novels

How to write a good blurb

Summarizing a 300+ page novel into a few paragraphs is hard and it’s not something that usually comes naturally to us novelists. It took me a lot experimentation to get good at it, but here’s how I learned to do it.

I read the backs of a whole pile of books, and then I emulated them, practicing narrowing my book’s crucial aspects into 2-3 paragraphs.

At least for fantasy/sci-fi there seems to be only a few styles when it comes to the blurb. But no matter what genre you write in, I recommend finding bestsellers within that genre and critically breaking down their blurbs to see what makes them so successful.

For our purposes, I’m going to break down the two most popular styles in sci-fi/fantasy that I’ve come across. The Plot-Oriented style and the Character-Oriented style.

The Plot Oriented Blurb

Example: Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon.

Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another…

First, we have a powerful statement, a hook to draw the reader in. What makes this book interesting, what is it about?

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon—when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord…1743.

Next we have the time period (which tells us this is a historical piece, or a futuristic sci-fi if the year was 2750 instead), we have the main character’s name and identity, we have the inciting incident and we have the setting.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire’s destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life …and shatter her heart.

A little more detail about the plot and subject matter of the book.

For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

And then we have the theme, and the last sentence drives the hook home so you want to pick the book up right away and read it.
MH1Descwide copy

The Character-Oriented Blurb.

Example: Mirror’s Hope by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred.

Everything has a price…

The tagline

In a self-serving dystopian society, Mirena’s kind-hearted nature leaves her socially outcast. Daunted by the task of trying to initiate change herself, she tries desperately to conform to the expectations of the cruel society around her.

The setting, the main character and her identity/circumstance.

That is, until she meets Tendro… General to the Panarch’s armies and a rising star in government, no one expects Tendro Seynor to be the prophesied Avatar of the Light, but that’s exactly what he’s become. Alone, he doesn’t have the resolve necessary to follow the path destiny has set before him; but that all changes when meets Mirena and falls in love with her simple faith.

The secondary character and his identity/circumstance.

Brought together by fate, Mirena and Tendro must find a way to change their world for the better or risk the consequences of being on the wrong side of an all-powerful tyrant and his unforgiving Generals. Can they tip the balance of power in their world, or will the lengths they have to go get them in too deep to get back out again?

The inciting incident and a hint at the theme, while giving the hook.

If you’ll notice, all the same crucial aspects are present in both styles: the setting, the characters, the inciting incident, the theme and the hook. They’re just presented in a different order with a different aspect emphasized. As for which style is right to use for your book, it’s probably best to ask yourself, what is the most important aspect of your book? If your story is character-driven, maybe the character style. If it’s more about the setting or the plot, then maybe the plot-oriented style. You can always do what I do and write out a few options in each style until I find one I like.

Thanks for reading!

Have you written a blurb for your book? Share it in the comment section below!

 

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The Many Worlds of Mirror World Publishing

As you may or may not be aware, we offer a membership program. For just $19.95 a year, members get unlimited access to our ever growing collection of ebooks, early access to new releases, a discount on paperbacks ordered from our store, and SO MUCH MORE…

Not sure yet if you want to join? Well, we also offer FREE SAMPLES of our books in each age category. Order a free sampler through our store and we’ll send you an ebook that contains the first chapter of each of the books listed in a given category AND we’ve thrown a bonus short story into each one! Here’re the links:

 Kids                                           Young Adult                                          Adult

At Mirror World, we’re all about the setting, so here’s a glimpse into a few of the worlds you can visit within our books:disenchanted-2 copy

  1. Historic Wethersfield, CT

The small tourist town of Wethersfield, Connecticut is the setting of Leigh Goff’s Disenchanted. Filled with magic spells, witches, curses, ancient family heirlooms and haunting prophecies, Wethersfield is the perfect place for the occult enthusiast. Oh, and don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers in Sophie’s aunt’s garden, or sample some of her fantastic home cooking.Cover SDOD4

 
2. The Kingdom of Dorlith

Elizabeth J.M. Walker’s She Dreamed of Dragons is set in the magical kingdom of Dorlith. Dorlith is home to magic-users of all kinds and cats. Lots of cats. Enroll yourself in Mage Academy, or dance your way to the palace and sign up to compete in the Royal Tourney. Either way, you’ll have a blast, learn a lot, and maybe, just maybe, end up the next heir to the throne!

