Saturday, October 23, 2010

Marketing with Video - Amazing Young Guitarist

I happened upon a YouTube video of an amazing little boy guitarist. While watching it, I noticed a music instructor was promoting his business with a bit of content at the bottom of the video.

In marketing, one of the best ways to sell a product or service is to SHOW what it can do for you. Well, this music instructor had the right idea in using  one of his students (I'm assuming) to demonstrate how a child could learn to play the guitar.

Granted, not all children or adults have the same capabilities or talents, but this is an excellent marketing tool. And, note that just listening to the audio wouldn't have the same affect. It's the video of this little boy with amazing talent that makes you want to run to the instructor's home and get lessons for you or your child.

So, without further ado, here is one outstanding little guitar player:



Sungha plays 'C*ome Toge*ther' arranged by Michael Chapdelaine

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I love listening to the guitar, violin, and cello.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter/ rewriter. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

If you need help with your author platform, check out:

Build Your Author/Writer Platform
This 4-week class shows you Basic Website Optimization, Blogging Smart, Email Marketing, and Social Media Marketing
  


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Teacher and Marketer Recommends Book on Marketing

I have a motto: "Reading one book on book promotion is never enough."
Thus, I recommend Michelle Dunn's book, it's full of book-marketing essentials. 


Here is the heartfelt recommendation I wrote to Michelle, complete with disclaimer:

Dear Michelle:

Congratulations on a job well done! In the writing. In the accumulation of knowledge. And in the production. I shall recommend Mosquito Marketing to my UCLA students and my clients--every single one of them!

Yes, you may use that as an endorsement, though you may not want to because I contributed to the book. Thus I may appear biased. The thing is, I would have said the same thing even if I had no part in it! (-:

So, it's going up on my Web site (the Resources for Writers section right now! And into my recommendation list for my students. Soon. (-:

Thank you so much. Mosquito Marketing (ISBN 1453605304) will be a valued part of books I am part of--ones that I keep in a special reference (and brag!) library. Great work!

Best,
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

-----
The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've loved. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by author names, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the index handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor. As a courtesy to the author, please tweet and retweet this post using the widget below:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Writing Books - Is There Money in It?

By Karen Cioffi

In the marketing arena, one of the messages conveyed is that unless you're a major author with a tremendous amount of sales, you will not get rich from writing books. You may not even be able to make a living. But, you should still strive to get published because it does open some doors, and allows for alternative means of income.

How does an author create a living out of writing?

Well, whether you're in the process of writing a book, in the process of having a book published, or your book is already available for sale, there are a few strategies writers can use to supplement their income, or create a living from writing:

1. Create e-books and offer them for sale. If you're a fiction writer, write about elements of writing, the process, the pit falls, the publishing process, your marketing strategies, and so on. Write what you know.

2. If you have interests other than the fiction you write, capitalize on them also. Maybe, you're a great cook, write about cooking. If you have an interest in health, do the research and write about it.

It's easy to create an ebook with images. Then publish it on Kindle, Lulu.com, Smashwords.com, or other such service.

If you're willing to invest in a clickbank account or another of these types of services, you can find affiliates to help you sell your e-books.

3. Don't forget this ONE essential strategy that all writers need to utilize: Write articles, research appropriate magazines and submit, submit, submit - if you don't submit your work, you will not get published, or earn an income from your writing. And, as stated above, being published does matter; it opens up doors and opportunities that may not otherwise be open.

4. If you're writing nonfiction, think spin-offs. You can create journals, and even videos for sale.

5. Look into selling through catalogs.

6. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, seek out corporations or businesses that may be interested in your topic. For example: I wrote a bed time story and my writing coach, suggested I look into children's stores (furniture, clothing, toys, etc.) to see if they'd be interested in buying in bulk to offer the book to their clients for sale or as giveaways.

7. If you're published, offer teleclasses or coaching. This is one of those opportunities that will work better if you're published.

8. Promote, Promote, Promote!

These are a few of the strategies you can use to generate income from writing.

Tip: Remember to be focused and research your target market.

LIKE THIS ARTICLE? PLEASE SHARE IT!

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter/ rewriter. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

If you need help with your author platform, check out:

Build Your Author/Writer Platform
This 4-week class shows you Basic Website Optimization, Blogging Smart, Email Marketing, and Social Media Marketing


MORE ON WRITING AND MARKETING

How to Avoid Exposition in Dialogue

Tips and Tools to Make Your Writing Life Easier

Why You Absolutely Need a Website as Part of Your Content Marketing




Monday, August 2, 2010

A Quick Guide to Narrative Writing

"So what happened?"

When someone asks you that, what do you say? You respond by telling a story - when it happened, where it happened, how it happened and why it happened.

This is what we call narration.

If descriptive writing aims to appeal to your reader's five senses, narrative writing aims to tell an event that occurred by providing details.

Description and narration, when used correctly in writing, greatly contribute to a story's success.

Ingredients for an effective (good) narration

1. Supply all significant details or events. They are important in building up and supporting your main idea or story.

2. Flush out insignificant details. Don't start talking about how expensive your cousin's lipstick is if you're narrating her job interview disaster.

3. Narrate in a logical and organized way. Don't go from one detail to the next without providing any obvious transitions to aid comprehension.

4. Pace your narration. Don't let it drag. Otherwise, you'll risk boring your readers.

5. Make a point or lead to a conclusion.

Your Narrative Detail

What should you include in your narration? It's always effective to begin by identifying the who, what, when, where, why and how.

However, some writers get carried away and end up including too many details to suit their readers.

Instead of overcrowding your narrative with details, decide which ones are vital to your story, which ones you should emphasize, and which ones are minor but significant details.

Your Readers Influence Your Narrative

Your target readers largely determine the details you include in your narration.

Ask yourself -

1. Who would be likely to read my story?

2. Who could benefit and/or learn from my story?

3. Who are the people I'd like to share my story with?

Arranging Your Details and Using Conversation

The most logical way to present details in your story is by chronologically narrating them. However, it's also possible to begin your narrative using flash back and other similar literary devices. The important thing is that your narrative is cohesive and the details are organized.

Dialogues enhance and advance the meaning of your story so don't be afraid to include them in your narrative.

Now It's Your Turn

Now it's your turn. Write short narratives using the following prompts -

1. a memorable event

2. the strangest thing you've experienced

3. what happened to you earlier today

4. an embarrassing moment

5. your birthday last year

About Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ: Shery is the creator of WriteSparks!™- a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks!™ Lite for free at http://writesparks.com

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Review: 179 Ways to Save a Novel

179 Ways to Save a Novel
By Peter Selgin
Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books
ISBN: 9781582976075
$16.99

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of This is the Place and Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered and The Frugal Book Promoter


What Writer Doesn’t Want Just One Great Way to Save A Novel?

Peter Selgin offers you 179 of them!

Novelists are going to love this author. He dedicates his book 179 Ways to Save a Novel to “Walter Cummins. And to my students, especially those who argue with me.” As a teacher myself, I know that students who argue offer the best opportunities for learning for everyone from the rest of the class to the teacher herself.

Selgin also knows that “no artist should ever be afraid to make mistakes.” Another core learning principle.

With an introduction that shouldn’t be overlooked, Selgin launches into a small book, dense with ideas for writers of fiction. Writers everywhere will be inspired to write a great new character or improve on an old one, reexamine the deaths that occur in our stories and on and on. Subjects I’ve never seen covered in a book (and I read a lot of books for writers!).

I also appreciate the design of this book. Writer’s Digest assigned Claudean Wheeler to the task and what she does with this book feels right. It’s creative and caring.

Writer’s Digest and Selgin (and Wheeler, too!) should be proud of this one. I hope it lands on the suggested reading list of any teacher who makes it her business to guide students to better-crafted fiction. It’s certainly going on mine!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Don't Put a Limit on Your Imagination

The stories and articles you can write about are limited only by your imagination, ingenuity and persistence. And your ability to dig deep into and write well about a potentially good story or article can make you a published writer.
You can write about many things and here are a few of them:
Your Life. No two people have had the exact experiences. Each of us goes through life and experience things that are unique only to ourselves. Your life experiences are fodder for good personal experience articles. To start writing this type of article, brainstorm about unusual, unique, scary or even dangerous events you have experienced. From your list, think of an angle or an interesting way to present your experience.
How-To Articles. Do you have a special talent, skill or knowledge? Why not write instructional articles? Articles of this type are commonly known as how-to articles and are regularly published in magazines because of their popularity among readers. How-to articles are usually written in a step-by-step manner, using bullet or number lists.
Profiles. Personality profiles or sketches feature subjects who are more or less famous -- celebrities, sports heroes, politicians or someone who is recognized in his/her field. Ordinary people who have done extraordinary things are also good subjects for personality profiles. For profile articles, look within your community and see if you can find and interview local celebrities. Usually, profiles are in the form of Q&A so you need to come up with interesting questions for your subject.
Inspirationals. Stories that inspire, motivate and/or move people to tears or laughter fall under this category. Religious or secular articles are also forms of inspirational articles. If you're new to writing, submitting inspirational pieces for church or religious magazines is a good way to break into print.
Jaunts. Travel articles appeal to practically everyone, even to those who have never traveled. Have you been someplace where you found the sights, customs, food, habits or culture different and interesting? If you're a frequent traveler, start taking down notes of the best place to stay, where the interesting sights can be found and how to get to those places. Keep a travel notebook and log your travels. Write your impressions of places, people and cultures.
Special Interests. A few special interest subjects are parenting, child nutrition, home and garden and health. There are certainly thousands of publications that cater to special interest subjects. If you have been gardening for years, you can write articles for gardening enthusiasts. Specialize in your area of interest. Over time, you will establish yourself as an expert in that area.

Copyright © Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ
Shery is the creator of WriteSparks!™- a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks!™ Lite for free at http://writesparks.com

Monday, July 19, 2010

You Don't Need Inspiration!

I get all kinds of newsletters, blog updates, and motivational articles in my inbox. Why? Because you never know when someone will say thing that strikes a cord. Well that happened today with Shery's article on "You Don't Need Inspiration". But instead of me telling you what she had to share, I'm going to let Shery.

From Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

You don't need inspiration. Or do you?

Writers write. You shouldn't wait around for inspiration to come. But sometimes, there are days you can't get anything written down. Or you're at a loss for words. You can't think of anything to write. You don't have any idea what to write about.

And then you end up believing you're having writer's block.

You end up believing it too much, you stop writing altogether. You might even think of yourself as not a real writer.

And all because of what? You think your muse deserted you? You think you have writer's block?

Think again! You sure as heck don't need inspiration to write!

What you do need are prompts to help get your writer's mind working and your hands writing or typing.

These prompts are your beginnings; the glimmer; the little sparks that you can shape and fashion into stories, articles, essays and features.

You don't need inspiration. All you need is an idea; a spark.

And here are a dozen sparks you can try out for yourself:

1. The first typewriter was patented on July 23, 1829. Interview some of the writers in your group and find out how they write. You can develop this into a light-hearted article for/about writers.

2. Many fictional characters are not fictional at all. Write about one real person who has been fictionalized.

3. Electricity is a recent discovery. Think of 10 things to do when there's no power.

4. Pirates no longer just refer to the highwaymen of the seas. There are different breeds of pirates today. Write about today's pirates and what they're pirating.

5. Many words in the English language come from the names of people -- such as mesmerize (from Mesmer, a hypnotist). Find out more words from people's names and write the story behind the words. (Or invent stories for names that became words.)

6. The US Declaration of Independence begins with this line: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." Write your own Declaration of Independence by using the same line as your starting point.

7. How do you start a fan club? Write a how-to on organizing a fan club for a favorite author, singer, actor or sports figure.

8. How do planets die?

9. Expound or dispute this: "Where science ends, religion begins."

10. Take a look at your bookshelf. Pick one book and write a review of it.

11. How is privacy invaded on the Internet?

12. Write an article on how to choose a pet. Target your piece for kids aged 7-10.


Copyright © Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

About Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ:
Shery is the creator of WriteSparks!™- a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks!™ Lite for free at http://writesparks.com

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