Editing the Rehashing of the Initial Proofreading

Been posting a lot about blogging and only touched upon writing and editing a bit here and there back when.  But before being a blogger and writer, I was also an editor.  This got me to thinking: why haven’t I focused more on this?  Ya got me.  So let’s look at editing, shall we?

Depending on who you talk to some will say don’t edit your own stuff, others will say do.  If you can afford to hire an editor, go for it (personally, I’d prefer to spend money elsewhere).  Daunted by the task?  Don’t be.  Anything can be learned (as Queen of the Technically-Challenged, I’ll attest to that)!

A [very] quick explanation re proofreading versus editing.  No, they’re not the same.  Proofreading, basically, is correcting superficial/apparent errors in writing (grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other language errors).  Editing encompasses the aforementioned, but is also about improving the overall quality of your writing, such as language use and expression.  You’re also ensuring your work is well-organized, clear, and that ideas and actions flow logically.

Let’s say you’re a first-time writer and you’ve [happily and proudly] completed your first draft.  Now it’s time to edit that magnum opus.  Fret not.  Give thought to these components (and think about incorporating them into some sort of checklist, if lists work for you):   blog5

  • Given your genre, have you captured its essence, its “flavor”?
  • Is voice consistent?  We’re referring to two types.  One, your narrator’s voice (how he or she speaks and thinks) and two, yours (how you, as a writer, convey your personality and approach through words and content).
  • POV (point of view) should be consistent.  Change it only when you want to influence readers—i.e. by drawing them in or keeping them removed or distanced.
  • Is the plot—and subplots—logical and complete (i.e. have you explained, and tied up, everything satisfactorily)?  Is the plot—storyline—entertaining, appealing, and/or captivating?
  • Conflict and friction should exist within scenes and characters.  You want to evoke tension, maybe garner a little anxiety (as readers we often “feel” for characters and there’s nothing better than being sucked into a good story).
  • What about the action?  Is it plausible?  Is there too little action?  Or is there too much for naught?
  • Scene breakdowns are important.  You don’t want them to be flat or identical (in length, style, form).  You want enough to advance the plot/action.
  • Is the setting consistent and realistic?  If you’re writing in a specific era, make sure you stick to it.  Does the locale work, given the plot/action?  Have you painted a realistic [visual] picture?
  • How about your characters?  Are they “real”—i.e. do they come across as genuine human beings or as props, non-entities?  Do they have depth (likes and dislikes, dreams and phobias)?  Do they add to the plot?  Do they detract from the plot?  Each character should serve a purpose in advancing the story.
  • What about dialog?  Is it—yup—logical?  Does it help further the story?  Or is some of it just jibber-jabber?
  • And how about motivation, moods, and reactions?  Do they make sense, given the scenes?
  •  Facts must be spot-on.  If you’re writing in a certain era or about a particular place, you want to ensure everything is correct.  Confirm that fashion, music, events, lingo, objects and gadgets (to name a few) are appropriate and accurate to the time and location.
  •  You know the story you’ve just told—you’ve envisioned it.  Is your vision clear to the reader?  Has everything truly been tied together or might something be missing?  Does the flow/pace progress smoothly and quickly?

Strengthen what’s weak.  Eliminate what’s of no value-add.  (Too much of anything is not a good thing.)  “But I spent days conceiving of that scene!”  “They’re having such fun.”  “The dinner conversation’ sounds good.”  Yes, it can prove painful to remove something we’ve worked hard to envisage and write, but sometimes it’s a must do: when it comes to editing, think with your head, not your heart.

In subsequent posts, I’ll provide before and after examples, using works stuffed into a drawer, written over—ouch—a quarter of a century ago [before editing and writing became a way of life].

In the meanwhile, if you’re beginning to edit, have at it—go freely with the flow, focus, and be objective.  Mark my words  <wink>  you’ll do fine.

Bots & Blogs

In my recent blog travels, sometimes known as checking on the other guys, I came across the topic of bots.  These “web robots” are basically software applications that perform automated tasks.  Many, in fact, are programmed to act like humans, so when you talk to them it seems as if you’re asking a fellow being for help instead of simply typing a search item into a search engine.

Hurrah.  Another [new] realm to explore.  Not sure if I should be worried, unhappy and/or stressed, thanks to that technically-challenged [now officially technically-behind] thang of mine, or simply suck it up and gleefully go with the flow.

There are different types of bots—or chatbots as some call them (you say poe-tay-toe, I say poh-tah-toh)—but let’s stick to messaging bots.  They ask questions and alert people about new info.  And they’re not just little mechanical devices anymore; they’re drivers that prompt action.  Some would say they’re similar in concept to email lists—i.e. they notify followers [of something significant].

Use bots to your [blogging] advantage.  Launch one of these chatty avatars, or virtual assistants, to inform followers when you’ve posted, are going to provide instruction or advice (lessons, as the case may be), or are about to host an event such as a contest or podcast.  Have one connect with your landing page viewers.  Invite visitors to subscribe and provide a bit of background as to why they might like to do so.  Make sure your bot is relevant (of interest) to your given followers.

There are tons of bot-related tools and sites.  Given bots are relatively simple to set-up and manage (so they say), you can transfer content as questions and answers, and allow a no-coding platform to handle the rest.  (I’ll leave it to you to do your due diligence and check them out.  Please feel free to share your findings.)

We bloggers know how tough—hear, hear—it can be trying to keep ourselves in the public eye and gain more followers.  We constantly have to find ways to engage people, be it through blog design or content (as examples).  Bots, however, can help simplify things because we don’t have to be available all the time: they can reply on our behalf, share our posts, and provide useful feedback re commencing certain actions.

botblog3

Like our blogs, bots should reflect who we are, what we’re about, so creating a memorable bot is key.  We should ensure our happy l’il fellas/gals prove fetching, providing the right info when asked— and with a bit o’ panache.  They’re not perfect yet, but like good wine, they’ll improve with time.

Looks like another “must do” to add to the [growing] list.  <LOL>

Happy bot-ing.

A Dollar Here, A Dollar There

Recently, I purchased angel affirmation cards.  One I seem to pull regularly suggests I consider crowdfunding.  (For those unsure, crowdfunding is the financial backing of a project or venture by securing several small amounts of money from a considerable number of people via the Internet, by and large.)

Unless The Triple Threat Investigation Agency were developed into a film venture, I [personally] would never crowdfund, but as JJ often declares: never say never.  Anyway, way too long story short, it again got me thinking [again] about earning money via a blog.

So, on a similar note to crowdfunding, let’s consider donations—i.e. soliciting for contributions from readers and followers.  Is it a viable method to make some ca$h?  The consensus is yes, but the optimum phrase here: some cash.  While it’s certainly possible to earn a whack of cash, chances are—for the majority of us—we won’t make enough to sustain a living.

Your blog can feature a call-to-action donation button, be it in the form of a PayPal plug-in or one personally designed.  Tip jars are similar in concept.  If you’re going for it, make certain the button stands out and doesn’t get buried in links and the like.  Give thought to placement.

Add a message.  “If you love my blog, perhaps you might consider showing your appreciation” is a bit wordy and vague.  “Donate Now” and “Give Today” are short and sweet.  Maybe too much so?  Perhaps you’ve heard of WordPress’ “Buy Me a Beer” PayPal donation plug-in or “buy me a beer”, “buy me a coffee” requests?  You could entreat the same; it’s not exactly novel nowadays, but hey, it might just work for you.

Consider telling people what the money will be used for; give thought to your reason/need and work with it (you’re the blogger; there’s no shame in blogging about it).  Maybe it’s to pay your blog host?  To fund a blog project?  Honesty has [a lot of] merit.

Some believe the donation button is a thing of the past.  Maybe yes, maybe no.  I still see them in my blog travels.  Depending on who you ask about successful blog donations, you’ll get a “yeah, it’s great” or “no, it doesn’t work”, or something in between.  Requesting donations—and receiving them—tend to work best for bloggers who:

  • don’t have a blog filled with ads and affiliate links
  • have devoted readers/followers
  • provide value-add information and/or services, or
  • cater to a sizable audience.

(Caveat: it’s been said having a donation button when new to the blogging scene can be construed as gauche, among other things.)

donationblog4If you decide to go the donation-request route, make sure to thank those that make contributions (manners are not—yet—a thing of the past).  And if you want to keep it professional/business-like, provide receipts.

Due diligence got me looking at alternatives to traditional donate buttons/plug-ins.  There are a lot of sites out there related to donations.  Flattr, a Swedish “micro-donation provider” sounds interesting.  “Do what you love, make money, effortlessly.  Flattr users automatically pay you as they enjoy your work.  It’s that easy.”  I adore easy.  But with a little more reading, I’m not so sure.  Will have to return and research more intently.  Hmm.  . . . Another post perhaps?

 

A Triple Threat Sing-A-Long

Hey.  Rey here.  Got a treat today—all three of us are posting.  The Boss is in a bit of a funk this week.  She’s missing “home” (H-a-w-a-i-i) and can’t find a way of getting here any time soon.  But she’s keeping the faith.

To boost her spirits, we decided to do what she calls “an aside”—we’re sharing about our time on Oahu.  We’ve already posted about our life as P.I.s and our likes and loves about this place, but we haven’t really talked about why it’s so near and dear, how it’s shaped and influenced us.  So, here’s a sum-up from each of us, including what we consider the quintessential mele (that’s Hawaiian for song) from our favorite Hawaiian artist.  . . . Have to laugh.  Linda’s eyes bugged out when she saw me use “quintessential”.  But as I often say: I’m not just a pretty face.

wedpostB

 

Reynalda Fonne-Werde

Life here has softened me a bit.  Yeah, my colleagues think I’m melodramatic and sometimes reckless and self-centered.  I am, I admit it.  When I want something, I go for it.  And I think this is perfectly all right when working a case—a private eye needs to go with her gut.  On the human side, I’ve learned to like animals (a lot) and have taken to saving the monk seals (a cause dear to my heart).  I tend to listen to people more and can be sympathetic and feeling.  So yeah, I’ve definitely softened.  Damn.  I hope I don’t turn into a mush-ball or anything like that.  My quintessential song is by the very talented, and greatly missed, Iz.  “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

JJ Fonne

I’m loving that Rey’s become proactive in different ways.  Life here has changed her.  It’s changed us all.  We’re happily ensconced in burgeoning careers and personal crusades.  My cousin and I have bonded.  Sure, we have our tiffs and life’s not always rosy, but I can’t complain about anything.  It may be a cliché saying, but it’s true:  it’s all good.  This is going to sound cheesy, but my quintessential song is “Tiny Bubbles” by Hawaiian pop icon Don Ho.  (Even if I sound like sound like a frog that’s barely been missed being run over by pick-up truck, I have no prob singing his signature song in the shower—with absolute gusto.)

Linda Royale

Contrary to what JJ’s posted, I can’t say I’ve changed a lot since moving here, but I’m certainly grateful and count my blessings for having the opportunity to live and work here.  I have to confess, when Rey suggested becoming professional private investigators, I didn’t take her seriously.  In fact, I humored her—for weeks.  When it became obvious she was totally serious, I attempted to talk her out of it.  But she’s strong-minded, among other things, so P.I.s it was.  I don’t regret it.  At all.  As for Hawaii, the aloha spirit does exist—it’s almost tangible—and it’s infectious.  And on that note, my quintessential song is Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk/Formation”.  Talk about infectious.  It makes me want to dance every time.  . . . And maybe, just maybe, it will “up” The Boss’ “funk”.

Aloha from Rey, JJ, and Linda!

The ABCs of . . . Reviewing Reviewed

Hurrah!  I’ve been wanting to do book reviews, but time serious constraints as you know, have made that nearly impossible.  I’ve agreed to do one, because I really like and respect this fellow blogger-writer, who shall remain nameless until the review post is published in two or three weeks.  (The intention [but net yet a bona-fide promise] going forward: do one review every four months, until such time that the ol’ schedule allows for more.)

Past posts have revolved around acquiring reviews, receiving reviews, doing reviews as an income, but not really touched upon the process of writing one.  So let’s look at it from the fiction standpoint (and leave non-fiction for another time).

A review is a critical evaluation and interpretation—yours.  It’s usually short, maybe 1000 words.  It provides followers/readers with a summation of a story and an analytical appraisal.  It generally advises whether said followers/readers will like it.

Make sure to include the following in your review:

  • title and author’s name, which goes without saying
  • genre / theme
  • publication date
  • number of pages
  • price

Just as you would (should) do with your blog posts, hook folks with a snappy/catchy opening sentence and/or heading.  Make them want to read that review from beginning to end.

Take into account the following:

  • title (is it effective, appropriate?)
  • genre (does it conform?)
  • point of view / author’s writing style
  • main character(s)
  • plot and setting / mood and tone
  • believability factors (do the characters seem real?  is the story-line plausible?)
  • connection component (is there something you can relate to?).

Ready to write that review?  Do this:

  • review the book honestly
  • write for your readers (consider your audience)
  • provide a small plot summary
  • include the author’s background (other books written, website/blog, reputation, qualifications)
  • advise/recommend who the book would appeal to and why.

If you loved the book, share why.  If you didn’t like the book, share why, but be fair (never rude or discourteous).  Maybe there’s something that didn’t ring true, or something that could be changed?  reveiwwriting1

To keep it simple, break your book review in these parts: introduction, evaluation, summary and recommendation.  You’ve no doubt seen point or grade systems on different blogs/sites: feel free to use one, but if you’re doing this regularly, stick with the same one.  Consistency and all that.

Happy reviewing.

Liking You, Liking Me

I got to thinking (I excel at that now and again) that while I reply to comments, I never do to likes.  And it dawned on me yesterday, hmmmm, am I being rude by not doing so?

So-o, I decided to ask the great oracle—known as Google—should you respond to likes?  Read some interesting opinions.

Some folks say you don’t need to do a thing; others say it’s nice to say “thank you” for the like because that individual not only took the time to read your post, but found it entertaining, helpful, and/or interesting.  I totally get, and appreciate, that.  Courtesy is a very good thing.

On the flip side, some believe that if you regularly say “thank you” or “thank you for liking me”, or something equally pithy, it does tend to sound mechanical or insincere.  I confess, the odd time I’ve typed this in a response, I’ve pondered that: i.e. am I sounding genuine, because I’m certainly not saying overly much?  But, as an FYI, my thanks has always come from the heart (so maybe I shouldn’t worry so much).

Given most of us want to increase our followers/platform, encouraging and nurturing a relationship or rapport is a must.  Thanking someone for his or her like is a bona fide place to start.  And this need not be to promote business—i.e. you’re hoping to [eventually] sell a product or service.  It could simply be to maintain an on-line “friendship”.  I’ve met a few bloggers I regularly support because I truly, truly like them; they’re personable, write well, and have noteworthy or fun info and thoughts to share.

Maybe you take that “thank you” to another level—thank your “liker” and pose a question (about your post, them, or whatever you believe might be appropriate).  Time is an issue for many of us, and for those that have a lot of followers, engaging every “liker” in an on-line dialog may not always be possible . . . but, you know, it’s not impossible either.  Food for thought.

In “fond farewell” (re today’s post), for those of you who’ve liked me . . .

I’m extending a great big heartfelt THANK YOU!  You truly do make my day.

blog3wed

Who Doesn’t Lieb, uh, Love an Unexpected Surprise!?

I was just nominated By James J. Cudney IV (Jay) for the Liebster Award.  I’m a little stunned, but happily so.  I’ll have to confess that I’ve never tagged anyone or done this before, but there’s a first time for everything.  Hopefully, I’ll follow the rules correctly (feel free to send a comment/email if I’ve erred in any way or omitted something).

By the by, if you’re not familiar with Jay’s awesome blog, here’s a little background.  He’s an author/blogger living in NYC, with a great debut novel entitled Watching Glass Shatter.  I’ve had the opportunity to follow most of his “365 Daily Challenge”—daily posts revolving around a key word of the day.  He’s shared much over the last few months—happy times, sad events, insights and knowledge—and I’m glad for having received the opportunity to be a follower.  liebster2

Please check out his website and This is My Truth Now blog at:

https://jamesjcudney.com

https://thisismytruthnow.com

Now, let’s take a gander at the rules and the must-dos, shall we?

The Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog.   

Provide 11 facts about yourself.    

Answer the 11 question the person asked you.    

Nominate 11 people (comment on their blog to let them know).   

Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions.    

11 Facts About Me

  1. I’m Canadian, but prefer to write American.  <LOL>
  2. And speaking of American, becoming one has been a dream since the age of 5 (that, my friends, has been a long, long time, and I’ve never ever had a change of heart).
  3. I was one of a few teachers of Simplified English in the aviation world (back when).
  4. Hawaii and the concept of “aloha” are also close to my heart (hence, the setting for my Triple Threat Investigation Agency books).
  5. Favorite things?  The color blue (cyan, to be exact).  Pizza (funghi’s the best).  Red wine (South African and Australian).  Red-velvet cake (nummmmmmmmmmmmmm and screw the calories).  Walking for miles (and miles).  Writing and editing (with no timelines/deadlines).  Perry Mason (from the beginning days to the end).
  6. I adore animals and honor my medicine / animal totems.
  7. Though I often write and say “keep the faith”, I do struggle with it now and again.  (I readily admit that I can be a [maddening] whiner—just ask the Big Guy.  But that’s a secret between you and me and Him.)
  8. I’ve evolved into a sugar junkie over the last year (always enjoyed sweets, but it’s gotten a bit out of hand, er, mouth, er . . . ).
  9. I’m terrible with budgeting and suck at math.  On the flip side, I’m not bad with spending money (check the negative bank account) and do pretty well with anything creative, save for knitting or crocheting.  <LOL>
  10. Being on the ocean is something I adore (though I can’t swim to save my life; fortunately, I can do a mean dog-paddle).
  11. I’ve recently discovered the world of K-Pop.  (Who’d have guessed it would be so good!?  Not this ol’ gal.)

 Questions to You

  1. Which body part would you exchange if you could?
  • My brain/head – like my car, it needs some realignment/tuning (or is that tune-uping?).
  1. What do you like least about blogging?
  • Having to stay on top of all the marketing/promotion and technical/artistic components; that’s a full-time job in itself!
  1. If you could inhabit someone else’s body for a day, who would it be?
  • Today: a world leader or someone in the monarchy—to see what the world of politics and responsibility, or wealth and responsibility entail. If I had to pick someone specific, it would be either President Trump or Queen Elizabeth.
  • Yesteryear: Shakespeare.
  1. If you could have someone else’s personality and intelligence, who would it be?
  • Ayn Rand.
  1. Where are you taking me to dinner tomorrow night? Or if that’s not gonna work for you, what gift are you sending in lieu of canceling last minute on me? Seems appropriate.
  • I’d be taking you for a grand home-cooked meal, but time being what it is, I’d have to give you . . . a dozen calla lilies, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, and a box of dark-chocolate Godiva truffles.  Am I forgiven?
  1. Have you ever tried to count the licks to get to the center of the Tootsie Roll Pop?
  • Hate Tootsie Roll Pops (sorry).
  1. Did I share too much above? If yes, which item. If not, you’re my new best friend.
  • Not at all; there’s nothing wrong with sharing.  In fact, it’s a very “healthy” thing to do.
  1. If you could hide in someone’s pocket for a day just to see what they really do when you’re not around, who would it be?
  • That would have to be in the pocket of my favorite character: Rey (from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency). In the real world: I’m a trusting soul, so I wouldn’t have to “see” what anyone’s up to.
  1. If you have an entire cake to yourself, and you know for certain that no one else will eat it nor see you eat it, would you still cut it up and serve it on a plate? Or would you dig in with a shovel? (Assume nothing bad happens to your body as a result of consuming said cake)
  • If it’s red-velvet cake, I’d dig in like a bulldozer!
  1. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say “bite me”? Good or bad, let it rip.
  • How hard?  <LOL> 
  1. Have you met Liebster? If Yes, please describe. If No, please contribute $25 to the charity of your choice in order to successfully have completed this easy and fun quiz. Failure to do so results in an automatic replication of 10 more quizzes a day from me to you as a loving gesture of support.
  • Love it.  I promise—a $25 donation will go to an animal charity this week (in fact, I’ll up it to $35)! 

Nominees

https://yeahanotherblogger.com

https://valeriesmusings.com

http://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com.au

https://insomniagirl.net

https://ireadwhatyouwrite.wordpress.com

http://storeybookreviews.com

https://booksandopinions.com

https://cozyupwithkathy.blogspot.com

https://www.myrandommusings.co.uk

http://lisaksbookthoughts.blogspot.com

http://bloggernicole.com

Questions to You

  1. If you could go back in time and be present at one major world event, what would that be?
  2. Will you share one of your secrets for success?
  3. What food (dessert, entrée, appetizer) best describes you?
  4. What’s your best “me time” endeavor/pleasure?
  5. If you were a color, which one would you be and why?
  6. Who most influenced you in terms of your writing/blogging career?
  7. If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
  8. What’s your current pet peeve?
  9. If you could do one thing differently, what would that be?
  10. Do you have a personal proverb, maxim, or motto?
  11. If you could go anywhere in the world or universe, where would that be?

And that, my friends, is that.   . . . Happy Easter everyone!

We have Lift-Off . . . or . . . Launching your Career with an E-book Launch

What an exhilarating sigh of relief when you’ve completed that final edit and organized all the related elements like formatting and cover design.  Maybe you’ve published and placed it in an e-bookstore.  That’s great.  But it’s going to sit there . . . unless you put out the word (and we’re not talking about those found in your magnum opus).

Long before the e-book is done, consider keeping your readers/followers constantly updated.  Continue building your mailing list (the more, the merrier).  Let your voice be heard across the social media spectrum.  Truly, you need to build that platform.

Provide a progress report now and again.  Ask for feedback on a scene or section, or cover.  Get your followers involved.  Consider pre-selling.  A landing page for your e-book wouldn’t hurt, either.  And don’t discount beta testers for viable feedback.  Apply what you’ve gleaned.

When you’re ready to launch, will you do it in-person or on-line, or both?  To do a live launch, give thought to some [advantageous] factors—are you:

  • super connected (to attract a reasonably sized crowd)
  • able to pull some weight with local media
  • going to rent a room/hall, which also means food/drinks, or
  • suss out a viable venue (perhaps a local coffee shop or lounge, library or educational setting)?

It may even be possible to wangle an in-store book signing.  (A friend was given a small table in a fairly known book chain where he could sit for an afternoon to sell hard copies of his book.  Where there’s a will, there’s [always] a way.)

Give thought to blog tours and guests posts in addition to promotion.  Provide plugs and pitches.  Search for sites that will allow you to promote for free.  Seek reviews and testimonials.  It’s been said (many times) that giving an e-book away free is a good way of acquiring a following and working toward future sales.  There’s probably some truth in that—if you already have a few e-books.

There is sooooooo much advice and guidance out there—some free, some not—that it can prove overwhelming.  Why not ask fellow writers and bloggers about their experiences, what’s worked and what hasn’t?  A lot is trial and error, because we learn best when we do.  And, yes, we may not necessarily succeed the first time, or even the second.  Stick with it.

Now, get out there and create some hoopla (also known as buzz and hype).  Sell your e-book and yourself.  You can do it.  blogsat3

Extra! Extra! Read All about It!

Taking a lead from Rey, I opted for melodramatic.  <LOL>

Really, I just wanted to provide a quick update today . . . share intentions, feelings, maybe some warm-and-fuzzy stuff—or not.

A quick aside: “Extra!  Extra!  Read all about it!” was popular from the 1890s through the 1930s/1940s.  If you’ve ever watched old movies, you’ve undoubtedly heard this being shouted by enthusiastic young lads hawking newspapers on street corners to announce exciting, and often sinister, news.

For me, the exciting (far from sinister) news is that I’ve finished “Forever Poi”, the fourth Triple Threat Investigation Agency book.  The long-hazy ending finally became as logical as an Excel calculation and as clear as easy-to-follow baking instructions.  Case solved.  New [mis]adventures to come. blog2

 

Now it’s merely a matter of completing the final edit.  Yes, writing “Forever Poi” took longer than expected.  Like, waaaaaaaay longer, but t’is done, so yaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

The contest I’d been mulling over will wait a bit.  Hey, it’s taken [many] months to get to this point, so what’s a few more weeks?  Once “Forever Poi” has been formatted and all, there’ll be a post or two.

There are other things planned (hoped for) re the TT trio and blog, but right now, it’s all about taking life one day at a time.  Nonetheless, the list [still] exists: a mail campaign, the aforementioned contest, a landing page, e-book tours, and blog augmentation, to name but a few.

On that anticipatory note, have an awesome rest of the week.  Back in a few days my friends.  Be well and safe.

E-Book Ca$h-In$

It’s Linda on post duty today.  The Boss asked me to do the post—more like ordered, actually.  She claimed JJ and I should do our share; Rey can’t take over every time some other “duty” calls her away.  Fine.  So I miss a day of surfing on the North Shore.  <sigh>

Continuing with the theme of making money via your blog, let’s touch upon selling e-books as a potential way.  Given The Boss has three, with a fourth coming out soon, I thought this might be worth discussing.

There are two options re selling e-books on your blog.  #1: look for ones to sell.  #2: write your own and sell.  Let’s opt for the latter and touch upon the other another time.  As JJ might [like to] say: easy-peasey.  In theory, it is.  Create your e-book.  Proofread/edit.  Format it.  Create an appealing cover.  Convert it.  Add the e-book to your blog.  Promote it.

Writing an e-book is super easy.  Writing a great e-book is not.  Depending on what you’ve been writing/blogging, your e-book could serve as a diary or journal, how-to guide, the chapters of a book or work of fiction,  or a “package” of your posts, among other things.

Determine what you’re going to write.  Maybe a popular genre or about a popular topic?  If you don’t know much about either, be aware: you’re going to have to commit a lot of time and effort, and research.  If you’ve got all three to give, have at it.  If you don’t, consider writing about something you know or are comfortable with.

A how-to guide or instructional manual can certainly prove profitable—if it’s of value to your readers/viewers.  Fiction, unless you have a name and/or large following, could prove more difficult, but again, as JJ often asserts: never say never.

If you have a reasonable number of followers, you may want to ask what they’d be interested in.  Get a feel for what direction to take and take it.  Do an outline.  Follow it.  Finish it.

Once completed, consider hiring an editor or proofreader; some are very reasonably priced.  You can also hire someone to design your cover, but give thought to creating your own; there are good, easy-to-use tools out there and many are free!

The world of e-books is different from that of traditional publishing.  There won’t be an agent or a publisher to provide insight or advice, but with some due diligence, you can learn all that’s necessary to carve out an e-book niche—like marketing and promotion, two vital components.

Think about sales: how are you going to make them happen?  The Boss would likely say this in itself is a full-time endeavor.  Maybe yes, maybe no.  But definitely, you will have to dedicate a substantial amount of time, so determine a set schedule (this will enable you to remain committed and focused).

An e-book launch is part of the equation, so contemplate how you’d like to handle that.  (I’ll let The Boss post more on this.)  Price?  Yes, it will make a difference.  Take a look at what other e-book sellers/writers are asking. download (2)

If I’ve tweaked your interest re e-book selling on your blog, I’ve accomplished my mission.  Truly, an e-book could be written solely on e-book selling, there’s just so much information to share.  It’s really about determining what you want to do and then assembling the “building blocks” to make it happen.  Nothing comes easily . . . for most of us.  The success of any endeavor is a result of trial and error, learning what works and what doesn’t.

Look at Rey, JJ and I—we’re still fairly new to the private-eye game.  Our methods can be clumsy, brash or rash, and sometimes quite ineffective.  Ultimately, though, we accomplish what we set out to do.  Blogging and making money at it—through whatever forum you ultimately choose—is no different.  It’s all about gaining knowledge and acquiring experience.  Nobody need be a newbie forever.

download (25)