Monday, March 27, 2017

Clever Ways To Market Yourself As An Author

From Writerslife.org:

 Clever Ways To Market Yourself As An Author -Writer's Life.org
Marketing, for many authors, is the worst part about self-publishing. When you first start writing your book, getting to the end feels like an impossible task, and once you do you feel elated and proud. Then you self-publish and realise if you want anyone more than a few of your friends and relatives to buy your book, this is where the hard work really begins.
In some ways, it’s fantastic to discover that there are a lot of different ways authors can try and market their books. However, if you are not particularly tech savvy, many of these can feel overwhelming, complicated and stressful.
However, without making a real effort you can’t expect to see those sales you deserve – you put all that time and effort into making your book as good as it could be, so don’t deny the world a chance to read it!
This is one reason I'm hesitant about considering self-publishing. Even though this would be my first book and I'm not a well-known celebrity. Though writing memoirs should not be limited to celebrities anymore. A bar-owner in my hometown wrote a memoir, which she self-published.  I now wonder how many people outside Hollister, California have heard about and read her book. 

Here are some clever ways you can market yourself and your book.
Even if I don't end up self-publishing, I think I may try most of the ideas mentioned below should any of my writing see the light of day.

Write a blog or get a newspaper column
The best way for people to discover you is by offering them useful free information that they want to read. Writing and promoting your author blog will help readers discover you. You could also try getting a regular column in your local newspaper (or a larger one!) and connect with a wide range of readers that way.
As you know, I'm already writing a blog (been at it since December 2008).  As for newspaper columns, our hometown newspaper only comes out of Friday and it's been years since I've read any of the larger newspapers  (such as the San Francisco Chronicle).  I think just writing a letter to your local paper to let others know you've been published is a great idea. Putting up fliers at coffee places, your local library and other places that permit this is another way to let others know. These are some ideas I will consider.

Teach a class
Offer to share your wisdom by teaching a creative writing class. This could be a one-off or a regular thing. If this sounds like too much time and effort then why not get in touch with local colleges and universities to see if they’d like you to come along and talk to the students instead? Make sure to bring copies of your book when you do.
I was doing a writing class for my fellow clients at the local Behavioral Health, but if fizzled out at the beginning of this year because of lack of participation 😞  Maybe I could consider doing one for the public? Something to think about. 

Hold a reading
Contact your local library, bookstores or creative events venues and see if you can hold a reading and book signing there. Then make sure you advertise yours in every way possible. This might feel nerve-wracking, but if you have confidence in your work you’ll do great!
The aforementioned local bar-owner held a book signing at her bar and traveled with her editor to other cities as well for signing. I may be thinking to far ahead (as I have tended to do), but should I get published (traditional or self), but I definitely want to have a book-signing.  I'm sure the bar lady would let me have one there. I've also considered the local coffee shop where my book club meetup group meets most of the time. The nearest Barnes and Noble is in Gilroy (right next to Hollister), and I'd love to have a signing there.  Should anyone in my hometown ever publishes anything by either means, all these seem like great places for a book signing.

Get some merchandise
Creating merchandise such as bookmarks is super cheap and can really help you spread the word about your book – you could ask local bookstores or libraries if you could leave them there for free. Make sure you have information about your book and a QR code linking to where people can buy it too!
I at least want my library to carry my book for checkout. But other stuff to promote sounds like a good idea too.

Host an event
Where there is wine, people will come. If you are having trouble finding somewhere that wants you to come along and talk about your book, take matters into your own hands and host a gathering (or several) and invite people along. Try to collaborate with other creatives such as poets and artists and invite as many influential people as you can.
Again, this could be held at a coffee shop. Just last fall, several local authors held an event at one of our ova coffee shops to promote their books. Most were self-published, but I think this could work for traditional-published as well. 

Connect with the local community.
There are lots of ways you can do this. Donate books to your library or local charities, sponsor a community event, talk to local bookshops about hosting an event, check out local festivals and see if you could get involved in some way while also promoting your work.
I think I've covered this one with what I said above about events, readings and such. 

Publish a press release.
Sind a press release to every relevant journalist and publication you can think of. Newspapers always need content so while you might not achieve a 100% success rate, you could well see your book being advertised in some prominent publications. If you get that far, why not get back in touch and see if they would be willing to do an interview with you or write a review?
See above under the blog/newspaper, but also send it to major newspapers and other publications. I would likely try to send one to any medical journals as well as magazines such as Psychology Today or any other publication focused on mental health. 

Get more mileage from your book
Have you ever thought about turning your book into a play, or a film? Why not give it a go? You never know, you could see your book being performed on stage or in the cinema!
Again, thinking too far ahead, but I've often wondered who might play me in a movie, should my book one day become a movie. I'm not too sure what currently popular actress I'd consider my doppelganger, just for the fun of it. Several books I've recently read have plots that just screamed movie.

Marketing yourself as an author is no easy task. Just make a plan, stay organised and do everything you can to get your book out there and visible to as many people as possible. Acknowledging you have done your very best to make your book a success will feel so much more satisfying than knowing you could have done more – regardless of how many books you sell
Would you consider any of these ideas, whether you self- or traditional-publish?

And on a  side note, a girl I knew from school said she plans to write an autobiography. She sent me an email the other day  saying she fears being sued by others. I felt the same way as I began prepping notes for my memoir. This is why I didn't use real names, but told mostly true events.  Some details about events and descriptions of people have been jumbled, some people are composites, or in some cases, one person is broken into two or more separate people.  I haven't suggested these ideas to her yet (I have yet to respond to her email).

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Quiz: What Kind of Soda Are You?

Just had to share this. I actually like Diet Coke more and only drink Mountain Dew every so often.


You Are 7 Up
Understated and subtle, people warm up to you slowly.
But once they're hooked, they can't imagine going back to anyone else!

Your best soda match: Diet Coke

Stay away from: Mountain Dew

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Write Everyday and Become a Better, Happier Writer!


Write Every Day And Become A Better, Happier Writer - Writer's Life.org
Write Every Day And Become A Better, Happier Writer!
There are plenty of writers who don’t write every day, and by no means does it make you a ‘bad writer’ if you don’t.
Many writers only write once a week, or even less, but still manage to finish their work, achieve their goals and generally feel satisfied with their writing life.
No, there is no need to write every day at all.
However, imagine if you did.
Writing daily may not be possible for everyone. But for the majority of us there is space in the day to squeeze in some writing time, and if you can, it will have a positive impact on your life and your writing career.
I have often felt a little guilty about not writing everyday, especially when I have an idea. This has happened so many times.



Practice makes perfect
Writing every day will help you hone your writing skills. Even taking as little as 10 minutes ever day to practice your writing can make a huge difference. You find that your writing flows better, your inner critic is more easily silenced and you make better progress with whatever you are working on. Because you can pick up right where you left off, you’ll spend less time going over previous pages trying to remember exactly what is going on – so your time will actually be spent more productively too.
Do it to relax and unload the stresses of the day
If you leave it too long between each writing session it can be all too easy for the pressure to mount and when you do get a chance to sit down and write, nothing comes to mind. When you write every day you can simply start where you left off, or if you are having a day where you don’t feel creative, just write about what you did, or try free writing. Because you know you always have tomorrow to get back to it, it doesn’t matter if you don’t bring your writing A game every time.
Writing when you don’t put pressure on yourself can be very therapeutic. You can write a journal every day where you can note down things that you’ve done or thought about, things that have upset or angered you, and things that made you feel happy, thankful and inspired. But remember that writing creatively can be just as helpful when putting things in perspective, venting frustrations or simply helping you to unwind and let go of the day.
This is something I'm going to try do a, little more of.  Often I want to do so, but just don't do it. This could be a good way of getting some of my ideas down.


You’ll get that ‘writing high’ every day
I don’t know about you, but I always feel brilliant after I write. Even if I know I haven’t produced my best work, I still feel as though I am that little bit closer to achieving my goals, and that I can give myself a well-deserved pat on the back. Who wouldn’t want to feel this way every day?
I'm not sure if it'll make me feel "high," but I believe it will make me feel like I have have gotten better,  and as the author said above,  feel more brilliant even if I don't get my best work right there and then. 

Different types of daily writing.
Remember, if you do decide to give writing daily a go, you don’t have to just concentrate on one thing. See what works for you.
Write a Journal – you could write a daily journal to process your thoughts and emotions.
Try goal setting – you could use the time to write down your goals and work out how to achieve them.
Brainstorming – you could simply have a brainstorming session every day to help you come up with new ideas for projects, flesh out old ones, and feel creatively inspired.
I may just try one or more of these, especially the journal. I have done one off and on, though it's been about a year since I last did so. Last night I did more editing and rewriting on my memoir (I'm now up to 32,442 words) and am still not sure how much longer to go. Does the word count really matter more than than what the story conveys--I have been asking others. I still hope to join a writers group through there aren't any in my town. I posted message on a Facebook group for my hometown last night.  As of yet, I got two "likes" but no comments.  I now wonder how many local writes exist in my town.  The last time I saw the local bar owner who published her memoir in 2013, she suggested going to a writers conference. I'd like to, but they can be so expensive. Also, there are very few nearby where I live--one in Los Angeles is coming up in September. The cost for these conferences doesn't include hotel accommodations or food costs.


Do some writing exercises – you could decide to try a different writing exercise each day to improve your skills.
A good idea to try. Looking for writing prompts is a good way to start this. 


So, regardless of what kind of writer you are, or perhaps even if you don’t consider yourself to be a writer at all, trying to write daily can really bring great benefits – why not start today?
Agreed. I'm going to try some of these ideas,  even if it's not every single day.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

World Poetry Day

happy-world-poetry-day

























I just saw on Twitter that today is World Poetry Day. I never knew about this until today. From Wikipedia:
World Poetry Day is on 21 March, and was declared by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1999. The purpose of the day is to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world and, as the UNESCO session declaring the day says, to "give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional and international poetry movements".
It was generally celebrated in October, sometimes on the 5th, but in the latter part of the 20th Century the world community celebrated it on 15 October, the birthday of Virgil, the Roman epic poet and poet laureate under Augustus. The tradition to keep an October date for national or international poetry day celebrations still holds in many countries.[1] It is still 5 October in the UK.[2] Alternatively, a different October or even November date is celebrated.

So in celebration, I decided to share a poem I read earlier this year (from this website):
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Related Poem Content Details


I 
Among twenty snowy mountains,   
The only moving thing   
Was the eye of the blackbird.   

II 
I was of three minds,   
Like a tree   
In which there are three blackbirds.   

III 
The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.   
It was a small part of the pantomime.   

IV 
A man and a woman   
Are one.   
A man and a woman and a blackbird   
Are one.   

V 
I do not know which to prefer,   
The beauty of inflections   
Or the beauty of innuendoes,   
The blackbird whistling   
Or just after.   

VI 
Icicles filled the long window   
With barbaric glass.   
The shadow of the blackbird   
Crossed it, to and fro.   
The mood   
Traced in the shadow   
An indecipherable cause.   

VII 
O thin men of Haddam,   
Why do you imagine golden birds?   
Do you not see how the blackbird   
Walks around the feet   
Of the women about you?   

VIII 
I know noble accents   
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;   
But I know, too,   
That the blackbird is involved   
In what I know.   

IX 
When the blackbird flew out of sight,   
It marked the edge   
Of one of many circles.   

X 
At the sight of blackbirds   
Flying in a green light,   
Even the bawds of euphony   
Would cry out sharply.   

XI 
He rode over Connecticut   
In a glass coach.   
Once, a fear pierced him,   
In that he mistook   
The shadow of his equipage   
For blackbirds.   

XII 
The river is moving.   
The blackbird must be flying.   

XIII 
It was evening all afternoon.   
It was snowing   
And it was going to snow.   
The blackbird sat   
In the cedar-limbs.



Monday, March 20, 2017

Quiz: The Spring Flowers Test

Some of this I agree with.  I did hibernate somewhat this winter, both because I was sick and because it was cold and raining and I was really tired.



You Are Hopeful
You expect the best in people, yourself, and the world. You have made a conscious choice to be an optimist.
You choose to see the upside of everything. It's how you survive and thrive on this crazy planet.

Winter doesn't get you down, but you do slow down a bit when it's cold and dreary. You appreciate the time to hibernate.
You enjoy having the time to reflect and be calm, but you're always happy for spring to come around again.

Spring is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts for you. It's time to bloom again.
Spring makes you excited to explore and live life fully. Each new bloom inspires you a little bit more.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Signs You Were Destined to Be a Writer

Signs You Were Destined To Be A Writer - writerslife.org
Do you know that you were just born to be a writer? Did you have the burning desire to write in your belly from a really young age? Are you unsure whether writing is the right path to you and want to feel more certain?
Writers are often filled with self-doubt, and when your writing isn’t going very well it can be easy to start to question yourself. Surely I should be published by now? Surely I should have finished my book by now? Surely I should feel more inspired to write by now?
The truth is that all writers go through periods of uncertainty, and, let’s face it if you are taking the time to read this article you obviously care enough about writing to spend your time doing so!
However, if you often find yourself pondering about whether you were truly meant to be a writer then ask yourself if you do any of the following?
Daydream about writing
Do you often find yourself daydreaming about your writing? Wondering what it would be like to be an award-winning novelist, a bestseller, a famous playwright, blogger or poet? If you fantasise about being a writer then chances are you were meant to be one.
I agree with this one in that I have daydreamed almost all my life of things to write. Yet I neglected to write some of them down. I did do some that I have lost over the years. I slacked off for several years, but I know it's never too late to begin again, as I have done.


Feel amazing when you sit down and write
For writers, there is no other feeling quite like sitting down and actually writing. Sure we doubt ourselves and we procrastinate like hell at times, but when we actually get down to it and write something we’re proud of, the feeling is exhilarating, satisfying and fills us with a deep sense of pride. Know what I am talking about? Then you’re a writer for sure.
I've been feeling this way since I've been working on my story.


Read all the time
Writers love to read. It’s where they get their inspiration, it’s how they learn. If you’ve always got your head stuck in a book, love reading a huge range of books, and get excited every time a book you’re reading gives you a new idea for your writing, this is a pretty good sign.
Yes, totally true. Reading other memoirs gave me that idea, especially Prozac Nation.  Reading novels written in dairy or letter format has made me want to try that kind of writing (I have started one such story).  I've read poetry that inspires me to write my own poems, either mirroring the original poems or taking lines or phrases from a poem to create one of my own.


Get told what a vivid imagination you have
Are people always telling you you’ve got an amazing imagination? Do they love the way you tell stories, or make even the dullest activity seem exciting and full of magic? You’re clearly a natural born story teller and should use your talents to write!
Not sure if anyone has told me this, but I think it's true.

Always create stories in your head
Do you find yourself walking along the street/ sitting on a train/ drifting off at night and suddenly you’re making up a story in your head? Writers find inspiration and ideas for stories wherever they go, and are always, whether consciously or not, on the lookout for new material.
This one goes with what I sad above about daydreaming about writing.  I've had some ideas for stories that I have written down and have since lost.  But I still get this way and am trying again.

Write in your free time
You give up your free time to write? Well, that makes you a writer in my book! Let’s face it, there are a million things you could be doing in your spare time to make your life a richer, more exciting and happier one. If you are choosing to use those precious hours to write it shows just how much you care.
School work used to get in the way of my writing, but I did take advantage of may free time to write or draw, another thing I did so much as child. I could not wait for summer, when school got out. 

Strive for perfection
Writers tend to be perfectionists – in fact, it is something we have to struggle to contend with to make sure we actually get anything done! If you are your own worst critic and can’t quite seem to let your writing be completely and truly ‘finished’ that’s a sign you are a true writer indeed!
This is how I have been feeling lately as I try to finish my memoir. I'm not sure how much longer I should make it and I'm still finding things I want to add or take out. 

Get nervous when other people read your work
Getting nervous about sharing our work doesn’t mean that our writing is bad, it just means that we are passionate about it and invested in it. If you can’t help but feel a little anxious every time you hand a piece of writing over (even if it’s only to your mom), that’s a sign that writing is for you.
In the past whenever I let my dad read anything I'd write, he'd always find something to be critical about. Know he's going to find something of the sort, so I'm sometimes hesitant to let him read it.  I haven't let him read my memoir, though.
I sent my memoir to some people from school as PDF via email. I have yet to hear from any of them. I also sent it to some of my mom's old friends and as group e-mail to my book club. I've gotten some feedback from some of those people. My mom has yet to read it, however.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to be a writer -whether you were destined to be one or not. But if you’ve got that fire in your belly, that drive, that passion, or even just that little writing itch that demands to be scratched then it looks like writing is something you’ll always love to do.
Even if I didn't do it for a while, I never seems to have given up on it. So I guessI was meant to write.
Do any of you agree with any of these points?