Archive for April, 2015

I hadn’t planned to do another post about marketing, but I read an interesting article and I got to thinking about why sometimes marketing doesn’t work. Among the problems listed were an author is too shy or too modest.

Which brings me to another one of my Keys to Success (I’m discussing these in relationship to writers, but they apply to many other people, too): Know thyself!

By this I mean, know your personality, limitations, habits, and strengths. If you’re an extremely shy person, you can avoid social situations or you can work to overcome this limitation. If you’re always late (one of my challenges), you need to discover strategies to help you arrive places on time. If you’re older and get tired in the evenings, either schedule author events for earlier in the day or set aside time to take a nap on the day of a late activity. If you’re an entertaining speaker but don’t do well reading from your book, give fun talks to groups, mentioning your book or briefly quoting from it. People will still be interested in buying it.

Here’s the link to 5 Reasons Your Marketing Efforts Aren’t Converting Into Book Sales by Christelle Lujan, first published by She Writes. I hope you find it useful.

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front cover 2015 Today, I’ve been pulled in many directions:

One of my editing projects, The Gunpowder Review 2015, arrived. I opened the boxes, and checked a few copies to make sure they looked like the proof copy I’d approved. Then, I grabbed a contributor’s copy and took it to one of the contributors who happens to be the treasurer of the Gunpowder Branch, National League of American Pen Women. The Gunpowder Branch publishes The Gunpowder Review, and it was from that treasurer I needed to get a check for the cost of the copies (plus shipping and handling).

Plus, I needed to get another check, and send it with a thank you note to the person who did the design, layout, formatting, etc. for the magazine. (I’ll mail that tomorrow).

I placed a call to the local bookstore to schedule a publication reading, but the community events person wasn’t there. I’ll call back again tomorrow, and if need be, the day after that and the day after that until I can get the reading scheduled.

I’ve been reading, discussing, and responding to submissions to the Hides the Dark Tower anthology to be published later this year by Pole to Pole Publishing. Many of the submissions (and some of them quite good) fail to use a tower or tower-like structure anywhere in the story. Since a tower is the theme, this makes for many rejections. By the way, if you or anyone you know would like to check out the submission guidelines you can find them here: Hides the Dark Tower Submission Call

There is a long list of tasks to complete at home before out-of-town guests arrive next weekend. Another long list of writing and illustration projects with deadlines in the next 2 weeks. And my hand-outs and presentations for an upcoming writers’ conference need to be completed.

And then, the phone rings. Here’s where the “No” comes in.

The first key to success as a writer (or illustrator) is “Learn to say, “No.” Your time is valuable, and sometimes, the neighbor who wants to call and chat has to be ignored. Sometimes, the spouse who wants you to sit with them and watch a television show has to be told, “Not tonight.” Sometimes, fast food is good enough for dinner.

Another writer (whom I respect), Beth Barany blogged about this, too. Check out her post: Peek into the Creative Cauldron – How I get my Work Done.

Best wishes to you as you set aside writing time and learn to say, “No.”

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I’m always on the look out for creative book marketing ideas.

To begin with, I encourage other authors to build and maintain an author’s platform. (And I’m constantly trying to maintain mine). Included in the building blocks of a platform should be an Author’s Facebook page, a Twitter account, a blog/website, and an Author’s Goodreads page. There are lots of other items to add – including an Amazon Author’s Page/Bio, Pinterest page, and a bio page (which includes your books) on organizational pages (like the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, your state Arts Council, etc.)

Then, I encourage other authors to participate in signings, readings, writing conferences, and other events where you not only get to promote yourself and market your books, but have an opportunity to engage the reading public. Readers really do like to meet and talk to authors! I try to participate in 6 to 10 events per year.

Free book promos and joint author promotions are other ideas which have worked. Here’s an interesting article from “She Writes,” Creative Marketing Ideas That Pay Off, by Tracy Slater.

Happy reading!

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As an author whose 6 books have been published by Indie publishers (Lite Circle Books, Vegetarian Resource Group, Cold Moon Press, and Mockingbird Lane Press), I’m always interested when I hear of someone starting a new Indie Press.

Founding an independent press requires optimism, a willingness to learn, hard work, and a love of books – not to mention luck and a little bit of money. A friend who founded an Indie press said she was motivated by a desire to publish the kind of books she liked to read. Another friend began a press to publish her own books just the way she wanted them to be published, then began accepting book manuscripts from other writers. Still another friend founded an Indie press because she was interested in books that promoted certain ideas in which she believed.

I just read a good interview of Bacon Press Books founder, Michele Orwin, on writer C.M. Mayo’s blog. I think you’ll find it informative.

For those who write speculative work, a good source for locating Indie publishers of genre books is Ralan.com.

If you want to check out my Indie press published books (Owl Light, The Greener Forest, The Enchanted Skean, etc.) – you can see them (and maybe purchase one or more) on Amazon and elsewhere.

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Most writers, whether they admit it or not, would love to have a good agent representing their work. Not having to search for markets allows more time for writers to do what they do best – write!

In the search for an agent, writers are told to look for agents who represent work similar to their writing. This advice is almost always followed by a warning: “But make sure your manuscript isn’t too similar to books already represented by that agent.” Hmm, there seems to be a contradiction here.

I saw an link to an informative post on the subject at the Jennifer Represents blog. And for my readers who are writers, there are more great posts from an agent’s perspective on this blog.

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