All posts by Dale

I am the CEO of LyfeHack. I seek out like-minded people who want to start their own business and those who desire to purchase the very best products in health-care, sports nutrition and more. I aim to help you hack your way through life, whatever your need.

MAKING YOUR BRAND – Being a Serious Self-Publishing Author

From the blog, MACWOOD’S:

 

No matter what you write, you must write what you are passionate about. If you are passionate about writing about sparkling vampires, yes that is probably what you should write, although you might want to see if there are other areas you have interest, hehe. A writer has to write about their passion if they want their work to be taken serious.

I use to write horror for the point of scaring people. It was fun!!! And while I enjoyed it, there was more I needed to write. Because when I first got into writing I wanted to write about real issues that we all face, that we all witness, things that make up who we are as people. I wanted to write about real things in fiction form. Even if I write a superhero story, or zombies, I need write about real things that we all can relate to. But I also wanted to write stories with heart, and something not only comes from my mind, but the other point of view on things.

We live in a world where a lot of times there are two sides. And I always see the things that are not one of two. Sure as a Christian I know there are things that fall under one or the other, God or the devil, but I am talking about smaller things.

  • Like love. 
  • Right and wrong. 
  • Injustice. 
  • Hope.

So many things that we only see one or the other, when the answer is often in the middle somewhere, or way off in the outfield. As a writer, and one with an opinion and feelings I have to write about what presses on my soul.

I am trying to keep it short about me, there are more posts on that, but I wanted to show an example. The thing is, you must write what you love. Even if it goes against me as a person, I support your right to write about what you love. As a fellow writer I respect you for writing from your heart. I respect your honesty and heart. Of course if you write about hating others, and come up with stories that supports that through-line, I will respect your honesty, but that is all because I hate, hate. And you will be a muse in my stories :^D

But overall, and I am talking to the average writer, write from your heart. You have this gift, use it!

See, we authors-especially as self-publishing authors-need to make ourselves as brands. And if we are honest about who we are, and about our work people will like us and want to check out our books. You need to be true to you, and who you want to be.

Who are you?

What stories do YOU want to tell?

Figure this out, and make it your brand. But I will tell you this, make sure you write about heart. Make your writing come to life, and thrive in the minds of your readers!

How about you, anything you want to add about creating author brand? Feel to share in the comments!

 

SO YOU SELF PUBLISH? Make Sure to get an Awesome Cover!

 

From the blog, MACWOOD’S:

Like it or not, folks judge a book by the cover. It is a worn out cliche. I love a good cover to match a good story. But if it is a bad story with a great cover I look at the book as a lie. The thing is, if you want to be taken serious as a self publishing author, you need to play like a pro, you need to be the author as well as the publisher. Self explanatory I know.

Now that we Indie authors are becoming a force to be reckoned with as top names grow on our side, we fast run out of excuses for acting like a virgin. The above are two covers to a work in progress. One is a few months old (your left), the other is a few days old (your right). The first one was done on old software that took a dump. The second was done on Gimp. I went to youtube and watched a turtorial and got an idea then poof, here came the second cover.

I have some others much better than the first one, but none of them touch the second version. I wanted to show the difference between a bad cover and a good cover. You see, your cover is not only art, but the window into your story. It is the representative of your tale. You not only have to write one heck of of a story, but you also have to get the editing, but then you need an outstanding cover. But… maybe you don’t do covers, so now what?

Well you can hire me for a flat rate of $30 bucks to do one for you which that fee will go into the editing fund for my stories, or you can spend some real money and go to this site here!

Basically 99Designs has a team of cover designers who compete for your cover, you pick the one you like most, and that is your new cover. I haven’t tried this yet, although at some point I’d like to. If you cannot afford $300 bucks to start with, no problem, I will gladly do your cover for the $30. Either way, but you do need a good cover. Even if you don’t go with me or 99Designs.

Make sure to make your book as awesome as it can be, because you are the publisher of your book.

Feel free to add your input on cover design.

 

MAKING YOUR BRAND – Being a Serious Self-Publishing Author

No matter what you write, you must write what you are passionate about. If you are passionate about writing about sparkling vampires, yes that is probably what you should write, although you might want to see if there are other areas you have interest, hehe. A writer has to write about their passion if they want their work to be taken serious.

I use to write horror for the point of scaring people. It was fun!!! And while I enjoyed it, there was more I needed to write. Because when I first got into writing I wanted to write about real issues that we all face, that we all witness, things that make up who we are as people. I wanted to write about real things in fiction form. Even if I write a superhero story, or zombies, I need write about real things that we all can relate to. But I also wanted to write stories with heart, and something not only comes from my mind, but the other point of view on things.

We live in a world where a lot of times there are two sides. And I always see the things that are not one of two. Sure as a Christian I know there are things that fall under one or the other, God or the devil, but I am talking about smaller things.

  • Like love.
  • Right and wrong.
  • Injustice.
  • Hope.

So many things that we only see one or the other, when the answer is often in the middle somewhere, or way off in the outfield. As a writer, and one with an opinion and feelings I have to write about what presses on my soul.

I am trying to keep it short about me, there are more posts on that, but I wanted to show an example. The thing is, you must write what you love. Even if it goes against me as a person, I support your right to write about what you love. As a fellow writer I respect you for writing from your heart. I respect your honesty and heart. Of course if you write about hating others, and come up with stories that supports that through-line, I will respect your honesty, but that is all because I hate, hate. And you will be a muse in my stories :^D

But overall, and I am talking to the average writer, write from your heart. You have this gift, use it!

See, we authors-especially as self-publishing authors-need to make ourselves as brands. And if we are honest about who we are, and about our work people will like us and want to check out our books. You need to be true to you, and who you want to be.

Who are you?

What stories do YOU want to tell?

Figure this out, and make it your brand. But I will tell you this, make sure you write about heart. Make your writing come to life, and thrive in the minds of your readers!

How about you, anything you want to add about creating author brand? Feel to share in the comments!

FIVE Freelance Mistakes to Avoid when Charging Your Rate

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By Dale Szewczyk

As someone who has recently joined the Freealnce writing world of content writing, content strategy, and copywriting; there are some things I just have to pass on to you.

If you are anything like me, you hate doing it wrong and time is money. Well I know we all learn from mistakes, but the best ones are the mistakes of others. One of the biggest is how the freelance writer charges.

MISTAKE #1-Letting your client decide

Writers know what they need to write, the amount of work that goes into it, they have studied hard and late and have done enough time in this gig to know what they are worth.

It is up to the writer to charge a fair price.

You need to quote the amount you feel you are worth. Otherwise you will get screwed out of making more. After all, if you don’t know what you are worth, they might decide you are not worth much, and pay accordingly.

May not seem fair but hey, in the business world you need to know your worth so you can stand on it.

MISTAKE #2-Charging too little

So you figure out your rate, but guess what? You are still not making your bill, and the checks from your clients couldn’t buy a combo meal at the local fast-food joint. What happened?

You didn’t set it high enough.

No, you shouldn’t overcharge, but you need to charge what you are worth. Understand your knowledge of the craft, the time you are going to put into the project and figure out the cost that suits you.

A lot of freelancers get paid $125 a blog post starting out for a company. Don’t charge $50 and think you’re doing it right.

One method that works great is selling a package deal. Like say six blog posts, so many per week, for (price). Make sure to give the client a little break for the package deal, but not so much that you’re better off working at said fast-food joint.

MISTAKE #3-Not setting a lowest rate mark

This is where you need to figure out the absolute lowest you are willing to go. Lets say you believe that you are worth $300 an hour for the project you are about to undertake. Your client only has so much budget. You make a few offers, but the client keeps going for less. You need a limit where you will make a stand. The hill in which you will defend no matter what. Because hey, you are worth what you know you’re worth. If you have the knowledge and skill to do the work, then yes have a minimum amount. In this case say you won’t go below $250. The client was shooting for $230, but considers your price and settles on the compromise.

Figuring this out is crucial.

MISTAKE #4-Not giving yourself a raise

Okay, you can’t give yourself a raise anytime you feel like it, but if you have become worth more than you were then you deserve a raise.

If you were worth $125 an hour, but now you are worth $200 you need to raise it.

Because if you don’t, the bills and groceries are going to go up while your income is going down. Not good and it is hard to blog from a cardboard box on the street corner (not that I know anything about that, actually I don’t and I plan on keeping it that way!).

MISTAKE #5-Don’t set an hourly rate

Wait… WHAT?!

This is for those who are more seasoned in the field. You see, when you get fast enough to do the work in half of the time, if you charge by the hour you will have the same problem you had with the above; not enough to live on.

You also want to be fair in your pricing. So depending on the job will depend on your rate. You might want to check to see how much the work itself is worth to you as the writer and decide a fair amount for the project. You can always break it down to hourly rate for yourself to see how it works out for what you have to do, but you need to clear what you know you are worth.

 

I really hope this all helped.

Comments? Opinions? Success stories? Post them below!