WORKSHOPS TEACH TEACHER/PROMOTING

For seven years or more I’ve held two workshops a year, thanks to the generosity of our local Ozark Folkways. This non-profit organization provides a sunny gallery in which I can hold these workshops. In those seven years I’ve probably learned as much from my students as they have from me. My next one is scheduled for April 10. To register, email me.

We limit the classes to 20 because I like to do one-on-one work with each individual. Sometimes we get by with 10 or 12, other times we’re crammed full. One year, because of a misunderstanding in registrations, we had 23. That was the toughest, but the most fun, because everyone was so filled with ideas they just filled the air for each of us to reach up and grab.
I’m not saying ideas that are shared are stolen. Not at all. But it’s the way these ideas are come by that fascinate each and every one of us. We all learn how to reach out and learn something new in a way we hadn’t thought of before. If you think you already know all you need to know about writing, then you and your talent will soon stagnate. Because we never know all we need to know. Not by a long shot. So, while I teach I also make sure to learn.
For the first time in my writing career, I’m learning all the ins and outs of promotion, both on the World Wide Web and out in the big wide world. I’m learning that I didn’t do a very good job of promoting my last book, and as a result, even though it was a finalist in the WILLA Literary awards and had some super reviews, it was not a runaway best seller. In fact, it has not sold as many copies as I would’ve liked. So, this time around, with two books coming out at once, I’m going all out.
Perhaps if I’m as successful as I hope to be, I’ll do a workshop on promotion. Meanwhile, I’m basking in the fun of getting acquainted with all kinds of people who are willing to help me in my promotional efforts. It’s called networking, and I’ve been doing that for years, but not to the extent I’m doing it now. So many great ideas have been shared with me by those who’ve already been there.
This word of advice. If you have a book coming out, or hope to in the future, begin now networking with those who can help you the most. Libraries, organizations that might be interested in your subject matter, reporters on newspapers large and small, magazine editors, other writers who’ve already been there, writing organizations such as OWFI, ORA, OWL, in our part of the country. There are plenty in yours, I’m sure. Book Fairs are springing up in many areas. Take part as soon as you have books to sell, or if you’re promoting an upcoming book. Hand out post cards, brochures, flyers, whatever you can afford.
Because of a critique group I belong to, I’ve found a reasonable printer who understands the writer’s needs. Because of another I’ve spoken to frequently, I found a marketing guru who shared a tip with me for handouts that suit my book to a tee and are being printed by the aforementioned printer. The list goes on and on.
Here’s a tip I’d like to pass on. It’s much more feasible to have post cards printed than bookmarks. With the book cover on one side, leave the back blank and print out labels with specific information on them for each handout. For instance, I have one label that lists all the places I’ll be for a couple of months, another that has a blurb of the book, another with other related information. I print out whatever I think I’ll need, take the time to affix them to the back of the post cards (you can do this while watching your favorite TV show) and hand them out at my next signing or speaking venue. These can be used for bookmarks or mailed, thus saving the cost of printing two separate items. Much less expensive in the long run.
Happy writing and may you soon be promoting your heart out.
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About veldabrotherton

I'm primarily a writer, but I also speak and teach workshops and co-chair a large critique group. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. After almost 30 years in this business, I still have something to learn and attend conferences to network with other writers, publishers, editors and agents.
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