 

3. Crimson Winter

Officially the planet has no name, but the desert world of the Crimson Winter Trilogy, by yours truly, is certainly a unique place to visit if I do say so myself. Accessible only through the magic of the gods, this planet has gone eight hundred years without seeing the setting of the sun. Water is scarce, and so is shelter, with the majority of the population, the self-named, Roughlanders, living in ancient military outposts and surviving by means of trade caravans from Taiyou, one of the few remaining fertile areas.

ncbook4. Neo Central

A look into the city of the future! In the world of Neo Central, again by yours truly, only one city remains after the collapse of modern society. This city is a marvel of technology and magic, but it isn’t meant for everyone. Those who can’t feel the city’s current and access the magic it uses to run itself are treated as outcasts and left to live in the ancient ruins of York Slums, or in the dangerous catacombs beneath the city; the Tunnels.

 
Thanks for reading!

Give yourself permission to fail

If there’s one lesson in writing that I had to learn the hard way, it’s this one. When looking for ways to motivate oneself to complete a writing project, it’s common to set goals or deadlines. Daily word count goals, for example, can be a healthy way to establish a writing routine and a reasonable deadline to finish your novel by a certain date can help you stay on track. The tricky part comes when your deadlines are not reasonable, your goals too lofty, or when you simply fall behind and suddenly your target seems out of reach.

An important thing to remember when setting goals or deadlines is that life happens. It’s a good idea to leave yourself some wiggle room in your deadlines for when life events get in the way, or for those days you just don’t feel like living up to expectations. You’re going to stumble occasionally, and you’ll be better off planning to accommodate when it happens.

The problem with goals and deadlines comes when you adhere to them too strictly,  or when you are disappointed with yourself for not meeting them. Using them as a means to lift yourself up, to feel challenged and motivated and to count the milestones you pass is great and will have a positive effect, but the opposite can just as easily be true if you feel stressed, ashamed, or guilty for not meeting the goals you set yourself.

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Back when I was working on my trilogy, Crimson Winter, I had written the first book in three months by having a goal of writing 5 pages a day, 5 days a week, totalling 100 pages a month. This continued into book two, which I wrote in a little over four months as it was a longer book. Between book two and three, I went through a rough time in my life and book three took me somewhere between six months and a year. It was by far the longest and most complex of the three, but I was determined to keep myself to my writing goals, which proved to be a detriment. The pace I had set for book one and two was quite grueling, but since I had successfully completed the first two books so easily, I found myself questioning why I couldn’t do it with the third and feeling inadequate for not living up to my own expectations. As a result, I was very hard on myself, which only made me feel worse, which in turn made writing even more difficult. It was a negative feedback loop.

It took a moment of realization at 3 in the morning when I was trying to write on a midnight shift at the crummy part-time job I had taken to pay the bills for me to come to the conclusion that I had become my own worst enemy. By setting lofty unreachable goals and on top of that punishing myself for not living up to those goals, I was being unreasonably harsh on myself. From that moment on, I started giving myself permission to fail. I gave myself some leeway, some ‘get out of jail free cards’ for those times when I just didn’t feel like writing and I tried to remember that I liked writing, that it is a passion first and foremost, and not just a job. And I’ve had a much healthier relationship with myself and my writing ever since.

Thanks for reading. And speaking of reasonable goals, the #85K Challenge starts in just 10 days. The challenge is to write 85,000 words in three months, which works out just under 1000 words a day. Last year, Murandy and I finished the challenge with two weeks to spare, but this year, we’re going to be taking it slower as Murandy is a new mom (see, life happens.) We started the book we’re working on last month, and have been writing approximately 4000 words once a week and we’re going to continue that pace into the challenge to see how far that gets us. We’ll keep you posted on our progress, but if you’re interested in joining the challenge you can find all the information you need here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/85K.90days/15134760_641119006068066_5321651935076382972_n

It’s Launch Day! The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum is here!

