I love Kindle publishing success stories.

Here’s another one from The Passive Voice:

I cranked out my first book, with little or no guidance, in three months and published it last October. I put it out of my mind completely and started on the second one. Though it was 20K words longer, I cranked it out in 2-1/2 months. Mind you, I was working upwards of 70 hours a week as an over the road truck driver and writing in the sleeper of the truck. My first goal was getting both books published before Christmas and that’s just what I did, 178K words in less than six months, publishing my second book on 10/23. January sales were over $2500, more than enough for all the tools I wanted.

Here’s why I love it. When you’re self-publishing, you can do it all on your own. All you have to do is write. Lovely story.
, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Make Money Writing Nonfiction With These 2 Offerings

Make Money Writing Nonfiction With These 2 Offerings

In addition to copywriting, writing nonfiction has been the mainstay of my career for a couple of decades, and I can’t see that changing. Here’s why: you’re always learning, and so is everyone else.

“But Everyone Knows That…”

Years ago, I was having lunch with my current book editor and copyeditor. We were discussing nonfiction book topics. My editor suggested a topic, and I replied: “But everyone knows that.”

She replied: “No, they don’t.”

I’ve thought about that conversation often over the years, because I often find myself responding to students in the same way. We imagine that everyone has the knowledge that we have. No, they don’t. And that means that you can make money writing about what you know.

Make Money Writing About What You KNOW

Someone once said that the best way to learn is by teaching. It’s sometimes a challenge to get over your own “everyone knows that” response when you consider nonfiction topics without the help of a writing coach. Your coach can push you past that automatic “everyone knows” reaction. :-)

So, think about what you’ve learned in the past 12 months. I’ve learned more about self-publishing, social media, and geriatric dogs. Could I write nonfiction magazine articles and nonfiction books about these three topics?

Of course I could. Yes, I’d need to research the topics. Every piece of writing you do needs research, even if you’re writing personal essays. However, because I’ve learned about these topics, I can write about them. I could write magazine articles and nonfiction books.

The Big Benefit of Writing Magazine Articles: You Get Known

Here’s the big benefit of writing magazine articles for unknown writers: you get known. Looking back, I can see that every traditionally published nonfiction book I’ve written came from magazine articles. Editors at publishing houses read the articles, and approached me to write books on the topic.

That’s very common. So, you may get publishing offers. These days, it’s likely you’d refuse the publishing offers, because you can make more money self-publishing.

However, there’s another benefit: you can charge more.

Once you can write: “published in__________ (high profile magazine)” after your name, you develop a certain cachet. All things being equal, who do you think a fashion website editorial director would hire, if the choice was between a writer who’s been published in Vogue, and several writers who hadn’t been published in any magazines?

BIG TIP: Nonfiction Magazine Articles Equal Instant Nonfiction Book Topics

If a magazine article gets lots of interest, write a nonfiction book on the topic. You can be sure that other writers, if they see that your article is winning attention, will be doing exactly that. With my magazine writing students, I encourage them to keep books in the back of their mind while they’re writing for magazines.

As we’ve said, today you’d be silly if you accepted a traditional publishing contract for a nonfiction book. You could make more money self-publishing the book. There might be reasons you’d sign a contract, however. Some writers baulk at self-publishing and marketing, and that’s fine. Self-publishing may not suit your temperament.

These Two Offerings Will Help You to Write Nonfiction Articles and Books (They’ll Be Withdrawn on September 21)

As you may know, we’re whittling our offerings right down. Thinning the herd, as you might say. I’m husbanding my resources to write more fiction in 2015, and we’ve got lots of new workshops coming up.

Until September 21, you get great deals on two products which will help you to write magazine articles and nonfiction books.

Here they are…

Freelance Writing: Make Great Money Writing Articles for Magazines (in Your Spare Time)

This program will help you to write magazine articles with confidence. Here’s a full description of the program.

Nonfiction Ebook Superstar: Write and Sell in 24 Hours or Less

Although this program has “ebook” in the title, it refers to books in general, of course. Here’s a full description of the program.

Remember, these two program will be withdrawn on September 21.

Writing nonfiction will never go out of style. You can use your magazine credits to build your name as a writer. This will open many more opportunities and doors to you. And of course, people always want information. Your nonfiction book market is global.

