Friday, December 27, 2019

'Tis the Season to Set Goals

One of the members of my critique group suggested that we have a separate meeting in January at one or our favorite coffee shops, away from our usual critique sessions, for an informal discussion about our goals for 2020. And to arrive with our goals in writing. Throughout the year we can check in with each other, see how we’re doing.

Yay. This method can work the way successful weight-loss programs work: by making ourselves accountable to someone. Why not do this for our writing? As a veteran of years of goal-setting and goal-breaking, I find myself excited and motivated by the prospect of putting my goals in writing and sharing them with my critique partners. This way my projects have an excellent chance of progressing, maybe even being completed.

Here’s what I plan to take to our meeting:
  • A 35x24 white board has sat in our garage gathering dust for years. I rescued it, cleaned it off, bought a brand new set of dry erase markers, found my old eraser, and propped it up in my office. The months are listed on the left, projects on the top; goals filled in now and will be updated throughout the year.
  • My goal plans were born on paper, typed up and ready to post on my goal board for the world to see. For my first book, about to be published, I typed up part of my marketing plan (the more detailed plan is kept in a three-ring binder), and to save space, I labelled its parts in phases. At the meeting I can explain the phases from my typed-up version, and throughout the year, as I go along completing my goals, I can erase them from the board and cross them off on paper.
  • Most of the goals I’ve set are short-term, aiming toward the long-term drop-dead goal.
Take a Step Back to Leap Forward
Another member found a terrific “Best of My Year” set of questions we can ask ourselves about how we did in 2019, which were recently posted on Emma D. Dryden’s blog, and can be found here:

What excited you this year about your art or writing?

What are you grateful for in the progress you’ve made in your art or writing and your goals?

What did you do this year to propel your story forward and/or to propel your career forward?

What did you do to invest in your art or writing?

What did you do to invest in yourself?

Emma’s last words:
Bring it back to you and your creativity.
That's what matters most.
Hard to do, I know, but worth it.
You're worth it.
(And separate from social media if you have to!)

Let's make a date to meet back here in December 2020 on my monthly post date, the 27th, and see how much we've accomplished. If we take the time to set our goals, put them in writing, and follow through with them throughout the year, I predict we will be pleased--maybe even ecstatic--at what we've accomplished!
Introductory image courtesy of: Pinterest
Biggie 2020 goal: Use less paper!
Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 150 articles for adults and children, and several short stories for children. She has recently become editor of the New Mexico SCBWI chapter newsletter, and is working on several projects for children. Follow Linda on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Marketing & Promotion Recap - Happy Holidays!



As authorprenuers, we must market our products; Platform, Brand, and Website provide the way.
Today we’ll recap our discussions over the last several months because this topic is worth repeating.

1) What Does It Take To Promote Your Writing? 
It takes Author Platform, Branding, Identifying your audience, an Author Website, and building Connection with your readers. Overwhelming? Yes, but, we must reach folks to read our stuff, so let’s get going.

A Platform, established and maintained, is the action you take to promote your writing. Kimberly Grabas founder of YourWriterPlatform.com defines Platform succinctly. It describes the ways you connect and engage with your ideal readership – the readers who are most receptive to your work. It also denotes your influence, visibility and authority.

Branding is who you are and how you are known. We market ourselves through our branding.
You have a book in you. Write it and get it out there.
More: https://www.writersonthemove.com/2019/04/what-does-it-take-to-promote-your.html

2) What Does It Take To Market Your Writing? Great Content
To market your writing it takes focused effort for Author Platform, Branding, and an Author Website. Let’s talk about Great Content today.

We use the internet to research concepts, compare topics and glean information for our work, discover fresh ideas, and to find the best, consistent resources without wasting time or money. We must deliver informative, strategic, and timely content in the same way.

Five Tips:
1. Since we are not entitled to our reader’s attention, deliver content that grabs their interest through text, imagery, podcasts and video, and make it snappy for the scanners
2. If it grabs, it’s likely to spread
3. Use proven structures such as: 
*Headlines, and sub-headlines, that command attention  
*Focused introductory sentences  
*Information that solves a problem  
*Limiting the message to one central point
More: https://www.writersonthemove.com/2019/05/market-with-content.htmll

3) Create a Strategy that Delivers Great Content 
What does it take to promote your writing, be it articles, stories or books? The answer is much more than Sales Pitches and Events.  How do you tell your readers or a prospective publisher what you are about? How does your promotional offer benefit the reader? The answers are: your Author Platform, your Branding, and your Website.  It’s the way you inform and engage your audience. This week we’ll talk about Great Content, and developing a Strategic Plan.

Points for brainstorming your strategic plan to deliver great content:
1.    The WHAT: Writing a series of five, six or ten articles focused on one theme
2.    The HOW of delivery is via quality information in text, graphics, video and audio. We are not entitled to our reader’s attention. Deliver content that grabs their interest early, and make it good for the quick-look reader.
3.    Change up the presentation by offering an article in text with audio as well.
4.    Make it original, relevant and valuable while staying focused on your theme.
5.    Also, make it substantial and in-depth even when it requires 1000 words or more.
6.    The WHY: Connecting with your audience which leads to engagement and sharing
7.    WHEN you build Connection, readers are more likely to follow by taking Action
More: https://www.writersonthemove.com/2019/06/create-strategy-that-delivers-great.html

4) Content Curation & Aggregation 
You promote and inform readership of the benefits you offer through your Platform, Branding, and Website.  Let’s talk about growing engagement by diving a bit deeper through Content Curation and Aggregation.
•    Content Curation is not creating new content; it is the process of searching out, discovering, compiling and sharing existing content for your readership relevant to a specific topic or subject.
o    Content Curation’s purpose is to add the value of a broader view and understanding.
o    Introduce the content with your own perspective and ideas, then provide a link to the source article via “To read the original article go to: …”
•    Content Aggregation is the collection of information for a particular topic with one or more related keywords. >>>
Adding value is the best path to growing your readership and promoting your work.
More:
https://www.writersonthemove.com/2019/07/content-curation-aggregation.html

5) Platform, Brand and You 
Your Platform and your brand, presented via your website, tells readers who you are and what you are about. These three, closely aligned will present a consistent message. Readers will return often to ask; “What do they have for me today?” “What more can I do to build my writing business?”

Your Platform is useful if you are a blogger writing essays, articles, or books. Our success requires visibility, thus we must communicate with our readers. Work to make your message clear and valuable, building trust. As for me, I want people to know where I am, what I offer in the way of writing craft, and the pieces I’m working on. How do they connect with me? My Website.

What’s Brand? You Are! You are your brand. We build brands through words, images and actions—your actions.
More: https://www.writersonthemove.com/2019/08/platform-brand-and-you.html

6) Market Your Product
As authorprenuers, we must market our products i.e., books, articles, and niche.  Platform, Brand, and Website form the vehicle to make that happen. These, along with your mission statement tell your readers who you are and what you do. Closely aligned they present a consistent message.

Your Platform is a useful necessity for all authors whether you write essays, articles, blogs or books, fiction or nonfiction. Brand is who you are. You are your brand, built by words, images and delivering as promised. Success depends upon visibility. We communicate with clarity and offer valuable information through our websites because Content is King.

Start building your writer Platform now without delay and maintain it to keep connecting with your clients; building a Platform takes time…
More:  https://www.writersonthemove.com/2019/09/market-your-product.html

7) What’s Different About an Author’s Website?
As authorprenuers, we must market our products. Platform, Brand, and Websites form the vehicle to make that happen. Writers’ need a dynamic website, update or start anew.

•    Create a Clear Identity
•    Create a vibrant headline with an image that is topic or niche focused and describes what you write and might include an image of your latest book cover, or another highlight of your work
Lots more: https://www.writersonthemove.com/2019/10/whats-different-about-authors-website.html

8) Social Media and Powerful Headlines
As authorprenuers, we market our work through our website and social media
Delivering great content value for our readers is the goal.  So, show them where to find it. Enter—social media.