Written by David McLain and illustrated by Felix Eddy, The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum is really a marvel. It’s our longest and biggest book yet, fully illustrated, and it somehow manages to dip it toes into every genre that we publish. It’s not just a time travel novel, it’s got elements of fantasy, science fiction, romance, adventure, and best of all, comedy. It’s an ambitious, far reaching tale that spans the history of time itself from somewhere in the ice age to San Tiempo, an island out of time.

We’ve created an ebook version, a paperback version, and a hardcover version of this book, so whichever is your preferred method of reading, I encourage you to pick this book up and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed. coverimagettrm

Title: The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum

Author Name: David McLain

Illustrator: Felix Eddy

Genre(s): Time Travel, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Adventure, Romance, Comedy, Steampunk

Release Date: November 17, 2016

Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing

(http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/)

Saphs Book Promotions Follow the Tour:

http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2016/11/book-tour-schedule-time-travellers.html

 

About The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum:

 “If you need to know men’s secrets

Or if there’s something you need to find 

If you want to see the dinosaurs 

Or the insides of your mind.

If you want to watch the earth begin,

Or see what the apocalypse will leave behind,

You need to thank Alice Anderson,

For Alice is the mother of time.”

That was how the rhyme went. Every time traveler knew it. Everyone that is, except of course, for Alice herself, since she hadn’t invented time travel yet. Since returning to London, Alice’s life has been turned upside down. She’s been accused of murder and lost her position in the scientific community. Her only ally in this journey is a strange man who seems to think that Alice may be about to open up a strange new world of possibilities, but is probably not telling her everything he knows.

 

Read an Excerpt:

xtra-somethingfortheback“Hello,” Alice said, with a certain degree of reluctant enthusiasm.

“You sound American,” an annoyed voice on the other end of the line said.

Alice dropped her bag. “I’ve been in New York for three years,” Alice said. “You’re lucky I don’t sound like I’m from the Bronx.”

It was Alice’s sister, Wendy, giving what by her standards was a remarkably warm and friendly greeting. “You’re lucky I don’t steal your passport while you’re here and force you to teach Electrical Engineering at the University of the Orkneys. Electrical Engineering, that’s what you do, isn’t it?”

“You do realize that I just spent an entire evening in a metal tube, sitting on a very small seat that appeared to have been made from rocks confiscated from terrorists at security?”

“Terrorists use rocks these days?”

“Well, they’re harder to spot going through metal detectors, aren’t they?”

Ending a sentence with a question apparently sounded appropriately British and Wendy seemed to ease up a little.

“How was the flight, then?” she asked.

“I believe I aged three years,” Alice answered, looking for the way to the exit. “Do you want to have a drink?”

“Is that a rhetorical question?”

“In America, it’s considered polite to ask.”

“I believe that the University of the Orkneys has early tenure.”

Wendy took pride in her absolute loathing of all things American. She saw Alice’s decampment to New York as nothing less than a complete betrayal.

“Would you mind if we met in at my hotel?” Alice asked, trying to sound as if this were a polite request and not a desperate plea.

“I don’t know,” Wendy said. “There aren’t going to be a lot of randy outer-space types there, are there?”

“It’s an astronomy conference,” Alice insisted. “Not a Sci-Fi convention.”

There was the unmistakable sound of pursing lips on the other end of the phone. “What hotel are you staying at?” Wendy asked.

“The Kensington.”

Wendy thought about it. “I’ll meet you, but let’s meet somewhere else. There’s a pub down that way that I’ve had my eye on.”

“Wendy–”

“I have to drive in all the way from Brixton. You can walk a hundred metres out of the hotel lobby.”

Alice sighed. She decided not to point out that in fact she had come quite a bit farther than hundred meters. “What’s the name of the place?” she asked.

