C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

UBC #27: Use Google Search Stories to tell your stories

Every day, there is a lesson. This new video was created with Google Search Stories. It’s easy and quick. The only trick is finding the video creator because Google will send you, nine times out of ten, to an old site that doesn’t actually have the video creation tool anymore. There are a lot of angry people out there who would love to use this tool, if only they could find it! 

Here’s the link: 

https://searchstories-intl.appspot.com/en-us/creator/

Bookmark it.

But before you go, there’s something else that’s important to be learned here. Go back through your links and see what you need to update. I just realized last night that I hadn’t updated my book page on my author site for awhile ( as in not since two books ago!) The page was out of date. Then I realized I needed to update my tags on a couple of my books on Amazon. I know we all have long to-do lists, but from time to time, go back and look at the pages you hardly ever look at. Revisit old blog rolls and see what links are dead or inactive. (I recently overhauled this page so I got rid of my blog roll completely and instead, to your left, you’ll see a nifty grid of blogs I follow.)

You don’t have to do it all at once, but little by little, cut out the dead wood, weed your garden and revamp. There’s surely stuff there that needs to change. When everything works right, your readers won’t thank you, but when something’s broken, it will  really annoy them. Sadly, they still probably won’t tell you. They just won’t come back.

~ Robert Chazz Chute is the author of Bigger Than Jesus, Self-help for Stoners and other titles that bewilder, intrigue and mostly annoy. Ah, but you saw that in the video. Never mind. If you visit my author sales page, do a brother a solid and click “LIKE” and at the bottom of the books sales pages, please click “Agree with these tags.” That would help me, make you a better person and possibly cure your scurvy. Cheers! 

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How to Use Google Search Stories Video: Watch me be the drama king!

Google Logo officially released on May 2010

Google Logo officially released on May 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You’ve seen how Go!Animate works in the previous post. Now check out Google Search Stories. This is free video software that’s even easier to use than Go!Animate. You’re telling a story with images, news, maps,

google searches and books (yes, books!) This could be a very useful promotional tool for indies when used correctly.

Easy to do: plug in search terms, tell your story creatively, add music, preview and publish to YouTube. And free.

Click here to see my Quit My Day Job post and Google Search Stories video. 

The link to make your own Google Search Story is at the bottom of the video post on my author site.

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Book Promoters: Will Google Plus kill Facebook, similar to how I slowly strangled Grandma?

For a full breakdown of the advantages of Google+, check out Gizmodo’s video summary.

It may be premature to say Facebook is in decline. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say its mercurial rise is flattening and it’s too early to declare its demise. Everything grows or dies, whether we’re talking about your business, your fan base, or your favorite social media.* Entropy rules and things change. Facebook is feeling entropy’s effect, so maybe they’ll adapt and improve and grow again (but that’s not the way to bet.)

I’ve got my problems with Facebook, but they’re mostly the same problems everyone else has: privacy issues; King Nerd arrogance; I don’t have enough Facebook friends; and, one day, I’ll suffer artificial limits on the number of friends I can have.

Note that though I love Twitter, I’m still chafing at the restrictions on the number of people I can follow there.

Please solve that problem and follow me @rchazzchute goddamnit!

Google+ (I’ve titled this post with Google Plus to emphasize the difference) is coming, and it might solve a whack of those problems if Google gets it right. One of the things I like is that you can make circles of friends, so you can choose who gets your message. Haven’t we all suffered the social stigma and financial pain of announcing on Facebook how much we’re looking forward to Grandma’s funeral, only to find Grandma’s still checking her account from her hospital bed and she’s cut you from the will? Petty old bitch.

Keep an eye out for the Google+ launch. They’re still working out the kinks with the beta version so right now the only way to join is by invitation. I’m pretty excited about the social and business possibilities Google+ offers. If it lives up to its promise, I will enthusiastically migrate away from Facebook to set up shop at Google+.

*MySpace is in a coma waiting for us to be merciful and finally pull the plug, for instance. If you still have a MySpace account, please, get your affairs in order. It’s almost as dead as Grandma.

UPDATE: This just in! MySpace has been sold. Details here. They’re starting with a workforce reduction and somehow Justin Timberlake is involved, so…nah, MySpace is still dead in the water. Like Grandma!

Filed under: Publicity & Promotion, Social Media, , , , , ,

Writers: How I edit

Visualization of the various routes through a ...

Image via Wikipedia

When I get a manuscript, I go through it carefully, of course, but there are many practicalities to keep in mind.

 

 

Most important commandment:

Make the author look good.

You want it to be correct and you want to preserve the writer’s voice and enhance the readability of the text. The author (if self-published) may wish to keep some idiosyncratic format (which is fine as long as it’s easily understood by the reader and consistent.) A publisher may have some requirements peculiar to that house. Some have preferred style guides, like the AP Style Guide or the Chicago Manual of Style or may prefer Canadian spelling to American spelling.

In the manuscript window I use the Track Changes feature in Word so the author sees every change I make, including my comments. The author then accepts or rejects each edit during the revision process.

I have some preferences, too. I avoid passive voice and too many adverbs where it’s reasonable to do so since those often indicate a weak verb choice. I strip out excess use of the comma. Commas used to be used more in text but now it’s generally accepted commas slow the reader. Semi-colons are used too much and are often used incorrectly (and almost always slow the reader.)  Gratuitous exclamation points indicate drama where there is none. Excess dialogue tags (i.e. said, replied, said, replied) can also be stripped out. Run-on sentences must be broken up. Sentence length, paragraph length and order are more evaluations to make and may conflict with formatting considerations.

(There are numerous other considerations: factual issues, narrative arc, missed opportunities, missing scenes, orphaned characters etc.,… which I’m not going to delve into in this post.)

I also have a bunch of other pages ready in the background. They are typically these:

Google, Wikipedia, Canadian and American spelling dictionaries, Chicago Manual of Style (I have the hard copy, too), Ask.com, and my email window so I can quickly jump to query the author or publisher as necessary. I’ve also used a legal dictionary and a Spanish-English dictionary. Looks like I’ve attained my childhood dream of working on the bridge of the Enterprise.

I keep a legal pad beside me to make notes (and track my time so I know I’m staying on schedule for the day.)

Editing has changed a lot. Before the Internet, there was a lot more getting up and down to run to check a reference source. Now it’s all on my pixellated desktop. I take a break every hour to do air squats (it’s a 4 Hour Body exercise I like) and the rest of the exercise comes from running back and forth from the coffee maker to the bathroom. Ah, the glamor of being a book editor.

The take away is:

Your word processing program’s spell check isn’t enough.

 

NEXT POST:

MY REACTIONS TO AND REVIEWS OF THE WRITER’S UNION SYMPOSIUM ON THE STATE OF PUBLISHING.

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Filed under: Books, Editing, Editors, publishing, self-publishing, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

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