Think they’re too big to care? Think your review or testimonial doesn’t count? Not true!! Every author will get viewed by a new reader every day! Help that reader to know they can count on this author to deliver on that writer-reader contract!! Takes a few minutes – JUST DO IT!
I’m a longtime V.I. Warshawski (and Paretsky) fan and enjoyed this novel very much. Loved the premise and the characters and I think that this book had more than the usual number of twists and turns. As usual, I thought I might have it figured out once or twice only to find I wasn’t even close. Highly recommend Guardian Angel for the female PI-loving readers!
Every year, the Florida Writers Association asks for nominees from the membership for various recognitions. These recognitions are named in honor of members in memorial for their specific type of service. Any Florida Writer member can nominate a member for the award. Nominations are accepted between April 1 and August 31; winners are announced at the FWA annual conference.
THIS YEAR’S WINNING NOMINEE for the KAYE COPPERSMITH AWARD IS ELAINE PERSON: Poet and passionate teacher of all things words. Her award-winning poetry and short stories are featured in many collections around the world.
Elaine’s short story “Soul Search” is also in the Top Ten, number five, in the 2022 FWA Collection Number 14, Thrills and Chills.
Elaine also won awards at the Florida State Poets Association the previous weekend.
FROM THE FWA WEBSITE:
“For her kindness, support, and warm encouragement to both seasoned and new members, Kaye Coppersmith will always be remembered as the welcoming arms of the Florida Writers Association.
Each year we are proud to honor the memory of Kaye by recognizing one member out of the hundreds of members who embody the motto of the Florida Writers Association (FWA): “Writers Helping Writers.”
A committee reviews nominations, and top-ranking entries are submitted to the Board of Directors for blind judging.”
Whether you are an established author or a relatively new one, your bio is one of the most important marketing tools you have. For that reason, what credentials and information you use, how you state them, the tone and word choices of your bio all have an impact on your book and project sales.
Bios are necessary for your website and other social media pages, your book, your proposals, articles, and introductions when addressing a group either in person or virtually. Who are you and why should people care? Is your style humorous? Noir? Traditional? Sexy? Straightforward? Your bio needs to reflect that tone, just as your synopsis or back cover blurb text must!
A good bio should be critiqued, edited, rewritten and polished until it shines. Write several lengths so they are ready for a variety of purposes. All lengths should be part of your online or physical media kit and don’t forget to schedule a few moments at least twice a year to read them over and update them! Had a book published? Spoken to the Pulitzer Prize Commission? Been awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award since you wrote those bios? Update them so they are current. This also ensures the search engines can help others to find you and your books, a game of hide and seek that never seems to end.
So take the time to draft your bio, then put it aside and go back to edit it. Let your critique partners hear and see it – listen to their suggestions – then employ the ones that resonate with you. Polish it up. Critique it again.
If this pattern sounds familiar – as in just like the method of writing a good book or article – you are absolutely right!! Good commercial writing – the writing that goes to Jane and John Q. Publix – requires these steps no matter what you are writing.
Visit the websites of some of your favorite authors! Read their bio – did you like it? How did it make you feel? What worked for you and what wouldn’t you do? Learning the craft of writing a bio is a skill that will serve you well, I promise.
Change can bring with it opportunities as well as challenges. The key to success? Be brave! Explore new ideas and employ courage – give them a try!! Virtual socializing is here to stay – we can learn from the pioneers! Have a awesome week and keep writing and reading. NQ
From the experiences of some of the big-time authors and book stores of all sizes – take the time to read this Mystery Writers of America (MWA) 3-article series on the Virtual Book Event!!
There’s a lot going on, there’s no denying! And from a variety of sources, the writers and readers among us may enjoy reading about these “publishing industry” tidbits! Feel free to share with others if you’d like!!
Don’t Miss Opportunities:
Sept 2, 7 PM, “Ask Ben Hale Anything” is presented virtually by Rik Feeney and the Orlando Florida Writers Association group. Ben is indie published and sells hundreds of thousands of books. Want to ask him how he does it? What’s important? How he writes so many books? Then don’t miss this fun event, right from the comfort of your own home! To make this online event a success, Rik requests you email him any questions you have for Ben to firstname.lastname@example.org. He’ll collect and organize them so Ben can address each of your concerns.
SELF-PUBLISHED EBOOK AWARDS https://www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions/self-published-ebook-awards $99 ENTRY FEE. Early bird deadline August 17, 2020. $125 ENTRY FEE. Regular deadline September 21, 2020. Writer’s Digest’s 8th Annual Self-Published E-book Awards honors the best self-published e-book(s) in eight of the most popular categories with $5,000 in cash, a featured interview in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City. In addition to $13,000 in total cash prizes, all entrants will receive a brief commentary on their work from one of Writer’s Digest’s judges.
LORIAN HEMINGWAY SHORT STORY COMPETITION https://shortstorycompetition.com/ $15 ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 1, 2020. The first-place winner will receive $1,500 and publication of his or her winning story in Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts. The second- and third-place winners will receive $500 each. Honorable mentions will also be awarded to entrants whose work demonstrates promise. Stories must be original unpublished fiction, typed and double-spaced, and may not exceed 3,500 words in length. There are no theme or genre restrictions. The literary competition is open to all U.S. and international writers whose fiction has not appeared in a nationally distributed publication with a circulation of 5,000 or more.
Life is such a hoot, isn’t it? Like the Sinatra song goes, “That’s Life.” Every life has its ups and downs, people that kick us when we’re down and others that lift us up, and situations that “feel” right and end up “wrong.” Today’s headlines reflect that nothing much has really changed with the species of Human Being since Cain killed Abel.
An old seminary story goes like this.
A graduate, names Charles, excited and on fire for the Lord and spreading a message of love, hope and peace to the uneducated world, left school sure that he and his new wife would make a huge difference. One of his teachers, a man who’d also become a friend, counseled him at the graduation party.
“Remember to say, ‘Here I am, Lord’ and then let the Lord do the rest. He will make sure that every need is met and you won’t be burned out in five years.”
Well, Charles and his bride went off to region after region of non-Christian communities and taught them about the love of Christ. They begged, borrowed and built schools, dug wells, and brought in medical training for villages. However, in year five, Charles and Nadia returned to the U.S. in ill-health and resigned to the fact that they were failures. With no money to their name, Charles reached out to his mentor and friend for a lift from the airport and a place to stay until he could find paying work.
The mentor collected them and hugged them warmly, placing their two bags in the car and took them to his home. After long showers, a bowl of stew and some hot biscuits, the couple settled in the den with their friend.
“So, how are you two? I’ve been praying for you every day. Your last letter sounded like you were so busy, I had to take a nap after reading it. Did you do all that the Lord asked you to do?”
The wife looked at her husband, then replied. “I believe that we did. But apparently, it wasn’t enough.”
The mentor nodded and looked at the grad. “Is that how you feel, Charles?“
Charles nodded, his gaze on the floor. “Day in, day out, mosquitoes the size of airplanes, sickness, babies dying, no water–” His eyes were moist when he looked at his friend. “They didn’t change.”
“I see,” said the teacher.
They sat in the quiet for few moment when Nadia asked, “What more could we have done?” She took her husband’s hand in hers and they waited for a reply.
The teacher smiled. “You can still do it,” he said kindly. “Have faith that God the Father was at work, too. We can only do what we’re told to do. The results of those activities are God’s work, not ours.”
While the world is feeling crazy to most of us, we can still be steady in who we are. Our reactions and attitudes are directly within our control but changing others is not. Never has been. Each and every kindness we show, kind word we offer, donation we can make in time, talent or treasure will be used by our creator to make a difference to someone. President Abraham Lincoln, the president that established Thanksgiving in this nation, once said: “I would rather be a little nobody than an evil somebody.” Me, too.
One of my very good friends gave me a beautiful wooden sign that hangs in my office: “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” It reminds me daily that I am in control of what I think, do, and say. I can be a light or a dark cloud – and I don’t have to think too long about which the Lord would prefer I be.
