Authors—or anyone marketing—are you looking for an awesome place to buy affordable printed “merch” for your books or products? You know… marketing merchandise, like stickers, buttons, labels, magnets, packaging, and such? Maybe something imprinted with the cover of your book?
One of my author friends, Haley Rose, uses them with relish to raise awareness for her darling, educational children’s picture books.
Direct from Sticker Mule’s website, here’s what they’re about: “We relentlessly focus on making it fast and easy to order custom products. Order in seconds and get your products in days. Free proofs, free artwork help, free shipping, and fast turnaround are why people love us.”
My author clients often express frustration about how hard it is to obtain book reviews from readers. They ask, they cajole, they beg. I guess a lot of readers are either intimidated by the process, don’t know what to say, or just can’t find the time.
Luckily, one of our savvy ALWAYS tribe members—author Karen Mueller Bryson of Short On Time Books—recently shared an inexpensive answer to this problem. She pointed us to a site called Choosy Bookworm, where readers sign up for free ebooks in exchange for an Amazon review. Here’s the process:
Choosy Bookworm advertises your published or pre-release eBook to their readers via their Web site and enewsletter.
Interested readers sign up to receive your free eBook.
You send the eBook as a MOBI or PDF; or you gift per Amazon.
Readers will read your book and post a review on Amazon or GoodReads.
At our Alliance of Literary Writers, Authors and Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) gathering this week, five established writers shared their top writing secrets and vocabulary words for this month. Now you can benefit from them, too!
Em-dash (—), what most people call simply a “dash,” signifying a break in a thought or longer pause or interruption in dialogue
5. By the way, Laurie is the current president of the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths. This association for mystery writers meets the third Wednesday of the month at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in downtown Scottsdale, Ariz.
6. Ann Videan (that’s me), author of Rhythms & Music women’s novel and soundtrack, and The Delfaerune Rhapsody series, suggested authors look into product placement in your books to develop additional revenue streams. She explained that this simply involves mentioning brand names in your story and approaching the company about supporting the book for its publicity value to them. She recommended this HowStuffWorks article to learn more.
7. Our topic, vocabulary, helped unveiled several new fun words or phrases we can can all incorporate into our writing.
brilliant: popular in the United Kingdom, meaning cool, great, or an outstanding performance, concept, or product
mind the gap: a phrase to warn passengers to be careful while crossing the gap between the train door and the station platform.
go to the loo: an informal, more polite way of saying you’re headed to the bathroom, or going to the toilet
(From these first three, can you tell Laurie just returned from a trip to Europe?)
kerfuffle: disturbance or fuss
ostentatious: fancy, showing off wealth of knowledge to gain attention
ambitious: desiring to be successful, famous, or powerful; not easily done or achieved
grawlixes: typographical symbols standing for profanities, appearing in dialogue balloons in place of actual dialogue
ar·sy–var·sy: backside forward, head over heels, topsy-turvy
interrobang: a printed punctuation mark (‽), available only in some typefaces, designed to combine the question mark (?) and the exclamation point (!), indicating a mixture of query and interjection
histrionic: over-the-top melodramatic or theatrical
opprobrious: expressing scorn or criticism
disconcert: unsettle, disturb the composure of
(These last three are Shayne’s favorites from his new vocab book. Weren’t we lucky to have him attend today and share such cool words?)
8. For an introduction to a new word every day, complete with pronunciations, Laurie suggested subscribing to Wordsmith.org’s A.Word.A.Day.
So many writing resources. So many how-to books. So many style manuals. As a writer, you could spend an entire life reading and studying, intimidating yourself so with everyone else’s ideas and rules that you never actually sit down to write anything from your heart.
One overarching fact crystalized in my head over years of writing/editing millions of words in business content and numerous novels — sometimes the best way to communicate an idea involves blasting away the rules and conventions with a creative blow torch. Creative license makes writing fresh… and, well… yours.
Don’t get me wrong, it is important to research and read when you’re a writer. You need to know the rules—at least the basics, so you can keep your audience intrigued. But, you also need to know when to bend or ignore those rules to best serve your own writing voice. (More on this in my #9 Writing Tip, coming soon.)
So, where to start? Here are a few of my favorite resources for learning writing basics: