An Excerpt from Creating Compelling Openings Part II by Richard Goodman at Gotham Writers’ Workshops and WritingClasses.com

See on Scoop.itWriting “Rightly”

Billy Wilder: 10 Screenwriting Tips

Penelope‘s insight:

 

This is Part II of “Creating Compelling Openings” from The Gotham Writers’ Workshop.  I enjoy critiqueing various opening lines in stories and seeing what works and what doesn’t. If you can create a compelling “hook” right at the onset of your tale, you will bring the reader into your world and he/she will be drawn into your written world.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

“He saw her from the bottom of the stairs. Before she saw him.”

Wow. Can’t you just feel the tension in that one from  Robert Frost’s “Home Burial”?

How about the infamous Ernest Hemingway? His justly-famous short story, “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” begins this way:

“It was late and every one had left the café except an old man who sat in the shadow the leaves of the tree made against the electric light. In the day time the street was dusty, but at night the dew settled the dust and the old man liked to sit late because he was deaf and now at night it was quiet and he felt the difference.”

 A beginning can indicate what we should be looking for, be prepared to think about, and to see in a story. How we should focus our attention. Read the entire article for some additional story openings that will leave you wanting for more.

 *****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing Rightly”*****

 Link to the original article: http://www.writingclasses.com/FacultyBios/facultyArticleByInstructor.php?ArticleID=111

 

See on www.writingclasses.com

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized, WRITING TIPS

Social Media: 5 Identifiers to Strengthen Your Brand

See on Scoop.itEBook Promotion and Marketing

Today’s post is courtesy of Suzan Czajkowski, M.A., founder and owner of the online marketing and communication firm MyCommCoach.

 

Penelope‘s insight:

Strengthen your brand, your books, and yourself as an author using social media!

Here are a few new tactics I haven’t yet seen–simple yet highly effective.

From customizing your URL, to using consistent visuals and including your website link. It could help to have a second set of eyes to give you honest feedback about what they see when they look at your author brand.

Authors love to write, but when it comes to the specialty of promoting, we often don’t think through all the little nuances that will strengthen our brand in the eyes of our readers.

These are quick tweaks that are easy to implement.

 

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”*****

Link to the original article: http://smpsboston.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/social-media-5-identifiers-to-strengthen-your-brand/?goback=.gde_1773264_member_207084845

 

 

 

See on smpsboston.wordpress.com

Leave a Comment

Filed under Promotional Methods, Uncategorized

Gothic Tale of Terror “The Roses of the Moon I, Mara” – Book Review

Mara by Alyne de Winter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The author weaves a spellbinding and utterly be-witching tale of a young girl caught up in a magical yet dangerous world. Alyne de Winter, author of several other gothic tales, The Lady in Yellow and Roses, Briars and Blood: A Gothic Re-telling of Sleeping Beauty: Revised Edition (Gothic Faery Tales) has taken us back in time to a world of a moonlit, rose-covered castle, Turks, lords, ladies, brave warriors, gods, gypsies, spells, superstitions and witchcraft.

As I read and became totally immersed in the story of our heroine, Mara, I also felt acute pain for her and her dismal surroundings. It is hard to imagine how such a young girl could survive the daily frightening experiences here. Mara is sensitive, and only nine years old with terrible, ongoing nightmares brought about by the horrible sounds and cries in the night that echo through the walls of Castle Szeppasszony. At age 16, Mara is moved into the Countess’s wing of the castle, only to uncover the source of her nightmares and her mother’s terrible secrets. She experiences extreme loneliness, pain and horror. It seems that the weird happenings inside the Castle Szeppasszony and the Trefoil Tower will never come to an end.

This book will take you on a journey of your imagination that you will not soon forget. You will also experience all that this young girl lived through in this dark, dank castle of secrets in the mountains of 17th Century Hungary. Mara also has her own secrets, and we will soon discover right along with her, the truth as she peels back the layers of her past in this wildly engaging tale.

