From Whim to Bestseller
Ten years ago, I was asked to speak to a writer’s group. At the time, I’d had a couple of short stories do well in contests, and my first novel was about to be published by a small press. I didn’t think I had enough experience to offer anything to other writers. However, I put together a program about using more active verbs. At the end of the presentation, I furnished a handout with a list of verbs to replace “said.”
Although it’s better to use said and asked 90% of the time, many authors contacted me to say how much the list helped them. From then on, I furnished the handout each time I spoke.
Fast forward to 2014. Now I had two books published and two waiting for my small press publishing contract to expire so I could ‘indie’ publish all of my books. I’d learned a lot during that time and decided I could do better marketing and not share any of my royalties.
While I waited for edits on the four books, on a whim, I decided to make more lists of other common verbs. Once I got started, I thought why not make a book of lists? No characters to develop. No scenes to set. No concern over plot holes. No dialogue to write.
At the time, I was more interested in a larger backlist rather than sales. By adding the verb book, I’d have five books published at once! Whoa! I liked that idea.
By the time I got edits back for all of my novels, I’d finished the verb book. It was small at only 102 pages. Because of that, I hated to pay for formatting or cover design so I chose to format it myself. I bought a $1 set of instructions. There was a learning curve, but I managed to complete both the print and eBook versions. Then, I designed the cover and paid a guy on Fiverr to set it up for printing. (I recently updated the book to 215 pages)
As luck would have it, one of my novels caught fire and sales soared. Because of that, I paid no attention to the list book until a writer friend congratulated me via email about my bestseller status. Turned out, Strong Verbs, Strong Voice had become a bestseller while I was busy counting sales of my novel! The verb book remained on the bestseller list for over six months. It continues to be my only book that sells copies every single day. And the funny thing is—it started out as a whim.
If you have an idea for a non-fiction book, I encourage you to go forward with it. Because the moral of this story is—sometimes the simplest notion surprises you.
Title: Strong Verbs, Strong Voice
Author: Ann Everett
Publisher: Indie published
Cover Designer: Ann Everett
Without verbs, where would a story go? Characters, animals, and nature can’t be or do anything without a verb. Characters can’t laugh, animals can’t attack, and trees can’t sway in the breeze. Verbs provide excitement, drive the narrative, and paint vivid pictures.
Why say she looked, if she can gawk, spy, or examine? The familiar choice offers vague action, where the stronger selections show action and expression. The right verb choice can illustrate the characters state of mind, mood, as well as physical characteristics.
Inside this book, you’ll find stronger choices listed in alphabetical order for commonplace verbs such as enter, walk, ran, took, etc. This quick reference will help you use more descriptive verbs to convey better images in the reader’s mind.
You can buy it here:
Ann Everett is an Amazon bestselling author and Kindle Scout winner. She’s a top reviewer on a major writing website and a regular speaker at Wordwyse Exposytions.
She’s won awards and contests and accolades but here are nine things more interesting:
She’s married to her high school sweetheart.
She loves shopping at thrift stores.
She doesn’t remember her first kiss.
She hates talking on the telephone.
A really sharp pencil makes her happy.
She secretly wants to get a tattoo.
She believes everyone should own a pair of cowboy boots.
She’s thankful wrinkles aren’t painful.
She sucks at math.
You can stalk Ann:
Blog URL http://www.anneverett.com/blog/
Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/author/ann.everett Goodreads profile https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5195211.Ann_Everett
Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ann-everett
Backlist of non-fiction:
Body Language, A Quick Reference for Character Action and Description
Write, Publish, Market, a Step-by-Step Guide for Each PhaseP