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Topics - beccaprice

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Writers' Cafe / "message" books for kids
« on: May 23, 2018, 01:29:03 PM »
I'm seeing a lot of "message" books for children: compassion, empathy, you can do it, dealing with bullies, etc.

Most of my stories have a theme like that (non-violent solutions to problems, communication, compassion, and so on) but I don't directly call that out in my blurbs - I just describe the story. the themes are fairly subtle, and not directly called out.

Should I be more overt in my blurbs about what a given story is trying to teach?

Writers' Cafe / Need a name
« on: April 17, 2018, 01:25:06 PM »
I have a small kingdom called Argentia that consists of one walled city, outlying farms, and mines in the mountains. They are beset by an enemy, as yet unnamed. I imagine them like the Mongol Horde, nomads of the grasslands, who live by plundering the cities they come across.

I need a name for the nomad tribe. I'm lousy at naming things.

Anyone have any good ideas?

Writers' Cafe / What's the point of FB ads?
« on: March 31, 2018, 11:59:38 AM »
What's the point of face book ads? I'm getting lots of likes on the one I set up, but that's about it. No clicks that I can tell. Is it the fault of my ad, or is the point of the ad to just raise awareness of your book?

I'm going to try AMS soon, maybe that'll sell more books.

I know that advertising for children's books is a little different than for older readers, but I'm not sure how best to spend my money - I'd like to get coverage for Sirens' Song, which is a very unusual book, very different from my other fairy tales. Any suggestions on how best I can market it? It's more than just a story about the life cycle of salmon, it's about life and death and how every life enriches us all. It can be read on many different levels.

It's just a small book, but the illustrations and typography (I did neither) are stellar, and I'd like to see it get more coverage.

Writers' Cafe / Ingram spark books with createspace isbn?
« on: March 23, 2018, 09:49:51 AM »
A local bookstore is interested in carrying my books. I know CreateSpace doesn't have a bookstore anymore, nor does KDP Print. If I set up my books with IS as well as Amazon, can I use the CreateSpace ISBN or do I have to buy a whole separate one? These would be paperbacks, just like the CS ones, just from IS instead.

Writers' Cafe / What size print (not type, illustration)
« on: March 12, 2018, 01:19:43 PM »
As part of my kickstarter for Sirens' Song, we offered for one premium level a high quality print of the cover - which you must admit is awfully nice looking. I have several questions about it though. Should the prints be 8.5 x 11? or 11 x 14? Should it be just the drawing, or the drawing with the title and bylines added?

Thanks for input. My artist regularly sells her prints for $20 each, but I don't know what size those prints are, and she's not available right now so I can't ask her, but I suspect they're regular letter size (8.5 x 11).

ETA: I very cleverly called and asked one of my patrons. She pointed out that 8.5 x 11 is both easier to print and easier to ship. That makes sense.  Still not sure about the typography, though.

Writers' Cafe / Aid for an Artist in need
« on: March 10, 2018, 02:52:07 PM »
Many of you have complemented me on my beautiful covers, done by Todd C. Hamilton.  Todd is/was an artist's artist, and did fantastic work, not just for me but for many others. Todd gave freely of his art, when he was still able to do art.

Now, due to health problems and bureaucratic delays, Todd is in danger of losing his house. A mutual friend, Sharon Ferraro, has set up a GoFundMe for Todd. If you can help, even just a little, please do.



Writers' Cafe / Adding a new book to my profile
« on: March 10, 2018, 10:34:00 AM »
I give up. I can't find the page where I add a new book to my covers shown at the bottom of my posts. Can someone PM me and explain it in simple language for me? thanks.

Writers' Cafe / I don't know how to market this book
« on: March 03, 2018, 08:07:37 AM »
I wrote a book, Sirens' Song. An ARC is available to be downloaded free on my website: It sorta reads like a children's book, and it's a picture book, but it's really not a children's book, it seems to me.   Would some of you be so kind as to read it, and tell me what the best way to market it would be? It's going live March 15, I hope.



ETA: this book is so unlike anything I've ever written before - I'm having a bit of an anxiety attack about it

Writers' Cafe / Writing Children's Books
« on: March 01, 2018, 11:38:35 AM »
There was some discussion (but I can't find it now) about writing children's books. I just wanted to say that there's a resource that I've found invaluable. It's the Children's Writer's Word Book, and it gives grade levels for common words, and suggests synonyms for different age groups.

Writers' Cafe / bookfunnel help?
« on: February 26, 2018, 02:32:26 PM »
I've tried 2 jpgs as my book cover on the bookfunnel page for the book, but the cover never shows up, even though it's within the specs for the cover image. Can anyone help me?

Writers' Cafe / (solved) Fractions
« on: February 26, 2018, 12:41:54 PM »
In what grade to kids start to learn fractions?


ETA: I"ve been told it's 3rd grade.

Writers' Cafe / Help! (with HTML)
« on: February 26, 2018, 12:39:36 PM »
I need help with two pages on my website. I'm happy to barter an intensive beta read in exchange for what I've been told should take between 10-20 minutes. My favorite genres are fantasy and romance (preferably historical, but I don't much care).  I don't do dystopias or books with graphic violence. I'm willing to do mysteries (particularly cozies, but any good mystery or romantic suspense is good)

I need three pages on my website.

Page 1: Would you like to be an ARC reader for me? In exchange for a free digital copy of my latest book, you promise to post a review on Amazon once it's offered to the public.  Click Here--Button one.

Page 2: That first button takes them to a simple two-line form. Name:
                                                                                           Email address:

                                                                                           Button two: Click here to get your free book. (Whoever creates this for me has to make sure the button will not work if the two fields are not filled out.

Page 3: Bookfunnel - I think I have to set this up with my files on Bookfunnel, and you would link my second page to the bookfunnel page.

Any takers? Please?

Writers' Cafe / What's next?
« on: January 30, 2018, 02:38:32 PM »
With Sirens' Song coming together and in hands other than mine for awhile, I need a new project so that I don't keep bothering my artist for updates.

Here's my options:

Quickly write another fairy tale collection, which will take me a few months to get through editing and into the hands of an illustrator. I haven't come out with a new book in a year - the closest to that is a collection of three interrelated collections, but that's only repackaging. I've got a few stories half started that I could dig out, finish, and  add to them to make a decent collection.

Or, I can take the long view and really work on my Big Novel fantasy, The Boy Who Loved The Moon. I'm estimating that it will take me a year to get a rough draft of this - I'm a slow and lazy writer with health problems. This would mean not having anything new for probably 2 years.

I make most of my money from fairs and festivals  - I made the grand sum of $151 from Amazon last year. I do get repeat customers year from year, and it's nice to have something new to offer them.

so - should I focus on short term or really dive into my long-term project? I'm comfortable writing short fairy tales, and scope of work for The Boy Who Loved the moon scares me a bit.

Writers' Cafe / home stretch
« on: January 30, 2018, 02:01:49 PM »
I'm entering the home stretch for Sirens' Song, a short picture book that I've been working on and off on for several years. This past spring, the inimitable Martha Hayes (an editor beyond excellence) asked me the one direct question (as is her wont) that crystallized everything that was wrong with my draft, and how to fix it. I thought about it and at 3am, it all came together, and everything after that was wordsmithing.

Now my artist is almost finished with all her art, and I've got a wonderful layout and design person (he teaches this stuff at a local university) to pull it all together. To top it off, the artist is charging me $600 less than we'd originally thought, so I don't need a kickstarter to help me pay for this.

So here I am, trying hard not to call every day to interrupt my artist to see how she's doing (I really think she should charge me an interruption fee for every call I make). It's all coming together suddenly after months of delays. I'm so excited!

What makes this all the more special is that it's turning into a tribute project for my late father. If things continue to go as smoothly as they currently are, I may even be able to publish this on the anniversary of his death.

Writers' Cafe / hardback or paper?
« on: January 17, 2018, 09:46:35 AM »
I'm working with an artist to illustrate a children's book called Sirens' Song. It's about coming to terms with death, told as a fable about salmon runs. I self-publish. I'm back and forth about paperback (via CreateSpace) or hardback - it'll only be about 24 pages long (not counting front and back matter), with full page illustrations. If I go with paperback, it'll never be out of stock at Amazon - if I go with Ingram Spark, there will be a wait if people order it. But somehow, it seems to me that the subject matter deserves the solidity of a hardback book. (I could do both, I suppose, but that means two cover layouts and two ISBNs) Any comments, suggestions to help me choose?

Writers' Cafe / I'm in a bind
« on: November 14, 2017, 08:22:05 AM »
still working on the outline for The Boy Who Loved The Moon. I have 3 potential "heros" - Rudra, Owen, and Marc.

Mythologically there should be 3 tests. My first test is meeting the monster (Rudra runs from it, but later embraces it, Owen kills it, and Marc tames it). The third test is meeting one's self and one's true destiny. Again, mythologically, the middle test is betrayal of one's love or lord, or adultery - but that doesn't fit into the story line at all. Most of the interactions are between the potential hero and the personification of the Moon, and I can't think of any way that they would betray her.

