Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

10 Creative Book Marketing Ideas + Links to 40 More…

Filed under: Author Tips,Guest Author Articles — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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John Kremer, Guest Author

This report summarizes a two-hour talk I gave at the PMA Publishing University several years ago. I tried to include marketing ideas that I hadn’t covered extensively in the Book Marketing Update newsletter or in 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. I hope these ideas will help you think of new possibilities for promoting your books.

1. Book Excerpts

To promote an upcoming book to bookstores, libraries, or readers, print an excerpt from your book in pamphlet or booklet form and mail it out to your major customers (or potential customers).

To promote Gloria Steinem’s new book, Revolution from Within, Little, Brown reprinted Bibliotherapy, a chapter that describes the books the author found helpful in writing her book and living her life. They sent 50,000 copies of this pamphlet to 1,000 of their major bookstore accounts who, in turn, passed them out to customers.

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Click book cover for more info!

2. On-Line Ordering via Computer

David Unowsky, former owner of Hungry Mind, once a major independent bookstore in St. Paul, Minnesota, encourages smaller publishers to find a way to offer online ordering for bookstores. This process makes it much easier for bookstores to order your books. Of course, this suggestion is only valuable if you have a line of books that are popular with booksellers (and you don’t already have a distributor who offers such an option).

3. Offer Your Sales Reps Push Money

Whether you have a distributor or work with your own sales rep groups, you might find it useful to offer your reps push money—that is, some monetary incentive to push a new book, line of books, or display. For example, if you want your reps to push a new line of books, offer them an extra $5.00 or $10.00 when they sell a set amount of books into one retail account.

While push money is not common among book sales reps, it is common in other retail fields. If you do offer such an incentive, arrange to send the check directly to your reps. Don’t let the money come through your distributor. Make sure the reps know that the money is coming from you because they sold your books. Thank them for their good work.

By the way, if your books are distributed by another company, be sure you have the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the sales reps representing that company’s line of books (which includes yours). Then communicate directly with your reps to let them know about new titles, breaking publicity, rights sales, major special sales, and other noteworthy events.

4. Preprint Review Copy Envelopes

Woodbridge Press sends all review copies bulk rate inside envelopes that are preprinted with their address and the legend: “New Book: Review Copy.” This message gets the attention of reviewers.

Also, because they send the books bulk rate (using their meter imprint), they save money without affecting delivery compared to book rate.

5. Stay Alert to Media Opportunities

Watch for news items that you can use to promote your own books. Also watch for news items about other books that could tie into your own books.

At one time, Leonore Fleischer’s Talk of the Trade column in Publishers Weekly asserted that How to Profit by Setting Up Your Own Corporation “holds the record for being in print longer than any other book in its class [non-text business book] in history.” She noted that the book had sold 300,000 copies in 6 editions over 13 years.

Well, I knew a book on the same subject that had sold more and been in print longer: Ted Nicholas’s How to Form Your Own Corporation without a Lawyer for Under $75.00, which was originally self-published in 1972 and has sold over 900,000 copies.

I called the author as well as the new publisher, Dearborn Trade, and alerted them to the error. They followed through and received a notice several weeks later in the same column of Publishers Weekly .

6. Feature Booksellers in Your Ads

For a full-page advertisement for Alice Hoffman’s novel, Turtle Moon, Putnam featured the following headline: “From Moorestown, New Jersey, to Beaverton, Oregon, booksellers are falling in love with…” and a photo of the book jacket. The rest of the ad featured laudatory quotes from major independent bookstores as well as buyers from Waldenbooks, Barnes & Noble, and several wholesalers.

7. Promote Your Differences

When publicizing your books, look for ways that your books are different not only in content, but also in form. For example, Westcliffe recently promoted their line of calendars by pointing out that their calendars were the first nationally distributed line to be printed on real recycled paper (using at least 14% post consumer waste) —thereby keeping 2,925 pounds of air pollution out of the atmosphere, saving 829 trees, and preventing 147 cubic yards of paper from reaching the landfills.

They worked with their paper supplier, Conservatree, to promote the news to the media. Westcliffe also invited booksellers to a free seminar during the ABA Convention on “Why Recycling Is Better than Sex.”

Finally, they also promoted the fact that their monthly format was the largest of all calendar publishers — 14″ x 12.”

8. Provide Booksellers with Displays

If you are publishing a book with major bookstore potential (be honest in judging its potential), provide booksellers with posters, displays, shelf-talkers, or other in-store point-of-purchase material. Provide this material before publication date.

The publishers of Sue Grafton’s alphabet mystery series sent bookstores a cardboard easel announcing that her latest book in the series, “I” Is for Innocent, would be arriving on April 6th. The easel featured a full-color reproduction of the book’s cover. Since Sue has an avid fan club for the series, the display would draw immediate interest. I’m sure many bookstores displayed the easel.

9. Cut Costs with Postcards

When promoting a new title to your customer list, try sending a postcard. At 23¢, first class postcards are often less expensive than bulk mail—and you get address corrections returned for free! Have one side of the postcard feature a cover of your book, while the other side features your sales copy and a space for the recipients name and address.

To promote the new edition of Creative Cash, Barbara Brabec mailed out 5,000 postcards to a customer list that hadn’t been cleaned in 18 months. Her cost: $180.00 for printing plus $950.00 for postage. As a result, she received 153 orders (over $2,500.00 in sales) as well as 964 address corrections at no extra cost.

10. Market with a Greeting Card

In promoting books to your customers, especially stores and wholesalers, try different formats to get their attention. Most stores are inundated with catalogs, brochures, and media kits, but how many receive greeting cards, calendars, pop-ups, or other unusual formats?

Why not try a Valentine card when promoting a book during February. Or a Mother’s Day card during May? Or a flag on the 4th of July? Such items would stand out from the clutter on their desk. Just keep it simple so your card stands out (in other words, don’t stuff the card in with your catalog or a bunch of flyers; send it by itself).

Want more tips? Click here for 40 more!

Copyright © 2011 – John Kremer. Reprinted with Permission. John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books as well as webmaster at http://www.bookmarket.com, http://www.bestsellerlaunchformula.com, and http://www.tenmillioneyeballs.com.

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Authors: Protect Your Articles From Content Theft

Filed under: Content Theft,Copyright,Plagiarism,Video — Larry James @ 7:00 am

copyrightwww.copyscape.com – Copyscape empowers you to defend your site against the threats of online plagiarism. Copyscape provides a free service that allows you to easily search for plagiarism and identify instances of content theft.

Copyscape finds sites that have copied your content without permission, as well as those that have quoted you. Their “Resource Center” offers links to guidelines regarding Internet plagiarism. Simply type in the address of your original Web page, and Copyscape does the rest. It’s a FREE service AND they also have a fee-paid monthly service called “Copysentry” which automatically monitors the web for copies of your pages, e-mailing you as soon as they appear.

There are several different Copyscape banners to choose from to post on your articles. Hold your mouse over the image below to see a message that I use on my Articles Menu page. Also click on the image to see how I use Copyscape on my “Reprinting “Relationship” Articles by Larry James” page (the link opens in another browser window).

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Recently, Copyscape found 2 of my articles on other Websites that were copied word for word with a no copyright or credit to me. After contacting those Websites, they complied with my request to add my name at the top of the article as author and a Copyright and brief bio with links back to my Website. Their other option was to take the article down.

BONUS Articles: Is Someone Stealing Your Copyrighted Articles?
10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Monday, August 15, 2011

101 Ways to Blog as a Book Author – Plus More

Filed under: Author Tips,Blogging Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags: ,

John Kremer, Guest Author

We all know that blogging is one of the best ways to get attention in today’s Internet world. A blog is a godsend to your website, bringing it traffic, fans, and more. But you have to post regularly: twice a week or more.

Stuck for what to blog about? Here are some tips for novelists, but the same tips can apply to writers of nonfiction, memoirs, children’s books, business books, and more.

Larry’s Note: Every link in the following list opens in a new browser window so you won’t lose your place!

1. Review other novels or books in your field, especially from other lesser-known novelists or book authors.
2. Write a blog post using the voice of one of your main characters. For nonfiction authors, write a blog post using the voice of Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, Plato, Teddy Roosevelt, Dr. Oz. Henry David Thoreau or some other famous person in your field.
blogging3. Have that main character tell some side stories not included in the novel. For nonfiction authors, you can tell stories you did not feature in your book, especially new testimonial stories you receive.
4. Write about the setting – time and/or place. Use some of the research you did to ensure that your novel was accurate.
5. Invite your readers to review your book. Feature their testimonials on your blog.
6. Interview some of your readers: via Q&A text or via an Internet radio show or via a teleseminar.
7. Podcast your book, one section at a time.
8. Write about trends in your genre or subject area.
9. Write about your favorite novelists (especially those that write in your genre) or book authors in your field. Include their photos and a sampling of their books.
10. Answer questions from your readers.
11. Fill in the back stories of some of your minor characters.
12. Write a new story featuring one of those characters.
13. Feature excerpts from your upcoming novels or books. Ask for feedback.
14. Link to the blogs of your favorite authors. Tell readers why those blogs would interest them.
15. Link to book review sites. Recommend your favorites.
16. Create a hall of fame for your genre or topic. Of course, include yourself. For a sample, see my Self-Publishing Hall of Fame.
17. Write a blog for each of your upcoming book signing events, online events, etc. Invite your readers to attend – or to let their friends know about your events.
18. Write a follow-up blog on each of your events describing what happened. Take photos of the event and post them here.
19. Review book trailers for novels you like (or other books as well). Feature the book trailer videos in the blog post. Here’s an incredibly easy book trailer any author could duplicate in a few minutes: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2010/12/cool-book-trailer-incredibly-easy-to.html.
20. Write about your writing routine. Describe when you write (morning, evening, weekends), where you write (the proverbial garret, a coffee shop, at the kitchen table), and how you prepare to write (eat a banana, listen to music, kick your husband or wife out of the house). You could easily stretch this out into three or four short blog posts.
21. Share the genesis of your novel or nonfiction book. How did it come about? What ideas, events, characters, etc. inspired you to write the book?
22. Describe how you went about plotting your novel. For nonfiction authors, describe how you went about organizing the book, why you included some things and excluded other info.
23. Write about a hobby you have.
24. Write about a cause that’s important to you: charitable, political, social, ecological, or spiritual.
25. Write about your spouse, your children, or other members of your family.
26. Write about your town, your state, your country, your world, your galaxy.
27. Opine on the state of the nation. Opine on world affairs.
28. Opine on Weiner, Schwarzenegger, Sheen, and other fools. You can relate it to what you know, like I did on this post about Weiner and Twitter: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/06/twitter-how-easy-is-it-to-fake-account.html.
29. Write about a hot issue, especially one that relates to the content of your novel or book.
30. Describe how you go about doing research for your novel or book. Book research? Google? Websites? Travel?
31. Share some of the interesting tidbits, facts, insights you discovered as you did your research. Share things that didn’t make it into your novel or book. Share the facts that became key items in your book.
32. Review books, websites, blogs, courses, or events on writing, research, plotting, etc. that you like. Feature the book covers or banner images in the blog post.
33. Share or review the novels or books you are reading now. What’s on your nightstand? What’s in your purse or briefcase? What books did you take to the shore during vacation?
34. Survey your readers opinions on any key issue in your books. You could do a number of posts. Announce the surveys. Then promote the surveys. Then announce the results. That’s worth at least three blog posts, probably more.
35. Run a contest. Ask people to name their favorite character and describe why they like the character. For nonfiction books, ask readers to describe the most important tip they learned from your book. Offer a free book, sample chapter from your new novel or book, a phone call from you, or something else as a prize.
36. Feature your reader comments in upcoming blog posts.
37. Have your readers interview you. Encourage them to send in a series of questions you will answer.
38. Ask your readers to pick which character in your novel is most like them. For nonfiction books, ask your readers to tell you which story you told most touched them.
39. Tell your readers which character in your novel is most like you. For nonfiction authors, let them know which story has most meaning to you – and why.
40. Interview bloggers.
41. Interview booksellers.
42. Interview a celebrity in your field.
43. Interview a major celebrity that has a passion for your field. For example, interview a movie star that loves dogs or is a vegetarian or fights for the preservation of the ocean. In this example, the celebrity should be passionate for the topic you write about.
44. Feature your favorite bookstores (with photos). Describe why you love them.
45. Interview your favorite novelists or book authors.
46. Write a ditty. Write a poem. Share a short story.
47. Expose your inner being. Share your feelings.
48. Let readers know about your day.
49. Post photos or videos of your favorite novelists and other book authors. Write a little introduction.
50. Join in the Amazon Bestseller Campaigns of your fellow authors. Promote these campaigns via your blog
51. Join in the blog tours of your fellow authors. Promote these blog tours via your blog.
52. Have a reader interview one of your characters with you responding as the character. For nonfiction authors, have readers send in a list of questions for an expert to answer. Ask the expert to respond via your blog.
53. Report about the launch parties and other promotional activities of your fellow authors.
54. Have readers vote for variations of your book covers and/or book titles.
55. Write guest posts on other blogs. It’s a great way to exchange blog posts with other authors. Plus, of course, it exposes you, your book, and your blog to other readers.
56. Post photos of your readers and fans. Feature them reading your book.
57. Run a contest asking readers to send you photos of them reading your book in unusual places: foreign locations, mountaintops, in the water, at the dining room table, in a restaurant, while standing in line for the latest version of the iPhone, while dancing a jig, at a location featured in your novel or book, up a tree, down a sewer, at the zoo (perhaps with a monkey reading your book, in a bookstore.
58. Feature photos of yourself with your book in the same locations. Have fun with it. Make it a game for yourself.
59. Feature tweets and Facebook posts about your book.
60. Create a controversy. Comment on a news story, blog post, current event, historical event, website, or tweet. Say something outrageous and let ‘er rip.
61. Write about a service you used in writing or promoting your book. Tell your readers why you liked or did not like the service.
62. Share a quote you like. For example, see http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/03/whats-important-heres-one-way-to-decide.html.
63. Share your tweets or Facebook posts. At least several times a month, I feature some of my most important or useful tweets with the readers of my blog. For example, see http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/06/book-marketing-tweets-you-can-use-june_20.html.
64. Write a how-to post. For novelists, tell people how to cook a dish featured in your novel, or how to sew a corset, or how to sail the seven seas, or how to spot a vampire (something, obviously related to your novel). For nonfiction authors, feature tips or how-to advice related to your book.
65. Create videos. Post them to YouTube and then embed them in a blog post. Check out this video I created on advertisements in eBooks: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/04/ebook-advertisments-video-reveals-7.html.
66. Share any video that inspires you, even if it is off-topic. Here’s recent blog post I wrote that featured an up-and-coming viral video: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/06/dance-like-no-one-is-watching-next.html. Watch the video. You’ll be glad you did.
67. Create a video channel playlist and embed it on your blog. There are many tools to do this. Here’s one example: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/03/google-gadget-showcases-your-youtube.html.
68. Share a song you really like. Link to a music video on YouTube or a link to a music site where people can buy the song. Minutes after Susan Boyle’s video went viral on YouTube, I shared a link because I found her signing and story so inspirational.
69. Share a photo you really like. Something like this wonderful library desk made of books: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2010/09/cool-library-desk-created-completely.html.
blogging170. Feature an excerpt from a magazine article you liked. For instance, see Books add warmth to any room (from Allure magazine): http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/04/books-add-warmth-to-any-room-miles-redd.html.
71. Offer a freebie for download. I offered a collection of quotations in the form of an eBook: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/04/quotations-from-john-kremer-get-book.html.
72. If you have more than one blog, feature blog posts from your other blogs. Besides this blog, I also blog at AskJohnKremer.com, AskThePublicist.com, AskTheBooksellers.com, AskTheBookPrinter.com, AskTheCoverDesigner.com, and MagaGenie.com.
73. Index your blog and post a link to the index. See my index at http://www.bookmarket.com/bestofblog.htm.
74. Share content from a book, like this great first line from a novel: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2010/07/great-first-line-for-novel.html. Or these great first lines: http://askthecoverdesigner.com/first-lines-draw-the-reader-in-make-them-great.
75. Share a great line from a TV show or movie. The TV show or movie should be current and hot, a classic, or right on target for your topic. Or simply funny. Funny goes viral.
76. Share a joke. Jokes go viral. Even better if the joke ties into your topic or novel.
77. Create a bibliography for your genre or topic. Feature the best books you recommend.
78. Create a glossary for your genre or topic. Define some of the key terms for romance novels, for science fiction, for rabbit hunting, for crocheting, for what you write about.
79. Share a fact. Give your readers some tidbit they likely don’t know about your topic. This can be a short blog, something like this: Did you know that 1200 years ago there were probably 12 million kiwis in New Zealand. Today there are only 70,000.
80. Let your readers know about your new books, new products, new updates.
81. Blog about new pages you’ve added to your website. Or new websites you’ve created. Here’s the blog post I created to promote the launch of my AskJohnKremer.com website: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/04/ask-john-kremer-q-website-check-it-out.html.
82. Congratulate someone. Give them a thumbs up when they publish a new book, launch a new product, do some great service for humanity, have a new baby, get married. You don’t have to tie it into your book or topic.
83. Thank someone publicly. When someone does something especially nice for you, thank them in public via your blog.
84. Make a prediction. Here’s something I tweeted over a year ago that still hasn’t really come true. Alas. – You heard it here first: The economy has begun to turn the corner. People are beginning to trust themselves again. Good times coming again.
85. Raise money for a charity. Offer to donate to a specific charity for every book sold during a specific week or month. Promote this via your blog, tweets, Facebook posts, etc.
86. Ask a provocative question. Encourage people to share their answers in the comments section for that post. Joel Comm once tweeted this question: What would you do if you discovered $100,000 hidden away in your basement? He got 3.5 pages of replies in less than an hour.
87. Solicit help. When Jeff Rivera was fighting gay prejudice in Costa Rica, he asked his Facebook followers and others to write emails to a list of government leaders and thought leaders in Costa Rica. It helped.
88. Celebrate milestones. Blog about your company anniversary, the two-year anniversary of the publication of your book, the 700th post on your blog (coming soon right here).
89. Announce awards and honors. If you receive any awards for your book or honors for yourself, blog about them. Link, of course, to the site of the award giver as well.
90. Excerpt your book. Run a series of excerpts from your book. They can be short paragraphs, tips, entire chapters, a story, whatever you want to share.
91. Ask for feedback on your blog and blog posts. Ask for feedback on your website design.
92. Share personal stories. I tweeted and posted on Facebook when I had a heart attack scare a week ago. Not only did it personalize me for my followers and fans, but it encourage me when I received so many good wishes.
93. Have your dog or cat write a blog post. Chances are, of course, that you’ll have to write the post, but do it in the voice of your pet.
94. Ask your wife, husband, child, mother, father, or favorite aunt to write a guest blog post. The post can be about you, your book, your website, or whatever they want to write about.
95. Invite your friend or neighbor to write a guest blog post. Again, the post can be about you, your book, your website, or whatever they want to write about.
96. Create a scavenger hunt. Ask your readers to find a specific blog post where you wrote about XYZ. Or have them find three specific passages in your book. Or three webpages on your website. This scavenger hunt can be a great tool to encourage people to explore your book, blog, or website in greater depth.
97. Solicit money. If you need to raise funds for the reprinting of your book or to produce a book trailer, create a Kickstarter.com project and promote it through your blog. Better yet, have your child create the project and let them write about it on your blog. Children can be very effective promoters of their parent’s work. And cute.
98. Recruit joint venture partners. When you are working on an Amazon Bestseller Campaign or a BookTourPalooza blog tour, solicit partners via your blog. Write about what you propose to do, and ask your readers if they want to help. You can do solicit JV partners for any promotion campaign.
99. Create a holiday. Anyone can create a new holiday, commemorative week or month, special day of recognition, or related date. You can check out CelebrateToday.com where I feature over 18,500 such special events. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Memorial Day were all days created by individuals or organizations. Take Your Daughter to Work Day was created by the National Organization of Women. What day could you create to promote your book or the topic of your book?
100. Ask for contributions to a new book. I did that for my 4-Minute Momentum series of books (still working on them). Here are some sample 6-word memoirs from the book Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak. I bet the authors solicited many of these memoirs via their blog or social networks. – Married by Elvis, divorced by Friday. It’s like my heart has sciatica. It’s worth it, despite your mother. She defines happiness, I defy gravity.
101. Share a mistake. Admit it when you make a mistake. It makes you human. Humans are more fun to read.
102. Create a meme. That’s what Tim Ferriss did in creating his fourhourworkweek.com/blog. Here are a few memes being created on Twitter: Let’s go all the way tonight, no regrets, just spuds… #replacelovewithspud – Come for the funeral, stay for the all meat buffet. #funeralhomeslogans – #mysuperpowerwouldbe Teleportation! NO MORE TRAFFIC! NO MORE WAITING AT THE AIRPORT!
103. Invent a new word, and blog about it. Something like the two words I recently created: booktourpalooza and blogtourpalooza (with accompanying websites soon to come).
1001Ways104. Interview book reviewers.
105. Make a list – like this one. People love lists. And they love to pass them on. Please tweet about this list. And come back to visit again. I’ll be adding more ideas as you pass on your great ideas – and as I come up with more of my own.

People care about novelists and book authors. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be professorial. You don’t have to be journalistic. Tell the truth. Keep it simple. Cut a vein and let it bleed on the screen.

As noted in this update to the original post, this list can also be used by nonfiction writers. I focused on fiction because fiction writers often ask what they should blog about. Or what they should write articles about. Or what they should do for press releases.

The above ideas, obviously, can be used for more than blogging: article syndication, press releases, new products, newsletter articles, videos, Facebook fan pages, tweets, website content, and much more.

Copyright © 2011 – John Kremer. John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books as well as webmaster at http://www.bookmarket.com, http://www.bestsellerlaunchformula.com, and http://www.tenmillioneyeballs.com.

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Stephen King’s 10 Writing Commandments

Filed under: Author Tips,Guest Author Articles — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Stephen King, Guest Author

Commandment 1: Read and write – a lot! King, every writing Instructor, and every writer all have the same advice – and we should heed them. If you are a writer or an aspiring one, you have to love to read and love to write. Don’t do either because you feel you have to do it – do both because you need to. Bad writing teaches you what not to do, and great writing teach you what you should be doing. Paraphrasing King, if you don’t have time to read, then you don’t have time to write.

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“On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” – Click book cover to order!

Commandment 2: Write every day – Develop a schedule and write every day. He suggests writing a minimum of 1,000 words a day. If you’re a night owl, write at night; if you’re an early riser, write in the mornings. If you have day job, then be like Anthony Trollope and write for 2-3 hours before leaving for work. If you’re a poet-mom, like Sylvia Plath, wake up before the children rise, and write in the wee hours of the morning. Whatever schedule you pick, it should last for 2-3 hours at a time, uninterrupted, and you should have a realistic goal of 1000 words a day – every day.

Commandment 3: Find your space – Find your space and “shut the door.” Truman Capote wrote in motel rooms. Ernest Hemingway rented a studio. Kathryn Stockett, who wrote “The Help,” rented a motel room every weekend in order to revise her book – which had been rejected again and again. Your writing space doesn’t have to be big – it can be small and the size of a closet, but it has to have a door because you have to shut it – shut out the world and shut yourself in. It should be just you and your writing without any interruptions or distractions like cell phones, phones, television sets, video games, or internet access. You, a room, and a door.

