So, when does a self-published writer make it big? Well, it depends. But for most? Give it ten years. Right now, I am outlining a bunch of my works so I can drop titles at a reasonable rate when I do release my first book. I want to have something available for the reader to check out if they liked my book. I can’t just upload a book when I am done. Not only does it need some editing, but it also needs a great cover. those two things alone are very expensive. And the covers can be even more pricey if I invite some of the artists I really want. At for a couple of the covers.
Basically, before I release one title I will have a marketing strategy in place. I don’t just want to publish, I want to gain my 10K readers. And that starts the moment I release book one. Even for the charity titles. It all works on my brand. I make nothing off some of my books when they are released, but it will bring readers to my book list, And if they decide to read my other books, I need to have something to offer them. If they don’t they still read the charity works which helped others. The platform needs to be there either way.
I am shaping my brand even before I release my books, even on my personal profile. I am getting to the heart of who I am as a person, and as a writer. Because a writer must be themselves, and sell who they are. Which is why honesty is so important. One of many reasons why I am honest even if I lose friends. I’d rather the right people stick around. I want to narrow the focus of my readers and even my friends.
I want my friends and readers to accept me and read from me because they know me, and care about what I have to offer. But how can anyone do that if I wasn’t honest?
Writing is about sharing your soul. Even if you write really silly stories in worlds that don’t exist. Characters drive stories, and those characters live inside of you. Make the best of them, own them, and share them. Make your platform, and go forth into the publishing wilderness. But always be true to who you are, only change when enlightenment demands it.
If you have anything you’d like to add, feel free to leave a comment! I want to hear from you.
By Dale Szewczyk
Sounds so clandestine, doesn’t it? Right up there with CIA-style BS. Well, the title of this post is BS because writer secrets are meant to be known thus not being a secret. You see, there are few hard and fast rules for writing, and the few rules that are hard and fast should go without saying.
The first rule of writing is… you don’t talk about writing! Kidding, you can talk about it, BUT you gotta own it! Write yo stuff. I know, crazy huh? Make a lovely batch of wordsauce every day that you can. Some days may not work out, okay. But try as much as possible to shoot for every day.
Look I get it, you’re busy, and you know what, I’m busy too. We all get the same hours in a day, and we all have valid excuses for not writing. But writing is not for chumps. Maybe for chimps, but only the chimps who write.
Next rule, love writing! Make it a part of you, if you’re a writer it already is a part of you. But realize this fact and live it! If you ever make money at writing (which you will if you stick to it), odds are you love what you are writing.
I am a fiction author mostly, but in order to pay bills I am learning how to do other things, like write White Papers for businesses. Boring stuff, and yes it will pay the bills as I good at it, but of course I am not giving up on my stories. In fact, while I am studying White Papers, I am also writing my novella, REFUGE. Before I start working the business angle, I want at least one book to my name under my Flint Macwood pen name. And I will still try to do both. Of course if I get a lot White Paper assignments, I won’t turn them down, that’s living money right there, which means enough of that and no more fast food. But, I know I can own this with my fiction. I just gotta keep at it.
Look, this true for us all. We need to stick to writing like like we need to stick with our spouses, and make it awesome in spite of life. It takes work! It is commitment.
One super secret: read… a lot and read deep! Read fiction in all genres, and read non-fiction.
The top secrets are nothing special. Sure we can talk our secrets as we become successful, but we’re all wired differently. We might cut and paste some ideas from each other, but we need to forge our own way of making it, and the basics are the same.
Feel free to add your own secrets for success in the comments!
Lately, I have adjusted how I write.
I switched up my sleeping schedule which, for the most part, is working for me. I also decided to outline my entire catalog before releasing one book. I have what is called, launch plans. In each launch, I have two-three titles. I want to have more than one book ready to release each time I hit my launch. I will space out the books, but they will drop as close to each other I can get away with.
In this field, there’s always something different you can do. Always some experimenting. Try out different ideas, at least on paper. You never know what you might come up with.
By Dale Szewczyk
First off, no one can tell you how to move on. Not even someone who has been where you are. No one will ever completely understand your pain a hundred-percent. No one has the right to tell you to get over your loss. Because there is no getting over your loss.
So, it has been years now, the vacancy of your family member or spouse still echos in the growing schism they left. You don’t know what to do with yourself. One thing you have going for yourself is that you’re a writer. Of course non-writers can use writing to heal as well. But for writers this is a skill that comes natural.
I’ve lost a family member to murder which has left a lasting scar on my family, a different pain than say a spouse. But I know to a point what it is like to have your life turned upside down and left there. I am a Christian, but whether or not you believe in God doesn’t change the fact that we people need advice that we can take away.
The person you lost is a part of you. I am not going for a New Age view, I mean that a part of their character is in you. By blood or by vows. They’re tied to you. As a writer, you can take this pain and write. Let that one who was taken from you be your permanent muse. Write for that person, and write for the person who can to a point understand your pain. Even if you write horror fiction. Write what you know will sooth the scar.
And speaking of scars, this scar will never leave, it is a beauty mark, a branding of that person on you. It will make you miss them more, but it is also a reminder that a part of that person is still with you. Still driving you forward. Let that scar become your muse that pulsates in your work and in your art.
No one makes your choices for you. You make your choices. You can make things a little better. You can feel alive again.
Feel free to add your self-help in the comments! Although I’d hope it wouldn’t be alcohol and drugs, because that stuff is not really helping. Only a faux fix.
By Dale Szewczyk
In case you caught what I just said in my title, I created a word. And it is a good word. A wonderful word that atheists and Christians, Liberals and Conservatives can get behind. I see many liberals thinking they are all for equal rights, well, some of them are. Not very many. You see, being an equalist has nothing to do with a political party. Anyone can be one. I am so much an equalist that I am pro-life! I am pro-baby and pro-woman. I am also a believer in that the constitution supports gay rights. And no, I am not an agent for the *cue spooky thriller-like music* Gay Agenda Agency. Aside from chasing homophobes around my workplace (with my arms open for a hug) on occasion, I am straight, I am a Christian who does believe what the Bible says. I am also an American who can read the Constitution. I got skillz, yo.
The thing is, you can be a real Christian and respect the choices of others. You can say, “while my faith condemns gay marriage, it’s America, and you have the right to live how you choose so long as it does not hurt or kill anyone (hence why even an atheist can be pro-life, like this post-abortive young lady who is my hero).” You can believe that women can have jobs, can be bosses, can make just as much as the man, can lead a country. We are not the old Jewish culture of Moses’ day, we’re Gentiles.
Gays are no different than straights, for the most part. They can’t help their attraction any more than you can help yours. What they do with that attraction is their free choice, just as falling into straight lust is our choice. Just as not accepting Jesus is a choice. We have what is called limited free will. We have the right to choose our lifestyles. Unless it takes the life of another (and when that act is legal, that is called eugenics). Two men who are married are not hurting anyone, and, in fact, are often times much kinder than those who play politics and wish to take their rights away.
Now that I have ticked everyone off, I am not done. Hehe.
Christians have many denominations and many different ideas among those denominations. I prefer to keep it simple and to the point of the original message. But there is a growing number that hate others. Like this guy. Who by-the-way should either join Westboro or the KKK. Both groups think that they’re Christian. I won’t go into detail the context of love in the Bible (I do so many times on my FB profile, and at some point I will write about love from the Christian point of view). The point is this, if you are for equality, you need to support the freedom of choice so long as it does not hurt another person. That being said…
…both the gays and the Christians need to stop attacking each other. So a bakery won’t bake a cake for a gay couple that is going to get married. Go to a bakery that will bake the cake. Vote with your dollar, don’t make a scene on the news and drive some Christian, elderly couple out of business. That does not make you an equalist, that makes you an oppressor. A bully. Same is said for the reverse. Lets say you’re a gay couple, you have your own bakery and you refuse to bake cakes for straight couples, totally your call as a business. I mean either side could bake the cake and give the customer the tools to design the words, and the decorations, and let them make it their way. But what-ev.
Personally as a writer I will write about gay characters who are bullied by the church who give their lives to their the Lord. Again ticking off both camps. People make a religion out of their pious opinions, and I am that guy checking all sides with a love tap upside the noggin’.
As a Christian, I know the world will take issue with me, but I want it to be for the right reasons, the reasons that are found in the Bible, not because I’m a jerk. I can be a jerk at times, and I hate that. I do. But I am also an equalist. I believe in love. I believe that no matter your color, sexuality, gender, faith or lack thereof, you have rights same as me. I believe you can live your life how you choose, so long as you don’t hurt or kill anyone.
Do I believe in Christ Jesus? Yes. Do I believe He is coming soon? You betcha! Do I believe that without accepting Christ and following Him we’re doomed? Absolutely!!!! Do I believe in bullying others to make converts (I shouldn’t even have to answer this) HECK NO!!!!
Some of the worst bullies are those who have been bullied, I know of such person, he started on me at a very early age (two-years-old, one of my earliest memories, and he still bullies).
I am opinionated. I am vocal. I am not one to fit into your box, I set fire to your box and play a fiddle (not very well, I never learned how to play). But I love you. Not like that, I am happily taken by a gorgeous woman, so stop blushing. I mean I love you as Christ loves you. Meaning that if you were hurting in some way, I’d try to do my best to help you. I want you to succeed in life, I want you to be a part of my family, but I know you have the right to choose your life.
I am walking this topic, who will join me? Who will put action to their words? Who will lead by example? Who here can say more by loving acts, than condemning words?
A challenge to everyone of every faith or belief system. Lets change the world a little by living up to our ideas of who we are.
God bless! And group hug! Assuming you’re a hugger. And hugs are open to all sides.
Feel free to add a link to your favorite education videos below, and extra cool points if it is on brain science!
By Dale Szewczyk
I-Dale Szewczyk (Sev-Check)-am the poster-child for this very post. As a writer who has the chops to make it and hasn’t as of yet, I can identify greatly, especially since I don’t have massive experience in many areas in writing that’s lucrative.
As of right now I have a little experience, but not like the pros. I don’t have fifteen to twenty years in medical, technology, business or journalism. And that’s just for starters. Many of the following writers do.
What I do have is a dream, ambition and the chops to do what it takes to make my dream happen sooner rather than later. Part of that dream also includes helping you guys out. I love helping folks out. Simon Sinek would say this is a chemical in the brain thing. Maybe, but I love helping out my brothers and sisters in ink.
As someone who still works a job that has a negative impact mentally and emotionally, someone who is a writer who is slowly making the dream come true, I want to help anyone else struggling to rise up. Or even if I just give some of you a boost in sales, great! One way or another I’m helping someone.
Today is all about you guys. Those of you featured here, and those of you who will benefit from these awesome books. That is enough out of me. Below I have the link to the books in the title and the cover, so click either to go to the Amazon page. Also, all the details about the books are from Amazon.
THE MUST-HAVE LIBRARY:
Get on the road to a successful self-publishing career! THE INDIE AUTHOR POWER PACK is the ultimate starter guide, chock-full of some of the best help around to boost motivation, productivity and sales.
This indispensable bundle – AVAILABLE ONLY FOR A LIMITED TIME – has over 1000 pages of solid tactics, proven strategies, and actionable advice you can use during each step of the publishing process, from content creation to production and distribution to marketing.
* expert methods for building story worlds, characters, and plots
* a psychology-driven model to shape stories into must-have “products”
* best practices for editing
* practical approaches to cover design, formatting and pricing
* optimized tips for selling fiction vs non-fiction
* short-term vs long-term marketing plans
* updated tactics for building platform and launching new books
* collaborative techniques for selling
* strategies for optimizing profit beyond the written word
These are THE SAME recently updated editions of popular titles you’ve heard of by industry names you trust. In fact, the authors have collaborated to bring you additional exclusive BONUS content you can access FREE!
Whether you’re a newbie or an indie expert, you’ll find plenty of insights here to help inform your career. THE INDIE AUTHOR POWER PACK includes the full versions of:
* WRITE. PUBLISH. REPEAT.: The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success – Sean Platt & Johnny B. Truant
In 2013, Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt published 1.5 million words and made their full-time livings as indie authors. In WRITE. PUBLISH. REPEAT., they tell you exactly how they did it: how they created over 15 independent franchises across 50+ published works, how they turned their art into a logical, sustainable business, and how any independent author can do the same to build a sustainable, profitable, future-proof career with their writing.
* LET’S GET DIGITAL: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should – David Gaughran
The internet has revolutionized every business it has come into contact with, and publishing is no different. These changes are handing power back to the writer. It’s up to YOU if you want to profit from them. With practical, hands-on publishing advice; best practices on editing, cover design, formatting, and pricing; and effective marketing strategies that won’t eat into your writing time or budget. And that’s just for starters…
* HOW TO MARKET A BOOK – Joanna Penn
Get to grips with marketing! Learn the values and marketing principles that will help your long-term career as a writer and encourage you to think more like an entrepreneur, while using short-term tactics to kick up immediate sales. Includes recommendations for branding, content marketing, social networking and working with the media. With methods to take you beyond the book into professional speaking, making money from other products and creating new opportunities.
Fiction Unboxed (Sequel to WRITE. PUBLISH. REPEAT.)
Wondering how to write a novel? Wondering how to outline your novel? We could give you tips … but we’ll show you instead.
An intimate peek into the process of writing a novel, from A to Z, with nothing held back.
Part hero’s journey, part crash course in storytelling by the modern mavericks of indie publishing, and the bestselling authors of Write. Publish. Repeat., Fiction Unboxed offers something that’s never been offered before: a naked look into two writer’s process as they wrote and published a book in 30 days, from scratch, in front of the world.
In 2013 Sean Platt & Johnny B. Truant wrote and published 1.5 million words (a Harry Potter series and a half’s worth of fiction). The next year they showed the world how they did it.
In May 2014, Johnny and Sean, along with their third partner David Wright, launched a Kickstarter campaign to see if their fans wanted to see how they wrote behind closed doors. They promised to start their newest project without knowing their story, characters, or even their genre, and publish the final draft before their 30 days were up. They promised to capture every email, every story meeting, and every word from every draft. They promised to show every molecule of their process, warts and all.
They had 30 days for their fans to green light the campaign. It fully funded in 11 hours. Fiction Unboxed is as revealing as it is inspiring, engendering new levels of creativity in and empowering readers and writers as much as it will entertain them. With actionable advice that will benefit any writer, this book is a true gem for anyone who loves a well told story.
***** PRAISE FOR FICTION UNBOXED *****
“An Indispensable View of the Writer’s World”
“Invaluable Investment for the Self-Publisher’s Personal Library”
“A Book About Bravery”
Whether you’re writing a novel for NaNoWriMo, wondering how to write a novel in general, or just looking to spark your creativity as you embark upon an indie publishing career, this book is for you!
FACT: BUSINESSES NEED WRITERS, AND WILL PAY HANDSOMELY FOR THEM…
Attention: Aspiring writers, career-changers, at-home Moms, journalists, staff writers, recent college grads, 55+ or anyone else interested in making a handsome living as a writer. Here’s the critically-acclaimed, quadruple-award-winning roadmap to hourly rates of $50-125+ – and a writing lifestyle most can only dream of – in the lucrative field of “commercial” freelancing!
WHY COMMERCIAL FREELANCING?
Writing drives business. In the course of communicating with its customers and employees, an average corporation generates an enormous volume of writing. Yet, in today’s downsized business world, the catchword is outsourcing. Many companies are asking: “Why pay salaries and benefits when freelancers – offering a range of talent and fresh “outsider” perspectives – give us only what we need, and only when we need it?”
In TWFW, you’ll learn:
• What qualities you need to succeed
• Why now is a good time to get into the field
• How to build the foundation for your business (while working elsewhere…)
• How to develop a marketing mindset (minus the anxiety…)
• What kinds of projects you’ll be writing
• Where the work is and how to land it
• Who to call and what to say
• What to charge and how to get paid
• How to get hired again and again (even with less-than-brilliant writing ability…)
• What it takes to make $125 an hour and more
…and much more
A SURPRISINGLY ACCESSIBLE (AND LUCRATIVE) WRITING DIRECTION…
With NO industry contacts, NO previous paid writing experience, and NO writing training, the author built a commercial writing business from fantasy to full-time in less than four months.
Have an unusual niche? Live in a small town? Need to start part-time? Terrified of “sales and marketing”? It’s all here. Follow this step-by-step blueprint for leveraging your background into a profitable writing practice that moves light years beyond “starving writing”!
Peter Bowerman, a commercial freelancer, seminar leader and business coach in Atlanta, Georgia since 1993, is the author of the original award-winning Book-of-the-Month Club selection, “The Well-Fed Writer,”its companion volume, TWFW: Back For Seconds (both self-published), and this compilation—all critically acclaimed “standards” on commercial freelancing. He detailed his self-publishing success (currently, 70,000+ copies in print and a full-time living since 2001) in The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living, newly updated in late 2013 (www.wellfedsp.com).
Michael A. Stelzner, Author, Writing White Papers; Founder, Social Media Examiner: “When it comes to commercial copywriting, there is NOBODY I’d recommend more than Peter. His books have literally transformed the lives of tens of thousands of writers.”
Bob Bly, Copywriter, Author (75+ books), Secrets of a Freelance Writer: “Expanded and up-to-date, this is still the best advice on how to make more money writing for corporate clients I have ever read.”
Steve Slaunwhite, Copywriter, Author, Start and Run a Copywriting Business: “There’s more practical advice here than in any other book of its kind I’ve ever read.”
Marcia Yudkin, Author and Copywriting Coach: “Still far and away the best single source of information and inspiration for getting started as an independent writer for business clients.”
Nick Usborne, Copywriter; Author, Net Words: “The real nuts and bolts of HOW to live the six-figure writing life—without the hype and hysteria. Solid substance from cover to cover.”
Casey Hibbard, Author, Stories That Sell: “If you only invest in a one resource on commercial freelancing, make it this one. It will deliver 1000 times over in new business.”
Jennie Phipps, Editor & Publisher, Freelance Success: “Everybody wrangling words for a living ought to have this book on their shelves.”
The classic (and irreverent) bestselling guide to creating great advertising
Hey Whipple, Squeeze This has inspired a generation of ad students, copywriters, and young creatives to make their mark in the industry. But students need new guidance to ply their craft now in the digital world. This new fourth edition explains how to bring brand stories into interactive, dynamic places online, in addition to traditional television, radio, print, and outdoor ads.
Creativity is still king, but this new edition contains:
Important new chapters and updates that bring Whipple into the new digital world
New content and examples for how to use social media and other emerging platforms
Illustrate what’s changing in the new world of advertising—and what isn’t
Hey Whipple, Squeeze This! will help sharpen your writing chops, unleash your creativity, and help raise the level of your work from hack to master craftsman.
Publication Date: February 26, 2014
If You’re Ready to Sell More Books on Amazon, You Must Read This One Now.
Also included, Bonus Book: How to double the amount of reviews you get on Amazon!
Do you know the secrets that can help you sell more books on Amazon?
This easy-to-use guide will walk you through step-by-step what you need to do to kick your book into high gear on Amazon.com
This book is a MUST for any author looking to get more sales and more exposure on Amazon!
Here’s what you’ll learn:
How to get top visibility for your book on Amazon
The secret tool you can include in your book to get hundreds of reader reviews
The secret to pricing your book on Amazon.com
How giving away your eBook using Amazon’s KDP program can actually help you boost sales
How to launch an eBook campaign, step-by-step
How to use keywords and book descriptions that will get you the most exposure
The secret categories on Amazon that will get you bigger sales, and how to find them
How to get your book ranked #1 in your category
BONUS: Free listings to book bloggers, fiction bloggers, and romance bloggers!
Includes hundreds of bonus resources!
DOUBLE BONUS: Includes a special discount coupon for a Publishers Weekly mention or review!
Want to get published? Do it yourself—and make a living from it!
Here’s the critically acclaimed, multiple-award-winning blueprint that built a full-time income from ONE book—now, newly updated and expanded!
WHETHER NEWBIE OR EXPERIENCED… New to publishing? TWFSP takes you step-by-step through every stage of your publishing success story. Seasoned pro? You’ll walk away with fresh tools and insights that’ll boost the profitability of your new and existing titles. Far from theoretical, TWFSP is One Big Case Study: the author’s own real-world success chronicle!
LANDING A PUBLISHER HAS NEVER BEEN HARDER…
Even when you do, count on anemic royalties, 24 months to publication, giving up the rights to your book, and still doing most of the marketing yourself! Meanwhile, self-publishing has become easier, more viable, and more potentially lucrative than ever before.
In TWFSP, you’ll follow the author’s firsthand experience as you learn how to:
• Develop a “marketing mindset”—minus the anxiety!
• Create a book that turns heads and grabs eyeballs
• Find tons of reviewers anxious to publicize your book
• Get your books into bookstores and keep them there!
• Build a cash-generating web site that works 24/7
• Avoid the fickle (and largely ineffective) mainstream media
• Parlay one book into multiple income streams
• Separate the “Print-on-Demand” hype from reality
• Use social media to actually sell books (vs. waste time…) (NEW!)
• Maximize ebook profits four different ways (NEW!)
Most importantly, you’ll learn a radical new approach to book promotion, one that keeps you in control of events. The result: less anxiety, higher profits, and more fun!
Unlike most books on the subject, TWFSP focuses on “process” AND profits—and in the same engaging, irreverent style that’s made the “Well-Fed Writer” titles enduring standards in the field of high-paying commercial freelancing!
Peter Bowerman, veteran commercial writer, speaker and business coach, is the self-published author of the multiple-award-winning Well-Fed Writer (a Book-of-the-Month Club selection) and Well-Fed Self-Publisher titles. With over 70,000 copies in print, his books have earned him a full-time living since 2001. He has well over 30 years combined experience in sales, marketing, copywriting, publishing, and book-titling (www.titletailor.com).
Holly Payne, Author, Kingdom of Simplicity & 2011 Grand Prize Winner; Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards: “Peter Bowerman’s TWFSP is perhaps the single most important factor in my winning a First Place Benjamin Franklin Award for Best First Book for “Kingdom of Simplicity.” I literally followed the book word for word. TWFSP is more than a book. It is a life-changing experience if you commit yourself to doing the work, and it’s absolutely helping to raise the standards of excellence in self-publishing.”
Echo Garrett, Co-author, My Orange Duffel Bag: “When we decided to self-publish “My Orange Duffel Bag” after 60 rejections and two agents, Peter Bowerman’s practical, out-of-the-box, fun-to-read and comprehensive guide on the subject was, by far, the best. Following his book’s advice, we subsequently sold 12,000 copies in six months, won eight awards, got the majors to distribute it, made it on CNN and several other media outlets, and eventually sold it to Random House for a six-figure advance at a mini-auction.
Dan Poynter, Author, The Self-Publishing Manual: “An unusual and unusually good book in the genre. Grounded in a philosophy of excellence, reinforced with solid training in sales and marketing fundamentals (“marketing-averse” authors, rejoice!), this book keeps up a lively, readable cadence, while delivering page after page of detailed how-to. Recommended.”
Penny Sansevieri, Author, Red Hot Internet Publicity: “Peter’s book is an extraordinary resource. Many books talk about how to get published but few address how to actually make money
“Every experience God gives us . . . is the perfect preparation for the future only He can see.”–Corrie ten Boom
Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker who became a heroine of the Resistance, a survivor of Hitler’s concentration camps, and one of the most remarkable evangelists of the twentieth century. In World War II she and her family risked their lives to help Jews and underground workers escape from the Nazis, and for their work they were tested in the infamous Nazi death camps. Only Corrie among her family survived to tell the story of how faith ultimately triumphs over evil.
Here is the riveting account of how Corrie and her family were able to save many of God’s chosen people. For 35 years millions have seen that there is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still. Now The Hiding Place, repackaged for a new generation of readers, continues to declare that God’s love will overcome, heal, and restore.
“A groundbreaking book that shines a clear light on one of the darkest moments of history.”–Philip Yancey, author, The Jesus I Never Knew
“Ten Boom’s classic is even more relevant to the present hour than at the time of its writing. We . . . need to be inspired afresh by the courage manifested by her family.”–Jack W. Hayford, president, International Foursquare Church; chancellor, The King’s College and Seminary
“The Hiding Place is a classic that begs revisiting. Corrie ten Boom lived the deeper life with God. Her gripping story of love in action will challenge and inspire you!”–Joyce Meyer, bestselling author and Bible teacher
Learn How to Make Your First Draft Easy!
Award-winning author K.M. Weiland’s previous book, the bestselling Outlining Your Novel, showed writers how to embrace outlines in a way that makes the writing process fun, inspiring, and easy.
Now it’s time to put those lessons to use! Building upon the principles you’ve already learned, the Outlining Your Novel Workbook presents a guided approach to getting the bones of your story down on paper, identifying plot holes, and brainstorming exciting new possibilities.
Containing hundreds of incisive questions and imagination-revving exercises, this valuable resource will show you how to:
Create your own personalized outlining process
Brainstorm premise and plot ideas
Discover your characters
Choose and create the right settings
Organize your scenes
And so much more!
This accessible and streamlined workbook will empower you to create a powerful outline—and an outstanding novel. Start writing your best book today!
Why do only a few people get to say “I love my job”? It seems unfair that finding fulfillment at work is like winning a lottery; that only a few lucky ones get to feel valued by their organizations, to feel like they belong.
Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled.
This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders are creating environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things.
In his travels around the world since the publication of his bestseller Start with Why, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams were able to trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives were offered, were doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?
The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general.
“Officers eat last,” he said.
Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line. What’s symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: great leaders sacrifice their own comfort—even their own survival—for the good of those in their care.
This principle has been true since the earliest tribes of hunters and gatherers. It’s not a management theory; it’s biology. Our brains and bodies evolved to help us find food, shelter, mates and especially safety. We’ve always lived in a dangerous world, facing predators and enemies at every turn. We thrived only when we felt safe among our group.
Our biology hasn’t changed in fifty thousand years, but our environment certainly has. Today’s workplaces tend to be full of cynicism, paranoia and self-interest. But the best organizations foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a Circle of Safety that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside.
The Circle of Safety leads to stable, adaptive, confident teams, where everyone feels they belong and all energies are devoted to facing the common enemy and seizing big opportunities.
As he did in Start with Why, Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories from a wide range of examples, from the military to manufacturing, from government to investment banking.
The biology is clear: when it matters most, leaders who are willing to eat last are rewarded with deeply loyal colleagues who will stop at nothing to advance their leader’s vision and their organization’s interests. It’s amazing how well it works.
“A powerful and penetrating exploration of what separates great companies and great leaders from the rest.”
-Polly LaBarre, coauthor of Mavericks at Work
Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty?
In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way-and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.
Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire.
Quickly Learn to Write Vivid, Compelling and Honest Marketing Pieces
If screaming headlines and over-the-top phrasing make you want to hide your head in a bushel, get this guide to writing attention-getting yet sincere and helpful sales copy.
Whether you’re a coach, author, financial advisor, B-to-B product manager or some other kind of professional who values trust, dignity and respect for clients, you’ll find a framework for setting down a solid first draft and then tweaking it into an effective selling tool.
This concise handbook from a copywriting expert known for creative marketing leads beginning and intermediate writers through a three-step process of collecting the needed information, jazzing it up responsibly and then polishing it so it appeals to ideal customers.
This is a resource you’ll want to consult again and again to transform a boring, weak promotion into one that sings you honorably into the profit column.
Marcia Yudkin is the author of Meatier Marketing Copy, Persuading on Paper, 6 Steps to Free Publicity and 13 other traditionally published books, including a Book of the Month Club selection and another featured on “Oprah.” She has delivered commentaries on National Public Radio and landed publicity on page 1 of the Wall Street Journal.
As a copywriter, she works primarily with solo-professionals, service firms, authors, publishers, software entrepreneurs and information marketers.
I got together with some other well-paid bloggers and hosted a series of five one-hour presentations about what it takes to land great-paying blogging gigs — not the $5 kind, but the ones that pay $100-$250 a post and more. In this ebook, you get to listen in on those conversations. Members of Freelance Writers Den got to listen to these chats live and asked us some great follow-up questions, so we’ve included those Q&A sessions as well, at the end of each chapter.
By Dale Szewczyk
There are so many obstacles in the fight to the top, but the biggest antagonist standing in our way is always ourselves. We’re never going to be perfect, there are some challenges we may never beat, however, weaknesses is programmed in our DNA. That doesn’t mean we can’t achieve our goals. I know there are going to be some issues I am going to have to deal with like one deals with an incurable disease. But so often I let those issues hinder me. It’s a weakness that needs to go. One thing we can focus on, is our energy in a commitment to lay waste to said weakness; we can, in fact, defeat it and move on.
We need to stop saying we can’t do what we need to do, and look for ways we can do it. Don’t tell me how I can’t, tell me how I can.
My life is the push to motivate me to keep goals, but writing is the goal the that continues to pull me, and will keep pulling me. Push is like infatuation, but the pull is like love. Push alone won’t make it, but enough to boost you into action is great, then you let the pull carry you. That pull will carry you for years to come. Always have pull so you can’t fail. Make that infatuation love. Keep it hot by adding more fuel that makes it run.
I say this not because I am Mr Enthusiastic, I’m not. Today, it’s been a rough day. Mainly because of burn out. Not in what I want in life, but in the push itself. My reason, for moving on, is also like a tumor. It has conditioned me over the years, so adding to the battle of self I am now dealing with psychology. BUT, psychology can be reprogrammed. Ah, science. God’s gift to mankind. I’ve said before that science is a small window into God’s creation, and we’re learning more about it all the time. I love science, and I love using it to improve.
Another thing that is psychological is our perception. This takes a lot of work, but I think of it like trying to turn a space ship around when it is falling apart and wants to break down out in the middle of the universe. Although I don’t know where the middle is, and I don’t even see the stars. It’s like I’m lost in the Delta Quadrant. BUT, I’m beating on the engine with a hammer, and the occasional headbutt and slowly but surely I’m turning this beast around.
The problem with psychology is that it shows us where the self gets in the way. Even if we have a right the current perception or not, if it’s our antagonist, it needs to be defeated. The bad guy can have a point of view, after all. So we need to change it, and that can take time.
Do you think Tony Robbins would have made it without faith? Zig Ziglar, who started out, not being a success? We need to stop making excuses, pluck our thumbs from our mouths, and light that antagonist on fire (not literally) and move the heck on with our lives! This is not a spectator sport, and we need to be stubborn enough to not quit. Use it for something good! I can be hard headed (waits for someone to disagree… crickets) so I use it. Use the gifts God gives you.
By the way, I am a realist to a point. I know the outcome of my future from a broad point of view, I am not happy-go-lucky, I am just too darn stubborn for my own good and I plan doing what I can to carve out my dream. I will need to be stopped dead in my tracks either by God or another force. But whatever will stop me if anything stops me will not be me.
My thoughts and how I am positive, feel free to add your own ideas in the comments! Sound off and be heard!
There are two habits that are great tools in helping you with a future and promising career in writing. Today I am going to talk about word count and outlining. I see many authors don’t like either, well I get that. But I also notice that most of the time it is because we complicate it. I say we, but I mean me. :^P
No big, we can’t help ourselves, we’re writers! Of course, we over-think everything. And yes, I mean me again.
So, if you’re a writer and you’re struggling, there are a few things I can suggest. In this post, I am going to tackle two things. And I am going to tell you in easy, bite size tips on how you can improve your productivity.
Yes, there are writers like Lee Child, Stephen King and Dean Koontz who don’t outline. But they find other ways to keep up with their stories, and they probably do more work than they need to, but it does work for them. I know that Koontz hand writes his book. He goes over every page around thirty times then moves on. After he is done he puts it into his old computer that is so old it has Word Perfect.
Point it is, he drafts the crap out of his stories so he is able to keep up with his story. But many writers think that outlining takes the magic out of it, or that outlining isn’t writing, and I am a little offended by that. In fact, the outline itself is writing, it is pantsing. Because no matter what you’re writing the ideas in your head at some point, and that is pantsing. And if you do it good, when you write your prose, you will have signposts that will redirect you The point of an outline is so that as you write, when you get lost you can get back on track. It helps to know where you’re going. At least have that safety net.
So, today I am going to use author team Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant from Sterling and Stone. These guys can write a 100K book from concept to published in 30 days. They can crank out over a million words in a year. They know their stuff. Sean and Johnny have what is called a beat system. I am just going to show you the basics of this system, but if you want to see it in action I recommend their video series on beats, or their Fiction Unboxed series.
Here you will write your idea for your story from beginning to end or as close to the end as you can. No worries you can always come back to write more.
Rough Story Arc-
Here you will take what you know, tighten it up a bit or expand on it. You might want to add subplots as well.
Here you will write a paragraph or two about your synopsis.
A single sentence of your synopsis.
Then we move onto character beats Which you will use a picture, be it an actor you like for the character, a family member, any face that relates to your character. Then you will fill out all the deets about your character. Granted, things like eye color are important, but here what is most important is their back stories, their narrative, their family, their goals, and what is it they have invested in the story. You can design the layout of the sheets how you feel is best.
And then there is location beats. Here you go location scouting if you have some interesting locations in your story. Google is great for this, but you can also go about your town or vacations and take your own pictures and use them as well. Whatever floats your goat. And then the beats, well tell about these locations. You can keep it brief or go into detail, but also write about things that you will include in your story. It is okay to write more than you will use.
Finally, there is the story beats. Here you will write a few hundred words about each scene or chapter in your story. I do it per scene. And do this through to the end. Then when you are happy with your beats, get to writing your prose! And although you have just written a lot, you are still able to keep it loose enough that you can still pants some. In fact, the beats serve as signposts to bring you back to the track. Where you go in between is entirely up to you.
And as for word count, I do anywhere from 500-2,500 words a day. Some days I get none in. But I am always working on keeping that word count. I really want 3,000 word days, at least on my off days. But hey, we make do. The point is, no matter how hard life gets, we need to acquire a discipline of some kind. Maybe you can only write a 100-350 words a day. Okay, awesome! You’re writing! That is what’s most important here. You’re making word-sauce!!!!
Alright I hope this helps some of you out there. I kept it general for you all to make your own, and if you want to see Sean and Johnny in action don’t forget to check out their videos. They also do a lot of specials and sometimes give away free advice. Especially on their self publishing podcast on Youtube and their personal site.
Have a good one, and feel free to post your feedback below.
Here is a video Sean was going to use for a free series but ended up making an awesome series in which you must pay for. Which I would have done the same thing in his shoes. I haven’t seen their Fiction Unboxed, but based on the advertisements and what I know about these guys from their books, it is well worth the price. But here is a video on beats.
As I write the beats for my upcoming novella, REFUGE, which takes place during the American Civil War, a racial calamity is transpiring in our very generation at this very moment.
I am sure most of you have heard the events going on in Ferguson, Missouri. It is beyond tragic although I say that from a different point of view.
CNN reported the case as officer Darren Wilson gunning down a black teenager. Almost right off the bat every one jumped on the white verses black train. Not caring one bit WHY Michael Brown was shot dead. Because what we read in the news is not always true, and no matter how much truth is in a headline the event will always hold more perspective than the snippets we read about.
Regardless of which person here you back, we must not back either based on race, for THAT is racist. No matter where we stand, we must stand on love, justice and the facts. Anyways I won’t get into my soap box like I did on Facebook. But my point is, as far as we have come as a nation and in equality, we are digressing in other ways.
One quote I like to say all the time is that the more we change, the more we stay the same. Sure the things we use change, the slang, languages, some minor points of view, but basically we are the same.
