Don’t be a Dick~~Mike Cooley

Advice for Writers

As a writer it can be tempting to be a dick. There is some evidence to support the idea that “being a dick works.” Maybe you were a dick before you started writing. I have just one thing to say about that: “Don’t be a dick.”

The following information details a number of ways that you can avoid being a dick. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list. I’m sure you can find many ways to be a dick that I haven’t thought of yet.

Twitter

No one wants to see your book link on their twitter feed ten times a day. Not even your mom. Take my word for it. It’s true. Sure you can use twitter to post links, but engage in conversation, tweet about things other than writing, respond to people… be human. If all you use twitter for is promotion, you will be ignored and unfollowed quickly.

Facebook

Facebook is a great promotional tool. So don’t be a tool when you use it. Don’t engage in fly-by activities where all you ever do is post links to your work in every freakin’ group you are in. Most of your fellow writers and readers are in a lot of those groups too. They don’t need to hear about your shiny new instant classic in every single group. Pick a group; post it; move on. Take the time to engage in conversations with other writers and readers. Showing that you have a sense of humor and some tact can go a long way toward gaining readers. All right, screw the tact.

Email

If you give out your email address as contact information, be prepared to answer emails. Some of them may be unpleasant. Some of them may be creepy. Some of them may put a smile on your face that lasts for a week. Be responsive. Be nice. Word travels fast.

Signings

Don’t go to a signing feeling like you’re the second coming and expect everyone to kneel down in front of you for a signature. The readers that show up are doing you a favor. Treat them like royalty. Smile. Talk to them. Put them at ease. If they bring twenty copies, sign twenty copies. If they want you to sign their boobs, sign them. You can explain it all to your wife later.

Interviews

Be prepared. Be awake. Try to sound intelligent without forcing it. Relax. They wouldn’t be interviewing you if they weren’t already interested in your work. Show your enthusiasm for your work and your characters. It’s infectious. Be sincere. I shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t lie. Don’t exaggerate. Tell it like it is. If there is something you don’t want to answer, be diplomatic, but say so. If it’s a written interview, double-check your spelling and grammar. If it’s a phone interview make sure your phone is charged and you have the time right.

Brand

Brand is bland. I don’t remember who coined that phrase, but I agree with it. There’s nothing wrong with having an identity and a writing style and a voice, but don’t go overboard. Not everything you do has to look and sound the same. You don’t have to homogenize your message or dumb it down to get readers. Your work is your brand. Period. Let me repeat that. Your work is your brand. You don’t need to cultivate anything artificial. Brand is for tennis shoes and cars. You are a unique little flower. Try to act like it.

Blogging

Readers like interesting blogs. And readers like learning more about their favorite authors. You don’t always have to talk about writing, or your books. You are a writer. Even when you are telling everyday slice-of-life stories you can and should tell them well. It will keep people coming back. Spell-check and grammar check your blog posts. Be obsessive about it. People will expect a higher level of quality control on your blog—because you are a writer. Live up to it. Blog about other writers. Network. Talk about books you love. Show you are a reader too. Show how you observe life and react to it. You don’t have to be interesting, you already are.

Fellow Writers

Treat fellow writers with respect. Remember that they may just be starting out. Remember how you felt when you were just starting. Help them. And listen to the writers who are more experienced than you. They know stuff. Useful stuff. They know not to use the word stuff.

Know It All

Don’t be one. I don’t care if you’ve been writing for one year, five years, or twenty years. You don’t know it all. What works for you doesn’t always work for other people. What works for other people doesn’t always work for you. It’s not your way or the highway. There are many roads to success. There isn’t one way to write or edit. There isn’t one program to write in. Different methods work for different people. And that’s all right. Don’t have tunnel vision. Be open-minded.

Beta Readers

Reward your beta readers. Thank them for everything they find, whether you agree with it or not. They are doing you a favor and reading your work for free. When your book is published give them a signed copy. It’s the least you can do for their efforts. Don’t be offended by what they find. They represent readers. If they get confused by something chances are that someone else will too. Beta readers are a very valuable commodity. Treat them like it.

