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Newsletter Dated: 7/1/2003 10:08:58 AM
Subject: Soup's On
Andrea Campbell’s Newsletter
*** 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. Networking Works!
3. Book Stats for 2002
4. Travel Safety Tips
5. Upcoming conference
6. Fine-tune That Pitch
8. Check It Out
*** From The Author*s Desk ***
Because of my recent NYC trip and conference attendance, I have some valuable advice to impart given to me by generous colleagues and friends. Networking tips, how to think about pitches, and traveling safely are just a few of the offerings found below. Enjoy!
*** Networking Works! ***
Recently, a colleague of mine from the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) posted her comments about networking to a discussion thread on the organization's list serve. Connie Benesch—a journalist writing her first book—said that she decided to attend an ASJA meeting about How to Publicize Your Book even though she wasn't anywhere near finished with her project. After the seminar, Connie introduced herself to one of the speakers, a top book PR person in New York. He turned out to be a pivotal contact. Not only did he refer her to an excellent freelance book editor, but he recommended her to a New York literary agent, who, in turn, landed her a nice book deal with a major publisher. There’s more…
Connie attended a conference of the National Speakers Association, because the freelance book editor said to do so. At NSA, she met several speaker/authors, two of which appeared on her panel for the last ASJA conference…
At the Maui Writers Conference, Connie received help and input on her book from one of the NSA authors and an instructor…
Connie found a highly talented proofreader/copy editor by posting something on the ASJA list serve. Because of recommendations from that person, Connie joined the Authors Guild and hired a publishing attorney.
While taking a personal growth weekend seminar at the Omega Institute, Connie introduced herself to one of the speakers who she recognized because she was a member of ASJA. That author became one of Connie's panelists at the ASJA conference and her fourth panelist came courtesy—you guessed it—from the Omega speaker forum.
The point is: 1. Connie went out, attended different meetings and outlets. 2. She introduced herself to speakers or others who inspired her. 3. She listened to and took advice. 4. She increased her membership circle, and, 5. she shared this information with us, thereby creating outreach—and it’s working! Networking works! I have my own stories of what seemingly appears to be serendipitous occasion, yet, is really a matter of steps 1 through 5 as listed above. Food for thought.
*** Book Stats for 2002***
The following is Bowker’s preliminary numbers regarding the release of new books in 2002
The swelling tide of new books continues, up almost 6 percent to approximately 150,000.
This year Bowker has taken the first important step in breaking down that data by publisher size, to help answer the perpetual question of "who’s publishing all these books?" Among the top 12 trade publishers, new title output actually declined last year by over 5 percent, to just over 22,000 books. The largest category drops were in fiction and travel (while business books actually grew).
Top 55 largest university presses, on the other hand, grew title volume by more than 10 percent to over 11,500 books, sparked by interest in topics related to 9/11 in the estimation of Bowker’s senior director of publisher relations and content development Andrew Grabois. The presses also published more business and poetry books. Grabois indicates that by later in the year they hope to have more "granular" data about mid-sized trade houses and other particular slices of the market.
In the overall statistics, as with last year, fiction remained the most robust category with more than 17,000 new titles and editions for 2002, as juvenile
titles reached their highest-ever total of more than 10,000 titles.
Prices remained relatively stable, as the average adult trade hardcover rose by less than one percent to $27.52. Other notable numbers show 10,305 new publishers for the year, and 131,611 books were declared out-of-print or out-of-stock-indefinitely, up 5.7% from 2001.
Trade book stats
*Adapted from Publisher’s Lunch by Cader Books.
*** Travel Safety Tips ***
—Laura Stack (Laura@TheProductivityPro.com)
Dave Walters, a senior manager for corporate safety and security at Cisco Systems, says that most hotel crimes (such as assault and theft) are committed in guest rooms. The following reminders will help keep you safe on the road:
* If the front desk staff verbally announces your room number, and others hear him, request another room.
* Although elevators are noisy, you don't want to be too far away from them at the end of a long, winding hall with no easy exit.
* When inside your room, use the chain lock and deadbolt. Always use the peephole to identify room service, housekeeping, or maintenance. If you're not expecting a hotel employee, call down to the front desk to confirm the service before opening the door.
* Ground floor rooms are prime targets for thieves, but higher rooms pose greater fire safety risks. Always request a room higher than the ground floor but lower than the fifth floor.
* Pack two small rubber doorstops, one for the main door, and one for an adjoining door. Even if an intruder can get past your lock, the person won't be able to open the door. Doorstops are easily removed in the event of a fire.
* Women traveling alone might consider bringing along a man's shirt and tie and leaving it on the chair to give the illusion of a male presence.
* When I travel alone, I always turn on the shower before accepting a room service delivery, to create the impression someone else is there.
* If returning to the hotel late at night, I ask hotel security to escort me to my room, enter first, and turn on the lights.
* Don't take valuable jewelry on the road with you if possible. If you must, never leave it out for display in your room. Use the in-room security box or the hotel safe.
* When you're not in your room, make potential thieves believe the room is occupied. Find out the housekeeping schedule, leave the "do not disturb" sign out, and leave the TV or radio at an audible level.
—Paul Radde (DrPRadde@aol.com)
* Kevin Coffey, LAPD Detective, suggests putting luggage in the overhead rack across from your seat. You never know what someone is doing with your luggage right overhead when they fumble around up there. He also mentioned that if someone were to remove your laptop from a restroom, and you are able to follow him out immediately, do not expect him to be carrying it like everyone else. Look rather for someone carrying an object in front of himself, shielding it from view of someone behind him.
* As someone who has been scammed outside tourist hotels, I can tell you there are often tourist assistants who can alert you to local scams. The man with daughter on shoulders who needs $10 for gas to get home, the homeless woman who needs to get into a shelter whose four children died in a house fire, the man who will gladly show you his scars and who needs to get his car out of impoundment. Quick advice: simply slow them down, and look for the obvious holes in their story. A scam artist will often alternate between beseeching and threatening. The pace and keeping you off balance are a lot of what it is about. You wish they would go away and they make it more likely that you will feel that way. When you slow them down, see whether they will honor your request, or simply speed up again. That would tell you the difference between someone who does this for a living, and someone truly experiencing this difficulty for the first time.
* Carry along any terrorist remedies, e.g. Cipriol, for anthrax. You may not be able to get it immediately where you are.
* If you typically carry an epi-kit for insect stings, they are pricey, about $50 per shot. Get your physician to prescribe 1-ml ampules of epinephrine and needles, which can run under $5 per ampule and needle. It's a little more trouble, but you can also have spares in the car, backpack, luggage, etc.
—Priscilla Richardson (Wrisuccess@aol.com)
* Figure out the "count in the dark" way from your hotel room to the fire exit. In other words, if you couldn't see very well, how many door frames you would have to feel to get to the exit? Supposedly the fire exit lights will stay on in a fire or other emergency, but this lets you make sure you know you can get there even if they are off.
* Always sleep in opaque (non-see-through) nightclothes. Robes take up a lot of suitcase room.
* Keeping your shoes by your bed is a good idea. Then put your room key, wallet with credit cards, etc., small flashlight and so forth under the covers with you. This will help you in case of emergency. And if someone breaks into your room while you are sleeping, they won't find valuables to take.
* At night, prop a desk chair under the door knob—an old trick that keeps anyone even with a key from getting the door open. If this does not work (as it does not with some chairs), put the desk chair behind the door. Perch a closed hard plastic box with a few marbles in it on the edge. Any jostling of the door will send the box to the floor, making a loud noise.
Copyright©2003, SpeakerNet News 5/23/2003
*** Upcoming Conference ***
I will be teaching at the White County Creative Writers Annual Conference in Searcy, Arkansas, on Saturday, Labor Day weekend, August 30th. Join us on the campus of Harding University, everything begins at 8:00 a.m. For more information about the conference send email to the President Rhonda Robert at: "Rhonda Roberts" For more about the group and conference, go to: http://www.whitecountycreativewriters.org/id30.html
*** Fine-Tune That Pitch ***
Susan K. Perry has been working hard to fine-tune her pitch for her latest book, Loving In Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get & Stay That Way (Sourcebooks). She tailors her pitch to the venue. For example, for more upscale bookstores that tend to be rawther picky at times, she mentions that Loving In Flow is a kind of "literary self-help book," a cross between a memoir and a psychological advice book about relationships.
For writer’s groups, to many of which she spoke previously about her bestselling Writing In Flow, she pitches her current talks as being about "intimate nonfiction," or offers to focus on "how and when to take the risk of exposing yourself in print for the higher purpose of your book."
Her publisher’s publicist got her booked on dozens of morning radio shows by focusing on a one-page section of the book that discusses happy couple’s attitudes toward sharing the sort of bodily functions we keep hidden in "polite society."
Examine your own book and see how many news-related angles you can come up with and tailor your pitches to that media’s audience. Remember, you read it here.
*** Notable ***
Colleague and ASJA member Kelly James-Enger is promoting her new book, Ready, Aim, Specialize, and from all indications it is a winner.
By specializing, Kelly James-Enger quadrupled her freelance writing income in four years and now makes six figures as a freelancer. Ready, Aim, Specialize! Create Your Own Writing Specialty and Make More Money (The Writer Books) shows you how to develop a lucrative niche in one of thetop ten writing specialties. It also reviews the basics of writing for magazines including how to approach editors, write queries, research assignments, and includes the advice of 56 successful freelancers along with hundreds of resources for writers.
I asked Kelly to give my readers more specifics, here is what she says:
"When I started freelancing fulltime more than six years ago, I wrote about a variety of subjects: real estate advertorials for the local paper, copy for brochures for small businesses, and magazine articles on topics that ranged from new developments in treating urinary tract infections to '10 reasons to date a shy guy'. Sure, I had plenty of work, but I wasn’t very efficient.
"After a few years, I got smart and changed my approach. I decided to focus my writing in several areas—health, fitness, nutrition, and bridal writing—and that decision has paid off. I spend less time researching queries and articles, I know where to find experts, relevant information and data, and knowing of my specialty, editors often call me with assignments. Even better, I make twice as much money while working fewer hours than before.
"Want to set yourself apart from other freelancers, nab better-paying assignments, and spend less time at your computer? Develop a writing specialty, and you can do better too. Contrary to what you might think, you needn’t be an M.D. or other recognized expert to focus your writing in a particular area. Your educational background, life experience, and interest in certain subjects can all be translated into a writing-related specialty.
"When you develop a specialty, you'll boost productivity, increase your income, nail more assignments, and develop a reputation as an expert. By focusing your efforts, you'll spend less time pitching stories and more time working on assignments."
*** Check It Out ***
Debby Alviso is a nice lady and has a terrific site. She is my new best friend and when you go to the URL listed below, you will see why, check out my new interview:
Then, too, keep your peepers open for my new article, Writing Crime Fiction: 15 Things You Should Know About the Law, it’s in the August issue of The Writer magazine. I sure had fun putting it together.
*** 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.