The literary grant I received gave me the ability to join the SCWBI and the North Carolina Writers Network. With that comes opportunities. On March 3rd the NCWN gave me on their site two shout outs. One for my book, Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure and the other was for my winning a literary grant last November. These were free and part of being a member.
Even if I get no sales from this, so what? Seriously, so what? My name got shout out to the huge memberships of this organization. We as authors got to take advantage of any free publicity that is out there, regardless how small it is. Every bit helps.
In December of last year, the writing group I formed released an anthology. We are very proud of it. But it doesn’t end there. A local library will be hosting us on March 25th to talk about our book. But not only that. We will read excerpt from it and discuss topics on writing. I will be talking about traditional publishing versus self publishing. At the end of meeting, we will have an opportunity to sell our wares and any other books we may have written. I get to show off all my writings and all that is required is a few hours of my time. SCORE.
Again every bit helps. I am constantly trying to come up with ways to get my name and brand out. I don’t turn down an idea. I will mull it over in my head a million difference ways to see if it is doable. This is our lives as authors. If not, it should be. Baby steps lead to wonderful things. It is all about perspective.
If we let go of the small steps that can help us, the leap from one big thing to another may result in us falling between the steps. I don’t like to fall, so I will go with baby steps.
I purchased a few books recently simply on the title or the book cover that was presented before me. I didn’t read the back, I just talked to the author and asked about it. I can’t believe that I was so easily parted with my money with books I had little knowledge of. It just goes to show how important one’s title and book cover are for our own books. Do we take the time and care that is needed for these two concepts? Or do we slap a title, a cover and move on to what we consider more important, writing?
My sequel to my children’s book has no title. I haven’t taken the time needed to come up with one. I’m not one to spend time on this. Majority of my titles have been offered to me: Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure, Squirrel Mafia and Dragons in the Attic. Though in fairness I did come up with these. The manuscripts practically named themselves. These include Moe’s Cafe, A Woman of Color and Lost Faith.
I guess for me it is a crap shoot if I can come up with one and how much importance I place on it. Sometimes the MS names itself and sometimes it needs a little bit of help. It’s in the editor’s hands now as I am midway through volume three of this series. A few people have offered titles to volume two. The ones mentioned have been Jasper, Amazon Parrot: Rainforest Friends, Jasper, Amazon Parrot: Rainforest Friends and Family and Jasper:The Next Adventure.
I like them all to be honest. It sure beats me saying Jasper 2 which is all I had. A title in a way solidifies your work as you present it to publishers or literary agents. If nothing else, at least I have a working title until further notice.
The cover is another story. The one for my first volume I had a lot of input and final say in the final version. I sent endless pictures of Jasper, at the illustrator’s request, so she could get a feeling of who he was. It took a bit of work on both of our parts as we made suggestions to each other of what we liked and didn’t like. For while I feel a cover is important, I feel it is very important when it comes to children, one of our worse critics of all time. If we don’t make either pleasing to the eye, the books may soon gather dust as the ones around them get picked up.
So again I ask, how much time do you spend on your title and cover? And how important is it to you?
Coming up with content for a blog comes and goes. How often does one post? On what? How long should it be? How do you set up your site so it is pleasing to the reader? So many things to consider when creating and maintaining a website. I’ve been keeping a small notebook on topics I can write on during any given week. It is getting a little lengthy, but that’s okay. I probably won’t use all the ideas but it is nice to have backups.
What photos do you use? Are you sure they are not copyrighted? The videos can be also include in this. I try to use photos of my own, and I do recycle pictures. I try to be careful on what I place up here. When I use videos, the majority are created by me.
What do you decide to reveal? What is to much and what is to little? What sidebars do you use? What menus can you create that makes you shine? It all depends on what you are willing to share with the world. It took me a while to feel comfortable in having myself out there. But once my book was picked up, for it to do well, I had to make a big leap of faith.
I try to mix it up a bit between:
-My books and journey as a writer
-Talk about things that just interest me
-Cross promote with other writers
-And just recently, place book reviews on the site. I do have another website strictly for book reviews.
I been telling a few of my writer friends in town they need to get a blog and any other social media that they are comfortable with. They really aren’t listening. I been working on my social platform for a few years now, it took a lot of time. Oh my gosh it took a lot of time and energy to pull it up to where now it is just maintenance. Well until the next new big thing in social media comes out. I will decide then whether to learn it or not. But once you have it a working copy that you are happy with, the maintenance is minimal, at least for me it has been. It is worth the effort. It gives you a voice regardless of how many members you have.
This is my place and I welcome people in with a smile as they pull up a chair to chat.