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Book Plug Friday: 6 Weird Tricks to Help your Writing Career

How to get serious about making money by banging on your keyboard.

by
Sarah Hoyt and Charlie Martin

Bio

September 20, 2013 - 1:00 pm
It's no trick.  She's a really light sleeper!

It’s no trick. She’s a really light sleeper!

(Send an email to book.plug.friday@gmail.com for writer’s guidelines.)

Whether you’re traditionally published, or indie, you’ll be the better off for at least considering these six points.

  1. Being unsuccessful doesn’t mean you’re better than the rest. The whole unappreciated genius thing is overrated. Both Jane Austen and Shakespeare were loved in their own time. Yes, someone might discover you after your death. It’s unlikely, and anyway you’ll still be dead.
  2. Write. No one has ever had a great writing career that consisted of telling friends, relatives and acquaintances about the wonderful books they’d write if… you know… they wrote. And don’t try to give me your ideas. I already have more than I need, thank you.
  3. Do not assume your writing is perfect because your friend/cousin/mom/cat told you so. If your work isn’t selling, study the stories you like, and see if you’re missing anything. Also, good writing books like Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer help. Even if you’re selling, never assume you’re beyond improvement.
  4. Conversely, if you’re not selling, consider that perhaps it might be that you haven’t written enough. Particularly in indie publishing, one short story is NOT going to get you noticed. But if you have fifty of them out, then who knows?
  5. If your goal is to sell books, aim for popular appeal. I don’t mean you should write clones of Fifty Shades or Twilight, but consider that a romance based around rubbing each other down with hydrogen peroxide might have less of a natural audience than a romance based on liking the same music, or even going hiking together. How many of your acquaintances are more likely to be interested in one over the other? Well, there’s the size of your audience.
  6. Never give up. Never surrender. Most of attempting to establish yourself in writing is a long series of kicks in the teeth, but as Robert A. Heinlein said “Surely the game is rigged. Don’t let that stop you; if you don’t play, you can’t win.”

And now, for some people who are playing to win:


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The Shark Boats
By Leo Champion

Some Enemies are More Equal Than Others

The Motor Torpedo Boats have armor of thin plywood – and weapons that can smash a battleship. Built for speed and agility, their engines can drive them into harm’s way at 70 miles per hour… and the men who command them are no less dangerous.

Jack Reiner had made his way from the orphanage to a stock-exchange desk, and joined the Reserves to protect a society where that was possible. When the citizen soldiers he’d known for a decade are massacred in the water with their hands raised… then an ideological war has just become very personal.

Hector Chavez had made himself an orphan when he reported his parents for illegal trading. An idealistic servant of the People, he’s long ago sacrificed his personal conscience to the greater good, for President Ramirez’ dream of peace and equality under one rule. Killing capitalists is his duty – but killing Reiner might just be a pleasure.

There’ll be blood in the water when they meet.


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Solar System Blues
By Andrew J. Patrick

In the late 22nd century, six or seven leviathan superstates battle for dominance with terrifiying weapons. One wounded soldier of these wars, employed on a secret project to enable humanity to survive nuclear war, instead steals the ship, and with a self-aware computer, a store of frozen genetic material, and a teenage first mate born in space, goes in search of a new planet for humanity to live on. Everything goes according to plan, except for what doesn’t.


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By the Hands of Men, Book One: The Old World
By Roy Griffis

With the Great War raging around them, wounded Lt. Robert Fitzgerald falls in love with Russian nurse Charlotte Braninov. Torn apart by illness and betrayal, they pursue separate quests that take them across a world on the verge of change. From France to revolutionary Russia, they learn that hands of men can create a hell on earth – or, through the redemptive power of love, a heaven in which to truly live.


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When Mars Attacked: Orson Welles, The War of the Worlds and the Radio Program That Changed America Forever
By David Acord

(Edited for length.) On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles broadcast a radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds…and the country would never again be the same. Written in a realistic style that mimicked “breaking news” bulletins, the play convinced listeners from coast to coast that the United States was actually being invaded by Martians. The ensuing panic made Welles an overnight sensation – and one of the most hated men in America.

