Tuesday, September 24, 2019

New Release: Prehistoric Fiction, The Quest for Home by Jacqui Murray

The Quest for Home by Jacqui Murray
Driven from her home. Stalked by enemies.
Now her closest ally may be a traitor.
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. So glad you stopped in so you can be part of the celebration of my friend Jacqui Murray's release of the latest in her Crossroads trilogy series, The Quest for Home, a prehistoric fiction novel. 

Jacqui shares the Five W's in this unique story that takes place 850,000 years ago!

Thank you, Jacqui, for being my guest. 

The Five W's for The Quest for Home by Jacqui Murray

The 5 W's in Story: The Quest for Home by Jacqui Murray
As laid out by JQ Rose, the 5 W's of a story are who, what, where, when and why. These important W's make up the bones of a story. Today I'll show you how they apply to my latest prehistoric fiction, The Quest for Home:

The Quest for Home
Prehistoric Fiction

Book #2 in the Crossroads Trilogy

WHO--The main characters of The Quest for Home are Xhosa and Nightshade, two early humans who lived 850,000 years ago; and Wind, an advanced human who saves Xhosa’s life in Book 1 and becomes an integral part of her journey in Book 2. Xhosa and her People are a tribe of early humans who time has preserved mostly through bone fragments and stone tools. In this trilogy, I flesh out their desires and challenges to give readers a peek at life long ago when Nature was king and our goal was simply to survive.
WHEN— The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, the one destined to obliterate any who came before.
WHATIn this trilogy, Crossroads, we join Xhosa as she searches for a new home after being chased from her East African home by a more advanced form of man who would ultimately replace Xhosa’s species, Homo erectus. She is joined by other groups of Homo erectus, also driven from their homelands in South African, East Asia, Indonesia, and the Levant. They ultimately travel across Europe and settle on the Iberian Peninsula, hoping that will become their new home.
WHEREIn an effort to find a new home, Xhosa leads the combined Peoples across Eurasia to the Iberian Peninsula where they are stopped by the Atlantic Ocean. Here, they must make their stand.

A map of the route traveled by the combined ancient Peoples tribe.

WHY— Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa leads her People and four other tribes on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that her most dangerous enemy isn’t the one she expected. It may be one she trusts with her life. Based on a true story, this is the unforgettable saga of hardship and determination. Xhosa and her People must be bigger-than-life, prepared time and again to do the impossible because nothing less than the future of mankind is at stake.

Click these links to purchase your copy now.
Available at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

Click here to visit Jacqui's guest post for the first book in the series, Survival of the Fittest.

About Jacqui Murray

JMurray--early for TF interviewJacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and Born in a Treacherous Timefirst in the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. ou can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

Click on the links below to connect online with Jacqui :

Word Dreams (Jacqui's blog) https://worddreams.wordpress.com
Jacqui's author page https://jacquimurray.net

Monday, September 16, 2019

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

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

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.


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
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.

Mother's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream, Happy Mother's Day, Working Moms

YouTube VIDEO: Mother's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream Hello and welcome! I wanted to pop in to wish you moms, grandmoms and those w...