WEbook Streamlines Look; Feedback Gets Structural; Interns Rejoice!

Hello fellow readers, writers, and dogged feedbackers! My name is Zoe and I’m one of the new interns here at WEbook. It appears that I’m on a hot streak lately because not only do I get to blog as part of my job, but for my very first post I get to announce a couple of cool new things on WEbook. First, did ya notice something different on the site today? Um, like a new main navigation bar and a slightly streamlined new look? Pretty sweet, right?

Even more impressive is something we’re calling “Structured Feedback.” What the *&%! is Structured Feedback, you ask? Well, it’s yet another enhancement of the feedback box. Like the rest of you, I dig the new “progress” bar. It certainly motivates me to give longer, more exciting, and colorful feedback. But I also found the task daunting. Sometimes I just wanted to say “Great!” because it was, or because I wasn’t sure where to start my review. Worse, I didn’t want to sound like a know-it-all or, gasp, offend a fellow WEbooker.

Well feedbackers, we’re in luck once again. The latest set-up, built right into the feedback interface, provides a set of fields/topics to help you direct your comments and suggestions to have the most impact. These topics will also change according to the genre of writing you are reviewing – be it fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. Here’s a small sample of the new features:

•    For fiction, you’ll be able to comment specifically on things like plot, character development, structure, and tone/voice.
•    For non-fiction, the categories will be originality, execution, structure, and tone/voice.
•    For poetry, the topics are form, content, tone, imagery, and musicality.

StructuredFeedbackBlog

If you hold your cursor over each term in the Feedback box, a pop-up will provide definitions of each, so give it a try! Of course, you can always leave a regular old comment under general comments, but try to write under all the headings. A few words are better than nothing of course, and a few sentences can be just what that author needed to clear up confusions or push their story to the next level. As you really get the hang of reading and revising like a pro – using structured feedback as a guide – you’ll notice your own skills as a writer strengthen and develop. The saying never gets old: give and you shall receive … now, in more ways than one.

--zoekatherine

Because zoekatherine loves feedback that much, she’ll give comprehensive critiques as frequently as possible. Feel free to write her (zoekatherine) if you’d like her to take a look at your work. She’ll also be on the lookout for the most brilliant, enlightening, in-depth, motivating, helpful, or unique feedback to highlight on the WEbook blog. Get to her before she gets overwhelmed with requests!

Join WEbook Today



Sign up for WEbook today and
start reading, writing, and feedbacking.



Promotion Road: On the Sales Trail with Jayne Bonilla

IMG_8047_JayneHeadShot Over the next few weeks, Jayne Bonilla, author of Shirt for Dessert, will be blogging from time to time about her promotional efforts on behalf of her new book. Jayne is no stranger to the book promotion game, as she self-published her own children’s book, If Hurricanes Were Candy Canes, years ago and has sold nearly 15,000 copies to date. Because getting your book published is only part of the “game,” WEbook thought Jayne’s experiences would be of interest to current and would-be authors … Oh, and Jayne is a publisher’s dream, an unrelenting promoter, book signer, and overall mover and shaker in her Fort Lauderdale/Miami-area community...

Last Saturday, I woke up awash in energy, enthusiasm, and anticipation. Normally, I try to sleep in on Saturdays but not this week, not on the day I’d been dreaming about for almost 16 years. If everything went according to plan, hundreds of people would soon be gathered around me as I read to their children from Shirt for Dessert, my first published book. Then, better still, they’d all buy copies, which I’d happily sign.

It went exactly as planned. The event was at The Weston Town Center’s Main Street (a mall in my  Florida hometown) and about 150 people showed up. As the day progressed, I realized it was as much a coming-out party for Marley Barley, the main character in my book, as it was for me, the author. The symbolism was unmistakable. I’ve always believed in a simple set of mantras when it came to writing: never give up, follow your dreams, practice patience, and hone your craft. And now I was being rewarded, in real time.

