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Seeking Writers: The “Choose Your Own Adventure” Collaborative

Calling all fiction writers!

Novel Writing & Editing (NWE) is now starting a very special project and we’re looking for fiction writers who want to be part of something uniquely awesome!

Regardless of your preferred genre, you can join a collaborative of writers who will be working together to create the world’s largest “choose your own adventure” novel. Each chapter will be written by a completely different author which explores the consequences of the reader’s choice from the chapter before.

Here is how it works:

1. The Queue

Based upon when you contact us at NWE and become added to the closed Facebook group for collaborators, you’ll be added to our queue. Because each chapter is dependent on the one before it, it’s necessary for us to work in this linear fashion and do so as quickly as possible so that all of our writers can work on their pieces in a timely fashion. Don’t worry, our Facebook group will allow us to constantly update each other on progress, plot points and outlines so we can all still continue to make progress regardless of whether it’s our turn or not. It will also allow us to get feedback on each chapter, make and take suggestions, and steer the story in a more cohesive way.

When the chapter immediately before yours is done, you will be assigned one of the two options the previous writer has left the character at the end of their writing to continue the story from.

2. Your Chapter

Perhaps the previous author has left the character the option to go left or right, to turn back or continue on, or to confront another character or not. We will assign you one of the choices, and another author the other so you will both work on the choices consequences in tandem.

While it’s encouraged to explore your preferred genre and take the character in a totally unexpected direction, it’s important to keep a few things the same throughout the story for continuity’s sake. These things include:

  • General setting (time, place)
  • Existing characters
  • Tense
  • Character attributes (their actions should be in line with their existing characteristics. Example: a characteristically submissive character should not become drastically dominant, a typically quiet character should not suddenly become talkative, etc.)

While a great deal of issues arising from the collaborative process will be fixed in the editing phases, it’s important to try and keep with the bones of the story.

Do continue to update the group on your progress, the general outline of your story, the options you intend to give the reader, and details that may be useful. Accept feedback and be receptive to what the group says, as this is a joint project which relies on all of us working together.

3. The Edits

We believe in the “throw up, then clean up method” of editing, meaning we think it’s best to have the whole work completed before attempting major edits. However, we may notice plot points or other issues in the chapters beforehand that need to be fixed to head off future issues. The most likely scenario would be for us to alert you of the issue to be fixed and allow you to fix it yourself, but in certain cases we may elect to fix it on our side.

Regardless of who edits it, we will always let you as the author know before we touch any words you’ve written.

When the full project is completed, the NWE team will begin edits on the novel. Again, we will alert each author of any changes that are made. Post editing, we will submit the fully editing work to all of the authors for their review.

4. Representation, Publication and Rights

As the author of your perspective chapter, you will retain the rights to all words you submit to us until such time as any prospective publisher requests the copyrights.

NWE will retain the rights to find, secure and come to an agreement with a literary agent, as well as retain the rights to enter into a publication deal with a publisher with the following points in mind:

  • Any and all profits and advances that result from the publication and sale of the novel will be equally split between all authors, less legal and agent fees.
  • All authors included will be given credit for their work in this project.
  • Any rights not secured by the publisher (be it film, audiobook, etc.) will remain with the individual authors. The book in full will be the property of NWE and the distribution of rights shall be at the discretion of NWE with the above point valid, however the individual chapters may be used by the original author in whatever way they so wish.
  • Any merchandising produced by NWE in regards to the resulting novel will be the sole property of NWE as will the profits from all such merchandise, however each individual author may elect to produce and sell merchandise of their own with the same understanding that whatever profits they so produce will the products they made will be theirs in its entirety.
  • Initial and ongoing funding of this project up to the point of publication of the finished work is entirely NWE’s to be distributed as needed by the discretion of NWE.
  • NWE reserves the right to edit, cut, or outright deny the writing of any individual as it deems necessary as the manager of this project. Reasons to deny, cut or edit may include, but are not limited to, inappropriate subject matter/language/statements, sentiments regarded as inflammatory, callous, or harmful to any person, group or business, and overtly one-sided political statements. NWE is not required to furnish a reason for exclusion unless they so desire to.
  • In no way to NWE imply or guarantee the ultimate publication or profit of this novel. It is our hope that it does, but we can neither promise nor provide compensation for any author’s writing unless it is published and produces a profit.

5. The End Goal

Our ultimate goal is to bring together a group of masters of the craft in a wide range of genres to collaborate in a project that allows real connections and cooperation amongst those in an industry which is largely solitary. We hope to create an unusual and yet provocative piece that is traditionally published and wildly successful.

So what do you say? Do you want to be part of something special? We are beginning this project now and are looking for writers who want to be part of a team accomplishing this crazy goal.

To apply to be included in this collaborative piece, answer the questions on our closed Facebook group!

(Please make sure you answer all questions, and do include a link to your website if you have one under the question regarding publication!)

(You can contribute to this project even if you don’t want to write! All proceeds go to paying our team of editors and formatters here at Novel Writing & Editing as well as second tier editors hired to assure quality on this piece. We can’t do it without your support!)

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5 Unusual Methods to Grow Your Fan Base As An Author

Writing, editing, and marketing it only half the battle. The other half? That’s getting people to actually read your book, and 99% of the world doesn’t even know who you are, much less that you’ve written a novel, so that’s no easy feat! Here’s some less than conventional ways to build your fan base and get your author brand and your book noticed.

1. Accessory Announcements

You’re an author, and you should make it known. After all, you’re building your brand and a key part of brand building is brand recognition. But how do you announce it without being that annoying guy that begins every conversation with “Well, I’m a writer…”?

By using your accessories to your advantage.

Whether it’s sporting a shirt that says some variation of “I’m a writer,” carrying your stuff in a tote that declares your authorship, or slapping an “Author” sticker on your laptop, you can broadcast your brand without being over the top. It also allows others a good conversation lead-in (“You’re an author? What do you write?”) and gets some of the pressure to slip it in yourself off of your shoulders.

(Want the bag above? You can get it and other writerly stuff here!)

2. Leveraging Social Proof

The single best way to get attention is to already have it. But if the only people who know your novel are a handful of friends and family, it’s hard to get the social proof numbers to spark genuine interest from others.

Interesting fact: there was once a social experiment done in a mall, where a very unfamous non-celebrity had a few friends pretend to recognize him as a member of a (totally fictitious) band. And an astonishing thing happened. Others in the mall that witnessed these “fans” recognize the “celebrity” suddenly wanted his autograph and photos with him. The simple social proof alone persuaded them that he was, in fact, a celebrity.

So how can you leverage that? Try the same experiment out, but this time be recognized as you for being the author of your own book.

But don’t stop there, the same thing applies only, but with numbers. If you haven’t made yourself a Facebook Business Page and Instagram and Pinterest business accounts, you need to as part of your author platform. Then it’s all a numbers game. Facebook users respond better to pages with a higher number of followers than those with only a few hundred or less. So it benefits you to get a thousand or more from the jump to build social proof that inspires others to follow on the basis that others deem you worthy of following. (You can learn how to do that in our PDF Guides.)

3. The Power of Swag

Authors tend to hear the word “swag” and think one of two things; giving away tons of products with their book cover plastered to them, or throwing away money. Sometimes it’s both.

But most authors miss a prime opportunity to market themselves in the easiest way possible to extremely targeted readers who you’d already know were interested in the genre your book is in.

This is done with the simplest, cheapest form of swag that exists:

Business cards and postcards.

But, you may think, I can’t just run around handing these to everyone on the street or leaving stacks of them at the local post office and cafe and expect anyone to respond well.

And you’d be right. Because you’d be distributing to a non targeted audience.

But you can target your audience in a place you know readers will be (at book stores and libraries) and whittle that down to your niche (your novel’s genre) by placing your business card or a postcard in books in that genre. By doing so, you’ll be providing your target audience with a means of finding you and adding value by giving them more of what you know they already like.

And by including not only the book your marketing but your author brand itself by adding your website and social media links to your swag, you give them a way to follow your current AND future works.

4. Using The Media

Some great advice for new writers launching their first book is to write to their local newspapers and radio stations and news channels and include their media kits. But that advice is missing a crucial bit of information.

No media outlet is going to care about your book launch unless it’s timely and relevant. Just because it’s your first book and you’re local makes it neither.

To make it appealing, you have to tie it in with something else that’s newsworthy or make a huge statement of your own with it.

For some, that may mean using an upcoming anniversary that will garner attention as a springboard due to it tying in with an overarching theme or setting or character in your novel. For others, that may mean starting a movement, fundraiser, or business. For even others, it may mean taking an unpopular position on a current news story that relates to your story.

5. Give to Get

It’s better to give than to receive. It’s been said again and again, and it holds water. Because when you give, you still get.

There’s a widely known correlation between how many books you give away for free and how many eventually sell.

But that’s not all, and that’s not the only way you can use the give to get philosophy. Another way is to give your time and energy, whether that be through giving other writers help and advice, being a beta reader, volunteering at a library, creating and giving away free resources, or donating to a book-related cause. Philanthropy is a great thing, and what you put out returns in spades because it communicates integrity, honesty, and authenticity. All great things for an author’s brand!

Have any other tips for growing your fan base? Leave them in the comments below!