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How to Increase Your Social Media Presence If You Are an Author

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In the era when everyone’s encouraged to have a voice, being an author (one that’s looking to be relevant, at least) is extremely difficult. Although; we’ve never had so much opportunity to be heard, understood and accepted. We’ve also never before had as many people voice on anything and everything, making the concept of speaking your mind – or, in the case of an author – writing your mind – almost irrelevant.

But, How’s That Related to 21st-Century Authors? 

It can be, in many ways. While a sense of belonging to this virtual, opinion-colored village is beautiful, for an author to make a difference, they need to stand out. And, how does one stand out in the sea of (relatively) great and not-so-great content? The formula’s simple:

  • Find a clear voice and defend your attitude
  • Stick to a writing direction and thematic concept
  • Know who you are writing for, and target them

Here’s what to do to increase your social media presence:

 

Be Consistent

Yes, we keep seeing new content signed by many authors, but – what are the pieces we want to read? Those with attractive headlines (topics we find attractive,) and most importantly, authors whose opinions we relate to and trust. An author who helps us cultivate a lifetime reading habit is the author we want in our bookmarks. However, no matter how good you are, you can’t expect to get famous overnight. Instead, post consistently and methodically, and wait patiently for your audience to form. Once it does, the power of word of mouth is stronger than you think! When people start sharing your stuff across social media platforms, you’ll be solid gold.

Choose the Right Platform

Different types of content require different social platforms. Since, in the 21st century, the term author is no longer reduced to written material only, we’re now seeing a lot of visual and auditory content presented across platforms like YouTube, Instagram (Story), TED videos, etc.

Here are the best platforms to use for your genre and increase your social media presence:

Fiction

  • Facebook + Facebook Ads – Whether you are sharing your blogs written on other platforms (such as Medium, for instance) with your friends or you’ve opened a Facebook group you use to publish your work and engage fans, FB will help you form an audience
  • Instagram – When you want to merge your visual talents and written content, Instagram is great to catch your readers’ attention. Use the right hashtags to attract people that will want to read your article

Poetry

  • Instagram – Believe it or not, Instagram is great for poets who tease with their art through Instagram posts. Let’s all remember R.M.Drake and Rupi Kaur who turned their posts into not only published work, but, thanks to their Instagram presence, became an internet sensation. Make your Instagram poetry short, heartfelt and snappy. Complicated metaphors and long poetry aren’t the best forms for Instagram

Screenwriting

  • Twitter is a fantastic platform to share teasers of your work, information about your works in progress, your knowledge on a subject matter and offer commentaries on recent films and scripts. It helps to establish yourself as an authority in your arena

Non-fiction

  • Twitter – See the above
  • LinkedIn – An excellent platform for authors who are targeting the business world. For instance, write about ways reading can help your career, hacks on how to get more productive at work, etc.
  • Medium – At this point, one of the most popular and diverse non-profit platforms out there, helping authors of all genres have their voices heard. Medium is great for publishing your work and connecting with other authors in the community
  • YouTube – The best search engine (and a platform) to create tutorials that should establish you as an expert on a particular topic.

Connect with Other Authors

It’s understandable that you may feel threatened by other, more visible authors but the truth is – there’s enough space for everyone. Show support to your fellow writers by sharing their work, commenting on it, recommending it, writing “response” pieces to their posts then tagging them or merely asking them to return the favor by sharing your work. The community is usually pretty tight, and when you position yourself as a supporter rather than a competitor, everyone will recognize, appreciate and admire it –  yes, your (potential) readers, too.

In the digital era, the era of hot topics popping up on an almost daily basis, a strategy is everything to a writer (next to their talent), and you need to be smart about yours if you want to succeed.  Visit Progressive Rising Phoenix to learn great ways to achieve as an author on social media!

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10 Best Book-to-Film Adaptations of All Time

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It comes as no surprise that some of the highest-grossing movies in history are film adaptations of popular or award-winning titles. The stories are so compelling and entertaining that it makes perfect sense that they would make successful screenplays.

Here are ten of the best book-to-film adaptations of all time based on popularity, reception, cultural impact, and ticket sales:

 

  • Harry Potter series

 

It was inevitable that J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series would turn into equally successful movies. Book sales and movie sales are almost equal as the book series earned $7.7 billion while the film grossed about $8.5 billion, including the latest installment, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

 

  • Mrs. Doubtfire

 

The 1993 movie Mrs. Doubtfire starring Robin Williams grossed $441.29 million worldwide. But did you know that it was based on the book “Madame Doubtfire” by British author Anne Fine?

 

  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

 

The Lord of the Rings is an epic fantasy novel by J.R.R. Tolkien published in 1954. The story was released as three movies starting with The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001. It followed with The Two Towers and The Return of the King. The three installments would not only gain a pop culture following of epic proportions but grossing close to $1 billion each.

 

  • The Princess Bride

 

Domestically, the Princess Bride grossed $30.86 million. It surprises many to learn that the movie developed by the 1973 book of the same name written by William Goldman.

 

  • Jurassic Park

 

The Jurassic Park franchise has grossed a little under $5 billion at the worldwide box office with the first in the series earning $1 billion alone. But before Jurassic Park became the phenomena that continues to release movies 25 years after the initial installment, it was a novel written by Michael Crichton.  

 

  • Forrest Gump

 

Many don’t realize that before there was a Forrest Gump movie starring Tom Hanks, there was a Forrest Gump book written by Winston Groom. The novel released in 1986 and the movie hit theaters in 1994. While the story only sold an estimated 30,000 copies, the film grossed an incredible $677.9 million worldwide.

 

  • The Hobbit Trilogy

 

While J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit first, The Lord of the Rings was adapted into movies first. Due to their massive success and the public clamoring for more movies based on Tolkien’s epic novels, The Hobbit Trilogy released. The Hobbit films would add another $2.91 billion to the franchise.

 

  • The Hunger Games

 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a trilogy that adapted into a 4-part movies series. The Hunger Games earned its spot as one of the highest-grossing film franchises with ticket sales of over $2.9 billion worldwide.

 

  • The Twilight Saga

 

Worldwide, the Twilight Saga based on the four novels by Stephanie Meyer grossed $3.3 billion.  The vampire-themed fantasy novels were a huge success, winning multiple awards including the 2009 Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Book. By 2011, the series has sold over 120 million copies.

 

  • Shrek

 

The animated movie Shrek grossed a whopping $484.41 million worldwide. Its sequel Shrek 2 picked up more than $919 million. Shrek was based on a 1990 children’s picture book titled “Shrek!” by William Steig.

Are you an author of a YA fiction or children’s picture books? Your novel could be the next phenomenal book that gets adapted into a blockbuster hit! Check out Progressive Rising Phoenix’s new releases and read what could be the next book-to-film adaption.

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The 5 Characteristics All Great Authors Have in Common

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“To thine own self be true.” – William Shakespeare

From J.K. Rowling’s “rags to riches” journey with the Harry Potter series to George R.R. Martin‘s Game of Thrones phenomenon, it fascinates us to learn what it is about authors that help them reach their levels of success.

What makes some writers more successful than others? When it comes to becoming an award-winning novelist, is being exceptional at spinning stories and impeccable grammar enough?

Do you have what it takes to be a great writer?

While each writer’s story is different, we have discovered that there are specific characteristics that all successful authors have in common. Here are the top five qualities that make a writer great:

 

  • Self-Discipline

 

Great authors need the discipline to stick to a schedule. While it’s true that many writers need to wait to be inspired, writers typically motivate themselves, committed to writing a specified amount such as a chapter over a defined amount of time. Writers work unsupervised; therefore, they know that it’s up to them to monitor their productivity. They know to avoid procrastination. Because writer’s block is something writers dread the most, they know to not stop when they’re “on a roll.”

 

  • Good Researchers

 

While some authors write from experience or a vision in their head, many turn to proper old-fashioned research to form their ideas or make their writing more accurate; even some fiction is based on facts.

 

  • Problem Solvers

 

Successful and productive writers know they can’t let their egos get in the way. They realize they will hit roadblocks and may require help at some point. They recognize that the best way to stay productive is to seek help when needed. It could be in the form of a mentor, a second pair of eyes, someone to listen, or even tools that check spelling and grammar. While writers are expected to be great at spelling and grammar, you’d be surprised by how many aren’t. Many often have to go back and correct their writing or have an editor look over their work.

 

  • Vision

 

Some authors say their stories write themselves. But for most writers, their process starts with a view. Without writing a single word, they know who the key players are in their story. They see the theme and the setting. They know what the central conflict is and the resolution.

 

  • Passion for Reading

 

There’s nothing wrong with being moved by someone else’s words. Most authors are inspired to become writers because of a love for reading. Reading and writing complement each other. Like artists and other creatives, the work of favorite writers often inspires their writing. By reading others work, they can recognize lousy writing and identify different styles of writing. The more you read to learn, the more you develop self-awareness of the kind of writer you are and ultimately, want to become.

If you’re an aspiring writer and need inspiration, Progressive Rising Phoenix has a vast variety of award-winning titles in mystery, suspense, action, adventure, fantasy, romance, historical fiction, and sci-fi. Contact us today, and we’ll help get you started.

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The Most Successful Young Adult Books of All Time

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While Young Adult Fiction often is labeled as books for teens or the age group covering 12 – 14 years old, YA books appeal to all ages. Many YA novels have gained so much popularity that people continue to read many titles that are from decades ago. Many YA titles have gone on to enjoy the tremendous success that they get adapted into movies and become blockbuster hits.

The following are some of the most successful YA books of all time. Some of these YA titles enjoy success regarding book sales while others have left a lasting cultural and societal impact:

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

The first novel from the Harry Potter series, The Sorcerer’s Stone, was first released in 1997. To date, it’s sold over 450 million copies. Six more books followed the Sorcerer’s Stone. In total, the entire book series has totaled $7.7 billion in sales.

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye sold more than 65 million copies when it published in 1951. Each year, there are sales of about 250,000 copies of the book.  At one point, it was both the most censored book and the second most taught book.

 

Anne of the Green Gables by LM Montgomery

Anne of the Green Gables published in 1908. Since its publication, the book has sold more than 50 million copies. It’s adapted into films, animated series, and made-for-television movies.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games published in 2008. When the first book was first released, it sold 200,000 copies. By the time the film adaptation was released n 2012, the book had been on USA Today’s bestsellers list for 135 consecutive weeks.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time released in 1962. The book was so successful that it inspired two film adaptations. In a National Education Association online poll in 2007, it was named one of the “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.”

The Outsiders by SE Hinton

The Outsiders by SE Hinton is arguably one of the most influential and controversial YA books of its time. It was first released in 1967 and has sold approximately 15 million copies.

The Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal

There are 181 books n total in the Sweet Valley High series. The series chronicling the lives of identical twins living in Sweet Valley, California began in 1983. The series inspired spin-offs and made into a TV series which ran for four seasons.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver released in 1993. In 1994, it won the Newberry Medal and had sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Two decades after its release, the book adapted into a movie.

The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer

The Twilight series has sold over 120 million copies since they were first released in 2005 and translated into 37 different languages. The series spent over 235 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list for Children’s Series Books of 2008. The books adapted into the movie series, The Twilight Saga, which grossed over $3.3 billion worldwide.

Progressive Rising Phoenix Press offers a wide variety of young adult fiction. Our award-winning young adult fiction titles include mystery, suspense, action, adventure, fantasy, romance, historical fiction, sci-fi, and more!

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How Does Reading Affect Your Brain?

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We know that reading sparks our imagination. A reading experience that is immersive enough has the power make our mind burst with imagery and fill us with emotions. Well-written stories can make us laugh or cry. They can anger or inspire us. Our minds take off, and we envision we are in the setting of the story, existing as one of the key players. We become invested in the lives of the characters, cheering for our favorites.

But have you ever wondered what happens to our brains when we read? Is there a physical reaction going on in our minds whenever we read?

Heightens Connectivity in the Brain

The truth is that our brains do fascinating things when we read. Neuroscientists have discovered that reading can stimulate our minds when what we read is compelling enough. In a study on the Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain, researchers sought to determine whether reading a novel causes measurable changes in the brain. For 19 consecutive days, participants read pages from a book, during which functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tracks changes in the resting-state brain activity. The results of the research proved that there are long-term changes in brain connectivity. Connections were identified to increase in strength during story days, remaining elevated even after reading.

Increase Brain’s Activity for Memory

Reading stimulates your brain, keeping it engaged. And because reading improves brain function, it is considered one of the best exercises for your mind as it positively affects mental, cognitive tasks like reasoning and memory. The novels you read are full of different elements, forcing you to remember character names, descriptions, events, and settings. Therefore, the more you try to recall what you read, the more you work your mind.

In a study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, researchers discovered how reading influences the brain on a chemical level. It stimulates the mind, training our imagination and giving our brain a workout. And just like regular exercise for the body, reading keeps your brain healthy. The healthier it is, the more you avoid cognitive decline and the better your short- and long-term memory. Reading is believed to be so beneficial to cognitive health that it is considered to help you prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Alters Brain Tissue

There’s evidence that serious reading can cause the brain to create white matter. White matter refers to the areas of the central nervous system that act as “highways” carrying information throughout your mind. Gray matter, on the other hand, relates to tissues that process and store information. The research by scientists from Carnegie Mellon University uncovered the first evidence that reading alters brain tissue, causing the brain to rewire itself physically. With the creation of new white matter, communication within the brain improves. Therefore, the more you read, the more you help build your mind to carry information.

If you’re ready to start exercising and building your brain, Progressive Rising Phoenix has excellent titles to keep you entertained, and your mind stimulated.