PR Tips, Part 2: How to Prepare for an Interview

How to Prepare for an InterviewLast week we discussed five tips for landing an author interview. Once you’ve done the hard work of building your contact list, sending out press releases and building your author platform, it’s important to prepare yourself for the moment your efforts pay off and an interview opportunity presents itself. 

Here are five tips to make the most of your time in the spotlight: 

  • Reply promptly. When approached with the opportunity for an author interview, take it. Even if it’s with a small local newspaper or your neighbor’s video blog, take advantage of this chance to start building interview experience. Check your email and voicemails regularly, and respond to any opportunities promptly and with great professionalism and eagerness. If you keep a journalist waiting, your story could become less timely and he or she might lose interest. (more…)


Writing Tip & Prompt: 1/25/2013

Writing Tip - Don't OverwriteOn Fridays we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Writing Tip – Don’t Overwrite

Remember, you don’t necessarily need a paragraph describing the bus or a character’s kitchen, unless you’re absolutely sure such descriptions are necessary to the mood of your story. Otherwise, a long, unnecessary portrait will not only feel tacked on, but will surely bog down your readers. Always remain relevant and concise!

Writing Prompt – “Quitting Time!”

Imagine it’s your last day of work at the office, and you’re moving far, far away. What would you do to make yours memorable? Take the fish and ask who’s coming with you? Or quietly slip out the backdoor? Now, write a story or poem that captures your complex emotions on your final workday and the future ahead of you.

 


PR Tips, Part 1: How to Land an Interview

How to Land an InterviewMarketing is sharing what you love with people who want to hear about it. But, it can be tough to find your niche. Follow these five tips on how to land an interview, and you just might find marketing isn’t as daunting as it may seem.

  • Don’t always think bigger is better.  Sometimes what God wants you to do is not “big” in the ways we tend to measure success.  Sometimes He doesn’t want you to be on Good Morning America; maybe he’s calling you to reach out with your book’s message to your community or a suffering neighbor. Pray and think about what God is calling you to do with your book. Land an interview with your church bulletin, your local radio station, your archdiocese’s newspaper or with the forums or blogs you frequent. Also, try a local university that might be searching for speakers for a class lecture or guest speaker at an event.
  • Send out press releases.  TV stations and radio shows are always looking for fresh content. Send out your press release to targeted journalists, and you could gain attention.
  • Build your contact list now. Even if your book isn’t published quite yet, send a synopsis of your book to the media. You know what your book is about, so you can still talk about it and promote it before its release date. This relates to my next tip…
  • Build your author platform before your book is published. This is a crucial point many authors overlook for various reasons. In order to gain credibility, you should build a blog, set up your social media accounts and print out business cards before your book is available for sale. That way you already have a community of contacts who consider you an expert in your field. Plus, you have tangible evidence for TV, radio and newspapers that you know what you’re talking about.  
  • Set up your own online podcast. You don’t have the time or experience to do that? Hire an intern who has experience with setting up, recording and editing podcasts. Make it just a weekly, hour-long podcast, and place it on your author website. Have guests for the first 30 minutes then talk about recent events and tie in your book or read a few excerpts of your book.

Remember, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. WestBow Press can help you with your radio interview, press release, author website and publicity campaigns. How did you land your first author interview? Share your advice in the comments below.

 


Writing Tip & Prompt: 1/18/2013

On Fridays we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

 Writing Tip – Slow down

There is a common saying, “Haste makes waste.” Many writers try so hard to finish a paragraph or chapter that they inadvertently leave gaps in argumentation or plotlines. Don’t be afraid of devoting the time necessary to really explore all the details of your story. Be sure to reread your manuscript and have a friend read it, so you can fill in those holes and publish a best seller!

Writing Prompt – Connect the Details

Consider one seemingly mundane detail about your day and position it next to an intense moment in your life. For example, perhaps you enjoyed your morning cup of coffee while watching the falling snow. Now combine this detail with something more intense, such as the death of a loved one or losing a previous job. Begin a story that links the small detail you chose with the larger, intense story of your life. Does the falling snow represent something bigger than itself? Could your detail offer comfort or confrontation that the normal grieving process could not?


Why App Publishing is Right For Your Children’s Book

You wrote a children’s book? We have an app for that.

The percentage of children who have read an e-book has almost doubled since 2010, to 46 percent. Times are changing and thanks to e-readers, the book publishing industry is too. E-books are able to be read on your computer, e-reader, smartphone or tablet, making them accessible and portable. Several of these gadgets have e-book apps that make e-books even more appealing to younger readers. In order to keep your book from falling behind the latest trends in book publishing, you must adapt your book marketing strategy to fit into these rapidly-growing markets.

What better way to keep up with the rise in e-books and e-readers than by turning your children’s book into an interactive app? WestBow Press wants to help Christian authors expand their reach through App Publishing services. With ReadPlay App you can turn your children’s book into an interactive app that is made specifically for children’s books and available on the latest Microsoft tablets with the Windows 8 operating system.

Interactive Features:

  • Read to Me – Allows readers to listen to a professional voiceover read your book’s text while they see it on the screen
  • Record Me – Enables children to record themselves reading the text
  • Color Me – Allows children to choose from a pallet of colors and “brush” sizes to color the images on select pages of your book

The ReadPlay App is just what your book needs to get children excited about reading it, and the app’s features make reading a fun and interactive experience for the children. With the Read to Me and Record Me features, your book becomes a tool in helping young children learn how to read.

In order to help you promote your ReadPlay App, WestBow Press also offers an App Launch Campaign. This allows you to advertise your ReadPlay App through banner ads on Microsoft tablets.

If you want your book to keep up with the latest technological advancements in publishing, contact your WestBow Press representative at 866.928.1240, and they’ll help you turn your book into the interactive ReadPlay App.


Writing Tip & Prompt: 1/11/2013

On Fridays we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Writing Tip – Smooth Transitions

Never write to a stopping point. Always begin the next section before you quit for the day. Keeping a consistent tone from day to day is difficult. Stopping in the middle, or after you get started on a new section will help ensure your tone smoothly transitions over line and chapter breaks.

Writing Prompt – Fork in the Road

Many moments in life require a decision between taking one path or another. Think back to a previous situation in your life when you had to choose between one course of action and another. Now, write two stories or poems about your experience: one that attempts to captures what actually happened as a result of your choice, and another that postulates what could have happened if you had chosen differently.

 


2011 Women of Faith Writing Contest Winner, Amy Sorrells on Traditional Publishing

“Every time you post a status update, it says you’re editing,” a friend on Facebook recently joked with me.

She’s right. At the same time Women of Faith announced I won their 2012 writing contest last March, my literary agent was negotiating a traditional publishing contract with David C. Cook. Since then, life has been a bowl of cherries.

And editing.

And editing.

And editing.

And I couldn’t be more grateful.

To be honest, the editing process (which is finally winding down) has been the most difficult work my brain has ever done. Not awful, just difficult. I like to relate the process to a concert band. Initially, the instruments struggle to be in tune, find the tune and carry the tune. The conductor reprimands the trumpets for playing too loudly. He sends the woodwinds to another room to figure out how to make their part blend in better, and the drums are so far off score, they seem hopeless. But in the end the music comes together and lifts the applauding audience to their feet. It is the same with editing a novel in preparation for publication. (more…)


Writing Tip & Prompt: 1/4/2013

On Fridays we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Writing Tip – Edit, Edit, Edit

Eliminate your weakest links…through revision. Any chapter from your book should be good all by itself. Let no weak link chapter (or sentence) exist in your work. Rewrite until your chapters stand strong individually. Just think of the impact they will have as a whole.

Writing Prompt – Brainstorm

Brainstorm words or images about your book’s topic. Don’t stop to evaluate each word’s worth; just keep writing down ideas. When you can’t think of another word, wait a little while. Often the most powerful idea will surface after you have cleared all the less valuable ideas out of the way. Run with it and write.

 


New Year, New You – Write that Book

With every new year comes a fresh start, and what better time to start writing your book than now. Between writing your book, editing it and finding a publisher, writing can be overwhelming and stressful. The key to reaching your writing goals this year is to make it an achievable task that fits into your schedule.

To help you with writing your book, I’ve listed four helpful tips:

1.       Set a reasonable deadline – Whether the deadline is for your first draft or for publication, make sure it is reasonable. If you are aiming to write a novel in a month, writing can quickly escalate from a fun passion to a daunting chore. Plus, with a reasonable deadline there is always the chance that you will finish ahead of schedule, increasing the sense of achievement you will already be feeling from writing your book.

2.       Outline your plot and characters – Writing your book can be as easy as you make it. In an earlier writing tip from WestBow Press, it was suggested that you really know your characters before you start writing your book. By taking the time to outline your plot and characters, writing your book will be like filling in the blanks.

3.       Make a schedule and stick to it – Like your deadline, your schedule should be reasonable to prevent yourself from falling behind. When making your schedule, remember that quality is better than quantity and it is not imperative to write every day. With a reasonable schedule, you  can always change your schedule as the writing process progresses.   

4.       Schedule time to edit – If you already have editing time scheduled, it will not take time away from focusing on the task at hand: writing your book. By editing your work on a different day than you wrote it, you will be more likely to catch any errors or typos. You can save time at the end of the writing process if you set aside one day a week to edit your work.

Writing your book does not need to become a new stressor in your life. Use these tips to help keep writing your book a fun and enjoyable task.


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