Tag Archives: Publishing

Bruce Kasanoff: self-promotion for the Indie author made easy

Bruce Kasanoff

Bruce Kasanoff, author of How To Self-Promote Without Being A Jerk, did an awesome interview on self-promotion for We Eat Books.

Let’s face it authors, self-promotion is what will keep us alive in this Hunger Games-like publishing industry.

Having a strong business background, Kasanoff knows how to build relationships and grow businesses. In this interview, he held nothing back and shared the key to his success.

One of my favorite quotes of his gave some insight on how authors can market better on Twitter, a must use for most authors. He said, “I’ve learned they are highly invested in their work and often have trouble reducing it to something of interest to others that fits in a tweet.”

Can I raise a hand and say, that’s me?

If you want to learn how to market yourself well and build relationships in this technologically-advanced, quickly changing world, then check out Bruce Kasanoff’s interview, and buy his book.

How to Self-Promote Without Being A Jerk
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International bestselling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif: Envisioning your success

International bestselling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif really knows how to look past obstacles and take advantage of opportunities. Her passion pushed her past hardships many authors never have to face while pursuing their literary careers. She did what many accomplished professionals do: predict her success. 2012 would be her year, and according to Miss. Tardif, it definitely is!

Straight from the author’s mouth: Envisioning your success

1. Can you tell us about your journey as a writer?

I started becoming interested in writing and creating stories in school, and at 16 I wrote my first novel, a supernatural horror titled BECKONING WRATH. But someone broke into my locker and stole it. I was devastated. I didn’t attempt another novel until I was 19. I spent a few years querying agents and publishers but became very despondent. No one seemed interested in publishing a young Canadian writer. So I collected rejection letter after rejection letter. I probably have enough to wallpaper my office—twice.

In early 2001, I became obsessed with a story plot. It wouldn’t leave me alone. I thought about it all the time, yet I hadn’t picked up a pen or keyboard. In 2003 I told a friend about the idea, one that had fermented for two years and had grown complete from beginning to end. She cried when I told her the ending. Then she (a non-writer) gave me the best advice ever. She told me I needed to write that story. She said, “Write it for you. Write it because you have to.” So I did. And that story became WHALE SONG, a #1 international bestselling novel about family, tragedy and forgiveness. It was self-published the summer of 2003 and has inspired and changed people’s lives.

In 2004, I self-published/indie published DIVINE INTERVENTION, book 1 of my Divine series. In 2005, THE RIVER was released, a techno-thriller set along the Nahanni River, a mysterious area of Canada’s northwest, an area nicknamed the “Bermuda Triangle of Canada.” In 2006 WHALE SONG was picked up by a traditional publisher who later went bankrupt. In 2010, I published a third edition. I followed this with a horror anthology, SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET & OTHER CREEPY STORIES, and a novelette, REMOTE CONTROL.

2011 was the year everything changed. For me and for the book world. With the popularity of ebooks, came more opportunities. I published ebooks editions of my titles, plus released LANCELOT’S LADY, a romantic suspense written under a pen name of Cherish D’Angelo. Then came CHILDREN OF THE FOG, which is my #1 international bestselling novel of all. DIVINE JUSTICE, book 2 in the Divine series followed shortly. And I released a school edition of WHALE SONG, complete with a discussion guide.

2012 was a year I had predicted would be “my year.” My lucky number is 12. And it has been my best year so far. In fact after huge success and sales of CHILDREN OF THE FOG in March 2012, I published a tell-all ebook, revealing my secret strategies and my personal journey into Amazon’s KDP Select program—one I had balked at, at first. My marketing book HOW I MADE OVER $42,000 IN 1 MONTH SELLING MY KINDLE EBOOKS should be retitled to: HOW I MADE OVER $150,000 IN 7 MONTHS SELLING MY KINDLE EBOOKS.

With this success came two offers for agent representation. I will be signing with Trident Media Group this week. I was also contacted by a senior editor at a major “big 6” publishing company; she’s interested in my work. As well, I’ve been approached by an audio publisher and Amazon personally invited me to participate in two back-to-back special promotions. Yeah, I’d say 2012 is shaping up to be “my year…and then some!”
2. How long did it take you to complete your novels? Can you talk about your writing process?

Whale Song – 3.5 months, edited by me and 2 others. I was driven!

Divine Intervention – 4.5 months, edited by me and 2 others.

The River – 5 months, edited by me and 3 others.

Lancelot’s Lady – 2 months; I completed it for TextNovel and Dorchester Publishing’s Next Best Seller Contest and placed as a semi-finalist.

Divine Justice – 5 months, edited by me and 2 others.

Children of the Fog – 6.5 months, edited by me and 2 others.

3. Any editing tips?

Edit, edit, edit. Learn about editing; brush up on Chicago Manual of Style grammar and punctuation rules! Then find at least 2 people WHO KNOW HOW TO EDIT to edit your book. Drop the ego and take constructive criticism as what it is—a gift. Then edit it again.

4. Who are some of your favorite authors and how have they inspired your writing?

I have too many favorites to name them all, but the three that inspired me most, especially to write paranormal suspense, are Stephen King, Dean Koontz and John Saul.
5. What do you love most about the writing industry? What do you dislike?

I love how the industry is ever evolving. It’s exciting. This is the best and most exciting time to be in this industry! I LOVE being a writer. Never in my life, with all the JOBS I’ve had, have I felt so complete.

I dislike that major publishers still don’t get that readers want lower priced ebooks and they should be lowering the prices to under $8. I actually stopped buying books from my favorite authors because of the prices. I’ve found far too many other authors whose books sell for less—and they’re quite good.
6. Do you have any other books or new releases that you would wish to talk about?

Since I now have a new agent—thank you, Adrienne Lombardo and Trident Media—I am hoping we’ll have a book deal soon. I am currently working on a standalone thriller titled SUBMERGED and another thriller based on true events. I predict both of these will be huge hits.
7. If you could share one tip you learned with self-published and traditionally published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be?

Be bold. Take risks. Learn the business of writing. Learn the business of publishing. Learn how to market yourself and your work—even BEFORE you’re published. And never, ever give up. If you want this badly enough, it’s worth pursuing. Just write your heart out. Oops, sorry. That’s more than one tip, so pick your weakest one.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a Canadian author, whose is best known for Whale Song, which is now available in its third edition, the 2010 ebook edition.

Whale Song, an emotional mystery that explores controversial issues like assisted suicide, school bullies and racism, has captured the attention of numerous film companies. A screenplay, which Cheryl wrote with co-writer Alison Neuman, was completed in 2006, along with a movie treatment.

Cheryl is now in negotiations with a respected film producer/director.

The 2007 paperback edition of Whale Song went out of print as of February 1, 2009. All rights have been returned to the author.

In 2009, Cheryl branched off into romance with her debut romantic suspense Lancelot’s Lady, which will be released as an ebook in late September 2010. Since romance is a different genre from Cheryl’s usual suspense/thrillers and YA, she wrote Lancelot’s Lady under the pen name of Cherish D’Angelo. Lancelot’s Lady was a semi-finalist in the Dorchester Publishing Next Best Celler contest hosted by Textnovel. It also won an Editor’s Choice award from Textnovel in 2010.

A novelette of suspense titled Remote Control was released in ebook edition in July 2010; and a collection of stories titled Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories is slated for release in August 2010.

In September 2005, Cheryl’s gripping action-packed techno-thriller The River was released. This carefully researched novel explores the mysterious Nahanni River area, nanotechnology and man’s obsession with longevity. The River has been compared to works by Michael Crichton, James Patterson, Dean Koontz and Dan Brown.

Cheryl is also the author of the 2004 “sizzling psychic suspense” Divine Intervention, a ‘psi-fi’ suspense thriller (or paranormal romance) that has been compared to works by authors such as Iris Johansen, Kay Hooper and Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb’s ‘In Death’ series.

All of these novels have made Amazon.com’s bestsellers list.

In 2006, Cheryl Kaye Tardif participated in a hilarious new TV series ‘A Total Write-Off’, hosted by comedian Barbara North. In 2004, Cheryl was nominated for the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award. In 2003, she wrote a public service announcement for a racial harmony campaign. Her PSA script, One Voice ~ One World, placed third and was produced and aired on cable channels in Alberta.

Cheryl has not only held hundreds of book signings, she has organized multi-author signings, held a virtual book tour and taught others how to do their own, and she has presented at conferences in Canada and the US. Cheryl is known amongst her peers for her creativity and knowledge regarding book marketing, and in 2009 she embarked on a new venture as a Book Marketing Coach. She is a member of various social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, AmazonConnect and Chapters Online Community.

Cheryl has been interviewed by numerous TV and radio stations in Canada and the US, and she has been featured in a variety of newspapers and magazines in both countries. According to photojournalist, Heather Andrews Miller, who interviewed the author for a Real Estate Weekly article, Cheryl is a “gem in the literary world”. And according to Graham Hicks of the Edmonton Sun, “Cheryl Kaye Tardif specializes in mile-a-minute pot-boiler mysteries, usually set in Western Canadian locales.”

As a teen, Cheryl was a journalist with a weekly newspaper column. Years later, she completed a course in Journalism and Short Story Writing and graduated with Highest Honors. She has worked as a motivational speaker for a respected international company, written material for a number of companies, and worked as a consultant in telemarketing, sales and promotion. But writing fiction with passion and vision is her dream.

Cheryl has completed her next novel, Children of the Fog, a terrifying suspense that asks, “how far are you willing to go for your child?” She has also completed Divine Justice, the second in the Divine mystery series, and has started another thriller, plus a YA novel, Finding Bliss, the first novel to be written on the iPhone 3G using the Notes application.

Born in Vancouver, BC, Cheryl Kaye Tardif was a “military brat” and a “military wife” who has lived all across Canada and in Bermuda. Now residing in Edmonton, AB, with her husband Marc, daughter Jessica and the family dog, she is an author that Booklist calls “a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border”.

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Victoria Smith: Growing a market for New Adult fiction

New adult author and book blogger Victoria Smith gives us some insight on how she built a community of likeminded individuals over the internet, creating an impressive online presence.

Promoting new adult fiction through book reviews, networking, and promotions, she has helped many authors gain success and a voice in an underappreciated market.

Looking for a reviewer or someone to connect with? Check out Miss. Smith’s blogs and NA Alley, a resource for all interested in new adult fiction.

Having recently obtained a publishing contract for her science fiction romance novel, The Crimson Hunt, Miss. Smith offers some advice on creating a query package. She has provided links to submissions.

If you do nothing, click on the links below and check out her examples. Examples of synopses and queries helped me create a straight-to-the-point cover blurb, landing me review requests even though I am self-published author. So thank you Miss. Smith for sharing the love and knowledge.

Straight from the blogger’s mouth: Growing a market for New Adult Fiction

Can you tell me about your blog and the objective you hope to achieve?

Sure!  My blog is about my journey as a new writer as I write characters that fall between the categories of Adult and Young Adult fiction.  I write what’s called “New Adult” fiction, which features characters that are usually between the ages of 18 – 30.  “New Adult” displays these characters’ journey as they transition into adulthood.  They can be featured in college, starting their first jobs, or paying their first bills.  The publishing industry hasn’t really taken to this type of fiction yet, so my blog discusses my experience with writing this type of fiction despite the low market for it.  I also review books, which feature twenty-something aged characters, so others can read books about “New Adult” characters.  I try to spread awareness of this new category through my experiences writing it and the reviews I do.

 

As a book reviewer, what do you look for when you consider reviewing a book? 

 

First, I have to make sure that the books I review are perfect for the audience that reads my blog.  I try to feature books that are, what I like to call, “perfect for twenty-somethings.”  It can be Young Adult fiction or Adult fiction, but it has to be able to reach that audience.  A good example would be maybe a 17 or 18-year-old character that has become completely independent due to unique circumstances.  Say they are a single parent, or they have become the soul provider of their family because of an injured parent.  Maybe they grew up in hardships and have had to rely on themselves to survive.  These are mature experiences that could definitely relate to twenty-something readers and writers.

I also try to make sure that romance is one of the central themes of the writing.  I love reading Young Adult and Adult romances and find those stories compelling. I’m also a big fan of speculative fiction in contemporary settings.  Say a girl is a college student by day and a superhero at night or the local bartender down the street who took the job to pay for school is an undercover alien.  I love seeing stories like these!

 

How did you get your blog started and how long did it take before you saw results?

I started my blog November of 2011.  It took about a month and a half when I started gaining more followers.  I held contests and joined Twitter.  I also sought out other bloggers who reviewed books like I did, or were writers like me.  I commented and participated on their blogs then they would come to mine and do the same.  Before I knew it, I started to get a following and the rest is history as you say!

 

What are some tips?

The biggest tips I can give are to join Twitter and find other blogs like yourself. You have to network if you want people to come to your blog.  Make friends! Not only is it fun, but you also get to meet some cool people.

 

As a writer, I know you said you were undergoing the querying process. Can you talk about a bit about your book, the querying process and what you have learned?

I actually just started researching the querying process recently for my new adult science fiction romance, THE CRIMSON HUNT.  My book is about a college junior who falls for a mysterious collegiate on her campus.  But her involvement with him lands her at the heart of a murder, in which she has been named the prime suspect.  He is the only one who truly knows of her innocence, so she becomes completely reliant on him to survive.  But as the two become closer, she realizes that he may have had more involvement with the murder than he lets on. She has to determine who her true allies are before she loses more than just her rights as a free citizen.

 

With this project, I was editing and getting my packages together for publishers because I knew I would be submitting it by the end of the summer.  I created a standard package by making a two-page synopsis, blurb, and query letter, which included a blurb about the book and my writing credentials.  While getting the package together, I heard about a contest from an editor that was actively seeking new adult manuscripts.  I entered the contest about a month ago and won.  Here’s my entry here.  I submitted my full manuscript to them and they offered me a contract for publication about two weeks ago!  So, I am now officially a new adult author.  Here’s the announcement I made on my blog about it here.

I suppose I learned that you just have to make sure that you concentrate on your work first and foremost.  Really polish your manuscript to the best of your ability, so when opportunities like pitch contests and other things come around you are prepared.  Obtain a critique partner and beta readers to read your work.  They’ll catch things that you might not necessarily have seen yourself.

 

If you could share a bit of wisdom with aspiring authors who desire to create a successful blog, what would it be?

As writers we naturally want to show our work to the world, so it’s easy to only want to discuss your personal craft on your blog.  But what you have to make sure of is that there is a balance.  Research your reader and feature things that they would like to see on your blog then insert your own stuff into the mix.  You’ll build a following then you can feature more and more of your own work.  Make sure you network with other writers and readers via Facebook, blogging, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. to create friendships.  They will come to you if you come to them with the same awesome attitude and spirit!

Connect with Miss. Victoria Smith:

 

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Valerie Bowman: writing to seduce

Seducing readers to read your novel to the very end is a dirty business, one that is not for the weak-fingered.

Valerie Bowman, a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalist and author of  the historical romance novel Secrets Of A Wedding Night, seduces readers with strong plot. Some of her writing wiles are  preparing a strong story and character outline. This foundation leads to creating short and intense scenes in her chapters.

RWA really focuses on drilling this type of writing into its members heads. When I attend workshops, every workshop leader will chant, “plot, plot, plot.” They’ll shout even louder, “conflict, conflict, conflict.” It’s the blood a manuscript needs. Without it? Well, you can start opening bottles of wine and digging a grave.

Taking all that she has learned in RWA workshops, Bowman landed herself a contract with St. Martin’s Press.  In her author feature, she reveals some of the tools she used to entice readers to the final page.

Straight from the author’s mouth: writing to seduce

1. Can you tell us about Secrets of a Wedding? Why did you choose to write this story?

SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT is a Regency romance novel. It’s the first story in my Secret Brides trilogy. It’s about a destitute widow who writes a scandalous pamphlet to thwart the marital ambitions of the marquis who broke her heart five years ago. When the marquis shows up on her doorstep and demands she write a retraction or prepare to be seduced, the fun begins!

I decided to write SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT after I came up with the title, actually. It just came to me one night. I loved it. Then I had to think of a story that matched the title. So far, this is the only story I’ve written where I came up with the title first!

2. How long did it take you to complete Secrets of a Wedding Night? Can you talk about your writing process?

Let’s see. I began writing SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT in July 2010, I believe, and I was done in time to enter the manuscript into the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart contest which closes around Thanksgiving. Happy to say, it was a 2011 finalist! I was so thrilled.

As for my writing process, it has evolved the longer I write. Basically, I need the general plot, characterization, GMC, character arcs, and turning points to be mapped out before I can begin. I type out roughly 40 chapter headings (I love to keep my chapters short [5-7 pages mostly] to write TO hooks) and then I type 1-2 sentences for each chapter directly underneath the heading, indicating what the scene will be about and ensuring each scene has a goal. Once I like the layout of the chapters, it’s just a matter of typing quickly.

“When I go back to edit, I spend time on the details”

3. Any editing tips? 

I’ve learned I’m a fast draft writer, which basically means when I’m typing that first draft, I don’t let anything stop me including word usage or historical research. I just type, type, type. When I go back to edit, I spend time on the details including burying my nose in the etymological dictionary online. LOVE that thing! Also, while I’m writing, I highlight anything I think needs more work in blue/bold text and then when I edit, it’s flagged for me to spend more time on it.

4. Who are some of your favorite authors and how have they inspired your writing?

Lisa Kleypas is one of my all-time favorites and she’s greatly inspired my writing. I was stuck in a snowed-in airport in February 2007 and had read all the books I’d brought with me. I found one of Lisa’s books in the airport bookstore. It saved me from a three-hour flight delay AND by the time I was finished, I was seriously inspired to write. Lisa was kind enough to provide a cover quote for SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT and that moment, when I received her email with her lovely quote, was truly a dream come true for me. Seriously, I had a dream about it once. : )

5. What do you love most about the writing industry? What do you dislike? 

I love that it’s an industry full of people doing what they love. You don’t always find that in other industries. It’s really a passion for most people in the industry and that’s a wonderful thing to be a part of. Dislike? Well, I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of change (who is, right?) and the publishing industry seems to change on an hourly (I’m only exaggerating a little!) basis these days. It can be kind of overwhelming, but it’s also a smorgasbord of opportunity for writers.

6. Do you have any other books or new releases that you would wish to talk about? SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT is part of a trilogy.

The second book, SECRETS OF A RUNAWAY BRIDE, will be released in Spring 2013 and SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS MARRIAGE will be released Fall 2013. Some of my favorite characters from WEDDING NIGHT get their happily ever afters in the sequels.
7. If you could share one tip you learned with self-published and traditionally published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be? 

When I was a little girl, my mom used to quote some famous actor (though I’m really not sure who originated this quote and a Google search turned up a variety of supposed sources). “If anything can stop you, let it.” I adore this quote. And it completely applies to the publishing industry. You have to want it badly enough to just keep writing, querying, submitting, and writing more. No matter what.

Connect with Valerie Bowman:

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Summer Lane: Writing Belle, Indie and self published authors welcomed

Having published her own book, Snappy Social Networking: How to Dominate the Blogosphere & Everything in Between, Summer Lane loves to connect with other authors online.

She reviews both young adult and new adult fiction on her blog, Writing Belle. A lover of indie and self-published books, she spends a lot of time reading books from such authors.

Miss. Lane has even gone as far as turning the dreadful Monday into something fire-filled and fantastic!

Read below and see how Miss. Lane accomplished such a feat. It will inspire you to create something unique for your own blogs.

Straight from the author’s mouth: Writing Belle, Indie and self-published authors welcomed

Can you tell me about your blog and the objective you hoped to achieve?

I started my blog, Writing Belle, last year because I wanted to create a public platform for myself as an author, but I also wanted to connect with other people who were excited about writing and publishing. The purpose of my blog is to accomplish three different things: to talk about the art of writing and surviving in the publishing business, to review books (especially self-published books), and to have fun!

Can you talk about Indie Mondays?

