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Grab the reader!

Hi

I’ve spent a lot of this week looking at markets, marketing and the business related aspects of being a writer.

Books won’t sell themselves (boo) and not everyone is a born sales guru.

Although in a previous life I was a travel agent selling “your dream two weeks in the sun” that requires a slightly different approach to book sales even though you can still work with a features and benefits base. e.g. This hotel is on the beach so you’ll only have a couple of minutes walk to get there or this book was written by a travel agent so you can be sure that you are receiving expert advice.

It’s interesting to learn about how certain phrases/writing devices/cover designs can affect how someone responds to your book.

I read something that is both obvious and yet often forgotten so it resonated with me: Don’t use passive language.

Example:

I posted a blog is an active sentence. 

A blog was posted by me is a passive sentence.

The writer won an award is active.

An award was won by a writer is passive.

It makes sense to grab people’s attention if you want/need them to say “Wow, this looks like a great book, I’d love to read it,” rather than “blah, blah, blah,…oh, this other book looks much more interesting.”

I was reminded that no one is obliged to read a word that you or I have written, no matter how much blood, sweat and tears we’ve poured in to producing the work our precious books need as much help as they can get.

I shall edit even more carefully from now on!

I’ve been planning projects for 2015, which led to an odd train of thought…OCD – you gotta love it! – I was thinking of ideas for fiction and non fiction books when this ran through my mind. What if I run out of ideas? What will I do? Nice bit of OCD scaremongering, don’t you think?!

My answer – when I’d stopped “oh no, that would be awful-ling”…the world is full of stories, people, subjects, news, memories, anniversaries, inspirational events and inventors.

The list of things to write about should therefore be endless, not that my OCD liked that answer, it’s a bit of a doom and gloom monster so it forecasts that the end of the world will have to occur the same day that I don’t have fresh inspiration!

Besides, if I place pressure on myself to come up with a ton of ideas on the spot I can still only write one at a time so why not go with the flow instead and allow my mind to be open to inspiration as I amble along?

It’s a tough lesson but I’m sure that my brain will agree with me one day.

I saw a fantastic observation on writers block the other day…nurses don’t get nurses block, surgeons don’t get surgeons block, pianists don’t get pianists block…so why do writers sometimes cling to the myth of writers block? A great point!

Have a fabulous weekend.

Jo Penguin

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