It’s All About Me–NOT!

by Carole Brown

Why helping your fellow-authors is beneficial to YOUR writing career.

  • Don’t ever think one writer is more important than another. Why? The simple friends freeanswer is, because they’re not. We’re all equal. We’re all important in our own rights. We’re all traveling on different paths of this journey, whether by our own efforts, desires, decisions, God’s will, or whatever. No one should be able to say, I’m superior because of blah, blah, blah.
  • Promote other authors. But that takes time away from my own limited time frame, you say. Yep, but not much. So then, how?

1.  Begin with your local friends and local or close writer groups. These people are those who you no doubt associate with frequently or meet with often. They might be closer friends, those you talk with online more often than others. 

  • How long will it take to hit a share button for a new release or promotion? Requests to help by tweeting? Do it if you have a Twitter account.
  • When fellow/friend authors hold online promotions, try to take a few minutes and blog-freeshow up at their event site. Like a few posts, make a comment or two, let her/him know you’re there to support.
  • If you have a blog, host an author now and then, or maybe do like I do sometimes and have a post recommending (and promoting) another (or two or three) author’s book(s).
  • Share your knowledge, speak when the opportunity opens, help guide newbies with hints and ideas on how to they  can proceed successfully in their journey.

2.  Branch out. These are new people, those who’ve already “made it” and those who could be beneficial to your career. How to do this?

  • Be friendly, but not pushy. Almost everyone appreciates a smile, a complsmile_faceiment and a word of encouragement.
  • At conferences, sitting with others you might not know that well, be prepared to share a thought or two or, if the chance comes up, a question or two. Know how to phrase your own credentials in a positive, but unboasting way, even if you’re not a bestselling author yet.
  • Reach out when opportunities come up. Doesn’t matter what they are, if you’re comfortable with the offer, have the time (or can make the time), do it.

 

Extra thoughts:

Look for opportunities to do something nice.  An example:

At one conference, sitting at a table next to an editor I had thought I might want to approach about a book, I realized after a bit, that we wouldn’t be a good match. So when another author from across the table and the editor began talking and seemed to be on the same level, I offered my seat next to the editor to the author. I immediately saw how impressed the editor was that I would do that. No, at the time, we weren’t a good match. But down the road? Who knows what might/could happen?

Benefits for You:

  • Gets you attention. People notice when others do nice things. They may not let you know about it at the time, but believe me, they will see and remember. When you need a favor or an “in” you’ll already have established yourself in others’ eyes as a worthy person.
  • Gives you a leg-up on opportunities. You may not need or even want many that pop up, but occasionally you’ll find one that interests you or benefits your writing efforts. Grab it and to with it. You earned it.
  • Gives you Author Exposure. Whether you’re published now, or it’s in your future, you want to get known. Yes, this is similar to the first benefit I mentioned. That one feeling good freepointed primarily toward view you as a polite, charismatic person nice to be around. This one is more business-oriented. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is worthless when it comes to getting your name out there, and when you help others, you get noticed. More people will be encouraged to buy your books, ask you for endorsements and reviews and to write blog posts for their sites. You want all the exposure you can get.
  • Gives you a great feeling about yourself.

A couple warnings:

  • You’ll never be able to keep up with all the requests you’ll eventually getattention2 free from others wanting/needing endorsements and reviews. You’ll have to follow your heart on this one. Just remember that the one who might not be quite as popular may appreciate and need that review more than the more successful author. Think about it.
  • Secondly, a pet peeve confession! 🙂  I see on some of the author group sites I’m part of, that a person may share an achievement, an event or some other good news. Two, three, sometimes more will like and congratulations, but what do I see? Many who’ve viewed that post, but didn’t have time to hit, at the least, a like? Why? Well, I’m not God, not even a judge, but it makes me wonder, and it hurts me to think that people can see a wonderful happening in their “friend’s” life and not even show their happiness for them. Think about it.

Remember: It’s all about YOU and ME. 

 

 

A Welcome to Diane Thieler

Welcoming Diane Theiler today. She’s promoting two books–both of which sound really good.

Tell us a little bit of how you were called, or began writing. Happenstanceimage1? A clear call? A chosen career?

The Lord has worked on my heart for years about witnessing. I kept telling him I wasn’t a good speaker. Every time I said those words, he’d say “Write a book.” I fought writing for years. Probably close to thirty years. Then one day I gave up and started writing. I loved it! I’m so sorry I waited so long.

What is the message(s) in the book you’re promoting today? Do you like a definite spiritual theme or do you keep it less obvious as you write?

  • Heaven’s Bait is a story told from the Soul’s point of view. I’ve always loved Frank Peretti’s books and thought it would be cool to write one about the struggles the Soul goes through when we make bad decisions.

Headstrong Annie Parker is taken from her home in the middle of the night. Her memory gone, her family unconcerned, and her signature on a binding contract, leave her no choice but to accept her fate when she discovers she is Soul. Her journey is filled with adventure and fear as she fights to save her physical self from Satan’s grasp. Her battle takes her through a demon infested forest where she must deal with the past, get rid of pride, and discover her need for Jesus.

  • Black Mamba – A Story of Love and Faith is a romantic suspense. Black Mamba is a group of underground warriors involved in human trafficking and the name of the image3strategic game they play.

Christene Bickley, the truth diamonds, and a deadly game of Black Mamba with its strategic moves, cause Bradley C. Whitmore to risk everything to save the woman he loves.

Determined to keep his vow to God and be the best Secret Agent he can be, Brad infiltrates a cell of traffickers and does the unthinkable in order to solve his case and save Christene. The reckless decision sends both Christene’s and his lives into chaos as they strive to outwit elite Black Mamba warriors who are determined to kill them. Overcoming one obstacle after another takes its toll when events transpire to keep Brad and Christene apart, but Brad is determined to keep them together.
What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it? J

  • Heaven’s Bait – The symbolism. This book is filled with symbolism and allows the readers to identify the demons in their own lives, see their need for Jesus, and gain inspiration from the Word of God.
  • Black Mamba – I love when Christene decides she wants Brad’s God to be her God. The scene touches my heart.

Give us a few items about yourself: hobbies, loves, fun or weird habits, food/snack kicks you like, what would you be if not a writer–that sort of thing.

  • I like to try new things. I loved sky diving, getting covered in paint, ziplining, and writing. Didn’t care much for bungi jumping although it was fun after I jumped.

Lastly, share an incident when you’ve been very happy/excited or very disappointed/depressed during and because of your writing career? How were you able to get past the bad and move on to the good?

I was very excited about my book release party. I have the best friends. One sent her daughter to do my hair. The other had her daughter take pictures as if she was the paparazzi to make me feel like a star. A lot of my friends came. It was a wonderful night and gave me the confidence I needed to go forward with my writing career.

Thanks for giving me the chance to do this interview.

About Diane:
Diane Theiler spends her spare time writing Romance and Christian Suspense novels, mentoring young girls, and enjoying her family. She loves a good story and has no trouble admitting she’s been bitten by the writing bug since her children left the nest.
Diane’s first novel, ‘Heaven’s Bait’ has been a huge success. If you haven’t already read it be sure to get a copy. Just like ‘Black Mamba’ it will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. Both books are available at Amazon.com and Kindle.com as well as other local bookstores.

Connect with Diane here:
https://dianetheiler.com
https://twitter.com/DianeTheiler
https://www.facebook.com/Diane-Theiler-Author-292696167567196/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/diane-theiler
https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/103242911732185256852/103242911732185256852/posts

 To buy her books, go here:                                                                                                                        Link for ‘Heaven’s Bait
Amazon

Link for ‘Black Mamba
Amazon

I’m Not a Brain Surgeon!

The beautiful parsurgery2 freet of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time–unlike, say, a brain surgeon! –Robert Cormier

 

That’s what editing is all about. Here’s how my writing process goes:

  • Come up with an idea, plot, write. I try to get the story down without worrying too much about editing the first time around. I can’t do that totally–I’m always editing, making little corrections: maybe the wrong word was placed in a sentence, or I spelled a word edit freeincorrectly, or I used “????” meaning the thought needed some research or verifying. I might make some editing in the story line.

Once I finally have the first draft completed, I like to give it a few days rest. It gives my brain a chance to refresh from the story. I might work on another one or do some marketing or even an altogether different project. But eventually . . .

  • It’s time to begin some serious editing. I read through the story, making notes as I go. Correct this sentence. Rearrange this scene. Change the wording, etc. I normally end up with multiple pages or corrections, and that’s a good thing. It means I’ve found the majority of the issues that need addressed.

While I’m waiting on my editor to go over my corrections and to make the adjustments needed, I, again, take a few days to relax and breathe fresh air. By the time the pdf reaches me for a second round of editing, I’m ready to go.

  • The third edit is less intense, but just as important. By now, I’ve caught the major mistakes in my novel. I can concentrate on the depth of the story line, look for any flaws in the main plot and also the subplot threads. I can beef up any weak scenes and tighten all the places that might lag in interest for the reader.

Depending on the story, the editor, and the time available, edits can be from three to twenty rounds. Of course, twenty is pushing it a little, but it can happen, especially with a super picky or super good editor. And hopefully, most, if not all, the mistakes have been found and corrected. That’s the nemesis that dogs most authors’ heels–the thought that we might have missed some flaws not caught.

But, unlike the brain surgeon, who must usually get it right that first time, an author does have the leeway of “edits.” But then that’s part of being an author.

Write, edit, market.elsa free

Pretty much sums it all up.

 

Guest Author Rebecca Waters – Book Marketing is like Flirting, Dating, and Getting Engaged

Rebecca WatersRebecca Waters

Rebecca Waters views writing as both a gift and a ministry. As a teacher education professor at Cincinnati Christian University, Rebecca’s writing focused on journals of professional education. Now, she is active as a freelance writer, novelist, and speaker. She has published in national publications such as Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Lookout Magazine, and Home Health Aide Digest. “My goal in everything I write is to serve God.” Rebecca and her husband live in Florida. They have three adult daughters, three sons-in-law, and seven grandchildren.

Book Marketing: Flirting, Dating, and Getting Engaged

I realize the title sounds a bit risqué. It is, however, to the point. As writers we think of ourselves as isolated word wizards, hammering away, trying to capture the stories we see playing out in our heads. We envision handing our precious manuscripts over to a wise and caring publisher who reads every word we have written. Our dream is that our words paint such a memorable and vivid picture, the creative juices of our publishing team will pour everything they have into pulling our great work into a book and marketing it with pizazz. Get real.

Today’s author needs to think about more than writing. Part of the author’s job is to market the book. For many, marketing means advertising, maintaining a presence on social media, arranging book signings, and speaking engagements. Today’s post looks at the book itself and what you as an author can do before the book is published to garner the attention of your audience.

As in any relationship, there are various stages. Put yourself in the place of the reader.

Flirting: Think about it. You pick up a book, take a look at the cover and turn the book over. You read the back cover and see if you’re interested in investing in this relationship. As an author you need to give attention to the design of the book cover. Will you have total control over this? Probably not, but you will have a say. What feel do you want your book to have? Are there colors or textures you think connect to your story? Think about the cover as you write the book. Fiction or non-fiction-both require a compelling cover.

The back cover copy? This may be harder to write than your book. It is, after all, the ultimate pick-me-up line.

Another way authors flirt with their readers is by posting quotes from their books on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites. These teasers don’t give away the story, but hint at the possibilities. Begin posting these quotes about a month prior to your release date.

Dating: This is the getting-to-know-you-a-bit-better stage. Some authors do that by sending out excerpts, a first chapter, or offering potential readers a synopsis. When you do this, be sure to refer to your work by its title or as “the book” instead of “my book.” No one wants to remain in a relationship with a narcissistic author.

Since Breathing on Her Own was my debut novel, I decided to offer a sort of “blind date” to potential readers. I wrote four short pieces for the blog A Novel Creation. These stories introduced readers to my characters a month prior to the book release. If you are interested, these may be found at www.waterswords.com (The fourth and final story is published today, March 12, 2014).

And since it was a “blind date,” I pitched in on part of the tab. Readers were encouraged to share the post and email me with how they did that. I drew a name each week and one lucky reader received a $5 gift card to Starbucks. I think the dating game was successful. My blog views doubled the first week and new readers subscribed. Growth continued in the following weeks.

Getting Engaged: Okay, if you are a reader, you reach a point where you’re ready to commit to this relationship. You buy the book or download it on your Kindle. You need to see how this story plays out. Yep, this is the moment you have dreamed of all your writing life.  You want your readers to come to you on bended knee. Or at least with your book in hand. And if he should offer a review? Break out the sparkling grape juice. This one’s a keeper.

BOHO front coverBreathing on Her Own

by Rebecca Waters

The book, Breathing on Her Own, is the story of a middle aged woman coming face-to-face with her crumbling faith when she learns her adult daughter is injured a horrific car accident while driving under the influence. (The time honored “elevator pitch.” A sort of “Would you be interested in hanging out with me?” blurb.)

Breathing on Her Own is being released March 25, 2014 from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

Preorders are being accepted by going to http://www.amazon.com/dp/1941103154/

Angela Breidenbach – Peaceful Pre-release Planning

Angela BPeaceful Pre-release Planning

by Angela Breidenbach

Learning about new release marketing is a bit like standing under a pounding waterfall. The deluge can push an author off the ledge and into a deep pool of churning chaos as she tries to keep up with all the demands. How can an author begin to make sense of it all?

One thing that helps me manage it all is to learn one thing at a time. As a learner (one of my Top 5 Strengths from the Strengths Finder 2.0 testing) digging in and absorbing new information is fun to me. I want to learn everything I can until my curiosity is satisfied. I’ve tried to learn one new thing until I know it well rather than scatter myself over the surface of everything. But a few weeks ago I stumbled on something from Amazon I hadn’t heard of in new release marketing. The huge behemoth sells pre-order books at nearly 50% off the retail cover price. Barnes & Noble and Christianbook.com follow with pre-order sale specials. Whoa! I had no idea about this practice.

I didn’t know about this regular marketing event until I accidentally hit a link while writing a blog post. The link shot me over to my book page. Stunned, I saw the major discount. Excited, I tweeted it and began asking friends to tweet for me too. Something amazing happened. The Amazon algorithm shot up. But I wasn’t sure if it was my social media or a fluke. So I repeated it and could pin point each time the spike happened. My book’s rating went from the millions to as high as 37K and change.

I contacted my publisher, Abingdon Press, and asked if they had any knowledge of the length of the promotion. My marketing director, Cat Hoort, said it was an Amazon choice. My editor, Ramona Richards, found the rating movement interesting as well.

Another interesting thing happened. My Amazon author rating spiked. But again, I wondered if it was a fluke that my pre-order book was scaling the Amazon ratings on a book that hadn’t even released yet. I stopped tweeting. Partially because I had a speaking event over a weekend and partially because I wanted to know if I did nothing, what would happen? The numbers dropped significantly. I began tweeting again, the numbers moved upward exponentially. It’s been a very fun roller coaster experiment.

I didn’t want to only promote one seller. I checked as many online retailers as I knew and found two others marketing pre-order specials. Barnes and Noble copied the exact 46% discount while Christianbook.com set their price about $1 above, but still on a major discount. It’s not as easy to watch response on the other retailers, but I felt sharing options for readers would benefit people who preferred one retailer over another.

One more surprise waited for me. Two weeks before my new release date, I found the Kindle version on sale as well. I’ve started tweeting—and the same results. I’m delighted and looking forward to how these specials affect A Healing Heart long-term.

So how do you manage it all? Are you supposed to get obsessive over the Amazon ratings? Not at all. With advance knowledge about pre-order specials, it’s easier to pre-plan a social media campaign by scheduling tweets through hootsuite. Put a reminder in your calendar. Watch your book starting at a month out for the pre-order special sale. When it happens, copy the link into your social media scheduling program like hootsuite.com. Weave the tweets through the month in varying times between other reader friendly tweets so you’re not perceived as hard sell. Notify friends to tweet and retweet with you. Use hook lines and hashtags to market the specials. Here’s a sample of one I used:

Angie Breidenbach@AngBreidenbach  #Amazon A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach http://ow.ly/idjNn  A workaholic’s heart attack forces her to trust the 1 man she can’t!

