Saturday, January 30, 2010

Great Resource for Writers - Get That Book Out Of Your Head And Into Print

If you are looking for a great book to help you with getting your own book done, here is a brand new step-by-step practicle guide to writing and publishing. Written by Kas Winters, Author/Illustrator/Publisher and owner of Winmark Communications, the book has tips from more than 50 published writers and includes getting started with the writing process, choosing professionals to help you, designing your book, utilizing software, making printing choices plus distributing and marketing your book. It took her almost two years to compile over 200 pages of great information which can guide anyone through the process to Get That Book Out Of Your Head And Into Print.
The book is available online only from Winmark Communications for $19.99 plus shipping and handling.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Marketing Our Self Published Book

"The Bay Gull" is our first book which was self published and if you have followed our story, you'll know that the decision to go this route was so we could launch our book while on a trip to Rhode Island. We needed a fast way to get the book from the computer to a finished format. We already had the completed book and illustrations and in March, 2009, we began our journey to self publishing. Four months later, just in time for our vacation, the book was available for the public.
Our deadline was a great motivator and we highly recommend having a firm date in mind. We worked backwards knowing that we had to have the book finished, completing the multitude of activities that needed to get done in order to make it happen. We had a very busy 7 day trip filled with book readings and author appearances.
Before having the first date set, we created a Facebook Group (which is now a Facebook Fan page - please join!) to get the word out about the book, asking people to join our group and for their suggestions on book reading locations. In addition, we created a website for TINK INK Publishing which has a calendar where we could add upcoming events.
About six weeks before the trip, we started scheduling author appearances by calling people who we already knew, letting them know we would be in town debuting the book and that we wanted to have an event at their location. As you can see by the list, all but one of the events were a result of working with people who we already knew:
  • A daycare owned by a friend
  • A gift shop owned by a friend
  • The bagel shop featured in the book and owned by a friend
  • The book store down the street from the bagel shop referred to us by our friends at the bagel shop
  • Our parent's driveway on the parade route for the Fourth of July parade
  • A bookstore that we arranged by contacting a local person who holds weekly storytimes
  • A bookstore where a friend's father works
Through another friend, we received a list of almost 60 local news contacts. Two weeks before our arrival on the east coast, we e-mailed press releases which included information about the book and our scheduled appearances. The press release also went out to about 400 personal contacts through e-mail and to all our Facebook friends. Several news contacts picked up our appearances for their local calendars of communtiy activities. Our weekly storytime new friend, Anika Denise, wrote a review of the book for her widely read children's book story blog which came out in the paper on the same day as our first book reading.
In addition to sales the day of the event, most of the locations purchased books to have in inventory. People gave us great suggestions on other stores who may be interested in carrying the book. For two days, we traveled around visiting some of the recommendations and our favorite shops. Our opening usually went something like, "Hi, my name is Mona and this is my husband, Emerson. Emerson recently wrote a children's book about Rhode Island and our friend .... from .... thought you might be interested in carrying it." Or, if we didn't have a referral, we would mention that we loved their store and thought it would be a good location. By the end of the trip, we were excited to have the book available in 13 stores.
We owe a world of thanks to our printing company, Premier Graphics, who did an amazing job meeting our deadline which enabled us to sell over two hundred books in seven busy days.
Since July, our marketing efforts have continued and we are now working with 20 independent businesses including non-profit organizations (Save the Bay, The Herreshoff Marine Museum and Linden Place) and an on-line store for children's books, Winmark Communications. We are always looking for new organizations to work with and new sites to feature our books so if you have any great ideas, please share!!
Mona & Emerson

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Writers, Authors, Speakers and Publishers Getting Together for Holiday Mixer

Thanks to our gracious hostess, Kas Winters of Winmark Communications, author of Mother Lode and Get that Book out of your Head and into Print, and her husband, Roger Winters, local writers, authors, speakers and publishers had the opportunity to mingle for a few hours this holiday season.

Guests included Kay Wallach, Ed. D., Educator, (pictured right with an aspiring writer, Jeanne Scofield, on her left) and Jeanette Chaplin, Ed. D., Author/ Educator (pictured below with one of Kas' friends, Mary Lynn Mason, on her left). It is no surprise that with this fabulous crowd, the topic of literacy dominated our conversation.

Deborah Brown, Producer/Co-Host of The Boomer and The Babe Show, (pictured below with Joseph Marotta, author of The Drapery Workroom, and Author/Speaker Coach Larry James) is interested in continuing our conversation on the air. We may all be getting together again soon at her studio over the next few months.

Kas and Roger did a fabulous job bringing together an amazing group of people who share a common goal of reaching children through reading.

Thank you for a great time!
Mona and Emerson