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Newsletter Dated: 1/1/2006 1:25:18 AM
Subject: Soup's On
Andrea Campbell’s Newsletter
*** Greetings! ***
This newsletter is being sent to you because you are a writer, 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.
Have questions, comments, or ideas for future publication? I look forward to your input and hope you will stay around to see new features in every
In this issue:
* From the Author*s Desk
* Breast Cancer Book
* Sylvia Forbes & Bylines Calendar 2006
* Patricia M. Terrell
*** From The Author*s Desk ***
In this business, sometimes you never find out if the promotion seeds you plant do any good. This month for me though, I’ve seen some of my efforts come to fruition. I’m happy to say I am a featured author in the Bylines 2006 Writer’s Desk Calendar. It’s a very nice edition, quite inspiring, and there are places inside for goal-setting and planning, along with full-page weeks. And when you pick up your copy, make sure to dog-ear December 10 to reference my smiling mug.
I also contributed a “tidbit” to Patricia M. Terrell’s book many months ago and it will soon be out! Some information about the title and feedback from Patricia on the process can be found below.
My kids grew up on Reading Rainbow and I am happy to announce that my photo, book list, and short bio can be found on a site that acts as an advocate to continue the Reading Rainbow experience. A link follows, visit the site won’t you? http://www.perfectpartybycody.com/readingrainbow109/
My next Mediabistro class—number four, (I’m getting good at it)—starts January 10th. If your New Year’s Resolution is to get that nonfiction book proposal finished, join us. You’d be amazed how much we get accomplished in eight weeks online. Link: http://www.mediabistro.com/courses/cache/crs1099.asp
Currently I’m planning Murder in Spa City…well, the conference that is. I’m helping to head up a one-day workshop entitled Creation & Craft: A Novel Writers Workshop. Under the umbrella of the Mystery Writers of America’s Southwest Chapter, we’re going to pull off the inaugural, yes, the first ever, MWA conference right here in Hot Springs, Arkansas! And the line-up is so fantastic, if you don’t mark April 1st on your calendar as planned, I’ll be sorely disappointed. To receive a flier, just send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get you on the mailing list. Ah, finally—fun, learning and camaraderie right here in our own state!
Enough about me now because I think this will be a good newsletter to start your year off with some information, inspiration and ideas, so let’s get to it . . .
*** Breast Cancer Book ***
The title is a grabber right away—Why I’m Glad I Had Breast Cancer. I read the book in one sitting. Here is an interview with the author, a special woman who has a story-spinning gene for sure, Leonore H. Dvorkin.
Q.: Leonore, can you tell readers about your writing background?
A.: My sisters and I grew up in an academic household surrounded by books. We had no TV set until 1961, when I was 15. My unrestricted reading provided me valuable knowledge and escape from my everyday life, often affecting me profoundly. I soon came to see books as powerful and wonderful things.
My early attempts at writing were not very impressive, but gained enough praise to encourage me. My one novel (Apart from You, Wildside Press, 2000) took me 23 years to write. My breast cancer book took me just four months to write.
I don’t know whether I’ll ever write a third book. In the meantime, I continue to write vast amounts of e-mail, as well as material related to my two jobs: tutoring Spanish and German, and teaching weight training in my home.
My husband, David Dvorkin, has had 16 novels published. He’s a model of self-discipline, and an endless source of encouragement and help. We always proofread and (lightly) edit each other’s work.
Q.: Sometimes it’s painful to write about very personal matters, although you seem to bridge that problem nicely, but what one point made you decide to tell your story about breast cancer?
A.: Soon after my 1998 mastectomy, I began to realize that I had gained some unexpected emotional benefits from my experience with cancer. I mulled those over for a long time, gradually adding to the mental list. David urged me to write an essay for our website, saying that the life lessons I had learned could possibly benefit other women. I started that essay in 2002, and it quickly grew into a short book. My good friend Lee Christopher, an English teacher, read my manuscript and raved about it, which greatly encouraged me.
The self-published 2003 version of my book went nowhere commercially. Wildside Press accepted the book for publication, and the paperback edition came out in late August 2005. I’m thrilled that they allowed me to use my own photograph for the cover.
Q.: I noticed that “fear” was absent from your experience almost from the beginning. How do you account for that?
A.: Of course I did feel fear, fear of dying. From time to time, I still fear that the cancer might recur. I do mention fear in a couple of places in my book. If I downplayed that particular emotion, it was only because my main purpose in writing my book was to emphasize the benefits that I had reaped from my experience.
If I did indeed feel less fear than most women do under similar circumstances, I assume that was in part due to the fact that I had already survived seven other surgical operations. Also, I had the reassurance of knowing that my losing a breast would not in any way affect how my husband felt about me. I was very fortunate on both counts.
Q.: If you could offer just three pearls of wisdom for other women who find out they have breast cancer, what would they be?
A.: 1) Find out exactly what type of breast cancer you have (mine was DCIS), then educate yourself regarding your treatment options. Get information from doctors, other women, breast cancer organizations such as Y-ME (www.y-me.org), and other sources on the Web.
2) Don’t panic. You probably have plenty of time to make informed decisions regarding your treatment. For most women, allowing a few weeks or even a few months between diagnosis and treatment is perfectly fine. Just don’t wait too long.
3) Allow yourself to feel negative emotions: fear, sadness, anger, and resentment. Those are normal, and may last for a long time. However, don’t think you can’t get past this, most women can, given enough time and the appropriate treatment. Think back to all the other problems you’ve conquered in your life. This is definitely a whopper of a problem, but there are ways past it, too. You may even come out happier on the other side, as I did.
Q.: I love the list of what “you miss” in one of your later chapters. I’ve always thought that journaling–writing about feelings and truths—helped the writer come to realizations. Why did you decide it was okay to make a list of the things you miss, starting with your childhood books, toys, and so forth, and progressing up to your adult life?
A.: I had never made a formal list of losses before writing my book, and it was not easy to do. However, only by being so open about my past could I show my readers just why the loss of a breast was not the most traumatic loss of my life. Also, I have often thought about how there are innumerable other losses, in addition to those I have already suffered, that I fear much more than losing my breasts. How do people cope with things like the death of a beloved spouse or a child, or the loss of the ability to walk or see or hear? I’m filled with admiration for all those who do cope.
Q.: Your husband brings you breakfast in bed and provides body massages on a regular basis. Any advice for younger women on “husband shopping”?
A.: David and I were only 21 and 19 when we met, so neither one of us was spouse-shopping at the time. However, it didn’t take us long to fall in love. What attracted me were his intelligence, kindness, calmness, and humor. I’ve never considered things like good looks or money very important. Character, kindness, and the ability to communicate are far more important. As I say in my book, friendship is and always has been the bedrock of our relationship.
Q.: Can you tell us about your experience with publisher Wildside Press? Who are they? What are their terms, working arrangements, etc.?
A.: Wildside Press is a large Print-on-Demand publishing company. They specialize in genre fiction, but are branching out. They don’t pay advances, but do pay royalties. They keep books in print for a long time. They don’t edit, and expect polished manuscripts. Interested readers can find them at www.wildsidepress.com. David has an essay on Print-on-Demand publishing on our website, www.dvorkin.com.
- - -
Why I'm Glad I Had Breast Cancer, by Leonore H. Dvorkin
Wildside Press, 2005
Available on Amazon and on www.buy.com
Leonore H. Dvorkin lives in Denver, Colorado, where she tutors Spanish and German and teaches weight training. Website: www.dvorkin.com
*** Get Your Byline in Bylines! ***
Just as every writer gets a huge thrill over their very first byline, I have gotten “the thrill” again this year, with the setting up of a publishing company, Snowflake Press, and producing the very first book: the Bylines 2006 Writer’s Desk Calendar. At this time last year, I had no idea what the writing muses had in store for me for 2005. Taking on the challenge has been a rewarding experience, not only by expanding my knowledge of the publishing and marketing world, but also by “virtually” meeting a cadre of talented writers whose words inspire and improve my own.
Bylines is a handy weekly planner, which includes advice and tidbits for writers such as, goal setting tips, monthly task lists, literary holidays, online resources for writers, pages for conference notes, birthdays of famous authors, and more. But the most important part, the reason to buy the book, is to read the weekly heartfelt stories by writers about some aspect of their career. These stories ring true long after the calendar year has passed—they are glimpses into moments of a writer’s life: the agony of a cancelled book contract, joy at finding true passion, the humor of an interview gone wrong, a crystal clear moment of inspiration, or the blessing of a rampant imagination.
Stories are written by dedicated writers—they may not be household names yet! but they are published, working writers who give it their all and take pride in their work. Bylines celebrates these working writers by showcasing their work—work which hopefully inspires and motivates other writers to produce their best.
Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for the idea of Bylines, now in its third year of publication. Freelance writer, Linda Hagen Miller, created the concept and initially produced the book. After publishing Bylines for two years, her freelancing career was taking off and the book had gotten so popular that she was essentially working two jobs. She reluctantly decided to part with Bylines, and sold it to me so that her “baby” could continue to grow.
Without any degree in Journalism or English (mine was botany), I decided to take a leap of faith and embrace a new experience of being a publisher. Sometimes blind faith is what it takes but a good idea helps, and I thought Linda had a great idea in Bylines!
Bylines has grown, with 24 more pages in this edition than last year’s, and more features than before. The 2007 edition promises to contain even more for writers. Submissions are currently open for Bylines 2007, with a February 1st deadline. Stories are a maximum of 300 words including a two-sentence bio and should focus on some aspect of writing. Visit www.bylinescalendar.com for complete guidelines and sample entries.
Even better, get some weekly inspiration for yourself and buy your own copy of Bylines!
Sylvia Forbes is an award-winning full-time freelance writer who likes to stop and smell the flowers. Her articles have “bloomed” in such publications as AAA Midwest Traveler, AAA Southern Traveler, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri Life magazine, Herb Quarterly, Illinois magazine, Columbia Home, Grit, and others. Coming out in 2006 from Snowflake Press, in addition to Bylines 2007, will be the Guide to Missouri Magazines, with freelance and contact info on over 400 magazines published in Missouri.
*** Patricia M. Terrell ***
Taking the Mystery out of Book Signings
Georgia Richardson, the author of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Throne, said it best: when she wrote “The End” on the last page of her book, she should have written “The Beginning”. Like so many other authors, Georgia learned that writing the book would be the easiest part of the job. The more time consuming, mystifying and difficult chore would be the marketing aspect: the book tour, promotion, networking, and obtaining media attention.
Georgia was one of almost two dozen authors who shared their stories with me for my upcoming book, Taking the Mystery out of Book Signings. When I was approached by Palari Publishing to write the book, based on my own observations and success with my suspense/thrillers, Kickback and The China Conspiracy, the original audience was intended to be the newly published author. But then a funny thing happened.
I was contacted by agents, seasoned publicists, authors, book store owners and librarians, all eager to learn the magic formula for successful book signings.
I started the process by collecting stories, evaluating expectations, and comparing authors with mediocre sales to those with soaring sales figures. And in the process, I learned what successful authors do to set themselves apart, to maximize their appearances, and ultimately, to sell more books.
The result is a roadmap that begins with compiling a list of reviewers, media contacts, retailers, and other avenues for selling your book, including how to get the names you need and how to properly plan everything from a local signing to a complete book tour. I also have steps on how to analyze which stores will most likely give you the most exposure and the best sales, by understanding shopper mentality at destination shopping centers, malls, superstores, and other retailers. Included in the book are a Publicity Planning Sheet and Checklist to help the author determine the signing host’s commitment to the event and coordinate publicity efforts.
Janet Wellington, the award-winning author of Dreamquest, provided valuable information with her “Book Signing in a Bag”—items she always has on hand for signings. The “Bag” consists of everything from a tablecloth, handouts, tabletop displays, and extra books to a folding table, extra chair, and parking meter change.
I also studied media exposure: what you have to do to get the media interested in you and your book. The secret is in your newsworthiness, not simply the fact you’ve had something published.
Most authors focus only on the signing itself, overlooking great potential for publicity before and after the event. For example, if you take a look at your local newspaper, you’ll discover the majority of articles are about events that have already occurred. Preparing press releases after each event can greatly increase your chances of appearing in the media, resulting in a domino effect: more signings, more press, and ultimately higher book sales.
I also analyzed web site traffic between authors with easily recognized names—www.pmterrell.com or www.pamelajunekimmell.com—against those with names so long they contain more slashes than Jack the Ripper’s victims. I looked at ways in which retailers and the media assess the author based on their web site and how success or failure can depend partly on web site content.
Taking the Mystery out of Book Signings will be released in 2006, along with my third suspense/thriller, Ricochet, and I, for one, plan to use the roadmap I developed to plan my own book tour and appearances and gain media exposure. I hope you will, too!
* * * * *
p.m.terrell is the internationally acclaimed author of suspense/thrillers Kickback and The China Conspiracy as well as four non-fiction books. For more information, visit www.pmterrell.com
*** Future Newsletters ***
In upcoming newsletters we will 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©2005 Andrea Campbell If you wish to quote from here, fine, just attribute it to me and my web site.