Want To Be A Published Writer? Brand Yourself

Websiteby Annette Young

I’ve been in the writing and publishing industry for many, many years and even though the whole industry has been turned on its head in recent years, there’s never been a more important time to begin to brand yourself as a writer – yes, even if you have never been published. So what is branding? Eliminate the thought of branding irons and the word WRITER being stamped on some part of your body, instead, consider it the time when you reach out to the world prepared to show your creative self and, create a public stage upon which to promote your creative collection. Brand yourself in an unique niche or get the word out there that you want to be taken seriously as a writer. 

A website is an absolute must if you want to become a published and credible writer and, build up a dedicated readership in the process.

Even if you are shy about your creative pursuits, it’s never too early or too late to build that visible foundation and to grab yourself some committed followers. In fact, by doing so, you create the opportunity to interact with others and for them to share your journey of creativity. Many writers make the mistake of trying to network with readers and followers after they have published their work and this is the wrong way to do it. While you may wish to portray yourself in a professional light so to reap the benefits of any published work, it really does make sense to carve out a dedicated niche and an interested set of followers before you really need to promote your work.

Whether you are planning to write a fiction or non-fiction book or, just love the idea of having all your short stories published, a website will tell site visitors a lot about you. There are many readers who love to have unique insights into the lives of published writers and so your site must reflect the real you. Publish snippets of your work, get feedback, reveal your personality and humour and engage with those who visit your site.

Importantly, share your trials and tribulations and, all of your successes. Encourage others and they will encourage you.

Setting up a website is not difficult, in fact, there are many ways of doing so, some will limit your possibilities later, so it’s worth getting it right from the word go. If you need  help, CLICK HERE but if you want to have a go on your own, I recommend getting started as soon as you can. You don’t need a huge site, just an easy to navigate site with enough control over it to publish what you want, when you want.

However experienced or inexperienced a writer you are, don’t be afraid to establish a web presence because it’s fun to have your own site and to share your creative writing but, it’s also a great way to start being recognised and to be taken seriously as a writer.

High Quality Content? I’d Love a Bowl of Peanuts!

Writing for peanuts

Annette Young - Authorby Annette  Young

Every now and then I feel the urge to stick up for writers everywhere and to tell potential clients to pay up if they want high quality content. You’d think it would be obvious.  You get what you pay for you don’t you? Apparently, in the world of freelance writing, top notch writers are still getting lumped in with those who can hardly string a sentence together. Quite frankly, it’s not the reason I went into writing, and I’m sure many freelance writers out there would agree.

I really get sick when I see job adverts that express the importance of hiring someone with excellent skills and yet want to pay them peanuts. In fact, for some of the payments offered, I think a writer would struggle even to buy a large packet of peanuts from their wage. It’s ludicrous that a professional writer is expected to write for next to nothing. I suspect that for some people, their earnings per hour is less than the national minimum wage. Scandalous.

I’m not greedy. When I quote for writing projects, I put in a fair offer and ok, sometimes do reduce my rate, it depends on the job – little research, very quick job, or if it gives me a new string to my bow, but my low side, compared to a lot of writers, is vastly different. So come on clients! I can appreciate that the economy is tough right now, I’m a business woman, I know that the figures have to tally but if you want good quality writing, then please pay up.

I’m lucky, I get repeat work from clients and I don’t work anymore for people who are rude, who let me down or, who keep me waiting for my payment. I am not keen on hourly rates,  because if I feel like taking longer and slowing my pace, then I’m not over-charging my clients. I do not write manically for anyone. I do not apply for jobs that say ‘ Fantastic Job! We want 400 articles and pay an AMAZING 800 USD! What? Then the others that say, LOW BUDGET but MASSES of  WORK! Are we supposed to be grateful that we can work for very little but get to juggle our little shirt buttons at the end of it?

I have written about this topic before, moaning at writers about getting some self-respect and charging what they are worth, but I see that nothing is changing.

So this time, my heartfelt plea goes out to clients the world over, please, please, please consider that you are hiring professionals. You are hiring someone who can make a huge difference to your own financial income by writing books, web content or articles for you. Don’t advertise for a high-quality writer but say, ‘It’s an EASY Job and expect to pay little. If it’s easy, why are you NOT DOING IT?

Don’t offer a writer revenue based on sales thereafter, because if the marketing is not good following on after the job is completed, sales will be next to nothing. Instead, do the decent thing, pay a reasonable wage, one agreed by both and look after your writer, even if you are only working on minimal projects together. Decency and kindness goes a long, long way and you can be confident that the writer will work even harder for you if you appreciate their skills.

I firmly believe that you get what you pay for. You may be lucky and pick up a good writer who happens to have a low self-esteem and does not know their own worth, but what are you going to do when they burn out through writing long and hard and not being able to pay their way?

I know that businesses are struggling right now, but if you wanted to get a receptionist or a secretary, wouldn’t you have to pay the going rate?

Sometimes writers don’t have a voice, so I’m standing up on their behalf. Look after your writers and they will create the high-quality content that puts your business on the map.

 

 

 

 

 

Writers – Why You Should Sweat the Small Stuff

Author/Editor Annette Youngby editor/author Annette Young

As a writer, you have to build up a vivid picture for your reader. You might have a definite plan in your mind, but unless you can transfer those thoughts and paint those images with words, capturing them forever within the plot, your reader will not grasp the story as comprehensively as you would like.

I am lucky where I live in that the Pyrenees Mountains provide a huge source of inspiration for me. I look out of my window and I see snow-capped mountains, I turn my head in a slightly different direction and I see the rising tower of a church spire peeking from the green shrouded scenery of a small French village opposite me. I am surrounded by the picturesque scenery that provides me with the inspiration I  need, someone else might become inspired by being surrounded with people, or dynamic architectural designs that form complex concrete structures. It doesn’t matter where you are or the things that you see, being able to immerse yourself in your own environment is the most important aspect as is, having the technical skills to relay this information in a compelling way to those who read your work.

I went for a walk the other day, climbing higher into the foothills and I followed little roads that meandered through farmland and valleys. Having re-developed my love of bird-watching, my idea was to see as much wildlife as I could but as typically happens when I walk, I start think. I think about new characters, settings, possible locations and create descriptive scenarios in my mind. At one point, mesmerised by the clusters of striking flowers that adorned the hedgerows, I thought about the work that goes into creating just a small passage in any book. Importantly, it has to be accurate and revealing. There’s no point my just writing about yellow flowers, it means nothing to the reader really, I would have to say the clusters of vibrant flowers that rose on stalks from the rough and tumble grasses and how the Great Yellow Gentian draws the eye to its significant form.

A writer should always check their facts too.Find out what month a particular flower blooms and to ensure that they do actually grow in the location chosen. It’s important because someone is bound to know and as a writer, you can lose credibility if you get it wrong. Similarly, if I say I watched as a kestrel hovered high over the freshly cut crops hunting for prey, I have to ensure that in my area, kestrels are resident. Although this is a fairly safe bet, there will be examples that are revealed as obvious mistakes if you are not careful.

This is especially important if you are writing about a particular place. I remember providing published novel samples to my writing students at college one day. The excerpt was  from one of my favourite authors and I loved her descriptive passages that held the power to conjure up balmy summer nights, or dreamy beach scenes in tropical island paradises. At least I did until one student said that those particular flowers described did not bloom during those months. She knew the area well and was adamant as a gardening enthusiast that she was right and who am I to argue the point? It certainly gave me food for thought. Creative licence goes a long way but for a little bit of research, a fictional novel can still be accurate and actually come alive for the reader.

So do I think writers need to sweat the small stuff? Absolutely, especially if they want their work to seem credible. We all want to possess the writing skills needed to paint vivid imagery with our words, so why not take inspiration from the world around you, or at least, do the necessary research if you are writing about an area that is unfamiliar to you? It can make all the difference.

Creating Mood

 By Chrys Fey

Beneath a sky bruised with black and purple clouds, a woman limped down an alley where only criminals or the very desperate would venture. The pavement was slick with slime. Broken bottles and crushed beer cans littered the ground. Every now and then she stepped over a used syringe.

The air in the alley carried the stench of stale alcohol with a pleasant splash of raw vomit and human urine. Graffiti marked the walls; there were gang signs spray-painted in blood red, vulgar words scribbled in anger, and pornographic drawings.

The farther down she went, she realized why the alley was known as “The Valley of the Shadow of Death”. There were several ratty clothed individuals ambling about lifelessly. Their skin was as grey and pasty as the skin of a corpse, their eyes were dark hallows, their lips were cracked and bleeding, and their bones stuck out of their deprived bodies. They looked like they belonged in graves.

Mood is the atmosphere created by the setting and actions of the characters in it. The teaser in the beginning is an excerpt from the first book in my series and an excellent example of mood created by setting. In the excerpt, I depicted a dangerous alley where low lives go to drink and do drugs. The mood is dark and mysterious because I do not introduce or reveal the woman’s identity; it is also pitiful in regards to the state of the inhabitants of the alley.

Mood also relates to how the reader emotionally responds to the setting and the action of characters. One example for how a reader can emotionally respond to mood would be while reading the passage in Dave Pelzer’s book, “A Child Called It” when he is cleaning the infected, puss-filled stab wound on his side. Reading that would make a reader grimace in pain, feel disgust at the ordeal this child had to go through, and even nauseous.

To create mood depict vivid settings, give detail to the actions of your characters, and use emotion. You can do this with force like in Dave Pelzer’s book or subtly by describing a summer afternoon that makes your readers recall the dry, sweltering days from their youth when they would float in a lukewarm pool in effort to stay cool. The mood for such a writing could be happy, leisurely, and nostalgic.

Decide what type of mood you need for your book and become that mood!

Chrys Fey created Write With Fey, a how-to blog about writing a novel. Every Tuesday there is a new post containing tips, inspiration, insight into her series, and much more. http://www.writewithfey.blogspot.com

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Creating-Mood&id=7536760] Creating Mood

Top Ten Pinterest Tips for Writers

By Donna Shepherd

The social network Pinterest is growing quickly as users post images and links to a virtual pinboard.

The official definition from Pinterest:

“Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.”

Here are my top ten tips for writers in particular, although many will apply to anyone learning to use Pinterest.

1. Post your favorite books on your personal Pinterest page by adding images of all the books you love in your life.

You will probably want to have one board devoted to your books and that’s fine, but be sure to have other boards devoted to books and authors you like and different topics that interest you. Avoid giving the impression that your Pinterest profile is being used solely to promote yourself. Be sure to follow the site’s rule: “Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.”

2. Find other writers on Pinterest and follow their examples. Use a board for characters, clothing, research, and scenes.

3. Someone said a Pinterest board is like your high school locker (remember those?) as it is a way to show your readers what interests and inspires you as well as what you’re working on right now.

4. Look for book recommendations or comment on other boards in the Film, Music, & Books Section.

5. Share writing tools, stationery, journals, books and writing-related items in the “Gifts” section.

6. Use #hashtags and keywords. Much like on Twitter, tagging your pins with trending hashtags or keywords will help you find new followers. Searching for other pins and boards using hashtags will also help you find similar brands on Pinterest to follow.

7. Add the Pinterest bookmarklet to your browser’s bookmarks bar. This is a time-saver, because it allows you to easily pin things you find while browsing without going to the Pinterest website first. To get it, visit the rel=nofollow [http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/]Pinterest Goodies page and drag the “Pin It” button to your browser toolbar. Now, when you see something you want to pin, click the bookmarklet and you’ll be prompted to create a new pin. Be sure to scroll to the correct board for each pin.

Another vital tip from Pinterest – “If you notice that a pin is not sourced correctly, leave a comment so the original pinner can update the source. Finding the original source is always preferable to a secondary source such as Google Image Search or a blog entry.”

8. This tip has saved me a lot of time. If you’re pinning an image from a website using the Pinterest bookmarklet, you can highlight some of the text on that page before you hit “Pin It” and the text will automatically show up in the description box. Still edit and add hashtags.

9. You can also tag other Pinterest users by using the @ symbol with their Pinterest user name. You have to be following at least one of their boards. That user will see the pin, and it will link to their Pinterest profile. Use this tip to help promote each other on Pinterest.

10. And finally, cross-post to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. When you pin something to one of your boards, you are given the option of posting to your Twitter account as well. Under your ‘settings,’ click ‘on’ under “Publish Activity to Facebook Timeline.” In this way when you pin, you’re actually posting to three different places at once. Now that’s muti-tasking!

Donna J. Shepherd has hundreds of articles and devotionals to her credit. Her children’s books feature short, playful rhymes and humorous illustrations. Her newest book for children is “Ava’s Secret Tea Party” – available in both paperback and hardcover.

Donna’s devotionals and stories appear in Daily Grace for Women, Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms, and The Best Grandma in the World to name a few. Her newest release is a ‘hen-lit’ called “Love Under the Bubble Wrap – a novelette.”

For more writing tips, useful links, and updates about Donna’s books, visit her Fan Page at [http://www.facebook.com/donnajshepherd]http://www.facebook.com/donnajshepherd.

Donna’s Pinterest boards, a hodgepodge of recipes, crafts, interesting and funny pictures (Bonus tip – funny pins gets re-pinned more often!), favorite books, and more are at http://www.pinterest.com/donnashepherd

Rejection Letters – Learn From Your Mistakes and Become a Better Writer

By Jo M Draper

 

As a writer, it is almost a given that your dream is for someone to notice your talents, realise your natural flair for words, and agree that your work is worthy of gracing the shelves of bookstores worldwide. Before you achieve that dream however, you have to let publishers know you’re out there. And that means writing letters, which in turn, if you’re lucky, means receiving replies to those letters. And more often than not those replies will be rejection letters.

 

But as disheartening as they are, rejection letters are a valuable tool for writers. If you get them at all, you should be honoured that the publishing team has actually taken the time to write. Many publishers do not enter into any communication if they do not want to see more of your writing, or take your manuscript any further. If you’re one of the ‘lucky rejects’ you may also receive some valuable feedback in your rejection letter. The natural instinct, when you receive such a letter is to dismiss it as a mark of your failure, and very few would happily trawl through this letter again and again, to try to take anything from it. But if you want to eventually succeed as a writer then this is exactly what you should do.

 

Rejection letters can often highlight really important elements of your writing, or your approach, that may be the reason for your lack of success to date. For example, a publisher may comment that they like the basic plot but the characterisation may be weak, or lacking in substance. This comment should be taken positively, firstly, because of the statement of fact that your plot has merit, and secondly because the characterisation is something that can be worked on and hopefully progressed to a point that publishers will consider taking it onto their list for the year.

 

A rejection letter may also highlight failings in presentation; did you follow the publisher’s submission guidelines? If not, then many won’t even bother to read your work. This is a really important point as potentially, the best literary works could be missed simply because the manuscript was not printed single sided, or with double spacing. Take note of any of these points that are raised in your rejection letter and make sure that you do not make the same mistake again.

 

Learning from your rejection letters can only have a positive impact on your writing and will, hopefully lead to positive results from future manuscript submissions.

 

Do you need help to get your manuscript ready for submission to publishers? Then contact [http://www.jmdeditorial.co.uk/copy-editing.html]JMD Editorial and Writing Services today

 

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Rejection-Letters—Learn-From-Your-Mistakes-and-Become-a-Better-Writer&id=6849134] Rejection Letters – Learn From Your Mistakes and Become a Better Writer

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