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Sunday, May 7, 2017

May Events

Now that my piece for the Carrie Fisher anthology "Drowned by Moonlight," is done, I have some more exciting events to share with ya'll.

May 12-14,  Columbus Ohio.  Marcon Science Fiction/Fantasy/Gaming/Real Science, and tons of other things (masquerade anyone?)  They have a great dealers room, and art show as well.   Entirely fan run (yours truly used to be one of the concom), this con has been around as long as I have.  In fact Marcon started out as "March Convention," and started in March of 65 as a luncheon for Science Fiction writers.  I too started out in March of 1965.    Would be fun to figure out what the first day was.
My Schedule:  I will also be helping out in the consuite.  So if you attend the con, stop by to see me there.  :)

L. Anne Wooley's Schedule
FRI8:30PM - 10:00PMGrantLiterary WritersWhat Writers Wish Their Readers Knew About Writing   This is the one I'm Moderating.
SAT1:00PM - 2:30PMMcKinleyLiterary ReadersHumorous Science Fiction and Fantasy 
SAT8:30PM - 10:00PMDelaware DLiterary, Literary Readers, Literary WritersParanormal Romance

Marcons Website:

The rest of the month, I'll be working on my blogs, and my weekly writing event online.  The next big deadline for me is another anthology.  

Presenting.... The Art of Public Speaking and Why We Should do it!

Holding presentations are an excellent way of building a fan base and creating networking opportunities.  Whatever your presentation is about takes the same kind of skills, or similar skills, to whatever you are doing in your professional life.  If you master the skills described below you will be able to function effectively, and more importantly professionally, in your career as a writer.

Why is this important to learn?  Well, writers have to be able to do a few things.  Sell themselves (marketing), as well as do readings, panels at conventions and interviews.  Learning to speak effectively, builds your brand as a writer/author.

But how to get over the nerves and butterflies that go through us to become effective speakers?  This is something I still struggle, even though I've done plenty of public speaking events.  I've moderated panels at conventions before, as well as been on panels.  I've held online classes on writing.  I've even read my work in public.

Even though I have plenty of experience under my belt, I still get nervous before "going on."  This is only human nature though.  Human nature is to be nervous before doing something that could go either incredibly right, or incredibly wrong.    Luckily, I've never had anything go the latter extreme...thankfully.  But I've gotten tongue tied before, and looked like an idiot.  But luckily, those are few and far between.

So how to do so.  Well, preparation is very very important.  What are you going to present?  How are you presenting the information that you have to relay?   Preparation (I will repeat again), is extremely important in being an effective presenter.  You don't want to just "Wing it." (which I have before, and it wasn't horrible, since I knew the subject really well), but also it wasn't very organized which is the second step in becoming an effective speaker/presenter.

You need to have your material organized in an easy to understand way.   Also having slides (PowerPoint is excellent), as part of the topic is also very important, handouts, and even Cd's with the program on it can also be helpful as a take home from the panel/talk, etc.  Bookmarks to put out at freebie tables.

There are organizations out there that help in getting comfortable with public speaking.   Toastmasters was the first one I heard about from another writer friend, whom joined to get some help speaking after suffering a stroke.  It helped her recover faster.  Here is their link to the worldwide organization.

Acting classes can help you learn how to project your voice as well as the Toastmasters.  This comes in handy when you have to project your voice to the back of your audience.

Things to avoid when public speaking:

  • Avoid saying "ummm," or "errrr." too much, that is the way you show your nervousness, and can have your audience start to lose focus/interest.
  • Don't talk in monotone, that also can make your listener nod off.   Think Ben Stein in that one show, and in Ferris Buehler (but it's hysterical there, so maybe not a good example?)
  • Do not chew gum, or eat anything to a presentation, WATER IS A GREAT THING TO HAVE.  It helps you from going dry, and also you can use it as a foil for when you hit a brain fart.  Or when you want to stall for some reason.
Things to do:
  • Make sure your equipment (mics, audio/visual) are in working order before you start.  This will lead too a smooth professional presentation.  If you don't know how to do this yourself, hope you have someone who is knowledgeable in this area help you.  Or you can learn part or all of it yourself.  
  • Project your voice if you don't have equipment, or it doesn't work somehow.  
  • Practice in front of a mirror, and into a microphone.  That way you can hear what you sound like, and get comfortable making eye contact etc.
  • Practice in front of friends and family.  If you can, do some readings in a book club or a library maybe.  That way it's a bit less intimidating.

