Kim Weiss Publishing Services

From Australia: first time self-published author spills it…

June 27, 2008 at 8:52 am
 As a first time author I walk around with this perpetually uneasy feeling that I’ve forgotten something important. And as a self-publisher I don’t have someone to tap me on the shoulder and say “Now is the time we should be doing A, B and C.” Sometimes I wish I even knew what A, B and C stood for. 

So I’m sitting down at the computer this morning and I read that publicity for a book can begin 6 months before it’s released as that’s the lead time for media to decide to do articles… talk about the Galley in April for an article in October. I’m thinking whoa ….I’m submitting the final changes this week, so I’m a lot closer than 6 months away. You know if it was a wristwatch it’d be 11.59 am, when I should have been doing things at 10.00 am. 

It just reminds me of those awful dreams you have, where you are under-prepared for an exam (like no prepartation) and you’re on your way there and you catch the wrong bus. Of course you wake up before the end, but it doesn’t feel like a good night’s sleep. 

In fact I had my first taste of promotion last night in the strangest way. I’m an investor in a small but successful Biotech company that’s about to go public and they held an AGM for the small number of shareholders. Well you can’t get much smaller than this. I was the only one who showed up! 

So there I was with three presenters….the Chairman, CEO and Chief Chemist. We talked a lot about business projections and new patents and stuff like that, but at the end I thought why the hell not and said to them I wanted to present to them now. 

It was a strange feeling at first but of course my topic is universal and I discovered that scratch the surface and the line from the first page of my book is true……”Let’s face it we all openly or secretly love self-analysis” . There they were telling all about themselves, their ages, their wives etc, etc,. Did they fit the theory? Well the CEO was the most open and he certainly did. 

At the end they all said they’d like a signed copy. You know the company is probably going to go public at about the same time. 

When I’m there I’d like to share with you all this brand new system. It’s based on evidence not supposition and that’s what makes it so statistically strong. 

But I’m sure that when I go to sleep tonight there I’ll be……….catching that bloody wrong bus on the way to that exam again…..” 

from Neil Killion, first time author and retired management consultant/psychologist. 

Neil had his own outplacement company and turned his obsevations of literally thousands of clients into a brand new esoteric theory on life analysis. In his book, “Life Cycles,” The difference in Killion’s approach is that the theory is evidence-based and not merely attributed to the cosmos.

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Everything’s better with Dove dark chocolate

June 26, 2008 at 6:52 am

Even title launches. And, in the highly anticipated goody bags Wednesday morning,  there were three dark chocolate beauties wrapped in red foil.  Add a pack of juicy fruit gum, a chocolate chip ganola bar, lifesavers and a pink rubber key chain thingee, and we’re ready to roll.

Not a bad idea to ply us with sugar if we’re going to sit for two and a half hours. That’s how long the meeting lasted, which is pretty good for us.

All kidding aside (or at least some), Michele and Allison, our super editors, presented some pretty great titles. I can’t reveal much but let’s just say there are lots of books slated for spring 2009.

Ok, so we don’t grow our staff but we grow our list. Good luck to us. More chocolate, please.

For a sneak peek, I’ll share some of the spring themes.  We’ve got relationship books about money, infidelity, and fathers and daughters.

We’ve got angry feminists, infommercial wisdom, happy divorces and cartoon memoirs. There’s mommy stuff before the baby’s born, when the kid reaches toddlerhood, and teenage bliss.

Belly fat and hormones. Hormones and menopause.

Let us not forget the Obama-driven titles. Expect some hope and a book of African names. Go Obama!

The subjects are diverse, timely, and sexy. The authors stand on impressive platforms. (There it is again) Media contacts and track records, associations with publicists, mailing lists, and decent sales histories.

This is the stuff that launch meeting manuscripts are made of.

Trying your hand at getting published?

Build your platform.

Make yourself irresistible.

While your waiting for that publisher to come knocking at your door (not), devote some time to cultivating these items of attraction. Increase not only your chances of being published, but your community of readers.

Then send them chocolate.


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Delicious literature #2

June 25, 2008 at 9:49 pm

“When Rosa jumped to agree, it dawned on him that, miracle of miracles, this lovely girl might actually be developing feelings for him.  It was as if someone had struck a gong in his chest. His whole body reverberated with the news.”

from The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

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What I’m excited about right now

June 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm

You’ll have to wait until September, but it’s gonna be good!

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Enter, the mistress of blogging, Laurie “Crazy Aunt Purl” Perry

June 24, 2008 at 7:41 pm

I was going to write about tomorrow’s launch meeting at HCI where the editors have their bi-annual cavalcade of books. That is, the books-to-be. At 10:00 am Wednesday we’ll be audience to the title list for spring 2009. 

Launch meetings are always exciting and fun especially when Carol prepares goody bags. Last launch we got Chinese finger traps and superballs along with our snack food.

