Workshop Transcript


with Verla Kay


berries Close Window to Return


_Lyra_: hi, kia

Amishka: Hi kia/verla

Verla: Hi all...

MelLane: Shhhh....

_Lyra_: Verla's ears are burning--

mick13: hi, kia

Verla: shhhh?

_Lyra_: we were talking about her!

MelLane: don't talk no more about v.

Verla: You are setting fire to my ears?

MelLane: Not me!

Verla: No playing with matches in the chat room!

MelLane looks around innocently.

MelLane: Hey, SQ!

Amishka: hey SQ

_Lyra_: sending some cool water to sooth kia's burning ears

Suzy-Q: Hi, Mel

Verla: No setting fire to the keynote speaker!

mick13: until workshop ends

Verla: Did anyone get me a glass of water?

_Lyra_: no matches involved, Verla ... just gossiping about YOU

Verla: Is the podium set up? Microphone working?

MelLane: Nope. waiting for you!

Verla: huh? HUH?

MelLane: Here's your water.

Verla: gossiping?

Verla: about ME?

_Lyra_: yup, Verla

Verla: Hmmm. What did y'all say????

Verla: (I have to know!)

_Lyra_: Telling how drastic you go for promotion...

MelLane passes a glass of ice water to Verla.

Verla: Oh.....THANK you, mel

mick13: just wondering if you were qualified to speak on promotion

mick13: <G>


MelLane: testing....testing.... 1....2....3.....testing.....

_Lyra_: and I told Mick about how you have tattooed PROMOTION on your forehead

MelLane taps microphone.

MelLane: SCREEEECCH!!!!!!

MelLane: Ouch!

MelLane: Someone adjust that speaker!

mick13 claps hands over ears

Suzy-Q adjusts the speaker, by the nose of course

MelLane: LOL... Thanks, SQ.

Suzy-Q: Your welcome.

MelLane: Now, who's got the podium?

_Lyra_: hey, kia...I have THREE pieces of news tonight

_Lyra_: of course kia knows them all...except one

Verla: Three???

_Lyra_: yup

Verla: Spill it, lyra

MelLane: You mean I KNOW MORE THAN KIA????????

Amishka: tell

_Lyra_: Mel has some news, too

MelLane: Wow!

_Lyra_: yes, Mel--I talked to you MORE today

Verla: WHAT?

Verla: I don't know MORE?

Verla: hmph

_Lyra_: okay--my first good news is selling the article to Kate

Verla: grin...this is GOOD good news, too, lyra.

Suzy-Q: Great Lyra!!!

Verla: Yeah!!!!! A new SALE!

_Lyra_: my second good news is that for the first time since selling my series in October, my editor called me on the PHONE

Amishka: Fantastic !

Suzy-Q: Yipee!!

Verla: Yeah! A phone call from an EDITOR!

_Lyra_: And my third good news is that the on-line publisher e-mailed that he's buying my story, APRIL FIENDISH

Amishka: Hurray

_Lyra_: (Of course the 3rd good news came with revisions)

MelLane: She loves you, Lyra.

Verla: Wow, lyra! TWO sales in ONE day? YIIIPPPEEEEEEEEE!

_Lyra_: who loves me?

Amishka: everybody Lyra!

_Lyra_: okay--thanks (g)

MelLane: Your editor.

MelLane: And us.

Verla: He, mel...not she

_Lyra_: the online editor is a guy

Harazin: hi, all

mick13: hey, Hara

MelLane: Well....

Harazin: hey Mick!

Amishka: Hi Hara

Verla: okay..mel..what's YOUR good news?

MelLane: I found my Skit Book at the Bible Book store last night!

Verla: Yeah!


MelLane: I was SO thrilledd.

Verla: Did you buy it, Mel? (STUPID question, I know!)

MelLane: No, V. I didn't.

Verla: WHAT? Why not?

MelLane: I have three already.

Harazin: yea, Mel!

Verla: lol

NOTE: lol = Laughing Out Loud

MelLane: Course.... they didn't believe I was one of the authors!

_Lyra_: applause for Mel!

MelLane: And they're expensive.

Verla: Oh. okay, mel

MelLane: $20 a book.

MelLane: I bought some other books, though. grin.

Amishka: Yeah Mel

Verla: I need one, mel...autographed, of course. Is your name in the book?

MelLane: Yes, Verla.

Verla: neat

Suzy-Q dances around throwing flowers on Mel and Lyra for their good news.

MelLane: I am the FIRST author listed!

Verla: Ya HOOOOOOOO, mel!

_Lyra_: that's becauase you're the BEST author in the book, Mel...and I'm NOT prejudiced

MelLane: It doesn't tell which skits I wrote, just one of 5 contributing authors.

MelLane: LOL!!!

DonaV: Congratulations again Mel!

Verla:'s TWO minutes to workshop time, everyone. I'm going to get a second glass of water (real, this time, not virtual) and will be right back.

MelLane: Hey... I got you water.

MelLane pouts.

dorii: Did you save me a seat, SQ?

DonaV: What's the topic tonight?

guest-BBL2: Hi, Everyone. I'm new. I came because of a visit to Verla's website today.

DonaV: Welcome BBL2!

Harazin: Hi, guest!

MelLane: Hi, Guest.

Amishka: self promotion

dorii: Hi, guest! Welcome

DonaV: Oh, good topic!

dorii: Is our guest speaker in the house?

dorii: (lining up her notes?)

*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to Self-Promotion for Writers Workshop - In Progress

Verla: Hi everyone!

Verla: The workshop for tonight is NOW IN SESSION

_Lyra_: appalause for Verla--speaker extraordinaire!

dorii: polite applause

Verla: (POLITE applause? No screaming, hollaring, whistling, stomping? Hmph)

Verla: For everyone who is new here, while the workshop is progress, we don't do Hello's or Goodbye's

Verla: If you have to go, just slip out quietly, please

Verla: No personal talk, please, but we DO want and encourage you to ask questions, make comments and participate in the topic under discussion

Verla: thank you lyra

Verla: giggle

Verla: Okay....the workshop leader for tonight is none other than ME

Verla: Verla Kay

Verla: And our topic is Self Promotion

Verla: If you don't know me...(is there anyone who doesn't know me?) I'm a brand new author...with my FIRST picture book out this week and four more under contract and a sixth contract currently under negotiation

Verla: Okay...Who knows what the definition is of Self-Promotion?

DonaV: Getting publicity for free

MelLane: Advertising your own works/self.

woolfff: Do it yourself

_Lyra_: promoting your books before and after publication

guest-BBL2: getting a website?

Verla: Yeah! Good guesses...

Verla: Okay. Here's the REAL ready?

Verla: Self-Promotion: the art of beating someone on the head gently - so they don't realize they have been brainwashed into believing they HAVE to buy your books....

NOTE: The room was completely silent after this comment.

Verla: darn. (THAT joke fell FLAT)

_Lyra_: cute, Verla...mostly I just assault strangers with paper bookmarks

Verla: okay...

Verla: What is the FIRST thing you must do if you are going to be a self-promoter of your books?

MelLane: Know your book is good?

kathrap_: it had better be good if it got published

DonaV: Kat, that reminds me of the Mae West line, goodness had nothing to do with it

MelLane: LOL! I remember that.

NOTE: LOL = Laughing out loud

Windy2u: Have confidence?

MelLane: Know your target market?

DonaV: Have a book to promote?

_Lyra_: good point, Dona (g)

NOTE: (g) = Grin

Verla: LOL. Cute, Dona

Verla: First: You MUST rid yourself of the notion that there is something "bad" or "selfish" about promoting your books. Anyone who runs a business promotes the business, or the business soon fails and has to close its doors.

Verla: Your "book business" is no exception to the rule. If your books are not promoted, they will not sell. If they do not sell, they will soon be remaindered (sold off at a greatly reduced price to warehouse discount stores) and be OP - the dreaded condition - Out of Print.

Dani257: Why do people think it's bad?

kathrap_: when i am good, i am very good, when i am bad, i am even better??

Verla: Some people feel very there's something wrong with trying to get people interested in their books, dani

guest-BBL2: How about calling it promoting my book instead of self promotion? Does that make it more acceptable? I think it does.

Verla: Actually, guest, I would recommend calling it ANYTHING that makes you see it in the light of something good and desirable for the livelihood of your book

Verla: It is a sad fact of life today that most publishers do not have the budget nor the time to heavily promote most of the books on their lists.

Dani257: Well, heck, how else can you make money?

woolfff: You can't be everywhere at once, so how do you choose where to go to optimize the sales?

MelLane: (good question, woolf)

Verla: good question, woolf...will you bring that back up when we get a little further into the workshop?

woolfff: yes

Verla: Oh, a new book will often get a little flurry of attention when it is first released to the stores, but unless it makes an immediate impact, and has good sales right from the beginning, your precious "baby" will soon languish and die a slow, painful death -- unless YOU are willing to nurture it and help it along.

Verla: There is nothing "selfish" about promoting your books. There is nothing "pushy" about it. There is NOTHING WRONG with promoting your own books!

Dani257: Good. I hate painful deaths :-(

NOTE: :-( = A sideways sad face

Verla: As a matter of fact, if you are willing to promote your own books, often publishers will be more interested in promoting them, too. So it works as a double-edged sword. You promote, your publisher promotes and your book does much, much better than it would have otherwise.

Verla: Okay......HOW do you promote your books?

Verla: What is the biggest most important SINGLE thing you can use to promote your books?

Dani257: Book talks?

Verla: yes, Dani...that's one way

woolfff: your voice!

Verla: Yes, woolf!


_Lyra_: or your fingers on the keyboard (g)

Verla: You need to TALK to people. Let them know your book is OUT there

Verla: that is also talking, lyra

Dani257: Like your signature, Verla?

_Lyra_: yup

Verla: yes, dani

NOTE: Verla's signature is what is automatically added to the bottom of all of her e-mails. It looks like this:


Verla Kay

E-Mail: <>

Web Site: <>


GOLD FEVER - Feb 1999 (Putnam)

****Forthcoming Books****

IRON HORSES - June 1999 (Putnam)


TATTERED SAILS - Fall 2001 (Putnam)

HOMESPUN SARAH - Fall 2002 (Putnam)

ROUGH, TOUGH CHARLEY - Date not yet set (Millbrook)


Verla: that's one great way to promote your books.

Verla: Everyone that gets an e-mail from me knows I have books coming out, when they can expect to see them in the stores and what their titles are.

Verla: and when I go to the doctor's for a book is in my hand

Dani257: Hee, hee. I'm having this horrible pain in my side. Will you take a look at my new book?

Verla: when I go to the beauty shop, my book is in my hand

Verla: when I go to the bank, my book is in my hand

Verla: lol

Verla: (lol = laughing out loud, by the way)

Verla: I carry it EVERYWHERE

guest-BBL2: I give out pens with my URL on them.

ClaraRose: that is a good idea!

Verla: Nice idea, guest!

guest-BBL2: I can share a toll free number for a printer of pens for a good price. Should I list it here?

Verla: yes, PLEASE do, guest!

Verla: Do you have that number, guest?

guest-BBL2: I had to go to the refrigerator to get the ad magnet with their number on it. They sell those too. It is the National Pen Co. 1-800-854-1000

Verla: Thank you, guest

Verla: Do you remember approximately what the pens cost, guest?

guest-BBL2: There are many styles. The one I got was about 29 cents a piece. I think the minimum order is about 100. Actually it is 49 cents a piece for 100 and you get another 100 for free.

Verla: Good deal, guest!

Verla: bookmarks are a great promotion idea, too. They are like handing out a business card, only they are bigger and less likely to get misplaced/thrown out

Verla: I highly recommend putting something on the back of the bookmark to make it difficult to throw away

Verla: you can put a game on them

Verla: or special special fun facts

Verla: a fun quiz related to gold is on the backs of mine

dorii: will your publisher supply you with book marks if you ask? I heard they could be printed along with the books

Verla: My publisher only does stuff like that for BIG name authors, dori.

Verla: I made my own

_Lyra_: I am a big fan of bookmarks and websites

ClaraRose: useful

_Lyra_: I put a seek-a-word on my author brochures

MelLane: What are author brochures?

Verla: lyra...would you explain what an author brochure is? And how you use yours?

_Lyra_: my author brochure is a folded sheet of paper with information about my books & school talks

_Lyra_: I only hand it out to teachers, parents, someone who might want a speaker

Verla: It's kind of like one of those brochures folded in thirds, right, lyra?

_Lyra_: Yes, folded in thirds

Verla: they can be mailed without an envelope, too...if you want to send them to people

Verla: thank you lyra.

Verla: I used one of the thumbnail sketches from the artist for the artwork on my bookmarks

ClaraRose: do you need permission to do that, Verla?

Verla: (I wrote and got his permission in writing before using the artwork, of course)

ClaraRose: ah ha!

Verla: yes, clara...

DonaV: Good move, Verla, even though it's to his advantage too, it's nice that you asked!

Verla: you HAVE to ask, dona. Unless the artwork is in public domain or your own, you have to have permission to use it

Verla: rarely will you get turned down by the artist!

dorii: do you have to ask the publisher as well?

_Lyra_: It's also good to do as much speaking as possible

woolfff: Is it appropriate to ask the illustrator to accompany you on your promotion tour?

Verla: It is, woolf!

woolfff: an illustrator and author team would make a great school visit!

Verla:'s something that was shared by Linda Johns: Here's a tip to file away for those glorious days of promoting your books:

Verla: Modern Postcard, 800/959-8365 in Carlsbad, California does a whopping 500

Verla: full-color (excellent quality) postcards (4-1/2 by 6 inches) for $95. This

Verla: is a price you can't beat anywhere else -- and it gets even cheaper if you

Verla: split the cost with your illustrator, or get some promotional money from

Verla: your publisher.

Verla: The computer is a MARVELOUS tool for self promotion

Verla: you can design flyers, brochures, newsletters, even mini posters on them

ClaraRose: Yes, I've seen a WORD template for brochures.

Verla: yep. use the templates or if you are creative, do them on your own

Verla: I did my bookmarks on mine. Also, forms for people to fill out for a fundraiser-booksigning

Verla: flyers

_Lyra_: I just made up my own brochures, cut & glue

Verla: that works, too, lyra

MelLane: How do you get the message out on the net?

Verla: We will get to that in a minute, mel

_Lyra_: Verla has done an excellent job of that--by making her website helpful

Verla: CANNOT do it all alone!

MelLane: k


Verla: You will need help if the word is to get out effectively

Verla: people that can help you are:

Verla: Your friends

Verla: Your acquaintances

Verla: Your colleagues

Verla: people at work

Verla: church

Verla: organizations

Verla: the checker at the grocerystore

Verla: the teller at the bank

Verla: the nurse at the doctor's office

Verla: anyone you come in contact with!

DonaV: bookstore people, too

Verla: Yes, and the librarians, also, dona

Verla: I have found my writer friends to be the MOST helpful, though

Verla: And I highly recommend getting to know other writers

Verla: this chat room, the (CW) Children's Writer's list and the (CW) Children's Writer's Bulletin Board are all great ways to meet other writers,

Verla: as is joining SCBWI and going to conferences and workshops

Verla: In all of this, though, there is one rule that I feel is ESSENTIAL

Verla: that is the rule I call "climbing the ladder of success"

Verla: I FIRMLY believe, that NO ONE truly gets ahead by stepping on other people

Verla: You will ONLY really get ahead if you bring everyone along with you...if you help each other along the way

DonaV applauds that remark!

Verla: So you are helped today by a writer friend, then tomorrow, you are helping that writer to move up a step

Verla: and together, you climb the ladder of success...and both of you get MUCH further than either of you would alone

Verla: And shoot! Who wants to get to the top of the ladder and be stuck up there alone? I want ALL my friends up there with me, if I ever get we can all party and have a GRAND time together. :-)

woolfff: Your website and your contribution to the list all reflect this.

MelLane: (so true, woolf)

Verla: yes, woolf. Had I promoted ONLY me and my books on my website, not nearly as many people would be interested in coming there. But by GIVING something back, it makes more people want to visit my site. Which promotes my NAME. And after all, that's what an author IS...a name

Verla: right?

woolfff: exactly

Verla: And besides, I LOVE being able to help other people. It make me feel GOOD

_Lyra_: absolutely--while I know my website is fun to visit, I don't have these weekly workshops or a brag board, etc. to attract repeat visits

_Lyra_: By offering visitors new information, they'll return

woolfff: what is your URL?


Verla: Whose URL, woolf?

woolfff: Lyra's

_Lyra_: There's link to my site from Verla's (g)

Verla: It's on my Links page, woolf....Linda Joy Singleton

Verla: Lyra = Linda Joy Singleton

woolfff: (we can tell I haven't been paying enough attention)

DonaV wonders if we can talk lyra into giving weekly workshops too?

_Lyra_: DONA!!!! That's Verla's joy in life...can't take it away

DonaV: Lyra, I said TOO! As in addition to....

dorii: Verla, what do you list when your editor asks who they should contact with press releases?

Verla: Ah..that was a tough one for me at first, dori. I didn't know WHO to put...

Verla: but then, I started thinking...

Verla: my old town newspapers

Verla: libraries

Verla: bookstores

Verla: where I live now

Verla: where I grew up

MelLane: question: what do you mean by editors asking who they should contact with press releases? Why would they ask the author?

Verla: they ask you who needs to be notified, mel...because you will often know the name of the local papers, specialty publications that would be interested in your book, etc, which they do NOT know at the publishing house

MelLane: Oh... locally, right?

Verla: right, mel

dorii: Could you put down a place of employment, such as a hospital?

Verla: absolutely, dori

Verla: For book reviews, I asked the CW listers to let me know if they reviewed books for a publication, what their contact name & address was and what the name was of the publication

Verla: I got a nice big list from that

NOTE: CW listers = people on the Children's Writer's E-Mail list mentioned above

DonaV: Great idea on the book reviews, Verla!

Verla: yes, and one of the reviews I got from that CW list was just posted in the Dallas Morning News...but it was in a SYNDICATED it went to 25 newspapers around the country!

DonaV: Wow!

MelLane: Wow, Verla! That's terrific.

_Lyra_: how did you find out how many papers it went to?

Verla: It was either from Anastasia Suen (author of Window Music & Baby Born books) who saw the review, lyra, or from the web...I don't remember now.

Amishka: Are you going to put the reviewers on your web page?

Verla: you meant the names of the people who did the reviews, Ami? Or parts of the reviews themselves?

Amishka: Your list of people who do reviews

Verla: no, because that was a personal list, ami.

