Monday, September 16, 2019

Author Toolbox Blog Hop: Finding Keywords for your Amazon Book Description




#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.
🛠🛠🛠🛠

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. Follow the steps in the video below to help you install KE and to learn more about it. 


VIDEO: Tutorial on Keywords Everywhere





Many programs for finding keywords are available both free and paid. I am only beginning to learn about them.

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 visit bloggers participating in the blog hop. You may pick up some new author tools to use too!

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

Thanks for stopping.



Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Remembering 9-1-1

Every year when this date rolls around, 
I am heartbroken for those families and friends 
touched by the tragedy of 9-1-1. 

I am sorry for the loss this nation experienced, 
our loss of innocence. 
We had to face a whole new reality for our lives.

I hope we can use this tragedy to bring good 
into the hearts of our people and the world.

Some are trying to promote kindness on this day. 
Let's start with our community 
and be kind to each other 
even if it's opening a door for someone, 
smiling, or saying thank you
That's a beginning.

Thank you for stopping in today during this time of reflection and renewal.

Sincerely,
Janet

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

IWSG Blog Hop: A New Experience with Low Content Book Creation

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.

This dog looks a bit insecure. Dontcha think?
Image by Isa KARAKUS from Pixabay 

Woe is me. I'm in the same dog house as this cute fella above. Insecure.
Who? Me? Insecure? Let me count the ways.

A New Experience with Low Content Book Creation 

1. I am using articles from this blog to create a journal for those who want to tell their life stories. 
I have never put together a "low content" book/journal. It's all new to me.
2. I have to figure out what journal format to use and design lined pages and activity
pages. 
3. I have never formatted a book for print.
4. I have never created a cover for a print book.
4. I have never marketed a journal.

Rather than go on and on and on, I think you get the picture. I'm excited about it, challenged, 
and also very insecure and nervous about the project at the same time. The content is 
no problem since I have been presenting workshops on writing life stories since 2004.

I find that I am scouring the Internet for helpful tips on all of these challenging items. It's easier
to read blogs and books and watch webinars on "how-to" instead of actually diving in 
and working on accomplishing the tasks. 

This weekend I came to the conclusion that I will attack this journal and learn from my 
mistakes. OJT (on-the-job) training is the best way to learn.

However, if you have any helpful ideas for me, I'd appreciate them! 

Please leave a comment below
Thank you for stopping in.
 Click here to visit more bloggers.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Five W's in Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose


The 5 W's in Story
The 5 W's of a story are who, what, where, when and why (and sometimes How is included if it doesn't contain any spoilers.) These important W's make up the skeleton or the bones of a story. This series has been a hit with readers.

The Five W's in Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose
Originally appeared on Ellen Jacobson's blog, the Cynical Sailor and His Salty Sidekick

Today I thought I'd take a turn to share the 5 W's of one of my mysteries, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard, a touch of the paranormal with a lot of humor set in a Florida retirement community.

That makes the perfect segue to the WHERE in Terror on Sunshine Boulevard--The action takes place at the Citrus Ridge Senior Community and Golf Resort--a beautiful park filled with manufactured homes, a community center, golf course, tennis, pickleball, horseshoes, bocci ball, heated pool and a club for every interest imaginable.
Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose
R
escuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed?
Investigating mysterious murders?
These are not the usual calls in a Florida retirement community
for 
volunteer first responder Jim Hart.

Click here to download your e-copy or read the sample
WHO--The main characters are Jim and Gloria Hart, snowbirds from Michigan, who spend their winters at Citrus Ridge meeting friends and joining in the social activities. 

Jim and Gloria retired after selling their hardware store in Michigan. Jim was a volunteer fireman, so when he moved into the community, he became a volunteer first responder and eventually the co-captain of the Citrus Ridge first responders squad. Because the volunteers live in the park, they are key to saving many lives due to their quick response.

WHEN--Contemporary 

WHAT--The members of the first responder squad are accustomed to being called to seniors' homes for slip and fall accidents or high blood pressure issues, but Jim has never been called to the homes of so many folks dying of unknown causes. 

WHY--So if seniors are dying every day, the question is why? What is killing them? A virus, deadly air quality, bad water, a treacherous mad man? 

Why don't Jim and Gloria head back north and get out of there? (If any of you have endured or are enduring winter storms, icy roads, blizzards, you may understand why Jim and Gloria want to stay in warm, tropical Florida. !!!) 

