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Posts Tagged ‘achieving your goals’

Video Book Trailer

After finishing a draft of this post, I decided to put this part first because it’s so much fun!

This past Tuesday evening, I had my first meeting with the fellow who’s going to be developing my video book trailer for me. He’s incredibly talented–not only a computer whiz but also an accomplished musician/singer/songwriter. So, in addition to his skill with assembling the graphics, photos, etc., for the one-minute film, one of his original songs (which is absolutely amazing) will become the soundtrack. And I can’t wait for you to hear it!

That video will, of course, be a huge part of the book’s promotion, and I’ll post the trailer on this blog first (right before YouTube … 🙂 …) As we make progress with the production, I’ll keep you posted.

I think I’m more excited about this part of the plan than anything else except the book itself.

Rising Star Application

Earlier this afternoon, I emailed (finally) the completed Rising Star application that I’ve been working on for the past several weeks. As a refresher regarding what that’s all about: Because Separation of Faith earned the Editor’s Choice designation, I became eligible for the Rising Star program. Reaching that level would be incredibly important since, among other things, a commissioned sales force would then begin presenting my novel to booksellers through privileged publishing avenues that writers (especially unknown writers) can’t get to.

This is the type of support that mainstream authors receive from traditional publishing houses. But such assistance in the self-publishing world is difficult, if not impossible, to find. I’m not sure what other POD (print on demand) organizations offer, but iUniverse has varying levels of marketing assistance available for books that have met their quality criteria (writing as well as editing) and that have been written by authors who are already motivated and organized with a marketing and promotion plan.

Well … the novel did earn Editor’s Choice … and I’m certainly motivated. Also, as I’ve indicated in previous posts, I’ve had plenty of marketing and promotion ideas and directions in mind for a long time. But I hadn’t pulled everything into one place, which is what the Rising Star application forced me to do.

Then, once I was immersed in the process, I started to get a little overwhelmed. The undertaking that will begin in a few weeks when the novel comes out is hugeand as I’ve said to a few friends recently, I must be nuts to be doing this voluntarily. But onward we march.

In an earlier post, I shared a few of the questions in the application, the majority of which required narrative answers. Here are a few more of those:

  • While marketing your book, what will be the challenging areas where you might want to seek professonal help?
  • What kind of research did you conduct when writing your book?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Specifically, how do you plan to market to your target audience?
  • What is the one unique thing about your book?
  • Who are you planning to approach for endorsement quotes, a foreword, or other testimonials?

Sort of thought-provoking, right? How about this one: What things do you not want to do while marketing your book?

I answered, “Other than dancing with a stripper pole, I’m guessing not much.” 🙂

But here’s where the answers started to become overwhelming when all of things I want to do were pulled into a single place:

Question–What publicity do you have planned?

Answer:

1. Publish electronic press release, with testimonials and link to video book trailer to all of my social media sites:

2. Send electronic press release, with testimonials and link to video book trailer to:

  • My email list (1000)
  • Distribution lists of three of my contacts (another 2500-3000)
  • Rotary District Newsletter
  • Hackensack Rotary Club
  • Felician College “Older Is Better” Group (where I’ve been a speaker)
  • Cresskill-Demarest Rotary Club (where I’ve been a speaker)
  • New Jersey state and regional newspapers and magazines (where I’ve lived for ten years): The Record, The Chronicle, The County Seat, 201 Magazine—Northern New Jersey, two regional newspapers
  • Newspapers in areas germane to Separation of Faith and places where I lived for extended periods of time: Kettle Falls Focus (Kettle Falls, WA), The Statesman-Examiner (Colville, WA), The Seattle Times, Bellevue Reporter (Bellevue, WA where I graduated from high school), San Francisco Chronicle (I lived and worked in the Bay Area for 14 years), San Mateo County Times, Atlanta Journal Constitution (I lived and worked in the Atlanta area for 18 years), Cartersville Daily Tribune (Cartersville, GA), Bartow Neighbor (Cartersville, GA)
  • Chambers of Commerce: Kettle Falls, WA, Bellevue, WA, Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA, San Mateo, CA, Charlotte, NC—All locations are significant to the novel.
  • Libraries: Alpine, NJ (where I live), Bogota, NJ (where I used to live and where there are six copies of my first novel, The Truth About Cinnamon), Cresskill, NJ (my local area), Hackensack, NJ (where I used to live and where there are three copies of my first novel, The Truth About Cinnamon), Teaneck, NJ (local area). Personal calls will also be made at each library, with particular emphasis on those where I have contacts on their boards of trustees.

3. Upload Video Book Trailer to:

And then …

Question–Please include any marketing plans, suggestions, ideas that you would like to use to market/sell your book:

Answer:

In addition to everything listed in both this document as well as the Title Information Sheet:

a)      Every element of the marketing process will be tracked and discussed through my blog: A Real Journey from Publishing Obscurity to Somewhere Else (www.cherilaser.wordpress.com). The mission of the blog, launched in the fall of 2009, is to share the entire process surrounding Separation of Faith (writing, editing, revising, publishing, marketing) with other writers. Also included are postings of information and links to lots of writing/publishing-related issues, so any writers following me can learn along with me. The launch of this novel will be a very big deal on this blog and one that a lot of people will be anticipating.

b)      I will enter Separation of Faith in the following contests, all of which are distinctly open to self-published books:

  1. Readers Favorite Award–June 30, 2010 (Doubt I’ll make this deadline now.)
  2. ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year–Opens Summer 2010
  3. 7th Annual National Best Book Awards–September 30, 2010
  4. The Eric Hoffer Award–January 2011
  5. DIY Book Festival–January 25, 2011
  6. The IPPY Awards (Indep. Publ. Book Awards)–March 2011
  7. 2011 Writers-Editors Int’l Writing Competition–March 15, 2011
  8. National Indie Excellence Awards–March 31, 2011
  9. Writer’s Digest Self-Published Competition–May 2011
  10. 2011 Hollywood Book Festival (just missed 2010)–June 2011
  11. The Independent Novel Award (by Podler)–Chosen from books reviewed

 c)      I will seek reviews from the following:

  • ForeWord Clarion Book Reviews
  • Twitter Reviewers
  • The New Podler Review
  • Readers Favorite Reviews
  • Top Reviewers at Amazon
  • Kirkus Discoveries
  • Publisher’s Weekly
  • Library Journal
  • Booklist

d)     I will promote Separation of Faith on Kindle, Sony Reader, and the Barnes & Noble Nook.

e)      Once my marketing plans develop legs, I will pursue guest posts on strategic blogs, beginning with “There Are No Rules,” the blog of Jane Friedman, strategic director of Writer’s Digest.

f)       I’m going to create and distribute a podcast of Separation of Faith. (Will attend a webinar on June 24 to learn the specifics of how best to accomplish this line item.)

g)      Using the results from the first six months of marketing and promotional activity, I will approach the following sites for coverage, which are not typically receptive to self-published books unless there’s some sort of buzz:

  • Bookslut
  • Beatrice.com
  • Chicklit.com
  • Bookreporter.com
  • Curledup.com

Stop. Breathe.

I also had to list all of the specific events I plan to hold. Of course, since I don’t know yet the precise date when the book will be live on Amazon and all the other online bookseller sites, I couldn’t list the event dates. (Mid-July is looking possible.) But I do have commitments from the different venues–and there will be twelve events in the first 6-8 weeks, the largest of which will be the Book Launch Party, which I’ll be holding at the Hilton in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, where my Rotary club meets every week.

The answers I’ve shared with you in this post represent three of the thirty questions asked in this application. And even though I’ve been grumbling a lot as I put the thing together, the end product has actually given me a very well organized plan to follow. So, even though I’m praying that I’ll be accepted into the Rising Star program, I’ll be very clearly directed if I’m not.

And reminding myself about the mission of this blog (see Blog Launch Posting on November 4, 2009), I should have a shot of getting there on my own with this new, comprehensive map I’ve managed to develop as a result of the application process.

Guess we’ll start finding out soon enough.

Quotes and Testimonials

This is a really important part of credible promotional materials. I’ve approached several people who I admire very much and who are respected in the world of publishing/journalism/entertainment. Four have said they’d be willing to read the book, and three of those are already doing so. Of course, there’s always the chance that one/some/all of those folks won’t like what I’ve written. (Yikes!)

But that’s a chance we have to take, if we want to get some of those great quotes we see on other authors’ books. Right? Right. Scary, though, to be sure!

As soon as I actually have the/any/some quotes/testimonials in hand, I’ll let you know who’s given them to me and what they’ve written. (Did I say yikes yet?)

Authors as Entrepreneurs–Interview

Regardless of whether you’re a writer determined to exclusively pursue the traditional Journey to publishing, or an author who’s looking at the different (and viable) options now available to us, I strongly recommend your taking a look at this seven-part interview: http://www.sramanamitra.com/2008/07/10/opportunity-within-the-long-tail-of-book-authors-iuniverse-ceo-kevin-weiss-part-1/. Kevin Weiss is the CEO of iUniverse, and even though the interview was done two years ago, his comments are still hugely relevant today (a good indication of his insight).

Hopefully, you’ll find something enlightening (or at least somewhat interesting) in what he contributes to the conversation.

Time for a Nap

Don’t I wish. Now that the Rising Star application is finished, I need to focus (again … more … still …) on the reduction edit of The Truth about Cinnamon. Who knew six or seven months ago that all this other stuff was going to take so long. (Of course, my surgery thing got in the way a little. But I’m really doing well now, thank heavens.) At any rate, I need to get that edit finished pronto, because the 2nd Edition of Cinnamon is very important to the Journey in the long run.

Short Stories and Essays/Articles

If you’d like to check out a little free reading, I’m mentioning again that I’ve published several of my short stories and essays/articles on the following Web sites. The free serialization of Cinnamon can also be found at the FiledBy and Scribd links.)

Thanks So Much for Stopping By. Please Let Me Hear from You! And I hope Everyone Has an Absolutely Fabulous Weekend as Summer Officially Rolls In!

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The Shift from Writing/Editing to Marketing/Promotion is a Challenge

Looking back periodically on the launch post for this blog last November 4 is healthy. There’s no better way to remind myself how much ground has been covered. But, frankly, the place I’m in right now feels a bit strange.

Separation of Faith is going through the proofreading cycle at the publisher, so there isn’t anything for me to do with the manuscript until they send me the galley for my review. (I’m expecting that to happen sometime this week.) And although my third novel has taken an early shape, I’m not yet doing any research or even outlining yet. So I’m in this strange sort of limbo where my writing–the reason I’m on this crazy path in the first place–has taken a backseat to the marketing and promotional elements of the Journey/Plan.

Although I’m maintaining a writing presence through this blog and other social media outlets, there’s a big difference between this kind of writing and the kind that is my passion: the development of characters woven into a storyline pulled from my imagination. And I have to tell you that the focus on my third novel will increase shortly (somehow I need to find the time) because my jam-packed days seem a bit empty without my passion being fed (for at least an hour a day–a new goal).

Meanwhile, if I’m not writing my third book, what the heck am I doing? Well …

Getting Ready for the Book Launch

As we’ve discussed many times over the last seven months, creating a quality book ends up being the easy part, if our goal is to have some measure of success with that book (where at least several people actually buy the book). And believe me, all the publishing professionals who repeatedly make that point really know what they’re talking about.

For example, here are a few of the things I’ll be working on today:

  • Expanding my social media presence (an ongoing, never-ending process). By the way, I published three short stories and four articles yesterday on my Red Room site (www.redroom.com, search on Cheri Laser). Those seven pieces are also available on Scribd.com where I published the free serialization of The Truth About Cinnamon. (This link will take you to one of the stories http://www.scribd.com/doc/32280899/Life-at-Bat. You can get to the rest on that same page.)
  • Completing the Rising Star application for iUniverse. Because Separation of Faith earned the Editor’s Choice designation, I’m eligible for this additional recognition, which would give me a commissioned sales force that would present the novel to booksellers. This application requires me to outline my entire marketing and promotion plan for the first several months after the book’s release. (I listed a number of the questions on the application in my post #44 on May 28.)
  • Writing to every person I know, who’s somehow connected to the publishing industry, asking if they’d be willing to take their time to read the copyedited manuscript for a potential endorsement/testimonial. This was already a line item on my marketing plan, but the Rising Star application forced the to-do into action.
  • Studying the rudiments of how to create a video book trailer (which will be uploaded to YouTube, my blog, my Web site, Facebook, and every other place I can think of). I have a great guy who’s going to help me with this incredibly important element of the promotional plan, but my input about the organization and content of the video will be crucial. And because the video will be short (2-3 minutes), every second is important. There needs to be a script and some combination of moving video, stills, narrative voiceovers, testimonials, comments from readers, a comment from me(?), all set to carefully chosen background music. When I meet with my video guru, I need to at least look like I know what I’m talking about. Here are three links, in case you’re interesting in exploring the subject yourself: 

So, that’s what’s on tap for today (yikes!). Other things on the list for the next couple of weeks include:

  • Gaining agreement from as many people as possible who will help distribute the press release to their contact bases.
  • Figuring out how to link my new domain names (SeparationOfFaith.com, CheriLaser.com, ReinventingYourPossibilities.com, and MakingYourWordsWork.com) to my existing Web site so I don’t have create separate sites for each one. I think the fellow who’s helping me with the video will be able to help me with this as well. My instincts tell me this shouldn’t be very difficult, but that’s the extent of what I know at this point.
  • Consolidating every contact/email address in my world into a single group for distribution of the press release and other promotional communications.
  • Lining up all of the promotional events for the first three months after release, starting with the book launch party, and continuing with book readings and signings, and speeches.
  • Lining up all of the media for publicity (local newspapers, magazines, TV and radio shows). After Cinnamon was released, I was interviewed for a TV show called “The Book Authority,” which airs in Connecticut. I’ll be approaching the host of that show to see if he’d be willing to interview me again for Separation of Faith. Securing that interview will give me a reference to help get additional interviews that are more local to my area.

I know there are other to-do’s that I haven’t listed, but I’m exhausted just looking at what I’ve already written here. And I guess I’d better wrap this up and start moving!

But First … Update on Cinnamon Edit 

An element of the Plan launched last November (and nearly forgotten with my surgery and all) is the edit of The Truth About Cinnamon so we can print a slightly more streamlined second edition. I am finally focusing on that task, and I must tell you that moving off the above list for a few hours each day to edit that story feels almost like a vacation! The new goal is to have the edit completed by June 18. I’ll post a big Yay! once that goal is reached.

Stats

These haven’t been updated for awhile:

  • This blog: 2591 (last update: 2327)
  • My Web site: 37,689 (last update: 36,150)

Hope You’re Having a Great Week!

 

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Book Expo America

In June 2004, a few months after my first novel (www.TheTruthAboutCinnamon.com) was released, I attended my first Book Expo America (BEA), which was held in Chicago that year from June 3-6. BEA is the book publishing industry’s annual trade show, and I remember the 2004 event distinctly for many reasons. One of those was the fact that the four days left me like the cliched deer-in-headlights with respect to the size, scope, and complexity of the industry in which so many of us have decided we want to play.

But I also remember the Saturday of that trip (June 5, 2004), which happened to be the day of the Belmont Stakes–the third leg of horse racing’s triple crown. And that year was the first possibility of a triple crown winner in a quarter century, with a horse named Smarty Jones having won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. The story of that horse was both heart warming and heart-rending and had captured the attention as well as the emotions of the entire country.

I remember standing in the lobby bar of my Chicago hotel shortly before 6:30 pm (after a whole day of being at the convention) as the race got underway. There must have been 200 people in there, all watching the multiple television screens, screaming and yelling for Smarty Jones to win.

And we all thought that’s what was going to happen–until the last few seconds of the race when an upstart horse named Birdstone barely snuck by Smarty Jones to win the race and steal the triple crown from nation’s soul. You would have thought that someone had died in that hotel bar.

And I was so moved that I wrote an article about the whole thing (see topic of Scribd.com publishing later on this post). At any rate, that was the last time since then that there’s been a possibility of a triple crown. But there’s always hope, right? Because the races are run again every year. But I can’t imagine another triple crown season like 2004.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Smarty Jones story, I recommend your Googling him. You’ll have a real treat ahead of you.

But back to Book Expo America … I attended the annual convention every year after that, except for one–and except for this year. Most of the time the event is held in New York City, but there was one in Washington, D.C. in 2006, I think. This year’s event was in NYC, and I was all set to go until the breast cancer thing came up. (Hope my refund gets processed as promised … 🙂 …)

I’ve been doing a lot of reading, though, on the different seminars, panels, and workshops that took place at this year’s BEA–and clearly one of the headliners was the whole subject of e-books. As I’m sure you know from your own reading, that seems to be the biggest hot topic in the industry. In case you’ve missed these articles/posts, here are a few that might be of interest to you as you plot your own direction toward the Dream:

Clearly, whether we’re pursuing the Dream via a traditional route or some version of Do It Yourself, the e-book factor is not going to be optional for any of us who are looking for even a small measure of success. My first novel (The Truth About Cinnamon) is now available on both Kindle and Sony Reader, and the new novel (Separation of Faith) will be as well. Last week I received a note from a fellow whose novel (The Aquarians by Eric Rankin) is one that I edited and that he published using iUniverse. He’s doing extremely well with his sales, and he recently received an e-book royalty check that, as he put it, was “not too shabby.” I’ve spoken with other authors who tell me that their e-book royalties are far exceeding those of their hard covers and paperbacks. Why? Well, the royalty percentages are higher, for starters. So even on a less expensive book ($9.95 for a Kindle title), 50% royalty is higher than a 10 or 20 percent royalty on a $20 hard or soft cover.

No matter which approach you’re taking toward the publishing of your work, please take time to educate yourselves on all the elements of the e-book revolution.

And I highly recommend attending the 2011 Book Expo America, which will be held in New York City again in May. Especially if you’ve never been before, the event will be unbelievable for you. And the day before the convention opens, there will be a DIY Authors Conference. You can find out more by going to the Book Expo site–http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/Press-Information/Press-Releases/BEA-Moves-To-NYC/–and you can be sure that I’ll be there in 2011!

Scribd.com

This free publishing site (www.Scribd.com), which is available to all of us, is where I published the serialization of The Truth About Cinnamon‘s first ten chapters. And this weekend I’m going to publish a number of articles and short stories there as well–things I’ve been keeping to myself, for some reason. One of the articles was mentioned above in the Smarty Jones scenario. I wrote the piece on the train home to New Jersey from Chicago, still emotionally drained from the devastating race the night before.

I’ll do a quick post with the link to all that stuff as soon as everything has been uploaded. Meanwhile, I highly recommend your checking the site out yourselves, if you haven’t already.

Update on the Journey

Separation of Faith is now in the hands of a professional proofreader at the publisher. This is all part of the mandatory element of this Journey that requires a quality book at all levels (development, writing, and editing) in order for the mission of this blog (see November 4 Blog Launch Posting) to stand a prayer of succeeding.

Once the proofreading is complete, I’ll receive what’s called the “galley” and will have one more opportunity to put in my two cent’s worth/make any last minute changes.

The initial cover design is complete, and seeing that art work was incredibly exciting. The fact that this is actually going to be a book soon really starts hitting home when you see the cover. The first draft (not the official term, I’m sure) of the cover needs to have some changes made, but we won’t get to that part until the proofreader has finished. Everything happens through a fixed structure in the design process.

Concurrent with all of this, I’m working on my Rising Star application, which is a program I’m eligible for because Separation of Faith has earned the Editor’s Choice designation. As I mentioned in an earlier post, if I’m accepted into the Rising Star program, I will receive assistance with the book’s marketing and promotion. But in order to be accepted, I have to be extremely clear and detailed regarding the marketing and promotion plans I’m already envisioning/setting up.

In addition to all the standard tag lines, descriptions, bio, etc., here are some of the questions on the Rising Star application:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • Specifically, how do you plan to market to your target audience?
  • Is there a local angle to your book? If yes, please explain.
  • What is the one unique thing about your book?
  • How many hours a week do you plan to spend marketing your book?
  • Name three other books that are comparable to your book.
  • What kind of research did you conduct when writing your book?
  • List the professional associations, writers groups, book clubs, fraternities/sororities, churches and/or community groups you are a member of:
  • How many people can you list on your personal contact mailing/email list?
  • Who are you approaching for endorsement quotes, a foreword or other testimonials?
  • List your media contacts (reporters and editors, radio/tv hosts, bloggers, Web site editors, etc.).
  • How many units of your book would you realistically like to sell based on your marketing plan?
  • List the dates and locations of all the promotional events you have scheduled.
  • List all of the outlets (media and otherwise) that you plan to pursue for publicity.

This represents about two thirds of the questions on the application. Fortunately, I’ve been given a deadline extension to June 11 due to my surgery, and I’ve been working each day to fill in all the blanks.

These are questions you might want to keep in mind with respect to your own Journey as well. As we’ve discussed in earlier posts and comments, traditional publishing houses no longer have budgets for marketing and promotion unless you’re a celebrity author. That leaves the majority of us carrying the marketing and promotional ball, even if we manage to find our way to a published book through the traditional path.

I will, of course, keep you updated on the progress of this application as well as the ultimate decision about whether or not I’m accepted. Everything I’m scheduling/planning/explaining will have to be done anyway, whether I’m accepted or not. But I sure would appreciate having a commissioned sales force helping me out by presenting Separation of Faith to elements of the industry that I don’t know how to reach–and that’s what the Rising Star program would do for me.

Social Media Integration: One thing that is already going to happen is that I’ll receive assistance integrating the release of Separation of Faith into all of the social media outlets in which I have a presence. I have a rudimentary idea of how to do this, but I will be happy to have folks who do that sort of thing all day lending their expertise.

There are so many pieces involved with a successful book launch that I’m exhausted after covering just these few. Certainly one of the keys is to focus only on what can be managed in a given day. If too much time is spent looking at the whole process at once, I’m guessing that “frozen in place” might become a possibility.

Sometimes, if I think too hard, I long for those days when I was simply mired in my tenth editing cycle … 🙂 … And I’m already fantasizing about those wonderful hours/weeks/months I’ll be spending in the research and writing of my third novel.

Honestly, we all must be totally insane to do this voluntarily …

One More Link for You

In the May/June 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest, there’s a big section on “101 Best Websites for Writers”–http://www.writersdigest.com/article/101-websites-2009. This is definitely one to keep close at hand, no matter what your goals are for the Journey or how far along you are.

Have a Wonderful Memorial Day Weekend

Hopefully, we’ll all take at least a moment to remember why we have this holiday, thanking and honoring those who have given their lives so we can live freely in this wonderful country, pursuing our dreams in a place where anything is possible.

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A New Plan within the Journey

The other day, I received a suggestion from http://worddreams.wordpress.com/ (a blogger buddy) who is also preparing to promote her books while she’s working on a new one. She’s a teacher and has proposed a shared-goal summer once she’s through with this school year. What a great idea, right? This sort of takes the learning-as-we-go premise to an entirely new level.

Copied here to officially get this thing going are the comments we’ve shared back and forth over the last few days:

April 27 by Cheri

Hi! You might have already seen the April 26 article in The New Yorker–Publish or Perish by Ken Auletta. But if you haven’t seen it yet, take a look: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/04/26/100426fa_fact_auletta.

It’s long and makes for good reading over lunch or coffee or a glass of wine. But the insights presented about the digital era of publishing are amazing.

Let me know what you think. Meanwhile, I’m really impressed with your sales progress thus far, and I hope to be following in your footsteps beginning in June.

April 28 by WordDreams:

Fascinating article. I’ve been following Amazon and their efforts to keep ebooks below $10. Seems they’ll lose, but it’s early in the game. The biggest news is that ebooks open the door to many non-traditionally published books. Mine, unfortunately, have too many tables and pictures for most ebook platforms. Yours though, won’t have that problem. I’m sure you’re looking into it.

Let’s set up a plan in June–inspire each other to make some goals and meet them. I’m done teaching so I’ll have the time. Until then, I’ll be checking your progress on your book!

April 29 by Cheri:

I’d love to set up an inspirational plan with you! Separation of Faith will be coming out in June (not sure of the date yet), and unbelievably, I need to get started on my next novel. Somebody is bound to ask me what’s in the queue while I’m promoting the new novel, and I need to have an answer. So having an inspirational plan that helps both of us sounds like a terrific idea!

April 30 by WordDreams:

I’m with you on both. I have to promote my current books while writing my next. Let’s set some goals, share them with our readers and each other, chat about our progress, see where it goes.

What kinds of goals? Words toward our book, marketing outreaches, what are you thinking? (This sounds fun!)

OK. Back to my novel…

April 30 by Cheri:

This does sound like fun! Thanks for coming up with the idea!

One of my major goals is to sell 5000 copies of Separation of Faith before the end of the year (in the first six months after release). I know that probably doesn’t sound like many copies when compared against the mega-sellers. But 2500-5000 is actually quite huge for the average book, especially for a relatively unknown novelist.

That target sales range is the one that indicates to the publishing world that there’s some sort of buzz circulating around a book–and that will attract the attention I’m seeking (as presented in my blog’s mission in the launch posting on November 4).

That’s why securing the Editor’s Choice designation was so important during the editing process I blogged about during the first few months of this year. I need to be able to present with confidence the fact that Separation of Faith is every bit the quality book coming out of a mainstream publishing house–and now I’m able to do that.

Of course, reaching that goal will reguire a huge amount of legwork to promote the book in my local area (tri-state New York City area–New Jersey, New York, Connecticut), as well as a comprehensive management of social media. The scope is so enormous that I need to take the list and break each item down into small pieces that can be realistically handled in a day. If I look at the whole list at once, I get sort of weak.

My second goal is to have my third novel ready to pitch by the next Writer’s Digest conference in January 2011. That doesn’t mean that even the first draft of the novel will be finished. For me that means the story will be fully outlined; the characters will be developed; and the bulk of my research will be complete.

That three-part effort is a tall drink of water running in tandem with the Separation of Faith goals. But that’s what I’m going to shoot for, and then we’ll see what happens.

Knowing that all of this is on my plate will, I’m hoping, help me move quickly through my surgery next week and the recovery. I’ll need two more surgeries over the next five months, but those will both be outpatient. And barring any complications from this first (and biggest) one, I’m told that I should be feeling well enough to give my next speech on May 18. (Pretty unbelievable, right?) So I’ve left the commitment on my calendar–sitting out there as a magnet to help pull me forward.

All the little goals feeding the big ones will be what’s fun to follow during this intra-blog inspirational publishing duet!

Now I’m excited to hear about what you have in mind on your end. Would you like to stay within the 6-7 month timeframe for this inspirational plan? Or would you prefer to stay within the summer months? I’m good either way since I can figure out where I’d need to be by September in order to be on track for my end-of-year objectives.

Hopefully we’ll get some input from our readers on this too. And I think this endeavor will help me more effectively target my blogging efforts and more efficiently use my social media time. Of course, I will continue to learn as I go, testing the waters to see what works.

Great idea again! I’m going to copy and paste these initial comments of ours into a blog post to officially announce what we’re doing. Can’t wait to get started with you!

Hope you’re having a terrific week!

*******************************

LET THE GAMES BEGIN! 🙂

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Comment on Publishing as a Business

While tag surfing this morning, I ran across this post (http://christinefonseca.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/remembering-that-this-is-a-business/#comment-2529) addressing the issue of publishing as a business. There’s a lot of conversation out there on the subject right now, some of which is coming from authors who are still resisting the fact that the marketing and promotion of their book(s) falls withing their scope of responsibility. Apparently, this sentiment is even true of many new, traditionally published authors.

I’d been reading several posts about the issue when I came across the one by Christine Fonseca (http://christinenfonseca.com/2.html), published author of both fiction and non-fiction books, where I decided to write a comment. When I had finished writing, I realized that I’d sort of created my own blog post. So here you go:

In response to: Remembering that this is a business–Do You Agree?:

The simple answer is yes. The complexity comes with figuring out how to make the business a success when the industry seems to be changing and morphing on a daily basis. But finding a way to somehow keep up is essential.

Every now and then, though, escaping to a world like that of Angela Lansbury’s Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote is healthy for the blood pressure. Lansbury’s character was a retired teacher who didn’t publish her first novel until after her husband died when she was in her 60s, Then, of course, she went on to live every author’s idyllic existence, in a quaint coastal town, publishing one novel after another, while using her fiction writing talents to help solve crimes.

And anyone who regularly watched that series knows that Jessica Fletcher wrote all of her novels on a manual typewriter until the show’s last couple of years when she finally got a computer. Also, her publisher arranged and paid for all of her marketing and promotional activities. The only thing we ever saw her do was sign books at classy, well-organized events where hundreds of people were in attendance (talk about another planet …).

Unfortunately, a lot of writers trying to break into the book business live under the delusion that the publishing world/industry that Fletcher experienced is representative of the way things actually are. But as you said, the truth is found in a hard-hitting, unbelievably competitive business where writing is only one piece of the author’s responsibility. And unless you’re a mega-celebrity, most, if not all, of the work required to promote and sell a book is done by the author (using the author’s own money, by the way, even for a traditionally published book).

The good news is that there’s still room for those authors who actually have some talent and are willing to invest a ton of sweat equity, along with that aforementioned money. And a few of those authors will eventually rise to the level of mega-celebrity, at which point the publishers will begin carrying some of that load. Until such a breakthrough happens, though, a good day is when you find a way to make as many readers as possible happy with your work while bringing in a little more money than you spent. (Editorial comment: I’m still working on both of those objectives … 🙂 )

In her blog post “Why Don’t Publishers Market & Promote the Books They Publish?” (http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/04/19/WhyDontPublishersMarketPromoteTheBooksTheyPublish.aspx), Jane Friedman (Publisher, Writer’s Digest) says, “The medocre writer who can sell is usually more successful than the talented writer who cannot.”

In all probablility, Jessica Fletcher (talented writer) would never have survived in today’s publishing climate because the selling and promoting work wasn’t “part of her job.” Yet imagine the talented writer who does know how to sell and who takes the time to learn and utilize the amazing marketing tools and forums now available, both online and off! Then add in a good-to-great story, which is also well crafted and professionally edited. That’s the new model for authors to understand and emulate.

And if that isn’t a business, I don’t know what is. I do still love watching Murder, She Wrote reruns, though. There’s nothing like a great fantasy! –Cheri

Making this idea of becoming an author work, whatever effort is involved, is what I’m all about and what we’re tracking through this blog. And the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of the experience/experiment will be shared.

Wherever that Journey will end up is anyone’s guess at this point–but think how much wiser we’ll all be about the realities surrounding our shared dreams, no matter what happens with me in particular!

Stats

This blog: 2215 (1947 last posting five days ago. Progress!)

Have a wonderful week!

Cheri

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COPYEDIT–SEPARATION OF FAITH

My review of the copyedit is complete, and I’ve been communicating with the editorial board at the publisher regarding a few questions (blond versus blonde being one). Now I have a few little things to clean up, and then I’ll submit the final copyedited manuscript back to the publisher, at which point the book will enter the production phase. The plan is for that to happen today! Yay!

I’ll keep you posted on each of the production steps as they unfold. The development of the book’s cover will be one of the most important tasks to happen first, I imagine. But I’ll let you know.

BLOND VS BLONDE (WHILE I’M THINKING ABOUT IT)

This issue has been driving me nuts, frankly. So here’s what the publisher’s editorial board said to me:

Regarding “blond” versus “blonde,” Merriam-Webster lists the two terms as variants of both the noun and adjective forms; however, “blond” generally refers to a male and “blonde” to a female. An excerpt from Merriam-Webster is below.
 
