Tag Archives: editors

How to Tell a Compelling Brand Story by Clifford Chi

Last year, a buzzword ripped through the content marketing space that most marketers were surprisingly thrilled about and eager to implement. Shockingly, it didn’t start with “virtual” or end with “intelligence”. Instead, it was what attracted most marketers to the industry in the first place — “storytelling”.

Content marketing’s steady adoption of storytelling is an exciting new opportunity for content creators. The human brain is wired to respond to well-crafted narrative — neuroscience proves that storytelling is the best way to capture people’s attention, bake information into their memories, and forge close, personal bonds. Your audience is programmed to crave and seek out great stories — that’ll never change.

However, since we’ve spent the majority of our careers optimizing content for algorithms, it can be challenging to flex a creative muscle that’s slowly withered away from inactivity and, in turn, move people emotionally and sear your brand into their memories.

So, to help you strengthen that creative muscle and write compelling stories again, we’ve created a guide about the fundamentals of brand story structure and provided examples of three small-to-medium sized businesses who have leveraged their brand story to resonate with huge audiences, despite their comparatively small size.

What is a brand story?

When HubSpot first started, we noticed traditional, interruptive marketing didn’t appeal to consumers anymore. Due to the digital age, people were in complete control of the information they consumed — and they were sick and tired of receiving direct mail, email blasts, and cold calls. People wanted to be helped, so we started creating educational content that aided people in solving their marketing problems.

Today, we’ve built a passionate community of inbound marketers, expanded our inbound marketing approach to the sales and customer service industries, and strengthened the inbound movement more than ever before.

This our brand story — a simple, digestible narrative that explains why HubSpot began, and how this reason still serves as our purpose today.

How to Write a Brand Story

1. Highlight your story’s conflict.

Check out the following story. Does it resonate with you?

A girl wearing a red-hooded cloak is strolling through the woods to give her sick grandma some much-needed food and TLC. She passes by a wolf on the way. They exchange a slightly awkward soft smile-nod combination that random colleagues usually greet each other with as they pass in the hallway. She makes it to her grandma’s house without a scratch. They eat lunch and play a game of Clue together. Grandma wins by deducing that Colonel Mustard killed Mr. Boddy in the Billiard Room with the candlestick — what a shocker! The End.

So … what’d you think? Did this story keep you on the edge of your seat? Or does it feel … off? For some reason, it doesn’t work, right? That’s because there’s no conflict. Despite the intense game of Clue at the end, there’s nothing at stake. There’s no tension. The wolf didn’t try to eat the girl. He didn’t even go to Grandma’s house. He barely acknowledged Little Red Riding Hood.

At their core, stories are about overcoming adversity. So if there’s no conflict presented, there’s no drama or emotional journey that people can relate to. And if your story has no drama or emotional journey, it won’t hold anyone’s attention — let alone resonate with and inspire them.

Unfortunately, in the business world, brands are horrified to reveal any adversity or conflict they’ve faced. They believe that spinning a rosy, blemish-free story about how their company only experiences hockey stick growth will convince people that they’re the industry’s best-in-class solution. Any adversity or conflict during their company’s history will expose their imperfections, deterring potential customers from buying their product.

But, in reality, this is a huge misconception. Nothing’s perfect. Everything, including companies (especially companies), has flaws. Plus, people don’t relate to perfection. They relate to the emotional journey of experiencing adversity, struggling through it, and, ultimately, overcoming it. Because, in a nutshell, that’s the story of life.

Conflict is key to telling compelling stories. So be transparent about the adversity your company has faced, and own it. The more honest you are about your shortcomings, the more people will respect you and relate to your brand.

2. Don’t forget about your story’s status quo and resolution.

Read More Here

FIVERR and the Pros and Cons of Editing

FIVERR and Editing

Once again, I have seen New Authors get caught up in messes with supposed Editors from FIVERR. I know there are many good ones out there, like with anything else, it’s a matter of finding them. RESEARCH every part of building your book. This is why our MOTTO is ‘Building Books One Step at a Time’ we will look for the best fit for you, your manuscript, and genre. Even Editors prefer to work with a genre they enjoy reading. It also means they have experience with word usage in your manuscript and can assist YOU to build a better book.

Get the wrong Editor and disaster can strike. I know from experience how bad it can be along with helping others when it comes to the crunch. I’m not an EDITOR. I can CRITIQUE and PROOFREAD. The flow of your story is important. At this point, I’d also like to say I’m not a Planner or Plotter. I FLOW WRITE, I let my muse tell their stories. It’s not until I go back over the manuscript that errors are picked up and more information is added. This is something I do several times prior to beta or proofreaders.

My first Editor was also an Agent. I know for a fact they’d worked with other authors as one later became a friend, and they’d had a horrifying story of a supposed Trad Publisher they were guided to via this agent. This isn’t anything to do with Fiverr, which just goes to show you need to go deeper with your research than I did originally all those years ago.

This Editor & Agent worked on part of the first chapter of my first ever story, one I still haven’t published. Yes, it was a mess and a new author learning the ropes of how English had changed since I’d been at school. What this Editor did was laughable, it was obvious to anyone they didn’t know anything about English History, especially during late Regency times. The Editor didn’t understand Regency language usage. Now I’m a history researcher and I always enjoyed reading Regency books, though I thought many were too long-winded. My novel will never be a true Regency book in any shape or form. It may end up in the future with a Regency theme, who knows.
This is why I say you all need to find an Editor in the genre you write. Make sure they know the genre, ask for references, and sample edit. This is what I do for my clients. I usually ask around five Editors for Samples and send them on to a client to read through and see which makes the most sense to them as the author. So far this has worked well. It also gives me a list of Editing Contractors I can trust and contract out to again when the need arises.

The latest manuscript I’ve been asked to help with was Edited by a Fiverr Editor. Putting it mildly it was horrible. The editing that is. I’m enjoying the story. Generally, I use GRAMMARLY – though not the best, it helps as long as you have a good grasp of English. I used American English Grammar and it came back with over 2500 errors. HOLY… The manuscript didn’t flow well, it was worse than the original. I was asked to Proofread and Critique this work and though not an overly long story it has taken a while to do. I’m on the last few chapters.

Questions to Ask

1. Do you do Sample Edits?
2. Do you have references?
3. What genres do you edit in?
4. Do you have links to your work?
5. What English do you edit in? UK, USA, Canadian, Australian, etc.
6. Do you do Line Editing?
7. Do you do Proofreading?
8. What type of editing do you offer?
9. What are your charges?
10. Do you have a website?
11. Do you use a contract?

If there is a contract involved. It should be easy to read and understand. It shouldn’t be over 4-5 pages. If there is something you don’t understand, ask! Ask other authors or in Author Groups. Make sure you know what you are signing up for. Also, remember you can look at books on Amazon ‘LOOK INSIDE’ to see how a book is Edited. It can be quite an eye-opener.


Celebrating Three Years in Business

What an amazing journey it has been so far.  Three years of learning the ropes – and there is so much more to do to extend our skills and prove we are an awesome small publishing company.

We do things differently here at Plaisted Publishing House Ltd., We don’t take your copyright off you, nor do we work via royalties. In fact the most important thing is the CLIENT. You are in total control of your book at all times.  You have to approve the work we do in a final document prior to paying us a one-off fee.  This means if you become a rich and famous author – we don’t make any more money off you. It’s all yours with our best wishes.

This all may change in the future as our knowledge base, strength and business grows. There again it may not. Nobody can really see what the future holds.

At present we have had a total of thirty individual authors through our books. Plus those who have joined our Anthologies.  This would give us a list of over 100 authors, if we added them all together.  

I would like to thank each and every Indie Author I have worked with. You have all been and are, amazing to work with – even with a few minor hiccups which all businesses have. We have pulled through, helped more and put our skills on the line to show you our professionalism. 

Due to this incredible journey we have helped hundreds of Indie Authors, many aren’t even clients.  These authors have been assisted via our FREE Marketing MagazineIndie Publishing News & The Journal of Sins & Secrets (R18), AnthologiesGhostly Writes & Childrens Fairy Tale Anthology. Last but not least our Sponsorship Program which was for Fantasy Authors this year. We will be announcing the Winner on the Tenth of August.

Since we are doing so well, I’ll be introducing you to our four new contractors who assist us helping Indie Authors get the best.  So watch out for Mike Elliott, Claudia Plaisted, Mara Reitsma & Joanne Ruth.



Save Your FINAL Manuscript

Yeah I know we’ve all heard this one before! However, it is strange we all still loose full or parts of manuscripts.  Yes I have done it as well.  This time I was ready to publish, book cover done and do you think I could find the whole manuscript…NO

DAMN!  I am so mad with myself.  I know why this happened, I even know when it happened.  Right at the end of January 2016 when I accidentally wiped my computer.  Yeah, I hear you all saying “DUH.”  Problem is I didn’t realise until it was to late.  How can this be, you may ask.  It’s called Windows 10 and my computer is a Lenovo. That’s my excuse anyway.  In reality it is technology which caught me out. 

In the past when you have needed to go back to factory settings or find a spot to jump to in time on you computer – you did just that.  I’m not sure if it is just Lenovo or if Windows 10 contributed as well.  Anyway it’s not called Factory Settings anymore…NO, aha…not this time.  So yes I accidentally wiped everything.  HOWEVER I’M GOOD...Well so I thought.

I save my manuscripts in dropbox, onedrive some in google drive, send them to friends via email and chat or just email them to myself.  YAY ME.  Off I went asking all my wonderful friends to send me copies back.  Which of course they did.  The rest of my stuff was on back up Memory Sticks or in emails.  So very happy.  Well that is until the day before Valentine’s Day

Opening a manuscript and found the last part missing – DAMN.  It was an older version.  Never mind i’ll have to re-write it again and publish later.  BAH HUMBUG.  Then I noted another was missing the last bit too, not that it worried me since this particular novel hasn’t been finished yet.  Today!!

Today I found my latest work to be published…and nearly cried.  SOB.  Not only was the majority of it missing, all I had was a short story instead of a novella and it was one of the few books…well never mind.  It was a good story and I doubt I can re-write it as good as it was.

So what happened to them.  It’s simple I never saved a FINAL COPY of the manuscript on drop box, onedrive or google drive.  No copies on my memory stick or emails.  So here I am sending out a warning to you all.  



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