“How Stories Help You Connect with Readers”
by Rory Vaden & Erin K. Casey

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Today, Rory and Erin Casey talk about the power of telling a story. In this show, they will discuss the critical elements that make up a great story and the most common mistakes people make.

What It Takes to Complete a Book

Susie Miller shares what it really means to embrace the writing life.

Sounds so glamorous.  I remember the first time I turned down an invitation to lunch with the words “Oh, I can’t… I’m writing today.”

Embrace the Writing Life

“Really?” my friend Laurie replied, “what an awesome way to spend the day! I can’t wait to read your book!”

Nodding and smiling, I left her fantasy intact. I knew in my heart a “writing day” wasn’t just creativity flowing but sometimes meant hours of starting at the cursor blinking and trying to string some words together in a semblance of creativity, thought and inspiration. The myriad of other tasks on my to-do list wrestled with my discipline to actually write. It’s a sad state of affairs when cleaning the bathroom looks more enticing than squeezing out another paragraph from a very dry well.

3 Ways to Get Your Readers’ Attention

The book was fantastic, but no one was going to read it. Not, at least, in its current state. The author had packed his* manuscript with helpful information and practical advice. The content and his message had real potential to help his audience. But only the most dedicated readers would push past the stale opening line.

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Most chapters either dove right into the content with no introduction or started with a statement detailing what the chapter contained. “In this chapter we’re going to learn about….” A line like that makes a great note as you’re planning your writing. In fact, I encourage writers to identify what they’re going to include in each chapter when they outline their books. But when it comes to your hookthe words that will draw readers in and keep their noses in your book—“In this chapter,” isn’t effective; it’s boring.

Other common issues muddied what could have been a great reading experience but, since this is a blog post, let’s stick with one topic at a time. Here are three powerful ways you can get your readers’ attention.

Why You Should Do a 99 Cent Promo for Your Book

I was curious as to why even seasoned authors discount their books.

As a two-time self-published author, I tell people writing the book is the easy part. Marketing it, that’s the hard part. There seems to be no right or wrong answer on which route to take.

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Before I published my first book, I looked into all kind of expert advice. Some claimed giving away your book for free for a few days was key to success. Then I talked to others who told me not to do give it away but to price it high. Some suggested to price it at 99 cents. Plus, of course, there’s the matter of trying to decide between Amazon KDP Select or just Amazon KDP.

We all want our books to be successful. We want to help and inspire people. And, of course, we want to claim that bestseller spot while making a decent income in the process.

Learning to Love the Editing Process

As a blogger, my concern wasn't writing but handing over my manuscript to an editor.

Some people fear public speaking more than death. I guess that makes me the outlier.

I’m a high school Spanish teacher by day. On the weekends and during the summer, I speak at conferences and events. I 3D-DTTwork with teachers to challenge how they think about education and to encourage them to incorporate technology in their classrooms.

I love seeing teachers get excited about new practices that they can use with their students. It means the ideas from my sessions are spreading farther than I could take them myself. The reach of my conference sessions is limited, though. I wanted to spread the ideas that motivate me to as many teachers as possible. So, I sought advice from a fellow teacher and presenter. His suggestion: write a book.

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up on Your Book

I love hearing great speakers present a well-crafted message. I especially love presentations when the speaker is an author whose books I’ve read. Even if we’ve never met, it feels as if we have a connection. I’m eager to hear my favorite authors speak because their message has already intrigued, entertained, or inspired me.

Lysa-TerKeurst

So when I learned that Lysa TerKeurst was scheduled to speak at an event about an hour down the road, I knew I would be there. TerKeurst is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the author of three New York Times bestsellers—and 16 others books. Of all 19 of her books, I’ve read one. And I only read that one last fall when Proverbs 31 did an online Bible study using The Best Yes as a study guide. She’d written 19 books in a genre that I enjoy reading and I had never even heard of her until last fall.

Five Lessons I Had to Learn to Write My Book

Blank white book w/pathI recently accomplished a life-long dream: I wrote and published a book. I have always heard that writing a book is more about who you become while writing the book than the book itself. I now believe that is true. I had started this book before—many times. This time, from start date through planning, outlining, and writing was just a few weeks.  What made the difference this time—what did I have to do and believe to get this book out of my head and onto the page?

Tell the REAL Story

Have you ever read a book or heard a story that just had too many themes to follow? For example, I have a hard time with novels that have multiple families—each with people who have their own issues. It’s a challenge for me to keep the characters straight in my head, especially if the names are at all similar or difficult to remember.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How Do You Want to Be Known?

We live in a world overflowing with opportunity and choice. With so many options, sometimes it’s difficult to choose. Rather than settling on one thing, be it a career, brand of coffee, hobby or target market, we either decide not to choose or we dabble in lots of different things.