Thursday, October 11, 2018

Autumn Wonders

View  on our property


Don't you love Autumn?

Here in Ohio, we've had 85 degree weather for the last week--not very autumnal--but today it dropped to 55. A thirty degree change overnight--that's Ohio! But I welcome it, for I love the chill in the air, the turning of the leaves, the crisp footfalls through leaves as I hike, and the deep blue sky.

While storms are rocking other parts of the country (our family prays for those affected), here is most definitely a beautiful pumpkin-harvest fall. Over the next few weeks, I'll post images from my area, and other things that delight me at this time of year--beginning with a fall poem.

I'll be posting more autumnal beauty, poetry, recipes and quotes--so stay tuned. :)
Enjoy!


 Autumn
 By Gerald E. Greene

                                           The heat of summer slowly dissipates.
Long days grow shorter and the weather cools,
as Autumn equinox delineates,


when children move from beaches back to schools,
and leaves begin to dry as sap recedes,
preparing for their colorful array.

When frost arrives with glistening silver beads,

Fall’s arbor shines in glorious display,

while pumpkins ripen in the farmer’s field.

Thanksgiving overflows from grateful breast,

with larders full of generous summer yield,

and nature slows for winter’s frozen rest.

Bright leaves fall, leaving twigs and branches bare,

as forest floors acclaim autumnal flare.



Gerald E. Greene is the author of Kaleidoscope - A Poetry Collection


"Harvest Time" by Alfred A. Glendening

Writing Update:
My time-travel regency is with my agent. I'll keep you posted on its progress and publishing plans! 




Happy Autumn! See you soon,

Linore 

The Country House Courtship
PRINT EDITION NOW AVAILABLE! (click here)






















[Amazon really messed up the book description--it's one big jumbled mess, despite my efforts and emails--click the ebook version to read it the way it SHOULD look. Amazon has recently decided to become a printer of books instead of just a seller of them. Sadly, they have a long way to go in terms of quality control.]  

Friday, September 21, 2018

An Author's "In-Between" Time (and Book Giveaway!)

         My initial idea was to tell how a typical author spends their time between books, their "down time."
But when I thought about it, the reality of what most authors do to maintain a career in publishing ruled out all of the following periods:  

 
 
a.  After the first draft is done 
This isn't down time, though a short celebration is in order.  Now it's time to edit and polish, which is often harder than writing the first draft.  

b. After you edit and polish--the book's ready for the world!
This isn't down time unless the book's already contracted and you can send it to your editor. (The work resumes when galleys arrive, but by this stage there isn't usually much to do on the text.)
If it's not under contract, it's time to write a proposal for your agent, or hunt for a publisher on your own--or Indie publish, which opens another can of worms!   
 
c. After you send it with a proposal to your agent  
Not down time because you're either working on marketing materials, interviews, media contacts, your website or newsletter, or returning to an incomplete manuscript and/or starting a new one.

d. After you Indie-publish 
Don't stop now, because much of the work has just begun. Unlike "Field of Dreams" it doesn't work to think, If I write it, readers will come. Un-uh. Indie publishers have many hats to wear, and marketing is a big one. 

e. d. After a good sales uptick   
You'd think that would be a good time to take a break and indulge in some "real" down time, right? Experts say the opposite is true. To stay on a readers' radar, you need to put out more books! Fast! 

Question: IS there such a thing as downtime for today's author?
In the past, writers wrote. Publishers marketed and sold books. Today, writers are expected to do it all, no matter who publishes the book. Yes, a big publisher will ease the burden, and prior success paves the way for easier marketing with each new book. But every author I know spends time on marketing and promotion, whether they've got a big name publisher or Indie publish.    
   
Note: This is why you can be eternally beloved by an author simply by taking a few minutes to post a good review of their book on Amazon or GoodReads or even Facebook. We need and appreciate the help in spreading the word!

So what is down time for me?
Like any professional in any field, I take breaks often. I hope you do, too. Productivity experts say output and quality of output increase when people are able to take breaks from their work. 

LET'S TALK DOWNTIME
I have favorite ways of relaxing and I'm sure you do, too. (Leave a comment below to tell us what yours are--you'll be automatically entered in the giveaway.) I have more, but here are my top three guilty pleasures. 

a. Watch a period flick. I love these! Recently I watched, "Ekaterina," a Russian series subtitled in English about Catherine the Great's rise to power. Really well done.

b.  Watch a Mets game. I'm a former New Yorker and a long-ago pitcher for Girls' Little League! I love baseball. My husband buys me MLB.tv for my birthday in March so I can watch the season's games. Sometimes I think I'd be better off not watching, because
              a. I could be writing!
              b. Though I'm usually not loud or demonstrative, put me in front of  a Mets game and I'm a different person. (Mike says he knows how the Mets are doing from the other side of the house. What can I say? You can take the girl out of New York, but....)

c. Read a great book.
Non-fiction doesn't count! Real down time requires fun reading. For instance, I picked up a new copy of Northanger Abbey at Half-Price books for a few bucks and read it (for the third time) just this week.  It's my favorite Austen novel. Of course, when I read Pride and Prejudice, that's my favorite. Mansfield Park is a favorite too. The fact is, whichever book of Jane's I'm reading is my FAVORITE!
 
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN. 
Leave a comment telling your favorite way to relax and you'll be entered in the giveaway!   
 
GIVEAWAY: 
A copy of any of my books * (Not the trilogy, but a single book from one of them)


And a  set of lovely French-Toile scented drawer liners


*Print copies to US residents only,  E-books everywhere else. \

So--what's your favorite way to spend "down time?" Even if you have to steal away to get it?

Leave a comment to enter,and CONTACT EMAIL so I can notify you if you win. 
Drawing ends on 9-28.   

Friday, May 18, 2018

Metamorphosis of a Novel, Part III

In the last two posts, we saw how my novel Before the Season Ends, was transformed from its first, self-published edition to a new one with Harvest House Publishers. The book was well received and so popular with many Christian authors that a bunch of them went on to write regencies themselves.

Today, I'll show two other editions of the book from Harvest House Publishers.
FIRST, A PICTORIAL RECAP:



1. The Self Published Edition

2. The Harvest House Edition
I loved this cover. The model captured Ariana perfectly.(Mr. Mornay, not!)  


OTHER EDITIONS

And here's the other editions from Harvest House (Yea, Harvest House! They were great to work with, by the way, and wonderful to do so many editions of the book. They've got great people over there. My editor, Nick Harrison, has moved on from being a Senior Editor with them to a literary agent with WordServe Literary.)  


3. Large Print Edition
This is a hard back, beautiful version of the book.

4. Before the Season Ends--Russian Edition

There may be a book club edition also;  I have a copy of the sequel in a hardcover book club edition, but couldn't find it for this one. (If YOU have a book club edition of  Before the Season Ends, please send me a picture! Thank you.)  There were also, of course, kindle, Nook, and EPub editions.  

I have to say that getting letters from Russian readers was thrilling. Each one was incredibly SWEET. They seem to be the nicest people you could ever want to meet. (At least, the readers of historical romance are!)

I've been privileged and blessed with this book and its "metamorphoses."

THE NEWEST EDITION

Here's the latest Lilliput Press edition--newly revised and edited, with some new content added, a bonus recipe and bigger glossary. There's also a foreword from Nick Harrison, the editor who acquired the book for Harvest House.

The new imprint has been accepted into the Library of Congress and the LCCN# has now been added to the copyright page. (So excited about that!)   


WHAT'S NEXT


Next stop: Audible! (ACX) The cover is already prepared. :) 

If you're published, do you have books that have gone through a metamorphosis? Self-pubbed to traditional? If it's a clean read, leave your links so we can take a look. Thanks!

Warmest Blessings,

Linore

Tip for Writers:
1. Do you have a book that is with a publisher but out of print? See if you can get the rights reverted back to you. (The conditions under which you can do this are probably in your contract.) By getting back the rights, you can edit your original work--if desired--and give a book new life!  I've mentioned how Harvest House was so easy to work with. This was another instance where that was true. I had merely to send a letter requesting the rights to my three books with them, and I got them back. You will get legal documentation of this so that there is no question of copyright infringement when you re-publish.    




  

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Metamorphosis of a Novel, Continued (Part II)


                                       Did you miss part one of the Metamorphosis of a Novel? 
Catch it here.

Before the Season Ends


2nd Edition with Harvest House, above, right 
In my last post I discussed the earliest, self-published edition of the book, above left
.
Nowadays, we are told that if a book is self-published, it can never be picked up by a traditional publisher. 

I'm glad the editor that picked up my book for Harvest House, Nick Harrison, didn't believe that! 

Here's what happened: 2006-2008 


After I followed the Lord's leading and got my book into print, I spent the next two + years taking courses on marketing and promotion. I learned rudiments of platform building, and the importance of sprinkling the net with one's URL and book image. A lot of what I learned is no longer applicable, and I paid big bucks to learn it. (For instance, how to organize an Amazon best seller campaign via joint-venture marketing and email blasts. Basically, this is where you offer a ton of bonuses so people will buy your book in large numbers and it will shoot to the top of the sales ranking.)

That method used to work, but it wasn't for me. Amazon has since discouraged such campaigns and will work against you if they discover you're trying to work the system that way. (Just in case you're thinking it sounds like a good idea!) I also learned about leaving marks across the web--sort of like saying "Linore was here,"  except it's more polite than that. You find sites that have content related to your book and leave a well-written article with your name and website URL.

At the same time that I was busily spreading my website link and book image all over the web. (Read: Writing articles like mad that related to Regency England, since my book is a regency; spreading these articles onto as many online article banks as I could find, and building my email list and website) an editor was looking around for a Christian regency.
Coincidence? I think not.
When God told me to get moving on my "almost blunted purpose," He knew the timing was important.

So Nick found me and my book. In fact, his email said he was looking around for a Christian regency and "I keep running into you and your book." He politely asked me if I would send him a copy.

So I immediately went out and mailed it first-class, right? An editor from Harvest House! One of the top five Christian publishers! But no--not thick-headed me. I thought, "What if he hates it?" And I procrastinated. Again!

Nick, God bless him, sent me a reminder email. So I put together a cover letter and sent him a book.
He liked it so well he pitched it to his marketing committee. He warned me not to get my hopes up.
But soon enough Harvest House sent me a contract!
2008 Edition with Harvest House Publishers
I told Nick he was my publishing hero. I think it sort of embarrassed him, but I still think of him that way. Eventually, Harvest House gave me contracts for two more books, which are sequels to Before the Season Ends. But it all started with them because of Nick.  

PS: Small wonder Nick found me then, not only because I'd worked so hard to BE found, but because there were NO other Christian regencies at the time! That was why I wrote the book in the first place. I'm grateful that Nick was also interested in bringing this wonderful genre to Christian readers. He wrote the foreword of the newest edition and talks about that himself--but I get ahead of myself.

To Be Continued...Next time--a couple of wonderful editions, thanks to Harvest House.    

Read an EXCERPT from Before the Season Ends HERE.

Need a copy? Purchase the book HERE.

Today's Writing Tip:
 Platform building can feel endless, but if you put the right foundational pieces into place, it will stay there and last for a long time--and serve you well with potential editors, agents, or media.  Social media posts come and go. Learn the foundational building blocks to make a good platform. I gave a thorough webinar on this. (If you want to view the webinar, there is a small fee. Please email me Linore (at) LinoreBurkard (dot) com. and I'll send you the link.)
 

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

The Metamorphosis of a Novel, Part One

The First Edition


With the release of the new edition of my first novel, Before the Season Ends, I thought it might interest some of you to follow its journey since I first wrote "the end." In this post and the next few, I'll be sharing the many published versions there are of this one novel. (Three are with Harvest House alone).
Each post will have tips for writers at the end.


Year: 1990s-2003

1st Edition 2005
Indie Excellence Finalist Award
There's a saying that goes like this: If you can't find the book you want to read, write it yourself.

That is exactly what spurred me to write my first novel. I hoped and waited for years for someone else to write a "real" Christian regency, but it never happened. When I read some that fell woefully short, I thought, I could do better than that. So I did.

Here's how it happened:
Once I realized that in order to read a "real" Christian regency, I would have to write it myself, I spent hours and hours at the library in their reference department, scouring resource material. (Today's authors don't realize how easy they have it now! What is a click away for them, sometimes took hours for me to dig up.) I was determined to get my research right.

Meanwhile,  I had three young labors of love called children, so library--or writing time--was hard to come by. But I would try to get alone at night and work on various literary labors of love--one of which became Before the Season Ends. My husband watched the kids upstairs while I wrote at a desk in a little basement bedroom in our house on Long Island. But there were also days when I scribbled scenes as a toddler crawled across my lap. (The difficulty of carving out time to write made me work harder at it, I think, than if I had had all the hours in the world to do it.)

Little by little the book took shape. After my fourth child was born, I kept up my sporadic attempts to finish a novel. Just about the time I finished it, we moved to Ohio. I spent years homeschooling and dabbling with other books, but I couldn't get away from Before the Season Ends. I spent a year  editing the book with such skill as I had. (Not as much as I've acquired.)

The Game Changer
I began praying about how to get it published. I knew NOTHING about the world of publishing, agents, etc. I did some poking around and decided to send it to two publishers. One--a major Christian publisher--expressed interest and requested the full manuscript, but later turned it down. That close call discouraged me. Nowadays, I would know that when you're seeking to get a book published, you either use an agent, or you query as many publishers as you can find who accept unsolicited manuscripts in your genre. But after only two rejections, I was (foolishly) discouraged and ready to quit. Except that the Lord wouldn't let me.

Little Holy Nudges
I love to tell this story. Here's how God nudged me not to give up on the book. In college, as an English Lit. major, I read my fair share of Shakespeare. In Hamlet, the ghost of the dead king nudges his son to kill the usurper who has not only stolen his crown and his wife, but murdered him to boot. He wants Hamlet to avenge his death but has to remind the famous procrastinator of
"thine almost blunted purpose." Well, oddly enough, God kept reminding me of "thine almost blunted purpose." It would have been startling, except I already knew the Lord has an exquisite sense of humor. I knew, too, exactly what "purpose" He was talking about: my book! It took me years to figure out why He chose a line from Hamlet, however: (in retrospect, it's painfully obvious) Because, like that poor prince, I was an expert procrastinator! After those first rejections, I'd done nothing to get the book published.

There were two wonderful things that came of His reminders.
1. I knew HE cared about the book!
2. I realized it was no less than my purpose (one of them, anyway) to get it out there! 

2004-2005
With incentive coming from God himself, I had the courage to look around some more. I settled upon a Christian self-publishing company (never even considered querying more traditional publishers--you'd think with divine inspiration I would have; but no, because I'm about as thick-headed as they come.) In any case, the first edition was born, and was a finalist in The Indie Exellence Contest. (See picture above)

(To Be Continued...)

WHAT I LEARNED (Tips for Writers)
1. Don't scrimp on research. If I did anything right, it was being meticulous about this.
2. Don't be too quick to give up! The publishing world is tough to break into, but not impossible. 
3. Commit your work to the Lord. And let Him direct its path. 
4. Be flexible. Your perfect vision for how and when your book gets published may not be God's plan for that work.
5. Nowadays, the old-style vanity publisher should be a last resort unless the writer only wants to publish for friends and family. As a publisher myself, I help authors who want to get their books into print--but I would caution any writer from going with a company who will print anything. Back then, I didn't know better. Even so, when I got the galleys, I made endless changes--all costing me--but I was aiming for excellence. If editing and/or book doctoring isn't part of the deal, run, don't walk, in another direction. (And that book still needed editing--don't scrimp on that, either.)  

Click here to see the latest, newly updated and edited release of Before the Season Ends
http://amzn.to/2H7eTLI

Friday, March 09, 2018

The Mad, Mad, World Giveaway Winner!

Much thanks to all of you for your marvelous comments in this giveaway--such fun!

Using random.org, the winner drawn is CAT WILKE. 



Congratulations, Cat!

Please choose a book from my regency series:  


Stay tuned next week as I share "The Metamorphosis of a Novel" and run another giveaway.



I'll be showing the various editions of my first novel, telling a little "behind the scenes" info. about each one. I'll hold another drawing for a free book. 



In the meantime, if you haven't seen the hilarious comments from the original post, take a look. (It will give you a chuckle or two.)

See you soon!

Linore
http://www.LinoreBurkard.com
http://www.LRBurkard.com



Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Mad, Mad World of Authors and Book Giveaway

READ THE POST TO ENTER THE BOOK DRAWING!

Note: I'm back to blogging. I'll still send out newsletters with all the varied content you've come to expect, but I can link to articles here and write more for those who care to read it.

Such as this...

The Mad, Mad, World of Authors

I was on the phone with a dear author friend of mine--who will remain nameless because of what I'm about to share. She's multi-published, and, like me, has a zillion ideas more than she'll ever be able to write. We can talk for hours about all the writing we're doing, would like to do, and hope to do--as well as other creative projects.

During our last call, she had me laughing silly when she shared that one day she'd been thinking about one of her books and suddenly had a brain freeze. She couldn't remember the title. This was a book SHE WROTE. It was published by a small press and has been out for years--but she couldn't recall the exact title.

I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes--mostly because it struck a chord. I should explain that we authors like to refer to our books in shorthand. For instance, Before the Season Ends, (my newest re-release) is simply B.T.S.E. to me. The sequel, The House in Grosvenor Square, is THIGS. So my friend could only remember the acronym of her book.

When I recently revisited my earlier books to edit them for new editions, I was delighted by some of my own writing as if reading it for the first time. Now--authors grow and improve in their craft, just like people in other fields. So I also saw things that did not delight me--which is why I can say the series has been "newly edited." But the fact remains that we often forget our own words.

Sometimes even our book titles.

Not Just Books

I once had to leave a cart full of groceries at the store because back then I used a debit card and suddenly could not remember my PIN number. I drove to the bank, and there discovered--horrors--I still needed that same PIN number to withdraw cash. And my brain freeze hadn't cleared yet. In the end, I had to go into the bank to withdraw cash and then return to the store to check out our groceries.

You can see why I laughed so hard when my friend couldn't remember her book title. I can relate all too well.

Book Giveaway

You don't need to be an author to have the occasional brain freeze. When was the last time it happened to you? Was it your phone number, your son's birthday, or maybe even the title of a book you've written? Share your answer in the comments and I'll draw one winner to get a copy of the just-released new edition of Before the Season Ends, or, The House in Grosvenor Square, both  heartwarming romances. (Enter the drawing even if you've read the old editions. You'll enjoy the new ones even more.)





Leave a comment to enter the drawing for a free copy!
PS: Don't forget to leave your contact info so I can notify you if you win! Leave email addresses like this: (for example) YourName (at) yourserver (dot) com. --so internet trolls can't glean your info.


DO YOU GET MY NEWSLETTER? If not, sign up here: http://www.LinoreBurkard.com