Sunday, February 21, 2010

Are you ON THE VERGE of a creative breakthrough?

Don't miss this evening program on March 2 in Pittsburgh.
Created and produced by yours truly.


Check it out:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Creating a Virtual Book Tour

My friend and colleague, Linda Handley, recently published an endearing children’s book, Squeeky and Louie, in honor of her father, F. R. Handley. (All proceeds from its sale benefit the American Cancer Society.) Linda had the brilliant idea to take Squeeky and Louie on a virtual book tour and was kind enough to share her process for doing so with all of you.

What is a Virtual Book Tour?

A virtual book tour is when an author visits websites, blogs and forums instead of bookstores, cafes and universities that a brick-and-mortar book tour would include. During each stop of the virtual book tour, an author "visits" a different website, blog or forum and may: be interviewed, post an original article or essay (guest post), have their book reviewed, answer questions from the blog's readers or any combination of the above.

Creating a Virtual Book Tour

When creating a virtual book tour it is important to have a well thought out and organized tour. Here are five steps to get you started.

1. Review your current contact and inform them that you are doing a tour; invite them to join you by 1) posting content to their own blog, 2) getting the word out to their social networks or 3) giving you general support.

2. Search other blogs, forums and networks for additional sites that may be interested in hosting you. Keep in mind that you want to stay in your target area and not just invite everyone.

3. Keep a schedule of your dates, keeping in mind that you will need to monitor and respond to comments.

4. Promote your tour on your web site, social networks, blog and press releases.

5. Thank the tour host and do any necessary follow-up.

6. Have an electronic copy of your media kit accessible on your web site or blog. This allows for easy sharing of your book information and you as an author.

Tips provided by Lee Drozak of My Office Assistant:

Read more about Squeeky and Louie:

Squeeky and Louie is a children's tale about two gray mice and their adventures with Gus the Cat. "What are little, loving mice going to do when they want to come out and play? This turns out to be an easy problem to solve. Well, with a little clever help the two mice lead the reader on a tale of adventure." The simple text is joyous and engaging, but this is really a story told through the marvelous illustrations. Youngsters will love all the captivating facial expressions and wonderful humorous detail on each page. Squeeky and Louie is a timeless classic to share with friends, family, and future generations. Visit

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ten Changes in Publishing Since 2000

A lot has changed in the writing industry since started in 2000 (the same year that my first book, The Highest and The Best, was released). Most of us used dial-up to search the Internet for publishers and agent. Social network wasn't in the English vernacular yet (Facebook didn't even start until 2003)

Here are a few other things that have changed in the past 10 years, according to
  1. Many publications and publishers accept electronic submissions, whether via e-mail or online submission forms.
  2. More than ever, writers have to brand themselves.
  3. Writers must do the work of marketing and promoting themselves to agents, editors, publishers, and--ultimately--readers. (Wondering how? We recommend Get Known Before the Book Deal.)
  4. Personal sites and blogs have made it easier than ever for writers to develop an audience.
  5. Ad-based print resources (i.e., Magazines and Newspapers) have struggled to adjust to the Internet with new content strategies and pricing models. (Market Watch, exclusively subscribers gives you insight on the latest changes.)
  6. Due to the tough economic times, publications are relying more and more on freelancers. (With over 8000 listings, can help you find these opportunities.)
  7. The proliferation of online content has opened up more opportunities than ever for writers from all backgrounds.
  8. There are more online tools than ever to help writers research and write more efficiently and knowledgeably.
  9. Social media offers easy and ground-breaking ways to network with publishing professionals, other writers, and potential interviewees. (If you're not already a member, join the Writer's Digest Community. You'll become a part of a supportive and creative community dedicated to the art and craft of writing.)
  10. Businesses and organizations now rely on great content to attract new customers, sell products, and spread important messages--the trend of content marketing. (Wonder how much you should charge for this content? The "How Much Should I Charge? Rate Card" gives you answers!)