Can anyone suggest a second, middle test to "prove" a hero?

many thanks

Writers' Cafe / Is this cover really so different?
« on: October 28, 2017, 04:56:40 AM »
The issue has been raised off line that I have a very strong branding going on with my covers, and a different cover might interfere with that branding. Unfortunately, my original cover artist isn't available to me any more. I rather like the look of the attached cover for Bridge of Seven Stones. Is it really so different that it's jarring?


sorry, I've forgotten how to size an image!

Writers' Cafe / looking for an inexpensive stock photo cover
« on: October 26, 2017, 01:37:04 PM »
I've decided that I really don't like the cover for Bridge of Seven Stones, and I believe that this is a major reason why it's the least-selling of all my books, even in person.

What I want is a stock photo of a bridge over a stream in a forest - if the cover artist can add a few sparkles to the bridge, that would be nice. Typography doesn't have to match my other books. I'm looking to have this done because I'm lousy at typography.

I know there are good artists on fiver and deviant art, but I don't have the time/energy to winnow through them all to find someone who can do what I want and have it look good but not charge me the earth.

Can anyone recommend someone? I can send out the original cover for specs and back cover text, if that will make it easier.


Writers' Cafe / Scary covers?
« on: October 19, 2017, 10:32:56 AM »
I usually get complements on my covers, but two independent sources today have just told me that they think their kids would be too scared by the covers to read the gentle stories inside.

I admit, Heart of Rock could be taken as scary by young ones, but it's aimed more at older readers (and the gargoyle on the cover is the good guy).  And I've never been totally pleased by the cover of Bridge of Seven Stones, and intend to get a new cover as soon as I can afford one (which may be awhile, because the illustrations for Sirens' Song are going to kill me), but the other covers are aimed at younger children - do they seem too scary to you? Would the two mentioned above keep you away from the other books?

Writers' Cafe / disliking a "sympathetic" character
« on: October 18, 2017, 02:01:25 PM »
I've got 3 main protagonists in my WIP.  I'm finding that, as I'm developing the personalities more, I'm finding one of them (owen) less and less sympathetic.  He's not a bad guy, just immature, thoughtless and selfish.  Granted, this will make my book more interesting, but it's also going to make the book more difficult to write.

has this ever happened to you, that you wind up disliking a major character? How do you handle it with out turning off your readers?

Writers' Cafe / the mindset of a soldier
« on: October 17, 2017, 12:29:16 PM »
can anyone recommend a book (fiction or non-) that accurately describes the mindset of a soldier who doesn't have PTSD?

Writers' Cafe / 4 short stories or one novel?
« on: October 17, 2017, 10:27:26 AM »
I keep playing around with the structure for The Boy Who Loved The Moon. I've either got 4 short stories, one of which ends on a cliff hanger, or I've got one longer novel with a framing story, and I'm not sure which of these is the best way to present the material.

Rudra 1 (cliff hanger)
Rudra 2 (resolves cliff hanger)

Owen's and Marc's stories echo Rudra's story, in the sense that all three of them love the moon in very different ways, and all three of them meet the same kinds of challenges, but with different outcomes. Owen loves the moon in the Romantic sense, as in a knight "loves" the lady whose banner he fights under, but generally no sexual involvement is assumed (she's usually a married woman). Owen goes through his challenges, and then decides to go home from the island of Mythos.

Marc is a 30-ish year old career soldier, who loves the incarnation of The Moon with sexual attraction. After he goes through the challenges, he opts to stay on the island of Mythos, but leaves the incarnation of the Moon to go exploring.

Rudra is a paleolithic hunter who goes through the challenges, is deeply changed by them, loves the incarnation of The Moon as a dear and intimate friend, and opts to stay with her. Rudra 1 ends with him contemplating the river of Lethe, which will allow him to forget any life before Mythos, resolving his traumas by making him forget them. Rudra 2 picks up with Rudra sitting at Lethe, and turning away, deciding to confront his memories and the spirits of his dead.

Both Owen and Marc fail one of the three challenges (or more, in Owen's case), and in their own way leave the incarnation of the Moon more or less unchanged.

so which would you do - publish all 4 parts at once, as a 4-part serial for $0.99 each? or publish the four with a framing story which is in itself a short story, for $3.99?

The title says it all. I want to set up a code because I've been approached by a store to sell my books, and I don't know how to set up a acode for them. C/S help was no help at all.

Writers' Cafe / I finally found my audience
« on: October 06, 2017, 01:31:51 PM »
I just got a wonderful email from my new employer, raving about one of the stories in Dragons and Dreams. I feel like I've finally found my audience: a midddle-aged Mythology professor who trained as a Waldorf education teacher. I admit, that's an awfully small market segment, and not one to necessarily build a career on, but he caught all my references, and really got what I was trying to do in that particular story.

I went back and re-read it. After all, Dragons and Dreams was my first book, and it's been a lot of stories since I wrote them. Heavens, was I pretentious in those days!

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