Archive for September, 2012

This morning I listened to a panel of fiction writers at the Maranatha Conference. One of the questions they answered was “What resources have made the biggest difference in your writing?” Here is what some of them said:

The Internet is helpful for writing details on topics you are unfamiliar with, but after your first draft, you should have face-to-face encounters with people who have had experience with those topics so that your writing will be more authentic.

Learn to say no to other things that take up your time so that you have enough time to write (the example that Ann Byle provided was to give up cleaning your house, haha).

Get some critique partners.

Broaden your own personal experiences.

Be open to trying programs, such as Scrivener, that help you organize your writing.

Today is my first day at the Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference in Muskegon, Michigan. You can check out the conference here. My mom and I are both attending it (this is her second year at the conference), and so far it’s been fantastic! I am planning to write a few blog posts in connection with this conference, and I’m still hoping to get a bit of editing done tonight before going to bed (I’m meeting with an editor tomorrow morning to get some feedback on the first chapter of the sequel to Illegally Innocent), so I’m going to keep this one short with an interesting insight from one of the speakers tonight on how books make it to the New York Times bestseller list. I apologize to the speaker, Eddie Jones, if I completely butcher this information:

Books selected for the NY Times bestseller list are not based on sales averages from all bookstores everywhere. Instead, multiple bookstores are selected on a particular day (say, a Tuesday in November) and the book sales from those specific stores on that day are used to determine the bestsellers. How some authors drive up book sales is by finding out which stores are going to be used for the next bestseller list and then specifically visiting those stores on their book tours to drive up sales on that particular day that the averages will be turned in for the list. So sneaky and fascinating.

TODAY (TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18) IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION DATE OF ILLEGALLY INNOCENT! 🙂

Illegally Innocent is available for sale on www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and at the service counter at Harding’s Friendly Market in Otsego, MI. The order option on www.angelabaconbooks.com is currently down but will soon be available as well! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has supported me on this book journey so far! I appreciate it!

If you manage a store and would like to order copies to sell at your store (I offer a great wholesale price!), please email me at angela@angelabaconbooks.com.

In honor of the official publication date, from now until noon today, for everyone who “likes” the Angela Bacon Books Facebook page (or has already “liked” it), you will be entered in a drawing to win one of two copies of Illegally Innocent! (Here’s your second chance if your name didn’t get drawn for the September 1st Illegally Innocent giveaway.) You can find my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/angelabaconbooks.

The ebook version is coming soon! I will let you know when it’s available.

A couple of months ago in a blog post about gluten-free cookies, I mentioned gluten-free Liz Lovely cookies. To read that post, click here. At the time I spoke of them, I had only recently discovered these cookies at my local health food store, and the only kind I had tried was the gluten-free chocolate fudge cookies (which are so thick and moist that they taste like brownies!). Since then, I have directly ordered more cookies from Liz Lovely online and have tried a few other flavors.

To make sure that my tastebud data wasn’t skewed, I have had a few other people try these cookies, and they like them, too! So, the next contest on www.angelabaconbooks.com will be for gluten-free Liz Lovely cookies! You may be thinking, “I don’t need to eat gluten-free foods, so why would I sign up for this contest?” These cookies are amazing, regardless of the fact that they are gluten-free! (Liz Lovely does, in fact, carry cookies that are not gluten-free, but in this contest I will be promoting the gluten-free ones, because I know there are a lot of people who actually do need gluten-free.)

So, for the person whose name is drawn for this contest on www.angelabaconbooks.com, I will pay the Liz Lovely company (www.lizlovely.com) to mail you three packs of cookies–each pack contains two large cookies. You will receive one pack of Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle, one pack of Gluten-Free Chocolate Fudge, and one pack of Gluten-Free Triple Chocolate Mint. I will hold the drawing on October 8, 2012, and will notify the winner through email.

Yesterday I was blessed to get to go bridal gown shopping with my mom and grandma! For all you Michigan brides, I want to tell you about a great place in Grand Rapids called Bridal Gallery.

Bridal Gallery is located on 749 44th St. SE in Grand Rapids. This was the first place I shopped for a wedding dress and ended up spending about two hours there. My bridal consultant–I’m going to change her name to Rachel since I don’t know if she wants her name on here–was super patient and helpful! When you walk into Bridal Gallery, you fill out a little form that takes about a minute or two to complete, and then you are given a bunch of plastic shower rings all in one color. You are then free to roam the store and “mark” each dress you want to try on by connecting a shower ring around the hanger. The dresses are not in plastic garment bags (like another bridal store I went in), so it’s easier to look at the details on them and decide if the dress is worth trying on. Rachel did not “hound” me by hovering around but merely let me have my space. I didn’t even realize until I was ready to try things on that she had apparently been walking around a ways behind me, collecting up the dresses I had marked and placing them in a dressing room. Consequently, there was no wasted time, no standing around waiting for her to gather up all the dresses AFTER I was done looking through them. She kept her distance while I was searching and was not pushy at all.

While I tried them on (I think I tried on about fifteen dresses), she hovered nearby outside the dressing room in case I needed help with zippers or with lacing up the back but was not at all insistent on “babysitting” the dresses the way another store was that I visited. Bridal Gallery had platforms for you to stand on in your dress so that you could see the way the dress billowed out around you and had plenty of mirrors so you could get a good view of the dress. I did not end up buying a dress yesterday but did find one there that I really liked! I’m going to do some more shopping but am definitely keeping Bridal Gallery in mind and may be returning there!

Thanks for all your help, “Rachel”! I appreciate it!

If you are an author looking for the best ways to promote your book, Guerrilla Marketing for Writers is one of my favorite marketing books I’ve come across so far. I think this book is especially perfect for self-published authors (like me) because self-published authors generally don’t have a large marketing budget. Part of what makes this book so great is that the authors have labeled the cost of each of the 100 tips—not the exact cost, but they say things like “free,” “expensive,” “low cost,” “You get paid!” etc. It’s a huge help in determining exactly what you can and can’t afford to do for your book, and it’s also a great encouragement in the fact that tons of the ideas are FREE to implement in your marketing campaign.

Besides offering 100 tips, the authors have also interspersed the book with both funny and serious stories of the marketing techniques of famous authors, which helps keep you interested in case you’re getting slightly overwhelmed by all the marketing possibilities. Another thing I like about this book is that it is geared toward both fiction and nonfiction writers. Many marketing books and other books about writing tend to focus mostly on nonfiction authors. One of the appendices in Guerrilla Marketing for Writers even arranges the list of marketing weapons in the order you should use them—one list for nonfiction and a different list for fiction. If you are a published author or are trying to become a published author, you need to check out this book!