Story spotlight: “Contact” by Marcelle Dubé


 
Every day, Kalupiak hunts farther and farther from the underwater ice caves of the People. Hunting has grown increasingly dangerous with the melting of the ice and the arrival of new creatures—none more dangerous than the humans. Legends tell of earlier confrontations with the humans where they tried to kill the People.
 
On the day Kalupiak finally comes face to face with his first human he must make a choice: kill or be killed.
 
 
“Contact” is in the Beneath the Waves collection. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the collection’s Facebook page.
 


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Marcelle Dubé grew up near Montreal. After trying out a number of different provinces—not to mention Belgium—she settled in the Yukon, where people outnumber the carnivores, but not by much.

She writes science fiction, fantasy and mystery stories, and has 12 novels to her name. Her upcoming novel, Epidemic: An A’lle Chronicles Mystery, will be released in late 2018. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies.


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Interview: Simon Haynes on “How to Write a Novel”


 
 
How to Write a Novel is in the NaNoWriMo Writing Tools bundle, a collection of a dozen books on writing. A portion of the proceeds goes directly to the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, a non-profit group created by the families of the crew of the Challenger shuttle. This bundle is only available through the end of November 2018.

Meet Simon!

Simon Haynes is a professional, prolific writer with more than 20 years experience writing fiction. He writes novels in several different science fiction series. His work typically features an underdog fighting for survival against far stronger opponents. He’s a huge fan of Isaac Asimov’s work, in particular the robot novels and the Foundation series. He also enjoys dry, witty comedy, and loves satire.

Simon is the programmer and designer behind Spacejock Software, and is responsible for popular programs like FCharts, yWriter and yBook.

How to Write a Novel

Do any of these sound familiar?

You want to write your first novel, but you don’t know how to begin.

You’ve started writing several novels, but you never finish them.

You’ve written a novel or two, but you want to increase your output and publish more often.

If you answered yes to any of the above, this book might just be what you’re looking for!

I’m Simon Haynes, and I’ve been writing and publishing novels and short fiction for almost twenty years. This guide contains everything I’ve learned about writing a novel, both as an indie and as a trade-published author.

Maybe you want to write a novel which has been on your mind for years. You don’t care how long it takes, you just want to see it through to the end.

Or maybe you see yourself as a career novelist – there’s a real challenge – and you want to write books quickly and efficiently.

I’ve done both, and I cover both approaches in How to Write a Novel.

Excerpt

Okay, we’ve covered plotting and pantsing and there are writers who are firmly committed to each camp, but there is a third choice.

First, let’s recap:

• It can be fun to write without a plot outline, because of the freedom. On the other hand it can take five or ten times as long to write a novel this way, and the rewrites are a big part of that.

• Writing plot outlines can be fun too, because it’s like pantsing an entire novel in a few thousand words. On the other hand, writing a novel from a comprehensive plot outline can become dry and boring.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was another way, where you still had fun but also got your book finished without all that wasted time and effort? That’s where my hybrid method of writing a novel comes in, and if you get nothing else from my book, this next part should be worth the price alone. It’s changed the way I approach my novels, and I’ve gone from writing one novel per year to writing and publishing four novels in the last four months.

They’re not junk, either. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, and they’re probably the best-received novels I’ve ever written.

– from How to Write a Novel by Simon Haynes

The Interview

What inspired you to write How to Write a Novel?

Over the years I’ve worked out a pretty good method of delivering a completed manuscript on time. I’ve been applying it to my own work this year, and during the past eight months I’ve written and published seven novels and a 15,000 word novella.

It was after completing the sixth novel for the year that I realised others might benefit from my knowledge, and so I put together How to Write a Novel.
 

 
You often write series of standalone novels, instead of novels where each one is the sequel to the previous book. Why have you chosen to do this for some of your series?

When I was about six years old a well-meaning relative gave me a copy of Borrowers Afield by Mary Norton. It was book two in the series, a sequel to book one in every sense of the word, and I refused to read it until I could get my hands on the first.

