LRP Book Hound Radio Program Highlight Shows: Bobby Rydell, Kristen Lamb, and Matthew Bayan

For many of you who follow my author page on Facebook, this is not new information, but this year my life took a new, exciting direction in the public media eye when Janice Hermsen, of LeRue Press, asked me to co-host with her on the Book Hound radio show . Since the beginning of April when I joined, we’ve had fascinating guests on the air to discuss their books and their lives, some of whom are well-known and some of whom are slightly less known. The show has been a lot of fun, and Jan and I are hitting our stride, learning each other and how to make it interesting for the listeners (I hope!)

Over the last five months of co-hosting there have been many highlights. One of our recent and most exciting guests was Mr. Bobby Rydell. Yup, that’s right, of Grease Rydell High fame, of Bye Bye Birdie fame (he played Hugo Peabody and was super cute!) and of course he was known as a teen idol waaay before there was such a thing as Justin Bieber, and had many hits like Wild One and Volare.

 

Bobby Rydell has a new memoir out and he was sharing some of his journey and life experiences that make up the behind-the-curtain peek at his life. It’s called Bobby Rydell: Teen Idol Life on the Rocks. He was a gentleman to talk with, and he had some great stories to tell. One such was about how he would wait in the wings while George Burns did his comic routine. He said he learned a lot about comedy and timing from him. We have a podcast of the show if you would like to hear the interview. Go to America Matters Media, click on Podcasts, click on Book Hound. It goes by date and Bobby Rydell’s show aired on August 8, 2016.

Another highlight was this past Monday. We had Kristen Lamb on the air August 22, 2016. Kristen is the top resource for author branding in the digital age. She is the #1 Bestselling author of We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer. Her latest book Rise of the Machines–Human Author’s in a Digital World is an outstanding resource for any writer, emerging or bestselling. The publishing world is changing, and in order for our books to be seen in the vast ocean of e-books, we need to adapt with it. How will we stand out? How do we connect with our readers? And how do we maintain a long-term fan base? Kristen’s book explains it all! I also recommend following Kristen Lamb’s Blog weekly for writing tips and social media advice.  You can pick up a copy of Rise of the Machines on Amazon, and I recommend you do so. Until I can figure out how to share the podcast on my blog, here is a YouTube Video just for fun:

Clearly, I’m a fan.

Mr. Matthew Bayan has joined us on the Book Hound numerous times and he is a hoot. Matt is the author of the #1 bestseller Eat Fat, Be Healthy–When a Low-fat Diet Can Kill You and an editor. Matt is president of High Sierra Writers, a writing group located in Reno, Nevada and meets every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Reno Barnes and Noble located at 5555 South Virginia Street, inside the store at the Cafe. He has many years writing experience. We always learn something new when Matt is on the show! You can check out his blog here. And of course I would be remiss if I didn’t share one of his videos, this one is on character graphing. Hmmm…don’t know what that is? Watch the video:

This is what happens when I don’t blog for awhile–blog overload! So, this is a biggie, please bookmark and come back to it when you have the time. I get it, we are all busy, but I couldn’t hold back my enthusiasm for our great guests. Please tune-in to the Book Hound on Mondays.

Here are the specifics for the Book Hound: we air every Monday, 4-5 PST on 101.3 Renegade Radio, and 99.1 Talk Fox News Radio. If you can please join us and spread the word where to find us:

Streaming on http://amm.streamon.fm and KCKQ 1180 AM, a Lotus Station
Questions and comments: www.facebook.com/LRPBookHound
Tunein radio: Search America Matters Media
Text: 775.237.2266
Call in: 844.790.8255

If you’ve  missed the live show, you can pick up a podcast at americamatters.us. Go to podcasts and find Book Hound Show. If you are an author with a published book to share please let us know, maybe you will be our next guest! Contact Janice at janiceh at lrpnv dot com, or me, April, on my Facebook page.

 

 

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Guest Post: Storytelling, and Editing, is About Intent

Manuscript THE ALTERED I

Today I have the honor of sharing a guest post from Krystal Pyatt, one of the editors of Pypeline Editing. When people find out that I wrote and book and it was published the response I often hear is how they, too, would love to write something. That is terrific, I say in reply. But, often these starry eyed dreamers have little idea of what the writing process is all about and how crucial having a clear goal is to a finished, and polished work. Critical too, is the editing process. Few realize what effort goes into making that writing project sparkle and glow off the page. Here to give a glimpse into what objectives you, as the writer, should take into consideration when mapping our your story is Krystal.

 

Storytelling, and Editing, is About Intent

 

Writing is a magical thing. It is the activity where you place on paper ideas, stories and lessons. It is the ultimate way to share knowledge with others and even generations. To read it is to be entranced, immersed, captivated. If you do not believe in the magic of books, then you may not have found the right ones yet.

That being said, I can think of a few books that have failed to become anything magical. Perhaps it was the writer, the concept or even the editing—or maybe it was a combination of all of the above. Anyone reading this blog may have a few stories in mind as well that did not meet expectations.

The good news, intent can impact everything. Tweet That!

Writing is the process to dump all of your ideas and place the contents in your head to that of your story. However, having intent, having a purpose, can greatly impact the success of any book.

Free writing is important; some of the most creative ideas can come from free writing. However, having a clear intent, a clear message, a clear purpose when writing, can make sure the story moves in a particular direction. This can make it so the story is cohesive to the point of excellence. The reader will lack nothing in terms of the story and, in fact, the reader will be treated like an ally rather than an opponent. They will be in on the secrets of your world, they will be privy to foreshadowing even the characters do not know and the readers will then stay along for the ride, even if it is a torturous one for the beloved characters.

Intent extends to editing as well. In fact, this is when intent shines. It is valuable for each and every author to then ask themselves important questions while editing.

  • From the writing stage, what is the overall purpose of the story?
  • Does the chapter apply to that larger goal?
  • Does the character apply to that larger goal?
  • Does the event apply to that larger goal?
  • Is there anything missing the reader would not know?
  • Are you going in chronological order or is the timeline intentional at least?
  • Does the ending serve its purpose?
  • Is there too much going on?
  • Is everything clear and concise?
  • Are the words strong enough to convey the necessary emotions?

At the end of the day, the story should be a pleasure to read, not painful. The way to accomplish this it ensure, through the editing process, that every word, every punctuation mark and every page contribute to that purpose. Editing helps you cut out the excess content, albeit painful at times.

So, decide your intent and set sail. Create the masterpiece readers will find magical.

 

Author: Krystal Pyatt from Pypeline Editing

Pypeline Editing is a local editing firm in Reno, Nevada. Two editors work on every book. That’s two sets of eyes to ensure grammar problems and typos are completely eradicated. With copyediting, Pypeline Editing also offers professional insights in order to make each book ready for publishing using developmental suggestions.

 

Follow Pypeline Editing on:
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Pypeline Editing

 

April Voytko Kempler is the author of The Altered I, a  memoir about Joseph Kempler’s Holocaust experiences. Joseph was sent to six different concentration camps throughout Poland and Austria between the ages of 14-17. His story can be found on Amazon and Google Play books. 

Altered I Sample-April Kempler

How to Grow a Writer

Like plants, writers need a few basic instructions to grow. Here are five short and easy tips:

1. Prepare your writer by giving it the right environment. This may seem simple: pen, ink, paper…er,  computer, keyboard, writing software (that’s the one I like!) Whatever your tools, your writer has needs, supply them. Is the space frequented by family members or roommates? Or is it secluded? Is the area cluttered, organized, or a healthy mixture of both? Does the environment include music? Either Punk, Classic Rock, Country, or Classical? I prefer to give my writer quiet time, but that’s just me.

2. Give your writer plenty of water, food, and sunlight. This means you have to nourish your writer by reading. Read your favorite authors, read ones you only like so-so. Read fiction (any genre), read history and nonfiction, read memoirs and biography, read about science and biology. Reading expands your writer’s knowledge so your writer can–you know–write. It will also help develop your writer’s tastes and style. Your writer will also  learn what they don’t like to write about and what they do like to write about. In addition, your writer will learn how not to write. Of course this is subjective to each writer.

3. Fertilize your writer in the form of praise. Your writer could succumb to crippling self-doubt, lack of courage, or simple procrastination, resulting in stunted growth. Praise is essential, not too much though! Over-praise will burn the tender growth, and what you will be left with is an unproductive writer. The objective is to have a steady flow of creative sprouting.

4. Maintain and watch your writer. Pull out any weeds of distraction, or toxic negativity. These will choke the writer and diminish growth.

5. An idea, somewhat debated, is to surround your writer with sound. This may stimulate growth. Perhaps the vibrations your writer receives are in the form of a writer’s group or forum. Hearing feedback and constructive criticism can be beneficial for encouraging growth and inspiration in the writer. But it is up to you, really.

Notebooks

Of course this is all tongue-in-cheek, but I hope you gleaned a few good tips on how to grow as a writer. What is your writing technique? What has worked for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section of this blog.

What to do (and not do) While Waiting for Your Book to be Published

I’ve had quite a bit of time on my hands lately since signing that Holy Grail of a publishing contract and waiting for said book to actually be published.

The Damsel of the Sanct Grael, by Dante Gabrie...

The Damsel of the Sanct Grael, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti: medieval romance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most authors who have been around this publishing block a few times dig in and write another book. Of course, if you are like me and barely know how to use the tools in your Word program, then you’ve been gobsmacked!  There are a number of things you should be doing. Sitting around twiddling your thumbs waiting for your publisher to tell you what to do isn’t one of them.

Not that I ever thought that. I went into this situation with my eyes wide open. I knew the rules had changed since the early days of publishing and now a substantial amount of marketing was squarely on my shoulders. I just didn’t know where to go or how to get started and it all seemed daunting, and techie, and alien to me. So here is a brief list of things I discovered and that just might be useful to you, the burgeoning writer:

Step One: learn how your computer works.

Step Two: learn how to back up files. For some time it has been suggested opening up a drop-box account and simply shift your files there. I have been too overwhelmed with learning everything else there is to learn that I haven’t taken this step myself. . . yet. But I will! In the meantime, my computer automatically backs up to an external hard drive and I feel comfortable with that system. And yes, I hired someone to help me, just so you know before reading step three.

Step Three: if any of this is over your head hire an IT guy, or a computer fix-it guy, or gal (don’t want to presume) and let them handle it!

Step Four: set up you social media sites. This will take time, cause a headache, make you crazy and cross-eyed, but you just have to do it, so there! Not to mention all the passwords and user I.D.’s you will have to set up. Write them all down and keep them somewhere safe.

Step Five: learn how the social media sites work. Sometimes just a picture will suffice. Sometimes a sentence or two and a link (go back to Step One: learn how to work your computer) Simply cut and paste the URL and this will take readers down a rabbit hole right to where you want to lead them, hopefully. If it is any consolation I’m still learning. For example Twitter. I had no idea how to work it, I just wrote something and clicked on the tweet button. I had no idea where it went or what it all meant. You will also want to learn about ow.ly and bit.ly for Twitter. . . take my word on that.

Step Six: Start a Blog. If this proves problematic for you, don’t stress it, don’t do it. Content yourself with social media, or whatever is easiest or suits your personality. There are a lot of different ways to market yourself nowadays. Don’t limit yourself.

Step Seven: write blogs or short articles for other bloggers. Where to start? Facebook, Writer’s Literary Cafe, LinkedIn. These are all excellent places to find bloggers looking for content for their blog. The easiest is to write an author interview.  In your search engine look up typical author interview questions (you supply the answers) and customize the questions for your book, your genre and your personality.  This really works. I am personally grateful to all those bloggers out there who generously invited me to write for them. You can also write for news sites like examiner.com or Yahoo!Contributor Network. Click here to read my articles: April’s Yahoo! Articles.

Step Eight: if you have all this down cold, are already doing this sort of thing, then by all means write your next book!

In my opinion these steps are good to follow even if you are going down the self-published lane. It all comes down to marketing. So while you are designing your font, your front cover, your back cover, getting expert reviews, setting up your author pages on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble (and where ever else you can dream up), and learning how to create your space, you will need to tack on some of the above-mentioned steps.

Whatever you do don’t do nothing at all. Now is the time to build your platform, make a brand for yourself, make your unique voice heard. Many authors are doing this very thing, so don’t hold back and don’t be shy. I fondly remember what my publisher said to me in an email: “You are an author now, act like it. Get out there and get some interviews done.” Then she kindly shared some helpful links. Remember you are authors. Get out there and act like it.

April signing her book publishing contract with LeRue Press for THE ALTERED I

April signing her book publishing contract with LeRue Press for THE ALTERED I

What other suggestions do you have while waiting for your book to be published? I would love to hear about it.

Writing: How to Research Subject Matter for a Book

It seems the old adage “write what you know” really doesn’t apply to me. I take on projects well out of my comfort zone. The subject

A small slice of my 43 folders I use for GTD t...

matter is such that I may know a little about it, or nothing at all. I like challenges. So, if you are like me and like to learn knew things and pass on that new knowledge to others, then you will have to become an excellent researcher!

Research: one dictionary defines research as: “careful or diligent search” or, my personal favorite, “the collecting of information about a particular subject.”

A researcher is like being a butterfly catcher. You may know where the facts are but they may be random and hard to catch. That is why  you need the proper tools to “catch” your facts, or information.

I find the internet to be a useful tool, however, it doesn’t always lead to accurate information. That is why cross-referencing (related information found elsewhere), or comparing notes with others is beneficial . The fastest approach is a Google search. The results can be overwhelming though, so choose wisely and selectively. Don’t let the research take you down a rabbit hole, so to speak.  It is very easy to get side-tracked into reading unrelated material and wind up wasting a ton of time.

Don’t let the internet be your only source of information. Books are a wonderful tool. Go to the library, or borrow the book from a friend. You never know what interests your friends have until you compare books!

Ask an expert. A personal interview is a great source of information. Make sure you have a recorder (I use my MP 3 player, but there

Sixty-One Writing Implements

are a lot of choices out there. Always have a pad of paper and a  comfortable writing implement (pen, pencil, marker, highlighter).

Another option is to take a class on the subject,or  join a group. For example, I wanted to know more about the history of my city. I didn’t just read a book on the subject, or look it up on the internet. I joined the historic society in my city and got involved. Now I assist with historical walking tours, and I attend programs where experts discuss historical subjects pertaining to my town. You can also join specific groups on Facebook or Linked In. You can join in their discussions or add what you may already know. Either way it’s a good place to ask others what they know and begin gathering information.

Good organization is a must. You will be gathering a lot of information from a lot of different places. Keep sticky notes handy, file folders or a bulletin board. (This is a feature I’m still working on!) When your notes are scattered about it makes the job more overwhelming than it needs to be!

When I first sit down to figure out where to start, I jot down every word on the subject that comes to mind. These words may not have anything to do with the subject, it is just my initial idea. I may scrap that line of thought later, but it gets me going in the right direction.

And don’t forget always take careful note of your sources. Those are the building blocks of your Bibliography.

My book, The Altered I, a Holocaust Memoir, started from putting all these suggestions to use. I’m not an expert on the Holocaust, but my father-in-law, Joseph Kempler is a survivor. Who would know more about the Holocaust than someone who lived through it? I interviewed him, recorded his personal testimony, transcribed those recordings, then conducted an extensive research on the things he told me. I learned a lot about Poland, World War II, concentration camps, and ghettos. I also learned about the psychological damage inflicted on someone who lived through that horror, and how they relate (or not) to others.

Read sample chapters: Altered I Sample-April Kempler

To Pre-order click here.

You never know what will come out of your research, what will inspire you, or where it will lead.

Research can be fun, even addicting. That’s all I have to say. What do you think? Do you write only about what you know? Or, do you research a new subject? If so, what helpful tips have you discovered? I would love to know. Please share in the comments section of this blog.

Related article: Kitchen Timer  as a writing tool.

Terri Farley From Idea to Published Book: Tips that Work: How to Write a Book Event

The Magic Of Horses

Terri Farley is the author of the beloved Phantom Stallion series and several Young Adult books. She has been traditionally published, so she has the experience and the know-how to give practical tips that work!

Tip #1: Write about what you know. What makes you, the author, different from everybody else? Why are you uniquely qualified to write this book? Terri would like us to think about our background, and what we know.

Tip #2: Write like an animal. Terri suggests we use our senses when we write. What does your character smell, or  hear (weird things?).  Use viewpoint, either first person or third person. All of our life experiences can be used as a writer. We store each memory in our brain cells.

My advice is to take them out of storage, clear away the moth balls and use them!

Tip #3: Create conflict.  Make your characters earn their happily-ever-after. Conflict keeps your story from becoming boring. Remember you still want those readers you started out with on page one to still be reading by the time they reach THE END. It’s OK to torture your characters a little bit.

Tip #4: Find a critique partner. This is someone who will read your story and offer suggestions. This person should be carefully picked. Someone who likes the genre in which you write. Someone who will give you valid feedback. Someone not afraid to hurt your feelings. You, as the author, need to be willing and ready to listen to the advice and apply it where it fits.

Tip #5: Enter contests specifically designed for you. This cuts your competition.  And if you placed in the contest, you will be building your platform, show that you are willing to work on your skills as a story-teller and have bragging rights.  Contests are especially good if you don’t have a publishing history.

Tip #6 Discover publishers who accept your genre. Check out The Writers Market at the library. Look up agents and publishers who are interested in the kind of stories you write. Write down their contact information. Send a proposal. A little research can give a big payoff.

For more about Terri Farley, you can check out her website at terrifarley.com

I hope Terri’s tips helped you as much as they did me. What tips do you have for getting your book a first look by a publisher, or better yet, a readers eager hands? I loved to hear about it in the comments section below.

Matthew Bayan On Marketing: How to Write a Book Event

Wordle Cloud of the Internet Marketing Blog - ...

Matthew Bayan is a traditionally published and self-published author. His background is in sales and marketing. He had some really

good advice for us newbie authors who need to learn this very important aspect to publishing a book. First, Matt explained the difference between sales and marketing. There is a difference!

Sales is information that you know about: someone hands you money (every author’s dream) and you hand them your book. You know where that book is going, it is going to that customer.

Marketing is information that you send out, but you have no idea what happens to it. It is necessary, you must do it, but where it goes you don’t know. Matt used the analogy of fishing: bait the hook, cast the line, wait and see what happens.

Even before you put one word on paper, Matt suggests you develop a marketing plan. If it is fiction,know your genre. If it is nonfiction,  you need to clearly define what it is you want to say, who is your audience, and what are you providing. For example, when you walk into a book store (they do still exist!) look around, where on the shelves does your book go? You need to know this for your marketing plan to work. Keep it simple, don’t mix your genres, don’t re-invent the wheel, no revolutionary ideas. Writing is a business. Remember that word: business.

When a new author starts out every word is precious to him/her. Nothing must be cut from their great work of art. It’s literature! It’s precious! No editing! This is wrong thinking and it won’t sell books. Even Ernest Hemingway needed to make money to sell his books. He didn’t look at every word as precious, or literature that couldn’t be cut. “Write drunk; edit sober,” were Hemingway’s words. (quote my addition, not Matt’s.)

Next, we learned the Four P’s: or in Matt’s world, Five. They are:

  1. Product. For a writer the product is books, or articles, their writing. In order to improve the product feedback is necessary. You can do this by joining a critique group. Matt suggested his, High Sierra Writers. Now, of course feedback will probably come last, but depending on the feedback you receive, you can go back and change the product, or quality of the product. This, theoretically improves the sales of said product.
  2. Price. What is the cost to produce, print, distribute. These are important factors. Take for instance a known author versus an unknown author (me). The marketing plan will have a much bigger budget for the known entity. And if you are self-publishing you will have to foot the bill for all of the above.
  3. People. These would be agents, publishers, buying public, other writers. There are four sales you will have to make: A.) Query letter to agents. This gives them information about you and determines whether they will take you on as a client. B.) Query letter to publisher (either the agent does this, or you query a press that will take unsolicited queries). This will give the publisher information about you. Your image will convince the publisher to buy your book. C.) Publisher’s catalog. This is produced by the publisher, it comes out every quarter, for example: the spring line of books, summer line, fall line, winter line. This catalog goes to the bookseller’s or bookstores for them to peruse and make their book selections to sell in their stores. D.) Someone in a store or online sees the book, wants it and buys it.
  4. Place. Where will your book be sold? A bookstore, online, or a non-traditional place? Think outside the box. Matt related the sales technique of one of his friends. This friend wrote a book and in that book the hero rides a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He thought that people who ride Harley’s would probably be interested in his book, so he went to a Harley-Davidson motorcycle store and asked if they would sell his book there. Genius! Think about it. Where will your book fit in?
  5. Platform. In the publishing world platform is everything. This is how you help the agent or publisher sell your book. These days sales is teamwork. No one will just do it all for you, as an unknown author, you must help sell your own book. To think otherwise is erroneous. Can you do public speaking? If not, learn. Join Toastmasters or Business Networking International (BNI) or some other business networking group that helps train you to speak publicly.

Think about micro-marketing. This involves T.V. stations, radio stations. Line up interviews. Have a link to your book signing event. This works best on the same day as the interview. You can say, “Hey come on down today (insert time and place) to Grassroots Books (or, whatever bookstore of your choice) and meet the author!” Do these together: interview/book signing.

Matt recommends radio station interviews because they will typically have a longer interview time than television. This means more of a chance to “catch” that listener (remember the fishing analogy?) If you are petrified of public speaking and you just can’t do it, can you talk on the phone? Well, consider an interview by phone. It is super easy, and you can stay in your pajamas. The important thing is to put yourself out there, you just don’t know where you’ll end up.

Matthew Bayan has just released The Firecracker King, available in paperback and e-book format. You can learn more about Matthew Bayan on his website, www.mathewbayan.com

I hope you benefited from Matthew Bayan’s advice on marketing as much as I did. What are your marketing ideas? I would love to hear them, please share!