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176 Posts tagged with the publishing tag

Simply put, the key to selling books is selling the author. Because readers have literally millions of books to choose from in today's marketplace, they don't buy books, they buy authors. Your goal as a self-published author is to master the art of self-promotion, so you standout in the crowd. That effort and care you put into crafting your book is the same effort and care you will put into building your personal brand.


Your personal brand has to ignite a real sense of passion within potential readers. That's where Web 2.0 and your online persona come in. This medium - blogging, social media, Web videos, etc. - this is where readers in 2010 and beyond are going to get to know you. This is where they are going to decide whether to buy the author or not.


Your personal brand has to be bold, consistent, and authentic. And as the builder of your personal brand, you have to carry on in the face of self-doubt and outside ridicule. Not everyone is going to connect with you. Accept it. Embrace it. Move on. Not everyone who connects with you is going to buy your book, but they will do something more important. They will spread the word about your personal brand. Over time, more and more people will be exposed to you and your book, and with persistence, practice, and luck, you will sell a lot of books.By the way, for those of you who are disappointed to still see luck as part of the equation, I happen to believe that luck occurs when preparation meets opportunity, so you can make your own luck.


Remember, your book won't sell a lot of copies. You will sell a lot of copies of your book.

2,744 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, self-publishing, publishing, writing, promotions, branding

Slush No More


Having served as an editor for Clockwatch Review for 16 years, James Plath has learned a thing or two about what it takes to make it from the slush pile to editor's choice.  He shared his tricks of the trade recently in an article in Writer's Digest.  An example of his advice:


Can you up the ante? The simplest fictional formula is situation, followed by complication and (ir)resolution. Many times we get stories where the complication feels like part of an emerging problem the character must face, rather than an additional factor that will make a resolution tougher. Other times the complication just isn't complicated enough, or there simply isn't enough at stake. Try intensifying an existing complication, or toss in one or two more for good measure!


You can see all plath's tips by clicking here:21 Tips to Get Out of the Slush Pile



3-D, Are We Going Back to the Future?


James Cameron invented 3-D, right?  Actually, between 1952 and 1955 more than fifty stereoscopic (3-D) films were released.  But even before that, Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote about binocular vision in The Atlantic Monthly in 1859 and designed his own Stereoscope - a viewing tool that gave the appearance of 3-D photographic images.  In 1861, Holmes wrote that his device would give the viewer a virtual experience, or as he put it:


...a dream-like exaltation of the faculties, a kind of clairvoyance, in which we seem to leave the body behind us and sail away into one strange scene after another.


You can read the entire article on The New Yorker's website: Third Way



Bonnaroo Goes Coco!


The hippie/hipster music festival in Manchester, Tennessee has decided to laugh it up at this year's event.  Among the music acts from virtually every genre, there will also be comedians galore taking the stage.  The big get?  A redheaded, tweeting guru:


... it will also feature a stop on Conan O'Brien's return to the stage. The hilarious ex-host of The Tonight Show will perform in the Comedy Theater on Friday, June 11, and MC the What Stage on Saturday, June 12. (He's also launching a nationwide tour this summer.)


You can see the entire lineup of comedians here: Bonnaroo Announces Comedy Lineup Featuring Coco



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

1,763 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, music, filmmaking, film, self-publishing, publishing, musician

Welcome to Tuesday's blog roundup. This is the day we shine the spotlight on bloggers and artists in the publishing, film and music industries.




Book tour? More like a safari - Los Angeles Times

Are book tours still relevant in today's web 2.0 world? Some authors think so. While publishers are cutting back on book tours, some authors are paying the bills themselves and hitting the road with varying degrees of success.


13 Writing Tips - Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk shares his philosophies on writing. Among the gems, he points out something that I had never heard before. There are three kinds of speech: Descriptive, Instructive, and Expressive.




Promoting a Film Festival for the Long Tail: a Digital Marketing Case Study - Best Social Media Marketing Tips

This is a comprehensive article on the dos and don'ts of marketing a film festival using social media. Some of the strategies can be easily applied to marketing individual films.


