Tag Archives: guest post

When Free Isn’t Really Free – Guest Post by, Jaq D Hawkins…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

One of my pet peeves in marketing is when someone offers something for free, but it isn’t really free. For example, recently I clicked on a free sample for a cosmetic, only to find that after getting your address details, they ask for a credit card because to get the free sample you have to subscribe to receiving a jar of cream every month and according to reviews, trying to cancel it is a nightmare! I closed the window and moved on.

In the realm of book sales, giving away free books has been a legitimate tactic since the indie publishing culture started. In the early days, free sales on Amazon would bump your sales figures and bring your book into that coveted top 100 where full price sales would follow. Amazon changed that so that the free books don’t affect the paid sales figures, but many authors still do…

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Darkness Defines the Light – Guest Post by, Tina Frisco…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Image courtesy of Ningren

Without darkness, light would have no definition. Without evil, good would never be challenged to expand. Without definition and challenge, there would be no growth. Without growth, our spirits would not evolve.

Many indigenous peoples say the Earth is a schoolhouse and we incarnate here in order to learn. This makes sense only if we view the spirit as separate from the corporeal. If we do, then advancing to higher consciousness and an elevated spiritual plane holds great promise for human transcendence.

The Earth is a bipolar planet. Since all matter converts to energy, we can infer that our lessons will be of a bipolar nature. Darkness and evil are not, in and of themselves, our enemies. When we set up something as the enemy, we constrict and lose all prospect of growth. When we see adversity as our ally, our growth potential expands and accelerates.

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Negative Self-Judgment – Guest post by, Tina Frisco…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Image courtesy of Ningren

The people we tend to be hardest on are ourselves. Some folks are an exception to this, but it seems to be true for most of us.

While I was in Pennsylvania helping care for my mother, I fell into judging myself… harshly… a lot.

I should be doing more. I should move back to Pennsylvania in order to help my sisters meet my mother’s needs. I should not feel guilty that my nephew gave up his bed for me and is sleeping on the couch for five weeks. I should not be afraid to drive a (huge) van for the first time in my life, down unfamiliar winding roads, and over freeways and across bridges under construction. I should be able to stick with my dietary regimen and exercise program, even though I am constantly on the go and thoroughly exhausted.

How often do we…

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Timely Reminders – Ideas to blog about – Guest Post by, Jemima Pett…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

A timely reminder came into my mail box this morning: The Story Reading Ape’s digest. Among the usual excellent fare (including Monday Funnies, always worth relaxing over with your favourite beverage) was a post on ideas for your next blog post.

My first reaction was – let’s see if I can snag any ideas. My second was – I have too many ideas already, just get on with the things I do.

Of course, the most useful reaction was to take a look and store anything away that might come in useful. It’s a long post. But controlling the tendency to get involved in anything and everything is also a valuable asset. Keep the reason you blog firmly in your mind.

Why do you blog?

It’s a troublesome thing, blogging. Especially if, like me, you blog to have a presence on the web, rather than to make money attracting…

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How NOT to promote your books on Goodreads – Guest Post by, Jemima Pett…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

According to Goodreads, the site has over 55 million members worldwide. That’s a lot of readers. It doesn’t take much to understand why nearly every self-published person comes to the conclusion that they should be promoting their books on the site.

It’s a sensitive issue, and one that has changed a little since the original Goodreads was sold to Amazon. I notice more ways that Amazon and Goodreads use each others’ opportunities. Amazon now enables you to do giveaways… Goodreads has been doing that since it started. Goodreads now has an extensive list of marketing opportunities that it promotes to authors, which look like things in the Amazon school of marketing to me, but are nevertheless valid and valuable opportunities – so take them.

In researching this post, I was surprised by things I knew about but didn’t know about. I knew about giveaways, I’d seen themed months, and I…

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What’s in a name? Guest Post by Jemima Pett…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Luke Skywalker

Elizabeth Bennet

Jack Reacher

Stephanie Plum

Indiana Jones

Bridget Jones

Zarko Fanwester

Each name probably leaps into your imagination. If you’ve seen them on film or tv, you may have a distinct image of them, too. How well do their names fit the personalities you treasure them for?

