ScoreIt! a Writers Resource

One of the most difficult tasks for any author is stepping away from their work and giving it a critical product-based assessment.

Here’s an app that takes some of the guesswork out of audience identification.

ScoreIt!™’s engineering leverages the cutting edge science of stylometry, artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify underlying patterns of language structure in any given text. Statistical analyses are then applied to identify those significant patterns that define one author’s writing style as compared to another…. In broad terms, each submission is evaluated and weighted for its 1) grammatical construction; 2) authorial vocabulary; 3) expressive complexity and 4) use of function words.”

After putting my recent title through the ScoreIt! system, I was pleased with the results.

Read more about my ScoreIt! analysis and the Book Giveaway based on the data.

Paranormal Book Cover Design Elements

Hindsight and fresh ‘enchilada’ wrappers open the door to effective paranormal book cover design.

If a writer’s journey begins with an idea and a few words, it concludes with multiple themes stacked like warm blankets atop a winter bed, bound together with colorful character threads.  The entire package, encompassing thousands of hours and hundreds and pages is wrapped by a thin layer of decorated cover stock that is supposed to, pictorially, represent the whole ‘enchilada.’

Read the entire article here.

Fiction Author Biography – Creating an Electronic Media Kit for Authors – Part Three

When it comes to writing about themselves, authors usually languish. This post will help overcome Author Biography writing reluctance.

Sherlock GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

The Author Biography page on your website is a piece of your media kit that should be created before someone asks for it. 

While not as dynamic as a tweet or Facebook post, it needs to be updated regularly, especially when you’ve created new work. On your website, this page can be the ‘long version’ that every short version springs from.

Journalists, publicists, author appearance schedulers, and blog interviewers are just a few of the people who will pull information from this source.

Nonfiction Author Bio

A nonfiction author, with the aim of booking speaking engagements, will lean heavily on experience that lends authority to his / her topic. This type of author biography should adhere to business communications style and standards.

Fiction Author Bio

A fiction writer, memoirist, actor, or artist will have a softer approach, connecting with their audience on a personal level.

Author Biography Writing Steps

  1. Begin with a connecting statement, something your reading audience can relate too. This can be a hobby, belief, lifelong interest, etc. (Something that relates to your writing topics.)
  2. Details. This section is about the areas in which you are an expert, inside information that your book(s) didn’t cover,  or challenges you’ve faced.
  3. Authority. Education, experience, and publication credits (magazines, anthologies,  or awards).
  4. Additional titles you’ve published.
  5. Where you live.
  6. Option; endearing information about spouses and children or pets.
  7. Website & contact information.

Your published work is an opportunity for a reader to view the world with a fresh perspective. Your Author Biography builds trust and establishes you as a writer/creator with a unique perspective. It also sets a tone for how you conduct the business aspects of your career.

Investing the time to write your Bio –  well – before it is needed, will return long-term dividends.

*If this post helped you write an Author Bio that you are pleased with, feel free to post a short version of it in the comments section below.

Personality Tests

123test.com – personality test

Oprah.com – Who Am I Meant to Be?

Quibblo.com – What’s Your Personality Type

Quibblo.com – What’s Your Affinity

Other Blog Posts to Read

6 Elements of a News Release – Creating an Electronic Media Kit for Authors – Part Two

100 Unusual Interview Questions – Creating an Electronic Media Kit for Authors – Part One

Resources:

Book in a Box – How to Write Your Author Bio (and Why it Matters) – examples
Dan Blank – The Daily Practice of Growing Your Audience
Forbes – Professional Bio Template

Hubspot – 6 of the Best Professional Bio Examples We’ve Ever Seen
Jane Friedman – Build a Better Author Bio for  Twitter
Template Lab – 45 MS Word Template Downloads

Turning Your Blog into an e-book

Back in 2012 when I had been blogging for two years, I had gotten to know the blogging community pretty well through top sites for bloggers like Copyblogger, which has since turned into a multi-faceted media and software company. I was struck at the time by the almost total disconnect between authors, who were learning…

via Attention Bloggers: The Future of Book Publishing Has Arrived — The Book Designer

Copyright Law and Public Domain

‘New’ ideas are built on top of what already exists. 

Artists, authors, designers, and engineers may look like they are alone when they are working, but every creative knows that the things they produce are aggregates— with their own personal flair mixed in.

Like the famous Sagrada Familia it has taken five generations of builders to bring Antoni Gaudi’s grand vision to light. 

In the internet age, creatives turn to the worldwide web for inspiration— be it for photography, soundtracks or clip art.

Too many people believe that everything online is free. It’s not.

If you use media without proper licensing or permission, you could face a copyright infringement lawsuit, or get flagged on YouTube for improper use.

As a creative, it is important to understand how copyright works, what is protected, and when something is available for free use.

Copyright laws, in general, protect a creation from being copied for the life of the artist, plus 70 years.  After that, the piece enters the Public Domain. (SBTEA)

Public Domain works are 100% free for private and commercial use and do not require attribution.

Lawrence Lessig’s lectures and books help artists safely navigate the muddy waters of fair use. He is largely responsible for establishing an ever-growing community of photographers, artists, illustrators, videographers and musicians who support creativity by contributing current work to the Public Domain.

Copyright Law recommended reading.

Click here for Lisa’s extensive collection of public domain images, music, sound,  and video clips.

6 Elements of a News Release – Creating an Electronic Media Kit for Authors – Part Two

Writing a News Release (aka Press Release) is easy when you know the formula. It is a standard format that makes the job of the journalist efficient.

Authors can use News Releases to announce new titles, events, or highlight aspects of their work in progress.

The ‘trick’ to having your News Release picked up by media is filling in the blanks with interesting and mistake-free content. (The chances of your News Release being published are greater with local publications. If you’ve set your sites on national or world news coverage, a professional publicist is well worth his / her fee.)

Each element of the News Release, and where it belongs, is highlighted with purple arrows below. (Sample text is from a News Release for CyberPatriot team recruiting.)

At the bottom of this post, is a FREE PDF download of the 6 Elements of a News Release and links to additional Author Media Kit articles.

6 Elements

CyberPatriot is a National Youth Education Program. It was created by the Air Force Association to “inspire students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

CyberPatriot sponsors include Northrop Grumman Foundation, AT&T, Cisco, Microsoft, Norton, and Facebook. If teams advance high enough, they qualify for all expenses paid trips to Baltimore, MD for the National Finals Competition and for scholarships.

Recruiting for new teams begins in April. If you are interested in becoming a CyberPatriot Volunteer Mentor for your group or school, visit the CyberPatriot website for outreach materials.

The program also offers elementary school education and summer camps as well as the NYCDC program.

 

Resource Links:

Video Link: CyberPatriot IX: Securing Networks, Securing Futures

Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program website

622 words

_________________________________________________________
Resources:
Anatomy of a News Release PDF – free download
Media College – Journalism – Press Release Format
Ingredients of a Press Kit – Entrepreneur
14 Definitions You Need to Know When Creating an Author Media Kit – The Book Designer
Entire Coaching Cyber Defenders article

You Might Also Like:
100 Unusual Interview Questions – Creating an Electronic Media Kit for Authors – Part One

Committing to the Craft – Conferences, Connections & Contests

One thing that writers love is their cave. It is warm, cozy, and quiet. Coffee, tea, or other favorite libations are always at hand while the mind agitates.

desk-789632_1920

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A single reader can elevate an author into the stratosphere with a kind comment or an Amazon Review. Out of that deep grotto, a connection is made.

Once the first flush of achievement fades, the next questions that authors must ask is how to get more readers and how to improve writing skills?

This January, I attended the second annual Sierra Writer’s Conference. Organized by Sierra Writers and Sierra College, it is a friendly, intimate venue filled with opportunities.

“If you want to be serious about writing, treat it like a business,” says Jordan Fisher Smith, a conference keynote speaker.

Joyce Wycoff, a event board member, says that when a writer attends a conference, “You are showing up for your writing.”

A writing conference is a place to;

  • hone your craft
  • make connections, and
  • establish an action list 

“Agents and publishers often say that writers’ who attend conferences are more serious about their craft and are more likely to succeed,” Wycoff comments.

This year’s conference was on the same day as the Women’s March.

trump-womensmarch_2017-top-1510075_32409710246
Women’s March

Politics was not discussed, but keynote speakers recognized the passion that the marchers expressed.

20170121_103619
Molly Fisk, author of Blow-Drying a Chicken

“A writer is not outside of what is going on,” said Molly Fisk. “People recognize themselves in our writing.”

“Being a writer opens a door,” she continues. “It is permission to think.”

20170121_091713

“Art happens when people get together to share their struggles,” Jordan Fisher Smith, commented. “You write because you are called to it.”

 

Following my current interests, I attended Marketing and Publishing and Guided Critique break-out sessions.

20170121_194127
Catharine Bramkamp, author of Future Gold

Catharine Bramkamp, a writing coach and social media expert discussed a variety of platforms, member demographics, and analytics. “Know where to spend your time on social media. Be aware of the results that you want to achieve. Keep yourself from getting sucked in, but do enough to have a presence online.”

 

 

 

Bob Jenkins, is a professional storyteller with a PhD in criticism. “Criticism is the20170121_202153analysis of art; what works and why it works, as well as what doesn’t work and how to fix it,” he explains.

Jenkins delighted his listeners, and the brave souls who pre-submitted writing samples, with dramatic readings of their work. His suggested improvements were striking and gratefully received.

Bob’s writing improvement recommendations; ProWritingAid, Ginger Grammar Checker, and Building Great Sentences.

 

The last workshop that I attended was with Mark Weideranders. He is a is a historical fiction author. Several of my next writing projects fall into this category.

20170121_195645robert_louis_stevenson_at_26“History did not record what was going through the mind of Fanny Osbourne, an American art student, when she drew this affectionate sketch of young Robert Louis Stevenson,” began Weideranders.

When writing historical fiction, it is important to let people know what is fact and what is fiction,” says Weideranders.

20170121_161239
Q & A Panel – Mark Weideranders, Mary Volmer, Jordan Fisher Smith and Kim Culbertson

Connections happen with shared experiences;

  • standing in line to get coffee
  • looking through books on display
  • the person you sit next to during lunch break
Poets Quartet performance
Poets Quartet performance

First Sentence Contest

A confidence booster was winning the First Sentence Contest. Below is my entry along with the artwork (on my cell phone) that inspired the words.

sierra-writers-confrence-2017-first-sentence-contest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucia Stewart Artwork

 

For an introverted author, making oneself mingle goes outside the bounds of the comfort zone. Realizing that many authors share the same feelings makes it easier.

My ‘meeting people strategy’ is simple; smile, make eye contact, and have a genuine interest in the person I want to talk to.

The next time I step outside of my cave, it will be with increased confidence, improved skills, and more people I know in my writing community.

 

 

Additional Resources

Conference books, authors, and writing improvement tools

Download a FREE Conference Journal to discover your conference-attending personality

Additional Writers’ Conferences – Poets & Writers

Literary grants & funding

Writing Contests and Competitions –

Writer’s Digest

The Writer Magazine