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March 2012
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

Should Authors Comment on Reviews? -Self-Publishing Review

 

An interesting discussion on the topic of authors responding to reviews.

 

The Good and Not So Good Marketing Strategies I've Used to Promote My Book -A Newbie's Journey into the Publishing World

 

Author Marie Campbell writes frankly about her marketing efforts. Results may vary.

 

Film

 

How "Hunger Games" Built Up Must-See Fever -The New York Times

 

Yes, it's a studio film, but they relied on a relatively small budget and social media to market the movie.

 

Film Fundraising: 5 Crowdfunding Mistakes to Avoid - Filmmaking Stuff

 

Much like filmmaking, crowdsourcing is an art. Filmmaking Stuff has put together a helpful list of don'ts when it comes to crowdsourcing.

 

Music

 

5 Popular Effects for Bassists -Musicgoat.com

 

A talented bassist can make a good band great. Learn the tricks that may set you apart.

 

4 Reasons Why Musicians Fail - Getting There

 

Producer/composer Robert Maddocks describes the hurdles that could stall your music career.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


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Weekly News Roundup - March 23, 2012

Weekly News Roundup - March 16, 2012

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Getting Unstuck

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Mar 28, 2012

Stuck. It is a terrible state for a writer to be in. But unfortunately, it is a state we have all experienced at some point or another. The good news is it's a temporary state. You can get unstuck so you can continue to churn out pages of brilliant prose. Here are three methods I've found useful at various times to exit the awful state of stuck.


  1. Diversion - The more you focus on your inability to write, the deeper you get stuck. The solution you've been searching for isn't where you've been looking, so look somewhere else. Refocus on an activity other than writing. Give your brain a break, and you'll open yourself up to being struck by inspiration out of the blue.
  2. Quiet - Sometimes the brain gets clouded by the hustle and bustle of life. Find a healthy method to eliminate the noise that comes from everyday living, if only for a few quiet and still moments. For me, it's meditation, but there's reading, exercising, cooking... there are so many things we can do in silence to clear the clutter from our minds.
  3. Socialize - One thing you're not doing when you're sitting behind your desk staring at your computer screen is interacting with your environment. Getting out, socializing with others, and enjoying your surroundings may spark your imagination. Someone may say or do something that is the perfect catalyst to getting unstuck.


The main thing to keep in mind is not to panic. You will get unstuck. The key is not to force the issue. Forcing creativity is counterproductive and is a surefire way to drive yourself crazy. Relax, have fun, and eventually you will leave the state of stuck behind.


-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


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Can Visualization Help You Finish That Manuscript?

Increase Your Productivity with Interval Writing

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Refer vs. Recommend

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Mar 27, 2012

I watched a movie the other night in which a revered contagious disease specialist facing a lethal epidemic delivered a line to a nervous patient that made my own skin crawl. It was something along the lines of: "That's not my area of expertise, but I'll refer a doctor."

 

Ugh. Apparently no one is immune to bad grammar, not even the upper echelon of Hollywood scriptwriters.

 

Refer and recommend have different meanings:

 

Refer is to direct to a source for help or information. You refer a person to something, and this action constitutes a referral.

 

Recommend is to endorse. You recommend something to a person, and this action constitutes a recommendation.

 

Here are some examples of correct usage:

 

  • The doctor referred his patient to a specialist.
  • The doctor recommended a specialist to his patient.
  • My doctor gave me a referral to see a specialist.
  • My doctor's recommendation to see that specialist saved my life.
  • Can anyone refer me to a good realtor in Los Angeles?
  • Can anyone recommend a good realtor in Los Angeles?
  • My yoga teacher referred my mom to an amazing acupuncturist.
  • My yoga teacher recommended an amazing acupuncturist to my mom.

 

People often get these usages mixed up, which is understandable, but if you want to be taken seriously as a writer, it's important to know the difference. After all, you want people to recommend your work to their friends, just as you want your friends to refer you to great ways to promote your work.

 

-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Misuse of "Myself"

Solving the Mystery of Lie vs. Lay

7,329 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, books, authors, authors, authors, authors, writing, writing, writing, writing, grammar, grammar, grammar, grammar
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Last week, we discussed reaching out to radio stations and booking interviews for your mini-tour. Now, let's move on to the medium of sights and sounds: TV. Local television programming still holds onto a large part of the audience in most markets, and landing an appearance on a locally produced television show can be a major coup for your book marketing efforts.


You can find local TV stations for your tour route by checking out Station Index. In most cases, you will find a link to the station's website. Once there, you should be able to find originally produced programming. Most local TV stations have either an early morning program or a mid-afternoon show with local hosts discussing upcoming events in the area.


Booking an appearance on a TV show is done in much the same way as booking an appearance on a radio station. Your primary objective is to sell the event to the show's producer. You want to push the local angle first and foremost, because a local network's primary goal is to provide its viewers with news of what's happening in its viewing area. And remember: be professionally persistent without being desperate in your attempts to contact the station to avoid making a negative impression on busy media personnel.


Another source for local television shows is a cable provider. Cable providers often have studios and produce public-access programming. Over the years, public access shows have gotten more and more sophisticated, and you can find some great programming with fairly large viewing audiences. One of my favorite local shows is on public access. Find the cable companies in the areas you'll be touring and ask them about their original programming. Chances are you'll find a show that's perfect for you.


That's it for the electronic media. Next week, we'll take a look at opportunities in print.


-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


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Small Marketing Steps: Radio

How Not to Pitch Your Book

1,813 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: marketing, self-publishing, promotion, writers
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

How to End a Novel with a Punch -Writer's Digest

 

Hook them in the beginning. Knock 'em out with your ending.

 

Beta Readers Help Edit Self-Published Book - GalleyCat

 

Using advanced readers to help you edit your book for free.

 

Film

 

Horror Effects That Won't Scare Your Budget -filmmaking.net

 

Here's a resource every indie horror filmmaker could use.

 

The Rocky Path from Pen to Screen - The Vancouver Sun

 

Screenwriter Pablo F. Fenjves discusses his big break in the film industry at the age of 58.

 

Music

 

Should Your Band Charge for Gigs? -The Musician's Guide

 

Some bands and singers are performing for free to showcase their talents. Is it a good career move?

 

Creative Music Marketing: Foo Fighters, Bluebrain, Adam Tensta - Hypebot.com

 

New technologies are creating very unique marketing strategies, but are they effective?

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Roundup - March 16, 2012

Weekly News Roundup - March 09, 2012

2,288 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, marketing, marketing, music, music, film, film, self-publishing, self-publishing, indie, indie
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When you sit down to write a scene in a book, what is your primary focus? I'm embarrassed to say that when I first started writing, I focused on word count. I was convinced that I had to stretch out a scene with as many words as possible in order for it to count as real writing. Perhaps even more embarrassing, I tried to artificially limit the amount of dialogue in a scene. Somehow I got it in my newbie head that dialogue was cheating. Did I mention I made a lot of mistakes in my early writing career?


Needless to say, I got a lot of practice staring at a blank computer screen because I was approaching the structure of the scene from a misconceived technical notion of what a scene should be: a lot of words with as little dialogue as possible. After many years and books, what I have learned is that I write my best scenes when I know the point of the scene. It sounds like a very obvious thing to say, but hear me out. Too many beginning writers create scenes that turn out to be nothing but filler. They don't contribute to the overall story. During rewrites, if you find a scene that's well-written but doesn't move the story along, cut it. That's what rewrites are for.


