San Diego Book Awards Submission Period Approaches

We announced the upcoming SDBA 2019 Awards submission window in July. This is another reminder, or those of you who like to plan ahead. The submission dates are the same this year for both published and unpublished works.

The San Diego Book Awards Association will be accepting entries soon for its annual book awards. The awards honor the best published and unpublished work by San Diego county writers in multiple genres. This year the entry period will run from October 1 through December 31. The awards will be announced in June, 2019.

If you are an author based in San Diego county, this could be an excellent opportunity to gain recognition and critical acclaim for your work, published or not. The San Diego Book Awards Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a 20-year history of honoring San Diego writers.

The full rules for entry and FAQs are posted on the San Diego Book Awards website at:

http://sandiegobookawards.org/­

If you have questions that you do not find answers for on the SDBA website, contact David Grant Urban, Vice President of SDBA, at dgu5656 (at) gmail.com.

Today Only! SDWEG Member Dave Feldman’s Book Free on Kindle

Free Kindle Books and Tips

Saturday’s Featured (and FREE!) Kindle Book

Irreverent Forever

Author: David Feldman

Genre: Memories & Biographies

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Free via Kindle Unlimited: Yes

Regular Price:
Today’s Price: FREE!

Click Here for Your Free Copy!

Book Description:

Drop in on the world’s zaniest people … newspapermen and women from the hick town of Douglas, Arizona, to the sensuous beaches of Honolulu and even Europe’s high-brow (and low-brow) colorful locales.

Dave’s tales include old shoes that saved a life, a colleague who caught fire on the operating table, a roadrunner named Rodney, and much more. Plus, there are talks with two Pulitzer Prize winners and tales of fabulous cars like a Model-T Ford named Heathcliff.

Trace the good old (happy) newspaper days to today’s (unhappy) newsrooms. There’s a love of those old days, which were filled with rapscallions, inebriates, and a few decent souls. The author’s family proves equally fascinating.

This often-hilarious memoir offers up a love of authors (two Pulitzer winners), a love of cars (a French Gangster car named Jean-Pierre) and a love of those crazy, weird, off-beat newspaper folks from yesterday and today.

Click here to pick up your free copy of Irreverent Forever in the Amazon Kindle store.

Rhoda Riddell Builder Awards

The Rhoda Riddell Builders Award, named for the Guild’s founder and first president, was established in order for the Guild to recognize those who do extraordinary things to build or expand the Guild.

At the Guild’s July meeting, Vice President Bob Doublebower presented two Guild members with Rhoda Riddell Builder Awards for their outstanding contributions to the Guild.

The first Rhoda Riddell Builder Award went to Marcia Buompensiero, long-time SDWEG Treasurer and managing editor of The Guilded Pen Anthology since 2013, for her persistent dedication to the production of The Guilded Pen.

The full text of the presentation is here.

The second Rhoda Riddell Builders Award was presented to Sandra Yeaman, the Guild’s webmaster and social media manager, for her efforts to develop a web presence and her engagement on social media to build awareness and membership in the Guild.

The full text of the presentation is here.

San Diego Book Awards Submission Period Begins October 1

For those of you who like to plan ahead, here’s an announcement in plenty of time for you to get cracking on finishing up your work-in-progress in time to submit it. The submission dates are the same this year for both published and unpublished works.

The San Diego Book Awards Association will be accepting entries soon for its annual book awards. The awards honor the best published and unpublished work by San Diego county writers in multiple genres. This year the entry period will run from October 1 through December 31. The awards will be announced in June, 2019.

If you are an author based in San Diego county, this could be an excellent opportunity to gain recognition and critical acclaim for your work, published or not. The San Diego Book Awards Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a 20-year history of honoring San Diego writers.

The full rules for entry and FAQs are posted on the San Diego Book Awards website at:

http://sandiegobookawards.org/­

If you have questions that you do not find answers for on the SDBA website, contact David Grant Urban, Vice President of SDBA, at dgu5656 (at) gmail.com.