 
Main Entry: 1blond
Variant(s): or blonde \ˈbländ\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Anglo-French blunt, blound, masculine, blounde, feminine
Date: 15th century
1 : of a flaxen, golden, light auburn, or pale yellowish-brown color <blond hair>; also : having blond hair <a blond man> —spelled blond when used of a boy or man and often blonde when used of a girl or woman
2 a : of a light color b : of the color blond c : made light-colored by bleaching <blond wood table>
 
Main Entry: 2blond
Variant(s): or blonde
Function: noun
Date: 1822
1 : a person having blond hair —spelled blond when used of a boy or man and usually blonde when used of a girl or woman
2 : a light yellowish brown to dark grayish yellow
 
We recommend following the editor’s changes in all of the items you have listed in your e-mail.

So guess what? Because that Editor’s Choice designation is so critical to what I’m trying to accomplish here, I’ve complied with all but a small handful of the copyeditor’s recommendations. (See my original blog posting on November 4, 2009 for my initial outline of “The Journey” and the inspiration for the path I’ve decided to take.)

And I must tell you that, as I was going through the copyedit, I could actually see the transformation of my manuscript from something I had entered in my computer into a quality edited product typical of what we see coming out of traditional publishing houses. Believe me, this has not only been an immensely educational exercise but one that I’m very grateful I pursued!

TRANSITIONING FROM A FOCUS ON WRITING TO A FOCUS ON PROMOTION

If you’ve been to any/many writers’ conferences, you’ve probably heard some publishing professional (usually an author) say that writing the book is the easy part. And, of course, who would ever believe such a ridiculous comment? Well, I do.

In addition to planning the launch of Separation of Faith through all the social media outlets (and I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to do that yet), here are some of the other things on my “Book Promotion” to do list:

  • Primary Web site updates (including book store)
  • Create new Web site for Separation of Faith that links to my primary site and my book store
  • Keep this blog current and full of things for you to follow and learn along with me
  • Press Release(es)
  • Business cards, posters, flyers, newspaper ads
  • Book Launch Party (which will be at a hotel)
  • Finding willing and credible book reviewers (I already have one committed. Need at least five or six or more.)
  • Creating my video book trailer (I have a great fellow who will be helping me with this. The trailer will be uploaded to virtually every site where I have a presence plus YouTube, etc.)
  • Visiting every chain and independent bookseller in my area to garner interest
  • Schedule bookselling events wherever I can find a willing host.
  • Add information about my public speaking offering to every book promo element.
  • Seek/secure interviews on talk radio, local TV channel, local newspapers

In addition to all of this (and more that keeps popping into my head), I will still need to be involved with elements of the book’s production process–and oh, by the way, I also have to squeeze in my surgery on May 4. So “writing the book is the easy part” doesn’t seem so far-fetched now. Whoo boy. Where’s my nap?

A NOTE ABOUT DOMAIN NAMES 

If you are seriously pursuing this Journey of becoming a published author, securing domain names long before you have a finished book is critical. The first and most important domain name to secure is your own name. I registered for “cherilaser.com” after the pivotal conference last September, amazed that I hadn’t already done so when a speaker mentioned the issue in one of the conference sessions. I was really worried that someone else might have already taken that one (because we’re not the only ones in the world with our same names), but I was lucky.

Domain names are very inexpensive (like somewhere around $10 a year), and you don’t have to create Web sites to go with them until/unless you’re ready. But if you don’t secure the domains, creating the most effective Web sites down the road will become a challenge. In addition to “cherilaser.com,” I have also secured:

  • SeparationOfFaith.com
  • TheTruthAboutCinnamon.com (I have a Web site for this one that links into my primary Web site and book store.)
  • BeauBetweenTheLines.com (title for a potential book)
  • WhoMovedTheMeridian.com (title for a potential book)
  • ReinventingYourPossibilities.com
  • MakingYourWordsWork.com
  • ReinventingYourselfAtAnyAge.com

The last three of those relate to my editing business and to my speaking engagement plans (referenced in other posts on this blog). And when I come up with a title for my third novel, the first thing I’ll do is reserve that name.

There are lots of sites where you can secure domain names, but I’m using GoDaddy (www.godaddy.com).

AND SPEAKING OF MY 3RD NOVEL …

For the past month or so, I’ve been worrying about the next book. Why, you ask, when I’m still so wrapped up in the second one?

Well, what if someone who pops up as a result of all that promotional work asks me what my next project is? Being stuck for an answer would not be very comfortable.

There is one project I’m considering–a memoir that I started a few years ago that I’m thinking about fictionalizing. And then there’s the possibility of a sequel to Separation of Faith. But whatever I’m going to do needs to take shape pretty quickly. I can’t dilly dally around and take any more six-year segments of time to write a book. I need to get this process down to a book every year (or maybe between one and two years, she said, trying to imagine the improbable 🙂 ).

A couple of things need to happen in order for me to finish book #3 in somewhere around a year:

  • The story needs to arrive in my head already in outline form, for the most part.
  • The setting needs to be here in the New York City area so I don’t need to travel beyond a normal commute distance to accomplish my research.

The two ideas I mentioned earlier didn’t meet either one of these criterion. So every trip I’ve made into Manhattan recently for this health/surgery situation has found me studying every person and situation crossing my path for a potential storyline. (I keep waiting for someone on the subway to say to me, “So what are you staring at?”) And I guess my subconscious must have been working on this more than I realized because last night I had a dream where I met my new protagonist (a man). He was so real and vivid that I remember everything about him, and I’m rarely able to remember details about my dreams. Then this morning the “outline form” of the story started showing up in my mind.

So I just finished taking an unscheduled hour to capture everything I was thinking into a new file on my computer. I had decided that I was ready to try a novel that included some sort of crime, but I didn’t want to do a murder. So this story has an interesting twist that feels comfortable to me. And I think this one could come together pretty quickly. I’ll post the story’s tag line as soon as I figure out what that is  … 🙂

That’s all for now. Have a fun and productive day! I hope I’ll run into you while tag surfing (planned for tomorrow morning).

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Checking In

Hi! Although I’ve been commenting on other blogs and doing a little tag surfing, I haven’t published a new post since a week ago yesterday. But I have been doing a huge amount of reading, and there are a number of things I want to share with you today. First, though …

Copyedit Update–Separation of Faith

On Monday (the 12th), I received the copyedited manuscript (returned to me electronically, with the edit done using Word’s edit tracking) and a letter from the editor. This edit is a lot easier to manage since the issues highlighted are no longer addressing structural issues in the novel, or point of view, or any other storytelling elements. Instead, the editor went line by line to ensure the manuscript’s adherence to publishing standards printed in key references such as The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), the primary source of correctness for publishing professionals.

My own (and seemingly endless) editing of the manuscript had produced a fairly clean copy. But my specialty is developmental editing rather than copyediting. I wouldn’t even pretend to have anywhere near the level of knowledge and recall as this copyeditor with respect to what’s inside the nearly 1000 pages of the CMS. So I’m finding the review of her edit to be extremely valuable in terms of this novel’s quality. My future writing will also benefit from the new information I’m picking up.

In addition to CMS issues, the copyeditor rearranged my words in a few places to either meet a standard or provide clarity. And in her letter to me, she pointed out a small but important plot “hole” that can easily be filled by my adding a few sentences.

She’s the first one who’s noticed that little plot blip, and I’m very grateful that she did. Some voracious fiction reader (or perhaps a lot of them) would certainly have noticed the issue as well, but that would have been after the book was printed, and nothing could have been done at that point to fix the problem. Just one more reason why we need to submit our work to an experienced, professional editor before we start sending things out through queries or moving into the final production stage of a self-publishing process.

Here are several examples of the comments she made in the manuscript margins using Word’s edit-tracking:

  • CMS 8.21: Civil, military, religious, and professional titles are capitalized when they immediately precede a personal name and are thus used as part of the name (usually replacing the title holder’s first name). Titles are normally lowercased when following a name or used in place of a name.
  • Switched [these words] around to avoid passive construction.
  • A word, abbreviation, phrase, or clause that is in apposition to a noun is set off by commas if it is nonrestrictive—that is, omittable, containing supplementary rather than essential information. If it is restrictive—essential to the noun it belongs to—no commas should appear. CMS 6.43 My older sister, Betty, taught me the alphabet. but My sister Enid lets me hold her doll. (I have two sisters.)
  • CMS 7.63: Individual letters and combinations of letters of the Latin alphabet are usually italicized. I need a word with two e’s and three s’s. He signed the document with an X.

Traditional publishers (who will be taking a look at this book if this Journey is successful) put every single one of their titles through this sort of meticulous copyediting. Consequently, they not only understand the importance, but they recognize the quality level of the editing the moment they see it.  So we need to do everything in our power to make sure that our manuscripts (if we’re trying to pursue the traditional route) or our printed books (if we’re taking an alternate path) measure up to the standards expected in the traditional publishing arena.

Once Separation of Faith is in the final stage of production, I realize now that I will also need to use a professional proofreader prior to signing off on the end product. Traditional publishers put their titles through several rounds of proofreading before the book is printed–and as we all know through our own reading, there are still typos and other mistakes that manage to show up in books by even the most prolific and highly paid authors.

As I’ve been saying since I began blogging about the steps of this Journey last November 4, the first priority for all of us is to create the highest quality book possible, regardless of what that takes.

Writing Competition

Entering our work in competitions is a great way to collect feedback, grow in our writing craft, get noticed, and add to our following. And there are boatloads of competitions out there. But Writer’s Digest sponsors several that have a high level of legitimacy. They have one that includes a wide variety of writing categories, and the deadline for that competition is May 14. Here’s the link that will also show you WD‘s other contest:  http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions. Hope you find something that inspires you. (See later in this post for more on Inspiration.)

Building a Following/Web Presence before You Have a Book

There is so much more being written on this subject every day that keeping up with everything is tough. But here are a couple of links to articles/blogs that I found of particular interest while reading the past week:

  • http://robinmizell.wordpress.com/2010/04/10/awp-panel-discussions-and-lesprit-descalier/ I found this comment by Ms. Mizell to be especially interesting: “In considering whether to work with authors, I prefer to see they’re already capable of handling themselves in what can be contentious online conversations. Without an existing Web presence to examine, I can’t rapidly assess how a writer will behave publicly, online, or in an interview, particularly in the heat of the moment. My clients need to be better at it than I am!”
  • http://www.calebjross.com/awpblog/2010/04/08/320/ At the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Convention earlier this week, a panel of agents and editors answered questions about the importance of an author platform. This link takes you to a summary of that panel.

A Few Other Highlights

These are links to articles that touch on other issues we’ve discussed through this blog:

Journey Update

Separation of Faith: As soon as I go through the copyedit and accept/reject each of the changes/notations, the manuscript will finally enter the production phase. I’ll let you know when that long-awaited moment arrives. (You’ll probably be able to hear the cork pop!)

The Truth About Cinnamon: News flash! I’m still working on the reduction edit. Target for completion now: late May. 

Stats: This blog–1947 (last posting 1796)

Diagnosis Update

My surgery will be on May 4, and I’ll be in the hospital overnight. I sense a new use for my mini coming on … 🙂

Seriously, this has been found very early, and even though the next couple of months will be a bit bumpy, the prognosis is extremely positive, taking me way out into my 80’s. Hopefully, I will have found my way out of publishing obscurity by then …

Have a great weekend! I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

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Reading Update

Last night I did a lot of catch-up reading on all sorts of writing information I’ve come across over the last week. Not only did I find a bunch of stuff that I think will be of use or interest to you, but my to-do list has expanded considerably. So, thank you very much to me for all the extra work I’ve added to myself … 🙂 Hopefully those new tasks will help you as well as I chronicle them in this blog, learning as I go.

Giving Stuff Away for Free

Because I spent ten weeks posting a free chapter per week from my first novel, The Truth About Cinnamon (http://www.filedby.com/author/cheri_laser/2721580/documents/24081497/), an article titled “Giving it away for free: Obscurity vs. Making Money as a Writer” caught my attention immediately.

Pros and cons are listed in both the post and the comments. Let me know what you think: http://www.bradsreader.com/2010/03/giving-it-away-for-free-obscurity-vs-making-money-as-a-writer/.

If You Love a Little Controversy … 🙂

Since the whole experiment of this blog is to see if a high quality, meticulously edited, self-published novel can get the attention of traditional publishers, the article “Self-Publishing Pro and Con(temptuous)” jumped right off the page into my lap. And since I’ve already had a number of conversations with some of you on the subject, here’s another perspective. And the blog by Alan Rinzler (referenced in my post #30 on March 19) is also addressed again in the article.

If you check this one out, please read all of the comments as well to get the full picture being presented: http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/03/self-publishing-pro-and-contemptuous/.

Using Video as Part of the Book’s Promo

I’ve been thinking a lot about this subject because I will soon need some sort of trailer for Separation of Faithand I have absolutely no clue how to do one. I also have a video of a television interview done with me at a small, regional Connecticut TV station after The Truth About Cinnamon was released. There’s undoubtedly a way to fit that interview video into my plan as well, to help people find out who I am.

So the article titled “7 Reasons Why Writers Need To Start Using Video For Book Promotion” could not have been more timely. Not only did I pick up some great ideas, but I began considering which of my tech guru friends I can tap for assistance (in return for a case of beer or something … 🙂 …)

I might start experimenting soon with the interview video that I already have, maybe posting it here in my blog or on my FiledBy site (where I have the free chapters of Cinnamon). I also have a slick webcam on my mini, and the article said that YouTube has a recording site where you can create your own videos using your webcam.

This is where some of that extra work I mentioned at the beginning of my post is coming from. But I’m getting sort of excited about this video thing–especially if I can find yet another use for my mini.

Take a look at the article if you have a minute:  http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2010/03/08/7-reasons-why-writers-need-to-start-using-video-for-book-promotion/. And I’d love to hear about any of your own rookie experiences with the video element of this dream journey.

Your Own Writing Retreat

Here’s one I almost forgot to include. Several of you have commented on the difficulty of finding time for our writing as we juggle families, jobs, and life in general. So this article, “Create Your Own Mini-Writing Retreat,” might inspire some ideas: http://writersdigest.com/article/Do-It-Yourself-Writing-Retreats/?print=1.

I also discovered several other links on the subject by Googling “Create Your Own Writing Retreat.” I guess lots of us are in search of solutions to this dilemma.

Editing Update

Separation of Faith is still undergoing the copyedit at the publisher. I probably won’t see those results for another two or three weeks, so I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, I have a client who’s asked me to edit two more books for him. Actually, one of the books is by his daughter, who is twelve and has already written a novel! I know! How can that be possible? I did a development edit on her book last August, and she is so tenacious that she’s now coming back for more. I’m so impressed with her! Not only impressed with her writing skill, which is quite amazing for one so young, but also with her drive, her courage about seeking input, and her willingness to write beyond her own personal experiences. When I was twelve, I was writing short stories but never even considered writing a whole book! The idea of doing research to fill in the blanks for things I hadn’t yet experienced hadn’t crossed my mind at that point.

I’ll let you know when this young lady becomes famous.

After I finish the edit for her, I need to get busy again with the reduction edit on The Truth About Cinnamon. Every time I turn around, something else seems to be getting in the way of that. So the moment has come to get firm and stay focused. (Of course, I also have to do my taxes and my dad’s before the 15th. Oh brother.)

Health Update

My appointment with the surgeon is on the 14th in Manhattan. I will, of course, be taking my mini. Not sure if I’ll be working on my book, my client’s book, or my taxes–but with the mini on hand at that sort of appointment, I’m surely going to be working on something.

Meanwhile, I’m too busy to worry about the details of the diagnosis. After receiving a copy of the pathology report, I took a half day to do research on the various facts and options. But I won’t really know the whole story until I see that surgeon. So I’m not allowing myself to fret too much until then.

Stats

Hits on this blog: 1796 (1625 at last report). Definitely moving in the right direction!

Take care. Hope to see you while I’m tag surfing over the next few days.

Cheri

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A Writer’s Conference Changed My Direction

Hi! Since a conference last September (2009) changed everything about the approach I was taking with my second novel, I wanted to pop in here and post information I just received this morning on upcoming conferences.

Writer’s Digest sponsored the September conference, and that particular publication seems to always go the extra mile to actually help authors find, refine, and/or change their direction and/or their writing. Even though the publication is a business looking to earn a profit, I do appreciate the honesty and ethics of Jane Friedman, the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief.

Also, since I’ve had conversations with several of you about attending these conferences, I wanted you to know about a few that are upcoming. There is expense involved, but that expense can often be written off on your taxes. (Check with your accountant.) And if you’ve never been to a conference, your view of the publishing world might be a little too unexposed, inhibiting you from being able to balance reality with your writing dreams and goals.

So I highly recommend that you attend something. I put attendance at one conference per year on my New Year’s Resolutions every January 1 now.

The conferences in this link are held at various points around the country, so there’s a good chance that one might be close to you.

If you explore this link, go into each conference detail and look at the agenda as well as the list of agents, editors, authors, and publishing professionals on the program. You’ll see that all the conferences are similar in some ways, but each one has a different slant that might fit in with what you’re trying to do and where you are in that process.

Hope you find something helpful in here: http://links.mkt230.com/servlet/MailView?ms=NDM5NTIzNwS2&r=OTc1NTAyMzA0S0&j=MTU1MDczMjE3S0&mt=1&rt=0.

Cheri

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Storm Update

We’re home, and the house is fully operational. Minor damage is being cleaned up, and the exquisite weather the past few days (today and tomorrow too) is lifting everyone’s spirits. Memories from last weekend will linger for a long time, however.

At Last! A Credible Voice Supporting My Blog Plan

Here’s a huge discovery! My reading this week unveiled a referral by Jane Friedman (Editor-in-Chief of Writer’s Digest) to a blog post by Alan Rinzler, Executive Editor at Jossey-Bass Publishing in San Francisco (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons in New York). His post–“How Self Publishing Can Lead to a Real Book Deal” (http://www.alanrinzler.com/blog/2010/03/11/how-self-publishing-can-lead-to-a-real-book-deal/) lends a welcome credibility to the path set forth by this blog last November 4.

Several of you have raised questions in your Comments about the wisdom of pursuing such a path versus sticking with the traditional query-to-editor/agent process. Mr. Rinzler explains why–and more importantly, how–creating a published book ourselves can garner the attention of those coveted professionals in the publishing industry. Mr. Rinzler’s blog post is a must-read for every writer out there who thinks there’s only one way to realize this dream.

And his words have further emboldened my resolve, especially since I’m so close to securing the first step: a great story revealed through a high-quality, professionally edited book. Thank you, Mr. Rinzler! 

More Tips & Updates to Come

This weekend I will post again with more tips I’ve come across this week and with updates on both Separation of Faith and The Truth About Cinnamon. Still catching up on days lost due to the storm, so I need to scoot now.

Hope you’ve all had a terrific week, with a sparkling weekend ahead.

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