Posted: May 17, 2012 in Marketing

For anyone out there researching ways to promote your book, I found out about this free event happening Saturday, May 19.  There are several online sessions that might be helpful.  I plan to attend and will report back here if I learn anything worth sharing.

Here’s the list of sessions:

The workshops all take place in the forums on the Promo Day website on Saturday 19th May and are completely free to attend. In order to take part you just need to register via the website

The workshops for the 2012 event are:

  • How to make LinkedIn work for you with Jo Linsdell
  • Creating your own online newspaper with Terri Main
  • Turn radio interviews into major book selling events with Denise Turney
  • 365 days of promotion with Sandy Lender
  • How to create online events that help generate a Marketing Domino Effect with Karl Staib
  • Blogging with Jo-Anne Vandermeulen
  • How to get your book reviewed with Dana Lynn Smith
  • Time management with Anne Nordhaus-Bike
  • Facebook with Dellani Oakes
  • Powerful Pinterest: how to use it market yourbook with Penny Sansevieri
  • SEO for post-panda- Readers first, Google second with Angela England
  • Social media marketing with Jan Verhoeff
  • How to sell more books with John Kremer
  • Coordinating a virtual book tour with Cheryl Malandrinos

 Additional workshops may be added so be sure to check the site regularly for updates.

via PROMODAY 2012.


WordPress and Word 2010

Posted: May 9, 2012 in Links

Yes, I’m doing it again—allowing myself to be sidetracked by technology when I should be working on creating fiction.

I recently upgraded to Word 2010 and still have a lot to learn about its benefits. At my regular job, I have access to Word 2007, but for my personal writing, I had only been using Word 2003. Ancient, I know, but it worked for what I needed at least. Thanks to a monetary Christmas gift I’ve been saving for just the right purchase, I have finally moved into the 21st century word processing-wise.

My first diversion this morning was investigating how to save files to the Microsoft Skydrive. When I am home, I use a desktop computer and am always plugged into the internet, thanks to my Sprint Evo phone with its hotspot. But I have recently taken to joining a group of writers twice a month at a local coffee shop where we write for an hour (individually, but gathered together at the same tables) then talk for fifteen minutes. It had been helpful in that I feel a sense of accountability to get actual writing done during that time, but also to help me “feel” like a writer, which I’ve found is an important component to actually accomplishing any writing.

So since I take a laptop to these meetings, I now need to find the most efficient way of making sure I am always working on the most current copy of my manuscript. Sure I could save files to a thumb drive and cart it back and forth, but is there a better way and, preferably, an automated way?

Yes, I found. I could decide to save my files to the Microsoft Skydrive and can even select it as the default location for my files and backup files. I haven’t yet decided if that’s what I’m going to do, though. What happens if I don’t have internet access because my hotspot’s not working, for instance?

But as I was playing with the Skydrive save feature, I notice that In the Save and Send menu of Word 2010, there is a Publish as Blog Post option. And lo and behold, WordPress is one of the blog sites it offers as an option.

So this post is an experiment with how efficiently that works. It would be handy since using the WordPress New Post screen has its limitations. I’m going to insert sample pictures and even try some font sizes and styles
to see what if anything will translate to the WordPress page. I also wonder if it will let me choose which blog to send this to. Subject matter-wise, this post probably belongs to my Writer’s Resources page, but the Debra R. Borys site is my “default” page in WordPress so it may end up there.

We’ll all by surprised together, won’t we? I’ll add notes or comments to the post once it’s done and let you know how the process went and if the experience was a Yay or nay for me.

See my comment below for post publishing observations

ePublishing Houses Rated

Posted: May 1, 2012 in e-Publishing

Confused by the number of e-publishing houses that are out there?  Epublishabook has rated several on their site you might want to check out.

Have you used any of these?  Do you agree with their ratings?

Grid for ratings

B = Service offered

C = Terms and Conditions

D = Credibility

E = Social Media

Click on the name of the ePublishing house to get to a more in-depth information page about it. Publishing Houses in depth pages are added one at a time on a daily basis during weekdays. If the name does appear as linked, it means it has not been added yet. The name of Publishing houses on this list are added at the beginning of the week with the list of those that will be reviewed during the week.

via ePublishing Houses Ratings List | ePublish a Book.

No Contest

Posted: April 30, 2012 in Industry News

How can a contest end with no winner? Apparently the Pulitzer Committee has no problem answering that question. There were three finalists for the 2011 fiction award, and NONE of them received a majority vote. What does that mean? Did they all tie, or did none of the judges cast a vote?

Let’s form our own Pulitzer committee.  Cast your vote below:

Not this year. For all those novelists who were lucky (and talented) enough to be nominees for the fiction award, the finality of a winner isn’t there. Because there isn’t one. It’s unsettling.

It was a real WTF moment for the literary world. Most of us Pulitzer watchers thought the prize would go to David Foster Wallace for his novel, The Pale King, which was published posthumously last year. Wallace, who suffered from crippling life-long depression, hanged himself in 2008. He was 45.

The Pulitzer committee announced that there had been three finalists–Wallace, Karen Russell for Swamplandia! and Denis Johnson for Train Dreams.(Johnson was also a finalist in 2008 for “Tree of Smoke.”)

In declining to give the award, the Pulitzer Board noted that none of the three finalists had garnered a majority vote.

Seriously?…..  read more.

via No Good Novels in 2011? For the First Time in 35 years, the Pulitzer Committee Declines Award for Fiction | Lambda Literary.

A couple of years ago, Publisher’s Weekly decided that for the low, low price of $149, self-publishers could buy the right to MAYBE get reviewed by them.

One blogger, a self-published writer herself, says that she feels PW is so entrenched in the “traditional” publishing model that they are deliberately trashing self-pubbed novels in their reviews.  She gives statistics that of 99 novels submitted one quarter, only 25 merited a review and of those 25 only 4 were at all complimentary.  In fact, she calls the other 21 reviews “scathing.”

I do not see any proof of her implication that PW is deliberately trashing these books in order to squash traditional publishers competition.  I’ve always heard that 99% of queries received by publishers are rejected.  By those numbers, giving 4 good reviews out of a total of 99 books sounds like a win.

What do you think?  Is big publishing and their cohorts trashing indie books unfairly, or no?

I know there’s a lot of bad writing out there (I’m not defending it!) and that self-publishing was, and a lot of the times still is, a venue for vanity. But it’s becoming more and more mainstream, the way to go, and I find it hard to believe that of the nearly one hundred novels submitted, PW couldn’t have found a few more things to like. You can practically sense the glee emanating from the reviewers as they rip apart these books. …read more

via Publishers Weekly seems to relish scathing reviews of self-published books | A City Mom.

Are You “In” BranchOut?

Posted: April 27, 2012 in Social Media

On Fridays I try to spend a little time understanding Facebook and how it works to expand my reach and build my “brand” as an author and freelance writer.

Today as I was creating groups to make it easier to filter posts from friends, family and acquaintances, I noticed that at some point I apparently accepted a request to join an app called BranchOut.  Not knowing what the heck it even is, I did a little Googling and found several articles including the one below.

Bottom line, it sounds like it is Facebook’s version of LinkedIn, though there are differences, as noted in the article.  Now I am a huge fan of LinkedIn.  It is largely due to the groups I’ve joined there that I have been able to participate in so many interviews and guest posts.  So I’m thinking if BranchOut can do more of the same, I should participate more actively.

My main concern is how my participation will impact my Facebook friends,  As I started building my BranchOut network, is it going to start pestering them to join also, increasing their spam posts and cause them to block me on their news feeds?  I’m gonna risk that, I guess, but if you already have experience with this app, I would welcome any comments telling me what you think of BranchOut.   And after I’ve played around with it for awhile, I’ll come back on here and tell you how my experiment went.

That being said, does BranchOut really compete with LinkedIn? In social media marketing, I teach my clients that everyone has their own preferred social network, and they use it in their own particular way. For that reason, while these communities don’t really compete with each other (unless you look at ad revenue competition from their owners), I believe BranchOut is a natural complement for those who want to use social media for professional networking:

via Why Branch Out on Facebook for Networking Instead of Linking In?.

Murdering Twitter

Posted: April 24, 2012 in Social Media

Oops, I suspect I may be one of the people mentioned below who are cutting their own throats by abuse and misuse of their Twitter accounts.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not cruel, it’s only that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.  There are almost as many articles out there about how to use Twitter as there are tweets by all the twits who use the social medium.

Can anyone tame the Twitter monster, or should we just steer clear of its mouth?

Twitter, much like all of social media, requires time, patience and focus. Doing Twitter halfway is worse than not doing it at all. Name your favorite company. Now, imagine you go to that company’s Twitter page and its most recent tweet is from last summer. Obviously, that’s not a company that cares enough about feedback from its customers to be bothered with paying attention to Twitter. You don’t want to gain that reputation. The first thing you have to do is make a commitment to spending time every single day monitoring your Twitter page, your followers and some other things we’ll point out a little later. Twitter success is not found by doing the bare minimum.

via How to Best Use Twitter in the Market Place | Smedio.

My publisher, New Libri Press.  has some concerns that the Science Fiction Writers Association is too commercially focused.  What do you think?

First, let’s examine the continued prejudice against self-publishing. You might think that as an editor at a small press, I would be for this sort of prejudice, as it steers some authors toward a publisher, rather than toward self-publishing. I am not, for a variety of reasons.

via Small Press Dances with Elephants: Irony: Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America stuck in the 20th Century..

Facebook Timelines

Posted: April 20, 2012 in Social Media

Social Media Examiner has proven to be a fun and informative site.  Check out the link below for samples of how companies are using Facebook’s new Timeline view.  Even though the examples are of commercial companies, they can be good tips for authors as well.  This article highlights 5 specific things you can do:

  1. Adding Interesting Milestones
  2. Incorporating the Profile Picture Into Your Cover Photo
  3. Telling a Story With Photos
  4. Branding With Apps
  5. Using the About Section to Give a Call to Action

#4 Apps is one that I was trying to figure out the other day, and lo and behold, Social Media Examiner has a post about that, too.  Really, you should check these guys out and share with me what you find.

Are you wondering how businesses are creatively using Facebook’s Timeline features?  Business timelines are blooming all over Facebook.

via 5 Ways Businesses Are Using Facebook Timelines | Social Media Examiner.

Posted: April 19, 2012 in Traditional Publishing

This was too good to post on just one blog.

Debra R. Borys

Technically, this post should go on my Writers Resources blog where I post tidbits about writing and publishing that I find while I am researching ways to succeed at freelancing with lots of really trying.

But Chuck Wendig writes such a damn good post, I just had to share with everyone.  Read his hysterical take on the publishing apocalypse and while you’re there, click around a bit and see what else the man has to say.  You won’t be sorry.  I promise.

Stories aren’t going anywhere. Books still exist, both inside Kindles and on meatspace shelves. If a major publisher goes down in flames, a smaller publisher will wink, shake its hips, and step up to the plate. If a major bookstore chain shits the bed, indies will fill the gap, or another chain will rise. If libraries suck the pipe — well, that’s bad for a community and not…

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