As part of the Vampire Books for Blood event in 2015, ItsWriteNow.com is offering all authors who are donating at least 10% of their net royalties to the American or Canadian Red Cross and are listed for the Vampire Books for Blood Event, a free guaranteed promotion for their vampire books priced as $0.99 or free. To submit your vampire books for this good cause go to http://www.vampirebooksforblood.org.
ItsWriteNow.com is a great resource for connecting authors and readers, but I want to make sure that all of our keen readers and talented authors are getting are supported as much as possible. To make this possible I’m running a survey to give everyone the opportunity to give their ideas. Please take a minute to give your honest comments :).
That’s right It’s Write Now has a new owner. Ellen who is an avid reader and book lover, will be taking over this site. It will be exciting to see her bring the site to new levels.
Emma will be moving on and focusing on her other websites, and finally finishing that mystery series. Emma would just like to thank all of the readers and authors who advertised on the site over the years. It has been an honor getting to know some of you.
Update:I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween. I know I did. I rescued 4 orphaned kittens and found them a foster home until they are adopted into forever homes. I’m very happy about that.Â Now to the important stuff. We have a winner, and it is Wanda Tillman. Wanda is a fellow book lover, and sent me this awesome quote by Chuck Jones, “except for the people we meet and the books we read, we are the same person we were five years ago”, thanks for that Wanda. Love it. Your $50 from Amazon is on it’s way.Â
Thank-you to everyone who entered, and we will try to get a new, even more awesome, promo up and running shortly. Thanks everybody! Also, if you enjoy the newsletter tell your friends.Â
It’s time for another giveaway on It’s Write Now.com, in celebration of our favorite season we are giving away a $50.00 Amazon gift card. You can use this gift card to purchase books, or anything you want. This giveaway will run between today and OctoberÂ 31st, Happy Halloween folks!
To enter all you need to do is be a new or current subscriber to It’s Write Now.com, and leave a comment below. We would also appreciate any and all social shares, so if you share this post on facebook or tweet it to your followers, please let us know in your comment.
First off, I would like to welcome all of the new subscribers, and thank everyone who entered the contest. A special thank-you goes out to all of those who shared the contest post with their fans and followers.
I have a free tool category listed in the sidebar, and I used one of my favorite free tools, random.org, to choose the winner of this contest. I copied the name of everyone who entered into a spreadsheet and then used random.org to choose a random winner.
The winner is number 36 Bunnie Kelly. Congratulations Bunnie! I will be contacting you to work out the shipping details. Thanks again, everyone! I will be announcing a new contest soon.
Thanks Everybody, This Contest Has Ended
It’s time for another It’s Write Now subscriber contest. We are giving away the regular Kindle with Wi-Fi and the 6″ display. This amazing little device weighs less than 6 ounces, holds over 1000 books and has a battery life that lasts up to a month. This Kindle uses the darker E Ink Pearl. With E Ink you can read in bright sunlight, and there is no glare. It is also easier on the eyes than a backlit screen. E Ink is like digital paper, and if reading is your main goal an E Ink device is the perfect solution.
You can take this device to the beach or pool, and read in the direct sunlight. Try that with an iPad. Also, you will feel more comfortable taking this smaller less expensive device to more rugged locations. Have you seen the commercial where the lady is reading the Kindle in the bathtub? This device isn’t water proof, so you would still have to be careful and not get it wet. But, if you did damage it, a new one isn’t out of reach. Plus, this one is free for one lucky winner.
This contest is open to all of our subscribers, and entering is easy. In order to be eligible to win the Kindle you need to do 3 things. Be a current subscriber to itsWriteNow.com, do one social share such as a share on facebook, a Â like on facebook, a follow on twitter, or tweet about this contest on twitter, and leave a comment here saying, that you either liked, shared, followed or tweeted this contest post. This contest will end the morning of August 15th, so get your entry in before that.
In order to win do these 3 things:
Be an existing or new subscriber to itsWriteNow.com
Share this post on Facebook, we will also accepts tweets follows or likes.
Leave a comment on this post stating which one of the above you did.
It’s that easy! Just to be clear here are some examples of how to enter the contest. A current subscriber may also be a twitter follower of this site, so all they would have to do is leave a comment saying that they are also following the site.
Someone who just discovered this site may want to enter the contest. They would need to subscribe to the email newsletter and then they could share this contest post on Facebook and then leave a comment saying that they want to be included in the contest, and they shared this post on facebook.
So to reiterate, you need to subscribe, do one social share, and leave a comment.
This contest is open to US residents 18 and over. The winner will be chosen by random drawing from eligible participants. The contest will end on August 15th, 2013, the winner will be announced on this site, after the winner is contacted. The winner will be notified by email. If the winner does not respond within 5 days a new winner will be chosen.
1. Subscribe here or use the subscribe box in the sidebar (Be sure to check your email and confirm the subscription.)
The contest winner was Sharon Shafran from Florida. Thanks Sharon, we really appreciate your support. We contacted Sharon yesterday, and she responded right away. Sharon the Kindle Paperwhite is on it’s way to you! Thanks everyone, who subscribed and helped out with the social media stuff. We will announce our next contest soon.
