Posts Tagged ‘authors’

Promotion and Marketing a Book–Which One for You?

Since Muse It Up Publishing published my e-book, Sunshine Boulevard, in March this year, and even before the release date, I have furiously promoted the book and myself as J Q Rose. Or have I marketed or promoted the book? Which do you use to explain this absolutely exhausting experience after writing a book and then signing a contract?

In dictionary.com promotion is defined as encouraging the sale of a product by advertising or securing financial support. Marketing is defined as the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.

I don’t know why we always say promtion and marketing when they actually mean about the same thing. Either way an author has to do most of it unless you are a big name like Stephen King and we won’t even go there for J K Rowling.  The usual methods of promotion is an author website, blog connected to website or not, blogs for your book’s characters or book cover, join yahoo groups such as coffee time romance or your genre’s groups, your publisher’s author group and readers group if available, Facebook, Twitter, My Space, Good Reads or Shelfari….  I’m exhausted just looking at all the places to connect. This list does not include advertising in online or print magazines. Some ads are within my price range. But as in most promotion, the author has no idea if all the time and money, even reaped a sale. I also did not include press releases to your local hometown paper. Of course, an author can always rely on Aunt Fanny or you mom and family and friends to advertise for you by talking up your “fantastic” book.

Book trailers are very popular and are becoming more sophisticated in their production. I actually enjoyed creating mine.  Check out the Sunshine Boulevard trailer.

I tried an “e-signing” with two local authors who had print books for sale. They sold their books, but so many people do not understand e-books or the idea of how to order one. (Oh yes, I helped a neighbor download my e-book on the Internet. When we were in the middle of the process, she told me she couldn’t wait till the book came in the mail. I was flabbergasted. She had no concept, like so many others, of this new technology.)

The visitors at the signing who said they had a Kindle, etc took my business cards and post cards from the table, but I’ll never know how many actually ordered the e-book. I did have coupons from my publisher so that if someone wanted to purchase it that minute while I sat at the table, I could take her money and give her a code to use when ordering the book online at the publisher’s bookstore.  Ummm, yes very complicated and almost impossible for folks to understand in this setting, so I quit trying to explain it, especially if they already had an online account with an e-book retailer already established.

I am very excited that I have had the opportunity to publish a book and to go through all the steps needed to write, query, get the contract, and to experience the release date. In fact through the promotion I have met so many wonderful folks by being a guest on fellow authors’ blogs and to host authors on my blog.

I write this blog post as a cautionary tale. When sitting alone writing your book, I do not think the writer realizes the amount of work left to be done once the contract is signed and the book is published. To get your work into the reader’s hands, you must promote/market it. So be prepared for that extra duty.

After all is said and done, I know such a cliche, I would do it all again. Writing, publishing and selling my book has been a learning experience and a thrill enriching another chapter in my life.

Promotion takes a LOT of time especially when the book is launched. Once caveat I have learned too late is that most reviewers want to review the new releases. Once the book is over two months old, there are not many reviewers interested in talking about the book.

In fact, since March I have let all my works in progress (WIP) slack off. I have just begun to pick up and write again on a story and do research. (BTW the next mystery involves finding the church music director dead in the basement of the church.)

Speaking of Promotion–Here’s MORE shameless promotion!!  LOL

My e-book is available at Muse It Up Publishing Bookstore http://tinyurl.com/2c53noz

and Amazon.com http://tinyurl.com/4czwr6h

and bn.com http://tinyurl.com/4442b94

 and major online booksellers.

J Q Rose Website http://www.jqrose.webs.com

J Q Rose Blog  http://www.jqroseauthor.blogspot.com

I always keep this info handy so it is easy to find. You should too when your book launches. Best wishes on your writing journey!

The FREE Muse Online Writers Conference Deadline

The FREE Muse Online Writers Conference is a fantastic conference to attend in October 11-17. You can go in your jammies, eat chocolate at your desk, and catch up on laundry while you meet esteemed writers, publishers, workshop leaders, and writers of all genres.

You may attend the forums and interact any time of day or sign up for scheduled workshops that work into your day’s activities. The workshop  handouts are packed with information that you can save and peruse later at your leisure. (I know, what leisure???)

The Muse Online Writers Conference is FREE if you sign up before August 15. A nominal charge of $5.00 is added after August 15. (Just think, you aren’t spending any gas money to get to the workshops…) Registrations will not be accepted after September 10.

This workshop has been valuable to the development of my career. I think you will pick up a nugget or two that will help you in your writing as well as meet some wonderful, helpful, sincere folks at the conference.

Let me know if you sign up.  I will look for ya’!!!

New Resource for Writers: Ask an Author

Grand Opening for Ask an Author is at 8 pm Central tonight, July 30. Lots of give aways and of course writing info and a chance to mingle with published authors. The purpose of the site, spear headed by Keira Kroft, is to help writers with writing a novel, answer questions on publishing, and to offer writing tips. You will also rub elbows with many published authors from different genres.

If you can’t make it tonight, then stop by the website. You know they’re always open 24 hours a day!!

Are you an outliner or seat-of-the-pants writer?

When you begin your story or novel, do you use an outline to guide your writing or do you just begin and let the ideas/characters/plot take you in the direction of the story? Letting the story go along with no pre-planning means you are writing by the seat-of-your-pants thus gaining the title of a “pantser.”  We have lots of discussions at The Writers Chatroom among the newcomers and regular attendees of the Wednesday evening chats, as well as guest authors on Sunday nights,  as to the best method of writing a story or novel.

In an article by Robert Campbell, Outlining,  in Writing Mysteries: A Handbook by the Mystery Writers of America, this mystery writer admits he never used an outline. He preferred William Faulkner’s method of setting his characters on the road and “walk beside them, listening to what they have to say.” Campbell admits writing without an outline causes him to start down paths that lead to dead ends, but he discovers a lot about a character spending time on pages upon pages that he may have to discard. However, he feels that at least, he exercised the writing muscles.

Later in his writing Campbell discovered outlining using his “word processor” or even hand writing a simple outline. He also makes up documents before starting the story such as Chronology, Cast of Characters, Address Book, Timeline of History, Notebook and Agenda which “sketches the goals, desires and probable actions of each principal character as I move through the body of the book.” He builds on each of these documents as the work-in-progress (WIP) evolves.  Campbell cautions that at no time is anything engraved in stone. He remains flexible with each chapter.

It really makes no difference whether you need a map, guidelines, outline or just an idea to freely write a story. The important thing is to write. Don’t be paralyzed by constructing an outline, then never writing the story. With no outline, you may write paragraphs, pages, chapters, etc that will need to be cut for the final draft. But many authors incorporate those leftover pages into another future story.

Pleeeeeezzzz…just write! It’s in you. What a shame if you don’t let it out on the page.

New Publisher Opening Its Doors

Muse It Up Publishing is opening its doors for business. Lea Schizas, the energetic whirlwind, is launching this new business and is looking for submissions. Click here for genres and more information.

If the dedication she has for her well-organized, award winning free online conference is any indication, I am sure she will operate this publishing company with the same degree of attention to detail and accessibility. The Muse Online Writers Conference, the brain child of Schizas and Carolyn Howard-Johnson, is a week long opportunity for writers, editors, publishers to network and learn from the numerous workshops offered on writing techniques, platform building, writing business, queries and book proposals, etc. Schizas offers this outstanding opportunity FREE–no strings attached.

If nothing else gets you to check out this new publishing company,  launching their new website in April, perhaps this quote from Schizas will peak your interest.  In an email, she said, “I promise to be a nice publisher.”

Best wishes to you, Lea and the staff at Muse It Up Publishing!

It All Begins with a Writer…

Avatar, the new 3-D, sci-fi/fantasy movie premiered this past weekend loaded with lots of fantastic animation and special effects, but at the heart of it is a love story.  The production is the brain child of John Cameron who worked as a high school janitor and at precision tool and die manufacturing company.  He said he was a blue collar worker.  Then he went to see Star Wars, the movie, and was blown away because what he saw on the screen was similar to the stories he could envision himself.  He knew he wanted to write themand make them into movies.  And he did!  Big time including the hit movie, Titanic. 

There would be no hit movie without that small kernel of an idea of a love story that developed into a full story.  Stories and thoughts spring from writers’ brains.  A writer is the one who gets the ball rolling on so many levels.  Advertisements, marketing, legal documents, bills in Congress (okay I won’t go there), books,  poems, instructions for setting up computer programs or operating the Wii game system.  All the technical writing and news stories have to be put down on paper.  And we do that.  Our writing touches every part of life.

At this time of the year, I think what would have happened if the writers of the Bible didn’t take time to write the stories, the lessons, the history.  The story of the love, peace, and joy brought by Baby Jesus would not reach so many people in the world.  Christmas is a worldwide event celebrated by many cultures.  These writers have played their part in touching the people of the world.

Give yourselves a gift this season, the gift of time to write.  Do it for yourself.  You can contribute to the literature in this world.  You can make a difference.

I wish you all the blessings of this holiday season.  Merry Christmas to All!! 

Free E-book for Writers

Yes, tis the season for gift giving.  Lea Schizas, award winning author, writes an inspiring and humorous ebook for writers and is giving it to you for FREE!  Now, don’t sign up for it if you have a weak heart or you already know everything you need to know about writing.  But if you want return to why you are a writer or you need some kick butt advice, then download or read it on the full screen.  It’s a fun quick read that could make a difference in how you view your writing  journey.  Enjoy.

AssaultingAWritersThinkingEbookLeaSchizas http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=22939190&access_key=key-2550pa9rftw80n4ei86g&page=1&version=1&viewMode=list