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CHOOSE THE BEST BOOKS FOR YOUR CHILDREN

CHOOSE THE BEST BOOKS FOR YOUR CHILDREN

“He that loves reading has everything within his reach.”

-William Godwin

 

Reading is one of the best habits a child can learn. The benefits are countless and the impact reading a story creates on a child’s mind is immeasurable. Children are like mud; shaping these young minds at this tender age is essential, and books play a major role in it. Initiating your child to children’s literature is essential as it covers a whole range of stories and knowledge laid out to them to experience and indulge in. Children’s literature comprises those books written and published for young people who are not yet interested in adult literature or who may not possess the reading skills or developmental understandings necessary for its perusal. Literature serves children in four major ways: it helps them better understand themselves, others, their world, and the aesthetic values of written language. When kids read, they often assume the role of one of the characters. Through that character’s thoughts, words, and actions, the child develops insight into their character and values. Frequently, because of experiences with literature, the child’s modes of behavior and value structures are changed, modified, or extended.

 

Children need to read books which are good and help them in some manner. Getting confused and going for a book that is not quite right is prone to happen. However, one should be very careful when selecting books for children. Ursula K. Le Guin said, “A person who had never listened to nor read a tale or myth or parable or story, would remain ignorant of his own emotional and spiritual heights and depths, would not know quite fully what it is to be human.”

 

Here are some of the reasons why books are important, justifying therefore why choosing good books is highly important.

Importance of book

  • Books create warm emotional bonds between adults and kids when they read books together.

 

  • Books help kids develop basic language skills and profoundly expand their vocabularies—much more than any other media.

 

  • Books are interactive; they demand that kids think. Fiction and nonfiction books widen our consciousness. They give us new ways to think and new ideas. They expand our universe beyond time and place and inspire our original thoughts.

 

  • Books develop critical thinking skills. A book is read by an individual. It has no laugh track or a musical score that emotionally primes a reader’s reaction. You alone decide what you think about a book and its contents with no one leaning over your shoulder telling you how to think.

Books develop critical thinking skills

 

  • Books develop and nourish kids’ imaginations, expanding their worlds. Picture books introduce young children to the world of art and literature. Novels and nonfiction books stimulate kids’ sensory awareness, helping kids to see, hear, taste, feel, and smell on an imagined level. Books inform our imaginations, inspiring creativity.

 

  • Books let kids try on the world before they have to go out into it. Books allow kids to experience something in their imaginations before it happens to them in real life. Books help prepare kids for their next stage of maturity, vicariously preparing for the “grown-up” world.

 

  • Books help us to understand ourselves, to find out who we are. Books strengthen our self-confidence and help us to understand why we are who we are. They help us discover where we come from and help us figure out where we want to go.

 

  • Books help children and adults to open up, to move beyond self-absorption, and connect to other people. Books show us the inner workings of multiple perspectives and let us know there is more than one way to view the world. Books build connections and broaden our capacity to empathize; they help us to understand others. Books help us to become more compassionate.

Books help children and adults to open up

 

  • Books help kids to chart their own moral and ethical course. Books help us to reflect on right and wrong, good and evil. Books can offer guidance and help us to determine our life priorities, our own set of values.

 

  • Books answer questions.

 

  • Books create questions.

 

  • Books provide the opportunity to share cultural experiences. When kids read the same book, enjoying a common reading experience, peer bonds are built within a generation. When children, parents, and grandparents share classic books, extended familial and community bonds are formed creating a shared frame of reference.

 

  • Books offer a wide breadth of information, experience, and knowledge. But unlike many electronic mediums, books also offer a great depth of information, experience, and knowledge. Books inform us about other people, other countries, other customs, and cultures. Books help us to teach ourselves about history, the arts, science, religion, nature, mathematics, and technology –– anything and everything in our universe and beyond. Books also help us to understand the effect that all those things have on us and our world.

 

  • Books entertain and offer a great escape. They make us laugh and giggle. They make us cry.

 

  • Books — unlike many other entertainments –– are free for everyone. You can find the book you need, for free, at your neighborhood public library.

 

  • Books are great companions. You are never lonely when you have a book to read.

 

  • Books comfort us. Books help us understand that no matter who we are, or what our experiences may be, we are not alone in the world.

Books comfort us

 

  • Books inspire us to dream.

 

  • Books give us the tools to achieve our dreams.

 

Giving children access to all varieties of literature is extremely important for their success. Educators, parents, and community members should help children develop a love and passion for reading. Not only is reading literature important in developing cognitive skills to be able to succeed in a school or work setting, but it is valuable for other reasons as well. Children’s literature is extremely valuable in both the school setting and at home. Teachers and parents should both be able to differentiate between quality and mediocre literature, in order to give students access to the best books to encourage these important values of literature and considering developmental domains. Children’s literature is valuable in providing an opportunity to respond to literature, as well as cultural knowledge, emotional intelligence and creativity, social and personality development, and literary history to students across generations.

 

Books tell kids about life-concepts, value systems and teach them about love, God, peace, and truth. Show kids how to deal with grief, anger, disappointment, bullying, divorce, and much more.

 

Thus, looking at the importance of quality literature in a child’s life, the five-finger rule is an important aid in choosing a good book. A book has various parameters to qualify as a good book. However, vocabulary is one of the most important parameters. Children need to understand what they are reading. Only then they can benefit from reading. A child should be able to decode and comprehend. Also, it should be challenging enough for children to stretch themselves and learn new vocabulary. In such situations, the Five Finger Rule comes handy.

 

Five Finger Rule

Five Finger Rule

How many of you parents out there struggle to find the perfect book to fit your child’s reading level? Or worse yet- how often are they having trouble selecting the right books for themselves? Sometimes cruising the shelves of our library can prove difficult when titles are overly challenging or too easy for our young readers. If you pick one which might be above their phonics capabilities, it’s possible to discourage a healthy relationship with literature. On the flip side, books that are not continuing to introduce a variety of ambitious vocabulary and overall content within their stories can also hold them back from progressing. It’s a tough balance that has to be found by both parents and kids which affects lifelong skill sets valuable to their future education and more importantly their love for books in general. Your child may have already developed a love for reading or is still hesitant when it comes to picking out books; there is an easy way for them to choose a just-right book on their own. It’s called the Five Finger Rule! One of the best ways to nurture this early interest in reading is by making sure the books they read on their own are suitable for their ability. Books that are too easy can make reading time boring, while those that are too difficult can cause your child to become frustrated, skip parts, and fail to understand what’s happening. Helping your child to find ‘just right’ books – or the perfect books for their reading level – can be simple using this Five Finger Rule.

 

The Five Finger Rule is a quick and easy way for your child to check if a book is suitable to read on their own. Before they start, ask them to turn to a random page in the book and read it. For every word that they don’t know, they should hold up a finger.

 

Your child can use the following guidelines according to how many fingers they hold up:

 

0 or 1 – Most probably it is too easy for your child. It indicates that the selection is below what you should be challenging yourself with, so you’ll need to find something a step higher to motivate your reading skills.

 

2 – A good choice that will give your child a reasonable challenge and allow them to learn new words.

 

3 – Your child might need some help, but still a good choice if they’re up for a challenge.

 

4 – It may be too difficult for your child to read on their own. If you are on hand to give them help or read along with them it can be suitable, but if they are reading on their own, choose a different book.

 

5 – Most probably a bit too advanced, try a different book. Don’t be discouraged by this though because chances are, you’ll be ready for that title in just a short while.

 

What you are shooting for is a two to three finger ratio, where the text is comprehensible but still provokes your learning. This means it’s the “Just Right for You” book and chances are, you’ll be pleasantly paired with one another.

