Client: Breaking Rules Publishing
Title: “Welcome to Breaking Rules Publishing”
Source: The Breaking Rules Publishing Blog
Word Count: 1,693
Notes: This is a GUEST BLOG with a growing publishing company introducing myself and the publisher via a collaborative effort.
Welcome to Breaking Rules Publishing — an international publishing company founded on, believe it or not, a dare from our founder’s daughter. Sixty-four books, three magazine editions, and several short stories later, here we stand in growth mode. We are eager to put more writers and authors on the map! Thank you for visiting and we hope you find value in our content as well as our services.
Please note: we are open to submissions for manuscripts. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your submission and a member of our team will respond shortly. We manage a lot of correspondence and projects and cannot guarantee an immediate response so we thank you in advance for your patience.
Welcome to the Breaking Rules Publishing blog! We found a local published author and writer named Justin Ulrich who comes to us by way of our interviews featured on the Beauty & The ‘Burg podcast. He will be helping us grow our exposure while bolstering his own blogging and overall writing portfolio. Tune in every first and third week of the month for fresh content from him. For now, learn how we connected to bring a publishing name to St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay, the surrounding areas, and overseas to beautiful Florence, Italy.
Hello everyone, Justin here. I’d like to take you on a quick journey of discovering Breaking Rules Publishing through my side gig. I also plan to share marketing advice as well as tips and tricks that have helped me and can help writers of all backgrounds and experience.
As my side gig, I manage the podcasting arm of the Helium Radio Network—a local internet radio network broadcasting podcasts across the globe. It’s my job to edit raw audio files and create a polished podcast. Those podcasts are then broadcast live or recorded to our audience and placed on our website to live forever.
Not long ago, a local well-known podcaster named Cindy Stovall—host of the Beauty & The ‘Burg Podcast—featured Christopher Clausen-Rule on her show twice! You can check out her past episodes and listen to our interviews here: Episode 135 | Episode 156. As soon as I heard the initial podcast, I tuned into every word with the intention to say hello. However, it would be many months until I reached out. That time was essential to edit my writing and move closer to the formatting stage of my next manuscript (more on that later).
Simply put, I reached out and introduced myself in late March. Christopher mentioned he wanted to start a podcast and YouTube channel for Breaking Rules Publishing. He is aligned with the right strategy in my opinion and I hope he joins our list of show hosts on the network! Learning where he wants to position his company in terms of exposure helped me understand more about his long term goals.
I told Christopher I was looking for freelance work to blog, edit, and/or ghostwrite. As soon as I mentioned guest blogging, he responded, “YES!!!” So here I am guest blogging and growing two entities at once—his publishing company and my personal brand. In this first post, I’ll share helpful tidbits that you as readers can use right away and a brief background about myself.
Tips, Tricks, and Tools of the Trade
In my journey of life-long learning, trial and error, changing, tweaking, hacking, failing, and more tweaking, I’ve come across many interesting tidbits. I feel some of these will work for you; others may not. Take your pick and try them out. Let’s start off with what you’re most likely writing on … your computer—iPad, desktop, laptop, what have you. Make sure you protect your eyes and body since writing is, for the most part, sedentary.
F.lux (“flux”) is one of the best software programs available. I believe the blue light emitted from our computer, tablet, and phone screens do us harm. It disrupts our sleep cycles, attention spans, ability to focus, and drains our energy to name a few.
F.lux takes control of your computer screen and lowers the hue on the spectrum to a more pleasing color. It ranges from super bright white as in your normal LED screen down to a candle-like ambience. In the drop down menu, there’s even an option to turn on “darkroom” and have the colors fully inverted. This is perfect for low-light, late night settings.
Most important, F.lux is FREE, it’s easy on the eyes, and it’s versatile. MacOS, Windows, Linux, iPhone/iPad, and Android applications are available. Some of the more recent factory operating system updates enable “night shift” or something similar. Still, F.lux blows those generic settings out of the water. Play with the color tone slider to see what daylight, sunlight, fluorescent, halogen, tungsten, candle, and even darkroom look like on your device.
Another great background app I use for working from home is called Be Focused (Mac only; although I’ve seen similar apps on the Microsoft Store). Soon, I’ll use it when I return to editing after this blog is complete.
What’s so great about Be Focused? It’s a FREE countdown timer set to custom intervals for work time and break time. It can track time, but you won’t get all the bells and whistles unless you pay and upgrade. I don’t think that’s necessary though.
This is still a perfect way to ensure you move throughout the day. We are all guilty, myself included, of sitting down and not moving for hours if I’m in the zone. I push myself to continue. “Breaks are missed writing time. Go big or go home!” Not good; my legs and back are usually sore from not moving. I plan to hold myself accountable to a time limit and this app is my new tool.
Guilty Writer Habits
There are two pieces of advice that come to mind as I share my insights. The first I feel fortunate to have been aware of since day one. Yet, I’m still partially guilty. The second I am definitely guilty of and working toward fixing. Ironically, the two tie together. Let’s dive in…
First, before I even wrote anything another person would read, I knew my “finished work” would need editing. No matter how much I edited, there was always something I missed. When I published my first novel, my publisher corroborated my mentality by saying, “every author needs an editor.” I presumed she anticipated me refuting her argument. “Yes, absolutely. Couldn’t agree more.” I responded. A fresh pair of eyes is extremely valuable since, as writers, we get caught in the story.
I feel the more we edit our own story, the less we have the ability to edit. We subconsciously train our minds to find certain things and accidentally overlook others. As the old saying goes, “do what you do best and outsource the rest.” Writers should write and let the editors edit. I knew I needed an editor. I admitted I wasn’t stellar regarding writing and editing the same manuscript. That’s fair. Did I listen to myself? Not really…
Second, I wrote my first novel and claimed it was finished. I, then, edited it myself and did one full pass through looking for plot holes, poor grammar, misspelled words, etc. You could say I combined copyediting with line editing. It felt great to fix problems before sending it to be professionally edited. In retrospect, spending those weeks on that initial pass didn’t save me much time or money. I still had a lot of work to do once the editor returned my manuscript. I felt I wasted my time in hopes of perfecting my work. *sigh*
In sum, write your story and fill your plot holes, if any. As tempting as it may be to polish your work, don’t do it. Hand over your blood, sweat, and tears to a professional editor. Leave the next step to a solid editor with a fresh perspective.
Circling Back to Justin
I am a published author and writer creating a mixture of dark dramas, thrillers, and romantic fiction. I joined the Tampa Bay area as a transplant, like many Floridians. Long story short, at 20 years old, I had the popular idea to write a movie script. In learning how to properly format a screenplay, I created one that would have passed the fan test. For those who aren’t familiar, when literary agents receive a hard copy screenplay, they fan through it with their thumb to quickly gauge if it’s formatted properly and even worth their time past those initial five seconds.
Several confusing drafts later, that script transformed into my first fictional (and coherent) novel. GANGER follows a young adult couple lost in a realm of thrills, love, and the paranormal. I released the Kindle version in February 2017 and the paperback version in July of that same year. For curious readers, the synopsis is below.
Claire Austen, a troubled girl in her late 20s, struggles through life with an undiagnosed mental condition. With the help of a well-known psychiatrist and a young man named Aaron, Claire dives headlong into her problems. In efforts to treat herself, Claire falls into a reality wherein she is preyed upon by Sierra, her living doppelgänger. With lust as her modi operandi, Sierra instills fear in Claire and her companion by forcing them to a breaking point; both of them start questioning their identities and their realities. With aspects of their lives uprooted, her doppelgänger comes between Claire and Aaron in more ways than one as she selfishly chases what she truly desires: affection.
Currently, I’m finishing my second novel. Many people ask, “Oh, a sequel already?” No, it’s not a sequel to GANGER. It is a dark fictional drama entitled AVENTURA. You can learn more about me and my personal blog from my website: justinjulrich.com. I also welcome emails at email@example.com and enjoy connecting with the community.
For my next blog post, I will discuss more tidbits and some thoughts on marketing. Stay tuned!
Thank you for reading,
Breaking Rules Publishing
Go break the rules!