Bragging

By all means celebrate your successes with your friends, family, and fellow writers! That’s part of the fun of being a writer. But don’t flood the internet with every positive review and every small victory. People will get tired of it. Other writers may not be having the same success, or may feel inferior because their accomplishments pale in comparison. Other writers may not be making their word counts or may have life events sapping their time. Revel in the success of your friends too, not just your own. It’s just as important to encourage other writers as it is to encourage yourself. Being a writer that people can relate to (not afraid to admit faults, concerns, insecurities) can go a long way toward making people interested in your work.

Review Sites

It can be scary to give your baby to a review site. It takes courage. But you never know if you don’t try. When you do, be patient. Review sites get flooded with submissions. It may take them a long time to get to yours. And when they do, they might not give you the rating you think it deserves. That’s all right. The quality of a book is highly subjective. Opinions vary. Maybe it’s not all that. Take your lumps and move on. If the review points out valid problems that you can fix… fix them. Don’t spew complaints about the review all over the web. It just makes you look like a child. Not everyone will understand or like your book. It’s a big world. One review won’t kill you. Two or three might leave a mark. Move on.

Responding To Reviews

Step one: don’t respond to bad reviews. Thank people for good reviews when you can. Don’t let great reviews make your ego the size of a planet and don’t let bad reviews knock you down. There will always be someone that loves your book and someone that hates it. That is the way of things. If reviews are getting you down, pick a famous book and read the bad reviews. Then, grasshopper, you will know I speak true. As long as you are sure your work is the best it can be, you can be confident in it. If you have to respond to a bad review, the best possible way is to respond with generosity. Thank them for reading it. Seriously. I’m not kidding. The more magnanimous you are, the more they look like a dick. The more you whine and bitch in public, the more you look like one. Don’t be a dick.

Editors

Editing is hard, time-consuming work. Many writers are under the mistaken notion than an editor can read and edit a book in just a little more time than it would take a reader to read it. Wrong! Depending on the type of editing, the quality of the manuscript, and the length it can many hours to edit. If you are just getting it checked for spelling and grammar—commonly called copy-editing—then it would not take as long as if you were having the whole nine yards done (consistency, plot, character, pacing,…). Editing costs vary greatly depending on the type of editing, the skill of the editor and how long it takes. Your editor is not your enemy. They are trying to help you. Let me say that again. THEY ARE TRYING TO HELP YOU. Yeah, that’s better.

The reason great editors charge a lot is because they are worth it. Sure you could have your roommate edit your novel (because she’s really good at Scrabble). Don’t! Please, for the love of all that’s holy, just don’t.

Cover Art

Making a cover is not a simple matter of picking a picture off the internet and then slapping some unreadable text on it and calling it good. First off it’s a copyright violation to use an image you don’t own the rights to. There are many artists available that do great cover art. They have years of training, know how to use the tools, know where to get licensed background art, and have a keen sense of what kind of covers work well in the genre you are writing in. It is in your best interest to pay for cover art unless you are an artist yourself with a lot of knowledge in the field. You can find cover artists at many different price points. Look at covers they’ve done before. Talk to satisfied customers. Then work with the artist. They want you to be happy with the final product. But don’t be difficult just to be difficult. Often a writer’s idea of what the cover should look like (perhaps a specific scene in the book) is not going to work as well as what the artist thinks of. Be open to suggestions. Collaborate with the artist until you are happy, but don’t nitpick everything to death. There are reasons they suggest certain things. Good reasons. Once again THEY ARE TRYING TO HELP YOU. Listen to them. Pay them. Thank them. Repeat.

Please don’t contribute to the endless supply of cover art that sucks ass. You won’t sell books. I don’t care how good the words are. Thank you.

Thin Skin

I don’t care if it kills you to get a bad review. Never let them see you bleed. You’re above all that. Cry in private. Bitch among friends. But do not, under any circumstances, whine and complain in public (yes most places on the internet are public). Harsh criticism hurts. That’s life. But a single critic doesn’t speak for everyone. And it’s not the end of the world to get a bad review. There are a lot of reasons for getting a bad review, and many of them have nothing to do with the words in your book. Suck it up. Move on.

Conventions

If you attend conventions as a writer, don’t just hide in your room. Readers love writers. Interact. Engage. Chit-chat. Sign-books. Be available. Volunteer for panels. Being entertaining and friendly in public will sell books. People want to like you already, because they like your books. Some might complain about something in a book, or how long it’s taking for the next one. Be gracious. Give them information. Show everyone you are just a normal—well okay, normal is probably a bit of a stretch for most of us—person that they can relate to. Show them that you put your pants on one leg at a time—just like they do. The only difference is that once your pants are on you write like a freakin’ God. (Over the top? Thought so. Apologies to SNL and Christopher Walken.)

Interact with other writers. They are your people. It’s a good idea to know who the other writers attending the convention are, and to familiarize yourself with their work. Writers are readers too. Writers can help spread the word about your work. Let them talk about their work too. It’s not all about you. Part of being a great writer is being a great listener and observer. Other writers will be more than happy to help you. Just don’t be a dick.

Thanks for reading this. I hope it helps. No, I don’t think you’re a dick. This is for all the other writers out there.


OMP Admin Note: Mike Cooley is a science fiction and fantasy writer by night, and a software engineer by day. He has written many science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories. He grew up in Washington State, went to college in New Mexico, and ended up in Minnesota with one wife, a kid, and two cats. His top influences are Phillip K. Dick and James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Sheldon).
You can find out more about his books and other endeavors at https://lastwrites.co


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers have been recently published (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology

Head Elsewhere~~Mark Huntley-James

Wherever I am, my head is often elsewhere – a book I’m reading, a film I’ve just watched, and most often completely else, strolling through a story I might try to write. Pay attention, watch what you’re doing, keep your eyes peeled… sorry, no-one in at the moment, please leave a message after the daydream.

This particular train of thought started when I was digging a hole – not metaphorically, but literally, with a spade, moving dirt from A to B, flat ground transformed to lump and matching dip. The aim of the hole digging was planting a tree, but for most of the time my head was elsewhere – not entirely healthy with a sharp-edged tool so close to my toes, and at some point it occurred to me that not only was my attention elsewhere but that this is almost my default state. Doing the laundry, loading the dishwasher, brushing my teeth, or planting a few hundred meters of hedgerow – it doesn’t matter where I am, it’s where my head is that matters.

I am never really alone when my head is elsewhere. Whole worlds open up, wondrous characters drop by for a chat or, on a bad day, the most fantastical bore leans on the door frame to talk me into hell. I could go back to reality, but seriously, is that any better? And what might I miss if I do come back early? Even a fantastical bore has a place in a story, perhaps even a central place depending on the tale. It’s tempting to think that head elsewhere is an essential mindset for being an author, although my suspicion is more that I am an author because my head so readily tours elsewhere.

However, I am not alone in being not alone when I’m on my own… Let me rephrase: I am convinced that I have known similar people over the years. There is a certain look and feel to them – the lights are on, someone is in, but you don’t knock on the door because you just know they are in conference with the aliens, translating Mum’s recipes from the original goblin, or disposing of a body (and there’s always room for a second one). This is only speculation, mind you, because I’ve never dared approach one of these potentially kindred voyagers and pop the question: excuse me, but is that your head, or is it elsewhere?

It’s tempting to think of the strange virtual world of the web as being elsewhere, but it’s not. Online is a different group reality, full of social communities or wild groups shouting at each other in ferocious arguments safe in the knowledge that they don’t have to look each other in the eye. Roving elsewhere, on the other hand, is a solitary exploration, no matter how densely populated elsewhere might be.

The thing about elsewhere is that it’s my fake reality. I like it there and I don’t take guests. Being an author means I that might then write about the places my head has been, either carefully sanitised (cleaned for general consumption and the really nutty bits removed) or in toe-curling detail because I feel like it and want to see eyes go wide, but whether I report it light or heavy no-one ever sees the full scope of my journey.

A few years back, on a drive home from Plymouth, in the dark (my wife was driving) I had an idea. It wasn’t much, but night driving needs concentration and, with no conversation, my head went elsewhere. I kicked the idea around, decided that it was growing on me, and wrote a story, told it to myself while I was elsewhere, edited it in my head, told it again, ran it by a receptive hedgerow. The trouble with having your head elsewhere is that even the worst drivel can sound good, but the next day I wrote it down as well as I could recall, toned down the crazy, changed the names to protect the insolent and won first place in a writing competition. Yay for me, but don’t think for one moment that the published story is really what happened when my head went wandering. It just wrote the bits that made a good story, edited for decency and skipping over the dull bits, and leaving out the embarrassing conversation with… Never mind. That’s for another story.

It’s a private business being elsewhere, full of technicolour wonder and companionship, so absorbing you can get lost for hours, only summoned back by those unstoppable forces of nature such as that cry in the distance the cat is eating your lunch, or the old-fashioned dial-up line back to reality that sends the occasional alert such as spade incoming, move your foot now.

Elsewhere. You can’t beat it, and there is so much to see. You ought to at least visit, perhaps get a season pass, and explore the boundless oddities. If you’ve got a minute I could give you some pointers to the best sights…

Sorry. Have to go. Reality calling. It’s time to put the chickens away.

My head will probably be in some other elsewhere by the time I get back. Maybe see you there. A more interesting you, of course, but that’s the nature of elsewhere.


OMP Admin Note: Mark Huntley-James writes science fiction and fantasy on a small farm in Cornwall, where he lives with his partner and a menagerie of cats, poultry and sheep.

He has two urban fantasy novels out on Kindle – “Hell Of A Deal” (http://relinks.me/B01N94VXBC ) and “The Road To Hell” (relinks.me/B07BJLKFSS ) – and is working on a third.

He can be found online at his blog http://writeedge.blogspot.co.uk, his website (https://sites.google.com/site/markhuntleyjames/), and occasionally on that new-fangled social media.


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers have been recently published (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology

I Think I’m Learning Japanese~~John Nedwell

I don’t want to sound pretentious, but for the last nine months I have been learning to speak a new language. You see, just over a year ago I went on a trip to Japan. I had booked it on impulse after an unexpected cash windfall. A friend of mine – who regards herself as being an enabler – said to me, “You’ve always wanted to go there. You’ve got the money. So, why not?” I couldn’t think of a good rebuttal. So, just before Easter last year, I found myself on a ten-day tour. I took a lot of photographs. I did a lot of tourist things. I also did some things that only made sense to me.

When I came back, I was grabbed by one of the people at my writing group. “What did you think of Japan?” she asked.

“It was a wonderful place,” I said. “But I didn’t see enough of it.”

“So, you’d like to go again?”

“Definitely. But I know I don’t want to go on a tour. There are so many places I still want to see.”

She nodded. “So, you’re going to have to speak Japanese,” she said. “I can teach you.”

It took a few months to get things set up – real life being the awful thing that it is – but Mo-sensei was as good as her word. In October last year I started to learn how to speak Japanese.

It has been a hard nine months. Mo-sensei started off by teaching me the hiragana and katakana. “You’ll need these,” she said. “You may never learn the kanji, but if you learn these then that will be a start.” Then she started drilling me on the simple things. Of course I made mistakes, and when I did Mo-sensei would nod, smile and correct me. We made our way through simple grammar and vocabulary. For one hour a week, we sat in her kitchen and followed the lessons. I put in an hour a day at home, writing out the characters and trying to commit the new words to memory. But, as well as words, Mo-sensei taught me Japanese manners and culture. “You’ll need these as well,” she said. “If you’re going to be on your own.”

At the start of July we reached an important milestone. “There you go,” Mo-sensei said, and opened the textbook halfway through at a page of Japanese. “You should be able to translate that.”

