The Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine

"Fiction Writing = Organization + Craft + Marketing"

The Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine

 
Publisher: Randy Ingermanson ("the Snowflake guy")
 
Motto: "A Vision for Excellence"
 
Date: October 9, 2014
Issue: Volume 10, Number 10
Personal Site: www.Ingermanson.com
 
Circulation: 10,133 writers, each of them creating a Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
 
"Fiction Writing = Organization + Craft + Marketing"
 
 

What's in This Issue

 
1) Welcome to the Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine! 
2) Organization: The Author Entrepreneur
3) Craft: One Strategy for Writing a Series
4) Marketing: The Two Legs of Marketing
5) What's New At AdvancedFictionWriting.com 
6) Randy Recommends . . .
7) What Randy is Reading
8) Randy's Deal of the Day
9) Steal This E-zine! 
10) Reprint Rights
 
 

1) Welcome to the Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine!

Those of you who have joined in the past month (432 of you signed up in September), welcome to my e-zine!

 

If you missed a back issue, remember that all previous issues are archived on my web site at: www.AdvancedFictionWriting.com/ezine/

 

 

2) Organization: The Author Entrepreneur

About ten years ago, I had a bit of an epiphany. I realized that as an author, I couldn’t depend on anybody else to make my writing career a success. The burden was on me to start acting like I meant business with my writing. 

 

I realized that an author needs to be an entrepreneur.

 

My life has never been the same. 

 

This month, I’m interviewing another writer who believes exactly the same thing—Joanna Penn. I previously interviewed her in this e-zine a couple of months ago, and now I’m interviewing her again because she’s got a new book out: Business for Authors: How To Be An Author Entrepreneur.

Joanna's web site is at http://www.thecreativepenn.com. If you haven't discovered her yet, you're missing out on a great fiction teacher.

 

Recently, Joanna and I did a Skype interview. It ran fast and furious, and we kept interrupting each other. It was chaotic and fun. I’ve trimmed it down a bit and have made us look a lot more orderly than we actually were.

 

Joanna’s a high-energy person, and very smart. I hope you’ll get a lot out of our discussion. Here it is, with most of the chaos removed:

 

 

Randy: The word "entrepreneur" is a bit scary to some people. Because they just want to write and let somebody else handle the money. How do you define "entrepreneur"?

 

Joanna: To me, an entrepreneur is someone who creates value from their ideas — it brings to mind the tech scene guys, Zuckerberg etc, but really, authors just create things from nothing out of their minds. That one manuscript can be turned into multiple streams of income -- print book, ebook, audiobook in English and then multiple languages, in their country and then in other countries.

 

Randy: So it's natural that an author could be an entrepreneur.

 

Joanna: It's a word I think any creative can claim -- the main aspect is taking it beyond the book.

 

Randy: But still a lot of authors would just rather not bother. What do you say to them?

 

Joanna: Of course, creating for the sake of creating is marvelous!  But some people want to make a living as an author. Some people want to give up the day job like I did 3 years ago.  If you want to replace your income, or grow it (hopefully!) you need to think more like a business person, and that means words like — products, customers, suppliers, financials, distribution etc.  All of which is appropriate for authors too. So my aim is to "de-scarify" these business terms so authors can understand how to run their own small business. In  the past, agents did this, and publishers did these tasks — but now, indies can do it themselves -- and it's a lot of fun (for some types of people!)

 

Randy: Authors need to get away from the idea that earning money is somehow beneath them, like money is dirty. Money pays the rent. Money is time, and time is freedom.

 

Joanna: Absolutely -- authors have stomachs and families and dreams of holidays :) and health care and schools etc. I think it's only recently that money has become something separate to art.  Many of the great artists had patrons. It was the only way they could work.

 

Randy: You mentioned indie authors, but can a traditional author also be an entrepreneur?

 

Joanna: Yes, trad authors can also be entrepreneurs and many are, especially non-fiction authors who have a business on the back of the book. The book is often a business card to those people. But in terms of trad authors who are entrepreneurs, James Patterson is up there. He spent years as a marketing guy before fiction -- and he runs his business very well!

 

Randy: Oh, definitely, Patterson is  a machine. He's brilliant.

 

Joanna: People may not like his books -- but he sure pleases the audience :)

 

Randy: That's what authors do -- delight their target audience. Let's talk about business models. That was something I thought was terrific in your book. What are an author's options for business models?

 

Joanna: You can separate these or combine them ... 1) high volume fiction, like HM Ward and others who put out a lot of novellas regularly and sell a lotta books. That can also be non-fiction -- like Steve Scott.

 

Randy: Yes, Russell Blake and Joe Konrath have done well that way.  And of course James Patterson.

 

Joanna: 2) book as business card — book as lead gen for back end business or consulting or speaking fees. Generally non-fiction -- and I blend this with my fiction writing.

 

Randy: I think that's a great idea that a lot of writers never think of.

 

Joanna: 3) sporadic fiction with other income, like many literary fiction authors also teach creative writing or may have a day job. I think it's important to state that this doesn't have to be a full-time income, and in fact, isn't intended to be for many people. 

 

Randy: Right, very few authors make a full time living from writing. Maybe a couple of percent of all authors. 

 

Joanna: I would say that ALL my income comes from writing, but not all from book sales. So my writing on my blog has led to speaking and sales of other products.

 

Randy: Books may be just a fraction of an author's revenue.

 

Joanna: Indeed, although as my fiction books start to build up, I am seeing a greater percentage from that.

 

Randy: And that's OK. You can still consider yourself a professional writer if you earn only a fraction from your books.

 

Joanna: Absolutely -- in my eyes, a professional writer treats the writing seriously and tries to deliver a quality product. Fiction doesn't age, so it is my intended main income stream in the future.

 

Randy: That's the direction I'm headed, but fiction just takes time and energy to build.

 

Joanna: Steven Pressfield's Turning Pro book is something I re-read every year. It's more of an attitude -- although obviously there has to be some output too :)

 

Randy: Right, you start with a mindset, but that's not where you stop.

 

Joanna: Exactly, that just gets you to the page. To be an author entrepreneur though, you need to be thinking about business models and how to turn one manuscript into multiple streams of income.

 

Randy: So talk to me about the entrepreneurial mindset.

 

Joanna: The entrepreneur is primarily an experimenter -- someone willing to play and give it a go, to act without asking permission, to be prepared to fail and to get up and carry on. It's also about being willing to learn.

 

Randy: I hadn't thought of it that way, but it makes sense. A lot of authors are terrified of failure. But in the business world, failure is normal.

 

Joanna: EVERYONE is terrified of failure — but it's how we learn — and what's failure really for an author? A bad review? No sales? It's not life threatening — just ego threatening -- the best cure is to write another book!

 

Randy: Right, and to not read the caustic reviews. Those are just rat poison for the brain. Entrepreneurs talk a lot about "pivoting".

 

Joanna: Yes, pivoting is great too -- it means being able to change mid flow -- like me splitting my brand into JF Penn and Joanna Penn, as you have done too. 

 

Randy:  Right, I split out my brand into my fiction and AdvancedFictionWriting.com when it became clear that people really liked my teaching about fiction writing.

 

Joanna: Also writing novellas instead of just full length books. Some authors change genres completely. Hugh Howey wrote lots of novellas before Wool hit. 

 

Randy: Yes, he spent years learning to write.

 

Joanna: Exactly -- my aim in 2015 is to try and fail more, to try and be more experimental instead of trying to always be pleasing. I always want to be liked, and that makes me self-censor.

 

Randy: I think we all do.  Failing is easy. Failing well is hard.

 

Joanna: I feel as if I need to take some more creative risks. I've taken the financial ones. 

 

Randy: You just can't please everybody, so you have to first please yourself and then hopefully you'll find a target audience that you also please.

 

Joanna: Exactly — and there's a quote that Pressfield uses in his books that I have now used in mine, from Krishna — you're entitled to your labour, not the fruits of your labour. Meaning -- it's about the work, the journey, not the end result. So if you don't enjoy the process, what's the blooming point!

 

Randy: Yes, exactly. The work has to be fun in its own right. Then it's more like play.

 

Joanna: We have to be proud of our body of work when we die. Also, in this world of the internet niche, there will always be people like us somewhere :)

 

Randy: A lot of my e-zine readers are fairly new to writing. What's the one thing they should think about first when starting to shift into an entrepreneur mindset?

 

Joanna: You'll never have a business with one book. I think it's the #1 issue with new writers -- myself included a few years back. You spend so long on that first book, you don't realise it's just the first step.

 

Randy: So you have to think in terms of a series of books, then. That's the big thing I've learned this year.

 

Joanna: In any business, you need more than one product. So that can be a series, or multiple standalones that relate in some way. 

 

Randy: Right, a brand that you can build around.

 

Joanna: But they should be interesting to the same reader — that's the quickest way anyway. It's what Liliana Hart said to me at LBF when I asked about her tipping point. She said 5 books within a series or a niche and you start to see movement. It's hard for new authors to consider though -- so start by finishing the first book and then think about it!!

 

Randy: I'd have guessed 3 was enough.

 

Joanna: I think it depends. I saw one jump of income at 3 books, but I definitely saw another at 5.

 

Randy: That's where I saw it too -- at 3 books. Guess I have something to look forward to at 5!

 

Joanna: People who do VERY well at this generally have 15+, but it's hard to think that far ahead if you haven't finished one. I guess the important thing is that NO business is viable in year 1, or generally year 2, or with one product, or with few customers -- it all takes time.

 

Randy: After you get 1 book done, 3 sounds possible. When you get to 3, 5 sounds possible. After that, 100 sounds possible.

 

Joanna: 100 is possible! Asimov wrote 700 I think. Enid Blyton 600 or something.

 

Randy: But a series of 3 to 5 is going to do things that standalones won't do. I think that's critical for new writers to understand.

 

Joanna: Indeed -- you get repeat customers. You can play with pricing and free.

 

Randy: How long is your ARKANE series now?

 

Joanna: ARKANE is 3 full length and 2 novellas. My London Psychic series is 2 full length. There's one novella that ties the 2 together, Day of the Vikings. The aim was to try and get some crossover. I'm intending to do more novellas too -- they sell surprisingly well.

 

Randy: Well, we've covered quite a lot today! Thanks, Joanna, for your time and expertise!

Joanna: Thank you!


 

As I mentioned above, Joanna has a new book out, a non-fiction guide on being an entrepreneur: Business for Authors: How To Be An Author Entrepreneur

 

I asked Joanna if she could give a special deal exclusively for readers of my e-zine. 

 

She made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: Anyone who buys her new book Business for Authors can get a free copy of her e-book on marketing, How to Market a Book. The offer is good through October 21, 2014. If you have previously bought Business for Authors, then you still qualify for this special deal.

 

Here’s what you do:

  1. Buy Business for Authors at any retailer. The price is $4.99 in the US, and may be slightly different outside the US.  Here are a few links, but you can buy it anywhere you like:
  2. Go to this page:  http://www.thecreativepenn.com/afw-ezine/ and click the button near the bottom that says “Click Here”.
  3. You’ll be taken to a page where you can download the e-book How to Market a Book in either Kindle or epub format. This book is currently on sale for $5.99, but you’ll get it free.

You’ll notice that you don’t have to show any receipt or any proof that you bought Business for Authors. This makes things simple for you. I was able to arrange this with Joanna because readers of my e-zine are exceptionally honest people. 

 

Why would Joanna give you such an awesome deal? It’s simple. She’ll get a spike in sales of Business for Authors, which will boost that book in the rankings which will increase its visibility. As a bonus, she’ll help out you, and we all know that helping other people just feels good. So this is a win for everybody.

 

 

3) Craft: One Strategy for Writing a Series

If you’re writing a series, you need a strategy for how the books will work together. I talked about this issue last month, but I’m going to expand on it a bit more this month.

 

Different authors use different strategies for designing a series, but a common strategy is this one:

  1. Write the first book so it stands alone, but there’s room for a sequel.
  2. Write each succeeding book so it ends on a cliff-hanger.
  3. Write the last book so it closes off all the important threads.

Example 1: Star Wars

 

The first three Star Wars movies (Episodes 4, 5, and 6) followed this strategy.

 

Episode 4 featured Luke Skywalker and his friends Princess Leia and Han Solo in their quest to help the Rebellion against Darth Vader and his planet-destroying Death Star.

 

The movie ends with the Death Star destroyed and Darth Vader trapped in a fighter craft, spinning off into the void.

 

This story stands alone. If there was never a sequel, the audience would have felt like the story was complete.

 

Of course, there was obvious room for a sequel. Darth Vader was not killed and the Emperor was not defeated. But no sequel was required.

 

Compare that to Episode 5, The Empire Strikes Back. This movie ends with Han Solo being shipped off to Jabba the Hutt, frozen in “carbonite.” Luke loses his hand in a battle with Darth Vader and learns that Vader is his father.

 

This is definitely a downer ending, and it demands another sequel. If this was the end of the series, the audience would be furious.

 

The audience is now used to thinking of the series as a series and wants more.

 

Notice that if the first movie in the series had ended like this, the audience would also be furious. Nobody wants the first in a series to force them to commit to the entire series. The audience wants the first book to be a complete story, because when you start a book, you’re committing only to that one book.

 

For the second book or later, it’s OK to leave massive threads hanging, because when you start the sequel to a book, you are committing to a series of indefinite length.

 

Episode 6, Return of the Jedi, completes the trilogy. Luke battles Darth Vader but refuses to give in to the dark side of the Force. The Emperor tries to kill Luke, but Darth Vader repents and rescues his son, killing the Emperor and receiving a fatal wound in return. As he dies, Vader is reconciled with Luke.

 

This now completes the series. If this were the end, the audience would be fine with it. All threads are tied off, and there’s no requirement for another movie.

 

As we all know, three prequels have been made as a separate trilogy, and another sequel, Episode 7, is in the works. These aren’t required by the logic of the original trilogy, but of course they’re allowed. You can almost always find more prequels or sequels you could write.

 

Example 2: The Hunger Games

 

The same basic strategy holds for the Hunger Games series. 

 

Book 1, The Hunger Games, stands on its own. Katniss Everdeen is sent to the arena to fight to the death with 23 other teens. One of those, Peeta Mellark, is in love with her. The setting is a dystopic future America ruled by the evil Capitol. 

 

Politics plays a small role in the story. The main thread is the survival of Katniss and it’s made stronger by a romantic thread between a reluctant Katniss and an eager Peeta. 

 

At the end of the story, Katniss and Peeta have both survived, which would be a happy ending if that was the whole story. But there’s also a strong romance thread, and when Katniss lets Peeta know she’s not really in love with him, that’s a bit of a downer, so the ending is bittersweet. But the book stands on its own. No sequel is required, but a sequel is plausible because the Capitol still rules.

 

In Book 2, the Capitol forces Katniss and Peeta to compete in a second Hunger Games along with 22 other previous champions. The stakes are higher now. There will be no easy kills. And this time, the Capitol won’t allow both Katniss and Peeta to survive.

 

Politics is now playing a much bigger role. The book ends when some of the champions destroy the arena and are evacuated by rebel forces. Katniss is rescued, but Peeta is captured by the Capitol. Their home district is firebombed by the Capitol.

 

That’s a cliffhanger. It demands a sequel. And the reader is eager for it.

 

In Book 3, the rebels flare into open revolt against the Capitol. A bloody war follows, and eventually the rebels defeat the Capitol. Justice, of a sort, is dealt out. The ending is bittersweet, but it’s an ending. No sequel is required. 

 

Not All Series Follow This Strategy

 

The strategy I’ve outlined is an option, not a requirement. You can write a series using other strategies. 

 

The Lord of the Rings, for example, is one long story, published in three volumes. Book 1 doesn’t stand alone. It ends on a cliffhanger, because the story isn’t anywhere close to being over. Most people know going in that the series is really one ultra long story, so few people are annoyed at the ending to the first book. If you play your series this way, make sure that people know before they buy Book 1 that it’s just the first act in a single long story. People don’t like to be snookered.

 

The Jack Reacher series by Lee Child currently has nineteen books, each of which stands alone. None of them ends on a cliffhanger. Any one of them could be taken out with no loss to the overall series story, because there isn’t any overall series story. If you want a really long series, this is probably your best option.

 

Homework

 

Think about other series you’ve read. Which ones use the strategy I’ve outlined above? Which ones don’t? Did you like the experience of reading the series? Did you feel cheated by the author?

 

If you’re working on a series, what’s the strategy you’re using? Do you set your readers’ expectations so they know your strategy before they commit to reading Book 1? Do you consistently follow the strategy through the entire series?

 

 

4) Marketing: The Two Legs of Marketing

I was teaching a workshop on marketing at a writing conference when one of the students stood up and challenged me.

 

“You keep talking about making money with your marketing,” he said. “But I don’t care about making money. I just want to get my message out.”

 

I looked at the guy and a light-bulb went off in my head. “So you only care about moving units, right? At low prices, I assume?”

 

He nodded. “Right. But all you care about is earning money.”

 

“Wrong,” I said. “I do want to make money, but I also want to move units. And it just dawned on me that making money and moving units aren’t in competition. They’re in cooperation. The more stuff you give away, the more money you make. The more money you make, the more stuff you can give away.”

 

I’ve been thinking about that ever since, and it seems to explain why some marketing efforts succeed and some don’t.

 

Giving Stuff Away is Good

 

When you give stuff away, it massively boosts your discoverability. If the stuff you give away is good, then that also boosts your credibility. It makes everything you have desirable.

 

Years ago, I posted an article on my web site about my Snowflake Method. I didn’t know it at the time, but that has been the most influential thing I’ve ever done. That page on my site has been viewed over 4 million times. It’s helped uncounted numbers of novelists plan their stories before they write them.

 

One of my friends took me to task years ago for making that page free. He thought the information was worth money and I ought to find a way to sell it. But I liked just giving it away for free.

 

He was right and I was right, both at the same time.

 

My Snowflake Method article is still free, but it’s earned me some money by drawing attention to me and by proving that my ideas are valuable. The free article made it easier to sell related products.

So free is good. But it's not the only good thing.

 

Earning Money is Good

 

So I’ve made some money by giving stuff away, but it doesn’t stop there, and it shouldn’t. Because I was earning money, I could afford to cut back on my day job. That freed up my time. So I was able to spend more time creating more stuff to give away.

 

For example, this e-zine is free. I give away some of the best ideas that I come up with each month. Why? Because it’s fun to give stuff away. It helps other people. It makes me feel happy.

 

But there’s a cycle going on here, and this same cycle seems to work for a lot of people. Giving away more stuff earns you even more money. Which frees up even more of your time. And on and on it goes.

 

Money is Time

 

Earning money buys you time away from the day job. If you earn enough money, you won’t need a day job at all.

 

Time is freedom. Freedom to do what you want. Freedom to spend time helping people. Freedom to give stuff away.

 

This explains why the “permafree” strategy works so well for e-books. Many indie authors have done well by writing a series of novels and making the first one permanently free on all the retailers. 

 

A permafree book gives the author massive discoverability. If the book is any good, its target audience will get excited about it and continue on to buy the rest of the books in the series. 

 

If the book isn’t very good, it probably won’t do well, but that’s another issue entirely—the question of what is “quality” and how you improve the quality of your work.

 

The Two Legs of Marketing

 

Here’s how I think about this. Marketing has two legs. The left leg is all about moving units—giving stuff away for free. The right leg is all about earning money—because we all have to pay the rent.

 

When you use both legs, you’re going to run faster than somebody who’s hopping along on just the left leg or just the right leg.

 

OK, that’s only an analogy, and it’s not perfect. It’s not a proof or an explanation. But it helps me remember to keep balanced in my marketing.

 

Give stuff away—as much as you can. Earn money—as much as you can. Then use the money to free up your time so you can give even more stuff away. Keep doing that until you die.

 

Applying This To Your Own Life

 

If this makes sense to you, then take a few minutes right now to think about how you could apply it to your own life. Do you have something you can give away—some special knowledge that you could make freely available on the web or in an e-book? Do you have something related that you could then sell?

 

Please note that it is far easier to give away large numbers of electronic information products than to give away lots of physical products. Books and CDs cost money to reproduce and store and ship. Electronic information costs hardly anything to reproduce and store and ship.

 

We’re all in a different place in life, so no two of us will put this into practice in the exact same way.

 

But we can all use the same principle. The idea is yours for free. 

 

Take it and run with it and go make the world a better place. And in the process, earn yourself a bit of money.

