Author Feature, Marketing

Discovering My Marketing Plan while Marketing

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Tsara Shelton, author of “Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself.” Tsara is a writer of musings, sipper of coffee, and addict of any story. Having learned life exploring the edges of society she finds her footing in the world through storytelling—as a mom, wife, daughter and citizen. She blogs regularly at Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton.  For more about Tsara and her book, visit her on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

me laughingEver since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to write books. When I was young I wrote often and diversely, basking in the compliments and impressed smiles of the grownups. But soon those compliments came with suggestions and constructive feedback, and I shrunk away. I was afraid of the work. No, I was afraid of doing the work only to discover that I wasn’t as talented as I’d led everyone to believe. I put myself on hold; not quite giving up, but not quite ready to do the work either.

Many years later as the mom of four sons who were searching for manhood, I knew I couldn’t keep telling my talented boys not to give up on themselves when I so obviously (and so easily!)had considered giving up on myself. So, I started writing and publishing and proving to myself that I could do the work.

Then, with my husband insisting that my dream coming true would also be his dream coming true, I put together a book of stories that slowly grew up and published with Archway Publishing. In this way I am now showing my sons, and myself, what it looks like to do the work and to value our dreams.


9781480815810_COVER.inddThus, Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself: A Collection of Stories that Slowly Grow Up, the beautiful book with the beautiful cover designed by the beautiful people at Archway, was born!

The next step was to show my sons and myself what it looks like to back up those dreams by introducing the stories to the wide, wide world through marketing.

I had two things going for me in this regard. One, my mom is an international mental health expert and I’ve been her personal assistant for a few years. I’ve eagerly taken on the job of sharing her projects (books, shows, inspirational comedy and music, international docu-series) with the media as well as with parents and professionals in the world of mental health. Two, I published through Archway which means I had a team of supportive, knowledgeable, and available others to give me a hand.

I had one (big) thing going against me. A fear of being self-centered and annoying. Sure, I can email busy producers and editors regarding my mom’s stuff because I see and know and have witnessed over and over again its immense value. But my stuff? My book? My words and ideas? Scary stuff, man!

boys and me picHowever, I love my book and I love my ideas and I love learning who I am through marketing. With the support of Archway (coaches and consultants who call to check on me just the right amount, keeping me going without applying unnecessary pressure) and the watchful eyes of my sons (who are young men searching for their own voices and marketing tools) I’ve stepped outside of my comfort zone, just enough to discover my marketing comfort zone.

I’ve done podcast interviews, written guest blogs, and discovered book reviewers who adored my accessibility and (thank goodness!) my book. I’ve answered questions about myself as a writer for author interviews, and have been planning an event for families with autism, as well as another event for teens who want to write in order to discover their voice.

Thanks to the support and ideas from Archway, who offer creative marketing tips that fit me and my book, along with author friends and other groups I’ve discovered while on my marketing quest, I’ve grown as a writer.  I’ve grown, also, as a mom with ideas for her sons.

I knew that marketing my book, Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself: A Collection of Stories that Slowly Grow Up, would help me figure out how I was most comfortable marketing myself, and I even suspected it would help me grow as a person.

I was given marketing strategies and ideas by the knowledgeable folks at Archway Publishing, and I started trying the ones that matched me most – which meant discovering what those were.

I discovered my marketing plan while marketing.

I also discovered more of myself.

-AWP-

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet us @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Author Feature

Publishing “A Gift of Love”

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Linda Della Donna, author of “A Gift of Love.”  For more about Linda and her book, visit her website at www.bookorbust.blogspot.com or on Facebook. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

I began writing, A Gift of Love, shortly after my husband died. A Gift of Love was written to fulfill a deathbed promise to my late husband, Edward Sclier. That was in 2004.

Thirty-five thousand words, five years and many drafts later, and after making the rounds I was confident A Gift of Love was ready for submission. And I wondered, Should I or shouldn’t I, self-publish.

I began to submit to mainstream publishing houses but without success. Time passed and I began to worry would I/could I fulfill my promise to my husband. Rejection letters were piling up at an alarming rate. Seemed soon as I had licked the envelope seeking publication and mailed it off, before the glue could dry a response rejection letter was tucked neatly in my mailbox.

SKU-000735228 It wasn’t long before I was asking self-published author friends for advice—Where did you go to publish your work? and Who do you recommend?

I received a lot of suggestions and I checked them out. I visited self-publishing websites. I read self-published books. But always I came away disappointed. I didn’t like the finished product. Covers didn’t look professional. I noticed book spines didn’t have the title or author’s name; print size was too tiny; the paper was flimsy—I didn’t like the feel. I noticed misprints, misspellings, and ink globs. I wondered why?

I worked very hard on A Gift of Love. A Gift of Love was my baby, now grown and ready to be set free into a new world. More than anything, I wanted A Gift of Love to look its very best. Deeply disappointed at results of self-publishing, I began thinking, A Gift of Love might never be published, and worse my promise to my late husband would go unfulfilled.

One morning over a cup of coffee at the corner deli, I read in the New York Times an article on self-publishing. Simon and Schuster announced they had made the decision to get in on the self-publishing market and had creating Archway Publishing.

The lights went on in my head. I liked Simon and Shuster. I liked their books, several of which I had read and many lined my bookshelves. When I thought about it, I liked the idea that “A Gift of Love” could have the imprint, “Archway Publishers, Division of Simon and Schuster.” I liked more that I could boast those same words when asked “Who published your book?” for A Gift of Love.

1239582_511864338902435_405736449_nI ripped out the article, circled the website, and that same morning I got online and researched what Archway had to offer. The rest is history.

Archway‘s website was easy to navigate. Contacts were provided and detailed information outlining the entire process was provided. Being visual, I especially liked that the packages offered were color-coded, arranged in columns, and placed on one page making it easy for me to review without having to scroll and arrow back or forward. I liked that costs were itemized. It wasn’t necessary for me to sit with pen and paper to figure out what I could and could not afford. It was all listed and totaled.

That same day I filled out the on-line application form and hit Send. Within twenty-four hours, my telephone was ringing and I was speaking with an Archway representative. Soon my manuscript was submitted, and I was waiting to hear back to see if A Gift of Love was accepted. One week later, YIPPEE! I heard back. A Gift of Love had been accepted.

Of course there was still work to do—edits, more polishing, cover work and still more edits. And I had time. Archway was patient and I felt no pressure. From the very start, Archway was there for me and A Gift of Love. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Archway. Their editors, publicists, designers and marketers and their entire staff are wonderful, thoughtful, kind professionals. I welcomed their comments and guidance. I’m a new author and I needed to make A Gift of Love, be the best it could be.I welcomed their advice. From table of contents to completed chapters to cover design, everyone involved in the process had my back.

The great part was I got to attend the BEA Book Expo of America held at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan, stay at a hotel with special discount supplied by Archway, meet other authors, publishers and editors from around the globe, attend a special cocktail party honoring Archway authors, and most of all see A Gift of Love posed elegantly on a shelf for all the world to see.

I am grateful.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page. 

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Author Feature

Pam Saxelby on Writing “Max and Bear”

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Pam Saxelby, author of “Max and Bear,” who shares her self-publishing journey from idea to publication. For more about Pam and her book, visit her website at maxandbear@squarespace.com  or on Facebook. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

On Becoming Max and Bear

When I was asked to write this guest blog, I thought, “What do I want to say?” I mulled over a few ideas… threw some out, and tried some on for size. Why did I write a book? What did I write about? Why did I write about that? I am writing this, as I sit on a plane bound for Phoenix, to see a family member who is quite ill. Maybe that seems like a weird addition to this blog post, but it is a huge definer in why I chose to write a book, and do it my way. Life’s just too short not to.IMG_0871

I spent my professional life reading lots and lots of great kids books. Books for all the ages I taught, middle school, elementary school, and most recently, preschool. When I went back to preschool, I fell in love with children’s picture books! They are smart, engaging, and fun. As each school year approached, I was giddy with excitement. What new books would I find? What author would I discover and fall in love with?

