feedburner
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

feedburner count

Welcome To SORMAG's Blog

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Thank You

Thank you for attending this week online conference. I hope you had fun and learn a lot.

Please make sure to fill out the survey. Your opinions helps us improve the conference and offer workshops you want to attend.

If you enjoyed the conference please make a donation. Every dollar helps us to continue offering informative events.

The conference will stay online for a while, so feel free to stop by and read the posts. Tell your friends what they missed.

Congrats to the writers who manuscripts were requested during our online pitches. We thank the editors for their time.

Critiques will be emailed next week.

Check back next week to see who the winner is of the I Want The Next Page Winner.

A BIG THANK YOU to all the writers who participated or donated a prize to this conference. Without you, there would be no conference. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

We offer the conference every other year, see you in 2007. Until then, happy writing.

See ya on the net,

LaShaunda
SORMAG online conference coordinator

Attendance Prizes

Prize Winners

Thursday Winners

Michelle Buckley

Saundra #180

Elaine #23

Bonnie #177

Diane #69

FRIDAY WINNERS

Lori Soard

Stacy H. Adams

Gena Garrison

Dara Girard

Michelle Monkou

SATURDAY WINNERS

Mary Griffith

Brenda Coulter

Monica Jackson

Jenna

Jacqualine

Pick your prize from the attendance prize list. Send your choice and mailing address to sormag@yahoo.com

7th Day - Oct 29 - PROMOTION

OCT 29 - PROMOTION

Click on the links for the rooms

PANEL: Internet Marketing For Writers

WORKSHOP: How to do a website on a budget?

PANEL: Magazine Promotion

WORKSHOP: Press Releases - Can you write one yourself?

PANEL: Is Blogging Good For Writers

SURVEY: Tell us what you thought of the conference

DONATION: Did you enjoy the conference? Make a donation help us to continue to offer great events like this. Click on button below.






DAY SIX - October 28 - THE BUSINESS OF WRITING

Below are the links to today's conference agenda.

PANEL: I got the call now what?

PANEL: Working With an Agent

WORKSHOP: Ten Steps to a Great Pitch - 1

PANEL: Tips to stay disciplined

PANEL: PR Pizzaz

WORKSHOP: How to Make The Perfect Pitch - 2

WORKSHOP - The A, B, Cs of Plotting - Michelle Monkou

The Business Of Writing - Meet The Authors

To visit other pages for this week click the

AGENDA

Did you miss a panel? Below are the links for the panels. I can’t promise they will answer but if you have a question for the panel member and missed the day of their panel. Here’s where you can ask questions.Panel members feel free to answer questions.

SUNDAY
Writing For The Lord - Meet The Authors

MONDAY
New Writers - Meet The Authors

TUESDAY
Reader’s Day - Meet The Authors

WEDNESDAY
Advance Writers - Meet The Authors

THURSDAY
Selfpublishing - Meet The Authors

Friday, October 28, 2005

PANEL: Is Blogging Good For Writers

PANEL: Shelia M. Goss, Monica Jackson, Mary Griffith, LaShaunda Hoffman, Brenda Coulter

Come learn about blogging and how its good or not good for writers.

Post your questions in the comments section.

Please read the previous comments before you post, so we don’t have duplicate questions.

Please address your questions to a panel member or all panel members.

WORKSHOP: Press Releases - Can you write one yourself?

Press Releases - Can you write one yourself?
Shelia M. Goss ©2005 All Rights Reserved.

Why would I want to write my own press release? You may be asking yourself this, especially if you hired a publicist.

There may come a time where you will need to send a press release; whether it's because you can't get a hold of your publicist, it's beyond the scope of your contract with your publicist or having a publicist might not be in your budget, etc.

What is the purpose of a press release? A press release is an announcement. It should contain specific information. For example, you may write one to announce an event (such as book signings, participation in an expo, etc.) or a major achievement (such as your book making a bestsellers list, optioned as a movie, etc.).

Writing a press release isn't hard.

What should the press release include? Make sure your press release has an eye-catching Title, contact information and include the five W's:
* Who (Identify yourself)
* What (Your announcement)

* Where (Location of the book signing or event)
* When (Date and Time) and
* Why (Because you're the next best thing to sliced bread; just kidding, but you get the point, smile).

How should the press release look? To view an example of a few press releases, please go to one of the following links:
* Title: Woman Fakes Las Vegas Wedding
http://www.sheliagoss.com/pressrelease_mih.htm
* Title: Small Press Author makes Essence Bestsellers List
http://www.sheliagoss.com/pressrelease_essence.htm

Where should I submit the press release? Press releases should be sent out to your target audience, which can include media outlets such as newspapers, TV, radio, magazines or book clubs, bookstores, etc.

Are there any online services I can use to distribute my press release? Yes, there are several. PRWeb (
http://www.prweb.com/) and BlackPR.com (http://www.blackpr.com/) are two I recommend.

Don't limit yourselves to online services. Find out fax numbers and mailing addresses of your target audiences and send them out that way as well.

Now you're ready to try your hand at writing your own press release. Remember to keep it simple. Keeping it simple, means being direct and specific. 1st Assignment: Write a press release announcing a book signing or release of your next hot new novel.

Shelia M Goss is the ESSENCE MAGAZINE Bestselling Author of My Invisible Husband. With unique storylines, her goal is to create "stories with a twist." Shelia was the recipient of three 2003 Shades of Romance Magazine Reader's Choice Multi-Cultural Awards for her debut novel, ROSES are Thorns, VIOLETS are True. Be on the look out for her next novel--My Three Beaus. Her articles, poetry, and short stories, have appeared in National Magazines such as Black Romance Magazine, Bronze Thrills, InnerCosmetics, and Tribes Magazine. Visit her website at
www.sheliagoss.com or check out one of her blogs: http://myinvisiblehusband.blogspot.com.

PANEL: Magazine Promotion

Welcome to the Magazine Promotion Room

PANEL: James Lisbon, AMAG, LaShaunda Hoffman -SORMAG , Shunda Leigh- Booking Matters

Learn how to promote yourself and your books in magazines.

WORKSHOP: How to do a website on a budget?

How to do a website on a budget?
Shelia M. Goss ©2005 All Rights Reserved.

If you're a published author, soon to be published or even thinking about being published , then you should have a website. No one thought the World Wide Web would be used in the capacity it's being used now. Well, correction, some folks did (smile).

There's no excuse for NOT having a website. If you're unsure of how you want your website to look, I suggest surfing the net. Go to
www.google.com and enter in a few authors names to get an idea.

If you're unable to hire a web designer to create your home on the web, then do it yourself.

If creating a website scares you, then halt. Take a few deep breaths. Breathe. If you have yahoo, AOL or any one of the many other internet providers, then you have access to creating a website. Bravenet (
http://www.bravehost.com/), Angelfire(http://www.angelfire.lycos.com), GeoCities (http://geocities.yahoo.com/), or Homestead (http://www.homestead.com/) offer free or low costing web space with handy tutorials.

As an author, you need to choose a domain name. What is a domain name? It's an identifier or the information you type in your web browser to pull up a website. For example, if you want to pull up the Shades of Romance website, you will enter the domain
www.sormag.com. The most important thing to remember when deciding on a domain name (your new website address) is to choose something that is easy for your current and future readers to remember.

For example, if your name is Jane Doe, then use the domain
www.janedoe.com. There will be instances where your name is already taken and you might have to add an initial or some other identifier. Some authors use there book title as their website address. This is fine if you plan on that being the only book you'll publish or if you can have it forward to your main website (i.e., www.janedoe.com).

Once you purchase your domain name, it's yours for the allotted time. You can buy it yearly or whatever terms you and the provider set up. In the past, I've seen it for as low as $2.95. The price will depend on the web host site you choose.

There are so many sites that offer web services and it's easy to get lost and frustrated while trying to find the one for you. Here's a website that I hope will make it easier for you. The page identifies the web space and price:
http://www.mysitespace.com/compare.asp.

Thank goodness there is software out there that doesn't require you to know HTML. Frontpage is one of them. I use it constantly and it's simple. You can create your page in Microsoft Word and paste it directly into Frontpage. If you have Microsoft Office, Frontpage may already be on your computer.

What should you include on your web site once you've decided on your domain name and web server? At the minimum, make sure the following are included:
Book Information (Title, price, where to purchase your book, sample chapter, etc)
Bio
How to Contact You (Email or contact sheet)
Mailing List
Guest Book
I've been doing my own website for quite some time now. If I can do it, you can too. My website is
www.sheliagoss.com. Take a look around and check out the headings.

One day I'll turn over the reign to someone else, but in the meantime, I'm always trying to come up with different looks. What you see today will probably be different six months from now.

Remember, having your own website doesn't have to cost much, you just have to shop around.

1st Assignment: If you have a website, post it here. If you don't have a website, and at the minimum, sign up for one of the free websites.

2nd Assignment: Visit workshop participant websites and take a look around. Be sure to drop them a note in their guestbook, so the'll know you were there.

Shelia M Goss is the ESSENCE MAGAZINE Bestselling Author of My Invisible Husband. With unique storylines, her goal is to create "stories with a twist." Shelia was the recipient of three 2003 Shades of Romance Magazine Reader's Choice Multi-Cultural Awards for her debut novel, ROSES are Thorns, VIOLETS are True. Be on the look out for her next novel--My Three Beaus. Her articles, poetry, and short stories, have appeared in National Magazines such as Black Romance Magazine, Bronze Thrills, InnerCosmetics, and Tribes Magazine. Visit her website at
www.sheliagoss.com or check out one of her blogs: http://myinvisiblehusband.blogspot.com.

PANEL: Internet Marketing For Writers

WELCOME TO THE INTERNET MARKETING ROOM

TODAY's PANEL:

Sylvia Hubbard, LaShaunda Hoffman, Tanya Bates, Sheila Goss, Vanessa Davis Griggs, Jacqueline Coffey, Lori Soard

Come learn some great internet marketing tips.

Tips will be posted in comments.

Post your questions in the comments section.

Please read the previous comments before you post, so we don’t have duplicate questions.

Please address your questions to a panel member or all panel members.

Promotion - Meet The Author

Shelia M. Goss - is the ESSENCE MAGAZINE Bestselling Author of My Invisible Husband. With unique storylines, her goal is to create stories with a twist. Shelia was the recipient of three 2003 Shades of Romance Magazine Reader's Choice Multi-Cultural Awards for her debut novel, ROSES are Thorns, VIOLETS are True. Her articles, poetry, and short stories, have appeared in National Magazines such as Black Romance Magazine, Bronze Thrills, InnerCosmetics, and Tribes Magazine. Visit her website at www.sheliagoss.com or check out her writer's blog @ http://sheliagoss.blogspot.com.

Monica Jackson – romance author

Marilynn Griffith is wife to a deacon, mom to a tribe and proof that God gives second chances. Made of Honor, the first novel in Marilynn’s Sassy Sistahood series, releases January 2006. Her other credits include Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul, Cup of Comfort Devotionals and her Shades of Style series (Revell, 2006). She lives in Florida with her husband and children. To book speaking engagements or just say hello, email: marilynngriffith@gmail.com.

LaShaunda Hoffman – publisher and editor of Shades Of Romance Magazine.
http://lashaunda.blogspot.com

Brenda Coulter's debut novel, the inspirational romance Finding Hope, won both a HOLT Medallion and a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award. Her second book, A Family Forever, will be a March 2006 release from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. Brenda maintains an extensive website: http://brendacoulter.com includes not just information on her and her books, but tips for aspiring authors and even a section on preparing and serving afternoon tea. She also blogs daily, dishing on "writing, life, and the writing life" at
http://brendacoulter.blogspot.com No rules. Just write.

Shunda Leigh is the Editor-in-Chief of Booking Matters Magazine, established with her husband Jamill in November 2002. The magazine chronicles and promotes African American authors, bookstores, book clubs and businesses. Memphis Black Writers and Southern Film Festival awarded Booking Matters Magazine “Best New Literary Magazine” for 2004. Shunda is no stranger to the literary arena as she is also the founder of Circle of Friends II Book Club in Atlanta, which is one of the largest book clubs in the country. Shunda led the efforts of her book club’s appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show and continues to promote literacy by hosting monthly literary events.

She has been featured in Upscale, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Rejoice and countless newspapers. Shunda’s fully sponsored wedding was featured on ABC News Primetime’ in June 2004 and will also appear in an upcoming issue of Modern Bride Magazine. Shunda is also featured in the 2005 Edition of Who’s Who’s in Black Atlanta. (which is being released December 14, 2004)

Shunda is a native of Valdosta, Georgia and currently resides in Decatur, Georgia.

Shunda is happily and permanently married to business partner Jamill. They are the proud parents of two teenagers, Courtney and LaMonte’.

Sylvia Hubbard - Author of Stone's Revenge just newly re-released @ http://lulu.com/StonesRevenge and coming soon the fall of 2005, erotic suspense, Drawing The Line. http://SylviaHubbard.com - Free Novels Available on the site!

Vanessa Davis Griggs is the author of PROMISES BEYOND JORDAN and the sequel entitled WINGS OF GRACE published by BET BOOKS/New Spirit. Visit her at her Web site: www.VanessaDavisGriggs.com

Jacqueline Coffey – President of www.blackbookpromo.com

Lori Soard – romance author

Thursday, October 27, 2005

OCTOBER 28 - THE BUSINESS OF WRITING

DAY SIX - October 28 - THE BUSINESS OF WRITING
Below are the links to today's conference agenda.
PANEL: I got the call now what?
PANEL: Working With an Agent
WORKSHOP: Ten Steps to a Great Pitch - 1
PANEL: Tips to stay disciplined
PANEL: PR Pizzaz
WORKSHOP: How to Make The Perfect Pitch - 2
WORKSHOP - The A, B, Cs of Plotting - Michelle Monkou
The Business Of Writing - Meet The Authors
DAY FIVE - October 27 - SELF PUBLISH AGENDA

Below are the links to today's conference agenda.

DISCUSSION - Teaching
PANEL - POD vs Self Pub
WORKSHOP - Self Pub Part One
DISCUSSION - Ebooks
WORKSHOP - Self Pub Part Two
PANEL - Non- Fiction Writing
SELF PUBLISHING - Meet The Author
To visit other pages for this week click the
Did you miss a panel? Below are the links for the panels. I can’t promise they will answer but if you have a question for the panel member and missed the day of their panel. Here’s where you can ask questions.Panel members feel free to answer questions.

SUNDAY

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY

PANEL: Working With an Agent

WELCOME TO THE WORKING WITH AN AGENT ROOM

TODAY'S PANEL IS:

Bettye Griffin, Sophfronia Scott, Dara Girard, Vivian Beck,
Lyn Cote, Sha-Shana Crichton


Want to learn about working with an agent. This is the place to be.

Post your questions in the comments section.

Please read the previous comments before you post, so we don’t have duplicate questions.

Please address your questions to a panel member or all panel members.

WORKSHOP: Ten Steps to a Great Pitch - 1

Ten Steps to a Great Pitch

By Dara Girard


You’ve finished a book and now you want to sell it to a publisher. What’s the first thing you need to do? Come up with a great pitch. A well crafted pitch can be used in your query, synopsis or at your agent/editor appointment at a conference. With a good pitch you won’t be tongued tied when asked about your book.

Here are ten steps:

1. Know your product. Is your book a romantic suspense, fantasy or cozy mystery? Even if you write a sci-fi fantasy mystery romance, if you want to sell it, find a category it can fit into. Yes, there are crossover books that can’t fit into a category that sell, but make it easy on yourself and give it a category. Publishers and bookstores will likely give it one anyway.

2. Know your audience. Who are your potential readers? They are not ‘Everyone who likes a good romance novel’ or ‘Anyone who likes mystery.’ Every genre has a subgenre and readers that are loyal to them. Perhaps your potential audience likes mysteries with a bit of humor or young women living in the city or traditional stories with a little family drama.

3. Know your editor/agent. Will they like what you are selling? Does the publishing house need more Regency or has that line closed due to low sales? If you meet an agent that is interested in sweet romances, don’t sell them romantica. Know what they need that way you can approach them as though you’re doing them a favor.

4. Know what a great pitch looks like. How? Read the TV guide. See how they sell a two hour movie in about two lines. Then go to your bookshelf and read the back of books or the inside jacket copy and see how the publisher sells the story.


5. Know how to build your pitch. Now that you know the preliminary steps, let’s build your pitch. First know who the story happens to? Describe that person in one sweep with a well placed cliché. For example describe your heroine as a kind hearted nurse or your hero as a burned-out cop. Or you can describe the character in a blank statement. David is tired of money hungry women. Laticia is sick of men who are only interested in her good looks. Clichés resonant with readers use them to your advantage.

6. Know your setting. Your setting is both the place and where the hero or heroine is at the beginning of the story. Is your story in the present day or the future? Has your hero just suffered a divorce? That gives an emotional setting to your story.

7. Know your conflict. What does your hero/heroine desperately want and why can’t they get it? Does your hero want to get something (a house/ land/ woman) that belongs to someone else? Does your heroine want to prove that she’s an independent woman in a culture where women must depend on men?

8. Know your theme. Your theme is not your plot. Your theme is the ‘moral’ message you want your readers to leave with (i.e. Greed is bad, love conquers all etc…)

9. Know your resolution. How does the story end? Does the hero/heroine achieve their goal?

10. Start using it. Practice on your friends or your critique group. If it doesn’t get the response you want, revise it. Remember your pitch may follow you from your first sale to your first interview and your website, so make sure it generates interest.

Conclusion:

The following is a pitch for a contemporary romance. Look for the Character, Setting, Conflict and Resolution.

“When 32 year old Isabel Lawson’s husband deserts her, she closes her heart and focuses on her career. World-weary gardener Martin Weber wants to get away from his past and is glad to be hired by Lawson’s Landscape so he can start building a new future. However, when these two damaged souls work together to landscape a wealthy widow’s garden, they learn that true love can bloom in the toughest climate.”

It could still use a bit of tightening--I know--I just wanted to give you an idea of how you can sell a story in a few seconds. Get your pitch right and soon you’ll see your book on the shelves. Good luck!

© 2005 Dara Girard. All Rights Reserved.

PANEL: Tips to stay disciplined

WELCOME TO THE TIPS TO STAY DISCIPLINED ROOM

THE PANEL TODAY IS: Stacy Hawkins Adams, Sophfronia Scott, Electa Rome Parks, Michelle Monkou, Lori Soard

Learn about how to stay displine.

Tips are posted in comments.

Post your questions in the comments section.

Please read the previous comments before you post, so we don’t have duplicate questions.

Please address your questions to a panel member or all panel members.

WORKSHOP - The A, B, Cs of Plotting

A, B, Cs OF PLOTTING
by Michelle Monkou

This mini-session is designed for the beginner storyteller. There are marvelous resources for help with the advance skillset that do not require a reinvention of the wheel. For the young (in experience, not age) writer who has the passion to give the characters or story in her head a chance to breathe and grow, this session is for you.

Basic Tools:

Characters – always a good thing in any story. There are books on characterization that can guide you on creating three dimensional characters. Based on the story, you will need a hero, heroine – these are the winners, whether it is a materialistic win or victory after a gut wrenching emotional journey.

The bad guy/girl – remember not to make the character bad, just for the sake of being bad. Think about current day court cases about a serial killer. You find out about their troubled childhood that may give way to their current criminal adulthood.

After creating the major characters, who will be the minor players? Although they are secondary, they must still serve a purpose. There is no room for walk-ons to a scene. Any friends or family (characters) members who desire a role must come prepared to work that scene and move it forward to the ultimate goal.

Setting – the location, time period, or region is important to know early on. If it is an historical piece, research customs, clothing, culture, etc. This cannot be ignored. Even in contemporary stories, proper research may need to be conducted to show differences between someone living in urban New Jersey to someone living in the wilds of Montana. Setting is the character in the story that may not have a vocal cord, but still has a voice that sets a tone. Give this element its due.

Goals – once the characters and their backgrounds are in place. The goals should be developed. There are two types of goals - internal and external. The internal goal is the soft stuff. Think inner feelings, desires, secret wishes. It can conflict with the external goals. Example: A woman struggles to be independent after her messy divorce. She will rely on no one ever again.

The external goal must be tangible, concrete, material. It should have a level of urgency so that the character has to complete these tasks, in order to achieve success. Example: A woman borrowed money from a loan shark. She needs a job, any job, to get the money before he comes after her and her little boy in 48 hours.

Tension/Conflict/Obstacles – Think about the music score to a movie, about the ups and downs, the crashing cymbals. The score can heighten the emotion, give forewarning, escalate the tension of a scene. Well, each crisis, challenge, attack on the goals of the characters add layers of drama. Adding drama for drama sake irritates the reader. You must stretch the characters so they develop and continue on their journey to being a better person or a worse person. But they have to change. The obstacles provide the legitimacy of that change.

Resolution – all good things come to an end. You must wrap up loose ends. Even if the story will have a sequel, the writer still has to provide a certain amount of closure for situations and characters. Think about a thunderstorm that begins with small rumbles and sporadic lightning. Then it builds to a climatic point when, even as an adult, you are ready to run for cover as the thunder shakes the room. Once the fury has been spent, the storm winds down, until it is simply a soft rumble with the sun peeking out from behind the clouds.

Advisories:

Plots are not made in stone. Your plot is designed to get you started, provide a general path. However, allow the story to unfold and head off a path that you not have intended. Your re-write is the time for you to reshape, delete, or accept what you have written.

Know your genre. If you are writing mainstream fiction, then you are not under certain constraints that may be specific to a genre. However, if you’re writing romance, make sure that there is a romance. If you writing mystery, make sure there is a mystery. In other words, do your homework by reading and researching the genre you have selected as your medium.

Don’t lock yourself to one style. Sometimes a writer claims one style to plot even though they may not ever have written a book or they used one style to plot the only book they wrote. It might take several attempts to determine what is your style. Are you the type to plot with a loose framework and then fill in the details as you write? Are you the type to plot down to the smallest detail about the type of trees in a particular scene? Or are you somewhere in the middle? There is no right way. Your best friend, successful author A, may have style that works for her, but doesn’t necessarily work for you.

Other creative outlets may hold the key. Read plays, look at movies, study poems. Study how the person got their point across to the reader. What techniques did they use? What emotions did it elicit? My favorite task is to review the behind-the-scenes of a movie, which is provided on most DVDs. When you hear the director’s or screenwriter’s perspective of the story and why he used certain techniques, you get a better understanding of how to plot and reveal the story’s nuances over a period of time.

Plotting Ideas:

Magazines – doesn’t matter if the magazine is gender or relationship focused. It can be a magazine on architecture for selecting the perfect house or setting. Vacation magazines like AAA’s monthly magazine provide great locations, along with the history and key tourist spots.

Newspaper Articles – Gives the everyday reports on politics, lifestyle, and crime.

Asking what if – take a tried and true story or idea and turn it up side down. Maybe switch roles or occupations of the characters. Introduce new and interesting characters at odd moments. Think how you react when you hear juicy gossip. Those are the elements you need to copy to make your “what if’s” explode off the pages and keep readers turning the page.

Plotting Partners – this is different from critique partners or critique groups. A plotting partner is specifically for this task. The person is your sounding board with no censoring. Nothing is too outrageous. I’ve gone on weekend plotting sessions where we book a hotel room and develop a plot from start to finish in a weekend.

Fairy Tales – Invest in a couple fairy tale books or children’s books. They all have great themes which occur in adult stories. However the stories, as basic as they appear, can provide the first spark in developing your plot. Take Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, etc., and change a character, the setting, the time period. Add a mother, father, jealous spouse. Change the genders. Now think how these stories take on a new flavor that can get your creative juice flowing with a vibrant story.

Additional Resources:

Prescription For Plotting by Carolyn Greene. This is a work manual that has comprehensive explanation and exercises to assist with plotting. The manual is sold on her website at www.carolyngreene.com.

Techniques of a Selling Writer by Dwight Swain. Covers more than plotting, but all helpful in the overall goal of telling a good story.

The Screenwriter’s Workbook by Sid Field. Easy to understand instruction on writing and developing screenplays. Information is also transferable to the writing fiction.

Michelle Monkou
Island Rendezvous (Sequel to Finders Keepers) - April 2006, BET Books
Sweet Surrender - September 2006, Kimani Press

PANEL: I got the call now what?

WELCOME TO THE I GOT THE CALL NOW WHAT ROOM

YOUR PANEL TODAY IS: Shirley Hailstock, Sophfronia Scott, Lyn Cote

Have you ever wondered what happens after you receive the call you've been waiting for?

