One Simple Step to help you Write and Market your Novel

WritingFictionforDummies

There is one thing you can do that will give you help in the process of writing your novel, helping you keep on track and not meander off into tangents. This same thing will also provide you with the best book marketing tool you could hope for— one that will help you and your readers get others interested in your book. And it will take you about an hour of your time.

This magic writer’s tool is a simple thing called a storyline— a one-sentence summary of your novel. Like this one: “A girl telepath in 1869 Texas must fight like a man to protect the survivors of a crashed alien spaceship.” This is the storyline of my current WIP, Sky Machine over Texas.  (Yes, it’s a Western with aliens and a spaceship in it.)

This storyline is meant to arouse the curiosity of potential readers, and warn people that hate Westerns and science fiction and girl heroes and telepaths that this is not for them.

Here’s another storyline. “A rogue physicist travels back in time to kill the Apostle Paul.” This storyline is from the novel Transgression, written by Randy Ingermanson, who also wrote the storyline.

Writing a storyline is step one in the Snowflake method of novel writing. You can read about the Snowflake method here: http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/  or you can buy the book above, Writing Fiction for Dummies, which provides information on the method.

How does a storyline help you? As you write, the storyline will help you decide which potential scenes are a part of the story, and which are not. (The second Snowflake step, the 3-Act Structure of your novel, also can keep you from wandering off and writing scenes that don’t help your story and will have to be removed in revision.) Having a storyline helps, because writing it will help you understand what the story is about.

The storyline is also your most essential marketing tool. You have to learn to rattle it off along with your book title. (“Sky Machine over Texas? It’s about a girl telepath in 1869 Texas who has to fight like a man to protect the survivors of a crashed alien spaceship.”) It’s the answer to the question “What is your book about?” Don’t mention your book without it.

Most authors don’t write storylines. If they are traditionally published authors, maybe someone from the publisher will write a good storyline for them. Most likely, they will write a bad or misleading storyline, or each person working for the publisher will make up a bad storyline of their own. If the author provides his own good storyline, all of these people will use that, instead.

Indie and small press authors have even more reason to write their own storyline. It’s great to use it in your back cover blurb, because then your most enthusiastic fans will use your storyline when they tell all their friends what a great book it is and why they must buy it and read it at once.

Some of the rules of the storyline— it’s best to be shorter and simpler. You usually only need mention one or two characters. The part of the plot that you reveal should be an important or central one. Don’t mention characters by name (unless they are the Apostle Paul, who’s kind of famous), use a description— ‘a rogue physicist’, ‘a girl telepath.’

If you are a writer, have you written a storyline for any of your books? Please share it in a comment, and include a link to where one can buy the book in question. (No more than one link per comment, besides the link-back to your blog, but include all the storylines you want, it will help other blog readers learn how to write storylines.)

 

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How to detox after a carb-eating binge

atkins-diet-revolution-1972One of the things most people don’t know when they start a ketogenic or low-carb diet is that you have to STAY on it. The diet changes over your metabolism so you are burning fat rather than glucose. When you overindulge in foods not on your diet— even when quantities are small— it has a big effect.

Why? Because you have changed your metabolism back, and you will have carb-cravings until you change it back. You will start experiencing hunger. After being on keto and never feeling hunger, that will be hard. And you will have a bunch of symptoms because of your indulgence— a carb-eating hangover.

I ate carbs for some days because of my niece’s wedding (and other stresses), and now it’s time for me to detox. I looked up some info on how to do it, and here is my plan. I hope it will help others.

  • Drink lots of water. If your tap water tastes bad and filters don’t help, try drinking cups of plain hot tea. I mean real tea, like Lipton, not tea with flavorings, herb ‘tea’, pre-sugared tea mix. Black, green and white tea are OK. My favorite is Prince of Peace brand pu-erh tea.
  • DON’T drink juices or fruit smoothies. These items are full of ‘natural’ sugars, and they are just as bad for you as eating white sugar out of the bag.
  • Go back to an Induction level low-carb plan as in the Atkins diet books, where you cannot have fruit, nuts, nut flours or other more carby foods.
  • Don’t eat all the veggies allowed on Atkins Induction while you are detoxing. Pick veggies like spinach or broccoli, raw or cooked plain. I’m planning to use wild greens like dandelions for my greens allowance.
  • Eat enough fat. Perhaps try some of the recipes in Dana Carpender’s Fat Fast cookbook— but don’t limit your portions as in the Fat Fast (temporary) diet. You have to get back on your regular keto first.
  • Expect to feel bad, or to have food cravings.
  • Don’t exercise if you are feeling symptoms, or do mild exercise like taking a walk.
  • A lot of things I have read say not to feel guilty over your carb binge. I disagree. If you KNOW keto works for you and is healthy for you, and you have an unplanned carb binge anyway, you made a mistake and you hurt your health and you should have a little guilt in there because of it. A little guilt can keep us from making the same mistakes over again.
  • Make plans to avoid future carb binges— perhaps bringing some foods with you when you travel. Now, you CAN plan to eat some carb food you used to love on certain special occasions, but you have to have a plan or it will turn into a week-long or month-long carb binge.

