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email marketing, Bri Clark, Rachel Thompson, BadRedhead Media

 

Joe Brewer asks what a fiction writer can offer as an email subscriber list-building giveaway that isn’t merch. Information? Special stories just for the subscriber? We hear you Joe, so we asked Bri Clark to join us with three awesome tips for building an email list for fiction authors.

Here is a brief overview of the tips in the video below:

 

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From the smart people at Publishing Perspectives.

In What’s the Buzz by Edward Nawotka August 13, 2015 Leave a Comment

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Writer Pro is one of several recommended tools to help you keep your focus on the work at hand.

Robert Morris recommends seven apps to help today’s writers stop procrastinating, focus on the work at hand and boost their productivity.

By Robert Morris

Robert Morris

What’s the first thing today’s writers do when they want to stop procrastinating and boost their productivity? They search for the right online tools, websites, and apps. That’s a great way to waste more time without feeling guilty about it. However, you should never forget one thing: being productive means achieving more in less time.

Keeping that in mind, the following list of productivity tools should save you some time you would spend in trial and error. Start exploring them today!

Read the rest at Publishing Perspectives

 

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From the pages of Seekerville with guest Laura McNeill.

An author’s life is a delicate balance. Writing time is precious, and many times, difficult to come by. It’s especially true when you have children, a spouse, a full-time job, the laundry, and (for me) graduate school.

As the single mom of two boys, I’m often in the midst of writing, revising, or doing homework when I hear “Hey, mom?”

My younger child, who’s ten, will ask about an upcoming play date, a lost toy, or if I can help find the popcorn when he needs a snack. My older son, who’s 17, often wants the car keys, has a question about his upcoming college courses, or needs advice on installing anti-virus software on his computer.

I was thinking about balancing writing and interruptions while in church this morning. Interestingly, our pastor’s message hit home.  His message was “Made to Serve,” the fifth of a five-part series on popular summer movies. This week’s film, Pixar’s The Minions, tells the story of the adorable and precocious yellow creatures who seek the dastardliest villain on earth to obey.

Using the movie as a humorous example, our pastor’s point was this: We are created to serve. We are God’s workmanship, created in Jesus Christ to do good works – Ephesians 2:10. He spoke about Jesus setting an example for all of us—after all, the Son of God was never too busy to perform miracles. Jesus paused in the middle of a wedding celebration to serve the bride and groom, turning water into wine. And Mark 10: 48-49 tells us, Jesus stopped and said, “Call him,” taking time to cure Bartemaeus’ blindness on the way out of Jericho.

So, how do we, as authors, write and serve? Here are my thoughts about writing, goals, interruptions, and life:

– See more at: http://seekerville.blogspot.com/2015/07/on-writing-interruptions-blessings.html#sthash.dBfNI8us.dpuf

 

 

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Great advice by Kelly Marone from the good people at Writers Write

If you don’t implement proper social media tools in your daily routine, your efforts as a writer can remain unnoticed. Instead of thinking like a writer and waiting for readers to get interested in your work, you should think like a marketer and take action every day. In order to make your content attractive for a greater audience, you can use influential social media platforms.

Theses 30 tools will help you increase your popularity as a writer through a social media campaign.

 

Read the rest of Kelly Marone over at Writers Write

 

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From The Seekers at Seekerville, with guest Melissa Jagears.

 

I know I’m not the only one who has her eyes glaze over when reading influencers-who-also-happen-to-be-writers’ Amazon reviews. I’ll totally skip reviews that look like a writer (or a friend of the author) wrote them because that’s not what I’m looking for as a reader (or even as an author, frankly). So I’d like to share some things that make me bypass a writer’s review.

 

Fellow writers are necessary influencers, don’t get me wrong. But writers need to write their Amazon reviews so readers connect with them. When writing reviews, you need to remember what it was like when you used to be just a reader sharing your favorite book with another reader. Because when my eyes begin glazing over, or your review makes me think you’re the author’s friend, well . . . . that isn’t exactly conducive to persuading me to purchase the book. [A book review on a writer’s blog is different from a store product review which is what I’m addressing.]

 

The reason readers check out reviews before they purchase is to find the opinions of other readers. If I think a writer wrote it, I don’t trust them—even if you don’t know the author from Adam, I’m going to think you do. Because all authors know each other, right? Amazon sure believes we do, hence taking down reviews on other authors because we’re either sabotaging our competition or we’re BFFs working the system, of course! How I can spot a review written by a writer (Besides recognizing the name).

 

1) Writer-reviewers use story craft jargon.

 

Do you remember how lost you were when you joined your first group of writers and they casually chatted about GMCs, interior monologue, and backstory dumps? How many of you had to sheepishly ask, “What does Deep POV mean?”  NIX THE STORY CRAFT JARGON IN YOUR REVIEWS.

 

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From Amanda Patterson over at  Writers Write 

Do you have blogger’s block?

Even creative people get stuck when they’re trying to come up with ideas for a blog post. I thought I would put together a list of possible topics to inspire you. These are based on some of our blog posts at Writers Write and others I’ve enjoyed reading on the Internet.
Whether you blog daily, three times a week, or once a week, I hope that one of these are just what you need to break your blogger’s block.

 

 

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Another excellent article over at  ABC Copywriting by Tom Albrighton 8 June 2015 Copywriting, Tone of voice

You read with your eyes, and listen with your ears. But researchers have found that, when people read, they actually hear the sound of the words in their heads. So you read with your ears too, in a sense.

If that’s the case, the rhythm of your copy is a crucial part of its impact. If what you’re saying doesn’t ‘sound’ right to the reader, how likely are they to do what you want?

Animal_drums_2011To some extent, rhythm is one of those writing skills that just has to be learned over time. Through reading (any reading), practice and careful listening (of which more later), you learn to sense the pace and cadence of your words – and, more importantly, how to improve it.

For me, rhythm usually comes at the editing phase, not the first draft. I get the ideas down first, regardless of how gauche or grunty they sound, then go back and try to sculpt them into something more graceful. Of course, your mileage may vary. Maybe you put things like ‘[and one more]’ or ‘bom-tidde-pom’ as placeholders in your first draft, and hang your meaning on that rhythmic framework later on.

Once you got rhythm, don’t expect many compliments about it. Unless you’re deliberately aiming for an arrhythmic effect, the right rhythm will probably just sound natural and flowing, without drawing attention to itself. Actually, I think this is probably one of the aspects that clients are unconsciously responding to when they say work sounds ‘professional’, ‘punchy’ or just ‘good’. Conversely, the most irksome direct amends are often those that mess up the rhythmic flow.

Read the rest of this article over at  ABC Copywriting

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An excellent article over at  ABC Copywriting by Tom Albrighton

In a recent post, I noted that the term ‘storytelling’ is being applied to more and more types of content, not all of them proper stories. On top of that, there’s often an over-emphasis on the channels and media used for storytelling at the expense of the stories themselves. But all that begs the question: what does make a good story?

This post draws on academic research into political storytelling, and other sources, to argue that the most effective commercial stories share seven closely related characteristics: drama, familiarity, simplicity, immersion, relatability, agency and trust in the teller. (Discussion continues below infographic.)

What really makes a good story? (Infographic)

 

Drama

Stories need dramatic development and emotional dynamics. Taking out the ‘bad bits’ damages trust.

dramaAt the very broadest level, drama is the spark that animates all creative forms of advertising and marketing. First, you have to take the features of a product and ‘turn them outwards’ by expressing them as benefits. Then you need to dramatise those benefits in a compelling and convincing way.

Just as drama turns a benefit into a creative concept, so it turns a neutral sequence of events into a story. A story needs conflict and resolution; tension and release; mystery and revelation. There should be losses and gains, setbacks and comebacks, peaks and troughs. And, above all, a story should be about people: their dreams and desires; loves and hates; problems and passions.

If your story is a work of fiction, it should be relatively easy to create drama. If it’s factual, you may have to dig around, or use poetic licence, to give it the drama it lacks. Or your story may have too much drama, so that you’re tempted to tone it down to show the characters in the best possible light.

A brand telling its own story will usually prefer to dwell on its successes rather than its setbacks. Even in the age of social engagement, few brands are interested in proving their authenticity by admitting mistakes unless they absolutely have to. When it comes down to it, most brand stories amount to ‘it’s all good’.

Read the rest of this over at  ABC Copywriting

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

From the folks at Seekerville

By multi-published historical author Keli Gwyn!

I’m excited to be back in Seekerville. Ruthy invited me in response to a comment I left on her thought-provoking post, “Writing Contemporary vs.Historical Books: Must We Choose?”  Since I think Ruthy is the bee’s knees, I said yes.
Ruthy suggested I blog about giving a historical story a dated feel, a timely topic I was eager to explore.

In an April 16 post on the Bethany House blog, Ask Bethany House: WhatDo Editors Look For in a New Author?  BH editor Raela Schoenherr listed 13 items she looks for. I was excited to see this bullet point as the first in her “laundry list.”

  • Interesting, varied word choice and use of the English language in a way that is appropriate to era, setting, characters, etc.

As an author of historical romance, a command of period-appropriate language is important to me as well as my readers. It’s nice to see that it ranks so highly on an editor’s desired elements list as well.

But how does a writer go about creating that period-appropriate language? I have a few tips to share, but I wanted to give you more than I could come up with on my own.

Because my stories encompass only a narrow slice of history, I got brave and sent out a zillion emails to some of the best and brightest stars in inspirational historical romance, asking them to provide tips for their periods as well. The generous authors flooded my inbox with a wealth of information, resulting in a post so meaty that I’m issuing each of you a virtual steak knife and fork. Enjoy the feast!

Basic Tips for Creating Period-Appropriate Language

Here are eight techniques used by many writers of historical fiction.

– See more at: http://seekerville.blogspot.com/2015/06/41-tips-for-transporting-your-readers.html#sthash.FipGBzR2.dpuf

 

 

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I spent last weekend at CrimeFest in Bristol alongside lots of amazing crime authors, both traditionally published and indie authors. It was a fantastic time and I met some super people …

I found myself in a number of conversations with authors who wanted to know what their publishing options were in a fast-changing market.

indie authors crimefest 2015

We also had an indie author panel on the Sunday morning, which was packed full despite the morning-after-the-gala-dinner-graveyard slot.

In my intro, I pointed out that between us, we had sold over 500,000 books in five different languages in 66 countries, we are prize-winning and award-winning as well as New York Times and USA Today bestselling.

Oh yes, and contrary to what most seem to believe, we have print and audiobooks as well as ebooks … and all achieved without a publisher. Several of us even make pretty good money from selling books …

We were then asked to outline the negatives of going indie, since we were clearly all so positive about it!

So today, here are my pros and cons of being an indie author. I’d love to hear yours, or any questions, in the comments below.

 

Read the rest  at The Creative Penn

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