Today’s key book marketing tips

writers fon't only hang out in writing groups. One of their natural habitat is a coffee shop. That's why I write a blog about them. Check out BuzzBerry on my Coffee CommuniTea blog.

Writers don’t only hang out at writing groups or libraries. One of their natural habitats is a coffee shop. That’s why I write a blog about those little hot spots. Check out my latest find on my Coffee CommuniTea blog: BuzzBerry Bistro

I love hanging out with authors. They’re interesting, smart, and — at least in my circles — extremely generous with helpful ideas. Every time I go to a place where writers hang out, I learn something.

So, what fun is it to keep all that great information to myself? I want you to benefit, too. So here are three great ideas heard in the last couple of weeks:

  1. I’ve mentioned this one before, but it bears repeating. Use the Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer tool to check the emotional value of your blog/e-newsletter subject lines and headlines. (The emotional connection makes them want to read your stuff.)
  2. Slip a postcard in the back of every book you put into a reader’s hand. On the card, ask for comments about the book, and leave a space for the recipient’s email. That way you can acknowledge his or her comment. Brilliant!
  3. If you have the opportunity to give something away in a raffle, why not give away a few dollars in an envelope with a link to your ebook. This allows you to buy the book for your recipient, and all you ask for in return is his or her review on Amazon. Sweet!

What book marketing tips can you share?

Coffee CommuniTea: BuzzBerry Bistro, Scottsdale AZ

BuzzBerry - 04Today’s Cup o’ Tea
BuzzBerry Bistro Coffee, Smoothie, and Espresso Bar —Scottsdale, AZ

 

IMG_0377Perks (what I really like!)

I recently discovered BuzzBerry in the Park Scottsdale Shopping Center just a minute off Interstate 101 at McDonald. This down-to-earth, hot spot offers:

  • A comfortable, laid-back atmosphere.
  • A wee, bright outside patio.
  • Rave reviews about the made-in-front-of-you omelettes.
Baristas with personality: Bronte and Hannah.

Baristas with personality: Bronte and Hannah.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Coffee
  • Smoothies
  • Espresso
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner (BuzzBerry menu)

The Grounds (location)

5959 N Granite Reef Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
(480) 717-9962
geturbuzz.com

IMG_0370Tea Times (hours)
Open 24 hours a day!

Yelp rating: 4 stars from 164 reviews

……………………

I love connecting people and ideas, so I’ve been creating small villages my entire life. Really, what better places can writers and musicians find to create “village” than independent coffee/tea shops? I wrote most of my Rhythms & Muse novel and Delfaerune Rhapsody series-in-progress in coffee/tea venues, so I found it natural to create this blog. Whether you came here to find a new favorite hangout, or suggest a spot not yet not posted, may you find Coffee CommuniTea exactly to your taste!

Established authors share best book blogging secrets – ALWAYS

Our tribe of established, Phoenix-area writers —
The Alliance of Literary Writers, Authors and Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) —
gathers once a month for lunch and a chat about writing. It’s rather like a Secret Writer’s Society, except our tips are not so secret, since we share them with you.


TOPIC: Book Blogging

Established writer:
• Do you blog about your, or other’s, books?
• How do you come up with meaningful content?
• What makes readers actually read your posts?
• How do you build traffic on your blog?

Established Phoenix-area authors will share their creative blogging best practices at our next ALWAYS tribe meeting, at a more central location.

Though geared for enewsletters, I found this posting frequency chart from Constant Contact quite interesting. This is the type of information we will share at ALWAYS next month.

Though geared for enewsletters, I found this posting frequency chart from Constant Contact quite interesting. This is the type of information I expect we will share at ALWAYS next month.

Next gathering:
Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
(ALWAYS typically meets on the second Thursday of the month.)

Where:
Old Spaghetti Factory
1418 N. Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(Just south of McDowell Road on Central Ave. Please plan extra time for downtown light rail traffic and parking.)

Cost:
A writing tip, and your own lunch.

RSVP:
PLEASE show the consideration of reserving your spot at the table by:
• RSVPing through the “Join” link on our Facebook Event page
or
• Contacting Ann Videan, avidean@videanunlimited.com

If you’ve RSVP’d, please SHOW UP. If you run into a conflict, please let me know BEFORE the event so I can make the necessary adjustments for the group meeting. Cheers!
…………………………………………………………….

ABOUT ALWAYS

Are you an established writer who:
• Needs contacts to help your writing?
• Wants advice about your writing?
• Likes to hang with other cool writers?

If so, our tribe – the Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) – is the place for you. We’re an informal group of established writers looking for camaraderie, ideas, enlightenment and connection with writers, especially in the Phoenix metro area, to talk about our craft and businesses.

Any established writer can connect with us online through our ALWAYS Facebook page, get listed in our directory of writers on our ALWAYS LinkedIn page, or you can meet with us in person at a lunch meeting. We’d love to have any experienced writer join us at our next meeting … anyone who spends a significant part of his/her week writing, and wants to rub elbows with other writers.

How to entice readers to support your book creation

Creating books can be overwhelming and expensive but, luckily, help is available! Authors can ask readers, or other interested folk, to help support the book’s creation… and pay it forward… through crowd funding campaigns like those available on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Buddy The Soldier Bear... created from the illustrations as the book's mascot

Buddy The Soldier Bear… created from the illustrations as the book’s mascot

Here’s an example of a live — through Sept. 18, 2015 — crowd funding campaign for a very worthwhile book. Buddy The Soldier Bear is a children’s book authored by a soldier’s mom and illustrated by a soldier.

If the campaign succeeds, author Marie Joy Monroe will be able to create her books and plush Buddy mascots, and donate them to public libraries, schools, and military support groups. Plus, a portion of any sales profits will go to Central AZ3 Blue Star Moms, and other nonprofit organizations who help soldiers.

You can see all the important elements of a crowd-funding campaign on Marie’s Indiegogo site:

  • A video introducing the book
  • A written story explaining the need
  • A listing of donation levels and associated perks
  • A call to action

Have you done a crowd funding campaign? What worked? What didn’t? What advice would you give to other authors considering this route?

P.S.  While you’re checking out Buddy’s live campaign, think about donating to it, or at least forwarding the information to families or those in your networks associated with the military. You would support an excellent cause, and have some fun, to boot!
[Just so you know, I’m not affiliated with the creation of Marie’s book, but I love her idea, and think her cause is very important. Why wouldn’t you want to support it, too?]

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
Check out my Book Shepherding sessions.
avidean@videanunlimited.com

Established authors’ secrets for creating creative book covers – ALWAYS

The Alliance of Literary Writers, Authors and Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) —
a tribe of established, Phoenix-area writers —
gathers once a month for lunch and a chat about writing. It’s rather like a Secret Writer’s Society, except our tips are not so secret, since we share them with you.


P1340563

TOPIC:
Established authors, when it comes to book covers…
• Do you know what elements will catch a reader’s eye?
• Do you know some low-cost avenues for artwork?
• Do you know what to avoid in the design?
Let’s gather over a delicious lunch and share ideas.
If you can’t attend, can you leave a book-cover tip in the comments below?

Next gathering:
Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
(ALWAYS meets on the second Thursday of the month.)

Where:
Romeo’s Euro Café
(downtown GIlbert, AZ)
207 N. Gilbert Rd. #105
Gilbert, Arizona 85234
(480) 962-4224

Back-up location:
Joe’s BBQ
301 N. Gilbert Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85234
(480) 503-3805

Cost:
A writing tip, and your own lunch.

RSVP:
PLEASE show the consideration of reserving your spot at the table by:
• RSVPing through the “Join” link on our Facebook Event page
or
• Contacting Ann Videan, avidean@videanunlimited.com

If you’ve RSVP’d, please SHOW UP. If you run into a conflict, please let me know BEFORE the event so I can make the necessary adjustments for the group meeting. Cheers!
…………………………………………………………….

ABOUT ALWAYS

• Need contacts to help your writing work?
• Want advice about your writing?
• Like to hang with other cool writers?

If so, our tribe – the Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) – is the place for you. We’re an informal group of established writers looking for camaraderie, ideas, enlightenment and connection with writers, especially in the Phoenix metro area, to talk about our craft and businesses.

Any established writer can connect with us online through our ALWAYS Facebook page, get listed in our directory of writers on our ALWAYS LinkedIn page, or you can meet with us in person at a lunch meeting. We’d love to have any experienced writer join us at our next meeting … anyone who spends a significant part of his/her week writing, and wants to rub elbows with other writers.

An insider’s view of volunteering at Phoenix Comicon

Comicon? What?

It’s a fan convention, originally centered around comic books, but now encompassing all kinds of pop culture. The most popular Comic Con is held in San Diego every summer, but its success prompted similar events around the world including the Phoenix Comicon (PCC), which we’ve held since 2002.

I gave away these homemade Fae Wishing Tins at my panel: with a luck penny, pixie dust, Charms candy, and one even included a thumb drive with my "Song of the Ocarina" ebook on it.

I gave away these homemade Fae Wishing Tins at my panel: with a lucky penny, pixie dust, candy, and one even included a thumb drive with my “Song of the Ocarina” ebook on it.

I started attending with my family four years ago because of our love of sci-fi and fantasy media: Star Wars, Dr. Who, Farscape, Star Trek, etc. This year, though, I spoke on a panel about “Finding Your Inner Fae,” and volunteered in Outdoor Programming.

I had not volunteered at PCC until this year. I had a blast working in Outdoor Programming along Third Street, just outside the main entrance to the con’. The idea of this blocked-off street is to entice people to the con’ and to keep the main foot-traffic area free of motorized vehicles.  Unless they were parked and on display, like these beauties.

P1350668 P1350689 P1350693

Our team, headed by my friend Joanne de Biasi, helped the outdoor exhibitors load into booths, get what they needed, and find answers to all their questions. Not only was it fun to interact with the booth folk — like Build-A-Bear, and the dog rescue organization — but as a side perk, Event Staff receive a full event membership, t-shirt, $20 in vouchers for Hyatt food kiosks, and discounts with vendors. I’d already purchased my membership, though, so I donated mine to a friend.

Phx Comicon 2015 - 020My son’s band, The Darling Sounds, also played a set as part of the programming.

Besides the hundreds of break-out sessions on every geek topic you can imagine, including a writing/author track, I’ve developed a favorite trio of activities when I go to con’:

Celebrity panels. We’ve seen Nathan Fillion, William Shatner, Steve Amell, Summer Glau, John Barrowman, and many others. It’s so fascinating to see their personalities first-hand, and hear behind-the-scenes info on their shows/activities.

The cosplay costumes. These people are dedicated to creating authentic and fun costumes. You’ll never see anything like them.

P1350679 P1350703 P1350705 P1350742 P1350746

The Expo. Every possible geek product and service covers the main floor of the Phoenix Convention Center: posters, books/comic books, clothing, art, and tons of items you didn’t know you needed until you see them. My favorite may be a Castle badge sporting Nathan Fillion’s character photo and the title “Writer.”

I met some of the most creative, fun, and smart people, and cannot wait to do it again. Watch for next year’s post when I talk about my volunteer work with the writers/authors programming track. Woot!

If you’re interested, find out more details about volunteering at Phoenix Comicon.

Key book-organization tools: Secret Writers’ Society (ALWAYS)

We look a lot more vibrant than this in person! Wendy, Patricia, Ann, Mallary, Marsha, Karen, and Alana.

We look a lot more vibrant than this in person!
Wendy, Patricia, Ann, Mallary, Marsha, Karen, and Alana

The Alliance of Literary Writers, Authors and Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) —  a tribe of established, Phoenix-area writers — gather once a month for lunch and a chat about writing. It’s rather like a Secret Writer’s Society, except the tips we share are not so secret, since we share them with you. 🙂


Key Book-Organization Tools

Many authors I’ve encountered in the past several weeks brought up the topic of how to organize a book. ALWAYS members shared a handful of fun and worthwhile suggestions:

1. Use a large sketch pad for writing notes; and to draw, map, or paste visual ideas that pertain to the story. You can also use it to develop a portable storyboard for your plot.

2. Write character notes or actions, important plot point, or scene ideas on colored 3×5 cards. Use a different color for characters, plot points, etc.

3. Post a visual timeline or cards or Post-It notes on a cork board in the room where you write.

4. Use software to help organize all your thoughts and ideas:

What other ideas can you share?

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
Check out my Book Shepherding sessions.
avidean@videanunlimited.com

Book shepherding moves you forward immediately

Book shepherding can lead you to a restful place and green pastures for your book. I snapped this photo of super comfy sheep on the Alexander Farm, aka the Hobbiton movie set, in New Zealand in 2008.

Book shepherding can lead you to a restful place and green pastures for your book.
I snapped this photo of super comfy sheep on the Alexander Farm, aka the Hobbiton movie set, in New Zealand in 2008.

This post falls under the realm of shameless promotion, but what I offer, I guarantee will help you as an aspiring author. Basically, I’m making accessible to you very affordably all the knowledge I gained while creating my own novels and others’—talking with hundreds of authors, publishers, designers, book consultants, and other literary experts over the period of at least 15 years. What I know can essentially eliminate your author learning curve and allow you to move forward immediately.

So, with that said, the following debuts my Book Shepherding sessions… providing the personal guidance, information, and inspiration you need to take the next step in your writing process. Whether you need a book or plot idea, advice on writing or creating your book, assistance with publishing, or generating word-of-mouth marketing, I can help you.

You can move forward confidently with customized advice from an author who’s “been there, done that” when it comes to developing books for herself and many other fiction and non-fiction authors in various genres. Your participation in the following consulting sessions will drive you immediately toward your book’s success.

Sample Edit/Critique

Review/edit feedback on three pages of your writing.                                         Free

One-On-One

As-needed consultation.
(Half an hour by phone or Skype)                                                                              $30

Access to me whenever you need advice on any aspect of your writing:

  • The writing process
  • Editing
  • Production/design
  • Self-publishing/publishing
  • Word-of-mouth marketing strategies
  • Something of your choosing

Kick-Start

One-time/initial consultation.
(1.5 hours, in-person, phone, or Skype)                                                                 $120
(Workshop attendees’ discount)                                                                                $50

We might:

  • Set initial goals to create or market your book
  • Bounce story ideas
  • Hone your plot, or discuss story structure
  • Receive feedback on your writing
  • Walk through how to use CreateSpace
  • Brainstorm book cover or
    marketing ideas
  • Set writing goals
  • Discuss your specific request

Move Forward

As-needed directional meeting.
(1.5 hours in-person, by phone or Skype)                                                            $120

We might do:

  • Any of the activities provided under the Kick-Start section above
  • A writing critique session on 3,000 words of your writing
  • A revisit of goals set in our kick-start consultation, for accountability.
  • Something you request

Build Momentum

Once-a-month directional meeting with a three-month minimum.
(1.5 hours/month in-person, by phone or Skype,
a 17% volume discount off the Kick-Start option.)                                            $100/mo.

We might do:

  • Any of the activities provided under the Move Forward section above
  • Something you request

OR

Once-a-week directional meeting with a five-week minimum.
(Half an hour/week in-person, by phone or Skype,
a 17% volume discount off the Kick-Start option.)                                               $25/wk.

We might do:

  • Any of the activities provided under the Move Forward section above
  • Something you request

Contact me to set up your intake meeting and move
that book dream closer to reality!


Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan, Author and Book Shepherd
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth

P.S. Learn more about my novels on Google+.

