One Writer’s Journey

May 3, 2018

Children’s Book Week: Books for Every Reader

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:30 am
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My son never enjoyed Captain Underpants.  In fact, as far as I know he never even picked one up.  But then again he didn’t care for Sponge Bob either.  Nope.  He had his own favorites.

I learned this, much to my chagrin, one day at Main Street Books.  We almost never go in without buying something.  So we were pulling books off the shelves and paging through them, looking for favorite authors as well as new treasures.

“Mom, can I have this?”

I was completely ready to say yes when I turned and looked at the book in his hands.  What?  Really?  Ugh.  Before you read any farther please understand that I later became a total fan but my first reaction to David Shannon’s No David!  was no.  I love elaborate nuanced art work.  This.  No.  I love playful texts that are fun to read aloud.  This was insanely short.

“Let’s find you a nice book.”

“I want this one.”

“Why?  Why do you love it?”  I was thinking what’s to love?

“It’s just so beautiful.”

That was not the answer I expected but it did bring home the point that we need a wide variety of books to appeal to a wide variety of readers.  Some readers, like my son, are going to go for books about boys that are into everything and leave chaos in their wake.  Some readers won’t more elaborate stories about a girl with sparkle and flair (Fancy Nancy). Others want books with animal characters that stand in for the children (Yolen and Teague’s Dinosaur books).

And this is why we need a wide range of writers, illustrators and other publishing professionals creating a wide range of books.  What I write is different from what Jeanie Ransom writes and from what Stephanie Bearce writes.  What one reader loves, another just won’t get.  And that’s why we need to promote books and reading vs just our own books.

–SueBE

 

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June 27, 2017

Your Online Persona: Reality with Limits

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:37 am
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Recently I read a Writer’s Digest post about platform building and letting readers know the “real you.”  Something the author emphasized that I thought was interesting is that your readers need to feel like they know you.  But really?  They don’t.

This is because there are things that we all hold back.  Sometimes it is simply because this part of your life or your personality would not interest your readers.  The readers of One Writer’s Journey are interested in writing so they know me, the writer.  The readers of PrayPower are interested in prayer and faith, so they know me, the woman of faith.  Neither one is entirely real because neither one is entirely complete.  But that’s okay.

So how do you make your reader feel like they know the real you even when they don’t?

How do you make your reader feel like they know you even when you hold something back?  Here are four simple tips.

Make It Personal. You may not be showing your reader every single facet of your life, but no one really wants that.  Believe me.  But what you are doing is giving them a upclose look at a segment of your life.  Here, I give insight into how I write and how I manage my writing life. On PrayPower I write about prayer and faith.  This means that I’m not writing about yoga, unless it relates to one or other, or painting the dining room or the fact that I have no clue what that sound is in the far corner of my office.  Within this tight focus I have plenty of space to write about me and my work.

Don’t Reveal Too Much.  We all know that person.  The one who is constantly revealing just a little too much whether it is cleavage or about their personal life.  Do this once or twice and many people will give you the benefit of the doubt.  Make a habit of it and your readers will question whether or not they want to know more about you.  Because really?  What they already know they just can’t forget.

Write from the Heart. Write about things you care about. When you do this, your enthusiasm is obvious.  Your readers will connect with it and will want to repeat the experience.  That’s a great way to grow a following.

Readers want to know the real you but it’s probably in your best interest to limit it to the “you” that you bring out for parties and other social events.  The you that would rather be at home on the sofa with a good book?  There’s nothing wrong with her but it might be best to leave her alone til she’s done with that book.

–SueBE

 

May 22, 2017

Writer’s Web Site: Let People Find You

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:43 am
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Help readers find you!

Recently, I read a Writer’s Digest post on writer’s websites.  One quote from editor Robert Lee Brewer really stood out.  “My two most important rules for building a platform: 1. Be easy to find,” said Brewer,” and 2. Be easy to contact.”

When I was writing for Children’s Writer newsletter, I wrote articles based on interviews with agents. Sometimes it took me multiple tries to find an agent who had a moment to answer my questions.  But that was still easier than the problem I’ve faced lately.

More recently, I’m writing Writer’s Market articles based on interviews with writers.  The latest one was on co-authored books.  Easy peasy, right?  Just find a handful of books that are co-authored, Google the authors’ names and drop them an e-mail, right?

If only.

I can’t even tell you how many people I searched for only to find a profile on LinkedIn that might be the right person, but I couldn’t be sure.  It never mentioned their book.  Website?  This is just a guess because I didn’t keep track but approximately 75% of the authors I was looking for had no web sites.  None!  Two or three of these people had a Facebook page but that was it.

These people missed out on the free publicity that being in a Writer’s Market article would bring because I couldn’t find them.  Please oh please oh please, have a web site with your book, your name and an e-mail address.  You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor.  Huge!

Other things that you might consider:

About page.  This let’s your readers find out about you.

Press page.  This is a version of the “about” page that includes a publishable head shot.  Brewer mentioned that a lot of writers have this page as part of their site.  When he asks for a bio and head shot, they send him here.

Blog.  Another way to help your readers find out about you.

Social Media Directory.  Where else can you be found online? This helpful list gives people what they need to know.

Book list.  They’ve read one of your books and loved it.  Give them a way to find the others.  Sales are not a bad thing.

Other services:  Do you teach a class or critique?  Maybe you do school visits.  Any and all of these things should/could be covered on your site.

Don’t short change your readers or yourself.  At the least, help people find you and your work.  Please!

–SueBE

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