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Writer to Writer - January 2010

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Welcome to all new subscribers. 

I'm going to start off this newsletter with some blatant self-promotion.

Last year I was interview by writer and editor, Lea Schizas.  That interview is now live, and you can read it here.

Please feel free to leave a comment.

I'm sorry this newsletter is so late - that wasn't my intention.  It's still school holidays here in Australia, and trying to find time to do anything without distraction has been horrendous.  So I've been on an enforced break.

Alan (hubby) has taken the three grandchildren swimming so I could get this newsletter prepared and sent. 

The children spent five days at holiday camp, which was great.  During that time Alan and I visited Marysville to see the bushfire devastation for ourselves. 

Over the years we'd spent a lot of time at Marysville as my parents lived there for several years, and a few years ago we visited again.

I can't begin to describe what it was like.  As we approached Marysville it struck me that the beautiful 'canopy' of tree ferns, that always trumpeted the approach of Marysville, had disappeared.  Then nothing.  Practically the entire town was gone.

I admit to having a bit of a weep over the devastation.  I knew it was bad from the news reports, but had no idea just how bad it was.

Alan and I celebrated our 35th Wedding Anniversary while the children were away, and tried out a local Asian restaurant that was new to us (but not new).  We will definitely be back!

Last week we went to Shepparton (country Victoria) as it was my mother-in-law's 80th birthday.  We helped organised the party from Melbourne, which was a feat in itself, and spent time up there before and after the event.

We hired a 'cabin' as m-i-l lives in a retirement village and doesn't have room for six extras. Being used to a six bedroom house, we found it very crammed in the two bedroom unit that wasn't much bigger than our lounge room. <sigh>

But we managed.  (I admit I was very glad to get back home.)

As you can see, there's been a lot of visiting and outings over the holidays, but the children are back to school on Monday (yay!) so things will get back to normal here.  *We're all looking forward to it!

The contest results should be available in the next week or two, and will be advised as soon as possible. Apologies for the delay.

Now it's time to get onto this month's article.

Judy Bagshaw has written about self-promotions.  Although the title indicates it is specifically for romance writers, practically all the information can be used for all book writers.

Okay, that's it from me - time to sit back and enjoy this issue.

Til next time…



p.s.  The next issue should be back on track.


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Romance Writers & Their Fans

Copyright Judy Bagshaw - All Rights Reserved.


Writing is generally a very solitary pursuit. But once your book has been written, you need to find an audience for it, or the effort to create it has been wasted (unless you write solely for your own pleasure, in which case, this article is not for you). And once you have that audience, you want to keep them so they will come back and buy all the other books you plan to produce.


There are few more loyal than romance genre fans. Once they find a favorite writer they don’t want to let them go. But the romance field is enormous, and the romance author is competing with thousands of others. How can you make yourself stand out from the crowd?


Most obviously, you need to write the best book you can, and keep a high standard for all the work that follows. Nothing will send readers packing faster than disappointment.


You also need to be willing to put some leg work (or cyber leg work) into promoting your own work and your “brand”…who you are as a romance writer.


Basically what you are doing is setting out to build a community of friends who will support you no matter what.  And to create this community, you need to attract true fans and keep them coming back.


Essential to this process these days is having a web presence. Any author, at the very least, needs to have their own website, and they need to make it professional looking and keep it up to date. On your website you can have a guestbook that visitors can sign and leave messages. Make sure to respond to these people who have taken the time to visit your site and leave a note. Thank them for their interest and time, and invite them to join your community.


This could be as simple at the beginning, as having a newsletter that they can sign up for. The newsletter should be full of information about your currently available work, your works in progress, your process as a writer, even some autobiographical stuff that allows readers to feel that they know you on some personal level. Make sure the newsletter is friendly, informative and fun to read.  Offer special things to your members…free stories, fun contests, things like polls that involve them in your career.


I was lucky enough to have a friend set up a Judy Bagshaw fanclub. It provides a special place for the fans to visit where there are interviews, a photo gallery, sneak peaks at works in progress and excerpts of existing work.



Read the entire article here


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