View all my reviews

Leave a Comment

Filed under BLOG, BOOK REVIEWS, Kindle Books

Help! My Book Isn’t Selling. 10 Questions You Need To Answer Honestly If You Want To Sell More Books.

See on Scoop.itWriting for Kindle

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Help is on the way for those authors with books languishing on the shelves of forgotten books at Amazon. It is amazing how many writers think they can write the book, get it published, and then sit back and wait for the profits to start rolling in. It’s not quite that easy.

 There is hope, however, even for those slow selling or non-selling books. Run down this article’s list of excellent suggestions and see if you are optimizing your book for sales!

 1) Make your book available as an EBOOK – Some readers will still buy the hard or soft cover, but many are opting to find books for Kindle

 2) Professionally designed COVER – People still buy with their “eyes”. Picture your cover as a thumbnail, and put yourself in the buyer’s shoes when viewing it amongst a long list of other books.

 3) Professionally EDITED book – It is very difficult to critique our own work. If possible, get a professional editor or work with a book group that will critique your work.

 4) Correct CATEGORIES in the e-book store – What is your book about? Double check and make sure it is listed in the right genres for the subject matter. This small tweak could net quite a few more sales for you.

 5) Optimize your SALES page – Use it as it is intended. This is why it is called a “sales” page. Make sure there are no misspellings or improper grammar. Do you have hook that draws the reader in?

 There are four more thought-provoking points, and the final word is: being an author is not a get rich quick scheme, and you must work your butt off! Are you up for the challenge?

 

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”*****

 Link to the original article: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2012/10/12/help-my-book-isnt-selling

 

 

 

See on www.thecreativepenn.com

Leave a Comment

Filed under Kindle Books, Promotional Methods, Uncategorized

TOP 10 Reasons (+1) Why an Outline is Important When Writing a Book : Spirit Authors book marketing tips & author promotion from Lynn Serafinn

See on Scoop.itWriting for Kindle

Author, coach Lynn Serafinn of Spirit Authors shows how structure and an outline for your book increases focus, effectiveness, continuity, motivation and more.

 

Penelope‘s insight:

 OK. I admit it. My name is Penelope and I am a Pantser. A “Pantser” is just like it sounds–you write by the seat of your pants and throw in an outline when you get stuck. I know I need to transform into more of a plotter (planner), and I have several books and methods on outlining that are stacked up just waiting for me to crack them.

 When you begin writing in earnest (not just journaling) to share with the world, you begin to discover what type of writer you really are. I liken the process to “panning for gold”. The gold nuggets are your strengths, and the dirt, rocks, and sand are the weaknesses. You don’t want to let those rocks stop you from writing, but they are exactly what you want to pull out.

 This excellent article makes the case for why an outline is important when writing a book. There are 10 reasons (plus 1) and they are sound. Here are a few to whet your writing whistle:

 1) It makes WRITING easier! – You need a map when you travel, why not have one when you write?

 2) It makes READING easier! – You want your reader to comprehend what you write, not just say “Whaaaat?”

 3) It makes your MESSAGE memorable! – Don’t you want the reader to take something away from your writing? I don’t want my writing to become bird paper for the next day.

 There are 7 more reasons, and the final BONUS reason that the author will reward you with to make sure you outline your next book. I will put these more into practice myself as I begin writing in an entirely new genre of fiction for the Kindle in 2013.

  

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”*****

 Link to the original article: http://spiritauthors.com/news/top-10-reasons-plus-1-why-an-outline-is-important-when-writing-a-book

See on spiritauthors.com

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized, WRITING TIPS

Deanna Lynn Sletten: Tips for Self-Publishing – Step Four: Book Cover & Book Description

See on Scoop.itWriting for Kindle

Penelope‘s insight:
 

I believe I see more questions on this one issue more than any other. How do I make a cover for this wonderful book that I just wrote and want to upload to the Kindle marketplace? This article sews up the loose ends of self-publishing very nicely and gives some great ideas on creating a masterpiece cover and book description that will grab the attention of millions of possible readers.

You can puchase a professional stock photo and add your book title, subtitle, and author name onto it, but are you a graphic designer? Do you have an eye for color, design, layout, and all the elements that make a good cover pop? I know I don’t, and I use the services of a wonderful designer for very little. Check around on Fiverr, Odesk, Elance or Guru. The author recommends Tugboat Design for a professional cover. You have to remember that the readers are scrolling through hundreds and hundreds of covers (small thumbnail pictures) and it had better grab them in 1 or 2 seconds.

The other non-negotiable is to write up a description for your book, that will give the readers a “birds-eye” view of what your book is all about. Don’t slap up a one or two liner and think that’s going to do the trick. What would you be looking for as a reader? Don’t you want to know if the book is going to be worthwhile or totally waste your time?

In summary, take the time to create or outsource a beautiful cover, a captivating description of your book (written in third person if fiction), and you will be on your way to being a successful, published author on Amazon.

   

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”*****

 Link to the original article: http://www.deannalynnsletten.com/2012/09/tips-for-self-publishing-step-four-book.html

See on www.deannalynnsletten.com

Leave a Comment

Filed under Kindle Books, Uncategorized, WRITING TIPS

The Shift to Visual Social Media – 6 Tips for Business [Infographic] | Socially Sorted

See on Scoop.itEBook Promotion and Marketing

Our focus has shifted from Social Media to Visual Social Media. This infographic shows 6 ways to leverage the power of visual marketing in your business. 

Penelope‘s insight:
 

Has there been a tectonic shift from Plain Jane social medial to stunning VISUAL social media? I can only speak for myself when I say that I love looking at visual aids. I loved it in high school (what a refreshing change from a boring history lecture) and I love it as an adult. If I can learn something by glancing at a picture in a few seconds vs. reading a big, long article, I’m all in! Plus, this could explain the popularity of the new social media star–Pinterest.

How about this stat: In 2012 alone, we have seen You Tube pass 4 BILLION Daily Video Views and Pinterest became the 4TH LARGEST driver of traffic WORLDWIDE!

Here are 6 Easy Actionable Tips for leveraging the power of visual marketing for greater reach and engagement with your readers.

 1) SHOW, don’t tell (if possible) This includes pictures, images, infographics, videos, graphics, slideshows and animations.

 2) Create ORIGINAL, visual content (take pictures of you and your books, create some new images using quotes, checklists, tutorials, infographics, videos, slideshare presentations!)

 3) SHOWcase the Story of you and your books (Images = Emotion and Connection)

 4) CROWDsource Visual Content (ask your network to help you out)

 5) ADD back the Words (sometimes a picture needs explaining)

 6) MIX it up! (overlay text on photos, tweet, pin, facebook) Go back to tip #2 for advice on how to do this.

 There is a beautiful infographic in the article, as well as quite a few examples and the explanations that you can pull from on how to create your very own visual social media for your author platform.

 *****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”*****

 Link to the original article: http://sociallysorted.com.au/shift-to-visual-social-media-6-tips-for-business-infographic

 

See on sociallysorted.com.au

Leave a Comment

Filed under Promotional Methods, Uncategorized

E-books exploding in popularity among kids, adults

See on Scoop.itWriting for Kindle

Readers, publishers and librarians alike are writing a new chapter in the book business. E-books are turning the high-tech page, while traditional printed books increasingly are being shelved.

 

Penelope‘s insight: 

LISTEN UP AUTHORS! The number of American kids ages 6 to 17 who had read an e-book nearly DOUBLED between 2010 and 2012?? This is a jump from 25% to 46%!

 If you have written a traditionally published book, by all means get it off the dusty bookshelf and onto Kindle! If you need help with this, peruse the freelance sites of Elance, Odesk, Guru, and even Fiverr for experts who can help you. Sometimes it will cost a lot less than you think to convert the material for publication to the Kindle marketplace. 

 Do you think it’s not worth the time and effort? Take a further look at the stats:

 Traditionally printed books are increasingly being shelved in favor of ebooks. The survey was conducted for Scholastic, the children’s publishing giant, and Harrison Group, a marketing and research consulting firm.

 Pew reported in December that e-book readership among Americans ages 16 and above jumped from 16% in 2011 to 23% in 2012. At the same time, readership of printed books in the previous 12 months fell from 72% to 67%.

 Several sessions at the Macworld/iWorld conference in San Francisco will focus on e-books. The Apple IPad is a key player in this market. More than 1.5 million e-books are available to be downloaded from the iBookstore. Amazon Kindle is probably the easiest place for you to start if you are a newcomer to this arena.

 Take a look at the entire article for more information that should get your wheels spinning and your feet moving on over to the digital marketplace.

 

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”*****

 Link to the original article: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/adult-ebook-sales-up-31-in-sept-continue-slowdown

 

See on www.allvoices.com

Leave a Comment

Filed under BOOK MUSINGS, Kindle Books, Uncategorized

20 Examples of Great Facebook Fan Pages

See on Scoop.itEBook Promotion and Marketing

Marketers are becoming more and more interested measuring the ROI of social media.

 

Penelope‘s insight:
 

 Do you need to create a Facebook Fan page for your promotion of your author name and your books? Take a cue from some of the best. Here’s a great article on 20 examples of Great FB Fan Pages that you can pull from. Why not mimic something that works? See if you can pick up a tip or two for yourself. At the very least, create your fan page so you have that LIKE button available! Your fans may not want to leave a comment, but will click on “Like” button every time!

 Here’s a few of them and my first impressions:

 1) SKITTLES – Beautiful, eye-catching colors, “Like” button clearly displayed, a contest which racked up 1,000’s of views on You Tube!

 2) MCDONALDS – Food at the top (yum), and a contest featuring “short” and “quick” mental games that encourages fans to share their scores with friends– thus promoting VIRAL sharing.

 3) DORITOS – Uses their Fan page to promote their commercials (other content), and fans’ commercials (hilarious and viral producing)

 4) VICTORIA’S SECRET – Sexy women in bras, and access to their i-pad and i-phone apps for sexy “anytime” and “anywhere”. Need I say more?

 There are 16 other really stand-out facebook fan pages in this article, so take a look at the full article for more great tips you can use for your very own fan page.

  

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”*****

 Link to the original article: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/9469/20-Examples-of-Great-Facebook-Fan-Pages.aspx

 

See on blog.hubspot.com

Leave a Comment

Filed under Promotional Methods, Uncategorized

What is an “Author Platform” and Why Do You Need One Now?

See on Scoop.itEBook Promotion and Marketing

The phrase

Penelope‘s insight:

Take a little time out of your busy schedule today to head on over to Amazon and at the top of the page next to “Search” use the drop down arrow to look at the “Books” section, and then do the same again for “Kindle Store”. If you are a writer, and this does not convince you that you need an author platform, I don’t know what will!

There are thousands and thousands of books that are all vying for the reader’s attention. How are you, one person, going to grab the attention of the people that are your very own readers? After all, there are people in this world, “your tribe” (as Seth Godin calls them) that will clamour to read each and every single book you put out.

A few simple questions to ask yourself from “The Creative Penn” (thanks, Joanna) to get your promotional juices flowing.

1) Are you already FAMOUS? – Most of us are not Angelina Jolies (darn), so we must get the word out about our books. You may already be famous in some type of niche. Use your name in that niche to get the word out!

2) Do you have a SPEAKING platform? – This is a great way to get over shyness–ASAP! Think about all of your local Chamber of Commerces, Rotary Clubs, Women’s Business Networks. They are all looking for interesting speakers. You could even set up your own “event” at your local library and have it promoted by your local press.

3) At the very least, set yourself up a FACEBOOK page and a TWITTER account and get to posting and tweeting. Make sure to post a picture of yourself so your fans will see what you look like, and try to post pictures on your Facebook page when posting content. Nothing draws attention like a funny picture.

  

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”*****

 Link to the original article: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2009/06/26/author-platform

 

 

See on www.thecreativepenn.com

Leave a Comment

Filed under Promotional Methods, Uncategorized