Celebrity Campaign Launched. And Now We Wait – The Road to Self-Publishing

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation.

 

42 Weeks Until Publication

I officially started my celebrity-writing campaign this week. I am writing to as many LGBT Activist celebrities as I can to see if any of them would be willing to read my novel and provide a quick sentence or two in support of the book since all the proceeds will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation. I am sending a packet of information, including a letter explaining the project, a three-page synopsis of the book, a sample chapter, and some information on the Harvey Milk Foundation. So far, I have sent packages to:

Adam Lambert, Andrew Rannells (from The New Normal), Billy Porter (from Kinky Boots), Brendon Ayanbadejo (NFL player), Chad Michaels (Rupaul’s drag race), Chaz Bono, Cher, Chris Colfer (Glee), Chris Kluwe (NFL player), Cyndi Lauper, David Yost (Power Rangers), Ellen Degeneres, Elton John, George Takei, Harvey Fierstein, Jesse Tyler Ferguson(Modern Family), Johnny Weir,  Kathy Griffin, Lady Gaga, Mackelmore, Margaret Cho, Matt Bomer, Nathan Lane, Neil Patrick Harris, Raven-Symone, Patricia Nell Warren (author of The Front Funner), Ricky Martin, Rupaul, D.J. Sobol (Rupaul’s Drag Race), Sean Hayes, Stark Stands (Kinky Boots), Dave Pallone (former MLB umpire), Billy Bean (former MLB player), and Adam Bouska of the NOH8 campaign.

Whew! Though it is HIGHLY unlikely that any of these famous folks will take the time to help a nobody like me, even for a good cause, I figure it couldn’t hurt to try.

I already got my first NO!

It was a nice one. Patricia Nell Warren, author of The Front Runner, sent me a very nice email thanking me for my mailing, but saying she would not have time to help with the project. I can completely understand that, and it was very sweet of her to respond right away. Her novel, The Front Runner, was the first mainstream novel about a gay romance and it was published back in the 1970s. Patricia is still an active writer, publisher, and activist today.

I also sent a copy of the entire novel to the Director of Media and Public Affairs at the Harvey Milk Foundation. I told him about my project and that I was donating the money to the Milk Foundation. I told him that the Milk Foundation can be involved in promoting the project if they wish, but they don’t have to. I’m curious to see what they say…

I also sent a copy of the whole novel to Club Hippo, the largest gay bar in Baltimore, because a lot of my story takes place there. I highlighted and flagged all the references to the club so they could see how I used it in the story. I sent the package to the owner and told him to let me know if he prefers that I don’t use the club. There’s still enough time for me to change the name if he likes. I also asked him if he would like to be involved in the promotion of the project. We’ll see what he says…

That’s if for now. Have a great weekend everybody!

– Linda Fausnet

And Now a Word From This Celebrity Sponsor….Hopefully… – The Road to Self-Publishing

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation.

43 Weeks Until Publication 


Queen Henry is about 95% edited. It’s already been through a professional edit, and now I’ve given it to my best friend / grammar nazi extraordinaire to look it over one last time. I’ve also given it to a friend/fellow writer/book club member, as well as another friend and her son to read. It is a bit nerve-wracking to have people read the book, but I suppose I better get used to that! It’s a good idea to have “real” people read it before it’s released into the wild next summer.

The next step is promoting the novel. Since the novel is about LGBT equality and acceptance, I’ve decided to reach out to celebrity gay equality advocates in the hopes that some of them will provide a quick blurb about the book that I can include when I publish. It would just be a quick mini-review. For example, the Progress Writers Screenplay Contest called my story “A fun and uplifting story combining baseball, homosexuality, and Peach Schnapps. ” A quick review like that with a celebrity name attached would certainly be helpful in selling the book. Imagine something like this:

I loved this book. I laughed and I cried. I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s simply the best thing I’ve ever read about LGBT equality. – LADY GAGA

Hey, I can dream can’t I?? Lady Gaga IS on my list, but I’m not holding my breath on waiting for her response. I have plenty of other people on my list who may be willing to help support this cause. After all, the book is all about love, equality, and acceptance and ALL net proceeds will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation. By reaching out to celebrities who are known for embracing this cause, I am hoping to at least get a few people to lend their support on this. My list includes Dave Pallone, an MLB umpire who came out of the closet after retiring, Billy Bean, an MLB player who also came out after retiring, and many straight ally NFL athletes, including Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo. I will also contact the actors currently appearing in Kinky Boots on broadway and some major stars like Sean Hayes and Neil Patrick Harris. I will write to as many past contestants of Rupaul’s Drag Race that I can track down, as well as Rupaul himself? herself?, too. I will also be sending the Queen Henry manuscript in its entirety to the Harvey Milk Foundation and to Club Hippo, which is the largest gay bar in Baltimore and is heavily featured in my novel. I’m really hoping that both places will want to get involved – somehow- with this project.

This initiative is going to be an expensive part of my publishing project, and one that I hope really pans out. I’m not sure how many people I will be contacting, but I do know that it will cost about $2.00 per mailing because I will be including  a letter, a response card, a synopsis, a sample chapter, and some info on the Harvey Milk Foundation. I hope to send out about 100- 200 packages. I figure if I’m lucky, I’ll get maybe 1-3 “yes” responses. You know, kind of like query letter odds when you’re marketing a manuscript…

I’ll keep you posted on what happens. Here goes nothing….

 

– Linda Fausnet

When is it a Final Draft? The Road to Self-Publishing

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation.

 

44 Weeks Until Publication 

How do you know when your manuscript is done? It would be nice if you could just stick a fork in it to check. Nope! The plot is still too runny and the characters haven’t yet reached the desired level of heat.

The most effective way to check to see how close you are to completing a final draft of your novel is to have other people read it. [ What is A Beta Reader and How Do I Find One?] It’s not easy having someone read your work and tell you what’s wrong with it, but it’s truly a vital step in completing a publication-worthy novel.

It can be a very eye-opening experience to have somebody read your work, but isn’t that what being an author is all about? Getting read? You will be amazed sometimes at how far off the mark your book might be, and it takes an impartial observer who knows nothing about the plot or characters to tell you what story you actually told, as opposed to the one you had in mind.

What you thought was a real page-turner may actually bore your reader and require more conflict [ The Art of Conflict ]or an exciting subplot to jazz it up.

A character who you thought would be charming may actually annoy the reader.

What you thought was funny may actually come across as offensive.

Readers of my blog have heard me say this over and over – What’s in your mind and heart does not necessarily translate to the page.

At least not in the first few drafts.

All of the above problems, and I’m pretty sure I’ve committed them all and then some, can be fixed.  Sometimes they’re fixed with quick changes and sometimes with page-one rewrites. It boggles my mind when I hear writers say they are working on a first draft and they already have a release date in mind, often within a few months. How can you possibly know it will be ready by then? You don’t. That just tells me you’re gonna publish on your date whether it’s ready or not. If you truly want to be a good writer, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get it right. It’s much better to fix your story early on, rather than find out what’s wrong with it after you’ve published.

It really is impossible to know how your work is going to be perceived until you let an outside person perceive it and then provide feedback. Even if you don’t get it right the first time – and you won’t – you will get it right and it will be terrific IF you’re willing to do the work. If you seek feedback and are truly open to it, your book will turn out the way you dreamed it would be.

I call my final drafts FDFNs. FDFN stands for Final Draft for Now. This is the draft that is as complete as it can possibly be – until somebody comes along, reads it, and tells me another way it can be improved. This is a draft that has been rewritten over and over again and has been reviewed by beta readers. This is a draft that I’m finally happy with and one that has consistently been well-received. Essentially, the FDFN is the best that I am humanly capable of producing. I’ve fixed everything and, overall, I feel good about the manuscript. It is this draft that I usually query agents and publishers with. It’s the Final Draft until an agent or publisher reads a sample or the whole novel and then provides additional feedback. If I agree with the feedback, I will go in and edit the novel once again.

I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that, in 44 weeks, I will have completed a true FINAL draft of Queen Henry. Come July 2014, it’s go time. I’m publishing it and there will be no turning back. At that point, the story will be as ready as it will ever be. By the time I publish, it will be after a twenty year writing journey. Queen Henry was with me for nine of those years, and it’s come a long way, baby.

Writing is tough. Being a “real” writer is even tougher.

Stick with your story for as long as you still have passion for it. Don’t give up until you get it right. That way, your readers will come to love the story and characters as much as you do.

