Posts from the ‘Writing Tips’ Category

#AuthorToolboxLinky

I recently read this book that I think both fiction and nonfiction writers will benefit by putting it on your reading list. Authors are storytellers. They reveal their soul to the world, whether that be creating fiction or talking about elements of the real world.

Here is my review of this thought-provoking book.

GETTING YOUR STORY OUT TO THE WORLD

THE STORY ADVANTAGE

Written by L J Bloom

If you want to effectively transmit your story to the world, this book will give you the tools to not only write but promote your story to your ideal audience. Nonfiction as well as fiction writers will find it useful.

Bloom begins by reminding us about the origin of storytelling, how the art has evolved over time, and the way stories need to be communicated in today’s world. The key to success is to make your story relevant to the type of audience who will benefit and relate to it. Bloom then explores the reasons we tell stories, and the many diverse types of stories that can be told.

The second part of the book gets into the nitty gritty of how to craft your story. That involves becoming clear about your audience and becoming clear about your message. Next, authors must find a way to make it pertinent to their audience. How can you make your message useful to them? A key ingredient is to get your readers emotionally involved in the story.

The last part of the book is the actual telling of the story. How does the storyteller use body language, voice, physical setting, and firsthand experiences to transmit the story in a memorable way to the listener? Only after accomplishing all these tasks will an author be able to successfully engage, inspire and influence her audience.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

Check out my learning resources for parents, teachers, and children at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

#MIGHTIERTHANTHESWORDBOOKS GIVEAWAY AND BOOK REVIEWS

Awareness tour in partnership with The Children’s Book Review, Drew Callander, and Alana Harrison

GIVEAWAY

Click on the link below to enter

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282196/

Enter for a chance to win a Mightier Than the Sword prize pack!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

Three (3) winners receive:

Five (5) winners receive:

The giveaway begins November 16, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends December 16, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Alana Harrison and Drew Callander have spent their lives telling stories and cracking jokes. Alana graduated from The College of William and Mary with a degree in Comedic Writing and Performance. Drew graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Fiction Writing. Together they have created cartoons and short films with Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien, John Oliver, and Kristen Schaal. Their work as writers and improv comedians has aired on Sirius XM Radio, NBC, and Comedy Central. Mightier Than the Sword is their first book series. They live with their two kids and one exquisitely talented cat (none of whom help with the dishes).

ABOUT THE IllUSTRATOR

Ryan Andrews lives in the Japanese countryside, with his wife, two kids, and their dog, Lucky. A friendly Kodama or two have been known to take up residence in the giant acorn tree that shades the house. Ryan often works at his drawing desk in the early-morning hours, to the sound of rummaging wild boar and badgers, who come from the surrounding forest seeking out shiitake mushrooms and fallen chestnuts.

OFFICIAL LINKS

https://www.mightierthantheswordbooks.com.

In my blog post on November 18, 2020, I reviewed Mightier Than The Sword Book 1

Today, I am reviewing Book 2, Mightier Than The Sword: The Edge of the Word

In this exciting sequel to Book One of the middle-grade chapter series, once again the reader is a superhero who holds the fate of the fictional land of Astorya in your hands.

At the end of the first book in the series, you rescued Prince S from the evil Queen Rulette and wrote your way out of trouble time and time again. Now you are determined to protect your fictional friends by hiding the Original Story that created the kingdom. You volunteer to accompany Prince S on his journey to the evil dark side where all sorts of villains await.

The reader will need to assist and hold on to these precious memories. Together with the Prince, you will encounter gargoyles, monsters, deadly ooze, an Ice Dragon, wrestlers, and fiery lava. The sights and sounds that assault you threaten your resolve. It will be difficult to prevent surrendering to your darker side.

Can you succeed in your mission? What may you lose in the process? Readers will sharpen writing skills by participating and creating the story, learn lots of new vocabulary, develop puzzle skills, and learn a bit of French. Buckle your seatbelt and get ready for the journey of your life.