Later in life I ended up with two books from a different three-book trilogy. These were re-issues of a 1950’s science fiction series, and the publisher only released the first two books! The front- and back- matter said NOTHING about the third title, which I found out about years later. I ended up having to buy a 1950’s first edition, and they’re as rare as hen’s teeth.

Anyway, I guess the short answer is, I’ve been burned several times by incomplete series and I don’t want to inflict the same torture on my own readers.

(To be fair, missing books is hardly a problem nowadays, thanks to ebooks.)
 
 
If you could go back in time to when you started writing, and could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would that be?

I didn’t start my first novel until I was 27, and didn’t write my first proper short story until I was 18. My advice would be to start sooner and write more!
 
 
You began writing Hal Spacejock in 1994, and are working on the ninth book in the series. What do you enjoy about writing these books, and what keeps you engaged after spending so many years with Hal Spacejock and Clunk the robot?

They’re a fantastic comedy duo (trio, if you include the Navcom). When the three of them get together, scenes just write themselves.

But honestly, I can’t seem to avoid these characters. I managed to work Clunk into my new fantasy trilogy, and all of my novels are interconnected somehow, even the middle-grade titles.
 

 
How to Write a Novel contains a section on facing fear. What’s your most important piece of advice to writers who are dealing with fear?

Most of us worry that our first novel will be a pile of unreadable rubbish. Well, I’m here to tell you … it probably will be! Mine certainly was, and not only that, it was only about ⅓ of a full length novel to boot.

Maybe the second novel is another pile of rubbish, but if you find a story to tell, and write about engaging characters facing interesting challenges, eventually it’ll come together.

Like anything, it takes practice.
 
 
What is yWriter, and why did you create it?

I was a short story writer to begin with, and I’d start writing at the beginning and keep typing until I had 2, 3, 4000 words. Then I’d type The End and start posting it off to markets.

When I started on a novel, with multiple plot lines and points of view, I got to about 20,000 words and it all became too much to handle. I knew I’d written a certain paragraph, but couldn’t find it.

As a computer programmer I deal with software code broken up into small, easy-to-handle chunks. I wanted the same thing for my novel writing, and so I designed yWriter to be more like a programmer’s tool than a document editor.
 
 
Some authors outline their novels ahead of time; others write into the dark. What approach do you use, and do you follow the same approach for each book?

Both, and no!

This is a sore point, because this year I’ve written 3 novels to strict outlines, and another 4 which I just wrote any old how. They all turned out fine, it was just a very different process.

So, with my latest I sat down and wrote a 5,000 word plot outline. It only covered the first ⅔ of the novel. And then, as I started on chapter one, Hal and Clunk kicked the entire outline to the kerb and went off on the adventure THEY wanted to have.
 
 
Tell us about the world’s deadliest paper plane!

Oh yes, true story. I made this acrobatic plane and threw it straight onto the neighbour’s roof. (This was in rural Spain.) They weren’t there, since it was a holiday home in the off-season, so I climbed up the stairs to this kind of rooftop patio, and I could see my plane further up the roof, on the tiles. I reached up to climb past this kind of metal wire fence, then froze. The ‘metal wire fence’ was the overhead high-voltage power lines, which were only about three feet above the roof!

Talk about shoddy building standards. They must have built the house under existing powerlines and just left them there.
 
 
Clunk, the robot in your Hal Spacejock series, also appears in your Robot vs. Dragons series, where you’ve stranded him on a planet that doesn’t have space travel. Why did you decide to create a new series that included Clunk, and has this created any challenges for you as the author–or any unexpected opportunities?

Earlier in 2018 I posted a joke cover for April Fools, the title of which was ‘A Game of Clunks’. There was a shield with a cog on it, and a joke about the robot ‘who couldn’t bend the knee, or anything else.’

