Thursday, 8 January 2015

WEbook's December Newsletter

WEbook's December Newsletter 
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Dear WEbook,
Welcome to the final WEbook newsletter of 2014!
It's been quite a year for all of us at WEbook - both staff and members alike. Following on from WEbook's relaunch as a publisher back in 2013, we've fully embraced our new role and by the end of the year we will have published ten WEbook titles, with even more on the way for 2015.
In this month's newsletter we will be discussing our newest WEbook release, In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter by Sarah Szabo, along with an exclusive discount code for WEbook members to celebrate its release!
We'll also be giving some updates on the upcoming WEbook Challenge Anthology, discussing how you can improve your writing by avoiding using clichés (because Christmas is prime cliché time!), and of course our regular Member Spotlights and Member of the Month nominations!
As ever, we're on the look-out for more members to publish as WEbooks, so this month we're going to be asking for YOUR nominations. Do you have a favourite author on the site who you'd love to see published? Let us know!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the WEbook Team
See you in 2015!
In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter
"Ok. Unless you’re Jet Hunter - this is not for you but I get it. It’s a blistering read and what else have you got to do? I recorded my life over the 53 days of this summer holiday – warts and all (honesty is the best policy when it comes to other people’s shortcomings). Anyway If you’ve chosen to come along for the ride, don’t tell Nicole and keep your mitts off Jet Hunter."
Book of the Month!
WEbook's Book of the Month for December is our newest release, In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter, by Sarah Szabo.
Sarah is a freelance lifestyle journalist based in Australia who was picked up for publication under WEbook's previous ownership. In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunterwon a peer voted competition for WEbook publication, but unfortunately by the time everything was ready, WEbook had gone offline... and that's where we come in! After posting a link to the book on the site, it was noticed by one of our editors and we jumped to offer Sarah a second chance for Jet Hunter to become a WEbook - which she happily accepted!
To claim your exclusive 50% discount on the ebook of,  In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter, enter the code JETHUNTER4EVA in the WEbook Store.
Redeem Now!
Members of the Month
This month we have decided to honour some of our members who gave the most back to the community with their ratings! Initially this seemed like an easy task, but soon we realised that so many of you were rating so many P2F submissions that we couldn't just give one of you the credit.
So, here is our leaderboard:
1) momcat with 388 ratings
2) Marinero with 112 ratings
3) HotShots with 79 ratings
4) Keywizard with 77 ratings
-) girlbird with 77 ratings
Writer of the Month
Congratulations to OpterOnyx who has been selected as our Writer of the Month! With almost 150 pieces of content added over the last month, we're sure this guy has got plenty of exciting stories to tell the world! Check out some of his projects: The Dead (Series) - Book Oneand EnRaged: The Story of the Rage Virus.
How to Avoid Clichés in Your Writing
Don't Borrow - Invent!
Although it's tempting to re-write the stories you already know, this is exactly where you'll find yourself using the most clichés. The same stories written again and again risk falling into a trap of familiarity where you'll find yourself employing over-used phrases such as 'frightened to death', 'head over heels', 'woke up on the wrong side of the bed', and hundreds more.

The best way to avoid this is to write about what you know and ideally, have experienced yourself. Never been to space? Then don't write about your journey there. Been scuba diving? Then write about your personalexperience. Think about your own impressions, write them down and create your own, original turns of phrase.
Slow. It. Down.
There is a common self-consciousness surrounding 'boring' the reader, which more often than not means that a story can become rushed and dotted with cliché. When detail is omitted either through editing or overuse of cliché to characterise using stereotypes, the scene is often not set well enough for the reader to become immersed in a story.

Try this writing experiment: write a story which you think will bore the reader with detail and then write one which you think is going to be exciting and hold their attention. Get some feedback from your writing buddies on which one they think is the better piece. You'll likely find yourself surprised at the outcome...

Start Writing
Melodrama is for Teens
Life is not a continual stream of interesting and earth-shattering events. Remember this when you're writing. Your readers will become much more immersed in the story you tell them if you leave the melodrama at home with your teenage self. Employing gratuitous depictions of events render them unbelievable to your reader and you'll find yourself relying on cliché to make your events sound more grounded and realistic.

High-action is one thing, but when this is all the story contains, your readers will quickly become desensitised and loose interest in the events. Keep them on the edges of their seats, tease them and then let the drama out!

November Challenge
Congratulations to Finnean Nilsen for winning the November Music Challengewith his entry Drifting.
Special mentions also go to the five runners up, TiberiousG with Step by Step, Alina Voycewith Act of Remembrance, RainbowBlightwith If I Kiss You Where It's SoreKenWebbwith Gimme Shelter and Girlbird with The Catyville Baptist Church Brawl! Don't forget that our December to Remember Challenge is now open and waiting for your entries. Good luck!
NaNoWriMo Winner!
Congratulations to BeverleyLove who has been selected as the winner of our NaNoWriMo Publication ChallengeBeverlyLove's entry, The Hit, had the whole judging pannel in complete agreement (which is virtually unheard of!). 'The Hit' - or what we've seen so far of it - has intrigued us and we can't wait to read more! We'll keep you all updated as we progress withBeverleyLove to turn 'The Hit' into our next WEbook!
WEbook Ebook Giveaway
This month we're giving away five copies of Sarah Szabo's In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter. To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is answer this simple question:
What 53 day holiday period is 'In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter' set in?
Enter Now!

Monday, 1 December 2014

WEbook's Newest Release! In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter by Sarah Szabo

In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter

Webook's latest release is the brilliantly hilarious Teen/YA diary-style novel 

by Sarah Szabo 

One of our editorial staff discovered Sarah when she posted a link to Jet Hunter on the WEbook forums. We were all immediately hooked and couldn't wait to get Sarah on board with us - luckily she was just as excited as we were and the next thing you know, In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter had become our newest WEbook! 

We had a chat with Sarah about her writing background, how she came to create, Jet Hunter, and her involvement with WEbook over the years...  

"I have been a professional lifestyle journalist in Australia for over 12 years. If I have a speciality genre it is film and TV, but over the years I have written on everything from sustainable architecture to Steampunk. I am always happy to tackle a serious subject but if I can inject a little humour into whatever I am writing, sneak a little something in past the editor, then I am truly happy. 

"Writing fiction was a true joy because I had no other agenda other than to create something funny. Call me shallow, but for me humour is the highest art form and not easy to do well  (I was brought up in England so I blame that - you need maximum comedy in a cold weather climate). 

"As a journalist - I’m more influenced by Hunter S. Thompson and Clive James than Woodward and Bernstein and as for fiction, well I hope to be buried with Evelyn Waugh’s, Decline and Fall. Read a little something from, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, for a eulogy and I am done. I like to laugh - is that wrong?"


 How Sarah came to write Jet Hunter...

"I learned all I needed to know about life from Nigel Molesworth (Geoffrey Willans); Adrian Mole (Sue Townsend) and perhaps a little from Bridget Jones (Helen Fielding). Nigel Molesworth and Adrian Mole, in particular are standouts for me because the humour works whether you are 12 or 49. I read these books as a teen and I still reread them now. The humour is timeless and ageless - it is just great comedy. The fact that they all happen to be in diary form is a coincidence, and the fact that my fiction is in diary form - no coincidence at all. I wanted to write a teen humour book with crossover appeal to adults using great comedy writing technique. 

"In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter, is a product of all my comedy influences stewed and steamed over the course of my reading life and concentrated in the form of one, beautifully self obsessed, casually cruel and philosophically blunt contemporary female teen. In other words - your average teen. I was one myself once and I have a couple of younger Gen Y siblings who provided much inspiration in the self obsession department. (They are delightful - really). 

"No teen’s life is complete without a major pop-culture crush and I wrapped a narrative around that to give the format some momentum and to inject a little satire about contemporary culture. If at any time you laugh out loud while reading it or even titter - I have done the job I set out to do."

On Sarah's involvement with WEbook...

"The WEbook site came to my attention some years ago (under previous owners). At the time WEbook was running a peer voted competition to find a publishable work, I entered this manuscript and received overwhelming support from other WEbookers, which was a prize in itself. I went on to win the competition and got some great feedback from WEbook management who loved the work, but felt I needed to develop the manuscript further before publication. 

"To cut a long story short - it took me a while to do so but it was necessary. Along the way WEbook died, and I went on my way reworking the manuscript in my own time (my own sweet time). After a few ups and downs, false starts and reworkings, I shoved it in a draw. Later I took it out, reread it - laughed - and thought: ‘Bugger it, I’ll publish it myself.’ 

"Somehow I found myself back on the new WEbook site and remembered all those past WEbookers who told me they loved it too. I left a message in the forums about self-publishing it, wondering if anyone remembered it. 

"I’ve come full circle back to this forum of supportive fellow writers and I couldn’t be happier."

Sarah's, In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter is available now from the WEbook Store in hardback, paperback and and digital ebook format. 

Read on for an exclusive preview:

Day 25

1.05 p.m.

Shelly rang this morning. I told Mum to tell her I wasn’t home. When we were at the movies she hinted that she wanted to come to the all ages gig tonight but I’ve my reputation to think of. Rang Nicole. No one home. Texted her. No reply. Her phone battery must be dead. Went to skate park. Not there. Went to library. Not there. The Phat Fonies are playing so I know she’ll want to go. I bet Danny will be there. There is something I wanted to ask him about the value of X when Y is something or other (I’ll look it up before I go).

2.10 p.m.
Just rang Shelly’s number. She isn’t home. Texted her. No reply. Her phone battery must be dead. I’m extremely annoyed.

4.15 p.m.
The phone rang while I was doing some pacing exercises in the hall. I like to pick it up by the third ring because Dad told me once that it’s a good business principle. As I was rounding the kitchen entrance, Mr Paws appeared in the doorway and I jumped over him, skidded on the kitchen floor, connected with a hand dumbbell that had been left lying on the floor and kicked it through the glass door cabinet with the fine china in it. It was Gran on the phone. Something about forgetting where she had put her keys. I couldn’t hear her over Mum carrying on about her Royal Doulton and how much it cost. I reminded her that it was her hand weight, and as she spun around, she dropped the matching saucer to the cup that had just been broken. I won’t record for posterity what she said – just file it away to tell the school counsellor next time I need to get out of school.

4.30 p.m.
Mum is sending me round to Gran’s in a taxi so that I can help her find her keys. She’s in one of her ‘pre-menopausal moods’, as Dad calls them. She says she’ll pick me up in an hour. I’ve asked her to man the phones while I’m away.

Day 28

10.50 a.m. 
Had a breakfast revelation after reading the ‘phun philosophy’ on the back of the cereal packet. What I need to do is forget the hideous shortcomings of everyone around me and focus on developing my own talents in order to maximize my personal potential
(also, according to the packet, should eat more cereal).
Have decided that I would like to become a competitive surfer, earning mega prize and sponsorship dollars and gaining the admiration of the wider community in general and the surfing community in particular. I know it won’t be easy but I love a challenge. The hard
part is deciding whether to go custom made (e.g. retro flames, lifesize portrait of Jet) or off the rack (classic stripe). The easy part I’ll hand over to Dad – cash or credit card. Can’t wait for Dad to get home. Told Mum all about the new me (said imagine world champ surfer Layne Beachley, except with my head and Beyoncé’s body). She said she can’t wait for Dad to get home either.

5.45 p.m.
Think I hear Dad’s footsteps coming up the front steps. I’ll meet him at the door to ask him about his day, make him a cup of tea just the way he likes it (made by someone else) and ease into a discussion about maximizing one’s potential and the millions of dollars in sponsorship money being thrown at women who can shoot the curl, rip through the tube and chill out in the green room. Kowabunga! (Note to self: must find out exact location of the green room.)

5.50 p.m.
Life sucks

7.00 p.m.
Decided to get a wider perspective on the issue. Nicole thinks Dad is like really a gnarly lameass (skate slang meaning crap parent); Shelly thinks Dad is way off (ballroom dancing slang meaning little or no parenting skill); Alexandra-Rhiannon thinks that Dad is preoccupied by capitalist accumulation at the expense of lifestyle; Gran has offered to knit me a surfboard cover and someone called IAMHot4U on the surfinchiks internet chatroom thinks that Dad should chill out and support his spunky daughter in her sporting endeavours, particularly when she probably has a hot body and wears a bikini.

7.45 p.m.
Found out that the surfinchiks have a chapter who meet at my local beach at 6 every morning during the school holidays. There is an open invitation to females of any age to turn up and be taught the basics of surfing (surfboard not required). You go girls. Who needs to be under Dad’s grimy masculine thumb, begging for crumbs from his overstuffed wallet while he grows grotesquely fat on the domestic slavery of his miserable female chattels (Germaine Greer, The Female Unicorn).

8.05 p.m.
Dad says he’s happy to get up at 5.30 a.m. to run me down to the
beach. Sexist swine.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

WEbook's NaNoWriMo Newsletter

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WEbook's November NaNoWriMo Newsletter

Dear WEbook,

Welcome to our November NaNoWriMo newsletter!

This month we're going to be helping you out with some inspiration, a few tips on how to stay focussed during the month and what you can do to beat the dreaded distraction dips!

Our Book of the Month for November is Lifelights by Alina Voyce. Lifelights is the first book in a series, so there are plenty more to keep you going after you've finished this one. Check out the competition below to find out how you can win a free copy and start your journey towards mild (okay, strong) Alina Voyce obsession!

This month on WEbook we've been working hard at putting the finishing touches to In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter - to find out some more info on Sarah Szabo's new WEbook release, head on over to the WEbook Store and check out it's preview listing.

We're also running a NaNoWriMo competition this month alongside our usual Monthly Challenge - the prize, which is pretty epic, is the chance to get your book published as a WEbook. All you need to do is submit a chapter, and remember to include a 300-word synopsis too. We're really looking forwards to publishing some new WEbooks, so the more entries the merrier!

Happy Writing!

The WEbook Team


Read our Interview with Alina

WEbook's Book of the Month!

Alina Voyce, or Sue Grainger as some WEbookers may know her, has been an active member of WEbook since 2010, when she discovered the site with some help from a kindly BBC News report. An active and welcoming member of the community, Sue is always happy to help out newbies and give support to other writers.

It seems to Mara Austin that the Lifelights have always been a part of her life. They're a secret she cherishes, the nearest thing to a family that she has and the one anomaly in her otherwise predictable existence. On the day of her 22nd birthday things begin to change. An American businessman, Sebastian Oran, visits 'The Tea Cosy' cafe where Mara works and a telepathic voice invades her mind. Drawn to Sebastian, Mara's main concern is for the Lifelights. it wouldn't do for someone like him to find out about them... But as attraction is transformed into a deeper bond, the result is unexpected. 'Her' secret reveals a truth that spans the globe - a supernatural species with the power to enlighten or destroy.

Buy Now


Member of the Month

This month's Member of the Month is Sue Grainger! Sue has had the greatest all round input to WEbook this month with over 150 additions to the site across the board - this includes leaving feedback, adding to her projects and rating in P2F. Congratulations Sue!

Writer of the Month

Our Writer of the Month for November is a relatively new addition to WEbook. Achronon joined us in October and has added some beautiful pieces of poetry, our favourite of which is Have You Tasted War? Congratulations to Achronon! Keep up the good (writing) work!

It's NaNoWriMo - Let's Get Writing!!

What is NaNoWriMo?

Why, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month of course! You've got 30 days over the month of November to write a 50,000 word novel. The idea is to write and not edit. If you think you can handle it, NaNoWriMo can be a brilliant springboard for getting your novel off the ground - well known books that have come out of NaNoWriMo include Water For Elephants and, (our personal favorite) The Night Circus.

In 2013 there were 310,095 registered participants, and with braches all over the world, you're sure to be able to find a support group near you!

There are so many resources and articles on the internet to help inspire, inform and improve your NaNoWriMo effort. We've compiled our pick of the best to help you stay up-to-date with the global chatter:

>>The Serious Novelist's Guide to NaNoWriMo
>>11 spoilers from the NaNoWriMo guide 'No Plot? No Problem!'
>>Write off the next 30 days, it's a novel experience
>>A Crash Course in Creativity: A Reason to Smile >>How to Stick to a Writing Schedule

Get Started!

Let's Get Motivated!

Keeping motivated can be one of the biggest barriers to completing a successful NaNoWriMo, so follow some of our tips to help keep you moti-va-ted:

Plan Ahead
Setting out a daily word-count goal is a good place to start. 50,000 words divided by 30 days = 1,667 words per day, so try and get as close as you can to this and you're already making great headway. You'll be surprised how quickly the pages start to add up - which'll help to motivate you even more!

Kill the Romance
Make writing part of your everyday schedule and don't try to romanticise it too much - by all means light some candles and set the mood, but it's not supposed to be an exercise in reflection - that's what the other 11 months of the year are for!

Reward Yourself
Set yourself goals and have a reward system in place for when you reach them. We love ourselves a cookie here, so perhaps eat a cookie for each chapter you complete? Or, allow yourself ten minutes of WEbook browsing for every twenty minutes of uninterupted writing.

Go to WEbook

Anti-Distraction Tricks

Distraction... it's not really very conducive to the completion of your novel, but it has a nasty habit of hanging around where it's not wanted, so the best thing to do is learn how to avoid it!

Try applying a formula, such as the Pomodoro Technique to help reduce the opportunity for distraction. If you're someone who is so easily distracted, that an anti-distraction technique could be a distraction (we totally sympathise), then there's nothing like a bit of social pressure to get you to knuckle down. Head down to your local library and settle yourself amongst other people who are hard at work. Libraries are also great for research - find your local in the US or the UK.

Take breaks! This is probably the most important thing to remember, but when you combine them with concentration-focused meditation, you're bound to come back to your page renewed, refreshed and re-energised!

Whatever you do, remember that the only person who is in charge of whether you get distracted is YOU, so if you really want to hit the 50,000 word target take every opportunity you can to write, write, write!

Start a Project

WEbook Ebook Giveaway!

This month we are giving away a copy of Alina Voyce's Lifelights. To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is answer this question:

What is the name of the Café that Mara Austin runs in Lifelights?

Enter Now!
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