Monday, August 27, 2012

Independent Book Stores

Some Tidbits, Dos and Don’ts

During my Best Seller Blueprint Program I read an excerpt from an article Steve Harrison (marketing expert) wrote for his Book Marketing Update. It was titled, “How to Market Your Book to Independent Bookstores”.  In his writings he mentions how lucrative a small independent book store could be for an author, but also indicates how authors need to make bigger efforts to get shelf space in an indie book store these days. Since Borders closed, a bit of that business has flowed out to the Independent stores. 

According to Michael Powell in this article, founder and president of Powell’s Books, a successful bookseller here in the US; authors are not doing all they can to get their books in the independent stores when they do not have their books available at  distribution centers. The article indicates that authors who do not use a distributor are making a mistake that could keep them from getting shelf space in that inde store they so wish to occupy.

Independent book stores like to order from those distribution centers because those distribution centers fit with their shipping, inventory, and billing systems.  The article goes on to say that in the case of self published authors, independent book stores won’t bother to seek out their books if it is too difficult for them to order.  They like the idea of one shipment from the distributor, rather than a bunch of little shipments with a whole pile of separate invoices from separate authors.  One Independent book store owner from West Chester PA, stated that she liked ordering from the distributors because they can get her what she wants in the way of a book shipment the next day.

Independent book store owners indicate that books that are self published, or books from a small publisher that are carried by a wholesaler are easier for the small independent book stores to order from.  They prefer that there isn’t a separate invoice, and order system for them to deal with.  Getting that one shipment makes it easier for the indie book store.  The easier it is to acquire your book, the more likely the independent book store is to stock your book.

The very large distributors like Ingram and Baker&Taylor don’t usually buy from self published authors.  A better way to go for your distribution would be to sign on with distributors that specialize in independent publishers or a regional book distribution co.  The article listed and stated… well-regarded distributors include: Independent Publishers Group; National Book Network; Greenleaf Book Group; Partners Publishers Group and Publishers Group West. To contact these distributors, information can be researched at the (IBPA) Independent Book Publishers Association.

Independent book store owners in this article explained how important it is to be professional; to remember to conduct yourself in a professional fashion when dealing with them.  They are not happy when their phone calls or e-mails are not returned in a timely manner. They like when you make an appointment to speak with them.  They do not like when you stop by and interrupt them.  They usually have a rather small staff, that requires their time for business, and they expect to be treated with professional respect. Showing up on time for your appointment, returning their phone calls and e-mails in a timely manner, and dressing professionally, will all help you to better deal with Independent book stores.  Good Luck!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Wishing Well

Kai Strand

The title of this book, The Wishing Well, is only a small part of what this story portrays, but also the wishing well plays an important event in solving the hurts for more than one family member.  Molly, who is the youngest in the Minstrel family, is treated with undying disrespect.  Her heart is big, and ferociously giving.  The story intertwines with the events of an ill willed, uncompromising mother, along with sisters who lend, and understand little. Molly’s daily sufferings go unnoticed.  Her only refuge is her best friend, who makes her life worth living.

The book weaves words of yarn in and out of each situation.  Molly’s wish to have a family that loves her seems insolvable, until she meets an unwanted being who weaves the change of events into a raging state of emotion.  This is an impeccably written book with stunning emotion that will take you in, and place you there.  You’ll find yourself wanting to reach out and help Molly. 

I have to say I loved reading this book, and since the limit is 5 stars; I will have to give it 6. ******
The Cover art  for The Wishing Well was illustrated by the award winning  artist; K.C. Snider.

THE WISHING WELL Another Weaver Tale
hardcover and softcover
Chapbook for Tweens
by Kai Strand
Molly Minstrel is treated worse than Cinderella by her mom and sisters. When Molly meets the magical creature, Unwanted, she wishes her problems away. However, you must first understand what you need before knowing what to ask for. Molly will have to look within for the solution to her troubles

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tips on How to Pitch Your Article for Print and On-line Media

Tidbits to Share

During my Blueprint program I listened to Steve Harrison interview Joel Schwartzberg, author of “The 40-Year Old Version: Humoirs of a Divorced Dad”.  The subject was about pitching your articles to print and on-line media. Here are some of the dos and don’ts, and things I took away from that interview. 

Before contacting your target media, you should research publications so you can better understand what it is they need and want from you.  Read, and check out the magazines you are interested in. You can go to book stores or magazine stands and check out Newsweek, Smithsonian, Self magazine, New York Magazine, Esquire, Education Week Magazine/Newspaper, or whatever subject your writing/article will fold into nicely. 

Pick out a magazine that you think you can write for; one that you feel you will have something to offer.  Don’t submit or pitch anything that doesn’t fit the media you are considering. They hate pitches that don’t make a good fit for their publication, and it makes them angry when they know you didn’t even read their publication.  It’s a waste of their very precious time.  Also, they do not accept simultaneous submissions.  Therefore, you will need to submit one at a time, and wait for a rejection or an acceptance. 

Find out the name of the feature or sections editor for the publication you have chosen to submit to.  Also you will need their e-mail address/address. You can Google the publication and search for them.  The Editor-In-Chief does not accept submissions. They are looking for unique essays.  They want something that stands out; something that is in keeping with what’s in the news, or popular at the moment.  A timely subject has a better chance of being accepted.  Don’t use more than two or three sentences to sell your essay in the beginning.  You want to grab them in a few seconds upon opening your e-mail. 

 These editors and producers are busy busy, and will lose interest right away if you start to tell your life story, or give too much background information before you get to your point.  They are interested in what you have to offer their publication.  They move through hundreds of submissions and will choose what benefits their needs, and grabs them first.  Tell them why you submitted, why your essay /article is compelling, and timely.

After you have researched, Googled the magazine, and looked up the features, or sections editor for that publication, then compose a good hook to grab them immediately upon opening your e-mail. Do it within a couple of sentences, as I explained above.  Paste the essay/article in the body of the e-mail you are sending them (No attachments).  Also if your article is very large, you can query them instead of sending the whole article, but remember, get to the point in the first two or three lines. It’s very important to grab the editor’s attention right away.

 If you have a press kit, don’t send it to them via e-mail, but rather, send a link for your on-line press kit in the body of the e-mail, along with your submission. It’s easier for them to just press your link than to have to be overwhelmed with a whole package in the e-mail. Explain your link in detail in the body of your e-mail submission.  A link leading to a separate page for something pertaining to your article is a good idea also; along with a picture of your book if possible.

If you are able to get an essay published in a well known magazine it can lead to media coverage for your books later on down the road.  If your article comes up, say in the news, as one that is informational for their subject of discussion, it can turn into a marketing tool for your books. If the news station Googles a subject, say on educational strategies for elementary grade children, and you have written an article on what grades three to five like to read, your article could be just what they need to round out their news article or even a segment of a show. 

In that case, every time they mention your subject matter they could be showing a picture of your book.  It’s similar to what happened to Joel Schwartzberg, Author of “The Forty Year Old Version” when he submitted an article on depression.  He ended up having a picture of his book shown on TV each time they mentioned his article pertaining to whatever it was they were doing a show on.

I hope you found this article informative. I will share more on different subjects of writing, marketing, and information in general for our world of writing.  As I learn, I hope to share, so we can all benefit together.  The Best Seller Blueprint Program has been a wealth of information for me.  I’ll be back with more tidbits at a later date.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Best Seller Blueprint Program
A Great Experience for Me

I thought I might share a bit with everyone about what I have been doing for the summer of 2012.  I have decided to spend this summer educating myself, and learn as much as I can on the ins and outs of the writing/publishing world. I’ve been busy taking the new Best Seller Blueprint Program classes given and hosted by Jack Canfield (author of Chicken Soup for the Soul), and Steve Harrison (The Marketing Expert). 

So far we’ve covered a world of information on how to write and structure your self-help book/novel/fiction/ memoirs, to marketing, to how to become more mediagenic, how to approach media, what not to do, and so very much more.   It’s a lot to digest, but the great thing about all of it is that I get to go back and review the classes as many times as I wish until I am able to digest the many interviews, classes, and down loadable text. 

Also they have taken everyone who has signed up for these classes and partnered them off, so each person now has become a team of two, who can bounce ideas off of each other.  My partner is teaching English in Korea, and writing her novel in the process. The program in my opinion has been very well thought out.

 Each week a module of classes and interviews are set up for students/clients to view at their own convenience.  We have just finished module five this week.  There is so much information that it’s all that I can do to finish before the next module is set up.  It’s really not a concern though, because as I stated, I can always go back and review for as long as I need to.  The program is there to study, indefinitely.  The new module is turned on each Monday; late afternoon.  On Thursdays there is a phone conference for questions and answers; some Q&As are hosted by Steve Harrison, some by Jack Canfield, some by both of them, and some by guest hosts that speak on a specific subject along with a Q&A. 

The program is not just a list of do’s and don’ts, but rather in-depth information on writing and promoting your books, the writing world, publishing, concepts for writing, how to s, information on what works in the media, and what is a waste of your time and a better path to take in order to achieve your intended goals. 

Also included have been interviews with famous writers/authors, like Tim Ferriss, author of The 4 Hour Workweek, Jeff Herman, author of Guide to Book publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2012; who they are, what they want, How to win them over. There’s an interview by Gabriella Cora, MD MBA who wrote Leading under Pressure, and also an interview with Darci Chan, the author of, The Mill River Recluse.  Darci Chan first sold her book as an E-book for 99 cents, and ended up selling 630,000 books, then became a huge success. Five times New York Times Best Seller, Carol Kline spoke on How to Write a Great Book.  The list goes on, and the information they share in their own unique voice is a value to be cherished.

One of my favorite in this program so far was a bonus interview with Mark Coker, the founder of Smash Words.  Mark explains about e-books and how to put a professional book out there. He explains about the social Medias and how your book gets distributed. He spoke on marketing strategies, pricing, and how to promote your book.  Another was Ann Mc Indoo, the author of; So You Want to be a Writer. Ann spoke on how to write your book in 90 days, and gave some great advice on speaking your book instead of writing it.  I could go on and on as the information has been abundant, and enlightening.  Monday will be module #6. I’m looking forward to whatever treasures Jack and Steve will have for us next.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

New Children's Book Releases

JULY 2012,  New  Releases from Guardian Angel Publishing
AVA'S SECRET TEA PARTY                                                          
hardcover and softcover
Littlest Angels 
by Donna J Shepherd, artist Bella Sinclair.
What child hasn't dreamed of meeting the elusive Tooth Fairy, Santa, Sandman, or the Easter Bunny? Ava wants to invite them all to tea, but how can she? An imaginative tale sure to enthrall children for years to come. Boys and girls alike will delight in finding the hidden teacups and cookies in the fanciful illustrations and planning their own parties using the kid-friendly recipes and crafts included.
Animals & Pets
by Mary Esparza-Vela, artist Alex Morris
Two bear cubs search for food on their own. Fritz is grumpy. Sister Molly wants to catch fish but little brother gives her a hard time because he really doesn’t like water. Will he finally get over his fear of water?
hardcover and softcover
Littlest Angels
by Scott Spoonmore, artist Kim Sponaugle
The National Outer Space Explorers have a problem. The astronauts aboard the space station are low on supplies and they have no way to get them there. So they call on a very special old friend for help. Blast off and go on an amazing adventure, space truckin’ through the universe.  
THE WISHING WELL Another Weaver Tale
hardcover and softcover
Chapbook for Tweens
by Kai Strand
Molly Minstrel is treated worse than Cinderella by her mom and sisters. When Molly meets the magical creature, Unwanted, she wishes her problems away. However, you must first understand what you need before knowing what to ask for. Molly will have to look within for the solution to her troubles

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

M E D I A  R E L E A S E

CONTACT:    Donna McDine, Editor-in-Chief, Guardian Angel Kids Ezine

For Immediate Release

Children’s Ezine Guardian Angel Kids: Fun with Music – August 2012 Issue  

Welcome to the August 2012 issue of Guardian Angel Kids Ezine. We call it GAK because that’s the name of our gecko mascot!

This month we celebrate the Fun of Music. The GAK staff can’t think of anything more universal than children enjoying music. They learn to respond and participate to music at a very early age.

As a child, Guardian Angel Publishing and Guardian Angel Kids publisher, Lynda S. Burch, loved to sing in the choir, learned the piano, and taught herself to play the organ. She enjoyed playing in the high school band from 7th grade through senior year of high school. She played the clarinet, soprano clarinet, and alto clarinet. Ms. Burch also sang in the school chorus and smaller groups and competed around the state just like Glee.

As an adult Ms. Burch always made up songs and sang them to kids. One day she decided to write and record them instead of just singing them. These songs turned into over a hundred musical children’s books to be played on computers. Ms. Burch’s extended family from around the globe break into song about the weather, fun noodles in the swimming pool, or even a new alphabet song. What fun she has had with these musical books!

We hope you develop a love for music as much as Ms. Burch and the GAK staff have.  

Letter from the PUBLISHER:  Lynda S. Burch   

Featured Book:
The New Alphabet Song Musical Flip Book by Lynda S. Burch and Photo Art by Lynda S. Burch and MarySue Roberts

God Will Take Care of You Music Video – sung by a two year old and his family, the Buctots.

Children’S poetry, ACTIVITIES, SHORT STORIES, and articleS:
“Jenny’s Song,” poetry by Debra Mayhew – learn how to let your song out.

“Canary Choir,” by Carol J. Douglas and illustrated by Lisa Griffin – overcoming obstacles.
“A Box with Bellows,” by Juilana M. Jones and illustrated by Clara Batton Smith – mother and daughter bond through the love of the accordion.

“Whale Songs,” by Shari L. Klase – The glory of the ability to sing.

“Fabulous Music Activities for Young Children,” by Kathy Stemke – children need to learn the basics of music early in life to develop creative intelligence.

“New Teacher Tips on How to Prepare a Lesson Based on a Unit or a Theme,” by Dorit Sasson – lesson planning is a skill which takes focus and organization.  

Visit Guardian Angel Kid today and and enjoy a child safe and ad free Ezine.

We also invite you to stay connected with Guardian Angel Kids through our Facebook Fan Page

Please feel free to drop Editor-in-Chief, Donna McDine an email at and let them know what you think of Guardian Angel Kids and what you'd like to see in the future. They aim to please.

The Guardian Angel Kids Ezine staff and contributors look forward to your visit. Thank you for your time and interest.