amazon marketing services

Amazon Marketing Services: 20 Creative & Unique Ways to Use AMS Ads

AMS Ads are dead,” said the not-so-savvy self-published author.

Don’t believe this lie. AMS Ads, or Amazon Marketing Services ads, are stronger than ever, and – whether we like it or not – they are here to stay.

As a matter of fact, Amazon just rolled out a brand-new, improved UI for AMS; they have added new features, and are constantly creating training material to help authors better understand the platform.

Would they do that if AMS were on the way out? Not likely.

Sure, not every book is a good fit for Amazon ads: that’s why many Amazon published authors grow bitter and blame the platform for not being able to sell a book that would not be marketable anyways.

ams ads for authors

Don’t be discouraged. Now is the time to jump onto the AMS wagon if you want to actually get paid to write.

Those who don’t read the Self-Publishing School Blog and believe that Amazon advertising is dying will gradually move away from it, making the space less crowded and much more profitable for all of us.

Here are our tips for using Amazon marketing services effectively:

  1. Target famous authors with Amazon marketing services
  2. Target Amazon published books
  3. Target books featured on BookBub
  4. Target books that are recent movies
  5. Target paperback books
  6. Target audiobooks with Amazon Marketing Services
  7. Think about Amazon ads for your book series
  8. Grow your email list
  9. Advertise your backlist
  10. Use The Greatest Hits method
  11. The Amazon Ad puzzle
  12. The Ad stacker
  13. Pre-populate with pre-orders
  14. Use AMS for reviews
  15. Use Amazon’s Bid+ system
  16. Use negative keywords
  17. Target your own book

Stay put, don’t give up. When others zig, just zag 🙂

What is Amazon Marketing Services?

Amazon marketing services (AMS), now called Advertising Console is a collection of effective tools to help vendors drive traffic to their products and sell more.

For authors, this means AMS is a hub for increasing low book sales and maintaining a steady income with their books.

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about how to build a platform and maintain consistent book sales in our Sell More Books Program. Learn more about it here

Amazon Marketing Services for Authors Made Easy

I get it, click bids have gotten more expensive, finding profitable keywords is more difficult and winning is harder than ever. But this is only a byproduct of the space getting more crowded.

However, let me assure you: those CPC prices are nowhere near what our friends in the physical product markets are paying.

Strange as it may seem, AMS is still a happy place for authors.

The key is to get more creative, thinking out of the box. Find new ways of using AMS, test and tweak, and you’ll be way ahead of the (still relatively small) competition.

How?

Here are 20 ways in which you can use Amazon Marketing Services Ads for your book marketing ventures. Each tactic is coupled with a brief explanation of how to implement it in a practical way.

Enjoy the list and remember: now is the time for Amazon advertising!

#1 – Target a famous author in your genre

You’ll do this in order to try to get into his or her also-boughts. You know, the little section in this screenshot that shows you what other people who bought an item have also bought 

amazon marketing services

It’s no secret that ‘also-boughts’ are the main source Amazon uses when they recommend new books to readers. And if your book is in one of your competitor’s ‘also-boughts’, then there’s a good chance it will get shown, recommended and ‘pushed’ to the exact audience you’re after.

Happy days.

Try bidding heavily on one of your competitors as a target so that your book shows up everywhere on their book’s page and ‘steals the show’ in your reader’s eyes.

#2 – Target books published by Amazon

Amazon has various imprints through which it publishes books, the most famous being Thomas & Mercer.

Targeting authors and books by these subsidiary companies is a great idea. Amazon (and their algorithm) love when people buy their stuff, which they continuously promote left and right.

Try to get your book next to one of Amazon’s own babies, and you’ll be a happy writer indeed.   

#3 – Target books that are featured on BookBub

Once a book is featured in BookBub’s daily email (aka their ‘Featured Deals’), it’s likely to get thousands of downloads and a load of traffic on all the retailers.

Which of course means more eyeballs on the said book.

By keeping an eye on the books that appear daily on BookBub’s email blast and targeting them with your Amazon ads, you’ll be the first to place your book next to the day’s hottest title, thus piggybacking on its visibility and – hopefully – sales.

amazon marketing services ads

#4 – Target books that have recently been turned into movies

A hot new release (just as explained in point 3) is always going to garner bigger attention, at least for a few days.

Keep an eye on new movie releases in your genre, especially big blockbuster films that have been inspired by bestselling books. Again, the trick here is to target those hot new titles so that your book shows next to them, thus collecting some love from all those hungry readers.

#5 – Use Product Display Ads to target paperbacks

Amazon’s Product Display ads give you a unique chance to specifically target paperback versions of your competitor’s titles (unlike Sponsored Product ads). The first benefit of doing this is that you’ll undoubtedly broaden the reach of your ads.

AMS for authors

But most important perk is that you’ll also likely increase the sales of your own paperback copies.

As it were, ‘physical book lovers’ have a preference for physical books, which are more expensive and thus will likely result in higher royalties for you to pocket!

#6 – Use Product Display Amazon Ads to target audiobooks

See point 5 above, but this time use PD ads to target audiobooks!

Don’t have an audiobook version of your title? You’re definitely missing out on one of the hottest and fastest-growing trends in the indie publishing industry.

You can find a step-by-step guide on creating an audiobook right here.

#7 – Lose money on the first book in your series

Your first in series is likely to be free on Amazon (or at least it should be). But don’t fret, pure ROI seekers!

Sure, by going a bit ‘heavier’ on Amazon ads pointing to that book, you’ll likely lose money. But you’ll make it back when readers go on to purchase book 2, 3, 4, etc. in your series. Make sure you have a good idea of how to calculate your audience’s ‘read-through rates’, and adjust your CPC bid and daily budget accordingly.

#8 – Lose money (again) to grow your email list

Be sure to display an opt-in form in the free book you’re running ads on (pro tip: also place it in the first pages of the book, so that readers don’t have to ‘wait’ until they’ve read the whole thing before parting with their email address).

This will inevitably result in more signups to your email list. Again, this isn’t stellar for pure ROI, and you might be losing money now, but in the long term, this will be super-beneficial.

#9 – Advertise Your Backlist

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket (aka, don’t point all your ads and spend all your budget on one book).

Running Amazon ads for other titles in your backlist is always beneficial in keeping the books ‘sticky’ in the rankings, often also providing a load of read-throughs to the other titles in the same series (see point 7).  

#10 – The Greatest Hits method

Start your ads by bidding low-ish on keywords and competing authors/book-titles.

Once you have a good idea of what is actually performing well, take those successful phrases and compile them in a ‘Greatest Hits’ ad, with higher CPC bids and daily budget.

#11 – The Amazon Ad Puzzle

Try using your own book as a target keyword, but this time to advertise your higher-priced titles or box sets.

The ‘Sponsored’ results on the latter’s book page will likely populate with all your other titles, just like the pieces of a puzzle.

If a reader lands on your one book and sees your other stuff in the Amazon ads, they might buy a higher-priced title in your collection (and go on to become an aficionado fan of yours)!

#12 – The Ad Stacker

Don’t limit yourself to Amazon Marketing Services ads. Ad ‘stacking’ is often the best way to get a gazillion eyeballs on a new release (especially if you’re aiming at hitting bestsellers’ lists when running a hard launch).

Try your hands at BookBub ads, Facebook Ads, and others. You don’t need to spend thousands on them: a small budget will be more than enough to Discover where your readers are hanging out, so that you can place your books right under their eyes.

#13 – Pre-populate with pre-orders!

Start running AMS ads well in advance, even when your book is still in the pre-order phase. If you get your targeting right, this will help add your book to the ‘also-boughts’ of other books in your genre, thus igniting the sacred ‘recommendation loop’ from Amazon.

You can do this one week to a few months in advance. The bigger your author platform is, the longer you can get away with putting your book up for pre-order before the actual publication date.

amazon marketing services for authors

Plus, people will be exposed to your book, will pre-order it, and when the book is live, the instant truckload of downloads will shoot it into the stratosphere!  

#14 – Use AMS for reviews

Spend a bit more on AMS during a free promo you have scheduled.

This might sound counterintuitive when it comes to pure ROI, but you’ll be amazed at the number of downloads you’ll get. Be sure to add a ‘call for reviews’ to the end of your book.

Some readers won’t, but many will actually leave an honest (and verified) review.

#15 – Bid+

With their recent ‘upgrade’ of the Amazon Marketing Services platform, Amazon has given authors the chance to use their ‘Bid+’ system (an old acquaintance of those using Vendor’s Accounts).

This new feature basically lets Amazon know you’re willing to spend up to 50% more on CPC for the terms that are performing well. It’s really simple to use, as you can see in the example below so don’t be afraid to use this!

ams ads

Think about it: if Amazon has given us this new tool, why not take advantage of it?

You definitely won’t go broke (the daily budget still being the highest cap on spend): rather, you’ll likely outbid all of your competitors on your most prized keywords and phrases!  

#16 – Use negative keywords

As you surely know by now, hyper-relevant laser-focused targeting is the name of the game with AMS, but sometimes, this is much easier said than done.

Have an epic fantasy novel that appeals to teens, but that YA readers would absolutely hate? Don’t risk getting one-star reviews by unsatisfied vampire-hungry audiences.

Another new feature that Amazon has just implemented into their new AMS platform is the ‘negative keywords’ field.

Use it wisely to list all of the keywords you absolutely DO NOT want to associate your ads to through Amazon Marketing Services.

The sniper approach has never been easier.

#17 – Target your own book

Why on earth would you want to spend money targeting your own book? After all, it already shows up ‘organically’ in the search results for your key terms, no?

Well, not exactly.

Amazon is putting a lot of emphasis on advertising (another reason why you should use AMS ads), so it sometimes favors paid results over organic – something other platforms (e.g. Facebook) have been doing for a while now.

Crazy, right? Try punching one of your keywords in the search box and see if your book appears. It doesn’t?

Then you might want to give it a nice little push with a couple super-targeted ads.

Bonus: 3 more advanced Amazon Marketing Services tactics

If you’re really ready to make some money, you can try to tackle some of these more advanced Amazon Marketing Services methods to increase your book sales.

These might be tricky for you at first, but with enough practice, they’ll prove to be more than effective.

#18 – Use a Vendor’s Account (part 1)

An Amazon Vendor’s Express account will let you advertise your ebooks, but also audiobooks or paperbacks.

Use this incredibly powerful tool to advertise your physical or audio copies on relevant pages by your target authors.

As seen above (point 5), this will often result in sales of your own audios and paperbacks, yielding a lot more royalties!

#19 – Use a Vendor’s Account (part 2)

A Vendor’s Express account through Amazon Marketing Services will also let you advertise titles that you didn’t publish yourself.

Why would you want to do that, you say? For multi-author box sets you’re a part of, for example! This will bring more eyeballs to your stuff and… don’t forget to include an email-optin in your portion of the text!

#20 – Use a Vendor’s Account (part 3)

As seen above, why not use a Vendor’s Account to also promote a traditionally-published book you wrote before going indie? Your publisher will likely not be using AMS, so show them who the savvy author is and get some sales rolling!

Hope you enjoyed some of these tactics for Amazon Marketing Services ads. As I mentioned in the introduction to this post, don’t listen to those who want to attract you to the ‘next best thing’.

Think out of the box, test, test, and test again. And you will succeed!

Ready to Sell More Books?

Your book’s sales can mean the difference between helping a few and helping the many.

We have exactly what you need to sell more books—and change more lives.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

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This is a guest post by Brian Berni, a Self-Publishing School alumnus, now bestselling author under multiple pen-names. He blogs for writers and self-publishers at AuthorsTech and is the co-founder of BookAds, an agency that helps authors advertise their books through AMS and BookBub Ads.

Follow Him Here:  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest


How to Make a Book with 7 Solid Steps for Real Success

Making a book isn’t as complex as it seems. While it does take skill, it mostly takes the right method to get it right.

What if you could have that method at your disposal right now?

That’s exactly what have for you. Our steps for how to make a book are easy to follow, straight to the point, and effective at producing a bestselling book.

So let’s make a book!

If you’ve authored an eBook, you may be interested in printing paperback books—either to keep for yourself or to sell.

how to make a book

How to Make a Book

Luckily, we’ve got great news: the process of how to make a book isn’t as challenging as you might think. And, we’re here to walk you through the process.

Here are our steps for how to make a book:

  1. Define the reason for making a book
  2. Write an amazing book
  3. Decide your book’s distribution channel
  4. Determine the cost of making a book
  5. Decide your book’s contents
  6. Design a book cover
  7. Format your book properly
  8. Upload your book to a distribution channel
  9. Self-publish after making a book

NOTE: We cover exactly how to make a book (a bestseller at that) and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program. Learn more about it here

#1 – Define Your Why

The first step to making a book is to ask yourself why? There are several valid reasons for writing a book.

First and foremost, because you want to! You put the blood, sweat, and tears into authoring a book. Now you want tangible proof that you can see, carry around, and display on your bookshelf.

That’s a good enough reason!

Some authors, especially those who identify as non-fiction experts, find that paperbacks serve as glorified business cards.

These copies are especially useful for speaking engagements or professional development events, such as conferences or continuing education courses.

Passing out free books to interested readers is a terrific way to build a solid fan base as well as spread the word that you’re an author.

If you elect to sell your books at events, you can recoup some of your costs and potentially even turn a profit.

Using your printed book to generate leads and make network connections is never a bad idea. If your book genre lends itself to this type of network development, then definitely go for it.

#2 – Write an amazing book

Writing a book is about a lot more than just throwing your ideas on paper and hoping they stick.

It takes skill, knowledge, and a strategy to make sure it’s done and done well.

Here are some steps to writing a great book the first time:

Writing a novel is no easy feat! Make sure to take your time but commit to a deadline that will keep you moving toward progress every day.

This writing schedule should be realistic but difficult enough to require regular progress to achieve.

#3 – Decide your book’s distribution channel

Not every distribution channel is the same. When you’re making a book, you have to think about who is going to print this book.

Who to choose for book prints?

You may have heard that Createspace was bought out by Amazon, meaning KDP now prints your books.

Since there is really only one other major book printer for self-published authors, the big question everyone has on their mind is:

Amazon or Ingramspark?

Since you’ll already be familiar with Amazon from uploading the Kindle version of your book, it may seem like KDP paperback publishing is the easy choice.

But that’s not necessarily true, at least not yet.

At Self-Publishing School, we recommend you choose a means of making your book that best fits what you want.

There are pros and cons to using Ingramspark versus Amazon that you have to consider.

Here’s a list of what Ingramspark has to offer with their different packages for making a book:

Both Amazon and Ingramspark print your books and distribute them on Amazon. Meaning, they sell those books on Amazon without you as the middleman. They’re direct sale-to-print and they ship out from their warehouses.

That being said, they don’t offer the same perks.

For example, Ingramspark actually prints hardback copies of your book, where Amazon only prints paperback copies.

#4 – Factor in the cost of making a book

When you decide to learn how to make a book, you’re also diving into the world of business.

That’s right, making a book has a lot to do with business and we all know businesses have certain factors that can be a little confusing, including the cost of publishing a book.

So how much does it cost to publish a book?

The truth is that there are several factors that add to the cost of making a book.

Here are some expenses for making a book:

  • hiring a book editor
  • hiring a cover designer
  • any ads or marketing services you want to include
  • time spent in the writing, marketing, and publishing phase

If you’re basing your decision strictly on revenue, then you’ll want to think about it before heading down the printing path.

Paperback can be costly to produce if you’re not sure what you’re doing, which is why we created a program to help you avoid those expensive mistakes.

Luckily with Amazon and Ingramspark, they take care of the cost upfront, but they will take a higher percentage of your revenue to make up for the printing cost.

This means you won’t make as much money off the sales of a paperback as you would with an e-book.

We’ve often seen that the most lucrative path for e-authors is the combination of a Kindle eBook and an audiobook.  

If your goal is to make as much money as you can, and you have to choose between the two, then consider pursuing an audiobook over a paperback. (Although funding an audiobook can be pricey, and you are responsible for that upfront cost, so do the math!)

#5 – Determine your book’s contents

You’ve given it some thought and considered the factors above, and you’ve decided that you do want to print paperback copies of your book. Before you take the next step, it’s important to dot your “i’s” and cross your “t’s” by figuring out your book’s contents.

Run through our pro-developed, pre-printing checklist to make sure you’ve checked all the appropriate boxes of making a book.

  • Choose the size of your book
  • Decide on black & white or color (Note: The prices may vary)
  • Price your book properly (which we cover in our book launch post)
  • Create a rough concept for your covers
  • Decide whether to outsource your cover graphics and design
  • Write your author bio for the back or inside cover
  • Pick your author headshot for the back or inside cover
  • Pick your spine design and layout
  • Decide whether to outsource the interior formatting
  • Work out an interior layout—from fonts to chapters to margins

Once you have the above checklist of making a book complete, you can move on to the next and one of the most exciting parts…

#5 – Your Cover Design

The next step on the road to printing your masterpiece is to design a good book cover.

Ok, that’s a lot of pressure, but you should aim for at least a Barnes & Noble-worthy design.

Meeting with a designer can help you verbalize and align on your creative aesthetic and vision, resulting in actionable suggestions.

Here at Self-Publishing School, we provide our students with a Rolodex of SPS-Approved cover designers we know and trust to produce a star-worthy cover.

how to make a book

If you decide that you’d rather design your book’s exterior on your own, there are online programs that can help, although again, we highly recommend you not design your own book cover.

Here are some cheap resources you can get a book cover design:

Once you know who you want to design your book cover, you also have to think about other small details for the actual printing of your book.

Some design elements you’ll need to consider are:

  • whether or not you’ll want a matte or glossy cover
  • which fonts you’d like for the title of your book, subtitles, and body
  • the design of your book’s spine

Typically, books with less than 101 pages should have a completely blank spine, due to space restrictions. Books with more than 101 pages have room for a title on the spine.

You know that, of course, your book will need a front cover, but you shouldn’t neglect your book’s rear. In addition to the cover art and fonts, you’ll need to create a back cover design.

Most back covers provide a brief description of the book, an author headshot alongside a quick bio, and an optional barcode and ISBN placement.

#6 – Format your book

Formatting your book pages is a finicky, technical process.

For this reason, many authors say that outsourcing this chore to a professional book formatter is well worth the cost. Page margins, titles and subheading, and fonts are all tough to layout properly.

Handing this over to a pro can save you a big headache.

Moreover, at the end of the book making process, a good formatter will give you an archival quality product.

There are major difference in book formatting between fiction and nonfiction you have to take into account as well (though if you hire someone, they will know this).

Here’s an example of a fiction book formatting from Jenna Moreci’s The Savior’s Champion:

how to make a book

This is the difference with many (not all) nonfiction book formats from Chandler’s Bolt’s Published.:

making a book format

If you do decide to tackle the interior formatting yourself, then there are programs that can make the process simpler. Word has downloadable templates to make the work easier.

These formats vary, depending on how many pages your book has. Make sure to experiment with multiple formats to help you decide which works best for your specific layout needs.

#7 – Upload to Amazon

Once you’ve created your printed book, the next step is to find your fulfillment house.

There are many options available. Fulfillment houses pack and ship, and provide customer service for your books. We tend to overwhelmingly recommend publishing on Amazon.

Their services are user-friendly and simple to follow.

This works the best, as you can curb the costs of printing more than the number of copies you need because of Amazon’s print-on-demand.


There are multitudes of resources out there for learning how to. make a book. Whether you want to sell your printed books, use them as pro book marketing tools, or simply admire how lovely they look gracing your bookcase, realize that with a few easy steps, you can create your own beautiful paperback version of your eBook.

How to Start Making a Book TODAY

One of the biggest costs of making a book is TIME.

We hear from our students just how much time they’ve wasted writing their books before learning our methods for doing it.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

Are you ready to learn how to make a book? Drop a comment with what your book will be about!

creative writing

Creative Writing: 9 Creative Writing Exercises & Tips to Get Better

Your creative writing needs improvement.

You might not like to face that truth, but it is indeed a truth. I’ll go into more detail about that in a little bit but every writer out there needs improvement.

And one of the best ways to get better at creative writing is to challenge yourself by completing writing exercises.

creative writing exercises

Here’s what you’ll learn about creative writing:

  1. What is creative writing?
  2. Creative writing topics
  3. Elements of creative writing
  4. Examples of creative writing
  5. 9 powerful creative writing exercises

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Fiction Self-Publishing Program.
Learn more about it here

What is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is typically is a form of writing where creativity is at the forefront of its purpose through using imagination, creativity, and innovation in order to tell a story through strong written visuals with an emotional impact. It’s often seen as the opposite of journalistic or academic writing.

When it comes to writing, there are many different types. As you already know, all writing does not read in the same way.

Creative writing uses senses and emotions in order to create a strong visual in the reader’s mind whereas other forms of writing typically only leave the reader with facts and information instead of emotional intrigue.

Creative Writing Topics

If you’re looking for a few creative writing topics to dive into (which you’ll need if you’re going to use some of our top writing exercises), we have exactly what you need.

These are our top creative writing prompts all compiled for you.

Just fill out the form below and your writing prompts will be delivered promptly!

Download 200+ FREE Writing Prompts Here!



What are the Elements of Creative Writing?

In order to get better at creative writing, you have to understand the elements of what makes writing a book great.

You can’t build a car engine without understanding how each part plays a role, right?

That’s the same case with writing.

Here are the elements that make up creative writing and why each is just as important as the other.

Unique Plot

What differentiates creative writing and other forms of writing the most is the fact that the former always has a plot of some sort – and a unique one.

Yes, remakes are also considered creative writing, however, most creative writers create their own plot formed by their own unique ideas. Without having a plot, there’s no story.

And without a story, you’re really just writing facts on paper, much like a journalist.

Character development

Characters are necessary for creative writing. While you can certainly write creatively using the second person point of view (which I’ll cover below), you still have to develop the character in order to tell the story.

Character development can be defined as the uncovering of who a character is and how they change throughout the duration of your story. From start to end, readers should be able to understand your main characters deeply.

Underlying theme

Almost every story out there has an underlying theme or message – even if the author didn’t necessarily intend for it to. But creative writing needs that theme or message in order to be complete.

That’s part of the beauty of this form of art. By telling a story, you can also teach lessons.

Visual descriptions

When you’re reading a newspaper, you don’t often read paragraphs of descriptions depicting the surrounding areas of where the events took place. Visual descriptions are largely saved for creative writing.

You need them in order to help the reader understand what the surroundings of the characters look like.

This pulls readers in and allows them to imagine themselves in the characters’ shoes – which is the reason people read.

Point of view

There are a few points of views you can write in. That being said, the two that are most common in creative writing are first person and third person.

  • First Person – In this point of view, the narrator is actually the main character. This means that you will read passages including, “I” and understand that it is the main character narrating the story.
  • Second Person – Most often, this point of view isn’t used in creative writing, but rather instructional writing – like this blog post. When you see the word “you” and the narrator is speaking directly to you, it’s second person point of view.
  • Third Person – Within this point of view are a few different variations. You have third person limited, third person multiple, and third person omniscient. The first is what you typically find.

    • Third person limited’s narrator uses “he/she/they” when speaking about the character you’re following. They know that character’s inner thoughts and feelings but nobody else’s. It’s much like first person, but instead of the character telling the story, a narrator takes their place.
    • Third person multiple is the same as limited except that the narrator now knows the inner thoughts and feelings of several characters.
    • The last, third person omniscient, is when the narrator still uses “he/she/they” but has all of the knowledge. They know everything about everyone.

Dialogue

While non-creative writing can have dialogue (like in interviews), that dialogue is not used in the same way as it is in creative writing. Creative writing (aside from silent films) requires dialogue to support the story.

Your characters should interact with one another in order to further the plot and development each other more.

Imaginative language

Part of what makes creative writing creative is the way you choose to craft the vision in your mind.

And that means creative writing uses more anecdotes, metaphors, similes, figures of speech, and other comparisons in order to paint a vivid image in the reader’s mind.

Emotional appeal

All writing can have emotional appeal. However, it’s the entire goal of creative writing. Your job as a writer is to make people feel how you want them to by telling them a story.

Examples of Creative Writing

Since creative writing covers such a wide variety of writing, we wanted to break down the different types of creative writing out there to help you make sense of it. You may know that novels are considered creative writing, but what about memoirs?

Here are the different types of creative writing:

  • TV show scripts
  • Movei scripts
  • songs
  • speeches

9 Creative Writing Exercises to Improve Your Writing

Writing is just like any other skill. You have to work at it in order to get better.

It’s also much like other skills because the more you do it, the stronger you become in it. That’s why exercising your creative writing skills is so important.

The best authors out there, including Stephen King, recommend writing something every single day. These writing exercises will help you accomplish that and improve your talent immensely.

Have you checked out our fiction writing and self-publishing program? Learn more about it here

#1 – Describe your day with creative writing

This is one of my favorite little exercises to keep my writing sharp and in shape.

Just like with missing gym sessions, the less you write, the more of that skill you lose. Hannah Lee Kidder, a very talented author and Youtuber, gave me this writing exercise and I have used it many times.

Creative Writing Exercise:

All you have to do is sit down and describe your day – starting with waking up – as if you were writing it about another person. Use your creative writing skills to bring life to even the dullest moments, like showering or brushing your teeth.

#2 – Description Depiction

If you’re someone who struggles with writing descriptions or you just want to get better in general, this exercise will help you do just that – and quickly.

In order to improve your descriptions, you have to write them with a specific intention.

With this exercise, the goal is to write your description with the goal of showing the reader as much as you can about your character without ever mentioning them at all.

Creative Writing Exercise:

For this one, craft a character in your mind. It can be one you already created or a completely new one.

Pick 5 key qualities about them you want to highlight within your description. Then, without ever mentioning the character at all, describe either their living room or their bedroom to meet that goal.

#3 – Edit your old writing

Believe it or not, editing does count as writing and can actually sharpen those creative writing skill more than you think.

It can be a little scary to pull up a story you wrote last week or even two years ago and tear it apart. But that’s exactly what I want you to do.

Check out this video of me editing my old writing in order to replace weak verbs with stronger, better ones to get a taste of what this can look like and how it can help you get better.

#4 – Voice Variations

One of my favorite parts of writing is giving unique voices to each character. I believe that’s what truly brings them to live.

Their dialogue as the power to pull readers in, or push them out of the book completely.

Obviously, you want the former.

During this creative writing exercise, your focus will be to pick 4 different emotional states and write dialogue and narrative of how your character feels and interprets those feelings.

Creative Writing Exercise:

For this one, craft a character in your mind. It can be one you already created or a completely new one.

Choose your 4 emotional states – and get creative. You can choose sadness, anger, happiness, and excitement BUT you can also go a bit further and choose to use drunk, flirty, terrified, and eager.

After you have 4 emotional states, write one page of each using dialogue and narrative your character would use.

#5 – Single Senses

Creating strong visuals is one of the most powerful ways to become a great creative writer. In fact, practicing this will help you craft books that really hook readers.

This exercise’s goal is to help you develop writing the senses in ways that not only make sense, but are also imaginative and unique.

creative writing exercise

#6 – Dialogue Destruction

During this exercise, you will learn a lot about how to shape a scene using entirely dialogue.

Now, this isn’t something you’ll always do in your writing, but it’s very important to know how to move a scene forward using dialogue if you need to.

This will also help you understand how to show and not tell in creative writing.

Creative Writing Exercise:

To start, choose a scene you wrote previously that has little to no dialogue, but is still very important.

Next, rewrite the entire thing using dialogue (including dialogue tags and body language descriptions). You will quickly become better at using dialogue to show and not tell.

#7 – Tell the origin story of the Tooth Fairy

This writing exercise will really help you think creatively about something a large part of the world knows about.

However, you have to think of a very unique, interesting way of presenting this common idea. The purpose of this is to help you dig deeper within your own story and plot in order to come up with the very best, most unique ideas – because that is what will stand out in your book.

Creative Writing Exercise:

Begin this story like you would any other. Develop who the very first Tooth Fairy is and understand their character. Then, start creating a backstory that coincides with how they ended up becoming the tooth fairy.

Write this in full, ending with the Tooth Fairy taking their first tooth.

#8 – Thematic Attic

This is a fun one! The idea behind this creative writing exercise is to focus on interpreting themes through story.

Since all creative writing has an underlying theme behind it, it’s really important for you to be able to accurately depict that theme throughout the story you’re telling.

creative writing quote

Otherwise, it can get lost. Not knowing the theme can often leave readers feeling unsatisfied – and rightfully so.

Creative Writing Exercise:

For this exercise, pick an overarching theme you want to focus on. This can be anything from equality to the difference between right and wrong.

Next, craft a short story with the setting being and do your best to make sure that theme shines through

Get creative! Your attic can even contain a portal to another dimension if you really want it to.

#9 – Break Language Barriers

This isn’t quite what you think it is. So no, we will not be creating new languages with this exercise.

Instead, we’ll be working on using unique language to describe very common, everyday occurrences and experiences.

One of the beauties of creative writing is that you have the power to change the way someone sees the world. You can make it more appealing and special to them – if you know how.

This exercise will help you develop the skill of using a unique narrative within your story.

Creative Writing Exercise:

In this creative writing exercise, you’ll start by reading. You can read a new book or even some of your old writing.

Highlight or copy sentences or paragraphs you think are very common experiences that most everyone in the world knows of. For example: the sunset, brushing your teeth, looking up at the sky.

Your job is to rewrite these experiences in the most unique way you can using visuals that you don’t normally see in writing.<

Here’s an example:

BEFORE – The sun set beyond the trees.

AFTER – The trees tucked the sun in for the night.

[su_box title=”Creative Writing Exercise” box_color=”#112947″ title_color=”#ffffff” radius=”0″][/su_box]

Turn Your Creative Writing Idea into a Novel & PUBLISH!

Now that you’re more ready than ever to produce a high quality book, it’s time to take action.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

You don’t want to miss out on all he has to offer because once you watch this, you’ll be able to put these creative writing exercises to use.

What are some creative writing exercises you use to get better? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!

writing habits

Writing Routine: How to Develop a Foolproof Writing Habit to Write Faster

Writing routines aren’t easy to come by…in fact, it’s one of the hardest parts of writing a book.

That’s right. It’s not coming up with a great book idea, it’s not forming the right words to bring that idea to life…

It’s finishing the damn book.

And that means forming a writing habit that will help you get it done despite your busy life and schedule. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help from Julie-Anne England, an author and busy mom of 4.

writing routine

For many years I dreamed of being an author. I love to write and there was something about the sound of “author” that made me desperately want to call myself that.

I pictured my brand new life; holding my very own book in my hand, getting emails from people about how my book changed their life and my world opening up as a professional once I saw my name in print.

Well, all this came true and more after I published my first book.

This is how a writing habit through developing a writing routine helps you finish your book:

  1. Learn from those who’ve done it before
  2. Create a time log
  3. Prioritize your time for a writing habit
  4. Decide your daily writing time
  5. Put your writing routine time in your planner
  6. Find accountability
  7. Start your writing habit!

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program. Learn more about it here

Creating a Writing Habit is Simple

I’m here to tell you that it all comes down to creating a habit to make the time to actually write. You can daydream about your name in lights, write pages of goals and tasks and even design your perfect book cover but until you actually write…. you have nothing.

If I can form a writing routine while also managing all of this..

  • being the wife of a very busy (and very gorgeous) American man who works long hours, including weekends and evenings,
  • mom of three children under the age of 8 who are with me. All.The.Time. (Yes I say that fondly – mostly)
  • homeschooling my children
  • running 2, soon to be 3 blogs
  • training for a marathon
  • bringing my kids to swimming lessons
  • running bible study once a month
  • all the fun stuff that comes with running a home—cooking, cleaning, shopping

so can you.

Trust me, I understand busy!

I say all this to say, it isn’t an excuse for never becoming an author. It all depends on how badly you want it.

And I bet you want it, right? How much? The truth is, it isn’t as hard as you think.

How to Build a Writing Routine and Stick to it

Here are my best tips for creating the habit of writing. These tips will have your very first book in your hands in a few months time (if you stick to them).

#1 – Learn from those who’ve done it before

One thing that revolutionized my thoughts around time management was a book I read called 168 Hours: You have more time than you think by Laura Vanderkam.

This book went into depth about how much time we actually spend doing daily tasks such as working, sleeping and watching TV by analyzing people’s day using a time log.

One key takeaway is that people often underestimated how much they slept by a few hours and overestimated how much time they spent working.

When it came to writing my very first book, I realized that I needed to be very intentional with my time and how I was using it.

#2 – Create a time log

After reading 168 Hours, I took a hard look at how I could utilize what I’d learned from Laura Vanderkam.

I followed suit and created a time log of what I was doing for a couple of weeks and I realized something crucial.

I really did need a better handle on what I was doing with my time. Maybe you do too.

Start by jotting down what you are doing every day for a week in 15 minutes segments. Be honest. No one has to see this except you.

Then start looking for areas where you could create more time for creating the life you want, ie. as a writer!

We often spend a lot more time than we think on mundane tasks like this:

  • Scrolling through our phone in the morning
  • Getting ready for the day (shower, brushing teeth, etc.)
  • Making/eating meals
  • Working through meaningless/non-priority tasks
  • Talking to others in person, on the phone, or online
  • Watching TV
  • (or worse) Looking for a show to watch

These are everyday occurrences that you’re probably spending far too much time on than you think. Keeping a log will help you pinpoint where you can speed up or cut out unnecessary tasks to make more time for writing.

#3 Prioritize your time

Take a look at your life and work out any free time that you could dedicate to writing.

Yeah sure, you are really busy, but I bet that you wouldn’t miss much if you cut out that second TV show you watch every night. Or maybe spent a little less time on social media.

Your time log will probably make it very clear which areas you could adjust.

I honestly struggled to find time in my day to write. Even if there was a point that my kids were playing happily in the playroom, it was never a good writing time because with kids you get interrupted. Constantly.

Even with removing time spent on social media and watching less TV, it still didn’t allow for uninterrupted writing time. So I had to be more creative.

One great way to cut down on time spend on your phone, at least, is to use an app or software like Freedom.

writing routine freedom

As seen in the example above, this app can help you solidify a writing routine by actually blocking your access to certain apps or websites in order to prevent you from going to them out of a bad habit.

#4 – Decide on your perfect daily writing time

This may be as little as half an hour, but it needs to be every day (or at least 6 days a week).

This is because creating a writing habit is so important in becoming a writer.

Habits are things that almost happen on autopilot and that is exactly what you want. Cultivating a lifestyle and a habit of writing will make the writing go so much smoother than if you write here and there when you can fit it in.

Here are a few things to think about when choosing your writing time:

  1. Will you be interrupted?
  2. Are there too many distractions happening during that time?
  3. Can you be in a quiet, secluded space?
  4. Will you be in the right mindset to write during that time?

I usually had a couple of hours at night once the kids were in bed but I found that I was too tired by this time and my writing wasn’t very good.

I had to get super disciplined, so I chose to get up earlier to have uninterrupted time to write before the kids got up.

You aren’t a morning person? Yeah, me either but sometimes you have to do the hard things to see the best things come into your life. Right now, it’s just after 5am and the house is peaceful and quiet.

This is now my sacred productivity time.

#5 – Put your writing time into your daily planner

No excuses! Use an alarm if you have to and make sure you will not get interrupted. Turn your phone on airplane mode and switch off your email pop-ups.

Or use the Freedom app like I mentioned earlier.

Then show up. Every time.

If you don’t make this a priority, I can guarantee something else will take the spot. And you will find yourself a year down the track still without your book…

If you’re someone who works by an online calendar, even better! You can schedule your writing time daily and it will pop up on your computer or phone to help remind you to get some writing done like in this example:

writing routine schedule

#6 – Find accountability

The novel writing journey can be hard and lonely and there are many times where you may feel like giving up. This is when it is so important to have an accountability person ready to support you.

Your accountability buddy will be aware of your goals and will keep you on track to accomplishing your daily and weekly tasks.

This is what you can expect from an accountability buddy:

  • They know and understand your goals
  • They want to see you succeed
  • They aren’t afraid to be real with you and tell you when you need to get it together
  • They will encourage you in ways that work for you
  • They will meet with you regularly to check-in and help solve problems

Choose someone who you know will be supportive in your journey and who will push you when necessary. Even better if you can have someone who has written and even published a book themselves.

When I was writing my first book, my accountability buddy was amazing.

She checked up on me regularly to find out if I had accomplished what I said I would and encouraged me to keep going. She pushed me when I didn’t feel like sticking to my plan.

Don’t skip this step, it is so important! Add it to your to-do-list for today “Get accountability buddy”!

writing habit

And if you’re not sure where to find an accountability partner, Self-Publishing School has a Mastermind Community filled with writers in the very same stage as you in addition to experts to help you along the way, as you can see from the example above.

#7 – Start writing!

When I first started getting up at 5am, I dreaded it. Like I said, I’m not (or actually wasn’t) a morning person.

writing habit routine

Now I actually get excited about having a couple of hours of time all to myself. This is when I work on my goals and become the person I want to be.

Now it’s a habit and in less than 6 months I have written a book, gone through editing and formatting, launched, watched my book take #1 spot on Amazon in the self-help category AND am busy with book number two!

Your dream life really isn’t as far away as your think. When you make the decision to take control and you turn up day in and day out, that’s when the miracles will occur.

Don’t waste your life with excuses no matter how valid they might be.

Being an author is one of the best things I ever did (and I’ve been to Disneyland!). It showed me that I could do something I set my mind to. It taught me that I could overcome obstacles.


It ingrained the importance of creating a new habit and sticking to it. And now I have a legacy to leave my children.

You can do it too! You have something powerful and exciting inside you that needs to get on paper. Share your story with the world. And when you take this first step, you will never look back!


Are you ready to start your writing routine TODAY?

Don’t wait another day! The key to starting a writing habit is starting now and committing to not only yourself but to those who your book will help and guide.

Check out this free training for how to write a book and outline your book TODAY!

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

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how to write a short story

How to Write a Short Story with 11 Easy Steps for Satisfying Stories

You probably don’t think short stories are very hard to write.

In fact, you might be the type who assumes short stories are even easier because, well…they’re short.

But that’s just not the case – and I’ll tell you why in just a minute.

If you want to learn how to write a short story, you’ll have to go through these main steps:

  1. Know your character
  2. Outline your short story
  3. Start with something out of the ordinary
  4. Get your draft done as soon as possible
  5. Edit your short story
  6. Title your short story
  7. Get feedback about it
  8. Practice often
  9. Write a short story every day
  10. Define your core message
  11. Write a satisfying ending

But before we dive into these exact methods for how to write a short story, let’s talk about why any and all writers should learn how to craft solid, captivating short stories, even if your end goal is to write full-length novels or even nonfiction.

how to write a short story

Why All Writers Should Learn How to Write a Good Short Story

There’s a lot more to writing short stories than you may think. Just because they’re shorter in length doesn’t mean it takes any less skill to execute a good one.

In fact, being able to tell a full story in such a short amount of time arguably takes more skill than writing a full-length novel or nonfiction book.

That being said, why is it beneficial for all writers to learn how to write a short story?

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Fiction Self-Publishing Program. Learn more about it here

#1 – You learn the skill of showing

When you only have a few pages to hook readers, paint a clear picture of the character, and tell a story, you end up mastering the skill of showing instead of telling.

The reason for this is because, in order to accomplish a successful and good short story, showing is a major part of that.

It’s far too difficult to write a great short story without showing the details and using strong verbs to paint a clear image of your character’s life.

Those skills will transfer into anything you write, automatically making it that much better.


Free Strong Verbs List Download

#2 – You’ll strengthen individual chapters

No matter if you’re a fiction writer or if you prefer nonfiction, the idea here is the same.

A chapter is basically a short story that’s a part of a bigger whole. The same skills you apply to write a great short story will also help you write stronger chapters.

Each part of your book should be polished, strong, and enticing for your readers. Using short story writing methods will help you achieve that within your chapters.

Why is writing good chapters important if there’s a whole book available for someone to read?

Because it hooks readers and keeps them turning that page.

And when readers look back on an entire book filled with incredible chapters, the entire book as a whole will be seen as being that much better.

Hello, 5-star reviews!

#3 – It makes the story sections of your nonfiction book more captivating

Every nonfiction book has portions where stories must be told in order to get the point across.

This is what allows people to relate to you as an author, which pulls them in deeper and makes the core message of your book resonate with them more.

But if those stories are weak, not well-written, and lackluster, it’s unlikely someone will enjoy them as much.

It’s also likely that your message will get lost because the book doesn’t carry the same impact.

How long are short stories?

Short stories should remain below 7,000 words in order to be considered a “short story.” They can be as short as only one sentence, as this is known as flash fiction.

You already know that short stories are…shorter than your average novel but do they have any other difference?

Here’s a chart detailing the main differences in how many words are in short stories, novels, novellas, and nonfiction works.

Type of WritingWord CountPages in a Typical BookExample
Short story100 - 15,0001 - 24 pages"The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry
Novella30,000 - 60,000100 - 200 pages"A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess
Novel60,000 - 100,000200 - 350 pages"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone": by JK Rowling
Epic Novel120,00 - 220,000+400 - 750+ pages"Game of Thrones" by George R.R. Martin

As you can see, the main difference is length, but that’s not all. When you write a short story, you’re only writing a very impactful snippet of your character’s otherwise full life.

You don’t have to unpack your entire character’s life story in a few hundred words in order to write a great short story.

How to Write a Short Story

If you’re ready to tackle this avenue of creative writing or you just want to learn how to write a short story to strengthen the overall quality of your book, here’s how you can do that.

#1 – Focus on Character Development

In order for a short story to be impactful, you have to know your character well. Having good character development is essential in short stories, since your characters often drive the story.

You only have a certain amount of time to show your readers who that person is and you can’t do that if you don’t even know who they are.

Think about it.

If you write a short story about your best friend, whom you’ve known for many years, versus writing one about someone you just met yesterday, you’ll be able to craft a much stronger story about your best friend because you know them so well.

The same goes for your fictional characters.

You don’t have to spend a ton of time on this, but know their history, age, personality, family life, friend life, love life, and other details that shape the way someone sees the world.

Here’s a sample of what a character arc typically looks like in a full novel:

how to write a short story characters

Keep in mind that since your short story is, well, shorter than a novel, you may remove a few steps. Knowing the overall character journey, however, can be helpful for character development within short stories.

#2 – Outline

Thankfully, the outlining process for a short story is much easier than a full novel, but I do still advise creating one in order to have a cohesive flow throughout the story.

This is definitely useful for those of you who prefer outlining versus just writing by the seat of your pants.

Here’s what your outline should encompass for a short story:

  • The point of view you’ll use
  • How you’ll start the story
  • How you’ll get from the beginning to the main issue
  • What happens at the “climax” (yes, even short stories have one!)
  • Resolution of the main issue
  • The very end

Keep in mind that your short story can end very abruptly or you can flesh it out until there’s a satisfying ending.

This is really up to you as an author to decide.

#3 – Start with something out of the ordinary

In order to hook readers with a short story, you should start with something that’ll catch someone’s attention right off the bat.

Take Hannah Lee Kidder’s example from the video above. One of the short stories in her anthology, Little Birds, opens with a woman collecting roadkill.

Odd? Yes. Attention grabbing? You bet!

Because we’re automatically intrigued by the fact that people don’t normally go around collecting roadkill.

Now, you don’t have to start your short story with something as strange as that but you do want to give your readers a sense of who your character is by depicting something different right away that also has to do with the core focus of your short story.

short story writing

Take this short story called The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, for example. This author starts with a very low money amount and then hits you with the fact that it’s Christmas the very next day.

This is out of the ordinary because many readers understand that having such little money (scraped up money, at that) right before Christmas isn’t typical. It’s odd – and also hits their emotions right away.

#4 – Get the draft done ASAP

Done is better than perfect. We’ve all heard or read these words time and time again – and that’s because they’re important; they’re true.

This is especially the case when it comes to short stories. Once you have your outline and know how to start writing, drafting the short story in full comes next.

Don’t worry about editing or polishing the story up in any way right now. After all, you can’t possibly make good edits until you know what the story looks like in full.

That would be like matching your earrings to your pants without first having the full outfit put together. You don’t know if those earrings work well with it until you see what else you’ll be wearing.

It’s the same for writing. Focus on getting your draft done so you can move on to the next step.

short story writing quote

#5 – Edit your short story

Editing is where the real magic happens when it comes to writing. We all have this idea in our minds that we’ll get it perfect the first time and that’s just not how writing works.

Most of the time, your first draft is just the bare bones of what’s to come.

Think of the actual writing as the wooden structure of a house and the editing as the drywall, paint, windows, light fixtures, doors, and anything else that’ll make the house complete.

These are a few things to keep an eye out for when editing your short story:

  • Point of view consistency
  • Tense consistency
  • Showing versus telling (readers need you to show more!)
  • Stronger imagery
  • Spelling/grammar/dialogue

The editing process for short stories is pretty much the same for novels. The only difference is that short stories tend to focus more on imagery and exposition than they do full character and plot development.

#6 – Title it!

This can be one of the most difficult things for any book, let alone a story that’s only a few hundred to a few thousand words.

The good news? Short story titles are a little less important than titles for novels. They can also be very abstract.

What you want to think of when titling your short story is this:

  • What’s the overarching theme?
  • What is something unique about the story?
  • What sounds intriguing but not explanatory?
  • What makes sense after reading the short story?

These questions will help you develop a title that not only makes sense, but is also intriguing enough to pull readers in while staying true to what the story is about.

#7 – Get feedback

No matter how experienced (or inexperienced) you are as a writer, you need feedback.

In order to learn and improve and ensure your message is coming across as desired, you need someone else’s fresh eyes on it.

Here’s an example of what feedback might look like if you’re using Google Docs to write your short story:

how to write a short story feedback

We need this help because the simple fact is, we’re too close to our writing.

It’s impossible to read your story with a critical eye when you’re the one who came up with and wrote it in the first place.

Allowing others to read your work and offer feedback is one of the best ways to improve and make sure your story is exactly how you want it.

#8 – Practice by writing short stories often

The number one best way to learn how to write good short stories is by writing them often.

When you’re writing regularly, your brain falls into the habit of being creative and thinking in terms of short stories.

The more you do it, the easier it will get and the more you’ll improve. So focus on writing a certain number of short stories per week and stick to that – even if they aren’t your favorite.

#9 – Write one short story every day for 30 days

This is separate from writing short stories often. If you really want to kickstart your progress and get really good quickly, then create a challenge for yourself.

Write one short story, whether it’s 500 or 1,000 words, per day for an entire month.

When you’re done, you’ll have 30 full short stories to review, edit, and improve upon. Doing this not only builds a habit, but it also gives you a lot of experience quickly.

After those 30 days, you’ll know more about how you like to write short stories, which mean more to you, and how to write them to be good.

how to write a short story quote

#10 – Focus on a single message to share

Short stories are known for being impactful even though they’re not novel-length.

And that means they have to have a core theme or message you want to get across. This can be anything from loving yourself to ignoring societal expectations.

In order to do this, think about what you want people to walk away from your story feeling.

What is the desired outcome?

If you just want people to enjoy the story, that’s great. However, what makes a story impactful and enjoyable is what readers take away from it.

Brainstorm some themes that are important to you and work your short story around them. This will not only make you care about your story more (which means it’ll be written better), but it’ll also make ti more satisfying for readers.

#11 – Tie it up with a satisfying ending

Nobody likes a story that ends on a major cliffhanger.

It’s okay for your short story to have an unresolved ending. In fact, that’ll likely be the case simply because the story is…well, short.

But you do want to tie your story up in a way that leaves the reader feeling satisfied even if they didn’t get all the answers.

Many times, this means circling back to an idea or element presented in the beginning.

This structure often allows readers to feel as though they’ve read a complete story versus just a snippet of a larger one.

Short Story Ideas

Now that you know how to write a short story, it’s time to put these new skills to the test with some short story ideas guaranteed to produce something interesting and intriguing.

Here are 20 short story ideas to take your writing to the next level:

  1. Your character opens the mailbox to find their biggest fear inside.
  2. After a devastating fall, your character is learning the hardships of healing after an accident.
  3. Your character accidentally insults their company’s CEO – right before a big promotion.
  4. Your character lost a child years ago but lives as if it just happened the day before.
  5. Your character’s village wise woman tells the story of how magic was lost due to abuse.
  6. Your character lives in a space pod traveling space, and they’re also claustrophobic.
  7. Ash floated from the mountaintop and awoke your character from their night’s sleep.
  8. Your character hasn’t eaten in days and stumbles upon real berries, and so does a starving bear.
  9. When your character’s heart is broken, they must find a way to heal it – any way.
  10. Your character is an orphaned 7-year-old who hears voices.
  11. Your character just found out they have a rare disease…that hasn’t been detected anywhere in centuries.
  12. After a fight with their ex, your character decides to go on a trip to the neighboring town that hosts very…unusual tales.
  13. Your character accidentally runs into the wrong person on the street…and now they can’t sleep at night.
  14. When your character moves schools, they didn’t expect to find a secret lurking throughout the school…that all the teachers know about.
  15. It’s your character’s turn in their culture’s ritual of fighting a lion barehanded. They’ve never been good in fights.
  16. After extreme weather conditions plague your character’s town, they finally leave home to find everybody has gone missing.
  17. Your character is in the back of an ambulance, trying desperately to revive someone who’s apparently dead…so why are they still away and breathing?
  18. After a short stint at a hospital as a nurse, your character decides to take their skills to the mountains as a wilderness medical professional. They just didn’t expect to find odd and interesting injuries among campers.
  19. An apple appears at your character’s front door every morning and they can’t figure out who’s putting it there.
  20. When an avalanche quakes the mountains in your character’s town, it unveils something that’s been hidden for…millenia.
how to write a short story

Tips for Writing with Short Story Ideas:

Sometimes short story ideas are enough but if you want to utilize them effectively, keep these tips in mind:

#1 – Keep it simple and focus on a single portion of a character’s life

#2 – Make sure the reader has a clear picture of your character right away

#3 – Focus on the theme and message you’re trying to get across

#4 – Let the short story idea create a life of its own

#5 – Be unique and think of many possible endings to the story before outlining

How to Start Writing Your Short Stories

Now you know how to write a short story! But how do you go from having all this knowledge in your brain to actually writing a short story worth reading?

We’ve got those next steps for you.

#1 – Free Training

Learning how to write a short story is only the first step toward becoming a published author – and we have the rest of them for you.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

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#2 – Download some writing prompts

Not everyone can come up with a story idea off the top of their head. And as you learn how to write a short story, you might come up with a few but if you don’t, we’ve got you covered.

We have a master list of over 200 fiction writing prompts just waiting for someone to bring them to life.

Download yours right here and get started on your short story!

#3 – Start the outline!

If you went ahead and got your list of prompts, or if you already have an idea of your own, start your outline!

Get that main idea down and start thinking creatively about how you can begin your short story in a way that sucks readers in.

Then you can focus on the main event that ties everything together before finalizing how you want the story to end.

Do you have any other tips for learning how to write a short story? What do you love most about this avenue of writing? Comment down below!

literary devices elements

Literary Devices: 12 Literary Elements to Drastically Improve Your Writing

All writing is made up of literary devices whether you realize it or not.

But what if you could intentionally uplevel your writing, make it better, more impactful, and crafting it in a way to hook readers from the introduction?

What would it mean for you if you were able to guide your readers in a specific direction and interpret your words the way you want them to?

Using literary devices is exactly how you can do that.

literary devices

Although the term “literary devices” can be a wee bit intimidating, they’re actually pretty simple.

In fact, you’re likely using a ton when writing your book that you don’t even know you’re utilizing—and we’ll touch on which those are in a little bit.

Here are the best 12 literary devices to use in writing:

  1. Allusion
  2. Diction
  3. Alliteration
  4. Allegory
  5. Colloquialism
  6. Euphemism
  7. Flashbacks
  8. Foreshadowing
  9. Imagery
  10. Juxtaposition
  11. Metaphor/simile
  12. Personification

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program. Learn more about it here

What are literary devices?

Literary devices are various elements and techniques used in writing that construct the whole of your literature to create an intended perception of the writing.

You probably remember learning about literary devices like personification, foreshadowing, and metaphors in school.

While these are very common types of literary elements, there are many more you can use to make your writing stand out in comparison to others. Using these devices will help your writing become stronger and better.

Literary Terms Every Writer Should Know

You don’t have to know every single literary term in order to be considered a writer. In fact, most people are writers before they discover the detailed nuances of writing and even publishing a book.

But there are some that every writer should be aware of.

Here are a few literary terms every writer should know:

  • Imagery – The use of visually descriptive or figurative language in writing. One way to describe this is showing versus telling, and we’ll cover more on this later in this blog post.
  • Personification – When you give human characteristics to non-human objects or elements. This will also be covered in more detail below.
  • Point of view – How your story is told and through whose perspective is what your point of view is. This could be first person, second person, third person, or more that we’ll cover down below.
  • Protagonist – This is the “good guy” in your story or the person your readers will root for. Oftentimes, this is the main character or even you, if you’re writing a nonfiction book.
  • Antagonist – Also known as the “bad guy,” or the person trying to prevent your protagonist from succeeding. This person or group or organization will likely be the reason for your protagonist’s hardships in your book.
  • Foreshadowing – We’ll cover this in detail below but essentially, foreshadowing is the placement of clues about what will happen in the future of your story.
  • Conflict – This is a basic term to describe the difficulties your protagonist or you face in your book. Any issues between characters or elements are known as conflict.
  • Rising Action – Rising action is the events that directly lead up to the climax of your novel.
  • Falling Action – When writing a novel, this is often the last chapter or two after the climax to “tie up” loose ends in your story.
  • Climax – The biggest, most pivotal point in your novel. This is when your protagonist faced their challenges head-on and either “wins” or “loses.” Think of any time Harry Potter directed faces off with Voldemort at the end of the books. This is the climax.
  • Voice – A writer’s voice is the unique narrative of the writing. This is the way in which the author chooses to display sentences and even down to the phrasing they use.
  • Style – Much like the author’s voice, the style is the unique way the author writes but also encompasses the entirety of the novel and story as well. Their style can mean how they write, but also how they tell a story and the way in which they allow events to unfold.

Here’s a quick example of what different writing voices and style look like between two famous authors, Stephen King’s The Outsider and George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.

literary devices style

List of Literary Devices to Use in Your Writing

When it comes to writing, you always want to be learning more.

Why? Because the more you know, the better your writing will be.

There’s no need to use every single literary device in your book, but by knowing what’s available for you to use and how to use it strategically, your writing will become stronger and therefore, more captivating to readers.

Here is a list of 36 literary devices to use in your writing.

#1 – Allusion

No, this is not illusion, though the two can be confused with one another.

An allusion is a literary device that references a person, place, thing, or events in the real world. You can use this to paint a clear picture or to even connect with your readers.

Allusion Literary Device Example:

Allusion Example 1: “Careful, now. You don’t want to go opening Pandora’s Box.”

In this example, the allusion is Pandora’s Box. Because this is a reference to a real-life element, it’s considered an allusion.

Allusion Example 2: He was a real goodguy ball-buster, the Deadpool of his time.

In this example, the narrator is using Deadpool as the allusion by referencing the person they’re describing as being like the super-hero (if you can call him that) Deadpool.

#2 – Diction

Diction is a literary device that’s the choice of words or style used by the writer in order to convey their message.

Basically, that’s a fancy way of saying that diction is the way in which the author wants to write to a specific audience.

Here are the different types of diction an what they mean:

  • Formal diction – This is when the word choice is more formal or high class. Oftentimes, writers use formal diction as a literary device when more educated individuals are speaking or the content is for those with higher education.
  • Informal diction – When your characters (or you writing a nonfiction) are speaking directly to everyday people, this type of diction would be use as it’s more conversational.
  • Slang diction – Slang is commonly used for a younger audience and includes newly coined words or phrases.
  • Colloquial diction – This is when words that are used in everyday life are written. These may be different depending on the culture or religions present in the writing.

Diction Literary Device Example:

Diction Example 1: “I bid you adieu.”

The diction present here is formal diction, as most people don’t use “bid” and “adieu” regularly in everyday speach.

Diction Example 2: I remember her hair in particular, because it was on fleek!

Here, “fleek” is a slang term used to describe a woman’s hair, which means it’s slang diction.

#3 – Alliteration

Alliteration is a literary device that uses the same letters or sounds at the beginning of words in a sentence or title.

There are many nursery rhymes that use alliteration but this is also useful for creating something memorable within your writing.

literary devices alliteration

You can also use alliteration when choosing the title of your book, as it makes it easier to remember, as you can see in the example of alliterative titles above.

Alliteration Literary Device Example:

Alliteration Example 1: “She sells sea shells by the sea shore.”

In this example, alliteration is present in both the “sh” sound and the “s” sound.

Alliteration Example 2: He was a real goodguy ball-buster, the Deadpool of his time.

In this example, the narrator is using Deadpool as the allusion by referencing the person they’re describing as being like the super-hero (if you can call him that) Deadpool.

#4 – Allegory

An allegory is a figure of speech where abstract ideas are described using characters, events, or other elements.

That’s more of a fancy way of saying that instead of being literal with an idea, you use characters, events, or other elements in order to describe it in a way the reader can better understand.

Think of it like a story within a story. You use characters, events, or other means to represent the literal meaning.

This one is a little better understood with examples than a definition.

Allegory Literary Device Example:

Allegory Example: One of the most famous works using allegory is George Orwell’s Animal Farm. The perceived story is about a group of farm animals who rise up and defeat humans but the underlying story is about the Russian Revoluation.

Using an allegory is often telling a darker story in a way that’s easier to understand and for readers to receive.

#5 – Colloquialism

One way to increase the world building in your book is to use colloquialisms.

Colloquialisms are expressions, words, and phrases that are used in informal, everyday speech, including slang.

You can use these a couple of different ways. Firstly, you can use these as slang in the real world and secondly, you can even create your book’s own colloquialisms for their world and culture, and even when writing dialogue.

Colloquialism Literary Device Example:

Colloquialism Examples:

Bamboozle – to deceieve

Gonna – going to

Be blue – to be sad

Bugger off – go away

Over yonder – over there

Da bomb – the best

You can create your own coloquialisms within your own world to increase the realism.

#6 – Euphemism

We tend to think of euphemisms as sexual euphemisms, which is how they’re often used. However, euphemisms are actually any terms that refer to something less polite or pleasant.

We create phrases or other words in order to avoid using the actual term because they’re impolite, rude, or indecent. Those alternatives are considered euphemisms.

Euphemism Literary Device Example:

Euphemism Examples:

Before I go – before I die

Do the dirty – have sex

Rear-end – butt

perspiration – sweating

Thin on top – bald

Tipsy – drunk

Having a loose screw – being dumb

#7 – Flashbacks

Flashbacks in literature are when the narrator goes back in time for a specific scene or chapter in order to give more context for the story.

Oftentimes, we see flashbacks in books where the past greatly impacts the present. This is seen in Harry Potter whenever Harry gets to see a memory of the past from Dumbledore or even Snape.

Foreshadowing Literary Device Example:

You can even use flashbacks as a plot device, like in the example below.

literary devices flashback

For example, in Vicious by V.E. Schwab, she uses flashbacks as a recurring element in her book. Every other chapter goes back in time and then back to the present for the next chapter as a way to structure the book itself.

#8 – Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is when the author places elements within the writing that gives clues about what will happen in the future of the story.

These can often be small bits and pieces that some readers might not pick up on the first read through. They might even look back and realize that certain elements were foreshadowing once they hit the climax or a big plot twist was revealed.

Foreshadowing can be both literal and thematic.

You can write a scene where there’s a conversation that the reader can’t fully understand the meaning of until more is revealed.

You can also write a scene that has symbolic elements that foreshadow events, like placing a black crow in a scene that foreshadows a death, as crows are symbolic of this.

Foreshadowing Literary Device Example:

Foreshadowing Example 1:

In Back to the Future, one of the clocks in the opening credits has actor Harold Lloyd from the silem film Safety First hanging from the minute hand. This foreshadows Doc Brown hanging from the Hill Valley clock tower later in the movie as he tried to send Marty McFly back to the 1980s.

Foreshadowing Example 2:

In The Avengers Tony Stark makes a comment about one of the ship’s engineers playing a game called Galaga as they all get together for the first time. The objective of the game in real life is to defend Earth from alien invaders, which is what happens later in the movie.

#9 – Imagery

This is one that we briefly touched on above and also one you likely learned in school, though it may have been a while since then so we’ll give you a refresher.

Imagery is when you use visually descriptive or figurative language in your writing. Think of it more like showing versus telling in writing where you use more sensory language versus blunt, plain words.

You would also use stronger verbs in order to present stronger imagery in your writing.

Get Your FREE Strong Verbs List Here

Over 200 strong verbs and the weak ones they replace!



Imagery Literary Device Example:

Here’s an example of imagery from Hannah Lee Kidder’s anthology, Little Birds:

literary devices imagery

Notice how Kidder uses visuals to bring life to her words. You’re very easily able to picture where this scene takes place and exactly what those rocks look like.

#10 – Personification

Personification is a literary device where you give human-like qualities to non-human elements.

This is one of the most well-known literary devices and it’s useful for a number of reasons:

  1. It creates a stronger visual
  2. It pulls readers further into your world
  3. It helps the readers relate to and understand what’s going on
  4. It can allow readers to have a new perspective
  5. You can give readers a new view on a typical visual/occurrence

Imagery Literary Device Example:

Imagery Example 1:

The wind whistled past my ears like a familiar tune I’d long forgotten.

Imagery Example 2:

The moon yanked a blanket of silver light over the forest.

Imagery Example 3:

Squatting in the corner was a felt chair covered in the dust and damp of abandonment.

#11 – Juxtaposition

literary devices list

Juxtaposition means placing contrasting elements next to one another in order to emphasize one or both, including words, scenes, or themes.

This literary device can sound overly fancy but it’s quite simple.

Many times, authors will use juxtaposition in order to create a stronger emotional reaction from readers.

Think of when a happy moment in a movie or book is followed by a sad, heart-wrenching scene. That scene is made even worse by the fact that we just had our emotions on a high.

Juxtaposition can also be used on a smaller scale, with contrasting words or phrases next to each other in order to emphasize both, like in the first example below.

However, when it comes to giving your book that “rollercoaster” ride of emotion effect, juxtaposition used on a larger scale can make a huge difference.

Juxtaposition Literary Device Example:

Juxtaposition Example 1:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness.” – A Tales of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

Juxtaposition Example 2:

I hate loving you.

Juxtaposition Example 3:

You will soon be asked to do great violence in the cause of good. – The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

#12 – Metaphor/Simile

This is the most popular literary device that has to be used with caution because if used too much, metaphors and similes can reek of cliches and amateur writing.

Metaphors and similes are comparisons used to create better clarification and understanding for readers.

While these are similar, they’re quite different.

Metaphor

A metaphor is a comparison between two things that are NOT alike and replaces the word with another word.

Simile

Similes are comparisons between two things that are NOT like and replaces the word with another word but uses “like” or “as” within it.

Metaphors VS Similes Examples:

Metaphor Example 1:

She was drowning in a sea of her own despair.

Simile Example 1:

It was like she was drowning in a sea of her own despair.

Metaphor Example 2:

His heart was lead, weighed down by the memory of what he’d done.

Simile Example 2:

His heart was as heavy as lead, weighed down by the memory of what he’d done.

Literary devices are used to make your writing stronger. However, you don’t have to use every single device out there. These are the best to strengthen your writing.

Ready to start your book?

Writing a good book is much harder than it may seem…

And it’s not just about the book, either—not if you want it to sell and do well, that is.

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Which are your favorite literary devices to use? Do you have examples of some you love?

writers block

Writer’s Block: 13 Hacks to Overcome Writer’s Block For Good [QUIZ]

Writer’s block can stump even the best authors in the world. Finding a solution isn’t nearly as difficult as they make it out to be.

But first, let’s uncover what it really is and how writer’s block can affect you.

Writing is hard enough on its own without writer’s block crawling into your brain and snatching up the words you really need to get that chapter done.

But the thing is, we’ve all been there before.

writers block

Every writer has experienced the struggle of forcing words onto a document one by one, dragging them kicking and screaming from the corners of your mind only to be left with a single sentence…one hour later.

And you don’t even really like that sentence.

This is how to overcome writer’s block:

  1. Outline your book to beat writer’s block
  2. Research before you write
  3. Write more often to get over writer’s block
  4. Write despite writer’s block
  5. Read often
  6. Get moving
  7. Take a walk to get over writer’s block
  8. Talk about your writer’s block
  9. Gain inspiration elsewhere
  10. Put your phone away!
  11. Reread your writing
  12. Stop comparing your writing
  13. Think “big picture” to get over writer’s block

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program. Learn more about it here

Being Informed is the Key to Beating Writer’s Block

If you want to cut right to the chase – and save some time – we can sum up what writer’s block is all about: not being prepared.

The more you know and understand about the publishing process, the less you’ll become blocked because you’ll have clear direction – one of the biggest reasons writer’s block encompasses your mind.

And to do that, we put together the free training you need.

What is Writer’s Block?

Writer’s block is what happens when writers and authors can’t think of what to write next and their minds are “blocked” from creating anything new or what they see as good.

It’s a nasty hindrance where you just can’t think of what to write no matter how hard you try and how much you challenge your mind – and a blank document quickly becomes your worst enemy.

Even the best authors out there still deal with this from time to time.

It can slow down your progress and end up taking much longer for you to write your book.

And with so many reasons for writer’s block to take hold – like insecurity, a lack of direction, or maybe even just a bad writing day – it can put you down and complicate the whole writing process.

Getting rid of it is not only the best thing for your book’s progress, but for writing faster and with more quality overall.

If you, much like the rest of us, have ever dealt with writer’s block, here’s how you can sever its annoying restraints for good!

What causes writer’s block?

Underlying issues like insecurity, a lack of direction with your plot, or even too many potential options for your book can cause writer’s block along with your creative “tank” being empty.

While this might sound bad, the best part about all of these is this: they’re preventable.

Take this quiz to find out WHY you have writer’s block!

Take the Quiz Now

How to Overcome Writer’s Block by Prevention

Why do we wash our hands frequently during flu season?

That’s right. To prevent succumbing to debilitating illnesses.

And why do we get our oil changed regularly even when our vehicles are (seemingly) running well?

Right again! To prevent breaking down on the interstate and destroying our vehicles from the inside out.

That’s exactly why writer’s block is best beat by preventing the darn thing in the first place!

But how do you do that? It’s not like you can wash your brain or change its oil.

Well, not in a literal sense, you can’t. But you can try a few of these methods to keep your creative juices flowing like Niagara Falls in the springtime.

#1 – Outline Your Book

If there’s one technique that’ll prevent writer’s block the best, it’s having an outline.

These handy tools you didn’t pay attention to creating in school are essentially roadmaps for your book. They cover what happens next and what specific information you need to include.

There are a number of ways you can create your outline; using sticky notes, writing it in bullet points, or even using one that’s attached to a writing software.

How can you not know what to write next if you already have an outline telling you exactly that?

Many of us are stuck and blocked simply because we’re not sure what we should be writing next. Your imagination is at a standstill. You may just be divided between which path your book could potentially take.

Creating a thorough outline squashes those issues so you can write fluidly, quickly, and with quality.

When you’re not focused on what to write next, you can turn your attention to the quality of your writing while pumping out those words much faster, rendering writer’s block inactive.

Use a simple method like the one this student of ours used:

get rid of writer's block

The post-it note wall is one of our favorite methods of outlining here at Self-Publishing School.

It allows you to consistently have eyes on what’s happening next when you’r writing – which can prevent writer’s block.

#2 – Research Beforehand

There’s nothing worse than getting into your writing groove only to freeze because you’re not 100% certain of the facts you’re putting down. Your mind goes blank and the words stop coming.

But since you’ve outlined your book, you know what you’re going to write before you even type that first word. Which means you know the research you need to do beforehand.

Having all the facts makes writing a breeze, and it can also kick-start some fresh ideas and a more imaginative way of thinking.

Here are some of our tips for researching to get rid of writer’s block:

  1. Compile a list of what you don’t know
  2. Highlight or make note of the most important parts
  3. Jot down why it’s causing you to have writer’s block
  4. Make a separate document for what you find
  5. Start researching by using .edu or .gov website (if your topics call for it)
  6. Write down everything you needed to know
  7. Look it over one last time to determine that it’s all you needed to research
  8. Start writing again to beat writer’s block!

Knowing more about a subject enables you to better explain it and writer’s block will run screaming for the hills.

#3 – Form a Writing Habit to Beat Writer’s Block

How often do you write right now? One day a week? A few days a week?

The more you write, the more effortless writing becomes. It’s like running, or exercising in general—the more often you do it, the easier it gets.

Not creating a writing routine those creative muscles. It makes it harder to think in an innovative way, and so you spend hours on a single page simply trying to find a better way to phrase something that’s not even critical to your story.

Keep those writer muscles strong by writing as often as you can – every day, even! If you’ve got the time to flex your creativity, do it.

writer's block

Using a tracking sheet like the one above is a great way to schedule out your goals and then execute in a way that makes you WANT to write every day.

You can also schedule your writing time into your calendar to get alerts and notifications for you to stop and write. This also ensure people don’t schedule meetings with you during this time—so there’s no excused to get writer’s block in this case!

get rid of writer's block

This particular sheet is from a NaNoWriMo blog post, but it serves as a writer’s block cure as well.

How do you get over writer’s block?

So you didn’t survive the preventative measures. That’s okay! We’ve all been there at one time or another and thankfully, we also managed to get through it.

Writer’s block may be fickle and frustrating, but it’s not without weaknesses.

All you have to do is find a way to break through to your true creativity and these are some of the best ways to destroy writer’s block and find the words again.

#1 – Write Anyway to Get Over Writer’s Block

I know what you’re thinking:

“But I can’t! I’m blocked!”

Most of the time, you may just be out of practice and need to find your rhythm again. Even if you’re struggling to get the words out, write them down anyway.

You may not like it and you may go back to change what you wrote later, but it’s the single best way to force writer’s block into submission.

It can’t win if you still write despite its grip on you.

So get those words down and after a little while, writer’s block will scurry back into the darkest corner of your mind and stay there. Finding your flow is sometimes all you really need.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

If you’re feeling blocked with your current story, perform a writing exercise where you just describe your day in prose – like you would writing. Make yourself the main character and craft your day like you would a story in order to gain that momentum again.

#2 – Read

Nothing can get your mind in a creative state more than reading. Picking up a book – any kind of book – and spending 30 minutes reading can spark your imagination and light a fire under you to get back to writing.

It’ll also motivate and inspire you to work harder to reach your goal of publishing a book.

When you’re holding someone else’s hard work in your hands, it’s proof your dream can come true. It’s justifying everything you’ve worked so hard for.

You can also research books about writing in order to learn more about the craft. This can often help with insecurity so you feel ready to write again.

writer's block stephen king

Here are our top recommendations for book about writing to beat writer’s block:

That may just be the push you need to shove writer’s block from your mind and get back to your work.

Never underestimate the power of a good book.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Grab your favorite book and spend 30 minutes reading it – or until you feel inspired and ready to write again. Trust us, it works!

#3 – Get Moving

Exercise isn’t just great for your body, it’s also powerful for your mind.

Scientifically speaking, exercising more not only increases your mood, but your creativity gets a boost as well!

It’s not always easy to coerce yourself into going for a run or even doing a few sit-ups at home when you just settled into your comfy couch to write, but if writer’s block is preventing you from actually getting any productive wordsmithing done, it could make a huge difference.

You can simply do some jumping jacks or take a quick walk around the block. Stimulating your creativity physically might just beat writer’s block for you!

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Get off your butt and do a few jumping jacks! Spend at least 3 minutes doing some sort of exercise, or even go for a full 30-60 minute workout before coming back to writing.

#4 – Take a Walk or a Drive

Mindless tasks help your brain get out of a funk because it frees it from focusing on your daily tasks, the insecurity you may feel about writer’s block, and even the pressure of finishing your book.

The more you can let your mind go, the more creative it becomes. Plus, a change of scenery never hurts the creative process.

Always looking at the same place or even sitting in the same spot to write can be an issue. It’s hard to come up with new ideas and think creatively when you never have anything new fueling your imagination.

Taking a walk or going for a short drive can help you recharge so you can kick that writer’s block to the curb and get back to writing again.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Put on those shoes and hit the pavement. Take 10 minutes and observe your surroundings. Pick one thing you see outside and throughout the duration of your walk, craft a story in your mind focusing on that object.

#5 – Talk it Out

Are you struggling with something specific? Sometimes the confines of your own mind isn’t the best place to work through your writer’s block.

You may be the type of person who needs to verbalize your concerns in order to work through them. And that means you need to get up and actually speak to someone (or even yourself!) about what you’re struggling with.

Writer’s block feeds on uncertainty. The more you question what you’re doing, the worse it’ll get.

By talking through it out loud, you’ll have a new perspective. This will often offer fresh solutions that’ll make you eager to get back to that keyboard.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Try to get your critique partner on the phone or active via messenger. Tell them what’s going on and even ask if they want to take a look at where you left off to bounce ideas off each other.

#6 – Find Inspiration

There are a lot of ways you can go about getting inspired again. While inspiration isn’t necessarily required to write, it certainly helps your drive and imagination.

These are a few ways to get rid of writer’s block if you feel lost:

  • Research related images on Pinterest
  • Read through your outline
  • Read a related book
  • Create a vision board for your book
  • Create a list of goals for after your book is complete
  • Listen to an influential Podcast
  • Watch or read successful author interviews

Inspiration is specific to each person. Meaning, it may take a few attempts before finding the method that works best for you.

As an example, whenever I feel stuck or blocked when writing, I open my Pinterest board dedicated to my book and often find this helps.

Here’s an example of what a board for your book may look like in order for you to beat writer’s block.

writer's block pinterest

A Pinterest board like this really just serves to bring your book to reality. When you see what it could look like in the minds of others, it helps you get back on the writing train.

Anything that rouses your excitement to write again tramples that pesky writer’s block.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Get on Pinterest or just Google and look up images that are reminiscent of your book, theme, or story. Compile a folder or board of these and notice the details that make them related to your book.

#7 – Put Your Phone Away!

Are you really experiencing writer’s block or is that “block” in the shape of your phone?

A lot of us love to use the excuse of “writer’s block” in order to justify spending far too much time perusing our social feeds.

While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to catch up with friends and stay in the know, sometimes it can drag you away from achieving the goal of writing your book.

What you need may not be a cure for writer’s block at all, but something completely different: self-control.

There are even apps for this now! Going to your phone every now and then can be a bad habit, but apps like Freedom help you stay on track.

Freedom works by blocking your ability to access different websites or apps on your phone. This is what it looks like when you attempt to go online or open an app that you have disabled through Freedom:

writer' block app

If you struggle to focus on the task of writing and you somehow always find your phone open to a mind-sucking app, it’s a good idea to switch your phone to silent and shove it aside for the remainder of your writing time.

This alone might be enough to get rid of what’s really blocking your stream of words.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Put your phone in a completely different room and on silent. This will stop you from opening your phone just to scroll and will block any other messages from distracting you until you’re done writing.

#8 – Reread Your Writing

As mentioned above, getting into a rhythm is essential for keeping writer’s block at bay. When you suddenly can’t come up with the right words to describe what’s going on in your mind, it could be because you’ve lost momentum.

Taking some time to reread your previous writing can help by putting you in the same frame of mind you were in the last time you had to stop writing.

This will catapult your brain back into the right place so you can make progress and write easily again.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Head back to the beginning of your current chapter (or the beginning of the previous one if you’re just starting a new one) and just read. Allow your mind to get lost in your own words. You can go further back to read if needed.

#9 – Stop Comparing Your Writing

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Theodore Roosevelt knew as much and we’d wager to bet it also steals any progress you could be making.

The more you worry about how your writing compares to someone else’s (who usually has much more experience than you), the harder it will be to write anything.

That’s where writer’s block comes from in this instance.

You’ll find fault with every word and every sentence even though your work is fantastic the way it is.

Remember that nobody can write the story you are. Your voice and perspective are what makes your book unique in the first place. Changing this will only pull you further away from your identity as a writer.

And most importantly, comparing your writing to someone else’s isn’t productive or helpful for anyone.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Write down 10 things you love about your writing. Get specific and mention why you love your dialogue or why your theme is so unique and special. Recognize your own strengths and then say them out loud to yourself.

#10 – Think of the Big Picture

Writing and publishing a book can be a long, hard process. Sure, the first week is exciting and you want to write all the words but that motivation probably won’t last through the entire process because it is work, after all.

You’ll have rough days – including moments when writer’s block takes hold. What’ll get you through them the easiest is taking a step back and thinking about the big picture.

Ask yourself some of these questions to get rid of writer’s block:

  • Why did you want to write this story?
  • How will it benefit you?
  • How will it benefit others?
  • What message do you hope others receive?
  • What value does this hold in your life?

Pushing yourself to view your writing in terms of the end goal will not only motivate you to get started and put some words down, but it’ll also help remind you of your true purpose for telling this story.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Write down the answers to the questions above in detail. Then read them out loud to yourself, really hear your own purpose for this book and that can often unclog your writer brain.

How Long Does Writer’s Block Last?

Writer’s block lasts as long as you allow it to, which can often be days or even weeks if you don’t act on it and try these preventative and curing methods.

Ultimately, the longer you put off dealing with the underlying causes of writer’s block, the longer it will last.

Face your writer’s block head-on in order to get rid of it for good and get back to creating something that will resonate with people from all over.

Overcome Writer’s Block by Staying Informed

The more you know, the less you have to worry about and since that is such a major cause of writer’s block, we’re offering you this FREE training where Chandler Bolt walks you through exactly what you need to know to write, market, and self-publish your book within 90 days!

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

Ultimately, preventing and beating writer’s block should be at the top of your to-do list if you want to write and publish a book in a reasonable timeframe. With this annoyance behind you, your mind will be free and it may even stir up more creative ideas for other writing projects.

Do you have any effective methods for getting rid of writer’s block? What works best for you and how do you cope with this nuisance?

hemingway app editor

Hemingway App: Can the Hemingway Editor Improve Your Writing?

Writing without editing is like building a house without walls.

If you don’t think so, then you’re probably not someone who’s serious about writing – and writing well.

Not only does editing your own writing help you improve as a writer, but it’s also necessary to turn your very first thoughts of the story or book into something that actually represents how it looks inside your mind.

You know how it is.

Sometimes your writing just doesn’t do the story or book in your head justice.

Using the Hemingway App editor is a perfect way to get as close as possible to bringing your true vision to life.

hemingway app editor

In this Hemingway Editor review, we’ll cover:

  1. What is the Hemingway app editor?
  2. Is the Hemingway editor right for you?
  3. How the Hemingway app works
  4. Hemingway app benefits
  5. Hemingway App editor review
  6. Why are adverbs bad in the Hemingway editor?
  7. Next steps for using the Hemingway app editor

What is the Hemingway App Editor?

The Hemingway App is an editor that highlights and corrects grammar, fluency, and sentence structure in order to help your writing read and look better.

If you’re new to the world of writing software, you may not be aware of what’s available for you.

The Hemingway App is just one of many resources out there designed to not only improve your writing as you have it but also teach you how to write better and produce tighter, neater prose in your books.

NOTE: If you want to know how to improve your writing with or without the use of a software like the Hemingway App Editor, we cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program. Learn more about it here

When it comes to choosing a writing software that’s best for you, there’s a lot to consider.

We make it easier for you. This quiz will tell you which writing software is best for your needs. Who knows, maybe the Hemingway App is your perfect match!

Want to find the best writing software for you in just MINUTES? Take this quiz and we’ll tell you exactly which one will help your writing process the most.

Click Here to Take the Quiz

How Does the Hemingway App Editor Work?

Before we get into the Hemingway editor benefits, let’s first touch on how the editor works and what you can expect.

How to Use the Hemingway Editor:

STEP #1 – When you visit the Hemingway Editor website, you have the option to paste your writing directly onto the website, or you can download the desktop version to use anytime.

NOTE: If you want to be able to download and save what the Hemingway editor is correcting (or what you correct within the editor) download the Hemingway App for your desktop in order to do so.

STEP #2 – Paste your writing into the app editor directly from the writing software you’re using to complete your manuscript, like in the example from my own work below.

hemingway editor review

STEP #3 – Determine whether or not to take the advice highlighted in the various colors.

This can be the hardest part of using the Hemingway editor. You can’t take every suggestion because then you may lose your own writing voice.

Knowing what each color means in the editor will help you decide what advice to take, and what to leave for stylistic purposes.

Here’s what each color represents in the Hemingway app editor:

Light Blue –

Light blue highlights in the Hemingway editor represent weak words (typically adverbs) that this app believes could be made stronger.

Green –

Green highlights in the Hemingway Editor indicate passive voice—which is not as strong as active voice.

Purple –

When the Hemingway Editor highlights something in purple, it’s telling you that what’s written is a little too complex and it would be easier to read if you altered it or shortened the word.

Yellow –

Yellow highlights are indicative of complex sentences or common writing errors. This means you are better off shortening or splitting up this sentence in order to make it easier to read.

Red –

If your text gets highlighted in red, it means this text is very difficult to read. Think of red as the more severe version of a yellow highlight—it’s usually best not to ignore this suggestion entirely.

The key with using the Hemingway editor is to understand that these are only suggestions. It’s up to you to determine what advice you want to take in order to make your writing stronger.

Remember, this is just an automated app—it cannot replicate your voice or style.

Hemingway App Benefits

Before we get into the real review, let’s touch on the benefits of the Hemingway App in order to help you understand exactly what this writing program has to offer.

#1 – It’s very simple to use

The Hemingway editor is not a difficult editing tool to use. In fact, it’s as easy as copying and pasting – because that’s literally all you have to do.

Just copy the writing you have and drop it into the editor. Then, BOOM, your work has been edited.

Technically, your work has been commented on, and it’s up to you to make the necessary edits suggested by the editor.

As far as ease of use, the Hemingway app is perfect.

#2 – It creates better-sounding writing

A lot of what makes the Hemingway app unique is that its purpose is to help your writing read more fluidly.

One of the main issues with many people’s writing is that it often sounds choppy.

The smoothness of writing is a coveted skill not many possess naturally and therefore, the Hemingway app editor makes it easy to see where your flow is falling short.

Once you know what to watch out for and what habits you tend to fall into, you can correct them going forward and have smoother, easier-to-read prose.

#3 – Anyone can use it

If you have the ability to write, copy, and paste, you can use the Hemingway app editor.

Because this editor works by giving you suggestions within your writing, you’ll have to be able to read and decipher what each piece of advice means as well.

But as long as you can copy and paste your work as well as understand the tips the app is giving you, you can use this.

#4 – It’s cheap or free

Although you can purchase a desktop version of the Hemingway app editor, it’s also completely free to use on their website.

You can just go to Hemingwayapp.com and paste your writing in the space where their writing is.

The results and editing tips immediately populate – all for free.

hemingway app editor review

#5 – You get better the more you use it

As I’ve mentioned above, this is a great app to use whenever you want to check your writing for major grammatical and spelling errors, but you can also use this as a learning tool.

Whenever you input copy for the app to edit, make note of results that pop up time and time again. This will show you where your weakest points are and it also allows you to gauge how much you’re improving whenever you use it.

Hemingway App Editor Review

Let’s get into the real stuff – whether or not the Hemingway App is really worth all the hype.

Take a look at the video below to understand how it works and your different options when it comes to using the Hemingway editor.

Ease of use: 5/5

This editing app is the easiest I’ve seen to use. It’s literally as simple as copy and pasting, as I mentioned above.

The best part about this editor, though, is that its simplicity allows you to use it often and quickly.

Even if you want to just check over an urgent email before sending it, you can do so within a minute.

Functionality: 4/5

The Hemingway app functions just as you’d expect. As far as whether or not the editor does as advertised, it does – but only to a certain extent, which I’ll touch on in the next point.

The app does actually highlight and pinpoint the different areas you can improve on, as well as telling you what reading level your writing is at and how many words it is, as seen below.

Reliability: 3/5

hemingway app review

It’s easy to want to listen to every little thing an editor like this says. After all, it’s factual and that means my writing will be better because of it, right?

That’s not always the case.

One of the downsides of this editing software is that it doesn’t take style and writer voice into account when editing.

This app basically works to correct the most basic common writing problems. However, if you have a very distinct style or a writing voice that strays from “normal” writing guidelines, this editor won’t be able to detect that and edit accordingly.

Therefore, it’s not as reliable for fiction writers because the voices used in writing tend to differ.

Overall: 4/5

Overall, the Hemingway App editor is a great way to make your writing stronger very quickly. However, keep in mind that this should not be used as an editor for every piece of writing you do.

If you’re someone who wants to use it in order to see which areas you need help with, that’s great.

But you will still need to hire an editor even after using this if you want the best quality writing.

Why are adverbs bad in the Hemingway App?

Adverbs are considered bad in writing because they’re weak and can often be replaced with a stronger, more accurate word to reflect the same idea.

I’m sure you’ve heard the famous quote by Stephen King about adverbs.

“The path to hell is paved with adverbs.”

If you want your writing to be impactful, you have to use strong verbs instead of adverbs in order to get the point across.

She ran quickly to grab her backpack before leaving for school.

She sprinted to grab her backpack before leaving for school.

These two sentences say the same thing, but the second is stronger due using a better, more fitting verb instead of an adverb.

How does this involve the Hemingway App editor?

The editor is designed to find little mistakes like this in order to help you write with more clarity and intrigue. You won’t have to worry about missing these mistakes when self-editing because the app will point them out for you.

Your Next Steps – If You’re Ready

At this point, you have to make a decision.

Either take action to write your book, or allow yourself to wait, take your time, and probably not get your book done at all.

It might sound hard, but facts don’t lie. The longer you wait, the bigger the chance that you’ll never do your book idea justice.

And even if you think you’re prepared and ready by using the Hemingway App editor, you’re far from it.

In fact, it hardly ever does.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

Have you used the Hemingway App editor? Do you know of anything better? Drop those comments below!

amazon self publishing

Amazon Self-Publishing: How to Publish on Amazon Step-by-Step

You don’t want to mess up self-publishing.

After all, the self-publishing industry is pretty sensitive to those making mistakes.

But Amazon self-publishing is the best option to self-publish and we’ve made it even easier for you with this guide for doing it with Kindle Direct Publishing.

Publishing a book is so much easier now than it ever used to be, especially with Amazon self-publishing.

You no longer need to go through painstaking efforts to land a book deal which locks you into unrealistic deadlines and cuts you out of most of the earnings.

You can now have complete control of your book – and its revenues – by Amazon self-publishing.

amazon publishing

But many writers get overwhelmed by the abundance of information about self-publishing. It can be intimidating for first-time publishers. We get it – we were just like you!

So to ease some anxiety and uncertainty, we created this step-by-step comprehensive self-publishing guide for you to follow in order to get your book published on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Network.

This guide for Amazon publishing will cover:

  1. Creating a Kindle Direct Publishing Account
  2. Crafting Your Book Title & Subtitle
  3. Writing Your Book Description
  4. Choosing the Right Keywords
  5. Selecting the Right Categories
  6. Uploading Your Manuscript
  7. Creating a Book Cover
  8. Pricing Your Book

Let’s get started!

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process broken down with videos in our VIP Self-Publishing Program.

If you are ready to publish your book NOW then make sure to check out our comprehensive, step-by-step guide to becoming a bestseller.
Learn more about it here

Amazon Publishing & Why it’s the Best Option

Traditional publishing is on the way out. This has been the reality for some time now and for good reason.

While traditional publishing had its time and was once the only option for publishing a book, the system in place right now is one made for the next Stephen Kings – not for those who have value to share with the world.

Why Amazon Self-Publishing is the Best Option

Though traditional publishing is still a viable option for some, Amazon self-publishing is the best option and here’s why:

  • Over 70% of books are sold on Amazon
  • 310 million book buyers through Amazon last year
  • Those buyers accounted for over $178 billion in sales
  • It’s easier and faster with Amazon self-publishing

There are major differences between traditional vs self-publishing with the majority of authors opting to take their talents to Amazon instead of through one of the Big 5 publishing houses.

And you should too.

What is Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)?

Throughout this guide, you’ll read the term Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP. It might sound self-explanatory but we’ll cover some basics.

This is an Amazon self-publishing platform that allows you to create and manage your Kindle eBook, paperback, and even audiobooks in a single place. It’s widely used to build books from the ground up.

And fortunately, setting up your KDP account is easy, and should be the first step you complete.

How to Self-Publish on Amazon

Sure, anyone can upload a book and self-publish it through Amazon, but that doesn’t mean it will do well and actually sell. You have to know the specifics, from setting up your KDP account to the pricing of your book.

If done correctly, you can expect a successful launch and a substantial amount of passive income. Here are our steps for Amazon self-publishing.

#1 – Create a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Account

Before you can start with Amazon publishing, you first have to have an account set up with them.

Here’s how to set up your Kindle Direct Publishing account:

  1. Go to https://kdp.amazon.com and register with either your Amazon account or with your email address.
  2. Next, click “Update” in your account information and fill in your tax information. It’s important to note that you need to complete your tax information BEFORE you can publish your first book. So don’t skip this step!
  3. Once your tax information is complete, click “Finished” and return to the main page.
  4. Your profile is complete!

With your KDP account setup, proceed to setting up the details of your book, as seen in the areas below.

amazon publishing

#2 – Choose a Book Title and Subtitle

In your Kindle Direct Publishing profile, you need to fill in the title and subtitle of your book. While a subtitle is optional, having a good subtitle is something you should definitely consider to bring in more views and create stronger intrigue and help people find your book when searching.

Here are a couple tips to crafting a great book title:

  • Use a Book Hook: Your book hook should speak to the reader in a unique voice that grabs their attention and feeds into what they are looking for.
  • List the Benefits: Your potential readers want to know what they will get from reading your book. One technique is to deliver the benefits in the subtitle, providing enough tantalizing information to further attract readers.

Think about what you would be attracted to in a book title. Keep it simple, clear, and unique. Research the title you want to use and make sure it hasn’t been scooped up by a high-performing book already.

You don’t want to make competition for yourself.

#3 – Write Your Book Description

You need a powerful book description in order for potential buyers to read what it’s about. Even though the cover and subtitle should do a great job of this, we all want more information when it comes to putting money toward something.

Here’s what people notice first when seeing a new book:

  1. Title
  2. Cover
  3. Book Description

A book description is essentially a short written narrative that illustrates what your book is about. It should be written like a sales page to capture the interest of your reader.

This is crucial because the description, in many cases, is the final factor that determines whether the reader will read your book or not. That, and great Amazon reviews.

When done correctly, a well-written book description can practically sell a book on its own.

Here are some strategies to help craft your perfect description:

  • Make your first sentence as enticing as possible
  • Write your description like a sales page or advertisement, not a dry summary of your book
  • Have the description feel personal and empathetic
  • Detail the benefits your reader will gain by reading your book

Here’s a great example of a full book description on Amazon:

amazon self publishing book description

You can find more amazing description examples with these books:

Spend some time crafting your eye-catching book description. It will make your book stand out to your readers and motivate them to purchase your book.

For the best results, we recommend using the Free Amazon Book Description generator at kindlepreneur.com

#4 – Choose Your Amazon Keywords

If you want your book to show up in Amazon and Google search engines, you’ll need the right mix of keywords. Since Amazon allows only seven keywords per book, keyword selection requires strategy.

But what are keywords exactly?

Keywords are specific words or phrases used to describe your book. If someone was looking for a book on your topic, they might type one of those keywords into Amazon or Google in order to find it.

For example, if your book is about perseverance, you might find keywords like this useful:

  • how to have perseverance
  • what is perseverance
  • perseverance examples
  • persevering
  • persevering when it’s hard

These are all phrases or words people looking to better themselves with perseverance would type into search engines in order to find what they’re looking for, like in the image below.

amazon publishing keywords

You can research the right keyword phrases by using search tools such as:

  • KDP Rocket: This is a great tool for comparing Google search results to Amazon. It gives you a competitive score from 1-99, keyword results from both Google and Amazon, and how much money other books are making.
  • KW Finder: This tool gives an analytical view of the keyword popularity using a competitive ranking. You can search for five keywords for free per day.
  • Amazon’s Autofill Function: Take advantage of Amazon’s search box to find good keywords. Amazon’s suggestions are based on search history so you want to search for words that are high in demand with little competition.

Make a list of possible keywords for your book, then leverage the tools above to test your keywords. Putting in the time to get keywords right will have your book rank higher and appear more frequently to readers.

#5 – Select Your Amazon Categories

Amazon provides a collection of categories and subcategories to choose from. Like keyword selecting, your goal is to look for trending areas that don’t have tons of competition.

If you visit your book page, these categories will appear partway down the page, displaying the rank like in the image example below.

amazon self publishing categories

These categories are what you will rank as a bestseller in, which is why you want to make sure you pick fitting categories that are specific, but also not super competitive. You want to stand out.

You can also check the rankings of the top three books on the first page of each category.

Amazon sales ranking measures how well a product is selling compared to its competitors. All books that are ranked 2,000 or less are considered to be highly purchased products in that particular category.

Here are a few tips when publishing on Amazon in order to rank in more categories:

  • Research your competitors keywords
  • Choose trending categories with lower competition
  • Acquire additional categories by contacting Amazon and asking for keyword placement

Unless you have an established audience with significant downloads and reviews, try to aim for categories with books that rank between 10,000-30,000.

Do you want to know how to rank for ten categories? Check out our blog post that details how to get approved for more categories on Amazon.

#6 – Upload Your Manuscript to Amazon

To upload your manuscript, it first must be saved in a supported kindle format.

Here’s how to upload your book to Amazon:

  1. In your Kindle Direct Publishing account, go to “Your Bookshelf”.
  2. Locate and click on “Kindle eBook Actions” next to the title of your book.
  3. Locate and click on “Edit eBook Content”.
  4. Click on “Upload eBook manuscript”.
  5. Upload your manuscript file on your computer.
  6. Upload complete!

Once Amazon finishes uploading your file, a confirmation message will be sent and you can preview the uploaded file to check for any errors.

You can upload the manuscript as many times as you want and the new version will override the existing.

It’s important to check how your book looks using the “Look Inside” feature once the book is live on Amazon. This feature is often the first thing your prospective readers will click on when checking out your book.

If the formatting is off here, it can deter readers from picking up your book. Take this extra step to make sure your formatting looks good here too.

#7 – Create Your Book Cover

When it comes to publishing a successful book on Amazon, having a perfect book cover design is one of the most important aspects to get right. Contrary to what we were told growing up, people do, in fact, judge a book by its cover. It’s actually one of the biggest deterrents.

Your cover is exactly how your book will be judged at first glance.

So you must make sure that it is created professionally and that it will stand apart from the rest of the books in your genre or category.

You can find cover creators on freelancing sites such as:

Prices will depend on the level of service, but these sites will give you plenty of amazing graphic designers to choose from! It’s a great investment that will make your book stand out perfectly.

If you’re a Self-Publishing School student, we will actually provide a list of qualified, trusted book cover designers you can work with in order to get a worthy cover.

amazon publishing tips

Make sure to do your research regarding what type of book cover does best in your genre. Fantasy books, for example, will be a lot different than a memoir or even a historical fiction.

#8 – Price Your Book

A question often asked is: “How much should I be pricing my book at after the initial launch is over?”

This is up to the author, but generally, the best range to have your book priced is between $2.99 to $9.99.

The royalty payments vary depending on the country, but you can learn more on KDP Select pricing page.

One popular strategy for beginners is to price your book at $2.99 and gradually increase it by $1 per week. At some point, your sales will begin to dip. And while that’s normally a negative statistic, for this case, it confidently tells you the perfect price of your book that guarantees a profit.

Here are the 4 main pricing strategies to consider in order to be competitive and sell books:

  • Know the price of your competitors. Compare the list price of your book to the books around you and determine if you would be able to sell your book for a higher price.
  • Know the size of your followers. Famous authors can charge a lot for their books because they have a big following. If you’re not in this category, your book should be priced lower to encourage new readers to buy your work.
  • Determine price based on the size of your book. Size does matter when it comes to books. Don’t charge $20 for a 75-page book. Customers will immediately be turned off with the lack of content at that price point.
  • Measure price based on reviews. Reviews carry a big weight on influence, and is social proof that your book has been read and well received. Therefore, a book with higher reviews (1000+ reviews) can be priced higher compared to a book with fewer reviews (30+ reviews).

You can get legitimate and honest reviews from:

  • Your personal launch team
  • Amazon’s top reviewers
  • Fans of your social media page
  • Personal email list
  • Adding a note to leave a review in your book

Experiment with these strategies to pinpoint the price for your book, it will drive long-term success.

Your Next Steps for Amazon Self-Publishing

If you want to become a self-published author, you must be fluent with platforms such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and more. For that reason, you must take action now because you can never have too much knowledge when it comes to self-publishing your book.

#1 – Utilize your FREE training!

That’s right. We have some free training all ready to go for you. Chandler Bolt put together this video training guide that will help you learn what it takes to go from blank page to self-published author in as little as 90 days!

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

#2 – Create your Kindle Direct Publishing Account!

Go ahead right now and get started. You can never start too early. Having your account set up and ready to go will make all the difference when you’re ready to publish!

Make sure to follow the above steps closely so your account is set up the way it’s supposed to be.

#3 – Get that book written

If you already have your book written, edited, and ready to go, that’s amazing! You’re already almost a published author. But if you’re still working on it, put the pedal to the metal and start writing!

We know writing can be really time-consuming but if you put your mind to it, you can utilize your weekends to write faster and get more done. The sooner you finish, the sooner you can publish!

What about self-publishing is still confusing to you? Let us know so we can help you more!

Strong Verbs List: Your Detailed Guide to Strong Verbs [Video + Download]

Strong verbs are essential for great writing.

Not only do you need to know HOW to use powerful verbs, but having a strong verbs list at your disposal is invaluable. We’ll cover both for you.

I used to think writing a book was easy.

strong verbs

And in all honesty, writing has never been the most difficult thing in the world for me but when it comes to writing stories and crafting my writing in a way that compels others and pulls them in deeply, it’s been an uphill battle – before I discovered using strong verbs along with interesting and cool words to use, that is.

Here’s what we’ll cover about strong verbs :

  1. What is a strong verb?
  2. FREE downloadable 200+ strong verbs list
  3. Strong verbs versus weak verbs
  4. Weak verbs to replace in writing
  5. What are to be verbs
  6. To be verbs list
  7. How to use strong verbs the right way
  8. Why you should use strong verbs
  9. Strong action verbs for better writing

I never struggled with putting my thoughts on paper or even coming up with the ideas.

Nope.

My biggest hurdle was bringing the emotion I was trying to convey to life.

And as I delved deeper into the literary world, I quickly realized that using strong verbs is a must if you want to create something that leaves a lasting impact.

DOWNLOAD 200+ STRONG VERBS HERE


What is a strong verb?

Thanks to every English class growing up, you know a verb is a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence.

But what’s the deal with strong verbs? It’s not like they can hit the gym and bulk up, right?

A strong verb is a better and more descriptive version of a basic verb that creates a stronger visual and can help create a mood (or vibe) for the scene.

Weak VerbStrong Verb Variations
RunBolt, sprint, jog
WalkSlink, trot, mope
MakeCreate, forge, foster, brew
SaySpeak, voice, purr, mutter

So although you can use the basic verb and still tell the same story, you will create a deeper impact within the reader if you use a strong verb in its place.

Strong verbs only help your writing

I’ll be real with you here. Using strong verbs will definitely make your writing more intriguing and will increase the chances of someone buying (and loving!) your book.

BUT, they won’t help you know how to publish a book that sells.

And what’s the point of having incredible writing if you can’t publish it in a way that allows for the world to see it?

Well, that’s where we come in. No matter how great your book is, you still need to know how to put it all together, market it, and then self-publish in a way that generates sales.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

Strong verbs VS weak verbs

What’s the real difference here? How can you tell the difference between a strong verb and a weak one?

Since you can’t exactly ask words to flex, you need another system to determine if your verbs are weak or not.

Here’s how we define strong verbs vs weak verbs:

Weak verbs are the “basic” forms of a specific action, like “walked” or “ran.”

Strong verbs are a specified form of a broader action, like “stomped” or “bolted.”

So the main thing you need to remember when it comes to strong verbs vs weak verbs is how specific it is.

Weak Verbs to Replace in Writing

The weakest verbs you can replace in your writing are to be verbs. These pull your writing quality down and peg you as an amateur.

Other weak verbs include basic forms of any verb, like run, walk, say, sit.

Now, keep in mind that weak verbs are absolutely okay to use on occasion.

The issues arise when you’re using these verbs over and over again when there are better, stronger verbs you can use to make your writing more powerful.

Sometimes the best verb to use in a situation is the weak verb. Just keep a look out for how often you’re using that basic form so you can beef up your writing by replacing them in other places.

What are to be verbs & how to replace them in your writing?

To be verbs are any verbs used to describe a state of being, including these terms: is, am, are, was were, be, being, been.

In order to make your writer stronger, it’s important when to use them and when they’re making your writing clunky and weak.

Here are a few examples of how to replace to be verbs with something stronger:

"To Be" Verbs SentenceReplacing "To Be" VerbsReplacing Weak Verb with Strong Verb
She was walking through the corridor.She walked through the corridor.She slinked through the corridor.
Conrad is afraid of the dark.Conrad fears the dark.Conrad cowers from the darkness.
I was being chased by someone I didn't know.I was chased by someone I didn't know.Someone I didn't know chased after me.
I was wanting to visit this forest for as long as I can remember.I wanted to visit this forest for as long as I can remember.I longed to visit this forest for as long as I can remember.

To Be Verbs List

One of the best ways you can strengthen your writing is to use strong to be verbs. These will instantly make your writing more compelling and less amateurish.

These are state-of-being verbs like to be verbs to look out for in your writing:

  • Am
  • Are
  • Be
  • Been
  • Being
  • Can
  • Could
  • Did
  • Do
  • Does
  • Had
  • Has
  • Have
  • Is
  • May
  • Might
  • Must
  • Shall
  • Should
  • Was
  • Were
  • Will
  • Would

How to use strong verbs in writing

Littering your writing with strong verbs won’t necessarily make it any better. In fact, if you overdo it, those verbs will have the opposite effect.

Instead of making your writing stronger, it can bring it down to an amateur level.

That being said, I created the video below in order to help you understand how to use strong verbs in your writing the right way.

Why use strong verbs for writing

Because your writing will be better overall. One of the best ways you can immediately make our writing stronger is by going through and crossing out each weak verb and replacing it with a better one.

Here’s how your writing will improve when you choose to use strong verbs.

#1 – Stronger visuals

One of the most important parts of any book is that your readers can get a precise visual. If they’re going through the chapters not fully picturing what’s happening, they won’t be fully invested.

And readers who aren’t invested don’t become fans. And they don’t leave reviews. And they don’t buy any other books you publish.

Strong verbs take a basic sentence and form a very specific image in the reader’s mind. Doing this throughout the entirety of your book will leave your readers feeling as if they just stepped out of an entirely different world.

And that’s exactly what you want.

Take these strong verb descriptions for example:

  • She walked into the room, her cape trailing after her.
  • She charged into the room, her cape billowing after her.
  • She strutted into the room, her cape flowing after her.

Each of these sentences is extremely similar in what they tell you; a girl with a cape entered a room.

But changing the verbs from “walked” to “charged” to “strutted” alters the way in which she entered.

It tells you the how.

And knowing how an action takes place sets up far more than just the image for the reader. It tells them the mood the character’s in, increases suspense in some cases, and even creates anticipation for what’s to follow.

strong verbs definition

#2 – More impactful emotions

The goal of your book (and any book, really) is to make your reader feel something. You want to stir emotions in them.

That’s why they read books. That, and they want to be transported to a different world, which strong verbs are also used for.

But one of the main reasons to use strong verbs in writing is to create a more emotional impact.

When you want to create a strong reaction in your reader, no matter what type of reaction that is, you need to use strong verbs.

Here’s an example of creating more anxiety or anticipation in your readers:

  • My heart was beating so fast I could hear it.
  • My heart crashed against my ribs, echoing in my head.

Which sentence gives you a clearer picture of the anxiety that must be felt?

The second, right.

Because replacing “was beating fast” with “crashed against my ribs,” shows you just how hard my heart felt. And that’s the difference between a weak verb and a strong one.

#3 – Helps you show, not tell

By now you know just how important showing versus telling is in writing. And one powerful way to show more and tell less is to use strong verbs.

It forces you to think more about the visual you’re trying to show the reader instead of just telling them what happened.

Because showing creates a stronger emotional connection between the reader and your book, replacing weak verbs with more powerful ones will hook your readers.

For those of you who struggle with showing and not telling, focusing on using better verbs will help tremendously.

#4 – They reduce weak adverbs

When you’re writing, you may have a tendency to write sentences like, “I gripped the steering wheel firmly.” While this doesn’t look like a terrible sentence, it also doesn’t convey a very strong visual.

Whenever you have an adverb, you should replace it with a stronger verb. That’s all an adverb is. It gives your weak verb a boost but it doesn’t actually make your sentence any stronger.

Instead, replace “gripped firmly” with a powerful verb like “clenched” or “squeezed.”

“I clenched the steering wheel” is a much stronger sentence that gives a clearer visual.

Go through your writing and pick out some adverbs to replace. Your writing will be better because of it.

#5 – They make for more concise writing

strong verbs list

Have you ever picked up a book that looked decent enough and even had an awesome title only to start reading and be turned off by how wordy and jumbled it is?

Strong verbs prevent this.

When you replace weak verbs and adverbs with a single stronger verb, you get rid of the excess writing that can make reading harder.

It also saves you a ton of time cutting words during the editing phase.

Because you’re using one word to create a strong visual, you won’t have to write more trying to describe how it looks to you. That strong verb does the job for you.

This also allows for easier, more fluid writing and reading.

Strong action verbs for better writing

I won’t lie. One of the most frustrating things to read is a book that lacks strong verbs in scenes that are meant to be full of action.

You’ll find this most often in fiction, but nonfiction books can be just as (if not more!) guilty of this. When you have a story that should leave the reader’s heart pounding but it doesn’t even raise their eyebrows, you have to do some digging to improve.

Here’s a list of strong action verbs to improve your writing:

  • Slam
  • Strike
  • Crash
  • Slice
  • Smash
  • Ram
  • Smack
  • Bang
  • Dash
  • Bolt
  • Charge
  • Shoot
  • Bound
  • Plunge
  • Hurl
  • Fling
  • Lob
  • Carve
  • Forge
  • Force

What to do Next

It’s not enough to just know what strong verbs are and how to use them. You actually have to put these tips to use in your own book and implement what you’ve learned.

Here’s what you can do right now to improve your writing and your book!

#1 – Attend your FREE training

All of this advice is relatively useless without a plan for finishing, marketing, and self-publishing your book.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

#2 – Watch our instructional editing video

Sometimes it’s hard to take what you’ve learned and actually implement it in your own writing. How do you know which words to replace and which are already good?

I put together a video teaching you how to edit your own writing when replacing basic verbs with stronger, better ones.

Make sure to check it out and even comment which part of the video was most helpful to you!

#3 – Create your own strong verbs list!

Editing is made so much easier and faster when you don’t have to constantly look up words to replace your weak verbs.

And you know what? It’s something you can easily do in a short amount of time.

That’s right. We suggest putting together a list of strong verbs and which weak verbs they’re great for replacing. All you need to do is find the weak verb you want to replace and choose a more powerful word from your list that fits the mood you’re trying to convey.

Do you use strong verbs? What’s your #1 question regarding strong verbs and using them in your writing?