Monthly Archives: April 2013

5 Tips: Writing for Book Promotion

Many authors think that once they have written their book, the hard work is over. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Whether you decide to go through a publishing house or self publish your book, getting information out into the world about your book is the most important thing that you can do.

You work on a book because you wanted people to read it, but unless you have a magic wand and can make your book appear on every coffee table in the world, you have to do work in order to get your book discovered and in front of potential readers. Since you are a writer, take advantage of that fact and use your skills to write articles about your book in order to get it noticed.

1. Free publicity.

The best part about writing articles and posting them online is that the process is free. By subscribing to a few online ezine sites you can post your information and make it available to millions of viewers. Make sure that you include links to where the book can be purchased and your personal author website. This is a great way to get publicity for your writing and your newly released book. Plus, this type of publicity will be an ongoing source for your writing career.

Here is one great example of an online source of free publicity for a published book: http://www.expatbookshop.com/book-news/jo-parfitts-books-recommended-in-malaysias-the-star/

2. Exposure.

No matter if you are going through a publishing house or self publishing, you need exposure. The world of publishing has changed. Once upon a time you needed to get your books into the bookstores, travel around for book signings, and keep your feet on the street. Although these things are important for modern publishing, what is more important is showing that you are savvy to the current publishing trends; this means, using the Internet to the fullest.

The more exposure you create for yourself, the more places your information can be found the more attention you are going to get. When people find your information online and it is clear that you are Internet savvy, they are going to be more likely to order from your site and potentially order more than just your recent release.

Information online is free and readily available, so you need to make sure that you can offer something new, eye catching and interesting for your potential clients to read. Just regurgitating information that can be found anywhere else won’t be enough.

Here is another clear example of article writing for book exposure: http://www.expatbookshop.com/expert-guest-articles/forex-expert-tells-us-why-he-thinks-the-euro-will-survive/

3. Magazine articles can get you niche market attention.

Article writing is simple because you can take one simple idea and spin it several times so that the information stays the same, but it is written differently for each place you submit the article. One of the places where you can submit articles are paper magazines. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of niche market magazines where you can get your book information right to your ideal reader.

If you write in the horror genre send your promotional articles to magazines that cater to the horror niche reader. This is going to insure that your articles are read by people who are interested in the horror niche. This is a smart way of getting your information in front of the
right people. Plus, these magazines will often pay a small stipend for articles that are published in their magazines.

4. Magazine articles can get you in front of other markets.

Yes, publishing your articles in niche market magazines is going to insure that your information is in front of people who hold an interest in your niche, but what about related niche markets? If you have written a book about the history of Hawaii, you might consider sending your promotional articles to travel magazines. Someone who is planning a vacation to Hawaii might be interested in learning a little about the history of the islands.

Allow your thinking to go a little outside of your market niche and you will find that you get attention from areas you never would have expected.

5.Develop a plan.

Just like in any writing process you want to have a plan for how you will approach the potential article promotions. Research the best places to send your writing and make sure that anything you write falls within their publishing guidelines. Study the market and make sure that you are sending information to the correct people.

Write a clear and well written cover letter and make sure that you address it to the appropriate contact person. A good query letter is going to cover the points of your article and explain why they should publish what you have written and not what someone else might have sent to them.

How to Improve Your Essay Writing

The composition studies scholar David Bartholomae once wrote, “Every time a student sits down to write for us, (s)he has to invent the university. . .The student has to learn to speak our language, to speak as we do, to try on the peculiar ways of knowing, selecting, evaluating. . . and arguing.” Being a successful essay writer in college doesn’t happen overnight, and it isn’t the same as other types of writing (the way you write an email wouldn’t be the way you would approach writing an essay in college). In order to become a skilled writer, you have to learn the rules of academic writing and hit the right tone.

Here are some simple tips to help you hit the right stride:

Write a strong, “controversial” claim or thesis

The heart of your paper will be your claim or thesis (a statement that draws out the main argument of your paper). Your claim/thesis should not only be clear and coherent, but it should also be provocative and interesting. It should be something that you yourself would want to read. Your claim/thesis should not be a fact nor should it be a repetition of the assignment itself (if the assignment asks you to “Discuss the logical structure of the Constitution, particularly the assumptions that the founders of the country made when writing it,” you should not start with something like, “When writing the Constitution, the founders based their argument on assumptions that they deemed logical.”). Rather, your thesis should be wholly arguable, as an interesting claim is one that can also be challenged.

