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October 2012
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We writers, more times than not, are very ritualistic in the way we go about writing. To state the obvious, writing requires a heavy dose of brain energy. We use that wonderful gray matter of our brains like a competitive eater uses his/her stomach or a skydiver uses a parachute. If something's off, we risk having a very bad day. Rituals are usually a way for us to keep our minds right. They serve as tools to transport us to that mental ether where we happily tap away on our computer keyboards and create our masterpieces.

 

But can our rituals also prevent us from writing? There are times for me when that run through the neighborhood just doesn't get the brain juices flowing like it normally does. Or that 20-minute meditation just doesn't bring me the solace I need to write. Why? They are normally reliable sources of writing fuel. What gives?

 

Well, it's possible that change is really the best ritual for writing. Instead of running through the neighborhood, I'll run along the local greenway, or instead of meditating, I'll zone out listening to some music or playing a video game. Our writer minds need to be constantly challenged and connected to new experiences. Performing the same rituals every day may have short term benefits because it brings us the comfort of familiarity, but it robs us of that variety of life that helps us grow as writers.

 

If you're having trouble writing or you want to expand the types of material you write, my suggestion is to adopt a ritual of change. Spend a few weeks doing the same things to get your mind right, and then abruptly change it up. You may find that this sudden jolt of diversity helps you be more creative and more inspired.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Unblocking Writer's Block

Can Visualization Help You Finish That Manuscript?

2,239 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, self_publishing, books, books, author, author, writing, writing, rituals, rituals
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I'm a big fan of self-publishing because it gives anyone the opportunity to fulfill his or her dream of becoming an author. However, authors must watch out for the unscrupulous types who prey on unsuspecting writers who are so eager to see their work in print that they get, for lack of a more gentle term, ripped off.


Here are three types of predatory behavior to watch out for when selecting vendors. Run for the hills if you encounter any of the following:


1. Promises of success: Any self-publishing company that guarantees it will make your book a best seller is lying. Would you work with a bookie who guaranteed a horse was going to win a race? Or a stock broker who guaranteed a certain stock was going to skyrocket? I certainly hope not. No one can predict the future.


2. Purchase requirements: Many indie authors end up working with self-publishing companies that require them to buy thousands of copies of their own work. The vast majority of the books end up collecting dust in a garage, and the duped author is out thousands of dollars. In today's print-on-demand world, buying large quantities of your book upfront shouldn't be a requirement.


3. Exclusivity: Before choosing a company to help you publish your book, make sure that if someone were to call you tomorrow and offer you another publishing opportunity, you have the option to accept it and walk away cleanly. If you don't sign away your rights, you'll be in the position to weigh your options carefully and make the decision that's best for you and your book.


Quick tip: before committing to a vendor, type the company name into a search engine and see what others around the web are saying. When reaching out to vendors for more information, be sure to ask about each of the above points so you have a clear understanding of their business practices, which ultimately will help you make a more educated decision on a publishing partner.


-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.


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Why Print On-Demand?

Indie Freedom!

4,238 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, self-publishing, indie, writers, writing
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We've talked about genres and categories quite a bit over the last few weeks. In those previous posts, I often alluded to the fact that a book rarely fits in one genre and only one genre. There is frequently a main genre for a book and then secondary genres where that book also fits fairly nicely. But if a niche book doesn't really belong in the current crop of main categories or secondary genres, it may belong in a genre within a genre, called a sub-genre.


What exactly is a sub-genre? I define a sub-genre book as a type of story heavily influenced by two or more existing genres, almost in equal measure. There is so much of each genre in the story that it doesn't really belong in any of the genres from which it draws its influence. Paranormal romance is an excellent example of a sub-genre. There are classic elements of horror and classic elements of romance in a paranormal romance title, yet die-hard fans of horror books and romance books probably would not choose to read a paranormal romance on their own.


