Our CVTech writing and publishing class is learning about blogging tonight! What do you blog about? I like to blog about current events, but some folks I know add their poetry or daily activities. Is your blog like your Facebook page or not?
Our new semester of writers is beginning the Write Publish & Market Your Book class at the BRAND NEW CVTech facility! We’re so excited to begin again! We have Kay Dorn and PJ Acker who write fiction. We also have Randel Conner who has written a fictional memoir of his childhood in El Reno, OK. Then, Melina Johnson is writing a book to dovetail with a documentary film she is currently making. We still have a couple other students joining us, and I look forward to working with everyone on query letters, marketing, bios, and more! http://www.creativequills.com http://www.cvtech.edu
Tonight, we’re working on marketing ideas and improving writing. We’re talking about joining clubs and going to conferences and how to improve your resume by participating in writer’s clubs at an officer’s level.
We’ve also been discussing authors who self-published before getting discovered. How about John Grisham who self-published A Time to Kill? How about James Redfield of The Celestine Prophecy? How about Joe Vitale of The Secret? Remembrance of Things Past, by Marcel Proust. Ulysses, by James Joyce. The Adventures of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter.
While you are waiting for your book to be discovered, why not self-publish in an on-demand version tat will cost you as little as $2/copy with full glossy cover and as much as $5-7 for a larger book or a full color. How to do this? You can self-publish using an on-demand company like http://www.createpace.com. Here’s a tip–use the guided self-publishing templates: don’t pay Createspace do it for you. Cheaper is better, but if you follow their guided instructions, it’s FREE, except for the ISBN and bar code. Make sure you buy your ISBN and bar code there, because it’s cheaper than buying from Bowker. You can get the ISBN and bar code for $99 on Createspace. You can create a cover, use a template of any size to create your book, and there are many helps, if you need help. When I had problems, I called them, and they helped me at no charge. if you choose the “expert help” option, you will pay through the nose, and that is unnecessary.
After your book and cover are uploaded, you can then put your book onto Kindle, so your book will sell as both a print book on Amazon and Createspace–and as a Kindle ebook reader or your phone. (You must transfer it to Kindle, but there are easy instructions about how to do that, too.) By the way, when you promote your book, send as many people as you can to the Createspace store to purchase, because your royalty will be greater! Yay, right?
Be sure to edit edit edit your book before uploading, because that is the biggest complaint about self-published books, and that is why self-published books are not so well respected. So, edit edit edit, and prove the world wrong by publishing a perfect manuscript. Then order a proof to review. You can do this as a hard copy–or you can use their virtual reviewer online. The first time, I suggest you order the book to look at it in person first.
Also, make sure you somewhat copy what a typical frontispiece page and copyright page for the front of your book. Find a book that you like, and make your font pages similar. Do NOT cut and paste from other people’s books: that’s considered plagiarism and is a no no!
Once you have your own book, then you can order books at cost, and give examples away to important people–or, of course, sell sell sell!
Meantime, you can be sending out your manuscript to traditional publishers, but be forewarned, often traditional publishers do not like to hear you are self-published, unless you have sold many thousands and have a following. However, that doesn’t mean you can become a local and online author personality with your book and making money with it. Go for it, guys, and have fun! We’re doing it in our group!
CVTech writers are working on blogs and websites tonight. Some folks are editing. We are talking about titles and book covers. Here are some recommendations for your title: 1) Be short and catchy. 2) Alliteration is good: ex: Saddles and Spurs 3) Pick something that has the flavor of who you are. ex: Twisted Sister 4) Use words that are easy to spell. ex: The Red Shoes 5) Use a phrase that might be an adage or have some mystery: The Meaning of Nothing or Measure Twice, Cut Once. 6) A good one word title that easy to spell is always great: Interstellar.
Covers need to have excellent, striking art with easy to read graphics. Look at covers of books in your genre to get an idea. Suggestion: Buy the art outright. Go to your local college and find out who the best artist is there by going to student art shows. Set a budget, and offer a price for what you want. Make sure the colors are vibrant and catchy. Use a good graphics or cover art template for the title and author pages, or get a graphic artist to help you. Make sure your fonts are easy to read and evocative of your genre. (Western style fonts for a Western) Make sure the color of the font contrasts with the whatever is behind it, so that the font is easily readable. Use simpler rather than more elaborate fonts. Make them visible, size wise.
