Friday, March 30, 2012

I recently had the pleasure of working on the layout for this book, Reflection: A Long Walk Into the World of Love. It's sweet and quite unusual.

Part fairy tale, by author Marie-Eve Kielson who is a marriage and family therapist, who gets to the heart of what it takes to have a loving, committed relationship. Her co-author is her husband, Daniel. Over the many years of their marriage, he maintained the habit of writing poems to her for her birthdays and anniversary. He is now a nature photographer as well, and his section of the book combines the lovely poetry with amazing nature photos, along with his own strong narrative on the nature of love in a relationship. A very special gift book for all ages. Perhaps best of all, it honestly conveys what is involved in maintaining a lasting relationship.More at their blog:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Know your audience

At a workshop in Geneva, IL yesterday, I mentioned writing to your target reader, and even on your blog, knowing your readers. You are already aware of the number of readers who visit and return to your blog because they like your work and enjoy reading what you have to say.

But have you really identified your ideal target market? Is it people eager to learn time-saving solutions? Or is it young moms, reading on the run, and looking for advice on taming tantrums? My ideal reader is a man or woman eager to get their writing noticed - to use a blog or to write articles to get their voice heard, and build a following for their work. So my niche is easy because my blog is built to please and inform this market segment.

For your target reader, the more you narrow your blog or book niche the more you can deliver what they expect. As you can see, the puzzle is in figuring out. The reward is having a growing audience of people who look forward to reading more of your work.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Good bloggers succeed

We blog to get people to read our work, and it takes time to build a following. You have something to say, and a free platform with a blog, which writers never had even a few years ago. As a blogger, you start by starting - create a blog, and share it.

If your writing is good and you're consistent, people will visit and return to your blog. You need only to provide compelling posts on your topic and keep up the momentum so visitors are rewarded when they return to see what's new. Then use that momentum to move you forward in wider circles.

As a result of my book and blog here at Release Your Writing, I now share advice for writers on the Freelance-Zone blog.

Several major magazines, including Health Magazine and Cooking Light, have been featuring good bloggers in their print magazine, and sending a wide audience to read the work of these people. Big print media is singling out bloggers who show talent and, promoting their blogs. This is a remarkable opportunity for writers who want to move to well-paying magazine markets. In fact, if you want magazine freelance work, the first place editors look for your writing samples is your own blog.

Another success story is Lois Roelofs, a member of Off-Campus Writers Workshop (OCWW). Based loosely on her book Caring Lessons, her  blog is the strongest part of her platform. Now she has added to her visibility with a blog book tour at WOW! Women on Writing in addition to maintaining her blog. She grew into this step-by-step-by-step, starting as she says, because she heard about: "WOW through SheWrites, and SheWrites from Helen at OCWW!" And, Lois says she would not have started her blog without my encouragement.

Can I urge you to do the same? Put enough effort into your blog that you begin to see it as a communication tool, a place to showcase your writing, and to increase your visibility. Link it to your other social media outlets, and good things will happen...


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Yes, we still need real books

Seth Godin, a pioneer in independent published, just had a book rejected by Apple for distribution on the ibook. The reason? His book contains links in the bibliography to books at Amazon! How can firms like Apple and Amazon control the publishing business?

Media Bistro reports: "With Amazon removing IPG books from the Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble and Chapters Indigo not selling Amazon print titles in their stores, and now Apple not accepting a book with links to Amazon in the iBookstore, book retailers are beginning to fragment and make the experience more cumbersome for the consumer.:

As Seth says:“We’re heading to a world where there are just a handful of influential bookstores (Amazon, Apple, Nook…) and one by one, the principles of open access are disappearing. Apple, apparently, won’t carry an ebook that contains a link to buy a hardcover book from Amazon.”

As I see it, its time to sit down, unplug and read a good book.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Klout: Measure your social media strength

At a workshop last Saturday, I displayed the new Klout factor - a measure of your reach on social media.  ( Here's a small sample screen:

To see the power of this new popularity tool, here's an article from Cision Navigator that displays the top ten crafts blogs based on their scores.

In the grand scheme of visibility, this can teach you two things:

1. See how easy it now is to find, not just blogs in your area of interest, but drill down to the top ten in a category.
2. Shows you the importance of integrating your social media - not just Facebook or Twitter, but staying visible among all social network tools. Some people may be glued to Twitter while others prefer using Facebook, and many focused individuals prefer Linkedin, to focus on their most important contacts and resources.

You may not want to sign up with, but knowing its now a useful way to measure online visibility, it may prove useful to you.