Alternate history is another example. It has elements of fantasy and elements of historical fiction. Yet, I think you'd be hard pressed to find fantasy purists who would classify Philip Roth's The Plot Against America as a fantasy novel, and historical fiction fans will tell you that it is not historical fiction even though it does contain a number of historical accuracies.


So, how do you know if you have a sub-genre book on your hands? That is a judgment call that you ultimately have to make, and you can probably do that by examining the books you think your book most closely resembles in style and subject matter. If you see similarities in two books from two entirely different genres, it's very possible you have a book that fits best into a sub-genre category. And that's not a bad thing! Sub-genres have very passionate and well-defined readers. They are often hungry to find good material that matches their blended genre sensibilities. So if you have a sub-genre book, say it loud and proud.


-Richard

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


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Mystery, Thriller, or Suspense?

The Author Pitch

1,455 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, author, writers, genre
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

Online Book Marketing - The Old Model vs. the New - The Future of Ink

We've reached that magical point in the online world. There's now an 'old' way of marketing online.


Great Reasons to Self-publish: 7 Case Histories -The Book Deal

Veteran editor and publisher Alan Rinzler investigates the reasons some authors self-publish.

 

Film


Filmmaking for Your Audience - Filmmaking Stuff

Independent producer Jason Brubaker examines the plethora of online marketing tools used to reach his audience.

 

Indie Filmmakers and the Digital Dilemma - The Huffington Post

The movie industry is trying to figure out the best way to preserve the growing influx of digital films.

Music

 

How a Music Career Is Like a Boogie Board - Judy Rodman

Turns out the music industry is a lot like the ocean; it's full of unpredictable waves.

 

21 Rules for Effective Social Media Marketing - The Curious Brain

Rule number 20 is my favorite: "Successful social media marketers maintain blogs."

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - October 19, 2012

Weekly News Roundup - October 12, 2012

841 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: filmmaking, filmmaking, author, author, self-publishing, self-publishing, blogging, blogging, musicians, musicians
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Continuing our exploration of genres and categories (see past posts on young adult, mystery/thriller/suspense, and contemporary literature), let's take a look at two genres that often get confused: science fiction and fantasy. On the surface, they are very similar in that they deal with alternate versions of reality that seem farfetched. But as it turns out, their realities are created using two very different approaches.

 

According to writer and editor Amy Goldschlager, Isaac Asimov saw the difference between the two genres in a very simple and succinct way:

 

"...science fiction, given its grounding in science, is possible; fantasy, which has no grounding in reality, is not."

 

That appears to be a fairly accurate delineation. Science fiction, no matter how implausible, contains science at its core. The known parameters of a particular science may be stretched beyond recognition at some point in the telling of the story, but the foundation of the science is still there. Fantasy, on the other hand, relies on elements of the supernatural and magic. The core of the story in this case is either based on known myths or entirely new myths created by the author.

 

As always, some stories may overlap into both genres. The best example of this comes from the world of movies. Star Wars is both a work of science fiction and fantasy. The Lightsaber would be an example of the "science" used in the story, and the Force would be an example of the "magic" that appears in the story.

 

Again, even if your book is a mixture of both genres, it's very unlikely that it is equal parts Science Fiction and equal parts Fantasy. One genre is more prevalent than the other. When you want to find the right readers for your book, it's important you identify which single genre represents your book more, because that's where you'll have the greatest return for your marketing efforts.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Contemporary Literature

Mystery, Thriller, or Suspense?

1,034 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: author, self-publishing, writers, writing, fantasy, genre, science_fiction
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I used to work at a PR agency, and I once gave a grammar workshop to all our employees. When I got to the "who vs. whom" part of the presentation and tried to explain the two using parts of speech, one of the women in the room gave me a blank stare and said, "I will never understand parts of speech. Can you please just tell me when to use who and when to use whom so I can just memorize it?"


Nearly everyone in the room nodded along, eager to understand something that clearly had them mystified.


