July 3, 2020– I was listening to Spotify a couple of days ago, and a song came on that’s been around for a while, but I never listened to the lyrics until now. One of the verses said, “…the sharp knife of a short life, well I’ve had just enough time.” This tiny sentence made me think long and hard about things and what I’m doing with my own life as a business owner, entrepreneur, and author.
I think that the point of our lives is to touch the lives of other people and to leave them a little better off than how we found them. It’s to build something that outlives us and to leave a legacy to our families that they can be proud of; that’s why I think that everyone should write a book.
There are so many things to write about, and if you’ve ever thought about writing a book, I urge you to reach out to us! We can help make it a reality send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Memoir-One specific event/aspects of the writer’s life. This could be something that you’ve overcome in your life or something that was very special to you, beating an addiction, a special talent, or long lost love rekindled. Of course, this is very personal, and you can choose any event of your life that meant the most to you. (Acts of Remembrance, by KG Watson and Engelina Aasman Hummel) is a great example of this!) Check it out here: https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/acts-of-remembrance-by-k-g-watson-and-engelina-aasman-hummel/
- Autobiography-The writer’s entire life organized chronologically. From your birth to present day, you’ll cover the events and people that shaped you into who you are today.
- Family Recipes-Do you remember making peach pie in your grandmother’s kitchen? What about recipes that have been passed down in your family for generations? What dish are you always asked to bring to celebrations? (Fun fact Grandma’s Table by Michelle Pontefract, illustrated by Erin Cutler combines family recipes and a children’s book! Check it out here: https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/grandmas-table/
- Family History/Family Tree-Do you know your history? Where do you come from? Who are you historically related to? Are there family members that you’ve never met before?
- Children’s book-Writing this type of book is magical because you’ll be able to have your kids, grandkids, nieces/nephews, godchildren etc. read your words before bed. Talk about a special connection! Imagine having a hand in igniting a child’s love for literacy with your stories…that’s a big deal.
- Journal-Was there a time in your life that you reflected on through journaling? Maybe it was the birth of a child or a special event or having to say goodbye to someone you loved.
Write the book. Do it while there is still time because it’s important, and the legacy you leave matters.
*If you’d like more information on how the experts at Pandamonium Publishing House can help you with your book, email us at email@example.com.
May 27, 2020– I get asked by my co-op students and high school volunteers for advice on how to write different types of papers; one topic, writing personal essays as instructed by their professors, can leave them scratching their heads. What exactly is a personal essay? Simply put, it’s about something that matters to you and can include a person, event, or life lesson. The whole purpose of it is to share something about yourself. It’s important to think about the reader when writing your paper because you want them to think about what you’ve written, and make them feel something. That’s the whole point of writing, to make the reader feel something, to get them to ask questions, to get them to put themselves into someone else’s shoes.
As with all writing, you should use an outline, and your work should have a beginning, middle, and end. Ensure that you revise and tighten just like you would with any other piece of writing. If you’re stuck for ideas on what to write about for your personal essay, browse the list below for possible topics:
- A “first” in your life
- How you overcame adversity
- Something that scares you the most
- Something you’d never do again
- A loss
- Something that fundamentally changed you
- A person who has influenced you or a personal hero
- A childhood memory
Remember to focus on a single topic and don’t get confused with a memoir or autobiography, which is entirely different. Show, don’t tell and be honest; don’t sugarcoat your story.
I challenge you to write your personal essay this week. Happy writing! X LLB
November 12, 2018– As a traditional publisher, I get a lot of questions about guidelines when writing. Sometimes I’ll receive a manuscript submission that doesn’t have the appropriate amount of content, and unfortunately for that writer, it means that it’s a no from me for picking up their script.
I want to discuss some word count guidelines in this post, but please keep in mind if you are deciding to self-publish, you can bend these rules a little. What’s that old saying? You have to know what the rules are before you break them? Sounds about right!
