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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Use Visual-Based Social Media Platforms To Gain Sales


Shauna has her copy of Wicked Attraction....get your copy today
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but it can also lead to more green for your product. Behold a visual content strategy. To capture attention, expand your reach and gain viral power, images should play a vital role in your marketing strategy. The effective use of visual-based social media networks such as Instagram and Facebook have helped many authors get more attention online.


Step 1: Start a campaign
Encourage customers to take photos with your book (s) in hand via paperback or eReader. Get creative and start a contest, outlining the contest rules on the social site. If nothing else, be sure to include a hashtag (ex. #authormakenzi #wickedattraction), which will allow you to easily track all photos and measure the success of the campaign. The campaign doesn’t stop on that platform. You can repost customer images across various social media platforms.

Key takeaways…

  • Every customer that participates automatically becomes a brand advocate.
  • Fans will share their photos and the contest with their friends and followers.
  • Your brand will be introduced to a new group of prospective customers and will cause your campaign to go viral.

Step 2: Get visual on product pages
Every customer photo that is submitted is considered a testimonial. Prospective customers will see that other people support your product and/or service and will be more likely to follow suit. Photo descriptions should have a link to your website where users can purchase the product(s) seen in the photo, which will in turn boost traffic to your website and showcase your other offerings.

Remember to…
  • Optimize your website so customers can easily upload your pictures to social media networks.
  • Post high resolution, quality photos to increase viral power.
  • Your website is where you will convert fans into customers.
Step 3: Tell a story
Your photos should inspire, educate, or entertain your current and prospective customers. Visual social media platforms give you an opportunity to show your brand’s personality, so have fun with it. Sharing book signing or literary event photos  to shed light on your interaction with readers. This helps build the “know, like and trust” factor, which will help build brand loyalty.

Be sure to…
  • Diversify the types of photos used.
  • Use pictures to make known your company’s culture and brand personality.
  • Tell a story because storytelling builds brand loyalty.
 


 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Interview with Makenzi!!

Check out my interview with Author T.P Miller


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Hey everybody! It’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to sit down and write a blog but I took some special time to get this one in. I got the chance to sit down and talk with the Makenzi, the author of “Unexpected Truth” and most recently, “Wicked Attraction” to be released in October of this year. So take some time to sit back and get to know the author, Makenzi.

T.P.:Okay before we start the interview tell us a little bit about yourself as an author, and what you like to do?

Makenzi: I’m Makenzi, an author with several books under my name since 2006 including, ”Unexpected Truth”, “Dangerously”, “That’s How I Like It!” a short story “Blood Brothers” and October 2013 I will be releasing my newest novel “Wicked Attraction.” Before becoming a self published author in 2013, from 2008-09, I not only was an author on the roster but I also served as the in-house event planner for the publishing company I was previously signed with. My duties included scheduling all the book signings, speaking events, interviews and book club events.  I love to read self-help books

T.P.:Where are you from and what do you do when for a living?

Makenzi:I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio but I currently live in Virginia Beach, VA. Besides being a full time author I also have a full time job with a financial institution

T.P.:Do you have a specific writing style?

Makenzi:I do not have a specific writing style because I don’t want to place limitations on myself.

T.P.:If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Makenzi:Jessica Wright Tilles, (my previous publisher).  Over the years I’ve learned so much about the publishing business from her.

T.P.:When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Makenzi:I officially considered myself a writer when I wrote the last sentence of my first novel, “That’s How I Like It! back in 2004.

T.P.:How long have you been writing?

 Makenzi:I’ve been writing for nine years, I stopped writing for a few years but picked back up my writing in 2010 when I wrote Unexpected Truth.

T.P.:How did you decide on what genre you wanted to write in?

Makenzi: I love to read fiction; I love to read about other peoples drama so I knew when I began writing that I would write fiction

T.P.:What inspired you to write?
Makenzi: There are many things that inspire me to write, the stories I write, I relate to real life. But my biggest inspiration is that writing helps me to heal and go to a place where I can run wild in my mind.
T.P.:What book are you reading now?
Makenzi: Right now I’m not reading any books because I just finished writing Wicked Attraction and I’m about to begin a new project. I don’t read books while I’m writing, it distracts me and I don’t want another story to influence my current ideas.

T.P.:Who are your favorite authors?

Makenzi: Kimberla Lawson Roby

T.P.:How did you feel when you completed your first book?

Makenzi: The feeling I had after completing my first book is indescribable but I felt accomplished.

T.P.:Where is your favorite place to write?

Makenzi: My favorite place to write is in my bed late at night

T.P.:Is your book self published?
Makenzi: Yes, all of my books are now self published and available in paperback, audio and eBook

T.P.:Where can reader purchase your books?

Makenzi: My books are available @ Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, IBooks, ITunes and retail stores everywhere

T.P.:If someone wanted an autograph copy how can they get it?

Makenzi: Autograph paperback books can be purchased directly from me via my email makenzi30@yahoo.com  using PayPal

T.P.:How can your readers get in contact with you?
Makenzi: 
Readers can reach me at:
Twitter @authormakenzi
Facebook: Author Makenzi
Blog: http://authormakenzi.blogspot.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/makenzi


T.P.:Tell us your latest news?
Makenzi: I recently became a self published author after being under a publisher since 2006. I’m releasing my newest novel Wicked Attraction, in October 2013. In 2014 I’m going on a book tour and starting a new book project.

T.P.:Please list your titles.

Makenzi: Unexpected Truth”, “Dangerously”, “That’s How I Like It!” “Blood ,Brothers (a short story )” and Wicked Attraction

T.P.:Can you share a little of your current work if any?
Makenzi: Wicked Attraction synopsis:
What’s worse than getting caught up in your own personal drama and feeling as if your back is against the wall and you have no friends to talk to?
Christian Johnson-Banks travels to Los Angeles, California in hopes of finding her mother and bringing her back to Detroit, Michigan. Christian has no real memories of her mother so while dealing with the hopes of building a relationship with her mother, Christian is also dealing with the wicked attraction she has towards her father’s baby brother with whom she’s had a sexual relationship with since she was a young teenager.

Caught up in a sticky situation, Christian tries to cope with her feelings for her uncle as well as find a way to end the relationship with him without her father and husband finding out her sick secret.

T.P.:What do you want to say to your readers?

Makenzi: I would like to say to all of my readers (old and new) that I truly appreciate the support throughout the years it truly means a lot and the feedback helps me to become a strong and better writer.

T.P.:Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Makenzi: My advice to aspiring writers is research, plan, if you don’t know ask, obtain a mentor and don’t cut corners to save a few dollars. 


Thank you so much, Makenzi for taking the time to sit down and letting us get to know you! If you don’t have any of her titles, please go out right now and get a copy of these five star reads! Click the links for Amazon purchase links!

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Monday, September 23, 2013

How to Send for Your LCCN (Library of Congress Catalog Control Number)

The LCCN: The Library of Congress Control Number. It is free and can be obtained fairly quickly―a week or so― although I’ve received them within just a day or two. You need the ISBN to get the LCCN.

Beware: The websites are occasionally updated—changed—so these instructions may also require updating.

It is a two-step process:
  • Go to www.LOC.gov.
  • Click on “Open an Account”if appropriate.Otherwise click on“EPCN Login,for an existing account.
  • If “New Account,”read instructions, and then click on “Application to Participate.
  • There is a note at the top,“Click here for Instructions,” for assistance.
  • Fill out and click on “Submit.” Within a few days, no more than a week, you will be e-mailed an account number and a password providing you access to the appropriate application form.
If you have an account already, the “EPCN Login” button brings you to the form requiring your Account ID and Password. Fill out and click on the “Sign On” button and fill out form. A final note to those with accounts already: The password expires after 60 days. A new one can be created using the following instructions. It must:
  • Be at least eight characters in length;
  • Contain at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, and one number;
  • Not contain consecutive repeated characters;
  • Be recreated following these steps if you wait to use it over 60 days;
  • Not be changed more than once per day;
  • Not be changed to any of the 11 most recently used passwords.
If the password has expired, just write the old one out and write the new one under it, changing just one of the numbers or letters. Keep a record so that you know what has been changed, thus avoiding repeating the old number by chance.

Copyright Page Format

The Copyright Page, which follows the title page of your manuscript, is a flexible document with respect to format, but several elements must be included. The most confusing two are the ISBN and LOCN. Detailed instructions for sending for them are included below:
  • Copyright 
    • The copyright symbol, 
    • Followed by the copyright year
    • Followed by who (the author) or what (the publisher) is responsible for (owner of) the copyright
    • Followed by the phrase, “All Rights Reserved”
      Example: © 2013 Makenzi All Rights Reserved.  
     
  • The Title
  • Warning against Copying without Permission
  • A Disclaimer mentioning the author(s)’ name and/or publisher’s name (if different)
  • Cover Design by:  (optional)
  • Interior Design by:  (optional)
  • Editor:  (optional)
  • Book Consultant:  (optional)
  • Publisher (if not already stated on the © page) 
  • The ISBN (The International Standard Book Number) 
  • The LCCN (The Library of Congress Control Number)
  • The Edition (first, second, etc.) and where it was printed (USA, Canada, Mexico etc..)
Copyright: You’ll want the copyright year to be the year following the actual year of publication if publication takes place in May or June of that year or later. By the time your marketing has been put in place and operational, and books are finally in the hands of buyers, the actual year of publication may be over.
Example: Your book is finished, printed and available September, 2012, it should have a copyright date of 2013.
You’ll want to make a clear statement indicating that no one can copy your “stuff” in any of the many possible ways these days, without your permission; and that you are not responsible for errors or omissions, nor are you liable for damages resulting for use of information contained therein.

Warning against Copying without Permission: “No part of this book may be reproduced in any written, electronic, recording, or photocopying without written permission of the publisher or author. The exception would be in the case of brief quotations embodied in the critical articles and reviews and pages where permission is specifically granted by the publisher (name) or author(s) (name).”

The Disclaimer: “Although every precaution has been taken to verify the accuracy of the information contained herein, the author and publisher assume no responsibility for any errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for damages that may result from the use of information contained within.”

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Five Facebook Page Timeline Promotion Best Practices via Rafflecopter

Five Facebook Page Timeline Promotion Best Practices

1. Don’t Ignore Terms & Conditions

Even though it’s no longer required to use a 3rd party app to run a promotion on Facebook, as the Facebook page administrator, it’s still up to you to manage the legal aspects of your giveaway. That includes your promotion’s rules & eligibility requirements, terms & conditions, and a complete release of Facebook.
To fall in compliance, link to your promotion’s term and conditions directly from your status update. Being transparent with your participants should be important to you.

2. Make Your Post Visible

There are several steps you can take to get your Facebook timeline giveaway more visibility.
  • Well-written ad copy. Keep your status update short & memorable. Include a clear call-to-action. Let your entrants know how they can enter and what they’re eligible to win.
  • Hashtags. Including relevant hashtags in your promotion post might bring your post additional eyeballs to your #giveaway.
  • Get visual. Upload an image with your timeline post. Include an image of the prize or a designed post image that gets folks excited about your promotion.
  • Embeddable posts. If you’re running your promotion alongside a product release, consider embedding your Facebook status update into a blog post for additional visibility.
  • Promoted posts. Put some money towards your post for some extra oomph — you’ll never know how effective it might be until you try. For more information surrounding promoted posts, visit Facebook’s Promoted Post FAQs.
Using the visibility suggestions above, run several giveaways a month to get a feel for what works best for you.

3. One Day Only — Keep Your Promotion Short

Using a status update to run a giveaway is perfect if you’re looking to give back to your community in bite-sized ways. Give out some swag, some stickers, maybe some invite codes to your product.
Running a giveaway on your timeline that lasts longer than 24 hours might not bring you the return you might expect. Due to Facebook’s EdgeRank, the Facebook post you created earlier in the week will get very low visibility in your follower’s news feeds.

4. Like, Comment, & Share

We realize you were taught to share growing up, but asking entrants to share the promotion on their personal timeline or on a friend’s timeline as a means of entry isn’t allowed. Your giveaway must take place on your Facebook page, not your Facebook personal profile.
Because these new guidelines are still in its infancy, it’s difficult to say if Facebook will be more strict with their guidelines now they’re more intuitive in relation to the previous promotion guidelines. Time will tell how strict Facebook is with monitoring these rules.

5. Contact Your Winners Efficiently

Per the new Facebook promotion guidelines, Facebook now allows you to contact giveaway winners through a message. This is great because you don’t need to collect participants’ email addresses for timeline promotions, but when it comes time to contacting winners, if the entrant isn’t connected to you on Facebook, the message you send them will be placed in their ‘other’ messages folder.
You might consider trying to contact winners of the giveaway not just through a Facebook message, but by tagging the winners chosen in the comments section of the original Facebook promotion timeline post. Hopefully between being messaged and tagged, your winners will be able to respond to claim their prize.

 

NOW GET OUT THERE AND CREATE A CONTEST--MAKENZI


Blog written by  by Greg Goodson

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Available Now on Audio

 



Phoenix Brown has been dealt a bad hand in life. Born in Cleveland, Ohio to an absentee father and drug-addicted mother, Phoenix learned at a young age the meaning of survival. She witnessed her brother's life taken at the hands of a local drug dealer and also how the streets took over her mother's life.

