The CVTech writers from the Write Publish & Market Your Book II Workshop class have finished up this semester with many accomplishments. Debbie Fogle has uploaded a new book to Createspace. Hart Tillett, Carol Nichols, and Rosemarie Durgin are working at uploading their book and formatting their books right now. Judy Bishop has created a blog and is formatting her new poetry book for uploading. Clay Fees is writing and revising his book on muscle cars! Tanner Milgrim is still writing and revising his sci-fi novel. Chuck Baker has compiled all his short stories, created a cover, and is preparing to upload his book. shane Smith has written synopses, sent query letters, and is editing and revising his book for sending out to traditional publishers. Julie Marquardt is also preparing her book for submission to traditional pubs, but she also may create an on-demand book for the new semester. Many of our writers are ready to upload their books and get hard copy! Yeah! This semester, we also have Connie Sweeney working on her children’s book and deciding how to proceed with illustrators and the like. Many different wonderful projects. See the picture below with our writers and their new book of Western short stories, Tales & Trails: A Western Odyssey. http://www.okwriters.com Off we go! Yeah!
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
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!
Redlands College student and Iron Tree barista Blake Murphy is also a famous podcaster! He is going to be teaching our authors at CVTech how to make a movie on their phones!
Here’s (from L to R) Carol & Woody Gimbel, Judy Bishop, Chuck Baker, Chloe Janning, Johnna McCarthy, Tanner Milgrim, Blaze Nowlin, and Jo Azzarello–waiting on Blake! Bernadette Lowe is missing from the picture, but Blake is here!! We are going to learn how to be YouTube stars!
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!
I just want to send a thank you to all the folks who have supported our Creative Quills Writing Group, including former library director Amy Brandley, friend & musician Colin Forsey, current library director Penny Beals, and all the library staff at El Reno Carnegie Library! We are on a roll and intend to help many more scribes reach their publishing goals! …while having a ball, of course! Book can be purchased on Createspace at https://www.createspace.com/6429927 or on Amazon Kindle. I also want to thank CVTech for allowing me to share my knowledge with the many great folks who have come through the publishing classes there! Many converted over to Creative Quills, and so the publishing group was born! Many many thanks to all!
Our Wednesday Workshop at http://www.cvtech.edu is for writers who have already taken my Write Publish & Edit Your Book class and now want to figure out all the technical details of perfecting books for querying and creating social media marketing, like websites, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. (and more!) In this class, we get to WORK. Oh, boy! But it’s fun!
Here, we are getting ready to do blogs and websites!
Busy busy busy! http://www.okwriters.com http://www.creativequills.com