Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Book Promotions

So you love to write...me too. And after finishing your novel, you're so excited. But then...you have to find an agent and/or sell your manuscript. You finally receive your contract, see your book come into print and again...you are so excited. But then you have to promote your book . . .

Most writers are shy or at least introverts. It's not in our repertoire to promote...anything.

So, if this is you, like this is me, then you might want to do a little research. Here's one place to look to find a few tips:

Marcie Brock Book Marketing Maven:

Here are a few tips in her latest blog post:

Have a goal
Have a plan
Remember to have some lead time
Do your research
 Follow specific formats and style for news releases
Plan to approach and utilize a variety of media resources
Set a budge
Create a street team
Be persistent
Be flexible
Keep updating your plan
Set someone up on your team to keep you accountable

Lastly, remember to celebrate your successes. Take time to enjoy the wins, as they will likely be hard fought and so very sweet. Remember those feelings as you move forward and hit future snags. Above all else, keep moving forward!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Portland Writers - Mark Your Calendars for 9.19

The Next Level returns on September 19th  (talk description below) and there's a great line-up of speakers on board.

The full schedule will be posted to SCBWI's website soon. The topics include everything from HarperCollins editor Abby Ranger talking about editor-writer-artist relationships with a writer and illustrator, to craft sessions on both world building and character development. And more!

Season passes are $35 for members. Individual session will be $8 if you pre-register and $10 at the door for members. For non-members, it will be $10 pre-registration, $12 at the door, and $50 for a season pass.

Here’s the scoop on September’s talk:

Topic: Pitch, Logline, Synopsis: How to write effective promo pieces for your book

A hands on workshop for writers with a story to pitch covering everything from the one sentence logline to the full pages synopsis using low stress examples from familiar stories, and practical exercises for talking about your work to a range of potential readers.

Rosanne Parry is the author of the award winning novels Heart of a Shepherd, Second Fiddle and Written in Stone and the upcoming novel The Turn of the Tide. She has taught writing at schools, conferences, Saturday Academy, an educational non-profits, and on line at the Loft Literary Center. She lives with her family in an old farmhouse in Portland, and writes in a tree house in her back yard.

The talks will be held at Taborspace again this year. All talks are on the third Saturday of the month and doors open at 2 PM. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Writer's - We Need to Have Diverse Books

I'm not one to judge or say I've done much to help remedy the situation that exists in our books today but I think it's worth considering.

Look around when you're out shopping...what do you see?

Look around when you're at work...who do you see?

Look around when you're outside on a walk, biking, or hiking...

We live in a world filled with diverse people, places and things and that fact should be reflected in our stories.

We need to keep a mental checklist in mind when we're writing. We should all write books that reflect the diversity in our homes, our lives and our world.

I really thought about it today when I was reading Marian Wright Edelman's article: It's Hard to Be What You Can't See


Wednesday, August 19, 2015


A Sticky Situation: Avoiding Sticky Sentences

So one of my favorite writing tools is ProWritingAid.com.  It picks out vague words, long sentences, lovely adjectives, and overused words. I don’t use it exclusively when I edit, but at least one early pass through ProWritingAid allows me to pick out some of the really obvious errors.
But one thing it found in my writing that I wasn’t aware of, was sticky sentences. So I had to do a little research. Sticky sentences, as you might expect, contain lots of glue words.
Glue words are the unnecessary little words you use every day. They are this, the, out, if, about, good, what, there…you get the idea. They aren’t pretty. They work hard. But they could be replaced by better, more expressive, and more poetic words—words that will make your prose shine, make your explanations easier to comprehend, and make the dialogue coming out of your character’s mouth sound eloquent.

 In a sense, they stick on your writing, slowing down a reader who’s trying to understand a wordy, padded sentence. It might make you think you sound smarter to use so many words while getting a really small point across, but you’re just making it harder for your reader.
So let’s give an example and run an experiment. I’m going to rewrite the previous four paragraphs to take out some of the sticky sentences and glue words. Currently, those paragraphs clock in at 200 words.

Revised Paragraphs (140 words):

ProWritingAid.com is a favorite writing tool of mine.  The software picks out vague and overused words, long sentences, and adjectives. I use ProWritingAid during an early editing pass to pick out obvious errors. 

One thing ProWritingAid finds is sticky sentences. Sticky sentences, as you might expect, contain lots of glue words. 

Glue words are unnecessary words you use every day. Examples are this, the, out, if, about, good, what, there…you get the idea. They aren’t pretty. They work hard. But they could be replaced by better, more expressive, and more poetic words—words that will make your prose shine, make your explanations easier to comprehend, and make your characters eloquent.

Sticky sentences are wordy and padded. Many writers believe they sound smarter by using more words, but readers need to understand your work and not just be impressed by it.

--So which paragraphs do you prefer? The rambling, sticky draft at the top or the more polished and concise version at the bottom? Do you find your sentences sticky?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Book Release Party

"Let them eat cake," Marie Antoinette said when she was told her subjects had no bread to eat . . . Evil, right? Well not nearly as evil as Demon's Ink. But this cake was a seriously tasty temptation created by the Chopped winning chocolate rush artist, Mindy Simmons, of  Decadent Creations.

But here's how we celebrated the demonic tattoo artist who just arrived in Portland, Oregon. . .

with Henna tattoos galore created by The Blue Lotus Henna. There were dozens of flowers:

 And birds:
and more dangerous animals like lions
and even dragonflies
and even powerful triforces

And there were plenty of other beautiful designs:

It was a fun way to spend an evening...celebrating a scary story.

Monday, August 17, 2015

CLOUDED by M.S. Kaye - sharing a story

Cover reveal
By M.S. Kaye
A Sumerian water and sky god myth collides with a modern high school.
Ayanna is a math nerd, logical and rational, even cold, but Calder makes her feel things she never had before. Somehow, she’s able to accept it when she discovers he’s a reincarnated Sumerian water god. Will she be able to accept the full truth, that the story of Enki and Inanna has been reborn in a modern Ohio high school?
Release Date: 9/12/15
About the Author:
M.S. Kaye has several published books under her black belt. A transplant from Ohio, she resides with her husband Corey in Jacksonville, Florida, where she tries not to melt in the sun. Find suspense and the unusual at www.BooksByMSK.com.
To receive news on upcoming releases, sign up for email updates on her website.
Contact M. S. Kaye at:
Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Goodreads  ~  Amazon  ~  TSU  ~  Pinterest  ~  LinkedIn

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Portland supports the arts and this is the second year for The Stumptown Improv Festival at Milagro Theatre | 525 S.E. Stark St. Portland, OR 97214. The festival runs from 8.13, 8.14, and 8.15 and it will showcase Portland's vibrant comedy community with 18 local, national and international groups. Two shows on Thursday the 13th beginning  at 7:00 p.m. followed by another performance at 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday the shows will be at 7:00 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.