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April 2013
5

I recently had the great pleasure of meeting Mark Norell, chairman of the paleontology department at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. (He was once called "the coolest dude alive" by the Wall Street Journal.) In addition to being a world-renowned scientist, Mark is also an established author, with several books to his name. I asked him how he manages to write while holding down a full-time job and traveling the world, and here's what he had to say:

 

  • I don't write at home because it is too distracting with things I like to do.
  • I don't write in my office because it is also too distracting with things that I should be doing.
  • The best places for me to write are bars and airplanes.
  • Bars are good because I can put my headphones on and there is enough ambient activity for me to stay focused (as strange as that sounds) and be creative.
  • Airplanes are great for editing. I travel a lot, and it is almost freeing to edit something in a very clear and clean voice. I think that it helps when you are free from the internet, which causes me to occasionally overwork things.
  • My most creative thoughts come when I am in the twilight between sleep and wakefulness. Jet lag helps too!
  • Many of the books that I write are visual: others are purely text. What I find is that visual things (looking at art, old pictures, or just walking around by myself) helps the nonvisual books write themselves. I think that visual cues rekindle past experience in a very formative way. The obverse is true for the visual books, where reading brings up ideas for images and how to use images with text to tell the story.

 

If a man as busy as Mark can find time to write, surely you can too! What are your tricks for staying productive with your writing while working a full-time job?

 

-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, Honey on Your Mind, and Chocolate for Two. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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What Noise Level Works Best for Your Writing?

When Are You Most Productive?

9,995 Views 5 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, craft, productive
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In today's highly connected universe, there is so much to know about marketing, reaching potential readers, and staying engaged with your fans that it's hard to keep track of everything. Remember, as an author, you are the brand. Your goal is to build brand awareness. The best way to do that is to make yourself visible wherever your readers will be.

 

Where are your readers? Well, if they're not reading books, they're probably on their smartphones. Phones are everywhere. There are more people with phones on our planet than there are people with toothbrushes. Given that, it just makes sense that as an author trying to build a brand, you need to find a way to connect with readers on their phones.

 

Here are a few ideas with links that will give you more detailed information on how these mobile marketing technologies are applied in real-world applications.

 

  1. QR Codes- We've touched on these funny-looking squiggly lines and blocks in a previous post. You snap a picture of a QR code with your phone, and you're directed to a website, blog, social media site, or wherever the code has been programmed to take you. I know one author who used a QR code that was linked to his book trailer.

  2. Mobile Websites- A mobile website is just a stripped-down version of your regular author website. You may also hear this referred to as a "mobile optimized website." And that's what it is; it's your website designed to utilize the smaller screen more effectively and take advantage of the growing number of touchscreens on the market.

  3. Apps- You have most likely heard the term "app" used ad nauseam. App is short for application, and simply defined, it's a program that adds functionality to your phone. A large number of apps are games, but there are more practical apps too (weather apps, recipe apps, traffic apps, etc.). It's quite possible that your book is a perfect fit for an app if it can help people perform a task, provide educational information, or simply entertain.

 

People aren't going mobile; they've gone mobile. It's time for you to go with them and make your brand visible to them wherever they may be.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Build Your Brand with Original Content

How to Connect with Your Readers

4,549 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: author, writers, apps, promotions, qr_codes, mobile_websites
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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 Lessons Music Business Can Teach Authors - Beyond the Book

Can you become a successful author without finding fame?

                                                    

How Fiction Authors Can Steal Marketing Ideas from Their Non-Fiction Friends -Duolit

          Nonfiction authors have the benefit of a built-in audience. Turns out, fiction authors do, too.            

 

Film

                                                        

Your Movie Facebook Fan Page Is Not Big Enough - Filmmaking Stuff

Succeeding in filmmaking goes beyond making a great film. It requires rabid fans.

                                          

10 Lessons on Filmmaking from Director Ken Loach - Filmmaker Magazine

You can't bring your ego when making a documentary; it has to be about the subject matter.            

                                    

Music

 

Don't Make This Music Publicity Blunder - Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

It's not about you; it's about who you're marketing to.       

 

For Music Discovery, Definition Often Varies - Hypebot.com

The way people find your music has changed drastically in the last few years.                 

