Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
Original post Sept. 28,2010
Stephen King steps up, writes a couple paragraphs and then the“guest” writer fills in the rest. When done, the winning“guest” gets a publishing contract with Harper Collins,Simon and Schuster, Zondervans or any other publisher of his/her choice.
HEAVEN HELP US! SIGN ME UP!
Now, that’s the way it should come to us.Wrapped in a bow and filled with all the goodies the literary world has to offer, but . . .
REALITY REARS ITS UGLY HEAD
and here we are, plugging away at the keyboard, not with Stephen King, but with the cat,or the dog, or the ferret or (fill in your own helper). Chris Harrison isn’t holding a rose, waiting for us to finish the next great American novel.
“Will you accept this publishing contract?” And he hands us the rose.
WAKE UP, STUPID! WRONG SHOW!
Jeff Probst might be closer to reality. After all, to make it in writing, you need to persevere and be . . . A Survivor!
Friday, January 27, 2012
In the past, Facebook has always labeled a paid ad as "Sponsored", but these new ads will be labeled as "Featured", which has a level of confusion for many users. At first, Facebook said that they would show only one "Sponsored" story in a person's News Feed per day, but once again that has changed. If you visit your News Feed often throughout the day, you may notice several "Featured" ads.
One of the reasons, Facebook chose to label these ads as “Featured” instead of “Sponsored” is because all of them must be related to friends and/or Pages you've "Liked." Advertisers can't just pay for an ad and have it display in your News Feed unless you have either interacted with them or their page in the past or one of your friends have done so. To make it even more confusing, you're written story can also be "Featured" as an ad, but only shown to people whom you originally shared it.
So what about YOU? Have you seen any of these "Featured" ads and/or stories in your News Feed? Would you pay for a "Featured" ad on Facebook?
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
It is time for First Pages, Would You Read On? Let us know what you think of today's courageous writers first page. This is written for the 7 - 11 year old reader, so please keep that market in mind as you read.
“But why can’t we go, too?” Madeline whined.
Madeline Anastasia Theodora Star, or as she liked to be called Mat, and her younger brother, Danny, wanted to go along on the missionary trip with their parents, however, they both knew they couldn’t go.
“You know we’re going away for three months this time,” Mom said. “Next time, when we go on a shorter trip, you two can tag along.”
“You kids will be going on your own exciting adventure,” chimed in Dad. “You guys are going to Grandma Theodora’s house for the summer.”
Madeline was named after both of her grandmothers: Anastasia and Theodora. They had not seen Grandma Theo since Mat was four and Danny three. Now, Mat was 10 and Danny was 9 and they thought that staying at their Grandmother’s house all summer would be totally lame.
“But Dad, there’s probably nothing to do there and we’ll be bored.” Mat stated.
“Yeah,” Danny agreed, “Staying with someone old all summer is no fun.”
“Danny,” Dad scolded, “She’s your grandmother and we are all a family that loves each other. Besides, Grandma Theo can’t wait to see you guys. She’s been telling all her friends about you.”
Oh great, Mat thought. Pinched cheeks and gray-haired people telling you old-time stories all the time was not her idea of fun. This was sounding worse and worse by the minute.
“We leave in two days, so pack your bags for the beautiful town of Turtle Creek in upstate New York!”
“Ugh!” Mat and Danny both agreed- this was going to be their worst summer ever!
Last weeks First Page submission was from published author Eddie Jones. Just one of his WIP's in progress. Congrats go out to Eddie on his recent sale, a 3 book Middle Reader Mystery series sold to Zonderkidz's. If you are the parent or grandparent of a child this age, be sure to check out Eddies books. They offer a fun read to children of all ages. :-)
He appreciates your comments and suggestions, many of which were posted on FB under Diana's post of this page.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
It is painfully obvious when an agent receives a submission that only the individual’s: wife, mom, sister, brother, dad, best friend, or other has read. There are often so many mistakes that it’s difficult to reply with any encouragement. How do I know this? Because early on, I sent out submissions in much the same condition. And received far kinder words of encouragement than I deserved.
And let’s face it, we all can’t afford to attend a writing school that costs nearly as much as a decent used car. So what can we do to increase our chances of getting a “yes” in return for all of our efforts?
Let’s pretend there aren’t hundreds of absolutely wonderful books out there to help us on our journeys. Or that free classes by the dozens don’t exist on line. Or that Faithwriters, ACFW, and myriad other organizations aren’t available for us to dissect and digest their accumulative brain power. Where does that leave us?
Partners in crime. Partners who will be honest and helpful, who will give you an evaluation that will move you forward, not pat your hand or your ego. When I got serious about writing, only four years ago, and fifteen years after I actually started, and by serious, I mean willing to start to hone my craft and not merely write, write, write. Anyway, at that point, I dug into classes, attended more conferences, and began online relationships with a virtual stranger I’d met through ACFW. We were kind to each other, tried to offer tidbits of helpful knowledge, and then took off the gloves. We gradually added four more to our little BAND OF BROTHERS, sorry ladies, it doesn’t have the same military ring the other way, and decided the only way to truly get better was to dig deep, and toss all the egos. Now, mind you, we did this kindly, but honestly. We offered hope with each need to do better, and we worked at it through the times when life kicked our butts-hope that’s okay-but we prayed each other through, rewrote, re-edited, and re-applied God’s principles until we all knew we were headed in the right direction. Everyone is now published, agented, or all of the above. And those who aren’t pubbed yet are having serious reads by editors.
I could be sitting here saying, “Yessir. I’ve been writing for 20 years! Just no one out there smart enough to pick up this wonderful novel. My cousin said so.” And doing nothing to improve. Convincing myself the agents/editors just don’t like me. Personality problems, God’s timing isn’t right, I’ve written it ten times and that’s enough, right?
If you’re the hamster running the wheel, jump off! Find a crit group with writers at all levels, each has something wonderful to offer, and start to take your talent to another level. Be thankful for mom and her assessment, but let other writers steer you to success. Maybe God’s timing isn’t your timing because He’s doing your part and you aren’t.
CRITIQUE PARTNERS in crime. Invaluable!
Friday, January 20, 2012
I believe the same expectation holds true for publicists. New authors often hope a publicist's efforts will skyrocket their book to all the major bestseller lists and all kinds of bookings on radio, TV and podcasts shows will start pouring in along with major speaking engagements. The truth is, this can happen, but isn't likely. You will receive more publicity than you might through your own efforts. A publicist will raise awareness about your book, sales may increase while your campaign is being launched, but as soon as the campaign is over and excitement about the book fades, so will the sales.
I'm not writing this to depress you, but to educate you on realistic expectations, and to equip you with how best to deal with this reality. Most of us, don't have the funds lying around to keep a permanent publicity campaign going. We would go bankrupt. Yet, for as long as our books are available, they need to sell--and thanks to the changes e-publishing has brought, our digital books will never go out of print. This means your efforts in building your platform will bring even more impact in long-term sales.
My point is this, continue to plan book launch campaigns when you have a new book releasing. These efforts will be crucial in getting your book started just like early preschool education does in a child's success in school and later in life through college and on the job. Early education builds the frame work in how a child learns, changing that becomes much harder later in life once those learning habits have been developed. It's the same way with our book launches as we prepare the frame work for future book sales after the launch.
Major reviews have already been established and uploaded on sites like Amazon, B&N, ChristianBooks, LifeWay and Cokesbury. Previous interviews, blog posts, and guests posts will be available on the web for future readers to browse when they are trying to learn more about you. Your presentation has already been established, and therefore, so will the perception of readers when they find your info.
Think beyond the book launch and how you can build on this established platform as you incorporate it into your overall platform with new books. Authors no longer have a back list, they now have an also available list. This is the angle you need to be thinking when writing a marketing plan or planning your publicity promotions.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
It's after two am and Bonnie and I just finished getting the new face put on to our website and our blog. I worked on the text and the content and Bonnie applied the magic to make it all happen. She's amazing, and this old cowboy takes his hat off to her. (If you don't remember the picture, I had the pleasure of being with her when she received the Mentor of the Year award at ACFW)
One thing you will note is the fact that you shift seamlessly back and forth between the blog and the website with the same navigation bar. Pretty nifty.
We think you will find it bright and crisp, and hopefully the content is much more concise and easier to understand. If you have been to our site recently you may need to refresh your browser if a page doesn't display right, but once you have done that once it should be fine after that.
You will find a full client list, but on each agent page is a list of the clients each one of us represents. And yes, each agent has their own page now so you don't have to scroll through the whole thing looking for what you want to see.
All of the pages offered are easy to see in the pull down menus and we encourage you to prowl around and check the place out. We'd love to hear your comments on it. Take your shoes off, and make yourself at home.