Aug 22

Even Tiny Action Steps Can Produce Huge Results

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because
someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

This Warren Buffet quote inspires me. It’s simple, yet so amazingly powerful.

  1. A tiny seed can create something as massive as a tree, even a sequoia tree.

Think of the giant sequoia tree in California, USA. It averages around 26 feet in diameter, weighs around 4,189,000 lbs. and reaches heights of 275 feet. According to Wikipedia, “Record trees have been measured to be 311 feet in height and over 56 feet in diameter. The oldest known giant sequoia based on ring count is 3,500 years old.”

The seed of the sequoia tree is 0.16–0.20 inches long, 0.039 inches broad, and 0.039 inches wide.

Hard to imagine, isn’t it.

Something that tiny can produce something that enormous.

Well, this can easily relate to writing, to book marketing, to business . . . to just about everything in your work and life.

Small positive actionable steps, no matter how tiny, can create massive results.

You may think your writing and marketing efforts aren’t moving you forward, but think of how long it takes that tiny seed to grow into a tree that gives shade.

  1. What you sow today can have benefits for many tomorrows.

Time will pass whether you take action or not.

If you have an idea, take action now. Don’t wait for tomorrow or until you have more time or until you have more money. Take action now. The benefits may turn out to be bigger than you could possibly imagine.

You may reap the benefits of your writing or book marketing or business efforts far into your future, so take that initial step.

Or, maybe it’s expansion that you’re thinking about, or a new strategy.

Keep in mind, though, that every living thing needs sun, water, and food to grow. So, when you take that step (plant that seed), be sure to give it the nurturing it needs to become what you believe it can be.

Plant that seed today!

This post was originally published at:
http://www.writersonthemove.com/2015/02/even-tiny-action-steps-can-produce-huge.html

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting, rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable and marketable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

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Jul 11

Writing and Point of View: 2 Must-Know Elements

There are two elements to point of view (POV).

The first element is who’s telling the story.

From whose viewpoint is the story being related to the reader? Or whose story is it?

With this part of POV, you’re choosing the character who is telling the story.

With young children’s books, there should be only one POV, and it should be that of the protagonist.

When you’re writing in one character’s POV, it’s essential that you don’t accidentally fall into head-hopping.

Head-hopping is suddenly bringing another character’s POV into the story within the same scene. It may be the same paragraph or the same chapter.

There’s no lead-in to the POV change which makes it jarring to the reader. It can cause the reader to pause, making him read the passage over a few times to get it straight.

It may seem that sticking to one POV is an easy thing, but it’s actually a very easy slip to make. You can slip in another character’s POV without even realizing it.

An example:

Jason is the POV character. Ralph is his best friend.

Jason couldn’t wait to tell Ralph his good news. He grabbed Ralph by the arm and spun him around.

“Hey,” Ralph yelled. His immediate thought was to have his fist ready.

This brings Ralph’s POV into the scene as his thoughts are being made known to the reader.

To eliminate it:

Jason couldn’t wait to tell Ralph his good news. He grabbed Ralph by the arm and spun him around.

“Hey,” Ralph yelled, his fist ready to fly.

With this little change, you’re keeping the essence of the scene, while also keeping it in Jason’s (the POV character) POV.

Another example.

Jason couldn’t stop thinking of the girl he and Ralph met earlier. And neither could Ralph.

When you slip into another character’s internal thoughts, you’re head-hopping.

See how easy it is to do this. Just four little words.

An simple fix:

Jason couldn’t stop thinking of the girl he and Ralph met earlier. He knew Ralph couldn’t either.

According to Jerry Jenkins, “I avoid that [head-hopping] by imagining my Point of View or Perspective Character as my camera—I’m limited to writing only what my character “camera” sees, hears, and knows.”

The second element is whether the story is told in first, second, or third person.

The second element establishes how the story is told. In other words, is it told in first person, second person, or third person limited?

This is a powerful element of storytelling

A quick overview:

First person pronouns are: me, I, mine, and my.

The protagonist is telling his story. He’s the narrator.

Examples of this POV are:
Angry Ninja by Mary Nhin
Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Second person pronouns are: you, your, and yours.

The protagonist is the narrator and talks directly to the reader.

Examples of this POV are:
How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan
-Train Your Angry Dragon By Steve Herman
The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone

Third person limited pronouns are: he, she, they, it.

A narrator is telling the story through the perspective of the protagonist in the case of young children’s books.

The narrator is inside the protagonist’s thoughts, senses, and feelings.

According to MasterClass, it ”can give readers a deeper experience of character and scene, and is the most common way to use point of view.”

Examples of this POV:

Walking Through Walls by Karen Cioffi
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
The Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel

Hope this helps you get a better handle on point of view.

Sources: https://theeditorsblog.net/2011/09/10/head-hopping-gives-readers-whiplash/

NEED HELP WITH YOUR STORY?

Let me take a look at your notes, outline, or draft. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and coach. I can turn your story into a book you’ll be proud to be author of.

Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Ghostwriter in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

Let’s get your story in publishable and marketable shape today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

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Oct 11

Get Your Self-Published Book Into Libraries – 6 Must-Know Tips

Have you wished you could have your book in the library system? How thrilling would it be to have someone borrow your book from your local library?

For a long while this was only possible for traditionally published books. But that’s no longer the case.

I read a great article at Jane Friedman’s site about getting your self-published book into libraries. (1)

As I mentioned, at one point, this wasn’t the slightest of possibilities. Libraries were prejudice against self-published books.

It didn’t matter if your book was exceptionally written and had a slam-dunk storyline. You could not get it into the library system.

But times are changing and self-published authors have come a LONG WAY.

Since most of my clients self-publish, I thought this would be helpful information.

Six Tips on Getting into Libraries

  1. You’ve got to do your research.

This step is key. You need to

You can do an online search for your local public library and see if they’re accepting self-published books.

For my book, I went to my library and asked to speak with the librarian in charge of the children’s section. I explained that I wanted to get it into the library.

Just keep in mind that library space is limited so don’t be disappointed if your book doesn’t get picked up.

  1. The sell sheet.

According to an article over at Hubspot, the sell sheet “is a one-page document that concisely details how your product solves a specific problem.” (2)

In regard to your book, that information would include the basics:

  • The book’s cover
  • The title
  • The publisher and its website
  • The ISBNs
  • The formats the book is available in
  • The price
  • A brief description of the book
  • Your author website
  • Your social media channels
  • Target market
  • Where it can be ordered

This should all be on one-page as mentioned. And it needs to be neatly formatted and appealing.

  1. If it all won’t fit on one page.

There’s a lot of information listed in number two above, so to have all the other information you’ll want to share with the librarian, create a page on your website with all the extra information, like your:

  • Awards
  • Review links
  • Social media links
  • Review links
  • Interior images if it’s a children’s book
  • Author events you’ve participated in
  • Anything else you think might be pertinent

4. Make it easy for people to get your book.

  • Be sure your book is available through major distributors like Baker & Taylor. This may be the difference between your book being accepted by the library of not.
  1. Offer to do an event for the library.

I did this with my library. I offered to do workshops, author readings, and even book signings.

This shows the library that you are actively promoting your book. And, it’s great exposure for you and your book.

Keep in mind that you will need to promote your event because you wouldn’t want poor attendance. It wouldn’t reflect well on your or your book.

  1. Always be professional.

Just as you would be with an agent or publisher, you need to be courteous and professional at all times with the librarians you’re dealing with.

Along with this, try to find out and use the individual’s name you’re dealing with. Address them personally – it helps create a connection.

References:

1) https://www.janefriedman.com/6-steps-to-get-into-libraries-self-pub/
(2) https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/sell-sheet

Be a children's writer

Being a writer, like being any kind of artist who creates something from nothing, is an amazing ability. It’s almost like magic. And, you are in control. You decide what to create. The only limit you have is the cap on your imagination.

Check out my 200+ page ebook (or paperback) that gives you all the basics of HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK. It’s newly revised and includes information on finding a publisher or agent and marketing your books.

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