A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Posts tagged ‘Lois Stern’

2017 WRITING CONTEST: Tales2Inspire Celebrates Sixth Year


Get ready to share your story

winner-tales2inspire

 

“So much more than a contest

Lois W. Stern announces the opening of Tales2Inspire’s sixth yearwith a great little contest for those with an inspiring story to share. But it is so much more than a contest, as winning authors get tons of publicity to help them on their paths to discovery. Free to enter—NO FEES involved.

Stories must be true, with one or more relevant photos submitted to enhance the impact of the story. All details posted at: www.tales2inspire.com/contest, so please refer to this link before you begin.

And since a picture is worth 10,000 words, while you’re there, grab a F*R*E*E e-book sampler of inspiring stories written by previous winners, and now published in one of the six Tales2Inspire® collections

~ Lois W. Stern
Creator of Tales2Inspire ‘Authors Helping Authors’ Project/Contest

Get the NEW Tales2Inspire E-book 6 Inspiring Stories – FREE 
Available formats for KINDLE (Mobi) OR NOOK (e-pub)
FREE e-book sampler www.tales2inspire.com/gift
Your reviews are most appreciated.

    Lois’s links:

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The Stories Behind Our Books, an interview with Lois W. Stern


The Stories Behind Our Books

What Is Your Back Story?

Guest post by Lois W. Stern

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basLois. you have been a guest blogger here several times before, but as a quick intro, I’ll just say that you are an author, editor, presenter, marketer and innovator. Your title for this blog post really grabbed my attention. You are inviting our readers to tell their back stories. So please explain. What exactly do you mean by back stories?

lois_charli3_lite_blueBette, as authors we work so hard to polish our stories to perfection, often working for years before our manuscripts go to press. Hopefully, our readers enjoy the fruits of our labors; but as a presenter, I find that my audiences often find my back stories particularly compelling. So I share little back stories about what propelled me to begin my Tales2Inspire project. Why it was important to me to do this. How I went about the process. What challenges I faced along the way. If I had any cheering squad of supporters or any naysayers of non-support, and how they affected me as I pursued my dreams.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basSo now it seems you are inviting other authors to share the back stories to their books?

 

lois_charli3_lite_blueYes, that’s right Bette. And I’m hoping that we can select a number of their stories to appear right here on this blog. Does that work for you?

 

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basLove that idea, Lois. Let’s go for it! For those of you who don’t know Lois yet, she is the creator of Tales2Inspire, an ‘Authors Helping Authors’ project/contest. Suppose you tell us a bit about the back story to your Tales2Inspire books. For openers, what propelled you to begin this project?

lois_charli3_lite_blueActually, my first full length book had nothing to do with inspiring stories, Bette. Its title, Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery, was a ground-breaker in many ways. (It even merited a few paragraphs on a front page of the Sunday Style section of the NY Times.) I secured a contract with a NYC agent, but despite a lot of publisher interest, ultimately they all turned it down. Why? Word was that I didn’t have a strong enough platform, and I didn’t even know the meaning of that word at the time!) That’s just the first part of my back story, the wake-up call to the state of traditional publishing today and my search for alternate paths to publication.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basWow, Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery sounds about as far from inspirational stories as you can get! How did that transition happen?

lois_charli3_lite_blueActually, it wasn’t a transition at all, Bette, just another side to my personality. I always loved inspiring stories, was drawn to them with an almost magnetic force. I even started a column for a New York webzine that I titled Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives several years before writing Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery. I have a passion for sharing uplifting stories about good people and wonderful happenings because we rarely read about them. It seems that stories of heinous crimes and violence dominate the news.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basWe sure could use more uplifting stories in today’s world, so I understand your passion for writing inspiring stories. But why did you open up Tales2Inspire to other authors and turn it into a contest?

lois_charli3_lite_blueGood question, Bette, and the one I’m asked most often. After my letdown experience with traditional publishing, I began to think, this must be happening to many other authors, talented authors who are never given a chance because they lack that elusive author platform. That’s when I began to envision creating an alternate path for all of us, seeking ways to help strengthen our opportunities for discovery and name recognition.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basIt sounds like initiating this Tales2Inspire contest was just a seed of an idea in 2012. My guess is that you never dreamed it would grow in such strength and numbers as it has.

lois_charli3_lite_blueYou are absolutely right, Bette. Tales2Inspire is like a dream come true for me. I have self-published five Tales2Inspire books filled with amazing stories from an incredibly talented group of authors.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basI bet readers would be interested in the back story to how you spread the word? Did you meet any naysayers along the way?

lois_charli3_lite_blueI sure did! I first introduced Tales2Inspire on some of the LinkedIn writers’ groups, and ran into a few skeptics who challenged me every step of the way. I can think of one person whose comments were so nasty that I felt like bopping him over the head. But when that happens, you really have to take a deep breath and step back. It would be the kiss-of-death to become confrontational and feed into that negativity. So I would say something like, “I’m so sorry about the misunderstanding. Let me give you a little more information to help allay some of your concerns.”

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basIt takes a lot of diplomacy when your back is pushed to the wall. What about supporters? Can you name anyone in particular?

lois_charli3_lite_blueYes, Dan Poynter, an extremely successful self-published author and author advocate, whose newsletter had a subscription base of many hundreds of thousands. I had met Dan at several writer conferences. When I spoke to him about my project, he encouraged me to write up a blurb for his newsletter. What a difference that made! The spread was enormous. I have received winning stories from South Africa, Australia, England, Canada and from across the United States, all because of Dan. And having information about Tales2Inspire appear in his newsletters certainly gave my project an air of legitimacy.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basSounds like Dan is the guardian angel every author hopes for!

 

 

lois_charli3_lite_blueYou’re right, Bette, but unfortunately now we have to use the past tense. Dan passed on several months ago, but his legacy lives on.

 

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basBeautifully put, Lois. I think readers might like the back story to why you call Tales2Inspire a project as well as a contest.

lois_charli3_lite_blueI work feverishly to find new and innovative ways to strengthen my winning authors’ platforms, to give them many diverse opportunities for discovery. And I involve them in the judging phase of this contest. It’s all explained on my website at www.tales2inspire.com.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basFinally, I think our readers would be interested in your answer to this one front story question. What is the theme of your next contest and what are the entry criteria.

lois_charli3_lite_blueThis theme of this next contest is ‘inspiring animal stories’, subtitled Stories in Feathers and Fur. It’s underway right now and for any of your readers who are interested, or simply faintly curious, all the guidelines and submission details appear on my website at www.tales2inspire.com. And I guess I should mention that it is FREE. There are no submission fees to enter this contest.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basThank you, Lois, for a fascinating interview.

And now, readers, we’d love to hear from you. How about sending us the back stories to your books.

lois_charli3_lite_blueMy pleasure, Bette.

Before I say goodbye, I would like to offer your readers a gift —a FREE sampler of Tales2Inspire published stories. Just click on http://tales2inspire.com/?page_id=804 and it will be yours!

 

 My Author Links:

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Aside

How to Conquer the Book Marketing Monster


Conquering that Marketing Monster

Guest post by Lois W. Stern

marketing.monster2Writing our books is the fun part, as it challenges our creativity, satisfying a need for self-expression. But marketing our books . . . that’s a whole different story. I call it the marketing monster! Many internet sites are out there to help us slay that dragon, but I’d like to share three little gems that you might have overlooked.

Hold on for a second. Before we begin, I want you to build yourself a promotional template. It will take a little time, and you won’t need all of these items for each venue, but trust me, in the long run, it will be a real time saver.

