Skip navigation

Blog Posts

Blog Posts

Items per page
1 2 3 Previous Next
0

The difference in a good writing and an excellent writer is in the editing. Any serious writer gives much attention to every detail of his/her book, and often he/she hires another person to do the same. We all get it; editing is a necessary evil to writing well. So, here are a couple of tips that I have found to better my editing process and help my books toward their end product:

 

 

1) Use Color: After the very rough draft of my book is complete, I will go through the manuscript and highlight various sections according to how I believe they need to be edited further. For example, I use yellow if a section needs more work, is not clear, does not flow well, or needs a stronger transition. I use red if I should consider more whether a sentence or paragraph should be deleted, and I use green if I a I need to think through moving a paragraph or sentence to another part of the book (I also will type in what section the information would best fit and surround this with [brackets]). I use blue if material is, or at least seems to be, repeated. Once this is done, I will go through each chapter and try to work through these trouble sections. If I get hung up on a section and I am not sure where it should go, I will put it at the end of my book until it becomes clear where a sentence or paragraph should be placed or if it should be deleted. In writing thousands of pages, I have learned that the majority of times when this occurs the material ends up being deleted or at least re-written. After I have gone through every chapter and worked through the trouble spots, I will do it all over again. Sometimes I will do this up to 10 times for one book.

 

 

2) Work from big to small. Every good book, no matter what genre, must take the reader from point A to point B. If this path cannot be verbalized by the author in one concise sentence then the path is not clear, and the author needs to spend a great deal of time solidifying what the book is about. Once this is done, the steps in how to get to point B can be laid out according to chapters. Sometimes in the editing process, an entire chapter will be moved if the book is theoretical, philosophical, scientific, medical, or attempts to use reason to make a point. After each chapter is established, the individual sections can be determined, then paragraphs, then sentences, then precise words. This type of writing will give clarity and make your book enjoyable for the reader.

 

 

3) Words matter! Do not be afraid to pull out a dictionary or a thesaurus and learn new words as you write. However, you want to keep your book enjoyable and clear for the reader, so don't use rare words unless they have purpose. When I have to write words such as psychoneuroimmunology or neo-Kraepelinianism, I do not leave my reader hanging as I will do in this blog article. Instead, I will explain the term either in the text or at least in a footnote. If a word is not clear or distracts the reader, then it will certainly take many people off the path that you desire them to walk. If you find yourself using a handful of words (do a search in your document) too much, then go through the document specifically looking for these usages and make appropriate changes to keep the manuscript fresh. You will also want to make sure that you use words consistently. The English language allows similar words to be used in similar cases, and this causes writers trouble many times. For example, a writer can use toward or towards and be grammatically correct. An author can also use labeled or labelled when writing. But mixing up both versions throughout a document, however, is not acceptable. So, check the document carefully for these types of errors. Lastly, do not be afraid to try new words after you think the manuscript is done. It can really take your book to the next level by tweaking it in this way.

 

 

4) Form a book club. This group is not just any book club, though. Form a group of people that will read your book and offer you valuable critique. That is right; get people to tell you what is wrong with your book. Tell them not to worry about grammar at this point; you just want to know trouble spots or if the book even makes sense. Often times, these readers will dialogue with you and the conversation can lead to great clarity and precision. If you do not do this exercise prior to printing, I can promise you that people will do it after the book is in print. This practice will strengthen your book and give you an honest assessment of where it is. Who knows, you may create a fan club in the process.

 

 

5) Keep reading. Reading other people's books and seeing what styles you love and hate will strengthen your writing and editing. When you see transitions that are helpful or sentence structures that are clear, plug them into your own work and file them away in your mind for future use.

 

 

6) Play Devil's Advocate; think like a person who hates your work. As odd as this may sound, if you pick apart every sentence with an attempt to twist words or spin ideas, it will eliminate much future criticism and pain. Think through any arguments against your point and be proactive in addressing them. It will not only benefit you, it will assure the reader that you have thought through your material at length, that you have a good handle on your subject, and that you’re going to arrive them at the destination that you first set forth for them. Do not be afraid to delete, revise, rewrite completely, or clarify.

 

 

7) Pay a professional editor. This goes without saying, but I am saying it anyway. It does not matter how many pages you have written or published, having a professional look over your draft is essential to a good book. So do it!

 

 

While this list is not exhaustive, I hope that this blog will help newbies to value editing and criticism and to think through the process even more.

27 Views 0 Comments Permalink
1

When I'm working on a book, I find that one of the hardest things about the process - in addition to coming up with what to write - is getting myself to sit at my desk and focus. "Focus" is the key word here, because once I let myself stop and check my email, browse Facebook, etc., it's amazing how quickly what I intended to be "a quick break" morphs into the whole day. Once I engage with the outside world, any creative spell I've been under is instantly snapped, and it's hard to get that back.


On the flip side, if I stay in the zone and ignore the lure of the Internet and my phone, it's amazing how much writing - good writing - I can get done in a short amount of time. It's like when Han Solo and Chewy switch the Millennium Falcon into hyperdrive. Suddenly, they're halfway across the galaxy!


So there you have it. Stay away from your devices to improve productivity. That sounds so simple, but I know it's not because I still have trouble doing it! (Tools such as Freedom will block the Internet for you if your will power repeatedly falls short.)


In a way, sitting down to write is like working out. You may have the best of intentions to do it, but actually working out means not doing something else, and the pull of the "something else" tractor beam is powerful. If you can get yourself dressed in your workout gear and out the door, that's half the battle. Actually, it's probably most of the battle. So think of disconnecting as the digital equivalent of putting on your workout clothes. Put your phone on mute, turn off your Internet browser, and get to work!


-Maria

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg


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.


You may also be interested in...

Writing tip: keep a notebook by your bed

Writing tip: be careful not to overdo the beats

297 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, self-publishing, writing, procrastination, writing_tip
0

Regardless of size, all businesses in this digital age need to understand the importance of branding. With technology has come immense competition and new opportunities to scale especially for small businesses. Branding leveraging on these platforms is essential for small businesses because they have access to a larger market.

Branding is how you market yourself to your target audience while your brand is what other people think of your products. It should not be left to chance since for as long as a business is in operation, various stakeholders are already forming opinions about the business. The business, therefore, has a responsibility to shape the opinions they desire to be formed by customers. Here I will comment key elements for building a brand include.


1. Identify your niche

It is essential for a small business with an intention to develop a brand to identify a niche either based on specialized market knowledge or market surveys. The brand is thereby built around areas ignored by competitors or potential opportunities best suited for your business. Identifying the right customers and providing them with solutions suited for them will enable your brand to grow on a bedrock of success.


2. Unique identity

Every small business person seeking to be successful has to differentiate his/her products from the competition. A company like Checkthem which offers unique services for background check (people search, contact information, criminal records, phone number history, addresses, professional verifications, licenses, marriage/divorce records) has the ability to portray the image of innovation to the customers hence differentiating itself from the competition. The services have the ability to tell their own stories. It is crucial therefore as a small business to decide what image you desire portrayed to customers and be authentic and engaging as you build that image.


3. Strong social media presence

Social media provides small businesses with an opportunity to interact more closely with customers. With potential users constantly seeking access to information on these platforms about services, a strong social media presence is a basic requirement for any small business. A small business building its brand leveraging on social media should recognize and tap into the fact that as their potential customers make a purchasing decision, they are influenced by various conversations they have with various circles of people. When it goes to some innovative and interesting services like background checker for future job applicants, family members or acquaintances people are more tend to share to their own social media. How a small business taps into the ecosystem is essential since just advertising on these platforms won't build the popularity of the brand.

 

4. Consistency

In order for your customers to easily spot you, your brand needs consistent presence. This means that your advertising should convey the same message, your branding should be professional and you should use the same visual brand for your company logo, color scheme, and style so that you keep looking familiar to your customers.

72 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, business, you, use, brand, branding, identity
1

 

Intro to KDP-Create Space - I hope this complies with guidelines.

 

 

 

My wife Penny, and I live in Little River South Carolina with our two dogs.

 

 

 

I have dual UK USA citizenship and spend a great deal of time explaining why the UK National Health Service ('socialist medicine') is not scary stuff but actually a really good idea.

 

 

 

I began life as a physicist buy quickly converted to electronics - because it was more fun.  I began writing whilst I was an engineer with Marconi because people seemed to be able to understand what I wrote and (despite my dyslexia) I was co-opted to co-write many bids (to develop defense equipment) and operational instructions. Bids worked out at about one foot (thickness of paper) per $100M - some proposals were more than four feet thick and ran into many volumes!

 

 

 

Between 1970 and 1990 I worked pretty much at the cutting edge of technology and had designed some really cool stuff.

 

 

 

By late 1992 Digital Corporation (the incredible shrinking company) closed its UK divisions and I because a "Consultant" - or in other words an unemployable engineer, so I formed GK Consultant Limited and took the domain www.GKCLcom.