Verla: A lot of those are reviewers who had a special interest in MY book...because of me, or the subject matter, or my location, etc.

Amishka: okay

woolfff: What about your promotional tour targets? How do you decide where to be to optimize yours sales before your time slips by?

woolfff: For instance, major book chains, school tours, independents...where should your focus be to get the most coverage?

_Lyra_: I think you have to really decide how much time you can afford to spend traveling for promotion--for a pic book author it might be worth it, but not so much for paperback

MelLane: Why, Lyra?

_Lyra_: Paperbacks like I've written need to sell MANY thousand quickly to be considered successful--and in most cases author appearances can't reach enough to make the time spend worth it

DonaV: When Verla's promoting her hardback, she's also promoting the eventual paperback

_Lyra_: I personally think doing schools and bookstores are KEY places to speak to

_Lyra_: for hardback picture books, promotion is TOTALLY essential

Verla: You will have to make decisions based on YOUR own time, needs and opportunities in order to decide what to do to optimize your sales time, woolf.

Verla: I book the local ones, my publisher has contacted me about a chain bookstore, etc.

_Lyra_: Often, though, bookstore signings results in a poor turnout

_Lyra_: Unless you make sure you have friends/acquaintances attending

DonaV: lyra, AND send out your own pr releases to the local papers

NOTE: pr = public releases

DonaV: Don't rely on the bookstores to do it for you

Verla: There are a couple of GREAT books on promoting that I highly recommend...

Verla: Check the Write4Kids website for these books first...

Verla: then if they don't have them, look also at

Verla: One of them is definitely for sale on the Write4Kids website.

Verla: That book is: How to Promote your Children's Book on a Shoestring

Verla: by Nancy Bentley & Donna W. Guthrie

Verla: The other book I found wonderful is:

Verla: How to Promote Your Children's Book - A Survival Guide

Verla: by Evelyn Gallardo

Verla: These two books will have lists of places to look for publicity, how to approach people, sample school contracts, etc.

Harazin: How about, before the book is published, getting endorsements

Verla: I haven't gotten any endorsements, but I think it's an EXCELLENT idea, Hara

Verla: I decided to do a lot of my promotion early...via my website and word of mouth through the writers I have met on the web

Verla: both in this chat room and also on the CW list and the CW Bulletin board

NOTE: Information on how to join/use both the CW (Children's Writers) list and the CW (Children's Writers) bulletin board can be found on the Links and Writer's Tips pages of this website.

woolfff: Then, your goal is to achieve sales on-sight, not to deal with a promotional dept. that will encourage sales throughout a chain, for instance?

Verla: Yes, it's up to YOU to promote your own events, really, Wolfff, but of course, if you CAN get the promotional department of your publisher interested in promoting you for tours, etc, that's great, too.

Verla: My publisher just contacted me about doing a signing at a Borders store in a town about two hours away from me, Woolf

Verla: I don't expect a big turnout...because I don't know ANYONE in that town

_Lyra_: I had a booksigning locally last year, shared with another author, and we both had 3 people show up

Verla: For my upcoming booksigning, I've been told time and again that my town is NOTORIOUS for poor turnouts at events like this

Verla: So I put on my thinking cap: What would make people WANT to come?

Amishka: Money

Amishka: LOL

woolfff: Gold!

MelLane: clowns?

MelLane: (g)

Verla: LOL

_Lyra_: I have done two signings at Borders -- one time I brought in cheerleaders and another I staged a mystery-game

_Lyra_: And I also brought my son along who can make balloon animals

Amishka: cute Lyra

_Lyra_: But EACH time, the turn-out was VERY small--and if I hadn't brought extra kids, it would have been sad

_Lyra_: That's my tip: Bring part of your audience with YOU!

MelLane: cool ideas, Lyra.

DonaV: great ideas, lyra!

Verla: I am having my signing at the local library..and it's going to be a fund raiser for the library!

Verla: I talked to Putnam about it...and they sent me 20 FREE books for the library to sell

DonaV: Verla, a wonderful idea, because it gets the fundraiser all sorts of publicity

DonaV: ...that you couldn't get

Verla: IS, dona

_Lyra_: Verla's fundraiser is a GREAT idea, too

Verla: the local newspaper came to my house and this Friday a feature article is coming out in our local paper about me

Verla: with a picture of me and everything in it!

DonaV: Great!

Verla: Plus there will be a local reviewer reviewing the book just before the event

Verla: the local radio station is going to promote the event ... for FREE because it's a fund-raiser for the library

Verla: and this community is known for their community support I expect a NICE turnout

MelLane: Verla: Will your sales go to the library?

Verla: yes, mel

Verla: I bought a hundred books at my 40% author discount...

Verla: and all of my discount will go to the library

Verla: It's a win-win situation.

