Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Teacher, Teach Thyself? Lessons Learned in Marketing Myself

It's been interesting prepping for my upcoming self-promo webinar sessions. Over the last several years I've learned a lot about the different types of writing. Stuff I know both practically and from my education: sales writing, business writing, formal argumentation, Facebook posts, etc. So perhaps ironic would be a better way of describing my efforts instead of interesting; because I didn't do a very good job getting this out the door.

What happened was that I wasn't getting nearly the number of conversions into ticket sales that I would have expected based on the even'ts page views. A couple of days ago it hit me hard: I'd left the Eventbrite page the same text as my rambling blog post. I've fixed it up now, but for this first session it may be too little too late.

So that's my big lesson--more information isn't necessarily better when it comes to sales communication. I do like a nice, dense, informative blog post, (OK. I probably could use editing there, too,) but when you're trying to interest someone, you have to be short, punchy, and get the benefits out there first thing. I didn't do a good job at that.

In any case, learning from mistakes is a valuable part of getting better at anything, whether it's running a business, the craft of writing, relationships, cooking... anything. So embrace the suck, as they say, and figure out what to do better next time.

So what has been your big lesson lately? What are you doing differently these days? If you care to share, how did you realize your mistake?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Press Release: Tesseracts 18: Wrestling with the Gods

This is the first time I've ever published a press release. Normally they don't have a big place in publicizing a book; but, in this case, Tesseracts, an annual anthology of the best in Canadian speculative fiction, holds a story by my husband, James Bambury. Keep an eye out for pre-orders which should be available soon. 

Don't worry. I'll remind you. - Beverly



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

"Tesseracts 18: Wrestling with Gods" edited by Liana K and Jerome Stueart 
Faith in Science Fiction and Fantasy Anthology 
ISBN: 978-1-77053-068-3 (Trade Paperback 5.5" X 8.5") 
E-BOOK: e-ISBN: 978-1-77053-069-0 To be released April, 2015
http://www.edgewebsite.com/books/tess18/t18-catalog.html

Authors announced for the latest volume of the prestigious Canadian speculative fiction anthology series. 

(Calgary, Alberta) EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing is pleased to announce the names of the contributing authors for the forthcoming edition of the prestigious Tesseract series. 

"Tesseracts 18: Wrestling with Gods" will include works by: Robert J. Sawyer, Matthew Hughes, Alyxandra Harvey, Halli Lilburn, Derwin Mak, J.M. Frey, Steve Stanton, Megan Fennell, Jen Laface and Andrew Czarnietzki, S. L. Nickerson, John Park, Janet K. Nicolson, Suzanne M. McNabb, Allan Weiss, Savithri Machiraju, Carla Richards, Mary-Jean Harris, James Bambury, Mary Pletsch, David Jón Fuller, and Jennifer Rahn, Erling Friis-Baastad, David Fraser, John Bell, David Clink and Tony Pi -27 of the biggest names and brightest rising stars in Canadian science-fiction and fantasy. 

This latest volume of the Tesseracts series contains tales of creative and religious diversity - a trending topic in books and movies. The stories and poems draw from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Agnosticism, Atheism, Humanism and the beliefs of Indigenous Canadians, (as well as actually creating faiths and religions of other worlds). 

“Any anthology that starts with a story called 'Mecha-Jesus' is clearly not a traditional look at religion” says EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publisher, Brian Hades. “This robotic savior is joined by the Hindu god Ganesh trying to break into Bollywood, the Sun God Ra discovering Coronation Street, a priest on Mars, a vampire in residential schools, and a woman with a secret under her hijab. 'Tesseracts 18: Wrestling with Gods' definitely contains many surprises!”

As in past versions of the Tesseract series, the editors are handpicked by the publisher. “Tesseracts 18: Wrestling with Gods” is edited by widely-published sci-fi/fantasy author and writing teacher Jerome Stueart -- who is a gay Baptist from the Yukon Territory -- and “perfect heathen” media personality Liana Kerzner -- who is best known as Liana K. 

"Tesseracts 18: Wrestling with Gods" is a lively, thoughtful interfaith/interpath anthology of creative and religious diversity - with a speculative fiction and fantasy twist!

Media Contact: 
Janice Shoults, EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing 
www.edgewebsite.com 
403.254.0160

ABOUT THE TESSERACTS SERIES: 

The first Tesseracts anthology was edited by Judith Merril. Since its publication in 1985, 299 authors/editors/translators and guests have contributed 502 pieces of Canadian speculative fiction, fantasy and horror for this series. Some of Canada's best known speculative fiction writers have been published within the pages of these volumes - including Margaret Atwood, William Gibson, Robert J. Sawyer, and Spider Robinson (to name a few). Tesseracts Eighteen is the forthcoming volume in the series. The entire series includes Tesseracts One through Eighteen, plus Tesseracts Q, which features translations of works by some of Canada's top francophone writers of science fiction and fantasy. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Calls for Submission #5

This week Selene MacLeod once again brings us the occasional column Calls for Submission (CfS). You can see all of the CfS columns here. Don't forget to joint Selene's Facebook groups 
Finally, you should sign up to receive my news and columns by email; make sure you don't miss useful stuff in the social media shuffle!

Now here's Selene with various calls, some with quickly-approaching deadlines! - Beverly



Greetings! I hope everyone is staying warm and looking forward to spring. I know I am!

This time around, there seems to be a proliferation of noir and crime calls, or maybe I'm just sensitive to it. So in honour, I'd like to direct you to the current open calls for crime/thriller/mystery fiction. I'm taking my first STAB (see what I did there?) at it myself, and it's not easy.

Markets that Accept Flash Fiction: 

Pro rate-paying markets currently accepting submissions:

Semi-pro markets currently accepting submissions:

  • Primeval: A Journal of the Uncanny seeks essays and creative nonfiction (up to 5K words) related to the following: literature, music, film, television, infamous locations, and diabolical esoterica. Contributors are paid $50 and two copies. Open until filled. Send all submissions to primeval.journal@gmail.com.
  • Postscripts to Darkness has re-opened for fiction submissions for our planned 6th volume, scheduled for release in Fall 2014! "We have revised our submission guidelines somewhat, so please read them carefully if you are thinking of sending your stories for our consideration." We pay one cent/word (Canadian, minimum payment $25) for fiction between 1500 and 4500 words. http://pstdarkness.com/submissions-2/
  • Like a Haunted Trail: Erotic Tales of the Weird Wild West. Deadline March 15, looking for erotica 3k-6k words. Pays $25.http://www.circlet.com/?p=5240
  • The 2014 issue of The Martian Wave is still looking for submissions. All stories must centre around the exploration and colonization of space. Payment is 1/2 cent per word. Send your submissions ASAP. http://nomadicdeliriumpress.com/tmwguidelines.htm
  • Flapperhose. Looking for flash/short fiction up to 5,000 words (pays $0.01 per word) and poetry (2.5 cents per word). "Surreal, shadowy, sensual, satirical." Not quite sure what that means. Quarterly, so the next deadline isn't listed. http://flapperhouse.com/submit/
  • Weird Bard Press. Torn Pages anthology. Looking for fiction about social upheaval, 1000-5000 words. This call is extremely vague, so I assume they'll know what they want when they see it. No vampires, zombies, werewolves, or erotica. They want stories with queer/disabled/POC/"Other" characters. Political but not soapbox. Pays $0.02 per word. Open March 1-May 31 2014.http://www.weirdbard.com/p/page-one.html

Token, royalty, and non-paying markets currently accepting submissions:

Contests:


Monday, March 10, 2014

Self-Planning for Self-Promotion: A Book Marketing without B.S. Web Workshop

I am doing an in-depth online workshop on self-promotion for all authors and comic creators. This isn't just for the self-published, either. If you're published by any house, big or small, you know how much work falls to you for your own book marketing and publicity. In fact, it's telling that my clients primarily fall in the small-to-medium publisher category, with the next largest being major publishing houses. (And yes, I have a few self-published/owner-created comics clients, too!)

Right now there are two dates: Thursday, March 27th at 7 p.m. Eastern Time and Sunday, April 13th at 1 p.m. Eastern Time (get those tickets here). I will do this again a few times a year as long as there is interest, so if you miss these, let me know what time is good for you and I will take that into consideration when I schedule the next one. (Also, if you can gather 6 or more people interested in the workshop, I'll create another event at a time chosen by your group.)

Here is a tentative course outline:
  • Pre-Planning
    • Honestly determine your strengths and capabilities
    • Choose the right tools for you
    • CreateSpace and other print-on-demand vs. traditional printing vs. ebook-only
    • Decide whether to create a business entity or publish under your own name
  • First Steps
    • Plan and Outline
    • How far in advance to send review requests?
    • How far in advance to hire help if you are going to?
    • How to get blurbs?
    • Publicity: interviews, guest blogging
    • What about traditional media?
    • One-sheets for mailed books
    • Book trailers and other video
  • Details
    • How many and what type of targets?
    • Get your data right here!
    • Review copies: physical vs. electronic
    • Keep consistent, good records
    • What does return on investment mean in this context?
    • Social media: tips, tricks, and useful apps
  • Obstacles
    • Toughening up to criticism--or how to cope if you can't
    • Connections and networking: more important than you think
    • Growing too fast: slow follower growth is GOOD
    • The importance of honest people
    • Self-publishing and industry respect
  • Q&A
This should all take between 90 minutes and two hours, depending on how many questions there are--and please do bring questions! Also, feel free to email me questions ahead of time if you don't see them addressed in the outline and I'll do my best to work them into the material.

Buy tickets here:
I look forward to meeting with you soon!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Self-Promotion for Authors and Comic Creators Webinar Update: Timing Survey

Hi, all! I am planning that webinar on self-promotion for writers and comic creators sometime this month. It's an update and expansion on the free talk I gave at SFContario this past fall. I plan to charge somewhere in the neighbourhood of $15 for the session, which I expect to take 1.5 to 2 hours. If you're potentially interested in this, take this survey to help me get an idea of the best day and time to run a session. I'l consider two sessions if necessary, or even more, depending on response, so tell me what works for you and I'll make a schedule late this week. Anyhow, here's the survey for your radio button-clicking convenience:


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