How To Use LinkedIn ProFinder

I am getting ready. Step by slow step I’m getting ready to be published. (And please, remember the word ‘slowly.’)

I have a cover for the first book, even though it’s still not completely edited. But I hope that will soon be done too. Now I know I need help for the next step. After not getting along anymore with my once hired copyright lawyer, I decided to pick a new, trustworthy copyright lawyer who can help me with his knowledge. Easier said than done. Where do I find one? And believe me, I didn’t feel like going through the phone book.

That was when I remembered that I have one of the worldwide most used professional networks available. I was sure it could help me… And it was so easy!

First I used the ‘search’ function on LinkedIn and entered “Copyright lawyer”:

 

LinkedIn showed me two lawyers AND on top, the hint to ProFinder with the button “Get free proposals”. I wasn’t happy with neither one of the shown lawyers and decided to click the ‘free proposals’-button.

 

It took me right to


 

Of course I had to answer a few questions, which I did:

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At the very end, all I had to do was clicking the “Get free proposals” and wait. It didn’t take too long I got a reply from a copyright lawyer in my neighborhood who I contacted back. We chatted, then talked for a bit on the phone – and I’ll visit him soon to complete the documents and agreement between lawyer and client.

I got what I needed. And I’m sure I’ll be using ProFinder again. It’s very easy.

 

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My Writing Progress – 4

In my last ‘Writing Progress’ post, I wrote about finishing the draft of my second book in the series which I just had drafted by then. In the meantime, I had typed it in, edited it and sent it to my editor. It, in fact, turned out to be a novel, not a novella, like the other two books, number one and three in the series.

Shortly before I went on vacation, I had finished drafting the fourth book in the series. I posted this in my newsletter, and I’m still very proud of it.

I took the fifth and sixth book of the series with me on vacation. I had started both but wasn’t too far yet. But my friend’s backyard and pool were extremely calming and relaxing and tickled my fantasy. It’s November, and even though I’m not a participant in the NaNoWriMo, I still finished the fifth book of the series and continued the sixth one.

I’m very surprised, but then I shouldn’t be. I love writing this series and create these characters in each book and meet the existing ones again is such an adventure for me.

I hope very much you will meet some of them soon.

At this point, I do feel a bit worried about my editor being ‘overflowed’ with my manuscripts. And I have to type in two more novellas as quickly as possible.

Wish me luck.

 

 

 

Picture courtesy of google.com

Trying To Write In Another Genre

A good friend of mine reminded me of something that happened a while ago.

He told me that life had given him some challenges currently and sometimes his head is full of thoughts about how to accomplish his tasks. At the moment he does have difficulties to write. He sits down, waiting for creativity to kick in and nothing happens.

Is this writer’s block? I don’t know, and since I’m not a too experienced writer, I would never presume to ‘diagnose’ such an excellent and gifted writer as he is. Much smarter heads and experienced writers have dealt with writer’s block before. I even published a post about it in February 2015 “Kiss Your Muse Hello.”

But what he said reminded me of something that happened a while back and made me laugh. And yes, I told him about it.

A while back when I realized my fantasy ran dry, I tried to tickle it by writing something I normally do not write.

As many of you know, I’m a writer of Paranormal Romance and Fantasy. But at this moment I decided, I would try to write a hot, steamy, and romantic, erotic scene. Occasionally I do read a sexy novel, and I was curious how I would do.

When I had finished the scene, I was quite proud of myself. I found it turned out to describe what I just saw going on in my head.

 

Picture courtesy of: http://www.pinterest.com

 

I set the few pages aside and went on to ‘daily business,’ whatever that was at this time.
I have to mention here: my idea did work. Writing in this unknown genre, in fact, awakened my ideas and fantasy, and I was able to continue with my new story.

I had nearly forgotten about my short trip into the erotic genre until I one day got the few papers in my hand while searching for some documents.

Sitting down and leaning back I re-read them…

… and started laughing so hard, I nearly choked. I screamed and howled with laughter. Earlier in this post, I said, after writing it, I was proud, I had considered I exactly described as the scene was in my head, right?

Re-reading these pages now showed me that I was completely wrong.

In my head, the scenery and what happened was perfect, yes. Including the smells, the sounds, the whispers… but on the paper, the entire erotic, sexy, steamy scene was about as erotic as the mating of gummy bears.

 

Picture courtesy of http://www.google.com

 

I figured, and I still do, that there must be a reason, why I picked ‘Paranormal Romance’ and ‘Fantasy’ my genres. Apparently ‘steamy hot’ is not for me to describe. I deeply admire every writer who can do it.

Now there are two questions at this point: Are the current stories I write that far off from my imagination as well? This would suck; even though my editor said no (which calms me a little bit).

And the second question: Have you ever tried to write in another genre, and how did this work for you? Thanks for sharing your experiences.

 

Your Unique Author Picture – Research By A. J. Alexander

Picture courtesy of: http://gregceoblog.com

 

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I have been thinking about Author Pictures lately. I know very well what I have on my Social Media accounts right now isn’t a great thing to do. One of the main reasons for these overexposed profile pictures is the fact that I don’t like it to be on pictures. And from what I heard this can be seen in the picture.

 

No matter how often I’m told the pictures look great, and I’m supposed to be pretty, I don’t believe it. This does, in fact, have a psychological root which was planted in my childhood, but I think this is another subject and doesn’t belong here.

 

Now, since one day I will undoubtedly be published I will sooner or later have to think about my author picture, and that’s why I went for another round of research.

 

One of the first interesting and informative articles I found on Huffington Post where Heather Hummel talks about the relevance of a professional author photo. She not only talks about the quality of the picture but also shows certain problems that can come up and presents the respective solutions. For example, does she mention the expression on the picture, the quality, the background and presents some final thoughts. (Read the entire article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/heather-hummel/the-relevance-of-a-profes_b_4498575.html)

 

By going on with my research, I found “The Review Review.” Written by Randy Susan Meyers the article “Look Great In Your Author Photo” gives you tips and tricks on colors, clothes, and makeup and also describes what you can do to hide certain flaws and how to choose your photographer. I thought it is a great helpful post who I would recommend reading when someone needs a (new) author photo. (To read the post click here: http://www.thereviewreview.net/publishing-tips/look-great-your-author-photo)

 

On the Author Media website, I found a fantastic post, written by author Thomas Umstattd. He clearly states that his article is not for the author, but for the photographer! And I think he did an amazing job. Even though being an author I learned a lot by reading his article, and I might even be able to show it to my future photographer if necessary, to show him what I need the picture for. The article is enormously useful to us ‘clients’ too! (It can be read here: http://www.authormedia.com/how-to-take-portraits-for-an-author-website/)

 

The last impressive article I found on “Book In A Box,” written by Tucker Max, Chairman & Co-Founder at Book In A Box. He shows what’s good and what’s bad and not just said, some pics are good or bad but also explains the reason in clear, simple words. He provides us with different examples and gives us great advice on what not to do and what he would recommend getting a great picture. I decided to provide you here with a small part of his article:

 

The Author Photo Rule That Rules Them All

Here’s the thing that makes author photos so hard to give advice about: There is not one “right” way to do it. Like I talked about above, the “right” way all depends on what you’re trying to achieve. But there is one overarching rule that you need to sear into your brain when it comes to author photos (or any profile photo):

Know what you want to say to what audience, and make sure you signal it properly.

This is the key to everything. The author photo for a CEO of a Fortune 500 company should be totally different from the author photo for an up-and-coming comedian. Why? Because they are signaling different things to different groups.
Generally speaking, the CEO’s author photo should signal professionalism, effectiveness, reliability, and trust. The comedian’s photo could be wacky, pensive, goofy or even serious, all depending on his comedic style and what he wanted to signal.

To read the full article go to http://bookinabox.com/blog/how-to-take-author-photo/

 

I have to say I learned a lot by reading these four articles, and I’m sure I’ll find a great photographer who helps me. But then, maybe I’ll just hide under a stone and rather provide the world with my stories than my face.

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Author James Jones
courtesy of: http://www.jamesjonesliterarysociety.org/

A.J.’s Newsletter Trouble-2

A few days ago I posted this really embarrassing article about my newsletter and how I wish more people would subscribe – without realizing, that of three possibilities to subscribe, only two worked.

 

Of course, the one that didn’t work was the one here on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest,’ where most people would have the chance to subscribe.

It took me days of cooperation with technicians and hours of work, asking back and forward and finally testing it. And now it works.

I invite new subscribers to test and see! (he he he). No, in earnest: I’m happy to see more subscribers who’d like to see my newsletter. Thank you!

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Picture courtesy of: http://www.google.com

A.J.’s Newsletter Trouble

This morning I posted the following blog post, happily, that finally my newsletter subscription works. It took me a long time to get this done and follow all necessary steps I was given to make it work again. Of course, I had tested subscribing and unsubscribing before publishing the article. It worked perfectly, which made me publish the article.