Then, I thought it might be more interesting to you to report on the meeting AfTER it happens. There’ll probably be some juicy stuff to share that I can’t yet anticipate. So, what do you say??

Coyly, I segue into the plum that has fallen into my blog lap expressly for your reading pleasure…

Upon request (and delivered in scary fast time), Laurie Perry aka Crazy Aunt Purl, one of my favorite humans, authors and queen of the blogosphere, turned in a trademark funny, enlightening, helpful and beautifully written post. 

Welcome, Guest Blogger #2 – “Listen” carefully, Laurie knows from where she speaks…

                                                                  Laurie Perry & me  

The word “blog” sounds like something you do alone in the bathroom when you have bronchitis.

Talking about blogs and blogging and all that stuff never occurs to me. I don’t like the word, for one thing. It’s like the internet has a booger… “Hey, you should um, check out that blog in your left nostril, gnarly!” But there is no denying that the rest of the world loves their blogs, their blogosphere and their bloggregation. (I made that last wordup!)

I think of my website as my online diary. I started it because I was alone, and unable to sleep, and had no one to talk to and I love to write.

I am all about the blah blah blah. Long before blogs existed there were lots on online diarists, they even had diarist awards (I never won one)and I used to have a website a million years ago where I wrote a column under a pen name. It was fun and I was a truly awful writer.

I was still young and dumb(er) and I was trying to project an image of being really cool, cosmopolitan and hip (three words which do not describe me under any circumstances.)

I was also still lying about my age back then, my whole life was a big balloon ready to pop and it reflected in my writing — it was shallow and self-aware and annoying. I gave up that online persona after three years, at the time my marriage was on its last legs and we were just trying to hold it all together and I couldn’t pretend to be anything to anyone anymore.

Later, when I went through the divorce, I started writing again and I was too exhausted and brokedown to invent an exciting online life. I didn’t even have a real-life life, so I just wrote what was on my mind.

I wrote about my new hobby — knitting — and I wrote about my cats and my anger at my marriage falling apart and I made jokes about my terrible just-dumped fashion choices.

Nobody read a single word for months and months and it was great, I just said any old thing I wanted! I used more swear words, too, that’s back before my parents started reading and checking up on me. And then all this stuff happened.

Readers. Advertisers. Essays published. A book! A book tour! My very own publicist (she’s the best in the business!)

And now at least once a day I get an email like this:

Dear Laurie,

I want to start a blog but I need some help. I don’t know what to do to make it a big success. Can you give me some advice?

Thanks, Reader

I’m paraphrasing, but most folks want to know how to get started with ablog and make a million dollars. I WISH I KNEW!!!! But seriously, I am more than happy to help if I can except I really don’t know if my advice is what anyone is looking for. For one thing, I just ended that last sentence in a preposition.

For another thing, I do not make a million dollars. Also, I know there are folks out there who specialize in blogging advice and how-to articles and “promote your website!” and so on, none ofwhich are my area of interest. I just like writing and would do it if no one read a word.

In fact, I did do that… for months and months and months!

And I really have an aversion to that word … “blog.” is just my personal diary and my little newspaper of spinsterness. I write my own column every night and my editor is covered in fur and sits on the laptop if I am not careful. We are happy in our delusions of fur & grandeur.

But since I get asked this blogging question through email at least once a day I will tell ya’ll what I tell everyone: just write what you know, do it because you like it, and write all the time.

Detach totally from any outcome and love the sheer act of putting words into the world.

No one likes that advice, by the way. They want to know about search engine optimization.

You have to ask yourself this question: why do you want to put up a website? blog? thingamajig? Because to me the only reason to do something is if you really want to do it or really love doing it. As far as blogs, I think that means either you are passionate about writing or passionateabout your subject matter.

For example, there’s a guy here in LA who has a blog about taco stands and taco trucks – he loves his subject matter and it shows!

You don’t have to make up a business plan, folks, you just do what you love and people will find you. If you write in your own unique voice and write frequently and love it, someone somewhere will start reading.

You also have to figure out what your goal is here. Is it to make money? Because there are better ways to do that — trust me. Is it to become an internet superstar? Get naked on YouTube. It’s a much faster route to notoriety. Is it because everyone has a blog?

Everyone has boogers, too, but no one is jumping up and down about it! But if you just want to write, or just have something you want to say, then SAY it! That is success.

After all, who would think a messy divorce +knitting + cat poop + growthy soliloquys of a bazillion words would be a winning combo? NOBODY!!! But my website grows every day and I never get tired of it because I love writing, even when it’s about the pedestrian day-to-day life of a divorced lady with a pile of cats.

In the end, my answer to this question is just write what you know, do it because you love it and don’t be attached to any outcome. That seems to be the best formula for happiness, anyway.

And happiness is success, even if it doesn’t pay the bills … yet.

Laurie Perry is the author of Crazy Aunt Purl’s Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair


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