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - April 19, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - April 12, 2013

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2

Last week, I found myself across the pond for The London Book Fair (LBF). It's a truly global exhibition, with people from all over the publishing world converging on Earls Court Exhibition Centre to talk books. CreateSpace had a booth there, and the staff who attended spent three days talking to authors about indie publishing. 

http://s3.amazonaws.com/createspacecommunity/Social/LBF13_team2.jpg

Greetings from London!

 

A Lot Can Change in a Year


This was our second LBF, so it was interesting to see how conversations and attitudes have changed in just the past year. Many of the authors I talked to were already self-publishing, and they asked insightful questions about building their businesses as author entrepreneurs. Even those who hadn't yet launched their indie careers had already done their research and were at the show to examine their book publishing options. Here are some of the overarching themes I observed at LBF:


  • All About Authors: Plenty of authors attended the show last year. But this year, they were the stars, especially those on the indie or hybrid publishing tracks. LBF had more programming aimed directly at helping authors succeed this year, and the Authors Lounge area of the show was consistently packed. There really has never been a better time to be an author.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/createspacecommunity/Social/LBF13_panel.jpg

Authors TJ Cooke, Mel Sherratt, and KDP's Daniel Cooper at an Author Lounge presentation


  • Digital Is Where It's At: The Digital Zone area of the show features the latest advancements in the publishing world, including indie publishing. Last year, this area had a solid, if somewhat quiet, presence, but 2013's Digital Zone was at the center of the show buzz. Publishers Weekly observed the same thing. With independent authors, self-publishing, eBooks, and emerging technologies consistently on the rise, my guess is LBF will give this area even more attention next year.

 

Next up, you'll find CreateSpace exhibiting at Book Expo America in New York City. If you plan to attend, stop by our booth at #DZ1757 to say hello! Until then, you can always find us on Facebook and Twitter.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/createspacecommunity/Social/LBF13_weloveauthors.jpg

 

Cheers!

-Amanda

Amanda is the editor of CreateSpace's educational resources and social media channels.

 

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BEA Part of It: Book Expo America Recap

London Calling: The Book Fair Recap

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2

Have you ever come across a book that was just so full of one-dimensional characters that you realized you cared nothing about them? I'm not just talking about a few characters; I'm talking about every character in the book, protagonists and antagonists included. In some books, there just doesn't seem to be anything of substance about anyone in the book.

 

So how does this happen? The characters are doing what they've been written to do. They are performing the actions and delivering the dialogue, but still something is missing.

 

That "something" is a lack of desire. The characters don't want anything that exists outside of the story. They only live on the pages of the book. You don't get the sense that once you've stopped reading for the night, they're off living their fictional lives without you.

 

In order to really give your characters depth, you have to know what they want. Not just what they want to fulfill their part of the story, but what they want for themselves, for their lives. Just because they're fictional doesn't mean you can't give them hopes and dreams. You may never explore these hopes and dreams in your books, but you'll know them as you write. You'll know why they make the decisions they do, or carry themselves the way they do, or talk the way they do. We all spend our lives in training for our deepest desires. Your characters should, as well.

 

So, as you sit down to work on your current or next novel, as yourself: Do you know what your characters want?

 

-Richard

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

 

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The Basic Elements of a Character Arc

Defining Characters through Action, Not Description

2,943 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, description, characters, fiction, craft, writing_style, character_development
1

You know the saying: hindsight is 20/20. Writing and publishing a book is an experience from which you've probably learned a lot, and it's nice to pass those lessons along to authors just starting out. I love learning from other writers, so I asked four of my author friends what they wish they knew before writing their first books. Here's what they had to say:

 

  • Christine Charles, author of I Should Have Worn Heels: "I wish I knew how overwhelming the self-publishing process can be if you delay reaching out to and seeking insight and guidance from the many respected sources available. And getting your book published is the easy part - the 'baby steps.' Successfully promoting your book is a whole other journey."

 

  • Kristen Ethridge, author of Saving Gracie:"I don't think I truly understood how the power of persistence is integral to being a successful writer without really going through it. Life happens - in my case, everything I'd ever written or saved about writing was washed away in 2008 by Hurricane Ike - and you have to move past it and keep putting words on the page. Market trends change and you have to adapt. Agents and editors reject your book, and you have to regroup and finish something else to submit again - or take charge and publish on your own. One way or the other, you've got to keep at it, because standing strong and conquering the obstacles in your way in order to keep crafting the stories in your heart is the true measure of success as an author."

 

  • Jessica Massa, author of The Gaggle: How to Find Love in the Post-Dating World: "In the early stages of my writing process, I wish I had trusted that my message would come across most effectively if I focused on writing for my core audience. At first, I tried writing for everyone who I hoped would read my book - basically, I tried to write for everyone! I also wish I had known that the best way to push through writer's block is to take a break and do something positive and healthy for yourself and your brain. Eventually, I realized that my thinking and writing improved dramatically when I stepped away and took care of myself in other ways, whether that meant going for a run, making something healthy to eat, getting a solid night's sleep, or taking time to walk around the neighborhood or catch up with a good friend."


  • Ron McElroy, author of Wrong Side of the Tracks: "I wish I knew how much dedication, effort, and time it really takes to write a book that readers can relate to and want to read cover to cover. I now know and understand better how important it is to set up the structure of your story prior to launching your writing effort. Having a framework early on allows you to stay on course and convey the correct message throughout your story. I'm sure now that my next book will be written in a much more efficient manner."

 

As for my own first novel? I wish I knew how important it is to keep pushing the plot ahead. I spent way too much time editing along the way, which I now wait to do until I've finished the entire first draft.

 

What about you, authors? What is one thing you wish you knew before writing your very first book? Tell us 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, Honey on Your Mind, and Chocolate for Two. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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When Are You Most Productive?

Advice from New York Times Bestselling Author Guy Kawasaki

2,315 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writers, first_book, promotions
1

Hey, Let's Tweet Up!

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Apr 22, 2013

Today, I'm going to talk Twitter and tweeting, the art of social sharing through 140-character updates. Twitter is a powerful tool for authors, as it can be a catalyst for interaction with readers. It strips away the barriers that once prevented readers from directly accessing their favorite authors.

 

Authors use Twitter for many things. They announce their next personal appearance. They tweet out their latest word count. They even fill tweets with samples from their latest book - 140 characters at a time, of course. But one of the most unique uses of Twitter by an author that I've seen was using it to organize "tweet-ups" with readers.

 

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a tweet-up is simply a gathering, or meet-up, organized via Twitter. This particular author had decided that instead of doing a typical book tour with personal appearances and readings, he would organize these tweet-ups with his Twitter followers in various communities at a cafe, bakery, or wherever his followers suggested and buy everyone a coffee. As a bonus, he would bring his books along, too, and give out signed copies. Such an outing provides for a much more intimate environment and prevents having to go through the experience of poorly attended readings or signings.

 

It's an extreme marketing strategy, but it has the potential of big returns. These Twitter followers are now part of his word-of-mouth army, and they are bound to recruit others into the fold from their list of followers. The only downside is the next time he does a tweet-up, he may have to provide a lot more coffee for all his new fans.

 

-Richard

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

 

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How to Connect with Your Readers

Authors' Four Structural Essentials for Blogs

1,267 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writers, writing, promotions, twitter
0

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

 

Books/Publishing

 

What Inspires Authors to Write Their Novels? - Huffington Post

Author Wendy Webb looks for the muses among us. 

                                                    

Ten Ways Self-publishing Has Changed the Books World - The Guardian

How indie authors took control and changed the publishing game.

 

Film

                                                        

What Did Barry Levinson Say Is the Worst Thing a Filmmaker Could Do? - Making the Movie

The legendary filmmaker doesn't wait for the audience to catch up before he serves up the next joke.

                                          

How (Why) to Make a Movie - Ezine Articles

A filmmaker argues that you will always regret not making that film you always wanted to make.

                                    

Music

 

DIY Electronic Music Production Basics: Part 5 - Marketing - Musicgoat

Musician/producer Rick Lloyd draws on his experience to give some sage marketing advice.

 

How Much Money Do Viral Music Videos Make? - The Musicians Guide

A viral music video can create multiple streams of income.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - April 12, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - April 5, 2013

1,133 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, music, promotion, indie, movies, inspiration, musicians, craft, filmmakers, viral_video
2

The first quarter of the year is now behind us. As we move into spring and continue plugging away at our book projects, there's no better time for some words of encouragement and reminders of what we're accomplishing as indie authors.

 

  • At some point today, take the time to pat yourself on the back, put your feet up and relax, or buy yourself an ice cream. You deserve it because you're doing the work of two people who are sometimes at odds with one another. As an indie author, you have taken on the dual-role challenge of both a writer AND a publisher. The writer side of you tells you to do one thing, while the publisher in you might think your writer self is a bit reckless. You have a creative mind that fleshed out a story and wrote a novel, but you also possess the business mind that charts the course to book sales. At times, there is an internal struggle, but both sides of you are serving your dream of being a successful author.

 

  • You are a true entrepreneur. Striking out on your own takes a lot of gumption, and you should take the time to acknowledge that fact. Reflect on the reasons why you decided to become an indie author. My guess is that it was to satisfy that itch, that sense that writing is your calling. And if you can make a little money off of what you love to do, well that's just the icing on the cake.

 

  • The road is not easy, but it can be a thrilling ride. As a writer, you'll have days where you will wonder if you've chosen the right path. That's when you're going to need the publisher in you to take over and recognize that building a business, even a creative business, takes time, effort, and what seems like a never-ending reserve of energy. Allow your publisher self to keep your writer self moving forward, and shrug off that doubt that sometimes wants to weigh you down.

 

So congratulations, you're living your dream! It's important to reflect on that every now and then.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Are We Tortured Artists?

Why Are You An Author?

2,268 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, indie, writers, craft
3

We've all heard of the traditional "book tour," in which an author travels around the country making the rounds of late-night TV, afternoon talk shows, radio stations, etc. However, those people are usually big celebrities who could be selling dish soap, and people would still want to listen to them (they also probably didn't even write the books they're promoting, but that's a whole other blog post...).

 

For the rest of us non-Hollywood authors, we're on our own.

 

One effective alternative for indie authors, especially those on a budget, is to engage in a virtual book tour. Here's how it works:

 

  1. Contact a number of blogs and websites that like to review books and interview authors, and offer to send them a copy of your book (you can also offer yourself up for an email interview). While it can be hard to get the attention of mainstream media, online it's often a different story. Plus, lots of these book blogs have large, loyal audiences of avid readers.
  2. Send your book out to those who agree to review it.
  3. Create a spreadsheet to track when the reviews/interviews will be published.
  4. Announce them as they appear (using your website, Twitter account, Facebook, etc.)

 

If this sounds like too much work for you to manage on your own, there are many companies that specialize in setting up virtual book tours (often called blog tours). A simple web search should get you going!

 

-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, Honey on Your Mind, and Chocolate for Two. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Preparing for a Personal Appearance

Tips for Engaging Your Readers Online

2,381 Views 3 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, writers, promotions, blogs, book_tour, virtual
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Today I'd like to talk about writing and publishing conferences. I've attended a number of them, and I've always had a good time. They provide attendees with the opportunity to glimpse into the future and tap into the minds of seasoned veterans. If you have the opportunity to go to one, I highly recommend it.

 

You can learn a lot from these events just as an attendee, but if you'd like to use the conference to help build your brand, consider covering the event like a reporter. Take your laptop and a video camera and virtually bring the conference to your friends and followers. Doing so will help establish you as an expert in the field of writing and/or publishing and enhance your credibility.

 

Be sure to check with conference organizers before videotaping presentations or seminars to be sure you're abiding by their rules. You also will find that most vendors, authors, and other attendees are anxious to step in front of a camera and increase their exposure. You don't have to ask in-depth questions; you're not working for 60 Minutes. Ask the basics: what they're doing at the conference, how they think the event is going, how they plan to spend their time, etc. If you get the opportunity to interview a big-name author, ask them the questions you've always wanted to ask them and let them plug their work.

 

When you get back to your hotel room that night, edit together a short piece and put it online for your friends and followers to see. You can also do it when you get back home from the conference, but being the first one to get video clips from the conference out there can make a big impact.

 

It's really not complicated. Beyond the camera and laptop, all you need is a reporter's mentality - your assignment is the convention beat!

 

-Richard

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

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Expand Your Reach by Teaching

The In-Store Event

1,203 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writers, promotions, 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

 

When Visibility Doesn't Lead To Book Sales - Let's Get Digital

Mainstream media exposure may not be the best way to sell books.

                                                    

How NOT To Sell Your Book on Twitter! -BadRedhead Media

Drive-by marketing is a huge waste of time in today's interactive media world.                      

 

Film

                                                        

How Do You Sell a Movie with Split Reviews? - Making the Movie

A brilliant way to use bad reviews in a marketing campaign.

                                          

Very Independent Filmmaking - Trust Your Instincts - NOHO Arts District

Embrace your instincts. Even if you make a mistake, it will only make you a better filmmaker.            

Music

 

The State of Digital Music, 2013 [Video Infographic] - Audiolicious.tv

It's a digital world. Can you see the music matrix?

 

Music Marketing on Facebook & Twitter, What & When to Post - Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Your social media time is valuable. Make the most of it.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - April 5, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - March 29, 2013

1,294 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, selling, music, filmmaking, movies, writers, writing, films, musicians, filmmakers, branding, social_media
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CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) are attending London Book Fair April 15-17, 2013 and will host several presentations throughout the event. If you're attending the show, we hope to see you at these presentations or in Booth V555!


Click HERE to download a printable version.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/createspacecommunity/Social/LBF_schedule4_FINAL.jpg


The Author Journey with KDP

Successful authors talk about their journey into and through publishing.

Presenters: Daniel Cooper, head of KDP Europe; Tim Cooke, author of "Kiss and Tell"; and Mel Sherratt, author of "Taunting the Dead"


Focus on CreateSpace/KDP:

Learn about CreateSpace or KDP in these how-to overview sessions.

Presenters: Thom Kephart, community outreach; and Aaron Rosenstein, senior marketing manager


KDP Overview

Join Daniel Cooper, head of KDP Europe, as he shares an overview of Kindle Direct Publishing.


Author Signing

Meet authors Mel Sherratt and Tim Cooke as they talk to fans and autograph copies of their books.


Discussion: The Future for Authors

Successful authors discuss how they envision author opportunities growing and changing over the coming months and years.

Presenters: Daniel Cooper, Tim Cooke, and Mel Sherratt

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Picture this: you're in an express elevator and Steven Spielberg steps on just as the doors close. He presses the button to the floor just below your destination. You suddenly find yourself with some alone time with one of the greatest filmmakers of in the history of cinema. You've been told time and time again that your book would make an excellent movie. Here's your chance to bring your book to the attention of a living legend. You can't pass it up. Knowing you don't have much time, you introduce yourself and quickly make your pitch.

 

But what if your dream scenario turns into a nightmare when you can't deliver a clear and concise description of your story? Your pitch is full of backpedaling moments as you try to fit in every cool subplot and minor twist you carefully crafted into your novel. The most common phrase you utter is "Wait, I forgot to talk about what happened before..."

 

Don't let this happen to you. You should always be prepared for a chance meeting with Steven Spielberg or anyone who could catapult your book into the upper stratosphere of sales. Know your quick pitch. Practice it. Test it on your family and friends. Work it into conversations at parties and other gatherings. 

 

With this sort of pitch, there is no time to relay detail upon detail; there is only time to divulge the main conflict. That is your pitch. Everything else that happens in your book may be crucial, but save that for the discussion about your book that follows your pitch. Your pitch is the device that hooks them and leaves them wanting more. 

