Sunday, June 26, 2011

Book Tour: BROKEN BUT NOT DEAD

I'm off to the Okanagan. If you're in the area, please stop by at one of the events before. I'd love to see you.

June 28 - Theytus, En'owkin Centre, holding Broken for first time. 

June 30 - Overwaitea, Orchard Plaza, 2 PM to 4 PM, book signing.
              - Kelowna Public Library, 7 PM to 9 PM, book reading and signing.

July 1st - Hook On Books, Penticton, beginning at 11 AM, signing.

July 2nd - Mosaic Books, Kelowna, 1 PM - 4 PM, signing.

July 3rd - Bookland, Vernon, 11 AM - 1 PM, signing.

Happy Reading, everyone!

--
joylene
ps. If you want to connect, email me at cluculzwriter at yahoo dot ca.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How My Garden Grows

Though I was sure my garden would never grow, it did.

The before photo: June 7, 2011



versus: June 20th.


However, if you look closely you'll see I'm overrun by lupines. That's because I didn't thin them out in the spring. I did little weeding, in fact. I meant to.

Ever have one of those days months where all you want to do is sail off ...


into the sun? Well, it rained.


I'm sure you can see the parallel between gardening and writing. And yes, I'm sitting here preparing to leave on my book tour on Sunday, wondering whether I've left too many lupines in my story. Are they choking the heck out of my lilies, forget-me-nots, hostas?

Left to my own devices, I'd continue to wonder and worry -- except I had a brilliant editor and copy-editor, and they caught my mistakes!

Okay, big breath, exhale, relax. ...

By the time I return home, my garden is going to look spectacular. And I'll have tall tales to tell you about my trip -- my first official book tour.


Meanwhile, after I scrub the bathrooms, fold the laundry, weed the garden, prepare the hamburgers for the BBQ tonight, think I'll douse myself in insect repellent and enjoy a beautiful sunny day.

Ah the joy of living in the north.


Happy second day of summer, everybody!


--
joylene

Ps. I did get a chance to sit in the sun. What a beautiful day.

Monday, June 20, 2011

SOCIAL NETWORKING for the Business Writer: Top-Ten List


 1. Social networking is not free advertising. It's been said in practically every post of this series, but it remains the #1 thing to remember; a social networking forum is no place for a hard-core sales pitch. Never post anything with the sole purpose of convincing readers to buy your product or service; that's what your website (and paid advertising) is for.

2. Ask not what your fellow networkers can do for you; ask what you can do for your fellow networkers. Thinking only of yourself is bad business in any venue, and particularly unwise in any form of networking. Be ready to provide advice and referrals whenever you can be helpful, without considering "what I might get back."

3. Keep things short. Short sentences, short paragraphs, and short posts are the backbone of online writing. No one likes a page of unbroken text, particularly on a glaring screen.

4. Speak from your expertise. Search out questions and discussions where you can contribute meaningfully--where it's obvious you know what you're talking about. Some people choose their comment forums primarily on the basis of keywords that push their buttons; you can pick out these people by their emotionally loaded tones, their failure to cite objective backup for their claims, and their evident ignorance of what was actually said in the original post and other comments. It makes a less than professional impression, to say the least.

5. Feel free to make multiple contributions to an ongoing discussion, but don't say the same thing every time. Do your part to keep the discussion moving in a line, not a circle.

6. Don't be afraid to say what you think. Some people are so afraid of giving offense that they wouldn't dare say outright that cold-blooded murder is wrong--not even if asked directly. Aside from moral considerations, this attitude is, frankly, boring. Respectful controversy adds interest to a discussion; just be sure to keep it respectful. Hint: give sound reasons for your opinions, but stop at one or two reasons. Going on and on about why you're right will soon have everyone picturing you as a stressed-out fanatic.


7. Don't pick fights. Building on the last point, the only trouble with controversy is that it easily gets out of hand. The instinct to take any disagreement as a personal insult is strong, but something that must be resisted if social networking is to be kept professional. Once tempers are lost, so are the benefits of the discussion. So never call names, blatantly contradict someone, or use such loaded phrases as "Everybody knows...."