It took me all of the lesson to make my way down the page. At the end, Mo-sensei closed the textbook and smiled. “Very good. At least you won’t disgrace yourself in public.”

After nine months, I’m not fluent by any means. I know enough Japanese to ask simple questions. I even know enough to maybe understand the answers – provided you speak slowly to me.

And I’ve got another year to get better!


OMP Admin Note:  John Nedwill is a writer, OMP Network member, and a regular #OneMillionProject Blogger.  His work can be found on Wattpad.com and in the One Million Project’s Short Story Anthologies published in February 2018.


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers have been recently published (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology

Words on Fire~~by Christine Larsen

Cover image for the story - burning books with the caption "Words on Fire"

“Take us! Take us too! We beg you!”

The creaking and groaning was more than pitiful. It reached horrendous levels. But strain as they would, the bookshelves could not disengage themselves from their sturdy shackles. Their beloved homes had become their bastilles – the only reason they remained in the tragically empty and lonesome bookshops when their ransacking was complete.

“We’d rather die quickly on a funeral pyre, than be left to rot amongst cobwebs and emptiness,” the empty shelves cried piteously. But nobody heard.

Who would have thought the first vandals would be university students, destroying upwards of 25,000 books written in an ‘un-German’ spirit. Or so it began. Tragically, this destruction quickly deteriorated into a frenzy of annihilation of the written word, no matter its form or message. The bonfires burned ever higher. Within days, 34 university towns across Germany had decimated even countless of their own authors’ classics and set the pattern for bookshelves to be ransacked across the land.

“Words are dreams and faith… our tomorrow. Without them, we are nothing,” the bookshelves cried in agony. But nobody listened.

Their cries fell on deaf ears, for this was a cry that shrieked loudest and most painfully in the hearts and outraged souls of true book-lovers… though the brutality ignited horror in even the most illiterate. Few have ever been able to understand why none of those heartless vandals protested, or refused to burn the books in the pogrom of literature lighting the German skies that memorable night. Few have found comfort in the knowledge of how often history has repeated itself. According to Wikipedia:

In some cases, the destroyed works are irreplaceable and their burning constitutes a severe loss to cultural heritage. Examples include the burning of books and burying of scholars under China’s Qin Dynasty (213–210 BC), the burning of the Library of Alexandria (c. 49), the obliteration of the Library of Baghdad (1258), the destruction of Aztec codices by Itzcoatl (1430s), and the burning of Maya codices on the order of bishop Diego de Landa (1562).

If you close your eyes and grant your imagination freedom, you will hear those bookshelves’ message of hope against the odds, saying –

“When WILL you learn Man is a storyteller – has been from the beginning of Time? He’s the reason your legends are born and persist through the history of forever. What he doesn’t know for sure, he imagines. Burn that if you can!”

And they tried, those would-be murderers of human hope – and this particular time was on June 21, the summer solstice, a traditional date for bonfire celebrations in Germany. The callous vandals of this day would not understand that you can NEVER destroy Man’s spirit; his imagination; his memory. It’s a package deal, this human spirit – an indivisible pact between reader and writer.

Throughout history, when all has seemed lost, words, like the fabulous phoenix of legend, rise ever again.

Hush now bookshelves. We hear you and will fill you with our words of hope again… and again.


OMP Admin Note: Christine Larsen is a writer, farmer, wife, mother, and grandmother from Australia. She has never been homeless or had significant cancer – yet – but has had exposure to both – creating a great sense of empathy and desire to help in any way she can. She is humbled by the opportunity to give one of her stories to the sincerely worthwhile causes of Cancer research and Homelessness.


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers have been recently published (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology

Fear of the Unknown~~by Kate McGinn

Fear of the Unknown~~by Kate McGinn

“You need surgery.” Those words can spark a jumble of emotions in someone. Even someone with three decades of experience in the nursing profession. How many times have I recited the risks of a surgical procedure to the people in my care prior to their own surgeries? They have been too many times to count.