Learn what you need to do after you receive The CALL.

Post your questions in the comments section.

Please read the previous comments before you post, so we don’t have duplicate questions.

Please address your questions to a panel member or all panel members.

PANEL: PR Pizzaz

WELCOME TO THE PR PIZZAZ ROOM

OUR PANEL TODAY IS:

Michelle Buckley, LaShaunda Hoffman, Belinda Williams, Pam Perry, Dee Stewart, Lori Soard

Public Relations is an important part of writing. Come learn about what to do and not do in your PR campaign.

WORKSHOP: How to Make The Perfect Pitch - 2

Getting Ink: How to Make The Perfect Pitch

Perfect Pitch Communications — Michelle Buckley, Media Consultant

THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN PITCHING
YOUR BOOK OR YOURSELF TO THE MEDIA:

Know your targets.

Read publications, study sections/departments, target specific reporters or reviewers and watch or listen to programs you think will be appropriate for your book/message. Make sure the media outlet’s audience is a nice fit for the book you’re promoting. (For example: if your book is straight urban lit, don’t contact a gothic sci-fi pub. Don’t assume a book editor is the way to go — often lifestyle editors/reporters will give you more, less critical coverage.)

When in doubt about communicating — don’t be afraid to ask! Learn if contacts prefer mail, faxes, calls or email for initial contact. How should follow-up be handled? Make sure you call and send requested information when you say you will.

Know deadlines and always be respectful of them. If you’re doing signings and events, make sure you give the media plenty of notice. Begin contacting them weeks in advance.
When you do contact the media, remember to be enthusiastic, helpful and assertive, never rude, dismissive and overly aggressive. Also, avoid excessive hyperbole, don’t oversell your story, book and don’t be dishonest.

Always remember: how you interact with a reporter/editor today can affect your public relations efforts and sales tomorrow. (Reporters have long memories.)

Take advantage of free and inexpensive online press release distribution services like prweb.com and blackpr.com.

Know your story.

Without being too gimmicky or annoying, do what you can to make your presentation stand out. (The media gets tons of inquiries a day). Don’t just ask them to write an article about you and your book. Make sure your book’s message (and as a result your pitch) reflect one of the 7 key news hooks: (humanity, conflict, immediacy, locality, celebrity, novelty, timing). Is your message relevant/timely? Can it be tied to local/national issues or news/trends?

Educating the media is key. Don’t always assume the media already knows about you and your book. Have a standard media kit that includes a press release about the book, your bio, a photo of you, a fact sheet about key book themes (if appropriate), a copy of the book or sample chapters, book art, sample interview questions and an endorsements page.
Make your story compelling. Bring information to life. Use anecdotes, examples, controversial statements, excerpts, and facts/figures to tell your story.
Develop 3-4 key message points that will resonate with a given audience. The more you can show how your book will impact a media outlet’s audience the more likely they are to cover it.

MEDIA INTERVIEW REMINDERS:

Remember interviews are more than just fun conversations. They really serve a
purpose. Stay focused on what your purpose is and don’t let reporters influence that.

GET IN ALL THE MESSAGES YOU WANT, ANY WAY YOU CAN.

Always ask yourself: “how can I present myself or what can I say to make someone want to support me, buy my book, come to my event, etc?” Always have at least three messages you want to get across and hammer away at them!

Think like a reporter. Your job is to make their job easier. Start by giving them headlines and the big picture. Discuss possible visual elements. Avoid one size fits all stories. Help the media share in your vision. Make them feel like they’re getting a “scoop”. When possible, develop creative and unique pitches and angles crafted specifically for each media outlet’s audience.

Remember as a writer, you are a business. You have a skill base and skill set that can really help make a difference in the lives of people. Your book can create for people a wonderful reading experience and YOU ARE THUS PROVIDING A GREAT SERVICE.

Don’t be afraid to tell the reporter upfront what your goal is – more sales, better event attendance, etc. This can be done in a very informal way during introductions, before the interview even starts. My philosophy – you don’t usually get what you want/need unless you point-blank ask for it.

They may not always be able to accommodate you and may tell you – “we’re about news and not free promotion.” If that’s what they say don’t take it personally, don’t get an attitude and don’t let it affect the interview.

On the other hand, they could focus on exactly what you want, and you could wind up with mind-blowing coverage.

Remember, the editing process can get in the way of how you come across. So be very aware of that.

Always, where appropriate, talk in first person. Use a very personal perspective as much as possible. It’s all about you – make sure to use I (not you/we/they) when referring to the industry.
Talk in complete sentences – even when the interviewer seems rushed, or when you know you don’t have a lot of space/time to fill. It helps maintain context.
Don’t be too jargony or technical, if you can avoid it. Make sure the way you talk about your book is appropriate for the audience. Use snappy and compelling sound-bite language. Be brief, but thorough and always be clear on why a given audience will care about what you have to say.

KEEP IN MIND ALL REPORTERS HAVE AN ANGLE ON HOW THEY WANT THE STORY TO BE. THIS OFTEN COLORS THEIR APPROACH. YOU TOO, MUST HAVE AN ANGLE. REMEMBER WHAT YOU WANT TO GET ACROSS.

The Business Of Writing - Meet The Authors

Shirley Hailstock – is the author of seventeen novels and novellas. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Holt Medallion, the Barclay Gold Award and the Waldenbooks Best-selling Romance Award. Romantic Times awarded her a Career Achievement Award and one of her books made the Top 100 Romances of the 20th Century list.

Shirley's books have appeared on Blackboard and the Library Journal Best Seller Lists. She is a past president of Romance Writers of America.

Lyn Cote - Inspiraional Romance Author


Bettye Griffin - Romance Author

Dara Girard - is the author of How to Bounce WhenYou Want to Shatter: Steps to Resilience in the Writing Life and three novelsfor BET/Arabesque. Her fourth book, Illusive Flame, is scheduled to be releasedMarch 2006. You can visit her website daragirard.com for more articles and linksfor writers.

Vvian Beck - has twenty years of professional experience as a literary agent, editor, bookseller, and freelance writer. She has traveled extensively attending conferences and conducting workshops on many aspects of the publishing industry. Vivian works closely with authors and editors building a productive working relationship to guide your work toward the most appropriate markets. Known for her friendly, professional manner, Vivian combines the personal and hands-on attention that corporate-style agencies cannot offer.

Vivian was formerly a literary agent with the Ferguson Literary Agency and is a member of the Romance Writers of America. She co-founded a RWA chapter where she served three terms as president. Vivian judged in the RWA Golden Heart Contest, and gave agent appointments at the last three RWA national conferences. An avid reader since the age of four when her grandmother taught her to read, Vivian says it is her love of books that drew her to the publishing industry.

Vivian advises you to approach your writing as you would any other profession. Commit to do your very best; your priority should be to get your manuscript read and published.

Sha-Shana Crichton - president, is publishing and entertainment attorney. She counsels artists, authors, musicians, photographers, and other creative entities regarding drafting, and negotiating contracts, copyrights, wills, small business management, permits and employment issues relating to intellectual property, such as work-for-hire and non-competition clauses. Sha-Shana frequently lectures on negotiating publishing contracts and author-editor-agent relationships. She is licensed to practice in New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia and is a member of the Litigation and Arts, Entertainment and Sports sections of the DC Bar.

Sha-Shana is a graduate of Howard University School of Law (J.D. cum laude); the University of the West Indies (B.A. Hons.); and the Instituto Benjamin de Tudela, Navarra, Spain. She is a former managing editor of the Howard Law Journal and has edited several articles and books, including Constitutional Law: Analysis and Cases by Ziyad Motala and Cyril Ramaphosa (Oxford University Press, 2002). She is the author of Distinguishing Between Direct and Consequential Damages Under New York Law in Breach of Service Contract Cases, Howard Law Journal 2002. Sha-Shana is fluent in Spanish and French.

Stacy Hawkins Adams is the author of "Speak To My Heart," which was selected
as 2004 Best New Multi-Cultural Christian Fiction by Shades Of Romance readers. Her second book, a sequel, will be released in April 2006 and is titled "Nothing But The Right Thing." Stacy is also a journalist and motivational speaker. For more information, stop by her website:
www.stacyhawkinsadams.com

Electa Rome Parks, one of the rising stars in contemporary fiction, is the author of the best-selling novels THE TIES THAT BIND and LOOSE ENDS, which were originally self-published through her own company, Novel Ideal Publishing and Editorial Services Company, a company now dedicated to quality editorial services.

After successfully self-publishing her debut novels, New American Library, a division of Penguin Group, bought the rights. Mrs. Parks signed a three-book deal with New American Library. Her first novel, THE TIES THAT BIND, was re-released in October 2004, and LOOSE ENDS was re-released in November 2004. Both books were immediately chosen as Black Expressions Book Club selections and embraced as Books of the Month by book clubs across the country. A third manuscript, ALMOST DOESN'T COUNT, which was immediately chosen as the main selection for Black Expressions Book Club, was released in August 2005.

Recently, Electa signed her second book deal with New American Library/Penguin Group. Her upcoming project is: LADIES NIGHT OUT (NAL, 2006).

Electa Rome Parks currently lives outside Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two children. With a BA degree in marketing and a minor in sociology, she is presently following her true passion and working on a fourth novel.

Sophfronia Scott
, “The Book Sistah”, has over fifteen years of experience as a professional writer. She honed her craft working with some of the best (and toughest) editors in the world during her career at “Time” and “People” magazines.

She published her first novel, “All I Need to Get By” with St. Martin’s Press and Sophfronia was hailed by no less than Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as potentially “one of the best writers of her generation.”

Sophfronia holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Harvard. She is also a professional life coach, having graduated from Coach U. She has coached dozens of clients to satisfying life and career decisions through her company, Creative Coaching Plans. Sophfronia is a member of the Author’s Guild, the Women’s National Book Association, the International Coach Federation, and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.

As “The Book Sistah” Sophfronia has created a resource for aspiring authors and offers teleclasses, reports and private coaching to guide writers towards achieving their goals. She may be contacted at sscott@thebooksistah.com or 866-834-3942.

Michelle Monkou - Romance Author

Lori Soard - Romance Author


Michelle Buckley - Bulletproof Soul, (Urban Books, May 2005), is Michelle Buckley's first novel. As a result of her debut writing effort, Black Issues Book Review Magazine included her in the July/August 2005 issue as an up and coming African American author. Her book has also been selected as an “Editor’s Pick” for blackexpressions.com

In addition to her first novel, in 2000, Michelle was included in the Essence #1 bestseller, Souls of My Sisters (Kensington), a collection of real women's stories. Michelle's essay, Young, Gifted & Dying, was about a friend that died of cancer in her early 30s.

Buckley formerly worked as a reporter, a publicist for Hallmark Cards and a freelance writer for Black Enterprise. When she’s not working on fiction and screenwriting projects, she manages her own Kansas City freelance writing and media relations company, Perfect Pitch Communications.

LaShaunda Hoffman - Publisher of Shades Of RomanceMagazine.

Belinda Williams -

Pam Perry - Vice President, Director Public RelationsMinistry Marketing Solutions, Inc. Creator of Chocolate Pages www.MinistryMarketingSolutions.com

Dee Stewart

DAY FIVE - SELF PUBLISH AGENDA

Below are the links to today's conference agenda.

DISCUSSION - Teaching
PANEL - POD vs Self Pub
WORKSHOP - Self Pub Part One
DISCUSSION - Ebooks
WORKSHOP - Self Pub Part Two
PANEL - Non- Fiction Writing

To visit other pages for this week click theAGENDA

Did you miss a panel?


Below are the links for the panels. I can’t promise they will answer but if you have a question for the panel member and missed the day of their panel. Here’s where you can ask questions.Panel members feel free to answer questions.



WEDNESDAY WINNERS

Congratulations to the winners.

Ruth #100

Tray

Stephanie

Karen Thomas

Leah Mullen

Pick your prize from the attendance prizes and send me your choice and mailing address.sormag@yahoo.com

Did you miss a panel?

Below are the links for the panels. I can’t promise they will answer but if you have a question for the panel member and missed the day of their panel. Here’s where you can ask questions.

Panel members feel free to answer questions.


SUNDAY
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Mix and Mingle 2

Welcome to another mix and mingle.

Please let me know how the conference is going for you.

Are you having problems reading the posts or posting to the posts?

Any suggestions to make it more user friendly?

My prayers go out to those who survived Hurricane Wilma.


SELF PUBLISHING AGENDA

Click on the links to go to room

DISCUSSION - Teaching

PANEL - POD vs Self Pub

WORKSHOP - Self Pub Part One

DISCUSSION - Ebooks

WORKSHOP - Self Pub Part Two

PANEL - Non- Fiction Writing

To visit other pages for this week click the

AGENDA

TUESDAY WINNERS

Congrats to the winners!

Barbara Custer

Meri #129

Tee C. Royal

Eleanor

Tempie

Pick your prize from the attandance Prizes and send me your choice and mailing address.
sormag@yahoo.com

Attendance Prizes

SORMAG would like to thank everyone who donated a prize. Please take a moment and visit their sites and learn more about them.

If you would like to donate a prize, we would be happy to accept it. – send info to sormag@yahoo.com


Are you a registered for the online conference? You could be a lucky winner of one of the following prizes.

A Bulletproof Soul Tote – Michelle Buckley http://www.michellebuckley.com/photogallery.asp?ItemID=79

Soleful Strut Set – Niambi Davis
http://www.solefulstrut.com/

EVER AFTER Soundtrack CD – Edwardo Jackson
http://www.edwardojackson.com

A copy of Night To Dawn Magazine - Barbara Custer

Goody Bag From Shades Of Romance Magazine


AUTOGRAPHED BOOKS


Good Woman Blues – Lynn Emery
http://lynnemry.com

Micky Ticky Boo – Sabra Robinson
http://www.mickytickyboo.com
Meet these diverse characters

Searching for an African-American Children Book Writer or Illustrator? http://http://www.aacbwi.com/

More Than You'll Ever Know - Robin R. Pendleton
http://www.robinrpendleton.com

Secrets And Secrets - Celise Downs

Dance Jam Productions - Celise Downs
http://http://www.geminimojopress.com/

From Now On - Robin Bayne
http://www.robinbayne.com/

Almost Doesn’t Count – Electa Roma Parks
http://www.electaromeparks.com/

Musical E-Picture Books - Lynda S Burch
www.lyndasburch.com/

Counting Raindrops through a Stained Glass Window – Cheryln Michaels
http://www.cherlynmichaels.com

The Naked Writer - G. Miki Hayden
http://www.intriguepress.com/authors/g_miki_hayden.htm

Speak To My Heart – Stacy Hawkins Adams
http://www.stacyhawkinsadams.com/

Whatever It Takes - Gwynne Forster
http://www.gwynneforster.com/

I DO? – Edwardo Jackson
http://www.edwardojackson.com

Waiting for You – Janice Sims
http://www.janicesims.com/

Pow Wow Pick Up - Leann Potts

A Bulletproof Soul – Michelle Buckley
http://www.michellebuckley.com/

Again and Again – Leah Mullen
http://www.leahmullen.com/

3 Straight To The Heart – Bettye Griffin
http://www.bettyegrffin.com/

Slow Motion – Wayne Jordan
http://www.waynejordan.com/

An e-book of your choice from – Dr. Bob Rich
http://bobswriting.com/

Catharsis - Minnie E Miller
http://www.millerscribs.com

Liquid Assets - Layne Blacque
http://saintblacque.com

Wild Impulses - Anisa Damien
http://www.AnisaDamien.com

More Than A Bargain - Ann Clay
http://annclay.com

When Death Comes A Knockin' - Vanessa Johnson
http://vanessaajohnson.com

Forever And A Day - Deborah Fletcher Mello
http://www.deborahmello.com

The Wedding Gown - Dyanne Davis

Scrambled Eggs - Cynthianna Appel
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/cynthianna

MONDAY WINNERS

Congrats to the winners:

Jean

Deatri King Bey

Felecia Ellis

Cindy Appel

April # 131

Pick your prize from the attendance prizes and send me your choice and mailing address.
sormag@yahoo.com

DISCUSSION Teaching writing in your community-the pros, the cons, and how to

DISCUSSION Teaching writing in your community-the pros, the cons, and how to get started

Have you taught writing? Are you thinking about teaching writing? Let's discuss it.

