Road Trip Book Tour: Part Two

  WINNER of the ROAD TRIP book contest is DEBBY DODDS (how in the world could I resist a book about John Waters hitchhiking?). ~      ~      ~ The first Road Trip Book Tour post was more about the Road Trip, this post is more about the Book Tour itself. Even if you never plan to go on a book tour in your life, the information may be helpful in other ways. I’ve been book touring for six years. And for many years before I started, I led workshops in schools, conferences, and festivals, performed live spokenword, and produced literary arts events. I was used to organizing events, traveling around, and speaking in front of others. But doing these things may scare the pants off of you. It doesn’t have to. My tours are set up in collaboration with my publisher in...

Rethinking Social Media Part Two

<—–UNDER CONSTRUCTION—–> As mentioned in a previous post, I have been rethinking how I use social media to meet my my professional goals. To that end I am relaunching (and rebranding) this blog to match my other social media platforms. I had a bout of the creeping crud and was down for the count for several days, so I’ve pushed my blog relaunch. I will send out official invitations next week. Wahoo. WEBSITE RELAUNCH and BLOG PARTY: Thursday, April 3 
hors d’ oeuvres, giveaways, special guests, party games wooden hashtags brought to you by Pine Nuts NOTES ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR WRITERS I was recently in a panel/roundtable discussion for CWILL BC about social media for writers. I was asked to type up some of my notes. A bit of...

Authors of Indie Presses #3: Money is Good.

Many years ago, when I was a young poet, I adopted a “starving artist” mentality. To me, there was something romantic in it all. Creatively stretching small amounts of cash and haunting thrift stores. Running poorly-funded literary events and holding potlucks during the holidays. I realized later that having money isn’t evil, that it can breed its own kind of romance, and, in fact, can be pretty useful. Money is the flow of energy. It’s thanking someone for their work, their time, their skill. It’s being able to treat the ones I love to our little luxuries. It’s buying creative time. I live a fairly low-maintenance life. I have my simple luxuries (good food, good wine, staying on the beach on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast). But...

For Authors of Indie Presses #2: Book Store Reading Reality

Life has been so utterly cuckoo I am just now getting the second post out of a series I started two weeks ago. I initially thought of this as tips for Indie Authors and Authors of Indie presses, but really, I should just call it REALITY CHECK. The series was inspired by my own reality check as an author, as well as an excellent interview I heard by Cory Doctorow This post is a continuation of the last one on making public appearances. #2 Bookstore Reading Reality Many debut authors dream of that successful bookstore reading: a packed house, a line of people out the door waiting to get their books signed. Even I was prone to such fantasies. You may be surprised to learn that for a debut author (especially an indie author or author of a small press), bookstore...

For Authors of Indie Presses #1: Public Appearances

I’ve been mentally jotting what I’m learning about the realities of authorship since the launch of my first children’s novel with Hydra House (not Random House’s new ebook imprint Hydra). I deliberately chose to work with a small press for various reasons and I’ve been enjoying the ride ever since, though it is a long, slow, challenging ride. I had enough jottings to put together a list of Tips (AKA “reality checks”) that I hope you find useful. #1 – Make Public Appearances Make as many public appearances as possible. Social media is competitive. Large presses have bigger advertising pockets. People are inundated with information and marketing ploys. Put a face to your work, make relationships, and support others....