Template Items:

  • Book title:
  • Author:
  • Genre:
  • Book formats (paperback, hardcover, Kindle, other e-reader formats):
  • ISBN #:
  • Author bio:
  • Book teaser or elevator pitch:
  • URL links to any places where your book has a presence:
  • your website or blog
  • amazon.com, Barnesannobles.com
  • Your social media pages (Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon Central page
  • Images:          your headshot            book cover(s)
  • Several compelling reviews of your book”
  • An enticing excerpt:

Here are three ideas I have discovered that I can recommend for free or low-budget book promotion.

newbookreview_banner_full

Submit your book and some of its best reviews to Carolyn Howard-Johnson* for a free posting on her website and you will get some great cross promotion opportunities.

Follow these guidelines.
(or copy and paste: http://www.thenewbookreview.blogspot.com into your browser.)

Watch this brief video to meet Carolyn and learn about her fabulous writing and book marketing credentials.
(or copy and paste: http://www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com into your browser.)

* Carolyn’s site has been named to Online University’s 101 Best Blogs for Readers.

1000 Words Plus

 

 

 

Recommended through Dan Poynter, One Thousand Words Plus is a fabulous new site where you can actually create a separate web page for each of your published books. You are given the opportunity to:

  • Display a synopsis/description of each of your books
  • Display chosen samples of text from anywhere within your books
  • Direct potential readers to your preferred online retail outlet for your book
  • Direct potential readers to your other relevant URLs

(i.e. publisher’s website, author’s website, blog and social media pages, etc.)

  • Post book cover images and more.

The publishers have agreed to offer a 50% discount for readers of this blog who sign up by the end of this calendar year. By using Code LWS2015, you will be charged only $24.95 for the lifetime exposure for each of your books (normally $49.95). Note: Since there are no annual renewal fees, this is quite a bargain.

To get familiar with their format, go to:

http://www.onethousandwordsplus.com/

Then click on the words: Im an author, I want to learn more to promote your book.

Next Best Thing

The Next Best Thing, sent to me by Linda Maria Frank, host of The Writers Dream LTV Show, is both free and a clever original. It is set up more or less like a blog tour, to help market yourself while helping your fellow authors. The basic idea is to respond to ten questions about your published or about-to-be-published book, while submitting your headshot and book cover images. Follow these directions carefully and click here to see how I set up my page.

Note: I will limit my blog tour to the first ten people who respond. It’s free but I will only have space to include the first ten authors who follow every step of the directions, so read carefully.

Please use the comment area below to share one great marketing tip or lesser known website you have discovered to help conquer that marketing monster.

About the author

lois_charli3_lite_blue

Author Lois Stern

My first two books focused on physical beauty: Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery (with sound advice and personal emotional undercurrents to cosmetic surgery) and Tick Tock, Stop the Clock ~ Getting Pretty on Your Lunch Hour (with chapters written by eleven nationally renowned experts and outstanding practitioners, detailing many of the most current minimally invasive beauty procedures).

Then my writing career took a seemingly sharp turn as I began to focus on inspiring stories, stories to touch the heart and soul. But in truth this was not a new interest for me as I always had a special appreciation for feel-good stories that reach the inner spirit, inspire, motivate, make us question. I started to develop this idea further as I initiated a Tales2Inspire ‘Authors Helping Authors’ project/contest, and with contributing stories from other talented writers, have begun a series of inspiring story anthologies. I have now published the first four of these little jewel books: the Emerald, Topaz, Sapphire and Ruby collections, with more on the way. Each book is enhanced by the inclusion of original photos and drawings.

 

If you think you might be interested in participating in Tales2Inspire™, do visit my website and click on the word CONTEST for details. Winning authors receive an incredible number of platform building opportunities. And isn’t that what all talented authors are seeking? DISCOVERY!

Thanks so much for sharing these great marketing tips with us, Lois.

And, writers, don’t forget to tell us about your favorite marketing tips in the comments section below.

HAPPY WRITING & BOOK MARKETING, ALL!

Bette A. Stevens

Bette’s Blog

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