Bloggers, Take Heed: Succinct, Friendly Ebook Model of Clear Writing

Are you, like me,  fumbling around trying to make sense of the blogging world?

Daniel Scocco grabbed me with his title Make Money Blogging, then engaged me with his easy-to-read primer about blogging. Succinct, yet friendly, this 54-page ebook holds your hand through its four chapters, leading you to the last chapter on monetizing your blog based on the stepping stones he laid.

Why this approach? He wants readers to be prepared for stepping into making money, not racing unprepared to the finish line. While reading it, I caught myself thinking “oh, that’s how it works” a number of times … several times before I reached the  chapter that promised rewards.  A big thumbs up to Daniel for this well-written walk through the forest of blogging possibilities.

A few of my aha’s along the way:

p. 3-54   Boy, this layout is easy to follow with lots of rooms to take notes – well designed! Good model for other ebooks.

p. 15 – explanation of GoggleAds KeyWord Tracker (didn’t know it existed!)

p. 21 – where to go to gain blog HTML and CSS tutorial help (w3Schools.com and HTML.net)

p. 22 – priorities of what you want your readers to do while on your blog (my priorities aren’t obvious – and now I know it!)

The last one alone was well worth the price of admission–which is free if you sign up for Daniel’s ezine Daily Blogging Tips at  http://www.dailyblogtips.com/make-money-blogging/
It seems that putting out the ebook itself proved to be both a valuable Daily Blog Tip plus an excellent marketing model rolled into one. 

Barbara’s two cents!

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

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Jessica Learning to Fly – Underwater!

This video clip says it all in Jessica’s words. Feel free to comment and cheer her on!

Writing Wisdom from Top-selling Author Mary LoVerde

by Mary LoVerde

There are two very distinct skills necessary to create an article or book: writing and editing. Just as you cannot throw the ball and catch it at the same time, you can’t write effectively if you are also trying to edit. Tell the little critic who sits on your shoulder while you are composing that you need him/her very much — just NOT RIGHT NOW. You will pass the mouse to him/her as soon as you are ready and s/he can fix all the mistakes. Your little creative self will appreciate the consideration.

When I write a book, I make a list of what I want in each chapter. For example:

a story
something funny
a quote
a statistic
an unusual anecdote
a business example
a personal example
a metaphor or simile
a ritualistic way of closing the chapter
Then I take different colored pens and mark the manuscript. At a glance I can easily see if I go several pages without being funny, have too many personal stories or not enough statistics. This method helps keep me on track as I edit each chapter.

Mary LoVerde, speaker and author on life balance also coaches colleagues on authorship and how to become a corporate spokesperson. http://www.MaryLoVerde.com

When to Use “Quote” versus “Quotation”

Several writers weighed in on a recent Word Tripper differentiating “quote” and “quotation.” Here’s what the Word Tripper from July 30th said:

Quotation, quote – A “quotation” is a set of words that is copied or repeated, such as a passage from a book, speech, etc.; in commerce, it is also a statement of market price of a commodity or security. A “quote” is a cost estimate from a vendor or service provider. Thus, you wouldn’t write, “Here is a quote from Shakespeare…”; it should read “Here is a quotation from Shakespeare…” instead.

However, some dictionaries and language experts state that “quote” as a noun is interchangeable with the first “quotation” definition above. Personal preferences plays a part in this one. I prefer the stricter usage that differentiates them. Which one would you choose and why?

And here’s a potpourri of comments received. Do you agree? Disagree? Please weigh in yourself!

