Your Writer's Toolbox & A+ Content

 

One of the most rewarding experiences of
my writing career was to see how much
this little girl enjoyed
Tall Boots

By Linda Wilson @LinWilsonauthor

As you go about marketing your books, try to envision A+ content on your Amazon author page, and what it could do for your sales. What is A+ content? Visit the sales page of any of your favorites books, scroll down a smidge, and you might see an attractive, very large display of a bold title, with perhaps quotes from reviews, photos, and choice illustrations from the book. If the first book you search doesn’t have A+ content, keep looking. A+ content is getting more and more popular. You will find it, and when you do, watch out. You might get hooked!

A company I’ve been working with for years now, 100 Covers, acquainted me with A+ content in an email. 100 Covers can produce content that dazzles. I know, because the company created stunning A+ content for my book, Tall Boots. Go to the page, scroll down, and you will see how our joint efforts turned out: https://www.amazon.com/Tall-Boots-Linda-Wilson/dp/1735131016/ref=sr_1_1

Good Fortune Fell on My Doorstep

The photos of the young reader and permission to use her photos virtually fell in my lap. I had sent the book to one of my relatives. She shared it with her friend and her friend sent me a photo of her daughter reading the book because she enjoyed it so much. I asked for her permission to use the photo and she sent me more photos! Out of all my experiences with my readers, my connection with my relative and this family has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.

The rep and artists at 100 Covers did the rest. They took the title from the cover and interior illustrations, and voilĂ , the finished product was ready to post--almost. 

Creation of A+ Content is Free and Doable Yourself

Amazon offers creation of A+ content at no charge. Videos can be included in your content. Here is a summary of how it works, courtesy of Google:

How to create Amazon A+ Content

1. In seller central, hover over Advertising > A+ Content Manager.

2. Click 'Start creating A+ content'. ...

3. Add content name and language. ...

4. Then, click 'Add Module'.

5. Choose your modules. ...

6. Apply to your ASIN(s).

7. Review and submit for approval.

Whether you’re creating A+ content yourself or having a company create it for you, you will find templates in which you need to fit your content. It wasn’t difficult for me to navigate the template I chose. The templates are specific, and when I went to post my Tall Boots content, I found that word counts were specific and short. My blurbs were too long. To get it right, I simply needed to edit the blurbs I had written to be much shorter than I had first intended.

Once you’re finished, Amazon reviews your content before allowing it to be published. My content was not accepted at first. Amazon made it clear why, so there was no guess work involved. They asked me to remove one short sentence because it sounded like a sales pitch. I didn’t agree. I thought the sentence only encouraged readers to follow the character’s example in the story, to discover courage they already possess to reach their goals. But I had no problem deleting the sentence. Once I did that, Amazon accepted the content and posted it soon after.

My picture book, A Packrat’s Holiday: Thistletoe’s Gift, is next in line. The A+ content for it is being created now, as I write, by 100 Covers.

I may never know if A+ content helps my book sales, but like everything else in writing for children, it’s fun, and best of all, it’s free!

My latest picture book, Cradle in the Wild
is now available: amzn.to/3Pj6Puu


Linda Wilson writes stories for young children. Visit Linda at https://bit.ly/3AOM98L. Click the links for free coloring pages and a puppet show starring Thistletoe Q. Packrat. While you’re there, get all the latest news by signing up for Linda’s newsletter. 

 Find Linda’s books at  Amazon Author Page.

 Connect with   Linda: FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram  

10 Tips to Help You Become the Writer You Wish to Be

 by Suzanne Lieurance



No matter what kind of writer you wish to become, follow these tips and you'll reach your goal(s) much quicker.


Tip #1. With whatever type of writing you want to do, level up your knowledge and skills so you reach your goal faster.

For example, if you want to write a novel, be sure you understand the structure of novels and all the components needed for a marketable novel.

Tip #2. It’s easier to stay motivated when you have a clear picture of where you want to be at the end of the process.

