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

 

Books/Publishing

 

Reach New Readers with the Magic of Audiobooks - The Creative Penn

The audio version of your book can open up a whole new market for you.

                                                    

Ether for Authors: Could Beta Readers Ease the Impatience? -Publishing Perspectives

Could you workshop your manuscript with actual readers?

 

Film

                                                        

What Is Your Movie Competition - Filmmaking Stuff

When developing a business plan, a crucial step is identifying your competition. Do filmmakers have competition?

                                          

Why the One Second Film Was an Absolute Victory for Filmmakers -The Film Industry Network

A crowdsourcing case study that predates most social media sites.     

                                    

Music

 

Creating Great Melodies - Getting There

It all starts with finding the right melody.

 

How to Borrow A Little Songwriting Power from Bob Dylan -Promote Your Music

The answer you've been looking for is in the melody.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - June 21, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - June 14, 2013

2,006 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self-publishing, movies, writers, readers, films, draft, craft, songwriting, social_media, audiobooks, music_production, movie_competition
1

The more books you write, the greater the risk you run of being unable to surprise readers. Developing a style is what happens when you write multiple books. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad thing to have a style. After all, it may be the reason someone reads not just one of your books, but all of your books. That style is your brand and you should guard it cautiously. 

 

But sometimes it's not a bad idea to color outside the lines. Shake things up. Be unpredictable. Recently, author George R. R. Martin got a lot of attention in the media because viewers of the HBO series Game of Thrones (based on Martin's novels) were outraged by the fate of a particular character. The reaction was actually a repeat of what Martin received when the book was originally published some years ago. I can only assume that every time the legendary author is met with this kind of response to something he's created, it can only result in a broad, self-satisfied smile. 

 

Sticking too closely to one style and storyline convention can result in stale, safe, predictable writing that in time will turn readers away. There are subtle ways to expand beyond the boundaries of your style and story without damaging your brand. As long as you stay within the parameter of your theme, you can make bold choices that your readers will embrace.

 

Why? Because you surprised them. If you did it right, they may have even seen it coming but assumed based on other material you've written that you wouldn't dare go where the story appears to be going. When you do go there, they may be shocked, disheartened, angry, etc. But that's just a testament to their investment in your characters, and they'll be curious to know what you have in store for them in your next book. Surprise them and they will keep reading!

 

-Richard

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

 

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What Do Your Characters Want?

Split Personalities of Indie Authors

4,112 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: writers, readers, craft, writing_style, audience, style_development
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In previous posts, I've shared useful tips for how to finish a manuscript, and today I'd like to share two more. I'm currently in the final stages of writing my sixth novel, and this time around, I created two documents that proved to be extremely helpful throughout the process.

 

Document #1: TO PUT IN BOOK

 

This is the actual name of the document, no kidding. It is basically a list of bullet points that includes specific things I would like to include at some point but am not exactly sure when. Here are two examples of bullet points on this document:

 

  • Have her run into childhood friend
  • Use the term "morality police"

 

I occasionally reference my TO PUT IN BOOK document for inspiration when I hit a wall. Once I use the information, I highlight that bullet point in green, which I prefer over deleting it because it shows the progress I've made over time.

 

Document #2: TO TIE INTO BOOK

 

This document is also a list of bullet points, but its contents are a bit more profound and remind me of themes and/or bigger issues to address. Here are two examples from my current novel:

 

  • Examples of his absence throughout
  • Examples of the impact her parents' divorce still has on her relationships

 

My imagination works in overdrive throughout the writing process, so the above documents allow me to capture and preserve my thoughts before I know where (or if) I'll have a place for them in the book. I won't use all of them, but I'll use many of them, and this way I'm assured I won't forget something that could end up being an important part of the story.

 

-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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More Tips for Completing Your Manuscript

When Are You Most Productive?

2,396 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writers, writing_process, writing_style
9

This may sound a bit odd, but if you're an unknown brand in the world of publishing, making sales shouldn't necessarily be your first priority. You should be focused on getting readers. Perhaps "readers" isn't the most accurate term; what you really need are advocates.

 

Advocates are more than readers. They are the people who feel a sense of discovery when they find a book by an unknown author, and they take to the Twittersphere, the Facebook universe, and any other tool of communication, to shout from the virtual rooftops about their new find. They are the ones who will drive sales your way.

 

So, how do you find these advocates? I'm a big believer in giving books away in order to gain readership and by doing so, finding those advocates who are the key to your success. From the early days of my decision to publish independently, I've instituted frequent giveaway programs through my blog, social network sites, and personal appearances. When I first made my books available on Kindle, I continued the philosophy. All told, I've given away thousands of copies of my book, most of those in the eBook format.

 

And, without fail, a number of these recipients of my books will reach out to me either through email or social network and let me know that they've told their friends and family about my books. That free book they received turned into multiple sales for me. I dare say I would not have gotten the sales had it not been for those free books.

 

So, as you move forward, I urge you to stop worrying about sales. Instead, concentrate on reaching those advocates who will find the sales for you. I've always found them with a free book.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Guerrilla Book Marketing Tactic

How to Connect with Your Readers

12,613 Views 9 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writers, promotions, social_media, advocates
0

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

 

Books/Publishing

 

How I Self-Edit My Novels: 15 Steps from First Draft to Publication - Wordplay

Author K.M. Weiland breaks down every author's least favorite thing to do.

                                                    

What You Should Know About Book Covers -Marketing Tips

You're not just designing a cover for your book. You're creating a marketing tool.

 

Film

                                                        

How Many Events Should You Have in Your Feature Screenplay? - Making the Movie

How many essential incidents do you have in your screenplay?

                                          

10 Filmmaking Sites You Should Be Reading -The Beat             

Sites that will help you develop and hone your filmmaking craft.        

                                    

Music

 

10 Tips for Better DIY Recording - Musicgoat

A mastering engineer shares tips on how to get the most out of your DIY recording studio.

 

How to Succeed -Getting There

Composer and producer Robert Maddocks reveals his formula for succeeding in the music business.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - June14, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - June 7, 2013

2,233 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, filmmaking, editing, self-publishing, producers, cover_design, musicians, screenwriting, book_cover
0

You've paced your book perfectly. Each paragraph, page and chapter has created a perfect base for your final crescendo. You type the last word of the conflict your story has been building up to and then?you realize there's still more to write.

 

But how can that be? You've designed your entire story around the conflict. How can there still be more to write? Writing a book is like any other journey. You start off plotting your course to reach a destination, but when you reach that destination, you understand it's not the end of your journey. You don't stop living just because you've arrived where you set out to arrive.

 

It's that sliver of life after the conflict that will carry you to the end of the story. My familiar refrain is my number one piece of advice on how to approach the action after the conflict. Do what's best for the story. What I mean by that is don't concern yourself with how things should end from the reader's point of view or even from the writer's point of view. Separate yourself from these two roles. Get inside your characters' heads. Draw on what you know to be the chaotic and unpredictable nature of fate. Identify the tone of the story you've written thus far. Take all these elements into account and create the final pages of your book.

 

If that doesn't clear things up, try another approach. Ask yourself how your readers are expecting your book to end. If you get a clear idea of what those expectations are, do the opposite. Write it out. Include it in your first draft, and then tinker with it until you're satisfied it's right for your story. Above all, readers want to be surprised. If you can come up with an ending that both fits the rest of your book and surprises your readers at the same time, you have a book they'll be compelled to discuss with their family and friends.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Is There Value in Formulaic Writing?

Be a Rule-breaker

2,283 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, characters, writing_process, craft, character_development, ending, character_arc, point_of_view
2

Avoid Word Repetition

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jun 18, 2013

A couple weeks ago, I heard from an old friend who is in the middle of writing her first novel. She asked if I'd be willing to read the first chapter and give her my thoughts. I was reluctant to say yes because I feared a potentially awkward situation if I didn't love it, but she promised she wouldn't be upset and wanted my honest feedback. So I agreed.

 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed her writing, and I found myself interested in the story. However, what jumped out at me more than anything else was the repetition of a particular word. My friend used this word over and over, once four or five times in the same paragraph, and as a result I found myself distracted and eventually annoyed.

 

We all have words and phrases that we like, but be careful not to overdo it. In my friend's case, she overused the word "bag" because her protagonist likes to shop for vintage handbags. I suggested she sprinkle in direct synonyms such as "purse" as well as indirect ones such as "number" or "gem" (e.g. "I found that beaded number and the little gem next to it online"). Mixing up the terminology will keep readers focused on the story, which is what makes for a good read.

 

When I mentioned the problem to my friend, she laughed and said she had no idea she'd done it. (By the way, this is why everyone needs an editor.) Her positive attitude also showed how important it is to accept constructive criticism and learn from it.

 

-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 Get Through the First Draft

More Tips for Completing Your Manuscript

8,082 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, craft, word_repetition
1

Video Sharing Sites

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jun 17, 2013

It may surprise you to know that there is more than one video sharing site on the Internet. There's no question that YouTube is the king of online video content, but it can be difficult for some content providers to get noticed there. It may be in your best interest to explore other sites out there that allow users to share brand-building videos for free online.

 

Here's a short list of video sharing sites and what they have to say about their communities and offerings.

 

  • Dailymotion- As one of the leading sites for sharing videos, Dailymotion attracts over 112 million unique monthly visitors and 2.5 billion videos views worldwide (source: ComScore, January 2013) offering the best content from users, independent content creators and premium partners.

  • Vimeo- In 2004, Vimeo was founded by a group of filmmakers who wanted to share their creative work and personal moments from their lives. As time went on, likeminded people discovered Vimeo and helped build a supportive community of individuals with a wide range of passions. Today, millions of people from all around the world enjoy Vimeo, and we're growing bigger every day.

  • Veoh- Veoh is now part of Qlipso, the revolutionary social content sharing company. Over the coming months, users and business partners will start to see more and more social features coming to one of the world's top video sites - Veoh.

 

Most video content providers don't use a single video sharing site. They upload their material to a number of sites to increase their chances of exposure. If video is a major part of your branding strategy, why not branch out and do the same?

 

-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

What Is a Platform?

2,757 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, filmmaking, promotions, dailymotion, vimeo, veoh
0

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

 

Books/Publishing

 

What's the 3-Step Process to Marketing Your Book? - BadRedhead Media

A book release strategy from the 'marketing' point of view.

                                                    

21 Ways to Launch a Successful Virtual Book Tour - The Future of Ink

Author D'vorah Lansky shares 21 articles that are the basis for her new book about virtual book tours.

 

Film

                                                        

How to Secure a Shooting Location -Filmmaker IQ

Watch as indie filmmakers set out to legally secure a location for their short film.

                                          

Are You Good In a Room? -Joke and Biagio                 

Just because you're an indie filmmaker doesn't mean you don't have to pitch your film.      

                                    

Music

 

Music Industry Networking Tips - Musicgoat

Sometimes success really does hinge on who you know.

 

Voices and Allergies...Practical Tips To Quell the Mucous Monsters - Judy Rodman

How to avoid letting that cold invade your music.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - June 7, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - May 31, 2013

1,969 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, marketing, selling, book, music, filmmaking, film, networking, indie, movies, writers, business, writing, films, craft, filmmakers
8

Technology has changed publishing dramatically over the last decade. There are new ways to get books to market. There are new markets for books. There are even new ways to read books. Perhaps the greatest change in the publishing world is the speed in which books are brought to market. A process that once took anywhere from 9-18 months can now be done in days, even hours.

 

This shortened pre-publication period has changed the way authors work. It used to be that an author who published two works in a year was practically unheard of, and an author who published a single title a year was even considered rare. Today it is not out of the realm of possibility to see an author publish a half-dozen or more books in a year.

 

How can that be? Well, quite simply we've seen the resurgence of the short story and novella since eBooks have gained in popularity. Authors are publishing one to two novel-length works over the course of a year, and between the publications of these long-form works, they publish short-form works.

