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Visual Content Marketing for the Confused and Terrified Writer

February 3, 2017 by in category Writing: It's a Business tagged as , , ,

 

 

 

 

Visual Content Marketing
for the Confused and Terrified Writer
Instructor: Elena Dillon 
February 13 – March 10
$30  or  OCC/RWA members $20

What is visual content and why do you need it for your marketing strategy? And how does this apply to your author business? The answer is fairly simple.

Visual content is anything that uses pictures, graphics, video, etc. When you see a GIF of cats falling off tables? That’s visual content. A pretty graphic with a quote from a book? Visual Content. Those fabulous cooking videos where they make a cinnamon roll apple pie in twenty seconds? Visual content.

It’s what will get your content seen. As a matter of fact, statistically, your readers are 44% more likely to engage with visual content. Hmmm. 44%? Hard to ignore. We all want to work smarter not harder, right? In this class, you will learn:

How to decide what kind of visuals will work for you and your business
How to create all kinds of visuals
How to make one piece of content work in many different ways
Drive traffic where you want it to go (your website, lead page, Amazon or other retailer page)
Save time and effort in your marketing efforts

This class for you if you’e never created any kind of graphics on your own. It’s for authors who need to learn how to create visual content for their author business and are unsure about using new technology. We will go over:

Strategies for smarter marketing
Tools that make visual content easier to create and more manageable
How to plan out your content and marketing so it takes up less precious writing time.

And believe it or not? I’ll make it fun. I’ll teach you how to create a graphic while you’re standing in line for coffee. =)

Join me for the fun in the February 2017 OCCRWA Visual Content Marketing for the Confused and Terrified Writer class!


About the instructor:

Who Am I?

I’m Elena Dillon, an author of the award winning Young Adult ‘Breathe’ series. When I’m not writing, I love to help my author friends with technology and social media. I’ve taught Social Media for the Confused and Terrified, Pinterest for the Confused and Terrified, Visual Content for Authors and spoken at numerous conferences, chapters and groups about social media and indie publishing.

Most of the time, I’m a wife to my husband of twenty-six years, mom to my two grown kids and servant to my high-maintenance English bulldog, Brutus, while I wait, not so patiently, for grandbabies.


Enrollment Information


This is a 4-week online course that uses email and Yahoo Groups. If you do not have a Yahoo ID you will be prompted to create one when you join the class, but the process is not difficult. The class is open to anyone wishing to participate.
The cost: $30.00 per person or, if you are a member of OCCRWA, $20.00 per person.
Enroll at: http://occrwa.org/classes/february-online-class/
Class dates: February 13 to March 10
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Making Ads and Amazon Rankings Work for You

August 17, 2016 by in category Writing: It's a Business tagged as , , , , ,

by Louella Nelson

I’m hoping this article on promoting free and 99’¢  books helps your sales, and I hope you’ll take advantage of the 99’¢  sale on my first historical romance.
Yesterday my book Rye’s Reprieve hit #7 on the Kindle Historical Romance Best Sellers list. Perhaps you are jaded by all the wonderful best-selling authors in our chapter who regularly hit #1 on all the major lists and don’t think #7 is all that much.
But consider: Rye’s Reprieve is my first historical and my first novel-length fiction to release in more than two decades*. Reestablishing a writing career equates to pushing a two-ton boulder up Mt. Baldy. So seeing your new book hit #7 is about as good as eating homemade blueberry ice cream made with blueberries you picked on the hill behind your house just that morning.
*In May 2014, my period short story Cora Lee achieved #6 in Literary Short Fiction, following behind stories by Stephen King and Lee Child. For that launch, the only promotion I did was to mention the book on Twitter & Facebook and in a newsletter to my email list of about 1200. I reissued my Harlequin titles and put out several short stories. My Amazon author page shows all fiction.
I didn’t achieve this recent modest success on Rye’s Reprieve without friends’ advice and a bit of luck. Here’s how I did it.    
Decoding the rankings
On March 9 after my initial email promotion, Rye’s Reprieve went to #6 in Kindle World Romance. In contrast, this go-round, August 7-11, with the 99¢ sale and some specific promotions recommended by friends, the book has been #1 in Kindle Worlds Romance and Westerns for days. It achieved #3 in Kindle Western Romance and held there; today it went to #4. And the book has been #1 in Kindle Westerns for a few days too.
The message? Make a study of Amazon’s ranking structure. It’s complex – more complex than what you see beneath your title’s descriptive data on the book’s Amazon page. Here is the link to see all the lists available under Best Sellers Kindle Store eBooks: Link. From there, click on your genre and drill down until you find the various lists where your book exists.
Under ebook subcategories, Romance is the umbrella topic. I then checked Historical Romance as well as Western Romance. Clicking Westerns takes you to Western Romance.
Another ranking, Westerns, can be found by clicking on Literature & Fiction/Genre Fiction. Strangely, under Genre Fiction, Romance is not listed!
I found Kindle Worlds rankings in the Ranking area on my book’s page.
But also think seriously about placing relatively inexpensive ads on websites whose sole mission is to promote free and 99¢ ebooks.
 
What worked in promotion
First, because Rye’s Reprieve is published by Amazon as one of several novels released in February 2016 in Debra Holland’s Montana Sky Kindle World, Amazon put the book on sale without warning at the beginning of August. I’m assuming they did multiple email blasts that included my book, but even those didn’t keep the book up in the rankings for long.
In addition to my own Facebook and Twitter announcements of the 99¢ sale, a  member of OCC RWA and Novelists, Inc. (NINC), Lauren Royal, opened her Friday Freebies & 99-Cent Bargain Books and her weekly newsletter featuring historical novels to NINC members, so I submitted my book. She also mentioned my title on Facebook and Twitter. The promotion at www.LaurenRoyal.com hit on August 5 and was free.
Debra Holland recommended I try for an ad in eReader News Today (ENT) and I was lucky to be chosen to participate. The fee for an ad on a specific day for historical romance is only $60. You can pay by PayPal or credit card (as most of the sites I mention allow). The morning the ad appeared at www.ereadernewstoday.com, August 7, the book shot to #1 in the Kindle Worlds mentioned above and the top 5 in Western Historical and Western. Unfortunately, I did not think to check the Historical Romance category, but when I did a couple days later, the novel was ranked #22, rising to #7 in the past few days.
I credit Amazon emails, the ENT ad, and Lauren’s newsletter for Rye’s Reprieve initial rise in rank.
Meanwhile, I contacted Linda Carroll-Bradd and asked her advice about advertising. She recommended I look into www.JustKindleBooks.com and www.Ebookshabit.com.  The ad at Just Kindle Books costs $20 plus Add Ons (keep the book on their homepage for extra 3 days $20; Facebook post to 26,000 followers, $10) for a total of $60. The fee includes cover image/link on Pinterest, Tumblr, and other main social media.
That promo hit August 11. The book rose to #7 in Historical Romance, # 3 in Western Romance, as well as #1 in Westerns, and #1 in KW both Romance and Western. This is a pretty good indication that Just Kindle Books is worth the money. I did not get the bump I was hoping for from a $10 ad with eBooksHabit.
After reading a Morning Juice email and attending the PAW group at OCC/RWA on Saturday, I gathered the following advertising ops for ebooks that are free or 99¢ from Kitty Bucholtz, Vicki Crum, Shelley Bleackley, and others. I had spent $120 so far. With a remaining budget of about $250, I placed ads here:
Robin Reads (August was closed when I checked but I wrote to them about the success of the initial advertising efforts, they encouraged me to submit my book, and voila! A spot in their calendar opened up: Aug. 25. If they select me, the cost will be $45.)
Choosy Bookworm accepted me and will advertise Rye’s Reprieve on Aug. 18. Yay! The Rush Premium Feature costs $70, and the cover will remain on their Featured eBooks Page for a week.
Book Sends is pricey at $90 for the spot on Aug. 18 and just about ate up my budget – I have only $25 left to spend.
However, when you’re making 35¢ per book, money can’t be your main motive for promotion. It has to be gaining new readers, racking up a few more reviews and even cross-over sales to your other books and stories, and seeing your efforts pay off in a rise in rankings that you can share with followers. Some authors also experience a bump in sales when the book returns to its normal price, which in the case of Rye’s Reprieve is $3.99.
Did I mention BookBub? If they agreed to let me advertise with them – a slim possibility – the cost would be $500, and they anticipate I’d have roughly 2500 sales. If that happened, I’d clear $375 after costs, and the ranking would no doubt shoot Rye’s Reprieve to single digits on most coveted lists, plus bring a whole bunch of new readers to my author page.
I did not yet advertise with eBookWorth, Bargain Booksy, or Fiverr’s BKnight with its $5 price tag and 50,000 readers because I needed to meet Marianne Donley’s deadline for A Slice of Orange. However, I will at least check out their sites.
I probably don’t need to mention, most of the authors and professional newsletter editors want the authors they feature to put the newsletter link in their social media announcements.
I would appreciate having an email from anyone who wants to share their promotion/ranking journey, and if things really jump by the end of August, I may give a follow-up report in a future Slice.
Contact me at lounelson@cox.net or www.LouellaNelson.com. Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/louella.nelson.1 and Twitter: @LouellaNelson
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Who Wants to Be a More Productive Writer?

March 8, 2016 by in category Archives tagged as , , , ,

By MM Pollard, the MM in Workshops with MM,
Certified copy editor,

Editor, Black Velvet Seductions

I think I can safely assume that all writers want to be more productive. If you happen to be one who doesn’t, then feel free to click close now.

Okay, so most of you stayed. How did I know that most of you would stay here? Would you believe I’m clairvoyant? No?

I don’t need to be clairvoyant to know that you’d still be reading because I know writers want to write. If you sit on the couch and watch Ellen, you are a watcher, not a writer. If you eat bags of chocolate kisses, you are an eater, not a writer. If you sit at a computer and stare at the screen, you are a starer; you are not a writer. (Sorry, if that hurts. Read on for the salve to solve that situation.)

Writers produce writing, coherent words on a screen (paper). If you are happy averaging one hundred words a day, then I suggest you stop reading here. If you want to write more, lots more, then continue, please.

Becoming a more productive writer involves many actions and a few attitudes. Here are a few of both.

Actions:

If you were on a deserted island with only your computer with a fully charged battery, would you write or would you play Solitaire until the battery discharged? (Solitaire players may stop reading and get back to their games. I apologize for the interruption.)

Do those close to you know you write?

Do you have a place just for you and your writing?

Do you write every day?

Do you keep track of your time and words every time your write?

Do you play Solitaire when you are writing blocked, or do you still write something, anything?

Attitudes:

Is writing fun or a chore?

Do you think you deserve to take time out of your day and from your other responsibilities to write?

What’s more important to you? The huge advance you’ll receive with the sale of your book? Finishing that book your family didn’t believe you would ever complete? Releasing your characters from the purgatory of your mind to see the light of a computer screen?

That salve I said I would share with you? This is it – my workshop titled Speed Writing – What Plan Works Best for You? You’ll learn how to form a habit of writing, learn to keep track of your productivity for accountability, learn to deal with issues—those inside you and outside of you. That’s just for starters.

It seems that hundreds of people have written books on increasing speed and word count. I’ll share information from many authors who have increased their word count to several thousand a day or even an hour. I’ll give you another author’s plan to write a novella in twenty-four hours and another author’s plan to write a book in nine days.

The beauty of this workshop is that I have done all the research for you. All you have to do to take the information and see which system works best for you.

I hope you will join me.

MM Pollard

About MM Pollard

As an English teacher for fifteen years and, currently as editor for Black Velvet Seductions and the MM in Workshops with MM, MM Pollard has helped writers correct ungrammatical grammar, misused usage, problematic punctuation, and poor writing. Check out Testimonials on her blog, MM’s Fundamentals of English. While you are there, sign up for her monthly newsletter and even look at previous newsletters.

MM began presenting workshops four years ago and has presented on many sites, including her own. Many RWA chapters, including From the Heart RWA, RWA Online, OCC/RWA, Passionate Ink, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal RW, Maryland RWA, and Florida RW, have also sponsored her workshops. In February, 2015, she presented at FRW’s Fun in the Sun Conference, and her dream come true!

Through her fun workshops—English class can be fun!—MM is sure she can help you, too, master the fundamentals of English composition.

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March’s OCCRWA Online Class is “Speed Writing: Which Plan Works Best for You?”, with MM Pollard

February 26, 2016 by in category Archives tagged as , ,

About the Class:
It’s easy to find how-to books on writing fast, but which one represents the solution to your plotting problem?

Let MM Pollard, writer, editor, and workshop presenter, help you sort through all of the different advice on this subject in eight lessons. She will focus on increasing daily word count as well as on quicker methods to plan and organize your book, using information from several fiction and nonfiction writers who have done just that. Students will be encouraged to try the techniques presented in each lesson to see if they work for them.

About the Instructor:

As an English teacher for fifteen years and, currently as editor for Black Velvet Seductions and the MM in Workshops with MM, MM Pollard has helped writers correct ungrammatical grammar, misused usage, problematic punctuation, and poor writing. Check out Testimonials on her blog, MM’s Fundamentals of English. While you are there, sign up for her monthly newsletter and even look at previous newsletters.

MM began presenting workshops four years ago and has presented on many sites, including her own. Many RWA chapters, including From the Heart RWA, RWA Online, OCC/RWA, Passionate Ink, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal RW, Maryland RWA, and Florida RW, have also sponsored her workshops. In February, 2015, she presented at FRW’s Fun in the Sun Conference, and her dream come true!

Through her fun workshops—English class can be fun!—MM is sure she can help you, too, master the fundamentals of English composition. 

This is a 4-week online course that uses email and Yahoo Groups. If you do not have a Yahoo ID you will be prompted to create one when you join the class, but the process is not difficult. The class is open to anyone wishing to participate. 
The cost is $30.00 per person or, if you are a member of OCCRWA, $20.00 per person.
For more information and to register go to http://occrwa.org/classes/march-online-class/

***********************************************************************
Permission to forward

Angela Kyle

OCCRWA Online Class Promos

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Plotter vs Pantser – Who are you?

August 4, 2015 by in category Archives tagged as , ,

Are you a plotter? One who fills up twenty or thirty pages, sometimes more, with scenes, settings, motivation, goals, conflict and character profiles before you can sit down and write the first chapter?

Or are you a pantser? Someone who gets an idea, makes a short list of ideas on one page and then sits down and starts to write, letting the story tell itself and unfold before your very eyes?

Some of you already know you’re a plotter and you follow a strict routine that helps you write pages and pages without too much trouble. While a synopsis is great for getting an editor or publisher to gain interest in your story, it can also be a great tool as a guide for your manuscript. It’s much shorter than the thirty to fifty pages of story plotting but with less detail. Some writers need more and some less, but whatever method you use, it has to be right for you or you’ll never finish any story. You’ll try many different methods before finding a style of writing that’s a perfect fit and will carry you through many manuscripts. I tried many many plotting methods in my search for a writing system that fit me.

A pantser, like some writers I know, still has some idea of the beginning, middle, and the end of the story to be able to tell it. I think most writer’s fall into one of these categories but many don’t. I fall somewhere in between where my plotting is kept to a minimum of one to two pages. I also write my synopsis as I go, working out some of the characters’ external conflicts as my characters interact.

Writers are creative, unique individuals who will find what works for them and employ whatever means they need to make it happen. A muse is all and good and well, but a beginning writer has no idea what that is. Or even which genre their writing style falls into. So we read everything we can in many genres. For example, we read dozens of books on craft, we attend multitudes of workshops and online classes, sometimes so many that we lose count, and we fill small notebooks with our notes. Only to find that where we fit isn’t such a great mystery.

So we write, and we write, and we keep on writing. Because with every page we pen, every character we bring to life on the page, every heart we tug on, our writing becomes stronger, better. All of this is done with the purpose of finishing a novel someone will read and enjoy, and maybe even recommend.

A novel that will be critiqued and revised many times over. A novel that will change with every revision, every re-write, and every idea that pops into your head. A novel that will eventually make it to an editor or publisher’s desk and then most likely go through more revisions and re-writes, regardless of whether you’re a plotter or a pantser.

That’s not to say your story isn’t good, only that it can be better. Just like a good critique partner can help your story in it’s beginning stages, a good editor can help you polish your manuscript before it’s ready for publication. As long as people change, their tastes in books change. That means the industry is constantly changing. Editors and publishing needs will change to keep up with current trends and the only way for an author to survive against the millions of books competing with theirs, is to write the best book they can – straight from the heart. So whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, whether you’re new to the world of writing or have written thirty books or more, you’ll never stop learning. Because when it comes down to it, we all want our romance book to take the reader on an emotional trip through our characters. To feel the rush of falling in love all over again.

So plot to your hearts content, or pants the story of your heart, because in this complicated time our world is in, everyone wants and needs some spiritual uplifting and lots of happily ever afters.

Elizabeth Scott
OCC/RWA
V.P. Programs
Facilities Coord.

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