Distribution Beyond Your Dog

Whether you’ve written a book or a screenplay, both novelists and screenwriters face a common dilemma once their project is complete. How do you get your work of art into the hands of other people? Having people in your inner circle tell you it’s great is one thing, but wide spread distribution beyond your dog is truly the key to getting your project seen and money in your pocket.

Too often, writers hope that their story will magically find its audience as if our world is as mythical as the one they’ve created. Without a marketing strategy in place, your project won’t be seen. Allow me to shine a light on two of the most common myths and truths of sharing your project with the world.

Myth: I’m a “creative.” I don’t have to worry about the business stuff; someone else will do that.

Reality: Today, even the most successful writer who has money to spend on publicists, needs to market. If you’re in the early stages of your career — or if your career hasn’t sprouted wings yet, this is even more so the case. Your publicist might get the word out about your book or movie, but audiences still want to connect with you as a person. Let’s face it, you can’t turn out a new book or film every month for years to come, but there has to be a reason for your audience to stay interested in what you’re doing. Like it or not, your “creative” business is still just that…a business.

Myth: My work has won awards and accolades…I’ve made it.

Reality: Even if your movie is slated to be screened at Sundance or your novel appears on a Goodreads’ reader poll for best first novel, imagine all the people who weren’t at that screening or missed that one special list? As time goes on, your moment in the sun shines a little less brightly. There were other films at Sundance and perhaps those filmmakers hired publicists to ensure that the right film distributors attended the screenings. As for the Goodreads’ list, other novelists climbed to the top. Unless you continue to publicize your book, it will slowly slide from the top spot. The unfortunate truth is that the best work doesn’t always stay on top.

Often times, the most publicized work is the one that garners the attention. I don’t like this any more than you do, but if you are aware of this fact, you can do the three things that assure your success: 1. write the best screenplay or novel the world has ever seen; 2. assemble a team of people who will market that project; and 3., which is key…you must lead your team to ensure that your work and you as an artist become better known, which is ultimately what will lead to your success.

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The Indie Distinction

The term “freelancer” used to be synonymous with a person who shaped their own workplace destiny — someone who chose what jobs they accepted, set their own hours, and determined their pay. Today, our concept of “indie” is very similar, but with one important difference. The indie distinction is that these creatives forge their own destiny. They don’t simply take on jobs, they are the ones to create and sell the products.

Seen most often in the areas of publishing, film, music, crafts and gaming, this change has resulted in phenomenal statistics, proving indie inventiveness. Take a look at these stats occurring in just the last year:

– Etsy had over one million shops, selling 25 million products, and totaling $1.35 billion in merchandise.

– Amazon reported that nearly one-third of its bestsellers were written by self-published authors.

– The American Association of Independent Music reported that indie labels accounted for 34.6% of the market share.

– Minecraft, an indie created game, has over 100 million registered users.

Evatopia’s roots in literary management grew to support the publishing and public relations goals of indie authors. Our focus now extends to indie musicians and artisans with a program designed to cross-promote these creatives to their mutual audience. Indie doesn’t have to mean you’re alone. Indies are a force to be reckoned with. Let’s show the world what we’ve got…indie together.

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25 Ways to Write an Awesome Novel

25 Ways to Write an Awesome Novel

K.M. Weiland is an author friend who writes historical and speculative fiction as well as helps to mentor other authors. One of her posts, “Top 25 Ways to Write an Awesome Novel,” is so awesome in itself that I had to share. So with her permission, I’m re-posting the information here. Make sure to give a shout out to @KMWeiland over at Twitter to say thanks or visit her here.

Millions of words have been strung together on the subject of how to write an awesome book. A book is always going to be a tremendous undertaking that can feel more than a little complicated sometimes. But what if we could simplify the process to just twenty-five ingredients? Last summer, I wrote a post about the Top 25 Ways to Blow a Book. One Wordplayer asked that I also share the Top 25 Ways to Write an Awesome Book. Here they are!

1. Hook readers with a strong first chapter that doesn’t waste time.

2. Create a sympathetic and/or entertaining character.

3. Give the character a strong goal.

4. Obstruct the character’s goal with equally strong opposition.

5. Create a theme that arises from the character’s inner conflict.

6. Craft a strong plot with proper structure.

7. Do your research and get your facts straight.

8. Expunge unnecessary scenes, settings, and characters.

9. Balance action and character with properly structured scene/sequel pairings.

10. Write realistic, entertaining dialogue.

11. Maintain a consistent POV.

12. Create original and entertaining voices for narrating characters.

13. Tighten descriptions with more strong verbs and nouns and fewer modifiers.

14. Show more than you tell.

15. Dig deep for original ideas and turns of phrase.

16. Properly foreshadow your climax—without giving away any big reveals.

17. Build realistic and engaging settings.

18. Add only meaningful subplots.

19. When you build tension—always fulfill it.

20. Create a dynamic arc of growth for your character.

21. Add interesting minor characters who can power the plot forward.

22. Choose the right tone to enhance your plot and theme.

23. Rock readers with a climax that fulfills all their desires for the story.

24. Don’t tie off all the loose ends in your story’s ending.

25. Proofread, proofread, proofread.

So, which point above are you going to focus on first?

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Blog Talk Radio for Writers

Blog Talk Radio with Rachel Thompson of Bad Redhead Media fame and writing critic Bennett Pomerantz discuss issues of importance to writers. Today they are interviewing moi!

I hope you’ll tune in at 3:30 p.m. west coast, 6:30 p.m. east coast.

Here’s hoping that I don’t develop a case of hiccups!

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What Impresses MFA Programs

I believe with all my heart that anyone who wants to write should write. Writing can take on so many forms from novels and screenplays to poetry and even graphic novels. To excel at writing, you need a combination of desire and experience. The desire comes from your heart, but the experience needs to be garnered…perhaps from a MFA program in creative writing. What impresses MFA programs and how do you get accepted?

The first thing you’ll need is a sample of your work. You can imagine the importance behind this one piece of writing. Don’t rush it. Take the time to properly outline, consider strong dialogue, character development, plot arcs, and pacing. To ensure that it is the best it can be, consider finding other people to read and critique your work. Evatopia offers critiquing services as well as editing to help draw your best writing out of you.

You may also be asked for personal references. This means you need to plan your application in advance so that you have time to develop relationships, allow others to read your work and perhaps, take on an internship with a company that is willing to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

When planning to enter a MFA creative writing program, you’ll also need to consider what discipline you’re interested in studying. Do your interests lie with fiction, non-fiction, screenwriting, plays? Take the time to explore the possibilities and make sure your writing sample is geared to your desired course of study.

Evatopia offers information on many film schools and writing program throughout the country. Check out our links under “Education.”

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#WordlessWednesday

#WordlessWednesday

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” — Stephen King
#WordlessWednesday

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Amazon vs Libraries?

Amazon vs Libraries?

I love to read. When I was a child I loved going to the library and even today, I love taking my own children there. To me, those visits instill that love of reading that is so important. As you can imagine, I also have a close relationship with my Kindle and don’t particularly like leaving home without it. So you can imagine my concern when an article in Forbes suggested it was going to soon be Amazon vs Libraries.

Could I even make such a choice?

Amazon’s new service, known as Kindle Unlimited, is a subscription service that gives readers “unlimited” access to 600,000 titles. This surpasses many library’s collections. And, at $9.99 per month, it could be argued that individuals could absorb these costs to save countries the financial burden (in the UK, £1 billion a year or $1.7 billion in the U.S. goes to supporting the library system).

But if this were to happen, where would we gather as a community to read? Where would we go to peruse shelves of books? Already, most individual book stores are closing.

Don’t get me wrong…I want to give Amazon a big hug for helping indie authors get on the map. But as the saying goes, “Can’t we all get along?”

If you would like to read the complete article in Forbes, here is the link:

Amazon vs Libraries

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Why the World is Awesome

Why the world is awesome in 60 facts…a YouTube video in honor of Geek Week and Earth Unplugged.
#WordlessWednesday

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#WordlessWednesday


Above all else…a writer writes. This quote I can attribute to myself.

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#MondayBlogs Giveaway

This week, Evatopia is utilizing the #MondayBlogs feature to giveaway away a promo package that spotlights a creative female author, musician, and artisan. That’s right…not one giveaway, but three!

If you’re a creative female indie entrepreneur what are you waiting for? Evatopia will post for you on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and our Google+ accounts. Why? Because we are working to create a network of creative, indie women.

Already, we have cross-promoted Bella Fresca Soaps within author Melissa Pearl’s novel, “I Know Lucy.” Get involved with Evatopia and see how we can help spread the word about your creative endeavor to our readers and followers.

Sounds good? So, you’re wondering how do I enter? It’s simple. Just retweet on Twitter or share on Facebook. We’ll randomly select winners from those who help to spread the love. As they say, “sharing is caring.”

And, as a consolation for those who don’t win, this package is designed to support indie artists (authors, musicians, and artisans), and is therefore priced affordably. Check out our advertising offerings at www.evatopia.com/eva and let us know if we can be of help. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. So win or lose, discover Evatopia…a perfect world of creative women.

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