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Giant Tales Online Event

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Register today! Space is limited to 30 authors, 3 professional judges, and 30 free attenders.

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$0-$20 Tickets available at:

Eventbrite.com

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HOUSES 112 WORKSHOP

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Writers 750 Program for AUGUST 2016

As a fiction writer, you are invited to participate in a *free* workshop this month called HOUSES 112. Challenge yourself to use your fiction skills. Add to your portfolio each month in the Writers 750 Program.

Steps:

1.) Explore the concept of writing about a “familiar house” in your fiction story. Writing a story with a familiar house from an author’s childhood is a past all time favorite approach that many authors use. The task of reflecting on a familiar house is a common way for fiction writers to explore and describe settings. You can do this any number of different ways. Select a house from your past – your own past or someone else’s, a house from a favorite book, movie, cartoon, dream, or television show. You might want to focus on describing the atmosphere built around a simple plot. One time, I read an author’s short story; it had a lot of detail about the setting, but there was no plot! Don’t get so lost in the detail that you forget to develop a plot. Remember, your story must include a plot.

Types of Houses: (anything from a normal house to a house in another world)

Bed & breakfast, hotel, motel, etc.Houses for sale, abandoned, or renovated.

House of cards: a metaphor pertaining to something of a fragile or volatile nature

House of dimes: a house where ten fabulous people live together, preferable in such a manner that they attract a large fan base in town and frequently throw parties. (http://www.urbandictionary.com)

Miscellaneous houses: “In the house” (auditorium, theater, etc.)

Topics on houses in the Bible: Building Houses, Destruction of Houses, Entering Houses, Filling Houses, Houses Under Attack, Living in Houses, Metaphorical Houses, Royal Houses

Explore other interesting houses such as Herod’s temple, the Taj Mahal, the White House, famous houses, haunted houses, house for the homeless, nursing home, etc.

2.) Write an original short story of 750-1,000 words, based on the concept of using “a house” from your research. Deadline to finish writing your story is the 25th of the month.

3.) Optional challenge: Include something hidden and found in an attic, storage room, or a basement.

4.) You have the option to email your story to giantales@gmail.com by the 25th of the month. Include your story pasted in the email, your name, and title. Selected stories will receive up to three beta readers by email during the last five days of the month.

All fiction writers work independently.

 

SUSPENSE 111 WORKSHOP

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Writers 750 Program for July 2016

As a fiction writer, you are invited to participate in a *free* workshop this month called SUSPENSE 111. Challenge yourself to use your fiction skills. Add to your portfolio each month in the Writers 750 Program.

Steps:

1.) Research the concept of writing “suspense” in your fiction story. You can do this any number of different ways. Watch the news, write what you know, or make up something suspenseful entirely from scratch.

Suspense: a state of feeling of excited or anxious uncertainty about what may happen. Synonyms: Tension, anticipation, expectation, anxiety, apprehension, strain, excitement, eager, jumpy, antsy, uptight, jittery, on edge (from https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=suspense)

Suspension of Disbelief: the point at which you must give up all skepticism and just accept what goes against all that you think and know (from http://www.urbandictionary.com)

Biblical cure for anxiety: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace that passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:6-7

Learn from other successful suspense novels such as Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane and Watchers by Dean Koontz. Study the development of suspense formulas from free articles such as 9 Tricks to Writing Suspense Fiction by Writer’s Digest, July 2008. Find an old suspenseful story and figure out how to improve it.

2.) Write an original short story of 750-1,000 words, based on the concept of using “suspense” from your research. Deadline to finish writing your story is the 25th of the month.

3.) Optional challenge: Include something behind a closed door and a message. The message can be anything from a note in a bottle, an inscription, or a note left behind.

4.) You have the option to email your story to giantales@gmail.com by the 25th of the month. Include your story pasted in the email, your name, and title. Selected stories will receive up to three beta readers by email during the last five days of the month.

All fiction writers work independently.

 

Tips for Fiction Writers

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4 TIPS FOR FINDING GOOD FEEDBACK

 BY HEATHER MARIE SCHULDT

Fiction writers know how important it is to network with other authors. What is the point of writing a story if it is left in a drawer where no one will ever read it? Of course, it can feel like walking in the dark for a new writer to let someone else read their work, but there has to be a first time sometime. All writers new and old face the same question: Who is going to read my story? Even seasoned authors need to ask this question as it becomes more and more important to “make good connections.” One of the most exciting benefits of the Writers 750 Program is that each participant can have their story read by authors and good honest feedback is available for writers who ask.

1. Remain Flexible – Not everyone is open to give or receive feedback. When you are in a small group with one, two, or three other fiction writers, be sure to find out if your recipient has the time. We all have different schedules and work loads. Timing is a key issue when we go about reaching out to one another. Remember, don’t take it personal if someone else cannot participate. Don’t force the issue, but following up can be a real mark of success. Take into account holidays, weekends, vacation days, sick days, and heavy work loads. How you reach out can make all the difference in the world. What you say matters. Be as professional as you can and move on when you need to.