Tip #3. It’s okay to have gigantic goals.
As long as you break those goals into small, achievable steps, they are reachable.
Tip #4. It’s okay to slow down your progress as long as you never stop.
Remember, with writing, slow and steady wins the race.
Tip #5. Learn to ignore naysayers.
Once you stop listening to them, your opportunities for growth will skyrocket.
Tip #6. When your work is critiqued (either by your editor, your agent, or your critique group) listen with the intent to understand, not with the intent to reply.
Tip #7. Practice being be bold and confident as a writer.
The more deeply you feel it, the more you will become it.
Tip #8. Recognize your writing weaknesses and your writing strengths.
Make the most of your strengths and work to improve your weaknesses. 
Tip #9. Sometimes the best writing opportunities are just outside your comfort zone.
Don’t be afraid to take a chance and write something that seems a bit of a stretch for you.
Tip #10. Celebrate your small successes along the way to your ultimate goal.
You'll stay more motivated to keep moving towards your long-term writing goals this way.
Okay, so start with just one of these tips today and start moving closer to becoming the writer you wish to be.
Try it!


For tips and resources about writing delivered to your emailbox every weekday morning, get your free subscription to
The Morning Nudge
And, if you need more than a Nudge, join The Monday Morning Shove.

Suzanne Lieurance is the author of over 40 published books, a freelance writer, and a writing coach at writebythesea.com.



 




Why Writers Need to Become Time Aware


By W. Terry Whalin
 @terrywhalin

As a writer, I want to increase my writing and ability to publish (in any format). I’m basically saying I would like to be more productive. In this article, I want to explain a  key to increasing your productivity: become time aware.

For example, the timing of your pitch is a critical part of the process—and often outside of your control. As an editor, I’ve had authors who don’t take the publishing contract that I offer them through Morgan James yet later (sometimes years after the offer) they will reach out to me and ask if it is still possible. Before answering, I will check with my colleagues then when I find the opportunity is still available, they move forward and publish their book with us and get it into the bookstores.

Everyone has the same amount of time. The key distinction is how we use that time. One of the first steps in the process of becoming more effective with your time is understanding how you’re using it. I encourage you to keep a time log for a week. You can be as detailed or simple as you want but make a written record of how you are spending your time each day. Then after a week evaluate the time log to note areas where you are wasting time. You will “discover” the hour or two you are spending reading Facebook posts or watching videos on YouTube. Or the several hours each night you are spending in front of the television watching shows. Or possibly it is some other time-wasting activity such as spending time on the phone talking with a relative or __________. Each of us are wasting time on these types of activities. Once the time is spent you can never get it back. Your awareness is the first step then you make intentional changes in how you spend your time to accomplish whatever you want. You may want to increase your writing, publishing, platform building, marketing and any number of other aspects of the writing life.

In the past, I’ve learned my mind can often create barriers. Possibly you are in this situation. I say to myself, “My best writing time is in the morning so I can only write then.” Or “My best time to write is after my kids are in bed.” Be aware of these mental restrictions, then consciously remove these barriers from your schedule. Maybe you only have ten or fifteen minutes to crank out some words like part of a magazine article or a blog post or a book review. My encouragement is for you to use these fifteen minutes wisely and write whenever you can. Some people wonder how I’ve written over 60 books and for more than 50 publications. My writing is just like your writing: one word, one paragraph, one sentence, one page at a time—over and over. When I think about writing, it does nothing to put words on my screen. It is only by sitting at my keyboard and moving my fingers that my writing moves into action.

Our lives as freelance writers provide freedom to control our own schedule and calendar. If I want to spend the day reading a book or taking my wife to lunch, I can do it. Yet this freedom also brings greater individual responsibility. You have no taskmaster or accountability to anyone other than yourself. Be aware of how you use your time.

I also encourage you to create systems and habits to make better use of your time. For example, I use the program called Hootsuite to schedule the majority of my social media. Other people use Buffer as this tool. I also use the “reminders” section on my phone to make sure I meet my various deadlines and tasks. I’ve learned that I can write anywhere and at any time.

As you become more aware of time and how you use it, you can become more productive. Like any journey, your commitment to make changes begins taking the first step.

Tweetable:

This prolific writer and editor contends your first step to increase your productive as a writer is to become time aware. Discover the details here. (ClickToTweet)

W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. Get Terry’s recent book, 10 Publishing Myths for only $10, free shipping and bonuses worth over $200. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Check out his free Ebook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com. Connect with Terry on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Tips for Writing Creatively


 by Deborah Lyn Stanley

We write blog posts, fiction, memoir and non-fiction pieces; But at the core, we are telling stories full of descriptive prose, narration, action and challenges.

Last time we talked about analyzing our writing. It’s healthy to analyze our plan, our goals, and to decide what’s working and what’s not. What if we have forgotten the reader here and there? Let’s backtrack to discover the root cause. Does the delivery have rhythm and flow? Areas of too much information? Is the language active with lively nouns and verbs? When reviewing these questions as we read our plan and the draft, some needed improvements may standout.

So, what is the best way to start an article, blog post, short story, or book? We need to focus on the heart of the article or story. Does it open with a promise of what is coming, a connection to the deeper story, an underlying cause? It’s probably a good idea to write that first chapter or opening sentence, remembering this is a draft, and we may need to change or rewrite the opening at some point. Once we are further along in writing the piece, we’ll likely know more thoroughly what we want to say—when we know the characters and flow of the story better. And how it should end.

Story structure is also called narrative structure, the flow of events as beginning, middle and end. Being acquainted with various structures can help and resolve the reader’s questions. Helping to connect the events of the piece with the significant points.

Most commonly, though, we talk about narrative in terms of Point of View (POV) such as:
1) First Person Point of View—The “I” telling.
First Person narration is the most personal. The reader feels they are hearing the story directly, as if the character is actually talking to them—like having a conversation with a friend. The reader may know a character by the way she/he describes her/his world. And thus gives the character voice.

2) Third Person Point of View—The “he or she” telling.
There are two types of third person POV: limited and omniscient.
It’s not speaking directly to the reader, but consider these options:
Limited viewpoint is specific to a character’s perspective, thoughts and experiences. But you can’t show what that character doesn’t experience or have knowledge about.
Omniscient viewpoint is not restrictive. The perspective can float from place to place, from one character’s thoughts to another character’s thoughts.

3) Multiple Points of View—Switching characters from one point of view to another at the end of a scene, section or chapter. In this way, you can show a situation from different perspectives, show your main character from the inside and out, or even when he/she wasn’t there. It allows you to choose to tell a scene along the most interesting path.

Keep Your Writing Practice 

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available: on Amazon
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories



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Heart-Centered Goals




Good writers leave their heart on the page ... whether it's fiction, non-fiction, novels, screenplays, essays, or anything else. Writing is also a business. When you put your heart into the business of writing, it shows an authenticity that prospects, clients, and your audience will respond to and love. 

I recently spoke with Marketing Magician Dean Hankey, Spiritual Intuitive Life & Business Coach Erin MacCoy, and Mali Phonpadith, Founder & SEO SOAR Community Network on an episode of #GoalChatLive about what it means to be heart-centered in business. 

When you lead with your heart (Erin), express yourself from a place of truth (Mali), and your choose to be nice, it shows in all you put our in the world.

Heart-Centered Goals 

  • Mali: Find a practice that works for you to uncover what you want to focus on. For example, meditation and journaling. 
  • Erin: Practice gratitude. Write down 3 things you are grateful for every day.
  • Dean: Ask yourself these questions: Who can I help? How can I help? Help people identify and cross the “caring” chasm. Think VIP. Add Value to people that adds Impact for others, so that everyone Profits
Watch our conversation.

Final Thoughts 

  • Dean: Find ways to be value, service, and support to others 
  • Erin: Let bliss be the primary motivator 
  • Mali: Practice self-love and self-compassion
Your heart needs to show in all aspects of your creative work - not what's just on the page. Lead from the heart and all else will follow. 

* * * 

For more inspiration and motivation, follow @TheDEBMethod on Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin! 

* * *

How do you put heart into the business of writing? Please share in the comments. 

* * *
Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A goal-strategist, corporate consultant, and project catalyst, Debra offers personal and professional planning, event strategy, and team building for individuals, businesses, and teams. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat, #GoalChatLive on Facebook and LinkedIn, and The DEB Show podcast. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson Shares Favorite Book Display Resource...


 
....AND TELLS YOU WHY IT'S HER FAVORITE! 

