Further Thoughts on Video Creation

There are so many ways I could see myself using these tools. This module of ADL310 was interesting timing, as I’d just come back from the RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas, where, among other things, I learned about a venture a couple of my friends have started called SilverHart LLC (click here to check it out). They’ve utilized videos for instructional purposes in many different areas on their website, which meant I have recently spent a lot of time immersed in the video experience.

I had been thinking about doing something as well for the agency, with topics such as agent/author pitch sessions, author platform building, Continue reading


Podcasting – The Experience #ADL310

Podcasting was a bit of a roller coaster for me. I’m not fond of listening to myself talk so each time I would spend the day dreading the recording. By the second one, though, I was a bit more comfortable, and I think it showed in the podcast.

I found it interesting from a technical perspective, since I have a headset with a good mic that I use for conference calls with clients and other agents, but the sound quality for recording was horrible. So I wound up using my iPhone and though that was more likely to pick up background noise, it did a great job with the sound quality.

I think I could see these being very useful for me as an agent in one way and as an author in another.

As an agent, I could put out a weekly recording of publishing industry information that could be useful for authors who are in the stages of seeking representation. Or I could talk about the indie publishing side of things and help out the countless authors who have made the decision to publish themselves. I can think of many different podcasts about money I could do – though it seems to be a taboo subject I think it would be helpful for authors to hear about the realities of advances and such. A podcast at the end of every night of any given conference would be interesting, I think, to talk about what stood out for me. There is so much to absorb at a conference, it would be interesting to hear a run-down – even interesting for me, since by the end of the conferences my brain is usually so full I don’t remember much until I start seeing the emails come in.

As an author, I could talk about the writing process, what I’m working on, what’s coming up in terms of releases for me. Perhaps even talk about tips and things I’ve picked up along the way, or review the books I’m reading. This part is more difficult for me, since I feel like it’s shameless promotion which makes me feel a bit narcissistic. One thing I would be very interested in doing as an author would be to write a serial novel for podcast purposes and release it in five minute segments. I would have fun with that.

I’d be very interested to hear any other ideas for podcasts, or if any of you are interested in a certain aspect that I have mentioned here.

The hardest part for me, like everything, will be to find the time to use this in a regular way. Because I believe that in order to gain listeners, you have to be regular. Perhaps the next class I should take should be time management…

My experiences listening to podcasts #ADL310

I joined PodOmatic for my social media classes, and listened to quite a few samples. I can immediately see how podcasts could be a helpful tool for authors as a promotional tool, and also perhaps for the agents at the agency to use. Perhaps as a series of informational podcasts to help authors with craft, or do Q&A’s about publishing. It’s limitless really, the applications.

I went straight to the literature section, followed the Ellory Queen magazine and hit “Play” on their first episode. Well, I didn’t realize it was an hour long, so as soon as I saw that I stopped it. Scanning the list for EQ’s recordings, I saw that they were all quite long. I did find a promising group to follow: Scary Spooky. The stories were quick and the feel of the page (given by the dark forest background) promised many goose-bump inducing moments to come.

Unfortunately, the voice they used was mechanical, and though it seemed to be the voice of an older, British man, it read text with that same robotic sound my PDF reader has. This took out all the inflection for me and I found it impossible to follow along with any interest even though I gave two of them a try.

So back to the drawing board for me as I scrolled through the listings. Then I stumbled across “The Authors Show” – a radio interview segment that I had the pleasure once to be interviewed with for my first book. I scrolled through the listings looking for a book that might interest me when I found a book by one of my clients, S. Jane Gari, titled Losing the Dollhouse. Of course I had to give that one a listen. It was interesting hearing this interview that really puts the author in a position of answering questions that force them to think about their book in a marketing/promotional light.

I thought I would then poke around and see if I could find something for pure entertainment, and I found a couple of Australian ladies chatting about Supernatural episodes called Women of Letters. They were lots of fun to listen to, but a very long podcast – not for the time-pressed consumer. I did find because of their conversational tone that I wanted to join in the conversation at times. I think this particular one would be great to listen to an episode of if I were driving somewhere. Like talk radio really.

Coming up next: 2 podcasts for this course. Any special requests?

Diverse Books Contest

For all the diverse Middle Grade writers out there – here’s one you don’t want to miss! #ADL310

Writing and Illustrating

diversecroppedIf you write MG and have a diverse background, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities, you may be interested in submitting a short story to We Need Diverse Books. They are putting together an anthology of children’s literature to be published in January 2107.

Phoebe Yeh, VP/Publisher of Crown Books for Young Readers/Random House, has acquired publication rights to this Middle Grade WNDB Anthology, working title “Stories For All Of Us.”

The anthology will be in memory of Walter Dean Myers and it will be inspired by his quote: “Once I began to read, I began to exist.” Every new story contribution to this anthology will be by a diverse author.

WNDB is proud to announce that the anthology will have one story reserved for a previously unpublished diverse author. WNDB will fill that slot via…

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Google + Versus Facebook

I’ve had a Google+ account for a long time it seems, and for a while kept waiting for everyone to join up over there and leave Facebook in the dust. That has yet to happen, and most people I know don’t really post regularly to Google+.


This week during the Social Media course I’ve been using it a bit more and watching a lot of the videos which tell us how to use it effectively and I’m learning that Google+ has some advantages over Facebook that I hadn’t considered, however, it’s probably never going to be the monster that Facebook is simply because it doesn’t allow us to showcase things the way in which we’ve grown so accustomed. Also, who wants to go through all that trouble of moving all their information/pictures/memories over? I know I don’t.

There are some very functional tools that Google+ has that I’ve been using for a few years and these are probably the reason Google+ will hang in there. Hangouts is the biggest one and it can be used in so many ways. I use it for staff meetings with my agents. It’s nice to connect face to face and seem like everyone’s in the same room even though we work all over the country.


You can also use hangouts to stream a live show or seminar. This is something I haven’t yet done, but have considered often when I find myself talking to an author about contract points or payment schedules. It would be a great way to run a seminar and have people tune in.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned about it this week is that more people are using Google+ than I thought, and that I really should spend some more time there are really get a handle on everything it can do for me.

How about you? Are you on Google+? If you are, you can find me here.

How Much Has Book Promotion Changed since 2012?

I found a blog post today through the copyediting and proofreading course that made me realize just how much has changed in the world of book marketing in a few short years. This post was dated from 2012.

Some of the advice was timeless: do what works for you, it can be impossible to know what is effective, a website makes a great landing page.

But some of the advice… well, let’s just say we had to brush off the cave-dust from the archaic idea that Twitter and Facebook might be considered “useless.”

Right now I represent several authors who built their own monumental success using those two tools alone. A. Meredith Walters hit the New York Times Bestselling list via her fans and readers who flock to her through these two tools. Of course, she did write a phenomenal book, too, but that’s not the point.

Another book, which is one I represent, that was release 22 days ago is sitting in the top ten right now on Amazon for all books. Again, it is a wonderful book, but without Twitter and Facebook the word of mouth that has spread like wildfire about these books might not have rocketed to success.

I’m a bit surprised, too, that the author of the post failed to mention Goodreads, which is one of the best tools to reach actual readers. I know it was out before 2012, but perhaps it wasn’t as highly utilized.

Opportunities for children’s book writers, screenwriters, mystery and romance short stories and more.

I love Cindi Myers Market News because she posts helpful calls for submissions which I can then share to my clients and also I can stay in the loop regarding her books.


Effective sharing of news in the industry with a light dose of self promotion that feels a lot more like an update than an in-your-face sales tactic. Perfect mix.

Cindi Myers Market News's Blog

The flesh of prose gets its shape and strength from the bones of grammar.”  Constance Hale


MeeGenius, the number one ap for children’s books, is looking for original manuscripts for young readers ages 2-8. The MeeGenius ap for iPad, Android and other mobile devices delivers illustrated stories to children to read alone or with their parents. The editors at MeeGenius are looking for stories 15 to 20 pages in length, with 20 to 70 words per page. The stories may or may not be illustrated, but the finished book will be illustrated. Stories that include rhyming poems or stories are very popular with MeeGenius readers. They offer a “standard publishing contract” and promise to respond to your submissions within two to four weeks. To learn more about the company, their formatting and submission requirements and more, go here.


Books To Go Now is a digital…

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Social Media Posts

I just wanted to quickly let everyone know that I am taking a social media class and will be posting seemingly random articles possibly with hashtags that don’t make any sense to you.
It is part of the Creative Writing Certificate program that I am taking through the University of Calgary. Probably my posts will still revolve around writing and publishing, though, since, as you know, I simply can’t help myself.


I’ve been wanting to post on the situation in Australia, but then I found this post by Hayden Trenholm. I think he’s said it well enough for both of us.

10 Minutes of Words

On Facebook the other day, someone suggested it was time to get serious about terrorism. I’m not sure what exactly they want us to do. More air strikes in Iraq? Greater powers for the police to randomly (it sometimes seems) harass and spy on and arrest people who might, maybe, be somehow connected to terror? Or not.

Or we could do what Australia did. Respond to the act of a lone-wolf whatever (this guy seems to be a combination of radicalized religious fanatic, madman and regular thug) with appropriate use of police power and carry on as a civilized society.

Once the hostage taking began, the police arrived in force and began to — negotiate. For a long time they prevented any deaths. Maybe they were making progress, maybe they were trying to exhaust him. It is still uncertain why that broke down but it may have happened when…

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Interview with Michelle L Johnson

A conversation with the lovely Nicky Peacock…

Nicky Peacock - YA & Horror Author

5764543Last time we spoke you’d just released Divinity, can you can give us an update as to what has happened to you since?
Since we last spoke, I’ve had the launch party for Divinity. It was held at The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, VA where I’d attended many workshops and made many critique partners. It was a great party! Other than that, mostly work…
Will there be any more books in this series?
Yes, I am currently working on the sequel, and beyond that there is one more book. So a trilogy all in all, but there will be an opening for a second trilogy, too.
Tough question…is there anything, looking back, that you would have changed in the book?
I think I didn’t tie up the stalker thread as much as I would have liked, and if I had it to do over again I would have firmed…

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Michelle L. Johnson’s novel DIVINITY now available.

A little background on the writing process for DIVINITY and some of the folks who helped make it happen…

At the End of the Dock

Johnson cites support from Norfolk’s The Muse Writing Center for helping her succeed. Launch celebration and author book signing Friday, October 3, 7-9 p.m. at The Muse Writers Center, Norfolk, NA. Public Welcome.

For most people, the idea of writing and publishing a book is a bit overwhelming. They picture a lonely person, holed up in dark corner, searching for words to tell their stories that somehow magically arrive in the right order at the right time.

Author Michelle L. Johnson, whose novel Divinity was released by Spencer Hill Press on September 23, had a very different experience thanks to her classmates at The Muse Writing Center in Norfolk, VA.

Divinity_ebooklg“The best writers, and all the advice books on writing novels, suggest that writers find other people, ideally other writers, to give them honest, constructive feedback on their work,” Johnson says. “I was fortunate to find a group of…

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Book Review: DIVINITY — by Michelle L. Johnson

I really love this review which breaks it all down without any spoilers, so I had to share!

At the End of the Dock

Divinity_ebooklgImagine your reaction if the Archangel Gabriel appeared before you and announced that he was your father, and that you’re half Archangel. Not half angel. Half Archangel.

Would that create a little upheaval in your world?

When Julia Samson, the main character in Michelle L. Johnson’s new novel Divinity meets her father – yep, that’s Gabriel, the Archangel —  Julia is pointed down a path that seems pre-determined, or least Gabriel and the other Archangels think it is. Julia, however, has overcome many challenges in her 30-some years on Earth. She’s not going let angels suddenly tell her who she is and what she’s supposed to do.

Johnson has created a great cast of characters, discarding the traditional angel persona in favor of a fresh, less powerful and more human, group of Archangels. They have a non-traditional purpose too, assigned to keep the Earth simply balanced instead of pure and…

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Guest Post: ‘Good Vs Evil’ by Michelle L. Johnson

Draumr Kópa

Michelle JohnsonGood vs. Evil is a common theme in fiction. After all, without it where would all of our beloved superhero stories be, from Superman to Batman? The inner struggle of those characters, the good vs. evil within themselves, is a large part of what makes them interesting.

In my novel DIVINITY, though, don’t assume that the traditional good vs. evil, angel vs. evil, rules apply. They don’t.
Every character – angel, human, and even the terrifying A’nwel – has an agenda. They each have a role to play, and a purpose that guides their actions.

When our main character Julia discovers that she is half-human and half Archangel, her agenda is to simply understand who she is, to learn about her family, and to understand how to use her own unique powers. Her agenda quickly converges with those of the Archangels, each of whom have their own sense of who…

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