Writing A Book Blurb In 4 Easy Steps — K.M. Allan

Great post by K.M Allan! We all know how important a book blurb is when it comes to sales. Use these tips and steps to make your next book blurb captivating!

Happy Writing!

Any writer who’s had to write a query or a synopsis for a submission knows how hard it can be. Trying to boil the essence of your carefully crafted story to a few paragraphs, or a page seems like the hardest thing ever. I’m here to tell you it’s not. And that’s because there’s a […]

Writing A Book Blurb In 4 Easy Steps — K.M. Allan

For more information about Hershan Rights Management visit our website!

Nothing to Writing; Something to Editing

Once upon a time, Ernest Hemingway said: There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. Letting words flow onto the page/computer screen or even agonizing over the endless possibilities, “bleeding” is necessary when it comes to writing. Needless to say, writing your article, essay, or novel will always seem like it’s the end of your world. Take whatever you want from this quote, but I’m here to tell you: there may be nothing to writing but there is something to editing. You may quote me.

Since taking a dive into the rabbit hole of writing tools, I’ve come across plenty of helpful apps and websites that assist in writing itself. Getting you out of the writing rut and into the swing of things. But I’ve now found an application like no other: Hemingway App (or Editor.) It’s entirely free! Yes, free!

Hemingway App is a smart tool that calculates your flow of writing. Do you think your sentence is passive? Are you jumping around too much in your paragraph? Has your entire chapter bombed? Copy and paste the text you want Hemingway to look into and it’ll get right to work. It will highlight the bits (in an array of colors.) The colors will signify what you’ll need to specifically look at. A sidebar is on the site to serve as an overview of the colors and what to do when you revisit.

You’re also free to write in the box. Just slide the bar over from ‘Edit’ to ‘Write’ and let your creativity flow.

*Keep in mind: you don’t want to use this for your entire written work. People are great editors too.

For more information about Hershman Rights Management visit our website!


The Feminist Romance

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As an author of romance herself, Alisha Rai spoke in an interview about her experiences incorporating feminism into her writing. In her novels, her lead female is the one in power, such as being a billionaire with a huge company in the palm of her hands. Matter of fact, most of her female leads take on some form of dominant position (and no, I’m not talking about in the bedroom!) where she is “overpowering” her male counterpart. That’s the not the usual trope you see. From reading many of the romance novels on the market today, one would think that  women like to be controlled and compliant. But, authors like Rai are telling us that’s not always the case and why it shouldn’t always be that way.

In a way, romance novels can be feminist works even without Rai’s juicy switch. Romance is a special genre already. But, we can revolutionize the genre even more by adding in more feminist elements to the stories and characters. This is important if we want to keep the genre evolving and relatable. It will also keep the genre ‘special,’ for more than one reason. One writer points out why romance is special, in 7 ways:

  1. Just like Rai’s protagonists, other authors choose to include strong female protagonists.
  2. Romance is a genre filled with female/women’s voices.
  3. Women’s needs are placed first. Inside the bedroom and out.
  4. The genre allows women to explore their fantasies.
  5. Regardless of how she is in real life, a romance novel allows a woman to take control of her sexuality.
  6. Romance allows topics that have been outcast as “taboo” to be explored in depth.
  7. And finally, it is a genre which allows many voices to get their foot in the door.

Seeing women that have it all may be refreshing and encouraging to read, but if none of that appeals to you, there will always be authors writing about the classic romance between two individuals- which we definitely don’t want to lose either.

Hispanic Heritage Month

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From September 15th to October 15th, Hispanic Heritage Month takes over. A general inclusion of staple Hispanic foods, music, and basic history are taught to children and events based on different Hispanic cultures fill up community boards (although pride parades happen throughout the rest of the year). One part of Hispanic Heritage Month we would like to focus on here at HRM are some Latinx writers who have made their mark on the publishing industry.

Thanks to the Library of Congress and the interviews conducted with each author included on this list, we hope you can indulge in the works of these talented individuals not only this month but throughout the entire year:

  • Gina Franco
  • William Archila
  • Juan Felipe Herrera
  • Laurie Ann Guerrero
  • Tim Z. Hernandez
  • Diana Garcia
  • Brenda Cardenas
  • Rigoberto Gonzalez
  • Valerie Martinez
  • Richard Blanco
  • Carmen Gimenez Smith
  • Eduardo C. Corral
  • Fred Arroyo
  • Maria Melendez

The Task of Writing

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Writer’s block is far from fun for any writer. The thought of not being able to achieve a significant chunk of writing in one session after another holds so many creators back from moving forward with their novels. Sometimes writer’s block can be incredibly discouraging, pushing wordsmiths into a hole and often times leading them to give up their work. Most writers don’t actually want to give up their dreams, they just feel like they don’t have any other choice because every story idea they have doesn’t go anywhere. The Write Nook is here to help our readers put their fingers back on the keyboard and to get their ideas rolling again.

The best way to cure writer’s block is simple: keep writing.Famous authors recommend it, so you can do it, too.

To celebrate #WritingWednesday, we wanted to put together some fun writing prompts to kick start your creative brain. Let’s light a match and put it to the dimming flame together!

  • At a wake for a father, the estranged ex-wife slow dances with their son. Why does she dance with him, and what secret does she whisper in his ear as they dance? 
  • Your character goes to a psychic, who sets them up with some creepy foreshadowing.
  • Somebody’s knocking at the door. Somebody’s ringing the bell. Open the door and let them in, whoa…wait, it’s four AM. What’s going on? Who could it be?
  • This whole scene would be more interesting if someone had a hangover. And also, if they couldn’t remember last night.
  • Pirates attack and pillage. This is more fun if the story DOESN’T take place in the sixteenth century.

All of these prompts come from writing generators (and here, or there). These generators can provide some amusement as well as inspiration. The best part is if there is a comment section, writers tend to share what they’ve written. Those can be fun to read and potentially spark some inspiration, as well. Even with a writing generator, one can write a short story to merely exercise the brain-it doesn’t need to be your next masterpiece.

Now go get out of that writing slump and back in action!

Write on!

Judging A Book By Its Cover

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If you are travelling down the self-publishing path, then creating a book cover is going to be another part of your publishing journey. After walking through aisles and aisles of books at the local B&N, I started to notice the similarities amongst some of the genres. There’s a cycle a writer should keep in mind when creating the cover to their book. If you were the book, the process would go a little something like this:

  1. Get noticed by the potential reader browsing all your friends on the bookshelf or Amazon page.
  2. Either you’re picked up or clicked on, because you’re just that interesting.
  3. If you’re exactly what the potential reader wants, they’ll buy you.
  4. Of course, they’ll read you.
  5. After they’re done, they’re going to talk about you to other people. They’ll entice their peers with your inspiring and rich content.
  6. Let this process repeat.

But, how can you get to step one? A good cover takes a couple different factors into account. For a fiction novel, you won’t want to include too much text. The title, author name, and maybe an essential quote from the book or a shortened quote from a reviewer is more than enough to do the trick. When you add too much text, it becomes too much for a the reader to consume or it might reveal too much about your novel. This can cause the reader to quickly put your book back on the shelf or scroll onto the next book. Quick catchphrases or quotes can sometimes be a good subheading – but make sure it doesn’t go much beyond a sentence. If images help your novel pop, make sure the image used is significant to the plot of your novel. It becomes visually appealing when a story about a dog, has a dog on it (or whatever the story may be). When you pick the right image, a reader can get just as much information about your novel from just looking at the cover as they can from reading its summary.

Let’s use Caraval by Stephanie Garber as an example. The cover of Caraval is a happy medium between being too boring and too active. The bright white color font of the title pops out at you, so you are immediately drawn to the title. The lettering intertwines elegantly with the star design without being too intrusive, adding a little extra pizzazz without hindering your ability to read the text easily. The glittery stars within the star design, against the space background, flow together in a simple manner. When creating your cover, you want to reflect the story you’re telling. In Garber’s novel, her main character, Scarlett, must find her sister in five nights while being surrounded by magic and performances (therefore, the star design on the cover mirrors the nighttime or bursts of magic within the novel).

If you are a visual artist, as well as a wordsmith, you might want to take it upon yourself to create your own cover because you know the image you wish to convey to your readers better than anyone else. Or recruit someone you may know or a trusted cover designer to work with you to create the perfect cover that will bring your story to life. Regardless of how your cover is made, you want to be able to appeal to your readers and represent your book in an exceptional way that wouldn’t allow it to be looked over by browsers.

The Publishing Journey: The Ultimate In(query)

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The query letter is usually your first step to seeking a literary agent or publisher. It can be the scariest step you will take because after you hit the ‘send’ button or as soon as you drop the envelope in the mail, you are putting yourself out there for rejection and criticism. But, the query letter doesn’t have to be scary; it doesn’t have to be something that you to lose sleep over. You can’t think of a query letter as your complete life story, but rather a mini billboard sign highlighting what you have to offer. If an agent or publisher isn’t looking for a story like the one you have wrote, then no amount of information is going to convince them take you on as a client or to offer you publishing deal. Query letters should be  a short and sweet summary of your manuscript, aim for 300 words or less. Keep in mind that your audience is most like a very busy individual, receiving an influx of other letters from plenty of other decent writers.  Stay humble and don’t come off too ambitious. Don’t attach or include  a sample of a chapter right away in the first letter; leave a cliffhanger to have the reader of your query letter yearn for more. The more you leave them wanting, the higher chance you have for your work to be reviewed.

There are a few key points to keep in mind when writing your query letter:

  • If there is one, add a personal connection with your audience. With a link to the individual, they may be inclined to read your letter with more care than the last one.
  • Going off the previous point, even without the personal connection, DO NOT copy and paste 80 of the same letters to different agents or publishers. It makes the letter incredibly impersonal, seemingly desperate for a form of recognition. Think about that particular agent or publisher and why you would be a good fit for them based on their current client and book list. Do you compliment their current author and books well or do you fill in a missing gap they might not have?
  • When a cliffhanger is added to the quick summary of your story, you shouldn’t give away the entire plot.
  • The biography in your letter should include (if possible) your own credibility in writing.
  • Keep the tone consistent in your letter. A good letter will keep consistent language; if it’s a lighthearted story, keep a gentle tone – if it’s a comedy novel, include some humor.
  • A common mistake is assuming the guidelines to agents, editors, and/or publishers are all the same. Read the guidelines with care…since they do determine your fate with possible representation or a possible book deal!

A query letter is vital to your publishing journey, so take your time to write it. Don’t forget to reread copies of your letters before you send them to your prospective representatives checking for grammar errors, misspellings, and to make sure you are getting the message you want across to the reader. This careful attention could change your fate.

Write on.