Monday, October 10, 2016

Can You Write 500 Words a Day?

Sounds easy, right?

What if I did the math for you and told you that 500 words a day equals 15,000 words in a month? That could be a Kindle book on Amazon in one month! Or 15 parenting magazine articles.

And then you could easily convert those words into a print book on Amazon’s CreateSpace platform as well. I have to tell you I sell more of my Tater Tot Casserole Cookbook in print version these days than I do on Kindle and the price difference is significant.  We’re talking $.99 on Kindle versus $6.49 in print. (Note: not a huge royalty difference since print is so expensive for them to process but still … my print books are floating around in people’s kitchens!)

The Tater Tot Casserole Cookbook has 13,531 words. It contains 35 recipes, 13 dessert recipes, and a large chapter on meal planning.

Yes, this blog is about mostly writing for regional parenting magazines. But after I was doing that for a while successfully I wrote the book on how to do it to help others do the same. After I did that I realized self-publishing was awesome and that's when I put together a cookbook. I have many more book ideas than I have time.

My point is that you have still come to the right place because quite often you can rework your parenting magazine articles and turn them into some sort of compilation. You could work with another author/writer to make a book of parenting essays that is humorous or honest or even sad.

I realized I had many articles about birthdays and so I am working on an e-book about kids and birthdays. Please note that I have heard Amazon wants you to change your content by 90 percent to turn it into an e-book ONLY IF YOU ARE ENROLLED IN KDP SELECT (but I read the entire contract and saw nothing about that). 

Common sense says: don't take your article word for word and plop it into an e-book. Also, make sure that you are still giving quality to the reader. You definitely want to do at least 10,000 words to make it an e-book on Kindle and a little more to be in print to have it a decent size to have a spine.

Please feel free to leave me a comment or contact me by email if you have any questions about self-publishing or writing for parenting magazines. I would love to welcome you into my Facebook group called Regional Parenting Magazine Writers as well.

P.S. This post is just over 500 words and I dictated it while walking to a convenience store to meet up with my kids and my friend Kristin! If I can dictate 500 words in minutes while multitasking (not a huge fan of multitasking anymore but walking and writing I can get on board with), you can do it while commuting to work each day, while breastfeeding your child, maybe even while making dinner. Did you know on the iPhone headphones the microphone is very close to your face so you don’t have to hold the phone up to your mouth? Hands-free dictation rocks.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

How to Use HootSuite to Schedule Social Media for FREE!

It didn't take me long to figure out that social media was where a lot of my traffic was coming from for blogging and other writing. I used to write at Bubblews before they went defunct, where my pay was based on views, likes and comments, and I needed to get the word out about pieces I wrote or I didn't make much money. 

I knew I couldn't sit on Twitter or Facebook or other social media all day spamming my followers with message after message ... I don't want to alienate my readers!

Solution: HootSuite!

It's free! (unless you want the fancy version that gives you all the reports)

Here's what you do:

1. Go to HootSuite and sign up.

2. Add your FIVE social networks that you send info to the most. Options include Twitter, Facebook, G+, LinkedIn, FourSquare, WordPress. I have a little owl icon at the top of my toolbar in Chrome. I click on him and then choose up to five different places to send my post or message. I usually choose my Facebook fan page for The Kerrie Show for general items because I have that set up to also automatically tweet everything that hits there.

Sometimes I pick other places to send my message, like to my Homeschooling Mommybot Facebook fan page or to the fan page for THIS blog!

3. Find a post you want some love on.

4. Add an image if it doesn't already show up on the HootSuite box.

5. HootSuite shortens the link for you! Then you can tailor the message if you like.

6. Click on the calendar to schedule your message for whenever you want it to hit. I do love, however, the Auto Schedule option, which takes it out of your hands and spaces messages far enough apart so as to not spam your followers, plus it apparently sends messages at optimal times somehow.

Talk about making money while you sleep! You could schedule a bunch of tweets overnight for your worldwide fan base and wake up with a nice amount in your AdSense account or find that affiliate links have been clicked or, like used to happen for me, that your Bubblews amount increased incredibly!

If this post confounds you, just check on YouTube because there are how-to videos that show you step-by-step ways to set this up and use it.

And please sign up for an email subscription to this blog for more writing advice!

Check out my book Make Money to Write About Your Kids here on Amazon in Kindle version and paperback! 
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