Solving Pronoun Problems Can Benefit Your Writing in General

PRONOUNS (002)One of the most effective ways to obfuscate, distract and otherwise confuse your readers is to misuse pronouns. Here are some writing tips that will straighten out your pronoun use and add punch to your writing at the same time.

Overuse of Pronouns

I’m sure you’ve seen it:

He screamed and flailed at him, while his father desperately tried to pull him away.

Without some context, all we know is that there are three characters in this scene, all are male, and one of the younger pair is upset with the other. What is actually going on, and who is doing it, is quite opaque. And all because of a few little pronouns. Continue reading “Solving Pronoun Problems Can Benefit Your Writing in General”

New Amazon Rules on eBook Bonus Content

kindle stuffing
Oh, come on – don’t tell us you don’t get this!

Poor Chance Carter. Poor, poor Chance Carter. Here he is, just a guy trying to make a living at this indie author thing, and he gets caught in Amazon’s bookstuffing dragnet.

Bookstuffing works like this (don’t try this at home!): In an effort to get the largest possible payout on Kindle Unlimited borrows, certain authors have been shoveling several books into a single book file and marketing it as a single book. Sometimes they reuse the same bonus books multiple times; David Gaughran recently shared a chart that shows how an author named Cassandra Dee does it (again, please don’t try this at home!). These authors will put a come-on at the front of the file to entice readers to click to the last page of the book in order to enter a contest or get a free short story; the bots at KU then count the whole book as read. Continue reading “New Amazon Rules on eBook Bonus Content”

Selling Books in Odd Places… Farmers Markets

farmers market books and eggsAdmittedly, I’ve sold books at some odd places: a military retirement, a winery (oh, that was a blast!), a flea market, work (to the surprise of friends who never knew I was an author), and the oddest yet: a farmers market.

Yup, you read that right, a farmers market. Because in my “real” job, I’m a farmer. After 20 years in the military, it was time for a change, so we ended up in the Middle of Nowhere, Kentucky on 100 acres. We have the standard farm animals: chickens, ducks, turkeys, horses, goats, a pig, and a pack of dogs. And there are times of the year our 70 laying hens are going gang-busters producing eggs. More eggs than we can handle. So what do you do with all of them? We try to sell as much as possible to local customers who stop by, but that’s not many. And there are only so many eggs you can donate to the local summer camp. So a friend invited me to come to her county to the farmers market. Continue reading “Selling Books in Odd Places… Farmers Markets”

Should I Pay to Publish My Book?

pay for publishing wallet-2125548_960_720Here at IU, we continually get questions from readers about publishers. Should they publish with them? Are they legit? There are so many of these outfits popping up all the time (and fading away), it’s hard to stay current on all of it, so we thought it was time to go back over the general issues you could/should apply to any publishing company you consider. Here are the major issues to research and ponder. Continue reading “Should I Pay to Publish My Book?”