Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Tools and Tidbits for Writers: How to Create Videos for the Non-Professional Video-maker, Hocus-Pick It Trick or Treat Contest #HocusPickIt #Toolsforwriters


Tools and Tidbits for Writers
#toolsandtidbitsforwriters
by JQ Rose
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Hello and welcome! 
Today on Tools and Tidbits for Writers, we're talking about creating videos. 
Getting into the spirit of Halloween, I have no tricks, but I do have a reading treat for you after the info on videos. Terrific! (Okay, enough with the T words already...)

Coffee Time Romance Hocus Pick-It Trick or Treat Contest
October 12- October 31

Enter to win an eCopy of my terrifying, paranormal novel, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard or one of the other eBooks in the contest. Read an excerpt following the blog post and discover how to win a gift certificate when you take part in the Hocus Pick-It contest sponsored by Coffee Time Romance and More magazine. Plus you will discover new authors and eBooks for entertaining reads this fall.
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How to Create Videos for the Non-Professional Video-maker (like me) by J.Q.Rose

I am no expert at making videos, but I am learning because the people-in-the-know tell us videos keep visitors on a page longer than just text or photos. Look how popular Reels on IG, FB Live and YouTube are. Even Canva.com has added video-making for their paying customers. Authors need to embrace videos in order to gain more exposure for their books.

I love re-purposing my videos. I can add them to my blog, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, newsletter because those are the places I go to find my audience.

If you are camera-shy, you can make videos using slides/pictures without showing your face. I would advise you have a photo of you on one of the slides so people will see you. Viewers like to feel connected to you.

Here are a few of the tools I use for making videos:
*Facebook Live
*YouTube
*Streamyard
*ZOOM
*Powerpoint

Facebook Live--I have become more comfortable with this program. I hate to admit I use it most often inside my FB group, Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle. See how cleverly I mentioned that group?? I am more comfortable there and my members are forgiving. If I like the video, I will download it and then upload the video to Youtube and other places. From what I have read, Facebook likes to have "native" videos and plays them more often than videos uploaded from YouTube.

YouTube--Speaking of Youtube...According to the article at Forbes.com, it is the "second-largest search engine on the Internet." Click here to read the article. Now that reach means we should all make an effort to use YouTube consistently for book marketing. It also has an easy-to-use editing program and free music to add to your videos. I am in the process of creating new channel art for my channel using canva.com. They have templates if you choose to use them. And guess what? There are lots of videos on YouTube on how to create that cover for your channel.

Streamyard--The bottom third of the video is valuable. Streamyard provides the banner to use to add the link your website, links to books, links to FB groups, etc as you talk. When doing a tutorial, you can put the talking points on the banner. It takes a bit to get the hang of talking and remembering to actually get the correct banner on the bottom third though. !!

ZOOM-- I imagine you have some experience with ZOOM as an attendee for a class or meeting or family get-togethers during this time of COVID. I have taught workshops on ZOOM, but I have not personally recorded on ZOOM to use as a video, but I plan to. I like the idea of the easy screen-share and seeing the presenter at the same time. This can be done on Streamyard also, but they suggest using two monitors. I finally have two monitors, a second-hand one from my nerdy grandson. (He won't mind if I call him a nerd. He's happy to be one and so am I.) So I may experiment with that and will update you when I do.

Powerpoint--I must admit, this is my go-to program. Probably because I have been using it for a long time. I use it for teaching and for travel videos. There are all kinds of tutorials for PowerPoint, so I won't try and teach it to you. (I'm still learning too!) On Office 365, design ideas for your slides are provided for you. That really helps to make eye-catching slides. I also like to add music and narration to add a more professional feel to the show.

The easiest way to make a video is to turn on the camera on your phone and just talk. Then upload the video to Youtube or other places like FB Live.

Please consider using video. Yes, it's a learning curve and kind of scary. But once you try it, and delete it if you wish, keep going. You will feel more comfortable the more you do. Remember "practice, practice, practice."

Do you make videos? Drop your Youtube channel link in the comments so we can visit you there.
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Coffee Time Romance Hocus Pick-It Trick or Treat Contest
October 12- October 31

Want to get into the "spirit" of Halloween? Good spirits that is--friendly and fun during the Coffee Time Romance and More Hocus Pick-It Contest. You can win a gift certificate!
Click here to learn more about the contest!!


Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose
Paranormal Suspense

Excerpt: Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by JQ Rose

A few nights later, Mr. Tweeble woke up with a start when his dog Jingles began barking loud enough to wake him even if he wasn’t wearing his hearing aids.

“Jingles! Jingles! Hush up, will you? It’s three o’clock in the morning. You’re going to wake the neighborhood with your barking.”
He remembered Jingles barking and whining like that when he drove his electric scooter near George McConnell’s house that afternoon. He had to finally pick up the feisty terrier and put him on his lap to join the other curiosity seekers near the house. The dog jumped off and raced the other way until he was brought up short on his leash. He howled until his master turned the cart around and left the area.
Jingles’ pitiful yowling broke into Mr. Tweeble’s memory.
Fearing his dog was sick, Mr. Tweeble rolled himself out of bed, fumbled putting on his glasses, and shuffled into the kitchen. Using the night light in the hood vent over the old stove to see the dog, he discovered the animal scampering back and forth near the back door.
“Jingles, come ‘ere, boy. Are you sick?” Mr. Tweeble picked him up and gently held the dog close to his chest. He switched on the ceiling light and studied the precious face he dearly loved. He checked Jingles’ brown ears and his brown and white furry body for any injuries and then cradled him to his rotund belly.
“It’s all right, little guy. Come on. Come on to bed with me. You must want to go out to chase a rabbit, eh?” As he slowly shuffled his way back to his bedroom with the dog, he wondered what was wrong. Mr. Tweeble made a mental note to check behind the couch for an “accident” in the morning.

He lay down on the rumpled bed and enfolded the trembling dog in his arms. Suddenly, Jingles wriggled free and sprang up barking non-stop. He leaped from the bed and raced out of the room. A flash of searing yellow light filled the room blinding Mr. Tweeble. The smell of his own scorched flesh burned his nostrils.

Meet Jingles

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Still time to sign up for the October edition of the Rose Courier to be delivered to your inbox this Friday, October 15. Contests and photos and news! Oh my!
Click here to get your copy.





Tuesday, October 5, 2021

What Does a Writer Not Write? #IWSGbloghop Updates from Author Shout Awards @authorshout


Insecure Writer's Blog Hop
Always on the first Wednesday of the month.
#IWSGbloghop

Happy IWSG Blog Hop Day!

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group is 
* to share and encourage. 
* Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. 
* Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. 
*It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. Click here to sign-up.
📗📗📗
Thank you to our awesome co-hosts for the October 6 posting of the IWSG-- Jemima Pett, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard!
Question of the Month
Photo courtesy of geralt / 23304 images at Pixabay


October 6 question - In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language? I am never political. When writing my life story, I always tell the truth as I remember it, so I never knowingly lie. In my romance novels, I always close the door to the bedroom, so I don't write hot scenes. (I must admit I've tried to write spicier scenes, but the results usually read like a second grader wrote it.) 😕🙈

Arranging a Dream: A Memoir by J.Q. Rose


UPDATES: 

Author Shout Awards-- Great News! My mother always told me that she who tooteth not her own horn, her horn remaineth untootheth.  So----I am pretty puffed up after receiving a notice that Arranging a Dream: A Memoir has made it to Phase Two in the Author Shout Reader Ready Awards!! Stay tuned for the winners announcement on January 5. The prize packages include promotions on their site.

Amy Porterfield's Digital Course 30 Day Challenge--I wrote about taking this mind-stretching course on creating digital courses on last week's post. I completed it, only missing about a week of classes when we traveled to Amish country in Ohio.  I caught the replays when we returned.

I'm glad I took the class. I just wish I were 20 years younger so that it would make sense to invest $2000 in it to master all the information and to get a Return on Investment  (ROI ). I am not ready to work that hard though...LOL. I am taking the best parts of the class and planning to make videos on life storytelling for my FB group, but probably not for marketing to the world. Amy is a fabulous teacher. When I grow up I would like to be just like her.

Janet at workshop for life storytelling

If you are reading this blog between 6:00 pm-8:30 pm EDST on Tuesday, October 5, I am presenting a workshop at the Fremont Area District Library on life storytelling. Really looking forward to sharing my book that takes place in Fremont, MI, with the local folks. I'll use readings from the book to illustrate the points made in the workshop. In fact, I am a published author because I joined a writers' group that met at this library at least 12 years ago. Their constructive criticism and support encouraged me to keep writing. 

Who would you like to emulate when you grow up? 😀 Have you done readings or taught a workshop? Please leave a comment below.

The Rose Courier
It's not too late to get your copy of the Rose Courier delivered to your inbox on Friday, October 15.  Click here to sign up to receive 
updates, articles, freebies, photos and fun in the Rose Courier. 
Once a month only!

Enjoyed this post? 
Click here so you never miss out on future Focused on Story blog posts.
Thank you.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Designing a Digital Course for Life Storytelling Writers #digitalcourse #lifestorytelling



Hello and welcome! Because the fifth Wednesday of the month is my serendipitous blog post, I have chosen to fill you in on my latest passion.

 I've had an amazing month. I signed up for Amy Porterfield's Digital Course Kick Starter Bootcamp. ( I can't link to it because the FB page will be archived before this blog post publishes.) 


JQ leading a workshop on Life Storytelling

I have wanted to design a course on telling life stories for a long time. Because I am a life storytelling evangelist, I believe a course will give me the opportunity to reach more people who are interested in writing or making videos of their life stories to share with family and future generations. Besides, I love teaching the participants and watching them light up when they understand how to jog their memories and record their stories. Once a teacher, always a teacher.

I believe everyone should tell their life story, and I take every opportunity to spread the word about how to write or record life stories. In fact, I will be presenting an in-person workshop on October 5, 6:30 pm at the Fremont Area District Library, Fremont, Michigan. If you're in the area, please come!


Your Words, Your Life Story: A Guide for Sharing Memories

I will use my guide for telling life stories, Your Words, Your Life Story: A Guide for Sharing Memories as the basis for the course. Amy really inspired me to begin working on this course which includes an expansion of the book and my in-person workshops. I've only been presenting this in-person workshop for twenty years, so perhaps now is the time to create the course! 

Learning the process for producing success with the workshop has been exciting as well as frightening. Amy covers the technology and how to offe the course to folks to purchase. Fingers crossed, I can figure it all out!

I will update you as I tackle this new project and try to keep up with writing too. 

If you are interested in a digital course on life storytelling, please email, send a DM or leave a comment below. 

Have you taken a course online? Please tell us about that experience in the comment section below. 

Thank you.

* * * * 

Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle Facebook Group
Come and join us!

In the meantime, click here to join my FB group, 

Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle, for life storytelling. We'd love to welcome you. 

* * * *

The Rose Courier

Click Here to receive updates from J.Q. Rose, articles, newsworthy events, giveaways in the Rose Courier
Delivered to your inbox once a month. Thank you,





Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Accused of Murder by J.Q.Rose #MFRWHooks

Book Hooks Blog Hop #MFRWHooks

 Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. Today we're joining the Book Hooks Blog Hop sponsored by the Marketing For Romance Writers Group. Each participating blogger shares an excerpt from their book. I'm sharing an excerpt from Dangerous Sanctuary, a romantic suspense novel.


Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q. Rose
Romantic Suspense

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REVIEW: 

"Another great mystery from J.Q Rose. I enjoyed this Inspirational mystery about Pastor Christine Hobbs. Who would have thought a Pastor would be a suspect in a murder. Add a pot-belly pig and a kangaroo into the mix and... well let's just say strange things happen." Roseanne D.


Abraham the Pig, a star in Dangerous Sanctuary

BACK OF THE BOOK: 

Pastor Christine Hobbs has been in the pulpit business for over five years. She never imagined herself caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer. 

 Detective Cole Stephens doesn't want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her.

 Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?

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EXCERPT FROM DANGEROUS SANCTUARY

Chapter Ten
Pastor Christine and her friend, Lacey, are sitting on the back screened-in porch of the parsonage eating pizza. Cole Stephens, the handsome detective, is investigating the murder of the church's choir director, William.

“The detective practically accused me of killing William, right there, right in the park.” Sitting on the screened-in porch at the rear of the parsonage, Christine expected Lacey to be as angry as she was at such a ridiculous idea.

Instead, her friend held her slice of pizza midway from the greasy box to her mouth long enough to ask, “Hey, you didn’t tell me you were at the park with Stephens this afternoon. How’d that happen?”

“What? You’re more interested in why I was at the park instead of being accused of murdering William? Come on, Lacey.” Planting her feet firmly on the cement floor, she stopped the gentle rocking of the glider. “Don’t you get it? I could be tossed in jail for something I didn’t do.”

“Don’t be silly. You’re innocent. You know it, and so does everyone else.” Lacey popped the last morsel of pepperoni in her mouth. “Anyway, tell me how you met Cole Stephens at the park. He is super cute.” Her friend licked the pizza grease from her fingers and then grabbed the thin paper napkin to complete the grease removal from her lips.

