Monday, June 27, 2011

Creating an Ebook Workshop Aftertalk

LOL, I think I just made up a new word, "aftertalk."

Okay, moving forward, I presented the How to Create an Ebook and What Your Can Do With It on Friday night, and if I say so myself, it offered a great deal of information. But, since we went past the hour and I still didn't get everything in, I'm writing this post.


Now on to some of the information in the workshop and additional information on publishing your own ebook.

What is the purpose of creating an ebook?

•    To provide a solution to a person’s problem, need, or want.
•    To create a free gift, ethical bribe, to entice readers to subscribe to your newsletter.
•    To offer for free and allow reprinting (passed on), letting it go viral. This increases your visibility and expert status.
•    To offer for sale on your site or through sites such as Kindle and Smashwords, and/or to sell through services like Amazon’s CreateSpace as a physical book.

What Qualifies You to Write an Ebook? Are You an Expert?

•    Have you studied a particular subject for 10,000 hours? This is the generally accepted criteria for a ‘real’ certified expert.
•    But in the online world, if you’ve read 5 books on a particular topic, you are considered an authority and know more about that topic than at least 90% of other people; this gives you expert status.
•    While there may be those who know much more about your topic than you, you are the authority to the majority of people who know less than you!
•    Having knowledge in a specific area and being able to teach it to others gives you authority.

Is it worth it to create ebooks?

•    Amazon now sells more ebooks than physical books!
•    You should be taking advantage of this opportunity to create visibility and money

Places to publish and/or promote your ebooks (most for free)

Kindle: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin
http://smashwords.com
http://lulu.com
http://www.free-ebooks.net/
http://e-library.net/

*Read guidelines carefully on all sites: some sites charge a monthly fee, some free sites require you link back to them on your site, etc.

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Related Articles:

Successful Writing Strategy: Know Your Intent
Writing With Focus

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NEED HELP WITH YOUR WRITING PROJECT?
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Friday, June 24, 2011

A Smorgasbord of 10 Writing Article Links

Today I'd like to share 10 writing articles; they range from writing for children to freelance writing and they all offer useful information to help you in your writing career. So, off we go:

100 Greatest Non-Fiction Books
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jun/14/100-greatest-non-fiction-books

The 20 Best Practical Tips for Freelance Writers
http://www.makealivingwriting.com/2011/06/17/20-practical-tips-freelance-writers/

Making Your Writing Exciting at the Sentence Level
http://kidlit.com/2009/07/29/making-your-writing-exciting-at-the-sentence-level/

Tips for Writing Picture Books
http://utahchildrenswriters.blogspot.com/2011/06/tips-on-writing-picture-books.html


15 Steps to Increase Your Chances at Publication
http://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/15-steps-to-increase-your-chances-at-publication-june-pubsub3rdfri/

Story vs. Craft
http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2011/06/story-vs-craft.html


Successful Writing Strategy – Know Your Intent
http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/2011/05/successful-writing-strategy-know-your.html


The Stages of Editing
http://margaretfisk.mmfcf.com/blog/?p=1381

Sorry, had to eliminate a couple due to bad links!

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MORE ON WRITING

Writing Strategy – Pen Names and Pseudonyms

Writing an Ebook – What’s Stopping You? Part 1 of 4 Part Series

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

9 Steps to Writing a Saleable Novel

Today I have another information packed post based on an article from Penny Sanseveri's The Book Marketing Expert newsletter.

The article, "Nine Steps to Writing a Novel You Can Sell," discusses steps to take to make your story saleable.

Let's take a look at them:

1. It's all about the story.

With all the information out there and online courses, writers can get confused as to what's important in a story. Engagement is the key element for story telling. Even if you're writing a memoir, it needs to move forward, it needs conflict and/or suspense to keep the reader turning the pages.

2. You need conflict.

This was touched upon in number one, but it's definitely worth giving it is own tip section. Conflict keeps the reader turning pages.

If Joe is riding his bike and two bullies stop him and take his bike, that's conflict. How Joe handles the situation is conflict.

You even need conflict in children's books.

3. The idea.

Have a solid story idea that you can create a one sentence pitch line for. Your story shouldn't be so complicated that you can't clearly explain the gist of the story in one line.


4. Characters the reader will care about.

Sanseveri calls this tip, the sympathetic character. The reader needs to root for the protagonist.

5. The anti-protagonist is a must.

Readers love to hate the villain. Think of Superman's Lex Luther, or Batman's Joker.

6. Romance is always a winner.

People, especially women, love to read romance novels. Sex and love are powerful in a novel. If written right, the reader will hungrily turn the pages.

7. Reading is critical to good writing.

Any professional, from a doctor to a teacher, must get training, schooling, in order to get into the position they want. The same is true for a writer. Along with learning the craft of writing, you need to read in the genre you want to write.

8. Time and effort counts.

Writing a story takes time, sometimes even years. You don't want to haphazardly throw something together just to get it done.
Your writing is a reflection of your skills - make them shine.

9. You outline.

This one is on the optional side, but most writers do use an outline. Creating an outline helps you get from point A to point B easier than without one.

There you have it, 9 tips to write a saleable novel.

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OTHER POSTS YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Following The Rules For The Genre

Today's guest post is from Filbert Publishing's newsletter and offers great advice on different types of writing genres and their rules.

Following The Rules For The Genre
By Billie Williams

Whether you are writing articles, non-fiction, short stories, movie or play scripts, poetry or novels, all have rules or principles unique to their type that should be followed, especially, by the beginner. Each type of writing has scores of books outlining and enlarging, enlightening you on these issues. Here we will look at them briefly as Henry Ford might look at the aspects of his vehicles.

Remember earlier we classified the written word as a vehicle type:

  • Articles – Sports Car
  • Short Story – Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV)
  • Essays/Letters – Sedan
  • Autobiography – biography – Station Wagon
  • Poetry – 4-door, hard-top, convertible
  • Novel – 4-wheel drive, Heavy-duty, stretch cab, pickup truck

Let’s examine them closer. Articles as sports cars are compact, concise, charged with and designed for speed. Readers scan magazines. If an article title grabs their attention, they’ll pause to read the first sentence. In the car, color, style, ease of handling apply to the car and the article. Color, the first sentence hook. If it doesn’t provide the keys, your reader likely won’t take it for a test drive. Think zero to sixty in under a minute. It needs to jump off the starting block, give the reader a reason to step on the gas and keep going. Quick and to the point. Once the reader has proven to him or herself that the versatility, and validity of the car, the read; she can relax, ease up on the throttle and watch the scenery unfold as she reads. Remember parts of an article after a dynamite title are introduction—the hook, Body—the scenery, and conclusion—a good ride.

A short story can be action packed, driven through with sports car verve or SUV ability that only a Sport Utility Vehicle can deliver. It can take you pretty much anywhere you want to go in style and comfort. Sometimes over rough terrain along roads less traveled or sometimes, down the highway with family and camping trailer in tow. Compact, yet rugged, a short story like the article hooks with the first sentence or paragraph. Economically and reliably it holds all the necessary elements of Goal, Motivation and Conflict, all the short story family necessities. It’s a quick start. It introduces the road map, the driver, the passengers and any necessary baggage right away so the reader is up to speed. At the end of the short trip, arriving at the destination, the reader should feel satisfied that the trip was successful and worth his while. The SUV carried its load and delivered its passengers, changed or the journey in some significant way.

Essays and Letters, the family sedan, usually with four doors so that passengers and whatever they carry can enter and exit with ease. Great gas mileage and comfortable seating, a healthy sized trunk to hold all the baggage out of sight until needed a reliable vehicle for travel. The less formal structure of the essay or letter can be seen in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writing or Jane Austin’s. However, an essay has the prerequisites of beginning, middle and end. It takes a more leisurely drive through incident, experience, or quandary of thought, always with a goal—a destination.

By the same token, a letter has a more general approach, yet still has a goal. It may be staying in touch with a loved one, replying to an inquiry, seeking answers to your own query or a myriad of other reasons. Some books are written in this style or as a journal such as The Diary of Ann Frank. There is room to take passengers, allowing them easy entrance and exit in a sedan manner, and in essays or letters taking them on a journey long as is necessary to reach your destination.