Sure! Indie Mondays is something I created with the purpose of spotlighting self-published and indie-published authors. I spend a lot of time reading indie books, and I think self-publishing is well on its way to becoming the way for an established author. You don’t have to be dependent on big-time publishing houses because of the Internet, the Kindle, the Nook, the blogosphere, Twitter, and all sorts of other incredible tools at your fingertips. I love self-published books – and I feature them pretty much every Monday on Indie Monday!

As a book reviewer, what do you look for when you consider reviewing a book?

I look for uniqueness and category. I generally review Young Adult and New Adult – and occasionally a memoir or biography if I like the subject matter. I won’t review erotica because that’s just not me – but I adore romance within the YA and NA categories. I also love the author who can look beyond the Edward/Bella storyline and create an entirely new story. Liz Long, Richelle Mead, Colleen Houck, Summer Day, are all authors who are both bestselling or self-published…and their stories are all unique.

I love your blog design, what inspired it?

Thank you! When I first started my blog, I didn’t even know how to center my header – let alone create one. Today my inspiration is summer vacation. I basically like to change my blog design along with the shifting seasons. My mom also taught me to love shabby chic antiques, so I use those colors (minty greens, pale pinks, turquoise blues) on my blog, too.

How did you get your blog started and how long did it take before you saw results?

I started it by accident, to be honest. When I was in High School I had named my blog Writing Belle, but I forgot about it for a few years. After I finished my first semester of college I decided to play around with it – and it quickly became clear to me that it was an amazing platform for anybody interested in writing or publishing. I would say it took about three months before I started getting lots of traffic and involvement from the blogging community.

What are some tips?

Three things: Consistency, consistency, consistency! It’s important to keep posting on a regular basis. Readers want to have fresh, updated information – especially in a world where trending topics on twitter shift literally every 2 minutes. Also, interact with as many other bloggers as possible. Build those friendships. It’s the single best way to become successful.

If you could share a bit of wisdom with aspiring authors who desire to create a successful blog, what would it be?

Be true to yourself. It sounds kind of weird – this is blogging, not high school after all – but as you blog, you’ll find that there is some pressure to do what everybody else is doing on their blogs, from interviews to features. It’s being unique that will make your blog highly successful. I wrote a book about being a successful blogger called Snappy Social Networking: How to Dominate the Blogosphere & Everything in Between. But the most important thing of all is to have fun. I have met people from all over the world because I started blogging, and I’m enjoying every minute of it!

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Maryann Reid: tips from a book marketing expert

If you have not heard about the marketing powerhouse, Maryann Reid, then please check out Maryann Reid: guerilla marketing book strategies to catapult your career.

This phenomenal author managed to get her first book, Sex and The Single Sister, published at age 25 by creating a market for herself.

Using innovative book marketing strategies, she has garnered attention from media personalities such as Oprah and Wendy Williams. Her hard work has paid off with over 25 million press hits from around the world.

In her bootcamp titled, Sell It Before You Write It, Reid gives away the book marketing strategies she used to attract agents and publicity.

She also gives you a taste of the kind of mindset we authors need to have if we are going to set ourselves apart in the self-publishing industry, a market that is overcrowded with talent and potential.

Straight from the author’s mouth: tips from a book marketing expert

1. You have written several books such as Marry Your Baby Daddy, Use Me or Lose Me, and Sex and the Single Sister. Can you tell me about these titles? What inspired you to write them?

All of these titles have in common empowered central female characters I like to call alpha females or “Alphanistas”.   I love to talk to people who have changed their destinies, who took control of their future, who stop playing victims and start becoming active creators in their life.  If I loved that so much, I figured I’d enjoy writing about them even more.

 2. How long did it take you to finish each book? Can you talk about your writing process?

I’m published by a traditional publisher.  We have deadlines of about several months.  During that time it can feel like you have to write the book half over.  However, the process from the very beginning takes me about three months.  I start from page 1 and don’t stop.  I tried outlines, they never work and feel contrived.  I just jump in and hit “go”.  I do find that this method can lead to writer’s block.  One way I overcome that is by listening to myself.  That means I have to step back and feed my energy.  It may take days or weeks.  I may need to have some fun, get into some new conversations or just get several nights of good sleep.  I don’t beat myself up.  What people call writer’s block, I just like to think of it as intuition needing to come out and play.  Intuition can’t be serious all the time!  It takes the spontaneity out of creation.

Part of the writing process should include the question “How am I gonna market this?”  When coaching clients, I tell them to think of this before the book is even written or finished.  Infuse ideas into the story you can market later.  It’s called merchandising.  It’s a real department at publishing businesses.  They make products out of successful books that are not the book itself.  Think of what kind of workshops, blogs, memes, movements, or inventions you can create with your book.  That is apart of the writing process as well!

3. Any editing tips?

Hire a professional.  You can only edit yourself so much, and you are limited by your limitations.

4. I noticed you were featured on ABC News, NBC, Wendy Williams, and other great networks. Can you talk about what it is like being featured on these shows? What do you have to do to prepare?

That is my element.  Because of what I write about and how I market my books, especially Marry Your Baby Daddy, the media seems to contact me first without the help of a publicist.  When I am on tv or the radio I feel like I’m shining inside.  It feels natural and fun.  Of course, I’m nervous because I have a tendency to say things I shouldn’t.  I often have to reel myself in and tell myself “behave”, so I can convey exactly the points I want to get across. Now that I have matured and had more practice, it’s like a natural flow.  I had a casting call the other day, and I barely blinked.  It felt like I was supposed to be there.  I was supposed to do this.  To prepare, I just make sure I have a good outfit, and, while being interviewed, I leave the audience with something to think about and a way to contact to me.

5. Many authors are starting to do video blogs and feature themselves in book trailers. What advice do you have when it comes to creating a strong presence for video?

Video is important.  The key here is to be original.  Not every writer belongs in front of a video camera!  Know when you are to hire professionals.  If you can’t be in the video, write the script.  Video blogs and trailers give the reader a sense of not just your book, but who you are.  Make sure if it’s somebody playing you or the REAL YOU, that you share yourself and vulnerabilities.  Nobody is really interested in how Pam met Dan.  They want to know how you met Pam and Dan, and why THEY should care.  If you are spending the money on this.  Do it right. 

6. If you could share one tip you learned with self-published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be?

Finding an agent is free.  If the cost of self publishing is too expensive or cumbersome, who says you can’t look for an agent at the same time?  Who says you have to do one or the other?  I always tell my clients to explore the route of someone paying you for your work, instead of you spending your own money on it.  There is a credibility when an entity wants to buy in to you.  This doesn’t matter to all authors.  If it does, then go for it and get an agent!

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Author Devan Sipher of The Wedding Beat: All or nothing

When Devan Sipher, author of The Wedding Beat, began writing his story, he knew it was all or nothing.

He wrote 12 to 15 hours a day, six days a week for a year and a half.

While writing, he made sure to make every page a page turner.

I read the book and I think Sipher succeeded.

In the short-but-sweet glimpse into his writing process, Sipher shares his number one tip to writing a novel that landed him attention from a big six publishing house.

Straight from the author’s mouth: Writing full steam ahead

Why did you choose to write this book?

For five years I was a single guy writing the Vows wedding column at The New York Times. It occurred to me that my life would seem somewhat amusing (if I wasn’t living it). Then the movie 27 Dresses came out, with a male romantic lead who seemed to write the column I wrote at the newspaper I worked for, and I figured if someone was going to steal my life, it should be me.

How long did it take you to write it?

I wrote the book in a year over a year and a half, six days a week 12 to 15 hours a day. You could say I was driven. I had never written a novel before (or anything as long), and I was so intimidated by the prospect I felt I needed to do it full steam ahead or I might be tempted to give up.

Any editing tips you used to help you get to the final draft?

On every page ask: What does the character want? How badly do they want it? Why do they want it now? What’s stopping them from getting it? On every page.

If you could share one tip you learned with self-publishers who share the dream of one day being published, what would it be?

Be ruthless with yourself about your writing, and try to find a writing group of kind and smart people – and preferably sane. But kind and smart are more important.

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