Renee Writes

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3 Ways to Connect with Fantasy Readers by Dave Chesson

It’s impossible to succeed as a fantasy writer without knowing how to reach the right readers.

Even the best book with a wonderful cover can’t be considered a success if it doesn’t reach the people who love it.

There are currently over 197,000 fantasy eBooks on offer in the Kindle store alone, not to mention many more short reads. In such a competitive environment, it’s not enough to simply wish that a book draws the attention of readers.

Fantasy authors should actively seek out every opportunity possible to find and connect with people who are likely to love their work.

If you’ve published fantasy for a long time, finding your future fans may be second nature to you. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry!

These simple tips will help you to reach the right fantasy readers to make your next book a soaring success.

Participate In Online Communities

The passion fantasy fans have for their genre means Amazon doesn’t even list fantasy along with other fiction categories. It has its own special section. That’s how widely loved fantasy is.

As such, fantasy fans are passionate about connecting with like-minded people online.

Many busy fan communities exist solely to help fantasy fans meet one another and discuss the books they love.

As a writer, you should seek out and engage with these communities as much as possible. There are several important reasons to do so.

First, there is no better market research than listening to fans directly. Hearing fans talk about what they like and dislike is a great way to finetune your own work.

Second, by offering value and participating in community discussions, you show yourself to be someone who is knowledgeable about fantasy and has something to offer the fan community. When it’s time to promote your next work, you’ll find it a lot easier to market to people you have a preexisting relationship with, rather than people who have never heard of you.

When participating in fan communities, it’s important to give value, rather than just promoting your own work. You should actively enjoy and contribute to discussions regularly. Visiting only to promote your own books is a mistake which will do you more harm than good.

Network With Other Fantasy Authors

As well as reaching out to fans directly, it’s a great idea to use your fellow fantasy writers as advisors.

There’s no need to discover everything for yourself. Fantasy writers who have been publishing and marketing their work for a long time will have plenty of tips to share on the ways they reach out to readers and connect with them.

It’s useful to get a wide range of opinions rather than relying on just one author. By getting lots of advice, you will be able to see what is working well across the board.

Just as you shouldn’t interact with fans selfishly, you shouldn’t interact with authors selfishly either. Don’t just ask endless questions. Strike a balance between getting the information you need and contributing something in return.

Take Charge Of Your Brand

You have one powerful weapon to help your books succeed in the crowded marketplace that no one else has.

Yourself.

As it becomes harder and harder for fantasy fans to gauge which books are worthy of their time, authors can increasingly stand out from the crowd by building a strong brand.

Branding is simply using the right combination of words and visuals to make a positive impression upon the readers who come across you. This means writing a bio in language that will appeal to fantasy fans, using a pic which is appropriate for the genre and ensuring that all of your branding efforts are easily accessible, such as through an Amazon Author Central page.

There’s nothing better from a reader’s perspective than feeling they know and admire a writer as much as they do their work.

Building a solid brand as a fantasy author is the fastest way to make that happen.

What Works For You?

What are some of the successes you’ve had reaching out to fantasy fans as an author?

If you’re a fantasy fan yourself, have you ever discovered an author in one of the ways mentioned?

I’d love to hear about your personal experiences in the comments.

How to Overcome Writer’s Block: 5 Simple Tips by Christina Battons

Writer’s block is one of the most dreaded things for many of us. Even the experienced writers face it from time to time; however, the more experienced writer is, the quicker they are able to overcome it.

Beginners or less experienced writers aren’t as lucky, though. They can find themselves stuck for days, unable to produce something they find worthy and decent. Of course, not all of us can afford such long writer’s blocks, especially if we have to earn a living with the help of our writing. That’s why today I’ve prepared some simple tips that could help you overcome it quickly and finally get back to writing.

1. Step away from writing.
There’s no point in spending hours staring at a blank page when the words simply won’t come no matter how long you do this. Instead, step away from your writing for a bit and try to do something else. This will help you relax and switch your attention from writing to something you actually feel like doing at the moment. This way you’ll be able to relax and maybe even find some inspiration and ideas.

Of course, the best way to do this is to do something creative instead of simply switching to your housework or work projects. This way your mind will rest more and will be able to produce new ideas.

2. Go outside.
Long walks not only allow you to rest – they are a great source of inspiration. When you are walking, you are observing the world around you, looking at how people look, how they behave, noticing the nature around you, and so on. The flow of oxygen to your brain also increases, making it easier to concentrate and think more clearly.

3. Free writing.
This great technique isn’t used by writers only but can be especially beneficial to them. Free writing is simple: you choose a certain time or page limit (for example, you are going to write for an hour or are going to write three pages) and start writing until you reach this limit. The mere thought of doing so scares some people, but actually, you don’t have to write a masterpiece or something. All you need to do is to write: maybe this will be a story or simply everything that comes to your head, from daily worries to feelings that have been bothering you for a while. Free writing is great because it helps get the things out of your head, making more space for amazing ideas, as well as helps develop the writing habit.

