How to Format a Novel for Submission – by Carol Saller…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on CMOS Shop Talk:

When you write a book to send to an agent or editor, you are preparing a manuscript. And even if your ideas, characters, and plot twists are colorful and creative, your manuscript format should not be. Agents and editors almost always require submitted pages to be in a standard format free of images and color and anything flashy. Many agents and editors post the format they prefer (or demand) on a “Submissions” page at their website.

It’s normal, however, to prepare material before you know exactly where you’ll submit it. That’s why it’s smart to produce a generic document based on Chicago style (the style used by most US trade book publishers) that can be tweaked later if you receive more specific instructions. Using this conventional style and saving it in a flexible file format will position you to adjust your formatting for each submission…

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Found: One of the First Books Ever Printed in England

Very cool.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Medieval text | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookThe pages were instantly recognizable due to black typeface and hand-painted red paragraph marks. Image: University of Reading/The Independent

Pages from one of the first books ever printed in England were recently found by librarians at the University of Reading. The pages, which were hidden away for decades in the pages of a different text, were meant to tell priests how to plan feasts.

Sarum Ordinal

According to Atlas Obscura and The Independent, the librarians found two pages from a priest’s handbook called Sarum Ordinal or Sarum Pye, which had been pasted inside of another book to reinforce its spine. A librarian working to restore that book noticed and pulled out the pages from the priest’s handbook; they date to between 1476 and 1477.

The librarian said she instantly noticed the “trademark blackletter typeface,” the layout, and red paragraph marks, which were typically added by hand after printing and…

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Is Your Plot Going Somewhere Readers Will Follow? – by Janice Hardy…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Fiction University:

Just because you have a plot, doesn’t mean you have a story.

The first novel I ever wrote was all about the plot. This happened, and then that happened, and I explained how these awesome (I thought) characters discovered this cool mystery about the history behind my fantasy world.

It was terrible.

The writing wasn’t half bad, and the idea itself was pretty cool (to me), but there was no story to speak of. My characters followed a predetermined path that explained how a situation came to pass. The surprises and twists came not from what my protagonist did, but only when I decided as the author to finally reveal a piece of information.

This was not a book anyone else wanted to read.

Continue reading HERE

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Communicating with Poetry: The Search for Deeper Meaning – by Melissa Donovan…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Writing Forward:

The search for deeper meaning in a poem implies that it might contain a hidden message. But poetry is not coded messaging; it’s artful communication. It’s more useful to ask what a poem communicates than to ask what it secretly means.

Some poems are straightforward; there’s no interpretation to be made because they are clear about what they are trying to say. Others are wrapped in mystery, open to different interpretations and ideas. And some are completely obtuse.

It’s not unusual for analysts of poetry to search for hidden meaning, and sometimes poems do indeed contain coded messages. But when evaluating a poem, there are other things we can seek.

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Expansion Pack: Comedy

Story Empire

Hi, Gang. Craig with you again, and we’re going to try something different. It won’t work for everyone, but what does in this business?

I’m of the belief that you can’t just bleed for 300 pages. Even in serious tales you have to give the readers a breather. My go-to in those instances is a bit of humor. This can be a snarky comment or an unexpected moment, but something.

With no scientific evidence at all to back me up, I propose that humor might be one of the most planned bits in any story. Even on the written page, delivery is crucial.

I like to start off with a definition, but never found one that suited me. Comedy can involve misunderstanding, absurdity, physical elements, and more. In a novel, it’s more complex than telling a joke.

I’m going to give you a list of common elements. The idea is…

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Top 5 Book Marketing Strategies for 2021 – by Stephanie Chandler…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on NonFiction Authors Association:

As we enter 2021 in mid-pandemic mode, I have some good news to share: people are reading more books!

They have extra time, which means they’re finding ways to fill it beyond watching countless hours of Netflix.

While you may not be able to get out on the speaking circuit just yet, there are still plenty of effective ways to get the word out about your book.

Following are my favorite strategies to tackle in 2021 and beyond.

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5 Options for Creating Your Amazon Ad Copy – by Beth Whitney…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Fiction University:

We’ve all sat staring at that blinking cursor, waiting for the right words to jump into our brains. But as I’ve written for Best Page Forward, I’ve gradually developed some strategies for quickly creating ad headlines.
Now the short and snappy taglines are my favorite part of the blurb to work on. I save them for last, like leaving a sweet for after dinner.

Here are the simple ways I focus my creative inspiration and generate engaging Amazon ad copy:

Continue reading HERE

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