REMINDER: Dear Book Bloggers (and others promoting authors) – Guest Post by, Yecheilyah Ysrayl…

Great blog about ensuring your reviews, promoting other peoples’ books, etc are not lost or removed. Read on for informative explanation from Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Hey Gang,

Sooo, I am technically not around right now. I am on a vacation of sorts. I will however dip in to respond to your commentary whenever I can. Thank you for your patience.

Before I left, I wrote this post to share something that’s been on my heart. Instead of keeping it to myself, I thought we could all benefit. After all, authors gotta stick together, right?

Now, if you promote authors then this post is for you. (Authors, don’t go anywhere. I got something for you at the end of this.)

By promote authors I mean that you are essentially doing some form of:

  • Book Promotions
  • Book Reviews
  • New Releases
  • Interviews
  • Shout-Outs

OK so I threw shout-outs in there but you get the point.

This is a reminder because we’ve seen it before. You know her asDG Kayebut I like to call her Debby because…

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Come and be interviewed

Don Massenzio offers this valuable service to authors in providing an opportunity to promote both author and their publications.

Author Don Massenzio

interview-3Hello,

I’ve been running my weekly ‘Perfect 10’ interview series this year. Every Monday, I run an interview with an author and ask them a series of 10 thought-provoking questions. As I look toward the end of the year, I still have about 10 slots open.

If you’re releasing a book for the holidays or trying to get more exposure and meet other authors and bloggers, this is a great opportunity. Just email me at don@donmassenzio.com and I’ll send you the necessary instructions.

This is a great opportunity and there are only 10 slots left until the end of the year.

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. FlorySteve BoseleyKayla MattMae ClairJill SammutDeanna KahlerDawn Reno LangleyJohn HowellElaine CouglerJan SikesNancy Bell

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How NOT to promote your books on Goodreads – Guest Post by, Jemima Pett…

Interesting points on the difference between connecting with readers and spamming them with your book.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

According to Goodreads, the site has over 55 million members worldwide. That’s a lot of readers. It doesn’t take much to understand why nearly every self-published person comes to the conclusion that they should be promoting their books on the site.

It’s a sensitive issue, and one that has changed a little since the original Goodreads was sold to Amazon. I notice more ways that Amazon and Goodreads use each others’ opportunities. Amazon now enables you to do giveaways… Goodreads has been doing that since it started. Goodreads now has an extensive list of marketing opportunities that it promotes to authors, which look like things in the Amazon school of marketing to me, but are nevertheless valid and valuable opportunities – so take them.

In researching this post, I was surprised by things I knew about but didn’t know about. I knew about giveaways, I’d seen themed months, and I…

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#amwritng: Power Punctuation

Source: #amwritng: Power Punctuation

Life in the Realm of Fantasy  by Connie J Jasperson via The Story Reading Ape

A little power is a dangerous thing, and certain punctuation has power.

Exclamation points!

Em dashes—

Ellipses…

These are all wonderful, fun things to play with, but making too free with the power punctuation makes the narrative too breathless, or in the case of ellipses, too slow. When prose is well written, it conveys the excitement of the moment without force. A good author doesn’t resort to creating excitement with the overuse of exclamation points as this makes the narrative breathless. It tells the reader what to think, rather than showing them a scene that is exciting.

When I am laying down the first draft, I am just as guilty of filling the manuscript with exclamations, em dashes, and ellipses.  I am in a rush to get the ideas down on paper, so in some places, this is a subconscious shorthand for the second draft, which is where I take those telling scenes and show them.

I do a global search for exclamation points, ellipses, and em dashes. At each one, I examine the scene. Nine times out of ten, I change the power punctuation to a period, or I find the em dash or ellipsis was not needed.

Exclamation points, em dashes, and ellipses are like speech tags. They are necessary, but simplicity is the key to making them unobtrusive. Generally, dialogue worded powerfully, along with the way you visualize and then show the attitude of the characters and their situation will serve to convey the emotions.

When it’s done right, you will only need one or two morsels of power punctuation, and the punctuation you use won’t be a needle in the eye of the reader. The common, garden-variety period or comma will usually serve the situation well, and won’t throw the reader out of the book.

All punctuation has its place and should be used appropriately. Exclamation points, em dashes, and ellipses should be used, but only at important points. For the most part, the way you have set the scene combined with the dialogue itself will convey the tension without your having to sprinkle the narrative with power punctuation.

I suggest you do a global search and change most of them to a period.

But what about !?  I only recently learned that these are called “interrobangs.” Comic books frequently employ interrobangs, generally because the authors are limited on space for narrative and use creative punctuation as a shorthand. They do this as a way of telling the story.

It’s your narrative, so of course, you will do as you see fit. However, the exclamation point before a question mark is not accepted punctuation in literature intended for adults, so don’t be surprised if you receive negative feedback in reviews. Interrobangs are a writing habit professional writers will avoid if they want to be taken seriously.

Peppering the narrative with exclamation points and interrobangs is a form of telling the reader “this is exciting”as opposed to showing the excitement. We want to immerse the reader, not blow them out of the manuscript. A great resource for ideas on how to convey strong emotions without telling the reader what the character is feeling is The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.

All sentences should have only one punctuation mark to signify the end. “Ahah!” you say. “What about the ellipsis?” When the ellipsis falls at the end of the sentence, it should be three dots followed by the required punctuation.

  • If the ellipsis falls at the end of a sentence in dialogue, use a comma at the end of it followed by a speech tag. “But, my dog…,” Annie said, her brow furrowed.
  • If no speech tag is used, employ a period, question mark, etc. “But, my dog….” Annie’s brow furrowed.

This is because the ellipsis or em dash at the end of a sentence symbolize unspoken words, trailing off. They are not considered punctuation.

This is what the Chicago Manual of Style says:

Use an ellipsis for any omitted word, phrase, line, or paragraph from within a quoted passage. There are two commonly used methods of using ellipsis: one uses three dots for any omission, while the second makes a distinction between omissions within a sentence (using three dots: . . .) and omissions between sentences (using a period and a space followed by three dots: . …). An ellipsis at the end of a sentence with no sentence following should be followed by a period (for a total of four dots).

Once again, I emphasize that we use the Chicago Manual of Style if we are writing fiction and intend to publish it. The Chicago Manual of Style is written specifically for writers, editors, and publishers and is the publishing industry standard. All the editors at the major publishing houses own and refer to this book when they have questions.

What is the best style guide for writing technical user manuals?

Are you writing for a newspaper? AP style was developed for expediency in the newspaper industry and is not suitable for novels or for business correspondence, no matter how strenuously journalism majors try to push it forward. If you are using AP style, you are writing for the newspaper, not for literature. These are two widely different mediums with radically different requirements.

For business correspondence, you want to use the Gregg Reference Manual.

If you develop a passion for words and ways in which we bend them, as I have done, you could soon find your bookshelf bowing under the weight of your reference books. Writing is not a one-size-fits-all kind of occupation. There is no one style guide that will fit every purpose. Each essay and book may be meant for a different reader, and each should be written with the style that meets the expectations of the intended readers.

However, some things are universal:

Exclamation points must be used sparingly.

Ellipses symbolize omitted words and are not punctuation, so when the conversation trails off, you must add an ending punctuation. My God, I thought. What…?

Em dashes can either set off phrases—like this—or if used at the end of a sentence an em dash can indicate cut off words.

Consider the following quote from A Dog’s Tale by Mark Twain. In this case, you do not add punctuation:

It did seem to me that life was just too lovely to—

It is your task to write the narrative so that it shows the character’s emotions. Their eyes will widen, or their mouth will drop open, or they will stop and stare. When it comes to punctuation, do you tell, or do you show? You make the decision, but I see the interrobang and the overuse of the exclamation point as if they were too much seasoning, strong flavors that can ruin the the taste of the narrative.


Sources and Attributions:

The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.), page 639 sections 13.51 – 13.55 The Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition text © 2010 by The University of Chicago.

The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.), page 334 Section 6.84 Em dashes to Indicate Sudden Breaks, The Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition text © 2010 by The University of Chicago.

A Dog’s Tale,  by Mark Twain. © 1904 Harper & Brothers, via Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=A_Dog%27s_Tale&oldid=769178379 (accessed May 16, 2017).

The Ultimate Guide for Independently Published Authors – Chapter 1

Author Don Massenzio

ultimate guideIntroduction

This book is something that was put together over the past year as I navigated my way through the world of independent publishing. A lot of this voyage was guided by trial and error. I spent a great deal of time and a minimal amount of money determining what works and what doesn’t. Have I mastered everything involved in the independent publishing platform? Not at all. I still have a lot to learn.

I put together this book to help others who are either beginners or seasoned in the area of independent publishing. I have compiled my own experiences and ask that you use this book as a set of guidelines gathered from one person’s experience. I welcome a productive discussion around the topics in this book and view it as a dynamic tool that I will adjust as I learn more on my own and from you as…

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EDITING 101: 33 – Research – How Much is Enough or How Much is Too Much?

Research is imperative, whatever the genre. Being aware of utilising the research into the story rather than an ‘info dump’ because you’ve spent time researching and you don’t want to waste it (time or info). How much researched information will enhance your story?

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Research – How Much is Enough or How Much is Too Much?

Once your first draft is completed, you might decide there are areas that you need to research. How long a body will keep in a refrigerator, for instance. Or how apt someone is to be struck by lightning while jogging through San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in July. Or whether or not the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City is uptown or downtown from where your main character is. There are many details that writers have to research to make sure they are correct.

Just like anything, some authors love to research and others hate it. Those who love it can get lost in researching, using…

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