4. Mind mapping.
Mind maps are used in different areas of life, helping to establish the connections between certain things or objects and develop new ideas. They are a great tool for writers too, allowing to solve various plot problems, link together certain abstract ideas, come up with the new stories or plot twists, as well as expand some ideas too. That’s why you should definitely try them if you feel stuck at some point of writing.

5. Make a promise and stick to it.
One of the harshest and most effective ways to overcome the writer’s block is to actually continue to write no matter what. Some people sit and wait for the inspiration to come, while some simply start writing, hoping that inspiration will come in the process. While this technique won’t be useful to everyone, it still can help many of us a lot.

If this seems tempting but too challenging, start with a small step. For example, promise yourself that you are going to write 100 words a day no matter what. This won’t take much of your time and so seems like an easy task – at the same time, this means that you’re going to write something consistently, day after day. Do it for a couple of weeks, then increase your daily limit to 200 words a day, and so on.

These techniques can help you a lot. Moreover, you don’t have to use all of them to overcome your writer’s block. Start with one of them and then add another or combine all the techniques that seem appealing. And don’t forget: writing isn’t about making everything right from the start (you can do it later while editing or try using one of proofreading services). Concentrate on the process, not on the result.


Christina Battons is a web content writer and blogger from LA. I am a graduate of the University of Southern California. Currently, I write for various blogs like Thriving Writer or similar. I am interested in topics about education, writing, blogging, motivation, etc. My writing I use as a tool to further the education of others. My free time I spend with my family, friends, or riding my bicycle. You can connect with me through Twitter or Facebook. I’ll be happy to hear you, just drop me a line!

Author Spotlight: Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel by Samantha Bryant

 

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight and my first author spotlight on 2017! Today I have Samantha Bryant returning with her book, Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel, and a great guest post about growing up!

Samantha Bryant is a middle school Spanish teacher by day and a mom and novelist by night. That makes her a superhero all the time. Her secret superpower is finding lost things. When she’s not writing or teaching, Samantha enjoys time with her family, watching old movies, baking, reading, and going places. Her favorite gift is tickets (to just about anything).

She’s the author of Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel and the sequel sequel Change of Life, both available through Curiosity Quills Press. The three-quel will be out in summer 2017. You can find her on Twitter @mirymom1 or at her blog/website.

Connect with the Author

Website/Blog
Amazon Author Page
Curiosity Quills Author Page
Goodreads Author Page
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Subscribe to Samantha’s Newsletter!

About the Book

Half women’s fiction, half action-adventure story, Going Through the Change is a new take on superheroes. The series dares to ask the question: what if the people with powers were grown women with careers, relationships, responsibilities, and families?

Get it Today!

Keep reading for a guest post by the author:

Not a Girl Anymore
By Samantha Bryant

I’m not as young as I used to be. I guess it was bound to happen. It was either that or living fast, dying young, and leaving a beautiful corpse. Or vampirism, I suppose. I’m not really up for that—I like sunlight too much, and the “dying young” train has already zoomed past anyway, leaving me standing at the Middle Age station.

I don’t sit around mourning my youth all the time though. The only thing I really miss is the physical energy: the way I could stay up all night and survive the next day on coffee alone, or sleep in the back of my truck and still be able to turn my head in the morning.

There was a lot that didn’t suit me about being a girl: the uncertainty of it all. Top of the list was being underestimated. People assuming I couldn’t do something for myself or that I wouldn’t be interested. People thinking I was there as decoration or entertainment only. Being a woman means that if someone tries that, I call them on it. I speak up.

Like Bonnie Raitt, “I’ve been around the world/I’m a woman, not a girl!” And I’m so glad. I enjoy it.

Except when I read, watch TV or go to the movies. There, too many women heroes are eternally twenty-two, underdressed, unattached, childless, and only out for adventure. They’re so not me anymore. There have been some wonderful older women characters, but they are the exception in a world where the rule is young, svelte, and beautiful.

I live for characters like Judi Dench’s M, Helen Mirren’s Victoria, and Ming-Na Wen’s Agent May or The Calvary. Women with history and experience, treachery and expertise. I’ve been thrilled to see more of these women showing up on the imaginary hero landscape. Now, I want more women like that who also have people they love in their lives. There are plenty of loner heroes, not so many heroes with a family. At least we have Helen Parr, even if she still lets people call her girl.

Toni Morrison said, “If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” So, I did.

Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel is my attempt to show the heroism of grown women. Besides dealing with the sudden onset of superpowers, my characters are also facing conflicts in the rest of their lives: relationships, work, families, society. The main characters range in age from thirty-two to sixty-seven. One is a mother to young children, two to grown children. One is a grandmother. Two are horrified at the very prospect of children. They are diverse in other ways, too: attitudes towards love, money, careers, and race.

Writing this book was a delight, so much so that I’ve already written several more short stories, two novellas, a sequel and a three-quel for the characters (several of which are due out in the next year!). Superhero fiction has been a great venue for exploring what it means to be a female hero. I love speculative fiction for its ability to take on issues without feeling like you’re doing anything more than playing. Ideally, I want a fun story that leaves the reader thinking. I hope that’s what I’ve written: a thinking woman’s heroes.

As I say when I sign copies, “We are all of us heroes!” (some of us are just a little more literal about it).

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