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Writing for Life


The Best Way for Writers to Use Amazon’s Preorder Feature

cat and Kindle

Today’s guest post is by Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO Author Marketing Experts, and best-selling author:

Now that Amazon is allowing preorders, I see a lot of authors jumping on the preorder bandwagon, and while that’s great, there’s a lot to consider before you do this. First, if you aren’t familiar with the Amazon preorder, let me explain how it works.

In a minute, I’ll take you through the steps to get your book into preorder, but first let’s look at when and how this may benefit you.

First off, you need to be a KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) author. On Amazon’s KDP/Preorder information page, they say that preorder is great to start building buzz and, true, it is. Though, there is one caveat to this. Over the years I’ve found that preorders aren’t as effective if you have no fan base, and even then it’s iffy.

So what’s the real benefit to the preorder? Well, let’s break this down. Continue Reading…

The Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing


Whose Head? Point of View in Fiction

Fatal Flaw #5

This month we begin looking at Fatal Flaw # 5: POV Violations. Fiction writers often violate POV (point of view) “rules,” and have trouble seeing how this manifests in their scenes. Editor Rachel Starr Thomson introduces this month’s topic and explains the problems inherent in head hopping.

The commonly heard phrase “Well, from my point of view” expresses something central to human existence: our whole experience of life is bounded by the fact that we are trapped in our own heads.

Life is all about point of view. Fiction, which emulates life, is too.

How authors handle point of view has changed dramatically since the days of Robinson Crusoe. A hundred years ago the usual convention was to write “omnisciently” (more about this in a future post), from the point of view of an all-knowing, all-seeing narrator, who might be the author or possibly some kind of god. Continue Reading…

Grammar, Punctuation & Confusables


A Couple of Things You Should Know

Say What new

Traditionally, the word couple has been used as a noun meaning “two things.” As a noun, it requires the use of the preposition of to link it to another noun:

  • I only have a couple of dollars.
  • It will take a couple of hours to get this done.

Sometimes writers forget that little preposition, and use couple as an adjective, such as in “I tried a couple times to reach her.”

Bryan Garner, in his American usage book, says, “Using couple as an adjective directly before the noun is unidiomatic and awkward.” Even though many people leave out of, it’s not something a writer should do unless it’s deliberate and in character in fiction. Continue Reading…

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