Career-building tips for mom writers from the author of Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids.
The next scholarship offered will by for the October 7th Writing & Publishing the Short Stuff class. Watch this blog so you don’t miss!
Hearty congratulations, Diane! I look forward to working with you in class in a couple of weeks. I will send you a class confirmation shortly.
I wish I could grant a scholarship to everyone. Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to do that. But I’m very happy to be able to grant one scholarship each time I offer this class.
Thanks to EVERYONE who applied. I encourage you all to apply again for the next WPSS class in October. Anything you can do to beef up the your traditional publication credits between now and the next application round is a good strategy.
Subscribe to The Writer Mama e-zine to stay abreast of when I’ll be accepting applications next time around. (Click on the envelope glyph in the upper right hand corner of the blog.)
And congratulations again, Diane!
By Kelly James-Enger
Like to write first thing in the morning? That’s great, but make sure you fuel your tank beforehand. Your mom was right about eating breakfast-not only does it help you maintain a healthy weight, it also improves your abilities to concentrate and remember, two important skills when you’re putting words on the page. Not surprisingly, regular breakfast eaters also report they feel better mood-wise and perform better on the job than breakfast-skippers.
It’s good if you have time to actually sit down and eat a hearty breakfast, but if you’re pressed for time, forgo the typical hot breakfast for fruit and yogurt or peanut butter on a whole-wheat bagel. In a pinch, an energy bar and a big glass of water is much better than nothing. Some protein, fat, and complex carbs will give you the energy your body and brain need first thing in the morning.
Author, speaker, and consultant Kelly James-Enger is a certified personal trainer and the author of books including Small Changes, Big Results: A 12-Week Action Plan to a Better Life (with Ellie Krieger, R.D.). Her book, Ready, Aim, Specialize! Create your own Writing Specialty and Make More Money, is aimed at novice freelancers; Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer’s Guide to Making More Money helps experienced writers boost their bottom lines. Visit www.becomebodywise.com for free articles about freelancing and more information about her.
What are your skill sets as a writer, and how do you evaluate them? How do you decide whether to specialize or generalize?
You need to establish a strong direction for your development as a writer to survive in the changing times of publishing.
All registrants will take a pre-quiz called “What’s Your Specialty?” designed to help you start identifying your strongest sources of expertise.
This live event will offer:
Tips and paths for both specialists and generalists, and how to get started
Examples of writers’ websites (both specialist and generalist)
How to combine a specialist and generalist approach
Your chance to jump-start your career using the same strategies as the pros
Opportunity to ask Christina Katz your questions about platform development
Bonus: All attendees receive a copy of Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz.
I bet many of you have not done a webinar before but there is really nothing to it. You just show up in front of your computer at the scheduled date and time and watch the images I display on your computer screen while listening to my voice in real time. You can even type in questions for me to answer during the Q&A period.
I have been a salesperson my whole life. It seems only natural then that I would position my book as a “product,” and the agents and editors who purchase them as “clients.” Your pitch at a conference is the means to closing the sale of your product — your book.
The pitch is like delivering a query letter in person. Elements of a good pitch:
1. Identify the need
2. Position your unique solution to that need
3. Describe your business strategy, including packaging, positioning, marketing, and support
4. Overcome objections
5. Close or advance the book sale
Begin your pitch with a brief statement of the knowledge gap that exists (for non-fiction book proposals) or the conflict in your story (for fiction queries). For example:
“Fifty million Americans die from this disease, but they don’t know they have it until it’s too late.” This is a knowledge gap statement. The gap is that people don’t know about this disease until it’s too late. That’s a real problem. Solution? Why your book, of course. “My book on (disease) will educate the consumer so she can catch it in time.” And then go on to break down your unique solution.
After you describe your solution, back it up with a description of your product. Does it read like a Vicki Iovine Girlfriend’s Guide book? Does it smack of Anne Lamott? Compare and contrast your book to actual books on the shelf. In my pitch for my non-fiction humor book, Mind Chatter, I said, “You read over and over books about ‘staying in the moment.’ My book is a humorous take on NOT staying in the moment!”
If you’re pitching non-fiction, you have two products to sell: your book and your platform. Your platform is your credibility in the marketplace, as defined by your “following.” Do you teach classes on this subject? Are you a medical professional who prescribes this solution to your patients? Again, differentiate yourself from the rest by telling them why you’re the most credible person to write this book.
Your pitch will consist of about two to three minutes of sales pitch, and another five to six minutes of questions and answers. Think of their questions as objections, and your answers as overcoming the objections. For example:
“How many pages?”
“About one hundred.”
“That’s short, isn’t it?”
“It was written in bite-sized chunks for busy, on-the-go people who don’t have time for longer books on similar subjects.”
Save the last few minutes for personal relationship building. You want to find common ground with your client so she’ll remember you when she receives your follow-up materials.
A mother finds the resources to what needs to be done. And so it was with my fourth-trimester book. One permission request at a time, I typed myself back into some semblance of writing professional. As the e-mails clicked out into the ether and the contracts for usage started arriving, I was learning step by tenuous step how to integrate who I had been into whom I was becoming. Steeped in the present tense of new motherhood and new authorhood, I tended these new babies – my multimedia twins – with a kind of enchantment laced with regret, knowing that soon enough they’d be traveling in the world without me.