Sunday, August 29, 2010

Amazon Marketplace Strategies - Special Challenges in Book Descriptions and Writing Comments by Elisabeth Kuhn

Book description seems straightforward enough. However, there are challenges, and then there are the descriptions themselves. Read on to find out how to handle the challenging areas and the actual descriptions.

A) Some exceptions from the usual standards

If the book is out of print and very hard to find, you can sell it even if it has a splotch here and there and writing all over it. But make sure you carefully describe its exact condition. And no, broken spines won't do no matter how rare the book may be.

Read Amazon's criteria very carefully and follow them to a T. And as I said, err on the side of caution. I won't retype the descriptions here because they may change, and if you follow the information on their website, you'll be okay.

Under NO circumstances should you try to sell a book that's falling apart or that's quite soiled or moldy. Even if you describe it as such, the recipient will probably think it can't be that bad if it's sold on Amazon and will feel disappointed once they see it.

Just give it away. There's no point in risking your good rating over a few bucks, which you may have to refund anyway.

Writing accurate comments about the book's condition

Always add comments about the condition.

If the book is new, say so: "Shiny new book, straight from bookstore"

Be descriptive and clear. If the book has ANY blemishes whatsoever, list them. Watch for rubbing, which is what makes a shiny cover look a bit, uhm, worn. It happens from books being filed very close to each other and then rubbing against each other when they're moved. Sometimes, they acquire rub marks during shipping. Basically, it means that the finish has rubbed off, a bit, or a whole lot.

Check for remainder marks. Those are the big (or small) black splotches on books you get from the bargain bin. Usually, they're on the bottom of the book. Always mention them if there are any, and even describe them if they deviate from a normal smallish remainder mark.

If it's a big remainder mark, say, "big ugly splotch" or whatever, and if it's particularly small and unobtrusive, you can say it's just a "small dot."

Check for any writing in the book and if there is any, mention it. Also mention if the writing is in pencil or pen. Ditto for dog ears, stains, and anything else that makes the book deviate from the shiny new appearance the shopper is hoping for.

If a book is so crisp and new that it clearly has hardly been opened if at all, mention that too. In fact, mention anything that is in the book's favor.

And if you'd rather get a better return on your books and media items, you're invited to download Elisabeth Kuhn's FREE Guide to selling them online: eBay vs Amazon and discover what's better for which types of items.

Also consider Elisabeth's insider guide for Newcomers to Marketplace Selling and cut down on your learning curve dramatically as you turn your no longer needed books, CDs, DVDs and other things into money for your vacation -- or an entire new business.

Tips on Writing a Book-Promotion - 5 Steps For Creating a Compelling Blurb by Alan H. Jordan

If you are like me, one of the hardest things you can do is to create a compelling blurb for your book, or marketing copy for a manuscript that you're writing and proposing.

It's true that I know the value of my book, but it is also true that I know much more, so much more that it can be hard for me to distill a simple explanation. I can try for hours, even days to write a blurb, and it's likely to be bland, or worse yet confusing. The problem is that if the blurb is bad, many people will never look at the book. I've developed a solution. It works for me; perhaps it will work well for you too. Here are the steps.

1. Determine your book's dominant genre. This is not always simple for me, particularly if I am in the planning stages. It's possible that my manuscript may morph. I started out writing a book as a middle-grade fiction book, but it morphed into into a book that is structured along the lines of best selling thriller.

2. Determine the premise of the book. Each book can have only one premise (what every page, every paragraph, needs to foster), but you can have a number of books in a series that all contribute to an overall premise. The premise for the first of three novels in my science fiction fantasy series is "Evil cannot be destroyed but can be contained." The collective premise of the series of three books is, "For humanity to succeed as a species we must learn to live in harmony with the universe."

3. Find a best seller that is in the gendre you have selected that is consistent with the premise of your book. The genre that I am emulating is a thriller.

4. Locate a blurb of the book that resonates for you. An easy way to do this is read the jacket flaps of any successful book in the gendre you are using, or visit a library web site, look up the book, and then read the blurb that they display to patrons. As an example, I selected a blurb written about a best seller, which appeared in Publisher's Weekly.

5. Adapt that blurb to your book. -I do not want to copy the blurb and fill in my book's name. I want to emulate the style of that blurb.

