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…

 

 

 

Kindle Countdown

Writing_as_a_Retail__Cover_for_KindleHi All you Aspiring Authors and Writers.

A Kindle Countdown this time.

Starting Saturday July 9th and ending Saturday July 16th (160 Hours) one of my books will be offered at a 76% discount.

Writing as a Retail Business A Guide  will be only  $ 0.99

This is a spectacular offer, your chance to see how you can change your books into a thriving business. It even includes a plan for each book. Try it!

Here is the link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GS22RHC

Free Book

Hi Everyone:

This will be short and sweet!

The life of an Indie Author is never dull.

Writing is my retail business, and as a business owner, I have inventory (my books). My store front (website) isn’t completed as yet so I have to rely on social media to advertise any changes or offerings. Here is a free book for you to consider.

FREE BOOK —– from July 1st to July 5th

One of my favorites:

What Should You Do With Your Life? Diana’s Story.

(May I NEVER give a book a title that long again!)

This book is a true Cinderella Story (sigh) with a handsome Prince and two (Unlikely) Fairy Godmothers or Fairy Godangels, lots of cups of tea, tons of fairy dust and a surprise ending that made even the author cry as she was writing it. (That’s roughly the plot)

The setting is Magical Cape Cod.

If you cannot visit the Cape this summer (the weather has been gorgeous, by the way), read the book and enjoy a tour, from Dino’s Sports Bar and Restaurant to the Cape Cod Railroad and Dinner Train.

Here’s one of the reviews:

“The book is an affectionate ode to Angels and to the efficacy of one of the nation’s favorite vacation destinations. Fans of Cape Cod or of Angel Stories will enjoy this book. It is an enjoyable read sprinkled with wit!”

– Gene Hull, T. C. Palm, Press Journal

what should u do cover

Remember, the e-book is free from July 1st to July 5th….

Here is the link to download:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004BDP3TA  

Happy Writing

Sharon

My New Ride

Hi Everyone!

My New Ride:

10 years ago I bought a Mini Cooper. She was my ego and I wrote about her many times in my books, mostly about the process of how she was manifested.

Thursday, June 23rd I picked up my new ‘ride’ – another Mini.

I am always in awe at how this universal process works:

This time, I gave the entire procedure of a new car over to my Angels. Here’s how it all happened.

Several months ago, little thoughts began to manifest here and there like maybe I should get a newer car, my hip began to bother me and shifting became uncomfortable.

Out of the blue, there was a recall on the car. The power steering units on 2004, 2005’s were being recalled to have this replaced. My car was 12 years old. I thought that was rather strange, but made the appointment to have it fixed at the now closer Mini Dealership in Rockland. Years ago, the closest Mini dealership was in Peabody, 90 miles away. While I was there, I thought I could at least have a look and see what my options were.

For the last few years, I had hesitated to take the car out on the highway because it shimmied badly at 55 to 60 MPH. Well that was another thing I would ask to have looked at. I had just passed 100,000 miles, so knew that I would probably need to invest in some repairs, after all, the car had served me well for a lot of years and I was very attached.

Thursday, April 14th we (my car and I) travelled slowly up to the dealership, highway all the way. The recall was done, new brakes (which I knew I needed) were done and they adjusted the wheels so the car wouldn’t shimmy! Yahoo!  There were a lot of new Minis at the dealership, but the styling had change, most of the new ones were 4 doors and much bigger, and the prices for used ones like mine had high mileage and were too expensive. I dropped that idea of a newer car and decided mine would do for a few more years. I was still having hip issues, though. The constant shifting, especially in Cape traffic was uncomfortable, and at times painful.

My granddaughter called and said that if I ever wanted to sell my Mini, John, her boyfriend, wanted to buy it. I wasn’t ready to let go yet. Then, something happened to the power steering which they had just replaced. It was difficult moving the wheels. I made an appointment to have it fixed at the dealership and to speak with a salesman, this time I was serious. I also wanted a fair price to be able to offer John. None of the cars I looked at in their pre-owned inventory worked. I came home disappointed. I still continued to look on line wanting to stay on Cape if possible.

Ale called again to say that there were a few used Minis at BMW of Cape Cod. That made sense because Minis are made by BMW.

They had a few available in their pre-owned inventory, enough for me to go and take a look. Price would be a factor. The numbers had to work. One was within my budget, but it was a convertible and a 6 speed manual.

“You must be daft.” I said to myself. “79 years old and you want a convertible?” The Angels were strangely quiet.

I went; I saw and it conquered me. “Maybe it would work.”

When I sat in it, I knew for certain. The clutch was like butter, the seat extremely comfortable, effortless to steer. I knew immediately this was the one. How I would deal with the convertible roof was another factor, but I am working into it, slowly.

This Mini is a 2011, exterior color: pepper white, the roof is denim blue, carbon black interior.

James Carbonell, the salesman said something illuminating:

“The car finds it perfect owner.” And I truly believe that.

Happy Writing,

Sharon

Mini convertible

Hi Fellow Writers and Indie Authors:

Tourist season is here and we do pray for good weather for several reasons. One, that the visitors may enjoy their time here (and stay on the beaches and off the streets) , and two, we know that in 12 week this will be all over. (phew)

writing quote 1

I found this quote on line with no reference, so apologies if I have stolen anything. I thought it was rather spot on!

There are times when I wonder if we are gifted or cursed with this ability or calling. I watched a film recently titled “The Letters” a story of Mother Theresa’s life and her dedication to service to others, her calling.  I promise not to get preachy here, but there are times when our lives are shadowed with that dedication, that calling.

Do we write books just to make money or do we write books to be of service to others? Interesting question and one you may wish to contemplate.

I read for research, true, but I do read to be entertained. There is nothing more satisfying than to wrap yourself into a good read.

What do you read?

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ― Stephen King

As you’re reading, do you begin to dissect the author’s plot? Do you examine the characters and how the author created them? Even when reading for fun, I find myself doing just that, which, I suppose, defeats the whole purpose of the exercise.  If you find yourself doing this, too then know you are not alone.

This is worth a thousand words:

Books - lose yourself in one

 

Happy Writing!