The writing desk blog

The Power of Certainty and a warning to new writers

In 2012, I published a little book called ‘The Power Of Certainty’with the subtitle; ‘Live your life by choice.’  It was published as Paperback on Amazon’s Create Space and the E book subsequently published on Amazon Kindle. That was the primary reason for the creation of my Facebook Page with the same name. Since May 2016 the book was the audio version was done on audible.com.

I was new to self-publishing and did not do much in terms of marketing, thinking that Amazon’s promise to market the book on various book platforms would suffice. I was completely taken aback. Sales were extremely limited with one or two, some months maybe, followed by long periods of drought with no sales. I had also published a Poetry Anthology; ‘Toast To a Lover’ on the Kindle platform and it also suffered the same fate. So, what am I getting at? Please, just bear with me. Some time in 2017, I received a very strange email from Amazon regarding The Power of Certainty on its Kindle platform. The long and short of the email was that I was tying to manipulate Kindle and my book would be removed from all its platforms. The Kindle platform also provided for an Author Page showing all my Kindle books and my own summary of them. I responded to the email saying that I had no knowledge of this manipulation I was being accused of, and , that I had recommended many new writers to self-publish on Amazon Kindle. The response was that they would look into the matter and get back to me. All my subsequent attempts to log into my Author Page and my Kindle Page were futile. They had removed me completely from Kindle but my book was still showing up on Create Space and Audible.com, which is also an Amazon subsidiary.

In my frustration, I closed my Create Space account and therefore, The Power of Certainty only remained on the audio book platform. I have absolutely no idea why Amazon’s accusation was done and why they did not respond to query. Based on my experience on the Amazon Platforms, I can say with assurance that the quality of your work is not the determining factor for Amazon’s ratings, which they use to push your book to the top, or bottom, for that matter. I recently found out that the careful selection of your genre and the number of downloaded copies, even if they are free, (They do have a promotion where you can offer your book for free and at a discount for a period of time) help to determine the ratings. Some authors are therefore very clever in getting second-rate material to the top of Amazon’s search. I read an article from an author who published on their platform, stating that they some times under-represent your sales. However, I cannot prove this.

My advice to upcoming writers is that, before you self-publish on the Amazon platforms, do some serious homework and communicate as much as you can with other writers who have published on these platforms. The best is to get a traditional publishing contract, if you can, but nowadays, unless you have a very distinguished agent, this is almost impossible. You should also try to get a review of your work done before attempting to publish. Their are many good review platforms, just Google them.

I recent submitted Power of Certainty to Reader’s Favorite for review, just out of curiosity. They offer free, as well as,paid reviews. Free reviews take a much longer time. Below is my review summary for The Power of Certainty, for which I got a five star rating.

Review: Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite Are you looking for change? Are you trapped in a rut from which you want to escape? Are you unhappy with the current situations in your life right now? The Power of Certainty: A simple guide to living the life of your dreams by Leonard Sappleton is a motivational book for all readers who long for a life filled with prosperity and abundance, and to be living the life of their dreams. For all those readers who are stuck in their current financial, emotional, and social situations, this book is ideal when it comes to getting past it. Reading this book will make them understand who they truly are and their purpose in being on this planet. The book has two sections. The first part is about how to live life by choice and not chance. The second part deals with strategies which have been developed from the author’s own personal experiences. I like the author’s approach to the topic and many of the concepts and ideas shared by the author are not conventional. The techniques are simple, easy to comprehend, and can be practiced without much difficulty. The book is good to help readers ponder and reflect, and understand the power of their thoughts. The Power of Certainty will make them realize the magnitude of the power they possess when it comes to making changes in their lives. ‘Everything is possible’ and this book is a good tool to make readers confident about that statement and remove all their fear, remorse, anxiety, worry, or doubt.

My apologies, but for now, if you are interested in The Power of Certainty, only the audio version  of this book remains online; thanks to Amazon. If you so desire, you may purchase your audio download, by simply by visiting audible.com and creating an account.

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How to Generate FREE traffic to your Blog

Traffic! traffic! traffic! This is the proverbial problem with marketing online. As I stated before,on a previous page, it is all good and well to have a website. It is even better, for that website to have visibility; that is, hosted on the web. It is equally important to have a product to market, but if no one sees your website or your products, no one will buy.

Traffic to a website is like customers to a store. Unless customers walk into a store, the possibility of them buying a product is zero. Unless there is traffic to your website, the chances of you making a sale online is zero.

However, there is a vast difference between traffic and targeted traffic. A million persons could visit your website but if no one buys your product, your business would flop. You don’t just want traffic, you want targeted traffic; that is website visitors who are seeking what you have to offer. In this case, your chances of making a sale would be greatly enhanced.