In conclusion— while a carb binge can be bad, all you have to do is get busy detoxing and you will recover. Your keto diet is not doomed by your carb binge. Hey, if I can (mostly) stick to it, anyone can.

How to please the 2 main reader types on your FB author page

facebook-like-iconBig ‘news’ today about Facebook— it is leftist and doesn’t give a fair shake to conservative news stories on its ‘trending’ feature. I think that all conservative Facebook users other than a few people’s great-grandmothers knew that. But— back to our series about improving your Facebook author page.

To write posts that please your readers, you have to understand what kind of people are clicking ‘like’ on your author page. The two major groups are these:

  • People who have read one of your books and sought out your author page to find out more about you. These fans are your true fans— they really like one of your books and probably will buy another book from you.
  • Other authors with fan pages who ‘like’ your page because you are an author, too, and they want to network with you, or get you to ‘like’ their page, or get you to share some of the stories in their feed. And, oh, buy their books.

The first group is going to be easy to please so long as you keep writing books and giving them information on your upcoming books that other fans might not know. They want to feel that THEY are your friends, in an internet sort of way, and the best way to keep these fans buying your books is to treat them like friends.

The second group is more of a hard-sell. They are not interested in YOU or YOUR BOOK, they want to get you interested in buying their book. You have to win them over into being interested in your book. How?

First, ‘like’ all those author pages right back, with your personal account, ‘liking’ as your author page, or both. Then, check your news feed and when those authors have posted things about their writing life, post a short comment or at least click ‘like.’ Just doing that once to twice a month for each author actively posting on their author page can get you some attention.

Next, if one of these authors has really BIG news about their writing, particularly a new book coming out, consider sharing that big news on your own author page. DON’T do this at the peak time for your own original author page posts— you don’t want to compete with those posts that are most important on your page.

Instead, schedule the someone-else’s-news shares for a couple hours after your peak time. You can get in the habit of posting regularly at that time as well, sharing other author’s news or writing about what books you are reading.

Third, make sure your major posts— the ones aimed at your true fans— regularly give information about on what genre you write and what your books are about. Instead of saying ‘Bell Tower’ got several new reviews, say ‘my murder mystery ‘Bell Tower’, or perhaps give your book’s storyline (One sentence summary. ‘My book Bell Tower, a story about a ballroom-dancing hunchback who is framed for the murder of a mime, got several new reviews today.

So many writers don’t do this, they use their book title as if everyone knows about that book. Bad move. Most people don’t, and some of the ones that do may forget. To win new readers, you need to keep that basic information out there.

If you still aren’t getting attention from any of your fellow authors, go nuclear. Read their books. Many authors frequently announce on their author page when a book of theirs is temporarily free in ebook form. When such an announcement is made, and the book is in a genre you are willing to read, download it, read the first chapter, and then, as a comment on the post when the author announced the free ebook thing, announce that you downloaded it, read the first chapter, and say something positive about it.

Since many of the authors who read your page are indie or small press authors concerned about their book sales, you will have won a friend, especially if you write a review on Amazon.com promptly after finishing.

The preceding seems like you will be spending more effort winning over other authors with Facebook pages than with pleasing your true fans. Effort-wise, that may be true, but your author page should look as if your main focus is pleasing the true fans. Because they are what your writing life is all about.


Stuff I read online:

Lifezette: Trump v. Clinton … and Bush by Laura Ingraham
Dave Dubrow: SJWs and Content Creators: Ideological Purity Required
GirlZombieAuthors: Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, The Reward

Get more visitors to your Facebook author page

facebook-like-iconSo, you have a Facebook author page. Your next task is to set about getting some visitors. Here are some ways to get started doing that.

  1.  Add original, quality wall posts daily/Mon-Fri. Original means stuff you wrote yourself, not shares of things from other people’s Facebook page. Quality? At minimum it should be correctly spelled, grammatical and understandable. Your blog posts, syndicated to your Facebook page, count. Other people’s blogs, memes, updates generally do not.
  2. If visitors comment, interact with them— comment back, at least with an emoticon or LOL, and ‘like.’ You want visitors to your page to feel like you are their friend.
  3. ‘Like’ other authors’ Facebook author pages AS YOUR PAGE. From time to time, share some of these pages on your wall with a comment or two about the author. You can also share them on Twitter. I have a list of FB author pages that you can use to get started. https://myantimatterlife.wordpress.com/facebook-author-pages/ More FB author pages will be added in time, so keep checking back.
  4. Interact with the Facebook author pages you have liked regularly. You can find the pages feed for your FB author page on the left side of the page under your profile pic, where it says ‘See Pages Feed.’ Read some of the pages, ‘like’ stuff, comment on stuff. Don’t overdo it by commenting on one page all the time, spread the love around.
  5. ‘Like’ and interact with other FB pages that relate to your genre, category or ‘brand.’ For example, a zombie fiction author might ‘like’ a few of the more active The Walking Dead fan pages, and interact there. If your fiction has a lot of conservative/libertarian political content, find a couple of related political FB pages and post some pithy comments there from time to time.
  6. Join some good FB writing groups. After you have interacted for a while, ask for the links to others’ FB author pages, suggesting that members can all ‘like’ one another’s pages. Be sure you do this on a day that you can keep checking back with the group so you can keep ‘liking’ pages.
  7. Be sure and ask your friends and family to ‘like’ your FB author page. That’s usually good for a few new ‘likes.’
  8. Be patient. Post original, quality content every day for a week and you may feel like no one notices. Do it for a month and your page may feel a little more interactive. Do it for a year, and who knows what might happen?

Don’t miss the next post in the series, ‘like’ my Facebook author page and be kept up-to-date. https://www.facebook.com/nissalovescats/

Lesser of Two Evils; Celebrate

Bernie-Sanders-Called-Communist-by-New-York-PostSome people are fussing ‘why do we always have to vote for the lesser of two evils?’ Well, Romans 3:23. (For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.) If there is a candidate out there that you think isn’t an ‘evil’, maybe you just don’t know enough about him yet.

Then there is this: the ‘evil’ side of candidates is newsworthy. If a candidate says something the news guys think will get that candidate in Big Trouble, that is Big News and the news guys will cover it to death. If a candidate does something nice or kind or humane— media silence. Not news worthy. So by the time we get from the primaries to the general election, any candidate left standing is a greater or lesser evil.

We need to grow up and realize that no candidate is perfect. Moreover, no candidate can deliver on promises that don’t make sense (free college for all.) More voters need to educate themselves instead of relying on the media to propagandize them, and find a candidate and a party platform they can get behind based on issues, not media hype.


Celebrate blog hopCelebrate the Small Stuff: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2015/01/celebrate-small-things.html

Today I’m celebrating doing the A to Z challenge last month. I didn’t post every day, but I posted a number of days and mostly stuck to my topic, zombie apocalypse. I got some good comments, even though I was taken off the blogroll for no reason I could figure out. And I’m blogging more as a result. This month, I chose 3 topics with the intent of rotating through those topics over the course of the month. Will I get blog readers? I don’t know. But at least I’ll be blogging.


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 ĉar ĉiuj pekis kaj maltrafis la gloron de Dio;

Hints:

gloro = glory
pekis = sinned
ĉar = because

Steve McQueen: Wanted Dead or Alive

WantedDeadorAliveOn the Encore Westerns channel one of the best series they are currently running is Wanted Dead or Alive starring Steve McQueen. McQueen is a particular favorite of mine, I have watched him in The Great Escape over and over again. I particularly love to watch the motorcycle chase scenes, having heard that McQueen put on a Nazi costume and did at least some of the shots of the Nazi chasing him.

No motorcycles on Wanted Dead or Alive, though. Just a horse named Ringo and a Winchester model 1892 cut-down carbine that’s a bit peculiar in a series set in the 1870s.

McQueen plays bounty hunter Josh Randall in the series. Most bounty hunters are unsavory characters, but Josh isn’t like that, frequently giving all or part of his bounty money to someone in need, or finding missing husbands, sons or fathers, once a missing pet sheep.

McQueen had to stage a car accident to get time off from the series to film The Magnificent Seven. They weren’t so accommodating to actors back then.

If you enjoy Westerns, or you just want some high quality, non-obscene television to share with the kids or grandkids, this is a good show to try. It’s also available on DVD.

This Obama Darkness

Barack-Obama-in-The-Lying-King--110199Of the many things Barack Obama has done to hurt the poor, perhaps the worst was his lightbulb decree banning the incandescent light bulb. He did that to fight ‘global warming.’ But even if the global warming hoax were less fictional, no one believes that taking incandescent light bulbs away is going to fix anything.

When the light bulb ban hit, better off people just went out and bought the new bulbs, along with new lamps and the installation of new light fixtures as needed.

But poor folks like me are apt to hang on to old lamps their parents owned long into their own middle ages. They likely live in older houses with weird old light fixtures that date from the 1960s— or the 1930s. These lamps and fixtures were not built for new twisty fluorescent light bulbs. They may not fit, or they may burn out in a scary way after a week or service. And so the poor are left in…. This Obama Darkness.

Another little thing about the light bulb ban. I used to have a rather expensive baby chick brooder— a device to keep baby chickens warm and alive after they hatch, until they get big enough to handle cooler temps without a mama hen to warm them. My chick brooder was heated by light bulbs. So THAT item went into the garbage. And I have to use expensive heat lamps bulbs— which keep the chicks TOO warm. Now, I used heat lamps before, but to keep the chicks at the right temp and save money, I used to switch to 100 watt incandescent bulbs after 2 weeks. Now I have to keep the energy-consuming heat lamp bulbs going a few weeks extra. Thanks to Obama and his partisan nonsense.



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[Jesuo diras] Mi estas la bona paŝtisto.

Hints:
diras = says
mi = I, me
paŝtisto = herdsman, shepherd