The reaction was amazing, with people saying I HAD to write it. I was only 10,000 words in when I realised it had just become a dreaded trilogy. I mean, the books have FOURTEEN sub-plots and a cast of dozens. There was no way I was going to wrap that lot up in one novel.
 

 
What story (or stories) are you working on now, and what’s fun about what you’re writing?

Hal 9, Hal Junior 4 and 5, a three-book series featuring a rookie fighter pilot (scifi), and four adult comedy novels under a pen name. The fighter pilot appears in Hal 9, as an older character, which was a deliberate choice. I intended to include her as a cadet, but decided to make her a senior officer in Hal 9, and a cadet in the series. Same thing I did with the Harriet Walsh Peace Force books.

The variety is what makes it fun!

About Simon

Simon Haynes was born in England and grew up in Spain. His family moved to Australia when he was 16.

In addition to novels, Simon writes computer software. In fact, he writes computer software to help him write novels faster, which leaves him more time to improve his writing software. And write novels faster.

Between 2005 and 2012, Simon completed NaNoWriMo six times. He’s still recovering.

Simon’s goal is to write fifteen novels (quickly) before someone takes his keyboard away.

Update 2018: goal achieved and I still have my keyboard!

New goal: write thirty novels.

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Interview: Dean Wesley Smith on “How to Write a Novel in Ten Days”


 
 
How to Write a Novel in Ten Days is in the NaNoWriMo Writing Tools bundle, a collection of a dozen books on writing. A portion of the proceeds goes directly to the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, a non-profit group created by the families of the crew of the Challenger shuttle. This bundle is only available through the end of November 2018.

Meet Dean!

Dean has written over two hundred novels, and hundreds and hundreds of short stories. In addition to his many original novels, he’s also written film novelizations, Star Trek novels, and has ghostwritten a number of other books. He’s the editor of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, and is one of the executive editors for the original anthology series Fiction River.

How to Write a Novel in Ten Days

Even in today’s fast-paced world, the myth that writing fast equals writing badly—or, conversely, writing well equals writing slowly—persists. Now, USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith aims to shatter this myth once and for all with this latest WMG Writer’s Guide.

In a series of blog posts, Smith chronicled his process toward ghost writing a 70,000-word novel for a traditional publisher in just ten days. He wrote about his progress, his feelings about the writing, and how he approached and overcame obstacles. This book takes readers on a journey that demonstrates that writing fast, and writing well, comes from motivation and practice.

Excerpt

This book is pretty easy to explain. It is simply a series of twelve blog posts, one per day, that I did over a stretch of 12 days just under a year ago. The point of the blogs was to detail out a novel I wrote for a traditional publisher in ten days. I had one post ahead of the writing days and one after I finished the book to wrap up.

All twelve are here.

Now granted, as each day went on, I added to the post, and at the end of the day I did a summary on each post. So if you were following this (as thousands were on my web site hour-by-hour), you would see each post grow as each day went on.

The goal of doing the blogs was to help take out the mystery of “writing” fast and show how it can be done easily. You just spend the time. Writing fast is not typing fast, it’s just sitting in the chair and writing for numbers of hours.

A little background: I have written and sold over a hundred novels to traditional publishers over the last twenty-five years. Some years I wrote a great deal, some years I took off during those twenty-five years and wrote no books. But after a hundred plus novels, I know how to write a novel.

I wrote this into the dark, as some writers call this type of writing. In other words, I had no outline. And the novel was published by the publisher with no rewrites from me.

I have left all the blog posts pretty much as I wrote them here in this book, because I felt that would be the best way to detail out the feeling of those ten days.

So I hope this journey through the daily writing process of a novel by a professional novelist is fun and entertaining and enlightening.

I had fun detailing out the process as well.

Enjoy the journey and have fun with your own writing.

– from How to Write a Novel in Ten Days by Dean Wesley Smith

The Interview

 
 
Why did you decide to write a novel in ten days?