Marketing Tip: How to Get Reviews Before Publication

The following guest blog post comes from Ricardo Fayet of Reedsy, a creative hub connecting writers with a team of editors, designers, and other key support resources available to help turn a manuscript into a published book. The information arrived in my personal email inbox, the first of Ricardo’s weekly marketing newsletters. If you’d like to receive these newsletters, you can sign up here.

For authors, reviews are often seen as a chicken-and-egg problem: you need sales to get reviews, but you also need reviews to convince people to buy your book. So how do you get reviews before publication? The answer is pretty simple: you need a street team.

A street team is a group of dedicated readers — ultra fans of your writing — with whom you have a special agreement: you send them a free advanced copy of your book and, in exchange, they will commit to writing you a review at launch.

Often, street team members might also be your beta readers, meaning they offer feedback on your writing and help you catch the typos and errors your editors didn’t catch.

5 Simple Rules of Managing Your Street Team

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you build your street team:

  1. Your street team is separate from your main mailing list. So if you use MailChimp, for example, you’ll want to have at least two different lists.
  2. You should interact with your street team in-between launches (especially if you’re not a fast writer). Offer them sneak peeks at what you’re working on, tell them about your life, do cover reveals, run exclusive giveaways, etc.
  3. Don’t hesitate to send them a few emails around your launch. Always remind them to leave a review. Drop another email a week after launch to tell them how your book’s doing (and remind them to post a review if they haven’t already).
  4. Make sure your street team mention in their reviews that they received an ARC from the author. Otherwise, Amazon might delete the review.
  5. Use either BookFunnel or InstaFreebie to deliver the Advance Review Copies in the right formats. These tools will make your life a lot easier.

Now that you’re fluent in street team etiquette, let’s get to the question on everyone’s lips…

Where do I find people for my street team?

  • Have any of your friends read and enjoyed your books? Start there, then make other friends in your genre!
  • Reach out to other authors you like and ask if they’re looking for more beta readers. If you join their street team and regularly interact with them, chances are they’ll return the favor.
  • Writer conferences are also a great place to meet and make friends with fellow writers. Face-to-face interaction is all the more valuable in a digital world.
  • Use social media to find beta readers and street teamers. We have a Reedsy Facebook group dedicated to just that: just post a few lines about your book and ask if anyone would like to become a beta reader.

Growing your street team

Once you have a solid street team of, say, 40 or 50 dedicated readers, you can easily keep growing it by regularly inviting your main list subscribers to join it.

For example, if you have an automation workflow for new mailing list subscribers, you could set up an email after a week or two that only goes to the most engaged subscribers (readers who previously opened/clicked your emails) and tells them about your street team.

Make your expectations clear: if they join, they commit to reading your ARCs before launch and leave a review at launch. You basically want to build a bridge between your two mailing lists, but make sure only true fans cross over.

That’s it for this first installment of my weekly marketing newsletter! I hope you enjoyed it. You can also read this excellent post on our blog which goes even more in depth.

Ricardo gave his permission to share this guest blog post. Thanks, Ricardo.

Tap into Your Local Resources

The following message arrived from Kristin Elliott of Hometown Reads, an organization that supports authors in an area to connect with local readers. San Diego has a Hometown Reads page on their site. Several Guild members have joined the San Diego Hometown Reads. The message below includes examples of what Hometown Reads authors around the country have reported as successes to connect with readers locally.

Last week I discussed the value of tapping into your local area to uncover your book as a hidden treasure. Many of you responded with success you’ve seen connecting with readers by using local organizations/events/etc to do so.

Here are those responses.

  • Helen Pashley has discovered great networking opportunities by connecting with a local publisher’s association and writer’s league.
  • Keith Willis believes you must go to your audience directly and engage with them. As a fantasy/romance author, he attends local Renaissance festivals to meet readers.
  • Diane Rogers has learned that being visible and accessible is key. Diane attends local craft shows, county fairs, etc to showcase her books.
  • As a children’s author, Raven Howell has connected with a local children’s writer organization to attend workshops & events.
  • Barbara Josselsohn and writers in her community have been able to gain support from their local library. In addition to marketing focus groups, this library held a local book fair to attract readers.

If you have a local organization that might be interested in supporting local authors, don’t forget to use our free flier and invite them to join our Read Local Champions program (also free.) We’d would like to help equip them to better support local authors.

Of course, we consider joining the Guild, a local organization offering networking opportunities, an excellent step for all local authors.

Check out the San Diego page on the Hometown Reads site, and consider joining it as another way to reach out to potential readers in the area.

Sandra de Helen, Scriptwriter, Presents in June

What are the major elements of playwriting? Once a play is written, how does it get produced?

Join Sandra de Helen, courtesy of The Scripteasers, as she presents an overview of character, dialogue, and conflict — the elements that go into creating a script.

She will also briefly discuss the challenges and joys of getting a play produced. Get tips to help you decide whether to write for the stage, and how to get a play on its feet once you’ve written it.

Sandra de Helen’s dramas and comedies have been performed all over the United States as well as internationally. Audiences in NYC, Chicago, Ireland, London, and the Philippines have been entertained and challenged by Sandra’s provocative writing. In 2017, her work was staged at Athena Cats Theatre of Santa Monica, Women’s Theatre Festival of NC, Samuel French in LA, and read by Scripteasers in San Diego. In the past five years, her work has been staged in NYC, LA, Portland, and Canada.

Sandra’s writings are archived in the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Collection at Ohio State University. She studied with Maria Irene Fornés, and with Matt Zrebski. With Kate Kasten, she cofounded Actors’ Sorority in Kansas City. Later Sandra founded the Portland Women’s Theatre Company as well as Penplay. She is a member of Scripteasers of San Diego, International Centre for Women Playwrights, and the Dramatists Guild.

We meet Monday, June 25, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. at the San Diego County Health Services Center, 3851 Rosecrans, San Diego, CA 92110.

Note: The Marketing Support Group will meet at 5:30 p.m., before the regular meeting. Anyone interested in sharing or learning about marketing tips is welcome to attend.

Guest Post from SDWEG Member Rick Lakin

How I Became a Best-selling Author using Amazon Marketing Services

As author-publishers, our biggest challenge is getting our product in front of people we do not have a connection with. Amazon Marketing Services is a simple and cost-effective solution to that problem.

On Friday, May 4, I published my first novel called Brilliant about a girl with an IQ of 206 who was searching for her father. She got an internship at the Hollywood studio that makes the StarCruiser Brilliant movies. She finds out the Brilliant flies into space.

On March 25, I put the book on pre-sale and due to the support of friends and family sold seventeen copies by April 21. On that day, I created a campaign on Amazon Marketing Services at
ams.amazon.com (AMS).

Go to the AMS website under your Amazon login for identification as well as billing. If you are signed out, you will find helpful information and videos.

After signing in, you are offered the opportunity to start a New Campaign. You then receive two options. I have not had any luck with Product Display Ads so select Sponsored Products.

Select the book that you would like to market.

For the budget, I enter $5 per day. I have seen successful campaigns that are $30 per day. Run the campaign continuously. You can always set an end date or terminate it.

Select Manual Targeting. You are going to enter the keywords.

Select the words on this list that are appropriate. Some are redundant and useless. Next, enter a short blurb to finish your ad.

Finally, submit your campaign for review. That will take anywhere from 3 minutes to 6 days. Amazon is not consistent on this. But, you aren’t done.

Here is my display after twenty days. An impression is when the ad appears on the point-of-sale for a book. You only pay for the actual Clicks. The Actual Cost Per Click is always lower than your bid. The Total Sales indicated does not reflect foreign sales or Kindle Unlimited Page Reads. My actual sales are about fifteen times the number shown. Your results may vary.

Add Keywords. I hate to bury the lead, but this is the most important part. You may select up to 1000 keywords. 400 is recommended. The most lucrative are title names, series names and author names from the most recent best sellers in your genre. Go to the best seller lists, new releases and author lists to gather keywords. AMS doesn’t like certain characters

best!@# – your keyword contains some illegal characters,
such as <>()#@^!*

and it doesn’t like duplicates. I recommend that you bounce between a Word document and the entry window to edit your list.

The result is that my book spent the first five days after release in the top 100 in Children’s Science Fiction. Amazon calls it a Bestseller List so who am I to argue.

Rick plans additional posts about entering keywords and how to use KDP Rocket. We’ll share those when he shares them with us.

Rick LakinRick Lakin is the Best-Selling Children’s Science Fiction Author of Brilliant, and the publisher at iCrewDigitalPublishing.com, Bringing New Authors to a Digital World. iCrew has published 35 books by 11 authors.

Rick has been an Optimist for almost two years and is the district webmaster at calso41.us and was a Toastmaster.

He is the founder of iCrew Digital Productions, A Community of Young Media Professionals and a member of the 1000 Club of the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers. Rick is an Advanced Communicator Silver in Toastmasters International and is a member of American Mensa.   Rick works as a Sports Statistician for broadcast television and is a retired math teacher.

He lives in Southern California, but his roots are in Columbus, Ohio, home of The Ohio State University Buckeyes.

Thanks, Rick, for sharing your experience at a Marketing Support Group as well as for documenting it for our entire membership.

The Naval Institute Press Imprint, Dead Reckoning

From the Guild’s email inbox, thanks to SDWEG member Muriel Sandy.

The Naval Institute Press has a new imprint, Dead Reckoning. The imprint will publish full-length, original graphic novels and collections of classic comics . . . with a special focus on military and naval history as well as biography.

Another advantage to this format: graphic novels have a broad appeal, especially among younger readers.

In 1984 the press published a novel by then-unknown writer,
The Hunt for Red October became a best seller, this first of Tom Clancy’s many successful thrillers

For further details, contact The Naval Institute Press, https://www.usni.org/navalinstitutepress.

image credit: Ethan Hoover

Contests from Kallisto Gaia Press

The following message recently arrived in the Guild’s email inbox from Tony Burnett, managing editor, Kallisto Gaia Press, a 501(c)3 literary nonprofit.

The 2018 Julia Darling Memorial Poetry Prize

A prize of $750.00 and publication in The Ocotillo Review Winter 2019 will be awarded for a poem of up to 65 lines. Submit up to three poems of no more than 65 lines each with a $20.00 entry fee by August 20, 2018. All entries will be considered for publication. All entrants will receive a copy of the journal containing the prize winning poem. Carrie Fountain will judge. A portion of any revenue generated will be donated to Cancer Research at M. D. Anderson Hospital. See Kallisto Gaia Press website for details.

The 2018 Chester B. Himes Memorial Short Fiction Prize

A prize of $750.00 and publication in The Ocotillo Review Winter 2019 will be awarded for a short story. Submit one story of less than 4200 words with a $20.00 entry fee by August 20, 2018. All entries will be considered for publication. All entrants will receive a copy of the journal containing the winning story. Antonio Ruiz-Camacho will judge. A portion of any revenue generated will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. See Kallisto Gaia Press website for details.

Please note: The Guild frequently receives messages about contests. The decision to publicize them depends in part on the reputation of the sponsoring organization, the potential reward and benefit to members, and how much, if any, the entry fee is. Typically, the limit for the entry fee considered reasonable is $25, though we may make exceptions for local contests where the likelihood of Guild members being recognized is higher. Keep these factors in mind when determining the value of entering contests publicized on the Guild’s website.