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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.