Public speaking can be fun, but it can also be a nightmare too.  If you follow some of these steps: 
  1. Be prepared.
  2. Avoid the pitfalls of public speaking.
  3. Have your equipment in working order.
If you follow the advice laid out in this article, you should have a pleasant experience and also one that will linger on in your memories, and those of your audience.   

Saturday, May 6, 2017


In our first two parts, I spoke about Facebook and Twitter; how valuable they are in keeping in touch with your fan base, and in marketing.  In the second, I covered blog tours and hosting an online event.  Those are some of the tools in our marketing arsenal...but what about publishing the work?  After all, this is what it is all about, our first step of marketing.  After all, if you don't have your work out there, marketing is not necessarily going to be something  you need to do right?  *Note:  There is such a thing as pre-marketing your book too.  (Including cover reveals, and the blog tour stuff can also be done before the actual release.)
With the boom and advent of self publishing, there are many ways to get our work out there.   However, buyer beware if you use a VANITY publisher, they are big big no no!  If in doubt if it is a Vanity press?  Look on Writer Beware (  Also search them through the Better Business Bureau, and online.   They will tell you unbiased information on these basic scams to the publishing world.  Normally, you shouldn't have to pay to publish your work, unless you are self publishing.   

Sure traditional publishing has it's pluses; they have easier ways to get you into book stores, and help promote you...but they are not always the best option.  Traditional publishing, you release a lot of control to the Publisher, and you do have to help out with the promotional side as well.

Self publishing is exactly what it sounds like.  You have to get out there and market it, upload it to places like Amazon/B&N, and/or printing out copies.   You have control over your cover, your press releases and the like.  You can do your own book trailer.  But another word of warning, self pubbing is a numbers game.  You really have to promote yourself well, and effectively, and market to your target audience. 

While there are several folks who have become really big names that are self published, I think that the traditional publishers still have a slight monopoly on publishing....though this is also changing.  The big publishers have seen how some folks have done really well by doing it themselves, and they have taken them on after seeing how successful they were.  Traditional publishers are now seeing the benefits of taken on self published authors.

Now another word of warning here.  You need to make sure your book is in professional shape before self pubbing.  You need to get a "beta" reader and/or editor (pay for someone good, get references too), to look over your work and edit the crap out of it.  After all, your reputation as being a professional is on the line.  Which is why I don't like seeing unedited books out for sale, or ones that think, "I'll fix it in later editions."  If you can wait until a beta reader/editor can go over it with a fine tooth comb, and fix the errors (like spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc), then you really should.  I can forgive one or two errors in books, as a lot of traditional published books also have some error too, but if it's filled with errors, then heck no.  And once you have shown that you re not professional, its tougher than heck to overcome that.  This is also one of the reasons self publishing doesn't get the credit it deserves.  

Finding the right fit for you can take a number of steps to figure out which one is the right option.   And just remember, it takes some writers years to become "Overnight sensations."  JK Rowling was turned down many times for Harry Potter before someone took a chance on her.  Other well named authors also didn't have it easy.  It takes dedication and perseverance to make it to the top of your game.  You have to really love writing and be dedicated to working at the publishing game to get out there.  My best of luck to you.  

Monday, April 3, 2017

So I just did a thing.... :)

I'll be back too my regularly scheduled blogs at some point.  Lot's of stuff going on in personal life now...but I just did an interview with  R.R. Virdi (of the Dragon Award Nominated Vincent Graves "Grave Report," series.  Check them out if you like urban fantasy.  :)

That's the link to the thing.  :)  

Friday, October 7, 2016

Putting Out Your Marketing Brand #2 Hosting an Online Event

One of my favorite things to do is help out other authors.  When someone has a book that is coming out, and wants to market's also an opportunity to plug your own work.  One of these ways is the Book Release.  With Facebook being a huge marketing opportunity, the book release can be held all over the world.  Your author you are trying to promote, sets up a book release event, and sends out an invite.  The people invited can also share the event.  It helps to have other authors, as they are in the same boat.  And by helping others, they too can help you.

Usually when there is a release, they block out time periods for other authors to step in and host.  The author who is being released, can introduce you, give your bio info, and your author website/facebook page, Twitter page, that sort of thing....any thing you want to put out as advertising.  Then when you take over (after thanking the host for having you), you can have games that will have a giveaway, or ask questions of the main author.  You can either give something of yours away, but usually the main author can add something in as a giveaway.  Some examples are:

  • ebooks of the main author (or a combination of yours and theirs).
  • bookmarks that are signed.
  • keychains, postcards, gift cards.

Whatever you give out, remember postage is different between the US and around the world.  You may want to give away ebooks to those around the world, or even in the US which is a cheaper alternative.  

Always be polite, use good grammar and writing.  After all you are putting yourself out there too, and professionalism is key!

Blog Tours:

Blog tours are great fun, I've been in a couple, and they are a great way to spread the word.  They are also great fun.  There is a good variety of things you can do with a blog tour, and you can set it up to have different people do different things.  You would need to set up a calendar and schedule people in on different days.  If you are asked to join one, try to take a slot that is something you can work on without too much trouble.  You can also put up your post and schedule it for later.  

Some examples of what you can do to participate:
  • Put up a snippet from that persons story, maybe a chapter.  That can be one person doing this.
  • Have a character interview (where your character is interviewed).
  • Author Interview is also another crowd pleaser, we get closer to our author idols that way.  They can be fun and engaging, without being dull.
  • Character sketch, maybe a drawing of your character, and their statistics.
  • Cover reveal.  And maybe a blurb about how the cover came about.  
The blog tour can also be linked up to the release event (building up to event), and help drum up interest.  You can also put your own links in your blog post.  


This is a rather new platform for me, and one that I haven't seen much in the way of return...though as I'm relatively new to this,  I'm not one to make a judgement call on this.  I've been in numerous ones, and basically the author sets  up the Thunderclap to go out when a certain number of people has signed up to allow thunderclap to send out a notification when that number has been reached.  If you don't reach that number, they just don't send it.  I'm not sure of the low end of the numbers you can set it at, but 100 is most common I think.

That's all for now...on our next episode of "Putting Out Your Marketing Brand."  I'll go over different places for our work to be sold.  Goodreads, B&N, Amazon, CreateSpace.  

Also the release date for the Alzheimers anthology "The Longest Night Watch" will be soon.  I am proud to be part of this anthology (Volume 2), and have been blessed to be with such great writerly company.  More on that as we draw ever closer to the magic hour.  :) 

Here is the presale link :)

Thank you all for your support. :) 

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Longest Night Watch Volume 2. A Charity Anthology Dedicated to Alzheimers Research! ...and I'm in it!

Dear Friends.

The numbers are pretty frightening.   Worldwide nearly 44 million people have Alzheimer's or a related dementia. ( Alzheimer's Disease International) Only 1-in-4 people with Alzheimer's disease have been diagnosed.
And in the US that number is 5.4 million Americans

So what can we do to help?  

On March 12th, 2015, the writing world lost one of its greatest contemporary heroes - Sir Terrence "Terry" Pratchett. To honor his life, a group of writers published an anthology of stories that showcased his influence on their writing, and which also helped bring awareness of the disease that contributed to his end, Alzheimer's Disease.

It was a success, and the group--now known as "The Longest Night Watch" Volume 1--went on to enter a writing competition, where they came in second by fractions of a point. The submissions from that writing competition are in this volume, along with original short stories and poems from many of the contributors to the first volume, and a slew of new authors. Contributors to this volume are: Amanda Parker Adams, Andrew Barber, AR Harlow, Becca Bachlott, Brittany Tucker, Carol Gyzander, Cayleigh Stickler, D.R. Perry, Debbie Manber Kupfer, Fiona Teh, Georgette Frey, Janet Gershen-Siegel, Jennifer Stibbards, Joshua L. Cejka, Kate Post, Katelyn Scarlett, L. Anne Wooley, Michael J. Medeiros, Michael Walton, R.R. Virdi, Ryn Richmond, Skye Hegyes, Thomas E. Harper, Trine Jensegg, Virginia Carraway Stark and the team of The Longest Night Watch.

A few weeks ago, we also lost Gene Wilder to this dreadful disease.  But chances are there is someone closer that has it, or you know someone who does.  For me, this was my aunt.  She was only in her 50's when she died from it in the 1970s and she was the 3rd of 4 children, my dad being 4.   They didn't know a whole lot about it back then, but even with the huge strides that have been made, there is still a long way to go.  

I am announcing the release of the second volume of this wonderful collection of stories.  I'm very proud to be part of this effort, and to let you know that it is available right now, for presale.  The release date is October 20, 2016.  It will be available for paperback later, right now the release is only for the kindle. 

What's that?  You don't have a Kindle?   Well, never fear, there is a free app/program available through Amazon that you can have on your phone or PC.  Called Kindle for PC.   I have it along with my Kindle Touch, and Kindle Fire.  I also had it on my iPhone (though I no longer have that).  

 This is what you search for on the Kindle Store.  "kindle for pc free download windows 10."  They also have various platforms for this.  

So now for the link to the presale for the Anthology!  Please pass this on!  Thank you so much!

The Longest Night Watch, Volume 2: A Charity Anthology for the Alzheimer's Association by [Barber,Andrew, Virdi,R.R., Perry,D.R., Gershen-Siegel,Janet, Cejka,Joshua L., Gyzander,Carol, Harlow,A.R., Richmond,Ryn, Parker Adams,Amanda]

Monday, August 1, 2016

Putting Out Your Writers Brand (Marketing Series #1)

The first of a series is always fun, and terrifying.  We always hope that our readers will find our words encouraging and inspirational.  This is not really about that per se...but about Marketing Tips.  Some of which you will find educational, and you will find use for; some of it you may choose not to use.

So with that in mind, I'll try to keep things as least complicated and helpful to more people.

With the advent of social media (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc), there are many different platforms to reach readers than ever before.  And these are very easy platforms to get into.   I'll start with FB cause that is arguably the most recognizable.

With FB you can do multiple things.

  • Create a fan page.  This is like a profile for your single book, or series.  Or can be a general author page.  This is where you can share your trials as a writer, let folks know where you will be, notify folks of any releases.  Also can be used to show your personal side (though I recommend that you leave your page mostly for the business side, and use a professional demeanor).  
  • You can also create events from your fan page.  Book Releases, or cover reveals (which I hosted an hour of such an event tonight), can increase your reach.  
  • FB writing groups; there are many that I belong to (and some that I am an admin in).  Joining this kind of group, helping answer questions from other writers, encouraging the others, can also build your brand to your peers.  You need peers to help be your "Street team."  
Here is what mine looks like.

The next I will discuss is Twitter.  I'll personally vouch that it has it's own good aspects....but if you are like me, it's hard to follow what is going on there.  I prefer FB quite frankly, because it's hard to keep following the news feed part.  I get freaked out by having 200 plus tweets (the more followers you have and more people etc you follow, can really increase those numbers quickly.  But that is also the beauty of it, you reach so much more people).  But your brand, or information can get buried pretty quickly too.

But it is so cool connecting with people you admire much easier.  You can also reach more by retweeting things and people that retweet your tweets (posts for those who do not know the lingo), are worth their weight in gold!

Also, by tweeting, you can set it up so that your tweets go to your FB account as well.  Though try to remember if you do that....that can be both blessing and curse.  Which leads me to point out, you never know who will see your tweets/posts, so you really shouldn't bitch about someone, they may see it and all heck breaks loose.

Instagram, DeviantArt, and the others are ones I really don't know much about.  But worth mentioning is Good Reads.  I like the page set up, and the fact that you can also recommend books by others.  

But what can also build your reputation as a writer?   Reviews of others books.  Reviews are authors lifes blood.  This can help in sales quite a bit.  Helps build your own brand too.  

Whichever platform you use, by learning how to use them, and stick to using them (try to post frequently, yes, I am bad at this), can be exponentially important to your career.   

The last thing I will mention is using proper spelling, punctuation and grammar.  There is nothing worse than those things.  That is the sign of a professional, and also the ability to make your words understandable.  To make your story (or your posts) reachable.  You may be able to get away with one or two errors, but if there are more, people are not going to want to read your books or anything else for that matter.   So putting your best foot forward is really important.

Next column will be on hosting someone else's event, and tips on what to do when you are working one.  Until next time,

Happy Writing.