How Hurt Locker Got Made - Either/Or/Bored

It cleaned up at the Oscars, but was everybody onboard the Hurt Locker bandwagon when the producers where trying to get funding? It wouldn't be much of an underdog story if they were.




Timbre is What Gives Color to Music - Music After 50

What tone color is your music? Do you know your own timbre?


Granny DJ Spins the Internet into a Frenzy - Mashable

You're never too old to rock... or DJ. DJ Ruth Flowers brings her beats to the streets and becomes a viral video sensation.



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

481 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: marketing, music, filmmaking, film, self-publishing, movies, sales, publishing, writing, promotions, musicians, filmmakers, book_tour

Twitter is a fantastic communication tool. Information is tweeted at the speed of the Internet, 140 characters at a time. You can connect with like-minded people and share news about your book, film, or music with fans of your genre. In the process, you can establish a growing fan base.


Twitter can be utilized as much more than a device to create and manage fans. It can be used to connect with the media, in particular, your local media. Most of your local TV news programs, radio stations, and newspapers have joined the Twitter craze. They use Twitter to give news updates, weather forecasts, show reminders, and connect with residents. They also peruse Twitter for local stories of interest. You could be that local story of interest or the local expert they want to interview.


Here are the steps you can take to capture your local media's attention on Twitter:


  • Make sure to include your general location in your bio. Local media outlets will be more likely to follow local residents than nonlocal residents.
  • Include your book, film, or music information in your bio.
  • ReTweet their Tweets as often as you deem worthy.
  • Tweet about your niche daily. If science fiction is your thing, tweet a "SciFi Fact of the Day." If crocheting is your forte, tweet a "Crocheting Tip of the Day." Why? Because you never know when your local media may need to call on a local science fiction expert. By establishing yourself as an expert in your niche, they will know where to turn when they need you.
  • Stay on their radar by using the @reply button whenever appropriate. Talk to them. Let them know when you find a particular newscast or story interesting.


While Twitter can help you connect with the global community, it can also help you make connections with your local media and grow your fan base.



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

633 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, book, music, filmmaking, self-publishing, sales, writers, publishing, media, promotions, twitter, musicians, social_media

In honor of National Grammar Day, we thought we should open up the vault and put the focus on a staple for those of us of a certain age. School House Rock was a series of animated musical education shorts that were a part of ABC television's Saturday morning programming in the 1970's and 80's. They produced catchy songs and cartoons about most of your typical school subjects, including grammar. The shorts were fun and educational. One of the most memorable was Conjunction Junction (Music and song by Bob Dorough - Performed by Jack Sheldon and Terri Morel). It's virtually impossible not to get this song stuck in your head and learn a thing or two about conjunctions.


1,387 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, books, authors, authors, authors, authors, book, book, book, book, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, publishing, publishing, publishing, publishing, promotions, promotions, promotions, promotions, grammar, grammar, grammar, grammar

On the surface, a brand and a personal brand seem so similar that it's not necessary to have two separate categories. In reality, they couldn't be more different. A brand is an image designed to appeal to the widest possible audience. It's an exercise in cautious messaging. In most cases, companies spend a lot of time and money developing a brand. Committees form. Focus groups meet. Stress levels elevate until the perfect brand identity emerges.


Personal brands would fail miserably if developed under the same process. Personal brands are multifaceted snapshots of an individual. In short, it is your personality on display in a public forum. It is not contrived. It happens organically. An abundance of caution is the wrong way to go here. Personal brands thrive under the risk of being completely transparent. In the ultimate of counter intuitive thinking, personal brands are most effective when they appeal to a narrow, passionate audience. Even passionate detractors of a personal brand are as likely to spread the personal brand's message as the followers.


There are exceptions, but rarely is it possible to have both a brand and a personal brand. They are just too diametrically opposed to work together in a successful manner. With a product on the market (whether it is a film, book, or music), the question presented is which brand type is appropriate for you. The answer in most cases is a personal brand. As an artist, you are looking for passionate followers. While they may love your art, they won't be part of your word-of-mouth campaign until they connect with your personal brand - you.


Creating a personal brand is both easy and scary. It's easy because you are just being you. In essence, you are an open book. However, not everyone is going to like what they see, and that is the scary part. It's not fun being disliked, but it's what happens when you build a passionate following. It always comes with passionate dissent. That's when you know your message is getting out.


I would be remiss if I didn't offer a word of caution. Things said on the Internet tend to live forever on the Internet, and seep into "real" life. Don't compromise your future or your safety. Be passionate but don't be impetuous when building your personal brand.


So, go ahead, be yourself, and build your personal brand. The passion and sales will follow.


You may also be interested in...


Brand Yourself

Pitching the Book and the Brand

2,824 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, books, authors, authors, authors, authors, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, music, music, music, music, filmmaking, filmmaking, filmmaking, filmmaking, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, publishing, publishing, publishing, publishing, films, films, films, films, promotions, promotions, promotions, promotions, musicians, musicians, musicians, musicians, filmmakers, filmmakers, filmmakers, filmmakers, branding, branding, branding, branding

Welcome to Tuesday's blog roundup. This is the day we shine the spotlight on bloggers and artists in the publishing, film and music industries.




Publishers And Authors- Some Thoughts - Chris Brogan

Marketing and social media guru Chris Brogan looks to the future of publishing and gives some excellent advice to authors. In short, authors who engage their readers with an active online presence will ultimately succeed.


Online Platform Do's and Don'ts - KIDLIT.COM

Assocate agent Mary Kole spells out in simple terms.  An author's online presence can't be all about the author and their books.




The Intersection of Filmmaking and Video Games: Part I - Down & Dirty DV

There is a massive convergence going on right now between the film and video game industries. This is part one in a two part series examining the history that led us to this point.


The Heart and Soul of Great Dialogue -

Forced dialogue can sink a screenplay.  The key to making dialogue work in film is to make it short and to the point.




The Time Factor: Are You Giving Yourself Enough?  - Bob Baker's Buzz Factor

Are you allowing yourself to experiment and fail?  Are you giving yourself enough to time to let your talent mature and grow?


Commodore 64 Keytar! - synthgear

What happens when ingenuity and dead technology come together?  Synthesizing gold happens!



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

1,455 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, book, music, filmmaking, self-publishing, promotion, publishing, promotions, musicians, screenwriting, filmmakers

It doesn't matter how diligent you are or how many sets of eyes you have looking at your manuscript before it goes to print, it's still likely that you will find a tipo typo or two...or three or four in the finished version of your book. It seems as if they appear out of nowhere, as if there is a typo gremlin hiding in the spaces between the words, waiting for the worst possible moment to cast its malicious spell on your book.


While it may seem impossible to catch all the typos, here are a few to be on the lookout for when you self-edit.


  • Its and It's: "It's" is a contraction of two words ("it is" or "it has"). In most cases, the apostrophe denotes the possessive form of a word, but not in this case. When you want to convey that something belongs to "it," you would use "its." For example, "Its surface was smooth as glass."

  • There, Their, and They're: We've all used the wrong "there" at one time or another. "There" refers to a place or position in space and time. ("It's over there." Or "There he goes.") "They're" is a contraction of "they are," and "their" is used to indicate possession. ("That is their house.")

  • Your and You're: This one is a very common error. The rule of thumb here is if you can substitute the words "you are" in the sentence and it makes sense, "you're" is the proper usage. If "you are" doesn't makes sense, then you meant to use the word "your."

  • Through and Threw: This seems like an easy one to catch (no pun intended), but many times when we self-edit we slip into a mode of reading aloud in an effort to take great precautions. This can be a mistake because while "through" ("We went through the tunnel.") and "threw" ("I threw the ball.") have completely different meanings, they sound the same.

  • Past and Passed: A quick test ? Is the following sentence right or wrong? "It's half passed three." It's wrong. "Past" would be the correct usage here because it refers to a location (in this case a location in time). "Passed" is the past tense of the verb "pass." You could say, "Time passed quickly."


These are just a few. Unfortunately, there are many more out there waiting to rear their ugly heads. The best solution is to self-edit and self-edit and self-edit, and then have a professional editor look at the manuscript too. Good luck and happy editing!



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

608 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: editing, self-publishing, publishing, writing, typos, self-editing

As an artist, I suffer from an emotion called doubt. From time to time, I doubt my talent. I doubt my chances of success. I even doubt my right to call myself an artist. I suppose it comes with the territory, and I have always been able to work through it, but I have talked to a lot of writers who are so filled with doubt that it cripples their confidence to the point that they can't write. If you find yourself wresting with doubt, here is the secret to free yourself from its evil clutches. You are the creator of your own doubt.


I mean that literally. Doubt is an emotion. Emotions are small-chain proteins called peptides. Peptides are created in the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. When I doubt myself, my hypothalamus goes to work creating the proper peptides and sends them out to interact with the cells of my body. My stress levels go up and my energy level goes down. The initial source of the doubt may have come from an external source, but the doubt itself is produced by me.


Why does knowing this help me? Because if I can manufacture doubt, then logic dictates I can manufacture confidence, too. With a thought, I can flip a switch in my hypothalamus and start producing the confidence peptides. They will interact with my cells. My stress levels will fall, and I will be full of energy. I don't need an external source to build my confidence. I have the tool (my hypothalamus) to create the small-chain proteins that will squelch the doubt.


The trick is to find that thought that will trigger the production of the confidence peptides in your hypothalamus. Strangely enough for me, that thought is an understanding that most of the great artists I admire struggled to make it. They went through periods of self-doubt, as well. What made them great was that they chose to manufacture confidence over doubt.


So, the choice is yours and no one else's. What kind of small-chain protein will you produce?



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

1,679 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, self-publishing, artists, publishing, writing, films, songs, musicians, screenwriting, filmmakers, songwriting

Welcome to Tuesday's blog roundup. This is the day we shine the spotlight on bloggers and artists in the publishing, film and music industries.




23 Websites that Make Your Writing Stronger - Write It Sideways

It is said the one never becomes a master at writing.  It is a continual learning process.  These sites can help you in that process.


Getting Noticed: Everyone's an Online Marketer - digitalbookworld

So, you thought being a writer meant you could leave the marketing behind?  Industry experts explain that authors are a crucial part of the marketing process.




Twitter & Facebook: Great for Building a Filmmaking Network - Filmmakers Notebook

Filmmaker Patty Fantasia argues that a smaller group of qualified friends and followers can be much more effective than a larger group of unqualified friends and followers.


Why We Do This - Joke and Biagio

Hollywood producer Biagio asks the question. Is it worth the time and effort spent creating a film project?




In Bb 2.0 - In B Flat

Can you make a coherent musical piece out of 20 different Youtube clips?  This remarkable video/musical collaboration proves that you can.


The Lower Class Musician - Creative Deconstruction

Entertainment business consultant Kevin English shares his best practices to avoid becoming the starving artist.



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

1,440 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, marketing, book, music, filmmaking, self-publishing, promotion, movies, publishing, promotions, craft

When I talk to authors about marketing, I advise them to brand themselves rather than the book. The primary reason is that there are millions of books on the market and hundreds of thousands more added every year. That's a lot of product for a consumer to choose from, even if you break it down by category and genre. To minimize their risk, consumers lean toward buying books by authors they know. And by "know" I don't necessarily mean they've previously read books by that author. That definitely helps, but there are other ways readers can get to know the author of the next book they will buy: blogging, social media, online video, etc. Basically, they can build a virtual relationship with an author and feel connected enough to purchase his or her book. The author builds a personal brand the readers trust.


The personal brand is the easiest brand to build. It's you. Granted, you will most likely go through a period of uncertainty where you will test the waters of what will and won't turn readers away, but once you find your online voice, the words will flow like water, and your brand will take hold.


That's all fine and good if you're publishing under your real name, but what happens when you're using a pen name? What is an author to do when anonymity is the order of the day? Actually, this may be an even easier task. Using a pseudonym, you can have more than an online persona. You can have an online caricature. Imagine the fun you can have being someone else online. You can be bolder, more brash, better looking, more exciting? you name it and you can be more of it than your real-world self. I'm not saying you should be disingenuous or deceitful in any way. I'm simply saying you can use your online presence to build a backstory for your pen name. It's a creative exercise that may even help you develop your next book or books.


Anonymity is easy to pull off on a blog or a social media site, but what about video? How do you build your brand and conceal your real identity using video? This was difficult for me to address for the longest time, until I brainstormed with an author once who wanted to use a pen name but also utilize personal videos. We both pondered out loud how he could do such a thing. After a few minutes, he started to chuckle. Before long, he broke out into a hearty laugh. When he calmed down, I asked him to share his source of joy with me. "Paper bag," he said. "I'll do the videos with a paper bag over my head." I paused and tried to think of a reason he shouldn't do it. Finally, I said, "That's actually not a bad idea." Given the subject of this book, it was really appropriate. It may not work for you, but the point is there are ways for you to hide your identity on camera. Using a pseudonym shouldn't prevent you from employing video to market your brand.


So go ahead. Build your personal brand and have your pseudonym, too.



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

1,590 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, marketing, book, self-publishing, publishing, brand, branding

Where Have All the Book Reviewers Gone?


It's no secret that as newspapers scale back on size and staff, the book review section has been the first thing to go in many cases. So where can you find a good book reviewer these days?  GalleyCat thinks Twitter is a great place to look. In fact, they've put together a list of book reviewers on Twitter. As they put it:


Twitter has become a new home for book reviewers, as they share recommendations, spread links, and review books in 140-character bursts. To celebrate this new kind of criticism, GalleyCat Reviews is building a directory of the best book review content on Twitter.


You can read the entire article on MediaBistro's Galleycat by clicking here: Best Book Reviewers on Twitter



Point and Shoot a Film


There is a growing trend among filmmakers to turn to DSLR cameras when shooting low-budget films. Primarily designed for still images, it turns out the larger surface areas of the image sensors results in beautiful video footage when compared to similarly priced video cameras. In the words of Ryan Bilsborrow-Koo of No Film School:


That "movie mode" hidden in the menu system of your new DSLR? It's not just a novelty feature. It's nothing short of a revolutionary, democratizing, disruptive moviemaking technology, as important as the invention of color film, 16mm, or HDTV.


You can read Ryan's extensive article on how to use a DSLR for video by clicking here:The DSLR Cinematography Guide



Abbey Road Friends


The legendary recording studio Abbey Road is dangerously close to shutting down and winding up in the hands of property developers. The Beatles and Pink Floyd are just a few of the famous bands that recorded in the studio. In an effort to save Abbey Road, former employees and fans flocked to Facebook and formed the "Save Abbey Road Studios from property developers!" group. Founder of the group Roland Heap says:


We appeal to EMI to reconsider the sale of this important historical institution and preserve for generations to come this bastion of recording excellence, or if there be no alternative to a sale, that a buyer is sought who can keep these facilities operating at the same exquisite standards as they have always done.


You can read the entire article in Unreality Shout by clicking here:Thousands join Facebook group to save Abbey Road Studios



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

609 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, music, film, self-publishing, review, publishing, cameras

I am offensive. I have to be. I'm a writer. This is something I struggled with for a long time because in my non-writer life I'm a nice, if not downright decent, guy. I'm the kind of guy who leaves a note on someone's windshield if my car door opens too wide and possibly dings their door. I hold doors open for people. I say, "Bless you," to perfect strangers when they sneeze.


But when it comes to storytelling, I have to leave myself at the door because the characters and the story are far more important than my desire to not offend people. At the risk of sounding corny, a writer has to transcend sentiment in order to tell a story. The emotion of a story comes from the characters and the setting, not the author.


When you start thinking about how a plot or character or phrase could offend the reader, you're dead in the water as a writer. Your story arc will be a flat line. Your characters will be one dimensional with no growth, and conflict will basically be absent from your story. Don't contrive offensiveness. That's as ineffective as not being offensive at all. Be offensive because the story calls for it. It's scary to do at times, but you have to muster up the courage and do it because your story will be better for it.


You will take your share of slings and arrows. I certainly have. To quote a reader about one of my books: Gross, Gore, Evil, Blood, Guts...... I'm so full of regret that I had ever bought these. I actually love this review. The rest of the review reveals that she didn't read the entire book, but regardless, she had a real emotional, visceral reaction. As a writer, I couldn't ask for anything more.


So writers, offend with impunity.... Well, there may be some repercussions, but you owe it to your story.



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

542 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, selling, book, self-publishing, publishing, writing, artist, screenwriting

Welcome to Tuesday's blog roundup. This is the day we shine the spotlight on bloggers and artists in the publishing, film and music industries.




Author Nick Flynn Finds an Unlikely Friend in Facebook - Publishing Perspectives

An author known for his literary prose jumps into the web 2.0 world and uses it to attract crowds to his personal appearances.


Submission Cycles - Pub Rants

Agent Kristin explains why sometimes it so hard to get an agent's attention, while other times, they seem to be very attentive to queries.




What's the future for Film Festivals? - SpringBoardMedia

Could film festivals spearhead the next game changer technology in online media?  Brian Newman thinks they are in a position to do just that.


Creating a Storyboard  - A Moon Brothers Film...

Lizzie Hupcey discusses the process of creating a storyboard for a film.




Market Your Music One Day at a Time - Music After 50

Master music teacher Chuck Anderson writes about the importance of ongoing marketing for musicians.  It is something that should happen every day.


Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy - Derek Sivers

What can a shirtless, dancing guy teach you about building a movement around your music? According to music entrepreneur Derek Sivers, he can teach you a lot. 



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

546 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, music, self-publishing, promotion, indie, sales, writers, publishing, promotions, musicians, filmmakers

Sleepless Author Gives Advice on How to Find an Agent


Author David K. Randall turned his sleep disorder into a book deal. The key to his success was the research he put into finding an agent. According to Randall:


I found my agent, Larry Weissman through perhaps the most boring way possible. I collected a bunch of books that I liked that had the same sensibility of the book I'm working on, and searched through the acknowledgments section to see who represented and edited them.


You can read the entire article on MediaBistro's Galleycat by clicking here: How to Find an Agent for Your Nonfiction Book



Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!


Given the crazy weather we've been experiencing this February, it's only appropriate that we examine some of the best snow scenes in cinematic history. At the top of the list of seven films picked by IFC's Independent Eye is a W.C. Fields gem called "The Fatal Glass of Beer."


This is a slow-moving but winningly bizarre meta-parody of the now obscure Yukon melodrama, oft compared to Monty Python for its sheer strangeness. Fields' indomitability in the face of cold weather is inspiring.


You can see the entire list of films by clicking here:Seven Memorable Movie Winter Snowstorms



How to Play the Piano without a Piano


This is just cool. Someone has figured out how to use YouTube as a tool to play piano online. You can actually play the keys of the piano on the video clip. Here's the explanation on SynthGear:


This is fun little video from kokokaka is not something that you really watch, but rather use - it allows you to actually play a video piano interactively. The video uses the YouTube annotations feature to jump around in the video based on what piano key is clicked.


You can watch play the video here:YouTube Piano



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

632 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, music, filmmaking, film, self-publishing, agents, publishing, youtube, films, musicians, piano
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