Want to learn the ropes of the writing/ publishing business? Want to work from home? Then you need this! Top Selling Mystery author Lauren Carr is going to be teaching all this and more in historic Harpers Ferry, outside Washington, D. C., in March 2015.
Here’s an excerpt from her e-mail!
BIG NEWS: I have just scheduled to conduct a SIX HOUR workshop in
March at the church called: AUTHORS IN BATHROBE. I am still working out the details, but this workshop will break book promotion down into an understandable format for writers. Even if your book is not out yet,
then this will include things that you can do now to get the ball
rolling for sales when you book is released.
Focused completely on using the internet to promote your book and your
writing career, the workshop will include no less than an hour on
Twitter and an hour Facebook. (My own sales drop 10-20 percent on days I don’t tweet!) It will discuss the importance of a website and how to set
one up without breaking your budget. What is a blog? What goes into a
blog post. Virtual book tours. It will even cover the basics of an
author bio and what makes a good profile pic.
It will be 9 to 4 on Saturday, March 21. Lunch will be included. Price
is still being determined.
You are the first to hear this, so spread the word.
Lauren Carr’s Book Writing and Publishing Seminar
Make That Dream of Becoming an Author a Reality
Are you working on a book? Or have you written a book but don’t know if it is quite ready to be published? Is your book ready to be published, but you have no idea what to do now? Do you self-publish? Maybe you want to approach the New York publishers? How do you do that? Do you even want to? How do I get reviewers?”
Writers have a lot of questions, especially nowadays since the gate keepers of publishing have gone by the wayside to open the doors for writers to make their books available to readers. Best-selling author and publisher Lauren Carr, who has penned six critically-acclaimed books, has made it her mission to answer those questions for you, plus more in this 2-day writing and publishing seminar. Book Writing & Publishing Workshop: Saturday, April 13 & 14, 9-12, 1-4.
Book Writers Workshop: (Saturday, April 13): Are you suffering from the Good-Parent Syndrome? From addressing obstacles like time management to overcoming writers block, the first day of this seminar will focus on teaching budding authors what makes a good book, as well as how to avoid the ten-plus most common mistakes, which can prevent their books from being a success. Note: Grammar and Punctuation are not on the list of most common mistakes.
Book Publishing Workshop: (Sunday, April 14): Did you know that a six-figure advance is not necessarily a good thing? Lauren will start the publishing workshop by defining the details of the most common terms in publishing, followed by explaining the various different forms of publishing. There are pros and cons to each one. Lauren will also outline the steps of what goes into publishing a book from editing to layout design to proofing, and releasing it to the public. The Book Publishing Workshop will also instruct students on how to successfully use online resources in order to publish their book after writing it and use the online media to promote it worldwide. It will be informative for writers planning to either self or traditionally publish.Lauren Carr is also the best-selling mystery author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. On Amazon, she has been consistently listed in the top one-hundred authors in sales for her mysteries. It’s Murder, My Son, Old Loves Die Hard, and Shades of Murder, have all been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. It’s Murder, My Son and Old Loves Die Hard have both made number one status on Amazon in the category of cozy mysteries. Blast from the Past is the fourth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series. The next installment in the Mac Faraday series will be released in October of this year.
Released September 2012, Dead on Ice introduces a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates. The second installment in the Lovers in Crime series will be out in 2013.
The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.
She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:
Blog: Literary Wealth: http://literarywealth.wordpress.com/
Gnarly’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/GnarlyofMacFaradayMysteries
Lovers in Crime Facebook Page:
Acorn Book Services Facebook Page:
Saturday, April 13 & Sunday, April 14, 2013 9:00 am-12 Noon, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm
Garrett College 687 Mosser Road McHenry, MD 21541
Garrett College is offering a variety of non-credit courses at the Northern Outreach Center in Grantsville, Maryland. Whatever your interests, talents, or age, there is a special place for you with Garrett College. You can enroll in most of our courses regardless of your past education. Whether you want to upgrade basic skills, job skills, or continue professional education, we have courses for you. Soon you will discover a stimulating learning opportunity in a small, close-knit, educationally supportive environment.
For more information or to register, please contact Terry Beachy at 301-895-4700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northern Outreach Center hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM Evenings and Saturdays by appointment
Amazon.com has solved the problem for you if you have a computer, Android phone or tablet, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows 8 PC or tablet, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone. Amazon.com offers free software–free reading apps–for your device that converts it to an e-reader. Cool!
Then you can read your favorite e-book just like everyone else!
For more information about converting your electronic device to an e-reader, click here:
It’s crazy. Just when I have plotted out my life for the next umpteen months and settled back to work the plan, Life throws me a curve ball. It shouldn’t surprise me.
Enough seasons have passed through my earth-bound existence that I should know better than to think any long-term plan will play out exactly as I have envisioned it. It must be the optimist in me, for I keep planning.
Or maybe it’s my insanity. You know the old definition of lunacy: doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different outcome.
However, my recent roadblocks are just that–little obstacles. The unanticipated hiccups don’t really change my plans. My destination is still the same: write books. Now, I will have a few detours through unfamiliar neighborhoods. That can be a good thing, right? It adds color, dimensions, flavor to my collection of life experience.
I’ll stop rambling and be more concrete.
I make my living by farming. I make hay, cut wood, and grow vegetables for selling. This year I planned to add the sale of landscaping stone to my product line. Due to another hiccup in my life plan, my way of making a living was to be more important than ever in 2013. But. . . .
Karma has other plans. I have torn my rotator cuff. I am scheduled for surgery soon and will be convalescing for six months afterward. No farming this season. No farming means no income.
Thankfully, there is nothing wrong with my brain. So I have to ask myself, is the Universe clearing a path for me to write?
Dates don’t stick in my brain. That’s why I always disliked history classes. The tests seemed to focus on memorization of lots of dates. I was at an instant disadvantage. I would have preferred that the instructors focused on the lessons we can learn from history. If that had been the case, I likely would have majored in history. I love to learn. I hate memorization.
But I digress.
I was saying dates don’t stick in my brain. I can’t remember when I first decided that I would start a writers group. If I were to guess, I would say it was two years ago. About that time, I started attending writing workshops by mystery author Lauren Carr, hosted by different local libraries. In fact, it happened after the first Carr workshop, but before the second. At the second workshop is where I asked for anyone interested to give me his or her contact information.
It took a bit of time to find a meeting place. I had a list of 25 names. I had no idea how many would actually show up. Rose Harris, owner of a local coffee-house in historic Williamsport, MD, was willing to let the group use her back room free of charge two times per month. The local library also had a meeting room, but it was in high demand. The writers group may have to compete for meeting dates. That was no good. Plus, the library felt sterile. The vibe at the Desert Rose Cafe was nurturing, creative, friendly. As an added bonus, “the eats” were good and inexpensive.
It was the vibe that made the decision for me.
Over time the group whittled down to a dozen, then ten regulars. The group was very diverse, from writing styles to personalities to topical interests. Yet we jelled. We shared work by reading aloud. We criticized (in a constructive way) and guided each other in developing our craft. We encouraged and inspired each other.
The restaurant hosted a writing contest, posting short works from the group in the dining room, asking diners to read and vote on a winner.
We all were winners, because, after the contest, we decided to put together the Anthology. We had faith we could create a collection of short works, edit them, compile them, then publish them in a period of about six months.
With the professional assistance and coaching of Acorn Book Services in Harpers Ferry, WV, by December, 2012, the humble writers group–Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe–released its first e-book. The members range in age from 30 to 80-plus and live in a three state area.
One member with Asperger’s Syndrome remarked that the release date of the e-book was one of the greatest days in his life. During the course of writing for the Anthology, he made a decision to move out of his parents’ home and into his own apartment, so he could enroll in college. He is currently working on a solo writing project.
An administrator in the local library system called me a couple of days ago to express her surprise and joy that Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe had achieved its goal. She offered to help arrange publicity for the book through the local newspaper. In turn, I offered to promote the library workshops as wellsprings of creativity. Without the library’s workshop, the Anthology would never have been written.
An idea led to a call to action and resulted in the creation and e-printing of a publication. A young man’s life changed. Others came to see that setting a goal and working on it faithfully yielded results. Several are working on new solo projects.
Dreams do come true.
Without any serious marketing as such, Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe (Hmmmm. Is that singular or plural?) has sold 35 copies of the anthology to date.
And there are two reviews written and posted on Amazon.com. Reading the reviews was exciting. It gave insight and feedback to us on our work.
The sales break down like this:
Amazon.com 34 copies sold
Barnes & Noble 1 copy sold
Several copies have been purchased by the dining patrons of the Desert Rose Cafe. Owner Rose Harris reported there is a lively interest in the book and how the group came to publish it.
Perhaps, in the near future, there will be a “Meet the Writers” event, which may garner a bit of newspaper coverage. That event, or a complimentary newspaper article, may yield a couple of more sales.
What can be done now to sell books?
I have to buckle down and prepare press releases. All of the writers group members need to promote the book on their own social media, blog or web site. This year, I postponed sending out my Christmas letter. I want to write a New Year’s letter and include a promotional blurb in it about the book. Next, I need to put on my thinking cap to figure out other ways to exploit the “local writer” designation.
In sales, they teach you to sell first to family, then to friends or acquaintances, then to neighbors or the local market, then beyond. Until a writer has established himself, the likeliest buyer is someone who knows him or knows of him.
Finally, I need to utilize the “store” component here on WordPress. Obviously, visitors to this site should be able to buy the book.
The lesson in all of this?
Sales don’t magically happen for an author. To sell books, an author has to promote his or her books. That means getting creative so that whatever selling the writer does is effective and affordable.
Writers hate marketing. However, it is a necessary evil, especially for the new author.
Don’t overlook the sales that can be generated by friends or family. Word of mouth is always the best sales tool. A person who reads and likes your book is the most credible advertiser. Ask for help to promote your book.
I would love to hear from other independent authors about the success you’ve had selling your books. Please share the lessons you’ve learned, the mistakes you’ve made or the tactics that have succeeded. In what venue did you sell the majority of your books? Where did things fizzle? What was hard? What worked well?
Talk to me. I am all ears.
A special thanks to the author of aftermathasagabegins.wordpress.com who shares the evolution of the cover of his book from his first concept sketch through influences of other artists to his final design. It’s interesting to follow how the reality evolves from the first idea in the writer’s mind to the final interpretation.
As writers, we create beyond the words on the pages. Finding the right artist to help us translate our story into an encapsulating image is a labor unto itself. I appreciate this little look behind the scenes to prep me for what lies ahead.
Are you on the verge of e-publishing or self-publishing your book? You may want to read the article by using the link above. The more input you get, the better your output will be.
Within the week, the Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe Anthology will be in the hands of Acorn Book Services for formatting. Within the month, the e-book will be available for sale on Amazon.com.
The anthology integrates the varied writing interests of the authors into a fast and easy read. There’s something for everyone: young adult to inspirational to fantasy to adult fiction to poetry to ultra-short story (such as 33- or 55-word stories). Whatever your tastes in reading, the anthology offers enough variety to satisfy.
Sound like an advertisement? It is.
Naturally, I hope you will read the anthology and share feedback with me. Your feedback helps the writers of Desert Rose Cafe to improve and grow. Criticism is welcomed when it is meant to help.
The project itself drove several of the authors out of a comfort zone. Writing within a group setting is very different from writing alone. For a couple of the writers, the process of publication is a first experience. Others have years of creative expertise. One of our own developed the book cover with group input. Members assumed varying responsibilities such as editing, content organization, setting timelines and the like. The satisfaction of bringing the projection to completion is almost at hand.
As an aside, one of our authors has Asperger’s Syndrome, a developmental disability that affects one’s ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. Can you imagine the huge satisfaction that writer is feeling right now?
Now the marketing begins, along with the next learning curve for some of us. When the e-book is available to purchase, I’ll share where to buy it.
As I learn what works and what doesn’t on the marketing side of the venture, I’ll share those lessons, too.
A few days ago, I finished rewriting on my contributions to The Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe Anthology. I sent my revisions to the members who collate the contributions into the final manuscript. The volume will be turned over to Acorn Book Services for formatting and uploading to the marketplace for e-books. (Hopefully in December.)
I received a couple of specific criticisms from the publisher on two of my pieces. However, I revised almost every story, including my biographical paragraph.
After re-reading the pieces multiple times, I wanted to yank out several of my entries because now I hate them. I don’t want them published under my name. They aren’t perfect. They aren’t mature. They bore me. Some are pablum. Pablum suggests simplistic writing.
I tell myself. “This is a first effort, so the stench of the amateur shouldn’t surprise anyone.” That’s my scared self speaking.
I’m delighted that the editor suggested changes to improve stories. Consequently, there are two or three pieces I think deliver entertainment for the reader. Satisfactorily. Worth the price of admission. Maybe leaving the reader curious about what comes next from this author.
And I grew. As an author. As a wordsmith. As a human being. As an experimenter.
Striving to make something excellent is good, to a point. Sometimes a writer rewrites and rewrites, seeking perfection in a piece. But there does come a time to stop: stop reworking, stop criticizing, stop touching up. At that point, it’s time to publish and let the chips fall where they may. It’s time to face the music.
Am I ready for the commercial press? Book buyers will vote. Readers will tell me.
If my collection of work is a screw up, I hope a reader is brave enough to spell out specifics for me, not just the critique “I don’t like it.” It’s the “I don’t like it because. . .” that helps me improve the next time.