Surely, you’ve all hear by now about informational products. If not, it’s all about creating a product that provides needed or wanted information to others . . . information others will be willing to pay for.
And, it’s not difficult at all.
So, what might be an example of an informational product?
Simple, anything that, again, will provide people with information / knowledge they need or want. Information that will solve a person’s problem or will help them get where they want to be. It might be a report, an e-book, a workshop, you get the idea.
To help you get in the informational product game, Writers on the Move is hosting a workshop presented by Karen Cioffi that will give you the steps you need to get where you want to be: creating and selling informational products.
To register for “Create and Sell an Informational Product” email Karen Cioffi at:
karencioffi [at] ymail.
The workshop is free, but all registrants will be added to the Writers on the Move and the presenter’s mailing list.
Details to the LIVE CHAT will be provided upon registration.
We’ll be offering (at the discretion of the presenter) an After Workshop Package of this workshop for those who didn’t register and would like to purchase it. It’ll include the live chat transcript, the workshop handout, and possibly a podcast. Be sure to Get Yours when it’s available!
Writing in general can be a tough business; writing for children is even tougher. Writing for children has its own unique tricks, processes, and rules; one of those rules is using words that are age appropriate.
How this differs from writing in general is that the children’s writing arena is divided into specific age groups. There are picture books and rebus stories for the very young child. The story line and text are simple; they need to tell a story including basic conflict and action, but they are geared toward the comprehension of young children. Next comes early readers. Again, the words used and plot are relatively simple to help the child learn to read. The next genre is chapter books. Here the plot and words grow just like the child has. The story can be more involved and geared to hold the child’s attention with mild mystery, suspense, and fantasy.
Then it’s on to middle grade. At this point, the child has grown and has greater comprehension and vocabulary, so should the stories for them. The plot and conflict can be more complex than the earlier chapter books. Finally, it’s on to young adult. This genre’s stories can be sophisticated and involved enough to attract adult readership. But, it obviously should still be written avoiding hard core subject matter. While it can deal with just about all topics, it should be void explicit adult context. Writing for adults is simpler; the writer usually writes with the vocabulary he/she is use to.
The question is: How does a writer know which words are specific to a particular age group? Unless you are an experienced writer and have become very familiar with the different age group vocabularies, you will need help in this area.
Three Sources/Tools for Finding Age Appropriate Words
1. A source that I’ve found very useful is Children’s Writers Word Book, 2nd Edition, by Alijandra Mogilner and Tayopa Mogilner. It lists specific words that are introduced at seven key reading levels (kindergarten through sixth grade). It provides a thesaurus of those words with synonyms, annotated with reading levels. In addition, it offers detailed guidelines for sentence length, word usage, and themes at each reading level. I find it a valuable tool in my writing toolbelt.
2. Another great source is Intervention Central (http://www.interventioncentral.org/htmdocs/tools/okapi/okapi.php) which utilizes Spache and Dale formulas. This is an amazing site that allows you to input up to 200 words, choose a readability formula (what grade level you are writing for), and click for the results. The program, OKAPI (an internet application for creating curriculum-based assessment reading probes) will return a readability analysis of your text, indicating what grade level the particular content is appropriate for.
3. Next is Englishraven.com (http://www.englishraven.com/ttools_dolch.html). This site provides Dolch (sight word listed for frequency and importance) wordlists for each grade level. The lists are limited, but it does give a good indication of appropriate words for the particular age group you are writing for.
All three of these resources are useful in finding just the right words for the children’s writer. There are also other books and sites available that will help you in your search for those age appropriate words for your children’s book, just do a search.
Karen Cioffi is an author and ghostwriter. Her new MG/YA fantasy book, Walking Through Walls, is based on an ancient Chinese tale.
Longing to be rich and powerful, twelve-year-old Wang studies the legend of the mystical Eternals. Certain they are real, he journeys to their temple and begins an apprenticeship with the Eternal Master. There he enters a world of magic where not everything is as it seems, and where he learns the magic formula to ‘walking through walls.’
Walking Through Walls should now be available through online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and book stores. If it’s not yet listed, it will be very soon!
The following is a reposting of Karen’s guest blog on 4RV Publishing’s blog. Great advise.
SEO and Marketing: Basic Tips and Definitions
In its simplest form, promotion is a tool or strategy under the marketing umbrella. The marketing umbrella covers the creation or manufacturing of a product or service, R&D, distribution, and any other elements needed to get a product from creation to the consumer. Promotion creates visibility.
Utilizing online promotion means you will be using the internet, search engines, and SEO. SEO is the process of getting the search engines to find and rank your content. You obviously want a high ranking so when a searcher (potential customer) types in a search term (keyword) your site may be one of those on that first SERP.
Marketing and especially SEO can be confusing and seem like a daunting task to undertake, but once you understand the basics it becomes less intimidating.
SEO and Marketing Definitions
1. SEO – search engine optimization: “the process of creating and adjusting website content with the goal of improving search engine rankings.” (according to Compendium.com)
2. SERP – search engine results page – the page results from a search query.
3. Keyword – “any word or phrase a searcher might use to describe or identify a desired resource on the Internet.” When using keyword in your title, it’s important to use the keyword in the beginning of the title. Rather than use “How-to-Guide for SEO,” opt for “SEO: A How-to-Guide.” (according to Compendium.com)
4. Organic Traffic or Marketing – free strategies, such as Twitter, blogging, article marketing, etc.
5. Paid Traffic or Marketing – utilizing paid/sponsored ads, such as Google adwords, etc.
6. Ranking – your position (how high up) on the SERP: the higher the better. In other words, you want to be on the first SERP, or at least within the first few pages.
7. Anchor text – linking to other websites and/or pages directly from text within your content. This strategy should be used to bring the reader to your products, to other related articles you’ve written, to another site that has useful information pertinent to your post, and/or to link to a site you’re mentioning.
Providing readily accessible information and links through anchor text will give your readers more “bang-for-the-buck.” It will give the reader a broader reading experience, and she will definitely appreciate it – this builds a relationship . . . and trust.
Using anchor text links will also help search engines, such as Google and Bing, relate your content to other relevant content, and create a target for searchers to hit.
One last note about SEO, keep your keywords simple and concise. And, often it’s of greater benefit to use long-tail keywords. These keywords may not get as many search hits, but they do get a much more targeted audience; this leaves you with less competition.
An example of a keyword might be, “allergy relief.” Allergy relief is a very generic and heavily used keyword. In order to make it more specific and hone in on a narrower audience/searcher, you might use, “allergy air cleaners,” or maybe, “remedies for allergies,” or, “allergy sinus medications.” You want to narrow the playing field.
There are free tools to test out and analyze keywords; here are three of them you might try:
Bedtime is the most precious time between a loved one and a child. Day’s End Lullaby will soothe any precious little one to sleep after a long day of play. I look forward to sharing this book with my daughter every night and waiting for Mr. Sandman to kiss her thoughts to dreams.
Assistant Principal, The Abigail Adams School
Jamaica, New York
This book is an appealing addition to any collection of bedtime stories for preschoolers. Colorful and attractive illustrations pair beautifully with the rhyming text. Day’s End Lullaby provides the reassuring tone young children will love as part of their bedtime routine.
Librarian, Old South School
Ozone Park, New York
Here is order information for this great children’s book. It is on my list to get for our new grand daughter who is due in September.
I am so glad to have Karen Cioffi as my guest today. She is a wonderful and dedicated lady. She is on of the two women in charge of our Virtual Book Tours – Writers on the Move each month. She shares the duties of keep all of us organized with Kathy Stemke.
Karen Cioffi is a former accountant. Having to leave the accounting profession due to MS, she turned author and freelance writer. Having to leave the accounting profession due to MS, she turned author and freelance writer. She is the co-author of Day’s End Lullaby, a children bedtime picture book. Karen wrote the poem and music to the story over 30 years ago for her firstborn who didn’t like sleeping.
As a hardworking writer, Karen is on the team of DKV Writing 4 U which provides writing services, and she is the creator and manager of the Yahoo group Writers on the Move. This is a marketing group of authors who use a number of promotional strategies and tools to cross-promote. She is also the co- moderator of a children’s writing critique group. Along with this Karen is a member of SCBWI, Children’s Writing Coaching Club, The Muse Conference Board, Linkedin, JacketFlap, AuthorsDen, and Goodreads. And, she recently joined BookPleasures as a reviewer.
Karen has a number of articles published through Ezinearticles.com and is currently revising a middle grade fantasy chapter book and working on a picture book along with writing articles for children’s magazines. Living in New York City all her life, Karen looks forward to one day moving to another state. She is married and has two grown daughters and two very young grandsons. She spends much of each day writing, learning her craft, researching and reading, managing her groups, and following up on things.
Karen’s co-author, Robyn Feltman holds a master’s degree in Children’s Literature and Administration/Supervision. She is a fourth grade elementary public school teacher and is an initiator of environmental and humanitarian projects in her school; one of these projects is the Oambassador Program. Robyn continues to move forward in her academic career and recently completed her Superintendent certificate. She lives in New York City and has the cutest black cocker-spaniel, Luna. The authors have a number of projects in progress and ideas for many more. You can learn more about these authors at: