Author, Barbara Studham


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Blogging Tips for Writers

Solid reasons why an author should create a blog!

I recently had the pleasure of giving a presentation at the writers’ group I attend in Hamilton, Ontario. My topic was, The Benefits of Blogging. Anita, a fellow member, snapped this photo of me as I displayed a picture of my own author’s blog, and described the importance of themes, widgets, and SEO, etc.

blogging presentation at Hamilton ON writer's group

blogging presentation at Hamilton ON writer’s group

Why have a blog?

  • One reason to create an author blog is to build a following. If you intend to write a manuscript, whether you choose to self-publish, or contact a publisher, you need to attract followers who will buy your book. Don’t wait until you have completed the manuscript. The day you start that manuscript, is the day you should create a blog. If you post a minimum of twice a week to your blog, by the time your manuscript is ready to publish, you will have attracted followers who know you well, and are curious about your book. Hence, your first sales.
  • A blog can be set up in minutes, and be customized to reflect the look you want to present. Text is mostly the primary content; however, there are also blogs that are a combination of pictures, video, and audio. When choosing a blogging site, you need to do your homework to discover which one is the right one for you.
  • When you have created a blog, you need to post a minimum of once a week to be sure browsers are reading your blog. Don’t neglect your blog, or you will find your followers neglecting you.
  • Include a “follow me” widget on your sidebar. There, people can register their email and be assured of receiving your new posts. Why is this important? To maintain your following and hopefully attract new followers. When people open their email and see you have posted a new segment in your blog, they will automatically view the post. It’s like maintaining a long-distance relationship. Most of your followers you won’t know, and some will live in other countries, so it is up to you to be the dominant “friend” in the relationship and keep them up to date on what’s going on in your life. Your followers will most likely be your first purchasers of your book. So, keep them in your loop.
  • A blog is also essential to harvesting readers’ anticipation over your new book. Post a little about the storyline of your book. Offer teasers, a chapter, photos (whether included in the final manuscript or not), and ask for comments, ask your readers to share and click LIKE, and to ask for reviews of your chapter. They might not answer, but they will remember you.

There are so many more reasons why authors’ should blog. Too many to mention here. I will be posting more blogging tips in the future, so return soon. In the meantime, to see my books, take a look at my author page at the following link.

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham


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Writing Style

What is your Style of Writing?

You are a unique individual. There is no one else in the world like you, and it should show in your style of writing. So often, we make the mistake of comparing our writing style with that of famous authors, and convince ourselves we are not famous because our style appears inferior to theirs. Take note, there is no story that has not yet been written; it is the style of writing, not the story, which determines success.  It is how the story is written that makes it unique.

If you are new to writing, it will take a while for your style to emerge. It cannot be forced or fabricated. You might even write several stories before your style develops, but when it does you will sense it forming. From then on, it will be difficult to ignore, and will make writing much easier.

What is style in writing?

Style has been described in many different ways. When my style emerged, I noticed one way was through my choice of words. I found myself choosing the same words to describe events, and when I used a thesaurus to find a similar word, I often chose the same one from the list of alternatives. The reason I chose those words was that I felt they “fit me.” They were the words I would choose when speaking to another individual. The word just “seemed right.”

I also noticed the similar lengths in my sentences, paragraphs, and chapters, and my consistency in punctuating narrative with dialogue. I had started out wanting my writing to speak to the reader, as if the individual and I were in the same room and I was telling the story. When my style emerged, I found it did just that in a casual easy-to-read manner, void of unnecessary add-ons or drawn-out descriptions.

Creating a style

Don’t be deceived into thinking a repetitive writing style will create boring stories. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It simply makes writing and editing less laborious, affording the author more time to develop and maintain the story line. My own style emerged during my writing of my seaside town series, Under The Shanklin Sky. I have written three in the series, and will release another three later this year. Discovering my writing style helped me grow the series and enjoy its creation.

Under The Shanklin Sky series includes

  • Under The Shanklin Sky
  • The Bathing Beauty
  • The Faring Foxglove

Available soon: A Hint of Spring, The Spitting Image, Mann Overboard

All available from your Amazon, the following links, and many other ebook distributors:

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.kobo.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com


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More Writing Tips

Keep your manuscript professional

Two posts ago, I offered some handy writing tips which were well received, so I am offering more. I wish I could say the following list was compiled by me, but I received it years ago from someone whose name I cannot remember. Nevertheless, that does not change its importance to writers who want their manuscripts to appear professionally written.

Periods in abbreviations.

  • There are no periods between the letters in acronyms such as CBC, HIV, AA; nor in countries/provinces/states (US, UK, ON, BC)
  • There are no periods following: Mr Mrs Dr PhD but after Prof. there is a period.
  • There are no periods following measurement abbreviations: km m cm ft in
  • Use periods between abbreviations such as a.m. and p.m. and a.k.a.; also use between initials of a person’s name, such as W.C. Fields, W.H. Auden, or J.R.R. Tolkien, with no spaces between the initials.

Hope this helps you as much as it did me. Don’t forget to file this info somewhere close to your fingertips while writing. In the meantime, why not check out the first in my seaside series ebooks: Under the Shanklin Sky: only .99 cents (usd) and available from your Amazon or the following links. The second in the series: The Faring Foxglove, and the third: The Bathing Beauty, are also available. Please watch for my next three in the Series: A Hint of Spring, The Spitting Image, and Mann Overboard, coming soon in 2017.

Under The Shanklin Sky

Under The Shanklin Sky

Genre: Fiction/Adventure. Title: Under the Shanklin Sky

Milly Mullan is a retiree from London with delightful childhood memories of holidays spent at the scenic seaside town of Shanklin, located on the Isle of Wight. As an adult, she intended to vacation there often, but, with a successful career as an interior designer to oversee, and hubby being top chef at a popular up-scale London restaurant, time to holiday was denied them. Not until retired, did Milly return to Shanklin, by which time Harry had died from health complications. Their daughter, Rosie, had grown up and married. Still, Milly has only one regret: losing touch with a young boy, Jonathan, she had met when only ten-years old during one of her Shanklin vacations. When retired, her hope to see him again absorbed her thoughts until, one day, while tending her balcony flowers; she found a valuable silver fob watch in a flowerpot. Determined to find its owner, she begins a search and finally locates her lost love, but is it Jonathan? To find out, join Milly—Under the Shanklin Sky.

The first in the seaside series, Under the Shanklin Sky is available at your Amazon and the following links:

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.kobo.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com


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Hamilton (ON) Writing Clubs

Be part of a writing group!

Joining a writing group, circle, or club, is as essential for published authors as it is for first-time writers. Benefiting from other writers’ support, tips, knowledge, expertise, reviews, along with writing exercises and prompts, is paramount to getting words down on the page.

In Hamilton-Wentworth, I am aware of two writing clubs. Professor Barry Gottlieb facilitates one at Neighbour 2 Neighbour bookstore on Athens Street. Viga Boland hosts another at Turner Park Library on Rymal Road. Both are free to attend, held during daytime hours, and open to both newbie and experienced writers alike.

For information on Professor Gottlieb’s writing club,

email  ProfessorBarryGottlieb2000@gmail.com

For information on Viga Boland’s writing circle,

visit http://www.vigaboland.com/events

In the meantime, why not check out my ebook, titled, Friday at 4:00, at your Amazon website, the following links, and many other ebook distributors.

Friday at 4:00

Friday at 4:00

Friday at 4:00. Genre/Women’s fiction. Price .99 cents (usd)

Meet Diane, Jane, Bev and Leigh living as neighbors in an affluent district of Brentwood. Like many neighborhoods, the four are ignorant of each other’s existence but unexpectedly meet up after their lives spiral out of control. Their meeting takes place at a most unlikely location in stark contrast to their prosperity, and they soon discover they have more in common than wealth. Each one is there to shed reminders of painful memories associated with their acts of foolishness, greed, bitterness, and lust. Although fiction, their lives shed light on the pain women suffer through adultery, age-gap relationships, marital boredom, and aging: hidden pains seldom revealed due to embarrassment, self-loathing, and a fear of ridicule. But when the four women finally meet, do they share their shame, or wisely stay silent? Only time will tell.

Available at your Amazon store, the following links,

and many more ebook distributors.

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.kobo.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

 

 


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Handy Writing Tips!

Getting it Right!

Writing is fun … punctuation and grammar, not so much. When I wrote my first manuscript, I admit, my punctuation was poor, and I struggled with corrections. Then, an author shared a page of writing tips with me, and I learned a lot. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the source of the following tips, but hope they help you as much as they did me.

Using numbers in a manuscript:

  • Numerals from 99 and under are spelled out (twelve days, fourteen pounds)
  • Numerals from 100 and up are spelled numerically (100 days, 500 pounds)
  • Numerals of 1,000 and up are spelled numerically, with comma inserted (1,250)
  • Numerals of 1 million and up are spelled with both numerals and text (1.2 million)
  • Always spell out the word “percent” (52.5 percent). Do not use the symbol unless the section or entire book contains many statistics.

These tips are especially pertinent if you forward your manuscript to a publisher as they expect perfection. It is equally important if you self-publish as errors reflect on your ability as an author. I will share more tips over the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

My ebooks:

In the meantime, why not check out my ebook, titled, The Look of a Twelve-Year-Old: only .99 cents (USD), and available from your Amazon, the following links, and many other ebook distributors.

The Look of a Twelve-Year Old

The Look of a Twelve-Year-Old

Fiction:  The Look of a Twelve-Year-Old

Meet Claire Peters. From seemingly innocent youngster to evil conniver, she takes you on her journey from lowly Saturday Girl working at The Glass Stiletto located in small town Heatherly, to executive for a leading company: SLATES Inc. of London. While working at The Glass Stiletto, she set her sights on winning the Stiletto Award for achieving the highest annual sales. But, a nasty rival bent on defeating her, stood in the way. Refusing to be deterred from reaching her goal, Claire took drastic action against her opponent. From there, Claire Peters joined the ranks of executives but on the way to the top, lost track of who she was and what she hoped to achieve. Many years later, recently fired from her executive position at SLATES Inc, she traded common sense for the sake of bloody revenge against the team responsible for her dismissal.

Available now from:

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.kobo.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

Other fine ebook distributors

 


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Writing Circle.

Writing Circle in Hamilton (ON)

Are you a budding poet? Do you love to write fiction? Have  you been mulling over that memoir? Do you want feedback on your writing project? Do you live in the Hamilton-Wentworth, (ON) area? If yes, then Viga Boland’s writing circle and intro to memoir writing sessions are for you.

Viga Boland

Viga Boland

Viga has written several  memoirs, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and brings her experience to her writing circle and memoir sessions held at Turner Park Library, 352 Rymal Road East, in Hamilton, Ontario. Her new sessions begin in March of 2017.

Viga’s books include, No Tears For My Father, Learning to Love Myself, Love Has No Gender, and, Don’t write your MEmoir without ME!  All are available by visiting her websites, and, at your Amazon store.

Dates & Times of Writing Circle and Intro to Memoir Writing:

  • Wednesday, March 1st, 1:00 pm/ Writing Circle
  • Wednesday, March 22, 1:00 pm/ Intro to Memoir Writing
  • Wednesday, April 5th, 1:00 pm/ Writing Circle
  • Wednesday, May 3rd, 1:00 pm/ Writing Circle
  • Call Turner Park Library at 905-546-4790 for more details.

See you at the Writing Circle!

 

 

 


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Another of my Passions!

Studying Parables and Prophecy

Apart from writing books, and learning how to paint, another of my passions is studying the Bible, especially parables and prophecy, so, a few years back, I began a lineage chart connecting all the people mentioned in the Old Testament from God to Jesus. With all those “begat” connections, it took me over six months to complete the chart which finally filled thirty-one Word pages and, when pinned on my wall, was almost twelve feet wide by four feet high.

I have no idea how to print it out as one poster, but want to share it with others, so I am now attempting to minimize the whole chart onto a Word PDF to allow readers to zoom to their area of interest.

Here is a photo of how it looks pinned to my bedroom wall. It’s so long, it stretches along the wall and around the door, but I couldn’t get the whole thing in the photo. Wish me luck fitting it all onto a PDF! Or, if you know of an easier way, please contact me.

Bible lineage chart

Bible lineage chart

I’m not sure how long it will take me to minimize it, but, in the meantime, why not check out my ebooks on Amazon!

ebooks

ebooks

All my ebooks are available from your Amazon store, and the following links:

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.kobo.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com