I'm embarrassed to say I hadn't heard of the WECAI NETWORK™ until Heidi Richards, Founder and CEO, sent WOW! an invitation to their annual summit meeting. And boy, am I glad she did!
The WECAI NETWORK™ (Women's eCommerce Association International) hosted a three-day (plus) Webinar/teleconference to “Help Women Do Business On and Off the Web,” July 19-21 & 25, 2007. The virtual event was jam-packed with information on writing and publishing—from how to get the book inside you on paper, to how to top the Amazon charts.
Upon registration, you received a well-organized “Writing Summit Workbook”, a 51 page e-book containing the schedule for each day, a bio on the speakers, questions and/or topics to be covered, links to other downloadable e-books, and a super resource section at the end (which WOW! was included in). And if you wanted to print the workbook out, there was room to fill in notes beneath each question.
To use the web conference room and participate online, users were asked to download the verbal networking software and have a microphone hooked up to their PCs. Macintosh users were able to participate via a teleconference bridge line. MP3 files were made available a week after the conference in case registrants weren't able to attend part or all of the sessions.
If you missed the summit, you'll have to check out the WECAI NETWORK™ website and be sure to catch their next conference. In addition, the WECAI NETWORK™ will have CDs available for purchase on their website: https://www.wecai.org
Heidi Richards and Suzannah Richards are the amazing organizers behind this ground-breaking event. Thanks ladies for inviting WOW! to participate, and congratulations on your success!
Here are some highlights we were able to listen to after the audio files had been uploaded:
Partnership Publishing - How and when to use the Combined Forces of Publisher and Author to Produce Your Next Book with Linda Radke
Linda Radke started off by talking about some of the disadvantages of traditional publishing. “With a traditional publisher, often found through a literary agent, you might find that you're offered a traditional contract with a royalty of 5% to 10%, but it's a long haul... some of the things that you give up are timing and control.” She went on to explain that with a traditional publisher it could take 18 - 24 months before your book is in print.
With self-publishing, Linda related that some of the pitfalls of working with self-publishers, or subsidy publishers, are that they want to maintain control of the process and have their own ideas for marketing, which may not be the best for the book. But in any of these processes, she explains, the main problem is quality.
With partnership publishing, it's a joint process and a joint risk. “Once your manuscript becomes a book, it becomes a product... and that product is something you're going to try to sell.”
Linda relayed that her company, Five Star Publications, uses the platform of partnership publishing. That's not to mean that they take every manuscript out there, but if they do believe in your project, they will take the joint risk in publishing it and work with you to create a quality product. “Timing, Control, and Quality.”
Linda says one of the key benefits of “partnership publishing” is distribution. Visit Five Star Publications for their packages and more information.
So You Want to Write a Book! with Ann McIndoo
This was another great workshop. One thing that really stuck out to me was her take on how we approach writing. Just like any other thing we do, we should prepare for our writing. She uses the example of playing golf. First, you get a tee time. You anticipate being able to go play golf. Then you dress for the occasion. It is something you look forward to playing golf. But how do we prepare for our writing. Do we dread it and having to meet that word/page count? Or do we anticipate it, enjoy the process? The way we prepare and approach writing really makes a difference. You can find more information at Ann's website, https://www.soyouwanttowrite.com. Another thing Ann does is a three day author's boot camp. You can find the information on that at https://www.authorsbootcamp.com.
What to Expect When Working With a Literary Agent with Sharlene Martin
Founder of Martin Literary Management, Sharlene Martin lays out solid, basic information on all aspects of working with an agent. From the proper way to contact an agent to what to expect when you finally land your own. Even though Sharlene only represents nonfiction, this is a great workshop for everyone considering an agent. Find more information about Martin Literary Management and what Sharlene is looking for at https://www.martinliterarymanagement.com
Are you about to Be Published? Insider “Secrets” to Get into Major Publishing Houses and Into the Hands of Your Readers! with Kim Weiss
For those of you with a nonfiction idea you also need a platform. What is a platform you ask? Name recognition, an audience, a well read blog and many other things. For more info you can click on over to kim's website at https://www.kimweisspr.com
The Art and Science of Working with a Co-Author and Writing Childen's Books with Debra Shively Welch
Debra Shively Welch captured the listener's hearts right away with a story of why she started writing at the age of 9 years-old. “I was writing short stories because I wanted a dog,” she said, “but my mother never got the message.”
Debra comes from a family of writers, and she did eventually end up getting a dog... a stray dog that she'd brought home one day and her mother ended up falling in love with.
Her first novel, “Jesus Gandhi Oma Mae Adams,” was co-authored with her cousin Linda Lee Greene. The book is the story of Oma Mae Adams, an African-American Unity Minister, a philanthropist and televangelist, who is gunned down in front of the TV station where she tapes her weekly televangelist show. The book is divided into three parts: her murder, her childhood bringing her up to current times, and the solving of her murder.
For those that have thought of working with a co-author, Debra says first ask yourself these questions:
- Why do you want a co-author?
- Are you afraid you can't do it by yourself?
- Do you want to write in an area you're not familiar with?
- Do you have a weakness in some areas, such as dialogue?
Debra says, “If the answer is you're afraid that you can't do it on your own, then don't do it, challenge yourself. Get out there, learn how to write a book, do it own first, because if your reason is fear... someone is going to feel on either side that they've done most of the work... it's not a good formula.”
Debra goes on to say that one of the reasons for co-authoring a book, is that you may be unfamiliar with a genre and know someone who can write in that genre. For instance, “if you want to write a crime thriller, but have no knowledge of how a detective investigates a murder or how the courtroom process works, but you have a friend who does... that's a valid reason.”
Her tips for working with a co-author:
- Write a contract
- Write a code of ethics
- Know what is expected of each of you
- Put your ego aside, the book comes first
- Don't worry about who writes more or less
- Create a solid Outline together
- Decide on who writes which parts
- Design your outline to flow in an organized manner
- Don't change it without the cooperation of your partner
- Decide who will tackle which aspects of the book
- Character Sheets
- Decide on what the character will look like, even pick a celebrity
- Talk about your characters constantly
- Get together often
- Hire an outside Editor
- Don't edit your partner's work
- They'll help you blend your different styles of writing
- Have Respect for your co-author
- Don't brag about what you did, it hurts the book
- Do your homework
- Go to amazon.com etc. and look for co-authors books and see how they work
Some solid advice here! I think it can work with any partnership as well as co-authoring.
To find out more, visit Debra Shively Welch's website: https://www.debrashiveleywelch.net
How to Set up Your Own Small Publishing Company with Betty Dobson
It was Betty Dobson's birthday! After a great happy birthday round, Heidi asked Betty what the benefits of starting your own publishing company are.
“I'm one of those funny people who don't enjoy working for other people,” she said (and I'm sure some of us can relate!). Betty retired after 22 years of corporate life, so “running a publishing company is a dream come true.” She wanted to have control over her own publications, such as her own poetry, but she also wants to help other writers getting their work out there as well. “It's all about sharing for me.”
Betty started a website (https://www.inkspotter.com) and has a few newsletters, such as ‘inkspotter news’, as a way to encourage writers on their way. Her second newsletter was one she purchased called ‘heritage writer’, focused on a niche market with biographers, memoirists, scrap bookers, and genealogists, which is available for a subscription fee. But her big step forward was when she published her poetry collection last fall. “This is where we come to some of the drawbacks of running a publishing company,” she said.
Betty found out quickly that printing companies can be quite expensive and require extensive credit checks and a big outlay of cash up front. “Money is a big determining factor in what your company can do. You start small, you build your way up and slowly try to build up that cash flow so you can do bigger and better things all the time.” Betty says she feels bad that she can't pay her writers more, but wants to, and her voice lights up when she talks about herself and Canadian Small Presses, “We do it because I love it... If I didn't have to worry about money at all, if I suddenly won the lottery, I'd still be doing the very same thing... just for the love of the words.”
For about a hundred dollars per year in Canada, you can set up your own registered publishing company name and paperwork and be in business as a publisher.
Betty also talked about how her first book, Paper Wings, was set up by Lulu.com because there are no setup fees for creation of the book. But the problem with using Lulu is the limited choice of fonts—for instance, they don't have Times New Roman as a font choice. She also gave tips on book covers, PDF creation, and layout.
To find out more about more about Betty, visit: https://www.inkspotter.com
So as you can see, the women's writing and publishing summit was quite an event! Thank you Heidi Richards for hosting and organizing this such a wonderful event for women writers, and for inviting WOW! We look forward to it next year, and please keep us in mind, we'd love to participate!
For those of you who missed the summit, please check out the WECAI NETWORK™ at https://www.wecai.org and https://www.womenswritingandpublishingsummit.com