“Quote” has a verbal flavor to it. When you tell me “here’s a quote by Winston Churchill,” I feel like I’m getting in touch with his actual speaking the words. A hint of the kinesthetic. “Quotation,” on the other hand, feels like it’s a done deal. It’s the words he said, like here is an interesting statement of Winnie’s that is so right on! It’s an elite sentence that’s perhaps been around for a while.
– Max Dixon

I’m strongly in favor of more precise language. The more refined our use and meaning of every word we choose, in writing or aloud, the greater clarity we are able to achieve!
– Laura Key

I am becoming more and more dismayed at excuses for incorrect grammar used by such supposedly educated people as journalists and advertisers. Every time I hear “it’s at,” I am rankled. I find blurring the line between “quote” and “quotation” another example of self-serving rationalization for improper use of the English language. As writers, let’s raise the bar rather than agreeing to keep lowering it.
– Sarah Mohr

I think that common usage has blurred the strict differentiation of the two words. The change in some of the dictionaries indicates that to me. So, I will likely not be so definite when I write.
– Elaine Ness

The terms in any dictionary only reflect the current usage of a word, not its original meaning only. So even when we disagree with the new interpretation, we are “obligated” to follow the lead of the dictionaries and accept the new meaning of the word.
– Ginger Sawatzki

I’m certainly guilty of using the two interchangeably, but my preference is for using the stricter definition of quotation for a grouping of words spoken or written by another person.
– Paulette Livers

My preference is to use the stricter usage, especially in writing so the message doesn’t get garbled. It might be OK to get away with “quote” when using Twitter since they only allow 140 characters.
– Bill Short

I prefer to use quote as the verb and quotation as the noun. “To quote Shakespeare” sounds so much better on the ear than “Here’s a quote from Shakespeare.” I realize that language is always in a state of fluidity, but its nice to have a little structure to rely upon.
– Jude Johnson

Quote is a verb, meaning to repeat the words of another (ideally with acknowledgement), and quotation is a noun. But what’s a part of speech these days, with everything else we have to deal with.
– Ruth Mullens

10 (and 1 Extra) Tips for Writing Your Book

by Dawn Goldberg

I say over and over about how beginning, and even experienced, writers can get bogged down by the idea that a “real” writer lets the words flow, a beautiful, uninterrupted, constant flow of words. We all get stuck. The flow stops. And if we don’t have the experience of writing several books under our belts, just the thought of trying to get started overwhelms us. It’s a bit like that saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” When we think of an entire, unwritten book ahead of us, we’re almost paralyzed by the idea of starting. “How in the heck can I write an entire book? One step at a time, or perhaps 10.

1. Do as much research and brainstorming ahead of time that you can. Fill up the pantry, and you’ll find plenty of ingredients to cook a meal with. It does count as writing. It’s gathering details, descriptions, stories, illustrations, statistics – all the things you’ll use to build your book.

2. Honor each part of the writing process. When you’re creating, create; don’t try to edit at the same time. I’ve talked about this before, ad nauseum for some of you, I’m sure. You don’t just sit down and write the whole thing in one sitting. There’s creating, writing, revision, editing, more creating, more writing, more revision. And each of those stages is its own. Respect that.

3. Write on a regular basis (at least 3-4 times a week). You get into a rhythm, and the writing flows. You don’t want to spend time figuring out where you were the last time you sat down and wrote a week (or two, or three) ago. The best thing about this is that you build momentum with regular activity.

4. Just write. Don’t worry about making it perfect. Perfect can come in the editing and revision phase. Right now, you just want to get your ideas down and start putting them in some sort of order and structure. If you try to make it perfect from the get-go, you’ll be frustrated.

5. Along the same lines as #4, tell your inner critic to shut up. He’s never going to be objective, and his main goal is to keep you right where you are–with no book. Find ways to shut him up: tell him to go to Cleveland (as long as you don’t live there), promise him he can come back later, thank him for his thoughts and tell him you’re going in a different direction.

6. There are very few brand-new ideas (even Post-It® notes were based on paper and tape). They’re just presented in a different way. Find out what differentiates your message and what makes it uniquely you. It may be that your target market will get your message when they couldn’t get it from someone else – because of the way you, and only you, have presented it.

7. Find a writing support group. Share with them your work in progress. Get feedback. Even Tiger Woods has a coach. Since you’ll have readers reading your book, get reader feedback througout the process. They’ll tell you what makes sense, what doesn’t, what sticks out for them in a powerful way, and what lands flat.

8. Know that you’ll be revising and editing. You may eventually write four (or more) drafts of your book. And that’s okay. Once again, you don’t have to be perfect right out the gate.

9. Give yourself time and space between writing and the editing process. Don’t turn around and start editing and revising right after you finish writing. You need fresh eyes. Some writers take at least a month off after they’ve written a draft. That way they can approach the book a little closer to how a new reader would.

10. Take care of yourself. What you’re doing is hard, whether you’re writing a book on the current financial crisis or a fiction novel about a dysfunctional family. Be gentle on yourself. Treat yourself as something precious. Surround yourself with supportive champions, not naysayers. Get lots of sleep. Let the dishes sit dirty in the sink for a day or two. Get out and exercise. A healthy, happy you makes for a better book.

And here’s a bonus tip #11 – Celebrate what you’ve done. Each step along the way. Take some time to look back at how far you’ve come. Give yourself a pat on the back. Reward yourself. After a while, that elephant doesn’t look so big because you’re not really looking at the whole elephant. One day, one step, at a time. And you’ll write your book.

Dawn Goldberg brings life to words and writing, and helps others through their writing and publishing journey. Sign up for Fuel For Your Writing Journey at Write Well U (www.WriteWellU.com).

Remaining True to Our Own Ideas

As authors and editors, we have to be conscientious about our audiences so they’ll want to read what we labor to write. Sometimes, however, we can lose sight of ourselves in our attempts to influence others.

How can we remain true to our own ideas, beliefs, and feelings as we serve our readers and audience members?

For guidance in answering that question, turn to Embrace Your Rights by speaker, author, and coach Karen Gridley.

book cover Karen Gridley

I had the pleasure of editing this wonderful book, which (as the subtitle says) spells out 50 Self-Empowering Rights That Create Joy, Freedom, and Purpose. My two favorites are:

#16 – I have the right to have a different opinion and still be liked, loved, and treated with respect.

 #20 – I have the right to risk new territory, stretch my comfort zone, and feel scared doing so.

In Karen’s beautifully designed book, each Right is supported by thought-provoking quotations from top authors and speakers – Stephen R. Covey, Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy, and Larry Winget to name a few.

Taken to heart, these 50 Rights will guide you to be true to yourself, your message, and your audience.

Where to Use Your Book Cover to Market Your Book


10 Places You May Not Have Considered



Susan Kendrick
www.WriteToYourMarket.com


I had an interesting conversation today with a self publishing author whose back cover copy we just finalized.
This author has good marketing sense, a great book, his gorgeous new front cover, and an innovative way of looking at things. So, we were both surprised when I suggested that he use his front cover on one side of his new business card for his medical practice, and he said he had never thought of that. He said this was the solution to the question that’s been running through his mind–how to mention his book on his card.


But why just mention your book when you can show it?

This was just his particular blind spot, But, we all have them, so I thought it would be a good idea to create a list of the places you can use your book’s front cover to get as much visibility for your book, your brand, and your credibility as a published (or soon-to-be-published) author as possible.
 

Now that this author has his completed front cover (title, subtitle, tagline, and design) and his back cover copy in hand, he can start promoting and building buzz for this book while he’s completing it. One of the first things he’s going to do is use his new front cover and back cover copy to approach the people from whom he most wants to get endorsements. We can then add these endorsement to the back cover (where we have left room) before his book and cover go through final production and printing.

As he gets the rest of his book publishing and book marketing efforts going, here are the places he can use his book cover to get the most visibility on a daily basis. Whether you have a new book on the way or have already published a book, consider using these ideas, too.

10 Places to Use Your Book Front Cover:

_ Signature on your emails
_ Your business card and letterhead
_ Each page of your website
_ Your blog
_ Your comments on other blogs
_ With articles you submit to online newsletters
_ In the package you send out to get testimonials
_ Each page of your book’s media kit
_ Your speaker one sheet

_ ANY place in your social networking profiles where you are currently using your own photo
Happy Book Publishing!
Susan
 

Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.writetoyourmarket.com/, 1-888-634-4120.