Share Your Publishing Experience

First-time authors often find the idea of publishing quite daunting, and understandably so with so much contradictory information available on the subject. We thought we’d help to make the experience less stressful by inviting any author who’s already published a book to share the experience with our readers.

Everyone’s experience is different, and there are many variables that can make for a nightmarish or heavenly publishing experience, just one of which is where you publish.

Email us your experience and we’ll share it as a blog post and give you some free exposure for your book/s as a small thank you for your willingness to help new authors have a more pleasant experience.

Please send us your story in an MS Word document and include the following information:

* Where you published (if you published with more than one publisher, please mention all of them).
* When you published your first book.
* A brief explanation of your experience. E.G: Was it easy to publish? What was the process? What are the pros and cons to publishing with your publisher/distributor? What was your favourite part of the process? Was there anything that annoyed you or made publishing difficult? What have you done to market your books?
* Any advice you’d give to other authors – was there anything you wish you had known at the time, and was there anything you would have done different in hindsight?
* Any other related information you think new authors will benefit from.
* A link to your purchase page, author website and Twitter/Facebook accounts.
* A short biography.
* Your author picture if you’re willing to share it.

We reserve the right to edit your submission for grammatical and spelling errors and to change your spelling to UK English if you don’t already use that version. We might also edit submissions to make them more concise, though we won’t alter the actual content.

We look forward to hearing from you and sharing your story!

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Creative Tools – Part 2: Creative Writing Prompts

Following the week before last’s post, Creative Tools – Part 1: Generators, here are a few creative writing prompts we felt might be useful to some authors.

Thirty-seven Dramatic Situations
According to Georges Polti, all stories can be broken down to just 36 dramatic situations (37, according to someone else). If you’re lost for ideas for your next plot, these may help, and this link can be quite an entertaining read in itself.

The Story Starter
Generate the first sentence of a story. This is a good for a laugh and could spark some interesting, fresh ideas.

For more creative writing prompts, please visit Fireblade Publisher’s Creative Writing Prompts page. If you know of any prompts that aren’t already listed on our website, please share them with us by commenting on this post. We’d love to include your favourites on our website.

For other creative writing tools, please visit Fireblade Publishers’ Creative Tools page on our website.

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All my anthologies will soon be only 99c!

Originally posted on vanessafinaughtyfantasybooks:

To celebrate my birthday on 30 August, as of 29 August, all my short story anthologies will be only 99c – permanently.

In the meantime, if you have 99c to spare and are looking for some entertaining reading, browse my anthologies and see if anything catches your eye.

Click the covers below to read a free sample or to purchase.

Sorcery & SubterfugeDragon Kin and other fantasy storiesFuturescapeHorroticaTerrorscape

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Creative Tools – Part 1: Generators

Most writers know that it’s far better to use your imagination and come up with original ideas than to adapt others’ existing ideas. However, most writers need some outside inspiration now and then. While real life situations and real people are often a deep well of inspiration, sometimes it just isn’t enough and writers need a little extra inspiration.

With this in mind, we’ve sourced a few handy creative writing tools to help get your muse back in action. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably scorn the idea of using a generator, but I can tell you that they often spark new ideas that you may not have otherwise had, so they can be helpful even if you don’t make use of the ideas generated.

Seventh Sanctum
This is the best creative writing generator I’ve come across, geared towards fantasy writers. Seventh Sanctum offers character generators, character name generators, being and creature generators, magic generators, world and setting generators and more.

Plot Scenario Generator
Generate an event that starts the story, and a secondary conflict to help progress it.

For more creative writing generators, visit Fireblade Publisher’s Generators page. Please share what inspires you by commenting on this post – there are myriad sources of inspiration in this world, and we’d love to hear what your favourites are.

Keep an eye out for Part 2: Creative Writing Prompts, next week, 3 February 2013.

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5 Quotes for Writers to Live By

Originally posted on vanessafinaughtyfantasybooks:

We all need encouragement and inspiration from time to time, and I find the following writing quotes do the trick when I hit a slump in my writing. Thankfully, I don’t need inspiration right now, as my muse is keeping me on my toes lately, but I hope they inspire others like they have me.

  1. “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ~ Ray Bradbury
  1. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” ~ Jack London
  1. “Being a successful writer is 3% talent, 7% hard work, 11% luck, and 79% not being distracted by the Internet.” ~ Drachen Jager
  1. “Love is the answer to everything. It’s the only reason to do anything. If you don’t write stories you love, you’ll never make it. If you don’t write stories that other people love, you’ll never make it.” ~ Ray Bradbury
  1. “Before…

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Back Cover Blurb No-Nos

As an author, you may think that the back cover blurb for your book is not really all that important, but it is the introduction to your book, one of the first things that give readers a taste of the pages within.

Upon this impression, a reader will either decide to purchase your book or not. It’s that simple. Regardless of how attractive your cover art may be, if the blurb does not capture the imagination, your book will remain upon the shelf.

Blurb no-nos:

No blurb at all is a huge mistake. Your book must have one; otherwise, how can anyone tell what your book is about?

An overly long blurb is another huge mistake. The idea is to entice the reader, not write the entire story on the back cover. Keep it short and sweet, and remember to think of it as bait. Give a short introduction to your main character and the conflict he/she faces, and try to end on an intriguing note. Try to make it catchy and memorable. Two hundred and fifty words should be enough. Continue reading

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Balancing Narrative & Dialogue

There’s no rule that says you have to have a certain amount of dialogue versus a certain amount of narrative. However, it’s good to have a balance. If a book contains mostly narrative, it’ll be harder to move the story along or to include any action, which may make it a boring read. This is largely dependent on the topic, though. For example, Bernard Beckett’s book, Genesis, is almost pure conversation. The book revolves around an examination the main character has to take, in which philosophy, ethics and artificial intelligence are debated. It’s written in an entertaining way, and the purpose is to make readers think, so this is a rare example of almost no narrative working best, as any action in Genesis would have been irrelevant and distracting.

Avoid narrative in (physical) fight scenes unless it adds value to the story, and be sure not to have too much narrative if you do use it in fight scenes, as it’s unnatural to have a conversation with someone when you’re throwing punches, swinging swords or shooting at each other. Narrative in these scenes might include taunts or one party trying to persuade the other to settle the matter amicably. Continue reading

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A Writing Plan That Works

Every author who has ever lovingly tapped away at a keyboard or typewriter, or who has even used the old fashioned pen and paper method, will agree that finding the time to write can be a challenge. Planning is the greatest weapon in your arsenal against the fight of daily demands like work schedules, meetings, family time, laundry, dish washing duty and life in general.

In the vague and distant past, I once heard an invaluable phrase:

If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. 

It is one of those wow phrases that stuck in my mind, as though glued to the inside of my scull with peanut butter… graphic, but effective. Now it’s glued in yours too. Writing, for all its whimsical and romanticised portrayals in film and television, takes dedication and applied effort. Making time for it in our busy lives is a challenge in itself. Continue reading

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Fireblade is Back!

Morning everyone!

Apologies for the long blog silence. As most of you are aware, there is a new baby in the picture and one less Fireblade partner, both of which are good things, as it turns out. That said, work this year has been going on pretty much the same as usual, with the exception of this blog. However, I’m pleased to say that the Fireblade blog will once again be updated regularly from now on.

Some of the helpful and interesting articles followers can expect this year include:

Balancing Narrative & Dialogue
Creative Tools for Writers
The Importance of Linking to your Book Online
Why it’s Vital to Read if You Want to Write
A Writing Plan That Works Continue reading

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Happy Holidays!

XmasIt’s been a productive, busy year that’s drawing to a close, giving most of us the opportunity to take some much-needed time out and recharge our batteries.

Fireblade will be closed for the holidays from 24 December 2013 to 1 January 2014. We’ll be back at our desks on 2 January.

Please feel free to email us your quote requests during the holidays, but bear in mind that you’re unlikely to receive a reply until we return to work.

crazy specials_Final

For those who would like to help us start next year off in a super productive manner too, we’re offering the following New Year specials Continue reading

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