Honestly, it was a ghost project and they needed it quickly, then delayed the payment and I never start writing until I have the contract and first payment. Learned that lesson the hard way early on. So by the time the payment got there, I had moved on and just wanted this out of my hair.
 
 
You wrote this book as a way to document your experience ghostwriting a ~70,000 word novel in ten days. Was this an unusual amount of writing for you in this type of time period?

Nope, not at all. About normal for me when I am writing to be honest. I am not a fast typist, so I manage about 1,000 words per hour. For something like this it just means I actually write for more hours is all. Nothing magical at all. I am prolific and fast because I spend more time in my writing chair than others do.


 
 
You write “into the dark,” meaning you don’t create outlines, but instead just sit down and start writing? What type of plan did you have when you started the novel? Without an outline, how did you know the result would come in around the required 70,000 words?

After a hundred novels or so, you tend to know how long a novel will be as you go along, even though you have no idea where the book is going. Just practice, I guess. And a sense of the pacing of the book. A shorter novel has a different form of pacing.
 
 
If you could go back in time to when you started writing, and could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would that be?

Follow Heinlein’s Rules much sooner and never fall off of them for any reason.
 
 
What is the “magic bakery?”

A metaphor to understand copyright. Most writers don’t have a clue about copyright and what they license. The magic bakery metaphor makes it easy to understand and real.
 
 
Your Thunder Mountain novel series combines time travel and the Old West. What inspired this series, and what do you enjoy about writing it?

I have always loved and written time travel, and my families on both sides were pioneers into the Pacific Northwest way, way back. And as a kid my grandparents would take me to old ghost mining towns and tell me what they were like when people lived in them. Also, on one trip into old mining country when I was an early teenager, a friend of mine and I went into an old gold mine (really stupid) and found a bunch of crystals. So that experience and my love of the Old West and time travel just sort of came together. I am working on a new Thunder Mountain book at the moment, actually.


 
 
You and your wife, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, have taught writing workshops for decades, and every year you offer new online classes. What do you enjoy about this?
 
 
The learning. It challenges us both to figure out ways to teach a topic and then I keep learning from the writers taking the workshops as well. We would stop them in a heartbeat if I wasn’t still learning and hungry for the knowledge.
 
 
Pulphouse Fiction Magazine is a reincarnation of a magazine you and Kris offered through the small press Pulphouse Publishing from 1988 through 1993. Why did you decide to bring the magazine back after a twenty year absence? What’s different this time around?

Not much, actually. Crazy, fun stories that are high quality and make people think. What we were trying to do back in the early 1990s. And I thought it would be fun, which after a year, it has been great.


 
 
Your Cold Poker Gang Mystery series is focused around a group of retired Las Vegas police detectives playing poker and solving cold cases. Has what you write for this series since you moved to Vegas? And how does your own expertise as a poker player help with these books?

No poker in the books. The idea was a spin-off of a thriller I wrote called “Dead Money” which was about poker. Nothing has changed since I moved to Las Vegas because I haven’t written a new one here. Plus I really knew Las Vegas before I moved here, so can’t imagine anything changing. I love writing those mysteries. They are so much fun.
 
 
What story (or stories) are you working on now, and what’s fun about what you’re writing?

Working at the moment on a new Thunder Mountain novel. Not sure after that since I never know what I will write until I sit down and start writing. I just like entertaining myself. Figure if I do that, others might like it as well.

About Dean

Considered one of the most prolific writers working in modern fiction, USA Today bestselling writer Dean Wesley Smith published far more than a hundred novels in forty years, and hundreds of short stories across many genres.

At the moment he produces novels in four major series, including the time travel Thunder Mountain novels set in the Old West, the galaxy-spanning Seeders Universe series, the urban fantasy Ghost of a Chance series, and a superhero series starring Poker Boy.

His monthly magazine, Smith’s Monthly, which consists of only his own fiction, premiered in October 2013 and offers readers more than 70,000 words per issue, including a new and original novel every month.

During his career, Dean also wrote a couple dozen Star Trek novels, the only two original Men in Black novels, Spider-Man and X-Men novels, plus novels set in gaming and television worlds. Writing with his wife Kristine Kathryn Rusch under the name Kathryn Wesley, he wrote the novel for the NBC miniseries The Tenth Kingdom and other books for Hallmark Hall of Fame movies.

He wrote novels under dozens of pen names in the worlds of comic books and movies, including novelizations of almost a dozen films, from The Final Fantasy to Steel to Rundown.

Dean also worked as a fiction editor off and on, starting at Pulphouse Publishing, then at VB Tech Journal, then Pocket Books, and now at WMG Publishing, where he and Kristine Kathryn Rusch serve as series editors for the acclaimed Fiction River anthology series.

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Story spotlight: “Like at Loch Ness” by Karen L. Abrahamson

A dangerous creature. A female scientist with something to prove.

If she lives that long.

Something dangerous lurks in Cambodia’s murky waters, destroying fishermen’s villages along the flooded shore. Jean Aubry, fledgling marine biologist, tries to solve the mystery, especially after she and her colleague find a lone, beautiful survivor of the most recent destruction. Can Jean solve the mystery before more people die? Can she do it and not worsen her already tarnished professional reputation?

“Like at Loch Ness” is in the Beneath the Waves collection. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the collection’s Facebook page.
 


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Karen L. Abrahamson is the author of literary, mystery, romantic and fantasy fiction including the highly regarded Cartographer fantasy series. She is a well-traveled writer who has explored cultures and countries around the world but British Columbia, Canada is her favorite place to come back to. She lives on the west coast of Canada with two Bengal cats that aren’t quite as well traveled as she is.

When she isn’t writing she can be found with a camera and backpack in fabulous locations around the world.


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Interview: Jason Chen on StoryBundle

What is StoryBundle?

StoryBundle offers collections of DRM-free ebooks where readers select the price they want to pay for the bundle, and can choose to donate a percentage of the portion of the proceeds to charity. At a certain price threshold, “bonus” books are unlocked. Readers download the books directly to their tablet, ereader, computer, or smartphone.

One of the current bundles is the NaNoWriMo Writing Tools bundle, a collection of a dozen books on writing. A portion of the proceeds goes directly to the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, a non-profit group created by the families of the crew of the Challenger shuttle. This bundle is only available through the end of November 2018.

Meet Jason!

Jason started StoryBundle in mid-2012 because he was seeing people bundle games and other things, but not books.

The Interview

How did you come up with the idea of creating StoryBundle.com?

It’s hard to remember now, in 2018, but back in 2012 there were no book bundles and there were no box sets on Amazon! It was very difficult to find curated sets of books that were both high in quality and sold for a good price. Nobody was putting different authors together back then—as far as most readers knew—so I thought it was a very good market for people who wanted to fill up their ereaders.

So we took this idea for curated books, coupled it with quality authors and curators, plus made an easy delivery system that allowed anybody with essentially any electronic device capable of reading ebooks to enjoy the books, DRM-free!

How do you select curators to create bundles?

We pick our curators from authors we’ve worked with before. This is so that we know how their tastes run, how their promotional efforts go and if they can handle the job of curating, since it’s a totally different set of skills than writing and promoting.

Does StoryBundle put together bundles as well, or are they always managed by outside curators?

We started by curating the bundles ourselves, but as we’ve grown, we’ve moved to an almost 100% author/publisher curating platform.

Does StoryBundle participate in the selection of authors/books for bundles?

We leave most of the curating to the authors/publishers, but we do sometimes make suggestions or try and introduce authors to each other that make sense for different bundles.

If a curator wants to donate to a charity not on your current list of charities, is it possible to add to this list?

Definitely! We’re open to adding new charities all the time, and we work together with the authors to find one that makes the most sense for the bundle theme. And if they don’t have one specifically in mind, we have a lot of charities that we’ve worked with in the past that may fit.

What are the biggest mistakes you see some curators make?

By far the biggest mistake is that some curators think the curation is done after choosing authors to be in the bundle. I would say at least half of the job of curator is to promote the bundle, arrange for authors to promote and figure out how best to get the word out. Because the curator knows the theme of the bundle, how it was assembled and which authors are in it, they’re the best equipped to market the bundle and try and get as many eyes on it as possible.

Is there a limit to how many bundles can be available at any given time?

There’s no technical limit, but the practical limit is that we only launch one bundle a week that go for 3 weeks each. Technically there can be 4 bundles live at once. We’ve also found that it’s good to stagger the bundle themes, so they don’t overlap too much with each other. It’s really no good to have 4 sci-fi bundles live at once, because a potential reader wouldn’t pick up all 4 sci-fi bundles. Instead, we recommend doing a mix of bundles so that readers with different tastes can find at least one bundle they enjoy, and maybe a second in a different genre while they’re here.

How much lead time do you recommend to set up a Storybundle?

We recommend at least a couple months for new curators, but experienced curators with lots of connections can set it up in about a month. Of course the longer the curators have, the better, since it takes publishers often a few weeks to get the books approved to be in a bundle.

What is the minimum and maximum number of books allowed in a bundle? Is there an “ideal” number of books?

The minimum we aim for is at least 8, but there’s no hard maximum. Some bundling sites shove in as many books as they can find for every bundle, but we take the long view that we don’t want to de-value the concept of ebooks. Here’s our thinking: If you can get 25-30 books at once for a really cheap price, how likely is it that you’re going to finish all of them? Unlikely, yes? And how likely are you going to be to buy another bundle when you have 15-20 books in your backlog that you may want to read, but will never get around to? It makes it difficult for subsequent bundles to appeal, and if you’re pricing your books at just cents per book, what message are you sending to readers as far as how much you value those books? And to authors?

Long story short is that just because we’re combining books together in a bundle, we don’t de-value the individual book and we want to make sure we make this sustainable for all our authors and for us as well.

How long are bundles generally available for? Is there a set amount of time, or can this vary

We usually have our bundles for 3 weeks, but certain bundles, like the NaNoWriMo Writing bundles, go for 2 months to cover the ramp-up to NaNoWriMo and the month of November itself!
 
 

 
 
Promotion for bundles is primarily done by the curator and the participating authors. What promotional techniques have you seen people have the most success with?

There’s no one best way to promote a bundle, sadly, or else we would copy and paste the method for every bundle! A variety of things have worked for us in the past, such as involving the charity, getting different blogs to help promote, reaching out to author friends to signal boost, and even getting more notable people to talk about the bundle on social media.

What do you enjoy most about running StoryBundle?

This may be a sappy answer, but the thing I will take away when StoryBundle is over is the friends I’ve made along the way. Getting to correspond with authors has made some friends that I wouldn’t have imagined I would make before I started StoryBundle, and I’m sure these friendships will last when the site is over. It’s been great to get to see different authors’ writing processes from the outside, and I’m cheering for all of them to do well no matter where they’re selling their books!

About Jason

Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com. Before that, Jason was a software engineer, a student, and way before that, a fetus.

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The NaNoWriMo Writing Tools bundle!

It’s that time of year: November is “NaNoWriMo” or National Novel Writing Month, when ambitious authors take the challenge to write the first draft of a novel from start to finish in a month. While gearing up for the challenge, writers are looking for advice, techniques, and resources.

Kevin J. Anderson has put together the NaNoWriMo Writing Tools bundle, an impressive collection of a dozen books on writing that will be inspirational, helpful, maybe even provocative. You can get all of the books for as little as $15. This bundle is only available through the end of November 2018, so grab it now—and write your novel!