2. Know Your Expectations – Be sure to find out what is expected before you jump into getting feedback. You can be spontaneous if you want to, but your results will most likely be much more effective if both authors are on the same page before you start exchanging feedback. You can write a general critique similar to a book review; these comments can be short or long. You can also make an effort to show personal edits. It can be very helpful and productive when you decide to exchange copies with edits and comments. I have people send me attachments with edits or emails with short stories pasted right in the email where the changes and comments have been marked. It doesn’t really do you any good if you edit a story and send it without highlighting or making your changes stand out. Authors usually want to see where changes have been made. Exchanging free critiques can be a valuable learning experience.

3. Be Honest and Kind – This is where it can get tricky for some people. I’ve just about seen and heard it all when it comes to feedback. You’ll find that some people just won’t like your work no matter what you do; stay away from these people. There is nothing productive about listening to someone who will never like your work. While some authors have thick skin and want to hear the gritty details, no matter how poor the delivery might be, other people will not be so keen with harsh words. Giving a good honest review might come naturally to some people, but others might struggle a bit more when trying to find the words and when making a judgment call. On the other hand, a friend or family member who raves about your work might not really be helping you to make the improvements you need to make. We all know what it’s like to get a good hair cut and a bad hair cut. Some hair dressers are just a bad fit. It’s the same way with giving and receiving good honest feedback. Be thankful if you find someone who can give you the help you need. You might need to search around for a while to find someone who can be helpful and encouraging at the same time. It is a very good idea to let the person know what you are looking for. Again, if you leave the door wide open, then be ready to receive just about anything.

BONUS TIP

4. Make a Good Effort – My suggestion is to put forth a good effort to give helpful feedback, and be patient to receive it. We’ve all heard the cliche, “What you put into it, is what you’ll get out of it.” You might find yourself in a group with people who are all busy or unable to participate for one reason or another. My suggestion is to leave the busy group to go find out who is available in another group and go from there. It does not do any good to try and force others to participate, so don’t even bother. Authors literally only have so much time to read so much, and it is easy to start a long list of “things to read.” There is no such thing as a slush pile when exchanging feedback. Either you make up your mind to participate or you don’t. If you can get to it later, then set a date, but never leave it in a so called slush pile. Find out who is ready and willing and go where the activity is happening. It could be that all it takes is for you to reach out with a friendly email. Good beta readers are out there, but it takes an effort to find them.

The following list is a group of fiction writers from the OAK STREET writing prompt. These authors will be placed into a small group for a limited time of one month in order to exchange feedback.

SARCASM by Todd Folstad

FORGIVE THY NEIGHBOR by Glenda Reynolds

SHE’S GOOD ENOUGH TO MARRY by David Russell

WHIMS DON’T NEED MIRRORS by Randy H. Martin

TRANSPLANTED by Mary Agrusa

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME by Lena Pate

CAN LOVE CONQUER ALL? by Elaine Faber

THE BLUE LIONS by Norma Freeman

THE CIPHER by Gene Hilgreen

LYNETTE AND ROGER by Rebecca Lacy

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY by Tom Russell

A QUESTIONABLE ENEMY by Fred Burwick

THE PLAN by Karen Hopkins

NUMB by Arlene Lagos

COMING OF AGE by Shelly Heskett Harris

S’NOW WAY THROUGH by Randall Lemon

WHAT’S MY NAME by Martin Meador

OAK STREET GHOSTS by Mike Boggia

A STRANGE OCCURANCE ON OAK STREET by Donna B. Comeaux

Remember, as soon as you make an effort to make a good connection with other serious fiction writers, good things happen.

Click here to connect with beta readers:

http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/177782-writers-750

Book Review: Man Myth Messiah by Rice Broocks

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Our world has people who want to know if Jesus really existed. From every city, tribe, and nation, people want to know if Jesus was a real man or if he existed at all. Some people say that Jesus not only existed for real in history, but he was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies that were anticipating a future king known as the Messiah from the line of King David. Dr. Rice Broocks, author of God’s Not Dead, refers to reliable documents in order to answer the following questions that are circulating in today’s society: Was Jesus just a good teacher? Is he only a myth? Was he really the Messiah that was prophesied in the Old Testament?

With a heart for evangelism, Broocks wants the reader to know why he has discovered the Gospels to be a reliable, historical collection of books. He compares Jesus to seven other myths and presents the unique story of the historical Jesus as it is told in the four Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Myths such as Horus, Krishna, Osiris, and Dionysis are examined and challenged. Broocks addresses several basic questions at the beginning of his book and builds up to more in depth questions such as “How can I be an effective disciple?” and “How can I defend the faith?” A memorable acronym is presented at the end, G.R.E.A.T., to strengthen your faith, to bring meaning to your work, and to increase the courage in your life to be a better person. This book will challenge skeptics. It will also motivate people of faith to keep focus on truth and to live out in a way that really matters.

Broocks, Rice. Man Myth Messiah. Nashville: W Publishing Group, an Imprint of Thomas Nelson, 2016.

