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Monday
Apr252016

Tips for your Kindle Scout Campaign

 

At this writing, I have five days left in my Kindle Scout campaign. Here’s what I’ve learned so far, and a few tips . . . 
 
1. Be sure your manuscript is the best it can be. Have it professionally edited! I can’t stress this enough. Then order a couple of bound proofs, and send one to your editor. You’ll be surprised at what you may find when editing in bound form. Tip: while your book is in the campaign stage, use the thirty days and edit again.

2. Cover: Yeah, it matters. What’s the old saying? If they pick up your book for 15 seconds, you’ve probably got a sale?  Get a professionally designed cover (be sure you have rights to any art work you include).

3. Here’s another tip for good use of time during the campaign: submit your book to a well known/regarded review agency (Reader Views) and have it reviewed. It’s worth the money, and you’ll have 30 days while your Kindle Scout campaign is running. 

4. Make sure your first 5000 words (posted on your campaign page) are “grabbers.” Same goes for the short blurb (book one-liner) posted with your cover.

Okay, now the tough part: marketing your campaign. Here’s how I attacked this issue:

1. Utilize social media. I found Facebook and LinkedIn most effective. Tweets were a close second. Tweets from external sources (book sites, Twitter services, etc.) got more response than tweets on my personal twitter account. I also hounded my e-mail contacts, with some success.

2. I ran ads on a number of book sites. If you shop around, you can find some bargains.
Tip: remember, this is a thirty day marathon. Don’t “front-load” your advertising campaign. Spread out ads, tweets, Facebook postings, and finish strong!

Okay, that’s my two-cents worth, I’ll post again when my campaign is over . . . 

Randall Reneau
 

 

Randall Reneau is the author of five previous novels, including Diamond Fields, a Royal Dragonfly Book Awards grand prize winner, and Deadly Lode, a Richard Boes Memorial Award winner. He is also a two-time winner of the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. A former international geologist and Vietnam veteran, he lives with his wife, Lynne, in Austin, Texas.

Click the link for more information and to check out the Kindle Scout campaign for "The Medinandi License" by Randall Reneau  

Tuesday
Apr192016

Tips on How to Write an Award Winning Book

By Fidelis O. Mkparu

Writing and publishing a book is a big accomplishment in itself, but because of the number of new books coming out per year, getting the attention of an audience is the true challenge. This is why authors need to produce an award-winning book to even out the chances. Winning the 2015-2016 Reader Views Literary Awards General Fiction/Novels with Second Place for "Love’s Affliction" will certainly help with the efforts of getting noticed, but this accomplishment wasn’t just a lucky shot. It takes a lot of effort from the moment the decision is made to publish. Here are some tips on how to produce an award winner:

• Once the decision to publish is made, be conscious that writing is no longer your hobby…it is your business and as thus, writing should be with the aim towards success. This means that the words need to be crafted, and not just printed on paper.

• Acknowledge that typing ‘The End’ on your manuscript does not mean that it is finished. On the contrary, this is when the real work begins.

• Be prepared to re-write your manuscript more than once as it is critiqued by peers.

• Recognize that your ‘final draft’ is the editor’s ‘first draft,’ and more corrections will need to be done.

• Remember that the front cover is not for you to like…it is to hook your audience.

• If self-publishing, do your homework on who you will use…the quality of your book depends on it.

• Take your time to proofread the galley. There are numerous errors that can happen when formatting.

• Finally, register your book in all applicable categories when submitting to the Literary Awards you choose.

For more information on Fidelis Mkparu and his book visit: https://fomkparu.com/.

 

Fidelis O. Mkparu, was born in Onitsha, Nigeria in 1959. He immigrated to the United States in 1977 to attend college. He is a Harvard-trained cardiologist whose background and experience form the basis of this fictional work.

Saturday
Jan302016

An Encounter With Climate Change

By Edward Hujsak

From the weather scientists to the President to the Pope, a salient topic is climate change. There

are deniers, but the evidence is that it is occurring and it will occur at an ever faster pace, due to the

nature of positive feedback. (when things get worse, they can get even worse, faster). When the ice

melts, the water gets warmer, so the ice melts faster. We, the living, may not see much change in our

lifetimes, but succeeding generations will. Mass migrations the likes of which we observe in the

present events in Europe, but much larger, will upset everything. The oceans will rise, as they have

before and living areas will be inundated

My book of short stories, A Pig In The Rumble Seat (Reader Views Award, Fiction, 2008),

contains some stories reflective of my career as a rocket engineer, engaged in design and development

of the Atlas and Centaur rockets in the World War II Consolidated Aircraft factory in San Diego. I

regret not including an experience that has a particular meaning for the present concerns, as it

highlights a rare acquaintance with a time in the past when Earth’s oceans covered much more of the

planet than they currently do.

About ten miles east of where I live in La Jolla on the Pacific coast, the terrain is similar to

photos I have seen of the ocean bottom. Rolling hills and valleys composed of who knows what

deposits over the ages. In an area known as Sycamore Canyon the company, then renamed General

Dynamics, hired architects and engineers to design and build facilities for test firing the rockets,

comprising steel towers for holding the vehicles, storage tanks for propellents and a blockhouse from

which test engineers controlled the firings.

Early in the building process, some of the mounds were scarfed away to provide a level area for

operations, leaving other mounds that were sliced off from bottom to top like a cut through a round

loaf of bread. Revealed was layer upon layer of shell creatures that had lived out their lives and built

up a crust on the ocean floor during an ancient period when the region was covered by water. Using my

Swiss Army knife, I pried some samples out which foolishly I never kept. I had at that time no feeling

other than that ir was interesting. It was in fact a profoundly spiritual event to be in touch with

something that lived a million or so years ago and had been brought into the light.

We now know that there was at least one period in Earth’s history when there was little or no

water trapped as ice and the sea level was perhaps two hundred feet higher than it is now. In California,

the Gulf of California would have moved significantly northward, an explanation for the seashell

deposits in Sycamore Canyon. There was no San Diego. Most of the East Coast, including all of

Florida, was under water. Then followed a period when warm oceans produced severe storms, In the

polar regions and Greenland the precipitation was heavy snow which turned into enormous ice fields,

enough to lower the ocean levels to where it is now.

Could the ice caps melt and raise the ocean level again? The answer is yes, and probably faster

than we expect because a new factor augments what might be characterized as a normal, cyclic global

warming event. That is the the human factor, whose activities and excesses in burning fossil fuels

release annually more than a hundred gigatons of carbon dioxide, a heat trapping gas, into the

atmosphere. To make matters worse, and will likely speed up the process, rising temperatures will

thaw the perma-frost, which upon decaying, will release vastly more tonnages of heat trapping gases.

So things can get worse, much worse, faster, and probably will. 

 

 

Edward Hujsak is a career rocket engineer turned poet, writer, sculptor, artist, builder of finefurniture and musical instruments, and toys for deprived children. An inventor, he has over a dozenpatents, mostly in the aerospace field. He was propulsion engineer for.John Glenn’s famous orbitalflight. He has published eight books and numerous articles and commentaries for journals like SpaceNews, British Interplanetary Society’s Spaceflight, MAKE magazine and Mechanical Design. He blogsfrequently on http://www.rocketscientist20.blogspot.com and may be reached on hujsaked@aol.com.Now in his 91st year, he is slowing down a bit, but remains productive.Address: 8732 Nottingham PlaceLa Jolla, California 92037

Friday
Jan152016

3 Ways to Add Hours to Your Writing Week 

Trying to work full time, be actively engaged in your family and still fine time to write? Begin by scrutinizing your weekly tasks. Prioritize the list by separating the need-to-dos from the really-want-to-dos and the I-wish-I-had-time-to-dos. We all know about getting up fifteen minutes early, writing on the bus as you travel to work and giving up time from your favorite activities to write. Consider incorporating these alternatives.

 

1. Delegate research tasks to a friend who has spare time, a retired friend, a high school student or a librarian who loves to wander the internet, libraries and other sources of information. Ask them to compile the best resources they locate then used their findings to add depth to your stories. For myself, I ask a friend who's an avid reader and a movie buff to assist me. She skims through my list of ballet books and watches popular films and documentaries for ballet scenes and ideas to enhance my stories.

 

2. Clear the Deck of distractions. Let everyone in your household know your writing hours and ask them to honor those times. Create a clever reminder or hang a sign on your closed door. Maybe say: Quiet Hours 4:00-6:00 Daily or hang up a work zone style sign that says Idea Zone: Closed to Through Traffic During Construction Hours.

 

3. Consolidate daily household tasks. Could you sort the mail while you phone a friend? How about cooking two dinners at once and freezing one for another day? Or, maybe when you drive with a family member to a class or meeting, you might use the wait time to reread your latest pages.

Need a break to refreshen your writing brain? Stop at the local park for twenty minutes before you drive to the grocery store. Listen to that audio tape on developing strong settings while you wash the windows. By prioritizing and regrouping your tasks, it is possible to carve out a few extra hours to write each week.

You must have found your own time-saving ideas. Please share them when you comment.

Paddy Eger is an award winning author of two ballet-themed Young Adult novels: 84 Ribbons and When the Music Stops-Dance On. She also writes Educating America books and materials for training adults to work in classrooms.