Meditation and Creativity in the Shower

When you love the written word, the world is your oyster. It comes in the form of fiction and non-fiction, both genres that abound in creativity and breadth. There isn’t anything you can’t fathom when you have books in your life. The life of a writer is a blessing indeed. I seek all the accolades of the profession, starting with this modest blog.

Join me in my passion for writing. Maybe I can stimulate the craft in my readers and help them succeed in getting published. I will offer tips on perfecting your style and ensuring good technical skills.  If not, I will just share my experiences for amusement and your pleasure.

My blog, “World of Ink”, is self-explanatory. Anything and everything pertaining to the written word goes, including the process of ideation and implementation. It will be a great ride with no holds barred. Hold on to your seats, you are about to enter a rip-roaring realm where anything is up for grabs.

Let’s start with brainstorming, a crucial element for writers. How and from where do you get your ideas? Do you need inspiration? It can come from anywhere in everyday life, even the shower. What, you say. Yes, during your morning rinse. It is a great time to ponder your next piece while you are getting ready for the workday. There are no distractions unless the hot water runs out. (Be sure to get a good tankless water heater to prevent this crisis.)

Ideas can pop into your head at any time, so don’t discount any time or place. Try my suggestion of making shower time a realm of inspiration. Here is where creativity meets technology. Great things can happen in a small tiled space. I hope yours is attractive and enticing like mine.

As you can imagine, I practice what I preach. I spent a lot of time reviewing the latest and best tankless water heater models before installing my unit when the old rusty tank died a tragic death, leaking water all around the basement. I wanted no surprises and got what I felt was a reliable work horse. If my writing depends on this appliance, I wanted it to be the best in the industry.

So far, it hasn’t failed me. I love to immerse myself in warmth and let my mind roam. Sometimes it gets stuck in trivia while often, it triggers something special. I rush out and grab my mouse and open a new Word document. This can be a problem if you have an appointment or other timely matter.

If I can, I pour out the words as I type and reread them later in the day. This is a hot tip for would-be writers. Never judge your text at the moment. Let it sit for a while and gel. You can edit later when you are more composed and less concerned about catching the morning commuter train.

Marketing Your New Book: Where to Start

Books are Special 

There is just something about a book that gives the author special status in society. Books take time to write, they are not always easy to pen and the topic may not appeal to everyone but the author is looked at in a different light.

It is not hard to understand why you would want to write a book. But you need to get the word out about your book so you can make a little money off your creative effort. Where do you start marketing your book?

There are two main ways to start marketing your book 

#1. If you have not written your book yet

This is usually the best time to start marketing your boo. You need to take the time to figure our and discover what kind of reading material your potential readers want to read.

This information can help you plan your book’s direction and give you a built-in audience once you start writing. Getting the word out before you start is one way to get the right writing information, plus it helps let people know you are working on a book.

One way to do this is to use your blog or social media accounts and start writing smaller articles on the same topic. Getting your fans ready is a good way to build a strong reading foundation.

#2. If you have already written your book

Now that your book is completed, you can still do the same thing. Use your blog or social media accounts to get the word out on your book. Posting a few tantalizing excerpts to raise interest is a good way to use those outlets.

Next, you can help your potential readers discover your work by helping them find it. Let them know where it is on sale and help them get links etc., to those web pages talking about and selling your book.

After that, you still have to be involved. Even when you hire others to market your book, you still have to available to promote it and do some of the leg work to get your work known to potential readers.

But there is more than just these two ways to market your book.

Some marketing tips to get you started 

There are a number of starting points for you to begin to market your book. Here are a few of them to get you off on the right foot:

  • Learn who your audience is and target them with ads and other notices
  • Have a marketing budget and stick to it
  • Create a marketing plan to guide you
  • Use a little creativity in your advertising spots
  • Write an author’s biography that is appealing but short
  • Use a hook to get people’s interest up
  • Build a mailing list through your other websites
  • Link to trending topics to help people become aware of your book
  • Schedule webinars, social media announcements and more

Some final words 

Like writing, marketing takes time and some inspiration. There are plenty of marketing outlets available which will get you started. A little research will help you find the right outlets for you and your book’s topic.

Good Writing Sells: Cultivating the Habit of Daily Writing

To be successful at writing

Success doesn’t happen overnight unless you are a really talented and gifted author. It can take years before you finally hit that right combination of ingredients that turn you from a wannabe writer into a successful one.

There is an old Midas Muffler commercial that talks about how quality comes first then success. That is one of the keys to good writing. You have to make sure you have the quality in your writing that makes people want to read what you wrote.

You need to ask yourself three important questions about your work:

1.Did your writing topic and style engage your readers

2.Did it move them

3.Did it change them

Of course, you are going to have to be brutality honest with yourself when you answer those questions. Remember a good book is not written in a day, a week or even a month. It can take years of hard work and learning to get the formula just right.

Developing daily writing habits 

The key to good writing is to develop daily writing habits. This can from a simple decision to write every day. Even 30 minutes each day dedicated to writing can help you improve your writing skills.

Here are some ideas t help you develop a daily writing habit:

Set realistic goals

  • Find websites to help you track your writing
  • Find topics that are interesting to write about
  • Forget editing at the moment
  • Have a friend to help support your daily writing routine

These are only a few suggestions to help you start writing every day. Even as you do this, you need help in becoming a better writer

3 key writing steps to get better 

To avoid being a foolish writer, it is always a wise move to learn different techniques and make the necessary changes to your writing habits. Learning is always the most important step to becoming good.

#1. You need to study first- you can’t write well if you do not understand or know your topic thoroughly. Plus, you need to get the attitude that you do not know everything and that there is always something to learn

#2. Practice makes perfect- even professional athletes continue to practice. They may have reached the top of their profession but they still need to work on their game

#3. Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism- good feedback will always help you find weak spots in your plot, writing skills and so on. Learn to take and use the right critiques of your work

Some final words 

The other key you need to learn is discipline. Developing good daily writing habits helps you develop as a writer, gives you practice and lets you correct any mistakes you may be making.

You will make mistakes as you write. Daily writing habits also help you spot your own mistakes before anyone else sees them

Never Judge a Book by Its Cover, but that’s How to Sell One

That is the way it is in life 

You are never to judge a person by how they look. Your parents always told you that there is more to a person than just what is seen at face value. You have to take time to get to know a person before coming to any real opinions about them.

Unfortunately, that does not work well for selling books. To get people to buy your book and read it, you need a compelling cover to attract their attention and interest. The content of the book may be great but if you use a bad cover, your potential readers may not discover how good it is.

How to create a good cover 

To get people to stop and look at your book, you need a great cover to hook them in. That includes the back cover as well. What you say and do on the back may turn into sales or it may discourage people from buying your book.

Here are some tips for creating a good cover:

1. Don’t go it alone – unless you’re are a great graphic artist or know how to design really well, find a professional to help you design the cover. This is no time for novices to learn on the job.

2. The font is important – the front cover font selection says a lot about you and your book. If you are writing a serious book, you may want to avoid comic sans as that is a font linked to children’s books. Pick the right font to send the right message to potential buyers

3. Complement not clash in color design – the right colors will certainly attract people to your book when it sits on a crowded book shelf. Make the colors attractive and ones that work well with each other. Thinking outside the box may not be appropriate here

Back cover mistakes 

You may not think it but back covers also play a role in the decision buying of a book. A look at the back cover may be the turning point in their decision to buy or not. Avoid the following mistakes:

  • The back cover is too busy – if there is too much going on, people may put the book down and not read the information
  • Using non-powerful words – this is a big no-no as those words turn off potential readers. Go with powerful words instead
  • Don’t write a book – about yourself- keep the author bio short and sweet. Remember less is more
  • Using the title again – this is something that should be reserved for the front cover only.
  • Not having testimonials – other people’s recommendations go a long way in selling your book.

Some final words 

Take your time with developing the cover. Let your content help you design both the front and the back of the book. Get help if you are not sure how the cover should look

A good cover design is what sells the book.

Ideas to Build Book Buzz

You have written a great book 

Or you are about to write a great book. Either way you have to create some buzz among the public before your book hits the bookstore shelves. If you wait till the book is published you have missed an important window to create that buzz you want and need for your book.

Building public awareness for your book is important and it needs to be done sooner than you think. Some book publishing experts feel that you need to start building the buzz at least one year before publication.

After all it is usually never too early t get people thinking About your book.

A timeline of ideas 

#1. With 12 months to go before publication, it is a good idea to do two things. First, you should start building an email list. This gives you direct contact with your potential readers and book buyers. It also helps the people on that email list to get to know you.

#2. At the 6 month mark, you should expand your efforts to include the following ideas:

  • Build awareness- tell people about the book, its theme, genre and more. Don’t forget to mention your plans for the book
  • Keep your email list members informed- tell them about goals you have met, favorable comments it has been given, as well as letting them know when it will be published
  • Publish excerpts- these always help get people interested in what you have written in other parts of the book. You can also do social media announcements.

#3. The 3 month mark brings out advanced copies of your book. You have options on how to use these copies to build that book buzz you desire:

  • Send advanced copies to book bloggers- they can read the book and tell their readers about how good it is
  • Send copies to reviewers- the same thing. Enlist the aid of those who review books for a living
  • Write guest posts about your book- or do interviews with different bloggers or their podcasts

#4. The last month should see a frenzy of book buzz action and those ideas include:

  • Hold a contest- give a few copies of your book away
  • Send out emails to family, friends and your email list members reminding them of the approaching release date.

Some final words 

These are only a few ideas to get you on the right path t building up book buzz for your latest novel or non-fiction work. If you get together with family, friends or spouse, it is possible you can come up with a lot more ideas to help the sale of your book.

The key is that the people have to be aware of the book and when it will be on the book store’s shelves. There are also plenty of websites that can help you out.

Write the Book, Sell the Series: Give Your Fans More, Earn More

If you move people emotionally 

You make money. That is the going thought when it comes to writing a good book. When you write you want to impact people and get them involved with your characters.

The problem is, if you have only one book for them to read, then you have nowhere for them to go and they move on to the next good book. One way to stop this transfer of readers is to write a series of books using most of the same characters, if not all of them.

A series not only holds your readers to your stories, it also helps you make more money.

Tips on how to develop a series 

Developing a series shouldn’t be that difficult. You already developed the main character so adding a few different details and making another book is just an extension on what you have already done.

The hard work is over, for a while at least.

1. Don’t wait

If there is one thing about the public, it is that it has a short memory. Get the next book in the series out on the bookshelves as quickly as possible. This helps build up a loyal following

2. Create interesting characters

This includes minor characters as well. The more interesting they are the more interesting your book becomes. People won’t be able to wait to see what happens next to their favorites.

3. Spin offs help the series

When you have great supporting characters, you can always give them their own story line. The trick is, that not all supporting characters will make great heroes. They may make great villains

4. Don’t let the characters stagnate

In other words, don’t let their story grow stale. Leave unresolved issues for later novels to explore and solve. Also, let the characters grow throughout the pages of your story

5. Don’t over complicate your story

The old adage keep-it-simple-stupid pays off in writing a series. Keep difficult situations to a minimum. Do not create problems for yourself in later volumes of the series

Some final words 

The trend today is that book readers do not want to waste their time on one volume. They want to read a series or download an e-book series. Also, it may be easier and faster to write a series of books because your fictional world is fresh in your mind.

With a series on the market, you can meet your readers’ needs, develop your characters better and more deeply, as well as make more money at the same time. You may want to move people emotionally but you do not want to short your bank account either.