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

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?

…………………..

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?

…………………..

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?

…………………..

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!
…………………………………………………………….

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+.

Prepare for perfect publishing — ALWAYS

ID-10029251Join us for the September 2014 gathering of the Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS).

Our discussion will center around everything you want to know about self-publishing your books and others’. Karen Mueller Bryson, multi-published author and publisher of Short On Time Books, will share her best practices at our gathering. She’ll  have back-up from other self-published authors and literary consultants in the group as well.

Buy your own lunch, share a tip, and reap the rewards of our informal get-together with other established authors.

Next gathering:
Thursday Sept. 11, 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 the price of 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 Ann 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.

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

Eight top writing and vocabulary secrets from established authors – ALWAYS

At our Alliance of Literary Writers, Authors and Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) gathering this week, five established writers shared their top writing secrets and vocabulary words for this month. Now you can benefit from them, too!

  1. Find font symbols
  2. Write every day
  3. Find speaking opportunities
  4. Create an em-dash
  5. Association for mystery writer
  6. Product placement in books
  7. Vocabulary suggestions
  8. A.Word.A.Day link
Visualize Your Vocabulary, Shayne Gardner

Visualize Your Vocabulary, Shayne Gardner

1. Shayne Gardner — who just published Visualize Your Vocabulary: Turn Any SAT Word into a Picture and Remember It Forever (Volume 1) with illustrations by Kris Hagen — provided a tip about finding special font symbols on a computer.

According to Microsoft Word’s help function, “You can use the Symbol dialog box to insert symbols, such as ¼ and ©, or special characters, such as an em dash (—) or ellipsis (…) that are not on your keyboard, as well as Unicode characters.” Here’s how.

Emma Dilemma series, Patricia Hermes

Emma Dilemma series, Patricia Hermes

2. Patricia Hemes, a multi-published author of the Emma Dilemma series among others, suggested simply that if you want to be a writer, you need to set time to write every day.

3. She also asked about speaking opportunities in the Phoenix area, and we suggested she contact the National Speakers Association headquartered in Tempe, Ariz.

4. Laurie Fagen, co-author in SoWest: Crime Time, a  Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Anthology (Volume 5), led us to a discussion about dashes. We differentiated these, and shared how to create them in Microsoft Word:

  • Hyphen (-), used to connect words
  •  En-dash (–), for connection ranges or dates
  • Em-dash (—), what most people call simply a “dash,” signifying a break in a thought or longer pause or interruption in dialogue
SoWest: Crime Time anthology, Laurie Fagen

SoWest: Crime Time anthology, Laurie Fagen

5. By the way, Laurie is the current president of the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths. This association for mystery writers meets the third Wednesday of the month at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in downtown Scottsdale, Ariz.

6. Ann Videan (that’s me), author of Rhythms & Music women’s novel and soundtrack, and The Delfaerune Rhapsody series, suggested authors look into product placement in your books to develop additional revenue streams. She explained that this simply involves mentioning brand names in your story and approaching the company about supporting the book for its publicity value to them. She recommended this HowStuffWorks article to learn more.

Song of the Ocarina, Ann Videan

Song of the Ocarina, Ann Videan (book 1 of the Delfaerune Rhapsody series)

7. Our topic, vocabulary, helped unveiled several new fun words or phrases we can can all incorporate into our writing.

  • brilliant: popular in the United Kingdom, meaning cool, great, or an outstanding performance, concept, or product
  • mind the gap: a  phrase to warn passengers to be careful while crossing the gap between the train door and the station platform.
  • go to the loo: an informal, more polite way of saying you’re headed to the bathroom, or going to the toilet

(From these first three, can you tell Laurie just returned from a trip to Europe?)

  • kerfuffle: disturbance or fuss
  • ostentatious: fancy, showing off wealth of knowledge to gain attention
  • ambitious: desiring to be successful, famous, or powerful; not easily done or achieved
  • grawlixes: typographical symbols standing for profanities, appearing in dialogue balloons in place of actual dialogue
  • ar·sy–var·sy: backside forward, head over heels, topsy-turvy
  • interrobang: a printed punctuation mark (‽), available only in some typefaces, designed to combine the question mark (?) and the exclamation point (!), indicating a mixture of query and interjection
  • histrionic: over-the-top melodramatic or theatrical
  • opprobrious: expressing scorn or criticism
  • disconcert: unsettle, disturb the composure of

(These last three are Shayne’s favorites from his new vocab book. Weren’t we lucky to have him attend today and share such cool words?)

8. For an introduction to a new word every day, complete with pronunciations, Laurie suggested subscribing to Wordsmith.org’s A.Word.A.Day.

Care to add your own tips or favorite words?

…………………..

Your Top Three Secret Words – ALWAYS

Sedona raindrop

What word would perfectly describe this photo? I call it “Blustery Sedona Raindrop.”  Does it bring to mind one of your favorite words? A secret word that always describes a mood or action, or brings to mind a special setting? Come share your perfect words at our next ALWAYS gathering in downtown Gilbert, AZ… you’ll help other established writers build their vocabularies.

 

Topic:
Let’s get some vocabulary growth going at our established writers’ gathering. What are your top “magic” words to use, or you would like to use, in your writing? Come share your favorites with other established writers.

Next gathering:
THURSDAY, Aug 14, 2014
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
(ALWAYS meets on the second Thursday of the month.)

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

Back-up location:
Joe’s Real 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 Ann 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.