Quick Link: Carolyn Howard-Johnson Says, Promote Your Own Way

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I admit it. I am sharing today’s post because not only is it a good one by Carolyn Howard-Johnson at Insecure Writers Support Group, but also because I now have the earworm “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac running through my head and I thought I would share. You are welcome. Also how cool is it that her last name is “Howard Johnson” like the old restaurant chain? This much kismet and awesomeness from the universe must be shared! “You can Promote your own waaaaay. You can make it a promote daaaaay.”

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson Says, Promote Your Own Way

Today we’re excited to have Carolyn Howard-Johnson as our guest. She has provided us with a dynamite post about promotion, something writers must do, but sometimes dread or simply don’t know where to start doing. Carolyn’s a savvy, successful promoter who shares her expertise as she has here, but also in her multi-award winning books. More about those below!
A Promote-Your-Own-Way Case Study
Saturday Night Live Writer Uses
Article/Essay Route for Marketing
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By Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning
 HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers
In the second edition of the flagship book in my multi-award-winning series of books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter, I suggest writing articles and selling them (or giving them away free). It is an especially good way to get exposure for authors who are shy or think they’ll hate marketing but admit they love writing. So I was pleased to see an op-ed piece in the LA Times written by Patricia Marx, former Saturday Night Live writer and a staff writer for The New Yorker.

Read the full post on Insecure Writers Support Group

Quick Link: 3 Secrets For Writing Like A Pro

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Wanna know the secret to taking your writing to the next level? It’s all about the tweaking between telling and showing. But those changes make a huge difference in the quality of your story. Award-winning author Stacey Keith, guest posting at Writers And Authors, has some great examples to show you how!

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3 Secrets For Writing Like A Pro

by Stacy Keith

Writing an email is easy. Writing a novel is the kind of hard that requires years of apprenticeship. “Apprenticeship” in this case means getting it way wrong before you get it even a little bit right. Hey, I should know.

You’ve got to commit to a lot of bad writing in order to reach a level of basic competence. Most people don’t go the distance. Most people don’t realize their beginning writing sucks. Most people, even ones who have talent, lack that most essential ingredient to success as a writer: STAMINA.

Stamina (or persistence, if you prefer) determines whether you’re going to be a hack or a writer. Not only must you suffer the slings and arrows of writing bad prose (if you stay at it, you do get better—sometimes a lot better), but if you want to level up, get an agent, get a publishing contract, trust me, you’re going to need stamina for that, too. It can take years.

Now might be a good time to ask: How badly do I want it?

Read the full post on Writers And Authors!

Quick Link: How To Write An ‘About’ Page That Works

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When is the last time you checked your “about” page? Don’t worry I can’t say anything, it is on my very long list of updates I want to do to this site. Sigh. Sometimes it is very difficult to find time to do the things you want to do. But you seriously owe it to yourself to check out this post by Amanda Patterson over at Writers Write to make sure your “about” page is up to snuff!

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How To Write An ‘About’ Page That Works

by Amanda Patterson

How do you write an ‘About’ page that works? Ask yourself what people want to know when they click on your ‘About’ link.

People who visit your website want to know who you are, what you do, why they should believe you, how they can contact you, where you are, and when they need to show up.

The easiest way to cover the basics on this page is to use the five Ws and the one H. We cover this in detail in: Why You Need The Inverted Pyramid When You Write

So, let’s begin.

 

Read the full post on Writers Write!

Quick Link: Book Marketing: How to Skyrocket Sales of Your Book

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I write because I love stories and find the act of writing to be very satisfying. It is not, unfortunitly, how I pay the bills and I doubt will ever be. I am ok with that. But if you are looking to make any money from your writing, you need to be able to market effectively.  (what a totally cool name!), at Self-Publishing School has a great overview of book marketing!

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Book Marketing: How to Skyrocket Sales of Your Book

by

Just because you wrote a new book doesn’t mean that your book is guaranteed to sell. Even if it’s the next Great American Novel, it won’t be a success if it doesn’t get into the collective conscious of the public. This is why your book needs good marketing tactics to back it up.

Marketing takes planning, organization, and consistent action; it’s hard work. But the good news is that marketing is also about fostering connections and relationships, which can be rewarding to you and your fan base. And since you’re the one who knows your book from cover to cover, your backstory, your reasons for writing it, and who your ideal reader is, it’s your duty to put a plan in place to best connect with your intended audience and share your story.

We know, we know…you’ve put a ton of effort into writing, editing, and getting your book ready for publication that the thought of adding another layer of “work” is not the most appealing idea.

But realize that if you launch your book without a marketing plan, FAR fewer people will read it. It will hamper the success of the book you’re working on now, as well as others you plan on publishing in the future. So if you dream of becoming a New York Times bestselling author, or if you want your book to help you reach other lifestyle goals, a book marketing strategy is your essential key to success.

Read the full post on Self-Publishing School!

Quick Link: What Is a Prologue — and How to Write One Readers Won’t Skip

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Do you prologue? I absolutely love a well-written prologue, to me, it is almost like getting bonus information and sets the tone for the rest of the story. Reedsy has a great post on if you should prologue and how to write a great one. Check it out!

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What Is a Prologue — and How to Write One Readers Won’t Skip

A prologue comes before Chapter One and acts an introduction to a story, or a first of “two beginnings.” While there is back and forth on the necessity of prologues as a literary device (more on that later), it is agreed upon that a good prologue contains information that is vital to the rest of the story — though often not in a way that’s immediately apparent. A prologue should only be relied upon when it contains information that would hinder the narrative if present in the body of the novel. Think of a prologue a bit like an appetizer: if done right, it can perfectly prepare you for the main course. If done carelessly, it can ruin your appetite for the novel.

Before we talk about the best way to write a prologue, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what a prologue is — and isn’t.

Read the full post on Reedsy!

Quick Link: How to Use The Force to Write Your Novel

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Ok, I admit that I picked this post because I am OG (Orginal Geek) and a major Star Wars nerd. But this is still a great post from Randy Ingermanson at his site, Advanced Fiction Writing. And it is not probably what you are thinking of either.

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How to Use The Force to Write Your Novel

Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash

How do you find time to write your novel when there isn’t time to write? When your life feels like a treadmill to nowhere? When it seems like you’re in exactly the same place you were a year ago?

I hear from writers all the time asking how to manage their time so they can write the novel of their dreams.

The Most Powerful Force in the Universe

There’s a secret to doing this. I’m going to let you in on that secret right now.

If you want to write a novel…

You need to make it a habit to write every day of the week. (Or every weekday. Or every weekday plus every Saturday. Or whatever schedule fits your life.)

The most powerful force in the universe is force of habit.

Why You Need a Writing Habit

Read the full post on Advanced Fiction Writing.

Quick Link: To Pseudonym or Not to Pseudonym

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I didn’t think pseudonyms were still a thing these days. There is no privacy on the web and it is pretty easy to find out information on people if you want. So unless you are doing a “Lemony Snicket” type book and a pseydonym is a marketing strategy, honesty is the best policy.  At BookBaby, Carolyn Howard-Johnson shares the pros and cons of using a pseudonym. What do you think?

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To Pseudonym or Not to Pseudonym

by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

There can be benefits to using a pen name, but I believe there are many more downsides to using a pseudonym than upsides.

Nora Roberts, the author of more than 150 romance novels, was asked why she writes romantic suspense novels under a pseudonym. Her answer: “It’s marketing.”

She says that writing quickly makes it difficult for her publisher to publish all of her work with an appropriate amount of time between each release, so she writes works which are “edgier” than her romance novels under the pseudonym J. D. Robb. She says, “Putting it under a pseudonym helps brand it for the reader.” Children’s writers often separate their real names or their “other” writing names from their children’s work to keep work intended for children untainted.

All these reasons are absolutely valid, and there are many more. But I believe there are many more downsides to using a pseudonym than upsides, especially from marketing and organizational perspectives.

Read the full post on BookBaby

Quick Link: How I Overcame Discouragement and Revived my Passion For Writing (and How You Can too)

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I thought this lovely post by at Barely Hare Books was a lovely way to start off the week. And who couldn’t use a word of encouragement or two sometimes. I am bookmarking this one for future reference!

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How I Overcame Discouragement and Revived my Passion For Writing (and How You Can too)

by

You and I want nothing more than to write every day, all the time.

But in the whirlwind of life’s demands, you lose energy, focus, and determination. You feel it in your gut. That desire for writing is fading. And worse still, no one seems interested in your work anyway.

“Why don’t I feel like writing anymore? Does my fiction matter? How do I get my passion back for writing? Can I get it back at all? ”

Yes, you can, you sweet little pickled onion. Promise. Because I went through the same thing not too long ago myself.

Just a few months ago, life pushed everything I love into the background and plopped health problems and bills and rent and even more adulting onto my lap instead. My passion for writing began slipping away and I felt so helpless against it. Worse still, I saw my peers skyrocketing and I felt even more alone, resentful, and lost.

I didn’t write a single word for nearly four months.

So what changed? How did I start writing two hours a day for my blog and make book sales along the way?

Read the full post on Barely Hare Books

Quick Link: Five Shots At Your Own Sales

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Are you your own worst enemy and unconsciously sabotaging your sales? Find out in this great post from Dean Wesley Smith!

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Five Shots At Your Own Sales

by Dean Wesley Smith

This Was a Fun Post in Late 2011…

Still all true going into 2018. Sadly.

I actually did two posts on this topic because I had to shoot off all ten toes of indie writers. But for a bring forward, this one is the fun one.

See if this almost completely holds up after six years. I think it does and I find that amazing.

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I started noticing how indie writers shoot themselves in the foot as far as sales. And not just once, but often so many times that it guaranteed that no sane reader (past family and friends) would pick up their book.

And they did it all purposefully. And were often very proud of the fact that they did what they did, having no idea what their decisions were doing to their sales.

I call that “Shooting Yourself in the Foot.”

You hold the gun, you aim at your own foot, you pull the trigger. You have no one to blame but yourself when you indie publish.

So, let me detail out a few of the “shots” I have seen indie writers take at their own feet lately.

Read the full post on Dean Wesley Smith!

Quick Link: How To Boost Your Writing Confidence To New Levels

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Happy New Year to everyone! To start the new year off right and ease on into things, I am sharing an inspirational post from at Bang 2 Write!

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How To Boost Your Writing Confidence To New Levels

Being a writer might be challenging, as creative people very often worry their work is not good enough. Lacking confidence can be immobilising and may influence the quality of your writing, too. Eek! But calm down and check out these simple ideas and exercises that can boost your confidence and make your creative genius shine.

1) Use writing prompts

Many creative people know that writing prompts is one of the basic exercises to develop your writing skills. Prompts are extremely useful  if you have writer’s block or simply want to develop yourself as a writer. The prompt can be anything:a word, a phrase, a picture, a person or just a thought. It can help you write focusing on one thing at a time and make your creative juices flow. MORE: 6 Writing Prompt Tips To Get You Started

Read the full post on Bang 2 Write!

Editor’s Note: Happy Holidays to all! See you next year!

I’m still sick, still trying to do Christmas so I hope you will forgive me for calling it a day on the blog and will catch up with us next year!

No matter what holiday you celebrate, or even if you celebrate anything at all,  please have a good one full of health and good cheer. Here’s to hoping a great 2018 to all!

Thank you!

Paula

Quick Link: Plotting With Layers: 4 Steps to a Stronger Plot

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You know every once in a while you come across something that lets you see issues in a new light? This post by the wonderful and talented Janice Hardy at Fiction University is one of those things. I personally love the idea of using layers to add depth to my stories and her tips really resonated with me. Let us know if they help you too.

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Plotting With Layers: 4 Steps to a Stronger Plot

By Janice Hardy

This week’s Refresher Friday takes a heavily updated look at why plots are like houses, and how “building” with layers will help you create stronger plots. Enjoy!