Enjoy these two products. As always, you get the full products, including coaching, with our offerings.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Copywriting and Romance Writing: 24 Hours Remaining

Copywriting and Romance Writing: 24 Hours Remaining

We’re in the final quarter of 2014. What will you be writing in 2015? I’ll be focusing on copywriting, as always, and on my own fiction, rather than ghostwriting for others. If you’d like to become a copywriter, and/ or write romance fiction in 2015, check out two of our most popular products. They’ll be withdrawn in 24 hours.

2015 is getting closer: prepare now

I’m developing my schedule for 2015 over the next few weeks, because I know that once we get to November, everything will be so busy and frantic that I won’t have time to think.

Check out these two guides now. They’ll help to make 2014 your best writing year ever.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Freelance Cash: Get Paid On Time

Have you set up systems for your writing business? The most important system is the one which ensures that your freelance cash rolls in reliably.

So, I updated this article from 2012 with some additional information. With the right systems in place, you’ll have peace of mind… and you’ll get paid on time.

How to Get the Freelance Cash You’re Owed

 

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Stress Relief: 5 Ways to Manage Your Stress

Writing Stress Relief: 5 Ways to Manage Your Stress

Stress is harmful for writers; more so than it is for other people, so let’s look at some ways to get writing stress relief.

Here’s why your stress affects you more than it does people in other occupations. If a bricklayer or a lawyer’s stressed, the bricklayer can still lay bricks, and the lawyer can still write pleadings. Stress chokes creativity, so a writer finds writing more difficult when he’s stressed. Indeed he may not be able to write at all.

Here are some ways to manage stress.

1. Do More. You’ll Experience Less Stress.

Although this seems counter-intuitive if you’re already stressed, you can eliminate a lot of anxiety by doing more. You’ll see this process in action on my writing journal. I have so much going on during the writing day that I don’t have time to be stressed.

If you’re concerned about crappy book reviews, and worrying about your current book – start another book. Back in the days when the bulk of my income came from magazine articles, I had so many queries doing the rounds that a rejection made zero impression. It just meant I had to get a revised copy of the query out to the next magazine on my list.

I’ve often told the story of a magazine editor who called me to offer me an article. She also apologized for rejecting a query. I couldn’t remember the query at all, but when I checked; she was right, I’d sent it to her. The rejection she believed had tortured my delicate writer’s soul wasn’t even a blip on my radar. If you’re writing, writing and writing some more, all you care about is your writing. You sit and you do it; you don’t have time to be stressed.

2. Set Goals, and PLAN.

With my students, I often find that they’re setting goals without planning how they’ll achieve those goals. “I want to make $10,000 a month” isn’t a goal. It’s just a statement. Work backwards. Look at what your income is now for various kinds of writing. Then work out how many clients you’ll need, and how many projects you’ll need to complete, to make $10,000 a month.

When you do this, you may find that there’s no way you can make $10,000 a month by doing what you’re doing now. You’ll need to make changes – get clients who’ll pay more, and take on higher-paying projects.

Planning assures you that you’re moving towards your goals, and you’ll experience less stress.

3. Get a Writing Buddy.

Writers understand writers. Friends and family may not understand you and your writing, and that’s fine. Unfortunately, if you need validation, you’ll often try to get it from your nearest and dearest. It leads to aggravation all around. You resent them for not providing support, they resent you for your temperamental behavior.

Get a writing buddy. Look for someone who’s writing what you’re writing, and is experiencing the same challenges that you are.

Over the years, I’ve belonged to several local writing groups, and the camaraderie was invaluable.

4. Schedule Everything – Write When It’s Time to Write.

I believe in time off, however, I tend to write every day. That’ s not a contradiction. I write every day because writing’s a habit. It’s what I do. If you read my writing journal, you’ll see that when something comes up, the first thing I do is rearrange my schedule.

My best tip: schedule everything. That immediately lowers your stress level. I used to tell my kids “if it’s not written down, it’s not happening.” So, write it down.

I use a combination of tools to manage my schedule. Evernote’s my general Inbox. I dump everything in, and sort it out at the end of the day. If you’re having problems with planning, scan my journal entries. You may pick up some scheduling tips.

5. Journal – It Will Improve Your Mental and Physical Health.

Journaling lowers stress levels, and improves your health.

Obviously, the writing journal I publish online is expurgated. You don’t get client and project notes, because that material’s confidential. I don’t include any items from my personal journal either. I use my personal journal to work things out; write down (night) dreams; character motivations; and much more.

Here’s an article on the health benefits of journaling:

When you’ve got a problem and you’re stressed, keeping a journal can help you identify what’s causing that stress or anxiety. Then, once you’ve identified your stressors, you can work on a plan to resolve the problems and, in turn, reduce stress.

You’ll find that simply writing stuff down relaxes you and lessens stress. If you’re worried about your son, who’d being bullied at school, journaling about it – even if you don’t make a plan – will help you to calm down.

Dump your worries and stresses into your journal, and you’ll free your creativity so you can write.

So there we have it: five ways to manage stress. Each one will give you some relief. Recent studies show that stress can be good, or bad. Good stress keeps you energized and motivated. Do all you can to eliminate bad stress from your life. Your writing will thank you. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

How To Get Book Reviews

How To Get Book Reviews

I’ve received some questions about getting book reviews, so let’s look at that today.

Start by writing book reviews

I’ve always said that the best way to get book reviews is to give them to others. Definitely NOT in any kind of quid pro quo arrangement, but if you’re writing books/ ebooks (let’s just call them books :-)), you should be reading them.

After you read a book you enjoyed, post a review. You can send a quick social media message to the author about the review. Leave it at that. You wrote your review because you enjoyed the book. If you didn’t finish the book, or hated it, don’t bother with the review. Your purpose in writing reviews is to form relationships with other authors, rather than developing a hobby as a reviewer.

Aside from becoming known as a generous author who provides reviews, here’s the biggest benefit: you’ll learn a lot. You learn how to write by reading. Thinking about books you enjoyed reading, and writing about them, will help your own writing.

Approach book bloggers: offer Advance Reading Copies (ARCs)

I’ve written about book reviews on the Just Write a Book Blog. You can check out the how to get book reviews without slitting your wrists article here. I said:

Book bloggers with popular blogs have huge numbers of books to read. As with the Goodreads’ people, look for bloggers who share your taste in books.

Before you approach any book blogger, become a constant reader. Comment on reviews they’ve written. All bloggers appreciate comments. They’ll love the fact that you stop by, and you’ll be known to them before you ask for a review.

Follow the same routine as above. Be friendly and open, and make it clear that you’re interested in what they think of your book because you respect them. And tell them that you’re happy to wait. :-)

Get reviews via your own blog

You knew I was going to talk about blogging, didn’t you? Yes, you need a blog, and you need to talk about your books on your blog. Once you have a readership, even if you only get 40 readers a day, you can let your readers know that you have ARCs, and would appreciate a review, if they have their own blog.

Of course, once you have readers, you can ask for beta readers too, before you do the final edits on a book.

The key: relationships

When you write reviews, comment on book blogs, and use social media, you’re forming relationships. Those relationships will bring you reviews.

Important: you’re not providing ARCs for reviews. You HOPE that someone will give you a review, but you can’t compel them. Consider that anyone who gives you a review is giving you their time, and energy. Be grateful that someone took the time to ask for an ARC, and try to make all your interactions pleasant. You’re building relationships today, which will stand you in good stead for years.

Don’t sweat reviews

Many authors, especially new authors, believe that their book will be an instant bestseller, if only they can get a few more reviews. That may well be so. I know that if you want to run a BookBub ad, you need to have a lot of reviews — 20 or so? I could be wrong, so you’ll need to check that.

However, there’s something that is MUCH more important than beating the bushes to scare up some reviews. It’s this: writing. If someone loves your book, you’d love it if they wrote a review, but you’d love it even more if they bought your other five books. So, unless you have a respectable Amazon catalogue, with lots of books for readers to buy, don’t sweat reviews.

You WILL get reviews organically, when you keep writing and publishing. They’ll be genuine reviews, from people who love your work — and some who don’t of course, but that comes with the territory.

Getting book reviews can be scary, however, it’s not THAT scary. You wrote a book, the first of many. You hope readers will love it as much as you do. However, when all’s said and done, getting book reviews is just marketing.

You need to market, but marketing  works best when you accept that it takes time. The tenth time a reader sees your name, he may buy your book. One in thousand readers will write a review.

Focus on writing great books. You’ll get better with each book, and you’ll get book reviews too.

 

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Get Hired to Write Today: Your 60-Minute Strategy

Get Hired to Write Today: Your 60-Minute Strategy

You want to get hired to write. It’s a real challenge. But what if it were easy? It can be. I’ve been publishing my writing journal for a few weeks now, and I’ve received many plaintive “how do I get HIRED” email messages. One message was 2,856 words. (I counted them.)

Here’s the gist of the reply we sent to these writers:

You can write. Your message proves it. Write more messages, and send those messages to companies which can hire you…

So, that’s one way. Send messages to companies which hire writers.

A digression. Usually I’d say “companies and publications”. However, clicks are harder to come by these days. Online publications are low-balling writers. Avoid them.

A Simple 60-Minute Strategy.

If you’re a new writer, this strategy might take you longer than 60 minutes. Everything takes longer when you’re just starting out. So if the strategy takes you four hours, that’s OK. You’ll get faster at researching and writing the more you do it.

1. Decide What You Want to Write.

What do you LOVE to write? If you’re like me, and just like writing anything and everything, narrow it down. Maybe you want to write:

  • Web content, like blog posts, or straight webpages;
  • Copy – you enjoy copywriting, and want to get hired to write marketing materials like press releases and advertising;
  • Fiction. This is still amazing to me: you can get hired to ghostwrite novels and short stories, and the pay is excellent.

Choose what you’d like to get hired to write. Here’s why. People don’t want to THINK when they read email or answer the phone. So if you approach companies saying: “I’m a freelance writer” they’ll either delete or file your message.

On the other hand, if you say something like: “I noticed that your blog hasn’t been updated since 2013, here’s a sample of what I could do for you”, they’re more likely to pay attention. You’ve identified a problem they have, and you’re offering a solution.

2. Write a CUSTOM Sample.

Let’s say that you want to get hired to blog. You’ve got a blog. You blog conscientiously. You look on your blog as a writing sample, as indeed it is. However, remember what we said: people don’t want to think when they read email, or answer the phone.

So whatever kind of writing you want to get hired to do, write a custom sample before you approach your prospects.

Some bloggers are excellent at this, especially mommy bloggers. They choose their target audience: companies which will pay for advertising, or product reviews, then they write blog posts which will be attractive to that audience. That’s a longterm strategy.

For your 60-minute strategy, write a product review as a sample. If your chosen prospects are in the beauty industry, write a product review of your favorite skin care cream, or lipstick. If your prospects are in tech, review a gadget you’ve purchased recently.

Today, every company is looking for content. Reviews are hard to come by, so if you approach companies showing that you can write reviews, they’re likely to be interested in what you can do for them.

3. Send CUSTOM Email Messages to Companies Which Can Hire You.

Customize each message you send out. Paste your product review into the message, to make it easy for your recipients to scan the message. Assure your recipients that you’re happy to write reviews for them.

Tip: the product reviews you create can be short – 300 words. Assure your recipients that that review is a sample. You can write reviews in their chosen style, and at their chosen length.

Let’s look at what we’ve done here:

  1. You chose what you enjoy writing;
  2. You chose an industry, or a profession to approach with your custom writing sample;
  3. You customized each message.

The above process shouldn’t take you longer than 60 minutes before you’re sending out your first message. Keep sending out messages. Remember what we said about selling your writing being a numbers game.

One of my students got hired to write for a company a few minutes after she sent her first message. She’d written for this client previously, and she offered to write publicity material. Her sample focused on the latest news in his industry, and it appealed to him. By the close of business that day, he’d sent $1200 to her PayPal account, because she turned him into a retainer client, by offering to write a press release a week for him.

One student, bless him, sent out over 50 email messages over a couple of weeks before he got a nibble. He was happy. This client also became a retainer client.

To wrap up: approach people who can hire you, and offer them something that’s relevant to them. You’ll get hired.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.