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Topics - Amanda Brice

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Writers' Cafe / Looking for non-fiction cover artist
« on: March 05, 2017, 02:27:52 pm »
I'm publishing a series of DIY legal guides, and we need covers.

Specifically we need both ebook and print versions. We have 4 books contracted, and they need to all be designed in the same style to clearly look branded as a series. We would like to publish the first book by the end of March, but the final 2 books won't be until this summer.

If you make non-fiction covers, or know someone who can help, please let me know.

Writers' Cafe / Come self-promote at Fangirl Friday today!
« on: May 01, 2015, 06:53:51 am »
Do you have a new release? A book that is discounted or free this weekend?

Or maybe you just read something that blew your mind.

Tell us about it!

All we ask in return is that you are courteous, you don't mention the same book twice, and that you help spread the word!

Come on over to the Ruby blog and brag about your books!

Have a new release? A great review? Running a sale? Have a free book? Let us know!

Writers' Cafe / ISO editing and formatting for a cookbook
« on: March 18, 2015, 01:18:27 pm »
I've been tasked to put together a proposal to self-publish a Junior League cookbook. This particular Junior League last did a cookbook in 1999, and they used Wimmer as their "publisher" but my friend in the League is convinced that they can do much better by self-publishing and I am pretty certain she's right.

But before she can convince the rest of the committee, she needs to put together a proposal, so she needs numbers. So of course, she asked me, her only friend who self-publishes.  ;D

The package they need to compare is a 288-page cookbook. She doesn't know how many recipes that works out to, or really anything at all. Just that the proposal they got from the vanity publisher is for a 288-page book.

So....if you have self-published a cookbook or if you offer editing and/or formatting services for non-fiction, cookbooks in particular, I need to know the following:

What should they expect to pay for--
* editing
* print layout
* ebook formatting

If they go this route, the committee would select the recipes and would do the necessary due diligence to determine that they actually are good and work. I also advised that they would put together a "template" for members to use when submitting their recipes, so they're all in the same format and so could basically be cut-and-pasted into the final thing, once the committee has engaged in the necessary selection and arrangement, along with any supplemental writing and descriptions.

So they really do just need editing and format.

Can anyone help? What have you paid for this? Or if you offer these services, what do you charge?

Writers' Cafe / Using lip prints for character development
« on: February 20, 2015, 11:49:59 am »
Have you ever heard of Lipsology? It's the art and science and lip print reading, and it's a method of personality assessment. A great way to add to character development! The other day on the Ruby blog, I interviewed a certified Lipsologist, and she analyzed my lip prints for me.

Leave a comment on the blog and you'll be entered to win a free lip print reading of your own!

Writers' Cafe / Come blatantly self-promote at Fangirl Friday!
« on: February 20, 2015, 08:14:53 am »
The Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood has begun a new feature every week -- Fangirl Fridays!

Consider this a standing invitation to hop on over to our blog every week for a chance to leave a comment, including links! We're looking for new releases, special sale prices, preorder info, whatever!

Or you could even leave a comment raving about a book you just read. The choice is yours, so come fangirl with us!

EDIT: I went ahead and changed the post to today's post so people will comment in the right one.  ;D

Writers' Cafe / Blogged about my trip to BEA
« on: June 05, 2014, 08:14:44 am »
I was only there for a super-short time period, but here are some photos and thoughts about my trip to BookExpo America.

Writers' Cafe / Kate Danley
« on: April 18, 2014, 11:01:36 am »
You and I have a friend in common...I didn't know you knew Kerri-Anne Lavin! (She and I went to high school together, and she was my guest on the Ruby blog the other day, talking about comedy-writing.)

Writers' Cafe / Who is going to BEA 2014 in NYC?
« on: April 18, 2014, 11:00:26 am »
I'll be there.

I'm speaking on Blogging & the Law at the BloggerCon on 5/28, and then signing in the RWA booth on 5/29. Heading back the evening of 5/29. (Short trip, but daughter has dance recital that weekend.)

I am considering taking my daughter along to do touristy stuff, but I don't know. Maybe I won't, and will keep this strictly book-related and spend my time networking.

So who is going? I'd love to meet up with you.

Writers' Cafe / Excellent post on quality in publishing
« on: March 12, 2014, 07:46:26 am »
Tamara Hogan wrote a post lamenting quality problems in published work. Unfortunately, the impetus for her post was reading self-published books in the RITA contest. And she has self-published, too, so this is not a traditional publishing apologist either.

Writers' Cafe / A promo experiment -- readers can win up to $500
« on: March 05, 2014, 07:12:56 am »
I'm involved in a multi-author YA bundle called TEXT ME, along with such fabulous authors as Shana Norris, Shel Delisle, Elle Strauss, Juli Alexander, Kate Avery Ellison, Cindy M. Hogan, and Kat Brookes.

To jumpstart our sales, we're trying a promo experiment to encourage readers to help tweet or share about our deal (99 cents for 8 novels). We got the idea from Tawny Stokes, Elle Casey, and Juli Alexander, from a contest they ran to promote their multi-author bundle, Supernatural Six.

The logic behind this contest is as follows. No matter what happens, we'll be giving away at least a $50 gift card on March 25. However, the more we sell between now and then, the higher the prize

If our Amazon ranking jumps to the Top 1000 (even for just one hour during the next 3 weeks), then the gift card doubles to $100.
If our Amazon ranking goes to Top 500, then the gift card becomes $250.
If we somehow crack the Top 100 on Amazon, then we'll give away $500.

We have a ranking of #26,918 right now, so we have a LOT of ground to make up. LOL So yes, this is a true experiment. But we're willing to try anything. (And I've done the math, if we hit any of the thresholds listed, we'll earn enough in royalties to cover the amount of the gift card, so we won't be losing money on the deal...just might not necessarily be making money, but our goal is to reach readers anyway.)

We'll be sure to report back and let everyone know how it goes!

From Curses to Crushes, Angels to Witches, Mysteries to Puberty ; Traveling through Time to Swimming Under the Sea--- Text Me: 8 Novels of First Love bringstogether 8 teens in awkward situations who are about to find out more about themselves. These 8 authors will make you laugh out loud.

Special sale price of only $0.99
Regular price for all these stories is $21.92 -- you save $20.93!

This is the link to share so others can get the code. Go to this link and click to embed on your facebook page.

It's been over a year since she was last here (I think -- I did a quick search of her posts) but she used to be quite active.

Chrissy will be missed for her wit, her intelligence, and her kind and generous spirit.

Writers' Cafe / Estate planning for authors -- post today at Ruby blog
« on: December 19, 2013, 08:09:32 am »
Attorney and KBoarder Gin Jones, author of Estate Planning for Authors, is my special guest today at the Ruby blog, and she's popping in and out to answer questions.

I know it's not a happy and cheery topic, but please do yourself a favor and include estate planning as a New Year's resolution this year. Literary propoerty raises some important questions. Do not miss this blog post!


I'm so excited about this, because I'm one of the launch authors, in the special "12 Days of Christmas" collection that is mentioned in the press release.

If you write short stories or novellas, you'll definitely want to check out StoryFront. It's a wonderful program, and I'm very excited about it.

Writers' Cafe / Another Amazon file size question
« on: November 21, 2013, 09:18:18 am »
What is the maximum file size that can be priced at 99 cents? And at the 70% rate, I seem to recall that the delivery charge is based on file size...some amount of cents per each MB of data. Does anyone remember the stats?


Writers' Cafe / I'm going to be giving a talk at the Library of Congress!
« on: November 20, 2013, 11:32:23 am »
You don't know how giddy that makes me to say that! Actually, you're writers, so you probably do.  :P

The Library of Congress What IF ... Science Fiction & Fantasy Forum presents:

TIME AFTER TIME: Exploring Time Travel in Pop Culture by Amanda Brice

A Christmas Carol...Doctor Who...Back to the Future...
Young Adult author Amanda Brice discusses various paradoxes and motifs of time travel, and surveys popular movies and literature exploring this theme.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Library of Congress
Pickford Theater
LM-302, Madison Building
101 Independence Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20559

I want to do one of those 1-day book blitz thingies for release day for Party Like It's 1899. Not a full-out tour, just the short-term promotional push on release day or whatever.

I've worked with ATMOR Blog Tours in the past for multi-author sales and for a cover reveal and was pleased, but I feel like they skew more older YA contemporary or New Adult. This isn't for a young-skewing YA (the characters are 17 and 18) but it's a time travel.

So I was wondering if anyone has used a tour company for a YA time travel or fantasy or paranormal and would recommend the company you used. Thanks!

Writers' Cafe / The worst-formatted ebook I've ever seen
« on: November 14, 2013, 08:39:04 am »
I downloaded a holiday freebie the other day that was advertised in the Bookbub email. It's the sequel to a holiday time travel novel I read a few years back from one of my favorite authors and I didn't even realize the sequel was out (although it appears it was only published 6 days ago so I guess that's why).

Anyway...the ebook is hands-down the WORST-formatted ebook I've ever read. And that's saying a lot, because I've seen some badly-formatted ebooks before. But this one from Signet Eclipse (a Penguin imprint) takes the cake.

Not only is it poorly-formatted, but it also appears that they uploaded a Word document instead of a Mobi. And that in and of itself shouldn't be such a huge problem except that it appears that this particular Word document was from the editorial phase...and track changes is on. There are cross-outs all over the place, with the new replacement word right next to the one that was struck. Whole sentences are moved around, as well.

It's painful. I've never returned a free Kindle book before, but I will be doing so today. And I feel really badly for the author. Penguin is not doing her ANY favors with this freebie. At all. I just hope she wasn't the one to pay for the Bookbub ad. :(

Writers' Cafe / How improv comedy can help with writing
« on: November 14, 2013, 07:04:56 am »
Leslie Langtry, who writes the hilarious Bombay Assassins series, is on the Ruby blog today talking about her experience in an improvisational comedy troupe while in college.

We're playing a little improv game in the comments, so if you need a way to procrastinate today, come on over and play along!

Writers' Cafe / On Style Guides and Dictionaries
« on: November 04, 2013, 10:52:24 am »
The lovely Anne Victory (of Victory Editing) wrote a great article about style guides. I thought it was important, so here it is. (In the interest of full disclosure, she does cite my conumdrum as an example.)!/notes/victory-editing/on-style-guides-and-dictionaries/541312255961146

Today’s “Grammar Bite” is going to be more of a meal, so I hope you’ll forgive me, but this topic is pretty important and there’s not a short answer here, so grab a drink and then we’ll dive in.


It’s not uncommon for friends who don’t write or edit to ask me how I decide on a spelling if different dictionaries give different options, where a comma goes, why it’s air-conditioned and not air conditioned, and various other questions. And sometimes I get those questions from authors, too. The answer is specialized school, continuing education, experience, and references. References, you say. What references? The two main ones that you’ll use over and over again on every project are your style guides and your dictionary.


But the answer isn’t as simple as you might think. Which style guides should you use, which dictionaries, and why? Well, the first thing to ask yourself what your project is. If it’s an article for a newspaper or magazine, they’ll likely want you to use the AP Style Guide (Associated Press). This guide is geared toward saving space, as periodicals are limited in that commodity. If you’re writing a book, fiction or nonfiction, the go-to style guide is the Chicago Manual of Style, or Oxford Style Manual if you’re in the UK, Canada, or Australia. Beyond that, some organizations have their own style guide, which they use to supplement their main guide.