Commandment 4: Write the truth – While most people say, write what you know – I say, write what you love, but King says, write the truth. Don’t write to impress agents, publishers, other writers or even your friends. According to King, “When the reader hears strong echoes of his of her own life and beliefs, he or she is apt to become more invested in the story” (160).Write about your experiences with work, love, rage, etc., and write it honestly. Don’t sugar-coat it or sensationalize it.

Commandment 5: Don’t plot – Most writers plot or map out their writing. King argues that life is plotless, and so should your story. Let your story find itself – let it unfold before you without you navigating it. Stories that are created from plot-structuring “feel artificial and labored” (164). Instead, allow the necessary elements of narrative, descriptions, and dialogue to bring your story to life.

Commandment 6: Practice – Practice makes a writer a better, more seasoned writer. Practice these most important elements of any story.

• Characters: Practice making real and believable characters with both good and bad traits – make the reader hate and sympathize with them at the same time. King suggests that you let the characters take you for a ride – let them reveal themselves to you when they want to – when they’re ready to. Have them grow and drive the action of the story.

• Descriptions: Practice describing, not faces and clothing – but setting and texture – and whatever you do, don’t over describe anything. Let your first instincts drive you to use description, and then use details sparingly and clearly. Describe things as you see them, and the reader will see it in the same manner.

SKingSigning• Dialogue: Practice showing – not telling – through the use of real dialogue. Show us the IQ level of your character via his dialect, his vocabulary, and his use of colloquialisms. Use a clear writing style with simple vocabulary. If it sounds real, then it rings true to the reader.

Commandment 7: The story – According to King, “Good fiction always begins with story and progresses to theme” – not the other way around. After you’re done with the first draft of your manuscript, lean back and look at it. Know exactly what your book is about – what it is you’re trying to do with it – say through it. Understand what your story really means – and if you don’t yet, that’s where the revision comes in.

Commandment 8:
Revision – The revision process for King is a four step process:

a) When you’re done with the first draft, which you put down on paper without editing or reading, just writing unleashed, put it in a drawer and leave it for a minimum of 6 weeks – yes, that’s his advice.

b) After six weeks, go back into your room, take out a notepad and pen, and start reading. Make notations on the ms, note discrepancies in characters or gaping holes in logic, plot, etc. Don’t be hard on yourself for your errors – they’re fixable.

c) Open the door of your writing room and give a copy to your choice for the Ideal Reader — the first read always goes to this person – this is the person whose responses you’re thinking of when writing the first draft; he/she will always give you the most honest opinion – whether you want to hear it or not. For King, the Ideal Reader is his wife, Tabetha.

d) After the Ideal Reader give you his/her comments, then send your ms to a few trusted friends who will give you subjective responses – but if they critique the same points, then you know what kind of work you must do. King sends his work to 6-8 of his friends for their critiques. If you’re not into this, then a writer’s group should be just fine.

Commandment 9: Research – There are writers who conduct a series of research and spend pages of their story revealing this new-found knowledge, but King insists that you shouldn’t have to. If you’re writing about something you don’t know, then research it, but the research should be at the back of the story. The story always comes first and should never be placed second to the research.

Commandment 10: Writing Courses/Seminars/Workshops – King, like Elizabeth Gilbert and so many other successful writers, doesn’t believe that you should attend any of these classes for writing for the following reasons:

a) Life is your classroom; your experiences are strewn in your stories;

b) Aside from the fact that they cost a lot of money, there is a sense of having to be there as opposed to wanting to be there;

c) When you write at these retreats, you’re told to write something – you’re not moved to write;

d)You don’t need badges or degrees to tell you that tell you you are a writer – if you write, you’re a writer. Done!;

e)You can’t write with the door shut, which was King’s third rule for writers – you need that room and that closed door; and

f) While there may be some redeeming qualities – like being among other writers shunned by normal people who tell them to get a real job – the critiques given to writers are usually quite vague and not helpful at all. So you’re wasting time and money. Use that money to get yourself a room with a door – and nothing more than you and your writing.

BONUS Article: Stephen King and 6 Tools Every Writer Should Have in His ToolBox

stephen-kingCopyright 2011 – Stephen King. From the book, “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.”

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