Is social media ruining the English language?

 

Language is alive and constantly evolving. It’s changing form and usage every couple of centuries. As an example, English emerged during the Anglo-Saxon age in Britain. The three main periods are: Old English, Middle English, and Modern English.

I doubt many of you have studied Old English unless you’re an English major/ minor in college. The most popular book, Beowulf looks like a sheet of symbols. In order to understand it, most people need a translation. 

A very popular example of Middle English is Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. As you can see from the link here, it’s possible to comprehend compared to Beowulf. The words are similar to our own but it’s still obvious the modern translation is needed to fully understand the story.

Modern English began about 1500 with Shakespeare being a wonderful literary example. His work is certainly easier to read than Chaucer. Thought, if you ask most people, they still have trouble comprehending what he’s trying to say. His sonnets and plays are very poetic compared to dialogue found in 21st century books. Therefore the Modern English period can be divided: Early Modern English and Modern English which started around the late 1700’s. Some of our most popular classic novels were published around this time. (Example: Jane Austin’s Sense and Sensibility)

Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Is social media ruining the English language? The first thing to note, writing and speaking are two different things. Writing is more formal. For a book to be taken seriously, it needs to follow the formatting rules. For example, many books follow MLA Format.

Speaking a language is usually more relaxed and full of slang, jargon, and acronyms. Social media is full of abbreviated words and spellings. Twitter, Facebook, and texts have become a modern way to conveniently communicate. It’s easier to send a quick Facebook message to confirm an appointment. Social media doesn’t diminish the quality of our books and language. It’s a form of communication. Professional novels are not going to evolve in such a drastic way any time soon.

 

If you want more information on Hunt Books please visit and like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/huntbooks.

If the article above was helpful to you, I invite you to comment below.

Fill in the form above for free tips on writing or edit on three pages of your story! Learn more about my publications at: http://www.kaylahuntbooks.com/buy.

 

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Do I need a Facebook page as one of my book marketing ideas?

After every author is published, they ask themselves, “How can I come up with book marketing ideas on a budget?”

Social media has become a dominating part of our culture. Facebook has grown to contain 500 million users and a large majority of those people log in daily. Below are the pros and cons to having an author Facebook page.

 

PROS

Easy set up: The steps are very simple, even for those out there that have trouble with computers. Type into your search engine, “create a Facebook Page.” I’ve provided the URL link here. Make sure you read all of Facebook’s Terms and Conditions so you are aware of the rules.

  1. Choose a category to match the page you’re creating. Make sure you are certain you are creating the page you want so you don’t have to delete it and start over.
  2. Fill out all the basic information so you’re viewers know exactly what your page is about.
  3. Study your Administration Panel so you know the most efficient way to maintain your page.

Free: As of now, a Facebook page is free. Now, many of you are probably asking, why can’t you use your personal Facebook page? First of all, your personal page isn’t meant to be a business page. Facebook may possibly delete these accounts, so it’s very important to create a business page!

Easy to manage: Most of us don’t have a lot of time to put toward marketing. We need something that’s easy and functional. I like my Facebook pages for that exact reason. Out of all the social media I use; Facebook is my favorite and that’s because it’s so easy to manage. My page is linked to my personal page and I can quickly post a picture, blog, or piece of information. Facebook has added a feature that allows you to schedule your posts for a certain time and day. I love this because I can schedule several things to be posted throughout the day, week, or month without logging in to do it manually.

Easier on funds: The page is free but there are advertising possibilities available. There’s no one saying you have to do this. I have never promoted a page but I have run a few ads. I like this because I can adjust how much I spend and for how long I want the ad to run. It’s also nice because I can fill out a form to target a certain demographic. I usually leave this form pretty generic so my ad can reach out to a wider number of people.

Far more traffic and interaction for unknown authors. At the beginning of the article I said there were well over one hundred million people on Facebook. This is fantastic for an unknown author. This is where an ad is worth the money. Ads and promotions reach beyond your friends. My goal (when running an ad) is to reach out to fellow authors, writers, and book lovers. The more people that like my page the more people become aware of me as an author and my books!

Great for conversations and interactions with fans. This is where websites aren’t as functional. Facebook is a platform that allows for instant communication. With so many people searching Facebook, the odds of an author being noticed has better odds. With a website, they would have to be searching for you. I also love communicating with my fans on Facebook, where it’s effortless and easy.

Advertising. I’ve already touched on this above. There are plenty of ways to advertise your books on Facebook. One of my favorite book marketing ideas is taking pictures. For those of you out there with the time, videos could also be posted and viewed.

 

facebook

facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

CONS

  • You don’t own your page. It and can be deleted or the settings can changed as Facebook wants. If Facebook’s rules (terms of service) are broken the page might be deleted. The user might even be band from Facebook.
  • Design: Facebook users all have the same presentation. This is where a website is beneficial and allows for subtle marketing in your website design and set up.
  • Can’t place book orders: Readers aren’t going to be able to buy books directly from this social platform. It’s important to remember Facebook is a marketing tool for information, not for actually selling books.
  • Search Engines: Search engines find websites over Facebook business pages.

 

If you want more information on Hunt Books please visit and like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/huntbooks.

If the article above was helpful to you, I invite you to comment below.

Fill in the form above for free tips on writing or edit on three pages of your story! Learn more about my publications at: http://www.kaylahuntbooks.com/buy.

 

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Do I need a website as one of my book marketing ideas?

 

As a first time author, you’re probably thinking you need a website for marketing reasons. What better way to sell books, right? The cold hard truth is this, websites don’t (generally) sell books. Before you close out of the screen, discouraged, take a second to learn the reasons you need a website for your books.

 

Why have a website?

  1.  Information for Readers: Websites act as the “headquarters” for an author and their books.
  2. Credibility for the Author: A website should present the author as professional, genuine, and involved with readers and other authors.
  3. Promotion: Though I said websites won’t sell books, that doesn’t mean they aren’t a marketing tool. Most of the time I spend anywhere between five and fifteen minutes reading the information provided. Even if I don’t buy anything, I am aware of the author and their books. I’m always disappointed when an (usually local) author doesn’t have a website. There are very acceptable reasons for this though.

 

Tips before starting a website.

I wanted a website right after my first publication. I had talked to a few website designers but the start up and maintenance was so expensive! I spoke to other small business owners and asked how they got their websites. Usually the answer was, “a friend of mine designs websites.” or “I traded some work with a web designer.”

  1. Money. Websites are expensive! Most authors don’t have the extra cash to create and maintain a website. I had to save money before taking the next step in my book marketing ideas and plans.
  2. Research! Learn what does and doesn’t for other authors. Read every article possible online about having an author website. Learn what type of blog format you would like to use. Watch online webinars, youtube videos and read books about blogs and using websites.
  3. Facebook. I started a Facebook page as the first step. Business or fan pages are free to build and much easier to maintain then a website. This is a great ideas for those of you out there that are not tech-savvy.

    website ideas

    website ideas (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

  4. Find a professional? Remember this is a business, an expense, and a main place for book marketing ideas. Careful, research for a professional or hire an expert. There are plenty of people out there that think they are a social media experts or website designers because they can run a Facebook page or started a blog. Ask them for references and do your homework on them before paying them to do anything.
  5. Sell Books. Don’t start a website until you’ve sold some books. The purpose of a site is for readers to look up information about you and your books. Don’t waste your time and money. Also, the more books you have, the more efficient the website will be as a marketing tool.
  6. Will you use the website? I know a couple of local authors that refuse to blog, put pictures up, add an other information to the site, or get another book published. If you don’t have the time, desire, or energy don’t waste your time.

 

What each site needs:

  1. A blog: Blogs can be informative (like mine) or fun and creative.
  2. List of books: This includes any information you wish to share with readers such as pictures of fans reading the book, trivia, and prices.
  3. Contact: Remember to include a contact section for your readers to reach you.
  4. About the Author: Include a biography.
  5. Upcoming Events: When will you have your next book signings or maybe webinars for readers to attend?
  6. Pictures: Pictures engage people better then almost anything. I use pictures as a marketing tool, creating new and unique ways to promote my books. This is particularly successful on Facebook.

 

If the article above was helpful to you, I invite you to comment below.

Fill in the form above for free tips on writing or edit on three pages of your story! Learn more about my publications at: http://www.kaylahuntbooks.com/buy.

If you want more information on Hunt Books please visit and like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/huntbooks.

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Should I publish the first book in a fiction or nonfiction trilogy or series before the others?

 

How many of you have proudly finished your novel, knowing you want to write a sequel, trilogy, or series? Maybe you’ve just started writing and you’re curious about publishing? Have you debated whether to publish the first book in a fiction or nonfiction trilogy or series before you write the others? What are the benefits and disadvantages when trying to decide what to do?

When I began writing several years ago, I never intended to write a series. The idea crept up on me after finishing my manuscript. I loved the characters and their lives. If the story continued, how would the characters evolve over time? My mind was racing with additional ideas and characters that filled up two more books. I’m sure this has happened to several of you out there.

The  Lord of the Rings: Book spines

The Lord of the Rings: Book spines (Photo credit: Filipe ’shello’ Rodrigues)

On the other hand, I did plan to write my fantasy story in multiple books. The idea was very basic but as I researched mythological legends, one novel would never contain all the ideas in a reasonable manner.

 

Pros and Cons when deciding to publish the first book in a fiction or nonfiction trilogy or series:

  • Begin to build your reputation as an author with the first book. This will give you credibility.
  • Authors can begin to build a fan base. As each book is published, fans will suggest the series to others.
  • Fans invest more time and emotion into multiple books, are more inclined to write reviews, and search out additional information about you and your book(s).
  • A series will increase sales. If you write one great book and readers want more, then the first novel instantly becomes a marketing gimmick for the subsequent books. However, don’t write a series with the intentions to make more money. This will not bring you fame, riches or an exceptional sequel. Most likely, the story won’t be worth the paper it was printed on.
  • Writers shouldn’t submit an entire series at once. Publishers may wish to see the other material but they will publish one book at a time. Again, this is because they make more money publishing this way.

 

I personally suggest you finish a series before trying to get it published. Here’s why:

  • A publisher might want to see portions of the entire series before they invest time into the publication process.
  • You may want to make a huge story alteration in the first book to match up with something in the third book. For example, changing the main character’s name.
  • I think we can all agree (George RR Martin fans) that waiting for the next book in an exciting series is painful! I don’t want to leave my readers hanging for years.
  • Don’t get caught up in the pressures that accompany publication. Write your story because you love it and enjoy the process. Poor people write superb stories because it comes from their souls not their pockets. – Kayla Hunt 

 

 

If the article above was helpful to you, I invite you to comment below.

Fill in the form above for free tips on writing or edit on three pages of your story! Learn more about my publications at: http://www.kaylahuntbooks.com/buy.

If you want more information on Hunt Books please visit and like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/huntbooks.

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What narrative mode in fiction writing should I use?

 

Narrative mode is also known as the point of view. The narrative mode in fiction writing allows the writer to reveal the story from a certain perspective. How do you decide to write in third person versus first or second? It depends on the your overall goal when telling the story. How do you want your message to be interpreted by the reader?

 

 

 

Cover of "To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Ann...

Cover via Amazon

First Person Narrative:

First person uses the pronouns I and me. This point of view is usually told from the perspective of the main character. I use this narrative mode when I want my readers to be “inside the character’s head.” First person allows writers to expand on the character’s inner thoughts and feelings. Readers should feel like the story is happening to them. This introspective approach is very natural since it is how we view own lives. My goal is to influence the reader into believing the same things as the characters.

A very good example of this is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The novel point of view comes from Jean Louise “Scout” Finch. She is a grown adult but shares how she felt as a child, trying to understand the people in her life and their beliefs. This novel wouldn’t have been the same if it had been written in third person. The reader wouldn’t have had the intimate connection with Scout and her views.

This viewpoint doesn’t allow for external details to take place unless the main character is there to see them. This means side stories with the other characters are nearly impossible. It’s also hard to be unbiased toward other characters or situations. Writers should tell the main character’s beliefs and thoughts.

 

The first Choose Your Own Adventure book.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Second Person Narrative:

Second person uses You as the pronoun and the speaker addresses the audience. I use second person in this blog sometimes, when I directly address all of you readers. Another example is the Choose Your Own Adventure books by Edward Packard. I’ve read a couple of these books and they are certainly unique. The reader gets to pick which ending they wish to read. The narrator also speaks directly to the reader, making them the main character. It’s the most difficult narrative mode in fiction writing, especially done skillfully. I recommend you read several example novels that follow this method before attempting it.

 

 

 

Third Person Narrative:

Third person point of view uses the pronouns Him/Her  and He/She. Third person narrative mode in fiction writing is the most popular. It allows the authors to create their own voice as the narrator. Third person viewpoint allows other character’s perspectives without the main character being present. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin is an excellent example. He develops other minor characters and subplots that are equally as intriguing as the main character’s.

When I write third person I want the readers to see what the characters are going through and draw their own conclusions. Sometimes I allow the reader to unravel a piece of the mystery before the characters. This isn’t possible with first person point of view.

 

 

 

Mixing First and Third Person:

Some novels are starting to mix first and third person points of view together. This form of writing allows the reader to be strongly connected with the main character. Switching to a third person point of view pulls the reader away to learn more about the plot and other characters.

I caution writers about using this form. I read part of a series that did this and found it very disruptive. It certainly took a few chapters to get use to. It’s a very fascinating concept and great challenge for any writer. It needs to be done very carefully or the story will be a disaster. Research and read other novels that have attempted this before trying it.

 

 

 

If the article above was helpful to you, I invite you to comment below.

Fill in the form above for free tips on writing or edit on three pages of your story! Learn more about my publications at: http://www.kaylahuntbooks.com/buy.

If you want more information on Hunt Books please visit and like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/huntbooks.

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