First things first—who died and made Chicago king? Yes, I’ve gotten that question :-) The short answer is the Powers That Be. They. The publishing industry. Almost every publisher of books that you go to will use CMOS as their base style guide. Why? Most likely because it’s comprehensive. Chicago is over a thousand pages of notes and examples on grammar and also style. (Do you italicize titles of books? What about records, song titles? How do we handle numbers?) If you decide “Screw Chicago,” and you can, then that means you have to reinvent the wheel. And why would you do that?


Instead, what publishing companies and organizations end up doing is using their chosen guide (Oxford, Chicago, AP, etc.) and then creating an addendum. House rules, if you will. The next question—why does anyone need a style guide? Well, one answer is correctness, but the other answer is consistency. Because maybe it’s fine to spell numbers out or use numerals, but should you do both in the same publication? Probably not, because if you do it tends to look sloppy and it can be off-putting to readers. That may be unkind, but it’s true.


And the larger the company, the more important style guides become. When you have hundreds of writers, editors, reporters, etc., there needs to be a way to keep everyone on the same stylistic page. This is especially true when you have multiple people going over the same project. It’s a waste of time and resources, which equals money, to have the copyeditor go through and spell out all numbers, and then the proofreader goes through and changes them all to numerals, and then the author has to go through and STET (reject) all changes… it’s a nightmare. But if everyone’s working off the same style guide, it’s completely avoidable.


This brings us to dictionaries—which one should you use? Does it really matter? Again, it depends. If you’re publishing, you want to go with the industry standard, and that’s going to be Merriam-Webster (Oxford again for our neighbors across the pond). What you don’t want to do is switch horses midstream. You want to maintain consistency across your books, across your series, and if you’re looking to get published, then it’s even more important to use the correct references. For those wondering why M-W—because CMOS says so. I realize that’s not a good answer for some people, but sometimes that’s the way the world works. Why do we fill out forms in triplicate? Because the powers that be say to do it, and kicking and wailing isn’t going to do anything but exhaust you :-) And again, unless you have a reason for going with a different reference, why not use Chicago and Merriam-Webster?


 Now, some of you may recall that I mentioned supplemental references at the beginning of this article, along with the mention of house rules. How does that affect us? Well, sometimes we have a book or an article that’s aimed toward a certain audience or features a certain topic or setting, and then we might want to use another guide to either supersede our main reference or to serve as backup guides. I’ll give some clear examples in a bit, but take for instance the average project I work on where it’s being localized (fancy term for making grammar and spelling fit the standards of a particular language, and in this case British and American aren’t the same ;-)) for an American audience. My main style guide will be CMOS, the primary dictionary will be Merriam-Webster Collegiate, and then if M-W Collegiate doesn’t have a listing I’ll use M-W Unabridged,, and Google, in that order.


But what about those references that supersede Chicago? When and why would you use them? Well, here are two real-world examples :

A couple of weeks ago, I read a book for Pamela Aares, Love Bats Last. It’s a great contemporary Romance, and the hero is a major-league ballplayer. I diligently marked every instance of “ballgame,” replacing it with “ball game.” Why? Because M-W says to. Well, Pamela got her report back and after we talked about it a bit, she mentioned that the World Series style guide says use one word for ballgame. In this particular instance, I immediately agreed with her. In a book that features baseball players, the World Series trumps Merriam-Webster all day long. Why? Because people who keep up with sports are used to seeing it spelled the way the World Series does it, and if they see it otherwise, they’re going to assume it’s wrong. Non-fans probably won’t notice or care, so go with the authority on it.


In another example, Amanda Brice contacted me last week. She’s currently working on a book featuring a staffer on Capitol Hill as the protagonist. Her assigned editor changed all instances of “the President” to “the president,” etc. Which, according to Chicago, is correct. But wait! Amanda’s book is being written from the point of view (first person, no less) of a Washington insider and will most likely appeal to real-life people who run in those circles. If you look at most government publications, they have President capitalized whenever they’re talking about the POTUS, and the federal government actually has a style guide in which they talk about their capitalization rules. So in this case, you can safely give Chicago the finger :-)


To wrap up, you often want to just use your primary reference and be done with it. If your characters go to a ball game and it takes up half a chapter, you probably won’t want to try to think about what style guide or dictionary you should use and then look it up. Just go with Merriam-Webster and move on. Same applies if there’s one sentence in your book referencing the president—just go with Chicago would be my advice. But if you have a good reason to want to do things differently, think about what source might have a style guide. Writing a book about a virus? Maybe the CDC has a style guide. Make notes in your research if you happen to stumble across a style guide that you might want to use. If you’re contracted to write for a publisher, ask them if they have a house guide.


Finally, if you want to deviate from Chicago, try to find a relevant style guide to back you up. You’ll definitely get further with your publisher by citing a source. Also, if you’re using a style guide as you’re writing or you make your own (for those who write science fiction and fantasy), don’t be shy about passing it on to your editor. We don’t mind at all—it actually makes our job easier—and it’ll prevent things like Shih Tzu being capitalized in chapter one but then lowercased in chapter twenty-three and hyphenated in chapter twenty-eight :-)


As always, feel free to discuss or let me know if you have any questions. And remember, they’re called style guides, not style bibles :-)

Writers' Cafe / Formatting for a BIG bundle
« on: November 04, 2013, 09:56:16 am »
I'm putting together an 8-author bundle and was just going to do the formatting myself but then it occured to me that's a lot of books so probably contracting out might be a better idea.

The problem? A relatively short turnaround. The formatters I've worked with previously all tend to have long waitlists, but we'll need this within the next week or so.

If you do formatting and would be able to accomodate us (we don't have our cover yet but should soon), please let me know! Also, please quote your prices. We'd be looking for Smashwords, Mobi and ePub.

Would you mind sharing your list of places to promote a 99-cent sale? Or linking to previous discussions on Kboards?

Writers' Cafe / For major pubs, will print no longer be the norm?
« on: October 28, 2013, 07:05:36 am »
And if so, what do they offer authors that they can't do themselves through self-publishing?

Writers' Cafe / Tidbits I've heard from folks who went to NINC
« on: October 28, 2013, 06:56:36 am »
Thanks to Marie Force, Laura Florand, and Diana Peterfreund for this intel:

1. Createspace reps will be rolling out matte covers "by the end of the year."

2. Createspace and KDP reps are adament that "we're still in October and we will meet our October deadline" so expect to see Matchbook go live any day now!

3. KDP does not have any plans to allow preorders to all indies (just those who have a history of meeting deadlines and a certain baseline of sales) but they do plan to allow us to guarantee that a particular release date will happen and avoid the ragged releazses that we're currently plagued with. Most likely it will be that we upload the full manuscript and everything and set a future release date.

4. They are working on some new reporting. They already have all the info readily available to do something similar to what Nook Press does and they hope to allow that.

5. They were surprised to learn about the issues faced by multi-author boxed sets or anthologies and all the hoops you have to jump through to manage revenue and have agreed to look into separate accounting. No promises.

6. No promises, although they do seem willing to look into making changes to the royalty structure to accomodate story length (perhaps allow 70% royalties for shorts priced at 99 cents or $1.99 or for longer box sets up to $12.99. No promises.

7. They're looking into being able to update ONe Author Central page.

8. They know KDP categories don't sync with Amazon's retail space and are working on marrying the two systems.

Writers' Cafe / Newsletter never got sent
« on: October 25, 2013, 06:47:00 pm »
Ugh. Seriously, could yet another thing go wrong with this release?

So I decided to go free almost immediately upon release. I was hoping to give my loyal newsletter subscribers a freebie, but apparently the newsletter never got sent even though I had it scheduled through Mailchimp.

So I just sent it a few minutes ago. Should I extend the free promo an extra day? It's supposed to go back to paid tomorrow.

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