Authors—or anyone marketing—are you looking for an awesome place to buy affordable printed “merch” for your books or products? You know… marketing merchandise, like stickers, buttons, labels, magnets, packaging, and such? Maybe something imprinted with the cover of your book?
One of my author friends, Haley Rose, uses them with relish to raise awareness for her darling, educational children’s picture books.
Direct from Sticker Mule’s website, here’s what they’re about: “We relentlessly focus on making it fast and easy to order custom products. Order in seconds and get your products in days. Free proofs, free artwork help, free shipping, and fast turnaround are why people love us.”
The Toronto-based company offers a Web site “connecting a community of more than 45 million people around the world through serialized stories about the things they love.” Basically, authors can upload books-in-progress, and receive feedback as they write. You can also read others’ books and provide feedback. The audience is young-ish, so young adult and new-adult works do especially well in Wattpad.
Here are the steps they recommend to get readers to notice your books on the site:
Update your stories regularly, at least once a week.
Make your stories stand out through use of keywords, visuals, and other media.
As an editor, I consistently fix a handful of writing issues as I read through manuscripts.
As a writer, if you knew about these issues, you could avoid them before your editor even reached for a red pen. You could create a much more vibrant manuscript to submit to a potential publisher… one that compels your reader deep into your story or message.
Allow me to give you the inside scoop at a free workshop, #2 in my series of four writing presentations: “Key Editing Secrets To Write A Compelling Story.”
In one day, you can “magically” gain a wide spectrum of knowledge about writing more vibrantly in any genre.
Twelve local, multi-published authors will discuss everything from managing writer’s block and crafting romance to writing Native American characters and managing outrageous marketing. (That latter topic, I’m thrilled to say, will be covered by “yours truly.”) I will also contribute to the keynote panel discussion at the end of the day: “Communities, Conferences and Critique Groups.”
Where and when can you find all this “magic elixir?”
The Desert Rose Chapter of the Romance Writers of America sponsors its…
11th annual Free Writers’ Workshops
Scottsdale Civic Center Library
Sat. Nov. 5, 2016
10:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Learn a bunch, rub elbows with authors, buy books, and have fun with us!
The 3-Day Novel Contest. This writing challenge has happened every Labor Day weekend since 1977. “Entrants pre-register, grit their teeth, lock their doors and try to produce a literary masterwork in 72 short hours. A panel of experienced judges reads the results and the winning novel is published.
To see what readers like about a genre, look at Amazon reviews about similar books.
Write a series rather than a one-off. Consider making the first book in the series Perma-free (permanently free ) on Amazon to allow readers to sample your writing and get hooked on the series.
Read Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them, by Francine Prose
Write more than you read about writing. Ah, the temptation!
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!
Em-dash (—), what most people call simply a “dash,” signifying a break in a thought or longer pause or interruption in dialogue
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.
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.
Do you want at least some help publishing your book?
Do you want a bit of control regarding the book’s content and design?
Are you willing to pay a few thousand dollars for publishing support?
Do you want a book within a few months?
If yes, you’ll want to consider an independent publisher, sometimes called small press, that will print your book for you. You might consider these publisher/printers as “self-publishing with support” I know authors who have successfully published books through:
Abbott Press (a division of Writer’s Digest)
CreateSpace (with a paid support package)
My research into this area pointed me to Lightning Source, because other indie publishers outsource to them for printing, and they are affiliated with Ingram, a leading distribution house. But, I ended up going with Option 3 in the end.
Are you willing to do most of the work to prepare your book for publishing/printing?
Do you want total control regarding the book’s content and design?
Do you not care if your book appears on book store shelves?
Do you want to publish as inexpensively as possible?
Do you want a book within a month or two?
Your option is a print-on-demand publisher that will print your book only when someone orders it. I went this way for my Rhythms & Muse novel, and enjoyed working with CreateSpace. This Amazon affiliate is also linked with Kindle. You can’t beat the cost [nothing until you order your book(s)], and they provide easy do-it-yourself (DIY) tools to help create books and other media. Upload, proof, print. Your book is on Amazon.
As a caveat, I will add one additional option. You may want to find a printing house and work with them directly to create your book. I recommend this option if you fully understand the printing process, want to babysit your book as it goes through every step of the process, and have a very large bank account. [In other words, I don’t recommend this option.]
Tell us how you produced/printed your book and where we can find it!
Do you know the legal ins and outs regarding your book? Let’s get together with Megan D. Scott with The Kleinman Law Firm, to learn more about keeping our content legal and protecting our work.
In your book, can you use photos of celebrities like the one my daughter took at the Josh Groban concert?
Can you even use their names? Can you use music lyrics and quotes?
Should you officially copyright your writing?
Find out by attending the Dec. 12 ALWAYS writers gathering in Tempe, AZ.
[In case you’re wondering, Josh is the guy in the shadows just to the right of the violinist
and behind the guy with his knee up.]
Photo: 2013 CEVidean
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
(ALWAYS meets on the second Thursday of each month.)
DAVE & BUSTERS
(private board room)
2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy
Tempe , AZ – 85281
2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy # 1064
Tempe, AZ 85281-4927
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!
• 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.