News from the Cape of Cod Week 8

Sandy Neck Beach

Here is the blog in an MP3…

July 18, 2017

NEWS FROM THE CAPE OF COD – WEEK 8

Here we are in the middle of July already and it doesn’t seem possible. The weather has blown hot and cold, cloudy, and sunny, now rainy, and foggy.

The Fourth of July was momentous, as visitors, and tourists flocked here to celebrate and visit with family and friends. I believe I heard there was an 8-mile back-up as they left the Cape, that was for both bridges.

The photo above was taken by my daughter of Sandy Neck Beach as it juts out into Cape Cod Bay. Beautiful, isn’t it? That is the north side of the Cape. The south side is bordered by Nantucket Sound and the Gulf Stream, which keeps us warm well into September and October.

The Mini Cooper has had her top down frequently and my fun meter is very happy. The fun meter is a gauge on my dashboard that measures how long the top has been down. YAHOO!!! The sun roof doesn’t count. This Mini has been mine for a whole year, now.

Figure 1  My Fun Meter

STORY:

When I was with the salesman considering the purchase of this convertible, the salesman was pointing out all the features. He paused and asked me if I had any preferences that he hadn’t covered. My reply was, “But I wanted a sun roof.”

Figure 2 Yahoo!

 

Mini’s are becoming increasingly visible here. When I first purchased mine in 2006, there were only 3 Minis on the entire Cape. Now, I can happily say that number has increased. We blink lights at each other in passing, and if windows are open, a wave.

The Mini sound system is incredible, and I love to tootle around with the top and windows down, with Herb Alpert and his Tijuana Brass blasting! Oh, yes, I do! So far no one has given me the evil eye!

IN THE WRITING STUDIO,

We welcomed 4 visiting members who are with us until they must return to their other lives. It is refreshing to have 2 poets, which rounds out the group nicely.

I do have plans to start a monthly T. V. broadcast from the Cape Cod Media Center. It will air on Channel 99. Stay tuned.

MY BOOKS:

Preparing for the Cape Cod Writers Conference in August, I updated and revised my WRITING AS A RETAIL BUSINESS, which I intend to sell in the bookstore at the conference. Also, my 2 new books, CREATING A PAPERBACK IN KDP and E-BOOK TO PAPERBACK CREATESPACE EDITION. Both are Self-Publishing with Amazon.

That’s the news for now.

Happy Writing,

Sharon

 

News from The Cape of Cod (Week 4)

6/20/2017

 

News from The Cape of Cod (Week 4)

 

You have heard of the Angry Birds syndrome, well, allow me to acquaint you with the Unhappy Tourist syndrome.

Can’t say as I blame them, the weather has not given them (or us) a decent week with cold, damp, wet, humid, clammy, drizzle, and fog. Perfect weather conditions for geese, ducks, swans, raincoats, ponchos, wet soggy sneakers, and sandy flip-flops. I might include dolphins and whales in that, also.

I do know where most of them have gravitated to, though. (They are working through their frustrations IN GROCERY STORES AND RESTAURANTS.)

Residents are advised to not frequent these places until the sun comes out.

The SEASON usually runs from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day Weekend, a total of 15 weeks by my count. This is the time of the CRANKY RESIDENTS SYNDROME.

Tourists should be advised not to upset any residents because their tempers are running for the C3, and have been known to give faulty directions, and Cape Codfish stares when spoken to.

traffic between bridges on Cape 

This is the traffic going from one bridge to the other depending on how they want to exit off the Cape. Sagamore Bridge to Boston, Bourne Bridge to New York.

traffic waiting to board ferry

Then there is the traffic going to the Islands…

This is the ferry for Nantucket

No matter where we turn, there is traffic.

In my last blog, I mentioned the motorcycle police in Harwich Port. Now, can you understand why?

BUT

Despite all this traffic and inclement weather, our beaches are still beautiful and enticing. Therefore we have tourists.

IMG_2092

 

On the writing scene:

My focus has been on finding the right key words for a few of my books and doing a lot of reading and research. Key words are what the search engines use to connect readers to books. When a reader is looking for something to read, he/she types in a few words and the search engine goes out and locates a few choices for the reader to choose from. The author/publisher’s responsibility is to get the right key words for their books so readers can find them to read. Two books that go into depth are by Michael Alvear “Make a Killing on Kindle, and How to Sell Fiction on Kindle.”

The second book in the Something Series is Something Bloody. It is all about Count Dracula. I decided to go to the original story by Bram Stoker, written in 1897. I downloaded it onto my kindle. WOW!!! Don’t read it on a dark and stormy night. Vivid descriptions. Reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe.

I have also watched Love at First Bite, DVD with George Hamilton and Dead and Loving It, DVD with Leslie Neilson. The latter was written by Mel Brooks and crew and was tongue in cheek funny. George Hamilton’s portrayal of Dracula was much smoother and his lines were delivered better. (my opinion) I did not realize how many times Dracula has been made into films, both here and in Europe, and how many famous actors had the leads.

That’s all for today.

6/21/2017

Goot Morning – although it really isn’t. Another cloudy, breezy (debatable), the flag is out straight, overcast, humid, bleary, some rain forecast, day here. I have had my Mini Cooper Convertible for a year and I do need to get a new sticker, which means venturing out (Pirates Arrgh!)

It has come into my thoughts that we just might be the new location for the Rain Forest.

Never the less, I have found the perfect place to spend the rest of the day after I gas up and get my sticker. I think my laptop will fit.

owl in drain pipe

Happy Writing

Sharon

 

 

News from The Cape of Cod

News from The Cape of Cod

Good morning Friends and Fellow Writers:

Blogging time again.

Techie trouble. 😢 Microsoft did a huge update and that affected my network adapter, so that my internet connection was vague at best. You know how that makes for a very unsettled life, especially for a self-publisher. (Pirates Aaargh)

Options? Bring it (my Lenovo desktop all-in-one) to Best Buy, (can I even lift it?) or send for the Geek Squad. (Cost: $100.00 and counting)

My daughter, Tina, came to the rescue. She runs a William Raevis Real Estate office in Osterville with over 40 agents who all have laptops and constant techie snags, which she fixes. Where I ever got these technically advanced children is always a miracle to me. My son, Steve, is a computer guru, who worked on the Dragon Speech enabled program. Go figure.

Long story short, Tina did her magic and now I am back, and she did it all for a bowl of burnt popcorn.

The Cape of Cod is flooded with tourists, roads are starting to become a bit congested, and will be for the next 12 weeks. (Pirates Aaargh)

Those of us who have lived here have found excellent back roads and short cuts. It wasn’t surprising to see motorcycle police in Harwich Port last Sunday morning responding to an emergency at White’s Stadium. Watching them maneuver around the traffic was a sight to behold; sirens blasting, blue lights flashing. Our streets are so narrow, 2 lanes, and nowhere to pull over to make way for emergency vehicles. It was comforting to see the motorcycle police.

The Writer’s Studio is dwindling down, as some of the members are dealing with whatever life brings them. The rest of the members are still dedicated and working on their various manuscripts. All the members are such brilliant writers, and extremely interesting people who have incredibly varied backgrounds, creating the perfect atmosphere for writing. I am so blessed to be a part of it.

The sequel to Something Sinister, or next book in the series, Something Bloody, is blossoming. Count Vladimir Rupert, Pietro, Rostislav von Alucard, now fifth in line for the Transylvanian throne (two haf bin assassinated during the last century) is becoming a real, rounded character and ven ve finish vith dis story I vill haf a decided accent apart from my Bostonian curve. 😎

I am slowly introducing the characters from the first book, who will play a major role in this one; Grannie Good Witch, Bart (Bartholomew Bottomsworth), and Prudence Prendergast from the Nosey Snoops Detective Agency. If you read the first one, you will remember them.

On the home front, I was curious to see if there were any orbs here in the property around Pine Oaks Village, so I did a little night photography. The results were rather disappointing until I did some enhancement to the photo. Here is what we have in the woods behind my apartment.  See featured picture.  ABSOLUTELY AWESOME. What do you think?

