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Wish Granted! Tips, Tools, and Templates to Write a Winning Grant
by Holly Rustick

Kindle Edition published 2017-08-22
Bestseller ranking: 95983

Product Description

Grant writing shouldn’t feel like a trip to the dentist. Take the pain out of the process with this innovative and fun, yes fun, guide. Learn all the inside tips and tools of the grant-writing trade in this easy-to-read and upbeat book.
This book is definitely for you if:
•You break out in a cold sweat when your boss mentions the word ‘grant’.
•You’ve been tempted to throw your computer against the wall while writing a grant.
•You happily tell stakeholders there’s plenty of grants out there … but haven’t the faintest idea how to write and get one!
•You think you can send out a bog-standard letter to a bunch of organizations and get funded.
•Your eyes glaze over when you’re presented with grant writing jargon and acronyms.
•Your organization’s grant success A-game has r...

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Messages - Michele_Mills

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Writers' Cafe / Re: The Decline of the Promo Sites
« on: November 03, 2017, 12:42:27 PM »
Mark Dawson is piloting the FB messenger ads. I'm waiting on him to continue trying it out and to continue to report back effectiveness before I dip my toe in.

I've been self publishing for nearly a year now and I've used Vellum since day one. I have five books out and a 6th on the way. At first I used Mac in cloud, which yes was a PITA but it worked, which is what mattered. I didn't even realize that it was such a PITA until, many months later when I bought a Mac and used Vellum on that instead which was simpler.

I know there are all kinds of different ways to format, and also paying for formatting, but I decided to go ahead and invest in Vellum from day one. I figured it would pay for itself over the years, which it already has. I'm happy I'm not paying someone and doing it myself because I can go in and update the front/back matter at a moment's notice and up load quickly. I have it for print now too. *cue choir of angels*

I didn't want to bother learning any of the other more DIY ways to format because I had zero interest in the time suck and I feel my time could be better spent elsewhere.

Also, my Vellum books format beautifully every time.

So I vote for used Mac and Vellum- lots of authors who are Windows based and want to stay this way do this. I went for it and eventually invested in a new MacBook and switched over to Mac only (and love it!).

It is literally the phrasing used on Amazon.

If you have a KU membership, then it's free.
There are plenty of books that you still have to pay for, even if you are a KU subscriber. But there are a bunch that you don't. Those are "free with KU."
Just like 2 Day shipping is free with Prime. Other types of shipping are not. But if you are a Prime member, then 2 Day shipping is free.
Is this really an issue?
I'm pretty sure most reasonable people are not confused by this.

Are there more technically correct ways to phrase it? Sure.
No one really want to bother with:
As long as you meet the aforementioned conditions, you do not have to pay for the item in question at this time.

Bought one? Then you get one FREE.
Got your card punched 8 times? Your next sandwich is FREE.
Prime subscriber? Then your shipping is FREE.
A member of KU? Then this book is FREE.
It's simple. Everyone gets it.

I'd wouldn't go around saying your book is free when it's in KU. But "free with KU" is just fine.
This. I think my teasers say Available on Kindle Unlimited just because it looks more polished. I'm pretty sure I've written in ad copy Free on Kindle Unlimited not thinking about it, maybe I've done Free with Kindle Unlimited. Usually just #KindleUnlimited It's never been any kind of issue, ever. You get free shipping with Prime. The button readers one click on for the KU purchase literally says Read For Free. Amazon uses the FREE terminology everywhere, so authors do too to make things clear and in alignment for readers. Not because anyone is trying to pull one over on readers- just simply trying to help readers.

It did used to bug me back when KU first started that authors would simply say on teasers that their book was free. I think they got blow back from simply stating it was free and not clarifying it was free through being on KU. So authors quickly started adding the Free with Kindle Unlimited and that cleared everything up, plus being the same type of language that Amazon uses.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you find your audience?
« on: October 19, 2017, 12:40:24 PM »
I think you get better at this as time goes on.
I originally wrote the book of my heart -debut not having a single damn clue as to what cat it would go in. I was like, categories,what are categories?

Nowadays I spend ridiculous amounts of time drilling down into what categories to place my books into, what will my readers like, what can I write that's similar to what they're used to in this niche but still fresh? And I use AMS, also boughts and like crazy.

Also, I found my readers on FB groups and on Twitter. I really like hanging with the readers who aren't my specific fans but readers in general of what I like. So many good recs! Plus, I learn what they like, what they're looking for.

First, you have to learn exactly what you're writing. Then start trying to hang out in the places where those readers hang out. Hang out purely as a fan, not to sell anything. Chat. Read, read, read. This will teach you a lot about how your future readers get their books. This is how, for instance, I learned my readers like KU. So I'm all in KU... 

Writers' Cafe / Re: Prolific authors - how do you get feedback?
« on: October 19, 2017, 12:29:03 PM »
I just wrote this for another thread and cut and pasted it here because it addresses your question:
"I don't write with a crit group anymore, or even CPs. Nothing. I do it by myself now. I just need to be able to write what I want without the second guessing. I might throw out an excerpt on FB as I write, that's it.

 But, after I've got it in a reasonable place where someone could read it, although rough- I send it to a trusted beta reader or two. Not just super fans. Not someone, like my sister who doesn't read this niche- I send it to a friend who reviews and adores exactly what I'm writing so knows all genre expectations, and she betas for other authors.

For my last release she said a plot devise at the beginning wasn't working for her and she said why. I thought, yep, she's right. So, I changed it, downgraded it from what it was. Thank god I did that because even downgraded, I got some bad reviews about it- my true fans love it the way it is. But, I wonder if she hadn't told me to change it if even my fans would've been all- um, that's a bit much. No way. So yeah, my beta is a life saver. I'm about to send her a signed copy of the book and a gift card.:))"

In addition- it was hard for me to pull out of my cozy crit group I'd been with weekly for like, three or four years. But, to be truthful they were at the putting out one book per ten years and I was upgrading to four books per year and they couldn't keep up with me. Plus, I didn't need to writing committee anymore. I started to realize they didn't know the niche I was writing in like I do, so might actually give me crit that would be damaging.

I've been writing on my own for a year now and totally used to it now. I write the whole thing- rough draft but the whole thing. Then get a beta and then my editor edits it for me.

I did what you're doing- I read a lot of what other authors do, got ideas and then finally ended up with my own plan that works for me.

Writers' Cafe / Re: So I got a terrible review today...
« on: October 19, 2017, 12:07:27 PM »
I completely feel your pain!!!!
I don't write with a crit group anymore, or even CPs. Nothing. I do it by myself now. I just need to be able to write what I want without the second guessing. I might throw out an excerpt on FB as I write, that's it.

 But, after I've got it in a reasonable place where someone could read it, although rough- I send it to a trusted beta reader or two. Not just super fans. Not someone, like my sister who doesn't read this niche- I send it to a friend who reviews and adores exactly what I'm writing so knows all genre expectations, and she betas for other authors.

For my last release she said a plot devise at the beginning wasn't working for her and she said why. I thought, yep, she's right. So, I changed it, downgraded it from what it was. Thank god I did that because even downgraded, I got some bad reviews about it- my true fans love it the way it is. But, I wonder if she hadn't told me to change it if even my fans would've been all- um, that's a bit much. No way. So yeah, my beta is a life saver. I'm about to send her a signed copy of the book and a gift card.:))

Sorry if I'm rambling here. I have these same worries and angst that you do, it's on my mind a lot lately. I want to write what I want but still want to please fans. I'm still a new writer and growing my readership so I keep getting reviews by readers who try me out and go ALL THE NOPES because it's not their cuppa. Those are the hardest reviews because you second guess yourself, but then I try to remember that I'm gaining FB followers, newsletter subscribers, one clicks- daily. There are people who like my weird stuff exactly as is and want more of it and don't want me to change. Lol

I have an experienced author friend who was trying to guide me through my newbie author reading reviews angst- she said don't read the bad reviews in order to use them as crit. Therein lies madness. She's so right.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thoughts On Small Time Publishers?
« on: October 19, 2017, 11:43:26 AM »
I debuted with a publisher, which ended up being a good thing. I got top notch editing (developmental, line and proofreading) amazing cover art and they put my book on NetGalley. People bought my book off of the publisher's website just because they loved the publisher.

Um, the publisher ended up announcing closure. So there's that scary reality with small pub. But, I look back and think hey, I got all that cool stuff for my debut for FREE. Then the money I got from the sales of that book I poured into my first self pub release- it gave me a bit of start up money to go it on my own. So this turned out a win-win.

But yeah, be wary about small pub. I think about trying to sub again to a "small pub" that's actually a line from a NY pub because I want to go wide but I'm timid to go wide alone so maybe wide with this certain pub that sells books to my same readers would be a good idea. Also, I'd love one day to get the holy grail of print deal with trad because PRINT DISTRIBUTION. But right now I'm happy self pub all in KU because I think I actually sell better than majority of romance writers with ebook deals with trad or small pub.

But, a good reason to go small pub- maybe marketing is scary to you. Or, some genres/sub genre have a lot of followers through publishers and the readers like print. Or, like me, you think you don't have the start up money so a publisher can get your book out there into the wild for you without you having to put up money up front. Again, be careful though, not all small pub is equal in this. Some small pubs are so small you might as well have given your book to Aunt Edna and your five year old cousin to edit and make cover, format and upload- they would do a better job. So, beware!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Non-humanXhuman couples in sci-fi
« on: October 19, 2017, 11:24:11 AM »
First, there are rules for Romance that don't really apply to other genres. One of which is human to human sex. Even Shifters have to be in human form otherwise it's bestiality and that's a no-no.

So that's why you see so many humanoid aliens (SFR) and humans on shifter books.

IF you're going to have more of a romantic subplot, then don't include sex (for your audience) and focus on giving your alien qualities humans find attractive. Don't focus so much on how they are different (like furry). And if you're beta testing with your fans, don't include a picture!
This. Plus, without even looking at a link, just reading your description I winced and thought "furry porn". I write SFR, my friends write SFR and believe me the whole alien/human romance thing is huge. We love it!!! It's just how you play it. If you go and check out the top 100 in SFR you'll see the type of alien/human romance that readers love and you'll quickly see the "rules" literally by reading blurbs and checking out covers.

I think others on this thread are right- if you don't normally write romance and your readers don't like romance, they won't like an all-in foray into romance, especially since it doesn't follow expected romance tropes. A romance subplot and low heat level- that sounds like a good plan, unless you want to create a new SFR pen name...

Writers' Cafe / Re: Intimacy too soon...
« on: October 17, 2017, 06:32:36 PM »
I just wanted to give a shout out for Instalove. Or even instalust. I love it so much in books. I've written my last four books where they have sex pretty much right away. In my last release H/h were all over each other by like, pg 10 and they'd just met. :))) I'm writing one right now where I realize they can't have sex right away because of the setting/situation, darn it. I'm laughing at myself because I haven't had to write a slower build up since, like, four books ago and I'm kinda rusty at this.

I just like throwing the normal slower build up sexual tension, all the emotional feels and bonding, which leads to physical intimacy- on it's head- and instead show physical intimacy first and then having couple back track to emotional feels, continued sexual tension and bonding- Love. Readers love both- Instalove and slow burn, or anything in-between. Just write what you want, romance readers will follow.

Everyone builds their catalogue one book at a time. At some point, even Amanda Lee had just one book published. ;D

Kay7979- Good Luck!!!!!!!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Blurb opinion please (romance) - updated
« on: October 14, 2017, 05:58:07 AM »
"Sparing his life and offering him a deal was a mistake. Marrying him to get back at his father was an even bigger one.
Now he's getting under my skin and making me feel things I never thought I'd be able to feel.
But falling for the son of the man who brutally murdered my whole family right in front of my eyes isn't my only problem. My enemies are coming for me, and the only one who might know how to defeat them once and for all is my husband.
I just don't know if I can trust him with my life... or my heart."

Just got on here and read this version. I like. Use this. Upload and hit submit, ready to go!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Back Matters Revisited
« on: October 12, 2017, 02:53:34 PM »
I like to keep my front/back matter clean and not too much:

1. I start the book with the blurb which I title Summary
2. copyright
3. table of contents
4. Book
5. Did you like this story? I hope so! Please sign up for my newsletter...(I don't have a reader magnet yet or automated anything)
6. At this point I always include a blurb of the next book in series or if at the end of the series,the first book in series. At the bottom it says- continue reading for an excerpt
7. Excerpt of first scene of next book. Available now! link. (I'm a big believer in helping readers to buy your next book- make it easy for them!)
8. Short author bio along with links to social media, email, website
9. Also by Michele Mills: A list of my books that readers can click.
10. Sometimes I throw in a gushy acknowledgments page. :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Any Ideas Why My Promo Crashed and Burned?
« on: October 05, 2017, 10:48:58 PM »
My suggestion - write the next book with the reviews in mind to avoid the pitfalls of this book. Or redo this book to clear up some of the issues related to what I listed and the possible pacing issues which could have led to people calling it slow.

Also, yes, fix the part in the bio where you refer to yourself as a non writer. This book is a year old with a bad review rating. Trying to keep selling it is beating a dead horse and a waste of your time (although tightening the blurb as suggested up thread is an easy fix). Concentrate on writing the next book and making that the best it can be. Invest in a developmental edit of the next book, I think that would be really helpful for your career.
Good luck!

I'm so happy for you, Lee!!!! Yeah, you haven't been around in awhile- looks like you were hard at work. You SO deserve this. I'm embarrassed to admit I don't even know what litRPG is, I've seen it mentioned before and I'm always like, what's that? Lol

Anyway, sounds like you've completely found your niche and now you've gotta stay on the bus and make hay while the sun shines. Hurray!

PS- I start writing my blurbs a month or two out- it's that hard for me too! Also, I released a few weeks ago at full price too so no promo sites so I'm also hitting hard with the AMS ads (and for me, FB ads)- I feel your pain.

Am I the only one that's bothered by race and ethnicity being commodified like this? I'm not singling you out...I see this a lot since I first started on the self-publishing journey. I mean, if it's a good story...who cares? I know it's the market, but I can't say I get it.
Having a WWBM (although he's actually an alien, but hey, SF needs another caucasian-based alien like it needs a hole in the head) pairing in my SFR series doesn't hurt my sales in the least. I think it actually helps. I also have BWWM pairing in the series. Just alot of diversity in both of my series. I market to interracial and multicultural romance as well as SFR- both cats. And I send AMS ads for my books to not just SFR authors but interracial romance authors too. This works well, I get a lot of new readers trying it out that way who end up enjoying my SFR. :) I think personally readers are hungry for diversity.

Sounds like you're doing all the things.:)

You need to be about #5k to make it into the top 100 SFR. I have two that are three weeks out from release and are hovering in and out of the top 100, tonight they're both in the 70's-80's but later this week could be out again.:( and if I'm lucky next weekend back in. Lol

The 99 cents to start is a good idea because you're new in the cat. I did that too.

One thing I'm also doing- I write hot SFR that I'm also trying to sell to readers who are non SFR, so I have salacious teasers and FB ads made and I'm running alot of FB and AMS right now. Those are doing well. But, I don't know if all SFR authors are running FB, might just be me. They like newsletter swaps.

Good luck! Please keep updating, I'm curious to see how it goes! *hugs*

Writers' Cafe / Re: Launching into the top thousand with $250 ad spend
« on: September 26, 2017, 11:42:12 AM »
Congrats again Aimee! I love your pics- the graphs and the FB ads. I love, love it when authors share their data. Thank you so much!!!!!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Launching into the top thousand with $250 ad spend
« on: September 26, 2017, 11:39:10 AM »
What kind of experience have you had with FB in terms of ad approval/denial based on book cover (or ad) sexiness?

I have to make some decisions about my own covers soon, and one of the concerns I have is being sure that the covers will be acceptable for Amazon and FB ads.

I know that the shirtless ab-man is very popular for Romance covers, and I would just go with that - except I've heard mixed things about that being a problem for ads. Which has made me think maybe I'd better put clothes on them.. or some clothing. Enough to hide the man-nips at least? Lol, I wish FB showed some better examples of what is permissible.
It's so hard for me to know too! I was teary-eyed last winter when FB said no to my ad for Joyzal's Prize release that had the cover in a kindle. My awesome cover artist came up with something else (lacking sexiness) on the fly for me to use instead. Whew. But, it didn't work as terrific, if I remember like 0.40-.50 Conversely, they let my present traffic ad go through and I think it's sexier! I love that they let me do a cover reveal boosted post that I sent out to not just my readers but to new readers who I thought would like me only through similar authors. That one is doing surprisingly well considering it's not a custom audience/lookalike just me purely guessing they might like.  Basically my cover artist does her magic, making me teasers and FB ads (I trust her implicitly to make b*tchin' content my readers will like and she's spot on with what's happening in my sub genre) and I put it out there with ad copy I sweat over and I hope it works and if it doesn't I course correct. You've gotta try! Also, I look a lot at what my peers are putting out there to know what trends are, what readers are seeing and expect. Which I like. Ideas, ideas, ideas.:) So basically, trial and error for me too. No easy answers on what edgy images FB will take or not. Or Amz AMS ads for that matter too. My last two man chest covers had the heroes wearing shirts, so...I think that's why they easily went through...?

I have teasers with um, explicit language. I don't boost those or even try to make those as any kind of ad on FB. Just hype my book with them on my fan page and encourage shares.:)) On my profile page I put my most romantic, least sexy stuff. On the fan page I go wild. I go wild on Twitter too with salacious teasers, ad copy with links. FB ads I keep less sexy like on my profile page.   

Writers' Cafe / Re: Launching into the top thousand with $250 ad spend
« on: September 23, 2017, 08:50:49 PM »
Thanks for that break down, super interesting! I also had a release on the 12th, so I enjoyed reading how yours went! My new release is 4.99/KU, it peaked at #1440 on day three and maintaining around #3500-#4500 right now, close to two weeks out and terrific read through so I'm happy with that.

I've got a wimpy mailing list- a little less than 200 organic subs right now because I haven't done a single thing to grow it (*blushing*).

I'm running an AMS ad that's doing well. I put $20 a day on it as a new release. I haven't done any newsletter swaps.

I'm also throwing more money than you are on FB ads. I'm averaging cost per click at .09-.12 cents on $25 per day and running one traffic and one boosted post. The boosted post I like because I've got like 75 shares? Hurray- get the word out!:) Throwing more money at the AMS and FB than I've ever done before ($700 combined) is calculated- I ran a $30 in total"tester" cover reveal boosted post that surprised me by how well it did- .06 per click and over 300 likes and a ton of shares and comments. I was like, well, I need to make sure I do that exact same ad when the book releases (cover & blurb) with a buy link this time! So I did and I'm throwing $200 at it and it's doing great.

I've been running AMS ads since January successfully so I felt confident there, and this was the first time I was able to test out putting more money at a new release. Prior to this Amz kept rejecting ads for my last two releases because covers too sexy. Lol

I'm not sure how sticky the book will remain though once I scale down the FB/AMS. Amz doesn't have this book pointed at any other books than my own backlist. I'm sad. :(( I think since it's hot post apocalyptic rom that I have in the SFR cat maybe Amz is confused at how to sell it? I remember my last series I didn't get Amz really trying to sell my book for me widely with lots of other books pointed at me until third book in series, so maybe the same thing is happening (this new release is only book two in this series)? Not sure. Just sad because once you have the Amz algos shining down on you, being placed back in the shade is disheartening, ya know?


Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Select part of KU?
« on: September 15, 2017, 02:20:57 PM »
You know, this whole KDP/KU thing confuses me. I thought I had a friend tell me that she was in KDP Select, but her books weren't in KU. That she chose select for the free and countdown days and the hopefully uptick in Amz sales, but she was not in KU because didn't want that. So, this whole time I thought an author could choose select and not be in KU. But was I wrong? Was she wrong or I heard her incorrectly? There's no way an author can be select without being in KU- this option doesn't exist?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Buy Scrivener now or wait for 3.0?
« on: August 22, 2017, 05:35:42 AM »
Ooh, didn't realize there was a 30 day free trial. You guys are awesome!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Buy Scrivener now or wait for 3.0?
« on: August 21, 2017, 09:02:15 PM »
Thanks so much! I have a Mac and it sounds like they've got the Mac version ready. Most likely I'll end up getting it soon and just upgrading. Thanks again!

Writers' Cafe / Buy Scrivener now or wait for 3.0?
« on: August 21, 2017, 06:07:44 PM »
I've written five? books on Word only and was perfectly happy (and had zero patience for the idea of Scrivener learning curve), but recently I watched an Alessandra Torre youtube tutorial on using Scrivener and I'm like, SOLD! So I want one, and because I'm releasing a book in a few weeks and about to start a new one now is the perfect time to switch over. But I keep hearing that there's this mythical 3.0 coming out. When? Does anyone know? Should I buy Scrivener now (I literally feel antsy and want to buy, download and play with it NOW :)) Or is that a bad idea because of this new version coming out, and the more expensive way to do it? Maybe I should just wait and start fresh with 3.0. But if 3.0 is going to take months to release...

Writers' Cafe / Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« on: August 08, 2017, 02:58:52 PM »
Am I allowed to be offended that the Hero is represented by a great big capital H, while the heroine has only a teeny weeny little h?
I think most of my romance reading/writing peers are kinda horrified that I persist in my "old fashioned" use of H/h. Most people nowadays tend to use h/h to make sure it represents an equal power dynamic. I still use H/h though as purely an organizational tool to keep Hero and heroine apart. I talk alot on Twitter and if you use h/h in tweets its easy to start getting all mixed up on whether you're talking about Hero or heroine. So finally I said, oh, forget it, I'm using H/h and that's it! I feel comfortable doing this because I know that it's not because I place more value upon the Hero, it's just a visual for me, a way to differentiate between the two. And since on average, men are taller than women, in my head it makes sense they'd have the taller H. Although maybe I should start using h/H if I put the two together, to signify equality? Hmm...:)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Using Vellum for Book Formatting
« on: August 07, 2017, 03:48:31 PM »
Vellum, quite simply put, is the single best investment I've made since I started indie publishing. I can lay out a print and ebook in under ten minutes and they're beautiful. My time is literally money at this point. I wouldn't trade Vellum for anything.
This. I adore Vellum ebook and print. Worth every penny. When someone says they don't use it, don't like it, I'm always like - whut? Lol

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