Posts Tagged ‘true story’

Spaces, Routines and Rituals…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

On Wednesday’s I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

Writing Spaces, Routines and Rituals

When writing my first book I used a PC. We kept that computer in one of our extra bedrooms. Back then I had a writing schedule and I didn’t have any trouble sticking with that schedule. I would get up an hour earlier each morning, make a cup of tea and I would sit down and write for an hour before going to work. I would spend another hour, writing at night. If there were no family events to attend, Saturdays were dedicated to writing.

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A little bit of fragging…

Traci has taken the reins at Friday Fragments!

Welcome to Friday Fragments. If you haven’t fragged before, Friday Fragments is a place to share those thoughts, quips, and tidbits that don’t quite make a whole post, e.g. fragments or frags. I host every Friday and would love for you to join in. Please link up and visit other Fraggers.

http://www.astarinmyownuniverse.com/2015/10/08/friday-fragments-16-2/

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My week was pretty unremarkable until yesterday.

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And The Title Goes To…

The first Wednesday of every month is officially:

Insecure Writer’s Support Group day #IWSG

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Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your writing doubts and the fears you have or have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

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The Perfect Book Length…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publication, marketing and writing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us…

How long should a book be?

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What’s Your Style?

                                                        Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

 

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publication, marketing and writing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us…

                                                   

                                                       What’s your Style?

Style

 

Our writing style refers to the manner that we authors choose to tell our stories to our readers. Our style is defined by our voice, word choice and our tone.

There are four basic literary styles. The Argumentative style is one in which the writer tells the reader about a person, place or thing and leaves out his or her personal opinion on the topic. This is the style professional journalist should use.

The Descriptive style is when the writer describes their characters, events and places in great detail. Sometimes this type of writing style is poetic and it can also include sensory details.

Writing style

Persuasive style is a style the writer uses to persuade the reader to believe and support his or her point of view.

The Narrative style is exactly what it sounds like. The writer tells a story.

What’s your style?

Happy writing,

Doreen

Mind your Social Media Manners…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

On Wednesday’s I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

Social Media Manners

What in the world did we do with our time before social media? I for one was definitely more productive writing wise and my house was much cleaner than it is now. I have a feeling that social media caused the cancelling of most daytime soap operas. Why watch scripted on T.V. when we can scroll through non-stop reality.

Whatever negative side effects social media might have it does have equal and opposite positive effects as well. For me I have never felt so much a part of so many completely different communities as I do now. Writers/Bloggers truly are the most supportive, genuine and friendly people I have ever known.

Because it is the start of a new season I thought this would be a good time to share some social media etiquette and tips that I have learned over the years, some of them the hard way.

Young and the Restless

It is social media not sell media. There are many companies out there that will take your money and instruct you to auto post the same posts across all of your social media platforms. Posts like ‘BUY my book’ ‘Must Read’ 500- 5 star reviews.’ Then there are those direct messages you receive thirty seconds after you follow someone. The requests to, buy my book, like my page, follow my blog and don’t forget to favorite and share this message. These companies will fill your head with numbers that sound important but they are useless. Social media is about being social and making real connections. Automatic cross posting and constant selling will leave people thinking you are lazy and unapproachable and they will keep scrolling.

money lock box

Once you post it, it cannot be erased. In 2015 this is still important. If you are not sure about posting or responding to something take the time to think about it before you post or respond.

Ignore Posts that offend you. It would be great if we never had to lay eyes on or hear anything that offends us but when it comes to social media we are going to see plenty. It always feels good to be part of a ‘do good’ mob but choose your mobs wisely. Don’t take someone’s dislike of children or pets so personally and just scroll on. Trust me your mood will be better if you just ignore and scroll on. If they persist and you have trouble ignoring the offensive posts you can hide them, disable notifications from that person or un-friend them.

You owe no one an explanation to unfriend/unfollow. There is never a need to post things like ‘I am cleaning up my friend list.’ Just unfollow quietly and move on.

In 2015 it is still a bad idea to vague post, chronically complain, over share and post in clumps, frequently. ‘I am so upset’ ‘Some people need to just shut up and you know who you are.’(My personal least favorite) If you share someone’s post or article always write something personal about it such as why you liked it or didn’t like it. I can’t believe people still get upset when someone shares what they have posted. That is the gold people. It is all about the sharing.

Social Media

Do not post spoilers. Be considerate of our friends in different time zones. If you cannot wait to talk about that winner or scene, take it private.

Limit rants. Sometimes a good rant can be healthy and prompt positive conversation. It is a good idea to only post them occasionally.

Never use more than two hashtags in one post.

The buzz about you, your book or your blog should NEVER come from you. This is simple; you only gain credibility when other people post, talk about or share your work. That doesn’t mean you cannot share exciting information or big news. There is a difference between good news and overselling.

If you wouldn’t say it to someone in person don’t say it on social media. It is a good idea to stop and think before reacting on social media. There is a way to say and mean what you want to say without being mean. We are writers, right?

It is okay to discuss politics and religion. Discuss is the key word here. We should always respect each other’s views or beliefs even if they are different from our own, especially if we have no idea what is behind those views. Discussion and debate are healthy. Headlines, talking points and surveys are annoying. Most people have their minds made up when it comes to religion and politics. Your post will not ever change their mind so stick to reality, discussion and healthy debate.

Do you have any to add to this list?

Happy writing,

Doreen

Quotes Writing

 

 

 

 

 

To Editor or Not…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

On Wednesdays I like to share information I picked up on my journey to being published, marketing my first book, editing and preparing to be published again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then…

If you like the information I hope you will share it!

It’s the first Wednesday of the month so it’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

Our awesome co-hosts today are Julie Flanders, Murees Dupé, Dolorah at Book Lover, Christine Rains, and Heather Gardner!

For more information, A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT and to sign up…

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com

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Professional Editing

You have created an outline, a proposal, plotted your story, developed your characters, and written your first draft, edited, revised and ended up with a second draft. You had that draft read and critiqued and wrote your third draft. You are sure that in this draft:

You have used few if any adverbs

Removed the word ‘very’ from the entire MS

Taken out every word, sentence or phrase that is not relevant to the story and your critique partner says the story flows nicely, the points are clear and concise and the story is interesting. You have polished and feel confident (even if just a teeny bit because writers are not known to be the most confident type.) Congratulations you are ready to hire a professional editor!

Do I need a professional editor? Yes you do.

I can’t afford a professional editor? If you want to make writing your career then you must treat it like a business. When starting any new business financial investment is necessary for success. It is the same in the book business.

Where do you find a professional book editor? Ask your Facebook or other social media friends, do a Google search or ask other writers. Once you receive a couple of referrals they will probably ask you for a few chapters of your MS to do a sample edit for you. They will return it with suggestions and offer you a contract or they will pass. Before signing a contract make sure it includes time frame (both ways,) charges and how they are calculated and the editor’s method.

How much will it cost? If you are a starving, new writer you may be able to find a starving new editor who will be more than willing to negotiate a great price for you and do a great job for you in exchange for a reference. The average rate is $30-$65 an hour (10 pages per hour, a page being 250 words.) Well established editors with a client list of best sellers will charge much more. This is why you want your MS in the best shape you can get it before it goes to the editor. The fewer changes needed equal less time and that means less money out of your pocket.

What exactly does an editor do? Besides suggesting corrections for grammar, punctuation, technical elements and spelling your editor will organize your MS for the greatest impact and clarity. They will make sure all of your conclusions are supported and that you did not overuse certain words. A good editor knows what publishers are looking for, what readers expect and is able to balance that with what the author wants to say. A good editor will enhance your work and challenge you as a writer.

Your path from writer to successful author will be much shorter with a good editor in your tribe.

Happy Writing,

Doreen

Write Drunk, Edit Sober.~Earnest Hemingway

Your tribe keep those wierdos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing for Author Events…

WRITING WEDNESDAY

Typewriter Pink

On Wednesdays I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

As much as I intend to stay in the moment and enjoy every single second left of summer it is time to plan for the fall, winter and spring.

Florida Does Beach Feet

If you are like me, achieving your writing goals is nearly impossible during the summer. Having a book to market, a new one coming out this fall and writing another has kept me busy and I didn’t quite meet my goals so of now I am in panicked catch-up mode.

How did you do with your writing goals over the summer?

I have a few author events coming up and I need to start preparing for them so I thought I would share what I’ve figured out with you.

Preparing for Author Events

I’ve been reading a lot lately about authors that no longer want to do book signings because they have no luck with them. While I agree that there are times when no matter what you do to prepare for the event people just don’t show up and other times there can be a line out the door.

What I have learned is there are things you can do to improve your chances for a successful event. The fact is publishers are not doing much these days to market and or promote their authors. Book stores depend on the author to bring the crowd to their store. It is up to us to advertise; market and promote ourselves.

Two months before the event:

Contact the community relations manager (CRM) and ask if they have ordered your books from their distributor or if they need you to supply them. Ask if he/she sends out press releases and if they do provide them with your bio, high definition book cover and author photos. I always send my own press releases too.

Barnes and Noble

Most newspapers have an event calendar online that you can add your information to. Place a series of ads in your local newspaper or magazine advertising the event. Ads can be pricey so ask about specials or discounts and check the rates of large and small publications. You don’t want the ads to run sooner than two-weeks before the event but they may have to be ordered weeks in advance.

Create and order postcards. I use Vista Print and use my book cover, author photo and the bookstore’s logo or a photo of the front of their store. Ask the CRM if they will put the postcards on their counters.

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Create a Facebook event. I always mention that I have a gift for the first ten people that buy the book. I get ten gift bags from a dollar store and pens, candy, small notebooks, bookmarkers and other small items from Sam’s or BJ’s. It doesn’t have to be much and the ten small bags with bows look nice on your table.

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Send pitches to your local TV and radio show producers.

Six weeks before the event:

Send out an announcement to your e-mail list. Add the event to your website/blog and check with local bloggers to see if they will do an ad for you on their blog. These can be as inexpensive as $15.00 a month. Some will offer to do a write up and a review as well.

Mail postcards to everyone you know, friends, family and co-workers. Ask them to spread the word.

Book Signing Postcard

One Month before the event:

Think about how you will set your table up. You may want to bring a table cloth that matches your book cover, business cards, bookmarkers, a stand to put your book or poster on and a big bowl of candy. I put a sign up on my table that says ‘Meet the Author.’ Believe it or not sometimes people just have no idea what you are doing there.

Attend one or two author events at the store and network while you are there.

Big Blue Marble Book Store

If you can afford to hire a professional photographer to take photos during the event it can create a lot of interest in you and your book.

Write an announcement for the store to use. I write three so they aren’t repetitive.

Two weeks before the event:

Follow up with whoever you invited. Place reminder calls. Create social media posts. Do not post about the event more than once a day. It can annoy people. Two or three times a week is plenty.

What are you going to wear? Whatever you decide on it should be business casual.

The Event:

Plan to arrive ½ hour early so you have plenty of time to set up your table and deliver the announcement you wrote to the person who will be doing the announcing.

Bring a small gift for the CRM. One of the small gift bags is fine.

Get out from behind your table and mingle. Always have a book in your hand. If someone ask you what the book is about hand them the book with the back cover up and invite them to read the synopsis.

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No matter how many people show up, have fun. I once had a signing and only two people showed up. One of them was the host of a radio show, she invited me on her show and I sold dozens of books because of that appearance.

Ask the CRM if you can sign a few books to leave in the store. Post on social media that you left signed copies at the store.

After the event:

Send a thank you card to the CRM and let him/her know that you are available for future events, author panels etc.

Good luck and happy writing,

Doreen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elevator Pitches…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

On Wednesdays I like to share information I picked up along my journey to being published, marketing my first book, editing and preparing to be published again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then…

If you like the information I hope you will share it!