As you register for social network accounts, pay close attention to building your profile and the name you choose for your account. Using your brand is powerful. Is your name your brand or is your theme your brand? Consistency matters, use it throughout all the social media accounts you create.

Let’s select from the highest rated social networks to promote our writing. >>>
More: https://www.writersonthemove.com/2019/11/social-media-and-powerful-headlines.html


Helpful resources:
Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s “The Frugal Book Promoter” https://howtodoitfrugally.com/the_frugal_book_promoter.htm 

Kimberly Grabas founder of YourWriterPlatform.com defines platform succinctly. Platform describes the ways you connect and engage with your ideal readership – the readers that are most receptive to your work.   https://www.yourwriterplatform.com/

Joanna Penn and Marketing:  https://www.thecreativepenn.com/marketing/

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her writer’s website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/  
And her caregiver’s website at: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/
Facebook: Deborah Lyn Stanley, Writer    https://www.facebook.com/deborahlynwriter/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Possibilities Abound--If You Persevere


By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

As we approach the end of another year (and the end of this decade), I've been thinking about some of the great things which happened this past year--and some of the things which I attempted and fell flat. Yes, each of us have things on each side of that situation. Can you major on the possibilities and look for new opportunities? They are certainly out there yet only if you keep your eyes open for the possibilities and persevere. Many people along the way seem to drop off, give up and quit. Are you one of those people? You can make a choice not to be one of their number.

One of the continual discussions in the publishing community is whether a particular piece of writing is publishable or not. With the variety of possibilities from Internet to print-on-demand to traditional publishing to magazine work, there is always a way to get something to the audience--provided you reach the right audience. Publishability is a question the publisher will always ask--because they are investing a large amount of money into your project--just to produce it and also to market and sell the book.

I see many projects which don't have the depth or substance to be a book--and instead they are a longer magazine article or a substantial magazine article.

Who will you reach with this particular book AND does this publisher have the ability to reach that audience? Some publishers are better equipped to reach into an audience than others. Some times a publisher will consider your potential audience and reject the project because they are ill equipped to reach that audience and know it would be a mistake and misguided use of their resources. The answer about your audience returns to the age old question of researching the market and knowing how you will reach that market.

For example, if you are a children's author and tell me your book is going to be for any child from 3 to 12, your project gets immediately slated for rejection. You have no understanding of the divisions of children's literature and how that is handled in the bookstores and libraries of the nation. Your project is way too broad in scope from the beginning. Keep reading if you are a children’s author because I have some resources for you in a minute.

The same concern is true in the adult market when you say in your book proposal or query letter that your target market is women from 25 to 80 (as one which came across my screen recently.). You have not done your preparation as a writer to see the true possibilities. So do not be surprised when that idea doesn't hit too broad of a target.

Who are you targeting for the sales of your product? If it is the brick and mortar bookstores, then you need to work toward a traditional publisher for your product because no one reaches these stores better than the traditional publishers. I love traditional bookstores and try to spend as much time as I can in them--browsing the books and purchasing them in the store.

If you can show a publisher a large market (even if outside of the bookstore) and you have the ability to reach AND energize that market to purchase your new book, then you have moved out of the rejection pile and into a publishable category worthy of a publisher's consideration.

Finally no matter where you are in the publishing process, I want to encourage you to listen to this Mp3 called The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightengale. It is the only gold record ever achieved for the spoken word. If you are wondering about success and how to become successful, this recording is loaded with sound tested wisdom. I've heard it a couple of times. It will encourage you that the possibilities abound if you persevere.

As a writer, how are you handling the holidays and the end of the year? Let me know in the comments below.

Tweetable:

The possibilities are endless for writers if you persevere. Get insights and encouragement here. (ClickToTweet)

 ------
W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. His work contact information is on the bottom of the second page (follow this link).  His newest book for writers is 10 Publishing Myths, Insights for Every Author to SucceedOne of Terry's most popular free ebooks is Straight Talk From the Editor, 18 Keys to a Rejection-Proof Submission. He lives in Colorado and has over 205,000 twitter followers 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

How to Get Speaking Gigs for Conferences

If you're an author or illustrator, you probably know you can substantially increase your income by speaking for a fee at professional conferences.