Remember by letting your readers know about the pre-order specials, you’re really offering a great savings and a service. The blessing for you as the author is excitement over your new release in the month prior.

Another tip for pre-planning a new release? As you write guest posts and interviews, pre-load those links into hootsuite (or your favorite scheduling tool) to save the frazzled stress as the guest posts and interviews go live.

How would I encourage an author going into the hectic time of a new release? Preplan instead of standing under the waterfall drowning. With a little warning, you can enjoy the time and the results.

Meet the Author:

Angela Breidenbach is a speaker, coach, and author of A Healing Heart, April 2013 from Abingdon Press in the Quilts of Love series. Her family tradition is to create the life story on a photo memory quilt for each graduating senior. She is certified in mentor/peer counseling as a CTA life coach, as a Stephen Minister, and a weight loss/nutrition coach. Angela serves as an assisting minister (worship/prayer leader) for her congregation in Missoula, MT.

http://www.AngelaBreidenbach.com

Twitter: @AngBreidenbach

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/AngelaBreidenbachInspirationalSpeakerAuthor

Click the pic below for info on buying Angela’s latest novel.

official cover QuiltsofLove A_Healing_Heart blogAbout A Healing Heart: What would you do if your heart broke both emotionally and physically?

Workaholic, Mara Keegan, must heal her heart from loss and a heart attack before she can love again. But she has to trust her business to the one man that tried to destroy it.

A heart attack has stopped Mara Keegan in her tracks, leaving her daughter’s unfinished photo memory quilt hanging by a thread. Little does Mara know, this quilt—and the memories it bolsters—are the key to her rehabilitation. But Mara’s heart needs to be healed in more ways than one. And Joel Ryan is fraying her last nerve. With her daughter’s graduation fast approaching, even Mara starts to wonder if she—and her faith—can mend in time. Will Joel’s photo find a place on the quilt… and in Mara’s heart?

A Healing Heart, Abingdon Press releases April 1, 2013 as #6 in the Quilts of Love Books series.Where can you buy it? Your local book store or online at many of these retailers: Christianbook.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon

Promotion: Signiture Lines

Many writers miss one of the easiest ways to promote their work, the signature line. Basically this consists of how you sign your email and your posts in forums. If you have a program like outline, you can use it to automatically post your signature line on the bottom of every email you send.

This is what should go in a signature line:

Name

Tag line if any

Books published (If you don’t have a book published yet, put your WIP here.)

Website

Blogs

That’s all there is too it. Here’s my signature. It goes on the bottom of every email I send out.

Tamera Lynn Kraft
Faith Filled Historicals For the Adventurous Heart
WIP Novels: America, Forks In The Road, The Narrow Road
TKrafty at sbcglobal.net
https://wordsharpeners.wordpress.com
http://tameralynnkraft.com
http://shoutlife.com/tamera
http://twitter.com/tamerakraft
http://facebook.com/Tamera.Kraft

Your Internet Presence

Your Internet presence is very important when it comes to getting published. One of the first things an agent or publisher might do if he’s interested in your manuscript is to google you. You may not even realize what you think is a private conversation online might be out there for all to see. Here are some tips when it comes to maintaining a good Internet presence.

Don’t ever bash publishers, agents, or best-selling authors online. You may never know who’s viewing your conversation.

Search your name on Google, Bing, and Yahoo Search engines. Even if your careful, you might find something embarrassing under your name because someone else is using the same name.

Use Google Alerts. Google Alerts you about when your name comes up on the Internet. You’ll receive an email everyday.

Be Careful. Innocent things can trip you up.

A friend of mine blogged about her journey in getting published. She received word an agent was interested and wrote about her excitement and misgivings because this agent was new, someone she hadn’t heard of. The agent turned out to be reputable but was no longer interested in representing her after reading her blog.

I am the director of a children’s ministry with a huge online presence. One day I googled the ministry name and found a conversation I had on a writing site was number three. That conversation was about sexual content in fiction. Although I didn’t say anything I was ashamed of, I didn’t want my ministry name to be connected with sex. This happened because I had a link to my ministry in my signature line. I removed the link.

These two horror stories show you just how important it is to maintain your Internet presence. No matter how careful you are, little things can trip you up.