Becoming a Productive Writer/Public Speaker

I had planned to talk with you today about becoming a more productive writer, but need to update my regular reading friends on “Daisy News” first.

Beth Groundwater siteWhoo Hoo!  My very first guest blog is today!  If you have time for a quick step over to author  Beth Groundwater’s site and blog, you could possibly win a copy of my book.  And if you have a blog you’d like a guest post on, please let me know.

Book sales have been going well according to my publisher, and I’m closing in on 2000 copies sold!  This is, of course, before returns, but I currently have visions of grandeur.  I hope those who  read Faith on the Rocks will enjoy it and spread the word that this makes a good, light read at the beach or on the back deck.

Tuesday Talk Show

Looking forward to chatting with Lindsay Woods.

I’m really looking forward to my first radio interview on Tuesday, July 30!  Back in college, I tried working on a radio show for my dormitory at Michigan State University.  Talk about disaster!  I was too afraid to actually talk on air, so I just kept playing music on the record player and, believe me, I have no taste in music worth sharing!  Had to try at least.

Anyway, the host of Ft. Collins based KRFC 88.9FM The Tuesday Talk Show is Lindsay Woods.  We met through ballroom dance here in Colorado, but found we both grew up in the same area of Michigan.  Lindsay is a vibrant personality and wonderfully fun person to be around, so I’m sure she’ll help me overcome my Michigan State background to talk about my book.  Hope you can join us.  If you can, please let me know and I’ll send you a call-in telephone number for your questions or comments. For those not in the Ft. Collins area, my friend, John, found this link: 

Now, as we’re on the shameless self-promotion part of this blog, I do want to thank everyone who came to my book signings this weekend.  Mike Befeler was a complete hero at Broadway Book Mall, helping me through my first effort.  I was able to see some friends at the signing both from my fantastic critique group and people who I haven’t connected with in a few years.  What a thrill.  And Mary Ann, one of my best friends, even brought me a rose from her garden to mark the event.

On Sunday, my fantastic ballroom dance friends and a couple of great neighbors attended a private party where I had the spotlight all to myself.  I tell you, it’s a wonder I can still get my head through the front door!

At this point, book signings and appearances are all about selling books.  The average book signing results in about 8 books sold, and that’s where I sit today.  I could use your help, though.  If you have any places you think I could do signings (shops that also happen to sell books, places that are focused on Littleton, Pets, Special Needs People, or mysteries) please let me know.  I’d love to do a signing or talk in your area.  Of course, I’m limited on travel budget–ie I have none, but I can do podcasts and connect to you through  other media.

Now the hard part of being a writer kicks in.  Sales is party time, but without product, sales don’t exist.  I love Faith on the Rocks, but Sliced Vegetarian needs work.  So how do you balance between writing and promotion?  I’m not sure, but plan to try.

In that effort, I’m reading The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen.  Her book is jam-packed with exercises and other organizational things to keep you writing.  I particularly like in Chapter One how she has you set up a group of files in an effort to “make a case” for your writing future, and asks you to study your author heroes.  I also like how she calls us who write People of Letters.  It sounds so noble when drawn out like this.

So, here’s a thought for you today: pick an author and research her.  Find out how she got started in the writing profession, what other work he’s done besides the books you’ve read, what kind of writing life he or she leads.  Is there something in your hero’s work style that you might emulate?  We’re not looking to become the flamboyant Thomas Wolfe or suicidal Ernest Hemingway here.  Just find out how they wrote and ask yourself if their habits might become your own.

Good luck, and happy writing!