Rathen Book Release!


Rathen: The Legend of Ghrakus Castle by Grant Elliot Smith has arrived!

Rathen Grant Elliot Smith
Rathen, a former Captain in King Delvant’s army, retired to a quiet backwater town after the Kingdom’s forces were dissolved following the King’s sudden death. Trying to forget his problems by the copious use of strong ale, he is approached by the emissaries of a powerful lord to lead a team of fighters, healers and mages to dispel brigands from his
lands. Rathen quickly recruits his best friend, an ex-gladiator and landlord of the local tavern, Bulo, to assist him. The two join other members of the group and begin to hear stories of magical creatures and numerous dead in the land they are supposed to cleanse. Despite this, they head for Ghrakus Castle and on the way they learn of the Castle’s dark and mysterious history.Finally arriving at Ghrakus, where the full horror of their task becomes clear, they realize that their chances of returning home were indeed very slim and that betrayal awaits him.

To purchase, visit InkSmithPublishing.com!


The Query Letter

The dreaded query letter. It makes my entire being cringe, both when I am writing one, and when I am reading some.

Personally, I’ve spent days writing queries. They shouldn’t be insanely long, but they can’t be too short either, you don’t want to bore the reader, but then again you don’t want to come across as overeager either. So what do you do?

There are countless websites that can help you model the perfect cover letter, but no matter which one you select to use as your model there are a few things that you need to include in your query letter.

1. Introduce yourself
2. Brag a bit
3. Talk about your work

Sounds easy, right? Most people do these things, but some include some unnecessary information, or unrelated tidbits.

When you’re introducing yourself to the publishing company it’s okay to tell them what your accomplishments are – but you may want to eliminate the fifth grade writing award you received twenty-three years ago. It’s not relevant, and you should have made large strides in your writing capabilities since then. Stick to the basics: Your most recent education, your experience in the field, and previous publications (if you have them).

As editors and publishers, we like to get a feel for personality. We like to know who you are, so we anticipate the voice of your letter to reflect you in some way. To reveal something about yourself that makes you special. For example, if you used to raise horses, tell us – if it relates to your work. If your book is about aliens and time travel, horses aren’t really related. Unless the “aliens” are an advanced society of intelligent space horses.

Almost every website I’ve visited about writing a query letter, talks about comparing your work to other pieces in your genre. First, make sure you identify your work, and the genre it would be classified in. Second, be well read in your genre; not just the super popular stuff either, read it all! And third, compare your work to current titles in the genre. Really think about what books your work would be competing with. DO NOT use Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner, or any other big success to compare your YA Fantasy work with. If you write mystery, don’t compare yourself to Mary Higgins Clark, if you are writing romance, don’t relate your piece to Danielle Steel. In short, utilize your comparison titles to show: You know the genre, and you are realistic about your competitors. Could your book be the next Harry Potter success? It’s possible – but don’t present it as such. Just present the idea, the book and know your market.

After you have introduced yourself and your book, close out your letter respectfully. Too many writers close their letters with things like:

“You’d be a fool not to publish my work.”
“Only idiots would pass up this great opportunity.”
“Don’t make a mistake.”

I can’t speak for everyone, but for me that is an automatic rejection. As a final note, make sure you don’t copy and paste your query letter. If you send it off and forget to change names it does not compel a publisher to accept your work.

So, be yourself, show off a bit, tell the publisher about your work, and don’t copy and paste!

Easy, peasy! Good luck writers!


Some helpful links:


Connect with me on Twitter! @AndersonCorinne

Connect with me on Twitter! @AndersonCorinne

Corinne is an editor at Ink Smith Publishing. Since her first trip to the library when she was a toddler, Corinne has been collecting books, recommending her favorites and providing commentary on the less-than-stellar. Her belief is that if you have a problem, it’s nothing that a good book can’t solve. Currently, she is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Lindenwood University, editing for Ink Smith Publishing and hoping that her blog posts here will help writers improve and publish their work.

