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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Guest Blogger NIKOLAS BARON on Easing the Pain of Editing/Proofreading

Why Writing More Pages Makes Editing Easier

More Available Real Estate
When it comes to editing a large manuscript, anything that makes the process easier is welcome. There are many pages to get through, tons of ideas, themes, and characters, as well as different ways of tying it all together. But if you start with less words or pages, you could be making the editing process much more difficult on yourself.

            Having more pages or words available for editing makes it easier to identify which pieces need to go and which need to stay. It may crush you to cut twenty pages of dialogue, but you know that what’s left is moving the story forward and essential. There’s more available real estate to see what you were thinking as you were writing the story and how you constructed it. If you have less material, there’s less information to build changes off of. Even more drastically, if you end up cutting more than you expected, you will end up having to rebuild much of the story.

I like to dump all of my thoughts down on paper and edit as I go. I detest squiggly red and green lines, messed up grammar and punctuation, and confusing wording. I have to change it immediately or I feel like I can’t press on. However, this leaves me with tons of material since I’m constantly adding to my manuscript. I want to fix as I go, but I end up gathering up changes that have created more words. This actually helps my editing process because I can look back and see that the changes I made were either useful or steered me off course. I have more flowers to pick from in my field of papers. This is a great problem to have when it comes to editing.

More Jumping Off Points for Ideas

            Sometimes I have to resist the urge to cut material while I write. This comes in handy when I’m editing. While I’m writing and in the zone, sometimes I forget that later on, I may change my mind. I realize the ending I wrote doesn’t work or the characters would never say the dialogue on the page and now have to come up with new material. The fact that I didn’t cut out material before gives me more ideas to use for my changes. I could have deleted all that work but now I have a vantage point to start from.

            If I end up having a bunch of material that seems to clash, I keep it because I may need new ideas or similar ideas later. I may end up cutting half of the material that doesn’t work and only keeping what does. When you go back to grammar check and proofread your work and realize that you have more available material of substance, you have a better chance of starting fresh with new ideas, or being able to reach into your inventory of material from before.

It’s Always Easier to Subtract than Add

            One of my writing professors in college consistently told me that “it’s always easier to subtract than add.” When you have a finished book, a collection of ideas, it’s hard to go backwards to what you were thinking at the moment when you wrote a particular section. It can be done, of course, but it can also be a huge struggle. Taking away material that doesn’t add to the robustness of your storyline is easy. Bringing in new ideas that meld with your ideas that are already on the page and developing them is a ton of work. It’s like baking a cake. When you add way too much frosting, you can scrape some off and have a great cake. But when you add frosting and it’s the wrong color, you have to scrape it all off and start over with a misshapen cake.

            When I’m proofreading my own work, I like to use online resources to help me find errors I might have missed or suggest more appropriate words that fit my style. Grammarly is a resource I really love because it learns my style the more I use it, provides a thorough grammar check, and gives me the tools to learn more about writing. It also helps me see where I can scrape off more frosting that I don’t need.

            When it comes to writing, sometimes you have to resist the urge to edit while you write to make the proofreading process easier on yourself. Remember, it’s always easier to subtract than it is to add.

By Nikolas Baron
Replace “Nikolas Baron” with the following HTML:
<ahref="">Nikolas Baron</a>

Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in Elementary School, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown children’s novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, traveling, and reading.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What To Do with That Fantastic REVIEW?

REVIEWS - I wanna talk about reviews -- I have discussed earlier how I do not WAIT for reviews to come to me; something I learned even in traditioanl publishing, as you have to find reviewers and approach them. They are not trolling for any new books; you know why? They have a TBR stack larger than the room they are working out of, taller than your Aunt Jo Anne. They don't need another book coming through the door, and even if you do send it, very likely thier "slush" pile will never see the light of a review. DISMAL, I know and fewer and fewer people doing reviews hasn't helpd matters, and fewer still doing ebook reviews.

So what's a guy to do? I opened up my books to ANYONE willing to read and review -- calling all eReaders interested in getting the book not FREE entirely but meant for a tit-for-tat. Free or Gifted book for a review with no other stirngs attached, can be posted anywhere, preferably up at, and if not facebook, and maybe a single line on Twitter. But it should not END with the reviewer placing it here, there, everywhere; rather, it is now yours to do with what you need to do--part of the 'covenant' between you and the reviewer. You give the reviewer more limelight as you throw limelight on the review and your book.

I have gotten many a review in this manner, mostly via facebook. But then whataya do NOW ONCE YOU HAVE A REVIEW or three, what're you going to do with it?  Let it DIE on the VINE at its static location on or put it to work for you? Each time I get a new review, I consider that a huge opportunity for News Release, newsy posts here, there, everywhere to bring attention to the review and thus the book. If nothing else, entice folks at other sites to go to the review by putting up the review title and link.

I do not want my reviews to languish and die on the Amazon Vine.
How about you?

Rob Again Walker
join me for contests at my Titanic 2012 bk. page on Facebook Win a gifted copy of T2012

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Where to concentrate Your Marketx Efforts

On a monster thread begun in January on the KDP, I have had a lot of questions regarding what to do, what to sell ebooks.

I am going to attempt to address a # of suggestions and items brought up and also remarked upon, but I may miss some. As to worrying about the German Amazon right now, you'd do better to concentrate on UK, and in fact you'd do better concentrating on Kindle US. Consider the numbers. For an entire month, I sell maybe a hundred copies of my books to UK, and to date zero to Germany. That 100 from UK took a year and a half to get up to!  So...might seem a lot but consider the fact I have 47 books on my Bookshelf. US sales per month are averaging 900 to 1000 books sold, so...think about that - where the numbers are, where the eReaders are searching for genre fiction.

Where then should you and I concentrate our efforts?

Now this is just my opinion but....
AS to bumper stickers, magnetic signs on my car....personally, two things...I like my car pristine, and I'm no fan of bumper stickers unless they are really funny! (EXP. seen in Florida:  When I get old, I am going to move North & Drive Slow) 

As to large door magnets (which you can have made as with all this kind of paperwork with Vista Print), again don't like it on my car, Petey.  Petey would not like me for it.  Secondly, I do not believe people read moving print, and while parked in a parking lot, no one or very few see these items much less read them unless you are a plumber, and they need a plumber at the moment, thata sort of thing.

As to Flyers or other paperwork you can get into a goody bag at a Writers Conference, that makes good sense, especially if the conference is a Readers Conference (most writers are too busy pushing their own book or books to be buying much). Still with conferences, if you contact those organizing the conference, they usually invite ads and News Releases to slip into their giveaway bags which go to all conference folks, and as one person suggested, take out an ad in the conference book (but this can get awfully pricey; still it is more effective, I believe, than is a car-sign magnet or bumper-sticker.

I do believe in business cards; always a good thing when you can slip one to a person with your book cover and where to find the book. They do get used, I feel. Baseball card-styled informational cards I suspect would be a great item at a conference, signing, fair, event--especially if you can list all books on the back of the card, a bit of bio, etc. Many authors I know do "postcards" which are like the card idea. On the back a list of items in a series seems a great idea to me.

BIG HOWEVER: in ebooks you will be reaching a great deal more people with ONLINE marketing gymnastics rather than paperbound gynastics or what is termed book marketing.  An eFlyer, an ePostcard, an eBusiness Card - iMoves are the kinds of "moves" you want to make and put your energies into to reach larger numbers faster.
Let's use our imaginations.  Ever see an eBusiness Card?  I got the thought from thinking of the questions y'all are raising here.  Can you imagine a series of eCards per each book that can be set up on a site or at a url or displayed on facebook?  I have to give this some thought.  If I can get my Signature on the Title Page of my last three novels, I should be able to figure out how to do an eNews Release on Facebook that might take the form of a business card that I can throw out there online.

Just my ramblings. Think of these thoughts a diving boards in the pool for any and all  to share and use. Like all the arsenal that writers use, the writers' tools and toolkit. Look, there are plugs in the walls here, and you just can as easily plug in as anyone else. Use the ideas and mold them to your needs. That is why I started this thread which has gone to 47 pages in search of imaginative ways to please people with our books.

For example - what I did for a book trailer, with Media One and my book covers, my photos, and my browser - anyone can do. I am a computer cripple compared to anyone younger than I. Still, I made a video and  easily, with guidance via Media One, placed it up on YOUTUBE, and you can do as I did.  So this is kinda sorta iMove Flyer is going to reach more people, do better for your bottom line and  for the book. Your iFlyer or eFlyer is a flyer with moving images!

That url is then so easy to  send to folks and get into their hands, so to speak as I am about to do right here and now:  - after I put it through http://www.tinyurl/.

Rob - new stuff/free stuff

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Where Rob Walker Hangs Out Online

Here is where you can find info and more info on me, from me, about me, but truly directed at YOU...articles, blogs, talk radio, website, all of it so you can run me down....

My website

Kindle community forum thread “what moves kindle books off shelves” is at:






Online mag./articles:

My Facebook page:

My Twitter Page:

My Blog Talk Radio Interview:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

You Got the eBook Sales Blues? Here's the Cure - Speed Sales UP!

Hello Expedia authors. Assuming many of you are Kindle Indie authors or close enough ebook authors, I have  compiled some great stuff  for you -- PRACTICAL TIPS for Moving Kindle Books off the Shelves --

With a 'little' help from my friends on Kindle Community Forums where I have a huge thread going on this topic, we've condensed it to the BEST steps you can take to ensure success with your ebook(s), or at very least give you the illusion of success - LOL.  Seriously, these steps have delivered spikes in sales for me and others who have used them.  SEE BELOW:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What Sends ebooks Flying Off Shelves?

I thought this information from my ACME blog was important enough to REPEAT here for you all:

Selling the e-book with a Look!  What Sends ebooks Sailing off Those Virtual Shelves?

Some simple changes I made turned my book sales on Kindle from a drip, drip, drip to big sales. I just clocked in at 935 books sold in my slowest month since sales have been going well for me—December 2010. Now in month one of 2011, I have sold 1,140 books – all at 2.99. I make almost $2 (70%) from each book or unit as they say. When first I placed my work onto Kindle, I was lucky to make 60 bucks a month.
How'd I do it? What changes did I make? First I went back to my book descriptions and made absolutely certain of no typos or errors of any kind as well as rewriting to make each the best damn short-short I could. This made a huge difference in sales, I kid you not. Secondly, I went on a TAG binge, tagging all my books below where they are found on Amazon to utilize genre-specific tags like Occult Horror, Generational Horror, suspense, mystery, police procedural, supernatural, paranormal female detective, etc. and I linked using my name along side other more successful authors in my field. This did two things – by placing my name on tags whenever anyone opens my book list, they also get my author’s page coming up. By ‘associating’ my work with the work of say William Miekle—as he did me—I am seen by his fans, and he by mine.
I had an amazing spike in numbers since taking these steps. Of course promoting online is of great import but so to is professional cover art and editing. When I am working on a novel, I put it out there what I am working on, and I invite early readers, and it is amazing how much readers will catch. One does not have to pay huge prices for good editing as I have found my best editors – amazing editors – who love to read a book BEFORE anyone else help me create the best book I possibly can. Most people believe they had to pay out big bucks for excellent editing but truth be told many people pay out big bucks and get punk editing for their money. I’d rather have a passionate edit with no exchange of money than a so-so one that cost me a couple thousand bucks, wouldn’t you? I edit myself heavily and do many rewrites, but I know I need more sets of eyes on the project, so as I am doing a work in progress, I ship it off to people I have come to trust absolutely. This has worked out fantastically well for Children of Salem -
Romance Amid the Witch Trials, and for Titanic 2012 – Curse of RMS Titanic.  My payment to these wonderful contributors has had to be in acknowledgement only, and guess what – they have been tremendous about this, and they so love being involved in a project and seeing their name in the book, that I have never been sued or held up or yelled at.
Notice how on my recent ebooks I have chosen to use subtitles? I believe subtitles help sell the book with a look, so to speak…a bit more detail right there in the title. Which brings us to titles. One’s title needs be unique and grab-ilicious. Early on, I put it out there that I am looking for the perfect title. For my last two I conducted searches. For Titanic 2012, I set it up as a contest – and I got two titles I loved – and so I used them BOTH as you see. Titles can either be seductive and alluring or boring and repellent!  Think it through before you lock down on a title and as with so much put it out there for a search or contest as I did on my blog Dirty Deeds.
Cover art is imperatively important. I can’t stress this enough. Generic cover art or templates are seen as about as exciting as seeing one of those blanks where the photo or cover should be but isn’t. This is one area where I get professional help. The package has to look elegant and reflect the story within.  I have been fortunate to have had excellent artwork for my ebooks. My artist happens to be my son, Stephen, a graphic artist by profession. Again, I have been fortunate in not having to pay out big bucks for artwork/graphics. But there are more and more people doing this for a one-time only fee and not for the lifetime of the book.
If you turn over your rights to an ebook publisher, guess what? They will take care of all such concerns and problems and things you may view as obstacles you do not want to deal with, and so long as you know what you are getting into, this can be a fine way to go, but you will be splitting that royalty then three ways instead of two. If you do sign with an ebook “agent” or “publisher” be clear on what their services for you provide. Will they be editing the work? If so, is that to be an extra charge? Same with artwork/graphics? If you sign with an ebook group that takes care of all the hassles and they are charging you a one-time fee to place the work up for you, do they turn over the controls to you or do they control your dashboard – thus the royalty payments, etc. Or is this group speaking of simply a one-time only fee. It should be one or the other. A real insult in my opinion is that a company charges you for these services and also wants a percentage for lifetime of the book.
You may want to find a kid – any kid – and pay them a modest amount to get your book(s) onto Kindle shelf and show you how to find your payment reports/sales reports (not actually royalty or advances as in the traditional model of publishing).
Now getting back to what actually SELLS the ebook – a key, key, key element is pricing. Ebook readers expect low, lower, lowest prices. All my novels, despite the disparity in complexity and length, were originally put up at 1.99 but I notched them up to 2.99 as soon as Kindle offered the 70/30 split as part of the partnership ‘deal’. My latest, a very complex title that is truly two books in one, I placed up at 3.99.  I believe low prices to be a key element in larger numbers of books sold. I learned early on that I can make more money on a 2.99 ebook than I can a 25 dollar hardcover due to the difference in the author percentage per sale. 10 to 12 percent on 25 is far less due to the far fewer number of books sold at this high a price.
Finally, what sells ebooks for me has been a long-running presence on such places as Facebook, twitter, blogs, online magazines, chat groups, and more recently kindle forums and ebook forums. Almost all my ebook reviews have come about via meeting people online who love to do book reviews and routinely look for ebooks to review. More and more review outlets for ebooks are coming into being every day, but I have made contacts on Facebook for instance that have reviewed Children of Salem and Titanic 2012, placing reviews on their blogs and on, but such results came after long hours on Facebook, not just seeking such outlets but engaging people in all manner of conversation and discussing issues of interest placed up by others. In the end, if you are liked thanks to your online presence, sense of humor, concern for the universe, etc., then others online will begin to curiously seek out your writing. If they like you, they will want to like your book(s).
Some reading this will say it can’t be that simple or easy, but guess what – it has not been simple nor easy at all, and it has taken great and abiding patience. My IQ is not as important in this “business” of ebooking it as is my PQ – Persistence Quotient. Recall what I was making a month when I started with nearly the same amount of books up. It does help indeed to have an impressive list of books – numbers of covers in a line do encourage sales as well, so the last job and first really is for you to post more works – collected short stories, themed stories, how-to book crafted from your years of blogging perhaps, and more fiction, more novellas, novels. Keep putting new titles up. I had a huge backlist but it took me years to build that backlist, I can tell you.
Keep on truckin’ and ebookin’ – and take a look at my website to see what can be done if you work with a truly good graphic artist. Look at my graphic artist and webmaster’s own website –  and find other information on this subject at The Newbies Guide to Publishing and archived blogs on the subject right here at ACME Authors.
Robert W. Walker

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New book-e-Leaks found here!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Book-E-Leaks is here! Leak info. about YOUR books here!

To get started here I will go first since I have bragging rights here just as you do.  I will post a great line from Titanic 2012....and you do your best to add a great line from YOUR book so that readers will have a BookEleak to go may also want to leak such lines on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere with a link to Book-E-leaks.

FROM TITANIC 2012 *around page 200:

          “Constable Reahall thinks you a menace, eh?” asked Thomas.
          “I fear, he thinks me some sort of problem, yes.”
          “What sort of problem?”
          “He has me confused with some…some murderer.”
          “Murderer?” gasped Thomas, shaken by the word.
          “Damn fool copper has me confused with someone else, I fear. Irritating is what it amounts to.”
          “But a murderer?” Declan’s repeating of the word hung in the air, and now both young interns cautiously eyed Ransom. “Of course, Constable Reahall’s dead wrong about Mr. Wyland, Thomas,” insisted Declan, who then spoke to Ransom. “I’ve come to respect you, Mr. Wyland. So now, sir, will you help us or not?”
          “Help you do precisely what?”
          “Why break into the morgue,” Thomas replied.
          “At Mater Infirmorum? Are you mad?”
          “It’s off from the hospital, a separate surgery and morgue for us university students.”
          “Separate you say?”
          “On the grounds but yes, separate from the main hospital.”
          “And there is where the bodies lie in state?”
          “If you can call it that—yes,” Declan added with a shrug. “We can take you straight to the corpses.”
Excerpt from Miranda Phillips Walker's Absolution *AROUND PG. 200 @