How to Hire a Great Editor

One of the most stressful things for writers before they can even publish their book is to find a great editor who will do it justice. An editor is a significant part of the writing process who provides that in-depth look at your manuscript to discover and help you solve plot holes, character development issues, inconsistencies, and so much more. Without an editor, the polish will be lacking from your diamond of a book, and your reviews will show it.

Join us on The Book Tavern to find out how to identify a great editor without spending tons of money hiring bad ones.

How to Hire a Great Editor

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Black Friday Amazon Deals for Writers and Readers

Start your holiday shopping in your PJs! Grab fantastic deals from Amazon that will save you money to buy more gifts, whether they’re for family, friends, or yourself.

All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet

Down to $50 from $80! Read books, watch TV, listen to music, scroll through Facebook, and more with this tablet’s 8-inch HD display. It’s got 6 GB of memory, plus it’s the latest at the lowest price. Grab it before it’s gone!

Emily Windsnap: Six Swishy Tails of Land and Sea by Liz Kessler

This six paperback boxed set is priced at $19.10 for Black Friday, but it’s normally $34.99. What a great deal for paperbacks! Intended for ages 8-12 (middle grade), this series based around mermaids and even includes a bonus twelve-page friendship booklet. You aren’t going to find a better opportunity to buy these books!

Get these fun, fantastical books today.

I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll: Amazon Charts Bestselling Psychological Thriller

Remember the TV show What Would You Do? In this suspense thriller by Teresa Driscoll, the question is, what would it take to make you intervene? For only $7.98 instead of the regular price of $15.95, why not find out?

Ella Longfield saw two teenage girls on a train being hit on by two young men, and she does nothing to interfere. A day later, one of the girls is missing. A year later, not only is Ella suffering from terrible guilt, but she’s started receiving threatening messages. And as it turns out, the missing girl’s family has quite a lot of secrets.

Buy this thrilling paperback novel.

The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King: Debut Fantasy Novel with 4.5 Stars & 2,152 Reviews

The first of four books in the Hundredth Queen series, see how you like it before you take the plunge with the price of just $5 for this paperback instead of the everyday $9.99 price.

When Kalinda, an eighteen-year-old orphan, is ordered to fight for a place among Rajah Terek’s ninety-nine wives. Constantly beset by fevers, she must now journey across the desert for something she never wanted in the first place. Will she be able to escape her fate using an old, forbidden power?

Find out what happens next and buy it now.

Not sure what books, readers, or products your friends and family would like?

Grab an Amazon gift card with no expiration date!

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Breaking Down & Summarizing The Smashwords Update

Smashwords has had a nice facelift that they just announced last week! We’re happy to see the much cleaner interface homepage, and there’s a lot more than that in their update.

If you receive Smashwords’ emails and you look through their blogs and instructions in general, you know that while they are packed with information, they sometimes go on at length. In this post, we’re giving you the summarized version so that you can get on with your busy day and still be informed.

Here we go!

1. Smashwords Store Unveils New Book Discovery Interface

  • Smashwords sales have grown between 2017 and 2018, which is the opposite from the rest of the industry.
  • They’ve updated their homepage to look more like bookshelves.
  • The Smashwords catalog now has over 500K titles, so look forward to more positive changes because of this significant number.

Highlights of the new Smashwords home page:

Books in Shelves

  • You’ll now see nine shelves on the Smashwords homepage, and themed shelves are on their way.

Multi-Dimensional Book Discovery

  • The homepage isn’t the only page to have these new shelves. All genres now have the same layout and filtering system.
  • Homepage shelves will not recommend books you’ve already purchased through Smashwords.

Reader-Powered Algorithms

  • Like many social media sites, Smashwords has now updated its algorithm. Books with the highest “reader endorsement” in terms of sales and downloads will determine where they show up on the shelves.

Enhanced Control over Erotica

  • As a sensitive genre, erotica no longer has the default setting of being turned off. Now first-time users will be prompted to confirm whether they want to see erotica on their homepage and in their shelves and searches.
  • Instead of erotica being switched on or off with no further filtering or options, now Smashwords is allowing the reader to choose (1) no erotica, (2) only mainstream erotica, or (3) all erotica (includes taboo). Filtering can be done at any time from any page.

2. How to Sell More in the Smashwords Store

  • You can always easily toggle between the classic interface and the new one.
  • Check out the Smashwords blog to find out more about each shelf and its algorithms. Also look for “Tips for Authors – How to Sell More in the Smashwords Store,” which has a checklist to help improve the odds of readers finding your book. Smashwords says the most important tips are (as quoted from their email):
  1. Distribute with Smashwords because sales at our retailers and library partners will boost your visibility in our new store.
  2. Release all future books as preorders, because preorders are proven to increase sales, and your preorder counts increase your shelf rank in the early days following your new release. Episode 4 of the Smart Author Podcast teaches you how to make your next release more successful with preorders.

3. Holiday Delivery Deadlines

  • Make sure that end-of-year and beginning-of-the-new-year releases are submitted early to avoid missing your release date. Two weeks in advance of the release date is recommended.
  • You can put your book up for preorder using Smashwords’ assetless preorder feature within twelve months of publication. “December 25 through the first week of January is usually the busiest ebook sales period of the year so this is a great opportunity to give your future releases some extra exposure.” Plus, preorders are high priority for both reviews and shipments.

4. Smashwords End of Year Sale

  • We all look forward to the Smashwords End of Year Sale, which starts December 25 and runs through January 1. Enrollment begins early in December, and the form for it will include a bulk enrollment option. If you’re an author or publisher who needs to enroll a large list all at once, this is for you.

Download free books about Smashwords by Mark Coker

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark CokerSmashwords Style Guide by Mark CokerSecrets to Ebook Publishing Success by Mark Coker

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Owl Canyon Press Short Story Contest

Calling all short story authors who enjoy an unusual challenge! Owl Canyon Press is accepting fifty-paragraph short stories for their upcoming anthology, and instead of providing the typical kind of writing prompt, they’re supplying your first and twenty-fifth paragraphs—you write your story so that their paragraphs fit naturally into your submission.

The best part is that there’s no fee to enter, and the prizes are considerable:

  • First prize is $3,000
  • Second prize is $2,000
  • Third prize is $1,000
    • All winning short stories will be published in a short story anthology
    • You will receive an invitation to give a public reading at Inkberry Books in Niwot, CO
  • Twenty-four finalists will also have their short stories included in the anthology

The deadline is Saturday, December 1, 2018. For more information, see Owl Canyon Press’s Submittable.

For a flat $20, we’ll developmental edit your submission! Contact us today.

Read more about writing short stories

How to write short stories and use them to further your writing career by James Scott BellLet's Write A Short Story by Joe BuntingShort Story: From FIRST Draft to FINAL Product by Michael Milton

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Book Recommendation: Daily Marriage Tips

Grab your daily marriage reader and your spouse—Jenna-Brooke Destefano‘s The Marriage Minutes is ready to guide you through good times, tough times, and everything in between!

The Marriage Minutes by Jenna-Brooke DestefanoIn this book you will find a collection of 100 fun, proven ways to make your marriage better just one minute at a time. Over the past few years Jenna-Brooke has been sharing with her friends, family and social media community about marriage. When she married her husband, Marc, a police officer, she was shocked by the increasing divorce statistics all around them. She realized after talking to other couples how tough marriage could be but also found so many couples knocking it out of the park! She decided to compile all their tips, tricks and advice into The Marriage Minutes.

This book touches on a variety of topics and includes stories from couples who just started dating to couples who have been married 50+ years, sharing their own experiences and advice along the way. You’ll learn fun ways to strengthen, prioritize, spice up your marriage, and restore that lost connection—one minute at a time. Enjoy!

Buy your paperback and Kindle copies today!

Looking for something specialized? Try these additional marriage advice books.

5 Love Languages: Military Edition by Gary Chapman

Military Marriages

Keeping Love Alive As Memories Fade: The 5 Love Languages and the Alzheimer's Journey by Debbie Barr, Edward G. Shaw, Gary Chapman

Love During Alzheimers

Where Did Our Love Go by Simeon Lindstrom

Marriages in Limbo

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Book Launch: Paranormal Thriller Romance

Kristina Rienzi‘s final book in her Ensouled series duology is a fast-paced paranormal thriller set in New Jersey and filled with backstabbing, love, change, and above all, evil. Breaking Evil will keep you reading to the very last page!

The second thrilling tale in the Ensouled series.

One year ago, Sera Murano chose evil. She left her human world behind to transform into an Breaking Evil by Kristina RienziEnsoul, a rare and powerful demon, all to fight the evil she was about to become. Working for her father Lorenzo, the leader of all demons, she secretly vowed to overturn his plot to destroy humankind.

Battling Evil

That is, until demon hunters attack Sera and her beloved, Damon, and the truth about the human-demon war is revealed. Torn between the human life of her past and the supernatural one she lives now, Sera must decide who is the worse enemy: evil or humanity.

Breaking Evil
To win the battle of her life, Sera is forced to do the unthinkable, taking drastic measures and risking the lives of those she loves most. She must fight to the death against the only supernatural leader she’s ever known, all for a chance to break the cycle of evil.

Read more Kristina Rienzi books

Choosing Evil by Kristina RienziAmong Us by Kristina RienziTwisted by Kristina Rienzi

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Book Launch: Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian Novel

Ever wonder what a post-apocalyptic dystopian future might be like? With unique and memorable characters, vivid and varied landscapes, and a recognizable political culture, The Book of Ruin is an addictive, action-packed read. Here’s to hoping the talented W.G. Hladky will write many more books!

In a complex post-apocalyptic world, terrorism and political dissent still run rampant…

Generations after solar storms sent the world spiraling into a Second Dark Age, descendants The Book of Ruin by W.G. Hladkyof American soldiers defend the last NATO stronghold in Germania. From the Asiatic Steppes comes the mysterious Vucari. NATO sends Senior Chief Loveboy Weir and a team of rangers to investigate.

Traveling in anti-gravity vessels, they visit the beautiful city-state of New Reykjavik, mountains where Kazaks use giant eagles to hunt enemies, and a floating monastery where monks protect the Book of Ruin. They also encounter Vladimir the Resurrected, the Vucari’s warrior prince, who claims to want peace.

Weir struggles to convince NATO not to trust Vladimir. While politicians and clerics make backroom deals to appease Vladimir, Weir prepares for a war he fears is coming…

Dive into Military Fiction Books

Gray Girl by Susan I. SpiethArea Bird by Susan I. SpiethWitch Heart by Susan I. Spieth

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New Short Story: Horror House Fiction

The Subtlety of TerrorHorror isn’t always about jump scares and gore. In her latest short story, “The Subtlety of Terror”, author Christie Stratos takes readers into a house that haunts its occupant perpetually and unavoidably.

A satisfying craving for any horror enthusiast. Warning: once you bite, you’ll be back for more.
– Amazon reviewer

Fantastic short read that robs you of the very breath you need to keep reading until the conclusion comes, swiftly and mercilessly. Great piece of fiction.
– Amazon reviewer

At 1,950 words, this horror short story is a 10-minute read or less.

It’s the quietest evils that are the most horrifying—their persistence, constant presence, and unyielding terror. Real horror flourishes in its perpetual infliction of fear.

Read more dark tales

Anatomy of a Darkened Heart by Christie StratosBrotherhood of Secrets by Christie Stratos

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Book Launch: Marriage Help Book

Lots of couples have marriage problems, but what if you can’t afford marriage counseling? In The Marriage MinutesJenna-Brooke DeStefano shares personal, family, and friends’ stories and advice to help work through some of the most common marriage problems and, in some cases, avoid them in the first place.

In this book you will find a collection of 100 fun, proven ways to make your marriage better just one minute at a time.

Over the past few years, Jenna-Brooke has been sharing with her friends, family and social The Marriage Minutes by Jenna-Brooke Destefanomedia community about marriage. When she got married to her husband, Marc, a police officer, she was shocked by the increasing divorce statistics all around them. She realized after talking to other couples how tough marriage could be but found so many couples knocking it out of the park!

She decided to compile all their tips, tricks and advice into The Marriage Minutes.

This book touches on a variety of topics and includes stories from couples who just started dating to couples who have been married 50+ years, sharing their own experiences and advice along the way. You’ll learn fun ways to strengthen, prioritize, spice up your marriage and restore that lost connection—one minute at a time.

Follow up your reading with:

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman, Ph.D.The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman

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CreateSpace & KDP Merge’s Impact on Translated Manuscripts

If you’re looking for more information on the transition from CreateSpace to KDP, here’s a page from Amazon that gives some great detail and further links to help. There’s been a lot of talk about formatting issues with the cover and manuscript, payment changes, cost difference, and more along those lines. Another thing to consider is language support.

If you’re having your book translated or you want to, check KDP’s list of supported languages for what formats they support.

If you already have a book published through KDP and it’s in one of the languages no longer supported, Amazon’s site says that “content uploaded in languages that Kindle doesn’t support won’t display properly on Kindle devices and will be removed from sale.”

Afrikaans French Northern Frisian
Alsatian Frisian Norwegian
Arabic (eBook only) Galician Nynorsk Norwegian
Basque German Portuguese
Bokmål Norwegian Gujarati (eBook only) Provençal
Breton Hindi (eBook only) Romansh
Catalan Icelandic Scots
Cornish Irish Scottish Gaelic
Corsican Italian Spanish
Danish Japanese (eBook only) Swedish
Dutch/Flemish Luxembourgish Tamil (eBook only)
Eastern Frisian Malayalam (eBook only) Welsh
English Manx
Finnish Marathi (eBook only)

Looking for books on translation?

Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World by Nataly Kelly and Jost ZetzscheTranslation: A Very Short Introduction by Matthew Reynolds

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