Luke Skywalker. Luke is a solid name; shades of biblical resonance, traditional. Skywalker; surely he isn’t a dirtfarmer or whatever they do in the desert where he lives. He belongs in the air, a pilot, at the very least. Is he a hero? Maybe not intentionally.

Elizabeth Bennet. Another traditional name. Bennet is among the more ‘common’ English surnames, in that there are many people with it, although the single t adds a slightly period feeling to it. Elizabeth always seems to have overtones of regality, especially when not contracted to Liz, Beth or Bess. Beth March is a much…

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What Is Success? – Guest Post by Tina Frisco…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Image courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

While writing the introduction to a fellow author’s book, I realized many of us view success as an end-product. We aspire, we strive and, if fortunate, we manifest. Only then do we feel gratified, overlooking all we accomplished in the process. In short, we fail ourselves.

If we become discouraged when met by an obstacle, we are not seeing that obstacle for what it truly is: a teacher. Obstacles not only teach us what does not work, but also challenge us to reach beyond our perceived limitations. Obstacles are opportunities to practice what we’ve learned, alter our approach, and move forward. This is success.

Being stuck in obsessive thought patterns, limiting beliefs, or anything that stops us short of reaching a goal can lead to wallowing in the past (nostalgia) and yearning for the future (desire). Turning inward and finding the embedded thoughts sabotaging our efforts…

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Meet Guest Author, R. Tran…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Thank you, Chris, for allowing me to be on your blog. I’m a new author and this is all new to me. I’m not very good talking about myself but here it goes.

I started dating my husband three months after my father died. It still makes me sad that they never got to meet. I was sixteen, my dad was just forty-six. I was a junior in high school and a mutual friend decided to play match maker. Cemohn told me he wanted to go to Junior Prom with me and told him the same was true of me. Both were outright lies. Up to this point we were friends. I should have been suspicious, it wasn’t the first time she tried to set me up. We both believed her and the date was set.

One date turned into a four year relationship before we were married. After graduating…

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Guest Post by Mystery Author Carrie Cross – Advice for Aspiring Writers

feather_quill

Carrie Cross’s Advice to Aspiring Writers #4: Plot From the End

One of the best bits of advice I’ve ever read regarding plotting was from Ayn Rand’s, The Art of Fiction. Her premise suggests that an author must plan the climax in advance, and figure out the end of their story before they ever begin to write.

Some authors like to start with an outline, diagramming their whole book scene-by-scene. This structure doesn’t work for me. I find that it inhibits my creativity if I have to force dialogue, plot twists, and suspense into a prearranged outline. However, I made the mistake of starting my first novel with some juicy, creative ideas, but with no plan for where I was going with them. Why don’t I just let my imagination see where it takes the characters? I thought gleefully, and foolishly. What I ended up with was 400 pages of what I now refer to as “a tangled ball of spaghetti” that took months to unravel. That manuscript never turned into a coherent book.

And that’s because I didn’t know where I was going from the beginning. I started exploring a path without having any idea where it would end. I had the idea for a story, but I didn’t plan the climax, the finale, the de·noue·ment:
ˌdāno͞oˈmäN/
1. the final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.

Ayn Rand’s advice on plotting was invaluable to me when I wrote my next book, which was the first volume of the Skylar Robbins detective series: The Mystery of Shadow Hills. This time I had the idea for my story, decided how it would end, and planned the climax in advance. And then I wrote toward it.

Every scene, every character, and every bit of dialogue was composed with the end in sight. If you don’t know where the end of the road lies, how can you possibly figure out the path that will lead you to it? As Ayn Rand says in The Art of Fiction, “The only absolute rule is-you must start plotting from the end.”

Places you can find the awesome Detective Skylar Robbins:

Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble

itunes

http://www.carrie-cross.com

SHADOW-HILLS-FRONT-COVER

Thank you for the fabulous post, Carrie! :)

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