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Archive for the ‘Promotion’ Category

It used to be the biggest challenge writers faced was getting words down on paper and finding someone willing to publish them. That still is a challenge, but today it’s just the beginning of what a writer is expected to do.

 

Writing not facebookingNow we daily face the overwhelming task of building a platform. The time needed to write words worth reading is infringed upon by the need to have a growing presence on social media. We are driven to develop our “brand” along with a memorable tagline that will resonate with our “audience.”

I confess it’s all too easy for me to get caught up in this not so merry, merry-go-round.

 

Last week I spent a day and a half preparing a new flyer for the August 3-6 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. One side is an overview of the conference and highlights the concert my friend, Marty Goetz, is giving on Wednesday night.

Marty poster for web

 

The other side describes our exciting Teens Write on Thursday and Pastors Write on Friday.

 

TW & PW flyer GP 2016 for web

 

I am excited about all this year’s conference offers. And I do work really hard to present the opportunities in the most professional and best way possible. I even added a new Spread the Word page to the conference website. But sadly, in my effort to “market” the conference, I am convicted that I forgot the most important thing.

 

The 3-1/2 day conference in August does provide many opportunities to learn about the craft of writing and marketing, but it is the message – “His answer” – that is the most important Word that needs to be spread.

 

As Michael Gantt said in his keynote at last year’s conference and this year’s  Colorado Christian Writers Conference, “The Cross is the Main Thing.” I urge you to watch the video of his keynote and/or read the transcript.  I also urge you to subscribe to his blog at http://growinggodlyseed.com.

 

Yes, I’d really appreciate your help spreading the word about the August 3-6 conference, but the most important thing each one of us can and must do is to spread His Word, His answer.

 

Again, quoting Michael Gantt from the blog he posted today:

We are called to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven. We are called to magnify and glorify the matchless Name of Jesus. We are called to declare deliverance to the captives, healing to the broken, and to declare that forgiveness of sin is found in none other than Jesus Christ. We are called to bring the light of the gospel to our cities; to bind up the broken, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and to declare even in the face of Caesar the eternal decrees of God – That’s what we are called to do!

Yes, indeed, that is the Word we are called to spread. God help us to be found faithful.

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Have you ever said, “If only someone would sit beside me and help me figure this out”?

I have! All too often I am overwhelmed by the learning curve. I’d love to be able to sit in all of the clinics at the July 29 – August 1 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference, but I’m too busy directing the conference. The clinics aren’t recorded so I can’t listen to them after the conference. Even if they were available on CD, it wouldn’t be the same as being there and getting help with my projects and questions. And I do need help!

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Karen Whiting from FB 3Develop a Unique Marketing Plan for Your Book with Karen Whiting
I know I’ve not done a good job marketing my books. That’s sad. My Turn to Care – Encouragement for Caregivers of Aging Parents is a needed devotional book. For Better for Worse – Devotional Thoughts for Married Couples is also needed but it’s out of print the same as two other books I worked so hard to publish. I need to get them back in print, but what I really need first is time with Karen Whiting to develop marketing plans that will work. Vicki Chandler, a clinic participant, says, “In three days, Karen helped me create a detailed marketing plan. She’s the Michelangelo of marketing.” You can read more about Vicki’s experience in Karen’s clinic at http://bit.ly/1K0EL7z.


Get Them Coming to Your  Blog/WebsiteMegan Breedlove cr
with Megan Breedlove
I spend a lot of time on blog posts and my three websites but not near enough time on learning the secrets of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and choosing (and using) effective keywords. I need the help Megan is going to provide. See Megan’s post, “How Do I Get to Be #1 on Google?” at http://bit.ly/1KXn9fR.


Jeanette WindleHook that Editor Book Proposal Clinic
with Jeanette Windle
Writing a book proposal is not fun or easy! Although I have written proposals that have resulted in contracts, I know Jeanette’s input would strengthen my proposals. And unlike the other clinics, I’d only need to miss three workshops to attend the nonfiction or fiction clinic. Jeanette is an award-winning novelist, missions journalist, editor, and collaborative writer. She represents Kregel Publications.


Fiction Intensive
with Nancy RueNancy Rue 2014
Someday I’m going to write a novel. When I do, there is nobody’s help I would value more than Nancy’s. I’ve never forgotten the day long clinic with Nancy that I sat in on over ten years ago. Wow! Christy Distler, one of last year’s participants, says it better than I can: “Nancy has a wonderful way of connecting with each writer she works with, her feedback is honest and yet kind, and her sense of humor makes the classes not only enlightening but also a fun fellowship with other writers.”

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For more information about GPCWC’s cliics and the needed application go to http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/clinics. And do it now. The deadline for applying is July 15. And if you’ve not yet registered for the conference, I encourage you to do so before the late fee (I call it “the procrastinator’s fee”) kicks in July 16.

Banner 2015 GPCWC

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Megan Breedlove
How Do I Get to Be #1 on Google?
(And Why Do I Care?)
(Especially If I’m Not a Techie?)

Guest post by Megan Breedlove

We’ve all used Google to search for something.  You know how it works: you type in what you’re looking for, and Google comes up with a list of results.  Then you ignore the first several results and seek out the less popular ones….

Wait a minute; that’s not how it works!  Of course you are more likely to click on the #1 Google result, or at least one of the results on the first page.  Why?  Because you know that one of those is most likely to meet your needs.

Have you ever wondered how those particular websites make it up to #1 on Google so that they can get clicked on thousands or even millions of times?  Then this clinic is right for you!

But I’m not a huge company like IBM, you might be thinking.  I can never be #1 on Google.

Fortunately, you are mistaken!  Even writers with less than billion-dollar advertising budgets can increase their Google ranking, thereby making their sites more likely to get clicked on and drawing more traffic to their sites.

Whether or not you have an actual product to sell, you want your website—you need your website—to be right on up there in the Google rankings.  Why?  So that people can find your work—and so that publishers will know you have people paying attention to you.

You see, if your writing is good, but you have no “platform”—in other words, your web presence is relatively invisible—you may or may not get a contract.  But if your writing is good, and you have a visible web presence (that all-important “platform” again), you have a much better chance of a publishing house’s wanting to acquire your work.

When God gives us a message He wants us to get out, it’s true that He will help us spread the word.  But we have to be doing our best to work along with Him.

Attending this clinic is one of the ways to do that.  In the six hour-long sessions, you will be taught everything you need to know to get started on making your web presence more visible.  (Those who sign up for the clinic will also be able to contact me even after the conference is over in case they have further questions.)

What if you’re not a techie?  No problem!  We will start with the basics, and you will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions.  We’ll also give each person’s site individual attention in class, so that you can get a variety of perspectives from potential readers, as well as my instruction and advice.

If you’re not yet #1 on Google, you still have opportunity to increase your ranking.  Come to the clinic and learn how!
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For more info about Megan’s clinic, “Get Them Coming to Your Blog/Website” at the July 29 – August 1 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference click here.

Megan is an author, speaker, and website consultant whose website for more than four years has held one of the top two spots in Google search terms that receive thousands of hits each month. She is the author of Manna for Moms, Well Done Good and Faithful Mommy, and Chaotic Joy, all from Regal. Megan has also written for several magazines and websites, including Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse magazine, ChristianDevotions.us, DevoKids.com, and The Voice of Grace and Truth newspaper. Her website, www.MannaForMoms.com, offers weekly devotions for moms and receives thousands of hits each month. In addition to her writing and speaking to encourage moms, Megan works with Christian authors and ministries to help them improve their platforms so that they too can get their message out to the world.

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Karen Whiting from FB 3Always Think Marketing

Guest post by
Karen Whiting

 

Marketing should begin before you write your proposal and continue through long after the book’s release. When you first have an idea that’s the time to think how you can grab the attention of readers.

Example: With my first book, on finger puppets, I thought of how I could use it in teaching puppetry at regional festivals and what might get vendors who carry books to purchase it. I brainstormed jingles and phrases and came up with I incorporated into the proposal, “Let your fingers do the teaching.” That ended up on the back cover of the book.

Results: I applied and got on faculty at a puppet festival. As I taught there, another person on the faculty loved what I did and said she wanted to take the book with her on a 60-city tour where she was teaching Sunday School leaders. I gave her sample puppets too. A vendor who chose to carry the book told me he did Sunday school conventions and ministry conventions all over the country. That launched the book.

So how do you think marketing? Think in each direction that marketing reaches readers:

  1. Media – Think of short pitches that would interest a listening audience. They like humor, stories, and tips. What are the stories behind your book or in it? What did you learn that could be put into 3 top tips?
  1. Speaking – What topics can you fit into a 45-minute talk or workshop? I wrote a book on time management and that can sound a bit boring. But, I used principles from creation and decided to title a workshop, Created for purpose and beauty. That grabs attention better, as it gives hope and meeting planners can see how they can add in some fun, like including a fashion show or flower arranging as a side workshop.
  1. Articles and blog posts – What are some key ideas you want to convey to your audience? Those are ones to build articles on that relate to the book. So, for my time book I’ve done articles on accountability partners, get out of time debt, different time zones (personality and time), etc. Some expanded on ones I only used in sidebars of tips while others reinforced a larger section of the book.
  1. Social networking – As you write the book, can you sum up what you cover each day? The summaries could make great tweets. Can you jot down a few lines related to what you thought as you wrote? These could be blog posts or short FB post.Whiting Nature Girl
  1. Print – This includes freebies on your website, handouts, promotional material, etc. As you envision your idea, what do you see? These images can be great to capture for print. Can you create a handout of what you’d cover in a daylong or weekend retreat? These would be good for flyers for meeting planners. I created one on last year’s release (Nature Girl) for scout leaders. Last month I transformed it a bit for camp directors and did a mass mailing to Christian camps with the handout plus a few supplies for doing activities in the book. Next month I’ll put it on my website as a free handout. I created a fun quiz for a time I would be at a bookstore Mother’s Day weekend. It was part of launching a book for women and I did a quiz on a man’s laundry personality. The men loved the quiz, laughed, and I sold a ton of books that day.

I love helping others brainstorm and think  of unique ways to market their books and catchy phrases to use as a basis of marketing. Ideas are limitless!

______________

Thanks, Karen, for sharing such great ideas. You really are the “idea queen.” I’m so glad to have you on faculty at both the May 13-16 Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the July 29 – August 1 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference.

Among other things, Karen is offering a 30 minute paid consultation to “Develop a Unique Marketing Plan for Your Book.”  She will help you create realistic and workable plans to reach your audience building on your strengths. To learn more about Karen visit her website at www.karenwhiting.com.

Karen is the queen of creativity, the master at innovative ideas, and an expert
in transforming an insight into a tangible and powerful marketing tool.
During a recent writer’s conference, I attended her marketing sessions.
As we sat in a circle, she took the focus of each book,
gave each author ideas, examples, and practical steps to market each book.
They all evoked an “Ah!” from the participants.
The skill Karen has to craft a powerful marketing tool
from a mere concept is a gift few possess.

Janet Perez Eckles
Author & International Speaker

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Dianne E. Butts 1-2011Guest writer
Dianne Butts

Hello CCWC fans! If you’ve attended the Colorado Christian Writers Conference or the Philly conference last summer, you’ve no doubt seen me around or taken one of my workshops.

I have something new going that I want to share with you. I will be teaching my very first Webinar, “Blog-Plosion,” this Tuesday, February 3, in the evening!

This is actually a spin off of the workshop I taught at CCWC last spring, “Social Marketing for the Techno-Challenged.” In this 2-hour webinar I will be sharing how I took my brand new blog to 65,000+ page views per months in only a few months. And my readership is still growing.

In this Webinar I will share all the strategies and techniques I used to gain readers FAST.

My Bible Prophecies Fulfilled blog, which talks about not only Bible prophecy but Jesus as the Savior, is getting hundreds of re-Tweets and shares, and I’m getting messages and questions from people all around the world. I’m having discussions with people all over the world–including Muslims and atheists. I know the Lord is using my blog-ministry in Ephesians 3:20 ways.

Learn how I’m doing it and how you can do it too. Would you like to grow your platform fast? Sign up now!

The webinar is coming in only a few days so if you’re interested sign up today. Here’s the info:

Set of multicolored big buttons made of glass or plastic with metallic borders

“Blog-Plosion!” Webinar by Dianne E. Butts.
Hosted by Linda Evans Shepherd

LINK: http://webinarjam.net/webinar/go/14267/cfde5e5001

WHEN:  Tuesday evening, February 3, 2015
9:00 pm Eastern Time
8:00 pm Central
7:00 pm Mountain
6:00 pm Pacific

Can’t make it? This Webinar will be recorded so if you sign up, you’ll be able to watch it later even if you can’t attend it live.

WHERE:  Blog-Plosion Webinar Sign Up Page
http://webinarjam.net/webinar/go/14267/cfde5e5001

HOW MUCH?: $19.99

You should receive an auto-responder email telling you when and how to log in to the seminar.
You will receive two handouts with this class.

Please use the Share button on the webinar page to share with your friends and contacts. Thank you.

Again, I’m very excited to have this opportunity to teach and to share how I’m making an impact in this world through my blog. If I can do it, so can you! I do hope you’ll join us Tuesday evening!

P.S. from Marlene – I’ve signed up. I encourage you to sign up, too!

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pen & inkwell7 Reasons Why                                          You Need to Come

Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference

July 30 – August 2, 2014

 

 

1. To learn the craft of writing. Okay, maybe you’ve been writing for many years, but there is always more to learn. Master craftsmen will teach  workshops  and  continuing sessions that, as one conferee said, are the equivalent of a semester college course in writing.  You’ll learn from authors like Cec Murphey, Linda Evans Shepherd, Tim Shoemaker, and Jeanette Windle. And they are just four of the 56 authors, editors, agents, and publicists serving on this year’s faculty.

2.  To learn the craft of marketing your work to potential publishers or explore the how-to of indie publishing. If you’ve gotten more than your share of rejection slips or have yet to get your first rejection (I’m sorry, it goes with the territory of being a writer), GPCWC offers a “Get Published” track of six hour-long workshops that will provide practical help. In addition, literary agent, editor, and author Dave Fessenden is teaching a two-hour Wednesday early bird workshop, on “Book Proposals: The Front-End Method.” You also can choose Tim Shoemaker’s continuing session, “How to Get Published.” For those considering indie publishing. we have a two-hour “You Can Publish Your eBook” early bird workshop on Wednesday and a continuing session on how to professionally format a book interior for CreateSpace.

3. Face-to-face opportunities to pitch your work to editors and agents.  At GPCWC full-time conferees get FOUR 15-minute one-on-one appointments with the faculty of your choice. Because we have such a large faculty, there’s a good possibility that  even late registrants will get their top choices. On Thursday afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for additional appointments with faculty who still have openings. In today’s publishing world, the only way to connect with many agents and editors is through meeting them at a conference. Check out our helpful spreadsheets of their editorial needs. You’ll find links on the pages for our editors and agents. Anxious about meeting a real live editor or agent face-to-face? Jeanette Windle’s two “Practice Your Pitch” early bird workshops (one for nonfiction and the other for fiction) will help build your confidence. Our authors are also available for appointments. They can point out the strengths and weaknesses in your writing, answer questions, and provide helpful guidance.

4. To learn the craft of marketing/promoting your published work. And yes, it’s a craft, and not one that comes naturally to most writers.  I’ve often said that the reason I quit Girl Scouts is because of the stress of trying to sell cookies.  Whether or not you like marketing, the fact is that you hold the key to the sales of your book.  But the good news is that it’s a craft that can be learned. We’ve also got a track of six hour-long marketing workshops.

5. Friendships with other writers. My closest friends are writers I’ve met at writers’ conferences. In amazing ways writers connect deeply with one another more quickly than I ever have in the chit-chat before and after Sunday morning worship services. And we need each other. A key verse for me that I’ve experienced and sought to follow is 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Encourage each other to build each other up” (TLB). It happens at GPCWC!

6. Inspiration and encouragement to keep on keeping on. Our keynoters will challenge you to “Write His Answer.”

7. Direction from the Lord. Each year, and this is my 31st year directing GPCWC, I see God at work in Ephesians 3:20 ways.  He has a plan for you and for your writing.  He is the One who makes the impossible possible. Indeed, GPCWC is “More than a Writers Conference.”

There’s still time to register and to request appointments. Housing is still available in Cairn University’s Heritage Hall. None of the workshops or continuing sessions are filled because of the university’s large classrooms. If you need time payments or scholarship help, please ask. You can email me at mbagnull@aol.com or call 484-991-8581.

God bless you and your writing – Marlene

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Rob Cook

 “His love has the first and last word
in everything we do.”      2 Cor. 5:14 MSG

Let me introduce you to my friend, Rob Cook, one of the keynoters at both the Colorado and Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. Rob is an author and the founder, pastor, and director of 252 Underground Youth Ministry. God’s love fuels Rob’s passion to reach tough kids – kids who hang out on the streets, get in trouble, and sadly would not be welcome in many churches.

Rob says, “Let’s stop asking what would Jesus do. We already know what Jesus did. It’s not enough to just know; knowledge without action is useless. Let our call to action be DWJD – Do What Jesus Did.”

Updates – July 30 – August 2
Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference

Registration is open . . . and two weeks earlier than last year. Thank You, Father. There is still much to be added to the website, but the 16-page brochure is online. Check it out! Remember, the earlier you register, the better opportunity you have to get your choices for your one-on-one appointments.

Updates – May 14-17
Colorado Christian Writers Conference


Clinics
– The deadline for applications was April 1. The nonfiction clinic is full, but because there is still room in the other clinics we’re continuing to accept applications on a first-come basis.

 

fear-of-public-speaking-1

Speaker’s Clinic with Roy Hanschke

Every writer needs to be a speaker, too. If you’ve been avoiding the challenge to begin the speaking part of your ministry or need to improve what you’re already doing, this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. Roy has trained and coached beginning and seasoned speakers for over 15 years. He is also a 20-year (plus) veteran in Christian radio in Denver, Colorado. His morning show is heard at 910AM and worldwide on streaming audio at www.AM91.org.


Fiction Intensive with Jim and Tracie PetersonTracies latest book
Tracie’s 100th book, A Sensible Arrangement, has just been released. Congratulations, Tracie!

This clinic is designed for writers who feel they have great stories to tell, but who want to dig just a little deeper to actually put them to paper in a dynamic way.

What makes a good story?
How do you give life to paper characters?
Why is setting so critical?
What’s research got to do with fiction?
What is my reason for writing this book?
How can you avoid the most popular mistakes


Get Them Coming to Your Blog / Website with Megan Breedlove
– Learn what kind of web presence you need and where to go to get it, determine exactly who your target audience is and  what they need, receive individual instruction to ensure your site does the best possible job of meeting your audience’s needs, discover how to promote your site and increase your Google ranking, expand your author platform so you can get your message out to the nations and develop a presence that will be attractive to publishers, and more.

News You Can Use

How To Build A Writer Platform With No Time, No Credentials And No BookHelpful blog by  Kimberley Grabas.

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas   LPC
“Working hard to make His truth shine.”
Check out their growing line of books including how-to books for writers. This is the 5th year LPC and ChristianDevotions.us will be represented at the Colorado and Greater Philly conference. Father, thank You for Eddie Jones and his team and for the Ephesians 3:20 things You have done and are doing.

Keep writing His answer and doing what Jesus would do!

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