Elevator Speeches/Pitches

At a recent workshop, one of the presenters challenged us to stand up and give a 30-second elevator speech or pitch on our writing, business etc…

I volunteered and my speech was awful. It was time to come up with a new one.

People conversing

 

Imagine stepping on the elevator at a large writers or blogging conference and standing next to you is one of the most sought after literary agents in the business. It would be normal to feel tongue tied and nervous but these opportunities are few and far between so you should be prepared.

Elevator Pitch

 

An elevator speech is a 30-60 second summary of your book or your blog. The point of the speech or pitch is NOT tosell anything; the point is to get the recipient to want to know more, to start a conversation with you and to ask you for more information and a submission.

Have you ever stumbled for words when someone asks you what you do, what do you blog about, what is your book about? I have and it always leaves me feeling so unprofessional.

Coming up with 30-60 seconds that answers who, what, when, why and where is not easy. As uncomfortable as it can be you must practice it out loud until your pitch feels and sounds natural not rehearsed. You also want to have two or three versions so you can adjust for the audience and practice, practice and practice.

Keep in mind that 9 out of ten times while you are trying to sell someone they are not listening to you. They are trying to come up with a way to sell something to you, so you have about 5 seconds to make enough of an impact so they actually listen to you.

not listening

A few tips:

Don’t give spoilers

Don’t go into plots or characters

Give the title and genre

Be enthusiastic

What do you offer?

Present a call to action towards the end

End with a question that requires more than a yes or no to answer

Avoid buzzwords ex: out of the box, streamline, awesome etc…

Try to come up with a word or a phrase that will help the recipient remember your name and the title of your book or blog.

Practice, practice and practice

And finally, smile and be prepared to answer follow-up questions after you give your speech.

Do you have an elevator speech and if so do you have any tips?

If you give me your best pitch in 140 characters and your twitter user name I will tweet them out throughout the month.

Happy Writing,

Doreen

My elevator speech for The Stranger In My Recliner [Fall 2015]

My husband brought  home an 80-year-old homeless woman one night. She stayed with us for 2 1/2 years. What happened was so ridiculous, heartbreaking, frustrating and hysterical I had to tell the story.

Sophie Book Cover

 

 

 

Politically Correct or Not…

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means it is:

Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day

IWSG badge 2

I am SO excited to be co-hosting this month along with Nancy Gideon, Bob R Milne, Chrys Fey, Bish Denham, and Pat Garcia!

Post your thoughts on your own blog. Write about your writing doubts and the fears you have or have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group as well as the other co-hosts and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers at all stages of writing.

To join us, sign up here:

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

Visit our Facebook Page here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13

Twitter: #IWSG

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Wednesday is also Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Writing Wednesday is the day I like to share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publishing to marketing my first book and then doing it again. The type of information I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

Politically Correct or Not

My summer was so laid back. I was relaxing and enjoying the slow pace and occasionally working on my third book, anxiously awaiting the final proofs and the release date for my second book.

Bench

And then it happened. Somebody posted something that I knew was not true and going against that little voice screaming from deep down inside of me, I went about trying to prove that person wrong. It got ugly fast and I wasn’t the only one that day whose comment and inboxes were flooded with the ugliest, hateful and most vial messages.

I was so hurt and angry with myself for falling into that trap and going against my own rules of not getting too awfully deep with politics or religion on my blog or on social media.

eye-crying

What happened to the art of debating? There were rules. You stick to the issue and the facts. You don’t get personal. We accepted defeat gracefully or we accepted to agree to disagree. Now it seems we are not happy until we have driven the last nail in the coffin of the person that dared to offend us just by having a different opinion than our own.

Last week I saw posts that wished evil things on our president and other posts that called half of the women in America f*&@ing idiots.

I’m not sure if I am more embarrassed or more frightened for our country. I am definitely worried about the example some women in prominent positions and older women are setting for younger women. They are watching, listening and paying attention.

My Grand girls

How do you decide what is appropriate or not appropriate for your blog, social media or writing in general?

Happy writing,

Doreen

Quote always be kind

 

 

 

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