Gather Round!

On last week’s episode of Keeping Up With the Audio


♥ B.R. Kingsolver ♥

Witches’ Brew: Dark Streets, Book 3


♥ Bree Livingston ♥

Her Broken Billionaire Boss


Elizabeth Knox

Here Kitty, Kitty


Kathryn Andrews

Starless Nights


Maria Luis ♥

Body Check


Kristin Mayer ♥

Changed by You


Bobbi Holmes ♥

The Ghost and the Doppelganger


Katerina Martinez & Tansey Morgan ♥

Hellfire and Homicide


Kestra Pingree ♥

Saving the Werewolves


Krista Wolf ♥

Quadruple Duty


Lucy Smoke ♥

Heart of Tartarus


R.K. Lander ♥

Road of a Warrior


Shannon Esposito ♥

Karma’s a Bitch

Everyone Is…

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…DIFFERENT.

There. We said it.

We thought it was about time it was said.

You can scroll through the blogs, the forums, the advice columns…but always remember, you’re different than the person posting online. Your creative experience and beyond is your experience alone. Two people will not share the exact process…similarities, sure, but not replicated.

So, take any writing or publishing experience stories as a grain of salt in the big pot of publishing stew!

This Week! (& Last Week!)

It’s been awhile since we’ve updated everyone on our recently published audio. This post is to serve as an update for the last couple of weeks, but things are going to be a bit different…

We’re going to start re-directing you to where the audio books can be purchased!

Without further ado, here they are!


Bree Livingston

Her Second Chance Billionaire Boyfriend


Eva Chase

Falling For Gods


Ivy Layne

Unraveled

Compromising the Billionaire

The Counterfeit Billionaire


BJ Harvey

Third Strike


London Lovett

Death in the Park


RK Lander

Path of a Novice

A Brief Guide to Shaping the Next Generation

What lesson do you think kids (we’re talking teens, tweens, and drama machines) these days need subconsciously taught to them? Is it something you remember neglecting when you were a little one yourself and regret wholeheartedly? Or maybe it’s something you were never taught! Writing a YA novel can open a door in a young adult’s mind which will start them on the road to success or down a path of self discovery.

One thing to remember in writing a story for a younger audience is you want to tap into their emotions. This is a time in one’s life where they’re channeling all sorts of feelings: some old, some new. They’re trying to sort things out and maybe, just maybe, your book can assist them along the way.

You know what else teenagers are trying to sort through? The latest trends. You don’t have to be a genius to know this one. You were a teen once, right? Remember how you wanted to go and grab the most popular pair of shoes or learn every word to the number one hit on the radio so you could scream along with your friends and not feel like an outcast? Utilize teen culture to cultivate your world, your characters, and your readers. Don’t rely on trends too heavily though – it’ll make for a bad YA novel. Mainly because you’ll hear in the back of your head, “Mooooooooom!/Daaaaaad!” in a whiny tone to stop trying to be cool. You want to be able to speak to your audience, eye-to-eye, and connect with them.

Speaking of an audience, know who you’re targeting! You should that for any book before you start writing but it’s easy to write a book about young adults rather than for young adults – catch my drift? For example, Stephen King’s IT is about young adults, tweens, whatever…but it’s written for an adult audience. Don’t aim for adults: know how your audience talks (don’t go crazy with slang either, it’s not that important), what they like, what issues they may encounter. You want to be able to relate, not have your reader feel like you’re talking about them to another adult right in front of them.

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Oh, and stereotypes. Tropes. Get rid of them. Or if you’re going to use them, please make the idea original. Please. The future leaders of the world are begging you to.

(Almost) Ending the Year On Some Trendy Business

We know, we know…it’s not our last post of the year, but it’s close to it! We figured it would be good for anyone looking into getting published to get the heads up: the results are in, publishing trends are here.

Before we get started though, we want to direct you to the source in which the general info comes from. Opinions and advice are ours! But check out this blog/publishing service.

Let’s get right into it!

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  1. First and foremost, is the decline in reading going to push writers away from publishing their work?

    We vote a big fat NO. Reason being, we see the decline in reading as a way to push writers to treat their work with care (and to get into e-Pubbing, but we’ll discuss in a second.) Getting all the pre-publication shenanigans out of the way is something so many people don’t truly pay attention to – so maybe, it’s time we give our precious work some TLC and hire a few people to take a look at what we’ve got.