As a beginner, especially if you are starting out like I did, you would like to keep down your expense on buying traffic. The advent of Social media, like Facebook, You tube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social sites make it possible, if properly utilized, to generate a considerable amount of targeted traffic, because a cross section of people with different interests visit these sites.

In this article I will give you a synopsis of generating traffic through: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube. There are many other social sites that you can join, and,go ahead and do so, but these five should form the fulcrum for your traffic drive. 

Facebook

Despite claims to the contrary, Facebook remains one of the Social Media Sites that have been most accessed on a daily basis by a variety of interests and which makes for one of biggest impact on individuals, businesses and communities.

If you do not have a Facebook account, log in to Facebook and sign up for one now. The process is pretty simple. Create a profile and make sure that you upload a suitable portrait of yourself; no cartoon images and no avatars; these are not for the professional writer that you are aspiring to become! Ensure that your product offer and any other relevant information; websites, blog etc. form a part of your profile information. Make sure that you know and save your Facebook URL as you will be using this to promote your Facebook page. In order to gain access to your Facebook URL click on edit profile from your home page. This will take you to your profile page. Click on your name. What comes up in the browser is your Facebook URL. Copy and save this URL

Start sending friend requests to those you know closely at first. You can find people from your school, hometown, college etc. by doing a search. You will see the search box on your page. You can just type in the relevant information. Develop friendly exchanges at first and post interesting and clean information in the form of quotes, images, videos, and links. When you have developed fifty friends or more create a Facebook Fan Page using the name of your product. This is easy, you will see the create page button on your current page. Click on it and it will take you through the steps.

Place your product or landing page link on this page. Invite your friends to ‘like your page’ This option to invite will be right there on the fan page.

When you have made sufficient income from your offer you should consider Facebook Advertisements. These Ads can be very effective. Just click on the ‘create Ad’ sign and walk yourself through.

    Twitter

Twitter is a very effective medium to promote your work but you must be careful how you operate there. It probably outscores face book with numbers of individual tweets on a daily basis because a tweet is so easy to do and there is a limited number of words you can usein any one tweet. The feature of its direct messages also provides a similar kind of privacy to Facebook’s inbox feature. The uses of # hashtags and @ tweets have become popular and have enhanced the ease with which Twitter is used.

If you do not have a Twitter account go to Twitter and sign up for one now. Create your profile page and follow much the same tips as were given for Facebook as far as profile information and profile images are concerned. Remember to save your twitter URL as you will use it elsewhere on the web to promote yourself and your product or landing page. To access your twitter URL click on view my profile page on your home page. Your twitter URL will show in the browser. Copy and save this.

Use the search box feature to find people you may know, following similar lines to Facebook. Follow them. Many will follow you back. Make interesting, clean and informative tweets. Do not jump on the site and start tweeting your product links immediately. When you have developed a decent number of followers within your niche, you can start sending tweets of your offer. The search feature also allows you to search for others with similar interests as yours, so you should be able to find people who are interested in buying your product. Link your Facebook and Twitter accounts, so that your tweets can be shown on your Facebook page.

   LinkedIn

This site is fast becoming an extremely popular one though not yet as popular as Facebook and Twitter.  Nevertheless, it is a very good site for promoting your qualifications, your work experiences and your talents, products and projects while socially connecting with others through information sharing.

If you do not have a LinkedIn account go to LinkedIn and sign up now. Create your profile along the same lines recommended for the other two sites. LinkedIn shows you how to put in a lot of information about yourself. Take advantage of this. You can add Education, Work experience, projects, publications, websites,blogs courses, skills, expertise, organizations and additional information.

Please remember to save your LinkedIn URL so that you can promote yourself and your offer on other sites. To access your LinkedIn URL go to your profile page by clicking on profile on your home page. Right below your photograph should be a link in grey. This is your LinkedIn URL. Save this link.

This site also offers advertisement options, but you must upgrade before you can take advantage of this. You may want to consider these options after you have earned some funds from your offer. You can add your Facebook and Twitter links to the contact section of your LinkedIn page.    

Google Plus

Google+ is becoming a very popular and competitive site. By competitive I mean in relation to Facebook and twitter. Google has acquired You Tube and now Google has a single individual Google account that can host all of your personal Google sites: Google driveGoogle DocsGoogle plusGmail and You tube.

If you do not have a Google account go to Google  Accounts  and sign up for one. You will use the one Gmail and password access for all the above listed Google accounts.

Create your Google profile following the recommendations for the other sites. Once you have created your profile you can access all the other sites such as Gmail  Google drive, Google docs,  Google plus; and You Tube. You will find Google docs a very useful place to store your documents. Google drive provides a very good presentation platform similar to power point. Gmail offers you the option of having several Gmail accounts. You tube offers you the best video platform. Google plus offers you the opportunity to join numerous groups that can help to publicize your work.

Remember to save your Google plus URL so that you can use it to promote yourself and your offer on other places on the web. To access your Google plus URL login to your Google plus account. Bring your cursor toHome on the left towards the top beside the picture of the little house. From the drop down menu click onprofile. Copy and save the information that comes up in the browser. There is a lot you can do on Google plus. You can set up a special page, you can subscribe to circles, following, friends, acquaintances andpublic. You can join hangouts and you can set up video parties. On your special page, you can put a link to your blogger blog. You can upload videos, such as the one you would have made about your offer. You can also upload photos. Google plus gives you a variety of options to promote yourself. Play around with it.

    You Tube

No Facebook or twitter can rival this site for traffic generation. It is unique in the sense that any video placed there not only attracts viewership but has the capacity to show links that can take the viewer back to specific websites and products. Video marketing is becoming one of the most efficient traffic generation phenomena and this applies to any product, any service, any skill, any technique, any social group, individual, community, and organization.

You would have already gained access to your You Tube through your Google account. What do you need to do next?

Sign in to your You tube account and do the following: create a channel, create a playlist, subscribe to other people’s videos and start creating a You tube presence. Save your You Tube channel URL for sending people to your videos and promoting your book form other sites on the web. To save your You Tube channel URL, log into your account. Click on your name, to the left, just below the You Tube sign. Copy and save what comes up in the browser. This is your YouTube channel URL.

It is very important that you upload a video relating to your offer in which you outline advantage points from your offer or give a review of your product. Then use You Tube’s tools to provide a link on the video back to your offer.

You can make a simple video about your offer using your smart phone, android or iphone, and you can get inexpensive tripod, camera and microphone attachments to buy on Amazon. Make sure you have on professional looking clothing and you have reviewed your script, since looking sideways, down or up will appear awkward to your viewer. Make sure your simple video is no longer than 3-5 minutes.  After creating your videos with your smart phone you can upload them to your YouTube  account.

Press the record button and begin your presentation. You can press the stop button at any time if you have forgotten your line. Just press the record button to re-start or the cancel button if you want to start all over. When you are finished give your video a name and save it on your phone.  There are several video  editing apps you for editing on your smart phone. You can then upload your video to your You tube account

You tube has a feature to add annotations which can accommodate a clickable link in your video but this requires that you have a personal website so I am going to suggest another method to put your book link to your video.

First, you need to have somewhere to promote your video before carrying out this exercise. You can do this on either your WordPress or Blogger blog.

I take it also that you have created your blog and placed this video on it. If you use these Social media sites properly you should be able to generate some free traffic and some free online income!  You should then aim to build a mailing list by using an auto-responder site like Aweber or Mailchimp.

The Three D’s of Success

 It is our ‘now’ moment choices that dictate who we are, or put another way, who we choose to be in the ‘now’ determine how successful we are. Despite me giving a practical example in a previous article, some may have found it to be somewhat philosophical. I would therefore like to follow up by looking at three simple factors that drive success.The first factor is DREAM. All successful people dream  and I don’t mean what happens in your sleep! To dream means having personal goals about where you want to be in life, the things you want to acquire, the manner in which you want to achieve these goals and the kind of lifestyle you want to live.

All of this amounts to having goals, writing them down and making consistent use of your imagination by visualizing the end product or desired outcome. The key here is that any imaginative focus should be around your END GOALS and not the intermediary steps. Always visualize the BIG PICTURE! Yes, you can plan the intermediary steps to get to the big picture or end goal, but very often, positive dreaming and purposeful action forces the universal energy to support you and some of these steps may come about by seeming coincidences and synchronicity. You may very well create miraculous results in a seemingly impossible time frame! So, for example, your goal is to live in a multi million dollar house, drive an expensive car and do all of this by pursuing what you are passionate about, say coaching other people to be successful, you must make it a habit of visualizing these larger end goals. Some people get pictures and paste them on a wall or in a folder.

The thing about visualization though is that it must be done in a manner to influence the subconscious mind. This means practicing it in deep meditative moments when the mind is quiet. This can be just before falling off to sleep or when just waking up. It is alright to keeping your goals in the imagination during waking hours and using affirmations as well, but in a meditative state is when visualization is most effective, because it forces the subconscious to cooperate with you. That is when positive changes in your personal outlook occur and success is magnetized. You suddenly begin to believe fully in your dream! The second factor is DESIRE. Desire here refers to feelings and emotions. Most people fail in their bid to succeed because even though they visualize, they do not do so with the positive feelings and emotions that an achievement of these goals would generate. For visualization to be effective it must have alongside it the desirable feelings. The mind must not only see the end goal, it must taste, touch, smell and hear the accompanying sensations. This is what we call burning desire! Walking around with positive pictures of what you want in your head, will not make you succeed. YOU MUST FEEL THEM AND BELIEVE THEM to be true!

