Archive for October 19th, 2007

Advertise with Articles to Brand Your Writing Career

gregorywotr_002.gifWriter-preneur: Building Your Writing Career Using Technology
By Gregory A. Kompes

When you think of advertising, print ads in magazines and newspapers, commercials on TV and radio, and billboards probably come to mind. When you think Internet, advertising options like banner ads, pop-ups and Goggle AdWords or other pay-per-click options might come to mind. There’s a better, free way to advertise. Let’s start with a few facts.

Live Journal polled Internet users asking why they purchase books. Here are the top results: a familiarity with the author’s work (99%); read about the book on a Web site and blog by someone other than the author (80%); read about the book on the author’s Web site and blog (65%); read the first chapter online (63%), and, read an electronic (or print) book review (56%). Down at the bottom of the list were postcards and mailings, gifts, gimmicks and contests.

The poll results indicate that Internet technology sells books. People buy books because they believe the authors are credible sources of information and because they’ve read about the author online. This month we’re going to look at a simple way you can further establish your expert status, garner more exposure on other people’s Web sites and blogs, drive visitors to your Web site, and sell more books. Articles published in Article Directories are a great way to promote your platform without spending a dime.

There are thousands of newsletters and blogs that need new, fresh content to publish. Article Directories are clearing houses where you can post articles about your niche topic. Newsletter editors and bloggers search these by topic and publish what interests them.

To take advantage of this advertising channel, first write a short article (400-1000 words) that includes a “resource box.” Resource boxes are those brief biography paragraphs at the end of online articles about the author. Make sure your resource box includes a URL (web address) that links to your Web site. The combination of a well-written article and resource box builds your credibility and drives traffic to your Web site.

Here are a few content suggestions. Choose content from your book that stands well on its own and turn that into an article. Outline one of your book chapters and create a Top 10 list with brief explanations of your ten points. Don’t forget that resource box.

Second, make your articles available to editors and bloggers for publication. If you have an established relationship, you can submit your work directly to newsletter editors and bloggers. For more extensive reach, submit your work to any of the hundreds of Article Directories. Danielle Hollister maintains a comprehensive list of directories at Bella Online.

While you’ll maintain your copyright, you won’t be paid for articles published through directories in cash. But when newsletter editors and bloggers publish your content the benefit you receive is click-link advertising that can help reinforce your credibility and expert status with your book-buying audience.

Gregory A. Kompes (www.Kompes.com) is a writer, speaker, mentor and coach. He is the author of the #1 bestseller 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live, The Endorsement Quest, Turning Your Writing Hobby into a Writing Career, and The Everyday Gay Activist. Gregory is the editor of The Fabulist Flash, an informative newsletter for writers, founder of LAMOO Books, and Coordinator of the Las Vegas Writer’s Conference. The author holds a BA in English Literature from Columbia University, NY, and is currently a MS in Education candidate at California State University, Eastbay.

Writing On-the-Go

hope_000.gifTime Management for Writers

By C. Hope Clark

Anyone who knows me understands I like my life simple. Most everyone makes that claim, but how well do you follow through? The world is a busy place. Everyone is always coming and going, running and jogging through obligations and deadlines. When are you supposed to sit down and write?

The answer is simple: be a writer–––wherever you are. And no, that doesn’t mean carrying a suitcase of materials. Even when I’m riding with someone to the mall, I have my basic writing tools with me. It’s not hard. And the sooner this practice becomes a habit, the more prolific you’ll become as a writer. Here’s what you’ll need:

Spiral Notebook: Five-by-seven or four-by-six inches, it doesn’t matter. The point is to have something easy to carry and tuck into the glove box, your purse or your briefcase. The spiral feature makes it easier to lay flat and tuck a writing instrument inside for safekeeping throughout your travels. They are cheap, so no excuse; I buy them by the dozen. They’ve even accompanied me to the track where I challenge myself to think of a new editorial for each quarter-mile lap.

Pen: You know the style you like. I like a fine point, blue ink Zebra. I spend more on my pens than my notebooks, because picking up that pen makes me want to write more. I also write in the margins of my books, and this pen makes for better note taking. I use the clip to tuck it away in the notebook.

Non-Fiction, How-to Book: My current one is Immediate Fiction by Jerry Cleaver. If I have more than five minutes but less than 15, I open to my bookmark and study. I don’t like to waste the larger chunks of time reading when I can be writing. so I absorb my how-to material in between the gym, the grocery store and while waiting at the doctor’s office.

Camera (optional): If you have a streak of journalist in you, or you are one who likes to “see” your characters and settings, keep your camera handy. Frankly, you can carry a camera case as easily as a purse, so purchase a case that acts as both.

You can’t get any simpler than that. Not enough time to write? Oh, please.
C. Hope Clark is founder and editor of FundsforWriters.com, annually recognized by Writer’s Digest in its poll of 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. She delivers four newsletters each week to thousands with her specialty being grants and income opportunities for writers of all sizes. She’s published over 200 articles on paper and online. Her magazine credits include Writer’s Digest, The Writer Magazine, ByLine Magazine, NextStep Teen, College Bound Teen, Landscape Management Magazine, TURF Magazine, and American Careers Magazine. Hope is a motivational soul known as “Freelance Hope” in many circles. Those reluctant to promote their writing cherish her trade paperback The Shy Writer: An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success. Find more hope for your writing career at www.fundsforwriters.com & www.theshywriter.com.

Ask Wendy: Your Publishing Questions Answered

wendywotr.gifBecause I’ll be on maternity leave from “Ask Wendy” for the rest of the year, I’m using the opportunity to share publishing advice from other authors. This column includes answers from Steve Burt, author of 13 books, including Activating Leadership in the Small Church, A Christmas Dozen: Christmas Stories to Warm the Heart, and the Stories to Chill the Heart series. (burtcreations.com)

Wendy: What was your first big break?

Steve: My first “break” was a triple-header week in the early 1980s. I was a seminarian and a student pastor and so submitted articles related to my field. That week’s mail brought three acceptances and much encouragement. Upper Room devotional guide took a daily meditation ($10 and a free subscription); Pulpit Digest ran a sermon of mine free (but it made my publish-or-perish professors jealous); Your Church magazine took a how-we-did-it article on small church planning retreats ($35). After that came Reader’s Digest, Family Circle, Chicken Soup for the Soul series pieces, and hundreds of articles, poems, stories, and books (non-fiction church leadership books as well as popular fiction), which earned me many awards including three Ray Bradbury prizes, a Benjamin Franklin Award (mystery/suspense), and the world’s top horror prize, the Bram Stoker (for young readers).

Wendy: What’s your best advice for beginning writers?

Steve: My advice to beginners goes against conventional wisdom. Try writing in a few different areas, and publish wherever you can, including no-pay and low-pay markets. My weird tales first appeared in small low-pay/no-pay ghost and horror magazines that were labors of love by their writer/editors who usually lost money publishing out of their garages. But those freebies of mine appeared in England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the USA, usually earning me just a contributor’s copy.

However, because they only needed one-time rights, it meant I could publish a story in several non-competing magazines. Some won prizes or earned honorable mentions in the Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror anthologies. When it came time to produce my first collection, Odd Lot: Stories to Chill the Heart, I simply drew together reprints of those small-press stories—and the self-published book won the Publisher’s Marketing Association’s Benjamin Franklin Award (silver, mystery/suspense) as well as a Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Award (honorable mention, horror).

The sequel, Even Odder, was a mix of small-press reprints plus some new originals—and it was a runner-up to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for the Bram Stoker Award, arguably the world’s top horror prize. The next, Oddest Yet, beat Dean Koontz and tied Clive Barker to actually win the Stoker. And the fourth, Wicked Odd, was an honorable mention for the Ippy (Independent Publisher) Award. The books have sold very well, but I wouldn’t have made much money or gotten the big awards if I had held out for only paying markets early on.

Articles, books, greeting cards, oh my! Wendy Burt is a successful full-time freelance writer and editor who has more than doubled her income since leaving her job as a newspaper editor just three years ago. With two women’s humor books for McGraw-Hill and more than 1,000 published pieces, Wendy’s typical day might including writing ad copy, greeting cards, health articles, personal profiles or her marketing column for Her Business magazine. Her work has appeared in such varied publications as Family Circle, The Writer, MSNBC.com, NewYorkTimes.com, Home Cooking Magazine and American Fitness. Wendy teaches “Breaking Into Freelance Writing” and still finds ample time to spend with her beautiful baby, Gracie. Visit www.BurtCreations.com to see books by Wendy and her award-winning dad. More info at www.WendyBurt-Thomas.com.

Dear Fellow Writers…October Message

cmkwritermama.gifRe: When Good Things Happen to Good Writers

I love when good things happen to good writers, don’t you? I especially love when all of a writer’s efforts accumulate over time and then––seemingly suddenly––something wonderful results.

No matter how writing success manifests, I’ve noticed that good things tend to happen as a result of effort over time and not from mere luck or chance. A phenomenon that is particularly awesome is when one good thing is followed by another and then another and then another.

Imagine your writing career (back in the day) as a little fruit seed with the path of a tree ahead of it. The seed germinated in the ground until the timing was right to extend itself beyond what it knew. Then it reached up and down and sideways through the dirt, setting up root systems to hold it steady as it reached up, up, up into the sky.

The wider and deeper the roots, the more branches it can send out, creating a sapling that will eventually become a sturdy young tree that is ready, after many seasons, to bear fruit.

This phenomenon is called “entelechy.” It is the entelechy of the apple seed to become an apple tree. It is the entelechy of a writing career to bear ample fruit. Once fruition is accomplished one time, fruition is repeated season after season after season, often with increasing ease and abundance.

I’ve noticed that this kind of proliferation of success often happens with writers who have been working steadily over a period of time, usually with clarity, sustainable passion and in win-win-win partnerships with others (qualities I’ve been writing about in this column all year).

How long does a writer have to work before his or her efforts come to fruition? Who knows! Perhaps it depends on how intensely and consistently the writer has been working. I know from personal experience that writing career success is the fruition of many inter-related efforts, usually consciously pulled together to prepare for the next opportunity.

And speaking of fruition, while writing this letter to you, I received a phone call from one of my alma maters, Columbia College Chicago: Would I like to come and be a featured speaker at their creative non-fiction event this fall? You’re darn right, I would! See you in Chicago in October.

The cooler weather welcomes the harvest season—mine, yours, and, in the case of this e-zine, ours. October is our anniversary month. Writers on the Rise is celebrating four years of service to our writing community. I would like to honor our slow, steady growth over the years and wish us many more years of the same. I also want to congratulate you on whatever success is coming to fruition from your writing efforts thus far. I wish you continued prosperity in the future. Happy harvest, writers!

Christina Katz is the author of Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids (Writer’s Digest Books, March 2007). She is a featured presenter at the Writer’s Digest/BEA Writer’s Conference, The Whidbey Island Writers Association MFA Residency, and the Willamette Writers Conference. She’s been teaching writing-for-publication classes for six years and has appeared on Good Morning America. She is also publisher and editor of this e-zine and another called The Writer Mama. Christina blogs daily at http://www.thewritermama.wordpress.com/. For more about Writer Mama, visit Christina’s website at http://www.thewritermama.com/.


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  • This Blog Moving to ChristinaKatz.com as of December 30, 2009… December 27, 2009
    We’re moving! Writers on the Rise archives have been here for years. I hope that WordPress will let the archive live on for a good long time. However, it’s time to move on, bittersweet as change may be. Please come and find me at my new digs: http://christinakatz.com. And while we’re both thinking of it, […]
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