You’re a Writer Entrepreneur (Vanishing Guides)

Writing: Entrepreneur Bundle

It’s time to take the next step in your writing career, and become a writer entrepreneur. What does a “writer entrepreneur” do? He uses his writing skills to forge his own path as a writer.

He sets his own hours, and his own rates. And he makes an excellent income.

Do you want your writing freedom?

I work with writers every day. Many are frustrated. They have challenges with their clients, with their mindset, and with completing work. They have little creative freedom. They fail to see that opportunities are all around them, which they could take advantage of easily.

Want to do your own thing? Our latest Vanishing Guides bundle can help.

The Writer Entrepreneur Bundle: for you, if you’re ready for the next step.

The Writer Entrepreneur Bundle contains three essential products to help you to write articles (the foundation of Web writing); to help you to sell with easy-to-learn copywriting skills; and to help you to create info products.

We recommend these writing guides to writers who want to be free to create what they want, and charge appropriately.

 Do more with your Kindle products.

I’m thrilled that we have so many self-publishing opportunities today. However, most writers upload their ebooks to Amazon, and call it done. Sadly, they’re not even aware that they’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re creating some ebooks on home schooling. You’re home schooling your kids, and you have a lot of great information you share. You know that one book sells another, so you’ve published five ebooks on home schooling.

You could do a lot more. You could create workbooks, and coaching classes, and sell them on the Web. Not only would these additional products help you to promote your Amazon ebooks, they would sell on their own, too.

Much as I love Amazon, it’s a crowded marketplace. It’s a challenge to get traction. Some of my students are doing well on Amazon, but they could be doing better, if they took advantage of the opportunity to create and sell info products.

Grab it before it’s gone…

As you may know, our Vanishing Guides are available for a limited time before they vanish for good. The Entrepreneur Bundle is available until July 29.

Enjoy. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Kindle Fiction: How to Write Your First Short Story

Kindle Fiction: How to Write Your First Short Story

You want to write Kindle fiction, and you’ve heard that writers can sell short stories on Amazon. However, you’re unsure how to start. How do you write a short story which sells?

Recently I was working with a couple of writers who were convinced that they couldn’t write fiction. One said, “I don’t have any imagination,” the other said: “I don’t know where to start.” Everyone has an imagination, and more to the point, you can train your imagination to provide you with characters and plots.

We’ll look at “where to start” in this article.

1. Start Your Short Story With a Character.

I’ve been writing fiction for so long that I usually start with a plot. Someone wants something, needs it desperately, and is determined to get it, no matter what. However, if you’re new to fiction, the easiest way to start a story is with a character.

That character may be someone you know, someone in the news, or even a character in a book. The only requirement is that you “know” this person. You know how they’re likely to behave in a situation.

Alternatively, close your eyes, and see what your imagination tosses at you. Say to yourself: “I need someone to write about…” An image of a person will appear – and hey presto, you have a character.

2. Start Your Short Story With a Motive.

You can also start with a motive. My favorite motivational tool is the seven deadly sins: wrath, avarice, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. You can create many different kinds of stories from these archetypal character flaws, because they provide motivation.

Let’s say you chose wrath – anger as a motivation. Who’s angry?

If you’re writing a children’s story, you could write about a little boy or girl whose parents are divorcing. The child acts out. Who helps the child? Perhaps it’s a teacher, or an aunt or uncle. With this kind of story, the child, and the adults around him, learn a life lesson as a result of an incident in the story.

Perhaps the child runs away because he’s so upset and angry. If you choose this as your incident, the story may be more adult than a children’s story; it’s your choice. :-)

If you’re writing a romance (more on genre in a moment), think about who’s angry. Perhaps a young couple is making preparations for marriage. They’re living together, and are discovering different things they dislike about the other person. One of them is angry enough to call off the wedding. What happens? Do they get back together?

3. Start Your Short Story With Something That Intrigues You.

What intrigues you? It can be almost anything. Anytime you think: why did that happen? What caused that? you may have the seed of a story.

In Australia, the trial of Gerard Baden-Clay for the murder of his wife Alison has been in the news. The story captured public attention.

Referring back to our character flaws and motivation, what motivated the errant husband to murder his wife? Did he murder her in a fit of anger? (He denies murder.) Or did he murder her for lust or greed?

Check your local newspaper. People do weird things all the time. You can read your local paper and find the seeds of dozens of stories.

4. Start Your Short Story With a Genre.

Readers have favorite genres. I love Westerns and will read just about anything with cowboys and horses. I also love Victorian fiction, so stories set in the past appeal to me.

If you have a favorite genre, think about the tropes in that genre. Or about your favorite novel. What stirs your imagination about it?

Currently there’s a huge writing industry that’s sprung up around Jane Austen’s novels. Austen’s novels are in the public domain, because they were published a couple of centuries ago. For example, here’s the top 20 Jane Austen-inspired books of 2011.

If you love Austen, and want to use her characters in your short stories, go for it. Millions of people love Austen, so your stories have lots of potential readers.

So, there we have it. Four ways to start your short story. Give them a try. You may be surprised at the Kindle fiction you create… and sell. :-)

Want to write short stories and publish them? Fiction Fiesta gives you everything you need. Just follow the step by step process.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Kindle Unlimited and Ebook Sales

Kindle Unlimited and Ebook Sales
I’ve been receiving questions about Kindle Unlimited, and what it will mean for ebook sales. Since the program’s so new, it’s impossible to say. However, I LOVE ebooks, so anything which brings ebooks to a wider audience is devoutly to be encouraged.

Here’s what we know.  Kindle Unlimited costs around $10 a month, with a 30-day free trial. Currently, it’s for US customers only. It looks like a great deal, and since I read at least a book a day (I’m a fast reader), I’ll be joining when it’s made available in our part of the world. When you subscribe, you can borrow ten ebooks at any one time. Just return your ebooks once they’re read, or if you decide not to read them.

Currently, there are some 600,000 titles in Kindle Unlimited. Presumably, these are the titles which were already enrolled in KDP Select.

 Kindle Unlimited and ebook sales…

For your ebooks to be available for the Kindle Unlimited program, they must be enrolled in KDP Select. That means, that if you want to be part of Kindle Unlimited, you must give Amazon exclusivity. That may well be a deal-breaker for many authors. Some authors make more money on their titles on the other ebook retailers in aggregate than they do on Amazon.

In Kindle Unlimited, you get paid when someone reads over ten per cent of a downloaded ebook, out of a pool of funds. The big question of course, is how much will you be paid per book?

David Gaughran reports:

There’s actually no way of knowing right now. Authors had the same questions when KDP Select launched in December 2011, and I remember estimates ranging from $0.30 to $2. In the time since, borrow payouts have averaged $2.19. It seemed like Amazon was always keen to keep the rate around $2, adding and subtracting money from the fixed pool each month to keep things at that level.

Currently, there are many more questions than answers about Kindle Unlimited. This means that some authors are freaking out… Don’t. :-)

What to do now: is it worth switching your entire Amazon catalogue to KDP Select, so it’s available in Kindle Unlimited?

In a word, no. Your milage may vary, of course. :-)

I uploaded a new title to Amazon a few hours ago, and I ignored KDP Select, as I’ve been doing for the complete series of ebooks of which this latest title is a part. I’ve made my marketing plans for the series, and they never included KDP Select, because I  publish the series elsewhere. If I wanted to enroll the titles in KDP Select, I’d have to take them down from other retailers, and it’s not worth the hassle.

I’m outlining a novel which I may serialize in KDP Select, so the parts end up in Kindle Unlimited. I’ve written a couple of series for ghostwriting clients, and they’ve done reasonably well. This particular novel would serialize easily, and once I’ve written a first draft, I’ll look at publishing the first three or four parts, to see how they do in Kindle Unlimited.

Kindle Unlimited: good or bad for authors?

Some of the authors I’ve chatted with are nervous about Kindle Unlimited, but I’m not. I tend to be optimistic, and as I’ve said, I’m happy about anything which brings ebooks to a wider audience.

Nate at The Digital Reader’s published Is Kindle Unlimited Good or Bad for Authors – Six Viewpoints – it’ss worth reading for a sense of what others are thinking.

What we know for sure is that Amazon’s not resting on its laurels. Kindle Unlimited was inevitable, because Scribd and Oyster are using the subscription model. My feeling is that Amazon’s been working on this longer than those two services have been available anyway.

It’s very early days with Kindle Unlimited. Look at the service as another way to market your ebooks.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Writing Fiction: Short Stories Into Novels

Writing Fiction: Short Stories Into Novels

You’re writing fiction. You’ve just completed a short story, and the world you created in the story intrigues you. How do you turn your short story into a novel? A romance fiction student asked me that last week, and I thought it an excellent topic for a blog post.

When turning short stories into novels, you have two options. You can expand a story you’ve written into novel length, or you can set a novel in the world of the story you created.

Turning Short Stories Into Novels.

I recently completed a short story that I could easily turn into a novel. The story has three main characters. We meet another couple of characters, and we hear about several other characters.

Without bending my brain too much, I could easily expand the short story. I’d just need to give the main characters more scenes with each other, and with the minor characters too. Everyone has an agenda, so the all the characters’ conflicts could be developed.

I’d need to add many scenes. We looked at the number of scenes in short stories, novellas and novels. Currently my short story has seven scenes.

I could easily come up with another 50 to 60 scenes by developing the characters, and starting the story earlier. The short story starts with a minor scene just before the two main characters meet. Two characters with whom the female character is in conflict have just left. So I could start the story showing the conflict between those characters in a couple of scenes.

Look at your own stories, and think about how you might develop them, to turn them into novels.

Tip: most of the short stories you write will be just that – short stories. You write them, and you’re happy with them. You publish them to Amazon. Occasionally however, you’ll come across stories which could be more.

Using a Short Story World to Craft a Novel.

We’ve talked about writing in series. Perhaps you’ve written a short story or three, and you like the world you created in the stories. Maybe the characters live in a small town, or in a large city. Or one of the characters works for a company, and you feel that there’s so much conflict in the world you created, that you could use that world as the background of a novel.

By “world”, we don’t just mean the setting. We include characters too. In the story we discussed above, a couple of the minor characters who never appear in the story, would make wonderful main characters in a novel. I may yet tell their stories in a couple of novels.

Tip: When You’re Writing a Short Story, Write the Story.

You main goal when you write fiction is to complete it. My students find that finishing a project can be a big challenge. When you’re writing a short story, and think: I could turn this into a novel, resist the impulse to start expanding your story immediately.

You’ll get into a muddle. Complete the short story first. Publish it, and get some distance from it. You can always turn it into a novel later, but only if you complete the story first. If you give in to temptation to expand a story while you’re writing it, chances are that you won’t complete anything. And yes, I speak from my own experiences as well as my students’.

Have fun writing fiction. If a story has potential, it’s exciting to take the story, and develop it further.

Here’s a graphic to summarize the concepts…

Short Stories Into Novels

Want to write short stories and publish them? Fiction Fiesta gives you everything you need. Just follow the step by step process.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Professional Writing: Writing Quick Bios

Done-For-You: Your Professional Writers' Bios
These days, promotion is essential for all forms of professional writing. Whether you’re looking for writing jobs, or are busily writing Kindle ebooks, you need to promote. One of the essentials for promotion is a bio.

Your Bio: WHO Are You?

I’ll always remember crafting my first bio, many years ago. If my editor hadn’t given me a series of questions so that I could get my thoughts straight, I wouldn’t have attempted it. She insisted, and eventually I completed that bio, but the memory of the sheer terror of writing it still remains.

Once you’ve got a bio, you can slant it for many different purposes. For example, let’s say you’ve created a bio for the About page on your website. You can slant that to create a profile for your social media accounts, or a profile you can send to your writing clients. You might use the bio as-is in your press kit.

By the way, if you’re not sure what goes into a press kit, here’s a quick template I created for my clients.

You can also use your bio in introductions you send out to prospective clients, and in the back matter of your ebooks.

In short, you can use your bio everywhere.

Professional Writing Career: How to Write a Quick Bio.

Your bio’s essential purpose is to tell people who you are. It builds trust.

Let’s look at some tips which will help you to write a quick bio.

  • Vital: when you’re writing a bio, you’re writing to achieve a purpose, rather than telling your life story. You want the person who’s reading it to hire you to write, or buy more of your ebooks, or whatever your goal is;
  • Do a little free write first. Set a timer for ten minutes. Start writing with this phrase: “Here’s what I want my clients (or readers) to know…” Keep writing until the ten minutes are up. This free write will prime the pump, and give you some ideas of what you want to include in your bio;
  • Write your bio in the third person, and include your name. Occasionally I’ll look at someone’s About page, read it, and then have no idea what their name might be. It’s easy to miss this. :-) Of course, you can use a pen name if you wish;
  • Write as you speak. If you’re writing a bio which you’ll send out to clients, write in plain English, eliminating jargon. You can be whimsical and/ or funny, if that’s who you are;
  • Keep your first bio to around 200 words. This is ample for the back matter in your ebooks, for websites, and for your press kit. You can trim to to 50 words or less for your social media profiles.

Your professional writing career depends on people knowing who you are, so if you haven’t created a bio yet, create one now.

Get Your Bios Done for You.

Done-For-You: Your Professional Writers' Bios

Writers can be comfortable writing almost anything, but stress about writing bios. I’ve created a “done for you bios” service. You receive some questions, send me the responses, and within days, you’ll receive your bios, as well as a tagline. Check out this service; it can save you time and frustration.

 

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Writing Process: End Procrastination

Writing Process: End Procrastination

Want a writing process to end procrastination for good?

All writers procrastinate. It’s inevitable. Any project you have, whether it’s a simple copywriting project like creating a tagline, or writing an ad, or a large project like writing a novel, seems intimidating, so you put it off.

I’ve just revised this article, Got a Minute? Write!, to show you how to chunk projects down, so that you end procrastination. For example, if you’re revising a novel:

Chunk your revisions by:

  • Revising in timed sessions of 20 minutes. Make a note of where you stopped at the end of each session in Evernote;

  • Giving yourself 15 minutes to explore similar titles on Amazon, to see what keywords they’re using;

  • Writing your book’s description in 10 minutes. Just write anything at all — you can fix it later in another timed session.

Chunking works for any writing project. You just need to remember to do it, and that’s a challenge in itself. :-)

Develop a writing process which includes chunking projects.

If your writing process doesn’t include chunking, start including it with everything you write, whether the project is short, or long.

I use chunking for just about everything, whether it’s interviews, finding graphics, or contacting clients I haven’t spoken to in a few months. You can chunk everything, and when you do, you’ll find that the process eliminates procrastination. You can do anything, even if you dislike it, if you’re only spending ten minutes on the task before you cross it off your list.

In the article, I discussed Lola, who has TOO MUCH time:

Now Lola’s faced with hours of free time, she can’t push herself to sit down at the keyboard. That’s often the way. When you have little time to write, you get on with it, and make the most of every minute. When you’ve got lots of time, you tell yourself you’ll write “later”.

Chunking your projects right down works whether you have too much time or too little.

Try creating “snippets” so you can write anywhere.

I keep my lists of chunks, and my snippets in Evernote, because I can work on them anywhere — while waiting for a meeting to start, or on the train if I need to go into the city.

“Snippets” are short tasks which can take anywhere from five to 20 minutes.

On my list of snippets in Evernote I have short tasks, including:

  • Keywords for which I want to develop blog posts;
  • Keyword research I need to do;
  • Brainstorms I need to do for copywriting projects;
  • Brainstorms for ghostwriting projects.

Anything which isn’t directly related to a current writing task becomes a snippet.

Try creating snippets yourself. Incorporate both chunking and snippets into your writing process, and you’ll eliminate procrastination for good.

 

Discover the Copywriting Course That Builds Your Copywriting Business in Seven Days

The Copywriting Course That Builds Your Copywriting Business in Seven Days

Seven Days To Easy Money: Copywriting Success helps you to build your own copywriting business in just seven days. It’s a complete program, with everything you need. Each day you have objectives and tasks. Just complete the tasks, to build your business.

Coaching is included, and no additional materials or purchases are required. Join us, you’ll have fun, as you build your business. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Create Content: 2 Smart Content Solutions You’ll Love

Create Content: 2 Smart Content Solutions You'll Love

These days, every writer needs to create content. It’s the ONE essential skill you need in today’s fast-paced writing world. You can sell content to your clients all day long. Unfortunately, writers get stuck when they’re creating content. They run out of ideas, and this means that their income suffers.

It’s not hyperbole to suggest that there’s a content race. Big websites produce vast amounts of content. Neil Evans reports:

Upstart Buzzfeed.com (of list and viral nostalgia fame) pumps out an average of 373 pieces of content per day. The online sports hub Bleacher Report produces about 800 articles in 24 hours.

I’ve been working with several students to brush up their content creation skills, and developed a simple process which any writer can use, even if you’re a beginning writer. It will make sure that you never, ever run out of content ideas, no matter what you’re writing about.

When you know that you’ve done a little preparation, and you have LOTS to write about, you’ll gain confidence, and you’re write quality content more quickly.

Think of Content Creation as a Funnel.

Let’s say that you have a client who wants you to write ten articles a week on the topic of… dogs. The topic can be anything you choose, of course. Here’s how the funnel works: you start developing a topic broadly, and then narrow it down. You use the old Five Ws and H: who, what, why, when, where, and how.

At this stage, you’re not creating content. You’re collecting ideas, keywords and inspirations. I like to use a mind map for this stage of developing the funnel. I want LOTS of ideas. Use who, what, why, when, where, and how as the spokes of your mind map.

Make it a BIG mind map. If you don’t have a favorite mind mapping app, try Freemind; it’s free, and gives you a big canvas to create maps.

Here’s the benefit of collecting ideas and inspirations into a funnel: your subconscious mind can go to work developing content while you’e doing something else.

Now let’s look at our two smart content solutions.

1. Go Broad, Then Deep, Then Develop Snippets.

Once you’ve collected ideas into your funnel, go broad when you’re creating content. For example, let’s say a cosmetic dentist has hired you to create content. Develop your funnel first.

Then use the old standbys of who, what, why, when, where, and how to develop content. When you “go broad” you’re creating informative content: you’re helping people who are new to the topic of cosmetic dentistry.

Once you’ve gone broad, you can go deep. In our cosmetic dentistry example, you’d could write about the cost of various processes, and what those processes entail. This works brilliantly if you’re creating Web content, because your content will fit into the website’s navigation structure.

While you’re creating this content, collect snippets of inspiration and news which can be used on social media. Use a spreadsheet for this, and add the Web page title from which you took the snippet. Once the content is online, add the appropriate URL to each snippet.

You’ll find that if you create snippets while you’re creating the content, your mind starts to scan content, and develop snippets automatically. This saves a lot of time and energy later.

2. Curate Additional Content to Add Variety and Depth.

When you create content, that content needs to be found. So, in addition to creating content, curate content too. Curation is basically collecting content, analyzing it, and presenting it. You’ve creating a lot of content, however, your aim is also to present your client as an authority in his field – dogs, or cosmetic dentistry, or whatever the field may be. Content curation helps with that.

You’re not just collecting a mass of content: you want content which relates to the content you have, to add variety and depth. Buffer has a quick outline of content curation here.

As you create content, you’ll soon find content around the Web which relates to what you have – curate it.

This is where your client’s blog comes in: you can curate content on the blog. Alternatively, consider creating a magazine or two on Flipboard. Not only will you add your client’s content to the magazine, you’ll curate additional content too. Don’t forget to link to the magazine from your client’s website. :-)

So there you have it. Two smart content solutions. Be sure to create your content funnel first, and you;ll never run out of content ideas and inspiration again.

60-Second Content Power: Create Better Content Faster

Become a content master…Get hired to write, and develop your own websites, blogs and ebooks. This program gives you a complete quality-content creation process step by step. You’ll create create money-making content for any purpose.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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