Goals

Help Others, Help Yourself – On Being a Book Club Member

RRBC LogoI wrote about being a member of an author’s book club as part of my series covering beginning and building an author platform. I wanted to go back to the subject to discuss my own membership in more detail. What I’m working on here is to help both new and prospective members with how to get the most out of membership through involvement.

I’ve been a VIP member of Rave Reviews Book Club since late last year. This club is based mainly on supporting independent authors from a group perspective – strength in numbers provides greater reach for everyone. As such involvement through a minimum of four reviews of member books per year – which is quite reasonable – is a requirement to having books listed in the club catalog. Other involvement is highly encouraged.

So at it’s most basic level, RRBC is about reviews for authors. But there are expectations for the whole process as indicated in the club rules. Reviews for new authors are hard to obtain so getting honest ones is very important. Being in the club catalog is a member’s gateway to getting reviews from other club members.

It’s very important to note that membership means you are part of a group of authors promoting each other. Involvement brings returns from other members in a variety of ways – retweets, tweets, reblogs, reviews, etc.

Businessman Speaking Through MegaphoneHere’s how I approach being a member. I’m actively working on my main requirement of reviewing four other member books this year to remain an active member with my book on the member catalog. Otherwise, I can’t do everything so I do what I can. I participate in the PushTuesday events and recruiting days. I also retweet other members via our Twitter hashtags. I participate in chats whenever my schedule allows. Lastly, I host blog tours for other members whenever I can.

In return, I’ve received a number of gracious reviews that were invaluable for promotion and gaining insights about my writing. I’ve received lots of tweet support for my blog and my book. I’ve also encountered a number of interesting, talented authors from whom I’ve learned various writing-related tips. Overall, the club does more for me than I can do for myself. I look forward to adding a few more books to the catalog as well as reading more books from my fellow members.

But wait! There’s more available for club members! RRBC has just started an internet radio network to further promote members. This is incredible for all of us since we have the opportunity to gain professional experience doing live interviews. Likewise, the network increases the club’s reach and thus the exposure of every member.

And speaking of professional opportunity, involvement in club activities teaches us about professionalism. Being kind, gracious, patient and thankful are all traits authors need to successfully work with the public. This means that involvement with various activities where the prize is some sort of special spotlight is a treat for the winner. I’ve had the humble opportunity to be the winner of a PushTuesday and Member of the Week. These aren’t just handed out for being a member but rather for involvement. If others are chosen, then I congratulate them or retweet those sentiments. Learning professionalism teaches you to interact with readers and the club is a great place to learn this trait.

Reading GroupSo why is all this involvement important? In the digital age it’s hard to promote by yourself. What makes it harder is that books don’t sell from advertising but rather from word of mouth. In the world of social media, self-promotion is quickly ignored – though must do this regardless. However, promoting others gets you promoted. This is important since books mainly sell by word of mouth. When you promote others, that’s word of mouth. With a club like RRBC you get a lot of word of mouth. The more involved you are the more the club of more than five hundred members is behind you.

I hope this helps any new or prospective members. These are just my views on being a helpful member and gaining the most benefit you can from membership. I encourage other members to relate their views of what it means to be involved and how it benefits them. The main idea is to think of yourself second and others first and you will receive more club support. I’ll share more in the near future about my own expectations and what I’ve received.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyPlease share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events (and there’s some big news this month). Want to be listed in The Bow of Destiny credits? Join the Insider Team to share upcoming links and receive inside information. Either way, you’ll be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. You’ll also receive a free coupon to download my e-book short story, The Black Bag, as well as July’s free e-book: Recommended Reading for Authors!

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Fantasy Authors Unplugged Featuring David Gilchrist

This is continuing feature on Archer’s Aim – Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I hope to frequently share an interview with a fantasy author. If you have authors to suggest and/or questions you’d like to see answered then leave a comment or send me an email. If you are a fantasy author and would like an interview please let me know and we’ll plan one that fits your schedule.

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Q. Hi David, welcome to Fantasy Authors Unplugged on Archer’s Aim. Let’s start with a tough one. What games, sports or hobbies do you like and do they influence your writing?

A. I play badminton on a semi regular basis, but I guess the only hobby that I have that has any influence on my writing is playing the guitar. I’ve played since I was 11. I played in a couple of bands and tried my hand at song writing. Can’t say I’ve written any music in a long time, but I still play whenever I get a free moment.  Playing music taught me a lot about rhythm, timing, flow and letting your work breathe.

Q. What kind of writing schedule do you keep? Full-time or part-time?

A. Part-time/Manic – I generally write and/or edit whenever I get the chance: during the long commute to work, after the kids are in bed, during lunch hours at my “real” job. I’d love to be able to write full-time, but just now that’s not an option. Maybe someday I’ll be able to afford the Alpine lodge in the Highlands where I can beaver away for days on end.

Q. Have there been times when you wanted to just stop writing?

A. No, but there have been times when I’ve forced to take fairly long breaks. I always have more ideas than I have time to execute. I try to scribble down my ideas so that way I’ve got a pool of first chapters / ideas / synopsis. So, as I’ve said, I’ve never wanted to stop.

Q. What draws you to the fantasy genre and keeps your attention?

A. Dragons….

Well, more than that really. What other genre can offer such a rich depth of variety that not only fires your imagination, but tugs on your heart strings and challenges your preconceptions? Also it has dragons.

Q. What’s your current book and the brief synopsis?

TapasyaA. I’m currently writing Pyrite. It’s the second part of a fantasy series “The Redemption of Wist.” It continues the story of Wist, (Book 1 – Tapasya) a man who has committed suicide in his own world, only to find himself trapped in another. A world where he has power, but is crippled by fear and uncertainty. Here, he must accept the failures of his or he risks the destruction of a world.

Q. What’s your take on the current landscape of fantasy publishing and where it’s going?

A. There’s a lot of good stuff out there and the impact on the genre of the titan’s that are GRR Martin and JK Rowling shouldn’t be underestimated. They’ve made space for other fantasy authors via the traditional publishing route by creating demand (via a new audience). I’ve gone with e-publishing my first novel myself.  Partly due to laziness. When I looked at submitting my finished manuscript to publishers they all had different style rules, synopsis requirements etc etc. Some of them would only accept submission via agents and the vast majority would offer no feedback. Hey ho. Maybe some people have an abundance of time to spend on tailoring their submissions. Have I mentioned I’ve not got much spare time yet?

Q. Where do you see yourself as a writer in the next five years?

A. I know where I’d like to be. Working full time as a writer. I suspect I’ll still be working and squeezing it in where I can. But that’s OK too. :-)

Q. Who’s your favorite secondary character in your book?

A. Tough one. If there’s something fantasy books have abundance of, it’s characters: primary, secondary, tertiary. But if I had to pick one I go with Saltheart Foamfollower from Stephen Donaldson’s Chronicles of  Thomas Covenant. He’s fantastic character: flawed and funny, strong and brittle. A Giant with a soft heart that can beat you to death with his bare fists. And then laugh.

Hellfire and bloody damnation!

Bio & Links

David Gilchrist

I am a writer of words, a lover of music and a designer of electronics. The west coast of Scotland is my home. 

I have loved fantasy since first reading LotR and have been devouring the genre ever since. I enjoy sojourns in the lands of horror, thriller and even (whisper it) non-fiction. But I’ll always find my way back to dragons and magic and fantasy.

BUG_1029 cBook Links:

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/Tapasya

Amazon US http://bit.ly/tapasya

Smashwords http://bit.ly/tapasya_s

Goodreads http://bit.ly/tapasya_g

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DavidGilchristAuthor

Twitter @dg60i

Pintesrest https://uk.pinterest.com/hobbs60i/

Thanks to David for the interview this week. Please take some time to check out what he’s written and support him as an author. If you’re a fantasy author and would like to be interviewed for “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” just contact me via email or one of my social media channels and we’ll set one up.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. I’ve updated the site with a new landing page starting today but you can still view the News page for announcements. As part of the changes, new email subscribers will receive my free new guide, 15 Must Have Apps for Self-Publishing Authors. Sign-up today! I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Working With Web Page Content in Scrivener

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

A while back one of the readers of this blog suggested I write a post about importing and saving web files. Honestly, I’d never thought about it since it’s just not something that I do that much. However, there are many writers out there that use features of Scrivener more often than I do writing non-fiction or using their research on a wide scale.

So here I am giving it a good try to describe how web files can be imported and saved in Scrivener. There are several points to understand about this process before we go much further and part of that is understanding what a web file is. Simply put it is a file which is encoded with html language for use on webpages whether these be public or private.

Next, why would anyone want to import a web file? Many people want to import their content to be edited and revised.

Last, why save content as a web file? Many people use this to make webpages for their websites. Personally I just copy and paste my blog content rather than compiling a web format – the WordPress.com tools are just more conducive to making the simple data transfer. I still have to add media but I’ve found that it’s easier than importing to my website. However, while many people use the WordPress software on their sites, they are hosted elsewhere so posting is different than what I do and it makes sense to compile a blog or page to html format first.

So why the difference? It has most to do with Scrivener’s editor which is admittedly not as robust as Word (Scrivener’s strength lies in its organizational and developmental features). The editor does not allow wrapping around photos like Word. So if you want to save the content as a web document and it has photos or illustrations in it you may still need to edit it in Word to get the wrapping effects that you prefer. I use WordPress.com’s features to wrap text so it makes sense for me to transfer to content and then add media.

So with all that in mind here’s how to save your content as a web document. First you must compile your finished document to html by clicking on File and then Compile to open the compiler:

Scriv Webpage Compile

Next, if you have multiple documents in the project but only want to compile one use ALT + Click (that’s press the ALT key and click) on a checkbox. Then select the individual document. Next, in the file format choose Web Page (.html) and click Compile. Select the location to save the file and there you have it.

It you have pictures and other media in the document but want them wrapped (or want to add them), just use word – you can edit a webpage from Word. From there you post your content/document according to your hosting requirements.

As a final note, you can import a web document as a .MHT which you must then save as a .PDF to view in Scrivener. To edit webpage content, it must first be imported as text. To do this, click on File, go to Import and choose Web Page as noted in this screenshot:

Scriv Import Menu

Next you have the Import window and here are screenshots of that with options for the available file formats:

Scriv Import Webpage                  Scriv Import_As Options

There’s a bit more to this that begins to relate to MML (Multi-Markup Language) which gets into a different subject altogether and too much information for this post.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. I’ve updated the site with a new landing page starting today but you can still view the News page for announcements. As part of the changes, new email subscribers will receive my free new guide, 15 Must Have Apps for Self-Publishing Authors. Sign-up today! I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Just as a note: I am not affiliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor.