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298 Posts tagged with the self_publishing tag
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

Quick Tips to Help You Tighten Up Your Writing - Catherine, Caffeinated

Author and writing coach C.S. Larkin shares six tips to improve your writing.           

                                                    

Behind the Microphone ? Internet Radio Is a Great Online Marketing Strategy - The Future of Ink

Build your brand and sell books by being a guest on internet radio shows.    

 

Film

                                                        

How to Sharpen Your Movie Hook (So You Get Noticed) - Filmmaking Stuff

How to make investors and moviegoers care about your movie.   

                                          

The Three Rules I Saw Broken at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival - Script Magazine

Technology has created an indie filmmaking revolution, and like any revolution, rules are being broken.     

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

Vocal Tone: What It Is, Why We Change It -Judy Rodman

Your vocal tone is a key component of communication, even when it comes to singing.    

 

Music, Mind and Meaning - The Case for the Science of Music  - Hypebot.com

Why do we like music? 

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup- February 28, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- February 21, 2014

2,883 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, music, movies, writers, writing, drafts, film_festival, writing_process, musicians, fim_editing, vocal_tone
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If your biggest fans aren't authors themselves, there's a good chance they have no idea how much you need their help to spread the word about your work. So why not tell them? I created a "buzz" page on my website. It lists easy ways to spread the word about my novels, and anytime I interact with fans on a personal level, I ask them to check out that page.

Here are some examples:

 

1)  My newsletter: Anytime someone signs up for my monthly newsletter, I reply with a personal note asking why they chose to do so. Many are aspiring authors looking for writing and marketing advice, but just as many say they signed up because they love my books. If they're fans, I tell them how important word-of-mouth is and how much I would appreciate their help. For example, I suggest they post something about my books on Facebook. It's important to make it as easy as possible for your fans to take action.

2)  Goodreads: When people begin to "follow" me on Goodreads I also send them a personal note and follow the same protocol as with the newsletter. Most people who follow me on Goodreads are voracious readers and love to share what they are reading with others. They also love hearing from authors!

3)  Twitter: If I see that I have a new follower, I repeat the same protocol mentioned above. My Twitter followers are mix of writers and readers, and they always appreciate a personal tweet.

 

You'd be surprised how happy your readers will be to hear from you - and how willing they are to help you if you tell them you need help. The key is to give them the tools they need, which is why a buzz page is great.

-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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How to Support an Indie Author

Three Easy Marketing Ideas

7,806 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, writing, goodreads, twitter
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Back in my days of writing ad copy for print and electronic media (before the internet and social media), I learned a very valuable lesson about advertising and marketing. As a newbie to the ad world, I mistakenly thought that the ad was the only thing that really mattered. As long as you conveyed your message clearly and created an emotional attachment to the ad, you had done a bulk of the leg work, and you were going to strike gold. But then I saw what came next and realized that the real work had just begun.

 

What came next? The media buy. I knew nothing about the process. As far as I knew, you picked the most popular show you could afford and ran your commercial during that time slot. And as far as print goes, I assumed you picked a spot in the section of the Sunday paper that was most relevant to your product and placed the ad there. I could not have been more wrong. I was in for a real education. Ratings books were consulted. Reader and viewer demographics were pored over. Everything was crucial to the media buy: income, age, gender, occupation, and family status.

 

I learned the buyer wasn't just trying to find a way to reach the most people that fit the demographic; they were trying to find a location (on air or in print) where people in the desired demographic would see the ad over and over again. They wanted people to see the ad seven to ten times. The number of people wasn't as important as how many times the people would be exposed to the ad.

 

So, as you move forward and consider jumping into the world of advertising for your book, keep this little lesson I learned in mind. The key to your ad's success is how many times it's seen by the same people. Being viewed by a large number of people means nothing if they only see it one or two times. It's not about reaching the most people; it's about reaching the right people over and over and over and over again.