A portion of the proceeds goes directly to benefit the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, a non-profit group created by the families of the crew of the Challenger shuttle.
Challenger Center and its global network of Challenger Learning Centers use space-themed simulated learning and role-playing strategies to help students bring their classroom studies to life and cultivate skills needed for future success, such as problem solving, critical thinking, communication and teamwork.

 

Become a Successful Indie Author is a motivational guide based on Craig Martelle’s two-and-a-half-million published words. This book will help you see past the hurdles that are keeping you from climbing the mountain of success.

Once you’ve become successful, you never have to work again—or so many people believe. But becoming a success is just the start. Staying a success is the hard part. Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s book The Secrets of Success will help you both become a success and remain one.

Struggling to start your story or lost in the middle? You need a Story Pitch, which is a powerful tool meant to be used when pre-writing and writing. It can help you jumpstart your novel, screenplay, comic, or whatever type of story you are trying to tell and it can be used as a corrective measure if you get off track during the writing process. If you like honesty, no bull, a bunch of humor, and tons of examples in your writing guides, then you’ll love Scott King’s Story Pitch.

Are you an author who is struggling with finding volunteers and professionals to help polish your book? Do you wish there was a guide that offered plenty of suggestions for finding these people? Andrea Pearson’s How to Polish Your Manuscript into a Rock-Solid Book gives you advice and guidance on building your brand, publishing, and marketing your own books.

Writing is not a physically healthy job, but if you want a long-term writing career, then you need to look after your body. In The Healthy Writer, Joanna Penn shares her personal journey and insights with you; her co-author, Dr. Euan Lawson, shares his insights into how you can reduce pain, improve health and build a writing career for the long term.

Whether you’re creating a story or book collection, or are an author participating in one, Jamie Ferguson’s Bundle Up! can help you! The more aware you are of what’s involved, the more efficient and productive you—and your project—will be.

Dean Wesley Smith’s How to Write a Novel in Ten Days is a series of blog posts he wrote while chronicling his process toward ghost writing a 70,000-word novel for a traditional publisher in just ten days. This book takes readers on a journey that demonstrates that writing fast, and writing well, comes from motivation and practice.

You Must Write, by Kevin McLaughlin, explains what Robert Heinlein’s Rules are, and how they can help you bring your craft and career to the next level. This book provides a series of practical lessons, each with exercises designed to help writers build the Rules into their own work-flow. Heinlein’s Rules focus on unleashing the most creative elements of our minds, combating our deepest and most crippling fears, and driving past the greatest obstacles most writers face to reach success.

In Writing as a Team Sport, Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta describe various collaboration methods with frank recollections of their own experiences. You’ll learn collaborative techniques that will suit any sort of writer, as well as the pitfalls you may encounter.

You too can create stories at the speed of the great pulp writers. Not only that, but your craft will actually get better the faster you go. It just takes time and practice. In Pulp Speed for Professional Writers, you’ll learn the things Blaze Ward discovered as he went from writing at mundane rates to Pulp Speed.

Series are fun to read, lots of authors write them, they’re great for large worlds and big stories, some publishers love them, and if you do it right, you can create a loyal fan base. Yet they are hard to stay consistent in. Why is that? And how do we do the idea of an epic story justice? The How-To Structure Workbook for Trilogies, Series, and Parallel Worlds by C. Michelle Jefferies helps you learn that series writing is not as hard as it can appear.

Simon Haynes has been writing and publishing novels and short fiction for almost twenty years. How to Write a Novel contains everything he’s learned about writing a novel, both as an indie and as a trade-published author.

 

Get all twelve writing guides in the NaNoWriMo Writing Tools bundle!

Available through the end of November 2018.

 

   
 

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Story spotlight: “Of Cats and Lost Socks” by Liz Pierce


 
 
A witch. A cat. A curse.

When Emmaline McMurtree falls victim to a rival witch’s curse, it’s up to her familiar, Marley, to save the day.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

“Of Cats and Lost Socks” is in the Witches’ Brew bundle. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the bundle’s Facebook page.


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About the Author

Whether it’s the exploits of the teenage offspring of the Gods walking the halls of Olympus High, or Faerie Folk moving to the Real World and trying to cope with jobs, neighbors, and everyday life, Liz Pierce writes “suburban fantasy” – stories that blur the boundaries between the real world and the fantastical, but are lighter and less edgy than their urban cousins. And, hopefully, a little more fun.


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Story spotlight: “Fox and Hound” by Leah Cutter


 
 
Gou, a peddle cab driver in modern-day Beijing, gets more than he bargained for with his latest client.

“Fox and Hound” is Leah’s first story to feature Huli Transport, a company that specializes in rides and transportation for those who aren’t completely human.
 
 
 

“Fox and Hound” is in the Fantasy in the City bundle. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the bundle’s Facebook page.


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About the Author

Leah Cutter writes page-turning fiction in exotic locations, such as a magical New Orleans, the ancient Orient, Hungary, the Oregon coast, rural Kentucky, Seattle, Minneapolis, and many others.

She writes literary, fantasy, mystery, science fiction, and horror fiction. Her short fiction has been published in magazines like Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Talebones, anthologies like Fiction River, and on the web. Her long fiction has been published both by New York publishers as well as small presses.


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Story spotlight: “Monkey Sea, Monkey Do” by Robert Jeschonek


When Ida got her wish to become a Sea Munky, she didn’t realize the greatest drought of all time was about to dry up the bodies of water she needed to survive.

Now, in one of the last pools of water on Earth, she and her fellow aquatic creatures fight to survive an attack by savage beasts who rule the dry land.

The end of everything looms…unless a secret at the bottom of the pool can turn things around and bring a wetter world back into being.
 
 
“Monkey Sea, Monkey Do” is in the Beneath the Waves collection. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the collection’s Facebook page.
 


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About the Author

Robert T. Jeschonek is an award-winning writer whose fiction, comics, essays, articles, and podcasts have been published around the world. His young adult fantasy novel, My Favorite Band Does Not Exist, won the Forward National Literature Award and was named one of Booklist’s Top Ten First Novels for Youth. His cross-genre science fiction thriller, Day 9, is an International Book Award winner. He also won the Scribe Award for Best Original Novel from the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers for his alternate history, Tannhäuser: Rising Sun, Falling Shadows. Simon & Schuster, DAW/Penguin Books, and DC Comics have published his work. He won the grand prize in Pocket Books’ nationwide Strange New Worlds contest and was nominated for the British Fantasy Award.


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How-to: Use BundleRabbit’s Ebook Marketplace to find ebooks to bundle

BundleRabbit is a story bundling platform where authors can collaborate on either bundles of ebooks or collaborations, which may be offered in ebook and/or print. A collaboration can be anything from an anthology to a book co-written by multiple authors.

One capability unique to this site is the ability to upload your stories to BundleRabbit’s Content Marketplace, which is used by bundle curators to find and request stories for ebook bundles.

Prerequisites

  • You’ll need an account at BundleRabbit, and it must be set up as an curator account.
  • You’ll also need to have created a bundle.

Searching for ebooks in the Content Marketplace

  • Log in to BundleRabbit and click on Account and then Dashboard on the top right-hand corner of the page.
     

     
  • In your Dashboard, click on Marketplace.
     

     
  • You’re now in the Ebook Marketplace. There are dropdowns to search for ebooks by category or type, and you can also do a text search to look for a specific author, title, or other text. Select the desired parameters, and click on New Search.
     

     
  • Once you find an ebook you’re interested in, click on either the ebook’s title or cover, and you’ll be taken to the details page for that ebook. You’ll be able to see the ebook’s sales blurb, any bundles it’s been in to date, the author’s biography and social media links, other ebooks by the author, and a collection of similar ebooks.
     

     
  • To request an ebook for inclusion in your bundle, click Request This Ebook, select your bundle from the dropdown, modify the default message if desired, and click Send Request.
     

     

References

   
 

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