The dreaded M word . . . .

Talking about FLYING SOLO

Talking, talking, talking FLYING SOLO

The dreaded M word for most authors is marketing. Marketing, marketing, marketing! And I don’t mean the cute Mother Goose tune about “taking a pig, giggety gig.” Some authors believe that the hardest job is the writing. The writing is easy. Great marketing can make your book into a NYT best seller. Poor marketing can relegate even the most well written book into oblivious resale shops. Marketing is not something that is taught by the publishing houses.   It is encouraged, but not taught.   If you are self published your book will remain unknown unless you are a marketing champion.  If you hire a publicist, make sure they are savvy about today’s book market.   Gone are the days when 20,000 copies will sell themselves.   But don’t shy away, one can learn to market.   You must embrace it with shameless self promotion.   Babble about your book.   Let’s break it down with some tips to make it easier:
M   Make the most of every opportunity to talk about your book.  Don’t shy away.  Tweets, blogging, and facebook are all your friends.

A   Advocate for your book.   Whenever you around anyone, have fliers, business cards of your book, and information to readily hand out.  Make it easy for people to find and read your book.

R  Research, research, research.   Look at the type of customer who seems to be attracted to your book and zero in on where you can find those people.  Bookclubs, meetups, church groups.   Find where they are hanging out and plan to be there.  Consider public speaking.   Dave Lieber the Yankee Cowboy is the champion on this.  There are online communities like Createspace and forums, like Indie Publishers in your own towns to discuss these topics for authors.

K Kismet.  Sometimes the starts align and put you in the right place at the right time to meet a person who loved reading your book and writes a great review.    Not all the best reviews are paid for!    Many are free.  Look for Amazon top reviewers.

book signing FLYING SOLO

Book Signing at ARealBookStore May 2012

E Educate yourself on how to go about self promotion.  Dont’ shy away from the experiences of other authors.   Take a few workshops on book promotion through meetup groups.  Read, read, read the outstanding free publications all over the internet.   A great example of that is Author Media.  Learn the trick of the trade on how to link your tweets, blog posts, and facebook postings to make them synergistically bring in more followers and fans.

T Take the time to learn the ins and outs.   Be patient.  Start a momentum and build it.  There are no secret tricks to marketing.   Be ready to learn from what works and what doesn’t.   Collect ideas and test them to see what gets the best bang for you buck.   You don’t have to spend all the profits from your books on paid services to market.   Great quote from one author, “make sure you get some promo copies of your book into the hands of the reader.   Remember your slogan is not ‘buy my book’ but read my book.   Word of mouth in this business is everything!   One reader who share with another and another and another.   Best example of this, The Help.

So, don’t get frustrated or have a panic attack when someone in the industry asks you about your marketing plan. Follow the tips here, make yourself a list of activities and like NIKE says. . . . just do it!

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I fired my editor! Adventures in a first release Part I

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Well, it is official.  I fired my editor.  Getting my first novel published has been an adventure.  Everyone wants to write a book, but do you know what the percentage is for those who actually do it?   According to popular survey from the New York Times, 81% of people believe that they have a book inside them, dying to get out.   In the same New York Times article,  Joseph Epstein goes on to disparagingly say, “Misjudging one’s ability to knock out a book can only be a serious and time-consuming mistake. Save the typing, save the trees, save the high tax on your own vanity. Don’t write that book, my advice is, don’t even think about it. Keep it inside you, where it belongs” (NYT, September 28, 2002).

I say bunk!  What an absolutely hideous, vain notion.  There are many creative writers out there waiting to be heard.  Many writers know that they will be able to paper their bathroom walls with rejection letters, until getting to that final YES!   It is that spirit that keeps the art of writing going.  I believe more in the philosophy of Toni Morrison who says, ““If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  In fact Booksinprint.com state that there were over 1.3 million books currently in print last year alone.

In fact, I would venture to say that the NYT article was written by one of the large publishing houses that know at this very moment, how their industry is being threatened by the emergence of the e-publishing and self publishing world.   In my own networking group alone, DFW Indie Publishers, our numbers grow each and every week.   That being said, self publishing takes some homework.

I personally hit a few snags in the road with editing.  I completed the manuscript, was pleased with the results and began to format.  Ugh.   What a nightmare.  Trim size, bleed, font size, dropped capitals or no.  Getting the forematter formatted.  Writing the story was easy.  Getting it to the final product for me however was hair-raising.  Not wanting to break the bank, through some networking, I got some cheap help from the professionals and made it to the galleys.  I was on the home stretch. Or so I thought.

When you read and re-read your material, your eyes play tricks on you.  You know the story so well, that sometimes you miss the most obvious errors.  Spell check is not 100% infallable!  Even doing the trick of reading it backwards, you oft miss a typo or two.   In my own case, I was so concerned about the interior that I missed two typos on the back cover text!  GAHHH!!!!  The first 150 copies were printed with them.

I wanted to find the nearest cave and hide.   That goodness it was mostly friends that had seen them.  That and one local fiction promotions group.  But the damage was done.  They still to this day don’t take me seriously as a writer.   I was gutted.   One hundred and eighty potential fiction readers would never see my work!   I wanted to cringe.

But, ever the survivor, I picked myself up, dusted off the muck and bucked it up.  I know I am a good writer.  My reviews belie that my story is worthy.   A page turning, character rich, piece!  I simply made a common mistake.   Getting so excited about the galleys for FLYING SOLO, that I did not give it a fine tooth comb with a professional edit.

So you know what?  I fired the editor.   Sat at the computer and re-worked the interior.  Reprinted with smashing success.   I finally had a finished worthy product to be seen by the critics.   And with only a few bumps and bruises to my ego along the way.   It was best to focus on the writing and leave the editing to the professional.

Yes, I fired the editor.   And the editor was me.

Making the Most of Social Media

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Today I had the pleasure of attending yet another fab meeting of DFW Indi Publishers.   Networking and wonderful takeaways yet again, thanks to the speakers provided by Charlotte Ann Moore, Organizer.    Today’s guest speaker was Thomas Umstattd Jr. founder and CEO of AuthorMedia.   He gave an info packed talk on the in’s and out’s of social media marketing.  Wow, amazing!   All the things that you didn’t know about Facebook, Twitter, RSS feeds and how those jewels can make or break you as an author, whether published Indie or though a large publishing house.

Gone are the days when an author can simply write a book, get an agent, and publish through a large house only to sit back and watch their book sell.  No, no an NO!   In today’s electronically charged arena of publishing, the author must build their own social media platform.  With a savvy combo of Facebook, Twitter, and blogging, the author can take their book from 200 copies to 20,000 with the right combination of know how.

This is where AuthorMedia comes in to play.   They take your materials and guide you through the maze of the electronic marketing fray and frenzy.   De-mystifying #hashtags, timelines, google stats, and the all important SOE (search optimization engines).    Thomas and his crew can do everything from building your website, to educating you on how to build and maintain your digital author platform from which to launch your book to a best seller!

Just great stuff.  Please check out his website and social media connections!     Happy tweeting, blogging, and facebooking!    Not to mention writing.

The Grapevine for FLYING SOLO

What an experience Indie publishing has been.   Grassroots marketing, beating the pavements, talking, selling, marketing. . . it can all be exhausting.  But it seems to win the day.    That and of course a good story, which clearly FLYING SOLO is indeed!   All of the reviews from customers have not only been good, but stellar.  It still has not changed the minds of those staid individuals who believe that Indie publshing does not work.  To those people, I would say…GAHHHH!!!  have you met Amanda Hocking?

A good book is a good book.   Word of mouth is everything in this industry.   Great stories are great stories and if written well will indeed sell.    To those who have snubbed, I will just politely invite them to the next book signing event.   Word of mouth is everything!   Talk about it.  Blog about it.  Shout it from the rooftops.  If it is a good story.  . . . and you did your homework with editing and writing.  It will sell!!!

For now, I am happy to help other writers who are outstanding and need a voice!  Please contact the Indie publisher willing to listen and read your works!    That is AgeView Press.  www.ageviewpress.com   Without that opportunity. . . I would still be papering my walls with rejection letters instead of celebrating at book signings like this!   Stop thinking about it and just do it!   NIKE had it right!

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Flying Solo Book Signing

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Saturday was amazing, as I completed the first book signing for FLYING SOLO.   Very exhilerating to see people excited about your book.  What a charge to personlize it for them.   Many thanks to Cathy Davis, organizer of McKinney/Allen/Frisco Bookclub who networked getting us a signing at ARealBookStore at the Villages at Fairview, TX.

With the metrolplex of DFW home to over 2 million people, it is hard to believe that ARealBookStore is the only independent bookstore in the area.  So cool to see its huge expanse of books.   There is a wonderful cafe selling coffee, wine, and eats.  As well as a food demonstration area for writers of cookbooks.   Great children’s spot with theatre etc.   Awesome job ARealBookstore.   Everyone should take an excursion there.  You will not be disppointed.

And don’t forget to order your copy of FLYING SOLO!

<a href=”http://www.indiebound.org/book/978-0615618883?aff=JeanetteVaughan”><img src=”http://www.indiebound.org/files/ShopIndieBlu.png” alt=”Check out Flying Solo a hot new read by Jeanette Vaughan” border=”0″ /></a>

Flying Solo Book Trailer

Check out the flavor of ‘Nawlins in this book trailer for my new novel FLYING SOLO.   The book is available on Amazon in print or Kindle.  In addition, you can get your own personalized copy by ordering from AgeView Press.   www.ageviewpress.com    Order today!   All proceeds from the sale of this book go to purchasing medical equipment for my son Harrison who has Duchenne’s muscular dystropy.    We need a wheelchair van with airconditioning!!!  Thanks for your support!