From Manuscript to Market: A List of Essentials

by @AnnieDaylon

Manuscript to MarketFinished your manuscript?
Turned it over to your spectacularly brilliant copy-editor/designer wizard?
Breathing a sigh of relief, are you?
Well, suck that breath back in! It’s time to get your pre-publication kit together!

Hopefully, you’ve been filing info as you go: organization makes the final stages easier. Right now, I am in the middle of gathering pre-production information for my novel, OF SEA AND SEED, The Kerrigan Chronicles # 1.
 While I’m at it, I’m sharing it because most of what I need, you will too.

Here is my list:

  • Acknowledgements. It takes a village. Remember to thank every member.

  • Author Bio. Keep the bio short.

  • Author Headshot. Make it professional.

  • Bibliography. This is a maybe,  necessary for me, as my literary suspense series is set in historical Newfoundland.

  • Book Endorsements. You need a blurb or two or three for the cover of your book. So write a few authors and make a request. Ask and ye shall receive, or not. But ask anyway.(One of my favorite quotes comes from Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”)

  • Call to Action. In the back of your book, include some or all of the following: a link to your homepage and social media, a bonus offer if they sign to your mailing list, a chapter of your next book, a letter asking for review.

  • Cover Image. Use a stock image or hire an artist. (The image for my above cover mock-up comes from Shutterstock.) In your book, credit source of image.

  • Dedication. (for Mom? Dad? Dog? Place?)

  • Disclaimer. “A statement that is meant to prevent an incorrect understanding of something (such as a book, a movie, or an advertisement”~ Miriam-Webster Dictionary (This is standard in all fiction. For examples, just check the front pages of any novel.)

  • Epigraph. Short quote for front, if you plan to use one. Caution here: think Public Domain.

  • Flap Copy.  Brief synopsis for back cover, one that will draw reader in.

  • Key Words for SEO. Brainstorm. Check genre. 

  • List of other Publications. All other books written by you.

  • Map ? (Maybe you need a map inside the cover? I plan to use a map of Newfoundland as a frame of reference for readers.)

  • Pricing Strategy. Check others in your genre.

  • Questions for Reading Clubs. Compile a list and put it in the back.

Am I forgetting anything?  Please share any info you have!!

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Pick of the Twitter: May, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for May, 2015:

  1. Recently, I watched, then tweeted about SHOWRUNNERS: THE ART OF RUNNING A TV SHOW  (Don’t usually include my own tweets here, but I was blown away by the amount of work these writers do! This show is available on Netflix and is well worth the watch!)

  2.  Wondering how to use Pinterest for author website? Check it out! via @BublishMe

  3.  Writing Different Genres? This is one of many Reasons to Use a Pen Name  by Danielle Hanna

  4. How To Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd by Kathleen Boucher via @shareholic @bkmkting

  5. 10 Ways to Promote Your Self-published Book [Infographic] by @chrisrobley via @bookbaby

  6. Chilliwack used book store parody video goes viral – Chilliwack Times  via @BlackPressMedia  @MargaretAtwood

  7. Book Marketing: How to Sign a Book  by Debbie Young @IndieAuthorALLI

  8. Steve Jobs: Do What You Love Motivational Video via @111publishing

  9. Pros And Cons Of Being An Indie Author by Joanna Penn @thecreativepenn

  10. Aspiring writers: Before worrying too much about networking/promo, FINISH WRITING YOUR BOOK by Debbie Ridpath Ohi @inkyelbows

  11. No, Not Anyone Can Write a Good Book  (Patricia Park on Becoming a Writer After Life in the Publishing Biz) via @GalleyCat

  12. James Patterson Gives Tips on How to Kill Off a Character  @GalleyCat

  13. 10 Book Marketing Tips from 2 authors, one traditionally & one indie published. @bkmkting

  14. 4 tips for writing children’s books by Alexa Elheart @bookbaby

  15. Spring Cleaning Your Blog in Ten Easy Steps by Allyn Lewis @allyn_lewis

  16. Want an Unforgettable Protagonist? Your Minor Characters Are the Secret  by @KMWeiland

 Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

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My best to you,
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Pick of the Twitter: March, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing/tech tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for March, 2015:

  1.  How are short stories evaluated for publication or awards? by @JodieRennerEd via @KMWEiland

  2. 5 Ways Pinterest Can Help Authors  @IndiAuthorALLI via @K8Tilton

  3. Top Ten Things You Need to Know About the Writing Life  by @JamesScottBell via @thecreativepenn

  4. How to make pictures behave in WordPress  @BakerviewConsul via @sugarbeatbc  @christinenolfi (Love this one!)

  5. Great Writers on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary by Maria Popova @penguinrandom @brainpicker

  6. Blogs Vs. Newsletters: What’s the Diff? by Jim Devitt

  7. Tips on writing an e-book series by Nikki Moore via @WomenWriters

  8. The Complete Italicization Guide  @write_practice

  9. The Benefits of Hybrid Publishing by Melissa Donovan @WritingForward

  10. Build your audience WHILE writing your book! -Jason Wiser, The Author Hangout! @bkmkting

  11. 21 Book Marketing Tips for Authors by Heather Hart

  12. 10 SIMPLE, CLEVER TIPS for Computer, Web, Smartphone & Camera Users.  by columinist David Pogue @Pogue (Great Tips! Love this!)

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!shutterstock_48236599

Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.

 My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

Author Marketing Virtual Conference: One-Stop Shopping


by @AnnieDaylon

Author Marketing Conference

Last week (Jan. 26 -30, 2015) I participated in the Author Marketing Live! Virtual Book Summit.

What is that, you may ask?

To quote Jim Kukral, founder of the Author Marketing Institute and creator of this marketing summit,  it is a “learning and networking event for new and experienced authors who want learn the best strategic ways to sell more books through innovate and proven book marketing.”


What was included in this event? Here is a sampling of the workshops:

  • Building Amazing Author Websites: the Absolute Necessities by Deborah Carney

  • Hit the Bestseller Lists with E-Book Pre-orders by Mark Coker

  • Path to a Best-Selling Book Launch: Multiple Books and Multiple Promotions by Joel Comm

  • Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans by Peter Shankman

  • How to Quickly Write, Publish and Profit from a Book That Will Grow Your Business by Adam Witty

  • Thirteen Reasons Are Not As Successful an Author As You Should Be by Jim F. Kukral

  • Building a Non-Fiction Platform by Steve Scott.

 

Was this conference of value? Yes. Here are the advantages:

  • ONE- STOP SHOPPING. In the past, I acquired marketing information sporadically, from tweets and blogs and webinars and books. To me, a veteran of garage sales, this event was like discovering a street on which fifteen houses were holding sales simultaneously. (Love those spring and summer Saturday mornings when I can just park and shop.)

  • CONTENT. Not all of the information in all fifteen workshops applied directly to me. However, there was a smorgasbord here; in an era that demands more from authors in terms of marketing, virtual summits such as this can benefit all authors–indie, traditional, and hybrid.

  • CONVENIENCE. I have attended many brick and mortar conferences, all of which require physical presence at events in real time. The Author Marketing Summit allowed me the option of attending in real time or watching at my own convenience; in fact, these workshops will be available to me for a period of one year.

  • COST. I discovered a link to this Author Marketing Summit on Twitter (Thank you, Joanna Penn, @thecreativepenn) When I followed the link, the price had been reduced from $399 to $149. I typed in the discount coupon code given by Joanna and the cost plummeted to $99 U.S. That was it, the total cost. I acquired tons of information without incurring a mountain of expense (e.g. travel, meals, and accommodation costs.)

Thank you to Jim Kukral and all speakers at the Author Marketing Live Summit. Indeed a one-stop shopping extravaganza!

Please subscribe to my blog by placing your email address in the space provided on the right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

B.R.A.G. Medallion: A Boost for Indies

by @AnnieDaylon

registered- 800The Book Readers Appreciation Group Medallion  for excellence in indie publications includes not only a shiny gold sticker, but also a host of other treasures:  reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, mentions on Twitter, and images on Pinterest.  B.R.A.G. also posts news provided by authors about their readings and publications. If  honorees send B.R.A.G. a print copy of their book, B.R.A.G. will display that book at many book expositions.  In addition, B.R.A.G. affords its recipients the  opportunity to do an online interview about their winning work and their writing process.  I jumped at the opportunity of doing an interview about my B.R.A.G. honoree novel, Castles in the Sand, and had the pleasure of working with Stephanie Hopkins of Layered Pages.

A sample for you, of my interview…

Stephanie:  Hello Annie! Congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion for your book, Castles in the Sand. How did you discover indieBRAG and what has been your experience with self-publishing thus far?

  • I discovered indieBRAG on Twitter. Another author tweeted that her book was a BRAG Medallion recipient; I was curious so I followed the link to indieBRAG.
  • A steep learning curve, that of self-publishing. At times I felt as though I were scaling a vertical wall. I had to learn (am still learning) not only the business of writing, but also the use of technology. (Three years ago, I didn’t have a website, didn’t know an analytic from a hashtag, etc.) I sacrificed writing time to acquire skills in both these areas; unfortunately, that was necessary. But now, writing comes first and I squeeze marketing and tech into whatever time is left.

See more here: Interview with B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Annie Daylon 

Back to Work! Armoire/Office is open today! :-)

On Layeredpages.com, my armoire/office was Closed. Here’s the Open version. (No vacation today!)

 

 

A Note to Indie Writers…
For a nominal fee,  B.R.A.G. Medallion will consider your self-published novel on basis of Plot, Characters, Writing Style, Dialogue, Copyediting, Cover/Interior Layout.
Visit B.R.A.G. for a potential boost!


Please subscribe to my blog by placing your email in the space provided on the right. Thank you!

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

 

My Write Before Christmas: 2014

by @AnnieDaylon 

 Sardis, Retreat, Christmas 034 2014

It’s my Write before Christmas, my time to send

Best wishes to wordsmiths and readers and friends.

Authors work solo, yet none are alone

For it takes a village (an adage well-known.)

 

Critique groups are crucial, a part of the team;

Online or in person, they endorse your dream.

(An aside: Many thanks for your commentary,

My critique angels–Fran, Michael, and Mary.)

 

A new writer? This world’s a mysterious place.

Catch a conference! It’s there that you’ll come face-to-face

With writers and editors and agents and such.

Volunteering’s an option if the cost is too much.

 

Like story contests? They’re fun, teach deadlines,

This>Contest Calendar’s < a favourite of mine.

As is Poets & Writers, a site that makes space

For a Contest and Grants and Awards Database.

 

Having trouble with structure? Can’t seem to outline?

K. M. Weiland has guidelines to help you refine.

Seeking courses or webinars to carry you through?

Writers Digest will surely have something for you.

 

If a positive thought is what you require,

Tweets from Rock Christopher will keep you inspired.

If you’re looking to blog but don’t know the scene,

Check out Blog It for authors penned by Molly Greene.

 

Got a post that helps others? Want it retweeted?

@MondayBlogs is a place you’ll be greeted.

Want to do marketing? Don’t know the score?

Book Marketing Tools has ideas galore.

 

Do you have a routine? Great tales must be spun

and writers toil daily to get the job done.

(On that note, dear writers who are reading this verse,

If today you’ve not written, go away and WRITE FIRST!) 🙂

 

Thanks, avid readers on whom writers rely,

The work’s not complete ’til you choose to stop by.

Samuel Johnson once said (and I paraphrase herein)

‘A reader finishes what a writer begins.’

 

That’s it, the year’s end! Best wishes to you

as 2015 comes into view.

And now, ere December slides out of sight,

Happy Christmas to all! Have great reads and great writes!

 

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

 

 

 

Pick of the Twitter: October, 2014

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for October, 2014:

  1.  6 Traits of Strong Characters   @mythcreants via @elizabethscraig

  2.  Submission Tips for Writers  @writing_ie

  3. 99 Essential Quotes on Character Creation by M J Bush  @writinggeekery

  4. Self-Pubbed AND Traditional? An Interview With Author Pam Beason  @mollygreene

  5.  9 Practices to Inspire Your Writing in an Instant  @WriterJoMalby

  6. NaNoWriMo – Should You Take Part?  @GlynisSmy via @elizabethscraig

  7. 23 Seldom-Used Ideas for How to Use Twitter Lists  @BrianHonigman

  8. Is There A Name For That? Grammar Fun With -Nyms by Kelly Jensen @BookRiot

  9. How to Rock a Writers Conference    @TonyMaxeyRB   @TrueFactBarFact

  10. 15 Experts Share The Worst Blogging Advice!  @10minnovelist 

  11. How to Format a Short Story Manuscript for Submission: a Checklist @write_practice

  12. Preparing for NaNoWriMo: Manage your time, stay motivated, and keep the creativity flowing  @BookBaby @chrisrobley

 Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.

 My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: August, 2014

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for August, 2014:

  1. The Right Sort (A Short Story on Twitter) by David Mitchell @Sceptre Books

  2.  Nietzsche’s 10 Rules for Writers by Maria Popova  via @brainpickings @WriterlyTweets

  3. How to Get Your Short Stories Published in Lit Mags by Suzannah Windsor Freeman via @WriterUnboxed

  4.   7 Writing/Publishing Resources and How to Use Them @111publishing

  5. Blogging Tips for Authors: How to Generate New Blog Ideas  @chrisrobley @BookBaby

  6. Show, Don’t Tell, How Time Is Passing  @CSLakin (Great post!)

  7.  The Best Literary Hashtags on Twitter by Michele Filgate  via @Salon @HughOSmith  (Love this!)

  8. How I Write 8 Blog Posts a Week While Running 2 Companies by Neil Patel @neilpatel via @BrianHonigman

  9. Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing: Annotated by Ron Yates @Jhawker69

  10. Query Question: Getting Requests for Full MS but No Rep  by @Janet_Reid (As always, superb response. Love this blog.)

  11. My Latest Thoughts on Marketing for Writers   @JaneFriedman

  12. 10 Ways to Grow From “Someone Who Writes” Into a Writer by Diane O’Connell @WriteToSell

  13. 10 Ways to Tighten Your Pitch – How’s yours?  by Shari Stauch @WhereWritersWin

  14.  TWITTER TIPS for AUTHORS  @IndieAuthorNews

 

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

 

Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

In the Company of Readers

 

by @AnnieDaylon

shutterstock_134073986Little did I know when I grumbled over precious time spent getting my novel onto the shelves of a local food chain that the effort would result in a magical evening in the company of avid readers. I was invited to a meeting of the Book Travellers, an octet of women whose group demeanor is a combination of the delicacy of porcelain and the strength of spider silk, women who have woven friendship into a book club that has endured two decades.

The Book Travellers are so named because each member returns from every trip with souvenir bookmarks for the group. The group chooses their books a year in advance, at a sleepover, in a cabin, on a nearby lake, each June. Through their meticulous ‘bookkeeper’, they keep track of every meeting (attendance, books read, and comments) and have done so since 1998.

They take turns hosting the event and, during my visit, they appeared to be as comfortable in their host’s home as they would be in their own. (author note: a wonderfully infectious state of ease.)

Our evening began with tea and dessert and progressed to discussion of my novel and books in general.

Elizabeth made Lemon Pavlova. Delicious!

Elizabeth made Lemon Pavlova. Delicious!

Personal details slid through book talk, information about connections made through vocation—librarian, teacher, nurse, accountant—and avocation—curling, volunteering, walking, travelling. There were snippets with giggles about surprise birthday jaunts and fragments with sighs about thoughtful memorial gifts.

Overall, a delightful evening  in the company of readers, one which served not only to deepen my fervor for reading but also to re-ignite my passion for telling stories. More importantly, I experienced a surprising gift: the joy of being in the presence of unmatched  strength and vitality. Truly Canada’s Steel Magnolias.  

And so, to: Elizabeth, Bonnie, Judy, Randi, Nancy, Magda, Leona, and Kathy, I express my heartfelt thanks.

My best to all of you, always,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

Please subscribe to my Author Newsletter by including your first name and email address in the space provided on the upper right. 

P. S. Dear Writers, Marketing can be a pain in the posterior: In my case, it took five trips to the store, several forms that had to be filled, trashed, replaced, filled again and edited; it also took a few emails to the wrong people before finding the right people. I was left wondering if time-consuming grunt details are worth it. They are. Do it.

 

Book Club Request: Discussion Questions for “Castles in the Sand”

by @AnnieDaylon

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Just a few days ago, a Book Club contacted me saying that they have chosen my novel Castles in the Sand as their April’s read.(Pause here for dance of joy!) The group requested discussion questions and I was delighted to comply. I had not prepared such questions before but knew that character, plot, viewpoint etc., should be incorporated. I chose to share the resulting questions here (minus the spoilers) on the chance that my efforts might be of use to other authors.

 

BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION:  CASTLES IN THE SAND

1. Castles in the Sand is written in the first person from a single viewpoint, that of Justin, a homeless alcoholic. Why might the author have chosen to tell the story this way? Why is Justin’s voice so truncated?

2. The author tells the story by slipping between present and past. Why do you think the author chose to do this instead of telling the story chronologically?

3. Were you aware of the author’s subtle use of foreshadowing? (Example: At what point in Justin’s life did he learn of the existence of Steve?)

4.  In his review of Castles in the Sand, author Michael Hiebert states that “the plot hits the ground running and never lets up.” Do you agree with this? Why or why not?

5. Castles in the Sand is a cautionary tale, one of love and family, ruin and rise. The author incorporates symbols, such as the aquarium castle, to reinforce the main themes. What other symbols are prominent in the book and what do they represent?

6. Do the main characters, Justin and Steve, change by the end of the story? If so, is one arc more prominent than the other?

7. Steve is a shape shifter; both Justin and reader are kept in suspense about his motives. Eventually, Steve’s secrets are revealed. Should he have kept this secret for so long?

8. Justin feels betrayed and acts out violently. Have you dealt with someone who betrayed you? How did you respond?

9. Justin is stuck in a time warp and cannot progress until he deals with the past. There is a Buddhist proverb: “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” What was the readiness factor for Justin?

10. Is the ending satisfying? If so, why? If not, how would you change it?

 

If writing discussion questions, you can find help  by: talking with other authors, scanning the back pages of current novels, many of which now include such questions, and by searching on line. (Try Lit Lovers for the basics; you may even use their questions verbatim, with attribution.) 

Another suggestion: If requested to write discussion questions, jump at the chance. This activity will give you an injection of  joy and enthusiasm. You’re a writer and readers are interested in discussing your work. Celebrate!

A FREE short story is yours when you subscribe to my newsletter! Simply place your first name and email address in the box provided on the right.  Many thanks!

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue