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I’m All Out of Inspiration

March 25, 2021– Happy Thursday, Friends! We’ll be wrapping up our most asked questions in the next week, and we hope that you learned some new things. On April 1st, we’ll be starting a brand-new theme called, “How to push the envelope in your writing” and we certainly hope you’ll join us.  Let’s jump into today’s question.

Q: “Lately I’ve been feeling really uninspired in my writing. I want to write a children’s book, but I can’t seem to come up with any good ideas. You’ve written a lot of kid’s books, where do you get ideas from?”

A: Sometimes it’s hard to be inspired I agree, but if we look around, we can find plenty of ideas. A lot my children’s book subject matter comes from real life experience and people that I’m close to. My nephews and niece inspire me like crazy; they range in age from 17 years old to 3 months and the toddlers tend to have amazing ideas that make it onto my books. For example, most recently I wrote a book called Cakes for Snakes and it came about at my kitchen table in the Pandamonium Publishing House Tour Bus; my three-year-old nephew, Denver asked, “Auntie, who makes cakes for snakes?” I grabbed a pen and started taking notes. We’re formatting Cakes for Snakes in a whole new way as a full colour comic book for kids with the one and only Alex Goubar, stay tuned for more information on a release date! Check in with your friends and family (especially the kiddos) and think about changing your environment. You can head to the park, the outdoor bike/walking trails, the mall, and other places to find inspiration around every corner. Be sure to ask yourself questions. I wrote The Extreme! Supreme! Dogwalker, Darlene after walking my own pup, Luna. I thought to myself, what would make someone an ultimate dogwalker? What tools would they have to make their job easier? What would they do to keep the dogs occupied? Etc. Jot down every idea because you never know where it will lead. Keep in mind when writing for kids, the crazier the plot and the bigger and more exaggerated the story, the better. Another tip is to pick up books that inspired you as a child and read them once again; what did you love about them? What parts spoke to you the most? And so on.

If you need help with writing for kids, let me mentor you! Check out my masterclass here: Children’s Book Writing Master Class – Pandamonium Publishing House

Remember, discipline beats motivation every single time. Even though you aren’t inspired it’s important to sit down and write. Put the words on the page. Happy Writing! X LLB

 

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Spend the Money?

March 24, 2021-As we begin to wrap up our theme of answering your most asked questions this month, I hope that you’re gaining some insight into the business of writing and what challenges authors face. If you’d like to submit your question, send us an email to pandapublishing8@gmail.com. Here’s what we’re tackling today:

Q: “Lately I’ve been hitting a wall with rejections and I don’t know what the problem is. Should I spend money on writing classes to see if they can help?”

A: I think it’s smart that you’re realizing that there could be an issue with your writing and that’s why you’re getting rejected. It could be a possibility that your writing needs to be improved and I am a huge advocate for continuing education. Yes, if you can afford to, it will be worth spending your money on writing courses. You’ll learn so much from the course material and you can narrow down what you’d like to focus on by choosing the course that suits you best. Writing conferences and workshops have helped improve my own writing dramatically and I’m so fortunate to have traveled around the globe to participate in them. Writing classes can help you with things that you may be overlooking such as industry standards, grammatical/punctuation/sentence structure errors, and can provide new and exciting inspiration!

Check out some of our writing programs here: Transitioning from Writer to Author (An Introductory Course) – Pandamonium Publishing House, Children’s Book Writing Master Class – Pandamonium Publishing House, Best-Seller Bootcamp – Pandamonium Publishing House, Course: Get Your Book Noticed and Increase Your Sales – Pandamonium Publishing House

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This or That?

March 9, 2021– We’re continuing to answer your questions this month! All through March, we’ll explore the subjects you care about. To submit your question, send us an email to pandapublishing8@gmail.com. Let’s dive in to today’s question!

Q: “I’m a novice writer and I’ve had a couple of pieces published in some magazines that I subscribe to. I’ve decided to take the leap and write a novel. I adore mysteries and romance, but I’m not sure which one to choose to write my novel about. Can you help me decide?”

A: First off, congratulations on being published! That’s fantastic and no small feat, you should be very proud of yourself. As for helping you decide what to write about, I’m afraid I won’t be of much use in helping you answer that question; writing is a very personal thing and only you can decide for yourself. I will tell you that your heart has to be in it and that if you aren’t authentic, it will not only disappoint your readers, but you’ll disappoint yourself with trying to force something that you’re just not that in to. But, what if you combine the two things that you love to read about, you’d have a sub genre of what we call cozy romance. Here is the definition of  a cozy romance according to the Huffington Post: Cozies are fun to read! Murderers in cozy mysteries are generally intelligent, rational, articulate people, and murders are pretty much bloodless and neat. Violence and sex are low-key and supporting background characters bring comic relief to the story. Plus there is/are romantic interest(s) and interlude(s) between characters. A lot of cozy romances are set during holidays such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and so on. This sub genre is one of my most favourite to read when I need a break from my usual stuff that’s a bit heavier. Here are a few fun statistics for you about the cozy romance market share:
Cozy Romance Novel Sales in 2020
* $1.1 billion That’s roughly one-fifth of all adult-fiction sales.
* 46 percent of romance consumers read at least one book per week. In comparison, the typical American reads five books a year.
Cozy Romance Readers At A Glance:
*Age 30-54
*College/University-educated
*Average Income $55K
*Relationship Status 59 percent are coupled, 84 percent are women, 16 percent are men
*Romance readers are more likely than the general population to be currently married or living with a partner.

I know that perhaps all of this info didn’t really answer your question. The point is to write what you love! And as cliché as it sounds, write the book that you want to see on the shelf. If you want to take your writing to the next level, check out our classes here: Best-Seller Bootcamp – Pandamonium Publishing House  Children’s Book Writing Master Class – Pandamonium Publishing House

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Start, Stop, Never Finish

March 8, 2021– We’ve got a great question today that seems to plague a lot of authors! Let’s dive right in:

Q: “I’m a new writer with a ton of ideas and a very active imagination. I have (no exaggeration) hundreds of story starters which help me write a few chapters, but then my writing fizzles out. I can never seem to finish what I start! This includes not only writing, but hobbies, crafts, and classes. Please help!”

A: I hear this a lot, so you are not alone. It’s wonderful that you have so many story starters; sometimes starting a novel is difficult, but it sounds like the ending is the hardest part in your case. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Are you writing yourself into a corner? Sometimes what happens is that we write ourselves into a corner. What this means is that we write with no clear direction and we end up hitting a dead end with no where else to go. Outlining can provide you with a specific plan that allows you to know everything you need to know about your story to keep writing.
  2. Are you outlining? Outlining, as mentioned above, allows us to know what happens in our story in regards to characters, character developments, plot, climax, and all of the elements of our book. Without outlining, we don’t have a target. And you can’t hit a target that you can’t see!
  3. Are you setting a specific time to write each day? Sitting down to write every single day is a discipline that takes dedication. Carving out time in your schedule to get the words on the page is the best way to ensure that you finish your work. If you’re having a hard time starting, set a timer to write for ten minutes.
  4. Are you beginning with the end in mind? I’ve never written a book where I didn’t have a clear picture of how it ended. If you don’t write with the end in mind, you’re more likely to get stuck and not finish what you’ve started. Some writers like to have their characters tell them what to write, but I prefer to direct them to where I want them to go.
  5. Are you remembering your past successes? Sometimes we can be discouraged when we write and feel as though we’re getting nowhere. But, take a second when you’re feeling low to remember all of your past successes and everything that you’ve finished! You can do this, you just need to get organized and excited to write!

If you’ve answered these questions and you’re still having trouble with finishing your work, we can help! Send us an email to pandapublishing8@gmail.com for more information and check out my number 1, best selling book here: Advice from a Publisher (Insider Tips for Getting Your Work Published!): Bakker, Lacey L., Goubar, Alex: 9781989506141: Books – Amazon.ca

 

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Stepping Out

February 1, 2021– All this month we’ll be focusing on stepping out of our comfort zones  in our writing and career!  As many of you know, my life is about to change dramatically; want to talk about stepping out of comfort zones, I’ve got a story for you! I recently sold my house and have purchased a Pandamonium Publishing House tour bus, that I will be travelling cross country in, for the next 2-5 years. Yep, I’m all in and totally committed to adventure, new experiences, getting out of my comfort zone, and spreading the word across Canada and the United States (when the border opens) about our fabulous authors, artists, and company.

I chose this topic as the next one in our series because I think it’s important. Anything that makes us uncomfortable helps us grow and it’s up to each of us to create the type of life that gets us excited to wake up in the morning! Here are some ways that you can begin to step out of your comfort zone.

  1. List your fears. By making a list of things that scare us the most, we give ourselves the opportunity to find solutions. We can only confront and change what we are willing to acknowledge. What are your fears for your writing life?
  2. Find solutions. The only way to overcome our fears is to look them straight in the eye. Whatever your fear may be there is always a solution. For example, if one of your fears is that you’ll never finish your book, the solution may be to schedule writing time each day, or to hire a ghostwriter.
  3. Take immediate action. I really don’t like running the stairs, but I know that it’s beneficial to my health. So, instead of thinking about it, dreading it, and making excuses as to why I should do it tomorrow, I do it immediately before my brain talks me out of it. Same goes for my writing life; there are some things I really don’t like to do (accounting and necessary paperwork), but I count down from 5 and by the time I hit 1, I’m already started. I don’t give myself an opportunity to cop out and neither should you. Do it, get it done, and move on.
  4. Do the hardest thing first. Do you need to rewrite chapter eight of your novel? Do you need to put together a marketing plan? Do the hardest thing first! You’ll thank yourself later because when you get the hard stuff out of the way, you’ll feel less stressed, more accomplished, happier, and more productive. You won’t have the task hanging over your head and you can do the things you love to do without worrying about what you should be doing.

This month, I can’t wait to explore a whole host of writing exercises, challenges, and topics surrounding getting out of our comfort zones, with you! For more advice, check out my Number 1 Best Selling Book here: Advice From a Publisher (Insider Secrets for Getting Your Work Published!) An Amazon Best Seller – Pandamonium Publishing House

 

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2021 The Year You Become a Bestseller

December 28, 2020– It’s only a few more sleeps until we usher in 2021! Here’s to happiness, adventure, and realizing our writing potential in the new year! Is 2021 the year that YOU become a best selling author? I hope so; we’re here to help with a variety of options to get you to your goals. Imagine what it would be like to sign copies of your book at major bookstores, to be interviewed about your work, to have your book reach number 1 on Amazon, and to have people tell you that you’re their favourite author!

By writing your story, you can make a difference in the lives of others; stories are used to educate, entertain, and provide an escape. What are you writing about? Whatever it is, we can help you make your dreams come true. Whether you’re looking for editing or ghostwriting services, crafting the perfect query, or interested in getting your book noticed and increasing your sales, we’re the experts that can guide you!

We’ve helped writers become number 1 bestsellers, hone their craft, get publishing deals, and have shown them how to get paid for their writing, plus we’ve coached them to sell more books, how to market their work, and how to connect with their readers. For more information on our services send us an email pandapublishing8@gmail.com for a price quote. 

Do you have a list of writing goals? Where do you want to be next year? Are you ready for success? Do you dream of seeing your book on shelves? What are you waiting for? Let’s make 2021 your best year yet! 

Check out some of our valuable services here: 

Novel Editing 56,000 to 79,999 words – Pandamonium Publishing House
Novel Editing 80,000 to 89,999 words – Pandamonium Publishing House
Novel Editing 90,000 to 100,00 words – Pandamonium Publishing House
Mini-Course Crafting the Perfect Query – Pandamonium Publishing House
Picture Book Manuscript Consultation – Pandamonium Publishing House

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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.

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Make Up Your Mind

September 15, 2020– The other day, while I was walking to the mailbox, I saw a squirrel trying to decide whether or not to cross the road. It went left, then right, then back left again, then right, then onto the road and boom…hit by a car. It was awful, and I felt so bad for the little critter. Perhaps we can learn something from the squirrel’s indecision and that not being able to decide quickly can be fatal for our business and our writing careers.

It reminds me of a time a couple of years ago. I was a guest speaker at a writer’s group and after the session I had a few students hang around to chat. We talked about all kinds of things, but something that stood out to me was the lack of decisiveness among one person in the group. We talked about a number of subjects and got on the topic of future goals. I asked the group what they would like to accomplish with their writing and what steps were they actively taking to meet those accomplishments.

One woman said that she had a goal of being a published author, but couldn’t decide which story to send in, which contest to submit to, which publisher to pitch to, or if she should sign up for a writing seminar. So, I asked her what she was going to do and she looked at me and said, “I waited too long…the contest is over, the publisher that was accepting my genre of writing has closed their submissions window, and the writing seminar was last week.”

Moral of the story? If you wait too long and are indecisive, you’ll miss your opportunity.  It’s important to make decisions with confidence and speed. Quick descision making skills are linked with success and it’s possible to overthink things to the point of destruction and in the squirrel’s case, death. So, why do people hesitate? Because they’re afraid of being wrong.

I don’t work with people who can’t decide; it costs time and money to hum and haw and think about things for too long. I prefer to work with those who take action.

Sheryl Sandberg said it best, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.”

Five minutes of action is worth more than a hundred hours of indescision. Don’t miss your chance!

 

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The History of Writing…

September 13, 2019- This YouTube video about the History of Writing is awesome from Extra History! Check it out below. Remember to follow our channel Pandamonium Publishing House on YouTube for writing tips, tricks, and marketing advice for authors!