Writing a Scene

I read quite a bit and while it is something I enjoy, the more you read the more you find books that fall short of your own expectations. In fact, if you are in the writing field you most likely have said at some point or in some variation, “This book got published? I should… Continue reading Writing a Scene

How Long Should Your Book Be? — A Word Count Guide for Fiction

  Length matters . . . am I right? If you don’t believe me, try reading the 200,000-word autobiography of a snail. Unless that’s the kind of kinky stuff you’re into, you’ll probably rather it was no more than two hundred words . . . no extra zeros allowed. Poor snail. The problem was he… Continue reading How Long Should Your Book Be? — A Word Count Guide for Fiction

Pros and Cons of Using a Pen Name

To pseudonym, or not to pseudonym: that is the question. Personally, I’m not “me” and choosing to go with a pen name was actually a must. Why? Well, read on for that answer. But for most writers, whether to use a pen name or write under their real names could be a complicated decision. Like… Continue reading Pros and Cons of Using a Pen Name

Power Your Book Revisions by Using Macros

Revisions are a critical step in the writing process, but let’s face it, they can also just suck all the joy out of writing. Anything that can help speed up the process and increase focus is a good thing. One of my favorite tools is Macros. Unfortunately, like many writers, I was a master of… Continue reading Power Your Book Revisions by Using Macros

Author Media Kit, Part 3—One Sheet and Biography

Fantastic information on setting up your author’s media kit!

Story Empire

ONE SHEET AND BIOToday, we continue our discussion of the author’s media kit. If you missed the earlier installments, click the links to catch up.

This post will cover the One Sheet and the Author Biography.

The One Sheet

The one sheet (also known as a sell sheet or pitch sheet) is a professional document that contains all the pertinent information of your book. As you probably guessed by the name, it should be no longer than one page.

This is the first, and possibly only, document someone will read after reading your news release. It should be punchy, carefully crafted and edited, and easily scanned so people can obtain pertinent information quickly.

Parts of a One Sheet (Not necessarily in this order—let design dictate composition)

  • Book cover
  • Book title
  • Purchase…

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Color Meanings for Writers

Using colors in your writing is a fantastic way to add symbolism and foreshadowing to your story. They can enrich your scenes by adding deeper meaning, variation, and  help with mood amongst other things. Be sure to check out the upcoming post on using the five senses next Monday! This chart is a little gift… Continue reading Color Meanings for Writers

Creating Your Character – A Checklist

  Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware that characters are kind of big deals when it comes to fiction writing. They’re the heart of the story and the main reason our readers gift us with hours of their lives. Let’s face it: without characters, the reading experience wouldn’t really be electrifying. Like,… Continue reading Creating Your Character – A Checklist

Our Favorite Books on Writing

  Regardless of how long we've been writing, we both feel the same way: if we're not constantly learning, we're just rusting away. So one of our favorite past times is to learn as much as we can about our craft. Evolving as a writer isn't just studying grammar and structure; it's also about becoming an effective… Continue reading Our Favorite Books on Writing

How to Correctly Punctuate Dialogue for Novels

Writing dialogue is messy. Am I right? It has so many rules, it makes me wish I’d gone with my original plan in life. I’d intended to become an all-in-one supermodel-psychologist/part-time medical researcher. What? I thought I wanted to save people, discover things, and change the world wearing a tiara and killer heels. But the… Continue reading How to Correctly Punctuate Dialogue for Novels

Articles on Writing You Don’t Want to Miss (1)

When you’re stuck with your writing, or just plain bored out of your skull, there’s nothing better than to pursue some motivation. Whether it’s via Netflix, reading, or researching all those cool "how tos" on writing, it all works to get your writerly blood pumping. So we thought we’d share a few of our most… Continue reading Articles on Writing You Don’t Want to Miss (1)

7 Tips for Writing a Book Blurb

I’m here to help stop the madness. You know the one. The insanity that accompanies the “fun” of writing a book blurb. Attacking is more like it . . . I could stab it upside the head if it had one. But alas. Don’t let my bitterness get to you. In fact, use it to… Continue reading 7 Tips for Writing a Book Blurb

5 Expensive Book Services You Don’t Need

I don't know about you, but I definitely would like to see more truth and authenticity in the publishing business. I'm not sure which is worse -when people used to dismiss Indie authors entirely or the current situation where we’ve become a primary sales target. There is an awful lot of advice for sale to… Continue reading 5 Expensive Book Services You Don’t Need

7 Ways to Become a New York Times Bestseller

Landing a spot on the New York Times Bestseller list is an author’s Olympic Gold Medal. It is one of the quickest ways to become a household name, and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you make the List and you’ll sell a ton more books. So how do you crack that code? What’s the secret?… Continue reading 7 Ways to Become a New York Times Bestseller

How to Keep Your Dialogue in Check

  Being an author sounds like a pretty awesome deal, right? Pick a simple idea, type here, type there, and act like it all happened by magic. Some of you are probably tempted to embark on this path to becoming a published superstar. And you know what? You can do it. You’ve been writing for… Continue reading How to Keep Your Dialogue in Check

Finding a Writing Routine That Works for You

How do writers find time to write? Given the opportunity, we’d allow writing to consume our world. Deadlines, plots, and ideas would overtake us, and we’d live in fantasyland while blissfully ignoring reality. But apparently, that’s frowned upon, so we live the other way around. We end up abandoning our written worlds to attend our… Continue reading Finding a Writing Routine That Works for You

Creative Pragmatism: How to Become a Productive Author

I’d imagine there are thousands of great writers out there with fantastic stories that the world will never have a chance to read. The reason being that author never publishes his or her novel. Two decades ago being unpublished might have been acceptable, what with the gatekeepers and the hoops one had to jump through.… Continue reading Creative Pragmatism: How to Become a Productive Author

5 Benefits of Going the Self-Publishing Route

New writers, old timers, bloggers, my mom, your neighbor—anyone, would be thrilled to sell their novel to a prestigious publisher. The sense of pride almost . . . almost . . . makes up for the pressure and anxiety attacks that comes with such contract. It’s lovely, it really is. But thanks to the ever-changing… Continue reading 5 Benefits of Going the Self-Publishing Route

Free Outlining Worksheets and Editing Checklist for Writers

You can find writing advice on every corner of the Internet. That doesn't mean it's good advice, though. Research on the "process of writing" can be confusing, and it's always changing. Throw in the rate at which information is spread, and it's no wonder the writing tips or suggestions you get from your friends can… Continue reading Free Outlining Worksheets and Editing Checklist for Writers

Constraint and Creativity – A great story needs both

An author’s job isn’t just to string words into plots. An author must govern the words, wrestle them into place, make them do his or her bidding, and use their sounds to create rich, crystal clear thoughts. It’s no easy task. Often word-wrangling is like herding cats. Creative flow is often at odds with constraint.… Continue reading Constraint and Creativity – A great story needs both

Brainstorming Strategies for Writers

No matter what is happening in a writer’s life, the one thing you can count on is we always have an idea for a story. It may be the tiniest of seeds, but we know we can water it and have it grow into something quite magical. The problem, however, is that we usually have… Continue reading Brainstorming Strategies for Writers

10 Questions to Ask Before Signing with a Small Press Publisher (Part Two)

The future of traditional publishing may lie in the hands of small press publishers. Their ability to be creative, adaptive, and flexible offers many advantages over the larger houses but as we discussed in Part One of this article, selecting a small press publisher requires some homework. For an author, nothing is worse than seemingly… Continue reading 10 Questions to Ask Before Signing with a Small Press Publisher (Part Two)

10 Questions to Ask Before Signing with a Small Press Publisher (Part One)

Small press publishing has become a significant cottage industry. Self-publishing changed the book industry’s dynamics, and as many of the large traditional publishers struggled to make profits and maintain relevance, many entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to fill a void. Not burdened by high overhead or restricted by antiquated publishing practices, small press companies have the… Continue reading 10 Questions to Ask Before Signing with a Small Press Publisher (Part One)

3 Storytelling Mistakes to Avoid

So, you wanna write a novel? That's fantastic. You should! There's a reader out there who cannot wait to read what you have brewing inside that head of yours. Heck, I'm interested in your book. Storytellers are naturally intrigued by the many possibilities that our creative peers have to offer. And because of this, we're… Continue reading 3 Storytelling Mistakes to Avoid

5 Reasons Book Covers Can Make or Break Authors

We’ve all heard the saying: “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” and of course, I agree that you shouldn’t judge people by their appearances alone. But should this idiom apply to actual books? As a book cover junkie, I usually pick up a book based on the cover, read the synopsis and go from… Continue reading 5 Reasons Book Covers Can Make or Break Authors

8 Ways to Know If You’re Ready to Publish (Part Two)

Although self-publishing has eliminated the “gatekeepers,” for the Indie Author, the question often remains, “Am I ready to publish?” The decision may ultimately come down to the personal objectivity of the story’s merit and confidence in one’s abilities, but there are eight guidelines an author can follow to ensure at least a modest level of… Continue reading 8 Ways to Know If You’re Ready to Publish (Part Two)

8 Ways to Know If You’re Ready to Publish (Part One)

Throughout the 20th Century, book publishing was a gated industry. With few exceptions, if an author wished to publish a novel he or she needed to endure the rite of passage. Agencies and ultimately publishers decided if a book had merit and sale-ability. If the content and writing were good enough, the publisher ensured the… Continue reading 8 Ways to Know If You’re Ready to Publish (Part One)

Frequently Confused Words — #Free Cheat Charts for #Writers

As a writer, you already know that you don't know everything. You won't memorize all the rules, no matter how hard you try. And you won't remember all of those darn confusing words that love to torment you. But fear not. Here, at Writers After Dark, we've compiled several cheat sheets for you. Just for… Continue reading Frequently Confused Words — #Free Cheat Charts for #Writers

Making Your Character Relatable

  There are two types of writers: plot-centric and character-centric. No matter which you are, you still have to portray relatable characters, or else, why should I care as a reader? Laura from Boats Against the Current shares some of her thoughts on creating a great character. Check it out!   What makes a character relatable?… Continue reading Making Your Character Relatable

Are You Too Smart to Write Fiction?

