Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Posted by Sandra Warren at 12:09 PM
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Non-fiction authors understand the frustration of doing tons of research for a book and then having to whittle it down for publication, often leaving awesome facts and photos on the cutting room floor. This happened to me recently after finishing the book, We Bought A WWII Bomber. I kept thinking there must be something I can do with all this wonderful extraneous material.
Then it hit me. Do a photobook!
After the book came out new facts and photographs came to light. Where could I put all this new information so it wouldn't get lost? Where could I put it so it would be handy to share at presentations?
Do a photobook!
Folks kept asking me things like, where I got the idea for this story? Where I looked for information? How did I know where to look? Others were curious about my research and writing process.
It hit me again. Do a photobook!
There's nothing that says a photobook is just for photos. You can explain your writing process through the pages of a photobook.
And then there are photos taken at my Book Launch, signings, presentations and other events, not to mention awesome reviews and even a national award. Should they get filed away in a box or lost on my computer?
They could but why not put them in a photobook?
|Photos not in book|
|Ring made from Bomber Part|
to me at a book signing
|Photos of bomber crash given to me|
at a presentation after publication
Multiple online companies provide the service for reasonable prices. Once listed on their website you will receive discount coupons for various shapes and sizes. You create the book online after downloading company software. Once you plug in your photos and text and push SEND, the book will arrive on your doorstep most often within 10 days.
Three of the most popular companies are www.shutterfly.com, www.mixbook.com and www.photobook.com. The latter is the one I like best, probably because I've used it the most.
If you'd like to try a photobook from www.photobook.com, I was recently sent a coupon code to pass on to my friends. (I do not work for nor will I benefit from sharing this offer.) From now until the end of 2016, you can receive 60% off on a photobook of your choice by plugging in the following:
Code: PBLOVE2908TG14 Voucher expire16
Check on the photobook website of your choice for additional coupons. There maybe a better offer especially around a holiday.
I'm thrilled with the photobook I titled, The Story After The Story. In it I've collected all the things mentioned above. And yes, it was like rewriting the initial manuscript again, but it was worth it. Now the story of my journey to publication is not only preserved for my family, it's also a wonderful way for me to relive, all in one place, my fun-filled journey writing, publishing and promoting, We Bought A WWII Bomber: The Untold Story of A Michigan High School, a B-17 Bomber & The Blue Ridge Parkway.
One other tip: At every presentation, folks tell me the most amazing stories related to WWII. To preserve those stories and share them with readers, I've added a Stories Beyond The Book link to my website.
I'd love the hear how you've preserved your excess research and photos. Please share, or, if you have questions about my process, leave a comment and I'll do my best to find the answers if I don't know them off-hand.
Posted by Sandra Warren at 5:52 PM
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
How did she do it? She did it by following the Cardinal Rule: HELP OTHERS.
Thank you Joan for sharing this personal glimpse into what makes you tick. Thousands of blog readers are grateful for your continued contributions.
Sandra Warren is the author of Arlie the Alligator, We Bought A WWII Bomber and other books for children and adults!
Posted by Sandra Warren at 11:20 PM
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
One of the biggest myths about being a published author is that the publisher will do the marketing for you. That certainly won't happen beyond a blip in a catalog or maybe an online mention, unless you're a popular, well-known, New York Times best selling author, which most of us are not. The reality is, marketing your book is your responsibility!
Marketing is difficult. Marketing ones own book is even harder. Promoting without being pompous is extremely challenging. Some authors are natural marketeers but most can't do it without a little help from our friends.
When I first moved to NC, I heard about a group of authors, four I believe, who were touring several libraries and independent bookstores together. I was surprised to learn that they had arranged the tour themselves traveling to each of the areas where they lived, sharing rides and overnight accommodations when necessary. What a great idea! I was very impressed.
Recently, I read a blog from Blog Wizard, Joan Edwards, titled, “12 Ways to Publicize, Promote, Market, and Sell Your Book.” If you're unfamiliar with Joan's blog, you can find it at https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/12-ways-to-publicize-promote-market-and-sell-your-book
As I read through Joan's blog, it occurred to me that I had things to contribute, information that I had gathered from being a published author for over thirty years. And if I had information to share, perhaps others do also! The concept of Tag Team Marketing - Authors Helping Authors, popped into my head.
You might think your knowledge is too basic, to amateurish to help anyone, but what you've learned through experience might be the very thing, the last piece of a puzzle that helps another struggling writer.
Re: #10 – Contacting local bookstores – Barnes & Noble has an online form for both requesting a book signing event as well as getting your book placed in their stores (if you’ve self-published.) The link is: http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com (Click FOR AUTHORS, then GETTING YOUR BOOK IN BARNES & NOBLE. There will be a link on that page for suggesting an event a.k.a book signing.)
The form requests a great deal of information including your promotional plan, trade reviews and reasons why they should carry your book as well as all the basics; ISBN, binding, format, price, how it stacks up to it’s competitors, etc. etc. (I spent the greater part of a day gathering all my information to send to them.) Then, after about six weeks you will receive a YAY or NAY in written form. If it’s a YAY, your book will be added to their Small Press Department for distribution throughout their system, online and in stores.
When contracting to do a book signing, insist on being allowed to do a reading or a presentation. Even if there are other authors present, prearrange to do a presentation. People are more apt to purchase a book they've learned about, especially if they've met the author.
Re: #11 – Contact Retail Stores. Add to that, gift shops in theaters, museums, amusement parks, sports stores, restaurants, any place where you can find a connection to your books story or theme.
I once sold more books ($1500 worth) in a donut shop, in three hours time, than in any other venue large or small. Think outside the box or in this case, the book!
Also: it has been my experience that most retail stores (the ones I’ve dealt with) do not ask for a 60/40% split. It’s usually the other way around….they want a 40% discount which means I/you keep the 60%. The only venues I’m aware of that ask for a 60% discount are the fulfillment companies; Baker & Taylor and Ingram, etc. In fact, most stores even the bookstores I’ve dealt with on consignment are willing to take anywhere from a 25% to a 40% discount. Recently, a manager asked what kind of discount I was willing to give. When asked that, I respond by asking what they normally get from others? It’s almost always under 40%.
Oh, and one more thing about retail stores, they usually pay upfront unlike bookstores where you might wait 3 or 4 months and have to make multiple phone calls, for payment.
Re: #12 – Contact local organizations & groups. When speaking to a groups, especially non-profits, you can always offer to give back a percentage of sales or if not a percentage, then a donation of some kind. That’s assuming they allow you to sell your books following your presentation.
Ask to partner with them on a project that you believe in. Remember the old adage: What goes around comes around! Years ago, a friend who wrote a car accident book partnered with an insurance agency who gave a copy of his book to all their car accident clients.
Posted by Sandra Warren at 8:17 PM
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
It happened again. Great venue. Tons of publicity and lots of empty chairs. It was last weekend in a neighboring town.
Ironically, the book involved is selling like gang-busters, the best of the twelve other publications I have had on the market.
Most authors won't admit this but empty chairs are the reality of doing author presentations, unless, of course, your book made it to the New York Times Best Selling list, you have amassed a huge following or this is your first book and all your family and friends gather to cheer you on. It doesn't happen all the time but when it does, it can throw you for a loop and make you wonder is it your book or you or something else?
But don't sweat the small crowds because different opportunities come from a more intimate group. You'll get to inspire readers in a way you wouldn't have in a large group. People will feel freer to ask questions and make comments. And you never know if one of the three or four or five in the audience might have the connections that may result in future speaking engagements and opportunities far beyond anything you could imagine.
Before becoming an author, you see long lines at book talks and signings and assume that's the way it will be for you. It might be some of the time, but I'm willing to bet that even well-known authors can remember events when the unfilled chairs out-numbered those filled.
When the time comes and you find yourself staring out at those empty chairs, push back the tears and thoughts that no one cares, and focus on the seats that are filled.
When the empty chair syndrome happens to you, what do you do?
You suck it up and smile!
And then give the same dynamite presentation you prepared for a crowd, to the few sitting before you. They showed up! They care! They want to hear what you have to say. You owe it to them to deliver what they came for--a dynamic peak into the pages of your latest work.
Have you attended a book signing and been one of a couple in the audience? Has it happened to you? I'd like to hear your thoughts.
Posted by Sandra Warren at 2:03 PM
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Congratulations to Kathleen Burkinshaw! You won a book of your choice from my last blog, Your Book is Out...Scary Words. Just go to www.arliebooks.com, select a book and send me an email...email@example.com.
When the writing bug hit me, I had in mind writing for children; books to inspire and entertain. Never in my wildest dreams did I think about writing for adults; parents, teachers, general audiences. It wasn't on my agenda. I never gave it a thought.
And then one day my telephone range. It was a woman, an Army Reservist, a stranger just returned from the Persian Gulf War. She wanted me to write her memoirs, her life-changing experience serving in Iraq. She had to talk me into it. I was a children's author, after all.
Another time I met an editor for a Home Improvement magazine who asked me to write an article about radon. Radon? Really? "You want this non-science minded writer to pen an article about radon?" Crazy as I am, I said "yes." I found experts in the field, talked to folks who had to mitigate radon from their homes, and wrote the article.
A good friend who is also a writer, wrote a story about a school and then was approached to write a book about fly-fishing. She knew nothing about fly-fishing but she said, "yes." Months after the book came out, she was asked to write an article for a trout magazine.
As writers, we need to be open to whatever opportunities come our way. We never know where the writing will lead.
Have you been asked to write something that surprised you? Something you knew nothing about? Did you say, "yes?"
Posted by Sandra Warren at 11:22 PM
Monday, January 18, 2016
Posted by Sandra Warren at 1:31 PM