One of my newsletter subscribers, Ryan, published his book, One Step Closer, in November 2020. He has an interesting story and shares a little bit about his book here.
What are your goals for 2021?
My goal is to sell 5000 copies of One Step Closer in the first year (November 2020 — November 2021).
In order to accomplish this, I am reaching out to at least three potential partners each week. I am mainly focused on podcast interviews but also have incorporated guest blog posts and email collaborations.
As momentum for the book has continued to build, requests for interviews have begun coming in on their own. While I will prioritize those opportunities as they come in, I have a list of other partners to continue to reach out to whenever it slows down.
Publishing my first book was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Going into it, I felt incredibly overwhelmed and unsure if I would be able to pull it off. I wondered, “Will anyone read this? Will it all be a waste of time?”
Thankfully I came across some incredibly helpful resources to make the marketing aspect less scary. Blogs like www.ausoma.com and books like Your First 1000 Copies gave me the information and confidence I needed to bring this project to fruition.
If you are on the fence about publishing or hesitant to share your work with the world, I hope 2021 is a year you can look back on as one that saw your author journey come to life!
On November 20, 2009, 21-year old college student Ryan broke his neck and became paralyzed below his shoulders. He launched his website in 2013 to share rehab updates with family and friends. It soon expanded to his writing about faith, marriage, and the power of holding an eternal perspective. Learn more about Ryan here: https://www.ryansatkins.com/meet-ryan/
A couple of years ago an author in New Zealand contacted me for social media assistance. I was very pleased to know that my reputation had reached so far! Enjoy reading about Jenny.
Tell us a little bit about your book and business.
My latest book, Love America: On the Trail of Writers and Artists in New Mexico, arose from a visit of mine to Taos and Santa Fe, which turned into a literary pilgrimage. Afterwards it generated an exploration of New Mexican history and the ways New Mexico has influenced writers and artists (often from New York) who visited over extended periods or, in some cases, settled there permanently. For instance, D H Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe, Willa Cather, Frank Waters. Also, the heiress and brilliant collector, Millicent Rogers. The book offers a different approach to travel, one which I have found transformative.
As for my business, I am first and foremost a writer so that is my top priority – to keep writing and not let my time trickle away attending to all the other aspects of the writing business. I am lucky to have found an enthusiastic publisher for this title. The book had a great designer and publicity management. After my last title, which was self-published, I sought help from Sue Canfield with managing social media and that was well worthwhile. I have also had my website renovated in time for the launch of the latest title and am well pleased with the result.
Why did you write your book?
I felt a strong desire to make sense of my lived experience, to make it intelligible, coherent and beautiful. Inspiration for a new book has come following an unexpected connection between two hitherto unconnected things. For instance, my experience of the Rugby World Cup played in New Zealand in 2011 and my need for a sense of belonging resulted in my third book, Not For Ourselves Alone.
How did you publish your book?
This title was published by a traditional publisher for a niche market.
How did things change for you as an author in 2020 and how did you manage to weather the pandemic?
I worked on the manuscript with a mentor/publisher who, upon its completion, offered to publish it. During our 5-week covid lockdown I felt unable to write and worried that nothing would come of the plan. Her trip to New Mexico was cancelled and with it our hopes of finding a US publisher with a view to a co-edition. Linda was still keen to publish in NZ however and the book was launched in early November. Now she has returned to the idea of seeking a co-edition partner. How will the continuing pandemic affect the result? We’ll see!
What is your favorite book marketing tip?
To seek and follow the advice of experts in the field, especially that of social media. To spare nothing in learning to apply this knowledge of engagement and then to work out a comfortable personal balance between time spent on social media as against writing more books.
What are your goals for 2021?
To publish and market a children’s picture book for which I have completed the text. Next, to write a new adult book, Never Stop Travelling. And of course to achieve a better balance between working to deadlines and taking time out.
Jenny Robin Jones is a writer of many years standing.
Born in Wellington, where she now lives, Jenny spent her formative years in England, returning to New Zealand as a young adult to begin her working life as a teacher.
She was for many years executive director the New Zealand Society of Authors, served as its representative on the board of Copyright Licensing Limited (CLL) and was a long-term chair of the selection panel for the CLL awards.
She also chaired Peppercorn Press, publisher of the quarterly review journal New Zealand Books.
Faith Wilcox was referred to me by her editor Candace Johnson. I’ve enjoyed so much working with Faith on her social media marketing and now on her book publicity. We’re in the midst of a six-month long publicity campaign for her new book which will be released in June. Let’s have Faith tell us more.
Why Do I Write?
Throughout the past two decades, writing has saved me. I began writing when sitting by my thirteen-year-old daughter Elizabeth’s bedside while she was receiving treatments for a rare pediatric bone cancer. I was overwhelmed, devastated, and in a state of shock during the first months after her diagnosis. I started to write as a way to release the thoughts that I kept buried inside, process what my daughter and I were experiencing, and express both my fears and hopes.
Why Did I Write Books?
And after my daughter’s death, I wrote while in a maelstrom of grief. Writing created a passageway through my grief, and years later, as I was healing, I wrote about moments and ways that I found comfort and peace. Poetry emerged from my writing, and in time I wrote and self-published a book of poetry, Facing Into The Wind: A Mother’s Healing After the Death of Her Child, which is intended as a companion to those on the journey of grieving and healing.
Years later, I reread my earlier writings and from them wrote a memoir of my sorrows and joys, my despair and hope, my grieving and healing. My most recent book, Hope Is a Bright Star: A Mother’s Memoir of Love, Loss, and Learning to Live Again, will be published by She Writes Press, an independent hybrid publisher, in June 2021. At turns both heartbreaking and heartwarming, Hope Is a Bright Star reveals how abiding love can heal a family.
Finding a Publisher
Finding a publisher was quite an expedition into a field with which I was unfamiliar. The publishing world had changed considerably since I first self-published my book of poetry. I dove in and learned from influencers about the publishing world and researched the benefits and drawbacks of self-publishing, hybrid publishing, and traditional publishing. I asked for advice from people who had recently published a book, and I listened to both cautionary tales and stories of success. I wrote to traditional publishers that required an agent and those that didn’t. I submitted my book proposal to publishers, agents, and one hybrid publisher. I was thrilled when She Writes Press, recently recognized as the number one indie hybrid publisher, accepted my manuscript for publishing.
Working During the Pandemic
The disruption of normal life and work during the pandemic has been limiting, but I discovered an ironic silver lining. A quieter life has meant that I’ve had more time to work on my book production with She Writes Press, expand my social media presence, and make plans for book publicity. I’ve learned a tremendous amount about the multitude of steps during the book publishing process as I’ve worked hand-in-hand with my publisher. And, having a quieter life has allowed me to meet every deadline in the process!
I’ve also dedicated time to growing my author platform, which includes writing frequent blogs about how, when one is undergoing stressful medical events, a daily practice of writing can improve physical and psychological outcomes. I frequently cite evidence-based research that confirms these findings. I’ve reached out to and connected with influencers who attest to the benefits of writing and have written numerous guest blogs for and been interviewed for several podcasts by these influencers. My followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and my connections on LinkedIn have increased significantly.
Increasing your author platform also includes creating book marketing strategy and executing it. As Hope Is a Bright Star will be published in June, I am setting the stage for my book publicity with Sue Canfield of Ausoma. In addition to promoting my memoir on social media platforms, Sue and I will submit my book’s Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) to reviewers searching for endorsements, to award contests, and to influencers. Sue will prepare press releases for local media, national magazines, my college alumni magazine, and more. Together we’ll arrange for in-person and Zoom interviews promoting Hope Is a Bright Star and for events at bookstores.
My Favorite Book Marketing Tip—How to Get Endorsements
To begin, create a list, including contact information, of all of the people who are in your immediate sphere of influence. Include your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, college alumni connections, book club members, trade association connections, and more. Reach out to these connections, explain that you are writing a book or have written a book, and ask if they have any connections with authors or influencers in the genre of your book. You may be surprised by the number of contacts they will generate! Simultaneously, broaden your reach to include your social media friends and followers. The goals are two-fold. You want the influencers to get to know you, and you want to contribute something of value to them.
Reach out to your “old” and new connections. Ask them to read your manuscript or ARC. Ask for endorsements. Plan months ahead of your publishing deadlines. Give everyone plenty of time to read your manuscript and to respond.
Goals for 2021
As I mentioned above, my plans for 2021 include writing on my social media platforms, expanding my sphere of influence, and promoting Hope Is a Bright Star. And, of course, visiting with family and friends after the pandemic is behind us!
Finding My Books
You can find Hope Is a Bright Star: A Mother’s Memoir of Love, Loss, and Learning to Live Again on my website , on Amazon, on INDIEBOUND, or on Apple Books. Facing Into The Wind: A Mother’s Healing After the Death of Her Child is available on Amazon.
Faith Fuller Wilcox believes that self-expression through writing leads to healing. Her writing is reflective of a growing body of medical research about “narrative identity,” which highlights that how we make sense of what happens to us and the value we give to experiences beyond our control directly impact our physical and psychological outcomes. Faith learned these truths firsthand when her thirteen-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer that took her life. Faith’s journey from grief and despair to moments of comfort and peace taught her life-affirming lessons, which she shares today through her writing.
I worked with Dale a few years back helping to promote her book using social media. She has many creative endeavors and I know you’ll enjoy learning more about her in the interview below.
Tell us a little bit about your book and business.
My book is RenWomen: What Modern Renaissance Women Have to Teach Us About Living Rich, Fulfilling Lives. I co-authored it with my twin brother, Scott Griffiths, and it includes the stories of 16 extraordinary modern Renaissance women from multiple areas: business, the arts, social activism, science, and more. It is a book that will inspire and motivate women (and men too!) to explore their fullest potential.
Why did you write your book?
My twin brother had co-authored a book about modern Renaissance men and we both realized that it was important women got recognized as being Renaissance people as well!
How did you publish your book? Traditional publisher, hybrid publisher, self-published?
We self-published the book.
How did things change for you as an author in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?
The book was published in 2016 and I spent most of 2017 and some of 2018 marketing the book in the form of book events, signings, and invited presentations and panels. (So I’m grateful I was able to do all that live before this crazy 2020!) In 2017, I also returned to my other creative endeavors (in my own Renaissance-style) and continued to work on my short film projects. (In all I have written and produced or co-produced six short narrative films, three of which I directed.) These films went to multiple film festivals in 2017-2019, many of which I attended. So the biggest adjustment in 2020 was that after February, the film festivals I was accepted into all went virtual! Which will continue into at least part of 2021. But one advantage to being a writer is that I continue to write new work, quarantined or not!
What is your favorite book marketing tip?
If you are self-published OR traditionally published, take marketing into your own hands! Get out there and do signings and book events, and everything else you can think of to get word out about your book. (I actually also did videos about the women in the book, along with a whole podcast series.)
What are your goals for 2021?
The new work I have been focusing on in 2020 are feature-length screenplays and a full-length play. So my goal for 2021 is to get that work out there. (Which can include readings and raising funds for production or finding interested producers.)
Just that in today’s world, having a flexible, multi-dimensional approach to life is not just aspirational, but essential!
Dale Griffiths Stamos is the co-author of the nonfiction book: RenWomen: What Modern Renaissance Women Have to Teach Us About Living Rich, Fulfilling Lives. Dale is also an award-winning screenwriter and playwright. She has written and produced or co-produced six short films which have been official selections at multiple film festivals, garnering two audience and two jury awards, as well as three Awards of Excellence from Best Shorts Competition and the Bill Paxton Award from the Ojai Film Festival. She has penned two feature-length screenplays: One White Crow and Blue Jay Singing in the Dead of Night which have been named as finalists or semi-finalists in a number of screenwriting competitions including the New York City International Screenplay Awards, StoryPros International Screenplay Contest, Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival, Creative World Awards and Script Summit. Dale’s short and full-length plays have been produced around the country. She is the recipient of the Heideman Award from Actors Theatre of Louisville, and is a top-ten winner, twice, in the Writers Digest Stage Play Competition.
Jeanne and I connected on LinkedIn a few years ago and I did a social media audit for her. We have stayed in touch and I’ve been pleased to see her apply some of the suggestions from that audit.
What are your books about?
Ready Set Work! and Ready Set Supervise! are books about how to navigate successfully in today’s work environment. Specifically, Ready Set Work! is a guide for new workers for conquering job jitters and becoming the employee everyone wants to keep. It provides guidance on how to handle hundreds of the most common and most sensitive work situations effectively and confidently. It gives new workers a centralized source of information with a common sense approach that quickly deals with the issues and gets them back on track comfortably. It helps take the fear out of working so people can just concentrate on doing a good job and keep that job in today’s economy.
Ready Set Supervise! lays out the most common problems that supervisors run into at work, explains them in a way that makes sense, and enables supervisors to work more confidently all while projecting an air of maturity and dependability. It helps readers become the supervisor everyone wants to work for. Ready, Set, Supervise! goes a long way towards taking the fear out of supervising. Sane people are afraid of supervision. It can be scary stuff given the number of legal and policy issues supervisors have to deal with. And, once you throw in the need for gigantic heaps of common sense, enormous physical and mental stamina, and the fact that supervision means being responsible for the actions of other people, it’s a wonder anybody ever wants the job.
Quite honestly, I wrote the books because I was constantly hearing from employees and employers about a wide variety of issues that they were dealing with at work and there was nothing else out there that covered these same topics. I spent over thirty years working as a line-worker, a supervisor, a manager, or an executive, and these were the topics where I most often saw people having difficulty.My target populations include, but are not limited to, Millennials and Gen Ys and target markets include trade schools, tech schools, local work programs, government entities, immigrant service centers, and business colleges.
My overall goal was to produce books full of information that would help people be comfortable in their work environment and succeed in their careers. I wanted them to be a fun, light-hearted approach to real-life topics, easy to read and understand.