Phoenix was determined that her past would not predict her future. After graduating high school she enrolled in college, where she met and married the love of her life. However, she did not encounter the marital bliss she had hoped for when she learned of her husband's indiscretions - with a love child on the way.

Devastated by the news, Phoenix's self-esteem is completely down. Not ready to give up on her marriage, Phoenix takes matters into her own hands, by confronting her husband at work with regards to his selfish decisions about love, life, and marriage.
One wrong turn lands Phoenix in the one place she could never imagine being......in jail.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Characters All Sounding the Same

A common culprit that keeps writers from making their work quality material is characters that sound exactly alike. Remember, each character in your manuscript is a living, breathing, thinking person with different wants, needs, and point of view from the others. A good exercise to fleshing out characters is to figure out what each character's super objective, figure out what a character truly wants in life (not necessarily in the story). These are the big things, the ones in our very core – to love, to be loved, to be powerful, to be respected, etc. Once you figure that out, realize that this is JUST to determine their core character – how they approach every situation and character they encounter during the course of your story. It's the foundation, and while it's certainly the most important layer, there are more layers: the style, and the details.
A character's style is not about their fashion, but about how, knowing their core, they approach life and other people. Things like humor, vanity, selfishness, selflessness, etc. You can think of a character's style as a collection of their coping and defense mechanisms. How they get by on their day to day life.
The details are how, knowing their core and their style, what the little actions are that they take frequently. For instance, if he drinks a lot, or is always fixing his hair or keeps a pack of cigarettes rolled up in his sleeve – even though he never actually smokes.  Each person has their own unique tics, between the character's roundabout way of parsing out information, their distinct voices from each other (stemming from different wants), and the dialogue feeding into the theme – each of those individually are subtext, but the fact that all three are present clues the reader in that the writer is a professional.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Editing Experience by Joanna Penn

1. Don’t pay your editor to pick up your (literary) dirty socks. 

As a writer, you’ll know if you’ve scattered your work with careless errors, but if you leave those in for the editor to deal with, you’re taking their time and effort away from other work they could be doing on your text. You’re paying for this service, don’t waste it getting them to do your dirty work.  To labour the analogy a little further, clear the floor so they can spend their time mopping it properly.

2. Make sure you’re getting the service your writing needs. 

Authors tend to want to get their work line-edited.  There’s something so tempting about getting every word you’ve written carefully pored over and lovingly polished. The danger is that you will be getting the fine detail right, while the structure or characters need serious alterations.  If you suspect you will be changing anything major, don’t get a fine edit done.

3. Word count costs.

 Reading and editing take time, and the longer a book is, the longer the time needed. Before you send your book out to get edited – any form of editing – cut as much as you can, and it will save you a considerable sum.  A good editor will be giving you advice that reflects on your style, and can be related to other work, so don’t be tempted to send in the first three epic novels in your series.  The first one will probably give the editor enough to work on.

4. Make sure you’ve got the right editor.

Shop around.  There are an awful lot of editors out there, so try and get a recommendation or check for reviews.  Some specialise in particular genres. There is no point sending your sci-fi fantasy novel out to an editor who never reads them.  Equally if you want your non-fiction scientific book looked at, make sure the editor you choose has the relevant background.

5. Advice you don’t like, don’t burn the report.

This last point is most pertinent for structural or critical reviews.  If you ask an expert to look at your writing and they point out things they feel you’re not doing well – it’s not a pleasant moment. The temptation is to think they’ve totally missed your point.  They’re idiots.  What have you spent all that money on anyway?  There is no way you will keep your hero alive past chapter seven, that would be compromising your creative integrity! Take a breath, shout at something inanimate, and see what parts of the report could be saying something useful.  An editor is really just a very very enthusiastic reader, and they want your writing to do well.  You don’t have to swallow all their suggestions whole, but do take time to consider what they’re saying.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

WICKED ATTRACTION my newest novel Coming Soon!



What's worse than getting caught up in your own personal drama and feeling as if your back is against the wall and you have no friends to talk to?

Christian Johnson-Banks travels to Los Angeles, California in hopes of finding her mother and bringing her back to Detroit, Michigan. Christian has no real memories of her mother so while dealing with the hopes of building a relationship with her mother, Christian is also dealing with the wicked attraction she has towards her father’s baby brother with whom she's had a sexual relationship with since she was a young teenager.

