Friday, April 29, 2016

Meet the Staff: Rhyannon Yates



We have some great staffers over here at ETP, and for the next few months, we'll be introducing them to you.

Rhyannon Yates is our Promotions and Marketing Coordinator, which is a fancy phrase for "Social Media, Blogging, and getting books out to reviewers". And before you ask, yes, that means she is the one writing this, and she is writing about herself in the third person. Creative types are odd people, and you just have to accept it. 

Rhyannon also does a very small amount on the editing and acquisitions side, mainly with our picture and children's books.

When she isn't being a social media guru or sloshing through the pile of submissions sitting in her inbox, Rhyannon is a work at home mom. She has two little girls, with another due to be born literally any second. It is not uncommon for her to be scheduling posts on Twitter, emailing review sites, and telling at least one person in her house to please go put on some pants, because the repairman should be here any minute. It's definitely a busy life, but she is enjoying her new foray into the publishing world, and has no plans to slow down any time soon (I mean, fine, she'll probably take a week or two when the baby gets here, but Twitter posts don't schedule themselves)

Rhyannon is a writer in her own right, having been published on City Moms Blogs Network and in the anthology The Milk of Female Kindness

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Why that Rejection Letter Should be the Focal Point of your Home

Today we have a guest post from Readers Legacy! They are using the month of April to celebrate J.K. Rowling, one of the literary worlds greatest success stories, and also the quintessential rags-to-riches tale that every author aspires to. Today they are sharing with us the importance of rejection, and also a special sales event in support of literacy programs around the world!


I pinned my 1st rejection letter to my kitchen wall because it gave me something in common with all my fave writers!” – J.K. Rowling via Twitter (March 25, 2016).
What do literary geniuses, J.K. Rowling, Dr. Seuss, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Orwell, and Agatha Christie all have in common? Surprisingly enough, each of them have written books that were rejected by multiple publishers. As hard to believe as that may be, it’s entirely true!
Contrary to popular belief, rejection more than anything is a learning opportunity. Of course, no one welcomes rejection. In fact, they avoid it at all costs. But everyone gets rejected at one point in their life, or another, and instead of dwelling on the pain of being told “no”, they can use that rejection as a motivator – the greatest motivator in their life!
On March 25, 2016, J.K. Rowling took to twitter to share two rejection letters she received on her crime novel, “The Cuckoo’s Calling”, written under the alias of Robert Galbraith. While Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series has sold more than 400 million copies to date, Rowling admits to having self-doubt. “I wasn’t going to give up until every single publisher turned me down, but I often feared that would happen” she explains. Despite these fears, “The Cuckoo’s Calling” was eventually published by Sphere Books, an imprint of Little, Brown & Company, and the rest is history.
Rowling didn’t allow the fear of going unpublished stop her from trying time and time again, which is an example many dreamers can learn from. Yes, rejection bruises a person’s ego and, more often than not, forces them to go back to the drawing board, but sometimes that’s the best thing a person can do. Going back to the drawing board means making improvements both personally, and in one’s work, and making those improvements brings the motivation to pursue that passion even further.
Remember, rejection isn’t a death sentence, but merely a stepping stone which brings you closer to finally hearing that “yes” you’ve been waiting for. Though it might sound crazy to hang a negative note about your life’s work up on a wall, it can serve as a reminder to persevere…and when you achieve your success, it will be a reminder of all that you’ve overcome.

As an added perk of Reader’s Legacy’s Rowling celebration, we will be holding a special 20% off sale for each of her novels from April 25th to April 30th – ReadersLegacy.com/JKRowling. 
The sale not only celebrates J.K. Rowling, but was also brings attention for a special grant program we have created in order to give away 1 million physical books in support of literacy programs! Spreading a love of books, and ending illiteracy around the world is 100% possible, and with the help of reader’s on the site, we believe will be one step closer to achieving that goal! Get in on this sale HERE.
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Monday, March 28, 2016

Writing Challenges Round-up!



Sometimes, as writers, we find ourselves between projects, or between paragraphs, or between words, really, lacking in inspiration, ready to go crazy, because the words are THERE, dangit, even if we can’t get them out onto paper. Sometimes it isn’t even writers block, it’s just being between projects, nothing pressing, but still with the desire to hone our craft and not allow our writing muscles to atrophy.


So what is a writer to do? How can we practice our writing when there is simply no inspiration or work in progress?


ENTER THE INTERNET!


All over this beautiful web of interconnectivity are writing challenges, chock-full of prompts to help inspire and stretch your writing skills. Some even offer opportunities for promotion through their blogs. We’ve compiled a few here.


Formal Writing Challenges


YeahWrite offers four weekly writing challenges, based on an “Ultimate Question” to help get your creativity flowing. Categories are Non-fiction, Fiction/Poetry, Microfiction, and the very compelling Moonshine challenge, which accepts all lengths and genres.


The Daily Post Writing Challenge is technically no longer “running” in that they are no longer posting new prompts every Tuesday. However, there are still tons of prompts on their blog just waiting to be tackled.


Thirty Day Challenges


The 30 Day Challenge Archive has a pretty awesome Thirty Day Writing Challenge. Pretty self-explanatory, with one challenge each day for thirty days. Take longer or shorter if you like. I won’t tell.


My Creative Writing Challenge has TONS of time-based prompts. The site hasn’t been updated since Christmas, but there are several 25 and 30 day lists ready to get your fingers tapping on the keyboard


Apps


Because we live in a fast paced world and don’t always have the time to seek out challenges, what if your prompts could come to you?


Literautas has a frankly amazing app to help inspire your stories. The prompts are incremental and help you build a story, rather than simply giving you a prompt and letting you run with it. The app is $1.89 on both Google Play and The App Store. Even if you don’t want to buy the app, the site has lots of resources to help you with your writing.


Appcrawlr has a few writing prompt apps available as well, though none look quite as promising as the Literautas app.


So, it’s not technically an app, but Pinterest can be an unexpected wealth of writing prompts to get your started. If you use Pinterest, just follow the Writing Challenges category to make sure they show up in your feed.

Every writer knows that the best way to get better at writing is to write. And write. And write. And these are some really great places to get started, whether you are a veteran, multiple-times-published author or just starting out on your writing journey. If you end up using any of these resources, we would love to see what you come up with! Leave a comment below linking us to some of your creations!
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Friday, March 18, 2016

Guest Post: Managing Time with Barri Bryan


Writers are artists, and one thing that plagues artists of all kinds is the management of time. I know that it is something I struggle with constantly (hence why my own work-in-progress is still only a third finished! Such is the life of the author.) Barri Bryan is with us on the blog today. Barri is one of our beloved ETP authors, and besides her two books of poetry, What Will Suffice and Chapter and Verse, both available in the ETP store, she also has a NEW release, her debut novel with ETP, Starting Over.




Barri shares with us today how to defeat the dreaded monster of time management.



It is unfortunate that most of the rules of time management are contradictory to human nature, and a writer’s temperament in particular. How can creativity be tied to a routine? Contrary to what you may believe, creativity can be enhanced by learning to manage time wisely.
One complaint of those who contemplate working from a schedule for the first time is “I wouldn’t know where to start.” It is to your advantage to take the time to find out where to start.
Another objection is that setting time limits puts one under stress. The opposite is true. Learning to manage time wisely can reduce stress.
A third criticism is that being on a schedule takes all the fun out of life. Welcome to the real writer's world. That world is not all dancing on the bar and shooting out the lights. Sustained writing requires dedication, perseverance, and hard work.
Each individual relates to time in a different way. No matter how we regard that old tyrant, all of us are allotted the same 1,440 minutes that come with each twenty-four-hour day.
Improving time management starts with evaluating your present use of time. I started on a Monday morning, and for that day I kept a record of how I spend my time by hourly logging in my activities. At the end of the day, I sat down and studied the results. I made notes of time-wasting activities, and then designated tasks and projects for which I would like to allot more time.
I designed a daily schedule sheet that fit my specific needs. This helped me plan my days more carefully. I reserved my most productive time for my writing. This flexible-within-limits-schedule helped me strike a happy medium, and gave me better control of my time.
I wrote a long term goal for my work-in-progress. It was reachable, and explicit, and able to be gaged. I stated in it that I was to complete my historical novel within a year of my starting date.
I linked my long term goal to short-term objectives. Objectives are targets designed to reach a specific goal. They are set in short time frames. My objectives for completing the goal of writing the first draft of my historical novel were to make an outline, do the necessary research, and then write at least 2000 words four days of each week until the first draft of my project was completed. Projected time for completing the first draft was six months. This gave me six months for second and third drafts, and provided for time for unforeseen interruptions.
After objectives were put in some order, I broke them down into smaller, more manageable objectives. I would work on my outline two-and-one-half to three hours each morning, four mornings of each week. Projected time for completion was one to two weeks. Then I would work two to three hours each afternoon until my basic research was completed. Projected time for completion was four weeks. After these projects were done, I could move to short term objectives for writing my novel. To be effective both goals and objectives require a flexible time frame and predetermined end results. I scheduled so that I spent short increments of time writing. Spending long hours on a project adds strain to my physical and mental well-being, and usually results in a product that is less than my best.
More hints for managing time:
I have learned to deal with time wasters in an effective, yet inoffensive way. I have a voice mail system. From seven AM until eleven AM, four days a week, I don’t answer my phone. I have made it known that a certain part of those days are devoted to writing.
I once felt I needed an excuse when I didn't say yes to requests that took too much time away from my writing. I have learned that I don't. My stock answer now is, "I have to say no this time."
When I succeed in accomplishing a long term goal, I reward yourself by going out to lunch with a friend, catching up on my reading, or visiting with my family.
I make allowances for crises and emergencies. When the best laid plans go astray, or important tasks fail to get done, I know I have allotted time to meet and deal with each interruption as it arises.
I do my best creative writing early in the morning. I reserve that part of my day for my creative writing. I can attend to research, editing, answering mail, and writing factual articles another time during the day.
The creative process requires time for proper development. It's important that I make time in my schedule for relaxing and breaking away from my writing routine. I have three-day weekends to do that.
I try, as much as possible, to live in the present, to be open to new ideas and information, and to appreciate and acknowledge those around me. Mastering these few rules and skills have helped me to face the future with confidence, and handle crises and interruptions with grace and ease. It has also helped me to have more time to devote to writing.
 
To stay up-to-date on Barri Bryan and her work, visit her website here, and be sure to check out her newest work, Starting Over, available on Amazon and the ETP store.


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Monday, March 14, 2016

The Monthly Treasure is Relaunching!

ETP has news, and I am so excited to share it with you!

We are so thankful for all our authors, readers, and followers, and we want to make sure you are up-to-date on all the news coming out of ETP each month. A great way to do this is obviously to follow our blog (have you followed us yet? You should!). But where do you find all the info about our new and upcoming releases, our amazing staff, and our phenomenal authors? By subscribing to the ETP newsletter!

In April, the Monthly Treasure will relaunch. In case you aren’t one of our awesome subscribers, The Monthly Treasure is the ETP monthly newsletter; your source for all our monthly updates, new releases, staff profiles, and author spotlights. We will also be highlighting events of interest to our fellow bookworms around the country, like book festivals, signings, and conferences.

You do not want to miss out on this awesome source of news from your favorite publishing house, so make sure to subscribe, using the subscription form in the sidebar.



Wait, I’m already subscribed to the blog. Why should I bother with the newsletter?

The Monthly Treasure is going to be full of content, some of which you will find complimented on the blog, but some of which you will ONLY get in the newsletter.

1. Advance notice of ALL new releases. Every new release gets a blog write-up, but teasers and advance notice are exclusive to the newsletter.

2. Author spotlights. Follow up with your favorite authors in guest articles and exclusive content, keeping you up-to-date on what is happening in the world of ETP writers.

3. Event calendar. We know our readers and authors are just as passionate about books as we are. The newsletter will feature upcoming events in the book world from all over the US.

Plus tons more as we add to, tweak, and rework the newsletter over the next few months; but you’ll miss it all if you don’t subscribe! Hit the subscribe button in the sidebar to make sure get the first new issue on April 1st!


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