PR Tool Box

Today I would like to talk about putting together a media package. This should be the tool box from which you can pull things when media professionals come calling. I will be listing and explaining each item in this toolbox to you. If you need any help with any of these items, feel free to contact me. Building-your-PR-Toolbox

Tools:

Press Release:

The press release can be used multiple times. It is a living document that can and should be changed with current events. If there is a news story for which you could be considered an expert, it is time to change your release to reflect the change. The release has a short life cycle on the news-desks. If you don’t resubmit it multiple times you will be passing up a possible interview and opportunity. See the marketing guide on how to write one.

Here is an article on how to write an effective press release.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zach-cutler/press-release-tips_b_2120630.html

Pitch-letter:

The pitch letter is used to gain the attention of show producers. The intent is to engage and show the producer that you are both informative and engaging. The pitch should be no longer than two paragraphs. This is also a living document you will want to modify for each show.

Here is a article on writing a effective pitch letter.

http://www.verticalresponse.com/blog/how-to-write-a-great-pr-pitch-and-get-the-medias-attention/

Q&A:

Having a list of 25 questions you can answer is a big bonus for producers. This helps make their job easier. It will also allow you to guide the interview where you would like it to go. You could also use it to make sure there is no awkward silence during the interviewing process.

Here is a article on a Q&A sheet.

http://www.prleads.com/tips-for-writing-fact-sheets/

Book:

You should always take two copies of your book to each interview. You should also have a picture of the cover in your toolbox as well.

Social Media:

These are the channels you need to be on for Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Amazon. You should also be familiar with the unique characteristics of each of these channels. Remember you should have an author bio on both Amazon and Goodreads.

http://www.ragan.com/SocialMedia/Articles/47044.aspx

Blog:

In addition to your website, you should have a blog. It is recommended that you have a well-written and engaging post. It is advisable to learn about SEO and to use it when posting on your blog.

Here is an article on how to write an effective blog.

http://www.ragan.com/Main/Articles/47085.aspx

Finally, here is an article that lists 89 things you should be doing to market your book. http://www.authormedia.com/89-book-marketing-ideas-that-will-change-your-life/

 

Bits of Advice

This is a guest post by Mandi Ellsworth.Mandi is a wife, mother, reader, jogger, and writer, among other things. Her debut novel, “Uneasy Fortunes” comes out June 12th. You can connect with her at her blog.

We are all a conglomeration of what we hear or see or feel and my own thoughts on the writing process are that: bits and pieces of advice I’ve gathered from other sources and put to use.

Shannon Hale, the end all be all when it comes to writing, says she has never gotten writer’s block. When she’s not feeling it, she just keeps writing anyway. It may be rubbish but she’ll just keep writing rubbish until it starts to flow a little better. There will be lots of revisions to change the rubbish into something great, so she doesn’t sweat about making it perfect at the beginning. It helps to keep that in mind. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It can be bettered later.

An author should write what they like to read. If you like to read cheesy romances (guilty), or Young Adult fantasy (guilty again), then that’s what you should write. After all, if you don’t like it, chances are, the reader won’t either.

If you don’t like to read, then maybe you should re-think your choice of hobby.

Reading is a big deal for a writer. It’s hard not to take what you read and use it in your own style. For example, after reading a Georgette Heyer novel, I write like a 19th century Brit for days. Getting used to the way published authors use punctuation, sentence structure, and word choice is the best way to integrate those things into your own story-making.

We’ve all heard the old adage to write what you know. While writing “Uneasy Fortunes” I had a friend that showed me much about what it’s like to live with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. She visited me daily and talked about her life and it was her story, as much as my grandmother’s, that urged me to tell the story the way I did.

I can’t remember where I heard this last bit of advice, a blog I’m sure, but it has made a world of difference in my writing. Take a few weeks and change up the time you write and the location. Maybe wake up early for a week and see how that effects the way you write. Then try it right after breakfast, or during a lunch break, or while wearing earbuds with music blasting and the kids are running amok. Then change the location of where you write. Through this process, I learned I write best when I: wake before everyone else in the house, sit in a hard chair, do not allow myself to do anything until I have finished my allotted writing time (not even the dirty dishes that tease me from the corner of my eye, or the email that would be so easy to click to). You might be surprised by what works for you.

Mostly, and most importantly, learn to love the process. It will reward you with unexpected joys.

The Writing Life

This is a guest post by Catherine Lanigan,Catherine is the author of over thirty-five published novels, non-fiction books and anthologies. She is the author of the novelization of the movies, Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. Her angel book series, Angel Tales, are collections of true stories of angelic intervention in human life. She is currently launching her first young adult series, The Adventures of Lilli and Zane: The Golden Flute. Visit her on Facebook fan page and www.catherinelanigan.com .

Today I am going to an elementary school to speak to a class of third graders about writing for their “Author’s Month”. Not only have these children written their own books, which will be on display for me when I arrive, but their teacher has assigned my first young adult book, The Adventures of Lilli and Zane: The Golden Flute, for them to read in class. Their enthusiasm for my visit caused me to think back to my own childhood and ponder my own aspirations and dreams at that time.

I didn’t really think I would be good enough to write novels, but I knew I loved adventure. My dream at that time and through high school was to be a journalist. I envisioned myself traveling all over the world and interviewing fascinating people. That didn’t happen because when I was a freshman in college I had a teacher who discouraged me. In fact, he blasted me for having a dream to write. He told me that I had “no talent”. He told me I would be a fool to pursue writing. I believed him.

Through the grace of God, and even though it was fourteen years after my Creative writing Professor had forced me to promise, “never to write again,” a journalist/author encouraged me to dust my dream off and give it a try. I have been writing ever since.

Of all the advice that I could ever give to those who dream of writing, no matter what age or their circumstance, one should never shove their heart’s desire into the back corner of their life. For those in the creative arts, whatever they are, those God-given talents must be used and shared with the world. When I met the journalist who urged me to write he said to me, “A writer must write.”

Passion for writing keeps a writer in the chair and even if the power goes out and the computer won’t turn on, there is always a pencil and paper. Nothing should stop a writer. I spent twelve years working on my young adult series, Lilli and Zane. I have enough research to fill more than a dozen books about my trio of kids who cannot escape adventure. All three kids have a PSI power. Each of them is unique and because of their gifts to see the future and move ahead in time, they are outcasts from the other kids at school. But they know who they are and they honor their special gifts.

If your dream is to write, do it fearlessly and faithfully.

 

 


Writing Memorably

This is a guest post by Daniel and Mary-Helen Foxx.Mary-Helen grew up during the space race at Cape Canaveral, Florida. She met and married Dan while attending college in his hometown in South Carolina. After her graduation with a degree in History and Education they moved to Utah where Dan earned his BA and MA in History from BYU. He taught at East Carolina University until 1973 when they moved to Arizona, where he has taught at Glendale Community College and Ottawa University in Phoenix, as well as in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

Charlie’s Girlis their first book together.Dan’s other books include I Only Laugh When It Hurts and Nathan Bedford Forrest: In Search of the Enigma which won the Arizona Book Award for biography in 2007 and was a finalist in the Benjamin Franklin National Book Awards, 2007. Mary-Helen has published six genealogies on Southern families and was an editor of the Georgia Genealogical Magazine.Now retired, Mary-Helen and Dan enjoy time with their four sons and their families, including twelve grandchildren. Visit their website.

One of the most famous beginnings in literature is from A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” Ever since Dickens wrote those two lines literature teachers have nagged their students to define what he meant. But you don’t just read those words. You feel them deep in your bones.

I remember writing a three-page essay on Dickens’ meaning way back in the dark ages of my college days. It must have met the professor’s expectations because I got an “A” on the assignment, but I couldn’t find a way to express the feeling I got, and still do, when I read those words. If I could capture that power in my own writing I’d frame it and hang it in a prominent place in my home.

Now, think of this opening line from a long forgotten novel, Paul Clifford, written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton: “It was a dark and stormy night . . .” He gave it his best, and to my mind it is really the rest of the opening that goes a little “purple.” But those seven words have been parodied and have gotten laughs from the stage to the drawing room for generations. Even Charles Shultz’ immortal character, Snoopy, has used variations of the line in his many unfinished novels.

I may be wrong, but I don’t think any literature teacher would ask her class to write an essay on Bulwer-Lytton’s meaning. Maybe one of my teachers mentioned Bulwer-Lytton, but even so I don’t remember ever even hearing his name back then.

Of course, a wonderful story doesn’t rest on a good opening line alone. If you write a great opening, you’re saying something important to your reader: “Come on in. I’m going to live up to this beginning.” I’m sure I’m not the only one to be invited into a story by a good opening line only to be disappointed by what came after. Sometimes I don’t even read on to the end.

And speaking of the end, you owe your reader a satisfying conclusion. “It was all a dream,” doesn’t do it. Your reader wants closure. How about this from Dickens again, “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” Rarely do I read those words without a tear in my eye.

I don’t think Dickens wrote that or any other line saying to himself, “Ha! This is gonna get “˜em. Yeah, they’ll shed a tear here.” The point is you write the best story you can and let the reader understand what you write through his own eyes and experience.

We all write stories that come from the heart and because we have something important to say. None of us finish a story and say to ourselves, “I can’t wait for that to be forgotten.” A good way to have your stories remembered is to write memorably. Reread your work with an eye for the best word, the best phrase.

HOW DO YOU WRITE STORIES YOU WANT YOUR READERS TO REMEMBER?

 

How Life Prepared Me To Become an Author

This is a guest post by Treion Muller.Treion is a self-proclaimed “father in motion” of five delightful”•but not perfect”•children. Professionally he is FranklinCovey’s Chief eLearning Architect, business book author, national presenter, and social media and online learning expert. Treion has also coauthored two business books, The Learning Explosion and The Webinar Manifesto. Learn more about Treion at Treion.com and order Dad Rules at Amazon.com andBarnesandnoble.com.

Treion MullerMy name is Treion, and as they say in Southern Utah where I went to college, “I’m not from around these parts.” No, I am actually from waaaay down south, South Africa. Yes, I was born on the African continent and raised on the outskirts of the “City of Gold” (aka Johannesburg) with no money, no father, and definitely no gold.

To oversimplify things, life was hard. And it was even harder for my dear mother who scrapped and scraped her entire short life to provide for her two sons. I think we moved almost every year of my young life as she tried to find stable work. I don’t believe she ever found real peace in this life, and passed away of cancer at the very young age of forty-three.

So, why share this rather sad and pathetic tale with you? Because that’s when I made a decision that I would be a good father, not someone who would leave a wife and kids to battle the storms of life alone. And that’s also when I became an author–one who would only be published twenty years later.

Today, I am a dad to five beautiful children, husband to one amazing woman, and author of Dad Rules: A Simple Manual For a Complex Job. Dad Rules is the everyman’s instruction manual that fathers have been waiting for, in the language they can understand. Dad Rules includes 81 short but entertaining rules to help fathers understand what they should know, say, and do in those difficult moments when they cannot find an app to solve a problem.

Does this mean I have risen from the ashes of my difficult childhood and become the perfect dad? No, not even close. But I am working on that goal every day. In other words, I am trying to practice the first rule in my book, “Show up for the job every day.”

Dad Rules: A Simple Manual for a Complex Job by Treion Muller, Family and Relationships, Fatherhood

If you think about it, even though I only wrote my book last year, I have really been writing it over the past twenty years. Because since I made the decision back then to be a good father I have been actively observing how other dads have tackled fatherhood””the good and bad examples. I have read dozens of books on parenting, and asked several dads how they do it. I did all this not with the intent to write a book, but rather to be a great dad. However, these informal methods of research made it possible for me to write my book in less than two months. I know it isn’t very long, and doesn’t require the same amount of time a novel would, but because I was already passionate about the topic the words flowed freely onto the page.

The last rule in my book (Rule 81) is “Share what you have learned with other dads.” With this rule in mind I would love to hear from you, whether you are a dad or not, because I am confident you know what makes a good dad. So, please share what you feel are some dad rules you admire, respect, and believe in?