There you have it! Have a smooth and fabulous week. May your network adapters remain functioning, and your keyboards work flawlessly, I must have hit some button inadvertently, because Now I can’t find my bloody curser. (Pirate Aaargh!)

Happy Writing,

Sharon

Spring has Sprung

Hi Everyone:

Blog time again. What shall we chat about today?

We had a delightful taste of Spring for two days, tank tops, shorts, flip flops, and then a front moved through bringing cooler air, and hooded sweatshirts, sweat pants, sneakers, and socks. (UGH!). The front even brought thunderstorms in some locations.

I really believe that hooded sweatshirts were invented here on Cape Cod. They definitely are a wardrobe staple for both residents and tourists. I have at least 9 of them in my closet, some heavier than others, but there is nothing more comforting than slipping into one in the late afternoon on the beach, when you are slightly crisp from the sun and the breeze kicks up. They are our “blue blankies”. I have even slept in mine.

FYI – Spring, however fleeting, did arrive here.

Here is a view from my bedroom window. The lovely ornamental cherry tree is in full bloom. There are other signs, too. The Mini had her top down for an hour or so. YAHOO!

On the writing front? I am offering a second Sweepstakes Giveaway. This one for Something Sinister – Angels, Witches, and Spells, Oh, MY! It began last week and, runs until May 26th. As of this morning, we already have 355 entrants. Oh, MY indeed!

The last one was for a non-fiction book and had 287 entrants. All ten prizes were claimed.

This is one of my attempts at a marketing strategy. Seems to be working. I will keep you posted.

Here is a link for a Goodreads blog that I found very helpful if you are planning to publish your book in the near future.

https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/905-building-a-marketing-timeline-infographic

What am I writing?

Actually, I am currently working on two books simultaneously.

Creating Crystal Grids is being updated and put into print. I have added more crystal description and more grids.

Something Bloody, the second in the series after Something Sinister, is in progress. Yes, you guessed it. Vampires! Not only vampires, but the most feared and notorious of them all! Count Vladimir von Alucard (not a misspelling, just a different arrangement of letters.) Can you guess?

Another thought: He was probably our first legendary serial killer! How gruesome!

Do I dare write this in YA (Young Adult) or for young children? Wait until he meets Grannie Goodwitch, and the rest of the characters that live in the Angelic Realm and the Fossilized Forest.

Ooops! Almost forgot: Here is the link for the sweepstake for Something Sinister.

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/87e7029ab5bf0c35

Well, that’s all for now.

Happy Writing

Sharon

Happy Mother’s Day

Blog

May 14, 2017

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL MOMS OUT THERE

First:   the Sweepstakes giveaway was a great success. 287 entrants and all 10 prizes claimed. This to me is a good omen and now 287 writers, or potential self-publishers know this book exists. When more sales are generated from this, I will know this is a good sales (marketing) tool.

To further test it, a new sweepstake is cooking: Something Sinister (marketing an entirely different audience.)

Here is the information and the link:

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/87e7029ab5bf0c35

See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: Something Sinister: Angels, Witches, and Spells, Oh MY! (Kindle Edition).

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/87e7029ab5bf0c35 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of May 26, 2017 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.

The link to create a giveaway is on your ‘Landing Page’ in Amazon, down below the information and any reviews you may have.

‘Will keep you posted.

I have changed the template for my website/blog, cleaned it up, and made it simpler to read. Here is that link:

https://audacious-author.com/the-hook/

https://audacious-author.com/279-2/

 

On another note: This mail may be delayed because something is messing up my Outlook file.

No mail out, no mail in! Bummer!

 

Moving on:

I am also exploring the possibilities of using Mail Chimp (free version) to build my e-mail list. (a VERY IMPORTANT part of sales/marketing.) This is your audience. (your fans).

Years ago, I used AWeber, and that was good, but became too sophisticated for what I was hoping to accomplish, and took time away from my writing.

Sales/marketing is not for the faint of heart! It is time consuming and needs focus. Hopefully, I can do some of that work for you. (Also for myself)

On a more pleasant note:

Spring is attempting to arrive. The trees are budding and flowering everywhere here on the mid-Cape, that pretty green that arouses hope in even the faintest of hearts. The temperature remains in the 40’s and 50’s, normal for us, but we have had a few days of glorious sunshine and even a peek at 60 degrees. Summer will probably arrive July 1st, and so will short sleeves, t-shirts, tank tops and shorts. There have been sitings of a few brave souls in shorts, already. If it weren’t for that cutting wind, as opposed to gentle breeze. I am in my flip-flops, and have been since I took off my Uggs and packed them away. Frostbitten blue toes with red polish are rather attractive, especially with sweatpants and a hooded sweatshirt.

There you have it. I will now attempt to publish this in my blog, beat Outlook into submission, and send this off to you. May your day be lovely!

Happy Writing!

Sharon

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE HOOK

What is THE HOOK?

The HOOK is what you use to HOOK your readers, to HOOK their attention, to hopefully get them interested enough to buy your book. It is your one and only chance to “Make the Sale, or Get the Job.” If that sounds unusual, it isn’t really, it’s salesmanship.

Let’s try this.

You have written a book. You want to publish it because:

  1. You think it is good.
  2. You want to share it with others.
  3. You want people to buy it.
  4. You want to make money.
  5. You want to get paid for your work.
  6. You want to help people.
  7. You want to inspire people.
  8. You want to entertain people.
  9. You want to educate people.
  10. You love to write and you could care less if people buy your book. (Perhaps we should leave that one out?) You do have several chances to make that first impression, not unlike meeting someone for the first time. It’s like a job interview, and in a way, that is exactly what is happening. You are being interviewed by someone, (a potential reader), and you hope they will buy your book. (You will get the job)   The MODERN READER or TODAYS READER is usually on their mobile device, computer, IPhone, and surfing to find something of interest. Unless they specifically know what it is they are looking for, they are surfing. They are already in their chosen category (Fiction, Non-fiction, Romance. Action/Adventure, etc.) That part is already accomplished.  There are numerous possibilities for you to consider for your cover. KDP and CreateSpace do offer Cover Creator, a program, with which you can DIY a decent cover. I have used both programs and had good results. You can also employ the services of a graphic artist who will create the whole thing for you, also which I have done for some of my books. Todd Engel has designed many of my covers. Here is his information at https://www.facebook.com/Todd-Engel-Engel-Creative-Graphic-Design/ You will see one of my book covers right in the middle of his banner-display. (Angels in Action) Here is their link:https://www.canva.com This program is free to use, and they do offer royalty free graphics. You can also purchase graphics for a very nominal fee.
  11. Your BLURB is your introduction or the short paragraph that you will use for the back of your book cover or the paragraph that you will use to best describe what your book is about when you enter this information into the KDP program. This information will be what the public will read when they look at your landing page (the basic page on Amazon that has your cover thumbnail, price, and other pertinent information). KDP has already set up this page for you, free, and this is where your potential reader will be automatically forwarded to when they click on the thumbnail of your cover.
  12. HOOK # 3 YOUR BLURB.
  13. A web based program (free) for graphic design is Canva.com.
  14. Your potential reader likes your title, it’s interesting and is a possibility. The next thing your reader looks at is your COVER. Covers that are very busy and have lots of action, illustrations, printing, do have merits, remember, the reader is going to be looking at a THUMBNAIL, a postage stamp size of your cover, so plan accordingly. Sometimes less is better. The key ingredients here are; book title, sub-title (if one) and Author’s name. These are what MUST show in the thumbnail of your cover.
  15. HOOK #2 COVER
  16. What does your title say about your book? Does it reflect some sense of the book? Are you completely satisfied with this title? One of the benefits of Self-Publishing, especially on Amazon and KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), is, you do have the option to make changes. Choose your title carefully so that it reflects what your book is about. If there is something about the title you aren’t comfortable with, then work on making it better. Remember, this is what will attract your reader.
  17. On Amazon or any book site, the TITLE is your first HOOK. If the Title holds no appeal to the reader, he/she will slide right by yours until he/she finds one that will catch their interest. (These are all Marketing Strategies, by the way.)
  18. HOOK #1 – TITLE
  19. The first thing they see is your TITLE.

