28 February, 2014

How to create a fun quiz for your book

By |2023-06-09T11:21:26-07:00February 28, 2014|Resources, Social Media, Writing|Comments Off on How to create a fun quiz for your book

No matter what your book is about you can easily come up with ten questions that relate to your book. Authors of fiction can create questions about the setting, characters and events in the book. Ask questions about small town living or inner city hazards for your hero or heroine. Whether your book is about finding a partner in a romance or solving a mystery, create a quiz about the situation.

Authors of non-fiction can create questions around a topic that would build interest in readers. For instance, if you were writing a book about public speaking you could ask the following questions.

How do your overcome your fear of speaking in front of groups?

Where do you find places to speak?

How do you promote your book in small group settings?

The great thing about creating a fun quiz for your book is that it stops people for a few seconds and gets them […]

23 February, 2014

Improve your writing by adding dialogue

By |2023-06-09T11:21:30-07:00February 23, 2014|Resources, Writing|Comments Off on Improve your writing by adding dialogue

Including dialogue in your writing, even for nonfiction pieces, is a powerful way to move your story or article forward and keep the reader’s interest.

The appeal of including conversation is that it brings the level of your writing down to a human level. While you can always be obtuse and convoluted in your conversations, it is probably not your natural way of speaking. When you talk with someone, you leave out 90% of the wild, descriptive phrases and get to the point.

Compare “Hey, Mom, I’m going to the store!” to the writer’s penchant for superfluous information.

Most dialogue consists of short sentences sandwiched in between longer ones. So, adding dialogue not only makes your article more active and stimulated but also gives it variety. That’s a good thing. Plus, dialogue can add a measure of warmth, passion and even humor.

“Want to give it a try?”

That one sentence has only six words, […]

23 January, 2014

Consistency is the key to book marketing success

By |2023-06-09T11:21:49-07:00January 23, 2014|Resources, Writing|Comments Off on Consistency is the key to book marketing success

It’s “the little drops of water, little grains of sand” system that creates wonderful writers.

It’s writing one sentence after the other and doing it over and over until you have 10,000 sentences and your book is done.

It’s writing a couple of comments every single day for a whole year until you have left your thumbprint on 100 blogs and over 700 posts.

It’s tweeting a tweet when you don’t feel like it, but you do it anyway and after days and weeks and months your name becomes known, your face becomes known and what you are writing about becomes noticed.

Consistency happens only with conscious, deliberate effort.

It takes an idea that is grand and glorious and breaks it down into steps and actionable moments. Step by step, day by day, in season and out of season you keep at it until the dream is manifested into reality.

Every author needs an author platform. […]

16 January, 2014

Why print newsletters can be more effective in keeping your fans connected

By |2023-06-09T11:22:01-07:00January 16, 2014|Marketing, Resources, Writing|Comments Off on Why print newsletters can be more effective in keeping your fans connected

The pendulum is swinging back. For the last five or ten years the push for authors to send out a digital newsletter was encouraged on every front. Turns out that it became so popular everyone did it. So much so that as email newsletters became more and more prolific, readers soon felt overwhelmed. In order to handle the load, people started filtering the emails into sorted files that rarely were opened or simply deleted them after a casual disinterested glance at the subject line.

Even though digital newsletters could be sent in full color, 84% of the browsers that received them had pictures and images turned off to guard against spam and viruses.  An email with plain text has to be pretty amazing to be read in this day and age of short attention spans.

As email turned into a chore and a headache, the delete key started being used with greater […]

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 […]

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. […]

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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