For the kids, it was simply a laugh fest. For the parents, it was pretty much the same. But for the local Shirt for Dessert Cover_Finalsmall3 merchants, it was much more. The event grew out of a simple signing that I arranged at one of the stores  in the mall. Then the director of marketing for the entire Weston Town Center got involved, and I pounced.  She was lamenting about how business was slow, so I came up with the idea of cross-promoting the reading with other merchants in the mall. My plan was to use the book as a kind of golden ticket. Meaning: If you bought Shirt for Dessert, you’d get a complimentary slice of pizza at the pizza joint, a free cone at the ice cream shop, and discounts galore at a range of other participating businesses. Smart, right? And when I approached other businesses in the mall, almost all of them were happy to offer a small giveaway or discount coupon in the hopes of luring in customers. It worked beautifully. I sold nearly 100 books, and people ended up buying much more after collecting their freebies at the participating stories. The classic win-win.

The signing was scheduled to end at 4 p.m. Families continued to wander in hoping I would stay just another minute to read to their children and sign a book. At 6 p.m., I’d finally signed the last book of the day. And the great news? I get to do this all over again next week. More important, I learned how crucial it was to consider the needs of the peripheral businesses involved when trying to promote a book. I was the bait. My book lured the kids, but they came with parents—read: shoppers—and that’s why I got so much support from the mall. Because I was helping them. Yes, it was a lot of work, maybe more than some authors are willing to do. But, as I’m learning, the dream of getting published doesn't end when the book is printed.

--Jayne Bonilla

Want to pre-order Shirt for Dessert on Amazon? Click here.

Keep up with Jayne ... if you can. Follow her on Twitter.

Join WEbook Today



Sign up for WEbook today and
start reading, writing, and feedbacking.



WEbooker of the WEek Shares her Story

WoW_button_1 WEbook is a community of writers, so the new Community Storytelling Forum seems like a no-brainer. One person starts a story, and other writers contribute 500 words a piece until it's done. No feedback, no criticism, no discussion -- just writing, tag-team style. Sounds pretty fun, right? But it takes guts to be the first person to jump in, start a story, and let other people finish it. That's why this WEek's WoW badge goes to A_Netz, initiator of the first community story in the forum. Be sure to check out the story -- if you feel inspired, you can contribute, or even start a new story of your own! But first, let's get to know the newest WEbooker of the WEek.

Q: What's the brief story of your life, including your history with writing?

A: I
was born in New South Wales, Australia but I moved up and down the east coast a lot
during my childhood. Apart from that my life has been relatively
uneventful. I come from a fairly big family and aside from the annual
family holiday I haven't traveled much. I have been writing in my
spare time for as long as I can remember. I find I can express myself
better in writing. I have always suffered from low self esteem though
and would rarely share my work with anyone. But I found if I wanted to
sharpen my skills I had to get past that to seek constructive feedback,
and that is what led me to WEbook.

Q: You started WEbook's first
Community Story in the Community Storytelling Forum. What's it like
sharing a story with other writers?

A: It was hard to come up with a concept that I was
willing to let go of. Most writers, I believe, guard their ideas
because when we have them we see where we want the story to go, how we
want the characters portrayed, and we want to write it. However, that
being said, I feel this is an extremely useful writing exercise and
that is why I wanted to contribute. When I started it I had ideas of
things I would like to happen during the story and I thought I would
come back and make those things happen but it has gone in quite an
unexpected direction. The different perspectives many people can have
on the one idea never ceases to amaze me.

Q: Several of your
books-in-progress involve schools and teachers. Who was your favorite
teacher, and what was the most important thing he/she
taught you?

A: The one teacher that
made the most difference to me was a teacher I had in primary school. I
remember clearly the day he asked everyone in the class what they
wanted to be when they grew up and I said an author. He was a
straight-talker and proceeded to tell me how difficult it would be. It
drove me to keep trying and I now have a book published. He was a
unique teacher who had a way of giving life lessons. One of the most
important things he ever taught me was to never sign anything without
reading it.

Q: You have quite a few books underway on the
site. Which one is your main focus right now? How do you balance
working on more than one project at a time?

A: I just finished the
first Shadow Link novel and would really love to get more feedback on
it. So far the comments have been really positive. I never really
thought about it being a balancing act to work on more than one project
at a time. I simply work on the story that I have an inspiration for.

Q: What was the first story you ever wrote?

A: The
first story that I can remember was one about an ant who went into
space and how he sneaked onto the rocket ship and his adventures while he
was out there.

WEbooker
of the WEek




Do you
have a line on the wonderfullest writer on WEbook?
The fantastickest feedbacker? Or anyone else who goes above and beyond to make WEbook the best writing, reading, and
publishing community on the internet? Drop me an email, or visit my profile and send me a
message with the title "WEbooker
of the WEek
" to nominate your favorite WEbooker and he or she will
have a shot at joining the ranks of the immortals -- and getting a free WEbook T-shirt to boot.



Join WEbook Today



Sign up for WEbook today and
start reading, writing, and feedbacking.



-- Melissa



WEbooker of the WEek is One Girl

WoW_button_1 WEbook poets are still hard at work gathering and submitting their three best poems to the WEbook Poetry Vote, which begins August 1 -- and WEbooker of the WEek is getting in on the fun, devoting one more week to the site's best poets. This week, we're focusing on Heather_Lynne, author of the collection One Girl, which uses verse to explore "college, parties, love, sexuality, rants, sexual assault, family and gender." Be sure to check out all of Heather_Lynne's WEbook writing -- but first, let's take a moment to get to know Heather_Lynne up close and personal.

Q: What's the brief story of your life, including your history with writing?

Heather_lynne A: I'm a California girl. I've loved reading and writing since I was an
over-imaginative only child. I'm a graduating literature major with an
emphasis in poetry from UCSB.

Q: The title of your poetry project on WEbook is "One Girl," and you
write a lot about female-specific themes. What do you think you would
write about if you'd been born male?

A: I have no idea, and I think this
is partially what my poetry explores. I'm not sure men can even really
understand what it's like to be a woman and perhaps the same goes for
the reverse. I think we must always move ourselves towards
understanding others as much as possible, for with blunt knowledge
comes empathy.

Q: Your writing persona is -- to borrow from your profile -- "sassy
and smart." Is there any difference between how you come across in your
poetry and who you are in real life?

A: I'm a very what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of
girl. I think the voice in my writing is very true to my voice out loud
as I live my life. I value honesty and forthrightness in the people I
choose to surround myself with and always try to tell my truth in
writing.

Q: Who's the smartest person you know, and what's the most important thing you've learned from him or her?

A: My friend Georgina is definitely up there on the
genius ranks. Being her good friend in high school allowed me to
witness firsthand the opportunities out there and things teenagers are
capable of achieving if one is willing to work hard. Sometimes when I
look back at my high school years I wonder how I managed to do as much
as I did. Georgina is the one to thank!

Q: Describe your vision of a perfect day in your life 30 years from now.

A: I
hope to have a family, spend the day in the sunshine with children and
animals and crowd round a big dinner table each night. Simple but
beautiful pleasures!

Q: Please write a short poem about the most interesting object in the room you're in right now.

A: two bunnies on the floor beside me
cuddling head to butt, front paws to feet
with creatures this clumsy, fuzzy
i''ll never need to watch tv!

WEbooker
of the WEek




Do you
have a line on the wonderfullest writer on WEbook?
The fantastickest feedbacker? Or anyone else who goes above and beyond to make WEbook the best writing, reading, and
publishing community on the internet? Drop me an email, or visit my profile and send me a
message with the title "WEbooker
of the WEek
" to nominate your favorite WEbooker and he or she will
have a shot at joining the ranks of the immortals -- and getting a free WEbook T-shirt to boot.



Join WEbook Today



Sign up for WEbook today and
start reading, writing, and feedbacking.



-- Melissa



Popular Posts

The WEbook Store