As I read my new finds, and delighted in the kids’ reactions to these stories, I began to think… Hey! I want to write my own story, my own book, and see if I can get kids to delight in the story I choose to tell. So, I did. I tried figuring out what to write about for five or so years. I would start a story, work on it, and realize I didn’t know where it was going.

I read some books on how to write, thinking that would help. I got some good ideas, but the bottom line is, you just have to keep at it. About two years ago, I got the cSKU-000913858hance to go on a trip with my daughter, and her son, Max. This was the catalyst… On our trip, I witnessed how Max interacted with his special Angel Dear Blankie… fondly referred to as “Da-Da Bear.” I don’t think Max could have survived the trip without Bear… and VOILA! A story idea was hatched.

Max and Bear; the age-old idea of kids and what they love. I had it! I took the idea, planted myself at my local Starbucks, kept buying coffee so they wouldn’t kick me out, and did it. I wrote the first draft in a day. I kept working on the story, and began to research self-publishers. Why? I wanted my book printed.

With the help of Archway, who assisted me every step of the way, from design through the finished product, I did it!  Max and Bear is a reality. Recently I read Max and Bear to a group of 30 young children. As I finished the story and closed the book, the kids looked up at me and said, “We like that story!” There you have it. Mission accomplished…

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Author Feature, Publishing

Journaling as a Foundation for Publishing

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Pamala D. Larsen author of “Finding a Way through Cancer, Dying, and Widowhood.” Here she shares some advice on how journaling is the foundation of publishing. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

 

October is breast cancer awareness month, and although the survival rate of breast cancer has steadily increased, it remains an ever present threat to both men and women. Statistics from the National Cancer Institute indicate that in 2015, in the U.S., approximately 1.65 million individuals will be diagnosed with cancer, while 590,000 will die from the disease.

ResizeImageHandler (1)Although heart disease remains the most common disease and cause of death in this country,  cancer is the disease that strikes the most fear in people. Often we interpret a diagnosis of cancer as a death sentence. Thus when my husband, Randy, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2010, we approached the disease with fear. For some reason, the day he had the diagnostic test that would reveal the cancer, I took an empty journal with me to the surgical waiting room instead of my usual ‘work’ things. I didn’t know it at the time, but with my first entry in the journal on November 23, 2010, my Archway published book, Finding a Way through Cancer, Dying and Widowhood: A Memoir, had its beginning. My journal became my safe place. I could yell and scream “it’s not fair” in my journal. Randy’s cancer was never in remission and although he gave the cancer fight all he could, he died 18 months later at age 64. I continued to write in my journal throughout my first year of widowhood sharing thoughts that often could not be spoken out loud. I searched for books and articles that might help lessen the pain of losing a husband of 43 years, but I found few things that were helpful.

Sometime during that first year of widowhood, Time magazine published an article about ‘indies’, independent book publishers. I was instantly intrigued. I had never thought about publishing my journal, but perhaps my journal, telling it ‘like it was and is’ could help someone else through the cancer journey and widowhood.

With publication in mind, I began researching publishers. There is a large number of independent publishers.  I narrowed my list to 4 or 5 and then listed the pros and cons of each.  Archway met my needs by offering a variety of packages that could be customized to meet my needs. Working with the staff at Archway was easy and seamless. I wasn’t transferred from one person to the next, but I had a core number of individuals that I worked with that understood my book. From publication through marketing, the process went smoothly, and the final product was published in December of 2013. Thank you Archway!

For more information visit www.cancerandloss.com.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

 

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