Sunday, 1 May 2011

Publicize Your Book . . .

It was after 2 a.m.  I heard a noise.  Was someone outside, or were the pipes banging?  I slipped out of bed and tiptoed through the dark house.  "OUCH!" I yelped, smashing my foot into the corner of a bookcase.  Pain, pain, pain!  I hobbled to the kitchen for an icepack.  Forget the noise.  I crawled back into bed.  Ever try to sleep with an icepack under your covers?

By Easter morning my middle toe was BLACK, topped with one Double-Dip Red toenail.  I think I broke my toe!

Church was joy-filled.  And brunch was scrumptious . . . I had a chicken liver omelet!  But the Ronald Reagan museum was out.  Too much walking.  Sorry Sandy. said to keep my foot elevated.

Publicize Your Book by Jacqueline Deval is an outstanding source brimming with ideas.  So many my head was swimming.  So I decided to start with one or two.  Dig deep and do them well before moving on to the next.  Whether you're trying to land an agent, or publish yourself, this book offers valuable marketing tools . . . knowledge that will put you steps ahead of most writers.

Write a blog once a week . . . sits at the top of my TO DO LIST.  Of course, I still work, go to school, clean, shop, cook, and all the other mundane chores a woman feels obligated to do.  Sometimes I wonder why.  But then I remember . . . my mother!  And that's how I was raised.  I often think . . . what would happen if I didn't make my bed today?  Would the Clean and Tidy Fairy turn me into a toad?  Being a writer, I do love to stay in my PJ's and write until noon.  That is, when I'm not working.

April 21, 2011

Heavy clouds left a mist clinging to my windshield like frosted glass.  But I didn't care.  It was Thursday and I was on my way to class.  Only thing to stop me would be a mudslide across Pacific Coast Highway, which only happened once.  Or gas reaching $8.00 a gallon!

Yet, once I reached Santa Barbara, the heaven's parted spilling warm sunshine over the lush green mountains, sprinkled with tiny houses like confetti after a party.  I love this town.

Cork Millner's easy-going, yet unique style of teaching captivates his students.  The first two-thirds of each semester deals with the fundamentals of Unleashing Your Creativity and Writing Creative Nonfiction.  Though my memoir was complete prior to my first class, I am now filled with brilliant ideas of what to write next.  Each class I've attended I've learned something new, something I never knew before.

Did you know that Shakesphere was the first writer to use a comma?

My Journey into Publishing . . . 

Spring 2010

If you do not write for publication, there is little point to writing at all.  
                                                                                         George Bernard Shaw

How You Can Become A Selling Writer, the introduction page in Write From The Start, grabbed my attention.  And many others.  However, my first real lesson began in Part Three, How To Sell What You Write.  Chapter twelve started with my first mind-bender, Writing Irresistable Query Letters.  To be honest, I had no idea what a query letter was . . . nor how to write one.  After all, I wrote a book.  Was this necessary?  Yes!!

Cork Millner drummed the need for this instrument into my head each week.  No query letter, no book sale.  I had no choice.  This painful process took me back to square one, screaming and kicking because I knew he was right.

Think of a query as a fishing trip . . . you're trying to hook an editor into taking a look at your manuscript.

A book query is a one-page sales pitch.  It should include the following information (plus some):

   *  The focus, theme or slant of your book
   *  Why the book will fill a need
   *  The potential market for your book
   *  Your expertise on the subject
   *  Your publishing credits, (if any)

And when I heard what it was, my immediate reaction was IMPOSSIBLE!  You've got to put all that on one page?  You're kidding me!  It's like writing the Lord's Prayer on the head of a pin.

Lessons I've Learned . . . my two cents.

Where do I find time to write?  The number one question all writers have.  In the beginning, I wrote in the evenings after work, but my brain was fried.  And so was my writing.  Yet on weekends, I could start in the morning and write into the night.  What could I do during the week?

I'm a morning person, but I had to leave for work at 7:15 a.m.  How could I write in the morning?  I read about a writer who set her alarm 30 minutes earlier every three days and left it there.  A gradual process of "making time to write."  Your body and your mind barely notice.  And it worked!!! 

In the end, I got up at 3:40 a.m., made coffee and was at my computer ready to write by 4 a.m.  And for me this was perfect!!  My mind loved the discipline and the words flowed freely.  And I came to know the morning bird who sang first, slowly waking all the other birds.  A glorious way to start the day . . .

Lesson learned . . . You don't find the time, you make the time!

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