- Children’s Picture Book– The industry standard for children’s picture books are 28 pages of interior, illustrated pages. There are 32 pages in total, 4 of the pages are left for the first interior cover page, the copyright page, and two blank pages. The 28 page count is usually 13 double spreads (the same scene happening across 2 pages) and 2 single illustrations (where a different scene is happening on each of the two pages). 13×2=26+2=28+4 blank pages= 32. Average word length is 400-800 words and up to 1000 words maximum.
- Middle-Grade- The industry standard for middle-grade novel word counts is from 20,000 – 55,000 words, depending on the age range and subject matter, however, the word count of these books has been trending up in recent years. When writing longer works that are aimed at 12-year-olds and could be considered “tween”, using the term “upper middle grade” is advisable. With upper middle grade, you can aim for 40,000 – 55,000 words. These are books that are similar to young adult in subject matter and storytelling but still tend to stick to tame themes and avoid hot-button issues. With a simpler middle-grade idea rather than a complex one, aim lower- 20,000 to 35,000 words is acceptable.
- YA (Young Adult)- The industry standard for young adult novels is pretty flexible. 55,000-79,999 is a good range for word count. The books seem to be trending on the longer end currently which is to say that you could write well into the 85,000-word range and still be ok. Just know that you better have a good reason for going that high! Higher word counts tend to show publishers that the writer does not know how to edit their work or themselves. Don’t go lower than 47,000 words on the low end of things.
- SCI-FI and Fantasy– The industry standard for Sci-fi and fantasy are exceptions to word counts because the categories historically run long. It really has to do with the world building and descriptions used to set the scene. With both of these genres 100,000 – 115,000 words is a perfect range. On the low end, 90,000 to 99,000 is also acceptable with the ideal range being 100,000.
- Adult novels: Commercial & Literary– Here are some industry standards, again, we are talking about ranges so keep that in mind. Between 80,000 and 89,999 words is the range to aim for. This word count is the perfect range for literary, mainstream, women’s, romance, mystery, suspense, thriller, and horror. Anything in this word count won’t scare off any agent anywhere. You can have as few as 71,000 words and as many as 109,000 words.
80,000 – 89,999: Best
90,000 – 99,999: Safe
70,000 – 79,999: All right
100,000 – 109,999: Okay
Below 70,000: Too short
110,000 or above Too long
6. Memoir– The industry standard for Memoir writing word counts is the same as a novel which is between 80,000-89,999 words. Keep in mind that most people don’t know how to edit their work, and this is especially true for memoir writing. People tend to write down every little detail because after all, it did happen! On the low-end aim for 70,000-79,000 words. This shows that you know how to focus on the meat of your life and are only telling the most interesting parts!
There you have it! The more you know before submitting your work to a traditional publisher, the better your chances of getting a book deal. Here’s to your success!
August 20, 2018- Memoir writing is difficult and time consuming. That said, there are a lot of authors that have been successfully published in this genre. Memoir writing is not for the faint of heart, so if you’re bold or insane, here are some tips!
- Is your life interesting enough? This is a question that you must answer truthfully. When authors submit their manuscripts to me that are memoirs, I ask them if their life is interesting enough to anyone other than themselves and their friends and family. Everyone thinks their life is great, and we all think that we have riveting stories to tell. More often than not, this is not the case, unfortunately. Celebrities often write memoirs because they have lived an exceptional life in one way or another. They have lived a life that most people never will and that’s what makes us want to read their stories.
- Remember what it isn’t. Your memoir is NOT an autobiography. A memoir focuses on a SPECIFIC time or theme, such as the summer of 1972, for example. This helps your readers get to know you better and that one experience in your life better and on a different, deeper level.
- Tell the Truth. Especially if people in your memoir are still living. I’ll never forget an episode of Oprah where she was interviewing a man about his book. He told the story of being detained in a concentration camp during the war and that he met his future wife when she gave him an apple through the fence. It turned out that the story was completely fabricated. There’s no need to lie, being honest and genuine is your best bet.
Memoirs explore the truth of your life through your eyes. No one can tell your story and that is your power. Happy Writing!