Tag Archives: marketing

A Quest for Vision!

Visionary.

It’s a word that we’ve all heard bandied about from time to time, usually attached to some famous figure in history known for inventing something important that has changed the nation—or the world—in ways modern generations could not contemplate living without. Take Steve Jobs for example. Mr. Jobs is considered a true visionary. He’s the father of the modern personal computer, a device with which a life without would seem unimaginable in this modern world. Or consider Henry Ford, automotive tycoon. Mr. Ford certainly didn’t invent the automobile, but he did perfect the assembly line, bringing costs down, allowing for the common people to afford their very own car—and through employment in Ford’s factories, a stronger middle class arose.

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The Oxford American College Dictionary contains multiple definitions for this complex yet simple word. The definition I like best reads as stated: a person with original ideas about what the future will or could be like.

The Oxford could be very well be describing a writer. Writers, by nature, are visionaries. Writers, in the name of creativity, must envision worlds that do not exist, populated with people that are not real. But the above definition mentions only the future. What about the past? Can a writer be a visionary in regards to a time that has already faded? The answer is most certainly yes. We construct alternate accounts of real events—like making Abraham Lincoln into a vampire hunter. A program on an internet site’s streaming service poses a world in the 21 century seen through the lens of a Nazi victory in World War Two.

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But being a visionary, it runs deeper than merely being a creative writer—or musician or artist. In a sense, everybody is a writer. If you write emails or texts, you are a writer. Here’s where the differences come into play. Not everybody is an author. Writers are not all authors. There are those who write down their personal thoughts and experiences in the pages of diaries or journals, never intending any other living soul to pry. Authors, they have to be bold and brave. They write to be read. If the words we seek to share with others are not visionary, you can bet you’ll hear from those who invested the time in sentences we’ve strung together.

Diaries, texts, personal correspondences; these are not meant to entertain the reader.  These are merely there to convey a message or to act as reminder to the future self that, on this particular day, so-and-so made me angry or happy or sad.

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Authors, writing to be read, must envision their story from beginning to end—before the writing process begins. We must see what does not, at this juncture, exist anywhere in this world. This will almost certainly require research of some sort—unless you’re creating your own Middle Earth setting. Research itself requires vision.

In beginning my work on Jazz Baby, I needed a road map through the 1920s. I am just past the half-century mark, having drawn my first breath of life in 1967. I had nothing by way of personal experience to shade my notions of the America of 1925. And we can’t just assume, either. Assumption is an enemy of the visionary.

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As I started to dig into my research, scenes from my story began to construct themselves behind my eyes. Scraps of paper quickly filled with ideas found within the pages of an old U.S. history book; situations came to life while watching documentaries on PBS or The History Channel. They didn’t have radio in their cars until 1932—so scrap the scene where the characters are driving to New Orleans singing along to jazz tunes on the radio. So how do we fill that void? Dialogue! These characters are now forced to speak to one another, sharing hopes and fears, and in the process, introducing their deeper selves to those who would come to read the finished product. A visionary finds ways to stay on point when something like reality cuts in and says, um, that can’t be. We make it work. And we don’t just make it work; we use it for the profound or the poignant. Statements are made in those quiet moments between Emily Ann and Tanyon—statements that wouldn’t exist had I stuck a radio in that car.

Being visionary is about seeing what’s not there, seeing it in multiple views, and possessing the ability to determine the best view. It doesn’t work very well to write about characters of which we know little or nothing. Vision allows us to see these characters, to meet them, to discover the personalities behind mere words on a page. To the visionary writer, his or her characters truly come alive before they ever occupy space on the page.

The fact is anybody can write a story. But the visionary writes the sort of stories people will want to read. The really good ones build a following of readers just waiting for the next story to unfold. The best storytellers throughout history possessed vision. And it’s that vision that gives both the writer and the story life eternal. Those without vision, well, nobody recalls the stories they’ve told. Nobody remembers their names.

 

 

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Gearing Up For the 2017 #RRBC Writers’ Conference and Book Expo!

2017 WC&BE

Once again, Rave Reviews Book Club is taking the lead on cutting edge ideas for promoting indie authors. Picking up where we left off last year, this year’s Writers’ Conference & Book Expo promises to be bigger and better! If you are an indie author and you’re still figuring out the marketing landscape, then this event is one you don’t want to miss.

Simply follow the links below for all the latest information you’ll need to know to be involved.

 
This is the year for bigger and better here at RRBC. Don’t miss this golden opportunity to reach a new audience while gaining new skill sets designed to help indie authors succeed.

 

 

 

Discussing Book Trailers!

Once upon a time, authors, no matter the talent level, needed a big machine known as the publishing house, to get their work into the hands of readers across the globe. Publishing houses offered cash advances, secured shelf space in all the leading retail shops, and made sure the media received advance copies for the purpose of writing reviews of the project at hand.

Unfortunately, getting published by the big machine proved limited in potential for most writers. Your work wouldn’t even find its way to a publisher without first getting discovered by an agent. And even if you did manage to catch the eye of one of these middlemen, you still weren’t guaranteed that big advance, the prime spot on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, or the five star review from the New York Times. In fact, writing for 95% of those who fancied themselves authors was little more than a wishful fantasy.

Jazz Baby

But we are no longer living under the shadow of the big machine. If we want to write and be published, it’s an easy task. And that may not always be such a great thing. See, here’s the problem: Everybody is a writer today. That means the novel you spent months (or even years) writing is now in direct competition with two million other titles, all seeking the same readers.

While great opportunities are now within reach, the deep pockets of those large publishing houses are not. That means there likely won’t be a marketing team to plot our campaign for world domination. So we learn from one another. We find those things that work for us and mingle them with new ideas that may have worked for others. It’s the indie way.

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One of the tools within our reach is the book trailer. Sure, YouTube seems flooded with videos touting this story or that one. But these sneak peeks work quite well for the movie industry. In fact, most of us determine the films we’ll pay to see based almost entirely on the trailers we watch. If done right, there is no reason book trailers can’t accomplish the very same results.

And how do we do it the right way? By making ours stand out from the million or so other clips already on social media. Offer the viewer something that’s visually appealing, that snags the attention and holds it until the very last frame. Even the music must be compelling, telling the story as much as the images do. But don’t just rely on simple music and still photos with blurbs splashed across them. Seek out that which is different.

Fresh Ink Group

Fresh Ink Group offers that which is different! We utilize video, animation, music, voice-overs, still photos, graphics unique to the project, and a large array of sound effects. If you want something more in your trailer, consider taking a look at Fresh Ink Group.

Slivers of Life

The ABC’s of Surviving Cancer

Volunteer Bama Dawg

Visit Fresh Ink Group: Click Here!

The #RRBC Writers’ Conference & Book Expo is Ready to Fly!

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Have you heard the news? It’s all over town. If you ain’t heard it, well, you’d better sit down. Tell all the authors and the readers alike, Rave Reviews is really outta sight!

Here’s the scoop: Rave Reviews Book Club is launching their first ever Writers’ Conference & Book Expo. Now for the real cool part: It’s a virtual conference, which means no planes, trains, or automobiles need be involved. All you need to attend is a computer and internet connection.

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What’s the WC&BE all about? I’m glad you asked. This event will include sessions on:

  • Blogging for Success
  • Marketing 101
  • Formatting Made Easy
  • Social Media Dos & Don’ts
  • Writing the Perfect Book Review
  • Building Your Author Platform
  • Editors: Sniffing Out the Right One
  • Why Your Brand is Important
  • Indie Publishing versus Traditional
  • Writing in the Senior Season
  • And much more!

If you’re a writer, or if you just enjoy reading, this is the place you need to be.

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The Rave Reviews Book Club Writers’ Conference & Book Expo runs from December 1st thru December 3rd. If you want to attend, you’ll need to register by November 23rd.

To register, click HERE!

For prices, click HERE!

I do hope you’ll join us in what is sure to be an amazing event for indie authors from around the world.

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