"Sharing with Writers" is from the desks of Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER (USA Book News' "Best Professional Book 2004" and an Irwin Award winner) and THE FRUGAL EDITOR, winner of USA Book News Best Book award and Reader Views Literary Award, and her writing friends. Writing friends. That's YOU.
It is a place where you'll find writing and promotion tips and where you can share your own writing sucesses with other writers.
Newsletter Dated: 3/2/2008 3:28:51 PM
Subject: [SharingwithWriters]Travails of an Unpublished Author, Avoiding the Great Movie Shaft and More
March 1, 2008
Sharing with Writers
A newsletter that is also a community. Share your ideas. Learn from theirs!
From the Desks of
Carolyn Howard - Johnson
And Authors' Coalition Friends
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Sharing with Writers is the official newsletter of Authors' Coalition,
an organization of writers who help writers.
To read this letter in plain vanilla text, scroll down. To read this newsletter with a bit more pizzazz (not much, though!) at Authors Den go to:
In the spirit of the advice I give in the Frugal Editor - - that is to use an extra pair of eyes whenever possible - - this newsletter is voluntarily copyedited by Authors' Coalition member, Mindy Phillips Lawrence ~ email@example.com
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Note from Carolyn:
Dear Subscribers and Authors' Coalition Members:
People keep asking me about the writers' strike. That's because I live in LA and wrote a never - produced screenplay. Wowee! Such Qualifications!
So, I couldn't add much that wasn't in all the papers in every city in the nation. But here's a story that you may not have heard and, yes, I think it will inform many of you, just in case you should ever get lucky enough (we know we're talented enough, right?) to get an offer from a studio to make our book into a movie.
In Column One of the LA Times on Wednesday, Feb. 13, Times Staff Writer Josh Getlin reported on Deborah Gregory's experience. She's the novelist who came out of nowhere to write the Cheetah Girl novels. Disney saw the potential and nowówith Disney's powerhouse promotion behind itóher characters are in films, CDs, toys. You name it. And, aside from the option fees and payment for her title as co - producer of the moviesóreportedly at $125,000óshe hasn't seen any royalties. The real lesson here isn't that she was given the shaft. The real reason is she was given the shaft because she didn't negotiate properly. And you need to know what she did wrong so you won't do it when your luck is riding high. Here's the dope:
Studios write contracts so that royalties are paid on net profits.
Studios know how to cook books so that movies never really make a net profit.
Even a good agent can't get better contracts from studios because the studios know a) authors are desperate and b) the studios are willing to walk away from a deal that they don't like.
So, what I can tell from this sad little story is that the only things an author can do if he or she is approached by a studio are:
Don't get too starry eyed. Expectations are not likely to be what you think they are.
Try to get as much as you can in the upfront money because you will probably never see any tail end money.
You can try to negotiate royalties based on gross profits rather than net profits. (Don't plan on that, though - - remember, the studios are willing to walk away.)
Oh, yeah. Get an agent and/or a manager. Preferably one with lots of experience and a background in law.
Now, in case you think that this couldn't happen to you, Getlin reports in a related story that ran the same day (p. A22) that there are many, many authors out there with similar stories. They include Olivia Goldsmith who wrote The First Wives Club; Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump: Alice Walker who wrote The Color Purple: and Art Buchwald who wrote Coming to America.
Need I remind anyone that Buchwald wasn't a little emerging writer when this happened to him. The movie based on his book grossed $350 million but the studios claimed they didn't make enough money to pay net profits. Buchwald won an undisclosed settlement but, alas, the decision will not apply to your case if you should ever be so lucky (or unlucky) to have to fight for your due. It's a small legality but a big one for those who came after him.
Happy writing, promoting and, yes, editing, too!
Carolyn Howard - Johnson
Websites: http://carolynhoward - Johnson.com (literary)
http://HowToDoItFrugally.com (all things about writing)
Authors' Coalition: http://www.AuthorsCoalitionandRedEnginepress.com
For the Frugal Editor, Amazon - direct: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0978515870/
Blogs: http://AuthorsCoalition.blogspot.com, a blog focused on book fairs
http://www.SharingwithWriters.blogspot.com, a blog on all things publishing
http://www.TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog focused on YOUR reviews
http://www.TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com, a blog focused on editing, formatting and craft
And now blogging on War. Peace. Tolerance. And Our Soldiers at http://www.warpeacetolerance.blogspot.com.
And now! Squidooing at
and http://www.squidoo.com/carolynhoward - johnson
PS: Our catalog and LA Times Fair book signing deadlines are approaching. No producer is likely to see your book if it isn't out there shining its little cover in the right places. LA is the right place. Yeah. Chances are slim but the slimmer in most other places than in LA. ( - :
Please pass this letter on to others. Unlike many, I do not mind if you use only portions of it as long as you credit the writers and include this subscribe information. "To subscribe to 'Sharing with Writers' send an e - mail to HoJoNews@aol.com with 'Subscribe' in the subject line."
In the News and Thanks:
We had some old information on our Authors' Coalition's list of reviewers where you can find up to date info on those who review for newspapers and others (http://www.authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com/reviewers1.htm ): Apparently info for the Atlanta Constitution, http://www.ajc.com/, was out of date.
Thanks to Malcolm R. Campbell, author of "The Sun Singer" ... where dreams begin, http://www.campbelleditorial.com/sunsinger.html, for helping me keep the list updated. He says, "Ms. Weaverís contract was terminated . . . as the newspaper scaled down its book review efforts and began relying more on reviews from stringers, wire services and other publications. In searching on Critical Mass, the NBCCís blog, youíll find info verifying this and about the media controversy as yet another major paper stepping away from book reviewing." All information we need. It's important to find other ways to promote than getting reviews and they ARE out there.
New members will help Authors' Coalition serve all its members better! Ask your writing friends to join at http://www.authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com/. Paid members get a favorite review posted, consideration for an interview or review in Yarnspinners and Wordweavers, ditto for The Fiction Flyer and Betty Dobson's Inkspotter. Membership is reasonable, too.
Tell friends to visit our blog. There they'll learn how to spark generally insipid book fairs by using value - added promotions. www.authorscoalition.blogspot.com.
Tip: The A Cappela Newsletter for Writers, long - time source for everything you want to know to write better and get published, has a new face. It still comes to you via email, but is now replete with graphics to satisfy your need for eye candy, and lots of links to make your surfing easier. Take a look at www.acappela.com/c - newsletter
I just added my fifth blog to blogspot.com. Yes, I love blogging. This one is called War, Peace, Tolerance and Our Soldiers and it is where I get to nag and rag to try to make things better for our troops and maybe for the world. I'd love to have you leave a comment for its inaugural. www.warpeacetolerance.blogspot.com
(There are leads here, just as you'll find in all the most innocent - looking areas of this newsletter. You never know when you'll find a name or a site that will help you network or write better!)
To Dana Lynn Smith, publishing consultant, who posted reviews for the Frugal Book Promoter on Amazon, BN.com and Facebook and will feature this book in the March issue of her Publishing Tips newsletter. Subscribe to that letter here. http://texanapublishing.homestead.com/subscribe.html
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To Robin Falls, for featuring my books on her adorable website www.robinfalls,com. The two "Frugal" books are on the "Golden Tokens from Other Authors" page which can be reached through the Meet the Authors page. The Great First Impression Book Proposal is on the "Building Bridges between Friends" page which can be reached from the "Writers Corner." Be sure to go and see how Robin works links into her purely literary site. That helps her build search engine presence for it
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To Malcolm Campbell, author of The Sun Singer, for including Authors' Coalition on his MySpace page and for announcing it to the MySpace World on with the post feature: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=156085487
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To Marilyn Dalrymple, publicity person for the Advanced Toastmasters Platinum for writing such a nice release on my speaking engagement with them. Find it at, http://valleynews.com/AntelopeValley/Stories/News/About - Town/Story ~429998.aspx
You'll be especially interested if you live in the Lancaster/Antelope Valley area of LA.
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To Book Lore, again this week for featuring my Amazon Short on their UK site, even though Shorts can't be purchased on that side of the ocean. See it at http://www.booklore.co.uk/Reviewers/Carolyn/CarolynBooks.htm
No part of this newsletter is paid advertising. If you would like to advertise to subscribers, display ads are available at www.howtodoitfrugally.com at less per year than most sites charge for a single month (see the advertising tab at the top of the page). Authors' Coalition www.authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com is also accepting ads. So is Yarnspinners and Wordweavers. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sharing with Literary Writers
(Subscriber Chris Meeks, author of the Middle - Aged Man and the Sea, UCLA instructor and editor of a literary newsletter, Maplewoods Mirror, let me reprint this from his letter.)
Conventions are akin to a state fair or dental surgery. They seem a good idea at the time, but after a short while, you don't want to be there.
I was once elected as a delegate to the Modern Language Association, whose mission to help professors and students of English and modern languages I applaud. Yet their convention was filled with professors and students of English and modern languages. While I'm one of those, I'm sorry, but if you get enough of us in one spot, the fusion of so much arrogance and patches on the elbows is enough to vaporize Twinkies.
Additionally, most seminar meetings didn't interest me, events such as "Constructing Identity Through the Narrative of Self," "The Interdisciplinarity of Composition and Rhetoric," and "Chaucerian Objects." For my first MLA Convention, I had searched through the topics of nearly a thousand meetings and came up with three that interested me, all to do with playwright Harold Pinter. (Those Pinter people are a happy fun bunch, I must say.)
The yearly AWP Convention, however, is a different story. It's a convention for creative writers and those who teach creative writing. AWP stands for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (http://www.awpwriter.org/membership/index.htm), and for your $65 yearly due ($40 for students), you get a lot besides the convention. You get the Writer's Chronicle (http://www.awpwriter.org/magazine/index.htm ) six times a year, which has articles on writers and writing. You also get a continuous listing of jobs in writing and teaching, and access to career services.
The convention has been the only one I've ever enjoyed. This year is was in New York City split between the Sheraton and Hilton Hotels in Midtown. Once the nearly 400 seminars and readings were listed for the four - day event, I pored over the possibilities. I had to miss the first day so I could teach my class at USC, but I took a 6 a.m. flight eastward, and made it to the keynote address that night by John Irving.
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(Meeks goes on to describe the seminars he took with Irving and others. For a copy of the newsletter that includes his take on them, e - mail him at email@example.com.)
Help: I'd really love it if you all could start keeping your eyes out for F R ^ ^ contests for me. Contests of any kind. Promotion. Poetry. Fiction. Flash Fiction. Essays. Anthology, Or those who accept submissions that don't charge. Send them to HoJoNews@aol.com with SWW Contest in the subject line. Please include your full name and URL and book title so I can credit you as the contributor. ( - :
Subscribers who have websites or newsletters of their own may be interested in the Free Articles 4 Readers and Writers on my site, www.howtodoitfrugally.com. I try to add new articles to it each week. If you don't see what you need for your blog, or newsletter, just ask. HoJoNews@aol.com.
In the News: Many writers are also heavy cell phone users. May Lattanzio sends a link for the latest reason why we should mitigate the time we spend hanging a cell phone from our ears. She says, "I know a lot of rumors surround cell phone use, but this is the latest from the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7250372.stm
Fun and F r * *: If you purchased the Frugal Book Promoter or the Frugal Editor, I'd love for you to review it on Amazon or BN.com. Make it simple; just tell what part of it you found most valuable. If you do, send me the review link (URL) and I will send you a handout from one of my UCLA classes. As a thank you, of course. HoJoNews@aol.com
This is a new running feature for the poets among us and those who would like to try writing poetry but feel, well . . . inadequate. Please send in your poetry tips and resources for this section.
Just a little fun in the poetry corner this week. Subscriber Cheryl Pickett (www.publishinganswers.com) sends us this link. It will amuse any poet but especially any poet who has written a sonnet. ( - : http://www.arcamax.com/garfield/s - 307274 - 858502
Don't suffer with book proposals. You can be a pro with and investment of only 20 minutes and 49 cents with my Great First Impression Book Proposal Short.
http://www.amazon.com/Great - First - Impression - Book - Proposal/dp/B000YG6O5U
Tip: Both of my Frugal books and all Amazon Shorts (including The Great First Impression Book Proposal: Everything You Need To Know To Sell Your Book in 20 Minutes or Less) are available on Amazon's Kindle so naturally I was interested in this great review of the product from a consumer - who - also - happens - to - be - a - writer.
Even if your book isn't available on Kindle yet, you know my mantra about knowing as much about the publishing industry as possible. ( - :
A general marketing rule is that a product must be seen seven times before it is purchased. That is just as true for books (because they are products, like it or not!). Let people see that book cover image! To do that, you are invited to advertise as a site sponsor at www.howtodoitfrugally.com for only $25 to $30 a year. Yep, the frugal way! Click on the Advertising tab at the top of the page or contact me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(If you read about others' successes you'll not only be inspired, you'll glean resources for future successes of your own. You are invited to send me news about your successes. Please use "AUTHOR SUCCESSES" as a subject lines.)
No news to report this week. This is the place to share your publishing and award - winning coups with links so others can follow your lead.
TIP: The Publisherís Bookstore (www.thepublishersbookstore.com) features nearly 100 books about writing, publishing and book marketing, arranged by category to help you quickly find the resources you need. Whether you are just beginning your publishing journey or looking for ways to boost your book sales, youíll find a wealth of information from experienced authors, publishers, and marketers.
Learn from the masters how to:
Write fiction and nonfiction manuscripts
Find and work effectively with agents and publishers
Publish your book yourself
Promote and distribute your book
Sell more books through online marketing and publicity
Youíll even find books about specific genre, such as childrenís books, cookbooks, romance, Christian fiction, mystery, science fiction, memoirs, travel books, and directories. The Publisherís Bookstore orders are fulfilled by Amazon.com.
Available: Audios from Audio Divas on many aspects of building a writing career are published by Double Dragon Press. Here is the page where you'll find the full list (http://www.double - dragon - ebooks.com/eAuthor.php?Name=Carolyn%20Howard - Johnson ) including one on "Do It Yourself Indexing." The first audio, "Promoting Easy and Cheap!" is a F R ^ ^ sample you can download. Each comes with a resource guide. Here is an example of a guide for the audio - lesson Your Divas did on "Contests": http://www.derondouglas.com/audiosample/AwardResourceGuideContests.pdf
TIP: Check www.zooominfo.com to see how your book shows up there. Then keep this neat site handy to help you with research and networking. Check out my page as an example of ways to list all the things you do, including writing, of course.
Authors' Coalition members! For credibility, use the AC logo on your promotional materials. Ask for it by sending an e - mail to HoJoNews@aol.com or download it with a click from the AC site http://authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com.
You know you want it on your website! Be sure to link it to the AC site, too!
Boomer Women Offers F r ^ ^ Contest
You have 500 words to tell us your favorite concert memory. Lay it on us. Knock yourself out. Take us back. Who were you with, what were you wearing, and what music were you jammin' to?
Submissions should be written in a Word document and sent as an attachment to email@example.com with FAVORITE CONCERT MEMORY in the subject line.
PRIZE MONEY - $100.00 and F - R - E - E membership or renewal in the National Association of Baby Boomer Women. Plus your story will be placed in the Our Voices section at www.boomerwomenspeak.com. Please make sure to include your name, email address, and short bio at the top of your entry not in the body of the email.
Deadline - April 15th
877 - bboomer
Founder of the National Association of Baby Boomer Women and Boomer Women Speak.
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Last call for the Authors' Coalition catalog to be delivered by mail to booksellers and press. It's a great way to get in touch with booksellers at bookstores and have your book associated with a professional organization and with the LA Times Festival of Books, even if you live in North Dakota! ( - : Contact me for information but first, please go to the website and read up on how it works cross - promotionally. http://www.authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com/fair_booths.htm. Scroll down a bit to where it says CATALOG.
Authors' Coalition: No Hum - Drum Book Fair Promotion Allowed is a blog where you can watch how Authors' Coalition members make book fairs successful with cross - promotion, value - added promotions and a good assessment process. Find it at www.authorscoalition.blogspot.com. It's time to sign up for 2008's LA Times/UCLA Festival of Books.
Writer Advice Third Annual Flash Prose Contest
WriterAdvice, www.writeradvice.com, is searching for flash fiction, memoir, and creative non - fiction that grabs, surprises, and mesmerizes readers in fewer than 750 words. Submit a story with a strong theme, sharp images, a solid structure, and an unexpected discovery, to the WriterAdvice Flash Prose Contest.
Type and submitted entries in hard copy, not e - mail, to
B. Lynn Goodwin, WriterAdvice
P.O. Box 2665
Danville, CA 94526 - 4339.
Entries must be postmarked by APRIL 10, 2008.
You may enter UP TO THREE pieces. Enclose a $10 check for EACH entry made payable to B. Lynn Goodwin. This will help defray the costs of the contest. If no prizes are awarded, checks will be refunded.
Include a separate cover sheet with your name, address, phone number, current e - mail address, and each story title. Please put the story title, but not your name, at the top of each page. Finalists will be asked to submit a brief biography and an e - mail copy of the story.
Names of all winners will be announced in the summer issue of WriterAdvice, www.writeradvice.com. Winning stories will run in Writer Advice.
NOTE - - THE PRIZES HAVE GONE UP ALTHOUGH THE ENTRY FEE REMAINS THE SAME.
Winning stories will be published in WriterAdvice. In addition, First Place earns $75, Second Place earns $50, Third Place earns $35, and Fourth Place earns $20. Honorable Mentions will also be published. A
list of all winners will be posted in the June - July issue of WriterAdvice.
SPECIAL PERK: All entries accompanied by an SASE will be returned with brief comments. An article about last year's contest, called WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOESN'T is on the "Writing Advice" page of the e - zine, http://www.writeradvice.com/advice.html.
Questions or concerns? Please write Lgood67334@comcast.net.
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Learn the Book Fair Booth Ropes
Authors' Coalition wants you! We are looking for someone to run the booth at the West Hollywood Book Fair in October. From an author's point of view (the guy or gal running the booth), it is the best run fair I've ever experienced. Still, my autumn schedule is already too full to take it on. So, if anyone is up for doing, you'd have my help and that of Roz Helfand, the booth coordinator. You'd have the AC name to draw people to the booth and, though there is no pay, there are some natural, built - in perks including networking with great fellow authors and cross - promotion opportunities. E - mail me with questions. HoJoNews@aol.com. Or you could go it on your own (not recommended because cross - promotion is so important to the success of a booth). If you prefer that, though, contact Roz on your own: firstname.lastname@example.org
Roz also says, ". . . this year we're going to host an "Authors' Row" similar to West Hollywood Writes. Authors who would like to sell their own work can sign up to exhibit for the day in a row of joined booths. Because they will be sharing space, the fee will be half that of a regular booth. We are still working on the application for Authors' Row, but I thought you'd like to know about this opportunity.
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Do you have a finished manuscript but no money to publish it? Everyone has a book inside them.
Here's your chance to see your work in print.
VERBENA POND PUBLISHING announces its first annual Writing
Send us twenty to thirty pages of your manuscript. (Finalists must provide the complete manuscript.) *$100 entry fee
Manuscripts must be typed, double spaced and numbered.
Manuscripts will not be returned.
All genres will be considered except science fiction, erotica and screen plays.
If you're the WINNER, you'll receive 1000 copies of your book, professionally printed. We provide the layout, editing, proof reading, cover design. The whole package. Value: $10,000.00! 2nd and 3rd place winners receive 10 and 5 hours respectively of F r ^ ^ consulting with
publisher. (Rate of $350/hour)
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Book Tour Service
Nikki Leigh offers some publicity services. She describes the tours here:
"Budget Tour - $125 for a month
This tour is a great way for authors to get their feet wet, to learn much more about tours and about promotion in general. I wrote an instruction booklet for all touring authors and it contains a wealth of information about how to prepare for the tour, who to contact and how to promote your tour. I donít coordinate the tour stops and the posting, but I am here to answer questions. This tour option offers a lot of flexibility for the author and if you follow directions, you will learn a lot that will work for you long after your tour is over.
"Golden Ticket Tour - $250 for a month
This tour is for the author who wants me to handle the coordination and posting for the tour. Authors still need to supply information about themselves and their books. I will also arrange 15 - 20 (or more) interviews for the author. Your information will be posted by me on the tour site, sent to the blog owners that host you and promotions for your tour will be posted on a number of high traffic blogs and on social networking and social bookmarking sites.
"I've have other promotional services. Prices and details are listed on this page - www.nikkileigh.com/promo.htm "
========================================================Learn more about tips booklets and how to make them work for you. Paulette Ensign was one of the first master promoters I came in contact with. She'll teach you to make promotional booklets work for you with a variety of programs. http://www.kickstartcart.com/app/?af=696843
TIP: Once, when my husband and I ran a small chain of gift stores, Red Skelton came into our Palm Springs, CA. store and offered to sign the collectible plates we carried. He was very old at the time and he still made all our employees' hearts flutter. And, because of that, our sales of Red Skelton plates jumped a huge (but unremembered) percentage. Authors can do the same thing in bookstores. Ask. Why would they refuse? It only ads value to their inventory. And some stores will double display signed books. Vroman's in Pasadena, as an example, will keep the unsigned books with their category but they also have a special bookcase where they display signed books. Your readers will love having a chance to buy a signed book, too.
"AC is the current that powers your writing career." http://authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com
Carolyn Howard - Johnson, Authors' Coalition Founder
From Elizabeth Lucas - Taylor
(Elizabeth contributes at least one valuable paying resource per SWW issue - - either a great place to sell material or find writing craft or promotional idea - - and sometimes throws in a resource for you.)
SYNOPSIS HELPS - - Great links and sample synopsis from Charlotte Dillon. http://www.charlottedillon.com/synopsis.html
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Find Elizabeth at http://www.authorsden.com/elucastaylor or her new blog at http://www.elucas - taylor.blogspot.com/ or at MySpace http://www.myspace.com/elucastaylor
where you will find a writers' community.
Reciprocal Links: Many subscribers are in a position to cross - promote. Let me know if you would like to trade some recommendation or promotion for any of my books - - from the HowToDoItFrugally series to my chapbook of poetry - - for a place on my Resources for Writers or Resources for Readers pages on www.HowToDoItFrugally.com.
Marketing Vs. Selling Your Book
Okay, maybe all of you won't think this is as great as I do, but it was one of those moments when everything "clicked" and I wanted to share.
I started a series of branding teleseminars and tonight I talked with Mark Hendricks. While there was a lot of information, the thing that reached out and grabbed me was the way he differentiated between selling and marketing - - and it made perfect sense.
He used the example of fishing in marketing. You need to:
*find where the fish are
*give them food they like/want
*be there when they're hungry
That makes sense. He went on to say that selling is like "grabbing the fish and trying to shove the hook into its mouth". On the other hand, marketing is offering something so enticing the fish will "jump in the boat" to get it.
I read Carolyn's book, The Frugal Book Promoter, and she touches on the branding well but [sometimes it take hearing it second time] - - now it means more to me when I went back to read it with this new understanding. (Either my mind wasn't ready to grasp the concept yet or I relate better to fish!).
It struck me that we so often try to sell our books by directly asking for the sale, by telling them "it's good, you want to buy it". Yet, like fishing with "fake" bait - - they can't smell or taste it - - what is there to appeal to them?
On the other hand, offering excerpts, giving things that illustrate our writing, allowing the reader to taste what we have and want it - - letting them know they have to have it. That's marketing!
I am sitting here as though I just discovered a treasure and wanted to share.
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Joyce A. Anthony
Author of Storm, http://joyceanthony.tripod.com
I use Vista Print for lots of my promotional materials. Be aware that shipping prices may fluctuate, depending on the deal of the moment. Please use this link:
TIP: Subscriber May Lattanazio sends us this URL http://www.suite101.com/. It is a site that has been around for a very long time (by Net standards) and it has sections on it that cover about every subject. Search around to find the section that best suits the subject of your book then send queries and media releases like crazy.
The New Book Review is a service of this newsletter and Authors' Coalition. It allows authors to get more exposure from their favorite review and reviewers a chance to have more readers see their reviews - - with links, of course. Please check the guidelines on the blog site at www.TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com.
Quotation: Jerry D. Simmons, former Time Warner executive and guru behind www.nothingbinding.com that supports independent authors, says, "There are three parts to book marketing: advertising, promotion, and publicity. The most important component by far is publicity. The largest publishers in the world focus almost entirely on generating publicity as the best, most effective way of marketing and selling books." Sound familiar. That's the song I've been singing to you all for years now.
Editing Tip: Jozette Aaron, www.theauthorsdesk.net, says, "I am going to purchase your book . . .
I have a question. I was given some editing advice that I do not agree with. I was told that when a question appears between quotation marks, the question mark should not be used that a comma is used in its place. e.g "How did that happen,"
This doesn't look right to me so I thought I'd ask my guru. I was given this advice by the person I was considering when self publishing.
Thanks for your help.
To learn the answer go to www.thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com. While you're there, I'd love to have you leave a comment.
"www.HowToDoItFrugally.com , by Carolyn Howard - Johnson [is] a top website for writers . . . I'd say my ROI is over 1,000%. The advice is particularly strong in addressing the new author where they are in learning the publishing/selling process. Very practical. The site is excellent."
~ Hill Kemp, author of Capitol Offense, and contributor to Secrets, Fact or Fiction? I, ISBN 0 - 9737282 - 5 - 6 and Secrets, Fact or Fiction? II, ISBN 1 - 59594 - 062 - 6, LOC 2006904627, http://www.secretsfactorfiction.com
Carolyn's Appearances and Teaching:
New!Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D. and Rosemary Lichtman, Ph.D. will interview Carolyn Howard - Johnson on their blog at www.NourishingRelationships.blogspot.com, on Thursday, March 13. The two women are authors of:Sandwiched Boomers: How to Nourish Relationships without Starving Yourself and have worked together as mentors to women at www.HerMentorCenter.com for years. Soooo, Thursday, come find out what it was like for women in the 50s and 60s, and how I changed directions in what they generously call "the second half of my life."
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Advanced Toastmasters Platinum has asked me to speak to them Friday, March 14, at Camilleís Sidewalk Cafe, 43901 15th Street W., Lancaster, CA. Subject? "Donít Tick off the Gatekeepers: Your First Marketing Offense or Great Editing Counts." Dinner is at 6:00 P.M. (not provided). The meeting runs from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M. Please RVSP to Advanced Toastmasters Platinum President Dana LaMon at email@example.com or call (661) 949 - 7423. Toastmaster Sandy Aubin, ACB/CL is coordinator for the event.
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Carolyn Howard - Johnson will speak to a networking group at the Small Business Association (SBA) Women's Business Center on Friday, March 14 at Mama's Hot Tamales Cafť, 2122 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90057. Mama's is an urban renewal project that has revitalized the Mac Arthur Park area in LA and now seeks to do the same for a depressed area in Pasadena. Mama (Sandy Romero) is host beginning at 8:30 am. Those with questions may contact SBA director Jackie Jones at 213 989 3153 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Carolyn Howard - Johnson will be Valerie Connelly's guest on her teleseminar March 19th, 2008 at 8PM Eastern, 7PM Central, and 5 PM Pacific Time. The subject is: "It's Your Call: Frugal Book Promotion with Carolyn Howard - Johnson." A downloadable MP3 recording of the teleseminar is available to registered attendees after the event. Please sign up by March 18th. Space is limited. Let Valerie tell you more about it: email@example.com.
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New!Please listen to Sound Authors on March 28th at 10:00 am Pacific, 1:00 pm Eastern, 15 minute interview.
Learn more about the interview and how to query the producers at: www.soundauthors.com The site is easy to navigate and, you can see, a great one to be listening to or appearing on.
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Carolyn Howard - Johnson will share with the nation's humor writers again in April 3 - 5 of 2008 at Dayton University's Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop. She'll speak twice at the Kennedy Union on campus. Go to www.humorwriters.org/2008SpeakerBios.html. Tapes will be available even though this conference sold out 77 hours after opening registration. It is not too early to be thinking about 2010.
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Carolyn will teach a new seminar on the UCLA campus on March 22, 2008, Room 1323 Public Service Building. It's called "The Business of Writing: Carve Your Career with Great Queries and Covers." Here's the class description: "You've written your story, your poem, your book. What now? You've tackled your craft like a professional but when it comes to introducing yourself to the decision makersóthe marketing and editing part of your workóyou may show a lack of expertise with seemingly innocuous departures from accepted procedures - like using a cover letter when you need a query. In this one - day seminar, the students will use basics taught in the class to critique drafts of letters they have brought with them. In the process you'll get grammar, punctuation, and even computer editing tricks you may apply to your other writing as well as your queries. You'll receive a handout of the doís and don'ts for approaching gatekeepers straight from the mouths of agents who contributed ideas on the subject for the instructor's book on editing and samples of letters that have produced results. Participants will not only walk away with two letters they can be proud to send out, but will also have a low - cost plan for using them effectively in a variety of ways." So, are you all planning to come to spend a weekend in the sunshine in LA and make it a business expense? ( - :
To enroll call Marcus Hennessey, 310 - 267 - 4888, or go to www.uclaextension.edu and enroll for 735.18, Registration # T6393.
Because it is a one - day seminar, it is less than $100.
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On April 26 & 27, Carolyn Howard - Johnson will sign her new USA Award - winning book the Frugal Editor ( as well as her others) at the LA Times/UCLA Festival of Books on the beautiful UCLA Campus in the Authors Coalition booth, #610 and 611. (http://www.latimes.com/extras/festivalofbooks/_) Other authors signing there include Barbara Crandall, David H. Jones, Joyce Faulkner, Poets Christine Alexanians and Sona Ovasapyan. To learn more about opportunities for your book go to: http://www.authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com/fair_booths.htm. Some promotions authors have to be present for, others not. Visitors at this booth will receive free books with their purchase.
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Nancy Mills, founder of Spirited Woman, will be interviewing Carolyn Howard - Johnson in her 2008 Spirited Woman tele - chat series. Sign up now to be part of this exciting series, whether you want to listen to Carolyn or to the likes of Jacqueline Mitchard, author of the Deep End of the Ocean and Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of Pay It Forward. Find the entire series at: www.thespiritedwoman.com/spirited_woman_circle
To listen live, circle Tuesday, June 3, 2008, 10 am (PST), 1 pm (EST) on your calendar. Advance registration needed.
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Carolyn Howard - Johnson will appear on Write On Four Corners with host Connie Gotsch on KSJE FM Public Radio broadcast from San Juan College. Access the program at: www.ksje.com 10:30 am Wed. 2:30 pm Fri. Mountain Time. Click on the website to listen live in your appropriate time zone. Connie is the author of the mystery suspense novel Snap Me a Future as well as host of Roving with the Arts on KSJE and regular contributor to The Four Corners Free Press - - www.fourcornersfreepress.com
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The Catholic Writerís Guild (www.catholicwritersguild.org) and Canticle Magazine (http://www.canticlemagazine.com) are pleased to announce the first Catholic Writerís Conference Online May 2 - 9, 2008. Conducted entirely via Internet, the conference will feature online seminars and chat rooms hosted by editors, agents, published writers, and other media professionals in book and magazine publishing. F r ^ ^ to writers of all levels, advance registration is required. To register go to www.conference.catholicwritersguild.org. At 10 am, Pacific time, on Monday, May 5, Carolyn will present Your First Marketing Offense: Query Letters and Great Editing or Ten Ways to Let an Agent Know You Are an Amateur. Karina Fabian will moderate. Then Carolyn will co - present a seminar with Karina on book promotion at 11 am Pacific Time the same day.
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Carolyn Howard - Johnson will be one of the featured winners of the USA Book News' booth at BEA on Friday, May 29, at the nation's premier book event, Book Expo America. She will sign her USA Book News Award - Winning book, The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success in the USA Book News booths, #835 & #837 in the PMA Pavilion. Make BEA reservations and get info about the event here: http://bookexpoamerica.com
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Carolyn Howard - Johnson will read from her chapbook of poetry, Tracings, Monday evening, Aug. 11, at 7:30 pm at the Village Bookstore 1049 Swarthmore Ave, Pacific Palisades, CA. Poets Alice Pero and Lois P. Jones sponsor ongoing featured readings called Moonday. Learn more at: http://home.earthlink.net/ ~pero/moonday.html
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The f r e ^ Muse Online Writers' Conference, sponsored by Lea Schizas and Carolyn Howard - Johnson, is accepting early registration. Nearly 2,000 attended last year and openings are limited. Learn more about this year's conference, October 13 to 19th, and how you can assure your spot in 2008. We will present an all - new program soon. Go to: www.freewebs.com/themuseonlinewritersconference/presentersregistration.htm
To see the growing list of presenters go to: http://www.freewebs.com/themuseonlinewritersconference/2007workshops.htm
Sign up to receive a copy of my Sharing with Writers blog in your e - mail box. It is a focused blog on all things related to writing and publishing. Go to www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com. Sign up in the left hand column. Find related resources by scrolling to the bottom of the blog.
Travails of a Writer Searching for an Agent
Note: Many agents will not accept queries from authors that have not been referred. Many publishers will not accept submissions from authors that do not have an agent. The following information is based on agents/publishers who will accept queries and submissions from unrepresented authors that have not been referred.
From An Unpublished Author
By D.B. Pacini, Author
Iím fifty - five. I have been writing since I was nine. Iíve seldom been published. Iíve rarely tried until recently. For about eleven months now Iíve queried approximately 200 literary agents and a few publishers that accept submissions from authors that donít have an agent. Iím confident that I will secure a terrific agent within the next hour, day, month, or decade.
A. 50% of the agents and publishers have not responded to my queries and submissions. (Many list on their websites that they wonít respond if they arenít interested.)
B. Agents arenít interested in my short stories or my poetry. After my novels are published some may have interest in my short stories. Some agents suggest that I submit my short stories and poetry to magazines, literary journals, and writing contests so I can build up my publishing credits.
C. 25% of the agents said he/she has no interest in my novels because:
1st Reason: They arenít accepting queries or taking new clients at this time.
2nd Reason: They donít feel that my novels are a fit with their agency.
3rd Reason: They donít feel grabbed by my query.
Most of these agents wished me success in my efforts to secure representation.
D. The other 25% responded generously. Most apologized and said that they have a full plate of clients and arenít accepting new clients at this time. Several reviewed my website and made complimentary comments. Five told me that I should consider self - publishing. Nineteen told me to not self - publish. I exchanged a number of emails with several of these agents. Some gave me suggestions that would help make my queries more succulent. Three referred me to other agents. Unfortunately, the referred agents also expressed regret that they have a full plate of clients and arenít accepting new clients at this time.
THE TYPE OF AGENT I WANT: Several agents were amazing. One gave me tremendous encouragement and asked me to contact her in a few months if I donít secure an agent because she might be able to consider me a few months down the road. Five gave me warnings about what to look out for regarding disreputable agents or publishers.
THE TYPE OF AGENT I REALLY WANT: I received an offer from a publisher that accepts submissions from authors that donít have agents. I quickly emailed an agent that had been supportive and asked her if she would PLEASE review the contract. She was savvy, exceptionally knowledgeable, and she ripped the contract to shreds. I declined the offer to be published.
PERSERVANCE: Like most unpublished writers I have limited experience with the publishing world and Iíve read many help/advice books about the publishing business. I diligently scour numerous websites that offer advice and warnings to writers. Iím especially grateful to people like Victoria Strauss http://www.sfwa.org/beware who runs Writer Beware, a website that collects information about writing related scams. Iíve learned a great deal but I still only understand a fraction of what I need to comprehend. I continue to gain knowledge and perseverance is my new middle name.
BUY IT: The Great First Impression Proposal by Carolyn Howard - Johnson primarily focuses on the nonfiction author but I learned incredible tips and strategies that I can beautifully apply to queries and submissions for my novels. I urge writers to read The Great First Impression Proposal. It is available as an Amazon Short. You can download it for $0.49. It will be the best $0.49 youíll ever spend. People like Carolyn Howard - Johnson provide top - notch assistance and advice to authors. Weíre smart to take it.
I encourage other unpublished writers to keep believing in their dreams. Your dreams can come true. Just keep writing and change your middle name to Perseverance. Also, always maintain a sense of humor.
FROM MY FILES:
From an agent: Iím not available because Iím getting married and Iím too busy for new clients. Your novel, Emmaís Love Letters is too short for my consideration anyway. Increase the word count by 25,000 words. Good luck.
From an agent: I apologize; Iím not available to unpublished authors. I only accept new clients that already have published success. Your novel, The Loose End of the Rainbow is interesting. Unfortunately, it is the first in a trilogy and I donít like the working title you have for the second novel. I wish you the best.
From an agent: Dear Ms. Pacini, Regarding your question about titles for your novels I must say that the last thing that matters at this point is what your titles are. I believe you will find that publishers often change titles for numerous reasons. Donít be married to a title.
From a publisher: Thanks for your query. Emmaís Love Letters is a bit longer than novels we publish. Can you shorten it by 5,000 words? Your novel, The Loose End of the Rainbow is much too long for our consideration, especially since it is the first in a trilogy.
From My ďDud AgentĒ List:
At one point I decided to email agents and ask if they were accepting queries because a high number were not. Most agents have explicit query instructions. It takes time to query precisely as an agent wishes and itís disappointing to receive a quick response that the agent is not accepting queries.
An agent responded to my email that asked if she was accepting queries. She curtly told me to follow the query instructions on her website. I carefully followed the elaborate instructions. One minute after I emailed her my query she sent me a ďDear AuthorĒ email saying she is not accepting queries at this time.
Fortunately, most agents are not this petty. There are undesirable or disreputable agents out there for many reasons. Authors must be careful. You want an agent that will love your work, an agent that will develop a mutually respectful relationship with you. Always research, be smart. Securing an exceptional agent is as important as writing an exceptional book.
Getting Published (Factual Accounts):
A woman I know tried to secure an agent for years. She finally gave up and decided that at least she had written her book for family and friends. Last year her grown granddaughter happened to be sitting beside an agent on a plane. When it landed the agent had agreed to read the manuscript. He liked it, signed the author, the book was published, it hit the best seller list, she got a six figure check, sheís been asked to write more books, and they are now considering movie offers.
My friendís niece: One day a doctor casually mentioned to a patient that she was concerned about her struggling writer - daughter. The doctor did not know the patient was a literary agent. He offered to read the manuscript, liked it, and signed the young author.
A woman I heard about (from another writer) was in a park. She found a friendly dog with an address on his collar. She drove him home. The frantic owner was a literary agent. He offered a $$$ reward for the return of his beloved dog. She asked him to read her manuscript instead. He read it, referred her to another agent, and that agent signed her.
I now wander around parks searching for lost dogs.
Something to Make Writers Smile
(Definitions in the next few newsletters are from http://www.butlerwebs.com/jokes/definitions.htm .You might have some favorite neologisms metaphors or similes that make you smile. If so, please contribute.)
"BALDERDASH: A rapidly receding hairline."
Essential Book and Record Keeping:
This letter is an entity of Authors' Coalition http://authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com
Edited and distributed by Carolyn Howard - Johnson,
http://carolynhoward - johnson.com
Author of This Is the Place, Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, Tracings, and the How To Do It Frugally series of books for writers,
Tracings, a chapbook of poetry, published by Finishing Line Press may be ordered at
www.amazon.com/gp/product/1599240173/qid=1139084827/sr=1 - 1/
This is a place to share with others and learn from others.
Though I do attempt to verify information used within this newsletter's pages, Sharing with Writers does not guarantee entities or information. Subscribers should research resources.
To submit information articles, tips or other information, e - mail Carolyn at HoJoNews@aol.com. Please put "Submission: Sharing with Writers" in the subject line.
If you do not care to receive this newsletter, send an e - mail to HoJoNews@aol.com with "UnsubscribeĒ in the subject line, but please, please don't tell me you've given up writing or promoting!
To subscribe to Sharing with Writers send an e - mail with "Subscribe" in the subject line to: HoJoNews@aol.com.
Please pass this newsletter on to friends or e - groups. It needn't be pasted in its complete form, but please credit this newsletter, Authors' Coalition and the individual contributors with anything you snip and paste.
Order the Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't at stores like UCLA, Dayton University and San Diego State University's bookstores. Order it as an e - book at http://starpublish.com/carolyn_howard - johnson.htm
or paperback at Amazon where it is discounted:
www.amazon.com/gp/product/193299310X/qid=1149015406/sr=2 - 1/
The second in the How To Do It Frugally series of books, The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success, is available at this link to Amazon:
The Great First Impression Book Proposal: Everything You Need To Know About Selling Your Book in 20 Minutes or Less, is available on Amazon as a Short for 49 cents.
http://www.amazon.com/Great - First - Impression - Book - Proposal/dp/B000YG6O5U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1199595319&sr=8 - 1