“The Gristle and Thorn,” Wendy said.

Alice spotted the word “EXIT” on the far side of the hall. “Couldn’t find any place with a ghastlier name? Was the ‘Skull and Crossbones’ already booked?”

“Just meet me,” Wendy insisted, and for a moment, she did her best to sound kind. “I’ve missed you.”

It has been said that all journeys begin with a single step, and while it might seem that Alice’s journey began all the way back at JFK, in actuality the first step of Alice’s journey began with a decision. It was not a big decision, not the kind of thing that would strike a historian as a significant chapter in the decline and fall of the Western Empire, but for Alice Anderson, it was the equivalent of crossing the Rubicon. It was the simplest thing really – a choice of restaurants.

“The Gristle and Thorn it is,” Alice said, picking up her bag again and shuffling through the crowd.14731184_1306675979395903_3666018888957435109_n

Meet the Author and Illustrator:

bio

David McLain is the author of the two novels: Dragonbait, and The Life of a Thief. His stories have been published in the anthologies Metastasis, Penny Dread II, and the Doctor Who Anthology Time Shadows, as well as over two dozen magazines. He has been featured on NPR’s Off the Page and the History of England podcast. He lives in New York.

Felix Eddy graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Alfred University. She is the author and illustrator of A Bestiary Alphabet, and has illustrated several book covers and children’s books. You can find out more about her at www.felixeddy.com

Connect with David McLain:

Website: http://mydogisgross.tumblr.com/

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-mclain-63b77963

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DavidMcLainDragonbait/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5814869.David_McLain

Publisher’s Website: www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/our-authors-2

 

Purchase Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING:

Paperback: http://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/poetry/products/the-time-travellers-resort-and-museum-paperback

Ebook : http://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/poetry/products/the-time-travellers-resort-and-museum-ebook

Hardcover: http://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/poetry/products/the-time-travellers-resort-and-museum-hardcover

AMAZON.COM:

http://amzn.to/2eT8hRT

AMAZON.CA:

https://www.amazon.ca/Time-Travellers-Resort-Museum-ebook/dp/B01M66TQZV/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477600719&sr=8-1&keywords=david+mclain

KOBO:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-time-traveller-s-resort-and-museum

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1124986783?ean=9781987976243

Chapters.Indigo:

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-time-travellers-resort-and/9781987976229-item.html?ikwid=David+McLain&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=3

Our Submissions are OPEN – Here’s what we’re looking for…

This is it. The moment you’ve been waiting for;our submissions are open once again!

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As a small independent publisher, what we’ve found works best for us is to open our submissions in the fall and leave them open until we’ve confirmed our new releases for the upcoming year. This year we’re looking for 3-5 titles to release in 2017 and we’ll keep accepting submissions until we find them.

So how do you submit to us? Well, it all starts here. On our website’s submissions page we list all the types of books we’re looking for and all the ones we absolutely will not be interested in. We also outline what to send us, where to send it, and how long you should expect to wait for a response. We’ve also included some helpful links to videos we’ve made to help you prepare your manuscript and submission package, not just for us, but for anywhere you choose to send it.

But what’s going to set your submission above the rest? What are we really looking for? Well, I’ll tell you.

Your Query Letter

When we receive a submission, the first thing we look at is your query letter. Typically this should be in the body of your email to us. What we’re looking for here is a sense of who you are and what your book is about. Your ability to write well matters even in your query letter because it is your first impression. We’re also looking for the following bits of information:

  • Your genre (or target audience)
  • Your word count (or scope of the project)
  • Your credentials (or writing history)
  • Your concept, what hooks your reader.

Your Synopsis

Next, we’re going to look at your synopsis. This should be no more than one page and is simply a way of introducing us to your story, your setting, your characters, and the plot. We’re looking to see if the story interests us, but we’re also trying to gauge your ability to tell a story and wrap it up effectively. We want to see how the story ends and we want to see your style as a writer. Please include:

  • Your setting
  • Your main characters
  • Your concept, what hooks your reader
  • Your major plot points
  • A satisfying conclusion

Your Sample Chapters

We ask you to send three chapters with your submission package. We’re looking specifically for an engaging opening. We want to be drawn into your story’s world immediately; We want to care about your main character and we want to be interested in what’s going to happen to them. In short, you need to hook us, your reader. Then, you need to hold our attention for three chapters. If you can do that, we’ll ask to see more. We’re looking for:

  • Your style, or ‘voice’ of your writing
  • Your inciting incident, (again, what hooks your reader)
  • Your writing ability (and level of polish)
  • Your world-building
  • The believability of your characters
  • How well you’ve realized the potential we detected in the query letter or synopsis.

If you receive a rejection letter from us:

There are a number of reasons that we might not want your manuscript and we will do our best to tell you exactly why that is. We strive to provide detailed notes for you so that you will be better prepared no matter what steps you choose to take next in your publishing journey. Keep in mind that publishing is a very subjective and selective business and that what doesn’t work for one publisher, may work well for another. Some of the common reasons we pass on a manuscript are as follows:

  • It’s not in our genre, or doesn’t fit with our current list of titles (see our collection here)
  • It’s not ready for publication and needs improvement of some kind
  • Something in it conflicts with our message or values (learn more about us, here)
  • It just didn’t interest or engage us
  • We ask for the full manuscript, but the story doesn’t realize the potential we see in the sample

submissions

I hope you’ve found this blog post helpful and I look forward to reading your submissions!

Go to http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/submissions to get started!

 

‘Find’ our Books in Windsor

A while back I stumbled across a video on Facebook depicting a woman in Belgium hiding books and starting a book-themed version of Pokemon Go. I immediately wished something like that existed here and even briefly thought about putting it together myself. But, with one thing and another, I got busy and the idea faded. Weeks pass and then, lo and behold, someone in Windsor has taken the initiative and made this idea a reality and it is none other than our friends over at Adventure Worlds Press, along with fellow local author, Jessica Gouin. 

So today in Windsor, Ontario, you can go outside and literally hunt for books. Clues and photos hinting at the book’s location are posted to the Facebook Group: Book Hunters Windsor which can help point the way, but it’s also possible that you just might stumble on a book ‘out in the wild’. If you do, don’t worry, the book comes with instructions on how to play and the rules are simple enough, just go to the Facebook Group and comment ‘found’ on the photo of the book you picked up. Then read it, and when you’re done, huntconsidering re-hiding it and leaving a clue for someone else to hunt it down.

book

I absolutely love this concept and if you’re in Windsor or the surrounding area, I hope you take advantage of the fact that this is happening in your neighborhood. If you’re not local, then maybe you should jump on this and create something similar in your town before someone else does.

Speaking of finding our books in Windsor, if you don’t want to hunt, you can always head to your local bookstore like Juniper Books, Storytellers on Ottawa St, or the University of Windsor Bookstore. And, local or not, you can head into your nearest major retailer like Chapters and have them order our books for you.

If you just can’t wait, then come and see us on October 30th at the Caboto Club in Windsor for Retrorama. We’ll be there with Adventure Worlds Press and our ever-growing collection of really cool books to take you to a whole host of other worlds.  

Mark your Calendars!

We’ve got a lot of important dates coming up that we wanted to make you aware of. Book launches, opportunities to meet us and browse our selection, workshops, and even our submissions re-opening, we’ve got something for everyone!

September 18th – Open Streets, Windsoropen-streets-windsor

This Sunday Windsor is closing a large stretch of road from one end of the city to the other and we’ll be right at the heart of it in the artist fair, which is part of the Downtown Hub. The event runs from 9am to 1pm, so if you’re looking to take part, make sure to come early!

Here’s a link to more information on this event: http://www.citywindsor.ca/residents/planning/open-streets-windsor/Pages/default.aspx

 

contrastSMSySeptember 19th – Launch Party for The Secret in Mossy Swamp, online

Rita Monette’s newest Nikki Landry Swamp Legend actually goes live on September 17th, but we’re celebrating on Monday, September 19th and you can join us on Facebook for an online launch party. There’ll be prizes and games, a Q and A with the author, and general hanging out with the Mirror World team and other fans of the series. 4 pm to 6 pm EST.

You can get more info and RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1158930637504097/

 

September 25th – Word on the Street, Toronto

We’ve mentioned this one before, but on Sunday, September 25th we’ll be in Toronto for what promises to be a MASSIVE literary event. We’re excited to be a part of things and we’ll be a booth #13 in the Fringe Beat section if you’re local to Toronto and want to come out and see us. We’ll be there from 10 am to 6 pm.

Here’s a link to more information about this annual event: http://thewordonthestreet.ca/toronto/

Galabannerorange copy

September 30th – Worlds Collide Gala, Windsor

This will be the event of the year for us. In partnership with our new imprint, Adventure Worlds Press, and local theatre arts group, Sho: Art, Spirit, and Performance, we’re celebrating different worlds coming together. We’re also celebrating the launch of all of our 2016 titles and an illustrated version of Adventure Worlds Press’ sci-fi anthology, No Light Tomorrow. Cash bar, prizes, readings, music, author Q and A, what more could you want?

7 pm at Sho: Art, Spirit, and Performance. 628 Monmouth Rd, Windsor.

RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1186485788080361/

 

2.ArtWORK.Oct16-350x226October 12th – Publishing 101, Windsor

Arts Council Windsor Region and Bookfest Windsor have asked me to facilitate a workshop on the ins and outs of publishing for beginners. This workshop will give an overview of a writer’s options once he or she has completed their manuscript, then we’ll go over some tips and tricks for creating a query letter worth taking notice of. $10 for members, $15 for non-members. 6:30 pm to 9 pm at Artspeak Gallery. 1942 Wyandotte ave, Windsor.

More info and registration for this workshop can be found here: http://acwr.net/event/publishing-primer-acwr-art-work-workshops/?instance_id=183852

lightertkdscoverwithfontOctober 17th – Launch Party for The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, online

Like Time Travel? So do we and we’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of book two in The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Series by Sharon Ledwith. Monday, October 17th is the day and you can join us to celebrate the launch of another book in this great series. Again, there will be prizes, games, Q and A with the author, publisher and fans of these books. Best part is, you don’t even have to leave your computer to attend. Time TBD.  

RSVP here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1669063423411610/

 

October 24th – Our Submissions Re-Open

I’m sure this is the announcement you’ve all been waiting for. On Monday, October 24th, our submissions open for our 2017 season. So if you have a manuscript that you think would be a great addition to our current list of titles, then I suggest you take this time to go over our submission guidelines and start preparing your manuscript to send it in. And, if your manuscript still needs a little bit of work, maybe you’ll find our Mirror World News videos of use.

Our submission guidelines: http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/submissions
Our YouTube Series: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-d6tf8fpn4_mjraKjM-hUQ

October 30th – Retrorama, Windsor

Sunday, October 30th, we’ll be at Retrorama in the vendor’s room. An annual event celebrating geek culture and collectibles, Retrorama is not to be missed and is the perfect opportunity to come out and meet us. Mirror World and Adventure Worlds will be sharing a table and we’ll have all of our books for you to peruse and pick up! $10 entry fee, 10 am to 7 pm at the Caboto Club, Windsor.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/207296576294831/

david-mclain.jpg.jpegNovember 17th – Launch Party for The Time Traveler’s Resort and Museum, online

Another launch party! Yep, we’ve got more books coming your way, and this one is worth raving about. The Time Traveler’s Resort and Museum by David McLain is a time travel book like no other and we’re really excited about this one because it encompasses every single genre we dabble in. Time Travel, Science-Fiction, Romance, Adventure, Fantasy, it has it all! Join us to celebrate this ground-breaking launch!

