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Daily Archives: November 11, 2012

Guest post: The Min-e-bookTM by Caroline A Shearer

Sunday nights are double-dose guest blog posts and the first of tonight’s duo, on competitions, has already gone live. Tonight’s second guest blog post, on the topic of mini eBooks, is brought to you by Absolute Love Publishing founder Caroline A. Shearer.

The Min-e-bookTM

Hello Fellow Writers!

I’d like to share with you a little bit about one of my favorite forms of publishing, the min-e-book™. A min-e-book™ is a shorter style e-book designed for a quick read. In the past, whenever I read nonfiction, I found myself wanting it to be more succinct. I began publishing my own shorter style e-books, and eventually thought up the name min-e-book™, a mini e-book.

I wanted to provide my readers with as much information as possible in a simple, brief format so that they could immediately begin implementing the concepts in their lives. The min-e-books™ I have published so far are part of my “Raise Your Vibration” series. “Raise Your Vibration: Tips and Tools for a High-Frequency Life” and “Raise Your Financial Vibration: Tips and Tools to Embrace Your Infinite Spiritual Abundance” both offer readers advice on how they can utilize New Thought techniques to lead healthier, wealthier, higher vibrating existences. The shorter format of the books allows me to write in a clear and direct way with honest, simple language. Readers are generally able to finish a min-e-book™ in under an hour. This works out well because the quicker they finish reading, the sooner they are able to get started on improving their lives!

My personal experience with the min-e-book™ format has been successful, but it can certainly work in other genres as well. Technology has blessed us with the convenience of being able to read just about anything from anywhere on the planet. People are reading books “on the go” all the time. Commuting to work on the subway, waiting to catch a flight, sitting outside the doctor’s office. These are all places we could always read, of course, but our selections were limited to how far we cared to lug our books. Today, with the right device or app, readers have the power to purchase a book from anywhere. And with the influx of self-published authors on the market, their options are ever-expanding.

The min-e-book™ is perfect for the browsing reader. It is a smaller commitment because it carries a lower price tag ($2.99). He or she might not want to shell out $10 or $12 for a novel that may not end up fitting into a busy schedule, but acquiring something that can be read in the time it takes to get to work, for under $3? It’s hard to go wrong. By this logic, a min-e-book™ is quite appealing to the impulsive book buyer.

A min-e-book™ is also a great outlet for people who do not normally consider themselves “writers.” I highly recommend entrepreneurs, or anyone interested in gaining credibility as an expert in their field, to consider publishing one. At around 15,000 words, a min-e-book™ does not require a large investment of time. Also, since it is only available electronically, there is no need to wait for copies to be printed, and so it is practically ready upon completion. Just upload it and you’re done!

I have personally published a book in three days by using this format. “Raise Your Vibration: Tips and Tools for a High-Frequency Life” is a perpetual bestseller on Amazon. It has steadily climbed the charts since the day it was published with very little marketing behind it. It is truly wonderful what we writers are able to accomplish these days.

For more information please visit www.min-e-book.com.

What a good idea, thank you, Caroline.

Caroline A. Shearer is the founder of Absolute Love Publishing, which was born out of a mission to create and publish projects promoting goodness in the world. Known as a fresh, distinctive, spiritual voice, Caroline’s visionary leadership is uplifting, gently blending love and inspiration. She is regularly featured as a luminary in print, broadcast, and online media, offering guidance and sharing positive stories of her personal spiritual journey toward a more abundant, joyful, and light-filled life. Intuitively guided, Caroline has a remarkable ability to unite others along a path of progressing and celebrating the experience of humanity.

A bestselling author, Caroline’s popular books include, “Dead End Date,” the first book in the Adventures of a Lightworker metaphysical mystery series; “Love Like God: Embracing Unconditional Love;” “Love Like God Companion;” “Raise Your Vibration: Tips and Tools for a High-Frequency Life,” a min-e-book™; “Women Will Save the World;” and “Raise Your Financial Vibration: Tips and Tools to Embrace Your Infinite Spiritual Abundance,” a min-e-book™. In addition to her own projects, she founded Spirited Press, an assisted self-publishing imprint that operates under the umbrella of Absolute Love Publishing. Spirited Press supports authors in sharing their own messages with the world.

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You can find out more about Caroline, Absolute Love Publishing and their projects via… www.AbsoluteLovePublishing.com, www.SpiritedPress.com, www.WomenWillSavetheWorld.com and www.min-e-book.com.

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If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with memoirist Rosemary Sabet – the five hundred and forty-ninth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

** NEW!! You can now subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!

See http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008E88JN0

or http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008E88JN0 for outside the UK **

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

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Guest post: Why You Should Enter Writing Competitions by Ben Skinner

Sunday nights are double-dose guest blog posts and the first of tonight’s duo (the second will be along in an hour), is on the topic of writing competitions, and brought to you by competition guru Ben Skinner.

Why You Should Enter Writing Competitions

In 2012 there are a multitude of reasons why a large proportion of the population are looking at ways to supplement their personal income, and the growth of the internet has given us more opportunities to do this than ever before. We can all earn a little extra cash by filling in surveys, selling our unwanted goods, and even partaking in affiliate schemes. These and other methods can all help to increase the family budget.

There is, however, a way to potentially add significantly to your income while also improving and honing your writing skills, and increasing your writing portfolio – Writing Competitions. While there are no financial guarantees (you have to win to be in with a chance of getting paid!), the potential rewards involved are simply huge. The concept of winning cash or big prizes has been with us for a number of years but with the increase in online activity, there are more options now than ever before.

Getting started

Chances are that you’ll already know of some writing competitions that you’ve come across in your normal day – poetry, short stories and fiction writing competitions are particularly popular. Maybe you’ve been cynical about these in the past but it’s true to say that someone has to win them and it is also true that the best ‘compers’ (someone who enters competitions as a serious hobby) can actually make many thousands of dollars a year and therefore make a comfortable living in this way.

Why should I enter a writing competition?

This is a great way to improve your writing skills and gain confidence, even if you don’t win. But if you do, the feeling is great. And the prize helps too! Entering a writing or poetry competition is one of the best things you can do, especially if they offer a critique of your story as part of the entry. Well worth the time taken to write your entry to find out how you’re doing and what you need to do to improve! As well as the prize involved in winning, it’s also likely that your entry will be published either online or in a magazine or both! This provides writers with a fantastic opportunity for exposure to a huge audience who might not otherwise have read your work. Want more reasons? Sure!:

  • Writer’s block anyone? Loosen up with a contest submission. Take a troublesome chapter of your book, or a mind-numbing topical article and throw caution to the wind. Who knows, it could create a fresh, vital storyline that would double nicely as an excerpt from your book, or add pizzazz to that magazine article.
  • Don’t know a deadline from a dateline? If you are still working on that first book or article acceptance, entering a contest lets you taste-test what it’s like to work under deadline pressure—an essential quality in a writer’s life. If you miss the deadline … you automatically lose!
  • Contests come in varying lengths. Learn from them! Do you write short-short stories and think you don’t have enough storyline to develop a tale of 3,000 to 10,000 words, or more? What’s missing? Try a contest before you go book-length. Or perhaps you’re the novelist, who struggles to edit the unnecessary chatter—try writing a short-short story. Take one of your lengthy chapters and create a new technique by pulling key phrases out first—you’ll be amazed at how much text you can cut and still tell a great story—maybe even better, with more punch than your original.
  • Contests build comfort with your genre and help you understand where weaknesses may be plodding sluggishly through your creativity.
  • Test the waters of a new genre, without feeling the bite of an editorial shark. Stretch your imagination in a risk-free environment. You could discover a “new you.”
  • If you think your entry is some of your best writing (and it should be, or what’s the point?), guess what? You own it—sell it! Of course as a professional, you should abide by whatever contest regulations pertain to publishing the entries, but once the notification deadline has passed … it could be dollar signs waiting to happen!

Key points

If you’ve made the decision to enter a writing competition, there are a few key points worth remembering before you pick up your notepad!

  • Original material – you will be entering a commercial competition with a prize or reward, so make sure that you are submitting original material – that obviously means no plagiarism or rehashing of your previous work! (Unless submitting old work is permitted in the competitions guidelines, so read them carefully!).
  • Audience – think about who your target audience is, and by that we mean both the eventual readers of the website or publication where your entry will be used, and also the people who will be judging the competition!
  • Research – do your research of previous years’ / months’ competitions, or similar competitions on other websites or publications. What kinds of stories or poems have been successful? Is it better to write from a first or third person perspective? What kind of word count should I be shooting for?

Making money!

As you will no doubt be aware, some contests offer a straight cash prize while others might award a product or item. If your reward is an object rather than a wad of money then how do you make some extra cash if you don’t need it? The answer is simple – just sell it. A number of prizes end up on the auction site eBay and are a quick and simple way of converting those prizes into money in your bank account.

Thank you, Ben!

This post was written by Ben Skinner the Marketing Director of UK competitions site MyOffers. MyOffers are a free online competition site offering cars, holidays and cash prizes. Visit them at http://www.myoffers.co.uk.

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If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with memoirist Rosemary Sabet – the five hundred and forty-ninth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

** NEW!! You can now subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!

See http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008E88JN0

or http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008E88JN0 for outside the UK **

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books (including my debut novel!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

 

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