Improving Your Writing Skills & Marketing

Bookpleasures' is excited to bring you some excellent articles on how to improve your writing skills and other topics related to writing. Check these out. I am sure you will find them very useful.

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    Hi, folks! My name's Dane Cobain and I'm an indie author, and today I'm here to talk to you about something that's close to my heart. You see, one of the good things about the internet is that it's now easier than ever for writers to release their books and to get them out into the waiting hands of their readers, and that's a good thing.

    Marsha Friedman Discusses How To Squeeze The Most Out Of  Every Print Appearance 

    For most of history, writers have been able to hide behind their words and only be judged on their merit and talent rather than impressions and appearances. Classic works such as “Jane Eyre” have only been able to rise to the top thanks to this possibly for anonymity.

    Today, however, things are very different. If you don’t have a website, Twitter account and group of fans that have formed a small community, then some will say you haven’t even begun to “make it” as a writer. Now, an author’s online presence is almost equally as important as the very words they commit to the page.


    I have an idea for a story that begins with the death of an aged town eccentric who was known to be wealthy, but never used a bank. For years people have told stories of him roaming his eight weedy acres during the night, carrying a shovel, and burying ‘things’ here and there and then shuffling through the darkness back to his gone-to-seed home.


    When talking about the craft of writing I’ve found that most of the ground has been covered extensively. With the hundreds of workshops and writing schools that proliferate the known universe just about every aspect of writing has been talked about and analyzed. The basic elements of story, plot, theme, style are now commonly referred to when discussing everything from writing for the screen, a web series, fiction, TV and theater.




    Author & Journalist Mary Louis Kelley Discusses The Topic Concerning Book Tours and Their Value



    There are a lot of articles across the interweb (and if it's on your computer, it must be true!) about which is better – traditional publishing or epublishing.

    Oddly, they seem to come down across party lines: people who are traditionally published, or who work for large publishing houses, tend to say that trad-pub is the way to go; people who have their work primarily on Kindles and Nooks and iPads and Smashwords scream about the future of epub and the death of print.

    Michaelbrent Collings Discusses How To Deal With Bad Reviews

    Does writer’s block exist? For more than 60% of writers it does, according to our survey at Stop Procrastinating, the productivity website and website blocker. But as with most conditions there’s a spectrum where some writers may find it difficult to write for a few hours or days and all they need is to adjust their way of thinking, while for other writers the problem may have set in for longer.



    Long ago, when I was taking my first uncertain steps as a writer, a successful and much older novelist told me, by way of instruction, “Fiction is shorthand.” I didn’t quite grasp her meaning, but over time the truth of this beautiful reduction became clearer and clearer to me, until I had embraced it as gospel.

    Want to Sell Books? SKIP the Book Store! How to Get a Sales Force of 65,000 Reps to Sell Your Book Contributed To Bookpleasures.com By Scott Lorenz



    You probably don’t think about editors when you first sit down to write. You’re driven by the strength of an idea, you’re in love with words and ideas, eager to see them pour from your keyboard or pencil tip. You may be immobilized, intimidated by a blank page or screen. Either way, you begin to write your story or make your claim and you may realize that you already have an editor — perhaps more than one — perching on your shoulder.

    There are several good reasons why writers should invest the time and effort required to attend writers’ conferences.

    Fan Fiction is a great way for aspiring authors to hone their craft. Amanda Hocking started out writing fan fiction and she was signed to a multimillion dollar book deal. Fifty Shades of Grey author E. L. James started writing fan fiction after she finished reading the Twilight saga, and hasn't stopped since. Here's a list of 21 Fan Fiction sites for authors to consider.

    Once you've got a venue figured out, and know what sort of event you're going to host, it's time to start promoting it to your fans and readers! You want to use all of your channels of communication to talk about the event.

    Signings and author appearances, while a great way to connect with and build your audience, can be hard to set up. Many authors in town will want to read at the Barnes and Noble, or the quirky indie store, and their calendars will fill up months in advance. So, hosting your own events, at a coffee shop or someone's apartment, can be worthwhile, especially at the beginning of your writing career.

    This isn't going to be another screed about losing personal connections because we're all online. It's totally possible to make valuable friendships and work relationships in both arenas, and most of us do that. This column will be one of two pieces that focuses on how and where to go to find people in person who might be interested in your book and how to make the most of those relationships.

    As a writer, one of the biggest limitations you face is time—or rather, the lack of it. It’s rare to find a writer, especially of fiction, who has all the time he or she wants to work. That means that an efficient writer has a huge advantage over those who wind up frittering away their writing time.

    Now that you have your story line or plot for your novel, you need to people it with characters to make it more interesting to readers.  

    Here are some things to think about when naming your characters. 

    Blurb marketing is the art of crafting a brief message and communicating that message to a large targeted audience quickly. The message can be an announcement of a launch, re-launch, promotion, special offer or any form of communication directly to an audience. Blurbs are a marketing tool that have been used and perfected by major publishers and bestselling authors for years.


    In the American classic film Field of Dreams, the spirits urge Kevin Costner's character, "if you build it, they will come." Many emerging, and established, authors soon find, though, that it takes more to generate interest in their books online than simply creating a book, being ready to answer questions about it, and building a web and social media presence. Often, with so many new, quality titles available, writers need to go out and participate with their audience, where their readers are already gathering. 

    Tips On Developing Creative Content for Social Media Updates



    Warren Adler Shares His Views On Writing Sex Scenes for the Non-Genre Novelist

    JoAnne Myers Points Out the Pros and Cons About Self-Publishing

    JoAnne Myers Gives Us Some Excellent Tips On Writing Mystery

    Author JoAnne Myers offers some useful tips on writing true crime

    As a book publicist I am here to inform you that yes, they absolutely do matter! In fact, one of my clients won the prestigious Los Angeles Book Festival award. That then led to a flurry of media interest, which subsequently led to a major New York agent deciding to represent the book and pitch it to all the major publishing houses. Deals are in the offing. This author, needless to say, is happy he decided to enter.

    Writing a how-to business book or CEO memoir has become a recognized tool for business professionals marketing and branding themselves and their companies. It helps them establish their expertise while sharing useful information appreciated by readers. Plus, it can introduce them to a vast new audience of potential customers.


    One of the best parts about writing in the Young Adult genre is it allows writers to create characters that inspire, well, young adults. In fact, it should be expected that if you write in the Young Adult genre, at some point a young adult is going to pick up your book and be inspired by your characters

    Success leaves clues.  If you seek the tools for writing a New York Times self-help best seller, look no further than a new NYT best seller, called, appropriately enough, The Tools.

    Phil Stutz and Barry Michels are Los Angeles therapists who have written an outstanding book encapsulating their approach to guiding their patients to successful living.  The book is a tutorial for people who want a better life.  It’s also a tutorial on how to organize and write a great book.  So let’s take a look at the tools Stutz and Michels use that you can put to work in your book.


    The value of information, when provided to others, is that it is acted upon. If the government learns of a terrorist plot, it takes action to foil it. If a doctor receives lab results of a patient indicating pre-diabetes exists, he seeks to treat the patient. If a parent learns her child is struggling with her class work, she talks to the school and seeks a solution.  But what about when book readers are given the facts, statistics, and cogent arguments of experts for the resolution of a major issue, such as curbing alcohol addiction, improving our diet, or decreasing gun violence? Once, as a reader, you take in this information, what can -- and should – you do as a result?

    Are you the type of person who writes a sentence and then spends 10 minutes thinking about it? "Is that the best word?" you wonder. "Does this flow from the previous sentence?" "Is that pronoun in the right place?"


    It seems so…unliterary.  But publishing houses despise authors and are doing everything they can to make their lives miserable.  Here’s why.


    New Year’s will be here before you know it. Find a way to commit to your progress as a writer. Make it personal, but make it meaningful as well.


    Do you ever struggle with writer’s block? Here are 10 ways to tame that monster!



    Are you a victim? Do you feel as though life has been unfair to you and if you could only write about, let the world know how tough things have been for you, the story would be a best seller? Some writers look at memoir this way – a chance to tell all about the abuse they have suffered. All you have to do is look at the shelves of memoirs at your local bookstore to see they are chock full of terrible stories – abusive childhoods; terrible marriages and/or divorces; sex, drugs, and rock and roll experiences that didn’t turn out well; catastrophic health nightmares, to name a few. It’s time someone tell the truth about that scumbag spouse, those uncaring doctors, that vicious teacher from 8th grade.

                               

                                                                                            

    John S. Rizzo & V. Michael Santoro

    Imagine Amazon sending you business leads regularly and even paying you to do so. Why would they do it?




    Starting a critiquing group? New to critiquing? When people are just learning how to critique, I don’t throw a long list of items for them to consider. I start them off gently, a little at a time. We begin with listening to the author read his or her poem, story, etc. While they listen, they take pen to paper and note what they liked about the following items – by jotting down a word or two about each

    If your writing is blocked or too slow, even though you've scheduled lots of writing time for yourself, then try something different. Tell yourself that you are allowed to write for only "x" number of minutes per day or per week. (You, of course, get to decide what X represents, but make it slightly smaller than you think reasonable.)


    We face a clean sheet of paper (or computer screen) and begin our stories and poems – starting tabula rasa. But are we really? Is it a clean slate in front of us? Are our characters pure before we bring them into being? And what about the plot of our stories or point of our poems? Do they just pop out of the ethereal ether? What is the role of the muse if not to bestow upon us eureka experiences to write about?


    Lilly Ledbetter’s Memoir and Everyday Language


    If you’re reading this column, you’re likely already a fan of the Internet. But do you use it to full advantage for all your wordsmithing? Here are a few sites I highly recommend:



    You think it’s tough to find time to write? You haven’t met Melissa Fay Greene, author of numerous books: Praying for Sheetrock, Finalist for the 1991 National Book Award and a New York Times Notable book; The Temple Bombing; There Is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Her Country's Children and her latest, No Biking in the House Without a Helmet.


    A good title not only draws readers in, but it can also be the actual start of the piece you are writing or can allude to some crucial meaning hidden in the writing. A good title is as important as your opening line, paragraph, or page – it should catch the attention of the reader as well as providing some insight as to what is coming.




    If you are a Jewish author or specialize in writing about Jewish issues, you should consider reviewing this list of book fairs in the Jewish community. Book fairs are excellent places for authors to interact with the public as well as network with book industry leaders, publicists, and book editors.

    In 2010 book publishing changed forever when Apple launched the iPad, a digital reading device that officially heralded the dismantling of the big publisher model that has been dominant for more than sixty years. A new bench mark was created and a universal platform has been established that allows every writer, publisher and business to profit without having to rely on a major publishing company Welcome to the new world of electronic publishing! Here are the three major trends in book publishing today.


    Will all of these specific tips work for you? Maybe, maybe not. But invest an hour or two in getting your hard drive better organized and I guarantee you'll see your productivity soar.




    In a rut with your writing? Bored with your sentences, your descriptions, your characters? Is your writing starting to feel contrived? It may be times to shake things up.


    It is, of course, possible for a self-published book to "breakthrough" to the fame and fortune category but by and large the self-published author's success will be measured by what can best be described as, "circles of interest," those networks of various dimensions made up of people who share the author's interests and appreciate his or her talents.


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