You don't have to be a high-profile author or illustrator to land a great speaking gig at these events either.
Just try these tips:

1. Think small.

It's true that most big national/international conferences - the ones that attract thousands of participants - want high-profile authors, so submit presentation proposals to smaller regional and state conferences instead and you'll probably have more luck.

2. Check out the websites for regional and state conferences.

Most of these will list upcoming conference dates and locations.

They'll also list the name of an upcoming conference, the theme for the conference, and the proposal due date (typically 10 months before a conference, so you have to think ahead).

3. Take time to study the programs from past conferences.

Make note of the titles and descriptions of author presentations.

This will give you some ideas for your own presentations if you don't already have a list of topics that you feel comfortable and qualified to speak about.

4. Get to know other authors in your area.

Ask them about events where they've been a speaker.

They may be able to give you some tips or even know which events are looking for speakers and who you should contact.

Speaking at conferences is valuable in a number of ways.

It can help you increase your income through speaker fees and books sales, of course.

But it can also help you build name recognition as both an author and a speaker.

Try it!

For more tips, resources, and other helpful information about writing and the business of writing, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge at www.morningnudge.com.

Suzanne Lieurance is the author of over 35 published books and a writing coach. Learn more about her coaching programs and other resources for writers at www.writebythesea.com.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Event Goals



As I prepare for the release of Your Goal Guide in January, I have events on the brain. I'm looking to extend my reach and introduce my book to the world, which requires exploring different event scenarios, both as an attendee and a speaker.

Through my research and outreach, one thing is clear: the best live-event strategy is a multi-faceted approach. And the most effective way to make that happen: Set event goals! 

Here's how to do it:

1. Commit. As January approaches, look at your schedule to see what is your most feasible monthly event count. My recommendation is to commit to three events each month: Aim for one event per week, and take off one week a month. Obviously, if you can do more, that's even better. If you have to do less, that's fine too. Just pick what's doable and stick to it.

2. Discover. Reach out to friends and peers for recommendations of events to attend, groups to explore, and organizations where you can speak. Do your own research on top of the recs to find what may be the best fit for your needs and schedule. If you are curious about an organization or conference, and want to learn more before joining or paying to attend, offer to volunteer.  That gives you the best access to meeting the speakers and making connections.

3. Mix it Up. Events aren't limited to organized functions. A catch-up coffee with a former colleague or a fun night out with old friends is just as valuable as a speed-networking mixer, a workshop.  

4. Schedule. Once you find events that hold your interest, register, and mark out the time on your calendar. Commit to events the same way you do to deadlines and work meetings. As you attend regular happenings, you'll start seeing the same people, making to easy to form a bond and solidify that connection.

5. Connect. Exchange business cards and send a connection request and/or follow up - with a personal note - to everyone you meet.

Whether you speak, attend, or volunteer, event goals should be a normal part of your business routine. Above all else, remember, events should be fun. Your smile, your enthusiasm for your career, your passion for your topic should come through whether you are onstage, chatting, or just out and about. You will enjoy the events more, and so will the people around you.

* * *

How do you find good events? What are your event goals? Please share in the comments.

* * *

Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of The D*E*B Method: Goal Setting Simplified and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. Like the Write On Online Facebook Page and join the Facebook Group.  Debra is the author of Your Goal Guide, being released by Mango in January 2020, as well as Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages. She is host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and the Guided Goals Podcast, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

A Marketing Story to Inspire Authors to Renewed Efforts

A Marketing Story to Inspire You to Renewed Efforts

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers

I don’t think any author—or anyone with a profession or career or business—needs to be reminded that marketing is important. I sense, though, that they need a little inspiration now and then to convince them to keep at it or to utilize its magic to make whatever they are passionate about work better. Maybe to make it more fun. So here is a little story that recently took my breath away, convinced me anew that the net works. That Twitter works. That reviews work. And that even when we don’t see their charms on a daily basis, they (and their marketing sisters) are out there doing what they are supposed to do and doing it without asking us to recognize them, praise them, or pat them on their backs!

You see, I recently found a review floating around the Twitter platform at least a decade after it had been written,  a review I never knew existed. It was written by Author Anthony James Barnett (twitter moniker @ajbarnett) who is a fellow tweeter. Years ago he found me there, read my multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter (then it its first edition!) and reviewed it on his blog (http://bit.ly/irpv3) --all unbeknownst to me. I found it more than a decade later and it has haunted me because it illustrates so concisely most everything I have been trying to help authors do with my consulting, coaching, teaching, and my series of books. It proves the value of reviews (and, coincidentally the need for the third book in my HowToDoItFrugally Series, How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career  which—I suspect—Author Barnett may not even know exists in this new decade!)

Every author needs to plumb reviews to launch books and to give their older books a new life—maybe make them into classics! I love that Author Barnett is still out there helping me help authors do that! I relished it. Tweeted about it and then, gasp! …. ! I realized that my marketing and blogging benefactor may no longer be alive.

I left Barnett a comment on his blog and it is awaiting acceptance—with no luck.  I’ve surfed the web for his name and the title of his book a bit. Now it seems I need help finding him. That’s my first choice. But if that can’t be done, I can use the web and marketing tools to keep the beautiful little secret gift he gave me years ago alive. And maybe to inspire other authors!

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. The books in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers have won multiple awards. That series includes both the first and second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor which won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award. How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically launched to rave reviews from Jim Cox, Editor-in-Chief of Midwest Book Reviews and others:

“How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically [and other books in the series] could well serve as a textbook for a college Writing/Publishing curriculum.”




Sunday, December 1, 2019

Being a Writer - Learn the Craft of Writing



In the June 2010 issue of The Writer, author Jane Yolen discussed the need to learn the craft of writing in an article titled, “Dedicate Yourself to a Writing Apprenticeship.” She explained that the process is slow and long, but is necessary to being a writer, to learn the craft of writing.

If you’re wondering what the craft of writing is, it’s proper writing technique, grammar, and style. These writing elements include structure, formatting, clarity, and in fiction writing, plot, character development, point of view, and dialogue. Even knowing the particulars in the genre you write is important.

So, what exactly is the meaning of the word ‘craft?’

Wikipedia’s definition is, “A craft is a branch of a profession that requires some particular kind of skilled work.”

Merriam-Webster refers to ‘craft’ as an occupation requiring “artistic skill.”

And, TheFreeDicitionary.com mentions membership in a guild.

Between all three definitions we know that a ‘craft’ is a branch of a professional group or guild. It is a career or occupation, not simply a hobby.

Interestingly, there are various avenues that can be taken to become an accomplished or professional writer, but each one has the need for learning, practice, time, and commitment. Some writers may go to school and get degrees, others may learn from a coach or mentor, others from trial and error, failures and successes. But, whichever path is taken, there is a lot of work that goes into becoming experienced and knowledgeable, in being a writer. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.

But today, with the easy-to-do-it-yourself self-publishing explosion, writers may not be viewed as professionals. Certainly, most people have read a self-published book or e-book that lacks proper grammar, structure, and even clarity. These products are easy to spot, but yet they’re available for sale, and the authors consider themselves writers.

While it’s great that those who want to write have a vehicle to publish their own work, especially in this overwhelmed publishing market, those who don’t take the time to learn the craft of writing do themselves and others an injustice. They make the self-publishing book market murky and the label of ‘writer’ less professional.

This shouldn’t be the case.

Think of a professional musician. Imagine him playing an amazing piece, smooth, fluid, and beautiful – every note is perfect. Now imagine another musician; this one isn’t in tune, can’t read the music, misses notes, and sounds awful. Which musician do you want to be?

You should want to be the professional; the one who offers polished and experienced work; the one who earns a reputation for quality.

According to WritersHelper.com, it doesn’t matter what your experience level is, there is always room for improvement. Writers should strive to “study ways to improve their craft.” While this may take time and work, it is easy to find the needed help and resources.

To begin, do a search for online writing instruction; try the keyword “learn to write.” You can also check your local schools for adult education classes, or take some college writing courses. There is an abundance of writing information available, much of it free or very inexpensive; take advantage of it.

Being a writer means you need to learn the craft of writing, and continue honing your skills.

Originally published at:
https://karencioffiwritingforchildren.com/2015/08/24/being-a-writer-learn-the-craft-of-writing/


Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter as well as the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move. She is also an author/writer online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

You can check out Karen’s e-classes through WOW! at:
http://www.articlewritingdoctor.com/content-marketing-tools/

And, be sure to connect with Karen at:
Twitter http://twitter.com/KarenCV
LinkedIn  http://www.linkedin.com/in/karencioffiventrice
Pinterest  http://pinterest.com/KarenCioffi/

MORE ON WRITING

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A Dozen Ways to Build Your Confidence as a Writer

How to Use a Timer to be More Productive

Writing and Getting Organized

Publishing Takes More Than Good Intentions



Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Diversity: Is Research Enough?

What can we do as children’s writers to include every child? At a recent NM-SCBWI ShopTalk meeting, a panel came together to discuss this question and to share their personal stories. First, the panel displayed the graphic “Equality/Equity,” from the Interaction Institute for Social Change, by the artist Angus Maguire, then participants broke up into small groups to discuss the graphic and what privilege means to them.

Some of the findings:
  • Fear can keep us from including everyone, regardless of our circumstances. Fear that we might lose our place, our social standing, our opportunity to get ahead.
  • But what happens if we give up our box? Does that mean that we give up something? Or do we gain in the knowledge that giving up our box means everyone can see over the fence and now everyone is happy?
Panelists Weigh In
  • Giving up our box helps us become better creators. Her first pass while writing her books is to check and correct for “white as default,” which is “when whiteness is the litmus test for what is considered normal behavior, culture, and appearance. Through media, books, visual media, politics...etc. we are socialized to think it's normal to be white and everyone else is defined by their proximity to whiteness.”
  • Having an ally is important for those who need help. As an example, this panelist observed an Asian family at the airport who didn’t speak English were pushed to the back of the line because others used their privilege to get in front of them. She saw this, stepped up and spoke up for the family, saying that they have the right to go on ahead.
  • One panelist brought up the question: Is research enough when writing in diverse characters? She says of course research is vital, but that is only the bare minimum. She urges writers and illustrators to put themselves out there—get involved with the community you want to write about. This panelist has been a Muslim for thirty years. To learn more about her community, she says interviewing is fine. But to truly immerse yourself in it, fast at Ramadan, learn what it is to be a Muslim. But she cautions that even for her it is difficult to break through the gatekeepers—agents, editors—who decide whether to take you on the way to publication. A book that her eight-year-old son loves and feels empowered by is Young Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes From Past and Present, by Jamia Wilson, and Dream March: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington, by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Sally Wern Comport.
Participants’ Turn
  • One author said her books go by the saying: DO NO HARM TO NO CHILD. She believes, we as children’s writers need to give a lot of thought to who we want to feel included in our narratives.
  • Another author volunteered as a mentor for the first SCBWI Emerging Voices Award. She mentored Mary Louise Sanchez, whose middle grade novel featured a family during the Depression. They move from New Mexico to Wyoming, where they face racism against their Hispanic culture. Mentor and mentee went through two rounds of critiques and revision together. Lee & Low Books published The Wind Called My Name in 2018. Mary Louise will have a picture book highlighting santeros out soon. Her mentor says we can all be mentors and we can let people know we’re here for them.
  • Another author pointed out that not all agents and editors have a shared experience, so they don’t understand what it is to be a diverse person. Diverse books have trouble getting through the gatekeepers; they don’t want to take the risk of spending time on diverse books so they avoid them. Another author agreed and said that in picture books, many editors feel safer publishing diverse material with animals as protagonists.
What Can We Do?
There isn’t one answer. But we’ve decided our SCBWI-NM chapter can make a start, and are currently seeking interest among our members. Here’s how we're doing it:
  • Asking our members for interest in mentoring a diverse author.
  • Asking for volunteers to go into the schools to read books by and about diverse authors and illustrators to students.
Here are a few statistics, compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and can be found on the Reading Spark website listed below, to give you an idea of how books depicting characters from diverse backgrounds have grown, but still have a long way to go:
                                     2015            2018
American Indians/
First Nations                0.9%                1%
Latinx                          2.4%                5%
Asian Pacific Islander/Asian
Pacific American         3.3%                7%
African/African American      
                                     7.6%              10%
White                           73.3%            50%

For more information, please visit:
https://readingspark.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/picture-this-diversity-in-childrens-books-2018-infographic/
https://interactioninstitute.org/illustrating-equality-vs-equity/
https://www.writingdiversely.com/single-post/Dismantling-the-White-Default

 
Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 150 articles for adults and children, and several short stories for children. She has recently become editor of the New Mexico SCBWI chapter newsletter, and is working on several projects for children. Follow Linda on Facebook.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Social Media and Powerful Headlines



 As authorprenuers, we market our work through our website and social media

Delivering great content value for our readers is the goal.  So, show them where to find it. Enter—social media.

As you register for social network accounts, pay close attention to building your profile and the name you choose for your account. Using your brand is powerful. Is your name your brand or is your theme your brand? Consistency matters, use it throughout all the social media accounts you create.

Let’s select from the highest rated social networks to promote our writing.  
The highest-rated networks for authors are:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Instagram, and
Goodreads
•    Choose two networks to start your consistent focus and frequent attention.  Post to your page, and comment on others. When you’re active on two networks, add two more.
•    Nail down your focus theme(s) for great content. (We work headlines that grab below.)
•    Plan ahead by creating an archive of blog posts and schedule ahead on your website
•    When your article is live on your website, create a social media post that grabs readers’ attention and directs them to your website. I prefer to spend the few minutes it takes to copy & paste my social media posts directly and not use a service to automate those tasks. I do this because each of my networks’ have slightly different requirements and I want to control the links to my website for ease of use.
However, if you choose automation, check out: https://www.socialoomph.com/ 
https://dlvrit.com/  , or  https://buffer.com/ 


Let’s move on to Great Content, Powerful Headlines!
Powerful trust or intriguing words to use in your title headlines:
Authentic 
Authoritative 
Best
Improved
Official
Professional
Proven
Genuine
Reliable
Secret
Insider
Unique
Thought Provoking
Ultimate

Eight questions for title idea selection:
•    Is it memorable?
•    Is it intriguing and believable?
•    Is it useful and rewarding to the reader?
•    Does it depict benefits to the reader?
•    Does it match my message?
•    Does it offer a solution to a problem?
•    Is it unique to my niche?
•    Does my image enhance the meaning?

Deliver more value benefit to the reader and more readers will come.

“How-To” articles rate highest in the benefit category, as well as “How I” improved or “How I did” this or that articles.

“Lists” are powerful. Include the number of tips you list within the post and you are off and running. List posts help build expert status for your area of expertise. Ideas: Secrets of … Get rid of a problem… Quick ways to solve… 7 Ways to …

Links to Headline Analyzers, Post Ideas, Marketing Organizing:

IsItWP https://www.isitwp.com/headline-analyzer/
Tweak Your Biz  https://tweakyourbiz.com/title-generator
Headline Generator  https://www.contentrow.com/tools/link-bait-title-generator/
Jeff Bullas  https://www.jeffbullas.com/5-key-steps-to-mastering-the-social-media-marketing-landscape/
Organize Your Marketing In One Place  https://coschedule.com/

As authorprenuers, we must market our products i.e., books, articles, and niche.  

Platform, Brand, and Website form the vehicle to make that happen.




Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her writer’s website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/  
And her caregiver’s website at: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/
Facebook: Deborah Lyn Stanley, Writer    https://www.facebook.com/deborahlynwriter/?modal=admin_todo_tour




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