 

 

 

By the end of 1994 I had visited about 20 companies and explain the SAME issues to them (they all suffered the same lack of knowledge) At the end of that year I compiled all my notes, presentation notes and was astounded by its similarity to a book. I gave it a working title of "The Practical Guide to Electrical Product Safety" – really catchy ‼‼!

 

 

I was fortunate (later the converse also became true) to find a publisher of a related magazine and struck a deal at a café on the M25 (the orbital road that goes round London). The agreement was I would write the book – he would Proof Read (to me a really important part),  I would provide "camera-ready" copy, including a Table of Contents and an Index. We would deduct printing and shipping costs and split gross profit 50-50.

 

 

He would promote the book (as a joint venture and for no charge) using 'unused' space within his magazine. This quickly changed from single page adverts to really impressive two-page spreads, as soon as the money started to flow in.

 

 

 

Unfortunately he was using a Macintosh and did not the necessary software to read all the files I sent him – the result was more than half the book went out 'unproofed'. But this went largely unnoticed and soon we were each making between £4,000 and £6,000 each month and we had sold into 15 countries. Unfortunately things began to 'go south' after a couple of years when he began sitting on my money - after many letters and email I eventually took him to court for about 20k , which ended the relationship.

 

 

About that time I was commissioned by Butterworth (Newnes Publication - Elsevier) to write a "How To" book covering the newly introduced Low Voltage Directive. As it happened, Digital had assigned me to the their Subject Mater Expert on that topic – and, I suddenly had a book become available. One door Closes and another Opens!

 

 

 

With only a couple of weeks work I have reworked "The Practical Guide to Electrical Product Safety" to become "The Practical Guide to the Low Voltage Directive".

 

 

 

One tip to others - I joined the UK Society of Authors and got them to review the Elsevier contract – which was tweaked so that I maintained some of the rights and got a whopping 13½ % Royalty with a £1,500 advance.This is good for 'professional' technical writers.
 

 

One lesson I learnt was - you need a **** of a lot of book sales to make a living – since 1998 I have made less money from Elsevier than I made in the two year previously selling with the 50-50 profit split.

 

 

 

I'm now trying to transition from travelling to clients sites to provide engineering consultancy to proving a remote service, and building a range of eBooks (on Kindle/Amazon), and Print on demand books and Training DVD's (using Create Space).. Comments and help much appreciated.

 

 

One very kind member of the Community offer EXTREMELY valuable advice: "stick to Amazon/Kindle for eBooks and to use CreateSpace for print".  I cannot remember who wrote this but thank you – after wasting many weeks trying to convert a eBook to print using KDP. After I saw your posting I opened an account on CreateSpace it took less than a day to reformate the cover and upload the PDF File. THANK YOU.

 

 

Create Space is excellent for print – KDP is excellent for eBooks.

 

 

 

ONE REALLY IMPORTANT THING I discovered when uploading to CreateSpace – save your document as a PDF/A-1a:2005 compliant file – unless I did this my manuscript consistently failed to upload.

 

 

Thanks

 

 

GreggK

50 Views 1 Comments Permalink
3

Twenty seventeen is behind us, and it's time to build your brand in 2018. Here are three strategies to make your brand bigger and better in the coming year.


1. Pick a lane. I know I've encouraged you to spread yourself around on as many social media platforms as you can manage, but 2018 is the time to switch gears. Pick one social media site to spend a large majority of your time. Make one site yours. Treat it like your home and build your community with confidence.


2. Make it your mission to cultivate influencers in your genre. Influencers have large followings, and they boost book sales as well as boost your own community's numbers. Tag them in posts. Private message them to let them know when you blog about them. And, yes, find reasons to blog about them. I'm not suggesting you heap artificial praise upon them. I'm suggesting you honor their status as influencer and get on their good side.


3. Twenty eighteen will be no different than 2017 in one aspect. The content you post has to be share-worthy in order to be useful. You're a writer, a creative person, creating share-worthy content is not beyond your grasp. It is very much in your wheelhouse. It's what you do.


In a lot of ways, the list looks familiar to last year's. Technologies will no doubt change how we use social media, but the methodology will always remain pretty much the same. Build a following on a platform. Interact and build relationships with influencers, and content is and always will be king.  


-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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


You may also be interested in...

You are the brand not your book

Your brand's obit

540 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, branding
2

Hi, How you All doing?

 

Let me introduce myself to you, I'm a first-time Author, from Manchester England, This is the first ever Blog I've ever done - hope I get it right!  Anyway, I'm a busy Mother of 5 and have written a Series of 'Epic Fantasy Adventure Books' readership age (18+).  I'm shattered, to say the least, have any of you got any suggestions as to possible Marketing avenues I could consider.  I released Part one last month just weeks before Christmas and am looking forward to getting the first money I've earned later this month, after not earning a single penny since 2009. Yes, I'm sure it's been really hard for many of you too, trying to finish up your books and get the visions of your mind out there for all to read. Hope you'll enjoy mine 'AGES OF RAEKWON - Awakenings Arousal the Peoples Story'.  I never anticipated how hard it would be to follow through with the promotion or get people, to take me seriously. The saying              'do not judge a book by its cover', seems to also apply to them looking at me.  So, please tell me how you're finding it all, I'd love to hear your...Stories!

 

Best,

Clio-Mystery

69 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, cover, marketing, selling, book, new, amazon, design, distribution, formatting, novel, author, self-publishing, createspace, promotion, help, sales, review, interior, kindle, publishing, writing, e-book, google, youtube, life, fiction, published, facebook, you, online, inventor, epic, donate, entrepreneur, controversial, achievement, newcomer, original, merchandise, watch, paperback, good_vs_evil, imaginative, captivating, pioneer, book_series, artworks, outstanding, acx, kpd, fantasy_adventure, unique_dedication_service, immortalise_dedications, brutal_battle, mystery_author, cjpohl, gofundme, buynow, audio-book, author-website, voice_newspaper, manchester-evening-news, bestbookoftheyear, theonetowatch, bookerprize, nobleprizewinner, enthralling, remarkable, moneymaking, oneofakind, brandnew, daring, intriguing, engrossing
2

Hi Im new to this entire thing and I would appreciate any help that anyone could give me.

61 Views 2 Comments Permalink
0

Movie in a book. in Share Your Work

Posted by Tenny Jan 4, 2018

A group of ruthless terrorists took the president's daughter hostage in a high school in Washington, DC. What Neil Bull, the U.S President, and also a former Marine sniper, did next is unthinkable.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B078PNZ8L3/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515106773&sr=1-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=the+blue+hostage&dpPl=1&dpID=41bvUsgqq9L&ref=plSrch

77 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: amazon  author  authors  blog  book  books  
1

 

It's time to explore building your brand outside of the boundless arena of the virtual world and look at how you can build your brand in the real world. And the best way to do that is using a tool that most people dread, public speaking. Here are three ways to help you improve your public speaking skills.


1. Toastmasters: You've no doubt heard about this organization. There is a nominal fee to join, so it's not free. You will be both a speaker and listener as you practice the art of public speaking and help other members develop their skills as public speakers. The criticism is constructive and meant to help you grow. It is a well-known organization for a reason. It works.


2. Acting Classes: I know. I know. You didn't become an author to advance your career as an actor. Acting may be something that doesn't interest you in the least or it may even terrify you beyond belief. But the point of joining an acting class isn't to start your journey to winning an Oscar. It's for you to get comfortable with "performing." Giving a speech or doing a reading is just that, it's a performance. An acting class can help you own the podium and make your appearance memorable.


3. Improv Classes: Again, I know. Doing improv is most likely not your fondest desire. But thinking on your feet is a crucial tool as a public speaker. Not everything is going to go as planned, so being able to respond gracefully and seamlessly with humor is a key component to giving a successful speech or reading. As the Boy Scouts say, always be prepared. In this case, preparation deals with handling the unexpected.


Public speaking isn't a natural fit for most people. The only real way to succeed at public speaking is to practice public speaking. Doing so in a group with other motivated learners is the best way to master it and overcome your fear.


-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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


You may also be interested in...

Offline brand building

How to scare readers

336 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, writers, promotions, public_speaking, branding
0

4e livre en approche in rbob's Blog

Posted by rbob Jan 3, 2018

Bonjour à tous,

 

Mon 4e ouvrage est en préparation, il s'intitulera sans doute "Deux amis"

et montrera combien l'amitié peut être mise à mal.

 

A bientôt.

89 Views 0 Comments Permalink
0

 

If your book is done and published, you've already learned that the first question most people ask when they find out you've written a book is, "What's it about?"


Do you have a good answer to that question? If not, you might have a problem.


Coming up with a good hook (or angle, or one-line description) isn't easy, but it's important. Movies are supposed to have good hooks, but sometimes they can get away with "STARRING INSERT HUGE NAME HERE." That doesn't fly with a book, especially one that doesn't have a massive marketing machine behind it.


To come up with a compelling one-line description, I suggest you brainstorm a handful - they don't have to be polished or even grammatically correct at first - and then try them out on people you trust to be straight with you. This is important, because while many people like to help, not everyone is cut out to provide honest feedback. Do you have a friend who has no problem sending a meal back at a restaurant if it's not cooked just right? That's the kind of person you want for this job!


Even if your helpers haven't read your book, you should be able to tell by their facial expressions if they find your description interesting. Your initial options should be quite different, which will allow you to pick one that generates the best reaction. For example, should the one-liner be about a fire that devastated a neighborhood, or a burned jewelry box that revealed a family secret? Those things could both be true about your story, but which one gets the best reaction from your test group?


After you've narrowed down the options to one or two key angles, play around with a handful of descriptions for each angle, then whittle the overall list down again. Keep repeating this process until you have a winner!


-Maria

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg


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.


You may also be interested in...

Grab Readers' Attention with Your Hook

Kick-start your year with these two marketing ideas

363 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, writers, hook, one-liner
5

Good afternoon.

 

My name is Andy and I just published my first book (Insomniacs, We). It a is a volume of poetry featuring poems written over the course of the last decade. I've been writing seriously since 2005, but didn't really have a focus for my writing until the Recession hit. I am very much interested in learning from the more seasoned writers here how to promote a book. I was so focus on the craft that I never learned the other end of self-publishing.

 

I hope to hear from some of you soon, as well as check out your work too.

 

Thanks.

98 Views 5 Comments Permalink Tags: books, selling, promotion, poetry
1

"Be a sadist." in Resources

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jan 2, 2018

Today we begin with a quote from an American literary legend:


"Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them - in order that the reader may see what they are made of." - Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Bagombo Snuff Box


Add to this sadistic advice what my wife recently said to me. She told me about a frustrating situation she'd recently experienced, and she finished her story by saying, "It's one of those bad situations where I guess you're supposed to learn something. I'm really tired of learning from bad situations. I'd like to learn from a good one every now and then."


Bad stuff happens. In life and in fiction, bad stuff is constantly making an appearance. That bad stuff is a useful tool in building character. That's what Vonnegut was saying. If you have a story that doesn't involve struggles and obstacles, your characters will never learn. They will never display their true selves. They will never have the opportunity to change and grow. As a writer, you are responsible for bringing bad stuff into your characters' lives. As a writer myself, I can tell you that's not always easy to do. I have become emotional for what I have had to do to various characters over the years. You probably have as well. That's a good thing. If we feel it, the readers will feel it.


As Vonnegut says, "Be a sadist." Do bad things to your characters because it's how you add dimensions to them, and it's how you advance your story.


-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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


You may also be interested in...

Write an Obituary for Your Characters

Why the development of secondary characters matters

355 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, self-publishing, writing, character_development, kurt, vonnegut, sadist
0

Hello everyone I just published my book title : Help me to understand people and me

 

Its a self help, hypnosis and very philosophical book, I take pride In delivering to my audience, my goal is to help broken dreams, path, trauma to heal in a vibrant and optimistic way.

 

Go 📃 my preview and gave it a quick rating 🎡

 

Feedback is also gratefully appreciated👏;-) 💥

 

 

I also have a few recent other books on Amazon and KDP select, Lulu.com judge type : Vanessa Bush in this Author search box🔗✔

34 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: books, authors, marketing, reviews, amazon, help, sales, self, healing, happy, meditation, stress, dreams, hypnosis, goals, depression, trauma, path, optimism
1

In my old life, I sold broadcast video equipment. One of the products we sold was a character generator for live broadcasts. I was tabbed as the trainer for the equipment and sent to Waterloo in Toronto, Canada, to spend a week at company headquarters to learn as much as I could about the product. With the exception of the airline losing my luggage, it was well worth the trip. My company liaison gave me a tour of the facility and our first stop was research and development. I was shocked to see their primary competitor's product sitting in pieces on one of the work tables. My tour guide chuckled at my confused look and said, "That's what you call reverse engineering. Don't worry. We paid for the machine."

 

Turns out this is a common practice in the corporate world. What better way to know how to beat your competition than to know how they construct their product? You can do the same, even though you really don't have competition as an author. Remember, my philosophy about books is that a well-written book by a fellow author only helps you sell more books because readers always want more. It's a healthy addiction.

 

But, that doesn't mean you can't look at successful authors in your genre and deconstruct their brand to help you understand how to build yours. How often do they post to social media? Do they use email newsletters? Do they do a lot of personal appearances? Do they utilize personal videos?

 

Knowledge is power. You can learn a lot just by reverse engineering another author's brand.

 

-Richard

 

 

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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

 

 

You may also be interested in...

Reverse Journaling for Your Brand

Evaluating Your Author Brand

526 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: writing, branding, author_marketing, author_brand, brand_identity