The deadline for the firstwriter.com
International Poetry Competition, which was previously
October 1, 2004, has been delayed at the last minute.
The decision comes as a result of
the dramatic increase in the volume of submissions as the
deadline has approached, and the number of eager poets writing
to the editorial department to request special dispensations and
"The deadline has been
postponed to enable these last-minute entries to make it into
the competition," said firstwriter.com Managing
Editor, J. Paul Dyson, "but the new deadline will be
absolutely final. There will be no further
The new deadline for submissions
is November 1, 2004. The competition is open to poems of up to
30 lines on any subject and in any style, and there are prizes
worth a total of over $1000 / £600 up for grabs, as well as
publication in firstwriter.magazine for the winners,
runners-up, and ten special commendations. Entries are accepted
from anywhere in the world using the online submission system.
To make your entry click
By Pamela S.
I never thought I would be in a
position to give advice on promoting your work. However, when my
book Tempered Hearts was published (December 2000,
Writers Exchange E-publishing Co.) I knew my writing career had
taken on a whole new
range of duties. I had a choice: Sit back and wait for the sales
to trickle in or get out there and pound the pavement and make
the sales happen.
much of a choice considering that – for most new authors –
personal sales many times outweigh Publisher's sales. And, since
I was e-published and there was no advance to make the path a
little smoother until the royalties started rolling in (do they
ever really do this?), I knew I had to do some self -promoting.
what did I do?
research, research. There are many articles out there by authors
such as Susan Grant that give tips on self-promotion (check The
Romance Journal's Archives http://www.romancejournal.com).
Almost everything I learned, I learned from these authors, so I
can't really take full credit for the advice I give to you. But
I'll give it to you anyway.
advice can be incorporated with your own ideas whether you are
e-published, self-published or even traditionally published. One
thing though, if you are traditionally published you need to
start promoting before your book hits the shelves. You usually
have up to one year or more between contract date and shelf
date; use it! E-published and self-published authors have it the
other way around. Our books are available sooner and have a
longer shelf life, but that doesn't really give us an advantage.
Too many people still believe e-published or self-published
isn't really published.
my best advice to you is to contact every bookstore you can. Map
out an area within, say, a 20–50 or even a 100–mile radius of
your home. Call the bookstores and see if the have a "local
or regional" author section. Most of them do. Some of them
will buy a few copies (3–5) of your book from you. Also, most
of them are happy to schedule a book signing for you. It may be
up to you to advertise this book signing, but so what? Some
newspapers and/or radio stations do this as a public service
announcement for free.
a link that may help you in your search: Your
State. Alternatively, you can do a web search for
process may take longer, but it can work. You can narrow down
your search by using key words like: Independent; Christian;
Wholesale – whatever you are trying to find.
are another great way to promote your work. Talk with the
"Friends of the Library" chapter in your hometown if
there is one. Also, donate a book to your local library. People
love this; it's good publicity (especially if you get a
newspaper to pick up the story); and it's a good way to give
back to your community. Another great idea is to donate an
autographed copy of your book to the library where it is set. If
possible, do this in person. Many times the library will set up
a book signing for you at one (or more) of the book stores in
the area. This too, may be accomplished through the
"Friends of the Library" group. Also, don't ignore the
fact that many libraries have a budget to buy books and will
gladly purchase those from local authors. Here's the link for
libraries in my state: http://www.state.lib.la.us/Publications/Directories/index.htm.
I'm sure you can find those listed in your state in a similar
manner (or you can call your local library and ask how to get a
listing of all the libraries in your state.. they will usually
give you the link).
out press kits to everyone you can think of and/or afford to!
These can but don't necessarily have to include a copy of the
book. You can send a summary or first three chapters. Always
include: press release; bio; business cards; reviews (if you
have them). Press kits are easy to make and relatively
inexpensive: a simple two-pocket folder with a copy of the cover
on the front and back and info inside. Postage may add up, but
remember it's all tax deductible! Follow up with a phone call,
set up interviews if possible.
releases are important too. Send them to every newspaper in your
state and the state where your book is set. These can sometimes
be done via fax and or email. Check out http://www.usnewspaperlinks.com
for newspapers listed by state. Send out press releases to your
local publications every time you have or participate in
an event! I realised a bit too late that I'd failed at this.
Every time you have a speaking engagement, start up a writers'
group, participate in a charitable event... these are newsworthy
and get you publicity!
you created bookmarks yet? They are easy, inexpensive and a
great way to promote your book – if you make them yourself.
It's not that hard either. Format your page into three columns,
insert a picture of your cover, list your publisher, your
website and your snail and email address on the front underneath
a picture of you. On the back, put a blurb of your book. Be sure
to give a short blurb or some other information on your next
release (if you know what and when it is). Most bookstores will
let you put bookmarks out even though they may not carry your
book. Be sure and include several in your press kits too and
again, don't forget those libraries!
all know the power of the internet. One of the most important
things you can do as a writer (published or unpublished) is get
a website. Most ISP providers offer some free space, so use it!
Another way to use the internet is to get out there and list
your book every place that will let you. There are many sites
designed for the sole purpose of listing new authors and new
Check out places
like firstwriter.com https://www.firstwriter.com/
Writers Room Magazine http://www.thewritersroommagazine.com/
Writers Newsletter & Yahoo Group (great info shared here...
not a lot of email)! http://www.selfpublishedauthors.com/newsletter.html
Advertising (new) http://www.freewebs.com/foundationadvertising/index.htm
your Website everywhere! Paying-traffic can help with
free and other options – check them out! http://www.paying-traffic.com/index.php
forget Link Exchanges with other authors which are free!
and all the other online sources... After you get listed there
check out dearreader.com...
if they like your book they send five pages (I think) to their
"lists" (the books must be available through Amazon
and BAMM) and it's great exposure!
check out places like Word Museum http://www.wordmuseum.com
and Bookcrazy.com. Places
like this charge an annual
fee to list but provide a lot of publicity for their members.
There are also smaller promo groups such as Divas
of Romance that offer a lot of publicity for a small monthly
(or annual) fee.
though, you can spend hours every day on the net and never reach
them all! And remember, there are still hundreds or thousands or
maybe even millions of people who don't have a home computer or
don't have the internet – try and think of ways to reach them.
way to do this is to make up what I call an "envelope
flyer" – a small announcement of your book– put it in every
envelope you send out of your house! I made these myself using
regular white paper. On the front I put the cover of my book, a
short blurb and info on where to find it. On the back I put a
blurb listing my next release. I got four to a page. You can
hand these tiny fliers out to everyone you come in contact
with... bank tellers, retail clerks, leave them at beauty
shops/drug stores/libraries/etc. leave
them with your tip when you go out and eat. Ask "do you
like to read?" If they say yes, hand them one! I made a
copy on regular paper and with my boss's permission it
accompanies every fax that goes from the office.
harvesting names and addresses early. Don't make my mistake and
wait until you've sold over 100 books to begin this process.
When possible, get the name and address of everyone who
buys your books. Ask if they'd like to get information on future
releases. If they like your book they'll say yes! Another way to
do this is to give away a book or two (or something) at
every author event you participate in.
to the dollar store in your area, pick up a pretty basket and
two wine glasses (if possible, find those with stems to match
the colour(s) of your book covers), a couple of artificial roses
or flowers, and ribbons and tissue paper for the basket (total
cost probably around $5).Give this away. Put out little forms
with Name, Address, Email Address on them. Include a box
followed by: Check here if you do not want information on
my books (if they do not check the box, they are fair game).
email addresses too. Be careful with this, but people who sign
your guest book and email you for whatever reason, internet list
groups, etc. are all potential readers! Always offer them
the chance to be removed from your address book by putting a
line in your email telling them to reply with "please
remove from address book" in the subject line then remove
them! You can follow up with a final email assuring them they
have been removed and will not receive future information. Be
sure and give them the option to
contact you again. Be polite and be nice!
more tip: before you start promoting your book the best
thing you can do is figure out how much you want to spend doing
it. Sit down with your finances (and your spouse or significant
other) and determine your promotional budget. Then figure out
which ideas give you the most bang for your bucks!
are as many ways to promote a book as there are bookstores to
carry them. Use your imagination. I know you have one.... you're
low-cost promotional ideas visit: Earthly Charms @ http://www.earthlycharms.com/promolistings.htm
great books on Marketing & Promoting your E-books are: 101
Ways to Promote Your E-book for Free! E-book Marketing Made Easy,
Over 100 Ways to Promote Your E-book Online, by Rusty
Fischer. For ordering information email Rusty at: Freelancer86@aol.com
and Promotion for Paupers by Karen Syed – this is a
Dollar Download available through Echelon Press @
S. Thibodeaux is a member of the Bayou Writers Group and ACRW.
Multi-published in fiction and creative nonfiction, her writing
has been tagged as "Inspirational with an Edge!"
Author's Website: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com
Author's Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
writers at firstwriter.com
for the following invaluable resources for writers:
on this newsletter for as little as $30 / £20 click