 

The five-finger rule should only be taught as a guideline for helping your child to find ‘just right’ books. It’s worthwhile remembering that if they have their heart set on a book that seems too hard, it’s probably OK to let them have a go. Be nearby to help them if they get stuck on a tricky word, and don’t forget to praise them for making an effort. Alternatively, if you know they’ll struggle to enjoy the story or will likely feel despondent, tell them that they can read it later in the year and suggest a different book instead. At the end of the day, allowing your child to read the books they’re interested in (whether they’re too easy or too difficult) is an important part of nurturing and maintaining their love of books and reading.

 

Some reasons for a child choosing a book include their friend had read it, it was by their favorite author, or they liked the cover. This is all very well, but these reasons don’t take into account a child’s reading level or ability. We need to teach strategies to help them choose a just-right book for independent reading. We want the children to develop into lifelong readers. Being able to choose a just right book is the first step in that direction. All children, no matter if they are struggling or confident, need opportunities to be taught reading strategies into practice independently. This is reinforced if they have the opportunities to choose their books.

 

 

For all of us, reading is a continued source of education for both kids and adults which allows us to grow constantly throughout our whole lives. Whether our unique pace occurs within small steps, leaps or bounds, books will always remain one of the largest entryways into our discovery. Exposing children to quality literature can contribute to the creation of responsible, successful, and caring individuals. Therefore Five Finger Rule functions as one of the important tools in enhancing reading habits. Hopefully, this article was useful in highlighting the importance of reading for children and the Five Finger Rule!

 

 

 

HOW TO WRITE A BESTSELLING THRILLER NOVEL?

HOW TO WRITE A BESTSELLING THRILLER NOVEL?

 

Introduction

The thriller novel is one of the most exciting and dynamic genres available to novelists. They are characterized by fast pacing, frequent action, and resourceful heroes who must thwart the plans of more-powerful and better-equipped villains. Literary devices such as suspense, red herrings, and cliffhangers are used extensively. Everything in a thriller is designed to create this feeling of heart-pounding, white-knuckle suspense.

 

What Makes a Good Thriller Novel?

There are elements to bestselling thrillers that can help your readers stay on the edges of their seats.

What Makes a Good Thriller Novel

A Clear Threat

Any successful thriller has a clear and imposing threat. The form of that threat can determine which of the many thriller sub-genres your story falls in.

 

High stakes

There are many different techniques to raise the stakes in your thriller. Piling one problem on top of the other and putting your characters in seemingly unsolvable predicaments is one way to raise the stakes. Additionally, placing a time limit on when your character must solve the problem they are facing works well.

 

Twists

Twists

Most good thrillers have a storyline that is full of cliffhangers and plot twists. Subverting your audience’s expectations and throwing unpredictable roadblocks in your protagonist’s path will produce a great page-turning thriller.

 

Dynamic and Complex characters

As a writer, it’s your job to fully flesh out a character and brainstorm their backstory and point of view. The thriller hero needs to struggle with issues inside as well as outside. He’s got to be a carrier of flaws as well as virtues. Give each character a point of potential conflict with your hero as well as with the other characters—especially those who are allies.

 

Memorable Locations

A clear and detailed location is an essential part of writing a good thriller. Your readers should feel as if your characters are inhabiting a rich and detailed world; they should be able to picture the physical environment in which your action unfolds.

 

Action

The action doesn’t necessarily have to mean violence or pyrotechnics. The important thing is to keep your storyline moving and include dynamic action as you start writing the first page up until the end.

 

Confrontation

This is where the hero and antagonist battle over the high stakes a thriller demands.

 

Communication

The first thrillers carried a message and helped bring a local community together. Readers still seek that kind of story.

 

Multiple Points of View Can Give You a Great Range in a Thriller

They allow you inside the heads of many characters, which can build more dramatic tension and irony.

 

Make Your Characters Miserable

Make Your Characters Miserable

Give them grief, false hope, heartaches, anxiety, and near-death experiences. We don’t want our protagonist to win until the end.

 

Your Main Characters Have to Change

It has to be an emotional change that shows growth and victory over some of his baggage.

 

Pacing Must be High

Each scene should reveal something new, no matter how slight it is. Short paragraphs and white space are good. Consider using cliffhangers at the end of every chapter, albeit a sudden surprise or provocative announcement.

 

Show—Don’t Tell

Avoid the passive voice. Use action verbs. Avoid adverbs—they are cheesy and cheap ways of telling instead of showing. Don’t start sentences with –ing words. Make the subject and verb close and upfront in the sentence.

 

How Do You Structure a Thriller?

How Do You Structure a Thriller

There’s no fool-proof way of writing a successful thriller but there are ways to ensure that your novel ticks all the right boxes.

 

1. Flesh Out Your Characters and their Motivations

Characters in thrillers are usually complex. The good guy might not be the model citizen, and the bad guy may have a justification and conviction for everything they do — at least in their mind. The rivalries between these opposing forces are what will give rise to the action that will propel your story forward.

 

2. Start with Action

The opening scene is a pivotal moment in any book. In thrillers, it’s especially important because you need to start with action from the get-go. Oftentimes starting in media res is a good way to accomplish this. You need to start with something exciting that sets the protagonist in motion.

 

3. Show What’s at Stake

High stakes are characteristic of thrillers, but the particulars change depending on the subgenre.

 

4. Bring on The Twists

Bring on The Twists

As we have established, thrillers are mainly propelled by plot events, and the best way to keep readers engaged in the plot is by introducing twists and unexpected events.

 

5. Build Up to The Climax

The climax is a pivotal scene in your book, so make sure you dedicate time to polishing it. In particular, it may be helpful to write the climax first so that you already know where your characters need to end up.

 

6. Give Your Story a Satisfying Ending

A satisfying ending isn’t necessarily a “happily ever after.” Keep in mind the kind of story you’ve been telling so far and make sure the ending fits well. It’s always necessary to wrap up the current action so that there’s a sense of satisfaction at the end of the book.

To write your unstoppable thriller, don’t forget to create that action-driven tension, conflict, and suspense. Turn everything upside down — for the protagonist and the reader — with every turn and twist.

 

What are the Elements of Suspense?

Elements of Suspense

 

Building suspense is impossible without an understanding of its elements. The list of ways to create suspense can grow the longer we think about it.

 

1. Strong Characters

Your story needs a likable main character, a compelling villain, and a supporting cast. Each one has a role to play in either the conflict or its resolution (or both).

 

2. Conflict or Dilemma

No one wants to read about characters who want something and end up getting it because nothing stands in their way. It only gets interesting when they have to overcome some challenge to get to or accomplish the thing they want.

 

3. Pacing

To maintain a brisk enough pace to hold your reader’s attention, keep the story moving with short-term suspense and sentences that reveal necessary information without drowning it in nonessential details.

 

4. Red Herrings and Rabbit Holes

Also essential to building suspense is knowing how much information to withhold from the reader — and how you can use red herrings to trick them into focusing on the wrong suspect. Both withholding and bread-crumbing information can lead your reader down a rabbit hole and keep them guessing about the central mystery or the looming threat.

 

5. Atmosphere

Atmosphere

The setting is one of your most important characters. And sticking to essential details is as essential to your story’s intrigue as it is to its pace. Think of those details as atmospheric dialogue. Give your reader the details that mean something and add to the story.

 

6. Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is hinting at what’s to come, whether you use atmospheric details, interesting turns of phrase, or events that relate to what’s coming. The purpose of foreshadowing is to get your reader thinking, “What could this mean?” and make them worry about your hero or about what could happen to them.

 

7. High Stakes

When writing suspense fiction, make sure your main character’s goals and reasons for achieving them are clear from the outset of the story. As your story progresses, the stakes should get higher to build the momentum and suspense of the story.

 

8. Put Time on Your Side

You can easily build up suspense and tension by putting time constraints on your characters; the suspense will naturally build and give your story momentum.

 

9. Pressure-Filled Situations

Create situations that put pressure on your hero. You must test your hero to the breaking point, but make sure your hero never breaks, no matter how stressful the situation is.

 

10. Unpredictability

Make your hero go through several unexpected events and have nothing be straight-forward; it adds a bit of intrigue and suspense to the story.

 

11. Intriguing Villains

In a suspense story, the villain is always present. Make sure this antagonist of your story is smart and motivated. Let the readers know and understand why the villain makes particular choices. Make the readers believe in and fear the villain, and make the villain a worthy opponent for the hero.

 

12. Provocative Heroes

The suspense hero must be believable and sympathetic. Also, take time to show your readers why they should care about the hero.

 

13. Use Parallel Plotlines

Using parallel plotlines is a great literary device for instantly building suspense. Your readers will be compelled to keep reading to find out how and why the two storylines connect.

 

Writing a suspense story does not need to be a daunting task. But, it does take a lot of forethought and planning.

 

How Do You End a Horror Story?

How Do You End a Horror Story

 

Everything Is Gone

At the end of this kind of horror story, everyone is dead, everything is destroyed, and there’s nothing left and no hope of anything ever rising from the ashes. Often this means good has won, and there’s no one left to fight but also nothing left to live for, though it can also mean that evil has won absolutely.

 

Good Conquers Evil… For Now

This is a classic. You’ve seen it before: the villain has been vanquished, dead and buried, and then the hand shoots out of the grave, or the prophecy promises the curse will return. This is a great way to go if you’re building a sequel or a series.

 

Hero Wins the Battle But Loses Something Else

The monsters have been quelled; the hero is victorious, everything on the surface is returning to normal. Except… something is wrong. Often this will come in the form of a post-trauma effect.

 

A Shred of Hope Remains

Here, everything is pretty bad – the villain might be dead or just about to be brought to justice, and everyone is broken. But there’s hope that maybe, somehow, something might be okay again, one day.

 

The Lesser Evil Remains

The hero has beaten the ultimate evil, and that part of the battle has been won. But, evil remains involving a secondary dimension of threat. This is often a great ending to craft a moral ambiguity, a discomfort that fits nicely into the unease inherent in the horror genre.

 

Whichever ending you choose for your horror story, the payoff only needs to do one thing – honor the genre.

 

How Do You Get Your Book Published?

How Do You Get Your Book Published

 

The prospect of publishing a novel can be daunting. As the book publishing industry shifts toward digital publishing options in addition to traditional publishing, first-time novelists have increased opportunities to get published.

 

Methods for Self-Publishing a Novel

 

1.  Via print-on-demand: Perhaps the lowest risk publication method in the publishing world is print-on-demand, where copies of a book are only printed when someone orders one.

 

2. As an ebook: Issuing digital copies of a book on an on-demand basis is even easier, as it requires no paper and no printing apparatus.

 

3. Via self-printing: You can self-print books in advance of publication and hope they will sell later.

 

4. As an audiobook: Today’s audiences frequently consume novels as audiobooks. It requires a narrator, who may be called upon to record dozens of hours of prose narration.

 

Steps for Getting Your Book Published Traditionally

 

1. Edit and proofread: A bevy of typos will make you look unprofessional. Remember that you may only get one chance with a publisher or literary agent; make sure they are seeing the best work you have to offer.

 

2. Identify a target audience for your book: A writer’s market for publishing houses is determined by their book’s markets—the potential audience who would be interested in their book. Within the publishing industry, certain genres hold more appeal than others.

 

3. Identify potential agents: While having an agent doesn’t guarantee your book will find a publisher, it certainly helps.

 

4. Submit your book proposal: Most literary agents do not want you to send an entire novel as part of a cold call. Here are some things they likely will want: A query letter, a 1-2 page synopsis of the entire novel, and 1-5 sample chapters—these combined elements from your book proposal.

 

5. Submit directly to a publisher: If you don’t have an agent, you can sometimes submit directly to a publisher—just know your odds of acceptance are very slim.

 

Hopefully, this article gave you some ideas regarding thriller novels.

 

 

 

DIFFERENT CATEGORIES OF BOOKS

 DIFFERENT CATEGORIES OF BOOKS 

DIFFERENT CATEGORIES OF BOOKS

 

Maybe you are new to writing and want to dip your toes in the novel-writing realm. You quickly realize how many genres, and subgenres, are out there and wonder where you can squeeze in.

Maybe you have a great idea for a story but unsure what genre you want it to be a part of. There are a few factors that decide which genre you should write.


Write What You Love

Write What You Love

If you only enjoy reading horror, thriller, and suspense novels, why would you write romance? If there are a few genres that stand out in your head, you likely know the guidelines for them and are much more familiar with their formats.

Also, it is important to write what you love. The characters, plot, and setting are going to come much easier for you if you love what you write about. Plus, wouldn’t you love to see your book on the shelf one day next to some of your favorites?

If you have a story idea that doesn’t necessarily fit into one of the genres you have in mind, you can always branch out or try to tweak the story to make it fit in.

 

Factors That Help You Decide Which Genre You Should Write

  • Writeabout what you love.
  • Writewhat you are good at writing.
  • Don’t writewith money and fame in mind.
  • Write to your audience.
  • Test a few different genres.

 

Different Categories of Books

 

Fictionfiction Books

Fiction implies the inventive construction of an imaginary world and, most commonly, its fictionality is publicly acknowledged. Hence, its audience typically expects it to deviate in some ways from the real world rather than presenting only characters who are actual people or portrayals that are factually true. The word is from the Latin fictiō, “the act of making, fashioning, or molding.” Fiction is defined by its focus on narratives invented by the author. Most academics and literary critics further subdivide Fiction into two categories- Literary Fiction and genre fiction.

 

Non-FictionNon-Fiction

Non-fiction is a broad genre of writing that encompasses all books that aren’t rooted in a fictional narrative. Authors of such accounts genuinely believe or claim them to be truthful at the time of their composition or, at least, pose them to a convinced audience as historically or empirically factual. Common literary examples of non-fiction include expository, argumentative, functional, and opinion pieces; essays on art or literature; biographies; memoirs; journalism; and historical, scientific, technical, or economic writings

 

NovelNovel

The novel is a genre of Fiction, an invented prose narrative of considerable length and a certain complexity that deals imaginatively with human experience, usually through a connected sequence of events involving a group of persons in a specific setting. Within its broad framework, the genre of the novel has encompassed an extensive range of types and styles: picaresque, epistolary, Gothic, romantic, realist, historical—to name only some of the more important ones. It is published as a single book. The word ‘novel’ has been derived from the Italian word ‘novella’ which means “new”. It has features like a representation of characters, dialogues, setting, plot, climax, conflict, and resolution. However, it does not require all the elements to be a good novel. For every writer, a novel is a strong tool to present the philosophical, historical, social, cultural, and moral perspectives.

E.g., Animal Farm by George Orwell, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, and others.

 

RomanceRomance

Etymologically, romance comes from romanz, which means a story of chivalry and love. The word “romance” also refers to romantic love. As far as literature is concerned, it means romantic stories with chivalrous feats of heroes and knights. Romance describes chivalry and courtly love, comprising stories and legends of duty, courage, boldness, battles, and rescues of damsels in distress.

Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.

E.g., Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

 

Self-Help Books

A self-help book is one that is written with the intention to instruct its readers on solving personal problems. There are various benefits of reading self-help books.

  • You interpret yourself and the world more positively.
  • You’re inspired to make better choices and take positive actions more often.
  • You don’t improve; you expand.
  • You smash through your limitations.
  • You create personal projects that rocket your growth.

E.g., Fear Less by Dean Sluyter, Silence by Erling Kagge, and others.

 

Children’s BooksChildren’s Books

Children’s literature comprises those books written and published for young people who are not yet interested in adult literature or who may not possess the reading skills or developmental understandings necessary for its perusal. The age range for children’s literature is from infancy through the stage of early adolescence, which roughly coincides with the chronological ages of twelve through fourteen. Literature serves children in four major ways: it helps them to better understand themselves, others, their world, and the aesthetic values of written language. When children read, they often assume the role of one of the characters. Through that character’s thoughts, words, and actions, the child develops insight into his or her character and values. Frequently, because of experiences with literature, the child’s modes of behavior and value structures are changed, modified, or extended.

E.g., The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and others.

 

BiographyBiography

Biography, commonly considered nonfictional, the subject of which is the life of an individual. One of the oldest forms of literary expression, it seeks to re-create in words the life of a human being—as understood from the historical or personal perspective of the author—by drawing upon all available evidence, including that retained in memory as well as written, oral, and pictorial material. It is simply an account or detailed description of the life of a person. It entails basic facts, such as childhood, education, career, relationships, family, and death. It portrays the experiences of all these events occurring in the life of a person, mostly in chronological order. A person who writes biographies is called a “biographer.”

E.g., Shakespeare: A Life by Park Honan

 

AutobiographyAuto Biography

Autobiography is one type of biography, which is a written record of the author’s life. Rather than being written by somebody else, an autobiography comes through the person’s pen, in his own words. Some autobiographies are written in the form of a fictional tale; as novels or stories that closely mirror events from the author’s real life. Such stories include Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield and J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. In writing about a personal experience, one discovers himself. Therefore, it is not merely a collection of anecdotes – it is a revelation to the readers about the author’s self-discovery.

 

Text-books

A text-book is a book of instruction. They are produced to meet the needs of educators, usually at educational institutions. Its primary aim is to enable one to develop a proper understanding of the subject. A good text-book takes into consideration the method of teaching and the level of readership. It is revised keeping in view new development and changing methodology of teaching.

 

Political Books

The political genre is made up of books about different political viewpoints, their effects on society, and the politicians who were involved with laws, wars, and economics. Warfare, force, and power are also included in the political genre. Political Fiction employs narrative to comment on political events, systems, and theories. Works of political fiction, such as political novels, often “directly criticize an existing society or present an alternative, even fantastic, reality.”

E.g., Common Sense by Thomas Paine, I am America by Stephen Colbert, and others.

 

Academic Books

The academic book is a long-form publication, and is the result of in-depth academic research, usually over a period of years, making an original contribution to a field of study. An academic book can take many forms. In the past, these forms would generally have been represented in print, but increasingly print formats are being accompanied or sometimes replaced by digital versions, and digital formats are becoming increasingly functional.

 

MysteryMystery book

The mystery is a genre of literature whose stories focus on a puzzling crime, situation, or circumstance that needs to be solved. The term comes from the Latin mysterium, meaning “a secret thing.” stories can be either fictional or non-fictional, and can focus on both supernatural and non-supernatural topics. Many mystery stories involve what is called a “whodunit” scenario, meaning the mystery revolves around uncovering a culprit or criminal. Mystery fiction is a loosely-defined term that is often used as a synonym of detective fiction. However, in more general usage “mystery” may be used to describe any form of crime fiction, even if there is no mystery to be solved. E.g., Sherlock Holmes books.

 

Thrillersthriller book

Thrillers are characterized by fast pacing, frequent action, and resourceful heroes who must thwart the plans of more-powerful and better-equipped villains. Literary devices such as suspense, red herrings, and cliffhangers are used extensively. Thrillers often overlap with mystery stories but are distinguished by the structure of their plots. In a thriller, the hero must thwart the plans of an enemy. Jeopardy and violent confrontations are standard plot elements. A thriller climaxes when the hero finally defeats the villain, saving his own life and often the lives of others.

E.g., The Jack Reacher series, written by Lee Child, and R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series

 

Poetry BooksPoetry Books

Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning. Poetry may be written independently or may occur in conjunction with other arts, as in poetic drama, hymns, or lyrics. Poetry often uses particular forms and conventions to expand the literal meaning of the words or to evoke emotional or sensual responses. Devices such as assonance, alliteration, onomatopoeia, and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects. Poetry’s use of ambiguity, symbolism, irony, and other stylistic elements of poetic diction often leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Similarly, metaphor and simile create a resonance between otherwise disparate images—a layering of meanings, forming connections previously not perceived.

 

Spiritual Books

The genre of “religious, inspirational, and spiritual” encompasses a diverse collection of material that includes both fiction and non-fiction books. This genre includes books that cover topics meant to encourage spiritual growth but are not necessarily tied to one religion. Books that offer techniques for improving physical health, emotional well-being, and personal relationships are popular in this genre, especially when they pull from concepts and practices from all over the world.

 

Cook Bookscook book

Cookbooks are a collection of recipes, instructions, and information about the preparation and serving of foods. A cookbook is also a chronicle and treasury of the fine art of cooking which would otherwise be lost. Cookbooks may be written by individual authors, who may be chefs, cooking teachers, or other food writers; they may be written by collectives, or they may be anonymous. They may be addressed to home cooks, professional restaurant cooks, institutional cooks, or more specialized audiences.

 

Art Books

The art books are works of visual art, an approach or criteria that could include the case of books made by artists. An Art Book today can be seen to occupy various positions including that of a piece of theory, a catalog, a printed exhibition, a piece of art in itself, a supplement to a pre-existing piece. It can be a proposal for the future or an examination of the present or what has passed.

 

Young Adult Books

Young-adult fiction (often abbreviated as YA) is fiction written for, published for, or marketed to adolescents and young adults, roughly ages 13 to 18. The vast majority of YA stories portray an adolescent as the protagonist, rather than an adult or a child. Themes in YA stories often focus on the challenges of youth. The most important component of any young adult story is the teenage perspective. Despite its unique characteristics, YA shares the fundamental elements of fiction with other stories: character, plot, setting, theme, and style.

E.g., The Fault In Our Stars

 

Board Books

A board book is a type of children’s book printed on thick paperboard. It is printed and used for both the cover and the interior pages. A board book’s pages are specially folded and bound together. The pages are just over 1mm thick, and there are very few of them. They are very durable and consequently are intended for small children, who often tend to be less gentle with books. Board books are appropriate for babies aged 6 months to toddlers 4 years old.

 

History BooksHistory Books

Historical Fiction is a story that takes readers to a time and place in the past. What makes a historical novel believable is its setting. Historical Fiction is set in a real place, during a culturally recognizable time. The details and the action in the story can be a mix of actual events and ones from the author’s imagination as they fill in the gaps. Characters can be pure fiction or based on real people (often, it’s both). But everything about them — their attitudes and look, the way they speak, and problems they face — should match the era. Of course, the key to an author getting all of this right is research. Authors are always allowed artistic license, but the most satisfying works of Historical Fiction have been well researched.

 

 

 

 

The Wonderful World Of Graphic Novels

graphic novels

The Wonderful World Of Graphic Novels

Graphic Novels are creating a lot of buzz these days. Different graphic novels are published suitable for different age groups. They are also published in different genres and are not just about superheroes as is the common misconception. A graphic novel is a genre that combines words and images. Graphic novels can be fiction, non-fiction, history, fantasy, or anything in-between.

graphic novel

 

What are Graphic Novels?

For many, the word comics denotes a periodical for children, published on a weekly or monthly basis, sold at newsstands or in specialty comic book stores, often with pages devoted to advertising and, when intended for younger readers, competitions, and puzzles. In contrast, a graphic novel is usually taken to mean a long comic narrative for a mature audience, published in hardback or paperback and sold in bookstores, with serious literary themes and sophisticated artwork.

Graphic novels are similar to comic books because they use sequential art to tell a story. Unlike comic books, graphic novels are generally stand-alone stories with more complex plots. Collections of short stories that have been previously published as individual comic books are also considered graphic novels.

Calling something a graphic novel isn’t just a fancy way of saying “comic book.” There’s a very clear difference between the two. While a comic book will tell a story over many issues, graphic novels more often have their storylines wrapped up in only one or two books.

Both comic books and graphic novels use a combination of illustrations and words to tell a story. That story can be anything, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, the tale of a superhero or a zombie apocalypse. The difference isn’t so much in the content but the presentation.comic book

Comic books are serialized stories; most are relatively short and tell the story of the book’s heroes and heroines over a long period of time. There are usually many, many issues of a successful comic book, and the stories unfold over months and sometimes years.

Graphic novels are longer works that tell a single story from the beginning to the end. (Sometimes, successful comic books will be collected and packaged in a graphic novel format.) Because stories don’t have to be broken up over countless issues, plots can often be more complex and more detailed.

Graphic novels actually pre-date comic books. It’s thought that the first graphic novel ever published was the 1783 adaptation of Gottfried August Burger’s Lenardo und Blandine. Illustrated by Joseph Franz von Goez, the 160-frame work tells the story of two ill-fated lovers.

Comic books cornered the market for decades until a resurgence in the popularity of graphic novels. In the 1980s and 1990s, British authors like Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman brought graphic novels back into the mainstream market. Graphic novels have enjoyed a period of underground popularity as artists and writers tried to make the separation between mediums clear. Graphic novels got a reputation as being gritty, explicit, and for mature audiences, while comic books were relegated to more mainstream popularity.

Major Types of Graphic Novels

Like traditional novels, there are endless ways to categorize different graphic novels. There are as many genres and sub-genres as in traditional fiction and non-fiction. The following are only a few of the most predominant categories.

Manga: The Japanese word for “comic” but in the US is used to describe Japanese-style comics. Manga is read from top to bottom and right to left as this is the traditional Japanese reading pattern. Though technically Manga refers to Japanese comics, many think Manga refers to a style rather than the country of origin.
Titles: Death Note, Full Metal AlchemistManga

Superhero Story: Superhero graphic novels have taken the most popular form of comics and turned what were once brief episodic adventures into epic sagas. Superhero comics are dominated by a few mainstream publishers Marvel, DC, and Darkhorse.
Titles: Batman: Dark Knight Returns, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Atrocity.superhero story

Personal Narratives (“Perzines”): Autobiographical stories are written from the author’s personal experiences, opinions, and observations.
Titles: Fun Home, Blankets, Lucky, The Quitter.

Non-fiction: are similar to perzine’s in that they are written from the author’s personal experience. Still, the author is generally using their own experience to touch upon a greater social issue.
Titles: Pedro and Me, Maus, Persepolis.

 

Unprecedented Popularity

Comics have deep roots in America whether it’s the newspaper strip or the superhero comics. They have a deep place in the American psyche, and it’s an American form of storytelling, even though it’s all over the world.

A decade ago, the sounds coming out of the comic book industry were grim and looked hopeless. Then a couple of things happened: Hollywood began basing movies on graphic novels coupled with the emergence of Manga, which has been popular in Japan since the 1960s.

The boom in the last ten years in this category is due to the popularity of Japanese comics with young readers.

Publishers and Bookstores rejoiced in this newfound interest and bookshelves were filled with a variety of graphic novels.

As a result of this, critics started to recognize the artistic value of graphic novels with awards, and educators started using them as teaching material.

Reasons for Graphic Novels’ Popularitypopular graphic novels

  1. The images give an overview of the story: By looking at the images, one can get a sense immediately of what is happening.
  2. They are fast-paced: Graphic novels move quickly. The plots are exciting, and there is often a good dose of action along the way.  This makes them exciting to read, circumnavigating the ‘I hate reading’ problem.
  3. The images reinforce not replace the language: At first, it may seem that this is just a glorified picture book, but with a really good graphic novel a full understanding is only really reached when the words and illustrations work together. A kid may begin by skimming, but they’ll soon be turning back to re-read to gain a better understanding of what is happening.
  4. The language is high quality: A really good graphic novel has to pair great illustrations with clear dialogue, the language, and the images work together to create the story. With so little space for words, they are chosen with a great deal of care for maximum impact.
  5. They can be read over and over…and over: Graphic novels are often a quick read, but immensely fun, making them an ideal comfort read which you can go back from time to time.

Who Is Reading Them?

Children and teen readers love graphic novels because of their easy-to-read mix of text and visual content. Graphic novels are preferable for readers of limited attention spans. With the advent of the online age and smartphones, young readers’ attention spans have shortened. Academic recognition has also widened exposure to graphic novels, as has e-book lending. Serial graphic novels make the digital format an efficient stocking medium, and tech-savvy teens respond better to digital content.

Adults with limited free time, or who are too exhausted when they have free time, are also gravitating to graphic novels and short stories. Adult readers have discovered that graphic novels possess more depth than the comic books of their youth. The illustrated stories that unfold in graphic novels have the complexity, depth, and variety of traditional novels. With less text, they are easier to consume; they stimulate enjoyment by being entertaining, and they have emotional appeal while providing the intellectual stimulation adults seek in novels.

Critically acclaimed books by Dave Gibbon (Watchmen, released in 1987), Art Spiegelman (Maus, released in 1991), and Alan Moore’s trendsetting works boosted these writers’ circulation.

In this decade, traditional publishers have published other acclaimed books by authors including Alison Bechdel (Fun Home, released in 2006), Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis, released in 2000), Raina Telgemier (Smile, released in 2010), and Chris Ware (Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth, released in 2000).

Why Graphic Novels with LGBT or Sexual Orientation Content Are Increasing

LGBT students are present in almost every high school. Researchers have reported that they constitute between approximately three to ten percent of the student body. School bullying and the high rate of suicide attempts by bullied LGBT pupils appear to be rising. Writers of graphic novels explore this content more because they have researched the preferences of their target audience, including educators, who are using these stories for teaching purposes.

 

What Do You Need Before Making a Graphic Novel?

designing graphic novel

Authors wishing to delve into the world of graphic novels need many of the same things that a traditional writer needs. Some are practical, and some are stylistic. They include:

  • Both a writer and an illustrator. Perhaps you can both write and draw. If not, you’ll need to find a partner.
  • A good narrative with a compelling storyline. You’ll want to center it around a three-dimensional main character and set it in a detailed world. In this way, creating a graphic story is no different from novel writing.
  • Strong creative writing skills. You’ll need to show an equal facility with dialogue and narration.
  • A visual style guide. This informs how characters and settings will be drawn.
  • A graphic storyboard. A create a storyboard like the ones used in filmmaking will help you plot each panel of sequential art in your graphic novel. A storyboard can be formally drawn on large panels or written informally in an artist’s sketchbook.

 Tips on How to Write a Graphic Novel

thinking

When you set off to make a graphic novel, you draw on your creative writing skills, your illustration and storyboarding skills, and (most likely) your collaborative skills. If you have a background in writing comics, that can certainly help, but typically the graphic novel format is longer and more detailed than the comic book format. Whether you’re writing your first graphic novel or your tenth, here are some writing tips to make the process as productive as possible:

  1. Study other comics and graphic novels. It’s hard to delve into a graphic format for the first time without understanding comics as a medium.
  2. Pick a visually interesting setting for your graphic novel. Every graphic novel page contains two forms of illustration: foregrounds and backgrounds. The backgrounds reveal your setting; make sure these are interesting enough to sustain a book-length story.
  3. Give your graphic novel just as much textured detail as you’d give a traditional novel. If you’re writing your first graphic novel after completing prior prose novels, approach the writing process the same way. You’ll need a compelling protagonist with a well-considered backstory, a cadre of supporting characters, an antagonistic villain (or supervillain) who’s at the source of the main conflict. But note that graphic novels don’t limit writers to two-dimensional stock villains. The “villain” of a graphic novel could be something as abstract as systemic injustice.
  4. As you outline, storyboard, and write, start thinking about sequels. Graphic novels rarely exist a la carte; most are part of limited series. Some can span longer than that, but they rarely continue forever like the comic strips of famous cartoonists. As you plan your graphic novel, consider ways to make it a much larger graphic story told in installments.
  5. Write for a graphic novel audience. During the writing process, it’s important to keep in mind that the people who voraciously consume graphic novels are not necessarily the same people who read traditional prose novels. They might not even read short-form comic books. If you don’t know graphic novel readers, seek them out. Of course, the easiest way to understand a fan’s mentality is to become a fan yourself. Then write the kind of stories that you, as a fan, would like to read.
  6. Don’t get carried away with length. Graphic novels ideally should not be longer than 200-250 pages. That includes both the text and the illustration. So, your story should not exceed 100 to 125 pages. Many graphic novels are just 100 pages with just 50 pages of text.

How to write a fiction book

How to write a fiction book

How to write a fiction book

“Everyone has a book in them.” though the origins of this quote are under debate, its validity cannot be disputed. Most people have a story to tell, but not everyone ends up writing the story of their life. The reason being, it is not easy to share the personal details of your life with the world. Some things are private and should remain that way.

What is more comfortable to write is Fiction. If you are inclined towards writing, then it is very much possible to cook up a story and put it on paper. But before you start tapping the keys on your laptop, let us take a look at what exactly is Fiction and how you can go about writing and publishing it.

What is FICTION

Fiction

By definition, Fiction is something that is not real. It can be narrated in any medium like poetry, literature, movies, or songs. Coming to literature, Fiction is a narrative form. The most common formats of writing fiction are novels or short stories. An imaginary world, places, characters, and events are created to weave an exciting tale. Most of the time, the events and characters are inspired by real-life but written with just enough changes to qualify as Fiction.

Fiction is a way to depict or talk about real-life experiences in the form of an imaginary story. But it is also a gateway to let your imagination run wild and create fantastic stuff that is not possible in real life.

Let us now understand what the different types of Fiction that exist in the literary world are. Fiction can be divided into three major areas. It is essential to know the different kinds of Fiction that can be written before you embark upon your literary journey. From the very onset, you will need to decide what type of Fiction you are writing. The way you narrate the story, the plotline, and characterization, the general vibe of the book, will all depend on what type of Fiction you choose.

fiction Books

There are two ways to do this.

If you already have a story, then research which style will be best suitable to tell your story most effectively. Another way is to study the different types of Fiction and choose which class interests you the most. You can then start thinking of a story that will fit your choice.

  1. Literary Fiction
  2. Genre Fiction
  3. Mainstream Fiction

 

1. Literary Fiction

This Side of Paradise dust jacket.jpgIn simple words, Literary Fiction is more about the character or the protagonist of the story than the plot. It does not follow the conventional structure of story-telling and is infused with symbolism, metaphors, and allegory. In this type of Fiction, the story revolves around one or more principal characters. The narration is about their life, what they think, what they feel, the opinions they have, and the choices that they make. There are none or very few plot twists, and the story unfolds along with the life of the characters. The speed of the narrative is adjusted to the life events of the characters, and many a time diverges into subplots or themes.

Another significant consideration in literary Fiction is the time or place the character belongs to. Most literary fiction pieces shed light on the times in which the story is based and give the reader a glimpse into the society of that era.

Let us take a look at a few examples of literary Fiction to give you a better idea of what we are talking about.

  1. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise (1920): Fitzgerald’s first book— this book an inspection of the greed, morals, ambition, and love of the characters in a society that came into being post world war 1.
  2. James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room (1956): An American man living in Paris. The exploration of forbidden love in the most romantic city in the world. This book touches upon the controversial themes of Homosexuality and Bisexuality through the life and struggles of its central character.
  3. Edward P. Jones’s The Known World (2003):  This book is about the relationship between a former slave and a powerful white man who becomes his tutor. It is through these two characters; the writer explores many different perspectives during the antebellum era.
  4. E. Annie Proulx’s Postcards (1992): Postcards explores the idea of fate, industrialization, and isolation as it follows the communications of an unmoored protagonist back to his family as he makes his way across the shifting American West.

2. Genre Fiction

Unlike literary fiction, genre fiction is a populist type of literature which caters to a wide range of audience. Genre Fiction is all about writing stories in any particular category. Genre fiction traditionally comprises genres such as romance, mystery, thriller, horror, fantasy, and children’s books. In this type of Fiction, the entire book is written on any one particular theme. It is not that a little bit of mystery cannot be there in a romantic novel or elements of fantasy cannot be included in a thriller, but the central theme and narration remain faithful to the genre that you have selected. If you decide to write a love story, it has to be all about love. If choosing to write horror, the central theme cannot be romance, and it has to revolve around ghosts and evil spirits.

Types of Genre Fiction

Popular genre fiction relies on familiar templates, character archetypes, and tropes to attract readers, but the best examples use these elements in surprising and creative ways. Here are the primary types of genre fiction:

1. Mystery: This genre can be any story containing an element of suspense. The book written in the mystery genre is a journey the author takes the reader on, where each part of the puzzle is solved step by step, and the mystery is resolved in the end. Books in this genre are exciting, fast-paced and most of the time, involve some type of crime. There are various sub-genres too in this category like cozy mysteries, true crime novels, whodunnits, scientific mysteries, hardboiled detective stories, and police procedurals in the style of English stalwarts Agatha Christie and P.D. James.

Mystery book

2. Thriller: Closely related to mysteries, thrillers ratchet up the suspense and shock of popular genre fiction. They are known for creating a thrilling atmosphere and create feelings of excitement, apprehension, and anticipation among the readers. Authors like David Baldacci and Dan Brown dominate the bestseller list with their thriller titles. Today, the category contains numerous sub-genres, such as espionage, legal, political, crime, psychological, and techno-thrillers.

 

3. Romance: Love is in the air and everywhere in the book. This genre is simply about love stories of different hues and sensibilities. A romance novel is a work of extended prose fiction with a theme of love. The entire book is about developing a loving relationship between 2 people, the hurdles this relationship faces, and the culmination of their love. More often than not, these stories have a happily ever after ending. Subgenres include historical romance, gay romance, erotic romance, and contemporary romance.

Romance

4. Science fiction: Either set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future or far-flung galaxies or alternate universes, sci-fi novels conjure up the “what if” worlds. Science fiction books can have a historical setting, but most are set in the future and deal with the ramifications of technological and scientific advancement. Sci-fi books not just create worlds that could be but also create imaginary species along with advanced human beings. Popular sub-genres are alternate history, parallel universe, alien invasion, artificial intelligence, and space exploration.

 

5. Fantasy:  This is the place of make-believe. Here anything is possible and within the pages of these fantasy books, Good always triumphs over evil. You’re probably familiar with the literary giants of fantasy world-building—J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, and George R.R. Martin. If you have read any of their books, you know what we are talking about. Mythical creatures, mystical lands, medieval-style kingdoms, magnificent larger than life characters all come together to create a whole new world of its own. Fantasy subgenres include urban fantasy, superhero fantasy, high fantasy, epic fantasy, dark fantasy, and sword and sorcery.

Fantasy

6. Young adult: YA fiction is geared toward 11- to 15-year-olds, but a considerable number of adults now read YA novels. These coming-of-age stories differ from their middle-grade predecessors by featuring more sophisticated language and intense themes. The books in this genre can be realistic or fantasy-based. You either create a world and characters that young adults can relate to or you create something that most kids in that age group fantasize about.

 

7. Historical Fiction: Historical Fiction is based upon a particular period or specific event in history. It can be as broad as something based in the 16th century or pertain to a particular event like the fall of the berlin wall. The whole idea is to weave an imaginary story around historical events or to go back to a specific era and create an account rising out of the circumstances of that age. Historical novels offer a chance to examine the past from new angles, imagining the inner lives of the characters defined by the historical events of a given period.

Apart from this, there are other genres like magical realism, horror, speculative fiction, and many more which you can explore.

 

3. Mainstream Fiction

When a literary novel or a genre novel exceeds all expectations of popularity and becomes a bestseller read all over the world by everyone and not just its targeted audience, it is said to belong to mainstream fiction. Apart from popularity, the core ingredient in most of the mainstream fiction books is the blend of genres. Most of the mainstream books successfully wander into two or more genres, creating a complex tale that enthralls a vast variety of readers.

This genre may look the most enticing, but it is not easy to attempt. There is a lot of research, skill, and hard work required for one to pull off a mainstream fiction book successfully.

 

How do you decide what type of Fiction to write?

writing fiction book

We have discussed the different types of Fiction that can be written. But how do you choose what kind to write?

Write about what you love. A good indication is the type of Fiction that you like to read. Most likely, you will want to write in a way similar to what you have enjoyed reading. If you are partial to a particular genre while reading, it makes sense to attempt writing in the same or related genre.

Write about what you are good at. It is as simple as that. Start your writing journey by selecting a subject that you are interested in. That will not just make the process of writing enjoyable, but you will have to do less research as you already are familiar with the topic.

Keep money out of it. There will be various blogs and websites that will tell you what kind of genre or style of writing is a sure way to make money. The truth is no one can predict a bestseller book just like no one can foretell which movie will be successful. J.K. Rowling’s manuscript of Harry Potter was rejected several times before it was accepted. So even people who have been in the business for long cannot always judge what will work and what will not.

Helps to keep an audience in mind. Though having a target audience in mind while writing the book is not required, it may guide you in deciding what you want to write if you have an idea of whom you want to reach out to.

Experimentation is not a bad word. There is no crime in starting more than one project at a time. If you cannot decide on any one thing to write about, start working on the two or three options that you are considering. Once you start writing, you will realize what is working for you and what is not. Sometimes a story may evolve from where you least expect it.

We hope we have given you enough ammunition to start thinking about how to start writing a fiction book. Writing is not just typing out the words. It is a journey where you evolve with the book. When you create a book, it becomes an extension of your being. Yes, it can be turned into a profession, and yes, it will earn you money. But the creative process of writing will always be about who you are and what you want to say to the world.

 

 

How to Publish Your Book!

get your book published

How to Publish Your Book!

 

We at Veronica Lane Books are always enthused to read fresh work from new writers. Our team of experts will guide you through the entire process and work alongside you to make your publishing dream come true. However, in this article, let’s discuss the best way to get your book published.

“You are now a published author!” Everyone who writes in any format has this ultimate dream of getting published. Getting your book published is serious and hard work. Ask yourself if you are really ready to put in the required time and effort.

 

The fear attached to going through the process of publishing is so much that for many of us it becomes a deterrent to even write. After all, what is the point of writing something if it is not going to see the light of the day?

 

Most of us have also heard stories of how manuscripts are thrown into the bin without even being opened. The idea of your painstakingly created work lying in some trash can somewhere send chills down your spine.

 

Well, we cannot let fear rule our lives and we definitely cannot allow scary publication procedures to stop us from exploring our creativity and giving words to our thoughts.

 

So today we are going to talk about things that you can do before and after writing your book that will make your pathway to publishing a little bit easier.

get published

Let us first start with the things that you can keep in mind before starting to write.

There are always certain topics that are trending. Once you decide on the genre that you would like to write in, find out what is trending in that particular genre. It may help to have some elements in your novel that are currently in demand amongst readers. It not only increases the chances of someone taking an interest in publishing it but will also help in sales of the book.

 

Unless you are absolutely confident about your story, we would advise you to stay away from any controversial or politically charged items in your book. Publishers always tend to play safe and if this is your first rodeo as a writer, better stick to a good fictional story that doesn’t ruffle any feathers.

 

Having said this, we would still urge all aspiring writers out there to write first and worry about publishing later. There is a lot that you can do once you have your manuscript ready in hand.

 

Let us assume that you have a story that you want to tell the world and now you are looking for someone to publish it.

 

You must first understand the different types of publishing that exist and how each one works before you approach anyone with your work.

 

1. Traditional PublishingTraditional Publishing

Traditional Publishing is generally related to big and medium publishing houses. Here the publishing house signs a contract with the author after the agent has done all the preliminary work. This contract allows them to publish and sell your book through booksellers and retailers that they have tie-ups with.

 

Once a publishing house signs you, they take over the process of getting the book publication-ready. They may even suggest a few changes in the book, title, etc. to make it more saleable. They will also design a suitable cover page. Remember that at this point they are investing their money into your book as they see the potential in it. So they will do everything in their power to launch it the best way possible and generate interest through various ways in your book.

 

Once the book is published, you as the author will receive a certain percentage from the book sales as royalty. These details will be clarified in the initial contract that you sign.

 

You will also be asked if you are allowing them just print publishing and selling rights or even signing over screen adaptation rights.

 

It is very important to make sure that you go through each word in the contract and take your time in checking everything before you sign the contract.

 

Traditional publications don’t want to waste their time or money and will only consider books that they are 100% sure about. It is all about the sales figures and your book will solely be judged on its saleability. This makes it extremely difficult for a first-time author to get on their radar, as they literally have hundreds of manuscripts delivered to their office daily.

 

Traditional publications also have tie-ups with literary agents. They depend on these agents to recommend books to them. Hiring an agent is another option for someone who is looking at getting published traditionally. But it is costly and you have to be prepared to incur the expense involved. This is a good option if you have faith in your book and genuinely believe it has chances of doing well if published properly. As then you will have a person with connections in the publishing industry working on your behalf to make sure your book gets noticed.

 

2. Independent Publishing

Independent Publishing

Independent publishing or Indie Publishing is often confused with self-publishing. This is not the case and both are quite different from each other.

 

An independent (indie) publisher is defined as one that operates on its own, rather than as part of any large corporation or conglomerate. It’s as simple as that.


Most of these publishers are very open to working with first-time authors. They have their ear to the ground and look for new and interesting work to publish. Another advantage is that they will take a personal interest in your book and also guide you through the entire publishing process. With indie publishers, you may have to pay for certain services like editing, graphic design and cover and cover art. The best thing about working with an indie publisher is that you keep complete creative control of your book. The indies also get your book out to the market much faster than the bigger, traditional publishers, plus they find smaller, niche markets to sell in that do not attract the bigger publishers. You will also not make as much money as you make with a big publisher.

 

3. Self-Publishing

Self-Publishing

This is the easiest option available today which was not there for writers earlier. All you have to do is write, edit, publish, market, and sell your book. Sounds fun? Well, it’s definitely cool, to not just have your name as the author but also as a publisher in the book. But the entire process is easier said than done.

 

First let us talk about platforms like KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), Smashwords, and LuLu that offer services and tools to help you self-publish. These are platforms where you can publish your book for free and even earn royalties. But do keep in mind that these are online platforms and you will not be having any copy in the local bookstore.

 

The biggest advantage of self-publishing is that it is free and easy. But if you are not satisfied with just an online presence and actually want a book that you can sell then you can consider approaching various agencies that do self-publishing.

 

Before you start jumping with joy, let us inform you that these are paid services.

 

They have various packages that include services like editing, designing and marketing, number of printed copies and distribution.

 

Signing up with these agencies is fairly easy. They don’t have any approval process. They will print your book if you pay them. The obvious disadvantage is that you have to shell out a substantial amount of money to get published. And the amount keeps increasing if you go for the premium packages. Plus, these self-publishing companies are not really interested in marketing your book, as they receive all their earnings up front.

 


The Case for Independent Publishing

Independent Publishing

Before we go ahead, we would like to emphasize the fact that there are no absolute rights or wrongs when getting your book published. As a creator, you have to weigh the options that are available to you at the given point in time and select an option that you feel works best for your book.

 

Having said that we advise first-time authors to go for Independent Publishing, there are a few reasons for that.

