Writer Wednesday: How To Make In-Person Appearances Even More Awesome #WriterWednesday #Events #amwriting

It’s no secret that I love in-person events. After spending months or in some cases, years, working on a novel, getting out of my writer cave and presenting my work to potential readers is wonderful. I have attended hundreds of events, both as a presenter and an audience member, and I’ve learned a few things along the way. Below are some quick and easy ways to make sure your event goes swimmingly.

Be sure to check out my upcoming events here.

Presentation Matters – You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on swag and display merchandise, but if you’re given a table you should make it as appealing as possible. For example, in the image below along with books and swag, I have a display rack, a table covering, and a string of white lights. Since the rack was borrowed and the table covering is a repurposed curtain, I only paid 99 cents for the lights. Small investment, big impact. Now about that wacky author…

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2016 Easthampton Bookfest

Your Appearance Matters, Too – Strive to dress and behave appropriately for the venue in question. If you’re visiting a school or library, keep in mind that children may be present, so be cognizant of your language and subject matter. You don’t want to risk not getting asked back because you dropped a few inappropriate words.

And for the love of all that is holy, wear clean clothes! I will never forget one particular bookstore event where a fellow panelist was wearing a sleeveless top, thus revealing an absolutely filthy bra. Really, people, do you want to be known for your writing, or your hygiene?

Be Gracious – Most people are great. Some are jerks. Be kind and polite to everyone, since no one will remember the name of the heckler in the third row, but social media will light up like a Christmas tree if you lose your cool. So what if you’ve been asked the same question ten times in a row? If it’s the first time that person has asked you the question, they deserve a polite response. Of course, if the same person has asked you the same question ten times, you have full permission to get creative with your answers 🙂

All kidding aside, you’ll catch more bees with honey than vinegar. Saying please and thank you go a long way, and people remember kindness.

What are some tips you use at appearances? Have you ever been to an event that went south in an epic manner? Tell us in the comments!

Changing Fate preorder

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Half Off Sale On Editing/Critique Services! #writerwednesday #amediting #amwriting

Here’s how it is: someone hit my fence.

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And, since the scofflaw left the scene, I’m stuck paying for the repair out of my own pocket. What’s a poor writer to do?

Wait, I can have an editing sale!

My sale prices are listed below. I have a pretty quick turnaround time, and I’m currently accepting all genres. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to book my services, the best way is via my contact form here.

And if you know any fence repairmen, shoot ’em my way 🙂

 

Marketing and Editing Rates

Query letter and first three chapters: $25

Full manuscript critique, 60k – 100k words: $75

Full manuscript critique, more than 100k words: $100

Short story critique, up to 5,000 words: $15

 

*If your project is different than what’s listed above, please contact me via the form below and we can discuss

What I will do:

For critiques: I will review your project and point out plot holes, inconsistencies, and offer advice for improvements. I will point out what’s working well, and what can be altered to make your project truly shine.

For query letters: I will help you polish that blurb and help your work stand out from the rest.

For press releases and other marketing materials: I will craft compelling and original copy that will garner interest in you and your project.

For all editing projects I will supply an overall summary of the work-including but not limited to pacing, plot structure, and character development-along with comments in the body of the work, provided the format allows such.

What I will not do:

I will not correct punctuation or grammar. For those services you should hire a professional line editor, which I am not. I can refer you to qualified editors upon request.

At this time I’m accepting all genres.

Rise of the Deva’shi (Parthalan #3) will release February 28! Preorder here: http://amzn.to/2ku5kO4

rotd_final_frontcover2A stolen girl. A legendary champion. A plan that might destroy Parthalan once and for all…

Aeolmar, First Hunter of Parthalan, leads a solitary life. Having long since abandoned his quest to kill Mersgoth—the demon that murdered his family—Aeolmar moves through his days with cold efficiency. Everything changes when he leads a training mission in Brennus, where he’s attacked by Mersgoth himself, and saved by an unlikely heroine.

Latera, first born and heir to Gannera’s throne, is kidnapped and left for dead in Parthalan’s vast forests. A lone human amongst Parthalan’s fae, she makes a home in Brennus, and lives a quiet life—until she finds herself defending a wounded First Hunter from a clutch of demons.

Back in Parthalan, Harek warns Asherah of something called the deva’shi—a warrior loyal only to the demon lord, Asgeloth. Both Aeolmar and Latera suspect that there is more to this deva’shi than what Harek has told them, but before they can learn the truth, Parthalan’s borders are attacked. Will Aeolmar and Latera be able to stop the deva’shi in time, or is it a distraction to hide Harek’s true plans?

RISE OF THE DEVA’SHI – book three of the Chronicles of Parthalan

 

Writer Wednesday – Always Spring For The Good Shirts #AmWriting #Marketing #Promo #WednesdayWisdom

Today we’re going to talk about something that’s just as important to successful writers as proper grammar and strong characterization: making a good first impression. This can be done in many ways, and several of them have nothing to do with the actual quality of your writing.

Now, don’t for a moment think that I’m suggesting your writing should be anything but top notch, and polished until it’s and perfect as you can get it. But let’s face it, the writing isn’t always the first impression someone has of an author. There are many other ways to make contact with new readers, either via a website, social media, personal appearances, or swag.

Yes, swag matters. A lot.

Let me tell you about my husband. He’s a rock star (locally, anyway) which means that we have an abundance of band t-shirts in our house. You know the shirts I’m talking about – they start out black with vibrant designs silk screened onto them. After a few washes, the fabric  fades and possibly pills, and the design cracks and flakes off.

Whenever that happens, you know the band settled for the cheap shirts.

What difference does this make? Well, out of sight out of mind, for one; the main purpose of swag is so people have a handy little reminder of who you are, and what you do. And if your swag disintegrates or looks sub-par after regular use or wear, that doesn’t leave the best impression.

Sometimes we hit the nail on the head, and get swag that is both well designed and long-lasting.  I worked at a liquor store over ten years ago, and one of the sales representatives gave me a Magic Hat shirt. I’ve been wearing that shirt almost weekly since then, and while the design is faded it’s still legible. Even better, the fabric hasn’t shrunk or thinned out to nothing. In short, Magic Hat sprung for the good shirts.

What does this mean for us authors? First and foremost, swag should be well designed. If you know your way around graphic design programs there’s nothing wrong with designing things yourself. There’s also nothing wrong with hiring someone who knows what they’re doing—remember, you can reuse the same designs again and again, so consider that in your cost benefit analysis. As for printing, if you don’t have a nearby print shop a quick internet search will reveal a plethora of online retailers.

Don’t be the author with the home-printed bookmarks and crooked logo. Trust me on this.

By being choosy about our swag—and making it as professional-looking as possible—you strengthen your brand and appeal to a wider audience. There are all sorts of articles out there advising authors how to strengthen their brand, and professional, well-designed swag is an easy way to stand out from the crowd.

What do you think about swag? Love it, hate it, or collect it? Tell me in the comments below!

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