics

tropesI’m a genre whore. 70% of what I read is Young Adult fantasy or dystopian fiction. I’d make it 100% but I actually want to read my friends books and occasionally I like dipping my toes in other stuff like (thrillers, crime, literary fiction) and then there’s non-fiction business, marketing and mindset books and of course, my other love, conspiracies.

But the point is, I’m a big slutty slut slut when it comes to YA fantasy/dystopian. I gobble it up like a starving orphan. Why?

Because I love that shit. I love it so much I’d motorboat them books all night long and carry a caffeine drip to work because I stayed up so late reading (happens a LOT).

But, having read a lot of books in the same genre I can confidently say, they are ALL the same story. No really, they are. But its the familiarity that drags me back.

And it’s the familiarity that drags other readers back too. We actually want to be told the same story, over and over and over. It’s just that we want to be told it in a different way, so it doesn’t feel like the same story.

That’s where tropes come in. Tropes give your readers the familiarity they crave, which is why they are so important to you if you’re a genre writer. (more…)

9 Ways to Help You Find Your Readers Part I

find your audienceAs writers we play the infinitely difficult Where’s Wally of reader spotting. But locating those pesky readers is more tortuous than tweezing your granddads nasal hair, and yet, it is THE most important thing we do.

As I draw nearer to handing my book to beta readers, the prospect of completing it, having to press publish and my labour of love subsequently disappearing into the utterly saturated Amazon rainforest of books, never to be seen again, is becoming frighteningly real.

In an attempt to prevent the only people buying my book being mumsy and wifeypoos, I read 3 marketing books last month:

Joanna Penn’s How to Market a Book

Nick Stephenson’s Supercharge Your Kindle Sales

And Tim Grahl’s Your First 1000 Copies 

The whole point of my blog is to share what I learn on this sanity testing journey to authordom and what did I learn? Well, I’m resolute on the fact finding your readers will always be the holy grail of authorlyness and because it’s the holy grail, not all of us will find it. BUT, I also learnt a whole heap of other neat tricks to help us along the way, as well as finding an answer to the 64 bergillion dollar question, should an author blog…?

I learnt a shit ton of stuff, so I’ve split this post into two.

So here are 9 ways to help you find your audience, this week I bring you way one to five. (more…)

8 Ways to Maximise Your Book Series

8 maximiseThere’s this trend… I’ll try not to be skeptical, actually who am I kidding I’m always skeptical. This trend involves finishing your novel series, whether its a trilogy or ten book epic and then promptly…unfinishing them… to make money because there’s more story to tell.

Take Veronica Roth and the Divergent series. She finished her books and then did a whole spin off series based on the character Four. She wrote shorts, novels and all kinds of other crazy empire expanding nonsense and of course the fans all loved it.

I hadn’t even considered writing more than my planned number of books for my Fallon series as an option. But then I read James Howell’s latest book, Guinea Pigsand realised I’m half way there anyway and I haven’t even published the first book.

So here’s some tricks on maximising your book series empire inspired by Howell’s latest book. (more…)

Confessions from a Serial Binger – 4 Reasons Writers Need to Binge

Confessions from a serial binger.jpegI never do anything by halves. I’m known for burning the candle at both ends and in the middle.

Well, reading, watching TV and my interests are the same way. I wish more than anything reading wasn’t included in that and that I read a little, consistently, everyday but I don’t have time and thats why my TBR pile is over 200 high. So what do I do?

I binge.

I sit for hours and zone out, ogling whatever the latest TV series is and indulge in episode after episode until I am so saturated with the programme or book series that I actually have to readjust when I put it down! When I’ve talked about this kind of behaviour before, there’s seemed to be a bit of stigmatism around the act of binge indulgence. I get it. It’s not productive in terms of life admin and chores, and it does brew a bit of laziness, but you know what? When I thought about it I realised that actually, it’s a kind of helpful thing to do as a writer. (more…)

The Ultimate YA Reading List

photo-1428605821565-9ffceeb3dc9a

My favourite genre without exception is YA. I love, love, love it. I know I’m an adult, but can’t I just pretend I stopped ageing at 16? To be honest, I think it’s probably true anyway.

I adore the innocents of it, the newness of life and every adult experience they have is difficult and I really love the fight and drive the kids have. But more than anything, I adore the fact that they never give up hope, and generally speaking the hero  wins out. Guilty pleasure or what?!

Well, for fans of the YA genre, this will blow your mind. If you haven’t ever read a YA book then I guarantee you can find one on this list. (more…)