12 December, 2013

Christmas Publicity – Don’t knock it!

By |2023-06-09T11:23:12-07:00December 12, 2013|Marketing, Resources, Social Media|Comments Off on Christmas Publicity – Don’t knock it!

You may think it’s not ethical to do something “nice” and make money off of it at the same time. But if you had a choice between creating publicity through a nice project and simply creating some publicity, you’d probably choose the nice project every time.

The news is full of media darlings doing anything possible to get a little camera coverage. Instead of yelling and getting drunk or married or divorced in order to get attention, how about doing something nice?

WestJet Airlines created a bit of Christmas cheer with its latest publicity video. The airline asked 100 people on two different flights what they wanted for Christmas as they boarded the plane. Then the WestJet “elves” went into action to buy and wrap the gifts and fliers received them at baggage claim when they landed. The whole video is about six minutes, which is long for an […]

23 November, 2013

Setting the proper price point for your book

By |2023-06-09T11:23:19-07:00November 23, 2013|Marketing, Resources|Comments Off on Setting the proper price point for your book

As an author, you want to receive a fair price for your book. You’ve put in hours of hard work to get to the publication stage, and now that the book is ready, you must figure out the best price point for selling.

There is no hard and fast rule, but a good starting point is to research the prices of similar books on Amazon and in bookstores. Overpricing your book can be disastrous, but underpricing has its downfalls as well. Oftentimes publishers will put a printed price on the book cover, knowing that they plan to offer a discount for most of its selling history.

If you want your book to be sold in bookstores, pricing it too low may discourage bookstores from stocking it. Bookstores are interested in making a profit and if that profit is in pennies and nickels, then they are not going to bother with ordering your […]

21 November, 2013

10 Reasons why I am going to write today

By |2023-06-09T11:23:25-07:00November 21, 2013|Resources, Writing|Comments Off on 10 Reasons why I am going to write today

Remember the freelance writer who shared 10 reasons why she didn’t want to write. Well, surprisingly she has had a change of heart after settling down and meeting her latest deadline, and she has shared this list.

10 reasons why I am going to write today:

1. Surprise! I like to write. I really do. Once I get started, everything else fades around me and I lose myself in my writing. Don’t disturb me —  I’m writing!

2. My writing is improving. It is not happening overnight, but when I compare how I write today with how I wrote last year, I see a big improvement. In fact, when I use the “Spelling and Grammar” check on Word, it doesn’t find nearly as many mistakes as it used to. Apparently that little checker has been teaching me along the way.

3. I’m staying more connected with my friends. I have a blog and when […]

20 November, 2013

10 reasons why I’m not going to write today

By |2023-06-09T11:23:31-07:00November 20, 2013|Resources, Writing|Comments Off on 10 reasons why I’m not going to write today

You know the drill. You start out with a grand and noble idea to write every day without exception.  But, then things happen.

Your little brother and his wife and ten kids decide to visit for a month. When unexpected events occur, it’s perfectly understandable to reprioritize your schedule a bit.

Of course, you may find other excuses to not write — ones that are not so noble and that make it harder to explain why you didn’t quite meet that deadline. The following examples of excuses were shared by a freelance writer who has experienced those bad writing days.

10 reasons why I’m not going to write today:

1. Not enough time in the day. This needs no explanation. I just have a lot of other commitments that need to be done.

2. I don’t know what to write. My mind is blank. Nothing enters or leaves the black hole of my mind.

3. I […]

19 November, 2013

Every writer should use an editor

By |2023-06-09T11:23:36-07:00November 19, 2013|Resources, Writing|Comments Off on Every writer should use an editor

It’s been said before, it’s time to say it again: Every writer should use a professional editor before the final publication of a book.

In a recent guest post called “Why Do I Need an Editor” on BadRedHead Media, Janie Goltz explains why writers do not see their own mistakes. As a professional writer and editor, Goltz has a good perspective on writing and publishing. According to Goltz, there are three different kinds of editing and the costs of an editing job range from low to high.

When you write something, it has the potential to last for a long time. Therefore, it’s best to present yourself and your work in a favorable light when you are published. Poor grammar may be excusable in text or Facebook messages, but when a possible new employer is looking you up on the Internet, it’s not such a good thing.

You may have a scintillating […]

17 November, 2013

5 easy tips to lower your Flesch-Kincaid readability Score

By |2023-06-09T11:23:41-07:00November 17, 2013|Resources, Writing|Comments Off on 5 easy tips to lower your Flesch-Kincaid readability Score

How simple and clear is your writing?

Does it make a difference?

Steve Sjuggerud’s writes an investment letter called, “The True Wealth.” He shared in an article for AWAI that one of the biggest reasons he has such a high subscription and renewal rate for his letter (over 70,000 subscribers) is because of its ease in reading.

He explains in the article, How to Improve the Clarity of Your Writing by Michael Masterson, that he found there was “a direct relationship between simplicity and success.” In an informal test he rated a large number of Agora’s writers on a grading scale recommended by Michael. What he discovered surprised him. “There was a direct relationship between simplicity and success. The writers who had the lowest Flesch-Kincaid scores had the highest renewal rates.”

If simple writing makes a dramatic difference in investment letters which are read by a higher-than-average educated reader, what does […]

16 November, 2013

Use this free Google tool to improve your website loading time

By |2023-06-09T11:23:44-07:00November 16, 2013|Marketing, Resources|Comments Off on Use this free Google tool to improve your website loading time

Amazon did some tests a while back and found that removing seconds from the load time of a web page resulted in more sales.

If your site is slow to load, a lot of visitors simply will not bother to wait. That means all your efforts of writing great blog posts, offering a free download and showcasing everything you have to offer are wasted.

You may not notice how slow your website loads because your computer caches images from previous visits, but a first time visitor will have to wait the full loading time.

Check out your website speed with a free tool from Google. PageSpeed Insights.

Start by checking your home page and other landing pages on your website.

Images take up the most bandwidth on your site but are the easiest to fix in increasing your site’s load time. Are you guilty of any of these three problems?

1. Too many images per […]

5 November, 2013

Writing for the Christian fiction market

By |2023-06-09T11:24:14-07:00November 5, 2013|Marketing, Resources, Writing|Comments Off on Writing for the Christian fiction market

How do Christian fiction books differ from your straight, run-of-the-mill fiction books?

Here are characteristics of most Christian fiction books:

1. An element of faith inspires the main character’s decisions throughout the story.

2. A sparing but appropriate use of Bible quotes — usually two or three that fit the story.

3. Evil exists in the story, but there are no graphic descriptions of sex, murder, and other deviant behaviors.

4. The ending leaves one feeling encouraged and trusting that life will work out for the better.

5. Language is clean with no swearing or violent words. For instance, a character might be described as “swearing a blue streak,” but the actual cursing words are left out.

Don’t be misled into thinking that because the book has a Christian or faith element you can get away with half-baked writing. Christian readers are as critical as other readers in wanting good plots, well-crafted story structure, and believable dialogue. […]

4 November, 2013

Can’t figure out social media and don’t want to? Sell books the old-fashioned way

By |2023-06-09T11:24:30-07:00November 4, 2013|Marketing, Resources, Social Media|Comments Off on Can’t figure out social media and don’t want to? Sell books the old-fashioned way

It may seem like the only way to sell a lot of books is to use social media. There is texting, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and a thousand other social programs with a new one launching every week.  Should you use each one or select just one?  Or, is it possible to sell books the old-fashioned way with simple word of mouth?

Granted social media is an integral part of communication today, I am here to say there is still a place for word-of-mouth communication.  Calling someone on the phone and sharing about your book may seem like an ancient process used by authors who lived in the pre-digital era, but a one-on-one conversation can still have some amazing results.

There is something to be said for a conversation between two people that is not immediately broadcast around the globe.There is something valuable in a conversation that goes no further than the moment […]

3 November, 2013

Grammar tips: Capitalization of nouns for authors

By |2023-06-09T11:24:36-07:00November 3, 2013|Resources, Writing|Comments Off on Grammar tips: Capitalization of nouns for authors

Nouns are words that name a person, place, thing, or idea.

Person: If it’s a specific name, like Joe, Jane, or Sparky, the name is capitalized. However, if the noun is general such as a boy, girl, doctor or lawyer, then the nouns are not capitalized. It can become a bit complicated when referring to parents or close relatives. If you are talking about your mother, the name is not capitalized. But if you are talking “to” your mother or father, the name is capitalized. So in writing dialogue, your subject might say, “Hi, Mom. What’s for dinner?” But if your subject is talking to a friend about their mom, then the noun is not capitalized. “Yeah, my mom always insists on cooking spinach at least once a week. Yuck!”

The same thing is true of offices like senator, president, king, or pope. You may refer to “the pope” or “the president” […]


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