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allAfrica.com: Africa – Travel Writing and Africa in the 21st Century

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allAfrica: African news and information for a global audience

 

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Are you a traveler? Even if you don’t travel to the far reaches of the world, you could write a travel book for Kindle. They are hot, and if you are an international traveler, you could piggyback off the success of HGTV’s “International Homes”. Match the books to their episodes.

People always want to know what is in different parts of the county–and the world. If you’ve traveled to a wonderful, exotic locale, write about it!

Here’s what you can do:

1) Pull out all your PICTURES – People want to SEE what you are talking about! You can easily scan in those pictures to add into your book.

2) Recreate your STORY from your pictures. If you can’t remember a lot of the details, another idea is to create a children’s book from the pics if you snapped lots of animals, flowers, trees and things that kids like.

3) Break down your travel story into a SERIES of books. You can use the same trip, but give each book a different subject, different title, but bundle them together.

Let your imagination run wild. If you are a journaler, even better! Pull out those journals and your pictures, and pore over them to recreate your story–and your book for Kindle.

 

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

Link to the original article: http://allafrica.com/stories/201302221181.html

 

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Author John Grisham Fan Q&A – TIME.com

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This former lawyer—and lawmaker—found his greatest success writing legal thrillers like The Client and A Time to Kill. His latest book, The Appeal, is out Jan. 29.

 

Penelope‘s insight:

 

How do I love John Grisham? Let me count the ways… His lawyerly books don’t read like a stuffy, dusty  law journal, but instead more like “Law on Speed”.

When I stumbled across a fan Q&A with this baseball-loving, former lawyer I just had to stop what I was doing and revel in his words. His newest book, “Calico Joe” weaves together mystery and his love for baseball into a very intriguing story. I don’t care much for baseball, but I truly did enjoy this novel.

Pause for a moment with your coffee or tea, and enjoy some words of wisdom from one of my favorite authors.

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

Link to the original article and the full interview: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1706764,00.html

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Dean Koontz: How to Write a Bestselling Novel – Beliefnet.com

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Direct from the keyboard of bestselling author Dean Koontz, here are seven tips for penning a masterpiece.

 

Penelope‘s insight:

 

We all pause with bated breath awaiting wise words from one of the Masters of writing–Dean Koontz. He gives us just 7 tips on how to write a bestselling novel!

I think what surprised me the most? He hit the bestseller list as soon as he stopped writing outlines. Huh? The sacred and sacrosanct precept for writers everywhere. With Strangers, he started with nothing more than a couple of characters he thought he would like and with a premise. 

He also suffers from the dreaded doubt when he sits down at the computer. He uses this to his advantage by revising page by page, until the action flows more smoothly and crackles with tension.

He tells us to dare to love the language, if minimum prose feels flat to you. Some readers won’t get it; many will not only get it but delight in it. And above all, do what feels right to you. What may work for one writer may not work for another. Alleluia!

 

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

 Link to the original article and the full 7 tips: http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Galleries/koontz-7-bestseller-tips.aspx?b=1&goback=%2Egde_2215425_member_211728529

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Apparently, Size Really Does Matter

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For Indie Sci-Fi and Fantasy authors, writing multi-book series is clearly a tremendous advantage.  Read On »

Penelope‘s insight:

 

When writing a book for the digital marketplace, think “SERIES”. For the young adult (YA) genre, first Harry Potter burst onto the scene, followed by the Twilight books, the Hunger Games trilogy, and more.

Writing a series has become a crucial marketing tool for indie authors in garnering new readers that will hungrily stay tuned for more of your work.

The key is to offer your first book in the series for .99 or even better–for FREE permanently. This book should be set to release a few months ahead of the entire series. It will do your promotion work for you.

The disadvantage? Series books must have bigger concepts and lots of surprises. The advantage? Marketing a series is easier, and you will have a built-in audience for future books. This could transform your writing career from a hobby into a very profitable business.

 

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

 Link to the original article: http://indiereader.com/2013/02/apparently-size-really-does-matter

 

 

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20 Quotes to inspire and motivate you to write

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Writer needs lots of inspiration and motivation. I myself struggle finding motivation and inspiration sometimes…

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Ah…motivational writing quotes. Like a soothing tonic for our weary and depleted writing souls. I have little flip books throughout the house with many different types of quotes. I realized I need one for writing, too. Who doesn’t need a shot of some motivating and encouraging words from ones who have been there and done that? I know I do.

Feast your eyes on a few of the 20, and check out the article for more writing boosters.

“You don’t write because you want something. You write because you have something to say.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” Ernest Hemingway

“If you wish to be a writer, write.” Epictetus

“I write from my soul. This is the reason that critics don’t hurt me, because it is me. If it was not me, if I was pretending to be someone else, then this could unbalance my world, but I know who I am.”
Paulo Coelho

“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you” Oscar Wilde

 

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

 Link to the original article: http://www.tenaciouswriter.com/20-quotes-to-inspire-and-motivate-you-to-write.html

 

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Ten Qualities You Must Have To Succeed As An Indie Author | Successful Self-Publishing

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Should I Self-Publish? This is a question we’re regularly asked at ALLi by writers of all kinds, beginners and experienced. The answer, as is the answer to so many writerly questions is: it depends.

Penelope‘s insight: 

Let me bluntly say right now: “Being your own publisher is not for the faint of heart”. You must be a special breed of person if you plan on writing your own books–and self-publishing them. You are basically doing two separate jobs.

I liken “indie authors” to the pioneers of old. We are blazing new trails for others to follow. If you want to be one of the “pioneers of new”, you’d better check your temperament to see if you possess some or all of the 10 qualities highlighted in this excellent article. I’ve highlighted 3 of them here: 

 1) POSITIVE – You had better have a positive attitude, because you’re not going to have a boss hovering over you, telling you everything is going to be alright!

 2) BRAVE – We indies thrive on risk. We are idea people. We risk our money, confidence, and reputation before the first dime comes in.

 3) HARDWORKING – We think nothing of putting in 16 hour days. We’ve got energy, and we channel it into the future we are creating for ourselves. We educate ourselves on all aspects of self-publishing. We are not dummies and not easily taken to the cleaners.

Peruse the full article for the remaining 7 suggestions, and see if you are also one of the “pioneers of new”.

 

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

 Link to the original article: http://selfpublishingadvice.org/blog/10-must-have-qualities-to-succeed-as-indie-author

 

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

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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

 

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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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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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