Here are my three basic rules for writing a scene:

 

  • Word count is irrelevant. The point isn't to try to hit a magic word count, but having a desired word count in mind when you write a scene isn't necessarily a bad thing. It can help you with pacing, but if you find a way to get from point A to point B in a shorter, more effective manner, do it. Don't disregard common sense in favor of hitting that magic number.
  • Write a simple one-sentence pitch for the scene. You're the only who's going to see it, but the point is to keep you on task. When I say "simple" I mean simple, something like "John meets Veronica for the first time." That's it. That's all you want to accomplish in the scene. You'll use your writing skills to make it compelling and noteworthy, but when you boil down the scene to its basic state, their first meeting is all it's really about.
  • It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: dialogue isn't cheating. Use it, but remember what someone says isn't always the most telling thing about dialogue. How they say it is often the most important aspect of dialogue.


As always, you should approach your art in the way that best fits you. You have to do what's right for the story. If a densely written scene is what's called for, go for it. Just don't create a densely written scene because you think that's what writers do. It's far more important that you tell a story than string together a lot of pretty words.


-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


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Can Visualization Help You Finish That Manuscript?

When You Cut a Scene You Like, Save It!

3,392 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, author, author, self-publishing, self-publishing, writers, writers, writing, writing, craft, craft
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I recently stumbled across an eight-minute video in which a young book reviewer named Liz ranted, for lack of a better word, about self-published authors. Liz has nothing against indie books; it's the way some authors approach her that drives her nuts.

 

Full disclosure: Liz is not a professional book reviewer. She's a college student who loves to read and enjoys sharing her opinions online, and as a result, she's garnered quite a following. Her witty video reviews average about 800 views, and she has more than 1100 Twitter followers.

 

I thought the points she made in her video were excellent, and I also thought she was hilarious, so I dropped her a note asking if she'd be up for chatting with me. She kindly agreed.

 

In her words, here are her top pet peeves about getting pitched by indie authors:

 

  1. They really don't tell you who they are. No sort of introduction other than, "I'm the author of this book." That seems quite shady to me.
  2. They use the same message to email you, send to you on Goodreads, and more. It's annoying and I really don't want to read your book.
  3. The lack of attention to detail. I mean, thanks for emailing me and telling me how your book is like (Insert NYT Best Selling Author's Name Here), but I don't read that author's novels! You would know if you actually looked at my blog or YouTube channel.
  4. The lack of editing. They'll cite some sort of editor, but there are hundreds of typos and/or grammar mistakes. You may not have been an English major in college, but there are many books on writing, grammar, and more at your local bookstore. Also, reviewers aren't editors. We only review finished works.
  5. Get the hint! If I don't respond to your emails or other messages, I don't want to read your book. So stop it!

 

There are a lot of influential book lovers like Liz in cyberspace, and you want them rooting for you, not deleting your emails. As you implement your own book marketing campaign, you'll be less likely to land on the wrong side of their good graces if you take the above grievances to heart.

 

For those of you who are curious, you can view Liz's video here.

 

-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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What Is a Book Proposal?

Online Book Reviews for Independent Authors

5,700 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, reviews, reviews, reviews, reviews, author, author, author, author, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, pitch, pitch, pitch, pitch
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So far, we've discussed pooling our resources with other indie authors and organizing a mini-tour of sorts. We've looked at venues outside of the bookstore environment for a more effective appearance experience. Now, let's examine ways to promote your mini-tour.

 

For personal appearances, local radio programming should be your main target. While satellite radio has taken a fairly big chunk of the national terrestrial radio audience, local radio programs still enjoy a healthy listening audience of people who might attend your regional event. The trick is to find the radio programs that reach the same demographics as your book's audience. This means the hardest part for you in finding the right radio program to approach is to have a fairly definitive idea of the makeup of your readers. That will be the primary concern of the program's producer: Why are the books in your tour right for their audience?

 

You can start your search for radio stations by going to Radio-Locator and searching by city or zip code. Once you pull up a list of stations in the area, visit their websites and determine if their programming works for you. When you find a match, find the producers of the morning show or afternoon drive time show, and you're in business.

