From Writing to Book Marketing. This posts for you.

Hi, it’s me again. Ronovan from Ronovan Writes. I have returned. Jen has kindly allowed me back to help out while she is writing her, um, self off. I just cannot bring myself to say writing her booty off. It just seems so unseemly of me. It’s her booty she can do what she wants with it but who am I to talk about it, right? I mean she says it all the time but I just cannot do it.

Now on with the show. You no doubt know I’m here with the freebies I’ve found. That’s a hobby of mine. When you haven’t any money, you find things that don’t cost any. Are they the number one advice books on the market? No, but I learn from them nonetheless.

So here we go with:

Ronovan’s Five Free Finds

Why only Five and not Ten?

Cause I’m only half as good as Jen.

 

First up, well, you better Write Good or Die.

survival tips for the 21st Century Writer

Divided into three sections, basically a somewhat Training section that talks about different things including NaNoWriMo, then moves onto a Craft section and then Business section. It’s advice from professionals all in one place. One thing you hear from so many people about books on writing is that you can find certain tips online. Yeah, that’s true. If you want to spend all that time searching and researching by all means go for it. Me? I prefer to click on a free book and own it for whenever I want to look at it in one place. I save a lot of time for writing that way. You can get it for Kindle here. 224 Customer Reviews with a 4.1 average. 101 of those are Five Stars. Smashwords has it as well here, both PDF and Mobi for Kindle.


 

Next up learn some Emotion Amplifiers.

character expression

This is another one of those “it’s all on the internet to see find” books. These ladies put it all in one place. The book has a list of emotions ranging from addiction to stress. Yes, it’s in alphabetical order. Within each emotion you have a definition, list of physical signs, internal sensations, mental responses, emotion specific things and writer’s tips. This isn’t just a one shot book from two authors. These two specific authors have many books out to help authors. Becca Puglisi especially is one that might ring a bell for some. She co created The Bookshelf Muse a writer’s help site that is now called Writers Helping Writers. Get the book free for Kindle here and Smashwords here.


 

So we’ve done advice for writers, some writing tips and now what?

Social Media Marketing for Publishers

how to sell your book onlineThe book is from 2012 so some of the lists might be a little outdated but overall great advice in how to do a lot of things. One thing I always take away from books are ideas. There are a great many categories/sections in this book and even though say something like the Top Ten Twitter Phone apps section may be outdated it still gives you the idea about looking for that. Get it for Kindle here.


 

Since this wasn’t available at Smashwords or at least I couldn’t find it I decided to add one that was that I found.  The Savvy Book Marketer.

marketing secrets

52 Experts Share Insider Tips for Selling More Books. I mean do I need to say more than that? It’s from 2011 but things still work. Get it Smashwords here. This one isn’t available on Amazon.


 

Now for something a little closer to this year. Make Your Book Work Harder: How To Use Multiple Platforms To Make More Money.

multiple platforms to make moneyThis one is available on Amazon here, and Smashwords here. “Created by two experienced authors, Make Your Book Work Harder walks readers through the maze of book-selling platforms, including some that are well-known and others that may never even be on your radar.” Great reviews so far. 43 Five Star reviews out of 57 Reviewers. I’ll take it. Well, I actually did. It has four sections Get Your Book on Multiple Platforms, How to Promote Your Book Without it Taking Over Your Life or Bankrupting You, What to do Before you say “I’ve Tried Everything”! and Save Time & Improve Your Writing.


 

This final one is only at Amazon here. Sorry but I looked and no Smashwords this time. This one is a little different. Anti-Procrastination for Writers.

create a daily writing habitCreating that daily writing habit is difficult for some. But if you don’t then that book you have in you will never get finished. So check this one out. This is by Akash Karia who does a lot of writing and talking about how to be successful. He’s motivated. He’s not just sitting around doing nothing. Sounds like a good habit guy to me.

If you missed my Last Five Free for Authors, just click here to go there. (You could click there to go there  as well but I just thought would be confusing to say.)

Well there are your five books, six really if you want. Every book has something you can learn from it. Some you learn how to be good from and some you learn how to be bad. Those books are just as valuable. I read things at times and just shake my head in wonder at how anyone bought the book. And where the ideas came from. But I learned from it because I recognized how bad it was and learned not to do that with my own writing.

Thanks Jenna for letting me crash in your Den. Next time could I have longer sleeping bag? This one only came up to my arm pits. Colorado is cold you know?

Ronovan Writes

 

 

 

 

@RonovanWrites

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Yes, Agents Google Writers

Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! Earlier this week, I met up with a fellow writer to discuss the importance of building their author platform (blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc.). As we chatted, I explained to him how nowadays most literary agents expect writers to have these social media sites up and running before they’re published.

twitter-icon-with-books-230x299Ironically, the day I went to meet my friend to discuss this topic, I came upon an article by literary agent, Carly Watters. In it, she explains why building an author platform is so important. She also offers excellent tips for how to approach and handle various social media websites.

Yes, Agents Google Writers

Agents have changed their mind about an author after searching them online. Yikes! How do you avoid that? Making sure you don’t have websites or blogs that are ghost towns. Post regularly. And regularly can mean whatever works for you (once per week or once a day, but no less than a couple times a month!).

To read the entire article, click here!

For more useful advice, follow Carly Watters on Twitter!

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Photo credit: 

http://ingoodcompany.com/classes/using-social-media-to-build-your-author-platform/

Stop the presses. Literacy isn’t important. Technology is.

“Literacy isn’t important. Technology is.”


Believe it or not, a guest speaker actually spoke these words to over 3,000 teachers last week during an in-service event for one of the nation’s top performing school districts. As you might suspect, the reaction wasn’t positive. In fact, many in the crowd booed this man’s mind-boggling words: Literacy isn’t important.

Literacy. Isn’t. Important.

How…? Why…? How?

This guest speaker went on to declare the four core subjects (math, science, English and history) weren’t a priority either. Furthermore (yeah, there’s a furthermore), he said teachers shouldn’t teach content. They should be motivators. According to him, “Students shouldn’t learn. They should become.”

Yeah

Ironically, this man has written a book about this entire topic. Yet, when asked how anyone could read it if they didn’t know how, he responded, “No worries. It will be read to them.”

Yeah

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Did you know Mr. Guest Speaker that:

  • The United Nations considers it a human right to be literate?
  • “67.4 million children who are out of school are likely to encounter great difficulties in the future, as deficient or non-existent basic education is the root cause of illiteracy.”?
  • According to the CIA, “Low levels of literacy, and education in general, can impede the economic development of a country in the current rapidly changing, technology-driven world.”?

Let me repeat that last quote for you, Mr. Guest Speaker:

“Low levels of literacy, and education in general, can impede the economic development of a country in the current rapidly changing, technology-driven world.” I don’t know about you, but it sounds to me like literacy and technology go hand-in-hand. Doesn’t it? They work together to keep this world spinning. Moving. Progressing.

occupational-therapy-and-assistive-technologyAs you can see (and most of you already know), I’m passionate about this subject. I’m a literacy advocate, a book lover and an imagination builder. I have hundreds of books lining my shelves at home (each cherished dearly), and I don’t go anywhere without a pen or a notebook (ya know, just in case I get a sudden idea for a story). When I visit my nephews, I always encourage them to read a book, put a puzzle together or take flight on the wings of their imagination. And when I see my friends, I always tell them about a book they should read (okay, okay, I sometimes tell the stranger standing in line behind me at the grocery store about a great book, too). And I never stop clapping for those who go to work everyday to teach and motivate our future generations.

But, besides being pro-education, I’m also pro-technology. I love technology. I don’t know what I’d do without it. And I firmly believe it plays a vital role in our society, our educational systems and our future. If used properly, technology can improve communication, share knowledge, expand worlds and connect globally. My God, just look at this blog! I’ve reached thousands of people across the planet with it. I have followers in Australia, Japan, England, Nigeria, Sweden…It’s astounding. I couldn’t do what I do without the technology to back me up. I couldn’t.

However, I also couldn’t do what I do if I didn’t have a strong literate background. And, let me tell you, that literate background wasn’t technologically driven. Most of my schooling took place in the 90’s and early 2000’s, so besides TVs and overhead projectors, my teachers didn’t have much to utilize in the way of technology to educate me. I didn’t even have my first computer class until 7th grade, and I didn’t own a cell phone until my junior year of high school. My classes looked pretty much like this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(According to Mr. Guest Speaker, this is a “sad picture”…Yeah, he got more boos and hisses for that one.)

Yet, despite my less than “techie” upbringing, I’ve managed to adapt to our technology-driven society. Well, I’ve more than adapted. I’ve embraced it and made it a part of my life. I’m blogging. I’m active on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. I’m a whiz on a Mac, and I just got my first Nook. But do you think I could’ve figured all of that out if I wasn’t literate to start?

Let’s take a moment to think about a couple of things, shall we? Without literacy:

  • This blog wouldn’t exist. How could it? I wouldn’t even know how to type the words I’m typing right now because I wouldn’t know how to s-p-e-l-l them. I also wouldn’t have the critical thinking, problem solving, or certain social skills I needed to get this site up and running. Even those pesky math and science classes I swore “I’d never ever need” played a part in the creation of this blog.
  • Technology wouldn’t exist. Who do you think created all of these wires and circuit boards in the first place? An alien who visited Earth for a summer vaca? An extraterrestrial being who generously decided to share a drop of its genius with humankind?

alien_in_UFO_cartoonSeriously, guys. Traditionally educated–literate–individuals were the ones who got us to where we are today. They used their reading, writing, math and science skills to create our gadget-filled world.