Event listing coming. Like our Facebook page to be kept informed! http://www.facebook.com/mirrorworldpublishing

toudesketchDecember 1st – Launch Party for #Tourdesketch Windsor, location TBD

We’re wrapping 2016 up with another book launch. This one’s special to us because it’s all about our home town. As you know, we’re about different worlds, but how can we celebrate other worlds without also celebrating our own? Owen Swain’s colouring book #tourdesketch Windsor will do just that. And, it’s coming out just in time for Christmas… which means, presents! Join us to celebrate this launch!

Location and time TBD. Subscribe to this blog to be kept informed!

 

Thanks for reading! Are we going to see you at any of these events? Let us know in the comments below!

Our 2016 line-up has been chosen!

We’re super happy to be able to say that in just a few short months, we’ve found what we think is an amazing line-up of new releases for 2016!

book-seriesBack in November 2015 when we re-opened submissions, we anticipated a flood of query letters and we weren’t wrong. Thank you to each and every person who submitted to us. We obviously couldn’t publish all the great manuscripts that were sent our way, but a large number of them were a joy to read and review and we hope that the feedback we were able to provide helps you on your path to success.

That being said, we’re are officially closing submissions once again until sometime in the fall of 2016. If you are interested in submitting to us in the future, I would suggest checking our guidelines here and then subscribing to this blog to be kept up to date with our announcements and updates.

Until all the details are finalized, I can’t tell you what other books we have waiting in the wings for 2016, but here’s a review of the two we’ve already announced:

Black Lightning by K.S. Jonescoming May 17, 2016

Set in Arizona, Black Lightning is a juvenile fantasy/sci-fi adventure about a ten year old boy who, amid trying to come to terms with his grief over the loss of his parents, stumbles into a portal opened by black lightning and finds himself stranded in a strange land called Hearth.

This Night Sucks by Elizabeth J. M. Walkercoming June 17th, 2016

In this young adult vampire comedy, Lana is a high school senior enrolled in Vampire Education – a class to teach students about the very real presence of vampires. She scores a date with the crush-of-her lifetime, Pete, but the date goes sour when Pete’s ex girlfriend, Katy, shows up all bloody and pissed off.  Lana quickly realizes that Katy is not just her ordinary bitchy self – she has been turned into a vampire which, in turn, takes Lana and Pete’s date from a hot and steamy make-out session to an unexpected vampire-hunting expedition.9079872_orig

More announcements and introductions are coming soon, as well as cover reveals for these two fabulous titles, so make sure to subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already. 2016 is going to be fun!

Announcement! Submissions will re-open November 15th, 2015!

We’ve had a killer summer. Actually, the whole year has been great. We set ourselves some lofty goals and we rose to the challenge. Because of that, I want to thank a handful of people for helping us get where we are today. So a big shout out to the following people, without whom we would not have pulled off this ‘Summer of New Releases’!

Our Acquisitions Editor, Robert Dowsett – Thank you for reading through an unprecedented amount of submissions and for editing so many novels at such a grueling pace. We really appreciate all that you do.

Our Publishing Assistant, Lauren Ridgewell – Thank you for joining our team just in time to help us with all the ‘little things’ we used to have time for, but don’t anymore and for creating such a beautiful website for the Local Authors and Artists Festival.

Our PR Assistant, Sarah Jane – Thank you for all the assistance you’ve been able to give us, despite your busy schedule. It is appreciated!

Gail Dowsett – Thank you for stepping in to help us edit when we needed an extra set of eyes.

thank_youSapphyria’s Book Tours – Thank you for all your hard work and long hours organizing blog tours and press releases for us!

Sabrina Wiese – Thank you for your help with LAAF and for all the work you’re still doing helping us to get ready for the big day!

I’d also like to thank all of our authors for entrusting their work to us and for working so hard with us to get their novels out into the world. To Matthew Freake, Leigh Goff, Sharon Ledwith, Elizabeth J. M. Walker, Rita Monette, Joshua Pantalleresco, Nate Friedman, and Adam Gaylord – you guys are the best of the best. Thank you for all that you do!

Lastly, thank you to all of our readers, reviewers, bloggers and community partners – you’re the reason we do all this!

