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Newsletter Dated: 12/31/2007 12:32:42 AM
Subject: Soup*s On
Andrea Campbell’s Newsletter
January-February 2008 Happy New Year!
*** 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.
In this issue:
• From the Author*s Desk
• Book Buzz with Sandra Beckwith
• Design from the Best, Larry Kozial
*** From The Author*s Desk ***
I have been invited to submit a guest blog article for the Riding With the Top Down crew which will appear January 9. These writers—Kathleen Eagle, Betina Krahn, Michele Hauf, Helen Brenna, Lois Greiman, Cindy Gerard, Debra Dixon, Susan Kay Law, Christie Ridgway—are top-notch, and I’m thrilled to be a part of their outreach. Check it out at: http://ridingwiththetopdown.blogspot.com/
Heloo, New Jersey. I will be speaking to the New Jersey Romance Writers. Flying into Newark on January 18, having dinner with a small part of the 250 members and board members on Friday night, with a luncheon, booksigning and a 2-hour program Saturday afternoon. For more information, visit: http://www.NJRomanceWriters.org
(You know Dear Writer, when I am traveling, if you would like to telephone me locally, meet for coffee or whatever, you can always let me know ahead of time, you don’t have to be with a group in order for us to get-together, I often visit friends and new friends when I’m on the road.)
Love Monkey is here! And I’m really happy at the response. We sold over $780 worth of books before the shipment arrived. The Web site is also up and working; you can see a few of the characters, download a sell sheet, pick-up free Author’s Notes or buy a copy securely with PayPal. Love Monkey is whacked, sure, (because the characters are monkeys) but the story is right-on and the book pictures are a hoot! Great for gifts for the romance or mystery friend. Take a look: http://www.monkeyromance.com
Detective Notebook: Crime Scene Science is now in a new format. A .pdf e-book with real graphics makes this book doubly fun. It’s for ages 10 and up, and includes activities that kids can do at home to collect fingerprints, learn chromatography, and more. Popular with teachers who buy them 20 at a time, this CD allows students to plug in their own copy. Tell your own children’s teachers about it, I have good deals for multiple purchases. Have teachers e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
January 15, 2008! My new, online e-course: The Gatekeepers: All About Agents and Editors—Getting them, working with them, and growing as a career author will begin. It is 4-weeks-long with lots of forum interaction and a weekly >chat< night. Please suggest this to anyone you feel might benefit. Forwarding is encouraged.
For more information: http://www.absoluteclasses.com/Campbell/gatekeepers.htm
*** Book Buzz ***
Sandra Beckwith is a recovering publicist and the author of two publicity books. She now writes full-time and teaches authors and others how to save money by generating their own publicity. Sandra teaches the popular “Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz” e-course and recently released a book promotion workbook for authors titled Build Book Buzz Publicity Forms & Templates. Sign up for her free Build Book Buzz
e-zine for authors at http://www.buildbookbuzz.com.
Q.: Sandra, tell Soup's On readers how you got into the world of publicity.
While I now write full-time, I majored in journalism and public relations in college and spent most of my career as a publicist. I got into book promotion through client assignments and later, when I became an author myself. I’ve written three nonfiction books; two of them are on publicity topics. I’m introducing a workbook of publicity forms and templates for authors this month (January) and I’m really excited about how it combines my years of publicity experience with my passion for helping authors generate book buzz.
Q.: So much more about book promoting is left up to writers today. When authors have a book arriving on the market, what are some of the steps that they can take, and when should they use a publicist or help from a firm?
First, I just want to observe that one of the biggest mistakes authors make is assuming that they can only generate publicity for their book when it’s new. That is sooo not true. Authors can – and should – work to get and keep their book titles in the news for a long time.
Back to your question . . . it’s important to begin the book promotion conversation with your publisher’s publicist at least six months before your publication date. Find out what the publicity department is going to do to support your book and provide as much assistance as you can. I always recommend that students taking my “Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz” class offer to write the announcement press release and supplement the publisher’s distribution list with a mailing list of additional media contacts and key influencers.
Once you know what the publisher is doing, you can create your own supplemental publicity plan that picks up where they will leave off. Think of the publisher’s activity as Stage 1 and your activity as Stage 2. During Stage 2, use your book to position yourself as an expert on your book’s topic (this applies to both fiction and nonfiction) and generate media interviews that tap into that expertise.
Also, start with your local media, and then expand geographically from there. Except in seriously major markets like Manhattan and Los Angeles, local media outlets are usually interested in telling readers and viewers that a local resident has written a book. Doing local media interviews first will help you get comfortable with the process, get a handle on what the media is interested in, and – hopefully – give you a TV interview DVD you can use to secure bigger and better TV talk show exposure.
Publicists are expensive so I encourage authors who are full-time writers to do as much on their own as they can unless they’ve received a large enough advance to cover the expense of an outside publicist. When hiring a publicist, look for one who specializes in book promotion and talk to their clients first.
Q.: What types of messages are getting noticed on the Internet today?
Helpful messages. Messages that help us doing things better, faster, smarter. Messages that improve our lives. Get online and share what you know about your book’s topic and you’ll see the reward in increased book sales.
Q.: We seem to be inundated with marketing messages and our time seems to be slipping away—both at an equally fast pace. What can writers or authors do to promote themselves that is not annoying or obnoxious?
What a great question. Most of us don’t want to be shameless hussies and the good news is that we can do a lot to build book buzz without turning people off. As just noted, I’m a real believer in a “share what you know” approach to marketing. Write articles for the e-zines of others, distribute tip sheets (news releases that offer tips or advice in a bulleted or numbered format) to the press, pitch article or segment ideas, do some public speaking. Get out there and get heard sharing useful information – whether it’s in print, online, or in person.
Q.: Where would you rank "networking" in the promotion basket? And what are some of the ways for writers and authors, (and publishers too, I guess) to develop these connections?
Some of the best networking opportunities are at writers’ conferences and on forums for writers. That’s where you’ll learn about and meet the journalists who might be in a position to use you as an expert source in an assigned article.
*** Design from the Best ***
I met Larry Kozial in an unconventional way—he redid my Web site for Dynamic Graphics Magazine (see July 2007 issue). I got a great two-page spread in the magazine, as well as an online treatment for the 2007 Makeover issue. Did I like his work? well, I hope he will recreate the whole site for me when he is not so busy!
Q,: Larry, if you would, please tell Soup's On readers a little about your background.
I am originally from the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. I graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in graphic design in May of 2007. I have been working professionally as a designer since August at a small studio in Chicago called Brian Hall, Inc. I get to work for a variety of clients producing branding/marketing materials for both print and web.
Q.: What have you learned about Web site design from your association with Dynamic Graphics Magazine that may benefit other writers, authors, publishers and so on.
My experience working with Dynamic Graphics Magazine proved to be a positive one on many levels. It was really the first opportunity I had to apply what I learned in school about web design towards a real client. I think the most important thing I learned was that a successful website needs to be well organized, so the viewer has ability to access the information that he/she desires. This idea should drive the structure as well as the design of the site.
Q.: You are well-versed in Adobe InDesign and book formatting; if an author is thinking about self-publication and needs to design their own book, what would you recommend they do first? Or, what are some steps they can take?
I think an advanced page layout program like InDesign or even Quark is a must have. It allows you to handle large amounts of text in a much more organized and convenient manner. With a use of features like master pages, paragraph styles and text box linking, an author could prepare an entire book without any knowledge of more advanced typography. These are remarkably intuitive once you get used to the interface and have a good knowledge base of the functions. There are also many books published to help beginners learn how to use these programs.
Q.: What do you feel is the most important design element for the Web?
This is a tough question due to the nature of the Internet and the fact that every browser produces different results. I still think that the combination of clean HTML markup and CSS for styling is the way to go. I believe in accessibility and creating websites that can be viewed by everyone regardless of what type of device they are using to access the information. I think that many of the compatibility issues associated with CSS will be addressed in the future and it will only become a more effective solution.
Q.: What type of projects are you working on presently?
At any one time at Brian Hall, Inc. I am usually working on three or four projects at once. Probably the most exciting things I have on my plate right now are a total brand redesign for an upscale restaurant/winery and a website for a very high-end speaker manufacturer. I am also finishing up a freelance website redesign for a very successful general contractor/construction management firm in Chicago.
Q.: Do you do freelance work and how would someone contact you for a bid on a project?
My availability for freelance work is based on what other projects I have at the time, but I am always eager to take on new work. If you are interested in working with me, have questions about any personal projects, or just want to shoot the breeze, you email me at email@example.com
Q.: Are you going to continue in design and do you feel it's a growing industry?
Design is my passion and I can only hope that I have the privilege to continue my career as a designer. I am very optimistic about the future of design as an industry that continues to grow and explore new ground. I am very interested in the movements of "green design" and other ideas of more purposeful socially conscious efforts. As technology improves and time change, the design industry will evolve and continue to produce great, purposeful work for many audiences.
*** Future Newsletters ***
In upcoming newsletters we will share a new interview 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©2007 Andrea Campbell If you wish to quote from here, fine, just attribute it to me and my web site.