Autobiographies and Biographies are the Station Wagons, the family cars, if you will. This genre is all about a person and the passenger he or she piles into that car on a trip, plus all their baggage.

It’s a historical and most often a chronological telling of a life past and present. It usually is hinged on some culminating event. Henry Ford’s autobiography takes us from him as a young man with an idea, through his struggles and creative striving to build and maintain his idea as it grew to a multi-million dollar business. Autobiographies are sometimes written by ghost writers’ with control for content always in the subjects hands.

Biographies are written by others with or without authorization of the person they’re written about. It is your obligation as an author/writer, to make it interesting as possible for your reader. With these genres you must clearly focus on your ideal readers. There’s plenty of room for extra passengers if you choose to include them to help reach the story goal, the roadmap to your destination is yours.

Poetry is the elite, one of a kind, eccentric use of medium to convey an idea with beauty, rhythm and style. The 4-door, hard-top convertible Ford built, or you build around a single idea. There are nearly as many styles of poetry as there are makes and models of cars available to the buying public. There are books, courses and classes that can enlighten you as to their requirements or rules.

The novel is the 4-wheel, heavy-duty, crew cab, pickup truck of the writing world. It has all the characteristics of all the other vehicles mentioned and yet, it is different. For instance there are rules for and reader expectations for all the genre’s within the broad canopy of novel, just as there are trucks of every color, size, shape, and engine design. Sized from novella as in a mini-truck – to a historical saga like our heavy duty pickup truck with all the bells and whistles. The genre, the story, determines the rules. What you can haul in your truck and where the journey should take you and the roads you will take. Hook, beginning, middle and end are all still present. No matter what style it’s written in, mystery, romance, thriller, horror—it’s your choice—as long as the vehicle is reliable, but that’s another chapter.

Bon Voyage and Happy Trails to you

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MORE ON WRITING

Successful Writing Strategy – Know Your Intent
Is Your Manuscript Ready for Submission?

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

About Blog Post Titles and Your Traffic

Today I have information from"The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,"
a great source of book marketing tips, advice, and resources.

All titles are an essential part of any thing you write, that includes blog posts. Why? Well Penny has some great information answering that question.

Blog Post Titles and How Google Ranks Your Site

Backlinks!

What is a Backlink? Clickable words or images that take a user from one web page to another. The more backlinks pointing to a site, the higher the receiving site tends to rank in all search engines.

Why Backlinks? Think of it as a 'Vote of Confidence.'

The more votes a site has, the higher your search engine ranking.

Not any backlink will do, though.

Google Webmaster Guidelines provides these basics for linking:

* Link should originate from a relevant site/topic
* Link is text based
* Anchor text of link is relevant (Anchor text are the words that when clicked on are linked to the site that is receiving the backlink.)

Social bookmarking, blog commenting, social media sites and article submissions are all great ways for achieving these backlinks.

Does Your Blog Post Title Grab Attention?

When I'm in read-a-blog post mode, I'll patiently work my way through my feedreader - and every single time I've done that, I've been astonished again and again at how 'ho hum' the majority of blog posts are titled.

Seriously! I've missed a plethora of truly sterling information because the authors made their blog post sound as exciting as tooth-brushing one of my dog's teeth after their morning meals.

It is CRITICAL that you make your blog posts intriguing enough to stand out of the clutter and visually grab my eyes and say, you MUST read this!!

I would truly urge you to make it a New Year's Resolution to REALLY hone your headline content at the very least. And once you have that mastered, you should also learn how to infuse your posts with emotional hooks that cause your reader to simply DO what you want them to (buy your product, sign up for your ezine, etc.).

Writing in a sales copy fashion is very different than writing for a book and has great rewards after adding it to your online skill set.
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Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com

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MORE ON CONTENT MARKETING

Content Marketing: 5 Powerful Traffic-Generating Strategies
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NEED HELP MOVING YOUR ONLINE MARKETING FORWARD?

Visit: Platform Building with Content Marketing

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