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mail@authorsguildoftn.org    +1.865.254-3054 and 865.657-9560.

News and Blog

In our blog we post interesting news, events, member specifics and other items. You can subscribe to our blog or categories of our blog. If you do you will be notified by email whenever we post a new entry in our blog.
Featured

Our Front Porch

The other day I was thinking about our front porch in Montague, Michigan. Growing up it was used as a gathering place where people were welcomed, listened to, encouraged to share, and I believe, felt loved. I never really understood the significance of all of this until mom and dad were gone, and I could no longer sit on that front porch.

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Featured

Support My Kindle Scout Campaign

I need your help!

 

I am participating in a reader-powered process for a publishing contract through Amazon for my novel, "Surviving Stephen."

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A Special Book

Our library in Montague, MI was above the firehouse.  I was happy to know I could go there and check out fun books to read. We didn’t have a television so our activities were simple. Reading became an important part of our lives.

One day my father said he had a surprise for me. “I want to show you something, Adele. I’m going to take you to a place where there are many books! We’re going to go to Grossman’s.” (Grossman’s was a very popular department store in Muskegon, MI).

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Tilmer Wright Jr.
Adele - I absolutely love this story. I have two teenage daughters. I have struggled their entire lives to try to be a good and lo... Read More
Friday, 31 March 2017 15:35
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Featured

FREE eBook for members and visitors

The holidays are over. No more shopping until Valentine's Day. BUT THE GIFTS KEEP COMING. Here's a FREE copy of my award winning first novel in the Sam Jenkins Smoky Mountain mystery series. Simply click on the link and follow the directions to down load your free mobi version (for the Kindle eReader.) If you would like a different version (ePub for Nook and most other eReaders or PDF for PCs and all other devices) just send me an email (the address is provided on the "freebie page") and I'll send it to you.

I hope you enjoy A NEW PROSPECT and plan on visiting Sam Jenkins and all the boys and girls of Prospect PD often. 

http://waynezurl.authorreach.com

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Listened to a Webinar today given by Jason Schmetzer, Marketing Mgr. for Authors Learning Center. He is a writer, teacher, website designer and marketer who works with SEOs every day. Here's some of what he had to say.

I. WHAT SEO IS:

It's growing your site's visibility on the Internet by improving your ranking by search engines like Google and Bing. Your ranking is determined by the number of times people go to a site based on its relevance and popularity.

Relevance: How well does your site answer queries?

Popularity: How many people go there and how long do they stay? 

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Book Signing at Barnes & Noble

My husband, Dave Hickman, and I will be holding a book signing event for "And the Angel Cried" at Barnes & Noble, 8029 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN, on Saturday, June 17th (1:00-4:00). Come on by, grab a piece of candy (or 2 or 3...) and learn more about this incredible true story.

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Gale Frances
Thank you Wayne!
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 16:47
Gale Frances
Thank you for your kind comment, Cheryl - I will post again in June.....
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 16:31
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Another Suggestion To Make Your Writing Better.

 

Yesterday I posted the late Elmore Leonard’s best advice for good writing. Not everyone agreed with the old boy. Neither did I. Well, I liked 3 or 4 of his rules, but didn’t exactly agree with the rest. But those were his ideas and he has been successful.

 

Today I’ll try to get back into everyone’s good graces with my own advice. This is one I believe in—100%.

 

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Kaye George
I tried to give a 5 star, but it kept saying 4 1/2! Sorry.
Friday, 21 April 2017 12:28
Wayne Zurl
Thanks, Kaye. I never noticed the star ratings before.
Friday, 21 April 2017 13:27
Cheryl Peyton
I still like most of Elmore Leonard's rules, except for 'never use a Prologue or start a book with weather' as there can be valid ... Read More
Friday, 21 April 2017 14:53
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Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing

What was Leonard’s secret to success as a writer? Here are 10 tips which were taken from a New York Times article, “Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle.”

1.      Never open a book with weather.

2.      Avoid prologues.

3.      Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.

4.      Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”…he admonished gravely.

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Tilmer Wright Jr.
Wayne, This is very insightful. So much for opening with, "It was a dark and stormy night." I find myself struggling mightily w... Read More
Thursday, 20 April 2017 11:33
Wayne Zurl
It's too bad Elmore is no longer around for us to ask more questions. I doubt any writer had a better love affair with the Hollywo... Read More
Thursday, 20 April 2017 13:11
Kaye George
And, of course, rules are made to be broken, right? My favorite set of rules: There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortuna... Read More
Thursday, 20 April 2017 23:16
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Opinions on the synopsis for my new book

I have just finished the first draft of my new novel, The Bit Dance. (I'll pause here while the applause dies down.)

I am very excited about this milestone, but I am much less excited about the editing process that lies before me. It's always a tough thing for me to get done. It's not as creative as the writing process so it's not nearly as much fun. But - it has to be done.

The other thing that has to be done is a synopsis for the back cover and the Amazon page. I struggle with this phase of writing. How much is enough? How much is too much? I want to entice my readers, but I don't want to give away too much of the plot. Part of the fun of reading is trying to guess what surprises the author has in store along the way - and then being truly surprised when you fail to see the twists coming. 

You folks are my fellow writers. As such, you might have to endure the pain of spoilers now and again in your valiant efforts to help your fellow authors along their respective paths. I don't think there are any real spoilers in this synopsis, but some of the direction of the plot is revealed. Too much? Not enough? Enticing? Boring? Can I get some opinions on this first stab? All comments and criticism are welcome. Post a reply or e-mail me with your pearls of wisdom. Thanks!

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Tilmer Wright Jr.
Cheryl, Thanks! This is just the kind of feedback I am looking for. I thought about communicating Kayla's age (early teens by the ... Read More
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 16:52
Tilmer Wright Jr.
Thanks, Susan! Appreciate the feedback. I think I should use another term rather than "co-op". It's not really a computer term, bu... Read More
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 22:44
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The Five Pillars of Marketing Copy

I listened to a marketing Webinar today given by the Authors Learning Center that I found illuminating. The lecture covered the following topics: 

1. The back cover of your book 
2. The sales sheet for buyers and industry decision-makers 
3. Your Amazon description and Author Bio 
4. Your website and social media platforms 
5. Submissions to potential reviewers, journalists and endorsers 

The presenter was Amy Collins, the President of New Shelves Books, a best-known book sales and marketing agency. Amy is a sales consultant for some of the largest book and library retailers and wholesalers in the publishing industry. In the last 20 years, Amy has sold over 40 Million books to bookstores, libraries, and chain stores for small and mid-sized publishers.

I'll hit the highlights, starting with her introduction:

Marketing is not writing the plot of your book.

Your writing must match what the receiver wants -- a reader wants to be entertained, book-buyers want to make money, Amazon marketing should be rewritten every few months to attract more readers, editors want copy to entertain readers, etc.  

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Recent Comments

Gale Frances Book Signing at Barnes & Noble
25 April 2017
Thank you Wayne!
Gale Frances Book Signing at Barnes & Noble
25 April 2017
Thank you for your kind comment, Cheryl - I will post again in June.....
Cheryl Peyton Book Signing at Barnes & Noble
25 April 2017
You did a good job earning this opportunity. I hope you do very well. Remind us closer to the event.
Wayne Zurl Book Signing at Barnes & Noble
25 April 2017
Good luck, Gale. Sell a bunch.
Wayne Zurl Another Suggestion To Make Your Writing Better.
21 April 2017
And there's Bob Dylan, something of a poet himself.

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