Photo Source: http://forum.linkinpark.com/t/once-upon-a-story-4-5/11419

Starting the Story

Beginnings are hard. Sometimes more so than the end of a story, or even the middle. When I write, I start from the middle and work my way towards the end and then come back and write the beginning. Then, after I read from beginning to end, I rewrite the beginning again. There are a lot of things you have to do as a writer to hook the reader. As an editor, I find myself making a lot of decisions on the first chapter.

Our guidelines for Ink Smith Publishing submissions require that not only do writers need to submit their cover letter and synopsis of their book, but the first three chapters as well. Once we get past the cover letter and synopsis and we like the ideas you’ve presented, everything weighs on those three chapters.

As an editor, here are a few things that I think might be helpful to you as you write and rewrite your own beginnings.

  1. Don’t be afraid to enter late. What does this mean? It means start the story in some action. Draw the reader in with some intriguing information, a battle scene, a funeral, the punchline of a joke. Something that makes us wonder how we got to this point and where we’re going. That isn’t to say start in the middle of your story and keep writing; it means start in the middle of a minor conflict that will help catapult us into the major conflict of your story. But make sure it rings true to the rest of the tale!
  2. Don’t spend an exorbitant amount of space describing the scene. Scenery, mood, descriptions are all important, we all know that. But if you’re developing a new world, making new rules for the existing one we live in today – let the reader experience the description along with the story. Chunking description together blocks the reader from being able to immediately connect with a character (whether they hate or love the character). It allows them a slow entrance into the “world” but a strong enough entrance that we establish the main issues going on.
  3. Careful with dream scenes. Occasionally, writers start with the dream sequence. They put the reader in danger, seeing ghosts, even attacking someone. And then they wake up. There are exceptions to every rule – but for the most part, try and avoid this overly cliche way to begin a story. It can mislead the reader in a negative way.
  4. Prologues are not always needed. Prologues are useful in a lot of ways. But if you are starting your story off with a prologue than keep this in mind: don’t use it as an information dump. When I’m writing my first draft, everything I write down seems crucial to the story. Then when I go back and re-read a section I find that there are blocks of text that are just paragraph upon paragraph of information. Most of which the reader doesn’t even need. It was almost like a small little place where I was brainstorming and over detailing every single moment. So write your prologue. But when you finish the book, go back and read the prologue again. Does it seem absolutely necessary? If the answer is no, take it out.
  5. Start with a character that is important. I’ve read proposals where the “main character” is compelling, or at least the character they show me right away in great detail. The character makes me want to read more and then as we continue on into further chapters (maybe two or three) the character is revealed to be someone who isn’t important at all and our focus shifts completely away from the character I liked to begin with. Why waste all those pages letting me see into this character, drawing me in to their world and then remove them?
  6. Death should matter. Or not matter, but make it mean something. Do not kill someone off for the mere shock factor in the first chapter of your book. Make sure the death means something, either acting as a catalyst for the rest of the book to follow, or perhaps as a hardship that the main character will have to face. Mr. Martin is the exception for the topic of death (in my opinion!).

There are exceptions to all these, not every technique works for every author. And there may be authors that do exactly what I say you should avoid and do it so well that it works. Rules are made to be broken – but these are not rules. These are guidelines. Ultimately your beginnings are yours to mold as you will, but reflect back on some books you’ve read in the genre you are writing in. What kind of things do you see utilized over and over again? Stand out and try something different – but make that difference matter.




Connect with me @AndersonCorinne

Corinne is an editor at Ink Smith Publishing. Since her first trip to the library when she was a toddler, Corinne has been collecting books, recommending her favorites and providing commentary on the less-than-stellar. Her belief is that if you have a problem, it’s nothing that a good book can’t solve. Currently, she is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Lindenwood University, editing for Ink Smith Publishing and hoping that her blog posts here will help writers improve and publish their work.


Happy New Year!

2016 has arrived and we’ve all written down, made mental note or decided that this year will be different. We each decided what we will do differently, how we will change for the better, or how we will continue with our established success. What ever your resolution is, we at Ink Smith Publishing and Native Ink Press wish you the best in your endeavor.

Our resolution is to become better connected with our authors, readers and new writers. We are hoping to be able to address some topics that new, and existing writers, struggle with or have questions about. We also want to introduce you to our authors by giving them the opportunity to share their stories, poems, advice and tidbits about the writing world with you.

We hope that you will join us in discovering new topics, encountering new obstacles and enjoying the adventure.

Be sure to follow us and send us your questions!

Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!



Ink Smith Publishing & Native Ink Press



Official ISP Book Award Winners Are In!

We are pleased to announce the winners for the first annual ISP Book Awards:

3rd Place: Eqoity by Babs Odugbesan

ISP award foil 3 copy

2nd Place: Just How Long Is A Lifetime by Deborah Sciortino

ISP award foil 2 copy

1st Place: Dogs and Wolves by Jean Knight Pace

ISP award foil 1 copy

Thank you to everyone who submitted their work. It was a very tough decision. We are looking forward to continuing this award program as we aim to continue to inspire writers everywhere. Follow our blog, The Ink Well and Quill, for updates on the 2016 ISP Book Awards submission start date next year.


Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for exclusive content, author chats, sales and book release dates!

Enter The ISP 2015 Book Awards… Form Fixed!

It has recently been brought to my attention that there had been an issue with the payment form.

That has now been resolved! There should be no more issues when participants go to complete their submission to the awards. If there is, please contact us and we will get it fixed as soon as possible.

There was unfortunately another issue that, thankfully, I have found and fixed as well. Before, our entry form would allow submissions under 1MB.

So with that being said, Enter the ISP 2015 Book Awards!

There are great prizes and awards for the top three books in each genre.

To find out more information:

Click here!

Join Our Book Tour Today!

Do you have a blog?

We are looking for bloggers to post/write/interview/feature our two upcoming book releases and the authors. Signing up is easy. Just fill out the form by clicking the links below. We will promote the interview to all our thousands of followers several time over the next few weeks! Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Daemon Theory: Brotherhood Sign Up:


Maxx Fragg V.P.I. Sign Up


If you know someone who has a blog that may be interested be sure to share!

Pre-Order Daemon Theory: Brotherhood Today!

Daemon Theory: Brotherhood by J. Alton Mast will be released on August 20th 2015. You can preorder your copy today! All pre-orders will be shipped a week before the actual release date. Be the first to get Daemon Theory: Brotherhood. Find out what everyone is talking about.



ISP Book Publishing Awards VS. General Book Submissions

Starting August 1st, Ink Smith Publishing is starting our first annual Book Publishing Awards. These awards will focus on three genres and their sub genres.

Why should you enter into the Book Publishing Awards instead of waiting for general book submissions to reopen?

Our general submissions run for a short amount of time every year. At that time, authors with books in all genres are welcomed to submit their query. From open to close, we receive thousands of submissions in multiple genres. Which makes competition fierce. Out of our general submissions, we will sign contracts with about 4-6 authors.

With our genre specific book publishing awards, the entrants will not be competing against as many submissions.

The ISP 2015 Book Publishing Awards are meant to be a straightforward opportunity for dedicated and passionate authors with extraordinary work to get published.

You can post any questions you may have below.

More posts to come. Stay Tuned.

Enter the 2015 ISP Book Publishing Awards now to take advantage of this exciting opportunity to have your book considered for cash prizes, awards, exposure, and possible representation by a leading publishing company.

Click Here to Go To The Entry Page


Celebrate Ink Smith Publishing’s 3 Year Anniversary!

July is Ink Smith Publishing’s Anniversary month. We started in July 2012. Our initial goal was to publish the best in Fantasy Fiction, Science Fiction and Horror. However that quickly changed. After several great submission in genres ranging from Comedy, Paranormal and Thrillers, we changed what we were looking for to one simple thing, a well written and developed book that readers couldn’t put down. That’s why in our catalog you will see a wide range of genres.

Celebration Events:

Starting today, we are offering select ebooks on Amazon.com for free! This offer will go from July 23rd to 27th. Don’t miss out!


Submission Contest:

Starting August 1st 2015, we will begin our first annual submission contest. This year, we are looking for books in the genres of Fantasy, Sci-fi and Horror. We will be selecting one winner for each genre.

Click the Link Below for more information.