Newsletters, Street Teams, Advanced Reader Groups, Social Media, Oh My!

My marketing efforts for my novels needed to be organized!

One thing I had been confused about is all the special groups some writers have. I’ve read about street teams, advanced reader groups, and launch teams, but it left me confused…I already have a newsletter and social media fan pages, do I really need three more groups of readers?

And with these more specialized groups, what info do I share with them, and how often do I engage them? I can barely keep up with everything I do already.

At multiple points during my years writing and publishing, I bought into each of these team concepts at one point, forming a new group that I let fizzle out a few weeks later, because I didn’t understand what to do with the team of willing readers.

After doing a ton of research, I realized I was making the whole process way too complicated.  I demystified the teams, and I thought other writers might also be confused, so I’m sharing information on my idea of what the best collection of fan engagement platforms are. The ones that give you the biggest return for your time.

Newsletter:

I’m still a huge fan of a Newsletter List. Many writers have multiple different ways to grow and manage their newsletters. Some writers only grow organically through visitors to their website and readers of their books, others utilize a reader magnet and service like Instafreebie or BookFunnel, while others participate in huge group giveaways. I’m actually a fan of all of the above.

I treat my newsletter like any type of paid advertising I do. It’s a way to engage established fans and attract new readers. What’s right is very specific to the writer.

There’s also the question of how often to send a NL. I know writers who send a newsletter daily…to weekly…to monthly…to only with new release edition. My choice is after an initial, weekly welcome series for the first month, I only send a NL out monthly unless I have a new release or something important to say in between. Monthly is enough to ensure the readers remember who you are, but doesn’t bog down their inbox.

I look as a newsletter as a consistent, typically one-way communication tool where an I can keep my subscribers/fans updated on what I’m working on, such as new and upcoming releases and remind new fans of my previous books they might not know about. To keep fans engaged, I do ask questions, share fun content like jokes and contests, share new project info, inside information on writing a certain piece, including deleted scenes, character interviews, etc, contests/games, other author book reviews, etc.

Website/Blog:

It works the same as a newsletter, only instead of the author pushing out the information, readers find the information when they’re interested in it. It’s a way to keep books organized and guide the reader to other stories they’ll enjoy. Plus, it’s nice to add a little bit of extra, bonus information.

I continue to blog a little (I used to do more of it)  for no reason other than I get enjoyment from the process and interaction. I don’t feel a blog is necessary, but do think every author should have at least a static web page.

Social Media Fan Pages:

Social media is another way to engage the reader. Successful fan pages have two way communication where the author connects with the reader on a nearly, 1:1 level. In my neck of the woods, Facebook is the most popular, so I utilize that one. I have other ones as well, but I don’t go to them routinely with information, but I utilize some integration so my blog and Facebook posts automatically go to twitter.

Early in my career, I tried to utilize too many social media sights, and I got overwhelmed and my posting frequency and content quality went down on all of them. Now, I’m focusing on Facebook. Ideally, posting every day. If some of my fans don’t use Facebook, they should subscribe to my NL or check out my webpage to find whatever info they’d like.

Advanced Reader Team / Street Team / Launch Team:

I’ve decided to combine all three of these into one team that I’m going to refer to as my Street Team. It’s too difficult to keep different groups based on what they’ll do for you, so I’m merging all my half-thought-out groups into one. With this, I have two parts. First is a “Street Team” email list and second is a “Street Team” Facebook group.

Both of which I don’t contact consistently, only when I have something to say. Most of these readers are on my regular newsletter list or follow my Facebook Author Page already.

I utilize this group to help me with specific tasks. In exchange, they get offered early, advanced copies of my books before publication.

I ask them to read and review copies of my books, to purchase the book (if they’re able) to help me with Amazon ranking and having their reviews show up as verified. I also ask for help with advertising by commenting and sharing Facebook posts for enhanced visibility, to help pick covers, provide blurb feedback, to test their interest in new book ideas, and to help spread the words of my stories by sharing them with their own followers and groups.

So…how does this all come together?

I send my Newsletter out once per month. (And an extra time if I have a mid-cycle new release.)

I’m working up to posting on my Facebook Page once daily. I pre-schedule posts a lot so I only need to work on this about one day per month.

I post on my Street Team Facebook Group whenever I have a decision to make… i.e. New series cover or concept, title feedback, etc, have an advanced reader copy of a book ready (I like to post the book 2-4 weeks before publication) and then during the first week of my launch with specific tasks (like leaving the review, liking/sharing posts, etc.)

I email my Street Team Newsletter list when I have a new advanced reader copy of a book ready, then I re-email whoever received a copy as soon as the book launches, reminding them to leave a review.

That’s it. Not nearly as complicated as I made it over the past few years.

How about you? What works for you that I’m missing? I’d love to hear.

Free Books! (And How To Organize a Group Promo, Part 2)

First off, check out this promo I coordinated.

Need Something FUN to Read

With the September 12th release of my new novel, The Secret Lives of Superhero Wives, I needed to build up my mailing list with readers who’d be interested in that story. To do so, I wrote a short story hook, titled The Stellar Life of a Superhero Wife. Now, I had to get this story in front of the right readers…turns out I need more Chick-lit/Cozy Mystery readers on my mailing list. (As many of my subscribers are Science Fiction / Fantasy / Paranormal Romance.)

Back in February, I had put together a promo and blogged about it HERE. Since then, I’ve learned so much. I wanted to write a simple step-by-step guide to anyone wanting to coordinate their own promos to gain newsletter subscribers. This is not perfect, but its all the wisdom I have, so far.

(Key principle: Participating authors send their newsletter subscribers and social media followers to a common landing page where many books are available for free. When these visitors download the book that interests them, they accept that they are subscribing to that author’s mailing list.)

Three to four weeks before the giveaway (Plan):

  • Pick a genre. I’ve heard there is so much more success using a specific genre to grow the exact readers you want.
  • Select your goal number of books. I like to stay around thirty. I’ve heard twenty is a good number, too. I’ve seen/participated in super, mega promos with a ton of authors…which is great for driving traffic, but find that the books with the spectacular covers, or best placement gain the most downloads.
  • Select your promotion length. Again, I don’t know what’s right. Many do just a weekend (this works great for 99 cent book promotions). Others do longer. I like to include two weeks (three weekends.) It also gives enough time that I can resend my newsletter to non-openers.
  • Select your platform. I’ve seen Instafreebie, Book Funnel, and MyBookCave all being used. Since I’m an Instafreebie subscriber, I’ve been using that route. MyBookCave is free though, and if you’re just getting started and/or am on a budget, this may be a great place to start. They also host the page, so you don’t need to do any website design/maintenance.
  • Design a graphic to represent the giveaway. I find recruitment is easiest if authors can visually imagine what the giveaway will be like, but this step probably isn’t needed.
  • Create a sign-up form for participating authors. I use google forms and it’s super easy! Make sure you capture the following: Author email address, link to their freebie, their agreement to share in their newsletters and on social media, and anything else you’ll need to coordinate. (I like putting book descriptions on my landing page, so I ask for this too.)
  • Begin to recruit your authors! I belong to a few Facebook groups and a simple post will create a lot of interest. Search for Facebook groups for Instafreebies, MyBookCave, BookFunnel, AuthorPromo, etc. If you need help on where to get started, let me know.

Two to three weeks before the giveaway (Coordinate):

  • If you have ten authors, email instafreebie (if that’s the platform you’re using) and ask to be featured in their newsletter. I haven’t heard that they’ve said no yet. In your email, tell them what genre you’re giveaway is promoting and how many authors you have so far.
  • Send your author team a welcome email with everything you know so far. I like to have a Headtalker campaign going to make it easy for the authors to post on social media.
  • Build your promo page! I host it on my blog. I have a special page titled “promo” (i.e. www.joynellschultz.com/PROMO that I host these on. I take down the old and put up the new when I’m doing a new promo. I start the page with the promo image…then a sentence or two…then a sign up for the visitors to receive notification of future promos…followed by each author’s book cover image. I don’t know if just the book covers or the book covers plus a quick blurb are better. Me, as a reader, prefer it when the blurb added, so that’s why I do it that way.  For WordPress, I need multiple books across the page, so I make columns. (I learned how to do this here) Then I simply go to the authors giveaway link and right click on the book cover and “copy image address” then paste this directly on my wordpress page. The cover automatically pulls over from wherever it’s hosted. I then change the link to be the individual authors giveaway page. I like to work on this page slowly as authors sign up. That way it’s not a chore.

A few days before the giveaway:

  • Send the authors a final email, asking them to check their links along with everything they need to know: Promo Dates, Landing Page Links, Promotion Requirements (i.e. they need to send it out in their newsletters, since this is key, and post on social media.) I like to write up some sample posts for twitter (maybe Facebook) to keep things easy. Send out promo images. Also, I just started a sign up for future promos to keep the recruitment part easy.

During the giveaway:

  • Sit back and relax. You’ve done everything already. You could touch base with your authors again, if you like.
  • Don’t forget to hold up your part of the deal. Send to your newsletter. Promote on social media.

After the giveaway:

  • Perhaps thank the participants. Invite them to future promos. Provide them with stats, if you have any.

This method can also be adapted for other types of promos. For instance: Need to gain some Facebook followers? You can coordinate a group of people and use a program like Rafflecopter or a Facebook hop. Want to grow some Kindle Unlimited Page Reads? Promote 99 cent books to new readers? You can do an almost identical setup as above.

Phew.

What questions do you have?

Writing Tip: Dialogue Tag Overload

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I spend a lot of my time beta reading for other authors, and one thing that flags a new writer to me is their use of dialogue tags.

What is a dialogue tag? 

The most common one is the word “said.”

  • “I want to go to the park,” Timmy said.
  • Ariana said, “I can’t believe she wore that.”

But some writers are clever and vary the word “said” such as using words like… “added” “interjected” “asked” “yelled” “pleaded” “questioned” etc.

  • “I want to go to the park,” Timmy demanded.
  • Ariana sighed, “I can’t believe she wore that.”

This is great, here and there, but when you read pages of dialogue and every line has one of these tags, it slows down the pacing.

Dialogue tags do have a place. Using a fancy one, such as “yelled” definitely adds to the story, but here’s what would be better…

Show me how they say their words. Describe their actions and their feelings, rather than tell me with a dialogue tag.

  • “I want to go to the park!” Timmy stomped his foot and cross his arms. His eyebrows narrowed into a V above his nose.
  • Ariana glanced around the room, then leaned onto the table. She dropped her voice and rolled her eyes. “I can’t believe she wore that.”

Now, let’s return to that important concept called pacing. An entire conversation packed with descriptors as in the last examples would really slow down the reading. That’s where a nice combination of dialogue tags, description, and floating dialogue make a conversation between people flow.

Here’s an example from a short story I just wrote. Not perfect, but an example of using a dialogue tag (Devora asked) mixed with action descriptors and dialogue without any description at all:

Arriving home that night, Derek was already there. “Busy day?” Devora asked.

“Not at all. All the crime must be under control.” He sat on the couch in shorts and a t-shirt, watching some sports ball game.

She pulled her phone out. “Well, I had a busy day. I broke my phone.”

“Why’d you do that?”

She clenched her hands into fists. “I was trying to text you.”

“Was something wrong?”

“Just some type of drug crime going on.”

Derek turned away from the TV and arched an eyebrow at her. “And you didn’t let me know?”

“I told you I broke my phone.” She wiggled her phone’s shattered screen at him, then tossed it on the end table. “You can’t rely on me for everything! I have my own job to do. One that you seem to not take seriously, but I do a lot of good things too.”

When I write, I try to use the least amount of dialogue tags possible, and when I read something that’s littered with them, I find myself detached from the writing and distracted from the story. This is just another one of the many ways to shift your writing from telling the reader what’s going on to showing them.

**Of note: If you need to throw in a dialogue tag, I’ve read that you’re best to just use the old-fashioned “said” because it turns invisible to the reader–minimal slowing of the pace.

So next time you’re writing “said” or “interjected” take a look if it’s really needed to portray to your reader who’s speaking.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on dialogue tags, and when you read, what flags a story as coming from a new writer to you?

A Method to Book Marketing

Ever wonder where to devote your time (and resources) in marketing a book?

I’ve been asking that question this entire year as I plug away at my 1000 True Fans blog series. I stumbled upon a graph on how readers find books and ended up writing an article about it. You can find my article on Black Wolf Editorial’s Blog as a guest post. Check it out, it definitely opened my eyes to where I’ll be moving in the future.

Here was the pie graph from a 2011 Smashwords survey that made me question my marketing strategy.

survey

Again, head over to Black Wolf Publishing to check out the entire article.

Until next time,

–Joy

Oh the Pressure! A Writing Calendar

I love creating new characters, worlds, and writing about their journey, but I have a problem.

I can’t do it fast enough. After that first draft is written, I spend countless hours rewriting, editing, and tweaking it until I’m not afraid to show it to the world. In the mean time, I have hundreds of new characters and adventures flowing through my head, begging me to write their journey.

On top of this, I sometimes find myself overwhelmed in the steps needed to complete projects and feel stagnant and lost when someone asks me when a story I’m writing is going to be published.

So, last week when I received an email talking about ways to increases your writing productivity, I jumped right in and devoured the content.

There were three simple tips, and today(1 wk) I’m talking about one: using a calendar/schedule to plan your writing life.

This made sense. I do it at work, so why not for my hobby?

First, I listed all the projects I have committed to, then determined how long each step in the process takes me. Finally, I arranged it all into a schedule…and what did I find?

Despite having WAY too much going on, I developed a plan with achievable deadlines. It makes me wonder why I haven’t done this before. Now, when people ask me when I’ll have something published, I can give them a good answer.

I found this technique useful, so I wanted to share it with you. Here’s how I did it. Keep in mind, I always overdo everything, so you can do this as simple or complex as you like.

First, I listed all my projects:

  • The Secret Lives of Superhero Wives (Novel)
  • The Stellar Life of a Superhero Wife (Short story hook for full novel)
  • Hidden: A Pregnant Fairy Godmother’s Journey (Novella)
  • Halloween Anthology (Short Story)
  • Twelve Days of Christmas Short Story (for anthology)
  • Blood & Holy Water 2 (Novel)
  • Love, Lies & Clones 2 (Novel)
  • Non-Fiction Project

Then I came up with how long it takes me to do each of the steps from idea to publishing:  (I found this step to be eye opening. I need to work on streamlining this process somehow.)

  • Outline: Novel (2 wks) Novella (1 wk) Short Story (1 wk)
  • Draft Zero: Novel (6 wks) Novella (3 wks) Short Story (1 wk)
  • First Draft: Novel (2 wks) Novella (1 wk) Short Story (1 wk)
  • Beta Readers (Round 1): Novel (6 wks) Novella (4 wks) Short Story (2 wks)
  • Edits: Novel (2 wks) Novella (1 wk) Short Story (1 wk)
  • Beta Readers (Round 2): Novel (6 wks) Novella (3 wk)s Short Story (1 wk)
  • Edits: Novel (2 wks) Novella (1 wk) Short Story (1 wk)
  • Editor/Plan Book Launch: Novel (4 wks) Novella (2 wks) Short Story (2 wks)
  • Final Read Through: Novel (2 wks) Novella (1 wk) Short Story (1 wk)
  • Publish

Finally, I integrated these two steps into a spreadsheet along with hard deadlines, trying not to put to many labor intensive steps together on the same week (marked in red below.) Also, the blue steps are no work for me, so I make sure I have something going on that week to keep me moving forward…even if it’s for a future project. Here’s what my calendar/schedule looks like:

calendar

Now comes the easy part. All I have to do is look at my current week and make sure I’m on task with the little steps. As long as I am on task for the week, the overall project is also on task. Easy, right?

Ha. Not quite.

Do you use a calendar to keep yourself on schedule? Or do you wing it, like I always did?

The Myth Behind Social Media – Guest Post by Judy L. Mohr

As my loyal blog followers know, I’ve never had a guest post. Well, that is all changing right now. 🙂  Judy L. Mohr has been following my blog and commenting her useful tips on many of my posts. When she offered a guest post, how could I refuse? With all the help she’d already given me, I hope she can pass some of the knowledge on to you. –Joy

The Myth Behind Social Media by Judy L. Mohr

I remember quite clearly the thoughts that went through my mind when I started down the path toward publication. Time and time again, I would see a reference somewhere saying that all writers needed a platform. The jargon was bounced around every which way, and I was so lost.

Publishers and agents alike constantly pushed the concept of an online presence. The concept of building a following was just too much, and there was very little solid advice on what to do.

Then I learned the truth.

A writer’s platform is not a website or social media — for that matter, it’s not your books. A writer’s platform is everything that you do to connect with your readers.

This is where those building an online presence tend to fall down. Many writers push their latest book until people are sick of seeing the ads. For those who have yet to publish, it will be blog post after blog post. However, the connection with the readers is lost.

Social media is called social media for a reason — because it’s meant to be social. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. are all about interacting and fostering connections that could be beneficial in the future.

Social Media is About Fostering Connections

Without those connections, you will struggle in a big way to get the word out about your projects. We need help. We can’t do it alone.

To be successful in your social media marketing efforts, the first thing you need to do is stop thinking of social media as marketing, because it’s not. Think about it as an opportunity to meet others, making those contacts that could lead to other opportunities.

The next step in building a presence on social media is to focus your efforts on the networks that you actually enjoy. Choose only the networks that will suit your style and main objectives. Everything else is a waste of time.

Every time I turn around, there is another social media site that many seem to think is a good idea for writers to use. However, if I was to sign up for every site in existence, I would either come across as a fully automated bot, or I would spend so much time on social media that I would never get any writing done.

There is an old saying that couldn’t be truer when it comes to social media and an online presence: it’s better to do one thing well, than to do a half-assed job on multiple things. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

Navigating Through the Social Media Maze

When looking into different social media sites, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my personality fit this site?
  • Will the site fill a need that my other ones don’t?
  • Do I actually have the time required to service and maintain an account for this site?
  • What is the plan for content on the account?
  • How often do I need to post to the account to build a following and gain attention?
  • Do I have the budget to build the account?
  • What is the goal for the account? How will I know if it’s successful?
  • Why should I spend time on this particular site instead of other marketing activities?

So, what are some of the more common social media sites, and what are they actually useful for?

Facebook

Facebook is designed for longer messages, using complete sentence structures. The site is ideal for networking with other writers or those with similar interests. Because of its longer post format, you can get help on an issue and share your knowledge with others. The sites networking features alone make Facebook a valuable social media site for writers.

Twitter

Twitter’s short message nature (140 characters) has made the site ideal for those who don’t have a lot of time to carefully construct a full post. A quick hashtag search will narrow your feed to just the information you want to see, but you are not limited to just those you follow.

The writing and publishing community is strong on Twitter. Agents hover on the site, posting information about their manuscript wishlists (#MSWL), and any other tidbits of information that they might have. For writers, Twitter can be a valuable resource, even if you do nothing but lurk around gleaning information.

Instagram

Instagram is the perfect playground for anyone who takes lots of photos and wants to share them with the world. Photos have short captions and are tagged to gather attention. That’s what the site was designed for: photos, photos and more photos.

If you are a budding photographer, then seriously look into this site. It could be a brilliant way to showcase your work.

Google+

Google+ was meant to be an alternative to Facebook, however, the community just isn’t there—not really. However, if you frequently use Hangouts, YouTube or any other Google-related product, you will want to ensure that you take a look at your Google+ profile, just in case.

Tumblr

Tumblr can be better thought of as the social media site for bloggers. It’s designed for the longer format posts that are light on copy but heavy on images. It is assumed that users of this site have a blog hosted on Tumblr.

Pinterest

If you are working on a book about crafts or a cookbook, then Pinterest might be the perfect site to connect with your readers. Many of the users on Pinterest gather crafty ideas and others posts of that nature. However, the ability to share posts is limited; it’s designed for sharing photos.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a networking site for professionals, such as engineers, businessmen, doctors, editors, etc. This is where professional freelance writers and editors can connect with potential clients. However, fiction writers are unlikely to connect with their readers on this site.

DeviantArt

This site is designed for photographers and illustrators. If all you do is write, and nothing else, then DeviantArt is not for you. Saying that, if you are looking for an illustrator for your work, many of the illustrators on this site have portfolios that showcase their awesome talent.

Snapchat

Snapchat is a newer beast, designed for teasers. Messages are sent to followers, then disappear after a short period of time. The lack of longevity of posts means that followers might not see your messages. Unless you intend to have fun with teasers, I would be leery of incorporating Snapchat into any online platform.

Reddit

The biggest attraction of Reddit is the feature revolving around asking random questions. This feature makes this site good for general public publicity. In addition, there are writing communities where you can get advice about publishing, etc. Exactly how this might work within your own platform—only you can answer that.

Periscope

Periscope is meant to be Instagram for videos. The site is still in its infancy and is struggling to gain a hold. It is interesting to note that the live features on Facebook and Twitter came about because of Periscope.

Sites NOT Suited for Networking

While there are many sites out there for making new connections and fostering working relationships, there are many sites and apps that are NOT intended for networking.

ANY site or app designed for dating was never intended to advertise your writing. Do yourselves a favor: don’t go there.

Programs and apps like Skype, Google Hangouts and Facebook Messenger are great tools for having private communications with people on the other side of the world. However, these were designed to foster connections that already exist.

