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?

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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?]

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

AutoCrit editing software, to use or not to use?

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 discuss are not so secret, because we share them with you.
Here’s another one…

One of our members highly recommended using an affordable editing software she purchased, which she swore helped her become a better writer.

So, I visited the AutoCrit.com site and took advantage of its sample analysis, using the first chapter of my Beat of the Pakiri manuscript, which will be the second novel in my Delfaerune Rhapsody fantasy series. As a professional editor, I must admit, I found myself a bit skeptical going in… but, the analysis truly impressed me.

It felt a bit like magic to immediately see what words I use too many times, how many instances of passive voice it found, and how I stacked up against published fiction in my genre. Here’s a sampling of my report.

Partial AutoCrit analysis of my Beat of the Pakiri manuscript.

Partial AutoCrit analysis of my Beat of the Pakiri manuscript.

Not bad. 🙂

On the surface, it seems such software might put an editor like me out of business, but I think it may actually help me become a better one. Besides, in the AutoCrit video, they recommend you still use a human editor, who can catch nuances undecipherable by the software. Hooray, AutoCrit!

I say… use it. You can try a free 14-day trial, or pay for a monthly membership ranging from $5 to $12, depending on how much you want to use the software.

I also found this 2012 AutoCrit review from another blogger who loved AutoCrit. Some of the info may be a bit dated, but his very thorough example will walk you through all the benefits.

What editing software have you used? What do you like about it?

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

Fast, cheap, book postcard resource: Secret Writers’ Society (ALWAYS)

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, because we share them with you.
Here’s another one…

Ready to create a handout about your book… perhaps a business card, sticker, or postcard?  NextDayFlyers online can print them up for you quickly, and quite inexpensively.

Song of the Ocarina, Ann Videan

Front of postcard

Back

Back of postcard

Say I want the front cover of my Song of the Ocarina novel on one side of a postcard, and the back cover on the other. I can upload both easily at the site. It’s painless, too, because I already have the artwork, right? You also can create your own design to upload, or choose instead to use NextDayFlyers’ design services.

If I order 100, 5×7″, four-color, glossy postcards, I can have them delivered in two to four business days for about $55. Cool right?

What other resources can you suggest for fast, easy, inexpensive book materials?

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

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?

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

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!
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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.

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+.