Verla: the library gets money for the children's department

Verla: I get lots of sales and publicity for my books

Verla: we all win

MelLane: You buy the books, resell them, and give the profit to the library?

Verla: yes, mel

Verla: and then, the amount that I give to the library is TAX DEDUCTIBLE, too

Verla: Everyone wins every way!

Amishka: COOL Verla

NOTE: This fundraiser event had about 20 adults and 25 children attend and 51 books were sold (including pre-sales via a form Verla left with the library before the event.) Because Putnam donated the first 20 books and Verla bought the other books at her author discount price and donated her profits, it generated $475 for the children's department of the local library! This was GREAT exposure for her and her books, plus a wonderful benefit for the local library.

Verla: To be sure that the event will be a success..I'm speaking day after tomorrow for FREE to the local Kiwanis club

Verla: (At SEVEN in the morning! YIKES!)

Verla: and I'll mention it then

MelLane: that is neat

NOTE: This talk generated sales of about 10 of the 51 books sold for the library fundraiser event.

woolfff: Would it pay off to send take-home flyers to nursery schools, daycares, libraries, and Jr./Sr. High Careers Centers(art dept) before the signings?

Verla: I think so, woolfff...good idea!

Verla: I made up flyers to post around town and leave with the doctor's, banks, etc. where I do business

_Lyra_: all good ideas woolfff

_Lyra_: Verla, you are doing ALL the right things -- I am impressed

Verla: It's so important for people to know your book is out there.

Marianne__: Verla, Lyra, your ideas are wonderful..Several months ago, I went into Border's asking for any books about the subject of my non-fiction book I'm writing for a publisher...he said there were none and was shocked. So....

Marianne__: It turns out he's the manager of the store, handed me his card to call him when my book is out! (:) It hasn't even been accepted for publishing yet.

Harazin: Great Marianne!

Verla: neat, marianne!

Marianne__: So, granted he's still there (:) I have a book signing for a book that isn't even done! (:)

MelLane: Well, Marianne, if there are no books on your subject, then you're sure to sell.

Marianne__: None, zippo, Mellane...

woolfff: Have you considered marketing your booksignings as "a Gold Rush", signing your books with that neat gold leaf stuff?

Verla: No, but I am doing gold-panning demonstrations at both schools and at signings, Woolf

woolfff: Oh, how fun!

Marianne__: I hope it catches on, Verla. Kids all over would be interested in that, I think...

Verla: It's really fun, marianne...

Marianne__: You have to have the right personality, though, imo

NOTE: imo = In My Opinion

Verla: you can LEARN to have the right personality, marianne..

MelLane: How early do you recommend one start promoting his/her book?

Verla: I started working on designing bookmarks, building my website, making contacts a YEAR before my book was due out, mel

Verla: YIKES! Our time is UP and I'm not even half through!

DonaV: Verla, this will have to be a two-part workshop! <g>

MelLane: I agree, Dona.

Verla: darn...I guess we'll have to stop...

MelLane: We don't HAVE to, Verla. Grin.

MelLane: You're the leader.

Verla: visits, author talks, mail, these are other promo ideas

Verla: In closing...

Verla: self promotion has many advantages...these are some of the best in my opinion...

Verla: Warm fuzzies. Higher book sales. Longer life for your book. Free admission to conferences. Extra income. Best of all, the joy of actually meeting and talking to people who love your book as much as you do!

Verla: Now...get out there and PROMOTE your books!

MelLane: EXCELLENT workshop, Verla!!!

DonaV: Wild applause!

Verla bows low

Verla: and conks her head on the podium....

Marianne__: Yeah Verla!

Amishka: Great job verla

woolfff: Do you keep a journal of these experiences along the way?

Verla: I haven't, woolf...I've been too busy! But that's a great idea.

Verla: but I do have all my daily emails to lyra. Guess I need to go back and use a few dozen printer cartridges and a couple of reams of paper and print them all out, huh?

MelLane: ALL of them, Verla?

ClaraRose claps and whistles and cheers!!!! EXCELLENT JOB VERLA!!!!!!

DonaV: Somebody get her to commit to the second workshop before she recovers

MelLane: I enjoyed it tremendously, and have learned LOADS.

Marianne__: THanks for your input, too Lyra - very helpful

^Miriam: Man I missed it! I just got home.

woolfff: Great workshop!

NOTE: THIS IS THE END OF THE "OFFICIAL WORKSHOP SESSION," but some more of the informatl chat session that followed is included in this transcript as it has information that some of you may find helpful.

MelLane: Second workshop, Verla!!

MelLane: PLEASE!!

MelLane: Schedule now!!

Marianne__: Verla, Verla, Verla! (:)

woolfff: I second the motion!

_Lyra_: great. Verla!

Verla: LOL...I really gave you most of the info...

Verla: When I get more experienced, we'll go for part's that?

_Lyra_: good plan, have yet to experience many joys and trials

DonaV: You're experienced! We want it now!

DonaV: You know, Verla, before you have a book to promote, you can practice...I'm doing publicity for my local writers organization and making all sorts of great contacts that will be useful later

Verla: Yes, you CAN, dona...and that is a wonderful way to go!

Harazin: Good idea, dona

Marianne__: sounds good, you'll learn from your signings..

Verla: and then you will not only have the practice, but a built-in audience who wants you!

Dani257: Great workshop. I have to go. Bye, everyone

MelLane: I'm going to practice by promoting Verla's & Linda's books.

MelLane grins.

Amishka: Me too Mel

_Lyra_: thanks, Mel...but a wait for my next books

DonaV: Mel, don't you have a book to promote?

MelLane: Not really, Dona.

MelLane: I won't get any royalties off the skit book.

DonaV: It's not the money, Verla said, it's building up your name. You need to send out PR releases on that book to your local papers

MelLane: You think?

DonaV makes a note to nag Mel in email!

MelLane: But I'm not the only author.

MelLane: I wrote 5 of the 24 skits.

Harazin: Mel, you should do that.

Amishka: Your name's in the book NO?

MelLane: Yes.

Verla: absolutely, mel!

MelLane: I am listed FIRST!

MelLane: Grin.

DonaV: It's good practice Mel and will be a start to building your name.

MelLane considers this.

Amishka: There you go

MelLane: I got a list of over 100 churches.

MelLane: grin.

MelLane: They ALL have youth groups.

Verla: it will help you AND the kids who will use the book, mel

Verla: another win-win situation

DonaV: Send them info, offer to do talks, etc.

MelLane: Hmmm....

Verla: if the book your name is in does well, it looks good for your next publisher

DonaV: Do what Verla TOLD you to do! <g>

MelLane: I will give this MUCH consideration.

_Lyra_: Mel--talk is FINE, but when you don't get royalties, it's mostly just fun to do, not profitable

MelLane: Well, it won't be profitable, for sure.

Verla: but it will A) give mel experience

Verla: B) get mel's name known to people so when she does have a book of "her own" to promote, they will be eager for it

_Lyra_: But Mel is a minister -- she is used to spreading all kinds of "words" already

MelLane: I preach (to kids) in jail, Lyra.

MelLane: They don't have shopping privileges.

MelLane: grin.

Amishka: But their families do Mel

Verla: C) Help the kids by getting this great book out there in their hands

_Lyra_: true...I'm just saying she should only do it for FUN ... won't matter to her part of the book sales

MelLane: Do I tell them WHICH skits I wrote?

Verla: Absolutely, mel!

_Lyra_: You better really BRAG about your skits, Mel, when you get the chance (g)

DonaV: tonight I went to an autographing for an adult author who was signing HER story in an anthology...and had printed labels for the other authors stories

_Lyra_: good point, Dona!

DonaV: Lyra, I thought it was pretty neat

MelLane: So, make a list of the skits I wrote for the book?

_Lyra_: But since you have an outside job, you can't afford to spent too much time promoting this book

Verla: But she CAN get paid to do author talks, she can make some money (to pay her expenses) that way

_Lyra_: good point, Verla

Harazin: Mel, I signed my story in an anthology

MelLane: I'm calling my friend who works in a bookstore tomorrow.

kathrap_: call the book stores and see if they will promoet for you to do a signing

MelLane: I'd feel silly doing that, kat.

kathrap_: why??

kathrap_: silly is stupid sometimes

MelLane: I don't know. I felt silly signing the book I gave to our church!

kathrap_: not to your church, at the book stores

_Lyra_: The Christian bookstores might be interested, Mel

Verla: yes,'s a book you had a hand in writing.

_Lyra_: Mel, you have to be BOLD and CONFIDENT when discussing your book, always speak of how excited you are to have it published

MelLane: Well, I am excited.

Verla: You are an AUTHOR,'s sign books!

MelLane: That's true, Verla.

Verla: sure you can, mel

kathrap_: Use vasaline on the teeth

kathrap_: will keep a good smile there

_Lyra_: Kat--vaseline on TEETH??? This is not a beauty pageant!

kathrap_: :)

_Lyra_: I have LOTS of insecurities, but I've learned how to put on my "promoter's" hat when in public

kathrap_: and it will promote sales

_Lyra_: I take on a whole different personalty, much more confident, when speaking about my books

DonaV: Mel, everybody feels like that starting out.

MelLane: Do they, Dona?

DonaV: Yep!

_Lyra_: Mel--I don't promote the Sweet Valley Twin I did for the exact reason

Verla: But Mel's name IS in the book, lyra...this is different, I think

MelLane: Yes, I am listed as the first contributing author.

