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Posts Tagged ‘social networks’

Debi's Book Cover Collage

After taking a social media workshop at this year’s Cape Cod Writers Conference, then receiving tips and hints from my friend Elizabeth Butts, I finally felt confident to complete the set-up of my FB Author Page and publish it to the world.

As a follower of my blog, would you please click on the above link and ‘like’ my new page?

Watch there for photos of author events and news about my novel ‘The Uninvited Guest’ as I find new venues to place my story into the hands of mystery readers. I’ll also be posting interesting articles that are writing-related.

THANX!

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images…when your next speaking engagement will pop up!

The past few months have been filled with author talks at libraries, senior centers, and retirement communities, both here in Massachusetts, plus my home state of Delaware, nearby Maryland and Pennsylvania.. As the schedule thins out, I’ve pulled out my file of venues contacted, but unresolved, to stir the pot for additional speaking opportunities.

What I’ve found as I’ve been regaling audiences about my journey as a first-time author, is that invariably, one of them approaches me afterwards, and suggests another group that might be interested in hearing about my writing adventure.

Just the other day, after speaking at the senior center one town over, a lady came up to me and mentioned that the Red Hats meet in that same room the last Tuesday of every month, and might be interested in hearing my author talk. This lady was reluctant to actively pursue the idea on my behalf, so I approached one of the COA administrators, and she has agreed to pass along my contact information to the Red Hats leader during their meeting at the end of this month.

To that end, I’ve created a new flyer with an image of my front cover plus author photo, a description of my author talk, plus both email address and cell phone number. I’ve printed off several to carry with me.

When the next person makes a suggestion for a new venue, I will hand her…or him…a copy of this flyer plus my bookmark that teases a potential reader about my story.

Who says marketing has to be a chore?

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This afternoon, I returned from an educational weekend session with three literary agents. This event was sponsored by the Cape Cod Writers Center, and held at the Colonial House Inn in historic Falmouth, Massachusetts. This old sea captain’s house is one of several that claim ghosts in residence, but none of them visited me during the night!

The three agents guided the fourteen attendees through informative hour-long talks scheduled between the one-on-one sessions with each author. Katherine Sands from NYC spoke about “How to Discourage an Agent Even if You’re a Brilliant Writer”. Paul Fedorko from NYC shared his thoughts about “Finding the Right Agent for You”. And last, but certainly not least, Ann Collette from Boston provided her insight into “The Do’s and Don’ts for Mystery/Thriller Writers”.

My personal one-on-one session was scheduled with Ann Collette on Saturday afternoon. I found Ann to be a delightful woman with a quick wit and a sharp eye for quality. She’d already reviewed and made notations on my first 10 pages. Her suggestions were pointed and constructive, given always with a kind manner and an encouraging smile. As I left our session, my head was bursting with her ideas to improve my storytelling skills and notch up my chances for publication down the road.

Later on Saturday afternoon, we all gathered together to hear Ann and Katherine discuss “Writing the Query Letter”, which was a real eye opener. Concentrate on the unique facets of your story… setting-protagonist-problem. Or as Katherine says, place-person-pivot. Your carefully chosen words need to jump off the page and grab the agent’s attention.The goal is to make the agent want to read more.

Sunday morning provided a three-hour Q&A session with Ann and Katherine, who fielded questions from the attendees. They also shared surprising agent stories as they related to clients found and lost, or passed and regretted. It was an enlightening discussion, and gave us all insights into the inner workings of the agent’s job.

I’m sure I can speak for all the attendees when I say the weekend was well worth the time and cost to attend.

And, so, here I sit at home computer. I’ve pulled up my manuscript and have begun the revision process. As I work, Ann’s thoughts make sense to me, and I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing any of the words that are being deleted. These revisions are only making my story better… whew!

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Yesterday, I attended an all day seminar in Hyannis, MA, sponsored by the Cape Cod Writers Center. The morning presenters shared their knowledge and experience with preparing printed books or manuscripts for e-book publication. It’s much more involved than I would have ever thought. But first thing this morning, I reformatted my entire novel in WORD!

The afternoon speaker from Grub Street spoke about marketing and self-publishing. She sees the big-box publishers as unfair to authors and quickly becoming dinosaurs. There are many relatively-new services out there for the express purpose of helping authors prepare their manuscripts for either or both e-publishing and self-publishing. The expense is not as big as you would think and is becoming more attractive for authors all the time. The payback when your book sells is a bigger piece of the pie than you’d ever receive from a main-stream publisher.

Given my recent disappointment with an agent search, I find I’m leaning more and more toward self-publishing, with the sister offer of an e-book.The best words of advice? Read any contracts carefully and don’t box yourself in with only one distributor!

And so, I now need to master the art of marketing through the social networks!

 

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