Forum Transcripts

Self Promotion 4/12/05

Event start time:

Tue Apr 12 11:37:51 2005

Event end time:

Tue Apr 12 13:37:38 2005



Legend:
Questions from the Audience are presented in red.
Answers by the Speaker are in black.
The Moderator's comments are in blue.

guestspeaker

Hi! I made it1

mary rosenblum

Hello, all!

mary rosenblum

I hope you had a fine spring weekend.

mary rosenblum

This is the Tuesday Forum with me, Mary Rosenblum, LR Web Editor, fiction and nonfiction writer and we're talking about self-promotion. If you're new here, remember that you need to click on the 'Ask a Question' button or the 'word bubble' next to the red question mark at the top of the screen, or use the ask a question icon in order to ask a question. Your regular 'send' bar won't reach me! You can also type /ask in front of your question to reach me.

mary rosenblum

I wanted to talk about self promotion today, and follow it up at our Friday After Hours with some specific talk about websites...

mary rosenblum

because more and more people are choosing to either publish with small press publishers, or to use a Print on Demand publisher like iUniverse...

mary rosenblum

and in both these cases where the numbers tend to be smaller, self promotion can make a big difference in your sales.

mary rosenblum

The distribution network is quite limited in both PoD self publishing houses and for small press publishers.

mary rosenblum

But few writers have a lot of cash lying around to spend taking their own book tour...

mary rosenblum

Although that would be the ideal! :-)

mary rosenblum

A writer friend of mine just did this to promote her short story collection, just published by a small press publisher.

mary rosenblum

She stayed with friends in major urban areas and arranged signings by phone with major bookstores there...

mary rosenblum

and did both east and west coasts... but she spent quite a bit of money doing this...

mary rosenblum

It's unlikely that she will actually make enough on her sales to pay for the tour unless her book 'catches on' with the general public...

mary rosenblum

but it did bring her attention she otherwise would not have received...

mary rosenblum

and did a lot for her professional reputation.

mary rosenblum

On the flip side of this, I have a couple of writer friends...

mary rosenblum

who spent a lot of time and money visiting bookstores to sign books when their novels came out from a New York publisher...

mary rosenblum

and in the long run, the HURT their careers doing that.

mary rosenblum

So there is no 'one size fits all' for self promotion, and you need to think about it in terms of YOUR particular situation.

tory

How did it hurt them long-term, Mary?

geezer

How did it hurt?

mary rosenblum

Shocker, huh? That signing books and promoting yourself can hurt?

mary rosenblum

Remember...I am talking in terms of TRADITIONAL publishing only...the big NY houses...

mary rosenblum

this does NOT apply to small press publishers.

mary rosenblum

BUT...the big publishers look solely at the numbers sold to determine the success/failure of a particular book.

mary rosenblum

They look at books ordered (how many the store orders)...

mary rosenblum

versus books returned (how many get their covers stripped and are shipped back unsold).

mary rosenblum

If stores order a LOT of books and don't sell many...

mary rosenblum

your numbers are bad...you cost the publisher money to publish your book...

mary rosenblum

and if you do that two or three times in a row, they may not buy your next book.

mary rosenblum

So what happened to my friends is that they called the stores and said they would be doing a signing...

mary rosenblum

and the chain stores ordered a lot of books from the publisher so that they would have plenty in stock...BUT...

mary rosenblum

they did not advertise much and my friends were fairly new writers at the time...

mary rosenblum

so very few people showed up. So the stores shipped back a lot of unsold books.

mary rosenblum

And the percentage of books sold looked BAD. They probably sold a few more than they otherwise would have...

mary rosenblum

but it is the percentage that NY looks at, not the actual number.

mary rosenblum

And if that sounds unfair it is. :-)

mary rosenblum

But that's life in the NY publishing world.

mary rosenblum

So now, they only do signings for stores that DO advertise and routinely draw a lot of people...

christopher dale

Can't the author's promote the book signing themselves? Suh as radio interviews talking about WHERE they wil lsign and WHEN, Newspaper ads - I know that our local paper has a section that once a week will pblish Who is Signing where...

mary rosenblum

You bet, and you need to do that.

mary rosenblum

They ran into trouble with the chains. B & N and the like...

mary rosenblum

some managers DO have promotional routes in place but many just put out a sign in the store...

mary rosenblum

and call it quits at that.

mary rosenblum

If you are going to sign at any store, you really DO need to let the universe know...

mary rosenblum

and you can do that by sending a press release to the appropriate newspaper, putting out flyers in libraries, and the like.

mary rosenblum

Make up a nice promotional flyer on colored paper and deliver a hundred or so to the bookstore where you will sign...

mary rosenblum

if it's out of town, ship it.

mary rosenblum

The bookstore owner may or may not do something like that on its own.

tory

Is there any way (sebsite, etc.) for us to determine a bookstores sales figures?

mary rosenblum

There isn't , tory, and it's darn hard for even an agent to find out what a publisher is shipping...my agent has been frustrated many times.

mary rosenblum

I have a friend who posed as a bookstore owner and called the purchasing department once...

mary rosenblum

she managed to find out what the general numbers were that way. :-)

mary rosenblum

Not even her editor could tell her, at the time.

dbamarsha

So, if we want to be sure there is promotion, we should see to it ourselves?

mary rosenblum

Yep.

mary rosenblum

And that's true whether you publish with small or NY publishers.

babbles

isn't that where COMMUNICATION is the key ingredient to SUCCESS with advertising, signing and selling?

mary rosenblum

IT is, babbles, and that's what I wanted to talk about today...

mary rosenblum

how do you DO this?

mary rosenblum

There are several ways...the press release is one, although the paper may choose not to run it...it depends on their policy, the editor of the community or book section...

mary rosenblum

all kinds of factors.

mary rosenblum

You probably have tons of potential readers in any given town...but how do you make your book known to them?

mary rosenblum

On thing to do when you are trying to begin a career as a writer or promote your work...never say no.

mary rosenblum

No matter how trivial the request seems, no matter how inconvenient, if someone asks you to come sign or speak or read. Say YES.

mary rosenblum

You may not enjoy hanging out with the public, but it is the BEST way to promote your book.

mary rosenblum

People tell people. Nobody can beat word of mouth...it is the best form of advertising and...woohoo...it's FREE.

christopher dale

Mary - Here are a couple of suggestions: As I stated earlier - try to get on some local talk shows (Radio) and TV shows, if they have them. Write to the NewsPaper. Post on the load YourCityName.ForSale and .Info News groups, Post ANYWHERE and

christopher dale

EVERYWHERE where you think ppl will listen. And DEFINATELY have your book signings posted on your website (If you don't have a website - GET ONE! ;-P). listening Place, Time(s), Dates.

mary rosenblum

Yep,and well talk about websites on Friday...

mary rosenblum

but don't depend on a single website. AS to talk shows and radios..

mary rosenblum

you can try, but it's a hit and miss affair when you are new.

mary rosenblum

The problem is the same catch 22 you run into making that first sale.

mary rosenblum

THEY want someone whose name will draw listeners.

mary rosenblum

So they will put you on if the producer has read your book and loves it (which is why you send a copy along with the letter)...

mary rosenblum

OR...they don't have anything better in mind for that slot.

mary rosenblum

This is the other rule of promotion...

mary rosenblum

give away a LOT of your books.

mary rosenblum

It's a 'cast your bread upon the waters' thing.

mary rosenblum

You never know where that book will end up or what it will bring you...

mary rosenblum

You will get few if any 'free' books from your publisher, but you will be able to purchase books at a 40% author's discount. Buy a lot.

mary rosenblum

Send out review copies to the local book reviewer where you will be signing.

mary rosenblum

She may not choose to review your book, but if she does, your name is in front of people. Just realize that you can't control the publication schedule..

mary rosenblum

so sending the local reviewer a copy a week before your signing may not do you much good...

mary rosenblum

if that review comes out three months later!

gwanny

I knew my degree in communications would come in handy one day

mary rosenblum

There you gwanny...everything is useful somehow! :-)

geezer

I've wondered about the ethics of this. One author I read supposedly coauthored with a famous person, just using his name while he didn't write a word.

mary rosenblum

Well, that happens a lot, geezer, but I doubt that the big name didn't write a word...

mary rosenblum

I'd have to hear THAT from a reliable source. I sure don't want MY name on a piece of trash!

mary rosenblum

BUT...I do know that Anne McCaffery, for example, co authors with a lot of young women writers...

