Archive for the ‘Publishing’ Category

Open Letter to Kevin,

Your beautiful book just arrived. I cannot wait to read and share it. You took an idea from beginning to book in all the right ways.

You included me in getting involved so that I have followed all the ways you used the media so effectively. Who knew that you would use Kickstarter and get the money needed to publish the book? And will we see more from your publishing company?

It has been my pleasure to meet you through wordpress.com. I wish you further success. It did not pass my keen eye that you included a handwritten note. Thanks to you!


Re: The Vineyard We Knew, A Recollection of Summers on Martha’s Vineyard, by Kevin Parham (Pria Press, Plymouth, MA)

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"UZU 1"


As the New Year is upon us, why not think how we answer the question:
How’s that working for you?

Summing it up

Jane Friedman
One of the first twitters I followed was written by Jane Friedman. Shortly after that, she joined Writers Digest. She has written an excellent list of suggestions for authors. You want to be published? You need an agent? Is your manuscript the best work you can do?

She offers ideas to help you evaluate where you are in answering these questions and more. Find her hints at:

Who knew?
I tried to write a post about this Jane Friedman only to find a suggested photo of another woman, also in publishing!

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Joanna Penn

Joanna Penn (Photo credit: TheCreativePenn)

Marketing or Promotion?


marketing: a more comprehensive process of getting a product sold. It involves creating the interest, identifying a target group, setting goals for the product and the campaign, advertising using various media, etc.

promotion: one part of a marketing campaign using various techniques including personal contacts to sell a product.

Writers need that extra step of validation and sales. Today it  more important to add the business end to the creative process. So many times writers explain that the work of writing is difficult and lonely. And some get no joy from the final shaping of a publishable article or book.

Add to this, a marketing strategy must be devised and followed aggressively. There is an industry of people who specialize in providing the products and skills needed to put your work on the market. A balance is needed between what you can do well, have the time for and the money left for a profit. Don’t be your own customer.

If you are new to  traditional publishing or self-publishing, how do you avoid pitfalls? You learn as much as you can and sort out advice from others. I find it helpful to be personally involved in each step of a project. That way you will know what to expect when you have the money to hire help. I recently went to a lecture billed “How to Write Your Family Story.”

In fact, it was a retiree, a minister, who had taken on publishing as a second career. He was selling taking your story to print. The samples he showed were glossy books with little content. They were extremely expensive. At these prices, they could not be sold outside of a small interest group.

The most telling part of the presentation came when he talked about his writing services “to help you shape your story.” He offered for you to tell him what you wanted to say and he would write it. Also, if you have written your story and collected the supportive materials, he would act as editor. I found spelling and grammatical errors in his slide presentation. Several in the group asked questions before it was clear: his services were in addition to the printing costs!

To be fair, he had the contact with a printer and the books were attractive. He did nothing about research or sales. Would we know enough about the steps from cover to cover before parting with  our money?

Who knew?

A. J. Race (The Daily Racewood.wordpress) shares his experiences from working alone to hiring some help in publishing a trilogy. A recent find in blogs is advice by Bill Mayer. His use of Slideshare to promote his books is an innovative use of online tools. His post was reblogged by Joanna Penn, a consultant.

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English: iPad picture

English: iPad picture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An article was on FlipBoard, an iPad app told about the explosion of eBook sales. The ‘hesitant’ would-be publishers (present company) should take that first step.

What can you lose? There are free options. It could be a learning experience. You may find you are good at it. Success!

There are things I find I cannot learn. Maybe they just do not interest me enough to put in the time. Maybe it takes away from what I really love doing. Publishing may not meet the goal for money? The turn around time may not be fast enough. Why put yourself out for all to see and comment on your creativity. Bloggng gives you a chance to build an audience. Or not.

My blog, narcissus,hibiscus,mandrake started out with my complete unpublished book, one poem a day.  I decided it was better to give it free. It might build a poetry reading audience. The stats look like a mouthful of teeth and many, many spaces

Who knew?

My poetry did not draw as strong a following as this blog. The followers were faithful and interested. But were there enough to support an eBook? Evaluating these stats may help in making a publishing decision. Have I  taken advantage of free or low cost pre-publishing tutorials?

Do I have the best material?  Have I edited the manuscript with a fine red pen?

Can I drive interest toward my work? Does it fill a niche of interest? Timing is paramount.

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"Santa Fe Sculpture"

altered photos


altered photo

What do you do when it is just one of those days? (more…)

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Robert Sengstacke Abbott.

Image via Wikipedia

Robert Sengstacke Abbott became the owner and publisher of the Chicago Defender, a very successful newspaper for the African American community.

His publishing began with Abbott’s Monthly. This publication may have been an influence (more…)

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