Keep reading, writing, and sharing yourself in the world! You are awesome and your words have power. I urge all of us writers to choose-and use-them wisely. I bet we can help shape a kinder world.
Your book took a monumental amount of time/energy/money to get it out in front of your readers. You sold some books and got some terrific reviews, even some super-nice emails! Back in the time when you could meet with book club members or do in-person book sales, you enjoyed your time with fans and sold books, too. Bravo!! Way to go.
Here’s the secret to building fans and keeping books selling: (Drum roll, please…) Write the next really good book and get it out to the fans, regularly. This is true for fiction and non-fiction books. If you’re traditionally published, your publisher is going to want a minimum of a book a year; and that’s not a bad model for all of us to shoot for.
It’s very likely that you’ve written a fun short story or some poetry or maybe even a novelette, or an essay you’re proud of that can be expanded easily into a small book. If not, you are an expert on something, and that knowledge can provide an answer to a problem for someone else. Those things have more value than you think!
Repurpose those articles into a mini-book that you can put out as an Ebook for .99 – 2.49! Give your readers something new to read while you’re working on that next full-length book. Those poems that you’ve written but shared with very few would be a wonderful gift when bundled together, with or without some applicable photos that you’ve taken along the way. In ALWAYS CHASING ‘EM, Daria and I pulled together a collection of some of our short mysteries, many already published years ago but no longer available, but also some that placed or even won contests but never saw publication before. We’ve heard it has been a fun read for our fans which is what we wanted it to be!
The bottom line is that to impact YOUR bottom line, you have to keep great material out in front of your readers so they don’t forget you and so they don’t lose their precious enthusiasm for your work! Enthusiastic readers are your biggest asset – so look through those archived works and see what you might be able to repurpose for those fans!
Do you have three or more books finished and they’ve been out awhile? How about offering a boxed set for readers? New look, new format – no new writing really required! Or how about turning it into an audiobook? There are a good number of ways to spark new interest in older work, which results in new interest in new work, too!
And in this unusual time, remember to treat yourself kindly – that will make being patient easier, too. Productivity will probably be down a bit – no worries. Every day, invest in some quality quiet time, a nap when needed, eat well, get a walk in the outdoors and be grateful for all of the blessings in your life, great or small.
There are few things that will positively impact your writing skills, energy, and portfolio, like writing to specific criteria on a deadline. Enter the freelance writing job! There isn’t a single one of us that isn’t delighted to get a check for something we’ve written! It’s an awesome feeling.
Submitting a great article to a trade publication is one way to get this started and who isn’t interested in being paid for their expertise and/or research? Remember that you are a storyteller as you polish that piece, and include color, texture, and triggers that bind the reader to the piece! What magazines do you read? Why? Their website will have information regarding submitting to them.
Have a favorite paper you’ve written for something or a topic you’ve worked hard to learn well? Who is looking for – or has published in the past – something similar? That’s your target market. Write-edit-polish-send-repeat.
Here are few recent markets I’ve been made aware of from the Worldwide Freelance Writers Newsletter:
PTO Today, USA A magazine published four times a year for leaders of parent groups (often called parent-teacher organizations) at the 80,000 elementary and middle schools across the United States. Articles focus on helping the volunteer leaders of these groups run their organizations more efficiently and support their schools more effectively. Pay ranges from $150 to $500.
Preaching, USA A website that provides tools and ideas for pastors and church leaders to help them lead well. Three categories of editorial content: feature articles, sermon manuscripts, and homiletic resources. Pays up to $50 honorarium upon publication.
Proceedings, USA The monthly magazine of the U.S. Naval Institute. Welcomes constructive controversy. Paying market.
Keep reading, writing and staying positive! There’s enormous power in all three.
This post will be quick as I’m chasing yet another deadline! I hope this finds you well and taking good care of yourself as well as your tribe!! Oh – and have a safe and Happy 4th of July!
Here we go!
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. What TV shows do they watch? Movies? What music do they enjoy? What do they do on weekends for enjoyment? How do you do this, you ask? Join reader groups online and get to know those readers. Do you write in a specific genre? Just Google that genre and/or sub-genre and you’ll find many places you can visit to learn about YOUR potential readers. Have people emailed you about one of your books or a talk you gave? What was important to them? Make up a character sketch of that “ideal reader” and keep those points in mind when writing your book and your marketing copy!
REACH YOUR READERS where they hang out. Where do your friends go on Social Media? Google for the stats if you have the demographic information for your reader and find out where they are. This way you can focus on paid advertising or even promotional offers in those places.
BE A CONSISTANT MEMBER OF THE TRIBE. Join groups before you launch your book. Read, contribute, listen, and learn from the group. Sure, it’s okay to mention your book, writing challenges, etc in some contexts, but those tribes don’t exist for our promotions. They exist to be in relationship with one another, so get known as a useful and healthy member of the tribe and that tribe will be eager to support you when that book comes out! If you are a writer, you’d better be a pretty active reader, too – so relate to reader groups as a reader!
BE RELIABLE with your blog posts, your newsletters, your Facebook updates, or any other Social Media information. Industry statistics show that Social Media work is only effective when done on a regular schedule and those posts provide value for the reader.
DO THE THING YOU ENJOY and that enjoyment will shine through. Do you love blogging and hate Facebook? Well, do the blog and then just tell the blog where your Facebook page is – you don’t have to go to FB at all! Do you love Instagram and find that fun and exciting for you? Then do Instagram – which is owned by Facebook by the way. Love those short tweets? Then Twitter is your game. Whatever your love, use it and provide quality content, consistently! You’ll be building fans steadily.
WRITE THE NEXT BOOK! Writing the next book for your fans is the best thing you can do to build your writing career. Don’t cut corners – put out that same quality that they’ve learned to rely on you for, and plan to do it as often as you can!
BE FLEXIBLE and willing to try new things. Learn from reader input and learn from writer input. Have a colorful and wacky idea for a reader event on Facebook Live or Google Teams? Go for it! It might be the perfect thing. Have you gotten a terrific offer to advertise in a cool magazine like Redbook or Woman’s World? If you can do it with your budget and you feel strongly about doing it – go ahead!
Keep reading and writing – we’ll see you next week!!
As a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association, I am privy to a lot of great industry support, information, and changes. One of the things that has come out of the COVID-19 support commitment is a Member Roundtable. Good information, great input from other members, and being a small publisher who now publishes one of her two series in addition to publishing other authors, that input is very valuable.
Two weeks ago, I learned a great deal about BookShop.org. We’re going to put up a bookstore of our own on the site to help our authors sell books and gain exposure, but maybe the more appealing aspect for me as a writer and a publisher is that by doing that I can help support Indie Bookstores. And if writers aren’t going to support independent bookstores, we’re very foolish. That’s like cowboys doing nothing about the extinction of cows.
They are a B Corporation – one committed to working for the public good. CEO Andy Hunter explained why he built BookShop.org, what it means to independent book stores, and how everyone and anyone that supports those stores from the authors to the reviewers will benefit from working with BookShop.org. He’s designed an amazing business model – and in less than 3 months has wrestled away just over 2% of Amazon’s book sales!
The profits on a book sale are divided in such a way that ALL indie bookstores will benefit from the general fund which receives 10% of each sale. There’s a complete list of indies stores that are members – and some of them carry my books so I can tell you I’ll be supporting them at BookShop.org.
Success in publishing requires many symbiotic relationships. As an author, you can establish an affiliate site and get paid 10% for your sales. Amazon pays 4.5% to affiliates. And, the professional reviewers signing up to support BookShop.org are an impressive lot, too. Companies like Buzzfeed and Literary Hub have led the way but Andy reported that that list doubles each week.
As of June 10, sales at BookShop.org have reached 300,000 per day, a number they’d hoped to reach by end of the year. The world is demanding all sorts of change – and the growth of this enterprise is evidence that readers are included in that. There are lots of future plans for BookShop.org to remain competitive with Amazon but the bottom line is this: by paying a bit more for our books we are working together to save the industry of independent bookstores.
For me, that’s worth a whole lot!
Check them out at BOOKSHOP.ORG and download the brochure for authors – or publishers. I think you’ll see the value for your book sales.