The same feelings of uncertainty can be felt with any illness or medical procedure. We silently wonder at what will be found and how it will affect our daily lives. We worry about how our family will cope if we are unable to work or perform the daily tasks they depend on us to complete for them. In today’s fast-paced world our families are busy and spread out across the country. A health complication might mean a stay in a rehabilitation center or care center if the patient needs assistance during their recovery.

When you read this blog, I will be in surgery having a total knee replacement. It’s a commonplace surgery and has been performed since the Sixties, but when it’s your surgery that feels different. My unknown future and the lack of control are at the top of my list of worries.

As we progress through life, we face challenges and need to make decisions regarding our futures. We have some control over those decisions, but the outcomes are not guaranteed. You can do everything right and still not attain your goal. When you place your life and your health in the hands of the medical staff, you give up some of that control.

You can pick your doctor, your hospital and can make the decision to have the procedure. You can do background checks to see if the medical center has a good rating and your physician is certified and has a good reputation, but you can’t control the randomness of life.

I often recite two sayings and these little ditties guide my general philosophy of life. They are: It is what it is and If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. The first one is a cliché that might imply you don’t think you can fix the issues in your life, but to me, it means that sometimes life has moments where the only control you have is over your response. The second phrase coined by Woody Allen reflects on how something can still come to pass despite all we do to prevent such an outcome.

How am I dealing with my pending surgery? I have my will and health care power of attorney completed. I’m eating as healthy as I can, doing the isometric exercises my physician recommended prior to surgery, and I’m keeping a positive attitude.

My positive attitude is all I really have control over now, during and after.


OMP Admin Note: Kate McGinn is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who will be blogging on a regular basis on various causes and issues. Kate hopes to spread awareness of the issue of American Veterans returning home to less help than they deserve. EMMAUS is one of the two main charities we are supporting.

Kate McGinn’s fiction can be found on Amazon in the flash fiction series BITE SIZE STORIES (Volume Two) along with five other guest writers, and in the One Million Project Fiction Anthology. Her Clare Thibodeaux Series which include the suspense books — EXODUS, WINTER’S ICY CARESS, and NEVER SHOW YOUR HAND — is available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. Kate’s stories can also be found in the magazine — Mom’s Favorite Reads available on Amazon and Smashwords. And also on “The Stories We Tell” podcast on Google Play, Libsyn, Spotify, and http://www.paulsating.com/the-stories-we-tell

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01KUKTYFQ

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kate-McGinn/e/B01KUKTYFQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1473258097&sr=1-2-ent

https://www.katemcginn.com/


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers have been recently published (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology

Writing & Recording

Writing & Recording

When I was a little girl, oh so many decades ago, my first form of storytelling was just that — sitting with my younger siblings and telling them a story that I made up. Creating little plays that we could perform in for my parents and grandparents. Playing in the yard, I would concoct a scenario of what we were playing that day. Sometimes we were settlers crossing the vast prairies looking for a place to build our cabin; at other times, we might be cruising through space in our spacecraft. (Can you tell I grew up in the sixties on series like Bonanza and Star Trek?)

Originally, I had planned to write a post on one of the One Million Project’s causes, but I decided to write about something new that I and several other writers I know are tackling in addition to self-publishing our work.

My new venture involves recording my stories for podcasts.  I have done short videos promoting my work and also promotional slideshows with my story recorded as background audio. I used my cellphone and an included app for recording. Recently, I became involved in a group which highlights submissions in their monthly writing challenge in a podcast.

A few of my stories have been selected and other narrators did a fabulous job recording for me. I was fascinated by how they brought the story to life with multiple tracks adding background effects that fit the story.

I read several articles on what microphones are recommendedIMG_3617 for podcasting and was surprised that some very successful podcasters use their smartphones with the microphone and headphones that came with them. I decided I would have more flexibility if I invested in one of the microphones and headphones recommended by an experienced podcaster in our group.

