Monday, December 13, 2010

2010 Recap & 2011 Outlook

2010 has been the most exciting year for me as a new author. To just think there's so much that I didn't do but I'm still proud of what I did do. For starters, I dedicated significantly more time to my craft this year. I attended 2 major writer's events: Literary Meet & Greet and the Motown Poetry Jam & Literary Conference. Just recently I began setting aside time for writing AWAY from home. Having learned that under no circumstances am I going to get a lot accomplished at home because I'm surrounded by too many other obligations, I've concluded that I must get away. Borders Book Store has become my place of refuge. Being surrounded by what I love most--new books--I'm instantly inspired. And as long as I stay off the Internet everything I accomplish during those 90 minute to 2 hr sessions is significantly more than I would at home.

Although I wasn't successful, I set some pretty high goals for myself this year. One of them was entering the 30 day National Novel Writing Month contest where participants try to complete a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. As for my current writing project, the goal was to have the 1st draft completed by 12/31/2010. I haven't given up. There's still 2 1/2 wks left in the year and anythings possible, right? The ultimate goal is to be published by June 2011.

Since I've jumped into 2011, I might as well get into my 2011 outlook. Delegation, delegation, & delegation. Yep, I'm going to be delegating some of these self-publishing responsibilities beginning with my website. Admittedly, I like the layout & design of my website, but there's a lot more that I could do with the site IF I had the time to invest in it. My time needs to be spent writing & promoting my work!

As for writing goals for 2011, they are to publish my second novel, Reconciliation to Hell. Next, I plan to finish writing my first non-fiction book. Lastly, I plan to have my quarterly newlestter up & running--1st edition due 1/2011. Sounds like enough, right? And to think I didn't even mention the number of workshops, conferences, & writing classes I plan to participate in. Oh, and how could I forget book promotions!!!

I'm exhausted already! Wish me luck!

Essence of Motown Literary Jam & Conference

Actually sold a book during the conference! And to think that I almost didn't didn't attend. What was I thinking??? The conference was awesome! I made some great contacts and picked up a possible writing mentor. I attended a workshop entitled "Writers Tools" and learned that a massage therapist can be used as a writing tool? You know, relieve the stress of long hours spent at a computer or the frustration of writer's block. Something I needed to know. Hmm, lets see what else did I pick up during the conference:

1. Post-it notes are ideal for plot planning
2. Delegating key tasks such as website development,& editing
3. Allowing guest bloggers to help keep blog regularly updated
4. Continue professional development wby attending conferences & writing programs
5. Set daily writing goals (i.e. page count, word count)

 Pam Perry-PR Specialist
Hajj: Founder of Brand Camp University

Wow! What can I say about PR. It's where the real work begins. Yes, I thought the writing was the real work until the book was done and it was time to sell the darn thing! Did you know that effective PR for your book begins up to 2 yrs before you're even finished with it. Yes. Seriously! Below are a few of the PR tips I picked up.

1. As an author, your book is your product but YOU are the brand. Translation: Time to break out of that shell! According to Pam Perry, people buy things from people they like. Therefore, plaster that poster girl/boy grin on yourself and look the part of a professional at all times.

2. Speaking of looking the part--invest in a professional photo shoot for your website photos and especially book jacket picture and any promotional products. Yep, get your "America's Next Top Model" poses ready.

3. Always look the part. No more stepping out of the house looking all homely--even just going to the corner store. Pam Perry says you should always represent your brand even when you're not in that mode. You never know who you'll run into.

L.A. Jefferson & "Street Lit Phenomenon" Relentless Aaron

What can I say about our afternoon keynote speaker Relentless Aaron? He's got an amazing story of tenacity and well, relentlessness. He's received accolades from some big name folks like The New York Times, Publisher Weekly and ABC World News for being a "one-man marketing machine". From what I learned of him on this day he's about his business and part of that is helping aspiring authors to achieve their dreams. But he had words of caution too. "Expand your mind from just writing books." E-books are all the rave now. They're out selling print books now. Authors have to think outside of the box if your plan is to make it beyond your city and state limits. My ears were wide open to his words of wisdom and I encourage other writers to listen up as well.

No doubt I was fired up about my writing career at the close of the event. Well done Sylvia Hubbard for putting this all together! Can't wait til next year's conference.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


"Embarrassing" is the first word that comes to mind when I think of my word count to-date on this last day of the National Novel Writing Month contest. I won't even bother trying to type the night away until the midnight deadline! It'll be a complete waste--well maybe not a complete waste. Afterall, some typing is better than no typing at all, right? Right! Considering that maybe I will write from the time I get home this evening until midnight...Do I have it in me? We'll see.

Rather than looking at myself as a complete failure for not reaching the 50,000 word count, I'll give myself a pat on the back for effort. As writers, especially writers holding down a day job to pay the bills and taking care of family (kids, spouse), it's important to acknowledge and celebrate even the small steps toward the ultimate goal. The truth of the matter is had I not participated in this contest I may not have even gotten as far as I did on this particular project--let's just say the ball is definitely rolling. Maybe next year for NaNoWriMo. Until then I'll be working on my goal of writing EVERYDAY!

L.A. Jefferson

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

NaNoWriMo--Day 9

Okay, folks. It's the 9th day of the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge. So far I'm still amped up for the challenge. I'm writing everyday, except this past weekend :( but I was up and at 'em first thing Monday morning! Right now I'm kind of baby steppin' my way to to the 50,000 word count being at a mere 1700 word count but I just know a huge gush of words is going to hit me when I least expect it. Let's just hope it's before the deadline of November 30th :)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Ready...Get Set...WRITE

Calling ALL budding authors. It's November 1st and the challenge has begun! What's the challenge, you want to know??? The challenge to write your novel in 30 days! Can it be done? Absolutely! Ask any of the thousands of participants each year. Have I done it? Absolutely NOT! LOL! But I am giving it my best shot this year since I finally remembered the annual challenge before Thanksgiving Day rolled around. LOL! I figure I don't have anything to lose by challenging myself to begin and complete my novel by midnight on November 30th. What's the worse that can happen? Get half way through. Get a fourth of the way through. Heaven forbid I actually finish it!!!  Sounds like a win/win to me for anyone struggling with getting those words on the page.

So I invite everyone to either join me at ( OR follow my progress. I'll be updating my blogs, website, twitter, Facebook...all that! Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Do Over

Okay. Here's where I am on my current project. Let me forwarne you that it's quite a shame--at least by own standards but I'm trying not to beat myself up too much. After all, it's not how you start but how you finish, right? Anyway, I started writing a new version of Reconciliation to Hell sometime in the spring. If you've read my post you'll remember my self-imposed deadline of having the draft completed by the end of summer. CLEARLY, that didn't happen, but we move on...So, I've been trudging along a little bit (and I do mean a little bit) at a time with chapter one then finally chapter two. Over the last couple of days, for some strange reason, I wasn't feeling these pages as the start of the story. It just wasn't sitting right with me but I sooooo did not want toss the pages. What a waste that would have been? After pondering what to do with these pages that were really an introduction to new & return readers on where the main character's state of mind is coming from before I really get into the depth of this story line, I decided to make the pages I've gotten to so far the prologue. Although it makes perfect sense I still can't help but feel like I haven't accomplished anything as I'm now staring at a blank page entitled Chapter 1. Heavy sigh.

Guess I better get busy. It's hump time FOR REAL. December 31st is the new deadline for the 1st draft. I'm shooting for no less than a chapter a day!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Talk about Happy Friday

Last Friday was a good day. At my day job I had the opportunity to participate as a vendor in which the proceeds were to benefit our company's United Way Giving Campaign. It's funny that I ordered 10 copies of my book a couple of weeks ago in preparation for the event and I planned on ordering some more but time got away from me. Anyway, the morning of the event I found myself to be a nervous wreck! Why? I don't know considering it was my very coworkers who would patronizing me along with the other participating vendors. Well, before I could even set up my table good I'd made a sell of two books! Immediately, I became nervous that I didn't have enough books if that was indicative of how my sells were going to go for the day. Luckily, I had two more copies sitting in the cabinet at my desk. By the end of the day I sold all my inventory of books! I was ecstatic. My weekend was definitely off to a great start. And to top it all off, not only did I have promotional items available with all of my contact & book information,  I even remembered to have available a mailing list for passer bys and those who purchased the book so I can keep them abreast on my work. Girlfriend is stepping up her game, right???

Friday, September 24, 2010

Internet Marketing Lesson

Yesterday I was listening to the Michigan Literary Network Blogtalk radio. Admittedly, I don't do this often enough considering the show airs every Wednesday. Anyway, yesterday was a great day to tune in because the topic of discussion is my WEAKEST LINK--marketing & promotion. Penny Sansivieri was one of the guest. She's the author of Red Hot Internet Marketing which I'd never heard of but after hearing how this is a must have for EVERY writer/author I quickly ordered it off the Internet. I should have it in a couple of days and I can't wait!

As far as marketing goes I'm going in the right direction just at a snails pace. I blog, as you can see. I have a website that I hope you've visited :) I'm on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. I'm a member of a gazillion Yahoo groups. All of this stuff is what I've learned that writers need to grow their readership and keep them engaged. Well I have them but I've been kind of laxed with putting them to work so here's what I've done in the last couple of weeks:

1. Created a fanpage on Facebook for my book Unfinished Business.
2. Created an author page for Facebook.
3. Creating a reader & writer newsletter. I actually created one a few years ago but I dropped the ball with keeping it going and pushing it towards my audience.

Coming up next will be the book trailer of Unfinished Business. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What's Brewing for L.A.?

All I want to know is where did summer go? Between transporting my daughter to her first summer job, spending endless evenings on my mother's porch with my kids & neices and nephews, and working my day job summer just flew by. One day the day will come when I can take a leave of absence from my day job during the summer months, if not the entire summer at least 4 wks would suffice, to spend some quality time with my family and, of course, getting some writing done. As that's not the case right now I'm sad to report that I didn't even come close to reaching my goal of completing the 1st draft of my new book, but I have been very busy with that and several other projects. In addition to Reconciliation to Hell, I'm working on a memoir so to speak about my personal battle with attaining my desired body shape, short story about a 40 yr old woman trying to live out her dream of the campus life as a college student, and I'm creating a newsletter for readers and writers.

Oh, did I forget to mention I recently joined a book club, not including the one that I'm a facilitator for. Whew! Can you say BUSY! But as long as it relates to reading & writing I LOVE IT!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer Update 2010

It's 2 o'clock in the morning and my sleep was rudely interrupted so I figured since I'm awake I'd post to my block since I haven't done so in about a month. If you read my previous post you know that I challenged myself to finish the first draft of my upcoming book, Reconciliation to Hell, by the end of the summer/beginning of school. Well, while I'm not even close to the end of the book I am, however, at the end of the first chapter. I know it's nothing to shout about but a girl's gotta celebrate the small milestones too, right? Since I'm in a celebratory mood, I might as well mention a couple of other milestones for a local self-published author pursuing literary stardom. After nearly 5 years of being a member of Motown Writers Network, a network of primarily metro-Detroit writers & authors, I finally attended the annual Literary Meet & Greet, an event providing local authors a forum to introduce themselves to the community of readers and writers. And get this...not only did I attend the event, I also had promotion material available! Believe me, that's a pretty big deal. As an author I'm an entreprenuer of myself, my product and I've got to treat it as such. I've got to advertise, advertise, advertise every opportunity I at the African World Festival this weekend. I didn't pass out as many of my flyers as I should have but I did give a few out. Anyway, the Literary Meet & Greet proved beneficial for a number of reasons. For one, I had the opportunity to speak about myself and my book. For two, I met a book reviewer and an Internet radio host who has openings for guests. Lastly, I was inspired to keep perservearing to be my #1 promoter and keep at it. Practice makes perfect, right?

Now, before I get too sleepy I better pull out my document and see what progress I can make in the next hour that I plan to be awake

Friday, July 09, 2010

An Impossible Goal...I think NOT!

It's almost been a complete week since I've done any writing on my upcoming novel, but its okay. My confidence is not shaken that I'll complete the first draft by the end of the summer--marked officially as the day after Labor Day (I'm taking every available day). The story is pretty mapped out in my head. It's just a matter of dedicating some MAJOR time to do the writing. Tomorrow will definitely be one of those days. Besides an early morning gym session and a mid-morning writers' group meeting and church on Sunday, I have cleared my schedule for the weekend so I hope to make some SERIOUS progress. I'll post an excerpt of my progress by Monday so be sure to come back.

Til Later, L.A.

Friday, July 02, 2010

First Things First

I've got to admit, it's kind of cool being called on as a resource. Now that folks know that I'm a published author I get questions all of the time about the "process" and such. Most recently a woman who I met at a book club meeting a few months ago excitedly shared with me that she was in the process of penning her first book. From what she's told me thus far, it's going to be a good one--spiritually revealing. We exchanged numbers before the meeting ended, but we haven't had any contact with each other until she called me a couple of days ago. She shared with me that since she was still unemployed she was filling her days with writing and researching material for her book, but she wanted to get some information from me on the publishing process.

In a nut shell, I advised her of the avenue I took to publish my book, but I also stressed the importance of focusing on completing that first draft. I remember the first effort I made with writing Unfinished Business about 15 years ago. I was really enjoying putting the pieces of the story together, surprising myself with what was going to happen next. Then, years later as I began to realize that I might actually publish this creation of mine my focus took a sharp left turn. Instead of having fun putting the story together, I started getting caught up in  the "publishing" factor. Thoughts of rejection from agents, publishers, readers began to get in the way of my writing. As self-publishing began to rise in popularity, I started getting off into understanding that monster, trying to figure out what kind of budget I was working with, who'd design the cover, who'd edit, who'd print, who'd promote and market. It was quite overwhelming & distracting, hence, the length of time it took for me to finally publish my book. Therefore, I'd advise any aspiring writer to get the raw story completed first, then delve into publishing. Don't get caught up in who's going to like your work. First, you have to like it--no, actually love it. Believe me, once you get to the point of publishing, you'll be wishing for the time to do nothing but write :)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Notebook


Desktop computer? Check. Laptop? Check. Netbook? Check? Flash Drive? Check.

As you can see  I have just about every writing tool available for writers. In fact, before laptops finally droppedto my price range, I remember purchasing some piece of equipment that one would create typed files that could then be plugged into the USB port of a computer, trasnferred into a Word document. When I bought that I just knew I'd found the answer to all of my writing problems. This equipment was comparable to today's Netbook today so I figured I'd become a writing machine completing projects in no time at all! Fast forward 15 years, I had the same thought when I purchased my first Flash Drive. In reality ,none of these contraptions have helped me more with making any progress with my writing than the old handydandy notebook.

Granted, I don't pen entire stories in a notebook, preferring the ease of using the editing functions available with computers, however, notebooks have a never-ending value for a writer. I use notebooks for some of everything. Taking notes at a writer's meeting, jotting down story ideas, writing out character details & descriptions, creating scenes for a story I'm working. What's funny is that I haven't always been this way. I was all about typing everything. THEN I realized that I simply would not always be able to use a computer when inspiration struck, so hence my regular use of notebooks began. Now I just can't get enough of them. I'm comforted by just knowing that I have them around :))

Friday, April 16, 2010

How Are the Book Sales Going?

Arrgh! I kinda hate when people ask me this question. I know people's hearts are in the right place, but I just wish I had a better answer for them. I mean, they don't want the truth. "They can't handle the truth!" Sound familiar??? Just kidding, but seriously, I know many of the people who have asked me this question want the best for me. They want to hear some stupendous number of books that I've sold and BELIEVE ME, I would love to disclose a stupendous number to them, but I just can't right now. As a self-published author there is a lot of work to be done to spur even a decent amount of book sales and I just haven't had that the time to dedicate to it lately. I've got a busy teenager to keep up with,  adolescent son who needs much attention. Oh yes, I have a day job that keeps the bills paid and I regularly commit time to serving my community. Not to mention, I'm really anxious to dedicate more time on my upcoming novel because I certainly don't want to take as many years to finish it as it did to finish the first one. Honestly, I don't feel bad about my slow book sales because I'm still reveling in the joy and satisfaction of having finally published the darn thing! However, I do recognize that I have to do more to get it out of my hands and into the hands of readers, so keep checking my blog for my progress. AND, by all means, if you have some suggestions, please feel free to leave your comments!

Til later...L.A.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Got Another One

Coming up with ideas for books is the best part of being a writer. At the same time, it can also be one of the most frustrating aspects, too. Why? Because the ideas practically fall from the sky. Ideas can sprout from ones own dreams & fantasies--like my story of Unfinished Business, which began from my own desire of reconnecting with an old flame. They can also come from ones real life dramas, such as my upcoming novel, Reconciliation to Hell, which deals with a couple's reconciled marriage that leads them both on a path straight to hell. Then the surrounding world is filled with ideas too! For example, I was watching a clip of Beyonce and her mother on the Today Show. As usual they were talking about their closer than closer mother/daughter relationship, right? Right. Then I began thinking, why doesn't she (Mrs. Knowles, that is) ever speak about the younger Knowles girl, Solange??? Have you ever noticed that? It's always about Beyonce and her mother. NEVER the other sister. Even when they talk about Beyonce's nephew--he's known as Beyonce's nephew NOT Solange's son. If it were me, I'd be pretty ticked about it! So my imagination gets to running...MAYBE Solange is not Mrs. Knowles daughter. Mayber she is the daughter of Matthew Knowles and some other woman. Hmmm. To my knowledge, this fact has not been brought to light, but truth or not, it sparked an idea for me to create a story about it. NOW that story could take many forms. I won't give it away now and I'm not fearful of anyone taking the idea because one story can be told from countless angles. Stay tuned...

L.A. Jefferson, April 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What's an Author To Do?

Okay, for a minute there my books were selling like hotcakes! At work I was selling like 2-3 books a day as the word spread about my recently published novel. It was really cool! Things have slowed down quite a bit, but that was to be expected. What I didn't expect to learn is that, rather than some people buying their own copy, they've been reading a book purchased by someone else. WTF??? One coworker was walking past me the other day, and she was like, "Girl, I didn't know you wrote a book." Then I'm thinking, cool, she wants to buy one. WRONG! Then she says, "Yeah, so and so gave me a copy and I was like, L.A. Jefferson...that woman on the back cover looks just like LaCharmine. Then OHHHH that is LaCharmine. I'm liking it so far..." While I was glad she was enjoying it, I would have much rather preferred she bought her own. But, it happens, I know. I, myself, have borrowed someone else's copy of a book. Not because I was too cheap to buy my own, but because they offered it to me. Soooo I won't cry over spilled milk. What I will do is push my book sales even harder to compensate for the those darn book sharers!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Oscars 2010

I'll be the first to admit that watching award shows is not always the most entertaining way to spend a Sunday evening. However, as an artist, I just can't help myself. When I watch shows like the the Oscars and the Grammy's my heart swells with grand admiration that, many times, has brought tears to my eyes. Now, I could be extra sentimental, but either way, after I watch these shows I'm always inspired to never stop pushing towards accomplishing my dream!

The most moving moment of this years Oscars--next to Mo'Nique's acceptance speech for her award for the Best Supporting Actress--was Sandra Bullock's acceptance speech. Towards the end of her acceptance speech for Best Leading Actress, she paid homage to her late mother who always made her practice whatever it was that she was interested in at the time--ballet, piano, acting, etc. "An artist must practice their art if they expect to be any good at it," Sandra quoted her mother.

Those words made me wish that I'd had that kind of support from my mother when I initially showed interest in the art of writing. But, the difference between my mother and Sandra Bullock's mother is that her mother was an artist and artist know what artists needs. What's good is that even though my mother didn't encourage me in my younger days, she's like my number one supporter now, passing out my business cards and telling people about my book more than I do :). And now I have a whole slew of artists--Mo'Nique, Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry, Whitney Houston, Alicia Keyes, India.Arie, the late Alliyah--who encourage and inspire me everyday. They worked hard be able to live their dreams and that's what I have to do. So as advised by Sandra Bullock's mother I have to practice my art everyday in order to perfect it, which means I have to write something everyday, whether it's daily blog entries, story ideas, character creations, etc.

To all my aspiring writing buds, happy "daily" writing!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

1st Book Club Discussion of Unfinished Business

Needless to say I was pretty geeked up about the book club discussion of my book, Unfinished Business, on this past Saturday with The Sistas Book Club. In fact I was so geeked up that I couldn't even attend a coworker's birthday party on the night before the book event. I needed a full night's sleep so that I could have all of my barrings about myself. This was, after all, my first time talking to a group of readers of my book in such close proximity. Talk about getting down to the nitty gritty. As an author, the bottom line is the readers, right?

I went to bed and woke up with thoughts of how this event was going to transpire. What was I going to say? Most importantly, what were they going to say? What were they were going to ask me? Would my responses flow like water running from a faucet or be lumpy & bumpy like rocky road ice cream? Believe me, unless you rehearse talking about your book--like my mentor, Sylvia Hubbard, advised me years ago--it is possible to stumble over your responses about your own work. Not because you don't know it through and through, but because of simple nervousness. Anyway, I didn't want that to be me. Even though this would be my first group discussion of my book, I didn't want it to appear that way, you know what I mean?

At the end of the day, I came through with flying colors. I was thrilled that my story was so well-received and created so much fun conversation! An array of topics was broached, including: friends' involvement in friend's relationship decisions, the revolving door factor of relationships, how ones personal atrocities can affect ones career, and can a man be as forgiving as a woman when he's been wronged in the relationship? If I didn't say the discussion was lively, it was!

As much as the book was liked by the book club members, I'd be lying if I said there was no criticism. One woman commented that she would've liked more sex scenes--details, details, details. Honestly, I won't be feeding into that one. I'll leave that for the romance and erotica authors. The most surprising critique by two of the members was that the story started off slow. As the author, I thought I pretty much jumped right into the story. In fact, I wondered if jumping in so quickly was a mistake. But, the harshest criticism one member noted was that she could tell this was a first book, BUT she wants to read more from me. Hmmm. How would you take that? My first inclination was one of negativity, even though it is my first book. However, an author doesn't necessarily want readers to be able to tell it was a first. We want it to appear as though we've been writing for years. But I'll take it for what it's worth--there is room for improvement and I look forward to doing so with my next project.

So, as I continue on my path to literary stardom, I thought it was important to share this first major stepping stone. Hopefully, this will be the first of many book club discussions that I'll be involved in as the feature author.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

In the Meantime

In The Meantime...

As ready as I am to get deep into my next novel, Reconciliation to Hell, I and the inspiration to write just can't seem to get on the same page! I can't really call it writer's block at this point in the game because I haven't really gotten started writing. Not really, at least. During the composition of Unfinished Business I started the first draft for it, but that was it. Now that I'm FINALLY ready to move forward with my next major writing project, I can't seem to get focused. One possible explanation for it is that while I'm finished writing Unfinished Business, I'm just getting started with promoting it. And there's so much to do!

But you know what, I can't harp on it. Instead, I'm spending my free time doing the next best thing to writing--reading. In addition to reading some of my backlog of novels on my bookcase, I'm taking the time to read through my numerous writing resources. I have books on grammar, style, character description, plot building, and then some. When the time is right my writing will begin.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

2nd Saturday Writing Session

Seems like this 2nd Saturday of February took forever to finally get here! I've never been more excited about a Saturday writers meeting. Not my monthly Motown Writers Network meeting, but my personal scheduled writing session with a fellow writer. Like last month, we did more talking than actual writing, but there's a benefit to be found with that. For the last two weeks, I've been pondering over what my starting point is going to be for the story. Well, after today's session my starting point has become more clear. For example, I was initially going to create new characters for the story, however, an idea came to me just this past week to use the troubled married couple from Unfinished Business. This new change of direction has excited me. Luckily I'm not that far into my writing that I can't reconfigure what I have so far. At the conclusion of our session, we did agree we should work on being more productive prior to our meetings and using our sessions to review and encourage each other. I can't wait to REALLY get going on this.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Keeping Your Eye on the Prize

Everyone you know is aware that you've written a book. In fact, many of them have even encouraged you along the way. So, why is it that now you have finally published the darn thing ALL of these people have NOT purchased a copy??? You wonder, what the hell are they waiting for? A special invitation? Maybe, maybe not. Guess what--that should be the least of your concerns. If you find yourself wondering why friends and family haven't purchased a copy of your book, you need to reevaluate your purpose for having written the book. Is it your life story? Is it a family genealogy book? If not, then I suspect, the purpose of your penning that novel was to eventually introduce yourself to the world as the latest and greatest literary talent on the block!

This message is for myself just as much as it is for other aspiring writers or novice authors. Ever since word has gotten out at my job, that's where the bulk of my book sales have occurred. As much as I appreciate it, because a sell is a sell, I've got to reach more of my target audience and that's going to take a whole lot more work on my part.

I'm babystepping, but I'm on the right track. One of the young ladies that I work with told her sister about my book and now I'm going to be the featured local author for her book club. Now, from what I hear, they're big time with their book club, attending national conferences and such, so hopefully the news of my book will spread on that circuit. I'm so excited about that and will keep readers posted on that. Then, while perusing the Internet, I came across a site, Raw Sistaz, which provides free book reviews and they have low cost advertising available, too, so I'll be taking advantage of that soon.

Also, this week, I expanded the distribution option with my book printer so that major booksellers will be able to stock my book on their shelves. I haven't even touched on the conferences and vendoring opportunities that I have yet to take advantage. Whew! When they say it's hard work being a self-published author, that was sho'nuff the truth.

Stay tuned on my road to superstardom!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

First Big Break

I caught quite a BIG break this past Friday. A friend of mine at work purchased a copy of my book and it turns out that her sister is a member of a national book club association that features local authors once a quarter. Soooo, as the three of us are alums of the best high school in the city, Cass Technical High School, AND we support our own, her group will be featuring my book for the next quarter. Isn't that awesome??? That tidbit of information made my day, in fact, my weekend. God is surely moving in my world of writing!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

True Progression

Now that the word is out about my book, I'm selling anywhere between 1-3 books a day! That's pretty darn good if you ask me. The challenge, now, is to get the word out beyond my coworkers and friends. I need to reach the general public. So, although I'm a bit slow with my progress I feel like I'm getting a better handle on being a self-published author.

Some things on my to-do list to increase sales include:

1) Create some postcard size informational pieces about myself and my novel.

2) Advertise my new website on all of my social media outlets

3) Develop my newsletter for aspiring authors and book lovers.

4) Enlist the assistance of one of my coworkers to make me some bookmarks.

5) Have a booksigning in February.

Random Book Review

Wow, just finished reading your book Unfinished Business, and what a page turner, I enjoyed so much. What an easy read. Book cover was pretty, drew you to the the book.The print was very good. Drama and supense all in one book. Great job, will be looking to read your next project.

Carolyn Roberts

Friday, January 15, 2010

True Confession

I feel so insanely CRAZY right now! I have this awesome group of supportive coworkers who gladly purchased copies of my novel, Unfinished Business--not because I advertised the publishing of the book to everyone at one time, but because one person asked me for a copy (they saw a card I posted on our bulletin board), then they told one person and that person told another. In like, 10 minutes I sold 6 copies! I could've done that weeks ago, if I'd just opened my mouth!

The question of the morning was, "Why you didn't tell nobody?"

I didn't have a solid answer ready, at least not an answer that made any sense! In fact, I stumbled my words due to sheer embarrasment. At the end of the day, I can only admit the obvious. I totally suck at self-promotion.

It's not a fear of public speaking--I do that pretty well. I love listening to and being supportive to others as they, but when it comes to tooting my own horn, I fall short. And that is HUGE problem when you're a self-published author. Believe me, it's not that I don't believe in my work--because I do. It has more to do with the fact that when I began dreaming of the life I wanted as a novelist, I dreamed of creating fun and fascinating entertainment for readers, traveling the country making appearances at book signings, and the like--NOT having to rely on word of mouth (my own mouth, at that!) marketing myself. I guess I envisioned the marketing & public relations department of the major publishing house doing ALL of that part of it.

Well, that's neither here no there at this point. I've got to face the facts. I'm a self-published author. If I intend to be a successful one--even if it's to grab the attention of a major publishing house--I'm going to have to light a match under my feet and get this thing going!

I invite all of you--whoever's reading--to follow me on my pursuit of learning how to toot my own horn in the name of success! Wish me luck :)

Saturday, January 09, 2010

New Year New Plan

Let me first begin with an exuberant Happy New Year!!!

I'm nearly finished with my holiday reading. Only a few more short chapters to go in the Mary Higgins Clark/Carol Higgins Clark holiday mystery book I started the week before Christmas--I just can't read as fast as I used to :(

Anyway, today is a day for writing. It's also the day for the monthly networking with members of my writers group, Motown Writers Network. Since joining the group five years ago, I have always made a point to make it to the first meeting of year--didn't do so good with the rest of the year, but I always started out on the right track. This year, I wanted to do something different. Rather than spending three hours away from my kids sharing with others how I planned to accomplish my writing goals for the year--discussing writing goals is always the subject of the 1st meeting of the year--I decided it was more important to actually DO something in preparation of reaching my goals.

Therefore, on this 2nd Saturday of January, I found a quiet place away from the house, away from my wonderful children, away from general distractions, or so I thought. In hindsight, maybe the mall wasn't the perfect place because as soon as I got to the spot where I planned to writer, I came across a store closing sign outside of Waldenbooks. No brainer--I had to go in. But, long story short, I didn't do too much damage to my pockets--6 books for the price of 1. And two of those books were reference books and four were for my son. Not bad, right? Anyway, after that brief distraction, I did manage to get some writing done. I made a little bit of headway with a short story I started a few weeks ago.

I also had an opportunity to bounce a few ideas off of one of my writing buddies who, later, met me at my new writing place. Another positive outcome of my writing session was the opportunity to promote my book--Unfinshed Business--to a woman who just happened to be seated next to me. She saw my notebook and the books that I had just purchased sprawled across the table and inquired if I was a student. Somehow or another she mentioned that she loved to read so, OF COURSE, I jumped at the chance to tell her about my book. Although she didn't buy a copy, she did offer to tell a PR friend of hers about me so that they could possibly assist me with promotion! Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time.

Til Next time...L.A.