Author Archives: redwingredtail

About redwingredtail

Born, raised and living in Detroit I am a soon to be published author. I enjoy writing urban paranormal with strong black women lead charaters. I currnetly work for a major airline. I paln to make writing a full time career. My first novel In The Footsteps Of A Killer is set to be released through Artistic Words Publishing this year 2015.

Article: These Amazon Category Hacks Can Boost Your Book Sales #motownwriters

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These Amazon Category Hacks Can Boost Your Book Sales

Updated by David Gaughran 9 May 2021. AmazonPublishing • 34 Comments.

Choosing the right Amazon categories for your book is such an important factor in your success. Being smart here can greatly increase your visibility, making your work more likely to be discovered, purchased, and recommended.

But if you make bad decisions here – or opt to do nothing at all – you can limit your book’s success. Sometimes you can even nudge Amazon towards recommend your book to all the wrong people! Which invariably fails, of course, and causes Amazon to think you have written a dud. Meaning Amazon is less likely to recommend your book at all. This is something you really want to avoid.

You should revisit your book’s categories on a regular basis. Not just to ensure you are maximizing visibility, but to check Amazon hasn’t placed you in a bad category. You need to know exactly which categories and sub-categories your book is in. (Amazon doesn’t make that part easy.) And then keep on top of changes to the category system as well.

The advice in this comprehensive guide draws from a book I wrote called Amazon Decoded. This book is the culmination of years of research. It breaks down exactly how the Kindle Store works, how you can design marketing plans which seduce the algorithms instead of fighting them, and the exact ways you need to tweak your metadata to get the biggest halo from every promotion you run.

I’m going to tap into that research today to explain exactly how you can get Amazon’s category system working for your book, instead of against it.

Here, you will learn why the Kindle Store is broken down into so many categories (and the massive opportunity this presents). How you only get access to a limited menu in KDP. The ways you can expand the number of categories for your book to 10 specific sub-categories – and more! Why it’s important to only place your book in relevant categories. And how you can remove your book from bad categories (and why that is important).

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Article: The Social Media Mistake That Can Damage Your Author Platform #motownwriters

May 4, 2021 by Penny Sansevieri 2 CommentsReading Time: 5 minutes

Your author platform relies heavily on a social media presence. There, I said it. So if you hate social media, you’re going to have a harder time hitting your stride as a successful author with a dedicated following. So when it comes to online book marketing strategies, your social media can both contribute to, and deter from your author platform if you’re not careful.

But is there one single thing you can do to really harm your author platform? The answer is yes, and this article will explore that.

Harnessing Social Media to Grow Your Author Platform

Social media, when done the right way, can really help to grow your author platform. The issue is that a lot of authors grab profiles on all social media sites and put them up on their websites, thinking that they need to be everywhere as part of their online book marketing strategies, but this isn’t true. And it feels like a small detail, right? I mean why shouldn’t you grab all of your names across social platforms. Seems smart, doesn’t it? But there’s another way to look at this. Let’s dig deeper.

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Article: Using TikTok to Sell Books #motownwriters

April 27, 2021 by Guest Poster 6 Comments

Because marketing is a challenge for many authors, Angela and I talk quite a bit about it, sharing tips on how to grow audiences on various platforms. One we don’t use is TikTok, and, frankly, we’d have no idea how to find readers there. Thankfully, Dominika Pin—a teen author with an impressive following there—has that info for us.

Almost every teenager in the United States knows about TikTok—the video-sharing social media platform with hundreds of millions of active users. And with the increasing popularity of the #BookTok hashtag, which readers use to talk about their favorite books, many YA authors are turning to TikTok to promote their work.

I began posting on the platform in August of 2020 and have since amassed nearly 225,000 followers (a number that is still growing by hundreds each day). TikTok makes it incredibly easy to go viral with minimal effort. Just one fifteen-second video can get you tens of thousands of followers; all you need is a decent strategy. Here are some tips that earned my videos millions of views:

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Article: Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Revising While Writing #motownwriters

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Revising While Writing

Last week, the wonderful Robert Lee Brewer wrote about why it’s a mistake to refrain from revising your project. But with writing, like anything else, too much of a good thing can become destructive.

Many writers can successfully revise while working on a project. I’m not familiar with any, but I’m sure they’re out there somewhere. However, I want to talk about what happens when you find that you’re only revising a project or maybe even getting stuck in the endless cycle of writing a few chapters before scrapping them and beginning again, never getting yourself over that finish line to your draft’s completion.

I’ve talked a bit about the period in my writing life where I wasn’t completing a single project I worked on. The root of my issue was self-doubt; however, I used revision as a way to keep myself from finishing the project. If the project was never finished, it couldn’t be bad, right?

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Article: How to Write an Author Bio [With Examples and Templates] #motownwriters

 By Dave Chesson67 Last updated onJuly 20th, 2021

To write a great author bio, you need to know your target audience, cater to your genre, brag (but not too much), keep it brief, and call the reader to action.

When you’re self-publishing on Amazon, you need to put some serious thought into the author bio on your Amazon book page. Don’t haphazardly throw together some sentences and hit the publish button.

The author bio isn’t your most important tool. (The most essential tools are the book reviewsbook cover, and synopsis/blurb.) But the author bio is another critical tool that you shouldn’t leave out.

Can I just leave my author bio out? No, you cannot just leave out your author bio, even if you wrote a short story or novella. It looks unprofessional, scares away potential readers, foregoes an opportunity to connect with your target audience, and leads to fewer book sales.

Plus, writing a good author bio doesn’t take that long.

If you’re not Grisham, or Godin, or Ferriss, or Fleming, very few people will buy a novel by you purely based on name recognition. So put a little work into your bio, and you won’t regret it.

Note: The Author Bio is just one of many parts of a book. We have a whole series of posts on the subject, and we highly recommend you check those out as well!

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Article: Email funnels: From the first click to conversion… and beyond #motownwriters

Email funnels: From the first click to conversion… and beyond

What is an email funnel?Why create an email funnelHow to build an email funnelA quick exampleEmail funnel templateAnd that’s a wrap!

How would you feel if I came up to you and shouted, “BUY MY STUFF”? You don’t know me at all! Your first instinct is probably to run the other way.

It’s much more natural (and effective!) to first make an introduction, get to know each other, form a relationship… and then let people decide whether they want to buy. 

That’s exactly the idea behind email funnels. You can use a series of emails to build trust, rather than relying on the “BUY MY STUFF” sales pitch.

An email funnel serves as a roadmap to guide people through every step of the customer journey—from making introductions to building interest to finally pushing for a sale. Each stage is designed to create connections around your brand, and show your value so that your email subscribers get more and more excited about making a purchase. 

When done right, email marketing funnels can strengthen your brand and ramp up your conversion rates. Let’s see how!

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Article: How To Sell Your Book On Amazon [70 Book Marketing Tips] #motownwriters

 By Dave Chesson11 Last updated onJuly 20th, 2021

You wrote a book, and now you want to sell it on Amazon. I’ve got good news! Kindlepreneur is coming in clutch with 70 book marketing ideas that will help you sell more books on Amazon’s eBook and print book marketplace.

Also read Kindlepreneur’s Marketing Mastery Guide.

Let’s dive right in.In this article, you will learn:

  1. 70 book marketing tips
  2. How to sell your book on Amazon
  3. All sorts of practical resources

Links in this article may earn me a small commission if you use them to purchase a service or product. This has not affected my opinion. However, it helps me continue to write these awesome articles that anyone can read for free!

Note: This article is not about selling used books or old books as an Amazon business. Here’s a great article on individual seller accounts, selling nonfiction hardcover books, comic books like new, and Amazon FBA vs. FBM. 

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Article: Holiday Inspired Marketing #motownwriters

By Keri-Rae Barnum for New Shelves on July 1, 2021
By Keri-Rae Barnum for New Shelves on July 1, 2021

Do you ever feel like you’re running out of marketing angles for your book? We get it. After months or even years of marketing the same book, it can sometimes be difficult to keep your marketing from growing stale. But when you stop marketing your book, sales tend to dry up. Not cool. So, the (marketing) show must go on.

Holiday Inspired Marketing

When I was a kid, holidays were pretty limited. But now? You can find a holiday to celebrate almost every day of the year. Yes, yes. Roll your eyes. But then think about it… There are hundreds of holidays ranging from classic to obscure. That translates into hundreds of potential marketing angles. And, as someone who makes a living marketing books, I’m kind of okay with that.

Unique Marketing Opportunities

Holidays present a unique opportunity to market your book. Consider the following:

  • Social media posts with a holiday tie in. Does your main character have a serious coffee addiction? It may be time to celebrate International Coffee Day.
  • Holiday themed book displays at your local library. Don’t just hope your book makes it on the display table – pitch a holiday display idea featuring your book to your local librarian.
  • A holiday inspired bookstore event staring your latest novel. Have you written a book on grammar or editing? Pitch a book signing or event for National Punctuation Day!
  • Creative press releases tying your book to an upcoming holiday celebration. If your book has strong themes that can be tied to a well known and recognized holiday, don’t be afraid to play on that for the media.

And, while I certainly don’t want you to ignore the classic holidays like Christmas, I also want you to start thinking outside of the box with holidays like Bad Poetry Day or Take Your Dog to Work Day.

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Article: Social Strategy: 100 Content Ideas for Every Stage of Your Writing Career #motownwriters

For many authors, generating social media content ideas is a necessary evil: we all know the importance of keeping up a platform so we can engage with readers and the book community, but maintaining social platforms is yet another to-do item on an already long list.

I’m here for you, friends.

Below are 100 social media content ideas for every stage of your writing career. There are 25 items listed for each of the four stages. Whether you’re an aspiring author, have an impending book launch, just launched a book, or your career is in-swing, I hope you’ll find the below ideas useful. 

The content suggestions listed are best-suited to three platforms in particular: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. That said, these ideas could also be used in your author newsletter, on YouTube or TikTok channels, etc. We all have a favorite platform (mine is Instagram) but no need to recreate the wheel: once you’ve created a piece of content, use it widely across platforms (and reuse down the road, if applicable!)

Let’s get right to it.

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#Article: Writing with Self-Doubt #motownmwriters

writer in self doubt sculpture

Do you have self-doubt? Guess what? You’re probably a writer. No, I take that back; you’re probably human. Yes, we all struggle with self-doubt at one time or another. If we didn’t, I daresay we’d have wooden blocks in our heads instead of brains. I believe any thoughtful, contemplative, and — especially — creative person suffers from self-doubt, be it a momentary pause or a lifelong battle. The big question is: how do we deal with it?

Recently I watched one of my favorite movies, Shadows in the Sun. It’s about writers, one young, one older. The older one (Harvey Keitel as Weldon Parish) has not written in twenty years, not since he had a best-seller and then lost his wife. He’s paralyzed by the fear that, along with his wife, he’s lost the world-acclaimed talent he used to have. He sits at his typewriter, fingers poised over the keys, and tears stream down his face. He can’t type even a single stroke.

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#Article: When is it time to wrap up your book series? #motownwriters

The Ultimate Guide To Finishing A Series

The Ultimate Guide to Finishing a Series

Authors, publishers and readers love series – authors because it’s easier to write each new book in the same world as the first one, publishers because it’s much easier and more profitable to market and sell a sequel to a successful book than a standalone, and readers because if they discover a series they like, they will read them all. Each new book feels like a homecoming. But as an indie author, how do you know when to call a halt to a successful series and move on? Debbie Young, who has just completed her seven-book Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series, gleans top tips on finishing a series from ALLi author members.

Finishing a Series

Debbie Young

Author Debbie Young

Debbie Young is the author of two series of cozy mystery novels, each with a book shortlisted for The UK Selfies Awards. She also writes short stories, guidebooks for authors. articles for writing magazines and blogs, and humorous columns for magazines that serve the local community in the Cotswolds, where she founded and directs the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Find out more about Debbie on her website and Twitter @DebbieYoungBN.  

“If in 100 years I am only known as the man who invented Sherlock Holmes, then I will have considered my life a failure.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

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#Article: 8 Ways to Add Suspense to Your Novel #motownwriters

Authors Mark and Connor Sullivan are no strangers to utilizing suspense in their novels. Here, they share their top 8 tips for writers to do the same.GUEST COLUMNMAY 5, 2021

As storytellers, we believe it is the writer’s responsibility to keep the reader glued to the story and turning the page. Writers who can do this have long careers. We also believe that writing can be looked at as a trade, a craft that can be taught, practiced, and improved. Like all trades, there are specific tools and strategies in the craft of writing taut novels, including these eight that will add suspense to any piece of writing.

(What is Suspense?)

8 Ways to Add Suspense to your Novel

(Connor) Compelling Conflict

Writing compelling conflict is a crucial tool to add urgency to your novel. Analyze the conflict through the lens of stakes and goals at the scene, chapter, or even full story level, looking for those situations where the characters do not seem vital or active. One thing I like to always ask myself is, “What is the most painful thing that could possibly happen to my character at this point in time?” These burdens can be physical, emotional, or psychological. Then think of what the character needs to achieve or to change about themselves in order to alleviate that pain. This approach forces your characters into a crucible where action is the only choice. The action will reveal the character’s true self and so propel the story forward, which leads to my dad’s first tip.

(Mark) Write in an Active Voice

Examining and tweaking the voice through which you tell a story can radically increase its suspense. James Patterson taught me the value of writing as if you were in a bar telling the story to the person on the adjoining stool and focusing on the highlights. Stephen King says he knows if a writer is in control of a narrative within a couple of pages because he can hear the voice in his head driving the story and his interest forward.

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#Article: Areas to focus on while writing the heroine’s journey. #motownwriters

Posted on 05/11/2021 at 09:41 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

The hero’s journey is a concept most writers and students of literature are familiar with.

But they perhaps haven’t heard of the heroine’s journey, though they’ve certainly absorbed stories that include it.

What sets the two apart is not the gender of the protagonist, but rather the way in which they approach the obstacles — solo for a hero; with a network for a heroine — and what kind of conclusion they seek (victory for a hero, unity or compromise for a heroine).

Think the recent Wonder Woman movie for a contemporary hero’s journey and the Harry Potter books for a contemporary heroine’s journey.

So, unsurprisingly, writers have different considerations to take as they draft their protagonist’s journey.

Author Gail Carriger appeared on Joanna Penn’s podcast to discuss the key features of a heroine’s journey and the writing/revising strategies an author might take for it.

A transcript of their conversation about writing the heroine’s journey — as well as a link to the audio of it — is available at The Creative Penn.

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Article: How to Market Self-Published Books in the Digital World #motownwriters

How to Market Self-Published Books in the Digital World

Tuesday, March 05, 2019 by IngramSpark Staff (@ingramspark)

Marketing plays a huge role in any book’s success, but this is especially true for self-published books. Before you publish a book (or before you even start writing it!), it’s important to think about who you’ll be selling your book to—and how. Digital marketing is constantly changing, and it can be tough for authors to keep up with the top trends. We’ve rounded up the top digital marketing strategies to help both new and savvy indie authors understand how to market self-published books.

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Article: Free Resource: So You Want to Start a Fiction Podcast? #motownwriters

Over the last few years, fiction podcasters have brought audio storytelling into the 21st century, with experimental sound design, sharp writing, and compelling plots that leave listeners wanting more.

If you want to dive into the deep end and make a scripted fiction podcast of your own, where do you even start? What mics are best for capturing dialog? What about casting? And what exactly does a sound designer do?

Luckily, Multitude created a free in-depth guide on how to make fiction podcasts! In celebration of our new audio sitcom, NEXT STOP, we’ve written a guide to help you get your fiction podcast off the ground and into the ears of your audience.

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