Look throughout history. Look at the good, the bad and strange. Look at governments, look at how people have treated each other and why. Look at the reasoning behind evil acts. We are no different than most societies. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot I love about America, but so much of who we are as a nation is nothing more than a repeat of the past because we don’t learn from history.
People are always quick to say, “I care!” but hold their hearts to the fire and you will see their true selves. The fact is, almost everyone has their own right and wrong, and a lot of the times that is dependent on what the majority says. If the majority says that Michael Brown was a black teenager gunned by a white racist cop–in a time where police brutality climbs and so does the deaths of blacks, and yes even innocent blacks that did not deserve it nor was it any kind of justice–then that is the Pipe Piper that everyone follows in spite of who gets hurt.
So, as a person who is taking Darren Wilson’s side, where exactly do I stand?
I stand on the side of those who are treated unfairly. I do not care about skin color. Your skin pigment does not give you more or less rights than me, to say it does is an insult to us both and that would make you racist.
The fact of the matter is, all men and women are created equal.
The fact is when a grown man (eighteen is grown) continues to assault a cop, they are taking their life into their own hands They are play Russian Roulette. Attacking a cop is a crime as well it should be. A cop’s number one goal is to get home alive. The second is to protect and serve. I learned this from a cop in one of my criminal law classes, which this goal should be obvious. What if you were the cop?
What happened when Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown in what Wilson claims to be self defense (I have not seen adequate evidence to support that he is lying, so far it looks like he is a victim of a witch hunt) is that very moment the life of a young man ended due to a shaky upbringing because he knew nothing else other than the criminal life he was raised in (as so many are tragically) and the life of Darren Wilson was turned upside down.
Had Michael Brown been white there never would have been rioting or protests. Some would have cared but not near as many. The opposite of how it was back in the 1800’s.
And this is my whole point, who are we as a people (one people, one race) today? Do we understand that in terms of skin pigment there is nothing to tolerate, but to love? Are we so brain dead that we cannot see that we are various shades and tones that make up a bouquet of elegance? Are we so far gone that we cannot learn from what this country has done to one group or the other in regards to oppression and faux equality?
We The People have done amazing things, and unequivocally evil things. We know better as America seeing that we fought the British in the late 1700’s for freedom and equality. We should have got this right from the get go, instead we have been the very worst.
Reading through the Civil War, I am brought to tears. The lunacy and madness of men who thought they could not only make another person property and treat that said property anyway they felt is horrific. And it is obvious. It is spelled out for us across the pages of history. However, when We The People do it in other ways, we justify it, just like those back in the late 1800’s. Are we really any better? How far will we take it? Will whites end up going through the exact thing the blacks once did, and in some ways still go through?
People need to realize as Martin Luther King Jr once said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. This is true for all of us. King was not a well supported man of his time, but today is regarded as a hero. Many of us from all sides even those who are racist love the man and quote him. But King never would have supported a mob action on the innocent business owners of Ferguson, nor would he have supported the mob attack on the character of Wilson. If Wilson is truly guilty of everything that has been said about him, then yes justice needs to be served. But the evidence needs to back it up.
King wanted equality because he knew all too well about oppression, and being treated less than human over the pigment of skin. We all should learn from him, but of course we continue to be horrible to one another, compounding the racial divide further.
The fact is, the more I see the past the more I see the future. We will always enslave and war with one another, the reasons may flip and change, but the acts against each other will always repeat. We are all slaves to this primitive way of life. Unless of course we can evolve into something better as one race.
We will see, I am not holding my breath.
Anyways, I am not trying to be a downer here, but people need to wake up if there is to be any hope for the future. We need to treat each other as we want to be treated. We need to give the same attitude to everyone we want given to us. Because if Darren Wilson is innocent, the man already has lost his career as a cop. It’s not safe for him to go out. His life will never be the same. And the worse it gets for Wilson, will be on those who support this kind of injustice.
Stick to the evidence, and protest in peace. And by that, you will be the very example you wish to make happen in the world. Be the evidence that some people are good, and some people do care, and not every one wants to oppress and war.
God bless, and keep all comments classy. Trolls will be exterminated.
After writing this, I feel I need to mention a couple of things. One is that I will be posting more on why I love history, and how it impacts us today. I also want to address that while I have defended Darren Wilson I have done so in respect to the fact we do not know that he shot Michael Brown in cold blood, or that he did so out of racial hate. If those two things can be proven, I will change my view and peacefully protest against him. Because both of those things are horrible and inexcusable.
There a few things that bugged me about Wilson’s news interview, but I don’t know at the facts. Only that some things seemed a little off. What I do know is, if he is telling the truth about fearing for his life, and Brown did charge him, whether or not Wilson could have taken Brown out in a non-lethal manner may not have entered his mind. If Wilson was in the wrong, could have been he reacted instead of thinking. Not to be cold blooded, not to be racial; but possibly out of sloppiness. Maybe.
A stupid cop is not the same as an evil cop. Making a huge mistake is not the same as hating someone based on color. I say if he is guilty of anything, let him be tried on the actual crime he is guilty of.
And is it any surprise that one of my novellas I will write will based on a similar situation as Ferguson? A chiral reflection of REFUGE.