Four upcoming marketing events reveal top author secrets

From the movie You’ve Got Mail:
Kathleen:”I love daisies…”
Joe:”You told me…”
Kathleen:”They’re so friendly. Don’t you think that daisies are the friendliest flowers?”
Joe:”I do.”
[Photo by CEVidean 2011]

So, you want to learn insider tips about book marketing…

Here are four events where I will help ideas sprout and bloom like daisies, so you can pluck and gather them into your book-marketing bouquet.

Tucson Festival of Books 2015

Want to see how books are sold in real life? Attend the huge and amazing TFOB this weekend. I’ll be touting my own book Song of the Ocarina, so come by and pick my brain about book-event marketing. Here’s where/when you can find me:

The Dreams Convention, Booth #106
[Buildin’ the Dream (writers) and Arizona Dreamin’ (readers)]

Sun., March 15, 2015
1:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Tempe Public Library marketing workshops

These two interactive workshops will help you identify unique aspects of your book,  generate ideas to capitalize on those chat-worthy aspects, and to compel readers to spread the word about your writing. Each marketing-brainstorm session is limited to 15 people, so register early.

Sat., April 11, 2015
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
and
Sat., May 9, 2015 (potential, if first session sells out)
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

If you are interested in attending, please email me or comment below.

Learn more.

Desert Foothills Library
“27 Steps from Book Idea to Published”

If you are new to the idea of writing a book, or are not sure how to publish one, this two-hour workshop will accelerate your learning curve into immediate action. I’ll share book-creation best practices developed through years of interaction with hundreds of authors, editors and publishers. You will learn about each of the twenty-seven steps needed to manifest a book, from conception and design to ISBN numbers and publishing options.

Fri., June 5, 201
1 to 3 p.m.

If you are interested in attending, please email me or comment below.

Learn more.


Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan, Author and Book Shepherd
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth

P.S. Learn more about my novels on Google+.

How to become a best-selling Amazon author, and other secrets — ALWAYS

Twenty, established, Phoenix-area writers met for lunch at the Alliance of Literary Writers, Authors and Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) gathering on March 12, 2015, in Phoenix. Here’s what happened.


At our tribe meeting, Deborah Brown, co-owner of Peters & Brown Multimedia Marketing & Publishing, shared five “amazing” book marketing tactics to reach Amazon best-seller status and build a book platform. Here they are:

ALWAYS members absorb Deborah's valuable marketing tips.

ALWAYS members absorb Deborah’s valuable marketing tips. (Photo by Eduardo Cervino.)

1. Start with the end in mind, to sell at least 1,000 ebooks in your category at a discount.

Her ideas included tips like:

  • Make sure your ebook tile and subtitle include your keywords.
  • Sell the book for $.99.
  • Use all four category designations available: two for print, two for Kindle.

2. Build your platform first

  • Start blogging about your book before it’s written.
  • Create lead pages to separate raving fans from others.
  • Follow Debbie Macomber and John Locke as great role models.
  • Use Pinterest for authors, linking to your blog.
  • Offer a multi-author box set.

3. Nurture your FLASH mob, perhaps starting with a campaign for crowd funding. Your mob includes:

  • Friends and family
  • Loyal clients and customers
  • Able and willing well-wishers
  • Selected partners
  • Hand-picked ambassadors

4. Capture leads on launch day.

  • Amazon does not identify who buys your book, so pre-market the launch date on a separate book-deal Web page, where you can capture contact info.

5. Keep marketing after your launch.

  • Do talk shows like Deborah’s “Boomer and the Babe” podcast.
  • Do something every day.

You can’t possibly get the scope of all of Deborah’s good ideas just from these highlights, so I encourage you to find the full version of her handout under the Files link on the ALWAYS Facebook page, or to contact her.

Watch our ALWAYS Facebook page for details on our next gathering on April 9, 2015 (we meet on the second Thursday of the month).

Do you have an idea for a topic or speaker? Maybe some information you need to help you move forward? Perhaps you or someone you know has some great author-related info to relate? Recommend away!

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
avidean@videanunlimited.com