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Reading Preferences

expresswayDo you prefer the expressway or scenic route when reading?

When I used to go to bookstores to buy books, long before Amazon entered the picture and the whole Ebook phenomenon began, I would enter the store with a set of standards in which I used to determine whether or not a book was for me. One of the standards that was always on the top of my list, was the thickness of a book. I considered books an investment. I wanted something that was going to be worth the time and money I spent on it. I wanted to go on a journey that took me someplace I have never been. I didn’t want a quick evening joy ride. Books that were short and sweet left me unsatisfied and wishing the author would have taken more time to dig deeper into the story. But that doesn’t mean the short and sweet books were not worth reading, it simply meant I preferred books that took me on the scenic route.

Not everyone shares that same preference. Some people lead much busier lives, and prefer reading books that are quick getaways that do not require a lot of their time to enjoy. Some people simply have shorter attention spans. It is all a matter of what you prefer. While there is nothing wrong with either type of books, it is a huge determining factor in whether or not you will truly enjoy a book. In this day and age, where book reviews are now a huge determining point in whether or not to buy a book, this is a factor that can make or break a book before it is given a good honest chance.

One of the trends I have personally noticed, not only as an author, but as a reader, is that there are a lot people giving reviews on books that are judged upon their preference rather than the quality of the book itself. I have read some really bad books that were given high ratings they didn’t deserve. I have read books that were given low ratings that were incredible books, but they took a while to marinate on your senses, and those reviewers obviously had no interest in giving the book the time it deserved. I find myself now doing the same as I used to do when walking into a bookstore.  I hated looking at book covers that gave the story away too much. What frustrated me the most was when there were pictures of characters on the cover that did not match the characters in the book. I also avoided reading the book synopsis. I didn’t want to ruin the story before I even had a chance to read it. I only read just enough to give me an idea of whether or not I was interested in the topic.

To me, book reviews have gone far beyond their original intent and now ruin more books than they help. Not only do people leave their opinions of books, but now some reviewers are giving you their own synopsis of the books and often spoiling the story by giving away too much info. But once again, perhaps this is another preference in which I find myself having that many others do not share. I suppose you can compare it to the reasons why you choose to take the expressway or the scenic route. People that take the expressway tend to do so, not only because of the speed it takes to finish the journey, but they also have a good idea of what to expect on the journey before they even begin. Their whole purpose of the journey is to enjoy what is on the other end. Those that take the scenic route, do so because they want to take their time to enjoy all the little surprises along the way. The journey itself is just as important as the destination.

What kind of reader are you?

 

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2013 in My Writing Journey

 

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# Showcase

# Showcase for Authors and ReadersUniting Authors and Readers with #’s

Most of us who use Twitter are familiar with using #’s.  If not, I’ll give you a quick rundown. When you post something on Twitter that has a common topic of interest to others, you include a “#” in front of the key word. Your post will then be included with all the other posts that include that particular “#”. You can then search for that topic (ex. #AuthorPage) and a whole stream of posts of that topic will result.  It is a very useful tool for reaching and meeting new people on twitter.

Did you know Facebook is now utilizing the # search as well?

This opens a whole new avenue of connections for Authors and Readers to meet. A simple search in the Facebook search box using a # will give you a list of every post that includes the topic you are searching for. Let’s face it, Authors and Readers are struggling to navigate their way through the constant influx of new material being published every day. But we can make things much easier by utilizing free tools already available to us all.

Introducing “# Showcase” for Authors and Readers

Authors – Showcase your various pages and profiles on the appointed day of the week. You will be included in lists that will be seen by people wold-wide.

Readers – Are you tired of not being able to find a good book to read because all you hear about is the latest blockbusters.  With the “# Showcase”, you can now find a directory of current Authors and Books straight from your Twitter and Facebook profiles.  Simply search for the day’s appointed # and you will find a wealth of current authors and books from a wide variety of genres.

Help us spread the word and make these lists as amazing as they can possible be. For more information, visit http://authorstephanielaws.com/hashtag-days.html You will also find links that will take you directly to the lists for each day.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2013 in My Writing Journey

 

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New Direction

New DirectionI’m taking a new direction for my blog!

Since I began this blog a year ago, my posts have been primarily focused on the technical aspects of being a writer. But it is now time to transition from being a “writer” to the role of being an “author”. I have written books, now it is time to put the focus on them. But don’t worry, I’m not leaving my fellow authors behind.  Most of you that have subscribed to my blog are authors, and you came here in the hopes of learning more about your craft. I cannot tell you how incredibly grateful I am for each and everyone of you and how much I value your comments and encouragement. All of my posts that pertain to the craft of writing are still here and are now categorized in a section called “For Authors”.  You will find the link above in my blog menu.  I hope to continue to add to that section as I learn and gain more experience. I’m not giving up on it, I am only creating a new course for my blog to venture into. It is my hopes that you will find inspiration from this venture to carry your career down the path of success as I seek my own.

So you are asking what is the big deal?

You simply cannot survive as an author if you remain trapped in elementary stages of your career. Your readers do not want to read about how frustrating it is edit and convert your manuscript in order to make it available to them. They want to know the inspiration behind the story they have fallen in love with. They want to know about the creative mind that wrote a story that pulled them into the story and held them captive to the very end. When you publish a book, you are no longer a writer learning the craft.  You are an Author that has crafted a piece of art, and it is time to  share your masterpiece with the world.

Ok, I’m getting a little dramatic. But in all honesty, if you are not wholeheartedly in love and entirely devoted to your book(s), then why should anyone else be? You must give the results of all of your hard work the attention it deserves, and that is my goal from this point forward.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2013 in My Writing Journey

 

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Video

Self-Publishing Inspirational Story

This is one of those dream come true stories we all strive for.  I love hearing these stories.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50149678n

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2013 in My Writing Journey

 

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The Writer’s Trip

tripOne the things that sets a true writer apart from all the rest is the ability to make the most mundane of actions absolutely enthralling. Actions are not just steps, they are key components to a puzzle that must be present or the story falls apart. The difficult part is determining whether or not every component is necessary to complete the puzzle or if it is a spare piece you just threw in the box.

Editing your story is one of the most difficult processes you will face.We all want to make our stories perfect and correct the mistakes we made, but when it comes to deleting portions, it often feels like we are cutting out pieces of the heart of the story. One of the things that I have learned is that the heart of the story is something that must be felt, not dictated.  We are writing about human emotions. Emotions are not something we force, they are a result of an event. There are certain times when you do not need to say how a character is feeling simply because it is a natural response that anyone with a heart can relate to. Everyone knows that when someone dies, those that love them are devastated. Unless your character is overjoyed by the death, allow the reader to experience the event in their head rather than tell them what to feel.

It is our job as the writer to make sure the true emotions of each event are understood, but we must never forget that a good story draws people in and makes them feel like they are part of it. We must allow them to feel the words we want to write, but don’t need to write them because the reader is already emotionally involved and feeling them through their own experience. When your readers can feel the unwritten words, they want to know how the character moves on. They don’t want to read what they are already clearly feeling. Don’t trip on the things that your editor or Beta Readers say are unnecessary.  It simply means that you have already set the stage perfectly and they are feeling everything you want them to feel.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in My Writing Journey

 

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I Gotta Have That!

540142_157555827729997_1669858254_nDo you ever see an advertisement and suddenly find yourself screaming inside, “I gotta have that!” I saw this picture on Facebook. I have no idea what company or website issued it, but each time I look at it, I can see how these things would be so handy to have. In fact, I first saw this picture months ago, and my interest in it is no less now than it was when I first saw it. In this day in age, we are flooded with advertisements. If you are a member of Pinterest then you have no doubt seen thousands of pictures, every day, just like this, all with the intention of gaining exposure to new products intended to bring ease and simplicity to your life. I have seen so many, that I will be honest and tell you that I rarely even pay attention to them. So what is it about this picture that has piqued my interest so much to make it memorable?

As writers, in a world full of Authors flooding the Ebook market daily, we find ourselves in a very similar position. Book descriptions are no longer being read as they once were. Before the digital age, people would take the time to read the book description, simply because they took the time and effort to pull the book off of a shelf. It would be a waste not to. But things are very different now. You can compare it to television commercials. People are recording programs so that they have the ability to fast forward through the commercials. It isn’t just a matter of convenience to watch the program when they have the time. People don’t want to waste time on the things they are not interested in. When they are flooded with thousands of products that are similar, all at once, they zone out. They walk away, they click away, they change the channel or the radio station. We are living in a world where “on demand” is the name of the game, and if your product doesn’t make people stop and take notice, then you’re lost in the flood, soaring down river, praying for something to grasp and hold onto before you sink away to oblivion.

This world is changing so quickly, that it is virtually impossible to keep up. But one thing is obvious, Ebooks are not going away. The self-publishing market continues to grow in resources and popularity. Not just for writers, but people looking for good books to read.  Before, the Ebook world was a jungle that people easily got lost in. It was too different, and growing at such a rate that it boggled the mind. But now road maps are being designed to help readers understand the terrain. As writers, we must learn what resources are being used and utilize those resources to their fullest capacity.

The picture above piqued my interest because it is relevant to me. I see how those items could benefit me by simplifying my life. We must learn to do this very same thing when marketing our books. There are so many books available, we must prove why our particular books are worth the time and effort to purchase and read. We must be willing to continually evolve our marketing strategies so that we remain relevant. I can remember the first time I saw a book trailer on TV. It was new and out of the box. We must continually think out of the box and do the things that demand attention in this world of “on demand” lifestyles. Just imagine what it would be like to have people searching for your books because they have seen the cover of your book floating around and they just have to know more about it. We have to start evolving.  The same old, same old, is just a pile of rubbish waiting to collapse on top of you.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2013 in My Writing Journey

 

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Help Your Favorite Indie Authors

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Posted by on February 6, 2013 in Infromative Charts

 

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