Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wannabe's Journal for April 13, 2011

As many of you found out last week. I now am able to be two places as the same time. No...I am not Superman. I cannot even fathom the idea of trying to leap small buildings. I have a hard time putting my cloths on in the morning. My life changed on Wednesday night while I was sleeping. Someone had hacked my email account and stole all my contacts. My account had been cannibalized. I was not in Spain as the message implied. I was actually in my den all day Thursday trying to recover my email, folders and contacts. I finally got my contacts back by Friday night but not without a lot of effort on the digital chat feature on my pc. The lesson learned is that you need to change your email security frequently...once a month. Also have a backup email account and tie it to the one you use most frequently. Most of all...export all your contacts twice a year to Excel spreadsheet and save them as a CSV file format. We enough about that geek stuff.

My week was not completely ruined by the TEST. I recovered in time to attend the Mad Anthony Writers Workshop in Hamilton, Ohio on Saturday. The two day event began on Friday night at 7 PM with registration and mixer. The featured speaker that evening was Margaret Luongo, Ass. Professor of English at Miami University who gave a talk on: The Joys of Writing"

Saturday's Program started promptly at 8:30 AM. The morning sessions were broken into four categories of interest: fiction, non fiction, career and anything goes. Three were three class periods in the morning for each category and two in the afternoon. I was not able to attend all the sessions but I can provide you with some insight on what the speakers discussed in the sessions that I did attend.

Speaker 1: Hallie Ephron talked about POV(point of view) from 8:30 to 9:45. Ms. Ephron is the author of Never Tell a Lie and Come and Find Me. She provided a very educational handout that discuss the various types of point of view:
First Person
Third Person Limited
Multiple Third Person
Many of you know why I would attend this session. I really struggle with this issue. I will keep the handout from this might help.

Speaker 2: Jane Friedman talked about the "3 Models for Do-it-Yourself Publishing. Since I am teaching a class on this very subject I was hoping that I could pick up some new material to include in my future lectures. Ms. Friedman is well known and respected in the writing community for her work at Writers Digest and her blog: There are No Rules( He lecture center on the following:

Self Publishing will not kill your chances with a publisher or agent.
Seven of the publishers comprise 87 % of all books sold
In many cases the exercise of self publishing is just as difficult as finding an agent and publisher
Self publishing generates low volumes normally. Total sales less than 300 copies on average.
Success is based on growing your readership(platform) through marketing

What to do:

Build credibility
Seek self promotion advice
Like starting a small business
You are the sales force
Need to be comfortable with Technology


e-Book Architects for Formatting
Submit parts of your manuscript to "Good Reads"(
Cover Design is very Important---seek advice

Interesting Facts:

Amazon is selling the majority of all e-Books.
Reviews are very important...especially on Amazon.
Complete your profile
e-Book Pricing: Prices between 2.99 and 10.99 the author gets to keep 70% of the sale as royalty. Prices outside that range the royalty drops to 30%
Allow for readers to have a preview of some of the story
New venue for short story writers for e-Books. There is now Kindle Singles for manuscripts 20, 000 words or less.
Fiction is most often priced lower than non-fiction.

See you are never too old to learn something new. Even an old f... like me.

Speaker 3: Nancy Pinard who talked about Crafting Emotion on the Written Page

Many of us are familiar with Ms. Pinard's skills as an instructor as well as her depth of knowledge on this subject.

She reviewed three methods of achieving emotion in the mind of the reader. The class was able to read a number of pieces of that she handed out to those in her crowded lecture.

Concrete Specific Detail
Flashback and Flash-forward

In Fiction the paragraph is a Unit of though(emotion) not of time. Wow think about that when you are writing in the dark.
Members of her class were exposed to the beautiful poems of Christine Lovin. And we also read part of Abigail Thomas (memoir) entitled A three Day Life. This is a great book for those who are considering writing a memoir.

Luncheon Speaker: Hallie Ephron

She was fantastic in how humble she described this profession of writing. Her best advice is to have a case of champagne on ice. Celebrate your first draft, celebrate you first rejection letter or email, and if you are lucky enough celebrate you first sale or contract. I had to smile because I remember the day I received my draft copy of Letters from Otto which had a major mistake when it arrived. It didn't stop my lovely bride and I uncorking a good bottle of Merlot that afternoon.

Speaker 4: Peggy Barnes Writing Your Life Story

What a wonderful surprise to find that this respected author lives close to my home in Springboro.

"You write to find out the truth about yourself." This is the backdrop reason why you would want to consider writing a memoir. Much of memoir writing is flashback or back-story in structure. One author who we have recommended in this blog in the past is Ann La Monte who wrote "Bird by Bird" She also endorsed the concept of having the Sloppy First Draft(or Shi..y First Draft as she called it). Using all of the five senses to describe the scenes is another must have, Memoirs is a story of overcoming odds. You have to ask the question: "Who are you writing this for?"

One of her recommendations was rather interesting for those of us who listen to the NPR programs that is on daily about 1 PM called The story. If you have not listened to the show yet I would encourage you to do so. If you do not want to write you may want to explore other forms of digital publishing: U-Tube, Video recording, Audio and etc.

Ms. Barnes provided us with a list of recommended books and authors and I will bring copies of the list to the next Wannabe's meeting in May. The one book which I would recommend that she read from was "Choices" by George Ella Lyon.

My schedule did not permit me to attend any addition sessions that afternoon. The day was a great bargain and investment.

For those people who missed my Self Publishing Class at UD here is a sample of what we covered last class

Things to consider:
Do you have the time, money and experience?
Do you know your audience?
What is important to you…producing a project or writing?
What are your goals?
Do you have a platform?
Have you done the research?
Do you have access to the software?

In addition Consider:

Choosing the right eBook publisher
Picking the right format for the cover and book text
Secure a ISBN Code
Create your e-Book cover using downloaded format
Understand the payment options
Create your own business
Use an e-reader to test your product
Start Blogging, Twitter, use of social networking , contact newspapers, create posters and start marketing your work.

Wannabe's Next Meeting at Panera----------May 20th. I will send out a notice and coupons for coffee for those coming to the meeting.