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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review: All Natural High from WCCL


As you may know, this blog is sponsored by my publishers, The WCCL Network.

WCCL publish my writing courses such as Kindle Kash, but they also produce a growing range of self-development products - of which All Natural High is the latest.

They were kind enough to send me a review copy, so in this post I'll set out my thoughts and impressions.

I should start by explaining that All Natural High is an audio CD (accompanied by a PDF manual). As the name suggests, it is designed to generate a sense of euphoria in the listener without any illicit substances. It does this by 'entraining' the listener's brain to produce brain waves at certain target frequencies that are associated with, well, getting high...

According to the manual, All Natural High uses seven different methods of brainwave entrainment, not all of which I profess to understand. One, though, is binaural beats (also used in WCCL's Writer's Block CD). This method works by playing sounds of slightly different frequencies in each ear, which has been shown to create a resonance in the brain based on the difference between them. For example, if you play a tone of 320 Hz in one ear and 330 Hz in the other, it will create a resonance at 10 Hz, the difference between the two. A frequency of 10 Hz is in the alpha range, associated with a relaxed, mellow state.

All Natural High does aim to generate alpha waves in the listener, but it combines them with beta and gamma frequencies (14 Hz to 44 Hz), which - again according to the manual - occur when we are 'focused, engaged, and enthusiastic'. Overall, WCCL say, 'the aim is to recreate the mental state associated with euphoric stimulants, but unlike other stimulants it’s non-invasive and completely non-addictive.'

So that's the theory - what about the practice? The CD arrives in a standard jewel case, and you simply load it into your music center or PC and play it. There are two tracks, both about half an hour long. The first is the 'raw' version, which you can listen to on its own or with your own choice of music (I listened while playing my favorite prog rock tracks on Grooveshark, for example). The second track includes a musical backing to make it more listenable. It would certainly be a better choice for a party, although some of it is pretty weird - a cross between ambient and trip-hop, I'd say.

I listened to both tracks with and without headphones. WCCL say it's not necessary to use headphones to get the benefit from the CD, but I noticed a much stronger effect when I did. And, oddly enough, it really did remind me of the effect of smoking a joint (not something I've done for many years, you'll understand...). I found myself getting into a relaxed, buzzy state - in fact, somewhat floaty. The effect continued for an hour or two after I stopped listening. I also felt happier and more relaxed, despite the fact that I had recently heard some bad news and been quite depressed by it.

A couple more tips based on my experience using the CD. First, I'd advise turning up the bass quite high: some of the sounds are quite low-pitched, and it seems to me you get better results if you boost them. And second, close your eyes while you are listening. Although WCCL say this isn't necessary, from the occasion when, as a psychology major, I was wired up to an EEG machine, I know that the simple act of closing your eyes can greatly boost your alpha-wave output.

WCCL suggest various uses for All Natural High. They include getting yourself into a good frame of mind before going out for the evening, adding to the excitement of parties and other social occasions, or chilling out (alone or with your partner) at the end of a hectic day. Personally, I see myself using it primarily as a pick-me-up and mood enhancer, but I also find playing the CD a good prelude to a writing session. The alpha rhythms get your mind into a relaxed, creative state, while the higher frequencies ensure you are focused and ready to work, rather than falling asleep. It works for me, anyway!

One problem with any product of this nature is that listening can get a bit repetitive after a while. But I do find that playing the first track alongside your own choice of music helps provide variety. To be honest, I haven't had the CD long enough to get bored with it yet - and if I continue to enjoy the benefits, I guess I'll probably put up with that!

For more information about All Natural High, please click through any of the links in this review, or on the banner ad below. Or if you have any comments or questions about All Natural High, please feel free to post them below and I'll do my best to answer them.


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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

PLR Time for UK Authors

If you're a UK author registered for PLR, you can now check your earnings for 2010/11 on the UK PLR website. Just log in here and click on My Statement.

This year (July 2010 to June 2011) they are paying 6.05 pence per library loan, with payment due between 13 and 24 February 2012.

For those who don't know, PLR stands for Public Lending Right. The UK PLR Office distributes money to UK authors based on the number of times their books have been borrowed from public libraries in Britain in the last year. This money is paid to authors as compensation for their presumed lost royalties on sales.

All UK authors are eligible for PLR (even if they don't currently live in Britain), but you do have to register with the UK PLR Office first. If you're a UK author with at least one published book to your name, therefore, you should sign up immediately to get what is due to you.

Non-UK nationals cannot claim from the UK PLR Office, but many other countries (though not the USA) have schemes in place to compensate writers for library lending. As I discovered in my recent interview with Ruth Barringham, Australia has what appears to be quite a generous program, though payments are based on the estimated number of copies of an author's book in libraries, not total loans. For more information on PLR schemes worldwide, visit the PLR International website.

In many countries there are also reciprocal arrangements to compensate non-nationals for lending in the country concerned. In Britain this is co-ordinated by ALCS (the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society), and UK authors should also register separately with them. ALCS also pay out photocopying fees to authors, incidentally.

I always find it interesting to study my PLR statement. One message that comes across very clearly in my latest one is that public libraries are cutting back on buying new books. By far my highest-earning titles for PLR are those published 5 to 10 years ago. My recent titles have fewer loans and some none at all, suggesting that not many libraries have them in stock. But even my oldest books, published up to twenty years ago, are still being borrowed in some libraries. Those copies must be pretty dog-eared by now!

Over the years I have made literally thousands of pounds from PLR payments; in the case of some books I have earned more from PLR than I have in publisher fees or royalties. So if you're a UK author, it is definitely worth taking the few minutes needed to register yourself and your book/s at the UK PLR site. Otherwise, you really are leaving money on the table!

Photo Credit: Stacks by Nrbelex on Flickr. Reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence.


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Monday, January 23, 2012

myWritersCircle is now on Twitter!


I know quite a few readers of this blog are also members of my (free) writing forum at www.mywriterscircle.com.

So I thought you might like to know that myWritersCircle now has its own Twitter account. You can find and follow us at http://twitter.com/myWritersCircle.

The new account will be used to pass on news and information about the forum from me, the MWC moderators, and our admin team. There may also be the occasional commercial announcement from our sponsors, the electronic publishing house WCCL. Most messages will, however, be purely for information purposes, to help members get the most from MWC and keep up to date with what's going on there.

I don't expect there will be large amounts of traffic on the new account - maybe two or three updates a day, typically. Most updates will consist of information about the forum that we think you'll find interesting and/or useful - new contests, deadlines, market information, and so on.

The MWC Twitter account will be used primarily as a broadcast medium and it will not be closely monitored for replies or direct messages. If you have any comments or queries, it will therefore be better to raise them via the forum, or contact me or another moderator directly by PM (forum personal messaging).

You can also, if you wish, follow me on my own Twitter account at http://twitter.com/nickdaws, which I do of course monitor regularly.

I hope you will find the new MWC Twitter service useful, and that it will enhance your experience of using myWritersCircle (although you can of course follow us on Twitter without being a member of the forum if you wish).

If you have any queries or comments, as ever, please feel free to post them below.


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Friday, January 20, 2012

Ten Top Tips for Making the Most of JustRetweet


My recent post about the free JustRetweet service (see screengrab above), which aims to help bloggers and Twitter users reach a wider audience, attracted a lot of interest.
So in this post I thought I'd share a few tips on getting the most from the service, based on my own experience and what I've observed of other users.
If you're not familiar with JustRetweet, you might like to read my earlier post before proceeding and watch the video embedded in it. Don't worry, I'll wait :-)
My ten top tips are as follows...
1. Don't retweet everything that's available on JustRetweet to earn credits. If you do, it will only alienate your Twitter followers and cause some to unsubscribe. There are lots of messages to choose, so pick the ones that look as though they would be interesting and relevant to your followers. In my experience - and I guess I'm a fairly typical user - you only need to retweet two or three messages a day to keep your account nicely topped up.
2. On the other side of the coin, when adding messages you hope others will retweet, be aware of what a reasonable reward is considered to be. Certain norms have evolved on the site, so I would suggest offering a bare minimum of 10 credits for an RT, and preferably 20 or more if you want to get the most from the service. Offering just 2 or 3 credits won't impress other members, and such 'low-paying' offers will quickly disappear from view on the site.
3. It's not just about credits, though. Remember that your messages will (you hope) be retweeted by other people who want to preserve their own good reputation. Make your messages sound interesting and useful - and if you offer a decent reward as well, there is every chance you will get an excellent take-up from other JustRetweet users.
4. Avoid being overly promotional in your messages. Twitter, as you should know anyway, is not the place for this. In addition, other JustRetweet members are unlikely to want to RT explicit sales messages, for fear that they will be accused of spamming. And JustRetweet also has rules against requesting retweets of some types of commercial messages, including those promoting trackback spammers and other products or services deemed undesirable.
5. Another thing that doesn't work on JustRetweet (in my opinion) is posting a barebones URL with no other message. When this goes out on Twitter, it will look like spam, and few people will want to click on it anyway. Always include a message with your link to explain why viewers should click on it. If it's a long link, shorten it first with a service such as Bit.ly.
6. Another approach to be wary of - again in my opinion - is the short and enigmatic message. I've seen a few of these listed on JustRetweet, and I can't believe they are productive, either of RTs or clickthroughs. I wouldn't retweet these messages, and even if I did I can't imagine that many of my followers would want to explore them further. I could be wrong about this. Maybe a few people will click through out of curiosity - but even then, it's pretty unlikely they will happen to be interested in whatever you are trying to promote.
7. Bear in mind that a message shared in someone else's Twitter stream is likely to be seen by someone who has never heard of you before. Messages that might work in your own Twitter stream - "Secrets of Better Novel Writing, part 26" - may be off-putting to such people, implying that this is something that has been running for a while and there is no point in a newcomer joining in now. The same applies with very personal sounding or enigmatic messages (see item 6).
8. JustRetweet now offers a PostLater option. This is a great resource for ensuring you don't deluge your followers with a series of tweets in quick succession. At present - in response to a request I made - the interval between PostLater posts is set to one hour, although I understand that an option to vary this may be added soon. I recommend mostly selecting PostLater when retweeting messages - you will still receive your credits for these immediately.
9. Bear in mind that JustRetweet offers other methods for earning credits as well as retweeting. You can sign up to follow other members listed on the site on Twitter (this typically pays between 2 and 10 credits), introduce new members (pays 25 credits per new member), visit other blogs and websites for credits (pays up to 10 credits), and so on. If all else fails, though, you can also buy credits for a very reasonable sum!
10. Finally, it's worth mentioning that you can choose the minimum number of Twitter followers a member must have to see your offer. It's obviously tempting to set this figure high, but doing that will drastically cut the number of potential retweeters. In addition, Twitter users with a small following may actually have more influence over their followers. Personally, I tend to set my minimum follower number to 200 or 250, but experiment to see what works best for you.
So those are my top ten tips - I hope you find them helpful. If you are already on JustRetweet, do you have any tips of your own you would like to share? Please do post them below!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to Use Incentives to Get Extra Sales


Today's guest post is by Jimmy D. Brown of the website iBusiness Owner.

Jimmy is talking about a subject that I'm sure will resonate with many self-publishers, and especially with buyers of my 10-Day E-Book course (which discusses writing and publishing a money-making e-book on ClickBank).

Take it away, Jimmy...

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The vast majority of your prospects aren’t all that passionate about your offer.

Truth is, they’re kind of lukewarm. They’re interested, but they’re not taking their credit card out. Instead of making a buying decision, they decide to “think about it.”

Of course you know what happens: They forget about your offer. They don’t return to your store or sales page. Some of them may even make the conscious decision to NOT buy your product.

So what can you do to get your prospects to get excited and take action NOW?

Simple: Offer them an incentive if they order now. Do it right, and you’re virtually guaranteed to make more sales!

Generally, an incentive can take two forms:

  1. You offer a discount. One idea is the straightforward discount, such as offering a percent-off. Another ideas is to offer a discount on the overall package, such as by offering free shipping.

Tip: You can even make it a limited-time discount so that your prospects feel a sense of urgency.

  1. You offer one or more bonus products. Again, you can even make the bonus offer limited to increase the sense of urgency.

Offering a discount is a pretty straightforward incentive. So let’s talk about how to offer a bonus as a buying incentive.

Here then are the seven keys to offering bonuses that generate extra sales:

• Make sure the bonus is desirable. Point is, if your prospects don’t care about the bonus product, then it won’t help you generate any sales. So make sure it’s something that your prospects already want. Something that gets them excited!

• Create a valuable bonus. Just because you’re giving the product away for free with a purchase doesn’t mean this bonus should be worth little to no money. Quite the contrary – it should have a high perceived value in the prospect’s mind.

• Choose bonuses that are easy to deliver. This is particularly true if you’re selling downloadable products online, such as software or information. Point is, you want to be able to deliver the bonus instantly – right alongside the main product – without you having to manually deliver the bonus.

• Supply an exclusive bonus, whenever possible. If the prospect can get the bonus somewhere else, he might just do that. So try to offer exclusive bonuses to help make the buying decision easy.

• Offer a bonus that compliments the main product. For example, let’s say you’re selling a book about retirement planning. Offering retirement-planning worksheets and software as a bonus would be a great incentive.

• Sell the bonus. If you’re selling via a sales page, don’t just list the bonus. Instead, sell it just the way you’re selling the main product, meaning you should list the benefits of this bonus product or service.

• Remember that you can offer products OR services. Let’s say you’re selling exterior landscaping supplies and information. As a bonus you can offer a free consultation where you provide specific landscaping ideas for buyers. Or if you’re selling a copywriting product, you can offer a sales letter critique.

Conclusion

Offering an incentive is a simple, yet highly effective way to generate more sales and grow your business. To discover still more ways to grow your business, visit http://tinyurl.com/6rtt8sl – you may just learn strategies you never even knew existed!

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Thank you to Jimmy for an interesting article.

I do agree that offering extra bonuses is a powerful selling technique. My publishers, WCCL, always include a few extra bonuses with the products and courses they offer. In addition - as with my Kindle Kash course - I quite often add a few extra bonuses myself when people order from me personally!

If you have any comments or questions about this post, as ever, feel free to leave them below.

Photo Credit: Scared Candy by Enokson on Flickr. Licensed under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic Licence.


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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Review: CreateSpace for Profit


CreateSpace for Profit
is a report currently on sale via the Internet Marketing Warrior Forum as a Warrior Special Offer (WSO). It's written by Alan Petersen and Peggy Baron.

CreateSpace is, of course, the popular print self-publishing service operated by Amazon.com (see screengrab above). As this is an area of publishing I haven't particularly explored, I decided to shell out the modest fee of $4.97 to see what it was all about.

So I can reveal that what you get is a concise, well-written 28-page PDF that sets out five different methods for writing books for CreateSpace without totally starting from scratch. All are interesting, and I was impressed to see that the authors include links to examples of CreateSpace books they have written and self-published using the methods described.

The methods involve a combination of using and adapting PLR (private label rights), public domain material, and material bought or commissioned from other authors. It wouldn't be fair to give away all the details here, but I was pleased to see that none involves simply copying and pasting low-cost (and low-quality) PLR/public domain books. The authors point out that Amazon has been cracking down hard recently on low-quality, duplicate-content books. Interestingly, their examples show that by removing the spammy books and e-books, Amazon has actually done genuine authors a big favour.

CreateSpace for Profit doesn't include much information on how to publish to CreateSpace - it's essentially about quickly devising and creating non-fiction titles with good sales potential. The methods could just as well be used to create Kindle e-books, and in fact the authors do recommend publishing to this and other formats as well. If you want in-depth advice on the actual CreateSpace publishing process, though, you will need to look elsewhere (the actual CreateSpace site would be a very good starting point, of course).

Overall, I found this an eye-opening report with some clever ideas I am certainly going to consider applying myself in future, even if I choose not to go down the CreateSpace route. For $4.97 (around 3.50 UK pounds), I have no problem recommending it.

CreateSpace for Profit would also be a good purchase for anyone interested in publishing e-books for the Amazon Kindle, including buyers of my own Kindle Kash course. Bear in mind that the report is currently on offer as a WSO, so I don't know how long it will remain available at the current low price (or at all).

Any comments or questions, as ever, please leave them below!

Disclosure: I am an affiliate for this WSO, so if you buy it via one of the links above a proportion of the (modest) fees will go to me. This has not affected my review in any way.


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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Five Literary Devices to Make You a Better Writer


I'm pleased to welcome to my blog today writer and blogger Chris Campbell.

Chris believes that writers in all genres, fiction and non-fiction, can improve their work through the judicious use of literary devices...

* * *

While the fiction writer often uses literary devices to move his story along, these writer's tricks are not limited to fiction. A non-fiction writer working on a blog or a feature article can utilize them as well to infuse a story with life and action.

Metaphor

Very often the best way to help people understand something or someone is to use metaphor. Metaphor involves the pairing and comparison of two things that are unrelated, but give the reader deep insight into the person or thing being described. For example, in "The Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad, the metaphor "In exterior he resembled a butcher in a poor neighborhood" reveals that the manager's uncle is a rough character. He's used to living a hard life on the streets without directly saying as much. While a writer can literally tell the reader that he has these qualities, metaphor offers a richer and more visceral glimpse of the person.

Anthropomorphism

Anthropomorphism relies on the principles of metaphor, but in a specific way. The definition used to pertain to giving human-like qualities to a deity or god, but now is largely used for any inanimate object. An author trying to explain conditions leading up to a hurricane might use a sentence like this to set the scene, "The unrelenting storm battered the travelers back with vicious sheets of rain as they prayed for the vengeful skies to clear." This tool provides a dimension of character to an otherwise mindless force or object.

Foreshadowing

The prophesies of the three witches in Shakespeare's "Macbeth" provide a good example of how a writer can use foreshadowing. Macbeth consults with the three several times throughout the play. However, their latter prophesies are ignored, because they don't seem to make sense. The quote "The power of man, for none of woman born/ Shall harm Macbeth" foreshadows MacDuff who was taken c-section, so he was technically not born of a woman. Using foreshadowing sets the story up for the readers, giving them an invisible framework for understanding not only the story, but more specifically where things are headed for a particular character.

Doppelganger

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde represent one of the most famous examples of the doppelganger in literary history. This device allows a writer to explore the two sides to a person's character and often has a supernatural element to it. Additionally, a doppelganger can also foretell of a tragedy that will befall a person; the doppelganger that appears to the dying person can be that person's future spirit self foretelling of the character's demise.

Archetypes

Archetypes represent universal character types, offering the writer the ability to quickly develop a character. For example, Romeo and Juliet not only symbolize tragic, eternal love. A feature writer who refers to Shakespeare's famous couple tells the reading audience that the people in the writer's own story are doomed lovers as well.

Conclusion

A writer - regardless of the genre - can create mood and characters more quickly and realistically if she uses a few literary devices. This is especially valuable to the writer who's limited by the constraints of a short piece of writing.

About the author: Chris Campbell is a blogger for GradeSaver, who really enjoys writing posts about reading, literature, and learning.

* * *

Thank you to Chris for an interesting article. I agree that the careful use of literary devices such as those mentioned can lift a piece of writing from the ordinary to the memorable.

My one extra tip would be to strive to ensure that any such devices you use are original (one definition of a cliche is an over-used figure of speech) and apt. Forced metaphors that don't really work are a particular embarrassment!

If you have any comments or questions for Chris or myself, as always, please feel free to leave them below.

Photo Credit: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble by Jeff Hitchcock on Flickr. Reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic Licence.


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Monday, January 09, 2012

Interviewed by Ruth Barringham, my co-author on The Wealthy Writer


A little while back I was interviewed by Ruth Barringham of the websites Writeaholics and Cheriton House Publishing.

I'm pleased to say that the audio is now available as a podcast via Ruth's site, and you can play it from here or download it.

As you'll discover, our discussion was quite wide-ranging, covering everything from my working methods and how I market myself, to my attitude toward housework and cats in the office!

The whole interview is a shade over an hour, so if you want to sit and listen to it all the way through, I recommend getting a cup of tea and a slice of cake first :-)

As indicated in the post title, Ruth and I collaborated on The Wealthy Writer, a guide for writers on making money writing for online markets. The Wealthy Writer is published by my regular publishers (and blog sponsors) The WCCL Network. More information about the course can be found on this page of my website.

During our discussion we mentioned a number of other websites as well, so for convenience I've listed all the ones I could think of below. If there are any I've missed out, please let me know and I'll add them as well...

The Authors Licensing and Copyright Society (ALCS)

The UK PLR Office

Nick Daws' Homepage

The Nick Daws Daily

MyWritersCircle forum

Write Any Book in Under 28 Days

Kindle Kash

Think Yourself Lucky (audio course)

I do hope you enjoy listening to the interview - here's the link to it again. I certainly enjoyed talking to Ruth, and was pleased that she wanted to discuss so many aspects of my work.

If you have any comments or questions, as always, please feel free to leave them below.

Photo: My office desk, on one of my tidier days. Photo by yours truly.

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Friday, January 06, 2012

My Top 12 Blog Posts of 2011 for Writers


As is becoming traditional in the blogosphere, I thought I'd start 2012 by looking back at the most popular posts on my blog last year.
If you missed any of these first time round - perhaps you've only discovered my blog recently - I hope you'll enjoy reading them now.

And if you've been following me for a while, I hope there are some posts here you'll enjoy revisiting. They are listed in no particular order...
My Top Ten Twitter Follows for Writers - More and more writers are joining the micro-blogging service Twitter, and a question I hear repeatedly from newcomers is, "What other Twitter users should I follow?" So in this post I shared ten of my top Twitter recommendations for writers. These are people whose tweets I especially look out for, as they regularly share useful, interesting and/or entertaining info and links. You might also like to check out Ten More Top Twitter Follows for Writers, which I posted later in the year.
The Best Writing Apps for Writers - This guest post by social media and smartphone specialist David Sumner listed some of the best smartphone apps for writers, which aim to ensure that lack of access to a computer need never present any obstacle to your creativity.
How Non-US Authors on Smashwords and Amazon Can Reclaim US Tax - This guest post by self-publishing author Ali Cooper was among the most popular posts of 2011, and still attracts a lot of traffic today. It's about an issue that concerns many non-US authors publishing their own work on Amazon and Smashwords (the popular e-book self-publishing platform). The issue is that these US companies automatically deduct tax at 30% from any income earned by non-US residents before forwarding it. This applies even though there are tax treaties with the US that are supposed to prevent this happening, as it means an author could potentially be taxed twice on the same income. In her in-depth article, Ali sets out the exact steps she has taken to recover tax deducted by Amazon and Smashwords on the sales of her literary mystery novel, The Girl on the Swing and other books. Don't forget to read the interesting comments that have been made too.
The WCCL Affiliate Program - Ten Reasons You Should Join Today - As you may know, The WCCL Network publish my writing courses, including The 10-Day E-Book and Write Any Book in Under 28 Days. They also sponsor my blog and the myWritersCircle forum. What you may not be aware of is that they also run a highly professional affiliate program. If you have a blog, a website or a newsletter, you can join the WCCL affiliate program and receive generous commissions for every sale generated via your links. In this post I set out ten reasons why I believe joining the WCCL affiliate program is a no-brainer for any writer with a presence on the web.
An Interview With Mike Essex, Author of Free Stuff Everyday - In this in-depth interview, UK author Mike Essex talked about how he came to write his first e-book 'Free Stuff Everyday' and how he published it on the Amazon Kindle. He also revealed how he earned his reputation as 'Freebieman' - and how he receives a steady stream of freebies from companies desperate for the feedback and publicity he can offer them. You can also click through to read my subsequent review of the print version of Free Stuff Everyday (which I edited on behalf of the publisher).
Just Retweet: A Great, Free Resource for Bloggers and Twitter-UsersJustRetweet is a new service I found out about this year and have adopted enthusiastically. If you're a blogger and/or a Twitter user, I strongly recommend you check it out. As the name indicates, JustRetweet aims to provide a simple method for members to get additional "retweets" of selected Twitter updates, thus helping them reach a much wider audience. You can also use it to get more Twitter followers, visitors to your blog, and so on.
Should Writers Create Their Own E-Book Covers? - This was one of a number of excellent guest posts on my blog this year from author and self-publisher David Robinson. In this one, he addressed the question of whether writers can - or should - create their own e-book covers, and spilled the beans on how he creates his own professional-looking covers. I also recommend his guest post How to Create a Video Book Trailer Using Windows Moviemaker, which reveals how David brings his low-cost DIY approach to the creation of attractive video trailers for his novels.
When It Pays to Ignore Copyright Theft - I deliberately courted controversy in this post, in which I suggested that occasionally it can pay authors to take a more relaxed approach to having their work plagiarized, quoting the example of a children's book which aroused the interest of publishers partly because it was being plagiarized so much! Check out the comments the post generated as well.
Novelrank: A Brilliant Resource for Tracking Your Amazon Sales - If you have any books or e-books for sale at Amazon, you should check out the excellent NovelRank website. It provides an easy method for keeping track of your title's sales rank and actual sales, almost in real time (the stats are updated hourly). NovelRank is an independent site set up in a public-spirited way by author and programmer Mario Lurig. Respect is due!
Do check out these posts, and feel free to add your own additional comments if you like. And watch out for more great posts from me (and my guest bloggers) on all aspects of writing in 2012.
Photo Credit: Corfu sunset, by the author.

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Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!


Just wanted to wish every reader of my blog a happy, creative and prosperous 2012!

I hope this is the year when you fulfill, or at least start to fulfill, all your writing ambitions.

I'm looking forward to sharing my writing tips, advice, resources, market information and more with you in the year ahead. So if you haven't already done so, be sure to subscribe via email or RSS to ensure that you never miss a post!

I'm also very happy to consider guest post proposals for 2012 - click here for guidelines.

Don't forget, too, to follow me on Twitter. I regularly use this to share details of useful websites and resources that I don't always have time to post about here.

And if you really want to stay connected, you can also sign up to follow me on my official Facebook Page and Google Plus.

2011 was, of course, the year e-readers made the leap to the mass market, with the Amazon Kindle leading the way. Many thousands more people received Kindles this Christmas and - together with existing Kindle owners such as myself - they are all now looking for good e-books to read on them.

This development has created a massive opportunity for writers, so I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that I have a course called Kindle Kash that will take you step by step through writing and publishing your own Kindle e-book. Check out this web page for my unique special offer for anyone buying Kindle Kash via my link.

Coming soon in 2012 is my next WCCL writers' guide, Blogging for Writers. This will reveal all the secrets to capitalizing on this hugely writer-friendly medium.

And for something a little bit different, don't forget to check out WCCL's new Think Yourself Lucky audio course, for which I wrote the script. Follow the advice in this to ensure that 2012 is your luckiest year ever!

Once again, a very happy new year to you, and I look forward to hearing about your writing successes in the months ahead.

Photo Credit: "Happy New Year to You" by Beachcomer on the Bay - long way behind on Flickr. Reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.0 Generic Licence.


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