A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Posts tagged ‘Authors Helping Authors’

Aside

10 reasons why YOU should join RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (even if you’re NOT a writer!)


Writers & Readers: COME JOIN US
Find out why membership is a no-brainer… #RaveReviewsBookClub ROCKS! ~ Bette A. Stevens [Explore Bette’s Blog]

Jan Hawke INKorporated

1 ~ The Book Club Selections for Review Catalog

There are over 400 members of RRBC and most of them are independent writers and/or publishers. The book catalog has far more than 400 titles in it, from all fiction genres (including Erotica, subject to Club Policy) YA (new Adult), and non-fiction. What I can’t give you is the link to our main catalog page – only members have access rights to this, so it’s literally an exclusive library for us RRBC people to discover, fresh, exciting new authors and titles. Prospective members can however view our genre pages for a taster! 😀
CLICK HERE for RRBC to join now!

2 ~ Your Fellow Members are AWESOME!

Because the RRBC site is a blog, there’s plenty of little nooks around for you to interact with your fellow members, such as – Book Chat; Peer Support; Social Media…

View original post 1,270 more words

The Stories Behind Our Books, an interview with Lois W. Stern


The Stories Behind Our Books

What Is Your Back Story?

Guest post by Lois W. Stern

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basLois. you have been a guest blogger here several times before, but as a quick intro, I’ll just say that you are an author, editor, presenter, marketer and innovator. Your title for this blog post really grabbed my attention. You are inviting our readers to tell their back stories. So please explain. What exactly do you mean by back stories?

lois_charli3_lite_blueBette, as authors we work so hard to polish our stories to perfection, often working for years before our manuscripts go to press. Hopefully, our readers enjoy the fruits of our labors; but as a presenter, I find that my audiences often find my back stories particularly compelling. So I share little back stories about what propelled me to begin my Tales2Inspire project. Why it was important to me to do this. How I went about the process. What challenges I faced along the way. If I had any cheering squad of supporters or any naysayers of non-support, and how they affected me as I pursued my dreams.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basSo now it seems you are inviting other authors to share the back stories to their books?

 

lois_charli3_lite_blueYes, that’s right Bette. And I’m hoping that we can select a number of their stories to appear right here on this blog. Does that work for you?

 

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basLove that idea, Lois. Let’s go for it! For those of you who don’t know Lois yet, she is the creator of Tales2Inspire, an ‘Authors Helping Authors’ project/contest. Suppose you tell us a bit about the back story to your Tales2Inspire books. For openers, what propelled you to begin this project?

lois_charli3_lite_blueActually, my first full length book had nothing to do with inspiring stories, Bette. Its title, Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery, was a ground-breaker in many ways. (It even merited a few paragraphs on a front page of the Sunday Style section of the NY Times.) I secured a contract with a NYC agent, but despite a lot of publisher interest, ultimately they all turned it down. Why? Word was that I didn’t have a strong enough platform, and I didn’t even know the meaning of that word at the time!) That’s just the first part of my back story, the wake-up call to the state of traditional publishing today and my search for alternate paths to publication.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basWow, Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery sounds about as far from inspirational stories as you can get! How did that transition happen?

lois_charli3_lite_blueActually, it wasn’t a transition at all, Bette, just another side to my personality. I always loved inspiring stories, was drawn to them with an almost magnetic force. I even started a column for a New York webzine that I titled Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives several years before writing Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery. I have a passion for sharing uplifting stories about good people and wonderful happenings because we rarely read about them. It seems that stories of heinous crimes and violence dominate the news.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basWe sure could use more uplifting stories in today’s world, so I understand your passion for writing inspiring stories. But why did you open up Tales2Inspire to other authors and turn it into a contest?

lois_charli3_lite_blueGood question, Bette, and the one I’m asked most often. After my letdown experience with traditional publishing, I began to think, this must be happening to many other authors, talented authors who are never given a chance because they lack that elusive author platform. That’s when I began to envision creating an alternate path for all of us, seeking ways to help strengthen our opportunities for discovery and name recognition.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basIt sounds like initiating this Tales2Inspire contest was just a seed of an idea in 2012. My guess is that you never dreamed it would grow in such strength and numbers as it has.

lois_charli3_lite_blueYou are absolutely right, Bette. Tales2Inspire is like a dream come true for me. I have self-published five Tales2Inspire books filled with amazing stories from an incredibly talented group of authors.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basI bet readers would be interested in the back story to how you spread the word? Did you meet any naysayers along the way?

lois_charli3_lite_blueI sure did! I first introduced Tales2Inspire on some of the LinkedIn writers’ groups, and ran into a few skeptics who challenged me every step of the way. I can think of one person whose comments were so nasty that I felt like bopping him over the head. But when that happens, you really have to take a deep breath and step back. It would be the kiss-of-death to become confrontational and feed into that negativity. So I would say something like, “I’m so sorry about the misunderstanding. Let me give you a little more information to help allay some of your concerns.”

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basIt takes a lot of diplomacy when your back is pushed to the wall. What about supporters? Can you name anyone in particular?

lois_charli3_lite_blueYes, Dan Poynter, an extremely successful self-published author and author advocate, whose newsletter had a subscription base of many hundreds of thousands. I had met Dan at several writer conferences. When I spoke to him about my project, he encouraged me to write up a blurb for his newsletter. What a difference that made! The spread was enormous. I have received winning stories from South Africa, Australia, England, Canada and from across the United States, all because of Dan. And having information about Tales2Inspire appear in his newsletters certainly gave my project an air of legitimacy.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basSounds like Dan is the guardian angel every author hopes for!

 

 

lois_charli3_lite_blueYou’re right, Bette, but unfortunately now we have to use the past tense. Dan passed on several months ago, but his legacy lives on.

 

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basBeautifully put, Lois. I think readers might like the back story to why you call Tales2Inspire a project as well as a contest.

lois_charli3_lite_blueI work feverishly to find new and innovative ways to strengthen my winning authors’ platforms, to give them many diverse opportunities for discovery. And I involve them in the judging phase of this contest. It’s all explained on my website at www.tales2inspire.com.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basFinally, I think our readers would be interested in your answer to this one front story question. What is the theme of your next contest and what are the entry criteria.

lois_charli3_lite_blueThis theme of this next contest is ‘inspiring animal stories’, subtitled Stories in Feathers and Fur. It’s underway right now and for any of your readers who are interested, or simply faintly curious, all the guidelines and submission details appear on my website at www.tales2inspire.com. And I guess I should mention that it is FREE. There are no submission fees to enter this contest.

72-Bette_21 TIGHT CROP basThank you, Lois, for a fascinating interview.

And now, readers, we’d love to hear from you. How about sending us the back stories to your books.

lois_charli3_lite_blueMy pleasure, Bette.

Before I say goodbye, I would like to offer your readers a gift —a FREE sampler of Tales2Inspire published stories. Just click on http://tales2inspire.com/?page_id=804 and it will be yours!

 

 My Author Links:

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

Aside

MARKETING YOUR BOOKS WHILE ON VACATION


 Guest post by Lois W. Stern

on vacation LOIS STERNGoing on vacation? Bet you can’t wait! But with a little advance planning, you can combine your “fun in the sun” with a few book marketing ideas.

Here are five ideas to set your marketing wheels turning.

1.Think of a topic for your presentation that relates to your books, but one that isn’t just about selling books.

Example:

My current books are filled with inspiring, true stories that come to me through an “Authors helping Authors” project I initiated four years ago. I decided that along with sharing some of these inspiring stories, my workshop would center on How to Write a Winning Short Story.

  1. Create a flyer or post card with your name and head-shot, title of your presentation, and its proposed length. Be sure to include your contact information: phone and e-mail address.

Post card png copy LOIS STERN

  1. Find a venue for your workshop.

If you want to present at a local library, you should begin well in advance of your trip, as libraries often schedule their events as much as six months ahead. Do a Google search for the closest libraries. Get their phone numbers. Call and ask for the name and e-mail address of the person in charge of booking presentations. Talk directly to that person if you can. it always helps to learn what topic they would be interested in and perhaps tweak your presentation to meet their needs. If e-mail communication is all that’s available, send a brief message putting something like “Follow up to my phone call” in the subject line.

But think of other venues that relate to the topic of your book. If you have a book about photography, think about art centers or museums. If your book relates to a special interest as sailing or food preparation, try to connect with a like-minded group or club. Your local reference librarian might have just the right connection for you. Even a Google search can be helpful in connecting you with just the right venue.

Meet Up SIgn  LOIS STERN On Vacation

MeetUp groups are popping up all over the country. Check out your area for a group that relates to the genre of your book. If you find one, offer to do a presentation for them.

Example:

I gave a presentation at a local library last winter while vacationing in Florida. I decided that along with sharing some of my inspiring stories, I would create a workshop focused on the elements of a compelling short story. I began my workshop by introducing the elevator pitch, giving aspiring writers some hands-on practice with a most useful skill.After telling each story, I encouraged audience members to record an elevator pitch and share it with the group. With my help, we fine tuned them before moving on to the basic elements of a winning short story.

Outcome: Aside from selling some of my books,I received an honorarium and met a motivational speaker who entered and received a Finalist Award for her inspiring story, At Least Nothing Bad Happened. Her story is now published in Tales2Inspire ~ The Sapphire Collection, (Stories that Echo In the Mind), so it was a winning day for both of us!

Cruise ships often hold talent nights. Why not plan a storytelling event where you share a compelling scene from one of your books. Add a bit of drama to hold your audience in rapt attention: wear a special hat, bring a significant object, use different voices, add some background music – anything to grab their attention.

Example:

One night the social director on our Russian River cruise held a talent night. I told the director I didn’t exactly have a talent, but I could tell an inspiring story. I recounted The Voice, a mesmerizing story now published in Tales2Inspire ~ The Emerald Collection, (Beyond Coincidence stories). After I finished, you could hear a pin drop. I went on to explain that because there were so many intelligent, interesting people on board, I suspected that someone out there might have an inspiring story for me. Sure enough, the next day one of the passengers approached me with a story he thought might fill the bill. He did, and a super story at that! “And the Music Plays On” is another dynamite story, now published in Tales2Inspire ~ The Topaz Collection, (Stories of Awakenings). Did I sell books on that cruise ship? You bet! And if I had packed more, I would have sold dozens.

  1. Call the local book store in the area where you plan to vacation. Introduce yourself and your book, inquiring if they would be interested in scheduling a book talk/book signing event while you are in the area. There always seems to be an element of mystique surrounding the person from fifty miles or more away!.Be sure you understand and agree on all terms in advance: (i.e. who purchase and returns the unsold books, net to you the author, what publicity they provide and expected audience size.)
  1. Think Out of the Box for other venues.

Example:

I have a favorite little gift shop I frequent in Fl. with an interesting assortment of costume jewelry, knick knacks, women’s purses and more. I am a frequent customer there but never even noticed their small book corner. I talked to the owner about my books, she asked me to bring in a set for her to preview and she ordered six of them, paying me cash up front at a 60/40% split.

Our bottom line is to sell our books. But how we go about it makes all the difference. Always think in terms of “how you can give back” and you will stay ahead.

Do you have another idea oI how to market your book while no vacation? If so, in the spirit of “Authors Helping Authors please add it in the comment box below.

If you think you might want to enter the Tales2Inspire contest, you should first do two things:

lois_charli3_lite_blue

Lois W. Stern

T2I 4bks.new copy

 

 

[Back to Bette’s Blog]

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: