Free Webinars Educate & Connect

Monday, May 13, 2013

I write in multiple genres. It’s probably not a wise thing to do but that’s the way my mind works so I’ve learned to go with the flow. The real challenge in writing in multiple genres is learning the different writing formats;  an educational activity book is has a different format than writing poetry or a screenplay or a biography or a novel, and nothing is as difficult as writing for children. So, I continue to study the craft of writing, focusing in on the particular genre of my current inspiration.

Not too many years ago, if I wanted to learn about a particular writing format, I’d have to look up a book, buy it and study it or seek out a university class or find a successful writer who would be willing to mentor me. Today, the Internet has simplified that task. There are literally dozens, perhaps hundreds of free webinars as well as ones that come at a price, available on most any subject or topic you can imagine; all kinds on social media, blogging, tweeting, etc., writing, screenplays, marketing tips, publicity tips and formatting books for the modern devices being used today. It was through such a webinar that I became interested in pursuing my current project, turning one of my children’s picture books into an eBook for download on Kindle.

Recently, I took a free webinar on how to put your book up on Kindle. I have an adult novel just about finished that I’m considering although the lure of a traditional publisher is still great, and I have a children’s picture book that I love that I was thinking about. The class, taught by Howard VanEs, an expert on selling books on Kindle and Amazon, stressed, among other things, the importance of paying someone to format your book for Kindle and the other devices out there.  The class was so interesting I ended up taking an additional 4 week seminar called, Cashing In With Kindle. Because of that class, I’ve decided to bring one of my children’s picture books, Arlie the Alligator, a book that had been on the market for over twenty years, back as an eBook.

I am not working alone, however. I’ve hired Howard VanEs to guide me through re-illustrating, re-packaging and putting it on Kindle as well as publishing a new print book. I know when to let go and let someone else do what I am not good at.

Free webinars help your develop your craft and connect you with experts in the genre of your choice.

Below, I’ve listed some resources I’ve used for Free Webinars. 

Have you taken any webinars that have helped your develop the craft of writing? I’d love to hear about other resources and teaching seminars. 

Resources for free webinars:
Many writing organizations feature links to courses and webinars you can take. Once you get on a list, you will continue to get notifications of future free webinars. All of the entities that offer Free webinars also offer additional services for which a fee. 

Putting Books On Kindle, with Howard VanEs –
6 Things To Do Before Your Book Is Published with Howard VanES & Brooke Warner –
Best Practices: Self Publishing, Indie Publishing and Traditional Publishingwith Emma Dryden – one time offered through the SCBWI-Carolinas.  (Society of Children’s Book Writer’s & Illustrators-Carolinas)
Better Business Blog Writing,
Steve Harrison: Ask to be put on a list to get emails regarding webinars. Offers multiple Free Webinars on topics related to selling books through webinars, teleseminars, getting major companies and nonprofits to sponsor promotion of your books, all topics related to publicity. is a resource for multiple things of interest to women who are writers, some of which are free webinars.
Chris Garrett  - teaches seminar on making money from your blog.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

In a recent blog, writer, Marie Dane Bauer brought up the question of needing courage to be a writer. In response, I had commented that what takes courage is not the writing, but the belief that what you have written is good enough for others to read; good enough for a publisher to invest thousands of dollars to publish it; a belief strong enough to sustain you through the rejection process that surely comes—to stick to it and not quit. And, it occurred to me as I am once again about to embark on a publishing venture outside of traditional publishing, how true that is. For as I move forward with my heart and mind fully engaged in the positive side of the journey, I still must deal with a gut that twists with the “what if’s” and the nay-sayers who are out there waiting for the chance to tell me I’m making a mistake.

Years ago, I created a story about an alligator who was trying to talk to the creatures (humans) on the beach. Shortly thereafter, I met a very talented song writer, Deborah Bel Pfleger, who promptly wrote four wonderful catchy tunes to go with it. We recorded it with singers, actors, sound effects and instrumentals at her recording studio, and set out to find a publisher. At the time, books-on-tape were just coming on the market and ones for children were only being done with stories from Disney, Sesame Street and the classics. The emerging market was brand new for children’s audio books.

Way back then, after trying for seven years to find a publisher, I believed in Arlie the Alligator enough to publish it on my own. Thus, Arlie the Alligator: Story-song picture book with audio tape, later CD and DVD, and a Communication Activity Guide for teachers, was born. Now, after more than two decades on the market and rave reviews from parents and educators throughout the United States, British Columbia and England alike, a new market is emerging; eBooks for children.

And so, I am thrilled to announce that come July, the communication based, newly illustrated, re-packaged Arlie the Alligator will be available to challenge a new generation of children to think and enhance their reading skills as they sing-along and follow-along on their Kindle Fires and Ipads. In addition, a newly illustrated print version will also be available through Amazon.

Bringing an old story forward again, something a traditional publisher would not do, takes a strong belief in the story, courage and a very supportive husband.

I hope you will support me on this journey.

I’d love to hear about your journey of courage.

Stay tuned for my next blog post where I will explain how this all came about. 

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About Me

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Hi! I’m Sandra Warren, a writer with very eclectic writing tastes. I’ve been fortunate to have publications in multiple genres including children’s, gifted education, parenting, how to, poetry, journal, educational activity guides and biography as well as audio and video production. I'm a city gal recently transplanted to the mountains of NC where glorious mountain vistas inspire latest renderings.

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