Top Publishers of 2016

The Write Nook

A few weeks ago, Publisher’s Weekly came out with a ranking of America’s top 20 publishing houses for 2016. It’s no surprise who the top 5 were, but what’s really important is what came after.

The sixth and seventh publisher were both that of children’s books- Scholastic and Disney came in right under the ‘Big Five.’ It’s quite a refreshing thing to see. Children’s literature has always been a tough genre to crack because the audience is smaller, the interests change rapidly, and the surge of technology has threatened to turn some children away from reading and the love of books. Nevertheless, books sales for 2016 has proved that there is still so much to love about children’s publishing. For Disney, Star Wars and Rick Riordan books led the way.

tops publishers

Houghton and Workman come in next, showing us that non-fiction titles still have a big impact on our consumption market as…

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Writer’s Treasure Chest – 2-year-Anniversary

What a wonderful surprise today!

wp_achievement_2_years


I’m quite proud of being a blogger for two years now.

In the meantime “Writer’s Treasure Chest” got:

over 680 posts

over 3’800 comments

678 followers

and

50 guests

I couldn’t have done it without so many people! My friends, readers, followers, commenters, re-bloggers, supporters, guest authors and many more.

I could not have accomplished such an awesome success without you all. You made this adventure a wonderful experience for me. You are all GREAT! Thanks for your ongoing support!

 

The problem of book theft …

Thank you, Susan M. Toy for this fantastic article to warn authors about copyright infringing and the danger of scams in the writer’s world.

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Close to two years ago, I discovered that my eBooks, both of them, were being listed for sale on a site about which I’d never heard before. They were not under contract to sell my eBooks nor was I receiving any payment for the nearly 1000 times the site reported my novel had already been downloaded. There was a link on the site authors could write to, if they felt their copyright had been infringed. So I wrote, asked them to take down my books, and … nothing happened. That’s when I contacted my friend Tim Baker, whose books were also listed on the site, and he wrote this blog post about our experience. Many of our friends also took up the cause, sharing this blog post and following up with more information as they heard of it – good friends like Chris Graham who blogs as The Story…

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Writer’s Treasure Chest 1st Anniversary

Yesterday I got an amazing surprise when I checked my comments. I earned a badge.

WP_anniversary-2x

 

It said:

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com.

You registered on WordPress.com one year ago.

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!

—————————————————————————————–

I’m quite proud of being a blogger for one entire year.

In the meantime “Writer’s Treasure Chest” got:

299 posts

1,675 comments

and

329 followers

But then: I couldn’t have done it without so many people! My friends, readers, followers, commenters, re-bloggers, supporters and many more.

I could not have accomplished such an awesome success without you all. You made this adventure a wonderful experience for me – and I hope I’ll be able to come back many times more!!

Picture courtesy of: www.google.com

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

Creativity at Starbucks

 

 

Why is working at Starbucks positive to people’s creativity?

 

This blog post is the result of intense personal field research. And I, of course, wonder if I’m the only writer who has made the same experiences.

 

When I go to Starbucks (which isn’t ever too often, because I think their coffee and the food is significantly overpriced) I see young students, older students, graphic designers, painters, drawers, fashion designers, readers and, of course, writers.

 

I talked to quite some of them and very often got the same answer to my question: aren’t you disturbed or bothered by the sound of the coffee machines, the voices, the distraction, the noise? – No, in fact, at every other place all the background sound bothers me, but not at Starbucks.

 

How come?

 

While writing this blog post, I, in fact, am sitting in Nashville-Green Hills Mall Starbucks and watching people carefully. Next to me on the table is a Venti Mocha Frappuccino (with Whipped Cream of course) and I’m sipping my way through this blog post.

 

On my left, just by the wall, there’s a young man, designing T-Shirts. On my left, there’s a young girl, maybe close to twenty, seemingly to get homework done. (Maybe she’s, in fact, chatting with her boyfriend, I can’t tell for sure, but her smile tells me a lot) It is 12:10 pm and there aren’t many people, but it seems everyone in here is either reading or typing, and I’m having tons of fun watching people…

 

As much fun as this all seems it doesn’t necessarily satisfy my curiosity: Why do people seem to be so creative at Starbucks? Is it the easy access to excellent (unusual) coffee? Is it the feeling to share this creativity with others, being as hard to distract by noise? (Unless it’s the screaming and crying of pretty annoying little children) If misbehaved kids are cruising around, it seems quite obvious: they are an unwelcome distraction and many of the Starbucks at home- creative artists will pack up and disappear. Or, and that’s part of what makes me think: can it be that Creativity is contagious? Do people feel creativity, or catch a wave of creativity and surf on it?

I’m not even sure I can do that. With me, either creativity is on, or off, but I cannot “find a wave” of it and ride on it. Maybe others can.

 

Do I feel more creative at Starbucks? Sometimes I am. (As can easily be seen by this blog post) But there are other days, I need to leave. It strongly depends on my mood. But I also have to admit: Most of the time I am quite creative at Starbucks, probably because I’ve hardly ever got time to sit down and get some writing done in a Starbucks. Unless it was for creative’s sake, like in this particular blog post related field research.

 

Talking about this particular research: It has cost me around $40 to properly and carefully watch people at different Starbucks spots and give out a result I can stand behind after my best knowledge and belief.

 

Besides: Their Mocha Frappuccino is just a drink for Gods. (Which makes me ask myself why I do get chocolate decoration onto the whipped cream when ordering one in California, but not when I have one in Nashville – or New York? But that’s of course only a detail.)

 

Now, please help me out: are you particularly creative at Starbucks? And if yes, have you ever found out why that is? Are there other places you are unusually creative at? Thanks for letting us know.

 

(written, January 5, 2016, Mall at Green Hills, Nashville, Tennessee – Aurora Jean Alexander)

Another step forward

This week I opened my blog and found you had all awarded me with another great gift! My blog “Writer’s Treasure Chest” got 1337 Likes!

 

LOB

 

 

I wanted to thank you for making this possible! Thank you for this amazing adventure you permitted me to experience. Thank you for your help, your interest in this blog and all your “Likes”.

Thank you for making “Writer’s Treasure Chest” a pleasure and a success for me!

 

 

How to start your own Author Newsletter

When I started building my network on social media and created “Writer’s Treasure Chest” I was not prepared for this much more to come. There are many more challenges to face. One of these challenges is to create my own Author Newsletter.

I started research on writer’s newsletters.

There are as many hints, tips and tricks as newsletter owners, and I’m desperate to be as well informed as possible before giving it a try. I’d like my first newsletter to be a success, not some amateurish “good luck” try.

 

Tips & Tricks

One of the first blog posts about newsletters I read had been written July 5, 2013 by Steena Holmes. She provides a list of what a newsletter can be used for. Mrs. Holmes hands out warnings on what not do with newsletters. She as well dedicates an entire paragraph on and how to get people to sign up. I like her writing style very much and I recommend this blog post to every writer who’s just starting. Her entire blog post can be found here: https://writersinthestorm.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/the-how-and-why-of-author-newsletters/

 

Choose your Newsletter Provider

Steena Holmes mentioned one particular Newsletter and campaign provider: “Mail Chimp”. I did research on several providers and Mail Chimp seems user friendly and offers a variety of designs. I even found an easy to read and helpful “step-by-step” manual. It can be found here: http://www.authorsatlas.com/blog/author-newsletter-101. This valuable tool provides tricks and screen shots to guide me through the process.

 

Decide on a professional design

After reading these posts and articles I tried to imagine how to stay true to my brand and still deliver a professional looking and interesting newsletter for my future readers. The answer I found on wikiHow: http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Good-Newsletter. They even offer sample newsletters there which I found attractive. But the one thing impressing me most on wikiHow was their first paragraph. “Although images and layout are important, the written content is the biggest factor in whether your newsletter is successful. However, writing a newsletter requires more than just a good grasp of proper English grammar and extensive vocabulary. You need to be interesting, relevant, and easy to be read. Here are some simple steps you can take to write a good newsletter.”

 

The four types of Author’s Newsletters

Having a nice design in mind does not make a newsletter yet and found a blog post, written by Cheryl Reif. She offers four different Author’s Newsletters:

  • Chat & Conversation
  • News &Updates
  • Tools & Resources
  • Recycled Content

I need to decide now what type of newsletter mine should become. Cheryl Reif’s blog post can be found here http://www.cherylreif.com/2015/06/15/4-types-of-author-newsletter-how-to-pick-the-best-for-you/

 

What did I learn?

I will try to keep it short. I know, I provided a few links to read and all I do now is a quick bullet list:

  • Keep the feature article short
  • Add extra valuable information for your readers
  • Tell your readers what you will write about to keep them interested
  • Create a list of upcoming events (if you have any)
  • Don’t play “hard to get” – give full contact information
  • Combine great content with a professional looking layout
  • Keep your readers entertained with providing a quote.
  • Send out your electronic newsletter every 30 days
  • Watch your subscriber’s list grow
  • The next step for me now will be to start on my first newsletter. In case I’ve made you curious how it will turn out:
Please, click the icon to subscribe.

Please, click the icon to subscribe.

 

I’d be delighted to welcome you as my reader. Thank you!