“Excuse me, Lacey. Some people in this town are spreading rumors that I killed William. I wouldn’t be surprised if it weren’t some of my own parishioners involved in spreading them. There were several folks who weren’t too happy to have a young woman for their pastor.”

“You don’t think they’d spread malicious lies to get you out of here, do you?”

“I hope not.” Christine sat back on the glider and sipped her light beer. She was too upset to eat the pizza Lacey had brought over.

“I guess we could always do our own investigation, eh?” She threw it out there to get a reaction from her friend.

“Sure, Sherlock.” Lacey laughed. “We could go to William’s house to see if someone left a note telling us who killed him.”

Christine sat bolt upright. “You’re right! We could run out there and investigate.”

“I’m sure the police have already done that. There’s nothing left to check out.” Lacey piled the paper napkins next to the half-empty pizza box on the patio table.

They sat in silence for a few minutes allowing the peaceful twilight to restore tranquility. Christine couldn’t let go of the idea of checking out William’s home. After all, William had shown her where the key was if she needed to get into his house in case of an emergency. I think trying to find William’s killer could qualify as an emergency.

Christine moved to the patio table. “We’ve got to go to William’s house and look for clues to his killer.”

“We can’t even get into his house.”

“Oh yes, we can. I know where he hides his house key. Come on, let’s go.”

“Hey, what about the pizza?” Lacey asked as Christine swooped up the pizza box and bottles.

“I’ll store it in my refrigerator for a midnight snack. Let’s go now.” Christine was fired up to prove her innocence. Sitting back and waiting to find out who murdered William was no longer an option. She needed to take action toward solving this mystery, so she and her congregation could deal with it and move forward.

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Available at amazon

2nd edition Kindle http://amazon.com/dp/B07SVPS8N1

2nd edition Paperback  http://amazon.com/dp/0228609291

Click here to visit bloggers participating in the #MFRWhooks  Blog Hop!



The Rose Courier

Click Here to receive updates from J.Q. Rose, articles, newsworthy events, giveaways in the Rose Courier
Delivered to your inbox once a month. Thank you,




Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Road Trip to Ohio!!

 

Amazing life-like sculpture in the town square of Newark, Ohio.
Yes, we had a lovely conversation!!

Hello from Ohio! Ted and I visiting friends and touring Amish country. So we are taking a break this week!

The office building of Longaberger baskets. Gorgeous baskets.
The building is empty now. Such a shame. Do you have the high-quality basket in your collection?

Have a fantastic week! I'll see you next Wednesday!!


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Finding Keywords for Your Amazon Book Description

 

Tools and Tidbits for Writers
#toolsandtidbitsforwriters
by JQ Rose

<Red-faced> this morning when I realized this is Wednesday already! I apologize for being late in posting this article. Anyone else lose track of the week? Labor Day was Monday, a holiday. That is my excuse. It hurried the week along. I hope you'll enjoy this information about Finding Keywords for Amazon Book Descriptions originally published in 2019.

Finding Keywords for your Amazon Book Description

Keywords
Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay 

Keywords are very, very, very, very important for readers to discover your books, blogs, writings and your book descriptions at online booksellers. These words are words people type into the Google search bar to find sites/books related to what they are looking for. These words are the targets used in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program.

SEO is a robot (bot) that combs thru every page of every thing online. When it spots a keyword like "cozy mystery" (yes, a keyword can be more than one word and can be a "long-tail" keyword,( a string of words e.g. a cozy mystery located in Michigan), the bot recognizes it when someone types "cozy mystery" into the search box. When your keyword pops up, the SEO bot directs the searcher to your book. 


Hopefully you'll figure out that golden keyword that will bring your audience to your book. However, that is quite unlikely, so you need to have a lot of golden keywords and change them often if you can. With traditional publishing, the publisher has to do that for you. If you're an indie publisher, you can experiment with different words.


When you consider there are 8-9 million books floating around in amazon land, you need a way to let people know one of those books is yours. Keywords do that. If a mom or teacher types in "good books for girls age 12," her search will pull up my non-fiction book, Girls Succeed! Of course, it may be on page 75 of the search because Nancy Drew, the Boxcar Kids, and for some reason books about lawyers show up too. But out of 9 million books, even if you're #212 on the list, at least you have a chance someone will see your book. Reviews help you get noticed and ranked better on amazon, but that's a whole other topic.

The FREE tool I'm sharing today, Keywords Everywhere, helps you know how many folks use that keyword for searching and offers related words too. Besides the volume of people searching globally or in one specific country every month, it also tells you the CPC and the competition data.

KE explains all that jargon below.

Search Volume: This is an average of the total searches that people have performed for this keyword per month over the last 12 months. For e.g. a search volume of 1000 means that people have searched for this keyword an average of 1000 times every month for the last 12 months. 
NOTE: I choose keywords with a volume of about a1000-10000 searches. Below that means it's not used much, but again it could mean you might rank in a small niche with not as much competition. More than 10,000 searches a month means there is a LOT of competition making it more difficult to reach a good ranking.
CPC: The cost per click (CPC) is the amount that advertisers are paying for a single click for this keyword in Google Adwords.
Competition: The competition is a gauge of the number of advertisers that are running ads on Google AdWords for this specific keyword. The number goes from 0 to 1, with lower values signifying less number of advertisers and higher values signifying more advertisers.

Take a peek at how this all shakes out on your computer screen. I searched "life story writing" since I am at the moment putting together a journal for folks interested in writing life stories. 





















In the screenshop above, the top left arrow is pointing to the keywords automatically generated when you type a search word(s) into the search box. Notice, next to the keywords is the information about the volume, CPC, and competition for each word.


Keywords and information from the search word box

Not only do we get these keywords, but in the image below notice the arrows on the right side of the page. More keywords that are related to the word in the search box. Plus another bonus, a section for People Also Search For with information for you. These are actually more searches done by readers.
Related keywords and People Also Search For keywords
are also available on the right side of the page!





















Keywords Everywhere tool is added as an extension to your Google or Foxfire browser. Click here to discover everything you want to know about Keywords Everywhere in Chrome.
I've seen several reviews of this program and all have been favorable as a good tool for those of us just getting into researching keywords and finding that golden nugget that will put your book in front of readers. 

Do you research keywords for your title, sub-title, and book description? If so, what method do you use? If you've tried KE, please give us your opinion of it. 

Click here to connect online and like my Author Page on Facebook.

Thanks for stopping.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

IWSG Blog Hop: Defining My Success as a Writer

 

Insecure Writer's Blog Hop
Always on the first Wednesday of the month.
#IWSGbloghop

Happy IWSG Blog Hop Day!

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group is 
* to share and encourage. 
* Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. 
* Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. 
*It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. Click here to sign-up.
📗📗📗
Thanks to our awesome co-hosts for the September 1 posting of the IWSG   Blog Hope: Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie!
📗📗📗

September 1 question - How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

I have to admit I felt the exhilaration of pride and accomplishment when I held my paperback book in my hand. I mean, opening the box of books from amazon was akin to the excitement of opening Christmas gifts when I was a kid. I feel that way with every one of my published books. Check out the video at the bottom of the page. I am opening the amazon package containing the paperback copies of my memoir, Arranging a Dream. A certified emotional moment for me.

When I started writing, my publisher only pubbed eBooks at a time when hardly anyone had heard of eBooks, let alone read them. I was thrilled to have the published eBooks and felt successful in having them accessible to readers online. But instead of promoting my eBooks at book signings (however, you cannot sign eBooks), I spent more time teaching visitors to my table how to order them and explain how to read them on a reading device. 

I did a happy dance when my publisher decided to sell my books in paperback. Afterall, the dictionary definition of a book is "a written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers." 

I still consider eBooks as books worthy of being read. They just don't have actual book covers and pages to turn. I enjoy a story no matter if I click or turn the pages. How about you? Please leave a comment or question below. As a writer, is having an eBook published equivalent to the feeling of success as having a paperback or hardcover book?

Click here to visit more bloggers participating in the IWSG Blog Hop.
📗📗📗

The Rose Courier
Click here to sign up to receive 
updates, articles, freebies, photos and fun in the Rose Courier. 
Once a month delivery to your inbox!

Enjoyed this post? 
Click here so you never miss out on future Focused on Story blog posts.
Thank you.

📗📗📗









Tools and Tidbits for Writers: How to Create Videos for the Non-Professional Video-maker, Hocus-Pick It Trick or Treat Contest #HocusPickIt #Toolsforwriters

Tools and Tidbits for Writers #toolsandtidbitsforwriters by JQ Rose 🎥🎥🎥🎥 Hello and welcome!  T oday on T ools and T idbits for Writers,...