Tuesday, October 25, 2016

J.K. Rowling Says Goodbye to Harry Potter

No other book series has had the success that the Harry Potter series has. It allowed J.K. Rowling to build a billion dollar empire. But, as with all things, there comes an end. In this short three minute clip, Rowling discusses her feelings on ending the series.

Definitely worth watching!

Check out Blogging Made Easy
Simple Steps to Building Your Online Platform and Authority


Monday, October 24, 2016

Five Ways to Annoy an Editor

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The wonderful thing is that you can annoy an editor at any and all points throughout the publishing process. This allows you to get your own back for all the odd comments sprinkled on every page of your great works from kindergarten onwards. After all, your inbox is full of emails insisting you can make a fortune with your writing in a weekend. Who needs an editor anyway?

Well, if you want to be traditionally published, an editor comes with the package deal. So let's get off on the most annoying foot from the start.


1) Resist reading the publishers' instructions for sending in submissions. Send in a hefty paper manuscript with all pages stapled together when the instructions ask for email only.

   Choose a jolly font -- something unusual like Bauhaus 93 or all caps like Algerian. Ignore the boring fonts  like Times New Roman which are so often requested by publishers. Word will happily suggest something it considers better if you run out of ideas.

    You'll get more words on the page if you use single spacing and keep the font tiny --try 8 pt.
    And  better not reread your manuscript before sending it off. After all, you want your editor to have lots to do. 

Remember the Rules

2) Follow every typewriting rule you can remember. Sadly we no longer need two spaces before every new sentence. With computers, one space throughout is all that's necessary. Your editor can sort that one out fairly easily but hitting the space bar to create paragraph indents or using tabs does mean tedious days of  extra formatting.

    Life is hard enough with the latest version of Word happily saving every copy of your work in a single file and creating huge files which need to  be reduced to manageable size.

3) Ignore all rules regarding point of view. After all if you know who's speaking what's the problem? 

The problem is that readers like identifying with a particular character or characters in a story. This is difficult if they can't have an in depth involvement. If characters are batting thoughts and feelings about like ping pong balls, it may be exhilarating but it is more likely to lead to confusion than empathy.

However, it's your book. 

Find the right agent

4} Choose an agent who supports your beliefs and ignores requests for blurbs and synopses, sends in an unread manuscript on parenting to a house specializing in Romantic Fiction. Yes, we can see there is a connection there somewhere but publishers and their editors are apt to concentrate on fact or fiction, or at least have different imprints for each.

What's an Editor For, Anyway?

5} And the final definite No-no. Your editor is not there to write your book. Your editor is there to help you polish your book, make it shine. If you have problems with spelling and grammar, at least do your best to check the manuscript through with Word's tools if nothing else. Read your manuscript out loud--that's a good way to find missing words.

Any more thoughts on annoying editors, or even on annoying editors? Let us know in the comments below :-)

Anne Duguid
Anne Duguid Knol

A local and national journalist in the U.K., Anne Knol is now a fiction editor for award-winning American and Canadian publishers. As a new author, she shares writing tips and insights at Author Support : http://www.authorsupport.net .

Her Halloween novella, ShriekWeek is published by The Wild Rose Press as e-book and in print  included in the Hauntings in the Garden anthology. (Volume Two)

Her column on writing a cozy mystery appears  in The Working Writer's Club .

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Three Reasons Authors Need An Online Press Room

By W. Terry Whalin

When it comes to telling others about your book, every author has to be proactive. I'm not encouraging you to use messages like “buy my book” which do not work. Instead your active steps should highlight the benefits of your book and what readers will gain from it. One area of the best ways to increase your active presence is to make an online press room.

Increasingly the media are using tools like Google to find sources for interviews. One of the best tools to increase your visibility with the media is to create an online press room for your book. 

For some time, I've had this tool in my plans and finally built it for my book, Billy Graham, A Biography of America's Greatest Evangelist. On November 7th, Mr. Graham will turn 98 years old. I encourage you to follow this link and check out my online press room which is full of information.
What does an online press room include?

Journalists (print or broadcast) are looking for easy ways to reach an author. Your first step is to understand what they need:

  • Author contact information — provide several easy methods to reach you via phone and email
  • Author biography or information about the author
  • A Book Press Release
  • Suggested questions for the author about the book
  • Media samples of when the author is interviewed
  • Samples of the book
  • Visuals for the book—cover photos and author photos

I hope you will check out my online press room and notice each of these resources. Because I've launched my press room, I hope different people in the media will begin to use this resource.

As the author, you have to be doing interviews to have media samples for your book. Often authors forget to ask for a copy of the interview or download it from the journalist after the interview. You need this material for your online press room and to show the media that you are regularly being interviewed about your book.

Here's three reasons to create an online press room:

1. Every day the media is actively searching for authors to interview. Are you visible and easy to find?

2. A well-designed press room makes it easy for the journalist to: 1) reach you and 2) interview you

3. An online press room shows your understanding of the needs of the media and that you are eager to help them—and in this process help yourself.

Proactive authors have built an online press room and gathered the essential documents where a journalist can connect with the author and write a story or schedule their own broadcast interview. According to PR and marketing expert Rusty Shelton increasingly media are using these online press rooms to reach out to authors and schedule interviews. Your first step as an author is awareness that you need one. Next gather the materials for such an effort or create them such as writing your own press release or a list of suggested questions. Finally build your site and begin promoting it through social media to others.

Do you have an online press room? Has it helped you gain increased opportunities to promote your book or schedule interviews with the media? If so, let me know in the comments below. Proactive authors are always looking for the next opportunity. Literary agents and editors are attracted to these types of active authors.


Here's Three Reasons Why Authors Need an Online Press Room. (ClickToTweet)

Once again, I made the list of the Top 100 Marketing Experts to follow on Twitter from Evan Carmichael. He creates this list from different variables such as retweets and more. I'm honored to be #61 on this list. Hope you will check it out.

W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written over 60 books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and for more than 50 publications. You can follow Terry on Twitter and he lives in Colorado.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Good Sales Copy and Bad Sales Copy - How to Tell the Difference

By Clayton Makepeace

The definition of great copy is, "Copy that produces great results."

The quality of your copy isn't defined by the techniques you use. Nor is it determined by how many family, friends, clients, or focus group participants tell you it's great.

Only one kind of person in the world gets to decide whether you rule or suck: Prospects who cast their votes by responding to your copy in the only way that matters — by spending their own hard-earned money.

So the answer is

 … the only way to know good copy for sure is to use it … measure the result … and compare that result with those produced by other similar promotions.

Can you get a feel for how your prospects might vote on your sales copy?

Is it possible to spot weaknesses that if repaired will probably increase response?

In a word, "Yep."

Just try this: As you're reading sales copy — whether your own or someone else's, ask yourself,

1.    Does the headline and lead stop me in my tracks and make me want to read the sales message?

2.    Is the tone of the copy appropriate for the message being delivered?

3.    Is it written using the kind of language my typical prospect is likely to use in day-to-day communication?

4.    Does the spokesperson come off sounding like my advocate — someone who's intensely committed to helping improve my life — and NOT like just another salesman?

5.    Does the copy offer me a benefit or a series of benefits I'm willing to pay for?

6.    Does the copy convince me that this product can actually deliver those benefits to me?

7.    Does it convince me that this product is unique in its ability to deliver those benefits?

8.    Does the copy answer every objection to making the purchase I can think of?

9.    Do I feel as though I'm moving through the sales copy quickly and effortlessly? Is it devoid of spots that seem dull, repetitive, slow-going, or that allow my mind to wander?

10.    Do I feel my excitement rising with each new paragraph I read?

11.    Does the price seem insignificant compared to the value I'm being offered?

12.    Do I feel an irresistible urge to purchase this product from this company, TODAY?

When you and everyone else you show the copy to can answer an emphatic "YES" to each of these questions, there's a darned good chance you've got a winner on your hands.

Your takeaway for today: Each time you complete your sales letter, see how many of these 12 questions you can answer with yes. If you can't say yes to at least 50% of the questions, then go back and rework your copy. Keep refining the copy until you get a yes on all 12.

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/.


Book Marketing - Engagement and Connection

How to Build Your Online Authority with Focused Writing Goals

Writing a Book – Bait and Switch Editing

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Engagement & Connection

What you offer on your website consistently will draw readers to your site.  Develop authoritative content that readers can use and you will connect with them.  Research takes time, but is of vital importance to your writing, your message.  Make it real and it will engage your audience.

With One Billion active websites, we have a lot of competition and noise to challenge us.  To offer free, usable information is fundamental to the survival and success of our websites.

I suggest the following Tips for readership engagement:
• Offer information with longevity on separate static pages.  Offer info that is current and fluid within your post line-up.

• Link to resources external to your site you find of value and keep track of the dynamic nature of active or inactive status for each.

• To persuade readers to spend more time on your site, provide links to your archived posts or static pages within your Blog.

• Consider adding downloadable free offers.
  • Do you have an eBook published or ready to publish?
  • Can you offer a revised piece as a free article or eBook to download?
  • Only readers registered to follow your site by auto-emails should be eligible for the free download offer.
• Add visuals: many sites such as Pinterest are photograph-driven.
• Add links to your site with a brief post intro to your Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc., pages.
• Always include tags for posts and your motto.
Blogging is an important part of book marketing.  E-Newsletters and regular posts are an excellent way to promote your work and to recommend the work of others.
November is National Novel Writing Month check it out at http://nanowrimo.org/.  I am participating and hope you will too.  For Non-Fiction check out Nina Amir’s November event at http://writenonfictionnow.com/4-ways-prepare-30-day-writing-challenge/ 
I appreciate your feedback.  Please comment below.  Thank you much!  deborah

Deborah Lyn Stanley is a writer, editor and artist.  She is a retired project manager who now devotes her time to writing, art and caregiving mentally impaired seniors. 
She has independently published a collection of 24 artists’ interviews entitled the Artists Interview Series.  The series was also published as articles for an online news network and on her website: Deborah Lyn Stanley - Writers Blog.  Deborah is published in magazines.  She is a blogger who has managed several group sites including ones she founded.
“Write your best, in your voice, your way!”

Friday, October 14, 2016

You Have Enough Time to Write

As a writer, you probably often tell yourself, "I don't have time to write today."

Then guess what?

You get busy doing other things and you really don't have time to write.

Well, you may not realize it, but you're focusing on something negative. You're focusing on what you don't want.

Instead, you should be focusing on what you do want. And what you do want is enough time to write.

To focus on the positive, tell yourself, "I have enough time to write today."

The key word here is "enough."

Enough time doesn't need to mean hours and hours of time.

You can get quite a lot accomplished in short periods of time if you stay focused, so try this:

1. Let go of the feeling that you don't have enough time.

Instead, tell yourself you have enough time to do the things that matter most to you, and writing is one of the things you really, really care about.

Relax and start envisioning yourself having an enjoyable and productive day that's busy but not overwhelming and includes time for writing.

2. Set aside short chunks of time for writing.

When you think you have to give yourself hours to write, and you know you don't have hours available, you tend to put writing aside and do something else.

You only need short chunks of time on a regular basis to get a lot of writing done within a few weeks or months.

If you're working on a novel, plan to write just one scene today.

Just one scene, not a chapter.

You can probably write a scene in 30 minutes or so.

If you're working on a nonfiction project, plan to complete just one short section or subsection, which might consist of just a few paragraphs.

3. Relax and let go of everything else during your writing time.

You won't need to feel guilty about taking time to write if you know you've scheduled just 30 minutes for it.

And as you sit down for one of your 30-minute writing sessions, let go of all thoughts about the rest of your world.

Close your eyes.

Take a few deep breaths and relax so you'll be able to focus on your writing without wasting time.

Now, focus on the writing and only the writing for just 30 minutes.

You have enough time to write today, so look at your schedule and block off just 30 minutes to get some writing done.

Try it!

Build a career writing about what you know and love. Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer's Coach, can show you how.

Learn more about her 10-week e-course and mentoring program, Fearless Freelance Writing.

Monday, October 10, 2016

5 Speaking Opportunities for Writers

I often say: writers should also be speakers. Sure, it helps your command of the language, as well as style and tone. Even more importantly, when you step away from the computer, and in front of others, it increases your visibility and ultimately your business's bottom line.

Whether you are an author, a business owner. consultant, or other expert, take advantage of speaking opportunities to show who you are to an audience of potential readers and clients.

Here are five places to pursue speaking engagements, no matter what your current status as a writer.

1. At home. If you are nervous about speaking in public, start at home. Assemble a group of friends and do a practice workshop. Make it social (serve snack or have a meal first) and put yourself in a safe environment.

2. Local Groups. Check your local library, Chamber of Commerce, and other professional organizations to see their guidelines for guest speakers. Attend a few events ahead of time, and read their previous calendar of events. That way you have an idea of the kinds of experts they schedule to speak. Plus, you know what recent topics not to pitch.

3. Bookstores. If you are a published author, reach out to your local bookstore to see if they will have you in for a reading. 

4. Podcasts. Do a search of podcasts that cover your topic. Listen to a few episodes, and find a few shows you want to be interviewed on. Research them vis their website, and pitch yourself as a guest,

5. Videos. Make a video of yourself speaking and put it online. Videos get much more reach on social media. Plus, it's a way to show your personality to friends, fans, and clients around the world.

Before you pitch yourself as a speaker, take some time to figure out what you want to talk about and to whom. That will help you narrow down the possibilities, and also to hone in on the focus of your speech or workshop,

In all of these cases, be sure to promote your appearance ahead of time. (Or in the case of podcasts and videos, share your posts when they go online.) The larger the audience, downloads, and views, the more likely you will be invited back.

What do you think? What tips do you have for speaking and finding speaking engagements? Please share your thoughts in the comments. 

* * *

Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of Guided Goals and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. 

She is the host of the Guided Goals Podcast and author of Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages. 

Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.