 

What's the benefit of this strategy? The thought is that it is yet another way to keep readers engaged and to pick up momentum with story after story. Picture a snowball rolling down a snow-covered mountain. It grows bigger as it continues to descend. Authors hope to pick up readers as they continue to publish.

 

As long as quality does not give way to quantity, I'm completely supportive of this strategy. Writing short-form works takes a somewhat different skill set than writing a novel. Short stories and novellas tend to be singularly focused. That is to say, there are fewer sub-plots and conflicts. In fact, developing short-form skills can help writers become more concise storytellers. The lessons learned writing a short story can be adapted and applied to long-form works.

 

To summarize: is publishing short stories and novellas a strategy worth pursuing? I'd have to say yes. The market seems to be supporting the rise of short-form works, and from a creative standpoint, it can help you hone your craft. Which, in my mind, is what you should always consider first.

 

How about you? Are you publishing short-form works? Tell us about your experience. 

 

-Richard

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

 

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Storyteller vs. Writer

The "What If" Notebook

2,870 Views 8 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, writers, drafts, writing_process, craft, short_story
4

I recently read a book I liked and wanted to contact the author. Little did I know how hard that would be. After spending a few minutes searching for her on Google, I gave up.

 

Too bad for her, because as I know from being an author myself, I'm pretty sure she would have been thrilled to hear from me. Getting e-mails from fans is my favorite part of being a writer. But this woman had no website, no Facebook presence, no author page on Amazon, nothing. I found nothing!

 

Her book's rankings on Amazon were also very low, so I don't think she's selling very many copies.

 

Word-of-mouth is a critical element of book marketing, so you want to make it easy for your readers to find you. The best way to do this is through a website, ideally www.yourname.com. If that URL is taken, try www.yournameauthor.com, or www.yournamebooks.com. If that seems like too much for you right now, at least set up an author page on Amazon (use the Author Central feature) and include a photo, bio and e-mail address. Author Central is free and available to both traditionally published and indie authors. (Click here to see my author page on Author Central.)

 

When readers contact you, write them back! Thank them for reading your book(s) and ask them to please tell their friends. There's nothing wrong with asking your fans for help in getting the word out. But if your fans can't find you in the first place and you're not already famous, you're probably not going to get very far.

 

-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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A Few Reasons to Have a Website

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

7,177 Views 4 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, promotions, social_media
2

As a writer, all you need is a little peace and quiet and the instruments to unleash your thoughts in written form. As an author, all you need is readers. As both a writer and an author, I have found the means to be a writer are far easier to acquire than the means to be an author.

 

Readers are sometimes difficult to locate. To help you in your search, I've found a few online book clubs and reading groups that you can investigate and determine if they are good fits for you. I'm not suggesting that you join these groups and start posting about your book in their forums or discussion groups. I'm simply suggesting you get to know the readers that may be a good fit for your book. In due time, it may be appropriate to let them know you are the author of material they may enjoy. In no particular order, here are the clubs and descriptions from their sites:

 

  • Online Book Club- Our book community offers those people who love to read a wide range of book reviews and book recommendations. Also, we have many interactive discussions and polls about books.

  • Mystery Net Community- Hundreds of discussions about everything mystery!

  • Goodreads- Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers and book recommendations. Our mission is to help people find and share books they love.

  • BookTalk.org- BookTalk.org is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group.

  • Reader's Paradise- This forum is for the discussion of all topics related to reading and literature. Here, there is always a comfortable chair and just the right light.

 

A few of the sites above do offer advertising opportunities. I can't say firsthand if the advertising packages they offer are worth the investment. After you've taken the time to investigate their discussion groups and forums, you should be able to make that decision yourself.

 

Good luck and may you find all the readers you can handle!

 

-Richard

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

 

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How Not to Market

How to Connect with Your Readers

24,880 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, writers, promotions, book_clubs
0

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

 

Books/Publishing

 

The PERFECT Hook - Author Culture

What are you promising your readers with your hook?

                                                    

5 Reasons to Admire Self-Publishing - Huffington Post

An article examining the independent spirit of the self-publishing community.

