You probably already know this if you pay any attention to my emails or buy any of my writing products… I do a lot of reader research.
I don’t want to rely only on what I think or some theory that I read.
The best way to become a better writer – other than writing a lot – is to listen to what readers have to say.
I mean REALLY listen to them. That means the good AND the bad.
If you only hear the praise, how will you ever know what readers DON’T like so you can fix it?
So I’ve spent a lot of time recently checking out online reader forums, blogs, and book reviews.
I was specifically wondering what romance readers like and dislike.
Not just for writing in the romance genre, by the way. Lots of other genres involve telling stories that have romantic relationships between characters, right?
So I wanted to find out what made readers happy, as well as UNhappy, about the romance aspects of the books they were reading.
Well, did I ever get an eyeful!
Romance readers are not afraid to say what they really hate. Whew! It was a real revelation and sometimes not very nice. 🙂
So I decided to put what I’d found into a new product. I want to help fiction writers avoid these common mistakes in their romance books and romantic sub-plots in other genres.
The goal is to please more readers and sell more books.
Romance readers are picky. They’re hard to please.
But you’ll be armed with everything you need to avoid common pitfalls once you get your hands on what I’ve just finished.
Check it out here: http://malka.biz/rough-start-romance/
I’m not entering any political discussions, because I’m not interested enough to get the facts right. But I don’t like the UN.
Not one bit.
But credit has to be given where credit belongs, and I just found out that they’ve “declared 20 March the International Day of Happiness to recognize the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals,” according to Wikipedia.
Oh, wow, eh?
Here is Mrs. Smith. It’s March 20, she’s on Facebook, and she finds out that today is the International Day of Happiness. What does she do?
First, she’ll browse Facebook, but chances are she’ll see depressing shares about mistreatment of dogs, and she would rather celebrate this day.
So she heads off to Amazon and types in the words “happiness book” in the search field.
Yes, you have time to write it. We’re one month and ten days away from March 20, and if you follow my guide, you will have at least one book ready and published in time.
Click here to get started http://malka.biz/happiness-book/
What do you do, when you’re all alone in a country, and you don’t speak the language?
Are you lost?
No, not at all. Let me tell you two short stories to illustrate this.
My grandmother, who was born in 1903 and only went to school every second day, originally didn’t learn other languages than Danish. She still managed to get a German penpal after a trip to Italy. Of course, she picked up a lot of Italian, too, but she didn’t know a word of German.
Language wasn’t a barrier.
When I moved to France in 2000, I knew some French from what I’ve learned in high school, but a lot went totally over my head.
Once I was with one of my son’s friends and his mother at a scout meeting. Then entered a priest, and I kind of had the impression of hundreds of bats flying up behind him.
I later learned that he was part of a sect.
Language wasn’t a barrier.
Because my grandmother and I had other options. We didn’t have to rely on the spoken words. We got our impressions from body language.
The things people showed us, we understood. What they told us, we didn’t.
And it didn’t matter either.
That’s the power of showing. When you do it in books, your readers will understand on a deeper level than if you just tell them.
If you want to see my take on it, including when it’s better to tell than show, and have a handy list of body language to combine with your emotions, then take a look at “Show Don’t Tell – Sometimes”.
It’s available here http://malka.biz/show-dont-tell/
“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” ~ Zig Ziglar
What is your goal?
Maybe you think it is to write books faster.
Or maybe make more money from your books. Or even publish your first book.
I will be blunt. That is not your real goal. That is only a stepping stone to reach your real goal.
You know what almost everybody dreams of, deep down?
Yes, it doesn’t matter if we’re in love or filing for a divorce. Or starving or suffering from obesity. Our deepest goal is to be happy.
Now you can help others reach that goal and sell some books in the process. That category is extremely popular on Amazon, and it’s highly profitable, too.
Wanna see how you can write a happiness book? Check my latest product here http://malka.biz/happiness-book/
Growing up in Denmark, I learned that adverbs were words that told something about a verb or an adjective.
Nobody ever told me that adverbs were bad and should be avoided. So when I read that in every writing book I could get my hands on, I wondered ‘why?’
Why was it bad to say, “He walked fast” or “She held the rope firmly”?
Then I learned that there existed stronger words. Instead of saying “he walked fast”, you can say “he hastened” or “he raced”.
That made sense.
When I edited my books, I checked for adverbs, and that’s when it really dawned on me why adverbs are bad.
They are used to tell, not show.
“He put down his gun reluctantly.”
No, no, no! Show it.
“I will NEVER talk to you again,” she yelled angrily.
Nope, doesn’t work. Show that she’s angry.
The problem with telling is that your reader doesn’t FEEL what’s going on. He can stay distanced from your story. You don’t want that.
And then… it’s not ALWAYS your best choice to show. In some cases, you should tell instead, or use a commonly known “show” shortcut.
I’ve collected all that and more inside my report “Show Don’t Tell – Sometimes”.
Check it out here http://malka.biz/show-dont-tell/
What do writers do when they are bored?
Wrong answer. Writers are NEVER bored 😀
Anyway, one day a few weeks ago, I decided to take KD Spy for a spin to find a promising nonfiction category.
I’m not easy to satisfy when it comes to real droolworthy categories. I want them to:
And what did I find? Oooh!
Normally, this would be the point where a marketer would say: Go and buy my product, and thou shalt find out.
But I’m in an extremely good mood, so I’ll tell you. I’ll also tell you the title of the book I’m launching tomorrow, which will help you write a book for that category.
Don’t come here and say I don’t do things for you 😉
(Oh, and by the way – nobody guessed this title, but I got plenty of great guesses.)
The category is… (Wheel of Fortune Music) … Happiness. There’s a ridiculous amount of money to be made within that category.
The title of my ebook is How to Write a Happiness Book.
Now you know almost everything. Except the link to buy my book. That will come tomorrow 10 am EST.
Until then, have fun, be happy 🙂
Last week on Facebook (yes, I go there a few minutes most days) I saw an ad for a Hair Salon of some kind. The picture of women with hair looked nice, so I filled in the form to find out if there was such a service near the place I live.
They called a couple of times when it was inconvenient for me, but today I answered the phone, and the kind lady said she spoke a little English (and not just Hebrew) so we were able to communicate.
She said that there was a salon five minutes away from me, and I asked her to send me the address. She agreed. Then I had one more question:
“I have very long hair. I want it long, still, but not that long.” (I can almost sit on it.)
“You mean a hair cut?”
“We don’t do hair cuts.”
I was flummoxed, but glad I asked. A hair salon that didn’t do hair cuts? I wonder what it is they really do.
But it made me think of something.
What do writers do?
It’s obvious, and yet, writers don’t always write. Why not? Blocks? Lack of confidence?
Whatever it is, don’t let that person be you. Write every day, even on bad days.
And if you need inspiration to come up with story ideas, I’ve got that taken care of for you.
Catch them here http://malka.biz/endlesskindle/
I’m writing a nonfiction product right now.
The contest is still open, by the way. It’s the last day tomorrow. Tomorrow, I’ll reveal the title to my Skype mastermind group, but today and tomorrow, you can guess the title. It starts with “How to”.
You can enter here to win: https://goo.gl/forms/swwkOuMBYViWP1Ea2
While I wrote, I had to do a little research, and I found a book in this category, 8,400 words long, published in 2012, making an estimated $6,700 per month.
The writing is mediocre at best.
The book I’m writing now is about how you can write a book in that category. You’ll love it. But now go and guess, even if you’ve already made a guess 🙂
I love reading or watching stories that contain magic or supernatural phenomena. Right now, we’re re-watching the series Medium on DVD. Have you seen it?
Last night, I talked to my writing friend about it and mentioned that I would love to add more magic to my writing. It’s crazy, in fact. I’m writing about guardian angels right now, so it’s natural to add magic, right?
Still, I’m holding myself back by limiting my heroine’s abilities.
After my chat with my friend, I decided to change that. From now on, more magic in my books. I won’t allow my silver-haired, slightly chubby, and very clumsy guardian angel friend to let herself be limited by lack of confidence. Neither mine, nor hers.
There shall be magic, darnit!
What about you? Is your lack of confidence holding you back from writing like you want to? Are you afraid that you cannot live up to your own expectations?
After all, who’s going to read your crappy first draft? Nobody but you, unless you allow others to do it.
On the other hand, if the thing that’s holding you back is lack of knowledge about a period in time, then that’s no longer an excuse. I’ve already published two products that can help you.
One of them is about the popular American West period. You can use it for westerns, romances, and anything you like that’s related to that period. This will save you time and plenty of work. You have all the research done for you.
Here you are: The American West handed to you on a silver platter http://malka.biz/painless-historical-fiction-american-west/