 

-Richard

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

 

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Passive Marketing is Important Too

Building Buzz Before You Publish

2,782 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: selling, book, movies, writers, writing, films, branding
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A new trend in book promotion is "article marketing" in which authors submit unpaid content to websites such as ehow.com in hopes that it will lead to internet exposure and eventually book sales. Personally, I'm not a big fan of that approach because the articles on those sites (often called "content farms") tend to be very generic, not well screened, and often produced through what seems to be translation software. However, the concept behind article marketing is excellent. I spent nine years working at a PR agency, and we used this strategy a lot for our clients. Here's how to do it right if you're an author:

 

  1. Identify magazines and/or websites your target audience reads
  2. Narrow that list down to outlets that accept unpaid "contributed" articles - often called "bylined" articles
  3. Develop an outline/concept for an article you could write that would fit with the style/tone of the media outlet
  4. Contact the editorial team at the outlet and pitch your idea

 

Major publications usually don't accept contributed articles. However, smaller operations such as trade magazines, school alumni magazines, even regional club newsletters, do. For example, if you're a financial planner, and your book is a practical guide to saving money, there are many publications and websites that would love a short article called "10 Tips for Saving for Your Dream Vacation." If the media outlet prints the article, your name, short bio, and maybe even a photo will appear at the beginning or end of the piece. Tack on "author of XYZ" to that bio, and everyone reading your informative article will know you also have a book they should immediately run out and buy.

 

Article marketing may sound complicated, but believe me, it's not! It just takes some focus, effort, and perseverance.

 

-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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A Few Reasons to Have a Website

What Is a Platform?

2,094 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, promotion, writers, article_marketing
1

It's All About Meme

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Apr 8, 2013

Let's examine what we know: You are an author. You participate in social media. You want to sell books. The trick is to get these elements to converge and create a successful marketing campaign. Perhaps "trick" is the wrong word, because it's really just a matter of applying one simple function to your marketing efforts: engagement.

 

Consistent and positive interaction with your friends and followers is how to market yourself and your book successfully. You want to make those within your social network aware that you have a book that's available for sale, but you want to do it without being too aggressive. There's nothing worse than someone who won't stop trying to sell you something. The best way to sell without selling is to have fun.

 

One thing that's fun? Memes. A meme is a piece of media that people spread around the internet because they find it funny, inspiring, poignant, etc. A majority of memes today are images with various messages on them. Not a day goes by that I don't see a couple dozen memes on Facebook. They are enormously popular, and they don't appear to be going away anytime soon.

 

Why not create your own memes about your book? Incorporate the cover, or simply use the title of your book in an image. These funny/inspirational memes will give you an idea of what I'm talking about. You could even challenge your readers to create some memes about your book and share them with their circle of friends and followers. It's a simple and fun way to get your community involved, and the great thing about it is it's selling without selling.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Passive Marketing is Important Too

It's Not Just a Hobby, It's a Marketing Opportunity

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0

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

 

Books/Publishing

 

Nate Silverizing Book Recommendations - Stephanie Sun

Stephanie Sun uses math to decide which book she will read next.

                                                    

How to Develop Any Idea into a Great Story -Writer's Digest

Sometimes it takes the mind of an inventor to turn an idea into a story.                    

 

Film

                                                        

The Roles of a Producer - filmmaking.net

A film can have half a dozen producers or more. What do they all do?

                                          

The Biggest Filmmaking Mistake - Filmmaking Stuff

Are you letting obstacles impede you, or motivate you?

                                    

Music

 

The Musician Entrepreneur - Getting There

If you're a professional musician, you're an entrepreneur. Are you making the right business decisions?

 

Music Mastering Engineer: Do You Need One for Your Mix? - Musicgoat

An experienced engineer can be pricey. Are they worth the expense?        

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - March 29, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - March 22, 2013

1,318 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, selling, music, filmmaking, film, indie, movies, writers, writing, musicians, craft, filmmakers, branding
9

When I first decided I wanted to write for a living, I assumed it required a special knowledge of placing one word after another. And I guess to a certain degree it does. Applying the rules of grammar correctly is an important skill, and spelling is a feather in your cap if you've chosen writing as a profession. But beyond that, writing doesn't require a great deal of training. It simply takes an exceptional amount of doing it in order to master it.

 

Sitting down at my electric typewriter in those early days - yes, I'm that old - I sometimes spent days on a paragraph trying to make every word unique and important. It was my goal to write something that had never been read before. Instead, what I was managing to do with a great deal of success was to make everything I wrote sound manufactured and forced, and I was also frustrating myself to the point that I sat down in front of the typewriter with less frequency. 

 

It was in a creative writing class in college when everything changed for me. I sat at my desk and listened to the instructor read stories written by the class, and most of them sounded like mine: unnatural. It was as if we were trying to show how many cool words we knew. It was almost torturous to hear what we had actually written until the instructor started reading the last story of the day. 

 

This story was different. It was compelling and inspiring. We all leaned forward in our desks listening carefully to every word. And these words weren't like the words in the other stories we had heard; they were words we actually used in our day-to-day lives. They were simple and didn't require a great deal of thought to process, yet we were all completely immersed in the story.

 

When she was done, the instructor smiled and said, "That was a story written by a storyteller, not a writer." She went on to explain that there is room for both in literature, and if we were serious about writing for a living, we had to decide which we wanted to be: a storyteller or a writer. In her class, choosing both was not an option.

 

I chose then and there that I wanted to be a storyteller. There was no question about it. That made sitting down in front of my typewriter fun. I could do that without getting discouraged. 

 

So, which do you choose? Storyteller or writer?

 

-Richard

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

 

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Are We Tortured Artists?

Peripeteia: Another Storytelling Tool Explained

14,749 Views 9 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: writers, writing, craft, stroyteller
0

I give workshops on book marketing, and one of the first things I tell my clients to do is put up a website, preferably in the form of yourname.com. If you have a common name, I suggest seeing if yournameauthor.com or yournamebooks.com is available. I prefer this to thenameofyourbook.com, because what if you end up writing another book?

 

Here are some reasons why having a website is important:

 

It makes you look successful.

If you're an independent author, getting people to pay attention is HARD. Having a website presents you as a successful writer, which is especially important in the early stages of book marketing.

 

It allows potential readers to check out your book(s) before purchasing.

You can post the first chapter on your website, as I've done here: http://mariamurnane.com/books/peek/

 

You want people to be able to find you.

If someone searches for you online and nothing comes up, people may wonder why they can't find you. Or you risk them simply losing interest and moving on to something else.

 

It provides a way for readers to connect with you.

A "contact" button on your website is critical. That way your most loyal fans can reach out to you. When they do, you can respond and develop a relationship with them.

 

It provides a way for you to contact your readers.

Use a free newsletter tool such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact and have a "subscribe here" option on your website. That way fans can tell you that they want to hear from you.

 

Those are just a few reasons to have a website. Feel free to check out mine for more ideas on using a website to engage readers.

 

-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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How to Connect with Your Readers

Book Marketing Tip: Make It Easy for Your Fans to Help You

5,278 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, website, author, writers, promotions
3

On this blog, we've gone over a number of ways to build your brand. You know some of my favorites: Maintain a blog.Be active on social media.Create personal videos. Put all these elements together and you have your author platform (plus a heavy investment of time). But what about those things that don't take up a lot of time? Are you doing those?

 

Believe it or not, some small marketing steps go a long way toward helping the world know you are an author, and they take very little time to put into place. Here are three passive marketing tricks:

 

  1. Email - Identify yourself as an author in your email signature on your personal email account. It takes only a minute to set up and is a great way to announce to everyone you email that you are indeed an author. You may want to set up an email account via one of the many free online email services for just your business as an author. For these, consider using the word "author" somewhere in the address (especially helpful for those with common names!). For example, johndoeauthor@xxxxx.com. Get into the habit of using this account for personal correspondence and especially for any email pertaining to your books.

  2. Screen Name - Whenever you are given the opportunity to choose your screen name online, always include the word "author" in your identifier. Whenever you post within the community, everyone who sees it will know you're an author, which can help build your brand.

  3. Account Settings - When you join a social media site or online community, you will usually find an account settings area to enter personal information about yourself. This is another opportunity to identify yourself as an author. In many cases, this information will be included in some form underneath your name or will be only a click away for those interested in finding out more about you.

These sound so simple, but they are highly effective because they have the opportunity to be seen over and over again by the same people. Repetition is a key element to successful marketing. Your brand will only grow stronger as more people begin to identify you as an author in the frequent passive ways you communicate online.

-Richard

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

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Tips for Engaging Your Readers Online

Marketing: Begin with Your Strengths

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