Words of Wisdom

Some “New” ideas for Social Media

    For those who self-publish, and even those who traditionally publish, social media has become the main means of creating buzz about their book. It is well recognized that word of mouth is the primary reason a book sells. However, generating word of mouth in the first place is a daunting challenge. Accordingly, we thought we would share with you some ideas – some of which you may have already tried, and others you might consider.If you aren't doing so already, you should be using social media to help readers get to know and like you but it clearly takes time and persistence. You need to engage your fans and start a conversation with them. Share your interests and seek to form friendships. Be positive and entertaining; make it fun and enjoyable for both you and them. Remember these are the people who will tell the world about your book. However, this is not the place to vent your frustration. And importantly, do not spam your book; there is such a thing as overkill in promoting your book. Let's talk about some of the ways you might be able to encourage readers to pick your book: FacebookSet up a…

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How to Read With Your Child

Start Young and Stay With It   At just a few months of age, an infant can look at pictures, listen to your voice, and point to objects on cardboard pages. Guide your child by pointing to the pictures, and say the names of the various objects. By drawing attention to pictures and associating words with both pictures and real-world objects, your child will learn the importance of language. Children learn to love the sound of language before they even notice the existence of printed words on a page. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. When the rhythm and melody of language become a part of a child's life, learning to read will be as natural as learning to walk and talk. Even after children learn to read by themselves, it's still important for you to read aloud together. By reading stories that are on their interest level, but beyond their reading level, you can stretch young readers' understanding and motivate them to improve their skills. It's Part of LifeAlthough the life of a parent…

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Blog#2 – READING TO YOUR CHILD

  Reading, and reading well, is the single most important advantage you can give your child. Not only does it provide advantages for better leaning, it develops a child's sense of imagination – one of the most important means of creating a better world for us all. Imagination fuels the minds of inventors and researchers, it expands our horizon in science, medicine, transportation ... well you get it. Create imagination in our children and create a better world. We all know that reading is a good thing, but below are thoughts on just how reading to your child between the ages of two to five can benefit both the child and the parent. 1. A stronger relationship with you. As your child grows older, he'll be on the move—playing, running, and constantly exploring his environment. Snuggling up with a book lets the two of you slow down and recaptures that sweet, cuddly time you enjoyed when he was a baby. Instead of being seen as a chore or a task, reading will become a nurturing activity that will bring the two of you closer together. 2. Academic excellence. One of the primary benefits of reading to toddlers and preschoolers is…

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How important is reading? Just check out these statistics!

 Over the next several postings, we will be opening up a discussion on the importance of reading to and with your children.   The average kindergarten student has seen more than 5,000 hours of television- spending more time in front of the TV than it takes to earn a bachelor's degree! Unfortunately, people are not reading as much as they used to. Less than a third of 13-year-olds were daily readers in 2007, a 14 percent decline from 20 years earlier. For 17-year-olds, the percentage of non-readers doubled over a 20 year period. It is estimated that more than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems. 60 percent of America's prison inmates are illiterate and 85% of all juvenile offenders have reading problems. U.S. adults ranked 12th among 20 high income countries in composite (document, prose, and quantitative) literacy. More than three out of four of those on welfare, 85% of unwed mothers and 68% of those arrested are illiterate. Approximately 50 percent of the nation's unemployed youth age 16-21 are functional illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs. Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills…

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Writing for the Reader and Not Writing to Sell to the Reader (Or, How I Fought the War with the Amazons and Won!)

More from author Jim Musgrave- When I wrote my first historical detective mystery, Forevermore, I had a clear goal in mind: I wanted to write the best story for my reader to enjoy. This is the goal of every independent author out there, and the reason I want to communicate this fact of indie publishing is that many of the "big publishing houses" are not publishing the best stories for their readers. Please allow me to elucidate. I have been published by a big publisher. It was called "Harcourt-Brace," and it was the small professional arm of the corporation, "AP Professional Press" that published my book, The Digital Scribe: A Writer's Guide to Electronic Media. Notice the quaint reference to "electronic media." Back in the late nineties, we were still bedazzled by the newness of digital technology and its "multimedia" aspect. Today, digital multimedia is part and parcel of most of the "packaged novels" that get submitted by the big agents out there. They've already looked ahead to all the money to be made on movies, computer games, translations, Chinese edited versions, ads on the walls of urinals, and on and on with the corporate merchandising aspect of business. This…

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Don’t Confuse Independent Publishing with Self-Publishing

  by Jutdith Briles - The Book Shepherd   Indie, Independent and Small Press Publishing Are So, Soooooo Different from Self-Publishing, Vanity Presses and Pay-to-Publish "Publishing" I've said it once, I've said it a zillion times: yes, dear author-to-be (and those already published), there is a difference between self-publishing, vanity presses, pay-to-publish, a small press, and independent publishing. Don't mix them up. Don't get confused. Use Wikipedia as an initial guide: "The terms "small press", "indie publisher", and "independent press" are often used interchangeably, with "independent press" defined as publishers that are not part of large conglomerates or multinational corporations. Defined this way, these presses make up approximately half of the market share of the book publishing industry. Many small presses rely on specialization in genre fiction, poetry, or limited-edition books or magazines, but there are also thousands that focus on niche non-fiction markets." Did you read that? One-half of the market share of the book publishing industry! Doyou understand what it says/means? It means most authors today whose objective is to be successful create a small or independent press. They create their own "imprints"—publishing houses only on a mini scale. Authors find that books breed books, more will come.…

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Promote your latest book with a book trailer

   Words of Wisdom from Chris Robley at BookBaby- People love short videos. They're easier to watch and easier to share, and that makes them easy to talk about. One of the most fun, creative, and effective ways you can promote your new book on blogs and social media is by shooting (and then sharing) a book trailer– a video advertisement for your book similar to a film or TV trailer.Here are a few things to keep in mind when you're developing your book trailer ideas. 1. It's gotta be good!There are a lot of crappy book trailers out there. And to the big, bad, scary world of publishers, editors, critics, and agents, a crappy book trailer looks worse than NO book trailer at all. So if you're going to do it, it's worth doing right. The better your video, the more likely fans will share it, bloggers will post it, and critics will take notice.That being said, quality and budget are not always directly proportional. It's quite possible to shoot a great trailer yourself with consumer-grade gear and a little old fashioned elbow grease. Likewise, you can hire the world's most talented production team with all the fancy new…

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Blog Series on the “three Rs of Writing”

      Finally let's deal with Respect Respect is perhaps the hardest of the three "Rs" to acquire. Being financially successful and well-known does not necessarily mean you will be respected. This is especially true for self-published authors who enter the publishing ring with one hand tied behind their backs. Although the stigma is lessening, self-published books are still not accepted by professional reviewers such as the NY Times, or accepted by prestigious writing competitions. There are a lot of well-written indie books out there; I have personally read several that are every bit as good as, or even better than, the best that the big publishing houses have to offer. It is because of this literary snobbery that self-published books are held to a higher standard. If you want to be taken seriously as an author – and assuming that you have written a good book – then you had better make sure that it is meticulously edited: copyedited at a minimum and line edited if you can afford it. Not to do so plays directly to the indie stereotype, and will doom your work to the trash heap of broken dreams and forgotten titles. Now to end…

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Blog Series on the “three Rs of Writing”

    Now let's deal with Recognition. You might think that recognition and wealth go hand in hand but that's not always the case. I'm sure you've heard about movies that critics loved but nobody went to see. The same applies to books. You can write a really good – possibly even great – book but it will not bring you fame and fortune unless you identify your audience and go after them. How? Find bloggers, reviewers and events that focus on your genre. Use social media to get your name and your book out there. And build a website. A good one. Some authors don't do this, which is a big mistake! You may think that if no one knows you how will they find your website? But it is a self-fulfilling prophesy – without a website how will your audience ever get to know you? Today readers want to reach out and touch you (figuratively and in some cases perhaps even literally). They want to connect with you on a personal level. You must be prepared to bare your soul to them. Websites that simply list your books won't get many return visits. In my last blog in…

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Blog Series on the “three Rs of Writing”

    Writing a book – hard!Editing a book – much harder!!Making it a bestseller – nearly impossible!!! The first two require talent and commitment along with hard work and time.The third takes all of those plus introspection and honesty.You must decide which of the "three Rs of writing" you want: Reward, Recognition, Respect? Most authors (if they're being honest) would say they want all three. But they are not necessarily mutually inclusive: First let's talk about Reward. If wealth is all you seek, then you had better write romance novels – and lots of them! Many of the top selling eBooks are in this genre and most are by authors who have written more than one. There seems to be a huge and insatiable demand for them. But once you get an audience, you need to keep them by giving them more of the same and quickly. A book a year is not an option. Good romance sells! (With emphasis, of course, on the word good).When Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and best-selling author, Anna Quindlen, was asked what books we might be surprised to find on her shelves she replied:"A pretty full set of Georgette Heyer. Which, by the way,…

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