Category Archives: Blog

My personal blog

Author Spotlight | Be Featured on our Site

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 4.47.35 PM

We are running a spotlight section, if you’d like to be included on our site, send submissions to our email Inquiries@CJLeger.com

Submission Guidelines:

Continue reading

Advertisements

Introducing The Writers Corner News for Authors, Publishers, Writers and Readers

We love to bring you the things that matter most to you, and we know that the world of publishing is a bubble that consumes us; filtering through news and blogs to find the most interesting topics about reading, writing, and publishing is a pain. So we’ve made it easier for you to get in the know with our specially curated paper.li

Follow the link, subscribe and let us do the research for you! Updated twice a day!

 

 

Introducing Documentary Reviews

C.J. Leger mainly reviews books in genres of her field, however, we will now be bringing you reviews on controversial and inspiring documentaries that reach our desk. As a writer, C.J. Leger was first a journalist before an author and this aspect of such a foundation to the writer is deserving of a role here on CJLeger.

Our first review will be on “The Search for Michael Rockefeller”, a story that has lived in a cloud of mystery, awe and disbelief around the world. After the launch of such riveting new facts and footage, it is astounding to find the Michael may have very well been alive 8 years after his disappearance in New Guinea. Our review and coverage will shed light on this forgotten tale of cannibalism, tragedy, and abandonment.

Stay tuned for our segment on this amazing topic and documentary.

The key to success in the global workplace is being culturally fluent

My List of Book Promoting Services

Most of the the entries on this list were discovered through my Twitter network. I am currently working on a novel, and I often look for services that promote new authors. I figured I’d pass on the research I’ve done, so without further ado, here’s my list of new author and book promotion services and a little bit about them. (Don’t have time to read? Watch the video on my YouTube Channel)

Buzz Bookstore

Buzz Bookstore is a different type of venue if you’re looking for book promotions. The individual running this website mainly discovers and collects rare and vintage books, some even from the early 1800s and 1700s. Recently they’ve opened up a portal for the promotion of new authors. You can contact them through their website, and they’re mainly looking for books that fit into their readership an audience. So keep in mind, that the audience that will be following Buzz Bookstore are individuals who are looking for old books, vintage books, rare books, and classics. I can’t quite say exactly what their audience consists of, but I think it may be a fair guess to say that those in the historical novel genre or nonfiction genres may fit in.

Book Tweeters

Book Tweeters has a very fairly priced package variety for individuals trying to promote their books. The packages range of between $19 and $75, between one and five days of book promotion via tweets. Their main platform for promotion is Twitter, and they do not accept erotica books or books that include hate speeches or content.

eBooks Habit

eBook Habit only accepts submissions for books that are currently free or going to be free in the future. This is a great service for authors are trying to promote their book via a free sale, and if you submit your book on time with the proper details it may be listed on the site near the day when you will be running your free sale. The service does not accept erotica books. All books submitted must have at least three reviews at the time of your promotion/sale, and all books will be verified to prove that they are being offered for free.

Being Author

Being author has amazing book promotion packages, some raging from just $9.90. If you follow the link you’ll be taken to a page where you can input the title of your book, the links to your book, the links to your website, your Twitter handle, your book blurb, which is a short post about the book which will be featured on their website, and your author bio along with a photo of you. Last time I checked, their package is good for 30 days. Their website also includes various tweets to them from other authors, one of which included a thank you for getting their book to be a number one bestseller on Amazon.

Ebook Promotor

E-book promoter, as I understand it, exclusively promotes e-books. They currently only have four slots left on their promotion sign up. Their page claims to reach 350,000 people via various promotional forces such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. There breakdown is as follows in regards to the number of people they reach per service:

  • Twitter | 61,000
  • Facebook | 205,000
  • LinkedIn | 320,000

The service will also promote your book on Facebook  top 10 book promotion pages.

And that’s a short list of some of the book promotion services I’ve come across through my Twitter network, which I decided to share with all of you, because I know that most of my readers are also writers and it’s very hard to find good book promotion services at a great price. I hope this helps you out a bit, and remember where you heard it from, and stay tuned because my next blog will be about services that gain you more Twitter followers and one for services that will garner you some book reviews!

Supplier of Rare Old Books!

I found this site through Twitter, and I wanted to share it. This person sells old and rare books on his eBay account and he has some pretty good stuff. All writers loooove a good old book. He also has packages available for authors who want to promote their book.

The Latest & Greatest.

What’s in a Writing Space?

A writing space is the one thing a writer cannot do without even if all other items on their “to get” list are impossible. What makes it so important? Well, the simple fact that it really is a section of space that can be designed to bring you into a state of mind that can allow you to jot down everything you feel and see, while at the same time being completely invisible to you once you get going. So, let’s get personal; I’m always saying how I hate writers who do not engage with their readers. I mean, what is the point of pouring your heart out onto these pages if you’re not even going to let the people who read these words into your life just a tiny bit. So while I explain, I’ll be letting you into my writing world. Let’s begin; every writing space needs a few things:

A Point of Focus

My writing space is my home office on the second story of my home, and everything in it is strategically placed to surround one of my two windows. When I sit at my desk, which looks out towards the front of my home, I have the perfect view of an old arched door that is attached to an old coral brick home that sits behind the house that’s directly across the street from ours. Why do I love this view and this door? Because it calls to me; I can only see the last sliver of this home and the door itself is barely visible, covered by a small tree in the backyard.

I am usually a history writer in some form or shape, and this home is a gorgeous colonial one, with the style and wonder attributed to that era, barely changed since then. When I look at this door, with its eloquently shaped arch design atop, I am always drawn to it expecting to see someone in old dress form walk out of it. But no one ever does, its almost completely abandoned, which makes it void of distraction and makes me wonder enough about its hidden mysteriousness to drive me into this timeframe in my mind. Once I lock onto it, I’m lost in the pages of what I am writing.

If I look to the right of that view, past the house directly in front of mine, I see rolling mountains with houses and lights pristinely visible in the night. If i focus on this, it takes me to a whole new genre. Whatever it is, every riding space should have a point of focus; whether that point is used to remind you of why you are writing or to just spin you into a different dimension, is up to the writer.

Design According to your Genre

Most writers, not all, usually stick to a specific genre and sub-genres when they write. Its only fair that you surround yourself with design that represents that style. Personally, my writing space includes a wrought iron lamp with a scalloped bowl design up top and a beautifully sculpted pedestal base; colored in a deep bronze, this lamp is venetian/florentine and its right in front on my face, which amplifies my mind’s mistaken though process that tells it I’m in another time. Behind me I have a bookshelf full of history books adorned by a draping vine plant and cork boards, rather than dry erase boards, to keep that wine feel alive. Everything from the throw over my reading chair to the decorative boxes on my desk that hold my papers, are chosen to fit this theme.

Ambiance & Solitude 

Just because you bought the furniture does not mean you’ve brought the space alive. I do so by purchasing ambient-specific items. My lamp, described above, has a low-wattage, glow emission. I purchase imported candles, my favorite being Pecksniff’s Brand, and I make it as comfortable as possible. I invest in a music subscription (Google Play) and I sit and pick a suggested playlist offered depending on what day and time it is. I usually choose the Stargazers category and continue to “Into the Cosmos with Neil deGrass Tyson”; this is my favorite writing playlist, full of dreamy classical music with lively tones, and the scenes in my books just come alive to them.

Finally, I rarely choose a space that has no windows. I must see the weather, snow, rain, trees, and I enjoy being up high, so I usually love second story spaces.

How to get Approved for a Galley by a Publisher

So you want to be a professional reader; that’s great. Just understand that its usually an unpaid position, and you will have to work hard to even get your first galley. But it’s not impossible. Follow these steps and learn the terminology and you will be on your way.

What is a Galley?

Essentially, a galley is a review copy of a book that either, has not been published yet or has, and is requested by a book reviewer and approved for release by the publisher.

In this scenario, the reader will read the book and write a review about it, however, publishers will not just give out galleys to anyone. I personally worked very hard for the current two I am reading, Rome’s Revolution and Stargazers, which were approved by Oxford University Press and Lion Hudson respectively.

How to Attract Publishers

Publishers just aren’t willing to hand out copies of their books to just anyone; you’ll have to show them that you have multiple viable avenues on which to place your book reviews. Galleys, of course, are usually requested by the reviewer, and publishers want to see that you are serious about reading, not just their book, but many books and not just looking to get free books to read just because you can. So establishing a good following and remaining consistent is key.

What are Publishers Looking for?

First, publishers do not want to waste any time, so make sure you have a VISIBLE email address on any of your social profiles or website. They are not looking to call and talk to you; they usually only want to communicate via email most of the time or need to have a contact email for their rosters.

Second, you will need to have at least either a Twitter account or a Facebook account, to which you can post your updates and publicize your content.

Sign up for book-related social networks such as GoodReads and BookLikes. Place your profile information on your website so that publishers know your reviews will be spread across many avenues and will get more attention drawn to their book.

Finally, be active on these networks. Publishers want to see a steady, lively flow of activity, which suggests you are an interesting candidate. The more activity you put out, the larger your following and your attractiveness.

Follow these steps and you will be sure to land a galley from a reputable publisher and hopefully make some connections along the way.

© C. J. Leger February 20, 2014

Should you edit your own Work?

Most writers start off with a limited budget, which means, they are often editing their own work to save costs on hiring an editor. But is that the correct thing to do? The answer is NO.

The reason: most people will read what they expect to see when it comes to their own work. In other words, when you re-read your work, you will read it the way you’ve intended for the words to be translated to your readers, because you are the one who knows what this translation is. It’s similar to the concept of creating your own language, you are really the only one who knows what the words mean; whether or not that’s what it is portrayed to your readers is a completely different story.

Because the way you try to evoke emotion may be different from how the reader is affected, having editor on deck is the most invaluable thing you can do for the advancement of your book. An outside person can read your manuscript and interpret the way it’s written as opposed to the way you intended for it to be written. However, before handing your gem to just anyone claiming to be an editor, you have to protect yourself and your work.

As the copyright office expects (and prefers) for you to issue the best version of your manuscript for copyrighting, you will most likely have to do this after it’s been edited, which means the copy you hand over is not protected.

Research online for competent editors, and then research their associated acquaintances; previous employment, projects, and authors they’ve worked with. After researching them for good references, do the same for any publishing companies they have worked with in the past to see if they are reputable. This is also why I always recommend hiring a literary agent who can source you with a match.

Aside from catching the things that are wrong with your manuscript, a good editor can help you hone your skills so that you can adapt to a particular style and not be “all over the place”.

Will having an editor increase my chances of being published?

Yes, it will. Editors are well connected; they know many literary agents and have worked with various publishers in the past. A good editor will be able to introduce you to these parties, and if not, always keep in mind that publishers like to see that an author is willing to put in the hard work to sell their manuscript; this includes hiring and paying for an editor out-of-pocket.

“many writers want to publish a book not because they want to be an author, but because they want to have “been” an author.”

 

So once that manuscript hits their desk and they see in print that you’ve taken the time to hire an editor, they will be more inclined to believe that you are serious about your book and being an author. Why do i say this? Because many writers want to publish a book not because they want to be an author, but because they want to have “been” an author. In other words, they don’t have any intention on continuing to write and build a brand, but want at least one published piece under their belt for their resume.

Now that you know why hiring an editor is a good idea, don’t hesitate to contemplate it as a possibility or take it to offense that you may need one.

© C. J. Leger February 16, 2015 http://www.CJLeger.com

How to Format a Book Proposal for a Publisher or Agent

Most elements revolving the sale capacity of a book/author, is quite frankly decided by how you format  a book proposal. Before your book can hit the market with representation behind it, it has to make it past the review crew, so be sure to include the following.

Research your Audience and Peers

One of the most important sections of your proposal will address the audience of your genre and the peers you will be associated with within it. An agent/ publisher will not accept a book just because it is well written, they have to be able to have an idea about how it will sell; they will ask for the following marketing plan:

  • What genre is your book in
  • Who are you targeting as your audience (history buffs, housewives in their 30s, teens 14-17, gamers…) They have to know who they can sell your book to before saying yes.
  • How many similar books in this genre have been sold in the past 5 years, how many best sellers in that genre? (include titles, publishers, publishing date and the year). At least 5-7.
  • Which authors are most like you in terms of your writing style, themes, and background.

Without this analysis, the agent or publisher you are appealing to will not accept your proposal. This section sets up their marketing plan, their advance factors and the expected revenue report of your books, which is pretty much everything. If they see that similar books have sold relatively well, they’ll believe its a good market to dip into.

Part 1

The first section of your proposal should be a cover letter. Address each one to the specific agents or publishers, tailer each proposal. Your cover should be interesting, it should catch their eye and include the genre of your book, your name and the word count of the sample you are sending (usually just the first 3 chapters).

Agents will ask for something called a shell sheet, it should only be 1 page long and include the title of your book, the book’s genre again, word count and a tagline.

As with all freelance story ghostwriting, your proposal should also include a back flap description of your book in a riveting fashion. Include your bio and a photo of yourself.

Ensure that your biography includes any relevant educational background, especially if proposing a non-fiction book; agents want to see what makes you qualified to write such a book, and so will any readers. List your achievements, relevant recognitions and any previous publishing history you may have had (have you been published before, if so by whom?).

Each proposal should be accompanied by a synopsis. Do not make it longer than three pages, and encompass the basics of your story from beginning to end.

Part 2

The second half of your proposal is ALL business. Make sure to include the marketing plan we stated in section 1 (Research your Peers and Audience). Next is your competition plan, this is where you doll up your book and tell the recipient what makes your book different from the similar titles presented in the marketing plan, and provide your angle for why your story is better.

Be prepared to include what you will do on your own to promote your book. Make sure to have a website for yourself already in place, social networking connections and possibly a blog with a following. State any local books stores you may reach out to to promote your book and any ideas you may have for promotional giveaways.

Part 3

You’re almost done! All you have to do now is provide a history of your manuscript (has it been published before, when?), or whether or not it has been submitted to editors. This is different from whether your not YOU have been published before.

Now it all comes back to that very first paragraph we talked about. The last thing to do is attach a copy of the first 3 chapters of your book.

Remember to NEVER send a complete manuscript unless specifically requested by a publisher or agent. Also, any manuscripts requested are usually recycled, should you like for it to be returned, provide adequate postage. That’s it, you’re all done, so remember it all actually starts with just writing. Make sure you have at least the first 3 chapters written before pursuing anything.