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Michigan KidLit Advocate: Debbie Gonzales, Creating and Utilizing Book Guides #MISCBWI #MittenLit #MotownWriters

Our Michigan KidLit Advocate series continues with our third interview: introducingDebbie Gonzales!|

Debbie wears many hats, and in addition to writing her own books, she works with authors and publishers to create project-specific, multi-use book guides. Read on to learn more about how Debbie’s guides facilitate a connection with literature for readers of all ages.

How did you get started in the Guide creating business?

Read more: http://scbwimithemitten.blogspot.com/2017/06/michigan-kidlit-advocate-debbie.html

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#MarketingMonday w/@PamPerry: How to Use Web 2.0 to Get PR 2.0 For Your Book Or Ministry #bookpromo #ammarketing

820d9-pamperry-731603Online Publicity – PR 2.0 is the way to go!

The internet is not going away. You’ve got to embrace. The Michigan Chronicle is even online and some of the editors blog there! So, how do you as an author or an aspiring – use the internet to the max? Here some tips:
1. Write a web site plan. Know what you want it to do before you build a site. Create a favorable buying experience for your ministry products. Make the web site easy to use. Provide good customer service by shipping products within 5 to 7 days. Use auto responders when people make purchases. Make your site “shopper-friendly.”

2. Attract people to your site by promoting it through frequent email campaigns linking back to the site. Have your site content-rich to keep visitors at your site, wanting to share it with others. This is called viral marketing.

3. Capture names of visitors by using a “squeeze page.” Offer something for free like a CD or booklet if they provide their contact information. Get their email address at the very least so you can send the booklet in a PDF file or the CD as an MP3.

4. Publish a regular online magazine called an Ezine. This is a motivational tool for people to look forward to receiving. It has the ministry updates in it.

5. Include recent news hits in your ezine. Stream TV interviews and audio clips. Use a template from an Internet database management company like Constant Contact. I’ve used them for years!

6. Join discussion groups and nings like ChocolatePagesNetwork dot com. You can learn a wealth of information this way in any particular industry. There are groups for pastors, ministry communications professionals, Christian authors, or whatever your specialty. Look up your area of interest in Yahoogroups, connectplatform.com or Google.

7. Put banner ads on other sites that your target audience may visit. If it is Gospel Today or DetroitGospel dot com, inquire about placing a banner ad on those sites. These ads are usually very inexpensive. You can promote your TV ministry schedule or other products.

8. Update your site frequently. Current information sends the message that you are current in your ministry. It keeps people coming back to your site. Try new things on your site like podcasting or webcasting. Keep it fresh.

9. Concentrate on great content so the search engine optimization will give you a high ranking when people are surfing online via search engines like Google or AOL. Adding links is another great way to increase your site rankings and get noticed among the search engines.

10. Add a “news room” to your site. The media will access your high-resolution photo (300 dpi), get a press release, ministry history and a good bio from this section. It makes their life easier and shows you’re a pro at handling media interviews. This is also a good place to list other media hits that you have received like magazine/ezine articles, radio interviews, and columns you’ve had published.

11. Create a blog. Do this only if you have time to keep it up. A good blogger posts about 2 to 3 times a week. A blog is like a personal journal online. A blog is an abbreviation of “weblog.” It is the online version of you. It’s more personal and informal than a web site and visitors can respond directly to you. Go to blogger dot com to set one up free. See the Ministry Marketing Solutions blog. It’ll give you ideas too.

12. Use a signature at the end of every email that includes your tag line, web site, blog and contact information. Please. The best form of advertising – and it’s free!

Ministry marketing pioneer, Award-winning social media strategist and PR Coach Pam Perry helps African American Christian authors garner publicity and leverage online strategies. As a 20-year PR veteran, she is also the co-author of “Synergy Energy: How to Use the Power of Partnerships to Market Your Book, Grow Your Business and Brand Your Ministry.” She offers help through her private mentorship program at http://www.PamPerryMentoring.com

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#MotownWriters: Writers Have a Cornucopia of Conferences to Choose From

When DBW tried to boost attendance at its now-defunct conference by adding an indie author track, I noted that there were cheaper and better conferences where authors could learn more about the business of writing.

A couple of those better options just crossed my desk.

Writers Have a Cornucopia of Conferences to Choose From Conferences & Trade shows

The Virginia Writers Club is holding its annual symposium on 5 August. Navigating Your Writing Life will be held in Charlottesville, VA, and will feature a keynote address by Jane Friedman.

This year’s theme is Taking the Next Step in Your Writing Journey, and will feature workshops and panels on a variety of topics to help you move forward with your writing goals.

The symposium runs one day, and costs $90 to attend. (Many attendees will probably spend more on travel expenses.)

In comparison, the much better-known Writer’s Digest conference runs for three days in August and costs $469. I thought that was a good value when I attended last year, even with the travel expenses.

And then there’s the BookBaby Independent Authors Conference, which lasts for 3 days in Philadelphia in November. I just learned about BookBaby’s conference and cannot comment, but I do like the $99 price tag.

Read more: https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/06/13/writers-cornucopia-conferences-choose/

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Article: Writing Through a Slump by Nick Adkins #MISCBWI #MittenLit #MotownWriters

http://scbwimithemitten.blogspot.com/2017/02/writing-through-slump-by-nick-adkins.html

 

michigan.scbwi.org

If a draft is written in a hotel lobby, and nobody is around to read it, does it really exist?|
I have been working on a chapter book since February 2015. The current iteration is “New Revisions 34.” I don’t know how many “Old Revisions” there were, but I do know that the new revisions started after I had named a file “August Adelaide’s How to Make a Friend FINAL FINAL.” Clearly it was not.
Most of those drafts have never been read by anyone other than me. I don’t like people seeing my work until I’ve read through it without making any edits. Then they mark it up in red and I start over. It’s crazy and endless. It’s write and rewrite and think about it in the shower and in the car, and then start it all over again.
read more: http://scbwimithemitten.blogspot.com/2017/02/writing-through-slump-by-nick-adkins.html

 

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How Can We Keep People With Dementia Reading As Long As Possible? #ThePassiveVoice #motownwriters

What are suggestions that you think could help? Do you have a story to share?

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Article: 5 Skills Every Writer Should Develop via @jfbookman #motownwriters

By Frances Caballo

Writers have to juggle a lot. Craft. Marketing. Blogging. Email list building.

I know that I tend to think that I’m not doing enough. I could be on social media more. I don’t write enough books. (My last one was published in December and I haven’t started a new one.) I’m not meditating. I could exercise more.

The list goes on.

And the rub is that you can always do more. I think that I could always do more. At least that’s the myth that I tell myself.

If only there were more than 24 hours in a day, right? Man, what I could accomplish with 28 hours!

But there are just 24 hours in a day, and we do have to factor into those hours a good eight hours of sleep, meal preparation, and for some, a nine-to-five job.

Yet there are some skills that every indie author absolutely needs to develop. So let’s delve into them.

read more: http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2017/06/5-skills-every-writer-should-develop/

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#MarketingMonday w/@PamPerry: How to Seek Guidance & Support For Your Publishing Career – Learn How to Be an Online Protege #bookpromo #ammarketing

820d9-pamperry-731603Does your career in this publishing biz stump you sometimes? So much information and not sure what to do next? Need some help?

Suppose you could sit down with the most successful people in your field and just talk with them to learn what they know.

Well, here is the deal. YOU can learn what they know – and you can probably do it for little or no cost! You just have to get your head in the game (quit focusing on only YOU), be observant, vigilant, coach-able and appreciative.

If you are a novice wanting to learn the book industry or an author needing to learn how to market books better or a business/ministry leaders looking to learn a new skill – you can get the information you need – sometimes for free – by following the leaders.

I mean really becoming a “student” of the person. That means becoming a disciple and real follower who is disciplined to learn, listen, study and DO!

It’s amazing to me to see folks struggling to do something and there are mentors online all around. In the age of the internet, a couple of clicks on Google and you can find blogs, books, podcasts, webinars and websites or the some of the best and brightest minds on the planet.

But don’t just find their info – and email them. That’s the lazy way! That’s the way to be put in the spam and “blocked” folder for real.

So, what do you do once you find a person you feel is the next link in your destiny?

Follow them religiously. Not stalk but become a protege by doing the following things:

1. Be social! Be their Facebook friend, join their groups or be on their fan pages every day! Read their updates and comment on their statuses.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed from the 400 million folks online but zone in on your “fav five” or “top ten.” The folks you need to learn from, folks you admire, model and want to know how they think, operate and live their lives. Now, don’t copy. And don’t “hate on” them. A protege appreciates a mentor. Learn to give accolades and tell others of the wonderful info you’re getting from your online mentor! Spread the love and it will come back to you!

Be part of every social site where they are – if they are on Twitter, you follow them on Twitter and retweet their tweets. If they are on Facebook or Twitter, make sure you get the SMS updates to your phone. Pick up clues and run with it.

2. Blog. This is the easiest way to really learn from your mentor and get noticed by them fast. Because this is their weblog or online diary, you know what they’re thinking, doing, working on and can sense the direction their business is going. Read all their old blog posts. Become a student! Do you homework. Also, click all the buttons and links on their blog and find out what they’re into and how you can add those same buttons, widgets or links to your own blog. But the main thing, is to comment on their posts! Be social when social networking!

3. Email. Of course you have subscribed to their email list and read every email (even if they send something out every day), right? This is the secret. The mentor’s emails are the keys to your next level. When your mentor sends an email to his/her list, they are talking to YOU.

So, pay attention – they would not send a frivolous email, they are a Pro remember? That’s why you are following them and NOT other way around.

Here’s what you can find out from reading, saving and keep up with your online mentor’s emails:

1. Their upcoming events, teleseminars, recent blog posts or media exposure
2. Their style, wording of each email – so you can benchmark your email campaigns.
3. Their pattern for doing things. What days to they send emails, what times?
4. Their “hot buttons” and what is on the cutting edge in the industry

If they send a lot of emails, learn to manage it. You want to learn from them? Deal with it. Put the emails in a folder on your computer desktop or print them out and put in a binder so you can read during your lunch hours – whatever it takes to be a good student and stay on top of their information – do it!

If the information is coming fast and furious, maybe you’re not ready for the level that you think you are. Think about it. If you can’t read emails from your mentor, then you probably wouldn’t be able to keep up with their pace they are on. You’re just reading – they’re doing the writing. Anyway, why would you want to follow an online mentor if their pace was slower than yours?) So, suck it up and get organized.

4. Finally, and most important – appreciate and acknowledge your online mentor/coach. This is THE KEY to your success. I find that most people don’t do this and consequently they don’t get the results they’re looking for or the FAVOR. Most folks are so self-absorbed that they rarely take time to be kind to others. It is great to have focus, but you need a team to make the dream work.

And a day of favor is worth more than years of labor – any day! So, want to learn from those on the next level? Learn to:

1. Listen. Be observant. Be vigilant.
2. Read. Scan. Speed read. Print and save information.
3. Be curious. Click all the buttons! Do what they do. Model them online
4. Thank the mentor/coach. Let them know you are watching them and you appreciate them. Never hate on your help. Don’t be a rival friend. You must learn to get rid of jealous feelings and not be envious. How?

By showing gratitude. This is CRITICAL to getting over envy and getting favor! Sounds easy? It is. Do people do these things consistently? Only a rare few who are ready to get in the game and really win!

Ministry marketing pioneer, Award-winning social media strategist and PR Coach Pam Perry helps African American Christian authors garner publicity and leverage online strategies. As a 20-year PR veteran, she is also the co-author of “Synergy Energy: How to Use the Power of Partnerships to Market Your Book, Grow Your Business and Brand Your Ministry.” For a free MP3 of “What Every Author Should Know,” go to http://www.PamPerryPR.com. She offers help through her private mentorship program at http://www.PamPerryMentoring.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Pam_Perry/267934

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Article: Why Creatives Need to Leave Their Comfort Zones #Motownwriters

Since my new book Real Artists Don’t Starve is coming out soon, I wanted to share with some of my favorite parts from the book.

Here’s the next lesson:

The Starving Artist works alone.
The Thriving Artist Collaborates with others.

Creativity never happens in isolation. It’s almost always a collaborative creation.

No one better illustrates this than the friendship of two of my favorite authors: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

“There was a group of them,” Diana Glyer told me, “nineteen men, and they got together once or twice a week for about seventeen years. And in those meetings, there was a special kind of
magic that happened.”

Read more https://goinswriter.com/creative-community/

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Disappearing Bookstores . . . or Not #motownwriters

In response to an earlier post, Brick-and-Mortar Stores Shuttering at a Record Pace, TPV visitor Jenny Milchman posted a comment saying she thought PG was presenting a one-sided view.|

PG suggested she send him some links showing a contrary view. Jenny recently did so in a comment to the original post, but PG thought her response deserved a bit more exposure, so he’s making it a post of its own.

Since you were kind enough to suggest I do so, PG, I wanted to send along a few links to articles that stand in contrast to your statement that “the rapid and continuing reduction in the number of bookstores is part of a very large trend throughout physical retail.”

The bookstore portion of your assertion is not borne out either by my anecdotal experiences, touring bookstores for over 150K miles on the road, nor by other sources, such as:

Independent Bookstores Rising

read more:

In response to an earlier post, Brick-and-Mortar Stores Shuttering at a Record Pace, TPV visitor Jenny Milchman posted a comment saying she thought PG was presenting a one-sided view.|

PG suggested she send him some links showing a contrary view. Jenny recently did so in a comment to the original post, but PG thought her response deserved a bit more exposure, so he’s making it a post of its own.

Since you were kind enough to suggest I do so, PG, I wanted to send along a few links to articles that stand in contrast to your statement that “the rapid and continuing reduction in the number of bookstores is part of a very large trend throughout physical retail.”

The bookstore portion of your assertion is not borne out either by my anecdotal experiences, touring bookstores for over 150K miles on the road, nor by other sources, such as:

Independent Bookstores Rising

read more: http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/04/disappearing-bookstores-or-not/

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Pantser or Plotter? Deciding Which Can Save Your Writing Life @janefriedman #motownwriters

Photo credit: eilonwy77 via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

Today’s guest post is by novelist Jess Lourey (@jesslourey), author of the critically acclaimed Murder-by-Month mysteries.

I’ve led over 50 creative writing workshops across the United States, and I start each one by asking everyone in attendance to raise their hand if they’ve written a book. About 75% of the attendees usually indicate they’ve penned a complete novel.

“Great. Keep your hands up if you have published that book, either traditionally or self-published.”

About half the room still has their hands in the air. I then ask them to keep them up if they are a plotter, i.e. someone who outlines their book before writing it. Fifty percent of the remaining hands drop. Those whose don’t sit up a little straighter, their hands a little higher (we plotters have an inclination to also be brown-nosers).

“Awesome. Drop your hands, plotters, and let me see the pantsers’ hands.” Pansters are writers who prefer to create by the seat of their pants. In other words, rather than outline their novel, they hop in their concept like it’s a car, letting it take them where it takes them, only seeing as far ahead as their headlights allow.

The plotters drop their hands so the pantsers can tentatively raise theirs. In general, I’ve discovered that pantsers are shy about the way they create, worrying on some level that they should maybe be more organized. But here’s the point that I’m always trying to make with this activity, and it’s undeniable: about half of published writers are plotters, and about half are pantsers. One is not the right way or the wrong way; there is only the way that works best for you.

But how do you know which that is?

read more: https://janefriedman.com/panster-or-plotter/

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#MarketingMonday w/@PamPerry: Publicity and Publishing Today – The Battle Between Old School Versus New School #bookpromo #ammarketing

820d9-pamperry-731603Those Golden Days of Publishing are Gone!

In the golden days, an author would secure a book deal through an agent, publish the book, go on tour escorted by the publicist or media escort – and if they scored enough publicity, they’d become a “best selling” author.

Or at the very least, the author’s book sales would cover the tour, pay back the advance and make the publisher some money. Profit was the name of the game – and the system was working – until about 2005.

Suddenly bookstores, media properties and publishing houses began to crumble. The internet was the “game changer” and the traditional book publishing and promotion process have become ineffective.

Up until this point, the world wide web was for those techy-geeky folks and had no real impact on book sales. But now Amazon.com, print-on-demand, viral marketing messages, social media and powerful online communities have leveled the playing field.

Bookstores, agents, fat clunky press kits and publicists scoring traditional media are not the keys to an author’s success anymore.

There are tons of self-published or independent books that have made history – and surprised the publishing world. Like The Shack, a Christian novel by William P. Young was originally self-published in 2005. And as of February 2010, over seven million copies in print worldwide, spent seventy weeks holding the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list, and it continues to remain in the top ten to date.

The success of The Shack demonstrates what word-of-mouth and community networking can do for a self-published book, but more interestingly, the market strength of religious books in the United States, within and without the book publishing industry.

So let’s compare old school and new school way of doing things:

Old School: Traditional hard and soft-cover books
New School: Digital books, eBooks, Kindles, iPad and other wireless reading devices are on the way!

Old School: Book tours
New School: Blog tours & webinars

Old School: Getting reviews in magazines and newspapers
New School: Getting reviews on Amazon and in book communities where readers hang out like Shelfari, goodreads, librarything.com, rawsistaz and more

Old School: Web 1.0 (webmasters needed for HTML and complicated stuff)
New School: Web 2.0 (freedom – just a blogger blog or WordPress.com blog) Two-way communication!

Old School: Mailing out ARCs, books and big press kits
New School: EPK(electronic press kits) and eBooks

Old School: Media Escort
New School: Virtual Assistant

Old School: Press releases emailed and mailed to media
New School: SEO press releases sent or using online media matching service like Pitch Rate or Reporter Connection

Old School: Printing, stamping and mailing newsletters to mailing list accumulated over the years
New School: Sending out eNewsletters & continual email marketing campaigns using autoresponders and broadcast emails

Old School: Creating & updating media lists
New School: Capturing emails of interested readers using an “opt-in” database program like AWeber

Old School: TV interviews
New School: Creating book trailers, viral videos and streaming LIVE online

Old School: Authors visiting reading groups and libraries
New School: Teleconferencing or streaming live to many groups at the same time from the comfort of your home via Skype or a bridge line

Old School: Postcard mailings to readers, bookstores and organizations
New School: Eblast postcard to thousands using email marketing services like Goodgirlbookclub, BlackGospelPromo, ChristianPRGroup or DetroitGospel

Old School: Radio Interviews
New School: Podcasts and internet radio shows (heard online or downloaded via iTunes)

Old School: Magazine features
New School: Ezine Features

Old School: Writing a column in newspapers
New School: Syndicated articles submitted on article directories like Ezine using keywords and generating web traffic or writing a regular blog

Old School: Stigma that self-published books “didn’t cut it” and that’s why they’re not with a major house
New School: Savvy self-published authors are doing it big, getting noticed, making money and living a successful career doing what they love – writing!

Old School: Generating publicity in media outlets and getting no immediate input from audiences
New School: Building relationships, getting direct response from readers and creating communities online

Old School: Getting radio, TV, Newspaper and magazine reviews
New School: Creating thousands of followers, friends and fans online who interact with you and are connected with you through your whole career

Ministry marketing pioneer, Award-winning social media strategist and PR Coach Pam Perry helps African American Christian authors garner publicity and leverage online strategies. As a 20-year PR veteran, she is also the co-author of “Synergy Energy: How to Use the Power of Partnerships to Market Your Book, Grow Your Business and Brand Your Ministry.” She offers help through her private mentorship program at http://www.PamPerryMentoring.com

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Promo checklist

Going through several promoting articles I started to build a checklist.

Beginnings would love this and intermediate can use this list as reminders.

Advance people?

Just share it or make special articles about your promoting checklists.

Checklist when publishing books

1. Make a great book cover
2. Edit your book well
3. Create a good description of book
4. Complete Amazon Author Page
5. Announce on all social media
6. Encourage reviews
7. Do a book trailer & video promos
8. Become an Amazon Affiliate
9. Get promo material for your book
10.Create a hashtag for book
Bonus:
11. Check out AmazonAuthorInsights.com
12. Blog – a least once a week

What is your promotion to do lists?  Comment below

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Feeling Invisible on Facebook? How’s Your Organic Reach?

Finding it hard to stand out from the crowd?|

Years ago, when I decided to branch out and teach virtual classes regarding craft and social media, I knew I needed to live by my own mantra—We Are Not Alone. Sure I could kill myself learning every platform and maybe even do a passable job, but I am way too Type A for that. You guys deserved the best. So I reached out to those around me who were far better than I was, the experts I looked to on various subjects.

Sure, I do a good job on Facebook and am an expert on the basics, but if you REALLY want to up your game? Really want to know how to get the most out of Facebook, particularly the fan page? There is no one I could recommend more than journalist, columnist, speaker Lisa Hall-Wilson. She taught me what I know and I have a lot more to learn so believe you me, I am taking her class.

Lisa is here to talk about a subject we all face—being invisible. It does no good to be on Facebook or create content if we don’t know how to play the game. And trust me, a lot of it is a game. What is the best content? How do we use it? Grow it? Maximize it? How can we get a fantastic ROI off Facebook without living there?

Well, Lisa is going to talk about that today, so this is me shutting up now…

Take it away, Lisa!

Meme via nuevosmedios.mx

read more: http://authorkristenlamb.com/2017/04/feeling-invisible-on-facebook-hows-your-organic-reach/

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#MarketingMonday w/@PamPerry: Christian Authors Should Not Blame God For Lack of Book Exposure and Sales #bookpromo #ammarketing

820d9-pamperry-731603So can you afford not to promote your book if God told you to write it?

“I want to be on the New York Times best-seller list. I know everyone is going to want my book. It’s anointed.” I hear stuff like this from new authors all the time. Strangely, those who have been in the game for a while don’t say such statements. They’ve learned. Even the authors who have a track record with three or four books published (not just printed), don’t expect to be the next “Oprah book club darling.” Everyone who is anyone wants their book on Oprah.

I just smile when I hear the comment and pray, “LAWD, why me?”

I specialize in the Christian market because I believe in the message of the Gospel. That’s my mission – to market the message of the gospel to as many people as possible. So I run across tons of Christian authors. I encourage many to write their books. I even mentor and coach some through the self-publishing process. I always tell aspiring authors to write what God tells them – not what’s popular.

This is where it gets sticky. Even though God may give you a word to write and the book is published, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be the next TD Jakes or Joyce Meyer.

The book may be anointed but it still has to be sold through the world system – which is business. I try to tell authors “do not despise small beginnings.” Every business has cycles. Start up is phase 1 – and the most expensive.

Books are business. People pay money for books and when money is exchanged, there are expectations. People buy what they are motivated to buy – not necessarily what is “best” for them but what they desire. Advertising, marketing, publicity create desire.

Now, if an author were to print books and give them away – that’s another thing. No marketing is needed. But most want to make some sales and make a profit.

And it seems like some new authors even dream of being “rich and famous” and having people hunt them down for an autograph. Even Christians want to be a celebrity – some even a SUPERSTAR! Sigh.

But it take a well thought-out marketing plan, an accurate assessment of the target market, a good grasp of social media tools and a great deal of knowledge about how books are sold.

You don’t just learn that by being on your knees in prayer – thought a good book is birthed in prayer. The sales cycle is sustained and elevated by marketing skills, literary knowledge and promotion experience.

To really make a mountain of books move – you have to be smart and sharp. Getting information from a book coach or literary PR professional or a writing conference is key.

Ministry marketing pioneer, social media marketing expert and PR Coach Pam Perry helps African American Christian authors garner publicity and leverage online strategies. As a 20-year PR veteran, she is also the co-author of “Synergy Energy: How to Use the Power of Partnerships to Market Your Book, Grow Your Business and Brand Your Ministry.” For a free MP3 of “What Every Author Should Know,” go to http://www.PamPerryPR.com. She’s also the creator of the ChocolatePagesNetwork, a social network for Christian authors and the Chocolate Pages Show on Blogtalkradio.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Pam_Perry/267934

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New Book, New Writing Process? Why Changing it Up Works #motownwriters

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I have this weird habit of tracking patterns in my head. When I worked on my Master’s degree in Cultural Geography, I suddenly realized I was a social scientist at heart, watching people do their thing and examining why they did it. How they shape their environment and how their environment shapes them—their habits, their beliefs, their cultural norms, etc. It should have come as no surprise to me that I would follow market trends in publishing as I discussed a couple of months ago (HERE), or that I would examine my writing process (and those of others) so closely. Why people write the way they do, their methods, their tics and preferences, their successes or failures. Could I have luck employing their process, too?

After a lot of thought and plenty of practice, the most profound thing I’ve discovered in all of these examinations about process is that each book requires a new set of “rules”. Process is transient. It’s fluid. It begs to be made relevant after each new start.

For my first couple of novels (historical fiction biographies), I worked with a detailed outline and character maps and filled in the flesh, heart, and soul of the book from there. For the short story I wrote for a WWI anthology, I had three major concepts in mind—a mother’s grief, revenge born of pain, and a character with dual citizenship who grappled with belonging nowhere—and I pantsed the entire plot from this premise.

For my third novel, I worked with a well-known set of characters and the canon associated with their story. I had to create new plot threads, breathe new life into these characters. A retelling, if you will. The character maps didn’t help me one bit here until I had already written a full first draft. I needed to understand why the original author created the characters the way he did in the first place, then deconstruct them, and give them an entirely new dimension through their backstory.

My latest that’s releasing this fall, is in an epistolary format with a framing story. A new style, still!

With each book, there were pieces of my process that didn’t change, regardless of the structure. I had to discover who my characters were by exploring their backstory. I needed to know where the story began—that inciting incident—and how it would resolve itself, as well as the stakes driving my character to change. I needed a pitch, a feel for the themes I would explore, a general idea of how these pieces would fit into a three act structure, at least loosely.

But the process I used to write each of these works changed. I think this is the reason why:

read more: http://writerunboxed.com/2017/04/27/new-book-new-writing-process-why-changing-it-up-works/

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