question_markI had a bit —

Of a blow up at my second father the other day. I’ve been killing myself posting about the book on social media sites. That’s what you have to do if you’re an author, just to make people aware a title is out there. That or rent a billboard in Times Square, which is sort of not in the budget. This has been going on a while, and there have been other all book fun things going on to help promote the book. The meme competition. Going Banksy. The book trailer. And now the book just came out in paperback and is up on Amazon. Cool, huh? And I share the link.

Not one member of my family ever shares the book link. Not one. Friends do. Fans do. But the family? Never.

So I’m feeling bruised and sharky, especially since he just posted a link of a cousin’s CD on his FB page. And I’m thinking, Really? My cousin rates? But not your daughter? And I snap at him. At which point he immediately posts a book link and I feel kind of bitchy and like maybe there was a better way to say it.

The thing is, lots of people, and not just the clueless-about-the-way-things-work-for-writers crowd, lots of authors too, have absolutely no clue about the impact social media has or how important it is to freaking help or even how to help an author struggling out there in Promotion Land. If they did, the people who say “I love you” on a regular basis would actually get behind you and your book and help you push. I am convinced of this.

So. A little help for those of you out there who would like to help a writer, you just don’t know how.

 

TEN WAYS YOU CAN HELP YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR

1. Buy the book. This would seem like a no brainer but it must be said. Sales help numbers and sales rankings and also, you know, that’s how the writer gets paid. The book sells and the writer makes a royalty. Also, a little known fact: Writers pay for their own books. So if you are sitting back thinking, Hey, I’m family, that writer should give me a free copy? News flash. It’s not a “free” copy to the writer. Just to you. Because the writer paid for it just to give it to you. Greedy! Go buy the damn book.

2. Write the review. Reviews places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble and iBooks and Good Reads count. A lot. They’re word of mouth. They tell someone else considering buying and reading the book that someone else out there liked it and thinks it’s worth buying and reading. Reviews do not have to be long or erudite. This isn’t being written for The New Yorker. They just have to be there and say, “Hey, I liked this, I think you will too.”

3. Blog the book. Lots of people out there have blogs. You have a favorite writer? Post their book. Say something nice about it on the blog. I don’t care if you only have ten visitors a month on that blog, every little bit helps. You can get fancy. Here’s a blog post about the book by author and editor Nancy Bilyeau. But it can also be short and sweet. Here’s a short blog post by writer and blogger Kym Kemp. And another short one from Patricia Burroughs. They all work. It counts a lot that they are out there. [Thanks Nancy and Kym and Pooks. You rock.]

4. Share the book on social media sites. Facebook? Twitter? StumbledUpon? A web community you visit regularly? Share the book. Post about the book. Talk about the book. This means more than simply hitting a like button when the writer posts the book. It means keeping the fire going by passing the link forward in the social media chain. Don’t just hit like. Hit “share.”

5. Talk about the book. This would seem like another no brainer, but apparently it isn’t. Talk. About. The. Book. That will be much more interesting at the next cocktail party than one more diatribe about Ayn Rand. Trust me. We have all heard the Ayn Rand diatribe. Time for something new. Yay!

6. Ask about the book at your favorite book store. Suggest the book store carry the book. [Do not special order the book and not pick it up. The book store people do not just shrug and put those special order books on the shelf, they return the books to the publisher -- which sucks for everyone. Just ask them if they carry the book and tell them you like it a lot and why maybe they should.]

7. Hit Amazon and add tags and like the book. This is more important than liking the book on Facebook, this is liking the book at the source, with a seller. It effects ranking. And tagging helps other people interested in the book’s subject find the book. I’ll stick a short tutorial in here to help you go about that.

8. Belong to a book club? A writing group? Suggest the club or group cover the book. Sometimes books are available at discounted rates if purchased in bulk by clubs or groups too so find out, everyone wins on that one because the group gets a better price.

9. Host a book event. Say a reading/book signing. This counts double if you, say, work at a book store. But it doesn’t always have to be a book store. My first book reading was at an art gallery. Some groups meet regularly and need speakers, well, surprise, the author is a speaker. Be a little creative here.

10. Post comments on author or the book’s Facebook pages and other websites. On Facebook, a page doesn’t get points because of how many people are hitting like buttons, a page gets points because of discussion happening on the page. So don’t just hit like. Say something on the page. It goes a long way.

That’s ten. Feel free to suggest more in the comments section. [Yeah, the comments section, we just covered that right?] Now here’s the video clip:

 

 

Now go forth and help an author. It doesn’t have to be me, though that would be greatly appreciated. But help an author today. You’ll feel good about yourself, and the author will like you too. Yay!

Also, here’s another great post on helping authors with promotions from Mike Duran:

:::10 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PROMOTE AUTHORS YOU LIKE:::

Hit that baby, it’s good reading.

 

what i want for christmas

December 17, 2012

Max Adams and The New Screenwriter's Survival Guide

Want to know how to win a $375 class for a hundred bucks?  Then this deal is for you.  Read on —

I want my book The New Screenwriter’s Survival Guide to fly. That means, people need to buy the book.  And –

I am not above bribery here to make that happen.

So here is the deal for you.


IF YOU BUY 3 DIGITAL COPIES OF MY BOOK FOR THE HIGHLY REASONABLE PRICE OF $9.99 each, I WILL GIVE YOU A FREE SIGNED HARD COPY when the book hits print in 2013 — all postage paid in the US.

[Non-US peeps, sorry, I cannot predict roving post charges you are excluded. The hard copy is planned for March 2013 but could slip.]

IF YOU BUY 10 DIGITAL COPIES OF MY BOOK FOR THE HIGHLY REASONABLE PRICE OF $9.99 each, I WILL GIVE YOU A FREE AFW CLASS.

That is a $375 class for around a hundred bucks.  What a steal.

6

[The 10 books/free class offer is open to international peeps. The class is dependent on open seating, if seats are full, you have to pick another class. It must be a 2013 class. Also this does not include Structural Writing unless you are a former student already approved for the class. Structural Writing is the hardest class and no one is allowed to take it without taking at least one other class first.]

Purchases must be made through Amazon [Kindle] or directly from the Book Site’s “Where to Buy” Page [iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, Nook].

[That means order directly through the above linked Amazon page or directly through the above linked book's "where to buy" Paypal form, period the end.]

The AFW classes are $375, so that ten books deal is a damn good deal. And I bet you know ten writers. Who will thank you for the book so you will get all sorts of clout and karma points for gifting it to them at Christmas.

The hard copy is not priced yet but is most likely going to be between $20.00 – $25.00.

THIS OFFER IS GOOD THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2012.


*How to redeem your purchase for a free hard cover or class: Hit the AFW contact page and send us an email with “3 purchases” or “10 purchases” in the subject line. We will email you back requesting a copy of your receipt and giving you an address to send that to.

*Cut off date: December 31st.

*Rules & Restrictions: This is only redeemable once per buyer. You must provide a receipt that shows proof of purchase. If you return your items later we will know and hate you and you will lose the class. Books may be gifted or donated in any way you choose but may not be sold online — if that happens and we catch you and we will catch you, you lose the class. Purchases must be made through either the Book Site or Amazon. Non-US residents may not participate in or redeem the three book deal. The ten book deal is open to all, including non-US citizens, but does not include Structural Writing unless you are a former student approved for Structural Writing and if a chosen class is already full, the participant must choose a later class during the year. Classes and books must be claimed during 2013.


*photo credit: :::chesher cat:::


Screen shot 2012-12-16 at 6.41.40 AM

like THIS

December 12, 2012

 

like“Likes”

“Likes” drive the world now.  Every once in a while I will post on Facebook or on Twitter, It would help if you guys go like my book on Amazon.

I get weird responses.  “Max, don’t they have to read the book!  What are you doing!  Soliciting wrong likes!?”

Oh feck off.  Over 50,000 people read the first book.  I know this because my editor called and congratulated me on the third print run and the book stayed available to book stores through AT LEAST two more print runs, though I never heard about those because by then my editor was gone [probably for telling writers how many prints runs they had] and Time Warner Books paperwork has never, to this day, reflected more than a first print run.  [In other words, I never got paid. And you wonder why I am self publishing this time, right?]

David Trottier comes out with new editions of The Screenwriter’s Bible.  And I go like them.  Do I read every single one of them?  No.  I read David’s original books and I am just happy to see he’s still putting out new versions.

William Martell came out with a new edition of The Secrets of Action Screenwriting.  Have I read it?  No.  I read the first one.  I kept recommending it except it was out of print.  So.  I’m just really happy a new edition is available so  I can tell my students to go get it.

And there is another aspect to “liking.”  It’s not always about being some critic who read the book and line edited it and pontificated over it and went crazy evaluating it.  Sometimes, you like a book because you know the author is good and you support the author.  The end.  I can’t read every book a student or workshopper or friend writes.  I just can’t.  I am spread too thin to read everything.  But I am often there during the initial stages when they are first writing them, I know what talent and work and craft went in there.  And I show up and like the book, whether I have time to read the final version or not, because —


[Pay attention to these words.]


I.

Support.

The.

Artist.


Go like my book dammit.

 

 


Guerrilla Tactics: Interview With Author & Screenwriter Max Adams
(December 10, 2012)

~ by Nancy Bilyeau

In the middle of attempting to write my first screenplay, I bought a paperback called The Screenwriter’s Survival Guide: Or, Guerrilla Meeting Tactics and Other Acts of War, by Max Adams. It was a fast, smart read, very funny, with an insider’s wisdom about how to get off the ground as a screenwriter.

Max, I learned, had won the two hottest screenwriting contests—the Nicholl Fellowship and Austin Film Festival—in the same year, sold a spec script for real money that made it onto the big screen, and scored a whole bunch of studio assignments. She also taught writing, and so when I saw her name in the faculty list for Gotham Writer’s Workshop online, I jumped.

Max has taught me an incredible amount on writing visually, creating characters and plotting. Before I took a swerve into fiction, I got pretty far with the Nicholl myself, reaching semi-finalist twice, and getting some producers to read my scripts. Who knows? Someday one of those stories could be at a movie screen near you.

The New Screenwriter's Survival Guide;  Or, Guerrilla Meeting Tactics and Other Acts of war by screenwriter Max AdamsNow Max is back with an updated version of her book The New Screenwriter’s Survival Guide. This is not one of those cases where the author wrote a few new paragraphs for the Introduction. Max overhauled her book, making it even more useful and on target. Chapters range from “What You Really Get Paid” to “Writer Speak Versus Mogul Speak.”

I chased her down–no easy feat–and persuaded her to submit to an interview on her new book. I’ve met Max in person as well as participated in her invite-only online workshops, and, well, Max has a conversational style like no other, one I wanted the blogosphere to experience. As you can see from this photo, she’s not shy. What you can’t see is she swears by killer shoes — :::continue reading:::

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