 

Film

                                                        

10 Films That Gave the Game Away Too Early -What Culture!

Can you spoil a good story by uncovering the mystery too soon?

                                          

The Philosophy of Filmmaking: Storytelling DNA -San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking

Can making a film be both easy and impossible?

                                    

Music

 

The Essentials to Building a Successful Music Career - Musicgoat

Call them the five Ms of making it in music.

 

The Future of Direct-To-Fan Marketing - Hypebot.com

Experts in the music and tech industries discuss the coming advances in fan outreach tools.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - May 31, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - May 24, 2013

1,987 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, music, filmmaking, film, promotion, indie, movies, writers, blogging, films, musicians, craft, filmmakers
1

There are words in my first book that I now wish I hadn't used. They aren't profane words. In fact, they aren't offensive in any way. They are innocuous words that serve no real purpose. In short, they are unnecessary.

 

As a young writer, I felt it was my duty to spoon-feed the readers the emotional statuses of my characters, which included piling on unnecessary adjectives, pronouns, and various other tools of the English language. I did this because I lacked confidence in my ability to leave things unsaid and still write effective prose. As I continue to write, I gain the confidence and courage to eliminate those words from my arsenal.

 

Here are some samples of how I may have written something in the beginning followed by how I would write it today. I think you'll see that even small changes can make a big difference.

 

  • Then - "Don't come any closer!" he exclaimed.

  • Now - "Don't come any closer!"

 

The simple use of the exclamation point eliminates the need to state the character exclaimed, shouted, or yelled something.

 

  • Then - It was a start-up company that was now worth billions.

  • Now - It was a start-up company now worth billions.

 

Sometimes you need the word "that" to connect two ideas, but more often than not, you don't.

 

  • Then - It was about 100 degrees.

  • Now - It was 100 degrees.

 

In this case, "about" is being used as a qualifier. Not only is it unnecessary, it can get in the way. You will be forgiven for making a definitive statement about your fictional world.

 

These are just a few examples of unnecessary words writers (including me) sometimes use. I will throw in one caveat: if you are using a first person narrator, these "unnecessary" words may indeed be necessary in order to establish your narrator's character. We don't speak in pristine perfectly constructed sentences, and it would be inauthentic for you to force your first-person narrator to do so.

 

How do you know if a word is truly unnecessary? I've found the best way to identify whether or not you need a word is to read the sentence out loud. Sometimes it's easier to hear what you don't need than it is to see it. Does the sentence still make sense without the extra word?

 

-Richard

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

 

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Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid

What Do You Wish You Knew before You Wrote Your First Book?

2,554 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, writing, drafts, revision, writing_process, craft, writing_style
2

I attended a women's conference last year and met a career coach who helps her clients determine their ideal jobs. She also works with résumés, interview preparations, etc. We exchanged business cards, and she added me to her newsletter mailing list.

 

She is likely very good at helping people identify career paths that are a good personality fit, which is the crux of her services. However, I have yet to recommend her to a potential client. Why? Because I see at least one glaring grammatical error in each of her newsletters or Facebook posts, and the fact that she makes basic errors in her own materials makes me wonder what damage she might do to with a client's résumé or cover letter.

 

Here are two examples of errors I've seen her make:

 

1)    Headline of her newsletter:

·         What it said: Its a new year! What are your professional resolutions?

·         What it should have said: It's a new year! What are your professional resolutions?

 

2)    Facebook post:

·         What it said: Here are three book's every female entrepreneur should read

·         What it should have said: Here are three books every female entrepreneur should read

 

I'm sure this woman is very intelligent, and while I probably know a few people who could benefit from her services, I just can't bring myself to "share" posts or forward newsletters with errors like these. Think about this example when you set out to market your book. Your bio, your book description, your email pitches, everything you do to promote your work should be free of errors. Grammar does matter, and people do notice - especially if you're putting yourself out there as a professional writer.

 

-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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I Hope This Piques Your Interest

Use Adverbs Sparingly, Especially in Dialogue

2,904 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, promotions, grammar
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