Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Author Toolbox Blog Hop: HTML Information to Format Your Book Description on Amazon

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog and to the Author Toolbox Blog Hop #AuthorToolboxBlogHop which meets every third Wednesday of the month to share resources and tips for authors. Thanks to Raimey Gallant for hosting this venture. 

Please join us to learn more about the craft of writing and to meet bloggers who are dedicated to helping each other become the best writers possible. Click here to visit other blog hop participants.
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If you are an author or publisher, you know how important a book cover and book description are for getting eyes on your book.

You also know how difficult it is to write a book description whether it's for a fiction or non-fiction book. Spending hours on figuring out just the right phrases, choosing the bullet points, and crafting the correct Call to Action at the end can all be for naught once you upload it to the KDP form that is all about your book.

I filled in that box on the KDP form for the book description for my journal, Your Words, Your Life Story, and waited for my masterpiece to be published. Below is what I copied to the book description space. 

Notice the larger font in places, the bold and italicized words, the bullet points and spacing.

Do you want to tell your family and friends about your life experiences, but you don't know where to begin? The task is overwhelming? You need help in recalling memories to share? Life story teacher and published author, J.Q. Rose, can help.

Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories, is a journal and a guide for capturing the moments that impacted your life—the happy, sad, funny and crazy times that shaped a generation. Family and friends want to relive your experience through your words.
Not into writing? Discover audio and video programs to bring your authentic voice to your family.
This journal does not ask silly questions but prompts you to remember life experiences and details to develop a rich tapestry to share in single vignettes or in a compilation. You can take the opportunity to tell those small stories you know so well, and then organize and keep them just for your family and/or to publish them. 

Your Words, Your Life Story will help you ignite and share your memories.

Free added bonus: Receive support for your journey down memory lane through the Private Facebook group, Tell Your Life Story and Memoir. In this helpful group, we share our stories, resources, tips, experiences, and memories. You’re invited to join in no matter where you are in telling your story, just beginning or completed. Hope to see you there. (You need not purchase this book to come in.)

Preserving the experiences of the past for future generations is important. They will wonder as they peruse the stories how you ever lived without a TV, computer, or microwave (or what else they may be using in the future?). 

The story of your life, the struggles, the joys, the accomplishments, will be what the next generations understand. Your account will be a guide to help them through their own lives.

Start now to put together the stories that make up your life story, a treasured family keepsake.

Inside Your Words, Your Life Story you will find:
·        *Larger print
·        *No silly questions
·        *An easy way to begin
·        *Inspiring quotations
·        *Ways to spark memories
·        *Exercises for you to recall YOUR life stories
·        *Lined pages to jot down memories
·        *Information on storytelling
·       * Links to sites for submitting your story
·       * Links to sites for telling your story via writing, audio and/or video
   
     INSTEAD, all the formatting was gone! Just a bunch of sentences piled together all in one paragraph. I didn't realize I had to use HTML in order to format the description. With my heart pounding, I checked the KDP help page and sure enough, there are supported HTML tags on the sales page, but no help in how to use them. Click here to see the KDP help page for supported HTML tags.
  
      Now I was really scared! Was I done? With a junky description like that, no one would take time to read it.
     But I was saved by a timely video by Keith Wheeler who directed viewers to use an HTML Auto Generator that would format the description for me.

     YOU TUBE VIDEO--Book Descriptions That Sell by Keith Wheeler



    Click here to discover Dave Chesson's Kindlepreneur Amazon HTML Book Description Auto Generator.

         Click here to join the Telling Your Life Story and Memoir Circle Facebook Group. It's so much easier and more fun to tell your story when like-minded people are there to support and share with you. See you there!

       I hope this information is helpful to you. Do you have another way of converting your book description into the HTML format? Please comment below.
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Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories by J.Q. Rose
Now that you've read the book description, 
you may want to know more about the journal for you 
or as a gift for someone in your life. 
Click here to order the paperback journal.


Your Words, Your Life Story: A Guide to Sharing Memories
The content in the journal is available as an eBook, 
a Guide to readers on telling their life stories.
Click here to download the digital copy from your favorite online bookseller.
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GOOD NEWS: I finally figured out how to send the Rose Courier out to subscribers. The inaugural edition went out on Thursday, January 9. 
If you subscribed and didn't receive a copy, let me know!
To receive the February edition, please enter your email address at the top of the page under The Rose Courier to get this jazzy update every month. Thank you!!


    








Tuesday, January 7, 2020

IWSG: Writing Fiction-- It's All Because of My Mom!

IWSG Badge
IWSG Blog Hop---the first Wednesday of every month.
Hello and welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Hop! 
Always on the first Wednesday of the month.
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 to join.
***
Happy IWSG Day and Happy New Year 2020!

Question for January 8

January 8 Question 

What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just "know" suddenly you wanted to write?

My mother started me on my writing journey. Not because of her love of reading or writing nor because she thought I was a smart kid and adorable (which I was--wink wink). I began writing to stay out of trouble. My mom was my second-grade teacher--a long story. She taught a split class of second and third graders. 

I must admit I was a bit of a social butterfly and liked to "talk" to my fellow classmates when I finished my assignments. I was usually the first one done.

 My mother thought I was keeping my friends from finishing the assignments and distracting the class, so she found other things for me to do when I finished. She piled up books to read, math problems to solve, worksheets, drawing sheets and of course, a tablet(such as lined pages, not the electronic kind of tablet we know today). I filled those pages with stories and loved sharing them with the class. I'd found my passion.

Many many many years later, I made the decision to try writing fiction for fun. After writing so many freelance non-fiction articles for papers and magazines, I chose to write mysteries. I gobbled up the alphabet mysteries, Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone series e.g. A is for Alibi, and Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, e.g. One for the Money. I loved to try and figure out whodunit, but I also marveled at the humor as the story played out. So entertaining.

Their writing styles influenced my storytelling so I added light, funny scenes in my novels to break up the dark murder mystery.

Here's an excerpt from my romantic suspense, Dangerous Sanctuary, Chapter 10--I hope you'll get a giggle out of it...

“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 Detective 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 did kill 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 would spread malicious lies to get you out of here, do you?”
“I would 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.
Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q.Rose
Romantic suspense
Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined her flock would consist 
of a cat, a pig, a kangaroo and a murderer.
Click here for more about Dangerous Sanctuary on sale now for 99 cents!
Click here to order a paperback book.
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GOOD NEWS: I finally figured out, I think, how to send the Rose Courier out to subscribers. The inaugural edition will be in your inbox on Thursday, January 9 IF you signed up for it. Please enter your email address at the top of the page under The Rose Courier to get this jazzy update every month. Thank you!!



Sunday, December 29, 2019

Happy New Year, Goals for 2020, End of Year Book Sales at Smashwords: 75% Off


HAPPY NEW YEAR
2020!!

Make 2020 the year to tell your life story! But the project is too overwhelming to consider? Life story teacher and published author, J.Q. Rose, can help. She'll guide you through her new release, Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories.

Click here to join the FB group, Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle, and share your journey with others like you.
Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories
by J.Q. Rose
REVIEW: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback
***This book is for anyone considering journaling. More of a storyteller than a writer? It touches on audio and video journaling as well. The author has even created a private Facebook Group for journaling support. 
A must-read for folks who want guidance in leaving family stories for future generations. It also makes a great gift. Sandra Cox
***In an email to me a reader called the book "beautiful."
GOOD NEWS! 75% OFF Year End Sale from BWL Publishing, my fiction publisher. 
75% off Books released by Books We Love Publishing at Smashwords till the end of the year. Now's 
the time to pack that new reading device with incredible ebooks including my cozy fiction and thriller books. 
Click here to download my romantic suspense and thriller novels now for only $1.00 to $1.25 each!


Mysteries on Sale Now at Smashwords!




Wednesday, December 18, 2019

VIDEO: Christmas in St. Augustine, Florida, with J.Q. Rose

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog!
Welcome!!

Video: Christmas in St. Augustine

Santa gave us a great gift a few years ago, a trip to historic St. Augustine, Florida, located on the east coast of the Sunshine State.
Flagler College, St. Augustine, Florida
We discovered the magic, beauty, and history of the city's tapestry woven together from the threads of many cultures.


Pull up your armchair and discover this amazing place.  Come along and hop on the Old Town Trolley with us. It'll be a great ride!


Video: Christmas in St. Augustine

Curious about the Chocolate Factory Tour? I share that tour at my publisher's blog, Books We Love Authors Insider Blog. Click here on December 20. Watch out, you will get a hankering for chocolate!
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GIFT IDEA
Books make great gifts. The Journal for Sharing Memories is a unique gift to give to your parents or grandparents and a treasured gift of love to receive back from them.
Take a peek at the Journal print book, 
Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories 
or the eBook, 
Your Words, Your Life Story: A Guide for Sharing Memories.

Click here to order Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories 
THANK YOU!
A Journal for Sharing Memories
Click here to download Your Words, Your Life Story: A Guide for Sharing Memories at your favorite online bookseller.
Advent Candles in a church in St. Augustine





Happy Hanukah and Merry Christmas 
to all who celebrate this special season of the year!!




Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Attention Indie Authors! Why Use Draft2Digital for Publishing and Distribution


Hello and welcome!

THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU--to all who helped me get the word out about my new release this past week during the Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories Holiday Book Launch. 

So many tweets, FB posts, reviews and sharing sure let the world know about this book to help folks tell their life stories and memoirs. I also created a FB Group, Telling Life Stories and Memoirs Circle. You're invited to join in the fun of walking down memory lane, learning about getting your memories captured and saved and meeting folks on the same journey. as you. Click here to join in on the fun.

I'm happy to announce Beverly Stowe McClure is the lucky commenter to receive a copy of the book.
Congratulations, Beverly!!

DRAFT2DIGITAL

WHY USE DRAFT2DIGITAL 

FOR PUBLISHING AND DISTRIBUTION?

Good question, Janet, (even if I thought of it myself. Draft2Digital, an aggregate publisher, publishes your ms and then distributes it to many digital booksellers. You can choose from Kobo, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Tolino, and Amazon as well as subscription services Scribd, 24 Symbols and Kobo Plus. Select only a few or all of them.

I used D2D to distribute the eBook format for my guide, Your Words, Your Life Story: A Guide for Sharing Memories. My paperback version of the ebook, Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories is not allowed to be pubbed as an ebook because it is a journal, a consumable book. And so far, one cannot write in an ebook. But I'm sure that's coming. I had a comment last week on the blog that the writer only types, no handwriting anymore. Probably a lot of us prefer typing nowadays,  PDF forms that can be filled in are available now. So that has to be the future for ebook journals, planners, etc.

The information I am sharing is accurate at the time of writing this blog, but things change quickly in the publishing biz.

I made a list of why I like D2D. I cannot compare Smashwords, the pioneer in aggregate publishing, with D2D because I haven't used them for 8 or 9 years. If you have, please let us know something you like about Smashwords, just to be fair. Thanks.

I Like Draft2Digital Publishing because:

1. FORMATTING-- I put that in big letters because I am not good at formatting. I'm still learning. But with D2D, just get your ms into a Word doc and D2D will format it for you. You don't even have to make up a TOC. They do that for you as well as a TITLE PAGE, DEDICATION, COPYRIGHT PAGE and AUTHOR BIO if you choose to do that.

2. Easy to Use--Uploading and setting up the book information form is easy to do. Very clear with what is needed to fill in the forms for Details, Layout, Preview and Publish sections. I was thrown a bit by the keyword section. You know how important keywords are to getting your book out there, but instead of keywords, D2D calls them "search words."

The book description does not have to be in html format in order to make a passable page. I don't know if they accept html like amazon or not. Amazon, if not formatted in html, just ignores bold letters, paragraph spaces and bulleted information, a plain, blah-looking page.

3.  PROMOTIONAL PAGES--Now this really is a perk from D2D--They offer Also By, New Release Notifications, and Teaser sections at the end of the book. Also By adds the books you already have published in D2D, with links. New Release Notifications are emails sent to folks who have purchased your previously published D2D books so they know you have a new book ready, and Teaser is just that. Choose one of your books in the D2D list and a portion of it will be added to the end and a convenient link for purchase.

4. UNIVERSAL BOOK LINK--The book link includes all the digital sellers you have chosen to sell your books, so you don't have to add individual links in your promotion/marketing literature. I decided this time not to upload my book to amazon, but rather to include it in with all the other sellers. So convenient. Unfortunately, the royalties are not 70% at D2D, but 65%. I doubt losing 5% will hurt me. However, you will lose the promotional perks at amazon by not uploading to AMZ.

When a reader clicks the Universal Link https://books2read.com/u/mdNzLW
for my book for girls, Girls Succeed, all of the digital bookseller choices are shown so he/she can choose their preferred bookseller. (Shhh--Not everyone likes amazon)

The Universal Link displays all the booksellers carrying your book with one click.
5. DIRECTLY DOWNLOAD ALL FORMATS FROM D2D--Your book will be pubbed in mobi, epub and pdf formats that you can download and keep in your files. So if you are offering a giveaway, you can just send your file to the prize winner.