And as soon as the post was published I was informed that it does not work.

I’m shocked. This is embarrassing, and I’m extremely unhappy how it turned out. I just wrote an armor-clad email to MailChimp to immediately solve that problem.

I’m contrite and hope you’ll forgive me for publishing something that does not work. I’m sorry.

I’ll keep you updated on the matter.

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Picture courtesy of: http://www.google.com

Blogger Prompt Chain

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Today I was reading about ‘Writing Prompts.’ I think we, as writers, know what they are. I was looking for something to blog about and thought maybe I’d find a prompt that can help me.

And all of a sudden I had an idea. I thought, why not inviting other writers, share these writing prompts with them and invite them to participate in kind of a ‘story collection’ under this one banner “Blogger Prompt Chain.”

I don’t want to make it too complicated. I don’t know if it even works, but I think it might be worth a try. I’m sure, some of the invited writers and bloggers won’t have the time to participate or don’t like the idea, and the chain might meet a dead end. But I would be curious how many like it.

What do you think, are you in?

(And I’m not going to be angry about any writer or blogger who’d like to accept the challenge without invitation. Just let me know so I can read your story, please!)

 

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Rules:

1. Pick one of the five given writing prompts (picked from here)
2. Set up the Blogger Prompt Chain banner and publish your story under the banner.
3. After your story, continue the chain by forwarding an invitation to five bloggers or writers. (In case a writer doesn’t have a blog, guest posts can be offered)
4. Don’t forget to link the writers to your blog and back to the one who invited you.
5. Publish the five writing prompts and rules!

Prompts:

a) The End of The Bucket List
Write a story about a character who finds out that he or she is dying and has been knocking things off his/her bucket list and has finally reached the last item.

b) Get Out of the Car With Your Hands Up
You’re driving to your favorite city when you’re stopped by a police officer. Sure, you were going a few miles over the speed limit, so you’re not overly surprised. But you are surprised when the police officer gets to your car and screams, “Get out of your car with your hands up!” This leads to an unexpected night for you. Write this scene

c) Hiring a New Villain
Your old villain quit over creative differences, so you’ve put yourself in charge of hiring a new villain for your novel. What questions do you ask? What does the new villain’s resume say? Write this scene as if it were a job interview.

d) At The End of The Rainbow
You and a friend have decided to try and follow a rainbow to see if the end holds a pot of gold. But when you finally reach the end, you find something much more valuable than a pot of gold—and it changes your life. Write this scene.

e) The Letter All Writers Should Write
Write a letter to a person who supported your writing career, whether that be a friend, a family member, a teacher (even one that supported you at a very young age before you knew that it would blossom into a writing career), an author you’ve never met but have been inspired by his or her writing. Do you thank them? Do you blame them? Take the letter in any direction you want.

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My choice: “The Letter All Writers Should Write”

Dear Sister,

I think it’s time you get this letter from me. I have been thinking about it for a long time, but I always feared I would forget something or be unable to express my feelings the way they should be expressed when it comes to you. And that’s why I’d like to start in our childhood.

Remember these times when we were sitting on the ground between the upstairs shower and my little bedroom in our pajamas, and you listened to the stories I told you? I know, it was a long time ago, but I still remember some of these stories, and I blush thinking about it. But I knew and know until now that you will never repeat one of them, that’s why I don’t need to worry.

A few years later, when I felt like writing, started with that one children’s story and poems you read them with interest and told me when you liked or disliked them.

It was you, years later, who recommended me to re-start writing, when I sank into depression, and it was you who encouraged me to go on and not stop until my stories were told.

Remember when I told you, that this one book I wrote ‘doesn’t feel right’? You advised me to set it aside until I’m ready to pick it up again and then decide what I’d do with it.

No matter what happened with us and where our path took us – you always were there for me, encouraging me, helping me, supporting me, advising me and no matter when I call I know you always take time.

I am very, very proud to have you as my sister and not ‘only’ a sister, but also my very best friend!
I love you!

Yours forever

AJ

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The five writers/bloggers I would like to invite to follow the ‘Blogger Prompt Chain’ are the following:

 

  1. Author Rachel Poli
  2. Author Renee Scattergood
  3. Author Joy Lennick
  4. Author Kitt Crescendo
  5. Writer Sharon K. Connell

 

Thank you for participating. 🙂