Writing Tips



Writing a novel is not for the feint of heart.  It is a huge undertaking that can take months or even years to complete, depending on the amount of research and detail you need to you put into your work of fiction or non-fiction.  Even knowing this, it can feel like it's taking too long to complete your novel, or that you'll never finish.  If you feel that way, it may benefit you to read a few tips and tricks on writing and promoting your fiction in order to speed up the process without diminishing your book's quality or value to your readers.

One of the ways you can speed up the process is by creating an outline or a breif synopsis of the plot as well as short character descriptions. This can help you get your ideas down so that you do not have to continuously stop and think, What happens next? 

Of course, utilizing a good novel planning and writing book, like Ultimate Novel Planning Workbook: Worksheets for the Writer, Ready, Set, Novel!: A Workbook, Outlining Your Novel Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises for Planning Your Best Book (Helping Writers Become Authors 2) and Ready, Set, Write: Level 1, may help keep you focused and on the productive writing path.

For more writer tips and tricks, keep reading.  You're sure to find some ideas to help keep you on the path to publication.




Are you a new author who’s just published their first book or an existing author with many fiction and non-fiction books published and in search of a website where you can share your books, story stories and sample chapters? If you answered yes, IONOS may prove to be an affordable web hosting solution.

IONOS Webhosting Solutions

IONOS offers three hosting packages, including basic web hosting, website building and VPS hosting. For new customers, most of these hosting packages start at $1 a month, which means you’ll pay $12 your first year plus the cost of your domain name. Domain names typically range between $15 and $20, but there are instances where your preferred domain may cost much more, especially if someone has purchased that domain name for resale.


For example: staceycarroll.com is currently $1,000 because someone bought it hoping one of the thousands of professional Stacey Carroll’s would be interested in purchasing it for that outrageous price. Needless to say, this is why this website is a .org, so if your preferred .com isn’t available, check the other designations. There’s a good chance your .net or .org is still available for a reasonable price.

Basic Web Hosting

IONOS’ basic web hosting package is advertised as being trusted, flexible and reliable, and I can tell you that I haven't noticed any downtime since purchasing the package in January 2019. Prices for these packages currently start at $1 a month. It’s important to note that these website packages include the ability to install the Content Management System (CMS) of your choice. They do not include a drag and drop builder. However, it is a one-click installation of your CMS of choice, and once you install your CMS, you will work directly with the CMS you installed in order to create, update and maintain your website.


Super affordable if you’re just starting with websites and website design.

  • $4 per month ($48 per year)
  • Advertised as being great for 1 website
  • Hosted on a Linux server
  • Basic site performance (level 1 May lag during high volume times)
  • SSL available
  • 10GB of storage
  • Up to 10 databases
  • Up to 10 email accounts
  • Free domain name for one year
  • Available CMS’s include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, TYPO3, PrestaShop and Magento


Still reasonably affordable if you’re going to have a large website. The first year being $12 really helps.

  • $1 per month for the first year ($12), $8 per month after the first year ($96 per year)
  • Performance level 2 (Site still may lag during times of extremely high volume)
  • Unlimited Websites
  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited databases
  • Up to 50 email accounts
  • SSL available
  • Free domain for 1 year
  • Available CMS’s include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, TYPO3, PrestaShop and Magento 


I would recommend already having some business income from a free website or one of the lower package hosting products here before moving to this level. I would consider this fairly pricey.

  • $14 per month ($168 per year)
  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited databases
  • Up to 100 email accounts
  • Free domain for 1 year
  • Performance level 5 (I can’t imagine this lagging)
  • Unlimited SSL certificates
  • Malware protection via SiteScan
  • Enhanced site performance via a CDN
  • Available CMS’s include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, TYPO3, PrestaShop and Magento

Website Builder

The website builder package is similar to the type of hosting you’d expect from Weebly. It has a drag and drop builder. This hosting package also starts at $1 a year for the first year, and it comes with a free domain.

  • $5 a month after the first year ($60 per year)
  • Drag and drop builder (No need to know how to code)
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Always free domain name
  • Up to 5 email accounts (Additional pages say 10 email accounts)
  • Free professional templates
  • Free image library
  • Free social media widgets
  • Ability to be multi-lingual for an international audience

If you plan to host an online store, the price for that package is $15 per month or $180 per year. The basic online store includes the ability to add up to 5,000 products and includes the ability to accept all payment methods. It also has a shipping wizard. For extremely large online stores, they also offer advanced packages at $25 and $45 a month.

VPS Hosting 

VPS stands for Virtual Private Service. This is a cloud-based hosting product. IONOS gives you the option to host your website in one of their three data centers, including in the US, UK and Europe. These plans start at $2 a month for the VPS S hosting account and can be as high as $30 a month for their VPS XL hosting package. All packages include unlimited traffic.

  • VPS S - $2 per month, 1 CPU, 512 RAM, 10 GB SSD
  • VPS M - $10 per month, 2 CPUs, 2 GB RAM, 80 GB SSD
  • VPS L - $2 per month for 1st year ($20 per month regular price), 2 CPUs, 4 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD
  • VPS XL - $30 per month, 4 CPUs, 8 GB RAM, 160 GB SSD

Which Package Do I Have?

I chose the web hosting business package on the Linux servers, partially because it was $1 per month for the first 12 months and partially because I can program. I have a computer science minor. If I knew nothing about websites or programming, I might have been tempted to choose the drag and drop builder, but as a whole, I don’t like the layouts of drag and drop builders. I find them very limiting.

For the Linux hosting, once you get setup and have your website online, you can check certain websites from your IONOS dashboard. One of my favorite features is the Website Checker. This allows me to see the overall performance of staceycarroll.org and let’s me know how visible the site is online. It also has an option to check visitor statistics under the Websites and Stores tab. This includes metrics on Visitor Numbers, Visitor Behavior, page Analysis, Pages of Origin (Where people entered) and the Browsers and Systems used to view the website. I find this extremely helpful when determining how successful the website is currently and where I need to make improvements. 

I’ve also not encountered any problems with IONOS. I monitor my website, both the front and back-end, about 18 hours a day. That’s basically my waking hours. I have, thus far, not seen any downtime or errors with the site, which means I’m extremely pleased with it. Something else to note that I just saw is that IONOS now has a free app that you can use on your smartphone or tablet. I haven’t noticed this before, because like I said above, you really don’t need to go to the IONOS website once you get your CMS installed (if you choose Linux hosting). You’ll end up going to your.domain.name.something/yourbackend and logging into your website from there.

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Read More on Book Promotion

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  2. Pros and Cons of Giving Your Book Away for Free ...
  3. Have you considered utilizing videos as a means to promote your new Indie book? ...
  4. The First Step to Selling More Books Is to Write a Breakout, Amazing, Can't Put Down Blockbuster. ...
  5. How Do I Promote My Self-Published Book for FREE? ...

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If you own a website or are a freelance writer or are considering getting a new website for your business or personal use, you’ve probably heard the term SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it gets a lot of hype in most ‘How to Promote Your Website and Get Better Search Engine Rankings’ articles. In fact, if you read a lot of those, you really will get the impression that SEO is absolutely the number one and possibly the only thing you have to do to get more visitors to your website. After all, if you’re number 1 in Google, you’re going to get all the traffic. This isn’t quite true, and if all you’re considering is SEO for your website, you’re going to be greatly disappointed.

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There is a wide range of, ’bestseller lists’ available today, including the New York Times, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and the Washington Post. Bestseller lists, as the name implies, are supposed to list bestselling books according to the quantity of books sold within a time-frame for a designated category. Different metrics are used by different publishers and shopping portals to list books as bestsellers. Some bestseller lists don’t even list bestsellers. The selection is done primarily via politics within the organization. If your book is not on the bestseller list, it does not mean it is not successful or that it is not popular among readers.


The algorithms and metrics used to list books as bestsellers are often inaccurate. This is because bestseller lists often ignore certain genres or categories of books, and large purchases performed as one transaction are often listed at one sale. For Example: If a library or book club purchases a 600 copies of your book, the bestseller lists will count it as one book.

Some authors will also buy massive quantiles of their books or utilize a ‘publicity company’ (often using unscrupulous means) to help them mass purchase their books with the intent of making it onto a best sellers list. With the advent of the Internet, the idea of writing a good book that readers enjoy is not the only way one can get on the top of the bestseller list. The real bestsellers often do not reach the top of lists but entice generations of readers to buy the book and enjoy reading it.

Number of Books

As an indie author or traditionally published author, you may have the belief that it takes thousands upon thousands of book sales to make it onto a bestseller’s list and that someone has that number listed somewhere. The truth is that there is no definite number that gets books sold on the top of the bestseller list. Some authors sell about a few thousand books in the first week and their book tops the NYT bestseller lists. Other authors may sell more than 20,000 copies of thier book within the first week and it still won’t appear on a bestseller list. This goes to show that bestseller lists are not real measurements of the success of the book. The number of libraries, book clubs and readers that the book reaches is the real measure of the success of a book.

Shortcut to Fame

Getting on a bestseller list is not a shortcut to fame. It may get some short-term publicity but it is not a ticket to get high dollar speaking fees, a visible media presence, consulting gigs or even long term steady book sales. Many authors spend money and effort to reach the top of the NYT bestseller list and find that in the end, they are disappointed. These authors aim to reach the top of the bestseller list to earn name and fame in the media. However, the fame of a book is not because it reaches the top of a bestseller list. The name and fame of a book depend on its success with book critics and the way it keeps readers absorbed.

Launched yet Forgotten

Many books don’t sell after they reach the top of bestseller lists, an dmost books only remain on the best seller’s list for a week or two. Authors obsessed with reaching the top of the bestseller list forget that their book should entice readers to read the book and the story within or the message that the book conveys should have some kind of an appeal for readers. Authors often forget that it’s their readers who determine whether or not a book is successful, and bestseller lists are typically scanned by a small percentage of book lovers. In fact, there are some readers who deliberately avoid bestselling lists because they fear the book has been edited to the extreme in order to match the perceived commercial appeal of a certain theme or character or plot archetype.

The truth is that if your book doesn’t make it onto a bestseller’s list, it’s not the end of the world. Look at your book sales, your reviews and the overall copies you’ve sold of your book. You can be a successful author without ever having been mention on any official list of bestselling authors.


Post Sponsored by @taranealewriter


Read More on Book Promotion


  1. Where Are the Free Book Promotion Websites? ...
  2. Pros and Cons of Giving Your Book Away for Free ...
  3.  Have you considered utilizing videos as a means to promote your new Indie book? ...
  4.  The First Step to Selling More Books Is to Write a Breakout, Amazing, Can't Put Down Blockbuster. ...
  5. How Do I Promote My Self-Published Book for FREE? ...

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AVIA2FUllCVerADAVIA ii: Bullets and Betrayal Kindle Edition


Greg Locke is the detective who thinks he can put away both Avia and Benton in the next book in the series Avia II Bullets and Betrayal. These two are very close to going to jail or going on vacation to Hawaii when their heist goes bad. They are stuck in a life of crime, and they cannot seem to get out. Thriller author Stacey Carroll tugs you through all the twists and turns of these two and their lives while showing you that crime can pay in the worst ways.




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You’ve likely heard the stories about people setting up websites and using affiliate marketing, like Amazon Affiliates and CJ Affiliate,to build a second income. Some find great affiliates to work with and make enough money to quit their day job. Is it possible to make that much money with affiliate marketing? Yes, the right affiliate program or the right combination of multiple affiliates can absolutely create a substantial passive income.

But, here’s the thing: affiliate marketing sounds so easy that it may even seem set and forget. Is affiliate marketing really set and forget? Absolutely not. Not only is it not that, but it takes great dedication to build up enough of an online presence to even make more than pennies a day from it. Yes, affiliate marketing is an effective way to make money online. But, before you get started, keep these things in mind:

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If you’re extremely determined to make your book a bestseller and have hundreds of thousands of dollars in disposable cash, you may be wondering if you can buy your book onto a bestsellers list. After all, if you can get your book listed on the NYT, Publisher’s Weekly, or Wallstreet Journal’s best seller’s list, you’ll get some amazing exposure and sell thousands more books. Not to mention, people will know your name and be more likely to seek out your books.

Yes, You Can Buy Yourself onto a Bestseller’s List, and It’s Been Done

In fact, it’s been done several times. All an author has to do is have hundreds of thousands of dollars available to pay a dubious firm to ensure that vast amounts of the author’s book is purchased at various retail stores. In this scenario, the author pays the firm its fee for ensuring the book makes it onto a bestseller’s list. Then, the author pays another fee so that thousands of copies of his or her book is purchased from many many different book outlets.

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Have you ever wondered how many books you have to sell to become a bestseller? The term can be ambiguous at best and depend on the outlet. According to Publisher’s Weekly, it may take as many as 315 book sales a day to reach the top of the Amazon charts. Other bestseller lists may require anywhere from several hundred book sales per day to several thousand in a week. It depends on the list.

New York Times Best Sellers

The New York Times categorizes their best selling lists into several different categories, which means the author can be a bestseller in their category and not for all books sold for X time period. For these particular categories, the timeframe is weekly. The New York Times also publishes their bestseller methodology, but it is vague and contains no specific numbers. Instead, they state that they calculate ebook sales and print book sales from various ebook and print book vendors. They also give an option for any book vendor to directly report their book sales for every title they sell.

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 Are you looking for a fast way to schedule your social media posts so that you can keep your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts active? Over the last 8 months, I've either looked at or tried many different social media schedulers, including Woopsocial, Hootsuite, Twiffer and Tweetdeck. These are the pros, cons and information on the various social media schedulers that are available. 

1. Woopsocial

If you’re looking for a social media scheduler that offers plenty of features and a fully usable free plan, I urge you to checkout Woopsocial. Woopsocial allows you to schedule unlimited posts to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (if you can get the Instagram connection to work. I’ve never been able to.) The biggest benefit here is that their manual scheduler is incredibly easy to use, and it is relatively fast once you get the hang of it. I was able to autoschedule 200+ posts an hour using it, which means it doesn’t take a lot of time to get all your posts scheduled for the month. 

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Writing a book and publishing a book are only the first steps to author success.  This is because you could have written a great book, but this does not matter if no one knows about it. Thankfully, there are promotional tools and things you can do to help spread the word.

Social media is a great place to promote your book. You can potentially reach thousnads and even millions of people with properly timed and hashtagged tweets and posts. You can also start a blog, create promotional and informative articles and share those across your social media accounts.  There are even sites where you can promote your book for free.

Additionally, there are also several Amazon books available to get you gather book promotion ideas so that you can create your own custom book promotion strategy.  Great Noevel marketing books include:

  1. Novel Marketing: Making Your Author Brand Work for You & Your Books
  2. How to Market a Book Third Edition (Books for Writers)
  3. The Kindle Publishing Bible: How To Sell More Kindle Ebooks on Amazon (Step-by-Step Instructions On Self-Publishing And Marketing Your Books) (Kindle Bible Book 1)
  4. How Your Book Sells Itself: 10 Ways Your Book is Your Ultimate Marketing Tool (Marketing for Authors)
  5. Sell More Books!: Book Marketing and Publishing for Low Profile and Debut Authors Rethinking Book Publicity after the Digital Revolutions
  6. Let's Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books (Let's Get Publishing) (Volume 2)
  7. 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, Real World Edition: Authors: How to sell more books, ebooks, multi-media books, audios, videos, white papers, and other information products in the real world


In addition to the above helpful books, here are a few articles to help you self-promote your books.



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Writing and Editing Books on Amazon












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