Archive for July, 2013


I am delighted to be in the book marketing phase of my book project “When No One Else Would Fly“, the aviation pioneering biography of Colonel C. J. Tippett, which is now available on Amazon.com.

And as I pursue my to do list of book marketing actions, I am lining up my choices for my next writing project. I have sequels planned for both “When No One Else Would Fly” and “Just A Couple Of Chickens“, but I also have ideas for a fiction project. What to do next?

I mused on this issue at the beginning of my blog series and below is a mix of new material

When I am incubating an idea for a new writing project, I try to take some things into consideration...

When I am incubating an idea for a new writing project, I try to take some things into consideration…

and a re-post of that first blog – still current, even more current… as I approach that unique crossroad of choices.

Vision It… Write It

When my finger hovered over that final self-publishing button in my production of my book “Just a Couple of Chickens,” I hesitated. Once I released the book – I was going to lose control of the consequences. Since it was a memoir – chicken tale – urban chicken story… everyone would know my story. It had been my original intention, when I dreamed my life as a writer, that I would put out a blockbuster scifi book under a pen name. Instead, my real name would be associated with this book and everything in it, and since I planned to market the heck out of it in every way I could possibly think of… something was going to hatch from it.

And so I came to realize, at that late date, what kind of a commitment it was to produce a book. More than just writing it, I was going to be living with it, living it – up to my elbows, for years.

And that made an impression on me regarding future book projects I had in mind. Knowing that so long as I remained untouched by publishing contracts, monetary advances, and agent relationships, I retained my ability to write anything I pleased – answerable only to my own pocketbook to determine the marketability of my manifestos… I realized that I would also want to consider how it would be to forge a relationship with my subject matter for a very long time, and to take that into consideration when I was planning my next book project.

The June 2011 newsletter of the Portland, Oregon based Willamette Writers has an excellent article by Laura Whitcomb on this subject titled “Invite the Right One In,” and the whole issue is worth some careful thought. Thinking through the long term life of my writing project at the very beginning is pretty important, particularly in self publishing, because I won’t be handing the project off. I’ll be staying engaged with it for years.

The magic of “Just a Couple of Chickens” definitely endures. It captures a time of our life that was joy, as well as struggle. I’m really pleased to see it still selling and still finding a market – but not so pleased that one of the reasons it is still so attractive to readers is because our economic hard times continue to persist. It’s a joy to market the book – and the bright yellow cover is uplifting. It is a joy and a journey to write the sequel, currently in progress.

The topic of “When No One Else Would Fly” is limitless for me. Aviation history, biography, and my own grandfather’s life story… there’s no end to my interest in that project. It is a delight to market, a pleasure to talk about, and much less intimidating to pursue since it is HIS life story, not mine.

This kind of forethought is part of Vision It – the thinking that goes into a book before the writing does… while the writing does. Because throughout all this study of publishing and business, there is nothing if there is no good book, which will not write itself.

But once the good book exists, there is another whole world of follow up, networking, promotion, and in-depth subject matter delving that goes on afterwards – and that is worth taking into consideration up front, if we have the choice. I want to choose a topic that I will still be enthusiastic about years later, so that I can keep my project moving forward, through marketing and sequels. Something I enjoy talking about on promotional tours and interviews.

Best wishes with your writing project!

Liz Whitney in the 1930s

Liz Altemus Whitney in the 1930s

Colonel C. J. Tippett’s aviation pioneering life is eloquently described, primarily in his own words, in the book “When No One Else Would Fly“, now available on Amazon.com.

The final chapters of the book describe how the Colonel, known as Tip, met Liz, who was not yet a Tippett at that time. She was visiting friends at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club, and Tip was in a particularly well placed position to help her with a problem.

Tip’s own manuscript, which forms the heart of the book, ends before he married Liz, so he does not describe how he met her, or how their lives developed after 1960. So I ended Tip’s aviation story there as well. The next part of his life, spanning over thirty years, is a very different kind of rollicking adventure as he left civil aviation leadership and took up with Liz’s high society racetrack lifestyle.

Tip and Liz went on to make as many, if not more, headlines than Tip made in the cockpit. Liz had spent her life before Tip in a high profile series of marriages and adventures, and left her own mark in the margins of our American royalty.

Liz was a remarkable woman who was ahead of her time in independence, and who grew up in a time of American history where some, very few, women were pushing the assumptions regarding a woman’s role in society, politics, and industry. I believe that she did what she wanted, without a lot of deep consideration of the cultural consequences – and she followed her passions. She was strong, fractious, and didn’t follow… anyone. She was fascinating, intimidating, and valued her privacy enormously.

Tip was Liz’s fourth, and last, husband. Liz was Tip’s second wife, and their marriage lasted until Liz died in 1988. Their lives together tell a great story – which is in the works. For information on the progress of the book, sign up for our newsletter!

 

The Lilypond of Self Publishing Advice

Self Publishing… there is a deeper pond of information under the surface.

The Willamette Writers Association is one of the biggest writing organizations in the USA, and the annual conference is a great collection of resources, networking, and classes.

I plan to be at the conference this year – pitching to agents, attending seminars, networking with other writers, and soaking in the environment.

I’ll be pitching my newly released aviation biography of Colonel C. J. Tippett titled “When No One Else Would Fly” and my cheerful chicken book, “Just a Couple of Chickens“.

It is a long weekend of accelerated writing knowledge, and I’m looking forward to it!

Check out the conference website – registration is open and their seminar list can’t be topped!

5 Ways to bring out the sun for your favorite author... for free!

5 Ways to bring out the sun for your favorite author… for free!

I like to support my favorite authors, and I’m on a tight budget like everyone else, so I needed FREE ways to support them – after having bought and enjoyed their book. Then I realized that sharing these free supportive activities would be a good idea, since I am an author too!

  1. Write a nice review on Amazon.com: It’s easy and very powerful for the author. You have to create an amazon account for yourself the first time, but after that – you can just go straight to leaving a review. These reader reviews right at the point of purchase site are the most powerful of all. Before I buy a book, I read as many as I have time for. It’s particularly helpful to say what you specifically liked about it – show your perspective. 
  2. Tell all your friends about the great book you just read: Word of mouth has been the key for a lot of authors in this new publishing landscape – so tell everyone if you liked it!  Unless it was something like 50 Shades of Gray. We all understand why you might want to keep that on the QT.
  3. Follow their social media: If you are into that, follow them on Twitter, like their Facebook page, sign up for their monthly newsletter. This is also a great way to be the first to hear when a new book is coming out, a special offer is going on, or the author is coming to your town for a signing or talk. 
  4. Mention the book on your own Facebook timeline: This is along the same lines as telling all your friends – but doing it through Facebook. Post about the book, including the title and author, and say that you enjoyed it. I particularly like it when my Facebook friends do this for books they enjoyed because I’m always looking for the next great read. 
  5. Suggest it for your book club reading list: Okay, this one is free because I say “suggest” it for your book club list… but if the suggestion is accepted, then everyone in the book club will either buy, borrow, or share a copy of the book – and while the “buying” part isn’t free, it is VERY supportive of your favorite author.

I have a long list of favorite authors, and there’s a wide range of activity among them. Some are very prolific and I’m in-like-flynn for buying every new book they produce (CJ Cherryh!). Some are very active online and some are not. But whenever I can support them, especially for free, I’m up for it!

 

 

Updating Books In Print is like a stroll through a garden of lavender. Okay, no it isn't. But it is very satisfying.

Updating Books In Print is like a stroll through a garden of lavender. Okay, no it isn’t. But it is very satisfying.

Updating Books In Print is tops in excitement!

Okay, maybe not tops, but it is a useful and satisfying action celebrating your self published book. And it is free.

It is an important finishing touch as a self publisher.

Books In Print is a database managed by Bowker, the same agency that sold you your ISBN numbers. This step is where you assign your ISBN number to your title – letting the world know that it’s out there and how to find it. By the world, I mean libraries, bookstores, and distributors. And maybe traditional publishers who are madly trying to get in touch with you to offer you a mega book deal. Exciting!

You got to BowkerLink and sign in using the login and password you got when you got your ISBN numbers.

There is a place for a thumbnail image of your cover, in addition to the important publication details like title, author, publication date, etc.

This step is only available to, or required for, authors who have their own publishing company – and therefore own their ISBN numbers. And this step is one of the reasons a self published author should own their ISBN number. Your name goes into this important database along with your title.

After adding your title, cruise over to Publisher Information and make sure everything is current and correct.

There is a feature to this service called ISBN Logbook, which can give you a list of your ISBNs and what titles you have assigned to them. It costs $25. I suppose if you have lost your list of ISBN numbers and the titles you’ve assigned to them, this would be a good way to re-find them. But I have not shelled out the $25 to see how beautifully it is formatted.

Then you are done! Bravo!

 

 

I’ve been trying hard to embrace ebooks, I really have.

I turned my first book, Just a Couple of Chickens, into an ebook with some success – although the process of do it your self publishing of an ebook was not as fun as I’d hoped.

And I will, as soon as I can, produce an ebook version of my second book, When No One Else Would Fly, the aviation history of my grandfather, Colonel C. J. Tippett.

And I just bought the latest book of my absolute favorite author, C. J. Cherryh, in ebook format.

But.

The first time I misplaced my ereader charger, I was more than a little miffed.

Print books don’t shut down after four low battery warnings.

Silver Laced Polish Chicks love ebooks, but they don't know how to plug them back in, so they don't read much.

Silver Laced Polish Chicks love ebooks, but they don’t know how to plug them back in, so they don’t read much.

When I discovered that none of the other ereader chargers would work on the annoyingly exclusive Nook, I started to get very graphically miffed.

Print books don’t need hours of recharging whether or not one can find the right charger… despite having three other chargers available.

And then, a final straw….

My new favorite book from my new favorite author ended with a cliff hanger and I didn’t see it coming because I wasn’t holding the print book in my hand – and therefore seeing and feeling the upcoming end of the book. So I had reader whiplash.

Yes, I know I could have watched the page count at the bottom – but I didn’t.
I was busy trying to find my charger.
Schna! I felt very growly for the rest of the day.

So for all the discussions of ebook versus print book, I think that I will always produce and enjoy print books, no matter how much the marketplace proves ebooks worthy. I will make ebooks, and I will buy ebooks, but they will never fully replace print books in my world.

 

Copyright 2012 Corinne Tippett & The Westchester Press
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