MUSINGS OF A STORY MERCHANT

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How to Design Your Book’s Cover


Hire a cover designer. A great cover design can have a major impact on your sales numbers. For example, romance writer R.L. Mathewson went from selling five or six copies per day of her novel, Playing for Keeps, to over 1,000 per day by updating her cover design. It’s usually worth hiring a professional to create a polished cover that appeals to readers in your genre.

Test cover variations with your audience. Have your cover designer create multiple variations and use data to choose your cover design. Test two variations against each other using tools like PickFu, UsabilityHub, or Playbuzz.

Unify cover designs in a series. Create consistent branding between books in a series to make purchasing decisions easy for readers. A unified cover and title style often helps readers recognize connected titles and encourages them to purchase subsequent books.

Re-launch a book with a new cover. Redesigning a book cover can be a great way to reinvigorate book sales. It gives you the opportunity to “re-launch” your book according to the ever-evolving tastes of genre readers.

Add a blurb to your cover. If you’ve managed to secure a blurb from a well-known author, consider including it on your cover design. Try to use a short blurb so it’s easy to read and you don’t clutter your design.

See more at BookBub



Friday, April 22, 2016

Tome Tender Reviews Kenneth Atchity's Brae MacKenzie

 
Brae MacKenzie by Kenneth John Atchity  
(Romances of Mythic Identity Book 1)

Brae MacKenzie: A Romance of Mythic Identity (Romances of Mythic Identity Book 1)She had it all, beauty, love, wealth and fame, but her soul was empty. It wasn’t the loss of her perfect husband, her painting did not give her joy, she was empty inside, something was missing. Brae MacKenzie by Kenneth John Atchity is an almost dream-like journey of the heart and soul for one woman, lost within her inner torment she could not identify. Perhaps the exhibit she was attending in England would sooth her pain, or just maybe a family heirloom will lead her to her destiny in Scotland.

Curiosity and a feeling that she must go to Scotland sends Brae on a quest to find answers. Little did she know they would come in the form of a handsome man with a head full of stories, a heart full of legends and a soul that fits hers, perfectly.

Kenneth John Atchity has created a world of beauty and ugliness, joy and sorrow and wrapped it in the gauze of belief, belief that sometimes things are not black and white, they are not obvious, they just are. Follow a broken soul as it finds the glue to repair itself in the arms of another as love blossoms between two people that would never have met, if not for an old and cryptic letter. Not a read to rush through, but one to savor and feel each scene, each emotion, including the love between family and friends that cannot quite reach Brae’s dark inner pain. Realize the truth that not money or fame can bring the joy of true love. Although not a long read, Mr. Atchity has mastered the art of storytelling that will float through your heart.

Reposted from Tome Tender


Thursday, April 14, 2016

MEG Got her Man!

Jason Statham
BabiradPicture/REX/Shutterstock
Jason Statham will star in the Warner Bros. shark action movie “Meg,” sources confirmed to Variety.

“National Treasure” director Jon Turteltaub is helming.
Dean Georgaris is writing the screenplay based on Steve Alten’s novel “Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror.”

The book revolves around two men who band together to fight an ancient shark threatening the California coast. The Megaladon, considered one of the largest and most powerful predators in history, can reach a length of 60 feet.

This time around the shark will be terrorizing the coast of China rather than California — a change that helped in bringing on Gravity Pictures as a co-financier.

Originally set up at Disney in 1997, “Meg” fell into limbo after the studio was unable to get it into production before another shark pic, “Deep Blue Sea,” hit theaters.

Statham was most recently seen in Fox’s action comedy “Spy” and will reprise his role in “Fast 8.” He is repped by CAA, Current Entertainment and Bloom Hergott.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Where is the Muslim Gandhi?


Muckraking headlines scream “Islamic Terrorists” in one ear. In the other, the President of the United States, perhaps in an excess of responsibility, has a hard time saying out loud that our western way of life is imminently threatened by an evil originating within the doctrines of Islam.

Liberals have a harder time admitting their fear-based bigotry than Conservatives. The latter have no qualms in applauding Donald Trump’s ideas of registering, if not rounding up, Muslims in the free world and putting them into some sort of modern surveillance version of the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War II.

But after the Brussels’ attacks, even Liberals admit that the western system doesn’t seem capable, or even willing, to protect itself from these jihadists.

The Islamic jihadist purpose is clear: to use fear to destroy us.

What is our purpose?

While we’re sitting around at our freedom bars and libraries trying to figure that out, here’s a quicker and more effective hope:

A Muslim Gandhi.

The profound silence of the mainstream, non-fanatic, Muslim community is deafening. Random imams saying that “Islam is a religion of peace” just ain’t cuttin’ it. They’re so unconvincing we can’t even remember their names. An Arabic-American friend, who was raised in Saudi culture, confirms that children are regularly taught to hate us and to earn Muhammed’s eternal love by offing us.

The relative silence from peaceful Islam is also worsening anti-Islamic prejudice that’s increasing daily in the threatened countries of the west—a prejudice that’s further worsened by the perceived refusal of Muslims to integrate with their adoptive societies and demanding, in many cases, that we be ruled by their sharia law instead of their being ruled by the laws of the country that welcomed them to its shores. This situation will deteriorate even more as Muslim populations continue to grow within western countries due to immigration and their per-family fecundity. Twenty-five years from now, from sheer force of numbers, they will be dominating congresses, parliaments, and diets.

Three theories for mainstream Muslim silence heard most often:

1)    Mainstream Muslims are terrified by the terrorists too.
2)    Mainstream Muslims are hedging their allegiances, ready to jump either way depending on whether the jihadists succeed or fail.
3)    The press, intent on selling sensationalism, isn’t covering the “peaceful Islam.”

We can all hope it’s the first reason. But we’re getting impatient with the spate of recent reports that mainstream Muslims complain about “growing anti-Islam sentiment.” Why don’t the complainers acknowledge the reasons for it?

Reasons for profiling are written in blood on our sidewalks.

Sure, most enlightened folk understand that the whole cannot be blamed for the sins of the part. But the human race has never been suffused with enlightenment. If ten mafia murders happen in your town in a month, citizens begin looking askance at all Italians. Ironic, isn’t it, that African Americans look harmless in an airport compared to Muslim tourists. As much as Hillary, Bernie, Kasich, and other fair-minded politicians proclaim political correctness, you can’t really expect the common man or woman to blanket forgive all past and future transgressions against their security by people who just happen to be Muslim. To most normal folk, 1 + 1 + 1 = 15. One transgression after another, all in the same pattern of being committed by Muslims against their tolerant, majority-non-Muslim neighbors, will add up in most peoples’ math as: “Islamic people want to kill us.” Occasional random Muslim victims don’t change this simple-minded math. Ask Donald Trump.

Why hasn’t the enormous worldwide Muslim community long ago come forward with a mainstream Muslim visionary, who can speak out on behalf of their common interest with the western mainstream in preserving freedom for all? To insist the Muslims worldwide publically proclaim Islam a religion of peace?

Surely there must be such potential leaders in a neighborhood mosque near you. Why aren’t they speaking out? Why don’t we know who they are? Why isn’t the most vocal of them a household word by now? Why aren’t we able to list their good works on behalf of the greater community?

Maybe time for Muslims to use Craig’s List?

Wajeeh Y. Nuseibeh (by David Blumenfeld)
Photo by David Blumenfeld/Special to The Chronicle
Photo by David Blumenfeld/Special to The Chronicle
“Wanted: Non-fanatic, distinguished, eloquent practicing Muslim needed immediately for all media appearances, live speaking engagements, reeducating liaison with jihadists, and interventions during terrorist attacks. Must be willing to stand up to jihadist threats and fatwahs, put family’s security on the line, be relentless in spreading the vision of Muslims throughout the world living in daily harmony with non-Muslims--like the Nuseibeh family who for 1300 years has been keeper of the key at the most sacred non-Muslim shrine in Israel (See San Francisco Chronicle)--tolerant of all religious beliefs despite his or her own allegiance to Allah—and be willing to lose head if necessary.”
Gandhi was willing. Martin Luther King was. Pope Francis demonstrates his willingness every time he meets the public in Africa or America, or even in St. Peter’s Square. 

“A man or woman whose commitment to the promise of humanity transcends self and fear. Compensation: Nobel Prize, and the gratitude of a beleaguered humanity.”




Sunday, April 10, 2016

Warner, CMC announce 12-movie package that includes MEG

Jon Turteltaub in talks to direct. 
After forming joint venture Flagship Entertainment in Hong Kong in September last year, Warner Bros. and China Media Capital (CMC) have announced plans for the production and global release of a dozen movies under the Flagship Entertainment banner over the coming two years. Chinese news website china.org.cn reported Warner Bros. chairman Kevin Tsujihara as saying the high-quality co-productions would appeal to a wide demographic of audiences both in China and around the world.

According to CMC chairman Li Ruigang, the film package would include an adaptation of best-selling science-fiction novel MEG: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten and cost over $100 million to produce. MEG tells the story of a deep-sea diver who while diving in the Mariana Trench is attacked by what he believes to be a megalodon, a gigantic predecessor of modern sharks thought to have been extinct since the Pleistocene era. Nobody believes him, but as the events unfold he encounters more of the creatures, some of which manage to make their way to the surface and wreak havoc.

Read more at Film Journal


Friday, April 8, 2016

8 Ways to Create Your Online Platform


1. Create an author website. Your site should be a marketing tool that serves as the hub of all your online activity, from blogging to selling books to emailing a newsletter to participating in social media. Use a platform like WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix to easily build a site.

2. Set up a blog on your site. Provide a “behind the scenes look” for readers by blogging once or twice a month. Fans will love the insight into your personality and writing process, and anything you post is fodder for your next email to subscribers.

3. Link to your published books. Create a site page linking to your books to make it easy for readers to discover all the titles you’ve written. Include cover images, brief elevator pitches, and links to multiple retailers so readers can purchase your books wherever they shop.

4. Brand your homepage with your newest release. Publicize your latest work on your website by updating the header or banners of your homepage so readers who visit will become aware of your new release.
Consider including blurbs instead of a synopsis to intrigue visitors.

5. Build a mailing list on your site. Include a simple form on your homepage, your website pages, and/or your blog’s sidebar asking for visitors’ email addresses. Collecting email addresses lets you build relationships with people who want to hear from you.

6. Welcome new subscribers with an email autoresponse. When people subscribe to updates from you via your website, send them a welcome email including either a link to a permafree ebook, sample chapters, or some sort of freebie as a “thank you” for signing up. 


7. Claim your social media profiles. Grab your username on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, LinkedIn, and About.me. Even if you don’t have active profiles on each site, at least claim your name and direct people who visit to your most active social media profile instead.

8. Create a video blog. Upload videos to YouTube and embed each video in a blog post. In these videos, you can answer fan questions, partner with another author to interview each other, list book recommendations, or do a short reading from an upcoming new release. Experiment with a few simple videos to see if you’re comfortable vlogging before focusing on production quality.




See more at BookBub

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Interview – Ken Atchity – Latest Novel – Brae MacKenzie

 
Kenneth John Atchity Author of Homer’s Iliad: The Shield of Memory – Which was his Ph.D. Dissertation. The work was awarded Yale Graduate School’s Highest Academic Honor – The Porter Prize; and was later published by Southern Illinois University Press (Edited by John Gardner).  Mentors at Yale Included Thomas Ber.

Kenneth John Atchity Author of Homer’s Iliad: The Shield of Memory – Which was his Ph.D. Dissertation. The work was awarded Yale Graduate School’s Highest Academic Honor – The Porter Prize; and was later published by Southern Illinois University Press (Edited by John Gardner).  Mentors at Yale Included Thomas Bergin, Thomas Greene, A. Bartlett Giamatti, Richard Ellinger, Eric Segal and Lowry Nelson Jr.

His Twenty Books Include:

Homer: Critical Essays (G.K.Hall), The Renaissance Reader (HarperCollins), The Classical Greek Reader (Harper-Oxford University Press),Italian Literature: Roots & Branches (Yale University Press), A Writer’s Time (W.W. Norton) Seven Ways to Die (with William Diehl) (Story Merchant Books) The Classical Roman Reader (Harper-Oxford), The Messiah Matrix.