NeverWe’re pretty sure we’ve got something great going on here at Mirror World Publishing and we’re hoping you feel the same way. That being said, we’re not the kind of people to be satisfied with great. We’re determined to keep getting bigger and better! So if you’re interested in going on this journey with us, we’ll be resuming our hunt for the best in #escapismfiction as of November 15th, 2015, with aims to publish 3-4 more titles in 2016.

Here’s what we’ll be looking for:

Escapism Fiction.

Our goal is to provide our readers with the ability to escape the mundane through wildly creative fiction. We’re looking for books that act as gateways to other worlds, other times, or other concepts of reality. We prefer strong story telling and strong character development as well as imaginative settings and interesting themes. If your manuscript transports a reader somewhere else, tells an engaging story, and then brings them back feeling like they learned or experienced something unique, then we want to publish your book!

As for genres, we consider primarily:

  •  Speculative Fiction
  •  Fantasy
  •  Science-Fiction (not military)
  •  Romance
  •  Adventure
  •  Adult, New Adult, Young Adult, Middle Grade, or Children’s
  •  Cross-genre, or things that don’t fit genre norms.
  •  Outside the box thinking.

We don’t like to limit ourselves, so if you have something you think we’ll like but doesn’t fit the above list, please send it anyway. We’d rather take a chance outside our comfort zones than miss something great.

Thank you for considering us and we look forward to reading your submissions. To find our Submissions Guidelines, click here.

Map-making is serious business for Fantasy writers!

Fantasy writers know that a very crucial part of the world building process is to draw a map, but not all of us are artistically talented or inclined. So what do we do when we need to add ‘cartographer’ to the list of hats a writer must wear? Well, in my case it was to eventually hire a professional. Here’s why:

In the world building phase of Unintended, it sufficed for Murandy and I to work from a hand-drawn map that I’d made up on poster-sized paper and hung on the wall.

MAP

(I am by no means an artist, but I was pretty proud of this map and I even coloured it with pencil crayons and everything. ) It was large enough that we could see it from a distance and the lettering clear enough that we could reference it easily. I also added colour so the mountains, hills, trees and sandy beaches could easily be told apart from one another.

However, when it came time to publish Unintended, I knew my hand-drawn creation wasn’t going to cut it and scanning and shrinking it was not worth my time. I have some limited experience with digital art from my time as a video game designer with First Age Studios, so I thought I would try drawing a digital version that I could include in the final version of the book.

MapUNin

Unfortunately, it did not turn out as well as I hoped. And sadly, this is the version of the map that the BETA readers for Unintended had to put up with in their test copies. It did the job of telling them where everything was in relation to everything else, but that’s about it.

About a week before the final deadline I had set to get to the book to the distributor in time to launch it for August 17th, I was resigned to having to include the above map in the book or risk trying to redo it myself. That’s when I had the good fortune to meet the talented C.A. Calloway who not only felt she could do the map for Unintended justice, but that she could also do it before my deadline. Needless to say, I was impressed and decided it was worth a shot.

Two days later she sent me this:

IMAG0500_1

I digitally added the font:

Ismera copy

And there we have it! A beautifully professionally drawn map for Unintended, our comedic fantasy romance!

She also sent me the original in the mail, so I can frame it and hang it in the office.

So in this particular instance, hiring a professional was the right answer for me. Sometimes it’s good to realize what you can and can’t do yourself and what would be better done by someone else. And this time, it was in the budget, so it worked out.

C.A. Calloway is a map artist. She also does other types of art for inclusion in books; covers and line drawings. You can find her on Facebook at: The World Forge.

ADUnintended copyEverything happens for a reason…

Mackenzie en Shareed, a clan chief’s daughter is sent to Ismera to marry the Crown Prince only to bungle it upon her arrival by marrying the wrong man.

Fate and wills collide in this Shakespearian-style romantic comedy in a fantasy setting.

Unintended by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred launches August 17th, 2015. Until then, look for pre-order opportunities in our store, or subscribe to this blog on the top right of this page for more updates!