Monday, May 21, 2018

A Detailed Story Outline is Key



By Rich Ritter: The New Voice of the American West


I know what you’re thinking: “Why do I care about something as tedious as a story outline?” I understand. I’ve spoken with several authors who began a novel with only a minimal outline or (in one case) none at all. This approach may work for some, but I feel compelled to prepare a detailed story outline—likely because I am pathologically analytical. Recently, I heard a celebrity brag that it took over three months to write his book. I find this statement quite amusing because this is typically the length of time I require to write the outline. With this in mind, here are my suggested components of a detailed story outline:

1)       Book Titles. The first title that pops into your mind is usually not the best. Write it down anyway. And don’t stop there: record all potential titles, especially when they come to you in the bathroom.
2)      List of Characters. You have probably already imagined a number of characters. Write these down too, including when they were born, place of birth, interesting life experiences, psychological traits (especially pathologies), and anything else you can think of. Organize by primary and secondary.
3)      Chapters and Titles. I know this sounds painful, but you don’t have to come up with the entire Table of Contents in one sitting. List as many as you can, then give it a rest. If you keep thinking about it over the next few weeks, the chapters will automatically present themselves as your subconscious works it out while you’re asleep.
4)      The First Sentence of Every Chapter. At this point, you’re probably saying, “You’ve got to be kidding!” Well, I’m not. Just write out the sentences. Revise or replace them later.
5)      Outline of Each Chapter. This is why it takes months to prepare a detailed story outline (unless you’re a celebrity). If you can’t outline the chapters now, then you certainly can’t write them later.
6)      Research Notes. Mark Twain said, “The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.” Since I write edgy historical fiction, I always keep this in mind. Record any historical information relevant to your story, including sources. Insert links to Internet websites, articles, or news stories that will improve the authenticity of your writing. If you collect printed materials, organize for easy retrieval.
7)      Historical Photographs. I’ve used a single photograph to inspire a protagonist, an important event, or an entire chapter. Employ your favorite search engine to find photographs pertinent to your genre and story. Save with descriptive file names in a separate folder for each chapter. Make it a game and collect photos by the hundreds.

I encourage you to prepare the story outline in a series of increasingly improved drafts until you are deeply satisfied with your effort. When you finally begin that masterpiece, you will find that it nearly writes itself!
_____________________________________________________________________- 
Rich Ritter is the son of a father who worked in the aerospace industry and a mother who taught first grade. Born in the Midwest during the Korean War, his family moved to California before he began the first grade. He attended second grade through high school in Anaheim, and then California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He completed his thesis year in Denmark, and while there met Kristine from Alaska—in the balcony of the Royal Danish Ballet during a performance of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. He moved to Alaska and married Kris a few years later. The author and his wife have two sons. Book titles: Toil Under the Sun: A Novel, Heart of Abigail: A Lyric Novella of Juneau, Douglas and Treadwell, Nor Things To Come: A Trilogy of the American West, Book One: The Perilous Journey Begins, Book Two: Gathering of the Clans, Book Three should be available in 6 months (or thereabouts). His social Media links: http://richritterbooks.com/  --   http://rphillipritter.blogspot.com/  --https://authormasterminds.com/rich-ritter  --   https://www.facebook.com/Rich-Ritter-The-New-Voice-of-the-American-West-162253087166472/?ref=bookmarks  --   https://www.linkedin.com/in/rich-ritter-281582124/





Friday, May 18, 2018

Writing Authentic and Accurate Law Enforcement



By DiAnn Mills


Some writers of suspense and crime fiction believe TV shows and movies provide accurate representation for local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Unless a professional is hired to assist the script and scene, the depictions on the screen are designed to entertain and move the story along, and may miss correct protocol.

Writers, this means the professionals want to help us create realistic stories about their critical roles.

While we enjoy the peace of mind of having a trained person carry a weapon and keep us safe, we also have the responsibility of supporting the courageous people who put their lives on the line for us. They can’t do their job alone. For this partnership to work, law enforcement agencies seek to educate the community on the how and why of their unique positions. They offer programs and immerse themselves into neighborhoods to listen to the needs of others.

Procedure, laws, jurisdiction, and terminology differ according to the agency. So how does a writer ensure a story’s research is factual?

The answer is to contact the law enforcement agency directly. Most all agencies have a media specialist or public relations person assigned to answer questions. When I began writing suspense, I had to move from my introverted self to an extrovert and make a few phone calls. I kept telling myself that the person on the other end of the phone could only say no. What I discovered is just the opposite! Just like I enjoyed talking about my life as a writer, I found the law enforcement agency representatives were excited to talk about their chosen profession.

Here are a few tips to help you reach out for the correct information:

1.          Establish what law enforcement agency will be featured in your book—local, state, or federal.
2.          Prepare questions for an interview. A writer wants to know what the person likes about his/her job, dislikes, a typical day, how the job affects personal life, hobbies, what the person does for fun, and the list goes on. If you have a characterization sketch, look at those prompts as guidelines to prepare the interview.
3.          Contact the agency and introduce yourself. Ask to speak to the public relations person. Explain what you need and schedule a physical, phone, or email Q&A. Thank the person.
4.          If the writer is fortunate to have a face-to-face with the expert, take the time to get to know the person. Many traits of our heroes and heroines rise from these conversations. Listen to how the person talks and the words used.

Many law enforcement agencies in bigger cities offer citizens programs to those who desire to help be liaisons between the agency and the community. Those involved in citizens outreach programs influence their own circle of people. The classes are approximately 6 to 8 weeks long with regular meetings to keep those in the program informed, educated—and have fun.

Understand some agencies can’t provide us with details due to the sensitive nature of their work. The following law enforcement agencies are known for their citizens programs and there may be more:

1.          Citizens Police Academy
2.          FBI Citizens Academy
3.          DEA Citizens Academy
4.          U.S. Marshals Service Citizens Academy
5.          State Highway Patrol Citizens Academy
6.          ICE Citizens Academy

Writers, step out of your comfort zone and search for the information to ensure your story is rich with facts.
__________________________________________________________________ 
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Firewall, the first book in her Houston: FBI series, was listed by Library Journal as one of the best Christian Fiction books of 2014. DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and The Mountainside Marketing Conference with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook: www.facebook.com/diannmills, Twitter: https://twitter.com/diannmills or any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Nancy Veldman’s Magnolia House



By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine


While visiting our cousin Chris Stewart at her beautiful home at Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, I was given a book she was reading. It was a novel Old Man Rivers by author Nancy Veldman. Chris went on to explain Nancy had a shop nearby in Miramar Beach suggested we stop by there. After reading a portion of the book I decided to make the visit. I was familiar with the Grand Boulevard area because one of my favorite restaurants, Tommy Bahamas, is located there. If I am in the area I never fail to stop and eat there. So I was happy to have another reason to stop in and since I had been told Nancy was a Memphis, Tennessee native I felt it was a must.   

Author, pianist and artist Nancy Veldman refers to her gift shop / bookstore as a gathering place. Nancy was in when we stopped in on a Sunday afternoon and she has indeed made it a most comfortable place to be. Her shop has its own bookstore area which feels like you are in your private library.  There you will find current works by familiar authors including many authors from the coastal area. Like many shops owned by authors there is an amazing effort on their part to promote not only their works but the works of other authors.   

There among all the beautiful things in her shop was an area dedicated to Nancy’s books, CDs and artwork. Nancy has written over 100 songs and released 10 CDs. She has also written seven novels and working on an eighth. It was a wonderful experience to not only see her shop but to meet the author. Nancy spent a lot of time with my wife and me talking about her books, music, artwork and her life. She had the most interesting story of her receiving the Key to the City of Memphis for humanitarian efforts.

Nancy’s goal is to keep on giving. Today Nancy feeds the homeless in the Destin, FL area and ministers to the poor. Her music is played in hospitals, cancer centers, schools and businesses. CEOs of hospitals have flown in to meet her so they could pipe her music in their hospitals. If asked how she does it all her answer is, “We have no understanding of what we are capable of in this life we live, until we allow ourselves to step out and try. As many have said, it is the fear of failure or acceptance of mediocrity in our lives that keeps us from ever becoming.”

Nancy has done a great job in giving back not only to her community but to fellow authors. You can visit her on her website.  She can also be found on YouTube, Facebook, Amazon and iTunes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Pat Conroy and Me



By Tina Murray, Ph.D.


"What do you do?" renowned Southern writer Pat Conroy asked me during his book-signing event at the Miami Book Fair, years ago. Mr. Conroy was about to sign a copy of his latest novel, which I had just purchased.

"Well, I'm trying to be a writer," I replied, my voice feeble  and apologetic.

He contemplated me.

The two of us were not alone. Fans stood in line nearby to meet-and-greet the famous author. However, that is how I remember the event--as if, suddenly, Mr. Conroy and I  had been set apart from physical reality and isolated by a single spotlight. His response to my whine was immediate and definite.

"You say, 'I am a writer.'" he ordered, signing.

I was astonished.

"I am a writer," I said tentatively. Comprehending, I repeated the words, with conviction. "I am a writer."

He closed the book and handed it to me. He waved an index finger in my direction. "Never let anyone tell you you can't do it," he said. "Not anyone," he said emphatically.

I nodded, agape. He went on.

"Not your family, your friends, your boyfriend--" He reeled off a laundry list of potential saboteurs. 

"No one."

I think I thanked him. I hope I did. Dazed, I had wandered off, drifting back into the milling throng of book enthusiasts. Absorbing what had occurred  I wandered, as evening fell, warm and humid.

Something dramatic and significant had happened in my life.  That night, my body rode home on the Metrorail, but my head remained in the ozone. Pat Conroy had changed my life.

He had given me the keys to tenacity. Nothing is more crucial to the writing life than tenacity. A writer may possess great talent, be a stellar craftsperson, and approach artistry, but none of it matters if  the writer's work is left unfinished. Tenacity matters.

He had given me the keys to Tena City, as it were, or to Tina City. He had unlocked my resolve.

Since that conversation, I have written three novels, each published by ArcheBooks. My latest novel, A BIG FAN OF YOURS, is Volume Three of my series, "Starlight on the Gulf."  The  series, which also includes Volumes One and Two, A CHANCE TO SAY YES and A WILD DREAM OF LOVE, did not write itself, I promise you. These novels exist because of Pat Conroy's kind words.

His righteous insight gave me permission to persevere, permission I had denied myself, from an early age, in various pursuits. Often, I had taken the advice of naysayers. Worse, I had talked myself out of goals.

Now I know I do not have to give in, bow down, or buckle under to negativity, no matter its source.

Neither do you, writer.

I am a grateful for the opportunity to pass along Pat Conroy's advice to a host of Southern writers. I believe he would have wanted it that way.
__________________________________________________________________ 
Tina Murray, Ph.D. has ventured her way into the publishing world after years spent in a wide range of pursuits. Insight gained, especially as an actress and artist, subsequently enhanced by degrees in art education, education, art and drama from the the Florida State University and the University of Miami, has fed her imagination for her debut romance novel A Chance to Say Yes. Now she enjoys the sunny shores of paradise as she prepares the sequel in her movie-star dynasty. Website http://tinamurrayauthor.com/index.html




       

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

How the Pros Market to Today's Audience


by Gary Fearon, Southern Writers Magazine


Coca-Cola print ad, 1905
Delicious! Refreshing! Exhilarating! Invigorating!

These enthusiastic adjectives were the sum and substance of the very first ad for a brand new product called Coca-Cola, circa 1886. The soda pop giant has been advertising as long as any other product that comes to mind, and as always, it helps to take a lesson from the masters.

Mind you, not because we want to promote our books with over-the-top adjectives, but rather to observe how advertising experts like Coke have changed their strategies to adapt to the times.

Over the decades, Coca-Cola has been marketed by such monikers as "The Ideal Beverage for Discriminating People", "The Ideal Brain Tonic" and "The Drink of All the Year" (awkward as that sounds). It's hard to imagine these slogans having an effect on today's ad-weary and ad-wary audience.

As the buying public grew more sophisticated, it also became more skeptical, requiring proof to back up grandiose slogans. So ads went into considerable detail to fully explain a product and its particulars. "The bright tang of Coke is always welcome after a busy day of shopping. The bracing sparkle and the bit of quick energy you get in Coke makes it the perfect refreshment every time. It gives you a bright little lift; it brings you back so refreshed, so quickly..."

Diet Coke "Because I Can" campaign
Compare that to the latest ads for Diet Coke.  The primary message is that life is short and you should do whatever makes you feel good. (If that happens to be drinking Diet Coke, they wouldn't mind that a bit.) Rather than sell the product, they show others enjoying it, and basically let you decide for yourself.

Today's buyer is more vulnerable than ever to an invitation that makes them feel understood and important. In this age where they are bombarded with pop-up ads on PCs and video marketing at the gas pumps, they've learned to ignore blatant "buy me" marketing. Slice of life scenarios that are easy to relate to are what gets their attention.

That said, books are not Coke. Potential readers still want a detailed description of a novel to know what they're getting. But they are thirsty for a good experience, and buying books is a largely emotional and often impulsive decision easily influenced by the idea that something positive will come from it.

Would your book make a great gift for Fathers Day? Graduation? Christmas? Somehow it feels like less of a sales pitch when the purchase will be an act of benevolence.

Will your book help the reader escape into a world of mystery, history, romance, chills? An evocative cover will do more to sell the sizzle that an aggressive come-on. Your website, blog and other marketing materials need be little more than a reinforcement of the experience the reader seeks to convince them that your books are exhilarating! Invigorating! Oras Coke might saythe real thing.

Today, soft sell is king, and the advertising adage "Don't sell the steak, sell the sizzle" is as sound as ever. Especially if you can sell the sizzle with subtlety.


Monday, May 14, 2018

How Do I Keep Motivated When Writing a Novel?



By Gabrielle F. Culmer


When I write, a novel can take up to one year or less to complete. To keep motivated, I would write a few hundred words at a time until I find the word flow. It takes commitment, concentration and a very quiet environment. Usually, I write early in the morning or in a very secluded environment, possibly in another city. Often, I first visualize myself writing in a place where I wrote another novel and then either physically or psychologically transport myself to that environment where I have completed that work and continue with the sequel or start a new idea. This then increases to a few thousand words at a time.

There are many ways to keep motivated, I try to keep my mind active by reading something else, such as a favorite author or biography. Or you may treat yourself, if you have completed an enormous task, by a meal out or an outing. This may be to the gym, horseback riding, the theater, time with family members, a restaurant in, perhaps, Mayfair, a trip to your favorite countryside, or a familiar city which provides a different subject matter and motivation. It can also be a lovely memory with friends and family that motivates you and can be reformatted to something positive in the story.        

It has also been by completely removing myself from the scenario and then compacting my mind with something unrelated, such as daily work. For instance, Damp Whisper based in London, was started in my free time after a long hiatus from the UK and just after the State bar exams and another Master’s degree in Chicago. Whereas, Arrive by Dusk was started after a total immersion visit to France. Whatever the location, I find it helpful after hours or months of writing to visit another creative place such as a museum, a place of worship, a class, an art store, a concert, or a historical country chateau to induce my creativity. Writing is very therapeutic and once you appreciate the effect that it can have and how it relates to others, you will want to keep writing.
_____________________________________________________________________ 
Gabrielle F. Culmer is the author of five fiction novels, including, Where Lives Lead, Restoring Patterns, and Arrive by Dusk, as well as two collections of poetry, recently, Glenely Bay and Nostalgia from Paris. She is a lawyer, and has Bachelor and Master of laws degrees from universities in New York, London, Canterbury, and Chicago. She enjoys traveling, theatrical drama, horseback riding and researching history in her free time.



Friday, May 11, 2018

The Goldilocks Method



By Patty Lovell 


I’m blessed with a number of good friends I can turn to for fun, laughter, and support. I love them, but none of them writes. They're not illiterate, mind you. They just hate to write ANYTHING more than 144 characters. When I try to talk to them about my writing life, you'd think I was trying to explain what an Aggie is. If you didn't go to Texas A&M, you don't care. Plus, my ego may do backflips and somersaults when they critique my work telling me, “I love it“ EVERY SINGLE TIME, this doesn't help me become a better writer. And as much as I adore my friends, when they ask me for the hundredth time, “When will it be published?” I feel my Mr. Hyde coming out.

It was suggested I join a writer's group. Great advice for us solitary scribes, but it's not as easy as it sounds. Joining a writer's group that fulfills your needs is like Goldilocks searching for that perfect bed. When I walked into the first meeting for a local organization, I felt as though I was attending a high school reunion, but it wasn't my alma mater. Everyone knew each other “forever” and most of the meeting was spent reminiscing about the good 'ol days, when newspapers ruled and grammar mattered. This group was too relaxed for me.

Not ready to give up, I found another group of writers, and I was elated to see such diversified and eclectic members. I thought I had found my tribe, but soon realized I didn't speak their language. After one member used ansible, terraforming, and cryostatis in the same sentence, I realized most were sci-fi writers. This group was much too focused for me.

I became a tad desperate and joined an online writers group. There were so many sub-groups and topics to choose from that I felt as though I had entered writer’s nirvana. My elation quickly subsided when I attempted to join in on discussions and critiques. I couldn't keep people's names straight and who wrote what, and soon became lost in the thread of postings. Too confusing. (OK, the real reason I quit was because I couldn't settle on an avatar).

I was ready to admit defeat, go back to my Howard Hughes M.O. of writing, until a friend told me about one more writer's group. I walked into the room and it was Deja vu. Everything and everyone felt familiar and comfortable, as though I had attended a previous time with no recollection. I was elated! Like Goldilocks, I didn’t give up and I had found the group that was just right for me.
_____________________________________________________________________ 
Patty Lovell writes mystery and mainstream novels, essays, even children's books. She is a former high school English teacher and librarian who also spent over ten years in business and has even had her invention, The Scoop, sold on Quirky.com. As founder of Girls on the Run of Stark County, a national non-profit for young girls that uses a fun, experience-based curriculum that integrates running to enhance confidence and self-esteem, she knows the value of physical activity for health and for her writing life. Patty has had several essays published in Cleveland Plain Dealer, and hopes to have her first novel, Unclaimed, finished this year.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Book Club Twist for Readers and Marketing for Authors



By Annette Cole Mastron for Southern Writers Magazine


As we all know, writing is a solitary activity. To be a successful author, you also need to be a reader, another solitary activity. However, it’s important for authors to connect with readers. How to do that is the trick. No one wants to stalk down a reader in the grocery store or any where for that matter. (Yes, that really did happen but it wasn’t me).

Recently, I discovered the “Silent Book Club” formed in 2012. It was humbly started by friends reading at a neighborhood bar. Who wouldn’t love books, reading with friends, and having a glass of wine? No distractions of meeting in member homes. No need to fuss or clean your home. Traditional book clubs require homework. Yuck. Normally, in these clubs, you’re required to finish an assigned book. You also then have the pressure to discuss the assigned book and come up with clever comments that someone else won’t express before you. 

Bucking the norm, a group of friends “started Silent Book Club because reading with friends is awesome. We love hearing about what people are reading (often in their other book clubs) and we think it's important to put down our phones and be social. Real, live, breathing-the-same-air social, not hearting-you-on-Instagram social. We also believe there's no shame in drinking alone, especially when you have a good book for company. In fact, most of the time we'd rather be left alone with our book, thank you very much creepy guy asking what we're reading. And, added bonus for the parents out there: your kids can't follow you into the bar. If only you had a bouncer for your bathroom. But you don't need alcohol to read with friends. Silent Book Club is about community. Everyone is welcome, and anyone can do it. We encourage people all over the world to start their own Silent Book Clubs. We have more than 30 active chapters in cities of all sizes, and new chapters are being launched by volunteers every week.”

As an author, you can always bring your own book and share with your “Silent Book Club” members, People will be intrigued by seeing others reading. Think of the opportunities as an author to interact with fellow readers.


This is the structure of “a typical SBC evening looks like this, but you are welcome to tailor it to make it your own:
6:00-6:30pm - People arrive, order drinks/food, share what they're reading
6:30-7:30pm - Quiet reading hour
7:30-8:00pm - Optional socializing, or just keep reading”

Check out their website and see if there is a group by you. If there isn’t one, you can start a group of your own with just a few of your friends.

So what do y’all think? Traditional Book Club or Silent Book Club?


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Two Steps to Tighten Your Writing



By Beth K. Vogt


Every book I write begins with a fast draft. Every fast draft is followed with a rewrite. After letting my manuscript rest for two to four weeks, I take a two-level approach to bring the words in my fast draft under control:

      Go Big. Stay “big picture” for your first go-round of tightening your manuscript. Look for

      Scenes that drag at the beginning or at the end. Beware backstory dumps at the opening of a scene. Don’t add information into the scene that you, as the author, need to know, but your readers don’t. Eliminate where you wrote all the reasons why your characters do the things they do and all the things they’ve experienced before they appear in chapter one. Also, avoid the temptation to resolve the tension in a scene before moving on to the next scene or chapter. Enter the scene five to ten minutes late and leave the scene early. Go ahead: delete those paragraphs.
       Circular writing, where you revisit the same plot point again and again. How many of your scenes are about how your hero and heroine can’t fall in love because she’s hiding a secret from him? Cut ’em. Instead, deepen your plot by figuring out what else is going on in your characters’ lives. If there’s nothing else happening, it’s time to do some major replotting.
       Opportunities to tell the story “between the quotes.” Look for scenes where your point of view (POV) character is enmeshed in rambling introspection. Get out of their head and get the scene “between the quotes” by crafting it into dialogue between the POV character and someone else. Dialogue equals action.

Go Smaller. After tightening your writing by considering the big      picture, zero in on more specific details, such as

     The opening and closing sentences for each scene. You want the first sentence of your novel to hook your readers. Don’t miss the opportunity to pack a punch at the start and finish of each scene, enticing your readers to keep turning pages.
     Story world: Think details by weaving in the five senses and the surroundings your characters live in. But pick the best ones, utilizing them as symbols and metaphors, so that they help you layer in emotion.
     Bad habits. At times, I’ve fallen in love with the words so and just and but, all common minor missteps—and all opportunities to tighten my writing. Remember some of those sentences you loved as you wrote them—that at the same time seemed a bit familiar? Maybe it’s because you’ve written that sentence or phrase somewhere else in your manuscript—or even in another book. Find them and delete them.

It’s easy to nitpick our way through our manuscript, decreasing word count. But tightening your writing is removing whatever slows your story down, or as author Elmore Leonard said, “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.”
__________________________________________________________________________________
Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind doors marked NeverThings I Never Told You, releasing May 2018, is Beth’s first novel in her women’s fiction series for Tyndale House Publishers. Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA Award finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. Having authored nine contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there’s more to happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us. An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Rocket and also enjoys speaking to writers’ groups and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories. Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.Beth’s links:Beth’s Website Tyndale Media Center-where you can download press materials like: Media Alert, interview questions, Author Q & A, author image, book cover image, etc. Author Image  Book Cover Image Author Bio Beth’s Blog Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Questions To Ask Before Marketing and Promoting



By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief for Southern Writers Magazine 


Authors know they need to promote their books and market themselves.

But, before the promoting and marketing begins here are two questions authors should ask themselves and determine the answers so they can develop a profitable and successful promotion and marketing program.

“What is the value the reader will receive from reading the author’s book?”

“What is unique about the author’s book?”

By the time an author reaches this stage of promoting and marketing their understanding should be clear and concise on how their book stands apart from other books.

What does the author’s book offer that would entice the reader to choose their book over another author’s book?

Without realizing it most readers are expecting benefits from the books they read.

Readers have desires and needs and they look for books to fill these.

When an author can answer these questions, this gives them promotional and marketing material to use in their campaign, which will standout above the other authors.

When an author delves into studying what makes people buy a particular book to read they find the best place to start is with themselves.

Interview questions for the author. (Be specific)
·         When you visit a bookstore, what books draw your attention?
·         Why do you go there first?
·         As you walk and gaze at the books on a shelf, what stands out first?
·         Why did it stand out?
·         Is that why you picked up the book to look closer?
·         Did you turn it over and read the back cover?
·         Did that interest you?
·         Did you open the book and read a paragraph or two?
·       
          What caused you to either buy the book or put it back on the shelf?

These questions, when honestly answered will tell you not only what you do, but it will give you a great understanding of what other readers do. It also gives you information you need for developing your promotion and marketing campaign.

So, grab a pen, pad and go to your bookstore.

Answer the questions above. Have fun.