  2. Print books remain #1. What does this mean for you?

    While everyone (or maybe it was just me) believes that eBooks are the only way to read now, we come here to confirm: this is not true. Print books remain the champion of reading (even if less people do the act of reading.) Now, before you comment and say, “getting my book printed will cost so much money” or “I can’t seal the deal with PRH or Tor or any of those big publishers!” Don’t forget about print-on-demand: the most efficient way for a self-published author to get their book in physical format! So you can still make your way into the print market without a major publishing deal (sorry, big guys.)

  3. Audiobooks are still on the rise!

    We love audiobooks here at HRM. We talk about them enough to say we’re not surprised they’ll continue to rise come the new year.
  4. We’ve talked about it once, we’ll talk about it again: hybrid/collaborative publishing is important and will continue to rise in popularity in 2019. Why should it be important to you?

    Hybrid publishing and collaborative publishing are important mediums to self-published authors (or writers looking into self-publishing.) We want the quality of a major publisher (you know, the big tough editors and the fantastic printing jobs) but since deals from them are far and few between, we need an alternative. An alternative where we have creative flexibility and control over the work in question. These mediums are just that. They provide the quality care to your work as well as giving you the power over it – with consideration, of course. Major publishing houses ensure a bigger paycheck, but why not get your foot in the door to start?

  5. Marketing is your best friend.

    We talk about marketing a lot on this blog. It’s an important part of being a writer/author who wants exposure. If you’re interested in keeping up with a variety of marketing tactics, just use the search bar for this blog and we guarantee you’ll come across something.

 

Happy Holidays, everybody!

Wake Me Up When September Ends [6]

Don’t worry: we’re up.

And we’ve got a list of newly released audio ready for your ears. Get ready!


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9/1

  • Alex Rivers // STOLEN SOUL
  • Kate Stewart // THE REAL

9/4

  • Mila Young // CURSED
  • Elle Cross // SO DARK THE NIGHT

9/11

  • Bella Winters // MY BEST FRIEND’S DAD

9/12

  • Eva Chase // 2 TITLES
    • CONSORT OF PAIN
    • DRAGON’S FATE
  • Gia Riley // WRONG SIDE OF HEAVEN
  • LJ Swallow // THE FOUR HORSEMEN: DESCENT

9/18

  • Jaxson Kidman // 2 TITLES
    • IN HER WORDS
    • LET YOU GO

9/19

  • Ashley Meira // SMOKE AND MAGIC
  • Crystal Daniels & Sandy Alvarez // THE DARKEST OF LIGHT
  • Joanna Blake // RIDE WITH THE DEVIL

9/25

  • Elle Cross // SO BRIGHT THE DAWN
  • Jamie Schlosser // TRUCKER
  • Jenna Wolfhart // A TOUCH OF STARLIGHT
  • Lisa Suzanne // THE POWER TO BREAK
  • Mila Young // CLAIMED

9/26

  • Kathleen Wheeler // BROUGHT TO OUR SENSES

We Are Proud!

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Our office has been celebrating the upcoming release by our author, Mike Omer, published by Thomas & Mercer. A release that has been top of the charts for the last couple of weeks! A Killer’s Mind will be available for purchase on August 1st, 2018. Pre-order it today!

Three Chicago women have been found strangled, embalmed, and posed as if still alive. Doubting the findings of the local PD’s profiler, The FBI calls on forensic psychologist Zoe Bentley to investigate.

Zoe quickly gets off on the wrong foot with her new partner, Special Agent Tatum Gray. Zoe’s a hunter, intense and focused; Tatum’s a smug maverick with little respect for the rules. Together, they must descend into a serial killer’s psyche and untangle his twisted fantasies, or more women will die. But when the contents of three inconspicuous envelopes reveal a chilling connection to gruesome murders from Zoe’s childhood, suddenly the hunter becomes the hunted.

Metadata & Me

A little late to the BookExpo train, but we’re here to update you all on one of the most important parts of our day.

In our opinion, the best panel we attended was the impromptu one. Long story short, the panelists who were supposed to be in attendance and speak got stuck somewhere else and two agents took over halfway through the wait.

One of the most talked about points of the conversation was about metadata. In book publishing, metadata was stressed so much and we’re here to help you understand why.

What is metadata? … I asked myself the same thing. I knew it had something to do with the discovery of online destinations, but I didn’t know the breakdown. Book metadata, specifically, consists of the details that help the exposure of your novel on the internet. But what does it consist of? Let’s talk about that.

Before the publication of your novel, you should consider opening up another document and writing out three basic points:

  • Keywords / key phrases
  • Book description using keywords
  • Author bio, using keywords

Do you see the common trend? I do. Keywords.

Keywords will become your best friend and your book’s best friend. But stay away from the generic words and “less important” ones. Your work could easily get lost or misplaced on the internet. Double check those words on a search engine to see what comes up. If it is similar to your work, then you hit the jackpot.

good to be back.gifYour list should be narrowed down to 10 – 20 words. You’ll be able to use this same tactic for the book description and author bio to reach a max audience.

To continue to thrive in the market, revisit this and re-brand yourself every so often. When you do this, you’re re-entering the market to a new wave of potential readers and fans.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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It’s December 1st, meaning there’s only a month left of 2017. Looking forward to the new year, I have been browsing the prediction of publishing trends for 2018. If you’re stuck on what moves to make next in your publishing career, keep reading this post to see what publishing professionals are expecting to see for 2018!

  1. Digital Fatigue

    With the rise of the use of technology, many dedicated readers are taking a step away from their Nooks, their Amazon Fires, or their Kindle apps on their phone to dive back into the good ol’ days of traditional publishing, specifically paperbacks. Since 2016, e-book sales have dropped 35.9% and Nook earnings have dropped 26%. If you’re a reader taking a break from your cell phone or tablet screen and picking up a good book, I applaud you! If you’re a writer and wondering what to do with your fresh manuscript, looking into traditional publishing might be your New Year’s resolution.
  2. The Rise of Indie & Hybrid Publishing

    Indie publishing has taken over the publishing scene, but so is hybrid publishing right there next to it! From what it looks like, hybrid publishing may be bumping indie style out of the way to take the crown. Authors want to work with professionals who are familiar with the craft of publishing and hybrid publishing provides the professionals from the bigger companies to help the indie publishers make their mark in the world. Just keep in mind the market shares for self-published books is 42%, which is greater than the shares for big publishers at 34%.

  3. Longer E-Book Shelf Life = Increased Competition

    E-books enter a digital cloud and it’s pretty hard to delete them from the internet once exposed. With there being millions of books on the Amazon Kindle app, as well as on other platforms, it’s very easy to get lost in the mix. As a published author, if you’re seeing your sales decline/stagnant, revisit your titles and see what you can do. Maybe a new cover? Book description? Or even utilize some marketing resources to revitalize the title of your book. Or if you don’t see any improvement from there, publish more books! The more books you have available to readers, the better chance you have to get readers to buy.

  4. More Books, Stagnating Readership

    Although 73% of Americans read at least a book a year, there are so many books! “Discoverability” should become your best friend as a writer to help gain more exposure with your titles.

  5. Audiobooks are GROWING

    I saved the best for last! In 2013, 20,000 audiobooks were released. In 2014, 36,000 audiobooks were released. In 2015, valued at $2.8 billion, 43,000 audiobooks were released for the growing community of audiobook lovers! Kindle Unlimited is on the rise, as well, with access to 2,500 audiobooks for a great price!

The Publishing Journey: The Slush

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Oh yes, we are briefly discussing the writer’s worst nightmare: the slush pile. If you’re new to the writing world and haven’t heard about the slush pile, it’s essentially the place where unsolicited query letters/manuscripts go to be read by assistants-to-the-editor.

Many will say a writer doesn’t want to end up in the slush pile, and there’s more truth to that than fiction. Once in that pile, one will never actually know if their manuscript ever made it onto the editor’s desk. But maybe, just maybe, there’s a world out there where the slush pile could potentially become a good thing. For example, an open slush pile.

The idea of an open slush pile may scare some, but if used correctly it can begin your journey as the writer-turned-published-author. The traditional slush pile is private to the publisher or agent the manuscript has ended up with, but the open slush pile exposes work everywhere. The downfall is, the work won’t be private anymore; anyone can access it, read it, and comment on it. If this is not the road you, as the writer, want to travel down, here are a few ideas to entice people, editors, and agents to read your writing and make use of the open slush pile:

  1. Short stories.
    Posting short stories on open slush pile websites can expose your audience to your writing style: how you execute the plot, how you build characters in a short span of writing, etc.
  2. Excerpts from your main manuscript.
    Just like if you were reading an excerpt at the end of a book for the sequel or to another book the author is working on, use your favorite or strongest excerpt from your manuscript to see if it peaks an audience’s interest. If it’s in high demand, then maybe you’ll end up getting picked up by an agent rather than you searching for one.
  3. Spin-off stories of your mysterious manuscript.
    Does your main character in your novel have another quick little tale they want to share? Get your audience excited by reading a prequel story of your main squeeze. It might make the character the more lovable one.

So maybe sitting in the slush pile in the editor’s storage unit (come on, we know there’s a lot and you need a place to put them) isn’t the ideal place to be, but there are other ways to use the wonderful resource of the internet and to make the best of being in the slush pile.