Tag Archive 'Ray Rhamey'

Design a Book Cover for Less than $50

More and more authors want to publish ebooks and need covers, but many don’t feel they can afford the services of a designer. To be frank, I see author-created covers that do not serve the author well.

But I also see well-done covers, so I thought I’d offer some resources for creating professional book covers for a low cost in case you’re handy at design. Full disclosure: the examples here are cover designs for client novels and memoirs.

Design goals
Your first and [...]

Characterize through Experiential Description, Part 2

It was 5 years ago that I wrote a post for Writer Unboxed on using experiential description to add characterization to a narrative.

Pause for HOLY COW, 5 YEARS!? Yep, it was 2007. My, how time gallops.

I coined the phrase “experiential description” to express the blending of a character’s perceptions of a setting, person, or an action with description of the literal what it is/what is happening.

The reason I’m writing about this again is that I’ve been teaching experiential description in [...]

Here Comes the Judge

This week I judged about 25 entries for a fiction-writing contest at an upcoming writers’ conference at which I’m also doing a workshop. My task was to name first-place and second-place choices.

I found 2 that I could honestly say deserved a “win.” Now, each of these 25 or so writers did the best they could. They imagined, and revised, and polished, and sent in their story. I’m sure not all of them expected to win, but I’m equally sure that [...]

Thank You, Day Job

Although I’m now the full-time operator of my own book editing and design business, before that I spent a few decades as a writer for companies and a university. I think my day-job writing has informed and strengthened what I do now as an author, editor, and designer. Maybe you have a similar story in progress.

I started out as a writer of programmed-learning training materials for State Farm Insurance in Bloomington, Illinois—think the driest technical writing ever. I soon transferred [...]

Unboxed Avenues to Book Sales

1. Unbox your thinking

Books are sold in bookstores, both brick-and-mortar and online, and in racks that you find at drugstores and airports and big-box stores. Right? Yes, but if you can identify an audience with an enhanced interest in an aspect of your book, there could be more places to sell it if you unbox your thinking just a little.

My novel, The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles, is narrated by a calico tomcat. Cat lovers (or “cat people,” as we think of [...]

How to Maximize eBook Royalties and Minimize Hassles

After a brief hiatus, valued contributor Ray Rhamey is back! We’re so pleased to have him share insights on both editing and the rapidly changing world of publishing. Welcome back, Ray!

Here are some of the options available for distributing your ebook:

Upload directly to ebook retailers.

The top ones include:

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing
Barnes & Noble Pubit!
Smashwords
Apple
Kobo

Amazon. Amazon is the elephant in the library, and the best way to get your ebook there is to create an account, create a Kindle format version [...]

For me, “voice” is character

I am schizophrenic. That has to be the answer. Why do I say that? I recently came to understand that I write differently depending on the point-of-view character—and, scarily, I can’t write in that voice unless I channel the character.

Here’s the inciting incident for this realization: I wanted to do an “About the author” page in my upcoming novel, The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles, and on the website. You need to understand that the narrative is told by my character, Patch, [...]

The Shape of a Story, and Why We Tell/Read Stories

The keynote speaker at the Write on the Sound Writers Conference at which I did my workshop was a film writer named Brian McDonald. He had an interesting take on the shape (structure) of a story. Since storytelling in a novel and on the screen is fundamentally pretty much the same, I thought I’d share what he had to say about that, and about storytelling in general.

Here are the elements of a story. They are simple, yet I think this [...]

What’s a writer to do?

It’s a conundrum—for most publishers, a writer needs an agent to market a novel manuscript. But today’s market makes even connecting with an agent damned difficult. Here’s what agent Kristin Nelson said on her blog, Pub Rants:

“I’m passing on really good novels because currently I believe that really good might not be good enough in today’s market.”

I’ve run into that response consistently with a novel of mine, The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles. Several top agents have asked for partials, and here’s [...]

Now. Yes, now.

The image you see here occurred to me in talking about one of the submissions to my Crafting a Killer First Page workshop at the Write on the Sound Writers conference.

Backstory (yes, yes, I know, but you need to know this! Really.): workshoppers submit their first chapters, and we critique the first page. The challenge is whether or not the narrative is compelling enough to force us to turn the page. There were 100 writers in the workshop, and more [...]