Author Tips: Choosing Names for Your Characters

authors and character names feedback-2849602_960_720 (004)Some years ago, I wrote about the importance of names for characters, and things to consider when choosing them. More recently, other issues about names have come up for me, and I thought it was time to do an update.

When writing a novel, choosing names for your characters can be alternately fun and frustrating. I would doubt that any of my books go from start to finish with all the same names; many of them undergo several iterations before I’m happy with them. Personally, I love figuring out a name for a new, important character, but it can be a long and bumpy journey, especially if I don’t think it through completely. Here are some things to consider: Continue reading “Author Tips: Choosing Names for Your Characters”

When the Reading Audience is Captive

Smashwords givebackSW
Sale has been extended to May 31

There isn’t a corner of the world the Coronavirus hasn’t hit (well, maybe Antarctica) and now millions of people are stuck at home with nothing to do. Some are diehard readers, and others choose to binge watch stuff on Netflix or another online platform. For many people the social isolation is too much to bear. They can’t figure out how to productively pass the time. And then there are those of us who spend much of our year in social isolation, and this is just business as usual.

Smashwords has set out to ease the pain of isolation. They’re holding a sitewide Author Give Back program that lasts from March 20 to May 31. Authors can enroll some, or all, of their books, and those can either be listed as free, or you can set a discounted price. I’ve been a part of Smashwords for many years, and each time they have an event like Christmas in July or another promotion, I’ve always enrolled my books and short stories. Readers can find the sale books here. This is a good, free way to get your books promoted. But do you make money off giving away books? Yes, you do! Continue reading “When the Reading Audience is Captive”

Should I Write My Book in First Person?

FIRST PERSON point of viewMy advice for most writers; if First Person doesn’t suit your writing style, your story and your genre, don’t use it.

If you want a good rundown on positive reasons, look at Ingrid Sundberg’s five-point analysis; all five are valid. Her next post is “Six Limitations of the First Person POV.” Read that one, too.

 But It’s Easy

Yes, deceptively easy. As in, easy to do, hard to do well. In fact, First Person is one of the hardest styles of writing to do properly. Note that I use the term “style,” because First Person is more than just putting “I” in as the main character’s pronoun. It’s how you write it that makes the difference. Continue reading “Should I Write My Book in First Person?”

Trouble in Audible

I’ve written a couple of posts on my adventures with audio books: how to get connected with a narrator and how to use free promo codes. I’m sorry to report that the bubble has burst, and Audible has recently made a change that seriously impairs promotion efforts and even production efforts.

Previously, Audible (through Amazon’s subsidiary, ACX) would grant up to 50 free promo codes to both authors and narrators who split the royalties on a book for which they collaborated, 25 for the U.S. and 25 for the UK. If you used up all your codes, you could always request more. The fabulous thing about this was that you could give away the codes, readers/listeners could download the free books, and you still got your royalties. Audible got new customers or reinforced their relationship with habitual customers, so it was a win/win/win.

Well, as so often happens, scammers went to work figuring out how to Continue reading “Trouble in Audible”