Friday, February 20, 2015

FNN Report: NFL Announces Losers Bowl for Next Year



FNN Sports reporter Jock Strapper filed this report after an NFL press conference ended.

Today the NFL announced a new post-season game called the Losers Bowl. The game will be played on the Sunday prior to the Super Bowl and will replace the Pro Bowl.

In the Losers Bowl, the NFC team with the worst record will play the AFC team with the worst record. Anticipating that a game between the two worst teams won’t draw a wide audience, the NFL placed a degree of importance on the outcome: the winner of the Losers Bowl will be awarded the first two picks in the next draft.

Tomorrow, the TV networks can place bids to carry the game. Bids will start at a hundred million dollars.

The NFL also announced the initial bid price for Losers Bowl ads. The one-hundred-ninety ad slots to be shown during the game will require a minimum bid of two million dollars. If more than one advertiser wants a time slot, it will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The NFL said the ad prices were high because the league needed the extra cash to pay all judgements in the lawsuits they have been losing.



Hank Quense is the author of 50 published short stories along with four novels and three collections of stories. All of these are humorous and/or satiric scifi and fantasy. In the non-fiction area, he has over a dozen articles published on fiction writing and he's the author of the Fiction Writing Guides series and the Self-publishing Guides series. Both series consist of a number of ebooks. The Fiction Writing Guides and the Self-Publishing Guides are an outgrowth of his lectures on both subjects.
Strange Worlds OnlineHank's Amazon PageHank's Blog PageSelf-publishing Guides
Hank's fiction works 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Bucerias and IWSG news

In case you've missed what's been happening at your IWSG website this New Year, we've had some exciting guest hosts in January and February. February 11th, Alexander Slater, Literary Agent wrote about publishing in the international market. I'll be there Monday February 16th, talking about the importance of up-to-date research. Elizabeth S. Craig, scheduled for the 25th will give thoughts on being a hybrid writer, and on March 11th, Dianna Gunn will discuss the merits of internship.

Hope to see you there.

Meanwhile, since I can't say enough about Bucerias, thought I'd spare you my ramblings and let the photographs speak for themselves:

Rhythm of the Night Dancers
Sayulita above and below


Wendy y Joylene at a Luna Rumba concert

Luna Rumba

A chicken came to visit Marbles y Shasta. 
Turns out she belong to the farmer in the back 40.


Our neighbour Henry

Henry's younger brother; didn't catch his name


Henry's distant cousins Gina y Mateo 

Paco in his new casa by the pool

Favourite Breakfast Caffe, Hotel Pericos, Bucerias

View from Hotel Ana Ruth
And finally... life down here is definitely tough on our cats



Shasta practising yoga

Marbles, not sure what the fuss is about

In the zone



The sounds of Luna Rumba

video


A busy Saturday poolside at Los Arroyos Verdes

video







Tuesday, February 3, 2015

IWSG: Ask PZM, February 2015


It's that the first Wednesday of the month, which also means it's Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Thanks to our noble Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh, it's time to share our fears and insecurities, or support and assistance. Doesn't matter which.


If you'd like to join Insecure Writer's Support Group, click hereBe sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Our hashtag is #IWSG

The awesome co-hosts for today are: 

Gwen Gardner,
Dolorah, 
Sarah Foster, 
and M. Pax!


Please stop by and thank them for their time. 

Before we get to Ask PZM, just a reminder that The Insecure Writer's Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond is now available for free downloading. You can check out the sites here.




ASK PZM


Q. What do you think are the basics for any writer or author in the world of the Internet?

I strong believe that no matter where you are on your writing journey – beginning, middle, one or several books published – you need to have one hand in the writing field and one hand in the marketing field.

And this means the sooner you start the marketing area the better off you will be.

In an ideal world, I would recommend starting a website/blog that you own (self-hosted) from day one.  This website/blog then becomes the home base for all your other marketing activities.  You can share your writing and publishing journey as you build up a fan base.

Let’s say, though, that for whatever reason you are not yet ready to own your own online real estate.  Then choose some entities where you can establish a presence (and hope that the entities remain popular and user friendly).

For example, if you are a fiction or nonfiction writer, you might want to set up a free Wattpad.com account and showcase some of your writing in order to get early fans.  (See my Wattpad account at http://www.wattpad.com/user/ZimblerMiller )

Perhaps you write on nonfiction topics that fit with the business mindset of LinkedIn.  You can now write blogs posts on your LinkedIn profile.  This is a great way to start sharing your writing with target markets.  (See my blog posts at www.linkedin.com/in/phylliszimblermiller)

Remember, if you are writing blog posts, try to include at least one interesting photo with the post.  That photo can draw attention to the post and then be used to add the post to an appropriate board on a Pinterest account.  (See my boards at www.pinterest.com/zimblermiller )

All of these activities – and more – can be done before you have even finished the first chapter of your book.  In fact, starting your marketing activities early on can help you gain input for your writing.  (One of the fans for my dystopian story THE MOTHER SIEGE on Wattpad gave me a great idea I would not have thought of on my own.  I incorporated his idea at the end of the screenplay adaptation I wrote of the story.)

Warning:  I am NOT suggesting that you spend tons of time each day on social media rather than writing.  I am suggesting that you plan to participate in a few places that enable you to showcase what you are writing about and to start connecting with your prospective target audiences.

And, of course, you can join online writing and marketing groups that offer valuable information.  Things change so quickly on the Internet that very few people can keep up with everything.  But if you have online groups that have your back, you’ll be farther ahead than others who are going it alone.  (Those of you who are regular followers of Joylene’s blog have a definite advantage.)

Amazon cautionary tale:

I recently learned of an author who refuses to put his hardcover book on Amazon because he thinks Amazon takes too much of the book’s price.  His book is only available via his own website.

I understand that he is about to have TV appearances as part of a publicity campaign.  I suspect that many of those people who see him on TV will automatically go to Amazon to buy his book either because they do not remember his website URL or because Amazon already has their billing and shipping information.

In my opinion, this author is making a big mistake as I believe he should have his book where the most people shop for books.  (I am reminded of the expression “Cutting off the nose to spite the face.”)

Q: Anything else you’d like to mention?

Those of you who have often read my posts know that I believe in helping others online without the expectation of help in return.  Still, I am pleased that Derin Cag, founder and CEO of the new site Richtopia.com, appreciated my few suggestions for him so much that he reviewed on his site my book TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO MARKET ON THE INTERNET WITH PICTURES.  Check out this review at http://richtopia.com/reviews/top-tips-how-to-market-internet-with-pictures and other articles on his site.




Phyllis Zimbler Miller is a digital marketer as well as a fiction and nonfiction author.  Her ebook TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON is at http://www.amazon.com/Tips-Publish-Market-Your-Amazon-ebook/dp/B009RBJW3E

Friday, January 23, 2015

Living in Bucerias


November 17's post, you may remember I shared photos of the botanical gardens of Los Arroyos Verdes where we've rented a casa for the winter. I mentioned I was putting myself on a strict schedule and spending my time in writing mode. I was so certain once I became acclimatized, a routine would present itself and I'd finally finish my current WIP. It's disheartening to realize I've turned into one of those well-meaning persons who can't get anything done past getting her nose burned.

Recently someone asked, "Do you write more from May to October in Canada or from November to April in Mexico?"

We had a heatwave in central British Columbia last summer (averaged 37C/98F) and I still produced more words during the hottest week than I have in almost 3 months here in Bucerias. Through no fault of mine, it's far too easy to wander outside with no apparent goal in mind than to smell the flowers, listen to Sunday's visiting band playing poolside, watch the surf pounding on the shores of Bay of Banderas, or feast in quaint restaurants in the most obscure places on those I-don't-want-to-cook nights



Next to the Santander Banco on Boulevard Riviera Nayarit is a small restaurant that makes the best fajitas ever. Down the road on Las Palmas, delicious gluten-free pizza at La Quinto di Francesco's on Las Palmas is best served up with a bottle of my favourite cabernet Monte Vino.

Every writer knows how lonely writing can be. Life on a quiet lake is the perfect backdrop for creating memorable characters. True. Yet, after 30 years of wanting nothing more than to write, suddenly I find myself needing the companionship of living--breathing human beings. I need good conversation. Laughter and great food. I want to hear their story and witness life through their memories.

In the next few months, I'd like to share more of life here in Bucerias. If you've visited Mexico enough, you know they are a loving, gracious people who feel the music deep in their souls. They love good food, good friends, and absolutely nothing is more important than family. What's so incredibly wonderful is how quickly they make you feel a part of theirs.

Some of the reasons why I'm so captivated by this place:





















Friday, January 16, 2015

FNN Predictions for 2015

 

Faux News Network staff and management spent most of December gathering data and trends from around the world. Using advance mathematical devices such as calculators and smart phones we analyzed the data and developed a set of productions for next year.

Here are the Faux News Network predictions for 2015:

* Congress will pass a resolution proclaiming that global warming is an act of God and can’t be thwarted. People claiming pollution is affecting the weather will be deemed ecological terrorists and treated as such.
* Oil companies, because of falling prices, will demand a federal bailout so the companies can maintain their high profitability and dividend levels. Congress will approve the bailout.
* Pope Francis will announce he is moving the Vatican from Rome to Argentina to get away from the entrenched Vatican bureaucracy.
* Abortion will only be permitted in states in the Northeast and on the west coast.
* To invigorate the depressed armaments industry, Congress will authorize the President to declare war on the non-English speaking country of his choice.
*The NFL will cut the length of football games from sixty minutes to forty minutes in order to show more commercials.
* With the growing calls for a Constitutional Amendment on term limits, Congress will pass its own term-limit bill. Under the new law, people in Congress will be limited to serving 35 years.
* The cost of buying a member of Congress will increase 15% year to year. The cost of buying a local politician will vary by state and average 6 to 11%.
* The Supreme Court will rule that religious non-profits are people also and pastors now have the right to tell their parishioners how to vote without losing the church’s non-profit status.

FNN wants to know what your predictions are. Please tell us.


Hank Quense is the author of 50 published short stories along with four novels and three collections of stories. All of these are humorous and/or satiric scifi and fantasy. In the non-fiction area, he has over a dozen articles published on fiction writing and he's the author of the Fiction Writing Guides series and the Self-publishing Guides series. Both series consist of a number of ebooks. The Fiction Writing Guides and the Self-Publishing Guides are an outgrowth of his lectures on both subjects.
Strange Worlds OnlineHank's Amazon PageHank's Blog PageSelf-publishing Guides
Hank's fiction works 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

IWSG: Ask PZM, January 2015

It's that the first Wednesday in the new year! Which also means Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Thanks to our noble Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh, it's time to share our fears and insecurities, or support and assistance. Doesn't matter which.



To start off the new year, we've all been invited to include an introduction into who we are. For those of you who don't know me, here's my brief story:

My name is Joylene Louise Butler, and I am famous (in my own mind) for having eleven grandchildren and 2 suspense novels: Dead Witness and Broken But Not Dead; the latter won IPPY silver medal in 2012. I also collaborated on a steampunk anthology published last year called Break Time. Prior to that I had no idea what steampunk was. I, my husband and our two cats Shasta and Marbles, live 6 months in Cluculz Lake in central B.C. and 6 months in Bucerias, Nayarit. Because my husband's retired, the plan was he’d cook, I'd write...(hmm)


If you'd like to join Insecure Writer's Support Group, click here.

Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.


Our hashtag is #IWSG


The awesome co-hosts for the first posting of the IWSG for 2015 are:

Chrys Fey, and 

Please stop by and thank them for their time. 



Before we get to Ask PZM, just a reminder that The Insecure Writer's Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond is now available for free downloading. You can check out the sites here.


Ask PZM


Q. Does offering the first chapter for free work for unknown authors?

First, let’s look at this question in a known context.  Many traditional publishers include a first chapter of a different book by an author at the end of that author’s published book (both in print books and ebooks).  This makes good marketing sense because, having read the first chapter (or chapters) and having liked what we read, we as readers are probably much more likely to buy (or borrow from a library or from a monthly ebook subscription provider) that book.

Now with an unknown author, especially for a first book, there is not yet the opportunity of including that first chapter at the end of a previously published book.

Yet how much more necessary is it to give our potential readers a taste of our story as well as our writing style if we are unknown?

Assuming that giving away the first chapter for free does not affect any agreements we may have with publishers or KDP Select or the like, why not provide this opportunity?  Although we may not gain from this, it certainly is one way to get in front of potential readers.

What are some of the ways that you might give away a chapter?

1      Provide the chapter on your author website or as a download on your author website. (Here is an example from a humor book by my 90-year-old father Al Zimbler -- http://www.alzimcomedy.com/first-date/ )

         Create an ebook of just the first chapter and publish that first chapter ebook on sites where you can list the price as free.

         Post the first chapter on Wattpad for free.  (For example, see the first chapter of my women’s friendship novel MRS. LIEUTENANT -- http://www.wattpad.com/2140539-sharon-i-may-4-1970-mrs-lieutenant-a-women%27s )

     Possibly ask a self-published author who writes in the same genre to include your first chapter at the end of his or her book (with the commitment to include a chapter from one of that author’s books at the end of your book).

         Print out copies of the chapter (include the cover and in color if possible) and hand out to people.
Caution:  Make sure that all sample chapters in whatever format include the links to where people can buy the book.

Getting out the word about your sample chapter:
Here is where using social media to link to the sample chapter online can be very effective.  And you can ask friends to share the link on their social media accounts.


Q. They say to be a successful author you have to connect with your readers. How do we do that effectively without driving them away with our boring day-to-day living?
  
It is important to clarify what is meant by connecting with our readers.  In my opinion this does NOT mean always talking about our own books or our own lives.

What it does mean is sharing on social media accounts and blog posts a variety of information that may be of interest to our readers.

For example, if you are a romance author, you might want to share news of other romance authors.  Why?  Because romance readers are known for consuming many books, so why not showcase yourself as someone who recommends other good books besides your own?

At my own author blog at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com I often write about topics that are important to me, such as the portrayal of women characters in fiction as well as real-life projects that support our military troops, their families, and veterans.

I very rarely tweet or post on Facebook anything about my own life, which I agree would have little interest to the readers of my books.  Yet I am very active on social media because I share good information on several topics (which does reveal what interests me).

A word of caution:  I personally think it is good to share information only on a set of specific topics.  If the information you share is all over the map, this may be too confusing for your followers, and confusion can cause people to stop following you.  (My mantra in marketing is “Don’t make me think.”)

Q. Are there any new epic trends out there that we haven't heard of?

There are so many new trends all the time that it is very hard to keep up with these.  Because as authors we need to conserve time for writing, I would recommend that we do not worry too much about emerging trends.  If and when these trends push themselves to the fore, then we can consider adding them to our promotional toolkit.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is a digital marketer as well as a fiction and nonfiction author.  
Learn more about her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/phylliszimblermiller and visit her author site at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com



ps. I'm a day early because we're having power outages, and I'm having blogger issues. IWSG is officially tomorrow.