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Category Archives: Publishing

Help an Author: Be a Beta Reader

My Manuscript Awaiting Beta Readers.

My Manuscript Awaiting Beta Readers.

How does that pile of pages become a treasured book?

Every author will tell you a different story, some sad, some happy, many somewhere in between. But all authors will tell you this: It takes a lot of hard work.

And not just the author’s work. Cover designers, interior designers, specialists in e-book format, and of course the marketing mavens–all of these are crucial.

But the ones I most appreciate are those who take a pile of loose pages and work their way through, making notes, thinking of options, and bravely crossing out unnecessary sections before handing the whole thing back to the author. Who is by now trying very hard not to shake in her sexy sandals.

These beta readers look at the book long before it’s had its final polishing. With The Loyalist’s Luck I did two rewrites and then handed the whole thing off to my beautiful beta readers. Long before it was ready, I might add.

And I shocked one of my new readers. He had only seen a book’s finished product before and definitely was not prepared for a book going through its birth canal. Gentle man that he is, though, we talked it all out and I got over my fractured feelings and he realized (I hope) how much he helped me make a better book out of those loose leaf pages.

I’m in the limbo stage just now. And I feel like I’m bending over backwards trying to get under the bar as I wait for my pages to come back so that I can edit them. I think this is the hardest stage. Waiting. And wondering. Will all of those people who loved the first book in the series appreciate this sequel? It’s a different kind of pressure, for sure, from the first book.

Meanwhile, for those who haven’t read The Loyalist’s Wife you still have a few weeks to get it done. And for those who are waiting for the continuation to John and Lucy’s story, The Loyalist’s Luck, I say, “Soon!” In the meantime, here’s a teaser.

John and Lucy escape the Revolutionary War to the unsettled British territory across the Niagara River with almost nothing. In the untamed wilderness they must fight to survive, he, off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she, left behind with their young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy–her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. To make matters worse, the sergeant has made improper advances toward Lucy. With John’s reputation besmirched, she must walk a thin line depending as she does on the British army, and Sergeant Crawford, for her family’s very survival.

Come to the Book Launch!

The Loyalist’s Luck heads out into the world just in time for those early bird shoppers. It will be available in print and e-book formats on Amazon and other places (where the first book is) but the launch is right here in little old Woodstock, Ontario. If any of you are in the area or planning a trip, here are the details. We do throw a good party!

Date:         October 19, 2014

Time:         !:30-4:00 p.m.

Where:      Quality Hotel and Suites, Woodstock Ontario.

See You There!

 

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Publishing, Readers

 

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The Importance of Going Back to the Beginning

One of the bits of personal philosophy which has stuck with me is the importance of remembering where I was as opposed to where I am now. This applies to all facets of life, I suppose, but today my writing life is foremost in my mine.

In March of 2007, my son asked me the now-familiar question when I mentioned I wished I had written a novel: “If not now, when?” Of course he was right and as my husband and I drove to Hilton Head Island (two days), I thought about his words. By the time we reached our destination I had decided. The very next day we hit the book store as we love to do and I bought a book called “How to Write a Novel”.

Last June The Loyalist’s Wife, the first in the Loyalist Trilogy, was published. For three weeks now, we’ve been back in Hilton Head avoiding the nasty winter storms back home and I’ve been working very hard on the second book, The Loyalist’s Luck. I took time out, however, to visit the store where it all started seven years ago—Barnes and Noble in lovely Hilton Head.

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What a thrill to walk inside, drink in the atmosphere, and get my picture taken with my first novel and one of the clerks at the store. (I’m the short one!)

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Of course I looked on the shelves for the book which had got me started those seven years before but I couldn’t find it, even though lots of other how-to volumes filled the space for books about writing. I was thrilled to use the Barnes and Noble computer to look up The Loyalist’s Wife. There it was! I had seen it from my computer at home and I knew it was all over the web, but still, to see it here, where my journey began, was pretty wonderful.

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A big thank you to Barnes and Noble for helping me out with this, both by being a book store still focusing on books and by listing my novel. By the way, I’ve written over 30,000 words in the three weeks we’ve been here so all around this is a pretty awesome visit to a favorite haunt of ours.

Next year when I come I’ll have the second book  in print and the third one in process. Writing can be a joyous pastime, that’s for sure.

Sign up here to receive my quarterly newsletter via email, the next issue of which will be in February!

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Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife on Amazon here.

Or on Barnes and Noble here.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2014 in Authors, Marketing Books, Publishing

 

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7 Author Opportunities When You Publish a Book

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Yesterday and today I have been a very busy lady, indeed:

1. The prodigious P.C. Zick has interviewed me on her Author Wednesday section of her blog here.

2. And Urve Tamberg, another excellent author has interviewed me on her blog here.

3. Facebook friends have talked about three local events: Guest Speaker at an historical society banquet and annual meeting on Saturday night, book launch for The Loyalist’s Wife on Sunday, reading and Q & A for a library book club on Tuesday night, as well as for a book store in Guelph quite soon. Follow me on Facebook to see details for all of these events.   http://www.facebook.com/ElaineCouglerAuthor

And if you Like me on FB, I’ll be sure to Like you back!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife on Amazon here.

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Do You Follow The Book Trail?

Happy Sunday, everyone. This is a special weekend as The Loyalist’s Wife and I have been doing a duet on the book trail. Yesterday the owner kindly did a review of The Loyalist’s Wife and today she has posted an interview we did together across the waves. She is in England and I am in Canada, you see.

If you have a burning desire to know all the intimate details of my life…well maybe not. If you have a few moments to spare check out both of these posts. And thanks a million to my new friend across the seas for featuring me!

Saturday’s post is here, and Sunday’s post is here. Oh, and I’ve included links to The Loyalist’s Wife in case you’d like to know what all the fuss is about.

The Loyalist’s Wife by Elaine Cougler

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Kobo

Authors: Your free copy of 10 Ways to Improve Your Writing. Download from the link in the side column!

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2013 in Historical Fiction, Publishing

 

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Christmas in July For Writers

Last Christmas I was wandering through a lovely bookstore in Victoria, B.C. and I turned a corner to see the long wall of magazines. Of course I always look to see what is there for writers which usually entails pushing aside dozens of knitting, mechanics, numismatics publications to find maybe one or two writing selections.

What did I find? What I always find in Victoria, a city which embraces creativity like a cat does a ball of yarn. So many mags of the writing persuasion called to me that I actually had to browse to see which ones I would buy as I couldn’t possibly take them all. I decided on the Writer’s Yearbook 2013, a special issue of Writer’s Digest.

And then that yearbook sat in a pile until a month ago. (Do other writers have so much reading they just can’t get to it all?)

I am so glad I finally picked up this issue as it is fantastic. Here are the cover headlines:

  1. 100 Best Book & Magazine Markets for Writers, Want to get Published? Start Here!
  2. How to Get an Agent: Insider Tips for Writing Query Letters That Work
  3. The Top 101 Websites for Writers
  4. The Year in Publishing: Is the Industry Finally on the Rebound?
  5. Blog Your Way to a Book Deal
  6. Freelancing Secrets: How to Sell More Articles
  7. 50 Easy Ways to Build Your Platform One Step at a Time
  8. Book Contracts: What You Need to Know

No wonder the tag at the top calls this issue “Your Annual Handbook for Writing Success.” There is so much information that I had to limit myself. Can you guess which articles got my attention?

At the time I was working pretty hard on query letters so that headline grabbed me right away. And I love to look for other writers and writer-friendly websites so number 3 was a sure thing.

But the one which surprised me and which held my attention the longest was number 7. I loved reading about author platform on the web. Christina Katz had about nine categories under which she gave instructions which were clear, concise and useful. Even though I’ve been on the web for years there were still many things for me to learn. Some of the things that I feel I need to work on are: my Amazon.com page, recycling content, holding an online event, putting my best blog content forward, and shaking things up a bit in my online presence.

This magazine is still listed for sale for just over $5 on their site which I’ve linked here. Treat yourself to a summer Christmas gift. You’ll be glad you did.

The Loyalist's Wife_cover_Mar18.indd

The Loyalist’s Wife by Elaine Cougler

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Kobo

Authors: Your free copy of 10 Ways to Improve Your Writing. Download from the link in the side column!

Consider leaving a comment below with your best writing magazine find. A lot of writers will be glad you did!

 

 

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What is the Backstory When a Writer Publishes?

The Author’s Voice–Time for Some History With Elaine Cougler is the title of Dale Long’s post today on Inkstroke’s Blog. Dale is a happy, funny, loving life kind of guy whom I met almost two years ago at a writing conference. He mentions that in this post where you’ll find out how long it took me to publish The Loyalist’s Wife, and why. He also drew from me that I am a bit …..you’ll have to read the post to find out this detail. :-)

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The Loyalist’s Wife by Elaine Cougler

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Kobo

Authors: Your free copy of 10 Ways to Improve Your Writing. Download from the link in the side column!

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2013 in Authors, General, Publishing

 

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