mary rosenblum

so that they can get some name recognition. She DOES work on the book, atlhough the young author does the main work.

mary rosenblum

But readers KNOW this.

mary rosenblum

This is the Tuesday Forum with me, Mary Rosenblum, LR Web Editor, fiction and nonfiction writer and we're talking about self-promotion. If you're new here, remember that you need to click on the 'Ask a Question' button or the 'word bubble' next to the red question mark at the top of the screen, or use the ask a question icon in order to ask a question. Your regular 'send' bar won't reach me! You can also type /ask in front of your question to reach me.

speckledorf

About press releases...should we be sending them out to our local paper for instance when we have a piece accepted for publication?

mary rosenblum

I wouldn't speck. What can they buy? I would send in a copy of the published piece when it comes out...

mary rosenblum

and publishers will help you.

mary rosenblum

The local pet-page columnist for our paper agreed to review the issue of Ellery Queen that had a tracking-dog mystery in it...

mary rosenblum

and I requested a copy from the publisher as soon as it was available...

mary rosenblum

so that she could get it into the paper while the magazine was still available on the magazine racks.

mary rosenblum

The publisher happily complied.

mary rosenblum

Now of course, you can put excerpts from an upcoming book or story or article...

mary rosenblum

on your webiste..WITH THE PUBLISHER"S PERMISSION!

mary rosenblum

I will have a chunk from Gypsy Tail Wind, my next story in Fantasy and SF magazine up on my website this summer a couple of weeks before the issue will be out.

mary rosenblum

And I'll probably do that with my Anolog story, and the story I have coming out in Modern Magic...but I have to check with those publishers first.

mary rosenblum

Think about what you are publishing.

mary rosenblum

Who are your readers?

mary rosenblum

If I have a dog-related mystery, I want to reach dog owners...

mary rosenblum

which is why I queried the pet-page columnist rather than the paper's book reviewer

mary rosenblum

The more specifically you target your audience, the greater your 'return on investment'.

t green

Local Book Reviewer? Where do you find them? Are you talking about the reviewers in the local papers?

mary rosenblum

Yep.

mary rosenblum

Most papers have a book review section and a book review editor.

mary rosenblum

Publishers send virtually every new book to the major newspaper reviewers..

mary rosenblum

they get TONS of books and pass them out to their staff reviewers. (Great way to get free books...become a reviewer for you paper! LOL)

mary rosenblum

Magazines in that genre review books...

mary rosenblum

My SF gets reviewed in Asimov's, Analog, Locus...many SF related magazines.

gwanny

most small radio stations also have a reviewer

mary rosenblum

They do, and it's a matter of doing your homework.

mary rosenblum

And if you're going to be in a distant city...say on vacation...

mary rosenblum

check out bookstores there.

mary rosenblum

And for the most part, the independent bookstores in general, do a better job of advertising and drawing in people for signings.

babbles

online check out roundtablereviews.com

mary rosenblum

I don't know what that website is, babbles. Does it review books or list reviewers?

mary rosenblum

This is the Tuesday Forum with me, Mary Rosenblum, LR Web Editor, fiction and nonfiction writer and we're talking about self-promotion. If you're new here, remember that you need to click on the 'Ask a Question' button or the 'word bubble' next to the red question mark at the top of the screen, or use the ask a question icon in order to ask a question. Your regular 'send' bar won't reach me! You can also type /ask in front of your question to reach me.

mary rosenblum

If you have a garden-related mystery, for example, ask your local garden center if you can sign books on some nice weekend...

mary rosenblum

deliver flyers to that store they can hand out to visitors,

mary rosenblum

and plan on giving a nice, dynamic reading and talking to customers.

mary rosenblum

You'll have to bring your own books to sell, but do that.

mary rosenblum

Don't forget...if you buy your books at 40% off and YOU sell them...

mary rosenblum

you get that 40% of the cover price instead of only 8.5% (your likely royalty from NY)!

mary rosenblum

And I'll pass on a sneaky trick to you, although this only applies to the NY publishers...

mary rosenblum

if you buy a case of books, say, from Bantam directly, they do NOT count those books as sales because YOU the author bought them.

mary rosenblum

But bookstores ALSO get a 40% discount on those books...

mary rosenblum

so if you're friends with a local independant bookstore....not a chain...

mary rosenblum

the owner will often order your books for you...and then they count as sales, since a store bought them.

mary rosenblum

You pay the same price. :-) Good reason to be nice to your local independent bookstore.

babbles

roundtablereviews.com does both, it lists reviewers, books that have been reviewed as well as run contests and other info.

mary rosenblum

Sounds good, babbles. I'll check it out and put the link up on LR.

johnnycat15

How is co-authorship different for self-promotion?

mary rosenblum

I'ts darned expensive advertising, johnny. You are going to split the money with the co-author...

mary rosenblum

and if her name is much bigger than yours, you may only get a small percentage of the profit!

mary rosenblum

Coauthors do NOT do this for free!!!!

mary rosenblum

And to be honest, very few authors are willing to do it.

mary rosenblum

if they are a selling author why should they split money with you, and work with someone who is less skillful?

jackie7777

Would my agent be responsible for advertising and promoting?

mary rosenblum

Not at all jackie.

mary rosenblum

Agents have nothing to do with promotion and ads...their job is simply selling your book and dealing with the publishers.

christopher dale

The homeschool conventions have book sellers. Would that be a place to try for Christian books? - Grom geezer

mary rosenblum

Book fairs are a GREAT place to promote your book, but most of them are invitation only. Conventions and conferences are another great place to make your book public.

mary rosenblum

Publishers often give away a new author's book to every person attending a conference.

mary rosenblum

Or you can pay for a vendor's table and sell your books to people in the dealers' room.

mary rosenblum

Or you can write to the programming committee, try to get yourself on panels...

mary rosenblum

do a VERY nice job there, and chat with everybody who wants to talk to you...

mary rosenblum

of course carrying your books around...

mary rosenblum

as well as visiting the booksellers in the dealers room...

mary rosenblum

and leaving copies 'on consignment' with them.

mary rosenblum

Most booksellers will do that if they don't have your book in stock.

mary rosenblum

And do sign every book you can for the booksellers...

mary rosenblum

Booksellers LOVE cooperative and friendly authors and THEY promote your books!

mary rosenblum

One bookstore manager on the Oregon coast loved my mystery series and told every customer who came in about it.

mary rosenblum

I was on their top ten best seller list for two years running...

mary rosenblum

and when they asked me to come out there for signings, I said 'yes, ma'am'!

jackie7777

What am I paying him for????????

mary rosenblum

You're only paying him to deal with the New York publishing world, jackie.

mary rosenblum

But for that, the 15% is well spent.

christopher dale

If i get published in a large pub house (Say random), and set up my OWN booksignings. Wil they front me the books to give away or will I have to purchase them (at a discount, i would hope)?

mary rosenblum

When you sign that HUGE contract with Random House (My last one was 9 legal size pages, 10 pt font, single space, BOTH sides of the 9 pages...)...

mary rosenblum

it will specify the number of 'promotional' books you will receive for free.

mary rosenblum

usually that is about 25 - 30 copies or so of a mass market paperback, fewer for hardcover.

mary rosenblum

Your agent will keep some to work on foreign sales, reviews, etc.

mary rosenblum

And she'll send you the rest. After that, you get your local indy bookstore to order you copies at their deep discount...

mary rosenblum

or you buy directly from Random House at their 40% off author's discount.

mary rosenblum

This is the Tuesday Forum with me, Mary Rosenblum, LR Web Editor, fiction and nonfiction writer and we're talking about self-promotion. If you're new here, remember that you need to click on the 'Ask a Question' button or the 'word bubble' next to the red question mark at the top of the screen, or use the ask a question icon in order to ask a question. Your regular 'send' bar won't reach me! You can also type /ask in front of your question to reach me.

babbles

back to selling yourself, (not published yet) however, I have a group of followers awaiting that first sale. I handed out my business cards on vacation and made new friends as well as fans.

mary rosenblum

That's a great way to do it...AND...keep track of addresses and email addresses..

mary rosenblum

and when your book is out, go ahead and have a nice postcard made from the cover flat...

mary rosenblum

and then send it to all those people...scan it in and send an email version to the email people...

mary rosenblum

and if you're VERY smart, you'll offer to send them a free signed bookplate, or you can list the places where you'll be signing your books.

christopher dale

What kind of does having nice postcards/bookmarks cost? And where do you go? A local printer or somewhere 'better"?

mary rosenblum

The prices has come way down, chris. Several writers I know who do this find the best values online...

