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Writers' Cafe / Re: Blurb help please (fantasy, book 1 in series)
« Last post by VanessaC on Today at 05:26:42 AM »
Hi.  I wrote my post before seeing your new blurb.

I like your new blurb.

The only thing I'd say is that it the murder mystery-ish aspect of the prior blurbs is probably lost in this version.  (Which may or may not be fine depending on what shape the book takes after she's sent to investigate, of course.)

Anyway, good job.  :)

Thank you - I appreciate the comments on both your posts. I'm discovering that I need to take long pauses between versions, so will come back to it later.

The way the story works is more of an investigation with magic, and uncovering secrets on the way.  Maybe I need to go read some mystery blurbs for inspiration!  :D
Writers' Cafe / Re: Blurb Help please?
« Last post by VanessaC on Today at 05:24:44 AM »
As someone struggling with my first blurb, just wanted to say I thought this read really well - it's full of "voice" and I know what I'm getting from this blurb, which I appreciate.  This isn't my usual thing, but I want to read it - machete wielding restaurant owner sounds awesome.

My only tiny little quibble (and this is the height of pedantry) is that, as a fellow UK citizen, we're not actually out of Europe yet but I assume that means your book is set slightly in the future or you're intending to publish when we are past the deadline.  (Note, not making any political comment, just a factual one).
Writers' Cafe / Re: Blurb help please (fantasy, book 1 in series)
« Last post by levz on Today at 05:23:46 AM »

Hi.  I wrote my post before seeing your new blurb.

I like your new blurb.

The only thing I'd say is that it the murder mystery-ish aspect of the prior blurbs is probably lost in this version.  (Which may or may not be fine depending on what shape the book takes after she's sent to investigate, of course.)

Anyway, good job.  :)
Writers' Cafe / Re: How long it takes. It takes what it takes.
« Last post by VanessaC on Today at 05:20:09 AM »
Lovely thread, lots of great comments - thanks to Scott for starting this off.

One of the things I've always liked about visiting here is that the discussions which take place show that not everyone is the same and there are different routes to "success" (something not often talked about, here or elsewhere, is to be sure an define what "success" looks like for you - for some, it's a living wage, for others it's the thrill of other reading your book, and so on).

Fast, slow, hand-written, typed, dictated, written in crayon on the fridge - who cares.  If it works for you, it works.
Hello Adrian,

Welcome to the KBoards, home of the friendliest and most knowledgeable indie writers and editors on the Internet.  Make yourself at home and ask anything. You'll get thoughtful, useful answers.

Here's wishing you continued success with your indie adventure!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Blurb help please (fantasy, book 1 in series)
« Last post by levz on Today at 05:16:20 AM »
I preferred v1
V2 explains more, but I'd've turned off before the end.

I agree. V1 leaves open more questions. Open questions make one want to open the book to answer them.

V2 answers all those questions.

However, V2 gives better stakes   

I've got to agree.  I'm not really sure about the revised blurb.  I much preferred version 1.  The revised version gave too much unnecessary-for-the-blurb backstory, IMO.  The original blurb I thought read better and was much punchier, but yes it lacked real stakes.

The truth is much more complicated, and could threaten not just Arrow but the Erith as well. 

At the moment I don't think the blurb reader sympathises with the Erith since they've bound Arrow to a service that she clearly wants out of.  Therefore I don't think we'd care that the truth could threaten the Erith as well.  Unless the Erith being threatened would have a knock-on negative effect on Arrow on someone she cares about.  But without that in the blurb, it's kind of an indifferent  place to end it. 

The Erith oath-bound Arrow to their service for sixteen years

I read your revised blurb first, so I didn't realise Arrow was the name of a character and this sentence really tripped me up.  I had to read it two or three times and kept thinking this sentence doesn't make sense before reading the next sentence and realising Arrow was the name of a character.

I would either get rid of the word "oath" to make the sentence shorter and clearer: The Erith bound Arrow to their service for sixteen years

or better yet, add a surname (if she has one ) :  The Erith bound Arrow Smith to their service for sixteen years


Personally, I think the focus of the blurb should be the protagonist rather than the Erith or the shifkin. She'll be the key to any emotional involvement for the reader.
Tabloids are good at knowing what aspects of a story people will respond to; in this case it would be poor brave Arrow and either nasty aloof Erith or nice friendly downtrodden shifkin.
The reader needs to be pulled into the book. And this buy would be an emotional not rational decision.

Would be different if it's really all about the societal relationships.

Glis makes a good point.


Anyway, here's my attempt with a few borrowed bits from the original blurb, plus c. gold and eleutheria's versions:

Secrets can be deadly.

Trained in magic and bound to service by the Erith, Arrow is finally close to her freedom when the Erith send her to their old enemies, ancient shape changers, the shifkin, to investigate a suspicious death.

But nothing is quite what it seems.

The shifkin didn't ask the Erith for help, but for answers, because the death looks like the work of their oppressors.  But the truth is much more complicated and could threaten Arrow and her upcoming freedom.  And the Erith couldn't care less whether she survives. 

The more Arrow learns the more questions she has, but Arrow is slowly coming to discover that some secrets may be best left alone...
Writers' Cafe / 21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors
« Last post by keerthi on Today at 05:15:04 AM »
A lot of people think they can write or paint or draw or sing or make movies or what-have-you, but having an artistic temperament doth not make one an artist.

 Even the great writers have tried and failed and failed some more.

 So even if you're an utterly fantastic writer who will be remembered for decades forthcoming, you'll still most likely receive a large dollop of criticism, rejection, and perhaps even mockery before you get there. Having been through it all these great writers offer some writing tips without pulling punches. After all, if a publishing house is going to tear into your manuscript you might as well be prepared.

1. The first draft of everything is [crap]. -Ernest Hemingway

2. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass. -David Ogilvy

3. If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy. – Dorothy Parker
4. Notice how many of the Olympic athletes effusively thanked their mothers for their success? “She drove me to my practice at four in the morning,” etc. Writing is not figure skating or skiing. Your mother will not make you a writer. My advice to any young person who wants to write is: leave home. -Paul Theroux

5. I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide. — Harper Lee

6. You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. ― Jack London

7. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. — George Orwell

8. There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ― W. Somerset Maugham

9. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. Simple as that. – Stephen King

10. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman

11. Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you finish this book? Why not? The thing that annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy. And no one had to die. – Anne Enright

12. If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do. – William Zinsser

13. Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college. – Kurt Vonnegut

14. Prose is architecture, not interior decoration. – Ernest Hemingway
15. Write drunk, edit sober. – Ernest Hemingway

16. Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln’s Melancholy I thought, Oh, [crap], now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly. – Joshua Wolf Shenk

17. Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. – Mark Twain

18. Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you. ― Neil Gaiman

19. Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. – Oscar Wilde

20. You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ― Ray Bradbury

21. Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously. – Lev Grossman
I only know what I saw....and I didn't see posted anywhere that she had been contacted privately, that wasn't in the OPs post.  Two things bothered me--I saw the 'conversation' in Marie's group where she was grilled, attacked, bullied, whatever you want to call it. I thought it was highly disrespectful to do that publicly. You have a conversation like that in private and bring it to someone's attention. All I know is what what I saw--this is the first I'm hearing of private conversations. So, it was surprising to see it brought up again....and the way it was presented was as if it's still ongoing and had not been addressed. It felt unfair to me. I'm not a member of the paid group, just the FB group, so I'm just an observer and I didn't like what I saw, in the group or in here. It feels like bullying to me as if someone has an ax to grind. It's mean, and that's why I spoke up. If Marie has decided to end things, I wouldn't blame her. Who needs the aggravation?

I can understand her wanting to drop it, especially given family issues and the time it takes to run such an organization in combination with her own successful publishing business and Author classes.

I just wanted to throw my two cents in about the Facebook conversation in her group. I know you may have seen it in a different light, but I read it too and you could maybe call it grilling, but I donít think it was anywhere close to an attack or bullying. She was called out, but given pertinent information and solutions. Could it have been handled in private? Maybe or maybe not- I donít know what conversations happened privately, but after the big to do about Tiffany gate, lotteries are a hot topic and being analyzed, and I appreciated the information in that thread.

And not to defend Chance, but he was called out and made changes immediately- changes that put him right within the law completely. Marie hasnít done that, and even if she isnít the head of an indie organization, sheís still put herself as someone to learn from with her courses- which Iíve taken one and enjoyed it, by the way. Iím just disappointed at this situation.

(Chance probably lost his account because the lottery was linked within his book on amazon, which Marie never did.)
Writers' Cafe / Re: Blurb help please (fantasy, book 1 in series)
« Last post by VanessaC on Today at 05:09:20 AM »
Thank you all so much for your input - you've all made me think.  This blurb writing reminds me of the first time I was faced with editing a whole novel - it felt like there was an enormous mountain in front of me (and I'm not a natural athlete).  Hopefully the blurb won't take me as long as that first edit did!

After some reflection I realised there was a hugely important detail missing from the blurb - although this is fantasy, it's an alternate world a bit like our own, so there's technology, too, and that was totally missing from the blurb!  Oops.

So I've had another go, trying to make that clearer and also pick up the points identified by people here as the key things.  If anyone's still with me and can face it, comments would be welcome.

Not all that happy with the last line as it feels weak, but this is what I've got as revision #300 (only slightly joking):

A world like our own, where magic can be deadly.

Trained to work magic by the Erith and oath-bound to their service as a price for her life, Arrow's freedom is days away when the Erith set her one last task; investigate the death of a high-ranking shape-changer, one of their old enemies.

The shape-changers suspect the Erith of murder. Wars have been started for less.

Stuck between lethal shape-changers and the Erith, who don't care if she lives, if she wants to see her freedom, Arrow must use all her skills to uncover the truth.  A truth darker and more complicated than any simple murder.
Writers' Cafe / Re: UK VAT Rules
« Last post by Lee Nichols on Today at 05:02:16 AM »
That is not what it is saying. It is informing your that you do not earn royalties on the VAT portion of a customer's payment for a book. To use their Irish example an Irish customer pays 7.38 euros for a book listed as 6 euro (but appearing as 7.38 to an Irish person browsing the Kindle Store).. The 1.38 is owed to the Irish government and the publisher does not earn a royalty on that portion of the customer payment.

It means they have already collected the VAT on the sale, and because they are not passing that VAT on to you, they are responsible for dealing with it. For us to pay the VAT ourselves, we would need it passed on in the royalty payment and would need to raise an invoice for it. Nobody has to pay VAT twice for the same sale, Amazon have already collected and dealt with it.
When we account for the royalty payment our end, we mark it as outside the scope for VAT.

Either way, as one post has already mentioned, never take advice from a forum, consult an accountant that deals with International selling. I'm quite certain that I am correct but that does not make it 100% fact, plus the rules change regularly.
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