Advice For Writers
Hello, and welcome. I'm Ivory Madison, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Red Room. I'm also a published author. I want you to find the advice, community, and readers you're looking for on Red Room. According to Red Room author Jessica Barksdale Inclán:
"What Red Room has done for me is remind me that writers—in slightly different ways—think about the same things. We have idea issues, editing issues, reading issues. We all must face the market out there, those who buy our work. No matter if we write children's books or nonfiction journalism, we have to find our way to the public. We have to all sit down one morning and start."
Red Room offers a wealth of tips and encouragement from your fellow authors and members. Below, you'll find saved searched and individual articles our editors have compiled for you, so go ahead and click through on a topic or piece and meet some of our authors now.
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MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS
Writers market thyself!: An Exclusive Article for Red Room and Lessons I Learned From the Lama: The Art of the Press Kit
Danny Donovan offers tips and best practices for marketing yourself as a writer. Two must-reads.
101 Ways to Promote Your Online Home
There are many ways to promote your online home at Red Room. While we haven't actually built out the full list of 101 yet, here are a few things you can do:
- Tell Your Friends, Family, and Colleagues About Red Room - See Sample Emails
- Ask People to "Visit Me in the Red Room" - Add a Graphic to your Webpage or Email Signature Line
- Add Us as a Friend on MySpaceand Join the Red Room Facebook Group
- Blog Your Way to the Top of the Red Room List
Josie Brown says that "publishers are numbers crunchers. They applaud authors with audiences and promotional savvy," and offers tips on how to promote yourself.
Book Marketing from the Ground Up
Read tips from Mary Lynn I. Archibald, an author who understands that promotion is often a full-time job.
10 Free Ways for an Author to Share Free Content on the Web
Phyllis Zimbler Miller shares ways to promote your work online--and Red Room can help.
The Fiction Author's Platform
Karen Dionne explains why authors have to set themselves and their books apart from the crowd.
Using Viral Marketing to Make Your Book an International Bestseller and Working on my Squidoo Lenses to Market My Books
Ernie Zelinski shares tricks he's using to market his own book about retirement using viral marketing and social networking.
Musings on Marketing
Natasha Bauman's been a professional writer for twenty years, but still considers herself a "newbie" at self-promotion.
Peaks and Troughs—It’s A Numbers Game
Chris G. Wright shows that slow but steady wins the race.
What Can You Do With A Book Trailer?
Karen Dionne on what a video can do for your book.
Tuesday Tip - Writing Contests
Caridad Pineiro shows how entering contests can get you noticed.
Dear Author, Don't Be A Jerk
Lauren Baratz-Logsted says you catch more flies—readers—with honey than with vinegar.
How to Not Sell Your Book...and Quickly
Gina Collia-Suzuki’s hilarious post is like a book-promotion version of What Not To Wear
Five Simple Ways To Be An Effective Promoter.
JT Ellison's experience at a book festival prompts some great ideas.
Tips and Tools for Bookselling Success
Promotion tips from Carol I Hoenig, the author of The Author’s Guide to Planning Book Events: Tips and Tools for Bookselling Success.
Red Room Success Stories
Red Room writers have used many methods to market their way to success:
- Craft a Great Query Letter - Wendy Nelson Tokunaga shares her query letter that elicited a lot of requests from agents to look at the manuscript.
- Hold a Comment Contest -See Julie Anne Long's "virtual party" on her blog that generated a record amount of comments and endless views of her new book at Red Room.
- Create a Viral Video - Tim Wise has generated phenomenal traffic to his Red Room page because he's gotten some key endorsements for his extremely thought-provoking content on rating sites like Digg and Stumbleupon. He has his own site, too, but uploads his incendiary videos to redroom.com and generates dozens of comments and thousands of pageviews.
- Try a Book Trailer - Sometimes complimenting a fellow author on their own trailer can lead to them creating one for you, as Rosemary Jones shows.
- Use a Raffle Prize - Lisa McMann's bookstore signings in March included a gift-bag raffle.
- Create high-quality, inexpensive promotional bookmarks - Ryoma Collia-Suzuki tells how to get great-looking bookmarks for just a penny apiece.
Books About Marketing
Take a look at books about marketing written by Red Room authors:
- Release Your Writing: Book Publishing Your Way by Helen Gallagher
- 1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John F Kremer
- The Frugal Editor: Put your best book forward to avoid humilation and ensure success (How to Do It Frugally) by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
THE LITERARY INDUSTRY
What Do Editors Do?
The job entails many different roles, as John Elder Robison found out firsthand.
What Else is New?
Carolyn McTighe faces the age-old dilemma: when writing, do you follow your heart, or the market?
The Gag Rule and Reviews
Natasha Bauman wonders about how much sense the author-reviewer-reader dance actually makes.
Victoria Zackheim shows the even iconic authors had to deal with bad reviews
Poetry Is To Money As Ice Cream Is To Mud
Amy King shows that a poet's glory isn't measured in dollar signs.Blurbs I: Getting
Lauren Baratz-Logsted shows how important blurbs are and gives some hints about getting them.
EDUCATION AND MFA PROGRAMS
To MFA or Not To MFA?
Recent MFA graduate Wendy Nelson Tokunaga tells what you can get from an advanced degree ... and what you can't.
Letter to a Student About to Enter the Queens University Low-Residency MFA Program
Pinckney Benedict gives some dos and don'ts about MFA programs.
Shirley Jackson Novels vs. MFA Writing Programs
Helen Oyeyemi tells why she dropped out of the MFA writing program at Columbia and moved to Paris instead.
Writing Programs and Group Minds
Thaisa Frank discusses "groupthink" in writing programs.
THE LITERARY COMMUNITY
Authors Who Blog Come Together to Help One of Their Own
Red Room members held Patry Francis Day on January 29th, 2008, showing how the literary community can come together.
Jessica Barksdale Inclán writes about what Red Room has done for her need for community.
A Long-Winded and Somewhat Reluctant Do & Don't List For Newbies Wanting to Reach Out to Authors
JT Ellison learned this practical advice for meeting your favorite author the hard way.
THE LIFE OF A WRITER
Travel Writing: It's a Tough Gig
Robert Todd Felton discusses what he sees as the "three paths to a travel writing life."
Depressed Thinking Distortions for Writers
Ericka Lutz shares a list of traps into which writers can fall.
Writing and Procrastination Rituals
The first step is acknowledging the problem, says San Francisco poet devorah major.
The Writer's Middle Finger (How to grow it, groom it, love it, and stretch it)
A.S. King on how she lost her groove and then got it back.
Novel 101 Prep Work
Judy Merrill Larsen shares what she does before she sits down with a new pen and stack of crisp, fresh, yellow legal pads.
Characters and Click Moments
Romance novelist Terry Odell blogs about the moment when the story suddenly takes off.
Grammarphobe Lessons: Vivid Verbs! Avoiding Adverbs!
Jennifer Gibbons, gets verbal.
Perky Peppy Prepositional Phrases!
Learn to write elegant, simple sentences.
I've Got The Rejection Slip Blues
Jennifer Gibbons sings a familiar song, beautifully.
Writing a Sex Scene
A romance writer tackles a delicate subject.
Write What You Know
The oldest piece of writing advice may not mean what you think it means.
The Math Equation that Determines Success as a Writer
Kemble Scott proposes a simple, hilarious formula.
Craig's Nine Rules of Writing
Craig Clevenger has some useful advice about how to grow as a writer.
The Other Side of the Fence
Congratulations! You've been published! Lauren Baratz-Logsted says the challenges are just beginning.
The Value of Practice
Jeffrey Ricker's take as a writer on the difference between journey and destination.