6. CUSTOMER SERVICE is excellent. Response time is very reasonable.

If you are an indie publisher or author, what aggregate publisher do you use? What has your experience been like?
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TIP: I just uploaded the file for the guide version of Your Words, Your Life Story yesterday and four companies have already published them to their site. Amazon and Apple have not accepted the eBook because I mentioned amazon and other competitors in the book. They will not publish with their competitors mentioned in the book. So, keep that in mind when choosing these booksellers. I have to go through and delete those "offensive" phrases in my native file before trying again. I hope I catch each one of them. Once I get all accepted, I'll share the Universal Link for the guide.

If you have questions, please ask. If you have information to share about aggregate publishers, please share below. Thanks so much for stopping by.

















Tuesday, December 3, 2019

IWSG Blog Hop: A Dream Realized

IWSG Badge
IWSG Blog Hop---the first Wednesday of every month.
Hello and welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Hop! 
Always on the first Wednesday of the month.
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 to join.
***
Happy IWSG Day and Happy Holidays!

Question for December 4

December 4 Question 

December 4 question - Let's play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?
Believe in your dreams!

A DREAM REALIZED BY J.Q. ROSE

A timely question for me this week. I just released my “heart work,” 
Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories
a guide and a journal to record life stories. 
I call it my "heart work" because my passion is 
to encourage sharing the memories of a lifetime with family and friends.

When I was in a writer's group many years ago, a woman brought her great, great, great, great grandfather's diary to share with us. I believe it was written in the early 1800s. He was a minister living in London and a prolific writer. He described his everyday life in that era, peering into bookshop windows wishing he could afford to purchase those beautiful books. I can't remember exactly everything she read from the diary, but I do remember realizing how amazing it was to be able to step into the real world of a 19th-century gentleman. Not fiction, but his actual experience in those times. The diary was a treasure to me and to the minister's family.

This was a turning point in my life. I wanted to record my life stories for my kids. They wanted to know the story of how their dad and I met--a blind date, about our childhoods in small rural towns in Central Illinois and more.

I couldn't stop there because writing about the good old days and seeing my past life through the present lens allowed me a new perspective on experiences. I started presenting workshops.to encourage others to examine their lives and share their life experiences for family and future generations. 

The best part was not the teaching, but the times when participants read their stories to the group. Some so funny we laughed at the experience and others so poignant we had tears in our eyes. And these pieces were written by ordinary people living ordinary lives. 

Because the support of the participants to those who shared their writings was so helpful, I have established a Facebook group to anyone interested in telling their life stories and memoirs. You can ask questions, share your stories, offer suggestions and share tips. Plus we'll have fun with prizes and games. Click here to join the private group, Telling Life Stories and Memoirs Circle.

My dream soon became to teach more people how life-changing and satisfying sharing memories can be. I decided a book based on my workshops could reach around the world. After learning how popular low content books such as journals and planners are, I decided this was the path I had longed for.

Thus, my dream actually is a reality this week when I kick-off the book launch for Your Words, Your Life Story. When I was planning the book launch, I was as giddy as a little kid. I never had this feeling when my mysteries were published. I was filled with pure joy knowing I would reach more folks all over the world and help them preserve their legacy for their children and family.

Take a peek at the book--8000 words with lined pages for journaling.
Your Words, Your Life Story is available in paperback at amazon
ISBN 978-1702360579
During the book launch I will be giving away this book at the stops along the way, so I am happy to offer a lucky commenter a free copy of Your Words, Your Life Story. right here on the Focused on Story blog. I can send you a PDF or if you are in the US and want to use the book as a journal, I can mail you a printed copy. Just leave a comment below that you are interested in the book. I will select the winner of the drawing on Sunday, December 8 after 10 pm EST. Good luck!

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Click here to visit more bloggers to see how they answered the question of the month.

Thank you for stopping by. in the comments below, please tell us about the dreams you've had that became reality  

Be sure and let me know if you'd like a copy of Your Words, Your Life Story. Your comment will enter you in the drawing to win the book.

Please share this blog post with someone you think would appreciate 
learning about sharing memories. Thanks.
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EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

Click here or on the JQ Rose Courier graphic at the top of the sidebar to have your copy of the JQ Rose Courier delivered to your inbox. You'll find out about new releases, giveaways, contests with prizes and what JQ is up to.
Thanks!