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968 Posts tagged with the writing tag
16

No matter who publishes your book, there's no guarantee that libraries will carry it. However, if you walk into your local library with a smile and a copy of your book and say, "Hi there! I wrote this book. Will you please carry it?" there's a good chance the answer will be "Sure." It can't hurt to ask, right? The worst the librarian can do is say no, and as I explained in a previous post, if you let a few NOs drag you down, you're not going to get very far in your book marketing efforts.

 

I live in New York, but I recently received an invitation to an event at the library in my hometown in California. And get this--it's a reception for local authors to meet local readers! How cool is that? For all I know, my novels have never even been checked out there, but their mere presence on the shelves resulted in an invitation. Maybe your local library is planning a similar event. You never know! Again, it can't hurt to ask. (And if your library isn't planning a similar event, why not suggest one?)

 

Another idea is to ask your friends or family members who live in different towns to walk into their local libraries and make a request for your book. If a card-carrying member of a library requests a specific book, the librarian will most likely order it. It's true! When I was writing my first novel, I remember telling my mom that if just one person I wasn't related to read it, I would be thrilled. I got confirmation that this had happened when my uncle, who lives in Indiana, requested that his local library carry the book. When he went back a few weeks later to check it out, someone had beat him to it! I have no idea who that first reader was, but I will never forget the wonderful moment when I found out he/she existed.

 

-Maria

 

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Three Easy Marketing Ideas

Avoid this Marketing No-No

2,613 Views 16 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, writing, libraries
0

Years ago I got into a discussion with some folks about what makes a young adult novel a young adult novel. It was sparked by a panel at a conference taking on the topic, and what I discovered is that there is no real consensus on the matter. Every element supposedly exclusive to young adult material was eventually discovered to exist in adult titles, and the reverse was true.

 

So given that there are no rules for young adult novels written in stone, let's examine three--let's call them observations--uncovered in that discussion. Invariably, there are exceptions to each item in the list to follow, but that's okay. This is just a jumping off point.

 

  1. Coming-of-age element: Young adult novels usually cover a rite of passage. That is to say the main character moves into a new stage of life that brings him/her closer to adulthood. We call these coming-of-age stories, and while the stage in question may be something as innocent as experiencing a first kiss, the obstacles overcome and the lessons learned on their way to that first kiss are the crux of the story.

  2. Hope: More so than in adult themed novels, hope seems to be an ever-present theme in most young adult novels. As bad as things get, even dystopian bad, the main character always finds a way to win. The message consistently seems to be to never give up. Victory is just a miracle away.

  3. Avoiding trends: When an adult writes a book for a young adult market, the temptation is to learn the slang of the day and try to speak their language, but the young adult novels that stand the test of time, by and large, don't jump on language trends. Doing so appears as if the author is trying too hard to relate to the readers, and it just doesn't work.

 

Those are the observations that came up in my discussion. What say you? What do you think is unique to a young adult novel or key to a young adult novel's long-term success?

 

-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?

Claim Your Genre

1,640 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, young_adult
1

I love horror stories in every medium. My Saturday morning ritual while I'm vegging out, sipping on my life-giving coffee, is to watch a horror movie. It goes without saying that as a writer, Stephen King is one of my idols. He's the master of horror for a reason. Being scared is just fun. There's no other way to describe it. As a student of all things horror, here are the five things I've observed about a good horror story:

 

  1. Relatable protagonist: Horror stories work best when your central character is recognizable. He or she should face the same sort of everyday struggles and triumphs that the readers face. What the protagonist does for a living doesn't necessarily have to be a typical job, but the way he or she approaches that job should be the same way a majority of people approach a job. The readers should be able to see themselves in the protagonist.

  2. Clearly defined main conflict: You don't want your readers guessing what's so terrifying about your horror story. They should know why they're terrified. Keep your monster in the shadows if you wish, but make the consequences of coming face-to-face with your monster crystal clear.

  3. You can't have horror without suspense: While knowing the possible consequences of meeting your monster is important, the anticipation of doom might be more relevant to a horror story than the actual doom itself. Investigating those things that go bump in the night can offer more thrills than uncovering what those things truly are. Think about it, there is a certain amount of exhilaration in not knowing who or what the monster is. Keeping the who, what, why, and where a mystery for as long as you can is good edge-of-your-seat storytelling.

  4. Out of their element: Good protagonists have to be out of their league and overmatched in order to make the conclusion satisfying. Whatever the outcome of your horror story, the reader needs to feel that the central character worked to earn a victory. Without that struggle, there's no reason to root for him or her.

  5. The horror still exists: The best horror stories end with the reader thinking that the horror is still out there. The protagonist may have won the battle, but the war still wages on. You don't necessarily have to set up a sequel, but horror fans read horror novels because they like being scared. If you can find a way to scare them with your ending, you've written a horror masterpiece.

 

Are you a fan of horror? What are the elements of horror that draw you in and keep you entertained?

 

-Richard

 

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

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The Cost and Odds of Suspense

How to Be a Genre Bender

2,639 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: horror, writing, suspense, genre, writing_tips, writing_advice, author_advice, page_turner
26

I'm always looking for ideas for this blog (as well as a good book to read), so I spend a chunk of my day keeping tabs on the publishing industry. Often when I stumble across an article about a new author, especially a new indie author, I head to Amazon to check out the book and the author's page. Who knows? I may buy the book or even contact the author about a possible interview.

 

If I see grammatical errors in an author page, however, I quickly move on.

 

For example, I recently visited the Amazon page of an author whose bio included the following mistakes (specifics changed to protect the author's identity):

 

What she wrote: Lisa Sue is the Author of five mysteries.

 

What she should have written: Lisa Sue is the author of five mysteries.

 

What she wrote: Her favorite topic's are X, Y and Z.

 

What she should have written: Her favorite topics are X, Y and Z.

 

What she wrote: Lisa Sue is a woman that has always worked hard for what she wants.

 

What she should have written: Lisa Sue is a woman who has always worked hard for what she wants.

 

I've said it countless times in this blog, but you only have quick moment to grab a (potential) reader's attention. If the impression you give is that you don't understand the basic rules of grammar, the potential reader is probably not going to buy your book, no matter how good it is. Perhaps the above author was in a hurry when she wrote her bio and didn't notice the mistakes, but to an educated reader the errors are distracting and unprofessional.

 

Think of your author bio the way you would your book's cover. People shouldn't judge your book based on it, but many will.

 

-Maria

 

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Common Mistakes a Professional Editor Sees

Grammar Tip: She vs. Her/He vs. Him

5,772 Views 26 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writing, grammar, author_bio, grammatical_errors
1

It has occurred to me lately that building a brand is a lot like dating. When you are in the midst of a courtship, you put your best foot forward. You enhance your strengths, downplay your weaknesses, and you work at being engaging. You are constantly looking for ways to keep the conversation lively and maybe even enlightening. You want the person you're courting to find you interesting--so interesting that they keep agreeing to see you in order to engage in more lively and enlightening conversation.

 

So, in addition to being a writer, your job as an author is to be interesting. Frankly, that's bad news for me because I'm boring. Terribly so. Mind-numbingly so. I have a risk-averse personality that prevents me from attempting dangerous stunts or hobbies. I abhor the nightlife. I can't even stand large crowds. Red carpets, galas, grandiose events: I'm not a fan. So, what's an author like me to do to be interesting enough to be a brand?

 

Well, the only thing I can do: go with the flow. I have hobbies and interests. I like photography. I enjoy football. I love attending local live theater. I even have causes such as supporting animal shelters. So, while I'm not a fascinating person, I find certain things in life fascinating and worth my attention. Those are the things I build my brand around. I share my thoughts on those things with my community. And, hopefully, my passion for them is what makes me interesting.

 

Your lifestyle might not be flashy, but that doesn't mean you're not interesting. How you express your zeal for those things that are important to you makes you interesting enough to be a brand.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Branding vs. Marketing for Authors

Branding 101: What is Author Branding?

