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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

 

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E-books exploding in popularity among kids, adults

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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

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20 Examples of Great Facebook Fan Pages

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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

 

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

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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

 

 

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TOR’S TOP TIPS: OUR AUTHORS ON WRITING

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I asked several of our authors to offer one tip for aspiring writers. This is what they sent in: JOHN GWYNNE: Write for yourself. Something that you want to

 

Penelope‘s insight:

 

It is always inspiring and enlightening to read tips from other authors. I certainly don’t feel I have learned everything I need to know to be a superb and prolific author, nor do I think I will ever feel that way.

 Here’s a few tidbits from this excellent article to think about over the weekend:

 1) Write for YOURSELF! – If it is something you would like to read, someone else in the world probably will enjoy it as well.

 2) Don’t listen too hard to your INNER CRITIC – Ah..the ever present negative voice inside the head of every author. We are forever shushing that voice.

 3) Never FINISH a writing session by finishing off a scene – The author suggests trying to stop in the middle of a sentence. This causes you to be anxious to get right back to the page the next day. This is a new one for me, but it would actually cause all of your senses to be tuned in to finishing that scene.

 There are several more, so you can head on over to the full article to see if you can add some more nuts and bolts to your author’s tool kit.

 

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

 

Link to the original article: http://torbooks.co.uk/2013/01/24/tors-top-tips-our-authors-on-writing/#more-7897

 

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Adult Ebook Sales up 31% in Sept., Continue Slowdown | Digital Book World

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The trend of more moderate growth for ebooks in the U.S. in 2012 continued in Sept. as sales of adult trade ebooks were up 30.7%, much less than the triple-digit sales growth seen in ebooks in previous years.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Hmm….in perusing this interesting article, I wonder where the writing focus should be?

Although adult ebook sales were up 31% in September, the sales for Children’s ebooks are still up 177% for the year through the first 3 quarters! Wow. The ebook revenues for children’s ebooks are up to $190.6M for the year, comprising nearly 13% of all sales!

On the Adult side, ebooks are up 36.2% for the year to $961.6M, comprising nearly 21% of all sales.

The tide turned in 2012, when children’s ebooks grew by a whopping 475.1%! If you have any inclination toward putting together small and simple picture books for children, you should take a serious look at writing for this sector. It can be as simple as putting together a funny picture book of snapshots you have taken of your cat, dog or rat with silly captions underneath.  They really are some of the simplest books to put together–and also the most profitable!

  

*****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

 

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How to Avoid Losing Social Media Followers

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How to Avoid Losing Social Media Followers 

Penelope‘s insight:
 

Are your followers “stuffed” from overconsumption of your Tweets and Facebook posts?  There is something to the old adage, “too much of a good thing……”

 If you are losing followers and not sure why, think about how much you are feeding them at the social media table. Is it always “BUY MY BOOK!” “CHECK OUT MY BOOK!” “READ MY BOOK!” Are you doling out tiny bites of delectable morsels, or force feeding them globs of unsavory mash?

 Interesting article on this subject, and these points sum it up:

 1) What type of CONTENT am I posting? – Is it newsworthy, thought-provoking or refurbished?

 2) How OFTEN am I posting? – More tweeting does not endear your to your followers. Let your guests savor what you do post. Make sure you are only bringing out the best.

 3) Is my Social Media limited to ONE SITE? – Take a look at the different social media possibilities other than Twitter and Facebook. Pinterest is my new favorite. Also check out LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.

 Invite your followers to your social media table, bring out the appetizers, and the salads, but don’t gorge them on your main course.

 

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

 Link to the original article: http://www.brandingpersonality.com/how-to-avoid-losing-social-media-followers

 

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Amazon Children’s Publishing expands with more books for younger kids and teens

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Amazon is expanding its children’s publishing division with two new imprints. “Two Lions” will publish picture books, chapter books and middle-grade fiction, while “Skyscape” is aimed at teens.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Should you focus on writing for the children’s book market? As Amazon Children’s Publishing expands with more books for younger kids and teens–this might be a great market. Think picture books.

 The expansion could help feed Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, Amazon’s new subscription product for kids. The program, aimed at 3- to 8-year-olds, offers unlimited access to ebooks, movies, TV shows, educational apps and games for a set monthly price (starting at $2.99).

 Parents are looking for more and more “kid-friendly” books that they can share with their youngsters, and children have their own kindles now.

 

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

 Link to the original article: http://paidcontent.org/2013/01/21/amazon-childrens-publishing-expands-with-more-books-for-younger-kids-and-teens

 

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