Author Entrepreneurship Magazine How Conferences & Workshops Can Benefit Writers How Authors Can Profit from Teleseminars and Webinars
Make Online Writing Conferences Count How to Craft a 1-Minute Speech to Sell a Load of Your Books
Author Events: Not Just for Fans By Stacey Aaronson
February 2013, Issue 8
Author Entrepreneurship Magazine is published monthly by Barany Consulting, an education and consulting firm located in Oakland, California. The magazine goes out to over 1,500 subscribers via email and is also distributed via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to reach over 10,000 people. For information on advertising please contact the editor at beth@ bethbarany.com, or call her at (510) 332-5384.
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief: Beth Barany Designer & Layout: Ezra Barany Editorial Assistants: Michelle Geary, Virginia Gielow Contributors: Stacey Aaronson, Connie Anderson, Catharine Bramkamp, Ezra Barany, Mary Caelsto, Vanessa Kier, Dana Lynn Smith
Feel free to forward this to your staff, colleagues and clients. If this magazine was forwarded to you, you can receive free future issues by signing up here: www.AuthorEntrepreneurshipMagazine. com. If youâ€™d like to use one of our articles in your newsletter or blog, please contact the respective author for permission. All materials and photos in this magazine are copyright protected. Publishers, Writing & Book Professional Associations: Interested in advertising, doing affiliate marketing, or JV partnering with us? Contact Beth Barany at Beth@BethBarany.com or call her at (510) 332-5384 to find out how you can reach your audience and save money over print publication advertising. ÂŠ 2013, Barany Consulting, Oakland, CA. All rights reserved to the respective authors. If you wish to use any materials in this publication you must contact the author first for written permission. Thank you for protecting our copyrights.
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Letter from the Editor Thanks for reading! I created this magazine to help authors – especially shy, introverted novelists – create sustainable, successful, and enjoyable careers. One of the best ways to accelerate our learning is to congregate with lots of writers and learn from them in one place and time: Conferences and Workshops – the theme of this issue. I can’t stress enough that the way I went from wishing and hoping to be a writer to actually writing, publishing, and selling my books was by joining a writer’s group and writer’s organizations, and by going to writer’s conferences. If you’re struggling with your writing, or the stages of publishing and selling your books, then I encourage you to go to a writer’s conference, workshop, or event, and mingle with other authors. I recently came up with the Triangle of Success. You need people more experienced than you to learn from; you need people less experienced from you to teach and thereby reinforce your knowledge, and you need your peers for a shoulder to lean on, laugh and cry with about the shared journey. So go out there and take the next steps in your career. Please support our advertisers who make this publication possible and free to you! Click on their ads for more information, and forward the magazine to your clients and customers so they can read this magazine, too! Thanks! AuthorsBroadcast.com Beth Barany, Creativity Coaching for Authors The Torah Codes The Muse Charmer
Stacey Aaronson, Book Doctor Bloomington Writers Fest & Book Fair 6 Short Stories of Suspense Henrietta the Dragon Slayer How to Run a Successful Blog Tour Michelle Geary, Author’s Virtual Assistant Newbie Writers Podcast The Writer’s Adventure Guide Twitter for Authors Vanessa Kier’s Tech Talks for Writers
Some links in this magazine (“Magazine”) may be affiliate links (“Affiliate Links”), including links to Amazon.com. From time to time, the Magazine includes featured books and/or product giveaways. Should AE Magazine receive compensation as a result of featuring any such books or giving away any such product, that fact will be disclosed. AE Magazine earns a commission from the Affiliate Links which commission is based on the number of sales that are made as a result of readers of the Magazine clicking over to the Affiliate Link and purchasing from the Affiliate Link a product and/or service.
February 2013 AuthorEntrepreneurship.com | 3
14Not Just for Fans
By Stacey Aaronson
6 10 18
How Conferences & Workshops Can Benefit Writers
Make Online Writing Conferences Count
The Basic Package: A Rich Experience for a Modest Price
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22 26 30
How Authors Can Profit from Teleseminars and Webinars
Dana Lynn Smith
The Festival for Writers and Readers -
How to Craft a 1-Minute Speech
to Sell a Load of Books
How Conferences & Workshops Can Benefit Writers of Any Level Intermediate As I became more adept at putting together a compelling story, my needs changed. I wanted more advanced classes on craft, such as how to draw readers in by writing in deep POV.
Image by Alana Noelle Renfro
By Vanessa Kier
ave you ever attended a writing conference or workshop? No? Why not? Writing conferences and workshops provide invaluable information and offer networking opportunities that benefit writers at any stage of their writing journey. The trick is to understand your current writing goals before you attend and pick the conference or workshop most likely to give you the knowledge you’re missing. Even shy writers, or writers on a limited budget, can benefit from these opportunities. New Writer My primary goal as a new writer was to learn how to write a compelling story. So I attended as many craft workshops as possible on topics such as goal, motivation and conflict, plotting, character development, dialogue, and setting. I picked workshops based on the issues I struggled with in my manuscript at the time, or issues that I knew were a continuous problem for me.
“The trick is to understand your current writing goals before you attend.” I also started my hunt for an agent and attended every possible agent or editor talk. Many conferences offer the opportunity to pitch your manuscript to an agent and/or an editor, and I took advantage of these as well. Other helpful workshops covered topics such as writing synopses and cover letters that get you out of the slush pile, and how to start building your author brand. Advanced Once I signed with an agent and had my manuscripts out on submission, I found myself more interested in the business and research aspects of writing. I learned about tax and legal issues. I took workshops on self-publishing and forensics. Published Can a workshop or conference offer anything to a published author? Many Continued on pg. 8
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published authors I know are too busy with business meetings during a conference to take advantage of the workshops. However, teaching a workshop, whether at a local or national event, is a positive way to get your name before potential fans and supporters. I say supporters, because having other writers spread the word about your books can be even more valuable than the money gained if they purchase your books.
“Many conferences offer the opportunity to pitch your manuscript to an agent and/or an editor.” Writers of All Levels The wonderful thing about attending a conference is the variety of workshops that appeal to writers of any level. For example: Workshops on marketing, including the effective use of social media, and workshops where the publication process is explained from the moment an editor first looks at your manuscript to the day the book hits the store. I love to attend talks given by highly successful writers. I always come away with some new insight into the writing life or writing business, and often find myself reenergized in my fight to overcome my personal writing stumbling blocks. Conferences vs Workshops Which is right for you? A conference or a workshop? A workshop is the same as a class. A typical in-person workshop lasts 1-2 hours. An online workshop might last for one day up to one month. A conference usually spans at least one day, with multiple workshops being presented, sometimes concurrently. There
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will likely be a mix of educational, motivational, and social events. A conference might be national, with people from all over the country attending, or local.
Image by Alana Noelle Renfro
Smaller, local events might be more comfortable for shy writers. Shy writers should also check to see if the conference offers a first-timer orientation session. Local conferences are also more affordable for writers on a budget, since travel and hotel costs are minimal. You don’t need to attend a conference to take a workshop. Check the calendar of your local writing group to see if they host one-day intensive workshops. I’ve attended local one-day workshops on marketing and branding, plotting, and on a variety of research topics.
“Having other writers spread the word about your books can be even more valuable than the money gained if they purchase your books.” Not comfortable leaving your home just yet? Can’t afford to travel? Check out one of the many sites that offer inexpensive online workshops, such as SavvyAuthors. Continued on pg. 9
com or WritersOnlineClasses.com. These workshops are often taught via Yahoo! Groups or another online provider that allows students to receive the lessons as emails. You can also see the replies of the other students and respond with your own comments.
“Local conferences are also more affordable for writers on a budget.” These opportunities are good for shy or busy writers, since you can participate as much or as little as you are comfortable with. Because you get the lessons via email, the information is still accessible after the class has ended. So, there you have it! No matter whether you’re shy or an extrovert, a beginner or published writer, conferences and workshop have something to offer you. I hope to see you at a workshop some day!
Vanessa Kier is an occasional workshop presenter. She plans to attend at least one national writing conference this year. Vengeance, the first book of her romantic thriller trilogy, is available now at most e-retailers. Visit her at www.vanessakier. com.©2013 All rights reserved.
Image by Cyron Ray Macey
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Make Online Writing Conferences Count By Mary Caelsto, The Muse Charmer
ne of the major changes in author networking is the formation of online writing conferences. Such events take place on major website forums, through teleconferencing or video conferencing, or through live chat rooms. With the global connections these conferences create, they can provide opportunities for networking around the world. When conferences take place in forums, or other places where people can come and go at their convenience, it means that authors from all over the world can meet.
â€œOnline conferences also can present some challenges. First, because they take place at home, there can be a lack of discipline.â€? However, online conferences also can present some challenges. First, because they take place at home, there can be a lack of discipline that might not happen at a live conference. They can also be forgotten, neglected, and not used to their beneficial maximum. But there are steps a writer can take to make the most of online conferences and avoid the pitfalls.
Remove Cat Before Closing Computer by Alan Coogan
One of the best, first things that you can do is to research the conference. Each conference has a specific focus and format. The focus will determine the information you can glean or the networking you can do at a conference. The format will specify how you can interact and connect with other attendees and the presenters. You will want to choose the format which works best for you. Taking the opportunities to work with different types of conferences will help you determine how you prefer to attend online conferences. The focus or content will help you choose what you would like to learn to further your career and networking. Next, you want to see who is presenting at the online workshop and choose presenters whom you would like to know, such as editors or other published authors, or select topics which will be of interest to you. Youâ€™ll also want to look for conflicts in time, or see if the workshop or conference Continued on pg. 12
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offers tapes so you can still “attend” the sessions you miss.
The important key to attending an online conference is to minimize distractions. If you have an office, close the door. Put a “do not disturb” sign up, and if you have pets, ensure they do not interfere. Turn off your cell phones, or at least put them on silent for the duration of the conference. These actions may seem like overkill, but being able to focus on a conference, especially if it’s a call or webinar, is key to taking advantage of all the event has to offer. To sum up, online conferences are a great way to connect with other authors without leaving your home. They can provide opportunities to learn and expand your craft. However, they also come with pitfalls which can be avoided with a little research and preparation. Then you can make the most of your online writing conference experience.
Our Cat “Orion” by Beth Barany
Finally, since it’s an online conference, you want to ensure you are in the right frame of mind. If it takes dressing up in “conference clothes” and closing the door to your office, then that’s what it takes. When at an online conference, showing up even to your own desk in pajamas and with messed up hair might keep you in a casual frame of mind, which will impact your experience with the conference.
“Showing up even to your own desk in pajamas and with messed up hair might keep you in a casual frame of mind, which will impact your experience.” 12 | AuthorEntrepreneurship.com February 2013
As a published author of over forty books (between two pen names), including fiction and non-fiction, Mary Caelsto knows publishing. As the Muse Charmer, she provides her experience in the industry to authors, helping them release their inner awesome to create the careers they deserve and desire! More about Mary Caelsto at www.musecharmer.com. Email her at: email@example.com. ©2013 All rights reserved.
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Author Events: Not Just for Fans
By Stacey Aaronson Writer & Professional Book Doctor
s a writer or aspiring one, you may tend to think that the best conferences to attend are those focused on writing. After all, we novelists consistently grapple with challenges like developing winning characters and plot and mastering the balance of showing vs. telling; non-fiction scribes search for guidance on book structure, solving the reader’s problem, and standing out in their niche market. And while these workshops can certainly be helpful for the writing process
itself, one shouldn’t underestimate the power of being in a venue full of authors and fans at conferences such as the four-day Left Coast Crime (for mystery lovers), or the upcoming one-day Festival of Women Authors, to name just two examples. Though learning the mechanics of sound writing has its place, there’s truly nothing quite like being surrounded by published authors. They’re the people who’ve accomplished what we hope to achieve—the source of our starstruck Continued on pg 15
celebrity moments—and they’ve lived to tell about it. What’s more, they’re typically happy to talk about it, too.
“One shouldn’t underestimate the power of being in a venue full of authors and fans at conferences.” Writers form an eclectic, vibrant community, and conferences are abuzz with that vitality. After spending hours and days on end with sometimes nary a computer and takeout, authors commonly love the interaction, not only with readers but with aspiring writers, too. More often than not, they enjoy discussing their approach to writing, their process, their books, as nuggets of joy, setback, humor, and wisdom are gifted to us through the conversations. They happily sign their books to us, and we read them with a fond memory of sharing a moment in their personal space.
Authors chat with & sign books for attendees of Left Coast Crime
Depending upon the venue and format, multi-day authors conferences offer the chance to attend panel discussions, engage with writers at their booths, sit
in on larger-scale presentations, take part in autographing sessions, and/ or participate in banquets and award ceremonies. In most every arena, opportunities abound to meet and chat with authors you admire, sometimes creating surprising and meaningful connections. Editors, agents, journalists, and other publishing-related professionals attend these types of events as well, lending to opportunities for associations that could prove invaluable. Single-day events—such as the Festival of Women Authors and many other similar functions—are a bit more intimate, serving a lovely lunch between hour-long, center-stage talks from individual authors, where they often regale the audience with stories of how they began, persist, and endure in a frequently solitary, unpredictable profession. The result? We tend to become inspired. Our passion is kindled for what lies in our core—the love of writing—and we realize that possibilities exist for us, too.
“Though learning the mechanics of sound writing has its place, there’s truly nothing quite like being surrounded by published authors.” Many of these events occur across the nation every month, so there’s definitely no shortage of opportunities to attend. But while it’s always exciting to meet authors we read and adore, if I could give one piece of advice, it would be not to limit your attendance to Continued on pg 16 February 2013 AuthorEntrepreneurship.com | 15
those venues that feature only authors with whom you’re familiar. Many of the authors whose books I’ve fallen in love with—and by whom I’ve been most moved—were those I’d never heard of before the event. What’s more, a few of them have become acquaintances and wonderful supporters of me during my writing process—giving me a much-appreciated boost when I needed it—believing in me when my own confidence was precarious. As is often the case in the capricious world of the storyteller, we’ll take encouragement in any package, but when it comes from a fellow author, a kindred spirit has spoken. Nobody understands a writer like another writer—this we all know. And being introduced to new authors—whether they’ve published one book or twenty, is one of the greatest benefits to our writers’ souls. You never know whose story will touch you and motivate the telling of your own, fiction or otherwise.
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Stacey Aaronson takes self-publishing authors by the hand and transforms their manuscript into the book they’ve dreamed of — from impeccable editing to engaging cover and professional interior design. Contact Stacey by email here: sjaaronson@ gmail.com or online here: http://www. creative-collaborations.com/. ©2013 All rights reserved.
The Basic Package: A Rich Experience for a Modest Price I discovered a whole new way to manage a conference that works if you’re on a budget: • Talk to everyone • Read name tags • Attend every included event • Be prepared to discover inspiration in the most unlikely places
By Catherine Bramkamp
recently attended the New Media Expo and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas completely on the cheap. I attended New Media Expo because my podcast, Newbie Writers Podcast, had been nominated for an award, and CES because my husband was an exhibitor. I had never heard of the New Media Expo before the awards and so did not want to spend hundreds of dollars on an event that I may or may not benefit from. Here’s What I Learned at the New Media Expo: Conference organizers are increasingly stratifying the conference experience, different access for differently priced packages. The all-access pass at $350 allows those badge holders to attend all the workshops and sessions, while the basic package holders at $67 have limited access to the conference offerings. And there is no sneaking in. Volunteers often stand guard with QR readers to filter out the basic package holders from entering the workshops.
Talk To Everyone While the rest of the conference attendees are busy in the sessions, wander up and down the exhibit hall and chat up the vendors. They will be grateful for the human contact and your interest. Request a demonstration of their programs. Ask for details. Be happy to learn something new. The bonus to this approach is that when you spend longer than a few minutes chatting with a person, you’ll get past the prescribed presentation and will have a minute or two to talk about more personal subjects, which is memorable for them as well as advantageous for you.
“Conference organizers are increasingly stratifying the conference experience, different access for differently priced packages.” Take your break, make notes, dine, in the lounge or area set aside for all conference attendees. Seek out a place at a full table Continued on pg. 20
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The Rough Draft of the Podcast world With hosts Damien Boath - the Newbie Catharine Bramkamp - the Writer Available on NewbieWriters and iTunes
of people and sit. Introduce yourself, ask what they do and what they think of the conference so far. Ask for their card. Ask them about the lectures. What did they think? What did they learn?
“I always tell my clients to make up two or three cards instead of one card with five different offerings that read Writer/visionary/poet/ speaker/wine maker.” By the way, bring your cards! (You know to bring your cards.) One presenter I spoke with commented on the two cards I handed him, “Oh, thank God! You have more than one card! I always tell my clients to make up two or three cards instead of one card with five different offerings that read Writer/visionary/ poet/speaker/wine maker. It’s much less confusing for the receiver.” Read Name Tags Pay attention to who you are talking to. I discovered that the speakers for all those sessions I couldn’t afford to attend had bright yellow highlighter over their title: Speaker. So while I lingered in the lounge before the awards ceremony, I engaged two speakers in a quick ten-minute conversation centered around their recent talk. I not only got good information, it was tailored just to me, since I was the only person asking the questions. It was a good thing I did learn a few things, since our Newbie Writers Podcast lost to Grammar Girl, the perennial winner in our category of Education.
Attend Every Included Event Often the keynote speakers are part of all the conference packages so attend the keynotes even if the subject doesn’t wow you. You never know what you may learn. Introduce yourself to the people sitting next to you. Review the offered classes and workshops. What would you have liked to hear? Ask others about the class and get a five minute summary. It may be all the information you need. Be Prepared to Discover Inspiration in the Most Unlikely Places I was bribed into attending a presentation by Blackberry. I will never give up my iSuite of products, so it was kind of silly of me to attend, but I thought, okay, I’ll listen, maybe I’ll learn something new. I learned that even with cool technology – the presenter ran his whole presentation from his Blackberry 10 – things still can go wrong (the sound didn’t connect). I also learned that creating any video or PowerPoint should include some embedded words that deliver the general idea of the presentation just in case the sound doesn’t work.
“Often the keynote speakers are part of all the conference packages so attend the keynotes even if the subject doesn’t wow you.” After the talk, a Canadian TV station interviewer asked me my opinion about the new Blackberry 10 and would I consider buying it? I would not, but I gave as positive answers as I could. And it was fun to be interviewed! Continued on pg. 21
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Conference results will not be immediate, but follow up should be. Make notes on the back of business cards, plug in names and email addresses into your phone or computer on the spot so you are ready with a follow up note after the conference is finished, within two or three days. For me, the follow up included connecting with bloggers, podcasters, and exhibitors I wanted to be guests on the Newbie Writers Podcast, as well as following up with offers to subscribe to my newsletter or blog links. After a conference, do allow the learned material to simmer a bit, go to the bar, go home, go to work. It can take a few days or a few weeks to consider what youâ€™ve learned and apply it, but you will. You never know, it just may be the best $67 you ever spent.
Catharine Bramkamp is on LinkedIn and Facebook, and blogs through Wordpress. She is at her noisiest on Newbie Writers podcast every Friday afternoon. Her new book is Trash Out, a Real Estate Diva Mystery. More on her site at www. YourBookStartsHere.com. ÂŠ2013 All rights reserved.
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How Authors Can Profit from Teleseminars and Webinars
Image by Anders Abrahamsson
By Dana Lynn Smith
eleseminars and webinars are a terrific way for authors to share the message of their book, do educational presentations, conduct virtual conferences, interview other authors and experts, hold group coaching sessions, and more. Using a teleseminar service, the host sets up a “bridge line” for participants to dial into at the appointed time, and then does a presentation. Programs can be presented by single speaker, done in an interview format with two or more people, or conducted as Q&A or coaching sessions.
“There’s no travel expense and you can conduct the event from the comfort of your home or office.” A webinar or webcast is similar to a teleseminar, but participants are able to view visuals such as a slideshow during the presentation.
Here are just a few of the benefits of hosting your own teleseminars or webinars: • The events are free or very low cost to produce. • There’s no travel expense and you can conduct the event from the comfort of your home or office.
“You can make money by charging for the event or by conducting a free teleseminar and then offering attendees a paid product or service.” • It’s a great way to build your reputation as an expert in your field and to build your mailing list with the names of attendees, which can lead to sales in the future. • You can make money by charging for the event or by conducting a free teleseminar and then offering attendees a paid product or service at the end of the presentation. • Another way to profit is to repurpose Continued on pg. 24
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your teleseminar content into other products such as audio programs, ebooks and home study courses.
Put the power of teleseminars and webinars to work for you and you’ll be on your way to profiting from virtual events.
There are also many benefits to attendees: • It’s easy for participants to attend via their phone or computer, with no travel required. • Usually a recording of the session is available for those who are not available at the time of the call. • Most teleseminars have a question and answer session, allowing audience members to participate and get input from the speaker. • Participants can learn a lot in a short period of time.
“Usually a recording of the session is available for those who are not available at the time of the call.” As a teleseminar or webinar host, you’ll need to organize details such as these: • Choose a teleseminar service provider and decide whether to offer recordings afterward. • Determine the format, length, date and time for your event. • Decide whether to require advance registration and how to handle registration. • Decide how much to charge and how to collect money from attendees. • Prepare an outline and/or script, and produce PowerPoint slides if necessary. • Promote the event and send reminders and follow-ups to registrants. • Coordinate with any other speakers.
Dana Lynn Smith, the Savvy Book Marketer, teaches authors how to sell more books through her blog, newsletter, guidebooks, and training programs. Her How to Make Money with Teleseminars and Webinars program will teach you everything you need to know to ensure a smooth running and profitable event. Get more book marketing tips at www. TheSavvyBookMarketer.com. ©2013 All rights reserved.
Image by Moyan Brenn
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The Festival for Writers and Readers — Bloomington, Minnesota
Authors and other vendors ready for the public to enter the free book fair
By Connie Anderson
ack in 2002, a few community volunteers met to discuss the idea of hosting their own book fair and writers festival in Bloomington, a busy suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Those eager lovers of the word invited others to join them, and the Literary Council was formed. In the 10 years since, the all-volunteer committee has developed a plan that works. Each year the event gets better and the attendance keeps growing. The 24 workshop providers offer different levels of content as the event appeals to many “aspiring” writers, as well as experienced, published authors. This year the
workshops’ four categories appeal across all levels of interest: Getting started; Telling stories, Publication, and Promotion. The day starts with a keynote presentation from a well-known local author. Over the years the committee has selected keynoters who represent various genres: travel, sports, humor, mystery and many more. The 10th Anniversary keynoter is Tom Hegg, who in the mid-80s self-published a little illustrated Christmas story that was later picked up by a publisher. Since that first printing, Hegg has sold 1.75 million copies of a book that has become a holiday favorite, A Cup of Christmas Tea. He’s written many other illustrated books as well, several books about Peef the Christmas bear. Continued on pg. 28
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The Bloomington Writers Festival and Book Fair
The 10th Annual Bloomington Writers Festival and Book Fair starts with keynoter, stand-out author Tom Hegg, who has sold 1.75 million copies of the illustrated holiday favorite, A Cup of Christmas Tea, and other books. He will also conduct a 4-hour Master Class on Friday, March 22 (limit 20) using theater and writing games to spark the writer and actorâ€™s creativity, and help to develop the art of inventing stories. On Saturday, March 23, the 24 workshops and panels run from 11am-5pm and are for all level writers. They cover getting started, telling stories, publication, and promotion. From 10:30am-3:30pm authors do rapid readings from their books. The book fair (10:30am-3:30pm) is free and open to the public. Keynote ($15), workshop details ($13), lunch options ($12) and registration information is available at www.BTACMN.org or in the BTAC catalog. Preregistration is required.
future of publishing” presented by local small presses, and “Getting your book published.” Last year, we had a 28% increase in classes taken compared to the previous year, which encouraged the committee to plan for more workshop offerings this year.
“Equally important, our attendees get to talk to other writers and readers and enjoy the shared joy of love of words.” The keynoter also offers an hourlong workshop, kicking off the 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. educational part of the day. Workshop presenters are authors, publishers, agents, publicists, attorneys, agents, editors, writers, web/social media experts, etc., who give useful content about their roles. Each participant receives a handout covering the high points of the presentation.
“This year the workshops’ four categories appeal across all levels of interest: Getting started; Telling stories, Publication, and Promotion.” Some workshop topics are: Legal issues for authors, including copyright; memoir and personal writing, book publishing, writing effective sex scenes, social media for authors, book cover design, and writing for children. We have panels on “The
Who comes to the Festival for Writers and Readers in Bloomington, Minnesota? Those who have always loved to write, and now need some direction. Others have already written their first book, and need to find an editor, cover designer, interior formatter, publicist, etc. Attendees can talk to vendors and get their questions answered. Equally important, our attendees get to talk to other writers and readers and enjoy the shared joy of love of words. Every year, authors can read from their books in 10-minute Rapid Readings. This happens during the Book Fair. Both the Rapid Readings and the Book Fair are free and open to the public. In 2012 at the Book Fair, we had 28 vendors and 66 Midwest authors. Visitors can buy an autographed book, ask writing questions of the authors—and realize that they, too, can publish a book. Special! This year on Friday, March 22, Tom Hegg will do a four-hour Master Class using theatre and writing games to spark the writer and actor’s creativity, and help to develop the art of inventing stories. The Festival for Writers and Readers Continued on pg. 29
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in Bloomington, Minnesota is a very affordable daylong event. A ticket for the keynote is only $15; hour-long workshops are $13 each, and attendees can pre-order $12 box lunch. The committee works under the helpful guidance of the Bloomington Theatre and Art Center organization. To join us for this day for writers and readers, register in advance at BTACMN.org. • Saturday, March 23, 2013—9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. • Pre-registration required for keynote, workshops and panels—http:// www.btacmn.org/4educat/literar y. html • Book Fair is free and open to the Connie Anderson, is an book manuscript editor, and a member of the Literary public. Council that plans the yearly Bloomington Writers Festival and Book Fair. www. WordsandDeedsInc.com. ©2013 All rights reserved.
Image by Alan Levine
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How to Craft a One-Minute Speech to Sell a Load of Your Books John Lescroart, James Rollins, and Joseph Finder. But while these featured authors already were known and had a half hour to talk, the rest of us not-so-well-known authors had just one minute. How do you rope in the excitement of your readers in just one minute at a live event? Here’s what I did.
Image by Beth Barany
By Ezra Barany
ou’re in front of over four hundred readers and fifty other authors. As an author, you get to promote your book in one minute. You’re up first. What do you say to the crowd? This happened to me at the Men of Mystery event in Los Angeles. It was an honor being among great writers such as
1. Stand out - Going first was a blessing, not a curse. I just happened to be lucky when it came to the order. By being first or last, your speech among the many — fifty others, in my case — will likely be one of the most memorable. But what if you’re not the first or last speaker? How do you stand out? Ask a question that gets the audience involved. Too many of the speakers at the event promoted their book without asking any questions. As a result, I believe the audience felt talked at, not spoken with. A great format to follow is this: — Raise your hand and say, “How many of you [fill in the blank]?” — After some of the audience raises their hand, put your hand down and say, “Thank you.” — Raise your other hand and say, “How many of you don’t [essentially state the opposite of your first question, to include the rest of the audience]?” — Lower your hand and say, “Thank you.” Continued on pg. 32
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I used this model to find my readers. Instead of being all-inclusive, I pinpointed my readers further and incorporated humor. Here’s what I said: “How many of you read The Da Vinci Code and liked it?” Many in the audience raised their hand. “Thank you. How many of you read The Da Vinci Code, liked it, but would never admit to it?” A few more raised their hand during the laughter. “Thank you.”
“Let them know what kind of experience they can expect to have reading your book.” By asking them these questions, I got them involved in the presentation instead of being talked at. 2. Explain your promise of the experience - Let them know what kind of experience they can expect to have reading your book. One of the best ways to do that is to compare your book to a famous book or film. For example, after I asked the questions, I said “My book is a Jewish version of The Da Vinci Code.” Right away they knew it was a thriller with mysteries and Jewish themes. 3. Convey your promised experience - It’s not enough to say “You’re going to be scared” or “You’re going to laugh.” You need to also give them a visceral experience, a taste of what they can expect. In my minute, I realized I hadn’t prepared to convey the presence of humor in my book, so at the last minite I added, “There are two fatal things in this world: death and dating. My protagonist Nathan Yirmorshy is trying to avoid both.” The audience laughed. It didn’t matter who my protagonist was or what he was avoiding.
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What mattered was that the audience got the experience of laughter, an experience they can expect when they read the book. 4. Credibility - Now that you’ve gotten their attention with your questions, and you’ve revealed what experience they can expect to have, give them a reason to take a closer look at your book. Did your book get five-star reviews? Did Stephen King call it “the next best chiller?” Did you get into a bestselling category? Did you win any awards? Let them know how others already love your book. 5. Make them like you - According to Dr. Robert Cialdini, an expert on influence and the author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, the best way to make a person like you is to genuinely like something about them. Showing that you like your readers may be difficult to convey to an entire audience. Instead, find that genuine part of you that wants to meet your readers and discover who they are. In my presentation, I told them how much I wanted to meet them face-to-face.
“Whatever you do, avoid wasting time telling them what your story’s about.” 6. Make them an offer they can’t refuse - Many of those readers out there may want your book but decide they’ll get it another day or maybe they don’t have the funds at the moment. Eventually, they’ll forget your name and your book and move on in their lives without ever buying your book. Solution? Ask them to sign up for your newsletter and receive a free short story. I made the mistake of not bringing many books to the Men of Mystery event, so a hefty percentage of the attendees Continued on pg. 33
were disappointed when I sold out. Fortunately, I have their contact info when they signed up for my newsletter and for a free short story. The short story can have an excerpt of your book to rekindle their interest.
Here’s my full one-minute presentation: “How many of you read The Da Vinci Code and liked it? Thank you. How many of you read The Da Vinci Code, liked it, but would never admit to it? Thank you. My thriller The Torah Codes is a Jewish version of The Da Vinci Code. You know, there are two fatal things in this world: death and dating. My protagonist Nathan Yirmorshy is trying to avoid both. The Torah Codes has been an Amazon bestseller for all of 2012 and has won an award in The Hollywood Book Festival. Even if you don’t get your copy of The Torah Codes today, please come to my table,
I would love to meet you. You can sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send you a short story absolutely free.” Afterwards, many authors came up to me saying, “I know how hard it is to be the first one to present, but you nailed it.” One last thought: Whatever you do, avoid wasting time telling them what your story’s about. Storylines are not the reason people read books. The reason people read books is to have an experience. If you follow this guide for a one-minute presentation, your readers will definitely check out your book.
Ezra Barany is an author and mentor to authors. In March 2011, Ezra unleashed his first novel The Torah Codes, a thriller, now an award-winning bestseller in both the U.S. and the U.K. In his free time, he writes mushy love songs inspired by his wife and book coach Beth Barany. Ezra now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he is working on his next book when not terrorized by his two cats. More at: http://bit.ly/TheTorahCodesForKindle. ©2013 All rights reserved.
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Event Listings March 21-24, 2013. Left Coast Crime, Colorado Springs, CO visit: www. leftcoastcrime.org/2013 March 22, 2013. Tom Clegg Master Class (limit 20), using theater and writing games to spark the writer and actor’s creativity, and help to develop the art of inventing stories. www.BTACMN.org March 23, 2013. 10th Annual Bloomington Writers Festival and Book Fair, Bloomington MN. Keynote, 24 workshops and panels, authors do rapid readings from their books. Keynote ($15), workshops ($13), lunch options ($12) and registration information is available at www.BTACMN.org or in the BTAC catalog. Pre-registration is required. the book fair is free and open to the public. March 23, 2013. Fremont, CA Beth Barany presents on Voice and Style for Fiction Writers to the Fremont Area Writers, a branch of the California Writer’s Club. http://www.cwcfremontareawriters.org/ May 11, 2013. Festival of Women Authors, Irvine, CA. Irvine Marriott Hotel. www.lgoc. org June 20, 2013. Redwood City Library, Redwood City, CA Beth Barany presents on Start Your Writer’s Adventure: Write Your Book in 2013. http://www.redwoodcity.org/ events/
For more in-person writer’s events and support groups, check out http://www. meetup.com, and your local writer’s organization. Become a part of a writing community. Find the right organization for you. **For an extensive listing of writers conferences throughout the nation, visit: http://www.writing.shawguides.com/ WRITING ASSOCIATIONS Romance Writers of America (RWA) http:// www.rwanational.org/ Mystery Writers Association http://www. mysterywriters.org/ Sisters in Crime http://www.sistersincrime. org/ Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. http://www.sfwa.org/ California Writers Club http://www. calwriters.org/ Broad Universe http://www.broaduniverse. org/ National Writers Union http://www.nwu.org/ Horror Writers of America http://www. horror.org/ The Authors Guild http://www.authorsguild. org/ International Thriller Writers, Inc. http:// www.thrillerwriters.org/ Society for Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators http://www.scbwi.org/ American Christian Fiction Writers http:// www.americanchristianfictionwriters.com/
July 28 - August 2, 2013. Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, Napa, CA. Rolling admissions open March 1 for the 33rd annual Napa Valley Writers’ Conference! More at: napawritersconference.org. Events are listed for free, space permitting. Image by Sebastien Batardy
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Author Entrepreneurship Magazine
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