4,529 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, author, writing, branding
2

In a previous post, I explained the difference between a developmental edit and a copy edit. Today I'd like to dive deeper into the value of a skilled developmental editor by asking a pro, Christina Henry de Tessan, for the most common issues she encounters. Here are her top four:

 

1) Show vs. tell: We all know the old adage, "Show; don't tell." It can be harder, however, to resist the temptation to show and tell. But if you've told us that "Isabel wiped her clammy hands on her too-short skirt and felt a flush of heat in her cheeks when the teacher asked her to stand up and read aloud," you don't then need to tell us that "She was nervous about getting up in her front of her classmates." Nail the details, then trust your reader to figure it out.

 

2) Dialogue: If you want your writing to shine, it's essential that you get this right. At one end of the spectrum, you want to avoid making your characters sound stilted or bland. At the other, you want to avoid the small talk that can drag down a snappy back-and-forth: "Hi." "Good to see you. How's it going?" "Ok. You?" Finally, read it all out loud.

 

3) Beware of metaphors and similes: These tempting little crutches can yank a reader right out of the story. "The clouds meandered across the sky like exhaust from an ailing diesel truck" is just distracting. Creative license has its moments, but straightforward language is often the best way to go. If you can't help yourself, just use sparingly and make sure your selected imagery feels appropriate to the story. Finally, keep an eye out for the dreaded mixed metaphors!

 

4) Character is everything! We don't have to love them, but we do have to care. If your characters are falling flat, you're going to lose your readers. Make them flawed, quirky, arrogant, confused. But more than anything, make them real. And then make them learn something along the way. Write a character who evolves in a credible and compelling way, and you're well on your way.

 

Many thanks to Christina for lending her expertise to this post!

 

-Maria

 

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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3 Things To Be Aware Of When Editing Your Manuscript

Vishaal Behl - The Top Ten Tips For Editing Your Own Book.

3,375 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, editing, writing, dialogue, show_vs._tell
3

Okay, it's time for a paradigm shift when it comes to an author's thinking about branding. The artists in most of us don't really cozy up to the idea of branding and marketing and all that commercialism. Still, we want to make a living as authors, indie or otherwise, so we suck it up, and we build our platforms. We write our blog posts, we record our personal videos, we join social networks, etc. And then, invariably, after a particularly hard day or bad week, we look at ourselves in the mirror and we ask, "When do I get to stop doing this? When will the books start selling themselves?"

 

The answers to the above questions: never and most likely never. Branding is a never-ending journey. The marketing that supports your brand is the fuel needed to continue that journey. With the growing numbers of titles vying for readers' attention every day, week, and year, there is no break in the action if you want to be and stay noticed.

 

Branding is not a task. It's a way of life. It is you in a public forum being you. It's not something you have to invent. It's something you already are. You're just using you to support your book sales. Stop thinking of this as something you have to do. It's something you're already doing. You're just doing it on a grander scale, and the grander the scale, the more books you sell.

 

When it comes to building a brand, don't get bogged down with the idea of having to do something. You've already done it. In essence, you're just introducing people to your brand.

 

-Richard

 

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

 

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Branding 101: Tools for Branding

To Brand Or Not To Use Creative Branding - Learn The Real Marketing Secret

5,115 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, self-publishing, writing, promotions, branding
3

When I'm working on the first draft of a novel, at times it can feel like I'm pushing an enormous boulder up a mountain. Have you ever had that feeling? It's during those periods that I have to trust what I've learned over the course of writing multiple books, which is that I have to keep going. So day after day I force myself to sit down and inch the story along, however slowly, because I know that by doing so, I will eventually reach the end.

 

Moving the story forward is the key to finishing the first draft. When I was writing my first novel, I spent far too much time tweaking what I'd already written instead of advancing the plot. At the time I thought that approach was a good use of my creative energy, but looking back I realize it was a form of mental procrastination. As a result it took me MUCH longer to finish that book than any of the ones I've written since. Now I don't go back and tweak or do any form of rewriting until I'm pretty much done with the (always rough, sometimes ugly) first pass. I still edit along the way, but I try to avoid anything major until the basic framework of the story is complete.

 

Believe me, there have been many occasions where I've had to tell myself "Maria, this book isn't going to write itself!" just to get myself to sit down in front of my computer. But I keep pushing that boulder up the mountain, slowly but steadily, because I know how great it will feel when I reach the top and get to watch that first draft roll down the other side and (eventually) turn into a fully formed novel.

 

-Maria

 

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Writing Tip: Stay Committed to the Process

Discipline to Write

3,535 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, promotion, blogging, writing, writing_process, craft, writing_tips, author_tips, editing_process, writing_adivce, tips_from_author
1

My writing philosophy is that my only responsibility is to serve the story and the characters within that story. The impact on the reader doesn't come into play when I write. You can agree or disagree with that philosophy. That's not the point of this post.

 

The point is that when I sit down to write I have this parameter in mind. It's my guidepost. Every time I write something that may be a bit outside the normal social bounds, something that makes me personally uncomfortable, I remind myself of my writing philosophy and recommit to the story with a sense of duty. It's a great device to stay on task and rid myself of that internal judge that may be preventing me from doing what needs to be done in my fictional world.

 

If you don't have a writing philosophy, I can't encourage you enough to develop one. Write it down and post it somewhere in your writing space, so you can have a visual reminder of why you do what you do whenever you need it.

 

Once you have your philosophy, make a commitment to hold true to that philosophy. Make a sacred agreement with yourself in good times and difficult times that you will stay committed to honoring that philosophy. Doing so will give your writing a consistency that will serve you well. You'll find yourself writing with more confidence and with a greater passion because you feel as if you are on a mission. Be true to your writing philosophy, and it will serve you in developing a unique literary voice.

 

-Richard

 

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

 

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Make Your Own Rules

Write without Judgment

1,524 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, writing_philosophy
9

Write for No One

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Aug 31, 2015

No one will read your book. That's what you should tell yourself every time you sit down to write. I don't think that's true. In fact, I have every reason to believe that your book will be a bestseller that will break every sales record in the publishing industry. I just don't want you to write with the reader and how many copies you will sell in mind.

 

If you start thinking about the reader when you write, you stop thinking about the story you're writing. What the reader will and won't like is irrelevant to you as a writer. Your job isn't to conform to expectations. Your job is to set expectations. Be bold if that's what your story requires. Be fierce if that's what your story requires. Even be predictable if that's what your story requires.

 

It's an old refrain of mine. You have no obligation except to those characters playing out the madness you're dreaming up. Think of them and only them when you write. And remember, you're not doing what's best for them. You're using them to fulfill the promise of your story. They are used for the good of the whole. The struggles and conflicts they face are the heartbeat that gives your story life. If you construct those struggles and conflicts in order to please the reader, you're writing an uninspired story with an artificial heartbeat.

 

Don't find your motivation to write in the reader. Find your inspiration to write in the story you're creating. If you see it from that perspective, it will be a liberating moment for you as you rush to finish your first draft.

 

-Richard

 

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

 

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The "You" In Your Writing

When Writing, Don't Outsmart Yourself

4,942 Views 9 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writing
3

Do you feel the creative juices drying up? Has the stress of the day or the week or the “pick your period of time” got you struggling to put down a coherent passage on paper (computer screen)? Never fear because I have just the thing for you. Here are my five cures for those times when you lack the energy to be creative:

 

  1. Free thought time: Find a hobby centered on creativity outside of writing. Get out of the writer head-space, and redirect your creativity to another activity--something that involves a different way to create. Whether it’s photography, sketching, painting, knitting, etc., alternate creative endeavors can give your creativity more depth and distinctiom.

  2. A walk in the woods: Or on a greenway or in a park, walk wherever you connect with nature. Nature can do wonders to reboot your creativity. The crisp air, the smell of the greenery, the thrill of watching wildlife, there are countless ways in the wild to disconnect from hang-ups and kick-start your creativity.

  3. Work it out by hand: Step away from the computer and your normal writing space, grab a pen and notepad, and start writing without judgement. Just let it flow. You will most likely do some of the worst writing you’ve ever done using this method, but the quality of writing isn’t the point. The point here is to clear your mind of all that junk so you can make way for creative excellence.

  4. Meditate: I’m a student of Transcendental Meditation, and I can tell you from personal experience that meditation makes you feel more balanced and less stressed. Sitting in the dark with your eyes closed for 15-20 minutes focusing on nothing is an excellent way to make for a more fertile, creative mind.

  5. Set yourself up to be inspired: A great book, film or play often inspires me to start creating. I find inspiration in the author’s/creator’s talent, and I’m driven to improve as an artist.

 

These are five methods I’ve used to help get the creative juices flowing. What’s your strategy? How do you kick-start your creativity?

 

-Richard

 

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


 

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Unblocking Writer's Block

Is the Early Bird More Creative?

4,876 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, self-publishing, writers, writing, creativity, writer's_block, writing_tips, writing_advice, author_tips, advice_for_writers
6

When your book comes out, it's natural to want to shout it from the rooftops--and you should! So many people want to write a book, yet few actually do, so you should celebrate your hard work. It's fun to say "Hey, I wrote a book!"

 

If you want your book to sell, however, you need to do more than just announce that it's out there. And that takes a different kind of work, one that isn't as fun. Promoting a book involves continuous outreach to multiple audiences via multiple channels, each of which might require a significant amount of follow-up. If you don't keep a record of whom you contact and when, it's easy to lose track of your efforts--and your momentum might die on the vine.

 

For example, imagine the following scenario:

 

Gloria goes online to look up regional alumni groups of her alma mater, UCLA. She finds that dozens of them have websites, so she contacts a bunch to see if they have book clubs, and if so, how to reach the organizers.

 

If Gloria has a system for tracking this part of her marketing campaign in place (I recommend a spreadsheet), she will:

 

A)   Know which alumni groups she has contacted--and when

B)   Have the contact information for the alumni groups stored in one place, so she won't have to research them again in the future

C)   Know which groups have book clubs, and which of those she has contacted

D)   Know which groups said yes, no, or maybe so and be able to follow up accordingly

 

If Gloria doesn't have a system in place, the only record of her campaign will be the outbox of her email program. She may have some success with that approach, but given how much follow-up is necessary to make things happen in a world where the people you're contacting are busy with their own lives, chances are a lot of her efforts will be for naught.

 

-Maria

 

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Marketing Tip: Create a Master Spreadsheet

Book Marketing via Email: Blind Copy and Newsletters

5,830 Views 6 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, writing, promotions, book_clubs
4

This post is going to be a little awkward because I'm going to encourage you not to draw attention to something by drawing attention to that very thing. Confused? Bear with me because I have my reasons.

 

Recently I was tested. I got a bad review for one of my books. My philosophy has always been not to take bad reviews personally. I've even celebrated a couple of the bad reviews I've received over the years because they were particularly witty or slightly too enormously outrageous in their criticism. My favorite bad review is when I was called evil. If you've never been called evil, let me tell you, it's not that bad. In fact, I consider it a kind of badge of honor.

 

The most recent bad review left me a little shell-shocked. The second half of the review I found acceptable. It actually addressed problems the reader had with the book. That's fair. We all have different tastes, and I can't expect everyone to be happy with what I write. The first part of the review had me--let's call it seething. The reviewer not so subtly insinuated that I must have paid for the positive reviews the book had received.

 

Here's what bothered me about that accusation, besides it not being true, it is something that could potentially hurt my brand. I felt a sudden rush of panic to fight for myself. I went to Facebook, typed an indignant status update spelling out my outrage, and then walked away from the computer to think of other clever and insightful ways to express the injustice of this review. Instead, I took the time to reflect on the potential damage I could be doing by throwing such a public hissy-fit. In the grand scheme of things, one unfair review that bordered on a personal attack really doesn't matter. I deleted the status update and went for a walk, feeling a little, but not markedly, better when I got home. By the end of the week, I had forgotten all about the review.

 

Well, not completely. Obviously, I'm mentioning it here today, but I'm doing so not because I'm still angry. I'm doing so because I'm not angry anymore, and the review didn't change my sales stats in the least. It did not damage my brand. Had I allowed myself to post my complaints and share it with my friends and followers, I would have most likely done more harm than good. My advice if you get a review that you believe is unfair and went over the line? Walk away, and don't draw attention to it.

 

-Richard

 

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

 

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Branding 101: Brand Sabotage

Why Responding to Negative Reviews Can Hurt Your Marketing

3,147 Views 4 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, promotions, bad_reviews
1

Finding the Blue

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Aug 17, 2015

It is the magic place where ideas come from, that mystical wonderland of creativity and ingenuity. All human beings look for it when they need to tap into their imaginations. We think of it as being outside of ourselves, but in actuality, it's not. It's in us, but many of us don't know how to find it when we think we need it. The truth is, I believe, it finds us when it needs us.

 

I am talking about the "Blue," the place where ideas come from. How many of us have answered the question, "How did you come up with the idea for your book?" with the response, "It really just came to me from out of the Blue." Of course, what we're saying is that we don't really know where the idea came from. It just came to us.

 

But, in a quasi-mystical sense, the Blue is an ethereal idea factory that is never short on inventory. The question for creatives like us is how to tap into it and gobble up as many of those ideas as we can. How do we find the Blue?

 

The first rule of finding the Blue is that there are no rules for finding the Blue--kind of. I believe strongly that there is an observer effect on the Blue. That is to say the Blue, when observed, changes behavior and cranks out tired old ideas that no one wants. But if you find a way to ignore the Blue, a way to keep your mind off it and go about your life forgetting you even know the Blue exists, then it will deliver a truckload of inspiration to your door.

 

So, how do you ignore the Blue? You enjoy your life. You find activities that will remove you from the world of writing and creating, and you find something that directs your focus so completely that the Blue is the last thing on your mind. For me it's walking my dog, nature photography, and time with family.

 

It's an odd paradox, I know. You have to hide from the Blue to find it, but as I said earlier, it needs you. Find you, it will.

 

-Richard

 

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

 

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Embracing Inspiration from Real-Life Moments

Unblocking Writer's Block

2,085 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, out_of_the_blue
4

Author Platform 2015

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Aug 12, 2015

The author platform is a concept that grew out of the Internet age. Before the rise of virtual communication, the term or concept didn't really exist. Other than mainstream media personalities turned authors, there was no easily accessible way for authors to promote themselves on a consistent basis.

 

But when blogging became popular, authors found a way to insert themselves into the conversation on a daily basis. Then social media made it possible to interact with readers on a more intimate level. Then personal videos and podcasts became a part of the zeitgeist. In a short period of time, the idea that any author could have a platform to connect with readers wasn't only feasible, it became an absolute necessity.

 

So what do author platforms look like in 2015? In the past five years, little has changed in the way of social media sites. The major players remain unchanged. The same can be said about video sharing sites. Blogging has waned, but it's still an important cog in the author platform. The biggest change is that authors are now taking less of a diversified approach and committing a great deal of their time to one element of their platforms. They haven't abandoned the other tools, but they are now making one of the tools their primary focus. Which one depends on an author's skillset and comfort level. I've committed more of my time to social media where I can have almost immediate back and forth with readers. Other authors have made personal videos their major emphasis, while a smaller segment of the author community has found success with blogging.

 

What does the future hold for author platforms? It's impossible to tell, but long form online communication is becoming less and less popular as content competes for attention. Branding designed for tablets and smartphones is quickly becoming the norm. Here's what you need to keep in mind as you continue to develop your author platform: people are staring at relatively small screens, absorbing content on the go. Their time is precious, and their attention is easily diverted by their surroundings. Design your message to fit the technology. Your best bet is to keep your eye on sites like Mashable and Wired to stay tuned in to the trends and developments to increase your chances of becoming an early adopter of new technological advances and make the most of your platform opportunities.

 

-Richard

 

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

 

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