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7 Book Layout Errors You Will Want to Avoid

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Joel Friedlander wrote a great article “7 Formatting Errors That Make Your Book Look Unprofessional”, helping self-publishing authors to get to know the in- and outs of book layout. This is not the only useful post, a whole cornucopia of advice for authors who want to create print books can be found on www.TheBookDesigner.com, Joel’s website.  He asks: “Although our books may be self-published, we sure don’t want them to look sub-par, do we?”

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Books Should Look Like from Traditional Publishers

Writers certainly try to launch their books without the long delays or the uncertainty if they get a traditional publisher contract. The best way to have a great book layout is through a professional.  However, some authors don’t want to use a book lay-outer, or don’t want to fork out the costs involved.  Another way to solve a lot of these print book formatting problems while also getting a well-designed, industry-standard book, is to use a book template.  Joel Friedlander created this fantastic solution. Find out more and see the available designs at: BookDesignTemplates.com.

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More and more writers are taking advantage of the new tools of Print-on-Demand and create and publish their own books.  Authors becoming “do-it-yourself” book lay-outers need to avoid an amateurish look of their books.
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Joel Friedlanders List of Errors to Avoid
“Some of the errors I see when reviewing self-published books are very easy to correct, if you only know how:”

  1. Putting page numbers on blank pages.
    Blank pages have no text or images on them, and that means they should be truly blank.
  2. Using running heads on chapter opening pages or blank pages.
    Just like page numbers, running heads (the type at the top of a page that shows the book title, author name, or chapter title) have no place on a blank page, just leave them off so the pages are truly blank.
  3. Using “rag-right” typesetting.
    This means that the left and right margins of your page are straight and all lines except the last line in a paragraph are all the same length. This is what your readers expect to see in your book, so make sure you give it to them.
  4. Double spacing between sentences.
    Only one space between sentences.
  5. Using both indented AND block style spaces between paragraphs.
    If you add spaces between your paragraphs, make sure you don’t also indent the first line.
  6. Putting the odd numbered pages on the left.
    When you open a book, it just makes sense that the first page is page number 1, and that has to be a right-hand page. This rule is absolute, and you should never, ever number your pages with even numbers on right-hand pages.
  7. Making super small margins to save pages.
    CreateSpace and other print-on-demand services charge based on number of pages. But that’s no reason to shortchange your readers by making your page margins too small just to save money. Small margins will make your book hard to hold and difficult to read, never a good result.

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He adds: “Paying attention to these details of book formatting will help ensure that your books look and work the way they are supposed to. Your readers will thank you for that, and it’s your readers you should keep in mind throughout the publishing process.”

My advice:  Just visit a bookstore and browse through traditional book titles, or check out the first pages of Amazon print books and you will likely not find any of these seven errors listed by Joel Friedlander. Making it right from the beginning will save you an amazing amount of time and frustration, and your reputation as a self-publisher.
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Understanding Fonts & Typography
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/understanding-fonts-typography/

Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2013/08/book-layouts-page-margins/

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Why Follow these 3 Top Rules on Social Media?

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No one joins Twitter, FB, Google+ or Pinterest to constantly read about your book. That’s not very entertaining or interesting at all. Some writers don’t buy books from other writers, they want to sell their own. If ALL writers are doing on Twitter, Google+ or FB is self-promoting they are not only NOT attracting readers, but turning potential book buyers away.

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Yes, famous writers may attract attention for what they have to say – not normally related to their books – but rather to their writer’s life or ideas – and they are often interesting or funny. It’s called social networks not selling pages… Authors should rather focus their promotional efforts on trying to get people to talk about things and yes, even about their fellow writer’s books:

  • by reviewing them,
  • reading and recommending them,
  • taking them to their book groups,
  • writing articles or blog posts about their friends books

instead of constantly trying to get people to sell their own books.  Great places to do this is on some of the hundreds (if not thousands) of reader forums for each type of literature can be found, such as Goodreads, Shelfari, Bibliophil, Biblio Connection, BookTalk and the like.

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1. Choose your following carefully:
You want to interact mainly with READERS, NOT writers. The question is: How to find readers?  All Social Media sites have a search function on top of the page. Type in: book bloggers, read, reading, book lovers, book club, love reading, book worm, love to read, mystery book reader, science fiction reader, or YA readers, YA book bloggers, readers, word nerd, non-fiction book blogger, reading books, reviewing book… and even librarian.  Click on “people” or scroll down a lot, as the first names that appear are often publishers and other commercial accounts. How to get more (reader) followers on Social Media sites is also explained in another blog post.

You can also type in the names of very successful books in your genre and find readers there, talking about this very book. Follow those readers that you feel belong to your book genre, based on what they say in their tweets.  Re-tweet their posts, engage in meaningful conversation, be funny or refer to blog posts you wrote, but don’t mention your book. They will find out about it soon enough. A subtle way to build your network and to promote your book…
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2. Be professional
Set-up your bio with a studio portrait, the same you use in your book(s) and create an inviting avatar. Use key words that will attract the type of people that you want to connect with. This bio (or an avatar, or “about me”) can be used for all your presences, for your Amazon website, your blog etc. Same as with your photograph: once established you can use it everywhere, even if you have to shorten it on some places, such as on Twitter. Use lots of keywords and add abbreviated links to your web site or Amazon page. And choose your username wisely!  More tips how to act like a professional are explained in a former article.
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3. Understand the meaning of Social Media
Being SOCIAL and NOT constantly talking about your book!
I noticed one writer on Twitter who writes 100% only and only about his book. He seems to use automatic tweets, as he never, ever engaged in any conversation with others. Kind of autistic … For sure, I was not the only one who un-followed him.

  • Write about interesting things that are happening
  • Give valuable advice
  • Engage in a humorous way with your readers

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Following these three basic rules for your online platform: Finding the right followers “readers”, be “social” and have a professional appearance on Social Media is the key to successful promoting your books.

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To get more book marketing help, see what we can do for you in individual sessions. If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 179 for 3 months of one-on-one instructions. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

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http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Taxes for non-US Self-Publishers

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Tax-Deductions
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Nothing in the world is so certain as death and taxes.  Even if it is not tax time, let’s talk about taxes: Self-publishing an e-book on the biggest online retailer in the world is very easy, but it does not mean you can ignore the taxes.  IRS rules mean that tax monies for your revenues withheld will only be available for refund through the IRS and not refunded automatically by KDP and CreateSpace, as they have been up in the past.  Amazon will remind you… They will send you a form to fill out.  If not, here is the way to go:

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Amazon and other retailers are required by law to withhold 30% of the royalties earned by non-US authors until they settle their tax status.
The commonly accepted method was going through the laborious process of getting an International Tax Identification Number (ITIN), which requires form-filling, notarized copies of passports, embassy trips, fees, and inexplicable rejection.  Self-publishers might be able to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) instead, which will also do the trick.
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Applies Only to Independent Authors:
Are you publishing through their own company outside the US? Also the IRS doesn’t appear to ask for proof that you have actually established your own publishing company, there are all sorts of reasons why you shouldn’t commence this process until you actually have.

  • Call the IRS (tax authorities) at 1-267-941-1099
  • This is a direct line to the dedicated unit in Philadelphia that deals with foreign entities (you) who need an EIN.
    Explain them you are applying for an EIN for a foreign entity.
  • Tell them you are a sole proprietor, and the owner of the business.
  • They will ask for your name, mailing address, phone number, the name of your company, and the country it was incorporated. This will involve a lot of spelling and repetition, but make sure all the details are correct.
  • You will be asked if this is for compliance with withholding taxes and if it is for e-books.
  • After confirming all your details, you will receive your EIN (Employer Identification Number) right away. Write your EIN down on paper and also save it on your computer.
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Submitting the W8-BEN
If you follow these steps, you will save yourself time, money, and a whole load of heartache. All you have left to do is fill out the W8-BEN form. Download the W8-BEN form from the IRS’ website, and print it out.

IMPORTANT:
You will need one copy each for Amazon KDP, CreateSpace etc and/or other retailers.
Don’t abbreviate your country, write it out in full

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Part I (fill out everything in blue ink)

  • Your full legal name.
  • The country you live in/pay taxes.
  • Type of beneficial owner: Check the box that says Individual (unless you are an LLP for example).
  • Your physical address / street address.
  • Your mailing address.
  • Select the EIN box, and fill your number in
  • Your foreign tax number (i.e. your tax number in your country of residence
  • Fill in your KDP Publisher No. (in Account Settings, bottom right)

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Part II

  • Write your country in the line provided
  • Tick the box and fill in your EIN.
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Skip Part III

At the final section – explain the reasons – write “beneficial owner is a resident of (fill in your country)”
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Part IV

  • Sign your name, date it, and write Self at Capacity.
  • Send the original! W8-BEN – not a photocopy! – to every company, that sells your book or that you have published with
  • Add a simple cover letter stating you attach the W8-BEN for compliance with withholding. It takes them a few weeks to process, but within a month or so, they should stop withholding your royalties.

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Conclusion:
Don’t delay to apply for an EIN. It means only a phone call to get an EIN. Best way to do this is before you launch your book. Once you have done it, you will feel relieved – and you will receive 30% more book revenue from your online retailer.

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More info:  http://www.irs.gov/
http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Apply-for-an-Employer-Identification-Number-(EIN)-Online
http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/International-Businesses/U.S.-Withholding-Agent-Frequently-Asked-Question

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $179 for 3 months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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How to Feed Your Tweets

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Twitter-Logo

What, when and where to tweet


Are you sometimes scrambling what to tweet?  An important point with Twitter is to choose your passion, the topic you want to talk about and also to have your own brand, something people know you for.  

You certainly can send the occasional tweet about something completely different, but for the most part stick to your important topics.

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Content to Tweet About:

  • Re-tweet news in your field on the Internet (Internet & news papers/magazines)
  • Articles from your website, or your own blog posts & guest posts
  • Set up Google alerts (http://google.com/alerts) for news content

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How Often Send Out Tweets?
Unless you have ten-thousands of followers, the chances that many people will see all your tweets and click on links are very small.  The number of followers and the tweeting frequency should match.  As no one is 24/7 on Twitter, you might have to send your posts two or three times a day, maybe in the morning, around noon time and early evening.  As more followers you have and the more you want to build a brand, or announce events, the more you should tweet.
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Automate  and Save Time
First of all:  Create a file (Notepad or Word document) and create a long list of tweets, using your own blog, guest blog, news etc. from which you copy/paste tweets, using headlines and URL’s.  Second:  create a folder where you place all your images you might use on Twitter or Google+, some you used on your blog, but also new ones. See our blog about free images you can get on the Internet.  Automate your tweets so that you don’t have to sit in front of the computer all day long. There are several tools you can use: We are scheduling on Hootsuite and also on Futuretweets, other providers are Twitterfeed, and Twaitter (now Gemln). They are slightly different and they serve different purposes.
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Twitterfeed 
Twitterfeed.com feeds your blog to Twitter, Facebook etc.  A YouTube video shows you step by step how to start Twitter feeds, however there are approx. twenty more videos to watch on YouTube.
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Twaitter / Gremln
Twaitter.com – now Gremln is a free product that allows you to schedule your own tweets (up to 20 an hour) on a single or recurring basis. The process is very easy.  You will also find Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn integration, detailed analytics, customizable dashboards, stunning reports, multi-user management, and a whole lot more.

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Link Your Blog to Twitterfeed or Twaitter (Gremln)
Every time your blog – or website for that matter – has something new it will be sent to Twitter. The other two options, Twaitter and TwitterAdder are where you should put all your best blog posts. When you’ve built up thirty or fifty blog posts, you will have a handful of favorites that you would like to recommend others to read.  Post the links in Twaitter or Twitterfeed and schedule them.
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Important:

  • Re-tweets other content – a lot!
  • Decide what your brand is on social media sites
  • Set up automated tweets based on your sources
  • Post often on Google+ and connect it with Twitter (automatically transfers to Twitter)
  • Write a blog and feed the posts automatically to Twitter, FB, LinkedIn etc.