 

-Richard

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

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A Basket Full of Books

The Key to Succeed as an Author

2,746 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, advertising, promotions
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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 Write a Fast-Draft Novel - Writer's Digest

Prep work is your best strategy to writing a novel in a short period of time.          

                                                    

40 Things an Author Absolutely Must Do to Succeed - Author Culture

Author Kevin Parsons shares his long list of common sense ideas on how to succeed as an author.    

 

Film

                                                        

Indie Filmmaking is Surging despite the Odds - Variety

While the number of studio-financed films are going down every year, the number of independently financed films are going up.   

                                          

Legally Speaking, It Depends: Music in Film - Script Magazine

Just how does a filmmaker go about getting clearance to use a song in a movie?     

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

An Exercise in Goal Setting - Musicgoat

You won't believe how easy it just might be to achieve a goal.    

 

Shift Happens: Are You a Reader, a Listener or a Watcher? - Bob Baker's TheBuzzFactor.com

Have podcasts made blogs irrelevant? Bob Baker doesn't think so. 

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup- February 21, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- February 14, 2014

3,094 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, music, filmmaking, author, ideas, movies, drafts, blogs, creativity, musicians, goals, filmmakers, creative_writing, music_exercises
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When someone asks, "What's your book about?" it's important to be able to answer in a sentence or two. This is often described as an "elevator pitch," because you should be able to explain your book during a short elevator ride. Who knows what Hollywood producer might happen to ask - or be listening?

 

Creating a brief yet compelling description of your book is essential. Not only does it give you something to say when people ask you about it, it can be used for the following proactive marketing purposes:

 

1)  In your (personal) email signature: Every email program comes with a "signature" option. Including a quick description of your book, or even the tone of your book, is a great way to let people know what your book is about without being pushy. For my first book, I included this description in the signature of my personal email address:

 

Maria Murnane, award-winning author of "Perfect on Paper," a novel for anyone who has ever run into an ex while looking like crap

I've lost track of how many people have told me they laughed at my email signature and ended up buying my book as a result. And as you can see, the little blurb doesn't necessarily have to say anything about the actual plot of your book. The key is to convey the essence of your book so potential readers will know what to expect when they pick up a copy.

 

2)  On business cards that feature your book's cover: Why not put your one-line description on the back? Be sure to carry the cards in your wallet at all times. If that Hollywood executive you meet in the elevator likes what he or she hears, you'll have a business card to hand over.

 

Coming up with a compelling one-liner can be challenging, but it's worth spending time to create a good one. With most people, you only get one chance to grab their attention, so you want that description to sparkle.

 

-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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Relay Conflict in Your Quick Pitch

Can You Do More?

4,815 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, writing, promotions, elevator_pitch
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The Lasting Brand

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Feb 24, 2014

When thinking of marketing and branding, it's important to keep a perspective on what matters. Even in the world of creating virtual public personas, viral marketing campaigns, blog tours, giveaways and so on, the one thing that matters above all else is quality.

 

The brand you want is one that will stand the test of time, a brand that will survive changing technology. You want a brand that represents a book that is as enjoyable to read in paperback as it is to read on your Kindle as it is to read on your smartphone as it is to read on whatever we will be using to read 50 years from now. You want a brand that represents an outstanding storyteller who writes compelling books that have the DNA to entertain, move and transfix generations of readers.

 

A brand built on quality is a lasting brand. As an author, if you want the potential to leave a legacy, you need to constantly grow your skill set and knowledge of writing. You do that by writing and testing the boundaries. You also do that by reading other great writers: legends, traditional powerhouses and rising indie authors. Finally, you do that by committing to your craft.

 

Quality matters. It may matter more today than it ever has because of the sheer number of books published every day. To stand out and gather readers over time and through the years, to be a lasting brand, the quality of your writing is what matters most.

 

-Richard

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

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A Writer's Brand Identity

Going Indie? Don't Skimp on Quality

5,290 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, writers, branding
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I'm going to sum this blog post up in one word, but I'm going to save that word until the end. This single word is the key to becoming exponentially more productive as a writer. It will set your mind free and allow ideas to flow. It will turn your focus to creative thought and expression.

 

Here's the kicker: You know this word, and it's not going to surprise you just how powerful it truly is. You know its meaning and just how liberating it can be. Every time you interrupt a writing session to see what's happening in the world, this word most likely flashes in your brain. Every time you pop on over to Facebook to see what your friends are up to, this word smacks you in the face. Every time you construct a tweet and set it free on Twitter, this word wraps itself around your gut, telling you to take heed. 

 

Spending a day in the glory of this word, observing its meaning with discipline and dedication can make all the difference to your writing. It can clear your path of distractions and lift your artistic spirits. You will write more if you just listen to this word. In fact, if every time you feel the need to pull up your browser, you say this word to yourself instead, you will find the time and the passion to write. It's inevitable.

 

And just what is this word? It is that six letter gem: UNPLUG. 

 

-Richard

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

 

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Writing Takes Discipline

When Are You Most Productive?

3,273 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, drafts, writing_process, craft, writer's_block, author_tips
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I'm no stranger to writer's block, which at times can feel paralyzing. And stressful. And did I say stressful? I recently began writing my seventh novel, and this time around I'm prepared to battle this dreaded affliction with three strategies I've learned from my previous bouts.

 

1)  It's important to keep the story moving forward, so when I feel stuck on a scene, or if the creative muscle to write clever dialogue or interesting descriptions just isn't there, I make placeholders and move on. For example, in my new novel I've already written general placeholders such as:

 

·         DESCRIBE RESTAURANT HERE - HAVE IT RUSTIC AND ON THE BEACH

·         HAVE HER WALK ALONG THE BEACH ALONE AND FEEL SAD

·         ADD IN SOME DETAIL HERE ABOUT THEIR PREVIOUS TRIP TOGETHER

 

Yes, I use all caps. It's not pretty, but it works because it keeps me focused on the plot. If I've learned anything at all about writing novels, it's how important it is to keep the story moving forward. You can also go back and edit later.

 

2)  When I've done the above but have no idea where to take the plot next, I go to the gym and bring my phone. I jump on the stationary bike with my Kindle Fire and start watching TV. Inevitably I'm struck by an idea, so I whip out my phone and email myself a note. I'm not sure why exercising helps me so much, but it works every time - and it keeps me in shape. A win-win!

 

3)  When I come up with an idea for something to include at some point in the book, I add it to a cleverly named document called "To include at some point." This is basically an eclectic list of bullet points, but it's a great way to make sure those bursts of inspiration don't get lost.

 

How do you manage writer's block? I'd love to hear your ideas 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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Can Your Book Title Affect the Way You Write?

 

Can Visualization Help You Finish That Manuscript?

4,782 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing
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Call this an open letter to friends and family members of indie authors (authors, you can share this with your personal networks if you agree).

 

This is an answer to the question I hear most often from the people in my life who want to support my career as an indie author: "What can I do to help you sell more books?" The answer is simple, and believe it or not, it has nothing to do with you buying a book from the indie author in your life. All that is required is that you help spread the word. I don't mean in an organized manner or by using some grand gesture full of fanfare and hype. I simply mean that you mention the book in conversation or include a link to the book in a status update on Facebook and/or Twitter. That's it. If you've read the book, you could go that extra mile and share your review online, but that is your call. Your real value is as a personal advocate, an active supporter of the indie author in your life.

 

Your word carries a lot of weight. Statistics show that the number-one reason people choose to read a book is because of recommendations from a friend or family member. Do you see the power you have? Now, it isn't your responsibility to support an indie author's dream, and I don't want you to feel like it is an obligation. I just want you to be aware of how easily your support can be expressed.

 

Thanks for reading, and may you all find your way to achieving your own hopes and dreams with a little help from family and friends.

 

-Richard

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

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The Key to Succeed as an Author

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

4,918 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, promotions
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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 Create an Antihero That Readers Love - Writer's Digest

You don't need to fix antiheroes to make themlikeable.  

                                                    

Prequels Build Buzz! - The Book Deal

Could a short teaser before the release of a full length novel be a way to build your audience?

 

Film

                                                        

The Art of Editing - Filmmaker IQ

Filmmaker Peter Haas shares his wisdom on editing.

                                          

Aspiring Screenwriters: Read Screenplays - Stephan Vladimir Bugaj

Stephan VladmirBugaj makes the case that you can't write a screenplay if you've never actually read one.

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

Want to Reach 18-35 Year Olds with Your Music? Social Media Is the Answer - Hypebot.com

Bottom line, millennials care what their peers have to say on social media.

 

The 5 Biggest Music Publicity Mistakes (and How to Fix Them) - Bob Baker's TheBuzzFactor.com

Despite the saying, not all publicity is good publicity.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup-February 7, 2014

Weekly News Roundup-January 31, 2014

2,324 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, filmmaking, writers, series, musicians, filmmakers, branding, social_media, audience, prequals, film_editing
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I've talked quite a bit about teaming up with other indie authors to bolster your marketing efforts. It's just a way for you all to support each other and share fan bases, with the goal of creating a pool of readers that grows at a faster rate than if you were to go it alone. The more authors you have in your group, the greater the opportunity to expand your fan base.

With that philosophy in mind, I'd like to present an idea for you and your group of fellow indie authors. Recently, I was asked to donate signed copies of my books to a fundraising event for a school. They bundled my books with a few others into a basket for a silent auction. That gave me an idea.

 

Your group of indie author friends could put together a similar basket of your own books and have a drawing among your fans to give the basket of books away. Give yourself a four-week lead time so you all can promote the drawing heavily. Each indie author should take to their separate social networks and provide instructions on how to enter, making sure to post frequent reminders about the drawing. When the winner is announced, everyone in the indie author group should make a big deal about it and congratulate the lucky fan with a personal message of gratitude for his or her participation.

 

Sharing the burden and responsibility of marketing with fellow indie authors has great potential. The giveaway idea above is just one possibility. Just think of all the other ideas you could come up with once you put your heads together! 

 

-Richard

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

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Form an Author Co-op

Supporting Indie Authors

5,220 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, social_networking, author_brand, marketing_ideas, marketing_strategy, author_collaboration
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Last February, Bestseller Labs published Goodreads CEO Reveals A Remarkably Easy Way To Sell More Books. The article is about a survey that Goodreads did of their members inquiring, among other things, how they chose a book to read. The number one answer to that question was really no surprise: referral by a friend. That has been the number one way people have chosen what book to read since cave paintings were bestsellers.

 

Perhaps the most edifying information to come out of the survey stemmed from the question, "What do you want to do when you get to the end of a book?" Eighty-three percent of those polled said they sought out other material written by the author. That represents a huge number of your readers who are anxious to read your next book. 

 

Why am I bringing this poll up a year later? To remind you that things haven't changed. Word of mouth is still the best way for your book to be discovered, and once a new reader finishes your book, they're going to want to read more of your books.

This is indie publishing. Your success is in your own hands. The results from this survey suggest to me that the best way to fuel your success is to provide consumers with multiple titles to read. I know time is of a premium and there never seems to be enough of it, but I urge you to find the time to write and publish more. Your success as an indie author may depend on it.

 

-Richard

 

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

 

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Create a Reader Profile

Writing a Series? Tips from a Superstar

1,673 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, selling, book_marketing, book_reviews, criticism
1

Coping with Criticism

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Feb 11, 2014

Learning how to handle criticism is an important step for every author. No matter how good a book is, not everyone is going to like it, and no work is ever going to receive five-star reviews across the board. But trust me, I understand that your first book is your baby, and once it's finally out there for the world to read, receiving anything less than glowing feedback can be downright painful.

 

I recently met a former TV anchor named Pallas Hupe Cotter who now specializes in helping professionals in many industries deal with challenges. She and I agree that criticism can make you stronger if you have the right attitude about it. Here are her tips for first-time authors:

 

1) Be prepared: Be aware that you are vulnerable when you share your words. They do reveal a vulnerable part of you and you need to ready yourself for an inevitable reaction.


2) Take a step back: The closer you feel to your work, the harder it is to separate yourself from the work itself. Remember, criticism of your words isn't a rejection of you as a person.


3) Don't let emotion rule your reaction: Everyone has emotional reactions to criticism. Allow yourself to feel the emotion but then move through it.

 

4) Process and take action: A writer's job isn't just to write, but to edit. That requires feedback. Scan criticism to see how it can improve your work, and then act on it.


5) Take responsibility: When someone gives feedback, drill deeper -
ask questions. Even if it's positive and someone says "I loved it," ask why. Find out specifics that will help you improve.


6) Consider the source: Remember, a critic's job is to stir the pot and spark a reaction. One bad review out of 100 positive ones can get under your skin. Ask yourself, "Is this voice really more important than the others?" Put criticism in perspective.


I know firsthand that it's never going to be easy to listen to criticism, but Pallas is right. If you set your ego aside and learn to approach feedback as an opportunity to improve your writing, your next book (or draft) will be better.

 

-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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Is It Good Enough?

Your Gift to Yourself

3,139 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, criticism
5

Developing an Idea

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Feb 10, 2014

Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar. You're struggling with a new idea for a story. It's one of those situations where you know the basic concept and one or two details, but beyond that you haven't a clue how to make this story work. You know you'll eventually figure it out, but it's hard to say when that'll happen.

 

I'm tackling this exact challenge right now. Here's my process for forging onward:

 

  1. I jot down a poorly written paragraph that contains far too much foreshadowing and exposition. I minimize the file, and I move on to some other work.

  2. A few hours later, or the next day even, I'll open the file and examine the paragraph. I rewrite the paragraph and turn it into a page.

  3. I'll then send it off to my number-one confidant - my wife - and ask her what she thinks of the idea. If she's keen on it, I rework it yet again to fine-tune a few more details.

  4. Finally, I'll shelve it for a couple of weeks while I work on other projects or try to develop a number of other ideas.

The key here is to forget about the idea for a relatively long period of time so you can be sure you aren't forcing the idea and creating a story out of a sense of obligation to follow through. You'll get back to it, and that's when you can determine if the story really grabs you or bores you, and proceed accordingly.

 

That's my process for developing an idea. I'm interested in hearing yours. How do you work through an idea that doesn't flow easily in the beginning?

 

-Richard

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

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Unblocking Writer's Block

More Tips for Completing Your Manuscript

4,162 Views 5 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writers, writing
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

A Tale of Two Author Brands - The Creative Penn

Joanna Penn examines her brand as a novelist and her brand as a nonfiction author.        

                                                    

The DNA of a Successful Book: INFOGRAPHIC - GalleyCat

Did you know that books with a female protagonist are 40% more likely to become a bestseller?   

 

Film

                                                        

Are You Meant to Be a Filmmaker? - Chaz Harris's Blog

Can you imagine doing anything else?   

                                          

Make the Distinction between Being a Visual Director and a Performance Director & Your Career Will Change - Noam Kroll

If your cast and crew know what kind of director you are, your production will go much smoother.     

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

Networking: Why it's So Important and How to Do It - Music Think Tank

Why knowing people in the music industry is so crucial to your career.   

 

The Best Social Media and Internet Marketing Strategy for Musicians - Bob Baker's TheBuzzFactor.com

Do you know the four modes of communication?

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup- January 31, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- January 24, 2014

2,446 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, music, writers, internet_marketing, filmmakers, social_media, visual_director, performance_director
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