Paper

IMG_3319

Isn’t it lovely when you find loose sheets of paper with your words written all over it? Words you’ve written a long time ago when your thoughts wandered off, had left reality, and ventured out into an imaginary world. Your words sometimes amaze you, other times intrigue you, maybe even baffle you. But they’re perfect nonetheless. You wrote them down because at that moment in time, you were inspired and driven to express how you felt, what you thought, and it meant something to you. You had to do it, or else you would forget. And so you did, and now that you’ve found them again—days later, weeks later, or years later—you’re glad you had written them down.

Most of the time they are dialogues, or descriptions of places, or people, or feelings. Sometimes all you’ll find is a scribble of a word, or a phrase, or a sentence, or a paragraph. Whatever they may be, they make up an incomplete story. A story that reminds you that this was something you once wanted to write, and said you would write, and possibly will write someday.

If picked up by a stranger, these sheets of paper would mean nothing at all. But to you, they are precious little things.

They are your treasures.

By the way, excuse the chicken scratches on the image above. Thanks to the computer, my penmanship has suffered through the years. 😉

Novel and Children’s Book Update

So far, the late nights have paid off.

I’m finally done editing my book. Yay! Next step is to format it, and then send it out to print.

I’m also done with my children’s book. I sent my files to CreateSpace yesterday and am now waiting to proof them sometime today.

Here is the cover of my children’s book. It’s a goodnight book designed to prepare babies, toddlers and young children for bed, at the same time, teach and remind them of their first words.

GoodnightCoverBlog

Goodnight World is the first book from Sammy’s Books. I created Sammy’s Books because I wanted to design a collection of beginner books for little kids. With the use of simple and straightforward designs, I hope to help little kids focus and learn, and still fun.

My daughter’s name is Samantha. That’s where Sammy comes from. That’s her on the logo. I am still working on the website.

It’s pouring here in San Francisco—perfect weather to stay inside and write. How’s the weather where you are?

Novel and Children’s Book Update

So far, the late nights have paid off.

I’m finally done editing my book. Yay! Next step is to format it, and then send it out to print.

I’m also done with my children’s book. I sent my files to CreateSpace yesterday and am now waiting to proof them sometime today.

Here is the cover of my children’s book. It’s a goodnight book designed to prepare babies, toddlers and young children for bed, at the same time, teach and remind them of their first words.

GoodnightCoverBlog

Goodnight World is the first book from Sammy’s Books. I created Sammy’s Books because I wanted to design a collection of beginner books for little kids. With the use of simple and straightforward designs, I hope to help little kids focus and learn, and still fun.

My daughter’s name is Samantha. That’s where Sammy comes from. That’s her on the logo. I am still working on the website.

It’s pouring here in San Francisco—perfect weather to stay inside and write. How’s the weather where you are?

Novel Update and More

Oh dear. It’s November.

I think it’s about time I paused and updated you on what’s going on with my novel and why I haven’t been blogging recently.

My manuscript has been with my editor the last two weeks. In the meantime I’ve kept myself busy—maybe a little too busy.

Ever since I became a mother a little over 3 years ago, I’ve thought about creating (writing and designing) my own children’s books and self-publishing them. Mostly because I wasn’t satisfied with some of the books I was reading to my daughter. But I put my ideas aside for a while because I was busy taking care of her and was focused on writing. But now that my daughter goes to school in the morning and I’ve sent my manuscript out to my editor, I have a little time to spare. So I thought it would be a good time to start creating my own children’s books. So far, it’s going well. Since my daughter loves Goodnight books, I decided to create a Goodnight book I hope she will love and hopefully other kids will love too. I am also working on a book on First Words, plus a few other ones.

I have one more week before I get my manuscript back. My goal is to get the Goodnight book to print by the end of November. I know it sounds a little crazy, but that’s the funny thing about inspiration, when it hits you—it’s hard to stop. Just like when you get an idea for a story in the middle of the night and you must write it down.

It’s a lot of work, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. It will be a nice gift for my little Samantha.

I will have a separate website for my children’s books, which I will share here soon.

Do you have kids or nieces and nephews under the age of 5? What are their favorite books?

Novel Endings: What You Should and Shouldn’t Do

After going through my beta readers’ critiques, I noticed that each one felt differently about my novel ending. Two liked it as is and two had very different comments. I read their notes over and over, making sure I wasn’t missing something valuable that I needed to see. I read my novel ending a few more times and went back to my beta readers’ notes again and again. Then I read articles online about novel endings and about what to avoid and that’s when it hit me—my novel ending wasn’t strong enough. I thought that if I carefully combine the last two chapters of my book, I could come up with a stronger ending. So I did just that, along with rewriting and simplifying a few things. Now I feel more confident about my new ending for HIGH.

Here are a few helpful articles I found online about novel endings.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Novel Endings
Spoiler alert! What makes a great ending?
Endings

I think a great novel ending should sum up everything in the story. It should answer all the questions, connect all the dots and and most of all, it should leave the reader satisfied. I think the simpler the ending—the more powerful it is.

What about you? What do you think makes a great novel ending?

 

5 Tips On How to Design a Professional Book Cover

1. Avoid using common fonts.
If you want your book cover to look professional, avoid common fonts like Times New Roman, Arial and Helvetica.

2. Avoid using too many graphics.
If you really want to use a bunch of images, make sure they work together and that they’re professionally done. If not, use one strong image that represents your book and make sure it’s not a generic one.

3. Keep the message simple and clear.
Make sure the book title is easy to find. If you’re going to use a tag line, make it short and catchy.

4. Design a cover that’s easy to read as a thumbnail.
People scan through so many books online. Make sure your thumbnail stands out by designing a cover that looks good big, as well as small. You want people to click on your thumbnail—not skip it.

5. Design a cover that works for your genre.
You want to attract your readers. A good tip is to check out books in your genre and see how their covers are designed. For instance, if you’re a fantasy writer, use “fantasy-like” fonts and images, and so on.

As much as it could be fun to experiment and design your own book cover—hire a designer, if you’re not one. The great thing is you can still share your ideas and they can help make them happen.

Another good tip: If you have postcards, business cards and bookmarks, make sure they match your book cover design. Consistency is important, especially when advertising.

Here are some helpful links:

http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/jefishman/2011/05/publishing-primacy-–-folio-9-8-book-jacket-design-essentials/

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1781

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2012/06/picking-fonts-for-your-self-published-book/

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1511

Before I end this post, I’d like to announce that my book cover for my upcoming novel, HIGH, will be revealed by next week, if not, sooner.

Stay tuned…

5 Tips On How to Design a Professional Book Cover

1. Avoid using common fonts.
If you want your book cover to look professional, avoid common fonts like Times New Roman, Arial and Helvetica.

2. Avoid using too many graphics.
If you really want to use a bunch of images, make sure they work together and that they’re professionally done. If not, use one strong image that represents your book and make sure it’s not a generic one.

3. Keep the message simple and clear.
Make sure the book title is easy to find. If you’re going to use a tag line, make it short and catchy.

4. Design a cover that’s easy to read as a thumbnail.
People scan through so many books online. Make sure your thumbnail stands out by designing a cover that looks good big, as well as small. You want people to click on your thumbnail—not skip it.

5. Design a cover that works for your genre.
You want to attract your readers. A good tip is to check out books in your genre and see how their covers are designed. For instance, if you’re a fantasy writer, use “fantasy-like” fonts and images, and so on.

As much as it could be fun to experiment and design your own book cover—hire a designer, if you’re not one. The great thing is you can still share your ideas and they can help make them happen.

Another good tip: If you have postcards, business cards and bookmarks, make sure they match your book cover design. Consistency is important, especially when advertising.

Here are some helpful links:

http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/jefishman/2011/05/publishing-primacy-–-folio-9-8-book-jacket-design-essentials/

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1781

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2012/06/picking-fonts-for-your-self-published-book/

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1511

Before I end this post, I’d like to announce that my book cover for my upcoming novel, HIGH, will be revealed by next week, if not, sooner.

Stay tuned…

An Excerpt for You


In honor of fall, I thought I’d share this excerpt from my upcoming novel, HIGH.

What is it about the fall that seems sentimental and romantic? There is something magical and mysterious about the way the leaves drop to the ground and how they shimmer in red, gold and brown, creating a blanket of memories. And as you watch the trees become bare, a sweet nostalgic feeling exists inside of you, as you stroll the sidewalks that glisten with traces of rain sprinkled across each path like little jewels. Your heart beats in a different rhythm as your thoughts dwell and wander about. You remember things that should be forgotten because they broke your heart once, and yet you allow them to linger for a while, for the sake of reminiscing. You parade with the hopeless romantics and the broken hearted down the streets, alone, reliving moments that once was. You hold on to these memories until the last day of fall, hoping that by winter, you will forget them all.

(Thoughts of Sonja Fines from HIGH, a novel by Corey M. P. (page 222)