On Wednesday’s I like to share information, stuff I learned on my journey of writing, being published and marketing two books…
It’s that time of year again, the time when writers with a dream and writers that are living the dream come together to network and most importantly to learn from each other. Many years ago when I was dreaming of becoming a writer I attended the Philadelphia Writers Conference. I learned so much back then, the days when word processors were the ‘new thing.’
Even now with a career in writing and as the author of two books I still look forward to attending. I am really excited this year because I know most of the presenters and I am excited to learn from them.
I thought about not going this year but I never want to be that person that stops learning, no matter where I am in my career.
If you are in the Philadelphia area I highly recommend this small but inspiring conference.
Kelly Simmons is the opening speaker. I am interested in hearing her speak because like me she started as a journalist and worked in advertising. She is the author of Standing Still, The Bird House and One More Day. I am looking forward to hearing about the TV series she is developing.
I took the Playwriting workshop last year but was unable to connect with the instructor. I signed up for it again this year. The instructor, Bruce Graham is a teacher and has conducted many workshops and wrote a textbook on playwriting so I am sure this year I will learn and be inspired to attempt a play.
Blogging With Humor is a no brainer because everyone that knows me and my books knows I need a bit of humor in my life and in my writing. As a published humorist and the founder of Shorehouse Books and Humor Outcasts, Donna Cavenaugh is a dream maker for new authors and a friend to all writers. Did I mention she’s funny?
Debra Wallace has 31 years experience as a staff and free-lance magazine and newspaper writer and is a talented publicist. Her workshop, Magazine Writing Boot Camp is exactly what I need to revive that part of my career. The magazine business has changed drastically and I need to get reacquainted! Here is Debra (middle) at the Press Club Workshop on The State of the Media with the lovely Susan Barnett and Philly’s own Jim Donovan.
I also signed up for the one day workshop on Travel Writing because I do write occasionally on travel and would love to do more.
What I look forward to more than anything is catching up with my favorite bloggers, writers and authors.
What conferences will you attend this season?
Praise for The Stranger In My Recliner
The lease is up next month on my Nissan Altima and I’ve been having separation anxiety for about 3-months now. I still love my car even after 3-years so I’ve been leaning towards purchasing it at the end of the lease.
My salesman, who also happens to be my husband, will most likely try to up sell me. He wouldn’t have had a chance of succeeding before I attended #BAMC16 [The bloggers at midlife conference 2016.]
Right there in the conference room was the 2016 Nissan Murano. I played hard to get at first because it was Pearl White. I am a sucker for Pearl White with a tan leather interior. It couldn’t hurt to take a quick look, could it?
- The available uninterrupted moonroof provides a skyview for both front and back seat passengers.
- Like my Altima it comes with zero gravity seating. These seats were inspired by space-age technology and help take pressure off the lower back and reduce fatigue.
- Around View Monitor- A rearview monitor that uses four cameras to give you a virtual 360º bird’s-eye view of your vehicle, with selectable split-screen close-ups of the front, rear, and curbside views. And since all obstacles aren’t stationary, the available Moving Object Detection system can warn you about moving objects detected in your vicinity.
- The cabin can be waiting for you at a pleasant 72°, thanks to the Remote Engine Start System with Intelligent Climate Control.
- Rear passengers enjoy available outboard heated seats, plus a USB Connection Port with smartphone interface.
I fell in love!
Build your own here [this is fun]:
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If you are in the Philadelphia, New Jersey or Delaware are call:
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On Wednesday’s I like to share what I have learned along my writing, publishing and marketing journey. If you like the info please share it forward!Proposal Writing
Before submitting your work to an agent you should have a proposal ready. Chances are if they like your query, they will request a proposal.
I was always more a sit down and write kind of writer until I started writing books and taking on freelance work. I found myself procrastinating and easily distracted by new and shinier things that came across my laptop screen.
If I wanted to do this book writing thing full time I needed to get organized and get writing.
I now start with an outline for whatever I may be writing. Whether it’s a blog post, article, a book or a ghostwriting project they all start with an outline.
Once I have a simple outline, I start working on the proposal. I do NOT like writing proposals. That is, until they are done. Once they’re done I feel like my book could write itself. Trust me you will thank me later.
If you are writing or planning to write nonfiction you will need a very, very good proposal to send to agents and or publishers. If you are writing fiction you should at least have an okay proposal, for yourself. It will help you stay focused.
The first rule of proposal writing is to take your time and get it right. The second rule is it should be written before you write the book. I know, bad news but again you will thank once it’s done!
- You will first need a one page cover letter: Think business, resume type cover letter. Short & sweet etc…
- Next you will need an overview: It should answer these questions: What is your book about (think about what will be on the back cover of the book), who will care about this book, who are you and what credentials do you have that make you the best person to tell this story? No more than two pages.
- Table of contents: You may have to finish this once the proposal is finished but this is the place for it.
- Target Market: Who will buy this book and why. Do not say everyone. Pick one demographic and then one or two sub-demographics. Do not use statistics that are not specific.
- Chapter Outline: The title of each chapter and a paragraph on what each chapter is about. Take your time and try to come up with paragraphs that tell a condensed version of your book. A beginning, middle and an end. If you are worried someone will steal your idea, don’t.
- Competition: Pick three or four books that will be direct competition. Competition in the book business is a good thing. It means people are reading what you are writing. (think vampires or zombies) Do careful research here and explain why your book is different and will stand out from the competition.
- Author bio and platform: Your bio should only pertain to what you are writing and your experience. Leave personal information out. It should be short and sweet. More on platform’s next week. It basically means who you know, organizations you belong to and your online reach.
- Marketing Plan: You must convince an agent and or a publisher that you can bring the audience for this book not the other way around. Do not write what you hope to do but specifically what you can and will do. Be confident, realistic and firm. Use real numbers. Cleary define your market. List your accurate online stats for all of your sites. Do not just list followers, list your Google analytics. List your offline following, organizations or groups you belong to and any media contacts you have. Don’t get depressed you can do this. Get out and meet people in real life. Read and leave comments on many other blogs to increase your own comments and stats.
- Last but not least, in fact extremely important, add two of your meatiest chapters.
Now sit down and write that memoir, novel, instructional, health or whatever story you need to tell!
Out of the woods: In Philly suburb, a true-life tale of friendship
Mayhem ensues when Sophie’s kin want nothing to do with her anymore. And every agency that ought to help with Sophie’s crisis fails to do so – for reasons that may have as much to do with Sophie’s past noncompliance as with bureaucratic indifference. The “music” that accompanies these scenes?
Yes, I am SO Insecure…
The first Wednesday of each month is the designated day for the meeting of The Insecure Writers Support Group.
For more info on the group:
What writers among us, no matter where we are in our careers doesn’t need a group like this?
“When I started blogging five-years-ago, one of the first blogs I came across was Katherine’s Corner. We had more than a few things in common and I knew I liked her. When she put the word out that she wanted to do a series on mid-life women bloggers of course I wanted to be part of the fun!”
The series is called between the lines.
During the month of April I am participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. You can find out more about that here:
My theme this year is Keep Moving Forward…
I stopped making New Year resolutions ages ago because they only lasted a few days or maybe a few weeks. I decided a list of goals was a better plan for me and that worked so much better. I rarely finished all of my goals but I always made a good dent in my list. I now include a word of the year. This year my word is organization. My organizing was going so well, until April. My schedule was full and included traveling. On top of that I signed up for my fourth year of not only participating in but helping with the A-to-Z Challenge. I fell behind twice because I wasn’t prepared. I was determined to finish and I am going to work harder at being prepared.
My theme this year is KEEP MOVING FORWARD
All of us, no matter who we are or where we come from will experience different levels of disappointment and loss at some point in our lives. Whether it is a rejection letter, we didn’t get chosen for a job we wanted, a relationship ended or a close loved one passed away it is painful. The ways in which we deal with our disappointments and losses can be as different as we all are. Each one of us feels some level of grief every single day of our lives. If we cannot find our car keys we become angry, we deny that the keys are lost or that we had anything to do with them being lost, we panic, we bargain with God or the universe or pray to Saint Anthony and finally we accept that we need to stop, clear our heads and accept that we misplaced our keys and we need to find them. When we lose a love one we have all of those same feelings of grief, greatly compounded. Our lives are turned upside down and the world stops. Some of us find it difficult to move on. We struggle to return to ‘normal’ not realizing that we are forever changed and will never return to what was once ‘normal.’ We must find a way to move forward and adapt to a new ‘normal.’ For many of us that is easier said than done. We find ourselves needing a lot of help.
For the month of April I am participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. You can learn more about the challenge here:
My theme for this year’s challenge is Keep Moving Forward.
It’s hard to believe we are already up to the letter U!
Last weekend I attended a conference for midlife bloggers. #BAMC16. Imagine that, there are so many midlife women blogging that they have their own conference!