Category Archives for "Book Marketing"

Story marketing power plant

Story Marketing Tip 40 – Share Experiences You Have While Researching Your Story

Story Marketing Tip #40: Write about Experiences You Have While Researching Your Story

Story Marketing exists in many forms. Have you ever had experiences that triggered a story you wrote? If so, your readers would enjoy hearing the story behind the story.

What happened to you and how did it lead to your story? Maybe you had experiences that provided the ideas you needed for a particular scene or event within a story. Reveal them to your readers as part of your Story Marketing to promote your books.

While doing research to gather the knowledge you needed for your story, did you have any interesting experiences? If so, tell those stories. A crime author may spend a day riding with policemen. If your main character’s favorite hobby is painting, take a painting class and tell your readers about it. Take a photo of your no-so-beautiful piece of art and post it online. Be willing to embarrass yourself just a little. It will help endear you to your readers.

One of my favorite stories I have from doing book research happened when I was working on Power Revealed. I was considering having the antagonist sabotage a nuclear power plant. But for the scene to work, I needed a nuclear power plant that had very specific environmental conditions. I found one in New York State, and interestingly enough, the next month I needed to train a client in the area whose office was only thirty minutes away from this particular nuclear power plant.

Power Revealed Book
Continue reading
Mindmap of Story Marketing Course Outline

Mindmapping for Writers

Mindmapping for Writers

If you haven’t used mindmapping software before, you might want to give it a try. The first time I came across the idea of mindmapping was many years ago when I found a book on the subject in a used bookstore in a small town in South Africa while my husband and I were volunteering in the area for a few months with a Tswana tribe.

When my husband saw me perusing the pages of the book, he stopped and exclaimed, “Leah, it’s your brain!” I had unknowingly been mindmapping for years. My scribbles in notebooks included ideas written all over the page with lines linking related ideas. My loving husband had always teased (and still does twenty years later) that my brain scares him. I think it’s the chaos and all the ideas swimming (and sometimes thrashing) around. But mindmapping helps bring some order to the ideas within my mind.

I realize not everyone’s brain works in such a chaotic manner, but I suspect even linear, organized thinkers will appreciate the help mindmapping can provide during the idea generation phase of writing and other creative endeavors.

Continue reading


Book Marketing and Writing Tips From Hugh Howey

Book Marketing and Writing Tips

In his blog post, Hugh Howey, the best-selling author of Wool, not only points out the advantages of self-publishing, he also provides valuable book marketing and writing advice to authors on how to successfully self-publish their books.

If you want to earn a supplementary or full-time income from your writing, he recommends you need to: Continue reading

Man in Thought

Character Sketch Template

Character Sketch Template

Take advantage of this easy to use character sketch template to develop captivating characters your readers are drawn to quickly.

Normally, it takes time to really get to know a person. But you don’t have months or years to spend getting to know your characters before you write your story. Not if you plan on writing more than one book per decade. That’s why you need tools to help speed up the process. One of those tools is a character sketch template.

Character templates serve as helpful reminders of questions you need to ask your characters about themselves. A handy way to get to know each of your characters is to sit down for a drink with them, pull out a character sketch template, and go through the list of character details asking them to tell you about themselves.

There are plenty of character sketch templates available online, but I created my own version and organized the details in a way that makes sense to my brain. I’ve listed the contents of the character template below for you to use in your next story. I’ve also included a printer-friendly version that you can download by clicking on the download template button below.

Continue reading

Asking questions talking

Questions to Ask Your Character

Questions to Ask Your Character

You need to understand your characters to write characters readers will connect with and care about. Sitting down and asking your characters questions before, and while, you write your story is a great way to come to know your character on a deeper, more meaningful level. Because we have limited time, we need to focus on those questions that quickly help us get to the heart of our characters and the story.

Below are a list of questions I start with to help me focus on those aspects of my characters that have the most impact on the story. My antagonist may have a favorite dessert or movie, but rarely does that food or movie impact the story. If for some reason it does, then I’ll ask that question. But starting out with the list of questions below helps me understand the character well enough to know what other questions need to be asked.

When you ask your characters the questions below, ask follow-up questions to better understand their responses. Why do they want something or fear it? Don’t let them get away with simple answers. Dig deep and find out what’s really going on behind their answer. Imagine that you’re sitting down with a friend trying to get to know them better. Keep it conversational, rather than drilling them with twenty questions.

Continue reading

How to Create Custom Google Maps

How to Create a Custom Google Map and Embed It on Your Website

How to Create a Custom Google Map and Embed It on Your Website

Below are instructions for creating a custom Google map and adding it to your website. If your story is located in the real world (not on another planet or a fantasy world), your readers will likely enjoy seeing where many of the locations within the story are located on a map.

If you doubt that your readers will be interested in the real locations, then you haven’t see the number of visitors to regularly visit Green Gables on Prince Edward Island (because of Anne of Green Gables), 221b Baker Street (the home of Sherlock Holmes), or Matamata, New Zealand. Don’t know where Matamata is? Few people did until Lord of the Rings was filmed there. Now fans of the book and movie travel to New Zealand to visit the Shire in person. If you haven’t seen it before, click here to view the tours.

Continue reading


Kinetic Typography

Kinetic Typography is a fancy way of saying moving text. It is also a fun way to create an interesting video on just about any subject.

Rather than try and explain kinetic typography in more detail, I think the best option is to show some good examples of kinetic typography. Click on the links below to see some examples.

Continue reading

free stock image and photo websites

Best Websites for Free Stock Images and Photos

Need free images and photos for your website and other purposes? Below is a list of the best websites for free stock images and photos.

Everyone quickly learns that a blog post is far more attractive to visitors when it includes images, but we can’t always afford to pay the per image or monthly subscription fees that many of the stock photo websites charge. As a result, individuals often search for photos online and post them on their website. This is a dangerous thing to do. Just because someone posted a photo on their website and Google has picked it up with their search engine does not mean others have the legal right to use that photo elsewhere.

Even if you find a photo on a photo sharing site like Flickr, the owner of the photo can have many different restrictions on others using their image. Some allow use for personal (but not commercial) use. Others may allow personal and commercial use but you must provide attribution (include a note identifying the source of the image). Under the Creative Commons Zero license, you can use an image free for personal and commercial purpose and attribution is not required. This can be confusing and time consuming to double check the license restrictions on some websites to avoid using images without proper permission and breaking the law.

Good News!

Continue reading


Create a Student and Teacher Study Guide for Your Novel

Creating a student and teacher study guide for your novel is one of the best tools to help market your book if it’s targeted for children, middle-grade, or young adult readers. Rather than sell a single book at a time, if your story is selected by a teacher, or an entire school, to be studied, you have the opportunity to sell multiple copies of your book.

There’s one catch. Teachers have a lot of responsibilities and limited time to create new lesson plans.

Besides writing a great story, one of the best ways to convince a teacher to select your book over another story, is to make it EASY for the teacher to use your book in their classroom. You do this by creating a student guide for your novel.

Continue reading


Creating a Book Club Reading Guide for Your Novel

Creating a reading guide for book clubs will encourage readers to choose your story for their book club. This is a great way to spread the word of your book with more people.

Unlike a book study guide for students, a reading guide for book clubs focuses more on the theme and how the story relates to the readers’ lives.

Below are some links with suggestions to help you create your own book club reading guide. Continue reading