Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vote for your favorite indie book cover and win big!

The cover design for Off The Grid has been entered into a indie cover design contest – and I need your votes!
2.       Vote for Off The Grid by Dan Kolbet as your favorite cover design in the comments section of the post linked above.
3.       Include an e-mail address in your comments or it won’t count as a vote.
4.       Sit back and you can hopefully win 16 free ebooks from all the authors in the contest!
5.       That’s it.
If you recall back in October, I asked for help to select the design for my book. I hope that support continues! Please vote today! (contest runs Dec. 29-31).

If my cover is selected as the winner, it will be displayed on every other author blog in the contest in January. Pretty cool exposure!

Thanks in advance.

Want to tweet about it? Try this one:
Vote in the Indie Book Cover Art Contest 4 a chance 2 win 16 ebooks. Luv if u picked Off The Grid. Vote in comments:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A look behind the curtain: It's my outline for Off The Grid

You can now download the outline for 
Off The Grid. Take a look at the writing 
process. Buy at Amazon and Barnes and
Noble (soon). 

The original outline for Off The Grid is now available as a 99 cent ebook.  Off The Grid: Author Outline

“How did you come up with your ideas and turn them into a book?”

This is the question I get asked most often from aspiring novelists – which recently seems to be just about everyone I meet. I dig that. You should want to share your story. It doesn’t do you any good inside your brain.

The answer to how I turned my ideas into a book is simple and rather boring. I outlined, outlined and outlined the novel – several times. As a full-time worker bee, I don’t have the luxury of writing all day and rewriting later. If my daily word count goal was to get completed, I needed a roadmap; otherwise that blank white page would remain just that.

I named my blog “A Few Hours at A Time” because my novel was written with that in mind. I grabbed a few hours at night or 45 minutes in the cafeteria at work or three hours on a Sunday morning – wherever I could concentrate on my work. I reviewed my outline first then filled in the words. Yes, that sounds simple, but when a lot of the brain-busting plotting and foreshadowing work is done, I could just write.

It’s easy to become distracted if you’re not sure where you are going with your writing. My outline helped me stay on task. My kindergarten teacher would be so proud.

I can’t really answer the “idea” part of the question. That just happens when it happens. Maybe it’s on the drive to the gym or when you’re out walking the dog – that’s all you and I can’t help you there. My advice is to capture your ideas when they strike and before they blow away forever. I carried around a little brown journal and scribbled illegible notes about various subjects before, during and after writing the book.

Now that the book as been released for two months and I’m pretty happy with my sales, I’d like to offer up a little more insight into the book for those who have already read it – my full outline.

Today you can download Off The Grid: Author Outline. The outline includes a condensed rough sketch, character profiles, plot-point outline, deleted scenes, a full timeline and sneak peak at the finished novel.  Download at Amazon and Barnes and Noble (soon). 

The biggest misconception about outlines is that they are restrictive. “Outlines take away my ability to be creative,” some say. That’s bull. You can see when you download my outline that I veered off course many, many times, but returned to the goal of my story by getting back to my outline.
My share-fest isn’t totally selfless. In order to figure out what the heck my outline is talking about, you need to read the finished novel first. Otherwise it’ll just look like a bunch of rambling run-on sentences that have no discernable, underlying connection.

I hope that by seeing my personal process for outlining & writing Off The Grid, you will be inspired to write the story inside you.  (If this guy can do it, then so can I!) The outlining process might not be your cup of tea, but you won’t know until you start writing, right? So get moving.

Download Off The Grid: Author Outline at Amazon and Barnes and Noble (soon).