Caught up in a sticky situation, Christian tries to cope with her feelings for her uncle as well as find a way to end the relationship with him without her father and husband finding out her sick secret.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Building Buzz Before You Publish

Do you have an idea for your next book? If not an idea, maybe you just have that itch to start writing another book. Either way, idea or itch, now is the time to start talking about it online. This is your opportunity to build buzz and anticipation.
 
Writing a book is a gut-wrenching, life-affirming, tear-producing, spine-tingling, smile-launching struggle. It's a process that can leave you feeling elated on Tuesday and bring you crashing back to reality on Thursday. That it will have its ups and downs is as sure as the sunrise.
 
But that process gives authors an opportunity to breathe life into a book before it's published. It makes the book more than a book; it makes it a journey. You can take that journey with your readers by talking about the ups and downs on your website, blog, or social media. Those who follow your path likely will be anxious to reach the destination and read the published product. Plus, the journey might be something they share with their friends and family, which can lead to even more readers awaiting your book.
 
I'm not talking about revealing plot points and twists or any other essential story elements. Talk about the story in broad strokes. This is more about the creative process as a whole. I've even seen authors put out technical questions about science and history that are crucial to their stories. They involved the readers in the actual creation process.
 
Keep in mind, however, that there is a danger of saturating your readers with too much inside information, so you want to be careful and not bury them with details. Give them just enough to keep them interested. For the most part, you want to give them a peek inside without giving them a full-fledged tour.
 
Don't miss this opportunity to build pre-publication buzz. Take your readers with you on your writing journey!
 
-Richard

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

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Busting Through the Block by Lynn Emery

Some say writer’s block is a myth, a form of procrastination. Other authors insist it’s real, and they’ve suffered through it. As a therapist I’ve learned that if a person is convinced, it doesn’t matter if others say something is real or all in your mind. The bottom line is you need to work on the problem, whatever it is. Here are some tips to shock your unconscious muse back to life.
  • If you are blocked on what a character should do next or how they would react to a story event/plot turner go back and work on characterization. Chances are you need to flesh out more details on who she is- what are her goals, values, motivations, beliefs, etc. It might help to get to know her again. Most often hitting this kind of brick wall means you need to do more work on your character(s).
  • If you are blocked on what will happen next in your story (plotting), go back and review your story outline. O maybe you need to do one if you were writing by the seat of your pants. What story questions must be answered? What are the internal and external conflicts? What are the character motivations? What are the character goals? What is the dark moment when all seems lost? What is the climax (main characters must make a decision and take action)? What is the resolution? How are the main characters changed by this journey at the end?
Writing Exercises
To
Kick Start Your Brain

  1. Start a scene with your protagonist arriving or leaving some place in your story setting. Describe this setting through her eyes, including emotional reactions. Describe how secondary (or other major character) view the setting and the arrival of the main character using facial expressions, body language and dialogue. How does this affect the scene where you hit a block?
  2. Write a character’s worst moment, something that changed her or him in a basic way. Now write a scene where the effects of that event color how the character lives and now views the world in a way that affects your plot.
  3. Write a scene in which your character is arguing her viewpoint, some subject that she feels strongly about. This could be high concept (e.g. testifying before Congress, negotiating with a hostage taker) or discussing a subject with another character (relationship problem, family problem). Either way make the stakes high, in other words something terrible will happen if she doesn’t prevail. Throw in barriers that might keep her from prevailing. How does she overcome these?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Why are More and More Authors Faking Their Way to the Top of Bestsellers Lists?

By TaNisha Webb

Since the introduction of e-readers, avid readers have been blessed to gain instant access to their favorite authors’ works without any delay. It has also made it easier for authors to upload short stories in order to tie their doting fans over until their next novel is released. 

With the creation of anything good, there’s always something bad that comes along with it - however great or small. Some of the major downfalls since e-readers has seen the light of day are: the decline in paper and hardback book sales for authors (which means less money earned by traditional authors); the closing of major and indie brick and mortar book stores; and shortened to non-existing book signing tours for our favorite authors. With more and more avid readers converting to e-readers these variables will only worsen for authors.

Because anyone can publish a book nowadays, the industry has become increasingly competitive in order for authors to remain relevant. One of the ways for some authors to remain relevant is to become a bestselling author. Now don’t get me wrong – there are many authors that truly earned the accolades and praise that they receive. This is shown through consistently releasing great books that creates a strong fan base and due to the author creating a relationship with their readers. So with that being said - how is it possible that so many authors are making best selling lists that hardly anyone has heard of? 


Well one of the ways that some authors are getting on the bestsellers gravy train is by way of free and dirt cheap e-book price points. Cheap price points will help to embellish sales but doesn’t necessarily mean that the author’s work is worthy of the download. Many readers get caught up with clicking that download button for those bargain deals. Truth be told, these books hardly ever get read, which doesn’t always help the author to create a fan base. Temporary lowered e-book sales prices can work for authors as an effective marketing tool if the author already has an established fan base, which can help the author’s book go viral if their fans help spread the word to others via social media.

So here’s where the foolishness turns straight into mayhem with some of these so called “bestselling” authors. Some readers have noticed that not only are authors taking advantage of slashing the price of their e-books for eternity but they are also faking their way to the top of bestsellers lists by deliberately placing their e-books in the wrong genres in order to gain their undeserving bestselling status. This is a low-down dirty shame because not only are these fake bestselling authors being dishonest to readers when they claim they are a bestseller but they are also stealing…yes I said it…they are STEALING a spot from an author that actually do DESERVE and has rightfully EARNED their bestselling title because of these manipulative, greedy and starving for attention wannabes!

So how is it possible for a fiction e-book find its way in a non-fiction category?  Well when an author uploads their e-book onto Kindle and Nook, they are given the choice to place their e-book in up to three different genres that best describes their book’s content. If the author places their book into one or more genres you’ll see it listed on the e-book page in the book description area. You’ll also see where the e-book ranks overall and in the specific genres that the author has placed their book in. (Look at the example below). These “mistakes” aren’t an, ‘Oops, I accidently placed my book in the wrong category, gosh darn it!’ type of accident. This is more so like a ‘fake it ‘til I make it’ type of tomfoolery that some authors are using in order to make their numbers look better than what they actually are because many times the genre categories that the author chose to place their book in more than likely doesn’t generate many book sales, which makes it easy for the author to climb the bestsellers chart.

What can avid readers and book clubs do? Stop supporting authors that are cheating their way onto bestsellers lists! Even if you’re purchasing a paperback book take the time to click onto the author’s e-book page and see which genres they are placing their book into. Also, stop downloading cheap books unless it’s something that you KNOW you’re going to read. This will stop authors from being placed on the bestseller’s list when they haven’t earned it. If you see a book in a fiction and non-fiction genre, email the author and ask them why. The only books that are able to straddle both parts of the genre fence are autobiographies that are built on lies, which would make them fiction! 


What can the literary industry do? Create some type of price point for e-books per the size, just like traditional books have in place. This will help to separate the good from the bad. I think Amazon and Barnes and Noble should not allow authors to place any books in both fiction and non-fiction categories. Obviously, some authors don’t have the truth in them and simply won’t do right. 

What should the fake bestselling authors do? Stop faking the funk and get your act together. Hard work pays off…not deliberate acts of deceit. If you’re truly a great writer, let your work be your weapon and stop being a weasel! You are a constant reminder of what’s wrong with the literary industry today. Because of you, “bestseller” doesn’t mean much to avid readers because we still have to sift through the bad apples to get to the great authors. So unless you can prove that you have earned a bestselling title on a list that actually carries weight…we don’t care. There are no shortcuts to success. The lessons that you’ve bypassed on your seedy path, while faking your way to the top is making you look like a fool and a cheat! Get it together so that we as avid readers will want to support you and help you build the right foundation for success as your fan before we have no choice but to give up on you altogether. You’ve been warned! 


How do you feel about authors using these types of tactics to become bestselling authors?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

CREATING DRAMA

                    Drama in fiction is created through:

         *Bullet*A powerful story premise.The premise is the most important item for drama because it serves as the seed idea or the conception of a story. When the premise is precise, the plot opens up to the writer. 


         *Bullet*Unique characters drawn with enough details for carrying the premise on their shoulders and strong character motivation. Unique primary characters that are very different from each other also create drama through their different traits and the different ways they act in a given situation.

         *Bullet*A great conflict that leads to exciting action. For the sake of drama, the two sides of the conflict have to cling to their opposing standpoints as if it were the last thing for them to do, so what is at stake for the two (or more) sides and the knowledge available to them for their attitudes can create suspense.
    

         *Bullet*Suspense results from the fear or the expectancy of something happening or the anxiety due to withheld information either from the characters or from the reader. If the reader likes a character and sides with him, the fear of something nasty happening to him heightens the feeling of suspense. When vital information is delivered partly or when it is withheld also adds to the suspense of the story. Sometimes, the reader knows that information before the character and is excited or fearful for the character’s discovering it. At other times, the reader is left in the dark, until the character makes it known that he had that very important information all along.
     

         *Bullet*Action creates drama, even or escalating pace that doesn’t allow the feeling of momentum to be lost. Measured pace, which is the momentum or the tempo of the action, adds even more drama. In most genre novels, pace quickens toward the end until the climax; then, it tapers down. By the same token, from midpoint to the climax, sentences and chapters may become shorter and more action-filled. This energizes the story and keeps the reader glued to the page.
     
             
 
*Placing drama in a novel with always capture a readers attention*
         

Creator of original article Joy from writing.com 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Authors of Color to Big Publishing: Where’s The Love?


By Wendy Coakley-Thompson | January 7, 2013

Much is written about the publishing industry’s woes, from diminishing margins and accusations of price fixing, to the ceding of territory to self-publishing in both print and digital formats. But for writers of color, the concerns are more personal. All over the Internet and the blogosphere, writers of color lament the difficulty in getting a deal from mainstream publishing’s Big Six: Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins, Macmillan, Penguin Group, Random House and Simon & Schuster. All of this has led many to speculate that maybe big publishing is just “not into” writers of color anymore.
In a November 15th missive reprinted widely, authors Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant got straight to the point. The best-selling duo, after assurances that neither of them was ill nor had a fallen out as friends, dropped this bombshell: “…our writing career is officially on ‘HOLD.’ ”
DeBerry and Grant (pictured above) went on to lament how the industry has changed, requiring an omnipresent cyber presence through social media, as well the pressures to crank out a book a year to meet an industry’s unrealistic expectations for them. Before poignantly closing, they share that “there are no more DeBerry and Grant novels in the pipeline. Whew…that was hard, but also a relief.”
Say what you will about DeBerry and Grant, they engineered their own exit from publishing. Other writers of color have not been as lucky.
Raul Ramos y Sanchez, the award-winning Neo-Latino Renaissance author of America Libre and House Divided, was told by his publisher Grand Central that his considerable platform (in addition to his marketing and PR background, he hosts MyImigrationStory.com) wasn’t enough. They dropped him from their roster, citing anemic sales.
Take Carleen Brice, who in 2010 released her debut novel, Orange, Mint and Honey, which became Sins of the Mother, a Lifetime television movie starring Jill Scott. Sins of the Mother and its star Scott won NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Television Movie and Outstanding Actress in a TV Movie respectively. Today, Brice is without a mainstream fiction book deal.
Best-selling author Bernice L. McFadden was so respected that she routinely wrote industry commentary for venerable organs like the Washington Post. She had even published chick lit under the pseudonym Geneva Holliday. But in 2009, two agents were unable to persuade any publisher to pick up her latest offering Glorious.
These tales are, unfortunately, not unique among writers of color. You get to know enough writers, and you’ll see that many have lost their books deals or have moved onto other ventures in order to survive. A sampling of the LinkedIn profiles of several authors bears this out. Authors who’d once topped bestsellers lists now tout the work they do for others. One novelist famous for a memorable photo of him spinning with his open coat flailing in the wind now says he is a claims representative with a national insurance company. His former occupation—novelist—now bearing an asterisk, like post-season records achieved in baseball. Another author whose work had been made into plays now primarily plies her trade as an organizational psychology professional. Many authors have taken refuge in academia. Others have taken to lucrative ghostwriting.
After two decades that saw an explosion of works published by writers of color, things have cooled considerably. What happened?
“I think mainstream publishers are interested in any writer whose work the public wants to read,” said Rakia Clark, who until she was laid off in 2009, was an editor for Kensington’s Dafina imprint. “For a short spell in the 1990s, that was black women writers writing about relationships. Within the past three years, it’s been vampires and zombies. This year it’s erotica for moms. Next year it may be something else entirely.”
Clark adds, though, that “the big disadvantage writers of color have is that there are few people of color working for the publishers who are often more likely to receive submissions from minority authors. But believe me, publishers want writers with talent and the potential for a strong sales record. They’ll accept it in whatever form it comes.”
Best-selling author Connie Briscoe appeared on the scene in the early 1990s, an era which she called a “sort of a dawn of this new flowering of black books and authors.” Terry McMillan had apparently single-handedly led the rediscovery of authors of color in general and black authors in particular with the 1992 breakout novel Waiting to Exhale. When Briscoe’s debut novel Sisters and Lovers came out in 1994, it sold 750,000 copies. She draws parallels between the publishing industry then and now.
“A lot has changed in so very little time, mainly because of technology and the Internet,” she says. “The publishing industry is in a period of upheaval which I liken to the dawn of the printing press. We’re still trying to sort all the changes out. It will take a while, but I think when things settle down we will be better for it.”
According to Briscoe, the current climate is conducive to a writer of color attaining such heights. However, says Briscoe, “I think it’s harder for a few reasons. One of them is simply that there is much more competition among writers. When Sisters and Lovers was published, there were one or two handfuls of black authors writing such novels, and as we found out back then black women were hungry for novels with characters who looked like them and lived as they did. Now there are dozens of black authors and one book is less likely to be such a sensation.”
Adds Briscoe, “We are also competing with technology and the Internet now. When Sisters and Lovers was first published there was no Internet, at least not as it is today. There was no 24-hour, gazillion-channel TV, no On Demand Movies, no caller ID or email. All of these things compete with the time spent reading novels. I also think our brains are being rewired to high speed and needing instant gratification…This isn’t conducive to lounging on the couch with a 500-page novel for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. In fact, publishers often don’t even want 500-page novels anymore for that reason.”
If perception is reality, then what do the authors think is big publishing’s attitude towards authors of color? Ramos, who insists his work is more James Patterson or David Baldacci than Oscar Hijuelos or Gabriel Garcia Marquez, says “We’re still seen as part of that whole literary ghetto.” Authors whose work does not fit a particular mold have a hard time finding an audience. It is, says Ramos, a “self-perpetuating thing.”
There are, however, a few authors of color who are doing well. Kimberla Lawson Roby, Eric Jerome Dickey and Toni Morrison frequently make the bestsellers list. And Junot Diaz has not just topped the charts but has garnered a Pulitzer as well as other awards for his works.
ReShonda Tate Billingsley, a former television newscaster who now writes full time, is also no stranger to various best-seller lists and awards. The film adaptation of her novel, Let the Church Say Amen, directed by Regina King and produced by Queen Latifah’s Company, Flava Unit, Royal Ties and Bobbcat Films, just wrapped and will be released in 2013 as part of BET’s new original programming line-up. BET also will make three of her other books into films.
Victoria Christopher Murray is also a successful author of Christian fiction. Simon and Schuster’s Touchstone and Gallery Books imprints have published her latest nineteen novels.
“I’ve been really blessed,” she says. “When I came to Simon and Schuster, I was with a team who really wanted me there. From the publisher, all the way to the people in marketing. They also knew that I would work very, very hard. While they did a lot for my career, I was always willing to go the extra step.”
Both Billingsley and Murray have seen the publishing industry shift over their long publishing careers. For one thing, says Billingsley, “the market is saturated. And a lot of it is not quality material. That makes it hard for readers to want to invest in new material. On the flip side, it allows voices that might not otherwise be heard a chance to shine. And of course, the whole digital era.”
Digital publishing has been the most popular choice for authors. Its egalitarian nature, along with the ubiquity of the technology has put it in the reach of any author. Mashable.com reports that eBook sales will reach almost $10 billion by 2016, this while, according to per industry heavyweight Publishers Weekly, print numbers decline. These developments happen as the numbers of Americans with eReaders has doubled since July of 2011, according to eBookReader.com.
This past November, Ramos digitally published Pancho Land, the third book in his Class H trilogy (after America Libre and House Divided) though Kindle. He sees it as a way keep his audience and build on it. It’s another incarnation, he says, a “second life.”
Other authors forsaken by big publishing have found refuge with small independent publishers. McFadden, who describes parting with big publishing as “the best thing that could have happened to me” has flourished at Brooklyn indie publisher Akashic. She has received numerous accolades and accomplished much since Akashic published Glorious in 2010. The Gathering of the Waters and a reissue of her 2001 novel The Warmest December followed. “Publishing with Akashic Books is a collaborative experience.”
Brice has found a home with Agate Publishing, an independent press in Chicago, which has acquired her next nonfiction work, The Not So Fearless Writer.
Like DeBerry and Grant, and hundreds of others, Connie Briscoe has opted out and left what she calls “the writing scene” behind. But she’s happy for the mark she and others have left.
“I think that I and others blew the door wide open for black authors. It had been cracked open by the literary giants who were too good for the industry to ignore,” said Briscoe. “We all know who they were–Baldwin, Hurston, Morrison, Walker to name a few. Then a dozen or so more of us, led mainly by Terry McMillan, who kicked it wide open. A lot of books and authors have come through since then, some of them maybe more desirable than others. But at least the door is open.”
(Wendy Coakley-Thompson is an award-winning author and columnist. She published her latest book, Writing While Black, digitally).