When You subscribe to It’s Write Now, you not only get a hand picked selection of free ebooks sent to your email each day, you will also be entered into a contest to win a new Kindle Paperwhite. The Kindle Paperwhite can hold up to 1,100 books, has built in Wi-Fi, for your home network or hotspots, is thinner than a pencil, lighter than a paperback, can download entire books in under 60 seconds, and would look great in your hands.
Some of the interesting features of the Paperwhite are the X-ray feature which allows you to see all passages across a book that mention a relevant charactor or place, adjustable text sizes, in case you forget your glasses, you can highlight, and add bookmarks and notes, the time to read feature will give you an estimate of how long it will take to read a passage, reliable Amazon Whispersync technologies which saves your place among all your Kindle devices, a built in dictionary, translations, and a wikipedia search function.
The Paperwhite is designed for reading. It has a built in light that guides the light towards the surface of the e-ink display, so that the light never shines directly in your eyes, it also illuminates the screen more evenly than a book light or lighted cover. The brightness is adjustable and the Paperwhite is so energy efficient that it comes with an 8 week battery life. Get serious about your reading with a Kindle Paperwhite.
If you one of the older subscribers to It’s Write Now then you may remember when we used to give away cash, prizes, and iPods. Since we have been focusing more on free Kindle books and we want to increase our free ebook reader base we are giving one lucky subscriber a new Kindle Paperwhite. This contest ends at the end of April 2013 and one lucky subscriber will be chosen at random. This contest is available for the US only, and all you have to do to enter is click on our contest button and enter your name and email.
You can also get additional chances to win, by sharing and liking our contest link. Thank-you for visiting and good luck with our new subscriber contest.
As human beings, we have a natural tendency to want to be connected to others. Whether it is being close to your family, enjoying time with friends, or meeting new people; being connected to people is an important part of our lives. The way we connect to others is usually through communication. Which is either speaking or the written word. If we want to project your best image it is a good idea to speak well, and when it comes to writing, grammar is even more important.
There is nothing that will make you lose the respect of your co-workers, or even worse your subordinates, than a memo full of typos and misspelled words. Even with the Internet, using proper grammar while writing is important. Writing for the Internet, and especially blogs, is often conversational styled writing, so if you use perfect or at least decent grammar when you speak, most of the grammar in your writing should be OK. Although, you will still need to work on the punctuation.
The problem most people have with punctuation is with commas. I used to write great papers in school, that would always come back covered in red ink, because of the mysterious comma splice. I have written a few posts about the comma splice. I have also made repeated posts about grammar and linked to fun resources for learning and improving grammar.
That may all be well and good, but if you don’t want to bother with learning grammar here are some alternatives. The first one is to pay someone else to write your articles for you. It is easy to find writers online and there are many resources for writing services such as Odesk and Textbroker. When I first began publishing on the Internet, I wanted to develop a quality team of writers and I found a lot of people by going to writing forums and posting jobs.
The second method is using software to flag and correct improper grammar and punctuation. I have had limited success with this. Microsoft Word has a grammar function and after running it you will likely end up with more errors than you had when you started. Another software choice is White Smoke which is a software program that is supposed to help with correcting grammar and punctuation. This software may be helpful if English is your second language or your grammar is really bad, but I have had limited success with it.
If you have something that needs to be written by you and in your own voice and it also needs perfect grammar, having someone who knows what they are doing read and edit it, would be your best bet. Unfortunately, we don’t all have access to an instant English Professor or a retired editor sitting at our beck and call. That is why a great option is an online proofreading service. With a service like this you can get your document proof read and corrected, without ever leaving your home.
All of these options can help if you just don’t want to bother learning proper grammar. Some are more effective than others and they all have a cost. In spite of the title of this article, I still feel it is in your best interest to take the time and learn the grammar rules and apply them in your writing. Written communication is something you will be using your entire life and knowing how to write properly is almost as important as knowing what to say.
Fortunately, Bank of America came to their senses and realized that all of these petty fees will hurt their business. Even though they decided to cancel the debit fee charge they have made some increases to their fee structure. Although, not everyone will be affected by the new fee increases. I will continue banking with them, just because it is so convenient. Their online banking and bill pay is so convenient and being in California, Bank of America ATMs are abundant and ubiquitous.
I’ve been banking with Bank of America since I was a teenager. Also, for California residents, BofA is the most convenient bank when it comes to finding ATM machines and bank locations.Â BofA fees are pretty low too, with free checking for most people with direct deposit. Not to mention, they were pioneers in online banking and I have never had a more convenient way to pay my bills and keep on top of my money management chores.
Now they announced at the beginning of next year they will start charging customers who pay with their debit cards, $5 a month. Many people’s immediate reaction is, “those greedy banks, now what are they trying to bilk us for?” The problem is that when banks started encouraging everyone to use debit cards they had every intention of making a profit, not losing money. The simple way to do that was to charge the merchants fees. Some merchants generously pay these fees and others pay them by charging us, but the banks are not charging us fees for the use of the debit cards.
With the enactment of the Dodd-Frank bill, banks will now be limited to charging merchants 21 cents, which is less than half of what they charge now. Since they can’t continue to charge fees to the merchants they have to make up the difference somehow, and that is how the $5 fee comes into play.Â So maybe we should at least put blame where it is due. This is another result of shortsighted laws passed by regulation happy liberal lawmakers.
If you happen to be someone who voted for these folks, then you should shoulder the responsibility too. It matters who we vote for and what those people stand for. I wish everyone would take the time to open their minds and get informed and look at the big picture, when they go to the voting booth. It really does make a difference in our lives and especially our pocket books.Â I found this great editorial on Investors Business Daily that explains things really well. Take the time to check it out and make sure that who you vote for is actually in alignment with your real values.
One of the most common grammar problems that writers have is proper comma usage. Even though, the rules are fairly simple the best of the best can still get tripped up on comma usage. I found this great video that easily sums up the main comma rules in about 6 minutes. Instead of pouring over grammar books, take an occasional break from your writing and brush up on your comma usage while enjoying a video.
Use a comma when two independent clauses (clause that can stand by itself) are linked by a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so).
Use a comma to separate a list of three or more items.
Use a comma when using two or more adjectives to describe someone or something.
Use a comma when a dependent clause comes before an independent clause.
Use commas when giving extra information in the middle of a sentence, which is called an adjective clause.
Use a comma before a direct quote.
Use a comma before and after a name to get someone’s attention.
Use a comma when using a transition word (therefore, consequently).
You would think after all of those years of Saturday morning School House Rock we would all have these rules down, yet they seem to trip up the best of us.
If any of you have ever done any writing for online services, such as Textbroker you know they can be very strict when it comes to commas. In fact, instead of being frustrated and thinking some editor wouldn’t know good writing if it bit them, it just might be better to learn the rules and go with it. Here is an informative comma article by a Textbroker editor.
The best way to conquer English Grammar and proper writing and punctuation is to work on small sections at a time. There are tons of great resources available online and in the library or bookstore. Here is a glossary of English Grammar Terms that could keep most of us busy for a long time.
I live in California and when the Governor signed the Nexus Tax, I lost my Amazon Associates Account. This was a very sad day for my IM business, since I have been getting a monthly direct deposit from Amazon since 2008. Plus the Amazon Associates program can be very lucrative around Christmas time and I was actually getting used to having a wonderful Amazon Christmas. Not being able to monetize with Amazon doesn’t mean my sites aren’t viable it just meant I had to find a new solution. So I thought I would give VigLink a try.
In case you are wondering, Amazon and the state of California have come to an agreement and I expect my Amazon Associates account to be reinstated any day now. So I still plan on having an Amazon Christmas. But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop using VigLink. Especially now that they have opened up Link Insertion to everyone. VigLink is an affiliate program that is affiliated with Amazon, eBay, Commission Junction and many of the other top affiliate companies.
If you want to know if a specific merchant is affiliated with VigLink, you can use the Merchant Coverage tool, which allows you to insert the url of the affiliate product and check whether it is affiliated or not. Some advantages of using VigLink is that they are a big top tier affiliate, which means that they get the top commission, whereas a small affiliate may get 4% from Amazon while Viglink will get 8%. Because many affiliates pay percentages based on sales volume. Viglink will take out 25% of your commissions so you need to do the math to decide if this is viable for you.
What makes VigLink really useful is the ease of use. To enable VigLink on a site all you have to do is copy the VigLink code and paste it before the closing </body> tag on your site. In WordPress this would be in footer.php. Once you have the code installed all you have to do is link to any item that VigLink has an affiliated relationship with and when the user clicks on it VigLink will give you credit for that click. You don’t actually have to insert any affiliate code in the link. Just a plain old text link and you are affiliated.
VigLink has two great features that you can enable before you install your code which will make VigLink even more useful. The first one is Affiliation, which enables VigLink to override links that are already affiliated. This was really useful for me when I was switching my Amazon links to VigLink. Instead of redoing all of my Amazon links all I had to do was check the VigLink Affiliation button and VigLink automatically reaffiliated my Amazon links to VigLink Amazon links. When my Amazon Associates account is restored I will just deselect the reaffiliate button and then my Amazon links will back to my associates account.
But I won’t be removing the VigLink code because it is great for links that aren’t affiliated. Before this gets too confusing let me clear things up. By affiliated we mean that the link has affiliate code in it, so that as the publisher we get credit when a site visitor clicks on a link. If your site is full of your own affiliate links you can still use VigLink because it won’t touch those links already affiliated. It will only add affiliate links to products and services that don’t have an affiliations.
If you choose to use the reaffiliate function it currently only works on Amazon and eBay links. But this is great for people who have sites that are heavily monetized with Amazon or eBay and for some reason don’t have those affiliate accounts anymore. The coolest new feature of VigLink is the Link Insertion program. When you enable link insertion you don’t even have to create links. VigLink will automatically create links for products and services that they are affiliated with when they are mentioned on your site.
Just think of how convenient this would be for forum owners or someone who has a large guest post site that is not monetized. Normally I don’t want to share my commissions with another company, but VigLink can be a great addition to anyone’s affiliate arsenal.