What is the purpose of Dialogue Tags? Identifying who is speaking in a manuscript for a reader. That’s it. The focus should always be on the dialogue itself. You don’t want a reader to get distracted by the tag

This is a trap new writers often fall into by trying to spice up their dialogue tags. They think words like "asked" or "said" are boring or repetitive, so they try to get creative and use more interesting alternatives. Trust me: The dialogue tag is not the place to get fancy. 

Dialogue tags should be a seamless bridge that moves the reader into the action of the characters words. "Said" and "asked" are all you really need. Resist the urge to use "queried" instead of "asked," or "exclaimed" instead of said.  

Now that you have a quick guide on choosing dialogue tags, let’s talk about how often you should use them. The answer: only as often as you need to, and no more. Quite honestly not every line of dialogue needs a tag. If you feel the reader can't follow the interaction of your characters without a dialogue tag introducing each remark perhaps you need to deepen your character profiles.

But fear not, we'll have a blog post for that!  

Happy editing!
In the last four weeks, I have spoken with over 20 authors who want to propel their work to "the masses."  But strangely enough when I asked them why the "masses" would buy their books they only had a variety of confused looks to share with me.  Granted some of those faces were quite entertaining. And even more so when I asked them to identify who the "masses" were.

Most children's books authors for example do not start out writing for an audience outside the broad spectrum of "children."  Every day I speak with authors who have no idea whom their audiences are. If asked, “Who’s your audience?” Inevitably they say, “Well, everyone!” Of course!

This leads to the preponderance of comments and questions I see hourly on writer’s social media posts as to why their marketing is not working.  I answer them simply, "Your marketing is suffering from a split personality disorder."

You're firing scattershot with boosted posts, paid ads, general metadata, and off topic blog posts to reach everyone, and in turn, no one is able to find you or connect with your message.

Here’s a secret I’ll share with you.  Are you ready?

“Not everyone is going to buy your book.”

There I’ve said it!  And I won’t take it back not even if you’re Stephen King, Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, or even you, Mr. James Patterson.  “Everyone,” is not an audience.  And as a special bonus secret to you children’s book authors:  Children do not buy books, they don’t have jobs, credit cards, or PayPal accounts, so please quit focusing your marketing content to just children.

Okay, so now that the proverbial cat is out of the bag, I again ask “Who is your audience?”

This four-word question when answered properly should then allow you to market successfully to just those people who will buy your book(s).  Not all of them will of course because that’s just reality.

Get a piece of paper out right now and list who will buy your books and why.  Do not put “Because they are good!”, as any of the answers.  If you take the time to do this one little exercise, you’ll find your ROI (return on investment) much greater. 

Marketing should be approached with just as much care as you took to write your book. 
Do your research;

1) Where is your audience? Go there to reach them.
2) What are their desires, fears, etc.? Speak to these emotions.  Choose your words!
3) What is your competition doing successfully? Emulate it!

These simple tasks will get you on your way to creating successful marketing campaigns.

Want more information and help on target marketing and how to build a marketing campaign? Contact us for information on our one-on-one live workshops, or our self-guided on demand webinars by clicking here .