When Mars Attacked tells the riveting true story of the broadcast: Orson Welles’ sudden rise to fame in the mid-1930s; the social and political forces of the Great Depression and an impending World War that aligned to create a “perfect storm” of anxiety leading up to the broadcast; the massive controversy that followed in its wake; and the untold story of how close the country came to imposing sweeping restrictions on free speech in order to ensure that nothing like The War of the Worlds panic ever happened again.

Incorporating never-before-seen government documents and rare correspondence locked away in the National Archives for decades, When Mars Attacked is a first-rate nonfiction account of a pivotal moment in American history. Author and veteran Washington, D.C. journalist David Acord offers a vivid retelling of that fateful night in 1938, essentially re-reporting the chaos minute by minute just as it unfolded, in a fast-paced, riveting “tick-tock” fashion.


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Broken Worlds
By Giugi Carminati

Ten different species. A female alien whose hair changes color with moods: blue for arousal, red for anger, green for climax, white for sadness . . . A man who calls himself a human. Secret agencies. A tenuous peace after the largest inter-galactic conflict in recorded history. And a string of murders only two people, Wes and Sarza, are allowed to investigate. Agent Wes Venta knows that working with a Sparcus is complicated. The fact that his people, the humans, committed an act of genocide by sterilizing every Sparcus male is something neither he, nor she, will ever forget. But when he meets Sarza Beshemet, the IPP Covert, he doesn’t realize quite the impact she will have on his life. In fact, he doesn’t realize what their joint investigation of a murder will do to the history of our galaxy. Sarza Beshemet hates humans. All of them. And her only reason for associating with them is to uncover Project Genesis, the rumored antidote to her people’s mass sterilization. But part of her cover is to act like an IPP agent. To that end, she will have to work alongside Wes Venta to solve an increasing and varied string of murders on multiple planets. Being a Sparcus, her desires and urges are hailed as proof of her health, strength, and wholeness of being. But when these desires turn to Wes, the human, there’s a lot more to be confused about than just her changing hair color.


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Lunar Dance
By Robert Sapp

In 1969, Neil Armstrong had just taken his one small step, and young Apollo engineer Carl Heinel promises his wife that one day, they’ll dance together on the moon.

Forty-five years later, the manned space program has ground to a halt. But Carl made a promise, one he fully intends to keep, and he has a plan to see it through. The one piece he needs is a retired space shuttle.
Follow Carl and the team from Roadrunner Rockets as they implement their elaborate plan to conduct the greatest adventure in history, hidden in plain sight. From the boardroom to the courtroom, the halls of Congress to the launch pad, Lunar Dance is a story of ambitious dreams, bold actions and eternal love set amid the high stakes world of today’s commercial launch industry, where the opportunities are boundless, but failure leads to certain death.

Everything is proceeding very well. Until it all goes catastrophically wrong.


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28 Pages – A Thriller
By Allen Mitchum

What is the United States government concealing in 28 classified pages of the 9/11 Commission Report?

Heather Grahl, a young Washington, D.C. lawyer, receives a call one morning bearing devastating news: police in the Bahamas discovered her sister’s decapitated body. With no apparent suspects or motive, the authorities offer little help in solving the crime.

Determined to find her sister’s killers, Heather sacrifices her career and risks her life pursuing the murderers. Through her investigation, she uncovers evidence linking the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the U.S. to the gruesome killing and learns of a shocking Saudi conspiracy against the United States that her sister died trying to expose. Together with a mysterious ally, Heather races to reveal the deadly conspiracy before she shares her sister’s fate.

Sarah Hoyt and Charlie Martin write and blog on science, science fiction, self-improvement, culture, and politics for PJ Lifestyle. Send an email to book.plug.friday@gmail.com for submission guidelines for Book Plug Friday, a weekly listing of independently published e-books.

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