The third factor is DIS-SATISFACTION. This may sound simple but it is not, because it is one of the factors that keeps most people from succeeding. They have a discontent about where in life they are and what they have achieved but they are not Dissatisfied. They are angry, they are frustrated with themselves and their condition, but they remain in their comfort zone. It is not anger and frustration that is needed, these are lower level emotions and will only give you more of what you do not want. You should maintain a stance of gratitude for whatever little you now have but you must have a desire to move to the next level. True dissatisfaction creates the engine that drives the DREAM and the DESIRE!

So, you ask, why has he not said much about ACTION? Good question, I will retort. This was deliberate. The myth that slaving yourself to death, at the expense of your health, your children and your spouse, is just that; A MYTH. It is not a formula for success.You are trying to create in reverse, through acting without the proper mindset as discussed above. Here is how the universal energy plays it out in it’s design that allows anyone to tap into it’s POWER. First there is mind, then there is thought, then there are words and emotions to go with the thought; and when these align there is action which produces results because it is PURPOSEFUL ACTION.  Very often, we fail to succeed because we try to circumvent the mind planning stage and run blindly into erratic, unplanned action.

So, you want to be successful. Please go implement these factors.

Here’ to your personal growth and success! 

Say it ‘Write’

Effective writing and effective speaking are perhaps, the two most difficult communication skills to master. Many persons are either, strong in one area and weak in the other, or at best, mediocre in both areas. Effective communication demands that the individual, should, at least be somewhat above average in both areas.

In today’s rapidly expanding technological world, where the internet, through Social Media and other information websites, dominate the channels of communication, it is of utmost importance that the individual be completely familiarized with all its modern forms. However, there is a growing trend in Social media to invent new and varied shortened forms of language, (expressions) many of which have become standardized, such as hashtags and many of the Facebook and Twitter icons.

Despite this ever-growing trend, the need for conventional writing and speaking modalities is very apparent. The advent of distant instruction and other forms of conversation, such as formal speeches, presentations and online seminars, have heightened the demand for effective speaking and writing. The current availability to self-publish books have also created a great demand for writing and editing skills. Many individuals have important and ideas and messages but lack the technical writing skills to take their work to completion.

The demand for oral presentations in the form of motivational speaking, special events emcees and seminar presenters, has created a need for individuals gifted in these areas.

It is with these in mind, that Saywrite Services has come to the fore. Our team has a number of individuals with varying talents, ready to serve you. There are times when you need to say it right and write it well. The time is now.

So, you have ideas for that book but you lack the necessary writing skills. You have written that research paper, report or speech but it is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. You are asked to toast someone at an up-coming wedding reception but you feel incompetent. You would like to move that vote-of-thanks to the speaker you have invited in but you are fearful. You have spent long nights on that report for your boss but it is riddled with bad sentence structures and lack organization. I could go on and on. There is no need to panic. You can be helped by those who possess the skills. Have no fear, say it right, the first time!

Celebrate your magnificience

“God made the perfect being and you should revel in your perfection.” (me, 2018)

I know, I know, it sounds a little bit far-fetched, but if you just stop and think about it for one moment, in the silence of your mind, you will instantly adhere to its truth. The term imperfection is just one silly term coined by us to justify our judgment of others, and even of ourselves. How could we be imperfect when we are all an individuation of the one source differentiating himself into the many. Our structure biologically is the same. Some may be missing a limb here and there and others might be suffering illness from the misalignment of their body cells, but we run on the same engine-Heart, lungs, brain, blood, tissue, bone, muscle and all the other body parts. We all must expel waste and ingest food. We laugh, sneeze, cry, sleep, feel sad, feel happy, feel angry, think, visualize, hope, believe, despair at one time or the other. Believe me, these are all perfections, purposely intended by the source, in order for you to attract or create your intentions on this earth plane of duality to which you chose to appear.

Our futile attempts to try to think ourselves into being separate and apart from ‘the one’ has only led us into wars, disputes, depressions, and sometimes insanity. Our arrogance in trying to separate ourselves by external trappings, such as education and material well-being has also trapped us further into the myth of the ‘born in sin and shaped in inequity’ misconception (no pun intended).

So, who are you? You are a magnificent being, created perfectly in the image of the one. You are as eternal as they come. You are here to create, to die, and to return to expand creation over and over and over!  You cannot get it wrong. Do you, for one moment, think that God doesn’t know what She is doing?