 

I know that it can all be overwhelming. At the end of the day, all I can really recommend is to start with only the sites that attract your attention. Build your network and following on those first. Don’t jump on the trend wagon because everyone else is going. Focus your efforts on the sites that will help you achieve your ultimate goal, whatever that goal might be.

Remember, social media is about making connections. Use the right site for making the connections you need.

 

About the Author

Profile_JudyLMohrKiwi Judy L Mohr is a writer of fantasy and science fiction. She is also a freelance editor with Black Wolf Editorial Services (http://blackwolfeditorial.com), working on projects from writers around the world. When she isn’t writing, editing or doing something for writing within the local community, she is hosting her own radio show about science on KLRNRadio (http://klrnradio.com/shows/conversations-in-science/). Judy is the author of Hidden Traps: A Writers Guide to Protecting Your Online Platform, which is slated for release come August 2017. You can follow her crazy adventures on her blog (http://judylmohr.com) or on Twitter (https://twitter.com/JudyLMohr ).

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Writing Tip: Cutting Pesky Adverbs

WRITING TIP_

I love beta reading a good story, and I’ve done a lot of it in the past  year. From the first page of a story, I can tell a new writer from one that’s more experienced by a handful of things I read. One of them is adverb use.

I think everyone knows what an adverb is…but as a refresher, it’s a word used to modify a verb, adjective, or another adverb. Usually it is a descriptor clarifying How, How Often, When, or Where. What does that mean? Many adverbs don’t end in the hallmark -ly, but most of them do, like happily, softly, quickly, etc. that changes the meaning of the verb. Examples:

  • spoke softly
  • walked quietly
  • Easily avoided a punch
  • Quickly ran away
  • Deadly gaze

So, what’s wrong with adverbs? While I’m reading, these -ly adverbs makes my brain halt while I change my perception of the verb being modified. I lose imagery of the story while I wonder exactly what does the change mean. In the examples above:

  • spoke softly (I wonder what does it mean to speak softly. Is the character whispering? Did his/her voice drop an octave?)
  • walked quietly (How is that accomplished? Tiptoed? Sneaked? Took off shoes?)
  • Easily avoided a punch (I can’t picture this? Did the character sway out of the way? Drop to the floor? Blocked it some how?)
  • Quickly ran away (Doesn’t running mean quickly? Otherwise it’d be called walking. If it’s faster than a regular run, then sprinted away would work.)
  • Deadly gaze (What is a deadly gaze? Drool? Teeth barred? Wrinkled eyebrows? Piercing eyes?)

My writing tip: Cut adverbs whenever possible. If you can replace the verb with a more descriptive/powerful verb, your readers will thank you. Here’s some stronger verb ideas to replace the simple word “walked”: (For a bigger list of 195 different verbs to spice up your writing, check out Jerry Jenkin’s site HERE)

  • Strolled
  • Glided
  • Marched
  • Tromped
  • Wandered
  • Prowled

See how the words immediately give you a mental visual? A clearer one than “walked loudly” or “carefully walked” would?

Why do newer writers add excessive adverbs? I’m guilty of this too. Years ago, I remember thinking that to make a well-crafted story, I needed to add more descriptors to my writing. Adverbs are easy descriptors. Describing what happens in detail takes more skill. I still use them in my first draft or two, but before putting a final draft to beta readers, I spend the time and energy to remove as many of them as I can.

Two ways I fix my own writing:

  1. I use http://www.prowritingaid.com as a tool to identify adverb use. I find it works best when a 3000 word chunk of text is fed through it, rather than an entire document. (You may be under the limit of “acceptable adverbs” in an entire document, but still have sections that have too many adverbs in the same place.) Also, just because it says adverb use is within normal range, it doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t cut them more.
  2. I sometimes just search for -ly words and begin the painful task of deciding if it can be cut out without changing the meaning of the sentence or if I need a stronger verb. I also have a list of those other adverbs I use to much. “Just” is a BIG one for me.

Here’s a reference on adverbs, said much better than I could ever do from Stephen King.

I’m not a writing expert and still choose to use some adverbs in my writing. I do it all the time…I love saying truly, really, and actually to name a few. Honestly, I think there is a place for adverbs — sometime. (Did you notice my adverbs in that sentence?)

I challenge you to take a look at your words ending in -ly and cut them out. As many as possible. Your readers will thank you.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on adverbs, and when you read, what flags a story as coming from a new writer to you?