Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Guest Post: Author of the Grimm Chronicles, Ken Brosky


Learn from My Publishing Mistakes!

I’ve made a lot of writing mistakes over the years, and I like to think I’ve learned from those mistakes. The human brain is supposed to learn from failure, after all, and I’m pretty sure my brain is human. So there. But what about other aspiring writers out there? Must they suffer the pain and humiliation that I went through? No! Learn from my mistakes instead, and avoid the suffering I endured.
1.      If you find a publisher who wants to publish your work, research the publisher. Indie presses are as diverse as you can imagine—some are better at publishing certain works, for instance. Others aren’t publishers at all … they’re VANITY PRESSES. That means you actually have to pay them to publish your book. Other indie publishers are just BAD. My first book contract was with a publisher who went belly-up because he put out horrible, horrible books. And he dropped my book before publishing it, even though we had a contract. Just like that. So long. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed (or surprised) to find out they’d gone out of business.
2.      Press releases are hit or miss. Sometimes, you’ll snag a few interested people (provided those people are sloughing through the hundreds of press releases they get every day). Other times, you’ll get nothing. Nada. Be careful! If you’re going to spend money, don’t spend more than $100 or so … and get as much as you can out of it. Try to get someone to help you craft the press release as well as send it out. That way, it’ll stand out from the hundreds of others sent out during the day.
3.      Find actual reviewers. This sounds like an obvious one, but you’d be amazed how many people will happily review your book in exchange for a free copy … and then write an awful review. So awful, in fact, that it will actually hurt your book sales. And I’m not talking about one-star reviews here, either. I’m talking about five-star reviews that are about a sentence long and immediately make potential readers nervous. One-sentence reviews look suspicious. Pretty soon, another person has written a one-star review simply because he/she suspects the author had a friend write a five-star review. It’s an awful system and people really shouldn’t be writing reviews based on what they suspect (or shipping problems, either!), but that system isn’t changing anytime soon. So you’ll have to work with it. Find real reviewers who will take the time to review your book.
4.      Book bloggers are your friends. Establish relationships with them. Help them out. If they review your book (and like it), offer to do a guest post for them. Or an interview. Or a special “one-shot.” I often am willing to write a short-short story exclusively for a specific blogger who I have a relationship with.
5.      Promote your book! Find a service that promotes free Kindle books and use it. You need to get at least 1,000 downloads during your promotion if you want your book to have decent staying power after the promotion is over. I recommend Kindle Nation Daily or Bookbub, although both are hard to break into … and I’m hoping more quality promoters pop up in this emerging market soon. Keep an eye out.

Young Adult
Date Published: 8/25/2013

The award-winning Young Adult adventure series reaches its penultimate volume! This collection contains the following books:

Book 7: The Giant Slayer

Europe: birthplace of Grimms' Fairy Tales. An unfamiliar land, brimming with its own breed of Corrupted who hide in the shadows, growing more evil with each passing day. For modern-day hero Alice Goodenough, this is more than enough to worry about. But she also has a fencing tournament to think about.

And a promise to keep with Sam Grayle, a Corrupted dwarf who schemes for more and more wealth. When their train breaks down in a small town in eastern Hungary, Alice finds the legacy of the hero is alive and well. Corrupted have visited this town before, and they aren't quite vanquished just yet. There's one left, hiding away, biding his time to enact a terrible price on his enemies. A little creature with big, big plans ...

Werewolves. Vampires. Giants. Europe is a different place with new dangers, new monsters and new surprises.

Book 8: Darkness Rising

200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm brought their stories to life.

But why? The question has haunted the heroes for two centuries, and no one has come close to the truth. Alice Goodenough will learn the terrible truth. And it will come at a terrible cost.

The fencing tournament is in just a few short days. Alice's team is hopelessly outmatched, facing off against fencers who have more experience and an inhuman amount of energy. But the other fencers also have a special drug, one that Alice's team can use to even the playing field. Whether they should take the drug or not threatens to tear the team apart.

Meanwhile, Alice must live up to her agreement with Sam Grayle, who lusts after a hidden treasure that once belonged to the Corrupted. Alice must team up with a group of explorers and delve deep into a forbidden cave that holds more secrets than any of them expected.

Book 9: Malevolence

The Malevolence has been biding its time inside Castle Vontescue, but now Alice must finally confront it. The very same evil force that brought the Grimms' fairy tales to life now threatens the hero and all she holds dear. No one is safe in the darkness.

But what, exactly, is this centuries-old creature? To find that out, Br'er Rabbit will have to use all of his wits and decode a series of clues before time runs out. Meanwhile, Alice must keep her friends close and fight through her numerous injuries if she hopes to stop the evil.

But nothing is certain. Alice's body is breaking down. Her loved ones are in constant danger. There is no escape now ... soon, she must face off against the ancient evil that lurks within Castle Vontescue.

And there will be blood.

This volume also contains the following extras:
- The lost diary of Abigail Bauer
- An exclusive introduction

... And the following Grimms' Fairy Tales:
- Hans in Luck
- The Brave Little Tailor
- Tom Thumb
- Twelve Dancing Princesses
- Rapunzel

Ken Brosky
Ken Brosky received his MFA in fiction writing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and his BA in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. To date, he's had more than a dozen short stories published in literary journals, including Gargoyle, Barcelona Review and Midwestern Gothic.
This is Isabella Fontaine's first Young Adult series. In addition to managing the family farm, she also enjoys providing design-related services for those who meet the qualification of "fashion nightmare."
Our Goal

We devised 3 "rules" for this Young Adult series. All three are important to us.

1. There are no love triangles. We've set this as an explicit rule. Our main character might find love, but she won't be hounded by topless boys and she certainly will never spend her time deciding who to spend the rest of her life with.

2. Our hero, Alice, must use her brain to overcome her obstacles. That doesn't mean she can't kick some butt (she definitely can!), but she does have to rely on her knowledge to win the day.

3. Alice will never commit an act of violence against another human being without there being consequences. Sure, she can do battle with evil monsters ... but violence against human beings has real consequences. Too often our heroes of today cause physical pain to people around them in order to achieve victory. Alice is different. Alice respects nonviolence to solve real-world problems, and only uses violence to rid the world of the evil Corrupted.

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