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Consider an Audiobook

According to the latest statistics, audiobooks are now a billion dollar industry. And audiobook sales outstripped print and e-book sales recently. Turning your book into an audiobook now gives you access to a wider audience to convert into fans.

mic-for-audiobooksThe process for getting your book converted into an audiobook is not that hard. It’s easy to work with a narrator/producer directly who takes care of all the details for you.

You can find that narrator/producer through ACX, a freelance site such as Up work, or contact them directly through social media or their website.

It’s most important you choose a narrator whose voice fits your book’s style. Even if you like the narrator’s voice and demo, it’s a good idea for them to narrate at least 5 minutes of your book to confirm the fit.

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Killing the Monster

Each time I finish a book, I think of Winston Churchill’s famed quote about the phases of writing. The one beginning with this sentence: Writing is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. And ends…”you kill the monster and fling him to the public.”

This time, the monster has teeth, big sharp ones. Why?

Because this time I decided I wanted to write about characters who were evil. Shouldn’t be too difficult for someone who loves devouring thrillers, right? You know, those created by the likes of Dean Koontz, Harlan Coben, Lee Child, and Joseph Finder? . Could I do it? Create not only an assassin but someone worse? As real, believable?

Churchill was wholly right. In the beginning of the new story, the writing was fun, even exciting. Walking in the shoes of a man who gets paid to kill- my imagination soared, leaped tall buildings as the character took on flesh and bones. I found myself reading sections aloud to my husband because of the character’s credibility. That creative freedom of fiction is exhilarating and is one of the many surprises of my switch from writing non-fiction to fiction. Some characters are  so real that they cannot be left at the end of the book. They have taken up residence in our hearts. The reason that both authors and readers are drawn to book series- we find we love Harry Potter and Jack Reacher far too much to ever let them go.

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The 8 Rules for Writing Screen-to-Print

We live a new literary world of 140 character Twitter, personal Facebook dispatches and USA Today snappy prose. The reading audiences of the New York Times who enjoyed reading ‘literature’ has rapidly declined with their subscribers. Or to paraphrase Elmore Leonard, “Literary fiction is when they leave in the boring parts that everybody skips.”

Or to put it another way:

Literary fiction is the fiction of ideas. Its primary purpose is to evoke thought. The writer’s goal is self-expression. Any consideration of the reader—if one exists at all—is purely secondary.

Popular fiction is the fiction of emotion. Its primary purpose is to evoke feelings. The writer’s goal is to entertain the reader. Any consideration of self-expression—if one exists at all—is purely secondary.

One can still hope to write the Great American Novel but if you want to make writing your career – you have to make money. Many experts on writing agree that if revenue is what you seek, then you must write for markets – not for prosperity. Pursue a writing career not so much for fame but for fortune.

I suggest writing stories that are screen-to-print.

So how is that done? What RULES apply?

 To do that we need to talk Hemingway.

After he finished “The Old Man and the Sea,” Hemingway wrote his brother, Leichester, telling him that he did not think there was single wasted word in the book. He may be right. The story is a lean, powerful tale. So lean that it may well be the only book ever written to havevery nearly every scene transposed into the film version.

So here is rule NUMBER ONE – Think movie scenes and not chapters.  Write the story in such a way as how it would look on the big screen. What I am saying is that we can all learn something from Hemingway.

He had some tips for writing well. Use short sentences, use short first paragraphs, (I would add all your paragraphs should be short, sweet and to the point), use vigorous language, say what something is rather than what it isn’t. He learned this style when working as a newspaper reporter.

If you’ve spent any time on the writing discussion boards, you’ll see that the majority of comments about writing style seem to fall into two groups. Those that believe the flowery prose of the literati is real writing and those that feel authors should write to be marketable and choose to eschew obfuscation. Now there are those who believe that paragraphs and even pages of narrative are necessary for successful story telling.

I don’t.

Which brings us to the next set of rules writing Screen-to-Print.

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