Monday, December 31, 2012

HONORING GIFTS


Like most, I’m eager to welcome in the new year and challenge myself with projects put off far too long.  Through my elation, I’m also aware of those who’ve fallen by the wayside too soon.  I think about celebrities like Whitney Houston, the children from Newtown, and the stifled creative souls of those giving up as I type these words.

I must admit, years earlier, my resolutions reflected a gamut of endeavors such as combatting procrastination, exercising and reading more books.  Now, I find ways to honor my writing.  I eavesdrop on conversations in the waiting room at the dentist office, hoping for a nugget to make inclusive in my next literary work.

Oftentimes, I’m awakened in the middle of the night by a dream, then, I begin to jot down ideas. This is something I welcome with opened arms! I’m obsessed with writing.  Every movie I see and book I read, affords me the opportunity to get my juices going.

I’m aware that writing is a gift that I will not be sidetracked from. I delve into projects with the same dynamism as any other profession that impacts the world.

Words can make a difference; they can change the mindset of many and move a nation toward democracy. It’s my duty as an author, to honor my love for writing. I think about all those who’ve shared their gifts and left an imprint on the world, and I think to myself: I'll do it too.

Monday, December 17, 2012

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR FIRST BOOK SIGNING


There is much debate about the usefulness of book signings. Many authors feel their efforts far outweigh their returns when they’ve sold only six books. While this may seem dismal, book signings are great for newbie authors.

 
Be professional.

Book signings represent a fractional element to your brand.  How you look and speak makes a statement. Another way to polish your image is to have business cards.
 
 Send out letters.

Let nearby libraries and bookstores know about your book.  Don’t be afraid to mention that you live in the community. Contact local TV and radio stations, as well.  Writers should use these mediums to their advantage.

 Handout promotional items and treats.

Place a small jar of treats on your desk. When you hand out treats, bookmarks, business cards, and other give-a-ways, this allows the public to see you as first-rate. They will assume your book is as well.

 Make it fun.

You’ve worked too long on your book to act shy now! Stand, if possible, while chatting with your audience, and create fun facts involving the subject of your book.

 Giving them a reason to want your book.

Let the crowd know why they need your book.  If it’s on world travel, convince them of the advantages traveling to Europe provides, opposed to a “staycation.”  When your work is well done, it sells itself.  It’s your job to let people know why they’re better off with your book in their hands.

 Thank you notes.

Common courtesy can go a long way. Send out "thank you" cards after your book signings.  It puts the spotlight on your professionalism and allows businesses to observe you as a step ahead of the rest.

What creative ideas do you have pertaining to book signings?

 

Monday, December 3, 2012

WRITING TRUTHS AUTHORS MAY NOT SHARE


 

Authors are oftentimes more than willing to share the plight of their latest novels.  They may run through the timeline and history of events, and give details of how difficult, unsafe even, their efforts came to be.

Nonetheless, writers, impressive as they may appear, have run into road blocks at one point or another.

 

Publishing Houses.

More often than not, writers go through a long list of publishing houses, only to receive sterile rejection notices stating “thanks, but no thanks.” This doesn’t mean the manuscript lacked quality. Then again, maybe the manuscript wasn’t up to par.

 

Putting in the time.

There are plenty of clich├ęs that surrender to the truth behind “not having enough time in one day.”  Still, it is the writer’s responsibility to invest in his/her craft.

 

Check it again.

Research and accurate information is vital to any written work.  Once a statistic or fact comes up weak, the author loses credibility.

 

Knowing the writing rules.

The best authors have cringed at some of their earlier publications. Develop a proof-reading regimen that covers: grammar, (adverbs, adjectives, qualifiers) punctuation, (commas, semi colon, and colons) and writing style.

Revisions are a must.

There is no set number to revising one’s work.  For some, it may be five times, while others will repeat the process fifty.

 

What writing secrets have you kept to yourself?