So with that in mind, here you go, plain and simple:


1. If you can classify the person/people you're discussing as HE, SHE, or THEY, use WHO or WHOEVER:

 

o Example A: If you could say, "SHE answers the phone first," the correct usage would be "WHOEVER answers the phone first gets a free copy of that song."

o Example B: If you could say, "HE runs faster than everyone else," the correct usage would be "The person WHO runs faster than everyone else wins."


2. If you can classify the person/people you're discussing as HER, HIM, or THEM, use WHOM or WHOMEVER:

 

o Example A: If you could say, "Math is hard for HER," the correct usage would be, "She is someone for WHOM math is hard."

o Example B: If you could say, "You want HIM to have the phone," the correct usage would be, "Give the phone to WHOMEVER you want to have it."


I hope this helps those of you who have trouble with parts of speech. Whoever still has questions, feel free to discuss in the comments.


-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.


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Who vs. That vs. Which

Whenever I Hear This, It Drives Me Nuts

3,142 Views 3 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, self-publishing, writers, writing, grammar
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I always provide my own marketing advice on this blog, but it's always helpful to get ideas from a variety of sources on the topic. The following web destinations feature marketing gurus and aficionados who may have a different take on the concept of marketing for authors.


  • The Creative Penn - Joanna Penn is a self-published author with works of fiction and non-fiction on the market. She has pursued her dream of writing with an uncommon vigor, and her website - which provides writing and marketing advice - has become an invaluable resource for authors.
  • John Kremer's Book Marketing and Book Promotion - Simply put, John Kremer has been at the book marketing game for a long, long time now. His book, 1001 Ways to Market Your Book, is on its sixth edition, and his site is a goldmine of book marketing ideas. You could spend hours just going through his archive material of weekly tips.
  • Gary Vaynerchuk - Gary does not necessarily cater his advice to authors, and he doesn't always give marketing advice. Sometimes he just gives you life advice. I include him in this list because he is a motivator who has mastered modern web strategies, and he has a handle on emerging technologies. Gary started with a webcast giving advice on wines, and he has turned that into a type of new media empire. He is somebody to watch and perhaps even try to emulate.


My introduction to these three professionals came via a search engine query years ago. I visit their sites frequently to find out what's on their minds. They seem to have an endless fascination with branding and/or selling books. I think you will find that they can be incredibly useful resources for you as you build your own book marketing strategies.


-Richard

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


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Build a Plus & Minus Brand Map

Build Your Brand with Video Readings

2,789 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, promotion, branding
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.


Books/Publishing


15 Fanbase-Boosting Facebook Secrets - Duolit

Some excellent and unique tips on how to maximize Facebook to promote your work.


Master Your Marketing: Leveraging Social Media -Marketing Tips

An informative post on the benefits and dangers of using social media as a marketing strategy.


Film


Cheap Ad Campaign Creates Sleeper Hit - The Vancouver Sun

An interesting look at an "all-hands-in" approach to marketing an independent film.


Directing Tips - MovieMaker Magazine

The key to being a great director may be knowing when to let someone else bring their talents to the film.


Music


How to Play Killer Rhythm Guitar Riffs - Musicians Buzz

Mastering the foundation of rock - stellar guitar riffs - is the key to making an average song great.


5 Tips for Success from YouTube Stars - Music180.com

Most of the advice presented here can be universally applied to any platform you use to promote your music.


-Richard

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


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Weekly News Roundup - October 12, 2012

Weekly News Roundup - October 5, 2012

812 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, authors, authors, marketing, marketing, music, music, self-publishing, self-publishing, movies, movies, writers, writers, films, films, social_media, social_media
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Today, we shall explore the Contemporary Literature category. Like many of the categories and genres in the world of publishing, what constitutes a work of Contemporary Literature isn't exactly clear. At the very least, one would think that the word "contemporary" suggests a finite time period when it comes to defining the category, but there is even some disagreement with that particular aspect.