8. Watch your spelling. And your punctuation, grammar, and usage. No one expects heavy editing on a social networking post, but at least try to get rid of all typos. You don't want to come across as hurried and careless, certainly not in any setting that reflects on you professionally.

9. Be especially careful when including online addresses. While most human readers can still understand the text through the typos, computers take everything literally. One missed character--or substituting "com" for "org"--can take someone to an "Error" page. Worse, the "wrong address" might belong to a porn site or hate group forum. And even if nothing embarrassing happens, few people will bother informing you of the mistake or looking for the real site you referenced, so you've gained nothing for your trouble.

10. Budget your social networking. Know how many hours a week you can spend and what topics and sites to focus on. Have advance ideas of information you might contribute; your writing will go smoother and faster. If you're seriously short on time and have a decent-sized budget, consider hiring a separate social networking writer (contract or staff).

About Katherine Swarts

Katherine Swarts is a poet and inspirational writer from Houston, Texas. Her self-published poetry book Where Light Dawns: Christian Poems of Hope for Hurting Hearts (the first volume in a planned series) was “written for naturally gloomy types like myself who are tired of ‘cheer up’ talk and need the comfort of ‘God does love you’ encouragement.” The poems in the book come from Katherine’s blog at http://newsongsfromtheheart.blogspot.com; contact Katherine at katherine@spreadthewordcommercialwriting.com for ordering information.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Irresistible Sweet Blog Award

I'd like to thank Susanne for this sweet award.  Her blog is Putting Words Down on Paper, http://susannedrazic.blogspot.com/.

Thank you, Susanne!

And I'd also like to thank Nancy S. Thompson http://nancysthompson.blogspot.com/. I'm very grateful to both of you for nominating me. I think awards are a wonderful expression of appreciation for what we bloggers try to do.


The Rules:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 8 deserving blog buddies.
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

7 Random Facts:

1. I hate movies that depict animals injured or made to suffer in any way, even if it's pretend.
2. Saying I love you out loud chokes me up.
3. My college English professor told me I'd never make it as a writer.
4. Even if I was filthy rich I'd still live in Canada.
5. The morning before a reading or book signing, I generally throw up.
6. I started dieting when I was 13 and finally quit a year ago.
7. I bake cookies four times a month.

Passing The Award To:

I was supposed to choose 15, but I'm cheating a bit and cutting it back to 10. The lack of time is one factor, but mostly it's because I think too many winners makes it harder for you all to connect to them. The reason I've picked these 8 is because they're sweet, despite what they say. And that's not to say those I didn't choose aren't, just ... heck I should shut up while I'm ahead. Except to say take a moment and stop by for a visit. These are a terrific bunch of writers.

1. Footsteps of a Writer   http://chergreen.blogspot.com/ (Cher)
2. Kat Komments  http://kattskomments.blogspot.com/  (Katt)
3. Klahanie http://klahanie.blogspot.com/ (Gary)
4. Positive Letters http://positiveletters.blogspot.com/ (Hilary)
5. To Write is to Breath, to Live, to Dance, http://authorczampa.blogspot.com/ (Carol)
6. Trailowner, http://trailowner.blogspot.com/  (Chris)
7. A Fortnight of Mustard, http://afortnightofmustard.blogspot.com/ (Amanda)
8. Pfeiffer Philms & Meg Movies. http://pfeifferpfilmsandmegmovies.blogspot.com/  (Paul)


Thanks again, Nancy and Susanne. It's an honour to accept this award.
--
joylene

Friday, June 17, 2011

Red Hot Links

I've got some red hot links for you to check out today. Have you wondered what "upmarket" means? Read the definition.

For APTN's interview with author of Midnight Sweatlodge, Waubgeshig Isaac Rice, click here, then on the right-hand side, scroll down to Waub Book and listen to the video.

Martha Engber, author of The Wind Thief has generously dedicated a post to my upcoming suspense thriller, Broken But Not Dead. Martha includes a must-read PEP TALK that really resonated with me. You can read it here.

Don't forget to come back.




Are you preparing to market you novel? Check  out: http://museituppublishing.blogspot.com/2011/06/master-of-marketing-branding.html

and part two:


http://museituppublishing.blogspot.com/2011/06/master-of-marketing-branding-part-ii.html

You'll wonder where Kayelle Allen has been all your life.


Last but not least, Writer's Digest is running a free contest for book-length women's fiction that needs to be "upmarket". You can read more about the context here.

http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DAYTIME TV: A VALUABLE ADDITION TO YOUR WRITER’S TOOLBOX

© 2008 by Hank Quense


Fiction writers need all the tools they can find, but over time, these tools can become dull and rusty. When this happens to me, I turn to daytime TV. These programs are bashed by critics and viewers, but I have a different spin on these show; I find them, especially the soaps, to be very educational. I write Science Fiction and Fantasy fiction and an exposure to the these programs improves and sharpens my writing skills. How? By providing vivid demonstrations of what happens when a writer ignores the accepted dictums of the craft. The soaps have a wealth of writing violations that can be exploited by experienced and beginning writers as a whetstone to sharpen their crafting tools.

I have no intention of disparaging the script writers for these soaps. I can’t produce a new script or story every day the way they can and I have nothing but respect for their ability to do this. However, the necessity of getting a show on the air means they can revise their scripts only for a short period of time. I, on the other hand, can revise my stories as often as I want, over long periods of time. My early drafts are sprinkled with faults such as I discuss here, but I have the time to weed them out before I submit them to an editor. This is an advantage I have over the script writers.

Using the soaps to fine-tune one’s writing skills requires a special technique. You have to listen to the TV, not watch it. By only listening, the writer will approximate the experience of a reader perusing a book. In other words, you will be using only a single sensory input, but it will be audible instead of visual. The danger in watching the screen is that is you will encounter a variety of sensations, including the spoken word, music, sound effects and colors in the costumes and settings. These multiple inputs will prevent you from getting the point of the illustration.

I have arranged my findings in three groups: Characterization Issues, Storytelling Issues and Story Issues.

CHARACTERIZATION ISSUES

Character Reactions: Memorable characters display a range of emotions just like people do in real life. The more emotions a character can display, the more life-like the character seems. In the soaps, two primary emotions are used by the characters: hostility and hysteria. A friendly greeting by one character is often met with a torrent of abuse from a second. It’s a rare occasion when a character’s dialog isn’t filled with argumentation, whining or out-right threats. Listening to this dialog becomes irritating and demonstrates what a reader will experience if we writers use limited and repetitious character reactions.

Multi-dimensional Characters: These types of characters are inherently more interesting to readers than flat, one-dimensional characters. These latter types quickly grow stale and detract from other elements in the story. The soaps, however, specialize in single-dimension characters that never display any variations. Day after day, scene after scene, the characters remain as unchanging as the mountains. The same dialog, sentiments and verbal mannerisms are endlessly repeated. Of course, on TV, the characterization may be rigid but the costumes change, as does is the setting and the background music so the repetition doesn’t appear as static to the viewer as it does to a listener.

High Tension and Drama: Whenever the script calls for a strong emotion such as grief, terror, consternation, fear, love, dread, shock or apathy, the actors whisper their lines. Apparently, this is a code to tip off the viewer that a scene of high tension or deep emotion is taking place. This ploy is especially useful to fiction writers because it demonstrates the effect of uniform emotional responses by the entire cast. It’s not very entertaining and neither will be a story that uses this unvarying approach.

STORYTELLING ISSUES

Unnatural dialog: Nothing is more boring to me as a reader then stilted and unnatural dialog. Many novice writers have trouble understanding just what constitutes this type of dialog but the soaps provide countless examples. Characters lecture each other about an aspect of the plot that the entire cast already knows (as do the viewers). Known as expository dialog, it is to be avoided at all costs since the reader will instantly recognize it for what it is. Another facet of the soaps is that characters routinely give long-winded speeches punctuated with words that no one uses in ordinary conversations. Often, the dialog clashes with the character’s persona. For instance, a character portraying a poorly educated worker will suddenly spout large, obscure words that make a listener wonder if the character understands what he just said.

