Wednesday Writer’s Cafe 1/13 – late

Last night’s cafe was preempted by an emergency meeting at my son’s coop. Why does everything have to happen on Wednesday? Serious? There isn’t another night in the week that people could make things happen?

So there were some issues with the financial future of the coop which the board is now  handling in an appropriate manner in my opinion. And there are a lot of open positions at the coop that need filling. But all in all it will survive for another year. LOL.

I’m on the scheduling committee, which I love. I love to put everything in it’s place. It’s that OCD part of me that would have allowed Napoleon to take Russian, even in winter. LOL. Went out with the other ladies on the committee last night after the general assembly which is why I didn’t get about to posting til I slept that off.


I’ve decided to report on my stated 2016 goals each Wednesday at cafe for a little prod of accountability.

– Research marketing locations for the next free giveaway for Scripting the Truth. Figure out the Reddit problem. Fine tune my categorization on amazon.

√ Finished “How to publish a best seller” This week. A post on it will be up this weekend. I’ve also been following a number of blogs where bloggers detail marketing options and sites they tried and their response to formulate a list for myself to try out as soon as I get to ten reviews on Amazon.

– Write 2500 plus words per week on my 2015 Nano novel til completion. (Only another 5-6 weeks to go on that, I think.)

√ I think I finished writing my first pass this week, I’m not really sure though. There is so much clean up work to be done but since I am kicking off the Nano to Publish year long workshop series this Saturday, I will allow it to be done. As a humorous side note, I apparently gave my main character a dog in a throw away line at the start of the novel and never again mentioned him. As I sat on my couch one morning I actually said “I have a dog?” when I read the line and my dog lifted his head and looked at me. Never a good sign when your own dog thinks you’re an idiot. LOL Words: 1534 written and 2 chapters edited with about an even trade: words removed = words added.

– Participate in one flash fiction challenge per month.

√ Finished my flash fiction for January and just on time. LOL Posted last Friday. You can find it here if you missed it.

– Prepare and teach “Nano to Publish”.

√ Preparation underway. Outline and handouts for the class are done and waiting for Saturday.

– Edit my 2015 Nano Novel for 2016 publication.

√ Just started first pass editing, 2 chapters done this week.

– Any time I am not actively working on my 2015 Nano Novel, write 2500 words per week on my spy novel until it is done. (After four years, it’s time to put this mess to bed.)

-Non Applicable at this time.

Non writing goals

– Prepare and teach two classes at the coop for the 2016-2017 school year.

√ I actually wrote my proposal last weekend. I submitted Nano to Publish. I was thinking that was going to be it but after talking to the scheduling committee last night, I will be writing a proposal for a cooking class today for submission as well.

– Take better care of my body, ie. stop compulsively painting, crocheting, and writing until my back or shoulder is so tore I can barely use either. Which leads me to …

√ One incident of excruciating shoulder pain because I painted too long. sigh.

– yoga daily.

√ 3 out of 7. Ouch. This week was rough.

Aren’t You Beautiful….

Well, aren’t you?

Last night was writers cafe, I had super good intentions about how much I was going to get written. I had a sitter, she even showed up,  I was ready to write given that I got little done yesterday morning and then it happened….

the Writers Cafe. We should give up the premise that anyone gets more than a few words written at these things. I did manage to hold the line long enough to get my spies out of Mongolia and into Moscow. Out of the pan and into the fire one might say but then I got a text.

To back up, a few weeks ago at the cafe I was told I needed to think about my author’s photo for that book I’m going to publish this summer. Not to mention for my blog (what my laptop and fingers shot isn’t going to cut it?), and for my promotional materials. Ugh. Marketing. I hate Marketing. I have a whole blogs about it hating it and panels I went to so I could hate it a little less.

The problem with marketing, for me anyway, is that these days you aren’t just selling your book, you’re selling yourself as well. Readers want to know their authors. I am so not comfortable with that. I don’t want to be looked at. I want to be invisible behind my screen and produce novels that do my talking for me. Yes, I know, reality check.

So I texted a friend I am going to see in a few weeks, who’s taken most of the pictures of me I have ever liked, and asked her to take my author photos for me. Last night she texted and asked me to find examples of pictures I might like, I had said I wanted whimsical and weird/arty shots, and we would recreate them. LOL. Down the google rabbit hole I went.

So this is my question to you, what would your author photo look like if you had money, time, and a professional photographer who knew how to get the best out of you?

Have a Cigar Dear Boy

…And did we tell you the name of the game, boy? We call it riding the gravy train…

The days of a publisher accepting your book, granting a contract, and providing the marketing to make you a success are over. If they ever really existed. These days most publishers are not going to spend more than a penny to make you a success, until you are a success and they can hop on that gravy train and really make it roll.

So the trick is, you not only have to be a creative genius and write something of value but you need a degree in marketing to make the public want to read it. One of the first panels I went to at Norwescon was Marketing for People who Hate Marketing. Ding. That would be me.

The first thing I heard was market without being desperate. Pick one or two media outlets and do them well. Do not saturate people with your commentary. Do not hit the same audience on five platforms. You will bore them. They will turn against you.

Digital marketing: mostly free which makes for great ROI. You can also target your ads, setting a cost limit. Facebook favors your posts if you are paying for advertising with them. Bookbub reaches tons of readers. One panelist reported selling 1300 copies of her e-book in two days with bookbub. Project wonderful does banner ads and they can really drill down into your target audience.

Consider a mailing list so you can really target your readers with important news.

Blogging and human interaction maybe be the best way to advance your career. Interact with people and treat them like people who matter.

Giveaways always bump up your readership. Short stories, the first book in a series, a few free chapters. They all give people a taste of your style that costs them only the time they spend reading you.

Most important: the quality of your work added to who you are is what makes you stand out. Stay authentic. Do only what you are comfortable with and live with the line you draw. Indie publishing gives you total control but it also gives you total responsibility.