Believe me, it took Henry and I a loooong time to get our story right. I think we finally did it.

Decide for yourself on July 14, 2014.

– Linda Fausnet

 

Noveltunity® Crowdfunding Started – Help Promote Yourself and Your Fellow Authors!

Today, please welcome Guest Blogger Rick Karlsruher. Rick has over thirty years of international marketing and management experience. Over the years, he has also delved into writing several times. His comedy writing was supported by legends like Laugh-In’s Dick Martin and National Lampoon’s Matty Simmons. A few years ago he wrote a book called A Story Almost Told . His experiences in trying to get it published led him to create Noveltunity® to help others have a better chance to have their voices heard.  

I’m back again. Thanks Linda!

It took us some time, but we’ve finally got Noveltunity®’s crowdfunding campaign operational. Here’s the link http://www.rockethub.com/29957

We need your help to launch Noveltunity®. Our goal is to help Wannabes around the world live their dreams to be writers. It will be the world’s first book club that exclusively features new/undiscovered writers.

We also help readers talk the power back from faceless publishers to help choose which writers get a great opportunity.

Help us build a great community. People from thirty nations have expressed their interest in Noveltunity®.

Crowdfunding means we need your contributions. It can be as little as $5 or as much as you can afford. There are great perks/goods for helping us fund the project.

Linda has chosen to contribute $50. For those who can afford this amount, there is a great combination of perks/goods. You will be considered a Founding Member of Noveltunity®. You get a one year membership (retail value $49.95). This includes 36 ebooks and 12 audio books. You’ll get to meet the authors and members from around the world. There are also classes and message boards. Additionally, you get to do a good deed. You can either give a friend a similar one year membership or donate the membership to a public library. Plus, you get a free conversion of your book into a media-rich ebook. You’ll be able embed video, audio and other media into your ebook. Ebooks In Motion normally charges $250 for this.

Whatever you can afford will be greatly appreciated. Help us help Wannabes. Let’s build a worldwide community together!

Every penny you contribute will help.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me –rick@noveltunity.com

Thanks for everything!

The Art of Conflict

Please welcome guest blogger Nick LeVar! Nick is a full-time author of dystopian stories and novels. One of Nick’s biggest passions is helping other writers to improve their crafts. Through his website, he and his team provide services such as author interviews, book reviews, editing, proofreading, and ghostwriting. To learn more, visit http://freeworldauthors.com.

Life brings with it trouble, heartache, and obstacles. We plan things, but what are we always told? Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Yes friends, in life, there are good times and there are bad times. I’m not telling you anything that you don’t know. The challenge is putting real life into our stories.

A good novel has ups and downs for your characters. But when things are good, there should be a feeling that something could go wrong. It’s the Death curse, and I don’t necessarily mean literal death. Death can come in the form of your character’s relationship, or professional life, or sport.

As a book blogger, I preach this frequently to authors: every scene should have tension and conflict. Every. Scene. Now, I don’t mean high tension or nonstop action—you do that, and you risk tiring the reader. Just give the reader a reason to worry. For example, your main character receives a new car for her sixteenth birthday. Happy times. But from what you know about this young lady, she is irresponsible and often gives in to peer pressure. And there it is: tension. Times are good, but you worry for this character.

Tension is the expectation of trouble. Conflict, on the other hand, is the obstacle. Your character wants something, and something else is stopping him from attaining it. As with tension, you should not have big conflict in every scene, but you should have some conflict, nonetheless. For example, your character wants to know his boss’s decision on a promotion. After waiting for weeks, he is finally called into the office. During the meeting, his boss tells him that the company is taking on new clients and he lays out the plans for expansion. No mention of a promotion. And there you have it. Conflict. It’s not big or action packed. But it’s conflict!

A novel can only sustain two or three “high” tension scenes. It can’t take anymore than two or three big conflict scenes. But a novel can, and should, have both tension and conflict in every beat, every scene, every chapter. Keep your characters on the edge and keep your readers turning the pages to find out what happens next!

 

 

 

Still on the Road to Self-Publishing

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation.

 

45 Weeks Until Publication

Nothing much to report this week since I’ve been sick most of the week! Still working on the latest draft and getting it ready for one final edit. Hope everyone else is doing well. See you next week!