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson, poet, writer of fiction and author of
Multi Award-Winning Series of books for Writers


Just so you know, I used to have an authors group that displayed the books of authors who couldn't be present to sign their books.  I did it  for years at the LA Times book fair...ages ago when it was on the UCLA campus.  And I tried using similar opportunities over and over again.  I finally came to the conclusion that it wasn't the most frugal way to get exposure for books nor the most effective. I even advise against it in my award-winning flagship book in my HowToDoItFrugally Series of book for writers,  "The Frugal Book Promoter." Basically, I said do it but only if you can be there to baby tend it!  And then I tried the book fairs and writers conferences directed by Valerie Allen in Florida!  What makes her display opportunities work when others don't are the value-added benefits that she offers along with the extremely low per-book charge!  Here are some benefits that I remember from the years I have participated:

1. A picture of my books on display which I often use with my social network posts.
2. A list of fellow participants which I use to network--maybe with a special offer.
3. The ability to include sell sheets, book marks, or business cards to display with the books.
4. A Facebook book group (AuthorsforAuthorsj)  where I can chat up the fact that my books will be there to check out--you know, touch, turn the pages, get a few marketing ideas without even buying it! Ha!
5. Caveat: You'll do even better if you do it regularly (that's true of any kind of advertising or promotion!) Think about how often you see the same ad for a product on TV. 
 

So........here is the form you can copy, paste, and and use to let your book be seen at the AuthorsforAuthors next writers' conference with Valerie and Marshall Frank.  Get ready, go!    

Join our Facebook Group Authors for Authors 
Valerie Allen ~ Marshall Frank 
VAllenWriter@gmail.com

Opportunities to have your book(s) on display at our book and author events are available for those who cannot personally attend the venue.

Registration for book displays must be completed 15 days prior to each event. See Spring and Fall Event tabs for dates. 
FALL: "Meet the Authors' Book Fair" in conjunction with the ArtsWorks Festival will be  on November 18 and 19, 2023 in the Eau Gallie Civic Center,  Melbourne, FL 
SPRING: "Writer's Conference: Write, Publish, Sell!"  will on April 23, 2023 at the Hilton Rialto Airport Melbourne, FL 32901
There are also year-round displays at libraries and various other venues



Book Display Only
Opportunity to have your book(s) on display at book and author events.
No direct sales involved
Cost = $5.00 per book - cash only. 
Enclose your book(s), business cards, and fee(s) in a zip lock bag.
If you want your book(s) returned please include a SASE
Mail all to: Valerie Allen, P. O. Box 120053, West Melbourne, FL 32912-0053 

Contact: Valerie Allen  at VAllenWriter@gmail.com

Registration for Book Display Only
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Address: ___________________________________________________________
City: ________________________________________
ST: _____ ZIP: __________
Phone: (_______) _____________________________________________________
 Web: _______________________________________________________________

EMail : ______________________________________________________

1) Book Title(s)  for Promo Flyer __________________________________________________________ 
Circle One:   Fiction      Non-fiction   Poetry    Children’s Book 


Book Title for Promo Flyer: _________________________________________________________
Circle One:   Fiction      Non-fiction   Poetry    Children’s Book 


Book Title for Promo Flyer: 

_________________________________________________________
Circle One:   Fiction      Non-fiction   Poetry    Children’s Book 

 ~ Sponsored by AuthorsForAuthors.com ~ 
Valerie Allen, VAllenWriter@gmail.com 
FALL; "Meet the Authors Book Fair,"  11/18/223& 11/19/23
SPRING: "Writers' Conference: Write, Publish, Sell!"  04/23/23



MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 Howard-Johnson is the multi award-winning author of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is also a marketing consultant, editor, and author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers including the multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter (https://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromoIII), now offered in its third edition by Modern History Press. Carolyn's latest is in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. She has two booklets in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series, both in their second editions from Modern History Press. Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers (https://bit.ly/LastMinuteEditsII) and The Great First Impression Book Proposal (https://bit.ly/BookProposalsII) are career boosters in mini doses and both make ideal thank you gifts for authors. The one on writing book proposals is also available as an Audio Book. The Frugal Editor (https://bit.ly/FrugalEditor), now in its second edition, is the winningest book in the series. Carolyn also has three frugal books for retailers including one she encourages authors to read because it helps them convince retailers to host their workshops, presentations, and signings. It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques (https://bit.ly/RetailersGuide). In addition to this blog, Carolyn helps writers extend the exposure of their favorite reviews at TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com. She also blogs all things editing--grammar, formatting and more--at The Frugal, Smart, and Tuned-In Editor (https://TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com). Learn more and follow for news on her new releases direct from Amazon at https://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile.

Honoring Your Voice

As a writer, your voice is one of your most powerful assets. Whether you write fiction, non-fiction, novels, screenplays, marketing copy, y...