Not All Is Possessive

[found on grammarphobia.com; by The Grammarphobia Blog]

 Nouns: Possessive vs Genitive

“Normally, nouns used with numbers to form adjectival phrases are singular, as in “two-inch rain,” “three-year-old boy,” “two-dollar word,” “eight-volume biography,” and “four-star restaurant.”

However, where a plural noun is used by tradition to form such a phrase, it’s generally followed by an apostrophe, as in “the Thirty Years’ War” and “the Hundred Years’ War.”

The plural followed by an apostrophe is also used in phrases like “ten dollars’ worth” or “five years’ experience” or “two days’ time.”

Apostrophe constructions like these aren’t “possessive” in the sense of ownership; strictly speaking, they’re genitive.”

To learn more from grammarphobia.com, click here.

[found on http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2010/08/sui-genitive.html]

Genre Niche Needed

[found on westbowpress.com]

“Finding Your Niche in a Christian Genre

In both Christian and secular publishing there are different genres. Whether you are an experienced or novice Christian writer, your story will integrate within a particular genre. Therefore, every writer must ask, what is my writing niche and where does it fall in the realms of the various genres?

Your book will be classified under a specific type of category — or genre. A niche takes what you do — your uniqueness, insight, or experience — on a topic one step further, differentiating your writing from other authors within your genre. The journey towards discovering your niche may lead your writing through various avenues but the end result will prove rewarding for you and your writing. Begin by evaluating your own experiences and interests. Then, look inward to evaluate the following writing opportunities:

  • My Writing Life: What do I want to write? Is there a common theme among my writing topics? Do I hold special knowledge or insight into a particular topic? Do I have to/need to write?
  • Nonfiction vs. Fiction: Do I prefer the exploration of ideas or specific facts? Would I rather tell stories or research facts? Am I led by imagination or do I need structure and organization? Do I prefer to create my own truth through my story and characters or present the truth from interviews and studies?
  • Audience: What targeted age group am I most comfortable with? Am I motivated to inspire or to teach? Where do I envision my book in a bookstore? Who do I envision reading an excerpt from my book to?

Defining your niche begins with knowing you. Understand your own writing and style while exploring what it is that makes you different from other Christian writers within your same genre. Recognize the unique positioning in which you can hold an exclusive advantage to. Here is where you will discover your writing voice — your story and your niche.

Once your niche has been defined, study it. Read the works of other writers in your genre and examine the similarities. Your comparison will help you lay out the varying elements of Christian-based works and better understand your position as an author.

Focus your efforts towards enhancing the niche in your book and your writing. Develop your marketing and branding strategy around your niche and create a forte to your writing. Your author blog can supplement your work with active postings regarding your book’s content, helping you to further your own insight into the topics through research.

Writing within a niche allows you to meet the needs of or appeal to a certain segment of readers. As your targeted niche audience grows, your writing profession transforms from writer to niche writer to expert, and, here is where readers, Christians and the Christian publishing industry turns to you for an outlook and inspiration.”

For more tips on writing from Westbow Press, click HERE.

[found on http://www.westbowpress.com/AuthorHub/Articles/ChristianGenreNiche.aspx]

Audiobooks, Your Friend

[found on thecreativepenn.com; by  JOANNA PENN]

“Your book is not just a physical book or an ebook. There are plenty of other subsidiary rights that you can exploit and audiobooks are high on the list because of the rise in popularity of listening during commutes or workouts, and the increased penetration of smartphones. In today’s interview, we explore how you can get into this market.”

To read the info from Joanna Penn on creating your own audiobook, and listen to the podcast, click HERE.

[found on http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2013/03/06/audiobook]

How to: Nonfiction Proposal

[found on bradfordlit.com; by ]

“How To Write A Non-Fiction Proposal

Most non-fiction books are sold on the basis of a book proposal, often with one or more sample chapters rather than on a completed manuscript. While every agency and editor may have a slightly different opinion on the mechanics of writing a winning non-fiction proposal, most successful proposals have the following elements in common:

  1. Overview
    This is an introduction that summarizes the book’s contents and tells why the book should be published. In essence, this is your main selling statement. Concisely address all that is the most exciting, interesting, introspective and unique about your book. Make it clear that you are the best and most qualified person to write this wonderful and very necessary piece of non-fiction, as well as make a persuasive case for your intended market.
  2. Competition
    Understand and present how your book will fit in the marketplace. Select 4-6 of your major competing titles and compare them to your own. How is your book different and unique? The point here is not to denigrate other works (which may very well be beloved by your audience), but to highlight how your book successfully fills a gap in the market. Be honest but always keep in mind that each component of the proposal is to help you SELL your book, and showing how your project is at the head of the class is an excellent way to do so. It is not advisable to state that your book is “like no other” and decline to cite any comparative titles.
  3. Market
    Who is your intended audience? Who will relate to your book and rush to buy it? In this section, illustrate how the market for this book not only exists, but is a large, robust, book-buying section of the general public. It is unrealistic to make a statement that everyone will buy your book, so be mindful of exactly who your subject will appeal to. If there are any special markets that you can tap through any of your own personal connections this would be the place to mention it. An editor needs to see how your market translates to bottom-line sales.
  4. Biography
    This is your space for telling the editor a little more about yourself, specifically about how your experiences relate to this book. For example, if you are writing a cookbook, you’ll want to tell the editor about your experience working under the tutelage of Jacques Pepin. Be sure to mention your publishing history, if applicable. Keep this section as concise and professional as possible.
  5. Publicity
    If there are built-in publicity opportunities for your project, address them here. Any ideas for marketing or promotions you may have, especially if you have personal connections or direct access to likely prospects, should be mentioned. Make sure you let the editor know if you have any previous publicity experience.
  6. Chapter Outline
    This is one of the most critical sections of your proposal. List each chapter, with chapter title and give a brief description of the material covered. The style in which you deliver the description should be informed by the type of non-fiction book you are selling. A how-to book chapter description would necessarily be quite different from a travel narrative chapter description.
  7. Projected length and date of delivery
    Estimate the number of months you expect to take writing the book from signing to contract until completion. Give either a projected manuscript page length (use the standard of 250 words per page) or word count.
  8. Sample Chapters
    Sample chapters may or may not be necessary if you have written a complete and compelling proposal. If you have a track record of previous publications, you may not need to include sample chapters. If, however, you do elect to write a sample, you should draft the chapter that “puts your best foot forward” so to speak. Write the section that is the most interesting, the most compelling and the one that you feel most passionate about.”

For more tips on writing from Bradford Literary Agency, click here.

[found on http://www.bradfordlit.com/how-to-write-a-non-fiction-proposal]

The New Reality of Author Platforms

[found on forbes.com; by Alan Rinzler]

“It’s still about visibility, but today’s approach has changed. The New Author Platform requires a focus on developing an unobstructed back and forth between authors and their readers, with the authors — not the publishers — controlling the flow.

Now it’s the author, not a publicist, who inspires readers to buy the book. The New Author Platform allows not only well-established authors, but unknown, first-time beginners to do an end run around the conservative gate-keepers and reach readers directly.”

To find out more from Alan Rinzler about author platforms, and how to create your own, click here.

[found on http://www.forbes.com/sites/booked/2011/07/26/the-new-author-platform-what-writers-need-to-know]

Characters Develop Your Romance

[found on writing-world.com; by Karen Wiesner]

“Let your characters decide the level of intimacy, not publisher guidelines.

I used to base everything I wrote on what the publishers might buy. I suppose it makes some sense to do that when you’re not published. Target your publisher, then tailor what you write to that set of guidelines. Sounds logical, right? I’m not so sure. A part of me really believes that the reason I didn’t sell all those years was because I was trying to write for everyone else except myself and what fit my characters. If you’re writing for someone else, you’re not writing what’s in your heart… and it’s going to show.

The same is true for love scenes. In every one of my books, the level of intimacy is a little different, depending on what that particular hero and heroine dictate. Restless as Rain and Forever Man are strongly what I dub “romantic erotica” because the emotions are as hot as the physical lovemaking. The characters in these books are very extreme, larger than life and they demand a sexuality that suits their personalities. In First Love, the sexual tension is definitely there from start to finish and the love scenes are satisfying without being overtly erotic.

However, the hero and heroine in this book are in need of emotional healing, more so than sexual healing. Their lovemaking is part of that healing process, and it suited them to have emotionally sensual loves scenes rather than down-and-dirty, deep ones. Leather & Lace, my first published book, was completely different. The heroine in the book was very innocent and naive. When she thought of lovemaking, it was always in a more “romantic” sense and, because she was so private, having more low-key love scenes were appropriate. The sexual tension remained throughout, however.”

For more tips on writing from Karen Wiesner, click here.

[found on http://www.writing-world.com/romance/love.shtml]

A Good Editor

“A good editor will not just point out errors; she explains them, providing you with an education to enable you to perform a stronger rewrite. For instance, if your manuscript includes point-of-view violations—a major reason for fiction rejection—she will offer a thorough explanation of the concept and provide easy-to-understand examples. A good editor will encourage you and compliment you on your strengths, but she will not hold back in showing you where you need improvement or are making repeated mistakes. She does not expect you to know all the book publishing rules for copyediting—that’s her job. But she does try to help you understand some basic underlying principles that you might need to learn in order to be a better writer. A good editor knows your book is your “baby” and that you have poured many hours into writing it, but her goal is to help you make that book the best it can be, and sometimes that requires you, the author, to make drastic changes. In other words, a good editor is “on your side” and wants to help, but she is mostly concerned with getting your book in the best shape possible.”

— C. S. Lakin / critiquemymanuscript.com