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Monitor Your Traffic
With the increased flow of tweets you will get more replies from people. Be prepared to answer them!  You’re also going to have to carefully monitor the traffic that’s coming to your blog and from which Social Media site or organic search it is coming.. This is a great way to understand which of your tweets are working and which are not.

Using the analytics on your blog, you can see how many hits you are getting:  When do you get peak traffic?
Re-arrange your tweets a little bit and don’t forget to use hashtags with relevant keywords. Try new things. A few video blogs from YouTube, or a series of special blog posts that you can link to.  Over time, you can get others to discover you and getting them to re-tweet your posts.

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Never Too Early
Building your brand on Twitter – or any other social media site – doesn’t work overnight. It takes time and as earlier you start as better for you as an author. You will want to have a big following long BEFORE your book is finished (maybe even before you start writing) in order to have a great start when launching your work.

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5 Tips How to Create Mobile-Friendly Blogs and Websites

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Smartphone-Shopping

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How can you, as an author or small publishing business owner, reach more readers?  Over half of the entire world’s population has a mobile phone!  Almost 190 million people in the United States own a smart phone. And 74% of them used their smart phone to access the internet in 2013.  According to Forbes, “87% of connected devices sales by 2017 will be tablets and smartphones.” Whether it’s creating an alternate mobile version of a website or creating a mobile-friendly web design, it’s important to make it easy for users to find you and your books.

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Your Competition Will Be Seen and You Won’t
More than one third of internet users worldwide used their mobile devices to research products or services they intended to purchase. Total Internet usage on mobile devices has exceeded that on PCs.  This shift follows a tremendous fall in PC sales.  There’s a skyrocketing trend toward more and more people using their mobile devices to go online. Once they arrive at your website, they should not struggle with a site that is unreadable, unnavigable or complicated. Adapt to these new realities of how people are using the internet to find out about you, what your business has to offer and why they should buy from you.
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So What Do You Have to Deliver?

  1. Provide Quick Access
    Tablets and smartphones require fast access to content on your website. You need to make it easy for users to load your pages in less than 5 seconds. 60% of users expect a site to appear withing 3 seconds on their phone.
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  2. Provide Short Landing Pages
    Reduce, reduce and reduce more… Long pages are not mobile friendly. Mobile users are unlikely to go through a page with a lot of details. Include the most relevant content better on your sales pages. Short headings and a limited number of lists will make it easy for your audience to go through the information.
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  3. Provide a “No-Zoom Page”
    If you optimize your website for mobile users, they should be able to see your sales pitch as soon as the page loads. Create a responsive website design, where visitors don’t have to zoom. Most users are used to zooming, but it can get tiresome. Most mobile phones do not support Flash, so it’s not a good idea to include it on your wireless pages, same with “frames” and “tables”.
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  4. Provide Value
    If your sales pages do not add value to website users, it will be impossible to convert them into customers. A great service or a great product at a reasonable price, great information and free advice, just to name a few.
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  5. Provide Simple Forms
    Shorten and simplify the forms you include on your sales pages. Try to limit them to just a handful of fields.
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Do the Math:
Its a no-brainer that your blog or business’ website needs to be mobile-friendly, and if your website is mobile-friendly, more people will access it, which will increase click-through and conversion rates for your business.  And it is not expensive to have your website optimized for mobile devices: Get it done for a couple of dollars, at http://www.Fiverr.com/Denis555, along with even more improvements to bring more people to your website.  Nowadays people browse, shop and make reservations via their smart phones. Your website or blog will be seen and not avoided.  70% of Facebook users in the United States now access Social Media via their smart phones – not on a desktop computer. Google also favors mobile-friendly sites, which impacts mobile, smart phone friendly search results.  Do you want to be a part of this trend?
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More Tips can be found here:
http://webdesign.about.com/od/mobile/a/write-web-pages-for-the-iphone.htm

http://www.imforza.com/blog/how-to-make-a-mobile-friendly-website/

 

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Posted by on August 29, 2014 in Marketing, Website & SEO

 

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How can Authors Paint Pictures with Words?

 

 

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Successful authors may use just a few words to evoke an image, or they may use a whole page. Poets may use only a few words to describe a person, or a scene. Novelists may use a whole page to describe the same person, or scene.  In either case, the reader will be able to feel, smell, see, or taste what the author is describing.
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What are Visual Triggers?
Visual triggers are words, people, or places that paint pictures in our minds. For instance, if I write the words “She moved as slowly as a sloth”, the reader is likely to envision the slowest-moving mammal on Earth that sleeps in trees as a defensive measure.
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Why is it Important to Trigger Visual Cues with Words?
Visual cues are important in order to give the reader a wider vision. We want to more clearly visualize what is being written. It’s the difference between viewing a tweet and clicking on the tweet in order to get taken to the related website.  For example: recently, I saw a tweet that advertised a beautiful diamond ring. That tweet prompted me to go to the website to get the wider vision of that company’s products and services.

The reader needs to be helped to look through a wide-angle lens, not a telephoto lens. For example, a reader will appreciate Shakespeare’s character, Hamlet’s, famous “To be or not to be…” soliloquy more if he understands the context of the soliloquy: Hamlet has recently been visited by his father’s ghost who informed Hamlet that he was killed by Hamlet’s uncle. According to most sources, the despondent Hamlet is considering suicide during that soliloquy.
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What are some types of visual triggers that authors use?

There are three ways to trigger pictures in a reader’s mind:

  1. Suzanne Arruda is an example of a modern novelist that uses detailed descriptions of settings and characters. Literally, she paints pictures in the reader’s mind. The reader is transported to 1920’s Kenya and Europe. When I read her novels, I feel the heat, I smell the smells, and I can visualize the people and places about which she writes. I am on safari. I am solving mysteries and murders.
  1. William Wordsworth was one of the most famous English poets of the early 19th He knew how to paint pictures with a minimum of words. Any reader of Wordsworth’s poetry will find himself instantly transported to Wordsworth’s beloved corner of England, the Lakes district, with only a few words. Wordsworth’s brief descriptions of local streams and hills transport me to those streams and hills. I am lying on the cool grass, relaxing in a much less hectic time and place.
  1. Bloggers fall somewhere in the middle of poets and novelists. Bloggers will normally use more words than a poet, and fewer words than a novelist, to get their point across.

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How to Use Words as Visual Triggers
Some forms of writing don’t lend themselves to detailed descriptions of characters and settings. However, examples, analogies, and metaphors are useful for most writing—fiction, or non-fiction. Some examples and metaphors in my book include:

  • Diamonds start out as soft carbon. Over millions of years, heat and pressure compact the carbon, pushing it deeper and deeper under the Earth’s surface. The fully-formed diamonds are the strongest mineral on the planet.
  • A fine china teacup begins as a shapeless lump of clay on a potter’s wheel. The teacup is formed on the potter’s wheel. Then, the teacup is fired in a kiln, painted, and glazed. The final product is a rare luxury item, inaccessible to the general public.
  • Michelangelo, the famous Italian Renaissance sculptor and artist, formed some of the most breathtaking sculptures of all time from huge slabs of marble.
  • Meat can be tenderized in a solution of citric acid, such as that in pineapple juice. Meat that has soaked in a pineapple-juice marinade for at least two hours will be tender because the citric acid has broken down the tendons in the meat.
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In my book, I used the examples and analogies above to illustrate the benefits of challenges. I wanted to illustrate how hard work, “pressure”, and “heat” can improve the lives of people in the end. I wanted people to visualize themselves as a flawless diamond, a teacup so precious that I have never seen one, a celebrated sculptor/artist, and meat so tender that it can be cut with a fork.

Traci Lawrence writes about her passion: communication, relationships, the value of individuals and rising above verbal bullying, or trash talk. She lives in the Northern Virginia area of the United States and teaches English, among other subjects.  Please find more on her blog, and read her book: Accept No Trash Talk

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Writing

 

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