This is good advice for your website and blog too! My suggestion is, get a FREE blog that you change on a regular basis with updated material, and get a website as your home base, or resume page, and where you can sell your book. Give freebies occasionally to tempt people to buy your book. I never pay anyone else to do my stuff, because sometimes website builders disappear, and then you can’t control your own website. You can make a good website all on your own with a little help, for not a lot of money, and then YOU are in control. have fun becoming a writer, an expert, and an all around creative person!
How to Contact Media for Oklahoma
- Oklahoma Press Association http://www.okpress.com/ This contains list of newspapers, contests, jobs available, and more.
- TV: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_television_stations_in_Oklahoma
- Radio : http://www.usnpl.com/radio/okradio.php
All forms of media: http://www.usnpl.com/
Find out more at http://www.creativequills.com http://www.okwriters.com
Buy our book! https://www.createspace.com/6429927
Here are the basics for even the most grassroots oriented businesses:
Things to have:
- Good name, easy to spell and remember
- Good logo, easily recognizable, that may elicit questions & maybe a saying/phrase
- Business card, labels, small flyers, or other simple easy object sto create, memorable but not unwieldy
- Other promotional objects: T-shirts or bumper stickers. You don’t have to do quantity!
- Web site, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media presence, like Meetup!
- Reviews and presence online.
- Know how to write a press release for a) Newspapers, television b) Newswire, online
Important Questions to Ask Yourself:
- What is my product/service?
- Who is my audience/client/customer?
- What age are they?
- What media do they use?
- How can I reach them?
Important to Gather On a Regular Basis:
- Emails, phone numbers, contact information
- Think of ways to target new groups outside of your typical market.
- What do your clients want or need?
- Think about occasional freebies.
The most effective marketing methods:
- Email newsletters or blogs
- Local television and radio
- Local events
Things to remember to Do
- Be connected: Twitter, WordPress, Facebook, Vine, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, Meetup, etc.
- Give good “customer service”.
- Write thank yous.
- Do follow up.
- Give something free once in a while, either a clip from your book, or a reading from it, or a free copy to a librarian or bookstore clear or manager.
- Tag everything related to your product.
Remember that this is a journey: one step at a time, so do what you can today, and let it go! And ENJOY!!!
Tonight, in our CVTech class, we will finish our bios and include them in our query letters. Last week, we read good queries and some bad ones. I’ve posted this info before, but you might like to see it again, so here it is:
Query Letter Tips
- Personalize the address. Make sure everything, especially the agent’s name, is spelled correctly.
- Know something about the agent or editor. Do your homework. Find out what they like, and see if you can gear your query letter in that way.
- Mention if you have queried this person before.
- Read some good and bad samples queries online or in writer’s books and magazines.
- Have a great book or article title.
- Have a great first line for your query.
- Use your voice or the voice of the book’s subject. Be unique.
- Have a good lone liner about the book, and use it.
- Use the title, genre, and word count in first paragraph or one-liner about your piece.
- Summarize your work clearly, hitting on main themes, especially those you know to be of interest to the agent or editor.
- Do not give too much plot, too many character names, too many details. This is not Game of Thrones or even Dickens, even if, in the end, the book is!
- If you do mention characters, mention the really intriguing or unique ones.
- Mention comparable books.
- Mention how yours is different.
- Don’t tell them how wonderful your book is. If it’s wonderful, they will call you! This is not the time or place for hubris!
- Give your short bio.
- Include publicity concepts with which you have had personal experience. No, “I’m going to do this.” Instead, “I am a regular speaker at this event, place, club. I have been a featured radio guest in the NYC area.”
- After reading your own query, ask yourself, pretending you are the agent/editor, “Do I want to know more?” (Or, am I a bore? You need a re-write, if it’s the latter!)
- Proofread, and make it perfect! Errors and misspellings will put you in the “Forget it!” pile. Do your due diligence as a writer!
- Remember, shorter is better. As I said, this is not the place for War and Peace.
Hope you enjoy!