  • Future technology won’t exist. We have fancy-schmancy technology now thanks to those smarty-pants who created it in the first place, but what will happen if schools and educators stop promoting literacy? What new and improved devices will we have in our hands in ten years? 20? 100? What unexplored paths will remain unexplored because nobody had the map to find them?

Okay, so I’m sure by this point some of you might be thinking, “There’s been a miscommunication. Surely Mr. Guest Speaker didn’t really mean literacy isn’t important. He must’ve been trying to prove another point that just didn’t translate well.” Some of the teachers in the audience thought the same thing, so they decided to attend his afternoon session…and they left it even more letdown and confused than before.

 Still not sold? Well, consider this: Mr. Guest Speaker was supposed to be live-streamed on the district’s website for the community to watch. Within five minutes, the plug was pulled (ironic?). Almost a week later, a video has finally gone up, but it isn’t the video filmed that day. If that’s not a red flag, I don’t know what is.

red_flagThis is obviously a subject I’m extremely passionate about. And normally I don’t take on such controversial topics, but I couldn’t let this matter drop without bringing it to other people’s attention. To think there is someone out there declaring literacy is a thing of the past isn’t right. It needs to be stopped. We can’t let future generations be deprived of a well-rounded education. It’s inconceivable and, really, a travesty.

So, if you believe literacy has and always will play an imperative part in our society’s future, please share this article and information with those you know. Blow the whistle and put an end to the idea, “Literacy isn’t important. Technology is.” How about instead we promote, “Literacy and technology work hand-in-hand.”? Or, “Literacy equals technology. Technology equals literacy.”?

One last food for thought: Did Mr. Guest Speaker ever stop to wonder what would happen if the big, almighty plug got pulled someday? Not to get all dystopian and apocalyptic on you guys, but let’s face it: there’s a chance the power could go out someday. Our phones, computers, iPods, Kindles and everything in between might stop working. What will happen then? What will we have? What will society fall back on? Hmm?

Be an advocate for future generations and support literacy!

Related Articles

Musicians kick off campaign to boost literacy

Using Technology to Support Literacy

ENTREVESTOR: Fighting illiteracy is in her genes

Why Learning to Read Early is Crucial for Young Children

Sources

UNESCO

The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency

Writing Inspirations: Images

They say a picture can speak a thousand words. For writers, they do more than speak. They motivate, inspire, and most of all, help us bring our story to life. The colors. The emotions. The beauty…All of it adds up to a delectable candy store for a writer’s imagination to gorge upon.

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As I work on my short ghost story, or Fallers, or whichever project I’m currently focusing on (one at a time, right? 😉 ), I always put photos of my characters in front of me. That way I can see them as I’m writing them. I can study their smile, their frown, their pain, their hopes, their dreams! It’s all right there, staring back at me. Motivating me. Pushing me. Urging me to dig deeper, understand them better.

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I even use book-inspired photos as my computer’s wallpaper. That way I’m constantly reminded about my story even if I’m not sitting there working on it. They keep me in the zone–in my characters’ minds–inside their world. All the time. They’re like oil for my creative cogs, helping me power up the writing machine when it’s time to run.

Better yet, having these photos set as my wallpaper is like having a strict proctor tapping their foot in disapproval whenever I’m slacking off. It’s like the pictures are lecturing me, “Okay missy, that’s enough Project Runway on Hulu. Get back to work!” (Seriously guys, I’m so addicted to that show right now!)

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Over the past couple of years, I’ve collected over 1,500 images on my “Book Inspiration” boards on Pinterest. And I’m constantly adding more. Whenever I start a new project or I’m feeling uninspired, I’ll trek over to this picture-licious site and scroll through my vast inventory. And I always find something to use to get the creative juices flowing.

(Side Note: If you’re inspired by images like me, then USE Pinterest! It’s an awesome resource. Plus, it helps keep all of your pictures organized.).

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Many times I won’t even be looking for a picture to inspire me, but I’ll stumble upon one that sets off a plot firework inside my brain. And, before I know it, I have a concept for a new story or character.

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So how about you? Do you like using pictures to inspire your writing? Do you pin your protagonist’s “face” right in front of you while you write so you can understand them better? What are some of your other forms of inspiration? Music is another big one for me, but that’s a post for another day 😉 .

How to Format A Manuscript

Here’s my Twitter treasure of the day! It’s never ceases to amaze me the tips and tricks I find from editors, agents and authors on the social media site. This one is from freelance editor and children’s author Jennifer Malone about how to properly format your manuscript.

 As a freelance editor most of the manuscripts emailed to me are not formatted in standard industry format. I don’t really care BUT this makes me worry that agents receiving these same manuscripts might be forming biased opinions about a writer’s professionalism before even beginning a read.

cover-sheetCheck out the entire article here!