TOUR SCHEDULE

November 16The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Book List
November 17Lisa’s Readinghttps://lisasreading.comBook Review: Book One
November 18Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttps://bamauthor.meBook Review: Book One
November 19Fairview Elementary School (Library)https://fveslibrary.blogspot.com/Book Review: One and Two
November 20Satisfaction for Insatiable Readershttps://insatiablereaders.blogspot.comBook Review: One and Two
November 23Some the Wiserhttps://somethewiser.comBook List
November 24ShootingStarsMaghttps://shootingstarsmag.net/Book List
November 25icefairy’s Treasure Chesthttp://icefairystreasurechest.blogspot.com/Book Review: One and Two
November 26THANKSGIVING
November 27Word Spelunkinghttp://wordspelunking.blogspot.com/Book Review: One and Two
November 30Glass of Wine, Glass of Milkhttp://glassofwineglassofmilk.blogspot.com/Book Review: Book One
December 1Glass of Wine, Glass of Milkhttp://glassofwineglassofmilk.blogspot.com/Book Review: Book Two
December 2Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttps://bamauthor.meBook Review: Book Two
December 3Jrsbookreviewshttps://jrsbookreviews.wordpress.com/Book Review: Book One
December 4Library Lady’s Kid Lithttps://janemouttet.wordpress.com/Book Review: One and Two
December 7Some the Wiserhttps://somethewiser.comBook Review: Book Two
December 8Jrsbookreviewshttps://jrsbookreviews.wordpress.com/Book Review: Book Two
December 9ShootingStarsMaghttps://shootingstarsmag.net/Book Review: Book Two
December 10Lisa’s Readinghttps://lisasreading.comBook Review: Book Two
December 11Life Is What It’s Calledlifeiswhatitscalled.blogspot.comBook Review: One and Two
December 14The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Book Review: Book Two

#MIGHTIERTHANTHESWORDBOOKS GIVEAWAY AND BOOK REVIEWS

Awareness tour in partnership with The Children’s Book Review, Drew Callander, and Alana Harrison

GIVEAWAY

Click on the link below to enter

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282196/

Enter for a chance to win a Mightier Than the Sword prize pack!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

Three (3) winners receive:

Five (5) winners receive:

The giveaway begins November 16, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends December 16, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

ABOUT THE BOOKS

Mightier Than the Sword

Written by Drew Callander and Alana Harrison

Illustrated by Ryan Andrews (and YOU!)

Publisher’s Synopsis: Wildly funny and inventive, this interactive book pulls you, the reader, into the action. Yes, YOU!

You wake up in the fictional land of Astorya, where stories from our world come to life. You’re a real human being (we assume), and in this fictional world, that makes you a superhero. Armed with your trusty pencil, you have the power to create: what you write, draw, or scribble in the book becomes part of the story!

Only you can rescue Prince S. from the evil Queen Rulette. Aided by the Couriers–a French stoat with dangerous dance moves, a giant dung beetle, a fire ninja, a Pegasus-centaur-cowgirl and a super-intelligent femalien chameleon—you must write, draw, and puzzle your way through a hilarious adventure and prove that the pencil is mightier than the sword.

Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Penguin Workshop | ISBN-13: 978-0593093641

Buy on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JWho9D

Buy on Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9780593093641

My Review of the Book

COME PLAY WITH ME

MIGHTIER Than The SWORD

Written by Drew Callander & Alana Harrison

Illustrated by Ryan Andrews AND YOU

When the authors tell the reader that this book is like no other in the first sentence, they are not exaggerating. This interactive book places the reader in the driver’s seat; the only requirements are a pencil and an active imagination.

You, as the reader, become the protagonist. You wake up on a beach with no memory of who you are. Next, you find a piece of paper with a message from Prince S., pleading to be rescued. Then you discover a pencil in your pocket.

In this strange world pizzas fly around the sky, trees talk, and you meet a tiny rodent called a stoat named Manteau who speaks French. You find out that you are in the land of Astorya, where everything is a story.  The stoat tells you that you must travel to rescue the prince. Along the way to the Fuschia Purple Palace where he is held captive, you will be chased by Rubots, Ninjas, bandits, meet pirates, and work your way through the land of Doodles.

You will be required to use that pencil to write your story. Readers are encouraged to fill in the blanks of scripts written inside this book. As a bonus, young readers can expand their vocabulary and creative writing skills. Andrews helps you to visualize the imaginary characters through his black and white illustrations.

I promise you an exciting journey with lots of twists and turns and a surprise ending. Attention readers ages eight though twelve, buckle your seat belts and sign up for the journey.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Alana Harrison and Drew Callander have spent their lives telling stories and cracking jokes. Alana graduated from The College of William and Mary with a degree in Comedic Writing and Performance. Drew graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Fiction Writing. Together they have created cartoons and short films with Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien, John Oliver, and Kristen Schaal. Their work as writers and improv comedians has aired on Sirius XM Radio, NBC, and Comedy Central. Mightier Than the Sword is their first book series. They live with their two kids and one exquisitely talented cat (none of whom help with the dishes).

ABOUT THE IllUSTRATOR

Ryan Andrews lives in the Japanese countryside, with his wife, two kids, and their dog, Lucky. A friendly Kodama or two have been known to take up residence in the giant acorn tree that shades the house. Ryan often works at his drawing desk in the early-morning hours, to the sound of rummaging wild boar and badgers, who come from the surrounding forest seeking out shiitake mushrooms and fallen chestnuts.

OFFICIAL LINKS

https://www.mightierthantheswordbooks.com.

TOUR SCHEDULE

November 16The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Book List
November 17Lisa’s Readinghttps://lisasreading.comBook Review: Book One
November 18Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttps://bamauthor.meBook Review: Book One
November 19Fairview Elementary School (Library)https://fveslibrary.blogspot.com/Book Review: One and Two
November 20Satisfaction for Insatiable Readershttps://insatiablereaders.blogspot.comBook Review: One and Two
November 23Some the Wiserhttps://somethewiser.comBook List
November 24ShootingStarsMaghttps://shootingstarsmag.net/Book List
November 25icefairy’s Treasure Chesthttp://icefairystreasurechest.blogspot.com/Book Review: One and Two
November 26THANKSGIVING
November 27Word Spelunkinghttp://wordspelunking.blogspot.com/Book Review: One and Two
November 30Glass of Wine, Glass of Milkhttp://glassofwineglassofmilk.blogspot.com/Book Review: Book One
December 1Glass of Wine, Glass of Milkhttp://glassofwineglassofmilk.blogspot.com/Book Review: Book Two
December 2Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttps://bamauthor.meBook Review: Book Two
December 3Jrsbookreviewshttps://jrsbookreviews.wordpress.com/Book Review: Book One
December 4Library Lady’s Kid Lithttps://janemouttet.wordpress.com/Book Review: One and Two
December 7Some the Wiserhttps://somethewiser.comBook Review: Book Two
December 8Jrsbookreviewshttps://jrsbookreviews.wordpress.com/Book Review: Book Two
December 9ShootingStarsMaghttps://shootingstarsmag.net/Book Review: Book Two
December 10Lisa’s Readinghttps://lisasreading.comBook Review: Book Two
December 11Life Is What It’s Calledlifeiswhatitscalled.blogspot.comBook Review: One and Two
December 14The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Book Review: Book Two

#AUTHORTOOLBOXLINKYBLOGHOP

Guerilla Publishing: a sleaze-free guide to publishing and marketing

Written by Derek Murphy

I have read quite a few books offering publishing advice to independent authors. This one filled in some of the blanks about my still unanswered questions.

Most new and independent authors worry incessantly about marketing and spend too much time on it. I will admit to being guilty on that count. Murphy believes authors should spend more of their time and resources writing. He believes the only two things an author should worry about are visibility and conversion. Getting your book in front of the right readers is more important than spinning your wheels using every available marketing tool available.

Before writing authors need to do preparation. Rather than write about what they want, do research, and find genres that will sell. Of course, one still needs to balance that with the need to enjoy writing in that area. Answering who, what, when and where to find your target readers and how to write the best story that appeals to their needs are the next steps.

Murphy discusses the kinds of errors authors make and how to fix them. Then he provides links to problem solve embedded in the text. This allows the reader to go straight to the source and find information about how to fix them. Practical advice on layout, formatting, book covers, and options for distribution are clearly presented. The necessary skills of locating the best keywords, categories, and book reviewers are explained and examples given. Finally, launching the book and getting the sales you need are handled, as well as editing and making changes.

There is a free download to a companion workbook to implement strategies and an invitation to join The Guerilla Publishing Facebook Group in which authors share problems and offer solutions to each other as they come across them.

I would highly recommend this book to fledgling authors as well as experienced authors. After seven years in publishing, I still have much to learn. This book will become part of my toolkit.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

Check out learning opportunities for the whole family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop – Simple, straightforward introduction

YouTube Video Marketing: Video Marketing Tips, Tricks And Strategies EXPOSED

Written by Lavorite Martin

This book is written in an easy, non-technical style. While certainly not intended for an expert in videography, this book is a good choice for beginners. Authors who want to explore using video clips in their marketing campaigns will find it a good introduction.

Martin begins with explaining the importance and techniques for identifying and zooming in on your ideal customer and target audience. This is crucial for success. The author also stresses the need to tie video marketing in with the rest of your social media platform. The section on the many types of videos will help the reader decide which is the right kind of approach to video marketing.

Success will rise or fall if you don’t have the right equipment. Martin gives suggestions. I learned a lot about which formatting is most effective and how to choose the right one in each situation. Finally, Martin explains how to optimize videos with calls to action, keywords, and tags. He tells the reader how to embed a video on various social media platforms.

I recommend this book as a handy reference tool and quick reminder for a marketer’s video needs.

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Do you ever feel stuck in rut? Want to find some fresh ideas?

Here are some things I do to get my juices flowing:

  • Invent a brand new character
  • Use the conditional term, What if? to create new possibilities and scenarios
  • Reimagine a character or a setting from a previous book or article and give it a new perspective.
  • Watch a movie, documentary or TV show that feature the genres in which you write.
  • Read books in many types of genres. Mix up the classics with new releases.
  • When reading periodicals, clip articles of interest and revisit them from time to time for new ideas.
  • Do the same with photos. You can put them into groups like travel, people or memorable events.
  • Eavesdrop wherever you go. Listen to what members of each generation are talking about on public transportation, at the park or on the street.
  • Hang out with people in different age groups. Learn about what generates their interest. Include these ideas when targeting that age group.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

#AuthorToolboxBlogHOP

For today’s linky, I would like to share my review of this quick read about working with an editor.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

How to Work with an Editor: A Guide for (Nervous) Authors

Written by Mark Dawson and Jennifer McIntyre

This book covers the basics. As the title implies, it is a good choice for new writers. Topics covered include who should seek an editor, the types of editing that may be needed, how to find an editor, what questions to ask, and how much one can expect to pay.

There is a section on frequently asked questions and several appendices that provide examples of pieces that were edited. I recommend the book as a quick read for writers who are looking for basic information without superfluous material.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

#VIRTUALREALITY #SECONDLIFE #CHILDRENBOOKAUTHORS

CHECK OUT OUR DISCUSSION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULT BOOK AUTHORS moderated by Draxtor Dupres

Nadine Kaadan

Margi Preus

Carole P. Roman

Barbara Ann Mojica aka LittleMissHISTORY

#CAN YOU SELL BOOKS DURING A PANDEMIC ?#AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Little Miss HISTORY holding some of her books,

Children’s book week is coming up the first week of May. This year I will be marketing online as schools are closed and the largest children’s book festival in my state has been canceled. No personal appearances in schools or book signings for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, here are a few ways authors can use their free time to help fellow authors.

I found this article on Book Marketing Buzz and would like to share it because its message is a positive one. There will be light at the end of the tunnel for all of us.

Many libraries, schools, and bookstores are closed. Amazon is behind in deliveries. Speaking appearances and book signings have been canceled. So how are books being sold in this environment?

Here are the answers each correct in some fashion:·        

Social media is helping to sell more books·         

Traditional and digital media is covering books·         

Authors are doing webinars and online courses to sell books·         

New online retailers are sprouting up·         

Not everything is closed everywhere – it just sounds like that·         

E-books are skyrocketing·         

Audiobook downloads are surging

There is reason to hope. Everyone is cooped up and is open to reading books. Many run to the safe confines of books, whether to escape reality or to use this time to learn what they had been meaning to finally get to.
So many books do well in this environment, including:

Children’s Books – kids need to learn and be entertained without school·         

Thrillers – always a good time for them·         

History – let’s learn from past disasters, depression, and pandemics – or read about better days of the past·         

Entertainment – love a good distraction·         

Personal Finance – time to balance a budget and grow your assets·         

Investing – gotta make back the money lost on Wall Street·         

Survivalist Techniques – we are all preppers now·         

Politics – the 2020 election is coming·         

Humor – we need a laugh·         

Sports – we can read about the past until the future games begin·         

Health –  this is our number one focus – how to stay healthy in mind and body·         

Religion – we need some spiritual nourishment, especially when the churches and temples are closed·         

Self-Help/Motivation – we all need uplifting stories now·         

Cooking – if you can’t hit a restaurant or even afford takeout, learn how to cook       

Travel — if you can go somewhere physically, time to go with your mind — and plan a future trip

Plus, let’s look forward, whether it is weeks, a month or a few months – stores will reopen, delivery times will improve, and the financial devastation will slow down and start to return to better times.
But for the moment, as the world is upside down and filled with pain, fear, and uncertainty – and financial insecurity fills millions of homes and thousands of others confront death and severe illness – the book world is combusting. Indie stores have laid-off workers and shuttered operations.

Some publishers are looking at bankruptcy or a merger. Book releases scheduled for April or May are getting pushed back. Even the nation’s leading book trade show, Book Expo America, had to reschedule its date but right now its home, the Javits Center in NYC, is being used as a makeshift hospital to battle a plague. It is ugly out there. Still, the belief is it is temporary and we just need to weather the storm for the moment.

A decade ago the industry was hit by many challenges – the Great Recession, the ebook revolution,  Amazon taking over the industry as Borders drop dead, technology allowing for the majority of published books to be self-published, and the Internet providing free competition for content providers.

But the American book industry rose from the dead and all of that transition and uncertainty. It is going through another tough time now, as many Americans are. Every day that passes means we get a day closer to recovery. The pandemic seems like it is a book that has no end, but the truth is, we know how it ends. And we know that the book world will get a new beginning and rise up. I can’t wait for the sequel!

So, I want to end this post with a positive message for my author friends. In the meantime, stay strong, stay safe, stay calm and REMAIN PRODUCTIVE!

#SUCCESSINSIGHT

Check out my newest podcast discussion with Howard Fox.

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