 

Start your conversation by sending them an email with information about your mini-tour. Sell the event with descriptions of all the books and bio information on the authors. Let the producers know you want to make this work in a way that benefits you, their station, and their listeners. Make sure you're clear on who the producer should contact to set up an interview with one or all of the authors, and give him/her a week to respond. If you don't receive a reply by then, politely follow up with another email offering to send some books for a giveaway on their program. If another week passes and you still haven't heard back, make a phone call. Professional persistence is the key to success in public relations. And by professional persistence, I mean making a concerted effort without seeming desperate or overbearing. If you haven't made any headway with a producer after three attempts, it's time to focus your marketing efforts elsewhere.

 

That should get you started with radio. Next week, we'll look at targeting local television shows.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Small Marketing Steps: Venues for Personal Appearances

Small Marketing Steps: The Group Tour

2,306 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, marketing, marketing, marketing, author, author, author, promotion, promotion, promotion, indie, indie, indie, radio, radio, radio, book_tour, book_tour, book_tour
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

The Unlikely Best-Seller: 'A Wrinkle In Time' Turns 50 -NPR

 

The experts don't always know best. This story proves excellent writing lets you break the "rules" sometimes.

 

The Average Book Has 64,500 Words -PWxyz

 

Ever wonder if your word count measures up to the classics? Wonder no more.

 

Film

 

Write What You (Don't) Know -a MOON Brothers film

 

Here's a counterpoint to the old axiom in every writer's head. To put it simply, if you can imagine it, you can write it.


The Power of "Don't Wait": Funding Lessons from Independent Filmmakers - Online News Association

 

Lam Thuy V investigates how so many filmmakers seem to be able to produce long-form documentary films.

 

Music

 

Songwriting 101: Thomas Hutchings -Riffraf

 

Saxophonist/producer Thomas Hutchings discusses his creative process.

 

Using Content Marketing to Energize Your Music Fan Funnel - Frying in Vein

 

Are you power pathing? Read this post by Hubert Sawyers III to find out what power pathing is all about.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Roundup - March 9, 2012

Weekly News Roundup - March 2, 2012

1,767 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, marketing, marketing, music, music, filmmaking, filmmaking, film, film, songwriting, songwriting
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Indie Freedom!

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Mar 14, 2012

It feels good to be an indie author. It took me a long time to come to that realization. I started this dream of becoming a published author when social networking meant meeting actual people at parties in real buildings, where instead of people telling you they "laughed out loud" at something you said, they simply laughed out loud. I wrote my first manuscript on something called a typewriter that I thought was high-tech at the time because it was electric. The internet was something the government used and rarely talked about.

 

I never dreamed it would be this easy to write and sell books on my own. And by easy, I mean accessible. I don't mean to imply that it's an effortless endeavor. It takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to succeed in publishing, but I';m in the game. When I was tapping out my first book on that old electric typewriter, I wouldn't have thought it possible to be in the game without a cigar-chomping publisher (my only references to publishers back then were old black-and-white movies) controlling the fate of my career.

 

Here's the best part of being an indie author: I control my own fate. I'm in charge of what I write; how I write; when I write. I have freedom. Because of my naiveté when I first started, I wasn't aware of the freedom I would lose with a publishing contract. I thought the artist always won out when it came to making changes to the story. Now that I've gotten to know a few authors under contract, I know that's not true. In a way, I'm lucky that I never had to experience that.

 

So, if you're an indie author reading this post, congratulations! You are in charge of your own destiny. Not many people can say that. But I ask you: What's been your experience going the indie route? What's the best part about being an indie author and what are its biggest challenges?

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Keep Your Chin Up!

Three Grassroots Marketing Tips to Put in Place Today

2,193 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, self_publishing, self_publishing, authors, authors, authors, author, author, author, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, indie, indie, indie, publishing, publishing, publishing
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Misuse of "Myself"

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Mar 13, 2012

A while back, I wrote a fun blog post called The Plural of Book is Not Book's, and since then, people from all over have been sending me their own grammar pet peeves. I love reading them because they prove I'm not alone in my quest to make the world a better place by eliminating one grammatical error at a time.

 

One of the most common messages I get is about the misuse of "myself," which I admit drives me nuts, too. Let's be clear: MYSELF IS NOT A SUBJECT OR OBJECT PRONOUN. (Full disclosure: Some points of view condone an "informal" use of myself as a subject or object pronoun, but to me, that's like condoning the use of "ain't" because so many people use it.)

 

I, you, he, she, we, and they are subject pronouns, which means they can be used interchangeably with subjects, such as people's names, in a sentence. For example, all of the following are correct:

 

CORRECT: Mark, Bella, and I went to the movies.

CORRECT: He, she, and I went to the movies.

CORRECT: They and I went to the movies.

CORRECT: We all went to the movies.

 

Me, you, him, her, us, and them are object pronouns, which means they can be used interchangeably with objects, such as people's names, in a sentence. For example, all of the following are correct:

 

CORRECT: He gave the movie tickets to Mark, Bella, and me.

CORRECT: He gave the movie tickets to him, her, and me.

CORRECT: He gave the movie tickets to them and me.

CORRECT: He gave the movies tickets to us.

 

"Myself" is neither a subject pronoun nor an object pronoun. It is only to be used when the speaker is speaking in the reflexive sense, e.g. talking about something done to himself or by himself. For example, the following are correct:


CORRECT: I did it myself.

CORRECT: I gave myself a pat on the back.

CORRECT: She asked me for a picture of myself.

 

Here are some examples of how NOT to use "myself":

 

INCORRECT: The gift was from Monica and myself.

(CORRECT: The gift was from Monica and me.)

INCORRECT: The group was made up of myself, my mom, and my dad.

(CORRECT: The group was made up of me, my mom, and my dad.)

 

I know this may be a bit confusing, but try to remember this: The only pronouns that replace the narrator of a sentence as a standard subject or an object are I and ME. Just use one of those, and you'll be good.

 

-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Solving the Mystery of Lie vs. Lay

Does Grammar Matter?

3,888 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, authors, writers, writers, writing, writing, craft, craft, grammar, grammar
1

Last week, we discussed putting together a group tour with other indie authors. This week, let's examine venues other than bookstores for your personal appearances. Bookstores are great, but they aren't always the best place to make an appearance. Customers have learned to artfully avoid unknown authors sitting at a table by themselves in bookstores. The author may indeed be extremely talented, but readers may prefer to dash off in search of the familiar rather than risk an uncomfortable moment if they aren't interested in the author's material.

 

It's far more effective for indie authors to pick venues where books are not the main product in the store. The group of indie authors I wrote about last week chose a large department store. They called the store's corporate office and arranged to do signings in the parking lots of several regional locations. I know of another small band of indie authors that holds signings at various flea markets.

 

Since we live in the age of social networking, I would advise finding venues that cater to tech-savvy patrons. The likelihood of your signing event hitting the Twitter-sphere and Facebook universe increases exponentially with the number of virtually connected people you have in attendance. In addition, look for upcoming conventions or industry-specific shows coming to your area. A home and garden expo would be a great place for authors with related books. A small business expo could be the perfect venue for a book on successful business practices and even motivational books on how to succeed.

 

The premise here is to find a place where you are unique, yet appropriate. Don't limit yourself to stores that just sell books. Think beyond the bookstore, and find a spot where you stand out and attract attention.

 

Next week, we'll start discussing the promotional aspects of your book tour and look into local radio stations.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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How To Throw A Book Launch Party For Free

How to Give a Great Interview

3,433 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: marketing, marketing, marketing, author, author, author, promotion, promotion, promotion, branding, branding, branding, book_tour, book_tour, book_tour
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.


Books/Publishing


How to Resurrect a Stalled Manuscript -Writer's Digest

If you're like most writers, somewhere on your computer is a manuscript in process that you just don't know what to do with. Never fear, help is here.