PANEL: POD vs Subsidy Vs True Self publishing

PANEL: Shelia M. Goss, Celise Downs , Vanessa Davis Griggs, Cheril N. Clarke, Gena Garrison, Teressa Leath

Come learn about self publishing

Post your questions in the comments section.

Please read the previous comments before you post, so we don’t have duplicate questions.

Please address your questions to a panel member or all panel members.

WORKSHOP - SELF PUBLISHING PART ONE

Self Publishing Is It For You?

By Shelia M. Goss


©2005 All Rights Reserved.



You've already taken the first step to making your dream a reality, but you're still unsure if you're ready to go down the path. I won't pretend to have all of the answers, but I will say that I am so glad I took a chance on myself and self-published. It's been hard work, but the experience has been rewarding on several different levels.

I will be using HOW TO SELF-PUBLISH & MARKET YOUR OWN BOOKS by Mack E Smith and Sara Freeman Smith as a reference in today's post. If you don't have the book now, this is one book to add to your MUST BUY list. It has been helpful in more ways than one.

Writing to most of us is fun. Somewhere along the way, we decided we wanted to share our thoughts with the public. Where do we begin? Some of us pursue the traditional publishing route of trying to find an agent and/or publisher. Others may decide to self publish outright. Either way, we all have one common goal: To see our book IN PRINT.

Before we go any further, realize SELF PUBLISHING IS A BUSINESS. Besides writing the manuscript, you will need stamina to handle the "business side" as well.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Am I ready to be a sales rep, an accountant, a publicist, an inventory analyst…etc?
Am I prepared to do research and determine who's the best editor, graphic designer, printer, distributor, etc for me?
Am I prepared to promote, promote and PROMOTE my book (s)?
And last but not least, am I willing to learn as much as possible about the publishing industry?

Keep in mind a lot of today's best selling authors may have started off self-published. Self-publishing is another way to get agents and major publishers to notice you. I don't know if
you've read the books, MY BROTHER'S KEEPER by Reshonda Tate Billingsly or Momma's Baby Daddy's Maybe by Jamise Dames. Well, they both started off self-published and are now with major publishers. I remember seeing MOMMA'S BABY, DADDY'S MAYBE as an Essence Bestseller for several months prior to it being picked up by a major publisher.

I mention those two books to show you that although you may self-publish, you don't have to give up hopes of being with a major publisher. There's a popular author who has several books out with a major publisher, but they also self publish other titles. So in actuality you can do both.

WHAT IS SELF-PUBLISHING AGAIN?

To self-publish means that you deal directly with editors, graphic designers, printers, and handle the marketing and distribution of your book.

Here are a few advantages of self-publishing:

You are in total control of the input (your manuscript) and the output (the finished product--YOUR BOOK).


· After expenses and distributor and book store discounts, you get to keep the profits. You don't have to give the publisher and agent anything, because YOU'RE THE PUBLISHER.

You determine when you want your book released. If you want the date of your release to be your birthday, then that's the date you can release your book. With a traditional publisher, they TELL YOU when it'll be released.

There can be other advantages, but those are the main ones.

Now to some of the disadvantages:

Limited resources can be a hindrance. However, don't fret, because if you don't have the finances to outright self-publish, you do have options – Print on Demand (POD). I'll list some Print on Demand publishers below.

A limited distribution channel is another challenge self-publishers face. Thanks to the Internet and the success of those who came before us, you now have more options.

What is Print on Demand (POD)?
This is printing small quantities of books upon request within a short period of time using digital technology and minimum upfront costs.

If you decide to use POD, there are two PODs that I can recommend; however there are many more out there.

IUNIVERSE http://www.iuniverse.com

Author House http://www.authorhouse.com/

If you choose the POD route, I advise you to read the fine print and use the one that best fits your needs. I also caution when using some of their services. The link I'm about to provide is the best resource I've seen on the subject. http://www.sfwa.org/beware/printondemand.html.



Hopefully, this post gives you a better view on the pros and cons of self publishing or at least sparks your interest to find out more about it.

Is your head spinning yet? Smile. Feel free to jump right on in and start asking questions, if you haven't already.



1st Assignment: Investigate and find out what other PODs (Print on Demand) Publishers are out there.



2nd Assignment: Weigh for yourself the advantages and disadvantages to self-publish or use one of the PODs. This is something you don't have to decide now, but should be thinking about.

Suggested Reference Material:
How to Self-Publish & Market Your Own Book by Mark E. Smith and Sara Freeman Smith



Note: This post is an excerpt from a self-paced online self-publishing workshop: THE 411 ON SELF PUBLISHING offered by Shelia M. Goss. If interested in the course, please send her an email sheliagoss@aol.com.



Shelia M Goss is the ESSENCE MAGAZINE Bestselling Author of My Invisible Husband. With unique storylines, her goal is to create “stories with a twist.” Shelia was the recipient of three 2003 Shades of Romance Magazine Reader's Choice Multi-Cultural Awards for her debut novel, ROSES are Thorns, VIOLETS are True. Her articles, poetry, and short stories, have appeared in National Magazines such as Black Romance Magazine, Bronze Thrills, InnerCosmetics, and Tribes Magazine. Visit her website at www.sheliagoss.com or check out her relationship blog at http://myinvisiblehusband.blogspot.com.

NON -FICTION WRITING

WELCOME TO THE NON-FICTION ROOM

YOUR PANEL TODAY IS:

Dr. Bob Rich, Barbara Joe Williams

DISCUSSION: E Books-the pros, the cons, the successes

DISCUSSION: E Books-the pros, the cons, the successes

Everyone has an opinion about e-books. What's yours?

WORKSHOP - SELF PUBLISHING TWO

A View Into Self Publishing

By Cheril N. Clarke

copyright 05

Anyone who is literate can write a book. Most people are able and want to write one, but not many actually have the time, discipline, passion or attention span necessary. Do you have a book in you that you seriously want published? Do you have all you need to see it through to the point of completion? If so, then the next logical step is to decide how you want to be published. There are a few options:

Approach a commercial, medium or small publishers that handle all aspects from editing to marketing.
Use a subsidizing publishing company, which will print and bind the book for you at your expense using their ISBN number to identify them as the publisher of record.
Publish yourself, incurring all of the cost but keep 100% of profits.
The focus of this article will be on publishing yourself. And it is an attempt to give you basic direction and knowledge of the industry through the eyes of a self-published author of fiction. “Writing a book is a creative act. Selling a book is a business. A finished book is a product.” –Dan Poynter, The Self-Publishing Manual, http://parapub.com.

If you want to have your book copyrighted in your name, bypass middlemen and go straight to a printer, have complete creative control and have a faster turnaround time, get tax breaks for owning your own company and keep 100% of your book’s retail price (minus production costs) then self-publishing may be for you. Keep in mind that it does require work and is not a get rich quick scheme. You have to love this business to succeed.

The first step is to write a business and marketing plan. More information including templates can be found at www.score.org. These plans will help you determine what type of legal structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation etc.) is best for you. They will also help you think analytically enough to narrow down your target audience, write a thorough plan of action defining how you plan to reach them as well as project future earnings against an opening day balance sheet and marketing tactics.

Once your plans are written and your business is set up you will want to find a very good editor for your manuscript. Do not rely on friends to edit your book. Pay a professional who will take your raw work and help you polish so it is the best it can possibly be. Even after it has been edited it will need another round of proofreading. It’s cheaper to do these things before the book is printed than it is to correct an error later on. It’s less embarrassing too. You can ask other authors for recommendations on good editors. Query those who are recommended to you and send them all the same sample chapter so you can see their editing style and determine if you two will work good together. Editing may cost you between $700 and $1500. You do not want to be cheap in this area. It is critical to the overall success of your book.

After the editorial phase is out of the way you will need to either design your book yourself or pay a professional to do the typesetting and layout. Writing a book in Microsoft Word is fine, but I highly recommend that it be typeset/design by software such as Tex or Adobe InDesign to avoid problems that may occur when it is time to print the actual book. Likewise, the cover design should be created by a professional with your input on what you want. People do judge books by their covers and a bad design may turn quite a few people away from your book no matter how good the content may be. The back cover is valuable space that should be used with effective content about your book to get a customer interested in buying it. It should include your book’s category, a description, testimonials or blurbs obtained by pre-publication reviews*, the price, bar code and photograph of the author (optional, and may not be effective if you are a first time author). That space can be better used by putting additional info or promises to entertain and enlighten the customer if they buy it. No one cares what you look like. They care if you can write and tell a good story. Typesetting and a cover design may cost you anywhere from $1000 + depending on who you choose to hire to help you. Again, you do not want to be cheap here. The goal is to produce a handsome book that looks just as professional as the ones produced by commercial publishers.

The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and barcode can both be obtained by contacting R.R. Bowker, which the United State’s ISBN agency that performs many of the standard services in the publishing industry. If you want your book carried by bookstores you need an ISBN and barcode. ISBN’s are generally sold in blocks of ten for either ten different books or different versions of one book. (audio version, 2nd edition etc.) The current price for ISBN’s can be obtained from www.bowker.com.

Once the book is edited, typeset, has a cover design and all the necessary technical filings (including copyright with the Library of Congress – www.loc.gov) are completed the next thing you will want to do is request quotes from printers. When dealing with printers it is a numbers game. What I mean by this is that you can order a short run of 25 books and it may cost you $4.00 per book, and you may order 1000 books and it cost you $2.00 per book. When dealing with print runs the higher your run the lower your cost per unit, which will come in handy when you have to deal with middlemen like distributors and bookstores. You can research tons of printers online and put all of the quotes you get back in a spreadsheet for easy comparison and selection.

Before you go ahead with your first official print run though you should print Advance Reading copies of your book to submit to key reviewers and publications such as Library Journal and Kirkus reviewers; they will want your book 3-4 months before it’s official publication date so plan your time line accordingly. A good review in one of these publications can lead to book sales to libraries. Plus, most magazines operate on a 2-3 month lead time your book should be available at the time the review is printed, which will also help sales. You can use excerpts from these reviews on your back cover or on the first page of the book.

Once your book is in print the real work begins: selling it. This is where your marketing plan will come in handy. You should already know exactly who your target audience is and have a plan to reach them. You should be submitting press releases to magazines and other publications that read members of your audience. You should have promotional materials, such as post cards, bookmarks and business cards made up with your books cover art and ordering information. A website is a must have and it should be sleek, easy to navigate, pleasing to the eye and give the viewer a reason to buy your book. Put up testimonials, a sample chapter, copies of interviews you’ve done or reviews you may have received. You can pay a professional web designer or you can do it yourself if you know how. Promotional materials may cost you a couple hundred dollars. A website may not cost you much if you design it yourself, but it can cost you $300 + if you hire a professional to design it for you.

There are other things that you may or may not require such as: trademarking a company logo, stationary, letter head and envelopes, PO Box, voice messaging system etc. If you plan to publish more books whether your own or others then you should definitely look into legal requirements in your state to get more information on how to file a fictitious business name as well as collecting sales tax.

There is much more to learn about the business, but I hope this article has given you some insight into the industry. For more information I highly recommend reading “The Self-Publishing Manual” by Dan Poynter and “The Publishing Game Series” by Fern Reiss.

Self Publishing - Meet The Authors

Shelia M. Goss - Fiction Author

Celise Downs - was born, and currently makes her home, in Phoenix, AZ. Her love of writing began in the seventh grade and was further encouraged by a high school English teacher. She's a big fan of James Bond (Sean and Pierce), Betty Boop and adult series romance books. She enjoys going to the movies, reading, listening to music (especially Linkin Park), and watching her favorite T.V. shows: Smallville and Alias. Celise shares her home with her soulmate, Steven, and a talkative cat named Sweetpea. Celise is also a member of the following organizations: Publisher's Marketing Association, Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Arizona Book Publishing Association, National Association for Women's Writers, and the Little Owl Mentoring Program.

Gena L. Garrison attended South Carolina State University where she studied Elementary Education with a minor in voice. She also studied writing briefly at Greenville Technical College.

Baring it All, Gena’s first published novel was released in May 2005 and has received a five star rating from Amazon.com reviewers. Sales and reviews have been described as tremendous for a first time author. She has completed two other novels The Rainbow Z expected to be released in 2006, as well as Prodigal, also slated for release in 2006.

With a strong faith in God and a love for her family, her friends, and her church Gena and her son reside in Greenville, SC the hometown she was born and raised in.

For more information on her or her works please visit her online at
www.genalgarrison.com

Vanessa Davis Griggs - Award-winning author and speaker Vanessa Davis Griggs is the author of PROMISES BEYOND JORDAN and the sequel entitled WINGS OF GRACE published by BET BOOKS/New Spirit. Visit her at her Web site:
http://www.vanessadavisgriggs.com/

Teressa I. Leath - In December 2004, Baltimore native Teressa I. Leath released her first novel, And Then Some. The book is a fictional love story of two people on a parallel journey to love and purpose. Tiffany Williamson is in search of the peace and sense of purpose lacking since a life-changing car accident. Theodore Johnson has yet to recover emotionally from the circle of events that claimed his wife eight years ago. With both having their faith put to the test, the lessons they learn and the spiritual growth they experience teach them and those around them the meaning of true love.

Mrs. Leath is a graduate of Towson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. She has worked in various financial and accounting positions during the past 12 years. She is a member of Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, DE and is actively involved in the Daughters of Radiance (Women’s) Ministry and the Marriage & Family Ministry.

Since the release of her book, Mrs. Leath has conducted numerous book signings in the Mid-Atlantic area. She was one of the featured authors at the Johns Hopkins University 2005 Book Festival in Baltimore, MD. One of her most memorable book signings was in Atlanta, Ga. at the 2005 T.D. Jakes MegaFest.

In addition to introducing her first novel, Mrs. Leath founded P.H. Village Publishers, LLC in January 2005 to facilitate and promote her work independently. She calls the publishing venture “An Author’s Pathway from Inspiration to Realization.”

Mrs. Leath currently resides in West Chester, PA with her husband Tim.
My professional objective is to teach aspiring writers how to publish their own books in simplified steps, and to promote literacy by inspiring more adults to read.

Dr Bob Rich - is an Australian writer with 13 published books, three of them international award winners. One of his non-fiction books is in its fourth edition, and has sold hundreds of thousands of copies since 1987. He doesn't believe in specialization, but that if someone else can do it, he (and you) can learn it. So, his writing covers several fields of non-fiction (building skills; woodcraft; self-help psychology -- he is a psychologist as well; self-help health) and fiction (science fiction, historical adventure, contemporary, crime, romantic suspense).

Since 1999, Bob has worked as a professional editor. His service is currently used by six independent publishers, and an endless stream of writers, ranging from multiple-published award-winners to first-time tryers.
If you want to know more, go to
http://bobswriting.com/

Barbara Joe-Williams served four years in the U.S. Navy. She is a graduate of Tallahassee Community College and Florida A&M University Barbara Joe-Williams has worked as a secretary, business education teacher, guidance counselor, and reading instructor. She has a husband and a five-year-old daughter.

Forgive Us This Day, is the first novel in a four-part series. It has received several four-star and five-star reviews. It is available at bookstores nationwide and on-line including Amazon.com
She has traveled to three states (Arkansas, Connecticut, and Tennessee) conducting writing and self-publishing workshops at churches, colleges, and universities.

Barbara Joe-Williams will be the Spotlight Author for next month’s premier issue of, The Power of Words, magazine. She is the sole owner of Amani Publishing in Tallahassee, Florida
Barbara Joe-Williams latest release, One Sister’s Guide to Self-Publishing: A Ten-Step Program to Success, is available now! Her highly anticipated second novel, Dancing with Temptation, will be available by November 30, 2005. Pre-ordering is available on-line now!
Visit her website at:
www.Barbarajoewilliams.com or send e-mail to: Amanipublishing@aol.com

Cheril N. Clarke - Fiction Author

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

DISCUSSION: Writer's Associations: How to choose the one right for you.

WELCOME TO THE DISCUSSION ROOM

Writer's Associations: How to choose the one right for you.

Have you been trying to decided which organization to join?

Lets talk about it.

PANEL: Editing

WELCOME TO THE EDITING ROOM

TODAY'S PANEL IS:

Deatri King Bey, Dyanne Davis, Dr. Bob Rich, Lindsay Murdock

Get some tips on editing your manuscripts.

Articles will be posted in the comments.

Post your questions in the comments section.

Please read the previous comments before you post, so we don’t have duplicate questions.

Please address your questions to a panel member or all panel members.

PANEL: Hot Genres

WELCOME TO THE HOT GENRE ROOM

TODAY'S PANEL IS: Michelle Buckley, Eduardo Jackson – Chick Lit
G. Miki Hayden, Diane Dorce - Mystery
Monica Jackson - Paranormal
Celise Downs - Young Adult
Sandra E. Harris – Urban Fiction
Bevery Jenkins – Romantic Suspense
Celine Chatillon - Erotica

Come meet some of the writers from some of the hottest new genres.

Post your questions in the comments section.

Please read the previous comments before you post, so we don’t have duplicate questions.

Please address your questions to a panel member or all panel members.

WORKSHOP: Confession Writing

Confession Writing - Pat Byrdsong

Read the article in the comments section.

PANEL: Meet The Editor

WELCOME TO THE MEET THE EDITOR ROOM

TODAY'S PANEL: Stacy Boyd - Harlequin, Krista Stroever - Steeple Hill, Karen Thomas - Dafina Books, Monica Harris – Dorchester Books, Charlene Keel - Tantalizing Tales, Noemi Rivera - Ocean's Mist Press

Come meet some of the editors looking for new writers.

Post your questions in the comments section.

Please read the previous comments before you post, so we don’t have duplicate questions.

Please address your questions to a panel member or all panel members.

DISCUSSION: Fast Writing/BIAW

Fast Writing/BIAW ROOM

Lets discuss how you use fast writing or Books In A Week with your writing.

Advance Writers - Meet The Authors

Pat Byrdsong – Former editor for Confessions magazines.

Stacy Boyd, Editor, LUNA Books/Silhouette Books

Originally from LaGrange, Georgia, Stacy Boyd is a voracious reader who turned her love of stories into a degree in studying people (aka, cultural anthropology) from New College of Florida. She’s been with Harlequin Books since 2001 and has edited for both Harlequin and Silhouette series romance as well as for the LUNA Books trade imprint. She’s the winner of the 2004 PASIC Editor of Merit award, and her author base consists of many talented writers, including Nebula Award winners and Waldenbooks bestsellers. The fiction in her editing schedule this year includes romance, action-adventure, legal thrillers, women’s fiction, and traditional and contemporary fantasy.

Krista Stroever—Associate Senior Editor, Steeple Hill/Harlequin/Silhouette

Krista Stroever joined Harlequin/Silhouette in 2003 as an editor for Steeple Hill where she’s been fortunate enough to acquire and work with many beloved inspirational authors, including Jacquelin Thomas and Felicia Mason, across a variety of genres including romantic suspense, chick- and mom-lit, historical romance and good-old-fashioned romance. In her new position as Associate Senior Editor, she is in charge of the popular Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense lines. She was at HarperCollins previously, where she worked with Catherine Todd and Tony Hillerman, among many other authors. Prior to HarperCollins, she was a member of the romance team at Avon. She holds a B.A. in Germanic Languages and Literature from Princeton University.

Karen Thomas – Editor for Dafina Books

Monica Harris – Dorchester Books,

Charlene Keel - is the author of 12 novels and how-to published books, for which she recovered all rights. She then turned them into e-books and presents them now on www.tantalizingtales.com. Her television credits include RITUALS, a syndicated soaper she created based on her own book, and multiple episodes of FANTASY ISLAND and DAYS OF OUR LIVES. She has also written and/or produced such television pilots as ROMANCE THEATRE, FOLLOW YOUR HEART and the first annual MR. ROMANCE COVER MODEL PAGEANT.

In 1992, Keel was hired as convention coordinator for ROMANTIC TIMES. A year later, she became managing editor of PLAYGIRL; and after one year in that position, she left to start her own publication, I’LL TAKE ROMANCE!


Keel has also worked as editor in chief of FOR THE BRIDE, and as editor in chief of SPICE, a teen music fanzine published by The Starlog Group. And she has worked as a stewardess, a secretary, a mother, an administrative assistant, a publicist and a full-time freelance writer.

Noemi Rivera - Ocean's Mist Press


Diane Dorce is an author of upcoming novel Devil In The Mist, a suspense/thriller featuring ex-NBA player turned detective, Zack Monstar. My writing credentials include, All Gods Children Have Wings, a musical stage play that debuted in Atlanta, 1992 and Loving Penny, a middle-grade book about one girls experience with obesity, published in 2001. I am the owner and co-publisher of FireFly Publishing & Entertainment, formed September, 2005.

Celise Downs was born, and currently makes her home, in Phoenix, AZ. Her love of writing began in the seventh grade and was further encouraged by a high school English teacher. She's a big fan of James Bond (Sean and Pierce), Betty Boop and adult series romance books. She enjoys going to the movies, reading, listening to music (especially Linkin Park), and watching her favorite T.V. shows: Smallville and Alias. Celise shares her home with her soulmate, Steven, and a talkative cat named Sweetpea. Celise is also a member of the following organizations: Publisher's Marketing Association, Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Arizona Book Publishing Association, National Association for Women's Writers, and the Little Owl Mentoring Program.

Edwardo Jackson is a graduate of Morehouse College and has an MBA from the University of Phoenix. The winner of the 1993 NAACP ACTSO Silver Medal in Playwriting, he is an author, screenwriter, and actor, as well as a President of the entertainment promotional company JCM Entertainment, LLC. His other works include Ever After (2001), Neva Hafta (2002) “ both published by Random House/Villard Books the forthcoming sequel I Do? (November 2005) as well as the story And Then She Cried, featured in the anthology Proverbs for the People (Kensington, 2003) and Broken Rules in the anthology Intimacy (Penguin Plume, 2004). Originally from Seattle, WA, Mr. Jackson resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Shirley Hailstock is the author of seventeen novels and novellas. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Holt Medallion, the Barclay Gold Award and the Waldenbooks Best-selling Romance Award. Romantic Times awarded her a Career Achievement Award and one of her books made the Top 100 Romances of the 20th Century list.

Shirley's books have appeared on Blackboard and the Library Journal Best Seller Lists. She is a past president of Romance Writers of America.

G. Miki Hayden has written four published books, all well-received, with two given special acknowledgement. Pacific Empire won a rave in The NYTimes, while Writing the Mystery was nominated for an Agatha, an Anthony, and a Macavity--winning the Macavity. In 2004, Miki was presented with an Edgar for her story “The Maids.” G. Miki Hayden has been nominated for and has won other writing awards. A 25-year trade journalist, Miki teaches both fiction and nonfiction classes at Writer’s Digest’s online workshops. Miki's latest full-length work is The Naked Writer, a style and composition guide for all levels of writers, which will be out in March.

Dr Bob Rich is an Australian writer with 13 published books, three of them international award winners. One of his non-fiction books is in its fourth edition, and has sold hundreds of thousands of copies since 1987. He doesn't believe in specialization, but that if someone else can do it, he (and you) can learn it. So, his writing covers several fields of non-fiction (building skills; woodcraft; self-help psychology -- he is a psychologist as well; self-help health) and fiction (science fiction, historical adventure, contemporary, crime, romantic suspense).

Since 1999, Bob has worked as a professional editor. His service is currently used by six independent publishers, and an endless stream of writers, ranging from multiple-published award-winners to first-time tryers.

If you want to know more, go to http://bobswriting.com

Lindsay Murdock – The editor of Murdock Editing (www.murdockediting.com), a
personal editing and consulting company, Lindsay Murdock assists and guides
new authors through the process of publication. She creates a supportive but honest environment, allowing authors to improve their understanding of their readers, the publishing industry, and their own writing strengths.

Born in PA, Lindsay has a BA in English Literature, a BS in Journalism, and
extensive professional experience in journalism, publishing, and freelance editing. She currently lives and works from her home in NJ. She is also the editor of Writers Advance, a monthly newsletter for authors working toward publication (www.writersadvance.com).

Michelle Buckley – Fiction author

Monica Jackson – Romance and Paranormal author

Beverly Jenkins – Romantic Suspense and Historical Author

Celine Chatillon – Erotica Author

About Me

My photo
I believe in promoting authors and their books. Let me introduce you and your books to online readers.

I'm also a happily married mother of three who's trying to break into the Christian writing field. The writing road can be rocky.

I’m available for:

Online promotion coaching
Lectures
Seminars
Freelancing
Contact me at:lchwriter@gmail.com

Serving Our Community 365 Days a Year!