#WriterWednesday Publishing is a Business: Advice From Barbara Joe Williams

There are several words of advice I would like to share with new authors. However, I will begin with my main motto: Writing is a hobby, but publishing is a business. If you’re planning to have a long-term career in the publishing industry, you need to learn the business and master it. That means educating yourself and not just relying on your publisher or other authors for secondhand information.  You should do your own research via the internet and read publishing manuals from experienced authors who are succeeding in the business.

Another word of advice is to get a partner. Not a writing partner, but another writer you can share ideas with, proofread each other’s work, provide feedback, and keep each other motivated when your spirits are low. This is the one thing that has helped me tremendously over the years. My partner is honest with me and tells me when my writing sucks, and I tell her when to get off her butt and write something whether it sucks or not.

I also advise new authors to become part of a writer’s group or a local author’s network for professional development. There’s nothing like networking and sharing with a group of likeminded individuals. Instead of having one person to give you feedback, you will have a whole network of authors who can keep you motivated to write. Every writer’s group is not the same, so it may take some time for you to find one that fits or you might end up starting your own, like I did.

My final word of advice for beginning authors would be this: Don’t expect overnight success. I’ve seen many authors publish a book, promote it for two months, and then drop out of sight simply because they haven’t sold a thousand copies (or whatever number they had in mind). It takes time to build up a following of loyal readers, and it usually doesn’t come from just having one book on the market. Find your audience, market to them, and when the next book is released, they will find you.

Barbara JoeBarbara Joe Williams is the author of ten novels, a novella, several nonfiction books and short stories. Her latest eBook is titled, A Cup of Barbara Joe: Things I’ve Learned about Life, Marriage, Motherhood & People.

Amazon page: http://goo.gl/hCOkBb

Website: www.barbarajoe.webs.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barbara.williams.31105674

Thanks for the interview. My next nonfiction eBook release is February 5 titled, A-Z Marketing Tips: A Motivational Guide to Selling Your Products. And my next fiction eBook release is titled, Holiday Hotel 2: A Valentine’s Day story.

Quality books. All the time for $2.99 or less.

#WriterWednesday What Your MFA Program Didn’t Tell You

Every Wednesday The Neophyte Author will share some advice on writing–this may include tips on creativity or the business side of writing. Sometimes the tips will come directly from the Neophyte Author and some weeks they will come from other authors. To launch #WriterWednesdays the Neophyte Author will be sharing some tips. 

Back in December I bumped into someone who I’d completed my MA in Creative Writing and she was overjoyed to see me and my book. Of course, she had a ton of questions about how I got from being a writer in theory to being an actual published author. It that moment I realized my writing program didn’t tell me that and I bet yours didn’t either. Now without God on my side I would still be asking the same questions she asked me to my favorite author, “just how exactly did you do that,” but here are a few things I learned along the way. 

Get Your Manuscript Together

Unless you’re a trust fund baby you didn’t invest in studying writing at this advanced level for it to sit on your thumb drive. You pursued an MFA with the hope of earning some type of money with your writing–whether it’s to studentssupplement your regular stream of revenue or as your sole stream of revenue you were hoping to earn something from workshopping all of that writing. Here’s what you need to do: 

  • Find out the requirements of your genre and make sure your work is up to snuff
  • Have your manuscript professionally edited before you think about sending it anywhere
  • Join some kind of writing community, guild, or group in your neighborhood. You’ll be connected to other writers, readers, and some places like The Center for Fiction includes access to a writing cave as part of your membership

Break Out of the Writing Cave

It’s great that you’re this deep existential thinker and your characters can transcend space and time, but…

  • You need to start promoting your work
  • You need to start learning the business (publishing, marketing, tracking sales)
  • You need to start building your brand (who are and what are your books about). Even if you have a publisher they will not come up with this stuff for you. 

These are just the basics to get you going. A starter pack in a sense. Now, talk to me–what do you need and/or want to know about writing? The Neophyte Author will do it’s best to get you some solid advice and tips. 

#Support The Neophyte Author

It’s time to nominate an author for the 6th Annual AAMBC Literary Awards.

I pray that you would consider nominating me for:

Breakout Author of the Year

Female Author of the Year

Christian Author of the Year

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                                     Nominate Nigeria Lockley for the 6th Annual AAMBC Literary Awards

 

Thank you for your support! 

