Monday, April 30, 2007
Promote YOUR Book's Website
I agree with all these reasons and add: information about your book is more easily indexed by search engines if it isn't buried in a huge publisher's website. There is no reason not to have a book promoted on more than one site/page, so make sure nothing in your contract forbids you doing this. O.K., I'll admit to also being a control freak, but in this case, having control of the promotion and sales of your books is beneficial. Listen to this article
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Finding Phrases and Meanings
The actual title of the index (home) page for Phrases.org website is this unwieldy list: Meanings and origins of sayings and phrases List of sayings English sayings Idiom definitions Idiom examples Idiom origins List of idioms Idiom dictionary Meaning of idioms. Looks like an SEO specialist gone wild! It offers several interesting and useful tools for writers, including:
- The meanings and origins of over 1,200 English sayings, phrases and idioms
- Bulletin board with a forum and searchable archive of more than 50,000 postings about sayings and phrases
- The currently most popular phrases
- A phrase of the week you can receive by email or RSS
- A list of popular fallacies about phrases
- Basic search engine for phrases on the site and web
The list of The Nonsense Nine most popular phrases about which they receive bogus source information is fascinating. I found myself having fallen prey to one or more of them. Think you know the origin and/or true meaning of these?Listen to this article
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Book of the Future
Last month at the South by Southwest fest, attendees may have had a look at the book of the future. Brad King reported on it in Technology Review: Future of the Book: The $100 Laptop:
The laptop was small enough that you could tote it around, sit down under a tree with it, and start reading. When you're finished, you simply fold it up and carry it home.The minicomp is being developed as part of the One Laptop per Child project of the faculty members at the MIT Media Lab. The Internet Archive will provide wireless access to 150,000 books in its Open Access Text Archive. Listen to this article
Friday, April 27, 2007
Awards for Digital Writing
Labels: contestListen to this article
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Cliches and Euphemisms
Bash the bishop
Change into your brown trousers
Not tonight Josephine
Ten one hundred
Wear your apron high
My apologies if some of the examples are a bit rude--many phrases in the list are vulgarisms--but I don't even know what these mean! Now, where is that email I had once from a man on the continent who was searching for a list of cliches?
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Get To The Top Of Search Engines
There are millions of web sites trying to get listed in the top 20 spots of the major search engines. That amounts to a lot of competition! I say if you can't get listed at the top, indirectly get to the top.I say you need to be in the top ten, preferably the top three. The higher your website is in the returns, the better. And remember that a blog IS a website or at least a web page. Search engines treat them the same as any other website. Kim's tactics begin by using the search engine to find the top 20 sites with keywords and phrases people would use to find your web site. The simple solution would be to advertise on those sites. The more arduous, but free, fixes include:
* Participate on their discussion boards.
* Trade advertising with top sites
* Propose a cross promotion
* Take advantage of free links and ads pages Listen to this article
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
How to Sell a Book
- Perseverance Is Key
- They Write, And Write And Write
- They Like To Write And Write And Write
- Promotion Is Constant
- Marketing Is An Important Factor
- Fans Are An Important Asset
- The More Success The More Pressure
- They Faced A Key Turning Point
- They're Grateful
- There Is No Single Profile For A Bestselling Author
Labels: writingListen to this article
Monday, April 23, 2007
Solution for Writer's Block
Critical childhood voices: those voices from the past that tell you you're not good enough, you're not creative, you're untalented, or lazy. They might have originated with parents, grandparents, caretakers, teachers, or siblings. While you may no longer hear actual voices in your head, you've incorporated their views of you somewhere along the way, and they crop up at the worst times for your writing. The resulting feelings of anger and self-doubt produce confusion, sap your motivation, and make you wonder if you should just throw in the towel.Then I skated into Lisa Collazo's article "Writing Out the Gremlin" at the Creativity Portal. Gremlins are what she calls those inner critical voices that sometimes hold us back. Her solution is three-fold: identify, acknowledge and replace. That reminded me of an empowerment technique I learned years ago: we all arrive at adulthood with a mental "board of directors" to help us make decisions. The great part of being an adult is that you can fire anyone you please and appoint positive role models to your internal advisory panel. Determine who is holding you back and take action!
Labels: writer's blockListen to this article
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Earth Day Mother
Saturday, April 21, 2007
* Clip useful information. You can add clippings of text, images and links from web pages to your Google Notebook without ever leaving your browser window.
* Organize your notes.You can create multiple notebooks, divide them into sections, and drag-and-drop your notes to stay organized.
* Get access from anywhere. You can access your Google Notebooks from any computer by using your Google Accounts login.
* Publish your notebook. You can share your Google Notebook with the world by making it public.
I was more impressed with the testimonial given by Nancy Sharoff, a teacher in Ellenville, New York:
I'm using [Google Notebook] as my online notebook. I'm finding it particularly useful right now in conjunction with Google Groups. Since I receive posts in digest form and there's no way to single out a single post to refer to later, I simply copy/paste the post into the appropriate section of my notebook; things I want to look into further go into my 'Check It Out' section.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Catalog your books online
Labels: booksListen to this article
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Search Web 2.0
The company itself explains that "The queries that people use daily to search online are called as people search language. Vocabulary use in people search language is simple and governed by power law with Zipf distributions. If a query is of two or three word long, it produces a series of relevant keywords with a head and a "the long tail". The head contains several popular terms while the long tail consists of many obscure keywords or longer phrases." [resource]
Labels: ResourceListen to this article
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Just below my view of Mission Valley runs I-8, the road east to Phoenix and Tuscon, where I feel connections to friends. And the other way lies the deep, dark Pacific Ocean. South is Baja, Mexico. I've been to the tip, but only as far north as San Francisco. That's about a thousand miles in both directions. I stretch my feelers out farther, to the places I've been abroad, locating myself on the earth. I have to visualize a globe to grasp the fullness of distances, reaching from here to Sydney, to Paris. Seems to leave half the world uncovered.
Still, I can feel myself, my location. I'm grounded. Because it is almost noon, imagining the earth's orientation toward the sun is also fairly easy, and the vernal equinox just passed, so the tilt of the planet seems within grasp. I lose it as soon as I consider my reference point (am I looking at the earth from the sun or from some other point in space?) Dizzy, spinning, the solar system whirls about, out of control. Stop! I tell myself. Come back to earth.
This is where I always fail, trying to find an offworld viewpoint. Visualization and feeling end as I imagine plunging into the depths of space--or is it flying higher and higher? I would go mad trying to travel outside our solar system. Another notion ... space orientation sickness, perhaps an element for a science fiction story? It could be something like nitrogen narcosis (the diver's disease) more romantically termed "rapture of the deep". Hmm, rapture of deep space ...
Labels: CreativityListen to this article
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Self-Publishers Print Costs
Labels: Self-PublishingListen to this article
Monday, April 16, 2007
Postcards from Hell
Postcards from Hell are postcard-sized stories mailed once a week to your address. The stories are concise, brilliant glimpses of hell, like a door opened and then quickly shut.It's a creepy way to sell your work and gain fame and glory, especially considering their pentagram of writers' guidelines. Listen to this article
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Poetry Month 2007
Saturday, April 14, 2007
websites] Listen to this article
Friday, April 13, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Book Sense Winners
Adult Fiction: Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen (Algonquin)
Adult Nonfiction: I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron (Knopf)
Children's Literature: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Knopf)
Children's Illustrated: Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Dr. Paul Kahumbu; photos by Peter Greste (Scholastic)
The number of women winning shows a nice trend!
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Johnny Can't Write!
The problems are complex, as are most social issues. Research by the ACT reveals a great disparity between what professors and K-12 teachers feel students graduating high school should know as preparation for higher education. In an effort to provide students with broad reviews of subjects, schools seem to have fallen into the "mile wide, inch deep" trap.
What can we do as writers, relatives of students, citizens who fund public schools? One suggestion I have is to give college-bound students deeper training and exposure to the areas of importance for higher studies. We can demand our states change the content standards to match the realities of college work. Any "writer in residence" program" can include experiences with more practical writing skills. What are your ideas to help the situation? Listen to this article
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Idea Generator for Writers
The Phrase Thesaurus product was developed as part of a computational linguistics project that ran at Sheffield Hallam University from 1997 to 2001. The database was transferred to a commercial server in Nov 2001. That research also produced the Phrase Finder website which provides public access to the meanings and origins of many phrases and sayings in English.They also indicate that professional writers, language lovers, journalists, advertising copywriters and songwriters find this online thesaurus an invaluable resource when looking for that elusive turn of phrase. You can try out limited sets of one or two-word phrases to see some results for free. Listen to this article
Monday, April 09, 2007
Writing Heads & Titles
* Use descriptive keywords in the headlineAnd John Foster of the Idaho Business Review describes in a comment how that paper went online and shot up in Google:
* Use similarly descriptive terms in the title tag
* Take advantage of online tools for suggesting alternatives: Google AdWords, WordTracker.com or KeywordDiscovery.com
On the web, the headline and subhed (critical for us was making both of them part of the URL) are really your old-school news lede. The descriptive, witty, engaging nut graph is now your lede. It's worked very well for us. Once a week or so we'll have the top story on a Google News hit, ahead of papers 100 times our size.There's no reason the rest of us publishers can't use the same techniques on our blogs and websites to gain Google juice for our productions. Listen to this article
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Blog of the Day Award
Blog of the Day Awards ... are a great way for your blog to be noticed. My blog, The Jack Sack (http://thejacksack.blogspot.com) won the award just a couple of days ago and I've seen a nice bump in my site's traffic. To be eligible, your blog must be nominated via the Blog of the Day Award's site. The instructions are extremely simple. Good luck!
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Until recent years I struggled for balance, seldom achieved it, probably because it is a living process of feedback loops and corrections. I'm one whose psychological pendulum naturally swung wide. "Too sensitive!" became the perjorative hurled my way. Coincidentally, my astrological sign is Libra, the scales! Gradually most other responsibilities slipped out of my life, and I've let them go. Fate forced me to focus on another career for a decade, but eventually that ended in early 2001, allowing me to return to commercial writing, editing and helping others get their books published.
Then I was in a position to allow writing to take over my life as much as I wanted. Granted, in 2006 the sudden death of my mother and breast cancer slowed me down. I am, indeed, living in the end times. I feel I have achieved balance at last regarding my life sub specie aeternitatis, a Latin phrase I learned as an adolescent. Looking at events "under the aspect of eternity" or with a cosmic view provides the perspective to see balance achieved. That which was denied to me earlier is now available in abundance, and I am at peace. Listen to this article
Friday, April 06, 2007
Siteless Online Advertising
Small businesses without a website can create hosted business pages so potential customers may find information about the products and services offered by the business. When new advertisers sign up for AdWords through the Starter Edition, they're offered the chance to create a free hosted business page.I'm thinking this is perfect for the writer with one note (one book, one service) and no desire to maintain a website, but who wants to take advantage of the power of Internet advertising. I haven't tried setting one up yet, but I wonder if when the page is displayed, you could scrape the source code and use it later on? The "Starter Edition" of AdWords is a simplified version in which only text ads and keyword targeting are allowed and only one ad campaign is possible. Advanced features like conversion tracking, multiple campaigns and ad groups are found only in what Google now calls the "Standard Edition", very complex but powerful. They won't let you go backwards, either, but you can convert a toe-wetting Starter experience into the full Monty.
Hosted business pages are quick and easy -- no knowledge of HTML or programming is required. The webpage is available almost immediately once the advertiser starts running an AdWords campaign. Keep in mind that hosted business pages are accessible only through links on AdWords ads.
Listen to this article
Thursday, April 05, 2007
I'm thinking that to boost this site's Page Rank, which Delexa says should reach all of six (When? Oh, Lord!), I'd search for sites higher ranking higher on those keywords to pester for links. Unfortunately, I don't do pester well. Listen to this article
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
SFFY (slash/femmeslash/yaoi/yuri) Genre
origslash_news: Market Report for January 2007 (Installment 2):
What is slash/femmeslash/yaoi/yuri? Slash and yaoi (male/male) and femmeslash and yuri (female/female) are genres of literature and art featuring same-sex attraction. Slash and femmeslash (also spelled femslash) originated in the West, while yaoi and yuri originated in Japan but is now also created in the West. These genres are noteworthy for their strong emphasis on the emotional connection - good or bad - between the characters. Some of these works take the form of fan fiction, but this market report is only about original (non-fan) fiction.One of the links I followed lead to Yaoi Suki, a colorful and illuminating (to me) women's website about juvenile homoerotic fiction (boy/boy). It took me the longest time to recognize that the logo is two people kissing. Listen to this article
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
Share and edit with Google Docs & SpreadsheetsListen to this article
We launched Google Docs & Spreadsheets, an online word processor and spreadsheet editor that lets you to create, store and collaborate on documents and spreadsheets in real time. If you or your patrons know how to use any word processing or spreadsheet editing program, you can easily use Google Docs & Spreadsheets. It's great for your library users, since they can work on writing and research without having to save files to a disk; all of their work is stored safely online, and can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection. It's as simple as checking email. Google Docs & Spreadsheets is free and supports all standard formats - DOC, XLS, OpenOffice and more - so you can upload and edit documents and spreadsheets you've created using other programs. And in response to users' requests, we recently updated the spell check feature so you can check your documents in more than 30 languages.