Welcome to part two of January’s update. This includes some free writing workshops, suggestions for finding more reader reviews for your upcoming book, and more.
On Tuesday, February 9, at 3pm, member Barbara Anne King (The California Immigrant) will be appearing at the Norwalk Library in a discussion on Zoom of her new novel, The Apple King, to be published February 3. The book is the second historical novel in her Monterey Bay Series, based on the Croatian immigrants who settled in California in the 1930s. Register to get a Zoom link by emailing Cynde Bloom Lahey, or call (203) 899-2780 ext. 15133.
The Connecticut Romance Writers Association (CTRWA) allows non-members to attend two meetings a year to see whether membership appeals to them. Meetings are held monthly, and each one has a guest presenter with topics of interest to writers. The next meeting, On February 13, will host bestselling thriller author Hallie Ephron, (Careful What you Wish For) giving a workshop on Writing Character-Driven Fiction. She’ll cover topics appropriate for any novelist: creating a character web, developing a character arc within the novel’s three-act structure, mining the gap between what’s visible and what’s hidden, developing a character arc within a scene, and the importance of back story in driving plot, and how to use it effectively. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to attend.
Jane Cleland, writer of the Josie Prescott series of cozy mysteries, and also a writing teacher, is offering some free online workshops that could benefit any writer of fiction. Here are the details: February 20: Thematic Writing (How to use figurative imagery, atmosphere, and allegories to add richness and depth to your writing) and on March 13, The Perception Gap (How to use your characters’ views of the world to create compelling and twisty plots.)
Finding readers to review your book can be difficult, but I’ve come across three companies that may be able to help. If you can recommend others, please let us know in the comments.
Booksprout is a company founded in 2015 that helps increase your book reviews. Rather than signing up for numerous newsletters, checking multiple websites, and missing new releases by their favorite authors, readers can follow them in their app. It provides a single location with mobile notifications so that readers never miss a new book again! Authors need reviews on launch day in order to build trust quickly. With our ARC Management feature, they can reduce time spent delivering eBook files and following up with readers all while maximizing reviews. There’s a free version, and ones for $10 or $20 per month with more features.
Bookfunnel is a similar service, but also allows you to collect the email addresses of those who’ve downloaded the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of your book. Depending on your price point, there are other benefits too. Prices range from $2 to $20 per month, with a contract for a year.
Lastly, Story Origin provides the same services and is completely free because it’s in Beta (meaning they haven’t figured out all the wrinkles yet). It might be worth a try if your budget is tight, since you’ve nothing to lose, and they have a number of tutorials on the site to show you how to use it. Here’s a list of the opportunities they offer.
Published to death is a blog for writers that covers a multitude of subjects, including agents, self-publishing, and submissions. A recent post listed 49 places to submit to for the month of January. Because it’s late in the month, some of the deadlines have passed, but there are still plenty left. They cover all kinds of genres, so subscribe to keep up to date.
Lastly, in case you’re spending too much time on your phone and would like to break the habit, you could do worse than try Forest, an app that allows you to “grow” a virtual forest while you’re not on your phone. When you accumulate enough points, the people at Forest will plant a live tree for you.
So you can do the world a bit of good along with yourself. 🙂