Book plotting made easy — ALWAYS

Do you know the direction your story will take? Learn plotting techniques from other established writers at our May 14 ALWAYS author gathering over lunch in downtown Gilbert, AZ.

Do you know the direction your story will take? Learn plotting techniques from other established writers at our May 14 ALWAYS author gathering over lunch in downtown Gilbert, AZ.

 

Established writer, gather with us to talk plotting at the Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) tribe meeting  on May 14, 2015, in Gilbert, Ariz.


 

TOPIC:
Let’s share our secrets about plotting stories. Bring an outline, book, or recap of your favorite plot development techniques to share with the group.

Next gathering:
Thursday, May 14, 2014
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?
• 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.

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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

Share your experience with author TV and radio interviews – ALWAYS

Snapped this shot of Kevin Hearne, author of the Iron Druid Chronicles (https://www.facebook.com/authorkevin?ref=br_tf) at his *Shattered* book signing in Colorado. He's so at ease with an audience... I'm assuming he's great with the media, too. Are you? Come find out how you can succeed with broadcast media at our January ALWAYS gathering.

Snapped this shot of Kevin Hearne, author of the Iron Druid Chronicles at his *Shattered* book signing in Colorado. He’s so at ease with an audience… I’m assuming he’s great with the media, too. Are you?
Come find out how you can succeed with broadcast media at our January ALWAYS gathering.

Gather with the Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) on Jan. 15, 2015.

TOPIC: What can you bring to the table concerning broadcast marketing for books? How can you prepare? Where are the best broadcast outlets to tout your book? Had some luck? Suffered a bad experience? Know someone who has? Please come and share your experiences, and invite anyone else who you know who might have something to contribute to the group. (We’ll meet a week later than usual, this month.)

Next gathering:
Thursday, Jan. 15, 2014
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
(ALWAYS typically 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

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?
• 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. ALWAYS is an informal group of established writers looking for camaraderie, ideas, enlightenment and connection with writers, especially in the Phoenix metro area. Connect with us online through our ALWAYS Facebook page, get listed in our directory of writers on our ALWAYS LinkedIn page, or meet with us in person at a monthly lunch meeting.

We’d love to have any experienced writer join us at our next meeting to discuss our craft and businesses … anyone who spends a significant part of his/her week writing, and wants to rub elbows with other writers.

…………………..

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

27 publishing secrets shared, to help you create your book

Song of the Ocarina novel cover, Ann Narcisian Videan

This is my new cover spread. Can you picture yourself revealing yours soon?

At this moment, I am forty pages from finishing the final edit of my second novel, Song of the Ocarina: the first book in a new-adult fantasy adventure series. Once I format it and upload it to Amazon’s CreateSpace I will have a self-published print-on-demand book. Woo hoo!

Would you like to know how to get to this point with your book?

My first foray into self-publishing happened in in 2011 with the self-publishing of my first women’s fiction novel Rhythms & Muse. Since then, I’ve helped dozens of other authors write, edit, self-publish and market their books. During all the years in this work, I’ve interviewed and worked with a wide array of literary experts who shared their secrets when it comes to book creation. Now, I’m sharing all those secrets with you in a series of three workshops at the Tempe Public Library.

The topics we’ll cover include: book creation steps, editing, and marketing.

* Sept. 6: “27 Steps from Idea to Published”
People new to the idea of writing a book, or who aren’t sure how to get a written book published will learn how to navigate the process.

* Sept. 13: “11 Editing Tips to Wow a Publisher”
Learn the key editing techniques to polish your book to impress publishers.

* Sept. 20: “Market Outside the Books: Outrageous Ideas to Entice Readers to Talk You Up”
Have you already written your book? I will share unique book marketing ideas to spark buzz by leveraging your book’s compelling content.

Each Saturday workshop runs from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. I hope to see you there!

Learn more at the Tempe Public Library site.

…………………..

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

The right tools to publish, inexpensively and efficiently. Savvy?

Photo: @2104 ANVidean

My bookshelf represents books published in all three areas: traditional, indie and self-published.

You already developed marketing content for your business. It may take the form of articles, blog posts, Web content, Twitter tips, Top 10 lists, white papers, or tools you’ve created for clients. You can leverage that valuable information by compiling it into a print or e-book. With today’s accessible publishing tools, it’s also easy, inexpensive, and valuable, too:

  • Books position you as an expert in your field.
  • Books can create a form of passive income.

So, do you know what tools are available to you? Do you know the effective shortcuts that keep you from cutting off an arm and a leg to pay for it? Here are some starting points.

Traditional publishers

Of course you can always pursue publishing with one of the Big 6 traditional publishers—Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Random House, Macmillan, The Penguin Group, and Hachette—but you lose time and control there. It’s typically a two- to three-year process of finding an agent, working through editing to the house specs and the design, and the actual production of the book. You also will need to, for the most part, go with their editing suggestions and cover design. Marketing is still on you, except for a short initial push, and that valuable shelf space in book stores.

Independent publishing

Indie publishers, a segment of which is considered vanity press, offer an option in between traditional publishers and self-publishing. They hold your hand through the book creation process and charge you for various steps, including printing. You often will need to store your own inventory and manage your own distribution with these companies.

Almost all the publishing folk I’ve run into like Lightning Source. Many say their printing quality is excellent, but their best benefit is their association with Ingram, the book distributor. They’ve recently added a print-on-demand service, as well, which stops the need for inventory.

LuLu offers many of these same benefits, but one of its differentiators is that it prints  hardcover books as well as the softcovers typically published by other providers.

Here’s a Live Hacked article comparing Lightning Source with some of the other publisher options to be covered below.

A note of caution: There’s quite a bit of speculation about the integrity of a group of indie houses, including Author House, iUniverse, and Abbot Press (Writer’s Digest). Do your research.

More and more boutique e-publishers are entering the market no, too. I happen to edit for one very reliable e-book, and now print, publisher—Desert Breeze Publishing—out of California.

Again, I urge you to do your research before using or, especially, giving any book rights to an indie or e-book publisher. Search online for ratings and comments, or talk to a publishing consultant. Find the great ones, amidst the chaff.

Self-publishing

My favorite publishing option, and the resource most accepted in the publishing world to-date is the Amazon platform including CreateSpace (for print books, CDs, and videos), Kindle Direct Publishing (e-books), and ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange).

This on-line portal allows you to do everything yourself or, for a fee, can help you with various publishing steps from book creation through marketing. To use CreateSpace for a print book, here are the basic steps:

  • Open an online account
  • Fill out their online form, to get an ISBN, pick book size, paper color, pick distribution options. You may opt to pay a minimal fee for extended distribution, which gets you into the computer systems of the larger book store chains.
  • In the online form you’ll also upload a book blurb and author bio.
  • The site provides access to design tools and templates to help you create your cover spread and interior layout.
  • Once the materials are completed to your satisfaction, you upload PDF files.
  • You review an online proof once CreateSpace approves your materials (usually within 48 hours)
  • When everything’s perfect in the proof, you click a button to publish.
  • CreateSpace will automatically generate an Amazon book page for you (typically within 48 hours)
  • Then, your book is available and CreateSpace will print up any books as they are ordered (print-on-demand)

Ebooks:

You manage Kindle e-book creation through CreateSpace.

Another author favorite is Smashwords, the world’s largest distributor of indie e-books. The beauty of this platform is its ability to publish e-books in all reader formats: for Apple, computer, Kindle, Nook, etc. Its upload process is very similar to CreateSpace, but may take some additional formatting.

Resources:

I often tell authors to budget at least $5,000 to create a quality book… your biggest investments will include editing, design and layout, and the base cost of books you plan to sell yourself.

If you already invested time in creating  quality blog entries, for example, you should be close to having finished documents to compile into a book. This means you could get away with a medium-priced editor and a design contest—through Mycroburst.com for example, upload everything yourself and spend only a few hundred dollars.

You can save a ton, if do almost everything yourself, but you a solid skill set in design, writing/editing, and marketing to be able to do this effectively. Your best bet is to hire professionals, especially for editing and design.

I challenge you to build your credibility and generate passive income. Simply look at your marketing materials to see what you might already have on deck to compile into a book.

Tell us about your book publishing experience or tools…

…………………..

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