Why Did They Ever Make a Movie Of...? -A.V. Club

Why do some books defy cinematic interpretation? Maybe these 15 adaptations just look better on paper.


Film


Sell Stories Rather Than Tell Stories, Writes David Spaner in Shoot It -The Vancouver Sun

Filmmaker Gus Van Sant reveals that he is getting into no-budget filmmaking because he can make smarter films without studio financing.


Hollywood Shows What Can Be Done With a Prosumer DSLR - Videomaker

A Hollywood film shot entirely on a DSLR camera was number one at the box office its opening weekend.


Music


Shifting Social Sands -9GiantSteps

Will social networks like Facebook be replaced by niche social networks built around common interests instead of past and present associations?


3 Great Examples of Creative Music Marketing - Hypebot.com

Clyde Smith shares three examples of indie bands and their online marketing methods.


-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Roundup - March 2, 2012

Weekly News Roundup - February 24, 2012

2,856 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, book, book, music, music, film, film, blog, blog, publishing, publishing, blogs, blogs
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I am not a "moral of the story" writer, meaning I don't set out to write a book to reflect my own personal morals and standards (not purposely, anyway). My intent when I sit down to write is to get from point A to point B with the story. I have no grand plan to shake things up and bring people around to my way of thinking, mainly because I'm just not smart enough to pull something like that off without sounding condescending and preachy. 


Given my lack of moral intention, I'm shocked whenever I read a review or get a comment about the hidden messages in my latest book. They undoubtedly point to passages and applaud its clever commentary on some topical current event. I'm suddenly posed with a dilemma: Do I try and set the record straight and let everyone know that wasn't my intention at all? Sometimes the messages that they perceive are totally contrary to my own personal beliefs, offensive even. Other times, I wish I had indeed meant what they thought I meant. 


Somewhere along the way, I realized it wasn't my job as the writer to tell people what my books should mean to them. If they find a meaning in something I write that I didn't intend, who am I to say they're wrong? Even if their misperception leads them to hate my story, it's beyond my scope to try and convince them otherwise.


So what's the moral of this story? We are writers. The story is ours in the writing. The story is theirs in the reading.


-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Open Endings: Love 'Em or Hate 'Em?

A Good Writer Can Ruin a Good Story

2,974 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, author, blog, writer, writers, blogs, meaning
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You may have heard the term "book proposal," but chances are you have no idea what one really includes. Don't worry, you're not alone!


If you're working on a non-fiction book and looking to get it traditionally published, you don't have to submit the entire finished product to pitch either a literary agent or an acquisitions editor at a publishing house. Instead, use a book proposal, which I like to think of as a business plan for your book. In other words, a book proposal should convince people to invest in your book, much like a business plan should convince a venture capitalist to invest in an idea for a start-up company.


Even if you're firmly planted in the indie camp, creating a book proposal is a great idea because it will lay the foundation for your marketing campaign. It may also help you uncover ideas for how to promote your book that you wouldn't otherwise think of.


According to my friend Diane O'Connell, a former editor at Random House who now helps authors get published, a good proposal includes the following components:


  1. Description of book (a few sentences)
  2. Chapter-by-chapter synopsis of entire book
  3. First chapter, maybe even two
  4. Author bio (why you are qualified to write it)
  5. Competitive landscape (what similar titles are out there, how have they sold, what makes yours different)
  6. Who will buy it (identify the size of your target audience)
  7. How you will promote it (this is commonly referred to as your "platform" and should include such things as an existing client base, upcoming speaking engagements, number of blog subscribers, Twitter followers, etc.)


The last three elements will take some time and research on your end - a solid book proposal might be 80 pages long! I know that sounds like a lot of work, but research and preparation will better arm you for publishing success.


Even if you are self-publishing, O'Connell says creating a book proposal is a good idea. Checking out the competition and writing the chapter synopses can help you clarify what you want to write about - and make the task of finishing and promoting your book that much easier.


-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.


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Three Grassroots Marketing Tips to Put in Place Today

Keep Your Chin Up!

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Small steps - that's the idea behind this new five-post series. Many authors get sidetracked by the complexity of creating a successful marketing campaign. It can be daunting and intimidating if you try to tackle too much at once. But you have time to do this right. Take a deep breath and tackle one task at a time.

 

Where should you start? My suggestion is to find others who are in your position. I'm talking about other authors. There really is strength in numbers. I recall a story from a few years ago of a dozen or so independent authors in the same region of the country who organized their own tour. They pooled their resources, rented a bus, and arranged for appearances over a four-day weekend. By getting a group of authors together, they turned an appearance into an event. Local news outlets are more likely to cover an event than a single book signing.

 

Think about it: they had a dozen people involved in the organization and promotion of a group book signing. An appearance that involves just one independent author can turn into a flop because there's just not enough man power behind it. Most indie authors are lucky to have a couple of friends and family members helping them get the word out. A group of authors with the same level of motivation to have a successful signing gives you greater odds of pulling off an event that will garner a lot of attention and exposure for your brand.

 

This may sound like a "big" small step, but it doesn't have to be. Your goal is simply to find other authors in your area and get the ball rolling. Once you've found a number of interested authors, you can start the process of organizing the event and divvy out tasks to those in your group. The important thing is that you won't be doing this alone. You'll have other motivated authors helping you make sure this a successful event.

 

Next week, we'll discuss possible venues for your event.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Marketing Based on Content

It's Never Too Early to Get a Little Help from Your Friends

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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.


Books/Publishing


Chris Culver, Author of Self-published Bestseller, Signs Deal with Foreign Publisher - Ebook Friendly

Here's an interesting new development for self-published authors: signing deals with foreign publishers for international exposure.


A Tale of Two Authors - Booksquare

A bestselling author turns down a $500,000 deal to go the indie route, and another author with indie titles is shopping a million-dollar series.


Film


Becoming the Entrepreneurial Filmmaker - Filmmaking.net

The job market may be challenging for filmmakers, but that doesn't mean there aren't opportunities available for those who make their own way.


Every Filmmaker Needs a Partner - Filmmaking Stuff

Just because you're an independent filmmaker doesn't mean you have to go it alone.


Music

 


Are You Contributing to Internet Addiction? - Hypebot.com

Did you know that the average American spent five hours a day online in 2010? Learn more valuable statistics every music marketer should know.


Best Recording Practices - Musician Coaching

Award-winning producer Lou Giordano gives his best tips and tricks for recording the best sound.


-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


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Weekly News Roundup - February 24, 2012

Weekly News Roundup - February 17, 2012

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People often tell me they would love to write a book but have no idea how they would fill that many pages. "It just seems impossible!" they say. "How do you do it?" they ask.


"Baby steps," I tell them. "Baby steps."


Think of it this way: if you write just one page a day, in less than a year you'll have a book. One page a day! Anyone can do that.


When I'm working on a book, I like to give myself a goal of writing 1,000 words a day, Monday through Friday. To keep track, I use the "Word Count" feature in Microsoft Word, which is under the "Review" tab at the top of the page (or under the "Tools" tab if you are using an older version of the program). In addition to keeping my writing on track, people in the publishing industry talk in terms of word count and not page count, so it's always useful to know how many words your book is.


A thousand words a day is manageable for me. Sometimes I write much more than that, but I'm satisfied with a thousand, and having that goal keeps me focused. You may find that 500 words, or even 250, is more realistic for you, and that is fine. The point is that having a set target will help you feel like you are making progress. And it's that feeling that will keep you going.


If there is a book inside of you, give birth to it! It won't happen overnight, and that's okay. A real baby takes more than nine months before it's ready to be born. If you think of your book the same way, perhaps it won't seem so daunting.


-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

 

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When You Cut a Scene You Like, Save It!

Increase Your Productivity with Interval Writing

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