Interview: Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist


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Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist

“Interview: Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist” by Joan Y. Edwards

Thank you for being a guest on my blog today, Stephanie. Your life, your tips, your book publicist services, and your DIY Book Platform app will inspire authors and help them decide the best way to publicize their books.

You’re welcome. It’s my pleasure to be here and to share book publicity ideas with authors.

Let’s begin.

  • Where were you born?

    In Houston, and I have the lungs to prove it. (Houston has the worst air quality in the US.)

  • What qualities of your parents do you admire the most?

    My dad lost his dad when he was three and had to commit his mom to a mental institution when he was 10, so he was effectively an orphan raised by his brothers. He was the only one of five brothers to go to college, which he did on a football scholarship. My mom was a swimmer who went to Olympic trials and missed getting in by one-tenth of a second. Her shoebox full of medals blows my mind. The year I was born, my parents started a business that is still going today–sales, service and rental of industrial equipment.  My people are a little OCD, but we’re driven to achieve. Failure is not an option.

  • If you go to an amusement park, which ride do you head to first?

  Tilt-a-Whirl        

  • Which ride do you avoid at all costs?

Roller coaster or anything that sends my neck into the chiropractor.

  • How did you do in English in high school?

Splendidly, despite being a slow reader.

  • What were three books you loved when you were a child?

The Cat in the Hat, The Velveteen Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland

  • What are three of your favorite books to read today?

Anything by Anne Lamott

  • Where is your favorite place to visit? Why?

Alaska because it’s the way the planet would look without us around to mess it up, although it started melting after my last visit.

  • Who or what has been the most help and inspiration to you in your life?

My middle school English teacher whose motto was “Take initiative!” which dovetailed with the entrepreneurial spirit in my household. And my mom’s best friend, who is 96 this year, a naturalized American from Versailles.

  • From my meeting you and seeing you at the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation Inc (OWFI) conference in May, 2016, it seems that you enjoy being with people. You are very friendly and outgoing. This is a great quality. Do you require a lot of alone time? How do you get it when your job as a publicist may require a lot of interacting with others?

On Myers-Briggs I am 50/50 introvert/extrovert, so as much as I put out, I spend putting back in. I am a mole in a hole on my laptop, just like a writer, until I go to a conference.

  • How do you keep yourself physically fit?

These days I walk or go to PT.

  • Do you set dates to meet your goals? Do you celebrate when you reach them?

I set goals every year, either in November or January and then I revisit them in June to see where I am. I usually nail the physical goals (I’m a minor health nut), and have mixed results in the other categories. Celebration for me usually involves a gluten-free menu on a white tablecloth with an adult beverage.

  • Who do you go to when you’re feeling low and about to give up?

I learned a long time ago that my pen and my friends are my family, so I either hit my journal or the phone.

Stephane Barko's logo

  • When did you decide to become a literary publicist? Why?

I began this career in 2006 after an editor noticed me marketing other writers in our writing circle. Before that I marketed semiconductors, so it only took me a short while between careers to figure out that once a marketer, always a marketer. During 2005, I was simply changing products.

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Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist

  • What has been your most exhilarating moment as a publicist?

Presenting in front of my peers in Denver at 2014 Author U Extravaganza. I never worked so hard on slides in my life!

  • What kind of research is necessary to develop a publicity plan for a client?

With ten years of experience, it’s the most fun thing I do, but I’m not going to give that away.

  • What are 3 tips you can give writers/authors?

1. It’s never too early to create your platform. 2. Agents look for craft first, so get it right and get it edited. 3. Know your audience and already have them identified before you query your manuscript.

  • What are three things that an author needs online?

1. Website 2. Blog 3. Social Suite

  • Wow! What a great number of clients you have with big publishers and small publishers and self-published authors! What three qualities helped you be a successful publicist?

To do the work I do, you have to be organized and persistent. I hear “no” as one step closer to the “yes” I’m going for. And you’ve got to be able to ask for what you want. I’m always amazed how long it takes women to articulate what they want. If you can ask for what you want, you’ll find that you get it about 75% of the time. Men just take what they want–they don’t even ask.

  • On February 9, 2016, Brian Jud stated in Inside Publishing Marketing & Publicity that successful book publishers market their books using an assorted mix of promotional media. The four parts to an assorted communication mix are publicity, advertising, sales promotion and personal selling. What are the essential ingredients of a good publicity campaign? Does it include advertising and sales promotion, as well as publicity? Do you do personal selling? Or is that for the author to do?

Some authors are good at hand selling. I promote. I never sell anything. I don’t believe in advertising novels, but I think advertising is okay for some nonfiction. A good PR campaign is specific to the subgenre and the author’s background. I don’t find it to be formulaic.

  • What are three books you would highly recommend to authors to help them learn how to market and sell their books successfully?

You can’t go wrong with John Kremer. If you write YA, I recommend Cynthia Leitich Smith’s website. I think it’s critically important for all authors to understand the impact Google has on us, so anything you can learn about their algorithm changes, about SEO, optimization and integration is important. I watch that more than I watch what Amazon is up to.

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  • How do you recommend writers go about finding a good publicist for their book?

You want one who routinely handles your subgenre, has no law suits against her or black marks on Preditors & Editors, and someone who has the connections you’re wanting to make. The level of vetting I recommend is somewhere between how you would investigate a surgeon vs. a housekeeper—you want to see both skill and integrity.

  • When is the best time to hire a publicist?

4-6 months PRIOR TO release date. Most authors approach me too late.

  • Could you give me a ballpark figure for the cost of having a publicist?

A full campaign runs $5K – $20K, depending on whether there’s media training, social media maintenance, or advertising rates rolled into the contract. Most of my contracts run $5K-$8K for 3-4 months of specific deliverables.

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  • What is DIY Book Platform?

DIY Book Platform is an app I created for authors of genres I don’t take and for authors who can’t afford a publicist. Purchase a 45-day pass to use it. Download it from www.diybookplatform.com.

  • It’s interesting that publicists have different genres they work with, similar to how agents choose different genres to represent. How did you decide that non-fiction adult books was your preference?

I like reality. I read nonfiction. Historical fiction is the other genre I take, and to me, that’s just reality redone as entertainment.

  • Do you do book reviews for nonfiction books?

Sometimes I will rate books on GoodReads that I read in my Austin book group.

  • What qualities does a nonfiction book need for you to consider representing its author as a publicist?

It needs to be well edited, well designed, with a goal of being published in more than one format.

  • How do you plan events for your authors?

I give advice on which events are worth their time.

  • How should authors/publishers contact you to ask if you’d represent them as a publicist?

Via email, stephanie (at) stephaniebarko (dot) com.

  • What is your website? Blog?

stephaniebarko.com, www.stephaniebarko.com/blog, and www.diybookplatform.com,

  • How can others connect with you on social media?

Facebook: Facebook.com/stephaniebarko
Twitter: twitter.com/steffercat
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/stephaniebarko
GooglePlus: google.com/+StephanieBarko
Pinterest: pinterest.com/StephanieBarko
YouTube: youtube.com/c/StephanieBarko

Links for DIY Platform (Stephanie Barko’s App for authors who can’t afford a publicist or who write in the genres she doesn’t serve)
Download DIY Platform app: www.diybookplatform.com
Facebook Page facebook.com/diybookplatform
Twitter: twitter.com/diybookplatform
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/diy-book-platform
GooglePlus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/s/DIY%20Book%20Platform
Pinterest: pinterest.com/StephanieBarko/diy-book-platform
YouTube: youtube.com/channel/UC1Uup1EgXemIeqU3W10rcMQ

Biography
Stephanie Barko’s award-winning clients include traditional publishers and their authors, small presses, and independently published writers. She promotes nonfiction & historical fiction exclusively, including how-to, history, career, business, biography, self-help, and memoir.  Debut authors and spiritual nonfiction are especially welcome.

Ms. Barko was invited into the publishing industry after many years in high tech marketing. She has presented on book marketing & publicity at Historical Novel Society North American Conference, Oklahoma Writers FederationDFW Writers, and Women Writing the West. Her articles and book reviews have been published in Western American LiteratureRoundup MagazineSouthern Writers MagazineSan Francisco Book Review, and the Texas Book Marketing Directory. She has been quoted in Writer’s Digest and was selected to Mentor at 2017 SXSW Interactive.

She was a Finalist in More Magazine’s Reinvention Story Competition, nominated by her peers as Book Publicist of the Year, and voted Preditors & Editors Best Book Promotion Service.  Stephanie has served as a Recommended Associate at Author U, an Industry Expert at Author Learning Center, and an Instructor for the Writers’ League of Texas. This year her agency was voted Best Resource in the Small Business Book Awards.

Development was completed in 2015 on DIY Book Platform, a web-based app that Stephanie conceived to serve authors who could not afford a publicist.

In 2014, Stephanie was profiled by both Environmental Defense Fund and National Audubon Society for her commitment to the earth. Since 2005, she has moderated a nonfiction book group that has hosted such nationally known authors as journaling expert Janet Conner (Writing Down Your Soul), genocide survivor and professional athlete Gilbert Tuhabony(This Voice In My Heart), and Paul Woodruff (Reverence), a TV guest of Bill Moyers.  Stephanie has degrees in Business & Sociology and is based in Austin.

Thank you again for being a guest on my blog today, Stephanie. You are a very talented, helpful, and energetic lady.

Thank you for reading my interview with Stephanie Barko. I hope you’ll leave her a little note. Feel free to ask a question. To comment, click below and scroll down to the very bottom.

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Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright  © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

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Book Signing Barnes & Noble Arboretum, Saturday, February 25, 2017 from 1-4 p.m.


Joan's Elder Care Guide cover by Aidana WillowRaven, 4RV Publishing

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Copyright 2004 Joan Y. Edwards

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Come to see me on Saturday, February 25, 2017 from 1-4 p.m. Book signing Barnes & Noble Arboretum Shopping Center, 3327 Pineville Matthews Rd, Charlotte, NC 28226. Phone 704-341-9365.

Joint bookfair between Barnes and Noble and Charlotte Writers Club. Other authors will be there. Their names are below with the times they will do a reading!

If you can’t come in person, you can order online use Bookfair voucher ID 12077293: http://www.bn.com/bookfairs from 2/25/2017 to 3/2/2017 and include the Bookfair voucher ID 12077293 on the payment page during checkout.

At 3:30 p.m. I’ll be reading from one of my books – 15 minutes. I’m the last author to read! It’s an honor to be there.

Here’s the list of authors and the time they’ll read:

1:15 Ione O’Hara
1:30 M. Logan Ham
1:45 Linda Bost
2:00 Nancy LiPetri
2:15 Norma Dougherty
2:30 Ben Sharpton
2:45 Liz Gilmore Williams
3:00 Nancy Stancill
3:15  James Boatner
3:30 Joan Edwards


I know you’ll be with me in spirit, if you can’t be there in person! Thanks for caring about me!Flip Flap Floodle and I can’t wait to see you! 

 

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COMMENT

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

***************************************************

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join over 385 Valued Subscribers and receive entertaining, encouraging posts PLUS 3 free gifts:

  1. Never Give Up image
  2. 20 Affirmations for Writers
  3. Ten Time Savers for Writers and Illustrators

 

 

 

 

Why Not? Day 10 Submit Your Manuscript. Go Ahead.


“Why Not? Day 10 Submit Your Manuscript. Go Ahead” by Joan Y. Edwards

  1. You’ve written sentences.

    why-not-copyright-joan-y-edwards-2017

    Why Not image Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

  2. You’ve written paragraphs.
  3. You’ve written an article, poem, short story, manuscript, screenplay.
  4. You’ve written a title.
  5. You’ve written a pitch.
  6. You’ve revised your writing at least three times.
  7. You’ve had your work critiqued by a critique group, a writing partner, and/or a professional editor. You’ve decided which suggestions you’ll honor and revised your manuscript again. You’ve proofread it and had others to proofread it, too.
  8. You’ve picked out one publisher or agent.
  9. You’ve written your query/cover letter.

 

Reread the guidelines of the publisher, agent, or contest you’ve chosen. Make sure you are following them.
Proofread your manuscript.
Proofread your query/cover letter.
If appropriate, proofread your proposal or story summary.

If you have decided that this is as good as you can possibly get it with the information you have, the talents you have, and the understanding that you have, go for it. Submit your manuscript! Say a prayer. Go ahead. Do it. Submit your manuscript.

I call this Pub Subbing. Here are the links to the three weeks before you submit during the third week. Of course, you can speed up this process or slow it down to suit your situation.

Pub Subbers
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

I hope you’ve enjoyed these 10 blog posts to help you get from story idea to submission. You can also use these ideas to help you get your illustrations ready to submit, too. You can put illustrations on a post card with your contact information and send it to a long list of publishers and agents. Please share them with your Facebook friends or with your Twitter accounts. 

  1. “Why Not? Day 1 Write. Go ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3t0/
  2. “Why Not? Day 2 Write a Sentence. Go ahead.” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3u1
  3. “Why Not? Day 3 Write a Paragraph. Go Ahead.” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3uf
  4. “Why Not? Day 4 Write a Snappy Title. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3wG
  5. “Why Not? Day 5 Write a Pitch. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xh
  6. “Why Not? Day 6 Revise Your Writing. Go Ahead.” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xl
  7. “Why Not? Day 7 Get Your Writing Critiqued. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xj
  8. “Why Not? Day 8 Make a List of Good Publishers. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xp
  9. “Why Not? Day 9 Write a Query Letter or Cover Letter. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xm
  10. “Why Not? Day 10 Submit Your Manuscript. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xw

Thank you for reading my blog. I believe there may be a problem with the emails. I don’t believe many of you have been receiving emails when new blog posts are published. Please leave a comment and let me know whether or not you’re receiving emails. 

COMMENT

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

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Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join over 385 Valued Subscribers and receive entertaining, encouraging posts PLUS 3 free gifts:

  1. Never Give Up image
  2. 20 Affirmations for Writers
  3. Ten Time Savers for Writers and Illustrators

Two choices:

  1. Log out of your WordPress account and sign up with an email that’s not on your WordPress account 
  2. Log into your WordPress account and sign up with the email that you used for it. 

 

Why Not? Day 9 Write a Query Letter or Cover Letter. Go Ahead.


Why Not image Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

Why Not image Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

“Why Not? Day 9 Write a Query Letter or Cover Letter. Go Ahead” by Joan Y. Edwards

  1. You’ve written sentences.
  2. You’ve written paragraphs.
  3. You’ve written an article, poem, short story, manuscript, screenplay.
  4. You’ve written a title.
  5. You’ve written a pitch.
  6. You’ve revised your writing at least three times.
  7. You’ve had your work critiqued by a critique group, a writing partner, and/or a professional editor. You’ve decided which suggestions you’ll honor and revised your manuscript again. You’ve proofread it and had others to proofread it, too.
  8. You’ve picked out one publisher or agent

What is the difference between a query letter and a cover letter? A cover letter goes along with a copy of a manuscript or a proposal. In the days before emails, these letters would cover the main manuscript or other enclosures. Thus, the name cover letter. With a query, it doesn’t go on top of something. It doesn’t have attachments. It’s all alone. A query letter’s purpose is to ask if someone would like to see a manuscript. It’s asking a question. If there’s nothing attached or enclosed, it’s a query letter.

A cover letter means you have permission to send part of a manuscript. If it’s a non-fiction manuscript book, the guidelines might say to send a proposal with the first three chapters. If a publisher or agent’s guidelines specify that you send ten pages or a whole picture book manuscript, then you’re writing a cover letter to go with it.

Both a query letter and a cover letter follow the same format – one page, single spaced, one-inch margins. Your address, phone number, email address, and date on the right side at the top. The name and address of the editor or agent on the left side.

Greeting: Dear Mr. or Ms. and the last name. When I’m not sure whether it’s Miss or Mrs. I usually use their first name. Please make it more personal than Dear Submission Editor or Dear Agent. But if that’s the best option possible, go with it. A publisher may tell you to send your query to the submission editor with no name mentioned. Other publishers have an online form to submit your information. If so, you can copy and paste elements in the right places. Usually, literary agencies like for you to study their agents and choose the one who works with your genre. They want you to select one and only one agent.

RE: Put Submission or Query or Fall Conference 2016: Check the guidelines for subject notes

First paragraph: Tell where you met them or why you chose them (conference, website, blog, another writer).

Explain that you love the humor, information, mystery, or another quality of a book that they published or represented as an agent. Tell how your book is similar to this book. Tell your PITCH (2 sentences).

Second paragraph: Tell MORE ABOUT YOUR STORY (125 word selling summary).

Tell why you believe this company or agent would be a good match for this manuscript. If the guidelines mention certain interests of publisher or agent, mention it, if it relates to your book.

Third paragraph: SHORT BIO.

Tell 3 biographical sentences about you and your writing/illustrating. Mention your membership in writer or illustrator professional groups, such as Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators.

Closing paragraph: THANKS AND ASK THE QUESTION.

Thanks for considering my work. If it’s a COVER LETTER, tell what you’ve enclosed or attached. May I send you the complete manuscript of BOOK TITLE? I look forward to hearing from you, but I understand that if I don’t hear from you in _______ months, you are not interested.

If the guidelines accept only email submissions, use email. Make sure your own email address has your name in it, not flowerful@gmail.com or thegreatest@yahoo.com.

If the guidelines ask for snail mail, use your postal service. If they ask for SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope), be sure and enclose one.

Thank you for subscribing. Question for you, subscribers: Are you getting the updates for new posts for my blog by email like you signed up for? Please answer my poll.  

Good luck with writing your query or cover letter. Please let me know if my ideas or resources help you. There are more resources for you below. To comment, click below and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

COMMENT

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

***************************************************

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join over 384 Valued Subscribers and receive entertaining, encouraging posts PLUS 3 free gifts:

  1. Never Give Up image
  2. 20 Affirmations for Writers
  3. Ten Time Savers for Writers and Illustrators

Earlier blog posts in the Why Not? series:

  1. “Why Not? Day 1 Write. Go ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3t0
  2. “Why Not? Day 2 Write a Sentence. Go ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3u1
  3. “Why Not? Day 3 Write a Paragraph. Go Ahead:”
    http://wp.me/pFnvK-3uf
  4. “Why Not? Day 4 Write a Snappy Title. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3wG
  5. “Why Not? Day 5 Write a Pitch. Go Ahead:”
    http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xh
  6. “Why Not? Day 6 Revise Your Story. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xl
  7. “Why Not? Day 7 Get Your Writing Critiqued. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xj
  8. “Why Not? Day 8 Make a List of Good Publishers. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xp

Resources

  1. Agent Query.com. “How to Write a Query Letter” http://www.agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx
  2. Allena Tapia. About.com. “A Sample Query:”
    http://freelancewrite.about.com/od/getpublished/a/samplequery.htm/
  3. Charlotte Dillon. “Query:” http://www.charlottedillon.com/query.html
  4. Cynthea Liu. “Anatomy of a Query Letter:” http://www.writingforchildrenandteens.com/submissions/anatomy-of-a-query-letter/
  5. Jacqueline K. Ogburn. “Rites of Submission:” http://www.underdown.org/covlettr.htm/
  6. Joan Y. Edwards. “Components of a Good Query Letter:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/components-of-a-good-query-letter/
  7. Joan Y. Edwards. “Will Your Query Letter Sell Your Manuscript?” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/will-your-query-letter-sell-your-manuscript/
  8. Nathan Bransford. “How to Format a Query Letter:” http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/03/how-to-format-query-letter.html/
  9. Nathan Bransford. “Anatomy of a Good Query Letter:” http://blog.nathanbransford.com/search/label/Anatomy%20of%20a%20Good%20Query%20Letter/
  10. New York Book Editors. “How to Write a Darn Good Query Letter:” http://nybookeditors.com/2015/12/how-to-write-a-darn-good-query-letter/
    Preditors and Editors: Sample Query http://pred-ed.com/pubquery.htm
  11. Query Shark http://queryshark.blogspot.com/ 

 

Why Not? Day 8 Make a List of Good Publishers. Go Ahead.


Why Not image Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

Why Not image Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

This is the 8th post in the Why Not Series.

“Why Not? Day 8 Write a List of Good Publishers. Go Ahead” by Joan Y. Edwards

  1. You’ve written sentences.
  2. You’ve written paragraphs.
  3. You’ve written an article, poem, short story, manuscript, screenplay.
  4. You’ve written a title.
  5. You’ve written a pitch.
  6. You’ve revised your writing at least three times.
  7. You’ve had your work critiqued by a critique group, a writing partner, and/or a professional editor. You’ve decided which suggestions you’ll honor and revised your manuscript again. You’ve proofread it and had others to proofread it, too.

Now you’re ready to decide where to send your manuscript…a publisher, agent, or contest? A TOUGH decision. If you’ve decided to self-publish your book, make a list of publishers who specialize in helping people self-publish and their fees. This post is not about self-publishing.

Do your homework. Investigate the publisher, agent, or contest. What are their best sellers? Do they publish your genre? What will be your royalty? Are there any required fees?  Do they accept returns? This is a necessity for your book to be accepted widely in book stores. Otherwise, you’ll have to approach bookstores yourself and see if they will sell your books on consignment. If there are fees, they are not traditional publishers. Stay away from them. Go to others.

Decide your criteria. What do you expect from a publisher? For most of The Big Momma Publishers, you must have an agent. If that’s your wish, obtain an agent.

Check the publishers or agents of three of your favorite books in your genre. Read their submission guidelines. Do they accept unsolicited manuscripts?

Study and find more editors, agents, or contests that are good matches for your manuscript. 

After collecting your information, choose three of the most promising ones for submission. Re-read the submission guidelines for each one. Write three reasons why each publisher or agent on your list would be a great choice. Save this information for your query or cover letter. It will come in handy.

If you’re reading information from a guidebook or an online source, DOUBLE-CHECK the latest submission guidelines on the website of the publisher, agent, or contest. Save yourself heartache. Check them again right before you submit your manuscript.

The next in this blog series will be about writing your query or cover letter to go with your manuscript.

 

Resources:

 

  1. Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents 2017: Who They Are! What They Want! How to Win Them Over! by Jeff Herman: https://www.amazon.com/Hermans-Publishers-Editors-Literary-Agents-ebook/dp/B01LA268C0/
  2. Joan Y. Edwards. “22 Literary Agents Who Are Looking for You:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/22-literary-agents-who-are-looking-for-you/
  3. Joan Y. Edwards. “40 Publishers Who Accept Unsolicited Manuscripts:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/40-publishers-who-accept-unsolicited-manuscripts/
  4. Joan Y. Edwards. “Questions to Ask Before You Sign with a Publisher:”
    https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2016/09/02/questions-to-ask-before-you-sign-a-contract-with-a-publisher/
  5. Joan Y. Edwards. “Take These Steps Before You Sign with an Agent:”
    https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/take-these-steps-before-you-sign-with-an-agent/
  6. Poets & Writers-Creative Writing Contests & Competitions http://www.pw.org/content/writing_contests_0?cmnt_all=1
  7. Sally Stuart. Sally Stuart’s Christian Writers’ Market Guide http://stuartmarket.blogspot.com/
  8. Writer’s Digest Books. Children’s Writer’s And Illustrator’s Market 2017, Writer’s Digest Bookshttps://www.amazon.com/Childrens-Writers-Illustrators-Market-2017/dp/1440347778/
  9. Writer’s Digest Books. Writer’s Market by Writer’s Digest Books 2017
    https://www.amazon.com/Writers-Market-2017-Trusted-Published/dp/1440347735/
  10. Writing Contests: http://writersviews.com/writing-contests.php

 

Earlier blog posts in the Why Not? series:

  1. “Why Not? Day 1 Write. Go ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3t0
  2. “Why Not? Day 2 Write a Sentence. Go ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3u1
  3. “Why Not? Day 3 Write a Paragraph. Go Ahead:”
    http://wp.me/pFnvK-3uf
  4. “Why Not? Day 4 Write a Snappy Title. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3wG
  5. “Why Not? Day 5 Write a Pitch. Go Ahead:”
    http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xh
  6. “Why Not? Day 6 Revise Your Story. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xl
  7. “Why Not? Day 7 Get Your Writing Critiqued. Go Ahead:” http://wp.me/pFnvK-3xj

Thanks for reading my blog. I’d love to hear from you. To comment, click below and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

COMMENT

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

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17 Tips for a Successful Book Signing


17-tips-for-a-successful-book-signing-copyright-2016-joan-y-edwards

17 Tips for a Successful Book Signing Copyright © 2016 Joan Y. Edwards

“17 Tips for a Successful Book Signing” by Joan Y. Edwards

First of all congratulations on having a book signing! What an honor! What an accomplishment! Congratulations to you, your publisher, and the book store or other place at which you are having a book signing. I had a very successful book signing at Park Road Books on November 12, 2016. Thank you to Megan, the event coordinator and the owner of Park Road books for accepting my books on consignment and then letting me have a book signing at the store.

I was afraid I would feel awkward or be alone. That didn’t happen. I felt right at home. Many customers who came in the store stopped to talk with me. Some stopped and signed “Thinking of You” cards for residents of Elmcroft’s Alzheimer/Dementia Unit. Both of my daughters came.  A couple of friends came to get the copy autographed that they’d bought online. It was like a big party. My older daughter came at 2:15 p.m. and stayed until I left at 4:00 p.m. My younger daughter and her family came, too. The family and friends who came stayed at least 40 minutes and visited with me and/or with each other. Everyone browsed the books. Six people bought Joan’s Elder Care Guide. Thirty-one people signed cards for the elderly. Thank you to all of you who came and visited with me. A special thanks to all who have purchased a book.

Here are 17 tips for a successful book signing:

  1. Contact your family and see if the date you’ve chosen is a good date for them to come.
  2. Email your family, writing groups and professional organizations and let them know about it.
  3. Post on your blog, Facebook, and Twitter about your book signing – If it’s a drop in, usually it’s for 2 hours from 2:00-4:00 PM or 7:00-9:00 PM. If you’re doing a presentation, you will want to put a special time: 2:00 pm. or 7:00 p.m.
  4. Call and/or email media about your book signing and ask them if they would like a copy for review. Ask the book store if they are contacting the media. Ask them if they have a media contact list that they would be willing to share with you.
    Newspapers from your county and each surrounding county
    Television stations
    Radio stations
  5. Get business cards printed – Name, website, email address, titles of books and ISBN numbers.
  6. Get postcards designed and printed – book cover, sentence quotes and name of reviewer.
  7. Print a poster with your picture and book cover announcing book signing and put in a plastic holder that will sit on a table.
  8. Have chocolate mints or after dinner mints.
  9. Bring your favorite pen that’s archival safe to use for writing an autograph. This means the pen won’t bleed through the page and will last a long time. Think of a good saying that will fit for most autographs. Perhaps a short but memorable saying. You want to focus on the person who bought your book and listen to his/her story.
  10. Wear comfortable shoes.
  11. Wear your favorite outfit that’s comfortable and distinctive looking.
  12. Wear a name tag around your neck with your name and the title or titles of your books (with your name large enough to read well at a glance).
  13. Call a day ahead and make sure everything is “Okay” for the book signing.
  14. Bring a bottle of water for you to keep yourself properly hydrated.
  15. Arrive 15 minutes early so that you can set things up and go to the bathroom to check your appearance before the book signing officially begins.
  16. Thank the people who buy your books. Thank those who come to hang out with you or stop by to say “hello,” even if they don’t buy a book.
  17. Before you leave, make sure you thank the event coordinator and the cashiers who were working during your book signing. See how many more copies of your book, they’d like for you to leave on consignment.

Thank you to all who have bought Joan’s Elder Care Guide and Flip Flap Floodle. In case you’d like to buy a copy or share with others, here are links to buy them. Joan’s Elder Care Guide is a great gift for a friend or relative who is caring for an elder. Flip Flap Floodle , a happy little duck, delights children of all ages and gives them courage to continue life playing their song so they don’t give up.

Joan’s Elder Care Guide: Empowering You and Your Elder to Survive
Park Road Books(Charlotte, NC)
4RV Publishing
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Flip Flap Floodle
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate you very much. I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to let us know what works for you. To comment, click on comment and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

COMMENT

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2016 Joan Y. Edwards

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Believe in You: Submit Your Manuscript or Illustration


Believe in You Copyright 2016 Joan Y. Edwards

Believe in You Copyright 2016 Joan Y. Edwards

“Believe in You: Submit Your Manuscript or Illustration”

Believe in you.

I know. Sometimes it’s more difficult to believe in yourself than it is at other times. What are some simple things you can do to show you believe in you and your writing or illustrating? Let’s look at a few examples that show either a positive belief or a negative belief.

Actions/Reactions show your beliefs.

  1. Do you hide your work in a drawer?
  2. When someone says that your work’s good, do you reply, “I try, but I’m not very good at it.”
  3. If your work gets rejected, do you throw your manuscript in the trash?
  4. Do you bang your head against the table?
  5. Do you tear up your drawings?
  6. Do you punish yourself for not being good enough?
  7. Do you think other writers/illustrators are keeping you from achieving your goal?

Revamp the way you act and react.

  • Submit your manuscripts/illustrations to editors/agents/contests/critique partners.
  • Study the works of best-selling authors/illustrators.
  • Study the works of authors/illustrators you admire.
  • Study your work again, make possible revisions and try again.
  • Take writing/illustrating workshops in person or online.
  • Act like successful writers/illustrators do.
  • God has a plan for you. No one is keeping you from achieving your goal. Help other writers/illustrators on your path. In helping them, you’ll learn something that helps you.
  • Revise your manuscript after a critique.
  • Study publishers/agents to find one that publishes the kind of story you want published.
  • Study methods of publication (self-publishing and traditional publishing) to see which one you really want deep down in your soul.

Emotions show your beliefs

  1. Do you stay tense until you receive a response?
  2. Do you stay tense until the time has passed the three months or six months that indicates you haven’t passed the publisher’s or agent’s test for being noticed?
  3. Do you go into a fit of depression when you receive a “no” response.
  4. Are you afraid of what others might say about your work?

Can you reprogram your emotions so that the rejection doesn’t have such a negative influence over your goals? If you can’t accept a yes or no answer, figure out why? What myth are you believing as truth. This is a control thing. You think if they say, “NO, that you won’t get published. This isn’t true. It just means “no” for that publisher or agent. Make sure you’re not saying this to yourself if you receive a “no.” You are the only one that can say “NO” that stops you in your tracks.

  • I relax knowing that I have put my best writing/illustrating forward. If they reject me, it’s because it’s not the right place for it. It doesn’t mean it’s not good.
  • I relax knowing that I am a good writer/illustrator even if no one agrees with me. I know that God is helping me find the right publisher and to get the work in the right format.

Words show your beliefs. Do you say any of these negative belief statements?

  1. I can’t write.
  2. I can’t draw.
  3. I’ll never get published. It’s too hard.
  4. I’m not good enough to be a best-selling author.
  5. I don’t have the marketing skills to be a best-selling author.
  6. Not many people will buy my books because they don’t know me.

Rephrase your words to show you do believe in you and your writing/illustration.

  • I can write. I can draw.
  • My work is good. I’ll get published. I’ll find a way.
  • Every day I take a step closer to the publication of my work.
  • I have the writing and marketing skills to be a best-selling author.
  • People who read my work tell everyone they know about my books and that they are good and give more value than its cost.
  • People who see/read my work know that they get wonderful value for their money. They get helpful information. They get a powerful story. They get heart-felt illustrations.
  • People who read my work or see my illustrations see my gift of humor and laugh.

 

Amazing Articles (Please read one. I promise you that you’ll be glad you did.)

  1. Amandah Tayler Blackwell. “10 Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills—Quickly:” http://www.ragan.com/Main/Articles/10_ways_to_improve_your_writing_skillsquickly_46142.aspx
  2. Dan Shewan. “16 Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills:” http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/08/07/improve-writing-skills
  3. Jerod Morris.  “A Sobering Lesson on the Value of Compromising Your Creative Ideas:” http://www.copyblogger.com/creative-compromise/
  4. Miss Literati. “Author Quotes That Prove You’re a Real Writer:” http://www.missliterati.com/blog/author-quotes-prove-you-are-a-real-writer
  5. Jacquelyn Smith. “16 Business Books That Will Change Your Life Forever According to My Coworkers:” http://www.businessinsider.com/business-books-that-will-change-your-life-forever-2016-4/
  6. Elana Goldberg. “10 Life-Changing Books that Will Stay With You Forever:” http://www.goodnet.org/articles/10-lifechanging-books-that-will-stay-you-forever
  7. Linds Redding. “An Overdue Lesson in Perspective:” http://www.lindsredding.com/2012/03/11/a-overdue-lesson-in-perspective/

    My blog posts to get your work ready to submit:

    Pub Subbers
    Week 1
    Week 2
    Week 3
    Week 4

    I love hearing from you. Tell me what you’d like for me to write about. Click on comment and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

    COMMENT

    Never Give Up
    Live with Enthusiasm
    Celebrate Each Step You Take

    Joan Y. Edwards
    Copyright © 2016 Joan Y. Edwards

    ***************************************************

    Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join over 370 Valued Subscribers and receive entertaining, encouraging posts PLUS 3 free gifts:

    1. Never Give Up image
    2. 20 Affirmations for Writers
    3. Ten Time Savers for Writers and Illustrators
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