SORMAG Multi-Cultural Literary Magazine
Poet â€“ G.P.A.
Shades Of Romance
Business Integrity Do You Have It?
Romance Authors Iris Bolling Regina Hart Self Published Author Debut Author Judy Lynn Hubbard Businesses Helping Writers SORMAG at 2012 Literary Events Mainstream Fiction Author Miranda Parker
Angelina Vernon Menchan SORMAG's Inspiration Rochelle Alers Low Cost Online Marketing
The Business Of Writing Premier Issue - SEP/OCT 2012
TEACH ME - IRIS BOLLING Gents & Gems - Book One
The Lassiter family consists of six precious gems and six true gentlemen. They are all blessed with good looks, charm, and a wonderful sense of self-worth. They know who they are and who they want. Child number five, sexy, confident and fiercely loyal, Diamond Lassiter made her choice. She did not save herself for anyone less than a real man to teach her how to make love. When she met Zackary Davenport, there was no question in her mind, he was the one. With arson connected to his last project, the only mission on Zackary Davenportâ€™s mind was ensuring the new home development progressed without a hitch. Working against him was an unknown force that was out to destroy his name. The last thing on his mind was any woman that was after his heart. To that end Diamond Lassiter was trouble, and he knew it. Revenge, family secrets and love will keep you engrossed as you wonder whose willpower will prevail.
IRIS BOLLING Romance Author http://www.irisbolling.net/ http://sormag.com
Anna and Nick are reeling from personal tragedies when they meet in the friendly town of Regina Beach. Nick helps Anna feel safe and comfortable while he gains her trust. Despite his lifechanging injury, Anna inspires Nick to hope for a life he hadn't dared dream possible. Anna must discover if she has the strength to accept his career choice where he will be in danger.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT Moving On: A Prairie Romance
I have just been reading MOVING ON on my Kindle. It's lovely... a gentle, feel-good book with a nice variety of individualized characters and a positive over-all message. The familiar setting was a treat too. Congratulations! I would recommend it. ~~~Mary Balogh, New York Best Seller In “Moving On: A Prairie Romance”, Annette Bower explores the redemptive power of affection. When we meet Nick and Anna, the characters at the centre of the novel, both are reeling from devastating personal tragedies, and both are fearful of making a connection that would open them to future pain. In the course of the novel, Nick and Anna slowly but surely learn to trust and to hope. Bower’s warm tale of the coming together of her two very likable protagonists is told with a keen eye and an understanding heart. This lake-side romance is perfect summer reading.~~~Gail Bowen, author of the Joanne Kilbourn
Sweet Love in Today’s World Annette Bower www.AnnetteBower.com http://sormag.com
One Last Cry: Revisited Why canâ€™t love be easy? Vanessa is married and has it all: rich husband, house, cars, but she is missing something. She is missing the thrill of passion. The chemical and physical romance that two people share can lead to many twists and turns. When you encounter that person, how do you know when not to cross the proverbial line? Could you avoid the pitfall of love, lies, and lust? Follow Vanessa and Ron Williams as their lives are invaded by a stranger named Pete. Watch as the road less traveled can sometimes lead to hurt, then lust, and finally love. The only question is-can they steer clear of the dangers of such a curvy road and get their lives back on track? Or, will they be lost forever in their one last cry?
One Last Cry - Revisited By Manswell T. Peterson
The Fixer-Uppers By Cynthianna
Can a single mom find happiness on a blind date--or at least dinner with a male who can cut up his own food? Cassie and Mike believe they're "in like" not "in love." But when down-on-his-luck Mike is evicted, Cassie takes him into her home. Mike starts fixing everything from window screens to little boys' broken hearts. Will Cassie let him fix hers? When you least expect it, love happens!
Check out a novel by Cynthianna: http://www.cynthianna.com http://www.devinedestinies.com/the-fixer-uppers
Note From The Editor - 7 Debut Author Judy Lynn Hubbard - 8 Self Published Author Angelia Vernon Menchan - 10 5 Tips For Being On A Panel At A Conference - 11 Romance Author - Iris Bolling - 12 Article - Business Integrity - Do You Have It by Dr. Linda Beed - 14 Cover Author - Rochelle Alers - 16 Poet - G.P.A. - 20 Mainstream Author Miranda Parker - 22 Article - Low Cost Online Marketing by LaShaunda C. Hoffman - 24 Romance Author Regina Hart - 26 Businesses Helping Writers - 28 Literary Events SORMAG at Slam Jam - 30 SORMAG at Fall Into Books - 31 SORMAG Reader Missy - 32 10 Tips To A Perfect Online Interview - 35 Business Of Writing - 35 In Memory Monica Jackson & Miranda Stewart - 39 http://sormag.com
C O N T E N T
Did You Miss These Books
I’m excited to introduce you to the return of SORMAG in digital form. For you who are loyal supporters of SORMAG you use to receive SORMAG in your mail or email. We went on hiatus and to be honest I didn’t think I would ever see another issue. I’ll admit I love the blog platform. It was more interactive than the web page, but I missed the magazine format. I started seeing more and more digital magazines popping up. Even the mainstream magazine were going digital. Two ladies I admire and respect introduced their magazines and pushed me off the fence. First was LaShaunda Henry with the Sista Sense magazine. I was impressed with her business magazine and couldn’t wait to read each issue. The next one was Tanisha Webb’s Book Club 101 Magazine. I loved her magazine filled with books and bookclub information. They inspired me to try my hand at the digital concept again.
Note From The Editor
What LaShaunda Is Reading
I decided our 12 year anniversary would be the timeframe for our first issue. I knew who I wanted to feature on the cover, Rochelle Alers. She was the first cover author for SORMAG and I wanted to keep up the tradition. She has a new book series that I love. I can't wait for you to read them. The books reminds me of why I fell in love her writing and why she is one of the writers who inspired SORMAG. My hope with this new format is to give writers and business a place to promote their books and business. I want to offer one lucky a writer a chance to see their name in print when we feature his or her short story. I have a lot of ideas for SORMAG but I want to make this a magazine you can’t wait to open up, so please feel free to tell me what you want to see inside these pages. Let’s make SORMAG the best magazine it can be. Grab a warm beverage, found a good spot to rest and enjoy your first issue of SORMAG. Drop me a line and let me know what you think of it. 1SORMAG@gmail.com LaShaunda C. Hoffman Editor/Publisher of SORMAG
DEBUT AUTHOR Judy Lynn Hubbard What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
Judy Lynn Hubbard is a native of Dallas,
Texas and has always been an avid reader—particularly of romance. Judy’s first book, THESE ARMS OF MINE, hit the shelves in January 2012. Her second book, OUR FIRST DANCE, was released on June 19, 2012. Judy loves well-written, engaging stories with characters she can identify with, empathize with and root for. When writing, she honestly can't wait to see what happens next; she knows if she feels that way, she’s created characters and a story that readers will thoroughly enjoy, and that’s her ultimate goal. How did you start out your writing career? I have always loved to read and write. I started out writing journals, then poetry, then really short “books” and then I decided to see if I had what it took to write an entire novel. What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned more than I wanted to know about rewriting and editing, lol! It was fun researching the ballet industry. I feel all of my hard work was worth it, though, because I’m thrilled with the final result and I hope everyone else will be too. http://sormag.com
I wanted to introduce my readers to something new that’s not written about a lot, especially in AA romance, and that’s the world of ballet—the fierce drive you have to possess and a little insight into what it takes to succeed in such a competitive field. I hope readers will take to heart one of the main messages of OUR FIRST DANCE and that is to never give up on your dreams because they can come true. What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand? How hard it is to take a single idea and transform it into an entire book. What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why? The story came first, then the plot and finally the characters. I always dream up the story first before anything else. I was sitting around thinking about my next book and the idea hit me to write about a ballerina waiting for her big break. From there, more of the plot began to unfold and lastly my characters took shape. What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
How long it takes to go from my completing a book to publication. I foolishly thought I’d write the book, turn it into my editor (who would love it, of course) and then I’d start writing my next book—not! I found out there’s a LOT of work that happens between writing the book and getting it published. What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most? I love forming the idea for a book and then fleshing out the entire story and characters before finally rolling up my sleeves and starting to write—that’s the absolute best part. The thing I hate is waiting for editorial feedback—that’s a time of angst and biting of fingernails that wipes me out! What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now? 1) How much hard work goes into taking the book from an idea in my head to an actual print/bound book, 2) How much time is required for good promotion and 3) I wish I had created an on-line presence before being published so that I my name would be familiar to readers. Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer? Do always believe in yourself and keep writing. Don’t ever give up on your dreams and don’t take criticism personally. Oprah always asks, what do you know for sure? I know for sure that I will spend a part of each day writing something, because it’s in my blood.
Bad-boy impresario Damien Johnson lives to capture the spotlight and play the field. Dancing too close to the flame got him burned once before, so a relationship definitely isn't in his master plan. But the beautiful newcomer to his ballet company has all the right moves—and is proving to be a challenge he's not sure he can resist.… Natasha Carter is committed to becoming a prima ballerina. So Damien Johnson is the kind of temptation she doesn't need, no matter how dazzling his technique. She's sure she can keep the unexpected passion between them strictly professional and achieve everything she's worked so hard for. But every step, every caress and every tantalizing kiss is making Natasha question if a forever without Damien is really a dream worth achieving.…
CONTINUE ON PAGE 34
SELF PUBLISHED AUTHOR Angelia Vernon Menchan Angelia Vernon Menchan, wife, mother,
What are the joys and sorrows of self publishing?
mentor, budget officer and former Job Corps Counselor, born and raised in Ocala Florida, resides in Jacksonville, email@example.com 904 714 2272 and 904 303 2679 http://acvermen.blogspot.com
The joys are that I can simply write and tell stories as they occur to me, I don't have to worry about what is hot or timely, neccesarrily. The sorrow, if I must call it that is that everything is ulitmately my responsibility.
How did you start out your writing career?
What type of team does a self publisher need?
I have always been a writer, but I did not make the decision to publish until late 2005. My sons were grown, I was almost 50 and it was something I had always wanted to do. So I researched how to publish it myself and January 2006, I published my first book. What did you hope to accomplish with this book? My goal is always to reach readers, make them feel and react to what I have written, to hopefully be entertained and take something away.
Aside from loyal reaeders, we need editors, cover designers and honest proofreaders. Also marketing folks who are willing to promote your work fervently. What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer? To stay true to my own voice. I can only write the books within me. Five questions about books:
What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why?
One book that you have read more than once.
The characters are always first, they occur to me and I write around them, devoloping the plot as they voice it to me. In this particualar case this book is part of a series, so the characters were there.
Just Above My Head by James Baldwin. My favorite book of all time.
One book you loved as a child. Nancy Drew Mysteries
One book that made you laugh. Perfect Peace by Daniel Black, the characters were hilarious in a very offbeat way. One book that made you cry. Roots by Alex Haley One book you wish you'd written. Blues Dancing by Diane McKinney Whetstone Anything you'd like to say to the readers of SORMAG? I would ask Sormag Readers to give independent author a chance, there are many really good ones and you miss out on jewels by not trying someone new at least once. And to read, read and read some more.
The Blacks: Love's Politics Women's Fiction
In Mrs. Black? Cinnamon Brown finally divorced her husband, William Brown, who had flagrantly disrespected their vows for decades. Cinnamon, however is not without sin, she had an affair with Malcolm Black and was set to become his wife. Does Cinnamon and Black get married? And if they do marry will they be able to withstand their comeuppance, because one must always pay for their transgressions. Not only that what could possibly occur if politics enter the already volatile mix? To find out, delve into the pages of, The Black's: LOVE'S POLITICS - New Beginnings and find out. You will not be disappointed as Angelia Vernon Menchan plunges you into a story filled with love, family, retribution, revenge, politics, and ultimately love.
Tips For Being On A Panel At A Conference
#1 Show Up #2 Be Prepared
#3 Donâ€™t Hog All The Time #4 Have Copies Of Handouts Include Contact Information #5 Bring Books SORMAG
ROMANCE AUTHOR Iris Bolling
For more information please visit; www.irisbolling.net, www.sirient.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iris Bolling lives in Richmond, Virginia and
has a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management. She is currently a Workforce Development Trainer with the Commonwealth ofVirginia.
She penned her first manuscript, Once You’ve Touched the Heart, in March 2008 and completed a six book collection of novels called, The Heart Series. In May of 2011, Iris introduced her new novel, Night of Seduction/Heaven’s Gate and in 2012 she released Teach Me, the first book in the new series, Gems & Gents. In April of 2010 Iris was named Debut Author the Year, at the Romance Slam Jam conference. Her novel, Once You’ve Touched the Heart was voted the Readers Choice Award with Shades of Romance Magazine for, Romance Book of the Year. Iris was voted Romance Author of the Year and Author of the Year. Her novel A Lost Heart was nominated Romantic Suspense Novel of the Year, at the 2011 Romance Slam Jam. In 2012, she her novel The Heart was awarded the Hero of the Year award. In 2012 she was also name Author of the Year by the Building Relationships Around Books Bookclub. http://sormag.com
How did you start out your writing career? The lack of quality entertainment on television is what prompted me to begin writing. I was on vacation for a week. It was one that I planned to work on cleaning my house. During the entire week, there was absolutely nothing on television worth watching. I mentioned to my son that there was no creativity or imagination in programs on television any more. His response was, we should write a story and submit it to someone for airing. Of course, we both laughed it off. But the next few days brought the same unimaginative, meaningless programs. So I turned the television off, went to my computer and began telling a story that was mauling around in my head. The first night I churned out three scenes to a story. I read it and was so excited that I wrote three more before I went to bed that morning. The next day I called a trusted friend and asked her to come by to critic it. I nervously worked in my kitchen while she sat in my office reading. When she finished, we sat in the living room and discussed the storyline. She enjoyed what she read, but had a few questions. Her questions made me wonder what motivated the characters
in the story to react in the manners they did. She stated as a reader, you want to love and hate characters. I went back to the computer and tried again. This time I spent more time on developing the characters. When I looked up to take a breath, the first novel was complete and several others had taken shape. What did you learn while writing this book?
The Lassiter family consists of six precious gems and six true gentlemen. They are all blessed with good looks, charm, and a wonderful sense of self-worth. They know who they are and who they want. Child number five, sexy, confident and fiercely loyal, Diamond Lassiter made her choice. She did not save herself for anyone less than a real man to teach her how to make love. When she met Zackary Davenport, there was no question in her mind, he was the one. With arson connected to his last project, the only mission on Zackary Davenport’s mind was ensuring the new home development progressed without a hitch. Working against him was an unknown force that was out to destroy his name. The last thing on his mind was any woman that was after his heart. To that end Diamond Lassiter was trouble, and he knew it. Revenge, family secrets and love will keep you engrossed as you wonder whose willpower will prevail.
While writing Teach Me, I discovered that I love writing about family dynamics. Developing different personalities for each of the characters was a challenge, especially with the Blanchard. For some, family is at the heart of everything. It doesn’t matter if the family is dysfunctional as the Davenports, as crazy as the Blanchard’s, or as cohesive as the Lassister, family and their drama impacts our life. What has surprised you most about becoming a published author? The most surprising aspect of being an author is the love you received from readers for doing something that come so naturally. The emails and letters I received from readers are so humbling and encouraging. I can only hope that readers enjoy the stories as much as I enjoy writing them. What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now? 1. I wish I had known the importance of editing. If I had I would not be in the process of re-editing The Heart Series. 2. Someone should have told me long again about this thing called marketing. I’m still learning to promote and market my novels. 3. I wish I knew long ago that this gift of writing had been granted to me. If I had, I would have been writing sooner. CONTINUE ON PAGE 34
Business Integrity Do You Have It? by Dr. Linda F. Beed
The current shift in this nation’s economy has created a change in the way many people operate. In the literary industry, the number of independent print and Ebook publishers has exploded. That being the case, the writer must assemble a team of professionals to help produce the best work and marketing strategy possible. This process must be carefully considered as the outcome of their final product rests in the hands of their contracted service providers. The contracted vendors are those who provide services such as: • Editing • Typesetting • Book Covers • Web design • Marketing services The list above is but a small portion of what a writer needs in terms of production. But, above all things, the writer/publisher needs their service provider to work in concert with them and in the spirit of excellence and integrity. In today’s economy, the small business owner is sitting on a goldmine. They are because they have the option of offering services at far more affordable rates than the once exclusive ‘big box’ vendor. That being said, those services also come with the opportunity to personally connect with the client. Sounds simple doesn’t it? It should, however over the last year or so of listening to laments of publishers and service providers, one thing has become very clear—integrity is not attached to many business models. In our society, the word integrity seems to have all but been erased from the lifestyle of most. Many have become skeptical of what is promoted as a ‘good deal’ in fear of hidden agendas down the road. In an effort to interact within a comfortable atmosphere, many have turned to small business owners whose business operations align with their moral compasses. In this landscape of bullying and legal gray areas, working with integrity has been coined as ‘the poor man’s vision of the past’. At The Write Plan our model is ‘Skill, Business, Success.’ That cannot be accomplished without a true sense of integrity in how we operate, teach, encourage clients toward reaching their goals and how we lend a hand to others. Integrity is about giving your best http://sormag.com SORMAG Page 14
to others without sacrificing quality for financial gain. Below are a few suggested points to consider as you review and/or begin building your business model.
Truth in Advertisement Potential customers primarily come your way via online searches, word of mouth or a carefully placed business card. Be consistent in the service you advertise and the costs for the full project. Nothing will make a customer walk away faster than undisclosed prices or ala carte prices that inflates what was once a reasonable charge. Service Proficiency Clients seek you for specific needs it is your responsibility to: • Be qualified to do the work you’ve advertised. • Be sure that your service is at the level deemed acceptable for your client • Have contingent plans for the possibility ofequipment failure, system being hacked or loss of personnel?
Business Etiquette If your business is located in the corner of your bedroom, there is no excuse not to operate as if you’re not in the penthouse suite. http://sormag.com
• When the phone rings, answer it professionally. Ifyou’re rocking the crying baby let it go to voicemail and return the call as soon as possible. • Give the individual your undivided attention. • Don’t speak with food in your mouth. • Remain in contact with client throughout project. • Contact client immediately when there is a problem that could potentially affect the outcome oftheir strategic timeline. • Be willing to offer whatever you can to remedy any and all unforeseen glitches. • Refund fees in a timely manner and without dispute when necessary. • Be on time for meetings, dress appropriately and be prepared. • Be personable. • Be honest. • Say thank you.
In closing I ask that you consider these suggested rules of operation for two specific reasons. The first consideration is attached to your client.
Business Unusual is a Contemporary Christian fiction novel that reaches beyond the superficial in order to deal with the heart of matters. Unbeknownst to them, the lives of five people cross at a very crucial time. Bernadette Lewis' business endeavor is more than a financial blessing. For Treva Scott, Falimah Meyer and Brian Chin, it will become the ministry that shapes their futures. In terms of Hayes Davis, his skewed vision of women and life in general will be challenged beyond anything he ever expected when he seeks the companionship of Bernadette. Each individual is faced with a choice. It will be their choice that will determine if they will walk the ordained path to fulfilling purpose or detour down the road of self-satisfaction.
CONTINUE ON PAGE 38 SORMAG
Cover Author http://sormag.com
A Cavanaugh Island Novel Series
ochelle Alers has been hailed by readers and booksellers alike as one of todayâ€™s most prolific and popular African American authors of romance and womenâ€™s fiction. With seventy titles and nearly two million copies of her novels in print, Ms. Alers is a regular on the Waldenbooks, Borders and Essence bestseller lists, regularly chosen by Black Expressions Book Club, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Emma Award, Vivian Stephens Award for Excellence in Romance Writing, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award and the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Iota Theta Zeta Chapter and her interests include gourmet cooking and traveling. A full-time writer, Ms. Alers lives in a charming hamlet on Long Island.
Takes us to Angel's Landing
How did you start out your writing career? It began early 1980s. One day I walked into a now defunct Woolworth and saw a rack of paperbacks that were the American equivalent of Harlequin romance. I’d noticed the spines were numbered, so I bought the first six. And like someone hooked on crack cocaine, I went back a week later and brought the remaining twelve. And as they say that’s all she wrote! After reading more than two hundred Silhouette Romances I attempted to write one. I began typing my first novel in 1984 and completed it a year later. It would be another 10 years before that novel was published. What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now? It is not a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. gig, but 5 a.m. to 12 midnight, and occasionally beyond. I wished I would’ve known the number of hours I’d be forced to spend in what is akin to solitary confinement. I would’ve become a more reclusive writer. Just write the books and never make public appearances. What should a new writer know about the publishing business? Know your genre and your audience. If you’re writing romance, then it should be recognizable as a romance and not women’s fiction. The reverse is also true. The biggest mistake a new writer can make is to submit a manuscript riddled with grammatical errors and typos to a publisher and/or editor. If need be, then pay a freelance editor to line edit and correct the syntax. What did you hope to accomplish with this book? Angels Landing the second book in the Cavanaugh Island series offers readers a glimpse into the Gullah culture. It also reveals the struggles of the descendants of survivors who fight to protect their birthright from invading developers, as they attempt to preserve their very unique history. What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why? I would have to say the characters. I’d introduced the hero – Jeff Hamilton in Sanctuary Cove and knew he had to have his own story. And because he’d grown up on the island I decided to pair him with Kara Newell who as a newcomer to Cavanaugh Island has a specific directive that will change Angels Landing forever. What’s playing on your CD while you’re writing? 21 by Adele. I love the timbre of her voice, stylized delivery and poignant lyrics. I’ve also pulled out several old CDs: the soundtrack from “The Bridges of Madison County,” and “Atlantic Rhythm and Blues 19471974.” Both feature old school classics that have withstood the test of time.
What is your most popular book that the readers still talk about and why? It would have to be Vows. And because I tend to write character-driven novels Joshua Kirkland happens to be the most memorable. The military intelligence officer is the quintessential strong, enigmatic, loyal, and silent type most women fantasize about. Vows happens to be my personal favorite because it took almost ten years for me to learn how to develop a character that is an expert when it comes to hiding his emotions. If you could be a character from your books, who would you be? I could readily think of several: Faye Ogden from Pleasure Seekers, Deborah Robinson from Sanctuary Cove, and Jolene Walker from No Compromise. However, when I analyze all of my heroines I would have to say Eve Blackwell from Hidden Agenda. Eve is a woman with an incredible inner strength to stay the course, while getting her mercenary husband to show readers his tender side. One book that you have read more than once: The Alienist by Caleb Carr One book you loved as a child: Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly One book that made you laugh: The Help by Kathryn Stockett One book that made you cry: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden One book you wish you’d written: The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough When you’re not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? Tackle the to-be-read library on my e-reader. The only time I get to read is when I’m traveling. There are occasions when I welcome airport delays because it gives me more time to catch up on my passion for reading. Dear SORMAG Readers, Snail mail: Rochelle Alers Post Office Box 20951 If writers are the heart of publishing, then readers are the Floral Park, NY 11002-0951 blood that keeps the heart pumping. I always say I can’t do what I do without your dedication and support. You Email: email@example.com buy my books, then you’re not timid about letting me firstname.lastname@example.org know what you like or dislike. I welcome the criticism because that is the only way I’ll know if I’m giving you Website: www.rochellealers.com what you’ve come to expect from me. - Rochelle Alers http://sormag.com
G.P.A. is from the south side of Chicago. He has been writing poetry since 2007 and published his first book of poetry, “The Confessional Heart of a Man” recently he has also written and self-published the scintillating book of sensual poetry, “The Book of 24 Orgasms”. G.P.A .is the founding member ofThe League of Extraordinary Poets an organization of poets who take the art of storytelling to another level, G.P.A. is also a member of the Waiting for the Bus collective. A man who takes pride in his work, definitely a voice that one could not easily forget he recently received the 2011 Black Essence Award for Poetry and Charity. G.P.A .has been twice nominated for Poet of the Year in 2011 and “The Book of 24 Orgasms” was nominated for Book of the Year. This poet is one who is not afraid to step outside the box from taboo topics to social awareness, G.P.A is indeed a name poetry and spoken lovers should get familiar How did you start out your writing career? I started writing in 2007 and one day I made a decision to start writing poetry professionally by writing and publishing a book. What did you hope to accomplish with this book? The Confessional Heart of a Man, my first http://sormag.com
book, was written to rid myself of demons that plagued me. I also fulfilled a promise to my father to finally write a book. It was cleansing. My current book, The Mind of a Poetic Unsub was written after great strife and also to prove that I was more than an "erotic" Poet. What is the hardest part about writing poetry? The hardest part about writing Poetry is not writing Poetry. Sometimes, I have to step away physically from the pen. Also, not succumbing to societal pressures to write a certain way to a certain audience. What was your greatest challenge in promoting your book? The greatest challenge in promoting my book was that I am a black man who is a Poet.The written word of Poetry is looked upon as a European style of literature,so with me being the ethnicity that i am causes conflict on two fronts. Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a poet? Always write what you and how you want to,but do not write the way anyone else wants or doesn't feel right to you.
What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer? I learned from Langston Hughes that it isn't necessary to curse,use vulgarity, or be long winded in making a point in a poem. From contemporary writers, I have learned that being an author is having no days off. Five questions about books: One book that you have read more than once. Killing Johnny Fry by Walter Mosely The third book of Poetry from award winning author G.P.A.(Greatest Poet Alive),The Mind of a Poetic Unsub is an autobiographical look at the author's experiences..But this book is also an exercise in flexing poetic muscle by showing G.P.A.'s diversity in subjects. Electrifying!!
One book you loved as a child. Then Again Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume One book that made you laugh. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger One book that made you cry. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou One book you wish you'd written. Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosely Anything you'd like to say to the readers of SORMAG?
Would you like to be our next featured author, reader or poet? Contact us at 1SORMAG@gmail.com
Stay with me. I promise to deliver more electrifying and innovative poetry for you. I plan on going into uncharted territory, and it would be splendid if you go with me. How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website) email@example.com, www.iblowyourmind.com(under construction)
MIRANDA PARKER Book Festival and has been featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, RT Book Reviews and Publishers Weekly. She resides with her family in Georgia.. Visit her at www.mirandaparker.com. Editor Note: As SORMAG was in the process ofgoing to publication, I recievied the sad news ofMiranda Parker's (Dee Stewart) passing. I wanted to honor her memory by featuring this interview as planned. Dee was a good friend and mentor to me and pray her legacy lives on in her books. Ifyou haven't read one ofher books, please pick one up, you won't be disappointed.
Miranda Parker is the author of the Angel
Crawford Series. After graduating from Agnes Scott College she began working as a professional writer. While there, she began writing features for newspapers and magazines, focusing on subjects in lifestyle, religion arts and entertainment. She published over fifty articles. However, writing fun, fiesty, redemptive bad girl gone good stories is her passion. She began writing fiction in 2005 after she took a year-long online writing workshop taught by Chuck Palahniuk[Fight Club.]. Now Miranda Parker writes comic romance suspense novels. She is currently very busy writing stories for Kensington Publishing Corp.Miranda has appeared at the 2011 National Book Club Convention, the 2011 Decatur Book Festival, the 2012 SC http://sormag.com
How did you start out your writing career? The older I become the longer the story gets. When I was in middle school my Honors English teacher relegated me to editing the gossip column for our school paper. I wasn’t nosy or popular. It was my English assignment for the year. From then on I’ve always written for a magazine, literary journal, or newspaper out of habit/hobby. Then about nine years ago two aspiring writers invited me to join a local Atlanta writer’s group with them. Those writers are now Essence Magazine bestselling authors Sherri L. Lewis and Tia McCollors. Out of that ten member group I believe six are published: Dwan Abrams, Ashea Goldson, Rhonda McKnight and myself. We wrote and critiqued each other’s work for years and that’s how it began for me. What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why? The characters. When I envisioned SOMEONE BAD and SOMETHING BLUE I knew that I had to have a hot U.S. Marshal in this book. I needed a complication worthy of a complication. I read series fiction. I’m a big fan
of Bailey Weggins series and the Easy Rawlins series. However, I don’t remember everything that happens in each book. What I do remember are the characters and the big things they did. What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why? The characters. When I envisioned SOMEONE BAD and SOMETHING BLUE I knew that I had to have a hot U.S. Marshal in this book. I needed a complication worthy of a complication. I read series fiction. I’m a big fan of Bailey Weggins series and the Easy Rawlins series. However, I don’t remember everything that happens in each book. What I do remember are the characters and the big things they did. So for me I want to introduce characters that are larger than life. My stories start from there. What did you hope to accomplish with this book? When I decided to write a novel series I wanted to do something different, something that if I was reading a series I would want... variety in the plot. I wanted the books to be standalone, meaning you don’t have to read them in sequence or at all. However, each books transitions into a larger story arc, so if you do read the entire series you get a larger story. Secondly, I didn’t want each book to be like the other. In A GOOD EXCUSE TO BE BAD Angel has to do use her bail recovery investigation skill to solve a murder and save her sister; In SOMEONE BAD and SOMETHING BLUE Angel needs some training and she gets to go on a federal man hunt. I didn’t want readers bored too quickly with the series by thinking that each book to be like the other. In A GOOD EXCUSE TO BE BAD Angel has to do use her bail recovery investigation skill to solve a murder and save her sister; In SOMEONE BAD CONTINUE ON PAGE 36
In the bestselling tradition of Janet Evanovich, Miranda Parker's debut novel, A Good Excuse To Be Bad, brilliantly blended mystery and humor, and introduced a beautiful, brainy, and tough-as-nails, single mom and bail recovery agent turned sleuth. In Parker’s second novel, Angel Crawford has a lot on her plate—but between crimesolving and kindergarten carpool, it’s all in a day’s work… Angel Crawford appears to be on good terms with her family and on the cusp of a budding romance with her sidekick/pastor/crush, Justus Too-Hot-toBe-Holy Morgan. But Angel still hasn’t solved a mystery that has haunted her for six years—her fiancé Gabriel’s murder. Then she receives a mysterious delivery on her doorstep that not only splits Gabe’s case wide open, but sends her on a chase through Atlanta’s secretive speakeasy society, the annual Running of the Brides, and a romp around the Okefenokee Swamp with a hot U.S. Marshall. Will Angel find the answers she seeks, or just unearth more danger? Page 23
Low Cost Online Marketing by LaShaunda C. Hoffman It is important as a writer new or seasoned; to have a marketing plan. Remember this is a business and you need to learn how to work your business. My first advice is to remember you have to spend money to make money. Set aside a reasonable amount of your advance or marketing budget for promotion. $50.00 dollars won’t cut it. Before you decide on your budget, do a little research, what is the going rate for online promotion? Check this each time you have a book coming out, because rates change. You don’t want to budget for last year’s rates and everyone’s rates have gone up. Ok, I understand money is tight, so you want to start with the no cost online marketing first.. I have a few ideas to get you started. I know you already have a website because you’re an in the know author and you know you can’t be an author these days without a website or blog. The most important feature you need on your website/blog is a way to capture your visitors/readers.You are trying to build your marketing base. An email list is the way to do this. You can do a lot of marketing with this list, so the bigger it is the better. EMAIL MAILING LIST Include a form that captures names and emails for those visitors who want to keep up with what's happening with their favorite author. You can use this list to send out announcementsfor example: introduce your new book, post a excerpt, book reviews, tell them where you’re having your next book signing, or guest blog.
Things To Do On Your Site ARTICLES Articles are a good way to show readers you can write. It also can be used as a tool to teach others from your experiences. NEWSLETTER Another way to keep your fans updated on what's happening with your writing career is through a newsletter. In the newsletter you want to feature all the current events happening in your career. http://sormag.com
to purchase them, either from you (autographed of course) or an online store. Visitors Many authors featuring their press through always want to buy the book after kits online, it’s a quick way for reading an excerpt. You want the media and fans to get to buy your book, so don't information about the author and them forget to offer them a chance to. their books. CONTESTS BLOGS PRESS KIT
Blogs are used as diaries, or an everyday tool to communicate with your fans. You can even invite others to make comments on your blog.
Contests are a great way to bring people to your site. Everybody loves to win something. Feature a contest each month.
What you give as a prize will depend on your budget.
Another great way to communicate with your readers, they can post message and to their surprise you can answer them. This is an excellent tool to get feedback on your books. CHAT ROOMS Chat rooms are another way to communicate with your readers. You can host monthly chats and see your readership build. WORKSHOPS You can use your site or the chat room to host workshops. On the site, they are articles you post weekly or monthly (remember you're trying to bring the readers back). BOOKSTORE Always have a page that features your books and a way for readers http://sormag.com
• An autograph book • A theme goody filled basket • A trip • Gift certificates • Book excerpts • Bookmarks • Bookcovers OTHER PEOPLE SITES Every writer has online friends and some of these friends have their own sites. Here a few things you can do on their sites. • Interviews • Guest Blogger • Monthly Columnist • Write an Article • Host a workshop • Book Discussion • Chats • Blog tours • Make comments on other blogs. Always include a signature line. SORMAG
REVIEW SITES There are tons of review sites too many to list, so I’d suggest doing a google search and researching them. You want to find the sites that feature your genre. Don’t waste your time and theirs by sending your book if it’s not the type of genre they review. Researching takes time, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run. Postage is not cheap so you want to make sure you’re sending your books to the right sites. Check their guidelines and see if they accept ARC, galleys, books or ebooks. Choose the most cost effective for you. ONLINE MAGAZINES Most online magazine offer free promotions such as interviews (including SORMAG), start with that as a way to approach them. Check their guidelines and see the best way to contact them. Some might want to do an interview the month your book comes out, some might not have a set time. If you’re trying to get an interview the month your book releases, you need to know this information. (Again this is when the research comes in hand.) SOCIAL MEDIA: I suggest you find at least two social networks you enjoy and use them as a way to market your book. CONTINUE ON PAGE 37
ROMANCE AUTHOR Regina Hart Regina Hart is the contemporary romance
pseudonym of award-winning author Patricia Sargeant.
Regina’s contemporary romances feature the franchise members and friends of the Brooklyn Monarchs, a fictitious National Basketball Association team set in Brooklyn, New York.
But then I published my Brooklyn Monarchs trilogy – Fast Break, Smooth Play and Keeping Score – all under my Regina Hart pseudonym. I enjoy writing contemporary romance but I want to return to romantic suspense. I’m keeping Patricia Sargeant for romantic suspense and continuing to write contemporary romance as Regina Hart.
In addition to Patricia Sargeant’s various pastimes and hobbies, Regina loves football, basketball and track-and-field – college as well as pros. Her favorite teams are the New York Knicks, New York Jets, New York Giants, Syracuse Orangemen and the West Virginia Mountaineers.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
How did you start out your writing career?
First, I wanted to counter some of the negative publicity and stereotypes to which athletes, especially black male athletes, are subjected. While the public is busy vilifying these men, their positive contributions often are lost in part because they don’t talk about it.
LaShaunda, thank you very much for granting me this interview. I started my career writing romantic suspense. My first novel was You Belong to Me, published in 2006. The theme for that story is family – how you define family and how far you would go to protect your family. I followed that story with On Fire in 2007. On Fire’s theme is trust. In 2008, I branched into contemporary romance with Sweet Deception. The theme for that story is identity, do you define yourself or do you allow others to define you. I’ve written four other contemporary romances since then. Heated Rivalry was published in 2007. I wrote that one as Patricia Sargeant as well. http://sormag.com
I’ve just wrapped up my Brooklyn Monarchs trilogy, which I wrote under my pseudonym, Regina Hart. There are so many things I wanted to accomplish with this trilogy.
Second, I wanted to explore certain themes. In Fast Break, the theme again is family. I love that theme. Smooth Play’s theme is forgiveness. And in Keeping Score, I ask the question, what happens after the happily-ever-after. Keeping Score’s hero and heroine are married. However, the hero’s career is putting a strain on their marriage. The story asks the question will their marriage survive and, if so, how?
Third, I wanted an excuse to watch a lot of basketball. LOL! What has surprised you most about becoming a published author? In my writing career, I have to admit that I’m most surprised by how much promotion I have to do. That’s one of the reasons I’m grateful for communities such as Shades of Romance. I actually enjoy these interviews. You ask really great questions. They’re not easy questions. LOL! But they’re great, intelligent questions. Thank you. What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now? Only three? This is tough. I wish I’d better understood publishing contracts. I think I would have made better negotiations. I wish I’d known how to network better at conferences. I would have left with more insider industry information. And I wish I’d known about Romance Slam Jam sooner. I would have been attending those events a lot longer. Love them! Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer? Do join a professional writers organization. One of the things I value most about the professional writers organizations to which I belong is the knowledge sharing. If you have a situation chances are other writers in the group have had similar if not the exact same experience and can tell you how they handled the situation and why. Don’t sign a contract you don’t understand. Keep up with publishing and agent contract trends. Keep up with industry trends. Join a professional writers organization and help lobby for industry changes that will protect your rights. Don’t exist in a bubble. If you do, one day, you may be forced out of that bubble and saddened to realize you’ve lost all your rights.
To be a pro basketball champion takes endless drive and passion. But being a winner on the court can often mean losing off the court. He’s an NBA legend, considered the best of the best. Now veteran player Warrick Evans is determined to lead his team all the way to the championship. It’s his last shot before he retires, but the media can’t get enough of his story — and all the attention is turning his teammates against him, not to mention his wife. Dr. Marilyn Devry-Evans has always stood by her man, even when it meant standing in his shadow. Now she wants to focus on her own career and on scoring her own dream job. But with the spotlight bearing down on them, Marilyn is reaching her breaking point. Especially when a secret comes to light — one that could destroy not only her career, but her marriage.
CONTINUE ON PAGE 38 http://sormag.com
Businesses Helping Writers Jessica Tilles - Copy Editor www.twasolutions.com firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORS Allyson M. Deese - Copy Editor www.bountifullyblessedpublishing.webs.com Andrea Jackson – Content Editor, Copy Editor Fiction email@example.com Cindy Matthews – Copy Editor http://momsday.blogspot.com/p/editorialservices.html Deatri King-Bey - Developmental Editor Genre(s): General Fiction and Genre fiction (except historical and present tense titles) Point ofView: Unlimited and Limited expert Website: http://www.becomeasuccessfulauthor.com/editin g-service/ Deesha Philyaw – Content Editor, Copy Editor thelastwordllc.com firstname.lastname@example.org Erica George – Line Editing email@example.com Felecia Killings – Content Editor, Developmental Editor Genre: Christian writers http://pflpublishing-powerfaithlove.weebly.com Jaime L. Lincoln – Copy Editor Genre (s) All genres firstname.lastname@example.org http://sormag.com
Joy Eckel - Copy Editor Genre (s) all genres except poetry email@example.com J.R. Scott – Copy Editor Genre (s) Non-fiction writing, business writing, collegiate writing (papers, thesis, etc) All types of fiction with the exception of Urban Fiction www.rasilliantenterprises.com Lauren Baratz-Logsted - Copy Editor any kind of fiction for all age groups and many areas of nonfiction www.laurenbaratzlogsted.com firstname.lastname@example.org Lorraine Elzia – Content Developmental Editor all genres from religious to erotica. www.lorraineelzia.com email@example.com
Maurice M. Gray, Jr – Content Editor, Copy Editor, Developmental Editor Christian fiction and nonfiction, mystery, science fiction, mainstream fiction and mainstream nonfiction no erotica or pornography firstname.lastname@example.org www.mauricemgrayjr.com Maxine Thompson – Content Editor, Developmental Editor Genre(s): Christian Fiction to Urban Fiction and street lit http://www.maxinethompson.com
Book covers email@example.com Owner, Shani Dowdell
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Graphic designer Bountifully Blessed Publishing Services Freelance Virtual Assistant Owner, Allyson M. Deese
Rhonda Jackson Joseph â€“ Content Editor, Line Editing Genre(s) All genres, as well as non-fiction works. Mostly in the romance and horror genres. email@example.com
SORMAG Eblasts Book Promotion http://sormag.com/advertise.htm Owner, LaShaunda C. Hoffman HELPING TO PROMOTE AUTHORS
Robin Caldwell - Copy Editor, Substantive editor http://thejstandard.com Shani Dowdell - Copy Editor fiction books and poetry firstname.lastname@example.org
Shonell Bacon - Copy Editor fiction and non-fiction; genres include romance, ya, sci-fi, fantasy, urban, street, Christian, literary, etc. Non-fiction, academic works (articles for journals in MLA and APA), memoirs, and essays. CLG Entertainment, http://www.clgentertainment email@example.com
APOOO BOOK CLUB http://www.apooobooks.com/
Vanessa Madden - Copy Editor fiction and non-fiction works with the exception of erotica www.vanessamadden.blogspot.com
African American Literary Book Club http://aalbc.com/
BUSINESSES WNL Virtual Blog Tours http://writenowlit.blogspot.com/ Owner, Paulette Harper Johnson Worth More than Rubies Productions Book Trailers, Websites, and Blogs Owner, Evangelist Cheryl Lacey Donovan http://sormag.com
Black Authors Network Literary Talk Show http://www.blogtalkradio.com/black-authornetwork Write The Vision Radio Show http://www.blogtalkradio.com/write-the-vision
EDC Creations http://www.edc-creations.com/ Nia Promotions http://www.niapromotions.com/ All The Buzz http://allthebuzzreviews.com/ Do you have a business that helps authors. Send info to: 1SORMAG@gmail.com Ads will be placed first come first served.
LITERARYEVENTS SORMAG at SLAM JAM
Kaia Alderson-Tyson and LaShaunda
Keith Thomas Walker and LaShaunda
Kianna Alexander, Iris Bolling, LaShaunda, and Regena Bryant
Little Rock Nine
Lareeta Robinson and LaShaunda
Katorry Tyler, Jae Henderson, and Beverly Jenkins http://sormag.com
LITERARYEVENTS SORMAG at Fall Into Books Conference
A'ndrea Wilson and Naleighna Kai
LaShaunda and Marissa Monteilh
Jean Holloway, LaShaunda and TL James
LaShaunda and Mary Monroe
Charles Hubbert, LaShaunda and Radiah Hubbert LaShaunda and Tanisha Webb http://sormag.com
SORMAG READER MISSY
My family and friends call me Missy, a nickname from my childhood days; wait a minute I am still in my childhood days just on a different level. (Smile) I enjoy reading, collecting books, dancing at home, chatting with my friends and expanding my spirituality.
Ebooks are the rave now, what makes you download a book?
As a reviewer and book club member I have several books a month to complete. I don't get much time for personal reads, so I download Outside is one of the places I go to think and connect personal reads as audiobooks quite often. I have very few books on my Fire because I like with God. turning pages. However if I do download a I have several published articles and reviews on line book its a freebie or gift. (smile) and in bound magazine form. Enjoy the ride of my What would you like to see a writer do in many adventures through my words. their writings that has never been done before? What makes a good book for you? There's so many things that make a good book, way to many to list. So I will go with the first thought that came to mind; plot. A good book would have to get me involed within the first 50-100 pages. I think a good book can be felt while the author is setting the stage its all in the execution. Good grammer and editing also tops this list. If I have to waste time figuring out what the author meant to say or editing the book as I read it I find that very discouraging and sometimes won't finish it.
I think it would be interesting for an author who is a sequel writer allow her fans of that sequel write a few chapter with him/her.
What makes you throw a book across the room?
Umm when you say new author I'm not sure if you mean new to me or new to the game, so I will answer both:
Way to many errors and the language of the characters. if the book has a barridge of fancy words I wouldn't normally use it's a bit challenging, I read for entertainment not a language lesson.
I think it would be interesting for the fan and the author. Have you tried a new author this year (name/title)? What made you finish the book?
I read my first Michelle Stimpson (Fall into Grace) book. The book was fantastic I had no choice but to finish it
New to the game: Dominique Wilkins Mother-InLaw Guilty of Murder Initially I didn't like this book, one of the characters got on my nerve, but then I realized the authors message. It was the message of the book and the authors geniuine personality that brought it all together for me and allowed me to finish reading and I am glad I did. As a reader what advice would you give to a new writer? Partner with a book club I believe this is a win win situation. The book club would promote you on their website, and other social networks, meet and greets would allow free publicity about an upcoming title(s) and lastly you might get that book club to buy your title as it is released in the 1st two weeks, and we know how important that is (smile). What three writers would you like to see in the pages of SORMAG? Wow you have authors in this emag that I have never heard of, and have showcased many of my favorites so whomever I list more than likely has apeared here a time in the past but I would say: Debbie Hoffman Nutile - Uplifters Inspirational Stories from the Heart Elaine Flowers - It's Morning Trice Hickman - Playin the Hand You're Dealt Cheryl Robinson - The One yes, I know you said 3....
My life verse is:
Philippians 4:11 “I’m not saying this because I’m in any need. I’ve learned to be content in whatever situation I’m in.” Favorite Quote:
“A book has but one voice, but it does not instruct everyone alike.” Where to find Missy online: Twitter @ Missyla2u
The Ultimate Book Club Experience: How to Create & Maintain a Successful Book Club by TaNisha Webb Is a complete book club resource guide created to help take the ‘guess work’ out of creating and maintaining a book club. The Ultimate Book Club Experience is designed to prepare future book club presidents as they go through the steps of creating a book club, along with offering established book club presidents the information they need to help enhance their book club experience. Each chapter describes essential book club components, along with providing critical thinking exercises to help you create a strategic book club plan that will put you on the path to creating the book club that you want with the information that you need. Creating & maintaining a book club just got so much easier!
JUDY HUBBARD CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
My next book will be the sequel to OUR FIRST DANCE. The title is preliminary now, so I can’t share it yet (sigh). It’s about Marcy (Damien’s sister) and Nathan (Natasha’s brother). Both met towards the end of OUR FIRST DANCE and sparks were definitely flying. Nathan has secrets and Marcy’s determined to find out what they are!
It would be great if there were more than 24 hours in a day. However, we authors do have families, jobs and other responsibilities that takes us away from writing 24 hours a day. There is the business of writing and other things that determine when the next book will be released. It’s not always up to the author.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Oprah always asks, what do you know for sure?
I know for sure that we as African Americans have been underestimated as an economical force in the publishing industry in this country. I also know for sure if we ever really can together in the manner that other nationality and support each other, the publishing industry will have a impenetrable force to deal with.
Website: www.judylynnhubbard.com. My Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/JudyLynn-Hubbard-Romance-Author/115015855239012 Twitter: https://twitter.com/JudyLynnHubbard
How can readers get in contact with you? SORMAG celebrates 12 years this year, Can you tell (mail, email, website) us what SORMAG has meant to you as a reader and Readers may reach me by email at: writer? firstname.lastname@example.org , Readers can keep up with all happenings with my novels at: I only recently found SORMAG, but I think it’s a great the www.irisbolling.com or they may sign up my magazine. As a reader and writer, I appreciate your quarterly newsletter. You may also contact me at willingness to showcase new writers so that they can www.sirient.com gain more exposure and readers can learn about them and their work. Thank you so much for interviewing me SORMAG celebrates 12 years this year, Can for SORMAG! you tell us what SORMAG has meant to you as IRIS BOLLING - CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 a reader and writer? Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
SORMAG gave me a platform when no one else would. They continue to support my needs as a writer and as a reader. I look to SORMAG to keep me up on the releases of my favorite authors.
The do is easy, just write, research, then write some more. It doesn’t matter what you write, just keep writing. Believe it or not the story will fall into place, Congratulations to SORMAG and LaShaunda even if you end up piecing it together. Don’t ever allow Hoffman for continuing to provide a platform for readers and writers alike. anyone to step on your dream to become an author. http://sormag.com SORMAG Page 34
Tips to a Perfect Online Interview
#1 Complete the interview #2 Copy and paste the interview #3 Include a picture #4 Include an email or contact info. #5 Be on time #6 Visit the site/blog featuring your interview. #7 Offer an autograph book or prize for a lucky winner. #8 Send out an announcement to your mailing list, and post on your site.
#site.9 Include a link on your #10 Send a thank you note/email http://sormag.com
Our theme for this month is BUSINESS OF WRITING. What were you surprised by about the business side ofwriting?
Wow, that’s a loaded question. I’ll answer it this way. Learn all you can about this business before you enter into the publishing or writing field. Take the time to learn about contracts, marketing, copy rights, intellectual property and branding before you jump in. Taking the time to learn about the business of writing up front will save you a lot of time, disappointment and cash in the long run. Iris Bollings, Teach Me
That there was so much of it. Oh, my word. This industry is not for the timid. You have to stand up for yourself because at the end of the day, you alone are responsible for your career. Your career is impacted by the decisions you make – or don’t make. Regina Hart, Keeping Score
Everything! To name a few things, contracts, deadlines, editorial feedback, promotion, whether or not to self-publish or go with one of the big houses—whew! Judy Lynn Hubbard, Our First Dance
PARKER - CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23 and SOMETHING BLUE Angel needs some training and she gets to go on a federal man hunt. I didn’t want readers bored too quickly with the series by thinking that each book she will be doing the same thing. The series isn’t formulaic, but the large story arc and the constant characters will bridge them all together. I hope this book accomplishes that. What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer? I took a writing workshop hosted by Chuck Palahniuk, who wrote FIGHT CLUB, CHOKE, and many widely read works. He sent me a letter at the end of our workshop and a gift box. The contents of the box were great, but the letter is infused in my brain. He said, “Dee, have fun with your writing. If you’re not doing that, then it’s not worth it.” And he was so right. I am a very serious person, but my books aren’t.
a PhD that studies rare infectious diseases and my other friend is a wife and devoted grandma, and then my other BF is a fashion buyer for major store chain. My little book pales in comparison to what they do on a daily basis, so that gives me perspective. My deadline definitely is a boost to getting the story done instead of constant incompletion. Selena James, my editor at Dafina is very sweet to me and firm at the same time. She knows when the story doesn’t feel like me and I need someone like that in my corner. Mercedes Fernandez, the associate editor, who has no stake in me is masterful at helping me come down from the ledge also. Five questions about books: One book that you have read more than once. Tosca Lee’s DEMON: A MEMOIR One book you loved as a child. CAT IN THE HAT
I don’t want them to be. I want to entertain and tell a wild story. So when I had to edit SOMEONE BAD and SOMETHING BLUE I kept that in mind as I looked through every paragraph and page. This story has to be fun to me, especially me, or it won’t be for anyone.
One book that made you laugh. Claudia Burney’s MURDER, MAYHEM and a FINE MAN.
What was your biggest obstacle in regards to getting published? How did you overcome it?
One book you wish you'd written. All of the above.
I didn’t think the Angel Crawford Series was ready. I’ve been a book critic for over a decade, so I know how a great story should feel.
Anything you'd like to say to the readers of SORMAG?
When this opportunity to get published with Kensington came my way I was apprehensive. I spend a lot of time on my stories. I rewrite chapters over and over times ten and still it’s not good enough. My biggest obstacle is me. My friends help me get over myself. My best friend is http://sormag.com
One book that made you cry. Thomas Hardy’s TESS of the D’UBBERVILLES
There are so many books to choose from I hope you give SOMEONE BAD and SOMETHING BLUE a chance. It’s a different kind of story. There aren’t many African American female suspense writers, but we love to watch suspense tv dramas. This is my novel version ofTHE CLOSER or CASTLE.
PROMO - CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 You can send out links to your blogs, articles, excerpts etc. You can use these social networks as a way to keep in contact with your readers. • Host Monthly Chats • Contests • Motivational posts • Current events
There are many sites that offer online promotion (SORMAG included) they have something that fits every budget. Look at your budget and see where you can promote your book.
PAID MARKETING This is where your marketing budget comes into play. If you’ve done your research as I suggested, you know where you want to spend your money. Now I’m going to offer a few advice to help your promotion last. Don’t buy all your ads in one month. Yes your book releases in June, but you want to market it until it is off the shelf. Now this advice doesn’t work if you’re a category writer. You only have one month to plug your book; however I still say don’t use that one month as your only time to market. Spread your promotion over a three month plan. I’ve learned repeat promotion works for keeping your book in front of the reader. FIRST MONTH: Introduce your book to the readers, it’s about to be release, you want them to see what it looks like, what it is about and when it comes out. SECOND MONTH: Release month – Again show what it looks like, what it is about, let them know it is available NOW. THIRD MONTH: After the release – If the book is still available, again show what it looks like, what it is about and where they can find it. http://sormag.com
If your book isn’t a category you can promote for the rest of the year. People are always looking for something to read. Maybe they didn’t see your promotion when it released. Remember you want to keep your book in front of the readers.
Before I end, I have to offer two things that have helped me tremendously with helping promote writers. A signature line – I have met many authors because of their signature line. Always include a signature line that includes your website. Contact Info – I’m always surprised about how many authors don’t include contact info on their web site. I’ve missed opportunities to interview them because there was no way to contact them. Always include some way for people to contact you, email or guestbook or social media links. Also remember you want to build relationships, working with promotional sites with each of your books helps build a relationship. They want to help you promote your books and they will work with you and your budget. Here are a few things to get you started on your online marketing. Remember we can’t buy your book if we don’t know about it. LaShaunda C. Hoffman is the editor of SORMAG. Her motto, the first promotion is on us (interview) the second one is on you. Need help in your online promotion, let SORMAG help you.
BUSINESS - CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 They have contracted you in order to bring their project to fruition. What you fail to do could cost them money, waste their time and become the difference between securing the big deal or being overlooked by a potential client. The second and equally important matter here is connected to your name. All we really have is our name. It is up to you to determine if it will become synonymous with integrity. ********************************* You can learn more about Dr Beed at: www.thewriteplan.net and www.lindabeed.com contact her at email@example.com
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website) I love to hear from readers. My website is www.PatriciaSargeant.com or www.AuthorReginaHart.com. My email address is BooksByPatricia@yahoo.com. That’s the best way to get in touch with me. I’m on Twitter, @BooksByPatricia@yahoo.com, and Facebook, Patricia Sargeant/Regina hart. Email is the best way to contact me. But please be patient. When I’m on deadline, I don’t always respond as promptly as I should. I’ll apologize in advance for that. SORMAG celebrates 12 years this year. Can you tell us what SORMAG has meant to you as a reader and writer?
As a reader, that’s easy. I love the author interviews SORMAG offers. I love reading interviews with my R. HART - CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27 favorite authors, learning about their writing process and their interests. I also love interviews that What one thing about writing do you wish other introduce me to new-to-me authors. As a writer, I non-writers would understand? very much appreciate the opportunities SORMAG offers to connect with readers. Thank you for that. The overwhelming majority of authors are not wealthy. Most of us have to work another job to pay Happy birthday, SORMAG! Congratulations, our bills. Seriously. I try to explain that when I hear LaShaunda! For all our sakes’ I wish you many, about people pirating books and I wish other readers many, many more years of success! and writers would, too. I’m thrilled when I learn that the library has copies of my books. I love to hear about mothers and daughters swapping my books. But pirated books hurt my heart. I understand restrictive budgets. Believe me. I wish more people would advise against pirating books. Oprah always asks, what do you know for sure? In all candor, I know for certain that I have a lot to learn about the business of writing, the craft of writing and finding balance in my life. http://sormag.com
NEXT ISSUE CHILDREN BOOKS ONLINE DECEMBER 15th Tell us what you think about SORMAG for a chance to win a $10.00 amazon gift card
In Memory This year we lost two amazing writers who were dear friends of SORMAG. Monica Jackson was a romance author and Miranda Parker (Dee Stewart) was a Christian Fiction author. Both ladies were powerful supporters of their genres. Monica with her outspokeness when it came to segregating the romances. Dee was a loyal promoter ofAfrican-American Christian fiction. She also was a teacher of the craft of writing and was a mentor to many aspiring writers. SORMAG sends our deepest sympthy to the families friends and fans of Monica and Miranda. They left a wonderful legacy with their books and will truly be missed.
Miranda Parker Dee Stewart