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Guest Post: Why the World Needs Your Stories

Dear Writer,

The world needs your stories.

No, seriously.

People are frightened, work-worn, and weary right now. The world seems cruel at random, without explanation or context. But since the dawn of human culture, story has been harnessed to comfort, guide, inspire hope, and give context and meaning to our otherwise confusing and ambiguous lives.

If you’re a writer (and if you’re reading this, I’m guessing you are), you can probably pinpoint the first story that first changed your life. The story that challenged your worldview. The books that forever altered your way of thinking. Those are likely the books that inspired you to write. What if those writers you so admired had decided to abandon their big ideas before writing them? What if they had sagged their shoulders and allowed the world to tell them they weren’t doing anything worthwhile, to get a ‘real’ job, and stop indulging themselves? Where would they be today? Where would you?

Imagine if George Lucas had decided a space opera sounded too silly and far-fetched to bother creating. If Lin-Manuel Miranda had assumed no one would pay to watch a two-and-a-half hour rap about Alexander Hamilton. If J.K. Rowling had believed what the industry was telling her, that children only wanted to read about ‘real-life situations’ and not about a wizard school. What if they had given in to their doubts?

Perhaps your intention was never to write a life-changer. Perhaps it’s to escape and entertain. Still, reflect a moment on the aliveness, the catharsis, the understanding and healing you’ve personally achieved through your own writing. What if you will someday impart that same healing, joy, or enlightenment to someone else who reads your work? What if you already have?

Please don’t quit. Life seems dark, times are trying and stressful, and there are days when it feels impossible to go on. That’s exactly why you SHOULD go on.

Most writers quit when they feel like they’ve been crying their heart into the ocean and not even making so much as a ripple with their endless tears. I say keep weeping. Keep bleeding your tears onto the pages. Like drops in the ocean, you don’t know where your words are going, what shape they will take someday, whom they might touch. You could change the world quietly, without ever knowing it.

But I don’t have to tell you that. You already sense it from within. That’s because you are a writer. And this crazy world needs you now more than ever.

About the Guest Author

C.K. Brooke is an ACES Certified Editor and Associate Member. She is also an award-winning indie author of over a dozen books, published by 48fourteen, Limitless, and Called by the Heart. Since 2017, C.K. has edited for numerous independent authors, including #1 international bestselling author Mande Matthews, and publishing houses such as 48fourteen and The Parliament House.

Need an editor for your next book? She offers affordable, friendly, and prompt copy editing services for indies like you. View her profile and portfolio on Reedsy: https://reedsy.com/c-k-brooke and contact her to get started today at https://ckbrookewrites.wordpress.com/proofreading/.

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Free Facebook Page Banners

Here are some free Facebook page banners. I’ve created the banner with photomanipulation from various free commercial stock resources so you may use them as you like. They are at full size for Facebook so just right-click and save as to your computer then upload to your Facebook page.

free facebook page banner - magical, fairy, medieval, forest

free facebook page banner - knight, historical, castle, landscape - download for free

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Easy Trick to Get Your Article or Blog Post Written When You Don’t Have Any Time.

I have Grammarly installed on my computer. It calculates how many words I write per week. Since I use this on my work computer (not my writing computer – the two are separate), it’s basically calculating how many words I’m emailing, as that’s the only writing I do on that computer.

Every week, I’m astonished at how many email words I’m producing. And yet, I fail to turn out a single article or blog post. Like. Ever.

Want the stats for the last few weeks?

  • 20,970
  • 14,091
  • 15,119
  • 23,489
  • And a whopping 32,362

Now, I’m struggling to produce even 7.5K words writing for an hour straight every single day on my work-in-progress, and yet, here I am popping out up to 32,362 words per week just EMAILING PEOPLE!

If you have a desk job, you might be shocked to see your numbers, too. You can download Grammarly. If you do a lot of word processing, don’t enable it for a month and just check your email averages.

In any case, I thought, how can I benefit from this? I know that I reactively respond to emails. I’ve tried setting limits for when I actually check emails. Even with a check system for the day, I still end up with a hefty word count at the end of the week.

 

Then I realized, I could be capturing some of those words as an article or blog post first draft. How? I thought about the logistics. I checked my email (I’m on GoDaddy), and sure enough, there’s a scheduling function.

My plan became clear. Outline my article’s points, turn those points into questions, email each question at a specific time each day, and once all emails were answered, I’d have a first draft without setting aside any extra time. I’d just answer each email as if it were an email from another person. It would fit into my day seamlessly.

But could it really work?

I set out to try and came up with this system:

 Prepping the Subject: (set aside two 10-15 minute time slots to complete this step)

  1. Choose the Topic you’re writing about (Time slot 1)
  2. Make a list of sections (an outline) for the post. (Time slot 1)
  3. Turn each section topic into a question. (ex: if your section is Benefits of Emailing Your Blog Post, write: What are the benefits of emailing my blog post.) Why? Because questions are easy to answer. You’ll get this in your email and your brain immediately processes it into answers, which equals fast and easy writing for you. (Time slot 1)
  4. Set up emails for each question and schedule them to go out to you twice a day, or once a day. Whatever you KNOW you can handle.  (Time slot 2)

It’s time to move on to compiling and completing. This is where the magic happens. If you’re anything like me, answering emails will be compulsive.

Answers:

  1. As your question emails come in, go ahead and reply to them, writing as if you’re writing to another person. If you need to check on specifics or fact check, just mark with an XX and catch them in the edit.
  2. Move the replies into an “Articles” folder that you’ve created on your email software
  3. Make sure you have the title of the article in each subject line for easy compilation later.

Screenshot of my Articles folder on my GoDaddy email

Polish:

  1. Compile the article and edit. Voila! Compiling should just be basic cut and paste. Then read through to connect the dots. Edit and you’re ready to post!

I followed the above steps for the article I had in mind, making sure I set up an end date in my calendar to compile my emails into a completed article.

Did it work? Flawlessly. You can see the end result of my first “emailed article” here.

You can even use this process to edit your work. Just compile your drafted emails into one email and schedule it to go out to yourself at a specific time. Reply with your edit, mark in your subject, edited, and voila – you’re ready to upload it to your site.

Comment below to let me know if you tried it, and how it worked. Or, do you have any little tricks for getting your posts completed? Don’t be shy, share in the comments.

Did you like it? PIN IT.

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Coupon Alert!

Have you heard? Our all-new Etsy shop lets you shop for premade covers, lock in your cover art, and download your cover art instantly with a 24-48 hour titles turn around (M-F).

Shop now and get 15% off your premade! Just enter 15OFF at checkout to receive your discount.

Buy Premade Book Covers on Etsy Instant Download

Now you can buy our premades on Etsy and get an instant download of art files with a 24-48 hour (M-F) titles turn around. No waiting. Lock in your cover. If it’s available on Etsy, it’s available right now. No emailing back and forth. Shop here.

* Only one coupon per purchase. Good through March 30th, 2019.

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Buy Premades on Etsy Now – Instant Downloads for Covers

Buy Premade Book Covers on Etsy Instant Download

Now you can buy our premades on Etsy and get an instant download of art files with a 24-48 hour (M-F) titles turn around. No waiting. Lock in your cover. If it’s available on Etsy, it’s available right now. No emailing back and forth. Shop here.

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All In One Premade Bundle – ONLY $79

Your All-In-One includes:

  • An Ebook Cover (two distribution sizes)
  • Web display sizes (two sizes: large and thumbnail)
  • Print book (full wrap, back, spine to your printer specifications)
  • 3D cover
  • Facebook banner (blank, based on your cover design)

Premade Women's Fiction, Travel, Paris, Europe, Holiday, Vintage, Chick Lit Premade Book Cover$79, REF: 18002 Premade Women’s Fiction, Travel, Paris, Europe, Holiday, Vintage, Chick Lit Premade Book Cover

Contact amatthews@amdesignstudios.net to purchase.

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Announcing Premade All-In-One Bundles – Super Savings!

In response to the changing landscape of publishing and need for low cost yet well-designed covers, I’m offering all-in-one premade bundles for super savings and budget-friendly publishing.

These covers are genre-specific to appeal to your readers and designed with AM’s multi-award winning experience in genre-appeal.

Your All-In-One includes:

  • An Ebook Cover (two distribution sizes)
  • Web display sizes (two sizes: large and thumbnail)
  • Print book (full wrap, back, spine to your printer specifications)
  • 3D cover
  • Facebook banner (blank, based on your cover design)

I’m offering three tiers:

  • $79 (1 image)
  • $99 (2 images)
  • $129 (3 or more images)

One image is defined as one central image and does not refer to effects and overlays. Even one image covers will include genre-specific photomanipulation to make your cover as original as possible.

Given the low-cost of the cover, no customizations (aside from author/title/series/byline/back blurb) are included, but if you need a customization, please ask. You’ll be accommodated with a small add-on price. (Add-on examples: add publisher’s mark, add bio and photo, change eye, hair or clothing color, add an element, etc.)

Covers are delivered within 48 hours of payment and information receipt (excepting customization requests).

Watch for new releases via email (if you’re not subscribed sign-up here) or bookmark the homepage for new releases.

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Book Cover Design Interview – Tips on What To Consider

Terry Heath, Indie Author and Podcaster, interviewed me on his new Indie Author’s Journey Podcast. Terry’s new to podcasting but scoring interesting and informative interviews with authors and other publishing professionals on topics such as writing to market, exploring Scrivener, author juggling, and more.  Terry’s easy-going yet on-topic style makes the podcast both informative and enjoyable. Check him out.

Here’s the snippet from Terry’s interview with me:

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Premade Cover Design for Middle Grade Fantasy Fiction!

premade book cover, premade cover art, premade cover design, middle grade fiction, middle grade fantasy, witches, magic, schools, original illustrations

REF: 3D_002 Ebook $99, upgrade to print for an additional $50

This is an original 3D illustrated girl combined with photo manipulation.  She can be used for a series with different poses and clothing. I know it’s hard to get illustrated work for Middle-Grade fiction so I decided to start working on some MG offers to help authors keep their budgets low while still getting that illustrated look that sells MG fantasy fiction.

She’s also available for commercial product licensing. Just email me to ask how.

To purchase or ask questions, email amatthews@amdesignstudios.net

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SOLD: Original Illustration Premade Cover – Fantasy, Apocalypse, Zombies, Warrior Woman, Sword & Sorcery, Epic, Battle!

Original Illustration Premade Cover - Fantasy, Apocalypse, Zombies, Warrior Woman, Sword & Sorcery, Epic, Battle!

Original Illustration Premade Cover – Fantasy, Apocalypse, Zombies, Warrior Woman, Sword & Sorcery, Epic, Battle! REF: 4201

 

REF: 4201 PRICE: $99

This is an original 3D illustration, so you won’t find another model just like her! She’d be perfect for all types of fantasy books.  More covers can be made with this same character in different poses and clothing! Perfect for an ongoing series.

Email amatthews@amdesignstudios.net to purchase.

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