As co-captain of the squad, Jim is drawn into the police investigations.  Gloria feels responsible for so many of her senior friends who rely on her for assistance. They both know if they went home to Michigan they would only be miserable worrying about their Florida friends and feeling guilty for abandoning their community in crisis. Wouldn't you?

HOW-- I can't tell you how the cause of so many deaths is solved. You knew I wouldn't, didn't you? That would ruin the fun of reading Terror on Sunshine Boulevard. 

Click here to download your e-copy or read the sample.
Click here to order your paperback copy at amazon. 
***
Jingles, a star in the book

BACK OF THE BOOK: Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose
 Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed? Investigating mysterious murders? Not the usual calls for first responder Jim Hart. He expects slip and fall accidents or low blood pressure emergencies in his retirement community of Citrus Ridge Senior Community and Golf Resort. The ghastly crime scenes turn the winter time fun into a terrifying season of death and mystery when the authorities cannot track down the predator responsible.

Jim and his wife Gloria could escape the horror and grief by returning to their northern home, but concern for their friends and residents keep them in Florida. With the entire community in a dither over the deaths, the Harts participate in the normal winter activities of golfing, dancing, and pool parties with their friends to distract them from sadness and loss.

Can Jim and Gloria work with the authorities to discover who or what is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard and stop the increasing body count?

About J.Q.
 After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction. Her mysteries published by BWL Publishing are Terror on Sunshine Boulevard, Dangerous Sanctuary, and Deadly Undertaking. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She and her husband, Gardener Ted, spend winters in Florida and summers up north camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.

Connect with J.Q. Rose online at
J.Q.'s blog, Focused on Story http://www.jqrose.com/

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Author Toolbox Blog Hop: Books are Tools Too

#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 for the list of participants and take a break and visit them. 
🛠🛠🛠🛠
Books are Tools Too

I don't usually think of books as tools. However, every tool comes with a page or pamphlet or book of instructions. So I believe books on writing are definitely tools to instruct us on the art of constructing our stories as well to help us learn how to publish and market them.

Today I'm sharing books I've used to learn about writing and writing life stories and memoirs. 

At this time, I'm working on creating a journal for those who wish to learn how to tell their life stories and a memoir which covers the first year we were in the floral business. (I wish I'd had a book of instructions for that giant leap.)

"Our lives are filled with extraordinarily ordinary moments. 
Our souls are illuminated by them.  
Sharing them around the hearths of our hearts, 
we become tellers of sacred tales, artists of our lives."
                                                         ----Dr. Susan Wittig Alberta, Writing from Life


Below is my review of one of the books on the list. I recommend it for writers even if you are not writing a memoir!

BOOK REVIEW: Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach

Writing Life Stories: How To Make Memories Into Memoirs, Ideas Into Essays And Life Into Literature
Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach
Writing Life Stories: How to Make Memories into Memoirs, Ideas into Essays, and Life into Literature by Bill Roorbach is eye-opening, thought-provoking, and full of wisdom for burgeoning writers, as well as experienced authors. His literary grade language and insight into what writing really is made me appreciate my choice to become a writer. This book is an inspiring read.

Bill, if I may call him that, brings clarity to the memoir genre. Incorporating rules of fiction writing with non-fiction events is an art. I soaked up every bit of the information he shared. He's a teacher as well as a writer and allows us to explore this marvelous genre through writing our own articles as exercises at the end of the chapter. I wish I were actually sitting in his classroom so I could be in a lively discussion with him and students on all the topics he covers.

My vocabulary grew because of his expertise in the English language. I discovered words like "adumbration" and "enjambment." 

These are quotes by Bill I want to keep in mind such as:

In regards to the writer's voice--"Emotion is the sound of a writer's voice."
In regards to writing--"This is art we're talking about, not a job."

I don't usually do book reviews, but this is more of a love letter to this book. If you are looking for a book on memoir-writing, pick this one up. I actually borrowed the kindle edition through amazon Prime's program. You know it had to be worth reading because I broke down and actually bought the paperback book!



If you have any comments about a book or wish to add to the list, please leave a comment below.

HELPFUL BOOKS ON WRITING
Albert, Susan Wittig.  Writing from Life:  Telling Your Soul’s Story
Baldwin, Christina.  Life’s Companion:  Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest
Corey, Judy. Storysharing:  A Bridge Between Generations
Daniel, Lois.  How to Write Your Own Life Story
Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
Hauser, Susan Carol. You Can Write a Memoir
Heilbrun, Carolyn.  Writing a Woman’s Life
King, Stephen. On Writing
Roorbach, Bill. Writing Life Stories
Strunk, William and E.B.White.  The Elements of Style
Zinsser, William.  Inventing the Truth:  the Art and Craft of Memoir



Tuesday, August 13, 2019

What Are Low Content and No Content Books?

Low Content and No Content Books

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story blog. 
Do I have eye-opening, jaw-dropping news for you today!
People are jumping in on the latest trend in publishing print books--
low content and no content books. 
You don't even have to be a writer to publish these books!


What are Low Content and No Content Books? by J.Q. Rose

These books are exactly what they say they are with little or no word count. Books such as coloring books, planners, workbooks, guide books, journals and picture books have very few words, but lots of repetitive spaces and lines on each page for the user to write in. These are consumable books.

Writing in her journal

For instance, if you want to journal or plan a garden, the book includes lined pages allowing you to keep track of the steps you are taking to plan the garden, dates when seeds and plants are purchased, weather, soil samples, etc. The user will have the record of harvesting and results of how plants performed to help plan next year. Then, next year the user will buy another journal to use because the first one is filled with his notes.

Books are available to spark ideas for writers. The workbook consists of a writing prompt and lines on each page. Devotional journals with an inspirational scripture at the top of the lined page are also popular.
For writers or not?
Some writers design the interiors of a workbook or planner and use the same interiors in books, but add different covers. People are actually making 10's to 100's to 1000's of these low content and no content books and selling them on amazon for extra cash every month. If you create a beautiful book, then the passive income can be very rewarding.

You don't need special software to create the books. Use Canva.com, MS PowerPoint 2016 and up, or MS Word. Amazon provides the free ISBN and turns the PDF of your manuscript into a print book and sells them for you. At this writing, the creators are getting $10.00 or more for selling a book of lined pages! Just push the button to publish and amazon takes care of fulfilling the order and distributing the book. You sit back and collect your royalties. 

I am in the midst of learning how to do this with a journal for folks who want to write their life stories. Mine isn't exactly low content with over 6000 words in it. But ever since I began teaching about writing life stories, I have been passionate about encouraging people to tell their stories. I believe this journal will help me to do that.

Lots of FREE videos on Youtube are available on the subject with some wonderful teachers guiding you along in your journey. 

I don't know how long this market will last. I would think it would be saturated eventually with so many low content and no content books published. Is it only a trend? I don't know, but at the moment it's hot!

Can you think of an audience who would benefit from having a book like this created by you? Pick your passion and go for it.

What do you think of this idea? Have you used a journal or planner or workbook? Have you published a low or no content book? Please leave a comment below and let us know about your experience.

HELP PLEASE--
Can you help me decide on a title or offer a suggestion for a title on telling life stories?
Leave your choice in the comments below, please.

How to Tell Your Life Story the Easy Way
The Easy Way to Tell Your Life Story
Tell Your Life Story the Easy Way

Thank you!!

TERROR ON SUNSHINE BOULEVARD is on a Kindle Countdown Discount through Friday, August 16. Grab your copy now and save. Click here to download this mystery thriller.








Tuesday, August 6, 2019

IWSG Blog HopSummer Fever

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.
***
I'm spending time with my ten-year-old granddaughter this week, so I'm re-posting a popular IWSG blog post from Summer 2016. Just for fun.

Happy IWSG DAY!!
SUMMER FEVER by J.Q. Rose

Writing is Easy...
Spring fever interferes with my writing. So, after the Memorial Day holiday and school closing for the summer, I will be dealing with summer fever. I don't recall having fall or winter fever. The long days and warm weather lures me away from my laptop, but ideas for writing stories are always swirling in my head. 
Woolly Sheep
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com
by khunaspix

Right now I am just woolgathering. Yes, that's a real word in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. It means "indulgence in idle daydreaming." I'm sure I'll discover a golden nugget in the wool to spark an idea I can use for my future forays in storytelling. 

How about you? How do you deal with Summer Fever? Have you found ways to overcome it?

Thank you for stopping in at the IWSG blog hop. Click the IWSG page here to find more IWSG bloggers to visit and an opportunity to join the group.
* * *


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