Showing posts with label Linda Wilson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Linda Wilson. Show all posts

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Indie Authors : Sell your Books Face-to-Face

RJ Mirabal's New Children's Adventure Series

Last year, pre-pandemic, I was gearing up to arrange a book signing, school visits, and gather materials to sell my books in a booth at local events. At the same time, I was working on creating a viable platform that would introduce the world to MOI.

All that changed, of course, but we indie authors are forever optimists. I’m glad I had to wait. Now, another year smarter, I’ve come up with a much better plan than I ever could have had a year ago, one that I think will be attractive enough to interest local librarians, teachers and parents, and online readers.

Find your Platform: Explore your Deepest Desire

If you need to create a plan and a platform on how to present yourself as a tour-de-force author, here is an idea. Explore what you’ve done in the past, what you’re doing now, or a skill you’d like to develop; use it as your focus and expand on it.

My focus has turned out to be puppets—a project I pursued when my two daughters were very young, under five years old. My idea at the time stemmed from my elementary-teaching background. I wanted to enhance my children’s creativity. That, and being involved in my children’s lives, worked. My daughters, now in their 30s, are both very creative.

The reason this idea of focusing on puppets hadn’t occurred to me until now is because my first book project was a mystery/ghost series for 7-10-year-olds. Puppets never occurred to me as perhaps in the back of my mind I must have thought that children that age wouldn't be interested in puppets. Rather, I devised a way to present myself in the classroom and at libraries by doing a science experiment, which would illuminate part of the Secret in the Stars story. The ghost in the story appears to Abi Wunder in a cloud. I would create a cloud. I thought of other types of presentations I could come up with, such as a presentation about honey bees, which is a prominent subject in the story. However, I didn’t have much confidence that these ideas would be attractive enough for me to be invited into schools and libraries.

Enter the realization that the one project, the Abi Wunder mystery trilogy, needed more. More book projects. I looked through my files one day and found several stories suitable for possible picture books. Two of these stories have now turned into completed picture books, currently being illustrated, and planned to be published sometime this year.

Expanding into picture books turned out to be key. I have collected the puppet plays and materials I saved from those past puppet presentations, and am creating a plan to write puppet plays from my picture book stories, create the puppets and materials (without a stage, rather the plan is to keep the presentations simple), and make a short list of the first places I would present these puppet plays, with the hope that requests for more presentations would follow. Of course, the Abi Wunder series would become an integral part of these presentations, both in person and online.

Selling Books Face-to-Face, by RJ Mirabal

RJ Mirabal, an adult and children’s author, and member of our SCBWI chapter in New Mexico, gave a terrific presentation on the ins-and-outs of selling our books locally.

After publishing an adult fantasy trilogy, the Rio Grande Parallax Series, a finalist in the NM/AZ Book Awards, in the science fiction category, RJ burst onto the children’s literature scene with the award-winning first book in a series for children, Trixie Finds her People, a story based on his rescue dog. One of five finalists in The Next Generation Indie Book Awards, an international contest honoring independent and self-published books, Trixie Finds her People won first place in the Animal/Pets category; and the book was also a finalist in the New Mexico Press Women’s Writing awards, a regional contest. The next Trixie book will be coming out sometime this year.

RJ’s new children’s series, Dragon Train, is about a dragon who makes an unscheduled stop in a small village because this dragon towing a train is dying of exhaustion. A curious young farmer runs down to the tracks to help her, which sets the young man and dragon on an epic adventure to gain freedom and happiness. Learn more about Dragon Train and RJ’s other books: 

https://rjthestoryguy.com; adult books: https://rjmirabal.wordpress.com; and to order books: https://rjm-creative-arts.square.site/ 

 Open up for Business in your State 

To open for business in your state, there are certain things you need to do. Here are a few examples from RJ’s presentation:

  • Register your business with the state; you will have to pay gross receipts tax for your sales.
  • You may need to register in your town or city, which might require a business license. RJ registered in Albuquerque, NM. Cost: $35.
  • Register your business as a sole proprietorship; you don’t need to register as an LLC.
  • Report your income on personal tax forms.
  • Create a name for your business. RJ's is RJM Creative Arts.
  • Obtain a PO box, a good idea to use as your professional address.

Create your Display:

  • Purchase a portable table and tablecloth to match the mood of your books.
  • Decide how you want to display your books, author swag, a bowl of candy, etc.
  • Have a full-color poster (11 X 17 is an economical size that can be printed at Staples) made to use as a table display.
  • Have a banner made, a long sheet of plasticized paper, to match the banner on your website.
  • Have pictures from yours books, characters, book covers made to display.

RJ has graciously agreed to provide a PDF from his presentation for anyone interested. You can contact him at rjmcreativearts@gmail.com. Learn more about RJ’s children’s books: https://rjthestoryguy.com; adult books: https://rjmirabal.wordpress.com; and to order books: https://rjm-creative-arts.square.site/. To see an insightful interview with John Hoffsis at Treasure House Books & Gifts in Old Town, Albuquerque, NM, go tohttps://www.facebook.com/100003819340/videos/1288478417989098

Linda's younger daughter in a
puppet show at two years old
Linda Wilson lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has two daughters, who inspired her stories when they were younger. Linda is the editor of the New Mexico Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators newsletter, and has written posts for the Writers on the Move blog since 2013. She is a classical pianist and loves to go to the gym. But what Linda loves most is to make up stories and connect with her readers. Find out more by visiting Linda’s website at https://www.lindawilsonauthor.com.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Writing Through 2020, Or Not with Linda Wilson

 

 

In light of the unprecedented and scary year we've had, we thought it'd be a good idea to share our 2020 in regard to how the year affected our writing and our lives.

Linda Wilson is up next.

The year 2020 has brought unspeakable hardships due to the onslaught of Covid-19. Did any good come of it? Though like everyone else I’ve had my own challenges, I have had experiences that I can be thankful for.

•    Zoom meetings: I think like most of us, I believed zoom was something a fast car did. That was before March, of course. Soon after our first shutdown, suddenly friends, colleagues, soul mates, fellow classmates, and for me, my group piano class, took the first baby steps toward learning how to visit virtually. Now we’re pros.

•    Our Albuquerque SCBWI chapter expanded to include members from all over New Mexico, southern Colorado, and western Texas. No longer are we confined to meet only at libraries and community centers in Albuquerque. We meet once a week at our virtual coffee house, once a month for our critique group, and often to hear visitor-speaker programs and local as well as national conferences. We’ve enjoyed meeting this way so much that we’re going to continue meeting with Zoom from now on, as well as in person when the time comes.

•    When I moved from Alamogordo in southern NM to Albuquerque, I had to say good-bye to the eight students in my group piano class. Now we meet once a week and play piano for each other.

•    Since my husband’s boxing program, Rock Steady Boxing, a nationwide program for “fighters” battling Parkinson’s disease, closed down in March, I’ve met with several members once a week to exchange notes and offer each other support.

•    Shopping: I marvel now at how much I was “out” before March, shopping, meeting friends for lunch, and more. Others have told me they were doing the same thing. At first in March, it was difficult to stay in one place—home—for such a long time. But I’m used to it now and have learned a new kind of reality: finding that it’s not so bad staying home. I get a lot more done and have found a certain kind of peace that I didn’t possess before March.

•    Seat Time: A lot more writing takes place at my desk now. I’ve become more productive. Before March, I worked on one project at a time, I now understand, because I didn’t make time for more. Since March I’ve continued to edit Book 2 in the Abi Wunder series, revised two picture books, both in different stages of development with an editor and an illustrator, and am working on my third picture book. I found a company to produce an audiobook of Secret in the Stars, the first book in the Abi Wunder series. The audiobook is finished and will become available soon.

So, for all the problems Covid-19 has brought, I have found that, sad as this year has been, there are reasons to be thankful for some of its fallout.

A tip to make 2021 your best year yet: Set realistic goals NOW. Make your goals brief. Set a deadline. Post your goals where you can see them every day. Cross each one off after you’ve reached it. Take stock, say in 6 months, and reset your goals. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.


 

Linda Wilson: Secret in the Stars: An Abi Wunder Mystery, Linda's first book, is available on Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/author/lindawilsonchildrensauthor. The next book in the Abi Wunder series, Secret in the Mist, will be available soon. 

Follow Linda on https://www.lindawilsonauthor.com.






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