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Newsletter Dated: 5/6/2003 9:46:14 AM
Subject: Andrea Campbell*s Newsletter--Soup*s On
*** Greetings! ***
This newsletter is being sent to you because you are a writer, family member, professional friend of Andrea’s, or a fan and reader of her books. If you are new to the list, welcome. There are a ton of newsletters and e-zines out there to read, thanks for requesting and reading mine. I am excited about this venue because it gives me the opportunity to reach larger numbers of people in a much shorter time. It will also contain more personal content and address things I don’t discuss on my web site.
Have questions, comments, or ideas for future publication? I look forward to your input and never turn down helpful hints. This newsletter is a continued work-in-progress and I hope you will stay around to see new features in every bi-monthly issue.
In this issue:
1. From the Author*s Desk
2. Writer Tips and FYI
3. Ziggy Update
4. Organization Tools
5. Current Events
6. Forensic Science Info
10. Check It Out
*** From The Author*s Desk ***
Last month I received an interesting email from Australia. The writer told me a little about her life—she is a caregiver for orphaned and abandoned kittens and avidly studies human mother/animal relationships. Since my friend lives life with no need for a credit card and finds that international bank cheques are prohibitive for her means, she asked if we could do a swap! To that end, we are trading a Bringing Up Ziggy book and some local Western Australian word-of-mouth-type promotion for an Aboriginal artifact (I could have chosen a koala, a boomerang or Vegemite). In any event, through our correspondence we have become friends and common spirits. I’ll let you know what type of package arrives next issue.
*** Writer Tips and FYI ***
A Marketing Tip:
Start regional, go national. There are so many books being published these days (over 150,000 a year) that trying to get national press and reviews for your book is not only a way to get frustrated but also a way to waste time. The national review and PR outlets (USA TODAY, People, NYT Book Review, women’s magazines, TV shows, etc.) tend to stick to bestsellers, celebrity authors, and the "hot" literary fiction. So instead of going the little fish/big pond route, go the little pond/big fish route. Chances are in your home town or city you are one of a very few published authors. Spend your time looking into the following venues:
1. Your local newspapers. If they don’t review books, they might be interested in an article from you.
2. Your local radio stations
3. Church/Temple associations. They have newsletters and reading groups.
4. Your local bookstores
5. PTA and other school-related organizations. Offer to do a parents’ tea or cocktails and signing combined.
6. Talk to the local coffee house. See if they’d like to host an event.
7. Put together a big mouth list of the "celebs" in your town and get them books. Any big business owners, the owners of hair salons, nail salons, boutiques that are very popular, the mayor, councilman or councilwoman, Judge, DA, the Chief of Police, the detectives who work in your town.
8. What’s the subject of your book? If it’s a jewel heist, give the book to the local jeweler. If it’s a bank robbery, give copies to all the bank tellers.
Remember—everyone who you get to talk about your book reaches untold others. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, he says you need 150 people who know people to talk about your product for it to start to generate buzz.
Reprinted with permission from M.J. Rose, co-author of Buzz Your Book (Pigeon hole Press, 2002) and check out her new novel Sheet Music (Ballantine May 2003). http://www.mjrose.com
Think about this:
In my capacity as moderator for a panel held at the American Society of Journalists and Authors Conference East held last month in NYC, I had the occasion to study some of my speaker’s books. In Philip Gerard’s book, Creative Nonfiction, I discovered an especially helpful section called Discovering Your Subject In Who You Are. It is a simple exercise that reminds us we are complex individuals, and that "each of us is a kind of multiple personality, playing different roles in public and in private."
The task is to list ten different identities for yourself and, as an example, the book lists: husband, father, college graduate, resident of Washington, D.C., runner, veteran, guitar player, American, Catholic, Boy’s Club volunteer. The directive as part of the exercise then, is to write a short paragraph describing yourself in each of these identities, and the point of the exercise is that—in large part, what you believe is who you are, and that helps to determine your point of view on the world and zeros in on how you can approach your subject.
Although this is a great tool for pointing a writer toward finding their way into a passionate subject (it is what you are spending your time on after all), I also thought it was a great device for discovering your main fictional character’s personas! Instead of creating one of those: favorite color, listens to ______ music, likes to eat ________ outlines—this multiple personality search proves to be an easier way for me to think about the complexities of a character and to really pinpoint why they are so complex. What do you think?
*** Ziggy Update ***
KidHaven Press, an imprint of The Gale Group, Inc., has featured Ziggy and me in their new title: Capuchin Monkey Aides written by Judith Janda Presnall, under the series moniker, Animals with Jobs. We are proud to be included in this little gem, which details Helping Hands and its methodology, training, and the recipients who receive this loving gift. Inside are fabulous color photos of Robert with Hellion, lots of pics of monkey babies, and, of course, the signature photographs of Ziggy and me.
*** Organization Tools ***
A colleague of mine has written a terrific ebook and I’d like to pass on a recommendation for The Organized Writer: 30 Days to More Time, More Money and Less Frustration. Written by author Julie Hood, this writer’s reference how-to packs a big punch for those of us who are disorganized, paper laden and without a clue. Inside are great snippets and easy-to-digest chapters on how to gain control of your work style, tame the paper monster, and there’s even an article on how to analyze a magazine. Twenty-eight plus forms and spreadsheets fill out the book including: ways to fashion an index, how to create an idea grabber, the best method to facilitate query letter organization, calendars, project worksheets and documents all calculated to help you run your activities like a bona fide business. The book is in PDF format, costs $14,95 and is available at: http://www.booklocker.com/books/937.html or visit Julie’s web site at: http://www.organizedwriter.com/book.htm
*** Current Events ***
In May, I’ll be at the Arkansas Library Paraprofessionals (ALPS) Conference on the shores of Lake Degray, Monday the 19th. This popular conference continues on through to the 21st. I’ll be talking about this writer’s life and whatever else transpires—I love my time with librarians and have found out that anything goes with this lively, thoughtful group!
*** Forensic Science Info ***
Last month I attended the Arkansas Division International Association for Identification’s spring training conference. The program line-up was terrific including tips on crime scene photography, a trace evidence update, news about Internet-inspired crime, details of an FBI case, a primer on terrorism and drugs (I had no idea it was so dense!) and lots about fire investigation. Yes, it got hot in there for about five hours.
A forensic anthropologist and professor affiliated with the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, presented a program on burning observations of the body; the sequencing of soft and hard tissue destruction. This is the first time I’ve heard of this unique research program, conducted with the aid of the Regional Forensic Center of the University of Tennessee, where, to better understand the destructive process, tests—simulated fires—were conducted on six unembalmed bodies from anatomical gift donations. The sequence of burning leaves clear and distinct signs which will help investigators to make more educated determinations in the forensic context. Since burning a body is seen as one way to obscure features of incriminating evidence, personal identity and lethal injuries, researchers now know that signs of preexisting trauma can often be recognized, along with other telltale characteristics.
*** Inspiration ***
Amazing dog lives: A dog in California has survived being hit by a car, being shot in the head and being stuck in a freezer for two hours—all in one day. Dosha was first hit by a car in Clearlake and then shot by a police officer who was trying to put the animal out of its misery. The dog was presumed dead and taken to an Animal Control center, where she was put in a freezer. However, a few hours later an official went to the freezer and found Dosha alive—but cold. Animal groups have begun raising money to pay for her care. Courtesy of Levine Breaking News E-Lert and the website http://www.Levinepr.com
*** Quotable ***
I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short.
—Pascal, Letters Provinciales
*** Notable ***
I have stumbled upon an Internet publication of merit. The Vocabula Review (TVR) is intelligent reading with essays, poetry, and commentary on language that you cannot find anywhere else. The first read-through made me think, nod my head in agreement, and, believe it or not, prompted me to write to one of the authors. I recently spoke to Robert Hartwell Fiske, Editor and Publisher of TVR and he describes the production in this manner:
"Along with the evolution of language — the thousands of neologisms that new technologies and new thinking have brought about, for instance — there has been a concurrent, if perhaps less recognizable, devolution of language. The English language has become more precise for some users of it while becoming more plodding for others. Not a small part of this new cumbrousness is due to the loss of distinctions between words, the misuse of words, and other abuses of language. The Vocabula Review strives to combat the degradation of our language.
Equally important, we celebrate its opulence and its elegance. The English language is wonderfully expressive and infinitely flexible. There are many thousands of words and many hundreds of ways in which to use them. The Vocabula Review seeks to promote the richness of our language."
The Vocabula Review, published on or about the third Monday of each month, is a journal about the state of the English language. In each issue, you will find well-written, interesting articles about some aspect of language or literature.
The Vocabula Review
Only $5.95 a year
*** Check It Out ***
Yee-haw, I’ve got a new partner, pardner. I am happy to announce my affiliation with a new enterprise called Book and Quill Collectibles. Nell Gavin, author of Threads: The Reincarnation of Anne Boleyn is full-owner of the Book and Quill Collectibles shop in Waxahachie, Texas and part-owner of the Book and Quill Online Store.
Gavin says, "Book and Quill sells ONLY autographed books sent to us directly from authors, as well as artwork, handmade greeting cards and gifts. The mission of this new enterprise is a sort of bookseller/publicist arrangement with participating authors. Rather than operating strictly as a traditional bookseller, B&QC sells authors’ books on consignment, but also acts as their front man at book festivals and signings, and provides them with opportunities for publicity and exposure. It is a cooperative effort between the authors and the bookseller to sell books.
"Authors and persons acting as agents for authors are invited to submit applications to Book and Quill Collectibles to send us new, autographed books on consignment. We in turn will make every effort to sell the books in our shop and over the Internet (when the E-store is completed), and at all venues where Book and Quill appears, mainly book festivals. We also invite authors for book signings at our shop."
Book and Quill Collectibles currently shares space with artist Andy Emmons, however, as soon as a suitable shop becomes available, B&QC will move to larger quarters. For more information visit: http://www.bookandquill.com
108-B E. Franklin Street
Waxahachie, Texas 75165
Phone 972 937 9070
Located just off the Square in historic downtown Waxahachie, Texas
(about 30 miles south of Dallas.)
*** Future Newsletters ***
In upcoming newsletters I hope to answer reader’s questions, share a new story or two, talk more about publishing, and provide additional writer’s tips. If there is any area of my life or work you would like to discuss, from autopsy to monkeys, just send me a note. Thanks for the read. : 0 )
Copyright©2003 Andrea Campbell If you wish to quote from here, fine, just attribute it to me and my web site.