Writing and marketing your novel: A glimpse from the trenches

August 30, 2010

Day 76 of 365

Books sold so far (May and June 2010): 246

In this issue:

  • Writing topic – Characters’ back stories
  • Marketing Topic – What’s a Word Worth? Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Writing topic – Characters’ back stories

Okay, so the five of you that regularly follow this blog probably didn’t do your homework and create epic back stories for you’re the characters in your next novel. That’s okay. I understand you are probably adults and you either have demanding jobs, demanding families, or both and you either spend you evenings doing something akin to TPS reports or telling your four-year-old for the 87th time not to jump up and down with a rusty straight razor in one hand and an open cup of Kool Aid fruit punch in the other on the new Haverty’s couch that won’t be paid off until June 2014. So, let’s all go out into the virtual academic quad where it’s always a crisp 72 degrees and sit underneath the white aspen trees in a circle on the soft blanket of Kentucky bluegrass and just do one together shall we?

Brandon Styles – the name just evokes a yuppie punk, doesn’t it? Now our tale is set in the 1980s, but in a rural Texas town, so young Brandon, who is just a smidge under 16 and looking forward to Daddy buying him a brand new Ford pick-up for his birthday, shouldn’t conjur images of James Spader in Pretty in Pink or even Jake What’s his Face from Sixteen Candles. No, think James Dean from Giant meets Judd Nelson’s character from the Breakfast Club…a guy with a stoner’s laissez-faire attitude but wouldn’t dare put smoke inside his hallowed temple of a body, a delish dessert of a young man where the swagger of frosting hides the angst hidden in the dense cake underneath.  Although he is the younger of two brothers, his lanky, 6 foot 3 inch frame has never had to deal with hand me down clothes, and he wouldn’t be caught dead in anything less than ostrich skin Lucchese boots, or brand new Michael “Air” Jordan basketball sneakers. He does however, have to deal with the legacy of his older brother Clayton, who still holds the record for most touchdown receptions in the history of the high school. Brandon is trying yet again to break that record, but this is his last season to do it and time is against him. Because of that, it becoming harder and harder to hide his nasty temper. 

The Styles family comes from old money. Brandon’s great-great-great-great granddaddy was one of the founders of the town and “acquired” several thousand acres as a reward for his service in Mexican-American War. Now that it’s okay to talk about it, people are beginning to talk about how the land was stolen from the Native Americans. There’s even a lawsuit from the Caddo tribe against the Styles family for the remaining tracts of land that they still own. I say remaining tracks because they sold a lot to the state of Texas to put through I-45 and another piece was sold to build the state penitentiary on it. On the other parts they drilled for oil and natural gas and found both, lots of both.

Brandon will never have to work a day in his life. He knows this and so does everyone around him. Therefore, he has a less than perfect attendance record – I think he’s attended maybe 12 days of pre-calculus the entire fall semester. Mr. Weems, the pre-calc teacher, made a stink about Brandon’s attendance mid-semester, and the last we heard is teaching kindergarten down in Brownsville to a bunch of illegal alien children. I mean, what was he thinking? You just don’t cross a Styles in this town, and Weems should have known that. I mean, for Christ’s sake, Weems had to go by their every day on his way to work as he trudged past the Harris Style Auditorium, the high school auditorium named after Brandon’s grandfather.

As you would expect, both Clayton and Brandon have dated the prom queens, but they both have done it since they were freshmen. That’s right. Even as a freshman, Brandon bagged senior ass. Since they’re four years apart, that means a Styles has had high school royalty as arm candy for eight years. Not a bad gig if you can get it.

Stacy Sutton is this year’s queen and has been lucky enough to be going out with Brandon since the end of last school year. There was some friction over the summer, and they’ve broken up a few times. But Stacy Sutton, who looks like a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader and is in the running for class valedictorian, is something even Brandon knows you don’t throw away.

So there you go. A little description, a little drama, and a little motivation to describe a character that will be an integral part of the story. There’s even a hint of unrest about a powerful family that isn’t used to getting messed with. Now this is a murder mystery, so would someone in that family be willing to kill to maintain the status quo? Families have done exactly that in the past.

What’s your verdict? Like him? Hate him? Dated someone like him in high school? To the keyboards!

Marketing Topic – What’s a Word Worth? Google AdWords Keyword Tool

I wish I had a tenth of the smarts that the average Google employee has. Every time I delve deeper into the powerful tools Google offers, for FREE mind you, I ma blown away. Case in point tonight, Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool (GAKT). You can go onto GAKT, enter a keyword that you think people would use to find your website, and see how many actual global and local searches there are for that keyword or phrase. For example, my latest book, The Brink, is about a sinister secret society planning global financial Armageddon. So, I typed in ‘financial Armageddon’ into the GAKT search engine and found that that phrase got 2,400 global monthly searches and 1,900 local. I scroll down to see related keywords and notice that ‘economic crisis explained’ and ‘surviving financial crisis’ have 201,000 and 49.500 and 368,000 and 90,500 respectively. Guess what keywords I’m adding to my site tonight? Guess where you should go right now to check your keywords?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…  

 

The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to marketing a political thriller.

July 9, 2010

It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that we become a part of our readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the book marketing madness continue…

Day 25 of 365

In this issue:

  • Today’s FB numbers
  • Reminding folks about tomorrow’s signing
  • Giving blood and feeling woosy

 

Today’s FB numbers

 Numbers didn’t budge since yesterday. The ad “US Const. Article Found” didn’t “click” with people. And I haven’t had a click on the Lewisville Borders signing since I changed the ad pic from the cover shot to my ugly mug pic. I changed it back and am letting it ride until tomorrow afternoon.

 If you’re in the Lewisville, Texas area tomorrow between 1pm and 3pm, come give us a kiss.

 Reminding folks about tomorrow’s signing

 I spent about 30 minutes today reminding my FB friends who live in the area as well as the folks I sent invites to (the library staff, area media contacts) about the signing tomorrow. One of the library staff folks mentioned that their mystery book club will be doing The Brink in September and they bought 6 copies for those folks. DON’T FORGET about the book clubs in your area. They can help BIG TIME to spread the word about your book!

 Giving blood and feeling woosy

I gave blood today and then had a few cocktails to kick off the weekend. Not the best deicison, but a fun one. Salud!

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…  

 

The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to book marketing

July 1, 2010

 It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that we become a part of our readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the book marketing madness continue…

Day 18 of 365 

In this issue:

  • MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #4 of 5
  • Creating a Facebook invite for the Lewisville Borders signing
  • The world’s China Bet and how it relates to The Brink  
  • Reminders – get the blog emailed to you and taking July 4th off

 MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #4 of 5

I guess the “Conspiracy Theory” folks on Facebook weren’t digging a novel about “the most staggering conspiracy of our time.” I got shut out today on my ad that got sent out to them. Here’s the numbers for the week so far:

Daily stats for the week of:  Jun 27  

Date Imp. Clicks CTR (%) Avg. CPC ($) Avg. CPM ($) Spent ($)
07/01/2010 2,730 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
06/30/2010 94,052 25 0.03 0.80 0.21 20.00
06/29/2010 54,210 29 0.05 0.69 0.37 20.00
06/28/2010 7,555 4 0.05 1.08 0.57 4.32
Lifetime 158,547 58 0.04 0.76 0.28 44.32
             

 So, I’m going to try the “thrillers” crowd for the last day of my ad campaign. The ad will still give the title with my name and the cover shot. But I changed the rest of the text to read a snippet of the ForeWord Clarion Review, “Action and heroism keep readers turning pages. A nicely crafted thriller.” – ForeWord Clarion Review  There are 20,640 folks on Facebook who identify with the “thrillers” interest group. Let’s hope the waters are kind tomorrow and the fishing is good.

 Creating a Facebook invite for the Lewisville Borders signing

 I mentioned in a previous post that I’m flying blind as far as how well this Facebook campaign is working because beyond the number of folks who clicked on my ad to go to my website, there’s no way to know what they did from there. I installed the Google Analytics code into my website’s html programming, but I don’t think I did it right because all my numbers are at zero so far. I’ve got Go Daddy as my web host, so I’ll have to park my butt in my chair and do a little research with the Go Daddy peeps over this fourth of July weekend to see if I can track customers. I guess I’ll just light a sparkler next to my computer for my own private fireworks show. Sweet!

 One thing that I can track in real time is a Facebook invite ad that I created for my book signing next weekend at the Lewisville Borders store. I scheduled the ad to run all next week, same parameters (cost per click option at $.58, $20 a day is my budget) as my other ad. The interest group is everyone 18 and older in a 10-mile radius around Lewisville, Texas. That equates to 3,240 people. So, we’ll see what happens.

 The world’s China Bet and how it relates to The Brink 

 While my new novel, The Brink, is a political thriller that centers on an imagined (maybe or maybe not??) global conspiracy, a huge part of that conspiracy lies within our very fragile international financial system. Here’s tonight’s post from The Baseline Scenario, a great financial blog that serves as a lighthouse in the turbid sea that is the global economy. It highlights the real-world problem with America, and the world, betting on China, something that allows the conspirators to see their plan finally come to fruition in The Brink.  

 Reminders – get the blog emailed to you and taking July 4th off

Last night, I added an option if you want this blog emailed directly to you. If so, please look in the right hand column and submit your email.  

And speaking of the holiday (I know we didn’t but it makes for a good segue), let’s all take it off and enjoy it with the real flesh and blood people in our lives. My next post will be on Tuesday, July 6, 2010.  Happy and safe Fourth of July!

The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to book marketing

June 30, 2010

 It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that we become a part of our readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the book marketing madness continue…

 Day 17 of 365

 In this issue:

  • MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #3 of 5
  • Getting ready for Stop #3 on the book tour – the store visit
  • Get The Nightstand Diaries emailed directly to you!

 MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #3 of 5

 I’m doing a 5 day Facebook ad campaign. I started with an ad that read “The Brink by Mark Fadden. Uncover the most staggering conspiracy of our time and discover an electrifying new voice in suspense fiction.” There was also a cover pic. I set my budget at $20 day and chose the Cost Per Click (CPC) option and sent it out to the “Political thriller” interest group, which there were around 1,200 on Facebook. With that ad, I had 15 clicks out of 19,858 impressions, which translates into a Click through rate (CTR) of .08%. So I chanTime to change the ad! I changed it to read “The Brink by Mark Fadden. Uncover the most staggering conspiracy of our time. “A masterful storyteller” – Writer’s Digest. Here’s a screenshot of the ad in the right hand column:

 

I also changed the interest group to ‘author James Patterson’ rather than ‘political thrillers.’ Here are the new numbers:

Date Imp. Clicks CTR (%) Avg. CPC ($) Avg. CPM ($) Spent ($)
06/30/2010 94,052 25 0.03 0.80 0.21 20.00
06/29/2010 54,210 29 0.05 0.69 0.37 20.00
06/28/2010 7,555 4 0.05 1.08 0.57 4.32
Lifetime 155,817 58 0.04 0.76 0.28 44.32

 As you can see, the Click through rate (CTR) is still pretty low, but that’s to be expected. I’m now going to change the interest group to “Conspiracy Theory”, which there are 16,280 people and see what happens.

 I’ve also signed up for Google Analytics of my website. It’s relatively simple to navigate through the process and, most important, its free. Hopefully, it will tell me where my website visitors are coming from and, more importantly, if they are buying a book so I can see if the Facebook campaign is worth it.

 With Facebook ads, it seems that people either love them or hate them. They either work really well or not at all. Again, if you want another in-depth story of doing Facebook ads, here’s a great account of another first time Facebook advertiser: “My First FaceBook Ad Campaign: The Good, Bad, & The Ugly.”

Getting ready for Stop #3 on the book tour – the store visit

Man, do I love Borders. I hope they don’t close their doors like this story on MSN.com says they will.

Anyway, I took my two posters…

 

 flyers and bookmarks by the store today. They had 40 copies of the book ready to go for the July 10 signing, so I signed a few in case they had some folks in who wanted a signed copy but couldn’t make the signing (always carry a black Sharpie marker, like a college freshman with a condom, except you’ll actually use the Sharpie.)

 I got an email from the store manager later saying because I gave them all that loot, he’s going to make a special end-cap display to help with in-store promotions. Viva La Borders!

Get The Nightstand Diaries emailed directly to you!

 Lastly, I added an option if you want this blog emailed directly to you. If so, please look in the right hand column and submit your email. Hopefully, you’ll start getting it emailed to you tomorrow, if I don’t jack something up, or I’ve had a beer or two to kick off the holiday weekend early.

The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to book marketing

 June 29, 2010

 It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that we become a part of our readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the book marketing madness continue…

 Day 16 of 365

 In this issue:

  • MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #2
  • Getting ready for Stop #3 on the book tour

  MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #2

 With the month of June coming to a close, thus ends my stint on the barnesandnoble.com Rising Star award winner page. The buyers at B and N use the results to see what books they will give store book shelf space to, what I like to call “the most expensive real estate in the world.”

 Therefore, as a last ditch effort to pump up my numbers, I am doing a 5 day Facebook ad campaign. Yesterday, my ad read “The Brink by Mark Fadden. Uncover the most staggering conspiracy of our time and discover an electrifying new voice in suspense fiction.” There was also a cover pic. I set my budget at $20 day and chose the Cost Per Click (CPC) option. I only pay when someone clicks on my ad. With that ad, I had 15 clicks out of 19,858 impressions, which translates into a Click through rate (CTR) of .08%. Time to change the ad! I changed it to read “The Brink by Mark Fadden. Uncover the most staggering conspiracy of our time. “A masterful storyteller” – Writer’s Digest and I selected people interested in ‘author James Patterson’ rather than ‘political thrillers.’ Hope my CTR will rise. Stay tuned.  

 I checked in with my publisher, iUniverse, to see if there’s a way to see in real time if the ad led to more people buying the book online, but there’s no way to do that. In fact, I won’t know any sales #s until the end of July due to paperwork processing times. Holy $#(%$#  *&#!!!!

 With Facebook ads, it seems that people either love them or hate them. They either work really well or not at all. Again, if you want another in-depth story of doing Facebook ads, here’s a great account of another first time Facebook advertiser: “My First FaceBook Ad Campaign: The Good, Bad, & The Ugly.”

 Getting ready for Stop #3 on the book tour

 With a little less than 2 weeks to go before my 3rd signing event at the Lewisville, Texas Borders bookstore, here’s what I did today to get ready for  it:

  1. News release (please see below) sent to the following: Dallasnews.com (Dallas Morning News online portal) Guidelive and metro desk, Lewisville Leader , www.hellolewisville.com
  2. Okayed postcard invitation proofs (to be sent to Lewisville City Council) and picked up signing posters at my local FedEx Office. They’re fast, open late, and super nice staff.  That place rocks! 
  3. Contacted Lewisville Chamber of Commerce about putting news release in their weekly enewsletter.
  4. Contacted Lewisville book club members. 2 groups have Facebook pages!
  5. sent email to Friends of Lewisville Library & Lewisville library staff members inviting them to the signing
  6. sent event info to Dallas Observer through their event posting site.
  7. sent Greater Lewisville Newcomers Club an email about the event. Why? I saw on their site that they sponsor a book club.

 Kenny Green, the Lewisville Borders Sales Manager, said the 40 books he ordered are already in, so I’ll see if I can drop by tomorrow with posters, flyers, bookmarks, and see if I can sign some books to maybe do a little pre-sales.

The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to book marketing

June 28, 2010

It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that we become a part of our readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the book marketing madness continue…

Day 15 of 365

In this issue:

  • Have you created your Google Profile yet? Get on it!
  • The Brink is now out in eBook! Where oh where to market the eBooks???
  • MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #1

 Have you created your Google Profile yet? Get on it!

 So without little or no money, how do you get people to find you online? Participate in the discussion. The internet is all about content, and content doesn’t always have to be news releases and email marketing campaigns. Sometimes, you gotta just be there for other people. Once again, I turn to David Meerman Scott and his advice from The New Rules of Marketing and PR. From page 65, “One of the currencies of social media is that when you participate, people find out who you are. When you leave a comment on someone else’s blog post, you can link to your profile on the Web. All blogging tools have a place where you can leave a virtual calling card, your own web URL where people who read your comment can find out who you are and perhaps contact you.” He goes on to suggest that the best “virtual calling card” is to create a Google Profile and then use that as the URL for people to go to when you are commenting on other people’s blogs. Best of all, it’s free.

 I made the mistake, like many writers do, of going into sites like GoodReads.com and amazon’s book club sites and in the “looking for a great thriller” forum, just typing in “hey, if you want a great thriller, check out my new book, The Brink.” That’s like shouting what you do for a living at the top of your lungs at a cocktail party. Major faux pas. Anyway, now I know better. I’m going to start going onto other writer’s blogs this weekend and join the conversation with my Google profile as my URL. I just hope they like me….I mean, I really, really hope they like me!

 The Brink is now out in eBook! Where oh where to market the eBooks???

 The Brink is now out in eBook for the Kindle and the Nook. While that’s awesome, how do we writers find people that actually have eReaders? I’ve yet to see them at my gym or on airplanes. After my current Facebook ad campaign is over (more on that in a minute) I’ll do one just for ebook readers and see how it goes. In the meantime, I went online and Googled in “ebook marketing” and the best hits I got were “start your home-based business making $300k a month by writing a real estate buying eBook” and “money-making super secrets” where you write an eBook to attract people to invest in your Nigerian black money-type scam.  Oy vey! I just tried to set up a Facebook ad and when I used “eBook” as the criteria by which the ad will be sent out, there are only 620 people out of the 113 million above 18 years old on Facebook who are interested in eBooks. Rat farts! Back to the drawing board.  Any suggestion from y’all would be awesome.

 MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #1

 With the month of June coming to a close, thus ends my stint on the barnesandnoble.com Rising Star award winner page. The buyers at B and N use the results to see what books they will give store book shelf space to, what I like to call “the most expensive real estate in the world.”

 Therefore, as a last ditch effort to pump up my numbers, I am doing a 5 day Facebook ad campaign. I don’t know how familiar you are with them, but I knew nothing about them before I created my ad yesterday. It’s a simple process to walk through it. My ad reads “The Brink by Mark Fadden. Uncover the most staggering conspiracy of our time and discover an electrifying new voice in suspense fiction.” Once someone clicks on it, they are sent to my website. I set my budget at $20 a day and chose the Cost Per Click (CPC) option. I only pay when someone clicks on my ad. What I pay is a rate that I bid on, which was kind of confusing at first. I chose $.50 per click at first where the suggested rate was between $1.10 and 1.63. For the first half of today, I has something like 5 impressions, which meant my ad only went out 5 times. So I changed click bid to $1.15 and damn if the numbers didn’t jump up! Currently, Facebook has run the ad 6,301 times and I’ve had 3 clicks. Not exactly setting the world on fire, but I’ll reassess the ad tomorrow and make edits if necessary. In the meantime, here’s a great account of another first time Facebook advertiser: “My First FaceBook Ad Campaign: The Good, Bad, & The Ugly.”

The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to book marketing

June 27, 2010

The Nightstand Diaries1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to book marketing

It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that we become a part of our readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the book marketing madness continue…

Day 12 of 365

In this Weekend Edition issue:

  • Is the Internet Destroying Our Brains? Novels to the Rescue?
  • The real story behind The Brink’s villainous Group – video
  • Local news is more than just the community newspaper

Is the Internet Destroying Our Brains? Novels to the Rescue?

If you believe this NYTimes article, then yes, it is. The Internet is sucking dry our creative juices and, um….what’s the word I’m looking for….something bad about what it’s doing to our ability to focus and concen….look out the window! A squirrel on the fence!

Where was I?  Oh yeah, here’s the link to the GOOD blog: http://www.good.is/post/is-the-internet-destroying-your-brain-try-this-test/?gt1=48001 It includes a test you can take to see just how much the Internet has sucked your brain’s abilities out through your eyeballs.

So how does reading novels help to counteract this phenomenon? Here’s a blurb from an article on what Dr. Brian E. Walsh explains in his book Unleashing Your Brilliance, what reading fiction does in terms of mental stimulation:

Walsh says that mental stimulations make brain cells generate new extensions, resulting in richer information processing. He explains, “Reading fiction, especially ranging across authors, pushes our boundaries as we vicariously experience fresh scenarios and identify with the characters. No wonder they call them novels.” Forcing us to create the scenes, the look of the characters, the smells, and the sounds, and prodding our emotions, reading fiction stimulates all of our senses and tweaks our brain. Reading does this so much more than does simply watching someone else’s interpretation on film or in a play.”

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/self-help-articles/reading-fiction-how-it-enriches-brain-functioning-37992.html#ixzz0s66D7f2F
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Who would have thought that we writers could save the world!

 The real story behind The Brink’s villainous Group – video

 In The Brink, the ruthless organization referred to as “The Group” is based upon a real life secret society that is made up of some of the world’s most powerful politicians, international financiers, and monarchs known as the Bilderberg Group. Some journalists and conspiracy theorists say they are the ones secretly running the world’s economies and determining our collective destiny. They get that name because they supposedly first met in 1954 at the Hotel Bilderberg in The Netherlands. Whether this group is real or not is still up to for much debate. Watch this video and decide for yourself:

Local news is more than just the community newspaper

As David Meerman Scott advises in his social media bible, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, we should be issuing news releases all the time. When doing so, you’ll want to focus much of your effort on the local news outlets, since local media likes to do stories on local people and events. In your hunt for these outlets, you will probably come across your local TV stations and newspapers, but there is a whole other faction of news outlets you need to remember: bloggers and websites devoted to your community.

Case in point is www.ourgreatcity.com. Mark Harrison of OurGreatCity.com not only posted the news release I sent him before my book signing at my local Borders store, he came out and took pictures for the website and turned it into a second awesome news release! So when you’re sending out news releases, don’t forget to do a search for bloggers in your area and other folks that run community websites. As social media only gets bigger, more and more people turn to sites and blogs to stay connected to their communities, and find local events like book signings!