 

Some scholars believe that the contemporary movement begins after World War II, but a majority of those in the know believe that contemporary can be ascribed only to those works written in or after the 1960s. Obviously, when a book is written is of little concern to authors today. Everything we write is after World War II and the 1960s. The real question then goes to the novel's setting: does it have to fall within these particular time periods? The very tenuous answer is "not necessarily." Works featuring both historical settings and futuristic settings have been placed in the Contemporary Literature category.

 

So, what you need to ask yourself as an author is if you have written a work of literature. We all have ideas of what is literary. It's mostly those books we were assigned to read in English class. Some of you may even be reticent to include something you've written in the same league as those books. But if you've written a character-driven book that focuses on a realistic storyline and doesn't rely heavily on action, it's very possible that you have a book that belongs in the Contemporary Literature category. Some may argue that the prose must be dense and grammatically pristine to be included in this category, but that isn't always the case.

 

Beyond the style and structure of your story, you can also ask yourself what authors you've modeled yourself after. That will go a long way in determining if you belong in the Contemporary Literature category. If you decide that your book does belong in this particularly category, don't be afraid to proclaim it. Say it loud and proud, because that is how the right readers are going to find you.

 

-Richard

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

 

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What Is a Young Adult Novel?

What Is the Tone of Your Novel?

1,205 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writers, publishing
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Book marketing doesn't have to be expensive, but it should be done professionally. Here are two tips for how to do it right without breaking the bank:


1) Barter for a high-quality headshot: You can write, and photographers need copy for their websites. I got my most recent headshot (below) taken at no charge in exchange for editing the site of a photographer I met in a women's networking group. She needed my help as much as I needed hers, so it was a win-win.


2) Reach out to marketing people at venues where you can either speak or host a launch party: Large residential buildings often host events at no cost to the planner because it's a good way to bring potential tenants into the building, and/or offer entertainment for existing tenants. For the New York City launch party for my latest novel, I was able to provide free wine and cheese to all the guests, not to mention gorgeous views of Manhattan from a penthouse roof-deck. The cost to me? Nothing! I'd originally contacted the marketing director of the building and asked if she'd host an event where I would speak about my journey to becoming a published author, and she agreed and also offered to provide wine and snacks. That event went great, so a few months later I asked if she'd like to host my launch party. She quickly agreed to that too, and I was in business. Renting a similar space and providing refreshments would have cost me thousands of dollars.


As you set out to promote your book, try to remember the above examples. You'd be surprised what you can get done for free if you're resourceful.


-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.


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Watch: Launce Your New Book Successfully

Small Marketing Steps: Venues for Personal Appearances

3,637 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, marketing, selling, self-publishing, writers
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This may sound like a familiar tune if you're a frequent visitor to this blog, but it is such an important concept in today's highly connected world, it bears repeating over and over again. If you want to succeed as an author, your most valuable marketing tool is your interaction with your readers.

 

We live in an extraordinary time as indie authors. Gone are the days when we were denied access to distribution and readers without an intermediary. We are our own gatekeepers. We are free to write and publish and reap the rewards of doing what we love. But, as with all freedoms, this comes with a great deal of responsibility and work. We can't just idly publish and wait for sales; we have to go out and earn them. You do that by connecting with your readers. You connect with them by interacting with them in whatever way you can.

 

This was never more apparent to me than when I received an email from a reader who took issue with one of my books. She was unhappy with something, and she let me know it. I replied in an appreciative tone and tried to clarify a few things with her. She sent me back an email stating she was simply astonished that I would take the time to reply to her. She had written authors before, and they all just ignored her. Needless to say, I was astonished that those other authors hadn't taken the time to contact her. She was sincere and pleasant, and frankly, a passionate enough fan to let me know her opinion firsthand. I'm happy to have her support and her criticism.

 

Don't ignore your readers when they reach out to you. Let them know that you appreciate their interest and advocacy. Respond to them, and they will be even bigger supporters of your work.

 

-Richard

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

 

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What Should You Blog About?

Be King of Your Blog Domain

1,341 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, self_publishing, self_publishing, authors, authors, authors, author, author, author, writers, writers, writers, publishing, publishing, publishing
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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 Neurochemistry of Empathy, Storytelling, and the Dramatic Arc - brain pickings

A fascinating study on the science of a dramatic story arc and how it affects the brain.


Branding Trends and Tips for Creative Business -Marketing Tips

Have you been retargeting your brand?

 

Film


How Transmedia Storytelling Could Revolutionize Documentary Filmmaking - PBS

Technology has opened up a world of possibilities for the creation, marketing, and distribution of documentary films.


Documentary Filmmaking and the Moral Contract with the Audience - Filmmaker IQ

The key to making a great documentary is when a bond is created between the filmmaker and the subject.


Music

 

Performance Magic: The Power of Almost Losing Control - Judy Rodman

When you feel the music, your audience feels it. The trick is to feel it without losing control.

 

Top Tips to Blend Your Band Member's Differing Tastes - The Musicians Guide

When you're not all on the same page, you may have to rely on your creativity to work together.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - October 5, 2012

Weekly News Roundup - September 28, 2012

887 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: filmmaking, filmmaking, film, film, author, author, self-publishing, self-publishing, writers, writers, promotions, promotions, musicians, musicians, filmmakers, filmmakers
0

So, you're feeling pretty good about yourself. You've toiled and sacrificed to finish your latest manuscript. Finally, you type "The End" and celebrate the completion of your new thriller. But there's one small problem: you didn't write a thriller, you wrote a suspense novel. Hold on, it's not a suspense novel either. It's a mystery.


Confused? You're not alone. The lines between these three genres are so fine they're hard to see. In most cases, there is a blending of two or all three genres in the same book. Typical readers themselves would be hard-pressed to correctly identify which category a book falls under. They may be reading a suspense novel they absolutely love, but still refer to it as a thriller.


Incorrectly identifying your book's genre won't necessarily destroy your chances of attracting the average reader, but it could keep your book from being discovered by the knowledgeable, dedicated fans of any one of the three genres. And it's those fans who are most likely to spread the word about your book to like-minded followers on social media sites and message boards.


To help you decide where your book fits, here are the three genres and how they are generally described:


  1. Mystery - The central theme of your book focuses on an unanswered question that drives the story. The conclusion of a mystery results in a definitive answer to the question. Technically, a mystery does not require action or an element of danger.
  2. Thriller - The central theme may seem to be mystery in nature, but in actuality, a thriller is driven by action. The conclusion comes after a usually violent confrontation between opposing factions. If an unanswered question was a spark that ignited the story, it is quite possible to end the book with an ambiguous answer to the question.
  3. Suspense - The potential for impending doom is the key to a suspense story. The readers may know who the bad guy is and what he's cable of, and they may know the traps and pitfalls he's arranged for the protagonist. What they don't know is how the protagonist will avoid falling prey to the danger.


As I said, many of the books that fall under one of these categories may overlap and fall within the other categories, as well. However, there is normally one primary genre that best suits a book. What you have to ask yourself as an indie author is what drives the story: an answered question, action, or danger?


-Richard

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


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The Author Pitch

Brand Audience vs. Book Audience

1,727 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: author, author, writers, writers, mystery, mystery, thriller, thriller, promotions, promotions, suspense, suspense, genre, genre
1

Even if readers love your book, it might never occur to them to tell other people about it. That's why it's important to make it easy for your fans to spread the word.


One great way is to create a fan page on your website. (If you don't have a website, stop reading NOW and go make one.) You can direct readers to this link, especially those who proactively tell you they enjoyed your book.


Following are some of the elements I have on my own fan page. At the top it says: "Did you enjoy Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, and/or Honey on Your Mind? If so, please help spread the word!"


Then I include the following suggestions with active hyperlinks:


  • To post a review on Amazon, click here
  • To order a signed copy for a friend, click here
  • To like Maria's author page on Facebook, click here
  • To like the books on Facebook, click here
  • To post links to the first chapters on Facebook/Twitter/etc., click here
  • To subscribe to Maria's newsletter, sign up on the right; side of this page
  • To follow Maria on Twitter, click here
  • To invite Maria to speak at your event, click here
  • To post a comment on this site, click here


We all know people who overshare the daily minutia of what they're reading/eating/watching/doing, but not everyone is wired this way. For the more restrained readers out there, a fan page gives them a gentle nudge to help get the word out.


-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.


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Get Readers Talking with a Serial Novel

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

6,372 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, books, books, authors, authors, authors, authors, authors, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, selling, selling, selling, selling, selling, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, writers, writers, writers, writers, writers, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, social_media, social_media, social_media, social_media, social_media
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I recently organized giveaways for two of my books. I would say one was a rousing success and one was a moderate failure. Instead of touting the success and hiding the failure, I decided to share the results of both with my readers, friends, and followers. Why? Because I saw it as an opportunity to open a dialogue with the people who help me sell books. It was a way for me to let them know that they are more than readers to me. They are advocates, and as such, I appreciate their help when I succeed, and I value their opinions when I fail.

 

In essence, I opened the books and used the "warts and all" outcome of my marketing efforts as a marketing tool. And people responded. They were more than happy to provide feedback. As a result, I know two things. First, thanks to the discussion, I was able to pinpoint the problem with the second giveaway. Second, thanks to the exchange of ideas, I was able to identify a group of really motivated advocates for my books, advocates who are willing to go out of their way to help me succeed.

 

The key to making it today as an author in our highly connected world is to stay connected. The more you share about your triumphs and struggles as an indie author, the more people feel involved. You can't succeed in a vacuum, so consider opening up and letting your readers in.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Authors' Four Structural Essentials for Blogs

Your Fans are Your Brand

1,219 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: author, self-publishing, writers, writing, promotions
0

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

 

Books/Publishing

 

Lessons Learned from 1 Year as a Fulltime Author Entrepreneur - The Creative Penn

Joanna Penn looks back on her year as a fulltime authorpreneur and maps out where she found the money to make it work.

 

Twitter for the Absolutely Terrified Newbie Author -The Book Designer

Having trouble navigating the minefield that is Twitter? Never fear, The Book Designer is here.

 

Film


What It Takes to Make a Great Movie - The New Yorker

An old Francis Ford Coppola interview is featured in this article about the importance of integrity in filmmaking.


What's True in a True Story? - a MOON Brothers film

Independent filmmakers discuss the delicate process of mixing fact with fiction in their latest film project.

 

Music

 

Octopus Marketing Formula Explained - Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotions Blog

A simple concept with many tentacles of marketing reach.

 

Three Key Tips for Getting Your Music in A Commercial -American Songwriter

Commercials can provide a lot of great exposure for your music and help you make connections for future projects.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - September 28, 2012

Weekly News Roundup - September 21, 2012

835 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: author, author, self-publishing, self-publishing, writers, writers, promotions, promotions, musicians, musicians, filmmakers, filmmakers
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According to a recent study, it seems that 55% of adults purchase books categorized as young adult novels. At the risk of complicating things with too many numbers, 78% of those adults are purchasing those young adult books for themselves.

 

I've written books that have been listed under the young adult category, and judging from the email and comments I get from readers, I'd say that nearly half of them are adults. Frankly, my goal when writing the books is to write something that I enjoy, and I am far from being a young adult. So, this raises the question, what makes a young adult novel a young adult novel?