People read fiction for enjoyment. An understatement? Sure, but an important consideration if your goal is popularity. The ability to draw others into another place or time and to create, in their mind, the experience of “being there” is an incredible talent. And like most amazing and beautiful things the genius is in the simplicity.… Continue reading Are You Too Smart to Write Fiction?

How to Find the Balance Between Showing and Telling

If you're a writer, you've heard this advice several times in your writing career: "show don't tell." But it's not as simple as it sounds, because surely, you can't show everything. No, you need a balance. And our friends over at XterraWeb have made some good points on this subject. Read on:     Finding… Continue reading How to Find the Balance Between Showing and Telling

Why You Should Use a Developmental Editor

If you've ever wondered whether or not having a developmental, substantive, or content editor is beneficial, the answer is yes. Sure, you could get by with beta readers. But only if they do what a content editor or even the right critique partner can do. Choose your preferred name; the benefits are the same. Editor Lynda… Continue reading Why You Should Use a Developmental Editor

A Complete Guide to Query Letters

Is the query letter standing between you and your dream of signing a traditional publishing deal? Well, then you've landed on the right article!  Author Jane Friedman has some excellent advice for you. Read on!  The Complete Guide to Query Letters That Get Manuscript Requests The stand-alone query letter has one purpose, and one purpose only: To seduce… Continue reading A Complete Guide to Query Letters

Pros and Cons of Using a Pen Name

To pseudonym, or not to pseudonym: that is the question. Personally, I’m not “me” and choosing to go with a pen name was actually a must. Why? Well, read on for that answer. But for most writers, whether to use a pen name or write under their real names could be a complicated decision. Like… Continue reading Pros and Cons of Using a Pen Name

The Technique of FREEWRITING

Sometimes, the most difficult phase in writing is starting. To help overcome this problem, Michelle Wallace—a contributor at Insecure Writer's Support Group—shares a little bit about the "freewriting" technique.  Read about it to see if it could be a solution to your "writing block." Freewriting What is freewriting? Wikipedia says: “Freewriting is a prewriting technique in which a person writes… Continue reading The Technique of FREEWRITING

Should Authors Scrub Scribd?

What is it? If Amazon is to books what Netflix is to movies, then Scribd is more like your cable company. Why does it matter? Authors must consistently evaluate the book market to determine where their works are best served regarding reach and sales. Amazon is the largest player, but their "exclusive" requirements mean that… Continue reading Should Authors Scrub Scribd?

All You Need to Know About POVs

  Ever struggle to find the right voice for your manuscript? Sometimes, it's simply because we're writing our stories with the wrong point of view. And switching the perspective could be the answer you're looking for. The question is, what are the different POVs and what do they mean? Well, Harvey Chapman, over at Novel Writing… Continue reading All You Need to Know About POVs

3 Rules Every Writer Should Break

  I like rules. Rules exist to keep chaos at bay. Personally, I don't like chaos. But sometimes my naughty side comes out to play, and I find my toes dipped in dangerous waters. Funny enough, the exhilarating change of pace can make way for amazing possibilities. Take writing for example. There seem to be… Continue reading 3 Rules Every Writer Should Break

5 Traps to Avoid With Dialogue Tags

Dialogue can make or break your novel. The dialogue concerns aren't  just contained inside those " ", it's also the pesky little "tags" that go along with it. The Wise Ink Blog has a great article on what traps to avoid when it comes to dialogue tags. Read on: The 5 Traps of Dialogue Tags… Continue reading 5 Traps to Avoid With Dialogue Tags

How to Quit Writing Bad Scenes

Feeling stuck with your writing? Rufi Thorpe shares some tips on how to get over the bumps on the road holding you back from your amazing scenes! Check it out: How to Quit Bad Scenes: Writing Tips from Rufi Thorpe Sometimes I write a scene and it’s bad. Even after two published books, I am… Continue reading How to Quit Writing Bad Scenes

Me Can Self-edit

You’re a pretty talented writer. I’d bet a paycheck that you have some fairly witty shit going on in your novel. You’ve weaved a wonder of smart scenes, foreshadowing, and thematic allusions. You’re an author—the master of the narrative. And being that smart, well it makes it damn tempting to self-edit those very “limited” mistakes… Continue reading Me Can Self-edit