Zombie Ever After…the comic book?

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Tools of the Trade

Everyone has tools they like to use. A favorite pen or pencil. A certain way they like to write. If I remember correctly I think Ernest Hemingway liked to write standing up. Other authors wrote lying down, or needed #2 pencils and yellow legal pads. I mean…authors are known for their quirks.

Me? I love a good old fashioned pen and notebook. I love feeling the scratch of the pen against the paper. Getting ink on my fingers. It makes me feel like a writer. I love getting my hands ‘dirty’. But like any author I think about worse case scenarios: What if my notebook gets lost? What if there’s a fire? Then what? I’d lose all of my notes, scenes, countless words and scenes would vanish.

Here are some of the things that I’ve been doing lately that might help you.

  1. USB Flash drives: I have a few dozen of these little guys running around my house. All of them have stories, old and new. I’m currently carrying my latest WIP’s in a flash drive that I carry in my purse.
  2. Email: I also email stuff to myself all the time. It’s a great back up. This little trick has saved my butt more times than I can count.
  3. Notebooks: I love, LOVE my moleskine notebooks. I carry them with me everywhere. Although, I have to be careful where I keep them now that I have a 2 year old that likes to chew everything. Seriously, he’s literally eaten parts of my manuscripts. Nothing is sacred.
  4. Print: I’ll print out my entire manuscript and shelve it with my books. Of course it’s not fun when your adorable two year old decides it’s time to pull every single book off the shelves and your manuscripts tumble on to the floor. Sigh. But at least they’re in one piece. 😀
  5. Livescribe: Okay…anyone that knows me personally knows that I love technology and all sorts of gadgets. LOVE THEM. So of course, I geeked out when I found this pen.
livescribe1

At first I thought that it was going to take my notes and transcribe them for me (which would save my hands from an early carpul tunnel syndrome) but alas it doesn’t do that. But it will record your notes and put them in evernote.com It will also record your notes, which is pretty cool. Anyway I really like this pen. It takes a little bit of getting used to but every day I click ‘sync’ I know that my notes are in a safe place.

What are some of the things you do to save your work? What are some of the things you worry about when it comes topreserving your work?

Book signings (Tips)

Writing this blog post so other authors might be able to use it in the future. This is what I do whenever I have a book signing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Although personally, most of these work for me. Good luck!

  1. Elevator pitch: It means that you need to know exactly what your book is about in 2 or 3 sentences. It’s hard and it takes some practice but if someone asks you what your book is about you can’t stumble. It has to be ready on the tip of your tongue 24/7. When someone asks me what First Frost is about, I’ll immediately say ‘It’s about a girl named Bianca, that helps her mother run a fairy tale themed museum. Then she discovers that all of the items in the museum are real and that she’s a witch. Her mother gets kidnapped and Bianca has to rescue her in a magical land called Everafter where all of the fairy tales originally took place.’ And even that’s a little long, but it keeps people by my table a little longer and it keeps them interested.
  2. Signs: You should have a banner, poster or a flyer of some sort at your table. Something eye catching that makes people look at your table. Thank goodness my publisher, Musa Publishing helps me design all of my stuff. All of my banners, bookmarks, flyers, lip balms, covers, etc. are all thanks to Kelly Shorten from Musa. I ❤ her forever. But if you’re self published and have no computer skills whatsoever ask for help from a friend that knows a little more than you do. People are always happy to help.
  3. Display: You can get plastic holders at Staples (seriously, I should buy stock from them since I spend so much money there). You can get business card holders too! The point is that you want your table to look professional. Prop up your book proudly, you want people to see it. But don’t over do it. One time I went to an author event and this lady was dressed up in a bright pink princess dress, with a tiara, neon pink feather boa and a magic wand. Her table was an explosion of pink and silver confetti. Overkill. Don’t be the crazy princess lady.
  4. Freebies: Bookmarks, stickers, business cards, anything that gets people to your table. I even had flavored lip balms made for Glass Frost with the cover on them. When I went to the Baltimore Comic Con in September they FLEW off the table.
  5. Smile: Believe me, you will have a headache at the end of the day from smiling so much, but no one is going to approach a person when they have a frown on their face.
  6. Be yourself: If you’re funny, smart and quirky then let your personality come forward.
  7. Be helpful: Even if someone isn’t exactly interested in your book they might still want some advice on writing or the publishing industry in general. Personally, I LOVE dispensing advice and helping other writers. Why? Because other authors have done it for me in the past and I believe in paying it forward.
  8. Ask: I always ask the manager if I can place my bookmarks throughout the store. If there’s a table or a bulletin board nearby trust me, my business cards or bookmarks are on them. I’ll even ask the cashiers to hand out bookmarks to customers when they pay for their items. The point is that even if someone doesn’t buy your book right that second, you want them to be curious enough at some point to check out your book.
  9. Pens: Bring lots of pens. Trust me. The last thing you want is to be an author without a pen. Bring a regular pen and a Sharphie marker, sometimes I’ll sign bookmarks for people and say things like ‘You never know. I might be famous some day. Hang on to it.’ People get a laugh out of it and wonder. Because, seriously…you never know. 😉
  10. Pay attention: If you have a customer at your table, smile, be present, actually listen to what they have to say.
  11. Have fun!!

Zombie Ever After & Frost Series Giveaway!

What do you think about a chance to win a $15 gift card to amazon? I think that’s a pretty sweet deal. Oh wait there’s more! How about an ecopy of First Frost & Glass Frost? And…signed bookmarks and other fun swag? Sounds like an awesome giveaway to me! Check it out…

a Rafflecopter giveaway