 

Summits and panels have been held to discuss this very topic, and there are as many opinions on the subject as there are people discussing it. There does not seem to be a consensus on the matter. Personally, I like this explanation that K.S. Clay left in the comment section of my blog in 2008:

 

I would also posit that young adult novels often have a coming of age theme woven into them. No matter what else is going on, a large part of the story tends to be about the teenager's struggle between childhood and adulthood and growing up. I think it can be hard to determine, though. I'd say that one thing is for sure, though: Young adult novels must be about young adults. They must be about teenagers. It's funny because it doesn't work the other way around. Books aimed at adults can be about children or teenagers or adults, but books aimed at teenagers must be about teenagers. Things must be filtered through that point of view. This means that adults, for instance, don't tend to take a very big role.

 

It is a remarkably simple observation, but it is the best definition of a young adult book that I have ever seen. I'm sure there are young adult authors in the community reading this. So, I ask you, do you find that many of your readers are actually adults? Why is your book in the young adult category?

 

-Richard

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

 

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Brand Audience vs. Book Audience

The Author Pitch

1,912 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, self_publishing, self_publishing, self_publishing, authors, authors, authors, authors, writing, writing, writing, writing, promotions, promotions, promotions, promotions, branding, branding, branding, branding, young_adult, young_adult, young_adult, young_adult
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A few posts back, I asked Joel Friedlander, a fellow CreateSpace contributor who is an award-winning book designer and the author of A Self-Publisher's Companion: Expert Advice for Authors Who Want to Publish, for the three most common mistakes he sees indie authors make with e-books. Today, I asked him the same question about print books, and here's what he had to say:


  1. Don't put running heads or page numbers on blank pages. Blank pages are supposed to be blank - and that means nothing is on them at all. Because there's no text on the page, there's no need for running heads or page numbers anyway.


  1. Don't make your margins too small. You may be tempted to use as much space as possible on the page to save money, since print on-demand costs are usually determined by how many pages are in your book, among other things. But a crowded page that's hard to read and a book that's hard to hold comfortably won't help your book sales.


  1. Don't use low-resolution images. Graphics that look great on your screen may not have enough data (resolution) to print properly. Check with your book printer to find out exactly what resolution you need for your images to print properly and use a photo editing program to inspect the ones you want to use in your book.


When I self-published, I hired a professional designer to make sure my novel looked as good as the ones on the shelves at the bookstores. I strongly recommend that all indie authors do this to avoid producing something that looks amateur and detracts from the reading experience. It's a competitive market out there, so you want your book to shine!


To learn more about Joel, please visit www.TheBookDesigner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@JFBookman).


-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.


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Two Mistakes Indie Authors Should Avoid

Your Cover is a Crucial Marketing Decision

9,728 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, formatting, self-publishing, writers, interior, writing
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I've been experimenting with a new strategy that is meant to help me build brand awareness via video, while not stealing too much of my writing time. Let's face it; I want to be an author more than I want to be a brand. But, I know the importance of putting in the effort to build a brand.

 

This new strategy is easy. I write. I turn on my webcam, and then I read what I've just written on camera. After a few simple edits, I upload the video to YouTube and embed the video on my blog. I follow up by posting a link to the blog post on my social media network.

 

I'm not doing any difficult edits. I'm not using an expensive set or camera. I have no wardrobe budget. No makeup is required. It's just me in front of the computer doing what I normally do anyway, reading what I've written for the day.

 

This is not viral video material. I'm making the videos for the readership I already have. And, while I'm not getting thousands of hits, I am getting something I would say is as equally as important:  I'm having interactions with my readers. They've given me comments on the work in progress, including suggestions on what I should include in the story. Plus, they're getting a personal glimpse of me in my element, doing what I do, which helps put a face to my brand.

 

Simply put, I'm having fun. Not to mention I'm creating a more complete first draft of a story than I ever have before. So, while you're trying to decide how to build your brand, I invite you to try this strategy. If I can do it, anyone can. Here's the first video that explains what I'm doing for the readers, and the very first reading of the story. Note how low-tech it is.

 

 

Is this a brand-building strategy you could implement on your next book project?

 

-Richard

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

 

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Four Personal Video Tips

Setting Goals for Your Brand

4,006 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, video, writers, writing, branding, author_brand

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