Microphones and accessories like headphones, pop filters, recording programs have a wide range in prices and quality. I think any writer who is interested in recording their stories for YouTube, a promotional video or a podcast should explore their options and select something that fits their budget and needs.

Audiobooks are another aspect to explore. Some of the writers in our podcast group are planning on recording their own audiobooks. If the cost of hiring a narrator or paying royalties on your work for perpetuity seems overwhelming then recording your own work may be the answer if you have the time and patience.

Platforms like Patreon offer an interface that allows writers and other podcasters to offer tiers and followers can opt to support that writer for a specific monetary amount in exchange for access to programs and products available to those who join.

All of these options take time and that means time away from writing, but it is another possible outlet for your books as well as a marketing tool to promote your work.


OMP Admin Note: Kate McGinn is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who will be blogging on a regular basis on various causes and issues. Kate hopes to spread awareness of the issue of American Veterans returning home to less help than they deserve. EMMAUS is one of the two main charities we are supporting.

Kate McGinn’s fiction can be found on Amazon in the flash fiction series BITE SIZE STORIES (Volume Two) along with five other guest writers and in the One Million Project Fiction Anthology. Her Clare Thibodeaux Series which include the suspense books — EXODUS, WINTER’S ICY CARESS, and NEVER SHOW YOUR HAND — is available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. Kate’s stories can also be found in the magazine — Mom’s Favorite Reads available on Amazon and Smashwords, and on “The Stories We Tell” podcast on Google Play, Libsyn, Spotify, and http://www.paulsating.com/the-stories-we-tell

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01KUKTYFQ

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kate-McGinn/e/B01KUKTYFQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1473258097&sr=1-2-ent

https://www.katemcginn.com/


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers have been recently published (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology

Lost Weekends ~~ by John Nedwill

Lost Weekends ~~ by John Nedwill

If this blog entry is posted when I think it is going to be, then you shall be reading this just as I am recovering from a rather busy weekend. There are some of you who may remember how, in a previous post, I wrote about being a role-player and boardgamer. Well, I am not alone.

One of the ways that role-players and boardgames get to meet others involved in the hobby is by going to conventions – and the UK has a thriving convention scene. There are conventions every month. Indeed, there are times of the year when there seem to be conventions every week! And the biggest one has just taken place at the NEC in Birmingham. I am writing about the UK Games Expo.

The UK Games Expo usually takes place over three days during the first weekend in June. It is the largest gaming convention in the UK. It is probably the largest dedicated gaming convention in Europe (the Essen Games Fair is bigger, but is almost exclusively a traders’ show), and it is a serious rival to GenCon Indy in the USA. For three days, tens of thousands of gamers come from across the UK and Europe. They congregate at the NEC to shop, trade, meet, greet, with gamer-themed shows, go to seminars and – most importantly! – game. There is plenty of that at UK Games Expo: demonstration games, tournaments, organised play sessions and thousands of seats for people to bring along and play their own games.

The convention does not run itself. It relies on a small army of unpaid volunteers to man reception desks, patrol the trade halls, run gaming sessions, set up rooms …  The list goes on. Many of the volunteers are there for the whole weekend, working hard to make sure that the people who have paid to come to the convention have a good time. But, because the volunteers work hard throughout the convention, they rarely get to see what is going on. Still, there is no shortage of people willing to give up their free time for others. The rewards we get (Yes – I’m one of the volunteers) are intangible but worth it. We get to be part of something big. We get the satisfaction of having contributed something to a greater enterprise. We have been the ambassadors for something we are passionate about. We have made a difference.

That’s the thing about volunteering. No matter who we are or what we do, any one of us can make a difference by giving up some of our time to volunteer. Our contribution can be small or large. We can be an organiser or a cog in something bigger. It doesn’t matter, so long as we make a difference.


OMP Admin Note:  John Nedwill is a writer, OMP Network member, and a regular #OneMillionProject Blogger.  His work can be found on Wattpad.com and in the One Million Project’s Short Story Anthologies published in February 2018.


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers have been recently published (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology