#AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Avoid sagging middles and lackluster endings

How You Can Have a Riveting Book Without Sagging Middles and Lackluster Endings

The following is an excerpt from my book, The Plot Thickens: 21 Ways to Plot Your Novel. A link to buy can be found here. The second chapter addresses how to avoid sagging middles and lackluster endings.

The novel’s middle is vital in holding your reader’s attention.

How to avoid sagging middles and lackluster endings

It’s where the protagonist will encounter the bulk of his trials and tribulations, where her strength will be tested and flaws exposed. It’s where you torture your darlings and force them through life-changing events. It sets up the major crisis at the end of the book and paves the way for a satisfying conclusion.

The middle is also where the writer is most likely to give up. After the first few chapters, he realizes the big bite he’s bitten off. How can he hold the tension? How can he up the stakes and plunge the antagonist into deeper and deeper trouble? In other words, how can he paint his hero into a corner then realistically get him out?

Continue reading Avoid Sagging Middles and Lackluster Endings #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

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Alexa rank is a means of ranking your website. The lower the score, the more popular it is.

Alexa rank is a means of ranking your website. The lower the score, the more popular it is.

What is Alexa rank and why do you need it?

What is Alexa and Alexa rank? Per Wikipedia:

Alexa provides traffic data, global rankings, and other information on 30 million websites.Click To Tweet

In other words, Alexa ranks your website against others. A lower Alexa rank indicates the popularity of your website.

Lower? Yes. Because of the ever-changing number of websites on the internet and on Alexa, the lowest score wins. For quite some time, Google’s Alexa rank has been #1.

Alexa is owned by Amazon

Amazon acquired Alexa in 1999.

Get the Alexa Browser Extension Tool

Alexa ranks your website based on the amount of traffic it records from users that have the Alexa toolbar installed. If I don’t have the toolbar installed on my computer, smartphone, or tablet and I visit your website, Alexa will not count my visit. The good news is, millions of users have installed the toolbar. (6.5M monthly visitors per 2015 stats).

Get the toolbar here. (Scroll to the bottom of the main page to access).

Alexa ranks your website based on the amount of traffic it records from users that have the Alexa toolbar installed.Click To Tweet

Advantages of Alexa

Continue reading Alexa rank and why do you need it #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

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#AuthorToolBoxBlogHop

Three marketing tips for writers

It’s that time of month again—AuthorToolBoxBlogHop, where like-minded writers exchange tips on writing, marketing, editing, querying, etc. For July, I’ve selected three marketing tips for writers that I don’t think are well known. It’s always a pleasure sharing marketing secrets.

1. The right way to share your book’s Amazon link

Okay, you’ve finally published a book. Hooray you! And naturally, you’re social media-ing the heck out of it. Whether on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any other platform, you’re getting the word out. “Buy my book. Here’s the link ______”.

But did you know there’s a little known secret to copying an Amazon’s link?

Here’s the unedited link to my last novel, Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf:

Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf, an adult fairy tale recreation

Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf

https://www.amazon.com/Snow-White-Eighth-Dwarf-Enchanted-ebook/dp/B06XPH21PW/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1500258454&sr=8-9&keywords=cheryl+sterling

(whew!)

See that bolded ASIN (Amazon book ID Number)? All that gibberish behind it is an Amazon electronic time stamp. It tells Amazon the exact time of your  purchase.

Here’s the thing. Every time you sell a book with that time stamp, Amazon will see an abnormal amount of sales FOR THE SAME EXACT TIME. It might send up a red flag. Your sales might not be counted.

Here’s an easy workaround

Remove everything after the ASIN. Whether you shorten the link with tinyURL or not, only use the link between www.amazon to the ASID.

2. Sticking a post to Twitter and Facebook

Going back to your new book scenario (Yeah, you!). You write a post about it on Twitter and your Facebook Page—then what? How do you keep it at the top of all your posts so it’s the first thing visitors see?

Write your post/tweet as usual and publish. Find it on your feed and look for a V symbol in the upper right hand corner of the post. Click on it and bring down the pull down menu.

Tip #2 of three marketing tips for writers. Permanently pin a post to the top of your Facebook page.

Permanently pin a post to the top of your Facebook page.

On Twitter, click on “Pin to your profile page.”

On Facebook, click on “Pin to top of page.” This only works on Facebook Pages. You do have a Facebook page, right?

Add a C.T.A. to all your correspondence

What is C.T.A.? It stands for Call To Action. Yes, you, introverted author, are going to ask your readers to buy your books.

In the front and back material of your published book (Yeah, you!) add all your contact info: email, blog link, Facebook page, Twitter page, all social media, and a link to your Amazon Author Page. You do have an Amazon Author page, right? In addition, add Amazon links to other books, and an excerpt of one of your books.

Tip 3 of three marketing tips for writers: Include a call to action CTA on all your correspondence.

It’s okay to ask your current readers to buy something else of yours. Or contact you. Or follow you on social media. Perhaps write a review. Where better than at the back of your book?

Nudge your readers with a C.T.A. This article explains how effective a C.T.A. can be.

 

Today’s #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop was brought to you by the letters “A” (Amazon link), “P” (Pin your post), and “C”, “T”, and “A” (Call to Action). I hope my three marketing tips for writers will bring you many, many sales (at different Amazon time stamps, of course).

To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, click here.

Bonus C.T.A.

Thanks for reading to the bottom of this post. I’m sending out my own Call To Action. I’ve finished the sequel to Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf, titled Red Riding Hood and the Lone Wolfe.

I’m looking for beta readers. If you’re interested, please contact me at cherylsterling@hotmail.com

See, CTAs are painless.

Blessings,

Cheryl

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