Showing posts with label college students. Show all posts
Showing posts with label college students. Show all posts

Friday, December 4, 2015

Secrets to Getting Your Book into University Libraries, Bookstores and More

Q&A A La Ann Landers

Getting Your Book into Campus Libraries and More!

Re university bookstores:
 I know that Random House had my book in their catalog targeting educational sellers. Is there more than that I can do? How would I 
1. identify them and
2. approach them?
I'm going to use my husband's experience with his What Foreigners Need to Know About America from A to Z as an example because he was so successful with it. 

He put together a form letter (which he tweaks) depending on who he is sending it to. He goes online and finds areas on campus that could use his book. That includes 
1. Libraries
2. International Student Programs 
3. International Student Course Teachers 
4. Campus Bookstore Buyers
5. ESL classes through extension

He spends about 30 minutes a day sending the letter to the correct person when possible. Sometimes that's only one contact. Some days, when research goes well, it's three or four.  He's had some amazing successes like having his book chosen as gifts/recommendations by the university that hosts the Fulbright Scholars in the US each summer. There is a cost to it beyond time. He offers a free book to those influencers who show an interest, but these most often don't result in single book sales, either. The top sale we could trace to his letters (it's sometimes easier for self-published authors to trace sales to a specific effort) was 59 copies. 

Be aware, that if you find an instructor who recommends your book or uses is at class reading, the bookstore often stocks the book automatically. But not always. It doesn’t hurt to mention in a separate query or phone call that your book was ordered for a specific class or that Professor X showed an interest in your book.  

One more secret. He keeps at it. 

Here’s an alternative that isn't as frugal and not as effective because the contact is not personal (but it’s a lot less time-consuming!):

 IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) had a catalog that they send out to libraries, a separate one to university libraries and one to reviewers.  I've used that program. It can be good...or not. Depending on the title. 
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. All her books for writers are multi award winners including the first edition of The Frugal Book Promoter published in 2003. Her The Frugal Editor, now in its second edition, 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.

Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of “Fourteen San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts. 

The author loves to travel. She has visited eighty-nine countries and has studied writing at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University, Prague. She admits to carrying a pen and journal wherever she goes. Her Web site is

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Productive Writing Projects for Young Writers

Productive writing projects for ambitious young writers and college students

Guest Post By Nancy Wood

Many new writers approach their craft with sense of urgency. They expect to produce great work immediately, and they aspire to publish that work even faster. Likewise, some college students don’t want to wait for graduation to start realizing their potential. They want to test the entrepreneurial waters here and now while they're in school to determine if they're pursuing the right field. This na├»ve ambition can be a powerful impetus to propel both college aged writers and beginning authors.

Personally, I salute those who have the drive to test their skills in the real world to see what happens. Writing is no easy profession to take on full time, and the shaky US economy only complicates the issue of employment after graduation. It's a smart move to try out projects while in the stability of a college environment. It allows for entrepreneurial writers to take big risks without worrying too much about the consequences. If a writing endeavor falls through, a student can always rely on their classes and academic network to determine a viable career path.

I have a few suggestions for starting professional writers and young writers who want to embark on their own personal projects while attending college. Check them out below!

Start a blog based on your greatest passion

Starting a blog may seem like the most obvious option available to the entrepreneurial writer, but that shouldn't deter someone from trying it out. The web offers the most visibility for unknown authors and writers than any other venue for trying to get noticed by a publisher, a magazine, or a hiring employer.

One of the most appealing aspects of starting a blog is the freedom that it lends to its creator. As the webmaster, writers can turn their blog into just about anything that they want, from a how-to cooking blog to a running commentary on college life to a glorified portfolio of recent clippings. I've seen author blogs that combine photo collages with their prose, drawing on powerful images to inspire impressionistic short form writing. I've also seen blogs that serve as a platform for publishing an author's novel in episodic form.

In short, a blog's potential is only limited by a writer's imagination.

Form a writer's group among your peers

A writer could also start a writing group among fellow writers at school (for college students) or in their localized community (for career-level writers). Sometimes the most important relationships that a writer can make during college are the ones made among peers with whom they've shared their work.

A writer's group can help students overcome thematic and structural obstacles that they might have in their writing just by virtue of sharing it with someone on their level.

Likewise a career-oriented writer could definitely benefit from a support structure of their peers when they're just getting their feet wet in the industry. There's an intimacy in sharing one's work with their peers that a writer simply can't find often with professors and more established authors. I highly suggest this option for struggling writers.

Write stories, poetry, or essays for submission to small and large publications

This point applies to young writers and college students with writing ambitions. No matter what kind of writer someone aspires to be, they won't get any credit unless they can show that they've published their work in a reputable publication. Clippings are everything to a writer, and the earlier that someone cuts their teeth in some publication—even an obscure one—the better chance they'll have at getting more work in the future. I heartily suggest that ambitious writers spend some time crafting works for submission at various publications, both large and small. A publisher or general employer looking for new hires will definitely take notice of a writer if they published anything at all during college. After all, it is a considerable feat!

Nancy Wood is a freelance education writer. Nancy loves writing about technology in the classroom, and she often muses about what the classroom of tomorrow will look like. She also gives business tips to entrepreneurial writers such as herself. Feel free to send some comments her way!

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