Book Review by H.M. Schuldt

2016 Summer Trimester

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Writers 750 Program: four *FREE* classes from May-August 2016:
Heirlooms 109
Wizard of Oz 110
Suspense 111
Houses 112
To Get Started:
1. Go to the home page at writers750.com
2. Hover over Writers 750 Program and click on Year 1
3. Begin
From May-August 2016, you can explore four concepts: Heirlooms, Wizard of Oz, Suspense, and Houses.
Two recommended resources:
Giant Tales Beyond the Mystic Doors by H.M. Schuldt
Giant Tales From the Misty Swamp by H.M. Schuldt

Explode With Book Promotions

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BOOK PROMOTIONS INCREASE SALES

To be or not to be…

What does your sales report look like?
Stepping into the publishing industry for the first time can feel like standing on a high diving board without knowing what it feels like to fall through the air and jump in. We climb up the ladder with our fictional manuscript in hand, learning the do’s and don’ts each step of the way. What kind of advice have you been getting? “Find a good editor,” says the editor on the first step. “Learn how to write a good query letter,” says the traditional publisher on the next step. “Have a good website,” says the website designers. “You’ll get a better royalty if you are an indie author,” says the self-publisher, and the list of advice goes on and on. Finally, you agree on publishing your final draft, you’re at the end of the diving board, and it’s time to jump. SPLASH! You swim up to the surface, and you take your first breath of fresh air. You are thrilled your book is released and ready to sell to the public. Then that moment comes. Reality settles in when you look at your sales report to see if anyone bought your book.

What is the first book in the first Giant Tales series?
In February of 2013, Giant Tales came out with a new anthology book for fiction readers to enjoy titled, Giant Tales Beyond the Mystic Doors. With four interesting themes in the book, curious readers are pulled in right away. The first fifteen stories are based on the theme, Mystic Doors. Readers can challenge themselves to find the mystic door in each story and learn why the doors are mystic. The next fifteen stories are based on the theme, Beasts. Readers will be amazed to find a different beast in each story. The next sixteen stories are based on the theme, Sunflowers. Readers will discover a variety of ways a sunflower can be presented. The last fifteen stories are based on the theme, Mysterious Boxes. Readers will be surprised to find something new inside each box. The stories are short enough to give the reader a sense of accomplishment while feeling entertained at the same time. Sixty-one short stories in book 1 are approximately 3-minutes in length, a quick, satisfying snack for the mind.

What are the other Giant Tales anthology books?
In August of 2013, Giant Tales came out with a second anthology book titled, Giant Tales From the Misty Swamp. Four more delightful themes pull the reader in once again. Stories are about a misty swamp, climate change, carnivals, and masks. In 2014, two more Giant Tales anthologies from the original 3-Minute Series launched. Giant Tales World of Pirates launched in January, and Giant Tales Dangerous Days was released in September. A variety of short 3-minute stories fill the pages from four Giant Tales books. The stories are so enjoyable that Giant Tales came out with a second series for 10-minute stories with an emphasis on an apocalypse setting. In April of 2014, Lava Storm In the Neighborhood was released. And in November of 2014, Final Ships In the Neighborhood was released.

What are the Giant Tales sales ratings from 2014?
When combining print sales with Kindle sales, the 2014 Giant Tales book sales came in as follows:

First Place – Giant Tales World of Pirates
Second Place – Giant Tales Dangerous Days
Third Place – Giant Tales Mystic Doors
Fourth Place – Giant Tales From the Misty Swamp
Fifth Place – Lava Storm In the Neighborhood
Sixth Place – Final Ships In the Neighborhood

A modest amount of book sales in 2014 caused Giant Tales to begin to take a look at book promotions more seriously in 2015. What can anthologies be used for if they are not in high demand on the New York Times Best Seller list? An author should consider the purpose of publishing a short story in an anthology. There is value in publishing in an anthology. Given the fact that anthologies are not known for raking in the dough, anthologies can be an excellent tool in a number of different ways. Anthologies are excellent for readers to take in a quick read, for conversation and other talking points, resume builders, connecting with editors and other authors, experience, offerings on social media, marketing connections, awareness in presentations, gifts for all types of readers, and giving people samples of your work.

Can book promotions increase sales?

In a nutshell, yes, they can. It is clear that book launches stir some interest among authors and readers. But more importantly, it is very clear that intentional book promotions can boost sales in a dramatic way. In 2015, Giant Tales held two free-book promotions. At the end of July, Lava Storm In the Neighborhood sold a significant amount of Kindle books for free during a five-day promotion. At the end of May, Giant Tales Beyond the Mystic Doors sold a significant amount of Kindle books for free during another five-day promotion. These two free-book promotions are directly related to the book sales results from 2015.

First Place – Lava Storm In the Neighborhood
Second Place – Giant Tales Beyond the Mystic Doors

Lava Storm and Mystic Doors pulled ahead by a far lead in the number of books sold, most of which were given away for free during a limited-time, free-book giveaway. As an author, if you are looking to boost the number of sales for your book, consider planning a successful promotion by providing a free-book giveaway for a limited time. It worked out well for Giant Tales.


Lava Storm In the Neighborhood 99 cents on Kindle