Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Niagara Odyssey, by Ruth Zavitz Released by Chronicler Pubishing

Chronicler Publishing released Ruth Zavitz' historical novel, Niagara Odyssey the sequel to Flight to the Frontier .
Chronicler Publishing is dedicated to publishing Canadian authors and Canadian historical novels.

Ruth Zavit's also authored
High Grass, published by Chestnut Publishing, and was a 2008, 2009 and 2013 finalist in the John Kenneth Galbraith literary Contest. 
Niagara Odyssey is also available in bookstores.


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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Making Lettuce from Soup! How to write and sell inspiring stories

(c) 2012 by Mona Vanek, contributor to Chicken Soup™ series.

Publicity people and press kits

*Gambling can make success happen. Seizing chances through the choices you make, and the effort you invest into turning the odds to your favor, pays off. Publicity is a key component.

It is never too early in your writing career to begin preparing publicity material.

When you receive the congratulatory letter saying your story will be included in the Chicken Soup™ book, you will receive a PR questionnaire. Complete it carefully and as completely as possible, and return it to your editor. The PR questions are relevant to the book and will ask the following questions:

Will you:

Ø Participate in marketing and promotion, including media interviews, book signings and tours.

Ø Share information about your previous print, radio or TV interviews.

Ø Provide media contacts, including TV, radio, print, etc.

Ø List professional and personal background and experience.

Ø Include your memberships and level of involvement in organizations.

Ø List newsletters or other publications of those organizations.

Ø Provide contact details

Include your professional affiliations, membership in any organizations (past and present), awards you've won, major publicity of your achievements. Provide contact information wherever possible. The people responsible for publicity and sales may incorporate information you supply into Press Kits they create.

Tip: The subsequent press kit from Chicken Soup™ may arrive as a downloadable .pdf file-link in an email. If you are unable to download the file, use the telephone number provided and ask for copies of the Press Kit to be mailed to you. It contains the following elements:

· Suggestions for developing a local angle press release.

· A sample local angle press release, formatted for you to send to your local newspapers, TV, organizations, etc., announcing your story in the book.

· A FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) sheet. This document should answer typical questions asked by contributors.

· A Tip Sheet for creating successful book signings and promoting your story in the book.

Sharing in the book sale profits and marketing blitz

*The editors and the publisher of Chicken Soup™ books give you the option to share in profits, and join in pre-arranged tours.

Ø Buying at discount.

Ø Hitting the road.

Besides a free copy, autographed by the authors, that contributors of stories to Chicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul™ receive, they are eligible for 50% off any Chicken Soup™ books they purchase through the corporate office. These writers are also invited to participate in an upcoming marketing blitz designed around an eleven-week, "See America 2002" cross-country tour by RV through 23 states. The route goes to many popular travel destinations including some that are featured in the book, as well as the hometowns of many of the book's contributors. Book signings and other special events are planned along the way.

My initial reaction was, what a golden opportunity! I envisioned chances to sell my own book, Behind These Mountains and my video, Aunt Lena, Cabinet National Forest's Unsung Heroine. If I convinced an RV company to provide a rig and pay expenses, what fun it would be to travel on even a part of the tour. Visions of a caravan traveling leisurely through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada danced in my head. Three weeks, seven cities, four states. Wow! Maybe I should begin scheduling my workshops and seminars along that route. I clearly saw the title of one of the seminars I'd teach, "Making Lettuce from Soup! How to write best-selling inspirational stories."

Then reality hit -- I learned that writers are not paid and must provide their own transportation, accommodations and meals. Besides, I lack the stamina to fulfill my daydreams.

Tip: While you are considering the many options available, take into account how each one affects your spouse and other family members.

Publicity

*Beware of trademark infringement. You cannot use the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" name (or any of the titles in the series) in the title or subtitle of any workshop course you plan to present. It can be in the body of the description for any course, but not in the actual title or subtitle.

Ø Gather names of news reporters, radio and TV stations, book storeowners and other people or organizations you can inspire.

Ø Write a short press release

Ø Create your own Author Profile

Ø Telephone

Ø Follow-up

When you begin exploring prospects to parlay your clip into fame and/or fortune, phone calls will occupy a good bit of your time. You will give your sales pitch to whomever you can inspire to offer a commitment that benefits you.

Ø Telephone the local-talk radio station and TV stations; you may get interviews on the air.

Ø Call bookstores and ask to speak to the person in charge of signings.

Ø Contact libraries and organizations to schedule book signings, readings, your workshops, your seminars, and anything else you can think of to promote book sales.

Ø Keep in mind that local newspapers may devote considerable space to you, which translates to free publicity.

Ø Make the most of it.

Follow-up by mailing your Press Kit, which should include:

· A short Press Release.

· A longer, more detailed Author Profile.

· Posters and flyers you've designed, etc.

· Reviews and promotional information about your own books, etc.

Your short Press Release should have the Five Ws, who, what, where, when, and why in the first paragraph. You might also include a small autobiography, listing your achievements, or your connection to the sponsor of the event the Press Release announces.

A longer, more detailed Author Profile will contain information about you that will answer questions that the targeted readership might have about you. Limit it to about a page and a half.

Your editor may allow you to download and reproduce a copy of the cover of the book, to use in a poster or flyer designed to promote any event where you will be reading from and signing the Chicken Soup™ book that features your story. The flyer can also include images and information about your own books, upcoming workshops or seminars. Devote the greater part of the poster or flyer to the Chicken Soup™.

In your Press Kit, include promotional information about your own books and copies of materials you will hand out at the event.

Opportunities

*Brainstorm ways to use a Chicken Soup™ clip to your best advantage. Announce your good fortune. Use it:

Ø On your stationary.

Ø On your business card.

Ø On a bumper sticker.

Ø As a stepping-stone to other writing assignments.

Ø To get speaking engagements.

Ø To conduct seminars.

Ø To participate in book signings at which you also sell your own books, etc.

Ø As a key to open doors to invaluable publicity.

Ø As a feature on your web site. Ask permission to be linked to your editor's web sites.

Ø As a design on a personalized garment, purse, key chain, pens, cups, etc.

Toot your own horn! Jump on the bandwagon by sending a 'Yahoo!' message to everyone you can think of, informing him or her of your achievement. Let excitement show through in your exuberance -- because excitement is contagious. Hitch your wagon to this star.

If you don't have a web site, inclusion of one of your stories in a Chicken Soup™ series book is an excellent reason to have one created by a professional. Phyllis Cambria, co-author with Patty Sachs of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Throwing a Great Party" says, "The majority of people who contacted Patty or me for radio, TV or a print interview has been as a direct result of them finding our PartyPlansPlus.com site and book on the Internet." (www.PartyPlansPlus.com .)

Jennifer Nelson, who is published in magazines such as Writer's Digest, SHAPE, Freelance Success and many parenting magazines, offers the following good advice about whether or not to have a web site: Understand that magazine editors don't have time to search websites for writer's clips. But if you are selling any other writing services it's wise to have one. Web sites are great tools for:

· Promoting your book, especially if you offer it for sale or have a link to Amazon.com or Borders.com.

· Marketing yourself to conferences.

· Directing organizers to a professionally created site, so they can see what you offer.

· Offering to write copy, advertisements, advertorials, grant proposals, or other writing related services.

Jennifer says that having examples of this type of work on a web presence can be beneficial to direct clients such as organizers, companies, academics, non-profits, etc. -- not necessarily editors -- to you. Editors surfing the web in search of good writers might bring a job offer you'd otherwise miss. Jennifer is engaged to instruct the pre-conference workshops for the 2002 Flathead River Writers Conference, at Whitefish, MT, in October 2002.

Debbie Farmer says, "Nothing is a total loss. Book signings may not fill your pocketbook, but become invaluable in other ways." Debbie is author of LIFE IN THE FAST FOOD LANE and a syndicated column, FAMILY DAZE (http://www.familydaze.com).

Debbie used the sale of her essay, "The Prayer of a First Time Gardener" to Chicken Soup for the Gardening Soul™ to promote her own book and column. She licenses rights to her essay to newspapers and regional parenting magazines and thought she had exhausted all of her realistic options for that piece, and didn't plan to use it again. However, since the Chicken Soup™ rights are non-exclusive she could -- as long as the new publication didn't mind.

Debbie's main goal was getting the Chicken Soup™ credit as a perk to add to her sales pitch. She does Chicken Soup™ book signings in the Bay Area of California where she also sells her own self-published book and columns. Since Chicken Soup for The Gardener's Soul™ became #9 on the NY Times best seller list, Debbie's name soared, helping to promote her writing career.

Making the most of contacts and associates

*Networking pays big dividends. Invite others to bask in the glow of your spotlight.

Ø Networking

Enlist aid from writers' groups in the towns where you're scheduling book signings. Ask them to pitch for you, too. Generous offers of lodging and invitations to speak may ensue. Writers can also provide names of, and important information about media contact people in their locale.

Book Signings:

*Work with stores when arranging a date for signings, and realize that your returns might come in kind, not cash.

Ø Call early, asking to speak to the person who arranges book signings.

Ø Provide the expected publication date, and allow lead-time for stock to arrive.

Ø Get the store's newsletter deadline, and provide your author profile well in advance of publication dates.

Ø Ask who will advertise events.

Ø Send timely reminders to bookstores.

Ø Get posters displayed.

Ø Sell your own books and materials.

Ø Learn from storeowners.

Ensure that the bookstore where you've booked signing events stocks the Chicken Soup™ book, and provide them with the publication date your editor gave you.

Ask if you can bring your own books, videos, CDs and any material you hope to sell. Policies vary with each store. Some stores ask you to consign them, others allow you to handle your own sales and they don't take a commission. Some simply keep a tally at the register of how many are sold. Or, you count how many you start with and how many you end with, and the store pays what you agreed upon when you made arrangements. Make sure you have a clear understanding. And find out about collecting and reporting sales taxes, where applicable.

If your material is consigned, arrive early enough to complete the paper work before your event's scheduled beginning. Allowing a few extra minutes for this will avoid stress.

Bookstores advertise signings. Remind the person who makes the arrangements a week or so before your event to put a blurb in the newspaper.

· Send your Press Release and your Author Profile to the person you spoke with right away, and send it again when you remind them.

Big chain bookstores put up their own posters, but that doesn't prevent you from creating some of your own to put up in places with high people-flow.

Wal-Mart, Big K-Mart, Costco, Waldenbooks and Hastings, are good stores to contact. Barnes and Noble also holds book signings. However all books sold in B&N stores must be in B&N warehouse. Don't overlook regional bookstores and small local bookstores.

Paying attention to store owner's tips can provide invaluable facts. Since my story is in the Traveler's Soul™, one owner advised me to not do signings until travel season arrived in the area where my signings are booked. That translates to Memorial Day weekend, July and August in some of the areas I planned to work.

Go Prepared

*Small details spell the difference between success and failure.

Ø Carry your stock.

When I contacted one storeowner to schedule a book signing, she asked if I'd brought along any copies of my book, Behind These Mountains. She bought six copies. Always arrive prepared. When you're calling on customers, carry your stock with you. Because the advertising materials that I prepared were not with me, I mailed her the complimentary free bookmarkers, the "Autographed First Edition" stickers to advertise my book, and sales brochures that promote my video and my book.

Entertainment and handouts

*Entertainment draws your customers at bookstore signings.

Ø Read from your story in the Chicken Soup™ book.

Ø Bring your own book and read entertaining excerpts.

Ø Hand out bookmarks and/or order forms for your book.

Ø Offer discounts.

You are expected to read from the story you contributed to the Chicken Soup™ book. Also read excerpts from any books or material of your own that you bring to the signing. The bookstore owner is hoping you'll help the store sell their merchandise. To them, you are a sales tool. Be a good salesman, you might get invited to return in the future.

Many writers use this opportunity to give free bookmarks that advertise their works or handout copies of material from workshops and seminars that they market. There are a myriad of ways to take advantage of this golden opportunity to promote or market your writing expertise.

A production company transferred my docudrama video from VHS onto VCD so that I'm able to show it on my laptop computer. It's not only terrific entertainment, but also a good sales and promotional tool.

Tip: If you offer a "special" discount for your book if it's bought "tonight" make sure that you won't sustain a loss after you've paid the store's commission.

Seminars and readings for profit

*Consider buying the Chicken Soup™ books to market, and begin scheduling your own potential career boosters and moneymakers.

Ø Arrange readings at local clubs, like the Kiwanis, Home Extension clubs, church groups, libraries, etc.

Ø Conduct seminars.

Ø Present a workshop.

If you participate in marketing by buying books at discount and scheduling signing events, sharing part of the profit from them with the hosting organization nets you an additional profit from your story. In these arrangements, customarily you retain all proceeds from sales of your own books and materials in these "back of the room" sales, which take place after the reading, seminar or workshop. You might also benefit from providing the sponsoring organization with a copy or two of their own book -- with ordering information on the back. As word spreads, sales and opportunities increase exponentially.

A seminar is an inspirational type affair where afterwards you'll sign your own books, etc. Wise speakers know that bargains are irresistible to attendees. Capitalize on the ability to buy Chicken Soup™ books 10% cheaper than bookstores' wholesale cost, and offer special discounts to customers at your seminars. You can net a profit in two ways by also charging admission fees of $30 or more.

A workshop is where you teach others about some specialized part of writing or marketing. You can present it in an hour, or it can take several days. That depends on your choice if you set it up independently, or on the terms of the agreement you enter into to fulfill the desires of a sponsoring organization.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Don' Miss "Creating A Promotion Target List" by Diane Craver, at Angela Hoy's Writers Weekly


Writers, as well as wannabee writers, who don’t bookmark Angela Hoy’s WritersWeekly.com, and also subscribe to her newletter, are missing good marketing information like Diane Craver's article in this week's “Creating a Promotion Target List.

Readers can navigate WritersWeekly.com, but to really see what all is available go to the Site Map.

You can subscribe to the free newsletter by filling out the form on the right near the bottom here.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

What Peter Bernhardt Learned From a Dozen Years of Writing Successful Fiction


What a Dozen Years of Fiction Writing Have Taught Me, by Peter Bernhardt

Now and then during my twenty years of composing legal briefs and reports evaluating federal agencies, I expressed my desire to write a book. Little did I know that my wife would call my bluff when we moved to Sedona in retirement.No longer did I have the excuse of a demanding caseload and supervisory duties that bound me to courtroom and desk at the U.S. Attorney's Office. Nor could I plead lack of time since running and playing tennis only take up so many hours a week.

So after a year of procrastination and having run out of excuses, I enrolled in a workshop for wannabe authors.
The workshop was a bust, but it did push me into tackling my first book, The Stasi File-The Stasi File – Opera and Espionage: A Deadly Combination,  in which, following the age-old advice to “write what you know,” I wove together the unlikely combination of a German upbringing, a lifelong love of opera and my experiences as an attorney.As I struggled with an outline and the first chapter, I realized that I needed to seek counsel from more experienced writers. Point of view, filters, dialogue mechanics, narrative voice, passive voice, subjunctive, nominative absolute—these and endless other writer's tools I learned in our Sedona Writer's Group.
Let me emphasize that not all critique groups are the same. Puff groups (praising your work like your mother would) will do more harm than good.

Receiving honest, critical feedback is crucial to your goal of improving your writing. A group that offers such constructive critique is
The Internet Writing Workshop [IWW]. Whether you write fiction, nonfiction, short stories, memoirs, poetry, or other genres, it offers a critique group to meet your needs. IWW’s Writing Group’s spirited discussions gave me a new understanding of writing topics.

IWW’s Novel Group members hail from the far and near corners of the English-speaking world. Their honest and constructive critiques will improve any manuscript—that is certainly true for the three novels I submitted, chapter by chapter.
Many proclaim that a first novel seldom works.

Due in large measure to the things I learned at IWW and in my local critique group, I managed to craft The Stasi File – Opera and Espionage: A Deadly Combination competently enough for it to be named a finalist for Book of the Year by the British Arts Council sponsored website,
You Write On which ranked my book a bestseller. The novel was also a quarter finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.


After the above writers' groups helped me put the sequel,
Kiss of the Shaman's Daughter, into publishable shape, my muse whispered a new cast of characters into my ear. Real-life events inspired me to come up with the story line for Red Romeo. Over forty West German government female employees were convicted of spying for communist East Germany for love. They fell for the charms of Stasi Romeos trained by one of the greatest spymasters of all time to seduce lonely single or divorced secretaries with security clearance.
 
Red Romeo has now undergone the vetting process and is currently available as an ebook preorder. You might ask why put a book on preorder when you can publish it upon final editing?The answer to that question leads me to mention one of the rare writing workshops I've ever attended that was worth the time and money: Ebook Publishing Intensive, recently given in Phoenix by Mark Coker, founder and CEO of Smashwords.

Mark made a convincing case for using preorders through which retailers accept customer orders for your book in advance of your official on-sale date.
In May 2015, Smashwords found that during the preceding 12 months, 7 of its 10 bestselling titles were born as preorders and 67 percent of its top 200 bestsellers titles started out as preorders. Yet, surprisingly, only about 10 percent of authors avail themselves of this powerful marketing tool. Read a detailed analysis
here.

The potential buzz building and the fact that most retailers credit on the on-sale date all accumulated preorders convinced me to put Red Romeo on preorder before its publication date of November 7, 2015. You'll find the blurb and a sample of the first 15 percent of the novel at Smashwords Book Review.

The ebook can be preordered at a special price at the following retailers:
Apple iBooks.
Kindle.
Barnes & Noble.

Kobo.
 

In twelve years, I've not only learned the craft of writing by joining the writers' groups I mentioned, but the best ways to self-publish by giving my newest baby the greatest possible chance of a successful birth.

Your manuscript will shine after it has undergone honest and constructive critiques, whether by one of IWW’s groups and/or your local writers’ group. And once you have polished your novel into publishable quality, consider releasing it as a preorder.

Peter Bernhardt,
Sedona Author.
Twitter.
Bernhardt Profile.
 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Insights Into Earning Steady Paychecks Doing Magazine Content Writing


Successful content writer, founder of The Conservative Fiction Project, and Senior Editor, Liberty Island Media, Jamie Wilson, shares her expertise on today’s content writing opportunities.

“One of the biggest changes that content writing has afforded freelancers is the luxury of a reasonably steady paycheck. My current favorite gig, CrowdSource, provides consistent multiple projects which are lower paid compared to many freelance jobs - but they don't require much in the line of research, and writers can skip the hard speculative work of queries." 

She recently started a new gig at PJ Media.

"A freelancer just getting started can support himself or herself on jobs like this while querying for better-paid and higher-profile work. It's been a game-changer. 

Content marketing is all advertising if and only if you consider everything broadcast on network television, including your favorite shows, to be advertising. It is designed to be clickbait, drawing readers - but in order to do that properly, it also has to be engaging content in and of itself, not just content that says "click the ads." Just like any newspaper or magazine content, web content needs to a) provide something of value to the reader and b) make money. The key to not being a hack is understanding the balance between the two - and sites that balance these two things properly are the ones that are most successful at both.

Journalism is indeed about information provided to an audience - but more and more, that audience is unwilling to pay directly for that information as they find more ways to acquire it for free. For that reason, journalism has been borrowing more heavily from content marketing techniques as the years go on, just in order to remain viable. 
Examples would include USA Today's very large content program and the San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate website, which is primarily what you might term content marketing. I know that's about clear as mud, but so is the demarcation between content marketing and journalism today.

Freelancers make good money doing content writing and editing - but they aren't hacks.

Just like any other writing segment, there are tiers of expertise, and I've been fortunate enough to meet some of the best,” Jamie says.
 A Navy wife and the mother of five children, she is also the sister of a war hero.

“I am the founder of The Conservative Fiction Project, which helps conservative writers find one another and a wider audience. I work with Liberty Island Media, the first overtly conservative fiction publisher. I have always read stories and told stories, and I will always be a storyteller," Jamie says.
Read Jamie Wilson’s stories, The Biscuit Boy and The Enforcement of Happiness, at Liberty Island.

Read her website and blogs, Conserative Fiction, and Conservative Feminism.

Twitter:@jamiekwil
 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Answers to Those Baffling Punctuation Marks and Writing Questions


Once again, members of Internet Writing Workshop shared the following valuable information with fellow members of this excellent writing list.

If punctuation baffles you sometimes, Punctuation Made Simple  can rescue you.

Take the em dash for example.
 
Or Quotation marks .

You'll find answers to many punctuation questions, and other writing questions, so Punctuation Made Simple is an excellent website to bookmark.
 
However, a word of warning ~ the three examples given for em dash were published in 1876, 1873, and 1719. The second one was originally written in French, and English translations may have carried over French punctuation.

21st century punctuation backed only by examples from the 18th and 19th centuries may have changed. Therefore, I suggest using Chicago Manual of Style for the current usage of punctuation in publishing.


You'll find it at Chicago Manual of Style Online , and at Amazon.


Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop to help you become a successful writer.
 
 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Will Your Books Still Be Read 100 Years From Now?


In the left panel on this website, when you scroll the list of writers I admire, you'll see Kristine Kathryn Rusch. She's the author who spells out what to do if you want to be read 100 years from now. I don't recommend these writers lightly.

Each has something worthwhile to impart. Please visit them.

Recently I revisited Kristine's website and scrolled, stopping randomly to re-read an article here and there.

Because Do Want to be Read 100 Years From Now?
is a subject I soapbox about I've included the link to her good advice.

Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop for valuable help to successful writing.
 

Let Your Wordprocessor Be Your Dependable Editor

Advice From The Pros contains a chapter titled, Expedient Wordprocessor Functions. It describes tasks no writer who plans to succeed should ignore.

For example: Appropriate grade-level language, submission word limits, redundancy, misspelled words, spacing, grammar, e-mail submissions.

Boost your earning power with the help of your wordproccesor's built-in abilities.

Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop.

"A Letter From The Rainmakers Daughter" ~ Another Internet Writing Workshop Member's Success


Chioma iwunze-Ibiam, a member of Internet Writing Workshop, announced another success, Chioma says the achievement was due in large part to help of fellow IWW members.
"I am delighted to announce that my short story, A Letter From The Rainmaker's Daughter has been accepted for the September issue of the new print and online versions of A Long Story Short,This story started as a flash piece in the Practice group about two years ago. Months and months of rewrites, after crits from the Prose List, saw it grow into a short story. I hope you enjoy reading it"
Best Regards, Chioma Iwunze Ibiam. Ankara Press Author: Finding Love Again.
 
Creatuve Writing News

Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop to help you become a successful writer.
 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Indie Only Bookstore Opens in Florida


"First Bookstore Dedicated to Self-Published Authors Opens in Florida,"by Judih Rosen, April 20, 2015, Publisher's Weekly Booklife, tells why and how self-published children’s author and illustrator Patti Brassard Jefferson and history author Timothy Jacobs created Gulf Coast Bookstore to exclusively market Indie books. The store is located in downtown Fort Myers, Florida.

Let's hope this is the begining or more such outlets for authors who chose to be independent.

Learn more about PattiBrassard Jefferson [Facebook ]and Timothy Jacobs.
 
For information on do-it-yourself marketing check out DIY. 

Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop for valuable help to successful writing.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Writers Markets and Classified Calls For Submission


Have you read and studied YES! Magazine? Or The Sun magazine? Both are open to nonfiction submissions.

YES! Magazine is published on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, and publishes nonfiction articles about global topics. See Writers guidelines .
The Sun writes about personal topics. Writers guidelines .

At New Pages scroll down the left panel, and under Classifieds you’ll find Call For Submissions that list a wide variety of markets.

Writers, who are members of Internet Writing Workshop  [IWW], report that they've had their greatest success submitting to markets that are actively calling for material similar to what they write.

Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop for valuable help to successful writing.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Book Marketing Through Radio Interviews


Silvia Villalobos, a native of Romania who lives immersed in the laid-back vibe of Southern California, is a writer of mystery novels and short fiction. Her mystery novel, Stranger or Friend, was released by Solstice Publishing.

Her stories have appeared in The Riding Light Review, Pure Slush, and Red Fez, among other publications.
 
In the following guest post, Silvia shares her experience with book marketing through radio interviews.

Silvia wrote,
"As a published author, you will inevitably look to publicize your book via guest-blog articles, social media, and radio interviews. Assuming we’re talking about a good book, nothing drives sales more than marketing.
 
I was thrown into the deep waters of marketing with my first novel, Stranger or Friend. In the course of two months, I did over 30 blog posts, more social media than I can remember, and three radio interviews -- one in person and two over the phone. With some help from my publisher and other authors, I immersed myself in publicity training.

For the purpose of this post, and at Mona’s invitation, I will focus on one aspect of book publicity: radio interviews – how to secure them and lessons learned.

In this day and age of internet radio stations, it really isn’t that difficult to secure an interview. However, as a new author, I was fortunate enough to receive help from my publisher, who, through a fellow author, helped schedule my very first internet radio interview with Power of Perception. For this appearance, I was asked to provide a short bio, book cover and blurb, and to be punctual.
 
Once immersed in the school of marketing, I found that booking radio interviews, while time consuming, is something I can do on my own.
 
Step one: I crafted a query email and sent it to the PR manager for my local radio station as well as to several independent stations. I received two invitations, one from said local station and one from a popular internet radio host. For the local station, I was asked to provide a Press Kit. For the second internet-radio interview, I was asked for a list of talking points and the usual promo materials (cover, bio, and book blurb).
 
Step two: Once the interviews were scheduled, I spent hours going through the archives and listening to previous author interviews. Preparation, after all, is everything. 
 
A few take-aways from this experience: 
  • 1. Each interview process is different. For internet radio, you will be asked to provide a bio, book cover and blurb, and depending on the host, talking points. These interviews are long (45 minutes to one hour) with no breaks, so long answers are standard. 
  • 2. For the in-person 30-minute interview with commercial breaks, keep your answers brief and to the point. 
  • 3. Prepare some possible responses, but don’t write them out verbatim; that would sound automatic. 
  • 4. Listen carefully to the questions. It’s easy for authors to become anxious and interrupt the host. I did it a couple of times; had to catch myself and relax, wait for my turn. 
  • 5. Be energetic. If the guest comes across as distant, the audience will not care. If you are doing a phone-in radio interview, smile. The audience will hear it in your voice.
  • 6. Refer listeners back to your book. This is why you’re doing the interview in the first place. Subtly refer people back to your book every chance you get.
Creating name recognition through marketing is a process; one that might take several books and a focused marketing plan. Writing a great book is half the job. For the rest, we have to step out of our creative comfort zone. While we’re at it, and because marketing is different from writing, it’s important to relax and have some fun."
 
Silvia can be found blogging here. See her Press Kit

Improve your opportunities for writing success by joining Internet Writing Workshop.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Unexpected Marketing Venue


I'm delighted to share with those of you who publish non-fiction books a way of marketing I hadn't anticipated when I published my Montana trilogy,
Behind These Mountains, Vols. I, II and III on Kindle.

My 'education' derived from happenstance. While researching her genealogy, Karen Drain, a stranger who'd never heard of me discovered members of her family tree are mentioned in Volume I. She contacted me by email.

Tip: Promote your book also in the genealogy genre.

Subsequently, Karen purchased a DVD of the three books in .pdf format which I sell for $50. I include permission to print the books. They're selling faster than the Kindle editions. My cost is minimal: a DVD, a label, and a simple pasteboard mailer [available at Wal Mart for less than $1.] Postage depends on the postal clerk’s judgement call ~ approximately $.99 to $2.50.
 
Karen wrote,
"I received my DVD today and I cannot wait to begin reading [on her large screen computer]! My hope is to print out a chapter at a time and send it to my Great Uncle Jack. We will print them for personal use for Jack. My thought is that he will have something to look forward to every week as I send him one or two chapters at a time. I believe I mentioned that Jack is 91 and he doesn't even have a working television, let alone a computer. His phone is not a fancy one either so hard copy is the only way for him to read your book. I want to send a few chapters at a time so he has something to look forward to and he will check his mail more often than he does! Thank you so much for sharing all of your research with me!"

Later, she shared this,

"Mona, I have been reading your book and have discovered an interesting coincidence. You have written that in 1909, a smallpox outbreak inundated Heron, Montana. Coincidentally, Flora Emma Honberger Dingley died in January of that
year."
Tip: Maximize exposure through blogs and websites. Make it easier for those using the Internet to find your books, and entice them with a vignette about someone’s ancestor in the books.

I'll include Karen’s tidbit in human interest stories I post about this experience on
North Palouse Washington e-newscast , and on my 21st Century Old Folks Home blogspot.

I'll also maximize publicity by publishing the family information Karen shared on my
Bygone Montanans blogspot in an excerpt about her Honeberger and Dingley family members from Volume I.

I expect another surge in book sales, both Kindle and .pdf copies.

Tip: Consider selling .pdf copies of your books.

Include these strategies in your marketing toolkit and increase your profits, too.


 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Chronicler Pubishing Accepts Ruth Zavitz' Niagara Odyssey


Ruth Zavitz' pioneer novel, Niagara Odyssey, the sequel to Flight to the Frontier , has been accepted for publication by Chronicler Publishing.


Chronicler Publishing is dedicated to publishing Canadian authors and Canadian historical novels.

Ruth Zavit's also authored
High Grass, published by Chestnut Publishing, and was a 2008, 2009 and 2013 finalist in the John Kenneth Galbraith literary Contest.

Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop for valuable help to successful writing.
 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Unexpected Marketing Venue of a Montana Trilogy ~ Behind These Mountains, Vols. I, II, III


I'm delighted to share with those of you who publish non-fiction books a way of marketing and publicity: Be prepared when a reader contacts you.

When I published Kindle editions of my Montana trilogy, Behind These Mountains, Vols. I, II and III, I hadn't anticipated this type of opportunity.

I happened this way: While researching the Internet to find nuggets of information for her genealogy, Karen Drain, a stranger who'd never heard of me or my books, discovered members of her family tree mentioned in Volume I of Behind These Mountains.

She contacted me by email, reinforcing my belief in the value of maintaining a website and/or blog that can be found using a search engine.

Subsequently, Karen purchased a DVD of the three books in .pdf format which I sell for $50. I include permission to print  [or have printed and bound] a peronal copy of the books.

Karen wrote,
"I received my DVD today and I cannot wait to begin reading [on her large screen computer]! My hope is to print out a chapter at a time and send it to my great Uncle Jack. We will not be printing it out except for personal use for Jack. My thought is that he will have something to look forward to every week as I send him one or two chapters at a time. I believe I mentioned that Jack is 91 and he doesn't even have a working television, let alone a computer. His phone is not a fancy one either so hard copy is the only way for him to read your book. I want to send a few chapters at a time so he has something to look forward to and he will check his mail more often than he does! Thank you so much for sharing all of your research with me!"
My publisher told me at the time my books were released, in 1986 and 1991, that requests for the out-of-print original editions would continue years after copies became rare collectibles. Selling .pdf editions seemed a better option than print-on-demand. A single DVD holds the entire trilogy, which includes close to 1,000 pictures.

I burned a half dozen DVDs, created an attractive label, and bought inexpensive cardboard mailers at the post office ~ and waited for requests for the 1st editions.

When they arrive, I'm ready. My reply offers the .pdf edition on DVD, explaining that permission to print a personal copy of each book is included. I also  caution that the .pdf books are around 1,200 pages each due to the pictures, and that the page size is much smaller than the original editions, and prints in 12 point. I suggest that before printing an entire book they first print a few pages to see if the size and type is suitable.

The .pdf editions on DVD are selling as fast or faster than the Kindle editions ~ at almost double the profit.


Kindle editions generate less than $7 per book; under $20 for the trilogy. Compared with $50 minus less than $1 [for DVD, label and postage] it's easy to  see the small amount of time involved is well worth it.

To promote the .pdf editions on North Palouse Washington e-newscast , and my 21st Century Old Folks Home blogspot, I'll write human interest stories quoting Karen about the joy of connecting with an author and discovering your ancestors.


I'll also maximize publicity by publishing the family information Karen shared on my Bygone Montanans blogspot, and include excerpts from Volume I,about her Honeberger and Dingley family members. I expect another surge in book sales, both Kindle and .pdf copies.

You, too, can maximize exposure through blogs and websites. Adapt this strategy in your marketing and publicity and enjoy your profits, too.

I also highly recommend joining Internet Writing Workshop. Enjoy the benefits of membership in this exceptionally helpful group of writers, editors, agents, and publishers online... and it's free!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Book Launch for "The Miracle of Small Things" in NYC


The Miracle of Small Things, Guilie Castillo’s first solo book, is due to be released this summer from Truth Serum Press (sister press to Pure Slush) will launch launch in NYC.
 
When she announced her success Castillo, who lives and writes in Willemstad, Curaçao, said,

“It's a collection of short fiction set in Curaçao -- a novel in stories, if you prefer. There will be a launch party for it in NYC on September 2nd at La Casa Azul bookstore in
Spanish Harlem (or is East Harlem the right term? New York confuses me). The Dutch consulate has also offered to help, and the Curaçao Tourism Board will hopefully be on "board."
If you're in the neighborhood I'd love the opportunity to say "hi" in person -- and, of course, if you have friends in the city that might like to join in, everyone is welcome.”

Guilie Castillo is a member of Internet Writing Workshop and expressed her thanks to the fiction list for their help with these stories.

“It was 2 years in the making, from first draft of the first story to the final 13-story version approved by the publisher, and it wouldn't have happened without the support and encouragement of the IWW.
You're a fantastic group of humans, and I'm proud to be a part of it.” Guilie
Face Book event

Pure Slush site (details of all Pure Slush events including the launch)

Truth Serum Press / The Miracle of Small Things

 View Guilie Castillo’s blogspot


Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop for valuable help to successful writing.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Libraries, Publishers and Bookshelf Space


A member of Internet Writers Workshop recently commented, "The tension between libraries and publishers seems odd in a market where  physical space for displaying books is quickly disappearing. How did we get  here? And could libraries actually represent a much better opportunity for publishers than they are given credit for?"

Publisher's Weekly recently published, The Case For Libraries. 

Although I didn't get this posted in time for you to register for the discussion event they hosted, the article at Publisher's Weekly is well worth spending the time to read.


Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop for valuable help to successful writing.

Friday, April 3, 2015

The difference between journalism and content Writing


From Journalism to Content Marketing in 7 Simple Steps," published in The International Freelancer, by , a freelance journalist who divides her time between New Delhi and London, gives a detailed look into this lucrative field of writing.

Before you jump into this field, read the following insights and opinions of respected members of Internet Writing Workshop.


Rebeca Schiller said,
"My husband writes content marketing for Newsday's special sections. It's still journalism in many ways: he researches the subject, conducts interviews and like many freelance journalists works with the editor of that section. The difference is that the advertising team is involved because advertisers are the contacts, and these are highly respected organizations. It does pay more. He's currently earning $1.25 per word, but this didn't come overnight. He's been building this relationship with the publication for eight years. Last year is when he started writing more and more for them. Now they consider him their go-to guy, and assign him last minute pieces." Rebeca Schiller.
Rebeca is the online editor and writer for HAND/EYE Magazine. She's currently working on a novl about the Spanish Civil War and historrical memor. When she's not writing, she is teaching other writers how to use Scrivener.
 
John Palcewski said,
"Journalism is defined as the gathering, processing, and dissemination of news and information related to the news to an audience. The media that journalism uses vary diversely and include content published via newspapers and print magazines, television and radio, and their digital media versions--news websites and applications.
Content marketing, on the other hand, is ADVERTISING cleverly disguised as journalism.  Meant to attract clicks.  Once you leap into that abyss, you can no longer consider yourself a journalist, because you have transformed yourself into a cynical  marketing shill. In other words, a hack,"  John Palcewski.

Jamie Wilson said,
"Content marketing is all advertising if and only if you consider everything broadcast on network television, including your favorite shows, to be advertising. It is designed to be clickbait, drawing readers - but in order to do that properly, it also has to be engaging content in and of itself, not just content that says "click the ads." Just like any newspaper or magazine content, web content needs to a) provide something of value to the reader and b) make money. The key to not being a hack is understanding the balance between the two - and sites that balance these two things properly are the ones that are most successful at both.
Journalism is indeed about information provided to an audience - but more and more, that audience is unwilling to pay directly for that information as they find more ways to acquire it for free. For that reason, journalism has been borrowing more heavily from content marketing techniques as the years go on, just in order to remain viable. Examples would include USA
Today's very large content program and the San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate website, which is primarily what you might term content marketing.
I know that's about clear as mud, but so is the demarcation between content marketing and journalism today," Jamie Wilson

Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop for valuable help to successful writing.

 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Elements of Style For Grammar Pendants


Certainly this point of view is worth reading for any writer who depends on William Strunk and E.B. White's Element of Style, which has had, and still does in many cases, a vice-like grip on educated Americans' views about grammar and usage. Yet, Geoffrey K. Pullum, in his The Land of the Free and The Elements of Style, claims almost everything they say on that topic is wrong.

The Chicago Manual of Style, Webster's, and a good thesaurus should always be on a serious writer's bookshelf, too.

Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop for valuable help to successful writing.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

What's New in the Left Panel That You Might Be Missing?

Today, a member of Internet Writing Workshop, Debi O'Neille, posted a yahoo about the article she had published in January's issue of Connect Magazine. Before I sent her my congratulations, I clicked the link in the signature to Debi's BlogSpot, "writing against the wind"

Because it reminded me that Debi O'Neille's writing against the wind" is one of the favorites in the left panel on this website I thought it was appropriate to encourage readers here to take advantage of all the links in the left panel frequently.

They often spark ideas you might not have thought of. Certainly, they'll keep you informed on the changes occurring constantly in our chosen profession.

Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop for valuable help to successful writing.