Friday, April 24, 2009

RED HOT from the REDHEAD >>> Free Tele-seminar on Book PR

Authors -- Want A Lot More Publicity For Your Books?
Received this e-mail from Publishers Lunch today. A free tele-seminar on PR strategies for books? Sure! Sign me up! Read more and sign up below:

Authors -- Want A Lot More Publicity For Your Books?Join us for a free telephone seminar on Tuesday, April 28th and discover publicity strategies that really work. Would you like to attract a lot more media attention for your book, while also making a name for yourself as an expert in your field? Join me for a free 75-minute telephone seminar on Tuesday, April 28th and discover publicity strategies such as: What a Good Morning America producer told me is the absolute best way to pitch his show -- something very few publicity-seekers do but which dramatically increases your chances of getting booked; Understanding a journalist's mindset and how it differs by type of media outlet; Five proven ways to create a compelling publicity "hook" or angle; The surprisingly simple strategy a former Oprah guest booker told me everyone should use when pitching the show and more! Click here to register.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Time For A CopperPot-Luck

I've stashed away several tasty tidbits over the last few weeks. Instead of cooking up something big, I'm throwing it all together for a CopperPot-Luck. So, my fellow writers, nibble on these goodies:

**Low on cash but you still want to take a writing class? Connect to a list of 48 "free" online writing education opportunities.

**Thinking an e-newsletter might be a good addition to your marketing plan? Check out http://www.enewslettersuccess.com/. Their free report, E-Newsletter Success, will teach you how to create, launch and maintain a successful e-mail newsletter.

**If you believe your writing is just as good as work you read in well-known literary magazines, here's a way to find out. The New Anonymous is an annual literary journal that not only publishes all work anonymously but also blindly screens and edits its submissions. It's the even playing field that rewards the work, not the writer. They are actively seeking submissions.

**Free Audio Books reports: More women are reading e-books - No longer the male gadget freaks. Today’s typical e-book reader is a woman, “between 40 and 50 years old, who tends to have a higher-than-average income and level of education.” A few years ago, by contrast, the most likely consumer of e-books was a male gadget freak. About 55% of traditional book readers are women, says Pendergrast, and he sees the fact that more women are now reading e-books as a healthy sign for the market. CSM Pendergrast also points to the recent addition of e-book readers for iPhone and BlackBerryElectronic users and predicts a “huge surge” in e-book sales in 2010.

And, that's what I call CopperPot Luck ! Tasty, nutritious, and hopefully, very filling.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

RED HOT from the RED HEAD >>> Valuable Website

Just sitting around on a Sunday night, watching Law and Order while I surf around the web. And, look what I found!! GumboWriters.com. There's a poll on the most popular e-reader, video interviews with agents, samples of winning query letters. What's not to like?

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Checking out the view from our soon-to-be bedroom window at the Sparta, NC, mountain house.
See more construction shots, trip logs, and photos at our home site, http://www.melbarbara.com/.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Don't Fear the Elevator (Speech)

On May 9th I'll pitch my second novel, working title ALSO KNOWN AS ELLIE, at the second annual Atlanta Writers Club Writers Conference. I have five minutes to pitch ELLIE to agent Elizabeth Evans from Reece Halsey Literary Agency. So far I have five pages of snippets to condense into my five minutes. It's really, really, hard! But, I know it's really, really important.

This brings up the topic of the ever-dreaded "elevator speech" and the fact that many published authors don't take interest in marketing their book until it's finished and offered on a Web site. Book Coach Judy Cullins says this is hindsight thinking. She suggests authors take advantage of opportunities that arise daily.

Read her checklist for writing your One-Minute Blurb: How to Write your Marketing Message-the Tell and Sell. I'm working through her checklist for ELLIE to pare my five pages of snippets down to a smooth pitch I can deliver with confidence.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Perfect Mix of Mental and Physical

I'm writing this post from our room at the Alleghany Inn in Sparta, NC. After a day's labor on our building site, hauling lumber, sweeping debris, and smoothing out freshly poured concrete, I'm in my jammies checking e-mails. Lights out early tonight.

Other than sneaking in a few chapters of The Poet of Loch Ness by Brian Jay Corrigan, my only writerly activity today was composing a couple of agent query letters. As of last weekend I've sent out ten queries. Eight of them were classic queries, including a letter and between one and three sample chapters. One was hard copy via snail mail, and another was submitted by filling out a query form on the agency website. That last submission was sent out late one evening and received a polite, "thanks but no thanks" within twenty-four hours, Ouch!

Correction: I did another writerly thing today. I read a week's worth of Chris Brogan's blog . . . every word. The title of his blog is "Community and Social Media" and every post has thought provoking content that is applicable to book marketing. For my fellow bloggers, here's a link to a list of "20 Blog Topics to Get You Unstuck."

It's been a full day of physical labor and mental stimulation. Pretty darn perfect.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

RED HOT from the REDHEAD >>>Free Book Promo

Blog Talk Radio is one of my favorite places for author interviews, book reviews, and industry news. Now there is a new show on BTR called Blurb!

If you are a published author it's a chance for free publicity. If you are in the YTBP, (yet to be published) category, it's an opportunity to hear authors pitch in every genre, and then hear critiques of their presentation. Here's the show description:

Bestselling author Sally Shields and publishing guru Dr. Kent host a brand new book show like no other.
Each guest or call-in author has a mere three minutes to convince the hosts that theirs is the book worth cracking. If they succeed, they capture the coveted Book of the Week title. That means Sally and Dr. Kent not only read and review the winning work, but post it prominently on the Blurb! website – and invite its author(s) on their show a for a live pitch to thousands of listeners.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Nourishment

I spend lots of time reading blogs. A recent post on the Guide to Literary Agent Blogs site listed the top agent blogs. As previously confessed, research is my daily bread and I love a good blog buffet. Each of these blogs is on my regular reading diet and I suggest you add them to yours.

Bon Appetit!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Quit Planning and Get Working

After almost a week in Columbus, Ohio, visiting my daughter, I'm back on track. While most of our time was spent doing our three favorite activities, thrift store shopping, movies, and eating out, I managed to sneak in some research on my latest novel project.

Russ Golowin, a lawyer friend in Columbus, was kind enough to help me create the backstory for the book's main character, Ellie. Ellie is a high school senior who thinks her university career is a sure thing. But when her mother dies suddenly in the beginning of the school year, her father takes the college fund and plunges it into the market, hoping to double the money and come out a hero. Did I tell you the novel is set in real time? Yep, Dad makes a series of bad stock choices and leaves his little girl past the deadline for financial aid, without even enough to finance her first year at a community college. Russ helped me figure out the series of poor decisions that would lead to this situation. Sadly, the sequence of events can easily happen, and in this volitile financial climate, Russ says it's happening more often.

Part of my Scorpio nature includes putting details in place before I start to write. My friend Pat Romboletti, a fellow Scorpio and sage, reminded me of the "research trap" that can keep detail-crazed people like me from starting the work. She's right. It just feels so darn good to get things organized! But the story does no good in my head. It has to get on the paper. So, when we go to North Carolina to work on the house this weekend, (yes, the hub bought me work gloves and work boots so I have no excuse) I'll use my ten hours of travel time for writing.

My last posts have focused on conferences as a way to make contact with agents. Here's another suggestion. It comes from Jessica Faust at BookEnds Literary Agency. Read her February 23rd post on Networking Through Submissions. This is a great piece of advice! Jessica also has a post that speaks to Query Statistics. I'm impressed, (and appreciative) that she would take the time to do such an in-depth analysis. It serves as a reminder of two things: 1. Agents really are swarmed with queries. 2. And, because they are, anything we send must be exactly as requested and as polished as Mama's good silver.

An update on my own agent search: I've sent out five queries and have twelve more agents earmarked to contact. I've set a goal of two per week. With everything else happening, it's a schedule I can keep. How about you, my writer friends? Are you getting those submissions out? Articles, contests, journals . . . you can't get published if you don't submit!