Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Choose The Right Words To Promote Your Book


I’ve always been fascinated with the power one word has over another.  Great writing, to some degree, comes down to word selection.

For instance, I can simply state a fact:  “I am tired.” Or I can express it differently, with depth and description: “I was so tired that even if my wife offered to please me beyond my wildest fantasies I would have to decline.”  Or, I can just substitute one word for another:  “I am exhausted.”  Or I can insert a single word: “I am so tired.”

Words are available to everyone. The dictionary clearly shows us our options, readily accessible to all with equal access.  But the vast majority of people, including writers, fail to creatively, powerfully, or successfully apply the free building blocks to their craft.

Think about it. Not everyone is born into money or even into a loving family, safe environment, or learning-friendly home.  But we are all given the keys to the safe filled with unimaginable treasures:  words.  Nothing serves a barrier to any of us to write and select the right words, placed in the proper order to force readers to marvel and react positively.

Maybe it’s not as simple as I make it sound, or maybe it is. Just open the dictionary and learn a new word. Then another. Learn five every day and you increased your vocabulary by over 1800 words.  Don’t just remember them, use them.  Insert them into your conversations, correspondence, and books.

Why say that you wear a mere shirt when it can be the thing that stands between you and animals in a jungle. Your orange T-shirt that may have cost all of five dollars is the thinnest barrier between revealing your naked chest and just blending into civilization.  See words differently, and see how they go from beyond serving a function to creating images and solidifying ideas.  Words don’t have to reflect the past or reality – they can help us conjure a future, birth new ideas, or give form to mere feelings or conceptualizations.

Words can be powerful.  We can’t use legal language when discussing love and matters of the heart.  We shouldn’t let words get expressed insincerely or lazily.  Words mean not just what they’ve been prescribed to mean but they have texture, color, taste, and a way of describing what is and conjuring what could be.

We manipulate words to meet our needs when we write for a marketing purpose, including the construction of press releases, catalog copy, jacket copy, and other materials that are used to sell others on ourselves and books.

We have so many words to play with, including slang, curse words, words borrowed from other languages, genre- or industry-specific jargon, new words that get created from our tech-centric world and global relations, and made-up words.  The dictionary reflects new entries because our culture crafts new terms and employs them with enough regularity, that they become as real and permanent as a word that’s been with us for centuries.

The order of words, their absence, and their choice all conspire to make a piece of writing great or terrible, useful or purposeless.  In a world of changing values and tastes, words will always mean something even if our communications increasingly are compromised by social mediaspeak, emojis, and video reliance.

The way to improve your writing begins with words and the build-up of a good vocabulary. Words are like fashion – you don’t want to wear what everyone else is wearing but you can’t always be a trend-setter.  Find the words that dress you best and help you paint the best possible picture.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.

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