July 15 – Minutes


ATTENDEES: SHARON D., DENNIS G., EVA H., PETA-GAYE N., HOWARD P., RICK P., RICHARD S., SHEILA T., BALA M.,

Announcements, Opportunities:

  • Congratulations to this WAG member in receiving the Canada Book Award 
    Eva Henn   Towards the Light

    Canadian writers who wish to submit their book should refer to the Canada Book Awards site for more information.

  • canadabookaward.com/

Member announcements:
Presentations moderator
: We invite anyone who is interested in helping WAG, by taking on the role as Presentations Moderator to contact Richard.

Happy Time sharing!

Sharon D.
Sharon explained she is involved in a short story writing project where she must submit a number of stories of 2000 – 3000 words. Her topics are: a private detective, a cruise ship and a broken tooth. She sounded very excited about the whole project and we wish her well.

Rick P.
Rick’s got some material he submitted to the CBC which he will hear about in August. He expresses a bit of anxiety about it as it is humour, something he feels is not his writing forte. Otherwise, he is into chapter 31 of his major opus.

Peta-Gaye, N.
Peta-Gaye is working on her novel too, 29,000 words and into Ch 10. Her struggles revolve about chapter length and getting the words out. She has gotten a life-coach as she feels she is in a troubled time in her life and needs some help in coping with the anxieties and depression. We wish her well with this.

Eva H.
She has decided she needs to accompany her writing with a lot of reading. Her latest read is Linwood Barclay’s newest book, Find you First. Stephen King endorsed the book and Eva declares it may be Barclay’s best work to date. Eva is working on recognizing the differences writing styles and learning from these. Like other writers, she is struggling with writer’s block but has joined another writers’ group from Philadelphia, Storyworks, to motivate herself to do more writing. [ Sheila Tucker moderates a WAG group that does something along the lines of critiquing/feedback to writers that Eva talked about.]

Bala M.
Bala is working on two of his own books, a collection of short stories which he hopes to finish by September. But also working full time and helping 4 other writers with their works is bogging him down, as he says. His book is about Jews in India, a very interesting theme, and unique.
   He also talked about how Sheila’s critiquing group has been a very positive learning experience for him and how it has helped him improve his writing.

Dennis G.,
Dennis touted the chiropractic profession, “Motions the lotion.” Dennis is fighting back pain…with success.

Howard P.,
We bade Howard adieu as he has decided he can no longer continue as PRESENTATION MODERATOR because of many other commitments. We thanked him for his excellent work. Thank you, Howard! Howard has again reiterated he may not be doing the role of moderator but he is not leaving WAG as he feels the group has become very special to him and he is committed as ever to it.

Richard S.,
Richard added many comments throughout the meeting but mostly reminding the attendees that his site has an area especially devoted to all things relating to WAG and that the section is devoted to promotion and advancement of WAG writers. He also reiterates that his site has widgets available and that he publishes a monthly newsletter where WAG writers are promoted passionately.

Presentation: Media Kits
Guest speaker – Dennis Gazarek

Dennis’s introduction described that book promotion is book selling. He explained that writers need to see themselves in a more positive light. Self-esteem can be sabotaged by inner voices which are allowed to voice negative things about ourselves.

Dennis stresses that a media kit is essential for every writer, a mandatory piece of self-promotion for one’s book(s).

The strongest thread in Dennis’ talk is that life is two things, successes and learning. He refuses to call the other things “failures” and he points out that his life had a lot of successes and a lot of ‘learning’ too.

Dennis points out that the book business is exactly that, ‘a business.’ Hence, book promotion is sales. Sell, sell, sell.

Dennis learned his first things about media kits from his publisher and has come to the conclusion that a media kit should be a compulsory part of every writer’s repertoire for promotion.

The goal of a media kit is to generate interest about your book; create a halo effect, giving your book an aura of attraction. Though he feels a media kit is a bit of self-boasting for which Dennis is non-apologetic.

A media kit has to give media people, influencers information about the book. It is essential to include:

  • Who
  • Why
  • What people say about your work
  • Where your book can be bought
  • When it is available

He gave examples of what might tweak publisher’s and readers interests in your book. His brother-in-law self-published a book on handwriting and sold 9,000 copies…that would definitely tweak interest in his book.

Dennis talked about ARC’s, Advanced Reader Copies, which are publishers’ first copies of your book for your distribution to readers, reviews, influencers to generate interest and reviews of your book.

Endorsements and reviews should be used in your media kit and on your book jacket. If you can use the name of a celebrity, a well-known public figure, to give your book more gravitas, go for it.

Dennis’s information about media kits is available on my website in the WAG section.

Dennis’ bottom line is to recognize you are selling. There is no place for humility here. You are selling, so you need to promote. But his last word was to use images on your media kit…display your book cover as a picture is worth a thousand words.

Questions and answers
Eva
felt a media kit could be something very worth considering, especially now after receiving a Canada Books Award. She now feels her book should be read and a media kit is one more arrow in one’s book promotion quiver.

Rick talked how book signings are important to selling and Dennis came back with PROBUS group presentations. PROBUS has chapters throughout Ontario and you need to contact your local PROBUS chapter and offer to be a book speaker. Rick charges $150 for such an engagement and feels that is fair compensation for his time and energy in doing such a presentation.

Rick also suggested that writers might consider adding a Q&A section to their media kit to give the book a fuller picture.

Peta-Gaye added a comment that Facebook entries are important also and she underlines writers need to overcome the feeling of humility and inflated egos. Put it out there. Remember you wrote the book for people to read. Think big, and act on it…so sell, sell and sell.

Richard added more promotional ideas and reiterated that more details can be found on his site:

  • Bookmarks
  • Business cards
  • Customized Gmail signatures
  • Display your Award on your book cover
  • Learn how to get your library shelves
  • Get your publisher to help you promote

Rick brought Richard’s lofty promotion ideas back down to earth with his bottom line of promotion is a self-dependent, self-reliant game. You cannot rely on your publisher, your reviewers or anyone else to promote your work with the same dedication and fervour that you have yourself.

Upcoming meetings:
Please confer with the WAG section of my website where you will find many posts, reviewing events, presentations, minutes and giving you practical guidelines to promoting your book.

Be sure to confer with:

          • WAG calendar

The PRESENTATIONS scheduling has had some modifications because we will be having New York Times bestseller as guest speaker in the fall. Hence….

Aug 19 – Business Meeting
This is a very important meeting which all WAG members should consider as a “must attend.” The state of the union will be addressed, along with other topics that need consideration by the founding WAG members. Tentatively, WAG executive, WAG membership fees, WAG promotion, where we should be going in the next year, an evaluation of what we have achieved, are we succeeding or are we just learning?

Sept 15, Wed – NY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR: Alka Joshi,
                            “The Secret Keep of Jaipur”

Oct 21 – Panel discussion: Children’s book authors and their writing style

Nov 18 – Open discussion – ‘Free for all discussion’
                            Topics to come.

Stay healthy everyone and enjoy your summer barbecuing season!

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