indie authors

New Venture in Video: ParaTakes (First Segment: Bell Witch)

This is the first of many ParaTakes With Pat Fitzhugh that I intend to produce and distribute. A ParaTake is my short take on any topic related to the paranormal. The first few ParaTakes will cover popular myths and misconceptions associated with Tennessee’s infamous Bell Witch legend. Why the Bell Witch? Although there is more to my work than just the Bell Witch, I’ve spent two-thirds of my life researching the terrifying legend. Over the course of decades spent researching a legend, the researcher accumulates a list of pet peeves. And naturally, the researcher occasionally feels the urge to share them. Sounds like a job for ParaTakes!

Filmed in Mississippi, this first ParaTake segment features my analysis of the so-called abuse theory, which has been used in several recent attempts to “explain” the Bell Witch legend. Before we watch the video, please take moment to familiarize yourself with the story. Here’s the condensed version…

“From 1817 to 1821, a Tennessee family experienced a series of terrifying disturbances at the hands of an invisible, malevolent entity. Known as the Bell Witch, the entity beat on walls and floors, tugged on the children’s bedcovers, sang hymns, and predicted the future. Along the way, she mercilessly brutalized the family’s youngest daughter, Betsy, and killed her father.

“Scholars have attempted to explain the mystery for almost 200 years. Although nearly everyone has an opinion about the so-called Bell Witch, a provable explanation continues to elude researchers. A popular theory posed in recent years suggests that the entity evolved from Betsy Bell’s subconscious mind as the result of her [allegedly] having been abused by her father.

“In this ParaTake, author and longtime researcher Pat Fitzhugh provides his take on the oft-controversial abuse theory.”

And now, the video…

ParaTake #1: The Bell Witch Legend’s Abuse Theory — Fact or Speculation?

Radio Interview on March 5th – Ghosts, Writing, All Things Paranormal

I will be a guest on “Crossing the Void” radio show on Wednesday, March 5th, from 9-11P Central / 10-Midnight Eastern. We’ll be talking about ghosts, writing, hauntings, and all things paranormal. You can listen LIVE at Hey-Z Radio (The Energy Drink for Your Soul). Here is the link:

http://www.heyzradio.com

Twitter Chat for Authors and Aspiring Authors

Ever thought about writing a book? Ever wonder what it’s like being an author? Have you wondered what’s involved with writing and publishing a book?
Do you know the best ways to promote a book? Do want the lowdown on book signings and how to make them work for you?

Whether you’re an author or an author wannabee, come join historical fiction author Lori Crane, myself, and four other authors as we discuss our careers, our thoughts, our processes, our books, and the secrets (and pitfalls) that all aspiring authors need to know about!

Saturday, November 16, 2013 – 4p-5p Eastern, 3p-4p Central

Go to TweetChat (www.tweetchat.com) a few minutes before the chat, to sign up. Then, simply enter the following hashtag to follow and participate in the chat: #ellyhays

The Author Exploitation Business

Every serious author needs to read this, as well as my comment.

David Gaughran

penguin (1)Writing is a glamorous occupation – at least from the outside. Popular depictions of our profession tend to leave out all the other stuff that comes with the territory: carpal tunnel syndrome, liver failure, penury, and madness.

Okay, okay, I jest. I love being a writer. Sharing stories with the world and getting paid for it is bloody brilliant. It’s a dream job, and like any profession with a horde of neophytes seeking to break in, there are plenty of sharks waiting to chew them to bits.

Publishing is a screwed up business. The often labyrinthine path to success makes it much easier for those with nefarious intentions to scam the unsuspecting. But it doesn’t help that so many organizations who claim to help writers, to respect them, to assist them along the path to publication are actually screwing them over.

Before the digital revolution made self-publishing viable on a…

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Self-Publishing Grabs Huge Market Share From Traditional Publishers

This is nothing I didn’t already know. Each month, each quarter, each year, independently-published books make a bigger and bigger splash!

David Gaughran

godzillBarnes & Noble re-launched PubIt! this week as Nook Press, a largely superficial makeover which failed to address some fundamental problems, like restricting access to US self-publishers only, and introduced new howler: updating existing titles causes the loss of all ranking, reviews, and momentum.

There were only two noteworthy things, to me, about this launch. First, the PubIt! brand had been closely associated with Barnes & Noble. This re-launch seems like an attempt to tie the Nook Press brand to their subsidiary Nook Media, probably in advance of a sale (Barnes & Noble already sold a stake to Microsoft, and a smaller slice to Pearson – Penguin’s parent company but maintain a controlling interest in Nook Media).

This re-launch is full of things that sound great in a corporate press release (innovative editing tools!) that most professional self-publishers won’t really care about, which makes me further suspect this is more…

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#Authors #Indie #Twitter Twitter Hashtags for Authors

Many writers ask about marketing their books on Twitter. I’m not a Twitter expert, but I’ve enjoyed mild success by marketing by books on Twitter. How? It’s simple. It’s about good manners and hashtags.

I try to tweet once every day or so; I don’t overdo it. That’s my biggest challenge, as I don’t like moderation. “If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right, and worth doing BIG–to the max, to the limit, over the limit!” is one of my many “patisms.” If you can’t, or won’t, give something 250%, 500% of the time, then don’t do it! Okay, enough. But I digress….

One day, I’ll tweet about the weather; the next day, a fellow author’s book; and the next, my writing progress. Then, about once every week or so, I will tweet to people that one of my books is currently on sale (which it is). I’ve tweet-promoted my books more frequently, but with no results. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that while people love to hear about good books, they don’t like having books shoved down their throats. “Buy my book!” “Buy my book!” tweeted 30 times daily, by the same author, not only makes an ass of the author, but also irritates his or her soon-to-be unfollowers. Be humble. Be nice. Remember that Twitter is a social interaction tool, and should be used to SOCIALIZE with people. There’s nothing wrong with advertising your books, but a little moderation and more socialization–personal socialization–go a long way. And, so do hashtags.

I’ll spare you from my long, ad-nauseous definition of a hashtag, and say, simply, go check out http://www.hashtags.org . You’ll learn what a hashtag is, why it’s important, which hashtags are “trending,” which hashtags have the most activity, and a thousand other points to consider when hashtagging your tweets. Once you’ve learned what hashtags are (assuming you don’t already know), see my list, below, which can be helpful to authors.

PLEASE consult hashtags.org and RESEARCH any hashtag you plan to use. Understand what it is, what it isn’t, and when, and when not, to use it. If you misuse a hashtag, you’re subject to embarrassment and ridicule from the Twitter gods.

Basic Book Stuff –
#novel #new #paperbacks #short #story #greatread #whattoread #books #nonfiction #storytelling #book #mustread #writers #pubwrite #writetip #fridayreads

Indie and eBook Stuff –

#ebooks #epublishing #epublishers #epub #digitalpublishing #selfpub #readanindiefriday #indieauthor & #indieauthors #indiepublishing #indiepub

Authors to Authors (shop talk) –

#AmWriting
#AmEditing
#WordCount
#WriterWednesday
#WritersLife
#YALitChat
#LitChat
#MemoirChat
#BookMarket
#WritingParty
#IndieAuthors
#WriteChat
#epubchat:
#kindlechat:
#vss
#webfic
#weblit
#wip
#wordcount
#writegoal
#writequote

Quote from your book-
#Novelines

Genre Stuff –
#RomanceWriter
#SciFiChat
#KidLitChat
#RWA (Romance Writers of America)
#ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers)
#SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators)
#MemoirChat
#LitFic
#HistFic
#HistNovel
#ShortStories
#WomensFiction
#Science
#Futuristic
#Crime
#SciFi

The Book Industry –
#WritingTip
#WriteTip
#GetPublished
#PromoTip
#SelfPublishing
#Publishing
#AskAgent
#AskAuthor
#AskEditor
#EBooks
#IndiePub
#BookMarketing

Creativity-
#WritingPrompt
#StoryStarter
#WordAThon
#Creativity
#WIP

Reach out to Readers (IMPORTANT!!!!!!)-
#FridayReads
#BookGiveaway
#MustRead
#LitChat
#StoryFriday
#MustRead

Online Booksellers-
#smashwords
#bookbuzzr
#fReadO
#amazon
#kobo
#nook

Marketing-
#bookmarketing
#bookbuzz
#special
#free
#freebie
#FictionFriday
#FlashFriday

eBook Formats-
#kindle
#sony
#nook
#ebooks
#kobo
#ipad
#ereaders
#ebook
#kpd

Ok, I’ve let the cat out of the bag and given you my secret. Again, PLEASE consult hashtags.org and RESEARCH any hashtag you plan to use. Understand what it is, what it isn’t, and when, and when not, to use it.

Another Writing Tip

Where possible, write in the active voice. The active voice occurs when the subject PERFORMS an action; for instance, “A tornado toppled Uncle Frank’s barn.” In contrast to the active voice, the passive voice occurs when the subject RECEIVES an action; for instance, “Uncle Frank’s barn was toppled by a tornado.”

The example written in the active voice is shorter (by two words), simpler, and more on point. It reads better, and it moves the scene at a faster pace.

Is it “wrong” to write in the passive voice? Not always. While it doesn’t read as well as the active voice, and it often necessitates more words to convey a thought, the passive voice still isn’t literary taboo–you just need to watch it carefully. Is the passive voice ever the “correct” approach to a piece? Yes. It’s good for achieving effect and emphasis; for example, to make sure that a particular word receives the greatest emphasis (by forcing it to the end of the sentence).

When it doubt, go with the active voice. It tightens your prose, gives it more punch, and moves your story along.

#WIP #indiepub #storytelling #AmWriting #paranormal “Ghostly Cries” Sequel Coming Soon

The sequel to Ghostly Cries From Dixie is well underway. The first three drafts are edited, and the fourth is almost complete. Only two more drafts to go! The sequel, with a working title of MORE Ghostly Cries From Dixie, will feature more weird and ghostly tales–and haunted locations–from the land of moonshine and magnolias. The release date has not been set, but both the paperback and Kindle editions will be on shelves in time for Halloween 2013!

Speaking of Ghostly Cries From Dixie… if you haven’t read the first book yet, now would be a great time to snag a copy. The Kindle edition is now on sale for only $2.99!

Click here to purchase and download your copy instantly!  Pleasant dreams.

Pat Fitzhugh's "Ghostly Cries From Dixie" -- Front cover.

“Ghostly Cries From Dixie” — Front cover.