Kenneth represents writers of both fiction and nonfiction. He accounts for numerous bestsellers and movies both produced in television and on the big screen. In 2011 he was nominated for an Emmy Award for Producing “The Kennedy Detail.”

We are very pleased to introduce our readers to his latest addition to storytelling which is called Brae MacKenzie.


Ken, Brae Mackenzie is a romance of Mythic Identity. What inspired her story?

I had it in the back of my mind for years, ever since I did a driving tour of Scotland and fell in love with the place and its mysterious past.

What made you decide to try out Romance?

Actually romance, for me, is a ‘return to the old neighborhood.’ My first film project after leaving academia was a series of sixteen romance movies (“Shades of Love”) that allowed me to explore romance from every angle. I’ve been in love with romantic literature since college when I read Denis de Rougemont’s Love in the Western World and realized the power of romantic love over our western imaginations. I conceived of Brae Mackenzie as the first of a series of romances about American women returning to the countries of their origins to discover their true selves in the myths of that country.

How has the audience received the book since its launch last week?


It’s too early to tell. It hasn’t been out long enough for anyone even to read it. I hope your followers will take a look—and write a review on amazon.com

What made you decide to give it a mythical underline?

It wasn’t really a conscious decision. I’ve always loved romance and when I wrote one I wanted to explore my equal fascination with local myths, which form such a strong part of our unconscious minds, our yearnings and questionings.

Can you tell us a bit more about your main character? What makes her relatable?

Like so many contemporary women Brae is juggling so many balls she doesn’t have time and space to question what she’s doing. Beneath it all, though, is that nagging feeling that she’s missing out on life—that there’s something in her depths that isn’t being satisfied.

Can you give us a bit more insight into what it takes for you to write your stories?

I realize, after readying this book for publication, that it takes courage among other things. What if no one likes the story? What if there’s no audience for it? At the end of the day, though, it’s a story that has haunted me for years and I felt it deserved to be out there to make its own way in the world.

Does it involve a lot of research and planning?
I tend to start with a bunch of facts that intrigue me, then find a story to incorporate them. As I write the story, I don’t stop to check out the veracity of the details—I just imagine what the story needs. Then, when I get stuck somewhere, I turn to serious research to get me unstuck and generally discover that the facts I imagined are more accurate than I could have predicted; I also discover facts that I had not imagined, and work them into the story as I go along. Finally when the first draft is done, I do the most serious checking and research which tends to enrich the story. That’s where the serendipity happens—when you discover facts you had no idea were out there and they somehow magically seem to work in your story.

How long does it take from an idea to a full book?


In this case it’s taken 30 years or so. I did the first draft when I was teaching mythology at Occidental College, shoved it in a drawer somewhere as other things took my attention. Found it, when cleaning out my drawers and asked my top editor to read it and tell me what she thought. She insisted I finish and publish it, so I spent a year revising it repeatedly until it was at the point where I needed to get it born and out there on its own to find its fate.

What’s next for Ken the author?

I just finished the first volume of my memoirs, A Story Merchant’s Story: Growing up Atchity. Now I’m working on the second “novel of mythic identity,” this one about a Sicilian-American woman, faced with a crisis in her career, who turns her back on it to go to Sicily for the first time and discover her origins. I love Sicily so much I couldn’t resist it.
What other romance novels are you thinking of?

I love to travel, to learn new things, to eat the local cuisine so I’m hoping to do a Japanese novel, as well as ones set in Ireland, England, France, Spain, Mongolia, maybe Brazil and Mexico.

Where can people look forward to meet you?

I’ll be meeting and assisting writers at the Dublin Writers Conference in June, hosted by Laurence O’Bryann of booksgosocial.com.  Sign up at http://thebookpromoter.com/conference/ I’d love to meet your readers there!

Where can readers find the books?

Brae MacKenzie Available on Amazon

Read More at Nadine Martiz's My Addiction-Novels