_Lyra_: But on the other hand, I DO publicize my online stories, which give me no royalties

MelLane: And if it sells well, what good does that do me?

DonaV: MEL! If it sells well, you tell your next publisher!

MelLane: How will I know if it sells well?

Verla: you probably won't mel..except if it sells well it will stay in print

Verla: besides, think of the thrill of kids who do a skit where they have the AUTHOR's Signature???

Verla: the way...the workshop is officially over....GRIN

*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to Writers & Illustrators of Children's Books Meet Here

_Lyra_: Mel--Rule #1. When have a book in hand, SHOUT it out to the world

MelLane: Hey!

MelLane: Got an idea...

MelLane: Now I can join SCBWI... as a FULL member, can't I?

_Lyra_: yes, Mel

Harazin: yes Mel, you can

DonaV: Look at it this way, Mel...can it really HURT you to have a book that sells well? <g>

MelLane: No, dona. (g) Guess it wouldn't.

Amishka: Verla who published your book?

Verla: Putnam, Ami

_Lyra_: For future books of mine, I plan to make up some kind of teacher's worksheet

MelLane: I've told you already, Lyra.

MelLane: It's (your new book's) gonna be a big seller.

DonaV: Looking at the labels in this anthology, each of the authors who put one in, listed her forthcoming books on it, along with her signature

Verla: What a neat idea, dona!

Verla: grin...about my signing at the library...I forgot to say this!

Verla: I'm giving out a raffle ticket to each person that attends...and the kids get a Gold Miner guy stamped on their hand

Verla: Then each person who buys a book gets an extra raffle ticket for each book bought

MelLane: That's cool, Verla.

_Lyra_: You are SO clever, Verla

Verla: at the end of the presentation/signing, I'll draw one name from all the tickets

_Lyra_: great idea, Verla!

_Lyra_: I will have to remember the raffle idea, Verla

_Lyra_: I often give free books to schools where I speak and have had contests before

_Lyra_: At one school last year the teacher drew two kids names to be included in my Valen-Terror

DonaV: Raffle's are good! Be sure it's legal where you are

Verla: It is, dona

Verla: they aren't buying the tickets, dona

MelLane: That's true, it's a "give-away"

DonaV: whew! I didn't want to see you hauled off to jail!

Amishka: What do they win?

Verla: The winner is going to get a bag of gold-bearing gravel and sand, a little glass vial to put their gold in, a "sniffer" to get the gold out of the pan and a gold pan!

Verla: I also made up forms for the library to use to take "advance sales"

Verla: people can fill out the form, including who they want their book/s dedicated to...and leave a check with the library

Verla: And the library will hold the books for the people to pick up afterwards

Verla: I'll sign their books, there is a tear-off slip on the form stating who will pick the book up and a contact phone number

NOTE: The use of this form generated about half of the 51 book sales for this event. There was a place on the form for the buyer to put the pick up person's name and phone number so the library could contact anyone who didn't pick up their signed book after the event. ONLY pre-paid books were signed by Verla. No orders were taken without an accompanying check for the amount of the sale.

DonaV: Great idea, Verla!

_Lyra_: Verla--you are SO organized!

Verla: this way, people can buy books and participate in the fund raiser even if they aren't able to come that day

_Lyra_: And Dona, thanks to RWA, I also learned to do contests -- I had one for my two series

NOTE: RWA = Romance Writers of America

_Lyra_: And today I got to speak to my editor, although briefly, and mentioned my hope for MORE books

DonaV: Lyra, that was where I heard about the contests

_Lyra_: RWA, huh, Dona?

DonaV: Yes, lyra

_Lyra_: I might go to the year 2000 RWA convention in DC

DonaV: Lyra, there's supposed to be some kind of big romance writer's convention in Houston next year, my friend was telling me

_Lyra_: Dona--the national RWA is in Chicago this year, the week before national SCBWI conference which I attend

link needed

NOTE: SCBWI = Society of Children's Book Writer's & Illustrators

DonaV: Lyra, take GREAT notes!

_Lyra_: Dona--I'm not going to the RWA one, just SCBWI

DonaV: lyra, there's a book called Poor Richard's Website, that talks about getting people to leave their names for an email mailing list

link needed

DonaV: He's also on the net at Two R's

Verla: By the way, next week's workshop is being led by Jenny Reed (the ellusive whatie) and will be: More About Editors

Verla: Jenny was an editor for an adult book publisher for a number of years

Verla: and she has a lot to share about what happens INSIDE a small publishing house

Marianne__: I've been waiting for this workshop, Whatie! (:)

Windy2u: Thanks Verla, great workshop. Night all.

Verla: Night, all!

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Verla Kay

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