This HOOK #3, Your Blurb, should answer these questions:

 

WHO

WHAT

WHERE

WHEN

WHY

HOW

This blurb will be like a news story on the front page of a newspaper. It should answer those questions, in fact, that is where those W’s came from (journalism).

 

To break that list down, let’s do this:

  1. WHO – the who is your main character- who are you writing this book about?
  2. WHAT – is happening to this character that the reader should, or might want to identify with, to know more about (the plot)
  3. WHERE – where is this taking place? in Chicago, Illinois, along the Amazon River, the Angelic Kingdom? The reader should have some point of reference.
  4. WHEN – when is this happening? Years ago, right now, in the future?
  5. WHY – what cataclysmic event has happened to the protagonist (hero/heroine) that you have written a story about? Why should the reader read on?
  6. HOW – will it be resolved? How will this story end? Make this point like a cliff hanger to make the reader WANT to buy the book. (The Sale, or The Job.)

 

HOOK #4 FIRST CHAPTER

 

Amazon KDP offers potential readers a peek (look inside) at the first few chapters of your book, right on your landing page, which gives the reader a better idea of what your book is all about. This is a clever bit of marketing that KDP has already done for you. Your first chapter should also answer those five ‘W’ questions. Here is where you set up your story (plot) and characters. If they get this far, they are interested, and will probably purchase the book, if not now, then soon. KDP also offers the following, (built right into your landing page)

Read for free – Kindle Unlimited – you still get royalties for this option.

Kindle Matchbook – which ties your print and e-book together.

Buy now with one click – making this easy for the reader.

Deliver to the reader’s device (iPhone, tablet, etc.)

Send a free sample

Give as a gift

Add to your list (this has a pull-down screen with the following:

Kindle Wish List (private)

Shopping list

Kindle Wish List (public)

Gift Ideas List

And finally, if none of the above work, a Create a List option.

So, you see, Amazon has done all this marketing for you, and obviously offers all these choices so the reader does not leave your landing page empty-handed. All very clever marketing tools, which benefits both the Author and Amazon.

 

NOW, TO SUMMARIZE:

Your Four Hooks:

TITLE, COVER, BLURB, AND FIRST CHAPTER

 

 

 

REMEMBER:

IF THEY DON’T GET THE HOOK,

THEY WON’T BUY THE BOOK

 

Happy Writing,

Sharon

April 28, 2017

 

https://audacious-author.com/the-hook/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Book in process

Hi Everyone

Here is a new book I’m writing.

Basically the book takes place in the Angelic Kingdom and is populated with both Angels and Witches.

I have some really crinkled characters that have been such fun to create.

Desdemona – the protagonist doesn’t know if she is a witch or an angel because she was abandoned.

Prudence Prendergast and Trudee Trumpet – our two Angel Agents (detectives) run the Nosey Snoops Detective Agency.

Delicia Darling is the secretary who keeps the detective agency running smoothly.

Archangel Michael knows there is Something Sinister going on in his Angelic Kingdom.

Our very old St. Peter now needs new hinges for his Pearly Gates.

AND

In the Fossilized Forest (part of the Angelic Kingdom):

Wanda the Witch – an expert with spells.

Grannie Goodwitch (Gwendolyn) has false eyelashes and a removable wart.

Bart Bottomsworth II (a warlock) and Bert Bottomsworth III (his son) have plans of their own.

Lucy-fur is a black cat with blue eyes – the witches won’t adopt her because they think she’s been ‘spelled’.

‘The Girls’ are witches who have abandoned their cauldrons and now run a successful internet business.

The WYRD Witches Home for Weyward Witches who’s resident’s have hidden secrets and unfinished spells (?)

All to (which) I have recently added several new minor characters:

Evillina and Sandy Witch, also residents of the WYRD Home

Tic and Tac (for want of better names) are two warlocks-in-training.

There you have most of it.

OOOPS! I almost forgot the Antagonist

Ursula – the Evil Sorceress – you don’t meet her until the second act. (She’s the bad guy or gal)

Happy Writing

Sharon

P.S.   The title? Spies, Lies and Haunting Eyes – unless you can think of a better one. I’m open to suggestions and ideas.  Let’s have some fun…