 

  1. You stand a better chance with them. You may try, but the chances of getting the attention of a major publisher, especially without hiring a literary agent is difficult.
  2. They will be more involved with your book as they have fewer projects on hand.
  3. They are easier to approach, friendly, and are always on the lookout for new authors to publish.
  4. They have a loyal fan following who love and read all the books published by them.
  5. Most independent publishers only agree to publish if they resonate with your book. This makes them emotionally invested in your project and they will do their best to promote it.

 

You may start with publishing a few stories online. Create a name and fan following and then move to an independent publisher who will do justice to your work.

 

Having said that, many first-time writers have struck gold with big publishers. Like we said, in the beginning, it is all about what you feel is right for you. So, if you have absolute confidence in your work, by all means, don’t be daunted. Keep pursuing the major publishers till you find success.

 

 

So, What Next?

 

We have given you all the information and the advantages and disadvantages of the three different types of publishing. Let us now move forward and discuss what you can do to get published with any of these.

 

There are a few things that are common no matter which way you go.

A clear demarcation of the genre your book belongs to.

 

Being ready with a proof-read manuscript. Nothing puts off a publisher as a glaring spelling or grammatical mistake.

 

Be ready with a gripping and impactful story synopsis and well-drafted letter. You will require both.

 

Traditional Publishers

  1. Most big publishing houses cater to all types of genres so you don’t have to worry if they will cater to your book or not.
  2. Do your research and find the emails of major publishers and their editors.
  3. Arm yourself with patience. It will not happen overnight. You will have to face a lot of rejections. Sometimes just getting a publisher to read your work can take months or years.
  4. Publishers receive scores of emails daily. Make sure your mail stands out.
  5. Hire a professional editor if you can.
  6. Hire a literary agent if you can afford one. This will increase your chances of acceptance.

 

Independent Publishers

 

  1. Most of them cater to certain genres or certain types of books. Do your research and find out ones who have published books similar to yours in the past.
  2. They may be more approachable than big publishers, but will not just meet anyone. Try and build a connection before you approach them.
  3. You can still find an agent. Most agents have personal relations with indie publishers and can be very useful in connecting you to the right publications.
  4. Be ready with your vision for the book, small publishers sometimes take their decision not just on the book but the vision of the author.

 

Self PublishersSelf Publishers

  1. Be prepared to do all the work yourself. You will have to work on all the aspects of the book yourself.
  2. Work tirelessly to promote the book. Since you don’t have any publisher backing you, you will have to sharpen your marketing skills.
  3. Sometimes because it is so easy, we take it lightly. Everything that is published in your name will be there forever. Take this as seriously as you would traditional publishing.
  4. Connect with someone who has self-published before to understand the entire process.
  5. If approaching an agency, research their credentials before you make any payment.

 

We hope this article helped answer your questions and we were able to demystify the process of publishing for you. We at Veronica Lane Books are always enthused to read fresh work from new writers. Our team of experts will guide you through the entire process and work alongside you to make your publishing dream come true.

Inside a Children’s Book Author’s Mind

Inside a Childrens' Book Authors' Mind

Q: Out of all the books you have written do you have a favorite? If so, which one and why?

Ha, good question, and I have been asked that one numerous times as people want to get inside a childrens’ book authors’ mind. I reply, that’s like asking me to name my favorite child. Hmmm, still not sure of the answer to that one. All our books promote multiculturalism, diversity, inclusiveness, diversity, acceptance. But then, the more quirky titles like “What is Dreaming?” I love too and of course “What is Death?” is one that I am also proud of.

Q: Which topics have you found to be the hardest to write about? Why?

Interestingly enough, “What is Peace?” has given me the most problems as a writer and publisher. There are so many nuances to this subject that I had to write and rewrite and rewrite. I even had to make a cover illustration change on that book for the second printing because the two kids on the cover are standing off holding wooden swords and gazing pensively into each other’s eyes. On the second printing, I had the illustrator drop the swords so they are just lying on the ground. That made the scene less aggressive. Also, with the text of “What is Peace?” a Mom came up to me at a book fair when we had just released that title and said, “Hey Etan, we have all your books but I have a problem with this one.” Wow, when a Mom has a problem with your book, you better listen. I said, “Really? What’s the problem?” She said, “Page 8.” Wow, right? She said, “You say that ‘sometimes there is a bad king who has bad police and does bad things to people.’ Well we have taught our kids that there are no bad people but there are people who do bad things, and the police are our friends.” Whew! Well, needless to say, I changed those lines on our next printing. Now, that is really getting inside a childrens’ book authors’ mind, as well as a publisher’s mind.

Q: Where do you hope Veronica Lane Books will be ten years from now?Love this question! Inside a Childrens' Book Authors' Mind

Love this question! We continue to release two or three titles per year in the “What is?” series. The Next Big Thing is the TV show! Every 30 minute episode is one book with celebrity Mom host, real kids (not actors), readings and discussion from the book, animation, music and songs and dance and special effects! I already have 24 more titles picked out for the “What is?” series so the TV series can be easily go for three or four years. Ha, do you know any investors?

Q: Are there any upcoming projects and/or events to mention?

We plan to be at the Brooklyn Book Festival at the end of September. Summer is quiet for us because schools are mostly closed. Also, I do numerous book readings at schools, libraries and bookstores around the country. Check our website for that info.

Q: Does Veronica Lane Books accept submissions from other authors? If so, what are the qualifications?

Yes, we do accept submissions but mostly we publish in-house my own titles, though we are expanding into adult genres like mystery novels, cookbooks, and art books. Qualifications? Do your homework and know how to put out a professional query and sample.

How I Was Inspired to Write My Children’s Books!

Interview with Etan Boritzer, Author/Publisher

Q: What inspired you to become an author?

At age 7, my 2nd grade teacher (Mrs. Cooperman at PS 70, Bronx) liked my poems and put them up on the bulletin board in our classroom. I was first published at age 13 when I wrote an essay on the assassination of JFK and it was published by The NYC Board of Education as a book tribute to JFK by NYC public school students. I think I have writer genes from my Mom who wrote short stories but gave up after too many submission rejections. Growing up in the 60’s, we had Dylan, Beatles, lots of great writing going on, inspiring us. I published my first book (er, stapled pamphlet) of poems in 1969 and sold them for a dollar per book on the street corners of Berkeley and San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. Writing is natural to me.

Etan and Reader at Book Expo America, New York

Author and Happy Reader at Book Expo, NY. This is the real payoff!

Q: Why do you choose to write about the “big questions?”

Returning from my first spiritual sojourn to India in 1971, I visited my sister in Tucson and her then 7 year old daughter, my niece (now 41), asked where I had been so long. I said, India. She said, “Where’s that?” I said, “Far away.” She said, “What were you doing there?” I said, “Studying about God.” She said, “What is God?” Wow, I thought, how can I answer that one for a 7 year old? Let me trying writing an answer. That is the title of my first book, now is in its 22nd reprint with over 300,000 copies sold in 5 languages. I enjoyed writing that first one, and went on to the other Big Questions that my niece and other little people ask us know-it-all adults.

Q: When and why did you decide to start your own publishing company and how was the name selected?

Etan Boritzer

Etan Boritzer, Author/Publisher

First of all, have you ever tried getting published the traditional route, going through an agent, trying to get through the publisher’s door, to their chief editor, etc, etc? My first book “What is God?” was rejected for over 15 years! I still have over 100 rejection letters from agents, publishers, editors. About 1989 I met a rotund drunk Dutchman at a bar in Hollywood who said he was a publisher. He became the publisher of that first book. He understood what more than 100 “professionals” did not understand, a strange and beautiful and necessary little book by an unknown author. After that tedious experience, I went independent, formed Veronica Lane Books in 1992, and have never looked back. I teach authors that you can be a successful independent author/publisher just like me, and Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Louise Hays, and numerous other famous American independent author/publishers. The information age has made it possible today for anyone to bypass traditional publishing and still be successful. My very influential Aunt Veronica Lane, who loved literature and gave me lots of important books to read, inspired the name of our company.

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