BlogIT

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  • Thank you to Laura Lorek and Geekdom and all the other folks who helped put this event together. I worked in fundraising and development for awhile and know how challenging it is to to organize a special event while working on your day job, so we really appreciate your work, Laura.
  • 1. Quick poll: Who here has a book idea? (Fiction or non-fiction, little or big, photo or text or a combination)2. Why do people write books? PIE (Persuade, Inform, and/or Entertain)3. What advantage do bloggers have over other would-be authors? (Social media base)I can personally attest to the fact that a strong social media base—across multiple platforms—can help you as you become an author.
  • I’d like to introduce you to my first book.READMost authors experience a couple of “flops” before they meet with success. In my case, it was two near-miss book deals. One of them, with a major international publisher, crashed and burned at the last minute when I was book-blocked by Michelle Obama. (I wear that fact as a badge of honor because the experience taught me 1) I’m a “good enough” writer and 2) I learned how to make a proper pitch to a publisher—a skill that would come in handy later as you’ll see.)
  • 1. These are the six stages of authorship, as I see them. These steps form the framework for the remainder of this talk, so let’s review them briefly.{READ THEM}2. You’ll notice that I’ve repeated the word “build” here.That’s on purpose.Building a house, for example:takes timecomes with setbacksAndcan be a mixture of organized and disorganized, disciplined and chaoticSame goes for writing a book. Also, the “meaty” part of creating a book takes place in the middle of the process. Ideas are fairly easy to come by. And, in the age of e-publishing, we can all be published authors.The real work is still in the middle: getting your words on to paper. And then revising your work until you have a product that the reader will enjoy.
  • So, if you have an idea, how do you know it’s worth pursuing? (CROWD) (Market research, popularity of your blog, etc.)2) Is your social media platform (including your blog) primed for it? Are you building a blog that is heavy on creative, original content that shows your writing chops and your authentic voice? You don’t have to be the Pioneer Woman or have a massive following. You need a good reputation. Disclosure: I’m a semi-Luddite. I’m not self-hosted. It hasn’t been a good ROI for me. I only just ventured into ads, and I just agreed to be a blog ambassador (for Bookboard, a company represented in your packets.. I’ve been blogging since 2008, and I feel strongly that we each have different metrics and benchmarks to gauge progress.
  • Anyone relate to this? You have to have enough material to create somethingSome topics are just “skimpy” (they might make a good mini-book though!)Some would-be writers fail to do enough “background work”
  • It takes guts to say your working on a book. It’s easier to say “the project” in the early stages, until it begins to take shape. 2. Write like a maniac and edit like a maniac. (You’ve got to write enough to mow down later. I wrote 3 X as much as I needed. Editing was a breeze. Extra material used as blog posts and for a possible fourth book with a collaborator.)It takes more guts to actually work on it every day, even when you don’t feel “inspired” or when you are “busy.” Disclosure: While working on HWHS, I was homeschooling, tending to an elderly mother, and working through a medical diagnosis of not one but two autoimmune diseases (one of which landed me in a cardiac care unit.)You’ve got time to write. You just have to let go of the “romance of writing” in a serene setting. That’s just not going to cut it. Plus, I find the hyperfocus required to crank out words at warp speed is energizing. But that came with practice.
  • 1. Ifyou want to write, then drag the muse with you during the day. Use Evernote, use notebook paper, use the back of a napkins, but “write all the things” and get them out of your head. (But don’t edit. Not yet.)2. You will make the most progress if you set realistic, manageable goals in line with the time you can commit to writing. You may be only able to write 200 words a day. That’s fine. Start there. Learn to write in what I call “micro-bursts.” It’s an acquired skill, but it will help you get words on paper which during the first-draft phase is the most important thing you can do. It’s “hot mess writing”---TRADEMARK!--chaotic, jumbled, but it’s on paper.
  • Show and Tell: Book BibleFiling system (chapters as articles not as a big book)
  • For my two works in progress, I’m loving Pinterest. (You can set these boards to private, but I don’t mind mine being open. I enjoy the transparency with my readers—both present and future readers.)It was because of Pinterest that I got a book deal, so I’m partial to it as a platform for writers both for organization and for promotion/marketing.
  • I spend a lot of time on social media hanging out with writers that I’ve met through blogs, book tours, Twitter, Facebook, etc.Thanks to technology, we creative “word nerd” people need not live in isolation. Social media can help us build support systems---and pave the way for selling our books! (Publishers really like writers with social media platforms in place. If you plan to do an e-book, a social media platform is even more essential.)Writer’s Digest mag is great for getting ideas, tips and resources.
  • The #amwritinghashtag on Twitter will help you find other writers, get a sense of their process, and share their achievements and disappointments.You may have heard of NaNoWriMo, too. That’s a website and social media support system that kicks into high gear every November. (Kids version, too.)If you go to my website, RedWhiteandGrew.com, and scroll down to the second post, you’ll see the preview post for this talk. It has links to a Google+ group and a group Pinterest board on the topic of “blog to book.”
  • Keeping yourself on task.This is challenging.What are some ways that might help you stay on task and keep forward motion?GoalsDeadlines200 words a day is fine. What are some obstacles that you might encounter?IllnessJob LossApps?How can you get motivated to begin again?Start SMALL. A little research. 200 word challenge.
  • Let’s talk about the “getting published bit.”We live in the Information Age! Anyone can publish a book online!Woohoo!Except of course some of us still want the process of seeing our book go from us to editor to publisher to bookstore, even if it’s virtual.And, unless you have a lot of money, hiring your own editor is pricey.So let’s explore the process of having a publisher pick up your work.For non-fiction, and assuming that you have some sort of creditbility in a topic (perhaps even via social media or your day job), then you can try to create a draft outline and 2 or 3 chapters. Research your options carefully when it comes to submission. Also, look at a group like the Writers League of Texas which hosts an annual convference to connect writers with agents and publishers.HOW MY BOOK GOT PICKED UP. (NOT MY FIRST RODEO, BUT IT WAS A BLOG POST THAT DID IT.) Book rec The moral of my Pinterest story? Create great, original, and evergreen content, share it, and good things will happen.
  • Might skip over this....For fiction, you need to have the book done or 75% completed. You may only submit a couple of chapters—or the whole thing.You will have more luck if you have a social media presence. Period.And I think even if you decide to go with CreateSpace or other e-publishing route—and a lot of social media people like that option—I think it’s worthwhile to at least give traditional publishing a whirl. You may want to pay to have an editor proof it FIRST.Do you need an agent?YES – Most fiction work, with the exception of small e-publishersMAYBE – Non-fictionAgents can help you make more money, but they also tend to help you get more money up front—tough call. Maybe try with your first book on your own and see what happens.
  • Established, well-respected bloggers with a strong social media following, a nice balance of SEO and SMO, are good candidates for e-books. There are still some pros and cons.
  • BlogIT

    1. 1. FROM BLOG TO BOOK How to Move Yourself from Fresh Ideas to Fresh Presented at BlogItSA! #2 by Pamela Price @RedWhiteandGrew
    2. 2. IS IT TIME FOR YOU TO WRITE A BOOK?
    3. 3. MEET MY FIRST “BOOK BABY”  19,000 words      Hybrid, niche publisher Turned profit within 6 weeks First royalty check has arrived Second “book baby” due in 2015 Third one?
    4. 4. SIX STEPS TO AUTHORSHIP Discover “The Big Idea” Commit to “The Project” Build a Writing System Build a Support System Build Momentum Publish “The Book”
    5. 5. 1. DISCOVER THE BIG IDEA
    6. 6. MOST PEOPLE STOP AT THE BIG IDEA. HERE’S WHY:  Fear of “what if”/”haters”/”doubters”/”skeptics”/”strict grammarians”/”shame makers”  Imposter syndrome (“unworthiness”)  Poor organizational or “executive function” skills  Insufficient knowledge of—and respect for—the process of writing-rewriting-rewriting
    7. 7. 2. COMMIT TO “THE PROJECT”
    8. 8. LEARN FROM THE HONEY BADGER
    9. 9. 3. BUILD A SYSTEM
    10. 10. PINTEREST (FOR WRITERS)
    11. 11. 4. BUILD SUPPORT
    12. 12. USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO CONNECT
    13. 13. 5. BUILD MOMENTUM
    14. 14. 6. GET PUBLISHED: NON-FICTION Idea Pitch Book
    15. 15. GET PUBLISHED: FICTION Idea Book Pitch
    16. 16. ABOUT E-BOOKS Pros  Freedom of expression  Speed of publication  Niche marketing  Keep all the profits  Print-on-demand is “green” Cons  Less support for edits  Less support for marketing  Graphics are DIY  Pricing can be tricky
    17. 17. HOW TO FIND ME Author Pamela Price RedWhiteandGrew.com Twitter: @RedWhiteandGrew Google+: +PamelaPrice Pinterest: PamelaOPrice Facebook: RedWhiteandGrew (And Goodreads & Sulia)

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