Tools for Tuesday: The Best of… Nov 2010

Tools for Tuesday keeps rolling along. Today’s theme is sharing is caring. And since this is the last day in November, I thought I’d share some of the top 10 best articles of Nov 2010 recently posted on writer Carol Tice’s website http://www.makealivingwriting.com/  For the full post, please visit 23518 Commentshttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.makealivingwriting.com%2F2010%2F11%2F24%2F10-articles-writers-%25e2%2580%2594-november-2010%2F10+Best+Articles+for+Writers+%E2%80%94+November+20102010-11-24+10%3A00%3A00Carol+Ticehttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.makealivingwriting.com%2F%3Fp%3D235.

The site is quite good, lots of helpful hints to us scribblers. I especially enjoyed a recent one entitled “What Freelance Writers Can Learn from Sarah Palin.” Leave your Ronald Reagan boxers and Clinton cigar cutters at the door. No matter your political leanings, the 4-eyed Alaskan fox does know how to work a room, and her brand.

 

  1. How to Plan a Successful Blog – A Step-by-Step Guide – by Annabel Candy on The Daily Brainstorm
  2. 13 Tips for Beginning Bloggers (which I learned the hard way) by Gretchen Rubin on ProBlogger
  3. 10 Typical Questions From Writers (that are really just fear in disguise) – by Emma Newman on Write for Your Life
  4. 7 Ways to Improve Your Writing — Right Now – by James Chartrand on Copyblogger
  5. Top 5 Query Mistakes Freelancers Make – by Linda Formichelli on Renegade Writer
  6. Why People Should Stop Updating Their Blogs – by Jered Slusher, on Virgin Blogger Notes

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

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Get a signed copy of The Brink 20% off the cover price + FREE SHIPPING! Visit www.markfadden.com for more information.

Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

“I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

“[Mark Fadden] is the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

“Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

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The Big Five

This post is for the non-fiction writers out there. I am putting together a non-fiction proposal, my first, and decided to do a little research on how to do it right. I checked out Thinking Like Your Editor – How to write Great Serious Nonfiction and Get It Published. It’s written by husband and wife literary agents, Susan Rabiner and Alfred Fortunato, and they bring their years of experience in the publishing world to the pages of this book. 

Perhaps the most beneficial information are the “Big Five” questions that editors say they want answered in a book  proposal.

1. What is this book about?

2. What is the book’s thesis (or the book’s argument) and what’s it about?

3. Why are you the person to write this book?

4. Why is now the time to publish this book?

5. Who makes up the core audience  for the proposed book, and why will they find it appealing?

 While answering these questions may be at the core of a good nonfiction proposal, I think they should also guide the efforts of fiction writers the next time you plan your next novel. If nothing else, question #1 will help you get to the essence of what your story is about and even help you craft your all important elevator pitch.

Do you agree with this list? Any more questions to add?

To the keyboards!

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Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com

Tools for Tuesday

Welcome to a new segment on Book Marketing Wars: “Tools for Tuesday.” If you’re over 30, your brain may be tingling because it sounds like the familiar “Two for Tuesday” promos that radio DJs did back in the good old days (I’m talking about any year before the century changeover). Of course, some of those same DJs, still rockin’ the same bitchin’ mullets are probably still doing the same Two for Tuesday formats, God bless ‘em.

Anyway, as a former college DJ, I wanted to not only pay homage to those glory days, but also try to introduce tools that I’ve been using with a good amount of success. All of these tools can be found in Guerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 No-cost, low-cost weapons for selling your work by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, Michael Larsen, and David L. Hancock. It’s an excellent read. I highly recommend you running down to your local bookstore with the gift card you were going to give your Aunt Clarice and using it to buy a copy.

Tool #1 – Think like an entrepreneur. Perhaps the most important part of Guerrila Marketing for Writers is that all the ideas within it are designed to help us think like entrepreneurs. We are not just about writing one book or one non-fiction proposal. Like an entrepreneur that has started up a business, hung out their shingle and now has a store full of products to sell to customers that will hopefully come back for more again and again. As it states in the book on p. 4, “don’t think like a writer that has something to say; think like an author who has a lifetime of books, products and services to sell – an author who knows what it takes to make books sell and will be totally committed to doing it.”

So what are you doing to be an authorpreneur? What would you like to do?

To the keyboards!

News Release: Colleyville author presents lecture on writing, marketing novels at Newark Public Library

Pat Winn, Newark Library Director Megan Suffling , Mayor Pro-tem of Newark Laura Pixler, and author Mark Fadden

“To get your books read, writers can no longer just write. They must promote their books in every way imaginable and in even new ways that no one’s ever thought of.” That was the key message of author Mark Fadden’s recent presentation to patrons of the Newark Public Library in Newark, Texas.

During his lecture, Beyond the book: How being an “authorpreneur” will help you sell books, build your author platform and gain lifelong fans, Fadden gave listeners helpful hints on how to use mostly free online tools to manage their book marketing campaigns. These ranged from the simple, using Google Alerts to find out when someone’s name was mentioned anywhere and anytime of the web, to how to use PRWeb.com to launch a press release, something he did recently. “My press release, entitled Author’s Latest Thriller Eerily Similar to Recent Events, had more than 61,000 news feed impressions. Out of those it was read 1,177 times, and I am beginning to follow up with those sources to see if I can leverage that interest into a book review or other publicity.”

Fadden readily admits his new novel, The Brink, not only predicted the currency wars, the Federal Reserve’s latest reaction to the mounting U.S. debt crisis, and even the recent Washington, D.C. Metro bomb scare, it is an extremely controversial financial thriller. The book features a lost Constitution article while it uses real-world economic numbers to weave an intricate conspiracy tale that takes up where the recent financial meltdown left off. “Great fiction should inspire us to challenge the status quo,” Fadden said, “especially when the status quo involves our country’s truly dangerous financial situation.” It is this dangerous financial situation that becomes the focus of the story after the main character, fugitive lawman Danny Cavanaugh, helps a woman running for her life, only to get sucked into a secret society’s plot to create financial Armageddon.

The Brink is Fadden’s third novel. His first novel, Five Days in Dallas, was published in 2003. It received critical acclaim and Fadden himself was even called a “masterful storyteller” by a Writer’s Digest reviewer. Fadden, who grew up in Houston and now lives in Colleyville, Texas, has several book signings and lectures scheduled in the next few months. His event schedule and the first 22 pages of The Brink can be previewed at markfadden.com.  Fadden has also created a blog about writing novels and book marketing using social media entitled, “Book Marketing Wars: building your author platform,” which can be read at markfadden.wordpress.com.

Building your online following – Part 1

One of the blogs I really like is Nathan Bransford’s blog. Although he just changed jobs and is no longer a literary agent, he continues to pump out great content for writers. Case in point – I’ve copied his latest blog below. Building your online following is the whole point for authors engaging in social media. It also fits nicely into this week’s theme – how to incorporate organic searches into your promotional campaign.

If you aren’t following Nathan Bransford and you’re a writer, you need to be. His advice is priceless. It’s just that simple.

Nathan Bransford – Seven Tips on How to Build a Following Online

 

Seven Tips on How to Build a Following Online

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 07:04 AM PST

1. Be consistent. We are all creatures of online habit, and if you are hoping to build traffic and a regular audience, it’s essential to worm your way into people’s routines (much harder than actually getting them to like you!). And in order to do this, it’s important to have a posting frequency that your audience knows and expects. Whether you blog/Tweet/Tumble once a day, five times a day, or once a week (but not less than that), know thy social media schedule and keep it holy.

2. Reach out and comment someone. The best way to build traffic is to be noticed. Pick a few well-trafficked blogs and/or Forums, become a fixture, get to know the regulars, write witty comments, and try to attract people naturally your way. The more you invest in other people, and I mean genuinely invest in them, the more they’ll be willing to return the favor. Better yet, you might even make some wonderful real-life friends.

3. Take the long view. A following is not built overnight. When impatience enters the picture there’s a temptation to be overly controversial, which is a good short-term way of getting traffic, but damaging in the long term. If you make everyone mad people will definitely stop by, but chances are they won’t be back.

4. Find your niche. The Internet abhors a vacuum, and it’s important to think about what unique information or perspective you will provide. Be as unique and interesting as possible, and make yourself stand out from the pack.

5. Short paragraphs. There are few things less inviting than a massive wall of text. Twitter forces you to be brief, but everywhere else make your paragraphs short and punchy.

6. SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Think about your post titles and imagine what someone would Google if they wanted to know about the topic you’re talking about. The more links you receive from other sources the higher your search results, and the more natural traffic you’ll receive.

7. Be selfless. It’s not about you, it’s about your readers and followers. Think about what you are providing them and deliver the goods.

Who’s your reader?

With authors these days having to be the Chief Marketing Officer, Social Media Director, and the Promotions Guy, it’s easy to get lost in the “what can I do next?” storm of trying to sell your book. But here’s one of the most effective ways to market your book, and it doesn’t have a thing to do with Facebook, twitter or designing a kick ass website.

Who are you writing the book for? Who do you want your audience to be? For me, and for many authors, we write the books that we would like to read. Is that what you do? It’s easier for a novelist to write for themselves because novels are read for entertainment and we all like being entertained. But let’s say you’re a professor of archeology and you want to write a book for the beginning archeology student. You are not writing the book for you. How then do you write that book?

I once knew a professor who wrote her own book. In fact, it was my first college class ever and I walk into the classroom with her name in BIG LETTERS on the chalkboard. I knew I recognized that name. I saw it again when I pulled out my Econ 101 textbook and BAM!, there it was on the cover. She had written the textbook! I knew no amount of my BS would fool her. And it didn’t. I squeaked by with a B minus for the year. And that was a gift. But I was also able to have a pretty good relationship with her and talked to her about writing the book. She told me something I will never forget. “I picture myself as an 18 year old who doesn’t know a thing about economics, and take it from there.” Before I begin any book, I picture myself as my reader, which so far, means that I’m picturing myself. But whenever I write articles for the various newspapers I freelance for, or projects for which I provide copy, I picture myself as the person that is sitting down to read that article, or the person who is reading the information that I wrote for a sign in a park.

So, instead of “Who do you write for?”, maybe the question should really be “Who do you picture yourself as when you write?” 

As always, I’m taking the weekend off. I’m actually giving a presentation tomorrow on writing and book marketing at the Newark, Texas library at 11:00am. If you’re out that way, I’d be great if you could stop in and sit a spell. If not, we’ll pick back up next week with “viral organics.” Sounds yummy, don’t it? Until then… 

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…