Plots are like houses. When built on a strong foundation, with good flow and an well-thought out floor plan, readers want to move in and stay awhile. Just as we build in layers, we can also plot in layers. This helps us make sure all the right pieces are in place to hold up our story and allow our characters to live within them.

Layering your plot can create more interesting stories, but it’s easy to go overboard and end up with a convoluted mess. How many layers are good? How many are too many? And mostly, how do you craft a well-constructed story that builds on itself and keeps readers interested?

I’ve talked about writing in layers before, and plotting in layers is similar. It helps to look at each layer individually and try not to build the whole thing at once.

Lay the Foundation for Your Plot

Read the full post on Fiction University!

Editorial Note: I am sick. And tired. But not sick and tired.

I caught the crud that is going around or perhaps multiple cruds. It feels like multiple cruds. One of the problems with having Addison’s that my immune systems sometimes plays hide and seek with me. Since I have been diagnosed and treated properly, I actually get much less sick than I used to, but when I do get sick it hits me hard.

What I am trying to say is I can’t breathe, I have no voice beyond entertaining squeeks and we are on the countdown to Christmas. I am pretty much Santa and the entire sleigh-pulling team. My nose is red though.

Sooooo I am going to apologize for missing yesterday’s post and promise to do my best for the rest of the week.

Thank you every so much for coming here, and I hope that you will continue to hang with me and hopefully we all get through these next few weeks into a hopefully better for everyone 2018.

Have a good day!

Paula

PS I am going on some funky cough medicine to help so my ribs don’t hurt so the posts might get very entertaining. Either that or I might sleep through Christmas.

Quick Link: Why The Elevator Pitch Will Always Be Effective In Business Writing

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While this is slanted towards business writing I put to you that all writers need to have an effective short pitch for their projects. Why? Because you are always trying to market your story and people don’t have a lot of time. In fact, your elevator pitch should be the first thing on your Amazon page or where ever you are placing your book.  Readers are rushed and often will look at the first paragraph to decided whether to read further.  During one of my jobs, it is my duty to help authors craft an effective and quick view of their title. I always try to put the author and story in the best light. Having an already great first paragraph that describes the story allows you to stay in control of your narrative and allows others to effectively help you to market your title. Check out the post at Writer’s Write!

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Why The Elevator Pitch Will Always Be Effective In Business Writing

Many readers do not have the time to read everything. The world moves quickly and people have short attention spans. People become bored at a frightening rate.

As Cecil Beaton said, ‘Perhaps the world’s second worst crime is boredom. The worst is being a bore.’

  1. How do we grab their attention?
  2. How do we make them trust us?
  3. How do we change their minds?

In a busy world, the elevator pitch is a powerful tool for business writers. Measured in the time span of an elevator ride, it should take no more than 20 seconds to read. When written, it should not be longer than 100 words.

Cover these points in your elevator pitch:

 

Read the full post on Writer’s Write!

Quick Link: A Look at Masterful Character Description Part 2

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I am sick and I am trying really hard to find the right way to tell you that at Live Write Thrive, C.S. Latkin has written a really good post on dealing with character description. It is more of the show don’t tell, but the way Latkin puts it is quite powerful. Worth your time.

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A Look at Masterful Character Description Part 2

by C.S. Latkin

Let me begin this week’s post, a continuation of looking at masterful character description, by lifting this paragraph from last week’s post:

Description is more than what the eye sees. It involves making judgments, coming to conclusions, forming impressions. Since our descriptions must be filtered through our POV character’s mind and heart, instead of thinking of description as a laundry list of items (hair color, eye color, shoe brand), they should reveal just as much, if not more, about our POV character as the person (or place or animal or food—anything) being described.

I repeat this to be emphatic about the importance of taking the time to both know your characters thoroughly as well utilizing description powerfully and deliberately.

In other words, don’t waste space or your reader’s precious time by writing ineffective description. Make it count. Make it evocative. Make it fresh and revealing.

I’ve been pulling description from James Lee Burke’s novels, for he is a masterful wordsmith. I am continually awed by his descriptions and the way he always seems to sprinkle in these bits at the right times, creating an air of reflection and pausing at appropriate moments.

Read the full post on Live Write Thrive!