Pathways to Your #Passion: 2015 Goals and Visions

So, if you’re over 18 you’re probably already familiar with the rhetoric that surrounds the ringing in a New Year–“New Year, New Me”, “This year is going to be better than last”, etc. etc. etc.

Now, in all honesty many people abandon this motto after January or at least after the first trial or obstacle of the New Year smacks them in the face, which is why I generally don’t set resolutions. However, this year I’ve been entertaining two things: vision boards and goal setting. Neither one of them are new concepts and as an educator I’m quite familiar with goal setting, but I’ve never applied the  practice to my new writing career.

Goal Setting

I think my soul sis, Unoma Nwankwor’s posts about goal setting have rubbed off on me. In one of her recent Facebook posts she quoted the late Dr. Myles Munroe in which he stated that your goals should, “create your priorites, determine your desicions, dictate companions, and predict your choices.”  That inspired me to set some wiriting goals (I know I should probably have goals for other areas of my life–give me a break).

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Vision Boards

Vision boards have been around for awhile, but I have been kind of hesitant to create one. A certain part of me felt like, one it’s kind of New Agey and two it kind of takes away from the whole notion of “have your way in my life, Jesus” if I’m drafting up my vision. I believe in Habakkuk 2:2, when it says write the vision, the word meant write the vision that the Lord had given the prophet not the vision the prophet wanted to write, but after some investigating and polling I decided it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. So, I created a vision board. My understanding is there are no rules to vision boards except making sure you have a clear objective.

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I divided my vision board into two parts: the inner man and the outer man–what I want for my spirit in 2015 and what tangible things  I want. I included some scriptures that spoke to the vision I was creating and my faith. Two of those scriptures are:

“If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. Yea the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver. For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt decree a thing and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.” Job 22:23-28

“And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.” 2 Chronicles 26:5 

These scriptures will keep me focused on my ultimate goal–to hear my Father say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” while at the same time they address the fact that I still long for some of the things that the Gentiles long for. I want to be a powerful Christian (decree a thing), I want to live comfortably (gold as dust), and I want to prosper (God made him to prosper). 

The second half of my vision board addresses the areas of my life that I’d like to see the manifestation of these scriptures–in my writing and in my home. A vision is only a vision until you put the leg work to it, but having one gives your legs some direction to walk in. 

What are your goals for 2015? What does your vision for 2015 look like? Please share your goals and vision boards and as I update you on my progress I look forward to hearing about how you have progressed in 2015. 

#CoverReveal : Seasoned with Grace

On July 28, 2015 my second novel, Seasoned with Grace will be dropping and you know I had to share

the cover with you.

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Synopsis: Sentenced to probation, thirty-year-old, supermodel Grace King must put her plans of transitioning into acting to extend the longevity of her career on hold. Desperate to keep a close eye on Grace and his job Grace’s ambitious lawyer, Ethan Summerville has her complete community service in the last place Grace wants to be. His church.
 
Instead of God, Grace finds a “chocolate drop” of a man–Brother Horace Green. However, Horace isn’t looking for a supermodel. He wants his woman saved and sanctified, but Grace has never met a man who has been able to resist her. Will Horace compromise his faith for a taste of fortune, fame, and Grace?
 
While Grace focuses on the pursuit of passion Ethan finds one director willing to take a risk and cast Grace in his debut film, but this role fits Grace all too well. Will this film revive Grace’s relationship with God and her career or bring her closer to destruction?

Seasoned with Grace is available on Amazon for pre-order now

Born at Dawn Launch Party Recap

I’m a wee bit late in sharing (I’m sorry), but I went from Launch Party Mode to traveling to the National Black Book Festival (recap coming soon).

Listen, God showed up and showed out. Everyone who said they’d make didn’t, but everyone who did make it supported Born at Dawn 100%. A midst traffic delays in the sprawling city everything came together, praise the good Lord! Check out some photos and video from the event below.

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We also had some scenes from the book acted out. Here’s one clip:

 

Did you enjoy this clip? If you’ve read Born at Dawn please let me know what you think of Esdras’ portrayl of Marvin? If you haven’t read Born at Dawn please get your copy today.

 

Born at Dawn #Book #Brunch and #Launch #Party

It’s almost time for the release of my debut novel and of course that means it’s almost time to TURN UP and celebrate. The Neophyte Author, Nigeria Lockley would like to extend an invitation to the Born at Dawn Book Brunch and Launch Party.

Book Brunch Pic

 

At the party you’ll have the opportunity to:

Tickets

For tickets to the live party at Pearl Studios click here: Born at Dawn Book Brunch and Launch Party 

For tickets to the virtual party on Facebook click here: Born at Dawn Virtual Book Launch Party

Sponsors Include:

Tyora Moody

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Colette Harrell

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Unoma Nwankwor

Unoma

Please be sure to check out and support the work of these wonderful Christian authors and I can’t wait to see at the party on, Saturday, October 18, 2014.

I’m Going on Tour: Born at Dawn Virtual Blog Tour 8/25-9/5

 

Born at Dawn Virtual Book Tour Banner

 

From 8/25-9/5 I’ll be visiting numerous blogs to introduce myself to readers. Please join me as I travel to read special notes, excerpts and find out fun facts about me. 

Tour Schedule

8/25 A Book Lover’s Retreat

8/25 Inspired Books Guide

8/27 Michelle’s Book Stop

8/28 Faith Simone: All Things Written to Inspire and Encourage

9/1 Memaws Stuff

9/2 Fiction Zeal.com

9/3 Diva’s Literary World 6pm

9/4 Writer M. C. Walker 

Be sure to visit these sites and leave your questions and comments over the next two weeks. 

Fighting with the First Person: Sometimes the Process Has to Match the Voice (FYI This is Not a How To)

If you’ve been following the Neophyte Author then you know that I’m embroiled in a bitter battle that may the result in some really great writing or a major catastrophe (thank you, Jesus for editors). I decided not to give up and try and press through the challenge of using a first person narrator, which is something I have not attempted since I began my writing career. While listening to my Christian Fiction literary role model, Michelle Stimpson on the radio she stated that she loved writing in the first person. I took that as a sign from God if you’re going to do this she going to show you how to do it right. Following her interview we had a great conversation, which she blogged about, “First-Person or Third-Person”  and I am now blogging about the impact that conversation had on me. 

Three great points that came out of that conversation for me:

1. Michelle admitted that one thing that made writing LaShondra of Boaz Brown in first person relatively easy is because she and LaShondra are the same person. 

2. What does the story demand? Is this story about the character or about the plot? That should play a role in determining who tells the story and how the story is told. 

3. She’s a journal writer, so first person is very natural.

With that in mind I thought about:First Person

1. What is my relationship with Kira Seagram, the protagonist of Tempted to Touch. Do I know her? Do I like her? Am I her? The truth is a lot of me is her and I didn’t want to admit that or deal with the issues Kira is struggling with in Tempted to Touch. But, if I’m going to do this as I said in Fighting with First Person (FYI This is not a How To) then I have to own my issues and honor Kira’s voice. 

2. This story is about both the character and the plot. So, the person at the center of everything is the perspective that should be at the forefront of this story.

3. Journal writing is the key to unlocking the first person voice. The process for this piece must change in order for me to unleash the voice within.

Once I latched on to all of that I changed the process for writing Tempted to Touch. As an adult I don’t engage in journal writing as much as I did when I was younger, but yesterday I channeled that energy and instead of sitting in front my computer to type a story I actually immersed myself in the act of writing. By changing the process I was able to unleash the voice I was hearing in my head. In doing this I discovered the process has to match the voice. There’s still more to be done to settle my soul. Michelle also suggested I try rewriting one chapter in the third person and see which one proves to be stronger. Today I’m going to try that at some point, but I think I’ve found my first person groove.

How do you find your groove? What does your process look like when you hit a dilemma like this or are you always sure of the voice from the onset of the story?

Chat with the Neophyte Author

DSCN0144This week I’ll be doing a few interviews. Have a question for me about writing, Born at Dawn, faith, or anything else tune in and/ call in to chat with the Neophyte Author.

 

Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 5 PM EST/4 PM CST:  The Author Chat Show with Lynda D. Brown Call In: (424) 675-8262

Monday, July 7, 2014 at 12 PM EST/ 11 AM CST:   Divas Literary World Call In: (914)  338-1494

 

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