 

 

5) What's New At AdvancedFictionWriting.com

Writing Schedule

 

September has been a month of research for me. I’m mapping out a series of novels about one of the most influential humans ever to walk the planet—Jesus of Nazareth. Is there anything new to say about this mysterious man? I think there is. A whole lot, in fact. Stay tuned…

 

I also took time to teach at a conference. The topic was a new one for me, “How to be an Insanely Great Indie Author,” so it took much longer than usual to prepare. “Insanely great” is a phrase Steve Jobs used to describe the Mac, and it’s interesting to compare the revenue chart for Apple to the revenue chart for breakout indie authors. They look remarkably similar.
 

Teaching Schedule

I normally teach at four to six writing conferences per year. In 2014, I’ll be attending five conferences, and that’ll be my limit for the year.

 

Why don't I teach at more conferences? Because teaching is an incredibly demanding blood sport and it sucks a huge amount of energy out of my tiny brain. I prefer to put my absolute best into a few locations than to muddle through at many.

 

Here’s what my calendar shows me for the remainder of 2014:

  • In October, I’ll be attending the Novelists, Inc. Conference in St. Pete, Florida. This conference is shaping up to be the best Ninc conference ever, and it’s going to be at an amazing location, just feet from the beach. The bad news is that it’s already sold out. The good news is that I know a few of you are going, and I’ll look forward to seeing you there.

If you'd like me to teach at your conference in 2015 or beyond, email me to find out how outrageously expensive I am. Just be aware that I often have to say no because I only have a little time allocated in my life for travel.

 

If you'd just like to hear me teach, I have a number of recordings and e-books that are outrageously cheap. Details on the products page of my web site.
 

6) Randy Recommends . . . 

 
I don't take paid ads for this e-zine. I do, however, recommend people I like.
 
I'm a huge fan of Margie Lawson's courses, both the ones she teaches in person and the ones she sells on her web site at www.MargieLawson.com
 
Margie is a psychologist who applies what she knows about human psychology to writing fiction. I believe her material is brilliant. Check her out on her web site!
 
I've also become a fan of Thomas Umstattd's terrific uncommon-sense thoughts on internet marketing. You can read Thomas's blog at: www.AuthorMedia.com/blog
 
Thomas and his crew at AuthorMedia are the folks who reworked my web site awhile back, and I'm extremely happy with the results.
 
Please be aware that in this section I ONLY recommend folks who have never asked me to do so. Tragically, this means that if you ask me to list you here, I will be forced to say no. 
 

7) What Randy is Reading

You might be interested in some of the books I’ve been reading recently. A lot of these are research books, and I’m including them here because otherwise my reading list would look pretty lame this month. As always, I’m omitting books I started and didn’t finish. I’m also omitting books that were horrible but I read anyway. (There are certain aspects of the craft of writing that you can only learn by reading really wretched fiction and asking yourself what makes it so bad.)

 

Here are the ones worth reporting from September:

 

Personal, by Lee Child. This is the latest thriller in the Jack Reacher series, and I’m a Reacher addict so I inhaled this book in less than a day. A sniper has taken a shot at the president of France from 1400 yards away. Only a handful of snipers in the world are good enough to attempt the shot, and the world’s security forces are investigating each one. Jack Reacher arrested one of those snipers sixteen years ago, but the guy has now been out of jail for a full year. Could he be the one? As usual, this story has wheels within wheels. 

 

S**T Doesn’t Just Happen, by Bob Mayer. Mayer is a former Green Beret and has a strong interest in catastrophes of all kinds. He analyzes seven disasters, including the Titanic, the Donner Party, and the annihilation of Custer’s forces, and draws some useful conclusions. If you write thrillers that involve things going horribly, desperately, colossally wrong, this nonfiction book might interest you.

 

A Jewish Understanding of the New Testament, by Samuel Sandmel. A classic work by a well-known, highly-respected Jewish scholar. This is research for the series I’m working on, and I found it extremely interesting.

 

Jewish Views of the Afterlife, by Simcha Paull Raphael. More research for the series I’m working on. There’s a clear progression over the centuries on how Jews thought about the afterlife. An eye-opener for just about everyone, I suspect.

 

Business for Authors: How To Be An Author Entrepreneur, by Joanna Penn. The core knowledge needed by every author who means business.

 

The Books of Enoch, by Joseph B. Lumpkin. English translations of three apocryphal books attributed to Enoch, with some commentary. More research for my series. This is fairly weird stuff, but if you want to get inside the head of a first-century Jew, one way to do that is to read what he was reading. And the book of Enoch was massively popular in the first century. 

 

A Better Atonement: Beyond the Depraved Doctrine of Original Sin, by Tony Jones. Still more research for my series. Jones’s book will infuriate some people and exhilarate others. There are a number of theories of “the atonement” and each of them gives you a different hypothesis about what was going on inside the mind of Jesus as he approached Jerusalem for the final time. I think it's likely that one of these theories correctly explains his thinking, but the hard part is figuring out which one.

 

 

8) Randy's Deal of the Day

In recent months, I’ve been offering a special “Deal of the Day” for one of my books.

 

This month, I’ve arranged a Deal of the Day with New York Times bestselling novelist Joanna Penn. I interviewed Joanna in this month’s column on Organization, and there I mentioned an exclusive deal that Joanna is offering to readers of this e-zine. In case you missed it, here it is again.

 

Joanna’s latest book is titled Business for Authors. It’s a handy guide for author entrepreneurs. This is a simple, easy-to-read, short book that covers ALL the basics on running a writing business. I wish I’d had something like this back when I was just starting out.

 

This is not advanced material—it’s better than that. It’s basic. It’s simple. It’s all the most important things that a beginning writer needs to know. 

 

I’ll bet even advanced writers will find some pearls in this book (I did), but I’m sure every new writer will find this book a gold mine of solid info on how to make a business out of writing.

 

If you’re new to writing, or if you have never learned the business of writing, then I suspect you need Business for Authors. It's an excellent deal at only $4.99.

 

Here’s the special deal Joanna gave me exclusively for you, my loyal e-zine readers: If you buy Business for Authors (or if you have already bought it), Joanna will give you a free copy of her e-book, How to Market a Book, currently on sale for $5.99. You get it free as Joanna’s way of thanking you for buying Business for Authors.

 

This deal ends on October 21, 2014.  

 

Where Do You Buy "Business for Authors"?

 

You can get Business for Authors in e-book format at any of these online retailers:

 

On Amazon: $4.99.  

On Barnes & Noble: $4.99.   

On Apple’s iBooks store: $4.99.

On Kobo: $4.99.  

 

These are US prices. As usual, the prices may be slightly different for customers outside the US, but they should be close to the US price.

 

How Do You Get Your Free Copy of "How to Market a Book"?

 

After you buy Business for Authors, go to this page: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/afw-ezine/ and click the button near the bottom of the page that says “Click Here”. 

 

You’ll be taken to a page where you can download your free copy of the e-book How to Market a Book in either Kindle or epub format. This book currently goes for $5.99. A great deal for you.

 

Notice that you don’t have to give Joanna a receipt or any other proof that you bought Business for Authors in order to get the free copy of How to Market a Book. There's a simple reason for this.

 

Joanna and I have the same philosophy about making people jump through hoops—we don’t like it. We try to do the right thing by our readers, and we trust our readers to do the right thing by us. This makes life simpler for everyone. 

 

 

 

9) Steal This E-zine!

 
This E-zine is free, and I personally guarantee it's worth at least 118 times the price. I invite you to "steal" it, but only if you do it nicely . . .
 
Distasteful legal babble: This E-zine is copyright Randall Ingermanson, 2014.
 
Extremely tasteful postscript: Yes, you’re allowed to e-mail this E-zine to any fiction writer friends of yours who might benefit from it. 
 
Of course you should not forward this e-mail to people who don't write fiction. They won't care about it.
 
At the moment, there is one place to subscribe: www.AdvancedFictionWriting.com
 
 

10) Reprint Rights

 
Permission is granted to use any of the articles in this e-zine in your own e-zine or web site, as long as you include the following 2-paragraph blurb with it:
 
This article is reprinted by permission of the author.
 
Award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson, "the Snowflake Guy," publishes the free monthly Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, with more than 10,000 readers. If you want to learn the craft and marketing of fiction, AND make your writing more valuable to editors, AND have FUN doing it, visit www.AdvancedFictionWriting.com.
 
 

The Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine is Published by:

 
Randy Ingermanson 
 
 
Copyright © 2014 Ingermanson Communications, Inc., All rights reserved.
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