Make an outline:

This might seem like extra work, but in the long run, by giving your argument a clear framework and pathway, you’ll be saving time. Your outline should include: claim/thesis; three sub-arguments that prove your claim (and for each sub-argument, the titles of well-respected texts that you’ll use to “prove” each sub-argument); and a one-sentence summary for your conclusion (which will help keep you on track).

Polished introduction

Remember that an introduction is just a brief statement about the question that you’re trying to answer and address in the paper. The main intention of the introduction is to present an intriguing problem that is often under-addressed when it comes to the paper topic you’re writing on. Keep it concise, and draw your reader in by writing an introduction that suggests and yes, seduces.

Write multiple drafts

It can’t be emphasized enough, but revision is key for writing in college. Professors will often tell me that B- or C+ paper could have easily been an A paper had the student taken the time to finesse a few points and/or strengthen their thesis. After you receive your assignment, take five minutes to map out a schedule for the paper writing. For most assignments, you’ll have the time to go through at least one major revision before submitting your paper. This can make all the difference.

Show a draft to your professor

Professors are frequently under-utilized by students. Most will be happy (and impressed) to review a draft of your paper, and you’ll receive invaluable comments on how to strengthen your paper before having to submit a final draft.

Utilize your writing center

Most, if not all, colleges provide a writing center for their students. Graduate students studying composition, creative writing or English are often the tutors. Make an appointment with a writing tutor at any stage of your paper writing process. If you’re having trouble creating a coherent outline, talking your paper out with a writing tutor will be helpful. After you’ve received comments from your professor regarding your draft is also a good time to visiting the writing center.

Ideas about Journal-Style Scientific Writing

Writing a good scientific paper is a real challenge for the majority of writers. Indeed,
there are lots of requirements and hidden problems associated with scientific writing.
Sometime the content is good but a paper does not meet precise style requirements,
or vice versa, it is writer as per certain formal requirements, however, presents little
helpful information and research facts. Journal style writing is even more complex. In
fact, failures in journal writing tasks are quite common, thus, it is important to consider
several points, namely:

Getting started

Some people claim journal writing should start with making of an outline. However,
many authors prove it is possible to make an outline in the end. Indeed, it is possible
to write an “after-the-fact” outline. At the same time, this is an option for experienced
writers with excellent research and writing skills. Do start with an outline of paper
abstracts and sections if you are not seasoned in scientific writing. In case you refuse
to write an outline from the very beginning, do create a list of major points and topics
covered in the paper.

Audience

Journal writing is not about submitting a simple essay that only your friends will
hopefully read. The article or research needs to have its audience. It is important to
know your audience. Is the paper written for fellow authors, professors or maybe
general audience? The content of your paper will depend on the audience. A paper for a
narrow and strictly technical audience will contain precise tech info, figures, researches
etc. Of course, you should not use any complex terms and definitions, if the journal
article is written for a general audience. You will be just misunderstood.

Style

Do not forget this is scientific writing. Thus, it is imperative to avoid any colloquial
expressions, such abbreviations as “don’t” or “can’t” etc. In fact, there is a list of
requirements for scientific writing which you have to make yourself familiar with. Often,
such requirements can vary depending on the discipline, however, the majority of rules
and norms are pretty much the same.

Research methods

Writing a research in a scientific journal can be a daunting task. This is not like writing
a 3-page personal essay. Everything written in an article should be based on a research.
Even personal findings and opinions should be supported with scientific data. There
are many types of scientific research, so you may choose any of them. Moreover, it is
possible to combine various research methods, however, avoid blending them. You
may include preliminary research results in the research methods section to motivate
readers.

Tables and Graphs

Any scientific research becomes more understood and comprehensive if it is illustrated
with graphs and tables. Sure, some scientific fields require more graphic info, while
others may need a few tables. Anyway, it is great to have an appendix with graphs and
tables that illustrate findings of the research.

Numbers and stats

Use of statistics is necessary in lots of researches, especially when it comes to industry,
sociology, biology etc. Many researches are based on stats figures which are used in
formulas or serve as a foundation of various hypotheses. However, be reasonable,
since too many figures will hardly make a research readable and understood for your
audience.

Used materials and plagiarism

Of course, it is impossible to write a scientific article without using someone else’s
ideas (unless you are the new Einstein). Therefore, it is important to correctly cite all
parts of texts and ideas belonging to other people. Luckily, it is not difficult to find
style guides on the net. Bear in mind that plagiarism is intolerable in journal writing.
In fact, plagiarism is intolerable everywhere. However, submitting a copied paper to
your high school teacher and offering a plagiarized article to a scientific journal are
wholly different things. If you get caught, forget about your scientific or academic
career! So, make sure you use plagiarism detection tools and properly cite all sources of
information.

No grammar mistakes

Well, this reminder may sound silly to you, but it is better to revise your paper before
submitting it to the journal. Editors of scientific journals are very scrupulous and
pedantic about mistakes. Thus, to keep a high profile reputation make sure the article
contains no mistakes. The best option is to have someone else revise your paper. As
known, when a person has been working on an article for a long time, he/she may not
notice silly mistakes that are evident to other folks. It is better to take time and revise
the paper 2-3 times, than to feel embarrassed afterwards.

Know your goals

Every publication has certain goals. Publishing for the sake of publishing is not a good
idea. The research should impress readers or lay foundation for further, more detailed
researches that will stun the scientific community.

Productivity Tips for Writers

Writing takes time – how much time depends on how efficient you are. We aren’t going to waste yours with fluff and nonsense. We are going to get right to the point – here are productivity tips and tools that specifically address the unique demands of writers.

Productivity Tips

Here are eight tips that are bound to help you increase productivity:

1. Have a Plan of Attack

When you sit down to work, you should know what you’re going to work on. And saying, “I’m going to work on my writing,” doesn’t cut it. Have a specific plan. Are you going to write an essay? Are you going to write a post? Choose a single project and work on it.

2. Do One Thing at a Time

If you multitask, you will mindlessly jump between different activities. Not only that, but you will rarely complete any of those activities – at least not complete them successfully. Do one thing at a time. Put all other activities on a to-do list and come back to them later.

3. Give Yourself Deadlines

If you give yourself all day to complete a project, it is going to take all day. Give yourself deadlines and abide by those deadlines.

4. Do it Once and be Done

Proofreading once is good. Proofreading five times is bad. Don’t be a perfectionist.

5. Accept the Obvious

Writer’s block happens. There isn’t much that can be done about the unfortunate situation either. Just accept the fact. Don’t waste time staring at a blank computer screen. If you can’t write today, fine. Do something else. Reply to comments. Do some promotional work.

6. Get off Facebook!

For many writers, internet connection and self-employment are a deadly combination. Most of us relish the fact we don’t have a boss. However, the accountability of someone looking over our shoulder does come in handy. In the absence of a boss, you’ll have to monitor your own actions and limit your mindless surfing. A five minute break every few hours is fine. However, more than that is just a waste of time.

7. Organize your Email Inbox

Not all email messages are created equal. Some are more important than others. To make sure you attend to the most important first, set up automatic filters. You can route incoming messages to client specific folders. Set up tags for all submissions via your blog’s contact form. Then, you can address all similar subjects at once.

8. Take Your Job Seriously

Most writers rejoice because they have managed to escape the demands of a 9-5 job. There is a lot of flexibility in the hours we work. That being said, we still have a job to do. Your writing will suffer greatly if you are up all night partying. Remember coffee can only do so much. It can’t provide a clear mind or smooth thought process.

Productivity Tools

Let these tools make you even more productive:

Dictionaries and Thesauruses

Sometimes even the most genius writer needs a bit of help. Check out various dictionary extensions for Google Chrome or download Wordweb Pro.

Organize Your Thoughts

Sometimes we have too much stuff rattling around inside our brains. Luckily, there are various brain dumping technologies available. Simply jot down your thoughts and be done. Store ideas for future blog posts. Make a note of an article you want to read. Many of these apps sync across various platforms so you never have to be without. For example, check out Evernote.

Share Files

Whether you are sharing with yourself or a virtual assistant across the country, it makes life easier when files can be accessed from anywhere. Use file sharing tools like DropBox or Google Docs. You can get to your files no matter where you are; after all, you never know when inspiration will strike!

Do you have a productivity tip or tool we left off the list? Tell us about it!