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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: marketing, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 1,135
26. Guest Blogging

How to be asked to write posts for other people's blogs.

http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2014/02/guest-blogging-for-authors-10-tips-to.html

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27. Self-Talking Yourself Into Being a Better Writer, A Better Marketer

I’ve long believed the benefits of positive thinking and positive projection. Now, in line with these philosophies, there is positive self-talk. In an article at NPR.com, “Why Saying is Believing,” it explains the importance of not only talking to yourself, but how you talk to yourself. Researchers delved into the influence that referring to the ‘self’ has on how the individual thinks, feels,

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28. Book Bloggers

How do you work with book bloggers to get them interested in reviewing your book? 

http://writersinthestormblog.com/2014/11/4-tips-for-working-with-book-bloggers/

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29. How to Promote Your Work Like a Pro

Writer's Digest February 2015Now more than ever before, there are so many things we can do to promote our books, articles, stories, essays, services, and other creative works and skills—regardless of whether we’re self-published, traditionally published, or even not-yet-published. Bookstore and library events remain staples, of course, as do reviews, mentions and bylines in prominent media. But add to the mix blog tours, home pages, social networking sites, free promos, cheap promos, paid placements, Web ads, print ads, Goodreads giveaways, email lists, indie author coalitions, and the myriad services claiming to increase “discoverability,” and one thing becomes clear:

You can’t do them all.

And even if you could, who would want to? Just reading that list is enough to make even a savvy marketer’s head spin.

What you need is a strategy—one that’s developed through a solid understanding of what makes the best sense for you and your work, while allowing flexibility to bend with the changing winds.

I don’t need to tell you that self-promotion and platform building are important. In a reader survey we conducted in 2014, 61 percent of respondents listed “to learn how to promote myself and my work” as one of the primary reasons they read Writer’s Digest magazine, and 45 percent of readers requested even more coverage of the topic.

The February 2015 Writer’s Digest delivers. It’s our best and most up-to-date resource on how to promote your work—and it’s hot off the press and on newsstands now. Here’s an exclusive sneak peek at what’s inside.

Keys to a Successful Promotional Strategy

In creating this issue, first, we identified two key areas worth focusing on: your author website (essential for scribes of all stripes, from freelancer to novelist, from beginner to multi-published author) and Goodreads (a must for book authors in particular). We enlisted experts to deconstruct what you need to know to make the most of each medium. Digital media pro Jane Friedman’s “Your Author Website 101” and bestselling hybrid author Michael J. Sullivan’s “Get in Good With Goodreads” are comprehensive guides ripe for earmarking, highlighting, and referencing again and again. Whether you’re just starting to investigate how to promote a book or you are looking to create a Web presence that will be the foundation of your career, these articles are a great place to start.

Then, we put a call out to the writing community asking for “Success Stories in Self-Promotion”—and we got them, in droves. Learn through the real-life trial and error of writers whose promotional efforts ultimately yielded impressive sales, further opportunities, and, in some cases, even agents and book deals.

Best of all, as those authors share their secrets and tips, you’ll notice one key takeaway that comes up again and again:

If they can do it, so can you.

Doing What Works for You

That underscores the point that in working to improve both our craft and our career, it can help for us writers to stick together—to use one another as the valuable resources we are. The February issue also features a WD Interview with Garth Stein, best known for his runaway bestseller The Art of Racing in the Rain and his latest novel, A Sudden Light. Stein had more great insights than we had space to print, so in our online exclusive outtakes from the interview, he talks about how he came to co-found the literacy outreach group Seattle7Writers, and why every writer should have a writing friend.

The February 2015 Writer’s Digest is already getting some great buzz on Twitter, Facebook and blogs from other writers who likely share in the same platform and promotional challenges that you do. If you’re looking for fresh tips on how to promote your work—plus the usual doses of writing inspiration and craft advice we put into every issue of WD—you won’t want to miss it!

Happy Writing,
Jessica Strawser
Editor, Writer’s Digest Magazine
Follow me on Twitter @jessicastrawser.

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30. Meet Ellen Carey, Senior Marketing Executive for Social Sciences

From time to time, we try to give you a glimpse into work in our offices around the globe, so we are excited to bring you an interview with Ellen Carey, Senior Marketing Executive for Social Sciences books. Ellen started working at Oxford University Press in February 2013 in Law Marketing, before moving to the Academic Marketing team.

What publication do you read regularly to stay up to date on industry news?

I work on the Social Sciences lists, which includes Business, Politics, and Economics, and lots of the books I work on are very relevant to current affairs. I tend to read the top news stories in The Economist, Financial Times, BBC News website, The Guardian, and The Times every morning. This especially helps with commissioning newsworthy blog posts and writing tweets for the @OUPEconomics Twitter feed. I’ve always been interested in current affairs, and this is something I really enjoy.

What is the most important lesson you learned during your first year in the job?

That everyone makes mistakes and there’s usually a way to fix them, and lots of people are willing to help. Though we obviously try to get things right the first time round!

What is your typical day like at OUP?

My day starts with a huge cup of coffee and a catch up with the team. My day is divided between author correspondence, marketing plans, events and conferences, project work, and social media.

What is the strangest thing currently on your desk?

I have a promotional penguin toy from an insurance law firm – his name is André 3000 – which was given to me by one of my friends who works for a law firm.

Ellen Carey
Ellen Carey

What will you be doing once you’ve completed this Q&A?

This afternoon I’ll be working on the Politics catalogue for 2015.

If you could trade places with any one person for a week, who would it be and why?

It would be a prima ballerina in the Royal Ballet – that would be the dream!

How would you sum up your job in three words?

Busy, challenging, diverse.

Favourite animal?

I love cats! I have a really old, grumpy, 17-year-old cat called Paddy, and my friends and I regularly send Snapchat updates of our cats. I like to be kept in the know with what’s going on in Pickles’ and Mag’s lives.

What is the most exciting project you have been a part of while working at OUP?

The Economics social media group. It’s been really exciting to be part of the team that set up and launched the Economics Twitter feed, and it was great to see us reach 1,000 followers in six months. I’ve also really enjoyed working with colleagues to commission blog posts and we’re looking forward to increasing our social media activities.

What is your favourite word?

Pandemonium. My Mum read me the Mr Men and Little Miss books when I was little, and I always remember this line from Mr Tickle because she’d put on a funny voice: “There was a terrible pandemonium.”

The post Meet Ellen Carey, Senior Marketing Executive for Social Sciences appeared first on OUPblog.

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31. Promo Friday: Why I Deleted My Facebook Author Page Yesterday

Yesterday I deleted my Facebook author page (not my personal page), though it may still be up for a number of days while Facebook waits to see if I change my mind.

The short story: I deleted my Facebook page because I wasn't reaching enough people to make it time and energy efficient to maintain it. There was also very little engagement there, which, people often forget, is the point of social media.

The long story:

First Off, The Difference Between A Facebook Page And A Profile

 

Facebook pages are used for professional reasons. Pages are Liked not Friended. At the time I set up my author page, people who weren't part of Facebook could find it with an Internet search. I was interested in it because I wouldn't be posting to a finite group of people within Facebook but to the entire Internet. I saw the page as a place to post information about publishing, events, and maybe do a little literary salon-type stuff, discussing reading, for instance.

Facebook profiles are personal and far more social. Lots of pet and kid pictures there. Profiles are Friended, not Liked. People may post work-related information on them just as they would share work-related information with personal friends. My writer friends will post on their profiles that they've made a book sale, have a new cover, or will be making an appearance, just as they would tell that information to their friends if they met them in the store, at church, or got together with them in a social situation.

The Famous Facebook Formula/Algorithm


Facebook doesn't send out every post made on a professional page to every person who has liked it. The story goes that Facebook doesn't want individual users overwhelmed with masses of posts on their newsfeeds/walls, making individual professional posts less effective because the receivers are...ah...overwhelmed. So it only sends page posts to a percentage of the people who have liked the page. I've read that it's 17 percent of the total, I've read that it's less. The Likers in that percentage are supposed to be those that have interacted with the page, meaning, presumably, that they are more interested in the page and more likely to act upon any information they receive from it.

And What Does This Have To Do With You, Gail?


Well, if you are Target and have in excess of 20 million likes, 17 percent is still a lot of people getting your posts. If you are a mid-list writer with 116 likes, 17 percent is only 19 people. Facebook kindly let me know how many people I reached with each post I made. For whatever mysterious Facebook reason, more often than not I was reaching far fewer than 19. I was generally coming up with unique content for that page, even if it was links to reading. I don't do automatic broadcasts of this blog to all my social media platforms to avoid hammering away at people who are connected with me in multiple ways. So, to get back to the short story I was telling you at the beginning of this post, maintaining that page wasn't worth the time and effort.

Additionally, there was very little engagement there. I have some kind of interaction with someone on my personal page nearly every day. I get some retweets and follows on Twitter every week. I get more +1s on Google+ than interaction on that Facebook page and when I post to Google+ communities, I usually see a bump in my blog stats. Everything does better for me than that Facebook page did.

To Conclude


I can do what I was doing at the Facebook page at my Facebook profile, and I can use the kind of material I was posting at the page here at the blog. Though my Facebook profile is only available to my friends on Facebook, I have far more friends than I had likes at that page and far more engagement. I like Google+ and Twitter where I actually see content I'm interested in. That was impossible through the Facebook page.

So I'm thinking there's nothing to lose and plenty to gain in terms of time and energy from dropping that Facebook page.

If you had liked me on Facebook, you're now welcome to friend me there.

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32. Happy Holidays

Tis the Season! WISHING ALL A HEALTHY, HAPPY, AND SAFE HOLIDAY SEASON Below is a little video I created for you from all of us at Writers on the Move. (For those who don't already know, I'm the founder and manager of Writers on the Move. We're a marketing group using cross-promotion, content marketing, and social media marketing to increase our visibility, authority, and conversion.)

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33. Book Release

What should you do in the month before your book is going to be released? 

http://www.adventuresinyapublishing.com/2014/11/preparing-for-release-month-by-kate.html

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34. Some Serious Book Product Placement

Anyone watch Scorpion on CBS Monday night? The Christmas episode where everyone starts feelin' the season when a child is trapped in a cave with the water rising? In the course of the show, Katharine McPhee's character (I don't remember her name, we always call her Katharine McPhee) says that her son only wants one thing for Christmas, something called I Want an Alien for Christmas. Later in the episode, he gets it! And it's a book!

Well, I was on-line by the time the closing credits were running. I Want an Alien for Christmas appears to be a self-published book available on Kindle and Smashwords. Except for those two sales pages and its placement in Monday's episode of Scorpion, there doesn't appear to be any marketing for it.

What's particularly interesting about this situation, assuming this book turning up in an episode of a nationally broadcast television show is interesting enough for you, is that the author, Nick Santora, is also the creator of Scorpion. He's written for other TV shows and has written another book.

You'd think that a couple of mentions in a network primetime show would create some buzz. But two days later, I'm still seeing next to nothing about I Want an Alien for Christmas on-line. The book is mentioned in a Forbes piece, but that's from back in September.

Marketing is a mystery.

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35. Book Signing Checklist

What to do before, during, and after your book signing event. 

http://www.amarketingexpert.com/book-signing-checklist-tip-29-52-ways-market-book/

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36. How to Get the Most Mileage — and Money — Out of Your Writing by Double-Dipping

Potato ChipsBy Tiffany Jansen

Have you seen the Seinfeld episode where George accompanies his girlfriend to a funeral?

It’s post-wake and everyone’s at her parent’s place noshing on hors d’oeuvres and sipping punch. George finds himself in front of the potato chips, so he takes one, sinks it in the dip, takes a bite, and dips the chip again; much to the annoyance of his distraught girlfriend’s brother.

A knock-down, drag-out fight ensues before the very upset girlfriend kicks George out.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a double-dipper.

And why not? It’s the only way to really enjoy that French onion dip and get the most mileage out of your chip.

Freelancers should be double-dipping too. Not their chips (unless they’re into that sort of thing), but their writing.

Double-dipping is a golden opportunity not enough freelance writers take advantage of.

So how does double-dipping work in the freelance writing world? Here are five easy ways.

1. Sell reprints.


It’s been published once, why can’t it be published again?

How to do it: The first thing you want to do is make a list of publications that cover the topic of your article. Then, check out their website and writer guidelines to see if they accept reprints. If you’re not sure, ask. Send the editor a friendly email telling them about your article and why you think their readers would be interested. Ask if they’d like to purchase it as a reprint.

Keep in mind: It’ll pay a fraction of what they pay for original works and they may want you to tweak it a bit to fit their market. But it sure beats having to come up with a new idea, pitch it, research and talk to sources, and write a new piece.

2. Repurpose old content to fit new markets.


Not all publications accept reprints…but that doesn’t mean you can’t reuse old content.

How to do it: First, find a market that covers your topic. Go back to your research notes and interview transcripts, and write a pitch that covers a different angle of the story with publication #2’s audience in mind. If you quoted someone in the first article, paraphrase in the new one. Where you paraphrased, use quotes. Include information that didn’t make it into the original article.

Keep in mind: You may want to consider doing some additional research in case things have changed, or find one or two additional sources. But the work load is going to be a lot less than what it was the first go-around. Only this time you stand to earn the same amount of money… maybe even more!

3. Send pitches in batches.


When you come up with a brilliant idea, don’t save it for just one publication – share the love! There are tons of publications with audiences that would love to know more about the topic you’re pitching. It’s just a matter of re-framing each pitch to fit a variety of publications.

How to do it: Let’s say you’ve got a great story idea about traveling with babies. Of course parenting magazines would be interested, but so would travel publications, women’s glossies, maybe even custom publications for baby product companies. As you’re doing your initial research and collecting sources, think about what these various audiences would want to know and how/why they could use this information. Tweak each pitch to suit each market.

Keep in mind: Unlike the tactics above, here you’ll be writing completely different queries and completely different articles for each publication. While parents would want this information to help them in their travels, a pediatrician might want this information to help her advise parents who wish to travel with their little ‘uns. A women’s magazine might want to provide tips on how to have a smooth flight for travelers finding themselves on a plane with a baby. The difference is, you do the research once and get multiple articles out of it.

4. Send simultaneous queries.


The idea here is to send the same query for the same idea to editors at multiple publications. When you send out a query, you could wait months — or even a year — only to have the editor respond with a resounding “no.” Sometimes editors take a really long time to respond to queries…if they reply at all. Rather than wait around for them to get back to you and risk having your idea become stale or already-been-done, cast your net wide and find that article a home ASAP.

How to do it: This one’s easy — find a bunch of publications that fit your topic, write one query, and send it out to editors at all of those publications.

Keep in mind: You may have more than one publication show interest in the article. However, you cannot sell the same article to more than one publication. In this case, it’s a first come, first served thing. But don’t let those other publications go home empty-handed. Offer them the same story, but from a different angle. Or pitch them a few similar ideas instead.

5. Once you’ve got ‘em, keep ‘em.


The thing about queries is they can get a “yes” or a “no” or be met with silence. There’s not much you can do about the third instance, but you can turn a “no” into a “yes.”

How to do it: An editor might turn you down for a number of reasons: the timing’s off, someone else has already covered it, they’re not interested in the topic, they’re having a bad day… But just because they say “no” to one idea doesn’t mean they’ll say “no” to another. If they’ve emailed you back, you’ve got their ear. So take advantage by replying with a “Thank you for getting back to me. I completely understand. Perhaps [insert new idea here] would be a better fit?”

Keep in mind: That you suck as a writer or the editor hates your guts is rarely if ever a reason for a rejection. Odds are the rejection is based on factors you have absolutely no control over. If you get a response, thank them, tell them you get it, and offer up a new idea. This shows that you’re persistent and not just a one-idea dude. Then send the rejected query somewhere else.

When you have a chip — er, idea — get the most mileage you can out of it by double dipping, and you’ll get more assignments (and more money) with less work.

Tiffany Jansen is an American freelance writer and translator in the Netherlands. She is also the author of an award-winning children’s historical fiction series. You can find out more about her at www.tiffanyrjansen.com.

P.S. Carol Tice’s and my next Article Writing Masterclass starts in January, and we have THREE editors on board to critique your homework assignments and answer your questions: Current editors from Redbook and FSR (Full Service Restaurant) Magazine, and a former Entrepreneur editor. In this 10-week class, you’ll gain the skills and confidence to land lucrative article-writing gigs. Learn more and read raves from students on the Article Writing Masterclass website.

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37. Childrens Books by David Chuka in 2015

I’ve been staring into my crystal ball and trying to foresee what 2015 holds. I keep staring and staring but I can’t seem to see anything. A good clean job might do the job…ehm…nothing. I don’t think this is working.

Why????????????????

If you know me, then you know the above scenario and a crystal ball would be the last thing I’d be staring at. I think sometimes, we want people to predict our future and lay it on a plate for us. The sad reality is that (like the saying goes) if it’s to be, then it’s up to me. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking of what I want to achieve in the coming year, especially with regards to my role as a children’s book author. I would like to write four books next year. Below are the David Chuka titles hopefully coming to your book shelf sometime in 2015.

Kojo the Sea Dragon Meets a Stranger – After the overwhelming success of Kojo the Sea Dragon Gets Lost, I just knew I had to write more stories with Kojo and his friends from the Zakari River.Sea Life Books Below is a review from a reader:

Such a vivid and colorful tale for such a simple, yet important lesson; listen to your parents. The illustrations are vibrant and imaginative as are the characters. Kojo the Sea Dragon Gets Lost is a very fun read!

In this episode, Kojo and his friends plus everyone in the Zakari River is looking forward to the BOOM BOOM festival. It’s a time of fun, dancing, singing with lots of food. Everyone in the Zakari River gathers in the town center and there are performances by different groups. Kojo is looking forward to doing a special dance with his friends. The day finally arrives and Kojo is having so much fun with his friends and is enjoying the sights and sounds. Then something happens with some yummy cake and an evil eel that makes Kojo learn something new about his world and talking to strangers. This will most likely be the first book I publish in the coming year, so watch this space.

Non-Fiction Book on Writing and Publishing Children’s Books – I get asked a lot of questions by people looking to write and publish children’s books and I think it’s time I crystallise all my experience into a book that get that can help other aspiring and established children’s book authors. Some of the topics I’ll be touching in this book will include working with an illustrator, doing research, getting reviews, social media, marketing etc. I’m excited about the challenge of writing this book and currently putting ideas together.

Billy and Monster Meet the President – Like my most recent book – Billy and Monster’s Golden Christmas – I had finished writing this book in 2013 but due to challenges in finding the right illustrator, its release was delayed. I am quietly confident that I’ll be able to get this published in May and just in time for the Independence Day celebrations.

A Book about Thanksgiving – I’m not really sure what the story or characters will be but I do know that it’ll something based around Thanksgiving.David Chuka Banner I could either place Billy or Kojo in a situation where they learn something valuable about Thanksgiving. On the other hand, I could create new characters and tell the Thanksgiving story through them. Will provide more details later.

I’ll be visiting more schools in 2015 and looking to share my stories with more of my target audience. Thanks for all your support and do have a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2015.

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38. Writing Books and Making Money – 7 Must-know Strategies of Successful Authors

I listened to a teleseminar by Steve Harrison of Quantum Leap recently. He has helped a number of heavy-hitters, such as Peggy McCall and Guy Kawasaki. The focus of the call was on the differences between ‘rich authors’ and ‘poor authors.’  Of the differences Harrison gave, below are some of the most important. 7 Strategies and Tips that Successful Authors Use and Unsuccessful Authors

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39. Finding Your Audience

You need to think outside the box to expand your reading audience.

http://writershelpingwriters.net/2014/09/5-steps-finding-books-ideal-audience/

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40. Mailing Lists

Here's a source for bookstore and library mailing lists. 

http://www.newpages.com/mailing-lists/

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41. Social Media Errors

Avoid sabotaging your book promotion by making sure you don't do these social media goofs. 

http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2014/10/ten-common-errors-in-social-media.html

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42. What I’m reading this Christmas: Claire Smith, Walker Books

Thanks for talking to Boomerang Books, Claire Smith.  You’re the marketing assistant at Walker Books, Australia, and you’re going to share your Christmas picks with us. But first let’s find out about you and some books you’ve been working with. Walker Books  (based in Sydney)  is known for its children’s and YA books. Which do […]

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43. Getting Your Book Reviewed

It never hurts to ask nicely if you want someone to review your book. 

http://taralazar.com/2014/11/06/piboidmo-day-6-sudipta-bardhan-quallen/

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44. Reviewers

Here's a list of reviewers for traditionally published books. 

http://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/2014/09/list-of-reviewers-for-published-books.html

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45. Book Fairs

Get exposure for your book by participating in a book fair. 

http://www.read.gov/resources/statefairs.php

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46. Public Speaking

How to make your talks easier for you and more engaging for your audience. 

http://www.clarelydon.co.uk/2014/08/public-speaking-for-authors-top-ten-tips/

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47. Guest Post: How I Got My Book Optioned for a Major Motion Picture

Have you ever been curious about what it takes to get your novel or series turned into a movie or film franchise? In today’s guest post, Robert Blake Whitehill, author of the Ben Blackshaw series, sheds some light on his experiences in getting his novels optioned.

TAP_RACK_BANG_ coverAs an award-winning screenwriter, I always hoped my Ben Blackshaw series of novels, including DEADRISE, NITRO EXPRESS, and TAP RACK BANG, might be considered for adaptation into feature films. You might have similar ambitions for your own novel or series. Ambition is the seed of accomplishment, but getting ahead of yourself, imagining the smell of the popcorn at the premiere—or worse, memorizing witty remarks and the list of all the Little People you’d like to thank after due homage is paid to the Academy—is only fun for a minute. There are other matters to attend to first.

One’s core responsibility, duty, and calling as a novelist are to offer great writing to your audience. Readers, at home or in Hollywood, must really enjoy the work. They invest seven to twelve hours of their lives in a book of average length. Thirty to fifty thousand of every reader’s heartbeats become yours. You had best not waste their time with offal.

That means writing and rewriting, and includes working with the best editors you can find. I had the privilege of working with Richard Marek, who discovered and shaped Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series into the blockbuster franchise we all know today.

Once your book is proven to resonate loud, hard, and strong with readers, with solid sales and resounding reviews, it is possible that Hollywood might call, but perhaps not right away.

Case in point: The Princess Bride novel was published thirteen years before production of the film began. Studios balked during that period even though The Princess Bride’s author was also an Academy Award-winning screenwriter with a terrific adapted script under his arm. For a while, Hollywood thought The Princess Bride simply could not be made. Rob Reiner and Norman Lear thought differently and never wavered.

Basics of the Business

For those with dreams of seeing their books up on the silver screen, a call from Hollywood out of the blue is rare. It is far more likely that an author and his or her team will need to help studio development executives or independent film makers discover the property.

I must first admit that all the films I personally picked up at Centerseat when I was Vice President of Independent Film Acquisitions were finished works, and absolutely none had been adapted from any kind of narrative prose or poetry. We know this is not always the case. Yet, from Gone with the Wind to Moby-Dick to The Guns of Navarone to The Princess Bride, books are adapted into film with unvaried frequency, though with varied success.

Agents can help with this strange form of business-to-business marketing. Many agencies represent screenwriters as well as authors, and packaging a book from its stable of authors with their credited screenwriters nets the agency more in commissions.

You can also zero-in on film makers with a track record of crafting movies that are like your book. The Hollywood Creative Directory lists more than 11,000 potential partners, and it only takes one to start the gears of the film industry grinding for you.

My hard-working public relations team at Shelton Interactive has really helped The Ben Blackshaw Series find its audience among readers. They introduced me to some notable film makers, who were willing to read DEADRISE when it first came out. I got some great advice from these Hollywood moguls about possible ideas for the scope of the series. Though an option did not result at this point, you will soon see I was wiser and better armed when I took the series, with its additional titles and awards, out again later. Quick piece of advice: Never look at money paid to great partners as a fee. It’s always tuition.

Rob Reiner and Norman Lear are household names and perhaps seem daunting to approach. Must you reach that deeply into the A-List to get an option on your book’s film rights? Perhaps not. Do not dismiss less-experienced producers who are passionate about your work. Passion, and even zeal, in combination with canny movie-making chops will carry a project through to a premiere despite the great odds arrayed against the novelist. Remember, the sad truth is that saying no is always the safest tack for a film maker. Saying yes involves the risk of one’s industry reputation, not to mention the potential loss of vast resources. A film needs thousands of yeses along the way. Great work paired with a passionate champion will keep the yeses coming. This approach certainly worked for me, as you will see here.

Larger studios have economies of scale working in their favor, and also in your favor as a writer. They can amortize the risk of one poorly performing movie across a broader slate including other films which might become moderate or breakout successes. If you write a series, you can offer (and a studio can afford) multiple titles at an attractive discount, which could be viewed by studios and savvy independents as a smaller slate-within-a-slate, also known as a franchise. With book adaptations, you must help any potential partner envision a film before there is even a screenplay.

Deadrise_cover artFrom Book Series to Film Franchise

As my dear friend, creative consultant, and networking guru Joanne Zippel asserts, writers can mine interested readers with film-making connections from among their own contacts. The way she puts it, “Most people have better networks than they realize.  You start by looking beyond the obvious—doing the right research to connect the dots between your work and the people most likely to share your creative aesthetic.”

On Joanne’s advice, I began reaching out to every film industry professional I knew. If they agreed to read something, I hit them right away with copies of The Ben Blackshaw Series books. I was extremely fortunate—the process did not take long. Through LinkedIn, I quickly reconnected with a classmate from Haverford College named Stephanie Bell. Like me, she had graduated with plans of acting. Today, she is a producing partner at HatLine Productions.

Thank goodness Stephanie Bell runs a lean shop. She and her producing partners, Michael Lipoma, and Tamra Teig, tend to check out their carefully vetted list of submissions to HatLine personally, without first getting recommendations through coverage from a development staff of readers.

Stephanie writes, “I’ve always been an avid reader (hence my BA in English Lit) and when I had the opportunity to read Robert’s first novel, DEADRISE, he was fortunate to have caught me at a place when I had time to read it (which these days is not a lot!). I was happy to do so, not only because he is a fellow Haverfordian, but because I knew his background and skills, and because he was generous to me when I reached out for help; I wanted to reciprocate.”

So encouraging of novelists, Stephanie goes on to say, “There is an incredible wealth of both fiction and nonfiction literature available today by both publishing houses and independently published authors, which makes the job for a producer much easier but also harder! I am always looking for fascinating stories, and the ability to connect to authors so quickly is fantastic. What is exciting to me is that there are so many amazing stories waiting to be discovered and brought to life on the big screen.”

Stephanie’s response to DEADRISE could not have made me happier. She writes, “I couldn’t put DEADRISE down, and the minute I finished, I called Robert and said, ‘I want to make this movie with you.’”

NITRO_EXPRESS_coverOn Stephanie’s immediate recommendation, fellow HatLine producer Michael Lipoma said he would read the second title in The Ben Blackshaw Series, NITRO EXPRESS.  Thank goodness, he agreed with Stephanie’s assessment of the works, saying, “NITRO EXPRESS is visceral and visual, and we at HatLine Productions couldn’t be more delighted to help Ben Blackshaw assume his rightful place alongside Jason Bourne and James Bond!”

Bond? Bourne? Wow! You can imagine this was incredibly exciting for me to hear. The crucial yeses were starting to become real for Ben Blackshaw.

That is when Stephanie asked to see the third book in The Ben Blackshaw Series, TAP RACK BANG. I was a moron. I hesitated. At the time, TAP RACK BANG was still in manuscript form. It was as yet unpublished, so no one else had read this book, meaning there were still no rave reviews to bolster the decision-making process at HatLine Productions. Taking a leap of faith, I sent the manuscript and found that Stephanie did not need reviews. As I said, she makes her own decisions based on her personal assessments.

She has written, “In TAP RACK BANG, Whitehill weaves together intricate story lines that will leave you reeling; another brilliant Ben Blackshaw adventure!”

Right after reading TAP RACK BANG, she picked up the phone again, and said, “I want to make the entire series with you—will you have me?!” As she puts it, “The friendship and partnership were born!”

After that call, negotiations began, and yes, today we are in business together.  My friends at HatLine share my vision for The Ben Blackshaw Series. In our business and creative meetings I relish how we always speak with one another from a position of utmost respect.

One of the many happy terms of my agreement with HatLine includes that I will adapt the novels into screenplays myself. That prospect is wonderful! The road ahead will be long, but all the principals involved are marathon runners, not sprinters, and we will see it through. Then, you bet we will make decisions about popcorn at the premiere. We will have earned that much.

For anyone with further questions about this process, or anything else to do with writing, you’re welcome to email me at rbw@robertblakewhitehill.com. I will respond.

RobertWhitehill_author photoYou can learn more about Ben Blackshaw, the Chesapeake Bay region, and me at www.robertblakewhitehill.com.

Do good work. Market it hard. Mine your contacts. Manage your expectations. Keep writing.

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48. Booksellers and Librarians

When it comes to marketing, booksellers and librarians are an author's best friend. 

http://publishingperspectives.com/2014/09/an-authors-best-friends-booksellers-and-librarians/

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49. How Do We Feel About Writers Writing For Free? Is There Something To Be Gained For The Individual, Maybe Not So Much The Group?

Last weekend, The Toronto Star carried an article called Can You Afford to be a Writer? The situation it describes for writers in Canada is similar to what you'll find here in the states.  "... most writers are not likely to break $10,000 a year from their writing." Articles like this should be part of the reading for any writing program. Maybe they are.

I think Kate Gace Walton's blog post at Work Stew, Should I Write for Free? is related for a couple of reasons:

  • A lot of your traditional literary journals don't pay their contributors or pay only in copies.  Some very highly regarded writers publish in these things. These are the journals whose stories are often contenders for awards. Having published with them helps get the attention of agents and book editors.The Internet has made possible a multitude of new on-line journals, many of which don't pay contributors. While many of them are new and newish and don't build reputations the way some of the older print journals do, they could serve as stepping stones to more publication in the future. Yet writing for them doesn't add to anyone's income.
  • Walton says in her post that "The proliferation of people writing for free in recent decades (by self publishing fee-free content or contributing work to non-paying sites) has definitely made it harder for those who write for a living to get by." Does writing for free, she asks in a note to her essay, "degrade the market for professional writers?" She links to Tim Kreider's NYT's essay (which I hope he was paid for), Slaves of the Internet, Unite,  in which he talks about being asked to work/write for nothing. He's not the first writer this has happened to.
I can recall hearing something similar years ago about writers making appearances in schools. If some writers do a lot of free work, it undermines the earning ability of the writers who need an income stream from schoolwork . Because, as the Toronto Star article pointed out, they probably aren't making enough from their writing to support themselves.

But, at the same time, free work, as in publishing with established lit journals, has been a traditional way for writers to get exposure so that some day they might be able to get paid. Plus, the whole marketing issue throws a big curve into the question of whether or not writers should give their work away, because we're giving away enormous amounts of work for guest blog posts, interviews, essays, etc. when we have a new book coming. It's part of promoting that new work. We're advised to do so by book marketers. Marketing, whether it's free work or some other kind, is expected by publishers.

To be transparent here, about an hour ago I submitted a 700+ word guest post to a blog. I've never received payment for any essay I've published.  I've generated a lot of free material for guest posts and blog interviews while promoting the eBook edition of Saving the Planet & Stuff. The benefit to me of the promotional work is obvious, but even the essays fill a hole in my publishing history. I also hope they will serve as stepping stones to getting future essays published in paying publications at some point.

Free work can help individual unpublished or underpublished writers develop a following. At least it can help give the publishing industry the sense that these writers are a presence of some kind. But while individuals are giving away work hoping for some benefit for themselves, is the earning power of writers as a group suffering?

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50. Preparing for Release Month by Kate Brauning

Today we welcome Kate Brauning to the blog to share a different type of craft article -- the rewards of doing the craft well.  Publication!  But with publication comes its own stress, and Kate is in a great position to tell us how to handle it as not only did her first novel, How We Fall, release this month, but she's also an editor with Entangled Publishing, guiding many other writers through their first release month and beyond.

Preparing for Release Month by Kate Brauning

Release month is almost always a hectic, stressful time for authors. As an editor, I’ve seen my clients go through it, and my first novel just released on the 11th, so I’m going through it myself! Especially with all the different opportunities and strategies available to authors now, it’s easy to get bogged down, worry about what you aren’t doing, stress over what you are doing, and lose the excitement of it altogether.

One thing seasoned authors kept telling me was that this one is special because it’s the first. Enjoy it.
Do something for yourself. Celebrate in market-smart ways, but also celebrate in personal, zero-stress ways.

One of the things I did to personally celebrate my release week was to go on a weekend writing retreat with my critique partners. It was so, so much fun, and a great stress relief. I planned as if my release day was 3 days earlier than it was, so 95% of what I needed to do, I already had done. I took very little work on the retreat with me. Also, it was tremendously good stress relief to not think about the launch and get back to actually writing that next book. And of course, my critique partners are the ones who have been through this with me, and getting to celebrate with them was so meaningful and just plain fun.

Aside from celebrating for yourself, authors can do a few simple things to prepare for a book release that will make that week and month a little less stressful.

image credit: thepenandinkblog.blogspot.com

Marketing:

Get started on major marketing elements as soon as possible. As soon as you have a book deal/decide to self-publish, (or even before) you can get started on these things:

1. Author photos. Many authors have a friend take a photo, but there’s a big difference between a snapshot and a professional headshot. If you know someone talented, that’s great and definitely take the less expensive route. But first, look at the author photos of major authors in your genre and aim for that kind of result. Author photos are a significant piece of your marketing, and a great photo helps you look like a professional, and it might end up on your book jacket. It can take several months to line up a photographer, schedule the session, and get your edited photos back, so do this ASAP. I was interviewed by my own photographer, Jenni O Photography, where I discussed what I looked for in my author photos, so check that out if you’re interested.

2. Author website. Every author needs a website, even if you don’t blog. A site where readers can see your book and read a bit about you is definitely something you need as an author. You can design it yourself, but if you don’t have experience and talent there, hire someone. Friends who will cut you a deal can work out well, but again, look at the sites of authors in your genre who are doing well. See what’s possible for professional, clean layouts and informative, interesting content. Decide what kind of site you want, and then hire someone who can do that. Your website is another major piece of marketing, so to me, it’s worth spending a little money to have a quality website. Design, revisions, and launching the site can take a long time, too, so get started right away.

3. Street team. Many authors assemble a street team from fans, friends, book bloggers, and fellow authors. Not everyone wants a street team, and it’s important to be grateful, courteous, and reasonable with your team members, but they can be a huge help. Many authors have street team members get the word out through book blasts, reviews, and social media, and they can help word about your book break out of your own circle of friends and fellow writers. Start building that street team immediately—you can start this as soon as you have a book deal. Keep in mind street team members need to be able to reach people you can’t, so look beyond friends and family members, though they can certainly be enthusiastic supporters, too. It’s also great to let your team earn some value for their work. I sent each of mine a welcome package with swag and an ARC, and prizes along the way. It has definitely paid off.

4. Think about your dedication and acknowledgements. A lot of writers take a long time to get these done because they mean so much to the author. These don’t have to wait until your editor asks for them, and waiting to do them until then can make edits even more hectic, so you can definitely start them early. At the very least, you can start a list of who you need to thank and what you need to thank them for—don’t lose track of those early beta readers. And keep in mind there are a lot of people behind the scenes at your publishing house who are working hard for your book. It’s not a bad idea to email to ask who has been working on it, so you can specifically thank people besides your editor and publicist.

5. Conferences. Talk to your editor and publicist (or figure out for yourself) what the plan is for appearances and conferences leading up to and after your book release. Early-bird pricing and promotional opportunities are a great reason to get started on this early, and if you know you have a conference during a certain week, it can be something you plan your other launch preparations around. That way you don’t have to cross conference days off an already-full schedule. Conferences, even just for the connections, are wonderful marketing. I’ve never been to a conference that hasn’t paid off well for my investment.

6. Launch Party. There are so many options here! An in-person party, an online Facebook or Twitter party, a bookstore signing as your party, etc. As far as I know, those are the three main models, and they all have pros and cons. Online parties can be impersonal, and I’ve seen a lot of online parties that are poorly attended, even though hundreds or even thousands of people were invited. Authors work hard on their launch parties to make them have fabulous content, but it is really hard to engage a crowd online for a long period of time. They tend to drop by, learn a bit about you and your book, play a game, and then move on. And that’s great if that’s how you want to reach your readers. In-person & bookstore launch parties can have the same drawbacks—a small crowd, and difficulty reaching new readers. They can also be expensive, depending on what you do, and they are limited to people within traveling distance. Of course, there are pros to both—reaching fans who can’t travel to you and lower costs for online parties, and more personal connections with in-person parties, etc. I did a blend of both, and hosted 9 other authors at a livestreamed book party, so readers could ask questions, see, hear, and interact with all 10 of us. The combined draw meant we had a large audience, and we discussed everything from publishing paths to movie adaptations. Can you blend models to limit cons? Release vlogs during an online party, for example, or host other authors to draw on combined platforms.

image credit: http://jasouders.blogspot.com

Launch Month:

Prepare for launch month events ahead of time. There are so many things authors can do: book blasts, blog tours, book giveaways, book hunts, library appearances, book signings, etc. Debut authors are often encouraged to say yes to much of it, but that can lead to stress and burn-out, and it can take a toll on that next book you need to be writing. So here’s how to keep it manageable:

1. My advice is immediately start researching the opportunities and identifying your goals.

  • What’s possible? Realistically—what will you have time and money for? Can you re-prioritize to change any of that? What are your boundaries?
  • What sounds fun? Ideas you’re enthusiastic about will feel like less work than ones you’re already dreading, and they’re more likely to get done.
  • What meets your specific goals for your book release? Some authors want the launch to build their platform, some want to push for ranking high on Amazon or bestseller lists, and some want a stress-free way to celebrate with friends and family.

See what’s out there before you settle on anything, and think creatively. Talk to other authors about what worked for them. Do you want a book trailer? Can you do something high concept for your launch party?

2. When you do decide what you’d like to do, and when someone comes to you with an opportunity, calculate the time and financial investment, and choose wisely where you’re putting your hours and money. Keep in mind it will almost always cost more and take more time than you’re figuring. Chose the things that sound fun to you, because they will automatically be less stressful and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate on them! Also, choose the opportunities that reach a wide audience or allow for deeper connections with readers.

3. Order swag/promotional items ASAP. Calculate amounts you’ll need, and as soon as you have the information and images you’ll need for on any paper products (like postcards, bookmarks, and business cards), order them. Printing and shipping can take a while, and rush shipping costs can be expensive. This is something that can be done early and stored safely until you need them. My personal advice is to not spend a ton of money on swag. Thick, professional business cards and bookmarks that won’t crease are a great idea. (As soon as it creases or crumples, people tend to throw it out. Moo.com does fabulous, high-quality work.) Swag can be expensive, especially considering how much authors make per book sold, so keep that in mind when you’re laying out your budget—calculate what you make per book, and balance that against the value the swag will provide. Some of it depends on the book, of course, but I went with nice business cards, postcards, and book pins. I haven’t found myself needing anything else so far, though I might do a mix of postcards and bookmarks next time.

4. Don’t leave preparing for a few weeks before release. Treat it a bit like wedding planning. Make a to-do list for each event you’re doing for your launch, right down to items to purchase and announcements to make, and figure out which items can be done ahead of time. Schedule them into a certain day or week on your calendar. For example, if you’re doing a blog tour, start writing the posts three months in advance. One or two a week means you don’t have to scramble and you can keep your schedule balanced. You can even write your release day post early and have it saved as a draft to make changes to as the event gets closer. If you’re doing a book blast/blitz, you can write that material far in advance, too.

Stress Management:


This whole post is about stress management, really, but there are a few specific things you can do to help keep balanced and to enjoy your book release instead of dreading it.

1. Schedule R&R. And I actually mean plan it into your day. An hour for reading, an evening or two a week where you catch up on that show you love, time with your family and friends. You aren’t a machine, and if you act like one, you’ll break down. The most efficient, productive thing you can do during busy, demanding times is take care of your brain and your body. So rest well, eat well, and take that R&R. I’m not kidding. If I push myself hard a few days in a row with a stressful project, it takes me several days to feel like I’m functioning at 100% again. And don’t forget to schedule R&R for after your release—staying balanced will help reduce those nerves.

2. Disconnect. If you don’t need to be on Twitter or your email, close them. As it gets closer to my release date, I feel more and more bombarded by stats, reviews, emails, and questions. It’s overwhelming. Closing up email and social media frees up my concentration and lowers my stress levels. It can be tempting to stalk relatively meaningless rankings and count reviews, but don’t do it. Let yourself look once in a while if you have to, but several times a day or even once a day is usually both a time drain and a cause of stress.

3. Keep writing. One of the best things you can do for your book is to write another one. A new book is great marketing for the old book. Writing also lets us invest somewhere else, and helps us see that not everything hangs on this one book. And it can be fun and inspiring to keep working on a new project, and it can take our minds off everything about release day. Writers write, so keep writing!

About the Author:


Kate Brauning grew up in rural Missouri and fell in love with young adult books in college. She’s now an editor at Entangled Publishing and pursues her lifelong dream of telling stories she'd want to read. Visit her online at www.katebrauning.com or on Twitter at @KateBrauning, and order How We Fall from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or IndieBound.









About the Book:

Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle's sleepy farming town, she's been flirting way too much--and with her own cousin, Marcus.

Her friendship with him has turned into something she can't control, and he's the reason Jackie lost track of her best friend, Ellie, who left for...no one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst, are searching for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that acting on her love for Marcus would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes her cousin away. The plan is to fall out of love, and, just as she hoped he would, Marcus falls for the new girl in town. But something isn't right about this stranger, and Jackie's suspicions about the new girl's secrets only drive the wedge deeper between Jackie and Marcus.

Then Marcus is forced to pay the price for someone else's lies as the mystery around Ellie's disappearance starts to become horribly clear. Jackie has to face terrible choices. Can she leave her first love behind, and can she go on living with the fact that she failed her best friend?

Barnes & Noble  | Amazon  | IndieBound | Goodreads

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