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Photo Writing Prompt

December 1, 2020-WOW! Can you believe that it’s already December? Time flies. We’ve got a ton going on this month, but I wanted to start December with a beautiful photo writing prompt to keep our creative juices flowing well into the new year. Send us your 500-800 word story based on the photo below for a chance to be featured on our blog on December 15th! All you have to do is email us pandapublishing8@gmail.com to submit your work. Best of luck!

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Recipe for a Novel

November 27, 2020-Yesterday I visited my nephews and we made cupcakes for my niece (their cousin), Harper. Happy Birthday, Harper! We love you so much:)  We followed a recipe and added eggs, oil, water, mixed it all together and then put the batter into the oven. Making cupcakes is pretty much like writing a novel. Novels follow specific ingredients in order to bake a compelling story. Let’s check out the recipe for writing a captivating novel below:

Ingredients:

3-4 Characters
1-2 Character flaw(s) each
A Single Narrative voice (usually first or third person)
1-2 Conflict(s)
A Dash of Romance (Optional)

Directions: 

Preheat your narrative to first or third person. When the narrative is set, mix the characters thoroughly with the character flaws. Whip the conflict until it peaks and add a dash of romance if you’d like. Bake until all conflict is resolved, let cool (falling action), put into a box, and wrap up with a bow (make sure all loose ends are tied up). You’re now ready to serve your story to your readers.

Follow the directions with the right ingredients, and your story will turn out perfectly every time! Happy Writing, XLLB

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After 40

November 26, 2020-In this interview, bestselling novelist Lee Child (Jack Reacher novels) explains why it’s better to start writing later in life. Writers on Writing: Lee Child on Starting Writing After 40 – YouTube

 

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Do It Over

November 25, 2020-There is an old saying, “If you don’t have time to do it properly, when will you have time to do it over?”

Think about that for a second. Good advice, isn’t it? Today we’re going to talk about the importance of doing things right the first time and how a lack of foresight can spell big trouble for you and your business! Remember being in school and waiting until the last second to finish an assignment or required reading? Remember the stress and dread you felt as the deadline loomed closer? Remember handing in your less than stellar assignment and hoping for the best? Chances are that we didn’t receive the grade we hoped we would when we turned in the rushed assignment. Well, we all grew out of that, didn’t we? Some of us haven’t.

Is the above example of how you’re operating your business now as an adult? Are you rushing to complete your projects or novels, or are you leaving things not as perfect as they could be just to get them done and over with? It’s time to grow up, take responsibility, and do the work correctly the first time. Here’s how to do it right the first time:

1) Know when your deadlines are and take two weeks off of that date. If the deadline is June 30th, your project, novel, whatever you’re working on should be completed by June 15. This allows you wiggle room to deal with problems that will most definitely crop up, and if there are no problems, great! You have less stress because the task has been taken off your to-do list. 

2) Anticipate challenges. If something can go wrong, it will. The last thing you need is a wrench being thrown into your plans at the last minute. Let’s say you’re writing a novel, and it needs to be sent to the editor by midnight. Are you assuming that your program will save the document you created? Are you assuming that your internet connection will be ok, or that the file will be sent properly? Don’t assume. Maybe the power goes out, maybe your manuscript gets lost in cyberspace, or maybe it gets deleted, and you don’t have a backup. Plan for the best, but prepare for the worst. 

3) Most difficult first. Complete the most difficult or time-consuming project first. Oftentimes we finish easy to do tasks because we think that we’ll get it out of the way and move on to the big stuff later. What happens is, no matter how well-intended, we end up finishing things that don’t really matter (checking email, anyone?). By doing the hardest, most time-consuming thing first, we finish the tasks that are most important. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly pressed for time because we’re always in creation mode. That’s why we need to do it right the first time because we won’t have time to do it over. 

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The Power of First Impressions

November 23, 2020– A few months ago, I packed Luna into the truck and drove for about an hour and a half to deliver some books that were ordered to an establishment in a small town. It was a new account and I was so excited to chat with the owner of the store, talk about the new release, and see if perhaps we could collaborate in the future by cross-promoting each other.  I was also pumped to browse the items she offered, and I needed to do some shopping!

I arrived at the destination, books in hand and pushed through the front door. No one seemed to be around, so I took a few steps further inside. A woman popped up from behind the counter, and suddenly out of nowhere, there were four sales clerks. “Can I help you with something?” the woman asked, and I said, “Hi, I’m Lacey, and I’m here to meet Jane (name has been changed).” The woman paused, “Does she know you’re coming?” I said, “She sure does! I told her I’d be here today at 11, and here I am!” The woman shot me a glare and said, “What was your name again, and what are you here for?” I explained about the book order that I was dropping off and repeated my name.

The woman finally went to get Jane and returned to the counter to chat with the other workers about me apparently being wrong for waltzing into the place and asking to see the owner. Much to my amusement, the experience with the owner was worse!  I smiled and handed her the books. “Thanks,” she said and spun on her heel and left. I was dumbfounded. Was this actually happening? I stood in place for a moment to see if she was just putting down the books and then coming back. She never returned.

I left the store without looking around, without picking out the three birthday gifts I planned on getting, and without posting the collaboration on social media. I was so disgusted by the entire experience that I vowed never to mention the company by name; I unfollowed them on social media and basically washed my hands of the situation. By the time I had walked back to the truck, my phone had dinged with an email notification…it was from Jane. She said, “Thanks for dropping off the order. The books are great! I look forward to meeting you one day.” I laughed out loud. I emailed her back. I said, “You’re welcome. You already have met me; I was in your store five minutes ago.” My phone rang almost instantly, and Jane was on the other end, explaining that she didn’t know I was the owner etc. etc.

Here’s the thing, it shouldn’t matter if I’m the owner, the driver, the receptionist, the plumber, the janitor, or the intern…everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. That company lost my business that day. They lost my contact, social media support, positive word of mouth advertising, and the wholesale discount I gave them for any future orders. I have no interest in dealing with that business or its employees ever again. First impressions matter! And so do second and third, and fifteenth. I have never felt more like an inconvenience in my life, and I’ve never felt that unwelcome before. It’s too bad because small businesses need our support more than ever. But save your pennies for the places that want to serve you with kindness and respect, the places that are eager to help you and that make you feel welcome.

Your company and your employees are an extension of YOU. You set the standard of care for your customers, and if you’re setting a bad example, why shouldn’t your employees do the same? It all starts at the top. And pleading ignorance is a lame excuse that no one will believe anyway, so don’t bother. Treat people how you want to be treated. It’s that simple. Your first impression can make or break your business!

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We Love You

November 19, 2020-We love working with our clients because they are the BEST! As a full-service publisher, we set out to help authors and businesses with their projects; from copywriting to blogging, social media content creation, author marketing and book marketing services, we know what to say and how to say it! Today I’d like to share with you some letters from our satisfied clients.  Please visit Joanne’s site https://frenchiepublishing.wordpress.com/ and check out her book, available in both English and French!

May 28, 2020

Dear Lacey, I want to thank you and Alex for helping me achieve my goal of publishing The Adventures of Carlos: Carlos Goes on Vacation. Thank you for your encouragement as well as for being there for me every step of the way. I will never forget the thrill of seeing my very first published book!

Lacey, Working with you has been an absolute pleasure, and I am so glad that our paths crossed! Making the investment to contract with Pandamonium Publishing House to self-publish my children’s book was a big decision, but it was also the best decision I made! Your professionalism, mentoring and guidance in publishing The Adventures of Carlos were impressive! As
you indicated in our early conversations, the goal of purchasing your firm’s marketing package is to teach the author how to self publish for immediate and future projects as well as the handling the book illustration process; not only did I learn and gain invaluable knowledge of the publishing world, but it also helped me develop some confidence in a field I knew nothing
about. Being a savvy and successful entrepreneur is surrounding yourself with highly competent individuals; Pandamonium Publishing House delivers on that!

Alex, My sincere thanks for making The Adventures of Carlos look so amazing! The way you captured the character of Carlos and brought him to life in the story was pure magic! I feel so fortunate to have had the pleasure of having you illustrate this story; I hope that we can work together again on the next book in the series, Carlos Goes to the Hospital.

It has been such a great experience working with you both! Thank you for welcoming me into your world at Pandamonium Publishing as well as that of published authors!
Sincerely,
Joanne

Joanne Kilkenny
Frenchie Publishing
WWW.FRENCHIEPUBLISHING.WORDPRESS.COM

We love being part of authors’ journeys, and it’s a pleasure to help with the process. Thank you for trusting us to bring your book to the world.

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Advice from a Publisher

November 18, 2020– Let’s take a page out of my own book Advice from a Publisher (Insider tips for getting your work published!) available here: https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/advice-from-a-publisher-insider-secrets-for-getting-your-work-published/

Q: I’m working on a couple of novels simultaneously, and I’m having a problem keeping things straight! I’ve mixed up my characters and plots in a few places during the story and am driving myself crazy! How do I fix this? 

A: Kudos to you for working on two novels! Don’t worry; it’s an easy fix.

  1. Sticky notes are your friend. Before sitting down to work on either one of your novels, take a sticky note and write the main character’s name in BOLD, BLACK marker. Stick it to the screen of your laptop. This is a visual reminder of what you’re working on and which character/book requires your attention.
  2. One thing per day. Section your week into specific days that you will work on each project. For example, I write Becoming James Cass on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I work on my other book, I am Jessica Westlake. It’s much easier to write on certain days rather than spend the morning of each day working on project one, and the afternoon working on project two. You’ll be less inclined to make a mistake…unless, of course, you’re like me and never know what day it is!

Please send me your questions! I love helping aspiring authors.  You can reach me at pandapublishing8@gmail.com.