The reason this system works for me is simple: I am not emotionally involved in adapting a blurb written about someone else's book. I am emotionally involved with my own book. Feel free to leave comments about how this system works for you. If it's appropriate, I'll respond.

Alan H. Jordan is the author of hundreds of magazine articles, six business books, six children's audio books and The Monster on Top of the Bed, a picture book for children ages 2-7. His poetry has appeared in major poetry magazines such as Mobius, the Poetry Magazine. Visit his blog to get many tips on writing and the marketing of writing.

Visit to register for free downloads of The End of All Times, and read the blurb that Mr. Jordan's created by adapting the Publisher's Weekly review of Dan Brown's New York Times Best Seller, The Da Vinci Code.

Social Networking with Authors Engages Adult Readers

Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have potential to get adults excited about reading books. Many adult readers enjoy connecting on a personal level with the authors of the books they read.

September is National Literacy Month, and adult educators are always looking for ways to get their students excited about reading books. The answer may be online. In a report titled Emerging Technologies in Adult Literacy and Language Education, the National Institute for Literacy notes that social networking sites give students the opportunity to read and write in an authentic, real-world situation. The report fails to mention the added potential these sites have to excite students about reading books by allowing them to get to know authors.

Book authors have taken to the internet to connect with their readers on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. This personal connection has made reading books a more meaningful experience, many readers say.

"It's great to network with authors… it shows they care and makes us more loyal," says Wanda M. of New York.

"I also like seeing some of the daily minutiae that authors go through, whether it's picking up kids, groceries, whatever," says Colorado librarian Sarah W.

Many readers agree that social networks humanize their favorite authors. Through Facebook and Twitter, readers get to know writers in conversations about everyday matters.

"Conversation is key," says Susan Mallery, bestselling author of Finding Perfect (September 2010). "I don't look at Facebook and Twitter as a way to publicize the release dates of my books, though they do help get the word out. I look at them as a way to make meaningful connections with readers. The truth is, if a reader loves my books, chances are good that we could be real friends because we share a sense of humor and we're moved by the same stories. I am what I write."

Mallery's website for the Fool's Gold series of romance novels could be a case study in how to engage readers in the world of the book. She makes reading fun. The Fool's Gold cheerleading squad is comprised of caricatures of some of Mallery's Facebook fans. She has created wedding websites for the couples who find love in her books, so that readers can see wedding pictures and even sign the guestbook. The site has lots of videos, too, making it an interactive, multimedia experience.

"The connection goes both ways," Mallery adds. "I ask my readers online to help me brainstorm sometimes while I'm writing, so they're a part of the process. My Facebook fans created a character from scratch, a veterinarian who will show up in Fool's Gold next year. I'm thinking of writing a Christmas book for him as a way to thank my fans for their friendship."

This opportunity to participate in the process gives readers a thrill when the book they influenced hits the shelves.

"[Participating] in new characters…is exciting and makes me look forward to getting my hands on the author's future reads," says Shawn L. of Washington, DC.

Readers have also found that social networks are a great way to discover new writers.
"I've met authors I wouldn't have known about… through seeing relationships between authors, some of which are very funny," says Heather M. of Georgia.

Sharon S. of Massachusetts adds, "It's also a lot of fun to connect with other readers who enjoy the same author. "

Susan Mallery shares one final thought: "Social networking can be a powerful way to connect with readers, but only when it's backed up by a good book. In the end, it always comes back to writing books that readers will love."

Are eBooks Worth the Paper they are not Written on?

The opportunity that seems to have been overlooked with eBooks is that technology can actually ADD VALUE to content. This is particularly true for books used in early education. By adding value to quality content, publishers can maintain pricing levels and customers are provided with educational features not available when using a hardcopy book. Everybody wins!

Australian based information technology company, ReadOn Pty Ltd, has looked beyond the basic eBook concept of simply providing electronic copies of hardcopy books in the release of its new product, myWordii.

myWordii eBooks are specifically designed for children in the first few years of formal education and are ideal when used along side or as a replacement for hardcopy levelled readers.

myWordii supports independent reading as well as whole class, small group and paired learning settings. It is perfect for the struggling or reluctant reader and students for whom English is a second language.

myWordii not only delivers hardcopy content in style matched electronic format, but also adds significant value to the text by including, within each book, the ability to access research-supported teaching and learning functions.

Monday, August 23, 2010

How Do I Write a Book? Easy Guidelines to Write a Book by Donna Monday

Writing a book of your own isn't as difficult as it seems as long as you get yourself organized at the beginning. Contrary to the myth, writers don't just sit down, look at a blank page and suddenly have this great flood of inspired writing come magically out of thin air. The reality is, there's quite a bit of background preparation to be done before the first sentence is written.

So, you want to know: How do I write a book?

Here are some guidelines to write a book:

Guideline #1: Have a Clear Idea of What You Want to Write

The first thing you need to think about is what type of book are you going to be writing?

Is it a fiction or non-fiction book?

These are two completely different types of book styles that require preplanning and preparation. If you're writing a fiction book, then you want to choose a genre for your story: drama, mystery, fantasy, horror, action adventure, romance, etc.

If you are writing a non-fiction book, then you want to know which niche your book falls under: cooking, business, self-help, memoir, etc.

Each type of book will require various types of research, note taking and coming up with ideas for chapters and content.

Guideline #2: Create an Outline

Now that you know what you're going to be writing about, you need to create an outline that will serve as your blueprint during the writing process. If you're thinking of skipping this part, I can tell you that it's not a good idea. It's very difficult to try writing a book from nothing but bits and pieces that come up in your mind.

Writing a book this way, won't be very organized and may have major problems with plot or natural flow of information. So, commit to writing your outline. Yes, this will take some work to do, but it's going to be well worth the time and effort.

Guideline #3: Think Up a Good Title

Every book needs a title and you'll need a good one for your book. Non-fiction book titles should contain the major benefit that your book will provide the reader. In this case, your book's title will serve as a mini billboard for the type of information you're giving someone.

Fiction book titles can be pretty much anything. However, it should try and capture the essence of your story in some way.

Guideline #4: Set Aside Time to Write

When you begin writing your book, you should devote from 1 - 4 hours at a time to doing nothing but that. There shouldn't be any interruptions or distractions. Writing takes a tremendous amount of concentration. Let family and friends know that you can't be disturbed when working on your book.

If you schedule your writing time on a regular basis, you'll find that this discipline will help you to get the writing done faster, than randomly working on it whenever you're in the mood.

Realize your dream of becoming a well-respected published author. I'll show you how fun and easy it is to write and publish your own book in just a few weeks with a step-by-step writing system. Instantly boost your professional credibility and earn more money. Go here now:

Free E-Book : The Power of Hope: 7 Inspirational Stories of People Rediscovering Faith, Hope and Love

Guideposts, the non-profit organization dedicated to providing hope, encouragement, and inspiration to millions across America and the world, today made available via a free download The Power of Hope: 7 Inspirational Stories of People Rediscovering Faith, Hope and Love.

In difficult times, how do others find hope? Download your free copy of The Power of Hope: 7 Inspirational Stories of People Rediscovering Faith, Hope and Love. You'll meet real people struggling with issues you hear about on the news every day. And you'll read in their own words how they were surprised by hope and revived by faith.

"Life often tests us with its challenges and difficulties. But the stories found in the free eBook The Power of Hope: 7 Inspirational Stories of People Rediscovering Faith, Hope and Love are the perfect antidote. Each story dramatically shows how people just like you not only overcome illness and hardships but deepened their faith in the process. In these real life stories of everyday men and women, you'll rediscover the power of faith and hope," said David Morris, Senior Editor of Guideposts Books.

Download your free copy of The Power of Hope and read true stories that will open your heart and help to bring you hope, faith and healing love into your life. The complimentary eBook is available exclusively on at:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tips For Writing Your First Book - Important Things to Remember About Books by Glen Ford

Here are some facts about writing a book that you should remember.

Books require someone to read the book. If you don't have a group of readers you don't have anything except a bunch of paper with type on it. You have to find the group you will sell most of the books to and concentrate on them. You can't be all over. If you look at T.V. channels they always are aimed at a specific group of watchers. Cartoon channels are aimed at kids and teenagers, the news channels at those who want to be kept up to date, science-fiction channels, etc. They concentrate on one group of people, because otherwise nobody will watch them; it is the same with books.

All books need to meet a need. A weight loss book helps to meet the needs of someone who is trying to lose weight, while a fiction book meets the needs of someone who needs to be entertained. Your book must do the same: it needs to give the reader answers or solutions, or at least help them find these answers and solutions to their needs.

The best type of person with a need is someone with a problem or group of problems. Your readers are no different, so find a common problem in the community you are aiming at and work it to your advantage. All problems have solutions, so promise a solution to this problem in your book, and give them the solution. If it happens to be a fiction then make the character's problem their problem now; they must feel like the only way for an answer is to buy your book and read it.

If you are publishing a book just for the sake of publishing a book it won't work. It must have feeling. You must have a reason to write. Figure out why you want to - why you have to - write this book, and you will do much better. This will also be required for the blurb on the front of the book telling the reader a little about you. You have to know what entitles you to be able to write this book and help people with whatever problem they happen to have, whether it be a lack of entertainment or learning how to play the kazoo.

Many people today write books as a means of branding themselves. If this is your reason there is one important fact you need to know.

People really don't give a darn about who the publisher is.

They care about what the book contains, how the writer can help them, and the fact that it's published. What this means is that you don't have to convince a traditional publishing house to publish your book. Modern on demand publishers have given you the capability to publish the book yourself. As far as the public is concerned, you'll do just as well publishing under a name of your choosing. It is best not to use your name as the publisher's name, however. Use something different enough for people to not know right away that it's you publishing the books. The only problem of course, is that this doesn't work with book sellers who continue to rely on the traditional publishing houses for their product.

Do you want to learn how to write a book in 24 hours? Take my brand new free course here:

Do you want to read more free information like this? Go to my blog:

New Organization Formed for Independent Authors

The Association of Independent Authors presents a clear vision of the future in publishing – independence is the preferred, and first choice for all authors. To achieve this, the AiA engenders a culture of excellence, teamwork and professionalism in a supportive community environment.

"The publishing industry is undergoing monumental changes," says spokesperson Melanie Walsh, "including an ongoing exponential growth in e-book sales, a change in book buying trends, and a new generation of readers who want everything now on their reading device."

The AiA plans to be at the forefront of this change, representing authors who choose independence over traditional publishing. "It seems difficult for some people in the industry to understand and accept, but there is a large contingent of new-breed authors who choose to self-publish up-front because it is best for them. It's not a case of settling for an easier alternative," says AiA administrator, Cara Edwards. AiA member Zoe Winters explains this attitude in her video series, "Zoe Who?"

Planning is underway for the AiA's inaugural conference to be held in San Francisco in July 2012. A Call for Submissions has now been issued, and given the quality of early responses, organizers expect to deliver a relevant, valuable program on all aspects of self-publishing. Interested speakers have until 1 November 2010 to make a submission on a range of topics including market forces, the process, design, technology, professionalism, and innovation. A strong delegation of independent authors is also expected, and a social program will be a highlight of the three-day conference.

The Association of Independent Authors ( is a membership organization of independent authors predominantly from the USA, Canada, Asia, UK and Australia. Membership is also open to authors who have published traditionally who are now planning to publish their future work, and reverted rights.

Free The Personal Growth Chicago Book Club

Chicago resident and native Brian Vaszily, editor in chief of one of the world's most popular personal growth websites,, founder of the new international "1 World, 1 Book" club online, internationally renowned life coach, and author of multiple bestselling books, has launched The Personal Growth Chicago Book Club.

The book club is free to everyone living in and around Chicago interested in reading and meeting live to discuss today's most exceptional books that promote personal and professional growth. This most commonly includes books in the genres of Psychology, Self-Help, and Business, and also occasionally Health, Spirituality and Biography, and tends toward new books or those published within the last several years.

Each month, Personal Growth Chicago Book Club members vote on one of three books to read and discuss in the following month. The three books to choose from are primarily culled from members who attend the book club discussions. Members meet monthly at a convenient central location in Chicago to discuss the winning book.

In its inaugural meeting in July 2010, for example, over thirty book club members met at Whole Foods in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago to discuss the book, What EveryBODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed Reading People, by Joe Navarro. Members rate each discussion at the book group's website, and this discussion received five out of five stars.

"I started The Personal Growth Chicago Book Club for two reasons," notes Brian Vaszily. "First, discussing the best personal growth books being published today with other locals who share a passion for reading greatly enhances the lessons and enjoyment of those books versus reading them alone. Membership already consists of a diverse mix of people from throughout the Chicago area - different careers, ethnicities, races, lifestyles, and economic backgrounds, and those from different neighborhoods within the city and different suburbs - and so discussing these books inevitably reveals some amazing and useful new perspectives! By extension, they're a great way for people to network, as well."

"On a more personal note," Vaszily continues, "I also launched The Personal Growth Chicago Book Club to engage with live people from the Chicago area who share a love of reading, discussing ideas, expanding their horizons and improving their life. Through my books, videos and the Intense Experiences newsletter, I reach tens of thousands of people weekly, but they're located throughout the world. That's me sitting alone in front of a computer thinking, feeling, writing, recording and editing most of the week; I'm so grateful my work now reaches so many people, but frankly I missed meeting new people in person who are dedicated to reading and growing personally and professionally."

The Personal Growth Chicago Book Club is free and easy for anyone to join at, where you can also learn more about the club, contact founder Brian Vaszily, and vote from amongst three new personal growth books on the one book you want to read and discuss with other members in the coming month.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Writing a Cover Blurb For a Book by Glen Ford

So you've written your first book. And you've decided to self-publish it. So now you're faced with the question of what to write on the cover. Or maybe you're a freelance writer and you've scored a gig to write cover copy.

Where do you start?

Well if it's your own book you're in luck. You see the place to start is with the problem your book is solving. You are solving a problem in your book aren't you? And you did create a reader profile before you wrote it didn't you? That profile and the problem are now the key to your writing of the blurb. They will guide you in writing that cover copy.

You see there are two purposes of having the blurb.

The first and most important purpose is the same as the title. Simply put, it is to get the potential reader to read your book. After all, if your potential reader doesn't pick up your book, they won't buy it. If your potential reader doesn't open the book, they won't buy it. If the potential reader doesn't read the first paragraph, they won't buy it. And so on. You need to get the reader to pick up the book and crack it open to the first paragraph.

That's the first and most important task of the cover copy (aka blurb). Like most purchases the process has been studied. What the time & motion studies have revealed is important. You see, when a potential reader picks up a book the decision process goes like this. See a cover and be attracted by the cover. Pick up the book and look at the title. If the title interests you read the blurb. If the blurb interests you open the book and read the inside blurb. If the inside blurb interests you read the first paragraph. If the first paragraph interests you read the last paragraph. Buy the book.

So the blurb is the second most important writing on the cover of the book following the title and sub-title.

The second purpose is much less important. However, as any copywriter will tell you it is deceptive in its importance. What is the second cover blurb? It is the introduction of the writer. It is there to introduce the writer and prove their justification for writing the book. Think of it as a statement of social proof. Why should you believe the writer? You'll find the answer in this section.

Generally these are two different blurbs. However, they can be combined or the writer introduction blurb can be moved to the inside of the book.

One mistake that is occasionally found is when the only blurb on the book cover is the introduction blurb. The main cover blurb describing the book is moved inside. The concept is that you need to open the book in order to learn what the book is about. And because you've opened the book you are one step closer to reading the first paragraph. Unfortunately, there is no incentive given to open the book in the first place.

So how do you write a blurb?

There are many ways but the best is to focus on your reader's problem. You start with your reader's problem. Describe it. Try to evoke the emotions that the reader feels around the problem. Give them some form of justification for feeling that way.

Then promise them a solution which can be found inside the book. If necessary give them some proof that the solution works. Try to avoid actually stating the solution but if necessary that can be done to increase social proof.

Use the information that you discovered regarding their motivations to help you motivate your reader to continue.

Do you want to learn how to write a book in 24 hours? Take my brand new free course here:

Do you want to read more free information like this? Go to my blog:

Glen Ford is an accomplished consultant, trainer and writer. He has far too many years experience as a trainer and facilitator to willingly admit.

Author Charles G. Irion Participates in Growing Self Publishing Trend

Self publishing is on the rise. The number of self published book authors is up 181 percent from 2009, according to Bowker bibliographic company. Arizona author Charles G. Irion of Irion Books LLC is part of this growing trend.

As technology progresses, so do the standards and expectations of publishing. Ten years ago a self published book could be spotted immediately and held a negative stereotype. Today, authors who choose to self publish have the same benefits as those who use traditional publishing and in some cases the benefits exceed those of traditional. Last century's logic is now outdated and lacks the agility of self publishing.

According to Irion, the advantages of self publishing outweigh those of using a traditional publisher. "I keep control," says Irion. "I retain all rights to my books, which doesn't happen with the large publishing houses."

In addition to having control over his novels, Irion has a greater profit margin by utilizing a print on demand service. By using print on demand Irion is able to order only what is needed by consumers. Irion jokingly adds, "It also allows me to have a parking spot in my garage."

Irion warns, however, "would-be" self publishers should also be wary of the commitments of self publishing. While there are many positive aspects to self publishing, the work load is also increased.

"In order to do this, I've had to wear many hats," Irion says. "You have to have perseverance, resources, imagination, and money. You need to have an open mind and some marketing skills. Then the writing gods do the rest."

The key ingredient in breaking the mold of traditional publishing, according to Irion, is dedication of both time and resources. Self published authors must be able to fully immerse themselves in all aspects of production.

"I advise anyone considering self publication to fully research the process before deciding," Irion says. "Authors should get referrals from publishing companies, join a professional association like the Arizona Book Publishing Association, and use vendors that other self publishers recommend. And lastly, "Don't be afraid to ask for help."

Charles G. Irion is an author and founder of Irion Books LLC. and

Attorney General Investigates Potentially Anticompetitive E-Book Deals with Amazon and Apple

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is investigating agreements between the country's largest e-book publishers and two of the largest sellers --, Inc. and Apple, Inc. -- that may block competitors from offering cheaper e-book prices.

Both Amazon and Apple have reached agreements with the largest e-book publishers that ensure both will receive the best prices for e-books over any competitors -- contract provisions known as "most favored nation" ( MFN ) clauses.

In letters to Amazon.Com and Apple, Blumenthal is calling on the companies to meet with his office to address these concerns. Publishers that have reached such agreements with Amazon and Apple include Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins and Penguin.

These agreements appear to deter certain publishers from offering discounts to Amazon and Apple's competitors -- because they must offer the same to Amazon and Apple. This restriction blocks cheaper and competitive prices for consumers.

After a preliminary review, Blumenthal's office has already found that e-book prices offered by Amazon, Apple, Borders and Barnes & Noble for several New York Times Bestseller books were identical among all four sellers.

"These agreements among publishers, Amazon and Apple appear to have already resulted in uniform prices for many of the most popular e-books -- potentially depriving consumers of competitive prices," Blumenthal said. "The e-book market is set to explode -- with analysts predicting that e-book readers will be among the holiday season's biggest electronic gifts -- warranting prompt review of the potential anti-consumer impacts.

"Amazon and Apple combined will likely command the greatest share of the retail e-book market, allowing their most-favored-nation clauses to effectively set the floor prices for the most popular e-books. Such agreements -- especially when offered to two of the largest e-book retail competitors in the United States -- threaten to encourage coordinated pricing and discourage discounting."

Forget eBooks: Historical Fiction Author Tweets New Novel Live for Big Burn Centennial

Literary history, of a sort, will be made from August 17-25, 2010 as novelist W. John MacGregor leverages social networking platforms to post the events of his novel West of the Gospel to Twitter, Facebook, and a customized blog. The most intriguing aspect of MacGregor's innovative project is that the fictional events in question took place 100 years ago in the context of Idaho's "Big Burn."

The seven-day event is designed to coincide with Centennial commemorations of the catastrophic 1910 hurricane-force forest fire that flattened and burned millions of acres in Montana and Idaho. MacGregor's novel, named after the Gospel Mountain region south of Idaho's Coeur d'Alene district, is also being released on August 17.

But can a novel be tweeted? Twitter is a social media platform notorious for limiting posted messages to 140 characters. "It's certainly a different format, and not one I'm particularly used to," says novelist and armchair historian MacGregor--who himself managed to avoid the Internet altogether up until a few short months ago. "But the idea is that several characters from the book—the supposed outlaw hero, sheriff's deputies, key witnesses, and the story's villain, such as he is--will report their activities as the story plays out in 1910."

MacGregor is quick to point out that the novel itself is not being tweeted. The tweets will be real-time status reports covering the story from several unique points of view—many of which are not addressed by the first-person narratives of the novel. "The end result will not be a document you'll want to read, in the conventional sense," MacGregor advises. "For the Twitter and Facebook versions, the idea is that you'll feed the story to your mobile device, whatever it is, and follow developments as they play out over a week."

"Once readers get past the odd notion of Old West cowboys texting from horseback," adds publisher Greg Wright, "I think they'll find following these characters quite gripping." The approach guarantees to take suspension of disbelief to new levels as readers squint at cell phones and laptop screens for a peek into long-past events. But Wright suspects that many latecoming followers of the Fewkes Legacy story might even come to think that the fictional tale is actually playing out in 2010.

"It could be important to get the word out about this," cautions Wright. "If 911 centers start getting calls about a desperate killer making his way into Libby, Montana, we might have to pull the plug.

"Orson Welles would be proud of Mac for coming up with this," Wright adds in a reference to the notorious Mercury Theatre radio production of War of the Worlds which convinced East Coast citizenry that aliens had invaded Earth.

But conquering the Internet is not the only item on the ambitious MacGregor's agenda. He has also authorized his publisher to begin developing West of the Gospel for big-screen treatment in cooperation with Moonlit Pictures. "This is a story that has generated a lot of buzz in the publishing and movie industries," says MacGregor. "I've been pretty surprised, on one level. But on another I haven't at all. Don't we all love a good mystery?"

MacGregor is not at all worried about having the story overexposed, curiously. "140 characters doesn't allow for a lot exposition, or for fancy prose," he notes. "The Twitterization of the novel will be its own unique experience."

Wright cuts in at this point. "We hope, of course, that followers will want to know more. Still, in one sense we are indeed giving the novel away, as one skeptic has put it."

But MacGregor winks. "It's still a mystery. I won't be giving too much away."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tips For Writing Your First Book - One Method For Making Your Book the Right Length by Glen Ford

Money, money, money. The size of your book will determine how expensive your book is to print. So think carefully before writing as many pages as you possibly can as this will make it more expensive. A more expensive book means fewer copies are sold. Now this doesn't mean you should make your books 100 pages, it just means consider the cost when writing your book. If you've got the information, why not write a series rather than one big book that requires super-human strength to lift.

Your readers and the market control you. After all, you need them so you must give them what they want.

For example, currently there is a push to make large books that will require a lot of time to read, especially in Science-Fiction and Fantasy (SFF). This doesn't mean you should write big books for the sake of writing a big book. However, if your book is pulp length (70,000 words or 200 to 300 pages) you are probably going to have problems selling it.

When people find a character, or group of characters, they like, they want more, more, and surprisingly, more. This means that they want a series of books. It doesn't mean you have to write a series, but it does mean you should consider it. Especially if your book is on the long side. After all, a fan of the first book will normally buy the next books in the series. After a few they will probably try reading some of your other books. If you have an idea that you can easily stretch into multiple books making them all classics, do so. A series will sell much better than a single massive volume. And selling books is the name of the game.

Having said that, if you feel like you only have enough ideas for one book only write one, rather than a series. People will prefer a single well written book full of brilliant ideas than 3-4 books where it feels like the writer has just written more for money.

Hardcover is more expensive than paperback, there is no way around it. Because of this people have a tendency to pick up the soft cover, and it's also easier to transport. If you have a good fan base then a hardcover is a good idea for libraries and serious collectors. But otherwise you should start with paperbacks. People have to know they're spending the money well by purchasing a book they know they'll enjoy when they buy an expensive hardcover. If they don't know you're a good writer they won't be willing to spend the money - normally.

The best way to find what your book needs is to look at other books in the genre. Look at the length that is most common for the top books, and use that as a baseline of where you want to aim for. There are normally 250 words a page, and for SFF books there're either 400 or 700 pages, roughly. This amounts to 100,000-125,000 and 175,000-200,000 words respectively.

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Glen Ford is an accomplished consultant, trainer and writer. He has far too many years experience as a trainer and facilitator to willingly admit.

New York Times Bestselling Author Launches Website for Writers uses state of the art technology to build a unique and free platform for writers to create, edit, publish and sell their books in one seamless process.

The new website offers members (membership is free) a complete set of tools letting writers log on to their book from any computer in the world with an internet connection and write. The built in word processor complements writing alone, collaboration or co-authoring regardless of geographical boundaries. The program supports multiple story lines and exclusive applications for creating a cast of characters, storing author's notes and chapter outlines and more.

The website has a built in social network, forums and, professional assistance.

Once a book is ready for print, provides a built in cover design wizard and printing at a push of a button directly from the site. There are no set up fees or royalty sharing. The author retains 100% copyright and can order as little as a single copy. TheBookPatch printing price is unparalleled and declines with every additional copy even if ordered one at a time. Authors can update and make changes to their books with no additional charges and retain the previous editions discounts. An average book price for a 200 page book with a full color cover will run between $5.50 and $16 on the average. TheBookPatch also offers an online book store where authors can sell their books and collect the profit while TheBookPatch retains only the printing cost.

Groundbreaking Digital Reading Experience for Teens

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing has launched Loser/Queen at, an online serial novel for teens by New York Times bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson, hosted by the social discovery and cataloging network LivingSocial's Visual Bookshelf. Loser/Queen is a new style of reading experience that provides online users the opportunity to shape an unfolding story.

Beginning today, readers will have the opportunity to read the first few chapters and vote for how the story will continue. Online readers will even have the opportunity to vote for final cover art. New chapters and voting opportunities will be revealed every Monday until September 13th. Loser/Queen then, in its entirety, will only be available online until September 20th. Thereafter, readers will have to wait for the paperback edition and e-book edition to be released by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on December 21, 2010.

Author Jodi Lynn Anderson says, "When Simon & Schuster approached me about creating an online book together, I was intrigued. It was a chance to create something really new…the interactive elements, getting the chance to involve readers in deciding on where the story will go…It's been an exciting, creative process."

"Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing is committed to exploring new ways to deliver content to our core audience and to have that audience be a part of the experience," said Justin Chanda, Publisher of S&S Books for Young Readers. "I think Loser/Queen is a big step forward in the digital landscape, not to mention being a terrific story, by a first-class author."

Bloomsbury Publishing to Bring Sir Winston Churchill Into Libraries, Schools and Homes

Bloomsbury Publishing has reached an agreement with the Sir Winston Churchill Archive Trust and Churchill Heritage Ltd to digitise and publish in electronic form the one million page archive of the Papers of Sir Winston Churchill.

In 2012, Bloomsbury will publish the entire archive in digital format for libraries and individuals. Scholars, casual readers and school children will all be able to access the largest and most important collection of primary source material of any individual leader of the 20th century.

Sir Winston Churchill has become an icon: a global symbol for strong leadership and the defence of freedom against totalitarianism. He remains one of the most quoted and misquoted figures of the modern era. This collection is replete with hand-written notes and private letters, revealing the human side to the man who is recognised to have saved the nation. Doubts and demons sit alongside confidence and bravado - all of which made up one of the most remarkable Prime Ministers in British history.

Publication will coincide with changes in the schools' curriculum and related interest in the history of the twentieth century. Sir Winston himself said that "The empires of the future are the empires of the mind" (Harvard University, 6 September 1943).

Sir Winston Churchill Archive Trust and Churchill Heritage Ltd are together represented in this project by Gordon Wise of Curtis Brown.

Nigel Newton, founder and Chief Executive of Bloomsbury, said, "The distinguished Churchill Archive is the closest the UK has to a Presidential Library, and its publication online will become a landmark in 20th century historical studies. Bloomsbury's strategy is to grow our academic and specialist publishing and we are delighted to be the digital publishers of such an important collection of papers."

James Joll, Chairman of the Sir Winston Churchill Archive Trust, said, "The Churchill Papers are carefully preserved in the Churchill Archives Centre. Over the last few years the Sir Winston Churchill Archive Trust has worked to ensure that the papers have been made available for research, education, and exhibition. However, this initiative will provide international access through the internet, allowing the collection to fulfil its true potential."

Sir Martin Gilbert, Churchill biographer, said, "The Churchill Papers collection is an Aladdin's Cave of historical riches, which it has been my privilege to explore. I strongly endorse this project, which will enable everyone to have access to Sir Winston Churchill's writings and correspondence. It is a project that will bring the history of the first sixty years of the Twentieth Century, and the remarkable story of Britain's greatest Prime Minister, into the classroom and the home."

The management of the Churchill Papers publications project will come under the direction of Bloomsbury Academic.

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