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Gumbeaux – 2011 Readers Favorite Fiction Contest

Readers Favorite is a terrific venue for new authors who are looking for an inexpensive and reputable group to help them navigate the world of writing. Gumbeaux received a 5-star rating and Gold level award for its genre of fiction, Chicklit. Highly recommended staff – knowledgable and generous with their time. Readers Favorite Review Featured Amazon Contest

Hunting and Fishing: Tackle Box Tools for the Aspiring Author

What does hunting and fishing have to do with being a writer? More than you might imagine. If you think you’re exempt from needing these skills, you may find you’re going to need a bigger boat, so to speak. After placing well in a writing contest, I was approached by several people who wanted the same thing. They resembled eager, wide-eyed hunters, sure that there was a sportsmen’s paradise within reach, if they could just locate the geographic coordinates. The questions have been pretty standard. How do I get started? What should I write about? How do you get an agent? How do you get published? But the most interesting question so far has been how do you find the courage to put your work out there? This question was from a woman (we’ll call her Nancy) who had already written an entire series of books, but lacked the confidence…

Antisocial Media

God bless the Internet. It’s the great equalizer of our time. It has been a tour de force for introverts the world over who feel more confident and less prone to risk behind a laptop than a podium. Marketing no longer is the exclusive playground of handsome and highly articulate extroverts, people that really know how to connect with other people.  A website can have an infinite amount of charm – or at least charm enough not to require a spokesmodel. How has this been possible? One reason is a fundamental shift in marketing itself and how society sees it. Marketing strategy has evolved from outbound to inbound. An outboundmarketing strategy involves actively finding people and making them aware of your product and offerings.  An inbound marketing strategy is about being easy to find. It requires a high level of visibility. If you are invisible to Google, it’s not going to work. This being said,…

Your Friends in the Book Marketing Business

Book marketing can be rather overwhelming, especially here in the middle of the publishing revolution. The good news is that there are more and more emerging companies out there who bring a lot of light to this dark arena. Whether you are anauthor looking for assistance or a reader trying to find the best deals available, this post is to create a compilation of resources you may find helpful. Pubslush: A global, crowd funding and analytics platform for books only. This platform allows authors to raise money and gauge the initial audience for new book ideas, and for readers to pledge their financial support to bring books to life. Pubslush is entirely about giving: giving an opportunity to authors, giving a voice to readers, and giving books to children without access to literature. http://www.pubslush.com  Author Marketing Club: An author member can submit books for promotional opportunities, as well as access free online training and resources related to…

Writer’s Digest Conference West 2013, Los Angeles

For a good time, click here: Lulu.com interview / Writers Digest Conference West 2013 in L.A. —————————- I just attended my first writers convention, which turned out to be among the best and most informative experiences of my life. The Writer’s Digest Conference West in Los Angeles took place at the end of September. During that time, I was able to meet people I never would have otherwise.  Journalists who had been working in the writing field for ages. There was so much great information it was hard to capture it all, but here are a few points that that definitely resonated: 1) Metadata can make or break your career. This was a talk given by Rebecca Albani, Publisher Relations Manager at Bowker. It was an illuminating session about how details in your online data impact more than we realize. In a nutshell, the data we upload to the Internet…

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Writing is one of those creative aspirations that typically accompanies another salaried job. Few can sustain a living simply from writing. If you ever start to feel down about not being able to make ends meet via your writing career, don’t fret. You are in good company. Here are just a few famous authors and the jobs they maintained in order to pay the bills: J.D. Salinger was employed as the entertainment director on the H.M.S Kungsholm, a Swedish luxury liner. Stephen King was a janitor, as well as a high school teacher. William Faulkner went to Ole Miss for three semesters, then dropped out and became the school’s postmaster. John Steinbeck ran a fish hatchery near Lake Tahoe. He would also give tours of the facility. Harper Lee was a ticket agent for Eastern Airlines. Jack London was an “oyster pirate.” During the night, he would steal oysters from the oyster beds  of the most successful farmers and then…

Consider the Source

I recently read an account of a celebrity and her young daughter which captured the concept of feedback from a unique perspective. Having completed a Google search, the daughter was troubled to find that strangers were saying all kinds of things about her famous mother, both positive and negative. The mother told her daughter that when people make those kind of comments, the feedback is based on their own individual experiences. Therefore, when people provide comments, they are typically talking about themselves, whether they realize it or not. What an epiphany, and what a great way to see feedback (like reviews) in a completely different light. People are a product of their own experiences, strung together like pearls over the course of a lifetime. If art imitates life, then reviews of art imitate the reviewer‘s life. Reviewers respond to reading material based on their own individual experiences. When people read books, they view them through their own filters which…

Build Your Wings on the Way Down

“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.” – Chinese Proverb “Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.” – Ray Bradbury These powerful quotes began a wonderful book marketing seminar I attended recently with Sheri Fink, a #1 international best-selling, award-winning children’s author and creator of “The Whimsical World of Sheri Fink” children’s brand. Sheri writes books and gives talks that inspire and delight children while planting seeds of self-esteem. She is also very generous with sharing her best practices, as she has an extensive background in marketing. No matter how you come to the table as an author, marketing is going to be a certainty for the duration of your career. How can we turn marketing into a labor of love? Sheri advises authors to “Write the story your heart wants to tell.” Although she enjoyed a very successful career in…

Scenes from a Street Fair

Writers, have you ever participated in a street fair? I recently had the opportunity to represent local authors through Read Local San Diego at the Encinitas Street Fair. The total cost of the booth for a couple of days was $300.00, broken out into time slots for authors to utilize at the price of $25.00 for a two hour period. Considering that literally thousands of people attend the annual Encinitas Street Fair (situated two blocks away from the Pacific Ocean), it was clearly a cost effective way to gain exposure in the community. Parking nearby was out of the question. My husband was good enough to drop me off near the booth, using back roads to weave in and out. Realizing this would be the case, I took a roller bag with wheels to carry my books, a desk easel to display my books at the booth, several pens, a pad of paper, and a set of business cards. As far…

Would You Write a Book Without an Outline?

You probably wouldn’t drive across the country without a map. You probably wouldn’t cook Thanksgiving dinner without recipes. Would you write a book without an outline? The practice of outlining a book in detail takes an enormous amount of discipline. Focusing on the infrastructure of the story is a whole different ball game than writing in free form and letting things evolve as they may. My first book was a result of rambling writing sessions, often resulting in superfluous content which ended up being taken out of the story. Although it was fun to just write and see what happened, it seemed there had to be a more effective method out there, one that would result in a greater yield with less exertion. Most writers have other jobs, and when it comes to writing time, every moment is precious. Some writing coaches suggest that creating a detailed outline is the most important part of book writing, and the part…

©2017 Kimberly Vargas | Author - Writer from San Diego. California