What’s New on SLPerryman.com and What’s to Come


Over the last week I have been working on this site adding new content.

If you look in the menu section you will see a few new additions to the site. My goal is to continue adding new content to the site over the next month or so.

So what’s New?

Aspiring Authors– I was an aspiring author not too long ago. I understand the confusion and unbelievable amount of information you have to learn when first starting out. I created this page to compile all of the information and resources I have found useful into one easily accessible place for anybody who aspires to someday become a published author.

Downloads– This page is a sub-page for aspiring authors. Here you will find handy printables to help you on your journey to publication. You will find everything from fill-in-the-blank Outline Sheets for your next project to help make your ideas flow smoothly, to checklists, and even printable Book Promotion Site Lists. I will continue adding new printables to the page as time goes on so check back regularly or sign up to my email list to be notified when there are updates made.

Winners Circle– This page is dedicated to my giveaways and the winners of the giveaways. Each time I host a giveaway I will post an announcement on the welcome page, blog, as well as in the Winners Circle. If I have multiple giveaways going at the same time they will all be listed in the Winners Circle together.

Store- You will notice that the store tab has moved but is still live so if you want to make purchases you still can.*

*More things to come.

What’s to come?

Realms Merchandise-Very soon you will be able to purchase The Realms Series apparel. I am working on getting some Realms Creature Plushies made as well as some surprises. More on that at a later date.

Free Book when you sign up to my mailing list offer– Very soon I will be offering a Free eBook when you subscribe to my mailing list. If you are already subscribed you will automatically receive the free book when it goes live.

Print and Audio book availability– In the next few months Sapphire’s Destiny will be available to purchase in audio book and paperback formats through the Store. Keep your eye out for the announcement.

Book Promotion Newsletter– Soon you will be able to sign up to receive special emails with Free or Discounted Book Deals. These emails will be sent out once DAILY with new deals every day. Current Newsletter Subscribers keep and eye on your mailbox for the Launch Announcement.

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below.

Advertisements

Writers Block: The 3 categories of Writer’s block and How to Overcome them!


Writers Block. We’ve all had it at one point in time or another.

writers-block

When you were given a 5,000 word essay in high school and tasked with researching some inconspicuous boring topic. You spend weeks researching the topic and feel prepared. You know everything you need to about The Life cycle of Meal-worms from what they eat to how they reproduce. Yet, you sit down at your desk, pencil in hand, and… you draw a blank!

How should you open the research paper? Should you start with some witty fact? How about a bit of humor or a not so funny jokes? Or maybe just lay out the facts?

Writing is difficult.

So you spend hours outlining the paper, go through 3 packages if sticky notes and note cards, and still nothing comes to you.

The blank page haunts you as the days tick by and the deadline gets closer. You write and rewrite but it still doesn’t feel right. You try everything you can think of, you look up the correct way to open a research paper, you even go as far as asking friends and family for help but nothing works. You draw a blank.

Congratulations, you have writers block!

If you do a little searching, you will come across hundreds of posts with ideas of how to fight writers block. You’ll find good advice like “read a book” and you will find bad advice like “stand on your head for an hour while humming twinkle twinkle little star”. -Okay, I might have made that one up but you get the idea.

Writers block falls under 3 categories: Lack of Ideas, Lack of Motivation, and Lack of Time.

download (1)

Once you identify which issue you are having its pretty easy to overcome writers block.

Lack of Ideas

Okay, so lets say you have this amazing idea for a book. You throw together an outline and you write down every detail of the idea as a short description (so that if you forget where you are going with the story you have a quick reminder to help get your brain back to the place it was when you began).

You write out all of the important scenes and start on what I like to call “filler content” (the tedious work in between action scenes that seems to be the hardest thing to write).

But you start to struggle with the story. You don’t know how to make your character get from point A to point B. Who do they talk to? What do they talk about? What important information does the supporting character give to your main character that helps them on their journey?

And then the even more tedious content. What are they wearing? How are they supposed to react to this situation? Facial expressions? Hand gestures? The list goes on and on. All of these simple things that we overlook in our everyday lives are super important when it comes to our stories. Without it, the story is 1 dimensional and is unbelievable to the reader. So you can see, it’s really easy to get stumped during the writing process.

Which as much as your brain has to work just to write a simple scene, it’s easy to wear yourself out. When you spend every waking minute thinking about your story, your characters, and then writing, your brain just sometimes needs a break.

So it will shut itself down which leads to writers block. To overcome this form of writer’s block you need to give your brain the break it needs.

Take a few days off– Letting your brain have a few days off is the best way to beat any block.

Read a good book– I tend to reread some of my favorite books since they were my inspiration for writing in the first place. Don’t worry about whether or not the books you are reading are in the same genre as the ones you are trying to write. A lot of so called experts will tell you to avoid reading books in the same genre since you may accidentally plagiarize the other authors work in an attempt to make yours better. The chances of that are slim. Plagiarism takes a certain amount of thought before it happens, you can’t really plagiarize someone’s work unknowingly.

Try writing something else– this is why I have a blog. It gives me my creative outlet for when I get stumped on my projects. Write about anything you love from makeup to writing. Use this time to build your following of social media, promote your other works, maybe even start on that story you have on the back burner.

Research– Try researching how to better your writing, where you can promote your work, or just look up some recipies. You would be surprised at where inspiration hides.

Edit– use this down time to go back through what you’ve already written and fix problems in the plot, punctuation, and sentence structure. Sometimes you have to go back to the beginning to fix the issues before you can go on.

Enlist a friend– sometimes you just need someone to bounce ideas off of or to give you inspiration. You would be surprised how many people are willing to help if you just say “Hey, do you mind looking over this chapter and giving me your thoughts on how to continue?”

Try some writing prompts– Writing prompts can be a good way to get the juices flowing.

Lack of Motivation

Motivation is a hard one to overcome. Like I said, sometimes you just need a break. If a break doesn’t help try a whole different approach.

Give yourself deadlines– Sometimes knowing that you have to have something done by a certain date is enough to motivate you. I preset my release dates though I keep them a secret until I know I will have the book done on time. You could set weekly, daily, monthly, or project specific goals to help push you along.

Read a book– I know this was already listed but I believe to write you must read. Every time I read a great book I always feel like writing. So choose your absolute favorite book, the one that you’ve read a million times and still cry everything the character confesses his love for the girl, and read a few pages or chapters. Just enough to get you into the mood. Not only can this help overcome your lack of motivation but it will also make your writing better. I read 2 chapters everyday before I start writing.

Set down and type– Sometimes you just have to force yourself to do something. You don’t feel like doing the dishes but if you don’t you will be eating your cereal out of the dog bowl.

Visit a Writers Group– Reading some of the discussions in writers groups is a great way to not only learn more about the craft but also to motivate yourself to write. There is nothing better to motivate you than to read a rags to riches post from an unknown self published indie who is making bank on their novels. Facebook has tons of Writers Groups, just be sure you are taking away the good information and not the bad or letting the bad seeds in the groups bring you down. you can find a list of amazing Writers Groups in the Aspiring Authors Section.

Lack of Time

We are all super busy all of the time so this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Sometimes not having enough time to write will make you not want to even try. Scheduling your writing so that it fits into your busy schedule is one of the hardest things you will ever do and is probably one of the main reasons your manuscript isn’t finished yet.

Between kids, a job, and daily chores it’s hard to find time to squeeze in a few minutes of writing everyday but it’s essential that you try. If you have time to schedule in your daily dose of The Walking Dead than you can find the time to write.

Make a schedule and stick to it– even if you can only devote 30 minutes a day late at night after the kids are asleep do it and make sure you do it daily, weekly, or whenever you pencil it in.

Make the time– set your DVR to record your favorite shows, send your kids to an after school program or friends for an hour or two, or order takeout and rent a movie one night a week to keep everyone busy while you seek off to your cave to write.

 

Some other tips to combat writers block.

Take a walk or excersise– the quiet time and the extra fresh air will help clear your mind and get the gears turning. The new scenery can spark an idea for the setting of your next chapter and the people you see on your journey may inspire characters.

Clean the house– I know, why would you want to do that? You hate cleaning. Believe it or not, the physical activity helps as does the quiet time. Some of my best ideas for The Realms Series, like Squirt the Showshaw and the Grogus that Sapphire runs into in the book,  came to me while I was washing dishes.

Go shopping or run errands– new faces, products like stuffed animals, or even signs in store windows help spark ideas and get you out of the house.

Change where you write– sit outside in a hammock, by a pool, or in front of a window in a different room of the house. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery.

Take a writer’s course– This will help hone your skills as a writer and give you ideas to write about. There are a lot of online courses that you can take for free as well as some paid ones. You can also call your local college to see if they offer any.

Listen to some good music– Music is a great way to alleviate writers block.

Pinterest– Pinterest has tons of pinned posts specifically for authors. Go create a board for writing and pin away. Don’t worry if you get off topic; browsing Pinterest can be a fun way to get ideas. You could start by pinning this post.

 

Do you have any creative ways to combat writer’s block? What works best for you? Leave your answers in the comments below.

 

 

Bad Reviews Suck! How to deal with Negative Nancy’s.


Dear Aspiring Authors, This post is for you.

You see, when you are first starting out writing you are struck with this idea which you think is amazeballs!

You spend hundreds of hours thinking about this idea and hundreds more creating this imaginary world and it’s characters. Then, after slaving away for months or even years, you release this beast unto the world expecting it to be nothing  less than a New York Times Best Seller.

download

You’ve edited your manuscript to perfection and you’ve enlisted dozens of beta readers and reviewers who have all raved about your story.  You spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on a beautiful cover, amazing blurb, and done a ton of research before you set your masterpiece free. 

The book goes live and you ride the waves of ecstasy as the sales and Amazon Ranking climb. You may throw a release party or you may invest in promotions; either way you’re looking at a decent first paycheck. You’re thinking “Wow, if this continues I’ll be able to quit my day job and take up writing full time within the month!”

And then your first review comes in.

You’re shocked because it’s not a raving 5 star review like all of those beta readers and reviewers said your book was. You become angry as you read this person’s scathing words about your baby. You gasp in shock as this person you don’t know tears your baby to shreds and throws away the pieces. They point out every flaw that was missed, every plot hole that slipped through the cracks, and then go on to insult your writing ability.

“How dare they!”

Then you become angry for a whole different reason. You send a nasty emails to your editor, betas, and reviewers berating them for missing things. You consider removing your book from sale, throwing the hard copy in the grill, and lighting it on fire. Finally, you consider giving up writing all together.

Right now your probably thinking “Wow, talk about melodramatic!”

The sad thing is, this has actually happened before. There have been author who completely gave up on their dream because of a couple bad reviews.

I’m here to tell you that you need bad reviews!

That’s right, I said it! You need bad reviews. Lift your jaw off the floor and listen up.

Bad reviews are essential to your career. A good, bad review will point out all of the flaws in your writing and tell you what the readers want more of. These types of reviews are critical to making your stories everything that the readers want.

You may have written the story for yourself but let’s be honest, the readers are the ones that are going to pay your bills. You need to give them what they want or you will be writing your next novel from a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere.

Every great book has at least one bad review!

Don’t believe me? Go onto amazon and look up the Harry Potter books. Rowling sold millions of copies or the book and millions more copies of the movies. Yet each one of the books in the series has multiple bad reviews.

2016-05-19
Harry potter and the Sorcerers Stone: 12, 061 reviews, 176 of them 1 star!
2016-05-19 (1).png
Harry Potter and  the Order of the Phoenix: 7,783 reviews, 180 of them 1 star!

Fifty Shades Series? Same! Yet those were turned into movies too.

 

2016-05-19 (2)
50 Shades of Grey: 66,325 reviews, 10,158 of them 1 star!

Just because you get a bad review doesn’t mean that the book is bad, it just means that it wasn’t right for that reader.

My very first review was a 3 star and said the book was boring! (see image below) I took it in stride though and decided to use the criticism constructively and write a post for my writers group  on Facebook Authors Alley : Where Authors Come to Network.

2016-05-19 (4)
Sapphire’s Destiny Actual review. Though it got a 3 star review right away, my book went on to get multiple 5 star reviews after!

“So I got my first official amazon review today and I’m really happy with it 🙂 It was a 3 star review (before you ask why I would be happy with a 3 star review let me explain).

First, it’s a legitimate unbiased review of my book from someone I don’t know. Second 3 stars tells me that 1) the book was good enough to finish but 2) could use improvements. For my very first book, to me that is an excellent sign. It means that I’m doing well but have room to grow.

Next, they said the book didn’t have enough action and when there was action, it was short lived. This tells me that readers want more action and that they want the action scenes to be longer (totally doable I might add).

Then they said that a lot of things were left unexplained and that they will be reading the next book to see if they get explained. This tells me that the hook worked, that I need to answer some questions in book 2 (already planned to), and that I’ve pretty much already sold a book before it’s out.

I love these types of reviews, they tell you so much in so little words that help you become a better writer and make your writing more enticing.”

See what I did there?

I read the review, picked out the critical feedback, and turned it into information I can use for future books!

 

You can avoid getting bad reviews by targeting the specific audience your book would do well with. This is called Niche Targeting. Of course investing in a great editor, proofreader, and getting strangers to beta read your manuscript helps a lot but sometimes that’s not enough.

My advice to you?

Read each review but ignore the ones that are just trolling. If the review doesn’t contain anything useful then ignore it. The reviewer may have just been having a bad day or is just a negative person. If you are getting lots of 1 star reviews then step back and really take a good look at your book.

Use the bad reviews as a writers guide.

Take note of each of the issues that are pointed out and fix your manuscript. You can republish it with the new changes, unfortunately you won’t be able to remove those bad reviews unless you take the original down and republish the book as a second edition.

All in all, just enjoy the process! You can’t please everyone! If you are happy with the book then ignore the haters and write the next book. Maybe your first book wasn’t for everyone but maybe your next one will be!

What is the worst review you’ve gotten? Do you have any advice for new authors about dealing with bad reviews?

Post your responses in the comments below!

 

25 Inspirational Quotes for Authors


Sometimes authors need a little inspiration, that’s why I have gathered some of the most popular inspirational quotes and made this list.

  1. Richard Bach “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit!”richard bach quote 1

2. Ray Bradbury “And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.”

ray bradbury quote1

3. Leo Tolstoy “The best stories don’t come from ‘Good vs. Bad’ but ‘Good vs. Good’.”

Leo tolstoy quote1

 

4. Toni Morrison “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

toni morrison quote 1

 

5. Ray Bradbury “Dont talk about it; Write.”ray bradbury quote 2

 

6. Joss Whedon “I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.”joss whedon quote 1

 

7. Margaret Atwood “If I waited for perfection I would never write a word.”

margaret atwood quote 1

 

8. Truman Capote “To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music the words make.”

truman capote quote 1

 

9. Samuel Johnson “A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”

samuel johnson quote 1.jpg

 

10. Vladimir Nabokov “The pages are still blank but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.”

vladamir nabokov quote 1

 

11. Maya Angelou “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

maya angelou quote 1

 

12. Benjamin Franklin “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

benjamin franklin quote 2

 

13. Ernest Hemingway “The first draft of anything is shit!”

ernest hemingway quote 1

 

14. Ernest Gaines “The six golden rules of writing. Read, read, read, and write, write, write.”

ernest gaines quote 1

 

15. William Styron “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it.”

william styron quote 1

 

16. Buffy Andrews “Writers see the world differently. Every voice we hear, every face we see, every hand we touch could become story fabric.”

buffy andrews quote 1

 

17. Gustave Flaubert “The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”

gustave flaubert quote 1

 

18. Thomas Mann “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

thomas mann quote 1

 

19. Harper Lee “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career, that before developing his talent, he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”

harper lee quote 1.jpg

20. E.L. Doctorow “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader- not the fact that it is raining but the feeling of being rained upon.”

el doctorow quote 1.jpg

 

21. Jules Renard “Writing is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to those who have none.”

jules renard quote 1.jpg

 

22. Sylvia Plath “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

sylvia plath quote1.png

 

23. Cyril Connolly “Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”

cyril connolly quote 1.png

 

24. Jack London “Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into every stray thought that flutters up into your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory.”

jack london quote 1.jpg

 

25. Tobias Wolff “A true piece of writing is a dangerous thing, it can change your life.”

tobias wolff quote 1.jpg

 

Moral of this post is that every writer has days when they just need a little inspiration to help get the juices flowing and keep on keeping on!

Do you have any favorite inspirational quotes? Leave them in the comments below. Don’t forget to follow my blog and sign up for my mailing list for more great content.