Dramaquill's All Things Writing

March 14, 2011

Marketing and Promoting Your Book

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Today’s first-time authors may be in for quite a shock when they have to face the reality that much of the marketing and promoting of their first book is their responsibility.  With small and medium publishing houses, there just isn’t the money or the time for the publisher to do a big campaign to promote every new author.  Time and resources just won’t allow it.  Even authors published with big houses can no longer rely on the publisher to do all the promoting.  Much of it is left up to the author.  And if you think that means just new authors, think again.  Mary Higgins Clark uses online resources for contests and promotion, as do most of the other big literary players.

Developing a web presence is definitely key.  Join social networks – at least Facebook and Twitter.  Follow other writers and genre groups.  Have a page for your book and a separate page for yourself. 

Look for websites, ezines and magazines that are looking to inverview authors and contact them.

Develop your own ezine, where you can provide useful content and in exchange, receive a group of subscribers who are not only interested in your content but also, your books.

Make sure your books are in brick and mortar stores as well as all the big sites online.

Contact book stores locally, and within a reasonable distance from where you live, and offer to do readings, signings, or speak to writing groups about your experiences.

Contact your local colleges, high schools and universities and offer to do a guest lecture.

Join local writers’ groups and make local contacts.

Join local business networks – your writing business definitely qualifies you as an entrepreneur.

Find activities within your community and join something.  Not only will you have fun doing this activity, but you’ll be making contacts who may be interested in reading your book.

Use any and all means of FREE promotion online and off.

Hold a contest – be creative.  Give away copies of your book.

Look outside the box for other creative ways to entice potential readers/buyers.

June 7, 2009

How to set up your own writing group

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Maybe some of you would like to create a writing group, but just don’t know how to go about doing it.  Here are a few tips and ideas to get you started:

1.      Pick a location (often local libraries, community centres and
         bookstores have rooms available at no cost for such an activity)

2.     Decide on an itial meeting time (this can change once members get
         together and provide feedback on available times)

3.     Advertise the first meeting.  Make a poster with pertinent information
        (date/time/place/how to contact you/cost to join…free) and hang it
         on any free bulletin boards in your community (malls/library/
         bookstores/local establishments).  Advertise it online for FREE at
         kijiji.com.  Seems most cities in N. America have a Kijiji site.

4.     Make up a name for the group – something catchy & writing related.

5.     Make sure to have contact info. (phone number/email) in case
         people have questions before coming out to the meeting.

6.     Have an agenda for the first meeting – be organized if you want to
        attract others.  Most likely the first meeting will be about everyone
        getting to know each other, telling a bit about their writing interests
        and deciding on what the group wants to get out of the meetings.

7.     Plan how often to meet.  (once or twice a month is probably best)

8.     Set up a free website or blog so everyone can keep in touch in
         between meetings.

Remember, you don’t have to be a writing expert to set up a writing group. 

Some writing groups are very specific, ie, for those who write rhymes for kids or those who write novels.  But remember, if you advertise for only one type of writing, you may not get many (or any) members.  It’s probably best to start out welcoming any styles and genres.  If enough writers join, eventually they might branch off into their own sub-groups.

Good luck with your new groups.

Writers don’t have to feel isolated and alone

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A while back I posted on the topic of critique groups and asked the question:  Which is better – online or in person?

I still say there are benefits to each scenerio and what’s most important is what the group has to offer and whether or not it’s going to be something that helps and encourages you with your writing.

I do belong to two fantastic online groups and will continue to stay an active member of each.  The contacts and friendships I’ve made are invaluable.

But a happy circumstance came my way, in the form of a brand new writing group called The Write Way, formed by two gals who’ve written a couple of short stories together.  The group turned out to be an ecclectic mix of writers interested in a variety of genres and styles.  Our first meeting was a lot of fun.  We filled out “all about me” sheets, shared information and talked about challenges we all face as writers.

So once a month, we will meet at our local book store.  We’ll take turns reading our work and offering critiques and suggestions.  We’ve already begun to share resources and celebrate each other’s successes. 

The energy sparkled with the excitement each individual brought to the group and it really is nice to be able to talk face-to-face to others bitten by the writing bug.

So if you’re sitting in front of your computer wishing you could go and talk writing with other writers, you can do a couple of things:

1.     Check with your local library and bookstore(s) for groups that
         already exist.  Go to a meeting and see what happens.

2.     Set up your own writing group.  It’s easier than you think.

So remember, although the act of writing is a solitary activity, you don’t have to feel isolated and alone.

December 4, 2007

Nano aftermath

So Nanowrimo’s officially over for another year.  I had so wanted to complete the 50,000 and was totally motivated to do so.  At the end of week three I got sick and was in bed for a couple of days.  Let’s call that Setback #1.

Three days later, my dog had some kind of breathing attack and I had to take him to the vet.  Days of testing and piles of money later, the news is devastating…rare form of cancer.  Doesn’t seem to be anthing else our vets can do here.  Definitely Setback #2.

Now, writing seems furthest from my mind and even if I wanted to, I can’t seem to pick back up into the story at the moment.  Setback #3.

So I stalled at almost 33,000 words.

But I have to look at Nanowrimo in the most positive of light:

***I wrote 33,000 words in one month! 

***I have a huge start to a new novel. 

***I’ve made some new, local writing friends.

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