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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Author of Purple Pencil Adventures Shares Writing Prompts

Yes, I did it! I conned Debra Eckerling,  the author of the new book of writing prompts and inspiration called Purple Pencil Adventures, to share some brand new writing prompts not seen in her book with my SharingwithWriters blog readers!  You know, a kind of bonus. A little taste of what's to come when you buy her book--for yourself or your own students.  Here it is direct from Debra:
 
Writing Adventures from Debra Eckerling's Purple Pencil

By Debra Eckerling

Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages is filled with writing exercises, designed to inspire joy, creativity, and a love of the written word. Want to get writing? Here are some bonus prompts to get you started.

New Person Adventure – Since it’s the beginning of the school year, chances are you’ve met someone new recently. What did you think about him or her before you spoke? What did you think after having a conversation? Were you right on target or way off-base? Write about the differences and similarities of your views on this person. It’s amazing how first impressions are usually totally right or wildly wrong.

Food Adventure – What is your favorite food? Why? Do you like sweet treats or meals? Snacks or desserts? All of the above. Pick a food and use all of your senses to describe it: taste, smell, touch. And if it makes noise when you eat it, include that too. Bonus points if, after you describe that food, you can’t resist and have to eat it immediately!

Writing Adventure – Everyone has their own method of how they create. Take a few moments, think about yours, and write about it. What is your favorite way to write? Via computer or with pen and paper? Where’s your favorite place to write? Inside at a desk or on the couch? Or outside at a bench or under a tree? Describe your favorite place and method in a way that those who are reading your story want to try writing that way too!

Purple Pencil Adventures is aimed at kids, but all ages will enjoy it. They’re even more fun when families work on them at the same time and share their stories.

For more writing exercises, check out Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages. Like Purple Pencil Adventures on Facebook, follow @PurplePencilAdv on Twitter, and explore the website.

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Expanding Your Love of Writing to Calligraphy


Where Those Letters Came From
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Guest post By Mindy Phillips Lawrence

When you sit at your keyboard and play with letters, do you ever think of where they came from? What is the history of those squiggles and circles which form words? They are different for Asian and Cyrillic writing and pretty much the same for anything coming from a Latin point of view. Isn’t that interesting?

If you are both a writer and a calligrapher as I am, even the formation of the letters into families is interesting. I just wrote “Gratitude” in calligraphy in a variation on an Old English script I am learning from the work of Thomas Brunton in California. His work is much better, and much more lively, but it gives me food for thought and for practice.

The words and phrases you write in your books and poetry are fodder for calligraphy. If you don’t do this work yourself, you might want to team up with someone who does and highlight a quote or two from your writing work. It might make someone want to take a peek at your book that normally wouldn’t read the type of work you write.
Be an investigator. Search out the history of words and artists who make them stand out. Use this knowledge to support the promotion of your calligraphy and your other work.

LINKS

Thomas Brunton (Uvulus): http://www.enjoygram.com/uvulus
For a sample of my own efforts at calligraphy using a Pilot Parallel Pen on Artist Loft sketch paper, e-mail me at  mplcreative1@aol.com.
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Mindy Phillips Lawrence, owner of MPL Creative Resources, is a writer and artist based in Springfield, Missouri. She is working on an e-book edition of the best of her Itty Bitty columns originally published in Carolyn Howard-Johnson's SharingwithWriters newsletter. Find her at www.mplcreative.com . Subscribe to the newsletter and get a free e-book on wordtrippers at http://howtodoitfrugally.com.  
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  Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Friday, August 22, 2014

More Authors Need to Understand "Elastic Pricing"


Amazon sent me a letter about the brouhaha surround their disagreement with the publisher Hatchette. I am reprinting this quote from that letter because I think this elastic pricing concept is one many authors miss and understanding it might make them feel more comfortable with many kinds of book promotion and marketing that I cover in my multi award-winning Frugal Book Promoter:

 " . . .e-books pricing is highly elastic. This means that when the price goes down, customers buy much more. We've quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that’s 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger."


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Brand New Top-Rated Writing Career Resource

Just a quick tip from my last SharingwithWriters newsletter as a way to encourage ou to subscribe. Peggy is a brand new resource for me and one who has her fingers in enough cookie dough for you to assemble a veritable gift basket of career-building resources! (-:

I'm always looking for resources where I can learn more and have my belief in hands-on marketing reaffirmed. I'm letting you know about a brand new discovery of mine. She is Peggy DeKay and does a series of podcasts which she posts on her Web site at http://tbowt.com. Click on "podcasts." You can also hear them on www.iTunes.Com. Here is a link to one favorite interview she did with Mark Wayne Adams, a children's book illustrator and author in Florida: http://www.thebusinessofwritingtoday.com/tbowt-037-an-interview-with-mark-wayne-adams-an-award-winning-author-illustrator-publisher-promoter-and-speaker
I know you'll want to reach out, send a query to be interviewed on her podcast yourself, and support this woman who wants you to know more about The Business of Writing. Find her at http://tbowt.com, http://peggydekay.com, and http://facebook.com/peggydekay
Please tell her I sent you and if you'd like to subscribe to SharingwithWriters newsletter, just send me an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subect line to hojonews (at) AOL (dot) com. 
PS: A reminder here: You can subscribe to this blog, too.
Happy writing!
Carolyn



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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

So, Does Amazon's Lending Program Hinder Authors or Help?

Once in a while I reprint something from my SharingwithWriters newsletter, just to remind all my visitors and subscribers of the kinds of helpful info they'll get in it! Ha!  This is from my continuing Q and A a la Ann Landers column:

 
So What Do You Think About Amazon’s Kindle Lending Program
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QUESTION:

How do you feel about the free borrowing feature offered by Amazon to their Prime members for their Kindle books? 

ANSWER:

I don't think any of us would have objected to library lending back in the days before Kindle. Yes, there are some differences--not least of which is that libraries bought the books they lent. But two of the benefits of lending programs still exist--library or Kindle.

1. They allow people who couldn't afford a book (or wouldn't spend the money) to read them. Most authors want their books read.

2. Readership--purchased or borrowed--will likely increase the buzz about a book which results in more sales. And that goes back to #1. People who can't afford a book can help create buzz, too.

There is another big advantage. If your book is available to borrow, say through Amazon's Prime program, reviewers are often just as happy accessing your book that way instead of having you send a hardcopy to them. That's a saving of time and money for the author.  Mmmm. Guess that relates to #1, too. (-:

The details of the Amazon program are at https://kdp.amazon.com/select.  Click on the link near the upper right on your KDP dashboard page.
 
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If you don't subscribe to SharingwithWriters and would like to, please send me an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line: hojonews@aol.com. I'm happy to do it for you.  If you'd like to sample some past issues got to http://howtodoitfrugally.com/newsletter_copies.htm.

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .