Archive | February 2018

Active Voice Vs. Passive Voice

Writing your first novel-Things you should know

active-passive.jpgWhen you write, you want to use the active voice. It’s clean, concise, and simple. The active voice is easy to read and understand.

Subject + Verb

  • Susie sang.
  • Michael ate.
  • Jeffery kicked.

Subject + Verb + Direct Object

  • Susie sang songs.
  • Michael ate soup.
  • Jeffery kicked cans.

These examples are basic, and can be embellished with adjectives, adverbs, modifiers, etc. to dress them up, but the Subject/Verb order should remain the same.

95% of your sentences should be written in the active voice. You want the doer/subject at the beginning of the sentence.

When you use the passive voice in writing, you have to introduce new parts of speech just to make the sentence mean the same as it would in active voice. The result is a wordy sentence that makes you wait to find out who the subject is.

Direct Object + Dead Verb + Participle form of…

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5 Unique Book Marketing Strategies for Goodreads

How To Ebook

Many authors still have mixed feelings about Goodreads, but the reality is, if you want to sell more books, you need to engage with dedicated readers.

And there’s no better place to find dedicated readers than on Goodreads.

Every solid book marketing strategy fuses uniqueness with variety.

Only posting on your blog won’t sell more books, only posting on Facebook won’t sell more books, what you need to do is find a way to combine a number of channels in a management amount of time and use them in smart, unique ways.

In this piece I want to focus on Goodreads, and some book marketing strategies that often get overlooked.


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5 Thoughts Your Publisher Has When Reading Your Manuscript

Author's Canvas

We hear a lot about what WE should try to do when working towards publishing a book.  The steps are laid out for us, and although each one is lengthy in completion, we can generally figure out some type of process towards the progress we want.

However, do you ever wonder what’s going on inside the publisher’s head?  What are they thinking and looking for?  Is it true that they really get hundreds or even thousands of proposals a week?  Is your book stressing them out?  Are you wasting their time?  What is their process, and what steps do they take in publishing your book?  Well, I think it’s time that we talked about the answers to these questions.  Here is a list with the ten basics behind what a publisher is thinking, wanting, and planning.  Read on to find out what they are REALLY thinking.

1. “This book better…

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How To Sell More Books Internationally at a Low Cost

How To Ebook

Authors tend to focus on Amazon’s US store to measure how well a book is doing, but Amazon US is only one slice of a very large pie in the ebook business. While industry statistics are inconsistent regarding the exact percentage Amazon US holds of the English-language ebook market, according to the Author Earnings Report, Amazon US composes 65% of all unit sales.

That leaves a lot of market for authors to tap. Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Google Play all offer access to a wide array of non-US English-reading audiences who are ready and eager to buy books. (Nook is the only major retailer available solely in the US.)

And, of course, you want these global readers to buy your books. However, they cannot buy what they do not see. Like all markets, visibility is key, so let’s talk…

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What Social Media Platform is Right for My Writing?

Author's Canvas

In today’s world, every aspiring writer needs to work with social media.  Whether it be perfecting their WordPress blog, advertising their latest posts to Facebook and Twitter, or struggling to understand the complication that is Instagram Ads, (I’m still working on this one….) writers must learn how to use these platforms and they must also decide which ones can be most useful to them and their work.

In today’s post, we are going to the top five social media platforms in today’s world for writers, and list a few pros and cons of each one.  Hopefully you find this to be helpful in your search to optimize your writing.

1. WordPress Sites and Blogs

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 8.11.51 PM

I figured we might as well start with the obvious: WordPress.  Clearly, I support WordPress as I am writing this post on my WordPress sponsored blog, and I know many of you also are familiar with…

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This entry was posted on February 26, 2018. 2 Comments

This easy editing tip will blow your mind

Jean's Writing

Want to know what knocked my socks off this week?

An Excel Stylesheet

Yep, good old Excel. Okay, maybe I’m impressed easier than you. 

A stylesheet can make your novel appear more professional.

Why? Because writing a massive novel is hard and keeping track of names, places, hyphens and more can get confusing. This is where a stylesheet comes in handy. And most editors require one. Who knew? Not me. Not until this past week.

What you put add to a stylesheet is up to you. You can keep it simple or add a column for everything under the sun.

Stylesheet purpose? 

To prevent mistakes that stand out like a pimple on your nose.

Ever read a book and a name changed midway? Cathy, Kathy, Kathie or Katy? Glaring mistakes like that will pull your reader out of the story in a flash.

I’m compiling my stylesheet as I…

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This entry was posted on February 26, 2018. 2 Comments

How Many Accounts is Too Many? #SocialMedia #MondayBlogs

Story Empire

Happy Monday, SEers!  It’s a new week and a new subject. Lately, friends, family, and I have been discussing social media. Even co-workers. I’ve come to realize many people have a love/hate relationship with social media, or at least some of the platforms, and the bulk of activity that takes place there.

I’m not here to debate the merits of social media, rather to offer some suggestions on how to best use it as an author. As writers, we need to have a social media presence. The world exists online, therefore it’s a necessity we’re there too. Obviously, there are tons of social media outlets available, but when does your message become diluted?

Eggs with funny faces in an open egg carton on wood floor

In the world of advertising—regardless the nature of your product or service—the goal is to achieve Top of Mind Awareness. TOMA is the golden standard everyone hopes to attain.

If I say “dandruff shampoo” you’ll probably think…

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This entry was posted on February 26, 2018. 2 Comments

The Basics of Building a Writing Platform

Author's Canvas

In nearly every blogging, writing, or publishing how-to list, advice post, or article, you will hear the words “writing platform.”  For people who know exactly what this is and exactly how to build one, this is not something stressful.  However, the mount of people who know absolutely everything about building a writing platform and are completely confident in themselves is very slim.

The good news is that a writing platform is not that difficult to explain.  The concepts and building blocks, while they may take a significant amount of time to accomplish and complete, are not hard to understand and learn.  Building a writing platform is essential, so keep reading to find out the basics and start working on yours today.

1. Define Your Purpose

Every writer needs a purpose behind their writing.  Whether you want to eventually publish fiction novels, write advice articles, build tons of traffic for…

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This entry was posted on February 26, 2018. 2 Comments

​Amazon vs Facebook Ad Book advertising.

Life lessons

You have written your book and self published it well on KDP.

Now what?

You have to choose between running Ads on Amazon or Facebook to maximize on sales.

My personal preference is running Amazon Ads.

Tell you what, people don’t move from one site to another easily..

You can’t share your blog post on Instagram and expect people to read it.

Why? They can’t start leaving Instagram to read a blog. Too much work.

Same applies to your book if you advertise it on Facebook and expect people to leave Facebook to check on a book on Amazon.

They won’t. You’ll have wasted your money.

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