Foreign accents: Writing instructors caution against giving a character a foreign accent. One reason is that it is difficult to be consistent with the accent from one scene to the next. A more important reason is that the accent soon becomes irksome to the reader. The soaps offer endless proof of this guideline. Many of the shows have one or more characters spouting dialog with an accent so wretched it is amusing. For a short while. An alternative to these accents is to let the character use an occasional foreign word in the dialog. The foreign word reminds the reader of the character’s background.

Clichés: Clichés are the bane of writers everywhere. Nevertheless, the dialog in the soaps drips with clichés. Every imaginable cliché can be heard on these shows, and not occasionally but constantly. To listen to this smorgasbord of platitudes is to understand the prohibition against using them.


STORY ISSUES

Plots: A good story has a plot that integrates the elements of the story and allows the reader to suspend her disbelief. In other words, the reader is willing to accept that the plot didn’t happen but could have. To ensure that the reader stays comfortable in her state of suspended disbelief, the writer must eliminate any trace of unbelievable events. These types of events will lurch the reader out of suspended disbelief and end the relationship between her and the author. Yet, the events in the soaps are incredible. A woman falls out of an airborne balloon damaging her hairdo and nothing else. A long-lost object, the subject of a weeks-long futile search, is found by a character with a single phone call to an obscure part of the globe. To a TV-watcher, these incredible events do not stand out because the incidents are masked by the other presentation elements. By listening only, the plot flaws become apparent as does the danger in writing a story with an incredible plot.

Endless scenes: Good writing means a scene ends at a point that teases the reader into turning the page to see what happens next. The soaps, however, won’t give up a good scene without a fierce battle even if the scene has reached its logical conclusion. The same plea/order/advise/command/request/chastisement is repeated for several days. In one soap, a female character held several others hostage and waved a gun at them for an entire week. Every afternoon, she gave the same reasons for her actions in virtually the same words. It’s a wonder her hand didn’t get tired from holding the pistol that long.

To offset the soaps, the writer can listen (no peeking!) to Law and Order or one of its many offshoots.Like the soaps, these shows rarely have action scenes and are essentially all dialog. Unlike the soaps, the characters show a range of emotions, speak naturally and don’t use clichés. The plots are coherent and the tension builds during the show. Contrasting one of these shows with the soaps can only serve to improve the writer’s craft.

So, with all these faults, why are the soaps so popular? One basic reason is that the soaps consist of a lot more than the written word. The beautiful people in the cast, the designer clothes and the background music provide enough stimuli to hid a weakness in a single area such as the dialog or plot.

In contrast, we fiction writers can only use our words to convince a reader that our characters are worth caring about. We can’t use colorful or picturesque backdrops for the reader to see; we use no soundtrack and the characters can’t model the latest fashion designs. The reader has to use our words to build her own mental images of the setting and the characters.

While the soaps and novels have very different presentation formats, the script elements of the soaps offer a method for fiction writers to refurbish their writing tools. I recommend a yearly exposure to a few soaps to eliminate rust and to apply a coating of lubricant to keep the writing tools in good condition.


Award-winning author Hank Quense lives in Bergenfield, NJ with his wife Pat. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. He writes humorous fantasy and scifi stories. On occasion, he also writes an article on fiction writing or book marketing but says that writing nonfiction is like work while writing fiction is fun. He refuses to write serious genre fiction saying there is enough of that on the front page of anyDwarf2daily newspaper and on the evening TV news.

Zaftan Entrepreneurs is his latest work. In it, an alien mining ship discovers a planet that holds promise to be a mining bonanza. Unfortunately, it is inhabited by humans, dwarfs, elves and other races and they object to the mining expeditions.

Hank’s previous works include Tales From Gundarland, a collection of fantasy stories. Readers Favorite awarded the book a medal and EPIC designated a finalist in its 2011 competition. His Fool’s Gold is a retelling of the ancient Rhinegold myth and Tunnel Vision is a collection of twenty previously published short stories. Build a Better Story is a book of advice for fiction writers.

Altogether, Hank has over forty published short stories and a number of non-fiction articles.

He is presently working on novel (or a novella) that combines plots and characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Othello with the character Falstaff thrown in for good measure. He is also working on a follow-up novel to Zaftan Entrepreneurs called Zaftan Miscreants.

He has a number of links where you can follow his work and his occasional rants:

Hank’s website: http://hanquense.com
Follow him on twitter: http://twitter.com/hanque99

Facebook fan pages: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hank-Quenses-Fiction-Writing-Page/102293491907?v=wall

While I'm hosting Hank today, he's hosting me. You can visit me on his blog at http://hankquense.com/blog/?p=1649

Monday, June 13, 2011

Gail Bowen's and Martha Cheves's Reviews for Broken But Not Dead

Remember what I said about blowing your own horn? Today's blog is a subtle example. I haven't held my new book, but already I've received two reviews that I'd love to share. Actually, I am going to share them. The joys of having your own blog.




Gail Bowden, author of the Joanne Kilbourn series said:

“Joylene Butler’s protagonist, Professor Brendell Meshango, is a complex and uniquely Canadian character. She is a strong woman, but neither her Aboriginal childhood, her adult success as an academic, nor her fierce loyalty to her own child prepare her, or us, for the terror that strikes when she becomes the victim of a, seemingly random home invasion. The action in “Broken But Not Dead” is gripping; the characters are rich and the climax riveting."
                                                                                -- Gail Bowen
Broken But Not Dead – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘I lifted my head and squinted. My eyes finally adjusted to the semi-darkness. Was that the woodstove next to me? I squinted harder. It was less than five feet away. How-? On my right, the chesterfield and chair, so close I could have reached out to touch them. A chunk of moonlight outlined the veranda doors less than six feet from the foot of my bed. I sucked in air. Not possible. I slumped back. I was in my bead in the middle of the living room, lying where my coffee table should be. “Confused?” a voice whispered.’

Brendell Meshango had just resigned her position with The University of Northern British Columbia where she taught English. For the first time in her 50 years of life she was finally free to do whatever she pleased. And today it pleased her to go to her cabin, build a fire, sit on the veranda and listen to the loons. Apparently someone else had other plans for Brendell which proved true when she woke up in the middle of her living room instead of her bedroom.

Brendell was one of twelve kids born to abusive, alcoholic parents. Her Indian mother loved to beat her children because she hated them, all of them. Her father beat them because he didn’t want them to end up like him. The kids were beaten for no apparent reasons but mother Agnostine enjoyed telling Brendell her beatings were due to her being a “stupid frog-squaw”, in other words – a half-breed. Brendell was determined not to allow them to break their spirits. Her defiance allowed her to prove to her mother, as well as herself, that she was a good person was to teach the one language her mother hated – English. Her determination paid off when it took her straight to the top by becoming the head of the English department.

So, who has captured Brendell, who is holding her captive, who is torturing her and threatening her daughter Zoe if she tells anyone? Even after she’s released and allowed to go home, her intruder shows up there with more threats. When Zoe’s best friend ends up being beaten, the police suspect her husband but when the details came out as to how she was beaten, Brendell recognizes his method and style. Her only choice for protecting Zoe is to get her out of town to safety and find this person before he strikes again.

Broken But Not Dead is written without the “fluff” that’s found in many books. Joylene Nowell Butler gets straight to the story, taking you from one happening to the next and keeps you turning the page. The characters of Brendell and her determination, Zoe and her stubbornness, the mental instability of the “intruder” is written with such possibility that the book is very believable. Now that I’ve read Broken But Not Dead, I can’t wait to read Dead Witness also written by Joylene Butler.
                                                                      -- Martha Cheves

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Seventeen Days to Countdown

It's official, I'll be holding my next suspense thriller, Broken But Not Dead, in my hands June 28th. Yes, the excitement is beginning to sink in. Partial because I've been on the phone all week setting up events for my book tour. I'm not an excitable person, but this extensive planning has me anticipating a good book launch. The actual party will take place in Prince George in July, but the first seven days will take me to the Okanagan in British Columbia.

Beautiful Penticon, BC


Penticton

 and the city of Kelowna...




BTW, the Okanagan is a popular tourist destination, famous for its wine.


Below is what I'm leaving behind, which is anybody's guess:

Storm...?


or hot summer days at Cluculz Lake?
 


I did manage to get some weeding done. But notice how little blooms I have? The joy of living in the beautiful north. Hopefully, they'll be there by the time I get home.


All week, I've been working with Theytus, calling bookstores, setting up dates to do book signings, and readings at the Kelowna and Penticton libraries. None of this puts me in my comfort zone, but at the same time, I'm not going to the dentist, so it's time to lighten up. I like people, and I really appreciate my readers, so putting that into prospective means a book tour can and should be a lot of fun.

Already I'm receiving great response over my protagonist, professor Brendell Kisêpîsim Meshango. I have to confess, she wasn't working for me until I clipped a photo of who I believe would make a perfect Brendell in the "movie".  I took one look at actor Tina Keeper's face and knew I had my Brendell.


I remember when Max Barry sold the rights to his novel Syrup in 2006 and said on our writer's list that he couldn't wait for the movie to come out. At this moment, Syrup is in production starring Amber Heard.

And because I believe in positive thinking, I must say, "Tina, you're going to make a great Brendell!"

--happy touring.
joylene

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Guest on Lindsay Below's Blog



I'm a guest at Lindsay's blog today. Stop by if you have time. I'll be there all day. Lindsay's blog is fascinating, so stay awhile, look around. Oh, and I'm available for questions.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Thank you Julie Flett and Gail Bowen


It's official.  Broken But Not Dead went to press Friday. I sent awarding winning graphic artist and illustrator Julie Flett a photograph of how I envisioned the cover and she came up with the end result. Thank you, Julie and Leanne. I love it. 



If you don't already know, Julie  is a Vancouver-based Metis artist, recipient of an award by the Canadian Native Arts Foundation Visual Arts Acquisition Program 1993. More recently she won the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize this year for her picture book, Owls See Clearly at Night: A Michif Alphabet (Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer: L'alfabet di Michif) (Simply Read Books 2010). 


On the right, Book Buzzr, you'll see the temporary cover for Broken But Not Dead. The reason for that is because when Theytus created their catalogue to send to bookstores, there was no time to come up with a permanent cover for my title, and they had to improvise. This happens occasionally and it is why you'll sometimes find an online novel has a different cover than the one in the bookstore. I wondered about that. Now I know. 


Julie is also the sister of my editor Leanne Flett Kruger. We're keeping it in the family.





Yes! that's Gail Bowen's name near the bottom of the back cover above. YES! Gail Bowen, author of the Joanne Kilbourn series wrote the insert. One of my favourite all-time mystery authors! Wow!

 

I chose to self-publish my first novel, Dead Witness, despite the stigma of self-publishing. I knew I wouldn't be taken seriously in all circles, but that was okay. I also knew I'd written a good book. It's what led to Theytus buying my second one. 

FYI. Definition of stress: Build a house, self-publish a novel or sell your second novel to a publishing house.

Theytus is respected and renowned for producing great books. Will I do right by them? A few people think so. Gail Bowen thinks so. And while that's great to know, it doesn't diminish the doubts. But I  suspect doubt and fear come with the territory. I was raised to be seen but not heard. I was told never to blow my whole horn. Everything my parents taught me goes against what I'm now required to do as an author: promote myself. 

So what should I do? 

The first objective of any writer is to write. The second is to believe. The third is to be grateful. I'm all three and I'll do what it takes.

Happy marketing.
--
joylene
ps. A special thank you to Deadly Prose. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ask PZM: June 2011

Do you think there's still a place for audio books considering where technology is going?

Audio books for MP3 players definitely still have a place. These audio books can be listened to, for example, while exercising or doing household chores.

Also audio books are good as CDs in your car. (You wouldn’t want to use an MP3 player with earphones in your car because you might not hear emergency vehicles.)

Do you believe authors -- newcomers to the Internet -- can learn the new technology and effectively sell their books?

Absolutely these newcomers can learn if they have an open mind to trying new things. On the other hand, if they go around saying “I can’t do things on the computer,” they are probably not open to learning. (If you fall into the second group but would like to have an open mind, read Carol Dweck’s book MINDSET: THE NEW PSYCHOLOGY OF SUCCESS.)

Do you believe a middle-of-the-road author can find success without embracing the Internet?

I don’t know what a middle-of-the-road author is, although probably any author can achieve a measure of success without being on the Internet. But that author is going to have to work really hard to use other methods to get known. For example, this could include visiting area bookstores and other retail stores plus speaking at every opportunity in order to create interest.

What are the 5 steps a new author can make without the aid of money for travel, website design, and blogging experience?

Let me first ask this question:

As an author do you believe in your book? If so, you should be willing to invest in the marketing of your book.

In my opinion, if you utilize the Internet effectively, you do not need to spend any money on travel.

On the other hand, unless you are a whiz at html coding and website usability, I do NOT recommend you create a do-it-yourself website. Many of these do-it-yourself websites are missing essential elements both for search engine optimization (SEO) and for optimum online marketing. (Note it is not website “design” but website “creation” that we are talking about.)

In addition, while you can get a free blog at WordPress.com or Blogger.com, do realize that this is a hosted blog and you do NOT actually own your blog. If you are in the book marketing business for the long haul (and, yes, it is a business), then you would be better off getting a WordPress.org (referred to as simply WordPress) self-hosted website and blog combination.

Although WordPress sites and blogs are relatively easy to manage after the sites are live, they are not that easy to set up. Read the guest post my business partner Yael K. Miller recently wrote for BookBuzzr.com -- http://budurl.com/WPauthorsites -- about why authors need websites they can manage themselves.

As Yael points out at the beginning of her guest post, our company builds WordPress websites for clients. But our opinion of do-it-yourself websites is based on how many websites we see that are missing important elements for effective online marketing.

The question comes down to:

Given limited resources for marketing your book, where are these best spent?

As I’ve written before, I wish I hadn’t bought business cards, bookmarks and postcards for my novel “Mrs. Lieutenant.” I still have almost all of these because I almost exclusively market on the Internet. On the other hand, if you are almost exclusively marketing in person, these might be a good investment.

In conclusion, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer about where to spend your book marketing resources. But do think of your book promotion as a business, and then make your marketing decisions accordingly.

P.S. Here’s a special book marketing opportunity that will only cost you the price of one Kindle version of your book:

Author Tony Eldridge is starting a new Sunday Kindle Giveaway for Kindle books. See http://blog.marketingtipsforauthors.com/2011/05/introducing-sunday-kindle-book-giveaway.html

Plus, here's the actual link to leave a comment in order to be eligible to win the Kindle version of MRS. LIEUTENANT -- http://dld.bz/acpAh

© 2011 Miller Mosaic LLC


Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the social media marketing company Miller Mosaic. You can learn about her fiction and nonfiction books at her Amazon author page at http://budurl.com/PZMAmazonpage

* “Mrs. Lieutenant” is now available on Kindle for 99 cents: http://budurl.com/MrsLTKindle


For more information on Phyllis and her work:


http://budurl.com/KindleEbookGiveaway -- the first one is this Sunday, the 5th, and the Kindle version of MRS. LT is one of the two giveaways.

http://budurl.com/FBtelesummit -- this is a six-part free Facebook for Authors telesummit starting June 6 -- and Phyllis is the first presenter then -- but this is an affiliate link because people can buy the recordings and transcripts after listening to the free telesummit.

http://budurl.com/LATimesStarcrossed -- LA Times review of YA book Starcrossed that was released May 31.

http://www.showmethescreenplay.com/news/starcrossed-by-josephine-angelini-is-officially-released-in-the-u-s/ -- an encouraging blog for authors by Phyllis's daughter, which also links to her earlier blog post explaining how she discovered the book.  It is a Facebook story and may encourage other authors.

http://budurl.com/Amazonseismicshift -- this is a post Phyllis wrote for Technorati about a game changer for the publishing industry.