Get this free Author's Career Cheat Sheet from Crystal Lake Publishing

Free Author’s Career Guide from Crystal Lake Publishing

As some of you will know, Crystal Lake Publishing is a small (but growing) horror fiction publishing house, run by my old friend Joe Mynhardt. Joe has recently taken the leap to become a full-time publisher, so I wish him every success and satisfaction with this.

Joe has just published a free report called The Author’s Career Cheat Sheet. This is a guide to building your career as an author, focusing especially on how best to use the internet and social media to help build your platform. It also has advice on how to find inspiration, and generally how to balance writing with other areas of your life.

The report is a 12-page PDF and is well worth a read. As mentioned it is free, although you do have to provide your email address to get your hands on it. This is something I am normally a little wary about, but having known Joe for many years I can say categorically that he is not going to start spamming you!

Indeed, if you write horror or speculative fiction, signing up is likely to be a good move, as Joe will be sharing tips, advice and calls for submissions for new Crystal Lake projects, as well as info about books including authors’ guides that may be of interest to you.

Speaking of which, don’t forget that Crystal Lake currently have two open calls for submissions. I wrote about them in this blog post a few weeks ago. One is for their annual Tales from the Lake anthology, and the other is for a C.H.U.D. tribute anthology. The deadline for both of these is the end of January 2017, so don’t delay if you have something suitable.

You can request the free Author’s Career Cheat Sheet and also read the latest calls for submissions on this page of the Crystal Lake website.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, as always, feel free to leave them below – although please bear in mind that I do not work for Crystal Lake Publishing myself! If you need to get in touch with Joe and his colleagues directly, here is a link to their contact page.

And, once again, you can request the free author’s career guide on their submissions page here.

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AmaSuite 5: New Version of this Top Quality Amazon Research Product

AmaSuite 5: New Version of this Top Quality Amazon Research Tool

Regular readers will know that until recently I was chief bizopps reviewer for More Money Review.

By the end of my time working with MMR – and I am incidentally still on very good terms with them – I had reviewed several hundred home-business opportunities in a wide range of categories, from Kindle publishing courses to multi-level marketing schemes.

During this time I saw plenty of bad and ugly products, but not so many that were good. As a reviewer you soon get to know who the good developers are and who are the ones you need to avoid with the proverbial ten-foot barge-pole.

Anyway, Dave Guindon and his business partner Chris Guthrie are definitely in the ‘good’ category. They aren’t as prolific as some other developers, but when they do release a product it is almost always the best in its class. They routinely over-deliver to an astonishing degree. Their KD Suite of market research software for Kindle authors is something I have raved about in the past, for example.

Today, however, I wanted to draw your attention to another of their products, AmaSuite, which is just about to come out in its fifth iteration. This is a market research product (and training) for anyone interested in selling physical products on Amazon, either their own or as affiliates.

I reviewed an earlier version of AmaSuite (AmaSuite 3) for More Money Review a while ago. Here’s a link to my in-depth review there. Note that to read the whole review you will need to be a registered member and logged in, but registering is free and only takes a few moments. I have reproduced the conclusion to my review below…

Overall, I was highly impressed with AmaSuite 3. If you’re serious about making money as an Amazon affiliate, and willing to put some work in to make it happen, AmaSuite 3 will undoubtedly prove a valuable resource for you.

I was impressed with Dave Guindon’s earlier product KD Suite (also reviewed on More Money Review) and in my view AmaSuite 3 builds on the lessons he learned from that. It is a highly professional, multi-featured product that should provide you with all the tools and training you need to make a growing income as an Amazon affiliate.

The latest version of the software, AmaSuite 5, now has five main components, as opposed to the three in Amasuite 3 that I reviewed. Briefly, they are as follows:

Top Product Analyzer – This tool lists and analyzes the 100 best-selling products in the most popular 100 categories on both Amazon UK and Amazon.com.

Search Analyzer – This shows you the most popular products on Amazon for any given search phrase.

Keyword Analyzer – This extracts the exact keywords people are searching for right now by using four of the major online e-commerce websites in the world.

Review Analyzer – This tool helps you come up with ideas for white-label products you could create yourself, by analyzing reviews of existing products and highlighting feature requests and suggestions for improvement. You can then use this data to develop your own rival products that meet these requests and address the criticisms.

AliAnalyzer – This tool works with the popular AliExpress platform to discover best-selling products there and identify products you could dropship from your own e-commerce site.

I can’t really do justice to all the things these software tools can do for you in this post, so I highly recommend visiting the AmaSuite 5 offer page and reading the full in-depth descriptions there.

The software is by no means the end of it either. You also get two full-length training courses, one about making money as an Amazon affiliate, and the other about selling your own physical products on Amazon (which is where the really big money lies, of course).

And finally you get membership of their ‘AmaGroup’ on Facebook, where you can discuss how to make the most of AmaSuite with over 6000 other users.

As you will gather, I’m a big fan of AmaSuite. I appreciate it won’t be for everyone, but if Amazon selling or affiliate marketing is something that interests you, in my opinion buying Amasuite 5 is a no-brainer.

AmaSuite 5 Launch Discount Offer

I am pleased to say that Dave Guindon has kindly allowed me to offer a special launch discount to my blog readers. From now until the closing date of Friday 13 January you will be able to claim a huge $100 discount on the entire product if you order AmaSuite 5 via my link. After 13 January 2017 this offer will no longer be available, so please don’t delay if this product could be of value to you.

As ever, if you have any comments or questions about AmaSuite 5, please do post them below and I will do my best to answer them.

 

 

 

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Happy New Year 2017!

Happy New Year 2017!

Just wanted to wish every reader of Entrepreneur Writer a happy, creative and prosperous 2017!

I do hope this is the year when you achieve, or at least start to achieve, all of your writing ambitions.

I’m looking forward to sharing more writing tips, advice, resources, market information and more with you in the year ahead. So if you haven’t already done so, be sure to subscribe via the box in the right-hand column to ensure that you never miss a post 🙂

Don’t forget, too, to follow me on Twitter. I regularly use this to share details of useful websites and resources that I don’t always have time to post about here. And if you really want to stay connected, you can also sign up to follow me on my official Facebook Page and Google Plus.

I also recently added this blog to the increasingly popular Bloglovin platform. If you are a member of this free service you can get all my latest posts delivered to you with your updates (and any other blogs you follow on the platform as well, of course!). Just click through this link to sign up.

Finally, you haven’t yet seen it (and especially if you live in the UK) do check out my new personal finance blog Pounds and Sense. If you are looking to save money, make money or invest money in 2017, I guarantee you’ll find some eye-opening tips and information.

Once again, I wish you a very happy and creative new year.

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Happy Christmas 2016!

Happy Christmas 2016!

Just wanted to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a Very Happy Christmas!

Even if you don’t celebrate the religious festival, I hope you enjoy the festive period. Thank you for reading at least some of my blog posts this year, and contributing to some interesting discussions.

Naturally, many people at this time are fully occupied with family celebrations. If you have any time on your hands over the holiday period, though – or you just need a break from the festivities – the forum at myWritersCircle.com is always open for discussions about writing, or any subject you choose in The Coffee Shop.

If you feel like doing some reading – maybe on your new Kindle or tablet – you may like to check out my post “Nine Top Ebooks About Writing That Are Free Today“. As far as I know, all these e-books are still free!

To get your writing career off to the best possible start in 2017, you might like to sign up to this free fiction writing course from FutureLearn starting in January, or prepare and submit a story for these forthcoming anthologies from Crystal Lake Publishing.

And if Santa brings you a bit of extra cash, here are links to my posts spotlighting some high-quality resources I recommend for any aspiring writer…

Geoff Shaw’s Kindling – Still the number one resource for Kindle authors.

Piggyback Publishing Profits – The guide from the prolific Amy Harrop sets out a clever method of “piggy-backing” on the success of popular titles to drive sales of your own books and ebooks..

Kindle Quiz – This sets out another approach to ebook publishing I really like. Quiz books are “hot” right now, and easy to publish for Kindle if you follow the step-by-step advice in this guide. The method combines very well with the one set out in Piggyback Publishing Profits, incidentally.

Puzzle Publishing Profits – This is another excellent guide from Amy Harrop. It reveals how you can capitalize on the huge puzzle books market, using free and low-cost resources to quickly publish titles on Amazon’s CreateSpace platform.

Essential English for Authors – This is my downloadable course about bringing your writing up to a publishable standard in the shortest time possible.

Write Any Book in Under 28 Days – My top-selling writing course, which has been used by thousands of writers to plan and write a full-length book of their own.

Any of the above would be a great investment for your writing career in 2017.

Once again, I do hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and a happy and creative new year. Thank you for being a valued reader of Entrepreneur Writer.

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Massive Royalties from Tiny Books

Review: Massive Royalties from Tiny Books

Massive Royalties from Tiny Books is a new product from Paul Coleman. It is being heavily promoted online at the moment, so I thought I would buy a copy myself to see if it is worthy of the hype.

Massive Royalties from Tiny Books is a guide to making money by publishing Kindle Short Reads. This is a category of short Kindle e-book recently created by Amazon. It should not be confused with Kindle Singles, for which you have to go through a submission process.

Anyone can write and publish a Kindle Short Read. The only stipulation is that the book should be under 100 pages. Paul tells us that this type of short e-book is becoming very popular among busy  people for whom time is at a premium.

So what do you get for your money? The main guide is a downloadable PDF manual. In keeping with the tiny books theme, it is quite short itself. There are just 23 pages, weighing in at around 6000 words. The content is organised in 12 sections, as follows:

1. Why Short Reads?
2. Bestsellers
3. Review Secrets
4. Book Description
5. Cover Magic
6. Hooks
7. Outline
8. Browse Categories
9. Launch and Promote
10. Bad Reaction
11. Good Reaction
12. Boxed Set

The advice is focused around creating fiction, and specifically romantic/erotic fiction aimed at women (like 50 Shades of Grey). It would have been nice to see some discussion about non-fiction as well.

On the plus side, Massive Royalties from Tiny Books makes a strong case for creating short Kindle e-books (Paul recommends aiming for just 30 pages or around 7500 words). And it does provide a step-by-step method for planning, writing and promoting a book of this type.

With only 23 pages the advice is clearly not in-depth, but you do get links to a good range of useful resources and information. For example, there are links to Kindle e-book research sites, the HTML codes you can use in your Amazon sales page descriptions, and to people offering to help promote your e-book inexpensively on Fiverr.

One thing you won’t find is any detailed advice on writing and publishing a Kindle e-book using the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) platform. I highly recommend Geoff Shaw’s Kindling for advice and training about this – and of course there is free information on formatting and publishing a Kindle e-book on the KDP help pages.

So is Massive Royalties from Tiny Books Worth Buying?

On balance, I think that Massive Royalties from Tiny Books is worth the $17 (around £14) currently being asked for it, especially as you also get access to a private Facebook group devoted to this subject.

Ideally it would be good if the manual covered a wider range of potential topics for short books. More discussion about the actual writing and publishing process might have helped those new to Kindle publishing as well. But it will undoubtedly open your eyes to the potential of this approach, and give you a practical step-by-step strategy which you can research further via other resources if required.

To sum up, if making money from Kindle publishing is something that interests you, this guide is definitely worth adding to your resources library.

If you have any comments or questions about Massive Royalties from Tiny Books, as always, please do post them below.

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My Top 12 Posts of 2016!

My Top 12 Posts of 2016!

As is customary at this time of year, here are the top twelve posts on Entrepreneur Writer this year, based on comments, pageviews and social media shares. They are in no particular order. Obviously, I have excluded any posts that are no longer relevant, e.g. anthologies where the deadline has passed.

I hope you will enjoy revisiting these posts, or seeing them for the first time if you are new to EW. Don’t forget, you can always subscribe to Entrepreneur Writer to be notified of new posts as soon as they appear.

  1. What I Learned from my First TV Appearance
  2. Who, Whom, Whoever, Whomever – How to Choose Which One is Correct
  3. How to Apply the Advice “Show, Don’t Tell”
  4. My Seven Favourite WordPress Plug-ins
  5. How One Blogger Made £100,000 Working From Home on the Internet
  6. Get Your Book or Ebook Reviewed for Free at Readers Favorite
  7. Review of Outline Master by Lina Trivedi
  8. Property Crowdfunding: An Investment Opportunity for Everyone
  9. Save Money and Make Money with Cashback Websites
  10. Review: Pop Culture Publishing Profits
  11. Review: Puzzle Publishing Profits
  12. Call for Submissions for two new Anthologies from Crystal Lake Publishing

A quick mention too for my newly launched UK personal finance blog Pounds and Sense. I do hope you will check this out as well if you haven’t already. I look forward to bringing you plenty more posts on both blogs in 2017.

If you have any comments or questions, of course, please do feel free to leave them below.

 

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Start Writing Fiction

Sign Up Now for This Free Fiction Writing Course from Futurelearn

I have mentioned Futurelearn on this blog before. It’s a UK-based platform for short online courses from British and international universities. All Futurelearn courses are free and open to anyone in the world.

Anyway, I thought you might like to know that a course titled Start Writing Fiction begins on 9 January 2017. It comes from The Open University, a well-respected UK distance learning institution. It will run for eight weeks and you can enrol now if you wish.

Start Writing Fiction is intended for anyone with an interest in starting to write fiction or improving their fiction writing. There is a particular focus on creating interesting, believable characters. The course does not require any previous experience of studying the subject.

On the website, it says:

Start Writing Fiction focuses on a skill which is central to the writing of all stories and novels – creating characters.

You will listen to established writers, such as Louis de Bernières, Patricia Duncker, Alex Garland, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tim Pears, Michèle Roberts and Monique Roffey, talk about how they started writing. You’ll consider the rituals of writing and the importance of keeping a journal.

You’ll learn how to develop your ideas and the importance of reflecting on writing and editing, and you’ll hear other writers talking about their approaches to research and consider ways of turning events into a plot.

You’ll also have the opportunity to review and comment on the work of fellow writers, and receive peer feedback on your own story, learning the importance of reading as a writer and how to receive and respond to feedback.

The course is run by Dr Derek Neale. It requires a commitment of around three hours a week.

For more information (including a video trailer) and to register, visit the Start Writing Fiction information page of the Futurelearn website.

Futurelearn have lots of other interesting free courses, incidentally. I recently took one called Secrets of Successful Ageing from Trinity College, Dublin, which was informative and thought-provoking. I am also enrolled on an Open University course called Managing My Investments in January. As well as the teaching itself, another big attraction of Futurelearn courses is the opportunity they provide to interact with fellow students all over the world.

If you have any comments or questions about Futurelearn, as ever, please do post them below.

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Card deck publishing profits

Review: Card Deck Publishing Profits

Card Deck Publishing Profits is the latest writing product to be launched by my entrepreneurial colleague Amy Harrop.

Amy is a successful self-published author, and the creator of many guides and products for authors. Other products of hers I have reviewed include Puzzle Publishing Profits, 3 Minute Journals and Publisher’s Power Tool.

Amy was kind enough to allow me a review copy of Card Deck Publishing Profits, so here’s what I found…

This product is being sold via the popular and well-established WarriorPlus platform. The main guide is a 94-page PDF. This is well written (as with all of Amy’s guides) and illustrated with graphics and screen captures where relevant.

As you may gather from the name, Card Deck Publishing Profits is a guide to making money by publishing your own decks of cards. These are not standard packs with spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds (though you could certainly produce those if you wish). They are actually much more varied than that, including:

  • Tarot cards
  • Oracle cards
  • Affirmation cards
  • Card and trading games
  • Flash cards / learning / education cards
  • Business / creativity / thinking / self-help

The manual goes on to look at where you can get ideas for card decks, and how to design and produce them. Amy covers a range of publishing options, including traditional self-publishing companies and online ‘drag and drop’ services. She provides detailed information about services she recommends in both these categories.

The final section of the manual includes advice on marketing and selling your card decks, including the use of crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter, as well as Amazon (FBA), eBay, Shopify stores, and so on.

There is also a separate ‘fast-start’ guide, which I understand will be available as an optional extra. This is a 45-page PDF. It goes into much more detail about the nuts and bolts of publishing a card deck, including design considerations, fonts to use, software, and so forth, again with plenty of useful free and low-cost resources described. This guide also contains valuable advice about using public domain and PLR (private label right) content, to avoid the cost of commissioning original artwork. If you plan to buy Card Deck Publishing Profits, I would definitely consider getting the fast-start guide as well.

In Conclusion

Overall, I thought Card Deck Publishing Profits was a high-quality guide to creating, publishing and marketing a print product I wouldn’t even have considered before. But certainly, even a swift search online shows that there is a big market for this type of product. There is also the attraction that card decks are ‘evergreen’ products with the potential to go on selling steadily for months or even years to come.

Of course, as with any printed product, there will be a learning curve. This is not as straightforward as publishing a Kindle e-book (although it must be said that this is becoming a very crowded market). On the plus side, however, there is much less competition, and once you have published one deck, there is no reason you couldn’t publish more quite quickly. It is definitely an opportunity any entrepreneurial writer should consider.

Finally, I should note that Card Deck Publishing Profits is on sale at a launch offer price of just $17 until 31 December 2016, after which the cost will rise to $27.

As always, if you have any comments or queries about Card Deck Publishing Profits, please do post them below.

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Check out Pounds and Sense - my new UK personal finance blog!

Check Out Pounds and Sense – My New Personal Finance Blog

Today I wanted to let you know about the new blog I have just launched called Pounds and Sense.

This is a personal finance blog aimed especially at over-60s – in which category, of course, I myself now belong 🙂

In Pounds and Sense I will be sharing my thoughts on saving money, making money and investing, all from a 60-plus perspective. It will be more of a lifestyle blog than Entrepreneur Writer, so you can also expect to read about other matters that interest me, such as health, food and drink, travel, leisure, relationships, and so on.

Unlike Entrepreneur Writer, which is written for a world-wide readership, Pounds and Sense will be targeted more at UK readers. That is necessarily so, as financial matters are often specific to the country in which you live, whilst writing is largely universal. Of course, I hope that at least some of Pounds and Sense will be of interest (and value) to non-UK residents – and you are all, of course, very welcome to visit my new blog and follow it!

I will continue to update Entrepreneur Writer, although perhaps not quite so frequently. I am semi-retired these days and no longer working for WCCL (publishers of my Write Any Book in Under 28 Days course), More Money Review or any other regular clients, but I do still have a strong interest in writing (and remain available for interesting commissions!).

Pounds and Sense has only just been launched, so there isn’t much content on it at the moment (just a single post at the time of writing this). But that will of course change over the coming weeks and months, as I get into my stride with it.

Anyway, I do hope you will check out Pounds and Sense, and if you like what you see sign up to receive updates by email as well. I have also set up a Facebook page and Twitter account for the blog.

If you have any comments or questions about Pounds and Sense, as ever, please do post them below.

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Earn a Sideline Income with Prolific Academic

Earn a Sideline Income With Prolific Academic

Here’s a sideline earning opportunity that will give your little grey cells an enjoyable workout as well.

Prolific Academic is a website that provides a platform for academic researchers across the world to conduct online studies of all types. And the best thing is that participants get paid for taking part.

Anyone is welcome to sign up, and you are then shown studies you are eligible for. They are typically in the fields of business, science, psychology and social science. Payments range from 40p to £3.00 or more. Obviously, the longer the study, the higher the payment tends to be. Helpfully, PA show you how long people take on average to complete the study and what this equates to as an hourly rate.

For most people the money will be the main attraction, but the studies themselves are interesting and varied. One I did recently involved injecting virtual mice with a virtual chemical, and then using a virtual loupe (magnifying glass) to see which ones “expressed a gene” (or more prosaically changed colour). You then had to answer some questions about what conclusions you could draw from each experiment.

Another one I enjoyed involved reading a transcript of an unfair dismissal hearing (I assume an imaginary one). You then had to decide whether the complainant had indeed been unfairly dismissed, based on legal information provided. This one took me back to the long-ago days when I worked for a while in a Citizens Advice Bureau and represented several people at tribunals myself. Interesting stuff.

Payment is made via the online payment system PayPal, so you will need to set up a PayPal account if you don’t have one already. There is a low withdrawal threshold of just £5, but if you wait till you have earned £20 or more payments are made without the usual deductions for PayPal charges. I recently received my first payment of £20.92, which came through within five days of requesting the money.

Prolific Academic is based in Oxford, England, but as far as I know anyone from anywhere in the world is welcome to join. It is definitely open to US residents. With PayPal, of course, it is easy to change money from UK pounds to US dollars, euros, and so on.

Prolific Academic also rewards members who introduce other members, so if you join and recruit your friends and family as will, you can potentially boost your earnings significantly. As you may have gathered, I am using referral links in this blog post, but am only doing so having proved to my own satisfaction that PA is genuine and they really do pay people for taking part in studies.

Finally, if you are an academic researcher yourself, you can sign up via any link in this post and Prolific will then pay you £25 towards the cost of your first study (so long as you put in at least £50 yourself).

If you have any questions or comments about Prolific Academic, as always, please do post them below.

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