Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Freelancer: Hits, Misses & Mentions


Good Monday morning! I hope the juices of all creatives are flowing like water in a river baptism this fall season . I can’t complain because I’m still loving what I do, although, it can get hard out here for a creative pimp-tress:)

So, today, I’m updating my loyal readers and followers on a few things happening in my neck of the writing woods, with a brief run-through of some of my freelancer hits and misses, along with a big ole congratulatory mention to a well deserving poet and visual artist.

Misses:

You guys recall me writing about how thrilled I was to open an email from Quaker Oats contest a while back, informing me that my delicious recipe submission had been selected?  Well, just like most of the five hundred thousand hopefuls out there, I waited with bated breath, months even, to claim my winning prize…

Not! The three finalists have been selected and yours truly is not on the list. Bummer! But,  because I love to eat my share of delicious foods instead of demonstrating my culinary skills or lack thereof, I’ve gladly moved on. It’s always a good thing when we release and let go, because something great hangs in the balance.

Misses : #2

I will be sharing my thoughts on traditional book publishing from my own experience with Unleash Your Pearls, including the ups & downs one might experience after signing on the  publisher’s dotted line. I will discuss research findings on the industry, including the length of time it takes from initial contract to actual book release. Patience is truly  required and a couple of glasses of spirits can’t hurt much. Anyhew, when those people call my people about my book release, we will have a celebration!

Hits:

I’ve learned not to wallow in feelings of freelance defeat or rejection and to just keep going with other interesting and oftentimes lucrative distractions.  I recently sold my 2nd nonfiction story to the Book of Hope Anthology, scheduled for publication after the holidays.

My contributing story appearing in the “Lessons from Losers in Love”  Anthology recently went to YouTube.

Dr. Alonda Alloway-Higgins, PhD, LSW,  Author and Life Coach

Uploaded a video to talk more about her book and upcoming series:

I’m working on my fourth assignment as part of How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women from Iowa University’s free Writing Workshop. This class is mentally challenging and educationally inspiring. We’re penning new stories to upload every week and so far, the feedback from class participants have been encouraging and useful. My love of learning is evergreen and when I feel the need to advance my writing aspirations, I always do.

There are numerous narratives on the informational highway in regards to getting something for ‘free’ and I’m of the opinion that one should always be a cautionary ‘buyer’. When it comes to free learning modules, however, in the form of free classes in writing, website design or advanced YouTube tutorials in your field of expertise, I’ve found them to be quite beneficial, and in some ways an advantage over many fee based online workshops.

For example, free classes offered by college institutions oftentimes differ from online writing workshops that cost, in that these curriculum based classes are taught by esteemed professors of writing, with several book fellows and awards under their belts and do not in any way, fashion or form, diminish from  a freelance writer’s creative abilities – they can, in fact, impact ones’ productivity and profit-making capabilities.

I’ve taken my share of online fee based and free classes since 2010.  Before the internet surge, I thought nothing of hopping a train in real-time, to attend fee based writing classes at Harold Washington Colleges. So, my advice, when in doubt, is to go for your gusto the way it works for you and don’t be swayed by negative  hype.  If you haven’t done it, then you can’t speak on it. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Mention~

A big ole congratulations going out to Henry Jones; Poet, Artist, Entrepreneur and friend out there in Nashville whom I hold in high regard. Mr. Jones just won the National Gifted Artist Neo Soul & Poetry Artist(GANSPA) Award!

Congrats to you, Mr. Jones!

Quote for today:

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin

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Joel Christian Gill’s Blog Tour


1938486293.01._SX450_SY635_SCLZZZZZZZ_ Happy Friday Creatives!

Today I get to host author and artist Joel Christian Gill’s Blog Tour for Black History Month. You guys get to read an excerpt from Strange Fruit, Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History right here and right now.  YAY!

When I saw the cartoon characters depicted in Joel’s books, I immediately thought of my son (comic book collector) and my nephew (actually a very good cartoonist)  and I thought what a genius way to celebrate African-American Culture! Here’s an excerpt from Strange Fruit.

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Here’s where you can find out more about the author, his work and his beautiful stories:  https://joelchristiangill.wordpress.com/

Links to purchase books & follow Joel :

https://fulcrum.bookstore.ipgbook.com/strange-fruit-products-9781938486296.php?page_id=32&pid=FUL

http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781938486296

Twitter @ https://twitter.com/jcg007

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Joel Christian Gill™ is the chairman,CEO, president, director of development, majority and minority stock holder, manager , co-manager, regional manager, assistant to the regional manager, receptionist, senior black correspondent and janitor of Strange Fruit Comics. He is the author/illustrator of 2 forth coming books from Fulcrum Publishing Strange Fruit vol I Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History May 2014 and Tales of the Talented Tenth Fall 2014. In his spare time he is the Associate Dean of Student Affairs at the New Hampshire Institute of Art and member of The Boston Comics Round table. He received his MFA from Boston University and a BA from Roanoke College. His secret lair is behind a secret panel in the kitchen of his house (sold separately) in New Boston, New Hampshire where he lives with his wife, four children a 2 talking dog and 2 psychic cats.

Hope you guys enjoy and learn more about African-American History from Joel’s comics. I love the beautiful images in the book, the feel and texture of the book and the stories… Loved the experience! Say what?! You want a free copy?  Hit me up with a comment telling me why you’d love to own a copy of Gill’s Historical comics before March 5th and you might be the winner of this generous gift!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Your Book Promotion Is Serious Business


thpromoteHappy Friday, everyone! I hope you all got out to enjoy the mild temperature today. It was windy but all good, wasn’t it? I haven’t been writing so much this week because I’m focused on researching resources that will help me promote and garner reader interest and sales for Unleash Your Pearls, my empowerment book for women. But, don’t think I’m keeping what I’ve learned to myself; I don’t operate that way, unless ice cream is involved, doncha know 🙂

It’s interesting to note that according to The United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or (UNESCO), there are currently 345,766 new book titles this year, a jump from the reported 328,259 titles in 2010. You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with me? Well, everything, if you are a writer intent upon becoming a published author. Trust and believe when you transition from writer to author and now, business owner? You will want to know all stats pertaining to your book, including promotion and capacity for making sales amid the competitive onslaught of new authors in your genre.

I co-authored a relationship book, Essence of Romance, with a friend and colleague in 2015. We have been doing marketing and promotions for the book via different avenues, collectively and individually, depending upon where our strengths and weaknesses lie.  At intervals we do little comparison talk to share notes on how our collaboration is faring and also plan our next strategic move for the book’s exposure. Essence has a wealth of valuable information inside and reap increments of profit at times, but not nearly enough to cry “Eureka!”

The debate arises for all published authors on how and where topromote our books and possibly rack up enough sales to see us through to the next book or at least garner an honorable mention on that elusive bestsellers list.

Some of the obvious sites to promote your books includes social media… facebook, twitter, pinterest, good-reads and LinkedIn, where you can use your networking skills to ask for, and offer book reviews, blog tours and author interviews via writer/author interchange in a collaborative effort to promote your book.

Mark Coker, founder of Smash-words, wrote the 2015 Book Publishing Industry Predictions where he gave authors plenty of writing, book publishing and book promotion advice. This was the stand out gem for me, however, I feel that as a relatively new author,  and with an upcoming book to launch, my book promotion has to be serious business.

Many authors spend too much time on marketing and social media when they should be spending more time writing. An author’s best marketing is a book that markets itself. If an author’s book isn’t sparking enthusiastic word of mouth without marketing, then no amount of marketing will make it a bestseller.” Mark Coker

There’s a wealth of book promotion advice by way of articles, bestselling author interviews, seminars, LinkedIn groups and publishing newsletters & periodicals. Here are four popular sites offering how to~ to promoting and marketing your book :

https://www.bublish.com/blog/

http://ariionkathleenbrindley.com/5books.shtml

http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/promote-and-market-your-book/

http://writetodone.com/10-ways-promote-your-book/

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/33825-how-to-promote-your-book-on-amazon

PS~

There will be more talking points in an upcoming post on how to rock your book promotion, along with guest insights on why new authors might not feel the book purchasing love from colleagues/cohorts and other writers in their tribe. If you want to weigh in on this enlightening conversation, send your thoughts to clarawriter@att.net with “book purchasing love” in subject.

For more of Mark Coker book publishing insights, follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter/com/mark coker. If you haven’t heard Evelyn Cogdell’s interview on RARE Woman, go here: http://www.ubnradio.com/

Next week, Clara’s Writers Blog will be participating in Joel Christian Gill’s Graphic Novel Blog Tour for Black History Month. Come on back for this awesome honor!

Was this post helpful ?  When should you start promoting your book, before or after publication? Appreciate your comments.