mary rosenblum

Bookmarks with your cover on them and purchase info are another good 'giveaway'...

mary rosenblum

and you can leave a stack at bookstore checkouts...

mary rosenblum

and they cost less than post cards.

geezer

The homeschool conventions have book sellers. Would that be a place to promote Christian books?

mary rosenblum

It sure would geezer.

mary rosenblum

Take your books around to the sellers and talk to them about your book.

mary rosenblum

Ask them to sell them on consignment. Realize that they WILL take a percentage to sell them...

mary rosenblum

so make sure you have bought those copies at a discount, not at the cover price!

forest elf

It's funny. Several employees at my local Kinkos gave me their e-mail and/or phone and said they'd buy my book as soon as it was out.

mary rosenblum

elf, keep those addresses on file and plan on using 'em.

mary rosenblum

A lot of writers in the mystery and SF fields send out postcards of book covers to all memebers of MWA and SFWA...

mary rosenblum

but that really isn't cost effective.

mary rosenblum

Other writers don't buy your books...FANS buy your books...

mary rosenblum

For example, if I publish a new mystery that features tracking dogs...

mary rosenblum

i'll target all the local petstores, dog websites, magazines, and the like.

mary rosenblum

I'm not going to waste my money on other mystery writers.

babbles

my local fire history that I'm writing--I plan on hooking up with the local historical society. They have self-published two books already.

mary rosenblum

That's a good way to go, babbles.

t green

bookplate?

mary rosenblum

Everybody used to use them... a rectangular stick-on paper with Ex Libris or something and a place to write your name.

mary rosenblum

You can have one printed up specifically for you.

mary rosenblum

My friend Louise Marley, who was a guest here not too long ago, has very nice custom ones...

mary rosenblum

that way, people can get their book signed without sending you the book from another state.

mary rosenblum

You can simply send them a bookplate if they request it.

mary rosenblum

She buys hers online.

babbles

a lot of authors are using them as contest giveaways on thier websites too.

mary rosenblum

yep, exactly.

queenbee

I haven't written a novel yet, what type of promoting can I

mary rosenblum

Well, queen, it probably helps if you're at least writing a novel...

mary rosenblum

so when someone asks you 'what's it about?' you can tell them. :-)

mary rosenblum

An awful lot of people are 'going to write a novel'...

mary rosenblum

but not that many actually do it, so when you HAVE done it...

mary rosenblum

people are REALLY impressed.

speckledorf

How effective is the occasional email newsletter for keeping people informed?

mary rosenblum

If it's interesting and people READ it, it's not a bad thing.

mary rosenblum

Same thing with websites...and I'll get into this in detail on Friday...

mary rosenblum

you need to give people something that entertains them.

queenbee

I have started on one, just haven't finished.

mary rosenblum

Good for you, queen.

mary rosenblum

You know, one very useful tool for self promotion that I need to do...

mary rosenblum

is the Blog. A couple of more saavy web people have given me some numbers that opened my eyes to the value of a web log...a blog.

mary rosenblum

They are popular and if yours begins to proliferate...that is people send the link on to others to read it...

mary rosenblum

the advertising value is phenomenal...

mary rosenblum

especially if you're publishing an ebook that can be downloaded...

mary rosenblum

but is still a powerful took for regular print publishing...

gwanny

blogs are really hot right now

mary rosenblum

They are indeed, but remember...

mary rosenblum

it's not just a matter of starting one.

mary rosenblum

You have to give people something they WANT to read...

mary rosenblum

and an account of vacuuming your house and doing the shopping isn't gonna do it...

mary rosenblum

unless you make those FUNNY.

gwanny

true, and it's not a one time thing

mary rosenblum

It is a time sink, which is why I have avoided it before now. Gonna have to do it though. :-)

forest elf

...and my nieces who have read and love my book are already telling their friends about it!

mary rosenblum

Word of mouth matters.

mary rosenblum

And in this day of forwarded emails... you can reach a lot of people if they click on that forward button...

mary rosenblum

just look at how quickly jokes or anecdotes start showing up in your mailbox in mulitple versions.

mary rosenblum

Publishing is beginning to shift away from New York...the traditional publishers are notoriously inefficient...

mary rosenblum

to the small press and ebook publishers...

mary rosenblum

and I suspect that at least for now...

mary rosenblum

online word of mouth is how books will 'sort out' for buyers...

mary rosenblum

if they hear about a great book from a friend, they'll not only buy it, but pass on the word...to their address 'list' of friends.

mary rosenblum

I saw this happen with a greeting card designer. Jackie Lawson...

mary rosenblum

She does cute cards with dogs an in the space of a year...

mary rosenblum

I went from getting one or two of her cards to not only getting them all the time, but finding out that everyone, includin myself, had subscribed to her service...

mary rosenblum

and that was with NO advertising. The cards were cute...all dog people sent them to all their friends...

mary rosenblum

and she got hundreds...probably thousands...of subscribers.

queenbee

I didn't finish my question before, I am writing a novel right now, Would it be a good idea to contact my local newspaper about my schooling attempts and writing endeavors now?

mary rosenblum

Probably not, queen. In the professional world of publishing...and reviewers are part of that world...

mary rosenblum

intentions count for nothing. Everybody is writing a novel in their spare time. It's just not news.

mary rosenblum

I would wait until it is coming out...

mary rosenblum

And send galley proofs to the reviewer with the release date...

mary rosenblum

and most reviewers will try to review the book close to its release date.

forest elf

There is an independant bookstore where I live and my sister in law is a Middle School Principal in L.A., I was thinking of "using" them to promote my book (when it is published). I thought the bookstore would love to promote a "local" writer and my sister in law could have a YA writer visit her school.

mary rosenblum

Absolutely. I visit a lot of schools even though I don't write a lot of YA.

mary rosenblum

Again, never say no. :-)

mary rosenblum

There is NO bad publicity.

geezer

How do you define small press? Not NY?

mary rosenblum

Well, you have small press publishers IN NYC, too, geezer...

mary rosenblum

It's just that the big traditional publishers in this country are all located in NY.

mary rosenblum

But it's mostly size and distribution.

mary rosenblum

A traditional publisher will probably print and distribute about 35,000 copies of your paperback...

mary rosenblum

more if they have a lot of pre orders from bookstores...up to say 100,000.

mary rosenblum

A small press house will probably print and distribute no more than 2500 - 3000 copies...or even less.

mary rosenblum

This is the Tuesday Forum with me, Mary Rosenblum, LR Web Editor, fiction and nonfiction writer and we're talking about self-promotion. If you're new here, remember that you need to click on the 'Ask a Question' button or the 'word bubble' next to the red question mark at the top of the screen, or use the ask a question icon in order to ask a question. Your regular 'send' bar won't reach me! You can also type /ask in front of your question to reach me.

mary rosenblum

Writers conferences are another good place to promote yourself...

mary rosenblum

especially if a lot of fans will be attending..

mary rosenblum

And if you have sold a book or published some short work...

mary rosenblum

you can usually get yourself invited onto at least one panel.

geezer

James Dobson's books sell in the millions. I can't think of his publisher, probably Zondervan, but he doesn't even make the NY Times book reviews.

mary rosenblum

He may have a strong niche market position, geezer. I don't know what he writes.

mary rosenblum

And remember, there are always exceptions to any of the general statements I make...

mary rosenblum

but these statements ARE generally true.

mary rosenblum

And yes, you MAY be the exception, but I wouldn't take out a mortgage on it.

geezer

Dare to Discipline

gwanny

Dobson is Focus on the Family Press

mary rosenblum

That

mary rosenblum

That's the self help market. That is a MUCH bigger seller than any of the fiction genres...

mary rosenblum

romance included.

mary rosenblum

The biggest money...and the most competition...is in the self help field.

babbles

Mary do you feel that online mags are a good place to start to make a name for yourself?

mary rosenblum

Yes, if it is a recognized online mag, babbles...

mary rosenblum

they vary from top market publishers, like SciFiction in SF...to respected smaller markets like Strange Horizons (also SF)...

mary rosenblum

to little start-up online mags that don't get any reviewer or critical attention.

mary rosenblum

Those tiny ones will help you in that you can cite them as a publication...

mary rosenblum

and any name recognition will help you...

mary rosenblum

they won't catapult you into the limelight.

babbles

another way I promote myself is through my Address labels, they have my motto on them--Never Give Up Your Dreams or The Child Within You

mary rosenblum

That can work... a catchy 'slogan' is easy for people to remember.

mary rosenblum

AS is a trademark image that you put on all your stuff.

gwanny

Promoting, start at the top and go down?

mary rosenblum

Same as with selling your work, gwanny.

mary rosenblum

Always start at the top.

mary rosenblum

And promotion means PROMOTING yourself.

mary rosenblum

It doesn't mean shuffling your feet and saying, 'aw, shucks, I wrote this book, and I don't know if it's any good, but could you look at it, please?'

mary rosenblum

Work on any letter you send out to reviewer, columnist, bookstore owner, what have you.

mary rosenblum

Entertain that person. Make him/her smile and think, cool, this person is fun...I bet he can write, too!

gwanny

Gotcha, no begging, no shuffling

mary rosenblum

Modesty and humility are flaws in this business, gwanny.

mary rosenblum

You do NOT need to be an arrogant jerk, although they do exist,. :-)

mary rosenblum

BUT...you do need to put yourself and your work in the best light possible.

mary rosenblum

Put on your 'promoter' hat even if it makes you uncomfortable to do so.

dbamarsha

What kind of information would you put on a business card? Do you list all of your writing such as columns, etc.?

mary rosenblum

I don't. I just have my professional affiliations: SFWA, MWA on there, my URL and email, and Longrdge's URL.

mary rosenblum

With my Web Editor status.

forest elf

Be balanced and find your center? ; )

mary rosenblum

Be confident, elf. If you think your book is good, SAY so.

speckledorf

How important are bios? Is there a way to make them sizzle?

mary rosenblum

Sure. Same way you make query letters sizzle...

mary rosenblum

you find the slant that makes what seems like a boring life sound way cool.

mary rosenblum

Be creative. :-)

mary rosenblum

Hollywood ads are a GREAT sample. LOL

geezer

I assume you must be published to have those writer's associations?

mary rosenblum

Yes, geezer, both MWA and SFWA have strict publication requirements for membership...

mary rosenblum

so does HWA the horror writers association...but you CAN become...

mary rosenblum

an associate or affiliate member before you qualify for full memberships.

mary rosenblum

And RWA romance writers of america have no membership restrictions.

owlybear

Once we've graduated, should we put that info on a query letter?

mary rosenblum

Won't hurt, owly. If the publisher has heard of LR or has published students before it'll help...

mary rosenblum

otherwise it won't.

mary rosenblum

In SF it probably will help because most SF editors know I teach for the school, so they assume it must be good. :-)

babbles

do you mention your association memberships when writng to publishers/agents?

mary rosenblum

Of course. Anything you can do to seem professional will only help you.

owlybear

It is a good school... :-)

mary rosenblum

Yes, it is. :-)

babbles

These new fans, friends, offered to help me set up book signings in their neighborhoods. :-)

mary rosenblum

When your book is out, take them up on it, babbles!

mary rosenblum

Again, be sure you have books on hand to give to people who help you out like that.

mary rosenblum

People LOVE books that have been personally inscribed by the author.

mary rosenblum

Well, this has been a fun discussion...

mary rosenblum

and on Friday, at our After Hours, I'm going to talk about websites...

mary rosenblum

and what you need to know.

mary rosenblum

I have posted the article by Gary Kearney and Chris Dale...

mary rosenblum

that takes you to a website where you can actually learn how to create a simple website with html...

mary rosenblum

although most of your servers that provide free website space...

mary rosenblum

and most do...

mary rosenblum

will also offer a simple template that anyone can use with no experience at all.

babbles

another self promotion "?" does an author sign the book with regular name or pen name if they use one? Should we stick to one thing?

mary rosenblum

Ask the purchaser what he/she wants?

mary rosenblum

Many are book collectors and they want the pen name signature.

mary rosenblum

Some of my crossover fans are tickled when I sign their books with both my mystery and SF names.

mary rosenblum

If you don't want readers to know your real name then don't use it!

mary rosenblum

Well have a good week!

mary rosenblum

Go read Gary and Chris's how to. I'll be posting an article on 'Why YOu NEed a Website' later on.

mary rosenblum

It's in epublishing and Websites.

mary rosenblum

See you tomorrow for our regular casual chat!

mary rosenblum

I'm off to haul manure for my garden!

mary rosenblum

Bye!

mary rosenblum

I'll post the transcript in the regular place.

 

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