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And Then There Were Two by Kitty Bucholtz

July 22, 2023 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , , ,

When I got married 33 years ago, I knew there would be a lot of combining things in our lives. John taught me to enjoy comic books and Dungeons & Dragons. I helped him discover a couple chick flicks he could watch multiple times.

What I didn’t expect to share was my identity as a writer.

At first, it was really difficult for me, a middle child, to share a place I’d carved out for me. (Middle children out there, I bet you understand.) But over time I not only got used to the fact that my animator husband had started writing middle grade superhero stories, I decided to help him get them published.

Insert long story here about sending the book out to agents. (Many of you know this story.) So John decided he’d follow me and self-publish.

And since I’m a book coach and help people not only finish their books, but self-publish their books…yup, I had another client! (This one pays with kisses and backrubs and…ah-hem…moving on!) So as we insert another long story here, I’m now officially a publisher since I publish two authors. Whoa!

Let me know if you’d like to know how that’s working and I’ll make a point of writing it all down and posting it here. Meanwhile, I’m doing the publisher thing and promoting a book! 😀

Life as a Teenage Superhero is free through the end of today, Saturday, July 22, 2023, on all Amazon stores that sell ebooks. (I never thought I’d have to add those last three words, but the new Amazon store in Sweden doesn’t sell ebooks yet!) If you enjoyed the Harry Potter books, you might love Life as a Teenage Superhero. And if you have kids or grandkids from about 8 years old and up, they may love it too! (Also available in Kindle Unlimited for the next 90 days.)

We’ve got John’s second book in the 11-book series, Get a Half-Life, up on pre-order on Amazon with new books in the series coming out every 2-4 months. One of the new things I’ll be doing this year is creating a second print edition that is specifically for dyslexic readers! It’s a busy and exciting time to be a writer — and a publisher!

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Self Publishing Show Live Recap by Kitty Bucholtz

July 9, 2023 by in category Writing tagged as , , , ,
Self Publishing Show Live 2023 with Mark Dawson and James Blatch

I was thrilled to attend Mark Dawson’s SPS Live last month in London! It was exactly the shot in the arm I needed to bring back my thrill for my career! I thought you might want to know what happened there because you can still buy the digital ticket and watch the recordings of all the presentations. You’ll be glad you did. Soooo many people — onstage and off — made a point of encouraging everyone else, urging us all to watch our mindset in order to help us reach new levels of success.

First up was Bella Andre talking about translations. She was generous and clear about exactly how it’s been working for her. If you have a long series, this is something you need to look into.

Damon Courtney from BookFunnel gave a great presentation about how to build a book funnel to find your perfect readers and grow your list. Of course, if you use BookFunnel, he gave some advice about group promos and author swaps.

Next was an interesting panel on writing regional crime novels. Whether you write in this genre or not, there was a lot to learn from these incredibly successful authors. One tip — focus on character and setting over the crime and the procedural portion. That’s what brings readers back for more.

Then Fictionary (writing software) gave a story structure presentation. Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur shared tips on improving your Amazon sales page. Craig Martelle and Kate Pickford gave inspiring talks on perfectionism and getting in your own way. And we finished the first day with a panel discussing AI.

I was so fired up after the first day, my brain was bouncing off the walls of my skull! Hahaha!!

Marc Reklau began Day Two with a talk that was both inspiring and practical. Then Mark Dawson and Orna Ross of Alliance of Independent Authors shared the results of a survey about independent authors including income, sales, and trends. (I linked to the downloadable results. ^^)

TikTok shared an exciting presentation about TikTok Shop that was only disappointing at the end if you did not reside in the U.K., the U.S., or a few countries in Southeast Asia. (It’s not available outside these countries yet, and the TikTok app won’t show you the options outside these countries.)

Britt Andrews from ProWritingAid (writing software) gave a great presentation on building a fandom. Then the Kindle Storyteller Award winners took the stage for a group interview. And finishing out the conference, Mark Dawson and Emma Boyle (Written Word Media, the company that owns Freebooksy, Bargainbooksy, etc.) gave tips on elevating ebook promo success. (Mark’s Hello Books has joined up with Written Word Media for ebook promos.)

And there it is — a very brief recap and a reminder that you can still buy the digital ticket for $99. When the videos are ready in August, Mark and team are going to do a little launch that includes a few extra live classes, so come join us! Being there live was electric and I’ve made a lot of changes already with more to come. I hope you find a similar excitement in watching the videos!

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What Do I Do with AI? by Kitty Bucholtz

May 9, 2023 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , , , , ,

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been on our radar for years, and on our fiction radar for decades. But since OpenAI opened its doors for anyone and everyone to try out ChatGPT six months ago, it seems AI has exploded across the world and across industries.

If you haven’t played with it yet, you might be wondering — what can an author do with it anyway? (Besides ask it to write a book for you, which would actually take about as much work as writing it yourself to come up with something really good and not generic-sounding.) Turns out, there are lots of things.

  1. Back cover copy — My husband’s first book just released (yay!) and he used ChatGPT to help him write better back cover copy. He entered what he’d written himself and then asked for help to make it stronger.
  2. Your book description on the sales page — Same guy, same book. He then asked the AI to read the book descriptions of a couple competitive authors on Amazon and rewrite his book description to sound more like the ones on those sales pages.
  3. Brainstorming plot holes and writer’s block — I used ChatGPT to find out what a lawyer (the hero in my current chick lit) might do in this or that situation. I asked it to give me three ideas of what might happen after this or that event. I asked it for ten more ideas, then I asked for more details on one of them. Suddenly, my block was gone and I knew what I wanted to write next.
  4. Fictional poetry or song lyrics — Since we can’t legally use more than a small number of words in poetry and songs (it’s easier for me to just say “we can’t use it” and be done with it), what can you do if you’re not a poet? Give ChatGPT some guidelines and ask it to write x lines of poetry for you in this or that style. Voila!
  5. Actual poetry to give to someone — Say, in your spouse’s anniversary card! John and I just celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary a few days ago and I was gobsmacked at the short but lovely poem he’d written inside. I asked him if he’d written it or just found someone’s poem and written it in. When he paused, not answering either way, I started laughing. “Did you use ChatGPT?!” He looked away, trying to hide a smile. “Maybe a little. But then *I* made it better!”

The free version of ChatGPT can do a lot, but don’t expect it to “get it right” on the first try. You need to understand how to ask it questions to get the best answers. And you need to know enough about the topic to know when it got something a little (or a lot) wrong, or when its answer is just too generic to be useful. The newer paid version is already miles ahead of the free one, but you still need to understand how to ask your questions.

I’m going to be showing my group coaching clients how to use the free ChatGPT for brainstorming, how it’s different from “Googling” something, and the specific and helpful ways it can make your writing life easier. And more fun!

If you’ve used it, what do you feel it has done well or poorly? If you haven’t used it, what makes you want to try it or makes you shy away from it?

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Are Lacy Panties Holy Underwear? by Kitty Bucholtz

April 9, 2023 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , ,

I’m not being blasphemous. It’s actually a funny story from earlier this week. I was in a Zoom Bible study and we were talking about the body of Christ, and how we make up all the parts of the body, and I was super tired and blurted out — “Yeah, even the underwear!”

Hahaha!!! Then I tried to explain — “You know, when I’m thinking too highly of myself I remind myself that I might only be the underwear.”

My friend Charlotte said, “But you’d be the lacy underwear, Kitty.”

“Yeah, that’s true,” I said. “The bride of Christ isn’t wearing granny undies. She’d be wearing lace. So she’s probably wearing Victory’s Secret lace underwear.”

Hahaha!!!! It took a minute for us to get back on track after that!

Then I was thinking that’s probably true. As much as we try to be “good,” we don’t always succeed. Sometimes there are holes in our faith. And lace has holes. So our faith — my faith, for sure — is probably more like lace underwear than sturdy granny undies. Hahaha! Of course, that analogy only goes so far since sturdy cotton lasts a long time, longer than lace. But you see where I was going with it! Haha! Sometimes I blurt out the strangest things when I’m tired! (And guess what conversation is going to find its way into this book or the next one!)

Whatever your views on cotton vs. lace  😉  I hope you have a beautiful Holy Week and a blessed Easter!

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Kitty Bucholtz, March Featured Author

March 29, 2023 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , ,

March featured author Kitty Bucholtz is a writer, podcaster, and a book coach. She has combined her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher turned coach.

She writes romantic comedy and superhero urban fantasy, often with an inspirational element woven in. She loves to teach and offer advice to writers through her WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast.

Kitty has also created the Finish Your Books Coaching Program. Find out more about either 1:1 Coaching or Group Coaching on Kitty’s website. http://kittybucholtz.com/

Besides Kitty’s Coaching Program and WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast, you will find her here at A Slice of Orange on the 9th of each month writing It’s Worth It.

Books by Kitty Bucholtz


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